A/N: REPOSTED. Changed for the better, I hope. There's some references to FF7!universe. I like it. I also dig the title lots more, hehe.

Warning! This fic has no real purpose and/or substance besides satisfying my craving for Cloud x Aerith and serious fluffiness rolled in one. Any flames regarding either subject will be used to light the new scented candles I purchased from Yankee Candle today. I love scented candles.

Disclaimer: I don't own KH.


He can't help but think she looks pretty.

Her hair, which is normally bound and falling in a heavy honey-hued braid across her smooth back, shimmers delicately over her shoulders when it is loosened from all restraint and ribbon-bands. It curls gracefully around her lithe body beneath the crisp sheets, framing her heart-shaped face gently as the wispy fog frames the morning light quietly whispering in. Her skin, which gets more tanned by day, is smooth and ivory in color like the angel light petals of the ornate white lily. Her lips, which are far too dark to be compared to peaches yet far too light to be compared to the red, red rose, are a candied pink, and parted ever so slightly as she breathes: in and out.

He feels a pain in his heart like no other as he stands by her bedside because he knows.

This is how her lover would see her, and it tore him apart.

He can't help but think she looks gorgeous.

After brushing her hair free from its tangles she lets it flow smoothly down her back. The sudden urge to run his hands through that waterfall of flowing amber silk causes him to raise one ebony-gloved hand hesitantly, shakily reaching out to tuck one chestnut-brown strand behind a shell-pink ear as his heartbeat picks up rapidly in his chest. Just as he is about to touch her hair, the flower girl turns with a whisper of cloth and shifts her weight on nimble feet. Her green eyes shine like polished peridot-diamonds as she lifts her gaze to meet his pale aquamarine.

The spell is broken.

"Is something troubling you?" the docile woman murmurs kindly from her perch amidst the colored flowers, every gesture cloaked with thinly veiled inquisitiveness as she tilts her head slightly to one side; dappled light glows on her sun-kissed skin as she keeps her eyes locked on his cobalt gaze, lifting her arms up delicately to begin the tedious task of braiding of her long, wavy hair. She smiles charmingly all the while.

"No," he says unconvincingly as he averts his gaze to the mottled emerald earth, eyes speckled with green tints like an extravagant egg. "I'm fine, just . . . just --"

"Just what?" she intervenes softly, her voice rising in the spring air and unraveling over him like the sweetest caress of wind. She sounds genuinely curious.

"Distracted," he manages after a few seconds, albeit a bit lamely as he watches her out of the corner of his eye venture a little ways off from her garden, lifting her face to the sky with the most serene expression. He wants to say more, but when he at last seizes the courage to look her in the eye and part his lips, his voice is snatched up by the ephemeral breeze decorated with cherry blooms that blows past them as he is left in sheer and unadulterated awe.

Like a flower, she blooms in the sun.

He can't help but think she looks beautiful.

She sings sweet tunes to herself and prepares their meals with cheerful ease. It's not everyday he sits down and enjoys good home cooking; he feels awkward and out of place as he asks Cid to pass him the rolls. By this time he can feel Squall's suspicious gaze burning holes into the back of his head, notices the way Merlin smiles amusedly every once in awhile behind his silvery mustache, while pretending to ignore the way Yuffie bursts into fits of obnoxious giggles every time he is caught casting a glance in the flower girl's direction. Even after the Keyblade master and his friends have come and gone and the petite ninja's rubbed her eyes sleepily before being ushered off to bed he stays behind, helping her to gather the dirty dishes and clear off the checkered-cloth covered table silently and without complaint. It's a small gesture, but it delights her all the same. She rewards him with another one of those lovely rose-lipped smiles, and he blushes embarrassedly, careful to avoid her gaze for the rest of the night.

She retreats to the shower afterwards, and runs quite literally into him in the hallway on his way out. His face reddens as he opens his mouth abruptly to apologize but she laughs instead and waves it off gently questioning in that lilting tone of hers, I'm not that fragile looking, am I?" and he pauses with a start because he cannot help but notice that she has this glow about her in the midst of the dark hallway, a pure affixed light that shines through her flesh and emanates like a halo. It's something he supposes that he's always admired about her. Despite the darkness in her life she's always smiling, always laughing, always putting other's before her own well-being. Her heart is just so full of this beautiful, white light.

After a moment of lull:

"You're still here?" she teases with a hint of mirth in her voice. Yet, he can't help but catch the falter in her words, notice the way the words stumble off of her tongue clumsily like she's almost in a state of disbelief at his mere prescence. Her hair falls in damp cinnamon curls and ringlets about her ivory shoulders, reaching the small of her back as she hugs the coral robe she is donning unconsciously closer to her small frame. A flush begins to paint her features in shades of rose as she fidgets beneath his fierce scrutiny, but she does not look away. Another trait he's always admired about her: her fearlessness, her courage at any given situation which makes her shine, glow like amber stars.

"Shouldn't you be going? Or are you injured . . . ?"

He nods, unable to string together a coherent sentence in her presence before he brings himself to answer back simply, "I should be going." There's something in his eyes, a single shining conviction that rises up through the deep baritone of his gravelly voice that leaves her rather speechless with the way he utters his words, and his tongue rolls off his palate that utterly and entirely amazes her. Taking long strides as he crosses the final distance between them he locks gazes with her. " . . . but there's something I need to do, first."

Her eyes widen as he tips her head back, and when he kisses her it is like the slightest brushing of two butterfly wings: all soft and light and positively lovely.

He can't help but think she looks pretty/gorgeous/beautiful.

The gentle rise and fall of her chest, and the soft whispering sound of her breathing amidst feminine bedsheets and the smell of flora is hypnotic as she dreams. When peppermint starlight streams in through an open window and gentle hues of the ice white moon paint soft filigree patterns against her pink lips and chin, her peach skin turns a ghostly white, and he almost panicks, because sometimes he has horrible, terrible nightmares. Dreams where icy cerulean water laps at his skin and she's limp, lying lifelessly in his arms as he lowers her body to the water and he's crying, oh he's crying so hard because she's gone she's dead, she will never talk, laugh, cry or get angry again and this all seems so eerily familiar in a twisted, heartbroken way. He is honestly frightened that when starlight floods the room and her body's painted in silver shades she is dead because she's cold to the touch and her skin looks like ice.

So when he caresses her cheek and his heart skips a beat in fear of unnamed, horrible things, he almost jumps in surprise when she wakes up. Cinnamon lashes blink slowly to reveal bright green orbs as wavy sheets of russet fan out against the pillow like a river of warm chocolate, her skin returning to its normal sheen of gold in waking, and her lips coloring pink like the unfurling petals of the budding baby rose as she returns to the land of the living.

Selfishly, he thinks in the back of his head, Returns to me.

He releases a quiet sigh and lowers his forehead to rest against the curve of her breast, pale lashes fluttering closed as he comforts himself in the steady and continuous ba-bump, ba-bump sound of her racing heartbeat. In the rising sun's watered-down light, he says words he has and will never say to anyone else and shudders at their cold, blunt truth. "I -- I don't deserve you, Aerith."

It's nearly an unintelligible mumble, stated so softly, so quietly that the flower girl almost misses it. Almost, but not quite.

Stunned into silence, the aloof blonde nearly begins to tremble and break out into goose-bumps as she smiles sweetly, her full lips moving in his hair as she whispers gently, "No, Cloud. You deserve everything."

He can't help but think she looks pretty/gorgeous/beautiful.

In fact, Cloud can't help but fall in love with her: over and over and over and over again.