Shipping has never really been my thing, but as most of the ships I do read are M/M, it wasn’t too hard to figure out that there was some internalized sexism influencing my reading choices. As such, I decided to think long and hard about what F/F pairings I might like to jump into. Considering that Final Fantasy VII was one of my very first fandoms, it came as no surprise to me that that was where I ended up starting.
Tifa and Aerith are two beloved characters of mine. Both are love interests to Cloud in canon, but despite being romantic rivals, they remain good and close friends up until Aerith’s untimely death. What I have discovered is even better than their close friendship, though, is the idea that they could have hidden romantic feelings for each other.
“Lift your head just a bit,” Aerith says, and when Tifa looks up, the garland is suddenly plopped onto her head, a surprising weight, rustling and fragrant. She’s not sure if she’s smelling flowers, or just freshness, nature, and spring. Aerith scents, all of them. “Now you’re the queen,” Aerith says.
“You should be wearing this,” Tifa says. “I’m a city girl, remember?”
“You came from the mountains first,” Aerith says. “You told me. I’m the one who never saw the sky growing up, not you.”
“I’m still not the… I don’t know, flower queen.”
“You’re my queen,” Aerith says. “But I can make one for myself if you insist.”
“I do,” Tifa says. “By… royal command. Or something.”
Aerith laughs, which Tifa has been discovering is far and away her favorite sound in the world, and gets up to pick more flowers. Tifa turns her attention to the grass around her, looking carefully so she won’t disturb her crown. She can’t make anything like that, but she can make her own kind of crown for Aerith, one that’s nearly done by the time Aerith returns with her arms full of flowers, yellow and blue and pink.
Coronation isn’t a very long story at only 800+ words, but it is a story that I really enjoyed reading. Taking place sometime after the party leaves Midgar, Tifa notices that Aerith has fallen behind the rest of the group. She goes off looking, only to find Aerith making a flower crown. From there, the fic is short and sweet, with the two making crowns for each other before kissing. However, Tifa doesn’t know how to make one out of flowers, but she still manages to weave something together from clovers to give to Aerith.
Now that I really think about it, Tifa/Aerith is an awesome pairing, and I was surprised by how well the two of them work together. Despite Tifa’s toughness and martial prowess, she’s shy and withdrawn, whereas Aerith is outspoken, outgoing, and stands up for her friends. Coronation does a really good job at capturing their personalities and highlighting both their differences and similarities is a really short amount of time.
Both characters can easily get along and it’s not hard to see why they’re such good friends in canon, which makes it all the easier to ship them in fanon. I’m actually ashamed that I never tried to read this pairing before now and find myself wondering about all the fics I could be reading, which I will probably spend all next week doing. If anyone wants to check out Coronation, you can find it here on AO3.