#44 – Cheap Skate Rude

Shell: “Nah, no point in getting your money back for it.”

Originally Published: 10/16/00 . 15 pages

Rude is running out of money to buy gifts for Shell with! Can anyone help him, or will he end up in jail?

Ramble Milestones
-First time Lark and Sephiroth sing “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”.

This is listed as a classic ramble, and it’s one of the better early ones, but one of the weaker classics. Still, there’s a lot to like, such as Rude’s progressively worse gifts for Shell, and Rufus telling Tseng he’s willing to lower Reno’s pay if it will make him feel better. Luckily for Tseng it’s obvious the pay was adjusted later on to make things fair again. This ramble also mentions two things that I thankfully think disappear after this ramble: the fact that Lark’s a Turk and her stupid whip. Lark and Sephiroth also famously sing all of “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee in this ramble, which definitely becomes this song. Also, it’s amusing that Shell keeps pointing out how slutty Lark acts, because hey – someone has to.

(shell is laying on the couch in the ramble room filing her nails. other than her, the ramble room is empty)

Shell: “I’m bored. Where’s Rude? Shouldn’t he be rubbing my feet or something?” *calls* “RUDE! GET IN HERE!”

(a second later rude runs in, out of breath)

Rude: “Um… Hi, Shell. I just came back from the mall.” *holds out a beautifully wrapped package* “I bought you a gift!”

Shell: *sits up eagerly* “Ooh! Yay! I love gifts!” *holds out her hands* “Gimme!!”

(rude gives her the gift and she tears it open excitedly)

Shell: “Ooh! Cashmere!” *lifts a cashmere sweater out of the box* “Rude! This is just what I expect! Something nice and expen–” *her eyes widen suddenly as she cuts off*

Rude: *sweat drops* “What?”

Shell: “This was MARKED DOWN!?”

Rude: *gulp* “Um… It’s still nice…”

Shell: “Yeah…” *sigh* “But, it’s not the same.” *places it aside* “I can’t wear it.”

Rude: *frowns* “Oh. Do you want me to return it?”

Shell: “Nah, no point in getting your money back for it.”

Rude: *sighs* “Yeah… I…uh…guess….”

(one week later….shell is again in the ramble room, just relaxing on the couch. lark is sitting at the table playing strip poker with reeve, tseng and rufus while sephiroth watches.)

Reeve: *left only in his boxers* “Sephiroth, explain to me again why you’re not playing.”

Rufus: *also only in his boxers* “Cause he sucks at it.”

Tseng: *striped to the waist* “So do you two.”

Lark: *fully clothed* “You all suck compared to me!” *lays down her cards with a grin* “Ha ha! Read ’em and weep, boys! A straight flush!”

Guys: *sweat drops*

Sephiroth: “That is *precisely* why I don’t play.”

Reeve: “But…um…this is my last article of clothing…”

Rufus: “Me too…”

Tseng: “Come on, Reeve. You have nothing to be ashamed of.” *cough* “Not that I’m going to look or anything, of course.”

Lark: *evil smile* “Come on…it’s not called strip poker for nothing.”

Shell: *yells from the couch* “You’re a whore, Lark!”

Lark: “Shut up, Shell!” *grins* “Come on, boys.”

(tseng strips down to his boxers and reeve and rufus strip completely, using their hands to cover up)

Sephiroth: *covers his eyes* “When I sat down to watch this was *not* the show I thought I’d be seeing!”

Rufus: “I still think you cheat.”

Lark: *innocently* “Moi?”

Reeve: “Tseng! Are you looking at me!?”

Tseng: *holds his cards over his eyes* “No….”

Sephiroth: “You’re cheating, Lark.”

Lark: *sweat drops* “I am not! Why would you say that?”

Sephiroth: *gets up and comes over to her looking down at her* “Come on.”

Lark: *looks up at him innocently* “What?”

Sephiroth: “Come on.”

Lark: “Come on what?”

Sephiroth: “Don’t make me reach down there.”

Lark: *blinks* “Excuse me?”

Sephiroth: “I know where you’ve been putting the extra cards.”

Lark: *turns three shades of red* “I don’t know what you’re talking about….”

Reeve: “Oh…. I get it…”

Tseng: “Huh? What?”

Rufus: “You *have* been cheating!”

Sephiroth: *knowingly* “Lark….”

Lark: *turns really red and not so happily reaches down the front of her shirt and takes out a whole lot of aces*

Guys: *look at the cards and then at lark not too happily*

Lark: *edging towards the door* “Um….heh heh… Wanna play again?”

(all the guys start running towards her)

Lark: *running from the room* “You guys! I swear I’ll play fair next time!!”

(they all run out of the room, leaving shell alone)

Shell: “That’s what she gets for being a skanky ho!”

(rude enters with a small wrapped package and he looks a little scared)

Shell: “What’s with you?”

Rude: “….I just saw Rufus and Reeve run by naked chasing after Lark with Sephiroth and Tseng.”

Shell: *shrugs* “Eh. Another day in the ramble room.” *grins* “Does that box contain my weekly gift?”

Rude: “Yes. I hope you like it better than last week’s.” *hands it to her*

Shell: “Me too.” *opens it* “Ooh! A diamond ring! Rude, this is exactly what you should–” *looks closely at it and frowns*

Rude: “What? What’s wrong?”

Shell: *upset* “This isn’t real!”

Rude: “I…. Uh… Couldn’t…um…afford one.”

Shell: “Ugh. Then you should find some more money.”

Rude: *frowns* “Want me to return it?”

Shell: “Nah…. It’s the fact that you spent *some* money.”

Rude: *sigh*

(next week…. Tseng, Reeve, Rufus, Sephiroth and Lark are all sitting at the table again, except this time the *guys* are fully clothed, and lark’s in her bra and underwear. shell is painting her toe nails on the couch)

Lark: *slamming her cards down on the table* “I don’t *like* this game any more!”

Rufus: *chuckles* “That’s funny.”

Reeve: “We do.”

Sephiroth: “Oh yeah.”

Tseng: “I really don’t.” *sighs and looks at reeve*

Shell: “You become more of a slut as the week goes on, Lark.” *mutters* “And Rude seems to be getting cheaper.”

Lark: “I don’t want to play this game any more. I’m going to go do something else.” *holds out her hands* “Give me my clothes back, Rufus.”

Rufus: “Um…. No.”

Lark: “Rufus!” *lunges for him*

Rufus: *grabs her clothes and runs out the door* “Ha ha!”

Lark: “RUFUS!” *runs after him*

Sephiroth: “I think this is one time where I want to help Rufus.” *runs after them*

Reeve: *gets up* “Might as well go too…”

Tseng: “If you’re going, I’ll go.”

(they leave the room)

Shell: *sighs* “Life around here is so dull.”

(rude enters with a paper bag)

Shell: “Rude! Finally! There you are!” *eyes go to the bag* “That my gift?”

Rude: *sighs* “Yes.” *hands it to her*

Shell: *takes the bag and takes out what’s inside. it looks like a pocketknife* “What the…” *flicks something and a comb comes out* “You got me one of those lame comb looking knife things?”

Rude: “It’s practical!”

Shell: “It’s cheap!”

Rude: *quietly* “I’m running out of money…”

Shell: “I’m going to add it to the pile of stuff I don’t want…. And I’m going to hope you’ll try better next week.”

Rude: *sighs* “Yes, Shell.”

(the next week. shell’s on the couch painting her nails. she’s alone)

Lark’s voice: *calling from somewhere* “SEPHY-SAMA!”

Sephiroth’s voice: *calling from somewhere else* “WHAT?”

Lark’s voice: “WHERE’S THE PHONE BILL?!”

Sephiroth’s voices: “I ALREADY GAVE IT TO RUFUS!”

Lark’s voices: “OH! OKAY! THANKS!”

Shell: *sighs and shakes her head* “Sometimes I really gotta get outta here.”

(rude enters holding something behind his back)

Shell: *doesn’t look up* “You better make up for these past several weeks, Rude.”

Rude: “Here you are.” *holds out a pair of sunglasses*

Shell: *blinks* “Why is there no tag on it?”

Rude: “Because… They’re an old pair of mine.”

Shell: “….You mean… You’re giving me something that’s *not* new?”

Rude: “Yes… But it came from me! It’s sentimental!”

Shell: “It’s used!” *frowns* “Rude… Is it just me, or do you keep getting cheaper?”

Rude: “Uh….”

Shell: “I’m disappointed in you, Rude!” *stomps off*

Rude: *hangs head* “Ooh…”

(the next week…shell is reading a magazine on the couch in the ramble room when rufus wanders in)

Rufus: “Shell, have you seen any of the Turks?”

Shell: “No… But Rude should be coming in soon to give me a gift.”

Rufus: “Okay…. Well, tell him to get his worthless ass to work!”

Shell: “Sure, whatever.”

(rufus leaves. a few minutes later, rude enters with a pair of socks and a plastic bag in another hand)

Shell: “Oh! Rude! There you are!” *looks at his hands* “What’s that?”

Rude: “Your gift.” *hands her the pair of socks*

Shell: “Rude! A pair of socks! This is your cheapest gift yet! And what, did this come out of a pack of more?!”

Rude: *sweat drops* “Um… I kind of need the rest.”

Shell: “You can’t give me a pair of socks! I want the whole package!”

Rude: “But… I… I… I need them! I’m out of socks!”

Shell: “Rude….”

Rude: “But I won’t have any socks to wear!”

Shell: “No one will notice.”

Rude: *sighs sadly and hands over the whole bag* “Yes, Shell.”

Shell: “By the way, Rufus wants you at work. You better go earn more money for better gifts.”

Rude: “Yes, Shell.” *he leaves*

(later….tseng, elena, and lark are all hanging out in tseng’s office when rude enters)

Tseng: “There you are, Rude.”

Elena: “Yeah, but where’s Reno?”

Tseng: “Who cares?”

Lark: *looks rude over* “Rude… Why aren’t you wearing any socks?”

Rude: *sighs sadly* “Aw, dammit… It’s because I couldn’t afford any.”

Tseng: “Being a Turk sucks.”

Elena: “It does not! I’ll lend you a pair of my socks, Rude.” *reaches into her bag and takes out a pair of lacy socks*

Rude: “Those are kind of…um….girly.”

Elena: “Nonsense! No one will notice!”

(rude puts them on. just as he stands back up, reno comes in)

Reno: “Hey everyone!” *looks at rude* “Dude! Why you wearing woman’s socks?” *starts laughing*

Rude: *hand to his head* *thinks* Oh man…. I have *got* to find a way to get Shell a really great gift for practically nothing….

(the next day. lark and sephiroth are both seated side by side in the ramble room at the table, each writing something half heartedly)

Sephiroth: *sings mumbled, mostly to himself* “Don’t go breaking my heart…”

Lark: *sings in response just as quietly* “I couldn’t if I tried…”

Sephiroth: *steals a sideways glance at her as he sings* “Oh honey if I get restless…”

Lark: *looks at him and sings with a small smile* “Baby you’re not that kind.”

Sephiroth: *turns to her and sings with a little more confidence* “Don’t go breaking my heart…”

Lark: *turns to him smiling and sings with more confidence* “You take the weight off of me…”

Sephiroth: *smiles and sings* “Oh honey when you knock on my door…”

Lark: *sings seductively still smiling* “Ooh, I gave you my key.”

Both: *sing with complete confidence grinning* “Ooh hoo! Nobody knows it!”

Sephiroth: *sings* “When I was down…”

Lark: *sings* “I was your clown…”

Both: *sing* “Ooh hoo! Nobody knows it!”

Sephiroth: *sings as he gets to his feet* “Right from the start…”

Lark: *sings as she gets to her feet* “I gave you my heart. Oh ho. I gave you my heart.”

Sephiroth: *putting a hand to his heart as he sings* “So don’t go breaking my heart.”

Lark: *raises an eyebrow and sings* “I won’t go breaking your heart.”

Both: *lock eyes as they sing* “Don’t go breaking my heart!”

Sephiroth: *offers his hands out to her and sings* “Nobody told us.”

Lark: *takes them and sings* “Cause nobody showed us.”

Sephiroth: *steps closer* “And now it’s up to us babe.”

Lark: *sings seductively* “Oh… I think we can make it.”

Sephiroth: *leaning down slightly so his face is closer to hers and sings* “So don’t misunderstand me…”

Lark: *looks up at him and sings* “You put the light in my life.”

Sephiroth: *sings* “Oh you put the sparks to the flame.”

Lark: *sings* “I got your heart in my sights.”

Both: *sing* “Ooh hoo! Nobody knows it!”

Sephiroth: *sings as he embraces her* “When I was down…”

Lark: *sings as she embraces him* “I was your clown…”

Both: *sing* “Ooh hoo! Nobody knows it!”

Sephiroth: *sings as he leans closer* “Right from the start…”

Lark: *sings* “I gave you my heart. Oh ho. I gave you my heart.”

Sephiroth: *sings softer as he goes even closer* “So don’t go breaking my heart.”

Lark: *sings softly as she is a bit in awe* “I won’t go breaking your heart.”

Sephiroth: *takes her face in his hands and whispers* “Don’t go breaking my heart….” *leans down and kisses her deeply*

Lark: *moans, leaning into him*

(the door opens and shell enters, looking a bit shocked)

Shell: “Whoa. Don’t let me interrupt.”

(they quickly break apart and look quite embarassed)

Lark: *blushes* “Oh… Hi, Shell.”

Sephiroth: *blushing* “We were just… Uh….”

Shell: “Don’t bother.” *goes over and flops down on the couch*

Lark: “What’s wrong with you?”

Shell: “I just bailed Rude out of jail.”

Lark: “What?!”

Shell: “You heard me.”

Lark: “Why was Rude in jail?!”

Shell: “He was caught shoplifting.”

Sephiroth: “Ooh. That’s really manly.”

Lark: “What was he caught shoplifting?”

Shell: “Big Mouth Billy Bass! Can you believe it?! That stupid singing fish thing!”

Sephiroth: “Oh he has lost his status as a man completely.”

Lark: “Why did he do that?”

Shell: *crosses her arms* “He said he wanted to get me a nice present, but he didn’t have any money, and the only thing he could get the guts to steal was the dumb fish!”

Sephiroth: “Oh man! Wait till I spread this around!”

Lark: “You will *not* spread this around.”

Sephiroth: “Wha?”

Lark: “This is none of your business, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: *frowns* “I can never have any fun.”

Shell: “He’s broke, Lark. You gotta convince Rufus to give him a raise so he can buy me expensive gifts again!”

Lark: *crosses arms* “…And how do you exactly want me to go about doing that?”

Shell: “You’re a skanky ho! You can do it!”

Lark: “I am not a skanky ho!” *sighs as she leaves* “I better go get my whip.” *leaves*

Sephiroth: *hurrying after her* “Lark! Are you sure you don’t need anything from me??”

(later…lark goes into rufus’ office where he’s at his desk reading another issue of dictator weekly. she’s wearing a sluttly outfit as usual and she locks the door. *and I wonder why shell calls me a hoebag*)

Lark: “Hi, Rufus-sama.”

Rufus: *looks up and then slams the magazine down on the desk* “Oh! Lark!” *sweat drops* “Damn Reeve and his stupid magazines! I think I might have him fired.”

Lark: *comes to the front of his desk* “Rufy…. I need a favor…”

Rufus: *gets to his feet and little breathlessly* “Oh?” *stares at her cleavage* “…And what would that be?”

Lark: *smiles as she lifts his chin and meets his eyes leaning towards him* “I’m sure it won’t be a problem.”

Rufus: *grabs for her and kisses her deeply*

(and with we will fade out…)

(the next day… tseng, lark, rude and reno are all in rufus’ office)

Tseng: “Sir, I’ve come to complain.”

Rufus: “What about?”

Tseng: “I was just reading your little bulletin today…” *holds it up* “And I am wondering why Rude is making more money than me and Reno *combined*?!”

Rufus: “…..He has persuasive friends.”

Tseng: “And Lark was already making more money than the rest of us Turks, but now she’s making more than Heidegger and *Scarlet* combined.”

Rufus: *tugs at his collar* “Well…she… She….treats me with respect! Yeah! Unlike the rest of you bums!”

Tseng: *sighs* “Sir, how can I work when two of my *subordinates* make more than I do?”

Rufus: “I don’t know. Will it make you feel better if I lowered Reno’s pay?”

Reno: “What?!”

Tseng: “No!”

Rufus: *shrugged* “Hey, you deal with your own problems. I’m the President, not a guidence counsler.”

Tseng: *sighs* “Very well, sir.”

(later….lark and rude return to the ramble room where shell is playing war–the card game with sephiroth)

Shell: “Ha ha! I win again! You suck at this game!”

Sephiroth: *whines* “You’re cheating! Besides, you’re using these stupid Gundam Wing cards! They don’t like me!”

Shell: “Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.” *looks over at rude and lark* “Hi you two.”

Rude: “I got my raise, Shell.”

Shell: *jumps out of her chair* “Hooray!” *hugs lark* “Thanks, Lark!” *grins* “What,  did you sleep with Rufus or something?”

Lark: *nervous laughter* “Hey! Who’s pointing fingers and saying who did what to whom? What’s important is that we both got raises and I had a good time last night.” *claps a hand over her mouth* “Whoops.”

(sephiroth slams his head against the table)

Shell: “Sometimes it comes in handy that you’re a skank.”

Lark: *frowns*

Rude: “Shell, now that I have money, we can go to the mall and buy you something that makes up for all the weeks I was cheap.”

Shell: “Hooray!” *grabs rude’s hand* “I want a car!”

Rude: “Wait, what?” *is pulled out the door*

Lark: *sighs and spots sephiroth* “Sephiroth? Is something wrong? Why are you resting your head on the table like that?” *goes over and puts a hand on his back*

Sephiroth: *through clenched teeth* “I am *just* fine.”

Lark: *backs off* “I think I’ll leave you alone awhile…” *she leaves*

Sephiroth: *sits up and rests his head on the palm of his hand* “Don’t go breaking my heart…”


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