Thanks to Hope Eternal, Terra ForceXIII, and Mirae-no-sekai for reviewing! :D

3. Pity

"Hey Aq-" Terra strode up to her, waving cheerfully to his friend's turned back. He stopped abruptly with an alarmed look. "Aqua, are you ok?"

"Y-yeah," she panted heavily, dismissing her Keyblade. What was left of the targets she had been practicing on was strewn about the field in a haphazard mess of debris. "Just finishing with... my training..."

Staggering steps took her a few feet before Terra caught her, right before she hit the ground. She warily thought in the back of her mind that he probably caught her out of pure reflexes, or maybe he had wanted to show off his manly, glistening... his muscles. But instead, his concerned face hovered over hers with worry-ridden eyes. Aqua was both (somewhat reluctantly) pleased and, well, exhausted.

"I-I'm fine, you... can put me down, Terra. Thanks..." she mumbled, but instead of obeying the simple request, he clutched her tighter and began walking away.

"Terra, really, I'm fine." She forced as much strength into her words and began to struggle feebly in his sturdy grip. "I can make it back to my room on my own."

"I'm not taking you to your room," is all he said. Even she could see the poorly concealed smile rising on his lips.

"And just where are we going, then?"

He laughed lightly; maybe tired Aqua was better than stubborn Aqua. She could feel the laugh against her side. "Somewhere different."

Silence overtook the two as Terra stoically refused to say more.

Too drained to protest, Aqua took to wondering where they were going, but more importantly, why.

Did he feel bad for her? She was strong. No one was supposed to pity her. If anything, it was the other way around.

"We're here," he told her pleasantly, setting her down on a lush bed of cool grass. Aqua inhaled appreciatively. She loved the subtle, fresh smell the grass gave off, especially in the settling evening, with the sky full of the washed-out colors of daytime fading into night.

"So what are we doing here?" She clutched a fistful of grass.

"Don't you remember?" Terra plopped down next to her with hands clasped behind his head. She tilted her head toward him.

"Remember?" she intoned slowly, drawing each syllable out as if it was an unfamiliar word.

Terra chuckled sadly. Aqua used to remember those sorts of things. Lately, she hadn't.

"We used to come here, when we were little. We'd count the stars together. Remember? We'd get to about a hundred or so before we fell asleep out here, and the Master would always scold us the next day for sleeping out here." He stretched out more before laying his hands over his stomach and continuing to look up at the sky with a peaceful expression. "Course he gave up on that after the first five times or so."

Aqua reminisced silently, feeling ashamed she had to search her memories that hard to just recover a sliver of recollection.

"You used to love the stars," he murmured emptily. A few crickets' songs filled the still quiet. The stars wavered dangerously between light and dark, as did Terra's consciousness. His hand slid from his stomach to rest at his side. Right before he drifted off to sleep, Aqua's voice eased him back to reality.

"I never stopped loving them," she whispered softly. "It's just..."

She gazed at a bright one in particular.

"They remind me of home. I look at them every night and find mine."

"Me too," he sighed quietly, his hand twitching slightly against hers as they fell asleep under the ever-watching stars.

This one's my favorite so far. Exactly 600 words too ;o; And just as a little note about the title; Eternal Moments is a song on the BBS/Days/Coded soundtrack (which I still need!)