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The Shadow before dawn

by Angelwind

Amy lay in her bed, holding her blue Sonic doll in her country apartment. She slowly awoke after having a dreamless night. Her still dreams were like this twice before in her life... When she was younger, she didn't know the thrill of living every day like its the brink of existance. Then that metal... thing came from nowhere...the times after that were a blur. A blur which started terribly frightening, but soon turned blue... a beautiful blue blur that held her close to him as he pulled her from danger. Her beautiful hedgehog.... Sonic..... wonderful Sonic.
His grin.... the way his quills would rise and fall with each breath... the confidence in his eyes... her dreams became real again. Running along the emerald green countryside, trusty Piko Piko hammer in hand... backing up Sonic as he blew up every mech that the Eggman had made. As it became too much, he'd rush back to her side and defend her from the mechanical monstrosities... It was so beautiful. He'd come and rescue her.

Then he was gone, and the dreams went with him. He was so quickly out of her life, coming as fast as he came in. Her heart ached to see that grin, the look in his eyes... to return her to a dream lost. She never thought he'd come all the way out to Station Square - even if he was there on vacation, it was him! It could only be him... And what good timing! Birdy needed help..... But after all was said and done, she had to take care of herself. She knew he couldn't always be there, and he was only a hedgehog... albeit a FAS T one. She had taken Birdy into her own hands and protected him against Zero... What happened to Sonic?

Ah... but she still loved him! His smile never went away. Even after he failed her, she was gonna make herself good enough for him to beg for her... beg... And then he'd be her's forever! But after another adventure... the dreams were gone again. Sonic had run again... She could never keep up! Their last adventure together... She hoped it would bring back her dreams. But it didn't... why?

" I will keep promise to Maria and you... " he had said. A tear had went down his cheek.

He looked so much like Sonic.... But his eyes were cold and in pain. He looked as if he was beyond ever showing that grin. She had wanted to make him smile when she saw him... She wanted to take away his pain. Why? Was it because he looked just like Sonic, the one and only for her? He... he gave his life for the people of Earth for the promise to Maria.... and her. Her. Her feelings... She had not known this hedgehog the way she knew Sonic... it didn't matter what happened, right? Sonic took it well.... but the fire in his eyes was gone when he saw that Shadow most likely had not survived. The smile he wore was fake, as well as the confident laugh... More and more, he began to seem different to her... How he would always leave her behind... Could it be that he was just a dream?
Beyond the dream... he was Sonic the Hedgehog... and Sonic the person. The dreams did not return much afterwards . She looked over at the window. The sky was becoming lighter blue... Dawn was coming. She saw an outline at the window... It was still too dark to see, but it was the outline of quills.... No... it couldn't be!

" Sonikku! " she shouted, still wearing her nightdress. She threw her arms around him, not caring why he was in the room at such an hour. He made no response, but it was him... she could hear the warm heartbeat. She let go of him and took a step back. The figure turned around....

Even in the dark, she could see his eyes.

They were not confident eyes.

They were cold, pained eyes.

The figure was Shadow the Hedgehog.

" Ahhh! " she shouted, " Its Shadow! What are you doing here?! "

She instinctively moved to defend herself, but his eyes... so much like Sonic's... told her he was not here to hurt her. The eyes were calm, despite the coldness. She remained on her guard, nonetheless. He turned his gaze from her back to the window.

" I had fulfilled my promise to you, Amy Rose... " his voice said softly.

She was confused... What was going on here?! Being awake at such an hour to see Shadow - one who would have killed her a week ago during the whole ARK ordeal - come to say this... When she was sure he was dead! Even Sonic was sure he was dead.

" Get out of here! " snapped Amy, feeling a strange mix of panic and pity.

Shadow looked down for a split second and then looked up into the sky. His expression was the same hardened one he always wore.

" .... Very well. "

" .... No, wait! "

Amy blurted it out before she could stop herself. Shadow resumed his position at the window. She looked at him, his quills appearing a bright red and black from behind.

" Why are you here? " she said, finding herself at last.

" I told you. I came to tell you that I have fulfilled my promise to you, " he said, " To help the people of this planet be happy... It was Maria's wish as well. I have fulfilled my purpose. "

She came to the slow realization in her mind... Shadow hadn't died... He was going to kill himself until he realized he had to tell her. Now that he had done that... He was moving to leave again...

" Wait Shadow! " she called. He stopped.

" I... I... "

She had a hard time finding the words, but she didn't want him to die... The one who's supposed death could actually damage Sonic's smile.

" When I said that... I meant you too! "

He turned to face her. Those cold eyes seemed to penetrate deep within her soul. It made her feel almost as cold and empty as him... She wanted to take it away. She knew she had to.

" Thats... that.. thats part of the promise! " she stammered, " you deserve to be happy! "

Maria's voice entered Shadow's mind slowly... The voice which soothed him...

" They deserve to be happy and live their dreams... "

" See how the Earth is half d a r k ? Something beautiful is happening... Sunrise. "

" It doesn' t look like much.. " muttered Shadow.

" Maybe not here, but for the people below... the colors of dawn signify a beautiful new day. "

Shadow looked up and walked back towards the window. Sunrise... just as Maria had once told him. He had never seen one before.

" The sky... " he said, " it is turning the color of your quills. "

Amy looked up and walked beside him. They both watched the skies turn it's many colors of pink and orange as the sun peeked over the horizon.

" You were right... Maria. "

" Shadow? "

Amy saw Shadow's gaze turn back to her. His eyes... they showed life! She felt a warmth bathe over her as the pain in those eyes seemed to drift away. Her breathing came a little faster... a little surer...

" Amy Rose... "

His pained aura seemed to melt away just as the darkness of the night faded away from the horizon. A small smile appeared on his face... He suddenly seemed like the most gentle creature in the world. That wasn't a ' Sonic ' smile, but she didn't care. It was at least real, honest, from the heart smile.

" I understand. From now on, I will live for Maria's sake... And yours, Amy Rose. "

Amy hugged him as morning birds began to chirp. She looked up at the sky of a new day and realized having exciting dreams no longer mattered.

Because her dreams were now reality.

" Ahh! " she exclaimed, noticing the time, " several early bird shops are open! Its time for a spree and I'm gonna be left behind unless I get ready! "

She grabbed one of her dresses, flew into her bathroom, and threw it on as quickly as she could, carefully putting her headband in place. She quickly flung open the bathroom door and grabbed Shadow's hand.

"C'mon Shadow! You come with me! There is shopping to do! "

Shadow said nothing as she ran top speed towards the marketplace, and he skated alongside.

He finally felt complete again... A feeling he thought he'd never feel after Maria was gone....

" I won't let anyone hurt you Amy.... " he said quietly, under his breath.