DA: Yes, another one-shot. This one's a lot more serious than the other one. I like this one better too.

Disclaimer: I don't own Spider Riders or the song, 'Collide'

DA: This is based on Collide, a song written, or at least sung, by Howie Day.


"Corona?" Hunter asked, entering the courtyard. She stood at the center of the garden that surrounded the fountain in the center, just staring at the sky. She turned and smiled at him, her pulse quickening. Though she hadn't expected him, Hunter's appearance was a pleasant surprise. "What are you doing out here?"

"I...um...well," she stuttered, finding herself completely entranced by him. He smiled at her response, letting out a quiet laugh. He moved to approach her, his emerald eyes fixed onto the Handmaiden. The moonlight that struck her body brought out her features and he had to admit that she was stunningly beautiful tonight. The light of the darkened sun as it reflected off her blue eyes almost made them seem white. The overall effect was breathtaking.

Their eyes met and it was as if the world had gone silent. Without realizing it, they moved closer. The fountain gurgled nearby, providing the only sound. Soon the met in front of the marble water fixture, seeming almost hypnotized by the other's presence. Neither of them said anything, their thoughts elsewhere.

Corona found herself looking up at the redhead. It seemed that he'd grown quite a lot in the last year, making him taller than her. She couldn't name the emotion that shined within his beautiful emerald orbs, whatever it was, it took her breath away.

Hunter was having similar thoughts, finding himself lost in her clear blue eyes. She smelled of a delicate wildflower, probably one native to her hometown. Whatever it was, it only added to her beauty.

Suddenly, a single, pure note sliced through the air, the sound coming out of nowhere. It broke them both out of their trance. Another note followed the first and soon a slow, sweet melody filled the air. A look of wonder came over Corona's face and a soft smile grew on Hunter's. Corona looked up at him, inspiration flashing through her mind. "You know," Corona said softly. "We never got to dance at the last ball." Hunter's smile grew wider, his hand sliding down her arm. Their hands met and the redhead's fingers slid between the spaces between her fingers. Corona marveled at how soft his hand was.

"Well then," he said, pleased with the turn of events. "May I have this dance?" The blond laughed, throwing her other arm around his neck.

"You may." Hunter grabbed her waist with his free hand, drawing her closer. Their faces were a hair's breadth apart. Corona could feel Hunter's breath tickling her cheek. They began to sway in time with the strange music. She could feel Hunter's tension; obviously this was one of his first times dancing with someone.

The redhead found that he could dance better than he thought he could as he led Corona around the small courtyard, twirling and swaying with the music. He began to relax and enjoy the sensation of her soft form against his, her gentle breath passing her cheek. "I was out on a walk because I couldn't sleep," Corona suddenly said, her voice soft. He looked down at her, cocking an eyebrow. "That was the answer to your earlier question." They stopped dancing and Corona looked down, a faint blush making its way across her cheeks. Her bare feet squeezed the dirt between her toes, a physical sign of her anxiety.

Hunter's gentle fingers lifted her chin. She gazed up at him, seeing the caring young man that he'd become. Completely different from the foolish little boy that she'd found in the woods twelve months ago. It was this man that she couldn't stop herself from thinking about all the time. Without really realizing it, she finished her reason. "I was too busy thinking about you to sleep." He smiled, a look of understanding lighting in his eyes.

"I couldn't sleep either." He touched his lips to hers gently, almost as if he wasn't sure. She froze in shock for a moment, her mind stopping as if short-circuited. She allowed herself finally to melt into it, pulling her other hand from Hunter's and wrapping it around his neck. His newly freed hand caressed her cheek, the hand lifting her chin sliding up to do the same. Time seemed to have stopped in that moment, allowing the two of them to exist in their own world together.

When they broke, Corona felt tears budding in her eyes, a bright smile lighting her face. Hunter was quiet for a while, studying her. "Corona, I..." He paused, trying to choose his words carefully. "Corona, you mean the world to me. More than that even. You are my world. I've never felt this way about anyone before. Corona..." He stopped again, meeting her eyes. "I love you." The blond's smile grew wider at his words and she threw her arms around him.

"Oh, Hunter. You've been my world for longer than you know. I love you too." The redhead grinned, his worry that he'd been making a fool out of himself fading. He pulled her into another kiss, just wanting this moment to last forever.

When they parted this time, his arms curled around her waist and they began to dance again, the music's pull to strong to resist. If the night had lasted forever, neither would have minded. Corona's head rested on his sturdy shoulder, closing her eyes. A contented sigh left between her parted lips.

It was a long time before they stopped. And even then they didn't leave the courtyard. They sat in the garden, hand in hand, looking up at the sky as it began to lighten. To them, this night was the first of many.

Aqune smiled at the pair, pulling the wooden flute from her lips. "My work is done here," she whispered to herself, leaning on the balcony's railing. She had known that they had fallen for each other for quite some time. But since neither would do anything about it, the dark-haired Handmaiden thought she'd provide a slight nudge. When she saw Hunter leave his room that night, she knew what to do.

Sighing, she pushed herself from the railing and began her walk into the castle. Her small smile never left her face.

When morning found the couple, they had fallen asleep. Hunter had his arms wrapping around Corona. Her head was resting on his chest. Small smiles from the night before still lingered on both of their faces.

The riders were lined at the opening of the courtyard, just watching them. "It's about time," Igneous whispered. The others murmured their agreement before quietly walking off, not wanting to intrude when the two woke.

Even the best fall down sometime

Even the wrong words seem to rhyme

Out of the doubt that fills my mind

I somehow find that you and I


DA: So what do you think? I wrote it late last night. The overall effect of the story is doubled when you listen to the song while reading it. I hope you enjoyed. :)

May your hearts stay strong,