The Color of Common Koi

(An open letter to the Lord of Wutai, as composed by Yuffie Kisaragi)

I would say gold with rainbow-scales, and you would say plain old milkfish with red running down the middle, and if the fishes hadn't rushed through the water right then proving that we were both right, in our way, we would have probably launched into another nasty battle and ended up in the waters, soaked through the robes and making everyone believe we are as undignified as possible – you are cheating, I would screamshoutyell, because you are older and more experienced; and then you would tell me that I am the cheater because I am more youthful, with the added benefit of energy and lithe limbs and all that and then, well, we'd start arguing again.

(Yes, I remembered that fight again last night. Yes, I was dreaming. Yes, I was talking in my sleep, but everyone does here at AVALANCHE, so its no biggie.)

I think that is the problem with having a pond in the house – when you're bleary-eyed in the morning and not exactly watching where you're going it's more than likely that your feet will end up ankle-deep in the miniature river running outside your room, and cold feet is no happy wake up call. Pun intended.

That's one good thing you taught me, pop – how to laugh, how to whistle, how to tug at your cheeks so that your face gets stretched and wonky, then you push your palms against your mouth so that you get fish lips. Yeah. Everyone freaks when I do that.

Otherwise – well, tempers, shouting, fighting, being bossy, being smug, being everything I'm not supposed to be, that's just you rubbing off. If mom were alive she'd balance it out – teach me sweetness where you pushed me to be rugged, show me how to do tea ceremonies, tutor me in the sly art of finding the proper person-to-have-an-heir-with, but...naaaah.

You think that not knowing her was a good thing; it lessens the ache, it lessens the echo of her smile and her voice and the fact that you're not going to see them again, not for real at least, not in present-time; but I wanted to have known her. I wanted to have grown up with that person picking me up from a fallen cartwheel and telling me that it's okay even if I have grass up my nose and stuff; I wanted someone to give me rice candy with bean paste even if it wasn't New Year's; I wanted someone who could tolerate all my cats and not kick me out of the house for their sake; I wanted to be babied, is the long and short of it.

I was never a baby. Come on. You have to admit it. I was two-timing you out of the last bit of raw fish on the table before I could even say 'Leviathan' properly.

Unfortunately, I am not a woman, either, which explains why I am currently traveling the world, genius Materia connoisseur that I am, instead of sitting pretty and having babies like I'm supposed to. You taught me independence. Maybe a little too much of it. Maybe I've been gone too long. We talked about this, remember? I got a little sidetracked. And we've got some battles to go, yet. But I'm not abandoning Wutai – I'd never do that – I swear a million spirits over my grave, nothing means more to me than my home, even if it's all about tourism and drunken Turks in the bars and stuff now. I just want to learn more about the World so that I can change things.

I know you don't think I can.

And I know its hard – hard as the lines around your mouth, and your forehead when you're smacking it against mine, telling me what an ungrateful little brat I am (HAH!), and no one has to live with the guilt of being not-a-boy more than I do, but it's not beyond help, Pop, can't you see that? Milkfish isn't the only thing streaking down our pond, and you have to admit, gold is a lot prettier. When I was little you once told me the mountains in Da Chao were carved out of the stuff. (Now I know perfectly well that it's just boring old sand and stone, thank you very much.) Can't you make-believe and make-up like that anymore, at all?

I know it's gonna take ages, but we've gotta try.

Don't worry, I'll swing by and visit sometime – have another crack at the old pagoda, put firecrackers up Shake's shorts or something. I miss home. Sometimes I even think I miss you. (Yeah, I spewed a lot crap about wanting you dead last time, and sometimes its true, but right now and here so far away from there I actually really, really hope you're still alive when I go back.) Don't die. Don't eat too much tuna belly and urchin sashimi. Don't think about the taxes too much. I know they raise your blood pressure. We need to have a proper duel someday.

I still have to prove myself to you, don't I?

In the meantime I have been practicing my shuriken-throwing and meeting some very fine-looking men (they're all foreign, by the way). I have also stolen enough gil and materia to drown the fish in our pond with gold. But I suppose it'll be put to better use in the armory. Or maybe for restoring the bridges. If I don't blow it all on nicer clothes, first. Ha ha HA.

Then we'd have another reason to debate about my furry friends and your fatness, or even about the color of common koi, but for now dreaming will suffice. That way, I can tune out your shouting when I want to, and imagine you singing old folk songs instead.

They make me smile.


A/N: Thanks for reading. This started out as a failed attempt at second person, then metamorphosed into a letter-type. You don't get too many fics about Godo, so I thought I'd give the poor king some love. Comments would be greatly appreciated. :D