#97 – Tseng Gets Fired

Rufus: *sweat drops* “Uh…hey, I…uh…had nothing to do with what happened to him. And now I gotta go.” *runs out*

Originally Published: 7/29/01 . 18 pages

Synopsis
After Rufus’ stupid order almost leads to Reeve losing his life, Tseng takes his revenge. Is Tseng really fired for good this time?

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

I think I used to like this ramble better than I do now. Still, it’s always nice to see Rufus have some compassion.

(we begin at shrina, where rufus seems pretty happy seated at his desk. mr. jingles sits in the corner, and rufus pats him on the head with a smile after straightening some papers. he then pops a candy in his mouth and leans back in his chair happily, with his hands behind his head. reeve then comes in, looking very tired and a little rumpled. he carries a package labelled ‘rush’ and ‘very important’. rufus gives him a casual look as he enters)

Rufus: “What truck ran you over?”

Reeve: “The furnace on the 24th floor had a problem, so they sent me to fix it, and then the water heater–“

Rufus: “Okay, if it doesn’t involve a truck. I don’t care.” *stares at the package* “What’s that?”

Reeve: “Oh yeah. This came for you.”

Rufus: *gasp* “Oh!! Is that what I think it is?”

(he grabs for the package excitedly and rips it open. once it’s open he pauses and gazes at it lovingly)

Rufus: “Finally… It’s here…” *he lifts it out of the box and holds it up* “My frisbee!”

Reeve: *blink*

Rufus: “This frisbee is supposed to fly twice as far as any other frisbee! Let’s test it, Reeve!!”

(he runs out in the hallway and reeve follows with a sad sigh. he stands at one end of the hallway. reeve stands in the doorway and watches as rufus reaches back and lets the frisbee fly down the hallway to the other end)

Rufus: “Whoo hoo! Look at it go!!”

(he rushes after it. reeve sighs and follows him to the end of the hall where rufus now stands in horror looking up at a cubby hole that reads ‘high electrical current. keep out!’)

Rufus: *points to it* “He went in there.” *turns to reeve* “Go get it.”

Reeve: “Are you kidding?”

Rufus: “No… Go get it, Reeve.”

Reeve: “Rufus, it’s dangerous in there! I might get hurt!”

Rufus: “No you won’t! Now go, Reeve! I’m your boss, and I say so!”

(reeve swallows uneasily. but takes a deep breath and goes for it. rufus watches eagerly)

Rufus: “See! That’s it! I told you it wasn’t dangerous, Reeve! No prob–“

(there is the sound of something getting electrocuted, followed by a scream and then a dull thud)

Rufus: *frowns* “Reeve? Did you find the frisbee?”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(later we’re at the hospital. tseng sits in the waiting room, hands between his knees, shoulders slumped as his rocks back and forth a bit. then he takes a deep shaky breath and rubs his hands together nervously. that’s when doctor zack comes over to him)

Doctor Zack: “You’re here to see Reeve Leander?”

Tseng: *jumps to his feet* “Yes! Oh god, how is he?”

Doctor Zack: “He’s sleeping now, but it was pretty close for awhile. We thought we were going to lose him for a minute.”

Tseng: *grabs his chest* “Oh god… Oh god…”

Doctor Zack: “But he’ll recover now. It will just take awhile.”

Tseng: “Oh god…” *puts a hand to his head* “Well, what… What happened?”

Doctor Zack: “Apparently he was sent to fetch a frisbee and was electrocuted.”

Tseng: “A *frisbee??? Oh god…” *runs a hand through his hair* “Well, can I see him?”

Doctor Zack: “Yeah, it would be good for him to hear someone talking to him.”

(and so he leads tseng into the hospital room where reeve lays unconscious, hooked up to a bunch of machines. he’s very pale and ashen looking. upon seeing him, tseng gets choked up and puts a hand over his mouth)

Doctor Zack: *backing out* “I’ll leave you alone.”

(he leaves the room and tseng just stands there for a moment, looking at him and trying not too cry. finally he breaks down crying as he rushes to reeve’s side and grabs his hand, squeezing it)

Tseng: “Oh, Reeve! Oh god! Oh my god… Thank god you’re okay!! I don’t know what I’d do if you…”

(he breaks down crying into reeve’s hand. he’s completely hysterical when rufus enters, looking frantic as he shoves the door open.)

Rufus: “OMG!!! Is he okay????”

(but he runs right past reeve and to the next bed. pulling the curtain across to revealing the half melted frisbee lying there. rufus looks at it and falls to his knees, sobbing and pounding the mattress with his fist)

Rufus: “No!!! Frisy! I barely had a chance to even use you!! After all that waiting!! Dammit!! It’s just not fair!”

(tseng looks up, tears streaked on his face. he stares at rufus in amazement. angry amazement. finally rufus gets up, wiping at his eyes)

Rufus: “Well… It could have been worse. It could have gotten melted to Reeve’s hand.” *turns around* “Oh, yeah, he’s okay, right? Can he hear me?” *walks over and yells in his ear* “Hey, Reeve!! You killed my new frisbee!! You’re fired for an hour! And you owe me a new one!” *checks watch* “Wow, look at the time! Mr. Jingles has a Teddy Bear Collectors meeting in five minutes! And he still has to pick out a hat to wear! Look, do me a favor, Tseng, and make sure Frisy gets a nice burial. In a Gucci shoebox or something. None of that Payless crap.”

(he goes to leave the room, but tseng gets up and stands in his way, arms across his chest, and it’s pretty obvious he’s *very* pissed off)

Tseng: “…Do you have any kind of heart at *all*?”

Rufus: “…Um…yeah…”

Tseng: “Reeve almost *died*.”

Rufus: “Yeah. *Almost*. So?”

(tseng starts to advance, and rufus backs up, looking nervous)

Tseng: “Reeve almost *died*, and you come to see your *frisbee*.”

Rufus: “That frisbee was expensive!”

(tseng grabs him by the collar and holds him against the wall, seething in anger)

Rufus: *goes to speak*

Tseng: *snaps* “He almost DIED!!! And it was *your* fault!!! How could you do that and not even *care*??? Do you realize how much he means to me? Do you know what I would do if he died?”

Rufus: *mutters* “Yeah, like I’m that lucky.”

Tseng: *slams him up against the wall again* “Shut up! I don’t know how you can call yourself a human being! And I won’t forget this.”

Rufus: *whimpers* “Can you put me down now?”

(tseng releases him and walks away, still angry)

Rufus: *brushes himself off* “Don’t forget to show up for work tomorrow. And Reeve can have tomorrow off, but he had better be in the day after. And don’t forget about the frisbee.” *walks out*

Tseng: *clenches fists* “Argh!!! That…that…pompous bastard!” *he goes over to reeve and kisses him on the forehead before sitting besides him* “Reeve… I love you so much. I won’t let him get away with this.” *takes his hand and kisses it*

 

 

(meanwhile, back in the ramble room…zidane is walking in with squall)

Zidane: “You know, I keep asking everyone about how the vacation went, and all I get is a lot of nasty looks!”

Squall: “Whatever.”

Zidane: “Do you know what happened?”

Squall: *sigh* “Yeah… Zell told me. He said that almost everyone is fighting with everyone else. Oh, and Lark is going out with Vincent now.”

Zidane: “Vincent? That makes no sense!”

Squall: *shrugs* “Whatever.”

(irvine wanders in, shoulders slumped)

Zidane: “Hey, man. What’s up?”

Irvine: “Nothin’.” *sigh*

Squall: “Whatever. Even I don’t buy that.”

Irvine: “Look. The best thing to do is not to ask.” *he goes over and flops on the couch*

Zidane: “Uh…okay.”

Squall: “Is everyone this depressed?”

Zidane: “I hope not.”

Squall: “Whatever.”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(the next morning, rufus is asleep, cuddled around a pillow and muttering things. tseng sneaks in, a razor in hand… and…. well… a few hours later, rufus wakes up, and tseng is long gone…)

Rufus: *yawns and stretches* “Ah, another beautiful money making day!!”

(he grabs a brush over his bedside table, pats mr jingles on the head and goes over to the mirror where he promptly drops the brush and screams, because he’s almost completely bald!!!! as he inspects himself worriedly and frantically, he discovers the word ‘tseng’ shaved into the back of his head)

Rufus: “WHAT THE F***K!?!?!?! THAT JACKASS!!!! Just because I almost killed that what’s his name guy!” *chin trembles* “Look at me! I look like Rude!!!” *starts sobbing*

(and he cries for some time. when he’s finished, he wipes his eyes and grits his teeth)

Rufus: *declares* “This is it!! The last straw!” *he stomps out*

 

………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

(meanwhile, back at the hospital, reeve is still out. tseng is still sitting by his side, holding his hand. then rufus bursts in, looking furious)

Rufus: “TSENG! You did this to me, didn’t you?”

Tseng: “No, Rufus, someone else shaved my name in the back of your head! Of COURSE I did it! And you deserved it too!”

Rufus: “You twisted freak!! Look how horrible I look without my hair! Now I’ll never win the Best Looking Corporation President contest! How could you do this to me!?”

Tseng: “How could you do this to me?!” *gestures to reeve* “His life is worth a lot more then your f***ing hair.”

Rufus: “This is it! The last straw! I don’t want to see you ever again in my LIFE! You’re FIRED! For good!”

Tseng: “Great! It’s a dream come true, because I never want to see *you* again either, you heartless bastard! Now get the hell out of here!”

Rufus: “Gladly!” *and he does*

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(meanwhile, back at the ramble room, all the ramble girls are seated around the table. Lizzie is dealing out cards)

Ashley: “MEN SUCK!”

Shell: “Damn straight! I mean, I thought Rude was different, but he’s not! He stinks just as much as the rest.”

Noelle: “I told you men stink.”

Lark: “My man doesn’t.”

Katie: “Lark, Vincent’s like 60.”

Lark: “He’s not!” *shifty eyes* “He’s twenty-seven.”

Ashley: *snort*

Lark: “Okay, so maybe he’s a little older, but that doesn’t mean anything. Besides, he looks young.”

Katie: “He’s even older then Laguna.”

Lizzie: “Hey! There’s nothing wrong with older men.”

Ashley: “There’s something wrong with men *period*. I’m through with Seifer. I’m going to find someone new.”

Shell: “I’ll find someone who’ll *never* complain when I make him do things!”

Katie: “Good luck with that.” *says casually* “So…now that Sephiroth’s free… You think he’s ready to date again?”

Lark: *picking a card from the pile* “Stay away from him.”

Katie: *blink*

Lark: “Seriously.” *meets her eyes* “He’s a freak.”

Ashley: *mutters* “Aren’t they all.”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(back at the hospital…tseng is kind of dozing when he feels reeve’s hand start to move, and his eyes pop open just in time to see reeve open his)

Reeve: “Ugh… I feel terrible.”

Tseng: “Reeve! You’re awake!!”

Reeve: “Tseng… Honey, what happened? I remember…trying to get to Rufus’ frisbee…and the next thing I knew…”

Tseng: “You were electrocuted.”

Reeve: “…I….was?”

Tseng: “Thanks to *Rufus*. And it was so close too.” *brushes his hair back* “Oh, my love, I almost lost you… I don’t know what I would have done.”

Reeve: “It’s okay. I’m here. I’m not leaving you.” *takes his hand and kisses it*

Tseng: “I don’t want you to work for him anymore.”

Reeve: “I don’t have a choice.”

Tseng: “Of course you do!” *pause* “I got fired.”

Reeve: “Oh yeah? For what? A hour or two?”

Tseng: “No. For good.”

Reeve: *blinks* “…Really?”

Tseng: “Rufus got pretty mad after I shaved his head except for my name in the back.”

Reeve: “You did *what*??”

Tseng: “It was his fault you almost died! And he didn’t even care, Reeve! Someone had to teach that bastard a lesson! So he fired me, and I couldn’t be happier. Especially since you’re going to be okay.” *kisses his hand*

Reeve: *sigh* “I don’t know what to think anymore. Everything just seems to get more and more screwed up.” *pause* “I love you.”

Tseng: “Love you too.”

 

………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

(meanwhile, to the comic relief, the losers are crowded around a table, stinky included, kuja excluded, all taking envelopes, shoving papers in, and licking them shut and placing them in a large pile. none of them look too thrilled about it. kuja’s relaxing on the couch, flipping through ‘Cosmo’)

Scarlet: “This sucks, Nida! I’m going to kill you!”

Nida: “Headmaster Cid needed these Garden Messages mailed out, and I volunteered! Now he’ll love me even more!”

Scarlet: “Well, we sure don’t.”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! These envelopes taste like crap!”

Stinky: *snort*

Nida: “Can you not have that skunk help? Who knows what diseases it’s carrying!”

Stinky: *snort*

Heidegger: “Stinky’s cleaner then Scarlet! Gya haa haa!”

Scarlet: “Hey! Shove it, jerk!”

Heidegger: “Plus he makes up for Kuja! Gya haa haa!”

Nida: “Yeah… Why isn’t he helping again?”

Hojo: “Kuja’s tongue is better suited for other purposes.”

Nida: *shudders* “I’m sorry I asked.”

Scarlet: “This blows! Come on, Hojo! Don’t you have any creature that can take over for me?”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! The licky licky monster!”

Hojo: “For the last time: that creature does not lick!!”

 

………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

(okay, that’s all you get. anyway, back to the ramble room…you could drop a pin and you would hear it. reno, rude, elena, irvine, sephiroth, zell, seifer and squall are all in there, sitting around and looking angry…except for elena, who just kind of looks worried, and squall, who just…looks like squall)

Zell: “Squall, can you please ask dumbass to pass me that bag of chips?”

Squall: “…Whatever… Who’s dumbass?”

Seifer: “Squall, tell *jackass* that he’s not getting the damn chips unless he gets off his ugly butt and gets them himself.”

Squall: “Uh…I think he heard you.”

Zell: “Squall, tell *dumbass* that he has an uglier butt then I have!”

Seifer: “Squall, tell Zell he wishes he knew what my butt looked like.”

Zell: *glares at seifer* “Squall, tell Seifer he’s a dumb jerk!”

Seifer: *glares back* “Squall, tell *Zell* he’s *more* of a dumb jerk!”

Squall: *looks at zell and then looks at seifer* “…Both of you shut up.”

Elena: “So…uh…Reno…have you and Irvine done anything cool lately?”

Reno: “Irvine *who*?” *glares at irvine*

Irvine: *glares back*

Elena: “Uh… This is all very awkward.”

Rude: “Hm.”

Sephiroth: “My life sucks.”

(then who comes in, but rufus and tseng, who are arguing and yelling at one another once again!)

Rufus: “Ew! Don’t touch me, you freak!”

Tseng: “You pushed *me* you jackass!”

Rufus: “I thought I said I never wanted to see you again!”

Tseng: “I thought I said the same!”

Rufus: “Fine! I have the perfect idea!”

(he takes a piece of chalk and divides a line down the center of the ramble room, leaving everyone on the couch and table on one side, and basically the mirror on the other. rufus is standing on the mirror side)

Rufus: “You and all your *loser* friends can stay on *that* side, and *this* side will be for all the *cool* people.”

Irvine: “What the hell happened to your head, Rufus?”

Rufus: “NOTHING!” *glares at tseng* “Well?”

Tseng: “Fine.” *crosses arms*

(rufus and tseng continue to glare at each other. everyone stays put, and this makes rufus uneasy)

Rufus: “Uh…whoever likes me better, which is *everyone*, can come over to my side.”

(no one moves)

Rufus: *snaps* “Turks! Get your asses over here!”

Reno: “Uh…we like Tseng better.”

Elena: “Yeah! And Turks stick together!”

Rufus: “Get over here or you’re fired like him!”

Elena: “What?!”

Rufus: “I fired him! He’s not your boss anymore. Rude is.”

Reno: “Rude?? But he’ll make everything boring!”

Rude: “Hey, man. Watch it.”

Reno: “Sorry, man.”

Elena: “No!! You can’t fire Tseng! That’s—evil!”

Tseng: “Well that’s what he is.”

(elena gets up and goes to stand next to tseng, also glaring at rufus)

Elena: “Rehire him right now!”

Rufus: “Don’t try to boss *me* around! I’ll fire you too!”

Elena: “You can’t fire me!” *pause* “I quit!”

Everyone: *gasp*

Tseng: *shocked* “Elena…”

Reno: *jumps up* “Me too!”

Rude: *shrugs* “Yeah.”

Rufus: “No! You can’t quit! I–” *stops and glares at them all* “Fine! Quit! I don’t need you rejects! I can run Shinra with just me, and Heidegger and Scarlet…and…uh…Hojo…and…ugh…Palmer…ew, and Reeve! Yeah! Reeve! He’ll be fine once he gets out of the hospital.”

Everyone: “What?!?!”

Rufus: *sweat drops* “Uh…hey, I…uh…had nothing to do with what happened to him. And now I gotta go.” *runs out*

Sephiroth: “….Well that was the biggest collection of crap ever.”

Tseng: “Thanks you guys.”

Reno: “No problem, man.”

Elena: “Yeah! Turks stick together!” *pause* “Oh…well, I guess we’re not really Turks anymore.”

Rude: *sigh* “I need to win Shell back…”

Reno: “Well let’s get out of here and discuss it so I don’t have to see Irvine’s ugly horse face anymore.”

Irvine: “Hey!!”

(reno and rude leave)

Irvine: “I’ve had it! If he wants to be a stupid jerk, FINE!” *pause* “Come on, Zell. You and I can go out and have a good time!” *stomps out*

Zell: *following eagerly* “Can we go to the comic book store?”

Seifer: “Look how stupid stupid ass is! Come on, Squall! You may be a jerk, but even you don’t deserve having that *thing* as a best friend.” *grabs squall and starts to drag him out*

Squall: “….Whatever.”

Sephiroth: “So–what did the king of all that is evil do to Reeve?”

(tseng sighs and then quickly explains what happened to a deadpan seph and a shocked elena)

Elena: “That’s–terrible!”

Sephiroth: “No sh*t. Your revenge was good, but you just should have killed him.”

Tseng: “Uh…that’s not really my style.”

Sephiroth: *shrugs* “Works for me.” *walks out*

Tseng and Elena: *blink*

Elena: “…He just gets weirder and weirder.” *sigh* “So are you going back to see Reeve soon?”

Tseng: “Yeah, I just came back here let everyone else know what happened…”

(elena steps forward and pulls tseng into a tight hug which he gladly accepts)

Elena: “Tell Reeve I hope he feels better soon.”

Tseng: *sigh* “Elena…”

Elena: *meekly* “Yes, Tseng?”

Tseng: “….Thank you.”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(and so, tseng returns to the hospital with one of those get well soon teddy bears. he’s about to go into reeve’s room, when he hears talking from the inside. he stops and listens for a minute…)

?????: “….I… I don’t really know what to say. I wish you could hear me, but I don’t really want to wake you up.” *sigh* “It’s even hard now, even though you can’t hear me…” *sighs again* “Look, I’m sorry, okay? Really. I didn’t want anything bad to happen to you. And if you died or anything, I would feel so terrible, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. And I don’t know what I would say to Tseng either. Because I know…I know he loves you. …And maybe I am kind of jealous.” *rushes* “Not that I want him or you or anything, or *any* guy for that matter, it’s just…you’re so close and…I…don’t have anything.” *laughs weakly* “I don’t even really have any friends. I guess that’s what happens when you put your money first.” *sighs* “But Reeve, I just want you to know I’m really truly sorry. And I deserve what I got, I guess. I’m not happy about it, but…hair grows back. You… You’re really important to me. And I know that once I was your friend, and…I really hope that I can still be your friend. Even if I am a jerk sometimes. Hell, it’s not like Tseng’s never a jerk, and you stick with him anyway.” *sigh* “…I wish Tseng didn’t hate me so much. But there’s nothing I can do about that now, is there? …I mean…I guess I do…kinda love him, and you–in a *non-gay way*. …Just thought I should stress that. I don’t know. Look, I’m sorry. Very, very, sorry, and someday I’ll make it up to you somehow, okay? ….I just…needed to get that off my chest. Bye, Reeve.”

Tseng: *mouths in shock* “Rufus?”

(and he peers in the room quickly to catch rufus patting reeve’s hand before he goes to make his exit. tseng runs away around the corner quickly and then watches as rufus leaves and turns the other way to leave the hallway. tseng just stands there for a moment, his brow furrowed, thinking. he looks very serious. after several moments, he goes into reeve’s room himself, and goes over to his side, leaning over to kiss him on the forehead. reeve stirs, and his eyes open slowly.)

Reeve: *smiles* “Hey, there, beautiful. You haven’t left me yet for someone healthier?”

Tseng: “Don’t be stupid.” *pulls a chair up to the side of the bed and sits* “How do you feel?”

Reeve: “A lot better.” *pause* “…How long have you been back?”

Tseng: “Only a minute, why?”

Reeve: “…I could have sworn Rufus was here…*apologizing* to me.” *shakes his head* “I guess it was just a dream.”

Tseng: *looks away* “………….”

Reeve: “Tseng? You okay?”

Tseng: “…No.”

Reeve: *brow furrows* “What’s the matter?”

Tseng: “That was no dream.”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(meanwhile, lark and vincent are in her room, sitting on her bed. lark has her head in his lap, looking up at him)

Lark: “–And so it doesn’t look like anyone is trying to make any effort to apologize to *anyone* about what happened! It’s horrible! I don’t know what to do!”

Vincent: *sigh* “And I’m afraid the situation between us and Sephiroth seems hopeless.”

Lark: *shuts her eyes* “Right now, that name just makes me sick.”

Vincent: “…I just makes me sad.”

Lark: “It’s best just to forget it.”

Vincent: “Easier said then done.”

Lark: *long pause* “………………………………………No kidding.”

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(meanwhile, back at shinra headquarters, rufus sits at his desk, grumbling angrily as he goes through papers. he seems very angry, mostly at himself. there’s a knock at the door, and he slams down some papers)

Rufus: “Come in!!”

(the door opens, and tseng enters, a bag in hand. rufus stares at him blankly)

Tseng: “I heard what you said to Reeve.”

Rufus: *stands up quickly his color draining* “No.”

Tseng: *nods* “Every word.” *takes a few steps forward* “And I know you meant it.”

Rufus: *looks down*

Tseng: “Thank you.”

Rufus: *looks up again* “What?”

Tseng: *takes another two steps forward* “Thanks for being a human being for a change.”

(he smiles a little as he puts the bag on the table)

Tseng: “And I’m sorry too. Very. For what I did. Revenge really doesn’t solve anything. I was just so mad.”

Rufus: “Understandable.” *looks away* “Look, I told the hospital to send me the bills…since…you know.”

Tseng: “Thank you.”

Rufus: *shrugs*

Tseng: “…. ….. ….Rufus, for what it’s worth, I don’t really hate you.”

Rufus: *looks up*

Tseng: “Deep down, I know you’re a decent person. I don’t know why you can’t be that part of you more often.”

Rufus: *looks away*

Tseng: “Look, if you still don’t want me to take my job back–“

Rufus: “You’re rehired.”

Tseng: “What?”

Rufus: “…Please come back. And ask the other Turks to come back too.”

Tseng: “….I will.” *pause* “Sir.” *backs up a step* “I’ll see you later then. Thank you. And again, I’m sorry.”

(tseng turns to leave, and just as he gets out of sight, rufus looks up and calls)

Rufus: “I’m sorry more!!”

(but tseng’s gone. with a sigh, rufus plops back into his chair and reaches into the bag. to his shock, he pulls out a wig that looks exactly like his old hair. there’s also a note that reads: i can’t expect you to go around like that. and you know, i would freak out too if someone cut my hair off! ~tseng. rufus looks back at the wig, then back at the note, a smile slowly spreading across his face.)

 

THE END

but still…to be continued…

 Will the pain ever end?

Will these silly fueds ever be put to rest?

Find out in the next series of rambles, which will reveal all the drama as we go:

Behind the Music.

 

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