#131 – Being Ward Zaback

Ward: Kiros, if I had my anchor right now…it would be Aeris and Sephiroth all over again. And we all know who’d be Aeris.

Originally Published: 3/30/05 . 15 pages

Synopsis
It’s hard being Ward. Get into his head to find out just how hard it is to be around Kiros all the time.

Ramble Milestones
-Lark and Brady get engaged.

Hello, 2 rambles that were combined into one! I had the idea to have a ramble focusing on poor Ward, who gets no respect, and I took the fight idea to have there be something going on. The result? It’s solid enough. As for the ending, well, I was engaged in real life, and decided to incorporate it into the rambles. The slutty Lark days are over! It’s funny – if you go by ramble #’s, Brady and I were together for 11 rambles before getting engaged. However, if you look at the dates on those rambles, it’s a bit better.

 

Ward: So here I am in the ramble room as usual. I’m with Laguna, and Kiros is here too of course. He’s always tagging along with Laguna. He is seriously the most boring person alive without Laguna around. I swear, he exists only to make fun of Laguna all day. If he can’t do that he doesn’t know what to do with himself. And I’m sure you’ve realized by now that he’s always using my name too, saying that I’m saying these horrible things. And Laguna, who’s far from being the brightest crayon in box, always believes him. Even after all the nasty looks I’ve given Kiros, and shaken my head no, and even beaten the crap out of Kiros. Laguna STILL doesn’t get it. Anyone who says that actions speak louder than words is wrong. WRONG I TELL YOU! Oh, and you’re probably wondering why I don’t write anything down. Like, hold up signs or something to get what I’m thinking across. Well, sadly I’m totally illiterate. Twilight’s not alone. So anyway, like I said, I’m in the ramble room, and Rufus and Algus are arguing over something completely stupid. Laguna is coloring in a coloring book, and Kiros is making fun of him.

Kiros: “Ward says color between the lines, stupid!”

Laguna: *frowns* “Ward, I’m doing my best.”

Ward: *puts a hand to his head* I could care less what Laguna’s coloring looks like.

Algus: “I’m telling you, Rufus, how am I supposed to believe you if you have no proof to back it up?”

Rufus: “I can’t believe you think that the Turks are just for show! They’re fierce warriors!”

Algus: “That whiny girl?”

Rufus: “Elena? Well, uh, she’s kinda new.”

Algus: “The drunken one… Reno? How did he get hired?”

Rufus: “He…uh…does stuff.”

Algus: “And Rude? He had twist ties keeping his shoes closed the other day.”

Rufus: “Yeah, well, he has issues.”

Algus: “And don’t even get me started on that so called ‘leader’ of theirs. I’ve never seen him do a thing except hang around with that husband of his.”

Rufus: “Hey, usually I’m all up for a good round of Tseng bashing, but he could kick the crap out of pretty much everyone in the ramble room.”

Algus: *laughs* “That’s highly doubtful.”

Rufus: “Oh yeah? You wanna bet?”

Ward: Okay, this is going to be trouble.

Algus: *thoughtfully* “Perhaps… What are the terms of this bet?”

Rufus: *thinks a second* “Well… It could be kinda like a boxing match, but with fighting instead. You can get a couple of people – let’s say 4. I bet you he can take them all down and barely be out of breath.”

Algus: *raises eyebrow* “You are that confident in his abilities?”

Rufus: “Do we have a bet or not?”

Algus: “…Very well. We have a bet.” *they shake*

Laguna: “Hey hey! I wanna get in on this too!”

Kiros: “Ward says he wants a piece of that action too!”

Ward: No. No I didn’t.

Rufus: “Excellent. I’ll start my preparations then.”

Algus: “And I’ll start mine.”

Rufus: “Let’s go get some coffee first.”

Algus: “Agreed.”

(they leave)

Laguna: “Hey hey! There’s gonna be a big fight! How neato!”

Kiros: “Ward says you always pick the loser, because you are one.”

Ward: I actually like Laguna. I really do. Don’t believe a thing Kiros says.

Laguna: *frowns* “Who should I bet on? And how much should I bet? Too many decisions!”

Kiros: “Ward says step up and be a man!”

Ward: *glares at kiros* Shut the hell up, Kiros!

Laguna: “Ward’s right! I better go make a compare and contrast chart!” *he runs out*

Kiros: *to ward* “So…you wanna follow him, or not?”

Ward: No. *shakes head no*

Kiros: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. Let’s go.”

Ward: I really don’t want to follow Laguna everywhere all day, but I do anyway. He’s my friend. And someday I will make it clear to him that KIROS is the one saying that crap about him and not me!

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

Ward: Laguna is part of that ‘MAFIA’ thing with Rufus, Algus, Sephiroth, Shell, Edgar and Setzer. Kiros hates that he’s not allowed to the meetings, so he always listens outside the door. And if you guessed that he drags me along as well, you’re right.

(kiros has his ear pressed to the door, listening intently to the mafia meeting going on. ward is just kind of standing there looking annoyed.)

Kiros: “Wow! They’re really planning some elaborate fight! They’re going to rent out a stadium! And the bet between Rufus and Algus is 10 million gil!”

Ward: I’m missing my favorite TV show for this crap…

Kiros: “Ooh! Laguna just bet 5 million on Algus’ side!” *gasp* “And he volunteered to be one of the fighters! That idiot!”

Ward: ….Crap. Times like this I really need a voice.

Kiros: *is laughing his ass off* “Oh man! Laguna is gonna get his ass handed to him! This is gonna be great! I’m putting all my savings down on that Turk!”

Ward: *shakes head*

Kiros: “Oh, shut up, Ward. It’s funny and you know it!”

Ward: No, the idea of my friend getting hurt isn’t funny to me.

Kiros: *scrambling away from the door* “Here they come!”

(ward and kiros stand by as the mafia members exit their meeting and go their separate ways. laguna exits last)

Laguna: “Hey hey! Guess what?”

Kiros: “Ward says you probably volunteered your dumb ass to fight in this battle.”

Laguna: *grins* “Yeah! How’d you guess, Ward?”

Ward: I didn’t… Kiros is just a thoughtless, spying jerk.

Kiros: “Ward says he thinks it’s a great idea!”

Ward: No! No I think it’s an awful idea! *shakes head no vigorously*

Laguna: “You do, Ward?” *frown* “But then why are you shaking your head no so much?”

Ward: Ah ha! Now’s my chance! *keeps shaking head no*

Kiros: *nervous laughter* “Haha, Ward’s just joking, aren’t you, Ward?”

Ward: No! Stop talking for me, you imbecile! *keeps shaking head no*

Laguna: *cocks head to one side* “Kiros, I don’t think Ward said that…”

Kiros: *frantically* “Uh….” *checks time* “Oh, Laguna! Ward says it’s time for your favorite cartoon, Chippy the Chipmunk.”

Laguna: *brightening* “Awesome! Thanks, Ward!”

(laguna goes off towards the tv room. kiros smirks at ward and then follows)

Ward: ……………………………….DAMN YOU KIROS! DAMN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………

 

(laguna, kiros and ward are in the ramble room…)

Laguna: “So guess who else is fighting with me? Zell, Steiner and Zidane. Zidane didn’t really want to…but Algus kinda made him. We all make a thousand gil just for fighting! …Well…except Zidane. He gets gum.”

Kiros: “Ward says you should go for the gum too.”

Laguna: “Really? You think? It’s only a couple of sticks…”

Ward: *hits himself in the head* It’s times like this I wish I hadn’t let Kiros ‘borrow’ my anchor that time.

(then rufus walks in with reeve and tseng. tseng is shaking his head)

Tseng: “I don’t know, Rufus. This seems kind of crazy to me.”

Ward: From the time I first heard this whole stupid thing from Algus and Rufus I didn’t think Tseng would be too eager to be part of it. He is not too fond of his boss, or the company he works for.

Rufus: “Yeah, and I’ll be crazy rich after you win! Come on, Tseng! You’re always complaining you’re bored at work! What’s more exciting than beating the crap out of people?”

Laguna: “Hey hey! And I’m one of those people!”

Rufus: “See, you can beat up Laguna! Doesn’t that sound like a dream?”

Kiros: “Ward says it sure does!”

Ward: …………………I saw that one coming a mile away. *frowns*

Tseng: “Rufus, beating up my friends doesn’t sound like a good time.”

Rufus: “These people aren’t *really* your friends. It’s not like I’m asking you to beat up Reeve or something!”

(tseng crosses his arms and taps his foot, thinking about it a moment)

Reeve: “What’s in it for him, Rufus?”

Rufus: *annoyed sigh* “What are you, his lawyer?”

Tseng: “Yeah, Rufus, what *is* in it for me?”

Rufus: “Crap.” *thinks a minute* “Um… A hundred bucks?”

Ward: Can Rufus be more of a cheap bastard? Once I saw him fishing out a quarter he dropped in a storm drain. Took him 3 hours.

Tseng: “How about you use Reno instead?”

Rufus: “No! Fine, uh…500 hundred?”

Tseng: “I think Reno would do it for a case of beer…”

Rufus: “Fine! Fine! What do you want?”

Tseng: “….A million gil.”

Rufus: “What?! Are you crazy?!?! No way!”

Tseng: “I’ll tell Reno to charge up the shock rod–“

Rufus: “Fine! Fine! I’ll give you whatever you want! Just say you’ll do it!”

Tseng: *smiles* “I’ll do it.”

Laguna: “Hey, hey! This is gonna be fun!”

Ward: …….I better get to the store and buy some first aid supplies.

 

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

(the day of the fight arrives. ward is backstage with kiros, laguna, squall, zell, zidane and steiner)

Kiros: “Ward says he put all his money on the other side!”

Ward: I didn’t bet a dime on this stupid thing! I really wish Lark was here to stop this, but I haven’t seen her in awhile…

Laguna: “Ward?! You did? You don’t believe in me?”

Squall: “Whatever… So did I.”

Ward: Squall is like the world’s worst son. I know Laguna can be a bit embarrassing at times, but at least he has a dad! Every father’s day Laguna hopes that Squall will give him something, but he never does. It’s really kinda sad, especially with Kiros chanting ‘Ward says Squall hates you’ all freakin’ day long.

Laguna: “What?! You don’t believe in me either, son?!”

Zell: *punching air* “Squall! You don’t believe in me either!? I thought we were best friends!”

Squall: “Whatever… You’re all going down.”

Zell: “You just wait, Squall! We’ll show you!”

Ward: Zell… If I had half his energy I would probably be able to actually catch Kiros and strangle him for awhile like I’ve always wanted.

Zidane: “We’re all gonna die! I hate Algus! I hate him! This is the last straw!” *sobbing* “And I thought the time he pushed me off that cliff to get the button that fell off his cape was bad!”

Ward: Algus is just heartless. Worse than Rufus even. And Zidane…he’s just stupid. Why doesn’t he just leave?

Steiner: “Calm yourself, Zidane! A true warrior cries not over an impending battle!”

Zidane: “But this isn’t a real battle! This is just a bet so Algus can make himself some more money!”

Ward: *taps zidane on the shoulder and gives him a sympathetic look* At least I’m not the only one who thinks this is stupid.

Zidane: *sniff* “Thanks, Ward.”

(then algus enters, grinning)

Algus: “Hey, everyone! Are you ready to win? This should be easy for you!”

Zell: “When I told Reno I was going to be part of this, he laughed at me for an hour. What does that mean?”

Algus: “It means the stupid peasant was drunk. You’re going to be victorious! You’re four strong warriors!”

Ward: Actually, I can’t remember the last time Laguna actually fought anything. Unless you count that time he hit himself in the head with that fly swatter.

Laguna: “Hey hey! This is gonna be fun!” *frowns and looks around* “Uh oh! Did I forget the bullets for my gun?”

Kiros: “Ward says he took them!”

Ward: I did NOT TAKE THEM! …But I brought back-ups, because I KNEW this would happen! Stupid Kiros! He takes the bullets, and now it looks like I took them, even though I just brought back-ups! God, someone get him a hobby! *unhappily hands laguna the bullets*

Laguna: “Thanks, Ward! But you know you really shouldn’t have taken these!”

Ward: TELL THAT TO KIROS!

Algus: “All right then, all non-fighters please make your way to the stands.”

Kiros: “Ward says break a leg. Literally.”

Laguna: *frowns* “That’s not a nice thing to say, Ward!”

Ward: Kiros, if I had my anchor right now…it would be Aeris and Sephiroth all over again. And we all know who’d be Aeris.

Laguna: “Wish me luck, son!”

Squall: “No.”

(so squall, kiros and ward go and join all the other ff characters who have gathered in this huge stadium)

Ward: This bunch of characters…they’ll be crying for blood in no time.

Barret: “Yo! Damn Algus wanted me to fight that there Turk! Told him no damn way!”

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

Barret: “Damn right, Cid! How come you ain’t be fightin’, cell phone?”

Red: “Cell phone!? That is an electronic object!”

Barret: “Yo! Answer me, cell phone! Don’t be puttin’ me to no voice mail!”

Red: *puts hand to head* “I should have offered to fight and let myself be sacrificed.”

Ward: Barret and Cid remind me of Kiros, so you can imagine what I think of them. If I was going to be friends with anyone around here, it would be Red. I think we have a lot in common.

Tifa: “Did you put any money on this, Cloud?”

Cloud: “…Huh? When are we getting to Icicle Inn?”

Tifa: *shaking a flask upside down* “Damn, where’s Reno when you need him?”

Ward: Tifa needs to move on with her life. And Cloud needs an IV of alcohol.

Sephiroth: *chanting* “Kill! Kill! Kill!”

Vincent: “Angel, they didn’t even start yet.”

Sephiroth: “I know that, Vincent! I’m just doing my warm-ups!”

Auron: “It’s quite annoying.”

Sephiroth: “Shut up, Auroran!”

Ward: I heard Vincent signed Sephiroth up for therapy, but he stopped going after the first session because he punched the therapist in the face. Apparently the therapist was asking about his father too much. I really don’t know what those two see in each other. Actually, more like what Vincent sees in Sephiroth. See, these are topics I wish I could discuss with people, if I could TALK!

Yuffie: *poking seifer in the back of the head* “Hahahaha!”

Seifer: *turning around* “Knock it off!

Yuffie: “I’ll leave you alone if you give me some materia!”

Seifer: “I don’t have any friggen materia! Now knock if off! I wanna see chicken wuss get his ass whooped!”

Ward: Yuffie and Seifer… Does it get more annoying? …I mean besides Kiros.

Reno: “This is gonna be great!”

Elena: “Tseng is so gonna win!”

Rude: “Hm. Wish I was getting a million dollars.”

Irvine: “I bet 500 gil on Tseng, Reno! You better be right! Otherwise what am gonna buy booze with?”

Reno: “Would I steer you wrong, man? Especially when it comes to booze money? Trust me.”

Ward: “The Turks are okay. They keep to themselves. And Irvine is such a Reno in training. And that’s scary.”

Rinoa: “Aren’t you worried about your father, Squall?”

Squall: “Whatever.”

Selphie: “Did you bet any money, Instructor?”

Quistis: “No, but I got this souvenir.” *holds a sign that says ‘parking spot reserved for rufus shinra*

Selphie: *cocks head to one side* “Where did you get that?”

Ward: SHE’S A KLEPTO, YOU IDIOT! …Oh, the things I would say if I could talk.

Locke: “Edgar, I bet all the money I stole…er treasure hunted on Tseng. Your ‘inside info’ better be right.”

Edgar: “Rufus is my friend. He would not lie to me.”

Setzer: “Why isn’t Shadow here? Doesn’t he love fighting?”

Locke: “Interceptor has a cold, so he’s home watching Animal Planet with him.”

Edgar: “………….”

Setzer: “…………”

Locke: “I know.”

Ward: Any friend of Rufus is someone I’m wary of. Speak of the devil…

(rufus comes out on stage with algus. they’re both grinning. rufus speaks into a microphone)

Rufus: “Greetings, everyone! And welcome to the fight of the century!”

Algus: “All betting has now stopped.”

Rufus: “And now, to the main event!”

Ward: ….I know there’s a reason why almost no one’s ever seen Tseng fight…

(yeah, and ward’s right on the money. first is zidane, who obviously doesn’t want to fight. he has his sword, but so does tseng, and tseng is way better. he easily blocks all of zidane’s attacks and knocks him off with two quick blows)

Zidane: *stumbles* “Freakin… Algus.” *falls down*

Rufus: *delightful laughter* “One down, three to go!”

Algus: “Big deal, Zidane was a worthless peasant. That’s why he went first.”

Rufus: “We shall see, my friend, we shall see.”

Ward: …Yeah. I’m really glad I bought those first aid supplies.

(next up is zell, who seems pretty confident. he, of course, uses his fists, so tseng does too. zell is pretty good, but tseng is better. zell manages to get one cheap hit, but tseng gets him right back, and zell is one the floor before you know it)

Ward: Yes… Very, very, glad.

Algus: *getting a bit nervous* “Yes, well…that was luck.”

Rufus: “Getting a bit nervous, Algus?” *laughs*

(steiner is next, and he has the sword again. steiner is very good, but tseng overpowers him and takes him down in about a minute)

Sephiroth: “I taught him everything he knows!!”

Algus: *nervously sweating*

Rufus: “Only one more left!” *laughs*

Kiros: “Once Laguna’s knocked out, I’ll be 2,000 girl richer!”

Ward: And I’ll be in the back reviving him while you watch on and tell him I was rooting for him to lose.

(laguna comes out looking very confident. he uses a gun, of course, but that’s bad luck for him because that’s tseng speciality. laguna can’t even draw his shotgun out all the way before tseng knocks him out using his handgun.)

Laguna: *stumbles* “…..Ow.” *falls*

(and the stadium is silent a moment. tseng just kinda stands there.  he’s barely broken a sweat. then suddenly all the people who bet on him start cheering)

Ward: …..I knew this was a bad idea.

Rufus: “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Victory is mine!”

Algus: *hysterically sobbing*

Kiros: “Whoo hoo! Thanks to Laguna being a dumb ass, I’m a winner!”

Irvine and Reno: “All right!” *high five*

Elena: “Turks rock!”

(kiros and squall are busy hugging and talking about how they’re going to spend the money)

Ward: *getting up* Guess I better tend to Laguna. Because no one else will.

(so he goes into the back, where all the knocked out fighters have been dragged. vivi is giving steiner and zidane potions. no one is taking care of poor zell. ward goes over to laguna)

Zidane: *barely conscious* “Oh…the pain… But at least… Algus… Lost… A …Lot….of…money…that…rat….bastard…”

Steiner: *barely conscious* “I….let down….Sir Algus… I don’t….deserve…to be revived…”

Ward: Of course, here I am, to the rescue again.

(he gives laguna a potion and he stirs)

Laguna: *opening his eyes* “Ward…? Kiros…?”

Ward: Kiros?!

(he turns and see kiros has appeared next to him)

Kiros: “Ward says thanks for winning him big money!”

Ward: That’s IT! *grabs kiros by the throat*

Kiros: *sputter*

????: “Hey, what’s going on here?”

(everyone turns and sees lark standing with Brady in the back door of the stadium. ward lets go of kiros’ throat)

Ward: Dammit, and I finally got a hold of him.

Lark: “Why is Zell dead?”

Everyone: “……………………..”

Lark: “Was is Sephiroth?”

Everyone: “……………………….”

Lark: “It was Sephiroth, wasn’t it.”

Everyone: “……………………”

Lark: *sigh* “Fine, if you guys won’t talk, can you at least gather everyone together? I have some news.”

Kiros: “Ward says he wants to know now!”

Ward: …At least Lark isn’t stupid enough to fall for Kiros.

Lark: “Well…if you must know now…*Kiros*…” *holds up her left hand where there’s a diamond ring* “Brady and I are engaged!”

(everyone who is conscious-poor zell-drops their jaw in shock)

Ward: …I wish I could talk. Because I would tell her not to tell them now. Not when they’re all worked up from the fight. Because bad things might happen. But I can’t talk. So all I can do is stand here and inwardly sigh.

Kiros: “Ward says you could do better!”

Ward: Oh GEEZ, Kiros! Give it a freakin’ rest!

 

 

THE END

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