A/N: ~Happy holidays guys! I cannot tell you how soo sorry I AM for not drifting by the Storm Hawks fandom with a new story! They've been swirling in my head for months but when you're busy with other things well ...hmm! You didn't think I wouldn't leave my fave pairing out to dry before the end of the year now would I? ;) So here's gift to all of you! Get comfy, it's ...pretty sappy lol. And thanks again for being great readers!

::Dedication to katiecharlotte, Amozon28, and the The Goliath Beetle my loving gals who are just as big a sappy Aerrow/Piper shipper as many of us here! Let the holidays bring warm mushy goodness! :)

Note: It's an AU, a future-fic! My first one! :D Should I be nervous?

The Three C's

December 31st, 2011

by: Her Head in the Clouds

The air drifting through the open marketplace was cold, touching people's insides wih frost, and making their lungs shudder beneath their layers of coats.

Aerrow's lips parted wih a warm puff of breath, feeling his skin shiver beneath his winter coat. He scratched his red hair furiously as his face scrunched up in frustration.

"This is crazy!" he sighed. With a deep, dramatic bow of his head, the twenty-four year old turned away from the frosted window and continued walking down the snowy sidewalk. The crystal jeweller shop of Terra Rex wasn't nearly as popular as Harrier had suggested.

The noble sky knight may not have asked Aerrow why he wanted to where a good jeweller was, but he wasn't as stupid as his brawny figure and snobbish attitude let on.

'My brilliant instincts tell me this has something to do with the lovely Piper, eh?' he teased amongst his older squadron the minute the younger Sky knight flew off to the Terra's marketplace. They laughed in agreement.

Even Finn, who didn't like to use his head as often as Piper liked, had a similar idea of what was going on when he ran into the redhead one very early Sunday morning three weeks past.

'Dude, where you going? Piper's making sandcakes today, you know that!'

'I'll be back man, geez. Why're you always in my business?' he chuckled.

'You never avoid the question...' he put a hand under his chin. 'Me thinks whatever this is, has got a 'P' in it.'

He snickered and Aerrow pushed past him, laughing.

'Shut up, Finn!'

"Are you sure this won't activate upon touch?" Aerrow raised on eyebrow in doubt. "I mean, she's special and som-"

"Aaah special eh?" the older man wiggled his own brows in satisfaction. "Well then, it's all the more reason to give your hands on this little beauty of a what gem, my boy! A fine crystal like this will NOT disappoint-"

"No no I mean, she ...'s able to activate them and well, I-I wouldn't want her going after me if she thinks I'm dumb for choosing this kin-"

The other man huffed in deep thought.

"Well young man, how about this crystal then? There ...see how it glows? Doesn't cast a charge as much as the other, but burns brighter!"

Aerrow pulled away from the luminescent stone. "How hot?"

"I beg your pardon?"

"I wouldn't want to burn her. I already told you, she can activate any crystal with her ...um, and well..." he sighed, "Look, I just want to get one that is perfect for her and since you know more about crystals and their attributes than I do, could you help me out?"

The jeweller pulled the box away from Aerrow.

"Well I cannot help you without knowing what kind of woman she is? And you know more about her than I do."


"Now, tell me what is she like?"

"Warm," he said immediately without pausing to even think about it. "Funny, clever ...really smart. Brave, powerful..."

The jeweller raised a teasing eyebrow. Aerrow's face flushed red and tried to roll his eyes but failed.

"Courageous, fearless ...a basket case," he laughed to himself. "She worries all the time about the littlest things, a perfectionist ...she focuses too much on details. She's critical, opinionated, stubborn, hardheaded but ...careful, caring actually ...she cares about everyone ...loving, gentle, tender she's just ...warm!"

"Then here," the old man interrupts and pushes a smaller box Aerrow doesn't notice until now. He looks up confused and it heavily curious.

"When did y-"

"Trust me, after everything you've said about her, I think you might be happy with this."

And when Aerrow opened the box and glanced at all the other crystal rings scattered around him to compare them, his face split into a grin.

"And here's yours Piper."

She laughs lightly. "And it was really necessary to pull me away from the guys for it?"

"Of course, it's part of the gift you're given back to me! I wanna be the only one who sees your reaction."

"Oh yeah?"

"That and it uh..." He could just feel the stares of his other teammates burning into his neck.

Piper smiles and doesn't say a word. Understanding his words silently is why she is forever his best friend. He relaxes instantly as she begins to tear the colorful wrapping paper.

When the crackling sounds die away and the anticipation finally rises to its cutting point, Aerrow smiles as he watches her carnelian orbs widen, her pupils dilate and her lips part slightly. He feels his own breath catch at her gentle, subtle reaction. She is forever mesmerizing to him as her teary eyes and big smile melt into his memory.

"A ...A-Aerrow," she croaks too heartfelt to finish. With such a speed, she is at his front with her arms around his waist and holding into him tightly. She runs her face into his shirt because nohing and no one in the world feels more important than him. Or her. In this moment. She feels like he'll disappear if she lets go and time moves on.

"You didn't have to," she almost nags in a high voice but he knows she isn't. It's just the way her voice gets when she's emotional and right now, no sound gives him more satisfaction.

"Don't even."

He shakes his head and laughs, his cheat rumbling and giving her the purr she loves. His arms go around her tightly. They've moved beyond friends and siblings in their relationship - this touch to them feels something more deeper, more intimate, more fulfilled.

"But you will not believe how many terras I traversed to find one even as remot-"

"Mm mmm," she shakes her head and mumbles, "any crystal would've been fine. You just like to make things hard for yourself."

"I was completely lost!" he confessed with a chuckle, "you know every one so well and I ...well I didn't want to disappoint."

"Well stop worrying ...because I love it."

And the kiss to his cheek and nose is enough to relax him again. He smirked.

He'd get his third kiss, the one he really wanted, from her later.

~I can really imagine Aerrow running around having a hard time picking out a ring for Piper! Lol, he'd think too much about it and since Piper claims to know everything about crystals well... imagine that train wreck for him! Haha, anyway I hoped you liked the read! Sorry if they came off as OOC or very mushy - the holidays have just been SO good to me this year and I feel all soft inside that I think it's affected my writing. :) More to come in the new year but until then, thanks for reading and happy new year!

Much love, Abby~