Seifer is four when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time staring at such a vast expanse of water—salty, warm, beckoning: teasing his wide eyes to pool into dark green. He sprints down to the shore with all his clothes on, ignoring Matron, ignoring Chickie, ignoring the calls for caution as he grins and leaps to the soars of seagulls and clouds. Calmly, the gentle tides frolic and play with him, holding hands and petting his head, with childish laughs and seashell sounds.

He has always loved the ocean since then.

oOo

Seifer is eight when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time sharing such winding path of the Deep—quiet, thoughtful, questioning: fixing his growing jades on the crying boy who sat next to him. He comes back from the dunes with all the sand dollars his hands, ignoring the sudden apprehension, ignoring the scrapes on his knees, ignoring embarrassment as he reaches for the little kid and gives his tokens to the sound of stifled cries and light hiccups. Hesitantly, the tiny child turns the articles over and gazes at the ocean, blinding him and turning his way, with diminutive smiles and kind grey eyes.

He is forever curious of the ocean since then.

oOo

Seifer is thirteen when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time glimpsing such an endless stretch of waves—wrathful, sullen, belligerent: forcing his verdant orbs to dilate into immaturity. He runs up to the orphanage with all his shoes on, ignoring the lightning, ignoring the gales, ignoring the calls for rapture as he gasps and bolts forward to disorder and thunder. Heatedly, the raging tides call out to drag him under and drown him, pulling intimidation and booming mightily, with crashing floods and fear-thick choke-chains.

He had never been so afraid of the ocean since then.

oOo

Seifer is sixteen when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time analyzing such a continuous length of tides—serene, languid, relaxed: coaxing his softened pupils to bleed olive. He walks to town with all his traveling gear on, ignoring the creeping darkness, ignoring the hoot of the train, ignoring the time on his watch as he strolls and buries his feet into the sand to the whisper of summer and wind. Automatically, he throws his bag to the ground and stretches, grabbing a beer can and thinking of his upcoming SeeD exam, with nostalgic dreams and heavy anticipation.

He would eternally remember the ocean since then.

oOo

Seifer is seventeen when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time glaring at such a nonstop system of broken channels—boring, sluggish, mundane: hardening his failure-filled eyes with no places to chip. He dashes into the waters with no Hyperion on, ignoring the damn birds, ignoring the sound of the success party, ignoring the looming build of Garden as he roars and fights a losing battle to the jeer of gossip and inflated pride. Nonsensically, he challenges the heavens and curses, grappling for nothing and slaughtering the clear-blue depths, with red-marked score reports and unconditional desolation.

He could only hate the ocean since then.

oOo

Seifer is eighteen when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time seeing such lucid aquamarine—content, busy, true: changing his gaze of bloodlust to morph back to glimmering wine bottles. He strides into the craft with no cigarettes in his hands, ignoring the petty instructor, ignoring the princess, ignoring the insistent squabbling of Chickenwuss as he crosses his arms and concentrates to the noise of the engine and edged confidence. Condescendingly, he jabs at the blubbering idiots and smirks, taking note of his gunblade and glancing at the welcoming waters, with another shot at redemption and surefire leadership.

He can invariably taste the ocean since then.

oOo

Seifer is nineteen when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time looking at such bleak feeds—stagnant, oppressive, greedy: depressing bright emerald to run cesspool. He marches onto the battlefield with strings on his limbs, ignoring his past, ignoring the voice of sensibility, ignoring the futile cries of Pretty Boy and Co. as he succumbs and bends to the will of something archaic and mind-numbing. Deceptively, he lures in the mice and lunges, knowing nothing and knowing everything, with a puppeteer waving the strings and grudging demolition.

He will in no way see the ocean since then.

oOo

Seifer is twenty when he sees the ocean.

It's his first time concentrating on such pointless supplies—forever, never, always: robbing his trickster's glint to leave behind fallow. He stumbles through the void with nothing in his possession, ignoring time, ignoring brokenness, ignoring the gut-wrenching pain of rationality as he falters and crumples to a force of nothing and everything. Unconsciously, he grabs for insignificance and crawls, guessing punctuality and feigning time, with cynicism cutting the ropes and dead reveries.

He should know the chicanery of the ocean since then.

oOo

He is twenty-one when he sees the ocean.

It's not his first time impressed by such everlasting seas of blue—cool, crisp, entertaining: causing his idle hues to gleam amused. He grumbled into the fresh air with a fishing pole in his grasp, ignoring Fuu's cough, ignoring Raijin's snickers, ignoring a small frown as he snapped up and grinned to the squawk of albatrosses and a great departure. Wordlessly, he located the massive Garden and nodded, catching kinetic gunmetal and saluting, with two idiots left and right and romantic dreams.

And still, the ocean was ceaselessly by him since then.