AN: I own nothing in this story. This is for Speedy Speck so enjoy! Please R&R.
Tiny little feet ran towards the door and pushed it open, moving as quietly as they could. Shaking the figure with dark brown hair, a voice whispered in the quiet of the bedroom.
The brunette in bed opened her eyes a fraction and gave Elly a smile.
"What day is it today?" Elly thought for a moment before her eyes widened.
"My birthday!" The next thing Elly knew, Tifa was lifting her high in the air and bringing her close again before repeating the process a few times.
"Your birthday? Are you sure?" Elly nodded really fast and giggled as her mother blew a raspberry on her stomach.
"Mommy, down!" Tifa complied and held her daughter close.
"You're getting big Elly, soon I won't be able to pick you up anymore." Elly giggled again and shook her head back and forth.
"My mommy's strong." Tifa chuckled and loosened her hold on Elly when she saw a pair of half opened aquamarine eyes staring at them.
"Is it someone's birthday today?" Reno asked, his usual smirk in place.
"Mine, silly daddy," Elly replied. Reno faked a hurt look for a moment before he donned his smirk once again.
"Silly? I'll show you silly!" He then reached over Tifa and started tickling his little girl, the child laughing up a storm.
"Reno, I hate to do this, but it is her birthday so...." Reno was then tickled by Tifa with Elly joining in once his arms were gone. After several minutes, Reno held up a hand and sighed dramatically.
"Alright, I give up. I'm no match for the tickle masters."
"Silly Mommy and Daddy," Elly said in a singsong tone, though she loved when they all played together like this.
After the impromptu tickle adventure, Tifa helped Elly take a bath, the two playing around with the bubbles. Once that was done, mother and daughter came into the kitchen where Reno was fixing up some pancakes.
"Daddy, please put choc-choc-coco chips in," Elly asked politely, mixing up the word a little.
Reno and Tifa were too enamored by the cuteness of Elly's mispronunciations to correct her just yet.
"Coco chips, check," Reno said, turning to his daughter. He was rewarded with a smile. A few minutes later, Reno placed a plate in front of Elly. A pancake with chocolate chips for eyes and a whipped cream smile stared up at her.
"Daddy..." Elly whispered. Reno leaned closer after placing his own plate and Tifa's down, answering his daughter.
"What is it?" he replied in equally hushed tones.
"This is Mr. Chip," Elly said, pointing to the pancake.
"Hello Mr. Chip," Reno said in his most serious tone of voice. Elly giggled and took a bite of her pancake. Swallowing, she grinned at her father.
"Now he's in my belly!" Reno knew what to do next and poked her stomach, eliciting more laughs.
"Hello Mr. Chip, are you in there?"
"He said hello," Elly translated for the pancake.
As Tifa watched the scene, she couldn't keep the content grin from her face. Reno was wrapped around Elly's little finger and would do absolutely anything to make her happy. Not that Tifa was any better of course but both parents were keen on setting boundaries for their daughter. Tifa just reminded Elly of them more than Reno, that was all.
"Mommy, you hungee?" Elly asked, cocking her head to the side. Tifa looked at her and dug into her pancake, rubbing her stomach after the bite.
"Mmmmm, that was good, thanks Reno!" Elly laughed again and looked to Reno, who was attacking his own pancake, quickly clearing his plate.
"You're welcome honey and other honey," Reno said. Elly grinned and ate more of her breakfast, loving the taste of the chocolate melding with the batter.
Several hours later, after Tifa baked Elly's birthday cake, she helped dress her in a periwinkle blue dress. It was Elly's favorite color.
"Mommy, am I a fairy?" Elly asked as Tifa brushed her long red hair.
"You're my little sugar plum Elly," Tifa responded. Elly grinned and made a waving motion with her hand, touching Tifa's forehead lightly. "And what did you do?"
"Magic!" Elly replied. Tifa smiled and stood up, leading Elly over to a mirror.
"What do you think?" Tifa asked. Elly's eyes widened at her reflection and she looked up at her mother.
"Thanks Mommy!" The next thing Tifa knew she was being hugged tightly around the leg.
"You're welcome, now let's go see if Daddy's ready, 'kay?" Elly nodded and Tifa carried her out of her room.
Once the pair found Reno, who was dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a long sleeved shirt, and after talking Elly out of dressing Reno up in a blue dress like hers, the doorbell rang. Answering it, Tifa smiled at the first guests to arrive.
"We're here!" Yuffie announced as she stomped on in, eyes searching around for Elly. The little girl ran up to her with open arms.
"Aunt Yuffie!" Yuffie lifted her up and spun her around a few times before setting her on the ground.
"Hey kiddo, are you having a good birthday so far?" Elly nodded really fast and turned her attention to Yuffie's companion.
"Hi Uncle Rude!" Elly said, tilting her head as she looked up at him. Rude gave her a small smile and Elly reached up her arms. The Turk placed her on his broad back and Elly cheered at how high up she now was.
"How old are you today?" Rude asked. Elly looked pensive for a moment before the answer came to her.
"Four!" Rude nodded in understanding and a few moments later Elly rubbed his bald head, the signal that she wanted down.
Once her feet were firmly planted on the carpet, the doorbell rang again. This time the guests were Marlene and Barret, the teen grinning widely at Elly.
"Marly!" Elly cried out. Marlene came in then, followed by her father and Elly latched onto Marlene's leg, not letting go.
"Hello Elly, what a pretty dress you have on!" Elly beamed at the compliment and tugged on her jeans. Marlene leaned down and Elly whispered in her ear.
"I'm a fairy." Marlene smiled and nodded before replying.
"You sure are." Elly finally let go of Marlene's leg and turned her attention to Barret.
"Uncle Bear, what did you bring me?" Barret inwardly groaned at the nickname but gave her a smile.
"You'll just have to wait and see but I think you'll like it," Barret responded in his deep voice. Elly nodded and hugged him as well.
"Thanks Uncle Bear. Mommy made a cake!"
"Sounds delicious," Barret replied.
After greeting Marlene and Barret, Elly ran back up to Rude and asked for another piggy back. Complying, the little girl waited for the next guests to arrive.
This time, they arrived in a throng. Denzel, Cloud, Elena, Tseng, Vincent, Red XIII, Reeve, Cid, Shera, and even Rufus were accounted for.
Naturally, Tifa then moved her guests to the backyard, Reno following after the group with a video camera.
"And here," Reno narrated, "we have the savior of the Planet, Cloud Strife, actually smiling. Kids, this is something rarer than than not falling asleep during the Knights of the Round summon so take it in." The spiky haired warrior gave a glare at Reno but the Turk just grinned. "Any words for the audience Strife?"
"Not really...except to never believe anything Reno tells you, for your own good." He then walked off. The camera then spotted another blond, this one Reno's own boss.
"Here he is, the one, the only, Rufus Shinra! So Pres, what's it like mixing it up with us commoners?" Rufus raised an eyebrow at the question.
"Honestly Reno, do I really come off as such an arrogant, conceited, haughty person?"
"For the sake of my paycheck, I'll have to answer in the negative for that one boss." Rufus nodded and the camera then caught the running form of the birthday girl, a party hat on her head.
"Uncle Rufus, wear this!" Rufus accepted the hat and smiled down at Elly.
"Why thank you." Elly nodded and the Shinra head placed the object on his head, turning back to the camera. "See, I totally fit in now."
"Thanks for the blackmail boss. Neo Shinra Times will pay big money for this." Rufus glared then and Reno chuckled weakly. "Actually, I'll just keep this as a personal video of my kid's fourth birthday, okay with you?"
"That's what I thought you said," Rufus replied, smirking.
The camera looked down and caught Elly tugging at Reno's jeans. Her brown eyes looked at the camera with confusion for a moment before she grinned.
"And here she is, the birthday girl herself, Elly Van Lockhart. Say a word for all your fans out there Elly!"
"I'm four!" The little girl then dashed off to play with more of her aunts and uncles, the camera following her until she vanished.
Looking around some more, the camera focused on a brunette who was walking towards Reno.
"Ah, Tifa Lockhart, what can you say about her? Yes she sings in the shower, knows the lyrics to every Journey song ever, and has an unhealthy obsession with anime and Disney movies. But despite all that she is the most beautiful woman in the world." The barmaid blushed at her husband's praise but narrowed her eyes a little.
"And somehow I married a guy who thinks Tampons make acceptable Christmas gifts, loves to make jokes that aren't funny, and thinks ice cream is breakfast. For those of you out there who might pity me, he does have his good points and I'll be sure to let you know what they are when I can think of one." Tifa said, smirking at her comeback. "But seriously Reno, put the camera away for a moment, we're about to cut the cake."
"That's all folks, until the next episode this has been your host Reno, the baddest Turk with the coolest hair." Putting the camera down, Reno grinned as his wife rolled her eyes.
"C'mon hotshot, time for cake."
After Happy Birthday had been sung and Elly blew out the candles, Tifa cut the first slice and handed it to her daughter.
But before another could be handed out, two bodies smashed into the cake, ruining the treat beyond salvation. Yuffie and Elena were responsible, both having rushed forward to grab the second slice, ending in the two tripping over each other.
Before accusations could be thrown around, sobs were heard. Nearly all eyes were trained on the little red head as she started crying. Running into her home before Tifa or Reno could comfort her, the group stayed silent for awhile.
"I hope you're happy brat," Cid growled, wishing he had a cigarette. Yuffie hung her head while Elena was receiving the coldest glare Tseng had ever given her. Tifa and Reno, by this point, had gone into their daughter's room but one other person was absent.
"Where's Vincent?" Cloud asked.
Elly was crying into her mattress while Tifa patted her back and Reno tried to make her laugh but all the funny faces he could think of were powerless in the wake of Elly's sadness.
"A-are they sad?" Elly asked. "No cake means no one is happy."
"Sweetie, they're sad because you aren't happy. It's okay about the cake- but Elly shook her head, cutting off her mother's reassuring words.
"No...it's not..." A knock on the door came then and Reno opened it a crack. Vincent's one of a kind eyes stared back.
"May I come in?" Reno looked at Tifa and she nodded, knowing Vincent was Elly's favorite out of all her uncles. Tifa and Reno left, the pair moving to the kitchen to wait.
Elly looked up at the crimson clad gunman and wiped her eyes a little.
"Uncle Vinny...my day is over." Vincent sat down beside her and hugged her gently.
"No it isn't little one. Weren't you telling me that you were a fairy earlier?"
"Yes..." Elly said, sniffling.
"Then do you want to see some magic?" Elly nodded. "Then close your eyes and make a wish," Vincent said softly. Elly did as he asked and felt herself being lifted up and carried out of her room.
"You can open them now."
She did and what met her gaze was a new cake, chocolate coated with vanilla frosting. Her eyes widened and she looked up at Vincent.
"Magic!" The former Turk nodded and smiled slightly.
"Still think your day is over?" Elly shook her head really fast and tugged one of his pant legs. Leaning down, Elly kissed him on the cheek.
"Thanks Uncle Vinny, I love you," she whispered.
"You're welcome Elly, happy birthday." Elly then gave him a big hug and ran back to the yard, the guests smiling widely at the grin they saw on her face.
Tifa and Reno looked at Vincent with grateful smiles on their faces.
"Thanks Vincent, but how did you know this would happen?" Tifa asked.
"Yuffie was going to be here and it's best to be prepared for anything when she's involved." Reno chuckled at that and patted the stoic man on the back.
"I always knew you had a soft side underneath all that angst." Vincent glared at him a little and the Turk scratched the back of his head nervously. "What I meant to say was thanks, you're a lifesaver." Vincent nodded at that and walked out to join the rest of the guests.
Tifa then turned to Reno.
"Care to do the honors?" Reno nodded and picked up the cake, following after his wife to rejoin the party.
After the cake had been nearly eaten, Yuffie and Elena came up to Elly with guilty expressions on their faces.
"Elly, we're really sorry," Yuffie said.
"We didn't mean to spoil your birthday. Can you forgive us?" Elena asked.
Elly beamed at them and hugged her two aunts.
"Yep! But..." Elena and Yuffie looked at each other and gulped at the smirk that appeared on her cherubic face. Elly asked for two slices of cake and both women got them for her. Elly looked at the slices for a moment before throwing them at Elena and Yuffie.
Both were on target, the blond getting her hair covered in the baked good while Yuffie ended up with a face full of frosting and chocolate.
Reno gave a shout of triumph at the sight and lifted Elly up, grinning.
"That's my girl!"
"Elly, we don't throw cake at people." Tifa said, but winked at her daughter as she leaned in close. "But they did deserve it. Good one!" she whispered.
Elly just laughed and hugged her mother's neck.
Later that night, after the clean up and as Elly was being put to bed, she looked at both her parents.
"Mommy, Daddy, thanks. I love you," she said, sleep coating her voice. Tifa kissed her on the forehead followed by Reno.
"We love you too, Elly," Tifa said, Reno nodding. Elly drifted off to sleep a moment later, hugging her stuffed moogle that Barret had given to her.
And as her parents shut her door and turned the night light on, Elly prayed that her birthday wish would come true and gave thanks for such a wonderful family.
Aerith watched Elly as she finally fell into true sleep and smiled widely.
"Are you going to make her wish come true?" Zack asked from her side. Aerith looked at him before returning her gaze to Reno and Tifa's daughter.
"Of course," she replied. "Sweet dreams Elly...happy birthday..."