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A/n: Pretty sure you all know this book better than I do at this point. There'll be a comment or something in a later chapter that's like, "Oh! I remember this happened in this chapter!" and I'm like...really? Then I go find it and I'm like, ah, yes. That did happen.

(Y/n) awoke the next morning in the basement of the bunker, Rouge and Blaze still passed out next to her. She sat up, rubbing her eyes and stretching. She at least felt well rested, and after a day spent with the two females, she was feeling more like herself.

She stood up, bending over to touch her toes before shuffling into the hallway where Omega was positioned.

"Hey," she said quietly. "If Rouge or Blaze wake up and ask where I am, I went to see Shadow."


"Thanks." She moved away from the former Badnik and started down the hall, trudging up the stairs to the surface and stifling a yawn. She made it to Shadow's cell, unlocking it and pulling the door open enough to slip inside.

"Well, good morning to you, too." She cast Shadow a half-hearted glare and he chuckled softly. "You look like you had a good day yesterday."

"Yeah, I did, actually. Reminded me of the good times before the apocalypse." She stretched her arms above her head. "Did you try doing something nice for yourself again?"


"Shadow." He shrugged. "Well, because you didn't, I'm making you meditate with me." His ears twisted backwards and he opened his mouth just enough to show his fangs. "Hey. Put those away. I'm trying to help you, you stubborn hedgehog."

"I know, I know." Shadow settled onto the floor and crossed his legs, nodding to the spot in front of him. (Y/n) sat down where he'd indicated and rested her hands on her knees, closing her eyes.

While she had enjoyed the 'girls' day', she'd also been trying to come up with ideas on how to get Shadow into the secondary realm. She supposed it wasn't impossible without Tikal, it was just ten times easier, and she'd only ever done it with her guardian present. She hadn't tried very hard to get into the secondary realm ever since Tikal's disappearance, but she believed she could.

Getting Shadow out was a different story, but she was willing and determined to try.

I'm immune, she told herself. At least for a little bit, the ghost can't hurt me. She opened her mind and her spirit, and with not exactly little effort, pulled herself into the secondary realm.

She groaned, shaking her head and rubbing a hand down her face. "It's been a while, hasn't it?" She shook herself off and looked around, her ears falling. Somehow, she'd still hoped that Tikal would be there, her spirit guardian simply not being able to project herself anymore.

Tikal wasn't there.

"Where did you go?" the (a/t) whispered. She hoped at the very least the echidna was somewhere safe.

A low, echoing hiss drew her out of her thoughts and she stepped back as Shadow dug his fingers into the ground beside him, lifting his head and opening his eyes. His gaze locked onto hers, her eyes widening. He then looked down at her still body, baring his teeth.

"Fool," he sneered. "You left yourself entirely vulnerable to me."

"Not quite," she said, moving towards him. Shadow scrambled backwards, snarling as she lifted her hands. (Y/n) paused suddenly, feeling a sort of tugging within her. A warning. She closed her eyes briefly, took a deep breath. "I can do this." She opened her eyes, moving towards Shadow and leaning down, hovering her hand over his.

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