Shadow and Espio first met in Sonic Heroes, started out on unfriendly terms as their teams fought each other. However, they later teamed up to defeat Metal Sonic. During this battle, Espio took care of distracting Metal along with his team, after which Shadow and his teammates attacked the robot. However, Shadow and Espio did not have major interactions before, during or after the battle.
They were allies in Shadow the Hedgehog if Shadow got to Mad Matrix. In that level, Shadow had the option to help Espio access the four terminals. Afterwards, no matter which mission Shadow did, Espio and Shadow fought Egg Breaker. In the Last Story, Espio, along with Vector and Charmy, hacked into the Space Colony ARK's computer in order to activate a message that revealed the truth about Shadow.
They met again in some later games. In Sonic Rivals 2, the two were rivals. In Sonic Generations, they cheered the Sonics on and later attended his birthday party, although no interactions are shown between the two. Shadow and Espio were also among the ones fighting Infinite in Sonic Forces.
Espio and Shadow were allies in the fight against the Metarex. One time, Espio, along with Vector and Charmy, helped Shadow get to the Metarex's Armada to fight Dark Oak. During the final battle against the Metarex, Espio was among the characters cheering Sonic and Shadow on as they were fighting the final form of Final Mova.
IDW Publishing comics
Espio and Shadow had an encounter when Shadow and Rouge showed up in a search for Eggman some time after Espio, along with others including Vector, Charmy and Sonic had found Eggman and believed the man had changed for the better. As Sonic and Shadow began to fight, Espio and the rest of the Chaotix prepared to help Sonic, only to discover the two hedgehogs were too fast for the team to keep up. Some time later, Espio and the rest of the Chaotix tried to stop Shadow from getting to Eggman, but failed. Shadow, however, had been convinced by Sonic to talk to Eggman first. Espio watched as Shadow left after he was convinced by Eggman that Eggman Land was just an amusement park.
Espio and Shadow are sometimes shipped, although the pairing is not as popular as many other Shadow pairings such as Shadouge and Shadamy. When compared to slash ships, it is less popular than Sonadow, Shadilver or Espilver. It has some fanart on DeviantArt, although not extremely common.
On AO3, a tag for the pairing exists, but only has three fanworks, making it an uncommon pairing. However, as it is the third most written ship for Espio (tied with Espiouge and Espionia) as Espio ships in general are rare on the website.
One reason for shipping the two may be their similar personalities, as both Shadow and Espio are generally quiet and serious.
- shadpio tag on DeviantArt
- espadow tag on DeviantArt
- shadowxespio tag on DeviantArt
- ShadowxEspio fanclub on DeviantArt