I find it ironic that a concept I once believed in above all else--an ideal I once placed an irrational faith in--has judged me at long last, in ways my diseased mortal mind could not fathom. At long last, I have received my just reward, and it is like nothing I could have ever imagined. Fate, monstrous and empty, has consumed me. The infernal fires that once burned within me have finally been quenched. All I am left with is regret, an anguish so deep it terrifies me--and an eternity of solitude to contemplate these things.

But do not pity me.

For I have you to thank for my greatest gift: death. In death I have found sweet clarity, and for the first time I am truly free. Free from the diseased imaginings of a sickened mind, free from the machinations of that perverse creature whose DNA infected us both like so much pestilence. In death I have discovered the ultimate liberation, and I have you to thank for it.

I'm glad it was you; it's somehow fitting. In spite of everything, in spite of what you thought of yourself, you were always the stronger one. Your vulnerability was what initially drew me to you, that much is true, but it was your resolve that kept me there. I am fundamentally a creature of darkness, but you were my light.

I love you more than mere words could ever express. I never stopped.

I no longer hear Jenova's counsels of madness whispering through my ears. All I hear is your laughter, your cries. Soft moans of pleasure escaping your lips as I take you beneath the stars. How ironic, because I was never given to such maudlin sentimentality in life. You know that all too well.

Now, I think of what we had, what I was so eager and willing to throw away in the grip of madness, and all I can do is weep. I think of what I did to you and I...

What have I done, Cloud?

Like a phantom limb I feel the specter of you in my arms. I run my fingers through spiked, blonde hair. I feel your breath upon my neck. I hear your sighs.

"Never let go, Sephiroth."

And I cannot. Not now, not ever. I've always needed you. I've always wanted you. This, I cannot deny. It's why I chose you--why Jenova chose you. Deranged as I was, even in my megalomaniacal fantasies I desired you. You played the Ganymede to my Zeus. In the light of reason, I realize now that those nights we spent together in the Northern Crater were a hollow, perverse mockery of what we once had. I don't want you to remember me--to remember us--that way.

Memory is a powerful thing, particularly in such a place as this where time has no meaning. Sensations and emotions that were buried under the oppressive weight of psychosis are all too clear to me now. I see your eyes, those beautiful blue eyes which were once filled with such wonder and love...I see the light in them fade to nothingness. I see the innocence I took from you drifting through the shimmering waves of heat in a mountain sky. I see them burn with rage and grief.

Words are empty, my love. That is a sentiment I have always agreed with, but never more so than now. I am utterly without recourse, devoid of any trite phrases or expressions that might encapsulate how I feel about what I did to Her. And it is all the more difficult, and reprehensible, because I cannot in truth blame it entirely upon the machinations of my "mother".

Aerith was an obstacle to realizing my demented dreams, indeed. I understand now that this was not why I took her from you. And do not doubt that--I did not take her life, I took her from you. I believe there was some meager part of me that proved elusive to Jenova's grip. That part of my soul was filled with a righteous fury when I saw you with Her. In my hubris, I was the center of your world: I gave you pleasure, pain, and everything in-between. I was your reason for being. I, and I alone. She took that from me. I saw the way you looked at her...the way you once looked at me, before Nibelheim and tales of Ancients, before flames and madness, before irrevocable hatred consumed us.

And I despised her for it.

It is perhaps the height of irony itself that she would wield the hand of destiny, the hand that bound me in chains upon this desolate wasteland of shadow and ruin. The Planet had spoken, passed its judgment, but she spared me. I see now why you loved her so. Mercy runs deep in that one, and strength beyond a thousand Weapons.

Though I think I would have preferred oblivion.

In this cold place of empty reflection, my chains are forged from regret. I wear my love for you as cloak, a shield against the great weight of this crushing solitude, but I find it suffocates as much as it warms. Perhaps more than anything, I long for you. Power is beyond meaningless, that I have bitterly come to understand; I would trade all I had and sought in life for but one more moment with you.

I ache for you Cloud, in ways I am utterly helpless to convey.

I want to wrap you in my arms and smother you with kisses. I want to make love to you. I want you to gaze upon me with adoration instead of loathing. I want to hear you say the words you always said, the words whispered by you, and you alone:

"I love you, Sephiroth. I believe in you."

You are my Day, my Night, and my Everything.