Summary: Sometimes things were never meant to be.

A/N: Sorry if Grave seems a bit OOC.A lot of me isspeaking through him because I'vejust gone through something similiar to what I'vewritten. It's a bit eerie how I can see the parallels between my life and Brandon's (although the circumstances are very different). Enjoy! -- Hana Li

Vindication

I was in denial. That's the simplest truth I can give to you. I lived in an idealistic world; even when I was taking away all those lives, part of me believed that everything would still be okay. Was I wrong to be so naive? Not that it mattered because we lose that innocent optimism at some point in our lives.

I even saw it coming. We weren't going to be best friends anymore; that was inevitable. I knew that one day I had to choose between you or Maria, but I was selfish. Couldn't I give my love and devotion the one I considered my brother as well as the love of my life? In the meantime, you seemed to have forgotten how we used to be. In the end, I was trying to salvage a friendship with a figment of my past to desperately preserve my own past self.

It's funny how I was the one they all feared. Of course, they never knew that every time I had my finger on the trigger, there would be a voice screaming in the back of my mind for me to stop. That voice would be quickly silenced by the notion of you, Maria, and the ones who died for us. I did this all for you.

You'd probably say the same. After all, you're the one who prevented me from living in squalor. Even back in the day, you were the one who held the gang together. Perhaps that's why I wordlessly stuck by your side too long. I owed you a lot, and you knew what you were doing. Now I know that I was only a pawn in your grandiose scheme to take over Millennion. Why do you feel like you have to always be in control?

I'm not mad; nor am I sad. The remnant of my human heart that was not destroyed in my time as a sweeper ached at the idea that my one-time closest friend was responsible for– no, capable of– this much destruction. However, I was weak enough to let myself fall to ruin. The pain came from wishful thinking: that somehow we can salvage this bond and return to what we were. Although the hatred began as a response to your refusal to see things any other way, it was directed more towards myself– for not being able to stand up for my values.

So I'm glad to have died, though I consider it more of a birth. I never really lived before then. Everything I did was a service to you, a reaction to events. I had no opinion. You may argue that I did act do things on my own, such as going to see Maria, but even then I was holding back. If Brandon Heat had been his own person, then she wouldn't have died.

Finally, I can be honest with myself and everyone else. Even if my new life revolves around vengeance, I can say that it's a decision I made on my own. Thank you, old friend, for freeing me. Now it's time to return the favor.