"Soooo. What are you gonna name her, huh?" Yuffie stared at Tifa's stomach as if it were already humongous. She had a few months yet before she showed too obviously, but it was definite nevertheless.

"Don't you do that to me too, it could be a boy you know."

Tifa looked at her stomach with some uneasiness. It was the solstice and her one year wedding anniversary. Lots of people were around from the last party, and a few new ones, like some of the ladies who were involved deeply in the Foundation. Right now their project was clearing ground and planning what to plant in a community garden. Even finding the site had been a challenge, but soon enough she would be able to start the second big Foundation project. The first was a playground that was going up near the almost finished Wall. The whole town was looking forward to the Wall's completion. There was even talk of making it a permanent holiday.

"We really haven't talked much about names. Though I finally got him to paint the walls different colors and to put in something besides white carpet. And a lot of the glass stuff will have to be baby-proofed." Tifa leaned over and whispered behind her hand. "Confidentially, he's going a little nuts about making everything safe. I think he's overreacting."

Yuffie's mind tended to stay on her own topics. "I think that when she pops out you gotta name her Tifa Jr. Boys get to do it, so we should too."

"Why not have a Yuffie Jr. of your own? Carry on your noble family's bloodline?" Yuffie looked like she was about to throw up.

"You're kidding right? I'm not ready for something like that! How would I fight monsters with my big stomach gettin' in the way?" Yuffie shook her head. "Naw. I'll be Auntie Yuffie for your little rugrat and that's enough."

Tifa was sure Yuffie would be singing a different tune in a few years, but she wasn't going to push it. Vincent walked over and asked after Tifa's health. He seemed to be just as concerned as Rufus got, and she had been getting frequent visits by both men and Yuffie as well while she was moving things around and giving orders during the day for the Foundation. The concern was built on good intentions, but it was getting a bit maddening.

"I was thinking of inviting everyone to come for the naming ceremony after I have the baby. It's been a long time since I saw Red, or Marlena, and just about everyone really." Yuffie loudly gave her support for the idea, and Vincent too looked pleased at the prospect of seeing the old group together. The only iffy part would be when all the rest of them met the father of the child. Hopefully, no fights would break out. . . but that was a concern for another day.

Rufus brought Tifa some water and she thanked him as Yuffie and Vincent wandered away and Rufus lazily draped an arm about her shoulders. Even if they accepted him, they never really liked him, and so long as no one argued in front of Tifa she was willing to let things be. If it was the same after a few years, then she might take action, but it wasn't for her to impose her will on other people.

The judge who had married them, now the new mayor after the old mayor had stepped down, came over to wish them well. Tifa was grateful that, unlike the old mayor, he didn't make a habit of speaking loudly even if the things he said still caused her inadvertent embarrassment.


"Hm?" He was sipping from his own drink and watching the new arrivals. There were so many people this year, many of them from all walks of life and classes, and far more of them looked friendly and happy. He knew it wasn't his influence or newly expanded wealth that had inspired such an outpouring of emotion, or the increase in the guest list.

"I think I want to look into some good martial arts instructors. We'll have to start the kid in early if we want them to be good enough to spar with me." Rufus gave Tifa a funny look in response.

"Most mothers would be thinking about finding good schools."

Tifa ignored the sarcasm. "I'm just special, I guess."

"Oh yes, *very* special." Now he was just trying to be insulting. Tifa shot a quick jab at his arm, which he caught. Her mouth dropped open in shock. Rufus noted what he did and dropped her hand almost guiltily. "Sorry, here, do it again. I promise I won't move this time."

"So you were just letting me hit you." She stood, annoyed, and started to make her way over to greet the ex-mayor who had just walked in with his wife. Rufus ran over and caught Tifa by the waist, halting her.

He leaned down. "After you have the baby, we can have a match. And I won't even hold back." Tifa's mouth curled up a little, despite her trying to keep it down.

"Whispering sweet nothings into her ear? A year goes by and they still look like they're about to go on their honeymoon! Amazing!" The ex- mayor's voice carried over every nearby conversation and smothered it. A few people began to giggle.

"Leave them alone, dear." Indra, his wife, mercifully said as she led him away from the couple. "Congratulations, you two." It was like they were all caught in some sort of time warp, doomed to replay the same sort of feelings of those first awkward days infinitely.

They passed out of sight, though not out of hearing range, and Tifa and Rufus allowed themselves to laugh.

"You want to hear a sweet nothing since I'm here?" When he put it like that. . . no.

"Just tell me you love me and let me go so I can go do my job as hostess." Tifa pulled away a little and faced him. Rufus looked to other sides to make sure no one was looking at them anymore. He was still such a private person about his feelings.

"I love you."

Tifa, however, wasn't so constrained and hers was loud as she walked away. "I love you too." His shoulders cringed and she felt strangely happy to get to him like that.

Life might not be normal in the way Tifa had always expected, but this kind of abnormal she could live with.

((AN: I'm done? ::emerges from her cave:: I'm done! ::does a little happy dance:: Oh yeah. . . all my other fics. I remember now, this was just a quick idea that was a break from all of my Gundam Wing fanfiction. Just like how the GW fanfics were a break from Rurouni Kenshin fanfiction. Hm. I better be careful or else suddenly a CloTi fic will trap me like this one did, and I'm not sure if I should write anymore FF7 stuff. Ah well, hope it was decent enough considering my lack of editing and my tendency to shorten scenes.

Thanks for reading until the end ::goes back into her cave::,