Authors Note: Ok, so here it is. I do not own Shadow, or Amy, Sega does. Also, the Bolded words are shadow's thoughts and the Italisized words are his inner self. Just so you know. R&R please! Song Lyrics by Natasha Beddingfield. Go easy, this is my first one.
'1971, 1972, 1973………'
It was night, a soft veil that blanketed the world and its inhabitants. The moon, a sphere brighter than the whitest snow, hung in the sky with its diamond companions; illuminating a dark figure beneath, perched among the treetops.
'1974, 1975, 1976……….'
I barely noticed the hard wood of the oak underneath me as I gazed at the inky sky. '1977, 1978…….or is it 79? It looks like two……' I narrowed my eyes, focusing my scarlet irises on the white speck. 'Just one………need to train my eyes better. Then maybe I can make some headway!' I lay on my back, staring at the sky without really seeing it.
I scowled as I thought about how the days and weeks that made up time became more monotonous and tiring than normal. Eggman had been disciplined and had retreated somewhere to lick his wounds, planning his next move in the all out war he had waged against Sonic and his colleges. I'd found myself wishing he would hurry up.
I was-there was no other word for it-bored, SO bored in fact, that I had been reduced to counting the stars each night-an impossibility in itself. I was better off listing off the names of everything in existence for all it got me.
A small sigh slipped from between my lips. 'Ah well, it was better than what the others were doing-which was what they usually did everyday. Tails tinkered, faker ran, Knuckles yelled at Rouge, Rouge pestered Knuckles, Cream would never shut up, and…..
Damn, lost count …again!'
I was shaking my head with annoyance when I heard it, echoing across the forest.
I sat bolt upright, facing the east. I immediately recognized the tone and pitch perfectly; if you've heard it before in close quarters, you'll always remember it. But……..
It didn't sound like her at all-a cry of pain, fright or frustration. It was identical to a war cry. 'Almost like the ones Knuckles does or myself.' I cocked one eyebrow. Since when did I put myself in comparisons? A split second later, muffled crashes caused birds to take flight into the night air. I sat up a little straighter, eyes fixed on the spot the birds had come from.
Finally interested in something for the first time in weeks, I stood and bounded down through the foliage. Bouncing off of tree trunks and grabbing branches, I sped through the forest like my name-a shadow, quiet and swift-never touching the ground.
The crashes grew louder and light tremors shook the trees. Wary that something large and metallic would fly towards my face, I landed gently and stalked through the undergrowth. The vibrations became worse as what was left of a rock quarry came into view.
I could see her now, the moonlight highlighting her pink fur with whitened silver. It also shone on the enormous hammer that was clasped in her hands. The mallet whirled over her head with a deadly hum as she smashed the brimstone into gravel.
Her jade eyes burned with raw anger as she swung her weapon again and again. I watched her, confusion ruling my thoughts. 'Why in the name of chaos would she decide to have a temper tantrum in the middle of nowhere, and at 2:30 in the morning?'
Why are you watching her in the first place? My inner self countered. I frowned for second. I absolutely hated it when a part of my conscience started talking to me. It was very distracting. A pause in the ruckus snapped me back to reality. I quickly turned back to the unusual scene before me.
Only one boulder remained. It was monstrous, larger than the X Tornado Tails was so fond of. After about 5 seconds, Amy launched herself at it with another savage yell. The hammer was everywhere-left, right, up, down, a red and yellow blur of fury. The rock shook and groaned from the impacts.
My eyes widened. Never before had I seen her quite like this. She fought against the stone with a passion, with a raging inferno that contrasted sharply with the being controlling it, as if she hated, no, loathed, the single element before her with all her heart.
The boulder was reduced to half its considerable size and shrinking fast. Now, each blow as accompanied by a word as they slowed, ringing through the air like a violent duet.
She ignored the broken pieces that spun past her body, ripping her dress.
The rock shuddered, fractures crisscrossing its face.
On the final strike, the stone shattered, debris whizzing in all directions. I had to duck as one shard zoomed toward me, slicing off a thin branch as it disappeared into the night. I stared after it for a moment, immobile. Truth be told, I was shocked. And I'm generally a hard person to surprise.
Slowly, I turned back to stare at the warrior-like girl still gripping her hammer. Her head was bowed as she panted; shoulders heaving with each intake of breath. Then, as the hammer disappeared to wherever- the-hell-it-went-when-she-wasn't-using-it, she raised her head, closed her eyes and………smiled.
………….and I thought your pastimes were odd.
'Oh, shut up.'
Wiping sweat from her brow, she sighed with content as she opened her eyes. The fire that had blazed within those jaded orbs was gone, replaced by a strange, almost serene look. Peaceful.
"It's going to be easy now", she murmured, running a hand through her pink quills. And with that, she grabbed her jacket, which had been resting on a nearby stump, and walked out the now gravel filled quarry.
I stared after her with disbelief. I turned toward where the stone had stood, then back to where Amy had gone……then back to the stone……..and back to the trees. My quills swayed as my head whipped back and forth several times. My thoughts incoherent.
Between her actions and her words, I can't tell which is weirder.
'I thought I told you to SHUT UP!!'
Well, almost incoherent.
Rising from my crouch on the forest floor, I left my hiding place and walked over to the remains of the mini 'mountain'. It wasn't pretty. The thing had been blasted apart like a hand grenade. All that was the missing was the blast marks.
Oho, do I sense a little humor there? That's new.
I didn't even bother answering back. Only insane lunatics talked to themselves. I learned that the hard way back when I used to work for the doctor. That obese human just loved to bellow out his plan, even when he already told us, or when nobody was around, he'd have conversations out loud. 'That's probably one of the reasons why I didn't stay with him. Besides the fact that he's evil and all that.'
I studied the cracked pieces of brimstone around me, calculating. It would've taken a large amount of energy and strength to bust that thing apart. My initial respect for Rose increased considerably at that thought. 'There's a lot more to her than first appeared.' After a moment, I turned and leaped into the trees.
I didn't really know why I was following her. Was it for an explanation for her actions? Or was it simply because I didn't want to start numbering stars again and to see if something like this would happen again? I couldn't tell. Maybe both. Ugh.
Following her wasn't hard. She left a clear trail on the dirt path. The footprints from her boots were visible. Also, her scent was in the air. It was an odor I hadn't smelled in a while. A mixture of cucumber melon and lilies. It hung like an invisible cloud, hugging the air a few feet off the ground. Hmmm…..
Not only that, after a while, I heard her singing in a light soprano voice.
"I gotta pocket, gotta pocketful of sunshine.
I've got a love and I know that it's all mine.
Oh, ooh-oh oh.
Do what cha' want but your never gonna break me.
Sticks and stone are never gonna shake me.
Oh, ooh-oh oh.
Take me away!(take me away)
To better days!(to better days)
A sweet escape!(a sweet escape)
Take me away-ay!
Take me away!(take me away)
To better days!(to better days)
Take me away!(take me away)
A hidin' pla-ace!
There's a place that I go where
Where the rivers flow,
And I call it home.
And there's no more lies
And the darkness is light.
And nobody cries.
There's only butterflies……………
Her voice faded, due to the fact that I had stopped to listen. She wasn't a pop idol those humans were so crazy about, but, she wasn't bad either. I'll admit, Rose could carry a tune.
Hey, hedgehog! Get off your but and get moving! Isn't that what you were doing? She's getting away!
I grimaced. 'Right, the whole 'inner self' thing is getting really old, really fast.'
I continued, but I went slow, taking a round about route through the trees. It took a lot longer than it normally would've, but I had my reasons. The image of that enormous boulder shattering was still fresh in my mind. I didn't want the next one to be my head.
I had enough confidence in my skills that I could easily dodge an attack, but, it wasn't curiosity that killed the cat. It was the fact that the cat wasn't cautious. I was. Especially since said curiosity had a five-foot-long-hammer.
'Uh…….that didn't really sound right. Curiosity? Great. Amy's habits are messing with my thought patterns.'
I caught up to her at the bend of a small creek. The moon from above turned the normally dark water into a ribbon of mercury. Large flat stones dotted the opposite bank. Starting with a short run, Amy nimbly leaped over the water, landing on one of the stones with dull thud.
'We' reached the end of the forest by dawn. The sky, lightening to lavender and white blue. Stifling a yawn, Amy unlocked and entered into a small red car parked by the side of the road. She yawned again as she started the engine and drove onto the freeway.
Due to the fact that cars have reflective surfaces, I kept to the trees, running in tangent with her. I still couldn't fathom her pleased face. 'Was it some kind of workout? There's a perfectly good gym in the city.'
Another thought intruded my musings. 'Why do I even care? Why am I inquisitive about the odd ball things someone I barely know does? I have better things to do than this, like……….'
Like what? Count stars? Play with mushrooms?
(I quit that after one particularly nasty fungus gave me a rash that burned for days)
'Well….yeah. It's better than following the girl around, like I am right now. She, or someone like faker, might notice. I'll never hear the end of it!
Since when did you care about what they thought? Besides, something this interesting far outstrips a growth on a log. Right?
The argument between myself and my, uh, inner self continued for several miles. The beauty of the surrounding woodlands unnoticed thanks to the mental battle within me. Judging by the way I hadn't stopped, or deviated to another path, I was losing.
The trees thinned as Station Square came into view. I always wondered why the humans named the city such a ridiculous name. Why not call it Bus Stop Market Place? (If there was one thing I prided myself with, it was my sense of sarcasm)
I quickly changed tactics, speeding past her car and diving into the twisting labyrinth of the city. The easiest way to monitor her unseen was from the rooftops. I sighed in reluctant defeat. 'I hope this stupid curiosity won't lead to trouble. I'm irritated enough as it is.'