Long Enough, I’d Say

                            By Deathswings




Wash it in the sea, let it soak all night.


            I never thought I’d be here.  Staring out at the cool waters, letting the waves wash over my feet in their primeval way.  I never thought I’d wake up at all.  When Hojo put me under, I was sure he had killed me.  I should have known I was too precious of an experiment to waste like that.  Or maybe he was more sadistic than even I thought he was.  Maybe, in some way, he’d known this was going to happen.


Wash it in the sea; let the salt water wash it away.


            I clenched my fist.  I had told myself I wasn’t going to cry and yet I had lost count of the tears that had fallen from my eyes, salt into salt.  Blood from blood.  He was her child.  Not mine.  He belonged to her and to him.  None of me.  None of mine.  Not of my blood.  So why this sadness?


Soak it in bleach, ‘till it’s white on white.

Soak it in bleach, ‘till the blood just washes away.


            He was a criminal.  He killed thousands of people.  He didn’t deserve my tears.  He didn’t deserve anyone’s tears.  …And yet… how could I not weep?  He could have been my son.  He *would* have been my son.  But he never got the chance to be.  He never got the chance to be anything.  His whole life was planned from the moment he was born- first by Hojo, then by Jenova.  How horrible, to live a life so devoid of choice, so barren.  Maybe it was a cruel blessing that he was gone.  At least he was freed from the pain.


Hang it in the wind, let it blow all night.


            At least he was.  I still had my punishment to fulfill, and I had the feeling I’d be fulfilling it for a long time to come.  I had been changed more than I thought, more than I’d feared.  I looked down at my toes, the waves lapping over them, weighing my pants down with their tides.  At least they left some of me intact.  At least they hadn’t turned me completely into a monster.  They’d left nothing of him.  The outside remained untouched, but the inner essence had been sucked away, leaving him nothing but their puppet.


Hang it up high, let the high wind blow it away.


            And had we been any different?  Had I?  It seems we’d played into their game all along, and then picked up their mess when they could do nothing.  Was there truly peace now?  Could we finally try to be normal?  Had his death meant anything?  They were watching me- I knew they were- from the Highwind.  I’d asked to come to this beach, without even knowing why.  I could even feel the eyes of the gold Chocobo on my back, concerned, like the others.  But they didn’t understand… they couldn’t possibly know what this was like.


Hang it in the wind, let the sun burn bright.


            The sky turned purple, then pink, then a glorious golden yellow.  I just stood.  I absently wondered if I would fade into ashes like the vampires I so resembled.  But the first pale rays of morning touched my rarely exposed flesh and I did not die.  They warmed me as the sun peeked over the horizon, taking away the chill of the night.  They crept over my toes when the waves did not, then up my legs.  And finally, I could feel them starting to reach my heart.


Hang it in the wind, ‘till the blood just washes away.


            But I knew that there was one person who’s heart those rays would never reach.          


I have waited wasted years,

For the child that’s come and gone today.


            “Lucretia… I’ve come.”

            Silence.  I didn’t expect an answer.  I knew I had seen her for the last time when she gave me my old gun, and the ability to transform into my most hideous, but most powerful, form to date.  I knew I wouldn’t see or hear her, but I was hoping she could still see and hear me.

            “Lucretia… I lied to you.  It’s the only time in my life I’ve ever lied to you.  Sephiroth… wasn’t okay.  He wasn’t doing fine.  He tried to take over the world, tried to kill everyone.  My friend Cloud killed him.  Yes, my friend.  I helped to take him down.  I fired at him, used the gun you gave me, used the power you gave me, to strike down your only son.  Forgive me, Lucretia… This is not what I wished to become.”


Say what about this wasted fear?

How can I just turn and wash it away?


            “All the others are rejoicing.  They’re up on the Highwind drinking and laughing.  I can’t join them.  I don’t have the heart to.  The world had still been struck hard.  Sephiroth is still dead.  My burden is not yet eased.  I still have much to atone for, and I cannot rejoice with them.  So I’ve come to spend my evening with the dead.  After all, I ought to be among them.  I ought to be with you, Lucretia… and yet I am not.  Hojo’s curse continues to haunt me.  Maybe it will haunt me forever.  Maybe that is to be my real punishment- to never see the end, to never face death.”


(If I can then I will)  I will wash it away.

(If she can then she will)  She will wash it away.


            “At one time, I wanted this punishment.  I saw it as something I had to do, something that needed to be done.  I had made some terrible mistakes and I had to atone for them.  But even in my misery, I found satisfaction.  I wanted the pain.  It kept me alive.  I don’t want it anymore.  I only feel the cold fire of revenge lick at my flesh now, not the light of redemption.  And yet, my punishment hasn’t ceased.  My torment hasn’t eased.  I know nothing I do will stop my suffering, and I am resigned to that.  I only wish there was some way to take your pain as well.” 


Forty years, spent one by one.

Forty years of life just slipping away.


            “I was blind, Lucretia.  I was blind to the pain you were going through.  I cared so much for you, but I’m ashamed to admit that I hated Hojo more.  If I had truly loved you, I would have gone to you that night.  I would have stolen you away from there, even if you hated me for it for the rest of your life.  But instead, I crept into the Shinra mansion… and emerged a monster.  It’s been a long span of time.  I could have watched you grow old.  I could have cared for Sephiroth as my son.  I could have… I could have….”


What I’d give for a firstborn son.

Forty years of blood just washing away.


            I took a deep breath, and straightened slightly,

            “I could have done a lot of things, and I did none of them.  And as a result, you grew old cold and alone, and died the same way.  Sephiroth went slowly insane due to the cells in his body, yes, but also due to the way he was raised.  Hojo wasn’t stopped in his insane experiments.  And through it all, I slept; mindless of what was going on, wanting only to die for my misery.  I wanted so much to raise Sephiroth as *our* child- so much that I couldn’t see past my own emotions, my own misery.  I couldn’t see that the same tears that coursed down my face were choking you as well.”


I have waited wasted lives.

I have waited long enough I’d say.


            “There’s still a lot of guilt in my heart, guilt that may never wash clean completely, but in my journeys with Cloud, Cid and the others, I’ve learned something.  Everybody makes mistakes. Everybody, well, except maybe Tifa, has made choices that have hurt other people and have hurt themselves.  Some made noble sacrifices, like Aeris, some have pasts that may just be darker than mine, like Reeve.  But all of them, all of *us* gave everything up for one moment.  We all went to save the world.  In the end, with all of our values, all of our problems, and all of our fears, we shone for one moment.  One beautiful moment, and we weren’t children, hiding in the dark, but heroes, shining for a world that had forgotten how.”


Say what about this wasted child?

How can I just turn and wash it away?


            “And in that moment… I killed your son.”


(If I can then I will)  I will wash it away.

(If she can then she will)  She will wash it away.


            I let the wind blow my cape as I stood in the Northern Wastes, letting the snow fall upon me without heed.  This whole area had changed since Sephiroth’s death, and there was no longer any reminder of the terrible battle that I knew had taken place here.  All of the mako created monsters had vanished from the world, and I stood with my eyes closed, trying to feel the presence of something I knew I would not feel.  I pulled my cape closer around me, and let go of what I was holding in my hands.  The red roses left a bright stain on the endless landscape of white, much as I did.  This speech was to be much shorter than the last,

            “Good bye, Sephiroth.  For what it’s worth, I’m sorry.”


So send me an angel.

Send me the ghost that I was.


            “I don’t think he’s #$@&* coming Tifa.”

            “Don’t worry, he’ll be here.  We all agreed to meet at the new 7th Heaven in 6 months when we parted ways.  He’ll show.  Everyone else has.  Even Reeve came.”

            “&*@#$!  I know that woman!  I guess I’m just worried about him, you know?  I mean, he #$@%& left without a ^&@^# word.”

I tried to hide a smile as I pushed open the door.

            “Calm down Cid.  You know I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”


Send me an angel.

Send me the ghost that I was, that I was… that I am.


            The attempt to hide the smile failed miserably as I looked at my companion’s shocked faces.  I supposed the last thing they expected to see me in was a pair of blue jeans and a dark green sweater.  I’d kept my hair long and I’d never be able to get rid of the claw, but otherwise, I’m quite sure they wouldn’t have recognized me.  I knew I looked different and I could feel a strange new confidence in myself, something I hadn’t felt since my time as a Turk.  And standing here, surrounded by old allies and dear friends, I also began to feel something else, something new, and alien, but not at all frightening.  I began to feel at peace. 

            “Wow!  Vincent, you look great!  Come on in!  How have you been?”

            A smile on my lips, I walked into the house, and out of the cold.


I will wash it away.

She will wash it away.




The song is “Wash It Away” by Black Lab.  All characters belong to Squaresoft.  Actual story belongs to me, please tell me if you wish to archive it so I can provide a link to your archive on my site.  Please send all questions, comments, suggestions, and dark haired bishounen to Lucretia@jenovaproject.com .