On the Way to a Smile, Episode: Nanaki [Revised]

After separating from Yuffie, Nanaki wandered rather aimlessly around the world. Whenever he encountered animals, he wondered whether he could somehow live with them. When he met people, he spoke to them without fear. From everything, whether right or wrong, you could learn the truth, it seemed to him. And thus many new names crept into Nanakis memory: Glitter, dream thief, Kai, spinning power, love, cries of the trees – he gave all the important people and events names, including those with which he connected painful experiences. But there was always invaluable knowledge to be gained.

Nanaki lived every day to the fullest, but a constant fear plagued him. No sooner had he spent his days alone again, even Gilligan reappeared and seemed to become stronger with each passing day. The more experiences he collected on his journey, the more he had to lose.

“This must be the reason that Gilligan is growing more and more.”

Gilligan’s true face was the fear of loss. Now that Nanaki knew what it was, the unknown had lost its terror, and he didn’t have fear it anymore. Regardless, he still found himself trembling, and each time he needed longer to recover from the attacks.

The question of why came to Nanaki, so much so that he feared he might be mistaken about Gilligan’s true face. So he thought all over again, about what Gilligan really was. But the only thing that came to him was the absolutely paralyzing fear. There was no doubt about it, that was what it was.

* * *

“Gilligan, you say?”

After a long time, Nanaki ran into Vincent again near the lake in the Forgotten City. Vincent listened patiently to Nanakis story… theory.

“I have an idea what it’s all about.”

“What? Tell me!”

Nanaki excitedly urged Vincent, as if he was about to jump at him, to get a response from him.

“Losses are inevitable, there is no way out of it. Loss leads to sadness, and just the thought of it leads to fear. However – and this is the strange thing – eventually you get used to it. ”


“Gilligan comes from a distant future. A future that you subconsciously fear.”


“All of the people you know. All events, phenomena, everything. Try to imagine a future in which everything exists only in your memories. If there is no one left to share everything with.”


Nanaki tried to imagine it. That moment, Gilligan began to stir in him. Nanaki endured the trembling and remained focused. He imagined himself running up a hill that overlooked Midgar. But when he finally got to the top, an incredible sight confronted him: Midgar was completely overgrown by plants, which he didn’t even know the names of. However, he could also distinguish people.

However, among them there was nobody he knew. Nevertheless, if he went and spoke to the people, perhaps someone would show interest and would listen to his story. But then there would probably be no one who would give a knowing nod, and offer their own little anecdotes.

“I’m all alone.”

Nanaki trembled.

“I have such a long lifespan, that one day I will experience loneliness—And my fear of loneliness. Is that Gilligan?”

“To me, these are unnecessary worries about the future.”
“I call it exhaustion from over-anxiety.”

“Don’t make fun of me!”

Vincent acknowledged Nanaki’s little outburst with just a smirk.

“Then imagine this. You’ll never be lonely. Maybe you’ll even have children someday.”

“Me… have children? I just can’t imagine that. When I try, I just think of the two Nibel bears..”

“Then how about this: You visit Midgar once a year. There, I will be waiting. And I will be listening to your banal stories as if I have no interest at all.”

Nanaki tried to imagine what Vincent had just told him. He couldn’t see Vincent’s disinterested expression before him and his trembling passed. Gilligan seemed to have disappeared.

“Looks like you’ve stopped trembling.”

“Yes. But Vincent, one day you too will—”

“That day will never come. I am immortal, and I do not age. Whether that is fortunate or misfortunate for me.”

“I see—”

Nanaki thought about the loneliness that Vincent would one day face.

“I may indeed live a long time, but certainly not forever. But Vincent, he -”

“Hey. While I’m still alive, we should meet from time to time.”

Vincent looked less than enthusiastic at the idea, but looked at Nanaki for a while

“Just once a year. It doesn’t need to be any more often than that.”

“Why not?”

“Well you’re an annoying fellow.”

No sooner had he said that, Vincent lowered his eyes, and hid his face behind the collar of his mantle. It was apparent that his shoulders were shaking slightly. That was probably the first time that Nanaki saw Vincent laugh.

“Gilligan. Gilligan did you say?”

“Heh. Laugh all you want.”

“If you’ll excuse me.”

Vincent no longer held back, and laughed out loud. At first, Nanaki tried to suppress it, but before long he too burst out in laughed.

It was the first time since the days of the Cetra, that laughter could be heard in the Forgotten City.

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