Genre: Angst/General

Media: Sonic the Hedgehog

Disclaimer: Sonic the Hedgehog belongs to Sega.

A/N: Here we are, my first STH fanfic (and possibly my last). Just a little something that always bugged me about why people got onto Shadow for, really.

Note: I've never, ever played any of the games nor have I actually watched Sonic X in great detail, so Maria's death is completely made out of guess-work.

Please Understand

Crimson eyes narrowed on the dull-gray floor, a strong emotion flashing through them. Dull clanking echoed in the room as rocket sneakers walked across the somewhat reflective surface.

I need better control of myself…

The dark hedgehog-like creature stopped in front of a metallic door, ears flattening somewhat and gloved hands clenching into loose fists. No…not yet.

He turned away and resumed pacing the room, trying to better control the emotions that raced through his being. Sighing, he retreated to a corner and leaned his shoulder against one wall, tilting his head toward the corner and closing his eyes.

–Flashback –


A blonde girl staggered into the room and leaned against the doorframe, breathing hard. Azure eyes lifted toward ruby ones. "Shadow…"

The hedgehog, now addressed as Shadow, rushed to her side, ruby eyes wide. "Maria, are you…?"

"I-It's okay," she said weakly, reaching out a hand to place it on Shadow's shoulder. Pushing herself away from the doorframe, she slowly made her way to the escape pod…it was the only one left. And it was big enough for only one person to inhabit.

The dark-colored hedgehog gently pulled her hand. "Get I," he commanded in a somewhat worried tone. "You don't have much time!"

"No, Shadow," she whispered, shoving him into the pod and closing the door.

Ruby eyes widened in alarm as he fell into the machine, getting back up as the door slammed shut behind him. "No!" He leaned against the window looking into the room, watching Maria in shock.

She punched in the coordinates for Earth, turning her head to look at her friend for the last time. "Promise me, Shadow…promise me that you'll give everyone on Earth a chance to be happy." Turning back around, she pressed the "Launch" button. Smiling sadly, she whispered, "Good-bye, Shadow…"

Tears streamed down is face as Maria crumpled to the floor just before the pod separated from the main-ship. "Maria!"

–End flashback –

Shadow pushed away from the corner and shook his head rapidly, trying to shake that painful memory from his head. It didn't leave.

Angrily, he rammed his head against a nearby wall, regardless of how much physical pain it caused him. Pressing his palms firmly onto the wall, he lightly pushed, slowly inching away from its cold surface. Crimson eyes glared at his hands. Useless.

Walking away from the wall, he resumed pacing the room.

The throbbing in his head, he found, was actually quite soothing as it seemed to crack and completely shatter the thoughts in his mind. But eventually, after only a few mere seconds, the "loss of thoughts" caused something else to happen…his emotions overruled his mind.

He collapsed to his hands and knees, mentally fighting to keep his emotions in control.

After nearly an hour of fighting himself, he believed he was stable enough to try standing back up. Doing so, he cautiously made his way to the door. I need to leave this place…

Almost at that exact moment the door opened. Holding on to the knob was a pink female hedgehog in a red dress with red-and-white boots and a red headband with the ends of them tucking behind her ears. Emerald eyes landed on crimson ones. "Shadow?"

He resisted the urge to take a step back, though a slight shudder vibrated invisibly through his body when her high-pitched voice reached his delicate ears. The wanna-be faker's girlfriend… "What do you want?"

"Hey, I was just checking on you. Geeze," she muttered, turning away and exiting the room. "Don't need to get an attitude…" Stopping, she turned her head so that she was looking at him sideways. "So are you ready to come out or what?"

As ready as I'll ever be…

Withholding a sigh, he walked out the door. He was going slow enough the female hedgehog caught up easily. Crimson eyes remained on the hallway before them, his mind telling his body to ignore her existence (which was relatively easy). But then she tried to start a conversation.

"So…are you still sad about what happened to your friend?"

Shadow stopped walking, stared down at the floor beneath his sneakers. He felt he was fortunate not to be trembling.

She nodded subtly. "I'm sorry about what happened."

Crimson eyes shifted toward her boots. Sure, you can feel sorry. But you can never understand… Releasing a soundless sigh, he continued walking. Only much slower this time.

The pink hedgehog stayed right by his side. "Didn't that happen fifty years ago?"

He showed down even more. Gid, will you shut up? Black ears flattened somewhat as he felt his hold on his emotions begin to slip further.

"I don't mean to be rude or anything, but…you should've moved on by now."

His anger flared without warning, causing him to whirl around and pin her to a nearby wall. Cold crimson eyes locked onto panicked emerald ones.

"Shadow! What are you doing?"

Shadow froze, slowly drawing away from the pink hedgehog.

A white female bat clad in dark violet and pink flew by, stopping between the two hedgehogs. Looking between the two, she asked, "What's going on?"

"I don't know," replied the red-clad hedgehog, still looking somewhat frightened.

Azure eyes locked onto emerald ones. "What did you say to him?"

"Just that he should've moved on from Maria's all. I mean, is has been fifty years."

A low growl escaped his throat as crimson eyes narrowed. "I've been sealed inside a pod, put to sleep all that time… It may have been fifty years to the world, but to me…it's only been a few days."

The bat looked sad while the pink hedgehog gave the dark-colored make a startled look.

"Shadow, I…"

He didn't give her time to speak. Instead of listening, he rushed down the hall in a flash of gold light.

The pink hedgehog watched him go in alarm, turning to the bat with a pleading look. "Rouge…"

The bat, now addressed as Rouge, gave the younger girl a disapproving look and followed Shadow down the hall.

A/N2: Wow, that was crapier than I thought it'd be. And now, since I'm done with my mini-vacation with Shadow, I'll go back to work with Odd. –dashes back to Code: Lyoko