Radiance of Time
He'd disappear for weeks at a time, fighting his own battles. He'd show up at the break of dawn, just sneaking into the house.
Like a mouse, Cloud would avoid making any possible sound.
In the morning when everyone noticed the swordsman was finally back, they'd scream, shout, and generally be upset because he left them for weeks to basically go on a suicide mission.
They had every right to be mad.
But she was the only one who'd look at him and smile, take him in her arms, and ask if he needed anything.
She was too good for him.
Cloud realized this. Many times he had tried to push her away, insisting she'd only get hurt if she got too close to him. But she never budged.
This morning at the crack of daybreak, he sneaked into the house as quietly as he could. But his eyes immediately reverted to the kitchen, as he realized someone was already up.
It was Aerith.
"Morning." She said, dipping her finger in pancake batter childishly and licking it clean.
Cloud stood there, awkward and confused. He'd been caught.
"H-How did yo-"
"I just had a feeling." She giggled, wiping her hands on a cloth before walking over to the swordsman.
Aerith placed both her hands on the sides of his temples, and leaned up on her tip-toes to give him a kiss on the forehead. "I missed you."
Her eyes were tired, her skin was pale. But there was a radiant glow to her that made her seem all the more beautiful. Perhaps it was happiness.
This particular morning, Aerith had been there for him.
Just like always.
He sat down, and shared a quiet breakfast with her before the rest of the household got up, and proceeded to whack him over the head.