"I suggest you rest, Rose. Pacing around will not help yourself at all. Everything will be alright, I can assure you."
Amy just couldn't sit still whenever she was anxious like this. She had heard about the report of Infinite's appearance and began to panic about what he might do once he finds them. The pink hedgehog wasn't going to take chances of risking their lives by lowering her guard so as the leader of the Resistance, she had taken it upon herself to ensure the safety of all those around her.
Shadow meanwhile was growing concerned for her. She looked so tired, so exhausted from the responsibilities of being a leader, something he knew too well himself when he was working with G.U.N. for a short period of time.
He soon quit when he saw the extent of what they had done to his family. The Commander understood fully, apologising for what had happened. Shadow knew it wasn't exactly the current Commander's fault for now the previous Commander ran things. It was just unlucky at how he was in the firing line for the things he didn't ever do.
Something which haunted Shadow. He had done the same thing to Sonic in the past, and that was a deep regret that he had in his heart. He knew at the time he was doing what he believed was the right thing to do but after he had learnt of Maria's true wish, he realised he had made a huge mistake.
He had never forgiven himself for it. Even to this day. He felt he didn't deserve forgiveness. He didn't deserve to be forgiven for how he almost destroyed Sonic's life and almost killing him in space. He didn't realise how he would have removed this world's hero from his selfish behaviour.
It was why he had made a silent promise to protect Sonic. Sure, they still held their rivalry but in the end, it was Sonic's kindness and friendship how he began to felt he could truly move on from the past.
And now, he wanted to do the same for Sonic. He helped to create this mess, and he was going to help fix it. Help fix everybody from their nightmares.
If only he had never taunted Infinite. Killed his friends. Perhaps, all of this would have never happened. In a way, Shadow blamed himself for everything that had gone on. When he heard Sonic had been kidnapped, and then tortured, it made his blood boil beyond words.
He failed to protect him then when he didn't do a thing wrong. Shadow was not going to make the same mistake twice.
"Rose, rest. You are not going to be strong for the team if you do not help yourself. They look up to you. They need you."
Amy sighed. "I know, I know -- It's just -- Damn it, I feel like I should be doing something other than just standing around here!"
"What do you mean? Are you suggesting you know how to handle the situation? Straight off the bat without logical thinking?"
Amy snapped her head towards the ebony hedgehog, who was sat in his chair with his legs crossed over the table and arms folded. Curse Shadow for speaking the truth. He was smarter than what he let on.
"Sh--! Yes, of course I know what to do!"
Shadow's eyebrow rose. "Tell me, then. Explain your plan to me. Starting from the beginning to the end."
He received blinking from the other hedgehog, then she opened her mouth with a finger raised. She tried to say something, anything, to shut his smart mouth up, to let Shadow see how she was in control of everything, that she totally had it all under control.
She totally did. Honestly, she did! She knew exactly what to do!
Oh, who was she kidding? She didn't have a darn clue. She sighed, more heavy this time, sinking into the nearest chair by Shadow.
"Okay, you're right. I don't know, I just don't know, okay? I'm struggling."
For the pink hedgehog to admit something was wrong was unusual to the ebony's ears. He had always seen her as this strong leader with unstoppable force and high strength, mentally and physically, so to hear this was saddening to his heart.
"I'm trying, okay?"
"It's hard, I'm really trying."
"I know you are, Rose."
"I don't understand! Nothing should be wrong with me! I'm the leader, the face of the Resistance! I should be the one who knows what to do, the one they can all turn to!"
"I helped to build the Resistance! I helped to establish it! I helped everybody find a role in this team! I wanted to ensure everyone would continue holding on to hope when Sonic was kidnapped!"
"Rose, hold on--"
"I hate myself for letting myself become weak! I need to be stronger! I wasn't the one who was badly affected! I should be accounted for Gadget's lost leg!"
Amy gasped at the raised tone from her friend. Then silence hung in the air, and the two hedgehogs stared at each other for a few moments. Shadow's expression softened, sad over how she was mentally suffering inside and only now she had allowed a small part of it be hinted out in the open.
Sighing, Shadow stood up from his chair and walked over to her. He knew what it was like to be suffering mentally inside and he never ever wished it on one of his friends, especially one who he felt eternally grateful to.
Amy saved him back when he was still swearing revenge on the humans on the ARK. He had never forgotten how he was wrong and how he had been so selfish, so misled by his own anger.
Never again would he ever hurt another in such a level. Never again. Although, he would swear revenge for his loved ones, he would never try to start a full on war like before.
No, he wanted to treasure Maria's wish. Make the world a better place for everyone and every living thing. It was what she would've wanted.
He would do it all for her. Over and over again. No matter what.
Out of the blue came a hug for Amy from Shadow. The ebony hedgehog had carefully wrapped his arms around her tiny frame, wanting to show her how she was not alone.
He was going to ensure she was going to get all the support she needed. Like what Sonic needed. Like the others needed. Like with Gadget.
Chaos, he felt awful for the young rookie. He had gone in and lost his leg during a mission. Shadow remembered the screams of agony, the amount of blood Gadget had lost, how pale the wolf became from shock and blood loss.
How Sonic vomited from guilt and anxiety shortly after being him in.
Too much has happened.
"Stop it. Just, stop it. Stop blaming yourself for everything. You did the best you could for everybody out there, and you did the best you could when you offered to be somebody they could vent to."
He squeezed a bit tighter, and he could've sworn he had heard soft sobs from the pink hedgehog in gentle volumes.
"It's okay, Rose. It's okay. Everything will be okay. I promise you. I will take it upon myself to investigate Infinite. I promise."
Perhaps this time, he can correct the wrongs he had done in the past. Be the person he wanted to be for so long, to find the redemption he had sought out for.
He had to do this. For everyone.