Life of a Shadow: The End is the Beginning
-GamerGirl

Disclaimer
I do not own any of the Sonic characters. They are all property of the geniuses in the Sonic Team and at SEGA.

Author's Note
I'll make this short: My first story. Yes, I used spell check. It's not perfect. R&R. Flames allowed.

Chapter 1: ARK Aftermath, Part I
"Where is Shadow..?" Rouge asked innocently as Sonic entered ARK alone. The cerulean savior just looked down, shut his eyes, and shook his head as he walked up to her and handed her a golden bracelet. He suddenly was drawn into a flashback of the previous battle.
-flashback-
"Chaos CONTROL!!" Sonic and Shadow yelled simultaneously as they attacked the FinalHazard and sent it far, far away. Shadow unfortunately, lost all his power and his Super form from this ordeal. He began to fall helplessly towards Earth until Sonic grabbed his gloved hand.
"Just hang on Shadow. If this dude is really gone, I'm taking you back to Earth with me where you'll get the respect you deserve.. you have your whole life ahead of you Shadow, just hang on." Sonic choked, holding back opaque tears.
Shadow just looked up at him and did something he had not done since Maria died; he smiled. "Sorry, faker. But my job is done here. I already have all the respect I'll ever need. The respect of you and your friends, my friends.. My purpose here is fulfilled." Shadow then purposely released himself from Sonic's grip and fell toward Earth.
Sonic didn't want to let Shadow die, whether it was his time or not. He had to try to save him. But it was too late, Shadow was already falling and all that was left of him was his golden bracelet that Sonic had accidentally pulled off while trying to pull him back. Shadow was gone.
-end of flashback-
Sonic then walked over to the window and stared at the Earth while the others discussed the previous encounter and what they were to do now that it was over. Eventually, the discussions died down and the heroes decided to head home. Everyone then headed out the door and into the transporter, whose coordinates were set to Station Square back on Earth. The last one out was Sonic, who, just before leaving, whispered, "Sayonara, Shadow the Hedgehog."
***
When they got back to Earth, a huge crowd of millions of people awaited to greet them. Some were waving their arms in the air and jumping up and down in triumph. Others were on the ground practically kissing the ground the heroes walked on. Everyone was in fine spirits, acknowledging the heroes as if they were the only ones who worked hard for this outcome. Sonic and the gang knew better. They knew they were not the only ones, Shadow helped too. Without Shadow, these people would not even have a ground to jump upon or heroes to praise. Actually, they were one hero short. The unlikely hero that everyone hated, ended up being their only chance at survival. And when he sacrificed himself for these people, what did they do? They praised Sonic. Sure Sonic helped, but he could not accept this worship. He never could unless Shadow was here with him to enjoy it. Shadow deserved some reward.
The President soon showed up, and that's when the eye of the storm hit. He showered Sonic with gifts including a mansion, a hovercraft, new Soap Shoes, a part in a new movie; the whole enchilada. Somehow, with all this stuff now being poured into his lap, Sonic forgot all about Shadow and ran off to his mansion. He even forgot Tails. Amy then tried to run after him, very unsuccessfully.
"Sonic!! Wait..! Please...?" Amy slowed to a stop and covered her heart with her hand, almost shedding tears at the fact that Sonic left without her, or without at least saying good-bye.
"Amy, why do still chase after him? You of all people should know by now that you don't have a chance with him." Knuckles said, trying to comfort her.
"I don't know why. I guess I just kept trying because I always saw at least one glimpse of hope for a relationship with him. But now... I just don't know." Amy let out a sigh and tucked away her sadness. She then trotted back to the rest of the group and became her old perky self again.
With him gone, the gang was now standing in the middle of a huge red carpet alone, still surrounded by fans of all shapes and sizes. They began to dismiss the pleas for autographs and interviews and talked amongst themselves in somewhat of a huddle.
"So.. Where are we gonna go now? Sonic's found a place." Rouge asked.
"Well, I think my decision is quite clear, my nemesis lives on so I must continue on my quest to defeat him." Eggman stated. "It was fun working with you all.. but don't think that this changes anything!" Eggman warned as he ran off to his pyramid base.
"Well, one down. I'm going back to my island of course." Knuckles proudly stated.
"What about me? I used to work for and live at GUN headquarters! Now that this is over, I'm certainly not going to return there again. There's no way I can go with either of these kids, so I guess that means I'm your new roomy Knuckles." Rouge firmly announced.
"What?! Wait a minute, hold the phone! Who said you could come with me?" Knuckles asked.
"But I promise I won't bother you or anything! It's just until I can find an apartment!" Rouge then gave him those sappy puppy-dog eyes that no mortal can resist.
"Fine, whatever. But if you try anything funny, your as good as out. Got it bat girl?" Knuckles obviously did not trust Rouge completely yet.
"Of course. Like I said back on ARK, I'm not pursuing jewels anymore; too much work for too little pay." Rouge repeated. With that, the two former treasure hunters glided off leaving Tails and Amy alone.
"Well, I have my own place so I guess you can come stay with me for awhile Tails." Amy offered. Tails just nodded and they both walked off to Amy's apartment in the center of Station Square.
She stopped for a moment and looked down the street behind them. At the end was the mansion that Sonic was now occupying. Although the idea of barging in and asking him to marry her again was a thought that crossed her mind several times, in the end, she decided to just let him be for a while. She was convinced that eventually Sonic would see her the way she wanted him to, and they would live happily ever after. Just like in the fairy tales..
"AMY!! Helloooo?" Tails was rapidly waving his hands in front of Amy's face. "We're going to your house right? Well, I don't know the way and in order to get there, your going to have to come out of this daydream sooner or later."
Amy instantly came out of her trance and continued walking back to her place with Tails. 'It's been so long since I was there last.. Since I became involved in this whole ARK incident by being captured by Eggman and rescued by Tails on Prison Island. Poor Shadow, I hope he is with that Maria he loved so much now.' He sure has left his mark too.. She took a glimpse at the now half-shattered moon. 'Speaking of love, I wonder if Sonic will ever love me the way I love him? Only time will tell now...'