Sephiroth had a problem.

He had been studying his predicament intensely for hours, looking at advantages and disadvantages of every course of action and their possible outcomes. The situation was far too dire for him to make a single false move. He massaged his temples for a moment, irritably wishing Hojo would see the wisdom in keeping him happy and allow him to take aspirin. How exactly could an aspirin in any way counteract the effects of mako? All its absence did was make him extremely short-tempered and prone to throwing incompetent (sorry, important) Shinra officials down flights of stairs. And the time would come, he promised himself darkly, when he would take full advantage of the Shinra HQ being seventy floors high. A very sadistic smile crossed his face at the thought.

But back to the problem at hand. His hair.

It had the advantage of being impressive when entering a battle, he allowed, so long as the wind never went beyond a mild breeze. And it was good for making both an entrance and an exit in any situation – there was a light breeze that sprang up the moment he started towards a door of any kind that ensured it always made an impact, trailing impressively behind him. But that was about it.

Had no one beside himself ever considered how damn impractical all that hair was? Yes, it was impressive making an entrance in battle, and yes, it was good for being twined around fingers in less life threatening situations (although he could sometimes debate the usage of the words 'less life threatening' to describe them) but other than that, it was both very annoying and a nuisance. And when things were both of those adjectives around him, they rarely, if ever, lasted beyond five minutes.

Anyway. It restricted his movements – he couldn't go outside in strong winds for fear of being strangled by his own hair. Never mind just how undignified it was to be perpetually dragging his hair out of his face before inevitably being forced to tie it back in a hurried and very unmanly ponytail. Like hell he was going to try and tie it back in to the almost acceptable topknot in gale force winds. And when he was downwind, he still had to struggle to move forward against the combined weight of both his impressively billowing (but heavy) leather coat and his too-long hair trying to pull him back.

And it wasn't that much better in battle either. Thinking of strangulation, he wondered why his opponents had never had the imagination to take advantage of that streaming silver banner and use it to garrote him. That would make an interesting article in the Midgar Times. The Great Sephiroth asphyxiated by his own hair.

His hair was probably the reason he'd decided to make such an impractical, overlong sword as his signature weapon, he mused. The Masamune had the reach necessary to decapitate his opponent before they ever reached within the five or four feet necessary to grab his hair and effectively immobilize him. But gods forbid he should ever face a fast-moving midget.

He didn't even want to think of the tangles. As high as his tolerance for pain was in a battle situation, he had zero when it came to his hair. He was having flashbacks to the daily torture at the mere mention of the word. He shuddered.

Other reasons. It was so easy to use his hair against him. He couldn't count the number of times he'd woken up from a mako-induced haze to discover some sadistic lab assistant had tied his hair into multiple little plaits complete with pink ribbons and little bows. Provide a counterpoint to his pale skin indeed. The next time it happened, they were all going to discover just why Hojo had demanded he never be allowed within five feet of a potential weapon after those blackouts.

Not to mention just how mistrustful it made him of sleeping anywhere that didn't have security sensors, at least ten locks and as many bolts on the door, armed guards with semi-automatics, and CCTV. He was, he decided, probably more paranoid over the thought of troopers and recruits with scissors than of Wutaian warriors armed to the teeth. It was the reason he'd insisted troopers use guns – guns couldn't be used to cut his hair in his sleep. He hadn't been able to enforce the same rule for SOLDIER though, so he'd taken to carry a pre-emptive materia at all times, as well as a short dagger. Just let them try, he promised himself, grinning wolfishly at the thought. No one took his hair as souvenir. No one but a fully qualified barber was going anywhere near his hair with scissors.

In truth, he couldn't see one reason why he should keep his hair at its present ridiculous length. He'd researched the situation extensively, and there was nothing in the rules and regulations that stated he had to keep his hair waist-length, as Hojo insisted. So why on Earth did he still wear it long?

He reached for the scissors he'd been staring at longingly for the past hour.

'Sir!' A figure barreled through the door, all black spiky hair and purple uniform (his revenge for not being able to stop SOLDIERs carrying cutting weapons).

Damn. Zack. Damn. Mission to worthless little mountain town. Damn it all.

His fingers twitched towards the scissors before he forced them to still. So close, yet so far. 'As soon as I get back from this… 'Nibelheim'…' he promised his hair emphatically 'you and I are going to part ways.' He smiled at the thought, and ignored his companions' efforts to shuffle as far away from him as possible. 'Soon I'll be free...' he contemplated laughing maniacally, but decided it would look highly undignified and probably drive his companions to throw themselves out of the moving truck. Hm... actually, the idea had its merits...