© Beloved Doll
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At the school`s football field, the ground is pretty open with the grass. There are a few basic white lines painted in the grass for the markers. Goal markers are on opposite ends of the field. In addition, on one side of the field are rows and rows of bleachers. Sonic, along with Silver, Blaze, Espio and Rouge, are sitting on the bleachers. They`re watching Knuckles, Mighty, Vector and Big on the the field. With the exception of Amy, Maria and Shadow being absent, the others aren`t here due to that they aren`t interested in football very much. The children, Cream and Tails, are going to be at the after school daycare until they are picked up.
On the field, the team has been split in half for the practices. What`s unfortunate is that Storm and Bark are on the opposite side as Knuckles and the others. The fact that the two gangs are split this way seems to only be more fuel for the opposition for the two sides. Then again, it`s just as well as it would seem that the sides would not be able to call a truce.
On the bleachers, Rouge is speaking to the others that she is sitting with,"I dug up some information on Maria, though I`m not done doing the research. There is a lot of material to go through as Gerald has wrote a lot about the girl."
Silver perks up his curiosity,"Gerald?"
"Oh sorry, you weren`t around at the time. Gerald Robotnik, Eggman`s grandfather."
"What? Eggman and Maria are related?"
Espio, sitting with his arms crossed as usual, turns to Rouge,"If they`re related, then we have to watch ourselves with her."
Shadow arrives at the field. He stops beside the bleachers and his eyes immediately scan the area. He knows they`re here, they always are. It`s just a matter of finding out where they are. All he needs is that green outfit to point them out.
As expected, Jet and his crew are here on the field to watch their comrades practice. They are on the ground level. Jet is standing, one hand on his hip. Wave is sitting on the bottom row of bleachers beside Jet. Shade is seated next to her, knowing they will be here a while and she isn`t up for standing idly for an extensive period of time. Bean is sitting, too, with poor posture at that. The four of them seem content in some sort of discussion, acting as though nothing had happened. Probably their topic is about their gear or an upcoming race.
Spotting them, Shadow beelines for Jet. Rouge is the one who notices this. She cuts herself off mid-sentence,"Sonic, Shadow`s gunning for Jet!"
On alert, Sonic looks down to where Jet is and sees Shadow heading straight for him. Jet doesn`t see it coming.
From behind, Shadow executes his own football player-like tackle to Jet. Jet falls face down on the ground and he, with Shadow, skid along the grass. Jet`s companions are in shock over this sudden attack. Sensing that this will yield nothing but trouble, Sonic begins to descend the bleachers to try and break things up. Silver, Espio and Rouge come down as well though not as quickly as Sonic. Blaze remains behind to keep an eye on things and will jump in if she needs to.
Being caught so off guard and having the wind knocked out of him from such a tackle, Jet is at a disadvantage. Their skidding comes to a stop and already Shadow is on top which would just emphasize that he means business. Having Jet pinned to the ground so early in the fight is a rarity so Shadow is going to take full advantage of this. He doesn`t speak a word, he doesn`t have to. Shadow feels that Jet is smart enough to know the reason behind this attack. Curling his hand into a fist, Shadow begins his physical attack on Jet. Over and over Shadow pounds his fist down on the back of Jet`s head.
This is short lived though. Wave is the first of the Babylonian side to come onto the scene to assist Jet. Knowing full well that Shadow can overpower her in a heartbeat if he so desired, Wave decides to go as full out as she can. She whips out her wrench that she always keeps with herself and whacks Shadow with it as though the wrench was a baseball bat. This does knock Shadow off Jet which would give Jet a chance to recollect himself and not be in such a bad position. Shadow recovers him and heads right back for Jet. Jet`s the leader of the Babylonian group, so anything they collectively do together he is responsible for.
This attack has caught the attention of the football players on the field as well. Those of who are part of either the Sonic Gang or the Babylonians abandon their game and rush to the scene.
Getting himself back on his feet, Jet is now able to fight back. He whips himself around and throws a punch out. Just in time. A moment later and Shadow would have been on him again. Jet`s punch lands on Shadow`s lower jaw and stalls him for a second. The punch makes Shadow step back a couple of steps but this doesn`t make him stop. He couldn`t care less about what damage he takes on, he`s defending Maria`s honour. Shadow throws forth both hands and grasps Jet`s throat, intending to strangle him to death. Jet squawks upon being grabbed and tries to get Shadow`s hands off of him.
All of this occurring within seconds, the two gang`s comrades leap onto the scene when Shadow begins to choke Jet. The first thing Sonic does is throw himself into Shadow. Yes. Shadow. It separates Shadow from Jet, knocking the two of them to the ground back from one another. Shadow gets right back up and begins to head for Jet yet again. Jet is ready for him this time and shows that he`s willing to fight Shadow.
But before things could go any further, Knuckles and Mighty jump in on Shadow, each one taking one of Shadow`s arms. They use their full strength to hold Shadow back from Jet, who isn`t happy about there being an intervention. He`s still determined to punish Jet. Silver jumps in and helps Mighty and Knuckles hold Shadow back. Standing between Shadow and Jet, Sonic tries to settle things,"All right, guys, that`s enough."
The back of his head is in some major pain from the beating. Jet has his hand back there, rubbing where Shadow had punched him,"Hey, he started it first!"
Sonic opens his mouth to give a response to Jet but he is cut off by Shadow,"You started it the moment you touched her!"
Sonic looks to Shadow,"Shado-"
Jet interrupts Sonic this time,"I don`t know what you`re talking about!"
"Yes you do!"
Shadow stops his struggling with the people who are holding him back upon hearing his name being called by the sweet-voiced girl. He turns his head to the side and sees Amy and Maria entering the field. Maria is leaning on Amy for support, in which this was the only way Amy could think of to get Maria here as quickly as possible. The both of them look quite concerned for what has happened as they hadn`t actually seen what took place.
With Shadow ceasing his struggling, Knuckles, Mighty and Silver release him. None of this quells Jet`s anger though,"You trying to start a fight with us?!"
Sonic crosses his arms,"Oh knock it off, Jet."
Sonic turns back to his group of comrades as they all begin to walk away from Jet and his crew. Blaze comes down from the bleachers to join everyone. They all seem relieved that nothing really bad came as a result of the unplanned attack. But Jet still isn`t happy with how things have turned out. He watches the Sonic Gang for a few more moments.
After assisting Maria to joining up with the group, Amy releases her and immediately clings to Sonic. He sighs while Amy hugs the life out of him. Knuckles, Mighty, Big and Vector return to the game while Storm and Bark also return to the game.
Opposite to Sonic and Amy`s reunion, Shadow and Maria`s is much more calm and in control; they give each other a hug with Maria hugging Shadow around his neck and Shadow hugs her around her shoulders. But Maria hasn`t let herself forget about Shadow`s sudden attack. He`s only done this a couple of times on the Arc but she managed to make him stop. What happened that made him that way again? Shadow is all too aware of this. It`s part of the ways he had changed because of what happened to her. He had worried about exactly how much he had changed and how Maria would feel about the changes. That look on her face he had seen shows that she was worried about him, worried about what he had become in her absence.
While things are seeming to cool down, Amy suddenly releases Sonic and marches up to Shadow. She throws her hands on her hips and loudly, even bravely, scolds him,"What`s wrong with you, Shadow?!"
Everyone in the group begin to get nervous with Amy stepping up to Shadow like this. Even Shadow seems surprised at Amy. Amy continues while waving her index finger to Shadow like she were lecturing a child,"You normally don`t act like that! You need to stop and think about what you`re doing before you take off and leave poor Maria behind!"
Then she turns to Sonic,"While I`m thinking about it, same goes for you, Sonic!"
Sonic changes his expression, unbelieving that Amy has switched gears and is now scolding him,"Huh? What`d I do?"
That evening, at the apartment building Shadow and Maria are living at, one of the other tenants leaves her apartment. In her hands she carries what looks to be a plate of chocolate chip cookies. She hums happily to herself as she crosses down the hallway. She is a friendly sort of person and wants to greet her new neighbours who have just moved in. There hasn`t been a chance up until now for her to meet them so she is taking the opportunity now and to welcome them to the neighbourhood.
This neighbourhood that this apartment lies in is Station Square. It`s not the safest area, like the one that Cream and Vanilla reside in. But it isn`t the most dangerous either. Murders and felony crimes are unheard of but it isn`t crime-free. It`s a decent enough area that Shadow felt was safe enough to let Maria live in it.
The woman stops at the door and rings the bell. Yes, this apartment building has doorbells for each apartment. While she waits for the people inside to answer, the woman takes a moment to straighten out her dress. When she`s done straightening her dress, the door finally opens. She lifts up the plate of cookies and gives a big smile, about to verbalize a welcome to the new people. She freezes when she sees who answers the door.
Shadow is standing in the doorway with one hand on the doorknob. The door opens inward so he is half behind the door. With his usual emotionless expression, he looks down at the woman silently. He still has on his pants, hover shoes, inhibitor rings and accessories, but he has long since shed his coat, gloves and white button shirt. The red chaos emerald he keeps chained to his belt loop is quite visible now. After few moments later of this silence, Maria makes her presence known.
With total silence between the Shadow and the visiting woman, Maria steps out from hiding behind Shadow (being that she was totally hidden from visibility behind him). She is curious as to what`s going on. Like Shadow, she looks like she is getting ready for bed. Her only piece of clothing is Shadow`s white button shirt. It`s big on her, the sleeves completely go over her fingers and the bottom of the shirt goes down a good bit on her thighs well enough to conceal all her intimate parts. It will have to do for now. Shadow had forgotten about getting her night clothes and she can`t sleep in her day clothes. So he lends her his shirt to use. Maria had removed her headband a while ago. She has her arms wrapped around Shadow`s arm, the one that isn`t attached to the hand that`s on the doorknob.
When the woman notices Maria, her mouth drops open a little. Maria makes herself look so innocent, as pure as a newborn baby, especially standing besides Shadow, who looks like he could be on "Earth`s Most Wanted." She may even recognize Maria from the news when they spoke of her pod being discovered and how they were unfreezing her.
The plate of cookies drop from the woman`s hands and she turns around, beelining back to her apartment in a hurry. The door slams behind her when she enters her own apartment.
Shadow huffs haughtily at the woman`s odd behaviour and begins to close the door. Maria stops him from closing the door, however. She crouches down and picks up the plate of cookies. There is clear wrapping around the cookies and plate so nothing was lost when they dropped. She looks at the plate which also has a greeting card on it that mentions a welcoming to a new home. Maria looks at Shadow when she notices the card.