AN: Alright, last chapter here, and it's a fairly sad one. Thank you all for your support throughout this fanfiction, sorry for the huge delays in it. I hope to not have this problem again, as in future I shall be writing my fics and getting several chapters in before I post them.
Warnings: Angst, suicide, mental illness, fluff
Pairing: Vincent and Hojo
Summary: Hojo has admitted to Vincent that the only cure he can offer will snatch the gunman's life, and it looked for a while as though they would be alright together. But Hojo is beginning to lose his grip on his sanity.
Hojo lay on the floor for several hours, the butter knife discarded, thrown down the corridor as forcefully as he could. He sobbed, slamming his hands into the wall and floor, and screamed in rage. He wanted to be better. He wanted the voices to stop.
He was still curled up on the floor, shaking and crying, throat raw from screaming, when Vincent found him. The ex-Turk embraced him, seeing the knife laying halfway down the corridor, and began to rock him gently, kissing his forehead.
"Shush...it's okay...it's okay...deep breaths, then you can tell me what happened..."
Hojo let out a noise like a wounded animal, and Vincent shuddered to hear such pain from the one that he loved.
"Come on Hojo, you can tell me..."
Hojo looked up at him, eyes behind the glass damp and red. His voice croaked slightly as he spoke.
"I think I'm losing my mind..."
Vincent tensed, tightening his hold on Hojo, but permitting him to continue to talk.
"I mean, I looked into what I had done to myself, and I gave myself the same genetic material that Sephiroth had. There are voices in my head telling me to do bad things, and I don't think that I will be able to fight them forever...I want to, I love it here Vincent, I want to stay with you...but I don't think that I can...I...I don't want to become a monster again Vincent, I need you to understand that. Right now I only seem...I only seem to have two options, and I choose not to become a monster..." He rested his head on Vincent's shoulder.
"What if you're just imagining the voices?" Vincent protested, knowing that Hojo was right with what he had said, but not wishing to have to admit it. "You..."
"Even if I am making this up Vincent, that isn't the sign of a healthy man. If I'm lying to myself, or if it is real, there is still something within me that wants to cause real pain..." He wiped away the tears from his face, and looked up at Vincent. "I don't want to hurt anyone else."
Vincent felt bile building up in his throat, but he nodded in silent understanding. He himself was condemned to be a monster, and he would not sentence anyone else to such a fate. He squeezed his hand.
"What are we going to do?"
Hojo laughed slightly, sadly, at how lost Vincent sounded at that moment.
"My poor Turk, you always did need me to do the thinking for you..." He teased. "We're going to spend a day together. And then...then I will make everything alright."
Vincent kissed his cheek, and nodded.
"Not today though. Tomorrow. We need time to plan, I need...I need to be ready."
Hojo accepted Vincent's words, and quietly they moved into the bedroom, to discuss their ideas for the coming day.
The next morning, Vincent woke early, to a deserted bed. His first thought was that he had been abandoned, that Hojo had broken the promise he had made the night before, and crawled off like an injured dog in the middle of the night. Frantic, he sat up and looked around, before beginning to laugh as he recognised the smell of food from the kitchen. He settled back into bed.
A few minutes later, Hojo returned, carrying with him a tray laden with cooked food. He settled it down on the bed, sitting beside Vincent and sharing the food with him. They both took time to eat off of each other's forks. Once the food was finished with, the tray was placed aside, and they made the most of the time that they had left, exploring each others' bodies in a final tender goodbye.
For lunch, Hojo and Galian went out hunting together. The doctor had always been a little frightened of the gigantic blue dog which called his love home, but he soon learnt that such fears were misplaced. Galian was adorable, and very fond of him, and Hojo soon learnt how to climb onto his back, his arms wrapped tightly around the creature's shoulders as it lolloped through the woods until it found some suitable prey.
Once they had eaten, and with Vincent back in control of his own body, the two of them walked through the woods hand in hand, talking in hushed voices about the past. Vincent felt shaken and distressed, not wanting to have to do this, but at the same time he was aware that Hojo needed to do this now, that he had to take control of his life while he still could.
They returned to the cottage as the sun began to sink.
"I have what I need..." Hojo said simply. "You can go, I'm not expecting you to stay."
"I want to stay." Vincent answered equally calmly. "I've been with you for this long. I'm not leaving now."
Hojo nodded, turning and softly kissing Vincent, grateful that he wouldn't be alone at the end. He went and sat down, watching the sky from the bed, and pulling out from the bedside cabinet a small pill he had stashed there. Vincent came to sit next to him, and kissed his cheek, pulling the smaller man onto his lap and tenderly stroking his hair.
"I'll wait for you." Hojo promised. "Take as long as you need, you lost your life for far too long, and you have a chance to get that back now. I'll wait, I swear it to you."
"I know..." Vincent responded calmly, watching the sunset with Hojo. As the sun finally dipped below the horizon, Hojo raised a hand to his mouth, transferring the pill.
He moved his jaw slightly, once, as he bit down, splitting the capsule and releasing the poison, which quickly took hold, finding and stopping his heart. Vincent held him in silence, feeling tears running down his face.
Vincent buried the body, marking it with a simple stone, and then left the cottage. He spent many decades travelling, finding himself at different hearths every night, never staying for long enough to form true friendships or to find himself close to someone who would only leave him in time. He was alone, and he would often return to the site where he had left Hojo's body, once ever five or ten years. Over time, the marker which he had placed there so lovingly began to wear away.
As the stone disappeared, the anger and hurt which had been haunting Vincent dissipated too. Whilst he still felt painfully lonely at times, he no longer hated Hojo, and forgave him for leaving. He knew that Hojo had had no choice in his death, not really, and whilst it was hard for Vincent to face, he learnt to draw comfort from the fact that at the very end, Hojo had been able to have some control over his life.
Vincent finally began making friends, staying in one place for five, six years or more, learning communities and moving on. He came to accept all of the experiments done, reaching a strange almost-harmony with the beasts within his soul.
Finally, he had made peace with himself, and it was time. The papers which contained Hojo's discoveries had long since turned to dust, but that didn't matter, as the instructions were imprinted upon his brain. He was ready to choose, and he chose to die, on his own terms, having had enough of his life. He had been twenty seven for a very long time, and he felt that it was time he moved on.
When he opened his eyes again, he was surrounded by a soft green glow, that he could scarcely believe was real. He had forgotten about the lifestream during his period of death, and had come to believe that even if there were an afterlife, something as inherently alien as himself would be excluded from it. He looked around, wondering why he was here, and what he was supposed to do.
As he looked he was startled by a sudden impact on his side, and he turned to find a young man standing there, his long hair back in a brown ponytail. He was wearing glasses, and smiling nervously up at him. Vincent gasped, throwing his arms around Hojo, recognising the young scientist that he had fallen in love with. Looking down, he saw that his left arm was no longer wounded, and in Hojo's eyes he saw himself reflected as he had been, a Turk. He held him tightly.
"You really did wait...thank you..."
"Thank you...it's alright Vincent. I watched over you, and I'm glad that now, we can truly be together..." Hojo answered, leaning up to kiss him shyly, knowing that this was a new start for them both.