Disclaimer: All of the characters used in this fic is property of Squaresoft. I do not own them, and I probably never will.

Heart To Heart

by: Kai

Prologue - The Aftermath

Sephiroth was finally defeated, and Meteor destroyed. The world was saved by a small band of "outlaws" known as AVALANCHE. Quite ironic that the same group that was so widely despised in Midgar due to ShinRa using them as a scapegoat; blaming all problems on AVALANCHE, when in fact they were the ones to blame. But now the world rejoiced at the mere mention of their names, and though they had saved the world they wanted no part of the glory and fame that came along with saving the world from destruction. They just wanted to live in peace and continue on with their own lives. So...what ever did become of our heroes?

Yuffie Kisaragi returned to her hometown of Wutai and with the consent of all the other members of AVALANCHE, she brought all of their materia along with her. With her father by her side she was dead set on returning the now decrepit town back to its former glory. Wutai had already undergone changes to make itself into more than just a mere tourist attraction, and now with the materia Yuffie had brought back they had the potential to do so.

The tough-talking old son-of-a-gun known simply as Cid Highwind decided to return to Rocket Town. Though his dreams of going up into space had gone along with his rocket, he would not let that stop him. Due to Midgar's destruction many scientists had their interest into sending a man into space rekindled. Working alongside Cid and Shera, they were constantly working on perfecting the designs for their newest rocket, before immediately starting construction on a new rocket, which would be piloted by non other than the gruff old man himself.

Despite the passing of his grandfather hanging over his birthplace, Nanaki, son of Seto, returned to Cosmo Canyon. Though thought to be the last of his kind, he would refuse to believe the words of the public. He spent most of his time searching for others like him. The residents of Cosmo Canyon still continued their research of the planets and stars, but never lost sight of what was going on in the rest of the world either. With Seto's body still encased in pure stone, Nanaki took yet another task onto his shoulders. He would not only search for others like himself and his father, but he would not rest until he found a cure for his father as well. For years he thought his father nothing but a coward, and he could not have been more wrong. His father gave his very life, his very soul to protect his beloved canyon from the Gi. Now Nanaki would pour his very soul into finding a cure to release his father from his stone imprisonment. Though these duties were a heavy burden on him, he excepted them readily. He even, for the most part, acted as a relay between the other members of AVALANCHE. He remained the link that held them together, as well as the unit's brain. An ever crucial part of the team was Nanaki, even though the world was no longer in danger.

The ex-Turk and human enigma known as Vincent Valentine disappeared for a long time. The others lost communication with him not too long after Sephiroth's demise, and the others feared the worst. The ex-Turk never did speak much of his past, all the others knew was what he -would- say. And all that he would ever talk about was his crimes, and that in order to make up for his crimes he must sleep. The others feared that this time Vincent may have gone ahead and taken that step towards his eternal sleep, although they were not sure if the mysterious Valentine did indeed have a finite lifespan. But about six months after his disappearance, Nanaki received a letter from the mysterious ex-Turk. It seems that he had left his previous home in the basement of the old ShinRa mansion in Nibelheim, and had moved to where he had seen the ghost of his past and only love, Lucrecia. Thus they nicknamed the place Lucrecia's Waterfall, and decided to leave Vincent to his own devices. But the ex-Turk did make his intentions clear, and that was that if the world was ever threatened again, he would once again join his comrades in protecting the world that his beloved Lucrecia had loved so much.

Barret Wallace, founder of the rebel group known as AVALANCHE as well as long time friend of Tifa Lockheart, had decided to make up for his "crimes" of the past. After briefly stopping by Kalm to visit his daughter Marlene, he had once again asked Aeris' adopted mother Elmyra to watch over her while he went overseas. He thought of it as his duty to return to Corel and help the rebuilding process. He only wished that his old friend Dyne was still around to help him in his endeavor. However, he -was- assisted by an unlikely ally...actually, two unlikely allies.

The first of which was the toysaurus known as Cait Sith. His soft toy body made him inadequate to help with the rebuilding, but he acted as entertainment not only for the workers, but especially for the children. His streaky fortune telling ability was also loved, since he was so off most of the time it served as a great way for the workers to relax after a grueling day of work.

The second was the member of ShinRa who defected after coming into "contact" with AVALANCHE, the man known as Reeve. He was not as strong as Barret physically, and he could not make the children laugh like Cait Sith, but his knowledge of urban development was invaluable. He wrote up most of the floors plans for Corel's rebuilding process, as well as directing the construction. Though he and Barret were at each other's throats at numerous times, Barret knew that Reeve was helping Corel a lot and as such fought to keep his temper in check many times over. Of course Reeve used this to his advantage to constantly get the last word in, and you could sure as hell bet that that annoyed the hell out of Barret.

Ex-SOLDIER now turned mercenary Zack decided to follow Aeris to Kalm. Since Aeris' adopted mother Elmyra now resided in Kalm and Midgar was nothing but a pile of junk, the young flower girl had thought it the best course of action. Of course she insisted that Zack come along with her, and he "reluctantly" agreed. The lived together happily; Aeris had set up a nice little flower shop in Kalm while Zack took on odd jobs, just as Cloud had in the beginning. A jack-of-all-trades, that's what it said on his card. However he loved it the most when he was called upon to protect the city and its inhabitants. Though Meteor was destroyed, there was always still the threat of the occasional beasts coming to disturb the town. Though these encounters were far and few, Zack relished them as it gave him the chance to show off his SOLDIER training. Aeris always chided him whenever he got all worked up for this, but Zack didn't care, he loved it.

Nanaki kept in contact with all of them. However, there were only two members of AVALANCHE that he could never get in contact with: the ever- elusive Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockheart. The first to leave was Cloud, he disappeared not too long after Vincent did. Not too long after that Tifa disappeared as well, the note she left merely telling the others not to worry, and that she was going after Cloud. Everyone knew she cared deeply for Cloud and wished desperately that Cloud would return the feelings, but she knew how much the "ex-SOLDIER" cared about Aeris. It tore him apart inside to see her so happy with his best friend Zack, but he could not take it upon himself to try to get between the happy couple. Even after her experience with him in the Lifestream, Cloud still bottled everything up inside him. He kept his feelings all to himself, and he would never tell anyone what he felt, not even his childhood friend Tifa. To avoid going insane the spiky-haired hero had left to find himself, and Tifa, who loved him more than anything in this world, decided to follow him. The others did not condemn Cloud or Tifa for what they did, but only hoped that both would find what they were so desperately searching for.

Author's Note: My first attempt at a Final Fantasy VII fic. I meant for this prologue to kind of hook the readers, dunno if it had that effect though. My next chapter will focus on the two aforementioned missing members of AVALANCHE; Cloud Strife and Tifa Lockheart. The beginning will probably be done from Tifa's PoV, then from Cloud's PoV. The one after that might then focus on Aeris and Zack, haven't really given it much thought yet. Please R&R. ^^