Done for a timed challenge for Genesis Awards :P prompt was the title.
(Haha! There you go Sylla!)
Sometimes she wonders why they are called 'charm bracelets' at all. I mean, an old rusty chain with some ratty old trinkets on it isn't exactly charming, whichever way you look at it.
Aerith had a charm bracelet, but it was so small it always got hidden under those big bangles of hers so unless you were staring really hard at her wrists you wouldn't notice it.
Well, Yuffie was a person who watched people's hands a lot (comes with being a thief) and she did notice it once.
"Whatcha got, Aerith?" she pounced one day, poking at the flower girl's bangles inquisitively.
"Bracelets, Yuffie," she laughed, swaying a pack of potions and shrapnel and all sorts of goodies by her side as they wandered, Cloud-free, across an open track of grassland.
"No, the really little one," she specified, poking again and revealing an old chain that looked like it came out of a miniature engine.
"Oh this," Aerith pushed the bangles out the way to bring it out into the open, "it's a charm bracelet."
Like she said before, it wasn't really charming; oily chain with bits of Gaia knows what rusting on it and all sorts of bits and bobs pinned or tied on. Yuffie wrinkled her nose.
"Looks a bit manky if you ask me." She laughed again, Aerith laughed a lot for someone with such a fate. Maybe, if you look back on it and believe what Cloud says, she was just trying to give fate the finger and not let it get to her.
"That's because it's so old," Aerith turned her wrist over and it tinkled, making a funny clickly-trinkly sound as little beads of nothing bashed together, "my mom left this to me."
"Who? That lady Cait Sith is holding hostage?" She demanded inquisitively, staring at the trinket more closely, "you sure she loves you?"
Laughing again, happy as a Wutain Clam at high-tide, Aerith smiled and shook her head.
"No, my real mom." Yuffie craned in for a closer look, then moved back again when she realized she probably looked a bit weird staring at junk like that for so long.
"Oooh" she gasped, "does it have any hidden weapons in it?" In retrospect how was she to have known? All the presents her parents ever gave her had weapons in them: she was a Ninja for Gaia's sake.
Aerith really seemed to be finding Yuffie hilarious today, and was almost regretting hearing the PHS ring and Cloud blankly barking orders for them to meet up and replace the party members he'd trained to death.
"No, it's just got memories." She shifted the pack onto her shoulder and brushed her fingers over the charms, "lots of precious memories." With that a distant, sort of sad-happy look on her face, Yuffie nearly thought twice about leading these suckers into Wutai and robbing them blind.
Then she remembered when Red XIII bit her that one time, and changed her mind.
"Cool… what sorta memories?" Yuffie was lucky in that Aerith never seemed to get tired of entertaining her or answering questions, she even let her use all the good materia and never told Cloud when she swiped some.
"Well," she replied thoughtfully, fingering through all the alleged 'charms' and eventually settling on what appeared to be a tiny flower set in a little slab of resin, "this is one of the shoots from the flowers in my church, where I met two very important people to me."
To Yuffie it looked kinda dead, which she didn't think should bode well for whoever those people were.
"Um, let's see, oh, this is a tag from the place where I grew up when I was very little," it was some faded piece of plastic that might've once had numbers on it, but Yuffie couldn't tell anymore.
"This is a charm a friend of mine from Shinra gave me for my birthday," she very nearly interrupted, because for one the engraving on the disc of metal was in Wutaian characters, and for two because it said 'I love you'.
Instead all she said was 'aah', and allowed Aerith to continue talking.
"Um, lets see… oh, this was given to me by my first boyfriend." She said brightly and held out a small medallion with a wolf on it, "and this one too! That I got on our first date!" Yuffie honed in on the object only to cry.
"But it's just a piece of gil!" She looked again, "with a hole in it!" Aerith smiled one of those secret 'warm-squishy-memory' smiles and nodded.
"Yep, but to me it means more… like… ah, this," she held up a small silver hoop, which looked as if it was once an earring, though most of the inlaid rhinestones had fallen out now and it was crudely bent to fit around one of the links of the chain.
"What's that? Costume jewelry?" Yuffie prodded the thing and decided not even she would bother stealing something worthless like that.
"Sorta," she giggled, "it's the earring Cloud wore when we…"
"Wait, WHAT?!" The young ninja squealed, "Spiky wore that?"
"There was another one," Aerith added sadly, "but me and Tifa decided we'd both keep one and…" she failed to finish the anecdote, as Yuffie was already on her knees laughing herself stupid at the thought of Cloud with his big serious expression and some spangly hoop earrings.
"What…" she hooted, "was he in drag or…?!"
Now, a bit later on (maybe too late), Yuffie realized what Aerith's charm bracelet was – all those silly bits of junk that you'd probably just stick in the trash without thinking twice, keeping them with you keeps the memories close.
She's got her own charm bracelets now, and more than one because she kept running out of space (and materia is hard to put on a bracelet don't you know?), and whenever she adds a new charm on she has a little breaking-in ceremony, where she remembers Aerith and her laugh and all the charms on her worn-out chain.
And she promises herself she won't forget her, or anyone. Cloud taught her how fragile memories can be, and she'll be dammed if she lets anyone steal them from her.
She even made one for Cloud as well, a lovely long necklace of a charm bracelet... to go with those earrings.
Well there we go, if you spot any mistakes that's because of the time pressure.
Still I hope the slight randomness ended up coherant or something, because I basically did this on a whim.
Peace out (reviews are nice etc. etc.)