I'm finally baaaack... Took me long enough, huh? -.-' Sorry, to the people who actually read this. And thank you, for actually reading this ^_^ Hopefully, this chapter will be considerably better than the last two. This is a piece I wrote a few years ago, but chopped and edited and made all awesome-like. Hopefully you like it. It's about my FAVORITE Sonic couple, KnuxShade! I love those two! Finally, Shadow can have Rouge without leaving Knuckles pairingless! Now if only they'd make Sonic Chronicles 2...

Disclaimer(s): I do not own Knukles, Shade, Sonic, or any other respective cahracters/aspects of SEGA
I spelled 'Characters' wrong and am too lazy to fix it, yet not to lazy to type this.
I don't care what the world says, Sonic Chronicles was awesome.
EspioNicole is adorable -but that has nothing to do with this chapter.

Now... Enjoy~

Knuckles stood in solitude in the corner, watching a certain female echidna silently. Shade was standing across the foyer, talking with Sonic. Again. Knuckles sighed quietly, trying to avert his gaze, but finding it near impossible to look away. Shade was always talking with Sonic, it seemed, about the Twilight Cage and lord IX, all sorts of things that would have fascinated another echidna -one who'd never even met another one of his own kind until now especially -but were consequently lost on that stupid hedgehog.

Why waste all her time on him? That was the question that had been drilling Knuckles for days now. He'd been dying to know more about his own kind his whole life, and now when he'd finally gotten his chance, the first living, breathing echidna he'd ever met was all over Sonic. Go figure, he thought sourly. He always has to get the better end of the stick, doesn't he? As if he doesn't already have enough going for him, now he's got the only female echidna in Mobius wrapped around his finger. Arms crossed, his eyes narrowed with aggravation as Shade shifted closer to Sonic, an act that, for some reason, made his blood boil.

Why was Shade so interested with that obnoxious hedgehog? Sonic was too impatient to pay any attention to her, even if they were trapped in this ship together, so why waste her time? No matter how many times he toiled over it, he couldn't come to a decent conclusion. Could it be that she was... Attracted, to him?

The thought had come unwittingly to Knuckles, and upon it his gut wrenched. Suddenly sick to his stomach, he tried to banish the thought and clear his mind, but it wouldn't go away.

Calm down, he scolded himself angrily. Shade could never be in love with Sonic, he assured himself, hand on his stomach in an attempt to ease the stress.

Sonic is obnoxious and a pain-in-the-ass. The only person who would ever see anything in him is Amy, and she'd never let anyone else get their hands on him anyway. Besides, he's too much of a big-shot to ever have a real love life anyway. Knuckles told himself silently, still watching as Shade conversed with Sonic.

He's way too busy running around and being the hero to settle down. Though these seemed like logical arguments from his perspective, he couldn't help but groan inwardly. Sure, Sonic wasn't much of a stick around for romance kind of guy, but did Shade know that? Of course she didn't. So, what help was that?

Amy would never allow it, he told himself again, the little voice in his head sounding rather stubborn as it tried to convince him why Shade couldn't be in love with Sonic. They've only just met anyway. Not nearly enough time for her to fall for him... Right? But what about love at first sight? Amy used to blather on and on about stuff like that, though he'd never really thought about it happening in real life.

She can't be in love with Sonic because I love her.

This thought came as a surprise to Knuckles, who hadn't even meant to think it, and was now blushing furiously because of it. Inwardly, he began scolding himself for such rash and irrational fantasies. There was no reason Shade couldn't be in love with Sonic, and he himself certainly wasn't in love with her! After all, he'd only just met her, and love at first sight was just a bunch of crap people used for movies... Right?

Leaning back against the cool, metal wall, Knuckles hung his head a bit and let his muddled thoughts untangle themselves.

Shade was pretty. Actually, when he thought about it, Shade was quite beautiful. She had those cute jagged markings on her dread locks and luminescent violet eyes that seemed to glow in the night, like purple stars. She was very bright, certainly not a genius of say, Tails' standards, but smart none the less. And, of course, she was an echidna, just like him.

He scowled, shaking his head. Using 'She's an echidna' as a reason seemed so... Shallow. But then again, it really seemed to qualify as one of the reasons he liked her so much. After all, she was the first echidna he'd ever met aside from that girl Tikal -who was ancient, dead, and sealed inside the Master Emerald.

Shade had spared him when he'd been captured, even though all the others had wanted him dead. When she'd fallen from the island, he'd leapt to save her without reason or hesitation. If he thought back to that moment when he'd seen her falling -and he had, many times since the actual event -and tried to figure out why exactly he'd gone after her, he still wouldn't be able to answer. He didn't know why he'd done it, he just... Had. It was an impulse, an instinct, and he'd followed it like he had any other instinct.

Sighing, Knuckles glanced over toward Shade again. She was still talking with Sonic, and it made his hackles rise with anger and... Jealousy. He wanted to be the one she was talking to, he realized. He wanted her attention, her opinion. He craved to impress her. He'd saved this girl's life without even thinking about it, without any regard for his own life. But... I didn't do that because I had feelings for her... Did I? If he had, then he hadn't been aware of it. But slowly, he was starting to feel otherwise.

He wanted Shade to pay attention to him, not Sonic. This was more than just 'We're both echidnas.' Knuckles... He had feelings for Shade.

But Shade, he realized sadly, seemed only to have eyes for Sonic. Grimacing, he finally managed to turn his gaze away, focusing on something less heart wrenching. He found himself watching Cream, who was playing quietly with Cheese and Amy behind the cockpit, where Tails was focused intently on the sky. This ship is huge, he mused, watching as stars flicked by. His eyes traced the stars across the glossy windows, slowly but surely making their way back to the point of interest: Shade.

"What 'cha lookin' at?" A syrupy voice asked, surprising the echidna. Looking up, Knuckles caught sight of an all-too familiar bat smirking at him, and his face turned red. Crap. he'd almost forgotten Rouge had tagged along with them.

"N-Nothing!" He stammered, his muzzle burning crimson. Rouge grinned slyly, pacing closer to the echidna.

"You sure?" She chuckled, sidling up next to him. "Cuz from where I'm standing, it looks like you were ogling that new girl." Knuckles eyes grew wide in shock, only causing Rouge's grin to grow wider.

"O-Ogling!" Both embarrassed and insulted, he took a step away from the bat and fixed his most murderous glare on her -which was watered down due to how flustered he was. "I-I was not ogling anyone! I just- happened to looking in that direction!" He snarled, face still overheating. Rogue rolled her eyes, grin never faltering.

"Sure. Whatever you say, big guy." She teased, cocking her head to the side. Knuckles scowled, crossing his arms.

"Why do you care, anyway?" He growled, and Rouge shrugged, a sly smirk replacing the grin.

"Oh, no reason." She replied lightly, turning away slowly. "I just couldn't help but notice that you seemed to be having some, dare I say it, romantic thoughts about her?" Knuckles felt his face get impossibly hotter, and he wished he could just disappear -or better yet, make Rouge disappear.

"G-Go fall in a black hole!" He spat, turning away furiously, desperately trying -and failing -to suppress the burning sensation in his cheeks as Rouge laughed quietly.

"Suit yourself." She shrugged, pausing before she left. "Have fun daydreaming, lover boy." She grinned, wandering over to where Shadow was standing in silence near the other window. Knuckles scowled, insults and comebacks -none of which were all that good -churning inside him, but he refrained from shouting any of them. The last thing he wanted was to make that conversation public.

Sighing, he turned away, his eyes immediately trailing back to Shade. To his surprise -and joy -she was alone. Her back was to the rest of the room as she stared out the window of the Cyclone in silence. He felt a tug inside him, and a little voice cried 'Now's your chance!' Smiling, he walked over to her.

Shade didn't react as he took up stance next to her, staring out the window in silence.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" He mused, watching as the bright specks of stars whizzed by. Shade looked up in surprise, a smile crossing her muzzle.

"Yes... It is." She agreed quietly. Knuckles smiled, something he rarely did when not in battle. It felt far more natural doing it around her, though, and he accepted the act without question. As Shade's eyes were draw back to the sight outside, Knuckles' eyes took in the sight right next to him, silently tracing her form in his mind. Maybe the view outside was beautiful, but it was nothing compared to the female standing right here.

"So... What were you thinking about?" He asked, nonchalantly. Shade smiled, not looking away from the window.

"Just... Things. Life, I guess." Out of the corner of her eyes, she glanced at Knuckles, and upon seeing he was staring right back, she quickly looked away. "It's amazing how fast things can change..." She murmured, pushing a lock of hair back over her headband. "One day I'm trying to bring my clan out of this place, and now I'm fighting to keep them here." There was no mistaking the pain and guilt in her voice, and Knuckles felt a pang of sympathy for her. After all, who knew about the pains of losing your kind better than him, the "Last Echidna?" Instinctively, his hand shot out and found its resting place upon her shoulder.

Both bodies tensed -Knuckles' in shock of its action, Shade's for a number of reasons, but when neither reacted, they relaxed.

"I know this is all hard for you..." Knuckles' voice was quiet as he gazed at the female, his grip gentle but firm. "But you're doing a good thing. And I just want you to know..." He paused, the words halting nervously as Shade's eyes sneaked toward him, attention undivided. "I'm glad you're on our team." He finished, slowly but without any reluctance. Shade stared at him with wide eyes that made him feel ten feet tall; her cheeks glowing with a pale pink. She smiled, placing her own hand upon his.

"Thank you... Knuckles." Despite the silentness of her voice, there was no doubt to the sincerity, and Knuckles smiled back, wishing he had the nerve to grab her hand where it lied and hold it tight, if not for her sake then for his own. "I hope you can all return to your home world soon..." She murmured, a bit of melancholy in her voice. At this, Knuckles did grab her hand -an act that caused both echidna's faces to blush red, but he continued without hesitation.

"We will defeat IX, and we'll all go back home. Okay?" He smiled, and Shade smiled back, making his heart beat just a little bit faster.

"Yes." She murmured, squeezing his hand back. "We." Knuckles heart did a flip, and his muzzle remained red long after their hands had slipped away from each other and a silence had fallen over them as they gazed at the oblivion passing by.

We meant them all as a group. But 'We' also meant 'Him and Shade.'

There was no denying it. Knuckles was in love with Shade.

Yay! They're just so cute together ^_^ I had some trouble trying to make it not just Knuckles' thoughts, but I think I did okay... Not that my opinion really matters... Tell me what you think! And, if you think I should do more KnuxShade stuff, cuz I just luv that pairing ^w^