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We Could Be Happy
By Scifiroots
Characters/pairing: Aeris/Zack, Elmira, Tseng
Rating: All Warnings: Angsty
Word count: 434
Summary: Opportunities missed.
A/N: For areyougame prompt: Final Fantasy VII, Aeris and one or more of her Soldiers: pregnancy - she'd felt the pressure of being the last of her kind for so long, it was sometimes surprising to remember that she could be the first as well.

Aeris wished she’d known before he left. Instead she tended her garden beneath the watchful eye of her winged guardian high in the rafters. Silently she worked the soil and caressed each flower’s petals. She wondered when her belly would hinder her gardening; she’d only just noticed the slight curve protruding under her dress.

At least once a week she caught a glimpse of Zack’s Turk friend. They rarely spoke, but she had started to hand him letters, imploring him to pass them along. It had been months since she spoke to Zack. What she wouldn’t give to hear his warm Hello again…

Her mother shook her head and clucked her head disapprovingly for the first two months without word. Then Aeris’ worry deepened and Elmira quieted. In the evenings Aeris curled up on the couch with favorite childhood books. Elmira put away dishes and dinner leftovers before joining her daughter. Eventually Aeris lay with her head on her mother’s lap and Elmira told old folktales that few of the city-raised populace knew.

Some days Aeris sat with her flowers and quietly spoke of what little she remembered of her birth mother. From the bright plants she coaxed their stories, gleaned news of the Planet. She hoped that one day they would tell her of Zack.

When she collapsed to the kitchen floor in her twenty-third week of pregnancy she knew she was losing more than the continuance of her kind. She lay in bed for a week before her mother accompanied her to the church. Her guardian glided down from the rafters and sat quietly by the garden. Aeris buried her fingers in the soil and sobbed.

For weeks she wrote a letter each day, though she handed only a couple to Tseng at the end to pass along. She doubted her letters reached Zack – she could see far enough past Tseng’s stoic expression to know something had gone horribly wrong on the last assignment. Even so, she needed to pour her feelings out and follow through the familiar moments to stay sane.

She wondered what their child would have looked like. Which color eyes? Would its hair have been as messy as Zack’s or gently waved like hers? Would its curiosity have gotten the child into trouble? She would have loved to be a mother. Elmira would have loved to have a child around the house. Zack… he would have been an amazing father.

Aeris wished they had known about the pregnancy before Zack left. Had they known, she felt certain, they would have slipped away, maybe found the elusive happy ending.