FFVII/Crisis Core Universe

At sixteen, she's just starting to realize how heavy of a burden she carries inside her. Aerith has learned the art of being talkative while not revealing anything about herself, a dance of words that trick those around her. Elmyra's warnings about the darker people of the world ring in her ears as she leaves the house every day.

she dreams of a life where the voices of ghosts didn't haunt her daily. Leaving Midgar is a daydream she relishes in, and she tells stories of her dreams to her flowers.

They are the only ones she trusts with her secrets.

When Zack crashes into her life, with bright Mako eyes and cheerful grin, she's still hesitant. It's hard not to be drawn in by his energy, bright against the dark gloom of the slums that have been the only world she's known. However, SOLDIER means ShinRa, which translates to 'very very bad' in her world.

She's flippant with him, laughing as they tease each other, and she thinks iit/i will happen soon. He'll leave, and not come back. He doesn't have time for a flower girl from the slums - he has wars to fight, people to answer to.

Yet, without fail, he visits her when he can spare a minute. Tugging on her ponytail, talking to her about his days and the people he meets. She spends a lot of her time silent around him, absorbing his words like rays of sunlight.

Aerith even thinks she's brave enough to see the sky. Soon.

Soon never comes, though. Only confusion and an aching loneliness that hadn't been there before Zack Fair.