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These stories were not meant to be taking place during the same time frame! It may seem like it at first, but it doesn't.
The little baby girl lay asleep. True she wasn't quite a baby, anymore. She was going to be four tomorrow. Little reddish-brown curlicues framed her pale face. The Turk holding her couldn't help but smile. She was so tired when he picked her up, she probably didn't realize he was there. It was like she was his child. Even if he was only 16, he was still a Turk, and very proud of that.
A few strands of his long black hair fell into the small child's face. She moved a little and her big bright green eyes opened. "Tseng," she said quietly with a smile.
Tseng smiled back. His cold brown eyes showed warmth to the girl. "Aeris, good morning."
Aeris sat up and her yellow ribbon fell out of her hair onto Tseng's lap. Tseng picked it up and tied it back into Aeris's hair. Aeris turned and hugged Tseng. She saw him as a big brother, sometimes as a father.
Tseng put his arms around the little girl and carried her out of the room she was in. He was going to take her to his quarters for breakfast, like he did every morning. On the way down they ran into Hojo.
Hojo was hunched over as he walked, his glasses were crooked, his lab coat wasn't buttoned quite right, and his very long black hair was held out of his face in a sloppy manner with a rubber band. He eyed Aeris, "Where are you taking my specimen?" he asked in a raspy voice.
"To my quarters for breakfast, like every morning. You know, we've gone though this every day since I've done this," Tseng gave Hojo a cold look.
"Fine then, I'll never ask you again, but if she's hurt it's coming out of your hide," said Hojo. He walked on mumbling to himself as he went.
Hojo did this exact thing to Tseng every morning. He knew that Aeris was frightened of him, and always held her a little closer when Hojo was around. They walked up many flights of stairs to Tseng's quarters.
His room consisted of a bed, three chairs, a small table, a TV, and another small table for the TV. The room was small and had no windows; not that there was much to see in Migdar. The skies were always dark and gray, regardless of the time of day.
Tseng set Aeris down in a chair by his table. He then walked out for a moment to run get Aeris and his breakfast.
Aeris quietly sat while he was gone, pure silence. She heard the voices; she looked around, but saw no one. Aeris then jumped down off of her chair and warily walked over to the bed. She looked underneath, but there was no one. It stopped, but she heard another noise, a soft cackle.
Aeris turned around and saw Hojo looking down at her. She sat down on the floor, and looked down at it. She looked at the cold gray tiles and tried not to hear him, but she could hear him laugh.
"I know you heard a voice," he whispered, "just like your mommy."
Aeris's eyes got big. "What did you do with mommy?"
She asked Hojo so innocently, he couldn't help laughing.
Tseng then walked in, a look of concern on his face. "Hojo, what are you doing in my room?"
"Just examining my specimen," said Hojo, harshly.
"Get away from her," said Tseng as he walked over to Aeris and picked her up.
"You call yourself a Turk," laughed Hojo. "You're making your first mistake. Getting to attached to my specimens." Hojo walked off without another word.
Tseng just looked at Aeris, her face buried in his white shirt. "He's wrong," he whispered to himself, "wrong--"
* * * *
A small baby girl, with little brown wisps of hair covering the top of her head and big reddish-brown eyes, clutched to her mother's shoulders. Her mother was talking to another woman who held a little blonde boy with light blue eyes.
"It's hard now that Neal has left to go back to SOLDIER again. But Cloud and I will have to make due on our own," said the boy's mother.
"I'm glad I have Robert home, most of the time," said the girl's mother. "Tifa and I just could do on our own."
"Tifa, she's two now, right?" asked Cloud's mother.
"And Cloud is three," she pinched his cheeks.
The boy showed signs of dislike, "Mommy, don't."
Tifa turned her head to see who had spoken. She saw the little blonde boy and smiled shyly. She then turned her head back to her mother's chest. Her mother patted her back and spoke again.
"Well we had best get going," said her mother. "Good-bye Brenna."
"Good bye Megan. When that girl of yours gets a little less shy, bring her to come visit Cloud," said Brenna with a smile.
Megan held Tifa tightly as they hurried back home. Tifa's eyes were drooping; she was tired. Megan opened the door to their home and set Tifa in her playpen in the kitchen. She began to hurry about, getting dinner ready.
Tifa grabbed her dolly and hugged it to her chest. It had been a long day without it. No little boys could ever make up for her dolly, not at this age anyway. She giggled to herself as she hugged her dolly. Tifa then lay down and fell asleep.
Tifa was awakened by a rough hand on her back. She slowly opened her eyes and looked up. She saw her daddy there. She sat up and held out her arms, "Daddy."
Robert bent down and picked up Tifa. "My little baby," he said as he held her near himself. He took Tifa up into her room. A piano was in her room.
Robert sat down with her on his lap and began to play a pretty song for her. He named it Tifa's Song, because he only ever played it for her.
Tifa hit the keys on the piano in front of her. Robert just smiled as he kept on playing for his little girl.
* * * *
A five-year-old girl with shoulder length black hair and gray eyes sat on the floor. Her eyes showed signs of curiosity. She sat on her bed as her father slept in his room. She eyed the stuffed pandas and dolls on her shelves, but none of them caught her attention.
She walked out of her room and crept into her father's. Even at a young age she was very quiet and quick. On her father's desk she saw a few glowing stones. One was green, one was blue, and two were yellow.
Her gray eyes sparkled greedily as she stared at the shiny stones. She reached up and grabbed the green one. She eyed it and saw fire swirling inside the small orb. She clutched it to her chest and quietly walked back to her room.
She sat staring at it. Her father then came in angrily.
"Yuffie!" he yelled loudly.
Yuffie quickly hid the stone under her pillows and pretended to be asleep.
Her father opened the door. "What have you done with my materia!?" he screamed, his face nearly red.
Yuffie looked up at her father, "Materia?" she asked innocently.
"Sit up," commanded her father.
She did as he told and sat up.
He threw her pillows off the bed and found the small green materia. "You are to never, ever touch these! You had better never try a stunt like that again, or I'll get really angry!"
Yuffie sat, her face showing little emotion. She then lay down on her bed, with her face down, and pretended to cry. "I'm sorry Daddy. I didn't know that you'd be angry with me."
He just turned and left her room. Yuffie looked up and no one was there. This had never happened before. People had always done as she wished when she cried, or pretended to at least.
Yuffie was angry now. She just flopped down on her bed and began to scream. No one came. What was going on? No one would pay attention to her.
Knowing she was alone, Yuffie went to her dresser and pulled out the bottom drawer. Inside lay at least fifteen materia stones. They were green, purple, blue, and yellow. She just needed a red on and she'd have one of every color.
Red materia were so rare, she knew it would take her a long time to find one. She sighed sadly and closed the drawer.
Yuffie changed out of her pale purple dress into a pair of jean shorts and a black T-shirt. She walked out of her room and out of the house.
Yuffie stretched in the morning sun and sat down on the stairs. She was going to go up to the Da-Chao today, and she was excited. Her father didn't need to know, no one did. It was her own matter. If no one would pay attention to her here, she'd get attention by doing something big.
Yuffie grinned as she sat looking at the mountain. She grasped her Leviathan scale and got up, today was the day. She wasn't going to be treated like a baby anymore.
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