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Ok, you've seen your share of 'Shadow survives' stories, but none like this...

"May And December: Healing Hearts"

Inspired by a pic(by the same name) that Orin painted, which was based on another fic I'm still working on, which is based on one of her discontinued fics(*pant* *pant*). It's a painting of Knuckles and my self-insert, and it looks so animated. Looks like Latifah 27(yes, that's my self-insert's name) is about to pull Knux into an embrace and wrap him in her cloak. He's holding her hand, she's stroking his head, and they're all alone, healing each other's mental scars. Very beautiful, and my favorite, of course;)

Enjoy!

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I'm falling... burning up... Maria... I did this for you... these people will live now... Maria... I can hear you calling me...

It hurts... it won't stop hurting... I'm burning up! I must make it stop!

"Chaos-control!"

Everything goes black.

**********************

I wake up sore all over, smelling burnt flesh and quills. Mine... It hurts to move, and everything is so dim...

My eyes hurt... I should close them... I should rest...

It's so dark here... Shouldn't there be some light?

Maria... please forgive me... I should have died, so you wouldn't be alone, wherever you are...

I'm alone... there's nobody here... it's raining, and I can't move... I'm soaked, cold... and I can't move because it hurts so bad, and the searing rain is mercilessly pelting me... please just let it be over... let it be over...

I hear an old woman's voice...

"Oh! Is it... it's alive!"

A hand touches me, gently. It feels good, despite the burning sensation.

"Are you alright?" the voice asks.

Of course I'm not alright! I think to myself, I've just been burned in re-entry, and I can't see a blessed thing! Of course I'm not alright!

But I don't answer, except to groan.

The hand touches me again, stroking my head and back, the slightest, gentlest touch... like the kiss Maria gave me, just before...

NO! I don't want to remember that. I don't want to remember Maria's frail body, laying there in a pool of blood like a raped angel... I don't want to remember...

"Here," the voice says, and I feel something warm covering me...

Whoever it was has picked me up and is now carrying me. I'm too weak to say or do anything, so I just rest my head against the body of my rescuer, letting her carry me, while i listen to the gentle rythm of her heart.

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I wake up again, dry, and in a dark place filled with strange smells. It still hurts to move. I can feel... something covering me... my whole body...

"Maria..." I say, with great difficulty.

My mouth hurts when I talk... my voice sounds strange, raspy...

"Don't try to talk," the voice says, "Here, drink this"

My head is slowly tipped up, and something touches my burnt lips. A bowl, or a cup... whatever is in there smells inviting... I'm hungry, I realize, and drink.

It's some kind of broth... I drink it greedily, because I'm so hungry... And it tastes so good...

I finish the broth, and the cup is taken away. I hear it being set down somewhere beside me, and something else is held to my lips.

Water... they say it has no flavor, but I disagree. Nothing tastes as sweet as water when you're dying of thirst.

"Thank you," I manage.

I'm so weak, I can barely talk.

"Shh," my rescuer says, "Rest, hedgehog. Don't try to talk. Just rest"

I can feel her stroking my hand. My hands aren't bandaged... maybe my gloves protected them from being burned too seriously...

I fall asleep again, my body exhausted.

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"This is gonna hurt... alot," my rescuer says.

She was right. I cry out, as she slowly tears the bandages from me. The pain is almost unbearable...

"It's ok," she tells me, and holds my hand until some of the pain goes away.

Finally, my bandages are all off, and I'm laying here, exposed, while she prepares me for fresh bandages.

"Now this is really going to sting," she warns, "I need you to keep still so I can clean your wounds"

I know that smell. Alcohol... And my body being burnt as it is...

"AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!"

I writhe and scream in pain, as the searing alcohol is poured onto me. My rescuer is holding onto my hands, tight, keeping my arms almost immobile.

"Please hold still!" she says, "I know it hurts, but I don't want you to get infected!"

I nod, and grit my teeth, as the stinging, searing liquid is poured onto my burned body... it hurts so bad...

Soon, it's over, then I'm bandaged and fed.

What an indignity... I can't even feed myself... And everything is so dark... Why can't I see anything?

"Why are the lights off...?" I ask her.

"Please rest," she says, "You're putting too much strain on yourself"

"What's... wrong... with me?" I demand.

There's a pause.

"Did you see that? How many fingers am I holding up?" the woman asks.

"See what...?" I ask, "What fingers...?

I didn't see anything. Nothing but darkness. Am I...?

"Oh, dear..." I hear her say.

No!

"No... can't... be... no... no..."

I can feel my rescuer take my hands, but I pull away. I'm frightened... What happened to me?

I get up, but I can't even stand. I'm so weak, scared... I must get out... Maria...

My rescuer has a tight hold on me... she won't let go...

"LET GO OF ME!!!" I scream.

"Please stop struggleing," she says, her voice frantic, "You need to rest!"

"LET ME GO!!! WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME???"

"I don't want anything! Just please don't move! You've been burned very badly!"

Her grip on me is like steel... I can't escape... What does she want with me?

"Please... let me go..." I beg, "It hurts...please... stop... hurting me..."

"I know... I know it hurts," she says, "I can't make it stop. I'm sorry..."

"No..." I sob, feeling weak and faint, "No... no..."

I'm too weak to struggle... as I relax, so does my rescuer's grip...

I go limp, and feel her easing me onto something soft and firm... and warm...

She takes my hand... I'm too exhausted to fight her... and gently kisses it...

"When two people like each other alot..." I begin, but can't finish because of my weakness.

"Shh..." she says, "Just rest your head... I will take care of you"

My rescuer holds my hand to her face, and touches mine... I feel something weird, soothing... something inviting me to come closer...

{It's ok..}. the voice says, this time, inside my head... {it's ok... rest... You've done so much... Shadow... now you must rest...}

I can't resist her, nor do I want to... Pyjamas... her name is... Pyjamas...

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Ok, you're wondering why Pyjamas is able to restrain the ultimate life-form. Well, think about it, he's so weak that he can barely talk, and struggling has taken alot out of him. And what with all those Sonic/Shadow and Shadow/Knuckles fics, I thought it was time for something different. If we have slash, why can't we have a little May/December?