#156 – Franswa Revisited

Horatio: *chuckles* “It’s always been my opinion that all Belmont’s are meant for greatness. But that doesn’t mean they’re all meant to fight Dracula.”

Originally Published: 1/26/06 . 46 pages

Synopsis
Franswa already knows he isn’t a Belmont, but when Juste lets something slip, he begins to wonder if that’s really the truth.

Ramble Milestones
-Horatio Belmont shows up.
-Alucard admits Trevor Belmont is his son.

Time for another ramble confession. So, after I wrote about Franswa not being a Belmont, I was kind of sad he wasn’t a Belmont at all. So I fixed that. Believe or not I had written out my entire Belmont family tree (based on canon, of course). I wonder if I still have it. That thing was huge. Speaking of Belmont’s, this ramble reveals that they’re all descended from Alucard. This was implied by the games, but never confirmed. I liked the idea so I used it. I also love drunk Alucard. He cannot keep a secret. What’s also amazing is the FF10 characters actually appear here – I was replaying the game at the time. The title of this one was inspired by the book “Brideshead Revisited”.

(we start in the ramble room where barret and cid stand near red, who looks more depressed than usual…)

Barret: “Yo! This here devildog still be mopin’ all day! What be his problem?”

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

Barret: “That right?!” *to red* “Yo! Cat/rat/moo! You all mopey ’cause you don’t know where yo’ grandpa be at?”

Red: *sigh* “You’ve been torturing me for days without caring about it. Why start now?”

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

Barret: “Yo! Yeah! Cid be right! Maybe we can help ya find him!”

Red: “I don’t think he’ll be in any CD stores buying rap music.”

(he trudges away sadly. barret and cid look at one another)

Barret: “Yo! You gotta prove that there crawfish wrong and find his grandpa!”

Cid: “@#$@#$!^#@$^$&@%@#$!”

(they run off. and along come zell and zidane. zidane is carrying a bucket)

Zidane: “I am sick of washing Algus’ cars! He doesn’t even drive them!”

Zell: “Rufus doesn’t drive his either. He has his monkey do it for him!”

Zidane: “I think we both need a break from our crazy bosses this weekend.”

Zell: “I like Rufus, but okay! Like what? A trip to the comic book store? That always cheers me up!”

Zidane: “No! Zell! You gotta grow up, man! I’m talking about the strip club!”

Zell: “Strip club? What strip club?”

Zidane: “The new male strip club. You know. Alucard’s new boyfriend Dante works there.”

Zell: *looks confused* “I think I’m behind on the new gossip.”

Zidane: “Yeah! We’ll go there and have a great time. And Rufus and Algus won’t be there, because they’re still scared from the time they wore those yaoi shirts around.”

Zell: “I don’t remember that either.”

Zidane: “I’ll see you later.”

(he goes off. zell looks confused another second but then shrugs his shoulders and goes off too.)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, across the street at the belmont estate, franswa is in the kitchen carefully putting very intricate icing on a cake when richter and juste walk in)

Richter: “There you are, Franswa! What are you doing?”

Franswa: “I was bored, so I made a cake!” *smiles* “What do you think?”

Richter: “I think that’s a lot of time you could have spent practicing with the whip!”

Franswa: *frowns* “Will you get off it, dad! I’m not a Belmont, I never was a Belmont, and I’ll never be a Belmont! Leave me alone!”

(he runs out crying.)

Richter: “I hate when he uses that excuse! I still raised him, didn’t I?”

Juste: “And he is a Belmont. He’s just not next in line.”

Richter: *blink blink* “Uh, dad? Do we have to bring you to that old folks home?”

Juste: *blink blink* “…What did I just say?”

Richter: “You said that Franswa is a Belmont, but he’s just not next in line.”

Juste: *paling* “Oh.”

Richter: “You know I had that paternity test done. You know it said he’s not my son!”

Juste: “Right. Not your son. I know. I knew that.”

Richter: “Then why did you say he’s a Belmont?”

Juste: *long pause* “………..Well…………..because he still……..has the last name. …..Of course.”

Richter: *looks at him suspiciously* “I don’t think you’re senile. ….I think you’re hiding something.”

Juste: “No. I think I’m senile.”

Richter: *thoughtfully* “In the tape Annette said it was the baker down the street. I remember him! He was a big man with black hair and bronzed skin!” *pause* “…Wait a minute. …Franswa looks nothing like that man.” *pause* “And his coloring…that’s not just from Annette either. She was blonde and blue eyed with slightly tanned skin! And Franswa’s got red hair! And he’s pale!”

Juste: “…I have to go.”

(he tries to hobble out, but richter grabs his arm)

Richter: “Of course I know another baker! And I know him very well too! He has reddish brown hair, is on the tall side and is pale as the rest of us! And why wouldn’t he be?! And that baker just happened to set up shop on a road known as ‘The Street’! Of course! Oh heaven and earth can it be true?! Father – is this what you were trying to hide from me?!?! You knew?! All along?!”

Juste: *sigh* “Yes. I knew.”

Richter: “Why didn’t you tell me before when I found out the truth?”

Juste: “Because! A true Belmont heir – one that is descended from the first born son – had to be born!”

Richter: “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?”

Juste: “I didn’t want to upset you or make you hate your brother.”

Richter: *eyes narrow* “Yes, my brother. How dare he sleep with my wife when I’m presumed dead! Oh yes. You’ll be hearing from me, Horatio Belmont!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back at the ramble room, lark is walking down the hallway in a bikini when she runs into sephiroth.)

Lark: “Hi, Sephy!”

Sephiroth: *stares*

Lark: “Uh, I’m going in the pool. That’s why I’m wearing a bathing suit in the middle of winter.”

Sephiroth: *snaps out of it* “Oh right.” *sly smile* “Want some company?”

Lark: “Okay!”

Sephiroth: “I’ll just put on my bathing suit and meet you there.”

(she walks away, and he stands there and watches her go. when she’s out of sight he turns around and nearly smacks right into vincent)

Sephiroth: “Whoa! Vincent! What are you doing?! I don’t want to get back together!”

Vincent: “I know that. I’m sorry. I was just heading in that direction.”

Sephiroth: *blink blink* “You really don’t want to try and get back together with me anymore?”

Vincent: “No.”

Sephiroth: “Really??”

Vincent: “A wise friend was finally able to make me see things properly. I have someone else in my life now. Now if you’ll excuse me.”

(he brushes past sephiroth and goes his own way. sephiroth looks a bit ticked off for a moment but then he turns and heads back to his room)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back at the belmonts, richter stomps into the living room where the other belmonts are, looking quite upset. juste is on his heels)

Richter: “Franswa is a Belmont!!”

Trevor: “Huh?”

Simon: “What? You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Richter: “I’ve just been informed that he is the son of my younger brother – Horatio Belmont!”

Simon: “Horatio?!” *laughs* “Well that explains it! Those second born sons…they’re just no good.”

Juste: “Pardon me! That’s my other son you’re talking about!”

Trevor: “And my Lukey was a fine a Belmont as well! You’re just jealous because you only had one son, Simon!”

Simon: “Well at least I bothered to have other children!”

Trevor: “Are you speaking about Christopher?? Because they were lucky to have your father at all – and that’s not saying much!”

Simon: “Solieyu Belmont was a great man!”

Trevor: “Nonsense! People can barely pronounce his name! I told Christopher not to let his wife name the baby!”

Richter: “Stop it! You’ve all gone off topic! I was talking about Horatio!”

Trevor: “Oh yes! Horatio! Now that *does* come as a surprise…”

Simon: “I always thought he was a little gay…”

Trevor: “Nonsense! Where would he have gotten that from?! None of the Belmont’s are the slightest bit homosexual! Right, Juste??”

Juste: “…Right.”

Richter: “Whatever the case may be – he still fathered my son!” *pause* “Well, his son. His son that I thought was my son. Dammit it all! Why is this so complicated?!”

(franswa then runs in looking annoyed)

Franswa: “What are you all yelling about?! Can you keep it down?! I’m trying to study my Russian!”

Elder Belmont’s: *freeze*

Richter: “Nothing, son. You get back to your studies.”

Trevor: “Yes! Don’t let your Uncle down!”

Everyone: *freeze*

Franswa: *blink blink* “My *what*?”

Richter: “Dammit all, grandpa one! He’s still my son!”

Franswa: *confused and nervous* “Dad…why did he say you’re my uncle?”

Simon: “‘Cause your father is his brother!”

Franswa: “What?!”

Richter: “Can’t anyone keep their mouth shut?!”

Franswa: “Is this true?!”

Richter: “Fine!! Since no one here can keep their mouth shut you might as well know! Yes, it’s true! Your real father is my brother – Horatio Belmont!”

Franswa: “But I thought mom said my father was the baker down the street!”

Richter: “He was the baker down the street! The street being ‘The Street’ a street in town!”

Franswa: *shocked* “Oh my god… Well… Well… Did you know this all along?”

Richter: “No! But your grandfather did!”

Franswa: “…Grandpa?”

Juste: “I didn’t want to mess anything up!”

Franswa: “So how come I never met this guy if he’s my uncle…father…whatever?”

Simon: “Because he’s a sorry excuse for a Belmont! Just like you!”

(for a moment it looks like franswa is going to burst into tears as usual. but he doesn’t. instead he stands there looking determined)

Franswa: “I spent all my life living in the shadow of this family, believing I was one of you. Then I come to find out I’m not. And I was happy with that! Because I was tired of trying to living up to your impossible standards! But now that you tell me I am part of your bloodline I could not be more disgusted! There is more to being a good person than slaying a couple of vampires! And I bet my *real* father is a better person than most of you!”

(and with that he thunders up the stairs.)

Richter: “Franswa!” *runs after him*

Trevor: “What did he say? I fell asleep for a second.”

Juste: *sigh*

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, upstairs, richter is knocking on franswa’s door, which is locked, of course)

Richter: “Franswa! This is not good news for me either, you know! Please open your door!”

Franswa’s voice: “No! I’m not coming out unless you get my *real* father!”

Richter: *frowns* “But I thought we agreed I would always be your dad!”

(there’s silence a moment. then…)

Franswa’s voice: “You are. And I’m not mad at you.” *angry* “I’m angry at those two old jerks downstairs who think they’re better than everybody because they can swing a whip around!”

Richter: *sternly* “Now young man, don’t you speak of your elders in that way!”

Franswa’s voice: “I’ll say anything I want! Now you get my real father over here! I wanna see what kind of man they think isn’t a true Belmont!”

Richter: *sigh* “Fine!”

(he stalks away down the stairs to where juste is waiting for him)

Juste: “What’s going on up there?”

Richter: “Franswa refuses to come out of his room until we get Horatio over here.”

Juste: “That’s good. I just called him.”

Richter: “Does he even *know* that Franswa’s his son?”

Juste: “He knows. Why do you think he always avoided all the reunions? He didn’t want to take your son away from you!”

Richter: *frowns*

Juste: “He’s on his way.”

Richter: “Dad?”

Juste: “Yes, Richter?”

Richter: “Can I punch him in the face?”

Juste: “No.”

Richter: “Please?”

Juste: “No, Richter.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back over at the ramble room, lark is already in the pool when sephiroth shows up with his bathing suit on)

Lark: “Took you long enough!”

Sephiroth: “You know I’m not exactly organized, woman!”

Lark: “Well come on in! The water’s great!”

(he dives in the deep end and swims underwater until he gets near her. then he surfaces with his hair all in his face)

Lark: *chuckles* “That’s a nice look for you.”

Sephiroth: *pushing his hair out of his face* “Thanks for noticing.”

Lark: “You want a ponytail holder?”

Sephiroth: “…Fine. But only ’cause there’s no one else here.”

(she takes one of the ponytail holders off her wrist and hands it to him. he pulls his hair away from his face and puts it back)

Lark: “So I understand you and Alucard are still friends.”

Sephiroth: “I guess so.”

Lark: “Well that’s good.”

Sephiroth: “I don’t really want to talk about Alucard.” *he lays on his back and floats in the water*

Lark: *does the same* “Oh. Okay. Sorry.”

Sephiroth: “Vincent says he has someone else in his life now. You know anything about that?”

Lark: “……”

Sephiroth: “I’ll take that as a yes.”

Lark: “Well…I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but… I wasn’t sure how you’d take it.”

Sephiroth: “Did you think I’d be upset or something?”

Lark: “Well…”

Sephiroth: “Because I’m not. Vincent and I are way over. I don’t care if he’s with that stupid stalker Auron.”

Lark: “…You don’t care at all?”

Sephiroth: “No. I’ve got my eye on someone else already.”

Lark: “Oh yeah? Is it someone I know?” *laughs* “It’s not Vergil again, I hope.”

Sephiroth: *standing upright again* “Oh, you heard all about that too, I guess. You know everything that’s going on.”

Lark: “I know all about everything going on around here.”

Sephiroth: “Oh do you now?”

(and suddenly he tackles lark, catching her off guard. she laughs as he picks her up out of the water. he’s still holding her and they’re both laughing when Brady comes in, also in a bathing suit. he sees what’s going on and frowns)

Lark: *still laughing* “Oh! Heh, hey Brady! I thought you weren’t coming!”

Brady: *still frowning* “I changed my mind.”

Lark: *chuckles* “Okay! Put me down, Sephy.”

Sephiroth: *still holding her*

Lark: “Sephy!! Come on!!”

(sephiroth finally puts her down, giving Brady a look as he does so. lark swims over to where Brady stands. zidane then runs in holding sephiroth’s cell phone)

Zidane: “Hey, Sephiroth. You left your cell phone in the ramble room and someone left you a voicemail.”

Sephiroth: *annoyed sigh* “Who was it?” *getting out of the pool*

Zidane: “I don’t know.” *grins* “Heeeeey! I wanna go in the pool!”

Algus’ voice: “Zidane! Get back here at once! You forgot to clean the tires!”

Zidane: *yells back* “I’m only cleaning the tires when you drive the damn things! Geez!”

Sephiroth: *takes the phone* “…Alucard called? I wonder what he wants.” *to lark* “I’ll see you later.”

Lark: “Okay! Bye!”

(sephiroth and zidane leave. Brady sits down, putting his feet in the pool)

Brady: “Babe… You think Sephiroth still has a thing for you?”

Lark: “No way! What makes you say that?”

Brady: “…Nothing.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back at the belmonts, franswa picks up the phone and dials it…)

????: “Hey, Franswa! What’s up?”

Franswa: *sad sigh* “Hey, Zell. I just needed to talk to someone…I didn’t know who else to call.”

Zell’s voice: “Sure, buddy! You can talk to me anytime! What’s up?”

Franswa: “You remember that whole thing with my dad not being my real dad?”

Zell’s voice: “…Yeah…”

Franswa: “Well, will you believe everything’s even more messed up now?”

Zell’s voice: “What?! How do you mean more messed up? What happened?”

Franswa: “Maybe you better come over.”

Zell’s voice: “Sure! I’ll be right over.”

Franswa: “Wait! I don’t want my family to know you’re here.”

Zell’s voice: “Uh…then how am I supposed to get in? Your room is on the second floor!”

Franswa: “…Can you get a ladder?”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back to the ramble room a few minutes later, zell walks outside to where zidane is washing the tires on one of algus’ car)

Zell: “Hey, Zidane!”

Zidane: “Hey. I’m washing cars. And it’s cold out! And he doesn’t even drive them! What is *wrong* with me?!”

Zell: “I think everyone’s been asking themselves that question for years.”

Zidane: *sigh* “So what’s up?”

Zell: “Do we have a ladder?”

Zidane: “Yeah. In the garage. Along with some of Algus’ *other* cars he doesn’t drive.”

Zell: “Okay. Thanks!”

Zidane: “Wait, Zell! …You think anymore about going to the strip club with me?”

Zell: *uncomfortable* “I don’t know, Zidane… I don’t think that’s really my kinda place.”

Zidane: “Fine! Suit yourself. I’ll find someone else to go with.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 

(back at the belmonts, franswa is sitting in his room when there’s a knock at his window. he looks over and sees zell waving at him. he happily gets up and opens the window, and zell crawls inside)

Franswa: “Thanks for coming over.”

Zell: “No problem! That’s what friends are for, right? So what happened??”

Franswa: “Well, now I find out that my dad’s my uncle.”

Zell: “What?!”

Franswa: “My real dad is my father’s brother. And my grandfather knew all this time!”

Zell: “Well is your uncle…er…dad, uh, you know…is he cool?”

Franswa: “I don’t know. I’ve never met him.” *he sits on his bed with a sigh* “I was glad not to be a Belmont! My family was still annoying but knowing that I wasn’t one of them lifted a big weight off my shoulders, you know? But now I’m right back where I started.”

Zell: *sits next to him* “I know it must be weird having all this going on, Franswa. But you know what? You’re still the same person! No matter who your parents are! You’re still you!”

Franswa: “Every time I’m a Belmont I feel more like a failure.”

Zell: “You’re not a failure!”

Franswa: “And my family said my real dad was a failure too.”

Zell: “I bet he’s not! ‘Cause you’re not! And your family is nuts! You’re one the coolest people I’ve ever met in my whole life!”

Franswa: *rolls eyes* “Oh, come on, Zell.”

Zell: “I’m not kidding!”

Franswa: “I’m just a cry baby loser who makes pretty good cookies.”

(zell frowns and scoots closer to franswa on the bed. he then takes him by the shoulders and looks right in his eyes)

Zell: “You make awesome cookies. And out of everyone I’ve ever met I like you the most.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “But–“

(but franswa gets cut off. and why? because zell quickly leans forward and kisses him. franswa’s eyes widen in shock. the kiss is quick as lightening, as soon as it starts, it ends. franswa still sits there in shock and zell looks shocked with himself. he quickly gets up, looking embarrassed.)

Zell: “Uh……….I have to go!”

(he makes a dash for the window)

Franswa: *getting up* “Zell!!”

(but zell is on that ladder and out of the house in a flash. and before franswa can get to the window he’s already heading back down the street with the ladder. franswa frowns and rests his forehead on the window)

Franswa: “…Don’t go.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back at the ramble room, sephiroth stands in the hallway with his cellphone to his ear…)

Sephiroth: *mumbles* “Stop screwing your boyfriend and pick up the phone you slu–“

Alucard’s voice: “Hello?”

Sephiroth: “Alucard! Hi. You rang?”

Alucard’s voice: “Yes, I did. I was wondering if you wanted to hang out tomorrow night.”

Sephiroth: “Why? Getting bored of the diseased demon stripper already?”

Alucard’s voice: “No. In fact I wanted you to come to Dante’s club with me.”

Sephiroth: “You want me to come see your new boyfriend take off his clothes?! Are you insane? Yeah! That sounds like a great time!”

Alucard’s voice: “He’s not the only stripper there, you know. I think you need to get out of the house.”

Sephiroth: “I hope you’re not trying to shove how hot you think your new boyfriend is in my face.”

Alucard’s voice: “…I thought we called a truce. I’m trying to maintain a friendship here.”

Sephiroth: “Fine, fine. I’ll meet you at the house of skank tomorrow night. You happy now?”

Alucard’s voice: “Ten o’clock.”

Sephiroth: “Fine. I’ll see you then.”

(he hangs up, looking slightly annoyed. and he looks even more annoyed when he sees auron walk by. sephiroth says nothing, he just glares at auron. auron walks past him a bit before stopping and turning around)

Auron: “Is something wrong?”

Sephiroth: “What?”

Auron: “You’re staring at me. I asked if something was wrong.”

Sephiroth: “Wrong? With me? No. With you, plenty. But I wasn’t staring.”

Auron: “If this is about me and Vincent–“

Sephiroth: “You and who? Oh! Vincent? No. If I wanted a dinosaur I’d go to the museum.”

(auron’s eyes narrow a moment, but he chooses to say nothing and instead just walks away.)

Sephiroth: *mumbles to himself* “…You better walk away…”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back outside, zell is coming back to the ramble room with the ladder in tow. tidus and wakka are on the front lawn tossing a blitzball around)

Wakka: “Yo, Zell! You wanna practice blitzball with us?”

Tidus: “We’re playing the Luca Goers soon! We could use a good defender!”

Zell: *looks dazed* “Huh?” *snaps back to reality* “Oh! Blitzball! Uh, yeah! Okay! Just a second!”

(he goes back into the garage, puts the ladder away and then comes out to join them. wakka tosses him the ball)

Wakka: “What were you doin’ with the ladder?”

Zell: “The ladder? Uh…nothing.” *tosses ball to tidus*

Tidus: “…You were just walking around with a ladder?” *tosses ball to wakka*

Zell: *quickly* “Hey! If blitzball is played in water, how can we really practice by tossing the ball around?”

Tidus: *to wakka* “You see? That’s why the Auroch’s always lost before I came along!”

Wakka: “Ah, our practicing was fine, ya?”

Tidus: “No… You have to do more than toss a ball around on a beach if you wanna win! Right, Zell?”

Zell: *distracted* “Huh?”

Wakka: “Hey. You don’t seem like yourself today. You okay?”

Zell: “I’m good.” *forces smile* “Throw me the ball.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back to the belmonts…a short time after zell flees the place, the doorbell rings. juste hobbles over and answers the door. a tall, pale man about richter’s age stands there. he has reddish brown hair that’s a little long and pulled back in a ponytail. he’s quite handsome, and he looks like a combination of richter, juste and franswa. juste smiles upon seeing him)

Juste: “Horatio! Son! You’re here!”

Horatio: “It’s good to see you, father! It’s been a long time.”

(they hug. trevor and simon slowly make their way into the room)

Trevor: “Well, well, well. If it isn’t the lost Belmont. I wondered if I’d ever see your face again, Horatio!”

Simon: “It’s no shock to me you fathered that good for nothing Franswa! The only shock is there was a woman involved!”

Horatio: *thin smile* “I see little has changed around here, grandpa Trevor. Grandpa Simon.”

Juste: “Give the boy some slack! He just stepped through the door!” *closes the door* “So! How have you been?”

Horatio: “I’ve been wonderful, actually. But I’m a bit nervous. I thought this day would never come.”

Simon: “You’re a little old to take up the whip now!”

Horatio: “I’m not here about the blasted whip!” *to juste* “Where’s Richter?”

Juste: “I don’t know…”

Horatio: “He must be terribly upset with me.”

Juste: “…..”

Horatio: “I don’t blame him.” *pause* “I have a lot of explaining to do.”

Juste: “The first thing you should do is go upstairs and see Franswa! The boy refuses to come out of his room!”

Horatio: “…All right. That can be done. Which door is it?”

Juste: “The second on the right.”

(horatio heads up the stairs)

Simon: “If you can manage those stairs, I don’t see why you can’t manage the ones leading up to Dracula’s castle!”

Trevor: “Here, here! Quite true!”

(horatio makes a face but he continues up the stairs without another word. he then goes over to the door to franswa’s room and takes a deep breath before knocking lightly.)

Franswa’s voice: “Dad! I told you not to come back until my *real* dad gets here!”

Horatio: “…I’m afraid that’s me.”

(there’s no answer. a second later the door opens up a crack and franswa peeks out. his eyes widen when he sees horatio and he quickly steps back and opens the door)

Franswa: “I’m sorry! Please! Come in!”

(he steps aside and horatio enters the room. franswa shuts the door again)

Horatio: *looks around* “I like your room.”

Franswa: “Thanks.” *uncomfortable* “So… You’re…Horatio Belmont?”

Horatio: “Indeed I am.”

Franswa: “…And you’re my dad.”

Horatio: “I am your biological father, yes.”

Franswa: *looking at the floor* “How come… How come I’ve never met you before?”

Horatio: “I didn’t want to cause any trouble. Richter believed you were his biological child and I wanted him to believe that. I was ashamed of what happened.”

Franswa: “Ashamed of me?”

Horatio: “No! I’m ashamed of what happened between your mother and I. Suffice to say under normal circumstances it never would have happened. But in other ways I’m glad it did happen. When you were born I had never seen Richter happier.”

Franswa: “…Really?”

Horatio: “Of course! He was excited to be a father. Especially after all he had been through.”

Franswa: *frowns* “Well, I never felt much like I belonged here.”

Horatio: “I can relate to that. They would force me to do my warrior training during the day, but I would sneak down at night and bake things.”

Franswa: *eyes light up* “Really? I do that too!”

Horatio: *chuckles* “Your grandfather tells me you’re quite the baker yourself.”

Franswa: “Well… I’m okay, I guess.”

Horatio: “I know how you must feel about suddenly finding out about all this. It must be troubling. But I never wanted anything but the best for you, Franswa. And that included being raised by my brother.”

Franswa: “I guess…it would have hurt dad…I mean Richter…a lot…to know the truth. …Wouldn’t it?”

Horatio: “I should say so. I haven’t even seen him yet. I’m sure he’ll be furious with me. He loved your mother so, and she him.”

Franswa: “Did you…love my mother too?”

Horatio: “As a friend I did.” *pause* “Franswa…you’re a grown man now. I think there’s much more you should hear.”

Franswa: “Okay.”

Horatio: “…Let’s go find your father.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(so they go downstairs to where richter sits at the kitchen table, hunched over a cup of coffee and looking depressed. franswa enters first, horatio right behind him…)

Richter: *looking up* “Franswa!” *eyes narrow* “Horatio!” *gets to his feet*

Horatio: “Now, now, brother! Let’s be civil!”

Richter: “Be civil?! You slept with my wife while I was gone! That’s not very civil!”

Horatio: “Everyone thought you were dead, Richter. All of us! Please don’t hold it against Annette, rest her soul.”

Richter: “I don’t hold it against her! I hold it against *you*!”

Horatio: “Please let me explain…”

Richter: “Explain!? Explain what?! How you seduced my wife?!”

Horatio: “I did no such thing!”

Richter: “Yes you did! Don’t try to hide it now! You conned my wife into sleeping with you!”

Horatio: “Richter–“

Richter: “You tricked her into bed with you!”

Horatio: “Richter–“

Richter: “You fooled her!! You confused her!! You–“

Horatio: “Richter. I’m gay.”

Richter: “You–!!” *pause* “…What?”

Horatio: “I’m gay, Richter.”

Franswa: *gasp*

Richter: “…You are?”

Horatio: “Yes. I’ve been living with my partner for fifteen years. His name is Franklin. I would have brought him with me but one of us had to be there to run the shop.”

Richter: “But…! But…! You still slept with Annette!”

Horatio: *nods* “I did. I was spending some time with her one evening and we both had far too much wine. We both felt horrible about it.”

(richter pauses for a long moment. then he turns to franswa)

Richter: “Franswa? Can you leave us alone for a moment?”

(franswa nods and goes outside. of course after he closes the door he presses his ear against it to listen. juste comes by)

Juste: “Are they talking?”

Franswa: *nods* “Yeah.”

Juste: “You don’t mind if I take a listen, do you?”

(franswa shakes his head no and moves aside so juste can get in there to listen too. they can hear their conversation completely.)

Horatio: “I’m very sorry you found out about this. You weren’t supposed to.”

Richter: “…Thank you.”

Horatio: “I’m sorry?”

Richter: “Thank you. For Franswa.”

Horatio: “I didn’t want to take him away from you. I know how much you love your son, Richter.”

Richter: “Now that I know…I don’t know how I didn’t figure it out before. There’s so much of you in him.”

Horatio: “He’s more your child than he is mine.”

Richter: “Franswa has had it fairly rough lately. You know how grandpa Trevor and grandpa Simon can be.”

Horatio: “That I do.”

Richter: “I think he can learn a lot from you.”

Horatio: “I didn’t come here today to come between you.”

Richter: “I know. You came here because you want what’s best for him. As do I.”

(then there’s a lot of noise as trevor and simon enter the kitchen from the other doors)

Trevor: “There you are, Richter!”

Simon: “And Horatio! Didn’t you bring any pie with you?”

Trevor: “Let’s have some pie and talk about the time I defeated Dracula!”

Simon: “No! It’s my turn to tell *my* story!”

Richter: “Why don’t we all go into the living room?”

(and there’s the sound of footsteps as the four of them leave the room through the second set of doors. juste and franswa back away from the door.)

Juste: “Richter loves you, Franswa.”

Franswa: “I know. …No matter what else may happen, he’ll always be my dad.”

Juste: “I see a lot of my sons in you.”

Franswa: “Seeing Uncle Horatio…it finally made me realize I do belong in this family.”

Juste: “Of course you do! And why wouldn’t you?”

Franswa: *shrugs* “I just always felt like an outcast.”

Juste: “Franswa, I think all of us have felt like we didn’t belong in this family at one point or another! Even me!”

Franswa: “You, grandfather?”

Juste: “It’s a long story, but we’re all Belmont’s here! Every one of us! And in the end we all stick together!”

Trevor’s voice: “Juste! You and Franswa get in here! I’m going to tell the story of how I fought Dracula!”

Simon’s voice: “No! I’m going to tell the story!”

Trevor’s voice: “No! I am!”

Simon’s voice: “I am!”

(franswa and juste exchange a smile, then go into the living room.)

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(the next morning, it’s quite early in the morning when franswa sneaks out of his room. he goes downstairs into the kitchen, only to find horatio in there wearing an apron gathering pancake making items)

Horatio: “Good morning!”

Franswa: “Good morning! What are you doing up?”

Horatio: “I came down early to make pancakes.”

Franswa: *grins* “That’s what I was coming to do.”

Horatio: *laughs* “Well, well then! Excellent! Come grab an apron!”

(so franswa comes over and puts on an apron)

Franswa: “I’m glad we finally got to meet.”

Horatio: “As am I. Your grandfather would call and tell me what you were up to, but, that’s never the same.”

(they start mixing up the pancake batter)

Franswa: “I’ve never met anyone else in the family. Every time someone comes over, they just send me away.”

Horatio: “Really? Well, it’s probably about time for a Belmont family reunion. You’ve never even met your cousin?”

Franswa: “I have a cousin?”

Horatio: “Surely you’ve heard your father mention our sister?”

Franswa: “Oh yeah… Aunt Julia… I’ve never met her.”

Horatio: “Well, her husband is a bit odd. But she has a son about your age.”

Franswa: “How much of the family is still alive?”

Horatio: “Almost all of it, actually. The only ones who’ve passed on are the spouses… Everyone else is still around.”

Franswa: “Don’t you find that weird?”

Horatio: “As grandpa Trevor would say, the Belmont’s have strong blood.”

Franswa: “Is that why they keep me away when the other relatives come to visit? Because they didn’t think I was strong enough?”

Horatio: “No! They probably just wanted you to concentrate on your training. Now that you’re not the first born child to the first born son, they’ll ease off on you.”

Franswa: “Really?”

Horatio: “Just a little bit.”

Franswa: *sigh* “I’ve never even touched that whip. I refused to!”

Horatio: “Smart boy. I held it once.”

Franswa: “Really? What happened?”

Horatio: “I swung it and hit myself in my head. I was in the hospital for a month.”

Franswa: “Oh my god!”

Horatio: *chuckles* “It’s always been my opinion that all Belmont’s are meant for greatness. But that doesn’t mean they’re all meant to fight Dracula.”

Franswa: *smiles* “I like that.”

(there’s a pause. horatio starts to pour the batter in the pan)

Horatio: “…I’m sorry if I shocked you yesterday.”

Franswa: “Huh?”

Horatio: “When I told your father I was…gay.”

Franswa: *blushes* “Oh. …No. It didn’t shock me.”

Horatio: “I’m glad. I didn’t want to frighten you off.”

Franswa: “No. No.” *long pause* “…I am too.”

Horatio: *shocked* “Really?”

Franswa: *looking down* “Yes.”

Horatio: “Chin up, Franswa! Don’t get embarrassed by it! Does your father know?”

Franswa: *shrugs* “I think so.”

Horatio: “But the rest of the family…”

Franswa: “No! Oh my god, no! They hate me enough already!”

Horatio: “No one hates you, Franswa! They might not say the nicest things, but no one hates you! Besides! It’s in our genes! Bound to pop up like hair color, or skin tone.” *pause* “Have you ever seen the family tree book?”

Franswa: “The what?”

Horatio: “Just as I thought. Well, after breakfast, I’ll show it to you.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back at the ramble room, zidane walks into the room where tseng is reading the paper)

Zidane: “Hey, Tseng!”

Tseng: *still reading paper* “I’m not going to the strip club with you.”

Zidane: *frowns* “Aw, come on! How’d you know I was gonna ask that?”

Tseng: “Because I know you far too well, Zidane.”

Zidane: *plops next to him on the couch* “C’mon! Why won’t you come with me?”

Tseng: “Because. …I don’t like lying to Reeve about where I’m going.”

Zidane: “So don’t lie to him! Do you really think he’ll care?”

Tseng: *puts the paper down* “I can’t tell him a place like that exists around here! If I do manage to get a job there, I don’t want him to think I’m working there!”

Zidane: *rolls eyes* “Fine. Well, you’re never gonna get a job there if you don’t go there and get to know the place.”

Tseng: *frowns*

Zidane: “And you should probably talk to the other strippers. Maybe one of them is looking to leave soon!”

Tseng: *sigh* “You really want me to go with you?”

Zidane: “I thought you, me and Franswa could go.”

Tseng: “Franswa?!”

Zidane: “I asked Zell, but he said no. So I’m gonna go over and ask Franswa later. If anyone needs to get outta the house, it’s that kid.”

Tseng: “That ‘kid’ is older than you.”

Zidane: “But I’m more experienced than him. So that makes him a kid.”

Tseng: *laughs* “Okay! Fine. I’ll go with you.”

Zidane: “You won’t be disappointed!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back over at the belmonts, they’re all at the table finishing up breakfast)

Horatio: “Where is the family tree book?”

Trevor: “The family tree book?! What would you want with that?”

Horatio: “I want to show it to Franswa. He’s never seen it.”

Juste: “It’s upstairs in the trophy room.”

Simon: “Be sure to put it back under the glass when you’re done!”

Richter: “And be careful not to get fingerprints on it.”

(franswa goes to clean up, but richter shoos his hand away)

Richter: “It’s all right. I’ll get it. Go look at the book with your uncle.”

Franswa: *smiles* “Thanks, dad.”

(so franswa and horatio go upstairs to the belmont trophy room. there’s all kinds of crap there, including the whip, which is in it’s special case. the family tree book is a really old huge leather bound book that is in a case like the one the whip is in. horatio removes it carefully and opens it up and starts to flip through the pages. franswa just watches in awe, because the thing goes back for a very long time. there are birth dates and death dates carefully listed for each person…until they get to the last two pages that is. the last two pages start with sonia belmont, who has a birth and death date. there is no other person listed besides her, but a line comes down indicating that she is trevor’s mother. at the bottom of the page is franswa, who is listed as being horatio’s son with a dotted line between horatio and annette renard-belmont. there is also a dotted line between richter and tifa lockhart, but the name for the baby has not yet been filled in. also at the bottom is franswa’s cousin, hugh baldwin. but anyway, everyone on the page has their birth date carefully written like all the others. all the people on the page who are direct decedents of the belmont bloodline, except for sonia, have no death date under their name. however, with the exception of john baldwin, hugh baldwin’s dad, all the spouses of the belmont children have death dates under their names.)

Franswa: “…Wow.”

Horatio: *chuckles* “Quite overwhelming, isn’t it? Besides being vampire hunters, the Belmonts are also known for keeping excellent records.”

Franswa: “Was I always listed as being your son in here?”

Horatio: “No. I suspect your grandfather changed it yesterday to reflect the truth.”

Franswa: “What does the dotted line mean?”

Horatio: “It means the child was produced without marriage.”

Franswa: “I wonder if my dad will ever marry Tifa.”

Horatio: “I doubt it. The Belmont’s were never known for second marriages.”

Franswa: “Is that my cousin? Hugh Baldwin?”

Horatio: “Yes, that’s him. He’s an only child, just as you are.”

Franswa: “Wow. You were right. All of our family members are still alive, but their spouses are all dead. Well, all the really old ones anyway.”

Horatio: “Yes.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “Hey… How come there’s no father listed for grandpa Trevor?”

Horatio: “You know, I’ve always wondered that myself.”

Franswa: “I’ve never even heard him talk about his mother.”

Horatio: “Oh, Sonia Belmont was one of the greats. She fought Dracula, you know.”

Franswa: “Really? Then why do they act like only a male can fight Dracula?”

Horatio: “I don’t know. Sexism I suppose.”

Franswa: “But does grandpa Trevor even know who his father is?”

Horatio: “No. He doesn’t.”

Franswa: “Hmm… How weird…”

Simon’s voice: “Franswa! You have a visitor!”

Franswa: *perks up* “I do?”

Horatio: “Go ahead. I’ll put the book away. I have to make sure it’s in just the right place or there’ll be hell to pay.”

Franswa: “Of course. Thanks!”

(he runs downstairs excitedly. but some of his excitement clearly dies when he sees who’s at the door. it’s zidane.)

Franswa: “Oh. Hi.”

Zidane: “What? Expecting someone else?”

Franswa: “No… Not really. What’s up?”

(zidane beckons for franswa to come closer, he does, and zidane whispers in his ear)

Zidane: *whispers* “You wanna come with me and Tseng to the male strip club tonight?”

Franswa: *eyes widen* “What?!”

Zidane: “Come on! It’ll be fun! You need something like that!”

Franswa: “I need something like that?! What does that mean?!”

Zidane: “It means you’re so virginal it’s unhealthy! C’mon! I promise you’ll have a good time!”

Franswa: “I don’t know…”

Zidane: “No one’s going to try and feel you up or anything! It’s not a whore house! C’mon!”

Franswa: *sigh* “You’re not going to give up, are you?”

Zidane: “No.”

Franswa: “Fine. I’ll go.”

Zidane: “Cool! Come by the ramble room around ten.”

Franswa: “Fine.”

Zidane: “See ya later!”

(he goes off. franswa shuts the door with a sigh as horatio comes back down the stairs)

Horatio: “Who was it?”

Franswa: “Oh… Just my friend Zidane. He wants me to hang out with him tonight.”

Horatio: “Oh. That sounds like a good time!”

Franswa: “I guess so.”

(richter comes in)

Richter: “All right! Everything in the kitchen is completely spotless! So what did you think of the book, Franswa?”

Franswa: “It was interesting. I didn’t know I had a cousin.”

Richter: “Well, now that you’re older it’s probably time you meet some of your relatives.”

Horatio: “That’s what I told him. I think it would benefit Franswa to meet some relatives that *didn’t* fight Dracula.”

Richter: “Well that doesn’t mean we should totally give up hope on him!”

Horatio: “Richter…”

Richter: “Okay.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(later that night, franswa is waiting outside the ramble room when zidane and tseng emerge. tseng is talking on his cell phone)

Zidane: “Hey, Franswa! Ready to have fun?”

Franswa: “I guess so…”

Zidane: “Loosen up! You’ll have a great time!” *turns to tseng* “You want me to drive?”

Tseng: *on the phone* “…Yes, sir. …I know, sir.”

Zidane: “Ooooookay. I’ll take that as a yes. Let’s go!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, at the club, alucard and sephiroth are there leaning against the bar and drinking some beers…)

Sephiroth: “Well, this isn’t quite the classless, seedy crack house I was expecting it to be.”

Alucard: “You really think Dante worked in a place like that?”

Sephiroth: “I still think he *belongs* in a place like that.”

Alucard: “At least he doesn’t work at the Disco-Center like your ex…”

Sephiroth: “He is *not* my ex. It was a phony relationship and therefore, we can pretend it never happened.”

Alucard: *grins* “You can pretend.”

Sephiroth: “Yeah, yeah. Grin all you want.” *frowns and listens* “Who is this stripping to Lady Marmalade?”

Alucard: “Chris Redfield. From Resident Evil.”

Sephiroth: “Resident Evil? Is that why he’s dressed as a cop?”

Alucard: “Yes. He is a cop.”

Sephiroth: “…So why is he stripping?”

Alucard: “I don’t know.”

Sephiroth: “You don’t know? I thought you knew all about the strippers.”

Alucard: “No. I just know their names. I’m not a stripper expert just because I’m dating Dante.”

(speaking of dante, chris redfield’s set ends, and you can hear the beginning of 99 problems by jay-z coming on. alucard perks up.)

Alucard: “This is Dante’s song.”

Sephiroth: “Oh! So he strips to rap music? That explains a lot.”

(so dante comes out and starts doing his thing. sephiroth could not look more uninterested. he keeps checking to see how much beer he has left in his bottle. when dante strips, and excuse my language here, it’s clear he thinks he’s the shit. and in a way, he kinda is.)

Sephiroth: *frowns* “What a jerk.” *looks at alucard* “You go for jerks, don’t you.”

Alucard: *looks at him* “I *go* for jerks? You just called yourself a jerk.”

Sephiroth: “I’m a tough guy. Some consider me a jerk because of it. Then there are the kind of jerks who are jerks because they think they’re cool when they’re really not. That’s the kind of jerk Dante is.”

(alucard just rolls his eyes and says nothing. sephiroth turns around and orders another beer as dante’s set ends.)

Sephiroth: “I want a beer! A beer, you idiot!”

Snake: *crouching down* “Otakon! Come in Otakon! They are demanding beer! Repeat! The terrorists are demanding beer!”

Alucard: *turning around* “Snake? Can we please get two more beers?”

Snake: *blink blink* “Okay.” *goes off to get them*

Sephiroth: “…What a weirdo.”

Alucard: “Come on. Let’s move over here.”

(they get their drinks and move over towards one of the booths when zidane, tseng and franswa enter. tseng is still on the phone. they go straight for the bar.)

Zidane: “So, Franswa? What do ya want to drink?”

Franswa: “Uh… I don’t know. I never really had alcohol before.”

Zidane: “Wow! I’ll order you a beer then!” *to tseng* “Can you order two beers for us?”

Tseng: *on phone* “…I am aware of that, sir. …You can count on me, sir.”

Zidane: “Tseng! Who the hell you talking to? You know Snake doesn’t listen to me!”

Tseng: *looks annoyed* “…Can you hold a minute? …Thank you.” *covers mouthpiece* “Snake! Three beers this way!”

Snake: “I don’t take orders from you!”

Tseng: “Do it!” *back to phone* “Hello? …Yes, I apologize for that. Please continue.”

(zidane rolls his eyes and goes back to franswa. snake comes over with the beers)

Snake: “Fifteen bucks.”

Zidane: “Uh-oh. I forgot things need money.”

Franswa: “It’s okay. I got it.”

(he pays, and snake goes on his way.)

Zidane: “Thanks, buddy!”

Franswa: “No problem.” *he turns and notices the stage* “Whoa! He’s only wearing a thong!”

Zidane: “Isn’t this place great? That’s Gippal. He’s from Final Fantasy X-2. He’s totally hot. I tried to get Tseng to talk to him for me, but he wouldn’t.”

Franswa: “Why do you want Tseng to talk to him for you?”

Zidane: “Because! Tseng’s got the talent of picking up guys that I wanna learn.”

Franswa: “Oh.” *pause* “Wow! Look at all the money he’s got there!”

Zidane: “Tell me about it! If this place was hiring and I didn’t have a tail, I would totally get a job here! Then we’d see who needs Algus’ stupid candy anymore!”

Franswa: “Hmmm…”

(tseng finally hangs up the phone with a sigh. he does not look happy. he picks up his beer and takes a long drink)

Zidane: “Hey, Tseng! Welcome back! Who the hell was that?”

Tseng: “Business.”

Zidane: “What? Rufus being a pain in the ass again?”

Tseng: “It’s just business, okay? Drop it.”

Zidane: “Whoa. Fine. Forget I even asked.” *pause* “…Can you talk to Gippal for me?”

Tseng: “No.”

Zidane: “Please?”

Tseng: “No.”

Zidane: *frowns* “You’re no fun.”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back at home, zell is standing outside the belmont’s house, staring up at franswa’s window, which is dark. he has a rock in his hand and is tossing it up and down.)

Zell: *muttering to himself* “Okay, just say that…I hit my head this morning and…I wasn’t thinking straight. Yeah. That’s why I did it. Okay.”

(he takes a deep breath and tosses the rock at the window. it makes a loud noise, but nothing happens. zell frowns, picks up another rock and does the same thing. still nothing. he then picks up one more rock, tosses it again, and this time the light in franswa’s room goes on. his face lights up, but it’s horatio who opens the window.)

Horatio: “Can I help you?”

Zell: “Oh! I’m sorry, sir! Sorry to bother you!”

Horatio: “Are you a friend of Franswa’s?”

Zell: *rubbing the back of his neck* “Uh, yeah. I was just…lookin’ for him.”

Horatio: “Oh. Well he went out with a friend of his named Zidane.”

Zell: *eyes widen* “He did? Oh crap! Er…I mean, thank you!”

Horatio: “Have a nice evening.”

(zell turns away and starts heading back for the ramble room)

Zell: *mumbles to himself* “With Zidane, huh? He must be at that strip club! I gotta go find him.” *stops walking* “…But who’ll go with me?!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back at the strip club, alucard and sephiroth are in a booth now, and there are many empty beer bottles in front of them both. but sephiroth seems way more sober than alucard. alucard is whispering something in his ear, and sephiroth is shaking his head.)

Sephiroth: “No.”

Alucard: *still whispering*

Sephiroth: “….No.”

Alucard: *still whispering*

Sephiroth: “….No!”

Alucard: *still whispering*

Sephiroth: “I’m not going to do that.”

Alucard: *still whispering*

Sephiroth: “Would you stop it?! Geez! I never pictured you being so kinky!”

Alucard: *going back to his beer* “Dante liked the idea!”

Sephiroth: “Dante is a whore. And apparently so are you. I would never picture you hanging out in a place like this! You’re gayer than I thought you were.”

Alucard: “I’m not totally gay!”

Sephiroth: *rolls eyes* “Yeah. Okay.”

Alucard: “I’m not! I’ve just preferred men ever since my son was born!”

(as soon as the words come out of alucard’s mouth his eyes widen and he claps a hand over his mouth. sephiroth’s eyes also widen and his jaw nearly falls to the floor. he looks at alucard in shock)

Sephiroth: “You have a *son*?!”

Alucard: “…I’ve said too much.”

Sephiroth: “You are the worst drunk. No. Now you have to tell me! Is he alive?”

Alucard: *nods*

Sephiroth: “Really?! Well, is he a vampire?”

Alucard: “No… Most of the qualities are recessive by that point.”

Sephiroth: “Most? So what is he, immortal?”

Alucard: “No… He ages, but he’s lived way longer than any human.”

Sephiroth: “Really? So when was this? 100 years ago?” *takes a sip of beer*

Alucard: *hangs head* “1482.”

Sephiroth: *spits everything out in shock* “WHAT?!”

Alucard: “I was very young then. And they didn’t have the same kind of protection they have now.”

Sephiroth: “You had a son in 1482.”

Alucard: “Yes.”

Sephiroth: “And he’s still alive.”

Alucard: “Yes.”

Sephiroth: “Does he come and visit you ever?”

Alucard: “No! No! I have such a big mouth!” *buries his head in his hands*

Sephiroth: “Why don’t you ever see him?”

Alucard: “My son doesn’t know who I am!”

Sephiroth: “What? Why??”

Alucard: “Because my son is Trevor Belmont!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(speaking of belmonts, franswa belmont is still by the bar with zidane and tseng. tseng seems to be drinking himself in a stupor. zidane is ogling the new guy on stage. it’s delita from final fantasy tactics.)

Zidane: “He’s hot. Do you think he’s hot?”

Franswa: *shrugs* “I don’t know.”

Zidane: “You’re no fun!” *to tseng* “You think he’s hot?”

Tseng: *shrugs and keeps drinking*

Zidane: “You’re no fun either!” *he looks back at the stage but blinks in confusion* “Hey. Is that Sephiroth and Alucard over there? I thought they broke up.”

(everybody looks over to where alucard is collapsed on the table in tears. sephiroth is looking off in the opposite direction, totally bored)

Zidane: *frowns* “Why is Alucard crying?”

Tseng: “There you go, Sephiroth. Just look away.”

Franswa: “Um, maybe we should–“

(but stops himself as they see dante rush over and slide into the booth next to alucard. this makes sephiroth look more annoyed)

Zidane: “Dante to the rescue! Man, he is hot.” *turns to tseng* “Tseng, go talk to one of those strippers for me.”

Tseng: *sigh* “Fine.”

Zidane: *lights up* “Really? Cool!” *he grabs franswa and tseng by the arm* “Let’s go!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(meanwhile, back at the ramble room, zell is running around like a madman)

Zell: “Where is everybody?! I thought there was always a party going on on the weekends!”

Irvine: *opens the door to his room and sticks his head out* “Party? Where?!”

Zell: “Irvine! You gotta help me! I know it’s not really your thing, but you gotta come with me to the male strip club!”

Irvine: “Why? Are they hirin’?”

Zell: “No. Franswa went there with Zidane and I’ve gotta tell him something!”

Irvine: “Who? Zidane?”

Zell: “No! Franswa!”

Irvine: “Oh! Okay. If that’s the case I’ll tag along with ya.”

Zell: *blink blink* “Really?”

Irvine: “Yeah!”

Zell: “Wow. I didn’t think you’d agree that easy.”

Irvine: “Are you kiddin’? I’ve been wantin’ to get a job there since I first heard about the joint! This might be my lucky day! Let’s go!”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

(back at the club, tseng, zidane and franswa are all standing over near where the strippers wait before they go onstage. tseng is talking to gippal and chris. zidane looks annoyed and franswa looks bored.)

Tseng: “So…how much money would you say you pull in in one night?”

Zidane: *pokes tseng in the ribs and whispers harshly* “Tseng! You’re supposed to be hitting on him! Not figuring out if this is the career for you!”

Gippal: “Hmmm… I dunno, like, 500 bucks on a good night.”

Tseng: “Really??”

Chris: “I’m saving for a trip to Europe. I’m going to fight Umbrella!”

Gippal: “Stop saying that to anyone who will listen.” *grins* “I gotta get onstage, but…gimme a call sometime.”

(he gives tseng his card and gets onto the stage. zidane frowns)

Zidane: “He gave you his number?!”

Tseng: *frowns* “I guess I forgot to mention I was married.”

Zidane: “You also forgot to mention me!”

Franswa: *bored sigh*

(then sephiroth comes over, looking annoyed)

Sephiroth: “What are you guys doing here?”

Tseng: “Zidane dragged me here.”

Sephiroth: “Are you drunk?”

Tseng: “I don’t wanna talk about it.”

Sephiroth: “You’re drunk. You better get home before you accidentally cheat on your husband.”

Tseng: “I would never do that!”

Sephiroth: “You may be a horny drunk, but you’re still not the worst drunk ever. You know who is? Alucard. He–” *cuts himself off as he sees franswa* “Oh my god. Who dragged the Belmont kid here?”

Zidane: *raises hand* “I did!”

Sephiroth: “Real nice.”

Tseng: “So what about Alucard?”

Franswa: “Yeah. We saw him crying.”

Sephiroth: “Uh… Nothing. He just gets to be a big baby. He starts crying and his stupid boyfriend comes over and is all, ‘I’ll take care of you, baby’ and stuff. Vomit worthy.”

(at that moment irvine and zell come in. they glance around. zell is straining to find franswa in the sea of people)

Zell: “Do you see anyone we know?”

Irvine: “No–whoa!”

Zell: “What?”

Irvine: *points* “Isn’t that Rinoa’s dad? That General guy?”

(they both look at where general caraway sits as usual, their heads cocked to one side in confusion)

Zell: “He owns this place? That sign says it’s the owners box.”

Irvine: “Next you’ll tell me Laguna owns a prostitution ring!”

(zell looks away and spots franswa in the crowd. he starts to head over, irvine at his heels.)

Zell: “Franswa!”

Franswa: *perks up* “Zell!”

Zidane: “Zell! You wouldn’t come with me, but you come with Irvine?”

Sephiroth: “I always knew cowboy geek was secretly gay.”

Irvine: “I am not! I came to see if they had any job openings!”

Tseng: “Not yet, but they might in a month or two.”

Sephiroth: “Oh. Big surprise. Tseng wants to work at the male strip club! Might as well do the only other thing you’re good at, since you don’t like your day job.”

Tseng: *really angry* “SHUT THE F*#$ UP!”

(everyone pauses, and even sephiroth looks shocked. tseng then looks like he’s about to cry. sephiroth frowns and looks concerned)

Sephiroth: “Hey, Tseng…let’s get out of here.” *he puts an around around tseng’s shoulders and starts to lead him towards the door and talks to the group over his shoulder* “Don’t pick up any stripper diseases.”

(they leave.)

Franswa: *frowns* “What was that about?”

Zidane: “Who knows. I’m gonna get another drink.”

Irvine: “I’ll join ya.”

(they go off, leaving franswa and zell alone)

Zell: “Hey.”

Franswa: “Hey.”

Zell: *embarrassed* “I, uh, went to your house looking for you. I threw some rocks at your window.”

Franswa: “You did?”

Zell: “Yeah. Some guy came to the window that I’d never seen before. Is that your uncle-dad?”

Franswa: “Yeah. I feel a lot better about being a Belmont now. We have a lot in common, actually.”

Zell: “That’s great! See! I told you!”

Franswa: “Yeah. You did.”

(there is a long pause. both of them look uncomfortable.)

Zell: *really embarrassed* “And…about…what I did before, I’m sorry. It was an accident.”

Franswa: “Oh.”

Zell: “I didn’t mean to do that! I hit my head this morning, and, uh, I think I went temporarily crazy. Or something.”

Franswa: *frowns* “Oh. Okay.”

(there is another really long silence. then…)

Zidane’s voice: “Franswa!! Can I borrow 5 bucks??”

Franswa: *sigh* “I’ll be right back.”

(he runs off. zell looks depressed. irvine comes over with a drink in hand)

Irvine: “Hey, man! What’s the matter? You look like somebody shot Squall!”

Zell: *mumbles something*

Irvine: “What? I can’t hear you!”

Zell: “I said I like Franswa! And I can’t tell him!”

Irvine: *blink blink* “So you are bi-sexual?”

Zell: *blink blink* “What?”

Irvine: “Well we’ve been arguing about it for years! First we were all like, no way. But then we were like, maybe. And then we just weren’t sure. But you do like guys!”

Zell: “Uh… I thought that was pretty obvious by how I always hit on Rufus.”

Irvine: “You would think so, but no.”

Zell: *sigh* “Now you’re gonna laugh at me.”

Irvine: “I’m not gonna laugh at ya! Hey man, whatever floats your boat, ya know? Why can’t you tell him? I’ve never seen you really act shy!”

Zell: *shakes head* “I’ve gotta get outta here. Tell Franswa I’ll call him.” *starts to head out*

Irvine: “Zell! Wait!”

(but zell’s gone. zidane and franswa come back over.)

Franswa: “Where’d Zell go?”

Irvine: *sigh* “He left. He said he’d call you.”

Zidane: “What the hell is up with everybody lately?! I’m not actin’ weird, am I? I just wanna get laid!”

Irvine: “I hear ya!”

(they both laugh, but franswa just stands there with a frown on his face, staring at the exit.)

THE END

 

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