Terra shuddered as he felt Master Xehanort's icy amber gaze travel over his form. The man always gave Terra the major creeps, and for good reason. It always seemed as if he was watching every movement of his muscles, and this was even more apparent when he watched Terra train. Terra shrugged off the chilling feeling and hacked through the Unversed dummies that the dark Master had conjured up and skidded to a halt, wiping his brow.

Master Xehanort's deep, gravelly chuckle was heard behind him. "Well done." Terra twitched and turned to face him. The bent old man stared intently at him, and he immediately replied with a slight bow and a mumbled "Thank you, Master." The old man smirked, triumph clear in his eyes. Terra had always been taught to be polite, but Master Xehanort was taking things a bit too far. Sorry to burst his bubble, but he addressed all of his teachers as 'Master'. However, old Xehanort always seemed to use the politeness for his own ego boost.

"You know, Terra…you are a lot stronger than him. I'd almost prefer to be your Master instead of his."

"And you know I won't do that." Terra hissed, his face flushing slightly. Master Xehanort chuckled. "Of course." He took the time to walk a small circle around Terra, his predatory gaze taking in every detail of Terra's presence. "It's really a shame, though. You and I would be a much better pair."

Xehanort's use of the word 'pair' made Terra's stomach clench. Just what did he 'teach' his apprentice? "I already told you, I'm not doing it." Master Xehanort's eyes narrowed slightly. "Fine then. I still think you're making a mistake."

"You don't know anything about me or my mistakes." Master Xehanort huffed. "That's what you think." Xehanort started to make his way back to his quarters, taking the time to briefly wave goodbye. Terra grumbled, turning around to rush toward his quarters. As Terra ran in the separate direction as himself, Master Xehanort licked his lips and chuckled to himself before entering his small living space.

Terra's mind was swamped with different thoughts, good and bad. He knew how Master Xehanort normally acted, and he seemed to crave physical contact like a man craved air. But today, he seemed a little off; there was just something about the dark Master's presence today that worried Terra.

Xehanort, for a moment, had seemed to only crave him. He had seen how Master Xehanort had acted around Eraqus too; he had seen that nearly predatory gaze in his eyes that traveled over Eraqus' form. He also knew that the Master had a certain hunger, one that caused him to crave and covet the attentions of other people in intimate ways.

What exactly had the Master done in his past, what relationship had he experienced with his own Master?

Terra flopped down on his bed, stretching out and relaxing his sore muscles. If there was one thing Master Xehanort taught well, it was hard training. His heart still pounded his ribcage in a war-drum beat, and sweat still beaded on his forehead. Yet, he was content with lying here, just resting himself in preparation of Master Xehanort's next calling. It wasn't long before his eyes closed and he fell into a deep sleep.

It had only seemed as a few seconds had passed that he awoke, groggy and sticky with sweat. Why he had begun sweating so profusely in his sleep he could not even begin to fathom, as he could not remember having any dreams that could have sparked it. He sat up and gazed out the window, looking out into the red and violet sunset. He'd slept almost the entire day away, although it hadn't seemed like it. Terra rubbed the sleep from his eyes before standing up to stretch his stiff muscles. He decided to go outside and get a little fresh air before it got too dark, as the nights here were cold and brutal, characteristic of the desert that he and the Master resided in for the time being.

The air outside was already cool and refreshing. The desert scent of sage and honeysuckle scent of the night were already waging war on each other, each fighting for dominance as the dark of night settled in. Terra could see the dark Master's place of residence, and the slight flicker of candles through the small, dark windows. Yet, his hunched figure was nowhere to be seen inside, nor outside his encampment.

Perhaps he's asleep? Terra thought, but knew better. Master Xehanort wouldn't leave candles going unattended, as he always seemed much too nervous about the threat of fire. Terra's mind urged him to check on the elderly Master, although he knew that he absolutely did not like to be disturbed at this time of night. Better safe than sorry. With that, Terra headed toward the Master's encampment.

He was met with no resistance upon entering Master Xehanort's quarters, no yelling or smacking. Terra, fearing the worst, tiptoed into the small threshold of the tiny house. He analyzed the darkness that wasn't graced by the candles' light, but saw nothing. He moved in a little farther.

Nothing. All of a sudden, he felt a swift blow to the back of his head, jolting him to the ground. Dazed, he flipped over onto his back where his assailant pinned him to the ground. "Why are you here?" a familiar voice demanded. He opened his eyes, which met the gaze of a pair of very familiar gold eyes. Terra sputtered, trying to regain his bearings to answer. "I thought…you were hurt…" Terra gasped, the back of his head throbbing.

The pressure on his arms eased, and the figure straightened up. "You know better than to enter my quarters at night, don't you Terra?" Terra breathed a sigh of relief. "I know, Master. I was just concerned." Master Xehanort didn't move for a few seconds, causing Terra to look up at him. Xehanort's eyes were downcast, a look of ancient sadness apparent in those eyes.

Terra lifted his hand to touch the dark Master's shoulder, but he only moved away and lifted himself to his feet. "Get up, Terra." He quickly stood, his eyes locked on Xehanort's face. "You have nothing to be concerned about." Xehanort's sidelong glance was no longer one of sadness but of annoyance. "You need to rest yourself Terra. I don't want you to waste time sleeping that can be used for training."

Terra bowed slightly and promptly left. So Xehanort was in yet another foul mood. Terra just hoped that that foul mood wouldn't carry over into tomorrow's training.