© Beloved Doll
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Today, it is the next day. Shadow isn`t aware of any of this. He just hopes that for once in his sorry life, something would work out smoothly. Waking up in the same place he had the day before, he had slept in the tree. Lifting his head from the foliage, he looks around. Gentle sunlight was coming down from the sky, as he rears and suddenly leaps off the tree. Landing with a thud, he lets out a sigh as he turns his head and looks up to the window to Maria`s hospital room. And it had been such a nice dream, too...
He dreampt of Maria, now that she was back in his life. And for once, this wasn`t a disheartening or depressing dream. This one was oddly uplifting. Just being in her presence. He can`t remember any talking, but it did make him feel better. Now, he has to face reality.
It is a Saturday. No school. Which meant today and tomorrow of freedom from worry about the torments of class work and study. Looking around, he lets out another brief sigh. Was he going to miss going to school? Eventually, maybe. As pointless as some of the stuff is, especially being that he already knows most of it, it was a place to go, to hang out with "friends" and be somewhere. Being at the school killed time and gave him something to do. Leaning back on the bench, he continues thinking to himself.
With the freedom of today being Saturday, Amy and Sonic take advantage of the freedom and decide to execute their earlier declared plans of asking Shadow about his absence from school and for hanging around a hospital. But despite the idea being agreed upon by the group, they are still nervous. Shadow has a history of quickly turning violent on others. Unlike Rouge who approached Shadow from behind, Amy and Sonic approach Shadow from the front. This fashion, they hope, would make Shadow less defensive towards them.
The two teens had searched for Shadow yesterday after school but could not locate him. With their failed search, they decided to try again again. This means that it is two days so far that Shadow missed in school.
Shadow is leaning back against the bench, his right wrist over his face. There is an odd look on his face. Is that...bliss? Is he content? He isn`t smiling, he isn`t laughing, he isn`t grinning. But he doesn`t look like he is sulking and his mouth certainly isn`t turned to a grim look as it usually is. Did something happen?
Sonic slowly looks over towards Amy, as if to see if she would like to "Do the honors." Obviously, her being on better terms with Shadow might put him at ease. Amy nods her head to Sonic and turns back to Shadow. She slows down a little and takes more cautious steps towards him. Amy puts her hands behind her back and stops before Shadow, taking a moment to look over Shadow. It is quite odd to see Shadow seeming in a bliss state. Perhaps even a little scary. As long as anyone has known Shadow, any sort of positive mood has never been present in him. Amy clears her throat softly and speaks,"Shadow?"
Suddenly Shadow jerks awake, pulling his wrist away. It isn`t as if he were scared or surprised by this. It is more like he is trying to keep this side of him 'away from them,' like a bully doing a good deed for an old lady and trying to cover it up when confronted by others.
"Ah, yeah...What did you need?"
Amy puts on a friendly face as best as she can and bravely sits down on the bench beside Shadow. She puts her hands down on the bench on either side of her and her knees together with her feet apart. Amy turns to Shadow, holding her friendly smile,"Shadow...Are you all right? Everyone in the gang`s worried about you."
"Did Sonic put you to this..."
Shadow shifts his gaze between Amy and Sonic, then back to Amy,"I`m fine, don`t worry about me."
Shadow is waving it off dismissively. Surprisingly, his tone doesn`t take a threatening tone or a defensive sort of one. He must be in a fairly good mood...for whatever reason.
Sonic steps forward,"We just wanted to check up on you, see if everything was going straight. You know?"
Shadow only nods slightly in response, looking back to Amy. Amy tries her best to keep calm in the presence of Shadow. She knows if the wrong move is made, Shadow will be set off,"Oh no, Shadow, it`s the truth. Since you decided to come with us to school, you have never missed a day. Albeit, you never did homework...But you have had perfect attendance. But you missed two days and without being sick or on a mission. You`re out here by this hospital. Hookie isn`t your thing either. We`re very concerned of what`s going on."
Just looking at her for a while, Shadow leans back and folds his arms behind his head, lazily laying back against the backing of the bench,"...I don`t have to go to school if I don`t want to."
Now, he is assuming a different sort of act. The act of someone who didn`t care.
"So something came up. It`s not like there`s anything back there I need to know I don`t already know."
That part, however, Shadow feels is true. He kind of liked bad mouthing the teachers, since he felt at times they deserved it. Only a few teachers he accepted.
Amy nods her head,"Oh yes, you proved that by acing all of the tests. I wish I had half of the A`s you got."
Amy isn`t a bad student, her grades certainly aren`t poor. But even B students like her would love to get A`s on their tests. B grades, however, doesn`t mean that Amy can`t decipher the implementations of people when they speak and change action,"We`re your friends, Shadow. If there is something going on that`s making you skip out in school, we need to know so we can help you."
Sonic walks over slowly, moving in closer,"Yeah. I know things haven`t always gone smoothly for us, but hey. We`re here to see things stay alright."
Shadow just switches glances in between them, tilting his head back again shortly after. A problem the group often faces is how quick Shadow is to shut himself in and clam up, as it were, whenever they tried to pry him a bit.
"...Look..." Shadow starts, eventually, after quite a while of silence, "...Something came up, and...I need to take time off school for a while, to make sure things stay fine..."
Then he goes silent, again. Amy turns to Sonic for a moment and then looks back at Shadow. Prying Shadow open is liking prying a cinderblock open, seemingly impossible. Amy gives it one more try,"Are you sure there is nothing we can do to help you out with whatever this situation is?"
Thinking for a while, Shadow is about to cast them off as he usually would. His problems are his own. However, this -was- Maria involved. Briefly, he looks back to the hospital building for a while, then looks to them, as if studying the both of them. What help could they provide him and why would they? He had been something of a jerk to the group, always putting them away from them and alienating them from his own personal activities. After a while, he looks on. He isn`t ready to tell them about Maria yet, not just yet.
"Just...watch out for Eggman...Keep tabs on what he`s doing. Stop him from coming into the city."
It is odd what Shadow said but he said this so straight forwardly. It isn`t as if he thought of Eggman as a danger but it is evident there was a particular reason for this specified request. Watching out for Eggman was something they normally did. It was definitely odd that Shadow would make such a request. Amy looks at Shadow a moment quite confused by this. Shadow`s stranger than usual behaviour is mystifying. Nothing of it seems to make sense. But the only one who`s really going to know of what is going on with Shadow, is Shadow, and he isn`t one to just loose-lip himself. Amy stands up from the bench,"All right, Shadow. We`ll do our best. If there is anything we can do to help, you just let us know, ok?"
"...I...I need to get something to eat..."
Slowly, almost mechanically, Shadow arises. Lifting up a bush, he drags from underneath it his usual back-pack. Recognizably, this is his school back pack. Straightening himself, Shadow looks at the two of them, as if to substitute for a good-bye and starts to walk off. Presumably towards their usual burger joint, being the closest known restaurant.
Believing that Shadow has walked a great enough distance away to not hear them, Amy steps up closer to Sonic. She immediately shrugs to him,"I don`t get it. He`s weirder than usual. Were you able to gather anything of what might be going on with him?"
"No clue, just the way he looked at the hospital."
Looking over at the hospital, Sonic`s first gut reaction is perhaps it was Shadow`s mother he was looking in the direction of. But that couldn`t be right. Shadow was created, not born like the others. They were all orphans, the entire group. No one knew their parents, they had gotten into the world on their own (with Cream being the only exception to this). The base things to note is that they were all friends and how there is a joyful unity amongst them. They rely on each other to watch each other`s backs and to have fun together.
"How about you? What do you think, Amy?"
Amy puts her fists on her hips and turns her head to look at the hospital over her shoulder,"I`m sure there`s something about this hospital. I wonder if we ask them if they know anything about Shadow being here?"
She looks back to Sonic,"I know the chances of the hospital letting Shadow in are pretty slim to non-existant, but maybe it`s something major?"
"I`m sure I know how Shadow would react to all of that..He`d just tell us 'Don`t get involved', or 'I can handle it. Just stop.' You know how it is."
Sonic exchanges looks with Amy, then to the hospital,"Maybe for now, you should talk to him...alone. He seems to respond better to you."
Sonic shrugs slightly when he says this. Although Shadow respected Sonic, they were somewhat rivals in a way. Shadow is hesitant to accept any help from Sonic, or anyone else for that matter. But if it was just talking, he should have no problem talking to Amy.
Amy`s eyes widen a little and she points to herself,"Wha, me? By myself? Right now?"
"No, no, not right now. Just whenever you feel right about it and think he`ll be talkative."
How she would be able to determine that, Sonic couldn`t say. But at least Shadow isn`t being too unpredictable.
"Anyways, I guess we`re free to do whatever we want. Wanna head over to Twinkle Park while the good times last?"
Sonic`s suggestion immediately brings relief to Amy. Right, give Shadow some space. Maybe tomorrow? Tomorrow is Sunday, usually on Sundays people are more peaceful. Not that such an ideal was proven in Shadow but it would help. Amy nods her head and her posture takes on a more happy look,"Sure! Let`s go!"
Sonic willingly takes Amy`s hand and drags her off. Saturdays were meant to just relax and cool off. If Eggman decides to crash the party and come to Station Square today, they would immediately be let known, as opposed to the other day.
This leaves Shadow, who has arrived to the burger joint. He calls for a usual meal, just something to get by with. A burger, fries, and a tall cola. Soda would put his nerves at rest. Tipping back, he pops the soda top, tips the cup back and drinks. Lost to his thoughts, Shadow sits there at the counter.