Happily Ever After?

Terra was behaving very strangely in her presence lately. She had noticed this a few weeks after the start of the prankwar. He talked less and less with her and tried not to come too close to her, almost as if he was afraid of her, or as if she had a disease that was contagious, or something. What was even more remarkable was the fact that he suddenly seemed to suffer from extreme, heavy mood wings. One time he was nonchalant, other times angry, or very happy. It was almost getting scary. She understood nothing of him anymore. The one who had said that girls were strange obviously never had met the strange case that was called Terra.

Little did she know that the real reason that Terra wasn't in such a talkative mood anymore, was not because he hated her, (hell no, it was more like the opposite) but because he was getting a little nervous in this small room, where the walls seemed to come closer and closer to him as time passed, almost as if they wanted to crush him like a cockroach. No, he wasn't suffering from claustrophobia, it was the darkness that he was really scared of, for it was threatening, unknown, unpredictable and scary. This was something that Master Eraqus kept telling them, too, so then it had to be true.

He knew that he had to tell her now, otherwise he would never find an appropriate time for it, for Ven never left them alone, but the longer it lasted, the less he dared. It was as if he found more and more reasons not to do it as time passed. For one, she would laugh at him for sure. If she said no - and if he was very honest, he couldn't really blame her if she did so. He would've said no to him too, if he had been in her place. What would such a beautiful, almost perfect girl do with a rude farmer as he? - then he would even lose the intimate friendship he had build with her all these years. She wouldn't want to face him anymore. Then he would lose her forever and he didn't want that to happen.

On the other hand, if she wanted to start a relationship with him, - and deep in his heart he knew that there was a small chance that she still liked him, despite his haughty behavior - he would be the happiest man of all worlds. But he would never find out any of this if he didn't try in the first place. After all, life was a game and one should go for it. That was what he had heard. Perhaps they were right. Maybe he had to tell her, anyway... How much time did he have to think about it? This really gave him a huge migraine.

Terra made no move to form a new word on the scrabble board, so Aqua looked at him. He wasn't looking at the board and there was no frown to be seen on his forehead, as would normally be the case when he pondered how he could form new words with the letters that were still left. It looked as though he didn't even realize that it was his turn, or that Aqua was watching him so intently. That surely was strange... All he seemed to be doing was staring into the empty nothingness, as if something was bothering him immensely. If only she would know what exactly that was, then she would be able to help him.

"Terra, it's your turn," she said softly, gently touching his upperarm to get his attention.

"Huh, wha-?" He blinked his eyes several times, as if he had zoned out. Before he looked at her, he glanced at her hand that was resting on his arm as if he wanted to shake it off. He didn't, though, much to Aqua's relief. "I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch that. What did you say again?"

"It's your turn," she repeated, nodding at the board with her head to emphasis the sentence.

"Oh. Right... Sorry."

She couldn't help but notice that he said sorry a lot lately. That, and the fact that he sounded so solemn all the time. He wasn't quite being himself, that much was obvious.

Scratching his chin, Terra thought about what he would do next. Should he tell her now, or should he wait some more and go with what the future would bring him? This was probably the hardest decision he'd ever made... and ever would make, too. Terra's heart hammered in his chest, as he made his decision. Aqua could probably hear it, too. Well, it was now or never. Whatever decision he would take, he had to live with it if something really bad happened. Fortunately for him, the room was still dark enough so that she couldn't see his face, and start asking awkward questions. It was time to put aside his pride and to confess his feelings for her, no matter how embarrassing it was, or would get. He put the first letter on the board.

| I |


Not again, he thought, slightly irritably.

With great difficulty, Terra suppressed a frustrated sigh. That was the fifth time already she had said that to him, coming up with a longer word who would give her more points when she would put it in the place where he had put his first letter. Aqua was just too good at this game. Knowing her, she was probably not even doing her best for him, but giving a lazy 50 percent, so he wouldn't completely go off in front her and feel ashamed about it later. She was so sweet.

Terra continued with forming the word, though, acting like he hadn't heard her at all, as he put the 'L' and the 'U' on the board. Aqua didn't take this as well as he had hoped, though, because the next thing she said was, "Terra, are you deaf? I said, "Veto!"

He didn't acknowledge that he had heard her. The board now said, | I | | L | | U | | V | | Y |. Seriously, what kind of a word was that? Terra tried not to grin at the fact that her voice sounded so irritated, again. He looked up at her, mainly to see if she was frowning or not.

Surprisingly enough, she wasn't... Yet, he added in his head.

"Just let me just finish this word. I'll remove all the letters when you've read it, okay?"

Aqua sighed wearily, wondering what had gotten into the teenager now

He was as stubborn as hell and she knew that he would get his way, anyway, for he always did. Besides, she didn't have any energy left to start another fight with him, so she replied with a simple, "Fine."

So far, he was sticking to the rules, so that was a good sign. She wondered how long that would stay, though.

| I | | L | | U | | V | | Y | | O | | U |

Okay... Guess that pretty much answers my question.

"Terra, that's not even a word. You just made it up. And don't come with that crap that it was a word in your home world again."

Terra shrugged indifferently. She was right and there was no way to deny that. It would only make her mad and he wasn't really in the mood for that. It wasn't something he tried to achieve with his actions, either.


"Terra, I mean it! You're alw-huh?"

She stopped mid-sentence when she realized what he had just said.

"I know it's not a word," he said calmly.

A small frown appeared on her delicate face. "...Then why did you-"

At that moment, her gaze happened to fall on the board again. I... luv... you, Aqua repeated softly in her head.

She gasped softly when she came to the right conclusion of what he meant with that, and looked at him. He stared back at her, not planning to look away. The way he looked at her was so intense that she felt like his eyes were burning holes in her. Aqua wanted to look away but found that she couldn't. She started to wonder if she was dreaming again, or not, because this had only happened in her dreams so far. Aqua pinched her arm discreetly and it hurt. That could only mean one thing: she was fully awake and this was really happening. The flame in her hand became bigger and brighter. Terra was the first who broke the eye contact with her.

He nodded with his head toward the fire that almost blinded him by now. "Uh, Aqua?"

His deep voice had a warning undertone, making the blue-haired mage waking up out of her trance.

Aqua's attention was back to her magic again and she blushed furiously at her stupid action. "Oops. Sorry... I guess I lost control... of my magic, I mean," she hastened to add.

"I... can see that," he said, highly amused, smiling at her sudden clumsy nature.

He could tell he had surprised her a lot by this unexpected confession, by the way she had been looking at him. Aqua looked back at the board again, while she took a decision. She simply couldn't believe it. How much she had wished to hear those words before one of them would become a Master and now, her dream was finally coming true.

"Cheater. I can do that too."

Her calm voice even surprised herself. It was almost as if she hadn't said that herself. Aqua rushed to put new letters on the board.

| P | | R | | O | | V | | E | | I | | T |

She looked at him again, awaiting an answer.

"Proveit? Is that one of those strange words you learned when you were memorizing all the words and stuff out of the biggest dictionary you could find?" Terra asked, clearly confused as heck.

Aqua rolled her striking eyes. "Don't try to be funny, Terra. That was only once. And that's two words. I meant 'Prove it'."

"Oh, of course. Just wanted to be sure, that's all. Seems like you're not sticking to the rules, either. You're supposed to use only one word, remember?"

"Oh, quiet you," she chided half-heartedly, not bothering to mention that he had even put three words together in one.

| H | | O | | W |

He looked at her, demanding her with his cobalt colored eyes to answer. Neither of them were sticking to the rules anymore, and albeit it would normally piss Aqua off beyond reason, - which was always fun to watch, especially if it was because of someone else rather than him - she didn't seem to mind now. And was it just the light, or was she really blushing a tiny bit?

She looked at her letters and slowly formed the word | K | | I | | S | | S | on the big board.

Aqua looked at him questioningly, tilting her head slightly to the side, while waiting for his reaction. Would he start to yell at her, or maybe even laugh at her?

"You... want me to... kiss you?" he dared to ask, trying to mask his surprise.

This was getting weirder and weirder. Aqua had never showed such feelings towards him and now that she was finally doing this, it only confused him. She nodded slowly, biting her lower lip as she tried not to look away. He scratched the back of his head. It was a sign that he didn't know what to do. She sure had surprised him, again.


Where? That's all he has to say?

Here, she had half expected that he would laugh at her, but his facial expression hadn't changed one bit.

She shrugged. "Surprise me." Aqua then looked at her knees as if they were the most interesting objects she had ever seen, as she added shyly, "But you don't have to, if you don't want to. I mean, I understand it completely if you-"

Apparently, he had made up his mind already, because the next thing he did was taking her hands in his and bending slightly forward. Aqua didn't even have the time to hyperventilate, or anything. The moment that his lips touched hers, she stopped thinking, causing the flame in her hand to go out. Time seemed to stand still in the small room. His lips were so soft and warm, making her wish that this could last forever. It made her whole body tingle and she felt even how hard her blood was being pumped through her veins. Even though the kiss was with closed mouth and lasted for only five seconds, this was by far the best five seconds of her life. Why only five seconds, you might wonder. Well, they broke away very soon, because they were both startled by a strange, rasping sound that seemed to come from the other side of the door.

"Rats?" Aqua squeaked, terrified.

If there was something she really hated, after darkness and spiders, it was rats. She felt a lot for jumping in Terra's lap, but she had no time do to that, for suddenly, the door opened. Aqua and Terra both held their hands in front of their eyes, because the light was too bright for them.

"Wow, no wonder you had glued the door shut. I would've done that too, in this case," Ven said teasingly.

Even though he hadn't seen what had happened inside, he knew that his suspicions were close enough to reality. Especially because he had been overhearing their conversation for the past half hour. Aqua and Terra both looked at him angrily and Terra even went far enough to throw a few of those plastic Scrabble blocks to Ven's head. Aqua didn't stop him this time. One hit Ven in the middle of his forehead.

"Ow! Is that your way of showing your gratitude? If you hadn't been the one who had to cook, Aqua, then you would have been in here even until tomorrow," Ven said grumpily.

Terra stood up and offered Aqua his hand to help her up.

Aqua smiled and took his hand gratefully. "I think we all know who really glued the door shut," said Aqua, as she looked sharply at Ven.

She dusted herself off.

"Well, it wasn't me. I'm not as childish as you two..." Aqua and Terra both rolled their eyes in response, "Oh, and before I forget, Master Eraqus wants to speak both of you now, in the kitchen. I wonder what you two have done now."

After he had said that, Ven left the room again.

"Okay, that was-" Terra was interrupted by Aqua, who gave him a quick peck on the cheek and then walked out of the small room. "...Hard to believe," he mumbled, finishing his sentence and touching his cheek on the place where she had kissed him, before he followed her.

Master Eraqus sat at the kitchen table when his two disciples entered the kitchen together, seeming to be in deep thought about something.

Their teacher looked up from his hands. "Master, you wished to speak us?" Aqua asked.

"Yes. Did you clean the stockingroom?"

"Yes, but some-"

"Good," Master Eraqus spoke, interrupting Terra with a small wave of his hands. "Terra, I want you to help Aqua with cooking, because apparently, the only way to stop your pranks is to keep you both busy. I do not want any more arguments between the two of you. I'll be in my study room and I don't want to be disturbed before dinner."

"Okay, Master, but we actually want-"

"Then I'll see you two later. Call me when dinner's ready," their Master said, this time interrupting Aqua.

"Yes, Master."

They watched his retreating back as he swiftly left the kitchen. Once he was out of earshot, Aqua softly asked, "Is it just me, or didn't he want us to tell him about the glued door? Normally, he would let us finish our sentence first, before saying something else."

Terra nodded thoughtfully. So he hadn't been the only one who had noticed this strange behavior? That was a good thing, because at least he wasn't losing his mind.

"No, you're completely right. As always."

Aqua smiled warmly at him. "I think you're exaggerating here."

"No, I'm not and you know that," Terra said, with a smile, taking one of her hands in his and squeezing it slightly. "So, what's on the cooking menu today? You decide, since I'll only be in your way, anyways."

Cooking dinner was a piece of cake for Aqua (no pun intended). It had always been so, and with Terra's help, she was done in no time. They set the table together, just like they used to do back in the old days, when they hadn't known Ven yet. For Terra, everything seemed to be perfect now.

"Oh, Terra, could you get Master Eraqus, then I'll go look for Ven," Aqua said.

Normally, Terra would've wondered why she wanted to look for Ven, and not for their Master, but things had changed in the small and dark room. She had showed him that there was no reason to become jealous of the bond between Aqua and Ven. Not that he had ever been jealous, of course. Why would he? (Yes, that was what he told himself.)


He nodded briefly and headed for the kitchen's entrance. He walked through the long hallway and reached his Master's office. Just when Terra wanted to knock on the door, Ven's loud voice made him halt. Terra frowned. What was Ven doing in Master Eraqus' office? He wasn't in trouble, was he? Careful, as of not to make any suspicious sounds, the brunet male put his ear against the door, in hopes of hearing something useful. He didn't get disappointed, though.

"Ventus, I really hope you know what you're doing from now on. We wouldn't want to actually kill any of them, now would we?" That was Master Eraqus.

Doing what? Kill who? What were they talking about?

"*Deep sigh.* Just because I made one tiny little mistake doesn't mean that I'll kill everyone off! I'm not a child anymore!" Ven cried, defending himself.

What the heck was Ven talking about? He still was a child, for he still was a minor, Terra thought, his frown growing deeper.

"Of course not, but I almost broke my neck this morning, all because of your tiny little mistake."

"Hey Terra, what do you think you're-"

Terra turned around quickly and motioned with one hand for Aqua to be silent. Aqua frowned, and mouthed, "What's wrong?"

Terra beckoned at her and pointed to the door. Aqua made a disapproving sound, but came closer nonetheless. She leaned on the wall next to the door and listened to the conversation Ven and Master Eraqus were having.

"Didn't I tell you at least three times that we wouldn't use the prank with the wire? It was far too dangerous! One could've broken a bone! I could've broken a bone!"

"Master, I told you I was sorry! I thought I had made it up with you by my acting and the rest of the pranks. Besides, I'm still a child. I make mistakes. What else did you expect?"

This time, their Master sighed. "First, you're saying you're not a child anymore, and then you say you still are one. Can't make up your mind about what you really are? Well, I guess you're right, anyway, Ven. Nothing serious happened, so it doesn't matter. Did they tell you something about the door?"

Ven started to laugh. "Yeah, they thought it was me who had done that. I bet they still have no idea that you were the actual brain behind all these things. The glow-in-the-dark-hairdye was my favorite. It was brilliant!"

Aqua gasped softly. She couldn't believe what she was hearing. She looked at Terra, her eyes as wide as saucers, while Terra's were squeezed into thin slits.

"Thanks, Ven. Now let us head to the kitchen. I can smell the pizza from here and I have to say that they did a splendid job again."

They heard some thumping in the background. It was probably the two of them heading for the office's door. Aqua was quick to summon her Keyblade, Rainfall, and Terra followed her example. The door of Master Eraqus' study opened and the owner of the study opened the door, followed by a cheerful Ven. They both stopped walking the moment they spotted Aqua and Terra, standing in front of them.

"Master Eraqus, Ven, don't you have something to explain to us?" Aqua asked, rather coolly.

The tip of her Keyblade sparked with fire, but it wasn't normal fire. This fire was blue and looked as cold as ice. The two unarmed people gulped, all color draining from their face.

"How long were you two standing there?" the wise man eventually dared to ask.

"Long enough to know whose fault my hair is," Aqua answered.

She had a strange glint in her eyes, which made her look dangerous, almost maniacal. She looked like she was about to strike...

"Aqua, we can explain all of this," Ven nervously piqued.

"Explain it to my Keyblade..."

~ End... Or is it? ~

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