Heartbeat

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A/n: Hear ye, hear ye! Real quick announcement: ShiftingStar  is going to be DRAWING the first chapter of Do You Believe in Ghosts? in comic form, which is absolutely amazing, and not only that, but she's drawing the three hedgies in ghost form! Those drawings, when finished, will be posted on each chapter with the Hedgehog's name.

So, get hyped!

And...don't kill me at the end of this chapter.

Shadow had an odd look on his face when (Y/n) entered his cell several days after the incident in said cell. He didn't look like he wanted to dig his claws in and feed, so she closed the door, leaning against it.

"I'm fine," he said before she could ask, though the odd look didn't leave his face.

"You look like you swallowed something, and the fact you jumped to that before I asked implies you're not," she responded, tilting her head. "What's up?"

Shadow's hands lifted, one to his chest, the other to his neck. (Y/n) stepped over to him and got onto her knees, pulling the hand at his neck into her lap and glancing curiously at the one touching his chest. She met his gaze and he blinked slowly.

"No heartbeat," he murmured quietly. "I never knew how important it was to feel that, to know that at least some part of me was at least remotely mortal." He looked down at his hand. "Will we live again?"

"I'm not sure how it's going to work," the (a/t) admitted. "Since you died by such...unnatural means, I think it's certainly possible you'll be returned to your normal state, the way you were before." Shadow lifted his eyes wearily to hers. She sighed. "But...things never will be the same." She lifted her free hand and pulled Shadow's away from his chest. "Either way, Shadow. You will live again."

There was an awkward moment of silence before (Y/n) pulled her hands away, blowing out a breath. "So," she said, pressing her hands to her knees, "you up for another round of meditating?"

That broke the awkward atmosphere as Shadow groaned, dropping his head. "Please, no," he said, pressing one hand to his face. (Y/n) laughed.

"What? You don't like attempting to achieve inner peace?" She opened her hands, grinning cheekily as he peeked up at her. "I'm a great meditating partner. No inner turmoil, here. Pure, remember?" He shook his head. "I can see it, Shadow. That little tiny smile you crack when you're faintly amused. Come on!" She leaned back on her hands, tilting her head up to the ceiling. "I know you want to. You really want to."

"You're getting me all wound up." She pushed herself off her hands, blinking in surprise as Shadow leaned forward to meet her. He lowered his head slightly. "I suppose I'll meditate to wear it off."

"Good," she said, managing to keep her voice neutral. "Lock that ghost up." His mouth quirked upwards wryly as he settled himself across from her, closing his eyes and setting his hands lightly atop his knees. She copied his position, hesitating briefly before closing her eyes.

She needed to connect with Shadow. She knew she hadn't, or assumed she hadn't based on the intense feeling she'd gotten that signified she'd succeeded with Sonic. But Shadow was different, a point Rouge had repeatedly made.

We're...friends, she thought. But maybe he doesn't think that. It probably has to be two way. She scrunched up her face, attempting not to break.

"Shadow?" she finally said, opening her eyes and hugging her knees to her chest. The dark hedgehog cracked one eye open, then shut it again, humming softly. She took that as a go-ahead. "What do you think of me?"

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