Chapter 30: Romeo and Juliet Have Nothing on Us
"They honestly didn't have a problem with you switching flights so suddenly?"
The words, soft and full of innocence, pulled Shadow from his thoughts as he laid in the sun, his black jammer swimming suit on and a pair of sunglasses resting upon his face.
Sitting up off the beach chair, Shadow looked at the girl who was sitting in the sand, her eyes curious, careful, and caring all at the same time. She was wearing a white v-neck swimming-suit that was covered in blue polka-dots and completed with a ribbon that wrapped itself just below her chest. It was identical in every way to the one Maria had let her borrow several weeks ago, but the one she was wearing was hers (given as a gift only a day ago). It complemented her figure, accenting the subtle curves her body had yet to grow into.
A smile was lighting up her features as she stared at him, and it caused Shadow to grin back at her as he pulled the sunglasses off his face. "I already told you, Amy." He chuckled while he pulled himself off the chair and into a standing position. "They were more than happy to help me reschedule my flight, especially since I decided to bring a few others along."
Amy nodded, taking a step back when Shadow stretched and yawned. "I know, I know, but still! Didn't they at least ask you about it? Did they get… well, you know, curious? Maybe a bit reluctant to help you out because it was so last minute?" Shadow raised an eyebrow at her, and she cried out in defense, her voice light and happy all the same. "What? I'm just wondering!"
Shadow released a simple, "Ha," and nodded. "They wouldn't even consider second-guessing me, Amy. With the ranking I currently hold, they were more than happy to pull a few strings for me."
"That's true…" Amy hummed, folding her arms as her brow knit together. "G.U.N.'s the military of the country, and since you're way up there…"
The black hedgehog chuckled, "Working it all out in your head, Amy?"
She huffed jokingly, pushing him lightly before she placed her hands on her hips, causing Shadow to laugh at her. "I'm trying to figure out how much power you actually have. Just in case you ever try to over-throw the government or something."
He cocked an eyebrow and smirked. "Over-throw the government?"
Amy nodded, "Yeah, over-throw the government. I could see you doing it one day, probably in the name of all that's good and stuff like that." She paused, narrowing her eyes. "Or maybe just so you could wear a fancy cape and tiara."
Shadow laughed and shook his head. "Amy, you have a very active imagination."
Her eyes meeting his, Amy flashed Shadow a toothy grin. "Of course I do! If I didn't, would I still be me? And speaking of which," She started, her voice picking up in volume and excitement as she turned towards the shore where a small group of friends were gathered. "How's it going, you guys? Is it almost ready?"
"Just about!" Cream sang in reply, glancing back at the two for just a moment. "We're just adding one more tower, then it will be finished!"
"Chao, chao!" Cheese quickly added.
Amy smiled, turned to Shadow, and nodded. "Come on!" She exclaimed, grabbing her hand as she ran off.
He grinned in return, trailing closely behind as she led the way towards the group
As true as Shadow had spoken moments before, he had indeed brought several others along with him on his little vacation. After accepting his invitation, Cream, Cheese, Maria, Shaun, and Amy had packed their bags and boarded the plane with Shadow to visit the Star Islands. It had required a bit of convincing to reassure them he could pay for the whole trip (as well as tell Vanilla that Cream would be accompanied by Amy and another female adult), but once they had gotten past all that, they had gladly decided to come along.
"Some of the towers don't look quite right." Maria sighed as her brow knit together, her shoulders slumping in disappointment at the sorry sight. "Everything's crumbling. Turning into dust."
Shaun nodded in agreement, "We probably should have used wetter sand like we did at first. It might have actually stood that way."
"Yeah, that would have helped. An extra pair of hands would have also been great!"
Shadow and Amy reached the group the very moment those words left Maria's mouth, and before she could add another comment, Amy knelt down by them. "Well, if Sonic and Sally would have accepted the invitation, then you guys would have definitely had the help you needed!"
Shadow soon joined them, speaking in a calm voice as he sat down. "It's alright that they didn't come. According to Sally, Knothole was still in pretty rough shape last time they were there and apparently in dire need of repairs too. If she's right, the two of them don't exactly have the time to lally-gag around, even if that is Sonic's specialty."
"Speaking of Mr. Sonic," Cream supposed aloud, her voice taking on a curiosity that captured everyone's attention. "Why was he acting so strange when he came to Amy's house? He was acting like he didn't know any of us!"
Amy nodded in agreement with Cream, but before she state her idea, Shadow beat her to the punch. "He decided that he was willing to give something valuable up in order to save that which was most important to him. Equivalent exchange, you might say."
The group turned him in unison inquisitively, but Amy spoke first. "Did you just quote an anime on us?"
Shadow's gaze was blank for a few moments before he snapped back into reality and turned to face Amy. "Maybe I did, Amy Rose. What are you going to do about it if I did?"
The girl grinned a malicious, toothy smile, and Shadow merely returned her look with a raised eyebrow.
"See," Shaun sighed, throwing his hands behind his head with a big stretch, "This is why it's okay that those other two didn't come along. Do you know how hard it would be for Cream," He stated, pointing towards the young girl, "to get a word in if there was another couple here? Everyone would be flirting so much that all she'd be able to do was watch!"
Cream giggled at the sheep's words. "I don't think I'd mind too much. It doesn't bother me when people flirt in front of me!"
Maria raised her eyebrows. "Is that so?" Cream nodded, "Then would you mind if I asked if you like anyone, Cream?"
The girl quickly clamped a hand over her pet's mouth, shaking her head rapidly as she nervously cried out, "I don't like anyone, sorry Maria! I'm still—"
"Actually!" Amy chimed in, her voice light and full of a funny sort of pride. "Cream's had her eye on a certain young man for quite some time!"
Maria cooed, and Cream's cheeks burned red as she swallowed. "Really, now? Ohhh, what's his name?"
"It starts with a 'T.'" Shadow stated, his voice sure, sturdy, yet filled with an undeniable under-tone of teasing.
"And it ends with a 'ails!'" Amy exclaimed, laughing as her friend's cheeks turned even redder.
Maria gasped, and Cream's eyes widened. "Oh, that boy that always travels around with Sonic? That's adorable!"
Cream groaned in embarrassment, burying her face behind the body of her chao that was trying to add his own two cents to the conversation.
"Chao, chao chao chao, chao chaaaao chao chao!"
The rabbit gasped at her pet's words. Or, uh, babbles.
"Cheese!" She exclaimed in shock, everyone laughing at her in the process. "Ohhh, you better sleep with one eye open tonight, Amy, because I'll be coming for you!"
Amy sent an innocent grin at her friend, complete with batting eyelashes and her hands clasped together as if she was in prayer. Oh, Amy was really going to get it later.
"Alright Amy," Shadow eventually cut in, causing Amy to blink, end her silly little gaze, and turn back to face Shadow. "Are you ready to try it out?"
She stared at him for a few moments before smiling and hastily nodding. "Yeah!"
The hedgehog grinned at her, and with that, the group turned to face their sand castle. Well, their sand piles to be precise.
The highly anticipated structure that Amy had been waiting so long for consisted of several towers that were crumbling at each corner and post, walls that were simply stacked piles of wet sand, and a body in the center that just looked like a big pile of… well, sand. It wasn't anything fancy or pretty to look at, but to put it simply, it did look like an average sand castle. That had been exactly what Amy had been hoping for.
"Okay," Amy sighed as she sat up a bit straighter on her knees, stretching her hands out towards the castle. "It's all about taking in the natural chaos energy around me, right? By channeling that energy, I can shift the elements around me and control whatever force I desire, so long as I have enough power to do so."
Shadow nodded in approval, "That's correct."
"Alrighty then," She said, exhaling. "Here goes nothing. Chaos form!"
When the words freed themselves past Amy's lips, the sand began to slowly sift itself, making her eyes widen and her heartbeat speed up. She was doing it; she was actually making the sand move!
"Don't lose your concentration, Amy. Focus."
But she couldn't get too excited just yet. "Right," She spoke, nodding as she knit her brow together. "Focusing!"
She urged the particles of wet sand to move faster, to pull themselves into the shape she was imagining in her head. Come on, go! Stop being so slow! No matter how much she wanted them to go, though, the grains refused to move much faster. They simply made their way across the beach like they were ants that could do whatever they wanted as slow as they pleased…
Frustration soon took hold of the girl. Ugh! Why couldn't she just get it? It was so annoying! "Hurry up!" Amy exclaimed, clamping her eyes shut as she forced as much energy as she could into the chaos incantation. "Just go and—bleaaaa."
She released the grasp as soon as dizziness graced her, opening her eyes in the process. "Okay, bad idea, bad ideaaaaow." Pausing mid-word to gap at the upside-down, crudely built sand castle that had suddenly pulled itself together, Amy hummed. "Whoops."
The structure collapsed before anyone could put another word in, leaving Amy with a somewhat saddened expression. "Aww, I was so close!"
"Except for it being up-side-down." Shaun added, snickering.
Amy nodded, "Okay, so I messed up on that, but that's it!" She shot back, her head whipping towards Shadow. "It wasn't awful for a first try, was it?"
The black hedgehog merely smirked, folding his arms while he sighed and nodded. "No, it wasn't too bad. It just wasn't great either."
Amy sighed and hung her head in shame, and just as she admitted defeat, Shadow quickly added, "But it was better than most people would have done."
She looked back up at him, a smile gracing her face. "So I'll be able to get it down?"
He grinned, glancing off to side in the process. "Eventually. So long as you listen to your teacher, that is."
She giggled, "Well it's a good thing that my teacher's cute then, huh?"
Maria, Cream, and Cheese all giggled and smiled at Amy's words, while Shaun simply rolled his eyes. Girls, sometimes.
The sun had just started dipping into the ocean over the horizon, and a light breeze sailed across the beach. Sea gulls off in the distance cried out, sailing through the orangey-yellow twilight so calmly that for a moment, all Amy could do was stare at them as she stood there in her spot. She was captivated by the sunset, by the sounds of the planet that was gradually falling into its slumber, by the silence that was descending around her. It was so soft and peaceful that, even while she was standing up, it nearly lulled her to sleep. It pulled her into that quiet realm between reality and dreaming, and for a quite a bit, it kept her from realizing that someone was calling for her.
"Amy! Amy, are you even there? Hellooooo?"
After a few moments, though, the light-switch in her head was snapped on, causing Amy to quickly shake her head and turn to face the voice, struggling for a moment to move because of the heavy bag that was resting on her shoulder. "Yeah, I'm here. Sorry, I spaced."
Maria only beamed at her, a bag like Amy's over her shoulder and a pair of shorts on over the swimming suit she was still wearing. "I can tell." Amy grinned sheepishly at her in response, and Maria chuckled. "We're going to start heading back to the hotel. You can go fetch Shadow if you want. Sound good?"
Amy nodded in response, and with that, Maria smiled and turned. "See you back at the hotel!"
The girl watched Maria walk off until she caught up with the other three, instantly chatting along with them once she was by their sides. Her voice was light and care-free as they strolled onwards, causing a soft smile to grace Amy's face in the process. Oh, she was so glad that Maria and Cream had hit it off. She had been hoping for the two of them to get along, and thanks to their sweet dispositions, they had become friends without a hint of trouble. No lack of trust, no disagreements that would have put them at odds got in their way; just Cream and Maria getting along as if they had known each other their entire lives.
A light laugh at her lips, Amy smiled and turned back around, her eyes washing over the beach as she took in a deep breath. Now, where exactly had Shadow ran off to? He couldn't have gotten too far…
"Ah ha!" Amy exclaimed in a quiet voice, her eyes settling upon the hedgehog who was walking the length of the beach in his shoes and gloves, his swimsuit long since put away. "There you are! You can't hide from me!"
Without another word or thought, Amy took off down the beach, a grin that couldn't be hidden taking over her face as she sprinted. The black hedgehog's gaze was far-off and contemplative as he wandered, his eyes occasionally flicking up towards the water when the waves flipped up to lick at the soles off his shoes. He was thoroughly distracted by the world around him and the thoughts devouring him, which left him right open for a good pounding.
There's no way he's going to even see it coming! Amy thought, grinning mischievously, her heart picking up in speed. He's going to be so surprised! She nearly giggled at the thought, but she kept it in since she was only a feet away from him at that point.
Three, two, one, and—
But to her astonishment, the Ultimate Lifeform suddenly turned, his eyebrows raised as if he was only slightly surprised by her actions. "Oh," He said, taking a very clean step off to the right just as she would have crashed into him. "Hello, Amy."
Amy gasped, "Shad—" lost her balance because of the great leap she had taken, "Wah!" and tripped on her own foot, landing face-first in the sand with a loud, "OOF!"
Shadow's eyes widened at the sight, "Oh dear, my bad." And he quickly made his way over the girl's side, grabbing onto her arm and pulling her up the moment he was there. "Are you alright, Amy?"
Rather than cry or let her cheeks burn red in embarrassment, Amy laughed out loud once she was back on her feet. "Oh heck, what a klutz! I didn't mean to do that! I'm such a clown!" She exclaimed, turning to Shadow while she brushed herself off. "Aren't I?"
When her eyes fell back upon Shadow, she was a bit surprised to see that he wasn't smiling or laughing along with her. His gaze was distant instead, almost empty as he stared at her, studying her features. A soft frown was resting upon his lips, and for a single moment, it made Amy nervous. Was… was he okay?
She didn't ask it right away, but eventually, Amy freed her query. "Are you alright?"
He stared blankly for a moment, blinking suddenly and shaking his head before he looked her in the eye. "Hm?" She didn't say anything to him, but simply sent him a worried stare. "Oh yeah, I'm fine. I'm just thinking."
She tilted her head to the side, her worry fading a bit. "What about?"
Shadow looked off over the water again, silent for a few seconds before he absent-mindedly told her, "Stuff."
Stuff, huh? Just as Amy was about to ask him about what kind of "stuff" he could have been thinking about, Shadow looked her in the eye, his gaze suddenly very sturdy and strong as he stretched his hand out to her. "Come with me."
The girl, in awe of the sudden change that had over-came him, had no words. She had no idea how he managed to go from such a quiet person to someone who was blazing with passion within seconds. It blew her mind every single time, but never once did she think of questioning it. Not even right then as she grabbed his hand and followed him down the beach.
He was still silent as they walked onwards, and Amy followed suit by keeping her mouth shut. She never even thought of speaking while they walked, instead letting her eyes wander over the sand and the water. Her thoughts began to roam as they walked, and slowly, silly little things began to drift into her mind.
Did I ask anyone to water my plants?
I wonder if we'll go to that one restaurant tomorrow.
What's on Shadow's mind?
Why do those little soaps at the hotels always smell like oranges?
But as to be expected, her mind eventually trailed back to that one idea in particular, that one thing that had been plaguing her the moment Shadow had looked at her.
What's he thinking?
Within the silence, Amy was able to steal a glance at him without him noticing. His brow was knit together in concentration, in deep thought, in reflection of some sort, and it fueled the curiosity that had taken her hostage. What was going on his mind? Why was he being so quiet? Was he thinking about something bad that had happened, something that made him mad? Was it about her? Was it her fault?
Amy swallowed the lump in her throat. Oh, please not have it be—
"Amy Rose," Shadow said, nearly laughing as Amy turned to him. "Don't tell me you're worrying again."
The girl's eyes widened a bit, and she simply opened her mouth. "No. I'm just wondering why you're being so—"
"Because there's nothing for you to worry about. I love you, Amy, and that's not going to change any time soon."
Her heart fluttered at his words and her cheeks burned red, causing a soft smile to find a place on her lips. She smiled, a calm taking her as Shadow stopped walking, grabbing both of her hands as he readjusted his position so he was standing directly in front of her.
"Don't you know that by now?" Shadow whispered, softly letting his lips touch her forehead. "Don't you believe me?"
A laugh, happy, care-free and complete, slipped past Amy's lips as she closed her eyes. "Of course I do, Shadow. I believe you, and I always will."
The black hedgehog nodded, bestowing a quick kiss to her forehead before pulling back and taking a good look at her. She was the girl who had fallen for him, the girl that had captured his heart, the girl who had changed everything. So strange she was at times, so much joy she felt for such silly things… so happy she was to simply be alive. She was so many things, so many crazy, silly, wonderful things, but more than anything else, she was his.
And that was what made his world complete.
He gifted her with a quick peck on the lips—just a short little kiss—but it was enough to make her heart race all the same. She opened her eyes the moment it had finished, nearly laughing at him in the process.
"You're so bashful, Shadow."
Rolling his eyes, he pulled the bag off her shoulder, placing it on his own as he grabbed her hand yet again. "Well so are you."
Amy smiled in response, and she laughed. "That's just fine with me. We'll get over it eventually, won't we?"
Shadow replied with a short, "Yeah," nodding towards her as they turned and began their trek back to the hotel, hearts beating and heads held high.
Amy's house, empty excluding the furniture, plants, and other knick-nacks that were strewn about, was as quiet as could be. Peaceful in the night that had descended upon it an hour earlier, the air within the house was tranquil and still, calm without any creatures to disturb it. A day ago, the girl who lived there had packed up her bags and headed out the door for another trip, leaving enough time for the house to settle into itself and let silence claim it. It was completely and utterly peaceful… until suddenly, the air began to shift.
It started to swirl and spin, to turn and twist at such a speed that some of the lighter objects in the house began to toss around. Several papers fell from their resting spots, a bag of opened Cheetos shuffled on the counter, and a pile of broken glass on the table began to twitch.
At first the shards only occasionally shuddered, barely even shook as the breeze fluttered through the home. It seemed as for a moment that someone was merely shaking the table in an attempt to make the glass spread itself out, to flatten itself the pile on the table, but all at once, the glass lit up.
A flash of light flared, bright and warm and strong, lasting for only several seconds before it died off. The air became still once it stopped, and suddenly, everything was calm once more. At a first glance it appeared as if nothing had changed, as if someone had simply flicked a fan on and off. Everything in the house remained the same—everything expect the pile of glass on the table.
Or the lack of.
Sitting in its place, its petals in full bloom and its leaves stretched out, was the glass rose, tinted red and in flawless condition. Not a single crack spider-webbing over its body, not a petal wilted; the rose appeared as if it had never been damaged in the first place. It was perfect, it was beautiful, and it was wonderful, but it was not alone.
Directly next to the flower, its leaves and petals brushing against the first one, was another glass rose, slightly smaller than the first and tinted pink rather than red. It, like the first rose, was also in full bloom, sporting tiny thorns that were dwarfed in comparison to the size of its shining petals. Petals that were stretching themselves out as if they were breathing, as if they were taking their first breath itself…
"You're so bashful, Shadow."
"Well so are you."
The roses suddenly perked up a bit more, if that was even possible by that point.
"That's just fine with me. We'll get over it eventually, won't we?"
And together, they bloomed brighter and stronger than either one could have done on its own.
His heart had healed, and hers had become a part of it in the process.
On August 15th, 2011, I posted the very first chapter of Glass Rose right here on Fanfiction. Today, exactly two years later, I present to all of you the last chapter of story, and what an adventure this has been!
I'm so grateful to everyone that has joined me, Shadow, and Amy on this journey. :D It's been such a blast being able to share this story with everyone! XD It's been absolutely wonderful!
Thanks to Rouge the Batgirl, brave kid, Wicked Pumpkin, Shadamyrose3, Sonadilver1404, the Guest reviewer, Lightning rose, mnhgdsht, xXTwIlIgHt ThE wOlFXx, ShadowEmpress76, musicalocelot, Project Shadow, Savvy0417, Blackpetals23, LordCooler, and Parker117 for all the reviews last time! Thanks to all of you who have been silently following this story, who have favorited it, and who have simply read this story! ^-^
A very special thanks goes out to ShadowEmpress76 for following this story since it started, and to LordCooler and Project Shadow for being regular reviewers! The support and feedback you guys have given to me has meant so much, and I'm so happy that you all enjoyed this story! :D THANK YOU! XD
Now, what's next for this goofball, Espionage247? I'm planning on eventually writing a Shadamy one-shot as a follow up to this story (not quite a sequel), and I'll be writing various other Shadamy one-shots over time. :) I'm currently working on two other stories, known as A Hero and His Princess and Fragile. If any of you like Sonsal/Sonally, feel free to check either of them out! :) (And if you just want to give that pairing a chance, you can do that as well. XD) There may be a sequel to this story in far-time future, but as of now, I have quite a few other projects I'm currently working on. XD
And with all that being said, I now leave you with the fully completed Glass Rose. :D I do plan to go back and edit things some day, but for now... it is finished!
Espionage247 out! Until next time! :D