Shadow the Hedgehog was not in a good mood.
As a free moving operative for the Station Square Police Force he was used to being called in for a case or for a follow-up of any case he’d worked on before, but going in to headquarters at three in the morning and getting home by seven at night was ridiculous, even by his standards. He was sleep deprived, hungry, and had a horrible pounding headache.
So of course he wasn’t happy when he came home to see his dog vomiting up soapsuds.
The dog in question huffed and Shadow looked down.
Half sitting, half lying on his master, the lean canine was resting his head on the hedgehog’s lap, it’s long fur, usually well groomed, matted and curled from the soap. It huffed again and actually glared up at him. Shadow glared back, unimpressed.
“There’s no use in being angry at me. It’s your own fault.”
The dog growled low in its throat.
“I left you plenty of food for the day and you know it.”
A half-hearted but clearly sulky snort was its response.
Luckily, there wasn’t anyone else in the clinic to witness Shadow having a conversation with a dog. Lucky that is, until the door suddenly banged open, and Shadow winced at the noise.
“Hello! Sorry I’m late, but it couldn’t be helped. Hi there!”
A bright pink hedgehog wearing a dark trench coat bounded through the door into the clinic, her quills cropped short and her green eyes bright. She’d waved to Shadow before shaking her bangs out of her eyes and heading for the front desk.
It was then that Shadow noticed the girl was clutching a bright red leash and leading an enormous…something into the clinic. His eyes widened, and even his dog raised its head to stare.
The dog—was it a dog?—was easily four or five feet tall, and towered over everyone, the spiky, mane-like fur on its neck brushing the ceiling. It’s pelt was a dark gray, almost navy blue, except for the patches of white on it’s chest, back, and paws…which had giant gleaming claws that clicked against the tiled floor. Fangs poked out of its muzzle, and its eyes were a bright green as they anxiously scanned the room.
Green. Shadow sighed through his nose, leaning back against the walls and closing his eyes. He supposed he shouldn’t be surprised. Abnormal coloration was, ironically, normal in this day and age. And…whatever that thing was, was no exception. Even his own dog didn’t quite look the way it was supposed to, its fur black like coal dust with ribbons of lighter gray in odd places.
That, and the green eyes with a blood red sclera that made its eyeballs look diseased. Totally normal.
“How are you doing this evening?”
He jumped at the bubbly voice and looked to see the girl sitting beside him, her…pet a looming wall of fur on her other side. It leaned its head around the girl to look at him, a curious tilt to its head, mirrored by its owner.
Any cuteness this scene had was lost on him however.
“Terrible.” He said shortly. This girl’s fur was so bright under the lights that it actually hurt to look at her, which didn’t help his headache in the slightest.
Her face fell and she looked him over with genuine concern. “Oh, I’m so sorry! Is everything all right? We were only coming in for a check up, the standard routine you know, but I’m sorry things weren’t going your way. What’s wrong with your dog? He doesn’t look too good. Is it a he? He looks like a he.”
All of this was flung at Shadow very fast, but he was used to soaking up rapid information and dealing with it, even if he didn’t want to.
“No. Yes. He’s an idiot. And yes.”
That earned him another glare, but he ignored it.
“Rather than wait for me to return home, he decided to eat two bars of bath soap to satisfy himself.” Shadow continued acidly. “And now we’re here.”
“Oh you poor, poor thing!”
Shadow blinked in surprise as she bent down to stroke his dog, but quickly stretched out an arm to stop her.
“Wait! He doesn’t like strangers touching hi—!”
He stopped and stared as the girl ran her fingers through the dog’s fur, rubbing the back of his neck and murmuring softly. And instead of trying to tear off her hand, which was what he usually did, his dog closed his eyes and…and lifted his head to get his ears scratched?!
The pink hedgehog broke through Shadow’s temporary shock by looking back at him and asking, “What’s his name, and what kind is he? I haven’t seen a beautiful dog like him before.”
His dog partially opened one bloodshot eye and looked at him smugly before closing it again, almost purring.
“Um. Mephiles. His name is Mephiles. He’s an Afghan Hound.”
“Mephiles…ooh that is pretty! It’s silky, just like your fur!”
The purring noise got louder.
Shadow cleared his throat. “May I ask the same about your dog? I’ve certainly never seen any dog like that before.”
He carefully stressed the word as he looked at it. Those green eyes suddenly slid away from his and the dog looked…sheepish? Its owner wore the same expression as she rubbed the back of her head.
“Oh, oh this is Sonic! And he’s…um…”
She looked up at Sonic, and bit her lip. The dog looked back and shook it’s fur, the action looking suspiciously like a shrug.
Shadow turned back at the girl and raised an eyebrow.
“A Mountain Wolfhead?” He asked, dubiously.
“Y-yes! That’s right! A Mountain Wolfhead!” She replied, smiling too widely and gesturing at Sonic. “They’re extremely rare. We’re just here to see Dr. Tails, I mean Dr. Miles. He’s great with animals you know? Basic checkup. Make sure things are ok. The usual.”
Her voice got progressively higher as she spoke. Shadow raised both eyebrows and turned just in time to see the “Wolfhead” slowly shaking his head. The hedgehog looked down at his own dog. Mephiles had opened his eyes when the girl had ceased stroking him, and he rolled his eyes at Shadow’s look.
One of these things is not like the other…
Just then, the door from behind the front desk opened and a clinic worked stepped out.
“Shadow the Hedgehog? Dr. Miles will see you now.”
Shadow stood, his hound reluctantly following.
“So Shadow’s your name? That’s neat. It suits you!”
He looked down at her smiling up at him. “Thank you. And you are?”
“Amy! Amy Rose!”
“Well Amy, I’m sure we’ll meet again very soon.” Shadow said before walking away, already making plans to check the Police records for any missing persons report that might have come in.
If one had, he just might have a lead for the next case.