Well, well, well, what do we have here? An update you say? Ho ho~
Btw, I'm listening to the Kingdom Hearts OST and I'm feeling pretty magical. Anyway I'm really sorry about this being on hiatus for such a long time, but don't get your hopes up (sorry) because I'm not entirely sure if I'll be able to update regularly (then again when have I ever updated regularly?). I'm an awful person who likes to procrastinate.
But still, I hope you guys enjoy this chapter!
Aqua had woken up earlier than usual.
She remembered that she didn't have school and snuggled up more into her blue comforter. After failing to fall back asleep, she threw off her comforter in despair and rose to her feet. Not bothering to change clothes, she walked downstairs where she could hear her parents speaking.
As strange as she thought her father, a notorious sleeper, waking up early on a day off was, she happily welcomed it and hopped down the last few stairs. As she stepped closer to the kitchen, she was able to catch a few of her parents words. Their voices were hushed, hurried and Aqua could hear her own name a few times. Worried that she did something wrong, Aqua slowly crept up to the doorway of the kitchen. Suddenly, a floorboard creaked and Aqua froze. The voices stopped and some hurried footsteps started heading Aqua's way.
Aqua's mother, Dalila, stood at the doorway. Her hair was a bit disheveled and she had yet to change out of her night gown, something that didn't happen often since she was a known early-riser.
Aqua opened her mouth to say something, but was cut off.
"Oh, Aqua, honey, you're awake. Just in time for pancakes."
The young girl nodded slowly and walked into the kitchen. Looking towards the dinning table, Aqua saw her father siting silently, sipping on a cup of coffee. It took Aqua a moment to realize that he was fully dressed in a suit, had his black hair combed back and face cleanly shaved. He looked up from his cup and gave Aqua a small smile.
"Good morning princess."
Aqua looked at her mother who was at the stove, silently flipping pancakes, then back to her father.
"Daddy," she began slowly, "why are you dressed like that?"
She noticed him visibly swallow, "Well, princess, I have to leave for work."
Aqua turned to look at her mother again, but she had turned her back to plate the finished pancakes. Turning back to her father she asked quietly, "Why?"
"Princess," her father rose from his seat and walked over to where Aqua was standing then crouched so he was eye-level with her, "the company is meeting with a really big client and they need me there. So, I'm heading over to Japan for a little while."
"B-but-" Aqua felt her lip quiver, "You promised. My birthday."
"Oh, princess, I know your birthday is next week and I promised I'd spend the whole day with you, but it's just going to have to happen when I get back."
Tears were completely streaming down Aqua's face, "Daddy, you promised. You're a liar." The young girl brought her hands up to her eyes and crouched down lower to the ground as she let out short sobs.
The older man looked to Dalila for help but she merely gave him a stern yet distressed look. Aqua's father began rubbing soothing circles onto his daughter's back. Realizing he was getting no where, he scooped up Aqua into his arms and carried her back upstairs into her room. Setting her down on her bed, she curled up into a ball and pressed her face into her pillow.
Sitting down at the edge of the bed, her father began, "Aqua, do you still have the present I gave you last year on your birthday?"
The sobs slowed down and Aqua slowly nodded, still not looking up from her pillow.
"Where is it?"
Aqua pointed toward her desk that still had a few unpacked boxes on top. Getting up, her father walked to the desk and found his previous present laying atop a box. He walked back to the bed and sat down close to his daughter. He grabbed Aqua's hand and placed the charm into her hand. Aqua looked up from her pillow, face still stained with tears, and gazed at the blue and silver star-shaped charm that her father had brought her from a little island he visited once during his travels.
"Do you remember what I said about this charm when I gave it to you?"
Aqua didn't respond so he continued, "As long as you keep this close to you, we'll be connected. No matter how far, I'll always come back." Leaning down, Aqua's father gently kissed Aqua on the forehead then stood up.
"Come on, let's get some breakfast."
Aqua was alone in her house.
Her parents had just left for the airport and she had opted to stay behind to finish unpacking her things. She had finished sooner than she had planned and was pacing around her house in boredom. Looking out a window, Aqua noticed what a pleasant afternoon it was and without a second thought, she grabbed a jacket, her house key and left behind a little note telling her mother that she would be at the near-by library.
Aqua stepped outside and shivered from the cold wind. Still, she began her walk, tightly clutching her star-shaped charm in her pocket.
Terra was bored.
His mother wasn't going to come home till late. The brunet had spent his Saturday at Zack's house and had just arrived home.
He was already bored.
Looking at the clock across the living room where he decided to lounge about, he saw that it was nearing six o'clock.
He could make dinner?
No, that required work.
He could watch some television?
No, the remote wasn't anywhere near him.
He could continue to lay on the carpet?
Yeah, that sounds like a plan.
Hurried knocks at the door interrupted Terra's plan, and he slowly pushed himself off the ground. Walking to the door, the boy straightened out his messy clothes.
"Ye-" he started as he opened the door.
Terra blinked as he was greeted with a strange sight. Dalila, Aqua's mother/his new neighbor, was on his doorstep, clearly a mess. Her long skirt was wrinkled, her shirt was slightly twisted, and her ponytail was falling apart.
"Have you seen Aqua?" she asked in a rush.
Terra blinked again, "Um... No."
"Are you sure?" Dalila took a step forward, "She hasn't been here or anywhere nearby?" The older woman began biting her nails as she looked around anxiously.
"W-why?" her nervous behavior was starting to rub off Terra.
"Sh-she left a note that she would be at the library this morning; but when I went around three, the librarian said that she had left hours ago." Dalila was near tears, "I-it's almost time for her ballet practice, she never misses it. Where could she have gone?"
Terra began noticing her shaking shoulders, "D-Don't worry!"
Dalila was taken aback by his shout.
"I'll go to the near-by park and look for her! You stay at home, she might come back soon." Terra didn't know where this confidence was coming from, but it was overflowing. Plus, he was not worried about Aqua, he just–just didn't want to see a grown woman cry on his doorstep. Yeah!
Terra ran inside and grabbed his jacket and house keys. Locking the door behind him, the boy began sprinting. As he reached the sidewalk, he heard a voice call out to him. Turning around, Terra saw Dalila smiling, a single tear rolling down her cheek.
Terra just turned and continued running.
After reaching the park, Terra's confidence flew away just as quickly as it had appeared.
Radiant Park was much larger than people gave it credit for. It was a mix of natural woods and developed play areas for children. There was even a small lake at the center where people could rent out paddle boats.
He had no idea what he was doing.
Terra began at the park, asking younger children if they had seen a blue-haired girl. With no success, he began walking along the pathways and trails, occasionally asking a passing runner or a strolling couple if they had seen the girl.
The answer was always no.
The sun was setting and Terra was beginning to wonder if Aqua had indeed gone home. He began walking along the lakeside. The air was getting cooler and Terra could feel goosebumps.
That's when he heard it.
A distinct voice. No, not a voice, a sniffle.
All alone next to the lakeside, Terra knew it had to be Aqua. At least, he was seriously hoping it was. Sprinting, Terra wove through the trees until he found that familiar blue. Finding himself smiling in relief, Terra immediately sobered up and began running to the girl who was sitting by herself at the lakeside.
The young girl turned and saw Terra running at her at full speed. Surprised, she moved back a bit, but he stopped just before ramming directly into her.
The boy looked up, panting, and noticed for the first time: Aqua was crying.
Terra froze. He was never very good with crying girls, "Y-Your mom's worried! What are you doing here all by yourself?"
Aqua visibly flinched when she heard about her mother. She faltered then turned back to face the lake. She brought her knees to her chest and hugged them, "Go tell my mom that I'm fine and that I'm skipping ballet today. I'll be home in a little bit."
"I'm not leaving without you, " Terra was actually getting angry. Why would he come all this way just to leave her? No. Just. No.
The sudden raise in her voice startled Terra.
Aqua buried her face into her knees, "Go away."
Terra sat down beside her, "No."
Aqua didn't say anymore and never looked up. The two sat in silence for a short while.
"My dad left for work."
Terra looked at Aqua, surprised that she was the one that broke the silence.
"Even though he said he'd be here for my birthday. He's a liar."
"Is that why you don't want to go home? Are you angry?" Terra asked quietly.
"No!" Aqua lifted her face and locked eyes with Terra. She faltered a bit then moved her eyes away, "It's lonely. My mom is always working in her studio. Dad is always away for business. The house feels empty. It's lonely." Aqua began sobbing heavily, "I want to go back. I want my old friends. I want my old ballet teacher. I want to back to my old house."
Terra sat silently as he watched the small girl sob and wipe her face, only to make it messier. Terra always felt awkward when he saw girls cry, but for some reason, he didn't feel that way with Aqua. He just wanted to comfort her.
"I don't have a dad."
Aqua sniffed, "What?"
Suddenly embarrassed, Terra looked away, "I don't have a dad. He left when I was really little. It's just me and my mom. My mom has to work a lot to keep making money, so I don't get to see her very often."
Aqua wiped at her face, "Isn't it lonely?"
Terra felt a lump in his throat, "Yeah."
The two were silent for a moment.
"But, I have really good friends who invite me to their house when I'm alone. So, uh, it's not that lonely." Terra was starting to feel really awkward very quickly. He locked eyes with Aqua. Her eyes were still watery and her face was stained.
"Uhh, well, what I'm trying to s-say," Terra swallowed hard and he could feel his face heating up, "d-don't feel lonely! You can just come to my house!"
Aqua was silent, shocked at what he said. The silence was beginning to make Terra feel like an idiot. He opened his mouth to say something but was cut off.
"Are you saying that we're friends?"
Terra closed his mouth then opened it again. He stopped, closing his mouth once more, and nodded silently.
Aqua jumped at Terra, wrapping her arms around his neck. So sudden was the jump, that Terra fell backwards onto the grass beneath him, leaving Aqua on top of him.
"Thank you," Aqua whispered. Terra could feel her tears on his neck and he figured that she was probably getting snot stains all over his favorite jacket.
They laid there for a while, Aqua crying onto his shoulder and Terra awkwardly patting her back. Finally, Aqua pushed herself off of him. She stared at Terra for a moment before smiling brightly.
A toothy, snotty, and tear-stained smile.
At that moment, Terra knew. He knew that if Aqua was a princess, then he would never be her prince.
But, he could be her knight-in-shining-armor.
It's a chapter! AHAHAHAHAHA /psychotic laughter. This is way overdue. I know. I can't believe that people actually still would review this story. Honestly, it was those encouraging reviews that made me finish this chapter.
The story is far from over!
I just started college recently so I can't say when I'll get the next chapter out, but I'll try really hard! I promise.
Until then, I thank all my lovely readers that enjoy the work of this finicky author, and I seriously thank my amazing reviewers that encourage me so.
Until next chapter!
Note that next chapter will be a time skip! These past few chapter, the kids have been about ten. Next chapter they will be about thirteen!
Look forward to it!