Sonic took a look around, he appeared to be in a large white panelled box, so big he could barely see the other side of it, aside from the large platform he stood on, and the same one on the other side, the floor was mostly water with various small platforms dotted around, some travelling an invisible path left to right, some were travelling up high before returning down below the surface.
He had a vague notion that he knew where he was, this was normal, he’d been here before, he knew the quickest way to the final platform, and exactly how to make the more tricky jumps to get there.
But what wasn’t normal was the Sonic standing on the closest static platform.
The doppelgänger just stood there, motionless, staring back at Sonic with a large unnerving grin on it’s face.
He opened his mouth to say hello, but the words died in his throat as he looked at it, it’s gaze gave him a feeling of dread, and he was suddenly glad that he knew how to get to a different starting platform, even if it was a bit more dangerous to get to.
It’s head moved to follow Sonic as he walked to the first platform but otherwise he never saw it move, he’s not sure he ever saw it blink either.
Sonic made his way through the platforms, feeling eyes watching him and making him nervous, which wasn’t helping his jumps.
He stopped every time he got to a new platform to look around and see where the other one was, as it seemed to move through the course erratically, but only when Sonic wasn’t watching it and seeming to always stay at least a good few platforms away from him although there otherwise appeared to be no rhyme or reason to how it moved.
As he neared the final few platforms he jumped three before stopping to look around, but as he turned around to look for his double, he couldn’t see see it.
He twisted around violently, gasping in surprise as he found the other stood on the next platform in front of him.
The lookalike’s head tilted to the side with a sudden jerking movement, and Sonic stepped backwards in fear.
Backwards- off the platform.
A moment later Sonic felt his back hit the water, a feeling he was strangely familiar with, it calmed him for a moment as he slide slowly under with eyes closed, and then his head went under, and the familiarity was gone.
His eyes snapped open in fear, his mouth opened to scream, and the suddenly shockingly cold water surged into his mouth far faster than it had previously moved when he first fell in.
The other Sonic was stood at the end of the platform, staring down at him, grinning.
Sonic flailed his arms and legs uselessly, he moved nowhere, as though the water was determined to keep him in that single spot as he drowned slowly.
He felt the water filling his lungs, the rush of water in his ears, and then his sight started going black.
He closed his eyes, trying to get rid of the image of himself gleefully watching him drown, and then he felt a sudden sharp pressure on his shoulders.
Sonic opened his eyes again, and could see Shadow’s face looming over him in the darkness, his mouth moving, then Shadow hit him in the stomach, and Sonic gasped for breath, finally starting to breath again.
He sat up a bit, gulping in air, and slowly took in the sight of his bedroom around him, Shadow had moved off of him, and was slowly rubbing his back comfortingly.
As soon as he had his breathing back in control Shadow pulled him back to lie down, one arm wrapped around him while the other wiped away the tears Sonic hadn’t realised he was shedding and worry was still etched on his face, “are you okay?”
Sonic chuckled weakly, and buried his face in Shadow’s chest fur, “it was just a nightmare, nothing to worry about.”
“Nightmare about what?” Sonic pushed his face further into Shadow’s chest, breathing in his calming scent, and Shadow tightened his grip slightly, “you don’t have to tell me, don’t worry love.”
“No, it was just… Water.”
Shadow rubbed circles on Sonic’s back with his thumb, “you’re safe now, I’ve got you.”
Sonic smiled and lifted his head, bumping his nose against Shadow’s before returning to his chest, closing his eyes, completely calm in his arms.
Shadow placed his head on top of Sonic’s, focusing on the heartbeat he could feel, smiling when he realised Sonic had fallen back asleep.
He reached back with his free arm and grabbed a book from the bedside table, opening it to his bookmark, and started reading, there was only a few more hours left in the night, but he wanted to stay awake to try and stop anymore nightmares before they became too much.