"Will you call me as soon as you land?"

Kaede giggled at the concern in her friend's voice.

"I'll be fine Sai-san." She replied as Sai frowned, crossing her arms.

"I'm serious." She said as she furrowed her brow, staring down at the smiling Kaede. "I want you to call me as soon as you're off that plane." The girl with the angelic smile laughed softly, soothing the worried Sai.

"I know that you're serious, Sai-san." Kaede said as she took the other girl's hand, causing Sai to blush. "You're always serious." Holding her hand up near her chin, Kaede smiled sweetly at her friend, her eyes glittering in the setting sun. "I'll call you as soon as I land." Sai's expression softened at Kaede's confirmation, and she squeezed the other girl's hand.

"Thank you, Kaede." She said as a small smile formed on her lips. Slowly, Kaede brought Sai's hand to the face of the former, allowing her hand to rest on her cheek. Sai blushed at the girl's forwardness, but she made no move to break away. Taking a small step forward, she stared down at Kaede, not daring to speak the words that lingered on the edge of her tongue.

"Why are you leaving anyway?" Sai asked, frowning again. Kaede laughed once again, tilting her head slightly.

"It's only for a week, Sai-san." She said as she closed her eyes, leaning into Sai's touch.

"A lot can happen in a week." Sai whispered, looking at the floor. Kaede's smile vanished as she saw the anguish in her friend's eyes. Slowly, Sai pulled her hand away from Kaede, letting it fall to her side. The shorter of the two frowned as she also looked away, her hands at her side.

"Do I remind you of Rin-san?" Kaede asked, almost in a whisper as Sai's gaze sharply returned to her, surprised at her question.

"Does it seem that way?" She asked as Kaede smiled sadly.

"Sometimes, I feel as if you're so focused on keeping me safe, that you forget to take care of yourself in the process." Kaede looked back up at her friend. "Sai-san, I'm not weak. I can take care of myself." Sai smiled slightly.

"I know you can." She said, her smile sad. "I just can't bear the thought of… losing you." She said as Kaede's eyes widened in surprise, an expression that was quickly taken over by happiness.

"I'm really glad that you care enough about me to feel that way." She said as Sai's smile softened into a more sincere one.

"Kaede-san, it's almost time to leave!" Both Kaede and Sai jumped at the sound of the maid's voice from outside of the door. Giggling slightly, Kaede turned to walk towards the door. As Sai watched the retreating form of her friend, her smile vanished, and she knew that she had to tell her. Now.

"I love you."

Kaede froze, her hand inches from the door handle. Sai's eyes widened as she blushed, quickly covering her mouth, as if she could pull the words back onto her tongue with that single gesture. She was regretting her decision more and more as she stared at the motionless figure of the girl that she had just confessed to. She knew that she couldn't pretend that she hadn't said it; she knew that she might have crushed their friendship with those three small words.

After what seemed like an eternity, Kaede turned around, smiling brightly. Sai drew back slightly in surprise, but then she realized that this was probably Kaede trying to be sweet as she rejected her feelings. Slowly, the smaller girl made her way over to her friend, stopping a few inches before her.

"I'll call you when I land, Sai-san." She said as she placed her hands on Sai's shoulders, standing up on her tip-toes. Sai was shocked at the sensation of Kaede's lips on her own; she barely had time to close her eyes before the smaller girl ended the kiss by pulling away, her heels back on the ground. Sai opened her eyes to see a blushing girl smiling up at her, her eyes teary. "And you'll be the first person that I go to when I get back."

Overcome by her joyous feelings, Sai leaned down to pull Kaede into another kiss, this time much more prepared. As she wrapped her arms around the smaller girl, she shivered at the sensation of her kiss, surprised at the softness of her lips. She shivered again as Kaede wrapped her arms around her, her embrace gentle. Pulling away from her lips, Sai leaned towards her ear, mesmerized by the sensation of her breath on her skin.

"I love you, Kaede." She said again, this time more softly, less hasty. Kaede smiled as she hugged Sai tighter.

"I love you too, Sai-san."

When Sai found herself at home, waiting by the phone, she smiled to herself, knowing that she didn't have anything to worry about. There was no way that Kaede wouldn't be okay.

Ring… ring… ring….

A/N 8.21.10: Hello, hello. Sorry if that was hasty and cruddy, but I needed some Kaede x Sai fluff, and this fandom is lacking in it! This was my first attempt at writing anything for Angelic Layer, but I hope to write more for this series in the future, because it's always been one of my favorites, and Kaede x Sai is my OTP! Thank you for reading!

Sincerely, Zenaga the Sea Serpent