Author's Note: No spoilers here, just some fluff! This is my first piece for Birth by Sleep and I'm not too far in the game but I have completely fallen in love with the idea of Terra and Aqua. Such a cute and perfect couple! So, I figured why not write something about it and volia! Here it is. Please enjoy and forgive me if anyone seems out of character as I have only played as Aqua.

Being the perfect student and an expert at magic was a hard job.

The young blue-haired woman could tell you that it took a lot out of her—that a lot of times she felt like she was on the verge of collapsing and that she was pushing herself too hard—but she would never complain. Aqua just wasn't that kind of person. She was kind of person who would smile and assure you she was fine instead of telling you she was in pain.

Usually, no one saw through her lies.

But Ven and Terra had known her for too long to buy her story. Of course, they had no proof that she was overexerting herself. Lord knows Aqua never revealed her weakness in front of others and without any proof, their Master wouldn't interfere.

"Terra, Ven," Master Eraqus had told them with the same weary smile he had began to wear whenever his two male apprentices showed up to talk to him. "Aqua is fine. I believe she is capable of taking care of herself." The two had them muttered a goodbye and had left their Master, knowing they had lost the battle but not the war. With their Master unwilling to help, the two had turned to something more sinister—

Spying.

The plan was simple and full proof. Ven would accompany Aqua everywhere while Terra would follow behind in the shadows when Aqua was alone. That way, if Aqua were to break down, one of them would be able to help her. Of course, neither had expected her to see through their plan so easily. Within three days, Aqua had managed to ditch Ven and by the time Ven found Terra, she was nowhere to be found.

"Damn," Terra cursed as he met Ven's worried gaze. "How long ago did you lose her?"

"Ten minutes," Ven replied quickly and Terra could see the panic and worry in the younger boy's eyes. "What if—?"

"Nothing is going to happen," Terra assured him, but he knew otherwise. Aqua was a time bomb waiting to go off. If she pushed herself too far . . . Terra hated to think what would happen. "Stay here and I'll go find her." Ven nodded, but still seemed panicked. Terra sprinted off towards the cliff where the three would often stargaze. It was the place he usually found Aqua if she was trying to escape from something that was bothering her. He just hoped that he would get to her in time.

"Terra?" Aqua greeted as he appeared before her, clearly out of breath. "Is something wrong?" His eyes quickly scanned her, checking for any injuries or anything out of place. He released a sigh of relief when he saw that she was alright.

"Nothing's wrong," Terra lied. "Ven was just wondering where you went." Aqua grinned brilliantly and Terra could've sworn that he saw light radiating from her.

"I just needed a breather," Aqua explained. "He's so perky sometimes and I just need—"

"A break." Terra concluded with a look of understanding and Aqua nodded. She opened her mouth to say something when her expression shifted into a worried one.

"You cut yourself!" She exclaimed and Terra felt confused. He looked where her gaze was resting and saw that he had indeed cut his arm pretty deeply. Funny, he hadn't felt anything when he was rushing up the cliff. "Here, let me heal it." Before he could even protest, she was at his side. Her fingers gently pressed on his arms and she shut her eyes in concentration. Slowly, Terra could feel warmth fill the cut and slowly it vanished from sight. Aqua's expert magic skills really came in handy, but they weren't worth her getting herself hurt over it.

"Thanks," Terra muttered as he waited for Aqua to let go of his arm and open her eyes, but she didn't move. "Aqua?" He gently nudged her with his hand, but she fell limply to the ground. "Aqua!"

For that one second, Terra couldn't move. It was like his whole world had just collapsed around him and he was helpless to stop it. Aqua . . . She was his best friend, but more than that. She had always been there when he had needed support. When he had failed to learn a spell, she was always ready to tutor him for as long as he wished. But, it was more than just training. Her smile could break through his pessimistic nature and make him believe—even if it was only for a second—that everything would be okay. And now . . . now, she was just lying there—pale and unmoving.

His common sense quickly regained control as he checked for a pulse and found that she was still alive. Relieved, he quickly scooped her up into his arms and securely held her to his chest. She had pushed herself too far, he reasoned, and the trigger had been her dealing with his stupid—there was no point in getting angry, not when she needed him to get her help. When she woke up on the other hand, she was in for it.

Ven was still waiting at the gates of the castle and his eyes widened in shock when he saw Terra appear. Sprinting like the wind Aqua often compared him to, he was quickly at Terra's side and frantically shouting Aqua's name as if that would somehow get her to wake up. Terra hushed him and told him to get the Master. Ven reluctantly agreed and as Terra put Aqua into her bed, both Ven and the Master appeared.

"It would appear I was mistaken," Master Eraqus mumbled. "I should've listened to you two."

"Master, will Aqua be alright?" Ven questioned frantically. Sighing, the Master placed one hand on Aqua's forehead and a green flash of light appeared—Terra recognized it as a healing spell.

"She should fully recover," The Master replied. "But Aqua will need to rest."

"I'll make sure she does!" Ven promised and the Master smiled.

"I'm sure you will," He glanced at Terra, almost as if he was searching for something, and then let his gaze drift back to Ven. "But come with me, Aqua wouldn't want you to slack off just because she was in bed."

"But Master—!" Ven protested.

"Go on, Ven," Terra told him. "I'll come and get you when she wakes up." Ven reluctantly nodded and left the room with the Master. When he was sure they were both gone, Terra gently moved a strand of the young woman's hair out of her face. She looked so peaceful, but also so still—too still. Terra had come to figure out that if you stood still for too long, the darkness would get you. He wished silently for Aqua to open her eyes and assure him that she was okay and that all she needed was a nap. He thought about saying something to her sleeping form, but ultimately decided it against it. After all, what was there to say? That she was an idiot for letting it get this bad? That she had worried her best friends and made Terra feel like his world was over when she wouldn't wake up? No, there was no point in telling her things just because it would make him feel better.

He settled instead for holding her hand. Her skin was soft in his calloused hand and he realized for the first time just how fragile Aqua was. He had always seen her so strong with her expertise in magic and her Keyblade by her side, but seeing her like this . . . it made him finally she realize that she was only human. Gently stroking her hand with his thumb, he wondered if she was dreaming about anything right now. And if she was, was it a happy dream or not?

"Terra," Aqua mumbled as she squeezed his hand. Terra froze, unsure of what to do. He thought about letting go of her hand but realized that he really didn't want to. "Okay?" Her eyes flickered open and she blinked a few times before meeting Terra's gaze. She grinned brilliantly.

"Hey," He greeted gruffly, trying to suppress a smile but failing miserably at it. "How are you feeling?"

"Fine," She replied but Terra shook his head and she knew he had caught her in the lie. "Just a little tired."

"What were you thinking?" Terra snapped. "Why would you push yourself that hard, Aqua? You knew that it was going to get your hurt or worse! You're lucky Ven came and got me when he did otherwise you could've been dead right now!" She listened patiently while he ranted but then surprised him when she began to laugh. "What's so funny?"

"Terra, don't you see?" Aqua asked as she looked up at him pleadingly. "I wanted to protect you and Ven. I thought if I was strong enough, then—"

"Aqua," He interrupted, his eyes kinder now that he understood her reasoning. "You don't need to worry about becoming stronger because you're already the most powerful person out there." She raised an eyebrow skeptically.

"That's not true, Terra," She protested.

"Really?" He challenged with a hint of laughter in his voice. "Who else can scare Ven so much that he practically begs to study for hours? Who else can kick my butt in sparring and teach me how to use magic? Who else, Aqua, can not only fight the forces of darkness but can still keep a smile on her face?" He smiled and stroked her hand once more. "If you ask me, that sounds pretty powerful."

"Terra," She mumbled as she looked away. A red tint painted her cheeks and Terra suppressed a chuckle. It was funny how she brought out these carefree emotions in him. It was like his true self was hiding just waiting for the moments she was around. "I'm sorry I made you all worry."

"Well, no more," Terra ordered. "You are going to rest and not push yourself so hard, ok?" She nodded reluctantly and then let her gaze drift to her hand—he was still holding it. In an instant, he let go of it and had jumped to the other side of the room. Embarrassed, he ran a hand through his hair. He had completely forgotten that he had been holding her hand. It wasn't like him to be swept away by his emotions so easily and yet, she made him do just that.

"Terra?"

"Hmm?"

" . . . Thanks."

He couldn't help but smile.

"No problem."

And that's when the door burst open and Ven killed whatever magical moment had been going on between the two. Still, he had saved her from herself and she had done the same for him. They needed each other to truly become stronger.

And Terra swore in that moment Ven was excitedly chattering to Aqua, that he would always be there to catch her when she fell.

Always.

Author's Note: Reviews are greatly treasured!