#98 – Behind the Music: Part One

Lark: “Don’t you think perfection is expecting a little too much of us?”

Originally Published: 8/??/01 . 16 pages

Synopsis
Rufus thinks it would be a great idea to start a boy band, so he gets Tseng, Sephiroth, Irvine and Zell to join him. Then Lizzie starts a group with the ramble girls! Will they all be singing a happy tune as they embark on their music careers?

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

This series got it’s title based on the VH1 show of the same title. I had been planning this whole music series months ahead of time, and this was where all the over the top drama from the previous rambles had been heading. Of course the whole girl/boy band craze was still going strong at the time. Now I find it hilarious that pretty much none of the bands cited in this ramble exist anymore – at least not in their original form. (I’m looking at you, Kevin-less Backstreet Boys.) In fact, I had forgotten some of them existed. Probably because I never listened to them at all. At least I used a pretty timeless song that I still enjoy at the beginning. Can’t say the same for a song mentioned later in the ramble – “The Hardest Thing” by 98 Degrees. I don’t remember that song at all. And I’m fine with that. I’m also scratching my head wondering why I don’t have the exact date this ramble went up.

(in the ramble room we have irvine sitting on the couch, strumming an acoustic guitar idly. he looks pretty serious. lark wanders in as if she’s been looking for something, but as soon as she sees irvine she stops, her initial task forgotten)

Lark: “Hey.”

Irvine: *doesn’t look up* “Hey.”

Lark: “I haven’t seen you with that in awhile.” *pauses as she takes two steps towards him* “I thought you told me you weren’t very good.”

Irvine: “I wasn’t.” *looks up at her* “I’ve been practicing a lot lately, you know, since…” *shrugs* “I have nothing else to do.”

Lark: “Oh.” *pauses and then sits* “Will you play something for me?”

(irvine shrugs and takes his pick and starts to play. lark recognizes the song immediately as ‘In Your Eyes’, as she idly starts to sing along, tapping her foot along with the music.)

Lark: “Love… I get so lost, sometimes…days pass and this emptiness fills my heart…when I want to run away…I drive off in my car…but whichever way I go…I come back to the place you are…all my instincts, they return, and the grand facade, so soon will burn…without a noise, without my pride, I reach out from the inside…in your eyes…the light the heat…in your eyes, I am complete…in your eyes…I see the doorway to a thousand churches, in your eyes, the resolution of all the fruitless searches…in your eyes…I see the light and the heat…in your eyes…oh, I want to be that complete, I want to touch the light the heat I see in your eyes…love, I don’t like to see so much pain, so much wasted and this moment keeps slipping away…

I get so tired of working so hard for out survival…I look to the time with you to keep me awake and alive…and all my instincts, they return…and the grand facade, so soon will burn…without a noise, without my pride,

I reach out from the inside.”

(at this point, rufus enters and watches silently, listening)

Lark: “In your eyes…the light the heat…in your eyes…I am complete

in your eyes, I see the doorway to a thousand churches…in your eyes

the resolution of all the fruitless searches…in your eyes…I see the light and the heat…in your eyes, oh, I want to be that complete, I want to touch the light, the heat I see in your eyes…in your eyes in your eyes…in your eyes in your eyes…in your eyes in your eyes.”

(when the song is over, rufus just kind of stares a moment, and lark smiles at irvine. neither she nor irvine has seen rufus)

Rufus: “Wow.”

(lark and irvine are both a little startled, and they look over quickly)

Lark: “Oh! Rufus. Hi.”

Rufus: “I didn’t know you could play, Irvine.”

Irvine: *shrugs* “A little.”

Rufus: “You sounded really good, Lark.”

Lark: “Thanks.” *laughs* “Maybe I should go join one of those girl bands.”

(she gets up and pats rufus on the shoulder before she leaves. rufus is standing there, immersed in thought suddenly. irvine looks at him strangely)

Rufus: “…What an interesting idea…”

Irvine: “Uh oh.”

Rufus: “I never really thought about it for long before, but these pop groups are big business!”

(he goes over to a cd rack and looks it over)

Rufus: “Look at all these bands! Dream! Eden’s Crush! Spice Girls! B’witched! S Club 7! Backstreet Boys! N*sync! O-Town! BB Mack! 98 Degrees! What do they all have in common?”

Irvine: “They don’t play their own instruments?”

Rufus: “Besides that! They have huge fan bases! You know, people who buy their albums!” *rubs chin thoughtfully*

Irvine: “Yeah… Well, that’s the point of being in the music business. To make records, promote them, and go on tour and stuff.”

Rufus: *mumbles* “….Isn’t there some kind of formula….??”

Irvine: “…Rufus what are you talking about?”

Rufus: *mumbles* “…I’m already one good looking guy, I would only need about four more….”

Irvine: *sweat drops*

(rufus goes over to irvine and studies him a bit. irvine looks increasingly nervous)

Rufus: “Yes, it would be perfect.”

Irvine: “…What would? …Dare I ask…”

Rufus: “You would. For the boy band I’m starting.”

Irvine: “Where did this come from!?!?”

Rufus: “We’ll make tons of money! It’ll be great! I’ll be more rich and famous then ever before!”

Irvine: “But Rufus, we don’t have any songs. And where the hell are we going to perform?? FF7 land? You’re hated!”

Rufus: “Those are minor details! In the meantime, let’s have tryouts!”

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(several hours later–yes, rufus works fast–there’s a line outside the ramble room that several of the guys are waiting on, including zell, and sephiroth. lark walks by with vincent, eyeing the line strangely)

Lark: “…What’s going on here?”

Vincent: “I do not know.”

Lark: “Hey, Zell. What are you waiting for??”

Zell: “Oh, hey, Lark! Rufus is havin’ auditions for his boy band!”

Lark: “Boy band?”

Zell: “Yeah! Here’s the flyer!”

Lark: “Flyer?” *she grabs and reads it aloud* “Tryouts for the hot new boy band Supa Ego?!? Anyone hot and male with vocal talent is invited to come and try out!! We’ll steal songs from the real world and rip them off as our own as we take over the music charts of the FF8 universe! Step aside “Eyes On Me”!!” *looks up in shock* “Oh my god.”

Zell: “Isn’t it cool? I hope I make it!”

Vincent: “Sephiroth? What are you doing here?”

Sephiroth: “……..” *turns away*

Vincent: “…Don’t you think you are a bit too old for this sort of thing?”

Sephiroth: *snaps* “At least I’m not so old that I was already buried for twenty years before some blonde twit came and dug me out!”

Vincent: *eyes narrow* “How *dare* you say that to me!”

Lark: “Okay, don’t start. Come on, Vincent.”

(she glares at sephiroth while she takes vincent’s hand and they leave. just as they do, the door opens, and we see rufus forcing reno out the door)

Rufus: “For the last time NO! You can’t sing AT ALL and you’re barely even good looking! Plus you’re half drunk all the time and you don’t get along with Irvine. I’m not even considering you.”

Reno: “You jerk! Like I want to be in your dumbass band anyway!” *glares and goes off looking surly*

Rufus: “We don’t need those types in Supa Ego!” *looks at sephiroth and zell* “Okay, you two are next.”

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(meanwhile, a little while later, lark goes into the tv room where the ramble girls are sitting around, just talking)

Ashley: *snort* “Seifer said he’s going to try out for Rufus’ boy band. Like he’ll make it. He can’t do anything right.”

Shell: “Rude was turned away because he’s too ugly. Not to mention cheap!” *admires diamond ring*

Lizzie: “Boy bands. Yuck.”

Katie: “Hey! I like boy bands!”

Noelle: *shrugs* “Knowing Rufus, it’ll probably be good.”

Lark: “Hey guys.” *comes and sits*

Girls: “Hey, Lark.”

Ashley: “I assume you heard about Rufus’ new obsession?”

Lark: “Yeah.” *pause* “It’s an interesting idea.”

Noelle: “Huh?”

Lark: *shrugs* “I don’t know… I was just kind of thinking that if they can do it, we can too.”

Noelle: “…You want us to start a band?”

Katie: “Cool! I like that idea!”

Lizzie: “You’re crazy if you think *I’ll* be in any kind of sissy girl band.”

Shell: *shrugs* “You could always be our manager.”

Lizzie: *thinks a minute* “Hmm… I’d never want to be in one, but I’d love to make money off one.”

Lark: “That’s the spirit!”

Ashley: “A girl band, huh? You really serious?”

Lark: “Why not? We can be the female equivalent of Supa Ego, and we can travel around FF8 land singing songs by other people.”

Lizzie: “…Think of all the possibilities.” *eyes glitter*

Lark: “Are you guys in?”

Lizzie: “I am.”

Katie: “Me too!”

Shell: *shrug* “Why not.”

Noelle: “I’d like to be famous.”

Ashley: “Hell–who am I kidding? So would I.” *grin* “I’m in.”

Lark: “Great! …I guess what we need to start is a name…”

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

(back with rufus, he’s standing in front of irvine, zell, sephiroth and tseng…)

Rufus: “Well, it’s been a long, slow procession of losers, including Heidegger, but we’ll forget that, but the point is that *you* are the ones who have been chosen for the new group.” *turns to look at them* “You guys, and me, will make up Supa Ego.”

Zell: *fist in the air* “Awesome!”

Sephiroth: “Great.” *rolls eyes*

Rufus: “Now, you’ve been chosen because you can sing and women find you attractive. …And if men find you attractive, I guess that’s okay too. Now, in good boy band tradition, you’ve each been given one of the stereotypical roles. I, besides serving as the manager, am the young, blonde pretty boy. Irvine, you will serve as required second pretty boy. Zell, you’re the tough guy. Sephiroth, you’re the older brother. And Tseng, you’re the sensitive, cute one everyone thinks is gay but isn’t.”

Tseng: *blinks* “But Rufus, you know I’m–“

Rufus: *puts hands over his ears* “La la la! If I can’t hear you I can’t recognize it!”

Irvine: “So…uh…what now?”

Rufus: “Uh…rehearsals for the songs and dancing.” *pause* “Oh yeah, and by the way, tomorrow we’re going to a studio and getting a wardrobe fitting so pack your bags and say good-bye to anyone you might care about.”

Tseng: “What? Tomorrow? How long will we be gone?”

Rufus: “I don’t know… a few months?”

Tseng: “A few months? Forget it! I don’t want to do this anyway.”

Rufus: “Too bad. You’re perfect. Now go pack!”

Zell: “This is gonna rock! We’ll have fans and everything.”

Irvine: “Yeah… I guess…” *gulp*

Sephiroth: *mutters* “I can’t wait to get out of here.”

Tseng: “I don’t want to go. Can’t you take Seifer or something? He was practically crying when you rejected him.”

Rufus: “He was flat. Plus I don’t want him. He’s a sissy.”

Tseng: *sigh*

Rufus: “Come on! Think of all the money you’ll make! Reeve will be happy to be so rich!”

Tseng: “…I guess so.”

Rufus: “Oh, by the way, that ring you have, has to go.”

Tseng: “No way.”

Rufus: “Come on, Tseng! You have to pretend you’re single! No one wants these boy band guys to be *married*!”

Irvine: “Actually, two of the Backstreet Boys are married.”

Rufus: “And one ended up in rehab! That won’t happen to us!”

Zell: “…Poor A.J.”

Rufus: “No drugs, no drinking, no girls–or guys–and no getting depressed! All the other pitfalls that have affected previous groups, will not affect us! We’ll be perfect!”

Sephiroth: *snort* “Yeah. Right.”

 

…………………………………………………………………………………..

 

(later…)

Lark: “So, do we all agree on the name of the group?”

Noelle: “Yeah, it’s cool!”

Lizzie: “Okay, so Naughty Angels it is.”

Lark: “It’s a perfect contradiction.”

Ashley: “Yeah, we do get like angel names and stuff like the Spice Girls?”

Lizzie: “Hell no.”

Ashley: *disappointed* “Oh…”

Shell: “Um, I just thought I would say now that *I* get the big dressing room.”

Girls: *blink*

Katie: “Um, okay. No surprise there.”

Noelle: “What now?”

Girls: *look at Lizzie*

Lizzie: “Uh…we have to get costume fittings. And practice. And record an album. And go on tour.” *pause* “That means I have a million calls to make.”

(she runs out, and then the girls sit for a moment, thinking it over…)

Ashley: “Hey…that means we have to leave the ramble room.”

All: “Hooray!!!” *happily run out*

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

(meanwhile, reeve pitifully watches tseng pack)

Reeve: “…So where are you going?”

Tseng: “I have to go away for awhile with the band.”

Reeve: “How long will you be gone?”

Tseng: “I’m not sure.” *shuts suitcase and turns to him* “I’ll come back as soon as I can.”

Reeve: *nods sadly* “Well-uh-do you have everything? Do you want my fanny pack?”

Tseng: “No, honey. I’ll be fine.” *sigh* “You’ll be fine.”

Reeve: *nods*

(tseng lifts up reeve’s chin)

Tseng: “I love you. Okay?”

Reeve: *nods* “I know. Ditto.”

(they kiss quickly and then tseng leaves. reeve sits down with his head in his hands.)

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(meanwhile, irvine, a suitcase in hand, leaves his room and shuts the door firmly behind him. leaning against the wall is reno, a bottle of tequila in hand, and he looks pretty drunk and surly. he glares at irvine)

Reno: “Well look who it is.”

Irvine: *frowns* “I should say the same thing.”

Reno: “You’re not better then me, you know.”

Irvine: “Looking at you now certainly doesn’t make it seem that way.”

Reno: “F*** you. You’re a jerk. I hope your stupid band fails.”

Irvine: “Oh please. You’re just so jealous of me you can’t stand it. Face it Reno: I get more chicks, am more popular, and more talented then you’ll ever be.”

Reno: *glares more* “Oh yeah? Well let me just see you take the pressure.” *he turns and stumbles off*

 

………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

(meanwhile…the ramble girls are sitting around, planning things out when Lizzie enters, grinning)

Lizzie: “Yeah, you guys! Guess what? I got us our first gig!”

Girls: *blink*

Katie: “Um…but we haven’t even practiced yet!”

Lizzie: “Don’t worry. We have a week.”

Ashley: “A week?!”

Lark: “Just where are we performing?”

Lizzie: “Esthar!”

Noelle: “Well, you are sleeping with the President.”

Lizzie: “…That’s a minor factor. What’s important is that we have a gig, and we have to get to work right away, so go and pack.”

Shell: “We’re leaving today? But how am I going to fit all my stuff into a few suitcases?”

Lizzie: “You’ll be getting a whole new wardrobe anyway.”

Shell: “Ooh… This is getting even better.”

Lizzie: “Oh, and before you guys go get packed, I’ve been thinking, and I think we’re going to need a few bodyguards.”

Shell: “Ooh! Our own bodyguards! How exciting! I’ll ask Rude!”

Noelle: “But I thought you hated Rude now.”

Shell: *shrugs* “He’ll make a good bodyguard, and we won’t have to pay him.”

Noelle: *shrugs* “I’ll take Barret then. Everyone will be scared of him!”

Katie: “I’ll take Cid then!”

Lark: “I think Zidane would be willing.”

Lizzie: “What about you, Ashley?”

Ashley: “Eh, I don’t want any of the FF guys. I think I’ll go with someone totally different.”

Lizzie: “Who?”

Ashley: “You’ll see.”

Lizzie: “Okay, fine. Oh yeah, and one last thing: you guys can’t have any obvious boyfriends.”

Everyone but Lark: *shrugs* “Eh.”

Lark: “Hey! What about Vincent?”

Lizzie: “Especially not Vincent! Lark, he’s like 60.”

Lark: “Hey! He’s 27!”

Ashley: *snort*

Lark: *frowns* “Fine. But he’s coming with us anyway. I’ll pretend he’s another bodyguard or something.”

Lizzie: “Fine. Okay, go get ready.” *checks watch* “We don’t have much time.”

Noelle: *fist in the air* “This is gonna rock!”

Ashley: *gives her a weird look* “Oh, girl, that was *so* Zell.”

Noelle: “Ew!!!” *shakes wrist in disgust*

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

(later on…the girls, luggage and bodyguards in tow, assemble on the front porch…)

Barret: “Yo! I always wanted ta be a bodyguard!”

Cid: “$%#$^#$&$* $#^@& #&$%&#& @$%^@&^ @&&!”

Barret: “Damn straight, yo!”

Vincent: “It will be good to get away for awhile.”

Rude: “Thanks for taking me along, Shell.”

Shell: “Shut up, Rude. You’re better seen and not heard right now.”

Rude: *sets jaw*

Lizzie: “Does everyone have everything?”

Katie: “Yup!”

Noelle: “Let’s do it!”

Ashley: “My bodyguard is all lined up.” *grin* “He’s gonna meet us there.”

(just then, the door opens, and out comes rufus and the rest of supa ego, their luggage in tow. the two groups look at each other, and a period of silence passes)

Rufus: “…Where are you girls going?”

Lizzie: “We’ve started our own girl group, ‘Naught Angels’. We’ll be touring FF8 world too.”

Rufus: “Oh.” *pause* “I didn’t know I started a trend.”

Zell: “Cool! Another band! We’ll all be famous and loved!”

Sephiroth: “I know that’ll be something new for you, Zell.”

Zell: “Hey!” *flips out*

Tseng: “Good luck.”

Lark: “Thanks! Good luck to you guys too!”

Irvine: *sighs and says quietly* “We’ll need it.”

Rufus: “Hey, maybe if you guys really succeed, we can do a concert together or something.”

Lizzie: “Of course, if you guys actually succeed.”

Rufus: “Oh, we will.”

Lizzie: “So will we.”

(another awkward silence follows)

Rufus: “Well… We have to go.”

Lizzie: “So do we.”

Rufus: “…See you around, I guess.”

Lizzie: “Yeah.”

(the guys walk by, basically without any emotion, except for zell, who’s smiling, and sephiroth, who glares at lark and vincent. the girls wait until they are completely gone)

Lizzie: “All right. Let’s go make major money.”

(they start to leave as well. just as they’re halfway to the car, seifer comes running out of the ramble room)

Seifer: *yells* “Ashley! Wait!! Let me come with you!!”

Ashley: *doesn’t even turn around* “Go to hell!!”

Seifer: *eyes narrow* “…Fine!! You bitch! I hope you’re miserable!” *turns and goes back inside*

Katie: “Ashley… Don’t you feel bad at all?”

Ashley: “No.” *pauses and mumbles* “He deserves it.”

Lizzie: “Okay, girls, remember: we have to be perfect if we’re going to beat the guys group on the charts.”

Lark: “Don’t you think perfection is expecting a little too much of us?”

Lizzie: “I don’t think I can afford to expect any less.”

(the girls all exchange looks and get into the car, their bodyguards following. they then drive away, seifer watching from the window of the tv room, a few tears glittering on his cheeks.)

To Be Continued…

 

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