Kingdom Hearts II

As the Years Pass By

By LuckyLadybug

Notes: The characters are not mine and this ficlit is! It was inspired by the prompts Old at Kingdom100 and Mirror at KHisLove. But the whole twist with the dragon and how it fits into Sephiroth's thought process is Kaze's wonderful idea!

Sephiroth sighed to himself as he stood in front of the mirror, brushing out his hair. He had just come from a shower, and his wings were hanging around him, still damp from the water. He was not yet wearing his coat because of that, but other than that, he was clothed.

His eyes were narrowed, the flashes of memory from before still playing out in the reflective glass surface. There were still dragons roaming through Hollow Bastion every now and then---strong and fierce and determined to make it their own. He had fought a battle with one of them, though it had not been much of a challenge. The beast had been old and feeble, barely even able to blow fire. And Sephiroth had killed it almost effortlessly.

But it was strange . . . he had not felt any sense of triumph or victory as the scaled body had crumpled to the earth. The dragons were warriors in some way, as he himself was---and for one to be so decrepit that it could no longer even fight for its life was tragic.

He had frowned deeply, cleaning off his sword as he had looked away from the form. And then a glimmer in the nearby pool had captured his attention. His own reflection had stared back at him, as it was in the present as well.

He had been struck full-force by how melancholy it all was right then. The dragon was old, and he felt old. His eyes were weighed down by many cares. But he was yet young and strong, as far as physical and chronological age was concerned. He would have decades left in which to fight and protect.

But what would happen after that? He would grow old someday, as the dragon had. To ever be such a weakened being would be a torment. He did not want to ever spend days on end barely able to get by without assistance, and not able at all to fight. But it was more than just a case of not wantingit. That would be his entire livelihood taken away. He would be little more than an empty shell.

It would be unbearable, intolerable.

He leaned forward, studying his face under the bright lights of the bathroom. His skin was smooth, yet firm. His body was finely toned and muscular. To be wrinkled, with his flesh growing as soft as a woman's, and bags gathering under his eyes. . . . And age spots. . . . He would abhor it all. He ran his fingers down his cheek.

He knew he was vain. He was proud of his form. He had even grown adapted to the wings, which he had once loathed. They were not as bad as he had thought. They were useful and strong, often an asset. And they did not look demonic, sprouting from his back. He did not know that he would call them majestic, as Zack did, but they were nice.

He did not want to look old.

There would be no choice---he would have to adapt to that, too, when the time came. But he would loathe it, he would despise it with every part of his heart and soul.

He reached up with the brush, again running it through his long locks. His hair had been this silver hue ever since he had been born. Would it always stay that color, or would it dim into gray, even white? His lip curled. Though any color would be preferable to not having it at all. He refused to be bald. Some elderly people were able to keep their hair until the day they died. He would be one of them.

Of course, what was he even thinking, going through such an inner monologue? Really, the chances of him living until he was an old man seemed unlikely. A warrior lived around danger almost constantly. He would probably die young.

But he did not want that, either. He did not want to leave Zack behind, mourning over him. Even Cloud, who was starting to grow close to him, would be upset. The thought of departing this life knowing that people would grieve over him was alarming. How could he put them through such sorrow?

He moved the brush upward, along the underside of his bangs. That gave them their trademark look of rising several inches to then curl over and fall lightly against his face.

While he abhorred the thought of growing old, it would be better than leaving behind those who cared. And the very pride that kept him wanting to remain strong and handsome, would carry him through the decades. He would never give up, just as that dragon had not retreated into a cave to wait for death. It had struggled to fight to the very end.

And so would he.

Some elderly people were still able to fight, when he thought of it. Some of them could be quite formidable. And he would do all in his power to be among them, when the time came.

Some of them were also able to combat looking their age. He refused to be wrinkled, if there was any way he could prevent it.

He smirked to himself as he set the brush aside.