#12 – The Trouble With Telephones

Lark: “Uh…..is that the masamune or are you just happy to see me?”

Originally Published: 6/26/00 . 8 pages

Synopsis
Lark isn’t too happy with the sky high phone bill. She’s determined to find out who’s been racking up all the charges – and Sephiroth’s been enlisted to help.

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

There’s nothing really horrible in this ramble – it works for what it is: a short one note story. This is one of those rambles that is pretty cartoonish in nature – but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

(Sephiroth is the only one in the room. He’s got the masamune out and is sword fighting facing the mirror and humming “At the Copa (Copacabana)”. Lark enters, a piece of paper in hand, looking upset. Sephiroth stops so abruptly that the masamune goes flying out of his hand and gets stuck in the opposite wall)

Sephiroth: *sweat drops* “Heh heh….hey, Lark.”

Lark: *hasn’t noticed* “Who is making at these @#$% ^?&+= *$#? phone calls?!”

Sephiroth: “*Still* with the phone bill?”

Lark: “It’s 6,000 Gil!!”

Sephiroth: *jaw drops* “Whoa.”

Lark: “Do they think I’m made of money?!” *stops and puts a hand to her head* “Oh no….I’m starting to sound like my mother!” *looks worried*

Sephiroth: *pulling the masamune out of the wall* “I’ll kill the mooches for you!”

Lark: “But I don’t know who it is exactly.”

Sephiroth: “Then I’ll kill everyone. It’s the fool proof way to get the job done. I’ll start with Rufus.” *starts for the door, but lark grabs his arm*

Lark: “How crazy are you? You think I’m going to let you kill all my friends over a phone bill?”

Sephiroth: *shrugs* “So I’ll start with Hojo.”

Lark: “No killing. We’ll have to find out who’s been making the calls and have them pay.”

Sephiroth: *pouts* “Fine. Do it the hard way.”

Lark: “I know exactly how to do it too!”

Sephiroth: “Set up a video camera pointed at the phone?”

Lark: *gives him a look* “Sephiroth, do you honestly think I have the money for a video camera?”

Sephiroth: *sighs* “Obviously not.”

Lark: *points across the room at a pantry closet next to the phone* “We’ll hide in there! That way we can hear who’s making the calls!”

Sephiroth: *looks where she’s pointing and swallows* “You want the two of us to go into that tiny closet for a whole day?”

Lark: “Hey, can you think of a better way? We can drill some air holes….”

Sephiroth: “After you get the money, can I kill someone?”

Lark: “No!”

Sephiroth: *snaps his fingers* “Dammit!”


(the next morning lark and sephiroth stand in front of the closet.)

Lark: *pointing proudly at the door* “Look, I drilled air holes!”

Sephiroth: “You want a prize?”

Lark: *glares at him* “Let’s just get in and get this over with.”

(they get in and close the door.)

Sephiroth: *coughs fakely*

Lark: “Uh…..is that the masamune or are you just happy to see me?”

Sephiroth: “Stay over on that side, woman!”

Lark: *mumbles* “Fine with me.”

(sound of a door opening)

Sephiroth: *whispers* “Heh heh….the first victim.”

Lark: “Shush!” *presses ear against the door*

Laguna’s voice: “Hello? Hey hey! It’s me, the President of Esthar–your president!”

Lark: *softly, in shock* “It’s Laguna!”

Sephiroth: *softly and dryly* “Well duh.”

Laguna’s voice: “Hey, have the bowling lanes been installed in the palace yet?……Kiros says Ward says he really wants to play…..next week?……Okay, I’ll call again later. Bye bye!”

(sounds of him leaving.)

Lark: “Ah ha! So Laguna’s been calling Esthar!”

Sephiroth: “Thank you, Nancy Drew.”

Lark: “Shut up!” *sounds of someone coming* “Shush!”

Lizzie’s voice: *muttering to herself as she dials* “1-900-S-E-P-H-Y-R-O-X.”

Lark: *quietly* “She’s calling the Sephiroth fan club number! That’s $3.50 a minute!”

Sephiroth: *mutters* “They should charge more than that.”

(Lizzie’s on the phone for a good ten minutes. she doesn’t say much, but she occasionally laughs. then she’s gone)

Lark: “I can’t believe she calls the fan club! You’re right here all the time!”

Sephiroth: “Not when she’s around.”

(someone else comes)

Ashley’s voice: “Hello?…..Ugh, Hi, Wufei. Is Duo there?……Shut up! You suck! Just put him on……geez, what a jerk.”

Lark: *whispers* “She’s calling Duo?!”

Ashley’s voice: “Duo? Hi, babe……I know, no one likes him here either…..so when are you guys coming back?…….oh, good……no, I can’t do that…..No, Sephiroth is Lark’s henchman, and I think she kind of needs to keep him around……no, I don’t know why….” *laughs* “…..no, she’s not crazy.”

Sephiroth: “Grrrrrrr….”

Ashley’s voice: “I’ve gotta go, but I’ll call you tomorrow, okay?……love you too, bye, babe.” *she leaves*

Lark: “She calls Duo every day!”

Sephiroth: *mutters* “Stupid little boy. I’ll show him.”

(sounds of someone coming)

Quistis’ voice: “Hi, Cid? This is Quistis…..What?….Someone stole your desk?…..eh heh….that’s…heh…terrible……yeah……don’t worry, I’ll be back soon….I have some stuff to take care of……all right, I will. Bye.” *she leaves*

Lark: “She’s calling Garden?”

Sephiroth: “I still can’t believe that stupid Gundam Wing boy was talking about me.”

(someone else comes in)

Rufus’ voice: “Hello? Shinra Headquarters?…..Yes, this is President Rufus….”

Sephiroth: *whispers urgently* “See! I told you he was bad! Let me kill him!”

Lark: *whispers* “No! Rufus has been paying for these phone calls. He can do whatever the hell he wants.”

Sephiroth: *pouts* “Jerk.”

Rufus’ voice: “Is Reeve there…..No? Okay, is Tseng there?……No?! Fine, are *any* of the Turks there?…..NO?!? What the—Well, did they at least say where they were going?…..NO?!?!?” *sighs* “Fine. Thanks anyway.” *leaves muttering nasty things*

Sephiroth: “Last chance to have Rufus eliminated.”

Lark: “How many times do I have to tell you no?”


(several hours later. there hasn’t been anyone since rufus and they’re bored)

Sephiroth: “Can we leave now?”

Lark: “No! As soon as we do, someone will come and we’ll miss it.”

(sounds of a few people coming. lark and sephy listen intently)

Zell’s voice: “Where the hell is Lark? It’s not like her to not show up at all.”

Irvine’s voice: *disgusted* “I hope she didn’t go visit those Gundam Wing boys instead.”

Seifer’s voice: “I hate those dumb kids. I hope Ashley didn’t go too.”

Squall’s voice: “Whatever.”

Irvine’s voice: “Shut up, Squall. Just wait till Rinoa falls for one of them. They’re like a disease.”

Squall’s voice: “……no way. Not Rinoa.”

(the sounds of more people entering)

Rufus’ voice: “Don’t run off without letting me know!”

Reeve’s voice: “Rufus, you’re not our father.”

Rufus’ voice: “I’m your *boss*. That’s worse.”

Zell’s voice: “Have you guys seen Lark?”

Rufus’ voice: “I can’t find anyone today.”

(the phone rings)

Zell’s voice: “I’ll get it!….Hello?…..A collect call? Sure, I’ll accept.”

Lark: “NO!” *realizing she spoke out loud she claps a hand over her mouth*

Seifer’s voice: “Did you hear something?”

Zell’s voice: “Oh, hi, Reno.”

Rufus’ voice: “That’s Reno? Where the hell is he?”

Zell’s voice: “Rufus wants to know where you are……oh, I’ll tell him. He and Noelle went clubbing.”

Rufus’ voice: “Clubbing? In the middle of the afternoon?”

Zell’s voice: “Huh? What’s that, Reno?”

Lark: “Get off the phone, Zell! Figures Reno calls collect!”

Sephiroth: “I’m going out there.”

Lark: *grabs his arm* “No!”

Sephiroth: *struggles* “Yes!”

Lark: *pulls on him* “Come on, Sephiroth!”

(the guys outside watch the closet in shock, even zell, who’s still on the phone)

Zell: “What’s with all the banging?”

Sephiroth’s voice: *struggling to free himself and open the door* “LARK!!!”

Lark’s voice: *as sephy rips her tank top strap in the process* “SEPHIROTH!!”

(the door flies open and the pair comes tumbling out of the closet. all the guys simply stare.)

Rufus: “Lark?”

Reeve: “Sephiroth?”

Irvine: “What the hell were you two doing in the closet? Or don’t I wanna know.”

Sephiroth: *mumbles* “I wish.”

Lark: “Huh? We were spying to see who’s been racking up the phone bill! It’s 6,000 Gil this month!”

Reno’s voice: *over the phone line* “Hello? Zell?”

Zell: *holding out the phone* “He called here, I swear!”

Squall: “Yeah, collect.”

Zell: “Squall!”

Lark: *grabs the phone* “Reno! Don’t call collect here ever again! When you come back you owe me money!”

Reno’s voice: “What! Oh, come on!”

Lark: “Don’t ‘oh come on me’! If you don’t pay me, I’ll have Rufus give me your next paycheck! And I’m hanging up now!”

Reno’s voice: “Wait—“

Lark: *hangs up and looks at the guys* “Anyone else wanna try calling collect?”

(they all firmly shake their heads no)

Lark: “Good. Now who wants to help me pay the phone bill?”

(they all look away)

Sephiroth: “I don’t have any money.”

Irvine: “I’m no SeeD. I don’t get paid.”

Zell: “Squall takes all my money.”

Reeve: “I haven’t gotten paid this week.” *glares at rufus*

Rufus: “I always pay.”

Lark: “Come on, Squall, you get paid every 5 minutes!”

Squall: *sighs* “Fine.” *hands over 6,000 Gil*

Lark: “Yeah!!” *kisses squall on the cheek*

Squall: “Whatever.”

Sephiroth: “Grrrrrr…..”

Lizzie: *comes in* “Hey, Lark, this came for you in the mail.” *hands over a letter and leaves*

Lark: “Ooh! Mail!” *opens it happily, but her expression suddenly becomes very unhappy*

(rufus gives everyone the ‘let’s get the hell outta here motion’ and they all sneak towards the door)

Lark: “Look at this electric bill! 3,000 Gil! Don’t you know you’re supposed to shut off the lights when you leave the room! Who wants to pay for this!” *looks around, but all the guys are gone* “Guys? Where’d you go? Who’s gonna pay the bills? Guys? GUYS!?!?”

THE END

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