Set in the Land of Departure.
Before the events in Birth by Sleep.

Yet another story not meant for publishing.
This was stored in my Personal Folder, and was supposed to stay there forever.
But, by request, here you go.

If you have read my other stories, you would know what I mean by saying...
It hurt so much to write this.
It is against my nature to place Aqua in this kind of situation.

DISCLAIMER [I do not own Kingdom Hearts] DISCLAIMER


If he had feelings for me at all
He would realize…

The Master could have warned me earlier. If he had told me sooner that falling in love was forbidden, then maybe I could have stopped myself. I would have at least tried. But it's a little too late now…
I am supposed to be logical, and rational. I have to be.
But around Terra, my thoughts are not as clear or as sensible as they should be.
The Master was right. My feelings are interfering.

I focused on the lightning I had conjured as it circled my hands. Casting a spell takes an incredible amount of concentration, and it usually helps clear my mind of other things.
Today, though, with Terra staring at me...
I just…

Why did he want to spend the afternoon with me anyway?
Not that I am really complaining…
In fact, there is something I have been meaning to ask Terra. Maybe today, I can.
A few nights ago, when the Master told me to be wary of love, he said it after seeing Terra and me stargazing alone together. Did he see something between us? Does he think that Terra and I have feelings for each other?
Well, I do, but… Does Terra?
I could ask him.

I broke the spell and I looked at Terra, wondering just how to phrase my question.
Suddenly, though, he said, "Did I say that out loud?"
I frowned. "You didn't say anything."

What was he going to say? Were we thinking along the same lines?

I had to tread carefully, so I asked, "What is it, Terra?"
I hope my voice sounded innocently curious, like I meant it to sound.
"Nothing," he answered.
I raised my eyebrows slightly. It can't have been nothing.
"Really, Aqua," he insisted.
I decided to push him a little. "Does it have anything to do with why you were staring at me?"

He could have been telling the truth. It could have been nothing, really.
But a girl can dream. Maybe this would be the moment when he finally decides to admit that he thinks I look beautiful.
Who am I kidding? Terra would never say something like that.
Especially about me…

"Well?" I asked, shoving that unrealistic thought away.
"I was staring at you?" he said, and my heart fell a little. He was, what, staring into space? I just happened to be in the same direction?
I laughed so he won't notice my disappointment, and hit his arm. "You are so weird sometimes."
"I guess I was just so caught up in that trick you were doing," he replied.

Well that is typical of Terra, I suppose.
It probably annoyed him that I can do something he can't.

"I could teach you, if you want," I offered, and he laughed.
"And end up electrocuting myself? Thanks, but no thanks, Aqua."
I, too, had to laugh at that. As if I can forget the last time Terra tried to handle Thunder spells. "Well, the offer is there, if you change your mind."

Now how am I going to ask him?
Should I just say, "Hey, Terra, are you in love with me?"
Even in my head that sounds insane. Am I allowed to tell him how I feel, or is that forbidden, too? Could the Master have made this rule any more unclear?
Thankfully, today is a day off. If these thoughts crossed my mind in the middle of training, I might just catch fire.

I decided to lie on the grass, adding a few inches to the space between us. Even from this angle – I am looking up at him because he is still seated, leaning against the tree – Terra looks amazing. Maybe it was just the way the thin rays of sunlight framed him as they broke through the leaves above us, but his features look so much stronger this way.

If I could see him this way more often, my sanity might suffer.
He has a softer expression today, which is quite a rare sight. I wonder… What could be on his mind? What miraculous thought could turn that stony exterior into something so mild and sincere?
What I wouldn't give to know.
What I wouldn't give to be that miraculous thought.

I sighed. "I love having days off." Particularly this one.
"Not me," he muttered, frowning.
"Why not?" It took him a while to answer, and I prodded him gently on the arm. "Terra? Why not?" I asked again.
He shrugged, and it hit me. There was only one logical reason why a day off would upset him.
"Oh, I get it," I said.
"You do?"
"You're not that hard to read, Terra," I murmured. "You would train all day and all night, if the Master never forces us to take breaks like this."

What else could it, be really? It was just so Terra, wanting to train rather than enjoy the soft breeze and the warm sunlight. I wish he would stop training for a minute and decide to maybe just be with me for a while…
Why do I keep letting my thoughts go astray?
If the Master knew about this…

Terra suddenly brushed my hair aside, and I closed my eyes. I could feel his fingertips gently sweeping across my lashes and I could barely hold back a smile. My cheeks even grew a bit warmer, all from that slightest touch.

This is not fair.
Whenever we are alone together, he does this to me; making me smile and blush even though I try very hard not to. Quiet moments between us always lead to this.

"Terra?" I said, still keeping my eyes closed so I would not have to see him in all his sun-streaked glory.
"We can do what you want, next time."
"What do you mean?"
"When we get another day off, we can do whatever you like."

Maybe by then I will have found a way to ask you.
And maybe you will choose an activity that would not leave me vulnerable to you.

"Anything I want?"
There was something strange about the way he said that, so I opened my eyes and frowned. "Well, not anything... What did you have in mind?"
"Oh, we could break a few rules," he said. "And if you're up to it, we can pull a prank on Ven and the Master."
I should have known, and I laughed.
"Sorry, Terra, I would have to say no to that."

There is only one rule in particular I would like to break.
But I know I mustn't…

"Is there anything else you would want to do?" I asked.
"Maybe I'll come up with something before the next day off."
I smiled up at him. "Knowing the Master, you can take all the time you want."
I closed my eyes again as he laughed a little.

Why did it have to be forbidden?
Well, actually, all he said was that I should be wary.
But the way he said it made it feel like a warning; like something terrible would happen if Terra and I pursued a romantic relationship.
Was that his intention? Was the Master trying to caution me against a decision that could lead to…?

I could feel Terra brush his fingers against my hair again. His touch was just so soothing. His hand felt very light and gentle, as if he was afraid that if he added just the slightest pressure, he would hurt me.

Sometimes, I feel as though Terra is teasing me.
There is something about his feather-light touches that just gets to me, and he chooses such opportune moments, as if he can read my mind.
And he stares at me – or in my direction – so often, my mind is tricking itself into thinking that there just has to be a special reason why.
Even the way he says my name; its sounds so pleasing to me, and I just know he has to be doing it on purpose. His voice is different when he speaks to me, compared to when he speaks to the Master or to Ventus.
Oh, I almost forgot about Ven!

I opened my eyes and sat up. I was just about to say something, when Terra said, "Did I…?"
I stared at him for a second, but then I realized what he was going to say. It was funny, really, so I smiled. "Thought you said something again?"
He would probably keep it to himself, though, just like he did earlier. So I stood up and began brushing the dirt off my clothes. "I am not even going to ask," I told him. "I know you will never tell me anyway."
He opened his mouth for a moment, then closed it again. Of course I was right.
"I think we should go," I said. "Ventus will come looking for us soon. We promised to take him to the waterfalls, remember?"
"Right, I forgot," he said, slowly getting up and brushing himself off, too.

What was it that I heard in the tone of his voice?
Disappointment? Annoyance?
Did he not want to spend time with Ven?
Does he actually want to be alone with me?
Should I ask him?

"Terra?" I asked, taking a little risk.
I chose my words carefully. "Do you miss the days when it was just the two of us?"
He looked at me for a minute – actually it seemed longer than that to me – and I kept my face straight. Finally, he said, "I guess so…"
For the second time today, my heart fell, a little harder than a while ago. "Oh."

Loving him hurts.

"Do you?" he asked me in return.
"Hmm…" I might as well be honest. I had nothing to lose. "Well, yes…"
I turned my gaze straight ahead, not really wanting to see what he would make of my answer. After his half-hearted response, I'm not sure I still want to try and see if he has feelings for me.
I could feel his hand hovering just a hair's breadth from mine, as if he was teasing me again, tempting me to just lace my fingers between his. But why would I, when he so obviously did not want me to?

If he had feelings for me, he would close the distance between us.
If he had feelings for me, he would miss the days when it was just the two of us.
If he had feelings for me, at all, he would realize that I am hurting…
I suppose the Master did choose the best time to warn me. Any later, and Terra might have just shattered my heart, rather than bruise it a little.
Like he just did.


Thank You