Free to Fly Tonight

by llamajoy

Mother, I killed them, life spilled at your feet. Enough of blood, red sweet offering, held up hot and trembling rich before you. Salt and bitter stinging sweet, in return for ruthless truth. For you. You are witness before the sky, my hand and my weapon are yours. I lift my sword, and hundreds fear the arc of my blade. Helpless before my very name.

[Sweat, and shrieking nerves. A drenched field, a tattered battle standard. With your back to your subordinates, your forehead pressed useless to the soft cloth wall of your tent, eyes on the missive in your still gloved hands. ShinRa company stationery, the presidential seal. Wutai on its knees.]

They shall not profane the holy, they shall not invade the sacrosanct. It is ours alone, this end, this glorious-- Mother, may I come?

Too long dormant, they were busy while I slept, those architects of death. Too much they thought they knew. How could they seek to understand the sweep, the breadth, the very breathing of the planet? Walk across the wounded world, speak a word of un-creation. Souls are raw and earth is weeping, we alone may touch the sky.

[The one with the fall-dark hair, as lush as autumn's ending, the one with the easy laugh. Who never broke a promise. Keep the faith, brother-trust. His eyes were brown, sweet as crushed cinnamon, in the twilight, and it didn't matter who had died or who had shouted victory. Comrades understand. His hands were steady as the sun went down, and he never spoke a word.]

Mother, will you give me back the heartbeat, the shivering waterdrop of self that I poured into you? Shimmer with strength and open your eyes, and break them all-- shatter them, scatter them, shards of brilliance cast like diamond dust. Nothing so beautiful, Mother, as their destined disaster, the delicious cadence of their dying pulse.

You will unmake the world, Mother, and I your only heir. These razor-fine wings tear at the clouds, will rend the bleeding sky. Greater still than battle, or the heat and reach of war, this catastrophe will blind them, bring them screaming to their feet.

From this slip of golden universe, along the lines of solar grace, we shall fall into the beginning and summon--

[The one with the spring-bright hair, too blond for sunshine, the one with the awe-colored voice. Who never forgot a thing you told him. Keep the image, idol-worship. His eyes were blue, sharp as cloudless daylight, in the afternoon, and it didn't matter if you were wrong or if you were right. Fellow warriors respect. His hands were shaking as the battle began, and he never spoke a word.]

--Here they come, Mother. ~Oh, tumble down my burrowed hole, come step closer into my web. The silk won't hold you, little ones, the strands of my mind cannot keep, cannot catch you tight. Flail your tiny fists at me, strength stuttering through your veins, it will not help you. Mine to dissolve, and watch the ebbing tide that is your legacy... Mine to enfold-- the benison of my blade-edged wings shall bless you, all.~

And then my defenses are split open, all my secrets spinning free. How--? What self flutters there, butterfly arc of his sword so familiar? Too frail for angel's wings, his aura is wrought delicate as spiderdreams, as new as raw materia.

And I know him.

[You taught him all he knows.]

Mother, where am I? Who stands here, how dare he?

[Who are you?]

Head so heavy, memory dimming, I dare not look away. My eyes are yet my own, my vision unhealing. Eliminate the threat, demolish the unholy. Cherish the pain, it alone will save the world. I wield the vanguard of our hope for you--

[You were a shining warrior-lord, your face would bow their heads. Now you do not even remember the name of your blade, only a weight in your hands.]

Jenova I breathe-- Jenova I obey-- Jenova I come--

[You must-- beyond the encroaching battle-lines of sanity, beyond the front of doom and clamor of bells-- Remember your name!]


Oh, yes. And I smile, and cool, cool wind blows over me. I lift my head silently, and the green smooth stream wells up from nowhere, like fresh lifeblood struck near the heart, like answers to questions unasked. There. Something there. A seeking glance, an outstretched hand, a distance uneclipsed.

Succor-- the universe never ceases to astonish. Comrades understand. Fellow warriors respect. And I am not alone.

[You died, and died again, every time he touched you. Reunion, come again, trip across your soul and fall with hands outstretched into the Promised Land.]

Everything never forgotten is a rush of singing through my veins, and I am weightless in the cloudless sea, letting it carry me home.


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