A/N: Greetings to all as I start another new fic! This one is written a bit differently than my others and I won't be updating it quite as frequently since it is a pet project of mine but I do hope you enjoy reading it.

Warnings: Slash, mentions of het, character death, crossover
Pairings: Vincent/Reeve, Vincent/Cloud, Vincent/OC, and many others

This is a self-beta job but it is readable. Feel free to point out obvious mistakes to me.

Chronicles of Valentine - Prologue

It all started with a woman named Lucrecia.

My downfall was that I loved her. Hopelessly and completely devoted to a sweet and innocent brunette scientist who blamed herself for my father's death. She pushed me away because of that. I wanted to hold her, tell her that it was all right, that she couldn't be faulted for her science... but I was never given the chance.

I want to believe that she loved me in return. But thinking back on it now, I was probably delirious, reflecting my own selfish feelings on her. I wanted her to love me, I wanted us to be together and happy, to see that smile every day. It's hard to say when or why I first found that I had given my heart to her. Just one day, it was there and the next, gone, flitted away like dust in the wind. Captivated by brown eyes and smooth skin. Hopeless... I was completely hopeless.

And just like any love struck fool, it was my passion that betrayed me in the end. It made me weak. I was unable to protect her. I was unable to save the child. I fell to a sadistic scientist with an even more vicious mentality, subject to his every whim and plot thinly veiled underneath the covering of 'science'. Yes, Dr. Hojo couldn't even be called so. The things he performed, the creatures he created... they should never have existed.... Sephiroth should have never been born.

No, wait. Perhaps it is not that Sephiroth should have never been born. He should have been birthed to another family. One that would love him, care for him... raise him as a child should. But then, that would just be providing an excuse for the insane and tormented young man's deeds. Not that I could blame him. If my father had injected me with burning poison and raised me to be a killing machine, I might want to find a 'promised land' as well. Even if it took destroying the world to get to it.

I suppose you believe I'm talking in riddles right now. Maybe so. After living so long, there are many things I gave up on. All the lifetimes I've suffered, the years passing by like seconds, an endless monotony of time. I saw war, great war... and suffering. Experienced two famines racing across the western continent and struggled to maintain a grip on sanity as my body continued to live... unable to die. Not with these vermin inside of me. For centuries, after my third love died of old age without me, my only companions were the bloodthirsty creatures that Hojo had spliced into me. It was a tireless, ceaseless existence and still I tread onwards. I never gave up though I didn't know what I was searching for.

Her? Peace? Redemption? After a time, it all faded and became meaningless. I merely wandered, a ghost on the face of Gaia, a face that I allowed no one to see, watching from the sidelines as the ancestors of those that worked to save the planet grew and thrived... even without the energies of the Lifestream. For that much I was thankful. Perhaps we had done some good.

When the last of my companions died, officially leaving me alone in the world, I tried to end my life, thinking that I would join them, allow my essence to mingle with that of the Lifestream's. But my efforts were for naught, even the variety of ways I had attempted. It appeared Chaos and his other demonic accomplices were not quite willing to give up their time on Gaia and as such, I was forced to live, forever sustained by their vile energies.

I ranted and raved, railed against the unfairness of it all, but in the end I relented and lived. Lucrecia would have wanted me to. She wouldn't have wanted me to wallow in my misery. No. Not my sweet Lucrecia. I can see her now, those shining brown eyes. And so we come full circle, back to the woman that started it all. A romantic dream perhaps, a hope for what once was. Even now, centuries later, so far in the future from that time that the entire world has changed, as I lay dying, I can still recall her face in full clarity and with such fondness.

No, dying is actually the wrong word. Truthfully, I am wasting away, my body breaking apart from the inside out. Not even the vigor of the demonic spirits enough to sustain my weary frame. I'm degenerating, deteriorating into nothing more than a shell of the great Turk I once was. My body wracks with pain, shuddering with each torn breath and blood flecks onto my lips but in many ways I relish the agony.

Freedom... that is what this coppery liquid tastes like to me. Freedom from my endless wandering, from a life that just won't end. I can be at peace. See my dear sweet Lucrecia in that endless conscious. Be with my companions again, though reluctant we all were, we saved the world. And my lovers, I will be able to see their faces once more although I regret leaving him behind.

He will understand, I can only hope. He is, after all, a mercenary. But there are others who will be there for him, if he dares open his eyes and see what has always been right behind him. He won't be alone for long.

His hand is wrapped tightly around mine, clutching tightly as if believing he can hold my weary spirit within or my fractured body together. Those jade eyes shine with unshed tears but he won't let them fall. I know my lover far too well for that. He is strong, perhaps stronger than those I have ever known, even for his young age. Stronger than even myself.

My eyes close tiredly; dark lashes fluttering against a face so pale that the moon is darker than I. My breaths are so shallow in my chest, body drained as I unravel from the inside. His fingers gripping me so tightly, letting me know that I am not alone and still, my mind returns to the memories. Those centuries that I lived, the people that I knew and loved... and lost. It flashes like reels of a grainy video, every laugh and smile and tear, every aching and lonely moment. I can't help but relive them one last time...


A/n: Thanks for reading! Feedback is appreciated.