~*Birth of the Sun*~
Aqua could barely control her joy. She raced outside and found just the magician she needed. "Merlin! Can you come here a moment?"
Ventus stared stupidly at the letter that had somehow materialized in his hand. The white envelope was addressed to him, with no stamp, and the world explorer was entirely bemused. He looked around at his surroundings—a futuristic style place with impossible machines and lots of odd billboards that read Keep Moving Forward in bright letters—and wondered if it had something to do with the mysterious item now in his hand.
Shrugging, he tore open the envelope and pulled out a white piece of stationary decorated with calligraphic swirls. His eyes steadily widened as he read its contents.
I don't know where you are now, but I hope you're safe and happy. I'm glad Merlin mastered the spell needed to send you this letter. How's the universe exploring thing coming? I hope you can come and tell Terra and I about it soon. I have some big news.
Ven saw where, in her excitement, the blue pen had slipped and left a faint trail of sapphire across the snow white of the page.
I'm having a baby! I'll tell you more when you get here.
Aqua and Terra
Three heartbeats, roughly three seconds, passed before the Keyblade Master stirred. He shoved the letter in his pocket and whipped around swiftly, running with the speed of the wind towards his Gummi Ship—(the ship was more comfortable than his Rider).
He had to get back, and woe to anyone or anything that got in his way.
Radiant Garden. The place Aqua and Terra had chosen as their home, and Ven, whenever he was there. It was always a comforting thought to know he could return whenever he wanted, and would be welcomed.
Over the years it had grown to a beautiful, clean city, complete with fountains and libraries, parks and museums. It attracted hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people a year from all over the universe. The Garden was well known as a historical landmark, and that alone netted the interest of researchers from the four corners of space. It was not unusual to see aliens, humanoid animals, beings that seemed to be demons and angels, humans (of course), and other unidentifiable creatures walking the streets in strange armor and wielding even stranger weapons. This, of course, meant that the city had to supply a strong guard force to keep the inhabitants safe. Rumor had it; the police were led by either Leon or Cloud.
Ven, he had always thought it was Yuffie.
The young man landed his ship and leaped out; absently activating its alarm and security features just in case, though Radiant Garden had an almost microscopic crime rate. Ven had paid good money for that Gummi Ship, thank you very much.
Unfortunately the blonde was rather well known, and of course his arrival didn't go unnoticed. Ventus jumped up onto the roofs to avoid the tourists eager to see the boy that had lost his heart and regained it, courtesy of Sora, almost three years ago now. The boy was no longer a boy, though.
Nothing had changed, really. Ven still had a mess of windswept gold hair, a little longer maybe but not really anything one would see right away. He had on much the same outfit, always black and white with a hint of bronze. The shoulder piece that housed his armor was still strapped on, and he still wore the metal shoes that, if angled correctly, could kick a hole in a door.
Yeah, not much had changed.
Ventus reached his destination, peering down over the roof edge. He had gotten the letter only a few hours ago, and the sun was still out, though perhaps it had set back in that utopian world. The trio's home was on the third tier of Radiant Garden, since the city rose in steps and spiraled out to the famous "Rising Falls", which were only a silvery curtain in the distance. It was rather large for just the three of them—Four of us soon, he thought—made of stone the color of honey, with a tint of white. Dark brown roof, flower boxes underneath every window, a silver gate on the outside…you would think someone rich was living here, not the three former Keyblade apprentices. The impressive place was a gift from the governor of Radiant Garden, Ansem the Wise. They had offered to work for it but he had only laughed until they accepted the house keys somewhat guiltily.
Ventus shook his head, clearing his thoughts and the maelstrom of memories, leaping nimbly off the roof and swinging into the open window beneath him by using the shingles as a ledge. He calmly and quietly walked downstairs, passing the pictures Terra had taken of the three of them and their friends, pleased to see they had left his room exactly the same as it had been when he had departed. Almost two months ago.
Striding casually into the kitchen, Ven smiled and said, "Now, how long until I have to babysit?"
Aqua welcomed him with a backbreaking hug.
Terra himself, before he had even begun falling for Aqua, had felt somewhat misplaced and uncomfortable. The same guilty, uneasy feeling Riku had informed he had had when he had fallen into Darkness, and then reunited with Sora and Kairi.
It was all very strange but happy. Then one day he had been out walking with Aqua, exploring worlds again they had been on once, in their apprentice days. It had felt like a lifetime ago, especially to Terra. Ven was off somewhere, looking for Cinderella. Something had happened, he had leaned in too close, the moonlight had been hitting her just too perfectly, and then he found himself kissing her. And not really willing to stop.
And she had returned the kiss.
And Ven had turned on his heel and walked off, his arrival mostly unnoticed.
That had taken some straightening out. Aqua was unwilling to attempt a relationship, even with the peace Sora had created when he saved the universe again, until she knew that she wouldn't be hurting Ventus in the process.
After a while, Ven relented, saw they loved each other, and informed Aqua that she needed to go be with Terra.
Terra had never forgotten this fact. Whatever feelings, big or small, Ventus may have had for Aqua, he let them go. For him. That cemented their friendship to an even stronger degree.
Now he was here, they were all here, the trio of close friends waiting for their child and godchild—Ventus had been made the legal godfather…in case anything happened.
And time began to pass.
Ventus was flat on his back, a weight on his chest, staring into a pair of brilliant golden eyes.
"Uncle Ven!" The five year old squealed in delight, clinging to the front of her godfather's shirt, having had tackled him the moment he had walked in through the front door.
"Sol, hey!" Standing up and swinging the little girl around, Ven gave his usual stupidly ecstatic grin, dropping his black backpack onto the floor.
Aqua leaned against the wall and smiled, watching her daughter with her friend. Sol—Latin for sun, as Terra had named her—looked almost exactly like her mother. The same silver-blue hair, slim frame, and strong gaze that Aqua was known for.
The only difference was her eyes. She had her father's bright yellow eyes.
Terra remarked by her side, "Apparently Sol loves Ven's visits. She asked me when I told her he was coming why he doesn't stay here forever."
Aqua smiled and intertwined her fingers with her husband's. "Well, Ven's just a big goofball. All children just adore him."
"Right," Terra muttered, smiling despite himself. "Here comes the question."
Besides yelling his name, Aqua knew her daughter always said one thing when Ven came.
"What did you bring this time?" Sol was bouncing around Ven's legs, and the young man tried not to accidentally poke her with the sharp tips of his metal shoes.
Aqua walked over and knelt next to Ven and her daughter, with the former rummaging in his black backpack. "Yeah," she teased. "What did you bring this time?"
Terra ruffled Ven's blonde hair. "Please tell me you didn't bring a laser gun."
"Hey," the explorer objected defensively. "How was I supposed to know that pen was a laser?"
A smirk from the brunette. "So, you were going to be cheap and give my daughter a pen?"
Ven scowled. "The merchant said it would be the best writing utensil ever. I just figured it wrote in rainbow colors or something. Who makes it to the point that lasers can be bought casually in stores?"
"Uncle Ven," Sol tugged on his sleeve, her eyes flicking between the three adults.
"Right, right. Here you are." He handed her a wrapped gift in bright silver tinfoil, and the girl raced to the other side of the room to open it.
Aqua absently listened to Ven and Terra launch into a discussion about something or other. She was mostly thinking about the years that had led up to this point.
Terra had been incredibly anxious the entire time she was pregnant. It was cute really, since he normally was somewhat aloof. They had been traveling together, Ven going on his own to give them "some privacy", but once Aqua had found out she was expecting a little girl, she thought it would be safer to stay in their seldom used house until their daughter was old enough to go with them. If that's what they were going to do still.
Just as she had thought, when she had written "hurry home", Ven had already known she meant their house in Radiant Garden.
The wedding a few years back, Aqua thought with a small smile, had been very entertaining. Sora had raced in, thinking he was late but in reality he was early, black tuxedo jacket flapping behind him. He had crashed headfirst into Terra, and her fiancé had toppled into the fountain. He had jumped out and dragged Sora in, but Riku had arrived and succeeded in hauling them both out.
Queen Minnie, whom Aqua had been surprised to see, insisted on giving her flamboyant gifts with Mickey being much the same, though he also looked a little apologetic when the various presents were being unloaded from the ship.
Kairi, Naminé, Roxas—Ven's twin she swore—the still-looking-stunned-to-be-alive Axel /Lea and the ever shy Xion also made their entrance. So many friends, even the lions from the Pridelands, Simba and Nala with their daughter Kiara and her mate Kovu along with their little one, somehow made it to Radiant Garden. They seemed shocked by their surroundings.
After the vows had been said, the cake cut, and followed by Sora and Roxas, whom had barely managed to drag Donald away from Goofy as he tried to maul the poor shield bearer alive for getting cake on Daisy's dress, Aqua and Terra had went outside for a stroll.
And she had told him she wanted a child.
Aqua had been so worried, though, when Sol had opened her eyes and she had Xehanort's/Ansem's/Xemnas's yellow gaze. Terra had been perturbed also, but he had only gently stroked her hair and murmured, "The sun is gold too, and it's a source of life."
That's when they named her Sol.
Aqua jumped out of her seat and ran towards her daughter as Sol exclaimed happily, "I've got a key, Mommy!"
Aqua paled, staring at her little girl, heart twisting in aching spasms in her chest.
Whatever Ven had given her in that long package, probably a play sword that plenty of children possessed, had somehow morphed into a Keyblade.
Terra hadn't wanted this for his daughter. The Keyblade was something he had hoped she would not obtain. But somehow he knew that it would happen, that it would always happen. Sol's parents were Keybearers, and her heart was just as strong.
He swore, no matter what, that his daughter would not walk down the path he had.
Ven, feeling strangely guilty at the sight of the bright yellow Keyblade with the sun as a Keychain, had departed hurriedly. To Sol's displeasure. Aqua had left to try and explain to their friend that it wasn't his fault.
A few moments after the door closed, a glimmering white light enveloped Sol's Keyblade and it vanished.
"Come here, sweetie." Terra called, sitting down in a red armchair. She came, and he hefted her onto his lap. He looked her straight in the eyes, searching for any swirling tendrils of darkness. There was none, just her usual vividly bright golden stare.
"Er—do you know what that key was?" He began awkwardly. Aqua was the one that was good at these kinds of talks.
"You have one," Sol replied accusingly, poking his chest with one small finger. "And Mommy has a really pretty one. And so do Uncle Ven and Sora, and Uncle Riku and..." She frowned. "Lots of people have one. And now I do!" She finished triumphantly.
Sora was also a really popular person with Sol—"Don't call me Uncle, just Sora!" he had said--but he was a little busy now with his and Kairi's daughter, Hikari. He came over occasionally though, and his presence invoked bright smiles from everyone.
"Yes, well, that key is called a Keyblade." Terra took a deep breath, thinking with a pang of Master Eraqus and what he had said to him the first time the Keyblade was explained, and wondering if she was old enough to know the truth also. He looked into her curious eyes and his question was answered. "The Keyblade is something you shouldn't use until you get older. Then I'll tell you all about it, and how to use it." She might as well be educated in its uses, since she has one, he reasoned.
"Promise?" Sol inquired, tilting her head to the side slightly.
"Promise. Now, let's go find where your mother and crazy uncle went, okay?"
Terra stood up and let Sol rest on his shoulders, her hands gripping his hair. "I get confused sometimes," Sol admitted.
He turned his head to look at her. "Why?"
"…I thought he was Uncle Roxas at first."
Terra didn't know why, but this amused him so much that he had to put down Sol for a minute, since he was laughing so hard.
Five year old Sol—almost six—born on the day of Radiant Garden's summer solstice, the longest day of the year, had lots of relatives. She thought they were all either really moody or really cheerful.
For starters, there was Uncle Sora. He didn't like being called Uncle though, so just Sora. She liked his name; it sort of rolled on her tongue all the time. Sora. The spiky haired cheery guy she called him. He was with Aunt Kairi.
Aunt Kairi was really pretty and nice and all, she liked her, but Aunt Naminé was prettier. She thought so at least. Sol, she loved Aunt Naminé. She made the most beautiful sketches, but she was really quiet. When she did speak, she had the greatest storytelling voice, all soft and elegant.
Axel had outright rejected the Uncle title. Sol didn't get him. She thought he was funny, but there were times when he seemed conflicted, and he answered to both Lea and Axel. She had asked if he was a Gemini—she had learned that word from Kairi when she and Naminé were in some kind of talk about a Zodiac—and this had caused Uncle Roxas to break into wild laughter.
Sol thought Roxas was Uncle Ven the first time they had met when she was three. When he had come close, she accused him of impersonating Ven and promptly pulled his hair. Her mother had to hurriedly remove her from the former Nobody's hair and then she had to stop Daddy, Sora, Axel, and Uncle Riku from laughing.
Speaking of Riku, he was really distracted, or distant, or something. Sol spent a whole day once mirroring his expression, smiling widely whenever he glanced at her, but scowling again whenever he looked away. Riku, to this day, didn't know why everyone had been laughing.
Then there was Xion, someone else that didn't accept the Aunt title. She was really pretty too, but in a more mysterious way, with her long raven black hair. Sol didn't understand, at first, but then she saw those weird looks she kept giving Axel. The same looks Mommy gave to Daddy. She had exclaimed cheerfully, "I think Xion likes you Axel!" and had received a bout of snickers from everyone as Xion blushed bright red.
"What makes you think that?" Axel had asked.
"She gives you a look like…" Sol had tried to copy Xion's longing expression, and understanding flickered across the redhead's face.
"Really." "Lea" winked at Xion. "She needs to talk to me about it some time, got it memorized?"
Sol met Hikari once too. She was a bundle of energy and bright, wild brown-red hair and vibrant blue eyes. Uncle Roxas and Aunt Naminé didn't seem interested in having kids, but she didn't know why. She had asked her Aunt once when she had visited, and all she had said was, "We're…kind of wondering what would happen."
Sol didn't know a lot of things. It really bugged her.
A duck named Donald and a dog named Goofy were some of her favorite guests, they were always really funny, and they were Sora's friends too. They had weird accents but she always got great gifts from them.
Sol liked gifts.
There was a mouse king too. "Just Mickey," he told her. She had seen him perform magic that rivaled even her mother, and she had copied him one day, saying the same words and doing the same motion he had done to light the lamps in the room.
All of them had ignited with a brilliant red shower, like the fireworks Axel had used at her birthday party.
Terra reached over and pinched a smoking strand of hair on Aqua's head before it could become a flame. "Well, she has your gift for magic."
"I can see that," Aqua had laughed, and Sol remembered feeling happy that she could do what her mother could.
Moody Uncle Roxas had given a shout of shock when she had casually waved her hand to emphasize a point one day—using those extravagant gestures Sora did when he was talking—and had opened a big black circle in their backyard. She had only been talking about how much she wanted to see the Pridelands.
He had snapped his fingers sharply, closing it before Sol could investigate, and had gently taken her shoulders in his strong hands. "Listen to me, okay?" He had whispered hurriedly.
Sol, scared at how serious and frightened he looked, had nodded.
"Don't ever do that again. It's bad."
"Bad?" She had squeaked.
"Really bad. I'll keep it a secret from…from your parents, but don't' open any more of those black circles."
Roxas just shook his head. "They're bad."He repeated. And he had such a look on his face that she had just silently nodded again.
She never opened one after that. But it had been so tempting.
Sol loved her parents, though sometimes she got scared when they argued. She didn't know what it was about exactly, but it had been something to do with Uncle Ven. Something her Daddy had said had made her usually happy godfather clench the table and hiss something under his breath.
Her mother had intervened, but her dad had been irritable for days afterward, and her Uncle had left for months.
Mostly, though, her memories were comprised of wonderful, warm feelings. She wasn't really spoiled, but her parents didn't like her to be even a little unhappy. Several times during her short life, Sol remembered going to Destiny Islands. She liked Radiant Garden and its pretty fountains and buildings, but the Islands were beautiful, the beaches enchanting.
She had asked her parents where Roxas and his friends were. "Twilight Town," they had replied. She wanted to see it one day soon.
Aqua tucked Sol in and closed the door behind her, walking to the room she shared with Terra and passing Ven's empty chamber. Her best friend had been gone for about a month now, but she knew he was safe and probably having fun.
Terra inquired as she came in, "Are you okay?"
"What makes you ask that?" Aqua sat down next to him and returned the brief kiss.
"You're really quiet."
"I'm just thinking about Sol. Do you think h-her eyes mean anything?"
"I'm hoping it doesn't. But she hasn't had any dark powers manifest…I'm sure it's nothing, Aqua." Terra rubbed at his owns eyes, which were dark blue now, but had moments of gold, especially when he was emotional.
"What about the Keyblade?"
Terra hugged her close. "You're worrying too much. The Keyblade doesn't mean anything besides she can now protect herself. We can teach her to use it when she's older. It'll be fine."
Aqua closed her eyes and leaned into his embrace, willing to believe he was right.
A combination of "What If" and canon. I guess.
…I so did not like this. I jumped around far too much I think, and for that I apologize. This was a prompt from Kiome-Yasha. A story about Terra, Aqua, and their daughter, Sol. Did I do…okay at least? I liked the beginning but I really screwed it up throughout this.
Anyway. Feel free to drop a review, and since this is so bad, I'll write another TerraxAqua to make up for it, Kiome-Yasha. This was way harder to do than I thought…Sorry.