A/N: Had to tweak it a little to set up the conflict later. At least now they're together.
This isn't exactly how Aqua planned on entering this world.
Sunlight filtered through her eyelids, momentarily blinding her as she sat up. Her backside felt the pain of the collision, despite being armored when she fell. But the wave of Unversed that attacked her while she was in the air why so sudden, she had to make a quick detour to the nearest land. Sadly, it meant crashing into the nearest building while she tried to shake off Unversed from her Keyblade glider.
Sitting up, she blinked up at the ceiling of where she just fell through, and cringed. The ceiling had a giant hole in it, since the metal had easily torn through the rickety boards. Though to Aqua's relief, it seemed that she landed in an abandoned building. It was spacious and empty, with numerous cobwebs and an inch thick of dust everywhere, She sneezed repeatedly, staring at woe at the new hole in the ceiling. She couldn't really leave it like this. It just wasn't who she is. Still, it's not like there was anyone she could approach to right now and apologize. With a sigh, she went over to the double doors, only to realize they're locked, proving further that the building was abandoned. She tore down a set of wooden boards over a large window that was large enough for her to squeeze out, though she didn't escape clean.
Sneezing repeatedly, and eyes stinging, she took a few steps back away from the building to look it over. Aqua covered her nose and mouth just as she sneezed again, the dust still clinging to her clothing. She continued to dust herself off, until a dot of blue skirted around the corner and towards the harbor. Doing a double take, she sneezed one more time before running after it. Even in this world, they still exist. Her hand automatically summoned Rain Fall, only for her to dismiss it the moment she reached the docks, feet braking abruptly and mouth dropping.
What can only be described as crowds of women were screaming and squealing, holding banners and flags. On one of the boats, a giant banner saying "Welcome, Prince Naveen!" was written in big letters. Her eyes though, weren't trained on the young man with the shiny teeth and face that was making hundreds of girls scream. She watched the Unversed skirt around people's feet.
And unmistakably, a patch of brown hair she was all too familar with passed her vision, the owner quickly making a chase for the Unversed too.
Her shout was promptly drowned by more screaming as the prince pranced down the ramp, strumming a ukelele. Frustrated, she struggled against the female mob, fighting her way to reach her fellow Keyblade apprentice. No one wouldn't let her pass though, and aggravated, she dislodged herself from the crowd and ran around the clump of girls. Of course, the extra time caused her to lose him, and she sighed, glancing around with a frown as she tried to catch her breath.
Wasting no time, she started wandering around the city, trying to look for a sign of him. Ever since the events of Radiant Garden, she really wanted to talk to him. She wanted to prove to him and Ven that her being a Master didn't changer her. It still irks her that he thought like that, but she couldn't really blame him. Being Master was his dream. A little technicality wasn't really worth a disqualification.
... if given the chance to redo the exams, she would have let him win.
No wait, he wouldn't want that. Darn it, why was he so complicated? Living with him for years hasn't really made her an expert on him, which actually frustrated her at times. She kept on wandering the streets, a little lost and still trying to look for a sign of him, or the Unversed. Luckily enough, the latter was a little easier to find.
This time, the screams were not of glee, but more of pure horror, and Aqua's senses immediately alerted her in the direction. Retracing her steps a little, she could make out a few of them surrounding the Prince from the boat, his assistant cowering behind him and quivering. Any girls around them before had fled, shrieking. Without being told to, she whipped out her Keyblade, quickly striking them down.
"What is this, this is not a welcome fit for someone like me!" the Prince cried out, ukelele poised as if ready to strike out any Unversed who would dare to hurt a hair onhis Royal Highness' head. Refraining herself from rolling her eyes, Aqua took out the rest with a twirl, finishing off the rest with a spinning finisher. Behind her, the Prince's assistant crumpled to a dead faint.
"Achidanza..." the Prince studied her, hand on the hat he was wearing, and Aqua knew that look all too well. She didn't knew whether to be amused or be annoyed, quietly dismissing her Keyblade and opting to ignore the look.
"Are the two of you alright-- I mean. Aside from having fainted, that is." she glanced discreetly at the assistant, whom the Prince seems to be ignoring completely in favor of studying her. Upon her question though, he grinned somewhat sheepishly, bending down to pat his assistant on the cheek repeatedly (Aqua had a gut feeling he would have slapped his assistant instead if she wasn't around though.)
"Come, Lawrence, it is over. It happens all the time, really." he turned back to Aqua the moment the little man sat up, blinking blearily. "Something shocks him, he goes into a faint. Eh, same old story. But you! My lady--"
At this point, he promptly relinquished his support on the poor man, causing Lawrence to tumble back against the pavement as he swept his hat off his head and bowed to her. "I am in your debt."
"No, it's okay." Aqua hastily backed off, already having bad vibes with this one. "I'm just glad to help."
"I am Prince Naveen, of Maldonia. Perhaps there's a way for me to repay you. Um, a date, perhaps?" the Prince grinned at her, eyes trained on Aqua as he plopped his hat back on his head. Aqua groaned inwardly. Why was she expecting that.
"No, thank you. I have..." she started, trying to sound as apologetic as she could, only to drift off on her words when she saw a very familiar blonde boy outside a cafe, grinning and swaying to music coming from a band of musicians. ".. other affairs to take care of." she finished blankly.
The Prince didn't seem that disappointed, glancing at to where she was looking at, before breaking into a wide smile. "Ah! You wish to dance, yes? "
"What, no--" the words were barely out of her mouth when the Prince grabbed her wrist, pulling her forward (once again, leaving his assistant behind to scramble after them) and right into the street outside the cafe, leading her into a rather fast (and awkward on her part since she didn't know what kind it was) dance right next to the playing band. The crowd cheered and Aqua felt her cheeks blush red, until he heard Ven's laugh and saw him wave from the crowd. The Prince kept on twirling and leading her, and with slight difficulty (and continous apologies) she extracted herself from his hold. He gave a dismissal "Eh, okay." and focused his attention on a boy dancing, strumming the ukelele along with the band. Composing herself, Aqua made her way to the youngest apprentice, who had just turned to say goodbye to a dark skinned woman coming out of the cafe.
"Thanks for helping me set up the restaurant, Ven. See you during the party!" the woman waved, a giant pot with a ribbon tied around it under her arm (which looked out of place, really), hurrying to catch up the trolley.
"See you, Tiana!" Ven waved back at the woman's retreating form, before turning his attention to Aqua.
"THE PARTY, SIRE! WE'LL BE LATE!" Lawrence cried, diving into the band and crowd to try to fish out the Prince from procrastination. The sound of commotion, something getting stuck in a tuba and a very awful pun was heard, before a large crash followed it. Ven blinked, tilting his head at Aqua.
"You were dancing with Prince Naveen?" he asked curiously, taking a bite out of something brown and powdered with white sugar.
"Unwillingly. Ven, you're here too? I told you to go back to the Land of Departure, didn't I?" Aqua frowned, trying to evade the question concerning Prince Naveen. Apparently, Ven was evading questions too, since he took another bite out of the brown things he was eating, before offering Aqua a paper bag. "What are those things, anyway?"
Ven swallowed, pushing the bag in her hands. "Beignets! They're really good. I got you and Terra some."
Tentatively, Aqua took the bag and inspected the insides. They did smell delicious. And she had been searching for Terra all day (not to mention fighting Unversed and getting dragged by a Prince to dance in public.) Taking one, she took a bite and immediately felt her stomach ease a little. It's good.
"This is delicious."
"Isn't it? Tiana made them, the waitress in this restaurant. I wanted to help her out on her dream, so I bought extras for you and Terra." Ven grinned, and once again, Aqua was awed at how fast Ven could make friends with new people. Though the dreams part makes her stop. After all, it sounds a lot like Cinderella.
"Is she a...?" she faltered off inquiringly, but Ven shook his head.
"No. Though I think she's good enough to be one. She's just like Cinderella. She's working hard on this restaurant of hers. I came to help her and her mother fix it up. It's going to need a lot of help fixing though, since there's this giant hole on the ceiling." Ven frowned, and Aqua choked on her beignet, ducking her head. Well, that solves that mystery. Maybe she should help out fixing it because that was her fault. Ah, that reminds her.
"Have you seen Terra then?" Aqua asked, knowing full well that the boy would have kept tabs on his surrogate older brother's location whenever he had the chance.
"Terra? Is he here too?" Ven's eyes visibly lit up, and Aqua nodded, folding up the bag at the opening. Partly because they had more important things to do, partly because she wanted to save it for later.
"Mm. I saw him chasing an Unversed earlier. He couldn't hear me through the crowd though, so I lost him." Aqua continued on. Ven looked thoughtful, before shaking his head.
"I've been here all day. Well, in this cafe all day. If he was here, I didn't see him." Ven said thoughtfully, reaching for another beignet and looking crestfallen to discover that his paper bag was empty.
"Maybe he already left." Aqua sighed, watching as Ven crumpled up the bag and tossed it into a trash bin. Ven was about to answer, but his mouth fell open instead as he looked past her
"Aqua!" he suddenly stood up, pointing behind her, and Aqua swung around just in time to see a tall, skeleton like shadow slip into an alley, more Unversed following it. They exchanged glances, before rushing towards it. The sun was already setting, and it was almost night. Her Keyblade flared to life in her hand, Ven doing the same beside her. The shadow and Unversed winded through narrow allies, the two Keyblade apprentices following with slight difficulty. Either the city had quieted down, or they were entering a place rather too quiet. Up ahead they spotted a vacant lot, and Aqua could see the shadow's form as it towered above the fence. It was big, but Aqua reckoned that between her and Ven, they could take it down. Though Ven was quick to point out something.
"It's not an Unversed!"
Aqua had to do a double take. It wasn't. There was no symbol on it, and it looked more like a giant shadow, hunched and twisted. From the corner of her eye, she saw Ven take an involuntary step backwards, as if something about it didn't sit right with the boy. She was about to ask him if he was alright, until there was a loud sound of something colliding against a pile of scrap metal. Aqua and Ven yelled out simulatenously when they saw the armored figure that surfaced from the pile, just as the giant shadow slammed down it's clawed hand to hit him.