© Beloved Doll
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Once again, as a reminder, do not make any editing or corrections to this, do not point to me of any mistakes. I will not make corrections. I`m leaving this mostly as is of what it was when Tojo and I rped this out. We both have different rp styles so expect there to be some inconsistencies in things such as apostrophes and tenses.
Suddenly Maria was bathed in bright light, then things began to register. Shadow slowly gestured to the surrounding area; lush green forest surrounded them, the beauty of nature in sight as far as the eye could see,"..Just like the pictures Gerard showed us."
Maria clasps her hands together over her chest and her mouth drops open in surprise as she looks at all around her. It`s happened, she really is on Earth! She smiles seeing how beautiful real trees look. Maria walks over to the nearest tree and once she reaches it, she lays her hand flat on the side of the tree trunk. Her hand slowly moves on the tree to feel it`s texture,"Oh..."
"Now ain't that a pretty sight, Bark."
Someone spoke, someone foreign, someone who wasn't Shadow. Shadow, caught up in the moment suddenly looked back to see Bean and Bark; to Maria, they would appear to be large, anthro-like creatures similar to Shadow in height and form. A polar-bear and a green duck-or bird.
"..Maria, get behind me," Shadow demanded, stretching his arms out as he prepared for battle.
"You know how long it took us to find you? We're not so happy you took our jewel, y'know..
Bean is holding up a bomb.
Maria is very confused by this. Only anthro critter she has ever seen was Shadow. The sunglasses hide it but her eyes show her confusion,"There are more creatures?"
"..There are..", his eyes narrowing, "..Not all good natured as I am.."
Bean started laughing at hearing this,"That's a pretty sermon coming from the one who tried to destroy the world. Oh well, enough talk. Let's get this pawty started!"
Suddenly tossing the bomb, it was a split second that Shadows arms wrapped around Maria, and they suddenly warped about fifty feet from the explosion-site; luckily, no trees caught afire, just a smoldering crater where the bomb fell. Shadow whispered into her ear,"Stay here.."
Maria nods to Shadow,"All right."
Bark smacks Bean in the back of the head,"..How will we find out where the emerald is if you blow him to kingdom come.."
"Didn' think o' that, Barky."
Shadow suddenly charged out, managing to warp in a zig-zagged motion; Bark was noticeably too slow to pose much of a problem, getting kicked in the stomach rather roughly. Bean prepped another bomb, rushing in waving his arms around; Shadow in turn began to pummel him, tossing the bomb elsewhere. After exchanging blows several times over, Shadow began to pummel Bean into the ground. This went beyond self defense. This went so far as into a beat-down, a dark look crossing Shadows face as he did this. Perhaps one that Maria never saw before.
Maria puts a hand over her mouth. Sure she has seen Shadow fight before, mostly in training on the Arc. But this is definitely more malicious, like a wild, rabid animal going after prey.
Roughly lifting Bean up, as he head already delivered enough strikes to Bark to render him incapacitated, he clenched a hand around Beans neck and shoved his back against a tree,"..Never, and I mean -never- attack her again...or it'll be your last.."
The anger, the hate in his face came out, Bean at this point choking, unable to even reply.
She can`t stand to see anyone die, no matter how bad they are. Maria calls out,"Shadow!"
"...." Shadow suddenly let go of him, waking up from his moment of being feral. Bean started to hack and wheeze on the ground, Shadow turning his head to look over at Maria; he just had a look of surprise, not saying anything.
Maria`s look, however, is full of concern. What has become of her Shadow? She feels like she wants to say something but she doesn`t know what to say. A battlefield isn`t the place to talk about Shadow`s current psychology anyhow.
Looking over the two attackers, he started to walk over towards her; if she allowed him to, he suddenly wrapped an arm around her and led her off, away from the clearing, and towards a path-way in the far distance that led upwards. (Imagine the ladder atop the forest in Sonic Adventure 1)
Their walk is silent for a time before Maria finally decides to ask Shadow,"Shadow...what just happened?"
"...I..snapped.." Shadow answered quietly, looking away from her. The expression on his face was a mixed one, as if he were mentally asking himself the same question.
"You never did that before."
It was a long pause of walking along, up the small pathway and towards the ledge that he finally replied.
"...I've..changed while you were gone...a lot..."
After another long pause, he continued, again looking away from her,"...To the point that during my time on Earth, I wondered if you'd even recognize me if you ever came back.."
Maria puts her hand to the side of Shadow`s face. She gently turns his head to face her,"What made you change?"
"...Watching you die.."
He answered outright, looking into her eyes; it was a straight-forward answer, he did not stutter or look away.
Maria lowers her hand from Shadow`s face. Another pause and she hugs Shadow again,"I`m sorry, Shadow..."
Her head tilts downward,"It...must have been really hard for you..."
Shadow returned the hug, rather tightly as he rested his head against her shoulder, caught in a few minutes of the intimate moment,"You're back now, you're alive..and I'll make sure it stays that way. That's all that matters..The hope of bringing you back was what kept me going.."
Looking back in the direction of Bean and Bark, then back to her,"We should get going..There's a lot more to see, and we can find a quiet place to talk."
Maria looks at Shadow and brings a gentle smile forward,"Sure. Lead the way."
It was a while of walking, they entered a rusty old mine-car and road through a long tunnel, emerging on the other side. To their left was a great water fall, endless amounts of water flowing into a crystal-clear pool just below, the water as clean as could be. To their right was rubble and the mountain, a great big opening in its side. And in front of them, the station-square train atop the "bridge" and support platform, further still the endless ocean. In the distance was a workshop atop a hill.
"..I've been living here for a few months..I felt it'd be the best place to revive you."
Maria looks around through the sunglasses, taking in all of the scenery. The waterfall seems to draw her attention the most. She smiles,"It`s beautiful, Shadow...Everything here is absolutely wonderful."
"..I'm glad you like it. Here..close your eyes for a moment.." He said, as he started to reach out for the sunglasses; he felt now would be alright to remove the protection, her eyes probably well adjusted by now.
With the sunglasses removed, Maria opens her eyes. At first, she instantly squints but she soon adjusts to the bright light.
Everything was suddenly clearer, she could see all the bright colors, the beauty of nature. Leading her down to the water, Shadow knelt down for a drink,"..It's a big change from the cold station."
Maria looks to the waterfall and watches the water rush down the side of the cliff. To actually see a waterfall rather than just see pictures is incredible to Maria. She sits down in the grass while Shadow gets his drink of water. She runs her hand through the grass,"It is different. This ground is so much more soft."
"The station only had plastic grass in the "garden". It was just for show..but it was the best they could do."
Leaping up, and landing next to her, Shadow continues,"I can take you to the city after this, but only if you want.. Just feels like it's a never-ending dream."
Maria thinks over the run-in with Bark and Bean. She looks back up to Shadow. Her smile this time is a bit more energetic,"You said there were more creatures like you here? Did you make any friends?"
At hearing the question, he just looked over at her,"..I..guess you could call them "friends".."
Pausing as he scratched the back of his head, he pointed up ahead,"A little fox named Tails lives up there."
"Will I get to meet your friends?"
"If you want to.. We could probably visit him..right now."
Shadow seemed a little hesitant, as he wasn't exactly close with the people he had met. But at the same time, he didn't want to disappoint Maria.
Maria smiles again but then remembers something. She looks down at her torn and bloodied dress. This probably wouldn`t be a good way to make a first impression.
Thinking for a few moments, he looked on,"I think there are other clothes I set aside for you, back at the cave.. I don't know if it's anything you'd like, but it's all I have."
Maria looks back to Shadow and gives him an appreciative smile,"It`s the thought that counts."
She leans forward and gives Shadow a quick kiss on his cheek.
This left him silent, almost as if he were paralyzed; he smiled warmly to her, suddenly looking off,"..Here, take my hand.."
Wrapping his arms around her in a hug, he suddenly took her back to the cave; tearing a few crates open, he scraped together a few clothes to choose from. There was a simple-gray jump suit which could be fitted to her size, jeans and a shirt, a tartan-gray dress (which was too big for her), and a few assorted socks and under-wear for her.
Being as that she has grown up wearing dresses, she choose the dress. Maria is sure she can find some way to make it less baggy on her. She also picks up a pair of socks and underwear that she decides she will change into. Maria turns around and finds a spot where she could sit down and work on changing her clothes. She sets everything down and starts off removing her shoes, which were one of the very few items of her own that remained intact.
Shadow watched her quietly for a few moments, then suddenly "woke up", eyes widening. He suddenly turned around, allowing her to dress in private.
"..I'll..just wait over here.." Speaking quietly as he looked to the opposite rock wall; one of the numerous crates would have offered an alright place to sit.
Maria goes through the ritual of removing her old clothes and putting on the new ones. Once the new clothes are on, Maria finds a tie close by to tie around her waist to help make the less look less big on her. Then she rolls up the elongated sleeves a bit until they are of proper length for her arms. She removes her headband and looks at it. That, like her shoes, is still intact. She runs her fingers through her hair to straighten it out a little and replaces the band back in her hair. Finally, Maria puts her shoes back on.
Eventually, Shadow turned back around and gave her a look-over,"You look great, Maria.. I'll find you something better when we get to Station-Square.."
His smile faded, he looked as he usually did, walking towards her,"Are you ready to go..?" He eventually asked, offering her an arm.
Maria gives Shadow another one of her sweet smiles,"Yes, I am."
She takes his offered arm.