#99 – Behind the Music: Part Two

Tseng: *whispers back his voice choked up* “I hate that song.”

Originally Published: 9/11/01 . 23 pages

Synopsis
The bands may be doing well, but are the members holding up? Noelle dates a string of men, Tseng pines for Reeve, and Reno is bitter that Irvine is in the band. Then they get some big news. Will this make everything better?

Ramble Milestones
-First montage.

This one is classic ramble soap opera at it’s finest. And it’s the first time we get a montage! Everybody loves a good montage. Anyway, can we comment first on the 2 Ashleys? Everyone who has been reading the rambles for years knows that Ashley’s original name was not Ashley. A few years ago I decided I wasn’t comfortable using people’s real names on these characters, so I went back and changed every one that had been real. I tried to choose names that sounded vaguely similar, and that’s how Ashley ended up being Ashley. I was not thinking about these few rambles where Ashley Riot from Vagrant Story shows up as her bodyguard. It makes things a little awkward. Especially since you keep waiting for a joke that never comes. Moving on – let’s talk montage. The song used is “Again” by Lenny Kravitz, a song I was obsessed with at the time. I still like it, but not nearly as much, probably because I played it to death. But I also chose it because the lyrics seem to fit in well with the ramble as a whole. Finally, I need to comment on the fact that Irvine goes to what I can only assume is a high end music industry party, and people are smoking crack?! What?! That goes to show you how I knew nothing about drugs and society at the time. They should be snorting cocaine, past me! Come on! On a serious note, it’s impossible not to notice that this ramble was put up on the morning of 9/11, before I knew anything about what was going on. Had I known, I would not have been updating my website.

 

(we pick up with the action three months later. we see the members of naughty angels rushing into some kind of dressing room, looking frantic and a bit sweaty. they rush over to mirrors and quickly start to fix their hair)

 

Lizzie: *holding a clipboard and wearing a headset* “Come on, girls! Get out there for your bows!”

 

(and the girls turn around and run back onto a huge stage where they face a huge audience. they quickly gather in the center of the stage, and bow a few times, while the audience goes absolutely nuts. the girls smile and wave, and blow a few kisses, and then they return backstage, looking completely exhausted once more)

 

Lark: *leans against a wall to catch her breath* “Oh man… I hate choreography…”

 

Ashley: “Seriously… I never thought it would be so much work.”

 

Lizzie: “Great job, you guys! The Galbadians loved you!”

 

Noelle: “I’m tired. Are we done now?”

 

Lizzie: “Yeah, yeah, you can go back to the hotel and rest now.”

 

Katie: “Good.”

 

Shell: “Where’s Rude? RUDE?!”

 

Rude: *pops out of nowhere* “Yes, Shell?”

 

Shell: “Carry me to my dressing room. I don’t feel like walking.”

 

Rude: *sigh* “Yes, Shell.”

 

(and he picks her up and carries her off. the other girls go into their group dressing room)

 

Katie: “It’s not fair that she gets her own.”

 

(Ashley goes over to her new bodyguard, who is ashley riot, from vagrant story, and gives him a kiss happily)

 

Ashley: “Hey, babe! I’m done now. We can go back to the hotel.”

 

Ashley: “Splendid, my lady. That was an excellent show you all put on tonight.”

 

Lizzie: “Hey, you guys, don’t forget that we have a recording session for our second album tomorrow!”

 

Katie: “But we just made one.”

 

Lizzie: “Yeah, well, we write these songs really fast.” *wink*

 

Katie: *sigh*

 

Lark: *goes over and gives vincent a kiss* “Hi.”

 

Vincent: “Hello, Lark. You appear to be very tired.”

 

Lark: “I am.” *sigh* “But whatever. I like performing and being famous and stuff.”

 

Katie: “Hey, Lark, Supa Ego is performing here tomorrow. We should check out the concert.”

 

Ashley: “I can’t believe that they’ve actually become equally as popular as we’ve become.”

 

Noelle: “I can’t believe it’s only been three months and we’re already like tied for the most popular groups on the music charts.” *pause* “Oh yeah, and I can’t go to the concert tomorrow. I have a date.”

 

Ashley: “With Dan again?”

 

Noelle: “No, I dumped him. I met some executive guy named Dean. We’re going out.”

 

Katie: “You dumped Dan already? You only went out twice!”

 

Noelle: *shrug*

 

Ashley: “You’ve had like 10 different boyfriends in the past three months!”

 

Noelle: *shrugs again* “What can I say?” *grabs her clothes* “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” *she leaves to change*

 

Katie: “Well…fine. Are you guys gonna come?”

 

Lark: *shrugs* “I guess. Wanna go, Vincent?”

 

Vincent: *sigh* “I suppose.”

 

Katie: “Great. Ashley?”

 

Ashley: “I have plans with Ashley.” *smiles up at him*

 

Katie: *shrugs* “Guess it’s just us three then.”

 

Lark: “I guess so.” *yawn* “I wonder if they’re really any good.”

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

(meanwhile, across town, the supa ego concert has just ended, and we hear very loud cheering and applause as the guys leave the stage. the guys looks sweaty and tired, except for rufus, who is grinning ear to ear)

 

Rufus: “They loved us! Did you hear that? They really love us! I’m going to be so rich…”

 

Tseng: “You already *are* rich.”

 

Rufus: “I’ll be sickeningly rich.”

 

Sephiroth: “You already *are* sickeningly rich.”

 

Rufus: “I’ll be disgustingly rich then.”

 

Irvine: “You already *are*–“

 

Rufus: “Okay, that’s enough! Just remember that before the concert tomorrow we have an interview with “Music Now” magazine.”

 

Tseng: “Fine. I have to go call Reeve. I promised I would.”

 

Rufus: “You have to do that now….with all these *people* around?”

 

Tseng: “Yes.”

 

Rufus: “No! Ts~eng! Uh…you can’t call your…uh…real estate agent now. Call him later. From a closet. On another planet.”

 

Tseng: “What? Rufus, that’s ridiculous.”

 

Rufus: “There’s just no time, okay” *hisses* “And I thought I told you to take that ring off?”

 

Tseng: “Gimme a break.” *stomps off*

 

Rufus: “Come back here!” *follows*

 

Zell: “This is pretty cool! I can’t wait till we start getting some real fan mail!”

 

Sephiroth: “I could care less.” *collapses in a chair*

 

Irvine: “Yeah…” *searching his dresser* “I’ve got a party to go to.”

 

Sephiroth: “Again? You’re out like every night.”

 

Irvine: *shrugs* “I get invited.”

 

Zell: “Can I come?”

 

Irvine: “No.” *leaves*

 

Zell: “What an attitude problem!” *sits down* “So, ‘Roth, have you heard the girls’ album?”

 

Sephiroth: “No.”

 

Zell: “It’s good.”

 

Sephiroth: *snorts*

 

Zell: “It is!” *pause* “I wonder if they’ve heard ours…”

 

Sephiroth: “I should have went off with Irvine to get drunk.” *gets up and leaves*

 

(zell, now finding himself completely alone, looks around for some kind of company, but, upon finding none, just shakes and hangs his head with a long, sad sigh)

 

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

(the next day in the ramble room, we have quite a group of people we almost never hear from! There’s Squall, Rinoa, Quistis, Yuffie, Red, Vivi, Steiner and Reno in the tv room. the music of a guy’s group is playing in the background. the song is ‘the hardest thing’ by 98 degrees, but it’s not 98 degrees singing…quistis clutches the cover for one cd, yuffie has another, and they’re in the middle of an argument)

 

Quistis: “No, Yuffie! We’re not listening to Naughty Angels now! We heard them before. It’s time for Supa Ego now.”

 

Yuffie: “We’ve heard this CD ten times already! I’m sick of it! Put this one on!”

 

Reno: *mumbles and sips from flask* “Stupid Supa Ego…they blow big time.”

 

Rinoa: “Yuffie, we’re going to be turning off the music to watch the interview in a little while anyway. Right, Squall?”

 

Squall: “Whatever.”

 

Steiner: “I have observed that, despite the constant blasting music, it has been rather quiet around here.”

 

Red: “That is because the girls thankfully took those jerks Barret and Cid with them when they left.”

 

Vivi: “I miss everyone.”

 

Reno: “I hope Irvine never comes back.” *sips flask*

 

Selphie: *comes running in* “Omg, you guys!! Turn that off! The interview is gonna come up soon!”

 

(quistis fumbles to shut off the cd player, while yuffie grabs the tv remote. they turn the tv on just in time to see…)

 

Announcer: “Coming up next: Our own Misty Mullens interviews the new hit boy band: Supa Ego!”

 

Selphie, Rinoa, Quistis and Yuffie: “Hooray!”

 

Reno: “…Irvine sucks.” *sips flask*

 

Selphie: “Are you taping it?”

 

Rinoa, Quistis and Yuffie: “Duh!”

 

(then reeve comes running in like the building is on fire. he’s completely out of breath like he’s been running for ten miles)

 

Reeve: “Omg…..are…..you….taping…..it?”

 

Quistis: “Uh…yeah.”

 

Rinoa: “Where were you coming from?”

 

Reeve: “….In….my…room.”

 

Selphie: “That’s like around the corner.”

 

Reno: *sarcastically* “Yeah, that’s healthy.” *sips from flask*

 

Vivi: “Look! It’s coming on!”

 

(everyone’s focus goes to the tv, where we see a blonde reporter with a microphone…)

 

Misty: “Hello, everyone, I’m Misty Mullens. Every so often the teenage crowd will find another band to worship until they get bored and look for something new. And right now, that band is Supa Ego, a band comprised of 5 members that has taken the whole planet by storm.”

 

(they show a clip of the group on stage. they look kind of like the backstreet boys with those headset microphones and the coordinated, but not quite identical outfits on)

 

Misty’s voiceover: “Rufus, Sephiroth, Tseng, Irvine and Zell are the young men who make up this popular singing sensation. I got a chance to sit down with them and talk about their sudden success and ask the questions you’re dying to know.”

 

Reno: “Sephiroth’s not young. He’s like 40. And I’m willing to sell all kinds of gritty details about Irvine to the tabloids. Who’s with me?”

 

Everyone: “SHUSH!”

 

Reno: *grumbles and sips from flask*

 

(back on the tv screen, the word ‘live’ is in the corner. we see the guys sitting arranged. there’s a couch where irvine, zell and sephiroth sit, in that order, and in the back of them, and off to the side a little, rufus and tseng sit on tall stools. the reporter is not in the picture.)

 

Misty’s voice: “Thanks for taking the time to sit for this interview, boys. Tell me, where do you get inspiration for your music?”

 

(rufus jumps in before anyone else can even open their mouths)

 

Rufus: “We get inspired by so many things. The whole world is a source of inspiration for us.”

 

Reno: *snort* “Try other people’s music, you big jerk!” *sips from flask*

 

Misty: “Zell, you’re often referred to as the rebel of the group. How did you get this reputation?”

 

Zell: “Yo, I’m not really sure. I think it’s because I’m into martial arts and cool stuff like that.”

 

Misty: “I see. Irvine, what’s the significance of the cowboy hat you always wear?”

 

(there’s a close up on irvine. he has bags under his eyes)

 

Irvine: “I’m a Southern boy who grew up on a farm. I’m used to wearin’ one. It’s part of who I am.”

 

Reno: “It’s part of you being a jerk!” *sips from flask*

 

Misty: “Sephiroth, is there any truth to the rumor that you used to date Lark from the group Naughty Angels?”

 

Sephiroth: *shrugs* “It’s ancient history.”

 

Misty: “Are you friends with the girls of that group, as it has been said?”

 

Rufus: “Uh, yes, we are, actually, pretty close with that group.”

 

Misty: “Any chance of you doing a tour or album with them?”

 

Rufus: “We’ll have to see about that.” *big smile right at the camera*

 

Misty: “Tseng, there’s been a lot of speculation over that ring you wear all the time. Is there a girl in your life?”

 

(at this point, rufus shoots tseng a very nasty look. tseng falters a little, fiddling with the ring nervously as he briefly glances at rufus before looking at the interviewer)

 

Tseng: *haltingly* “Uh…no, it’s just, a ring that I like. It doesn’t mean anything.”

 

Reeve: “WHAT?!”

 

Misty: “So all of you are single?

 

Rufus: “As single as they come.” *grin*

 

(a shot to misty again, standing without the group around)

 

Misty: “And so that’s my look at Supa Ego. Just another boy band? Or is there more to them than meets the eye?”

 

(at that concluding sentence, yuffie reaches out and shuts the tv off. for another long second, they all stare at the tv in shock)

 

Rinoa: “Wow…people we know are famous!”

 

Squall: “Whatever. I’m already famous.”

 

Reno: “That sucked.” *sips from flask*

 

Vivi: “That was cool.”

 

Red: “It was typical.”

 

Reeve: *freaks out* “Omg! He’s forgotten about me already! He’s found someone else! Someone more attractive who doesn’t insist on always buying towels from Bed, Bath and Beyond whenever they’re on sale!!” *runs out in tears*

 

Everyone: *blinks*

 

Reno: “Okay…he’s cracked.” *sips from flask*

 

Yuffie: “Reno, you’ve been drinking a lot more than usual lately.”

 

Red: “Such quantities of alcohol are not good for you.”

 

Reno: “What do you know about me?” *grumbles and sips from flask as he leaves*

 

Everyone: *blink blink*

 

Selphie: “Whee! Let’s listen to their album!”

 

Yuffie: “No! Naughty Angels!”

 

Quistis: “SUPA EGO!!”

 

Red: “…I sense a cat fight.”

 

(he waits a second, but there is no other reaction. he looks at squall, who shrugs.)

 

Red: *sigh* “At a better time there would have been a surge of males in the room at the very hint of those words.”

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

(meanwhile, it’s the next day. the girls are standing outside a building so creatively labelled ‘studio’.)

 

Ashley: “Well, that was quick.”

 

Shell: “That recording guy was cute.”

 

Ashley: “You think, Shell? All you did was throw yourself at him!”

 

Rude: *twitch*

 

Noelle: *checks time* “Well, I’ve gotta go get ready for my date.”

 

Katie: “Looking forward to it?”

 

Noelle: *shrugs* “Eh.”

 

(she leaves, and the other girls look after her curiously)

 

Lark: “What is *up* with her?”

 

Katie: “She’s been acting so weird…”

 

Ashley: “Eh, and if she was acting normal we’d all be alarmed.” *calls* “ASHLEY! Get your cute buns out here! We’ll be late for dinner!”

 

Ashley: *hurrying out of the building* “Coming, my dearest lady!”

 

Ashley: *grins* “See you guys later.”

 

(she takes his arm and they walk off.)

 

Katie: “Ready for the concert tonight, Lark?”

 

Lark: *shrugs* “Ready as I’ll ever be.”

 

Katie: “Great! Well I guess I’ll see you later then!”

 

Lark: “Yeah.”

 

(and with that, those two leave, leaving shell alone with rude.)

 

Shell: “That guy was so hot! Wasn’t he hot, Rude?”

 

Rude: *sets jaw* “………..”

 

Shell: “He was just so hot. I bet he’s rich too. Hot and rich.” *dreamy sigh* “What else can a girl want?”

 

Rude: *throws down sunglasses* “That’s IT!”

 

Shell: *blinks* “Huh?”

 

Rude: “I’ve had it! That’s it! We’re broken up!”

 

Shell: *blinks* “We’re already broken up.”

 

Rude: “I mean this is it! I’m not buying you anything else. I’m not doing you any more favors. We are BROKEN UP. Find someone else to buy you new slippers every day!”

 

Shell: *gasp* “My slippers!”

 

(rude stomps off)

 

Shell: “Rude! You come back here right now!” *but he’s really gone* “…Rude?” *chin trembles* “Rude!” *stamps foot* “Fine! I don’t need you! I’m dead sexy! I’ll find someone better!”

 

(and with that she stomps off)

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

(meanwhile, sometime later, Noelle is at dinner with dean, the executive guy. he’s attractive, but she doesn’t look interested at all. she sitting there, twisting a piece of hair around her finger and looking off in another direction. if he fell off his chair, she wouldn’t notice)

 

Dean: “Noelle.”

 

Noelle: “Uh huh, that’s really interesting.”

 

Dean: “Noelle!”

 

Noelle: “Huh?” *looks over at him* “What?”

 

Dean: “Do you not like me or something?”

 

Noelle: “No, I like you fine.” *sigh*

 

Dean: “You sure don’t act like it.”

 

Noelle: “It’s just…”

 

Dean: “Just what?”

 

Noelle: “Nothing.” *looks down*

 

Dean: “Anyway, I was saying that I notice you have a tattoo on your shoulder. Who’s Reno?”

 

Noelle: *hastily putting down her napkin* “I have to go.”

 

Dean: “Go? Now? Why?”

 

(she turns around, and her eyes narrow. she gives Dean the nastiest glare she can subconsciously muster up, a fist clenched tightly at her side)

 

Noelle: *snaps* “I HATE Reno!”

 

(and with that, she leaves behind a shocked Dean, as she stalks out of the restaurant)

 

 

 

………………………………………………………………………………………….

 

 

 

(back in the ramble room…yuffie, quistis, selphie and rinoa excitedly run into the ramble room where reno, red, squall and reeve are all sitting. reno is drinking. red looks depressed, his head on his paws. squall is half asleep. reeve is reading. the tv is on low, and no one is really watching it)

 

Red: “My life has become even more pointless.”

 

Girls: *squeal excitedly* “They’re airing the Supa Ego concert on TV tonight!”

 

Reeve: *perks up* “They *are*!?”

 

Reno: “Who cares?” *sips booze*

 

Quistis: “Yeah! It’s gonna be so awesome!”

 

Reeve: “What time?!?!”

 

Yuffie: “Eight o’clock!”

 

Rinoa: “Isn’t this exciting, Squall!?”

 

Squall: *predictably* “Whatever.”

 

Reeve: “Are you taping it!?”

 

Selphie: “Of course!!”

 

Reno: “I hope Irvine falls off the stage or something.” *bitterly sips more from the flask*

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

(meanwhile, backstage at the supa ego concert, there’s a lot of fuss going on. all the guys are busy getting ready. rufus is loudly ordering people around. tseng sneaks away from the group, and over to a pay phone and quickly deposits his twenty-five cents, looking nervous)

 

?????: “Hello?”

 

Tseng: “Hey! Reeve, it’s me.”

 

Reeve’s voice: “Tseng! I’m so glad to hear from you! How are you? I’m gonna tape your concert later. I saw that interview too…why did you lie about the ring? I miss you. When can I see you again?”

 

Tseng: “Well, I–“

 

Rufus’ voice: *angrily in the background* “Tseng! Get off the phone and come do your warm-ups! You call your….uh…gardener later!”

 

Tseng: *sigh of annoyance*

 

Reeve’s voice: “Tseng?”

 

Rufus’ voice: “TSENG! NOW!”

 

Tseng: *lifelessly* “I gotta go.”

 

Reeve: “Huh? Why–“

 

(rufus comes over and presses the hang up button on the phone, glaring at tseng)

 

Rufus: “Come means *come*.”

 

(tseng just gives him a really nasty look and walks away sadly.)

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

(meanwhile, lark, vincent and Katie arrive and get to their VIP seats at the arena…Katie keeps looking around nervously…)

 

Lark: “Wow. These are some amazing seats.”

 

Vincent: “Yes. They’re quite nice.”

 

Lark: “What’s wrong, Katie?”

 

Katie: “….Did you ever have the feeling that you were being followed?”

 

Lark: *looks around* “I don’t see anyone.”

 

Katie: “Never mind.” *grin* “These seats are great!!”

 

(very soon after, the concert begins. and the audience is screaming loudly, holding up signs, etc. rufus is having a great time on stage. sephiroth seems like he’s just going through the motions. irvine seems a little out of it, and is doing everything a second or so too late. zell is as happy as rufus is. tseng just seems sad behind his phony happy act he’s putting on. they do a few group numbers, then rufus does one while the others sing backup. after that they do another group number. following that, tseng steps forward, holding the microphone very tightly in his hand. and the music for the song ‘again’ by lenny kravitz starts up. he sings, and the others do backup. and thus begins our musical montage…)

 

Tseng: *looking sadly at the floor as he sings* “I’ve been searching for you.

 

I heard a cry within my soul. I never had a yearning quite like this before

 

Now that you are walking right through my door…”

 

(back in the ramble room, all the girls are looking lovingly at the screen, mouthing the words to the song. squall is half asleep. red watches with a weary sigh. reno is slumped on the couch, sipping his flask like he hasn’t even moved from before. he looks a little bitter, but he looks sad too. he’s watching irvine in the background. reeve is sitting forward, his elbows resting on his knees as he watches the screen intently, his hand twitching a little like he wishes he was holding a cigarette. there is vague evidence of tears in his eyes. he’s looking at the screen so hard he’s barely even blinking. )

 

Tseng: “All of my life…Where have you been? I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. And if that day comes…I know we could win. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again.”

 

(we see seifer driving fast, and recklessly, around some town. his mouth is set in a firm line as he glares right ahead. setting his jaw and glaring even more, he goes even faster)

 

Tseng: “A sacred gift of heaven…For better worse wherever…And I would never let somebody break you down…Or take your crown, never…”

 

(we see Noelle back in her room at a hotel. she’s looking at her shoulder in the mirror where her reno tattoo is. for a moment she looks sad. the next minute her eyes narrow and she turns, cursing and kicking the wall angrily)

 

Tseng: “All of my life…Where have you been? I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. And if that day comes…I know we could win.I wonder if I’ll ever see you again.”

 

(we see rude sitting at bar, head resting on a hand, looking glum. he has a half finished drink in front of him, and even though there’s a lot of partying going on around him, he’s not interested at all.)

 

Tseng: “I’ve searched through time, I’ve always known…That you where there, upon your throne…A lonely queen, without her king…I’ve longed for you, my love forever…”

 

(we see shell shopping. a bunch of salesladies hold up designer clothing in her size, but she just shakes her head and waves them away with her hand. heaving a big sigh, she turns and leaves the store empty handed)

 

Tseng: “All of my life…Where have you been? I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. And if that day comes…I know we could win. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again.”

 

(we see Ashley and ashley riot sitting on a couch. he’s talking, and she’ll laugh from time to time. while she seems interested, it all seems half hearted in a way)

 

Tseng: “All of my life…Where have you been? I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. And if that day comes…I know we could win. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again.”

 

(barret and cid are sitting back in their hotel room, taking the shell off peanuts. barret holds one up and makes some kind of comment. cid just shakes his head sadly)

 

Tseng: “All of my life…Where have you been? I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. And if that day comes…I know we could win. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again.”

 

(from the stage, sephiroth looks down at where vincent is sitting, then looks at lark, and then at vincent again. after that he forces himself to look away)

 

Tseng: “I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…”

 

(from the audience, lark looks over to where vincent is staring, mesmorized, at sephiroth. she shakes her head sadly, but in an understanding way, and looks back up at the stage again. Katie once again looks nervously over her shoulder)

 

Tseng: “I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…”

 

(the song ends and gets very loud applause. tseng wipes a tear from his eye and returns to the group.)

 

Sephiroth: *whispers to him* “What the hell is wrong with you?”

 

Tseng: *whispers back his voice choked up* “I hate that song.”

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

(back to Ashley and ashley, who are in the same spot we left them last. they’re just talking light heartedly when suddenly the door bursts open, and there, only in shadow…)

 

Ashley: “SEIFER?!”

 

Seifer: *stalks in* “Get AWAY from my girlfriend!”

 

Ashley: “Pardon me?” *stands*

 

Ashley: “I’m NOT your girlfriend anymore, Seifer! Get OUT!”

 

Seifer: *shoves him* “I said get away from her, jerk!”

 

Ashley: “Seifer! Stop it!”

 

(seifer grabs ashley by the collar and holds him up, shaking him)

 

Seifer: “She’s MINE! Get it? GET IT?! HUH?!”

 

Ashley: “Seifer! Stop it!”

 

(she pushes seifer off and smacks him across the face. seifer grabs his cheek in shock, hair knocked out of place and falling in his eyes.)

 

Ashley: “What the HELL do you think you’re doing?!”

 

Seifer: “We can fix this, right?”

 

Ashley: “Fix *what*?”

 

Seifer: “Us.” *pleading eyes*

 

(Ashley seems to falter for a moment, but a moment later her faces hardens again, and she points to the door)

 

Ashley: “Get out now.”

 

Seifer: “But Ashley, I—“

 

Ashley: “Get out and I don’t want to see you again!” *stomps off*

 

(seifer heaves a sigh and goes to leave, but before he can…)

 

Ashley: *calls out* “Do you love her?”

 

Seifer: *turns looking tired* “Huh?”

 

Ashley: “Ashley. Do you love her?”

 

Seifer: “I–” *he pauses and takes a sigh before admitting with a small shrug* “Yeah. I do.”

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

(meanwhile, the concert has ended. the girls are comparing their favorite parts. meanwhile, reno turns around and walks out of the room, dropping his flask in the garbage as he goes. reeve leaves quickly as well, wiping at his eyes. squall snores. red sighs. reeve goes back to his room, picks and his cell phone and dials tseng, but it just rings and rings and rings. he lets it ring about twenty times before he put it down with a sigh. finally he breaks down, his head in his hands, and cries)

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

(meanwhile, back to the concert, Katie is still looking around nervously as they prepare to go backstage.)

 

Lark: “That was a great concert, huh, Katie?”

 

Katie: “Huh?” *back to reality* “Uh, yeah, it was great.”

 

Lark: “Are you okay?”

 

Katie: “Um…you know what? I’m just gonna go home.”

 

Lark: “What? You sure?”

 

Katie: “Yeah. I’m just…tired.” *looks behind her again*

 

Lark: “You want me to come with you?”

 

Katie: “No…uh…” *checks behind her again* “No. I’m fine. See you tomorrow.”

 

(lark and vincent watch confused as she leaves)

 

Lark: “She seemed…nervous.”

 

Vincent: “She did. I wonder what the problem is?”

 

(they go in the back, where all the guys are, taking off makeup and stuff, except irvine, who isn’t around. when sephiroth sees them, he shakes his head and leaves. vincent looks sad when he sees seph leave. lark pretends she didn’t see him at all.)

 

Lark: “Hi, guys!”

 

Zell and Rufus: “LARK!”

 

(they run over and hug her. tseng sighs, but he comes over too.)

 

Lark: “Great show!”

 

Rufus: “I know!”

 

Zell: “Thanks, Lark! I didn’t know you were coming!”

 

Lark: “It was a last minute thing.”

 

Rufus: “You guys are pretty popular.”

 

Lark: “Yeah, I guess.”

 

Rufus: *pats her on the shoulder* “Tell Lizzie to call me. We’ll talk business.”

 

Lark: “Uh…okay…”

 

(rufus turns to leave…but…)

 

Rufus: *puts a hand on tseng’s shoulder and whispers* “Don’t you *dare* let me catch you calling him.” *and he walks away*

 

Tseng: *expression doesn’t change*

 

Lark: “You did a great job tonight, Tseng. I love “Again”.”

 

Tseng: *mumbles* “Yeah, thanks. I better go get changed.” *he goes off*

 

Lark: *frowns*

 

Zell: “He’s been depressed lately. But I don’t know why!”

 

Lark: “Aw…poor thing. Where’s Irvine?”

 

Zell: *shrugs* “Partying.”

 

Lark: “Partying?”

 

Zell: “Yeah, he does that a lot.”

 

Lark: “I see…”

 

Vincent: *checks watch and sighs*

 

Lark: “Well, we better get going. It’s late and I have to get up tomorrow for press and stuff.”

 

Zell: “Yeah, me too. It was great seeing you!” *hugs her*

 

Lark: *hugs back tight* “You too, Zell.”

 

(then she and vincent turn to leave. and as she does, she mutters to him)

 

Lark: “I saw you staring.”

 

Vincent: *turns even more pale*

 

(they say nothing more before leaving. zell whistles happily as he goes over to his area and sees a letter with his name on it leaning against the mirror)

 

Zell: *gasp* “Some fan mail! Finally!”

 

(he happily rips it open and starts to read it. but as he reads it, his smile immediately fades into an expression of horror.)

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

 

 

(meanwhile, irvine is sitting on a couch, surrounded by babes at a crowded party. there’s booze flowing, and a lot of smoke in the air.)

 

Irvine: “Yeah, so then I said, that may be what a pig would say, but I’m no pig boy!”

 

(everyone cracks up like it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever heard. irvine laughs too, smiling like he’s having a pretty good time. then all of the sudden the girl next to him holds out to him a small smoking substance)

 

Girl: “Here, take a hit.”

 

Irvine: *blink* “What?”

 

Girl: “It’s crack. Come on, take it.”

 

Irvine: “Uh…”

 

Girl: “Come on, man! Everybody does it!”

 

(irvine looks really nervous and he looks from side to side before his eyes once again come to rest on the drug placed before him)

 

 

 

…………………………………………………………………………………

 

 

 

(the next day, in the recording studio with the girls…)

 

Ashley: “Hey, Shell, where’s Rude?”

 

Shell: “Who cares.”

 

Ashley: *blink blink* “Okay… How was your date last night, Noelle?”

 

Noelle: “………………”

 

Ashley: “Okay… What’s wrong with everyone? How was the concert, Katie?”

 

Katie: *nervously running a hand through her hair* “Huh? Oh, the concert? It was fine.”

 

Ashley: “Are you okay?”

 

Katie: “Fine.” *looks behind her*

 

Lark: *sigh* “Where’s Lizzie?”

 

(as if on cue, Lizzie comes in, grinning from ear to ear)

 

Lizzie: “I’ve got great news!”

 

(the girls all turn to look at her)

 

Lizzie: “I just got off the phone with Rufus, and guess what?”

 

Ashley: “What?”

 

Lizzie: “WE’RE DOING A TOUR WITH SUPA EGO!”

 

(all the girls sigh and put a hand to their head, except for Katie who looks behind her again)

 

Lizzie: “Things can only get better!!”

 

To Be Continued…

 

 

 

 

 

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