I've been reading a lot of Fan-Fictions so I can better figure out how this whole thing works, and something that I keep seeing (and enjoy) is to have an author's note beforehand about the story, so I'll try to make a point to do so! Also, I prefer to write in first-person perspective, for this particular one I will jump around on whose I use, so P.M. me if you can't figure it out, although I try to make it obvious. Just to add a bit more, I'll write a short quip of a different character's thoughts/actions sometime during the chapter in italics at the end.

Updates might take a bit longer since I'm going to be writing it simultaneously with a Harvest-Moon-world story. They are both going to be lengthy since only tidbits of the main plot will be given at a time, the main focus being on character interaction and development.

You should know that I start a story with only a vague idea where I want to go with it, so I may update chapters with new content depending. Enjoy! C=

Ever since we had taken out the black comet and vanquished the black aliens, Sonic hadn't been acting like himself. Rather than being enveloped in the throes of a happy victory, his mood closer resembled that of when we first rode home on the ARK—the time we had thought Shadow was dead. I ask him what was wrong when we were around all of the others on the space trip back, they weren't paying him enough attention to notice unless I brought it up, and I didn't want him to be nettled the entire way back home. Now that we were back in Mystic Ruins, though, any topic should be fair game between us.

Especially since he was too out of his typical spirit to even take a nice run back home, we had walked most of the way in silence. "Sonic, what's up with you?" I ask bluntly.

"Hm? Well, I suppose I can tell you, Tails." He ceased his half-hearted walk and slumped into the fresh, soft grass. "Eggman is dead."

"Eggman, dead?" This was difficult for me to grasp, and probably even more so for Sonic—we had faced him time and again, each time victoriously, but the way he always managed to return made him appear inexorable. This continual contact had made me feel familiar with him, not that I ever felt anything in the way of liking beyond a gear of respect for his adeptness with machines. But after the Nocturnus conflict, I found that I couldn't shake that feeling, even if he tried to seal us in the Twilight Cage so he could carry on with his evil deeds in as peaceful of a manner as evil deeds can be taken. We had even joined together to stop the Eclipse Cannon and the ARK from colliding with the Earth . . . "Y-you're sure?"

"Course I am—Knuckles told me." He said simply and continued to gaze at the sun that was dipping behind the hills. "He saw Shadow just before he killed Black Doom, and heard about Eggman then."

"Black Doom?" The name wasn't familiar, "One of Eggman's henchmen?"

"Not exactly," Sonic chuckled, breaking up a bit of his downcast countenance, "He was the leader of the black aliens."

"But why would Knuckles lie? He told the rest of us that the black aliens didn't have a leader, and even if he they did, the comet was space junk . . ." He could at least have told me, too! —We've done so much together, and even if I can't do as much as Sonic, I'm not a kid anymore! "And how did Shadow get up there? He didn't come with us in the rocket."

"Who ever knows what knows what Shadow's up to?" Sonic sighed in contempt, I knew how he found Shadow's mysterious nature infuriating, "But I couldn't get anything more out of Knucklehead besides the bit I just told you—said that he was stretching the edges of 'his promise' to Shadow as is." Sonic grinned at me, as is his way of dealing with uncertainty, "Eggman is probably already public information, but keeping Black Doom a secret is really important to Knuckles, although I suppose you could tell Cream," he slid me a wink.

I forgot about what I wanted to say as a blush showed through my fur. "You're just saying that because Cream's really intelligent and sensible, and will know not to tell anyone, right?" Not because you can tell that I'm interested in her, right?

"Sure, Tails," I could easily see his canines—Sonic grinned such, but then fell again. "Seriously though, Cream only. I'm not sure what's going on, but he was so serious that I nearly fell guilty about even telling you, and I know that Knucklehead gets mislead often—"

"Isn't that the truth?" I chortle, pulling up a patch of fur to reveal a scar Knuckles left when Eggman had convinced him that Sonic and I had taken the Master Emerald he so diligently guards, when Eggman himself was guilty.

"Heheheh, but no harm can come from keeping it a secret, right? The aliens were under a dictatorship instead of a democracy, so what?"

"Yeah, but I gotta admit that I'm curious about how Shadow got to the comet. I'd theorize that maybe he just became really adept at using Chaos Control to teleport, but the aliens had the last two Chaos Emeralds."

"Even if we were mistaken about the sixth and seventh, traveling all that distance would be impossible, including how powerfully he can manipulate their powers," he added the end bitterly.

"Maybe he traveled in a sequence of Chaos Controls?"

"Too exhausting. Even the 'ultimate life form,'" he said somewhat sarcastically, "couldn't manage that much. You remember how he fell to earth after defeating the final hazard?"

"And managed to survive doing so," I counter, but decided to cushion my statement, as Sonic got touchy when he thought Shadow outmatched his own prowess, among just about everything else about Shadow, "although it would be easier to manage a soft landing than to oppose the earth's gravitational pull, and he lost so much of his memory, too."

"True, all true . . ." Sonic paused for a while before shaking his blue spikes and adding, "Anyways, no point getting too fussed before tomorrow, I'll find out what's happening then."

"Why? Are you going somewhere?" I wanted to hang around the forest like old times for a little while.

"I have 'a date to DIE for!'" Sonic husked his voice a little so it sounded more like how Shadow's had when both of our teams "had a date" with Eggman—who really turned out to be Metal Sonic posing as him to gather information on Sonic, much to Shadow's chagrin as he had been searching for Eggman with Rouge and Omega to uncover the past he had forgotten after hitting the earth.

A strange sense of foreboding gripped me, "How'd you get in contact with Shadow?"

"I didn't. Knuckles pulled me aside just we imploded that comet to tell me that Shadow wanted to meet two days from then on Prison Island and that it's probably important." Sonic rested himself on his back so that he could view the moon, shattered by a demonstration of Eclipse Cannon's power, rising, "seems like there's never rest for the wicked."

"Yeah, I can't even remember the last time we made it home before something else happened—and isn't that an interesting choice in location?" Prison Island was G.U.N. security base where both Gerald Robotnick, Shadow's creator and Eggman's Grandfather, and Sonic were held, and still remained so even after Eggman, Shadow, and Rouge bombed it and the black aliens trashed the place. The nearby forest area was also where Shadow and Sonic had fought for the first time, not that Shadow probably remembers any of that since it happened before he fell.

"Sure is," but Sonic didn't seem to really be giving the matter much thought; indeed, as much as Shadow nettled him, Eggman's death was weighing on stronger on his mind. "I was going to stand him up, just to annoy that faker, but then Knuckles told me that tidbit that we've been yapping about for over a thousand words." He gave one of his trademark grins as he stood up to stretch. "Let's just let it be until after tomorrow right? I could do with some shut-eye."

I take the same action as my idol, "Only if we can take the 'normal way.'"

"You mean a dash that shakes everything I pass?" He rotates his arm, getting pumped. "Think you can keep up with the speed of sound?"

"I won't have to; I have a nice shortcut planned out while you're dodging obstacles." I take off into the air, for once hoping that he was honed enough to beat me, because however cavalier Sonic wanted to be about it, I couldn't shake off the ominous feeling about his meeting with Shadow.

"True, all true . . ." I consent on a point that I would normally argue on—I was too distracted.

Shadow kill Eggman? I had been in complete denial until watching Rouge tease Knuckles about visiting a certain shrine once we landed reminded me of a file she had shown me in secret. Shadow had been created by Eggman's Grandpaps with classified DNA. I'd bet that Eggman knows—knew something about how Shadow ticked, some weakness that Faker didn't want exposed. I shake my head quills, no point worrying myself or Tails about all this. I'll just enjoy my time until tomorrow—I give voice to my thoughts so Tails can hear them.

"Why? Are you going somewhere?" Looking into my companion's blue eyes full of concern strengthens my conviction to keep quiet so that we can enjoy the little peaceful time we have left.

"'I have a date to DIE for.'"