Ghosts shouldn't exist, but he isn't really a ghost. Just how did Vincent know about the triplets? Pre-AC, Sephiroth+Vincent.
He scoffed at them, the stories of ghosts and restless spirits and other such mundane things. He had once said, in all the arrogance and immortability that came of youth and power, that there were just stories, legends and myths that were not worth a minute of his attention. Many had once cautioned him about being foolish, for not taking their words to heart, but he simply waved their words away. He was powerful, he felt, far beyond the mortal trappings of fear.
Wasn't it completely ironic now that he was one of the wandering spirits that he had once ridiculed? The Planet has an odd and macabre sense of humour, after all. He wasn't surprised, not really, but he couldn't help but frown at the ridiculous 'punishment' that he had been bestowed. To watch over and care for one who had helped to kill him, no less. He supposed that he was more of a guardian spirit, in that sense. He refused to say that he was an 'angel'.
The Lifestream had rejected him, throwing him out from the oblivion that he had so craved. He had been manipulated, more of a marionette than Cloud Strife would ever be. He was a puppet of the one he trusted, one he had believed to be his 'Mother'. He was a fool to believe that a deformed alien could ever be his true parent. How could, he mused, smirking slightly in self-derision, a misshapen figure with tentacles could have ever given birth to him?
The Planet had given him that knowledge once his life faded under the blade of Cloud Strife, which was quite an oxymoron in itself. He had died at the hands of a TROOPER, him, the great General Sephiroth, had died to nothing more than a little chocobo-headed boy whom Zack had died to protect. Zack, who was his second-in-command, his best friend, and his mother hen all rolled into one. 'Irony in its finest', he snorted silently as he turned his thoughts back to his charge.
He had no idea why he was assigned to 'protect' this raven-haired man who seemed quite determined to waste his life away by 'atoning for his sins'. And his imaginary sins, no less. Sephiroth shook his head as he settled down upon a thundercloud as he continued watching his charge. He was utterly sick of listening to the man brood about Lucrecia, who, apparently, was his true birth mother, and his 'deformities', and his 'sins'. Hell, to say that he was sick of it was a major understatement. Try listening to the man 24/7 and see if you won't go insane! And, he grumbled mentally, insanity is only fun once in a lifetime, thank you very much.
Sighing softly as Vincent seemed to go on yet another mental lament about everything and nothing in particular, Sephiroth threw his hands up. It would be Halloween that night, and damn it if he was going to stand for this any longer. He had quite enough of angst for several lifetimes, and he didn't need any more. He nodded curtly as he stepped off the thundercloud he had been sitting on for the past few minutes. He would settle the problem tonight, or else he would go insane again and, he narrowed his eyes, it won't be as minor as burning down Nibelheim.
Vincent Valentine wasn't really the sort of person to dwell on past deeds, really, but if you had nothing much to think about for almost every single day, you tend to reflect on them. Considering the depressing state of his memories, it wasn't surprising that Vincent was a quiet, reticent man who tended to angst a lot. It was simple logic, really. Besides, the long laments tend to put Chaos to sleep, and that was an advantage itself.
He had been sensing an odd, prickly feeling at the back of his neck lately, almost as if someone was watching over him. Usually, he simply brushed it off as he being paranoid and imagining things that were not really there. However, this had been going on for quite some time now... Actually, it had started ever since AVALANCHE had defeated Sephiroth in the Northern Crater... Vincent snorted mentally at the thought of Sephiroth watching him. If the man would watch anyone, it would be Cloud. He was his 'puppet', after all, and it made as much sense as anything Sephiroth had done so far.
Shrugging slightly, he suddenly realized that it was Halloween. There was a celebration in the almost-finished Edge tonight, but he had no intentions of attending. He supposed that many needed the occasion to celebrate and to forget their worries, but not him. Besides, it wasn't as if he believed in spirits and ghosts anyway. 'Humans are more fearsome and frightening than any spirit or ghost could ever be,' he knew. Just look at Hojo. No, don't look at the man. One look at him would give you nightmares.
Leaning on the railing of the balcony of the house he was currently residing in, Vincent sighed softly. Many had expected him to return to the Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim after they had killed Sephiroth, but he didn't. There were too many painful memories there, and, frankly, he knew better than to atone for his sins by sleeping eternally. It was too simple a punishment for a sin as great as his. Also, he recognized the fact that he could do better awake than asleep, plus there was the nagging feeling that there was a chance that someone would eventually try to resurrect Sephiroth.
Although he was deep in his thoughts, Vincent did not fail to hear the nearby church bell start to toll. Midnight was here. 'It was,' he mused silently as he stared out at the landscape, 'both the witching hour and Halloween'. If one believed in that nonsense that is.
A slight, almost unnoticeable noise made him jerk his head suddenly to the left. It was an unconscious instinct, honed from both his time in the Turks and from the streets. The same instincts kept his jaw from dropping and gaping at the man who now sat on the railing to the left of him. However, it did not stop him from gaping like an idiot, staring blankly at the silver-haired man sitting on the railing of his balcony.
Sephiroth sighed, nodding, "Valentine."
"You're supposed to be dead." Vincent pointed out, hand reaching for the Peacemaker hidden under his cloak.
Raising his hands up in the universal symbol of surrender when he saw the gunman reach under his cloak, he shook his head, "I am dead, Valentine."
"Oh?" Vincent tilted his head, confusion shown in crimson eyes.
Explaining the situation took shorter than he would have thought. Valentine, Sephiroth mused silently as he watched the dark-haired man, seemed to have given him the benefit of doubt. He was surprised, really, as the other man had always given him the impression of being a cynic, and he voiced the thought.
"It is the only logical solution, nonsensical though it may be. Although I have to ask... Why me?" Vincent lifted an eyebrow, leaning against the railing beside Sephiroth.
The silver-haired man shrugged, "I have no idea."
They lapsed into an odd, almost companionable silence again. Silence was something they both were used to. Words were, at times, unnecessary. It wasn't long, however, when the silence broke.
"Why are you here?" It was a soft, almost tentative question. Sephiroth turned, looking towards his charge. Crimson-red eyes stared at him, as if to see through his mortal shell and into his soul. Sephiroth returned the stare steadily before turning to look towards the night sky,
"Valentine... There are many things in the world than the past. Brooding over it does nothing. I should know. I spent most of my... afterlife, if you can call it that, thinking of everything I had done. It is quite useless, really, because we can't change anything in the past. However..." he turned, meeting the gunman's surprised gaze, "We can change the future. There are people who want me resurrected, who want me to be nothing more than a puppet of JENOVA once more. Are you surprised?"
"That there are those who wish to bring you back? No. That you are repentant? Yes." Vincent knew that there was no use lying.
"Repentant isn't the exact word for it, Valentine. It is more of a... regret, than anything else." He sighed softly before speaking once more, "Look, I could only appear to my charge on a single day every year. To everyone else, I am already dead. I wish to stay that way."
"What do you want me to do?"
Sephiroth shot him a look, "Keep a look out for a man named Kadaj and his brothers. They wish to complete the Reunion, believing that it was what their 'Kaa-san' wants."
"Of course...Where do you think they would be?"
He shrugged, "No idea. All the knowledge I have gained of them came from the Planet."
Vincent nodded, leaning against the railing again. He turned away from Sephiroth as he turned the information in his mind. He, for one reason or another, did not doubt Sephiroth's words. That piece of information, that he actually trusted Sephiroth, bothered him slightly, but he knew that Sephiroth could have killed him in less than a fraction of the time he had taken to warn him of the new threat, but he didn't. And he had seemed much more sane than Vincent had ever seen of him so far. It was quite disconcerting, really.
The silence stretched on, but Sephiroth simply waited as he sat on the marble railing, facing the lightening sky. It would be dawn soon, and Hollow's Eve would be over. He would return to wherever he had been before he left for Earth. Strangely, he felt a slight tinge of something that almost resembled regret. He supposed it was because he could see everything, yes, but he could not touch, could not smell, could not /feel/. It was almost like being kept in a glass cage, one in which he could only see out of the world and would never be able to enter it again.
The simple word cut through the silence like knife. Vincent broke it once more, turning to face the other man. Sephiroth nodded,
"... Thank you..."
He felt himself fading away as the sun rose, colouring the dark night sky and chasing away the shadows. He belonged in the shadows, he supposed. Glowing eyes and silver hair would never change one's nature. He smirked slightly at his charge before fading completely away. Perhaps... Perhaps having Valentine as his charge wouldn't be that horrible in the end...
Vincent felt himself wanting Sephiroth to stay when the other man start to fade away. Perhaps it was simply because they had so much in common, that he could have so much to tell the other man, about his mother, about Vincent himself. He had no idea why, but the tinge of regret as Sephiroth disappeared from sight certainly wasn't false.
Turning away from the sunrise, he vanished back into the house just as the moon released its hold and the sun claimed it. He was a creature of the shadows. He did not belong to the light. His own physical appearance was a manifestation of that.
As he closed the door leading to the balcony, Vincent smirked to himself. Maybe having Sephiroth as a guardian spirit, he refused to say 'angel', wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.