"Don't speak"

It was overwhelming enough to shower every grain of logic away from her head. The head he was holding with both of his gloved hands, breaths inches apart; dancing their hazardous tango in the darkness, her nocturnal companion had lured her to a shameless, frantic journey from the wall, to the bed, to the floor, and way from the beginning. Defenceless, disarmed and worryingly weak under the rough contact, the female had surrendered to a raw, primeval, damnable pleasure, no religion or philosophy would ever approve of. One whose end was hazy, and, and would probably be painful as ever.

He was using her; she knew it when they kissed like there was no tomorrow, cursed it when she pinned her claws on his back, as if in a desperate trial to reach his heart, ignored it by ignoring his eyes. They never looked at each other. They never spoke of what remained unspoken. And she was too dissappointed by herself to utter the truth, too scared to ask, too willing to take it to the end. Too dependent to say no: and thus that scarlet, enigmatic look, the deep voice she rarely heard, had insanely filled her Saturday nights.

A paralyzing feeling stretched its tentacles to every inch of her body, urging her to pull back for air, as his lips suddenly formed a smirk against hers. How casual of him-she thought- to play with other people's feelings. Tears formed on the back of the eyes, and the girl swallowed to hold them back. Not now. Just not now.

He had seemed so different back on the ARK, though: the others had seen a harsh, heartless machine, where I could only find pain, broken hope, and superfluous, suppressed, desperate feelings...

"Why did you do that?", damn the voice. It was trembling, with an insecurity she had tried to defeat over the years. And yet, the shy, innocent, ridiculously weak twelve-year old she once upon a time used to be, popped out of her vocal cords-downright uninvited. She tried to cover the thought beneath some giggles; they sounded coarse, muffled, lacking soul and meaning.

"It is just that it's plain ridiculous"

...But maybe the others had been right. Maybe I was silly, naive, stupid as a damn kid.

"You always speak nonsense, Shadow. What is plain ridiculous?" the way the words sounded this time brought her to the brink of laugher. Sweet Jesus, did she sound ludicrously jumpy-happy, impersonal, rabid! But what else remained to do? Under the perennial fear of the end, of that special night when, just as suddenly as he had brought his lips to hers for the first time, he'd say it was over and that it was time for them to return to their legitimate partners, her heart ached in the thought of expressing feeling, of uttering those three words, lest she'd get him tired. No. It was not a bond, remember? T'was just a fair trade of pleasure, their shared way of forgetting the difficulties of their lives. A deal.

It began with an 'L', but didn't quite end as imagined.

"How similar we are-me and the Faker- to even have similar tastes in women", It was all so simple for him. He'd come for what was agreed, and then go away like a rude guest. And he'd always be the one to pay for the room, which, strangely, was the main reason why so much woe resided in her soul when she woke up each Sunday; they say that our mind is something incredible, as it can stick to something as petty as that. And it was confusing like hell; on the one hand, the unmoving expression on his face, the tryst itself, impersonal and physical, paid, in its own way. On the other hand, that memory, that tiny, foggy recall -one of those that you aren't sure whether they're a realistic dream or a fact- of a nightmare that had her screaming, and then...a warm palm cupping her face with affection, a telltale voice breathing it was okay.

The female opened her mouth, and the fatal question bubbled in her throat. A sweat drop tumbled between her eyes, tears made his image blur in the darkness for a second. Then, everything became clear again, and, breaking their laws, she looked in his eyes. So beautiful a pair of crimson orbs, deep enough for you to drawn in their sad wetness. In their mystery.

Beautiful, expressionless eyes. Of a killer, of a Liar, of...

...a machine.

Hatred flooded the heart, a sudden want to slap that face, to destroy those eyes so as for them to hurt people no more, to scream she didn't need him, that she had been an idiot bewitched by the need to delve in his darkness, that he'd better lower that gaze and never turn it no anybody, that, no matter what, it was time they dropped their habit and she returned to someone that was worth it.

"S-stop calling him a Faker.", was everything she managed to stammer. She was disarmed, all of her weak self she could hide no more naked in front of the last person she should. His eyes darkened with rage, as he returned the furious look, one that urged her to step back; she maintained control over herself, though. She wasn't going to give him the pleasure of her fear. She was going to play her role, to show that it was just a trade for her as well.

And if tonight was to be their last night, then let it be a real fight.

Heart palpitating like mad, she gave in to his arms that sqeezed her waist, nearly breaking her, to a kiss, to his stubborn touch. It was crazy, vertiginous, overwhelming enough to get her to stop thinking, to forget her preoccupations, to eliminate her wants down to the simple, overmastering need to run her fingers through his back. Pleasure was all she could feel and everything she'd bargain for. And it was nice to imagine that he indeed was affectionate, that he indeed cared, that deep inside he wished to make her happy...like she secretly did.

And then everything was over, and the Liar had devoured her energy, her soul, her hope, leaving nothing but an empty, lifeless doll, that could do nothing but let her tired body fall on his...and drift to a dreamless sleep.

When he turned to see her.

And she didn't avert her face. Stuck she was, there. Heart hammered, an atrocious feeling stabbed her at the view of that brazen stare.

She knew it, she hated it, she feared it, she wished for it.

He'd give an end. Tonight.

"Amy?"-she nearly gasped. It was her name...for the first time...coming from those lips. And all of a sudden, she thanked God for giving her the most beautiful name in the world, a name for him to whisper to her ear forever; for he had paint the word in color, giving it a whole new meaning. A new spell for her to scare away her preoccupations. The perfect present goodbye; the memory of that beautiful voice chanting something entirely hers.

Numb, confused, she enouragingly nodded for him to move on.

"There is something I've been meaning to ask you..."

Now that the moment had come, that it wasn't just a fantasy in her mind, everything seemed radically different. Pain, longing, exasperation would stop. Her life would get back to normal, and she'd be safe and sound with someone that loved her, without feeling remorses every time he kissed her, without needing to tell him that something had gone, terribly, dead wrong. There would be no internal need to apologize to her friends, to fear they'd find out.

Nothing for her to expect each Friday night.

"C'mon! Are you gonna tell me or what?" How pathetic-the way her eyes were now unwantedly crying, and her mouth doggedly smiling in order to seem carefree. The stupid way that smile waned to match her tears when he started laughing. At her? At them? At the world? She couldn't care less, for the first time, after so many nights of insomnia and contemplation, and doubt; suddenly, all that mattered was what she felt, what she wanted, what she couldn't have.

The answer, when it finally came, sounded as though from the other side of a tunnel.

"Do you love me?"

Stop. Review. Play. Stop.

Could it-could it actually, really be what she had just heard?

Do you love me?


Her breathing became heavy, she could almost feel an invisible fist choking her. Eyes blank, she stared back at her partner, with the appalled, desperate stare of a person that just stopped thinking.


And she realized. The meaning of those words. The meaning of his actions. Her mistakes. His mistakes; through that stare, the lifeless doll had reached the bottom of those red pools: Amy Rose was looking at the maze, the insoluble maze that was Shadow The Hedgehog's very soul.


And the defense system broke. Tears hampered her vision, her shoulders convulsed, her heart stopped.

"Yes". It was a simple statement. Not a confession, nor a pleading for corrispondence, and it felt odd to say. She'd almost swear someone else had mumbled those three letters, from the room next to them, from outside, from the television of an insomniac.

But it couldn't be the case, since the male was gawking at her. Blinking. Never breathing. Never moving.

"But I am-"

"I don't care."

"And you are with-"

"I'll leave him."

"And immortality-"

"-is just a fancy word."

"And people will think-"

"You are enough."


"I love you."

"I know."

They both know she's lied, terribly, awfully, totally. Immortality is a wall between them. People will avoid her. She can't just go around hurting everyone else. And she's afraid of his true nature. She cares. But, for some reason strictly personal, they just want to feel like the heroes of some old movie in black and white, where the protagonists always overcome all the hardships, and the happy end is gratifyied by contract.

There won't be another time. Yet, they leave it unspoken, with the insane possibility. Maybe. Coulda.

If only.

His eyes follow her as she picks up her clothes, gets dressed, stands in front of the mirror and brushes her quills with her fingers. His mind is blank; they'll live the thinking for the next day, when they'll have all the time to realize the true extent of the pain.

She insists to pay the bill, just this once. He simply nods and, like the strangers they were the very first night, Angel and Liar walked next to each other their very last shared steps. It's a busy city night outside, and couples holding each other by hand pass by. Neon signs blink their never ending way in the nightlife. A light breeze blows. Random notes from a rock concert somewhere afar dance with the wind.

They look at each other, out of words, defeated, tired. No one smiles. No one breathes. They just stand there, while the bells cry out the hour. Twelve o'clock-and her bus will be there in five minutes-that is, if she doesn't want to wait until half past one, when the next one comes.

Life, music and commotion. The city never sleeps. And nobody, just nobody sees, a motley duet playing their last scene, man and woman take their path, souls close as ever, bodies apart as ever. And, in the busy world of the street, no one looks back, when the ebony curtain of midnight falls.