It was a long day at work and Shadow almost bored himself to death, but attending important meetings within GUN was essential to his position, as well as his goal of protecting the planet.
If only all those Men would stop arguing and work towards a solution to their problems. The commanders secretary was the only truly competent person in this round, even though she was in no position of power to influence the outcome of the meeting until he vouched for her. There still was so much to change to make the world a better place.
The black hedgehog exited the pretentious building that mimicked architectural styles of very different and clashing time periods. The sun was already moving west, which meant almost the whole day was wasted indoors. Shadow let out a low sigh as he ascended the stairway towards the main street.
“Oh, hey Shadow! What a coincidence to meet you here!” A familiar voice exclaimed.
The dark hedgehog turned his head to a blue hedgehog approaching close, laying an arm around his shoulder.
“What’cha doin’ here?” he asked.
“I work here.” Shadow dryly replied as he removed Sonic’s arm from his body.
“Ohh! Right, right!” Sonic’s acting was terrible. Shadow stared at him expectantly. “How do you feel about a friendly race?” A grin reaching from cheek to cheek grew across his peach muzzle.
“Thought you’d never ask.” Shadow replied with a fang baring smirk.
The two promptly got in position and took off to race down the main street, speeding past cars in a flash. Sonic did silly tricks here and there, while Shadow tried his best to act like he didn't see or care, but the smile on his face every time he caught a glance spoke more than thousand words.
Once they got out of the city and raced towards the woods they slowed down not to disrupt nature and take in the nice view and fresh air. As they passed a meadow with wild flowers Sonic stretched out his arms, gently stroking every flower he passed.
It kinda looked really cute.
Sonic's wide smile, his soft laugh… His positivity was contagious and Shadow couldn’t help but feel content with himself in this moment, wholly appreciating his friend’s presence.
The sun came close to setting and they’ve been running for quite a while now, so Shadow suggested to race ontop of the hill ahead to stop and indulge in the beautiful sunset that was about to unfold, to which Sonic readily agreed and they picked up their pace.
Sonic shook the flowers out of his spines and stayed close behind Shadow, who seemed to be completely absorbed in thought while he raced towards their goal. He probably didn’t even notice the many flowers that got stuck in his quills after running through an open flower field… The flowers were very dominant in his dark fur and generally were a heavy contrast to the many edges in Shadow’s figure, but one couldn’t deny that this look kind of suited the ultimate lifeform.
Without noticing Sonics face caught gentle heat as he couldn’t keep his eyes off of Shadow. He couldn’t even think of passing him. Sure he’d like to win, but then he wouldn’t get to see Shadow so… content anymore.
“First.” Shadow exclaimed as he came to a halt and striked a victorious pose atop of the hill.
Sonic totally forgot about the race while admiring his rival but promptly snapped back to reality.
“Oh shit-!” was all he brought out as he crashed into Shadow and they both rolled downhill for a second.
Sonic lied atop of Shadow diagonally and the two just stared at eachother for a second. The blue blur expected the ultimate lifeform to be mad or growl at him, but instead his lips formed a crooked smile, as if he was trying really hard to hold back laughter.
Sonic brought out a nervous chuckle. “Oopsie?” he added as he tried to get up and off of Shadow.
Said hedgehog suddenly brought out an unheard of loud and warm laughter. It was so genuine and full of joy that Sonic couldn’t help but join in, not really understanding the situation but being incredibly happy that Shadow was having so much fun with him. He felt honored that Shadow felt comfortable enough to smile and laugh with him. Honored that he had eared Shadows undying trust, for him to reveal a softer and more gentle side to him that no one else knew.
It was nice.
He laid down in the grass right next to him as he caught his breath again. “Sorry about that crash landing.” he apologized.
“Whatever.” the dark hedgehog replied, staring at the sky and seemingly lost in thought again. He closed his eyes with a smile.
Sonic took a glance at the sky himself. The colors were pretty intense and the breeze was coming at just the right moment. He closed his eyes aswell, taking a deep breath and letting the cozy atmosphere sink in. However, he couldn’t fight the urge to take a peek at Shadow again.
He found himself almost exclusively staring at the black hedgehog instead of the scenery around him. Nothing could beat the sight of that smile.
They lied there in silence, appreciating eachothers presence for a while. When the stars came out and Shadow saw familiar constellations he realized how late it was and leaned forward, supporting his torso with his arms.
Said hedgehog had since already closed his eyes in content, lying in the grass comfortably. “Yes?”
“It’s late. Don’t you need sleep? You should head home.” Shadow insisted.
“I’m good.” He put his arms behind his head. “Besides, it’s not like I get to hang out with ya too often, since you’re always so busy. I thought we’re having a grand time right now, aren’t we?”
Shadow held in for a minute for he had to process Sonic’s words first. He knew that Sonic was waiting at the GUN bulding to “accidentally” catch him when heading home, but he always assumed it was just about the race. Sonic… actually valued his company. He considered Shadow as a close friend and he was upset that they couldn’t spend as much time together as he wished they could.
All those races were attempts at getting closer to him and hanging out.
Shadow had been completely oblivious to his friendship with Sonic up until now. Sure he called him his friend, but Sonic called pretty much everyone his friend. After all this time, though… Now that he thought about it, their relatinoship resembled his relationship with Rouge in some way.
Of course it wasn’t the same, but their silent company was extremely comforting and Shadow always felt warm and content around the blue hedgehog. Whenever he was around Sonic, he could let down his guard and… be himself.
How should he reply, though? Whenever he expressed his graditude towards Rouge she would reply with “Aww sweetheart I love you, too!”
Maybe he should leave out the sweetheart part but expressing one’s feelings of mutual care seemed appropriate.
“I appreciate that you enjoy my company this much Sonic. I love you, too.” He looked at the sleepy hedgehog’s face with a gentle smile.
Sonic’s eyes snapped wide open.
His cheeks flared up and he sat up to face Shadow. At first he looked him directly in the eyes to test if he was being serious, but of course he was. He’s Shadow the hedgehog. Only now Sonic realized his mistake as he felt the heat in his face increasing. Shyly he looked away and tried to collect his thoughts.
Shadow just said that.
“Did I say something wrong?” Shadow was a little confused over Sonic’s reaction. Did normal friends not tell eachother how much they loved and appreciated eachother?
“N-No! Not at all! I just wasn’t expecting you to say that.” Sonic tried to brush the emotional turmult in his brain off and act like his cool self.
After that the two sit there in silence again. Appreciating eachother as well as the night sky. Secretly thinking about eachother.
Sonic reflected on the events of this evening after Shadow’s odd reply. The more he thought about him, the memories they shared and… his cute laugh, and the smile he made whenever he did something silly, and the way the universe reflected in his eyes and…
Who was he kidding… there was no denying it.
“You know what, Shadow?” he softly led these words into the night.
“What?” Shadow asked.
“I really do love you.” Sonic spoke softly.
He yawned, but he didn’t want to admit he was tired.
Not long after he was leaning onto his rivals shoulder.
Several months later it was not out of the norm for either of the two to throw the words “I love you” at eachother. Sometimes they’d be holding hands and giving eachother small pecks on the lips or other parts of the face.
Sonic was basically living with Shadow in his cottage (which he proudly helped building to mention the least) and they would nap cuddling on the occasion, despite Shadow insisting he didn’t need sleep.
The more comfortable they got with eachother’s touch and presence, the more Shadow opened up to drop his ultimate lifeform act and actually nourish and rest his body.
One day they would stand in front of Club Rouge. Shadow wanted to meet up with Rouge and Sonic insisted to accompany him to the rendes-vouz point before going for a run by himself.
As Rouge came out of her club and waved for Shadow to come in, Sonic grabbed Shadow’s hand. “Can I get a kiss before I go?” he snickered.
“Sure.” Shadow replied before briefly kissing Sonic on the lips. “Don’t trip and fall again, you hear me?”
“Won’t happen, now that I got your good luck kiss!” the blue blue shouted back as he dashed off into the distance.
Rouge smiled surprised. “Didn’t know you and big blue finally got official.” She put a hand on Shadow’s shoulder. “It seriously was about time you did, but why didn’t you tell me?”
“Tell you… what?” Shadow asked confused. Official? What was finally official?
“Your boyfriend? Sonic? Couple?” Rouge made vague hand gestures at nothing.
“Sorry, I don’t think I can quite follow you? Sonic isn’t my boyfriend or anything.”
“Are you being serious with me right now?” Rouge suspected the worst. Shadow was an oblivious love-struck puppy. “You kissed him. On the lips.”
“Friends don’t do that?”
“Not normally, no.”
“They also normally don’t live, sleep and eat together all the time.”
“I thought you just wanted your personal space.”
“By Chaos I swear you are a lost cause, Shadow!” the white bat burst out in laughter. “You are so gay for this blue boy and you can’t even tell.”
“I-I’ll be honest I’ve never quite understood relatinships and attraction.”
Shadow looked a little ashamed to admit this.
“Sonic never seemed to question it either, seen as he never mentioned any romantic in involvement in our relationship.”
“You are both lost causes.” Rouge smiled comforting. “But don’t worry. You better just talk it out with big blue tonight and figure your shit out!”
“Thanks Rouge. I-” he paused. “Can I say I love you to a friend or is that reserved for romantic partners? Am I alloed to love you?”
Rouge let out another laugh. “First of all: Love is not reserved for romance, there are many types of love that aren’t romantic! Secondly: You don’t need anyone’s permission to love them, it just happens.”
Shadow smiled embarrassed but managed to smile amused. He’d make sure to sort things out with Sonic later. He was grateful for his love, aswell as Rouge’s. They were very important people in his life who he swore to never forget.
“Alright, Thanks Rouge. I love you.”