AN: Ultimately written because I lost a bet, not that I have a problem with Hunter/Corona. Post-series.
Evening began to fall on the Inner World. This was now fully apparent, because the sun's light had finally been restored. It seemed like it would be a particularly beautiful night, not too cold and with a clear sky.
Corona stood out on a balcony of Arachna castle, blankly watching the sky. She was glad that everything was back to normal, that Mantid's darkness no longer overtook the world. But despite this, not everything seemed right to her.
"Hunter," she said longingly, only because she was sure nobody could overhear her. It wasn't hard for Corona to realize what that thing she was missing was. She knew very clearly that it was Hunter. There was no one whom she was closer to than the Earthen boy, who had become her battle partner. But still, despite her strong feelings for him, she felt like she was losing Hunter. After all, she was never able to tell him how she felt. Lately, this was all Corona had been thinking of. She had even tried to confess to Hunter the previous day. She didn't think that it could be that difficult. All she had to do was say three words. Considering some of her accomplishments as an Oracle Handmaiden and a Spider Rider, that would seem simplistic. Besides, then it would al be over. The burden would leave her.
Of course, things weren't that simple. She had frozen up and ran off. All Corona had accomplished was embarrassing herself in front of Hunter and probably looking like a fool.
"Hunter probably didn't even notice how nervous I was," Corona tried to tell herself. "He's so dense. He probably just thought I was being silly or something."
Corona sighed, realizing that her theories, which were intended to be comforting, were painfully true. Hunter wasn't exactly a romantic. He was too concerned with being a hero. That just made things so much harder.
The blonde-haired Spider Rider decided to go back inside, entering the main corridors of the castle. It was there where she ran into Aqune. Corona was surprised to see that her sister was wearing a dress.
"Um… Aqune!" called Corona.
"Hm?" Aqune responded.
"It's not important," replied Corona. "I just didn't expect to see you dressed up."
"Yeah," Aqune admitted. "I guess it's not usual for me to look like this."
"Right," said Corona, who turned to leave. However, she stopped suddenly, as an idea entered her mind. She still wasn't used to the idea of being sisters with Aqune, but it was true, so maybe, they could have a talk between girls. "Hey Aqune, can we talk for a little while?" she questioned.
"Yeah, of course," said Aqune. "But in a little while I… uh… have a date."
"You WHAT?!" Corona exclaimed.
"Um… what was it you wanted to talk about," Aqune asked, changing the subject.
"Well," said Corona. "I wanted to know how you tell someone… that you love them. Now I think you might know the answer since…" she paused nervously. "Wait a minute, your date isn't with Hunter, is it?"
"No," said Aqune, laughing. "So I was right. You were thinking about Hunter."
"How did you guess?" asked Corona. Well, she thought to herself, maybe her feelings for Hunter were a bit too obvious. At least, obvious to everyone but Hunter.
"I could always tell that you and Hunter shared a special bond," Aqune stated. "I care a lot about Hunter. Maybe I had feelings for him at a time, but I wouldn't take him from you."
"B-but Hunter's not mine!" shouted Corona, her face turning bright red.
"Are you sure?" Aqune asked, a bit surprised.
"Yes," said Corona, looking sad.
"Well…" began Aqune, noticing her sister's expression and wanting to cheer her up. "I'm sure you can change that. You said you wanted to tell him how you feel, right?"
"Well… yeah," said Corona, perhaps blushing harder. "But… I don't know how."
"That's tough," Aqune admitted.
"How did you get your date?" Corona questioned.
"Actually, I was the one who was asked out," she replied, getting nervous. "But it isn't much of a date," she added. "I don't know why I got so dressed up. I guess I just wanted to look impressive."
"Alright," said Corona. "By the way, if it's not Hunter, just who are you going to see?"
"Buguese," Aqune said. "I know it's… strange. Um… I'll have to go soon, but I want to at least give you a little advice. Hunter may be stubborn and sometimes clueless, but he's one of the sweetest people I know. I'm sure he'll be really happy to know that you care about him so much."
"Thanks," said Corona. "I hope you're right." Smiling though, she walked off, pondering to herself about Aqune's words. Other than being creeped out by the fact that Aqune was dating Buguese, another thought on her mind was what Aqune said about wanting to look impressive. Maybe, Corona thought, that if she also looked impressive then Hunter would notice her. She headed toward her room, and began to look through her closet once she got there.
"Hey, Corona!" she heard. Nervously, she turned around. As she thoughtm the voice came from Hunter.
"Hunter!" she yelled.
"There you are," said Hunter, entering the room. "I've been looking for you." He then noticed that Corona was inside her closet. "What are you doing anyway?" he asked.
"Picking out a nice dress," said Corona, then blushing again. "Hey, wait!" she yelled. "What if I was changing? You can't walk into a girl's room without permission."
"I'm sorry," said Hunter, also becoming embarrassed. "What is it with girls and getting dressed up anyway?" He wondered aloud. "First Aqune and now you. Really, you look just fine the way you are."
Corona did a double take in surprise.
"Really?" she asked.
"Well… yeah," said Hunter. "Girls don't need to get dressed up all the time. I mean, even though they may look pretty in a dress, isn't personality more important?"
"I… I guess so," said Corona. She watched Hunter cautiously, not sure what to say next. Fortunately, she didn't have to worry, as Hunter began to speak.
"Anyway," he began. "Like I said, I was looking for you. Are you doing anything important right now?"
"Me? Um… no," said Corona. "Just… thinking about things."
"Okay," said Hunter. "Because I was wondering… if…" Hunter started to say. He paused awkwardly though.
"Wondering what?" asked Corona. She didn't want to know how much she was blushing now. Was Hunter… asking her out? No! she decided. Don't jump to conclusions!"
"Oh," said Hunter. "Sorry. What I meant to say was… it's um… really nice tonight, isn't it?"
yeah," said Corona, a bit disappointed. "It's a beautiful
"Yes," Hunter stated, confirming his own statement. "It seems… almost perfect tonight. So… I… really meant to ask… if you don't mind Corona… would you like to come outside and… take a walk with me tonight?"
Corona looked at Hunter, her eyes wide with excitement. Of course she did. This would be like… almost a date. Maybe Hunter really had noticed.
"Hunter!" she exclaimed. "Yes, I really want to!"
Corona could see that Hunter looked excited too, as if he didn't expect Corona to say yes.
"You mean it?" Hunter asked.
"Yeah," said Corona. She smiled, more than a little surprised as to how things were turning out. She was still troubled though, by another thought. This pseudo-date, or whatever it was supposed to be, would be the perfect opportunity to tell Hunter how she felt. She knew it would still be nerve-wracking, but it must've took a lot of guts for Hunter to ask her out, she realized. But even then…
This continued on in Corona's mind, as the two were walking later on though. She still hadn't told him yet, and the walk wouldn't go on forever.
"Corona," said Hunter. "You look like something's bothering you. What's wrong?"
"Um…" said Corona, a bit surprised that her apprehension was showing so well. She wanted Hunter to know that she was happy. However, this also made her realize that it was now or never. She had to tell him. "You know how before, when you came into my room, I said all I was doing was thinking about things?" Corona began.
"Well… yes," said Hunter.
"Those things," said Corona "were about you, Hunter."
"Were they something bad?" asked Hunter. "Do you not want to be here?"
"No!" Corona shouted. "That's not it at all."
"Then what was it?" Hunter asked.
"That I love you!" Corona blurted out. Maybe it wasn't the best approach, but she just had to get it over with.
"Corona…" said Hunter, shocked by the suddenness. He stopped for a moment. "So do I," he said.
They both looked into the other's eyes and they both could tell their feelings were sincere. The two Spider Riders shared a kiss under the moonlight.