By now, both Kairi and Aqua were more than ready to take the challenge of bringing back Terra's memories. They worked together on this mission, sharing different tactics and whatnot. Today was Aqua's turn to come up with something that might help. Terra could be there any moment now and she was fully prepared for the moment of truth. Aqua had put Terra's (and in some cases hers too) favorite items on the kitchen table, so that the brunet man could inspect them. She'd been waiting for this moment for days now. The preparations had started about two days ago. Anything to help trigger something inside the man she loved more than anything in the world. This time, Kairi wouldn't come with him and she hated to admit it, but that made her feel a little giddy.
The pretty bluenette took a step back when she was finally done with organizing everything (she kept rearranging everything in her nervous state). Vanitas, who had paid her a visit today, was standing a few steps behind her, scrutinizing her work. She didn't remember ever having officially invited him, but that hadn't stopped him. He kept showing up randomly. Not that she minded much; underneath all that arrogance she could sometimes spot a thin layer of kindness...sorta. It was safe to assume that things had changed between them after their nightly snack many days ago. She trusted him a little more and even Stitch wasn't giving him that much of a hard time anymore.
"If you honestly think that this is going to work, then I'll have to disappoint you. It's a lost cause," he said, after a long moment of silence.
At least he was honest (but then, she didn't expect anything less from him. Sometimes it felt as though he deliberately went out of his way to hurt people).
"Well, nothing's ever going to happen if you don't give it a try."
"Do whatever you please, but don't come back to me crying your eyes out when it doesn't work."
Aqua resisted the urge to roll her cerulean-colored eyes. "Don't worry, I wasn't planning to. Are you always this arrogant?"
Because honestly, if she had been the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter, she would've put him in Slytherin without having to read his mind.
"Nah, only around people who appreciate it."
She was about to say something back when the doorbell rang. That had to be Terra.
"You, behave," she said while pointing at him, before rushing to open the door.
"I'm not making any promises," was the casual reply.
Gee, why am I not surprised...
After opening the front door, Aqua led her older friend to the cozy kitchen at once, secretly surprised that he was actually only two minutes late. The old Terra hadn't been half as punctual as he was now.
As soon as Terra set a foot in the small room, he spotted Vanitas. "Who are you?" he asked with narrowed eyes.
There was something about this guy that didn't make him feel at ease. It could be that sly smirk, or that evil glint in his smoldering, amber eyes.
"The name's Vanitas," the dark-haired man replied haughtily, sauntering towards Aqua like he owned the place.
Terra's frown deepened; he didn't like that tone of voice at all. Apparently, Aqua noticed this sudden change in spirits, for she quickly explained, "Vanitas is Sora's older brother. You know, Sora as in Kairi's best friend?"
Vanitas, having reached Aqua now, put an arm around her waist and pulled her closer to him. "I'm also your friend's boyfriend."
Aqua's brows furrowed. She turned her head his way to protest, only to feel Vanitas's lips softly brush against hers. This caused her to tense up completely.
"You can thank me for this later," he then whispered in her ear, so that Terra wouldn't be able to hear him. In a much louder voice he continued, "Well, it was nice seeing you again, Terra. I'll leave the two of you alone now."
With that, he walked out of the kitchen and soon enough, they heard the front door close. A quiet beat passed.
Terra's voice brought Aqua back to reality. "Are you alright?"
"Uh, yes," she replied, deciding that now was not the time to dwell on what happened. "So, first things first. I put all your favorite things right here on the table for you. Let's see if you recognize anything."
Aqua showed Terra what she meant, before stepping back. Hopefully this would help him remember something, anything. Terra silently took the closest item from the table (which was a blue Wayfinder) and started studying it. His fingers slid over every nook and crease. Unfortunately, Aqua didn't see any spark of recognition in his eyes, so she tried to hide her disappointment as well as she could.
However, his next question, which came out of nowhere, completely surprised her. "Is he really your boyfriend?"
"Uh, what?" Blood filled her face and she stuttered, "No! I mean… I don't know." When Terra lifted a brow at that, she continued, "It's a little…complicated. He's not my boyfriend, but we aren't exactly friends either." I guess it's still confusing what we are of each other, even for me."
But quietly, she kept wondering why she hadn't told Terra the truth: she barely knew Vanitas and she most certainly hadn't asked to be kissed like that. She did, however, make a mental note to talk to Vanitas as soon as she could. And slap him for even thinking that he could get away with what he did.
Even if it did feel…kind of…nice.
"So, did he finally leav- hey!" Vanitas was quick enough to catch Aqua's wrist, right before she was able to slap him across the face, hard. "What the hell do you think you're doing?"
Not releasing her wrist quite yet, he pulled her towards him so he could close the front door in case there would be some unwelcome witnesses outside.
"How dare you kissing me like that? You horrible, disgusting-"
"I did it to help you, why else?" Vanitas said, quickly interrupting her.
When he finally let go of her, they were standing in the living room.
Aqua had become red in the face, but he couldn't tell whether that was out of anger or embarrassment. Either way, it looked cute on her. Not that he was going to tell her that; she might try to strangle him for it.
"It surprises me that you aren't after Terra now that he doesn't remember a thing about his past with Kairi. It would be the perfect opportunity, but nooo, you're refraining from it. What are you, a saint?"
Aqua crossed her arms over her chest. "I am not going to have this conversation again. I made up my mind and that's all you need to know."
He rolled his eyes. "Well, then I won't try to make Terra jealous by kissing you anymore…even if you did like it."
"Wha- of course not! You're disgusting!"
"Oh really now?" Vanitas raised a brow at that and Aqua just knew that he was about to say something to provocate her. "Then why didn't you slap me right after I kissed you?"
"I was taken by surprise, that's why. And I did try to slap you now," she reasoned, still looking extremely peeved.
He started to laugh maniacally. "Just once? For someone who claims that she's been kissed against her will, you're not doing much to prevent it from happening a second time."
Aqua blushed even more at that. But she had heard enough already.
"You get out. This is my house."
She realized far too late that he was right.
"Ugh! Why do I even put up with you," she muttered under her breath, as she made her way to the door.
"Do you really want me to answer that?"
"No, shut up!" she exclaimed, as she slammed the door shut behind her with a loud BAM!
"Uhm, that's the door to my bedroom," he called after her suggestively, causing said door to open again.
This time, Aqua made sure to take the right door and slam it shut so hard that even the clock on the wall next to it shuddered from it. A second had barely passed when the black-and-white clock fell from the wall, shattering into a dozen pieces.
Vanitas, however, could only smirk. "Oh, she liked it alright."
On her way out, Aqua nearly bumped into Sora.
"Hey!" he said, cheerful as ever. "Leaving already?"
"Your brother is the most inconsiderate jerk I have ever met," she exclaimed, before realizing what she had said, or rather, to whom she had been saying that. "I'm sorry… I didn't- I shouldn't have said-"
"No, no, by all means. You're right anyway. I mean, I know he's my brother, but even I get a little annoyed with him sometimes. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me," he said with a wink.
Aqua smiled gratefully. "Thanks."
She couldn't help but be reminded of the heartbreaking fact that Kairi had once told this guy that she didn't love him the way he loved her. Poor boy. Nobody deserved that kind of pain, especially not when you were like the sun in everyone's life…