Later that night, I emerged from my room cautiously, craving something to drink from the kitchen. After changing into our pajamas, Cream and I met in my room and focused in on the task ahead. We had talked a lot in the past hour about my next move on Shadow; both of us had several things to say and many ideas to toss out but even after a full hour, we hadn't figured out what I was to do. We decided to sleep on it and continue our conversation in the morning. Needless to say, the conversation was long, tiring, and tough to endure, and my thirst had been nagging at me since Cream left to go to bed; so I decided that to sneak out of my room while everyone was settling down in their rooms.
I crept down the stairs as quietly as I could, trying to hush every step I made to be as quieter than a mouse. I was highly aware of my weak clumsy body now that I was under a lot of stress, but when I reached the last step, I noticed the kitchen light was on. My knees quivered and I had to cling onto the rail before letting myself step onto the tile of the front hall. Who, I thought, could be up at this time of night? It was nearly ten at night and everyone in the house was usually sleeping at that time.
I turned the corner and entered the kitchen hesitantly, looking around before moving forward. The dining room remained untouched: chairs around the table were empty as normal and the table was clean. From as far as I could have seen, everything was left right where it was and the only difference was that the lights were on. I felt myself relax; there was nothing to worry about after all. Heaving a relieved sigh, I went towards the sink to get a cup and fill it with water, but as soon as I took a few steps, I suddenly felt a surge of insecurity. There was something wrong.
In a flash, I crashed into something, nearly sending me to the wooden floor. I waved my arms around, desperately trying to retrieve my balance as I stumbled backwards into the counter behind me. Verging on anger, I looked up to see what I had hit, and my eyes widened as I beheld a black hedgehog. Shadow was standing in front of me, impatience seeping out all around him; it had been a mistake to run into him, I was sure of it. My heart jittered; so there was someone still in the kitchen, but I was too stupid to realize it! I stammered out unidentifiable words like before, but this time, I was somehow able to get a grip on myself faster.
!" I swallowed, my stomach tossing and turning. I felt like I was about to faint; my eyes couldn't stop looking his perfectly sculpted body over. I guessed I was nearly dehydrated by then; my mouth could barely open again.
His red eyes stared at me for the longest time, much to my dismay. Shadow had a way with intimidation; it must have run through the family, I thought. That was the second time he had looked at me in such a way and I felt an urge to ask just what on Earth he was doing. To make matters worse, I was in my light rose pajamas, and though they were just standard nightwear, I felt like I stood out to him. I glanced down at my clothing to be sure they were fastened on correctly. Long sleeves to cover my arms, pants to cover my legs; everything was just normal. I returned my gaze to Shadow's eyes, only to find them closed and his head turned away from me. Perhaps he could read minds as well.
"Twice in one night? You need to watch where you're going." Shadow scoffed. I winced. "What are you doing down here so late?" Shadow asked, preparing himself to exit coolly out the kitchen. I perked up, and without any thought going into my words, I spat out words like air.
"I was getting a glass of water," I replied quickly. I wondered if Shadow could even understand my blended words.
He nodded, muttering a 'goodnight' to me on his way out and raising a hand to me. I suddenly realized how fast he was getting away. Cream's words flooded back to me: spend more time with him and your mind will start working again. Spending time with him meant that I first was to establish an interest in doing so, and doing it in private was probably my best bet. If I let him escape now, I might never find another chance to ask him.
"Shadow! Wait a sec!!" I yelled. Shadow turned around, looking at me with a confused expression painted on his face. I exhaled, beckoning him to come over to me nervously. It would be a better idea to ask him quietly than to shout it across the house. He walked toward me, leaning against the counter with one arm, looking at me with his red eyes again. I closed mine, collecting myself.
Just ask him, I chanted in my mind. Remember the promises you made yourself, too: don't be clingy, don't proclaim marriages, etc., etc., etc. I knew all of those things perfectly, but I didn't know how to convey an interest to ask him to spend time with me without sounding like a fan-girl. I spent too much time with Sonic asking for dates and dumb stuff like that, and so it seemed like a bad habit for me to ask someone for their time. I felt trapped now; inevitable failure was looming over my head. I was running out of time before he lost interest. Please be patient, I prayed.
"Amy?" he asked. He was patient to a degree. I had to hurry up, and before I could think anymore, my mouth opened.
wanted to know if you would
" I opened my eyes and looked up at him. The sight of his face threw my head for a whirl and I forgot what I was saying for a few moments. I tried regaining myself quickly like I had, but it was harder now. We seemed so close to each other.
I tried again. "Shadow, I wanted to ask you if you would be interested in
" My brain disconnected with my voice again. I couldn't tell him the second half of my sentence, and it was the most vital part, too. I dug my face in my hands, moaning softly out of distress. Suddenly my hands were pulled off of my face, my eyes exposed to Shadow.
"You were wondering if I would be interested in
?" he urged, offering help to me. Ohmygawd, I thought. He wouldn't do that to any normal girl, for sure. I melted after he let my wrists fall down to my side, still watching me carefully.
The only way for me to do this was to not look at him when I talked, but wouldn't that be insincere of me? Was that too forced or too desperate? I had to find another route before he left me in the kitchen speechless, and I had to do it fast. It was too clear that I was thinking my words over, and I felt my face turn a shade of red.
"Amy, what is it?" Shadow said like a displeased parent. I swallowed, waving my hands and covering my mouth.
I really think we should
" I trailed off, forming the words with my mouth. Shadow was growing impatient. "
hang out sometime
The words flew out of me so fast that I had barely recognized that I made a sound. Shadow stayed silent. The clock from the living room counted the painful seconds with its venomous ticking; I wanted to make it stop. Slowly, I brought my head up at him to see his reaction. His eyes stared into mine, reading me carefully until they finally darted a glance to his side.
"'Hang out'? With you?"
The question stabbed me like a knife, and though I wanted to retreat and void the comment, I knew that I had to confront him sooner or later. I had to stand my ground, just like he always had. Perhaps that was impressive to him.
bonding time, you know?"
His brow raised out of doubt: wrong move.
"I-I mean, uh, friendship kind of bonding! You know, because you and I haven't seen each other in such a long time and when we do see each other, we only say a few words." I began to ramble, unfortunately for both Shadow and myself. "Not that we've seen each other a lot to talk about things, but that one time on the ARK, and when the aliens were here
" he made an expression of disdain, so I backed out of that topic "but I mean, you don't know a lot about me, and I don't know a lot about you, so maybe we could get together sometime and catch up on each other and
His annoyed, blank stare triggered me to stop.
Yeah." I sighed silently. "So, is that okay? Because if it's not, then that's fine, but I really wanted to talk to you and stuff."
I folded my hands and forced myself to stop talking. He made a noise of thought, and I snapped my eyes shut, nearly sweating, praying to whatever great power of love there was that Shadow would say yes. Unfortunately he took his sweet time in thinking about it, which gave me the most tension I had felt in a very long time. Finally he adjusted his position, sighing.
"Normally I'm not one for 'bonding time', Amy, but I'll think about it." His response made my spirits brighten to a whole new degree. I felt like hugging him. "However, if and only if I agree, you must promise me you won't cling to me like you do Sonic. It will not be a date. I expect this to be exactly what you said it would be: strictly catching up on things. Goodnight."
With that, he turned his back to me and walked straight forward, emerging into the darkness of the hallway. I watched him leave in his slow, pensive manner and still stared into the blackness even after he went upstairs. I stood in the kitchen frozen for several minutes, absorbing everything he said and not daring to make a move. Finally, I whirled around to the sink, feeling sick to my stomach as I grabbed a glass and filled it with water. I gulped it down, hoping the nausea would subside.
I stared up at the moon through the window. He was serious about his intentions just as was I about mine. My little way of convincing him to agree may have led me into a pitfall; he was expecting so much out of me, to live up to what I said about 'catching up' on each other, when really I wanted to get to know him better. I fluffed my pink bangs, overwhelmed with anxiety and fear, as well as excitement and joy. If this was true love felt like, it almost didn't seem worth the time.
My stomach still felt sick. Perhaps it was because Shadow sparked a memory of my clinginess to Sonic; to know that Shadow still saw me as a rabid fan of Sonic still made me heartbroken. I had so much more in my mind other than Sonic. I was tired of him, anyway; and maybe it was time to tell Shadow about it. I saw it to be more beneficial to have him suspect me of loving Shadow than thinking I was still hooked on Sonic, after all, and maybe he would grow to like me more if I set him straight.
Nonetheless, I went to up bed shamefully, kicking myself for, once again, being a clumsy idiot around him. Everything embarrassing just had to happen in front of him and it was only day two of his stay. To think what would happen after that day made me dizzy. I would be a mess by the time it was done. I fell into a death-like sleep, tired from the day's chaos and havoc, and for the first time since Shadow came to the house, I wished I would never wake up from it.