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(Y/n) sat on her bed for hours trying to get into the secondary realm, stopping only briefly to eat and update Rouge and Blaze on her situation. The bat had been less than pleased while Blaze had worried about both the (a/t) and Tikal's wellbeing.

All she needed was a moment. A moment to see where her guardian was at, a moment to make sure she could even still go to the secondary realm. 

"I can't have just lost the ability," she grumbled, opening her eyes and rubbing her hands down her face. "It's become so easy!" She stood up, deciding that if anyone had any definitive clues, it would be Shadow. Though she'd have to deal with the ghost if she wanted to talk to him. 

"I hate ghosts." 

She exited her room and went to find Blaze, who was working with Rouge to reinforce Omega's armor. The cat looked up as the (a/t) entered the room. "Did you enter the secondary realm?" Blaze asked, setting down what she was doing. 

"No. I was just coming to tell you I'm going with Shadow for a few minutes. See if anything's different. Maybe Tikal just got stuck with him. And maybe I need her to get into the secondary realm." (Y/n) shrugged. 

"Do you want me to accompany you?" Blaze inquired.

"Yes, please. If anything goes south-"

"I will be there to pull you out. Understood. Will you be alright here on your own, Rouge?"

"Just peachy, as always. Have fun out there, hon." 

The pair headed out to Shadow's cell after that, the (a/t) slipping inside with a good luck from the princess. The door had barely closed before the dark hedgehog pounced, bringing them both to floor. 

"No one to protect you now," Shadow hissed, an unnatural grin on his face. "You're all mine." 

"I can defend myself just fine," (Y/n) grunted. "And you're not the only spirit in there." 

"Of course. But Shadow was always one to defend his own glory."

"He already told me. Seems as though you two aren't as connected as you think you are." She hissed through her teeth as his hands began to sting against her arms. She shoved her face into his. "He's stronger than you are. I know he is. And if you can hear me, Shadow, if you really want glory, then show it by showing this ghost that you are in control!" 

"Shadow cares about no one!" the hedgehog shrieked. "It doesn't matter who gets in his way, who falls in battle next to him! So long as he survives." 

"I don't believe that for one second." She closed her eyes, breathing in deep and trying not to focus on the growing pain. "Shadow's immortal, right? Immortality is a burden. You have to live, watch everyone you love die while you go on. If he had the opportunity to die, wouldn't he take it?"

The dark hedgehog hesitated, then shrieked and sprang off of her, grabbing the collar and jerking on it while writhing on the floor. (Y/n) sat up, gripping her wrists. "Shadow, listen to me," she said. "I don't know where Tikal is, and I can't pull you out right now. So, I need you to be strong. I need you to be in control.

The ghost gave one more shriek, the hedgehog curling into a shivering ball before he suddenly went limp. Cautiously, (Y/n) crept closer, jumping back as Shadow's eyes opened and he pushed himself up, still trembling, but no longer attacking her or in any apparent form of distress. 

She knew that, inwardly, he was probably still struggling. 

"That's you, right?" she asked softly. Shadow's eyes flicked over to her and he nodded. "That was...that's really impressive. I'm sorry I had to ask you to do that. Did it...did it hurt?" 

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