Shadow arrived as quickly as he could, having a brief word with Tails before heading up to Sonic’s room, only to find the blue hedgehog had fallen asleep, in the midst of what looked like a nightmare. As uncertain as he was if he was doing the right thing, he approached the bed and hesitated...then sat on the edge and gently touched the shaking hedgehog’s shoulder. He’d had enough bad dreams himself to know better than to jolt him awake. Sonic woke with a gasp of fear, then covered his face with his hands, groaning. “Have you told Tails that you’re not sleeping well?” The signs were all there, and he was certain this wasn’t the first night back at home his sleep had been disturbed. Sonic shook his head no, then rolled over to look away, ashamed.
The striped agent sighed. “Your brother is worried about you, you know. You haven’t made an effort to readjust your eyes to light, and you haven’t gone running since you got home.” The latter being the most alarming when it came to signs of just how poorly the hedgehog beside him was coping. “Listen...” Shadow paused; heart-to-heart talks weren’t his specialty by any means, but seeing the once carefree hero like this made something ache inside of him. “...I know enough about trauma to not buy this ‘I’m fine’ thing you have going. You’re hurting. Badly.” The bruises might be gone, his scratched healed, but some of Sonic’s wounds were clearly just as raw as when he’d pulled him out of the slave brothel on Moebius.
Sonic’s ears tucked further against his skull as Shadow talked, not wanting to answer. Was his pain really that easy to see? Of course it was, it wasn’t as if he’d been trying to hide it over the last few days. He’d only been trying to hide himself. “I...I can’t...forget it, Shadow.” The blue hedgehog finally answered. “Every time I close my eyes...it’s like I’m still there. Chained. Or In that hood. Waiting...” Waiting for the abuse that his body was still expecting to happen. It had been part of his daily life for over a month, and now...now he couldn’t stop waiting for it. Expecting it. With the helpless feeling that it was unavoidable, and there was nothing he could do to save himself. Nothing he could do that would work.
That was...all too understandable for Shadow. There was still a lot of his past he didn’t remember, but ever since he’d been created, pain had been a part of his life. Especially when he’d still been just another experiment in the eyes of GUN and their scientists. But he’d had someone who cared to help him through it; two someones, who knew exactly what it was to experience loss. Now he would be that for Sonic. “Put on your shoes. We’re leaving, even if I have to carry you.” His voice was blunt with his usual stubborn insistence, as Shadow knew there was no way Sonic planned on leaving this room on his own, but there was a softness behind it that surprised the blue hedgehog enough to comply, and take the offered hand.
What he hadn’t expected was to be pulled into the warmth of Shadow’s arms for the chaos control that followed. Not that Sonic objected; there was a strange comfort here, the normally tense and rigid frame of The Ultimate Lifeform was holding him far more gently than he thought the agent was capable of. It felt...good, in a way Sonic couldn’t explain. But he knew it was nothing like how he’d been held while he was still a prisoner, and he almost melted into the relief those strong arms brought. Cautiously he looked out at where he was now, his breath catching at the beauty around him; the lake below that sparkled in the moonlight, the stars above, and the air alight with the lazy fluttering of fireflies.
Shadow had picked this spot for a reason, and it was a place that had often brought him peace when he’d needed to be alone. For some reason, even though in the past he would have felt like having another here with him was a serious violation of his need for privacy. “I know how it feels to loose a part of yourself. You want to forget it happened, but I can tell you now that you never will. That’s not how healing works.” It was a hard truth that made Sonic’s head hang, but it had to be said. “But that Trauma is not who you are, nor does it have to be. It cannot be forgotten, but it can be left behind.” Shadow reached out and touched the hand he wasn’t holding, finally understanding what this feeling was. He cared about Sonic; maybe seeing him suffering was simply what was needed to make him acknowledge that. But he couldn’t bear to see him suffer any longer. “Look, Sonic, at what is all around you. You were kept in the dark so long, you forgot how to look for the light.” It took courage to say what came next. “I care about you, more than I can admit. Let me help you.”
5 months, 2 weeks ago
03 Dec 2018 02:18 CET
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