Puzzle Pieces

By ShadowEpona

Action / Romance

Chapter Four

I jumped up coming back to reality, sweat poured off me; I flinched seeing movement and jerked away when I felt a light touch to my arm. "Hey take it easy… relax… You were really out of it for hours." I heard Shadow's voice.

"I'm… alive…? How am I… alive…?" I looked at my hands.

"What are you talking about?" He looked at me, wondering what I meant.

"You… still don't… remember…" My voice got quieter as I went on, "The baby… It's… dead…" I felt a tear trickle down my right cheek.

"Huh?" He looked completely lost as to what I was murmuring. I slowly put my hand on either side of his head. "Hey wh-!" He grunted as I realized what the problem was with his memory, what Black Doom had done to him. I resolved the issue; he grunted and gripped his head tightly, dealing with the flood of memory coming back to him. Several minutes later, he slipped back to reality. "C-Cathy…?" I hugged him tightly, not wanting to let go.

"I… Yeah I guess I am." I closed my eyes, letting my head rest against him.

"You're… so different. I… I'm sorry that I lost my memory… like that… You must have felt so alone…" He stroked my quills.

"At the time… I suppose I did. I don't have to feel alone anymore now though." I looked up at him, "I-if you don't hate me… If you even accept me, like you did… I'm so different…" I gripped onto his chest fur tightly.

"Of course I don't hate you, I could never hate you, and of course I accept you… It's just that you used to be so reserved now you speak your mind so much more… It's… just not what my memory is used to. That doesn't mean how I felt changed, I still love you." He held onto me tightly.

I smiled and hid in him, "Let's not really tell Abraham this. At least for now."

"Understood, my love." He kissed my cheek then smoothly ran his thumb along my other cheek. He then moved his hand down to my chin and gently grabbed hold of it, forcing me to look up. A kiss filled with passion landed upon my lips. I responded and kissed back with just as much passion.

After a little bit we broke off and stared into one another's eyes. "I feel happier now that I remember, now that I'm with you." I spoke softly.

He smiled, "I haven't felt like this since when we were together on ARK. I actually feel… happy." He brushed my bangs to the side.

"Shadow, come in, Shadow." My ear flicked, hearing Rouge on the other end.

With a sigh he responded, "What is it Rouge?"

"G.U.N. is under attack, we've fallen back into the building but I don't think we will be able to hold it for much longer." Rounds could be heard going off in the background.

"I'll be there almost immediately, sit tight." He grabbed a couple of guns quickly from his closet in his room aboard the ARK.

"Who would attack G.U.N.?" I asked and was handed a gun by Shadow.

"Besides the Doctor, I don't know. Chaos Control!" He brought us back to G.U.N. I quickly ducked, shortly after I was pulled to cover by Shadow. The complete base was a disaster and almost in total ruin.

Rouge rolled over and took cover along side us; "I think it's the good ol' Doctor, but this seems different, I have reason to believe that he is working along side someone." Rouge peeked towards the enemy.

I took a quick look, the enemy consisted of Eggman's robots, but in the back of my mind, I knew he would not have made it this far to overpowering us and essentially taking over the fort. "I think you're right Rouge. If this was just Eggman he should have been fairly easily eliminated by now."

"Then I guess that just leaves it to who is truly behind this." Rouge glimpsed back to the enemies once more.

"I'll take care of this quickly." I muttered and slowly began to stand.

Shadow pulled me down, "No you don't I am not losing you! Not when I just got you back!"

I looked at him and smiled a little, "I'm glad you care but I'll be okay. Don't worry, I'm not the scared little girl I used to be, okay? You won't lose me."

"Um… What's going on between the two of you?" Rouge asked.

"Ah… Let's take care of the issue before we even begin to discuss that, Rouge." Shadow glimpsed at her then looked back to me, "Are you sure you can handle this?"

"Yes Shadow; I have barriers and I can absorb anything they throw at me. Don't worry, okay?" I stroked his cheek softly for a brief moment.

I stood putting up a strong force field and walked out. As I walked past anything that dared to touch me, and anything that was close enough just instantly fell apart and disintegrated into dust. I soon got close enough to Eggman to speak with him, however I was not close enough to destroy his machine, nor harm him.

"Ah, hello my spiny friend." He tapped his fingers, his voice held curiosity.

"Hello, Eggman. I suggest you leave or I'm afraid I'll have to put you in your place." I warned.

"Oh? What place do you speak of?" He questioned, amused.

"Well, there are many places I could put you: hell, in a cell in the most defended prison, or perhaps somewhere a little more cruel…" I studied my surroundings for a brief moment; I destroyed what was left of his robots.

He chuckled, his fingers snapped and a net flew around my barrier and wrapped itself around it. Small lightning-like bolts of electricity came from the contact, then all of a sudden, the barrier collapsed; completely shocked and in disarray I found myself tangled in the rope that tightened around me until moving was rather difficult.

"What the hell is this?!" I growled, trying to break free. I attempted to use my powers, everything failed. "I don't understand why can't I do anything?"

"Cathy!" Shadow ran over looking at Eggman, his eyes were fiery and cold.

"No get away! Get to cover! Don't touch the net, don't get caught in one!" I told him, I tried to reach my knife.

"Now why would I let her go, Shadow?" He seemed amused with all of this.

"… I… If you let her go I'll do whatever you want, just please leave her alone…" Shadow looked down.

"You idiot what are you doing?!" I growled.

"Say quiet." Shadow snapped at me quietly.

"Hmm… I don't know… She's more powerful than you are. I could really conquer the world with her; everyone, no, everything will bow before me!" He laughed manically.

I reached my knife with a great deal of struggle. I tried to cut along the rope and felt extreme pain from the net as I did so. I yelped and closed my eyes tightly, the net gripping tighter. I felt a few tendrils brush against my skin; to my horror, I realized that the net was a living creature.

"Sh-Shadow! Get this thing off me get it off get it off get it off! Shoot it, kill it!" I panicked and felt fear for the first time in a long time.

"Kill it…?" He looked at the net carefully, his eyes widening, "What in the hell…? Doctor, get it to let go of her!" He shouted at him, "Now!"

I looked over and saw a strange alien similar in some ways to Black Doom come from the shadows. "Shadow The Hedgehog… I am sorry but I cannot allow it. I am Nurki. This man was kind enough to bring you to us, and this man shall have her as his reward. I am a species cousin to your bloodline. I was told that you have committed the highest treason and murder capable of in our rules." He explained. "Additionally, do not worry, unlike your more savage bloodline, we survive off of energy more like a parasite. We do not harm our… 'hosts'. Your friend will be fine once my little pet is removed; she should have full control and capabilities tomorrow evening or the day after anywhere from early morning to noon on this planet. If he were to be removed later, the time would obviously have extended to some degree. Now, for a more pressing matter, we are here to take you and trial you for the crimes you have committed. Please, come quietly, let's not make anything worse than it has to be. If you don't come quietly, I will not ensure that this man stops his assault on this building."

His ears flattened against his head, his head lowered; he slowly moved towards Nurki and accepted arrest. Some other similar looking creatures came and took Shadow away. Nurki walked over and picked me up; I glared at him, my eyes filled with complete detest for him.

"I'm sorry young one." In a flash of Chaos Control, Nurki, Eggman, and I were all in Eggman's base. "Doctor Eggman, as long as we are here, while we are doing Shadow's trials, you may use my pet as you please. It does drain energy from its hosts, but it doesn't use all of it at once, there is a 'storage' area it uses. Now, you can tap into this storage and gather pure Chaos Energy from it, if that is what you wish, as well as keeping her under control. Her power is great, it would be unwise to not keep it under control, or surveillance." He put me down in one of Eggman's cells. He locked it up before speaking once more, "With that, I will take my leave. Enjoy your reward." He waved, walking a little distance before disappearing in Chaos Control.

I watched as the net pulled back and formed into a bracelet that held firmly onto my left wrist. I tried to pull it off but it just caused a pinch of pain so I ceased immediately. Eggman began working for a little while before hooking up a weird system to the odd alien creature in order to access its storage area and collect the energy it had received from me. Once Eggman left I quickly pulled out my knife once more; I knew it was not a great idea but I tried to cut the strange creature off. Each time I tried pain radiated through me, and each time I had to take a few minutes breather.

A sick thought crossed my mind; if I cut off my arm the creature attached to it wouldn't be sucking away my energy. All I have to do is escape before it reattaches. Desperately, I held my knife approximately a foot above my arm as it rested against the cell bars; I shook at the thought, but I squeezed my eyes closed and went to begin cutting off my arm. I felt my arm stop and pull away, as if I had no control over it, pain exploded throughout my body; I cried out and collapsed gasping for breath. I dropped my knife curling up, hot tears began running down my face. Please just get off Please, don't hurt or take away Shadow I laid there for an indeterminate amount of time.

I heard footsteps slowly approach my cage. I heard the door open and someone walk in, "Cathy… Please tell me you're awake…" I heard Shadow's voice murmur softly.

"Shadow!" I sat up quickly and hugged him extremely tightly. He hugged back, his fingers gripping onto me tightly; I gripped onto him as well, not wanting to let go. "Please don't leave!"

"I don't want to leave… I only have a few minutes to be here… I need you at the trial, and I need Rouge and Omega, along with some others from G.U.N." He pulled back a little and looked into my eyes. "You've been crying…"

I looked him over quickly and noticed the same strange creature wrapped around his wrist area. "You have that thing attached to you too?" I shuddered.

"Yeah…" He sighed. "Cathy… Once the trial is over how about we go away somewhere far away… Somewhere hidden, somewhere no one can find us… Just for a little while."

I smiles and hugged him tightly, "I'd love that…" I nuzzled him lovingly.

"Shadow, it's time." I heard Nurki state.

"No please just a little longer…" I held onto Shadow tighter.

"Hey it's okay… you have to be at my trial remember, so we won't be far apart." He stroked my head gently.

"Stupid alien, if you harm him, kill him, or anything, I promise you I will get free, I will hunt you downand I will kill you along with your species. Do you understand me, Nurki?" I growled lowly, my words were filled with detest.

"By chance are you the one who Black Doom took a disliking to aboard ARK?" Nurki asked.

"Yes, what about it?" I spat.

"You have a rather large hatred is all, I figured there must have been more to make you feel that anger and hate than just the recent events may have caused." He motioned for us to get up.

Shadow slowly stood, helping me to my feet. I picked up my knife putting it in its sheath before holding onto Shadow's hand and following Nurki to where the trial's whereabouts. It was located not too far from G.U.N.'s base. I gripped onto Shadow's hand tighter; examining my surroundings, I noticed there were quite a few other aliens that were clearly under Nurki's ranks. I looked around a little more and saw Omega, Rouge, and a small group of humans sitting together.

I looked at Shadow just before he looked at me, "Go join Rouge and Omega, okay? I'll be fine." He slowly slipped his hand from mind taking his place.

I slowly went and joined Rouge and Omega as he told me to. I curled up in a chair next to Rouge. She glimpsed at me for a moment then looked to Shadow. The trial began; it was boring, just stating facts and things from the past such as when Black Doom tried to destroy the world for food, when Shadow murdered Black Doom, and destroyed what he thought was all of his bloodline. He then spoke of his G.U.N. mission to destroy the meteor heading towards Mobius and the events that happened there. Rouge, Omega, and the small group of humans added their sides of the story as to what had happened.

"Cathy, do you have anything to say?" Nurki asked me.

I looked over at him, my face portrayed boredom. "I think this is a waste of time. Shadow may have killed Black Doom and most of the… 'colony' on the Black Comet, but what he did was right. There were probably just fewer than seven billion people on that planet, so what if he had to kill one thousand flesh-eating aliens? He saved more lives than he killed, especially in the long run. They would not have stopped there, with the humans, they would have kept searching for more civilizations in which they could devour to gain nutrients. Survival of the fittest, in those scenarios Shadow, humans, Mobians, whomever… they turned out to be more worthy of living. Such is the way of nature."

"So you find him not guilty?" He asked.

I sighed, "No, I'm saying he did it, but he shouldn't be thrown in jail or anything. He's not a psychopath, he's a protector. You may not see it that way since those aliens had a vague bloodline with you, but when it really comes down to it, you should be glad they are dead. You won't have any 'food shortages' since everyone will be alive. You could take energy from this world until everyone dies out from natural causes, or the sun exploding. Black Doom's bloodline death means your survival. You have more civilizations to invade than you would have, than you did all thanks to Shadow, actually."

"You're sick." He sighed.

"No, nature is. If nature was supposed to be gentle, beautiful, and lawful then it would have been. It's not: it's sick, twisted, demented; whoever triumphs whether or not it was foul play, they will survive and the weak will die. That's all there is to it. Oh, and I would like to add that Shadow should be trialed by human laws since he is of Earth, or Mobius, however you want to look at it, and not of… whatever the hell you things are." I tapped my foot.

"We are getting off topic." He growled.

"Not exactly." I argued.

"Jury, discuss the trial, come back once you have an answer." He ordered the aliens standing not too far from us.

They left my seat and I went over to Shadow, hugging him tightly. "Hey…" I nuzzled him softly.

"You really do speak your mind now… So unlike before…" He held me closely, pulling me into his lap. "Everything is going to be okay…" He stroked my quills, brushing them out of my face.

"Do you really think so?" I asked him, snuggling up against him.

"If something goes wrong I promise I will make it right, okay?" He asked, stroking my cheek.

"Okay." I ran my hand through his chest fur, a light blush formed on his cheeks. I smiled and kissed him gently.

He kisses back for a few moments before breaking off and holding my hand, his arm wrapped around me. He looked up seeing Rouge. "Since when did the two of you become love birds."

"Shortly after Shadow was created I suppose. However, his memory was… 'modified' by Black Doom so he didn't remember me. I died soon after, but I'm alive now, somehow… I don't know how, and I'm still missing some memories. That's a different thing though. Once Shadow and I both remembered our pasts, we hooked up again… I'm happy to have him back." I explained and held a little tighter onto Shadow.

Shadow smiled and nuzzled my neck before speaking, his lips slightly brushing up against my skin causing shivers to run down my spine; "I'm happy to have you back too you know. So please, don't do anything too rash. I'll get you away from Eggman as soon as I can. Rouge, you and Omega, please, if something happens and I can't do anything to save her, do it for me."

"I will but what about you? We are not going to leave you locked up somewhere, or worse, killed." She told him flat out, "So if we have to save your ass first then we are going to get you first, then we can all go save her from Egg-head."

"B-" Shadow began I covered his mouth.

"If you get killed… I… I feel like my sense of living would be lost, so… If it means life or death, you're going to take the life option no matter what, okay? So if it means they have to save you first, they are going to do it first." This whole conversation was at a volume level in which Nurki could not hear.

"The jury is in." One of the members of the alien race spoke out.

"We find Shadow guilty, however we will not charge him; he was under human rule at all times, and he was also never aware of our species rules." Another member spoke.

I smiled, and nuzzled Shadow, "You were right." I happily cried out.

"I told you everything would be okay. Did you doubt me?" He asked.

"Maybe a little bit…" I muttered apologetically.

"Well… this trail is dismissed. Shadow, we will leave, however, one day we may return." He looked at the two of us then came over. "Young one, I need to return you to that man now and I will need my 'pets' back." He stroked the strange creatures and they just folded off falling into his hands gently. I rubbed my wrist and examined it. Three miniscule holes were the only evidence of the creature's presence. He grabbed my hand gently and Chaos Controlled us to my cell then disappeared without another word. I looked around, locked in a cell, alone; I examined the door trying to see if I could pick the lock.

"Shadow… Please don't make me wait too long…" I sighed softly wondering what would happen if I picked the lock. I looked up and noticed some wires connected to the cell. I followed them with my eyes finding an alarm system. I slowly slid down to the floor and waited, knowing my Chaos Energy was not at a level in which I could use.

My ear flicked as someone came into the room. I curled up a little more, my eyes closed. I heard them stop at me cell door and open it, "Cath?" I heard Shadow whisper.

I looked back at him tiredly, "Hey little brother…" I slowly got to my feet. I was hugged instantly. "Mph…" I hugged back, "Shaddie snugglie…" I yawned.

"You're cute when you're tired." He smiled. I blushed, his arms picking me up and holding me in bridal style. He carried me out of the base with ease, there were no signs of robots and there were no signs of Eggman either.

"Shaddie… Where is Eggy?" I nuzzled his neck lightly.

"I don't know but he left with his robots not too long ago which meant I had a huge opening to come get you." He kissed my forehead.

I smiled, "So where are we going to go…" I asked.

"I'm not sure yet. Is there anywhere in particular you always wanted to visit?" He was leading us back to G.U.N.

"New Zealand, but that is also on Earth… So we could go there or find the Mobius' equivalent to it." I looked up at the dark, cloud-filled sky.

"Okay." He replied simply, soon entering the base of G.U.N.

"Cathy, Shadow, in my office." Abraham appeared to be waiting for us.

I whined, "Oh shut up and leave us alone." Shadow chuckled softly.

"I really shouldn't have taught you to be like that…" He sighed, "Either way we still need to discuss things." He lead us to his office, Shadow followed, I, still in his arms.

Shadow sat down gently, refusing to let go of me. "What is this about?" He asked calmly.

"I was watching the trail and I couldn't help but notice you two having a relationship. So whatever this is, it's obviously not supposed to happen in a work place." He sat down.

"Oh big deal, you can take your rules and shove them up your ass." I growled lowly. "Neither of us is quitting, and neither of us is terminating the relationship. Deal with it old man."

"Stop talking to your superior like that." He was starting to be fed up.

"Then shut up and leave us alone." My tail flicked getting a little aggressive.

"You're lucky I can't fire you." He held his head.

I stuck my tongue out at him then clung onto Shadow. "By the way, Shadow and I are going on vacation. I don't know when we will be back or whatever but we are disappearing for a bit." I notified him.

"Fine whatever; just try to not jeopardize anything over your relationship." He dismissed us.

"I'm aware." Shadow stated, standing he brought us to my room at G.U.N.

He gently laid me down on the bed, and then he lay next to me. I snuggled and closed my eyes, feeling the sheets wrap over me. A small smile appeared on my face, a kiss on the forehead came directly after.

"Goodnight, my love." I heard Shadow whisper softly. It was the last thing I heard before falling into slumber.

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