Aerith Gainsborough, also known as Aerith(or Aeris, for those that don't want to let go of the Americanized version), is one of many protagonists from the events in Final Fantasy VII. Though her fate during the game was rather well-known, especially by now, in the ITW universe she seemed to be back among the living completely. Since the events surrounding this phenomena seemed to stem from Mikey Lenetia, she is most commonly seen by his side, if not somewhere relatively close.
As a young girl, Aerith always knew that she was rather different from the other people that lived on the planet. She was only half human, the other half being what was described to her over and over again as either a Cetra or an Ancient. Though she didn't know what these meant, she knew that, due to the fact she seemed to be living in a laboratory, that it meant something very rare and different from humans. The little girl didn't know too much about her father, since he never seemed to be around. Instead, a beautiful woman by the name of Ifalna that held a striking resemblence to her. Knowing Iflana to be her mother, she cherished the white materia that she received from her, and made sure to remember how to summon Holy, the only other real thing the Cetra was able to teach her daughter. Most of the rest of the events that occurred to her and her mother were, thankfully, forgotten, and to this day Aerith herself cannot recall them. However, one night she does remember, she and her mother were able to escape from the labs of Shinra Corporation, but during this time Iflana was mortally wounded while protecting her daughter. The two only were able to get to the Shinra train station before the wounds were too much for her, and it was then that she met her second mother, Elmyra Gainsborough.
A Second Chance?Edit
During the time with Elmyra, Aerith could definitely count her memories as happy. Hiding from Shinra underneath their very own noses, she and her adoptive mother lived in Midgar's Sector 5; more specifically, in its slums. Though she seemed to be a normal girl, as she got older different things began to manifest that the girl tried her best to hide from the outside world, and even to her mother. After all, if she told anyone that should could hear the wind speaking to her, as well as other things, it would only be drawing the attention of the people that took her mother away from her. As such, even to Elmyra, she did her level best to keep the knowledge of these facts to a complete minimum. Soon, however, she heard a voice that was coming through too strongly to deny, and knew that she had to tell her mother his message. When she did, however, she was met at first with confusion, both from her mother as well as herself. It wasn't until a few days after that the notice of Mr. Gainsborough's death arrived that even Aerith knew it was Elmyra's beloved husband delivering his final words to the one he loved most. The two talked then about what was happening with Aerith, and upon hearing the full story, Elmyra promised to not tell a soul and to keep her safe. It was then the last remaining Cetra knew Elmyra was also her mother, though not by blood, and loved her in return.
One day, a boy approached her, asking for her to return to Shinra. It did not take Aerith long to figure out that this boy, by the name of Tseng, was working for the company, and refused. However, instead of being dragged away or kidnapped, the two instead continued to talk, and a friendship between the two were formed. As such, the young girl felt safe to explore outside of the slums a bit more. Though it was scary, as some fierce beasts would pop out and attack those living in the slums from time to time, Aerith quickly learned how to defend herself with a staff, her preferred weapon of choice. On top of this, she discovered an old, abandoned church. Something about it was calling to her, and the ruined floorboards easily were able to be peeled away. Always wishing for more plants to grow, Aerith eventually got her hands on some flower seeds, and planted them. She watched over them and prayed for them relentlessly for several days, and for the longest time, there was no sign of growth. Still, the strong-willed girl continued, and sure enough, one day she was rewarded with a single bud. The next day, more and more until before she knew it, there, in the middle of the abandoned church was a flowerbed of various species of flowers, growing and surviving together.
Tending to these flowers would become a regular pasttime of hers, and continued even into her teenage years. She even had the courage to tell Tseng about it, and he seemed to enjoy the sight of the flowers almost as much as she did. He came around less and less as time went on, but Aerith didn't allow that to weigh her down. The more time she was able to spend to herself, the more she would be able to focus on what little of her powers she did enjoy. She loved to cultivate the flowers she was growing, and kept it as her little secret for as long as she could. There, in the church, she would be able to focus on the part of whatever her special powers she liked. She wouldn't have to listen to the wind while she was there, or hear the anguish and sorrow of the people.
Fate itself, however, seemed to have different plans for the flower girl, when it threw a young man through the roof of the church while she was fifteen years old.
An Ill-fated LoveEdit
It was then, worrying about both the young man and the flowers that had been unexpectedly crushed, that Aerith met a 16-year-old Zack Fair. Even though he mistook her for an angel(a mistake Aerith quickly corrected), the two hit it off rather well for someone that crashed through the roof of the church. His idea of paying her back for 'saving his life'(even though she insisted she only was calling out 'hello' to him) was to take her on a date. At first, she thought he had hit his head a bit too harshly, but indulged him and tagged along after he complimented her on her flowers. Even during the date, she got to see a kindness to Zack, as he offerred to help a child that stole his wallet first with his money and then, when they realize the child's own stolen wallet had more gil, took back the wallet from the monster.
Trusting him enough, the young Cetra allowed her guard to drop, telling Zack of her feelings about SOLDIERs. Even though she called them scary and, basically, battle-crazy, the young man didn't care too much. Quickly apologizing after it being revealed that Zack was a SOLDIER, himself, his Mako-enfused eyes drew her attention. Allowed a closer look, she found they were the same color as the sky. For the first time, she felt as if she could look to the sky and not be afraid, and was drawn in until she noticed Zack's widening smile. Bashful, the girl pushed him jokingly, sharing a laugh with him. Even though the two had to separate soon after, she received her ribbon, the same of whiich she always wore in her hair in present-day, from him. The two began to see each other afterward, something drawing the two together closer and closer every time. It was the first time Aerith found herself falling in love, and with all people, it was a with a SOLDIER, one of Shinra's finest warriors.
This all spiraled further and further, and Aerith thought the two would only be having more and more fun. However, one day he came into the church, and the usual spark that was in his eyes were gone. On top of that, there was a cross-shaped scar on his left cheek. She didn't even have to hear the story about his friend he was forced to kill to know that he was troubled by it, and before the young woman even knew what she was doing, she moved over and held the SOLDIER. Aerith knew then that she wanted to be by his side, but kept the fact to herself. In spite of her knowing he felt the same, it just wasn't a good time to bring it up.
Even though, as a SOLDIER, Zack was always busy, the two still found ways of somehow seeing one another over the year that their relationship was blossoming. He even helped make her a flower cart to sell flowers, and even though he kept encouraging her to go above the plate to sell them, Aerith was still too on-guard to ever travel up there. She didn't even care that the business wasn't doing so well. All the Ancient knew was that she was happy to spend time with Zack. With him, she didn't even feel she needed to fear the voices of the planet calling out to her. He could always keep them at bay for her. He even had protected Aerith from a monster attack, during which they even had help from another monster(who later was revealed to her had the spirit of Zack's slain friend residing within). She knew then if she ever needed help from anyone or anything, Zack would come and help her. Though, to that point, she had been wearing mostly blue, she slowly started to warm to the idea of wearing red. Zack himself had been dropping more than enough hints, but for a long time she decided to tease him, mostly only wearing the ribbon that he had given her.
After being told that Zack was leaving on yet another mission, Aerith didn't pay too much mind to it. He always came back to her, and he knew she would always try to wait for him. Days turned to weeks, which turned to months. After four years of waiting, and 88 letters given to her friend, Tseng, Aerith's heart never once wavered. She always believed that he would return for her. Hoping to surprise him, she even decided to discard her blue attire, donning her famous pink dress and red jacket. However, one day, after entrusting her 89th letter to a copy of Angeal, the monster that was watching over her for so long, she began to hear the planet yet again. Instead of trying to talk to her, however, it seemed to be crying for her. Stopping for the moment from taking care of her flowers she looked up to the sky through the holes of the church. Almost feeling as if she could see Zack's eyes, she was drawn toward it yet again. Confused as to what it may mean, she closed her eyes and listened to the words of the planet.
That day, Aerith cried alongside the planet when she felt Zack's life force join with the Lifestream.
One End Leads to AnotherEdit
Once more living with her walls up as high as they could go, she decided to honor Zack's memory the best way that she could. Even though she had tried a couple of times before, shortly after his death, Aerith began to venture above the plate to sell flowers. Not really caring about making a real profit, she sold them for only a gil. Business was, as usual, very sporadic for a long time. Some days, she would sell out in the matter of minutes, while others, she would go home and decorate her mother's house with the delicate flowers. Still, out in the open sky above the plate, she somehow felt closer to Zack, trying not to pay too much mind to the fear she would constantly feel in its presence. No one bothered to question her, since she knew they probably knew of where she came from, and for a while this was good.
However, it was after there was rumored to be an explosion at one of the Mako Reactors that her life on the sidelines would end. Little did she know, it would start with selling a flower to a blond, spikey-haired young man who, at the time, almost didn't stand out.
The glowing blue eyes that he possessed, however, once more reminded her of a welcoming sky. More important was the reminder of a certain young man that had the exact same trait the last time she saw him.
Attempting to count it as nothing serious, Aerith didn't pay too much mind to the young man. After making the sale and leaving, she had no idea until later that she had unintentionally run into Cloud Strife, a mercenary-for-hire for the group AVALANCHE. Hearing about the bombing filled the young woman with both wonder and horror. The latter for who could possibly have been hurt as a result. The former because the act in and of itself momentarily lessened the crying she constantly heard from what she could only guess was the very ground below her. As such, while she didn't necessarily like how the 'terrorist' group was going about it, she did approve of the end result. She wouldn't go out of her way to defend them, or speak to anyone except her mother about her feelings of the situation. Instead, she continued to tend to the flowers.
One day, as she was once more tending her flowers, history would repeat itself as Cloud, the same young man she had gotten a familiar feeling about and sold a flower to, would come crashing down through the church's roof. Once more calling out to him, she was surprised that, yet again, the young man woke up from merely that. This time, however, the jovial, yet familiar meeting would be unpleasantly interrupted by a different Turk member than Tseng. After Cloud revealed the member to be Reno, she knew a fight would be inevitable, and directed Cloud out the back. In the resulting attack, the two were separated for a moment, and she was saved by Cloud being able to throw barrels down upon the pursuing soldiers. When she finally caught back up(and a bit more mutual teasing and Aerith joking that they might want to make her a SOLDIER), she verified that Cloud did indeed have Mako-infused eyes. Just like Zack...
While studying Cloud and his shocking similarities, he successfully took her home, and she knew that he intended to leave her there with her mother. After having a word in private with her after he had gone to bed, Aerith revealed to her mother her intent on leaving with the strange young man that reminded her so much of her lost love, and managed to cut him off when he left, tagging along on his journey back to Sector 7. While fighting along the way, she not only began to notice the similar walking, running, and even gesture patterns in Cloud that Zack had, but also the fact that he had a similar look, hair style, and even the Buster Sword! The flower girl was finally starting to confront the young man on the playground before the entrance to sector 7, when they were interupted... by a cart with a woman looking exactly like Tifa Lockhart, a childhood friend of Cloud's, standing on the back! The two quickly agreeing to follow her, ultimately leading to Wall Market and Don Corneo.
After following Tifa's trail all the way over, the two found they were at an impasse. Don Corneo was an infamous lech, and had seeming ties to Shinra! Now worried about his childhood friend, Cloud was trying to find a way in... in which he was interupted by Aerith's sense of pranks. With a heartfelt giggle, she suggested that, if he was so worried, that he looked the part in order to go make sure Tifa would be all right. To her amusement, he went along with it, and wound up looking shockingly convincing... enough for the Don to wind up picking him in the end. Tifa and Aerith, who were already bonding quickly, would find this to be a source of entertainment as they were heading back to Sector 7, even with the threat of the plate's falling in the back of their minds. In the midst of the chaos, the flower girl was asked by none other than the leader of AVALANCHE himself, Barret, to take his daughter Marlene and get her to safety. Aerith was successful in doing so, but had to trade her own freedom from Shinra when she and Marlene were caught by Tseng and the Turks. Being caught, she was allowed to look on to her friends as the plate was preparing to fall on all of Sector 7. When delivering the news of Marlene's safety, she was interupted by a then-panicking Tseng, who had slapped her when she ventured too close to the side. Taking off, she rubbed her cheek as they left, looking on hopelessly as the plate then fell, crushing the entirety of Sector 7.
[Under construction. Things need to stop falling.]