This idea has been bothering me for a while, so I guess I will try it out^^ The story is AU, so if you don't like, don't read.

For any grammar-mistake I'm sure I have made somewhere, I apologize. It is by no means done by will.

Disclaimer: Own nothing but the plot.

Prologue

Manor Children

She would watch him out of the corner of her eye, curious on why the other kids didn't allow him to play with them. Was it because of his glowing, blue eyes? No, she didn't believe that to be the reason. They weren't scary, only charming and cute. Like something sacred.

The little girl asked one of her friends once, why they didn't let him play with them.

"He's dangerous, Teef. From there," her friend replied, pointing at the manor on the outskirt of the small village. The huge building was hardly visible from the Kindergarten where the kids spent their days, raising like a big, bad shadow toward everyone who dared get too close. Strange stories ran around inside the village, about how children were used as experiments, about how ShinRa moved all their enemies up there to be removed from the world, and even worse stories about all the evil things ShinRa did.

Nibelheim was a small Reactor Village in the mountains, hardly anything to the world surrounding it at all. Peaceful and quiet, that was words used to describe it among the citizens. Yet, because of the manor, it had also become ShinRa's private playground.

The village's only kindergarten laid near the entrance to Mt. Nibel, and gave the adults a place to put their children when they had to work.

Tifa watched the little boy from a safe distance, still wondering why he would be so dangerous just because he came from the manor.

Along with his glowing eyes, the boy had really spiky, blond hair – apparently the word gravity had no meaning to it –, really pale skin, and was a lot shorter than most of the other boys at his age. He would sit quietly in a corner, watching the other kids play soccer or anything else, with his arms around his knees and a faraway look in his eyes. Sometimes, her friends would walk closer to him, saying mean things all the way. She didn't like it when they did that; if they wouldn't allow him to play with them, they should just leave him alone, not bother him by being mean.

Usually, the boy's only – apparently – friend would show up, chasing them away with being tall and rude. Then, he would sit down and put a protective hand on top of the blond spikes, pushing them down.

This other boy was some years older, he too with glowing eyes, and spikes – though his was black, not blond. Unlike his friend, he wasn't picked on by her friends, even if he too came from the manor. The little girl's guess was that they didn't dare since he was older and taller.

Like the blond one, he too wasn't allowed to play with them, but he didn't seem to be suffering so much from it as his friend.

The days passed just like usual, not allowing anything special to happen. Tifa would be watching the two boys in the corner every day, a part of her heart telling her to invite them to play with them, yet she didn't do it because she was afraid of what her friends would say.

The little girl stood underneath some of the trees in the kindergartens garden, watching the two boys' usual spot. No one was there today, something that in itself was strange. The other kids were playing on the other side of the building, and Tifa didn't really feel like being with them at the moment.

A movement in the corner of her eye got the girl to turn around. There, almost hidden behind the trees, could she see the black-haired boy, already far on his way by climbing toward the top of a huge tree. The girl didn't waste a minute, but walked closer by, already decided that she would speak with him, ask where the blond boy had gone.

"Hi!" she said loudly as she got beneath the tree, smiling softly up at the boy. His eyes watched her curious for a moment, wondering why she didn't play with her friends.

"Hey," he finally answered, not letting his guard down even if she smiled.

"I'm Tifa Lockhart," the little girl said proudly, pointing her finger at her chest.

"Zack."

"Where's your friend?" she asked friendly, a bit proud that she could ask him about something like that. The boy stared at her, before climbing toward her, jumping down from the last branch. Once he stood in front of her, the girl could really tell that he was tall, much taller than her.

"Cloud's sick," he answered, and the girl caught a glimpse of worry in his eyes, along with a look that told her he had seen too much for a boy his age. After all, he couldn't be more than five, soon six. Soon school-ready.

Cloud. That had to be name of the blond boy. She was glad she knew it; now he wouldn't be just another face in the crowd.

Somewhere in the distance, they could hear the bell calling the children in to lunch. Tifa turned around and walked toward the building, knowing that Zack followed somewhere behind her. She knew she wanted to get to know them better, wanted to learn why it didn't seem like anyone wanted them in town. Learn why the manor was a forbidden place.

However, that was the only time she got to talk to either of the boys, the last time she got to see them. The day after, they were both gone from the kindergarten, gone from the small village of Nibelheim. Disappeared like a cloud in the wind.

*~^:^~*

A/N: Hope you liked it^^ Please let me know if you want me to continue this story! :)