Final Fantasy VII: For Better or For Worse
(A/N: Well the couples and duos contest I originally entered was over a long time ago, but I still thought that this fic could use one more one shot to finish it off, so I decided to write this one for the heck of it. I'm just sorry it took so long for me to get to it; it's been on the back burner for a while. I hope everyone enjoys.)
(Disclaimer: I don't own Final Fantasy VII or its characters; I'm just having fun with it.)
The past several months were pretty hectic for Cloud and Tifa. Tifa managed to still run the bar with help from Marlene and Denzel. However, Cloud was pulling more than his usual share. Not only did he have to run his delivery service, but he was also at the beck and call of his wife who would ask him to pick up the strangest foods and the oddest times. He was currently on his way home after a delivery and his Tifa asked him to pick up some pickles and ice cream. Cloud originally thought that particular craving by pregnant women to be a myth until now. He hit the main road back to Edge when his cell phone rang to the familiar tune that became Tifa's Theme.
"Yes Tifa?" Cloud asked.
"Cloud dear…it's time," Tifa replied.
"Time? I made my delivery early so no worries."
"No Cloud. It's Time!" Tifa shouted, almost making Cloud drop his cell.
"Oh. Oh!" Cloud replied, "Can't it wait until I get home?"
"This baby is coming on its own schedule!" Tifa shouted, "With or without you!"
"All right I'm on my way. Call the ambulance; I don't know if I'll be there in time to give you a ride."
"Hurry Cloud!" Tifa said.
"I wouldn't miss this for the world." Cloud hit the accelerator and pushed his bike to the limit. He didn't want to miss out on the birth of his first child. The couple decided they didn't want to know the gender because the surprise would fill them with joy. Though after talking it over, they decided on an appropriate name for either possible result. Cloud finally entered Edge and got back on the phone. He got an answer right away.
"Cloud? It's Barret. Marlene called me over right away. Tifa's already on her way to the hospital so hurry up and get there!"
"Do the others know?" Cloud asked.
"Yeah. I'm busy playing phone tag so if you want us all there, hang up and get moving!"
"Right!" Cloud hanged up and rode as fast as possible to arrive at the hospital. Even though Barret protested, they decided for a Shin-Ra ran place as it had the best medical care possible. Cloud ran to the receptionist and was trying to catch his breath.
"I'm Cloud Strife, Tifa Strife's husband. She should be here and she's in labor," he said in between breaths.
"Yes, she was just admitted 10 minutes ago," the receptionist replied, "Room 701."
"Thanks," Cloud replied. He headed for the elevator door but heard a familiarly annoying voice.
"Yo! It'd be faster if you took the stairs," the bright red-haired Turk called out.
"Reno what are you doing here?" Cloud demanded.
"When Reeve got the invite from Barret, naturally the rest of us were invited by default," Reno grinned, "Come on! It's not every day you become a father for the first time!" He held the door open and Cloud sprinted up the stairs as quickly as his legs could carry him. Reno was right behind him doing his crazy war cry as he ran up the stairs. The two of them found their way upstairs and when they opened the door, they saw the rest of the Turks minus Elena outside.
"Don't worry Cloud," Rude said, "We're not letting anyone in who doesn't belong."
"Yeah. Tifa's glad for the extra support we're giving too," Reeve smiled.
"Umm…thanks," Cloud sweat dropped for a moment.
"Cloud…is that you? Get your worthless hide in here!" Tifa shouted from inside the delivery room. Running out of the room was Elena in a panic.
"Are you okay?" Tseng asked.
"She's scary!" Elena said, "I was giving her some moral support from another woman but she snapped when she heard your voice, Cloud."
"I don't know if I want to go in there now," Cloud remarked. Reno got a mischievous grin and nodded to Rude and the two of them shoved Cloud in the door, held open by Reeve.
'Don't worry; we won't let any of your friends interrupt. You can be all alone with her," Reno grinned.
"Cloud! Get over here now!" Tifa shouted as doctors were at her side encouraging her and helping. Cloud walked to his wife and she instantly gave him a death glare, "This is all your fault! You did this to me! I'm never allowing you to even think about touching me again!"
"Tifa I'm so sorry," Cloud said, never before seeing his wife in such a fury. He took her hand in his, a big mistake because she was having a contraction then. A normal woman alone could probably crush a man's hand in this state, but Tifa was probably the strongest woman in the world and even though Cloud was probably the strongest man in the world, that really didn't help him much as he was instantly brought down to his knees crying in pain and feeling the bones in his hand trying not to break.
"AHH! My hand!" Cloud cried out.
"Shut up you're in a hospital! They'll treat it after. Just take it like a man!" Tifa shouted back.
Outside the delivery room, the rest of the happy couple's friends arrived.
"What'd we miss?" Yuffie asked.
"The traditional hand crushing," Rude smirked.
"That's one reason why I don't want kids," Cid laughed.
"That's a relief," Vincent smiled, "Can you imagine this foul mouthed man a father?" Just then they all heard some loud swearing, enough to take even Cid and Barret by surprise. Yuffie and Reno quickly covered Marlene and Denzel's ears.
"What is Cloud doing?" Marlene asked.
"They're not hurting each other are they?" Denzel sounded worried.
"Why don't you take the kids out to eat Yuffie," Barret suggested.
"No way! I don't want to miss anything!" Yuffie replied.
"I'll do it," Nanaki sighed, "I was barely allowed in here anyways. Call me when they're ready for visitors." The others nodded their agreement.
Ten hours later, a nurse came out and informed them that Tifa was in the last stages of labor.
"It's almost time my love. Push!" Cloud told Tifa. She groaned and screamed.
"The baby's coming Cloud! Oh I just want it to be over!"
"Come on Tifa! You're the strongest woman in the world! I love you. Now push!" One last howling scream from the mother and the baby finally emerged.
"It's a healthy beautiful boy," the head doctor announced. Tifa was laughing and crying at the same time.
"Let me see him!" she insisted. The doctor nodded and brought the young mother her newborn son. She held him close to her heart and Cloud peered down at his son, smiling.
"Welcome to the world, Zachary Zangan Strife," Cloud gave his son a kiss, "We love you very much." Tifa kissed Zack's namesake as well and looked up at her husband.
"He's perfect," Tifa smiled at Cloud who kissed her softly.
"You did great Tifa. I love you."
"I love you too Cloud. I'm so sorry about your hand and the horrible things I said to you."
"Don't worry about it," Cloud replied, "I was warned about that possibility. Anyways I love you for better or for worse. Now that the worse part is over, we can concentrate on the better. When do you want to see the others?"
"Give me a chance to rest first silly!" Tifa laughed.
A few more hours later, all of the family's friends (even the Turks despite Barret's protests) were gathered in a large space in the hallway, Tifa holding Zack and in a wheelchair, everyone posing for a photograph.
"Say cheese everyone." Reeve had Cait Sith be the photographer so he could be in the picture too.
"Wow Cloud. We really are blessed. Our family is larger than we thought," Tifa said in between pictures.
"Yes. Our son is going to have lots of aunts and uncles," Cloud joked, "But I think we're going to be awesome parents."
"Oh yeah. The greatest," Tifa agreed, the thought of their future together filled with hope all over again.