First time in the fandom, so I would appreciate some feedback.

()()()

He's not alive.

Some ultimate lifeform he was, to be so devoid of life and philosophy. He was created to change the world in a view that perhaps was not as skewered as he initially believed it to be—a super soldier and yet a handler of peace. He was born the bastard son of a man whose heart was in the right place, but whose mind was so desperately unfettered that it came to destroy him in the end as well.

Perhaps the apple was not to fall far from the tree.

Perhaps he, too, was a victim of the injustice—the misuse of a brilliant mind.

()()()

He could tell a hundred stories through her eyes—they were bluer, clearer, and much freer of bias than his own. All his memories were of her, and he was unsure of whether or not that was a good thing. He wasn't sure what he would have done without her. Some ultimate lifeform he was, for he found that he was not unlike the pathetic humans and the sentiment beings of earth—he couldn't live alone. He was not self-sustaining at first. To be perfect was to be independent, and his dependency on her destroyed that notion.

Still, he did not regret her. Without her memory, perhaps he would not have the strength to keep on living as he did now. She was a guiding hand—a mother that was not, a parent in the absence of one.

And yet he could never quite see her as a parent.

And yet she was still a woman to him.

()()()

"What's your problem, faker?"

The blue hedgehog's voice disarms him. The shrill, irresponsible lilt makes his fur stand on end and grits his teeth. He cannot stand this hedgehog, this hero of the planet and a humanity in which he did not belong. As he hears the footfalls of his concerned nemesis draw closer, he suppresses the urge to run, as he always has. Briefly, he reviews in his mind the reasons why he despises this other hedgehog—his snarky tone, his haughty gait, his condescending smirk, and the fact that he cannot be defeated. This blue hedgehog is utterly unbeatable, and losing made the wretched lifeform sick to his stomach in disgust.

In the back of his thoughts, however, he knows that's not the entire story of his hatred.

He's blue.

She used to wear blue.

()()()

Every day she wore a blue dress—blue as her eyes, blue as the earthen sky that she'd never get to see. It perfectly framed her golden locks, cascading down her back and draping over her shoulders like a faultless curtain of water. He wanted to touch it so badly when he was with her. It wasn't until a few months into their friendship that he actually did.

She was the first person he saw upon waking up. He was the ultimate lifeform. He was supposed to be graced with soundness. But he imprinted on her gentle features and her soft skin immediately. Her grandfather wanted to create excellence, but precision was lost on this experiment, for he fell in love the very day he was born. No life, he realized, could be without a mentor and a lover. That was his recognizable flaw, though he was certain he had many others.

But when he was with her, he forgot those mistakes. In fact, he forgot nearly everything that made him the ultimate lifeform—simply because he felt normal around her. Unobligated. Free. He was free to do things with her, such as tour their intergalactic home millions of miles above the stratosphere or have races down the long windowed corridors that showed the curved horizon between earth and space. He allowed her to brush his jet-black, red-streaked quills and fawn over his silky chest fur. He sat beside her as she read aloud from storybooks about a planet she'd never visited, watched as her plump, luscious lips formed every word and wrapped around a sentence as a blanket would. In his eyes, she was the perfection he was not.

She was his everything. The apple of his eye—the apple that fell far from the tree.

And yet, in the end, he was denied that everything.

()()()

The blue hedgehog stops and glances outside with him. He can see the hero's bright indigo reflection in the window.

He ignores him and continues to look outside. He is on Earth. He hates Earth. I hate blue.

"What're you thinking about?" The blue hedgehog asks.

The ultimate lifeform has no answer.

He does not particularly want to give one, either.

A fluffy white cloud with a lean build interrupts the ugly blue of the clear sky above, and for a moment, he is distracted.

()()()

He fell in love with her. It wasn't allowed, he was absolutely certain, but he did anyway. It was unheard of—a genetic paradigm of so-called "perfection" discovering taboo feelings for a human girl; he was not even of her species. His creator wouldn't approve. The other scientists that watched and idolized him wouldn't approve. No one would permit him to love her as he did. Because of this, he marveled at her from afar and yet also up close—as close as he could get without endangering himself.

Himself, or both of them.

Still, he could not hold himself back. He found no willpower when he told her of his feelings one day. The words that shaped themselves so immaculately with her demolished him, falling gracelessly from his mouth in a spew of confession. When he finished, breathless, she stared at him for a moment, before an enormous blush spread across her peach skin. A wide grin reached her aquamarine eyes as she grabbed him and pulled him in close, gushing her reciprocation.

As he sat nuzzled against her neck, could feel her heartbeat.

They stayed that way for a while.

()()()

For a moment, the ultimate lifeform closes his gloved paw over the silken chest fur that she'd once run her hands so enthusiastically through and waits for a heartbeat of his own.

He does not feel one.

He's not alive.

He hears a sigh from the blue hedgehog. "Well, whenever you're up to talk, I'll be here." The hero walks—not runs, as he is so characteristic of doing—back from whence he came, into the arms of an adoring humanity of which he didn't belong. Or perhaps this blue hedgehog did; after all, he had saved them so many times that they did not know idiocy from truth any longer.

Perhaps, he realizes, he is merely jealous.

Perhaps he is blinded by rage.

He has done what I am failing to do.

()()()

That was her dying wish to him. She wanted him to save the humanity that she had never known and he had not wished to know up until that moment—that moment when the nozzle of a soldier's gun was pressed against her golden hair, the normally radiant locks stringy and greasy from the sweat of fear. With tears spilling over the yawning chasms of her blue, blue eyes, she pleaded with him. She understood that her beseeching would be the last words she would ever speak, and no longer would this flawed lifeform revel in the way language morphed and danced around her lips. No longer would they dash down the corridors together, hand in hand, laughing laughs that neither of them would ever hear again. No longer would he feel safe in her arms.

Everyone's fate rests on your shoulders, she whispered to her lover as he slammed his unusually helpless fists against the glass tube he was trapped behind, feeling confined by the same windows that once gave him a sense of liberty. Protect them. Protect the Earth. Please, Shadow.

The instant she uttered his name for the last time was the instant she was gone.

Immediately, he felt cold.

()()()

A shiver crept up his spine, and the lifeform quivered and gripped the shoulders of his jet-black fur. He stood and stared out the window for only a minute more before he dropped his head and, his blood-red irises gazing steadily at the floor, moved on.

He hates Earth.

She loved it.

He will do anything for her.

Therefore, he loves Earth.

Just for now.

He was the apple that did not fall too far from the tree, but she was the gust that whisked him away.

()()()

"What color is the sky, Shadow?" Her voice is mild, even in his memories, clearer than the bells that sung him melodies on the planet's surface.

He is nothing more than a child now, wrapped in a blanket and safe in her arms. He is safer now than he will ever be and feel for the rest of his life.

A slew of white clouds tarnishes the eggshell atmosphere below them as they gaze down from space, and for a moment, he is distracted.

"Shadow."

Say my name again.

"Shadow."

"Blue," he responds. "Blue, Maria."