Written for 'The Sacred and Profane', with my apologies for the delays. And as usual, I don't own Final Fantasy or any of its characters, Squaresoft/Square-Enix does :)
Okay, so, please enjoy ! ^_^
The warm sensation of the sunrise finally dawned on the sleeping figure alone in the king-sized bed. Elena tossed and turned, until finally giving in to the morning sickness that was threatening to rise, and ran into the bathroom.
"Reno!" She gasped. It was nothing short of instinct now. Every morning, she would call for her husband, because he was the only one she trusted to take care of her.
But for the third time that week, Reno was gone. And, she remembered, on her birthday.
"Reno..." Elena squeaked, after vomiting for a good thirty seconds. The fact that he wasn't with her hurt more than the sickness.
She needed him, but he didn't care.
Didn't care...No, Reno cared. He just didn't understand. When he got back home, Elena promised herself that she would let him know how much she needed him every morning. And hopefully, he'd wish her a happy birthday.
For now, all she had for comfort was a pair of fluffy chocobo slippers, a cuddly moogle, and the toilet.
She never would have imagined how hard she would cling onto the toilet seat, before she became pregnant. It was like her best friend.
Speaking of best friend...
Elena finally finished her vomiting spree, and cleaned herself up. The cold water she splashed on her face was refreshing-like jumping in a swimming pool in the middle of summer.
Walking back into her bedroom, Elena considered whether she should ring Tifa or not. The two had made a strong bond over the years, and she now trusted herself enough to call Tifa her best friend.
But would she mind it if she called at six in the morning?
She'd find out soon enough.
The only sound she heard was the quiet whisperings of a couple of people in the background.
"Yes, who is this?"
The voice didn't sound like it had just been awoken, to Elena's relief.
"Elena. I hope I didn't wake you up."
"No, no. I woke up about fifteen minutes ago, so it's all good. Why did you call?"
The blonde woman slumped onto the bed, the sheets caving in to create a rather large ditch for her to lie in. "I was wondering if you'd seen-"
The voices in the background became louder, and she heard someone chuckle.
The sound of shuffling and coughing entered the line, and Elena frowned. "Tifa?"
"Sorry, I have...a guest. Or two."
She grinned. "Oh?"
"It's nothing. Uh...What did you want to ask me again?" The awkward tone in Tifa's voice told Elena it was something she wanted to know.
"You pick up someone last night, I'm guessing? It's Saturday, after all." Elena giggled, the early morning conversation perking her up considerably.
There was a pause, followed by a moment of awkward throat clearing, and then a voice in the background saying something along the lines of "Hurry up and get back into bed.". In fact, the voice sounded familiar.
"Tifa!" Elena giggled again. "I know that voice...Who've you got back there?"
Tifa's voice finally spoke. "I did...I'd love to talk about it but...I mean...They're...insisting..." The sound of kissing was followed by a soft giggle from Tifa's part. "I've gotta go, sorry! Talk soon."
A smirk formed over Elena's lips, and before she had time to wonder silently to herself, she felt the baby kick gently. The perfect birthday present from her child.
"Oh my gosh! Oh, you clever little baby...Reno...Where are you? At times like this, I'd give anything for you to be here."
She placed a hand over her belly, and as she did so, the smile on her face grew wider. She'd never felt so much joy, yet at the same time, a tug of hurt pulled her down, and she didn't know what to feel. It made the lone tear trickle down her face. Reno was missing out on one of the most important moments of their life.
"Reno...where are you?"
"Youch!" Reno exclaimed as a heavy book hit him hard on the head. "What the hell Tifa!?"
The bartender's expression wasn't very appealing. "Reno, for the love of Cloud, you have to stay with Elena! I can sort everything out fine here, okay? She needs you, at times like these. So go on, scoot, mister!"
"What are you, my mother?" Reno muttered, scowling at her as he headed for the doorway. Yuffie, who was silent until now, threw a pencil at him. "Ow! Okay, alright, I'm going!"
"Yeah, you better run, punk!" Yuffie called after him. "You don't wanna feel the wrath of Yuffie, the Swift Stallion, do ya!?"
Without a second glance, Reno shut the front door. Yuffie had a habit of creating wacky titles for herself these days.
Tifa raised an eyebrow at the ninja. "The Swift Stallion?"
Yuffie snorted. "For the love of Cloud? I'm surprised Reno actually left after you said that."
Reno found Elena lying on their bed, her hand on her belly, crying.
He felt a thousand fierce emotions drive through him like a sword, and, as instinctively as Elena called for him, he ran over to her, his eyes filled with panic. "Elena, what's wrong!?"
No "Happy Birthday" yet. She looked up at him through tearful red eyes. They were filled with hurt-an emotion Reno knew all too well.
"You...You're never here when I need you." Her answer came out as a mere whisper. "Why?"
He swallowed-hard. The way she spoke those words made him feel a pang of guilt inside, as if he'd just murdered a child. And he knew that feeling.
"I promise I won't leave you anymore, okay?"
Elena bit her lip, and slowly, her eyes closed. "But why weren't you here, Reno? You...you missed the kick."
Damn, freaking damn! Reno mentally slapped himself a hundred times over. He'd been waiting for that moment a lifetime, and now that he'd missed it...He knew how much it would have hurt Elena.
He didn't say it often, but this time he meant it. "I'm sorry."
He was rewarded with a passionate kiss on the lips from his wife. It cheered him up somewhat, although the tugging sensation continued to pull him down. He couldn't forget.
Elena's lips twitched into a smirk. "I'll forgive you...if you get me something."
Reno groaned inwardly, hoping it didn't show on the outside. When she wanted something, he knew he'd have to go to great lengths to get it. "Sure."
"Curry chicken pie topped with raspberry jam and cream."
Reno nearly retched.
And he thought he was used to her bizarre cravings.
"Topped? Ya don't mean served for dessert?" Reno almost felt sorry for Elena, having to eat such disgusting foods, until he told himself that she actually...enjoyed it.
Elena nodded, a hint of annoyance forming on her face. "Topped. You got a problem with that?"
A year of being married to Reno had begun to change her manner of speech. She was sounding more Reno-like by the day.
"No, no! Chicken pie topped with raspberry jam and cream for my Laney!" He was so thankful he wasn't born a female.
"Curry chicken!" She snapped after Reno, who had already left the bedroom.
"Corned chicken, got it!"
He loved teasing her. Though the fact that she was pregnant always made his jokes a big mistake.
Slow and steady footsteps were headed towards the bedroom where Elena was resting. A hot, steamy plate of craving-satisfying food was held by the woman's husband, which was almost dropped when he heard his wife call out to him.
"Ew, Reno! That stuff stinks, get it out of here! And while you're at it, get me a turkey stuffed with fried omelettes."
Cursing inwardly every word he knew, Reno was tempted to throw the plate of food that had taken him so long to prepare down the stairs.
"As you wish, your highness." He muttered, storming down the hallway.
"I heard that!"
One hour and a take-away shop turkey later...
"Happy?" Reno thrusted the plate of food into Elena's lap, and was relieved to see her dig in instantly.
"This is good." She declared, her mouth stuffed with yolky egg.
Reno's nauseous expression faded somewhat when the phone rang. "I got it!"
"Yello, Reno, at your service!"
It was Tifa, as anticipated. "We're ready, Reno. She hasn't eaten yet, has she?"
He turned to peer into their bedroom, where his wife's face was smeared yellow. She was such a messy eater these days-he'd rubbed off on her, for sure.
"Just a stuffed turkey big enough to feed an army, but y'know..."
Tifa swore. "You idiot, I told you not to let her eat!"
"Hey, she's preggers, remember? Not even I'm game enough to mess with her when she's like this." He chuckled, and Tifa followed suit.
"True. Makes me wonder how Cloud would feel if I ever...Well, anyway...Come over now, okay?"
"Yeah, okay." Reno smirked as he hung up the phone. It had taken Cloud and Tifa long enough to get married, and now, two years later, they still hadn't talked about ever having a kid. They were a busy crew, though. Not that he couldn't understand.
"Elena, get some decent clothes on. Yuffie said she needs our help." He smothered a chuckle. "She sounded pretty nervous too."
The blonde woman seemed eager to leave the house-being cooped up inside for the past three days was the reason. "On it! Come take this plate though, alright?"
Reno had never felt like such a slave before in his life. "Yes ma'am."
During the drive to Yuffie's place, Elena felt sick. It wasn't the baby, it was the fact that Reno hadn't even mentioned her birthday. He'd never forgotten, so why did he insist on it this year?
"...Reno?" Elena asked, her voice hoarse.
He'd barely heard her over the roaring of the wind coming from the lack of windows-or a roof. "Yeah babe?"
She decided not to mention it. Knowing him, he was probably going to give her some surprise. "Ah...Are we there yet?"
He laughed over the wind. "Yeah babe."
On cue, Reno parked Elena's convertible on Tifa's lonesome driveway. Wait-Tifa's? That wasn't right.
"I thought Yuffie needed our help?"
"She does. C'mon." Reno helped his pregnant wife out of her seat, swiftly stroking her belly as he did so. It awoke a smile from her.
Hand in hand, the husband and wife walked towards Tifa's front door like they had so many times.
But when the door opened, deja vu struck her. Memories of all the childhood parties she had been a part of formed in her mind, and her smile grew to a beaming grin. Tears of joy flowed down her face. It was just what she'd needed.
All of her friends-and even her acquantances-were laughing and cheering. Dizzy with a mixture of surprise and overwhelming joy, she rested upon Reno's shoulder.
He kissed her head lightly. "This calls for some mako smoking, right 'Lena?"
Elena looked up at her husband's playful face and felt herself cry even more. She'd never felt so emotional. Luckily, she had Reno's chest to cry into.
A shower of wine soaked the happy couple, and funnily enough, Elena began to laugh. Yuffie waved at her, a widespread grin on her face. Trust the ninja to pull of a stunt like that.
Tifa handed a glass of wine to the smiling blonde, and the two exchanged a friendly hug that was enough to light a room. Elena's smile, though, was enough to light a whole town.
This was easily the best birthday she'd ever had-after all, she was sharing it with two hearts.
:3 Review? (You know you want to ;D)
I mean, we all love the cliche happy birthday surprises, riight ? xDD