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Sparkling angel, I couldn't see

Your dark intentions, your feelings for me

Fallen angel, tell me why

What is the reason, the thorn in your eye

Fallen Angel

Soft clicks echoed through the empty, dank, dark streets of the nameless city she'd been sent to as her heeled boots met the clumsily constructed street. Keen of her surroundings, her eyes scanned every alley, every corner, every balcony for any sign of danger. She had been trained this way, as one of GUN's top field agents. A solo artist, a cunning warrior, a perfect assassin. A light rain dotted against the beige hood she had drawn over her head, a part of her attire which consisted of a black cat suite covered with a heavy robe for weather like this.

Keeping her eyes moving constantly, she lifted her left arm, exposing it to nature's tears, and raised it to her shadow-blanketed face. Her deliciously full red lips parted to speak into the small wrist communicator she was wearing.

"No sign of the rogue agent."

A buzz of static on the other end, followed by a curt and bland response.

"Copy that, continue your search through the southern district."


Her tan, lithe arm was quickly pulled back into the sanctuary of her warm and toasty robe. Acting like an agent of her caliber would, she continued her search for her target: a GUN agent that had gone rogue a couple of weeks ago. He was a high ranking officer, weapons expert, and had vital and secret information about GUN that he was surely intending on selling out to the enemy. It was her job to apprehend him, alive if possible.

Her lips quirked into a small smirk at the thought, showing off two rows of fanged teeth. "If possible" was the formal way of saying "If he performs any hostile actions, chop his head off". Of course, the military couldn't say a thing like that on official orders, but everyone, even the ones giving the orders, knew what it meant. But she wasn't the type to kill in cold blood. Unless the fugitive would put her in a position in which she could do nothing else, she would not murder him.

If she was lucky, he was still negotiating payment for the files that he stole from the main date frame, and she could find him and put a stop to it then and there. But, she was one of GUN's top operatives, she couldn't simply rely on chance. If the fugitive did sell the files already, her second set of orders were to retrieve them and eliminate anyone with knowledge of the classified information.

She prayed it wouldn't come to that.

But, she had to find him first. Before the start of the mission, she had memorized his appearance, name, height, weight, and combat skill level. The only thing she could do now was question one of the locals to find out if they had seen him.

She idly passed a pair of wolves clad in leather. The glares that were being burned into her back were completely obvious, and she knew that simply going up to someone and asking them about the fugitive was out of the question. She would probably have to rely on her looks and isolate one of them to question him in private. She knew men, and she knew men almost always wanted her.

There were only extremely rare cases in which she couldn't persuade a male to do something using seduction. Rare. Unlikely. In fact, it was only one case.

Rounding a corner into a damp and smelly alley, the clicking of her heeled boots slowed and finally ceased as she raised her head to stare at the dirty, half-flashing neon sign in front of her that read "The Pit". Her nose cringed in distaste. The door was wooden and rotting, there was a strong scent of alcohol and urine around the place, but she knew that this was probably the one place where she could find someone with useful information.

With a sigh, her slender arm flew out of the barrier of the robe and pushed the door open. A wave of alcohol-drenched air hit her like a bomb, and she could have sworn she was getting tipsy just from standing there. Stepping into what was obviously a stereotypical bar filled with bikers and thugs, she glided across the creaky wooden floor and took a seat on one of the barstools, her robe pooling around her like a protective cocoon.

She didn't have to turn around; she knew every set of eyes in the place was on her. Various, self-proclaimed bad-asses sitting at the small tables littered throughout the place were scoping her out. But luckily the bartender, a gruff old fox with grey fur and mismatched blue and red eyes, attended to her, taking her attention away from the hostile environment.

"What can I get ya?"

The agent remained quiet for a moment, contemplating her answer. The bar grew eerily quiet.

"Scotch. Straight."

The bar was pleased and the noisy chatter of the customers resumed. The bartender nodded quietly and turned around, pulling out a small shot glass and a bottle of the alcoholic drink. With a quick and skill-full pour, the drink was in front of her. Without lifting the hood off her head, she snapped the shot glass up, emptying its content, softly setting it back down onto the dirty surface of the bar.

The bartender was in front of her again, asking his silent question. She nodded. With a swipe, he grabbed the shot glass, poured some more scotch into it, and set it down in front of her again. Not hesitating in the slightest this time, she repeated her past action, this time placing the glass down a little harder than before.

The bartender asked her three more times after her two shots.

And three more times, she nodded, each slam of the shot glass onto the bar becoming harder. Some of the males around her noticed her body becoming sluggish and her words beginning to slur. Being men, they thought about the one thing men wanted: a beautiful woman. Even though she hadn't revealed herself yet, her extremely melodic feminine voice hinted at her looks. A garnet-red hedgehog with sapphire-blue eyes decided to try his luck.

"Those are some strong drinks you're havin'," he commented as he took a seat on the bar stool to her right.

She paused for a moment, then turned to him. She had the most beautiful blue-green, aquamarine eyes he'd ever seen. The rest of her face was still hidden, but he was definitely interested now. Although he really wished to know what she looked like under that darkened veil, he was a patient man.

"I'm a strong woman." The smirk in her voice was painfully obvious.

"My name's Valor," he said with a smile, extending his hand to her.

The hood lowered a little, indicating that she was looking at his hand. An awkward beat passed between the two but eventually, a thin tan arm emerged from the protective cocoon of her robe and her hand shook his in a firm but sloppy grasp.

'Oh yeah,' he thought with a mental smirk, "This girl is totally wasted."

He eyed her arm. So, the athletic type, going by the structure of her arm. Firm but small muscles coiled under her sun-kissed skin when she shook his hand, her nails were elegantly long and clean, and there were no scars of bruises on her whatsoever.

"Are you gonna tell me your name, beautiful?"

A drunken laugh was the response he got, and he couldn't hold himself back from smirking just slightly. Tonight was his lucky night! But she caught him off guard when she leaned in, almost falling off her bar stool, raising her hooded face so it came up next to his right ear. Her heated breath clashed against his fiery fur and his eyes darted to the side to catch a small, vague glimpse of her appearance.

He couldn't tell the color of her fur or the exact details of her physique, but she was without a doubt a bat.

"How about...we go somewhere a little more private?"

He had to stop himself from jumping off his chair and slinging the woman over his shoulder like a prized trophy. Really, this was way too good to be true. Wasn't he supposed to be trying to seduce her? Why were the tables turned? Those questions ran through his head for about a second because when a beautiful woman offered to go somewhere private, you didn't think about it, you just went!

He gulped slightly, perspiration beginning to settle on his forehead before he nodded quickly. The bat's shadowed lips curved into a smirk. Standing from her stool, she took a firm grasp on his hand and walked them over to a creaky wooden door in the back of the bar: the storage room.

Valor raised a brow. 'Kinky.'

With a quick shove, he found himself inside of the dark and dusty, but rather spacious room. The door clicked to a close with a loud creak, and there was a metallic snap as the bat locked it. She turned to him with such a painstakingly slow move that he could've sworn he was about to explode with anticipation of the..."activities" to come. In one swift move, she was upon him, pushing him into the back wall of the room, her hands roaming across his broad chest.

He couldn't take it anymore, he had to see what she looked like, who she was!

With a tug, the hood fell uselessly against her back.


It was too late. There was already a gun roughly carved into his stomach. One wrong move and he'd be picking up his intestines. Valor couldn't believe it; how could he have been so stupid? This woman, this supposedly drunk female was none other than...

"Rouge the Bat," he breathed out, his blue eyes wide with fear.

He was a criminal. And just like the military knew about him, he knew about them. Rouge the Bat, a top GUN agent. Cunning and ruthless, beautiful and deadly.

Rouge flipped her head to the side, slicking back her moist ivory locks with her free hand. "I'm flattered to know I'm so famous here."

With a sharp glance, he noticed wet spots littered on the collar of her robe. So, the little bat had tricked everyone in the whole bar into thinking she was drunk so she could capture one of them while all she did was pour the drinks into her hood? Clever girl.

"One sound from me and you're as good as dead," Valor tried to reason; a sign that he was desperate.

"One squeeze of my finger and you will be dead," she replied evenly. "Now, I have a few questions I'd like to ask you."

The garnet hedgehog's head snapped to the side, refusing to meet her stony gaze. "I don't know anything."

"Isn't that always the case?" she smiled, pressing the small pistol further into his stomach.

He gulped, but found a loophole in her plan. "The gunshot will attract attention!"

"I have a silencer equipped."

There was no way out of this. She was one of the highest ranked agents in terms of success in GUN, while he ran minor criminal operations in this city. She would kill him if she had to, or at least torture him until she got some answers. On the other hand, squealers were usually taken care of by his associates, so telling her anything that involved his business partners was taboo unless he wanted to end up in a match box.

"Your answers will be confidential," she whispered, as if reading his spinning mind.

He breathed a sigh of relief, then met her gaze again. He still couldn't get over those incredibly beautiful eyes of hers. "What do you want to know?"

On cue, she pulled a small, wrinkled picture out of her robe with her free hand, holding it in front of Valor. He blinked once, taking in the appearance of the male bat on the photograph. Grey fur...black eyes...a GUN uniform with an "X" slashed across the company's insignia, it was definitely a sign of a rogue agent.

"His name is Acid, a rogue GUN agent with vital and secret information of the company and the government. He's reported to have been seen in this city."

She didn't have to give him that explanation. He knew exactly who that was. A guy who waltzed straight into town and demanded a meeting with the "high-up" crime lords. Foreigners the lot of them, but he wouldn't have it any other way. He, being one of the lesser criminals, was not invited, but he did know where he was meeting his buyer tonight.

"You're in luck, he's exchanging the data with his customer in about an hour."

Rouge's left ear twitched. "Where?"

"The abandoned GUN compound in the western part of the city. The main road should take you right past there."

'Ironic for it to be a GUN compound,' she thought, but smiled sweetly at her captor, removing the gun that she had lodged against his stomach. His tensed muscles relaxed, only to stiffen again when he felt a sharp and quick pain in his left shoulder.

A small needle was stabbed straight through his skin, just under his neck, obviously filled with some sort of liquid. He began to feel its effects as his shoulder and neck went numb, followed by his chest and arms. Feeling himself lose grip on consciousness, Valor stumbled backwards, hitting a wall, and slumped down like a rag doll. Rouge slowly walked up to him and bent down, leaning forward and placing a soft peck on his cheek. A rosary circle was left as her imprint due to her lipstick.

"Thanks a lot, sweetie. You'll be out for a couple of hours but it won't do you any harm."

Valor's world went completely black.

Hood once again drawn over her face, Rouge silently trudged through the near-empty streets of the city, headed in the direction of the old GUN compound. Her heeled boots had resumed their rhythmic clicking, but the huntress herself kept completely silent as she walked through puddles and mud. The rain was still pouring down from above, but it hadn't increased in viciousness at all, so it was rather pleasant.

There were hardly any people on the streets, and no cars, so walking along this almost abandoned road in the middle of a giant metropolex was a little eerie. Beneath her cloak, her right hand continouisly twitched on her holstered gun. It was instinct, a trait gained from being on so many dangerous and life-threatening missions.

Rouge stopped walking, leaving only the sound of the soft rainfall echoing through the abandoned streets.

There it was: the abandoned GUN compound. She vaguely remembered one of her colleagues telling her about this place. The city was supposed to join the United Federations, but came under control from a rogue country before a proper military defense could be established. This compound was in the process of being built but was abandoned when the company lost control of the city.

The building was a skeleton, merely a shell with nothing in it. There was no equipment whatsoever, just the outer frame, a couple of cat walks, and a few sets of stairs. She could see the GUN insignia on the side of the building, torn apart by weather and the locals so she knew this was the right place. That guy in the bar had actually told the truth. It was a rarity indeed.

She began contemplating her options. Strolling through the front door was out of the question, unless she wanted to get herself killed. She looked at the roof. It seemed stable and there were a couple of windows where she could clearly see inside from. She circled the enormous building slowly, scanning for any ladders. There were none. Rouge smirked. Lucky for her, she had a secret weapon.

With an elegant wave, the cloak wrapped across her shoulders was draped over a lone, rusty old pipe sticking out of the ground. Fully revealed in her black cat suite, the bat stretched her purple and black wings. They had been cramped into that cloak for so long, it felt good to stretch them out a little. Then, with a powerful thrust, she took to the skies, slowly and cautiously hovering up to the aluminum roof.

She reached the top, her heeled boots emitting two soft clanks as she landed. She searched the area. No hostiles, no danger. Just how she liked it. Softly walking across the roof, trying meticulously to be as quiet as possible, she drew her M1911 .45 caliber pistol from her holster, reaching into another pocket and tightly screwing on the silencer. She briefly took out the magazine, making sure the clip was still fully loaded and tapped it against her boot to make sure it wouldn't jam before sliding it back into the gun.

There were two small, dusty windows from where she could see inside and Rouge chose the one on the right, crouching down in front of it and peering into the compound.


There he was, on a small metal platform surrounded by cat walks, actively discussing something with another figure draped in a midnight-black cloak. So, that was the buyer? She cursed at not having brought some sort of rifle. It would have been so easy to incapacitate them from a distance, but being a stealth mission, she would have looked just a little suspicious with a sniper rifle strapped to her back.

Rouge watched intently as Acid waved around the disk he had stolen from GUN in front of the other figure. She had to know what they were talking about. Reaching into a pouch strapped to the back of her waist, she pulled out a small, corded ear piece attacked to a glowing blue half-sphere. Placing the sphere onto the glass and plugging the headset into her right ear, she tuned in the right frequency.


She adjusted it slightly.

"It's not what we had agreed upon. I will require double the pay for all the trouble I went through."

The other figure merely shook his head.

"You're not in a position to be bargaining with me! I know you need this data if you want to destroy GUN!"

Rouge's eyes widened. 'Destroy GUN?'

It happened so fast, she barely had time to gasp. In a flash, the hooded figure darted forward, somehow having pulled out a Japanese short sword, and sliced through Acid's chest with one clean, lethal strike. It was the perfect kill, flawless and incredible. Acid dropped the disk he had been holding and dropped to his knees. With another flick of a wrist, his throat was cut, and he fell to the ground, lifeless and still.

Rouge had to bite back some bile rising in her throat. How could someone kill like that out of cold blood? She didn't have time to feel sympathetic or sick though, as the killer slowly trudged over to Acid's corpse and bent down, taking the disk into his own hand before pocketing it. Lifting the back of his cloak, she saw the scabbard of his sword, and he quickly and skillfully scheathed it.

Ice ran down her spine when the figure raised its head, staring directly at her. Not even beginning to think about acting professional, she discarded the hearing device onto the rusty roof and stood, turning around to run away from this maniac as fast as possible.

He was standing right in front of her.

"How-" she gasped, backing up against the small incline of the roof that lead to its highest level.

The figure remained still. Rouge thought she had gone insane when he chuckled lightly.

"So, they sent you?"

The huntress felt like she had fallen into a pool of ice water. Her body went numb at the sound of his voice. She hadn't heard it in two years, and here he was, right in front of her. No, it wasn't possible, it couldn't be possible! The robed figure reached his hand up to his head and tugged the hood off, realizing Rouge's worst fears.

She fought to keep her mouth closed, but she couldn't. It was as if it acted on its own free will.


Everything was burning. The city of Station Square lay in ruins at her knees. Blood, sweat, and soot stained her body from head to toe as she cradled to the body of her fallen ally. Eyes that once held so much life and joy were now dull and gray. Blood was crusted around his lips and nose and teardrops hit his face in an unsteady rhythm.

The tears of Rouge the Bat as she cried over the death of Knuckles the Echidna.

All around her, war raged. Soldiers were shooting in all directions, bombs were going off every minute, and fire burned through everything and everyone. She still couldn't believe it. How could he do it? How could he attempt a coupe d'etat of GUN? How could her most trusted and loved ally, Shadow the Hedgehog, betray them in cold blood?

Everyone had come to the aid of the city. Knuckles even descended from Angel Island to lend his aid. She closed her eyes, the tears still coming. And look where it got him! Dead at her feet! Absently, she could hear Sonic yelling something at her, but she tuned it out. She was in her own little world now, where nothing could harm her. There was no war, there was no battle, there was no Shadow.

"Rouge, look out!" Sonic yelled frantically, avoiding a sea of gun fire, "He's coming!"

He. He?

She looked up.


There, not three feet from her, stood the cause of all of this bloodshed. His fiery red eyes scanned over her with icy apathy and his midnight-black, blood-stained fur waved to the side, stirred by a gentle breeze. She couldn't move, she wouldn't move. She knew that Sonic and the others were trying desperately to reach her, but she knew it was too late the second he had spotted her. The ultimate life form had always had a strange affinity for her.

You're my first real friend in fifty years, he once told her. Now she believed it. Why else would he abandon his command post among his rebel fraction of GUN to come talk to her? She remained still, not daring to move in his presence. It was as if her whole body had turned to stone.

"Come with me."

It wasn't a request, it was an order. Shadow extended his hand to her, ignoring the fact that she was still cradling Knuckles' corpse to her chest. There was a moment of silence between the two, only the raging sounds of the war being heard. She opened her mouth to reply, but before she could say anything, a mass of blue fur was in front of her, blocking her vision of the ultimate life form.

"You..." Sonic bit out, his voice dripping with so much venom that it frightened Rouge. His green eyes were aflame with hatred as he took a step towards his former friend. "How could you do this to us? How could you just stab us in the back?"

"I'm only dealing what has been dealt to me," Shadow deadpanned, no tinge of emotion in his voice. His carmine eyes scanned over Sonic's damaged body. "I'm not interested in you, move aside."

"Go to hell!" Sonic roared, lunging towards the ultimate life form, hands drawn out like a wild animal.

Rouge's eyes widened out of fear. Sonic was crazy! He had been fighting in this battle for hours and was now expecting to take down the commander of the enemy, who didn't have a scratch on him?

A simple side-step, a swift knee to the gut, and Sonic was down for the count.

But to her horror, Shadow didn't stop there. Bending down, he grasped a firm hold of the scruff of Sonic's neck and lifted him up as if he weighed nothing. The blue blur's dirty shoes scraped against the blood-stained ground as the black hedgehog raised him to eye-level. Sonic was still conscious, and now he was staring straight into the fires of hell itself.

"You..." Sonic choked out between a bloody cough "...were my friend. Why, why did you do this?"

"Did you think there would be no consequences?"

Sonic's half-lidded eyes widened slightly. "GUN? But-you-"

"They lied," he replied simply. "They're the ones who discharged me and tried to use me as an experiment again."

"Shadow, please," Sonic begged, tears beginning to well up in his eyes, "Don't hurt any more of my friends."

"I'll kill anyone who stands in my way," Shadow monotoned. "Stand down and no harm will befall you."

He released his grip on Sonic, letting the hero collapse into a bloody blue ball of fur and limbs.

Rouge felt fear gripping her when the ultimate life form once again met her gaze, sending shivers down her sweaty spine. She registered clanking sounds, meaning only one thing: that Shadow was walking towards her. The huntress blinked and he was in front of her, bent down, meeting her eyes with his own apathetic ones.

He repeated his previous statement.

"Come with me, Rouge."

Her gaze shifted to the right, trying desperately to avoid those mesmerizing eyes of his. Rouge bit her lip, but finally replied.


She looked up.

Shadow was gone.

Before she could even blink, his sword was at her throat, his body pressed tightly against her own, crushing her lower body into the roof ledge. The warm cloak wrapped around his powerful body scratched against her exposed arms and legs, irritating them. But that was the last thing on her mind at the moment.

Rouge didn't even dare to gulp. If she did, she was liable to get her head sliced off. She dared to look him in the eyes, meeting his cool, collected gaze with fierce but shaky determination. A silent stand-off between the two commenced, but it was soon broken by Shadow's words.

"To think that you would choose them over me."

It was a simple statement, but it somehow unnerved her. She knew what he meant by that. How could she have left her closest friend alone?

"No matter what happens, I'll always stay by your side," the ultimate life form deadpanned. "Isn't that what you told me once?"

The huntress gasped slightly at his words, but did not avert eye contact. He was talking about their adventures in Soleanna, the ones that never happened, the ones that they remembered anyway.

"How..." she choked out "...do you expect me to betray the free world with you?"

"The world isn't free," Shadow replied simply. "It's brainwashed and controlled by GUN and its leaders. I'm the one who will put an end to it. I'm freedom."

"You're waging a massive civil war that's killing innocent people!" she yelled, finally losing her control. "How's that fair?"

The cool blade of his sword pressed into her tan, sweaty skin, breaking it and drawing a thin line of blood. His eyes were still calm, but there was a raging fire burning behind his emotional barriers.

"I consider you a potential asset, but don't make the mistake of thinking you're free to say as you please."

The pressure of death against her fragile throat lessened slightly, but it stilled waved in front of her like a taunting ghost.

"What are you going to do, Shadow?" she whispered, her heart breaking on the inside. She tried to desperately hide it from Shadow, but the tears came anyway, collecting at the corners of her eyes until they rolled down her dirty cheeks. "Are you going to kill me?"

His blade did not move. "Perhaps, if I begin to consider you a hindrance. It's all up to you."

Swiftly and with speed that seemed impossible for anyone, even Shadow, the blade was back within its sheath, hidden under the ultimate life form's long ebony cloak. Slowly, he extended his hand to her.

"Come with me."

Just like it was two years ago. It wasn't a question, it was an order. This time, there was no Sonic or battle to interrupt them or hasten her answer. She had rejected him last time, and he simply disappeared. But somehow, she felt like she wasn't going to be that lucky again.

Biting her lower lip, so hard that she drew a tinge of coppery blood, Rouge extended her hand towards his and took hold of it. Then, before he could react, she was in front of him, her warm and bloody lips pressed against his. Shadow, for the first time since the encounter, seemed slightly shocked, his red eyes widening a fraction. For such a cold person, Shadow's lips were surprisingly warm and soft and Rouge savored in the moment before doing what she knew had to be done.

There was a ruffle in his cloak.

The next thing he knew, Rouge had taken to the rain-filled sky, a small disk between her fingers. Shadow just stood there, staring, amazed at how she actually seduced him. He shook his head, noting that the bat was already a good quarter mile away, heading towards the outskirts of the city. With a nonchalant swipe, his sword was drawn again. Activating the hover shoes at his feet, he dropped to the streets below, giving chase.

"White Hawk, this is Night Watch 1, come in White Hawk! I need immediate evacuation!"

Rouge had to get to the extraction point as fast as possible. She knew that Shadow was chasing her, and considering his speed and disposal of Chaos Control, her advantage of flight hardly counted for anything. She had the data, now she just needed to get away from that demon as fast as she could and get back home.

"Roger, Night Watch 1, heading for extraction point charlie. ETA five minutes."

Changing course slightly to head for the designated extraction point, Rouge beat her wings furiously against the now rather turbulent wind and stormy skies. It was typical. Throughout the whole mission, the rain was tender and soft, but of course now that she was flying, it was harsh and coarse.

With a breath of relief, she spotted an Apache chopper tearing through the skies in the distance, coming to a hover, and setting down just on the outskirts of the city.

'Just a little more...just a little more!'

Rouge couldn't believe it. She made it! She was in front of the helicopter. With a heavy tug, one of the soldiers inside tore the door open, ushering her in with his hand. She took a step towards the chopper.

It erupted in a fiery explosion of heat and metal.

The huntress fell to the ground, slapping her arms over her head to protect her from the heated, flying scraps of metal sailing through the air. Her ears weren't just ringing, they were screeching. Her vision went completely white and she blinked rapidly to try and clear it, to no avail. Rouge was completely vulnerable.

Her vision partly returned and she noticed the fiery wreck of the destroyed chopper. It was nothing more than a cluster of bent, melted metal and raging flames. Rouge couldn't even spot the bodies of the retrieval squad: they were all incinerated. Her body shook, realization washing over her like a bucket of water was poured over her head.

Out of the mass of fire and death, he walked. His long, dark cloak flapped violently in the wind, his left hand was tightly gripping his blood-stained sword, and his right hand still sizzled with a few sparks of the Chaos Spear he used to destroy her only hope of escape. But those eyes haunted her the most; those cold, lonesome red eyes.

How could eyes the color of fire be as cold as ice?

Not knowing what else to do, her natural instincts kicked in. Slowly, she willed her downed body to move, clawing at earth and dirt as she desperately tried to get away from the ultimate life form. She knew it was useless. If he could get to the chopper before her when she had a quarter mile head start, then she certainly couldn't get away now.

His metallic shoes created a steady rhythm of thuds on the charred ground.

He was getting closer by the second, no doubt coming to kill her. She had refused him, she had stolen from him, and she had kissed him.

She was dead.

Reaching down into the core of her being, fueled by nothing more than adrenaline and will power, the huntress rose to her feet, her M1911 shakily clasped within her right hand. He was still a good ten feet from her, so she raised the weapon, aiming directly for his head.

"Stop!" Rouge commanded, though her voice was shaky and fear-filled.

Shadow ignored the order and continued to walk, stretching his left arm out to the side, his sword following suite. Rain pattered against the metallic weapon, creating soft clanks.

In a wisp of red, he was gone.

Rouge blinked, her head swaying from side to side, searching for the dark hedgehog. Where did he go? Did he leave again, like last time?

A powerful swat of the hand, a clatter of metal, and her weapon lay on the moist ground, sliced cleanly in half.

The ivory bat didn't bother to turn around; she knew he was right behind her and she knew that his sword was once again at her throat. Shakily, she turned around, making sure to make her movements slow and steady, so he would see no hostility in them. When she fully faced him, staring up at those cold, cold eyes, she couldn't help but shiver.

"Do you plan on destroying GUN's main headquarters?"

The question was risky to ask, but he didn't show a flicker of emotion. Not that he ever did anymore.

"The location is encrypted on the disk you have. With it, the war will be over."

Rouge gasped. Of course! How could she have forgotten about the disk? It was still safely tucked away in pouch on the back of her waist! All it would take to save GUN and the free world was to destroy the disk so Shadow couldn't use it. Of course, she knew for a fact that he would kill her if she did that.

But what was one life weighed against a thousand?

With a swipe, the disk was in her right hand, the other tightly grasping the handle of a small, black-handled silver dagger. Shadow, knowing of her intentions immediately, delivered a quick and powerful knee to her gut, effectively winding her. Taking advantage of her position, he took both the disk and the dagger, letting Rouge fall to her knees gasping for air.

"Don't push your luck."

Through blurry vision, caused by both pain and tears, she saw him getting on one knee in front of her, his sword once again hidden from her sight beneath his cloak, as well as the disk and dagger.

"Why are you so interested in me?" Rouge asked, her voice shaking.

The ultimate life form was silent for a moment.

"You're a combat expert and have an insight on GUN's operations. I'd be a fool to simply let you go."

"Is that it?" the bat cried, not believing in his words.

"Don't ask questions that will receive painful answers."

"I have to!" she sobbed, her fingers scrunching up the dirt below her. "I have to keep reaching out for you!"

"You should stop reaching."

"How can I, when you're so far away?"

"I'm closer than you think."

Then, all Rouge saw was black and red quills. She blinked. It took her a moment to realize Shadow was kissing her.

There was no push in the kiss, no heat, no desire. It was simple, a plain lip-lock. His mouth dominated hers and she let him. Shadow's lips did not open, he did not want to go further into it. She sat there, still and simple on her knees and feet, not daring to move away. Although the kiss was plain, it gave her a taste of his fiery essence that she was too busy to notice when she kissed him.

As fast and as sudden as it had happened, Shadow pulled back and the small moment of magic was over.

"This is the last time I'll make this offer, Rouge, so think carefully before you speak."

The sound of her name rolling off his tongue ran shiver down her spine. It sounded so damn alluring and seductive. Or, in layman's terms, just drop-dead sexy. He extended his hand to her, rising back to his feet. His form overshadowed her lighter one, and she looked up through tear-stricken, red eyes to look at him.

"Come with me."

He was an angel.

As strange as it sounded, the black and red monster before her was the purest of all beings: an angel.


That wasn't completely true. He was an angel, but he only had one wing. Just like the devil, Shadow had fallen from grace and heaven, straight into his own hell.

He was a fallen angel.

Her fallen angel.

And she would cast the world aside and fall as well. Together, the two one-winged angels made a whole; a complete being. A complete angel. She couldn't exist without him, and he couldn't exist without her. They were created for each other.

His single, black wing and her single, white wing would unite. They would be one.


Mission Briefing:

Agent 546 sent to retrieve stolen disk with vital information on operations and compound security. Rogue agent to be silenced, brought back alive if possible. All others with knowledge of data to be eliminated. High priority.

Mission Status:


Agent 546 Status:

KIA (Presumed. No body has been recovered).

Author's Note: Holy crap, that was by far the longest one-shot I've ever written. Well, I hope everyone enjoyed it. Also, don't forget to submit something for my "Sonic Fanfiction Contests 2008"!



For those of you waiting for it, of course I wasn't going to let you down! Here's another preview for In the End Part 2!

Two years ago, they had fought, a battle that was meant to be to the death. But, they were unable to kill each other, the bond they had created protected them. Neither Sonic nor Shadow would go through with what was laid out before them.

Now, they were reunited, they were standing before each other again. But, somehow, Sonic knew that the Shadow he called "friend" was long dead and gone.

Part 2

Coming Fall 2008