The Punishment

"What was that for? All I did was save you from your misery and then I get this?"

The intensity of Aqua's glare increased even more, a sign for Terra to shut up right now if he wanted to stay alive. She didn't bother to answer that question, as she kept glaring daggers at the now soaked brunet male.

Terra sighed, but didn't give up yet. "Well, never mind already. Here, let me help you," he said, as he grabbed a tissue and started cleaning Aqua's shirt.

The bluenette jerked back from the touch. "Don't touch me!" she yelled and she ran out of the kitchen, heading straight for her bedroom, before she would come up with a way to chop off Terra's head with her Keyblade.

Yes, she had heard what Ven had whispered, but she hadn't told him that she didn't need those stupid knives to harm Terra. Not that she would ever do that, of course. She cared too much for him, so much that she even had started to fall in love with him, despite the fact that he had flung orange juice at her, or all the immature pranks he had pulled on her so far. If she ignored all that, than she couldn't help but admit that he was such a sweet (and not to mention drop-dead gorgeous!) guy. Always there to help her or cheer her up, too. Aqua didn't remember when exactly it had happened, but that didn't matter. She had started developing feelings for him, without realizing it herself and now, it was too late to ignore them. At first, she had seen Terra as her best friend and the older brother she had never had, but now...

In her anger, she had completely forgotten about her new fear of the stairway that could change into a slide. The sight of her bedroom didn't make her any happier, either. She almost got a heart-attack when she saw the brown walls of her once light blue bedroom.

It made her gasp, as horror filled her heart. "What..." the startled teen started, but she wasn't able to finish her sentence.

She ran her slender index finger and middle finger over one of the walls, noting that the paint had already dried. It had been Terra. Who else? She didn't know how yet, but he would definitely pay for this, even if that was the last thing she would do. And it was at times like these where she started to wonder why exactly she had fallen in love with someone who seemed to like upsetting her so much. They said that one could get addicted to a certain kind of sadness. Was that what attracted her so much to him? It was hard to believe, but there had to be some truth in it. The proof was right in front of her, after all.

The rest of the day, a few other incidents happened that made Master Eraqus's blood boil. The shoes he had lost, were found by Ven under Terra's bed. He hadn't even found that the worst of all. He was brought in a much worse mood when he had bumped into an invisible, but hard plastic that had been strained over the entrance of the kitchen. They could tell that it had hurt quite a lot from the small cry of pain they had heard. Since he wasn't quite sure which of the two had done that, both Terra and Aqua were given a punishment to keep them busy for the rest of the day. They had to clean up one of the many stockrooms of the huge castle. That would make the day last even longer for the two pupils.

Aqua entered the stockroom first and Terra came in after her. Once the door was closed, it was pitch dark in the room.

Aqua rolled her eyes. "You could've turned the lights on first, you know," she said.

Since Terra seemed to be too lazy to do it, Aqua let her hand slip over the surprisingly cold wall, searching like a blind person for the light switch that had to be here somewhere. Well, frankly, she really felt blind in the dark, because she couldn't see a thing. She found it quite a scary idea that she couldn't see if there was anything dangerous out there. Terra apparently felt just as blind as she did, because suddenly she felt his hand stroking gently and lightly over hers. It was warm to the touch. Quickly, she pulled her hand away and she felt a slight blush creep across her cheeks, as her heartbeat increased drastically.

I really need to get a hold of these feelings, otherwise Terra will know my secret.

Well, that was much easier said than done, that much was obvious.


"Whoah!" Terra uttered, shocked, just when the lights were turned on.

It wasn't very bright, but bright enough to make the scary shadows shrink and go away. Aqua breathed a small sigh of relief. She wondered when and why she had withheld her breath in the first place. She looked at Terra, who was holding his right hand with his left hand. He had a pretty pained expression on his face.

"What's wrong with you?" Aqua asked, surprised.

"I got an electric shock when I turned the lights on."

Aqua grinned, being amused at that fact. "Haha. Pussy," she said teasingly.

That word simply did it.

Terra frowned at her. "Don't give me that look. It really hurt!"

It was the first time Terra had admitted that something had really hurt him. Even when they trained together and she managed to hit him with her magic or even Rainfall, her Keyblade, he didn't complain about pain.

"I know," she said calmly. "I remember it all too well thanks to your stupid prank with that ring."

Terra grunted something unintelligible, but Aqua paid no longer any attention to him. She looked around. The stock was of average size, not very big, nor too small. It was crammed with tables, chairs, books, cardboard boxes, other inanimate objects and large fragments of a broken mirror. Ooh, and that was seven years of bad luck for the one who had broken it. She wondered who had done that and when it had happened. Everything was thrown into one messy heap and the things that laid on top could fall off at any moment, creating an avalanche of old stuff. This room indeed needed to be cleaned up drastically.

"I think it's more convenient if one of us gets a mop and a bucket of soapy water. You take the bucket, I'll do the mop, okay?" Aqua asked.

Terra shrugged, as if he didn't really care. "All right. The sooner this is over, the sooner we can resume enjoying our Sunday."

A long-suffering sigh unintentionally escaped her lips. He made it almost sound like it was oh so bad to be in the same room with her, but honestly, it couldn't be that bad, right? Even she didn't mind being locked up with the guy who had flung a whole can of orange juice at her at breakfast. Of course, that had a lot to do with the fact that she liked him more than she probably should, but still.

"Okay," she said dully.

She walked to the door and tried to open it, but the door didn't seem to want to cooperate this time. Why was everything in this castle against her today? Even in the morning, the shower had run out of hot water. If it hadn't been for her magic, she would've had no other choice but to wash her hair with cold water.

"Can you hurry up a bit? Unlike you, I don't have all day," Terra's voice sounded from behind her.

"Well, unlike you, I'm not trying to annoy people by acting like a complete idiot. The door won't open," Aqua snapped.

She was more than sick of his non-cooperative behavior.

Now it was Terra's turn to sigh. "Step aside. I'll do it."

Oh yay, Terra, the hero of the castle, comes to the rescue, she thought sarcastically.

Still, Aqua did what he asked of her and stepped aside so he could get to the door. Terra pulled the door handle, but it didn't open, no matter how hard he tried.

She almost wanted to say to him "I told you so!" but was able to stop herself right in time. Stating out the obvious obviously wouldn't work in this case. It would only get Terra angrier.

Still, she couldn't resist saying something that just entered her mind. "And you were the strongest of us?" Aqua asked teasingly, allowing a small smirk to dance on her lips.

"It's locked," he noted, completely ignoring her remark.

"Well, fortunately we both have a Keyblade, so we can open the door in no time, right?"

She stepped to the door and Rainfall, her Keyblade, materialized in her hand as she did so. She waved it to the door and she clearly heard a soft click. She smiled at her triumph and pulled at the door. It still didn't open, though, so she started pulling harder and harder.

However, it was all of no use. "What the- What is this?"

Seriously, what was wrong with the door? She gave up and started inspecting it thoroughly, touching the sides of it.

Her hand touched something sticky. "Ew, what is this sticky stuff? It smells like..."

She gasped audibly. Oh no, she thought, as realization hit her. No no no!

She knew that smell all too well. She had used this sticky stuff once against her crush.

Terra came forward and looked at it over her shoulder. "Glue," he said, finishing her sentence.

Aqua didn't confirm it, because she knew that it wasn't necessary. Terra was right and they both knew that someone outside had glued the door shut, probably on purpose. The question was, who, and why? Her shoulders slumped. There was no way they would get out of here soon. Besides, Master Eraqus and Ven were both three floors lower. There was no way that they could hear their screaming if they tried to call out for help.

"Then we'll have to do it without that mop and bucket of water," Terra said casually.

Aqua just nodded. Silently, they began their cleanup task. They both agreed that they would start worrying about how they came out of here when they had finished cleaning up, which was likely to take a long while.

They had spent at least one hour, moving tables and heavy boxes, although it seemed to be much longer, because in a quiet room without any clock to indicate the time, time was an illusion. Now they took a little break, because they had both become pretty tired. It had suddenly become much hotter in the small room, too.

"I'm thirsty," Terra complained. "Where's water when you need it?"

Aqua almost had to laugh at the double meaning of that sentence. 'I'm right here, Terra,' she thought.

"Wait, Ven gave me two bottles of water, along with some other things. I brought it all with me, but I forgot where I put- Oh, there it is!" Aqua exclaimed, pointing at a white plastic bag that stood on a wooden chair.

"Ah, nice! Catch."

Terra took a bottle of water out of the bag and tossed it at Aqua, who caught it with her right hand. He sat down on the chair, putting the bag next to him and then opening the bottle to take a sip.

Aqua grabbed a blue whisk that lay on another chair, before she sat down on that same chair, next to Terra. "I'm glad that at least we still have electricity, otherwise we would never have found that bag."


Damn it all... The lights went out all of a sudden, so that only meant that the power was out. The darkness was back again, surrounding the teenagers. It seemed to be thicker than ever. It almost felt like the darkness was trying to enter their heart and freeze their brains, wrapping around them like a freezing cold blanket, its intentions as poisonous as a snake. If there was one thing Aqua hated with a passion, it was snakes. The young woman gasped softly at the sudden and unexpected darkness and took Terra's hand (how she had found it in the darkness, was a mystery, though).

"Aqua, would you please shut up?" Terra asked, becoming extremely annoyed with how things went. ""Fortunately, we have a Keyblade, oh, I'm glad that at least we still have electricity." What's the next thing you're gonna say? Thank heavens we still have oxygen? No wait, I shouldn't give you any idea-"



"Damn! Aqua!"

As you could all guess, Aqua did the only thing she could think of at that moment, - and you had to admit that it was a good comeback - and strangely enough, that was hitting the back of Terra's head with the whisk she was still holding in her hands.

"Oh toughen up, little boy. And excuse me for trying to be a bit optimistic! At least I try to cheer you up a bit. The only thing you can do is complain and do mischief! Well, I'm afraid that that won't bring us anywhere now, don't you think?" When Terra said nothing, - he was far too busy with rubbing the back of his head and thinking, you call that cheering me up a bit? - she continued, but a bit softer, "Today I've seen enough misery for the rest of my life. Well, fortunately nobody dyed my hair. I would really freak out if I suddenly had green hair, or pink, even though I like the color itself, and... it really suited you."

Terra looked at her, or at least, to the place where he thought her head was.

He could still see her silhouette in the dark, but there was one change about her that made his eyes widen in shock. "Uh, thanks... Aqua? Does that mean your hair always glows in the dark?"

What kind of question was that? And why did he sound so awkward?

She raised a thin eyebrow, but she knew that Terra wouldn't be able to see it in the dark. "No... Have you lost your mind?" she asked dryly. Terra sighed, and she heard some stumbling, coming from beside her. "Terra, what are you doing?"

She really started to get nervous of the other teen's actions, because she couldn't see anything he was doing (what if he had grabbed an ax to chop her head off?), and she made no effort to hide it. Knowing him, he even did it deliberately, in order to irritate her some more, because apparently, it was oh so fun to annoy the heck out of good ol' Aqua.

"I'm looking for that piece of broken mirror," he replied.

"Be careful. You might cut your hands!"

"Yes, mom," Terra muttered, smirking.

Suddenly, she saw a faint, greenish light appear in front of her, that (not so) perchance had the exact same shape of her hair style. She knew that Terra was holding the mirror in front of her face so she could see it for herself. Her eyes widened as she touched her hair and saw the 'shadows' that her fingers made on her hair. She had touched her hair with the hand that had been holding unintentionally onto Terra's hand. She hadn't really realized that, but Terra had. In fact, he had smiled during that moment.

"Someone's... going to... die," she said slowly.

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