#92 – When I Was Your Age

Rude: “…Let’s tell stories.”
Originally Published: 6/19/01 . 23 pages
One boring night, the guys share some stories about themselves.
Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.
God, there are a lot of depressing stories in this ramble. Most of them are either based on or lifted from my various fan fiction. Laguna’s is my favorite. I’m glad he found those crayons.

(in in the ramble room we have sephiroth, squall, zell, seifer, laguna, rude, reno, irvine, rufus, tseng, reeve, twilight, and vincent. they’ll all just sitting around, and there is not a chick in sight…)

Irvine: “Hey! Where are the chicks?”

Reno: “They’re having a sleepover that’s ‘girls only’.”

Sephiroth: “Then why wasn’t Tseng invited?” *tseng nudges him* “Ow! Hey!”

Zell: “Hey! Why don’t we spy on them like last time?!”

Seifer: “I don’t think so, dumbass chicken-wuss! We got in big trouble, remember?”

Twilight: “Who needs the girls? We can entertain ourselves!”

Rufus: “Like what?”

Twilight: “Let’s watch a bloody movie!”

Rufus: “Ew! I think not.”

Reno: “Porn then!”

Laguna: “Hey hey! I don’t want my son exposed to that!”

Squall: *sigh*

Tseng: “I’m not too keen on that idea either.” *sweat drop*

Seifer: “What if we watch sports?”

Rufus: “Unless it’s cricket or tennis, count me out.”

Reeve: “Can’t we agree on anything?”

Sephiroth: “Of course not. We all hate each other.”

Vincent: “That’s going a little far, angel.”

Sephiroth: “Fine then. There’s someone in this room each one of us can’t really stand.”

Laguna: “Hey hey! I love everyone!”

Squall: “Shut the hell up, dad.”

Rude: “…Let’s tell stories.”

(everyone turns to look at him)

Reno: “Whatdya mean, man?”

Rude: *clears throat* “Well, perhaps we could understand one another better if we each knew more about each other.”

Guys: *blink*

Rude: “What I’m saying is that we should each tell a story from our childhood.”

Reno: *taps rude on the head* “Did you switch brains with Reeve?”

Reeve: “I think that’s a great idea for us to all bond.”

Rufus: *makes a face* “Bond? How gay is that?”

Tseng: “I wouldn’t talk, Mr. ‘I love cricket’.”

Rufus: *frowns* “Fine. I’m in. Let’s tell stupid stories.” *pouts*

Irvine: “It’s cool with me. Who wants to go first?”

Guys: “…………………..”

Irvine: *sigh* “Fine. If no one else wants to go first, I will. When I was a kid, there weren’t many kids around, so my brothers and I kind of experimented with one another until Billy Bob got too into it and we stopped.”

Everyone: *stares at him horrified*

Irvine: *chuckles* “I was kidding.”

Everyone: *still looks horrified*

Irvine: *seriously* “It was a joke, you guys. Really.”

Rufus: *shudders* “Don’t joke like that ever, EVER again!”

Sephiroth: “I don’t know, cowboy geek. They say there’s a grain of truth in every joke.”

Irvine: “Not in that one.”

Reno: “Okay, man, just tell your *real* story while the rest of us try not to puke.”

Irvine: “Okay, well here goes. I guess I must have been about eleven, and one day Houston, who just turned seventeen, took the pickup truck into town and came home with the groceries…”

(cut to the farm house. we see miniature versions of all of irvine’s brothers. dallas, 15, and cal, 14, are lounging on the couch, reading ‘rodeo weekly’ and ‘sheep shearing for idiots’ respectively. billy bob, 12, sits on the floor, sticking q-tips up his nose. austin, 16, sits sprawled in the arm chair plucking at a banjo wearily, and irvine stands with a towel over one shoulder, banging on a door….)

Irvine: “San Diego! Get outta the bathroom! You’ve been in there for two hours! I need to take a shower! Pa just had me cleanin’ out the stable!”

San Diego’s voice: “Geez, just relax, will ya! I’m almost done!” *turns on blow dryer*

Irvine: “You better not be gettin’ into Ma’s makeup again!” *he goes and flops on the couch* “I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”

Dallas: “Hey, anybody seen Ma today?”

Cal: “Last I saw she wuz cryin’ over her weddin’ photos and cursin’ us all.”

Boys: *sweat drops*

Dallas: “How ’bout Pa?”

Cal: “He n’ Gramps when ta get us some new sheep. Gramps was real excited ’bout it.”

Austin: “I never seen anyone love sheep as much as him.”

Billy Bob: “Der hur. I like sheep.”

Brothers: *blink*

Irvine: “Billy Bob! You know Momma said no more q-tips up there! The doctor’s sick a fishin’ them out!” *grabs the box away*

(then houston comes inside, carrying a grocery bag and grinning)

Houston: “Howdy, brothers! I’m back from town and I gotta special surprise!”

(all the brothers crowd around excitedly)

Houston: *grins at them all* “Ya’ll are gonna love this.” *frowns* “Where’s San Deigo?”

Irvine: “In the bathroom! Where else?”

Houston: “Well go get ‘im! This here’s for all of ya!”

Irvine: *mutters* “Roy Rogers himself couldn’t drag him out.” *goes over and raps on the door* “SAN DIEGO! COME OUT NOW! HOUSTON’S GOTTA SURPRISE FOR US!”

San Diego: *annoyed sigh* “Fine!”

(he stomps out, looking quite annoyed and wearing eye liner)

San Diego: “Ya’ll are so annoyin’! What is it?”

(houston grins excitedly and they all crowd around eagerly. then he reaches into the bag and holds up….an issue of playboy)

Boys: *except san diego* “Oooh….”

Dallas: “Is that what I *think* it is?”

Houston: “Yup! It’s real live porn! And now we’ve got some!”

Austin: “Wow, Houston! How’d you get it?”

Houston: “I got me a fake I.D! I can get beer too!” *lifts out a case of beer*

Boys: “Oooh…”

Cal: “Wow, Houston! You’re my new hero! You brought home naked girls *and* booze!”

Houston: “Yeah. Ya just can’t tell Ma or Pa I got this stuff, kay?”

Boys: “Okay!”

Houston: “Okay, well, here ya go.” *tosses the magazine to austin*

Irvine: “And so we passed that beautiful magazine around one at time, amazed to be lookin’ at the stuff we’d only dreamed about before, cause we didn’t see too many girls. And we were all amazed, except for San Diego, who took one look, made a face and went back into the bathroom. It took awhile, but I finally managed to pry it out of Billy Bob’s hands in exchange for givin’ back the q-tips. And when I opened up that magazine, boys, I knew that I never wanted to read another type of magazine again. And I haven’t. And we still have that magazine up at the farm to this day. It’s gone through a lot of use but hell, we didn’t get our hands on another for two whole years.” *smile* “And that’s the story of my first porn magazine.”

Guys: *blink*

Reno: “Hey! That was great!”

Sephiroth: *mutters* “Leave it to Irvine…”

Irvine: “So! Who’s next?”

Reeve: “Well, I’ll go next, but… My story’s not exactly as lighthearted.”

Rufus: “Oh, great, we have to hear about *your* misery now?” *sigh*

Tseng: “Shut up, Rufus.” *pats reeve on the arm* “Go ahead, Reeve.”

Reeve: “Well, I was a smart kid, so I skipped a few grades in school, and when I was twelve I went to school with kids who were sixteen. Needless to say I wasn’t very popular… At all. My mother died when I was a baby, and my father was busy with his own life and never paid much attention to me. My grandmother, Rose, was really the one to raise me, and she always tried to encourage me in everything I wanted to do…”

(now we cut to a warm and cozy kitchen that’s located in an apartment above a materia shop in kalm. reeve, 12, is sitting at the table, looking kind of sad as he eats oatmeal cookies and drinks some milk. his grandmother gives him a worried look as she sits down across from him)

Rose: “Is something wrong, Reeve?”

Reeve: *shrug*

Rose: “Did you not do well on your trigonometry test?”

Reeve: “No, I got a 100.”

Rose: “Well that’s wonderful, Reeve!”

Reeve: “………….”

Rose: *looks increasingly worried* “Reeve, honey, what’s wrong? You can tell me anything.”

Reeve: *hangs head and whimpers* “…Everyone hates me.”

Reeve: “And I really was hated. Despite the fact that I was four years younger than everyone, I had the highest marks in the grade. They hated me because I was smart mostly, and the teachers loved me. It didn’t help any that I liked learning and got all my assignments done way beforehand. I didn’t have the same interests as any of these kids. They were playing soccer, and I was up in my room reading about physics. I was terrible in gym class too, which only added to my getting picked on. I would get beat up sometimes, but none of that compared to the horrible verbal abuse. I hated being teased, more than anything in the world. It made me… It made me feel worthless…”

Rose: “Oh, Reeve.” *goes over and hugs him*

Reeve: “…Why do I have to be different?”

Rose: “You’re not different. You’re gifted.”

Reeve: “I’m still *different*.”

Rose: “Have you tried to make any friends?”

Reeve: *shakes his head* “No one wants to be friends with me.”

Rose: “I’m sure that’s not true! You’re just not trying hard enough!” *thinks a moment* “Isn’t there a school dance Friday?”

Reeve: *nods slowly*

Rose: “Wonderful! You can go to that and everyone will see just how well you fit in!”

Reeve: “I clung to that idea of hope for all it was worth, and got all dressed up for the dance that Friday. I thought this was it, and things would change, and everyone would stop laughing at me when I used a big word, or when I wore something that wasn’t really ‘cool’. I thought this was my chance to be accepted…”

(cut to a crowded dance that’s packed wall to wall with kids all about 16. reeve looks very young compared to everyone else. he stands insecurely in the doorway, intimidated by the darkened room with the flashing lights and loud music. he takes a deep breath and walks in, the people around him keep giving him weird looks, but he keeps on walking forward)

Reeve: “I was scared out of my mind, but with every step I took I felt a little better about myself. But then…”

(reeve gets distracted by something, and accidentally bumps into some boy, who turns around angrily)

Boy: “Hey! Watch where you’re going, shrimp!”

Reeve: *clears throat* “Um, I’m sorry.”

Boy #2: “Hey, it’s that kid Reeve from our trig class. Isn’t he like nine?”

Reeve: “I’m twelve.”

Boy: “Ooh. Think you’re so bad, cause you’re twelve? Big deal.” *gives reeve a shove*

Reeve: “I…uh…”

Boy #2: “He thinks he’s cool cause he gets good grades and all the teachers love him!”

Boy: “Yeah!  He thinks he’s so great.” *shoves reeve against the wall*

Reeve: “N-no, I–“

Boy #2: “He’s always raising his hand like he’s so much better than the rest of us.”

Boy: “Yeah! I’m sick of all the teachers wishing we were more like *him*!” *glares at reeve*

Reeve: “I-I, I don’t think I’m better…”

Boy: “Because you’re not! You’re a moron! Who cares what the square root of 121 is? You have *no* friends. And that makes you a loser.”

Reeve: *chin trembles*

Boy #2: “Aw, what are you gonna cry now, little boy? Why don’t you go crying home to your mommy? God knows you don’t belong here with the *cool* people.”

Boy: “Damn straight. So why don’t you get out of here before I make you get out?”

Reeve: “And so, I ran home, and I… I cried… I cried for a really long time. And after that day… I never talked to anyone in school again. And… And I never really had any real friends…until…until I met Tseng. And I was twenty-one then!” *bows his head and wipes away a tear* “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I just said all that.”

(no one says anything for a long time. tseng takes reeve’s hand and leans over to whisper in his ear. reeve squeezes his hand and nods, wiping his tears away. when tseng’s done talking to him, he gives him a quick kiss on the cheek, and keeps holding his hand)

Rufus: *clears throat uncomfortably* “I never knew you had a bad childhood, Reeve.”

Reeve: *shrugs* “At least I had my grandmother…and a roof over my head.” *looks at tseng* “Besides, things got better.” *small smile* “Well…does anyone have a happier story to share?”

Twilight: *raises hand* “Ooh! Me! You guys are gonna love this! This one time, I burned down a Wookiee village on Kashayyak–“

Everyone: *dryly* “We know.”

Twilight: “What?”

Zell: “You told us like a million times!”

Seifer: “You drew us a picture!”

Twilight: “Fine then! I have lots of great stories! I’m the Almighty Twilight XyXia! Lots of cool stuff happens to me!” *thinks a minute* “I gotta another great story! It involves a Wookiee too, and two chicks who were madly in love with me! Anyway, I was like sixteen and I was on this hellhole planet called Malkaii, which was full of jerks, but besides them, some other bigger jerks like Luke Skywalker, and Han Solo, and Lando what’s his last name, and Chewbacca and Leia Organa Solo were all there dorking up the place. So anyway, I was with these two chicks. Kystyal, who really hated Solo and wanted him dead, and Laylan, this skanky girl who clung to me all the time and loved to kill stuff. She was an assassin. Oh, and she loved the Wookiee village story more than my reflection! But anyway, like I said, Krystyal wanted to kill Solo, and I wanted to kill Luke, and Laylan wanted to kill anything. So one day we cornered Han, Lando and that stupid Wookiee. Chewbacca tried to hurt us, but Laylan stabbed him with something that made him bleed a lot. Of course Han freaked out, and he and his dumb friend went to shoot us, but Laylan took their guns, so they couldn’t! I’m telling you, she would have been a lot cooler if she stopped telling me how much she loved me every five seconds. Not that I can blame her. But then we shot Han and Lando, and Kystyal was gonna kill Han, but then Luke showed up and started giving me the stupid Jedi oath and crap like that. So then, I uh….kicked his ass and made him my slave! Yeah! And then I took Laylan and Krystal as my queens and ruled the whole galaxy! The end!”

Everyone: *blinks*

Squall: “You made the ending up.”

Twilight: “You don’t believe the great Twilight?”

Zell: “If Luke Skywalker is your slave, why isn’t he here?”

Twilight: “Uh… I keep him chained up…in a galaxy far, far away from here.”

Irvine: “And what about Opal? Isn’t she your girlfriend?”

Twilight: “Look, shut up, okay! You said you wanted a happy story, and I gave you one!”

Tseng: “That wasn’t very happy. More like morbid.”

Twilight: “Hey, none of them died, okay? If you want, I can tell you this story about a jerk named Trek, or one named Xander, or one named Edon, or one named Keejll–I know a lot of jerks.”

Rufus: “I know I’ve heard enough from him. Who’s next?”

Reno: *clears throat* “Um, I guess I could go.” *looks everyone over* “It’s not happy.”

Rude: *nudges him* “Just go, man.”

Reno: “Well, when I was a kid, like seven, my dad got up and left. So when I was eight, my mom, Mina, took me and my sister Trini to live with my uncle, Kingsley, in Midgar. He was my dad’s brother, and not too nice to my mom, but that’s another story. Anyway, I must have been like eleven. My sister was four, and both my mom and Kingsley worked pretty long hours so I would have to watch Trini when I came home from school…”

(we see a mini version of reno, hair still messy, no scars on his cheeks, standing before a window, holding onto the curtain as he looks out on a couple of kids his age playing basketball. trini sits in the back, on the couch, holding a stuffed bunny rabbit.)

Trini: *tiny voice* “Reno?”

Reno: *doesn’t turn around*

Trini: “Reno…?”

Reno: *turns around* “Huh?” *pause* “Oh. What is it?”

Trini: *holds out the bunny* “Mr. Carrots wants you to hug him.”

Reno: “Oh. Okay.”

(he goes over, hugs the bunny, and gives it back to the child)

Reno: “There. All better?”

Trini: “When’s mommy coming home?”

Reno: “Soon, okay? And then I’m going to go outside and play.”

Trini: “Basketball?”

Reno: “Yeah.”

Trini: “Is it fun?”

Reno: “Yeah.”

Reno: “My uncle always came home before my mother did… I never liked him. Trini didn’t like him either. She thought he was scary. He kinda scared me too, a little. But I would never admit it. Sometimes it would be okay when he came home, but sometimes it wasn’t…”

(a door slams, and reno and trini both jump. trini clings tighter to the bunny rabbit and reno stays by her)

Kingsley’s voice: “Hello? Reno? Where the hell are ya?”

Reno: *gulp* “I’m right here, uncle.”

(kingsley comes in the room and frowns at him)

Kingsley: “Did you get the mail?”

Reno: “Yes, sir.”

Kingsley: “Did you *open* it?”

Reno: *gulp* “Yeah…”

Kingsley: “Do *you* pay the bills, Reno?”

Reno: *shakes head no wordlessly*

Kingsley: *roars* “Then nothing gives you the right to open them! You understand me, Reno?”

Reno: *nods*

Kingsley: “Good. Now what the hell were you doing? Nothing?”

Reno: “No, sir, I finished everything you told me to.”

Kingsley: “We’ll see about that.” *he starts flipping through the bills*

Reno: *gulp* “Uh, Uncle?”

Kingsley: *sharply* “What is it?”

Reno: “….Can I go outside for awhile?”

Kingsley: “No.”

Reno: *frowns* “Why not?”

Kingsley: “Because I said so.”

Reno: “But I did everything you asked me to.”

Kingsley: “My answer is still no.”

Reno: *getting angry* “But why not? If I did everything– I just want to play some basketball. I’ll be back in half an hour!”

Kingsley: *looks up* “This is my house, Reno. Here you do what *I* say. And if *I* say you can’t go out, then you can’t. You can’t do whatever the hell you want, understand? Now get the hell out of here. You won’t be going out for the next three weeks.”

Reno: “…So that was my life. Do what my uncle said, when he said, and that was that. And I really sucked at basketball. But I didn’t care. “

Irvine: “…That really sucks.”

Reno: *shrugs* “I can do whatever the hell I want now, can’t I?” *forced smile* “Okay, who’s next?”

Rude: *raising his hand*

Reno: “This isn’t school, Rude, you don’t have to raise your hand.”

Rude: “I have a story.”

Reno: “…..Really.”

Rude: “It’s a cheerful one too, kind of. Um….I used to live in a mining town. I had a close friend named Miral and a brother named Radley……”

Miral: *holding up pirate costumes* “What do you think?”

Young Rude: “They don’t look very good.”

Miral: *annoyed* “Hey! I worked really hard on these! If you don’t like them, make them yourself.”

Radley: “Ha! He can’t sew!”

Rude: “…They’ll be good, I guess. Good enough for tracking down old Pirate Captain Billy.”

Reno: “Pirate Captain *Billy*?”

Rude: “….We lived in a mine. We weren’t that creative. Anyway…”

Radley: “Do you really think we’ll find him?”

Miral: *grinning* “Of course we will! And then we’ll steal his treasure! We’ll be head to toe in diamonds.”

Radley: *blinking* “But we’re head to toe in diamonds now, Miral.”

Rude: *growling* “Yeah, but now these will be *ours*.”

Radley: “I understand!”

Rude: “Good. Now put this costume on and run down that tunnel and stay there until you’ve counted to 500.”

Radley: *eagerly* “You can count on me!” *running off*

Miral: “…Don’t you think that’s a really elaborate way to get your brother out of the way just so we can make out for a few hours?”

Rude: “…It worked, didn’t it?” *kisses Miral*

Shell: *from the next room*  “I hated that story, Rude”

Rude: *hanging head* “Sorry, Shell.”

Seifer: “Hey! You don’t think the *girls* are listening, do you?”

Rude: “No.”

Rufus: “This is boring.”

Rude: “So… Who would like to go next?”

Tseng: *shifts uncomfortably* “I guess… I will.”

Rufus: *rolls eyes* “Great. Here comes something appropriate for Showtime on Sunday night.”

Tseng: *glares* “For your information, this story takes place when I was eleven.” *calmly* “Anyway, in case you don’t know, just before I turned eleven, my house burned down, killing my family, so I was living alone on the street, with no place to go…”

(we see a young tseng roaming the street, looking cold and hungry)

Tseng: *shiver*

(he eyes a restaurant hungrily, absently licking his lips as he tries to warm himself)

Tseng: “I was, quite obviously, starving. I couldn’t even remember the last time I ate something, and it was so cold. I really thought I was going to die– but anything seemed better than an orphanage. It was pretty obvious to anyone that I was hungry and freezing…”

(tseng is still staring at the restaurant when a shabby looking man peers around the side of the building)

Man: “Hey, kid.”

Tseng: *looks*

Man: “Want something to eat?”

Tseng: *hesitates before nodding*

Man: “Come ‘ere.”

Tseng: “Sure, I was a little wary, but I was so hungry I would have sold my soul for a slice of bread. So, I went over to him and he said:”

Man: “I know where ya can get some food. Interested?”

Tseng: *nods*

Man: *smiles* “Good. I want ya to sneak into the back of this restaurant and steal some bread for the both of us. You’re small, so you’ll be faster than me. Just run in, and I’ll meet ya over there, okay?”

Tseng: “I had never stolen anything before, but now that the idea had been proposed to me, it seemed so easy. Besides being small, I was extremely fast, so I knew I could get in and out without getting caught…”

(we see tseng cautiously push open the back door to the restaurant. everyone’s busy and not paying attention. slowly he sneaks in, then, eyeing a basket of bread, he starts to head in that direction. still no one notices. he reaches the basket, eyes glowing in anticipation. he grabs the biggest loaf and starts to head back, except as he turns around he knocks into something, drawing everyone’s attention.)

Chef: “Hey! Kid! What do ya think you’re doing?!?!?”

(tseng’s eyes widen in fear and he turns and runs as fast as he can. the guy gives chase but tseng is really fast and easily leaves the guy in the dust. he runs to where he’s supposed to meet the strange man, and learns against the wall, out of breath)

Man: “You did it! Great job, kid. Gimme that, and I’ll give you your share.”

(tseng slinks down to the floor, still out of breath for running at his fastest and hands the guy the bread. as soon as it hits the guy’s hands he grabs it and runs. tseng yells and gets to his feet, but the guy is out of sight. he watches, growing increasingly upset and he puts a hand to his stomach and cries)

Tseng: *sighs* “I was eleven. I didn’t know any better. I learned two lessons that day. Don’t trust anyone but yourself when you have nothing and I wasn’t a half bad thief.” *shrugs* “So that’s my story. It’s just something… I could never forget.” *shrug* “So… Who wants to share next?”

Laguna: “Hey hey! I’ll give it a whirl!”

Squall: *hand to his head* “Oh god no.”

Laguna: “I’ll tell you about when I was in the army! It seems so long ago, but I must have been around your age, son!” *puts an arm around squall*

Squall: “I hate you.”

(we see laguna in the woods, holding a map upside down. kiros stands there, looking annoyed. ward’s just standing there)

Ward: “Are we lost?”

Laguna: “–This was back when Ward could talk for himself!”

Squall: “No sh*t.”

Kiros: “We’re always lost.”

Laguna: “We’re not lost! I’ve been following this trail!” *points to it*

Kiros: “You drew that on yourself, you idiot, remember?”

Laguna: “Hey hey! I had to use my new crayons on something!”

Kiros: “You’re an idiot.”

Ward: “Leave him alone.”

Kiros: “He got us lost!”

Ward: “…So he’s a little dumb.”

Laguna: “Where did I put those crayons…?”

Kiros: “Laguna, we’re going to get in big trouble for patrolling the wrong area.”

Laguna: *turning the map around* “Whoa that’s a long walk!”

Ward: *hits himself in the head* “Why is he ranked ahead of us?”

Kiros: “Why does he say ‘hey hey’ before like every damn sentence?”

Laguna: “Hey hey! Let’s get moving! Besides, I think I dropped my crayons!”

Laguna: “The end.” *grins*

Squall: “You’re a dumbass.”

Zell: “Where were you supposed to be?”

Laguna: “I have no idea! But if you’re wondering, I found the crayons.”

Squall: “Have you *ever* matured past five?”

Laguna: “Now, now, son! Be nice to your old dad!” *puts an arm around squall*

Squall: *shudders*

Laguna: “So! Who wants to go next?”

Squall: *frowns*

Zell: *thinks*

Seifer: *picks lint off his coat*

Rufus: *looks away*

Sephiroth: *looks away*

Vincent: “I will go.”

Sephiroth: *shoots him a look* “What are you going to tell them?”

Vincent: “Relax yourself, my angel. This does not concern you.” *clears throat* “As anyone here who is a Turk knows, to be a Turk you must kill someone, or else cause a large amount of destruction. I killed a man. I killed a man for revenge, just as many of my comrades have done. I never regretted it. The man who I killed owned my twin brother, Van, and myself.”

Zell: *gapes* “You were a *slave*?”

Vincent: *nods slowly* “It was a terrible existence. My parents had been killed, and we had this forced upon us. This man had us do many things… Things we were unwilling to do. Van was his favorite. But there was nothing Van hated more than acting as his sex toy. So one day he fought back…and was killed. My brother was all I had left. I was angry. So I seized one of the guns off his collection wall and shot him. While they were holding me in jail Shinra found me, and took me away. I missed my brother terribly, but I was free….for awhile.”

Everyone: “……………………”

Seifer: *breathes* “Holy crap.”

Vincent: *shrugs* “What has happened, has happened. It is one sin I do not regret. Who would like to go next?”

Zell: “I don’t wanna follow that!”

Vincent: “I think perhaps, something light hearted would be appropriate.”

Seifer: “Uh… okay, well, I got this one, about at the orphanage…”

(we see a mini version of zell running through the room like a maniac)

Zell: “I’m a bird!!!!!!! Wheeeee!!!!!!!!!!! Lookie at me!!!!!”

(rams right into seifer)

Seifer: “Hey! Get the hell off me, chicken wuss!”

Zell: *flips out* “That’s not what happened!”

Zell: *running through* “I’m a bird!!!!!! Whoo hooo!!!!!!!!! Look at me!!!!!!!”

(runs into seifer, who falls to his butt and starts to crying)

Seifer: “Ow!!!! That hurt! Watch where you’re going, stupid!”

Zell: “You’re stupid!”

Seifer: “You’re stupid!”

Zell: “I said you’re stupid first!”

Seifer: “Nuh uh!”

(a mini squall walks in)

Squall: *blinks*

Zell: “Squall! Seifer’s being mean! Make him stop!”

Squall: “Don’t worry, Zell. He’s a big stupid jerk anyway. No one likes him as it is.”

Squall: “Uh… I didn’t say that.”

Seifer: “Damn straight he didn’t!”

Squall: “I said:”

Squall: “Whatever.”

Rufus: “Makes sense.”

Zell: “C’mon, Squall! Aren’t ya gonna stick up for me?”

Seifer: “No. He hates you.” *sticks out tongue*

Zell: “Nuh uh! He hates you!”

Seifer: “Nuh uh!”

Zell: “Uh huh! Right, Squall?”

Squall: “Whatever.”

Zell: “That brings back memories.”

Seifer: “I did *not* start to cry.”

Zell: “You did too!”

Seifer: “Nuh uh!”

Zell: “Uh huh!”

Seifer: “Nuh uh!”

Zell: “Uh huh!”

Sephiroth: *mumbles* “I could see it bringing back *recent* memories.”

Squall: “Whatever. Someone else has to go.”

(rufus and sephiroth look at each other)

Sephiroth: “You go.”

Rufus: “………I don’t want to.”

Sephiroth: *firmly* “Too bad.”

Reno: “Come on, Rufus. Everyone else did.”

Rufus: *sighs* “Fine. When I was a kid my father sent me to boarding school because he hated me. And he never came to visit, but I kept waiting…”

(we see a little rufus sitting on the steps to a large building, looking glum.)

Rufus: *mumbles to himself* “He said he would be here at noon, but it’s nearly one…”

Rufus: “One day my dad said he was going to come see me at noon. He promised he wouldn’t be late. So I sat there, waiting, watching everyone around me running with their friends. This was the fifth time that month he said he was going to come. The other four times he cancelled on me, but there I sat anyway, waiting.”

(we see rufus again. the sun is much lower in the sky)

Rufus: *sigh*

Rufus: “I waited and waited until the sun went down for that bastard to come, but he never did. He didn’t even call, not for a few days. And when he did, he acted like nothing had ever happened and promised to come visit me in a week. Yeah, I waited on the steps that day too, but he never came.” *shrugs* “But I kept waiting anyway, even though I knew he wouldn’t come.” *sigh* “I don’t even know why.”

Reno: “…Wow, man. I’m sorry.”

Rufus: “Don’t feel sorry for me. Go Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: “……………..”

Irvine: “Come on, Sephiroth. You’re the only one left.”

Sephiroth: *shakes his head*

Vincent: “Angel, that’s not fair. Everyone else went.”

Sephiroth: “Well life’s not fair, Vincent. I think we all know that. What should I tell them about? About how I thought my parents abandoned me because they didn’t want me? About how Hojo didn’t even treat me as a human being? About how he used to nearly kill me with his experiments? About how I was a freak in school because I was so much smarter and stronger than everyone else? Or how about how Hojo ripped you from my arms to take you off and torture you because of what we did together? Should I tell them about that, Vincent?”

Vincent: “What has gotten into you, angel?”

(he goes to put a hand on sephiroth’s arm, but he moves away)

Sephiroth: “Don’t touch me. I’m going to talk to Lark.”

(he gets up and storms out, leaving the others alone)

Irvine: “….What the hell?”

Rude: “Hm.”

Tseng: *softly* “I don’t think this has to do with Hojo and Lucretia anymore.”

Vincent: *eyes dead set on the door* “No. I don’t think it does.”

To Be Continued…

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