A/N: Alternate Universe! Follow up to the short stories of when Tifa and Aerith are both pregnant!
ALSO! I KNOW MARLENE IS 6 IN ADVENT CHILDREN BUUUUT SINCE THIS IS FANFICTION AND AN ALTERNATE UNIVERSE...MARLENE WILL BE FOUR AND DENZEL.
July is one of the hottest months in the city of Midgar. The temperature is past seventy by dawn and in the high ninety with a hundred percent humidity.
Today the temperature was over a hundred degrees and Zack thought it was the perfect day to have a cookout.
"Zack, it's over a hundred degrees outside." Cloud muttered in a stoic voice, as he straightened out the newspaper he was reading.
"BUT CLOUDDDYYY IT'S SUMMER!" Zack whined, as he dramatically falls to his knees. "We can't let the heat stop us! We need to BEAT THE HEAT."
"Before it beats us, right?" Cloud asks, not looking up from his paper.
"What fun is it to sit in the house all day with your face stuffed in books and video games!?" Zack asked, plopping onto his bottom to sit cross legged on the floor.
"May I remind you Zack, honey? That we're renovating the Seventh Heaven?" Aerith popped her head in the room, her long chestnut colored hair, twisted perfectly in her typical braid that hung loose over her shoulder.
Cloud and Zack decided to renovate the Seventh Heaven, adding an extension. Since Tifa and Aerith are both expecting they were going to need a bigger place in order to keep up with a total of four kids in the future.
"Aerith is right, the place is a complete mess." Cloud replied, setting his paper down in his lap to gesture with his thumb the pile of stacked papers, Marlene and Denzels toys, baby swings, Aerith's clothing, more of Aerith's clothing, and other living stuff. Since Cid was helping Cloud and Zack with the extension of the Seventh Heaven, Tifa had moved everyone's belongings to the largest room in their apartment above the bar, which happened to be the living room.
"Tifa will have a fit if we invite everyone over when you can hardly walk in this house." Cloud added on.
Zack laughed and shook his head. "Cloud, Cloud, Cloud. That is why it's called a cookout."
"OH!" Aeris squealed, skipping into the room while avoiding objects she could trip on in a graceful manner. Her hands over her enlarged baby bump.
"A cookout! When!? Where!? I'm starving!"
"Here baby!" Zack smirked, jumping up to his feet to pull his flower girl into his embrace.
"No, not here. The house is a mess and this is too last minute." Cloud muttered.
"That's the best part! Besides, what do you think everyone else would be doing on a humid day like this?" Zack asked.
"Avoiding the heat." Cloud stated.
Zack rolled his eyes. "We can cool down in that blow up pool we got for Marlene and Denzel out back.
"That's not a bad idea!" Aerith chimed in. "I can even do the shopping! I'll take Marlene and Denzel!"
"If you take them shopping, I will invite everyone over." Tifa says, appearing into the room.
"And you're going to change your outfit, too, right?" Aerith asked, tilting her head curiously as she stares at Tifa's dark grey yoga shorts and dark blue striped tank top.
"What's wrong with my outfit?" Tifa asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh! Nothing! It just. honey...you look like you rolled out of bed! Want to wear one of my floral dresses?" Aerith gestures to her pink sundress with printed red roses all over.
"Tifa's bust is too big for your dresses babe." Zack said, widening his eyes as he gets a warning glare from Cloud.
"JUST SAYING!" He holds up his hands defensively.
"I want to go shopping with Auntie Aerith!" Marlene exclaimed hurrying down the stairs dressed in a navy blue romper. "Tifa always forgets things and gets lost when we shop."
"Wow, thanks." Tifa smirked, playfully poking Marlene on the nose, causing the girl to giggle.
"Marlene, why don't you have Denzel go with you two?" Cloud adds leaning forward to pull the young child in his lap.
Marlene smiled and wrapped her thin arms around Cloud's neck, soaking in his affection. "Okay! DENZEL!" She yelled at the top of her little lungs causing Cloud to flinch, since she was practically yelling right in his ear.
"Wait, who are we planning on having over?" Tifa asks, taking her cell phone out from her pocket.
"Please don't say Yuffie..." Cloud muttered under his breath.
"Of course we're inviting Yuffie! She knows how to party!" Zack cries, "and you'll have Vincent to sulk with you!"
"Zack, be nice!" Aerith said, tousling Denzel's hair once he stepped in the room. "Anyways, we'll be back in a half hour or so! Get your shoes on kids!" Aerith exclaims as she races to the kitchen to grab her purse.
"By the time you get back it's going to be a PARTIEEE-"
"Zack, baby swing..." Tifa interrupted.
"Huh? AAAHHH!" -CRASH
"Alright you two, I think I got everything I...need..." She drifted off, staring at the twenty-four pack cases of water in disbelief.
"Oh dear...how am I going to lift this?" She wondered to herself out loud, tapping her chin in thought.
"Marlene and I will help you!" Denzel replied. "Come on, Marlene! You grab a side and I'll grab the other!"
Marlene nodded and grabbed a side as she waited for her brother to grab the other end.
Aerith giggled and clapped for the two determined children as they dropped the heavy pack of water into their shopping cart.
"Thank you, you two! Such a big help! I would of strained my back...or the babies..." Aerith said, as she caressed her stomach lovingly.
"Tifa will carry heavy stuff all the time, then Cloud takes it from her and she gets all mad..." Denzel says, looking up at the flower maiden innocently with his big blue eyes.
Aerith giggles. "That sounds about right!"
"Can we pick out a dessert!?" Marlene asks.
"Sure! I just got a text from Yuffie! She's going to be baking some dessert, but why not!? We can buy more dessert!"
Marlene and Denzel exchanged nervous glances before they raced each other to the dessert isle.
Let's just say...that Yuffie wasn't the best cook...
Zack was true to his word, when Aerith and the kids came home, There were cars parked on the side of The Seventh Heaven.
"Oh boy! We better get inside and start cooking! Did you two want to get changed in your suites?" Aerith asks as she opens the front door for the two children. They didn't need to be told twice as they raced each other up the stairs to their apartment, since The Seventh Heaven Bar was downstairs below the apartment.
Aerith was relieved when Zack and Cid came down to load up the groceries.
"WHAT IS THIS!?" Aerith cried, yanking the cigarette out of Cid's mouth and holding it up to his face. "Tifa and I are PREGNANT."
Cid's eyes widened as he looked over at Zack for backup.
Zack laughs as he effortlessly throws the pack of waters over his shoulder.
"I warned you!"
Aerith tossed the cigarette and put it out with her boot.
By the time Aerith got back up to the apartment, she was exhausted. She was due next month in August and Tifa was due in September. Being eight months pregnant and being out in the heat didn't help either.
"I have the ribs here...they're the maple smoked flavor! That's the kind you wanted right honey?" Aerith asks as she sets the bags down on the table. Her arms were going limp from the weight of the bags.
"PERFECT!" Zack cried, snatching the bags from her. "I'm going to go fire up the grill and get these babies cooking!" He leans down to kiss her forehead gently.
"Alright everyone, let's get outside and out of my crowded messy apartment" Tifa laughs, as she slathers sunscreen on Marlene and Denzel.
The apartment not only was messy, but was also super crowded.
Yuffie, Vincent, Reno, Rude, Barret, Red XIII, Cait Sith, Cid and his wife Shera, Rufus, Angeal, and Cissnei were all crowded in the apartment.
"We have a patio type thing out back by the pool..." Cloud said, scratching the back of his head awkwardly.
"Once we get this closet upgraded, we'll have a balcony." Cid replied, receiving the fruit salad from Shera.
"DAMN SHERA YOU MAKE THE FINEST FUCKING FRUIT SALAD IN THIS ENTIRE DAMN WORLD!" Barret shouted, even though he had no reason to shout.
"Thank you, Barett..." Shera replies blushing. "Everyone grab something! We have two pregnant women here! We need to help out!"
Tifa smiles. "Thanks, Shera!"
Shera winks at her and heads down the stairs outside with Cloud who's carrying a cooler filled with beverages like it weighs nothing.
"Remember to be on your best behavior and use your manners!" Tifa reminds Marlene and Denzel as she hands them the paper cups, utensils. and plates to carry.
"Yes, Tifa!" The two say together in unison as they take the things for Tifa before hurrying outside, wanting to jump in their pool more than anything.
Once everyone was all settled with everything they needed outside, the cookout started to begin.
Tifa was really grateful that they have bought the picnic tables with over-sized umbrellas that provided a great amount of shade. That's where she, Aerith, Cissnei, and Shera stayed the entire time drinking lemonade while Yuffie was in the pool with the kids and Cait Sith playing an intense game of macro polo.
Zack and Cid were grilling up a storm while Cloud and Vincent gossiped like two old ladies.
Barret, Angeal, Reno, and Rude were stuffing their faces with the snacks while Red XIII slept underneath the picnic table trying to stay cool.
Despite the intense heat everyone had a great time, enjoying each other's company and the delicious food...
well...minus Yuffie's dessert.