Sweeping Among Glass
Aqua stopped her cleaning long enough to give Terra one of her rare, peeved looks. "Will you just drop it already? I already told you, I'm fine."
Her mouth, that was now a thin line, said the opposite to him, though.
Terra let out a deep sigh. "Aqua..."
How long did she plan to keep up with this nonsense, he wondered. Knowing Aqua, it could literally take months before she finally told him why she was acting weird. Yes, he had more than enough experience with that...unfortunately.
So Terra had told Aqua that he'd started dating Kairi. Now the bluenette was sweeping the non-existent dust and Terra just knew that something was terribly wrong. He wasn't sure what it could be, but it - whatever this "it" was - didn't feel right at all. After all, Aqua only cleaned her apartment as if her life depended on it when something was bothering her immensely.
To his great chagrin, however, she kept insisting that everything was fine. Maybe to the point where she'd started believing it herself, but Terra couldn't be fooled that easily. Had it been any other moment, he would have found it funny how well they knew each other; he only had to look at her body language to know that things didn't add up. Sometimes not even that; sometimes he just had a hunch. If only Aqua would start admitting to herself that she couldn't hide her issues from him forever.
Eventually, Terra sighed and gave up. Women were impossible sometimes, but he was fairly capable of recognizing a lost case. He'd talk to Ven about it when he saw him again. Surely, the blonde would be able to get some info out of her; everyone knew of Aqua's weakness against Ventus's puppy dog eyes. Even Terra himself found it difficult at times to say no to his youngest friend, and that said something. Thanks to the fact that he now knew how human beings work, Ventus was practically invincible.
"I should go now. I have a meeting in an hour. Larxene will skin me alive if I dare to come late again. Take care."
Terra frowned. She wouldn't even look at him, almost as though she was mad. His mood didn't improve when he slipped thanks to the wet floor and hit his shoulder against the door, hard.
A few minutes after Terra had left, Ventus walked in with two huge grocery bags. "Okay, I think we've got everything we need for the feas- whoa!"
Before the blond knew what hit him, he slipped and fell on the floor. Everything fell on the floor with him, some things damaged beyond repair. Ven was quick to get on his feet again.
"N'aww, that's too bad… Didn't know you had sweeped the floor as well, Aqua. But I'm okay!"
Aqua stared at him for a moment, and before she could stop herself, she promptly started crying.
At once, Ven's eyes widened in shock. "I'm so sorry, Aqua. I'll clean up everything by myself and I'll go back to the supermarket again, I promise. Please don't cry!"
Aqua hiccupped and shook her head. "N-no. It's fine… It's not that…"
That was all she could say before she broke down in tears again. This time her body shuddered uncontrollably. Ventus quickly led her to the loveseat and tried to comfort her as best as he could. He didn't ask why she was crying yet, but he had the strange feeling that it had something to do with Terra if it wasn't because of the huge mess he'd made. Ven might be the youngest of the trio, but he was not stupid.
Still, it was weird seeing the always so strong Aqua break down like this. It nearly made his own eyes water. He blinked furiously to get a hold of himself. Two crying people was even worse than one crying person.
"You smell like eggs and tomatoes," Aqua said in between hiccups, causing him to laugh.
"Yeah, some of the food landed on my clothes. That's why."
"It's fine, Aqua. You can bake me some of those delicious Grandma cookies for me later to make it up to me."
This elicited a weak laugh from her and Ven let out a relieved sigh. "Thank heavens. For a moment, I was afraid you'd tell me off...or that you'd forgotten how to laugh."
If only he knew, she thought to herself.
It wasn't even that loud or scary-sounding (Terra had done much worse things than this, one could be sure of that), but Aqua had been so engrossed with her own thoughts that it still managed to startle her. She gasped and let the glass cup fall out of her hands. Before she knew what was happening, she felt a sharp pain on her right foot, and she stumbled, taken aback. Aqua grabbed for the nearest thing that she could reach to keep her balance...which happened to be Terra. Had it been any other moment, she would have gotten as red as a tomato (at the least). However, the pain in her foot, sharp like needles, was currently distracting her too much to feel anything else.
"Careful there! You stepped on the glass," Terra noted, his voice laced with worry.
"Thanks...for pointing out the obvious," the bluenette said through gritted teeth.
Terra sighed. He seemed to ponder over something, before shrugging as though it was nothing, and picking her up just like that.
"W-wait. What are you doing?"
He didn't reply, while he carried her to the bathroom. Terra didn't waste any time when he got there; he gently put her down on a mini-stool that was already standing there. This way, it would be easier for him to take the tiny pieces of glass out of her foot. However, that task didn't seem to be as easy as he'd thought at first.
"Ow! It hurts," she said between gasps.
"I know. I'm sorry. I'm almost done. I promise."
"You said that three minutes ago."
Terra merely smirked at her, but frowned again as he concentrated. Poor Aqua, he thought. It probably hurt a lot more than she let on. Aqua was always trying to look strong and unfazed.
After a while, the brunet had finally managed to succeed to make his friend's foot glass-free.
Aqua smiled at him, more than glad that the torture was finally over. "Thanks, Terra."
"Hey guys, guess what?"
The both of them simultaneously turned their heads, just in time to see Kairi enter the room. She was looking cheerful as ever. Then, the woman's eyes fell on the trace of blood. A few drops that led from the kitchen to the bathroom were enough to make her shiver.
Kairi's blue eyes widened. Before she could finish her sentence, she made a weird sound and started to lose her balance. Terra quickly jumped forward to catch her in his arms, before she would hit the ground and get hurt.
Now I can see why you like her so much, Aqua thought, sarcastically. Being around her makes you feel like the knight in shining armor, huh?
She couldn't help but feel guilty immediately afterwards. Kairi was such a sweet young woman; how in the world could she think so negatively about her? Surely, it wasn't the redhead's fault that Aqua liked her boyfriend...
Terra blinked, looking almost perplexed or, in a way, unsure of what to do with the woman in his arms now. "Oh… Sometimes I forget that not all girls are like you."
Aqua arched a delicate brow. "I hope that's a compliment."
She smiled, before looking at Kairi again. "Hmm... You should put her on the couch. I'm going to get a glass of water for her. Don't drop her."
Terra gave her a deadpan look. "Yeah, because I was totally planning on doing that."
Aqua tried not to laugh as she replied, "Just making sure, Terra."
"Hey, watch it you," Aqua exclaimed with a loud laugh, as she quickly shielded herself with her arms before the damage was done.
She was too late, though; all of her clothes and her hair were practically wet through by now, thanks to Stitch's silly antics. But she didn't mind one bit; she was used to it by now, because it happened every time she took Stitch for a nice, thorough bath. Besides, she enjoyed the lighthearted play fights with her pet. It was a fun way to kill time or unwind. God knew she needed it with such a hectic life.
At that moment, the doorbell rang, which caught both Aqua's and Stitch's attention. She got up from the tiny stool she was sitting on and looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was plastered on her skull, looking darker than usually thanks to the soapy water. She looked like a mess. Oh well, there wasn't much she could do now. She just fervently hoped that it wasn't Leon. That man had seen her in enough awkward situations to know that her life wasn't exactly normal. Thank heavens he was not the kind of person to bring it up in front of anyone.
"Ugh, great timing. You stay here, okay? We're not done yet," she said to her beloved pet in a solemn tone, but the smile that adorned her pretty face gave away how amused she actually was.
Stitch nodded and splashed some more water over the bathtub for good measure. Usually, Aqua would give him a mop too and after they were done with the bath. They would dry and clean up the bathroom together. Stitch was rather fast, so thankfully, it never took them too long.
The first thing Terra said when she opened the door was, "Whoa, what in the world happened to you? Did Zack drop by again?"
She rolled her eyes, knowing very well that he was referring to the day that the two had met, but she had trouble with keeping a straight face. For some reason, thinking about Zack always made her want to laugh. He was a good guy, no doubt, but the way he sometimes handled things... He was like a mix of Terra and Ven...as weird as that may sound.
"Very funny, Terra. And hello to you, too." Aqua stepped aside to let him in. "So, what brought you here all of a sudden?"
"Whoa there. 'All of a sudden'? You're acting as if I never visit you or something."
"Well, that's because you really don't. Not without a reason that would benefit you at least."
"What, so you don't trust me when I say I'm here from the goodness of my heart?" Terra asked indignantly.
"No, I don't," Aqua replied with a shake of her head, without missing a beat.
The brunet man sighed wearily. "Okay, look. I just wanted to see how you were doing today. I know you've been very busy with your concerts and that Leon guy and stuff, so I wanted to check on you and see if you were all right. That is all."
It was silent for a moment, as Aqua stared at him quietly. Then, she narrowed her eyes suspiciously at him. "I still don't believe you."
Terra let out a dramatic sigh. "My dearest Aqua, why must you always be so darn suspicious about everything I do?"
"Oh, I don't know," she started, sarcastically. "Maybe because every time you start acting all sweet like this, you've either done something that's going to make me very mad when I find out about it, or you want me to do something for you. So which one is it this time?"
A shocked expression adorned his handsome face, but Aqua wouldn't fall for that.
"What? How can you say that? I would never do that!" Terra let out.
The blue-haired teen lifted a thin brow at his words. "Oh no? Are you even being honest to yourself anymore?"
Among all of Terra's characteristics, she knew she had to be the most careful when this one showed up. But this didn't make him look less charming.
Terra blinked a couple of times, before sighing. Maybe Aqua knew him better than he'd thought…
"Okay... I wanted to ask you for a favor too. I might be in need of a little Munny," he admitted slowly, not daring to look at her.
Whether it was out of embarrassment, or more to play the sweet, innocent guy-role, she was not sure.
Again, Aqua tried not to smile, but it was so darn hard now!
"Yeah... You see, I was already broke when I bought Ven his birthday present earlier this month, and now I just know that there's not enough money left on my bank account, because I still have to survive until the 26th..."
Aqua shrugged. "It's no problem, Terra, I can lend you some. What do you need it for? Just food?"
He still wasn't looking at her when he admitted, "Actually... It's for Kairi. She invited me to her birthday."
As soon as she'd heard that, the smile on her face faded. Of course it had to be for her again. Everything he did was always for Kairi alone. But she didn't have the heart to say that she didn't want her money to be used like that.
Without being able to control herself, she slowly started losing her patience. "Then why in the world didn't you save some Munny if you knew her birthday would be around soon?"
"That one should be obvious enough. How was I supposed to know she'd invite me too along with her other old friends?" he replied, as though it was the most logical mistake to make.
Aqua could barely resist the urge to facepalm. "Ugh!"
"You are the dumbest smartass I know!" she said angrily, before turning around and stomping out of the living room.
"What..." Terra blinked when he heard how she closed her bathroom door and then locked it. "So, I'm not getting the money then? ...Aqua? You still there?"
"Go away!" he heard from the other side of the bathroom door.
Why was she mad at him? What had he done to aggravate her like this?
Terra scratched the back of his head, utterly confused at this point. Okay, what the hell did just happen?