Puzzle Pieces

Chapter Five

I opened my eyes; I noticed Shadow was still asleep. Smiling some, I kissed his forehead and snuggled a little closer to his body. I closed my eyes once more and relaxed, enjoying the warmth of the bed. Not too long later I pulled away a little bit and snapped my fingers to see if I could get a little flame; it flickered for a brief moment. My Chaos Energy is still very low

"Everything okay…?" I heard Shadow murmur and pull me close, embracing me tightly.

"My Chaos Energy is still really low…" I sighed and burrowed my face into his chest.

"Mine isn't in great shape either, but… compared to mine, I feel like your energy is nearly depleted." He stroked my quills. "Just give it some more time. We could always go see Faker and get an Emerald from him, see if it helps?"

"Okay… I wouldn't mind that. We can do that later, I want to lie here for a little while longer with you… it feels nice." I nuzzled him gently.

"Okay." He smiled softly, his hand continued to stroke my quills.

I slowly grasped his hand that was not stroking me; I held it in mine, our fingers between the others. I yawned a little and kissed along his collarbone; he shivered slightly and held onto my body tightly, and closely. I licked his neck and sucked a little before sinking my fangs into his vulnerable neck. I heard a small grunt come out of him, his grip tightening. I began drinking his blood, indulging in his flavour.

"T-take it easy…" He groaned a little.

I tried to become gentler as I drank his blood; he closed his eyes and endured. I stopped when his grip began to weaken; licking his wound closed, I looked to his face to see if he was okay. He opened his eyes and then felt where I had bitten.

"Are you okay?" I asked him, my voice sounding innocent.

He gave a little nod and wrapped his arms around me, "So why aren't I a vampire? Can you even turn people?"

"I can turn them if I want to… I just never want to, and I especially don't want you to ever change." I stroked his cheek then kissed him.

He kissed back for a few brief moments, and then broke off. "What do you want to do that you have never done?"

"That's an odd question coming from you… Umm… Hmm…" I began thinking. He chuckled softly and kissed my forehead. "Camping I guess… Like real out in the middle of nowhere camping. No cabins or anything, just wilderness."

"That sounds nice… Maybe we could do that while we are on vacation in New Zealand. Hike a little, explore a little, enjoy the views… We could do anything we wanted." He started playing with a small section of my quills. "Although, nothing will surpass your beauty…"

I blush a dark tomato red, and instantly hid my face. He placed his palm against my cheek and then gently slid it underneath by chin, his fingers pushing up so I would look at him. I only felt myself fluster more. "Wh-what are you doing?"

"Enjoying you blushing." I pulled away and hid my face in his chest fur. "You are very cute, Cathy." I felt my heart racing, and I began feeling timid.

"W-well ah… We should go see S-Sonic for those Emeralds n-now." I stuttered some, slipping out of bed; I undressed from the clothes I slept in and began looking for fresh ones.

"… You have so many scars… You were hurt a lot…" He slowly walked over and ran his finger down the middle of my back to my side, it just starting to wrap around my body. "What are they all from?"

I thought for a moment, "You know… I'm not sure I never bothered keeping track. I think the one you just touched may have been from some hunk of metal like from an exploding helicopter or some other vehicle… I think it was when Abraham sent me out into the general foot-soldiers area. I don't remember much of it. I came straight out of training into the field, first day I got that. The boys didn't think I was gonna make it. I went back into the field though once I was healed up enough. There was a younger guy there, probably just out of high school, still in his teens. He acted out when the commander told him not to, he put himself in danger, I tried to save him, I shouldn't have bothered… All it got me was a bullet to the head." I reached up and touched the back of my head where it had exited. "Only good it brought me was the knowledge of knowing I cannot die. I guess whatever gap there is between me dying on ARK and me being… resurrected, there would have been some slight modifications I probably did to myself."

"You're too careless on missions." He hugged me from behind. I looked at us in the mirror that was placed in front of us.

"Yeah… Part of it is because I know I can't die… When I first started I honestly felt lost, had no idea what to do. The weird motion commands people give confused me more than helped me. I like working at my own pace, by myself. I feel more gathered and focused, like I know what I'm doing and no matter what happens I can just roll with it and get things done." I slowly turned around in his arms and kissed his cheek. "You know you have quite a few scars yourself."

"I know." He replied, his voice whispery.

I gently pulled his arms from around me and began getting dressed. Once I was ready I grabbed Shadow's hand firmly, "You good to go?" I asked.

He nodded, "I'll take one of G.U.N.'s Jeeps. Do you know how to drive?"

"It's actually one of the things I never bothered with… Come to think of it, I don't know how old this body is…"

"You still are missing quite a few memories, aren't you… even after ARK?" He asked

"Yeah… Well I mean there are things and memories floating in my head… just I feel like there's still a gap missing…" I began walking slowly.

"It's okay. Just like everything else, it will come to you, okay?" He reassured.

"Okay…" We were soon where the vehicles were.

I followed Shadow as he picked his Jeep. I hopped in the front seat as he started it up and drove off. I looked out the window the entire time, staring off into space, random thoughts captivating me. I felt something slightly brush up against my hand causing me to flinch away and look towards it. I came to realization it was only Shadow's hand.

"You okay?" He asked. I nodded a little and held his hand.

"I just wasn't really expecting it. My mind was somewhere else." I looked through the front windshield.

"What were you thinking about?" He rubbed his thumb along the side of my hand.

"Just wondering what I can't remember, wondering who I am, or rather what… just stupid things…" I sighed and closed my eyes.

"They aren't stupid." He slowed and turned, quickly stopping. I peeked opened my eyes realizing we were at Sonic's already.

Shadow got out of the Jeep and I followed him, staying close to him. Shadow just opened the front door and let us inside, "Um Shadow…?" I muttered, "Shouldn't we knock?"

He shook his head, "FAKER!" He shouted, I cringed and covered my ears finding it very loud. He glimpsed at me apologetically.

A gush of wind came and Sonic was standing in front of us, "What's up, Shadow?"

"We are taking two of your Chaos Emeralds. Where are they?" His tone was cold.

"Why?" Sonic asked.

"Because we need them." I wandered to where I sensed them.

"For what?" Sonic followed, Shadow tagged along, his arms folded.

"None of your business, Sonic." I soon found them. He had five of them; I grabbed the red one and tossed the green one to Shadow. I accepted the energy that began coursing through me, absorbing small portions through a large amount of time. "That feels nice…"

"Yeah, it does… Let's get going." Shadow grabbed my hand softly.

"Um… Hey what if I need them?" Sonic asked.

"Then ask the Emeralds where to find us, Faker." I stuck my tongue out at him.

"They are safer not in your hands anyway." Shadow grunted, and pulled me along gently, bringing us back out to the Jeep. I kept close to him, holding onto the Emerald tightly.

Shadow opened my door and let me in. I slipped in and put on my seat belt as he pushed the door with enough force to close it. I adjusted my posture a little as Sonic just watched from his front door. Shadow slipped into the driver's side and started the Jeep. He pulled out of the driveway and started driving along the road.

"So where are we going now, exactly?" I asked, pulling my quills back out of my face, and then briefly tried to fix them a little.

"Well we could go to New Zealand now, or we could head back to the base and get a few things before heading out." He glimpsed over to me for a moment.

"Get a few things I guess… Yeah we should prepare for a bit of camping and whatnot." I smiled a little; thoughts of fishing flooded my mind. "I wanna go fishing!" I chirped happily.

He chuckled gently, "Well back to the base it is." He made the nearest turn and continued driving. I adjusted my posture and stared out the window spacing out.

"Cat, we are here." Shadow whispered in my ear softly before biting it, snapping me out of my daydream.

I whined, "Why did you bite my ear?" I pulled it away and rubbed it.

"I felt like it… I didn't hurt you did I?" I looked at him and shook my head. "Good… I don't want to hurt you." I slipped out of the Jeep, he followed suit.

"I'll go get a few things then meet up with you, okay?" Shadow started heading off in a different direction.

"Okay." I went to my room and swung open the closet doors quickly.

I'm going to need a good bag. I scanned the closet quickly spotting a huge military, heavy-duty backpack. Perfect.

Grabbing the backpack I went into my drawers and took any first aid kit, knives, and survival packets I could find, followed by any fire starting tools I had. I then remembered my blue tarp and tent and found my way back to my closet, trying to dig them out. After tossing a pile of junk into the middle of the room, leaving a mound of mess, I slipped them into my backpack with ease. Retrieving an emergency poncho, a military sleeping bag along with an emergency sleeping bag, I found myself asking; is there anything else?I sighed and placed my hands on my hips for a moment before clueing in. Water, things for cooking, cotton, and some sort of tinder and kindling, just in case. I scrimmaged around my room for what I was looking for then organized it in my backpack. Tapping my foot and mindlessly biting my lip, I questioned if it was enough. I even had my paracord grenade and bracelet in which I had on me at all times.

My ear flicked, a knocking form the door scattered my thoughts. "Come in?"

Shadow opened the door and walked in carrying some fishing gear. "So I'm not sure what kind of fish they have but I brought several different lures and baits. One of them should work right?" He looked at my bag.

"Okay!" I cheered and grabbed my handgun, rifle, and bow. "We can hunt while we are there too!" My tail had begun to wag.

A small smile crossed him, "As you wish." He walked over to me and kissed my forehead. "However, you are aware that you cannot hunt with a pistol right?"

"Of course I know! That's just for protection, Shaddie." I stuck my tongue out at him.

"Well you don't need it. I'll protect you… No matter what." He gently nuzzled my neck sending shivers through my spine.

Smiling, I replied, "Well maybe I want to protect you too. Besides, it's more of a "rather have it and not need it then to not have and need" sort of thing." I grabbed my energy sword as well.

"Fine. Please do be careful though." He looked into my eyes and gently brushed my quills aside.

"I'll try to be. I tend to be a bit accident prone, so I won't make you any promises." I stared back into his crimson eyes.

"So now I have to protect you from yourself huh?" He dropped the fishing gear and swooped me into his arms. I felt my face go beat red, my hands quickly grabbing onto whatever part of him I could. "That can easily be arranged."

"Put me down. I don't need to be protected when I have two fists and a spirit to fight and live!" I whined.

"Hmm… Nah. I think I like you right here in my arms." He purred softly.

"Well at least let me finish packing… I'm going to bring food. I'm not sure what else I need…" I sighed softly and rested my head against his fluff. "Garbage bags… Toilet paper… Soap… Um…" I continued to think.

"You really like to be prepared, don't you?" I looked up at him and nodded. He gently set me down and allowed me to finish packing. "Ready?" He asked, once I was done.

I looked around and picked up my stuff. "I guess that's it…?"

"Alright. Let's put this in the Jeep. I'll Chaos Control us and the Jeep over to New Zealand." He picked up the fishing gear and took my rifle case.

We headed out to his Jeep and opened up the trunk. The back seats had been removed, creating a much larger storage space. It was easy to place and organize everything in the back. Soon completed, I looked over to Shadow and took his hand in mine.

"Good to go?" I asked.

"Good to go." He replied. "However," he continued, "what part of New Zealand; North Island or the south one?" He asked.

"The north one is warmer, so that one." It was a no-brainer.

Within a few moments, Shadow had conducted Chaos Control and the environment changed entirely. There was some foliage in which I was not familiar with; there was massive areas of rugged terrain, perfect for sheep and the like. It was beautiful; water was off in the distance, sparkling in the sun. It was as if we were on another planet, another world.

"Wow…" My mouth gaped open slightly for a few moments, taking in the serenity.

"Pick a spot, any spot, and we will make it out little nest. I assume you brought a tent?" He reached for my bag and opened it.

"Of course." I began scouting for a good camping area.

"Four person tent?" He examined it, trying to make out the faded text.

"Yes." I confirmed. "I've always enjoyed having lots of room in my tents. Since it was always just me, a four person tent was perfect for me, and my gear."

He slipped it out of my bag and then closed it up. He laid down the rather small bag the tent resided in down in the back of the Jeep. "So, just tell me where you want the spot to be and I'll move the jeep on over."

I nodded and walked to the more wooded area. After several minutes of nitpicking and visualizing, I picked out the perfect spot. "Right here." I stood in the middle of the area.

Shadow hopped in the Jeep, gently rolled it over to me, and parked right next to the area. He cut the engine and slipped out. I retrieved my tent and the two of us set up camp.

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