Why I Went

When Cloud told us all to go think 'bout why we were fightin', I just came back to Rocket Town, but without knowing what for. I had my dreams, of course, but so did everyone. Cloud was fightin' to get his own soul back, and I suppose Tifa was fightin' for revenge...and for the spiky-headed kid. Barrett was doing this to make sure his daughter would have a planet to grow up on, and Red was protecting all those eggheads at Cosmo Canyon. That stupid cat-bot thing...I guess Reeve wanted to help everyone in Midgar any way he could, and God only knows why Vincent was there...revenge, too, I guess. The only one who didn't have some noble cause was that little Wutai brat...she was in it for the materia, mostly.

And then there's me. I got back home about nightfall, and just stood in the middle o' town for a bit, lookin' around. I saw the empty launch pad, and thought that my reason could be revenge, really. Shinra and Sephiroth go hand in hand, and I've been used and abused by that company more than I care to remember. But I really didn't care anymore, at that point. I'd been in space, I'd re-stolen my airship, and I'd certainly kicked Shinra around plenty by that point...I wasn't burning for any more revenge.

The same with my dreams...they'd never been stolen from me. I still had them in my heart an' mind, and I'd been able to fulfill most of them pretty well, actually. I still wanted to build another rocket, of course...and not have it named Shinra-nothin', either. But I could have probably built a million of the things, and I'd still want to build more...it wasn't just so I could build one more rocket that I wanted to stop that silver-haired freak.

And then I just figured that it was 'cuz I wanted to live, plain and simple. I mean, no one wants to die, right? And I can kick anyone down to the ground when it comes to fighting...if I could make some kind of difference in the fight, I wanted to be there. I may have been the oldest of that bunch, 'cept maybe for good old Red, but I wasn't old. So I shrug and start over to the house, thinking I'll just tell Cloud it's none of his business why I'm fighting - he'd just better appreciate that I'm there and all.

I walk in, and first thing I hear is the sound of china breaking, and the first thing I see is Shera standing in a puddle of tea and pottery...my favorite tea pot, thank you very much, Miss Butterfingers. It was my fault, I guess, for walkin' in on her like that...she said she thought I was already up North, fighting the big fight. I just told her Cloud had given everyone a night off, and then we pretty much didn't say another word all night. She cleaned up and made more tea in another pot, and then we had dinner...not much else happened.

I went to sit on the couch, and Shera came up and sat down right next to me...dunno exactly why, but I put my arm around her and then we just sat there for hours and hours, not saying anything...just sitting there and looking at the fire slowly burning its way down to nothing. I guess we fell asleep at some point, 'cuz I woke up the next morning, slumped off to the side like some drunk, with Shera keeping me warm instead of a blanket.

Far be it from me to deny it...it wasn't a bad way to wake up.

Made me think that maybe this was why I was about to get up and go back to the airship. So I could have the chance to do all the things I didn't have time to do while I was busy building rockets and airships and trying to fly away into the sky. The smaller dreams that I didn't pay attention to...the little ordinary daydreams that were right here on the ground, that I didn't take care of because I was so intent on flying up into the sky.

No way in hell I was gonna tell Cloud, but I'll tell you. I left Rocket Town that morning for the chance that I could come back to it, and to my house, and to Shera. I walked out and went back and flew off to fight Sephiroth for the chance to wake up with her in my arms again. And again and again. You know.

...and the walking out part. I only need one hand to count up the times I've seen Shera cry, and that was one of them. She'd packed me a thermos and lunch as if I were gonna just take a short trip to Corel or something, and then stood in the doorway, watching me leave. I waved, she waved back...and I started walking off.

Don't know why, but I turned back just at the edge of town...maybe hoping for a last glimpse of home, and saw Shera crumpled up like a rag doll on the floor, one hand on the doorframe, the other coverin' her face. I may be on the wrong side of 30, but my eyes never went out on me, thank Bahamut. Even from that far away I could see her shaking like a tree in a storm...

I almost ran back...I think my foot actually twitched towards her, and I almost ran all the way back to pick her up and hold her and all sorts of things I'd never thought I'd want to do. I just watched her, though. Watched her cry for a few seconds and then turned around and kept on walking.

Don't think I'm some insensitive bastard, though. I am, but not because of that. I kept walkin' because if I went back just then, it would have been like admitting that I might not come back from the fight up North.

I went so that I could come back, and I guess that's about it.

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