Disclaimer: Woes. SEGA owns Sonic and not me. Oh well.

Title: Slide (Beautiful to Me)
Fandom: Sonic the Hedgehog
Genre: Romance
Rating: G
Warnings: Fluff? XD
Ships: Sonadow (Sonic/Shadow)
Finished: Yes

Slide (Beautiful to Me)
By: Jigglypuff in Blue Ribbons

"Put your arms around me... what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful." —The Goo Goo Dolls "Slide"

Sonic the Hedgehog stretched and held the rail, craning his neck over the water and smelling the fresh ocean scent of Station Square Beach. His ears lowered in bliss as the sunset waves whispered to them, his quills shimmering like the sea itself. His green eyes flickered open, grinning as he watched his reflection's chest puff in the water.

"Hey beautiful! Lookin' good!" It couldn't be a better afternoon.

He looked left, eyes widening when he saw another hedgehog standing opposite of him on the other side—dark, mysterious, wild. With indifference, the black hedgehog folded his arms over the bars, coral eyes dull and oblivious to the sea. The gulls circled with their squawks and the crabs with their skitters, but wouldn't dare breech the hedgehog's solitude.

"Hey beautiful! Lookin' good!"

Shadow jumped, shooting a glare at the azure prankster. He sighed, taking a deep breath as he thought of what to do to his obnoxious rival.

"You've GOT to be kidding me." Shadow snarled, turning away. "Always a thorn on my side, aren't you hedgehog?"
"And here to stay!" A grin and a thumb's up. Typical of him.
"Well... I don't want your attention right now. Why not you make friends with the barnacles? They could use company."
"No thanks, Shad. With their numbers, I don't think they're lonely!"
"Oh, but they could also could use a visit from a hedgehog." The dark counterpart held a lethal grin, teeth gleaming with scheme. "I could help you meet them. Here and now."

"What!? Uh, no thanks Shadow!" The azure one backed off waving his hands, defending against his rival's clawed hands. "I like being dry! Thanks! And looking it. Being wet isn't my thing, you know?""Then you just might find something new."
"Nono! I've been there, done that—don't wanna do it again. Hey—I won't go in unless YOU come with me? That a deal for ya, Shads?"
"Hmph!" Pompously, Shadow closed his eyes and pointed his nose in the air. "I don't swim."
"That's 'cause you never have, eh?"


Sputtering and flailing, Sonic kicked a hurricane beneath the deck, yelling and wriggling like a suffocating fish. The azure doppelganger flung curses at the black replica, who crossed his arms and smirked, proud of his handiwork and amused by his rival's plight.

"Warm in there?" Shadow snickered.
"Actually, it is! I-It's not bad when y-you get used to it! How d-d-deep is it anyway?"
"Humph. Don't drown."

Sonic paled and stiffened like a sinking icicle, head sinking beneath the water. An enraged ball of spikes jumped a fit, shaking his head like a wet cat. He caught Shadow laughing on the deck, arms restraining his middle as he bent in deep glee—Sonic growled, clutching a fist before punching the water and pointing an accusing finger.

"YOU—! You... FAKE!"
"Don't step on the zebra mussels, bastard. Hahaha...!"

Tired and lazy, the sun stepped beneath the horizon like a senior citizen in a spa, as spatters of diamond-blue scattered across its mellow orange ocean. A certain spiky blue hedgehog dog-paddled his way in orange juice, the citrus sea tossing him over the sands of lemonade as he clambered to his knees. Specks of seawater sparkled on his quills, the sun bathing his cheeks and shoulders to the point where all the peach fur in his body hued a gentle, mellow orange-gold. Sonic's eyes shown the pesky lime-green, grinning for the support of the other hedgehog's hand. Shadow's stern glare weakened, the sun forcing him to squint—his gaze softened over his rival, and suddenly, there was no faker. The blue hedgehog panting, the sunlight blessed him with a marigold glow; he taught a merman to walk.

"Hehe... I deserved that."
"Are you all right?"
"Aw, that was nothing!" Sonic laughed. "Even Cream's done worse than that! Now, maybe if Amy pushed me in the water, I'd get scared."
"Hmph, thanks for the idea, hedgehog. I'll tell her next time."
"No! If you do that, I'll tell Rouge about—!"
"No. You won't."

For a while, they were silent, walking beneath a pineapple tree and resting against it. Sonic eventually dried off, even started zipping around showing Shadow the different seashells and creatures he found. Finally, he too leaned against the tree, tapping his foot forming a grove in the sand. Shadow sighed, and without facing his blue replica, he spoke:

"Sonic... do you remember what you said to me, back on the deck? About me being beautiful..."
"Oh, yeah! Was that why you pushed me?"
"Do I need to make a list?"
"Hehe, in that case, I'm good without knowing."
"Sonic... do you REALLY think I'm beautiful?"
"Just wondering, that's all. No one's called me that before."
"Aw, Shadow! Do you take everything so seriously!?"
"'Cause for this, I want you to."

For the first time, Shadow didn't have a word for Sonic. No comeback. No retort. No snark. Part of him wanted to utter gratitude—the other wanted to cry out a fleet of questions. Why? Why? Why? He should've punched him in the face. Right there and now. He was the one and only Ultimate-Life Form; what mattered to him was power. People did call him powerful—also clever, intelligent, strong, fearless. But Soniconly Sonic—called him "beautiful".

It shook him more than any adjective could justify.

"Kiss me."

The black hedgehog gaped, eyes widened at his so-called rival with a skeptical glare.

"...What did you say?"

Sonic offered a cheeky grin.
"I said 'kiss me'."

There was a moment's pause. The black hedgehog shook his head in annoyed contempt, leaving his post by the tree to the shore.

"You're out of your mind."

A patter of wet sand followed, and Sonic seized the dark replica's arm—before Shadow could retaliate, the blue hedgehog let a cool damp palm caress his cheek, turning him to face him. The determined green stare fell upon him, softening as his fingers brushed his double's face. The ebony hedgehog stayed silent—apparently, Sonic was being serious about this.

A warm presence graced his lips, Sonic granting the gentle blessing. Shadow hesitantly accepted, before he too was caught up in the embrace. The dark doppelganger moved a tentative hand over the blue replica's side, before holding in a confident grip. His arm stretched fully around Sonic's back, he pulled his cobalt look-a-like closer, giving Sonic a stifled moan before withdrawing for breath. They quickly reunited, deepening the kiss.

The waves hushed over their ankles, and a heavy collapse followed as the hedgehogs tumbled to the sea. Pinned by the blue hedgehog, Shadow wretched free coughing and sputtering from the surprise cold, gasping and scrambling from the next wave before it clamped him down. Gritting his teeth, a crafty glance flashed his eyes as his hand whipped a splash of water at Sonic.

With a yelp, the cobalt counterpart leaped back, stunned by the sunk attack. With a laugh, Sonic raised a leg to send a mighty one back, the dark doppelganger jumping to his feet in time before he was utterly drenched. His air shoes kicked to action, and he sent a tidal wave trail behind him, Sonic raising his hands with cries of laughter as he was poured with clear ocean essence. The blue hedgehog fought for the sand, darting in front of Shadow with a surprise tsunami of his own. With a chuckle, the ebony double faded to thin air—flooding Sonic from behind.

"Hey! No Chaos Control!"

It was getting harder to keep up with him. With a yell the azure double was grabbed from behind, a wet hand clasping his limiting his cries to alarmed muffles. Pinning him to the sand, Shadow roped to the wrenching hedgehog, like a man riding a bull at sea. In a more comfortable position, the dark doppelganger craned his neck beneath Sonic's ear, breathing lightly inside to make him shiver.

"Who's winning now?" he whispered.

Like a punch from the ground, Sonic summoned the strength to regain control, rolling over to pull his double underwater. Hacking and coughing, the dark replica released him, while his cobalt rival broke from the surface avoiding the next wave. When Shadow came too, he stood calf-deep in the rising water, when it began to whirlpool...

"Sonic Wind!"

A string of water whipped from the beach like the start of a potter's wheel, spinning from the whirlpool to form a crystal-clear funnel in the air. The airborne twister snatched Shadow from the sand, tossing him high like the spurt of a whale—the black hedgehog slammed into the sea, encased by a crushing chill—his fingers clutched the shuffling sand, climbing to the surface. Panting and dripping with ocean, red eyes glared at the proud pair of green who waited—it took him one flash, one push—his revenge was complete.

"Humph! Now we're even."

Spitting the last of the salt, Sonic stood, knees ragged with wet sand. He laughed, pressing his arms around Shadow and gosh how wet they were—he pulled him into a delicious, cold kiss, clinging to soothe their shivering bodies... the black hedgehog separated, frowning as he brushed off the dirt and shell pieces tangled in the white fluff on his chest. Sonic gave a warm snicker, helping him brush off.

"I guess one of us DID get to be friends with the barnacles, eh?"
"Not funny, hedgehog."

The azure look-alike was pushed to the sand, laughing and welcoming the warmth of Shadow's lips once again.

The End

A/N: This is a fic that I've dabbled in over the months since Summer '06. It was one of the few fics I enjoyed writing, while other failed fanfiction stuff? ...Not so good. I've had a difficult time in Sonic fandom I'm leaving behind and starting afresh, for there's one loyal friend who's become one of the most dear darlings in the world to me: Hedgiepan. Simply put, she's one of the most talented, sweetest people I could ever hope to find in a friend. She's listening to me fangirl, she's listened to me whine, she helped me with some of the worst issues I've struggled with in fandom and real life--in return, I wanted to help her in any way I can if she's in trouble or sad. I don't know if I can ever show how much I love her. But that's okay--that means I'll just keep giving! ;D

To my 17-year-old Princess of Kogepans. 333333 Have a happy birthday!