Finally I got to update this thing! I hope you like it, I decided to jump ahead quite a bit. I couldn't get this to work any other way, so if it seems abrupt or like I left too much out, let me know. I just figured that I'd move on and kick start the main reason I wrote this, for Sephiroth and Aerith. I love writing Yazoo as a little kid. You should try it, he just seems like he'd be the perfect little toddler (looks wise, I know he's totally evil in the movie) I'm also enjoying writing them as something other than hero's on a quest to kill some big baddie, but enough of me ranting, enjoy and tell me what y'all think.
"Aeeeriith! I can't find my shoes and Yazoo wont put his pants on!" Kadaj called out in an exasperated voice. She chuckled as she handed Loz his coat. Loz handed Aerith the shoes in question and made his way down the hall to help Yazoo get his clothes on.
"Here, Loz will get your brother dressed." Kadaj smiled sheepishly at her warm smile.
"Thank you…Do I look ok? These pants don't look too, uh, dorky?" He cocked an eye comically at himself as he carefully inspected his attire.
"You look just fine, sweetheart. Not even a little dorky." She ran a hand through his hair as he turned around. His smile faltered a moment. She watched curiously and all at once he hugged her around the waist, clinging to her the same way Yazoo did when he had a bad dream.
Though it had been several months now, and Aerith had moved into a proper house with the boys and Nanaki, she could still sense their unease. Angeal had found her the house. The house was beautiful with hard wood floors, two stories, four bedrooms, and a yard with a garden perfect for her flowers. The best part had been when she found out Tifa and Zack lived only a few houses down from her.
Aerith continued to work out of her flower shop, every once in a while she'd see one of her new guardians keeping watch, and it was always the same two. The loud red head or his bald, stoic friend. She took the boys with her everywhere, afraid she'd lose them if she let them out of her sight for even a moment. Loz and Kadaj didn't seem to mind helping around the shop, and Yazoo was simply happy to have Aerith near by. It wasn't a normal life, but it was a start at least.
"Kadaj…" She murmured gently as he slowly released his grip. He smiled briefly and nodded before running out the door toward Loz and Yazoo.
Tifa had invited them over for dinner to celebrate six months with the boys. Aerith was more than a little nervous for entirely different reasons. Tifa had invited Sephiroth, Angeal, and Vincent to attend. The last time she met Sephiroth he was quiet and seldom said much, though he seemed acutely aware of her anytime she spoke or even moved from room to room. He had been her blind date, and she was far from unhappy with Zack and Tifa's choice, however she had always assumed he was out of her league.
"We ready!" Yazoo squealed delightedly as he came running down the hallway toward Aerith, a small yellow flower held delicately between his thumb and fore finger. "I got for you." He blushed, handing her the flower. Aerith felt her heart warm at the gesture.
"Thank you, sweetheart. It's beautiful." She carefully tucked the flower behind her ear and smiling once more at the boy. "Then we should be off, Tifa will be quite upset if we're late." Aerith gathered Yazoo up into her arms.
"Where's 'Naki?" He jerked his head around, his silver hair flying around wildly as he did.
"He's already there, hon. Come on now, we should hurry." She followed Kadaj and Loz out the front door, and down the street to Tifa's home.
She smiled to herself as she watched the older boys walking ahead, chatting idly with one another as though they had nothing in the world to worry about. Yazoo smiled to himself as he toyed with a wayward strand of her hair, happily humming to himself as they walked.
As they reached Tifa's patio she was greeted by Nanaki, who had been lying down outside. She could make out Zack's voice, Cloud's chuckle, and Tifa shouting from somewhere further off. She was about to knock when the door flew open.
"Aerith! You made it." Zack smiled brightly at her, wrapping her small frame into a tight hug. She giggled at him, squirming to get away.
"Hello Zack." She said with a laugh. "For Gaia's sake, let me go will you?" She smirked as he took a step back.
"Hey guys, you've got a special visitor today." Zack grinned as all three boys gave happy cheers.
"Who is it?" Loz asked, giving the empty hallway behind Zack a quick survey, Kadaj clapping him on the shoulder with a shared sense of excitement.
"An old friend." Was Cloud's quiet reply. Zack nodded and smiled as the boys broke into wild grins, Yazoo giggling uncontrollably.
"Who? Who?" Yazoo frowned when both men remained quiet, earning a chuckle as Zack ruffling his hair affectionately.
"Why don't you three go find out?" Zack shoved Kadaj through the door, Loz carried Yazoo and dutifully followed his older brother.
"Who…?" Aerith grinned as she watched the three disappear around the corner.
"Sephiroth." Zack said with a grin, noting that her cheeks tinged pink. "He's been waiting quite patiently to speak with you again."
"Tifa warned me he would be here, I just hoped he would decline." She said with a half frown. "How does he know the…oh, right." She stopped herself from asking, remembering full well why he would know the boys.
"It'll be alright, he's rather fond of intelligent and beautiful women." Cloud offered her a half wave before quietly following Zack down the steps of the home.
"Ha, will you two be back soon?" She asked as she turned her attention to the lilies Tifa had planted by the door.
"Yes, Angeal had a last minute debriefing." Cloud gave a noncommittal shrug. "Just more bullshit we have to sit through."
"Politics." Zack made air quotes with his fingers. "It wont take long, go on in and enjoy yourself." He gave her a sly grin. Aerith frowned at him, her face flushing as she turned and hurried inside.
Quietly she made her way into the house, she followed the sound of the boys laughing and talking until she'd found them in the back room. She stood for a moment just watching them. The way they interacted with the silver haired General and each other. Yazoo, who had perched himself beside Sephiroth with a look of total admiration, glanced up and caught her eye. For a moment they simply smiled at one another while Sephiroth spoke to Kadaj and Loz, completely unaware of her presence. Carefully Yazoo slipped loose and made his way to her, his arms held up. Aerith scooped the boy up, kissing his cheek gently as he hugged her. Suddenly the room grew silent as she suddenly became very aware of the others in the room. Sephiroth met her own jade eyes with a playful smirk.
"I see Yazoo has grown fond of you…" She was a bit taken aback by his demeanor. She had forgotten how beautiful his deep voice was. Yazoo smiled up at her and her heart did a funny thing.
"Oh, shoot!" Tifa shouted from the kitchen, rushing in to the living room and startling Aerith. "I didn't know you were here already." She gave her friend an apologetic smile. "Sephiroth, you remember Aerith. Aer, General Sephiroth Crescent." He smiled politely as he rose to greet her properly, extending his hand.
"It is a pleasure to see you again, Miss Gainsborough." She flushed crimson as she took his hand, marveling in the strength of his grip.
"Aerith, please. It is very nice to see you again." Kadaj gave her a cheeky grin, and two thumbs up. Tifa smirked at that and after a moment of basking in her little victory, she decided to save her friend. Sephiroth frowned at her just as she was about to speak.
"Tifa, I've told you before, just Sephiroth is fine." Tifa rolled her eyes at him and gave him a wry grin.
"I'm sorry, Sir. I'm going to need her help in here…do you mind?" Tifa motioned toward the kitchen where something delicious was being prepared.
"Of course not, I'm sure we will have plenty of time to talk later." He gave her another roguish smile before turning his attention back to Kadaj and Loz, Tifa noted a brief look of surprise passing his features as Yazoo followed Aerith, clinging to the her hand.
Once in the safety of the kitchen Tifa found herself being accosted by flying dinner rolls. "Hey, hey! I need those!" She half laughed as Aerith fumed, grumbling something unintelligible at her before laughing herself as Yazoo, too, made a feeble attempt to throw a roll at Tifa. "Sorry, I couldn't chance telling you who it was until the last minute, other wise you wouldn't show up. I know how much of a coward you are when it comes to these things."
"I resent that!" She hissed, hands on her hips in defiance. The first time she'd met him she'd been as nervous as a school girl. This time she felt twice as nervous and her stomach did something funny when he shook her hand. "You gave me enough notice that I could have found time to decline dinner." Tifa grinned at her friend.
"Well? Come on, he's handsome and charming…" Tifa wiggled her eyebrows suggestively earning a deep blush and giggle from Aerith.
"Fine, he's potentially charming, but that man is not interested in a little flower girl from the slums." She pointed accusingly toward the other room. "He's a five star General with a history of being cold and rude, he's irrationally handsome, and besides all that I don't need any more men in my life! Quit trying to set me up with these preposterous people." She threw her hands up in defeat.
"Irrationally, huh? Should I go out there and tell him to ugly himself up right quick, the flower girl doesn't like it?" Another dinner roll breezed by Tifa's head. "I'll take that as a no." Tifa grinned. "You do seem quite taken with him, you only turn that particular shade of 'pissed off' when you fancy a guy." Tifa pointed out with a smug smile.
"Shut up…" Aerith muttered, grinning half heartedly as Yazoo tugged at her dress. "Yes, dear."
"I wanna see Naki." He smiled mischievously up at her.
As if on queue, Nanaki came padding into the kitchen. Yazoo ran to him, giving him a head bump in greeting before climbing onto his back.
"Yaz, that's not n-" Aerith was interrupted by a shake from Nanaki.
"It's fine, I don't mind the boy." He glanced back at him. "Hold on tight, small one." Yazoo fisted his little hands in is fur as Nanaki trotted out toward the other boys, Yazoo squealing in delight. She couldn't help but smile at the boys, all laughing and wrestling with Nanaki.
She glanced over at the silver haired general to find him with an easy smile, lounging comfortably on the couch as he watched the boys play. She felt the butterflies increase tenfold when his eyes met hers. She blushed, nodding in acknowledgement before turning to duck back into the safety of Tifa's kitchen.
"A word, Miss Aerith?" He intoned politely behind her. She turned slowly, smiling pleasantly back at him. He held open the French doors leading to the back patio, indicating he'd like her to join him outside. She went out, suddenly overcome by the sweet scent of flowers in bloom. Tifa had become quite the green thumb herself, taking in all the flowers of the seasons that Aerith hadn't sold or felt were too special to become someone's bouquet. There were lilacs, lilies, freesia, roses of all colors and sizes, and a star jasmine decorating the railing around the patio.
"She's done quite well with all those flowers you send her. Zack seems quite proud of the garden himself." Sephiroth noted as he delicately examined one of the roses.
"I hate to see all those flowers go to waist so I take them home or send them to her. Yuffie is entirely too carefree for these sorts of flowers. They require a different type of love and care to grow so beautifully." She smiled at a smaller lily, taking in the honey sweet scent.
"You, I hear, have quite a way with plants." Sephiroth took a seat at that patio table. Tifa had ordered it from a specialty shop. It was made of Gongaga mahogany, the finest wood in the world. It was a beautiful rusty brown and smooth to the touch. It was known for it's durability and the fact that it retained it's earthy scent for years.
"Every girl needs a hobby." She smiled shyly, taking a seat beside him and trying her best not to let her nerves get the better of her.
"What do you think they're talking about?" Yuffie asked Loz, peering over his right shoulder out at Aerith and Sephiroth as they were laughing outside. "She's been out there for, like, hours!" Yuffie whispered.
Kadaj shoved himself in next to Yuffie's right arm beneath her and next to Yazoo while Tifa was next to Loz's left arm.
"It's only been thirty minutes, Yuf." Tifa whispered back.
Nanaki huffed in annoyance behind them at not being able to see whatever it was they were looking at while trying to maintain that they should not be "spying" on their friends private conversation.
"Shh, Naki, they gonna heared you!" Yazoo turned putting a finger to his lips and comically trying to tell Nanaki to stop huffing at them.
"So, what's so interesting outside?" Zack chuckled at the sight of all of them with their faces stuck to the glass of one of the windows.
"Shut up or you'll ruin the moment. Sephiroth and Aerith are talking, well laughing mostly…" Tifa waved him over. Zack leaned over her shoulder while Cloud leaned over Yuffie, Angeal standing on his tip toes from a little ways back, while Genesis chuckled. To which everyone turned and shushed him.
"This is history in the making, Genesis. Sephiroth found someone who will smile at him without being threatened to do so. Wow, she's even laughing…I didn't know he could be funny." Zack whispered down to Tifa.
"I've never seen him crack a smile at anything that didn't involve him kicking something's ass." Cloud stated quietly.
"What'cha all lookin' at?!" Barrett entered the room, practically shouting at everyone in the window. Tifa jumped, bumping Zack in the jaw, who jerked sideways and elbowed Cloud in the ribs. Cloud doubled over onto Yuffie who tried to move out of the way and knocked Loz over, which sent Kadaj off balance, thus bringing everyone down almost on top of Yazoo, who was yanked out of the way by Nanaki. Thanks to all the noise both Aerith and Sephiroth came rushing into the room to see everyone in a heap by the window they'd just been looking out.
"Is everyone…hey! Were you guys staring at us?!" She went from terrified to upset so fast it surprised Tifa, who was giggling uncontrollably from the bottom of the pile.
Genesis knelt gave Kadaj a hand up, Zack helping Tifa up from the ground as she tried to stifle her laughter. "I'm sorry, Aer. We were just curious." Tifa said with a sheepish smile.
Barrett stood for a moment, Marlene and Denzel on either side of him. "What'n the hell jus' happened?" He kept looking from one person to the next, waiting for an explanation.
Aerith glanced at Tifa who tried her hardest not to laugh. "Nothing, Barrett." She chuckled, swatting Tifa for good measure. "They were just acting like fools again." Aerith made her way over, allowing herself to be wrapped in a bear hug by the larger man as both kids hugged her around the middle.
"Well, it's good ta see ya. Thanks fer inviting us, Teef." Barrett grinned at her as she tried to wipe the silly smile off her face.
"Woo, well tonight is off to a wonderful start." Tifa smiled, nudging Yuffie when Vincent entered behind Barrett. "Everyone is here and smiling…except for Vincent, who for whatever reason, refuses to do so." Tifa gave her best serious face, which earned a small smirk from the stoic man.
"I am simply frugal with my emotions, Miss Lockhart." He replied with a slight nod.
"Uh huh…whatever Vince. You should smile at least once a day, or once a month in your case." Tifa waved him off when he rolled his eyes at her. "I saw that."
"You did nothing of the sort, you had turned your back to me." Vincent remarked.
"I felt it." She winked, looping her arm with Zack's. "Well, now that you're all in here, lets eat!"
Dinner went well, in Tifa' opinion. Aerith sat beside Sephiroth, chuckling occasionally when he remarked quietly about whatever was being said. The kids all sat together at the end of the table, trying their best to emulate the adults. Tifa smiled, nodding toward them when Marlene tipped her glass toward Denzel before taking a delicate sip of her milk.
"She's gonna be jus' like you when she's all grown, at least that's what she keeps on tellin' me." Barrett smiled at her when she looked up, earning himself a toothy grin from the girl.
"Nah, she's going to be much nicer than I ever was." Tifa smirked at Cloud who caught at joke.
"Yeah, she wont give her friends black eyes and fat lips." Cloud managed to doge a small tomato. "What a roll model you are, Teef." Aerith swatted his arm. "What?"
"She clearly can't reach you and as her best friend it is my sworn duty to swat at people who make wise cracks at her while out of reach." Aerith grinned at him. She felt her cheeks redden as Sephiroth chuckled beside her.
"Is that so?" She turned and nodded, a demure smile playing at the corners of her mouth as she took a small sip of the wine to avoid talking.
"She's going to be a real heartbreaker when she gets older." Everyone nodded, chuckling at Genesis as he took another bite of his salad, easily redirecting the attention from Aerith. Had she known him for longer than that evening she could have hugged him.
By eleven everyone was full and happily on their way home. Sephiroth and Aerith being two of the last to leave.
"Would you mind if I walk you to your door?" He asked, Yazoo snoozing happily with his head resting on his shoulder. Aerith smiled brightly, nodding once.
"I would like that." She turned to Tifa, who was giving her the thumbs up sign behind the Generals back. "Thank you for dinner, it was lovely." She hugged her and Zack before waving to Yuffie and Vincent. "Nice to see you again, Mr. Valentine." She nodded her head toward him.
"And you as well, Miss Gainsborough." He answered politely.
"Call me tomorrow, Aer. I have something for you that only you would appreciate." Yuffie winked playfully.
"I will, Yuf. Have a good night." And with that she was out the door and heading home with Sephiroth.
"Sweet Leviathan, Tifa. I do believe that girl is smitten." Yuffie took a last drink of her wine. "And I must say you did a damn good job setting those two up. Anyways, I should be off, gotta get the cats fed and ready for bed."
"What exactly does that entail? Tell me you don't dress them up." Tifa frowned at the thought of six cats in stripped pajamas.
"I'm not that weird with the cats. I have to feed them, change the water, empty the litter boxes, shake out their bedding and sweep their room out. Otherwise it smells pretty funky." Yuffie wrinkled her nose.
"You do that every night?" Zack eyed her disbelievingly.
"Yup, can't let up or they'll make a huge mess in an act of protest. Just because I don't take care of my junk doesn't mean I treat my cats poorly. They have feelings too, you know." She jabbed him in the chest with a finger.
"Zack, leave the cat talk to me, honey." Tifa turned him away with a playful swat. "Thanks for coming, Yuf. I'll see you next week. I'm going to close the bar for a few days. Barrett has to go out of town until Monday so I'll be watching Marlene and Denzel."
"Nice, if you need help or someone to entertain them call me up." Yuffie waved over her shoulder, practically bouncing down the steps. Tifa was about to turn around when Vincent snuck by her.
"Good evening, Tifa. Thank you for dinner, it was quite enjoyable." He smiled politely at her.
"Thanks, Vince. You know, you really should try expanding your vocab. You sound like an old fuddy duddy when you talk like that." She shook his hand as he turned to leave.
"I am an old fuddy duddy, Miss Lockhart." He smirked back at her. Catching up to Yuffie. She watched them for a moment. She didn't think he ever really talked to the younger woman, and yet here they were walking home together and talking amiably.
"Did I miss something." Tifa turned, running her hands along Zack's chest and kissing him on the chin.
"Only the whole evening. They've been making eyes at each other for weeks, sweet heart. I was sworn to some sort of creepy secrecy by Vince, but I'll tell you this. He's taken her out to dinner three times…" Zack smirked at the look of surprise. "And he enjoyed her company all three nights." He chuckled as she smacked his arm
"What, he was asking for advice on where to eat. I was aloud to know just that he enjoyed her company and he liked going out to dinner with her." Zack raised his hands defensively.
"I'm not mad, just surprised you could keep that to yourself for so long." Tifa smirked as she made her way to their bedroom. "It's cute, really. Yuffie is just the right amount of happy for him. He needs someone who is as upbeat and positive as she can be." Zack nodded in response, following her down the hall and to their room.
She pulled some pajamas out, taking her shirt off to change. She froze when she felt his warm hands on her hips. "You know, I haven't properly thanked you for a wonderful evening, Miss Lockhart." Zack whispered against her neck.
"Hmm…and how do you plan to do that?" He spun her around, capturing her lips in a heated kiss as he flicked the lights off. "That's a good start…" She gasped as he easily lifted her onto the bed, kissing her senseless.
Short and more or less to the point, but I couldn't find a way to fit anymore in here. It's really just a filler chapter...with a chance of romance. Hope you enjoy it, any helpful hints and reviews are always welcome. If it's really bad I'll take it down and fix it :)