([identity profile] wrote in [community profile] specialzone2011-06-25 02:07 pm

aren't incapability and mourning simply things you want to fear?

[ Shadow was in the lobby once more, the scent of onion rings still present despite the party having been cleaned up. He was staring at a single warp ring... he'd eliminated all possibilities, this had to be the one. Having spent days trying to figure out if the ARK was actually possible to reach here...

He'd had no problem getting to it back in the real world, after all, he had the Doctor to thank for that. But this was a different place... and he couldn't be sure if the ARK in this realm would be the same as the one he knew before...

Would it still be empty and cold?

Or would it be like the home he once knew? Shadow frowned, shaking his head. It didn't matter what it was like, it could never be how it used to-- especially without the people there that made it familiar, warm. ]

[identity profile] 2011-06-25 06:35 pm (UTC)(link)
[For Sonic, a party was a party, even in a strange new world, though for some reason he had somehow managed not to stay very long at it. Perhaps something else had needed or demanded his attention, hence the late arrival yet early departure.

When one place had exhausted all its resources for the day, or he hadn't found anything else to do there, the only logical solution Sonic could think of was to return to the lobby to be transported somewhere else. Seeing the black hedgehog there and at one warp ring in particular hadn't come as a total surprise; Sonic was becoming accustomed to seeing him more and more, and actually... hadn't minded. If anything, he thought perhaps he liked it, yet couldn't quite place why. Not yet, perhaps.

And yet, this time, Shadow appeared much more contemplative than normal. It wasn't even moody or displeased, which seemed to be the black hedgehog's signature expression. Sonic was slowly getting better at reading his emotions as they appeared. It was why when Sonic approached, he held off on his own signature upbeat tone of voice, and addressed him with a more calm and even tone, something he was learning to do whenever he spoke with him.]

... Hey. You know, it's okay that you're thinkin' about it.

[identity profile] 2011-06-25 08:10 pm (UTC)(link)
[This time not having the black hedgehog look at him while he was speaking didn't bother him either. There was too much that Shadow had been focused on, and Sonic could hardly blame him.]

But it isn't me, Shadow. It's you.

[Yet that wasn't why the Ultimate Life form had asked and it wasn't the response he might have been looking for. Whenever Shadow had asked questions, they were hardly ever posed to him. It was usually the other way around.]

I think you should be askin' yourself why you're resisting at all. Can't give you a decent opinion if I don't know what it is that's holdin' you back.

[It hadn't been his place, nor was it anyone's place, to judge someone else either.]

[identity profile] 2011-06-25 09:49 pm (UTC)(link)
[Being alone. It was a theme that they touched on whenever they spoke. Although they had been alone in such different ways, it was still the same feeling. And it still hurt.

Life was suffering, and all living beings wanted to avoid that suffering, that pain, and that hurt. Shadow wasn't exempt from that, and why should he have been, as much as it pained Sonic to think that any of his friends should be in pain at all. Living meant getting hurt, but it was proof that one was alive. That was the best justification for it. But again... it still hurt.

Although Shadow had turned to look at him now, Sonic turned to look at the warp ring ahead of them. He heard, listened to what Shadow had said and could only imagine the scenario for himself had it been his own life. It wasn't the same.]

... You know how there's that saying that says "time heals all wounds" or somethin' like that? It's kinda not true.

It just numbs them, that's all.

It's not that you don't care 'bout it anymore or you should forget, I'm not saying that. It's more like how you're gonna let your past keep affecting you and your future, like I said before.

[identity profile] 2011-06-25 10:41 pm (UTC)(link)
Don't know, I guess it works out for some people. And not for others.

[They did have to face it. Again and again. That is what people said, wasn't it?]

Yeah, cuz runnin' away isn't gonna get you anywhere except lost.

I don't hafta to tell you this. But I'm goin' with you.

[The fact that Shadow had been debating going at all was already progress enough for the black hedgehog. Sonic was never a fan of running away or retreating. Everything had to be faced head on, head held high, no matter how much it hurt.]

[identity profile] 2011-06-25 11:21 pm (UTC)(link)
[Curiosity would have drawn Sonic to that warp ring, to see and explore more of what it was that he had traversed only a while ago, the last place he remembered being before going back home to Earth.

Shadow had suddenly taken the leap, and it wasn't more than a second later that Sonic followed suit. Who knew what other memories would be awakened, conjured, disturbed if Shadow had gone in by himself? Then where would he be, all but in his empty, lifeless home, longing for the past that was never to become the present?

He couldn't let him go alone.]

[identity profile] 2011-06-26 12:32 am (UTC)(link)
[Sonic didn't land very far from where Shadow had appeared. His memories of ARK were so recent and... shallow, compared to Shadow's, for lack of a better term. In some ways, this was merely another battleground. Plans to conquer and destroy the world had to be stopped despite where they had been hatched, developed, and carried out. It just so happened that the space station was also Shadow's home. Or former home.

It had been much quieter now, less hectic, less rushed. The sound of his footsteps broke the otherwise still silence, Sonic giving no other hint of his arrival besides that before he stood next to the black hedgehog.]

[identity profile] 2011-06-26 03:24 am (UTC)(link)
[Sonic nodded once. This was the first time he had heard this straight from Shadow, straight from the source. Sure there had been information sent his way and to his friends when they had been on ARK earlier, but nothing like this. No intimate details like this.

It wasn't often that he heard that name from the black hedgehog. Sonic always thought it was... off limits to use for himself. He always went with third person pronouns instead. It seemed easiest, and perhaps less so much as an invasion of privacy or encroaching on memories that he had no part of at all.

But the way he talked about her, Sonic could tell that he cared for her. And for the Professor. His life before had been so idyllic in its own way, their definition of it. Why it had to end in the manner it did was unfair.

He would have thanked Shadow for the explanation, but it seemed to be inappropriate. It was obvious that Shadow missed them and that past, what could have been and what could have continued to be.]

... What did you think it was like?

[identity profile] 2011-06-26 04:59 am (UTC)(link)
[Sonic followed after Shadow. He had seen Earth from outer space before, on ARK, in other space stations and space crafts. Some of his toughest battles took place above the planet. But at least for Sonic, he could return to that planet. Shadow and those on ARK didn't have that luxury.

Helping people through science. The latter part with science was important, but it hadn't been as important as the first part. Helping others. Sonic had the same ideal, only the way they had tried to accomplish it was different. Why should anyone have been punished for that?

But the explanation made Sonic think again that Shadow was as real and alive as anyone else. He had never been to Earth during his time here, but nothing had stopped his imagination. And the imagination was powerful, a tool or a key to unlock distant, literally distant lands, open up other new worlds or possibilities. He must have had it in spades along with her.

Yet as much as Sonic didn't wish to think of it, while imagination was limitless, it still wasn't reality. A part of him wished that she could have seen it too, and he could only... imagine how much more Shadow also had wished for that.

Hearing him trail off, the blue hedgehog gave Shadow a moment. Or as much time as he needed.]

[identity profile] 2011-06-26 06:57 am (UTC)(link)
[Sonic knew that it had been this place, this room. It hadn't been that long ago in his memory, and the experience was something he really hadn't cared to repeat, even if it had worked out in the end somehow.

And yet his attention was seized once more with this back and forth between recent past and distant past. The comparisons between now and what had been. Events that took place in the same location.

There wasn't anything that could have prepared Sonic for what he heard. Even the general idea or inkling he had before hadn't been enough and couldn't have been enough. It didn't take much to see why or how something like... that... affected the black hedgehog and forever changed him into who he was now.

It took a while before Sonic was ready to head out of the room. His eyes fell to its center, briefly glanced to the machine, then gazed back out to the window. It was still almost unbelievable. The time difference was staggering, but all the events had collided and occurred in this room. Had he been here, had he been able to do anything to change it, he would have. But it was all a matter of what if and the hypothetical, and nothing could have been changed. He had to look forward as he always did, and just as Shadow had to as well.]
Edited 2011-06-26 15:35 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2011-06-26 07:02 pm (UTC)(link)
[Sonic's eyes looked over to Shadow, but that was all that moved, save for what he thought was the slight shiver that ran up his back.

No, it might not have been the true ARK as Shadow had stated ever so clearly, but it was disturbingly similar. Not wanting to upset the black hedgehog any further or make it any harder for him to endure, Sonic nodded and headed toward the exit as well, joining Shadow once more.]

[identity profile] 2011-06-26 09:36 pm (UTC)(link)
[Every detail, every sight and sound, every word, Sonic fixed his attention on all of it. His mind was often too quick for him, where at the mention of one thing, his mind sprung and scattered into so many different directions, wondering where to go next. But Sonic was learning to focus, and committed as much as he could to memory.

When Shadow pointed out the lights, he pictured them on and the alarm blaring. When Shadow mentioned each room in particular, he pictured what they were like, piecing together what he could from his own memory with the scenes in front of him.

He smiled slightly, thinking of the name and looking to the last room that Shadow had pointed out.]

... Cool.

[He had opened his eyes, breathed, and experienced life for the first time right here.]

Are you gonna go inside?

[identity profile] 2011-06-27 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
[Hearing how Shadow described his home was so different than how he had heard anyone else speak about their home or a place that was important to them. Home was somewhere to be revered, like a safe haven or sanctuary to return to or retreat to when necessary. But Shadow had been created instead, which had set him apart from other living beings. Sonic never really liked to think about it in those terms, preferring when Shadow said he was "born" instead.

Sonic glanced over to the room again. His curiosity had been piqued though. He didn't know much about science or all the details of all of the research that had taken place here. How had Shadow come into existence at all?]

... If it's okay with you, then yeah, I do want to see it.

[He had the door opened, although he didn't step inside, only looking at it from the outside. It didn't feel right. Shadow knew the space station best, and Sonic didn't want to go anywhere without what seemed like his permission, though had given it already.]
Edited 2011-06-27 01:34 (UTC)

[identity profile] 2011-06-27 03:53 am (UTC)(link)
[That was better. Sonic followed Shadow's lead into the room, looking around at the nursery, as it had been so named. He headed over to the window to look down at the Earth once more, now at a different angle and view, the cloud and land formations around it slightly altered than from the other deck.

He had also noticed something that seemed out of place. The stuffed animals and pillows and books. A typical lab wouldn't hold such items, but then, this wasn't a typical lab. Whose were they? Sonic could take a guess. The items did lend themselves to making the lab that much more like a home instead of just a mere birthplace of various projects and, well, Shadow too.]

So it all started here.

[identity profile] 2011-06-27 06:34 am (UTC)(link)
[It had started here, with Shadow coming to life, like the pieces had fallen together perfectly on the timeline, in line with fate. He hadn't been born any earlier or later and hadn't taken on any other form.

And why was he a hedgehog at all? All of their bickering and arguing over who was the faker was so... It was pointless now. None of them knew of each other's existences, and how could they due to the way time had worked. Neither of them had asked to be born as hedgehogs. Not that Sonic wasn't extremely proud to be one now, but he had no choice from the very start. Neither had Shadow. It was strange to think that their relationship may have been so radically different had time or fate changed one single detail or event.

Seeing Shadow near the toys, Sonic walked over there as well. The pillows and stuffed animals were cute, soft and warm compared to the hard, cold lab and electronics around them. But the books... Those had pictures and stories. Information. Either fantasy, fuel for the imagination, or fact. Was that why Shadow had also taken such a liking to the library besides the pure pursuit of knowledge?]

It shouldn't just be my decision, y'know. We're here for you, aren't we?

[identity profile] 2011-06-27 03:46 pm (UTC)(link)
[All was quiet, save for Shadow's movements and the gentle turning of pages. Sonic knew that for that single moment he should blend into the background, leaving Shadow to his memories without the blue hedgehog there to interfere or ruin them. As much as Sonic had insisted that Shadow move forward, as he said before, he didn't want Shadow to forget his past. There were good memories in there along with not so good ones, and it was inevitable. There had to be the not so good ones to make the good ones that much more precious.

Once Shadow spoke again, Sonic nodded, understanding, or understanding as much as he could. It couldn't have been easy, and Sonic had been the one to let his curiosity get the better of him. He spoke quietly, and though he hadn't said it in the exact words, there was an apology somewhere in his voice.]

... Okay. We should go then.

[identity profile] 2011-06-27 07:06 pm (UTC)(link)
[Perhaps Shadow leaving as quickly as he did was almost symbolic. He wanted to leave it behind or even... throw it all away, so to speak. And yet there it would be, constantly following him and something he couldn't shake off. But that was just it too. No, he couldn't forget and shouldn't. He had to lead the way and look ahead, not let it hold him back.

The sound of the machines working, processing commands, displaying numbers and symbols and statistics signaled activity, but it wasn't life. It wasn't alive. It's also what made being in the space station that much more empty or inhospitable now since... it used to be. It used to hold life, contain life, be full of life and even create life.

Sonic stood next to the black hedgehog, again his eyes looking out over the Earth.]

I said I wouldn't let you do this alone, so I'm not.

What're you thinking about? ... If you need to leave, then we should.

[identity profile] 2011-06-27 08:06 pm (UTC)(link)
You got it. Let's go somewhere else then.

[Sonic nodded at Shadow's response. His darker counterpart had experienced enough here for now. If he needed to return, then Sonic was more than willing to join him, but would respect his decision if he needed to have time to himself as well.

The blue hedgehog had turned and saw Shadow offer his hand. He extended his hand out too to place it in Shadow's.]

Hey, you don't hafta thank me, really. I wanted to help, and I'm not askin' for anything in return.

[identity profile] 2011-06-27 08:56 pm (UTC)(link)
[Whenever Sonic went anywhere, it was always to go straight there, looking forward. But this time, after Shadow leaped through the warp ring, Sonic took a look back at the space colony they were leaving behind for the time being.


He didn't want to keep Shadow waiting, so he also jumped into the warp ring and appeared back inside the lobby.]

[identity profile] 2011-06-28 03:59 am (UTC)(link)
[Sonic nodded once more, now not looking back at the warp ring he had just exited from.]

Yeah, I know, but I think I'm good for now. It's still gonna be there if I ever do want to go back. Or if you want to too.

Are you gonna be okay?

[identity profile] 2011-06-28 02:14 pm (UTC)(link)
I know, you don't have to tell me twice.

[It might not have rendered him useless, but it clearly had affected the black hedgehog in some way. But there wasn't a need to say that as they were both well aware of it. The black hedgehog did have his pride, after all. Had it been reversed, Sonic would have thought the same way.]

Heh, I won't. You go do your thing. See ya 'round, Shadow.