A/N: This takes place towards the beginning of Arc 1. Please enjoy!
A/N: Please enjoy this tale containing original content from our AU. This is the first of many to come, so please be kind to the other mun who is working hard to produce this story as well as loads of other free content for this blog.
Riding through the city upon his beloved motorcycle, Shadow the hedgehog finds himself in a peculiar situation. Just last night he was finishing up an assignment for G.U.N. until something crashed landed in Station Square. What he found was just a bucket load of problems that frankly he rather not deal with. First, a weird orb broke open and something seeped into his body. Second, a weird tall bird floats right into his arms then proceeds to make him go on a wild goose chase. Lastly, he’s tied up in a situation that he never asked to be in and forced to go to that damn blue hedgehog for help.
He grumbles a bit at the state of his situation and feels a pair of hands shift on his waist. He peeks back at the bird who seems to be just looking down in complete shame at what has happened. She did run around the city like a manic with no regard for others’ safety so that’s something. Shadow huffs out and shifts his eyes down the road.
“…Have you calmed down…?” he said with a deep gruff.
The bird flinches at his voice and sinks in the seat further, “…Yes sir.”
Sir? He’s never heard that one before. “…Good. Now you’re going to tell me EVERYTHING else you know about this thing.”
The bird gulps and tightens her grip on his waist, “W-Well I told you everything I know… T-The notes I had were destroyed on impact. And the only thing I know is that if we don’t get that energy source out of you, you could die..”
Shadow scoffs and rolls his eyes, “Don’t worry about that. I’m the Ultimate Lifeform, I don’t perish that easily.”
The bird slowly tilts her head giving him a look, “….D… Did you really just say that?? I-I mean ultimate lifeform or not, YOU CAN STILL DIE!!”
He peeks back at her, narrowing his eyes, “…I said don’t worry about it..”
She feels a cold sweat from his stare and straights up her posture, “I-I’m just saying! That amount of energy can do a lot to your body if you exert yourself too much!”
He huffs and looks out ahead, “Well gee, someone didn’t think about that fact last night when she went crazy and I had to chase her down..!”
The bird flinches at his remark and looks back down in shame thinking about their initial meeting. She woke in his apartment and was surprised to see an actual talking hedgehog. Let alone one that could walk and have a weird fashion statement. But it was when it was revealed she transformed from a human to a falcon that really set her off. Admittedly she could’ve reacted better, jumping out of a window with a 5 story drop is not a proper reaction. And neither is running around the city in a full panic and almost causing a near-disastrous collision isn’t a proper reaction either.
She bit her lip a bit and fiddled with her fingers, “…I’m… really really sorry…. I-I didn’t mean for anyone to get hurt.”
Shadow huffs brushing off her apology, “You’re lucky no one did. Honestly. Don’t you know how to look where you’re going! How stupid can you be–” He peeks back at her looking down shaking making him cut off his words. He lets out a deep sigh looking back onto the road. “….Do you have a name…?”
The bird gulps a bit and fiddles with her fingers, “…A-Ailani… Um…” she looks towards the back of his head, “W… What do I call you? Mr. Ultimate Lifeform..?”
Shadow gives her a look and huffs looking forward, “Shadow. Shadow the Hedgehog.”
Ailani nods and hums a bit, taking in his answer, “Okay… Shadow. W-Where are we going exactly.?”
“New Mobotropolis. There’s a group there called the Freedom Fighters that could help, in theory, without any annoying ulterior motives.” Shadow gives off a huff gripping on the handles, “Unfortunately there’s an annoying faker who’ll get a good laugh out of this for sure…”
Ailani snaps out of her trance once she hears the word “faker”, “…Faker? There isn’t like a clone army of you or something…. R-Right..”
There was a beat of silence before Shadow responded, “…Not anymore. At least I don’t think so.”
“YOU DON’T THINK SO?!” the bird screams out, “S-So this hedgehog is just like you??”
Shadow nods and huffs out an annoyed breath, “So much so that people often get us confused with one another somehow. He may look similar and have the same abilities as me but we couldn’t be any more opposites.”
All Ailani could do was sit back in her seat in utter shock at the information she just heard. There was a hedgehog that looked just like Shadow out there, so much so that they get mixed up. There was absolutely no doubt that Ailani would get them confused so there must be a way to tell them apart. She scratches her head a bit before bumping into her hair clip. An idea popping into her head, she perks up and takes out her hair clip then studies Shadow’s head a bit.
The hedgehog was still talking to himself about the annoying blue hedgehog, although Ailani tuned all of his rambling out. She leans over him and softly slips the hair clip into one of his quills. Shadow’s ear twitches a bit and he reaches up towards the hair clip.
“What did you–” he started to ask.
“It’s just my hair clip,” she chirps out “If you say there’s someone like you out there then it’s highly likely I’ll get you two confused. So this is just something that will help me.”
Shadow huffs a bit and grips on the handle shaking his head, “Whatever. If it helps you tell us apart then fi–”
Suddenly Shadow felt his heart practically beat out of his chest. It felt like it was going a million miles per second. He started to hunch forward slowly as a burning sensation grew within him. His bones felt like glass, his muscles like jello, and his vision started to blur. Despite his efforts to concentrate on the road, it came to no avail as the motorcycle started to swerve. Shadow tried to jerk it back to a steady path but it felt like he was being tugged back that forth between the road and the excruciating pain.
Ailani’s train of thought was interrupted by the sudden swerving and saw Shadow’s pain-filled form. “Oh, shi– Are you okay!?” She asks reaching out to him.
He hits her hand away and growls out, “I’m FINE. This is nothi–” but instead of finishing his answer, he lets out a loud scream of pain clutching his chest and losing grip of the motorcycle’s handle.
The motorcycle swerved like a mad man causing Ailani to spring to action, reaching over Shadow and grabbing the handles. Her hands shake as she tries to bring the motorcycle to a stop but she was beginning to panic and lose her concentration, “UH! UH! I HAVE NO CLUE WHAT I’M DOING HERE!!”
Shadow tries to reach for the handles again but a surge of pain rushes through his chest causing him to scream in pain. He growls out, “USE THE FUCKING BREAKS!!”
Ailani peeks at him and nods looking around the motorcycle, “O-Okay! Breaks! Breaks… breaks… Where… are they…”
Growing more and more impatient, Shadow grips on her face and turns her face to the handle brakes, “…..Squeeze those… left foot… then rig–” Before he could finish his instructions the burning sensation grew worse as hunches in more.
“Okay! Okay! D-Don’t worry! I-I got this!” Ailani reassured as she takes a deep breath and squeezes on the brakes slowing down the motorcycle. She manages to maneuver it into an alley and brings it to a stop. “Okay! Whew! Did it! Ah– Right! You need help!” She hops off the motorcycle and carefully lifts Shadow off the bike.
She trots over to a wall and softly lays Shadow against it as he wrenches in complete agony. Come on Ailani, think! There has to be something you can do to help! Ailani stands up and paces a bit as ideas rattle in her head. Okay so I have no magic, no tech, and I probably don’t have the strength to kick him out! She suddenly perks up and pats at her belt a bit. She takes out a small blue vial and studies it for a moment.
With not much time to think against Shadow’s cries of agony, Ailani decides it’s worth a shot. She kneels down to him and lifts up his chin. Carefully she dropped a single drip of whatever the vial contained into Shadow’s mouth. Shadow began to cough violently once the substance began to travel down his throat. It tasted horrid but the pain almost immediately subsided. He finally felt a sense of relief and sighed out, laying his head back on the wall.
Ailani lets out a deep sigh, relieved that the solution worked and looks at Shadow stroking his quills back, “…You okay, Shadow..?”
Shadow coughs a bit and looks at her. He sighs out and nods, “…I am.” He peeks at the blue vial, “…What is that stuff anyway..?”
Ailani perks up and looks at the vial, “Oh! This?” She holds it up a bit proudly, “It’s a remedy that I keep on hand in case of emergencies.”
Shadow nods a bit then quirks a brow at her, “How did you know it would work? I thought you didn’t know anything about this thing inside me..”
Ailani scratches her beak and nervously chuckles out, “I-I didn’t? Eheh. This is the most potent remedy I have so I figure it might do something.”
Shadow just sighs up holding his head suddenly feeling his eyelids drooping, “..Potent is an understatement…. I feel so… exhausted.”
“Oh!” she chirped up, “That must be the remedy’s side effects..” She hums a bit looking around before taking Shadow back into her arms, “Here, you rest. I’ll try to get us somewhere safe..”
Ailani carefully sets Shadow onto the motorcycle and sits down behind him cradling him with one arm. It takes her a good few minutes to get it started again and to start driving it. The pace was slow but at least they were on the move. Shadow feels at his chest a bit thinking about what just transpired. He felt pain before but nothing like this. He almost felt like he was… vulnerable. The motorcycle swerves a bit and Ailani keeps a tight grip on Shadow while trying to steady the bike.
Shadow huffs and peeks up at her, “…Do you know how to drive this thing..?”
Ailani sweats a bit and peeks down at him, “W-Well I’m doing good so far r-right?” As if the timing couldn’t be perfect enough for her to swerve a bit more.
Shadow would take over right there but pure exhaustion washed over him as he leaned his head back on Ailani’s chest, “…Whatever… Just… Don’t break it… I like this bike…” After stating his final request, he succumbed to exhaustion and fell asleep.
Ailani peeks down at him and breathes out softly. An overwhelming sense of guilt washed over her as if she was the cause of Shadow’s pain. Looking ahead she grips onto the handle tighter, “…I promise… I’ll get you to New Mobotropolis…. No matter what it takes.” she says as they ride off down the city streets as the sun sets in the horizon.