Track Five – Sephiroth Hojo Crescent – Somewhere I Belong
When this began, I had nothing to say. I did not know what to say to someone who so obviously held such attraction for me. I was utterly confused in the face of your devotion. I was not sure how to handle such attentions. I was raised and trained to be someone without emotion, to be a tool, not even a real human.
The feelings that I saw in your eyes, the utter worship, startled me, and in some ways, they opened up a new path for my own emotions. At times I get lost in the nothingness inside of me. I was confused when faced with what you tried to offer me; only, I did not know how to return your feelings. I pushed you away. It was the best that I knew to do. From what Zack had explained, what you wanted from me was wrong.
You must believe that I never meant to hurt you. I was flattered by your praise, and though there were many others out there who wanted to be Sephiroth, I believed that you were the only one who truly knew me outside of Zack. I am shamed to say that I had forgotten you and our friendship. I had forgotten about your love, if that is what it truly was. I do not know if I can recognize that emotion. I do not even know emotion.
I must apologize for my failure in restraining my actions and for listening to the seductive whispers of Jenova’s voice. If it were not for my weakness, you would still have your mother. I would have never destroyed your home. I ruined many lives that day, and in many ways, Tifa Lockhart’s actions are direct consequences of my own rage and irrationality. I feel I am to blame for much of the ills in your life. I must also apologize for the impersonality of a letter, but I do not believe I am able to say such things to your face.
I let it all out to find that I am not the only one with these things in mind. Inside of me, all the vacancy the words reveal is the only real thing that I have left to feel. I have nothing to lose. I am now stuck, hollow and alone. Yet, the fault is my own. I am to blame, and for that, I cannot apologize enough.
There are many things that I have done wrong, and I cannot thank the planet enough for the second chance that has been granted to me, even if I do not deserve it. I can now make amends. There are cities that must be rebuilt, people to be protected, even if it means giving my life in the end. There are some things worth fighting for, and my redemption is one of them. I want to heal. I want to be what I was before, what you remember me as. A hero, one who stood for justice and life, not death and destruction. The real reasons you once looked up to me.
I do not know if you can forgive me for my transgressions; I do not honestly expect you to. I have wronged you in so many ways, and I dearly regret my actions while I was under control of that alien. If I could have stopped her, I would have. There were times that I wished I was as strong as you, that I could have spoken to the one who I held feelings for.
My biggest regret is the loss of my control. I should have protected you and Zack, even if it was from myself. I never meant to hurt the people who meant the most to me. I was so angry and irrational; all I could think was to get revenge for everything that had been done to me. And that opened the path for you to suffer the same as me. To be honest, I was glad when you did not make it into SOLDIER. The tests that they would have done to you, the mako injections, the training… I would not wish that on anyone, but in my madness, you ended up suffering much worse. Hojo would have never been allowed to lay a hand on you if it was not for me. I would have protected you the best way I could.
I want to thank you before I go, thank you for being there through the worst of my pains, both you and Zack. I want to thank you for my few good memories before Nibelheim. I hated my life and my existence until the both of you became my friends. I do not think I even thought of myself as having any humanity until you showed me different. You showed me there was something worth life in this tortured soul, and for that, I could not be more grateful.
You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for, Cloud. You have a strength that cannot be matched by physical or mental measurements. You have a strength of the heart, the kind of power that gives you the courage to always fight and face your fears or face your own sorrows. If it had not have been for me, you might have even made it into SOLDIER. You were always strong, and in many ways, you are stronger than me.
I have nothing left to say that would not be repeating what I have already said. I only wish that you are happy in your life and that you forget about me, forget about the past. It is no longer important. You have your entire life in front of you, a wonderful wife and a yet unborn child. I am sure your daughter will be beautiful. Especially if she has your eyes, those startling pools of ocean blue… I digress.
My dearest regards,
* * *
I suppose I could have started out with something far less formal, but I have never been sure how to react around you. I was always left feeling on edge and uncertain, words and decorum escaping me. It took nearly all of my willpower to not blush in your presence and reveal my feelings. I both loved and hated having to work alongside you since you always felt like this unreachable figure on a pedestal.
I think I first admired your intelligence and skill, like any man truly born and bred in the military. You were brilliant on the battlefield, and you moved like true poetry in motion when fighting. That look of concentration in your eyes, silver filled with determination, always made something inside of me tingle with warmth. I did not understand my feelings; I did not know what to do with this attraction for you.
We danced around each other for so long. I was afraid to let anyone know of my magnetism to you since I knew of the stigmas involved with homosexuality. It was quite embarrassing to have Zack explain it all to me. I realize it now, the lust and the desire that I felt for you. It has not waned in all the time that has passed, and seeing you now, it has grown inside of me as something I want to attempt.
I want to feel what I thought was never real. I did not understand emotion due to what I had been taught and forced to endure. But now, I know. I know that I want to let go of the pain that I have held so long, to erase it until it is gone. I want to heal what has been broken inside; I want to learn all those little pieces of humanity that had been drilled out of me. And though I am slightly embarrassed to say it, I know now that I want you.
I want to feel like I am, for once, close to something real. I want to find something that I have wanted all along, somewhere I belong. My memories are fleeting at best, often tainted by Jenova’s insanity, but one thing from my past remains clear: my attraction to you.
I must apologize for what happened to you. The injury you suffered in the Temple of the Ancients is a direct result of my inability to control my madness. I remember seeing my body, seeing you through my own eyes but being powerless to do anything. I could only watch in horror as she attacked you with my own limbs, my own sword. Any hopes I had ever held of once being brave enough to speak my feelings died that day. I did not believe you would ever forgive me, nor do I expect or ask you to. I honestly thought that she had killed you, that I had killed you. I can never forgive myself for that.
I find myself hoping that before all the craziness occurred, you may have returned my feelings. I do not know whether you enjoy the attentions of other men or not, and frankly, I was always far too nervous to ask. With as little knowledge as I know, I could not even begin to ask. I never told Zack either, though I suspect he knew. He was always sharper than me when it came to relationships with people in general. I know nothing of romance.
If there is someway that you can forgive me and even beyond that discover you have feelings for me, I am taking the chance of letting you know how I have always felt. It is a frail hope that perhaps my desires will be returned. I admit that I know nothing of relationships and romance. I have kept everyone at a safe distance since I was allowed contact with other human beings; even Zack will tell you that I am painfully shy.
But if this is truly a chance Gaia has given me, then I have promised myself that I will not waste it. Do not feel obligated in any way. I simply wanted to free myself by explaining what I have always felt for you. Forgive the impersonal method of communication; I was afraid of stammering and stuttering my way through what would be one of the most important conversations of my new life.
Though I could go on, waxing poetic about your many virtues and thoroughly expositing my feelings, I do not want to impose any longer on your precious time.
* * *
I cannot bring myself to call you mother, no matter how much I know it is true. I may not be aware of what it means to be family, having no experience within such ventures myself, but being around Zack long enough has taught me that your brand of love is not what I should expect from a mother. You may find it painful that your only son would rather have never known of you, but it hurts me even more to know that I was abandoned by the one person who should have protected me.
Vincent Valentine blames himself for being unable to protect me from Hojo and cursed himself to spend thirty years in slumber, reliving his nightmares continuously. Honestly, Lucrecia, the one to suffer should have been you. I do not understand how you can justify anything you have done. Do you even now what I suffered, what I went through my entire life? The tests, the injections, being under Hojo’s thumb since I was born…
I had nothing to say when I met you. I simply cannot believe that I did not fall flat on my face when Valentine took me to meet you. I had been searching for a family, searching for that home, that place where I belonged, and then, I met you.
I was confused. You should have been everything I was looking for, and you were not. Instead, you were part of my worst nightmare. I wanted someone to save me. It should have been you. Instead, no one ever came, and I was left to suffer alone.
There are so many things I could tell you. So many foul names that I could call you. I could wail and curse. I could pour my hatred upon you until you drowned in it, but for some reason, I cannot bring myself to hate you. No matter how much I remember, no matter how much I blame you for my pain, I cannot find it in myself to despise your existence.
I will never call you mother; I will never call you family. You may have birthed me, but you will never be my mother. I have no parents, and frankly, I prefer it that way. I do not know if I would have been happier not knowing about you. It is far too late for that. And while I feel the urge to destroy and burn, to let my rage run free, I will not.
I am stronger than that now, stronger than what you and your husband impressed upon me. This was not for the good of the world and humanity; this was for the furthering of your own ostensible brilliance, just to prove your theories right. For your own fame, you destroyed the life of a child, your own child. You are a monster, not Valentine. You deserved nothing more than to be left alone in that cave, lying in a pool of your own tears.
I want to say that I forgive you, that I am a person who can forgive those who have hurt me and done me wrong, but I do not think I am that human. You made me this way, be proud and take responsibility for your own actions. I am the ruthless, heartless killer you hoped I would be. I am what Hojo made me.
I have nothing left to say to you. No more words will be wasted on your ears; you do not deserve them. I never want to see you again.
* * *
To my closest and dearest companion,
There are so many things I could say to you, but I believe you already know most of them. If there were anyone who truly knew me, it would be you, Zack. From the moment you decided that you were going to be my friend, pushing into my life with even more persistence than Cloud (but decidedly less gay), you have always been there for me.
You have heard it all before, but I cannot say it enough. How very sorry I am that I listened to that siren’s call. I slaughtered innocents. I fought against both you and Cloud. I… might as well have killed you. I thought I did. I cannot bear that memory on my conscience, but I suffer the truth since only it will bring my repentance. That is why I am here, why I have been granted this chance.
I already know that I have your forgiveness; that is just the type of person that you are. That night, you most likely laughed it off and were more worried for me than yourself. I know you never blamed me, and that is all right since I blamed myself enough for the both of us.
I did not even know I had the capacity for human emotion until I met you. I was not even sure I wanted to. Looking everywhere only to find that it is not the way I had imagined it all in my mind. I am thankful that you were there with me when I met the woman who had given birth to me. I do not think I could have come through with my sanity intact if I had to handle it alone.
You have always been the one to hold me together, even when I was falling apart. I should have listened to you then. What did I have but negativity, and I cannot justify the way everyone is looking at me. I was their idol and their leader, but beneath it all, the only one who saw me was you. I mean it when I say that you are my family.
I used to think that I had nothing to lose and nothing to gain by being alive. Since I was nothing more than a play-thing for ShinRa, there was no rationale in my life but to be hollow and alone. I was merely a killing machine that served only one purpose, to bring death and mayhem to ShinRa’s enemies. That is, until I met you.
I believe that I have a part to play in all this, that I am worth more than the blood on my hands. I even dare to think that there may be more to my existence, that I might even be capable of love. All thanks to you.
No matter what happens in the future, I want you to know that you will always be my dearest and truest friend. I will always need you, never forget that. Even when we grow old and grey, if we even can, and I wish that you will be happy with your new life as well. Do not hold back; let yourself fall in love. And maybe I will, too.
* * *
I think it is important that I say this to you, mostly because I know you will not believe it unless it comes from me alone. I never once blamed you. Even now, knowing the truth of my past, I do not blame you in the slightest. The ones who should suffer and repent are Lucrecia and Hojo.
It was not your fault. You tried; that was more than the one who birthed me could claim. She simply gave up, handing me over to the whims of a madman without a second thought. You, even though you were not sure if I was your son… you fought for me to the bitter end. And even now you are still fighting.
I can honestly say that I trust you. And in many ways, deep down inside, I wish that you were my father. I know that you are an honorable man, despite your past. You would have protected me with your dying breath. You would have given me a loving home. Given the chance, you would have saved me. I thank Fate every day that Hojo finally met his end for what he did to both of us.
I only wish that I had the opportunity to confront the man. There are many things I would say to him, I think. Yet, I know that it would be too much for my fragile sanity to bear. I would have killed him without a second thought for these foul memories that I would rather not hold. I will be forever tainted because of that madman’s touch. He is the true monster.
I apologize for the informality of this letter and for how impersonal the written words are, but I do not believe I have the capacity to speak so frankly to anyone’s face. I will never be able to know myself until I do this on my own.
Zack once told me that blood doesn’t necessarily make a family. Out of the many odd things he has come up with, I actually find merit in this one. If you would consider it, I would not mind. It is hard for me to say this, but I could use a better influence on my life. I have always wanted to experience what it is to actually know a father’s care.
Although I am past the stage where I need a caretaker, there are many things I have always sorely lacked in my life. Perhaps it is too presumptuous of me. Please do not feel obligated by any form of punishment or feelings of blame. I do not fault you. I just felt it important for you to know. I wanted to close another door, finally free to open new ones.
The choice is yours.
* * *
I know of no words strong enough to convey the hatred that I feel for your very existence. Even as I sit writing this letter, my blood boils and my hands are shaking from thinly restrained fury. Anger at the treatment I received under your guidance, under your direction. You… I cannot… I will not even begin to detail every pain and sufferance since I am sure that would only excite you more. The fact that I will never feel anything else, that I cannot function until my wounds are healed probably makes you giddy to the core.
It sickens me. I thought that I was worthless for the better part of my life, but faced with all that you had inflicted on others, I know that I am the least of monsters. Until I break away from myself, I will never be anything. But you… you will never change. There is no salvation for creatures like you; there is no redemption for a true monster.
I am only sorry that it had not been me to deal the killing blow. I am forever tainted by your touch, but that does not matter. Soon, I will forget you. I will break away from every vile deed you inflicted upon my body, and I will find myself, pushing away your entire existence. Soon, I will not even curse your name because you will be a forgotten piece of history.
I am destroying your research, piece by piece, every living and suffering soul without a conscious. I am burning every document and every laboratory, doing what I can to erase the name Euphraim Hojo from history. No one will remember you or your science; everyone will forget that you ever existed. Your existence means nothing to me.
You are not my father, merely the sperm donor. I hate the part of myself that is also a part of you. If I could rip it from me, I would. I pray to some deity, one I do not believe exists, that Valentine is my true father, and I know that news would infuriate you to the core. You are not half the man he is, not even by the smallest margin. Deranged, maniacal, and worthless scientist that you are.
I cannot… I will not even deign to remember all the depraved tortures I suffered, lest I go on another murderous rampage as I did when my memories returned in Nibelheim. When I found your notes. When I discovered what I had believed to be a horrific nightmare was in fact the terrible truth. That you had…
The fact of the matter is you will soon be forgotten. I am erasing your presence from this planet. Nothing will remain of you. Not your inhumane research. Not your foul deeds. Not even your line because I will not be having any children.
The Hojo line is dead, and I killed it gladly.
Rot in hell, you bastard; it is the kindest fate you will suffer.