I was very surprised by you guys' feedback! Thank you all so much :)

Here's the next chappie, as promised(:


Maria groaned dryly, feeling a cool, damp towel being gently applied to her face. Her eyes fluttered open, coming in contact with a pair of warm, cinnamon brown pools. They belonged to a rabbit who looked old enough to be a mother.

"It's alright, dear. You're safe."

Maria managed to sit up, in which the older rabbit added, "Careful..." The blonde felt her head, leaning back against the pillows.

"Oho...where am I? Who...who are you?"

"My name is Vanilla, and you are in my home," the rabbit informed. "Sonic, Amy, and Shadow brought you here after you fainted. Gave us all a little fright there as well."

"Shadow?" Her eyes widened. "Where is he? Did he-?"

"Hasn't left your side until not five minutes prior." Vanilla chuckled softly.

"Momma?" Cream stuck her head in the room. "The eggs are-" she noticed Maria and smiled before leaving the room again, racing down the stairs. "Mister Shadow, Mister Shadow!"

Shadow sighed. "What, kid?"

"Mister Shadow, Mister Shadow!" Cream grabbed his hand, yanking him off the couch and causing the dark hedgehog to yelp, and ran back upstairs. "She's awake, she's awake!"

"Really?" All of his irritation with the small girl was gone now.

"Yes! You told me to let you know when she wakes up, remember?" She opened the door, pointing. "See? Look!"

Maria gasped, a smile breaking out across her face when she saw Shadow come in. He even gave her his version of a smile before looking over at Vanilla.

"I'll give you two some time alone," said Vanilla, patting Shadow's shoulder as she passed.

"Thanks, Miss Vanilla," Shadow said; as soon as the door closed, he walked over to where Maria sat. Stopping halfway as she pushed the blankets aside and hopped out of bed, he opened his arms as she slammed into him. "Careful," he cautioned as she clung to him. He didn't blame her. He returned her embrace, closing his eyes.

Maria did feel a little dizzy. "How long was I out?"

"A few hours," Shadow replied honestly. "Felt like days."

"Did you get any rest?"

Shadow nodded and even chuckled. "After Miss Vanilla made me, yes."

She giggled some, and then he pulled back first, his eyes traveling over her.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

Her stomach growled, and she placed her hand over it. "Kinda hungry."

He chuckled. "Let's get you something to eat then."


As Maria ate her eggs, toast, sausage, and biscuit, she got to know Cream and discovered that she genuinely liked her and Vanilla. Maria noticed that during almost the entire time, Shadow stood in the corner with arms crossed and an impassive look on his face.

Maria leaned over to Cream, "Is he always like this?"

Cream giggled and nodded. "Oh yes."

"Shadow, aren't you hungry?" Maria asked him.

Shadow shook his head. "Not really."

"Yes you are," Vanilla disagreed, walking over to him. One hand pushed a full plate in his arms, the other guiding him to the kitchen table. "You are going to march yourself over to the kitchen table and eat everything on your plate, young man!"

"Y-Yes ma'am," Shadow stammered, sitting down next to Maria.

The front door opened. "Yo, yo, yooo!"

"Come on in, Mister Sonic!" Cream waved, smiling big when she saw Tails and Amy follow him. "Hi, Amy! Hi, Miles!"

Maria turned around in her seat to watch the rabbit get up and hug the two-tailed fox, causing him to blush and smile.

"You're just in time for breakfast!" Cream said.

"Yum!" Sonic licked his lips as Vanilla gave him a plate, sitting on the other side of Shadow.

Amy got her plate, sitting down next to Sonic. "Hey, Tails, this is Maria! The girl we told you about."

"Nice to meet you," Tails said, shaking Maria's hand before sitting down next to Cream.

"Nice to meet you too," Maria replied with a smile. She giggled when she saw Shadow stab his sausage. "Shadow, are you okay?"

"Peachy," Shadow growled, but sneaked a smile in her direction. She smiled back at him.

"So, Maria!" said Amy. "You feeling better now?"

"Oh yes," Maria said. "Now I know that everyone's okay..."

Sonic scoffed. "No worries, new girl. We always got this. Robots are a piece of cake. I only have a problem when they try to steal Amy away from m-" He stopped, meeting Amy's curious jade orbs and Tails's smirking mouth. "Well, anyone really." He drank his orange juice.

"Uh huh," Shadow muttered.

"Oh come on! You'd act the same way if that Eggbot captured Maria last night! I'm just saying..." Sonic blushed, looking down as he pushed his fork around his plate. "Maria's as close to you as Amy is to me. Gotta look out for that stuff."

Amy and Cream shared a happy look, the sakura hedgehog's cheeks as pink as her quills.

Shadow rolled his eyes.

"Excuse me?" Maria spoke up. "What's an Egg...bot?"

"One of Eggman's robots," Sonic looked up to say.

"Who's Eggman?"

"A fat man," Sonic and Amy said in unison before looking at each other with smiles on their faces. "Oh JINX! Double jinx!" They pointed to each other, voices rising as they rose out of their seats, "TRIPLE JINX!-"

"Bonnie and Clyde," Shadow interjected, causing the two to fall silent and sit back down. Sighing, he turned to the blonde sitting next to him. "Dr. Eggman is an evil villain that has been after Sonic for quite some time. He is...very round, so that's why we refer to him as 'Eggman'. He also attempts to take over the world multiple times, causing trouble and havoc around the world. Which is why we have to stop him."

"Many many times," Sonic added, and Shadow nodded.

"Yes," the dark hedgehog agreed. "Multiple times. In the past, I was...not exactly a hero. But I wasn't a villain either. I did what I had to do to regain my memories. The thought of you kept me sane, and eventually I became a full hero."

Maria smiled. "That's great. But...is this Eggman...um...is that his real name?"

Sonic shook his head. "Nope."

"The Doctor's real name is Ivo." Shadow eyed Maria carefully, speaking at a slow pace. "Ivo Robotnik."

Maria's eyes widened. "W-What?"