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The Deal in the Night

High heeled boots clicked against the concrete with every step taken down the sidewalk.

The moonless night was dark, but the city was far from asleep. Vehicles whirred across the roads, the glowing neon signs of clubs ushered young people inside their doors, and all around the city the faint sound of hip hop beats could be heard pulsing through the cool air. The sirens of an ambulance wailed someplace distant, while elsewhere a heated argument ended when two gunshots were fired. Each corner you turned seemed to offer a new scene.

This was Chaos City. Given its reputation for being the most violent city in the nation, the name was a perfect match for the crime-ridden place. But though the vast majority of citizens knew it was smarter to travel in groups during the night hours here, a certain pink hedgehog was out walking by her lonesome.

She wore a form fitting, black leather trench coat that stopped just below her hips, her legs adorned with black fishnet stockings and black leather boots which almost reached her knees. Black shades concealed her eyes and she kept her hands inside her coat pockets. Her straight posture and brisk steps clearly displayed her self-confidence.

The neighborhood she was in was a relatively quiet one. There were few cars on the streets and even fewer people hanging about. However, the attractive young hedgehog managed to capture the attention of a sleazy eyed fox who was leaning against a building she was fast approaching. Before she was able to pass the tall, muscular male, he moved to block her path.

"Oops, sorry there, babe. Didn't see ya comin'." he lied, a smirk playing on his lips and a wicked gleam lighting his right hazel eye, the left one hidden behind his side swept white bangs.

The girl's face remained expressionless. "Would you kindly step aside then?" she asked.

"I dunno. Now that I see ya, I kinda want to get to know ya I bit."

"Hm, some other time perhaps. Right now I have someplace I need to be. So, if you'll please excuse me..." she said and attempted to go around him.

"Whoa, hold on there, babe." The grey fox protested as he grasped her arm. She promptly whirled to face him, snatching her arm out of his hold and then delivering a fierce punch to his gut. He gasped, doubling over, and she took the opportunity to grab the back of his neck and shove him down, slamming his forehead into the concrete. The blow successfully knocked him unconscious.

"Sorry, cutie, but you guys just can't take a hint." she sighed, straightening herself.

"And you're just as excessive as usual." said a deep, masculine voice. Almost immediately recognizing who it belonged to, the girl stiffened and looked up. There she saw a black and red furred hedgehog standing with his arms crossed. He was dressed casually in a white tank top and worn blue jeans, grime and grease stains smeared all over both articles of clothing. A simple pair of tan colored sandals were on his feet.

"Why, Shadow!" she grinned awkwardly. "Fancy seeing you here."

"Hn." was his unenthusiastic greeting. His cold crimson eyes examined her from head to toe and he quirked a brow at his findings. "Fishnets and fingerless gloves..."

"Goth is all the rage." she explained.

He frowned. "Amy...you look like a stripper."

The comment instantly caused the remainder of her cool demeanor to vanish. Gaping, her cheeks burned red. "W-What? I do not-"

"Yeah, you do." Shadow cut her off. "Either that or some half-baked character from a campy zombie hunter flick."

She pursed her lips and clenched her fists. "W-Well, so what! At least I don't look like a hobo!"

"I rather look like a hobo than walk around looking like I want random strangers to get into my pants."

Amy opened her mouth, but clamped it shut without emitting a sound. She couldn't think of any insult clever enough to say.

"Hm, well, if we're finished with that, would you mind telling me what you're doing in my territory?" Shadow inquired.

"Uh, visiting?" she tried, feigning an innocent smile. Shadow's eyes narrowed.

"Don't play games with me, Rose. I'm not in the mood."

"Alright, alright." she huffed and held her palms up in a defensive gesture. "So I might have gotten into a little trouble. I'm sure it'll blow over soon, but I'm kinda in the need of a hiding place in the meantime. And with your spectacular reputation and all, no-one would bother me if I was to, well, you know..." she drifted off, biting her lower lip.

Staring impassively, Shadow said nothing.

"It would only be for a week or so, really!" she assured him. "Then I would be out of your quills for good! I swear on it this time!"

Silence.

"Come on, Shadow, I'm serious. Once this is over I promise you won't ever have to deal with me again. Just please give me this one last time. Please..." she begged, clasping her hands before her chest.

Inhaling a deep breath, Shadow closed his ruby orbs and heaved a sigh. "Fine."

Amy's ears perked up. Despite the fact that it was the answer she had been hoping for, she was completely taken aback by it.

"Don't get me wrong, Rose, I'm not doing this because I pity your situation." he told her, opening his eyes. "I honestly could care less if your sorry ass was knocked off. But I currently could use your assistance with something and, if you are willing to help me out, I'll put my feelings for you aside and help you out."

"Oh. Well, that works for me!" she cheerily declared.

The slightest of smirks tugged at the corner of his lips. "I guess we have a deal then..."