...is paved with good intentions.)

A/N: I don't own Rufus, depressed or not. I clearly make no money from this sad little note.

It is funny how time changes us, is it not? I sit up here in my ivory tower… actually, that is a complete falsehood right there: Yes, I am sitting in a room in a building that is definitely not the basement but I doubt that the second floor of an old warehouse could be called a tower. As for ivory, I think most people would say that the walls outside might once upon a time have been painted a lovely shade of vomit yellow. It is quite depressing to look upon this old wreck of a building but when we moved it, it seemed a good a place as any to rebuild both our world and ShinRa, though ShinRa was to be on a much smaller scale than before, naturally. MUCH smaller - just my Turks and I, really. A few other freelance operators as and when the need arises but certainly not the huge empire it once was.

Anyway, back to what I was thinking: I sit here and I watch the world go by, watch people walk past taking care of their own business – their families or work stuff. I don't know. Something that does not even come close to involving me! To pass the time, I will fit them with the things I think they're doing: That one heading to a work interview, that one forgotten to turn off the frying pan, that one there, perhaps a date, that one… has found out that I live here now and is going to plant a bomb to kill me. Okay, I made the last one up but sometimes I wish that someone would.

Funny, is it not? How far the mighty have fallen! Once, I wanted to rule this world, to have people trembling at my feet. Now though, I halfway wish my life was over. But I cannot leave this world. Not yet. There are still so many things to do, so many lives to help, so much rebuilding but I am tired.

How can I help anyone when I feel like I am all used up? How can I possibly offer advice to anyone when there's nothing left inside me, no spark of humanity, no soul, no life… just a dried-out old husk?

I should not worry about it, I suppose. After all, far better than me helping morally, I have all the money in the world to help financially. I expect that is about all that anyone would want of me now.

No doubt if my doctor could see me now, could hear my thoughts; he would say that I was depressed and shove a load of anti-depressants down my throat. For that reason alone, I have not been and refuse point-blank to go when anyone tries to make me. It is bad enough having to take all these pain pills. Why should I get treatment to make me feel better? After everything I and my father have done to this world, the least I can do is suffer through this hell on earth, right?

Is it wrong that thinking on that makes me angry? That I do not *want* to be made to suffer for everything? I am still only a teenager. Why do I have to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders? Why must I shoulder the blame for everything wrong that was done before me? Had I known that I would ultimately be held responsible for everything bad done, had I *known* of all the bad things that my father had done, you know what I would have done? Nothing! Not a thing. I would have let things unfold as they wanted, let the cards fall were they would. I would not have funded Avalanche, would not have tried to take over. Nothing. I would have let it go, found a more interesting diversion to spend my time on. I would have spent more time with you… a lot more time.

I was just so sure that I could do things better than *he* could. Hell, when it comes down to it, I am *still* sure that I could do it better. The problem though, is that I will not get the chance to do it. Every step I take, there are people bitterly protesting both my actions and my existence and it is just so damned hard. Too damned hard I think most of the time.

So where does that leave me? Stuck in this stupid hellhole, money to burn and willing to fix the world but no one willing to give me the chance to prove that I want to fix things, want to make things right as much as possible.

I'm sorry, Reno. I am rambling and I know that. My thoughts are woolly I think from the medication they gave me for the pain. At the same time though, I have never felt clearer on what has to be done. That is why I am writing this down at all.

It is time for me to go. I do not particularly want to go. I want to stay with you. Stay with the Turks and see the world heal but it will not ever be able to do that whilst a ShinRa remains in existence. If I am gone, then my money can be used as it needs to be used and everyone will be better off. Apart from you, I suppose but you will love again, Reno. And you will love well.

Know that this decision was harder to make due to you. I love you. I will always but I cannot stay.

Goodbye

Rufus