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Did... did I not post this? Oops D:

Uhhh, just read it. It's PG-13 at the very worst. Also, Shadow/Rouge, not something scarring like the last one. I wrote this quite a while ago for Mandy, btw, and if anyone has prompts they'd like to see done, I might give them a shot if the characters are ones I can write. :D;

Wedding Rings
Prompt: Shadow/Rouge, dastardly duo



"Oh, Shadow~?" The voice came accompanied by the click of heeled boots on the hard floor. Shadow chose not to respond. He hated coming into GUN HQ and being tied down at a computer, working on this damned mission report. Writing up the details seemed so pointless. They knew already that he'd successfully played bodyguard for the UF ambassador to China, didn't they? The guy had survived, after all. It's not like him describing the details was in any way necessary. But the sooner he finished it, the sooner he could get out of here and do something useful, and that meant ignoring the bat, who was probably only here to tease him, anyway.

Far from dissuaded, Rouge continued forward, and he bristled at the touch of her hand on his shoulder.

"Could you do me a favor~?"

"I'm busy," he growled.

"Doing what?" She laughed, then leaned languidly against his back, by now practiced at avoiding the quills.

"Does it matter?"

Rouge looked over his shoulder. "Filing a report? That sounds boring. When's it due?"

"Eighteen hundred hours." He considered trying to twist out of her arms, or shove her off, but she would only retaliate in some more irritating way. It wasn't really worth it. Besides, sooner or later, she would get bored and leave him temporarily alone. She was stubborn, but so was he.

Rouge stood up voluntarily, and Shadow thought maybe he'd already won, but instead she pulled the keyboard over to herself and popped a usb into an empty port. She began typing, fingers flying, as a few programs launched in the background, only noticeable as brief blips of text on the taskbar before they flickered out of sight. A scheduling spreadsheet appeared, and Rouge found Shadow's report and reached for the mouse.

"Let's see, how does thirteen hundred tomorrow sound?" Without waiting for confirmation, she changed the time in the appropriate box, closed out everything with a few quick alt-F4s, and ejected the miniature flash drive, slipping it into her cleavage with a wink.

"So, what do you say we do something fun~?"

Shadow just stared, incredulous. "Remind me again why they allow you to work here."

"Because I'm the best there is." She gave a toothy smile.

Shadow pulled the mouse back toward him and saved the file, then swiveled toward her in the chair and crossed his arms. "What do you want."

Rouge flashed a fanged smirk while pretending to be distracted by her nails through the gloves she was wearing. "I'll tell you on the way."

---

A little bell announced their arrival as Shadow opened the door and Rouge followed behind him. She trotted up to the display case, eyes glittering, while Shadow stayed behind and scanned the showroom thoroughly.

In the case before Rouge lay an expanse of diamond jewelry, the stones shining with rare brilliance. As she stared, an elderly human came from a back room and gave them both a warm smile.

"What can I do for you today?"

"We're looking at wedding rings," Shadow said dryly, noting that Rouge was perhaps a bit too enamored to contribute to the conversation.

"Oh, how wonderful! Congratulations!" the man exclaimed. "Well, I can see you've already found our diamonds. I assume that is what the lady would like?"

Rouge nodded, then pointed to one of the more expensive rings on display. "Could I see this one?"

"Certainly!" The jeweler unlocked the back panel and slid the glass door open, then pulled the ring out for her to examine. Rouge removed her left glove to try it on. It was slightly difficult to slip on, being almost too small, and the bat frowned a little before removing it.

"I suppose I should try the next size up. Hmm..." After examining the rings some more, she selected piece after piece, trying each one on, and Shadow did his best not to start pacing. Finally, she pointed to the most expensive one there, richly encrusted with diamonds and tiny pearls. "What about this one?"

Seemingly unaffected by Rouge's indecision, and probably pleased that her budget was obviously no issue, the human smiled broadly and delicately placed the ring on her finger. "This is a special one, isn't it? It's a custom design by an Italian artist who also makes rings for European royalty."

Rouge watched the diamonds glittering in the light, then looked back down at the case, seeming subtly disappointed. "Do you have anything larger...?"

"I'm sorry, only what you see here." He gave a sympathetic frown.

Shadow shot a glare at him, crossing his arms. "Surely you don't mean that," he said, in a low tone that bordered on menacing.

The jeweler, who had never found himself afraid of something only three feet tall before, wasn't quite sure how to react. Rouge stepped in, sending an irritated glance Shadow's way before addressing the poor man. "It's just that I had my heart set on something really special... Money doesn't matter, I want something to remember this by. But if you really don't have anything else, I guess I could go somewhere else..." She gave a little pout, and leaned down slightly to look into the display case once more, making sure to flash the guy with a nice view of her cleavage.

Between the terrifying hedgehog and the pouty bat, the old man didn't stand a chance.

"Well..." he started, unsure. "Let me see what I have in the back. Please, wait here a moment." With one last glance toward the two on the other side of his counter, he walked hurriedly toward a door in the back corner of the shop, entered something on a keypad, and disappeared into another room.

Rouge shot a smirk at Shadow, who was staring intently at what little he could see of the back room through the crack in the door until it closed itself with a soft thud. The pair waited in silence, then, until the human returned, a small box in his hands.

He set it on the counter and pulled latex gloves from his jacket pocket onto his hands, then opened the box and delicately removed a diamond that was nearly eight times the size of the others they'd seen.

"We do have this, which just arrived in a special shipment from East Condara. But as you can see, it's much too large for a ring. It might make for a nice necklace, but it would be cumbersome to wear it on your finger."

The man clearly had tastes much more conservative than Rouge's, but she didn't say anything. She simply nodded a little in agreement, clearly disappointed still.

"Well, that's alright," she sighed. "We'll think about it some more."

"I'm sorry I can't be of any more help," the man said. "But we get new things in all the time. I know it's a bit much to ask you to wait, but if you do, check back any time and maybe we'll have the right ring for you."

"Thank you," Rouge replied, and took Shadow's hand as she made her way out of the shop. "Come on, dear."

Shadow only hoped the man didn't notice the slight falter in his step at the obnoxious endearment.

---

The buzz of an alarm woke the two in the early morning, hours before the sun would rise. Shadow wasn't used to waking up in someone else's bed, but as they both needed to be up at the same time and ready to go, it was only convenient. He sat up and stretched, then slipped his gloves and shoes on and waited for Rouge to finish dressing.

"Ohhh, where did I put it..."

Shadow looked over to where Rouge was digging through drawers in a half-clothed state. He turned his head back toward the window, preferring to look out over the city lights. There weren't as many on at two in the morning as there usually were when most people were awake, of course, but it was amazing how many stayed on all through the night, when nobody was likely to need them. Were they to dissuade thieves, to let others know a place was occupied, some desperate little assertion of "this is me, I'm here!"? Shadow was sure it was these reasons and many more, which, taken as a whole, seemed to represent the attempts of a collective mind to push back the darkness.

"Aha, there is is~! Alright, let's get going."

With a nod, Shadow walked over and placed a hand on the bat's waist.

---

Before the cold blue light had faded completely, both bat and hedgehog had set to work. Rouge flipped down her scope and scanned the room Shadow had taken them to - the room just beyond the security door, from which the jeweler had retrieved that impressive diamond. The glow of the Chaos Control lasted just barely long enough for Rouge to find the two security cameras in the room and point them out before the cameras could possibly record their image to tape. They were quickly destroyed by golden bolts of Chaos energy.

Ahead lay a room encased in thick glass, of the sort that guarded most bank vaults. If a thief were to get inside, they could still be seen and identified via camera. Older banks had thought that solid walls were better, but the truth was that they were no harder to get through, and if someone came in from the other side of the building or up through the floor, the break-in would never be seen.

Before the glass room, however, a series of parallel lasers formed an invisible wall of sorts, only visible thanks to the scope. Rouge leapt into the air and unfurled her wings, gliding between them without difficulty. "Stay there," she instructed Shadow, and set about cracking the keypad code on the glass door. It didn't take her long to dismantle and rewire it, and the rotating lock on the safe inside didn't stand a chance against her large ears, which were better than any stethoscope when it came to listening for the click of the right combination.

Rouge carefully reset everything she'd changed as she emerged, and flew through the lasers once more, landing at Shadow's side and opening the box with glee. Inside, the diamond glittered in the low light.

"All mine~ Isn't it beautiful?"

Shadow didn't seem impressed. "Did you want any of the other ones?" he asked, gesturing vaguely toward the door that led back out to the main room of the shop.

Rouge shook her head, laughing a little. "No, they'd notice sooner that they had disappeared. Besides, what would I possibly want with one of those cheap little things?"

The hedgehog gave a snort. "Good luck to whichever pathetic fool decides to marry you."

This only caused Rouge to laugh more. "Marry me? Can you imagine me married?"

"Only with great difficulty."

"Ha!"

"It's not a pretty picture."

Rouge smiled, triumphant, and slinked up to Shadow's side, running a gloved hand upward from his belly to his chest. "Will you take me home, 'dear'?"

"Don't call me that."

"What about 'sweetheart'? Although you're not very sweet, and I'm not sure you even have a heart..."

He grabbed her hand and moved it off of his chest when she started feeling around for his heartbeat. "You owe me one now, you realize."

"What, because you helped me?" she asked teasingly.

"Exactly."

"No, 'dear', you owed me. After all, I delayed your report due date, didn't I~?" She winked. "Now we're even."

Shadow shot her a deeply annoyed look, then groaned, rubbing his forehead. "Goddamnit, Rouge."

"You're still holding my hand, you know."

Shadow growled lowly and teleported both of them out of there, and Rouge's laughter faded with the light.

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