He'd never told anyone, not that anyone would care. It wasn't because they'd think he was crazy; they'd already been half-terrified of him as it was. It wasn't even because no one ever listened to him. He just wanted to keep the memories to himself, to keep them from being tarnished by someone else knowing.
When he was little, he'd had an imaginary friend. You'd think this was normal, for a little boy of around six. But it wasn't, not for him, not by any means.
Her name had been Morgan. She didn't like it, she'd told him. She thought it was too boyish. He always called her Sky. She'd been a pretty little girl, around his age, with blonde hair and the blue eyes that gave her the nickname. She wore ribbons in her hair, of all different colors. He'd always thought she looked best in purple.
She only came at night, in his dreams. She'd told him she was dreaming too, that she was just as real as he was. He'd believed her after all, she was always wearing a blue nightgown. They'd greet each other with a hug, and spend the night playing. Toys, games, paper and crayons, anything they wanted to do it always appeared for them, in the room made of pale green light they always appeared in.
As they played, she told him about her day about the outside world, her life in Junon, her parents, her pet chocobo Viola, how blue the sky was, what rain felt like, the triple chocolate cake she'd had for her birthday
everything he'd never get to see or feel for himself.
He'd told her about his the doctors, the needles, the constant tests, the sterile white room that was the only place he'd ever known. He'd told her about the Professor, with his greasy, bug-eyed glasses, his eerie smile, and his shrill, nasally laugh. She'd always listened, and she'd always comfort him.
For four years, she visited him nightly. One day, his tenth birthday to be exact, Yule eve, 0007, they'd arrived at the Green Place, and they'd known it was different. They'd known, somehow, that this would be the last time they'd come here at night, the last night they'd see each other.
He'd kissed her then, a small one, just a peck on the cheek. It was partly a goodbye, partly something he'd been meaning to do for some time, and partly a promise. He promised her that one day, he'd see her again, and that day he'd give her a proper kiss, a real one. She'd promised him too. She promised him that when she grew up, com what may, she'd tear down Midgar steel bar by steel bar until she found him. They'd giggled together at that, but they knew she meant it. After all, they'd one way or another fallen a little in love.
Then, the sweet-voiced monster in his head came, the monster that had taken away his father five years earlier. He'd fought her back, but she stayed, a quiet presence in the back of his head that sat there like the monster in a closet o under the bed, waiting for the child to drop his guard for just a moment, so it could pounce and claim him too.
He never saw Sky again.
But he remembered her. He held on tightly to that last memory of her, even when the others faded. That final picture of her, purple ribbons in her hair and face flushed with laughter. That last image he hung on to through the years that followed.
He held on to it through the doctors' increasingly painful and erratic tests, through the new injections that left him curled on the bathroom floor feverish and vomiting for hours, through the days of combat training that left him one massive bruise, through the nights of terror as the monster prowled through his head, whispering sweetly venomous words, tempting him to follow his father's footsteps, through eight long years of pain, fear, and loneliness.
Now eighteen, he lived alone in his underground city of ghosts, the scientists and soldiers gone forever. He no longer had the innocent cheer of his youth, but was quiet, strong, and much too wise. But even as he patrolled the empty streets, clad in black and careworn katana in hand, he still hung on to the memories of that time. They were frayed and ragged around the edges now, like the old photo of his mother he carried, but one thing remained clear in those faded pictures a blonde girl in a simple nightgown, all smiles and purple ribbons, with eyes a blue he'd never seen anywhere else.