A/N: Wee! I'm so proud, I finally post something and it's not only a SasukexAerith ficcie, but also one with some hintage of TifaxAerith as well!

So um, I'm officially back! Anybody miss me? No? -crickets chirp-

Dedications: This is for the lovely Alyssa aka The Great Naxa. You're one of my besties as you know, and I love you very, very much. I'm sorry this isn't as great as it could be, but I tried my best and my skills are a bit rusty. Still, I hope you enjoy! Along with everybody else who has read and enjoyed my stories in the past. :3 Ya'll rock my socks off.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Sadly, but unfortunately true.



"Just where do you think you're going?" The young woman dressed in dark leathers was leaning on the door frame, arms folded across her buxom chest. Her hair was worn loose and long, the shade of inky night as it tumbled back behind her shoulders. She looked at him and her deep brown eyes were guarded, her eyes. Given the corporeal aggression easily detectible in her liquid smooth and lightning quick reflexes — ebony gloves suddenly were shining mutely in the light down by her sides — she obviously had a lot of practice in the art of physical fighting, though what business she had standing in his way, trained martial artist or not, alluded him. She obviously didn't want to let him pass.

The last Uchiha regarded her with a grim expression of vague disinterest, wholly unimpressed. If she was hoping he was going to turn around promptly and then flee in terror, she was quite mistaken, indeed. "Tch," the irate Uchiha snorted, and stated in a voice accompanied by its usual cold, nonchalant timbre. "None of your business."

He made no moves in defense of himself as she strolled forward. "What did you say?"

Not missing a beat, Sasuke retorted coolly, "I said, it was none of your business."

The gloved hands tightened into fists so the leather creaked, muscles strained and teeth as white as fresh water pearls gritted in anger. "Why you –"

"Tifa, who are you talking to?"

The seething tension was suddenly broken; for her honeyed voice spiraled through the air, weaving across the space to caress his ears. A flash of bright smiles, bright eyes, bright hair — strands of golden spun sugar and shimmering jade orbs — spun through his mind and he thought for a moment the young woman in dark leather, now identified by the name of Tifa, had read his thoughts. The look of bitter anger tinged with frustration lit up her pallid face, a mystery that would no doubt bother his genius IQ for some time.

But for now, Sasuke paid her no heed, brushing past silently to reach his true destination — ignoring the heated cry that echoed behind him, "Hurt her, and I'll break your face!" — and coming upon a gated garden splashed upon by sunbeams and fragranced with the sugary perfume of blooms.

And there, surrounded by flowers, was where she kneeled; donning a slim pink and white lace dress, and heavy brown boots, which peeped out from underneath the bright flare of her skirt. Her dark chestnut hair glinted in the sun, warm and silken curls like a halo of rippling, aromatic chocolate. Rays of golden honey spilled bright and gentle upon the strands, which escaped from a messy braid and fell weightlessly into the contours of her face. Copious varieties of different bulbs and shrubs of every hue framed the beds, dancing to the breeze of the day as they clustered together low against the sweet earth: poppies and wisteria, gardenias and camellias, lilies and roses. Then she turned a little, slight body tilted and angled to address the brooding Avenger.

"Hello, Sasuke," Aerith said kindly in greeting, her jade-lime eyes glimmering up at him.

Sasuke rewarded her with a quick nod of acknowledgement in return, and replied with a simple, "Aerith." A mirthful smile lit up her features at that — no doubt tinged with pleasant thoughts — before she went back to tending to her beloved garden.

The Uchiha prodigy usually came to visit the slender, fragile-looking flower girl in this sun-kissed sanctuary every single day. In all truth, he liked coming here. It was always free of obnoxious chatter and outside noises, offering Sasuke a reprieve of sorts. It was quiet. Tranquil, even. It was there, he would rest in the cool shadows and enjoy the companionable silence that reigned serenely; an increasingly serene aura that didn't constrict anyone to converse, or fill empty silences with even emptier words. But not today. Today, this afternoon, he had a question tormenting his inquiring psyche, one that he planned to finally attain the answer to. He was staring right at her, obsidians fixated carefully as she watered pansies lightly so as not to crush the petals, when his rich voice dripping with utter skepticism interjected, "Why do you do this?"

Aerith blinked uncertainly and glanced up once more from her handiwork as she knelt over a perfectly-measured row of white flowers; their classification was indistinguishable to Sasuke. All he knew was that their ivory petals were the same hue as her long and nimble fingers. "I beg your pardon?"

The Uchiha prodigy didn't understand why someone would spend such an inordinate amount of time planting flowers with perfect precision and cautious hands. It was useless handling the roots so gently, or touching the pearly petals with delicate ease. Sasuke surmised it was futile. In the end, all they would do is wither and wilt and fall to the ground, unable to live through one year without bending until they broke.

Plants had no backbone; plants were weak.

"Why do you do this?" Sasuke repeated.

"Why do I do what exactly— Sasuke? This?" Aerith gestured toward her garden with refined slowness, tilting her head at him in an amused sort of way.

Sasuke scowled. "Yes, this." He was annoyed now. Patience never was one of his strongest traits. "Why do you care so much about this . . . garden? They'll just die, anyway." His voice was condescending by nature.

Aerith saw this, and smiled again at him, twitching her lips rightward. Then a loose strand of her bangs fell into her porcelain face, which she tucked behind her ear carefully. "It may seem tedious, but in time every single seed I plant will bloom. After all, good things come to those who wait — right?"

Peridot and sable eyes clashed in contact, each varying pair of pupils mirroring contrasting emotions. The chartreuse orbs appeared more at ease compared to the ink-tinged irises. The younger male expelled a sigh past his thin, peach-colored lips, shifting to the side and turning his head away to make his exasperation apparent. He didn't like the way that he was being looked at. Soft accusation with a mottled mixture of amusement. He couldn't stand it.

Sasuke said, "Some things aren't worth waiting for." Then Aerith laughed lightly, and a rosy tinge rose unbidden to his cheeks.

"Oh, really?" the flower girl challenged, her voice introducing a mischievous tone. "It may seem that way. But I'm a patient woman, I can wait." Her eyes glittered with some sort of mysteriously blissful look, and her vibrant fuchsia lips stood out from the rest of her pale features. A lovely smile curved her soft, cherry lips again as she regarded him comprehensively, before returning her attention to the plants that sung with life at her boot-clad feet.

Countless, innumerable and impossibly long moments later, his ebony eyes were increasingly opaque, lips twitching just so slightly as he opened his mouth to mutter a sardonic, "Useless." Then Sasuke whirled around and stalked out of the garden.

She did not look up to watch him go, but Aerith beamed happily to herself as she took great pleasure in continuing to pour glittering big fat water drops onto a freshly turned patch of soil from a tin watering pail; patience is a virtue, she thought.

After all, some things are just worth waiting for.

—F I N.