Three's my lucky number
And fortune comes in threes
But I wish I knew that number
That even little children seem to see
Oh, I'm missing everything I knew
It's just so hard to be a child
Oh, I'm missing all the things I knew
Yet wish I knew nothing at all
I wish I knew nothing at all.

--'Three,' Massive Attack

Epilogue: Three

Back at the bar, the kids crowd around me as I make gentle scratches on the table, finishing up my work, brushing splinters off to the side and blowing them away to dust. Tifa comes out from her room and all four of us gaze at it.

"…Well, what is it?" Tifa said, her weeks-long anxiety showing in her voice.

As I think of a way to explain it to them, Denzel lifts himself up and points.

"There are three hands," he says.

He's right. The carving is of three hands, more jagged than I had imagined because I used a knife, but effective in their message: their claw-like fingers all grasp in the direction of one figure, whose limbs are severed from the torso. One big hand hovers over the head, threatening to tear that off, too.

"Is that… you, Cloud?" Marlene asks in awe, for I add tiny spikes to the top of the dismembered figure's head. Tifa bites her lip and says, "Marlene, I've found some scraps for you somewhere behind the bar. Why don't we go and get them?"

Marlene tears away from the table, and Denzel stands back down on his heels, looking at me for a long time before walking off towards Marlene.


Tifa pleads with me to get rid of the table, so with my sword, I drag the wood outside and roll it towards the dump. There I chop it to small pieces as passersby dodge my sword and the large splinters, making squares for people to use easily should they find it and want to use it for fuel. But the last block I chop is of the portrait I created.

When I go upstairs, I place the block up on the wall next to Marlene's picture of me, and get the impulse to knock out push-ups. I do about a hundred and twenty before reaching muscle failure and collapsing on the ground. I turn over and look up, letting the ceiling form circles and shapes that I know aren't there.

I hear Marlene's laugh outside and close my eyes, losing myself in thinking of Aeris twirling around in that field, Aeris laughing with me on my bike, Aeris's head on my chest and me watching her back rise and fall, gently.

And yes, though my eyes aren't open, of course I notice the shiny black boot close to my arm, the edges of black fabric tickling the sensitive side of my skin.


Soon I'll have the courage
To leave my thoughts behind
I'll give back all the knowledge
And keep the wisdom precious in my mi

Oh, I'm missing all the things I knew
I miss them yet
I want them gone
I'm missing all the things I knew
Yet I wish
I knew nothing at all
I wis
h I knew nothing at all

A/N: And there you have it, folks. In my nine years of writing, I've yet to actually fucking FINISH a multi-chaptered story, and my first one is an FFVII one. Holy cow.

I'm sure there are several parts where this could have been better or where this may have seemed rushed, but I tell you: I haven't written anything in about a year, and… well, think about it as being like, mentally constipated or something. You can't stop it from coming out when you finally… okay bad analogy; my bad. XD

For non-suing purposes: Final Fantasy VII is property of Square-Enix. The two songs I used, Portishead's 'Nylon Smile' and Massive Attack's 'Three,' are property of their owners. The only thing that mine is the poem used in 'Wordless' and 'As One;' I composed that poem in Korean and translated it to English. Please don't steal that from me; I mean it. That is a great accomplishment for me, and it means a lot.

So! Once again, thank you for reading. Pleeeeease please please please review this, whether you liked it or not. Once I get several reviews, I'll put a response page up as a chapter in this fic to answer questions and the like if I left anyone confused. Happy ficcing!

--Marina, 調珍株