#175 – The Not So Great Outdoors

Lark: “I’m ready for an anniversary where something doesn’t go horribly wrong. I think me getting amnesia, the ramble room burning down, and almost losing all our land are enough to last us a long while!”

Originally Published: 5/31/06 . 34 pages

Synopsis
When Brady wins a camping trip, everyone decides to go along and celebrate the ramble room anniversary. But will being stuck outside bring out the best in people…or the worst?

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

I swear I had this camping idea for years before I finally decided to actually write it. I always liked to do a trip or something for the anniversary. Anyway, it came out okay I guess, but this is my least favorite anniversary ramble. Camping should have been much whackier. Believe it or not I’ve never actually been camping, so that didn’t help the writing process any. Also, Irvine was kind of cranky in this one, huh? But I guess it’s expected after he had to set up like 10 tents.

(we begin in the tv room. Tseng is sitting on the couch trying to watch tv while sephiroth paces behind, whining.)

Sephiroth: “You know how long it’s been since I had sex?”

Tseng: “I told you if you started this conversation again I’d stab you in the eye.”

Sephiroth: “But it’s me! Me! I shouldn’t be hard up finding someone to have sex with! That’s Zidane! *Zidane*, Tseng! He has a tail!”

Tseng: “Sephiroth… I’m not listening to you.”

Sephiroth: *sits next to him* “Even Vincent has someone else, Tseng. *Vincent*. He has a claw!”

Tseng: “He’s also not a jerk.”

Sephiroth: “I have to find somebody!” *pause* “How are things with you and Reeve?”

Tseng: “………”

Sephiroth: “I’m actually listening now. So if you want to talk about it, now’s the time.”

Tseng: “…Well things aren’t much better than they were. I mean we still get along fine, I guess, but I feel like the chemistry is gone.”

Sephiroth: “And you still love him.”

Tseng: “Of course I do! Are you kidding me? I fought for him! I could have had anyone that I wanted! But I only wanted him!” *frowns* “Now I feel like he’s pulling away from me.” *pause* “…Maybe he’s finally not realizing I’m not smart enough for him.”

Sephiroth: “Well, if you want to have sex, you can have sex with me. Reeve never has to know.”

Tseng: *shoots him a nasty look*

Sephiroth: “It was worth a shot.”

(zidane enters)

Zidane: “Hey, guys! What’s going on?”

Tseng: “Nothing.”

Zidane: “You guys know I broke if off with Lloyd, right?”

Sephiroth: “Best decision you’ve ever made.”

Zidane: “Tell me about it. And I haven’t been so itchy anymore.” *pause* “I bet it was those Rufus brand condoms.”

Tseng: “Ew.”

Sephiroth: “Don’t talk about that again.”

(then bryatt enters, and he looks a little down.)

Bryatt: “Hey, everybody.”

Tseng: “Hey, Bryatt!” *gets up and gives him a hug* “Something wrong?”

Bryatt: “Well, Rory and I broke up.”

Tseng: “Oh… I’m sorry.”

Bryatt: “It’s all right. It was just a matter of time. We’re still friends. It was pretty mutual. Still, I’m bummed.”

Tseng: “I know.”

Bryatt: “Anyway, I’d thought I’d come by and bother you all for a bit. I’m going to go put my stuff away.”

Tseng: “Okay.”

(so bryatt leaves. Tseng turns around and finds sephiroth and zidane looking at him with excited expressions)

Zidane: “Bryatt’s *single*?”

Tseng: “Uh…I guess so.”

Zidane: “Jackpot!” *rushes out of the room*

Sephiroth: “Hey! No way monkey rat boy is going to beat me out!”

(he goes to leave but tseng stops him)

Tseng: “Wait a minute here! You don’t even like Bryatt!”

Sephiroth: “Well, he’s attractive and smart. Other people like him. That’s pretty much my criteria now.”

Tseng: “Oh no. I am not letting you go after my friend just to make yourself look good.”

Sephiroth: “Hey, I already look pretty damn good!”

(before tseng can argue further, Brady, lark, Ashley and shell enter)

Lark: “Come on, Brady! Tell us the surprise! Oh hey, guys!”

Tseng: “Hey, Lark.”

Sephiroth: “What’s going on?”

Ashley: “Brady has a big surprise for us!”

Sephiroth: “That he’s gay?”

Brady: *glares* “No.” *declares* “I won an overnight camping trip!”

Everyone: “……………………………………”

Brady: “…Don’t get so excited.”

Shell: “Camping? As in outside? In the woods?”

Ashley: “With bugs? And wild animals?”

Shell: “And no running water?”

Brady: “What? You’re not excited?! It’s just an overnight! I didn’t say we’re makin’ the journey to Oregon on a wagon!”

Lark: “Well, we’re not really the camping types.”

Brady: “But it’s free! And it’s only one night!”

Lark: “Well, I do like free. And I guess it would be a good trip for the ramble anniversary.”

Sephiroth: “Is it that time again?”

Lark: “Yeah. Six years. I think everybody just stopped caring.”

Sephiroth: “You read my mind.”

Brady: “Cool! So we’re gonna go?”

Lark: “I guess so. Better round everybody up!”

Bryatt: *comes in* “Round everybody up for what?”

Lark: “Bryatt!” *hugs him* “You’re just in time for the camping trip Brady won!”

Bryatt: “Camping trip? And to think I forgot my sleeping bag. Oh well. I guess I’ll just have to crash with someone else!”

Lark: “So you’ll come?”

Bryatt: “Of course! I wouldn’t miss a ramble gang trip where something’s bound to go wrong!”

Lark: “Well let’s go find everyone else!”

(lark, shell, Ashley, Brady and bryatt leave. Sephiroth grins devilishly and bolts off after them before tseng can say a word)

Tseng: *hand to his head* “This is gonna be bad.”

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

(and so the following gang gathers to go on the trip: lark, Brady, shell, rude, Ashley, seifer, tseng, reeve, rufus, elena, lily, reno,

irvine, sephiroth, vincent, auron, algus, zidane, zell, and franswa. They’re all standing in front of the myterry machinie)

Tseng: “Are you sure you want to take Lily with us, Elena?”

Elena: “It’s just overnight! Besides, Rufus bought her a special mosquito net covered crib! And look! It folds right up!” *demonstrates*

Rufus: “Isn’t it cool? And so cheap! Only 500 bucks!”

Tseng: *frowns* “Great.”

Reeve: “Oh, Tseng! Guess what I brought for the trip??”

Tseng: *excitedly* “What?”

Reeve: *takes out pamphlet* “This bird watching guide! So now we’ll be able to spot all the different species!”

Tseng: “…Oh. Great.”

Reeve: “What? You don’t find bird watching interesting?”

Tseng: *fakely* “Of course I do, Reeve!” *long pause* “I think we have more in common than you realize!”

Algus: “I’m not really one to camp out in the woods, Zidane. So you better be alert and be on bear watch at all times.”

Zidane: *staring at bryatt* “I’m certainly on boy watch.”

Shell: “I like this new outfit you bought me for the trip, Rude.”

Rude: “I also hope you like all the expensive designer camping equipment you made me buy, Shell. Especially since we’ll probably never go camping again.”

Shell: “Never say never, Rude! What if I like camping?”

Rude: “…Really?”

Shell: “Nah. I was just trying to make you feel better.”

Seifer: *spraying bug spray on himself* “There! Now no bugs will come near me!”

Ashley: *standing far away* “Yeah. Now *nothing* will come near you. Gross!”

Reno: “Man, there’s nothing more manly than camping out under the stars.”

Irvine: “You said it! Me and my brothers used to do it all the time as kids! You might say we were expert campers!”

Reno: “I just wanna get drunk and swim naked in a lake.”

Vincent: “I’ve never been camping before.”

Auron: “It’s very relaxing. I’m sure you will enjoy it.”

Vincent: “I don’t think much is relaxing with this group.”

Auron: “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure you have a wonderful trip.” *puts an arm around him*

Sephiroth: *grinds teeth*

Lark: “Are we almost ready to go?”

Brady: “I think so.”

Bryatt: “Is there going to be some kind of bathroom there?”

Brady: *blink blink* “Uh…I don’t know.”

Lark: “Brady!”

Brady: “What?!”

Zell: “Thanks for coming, Franswa! I’m sure we’ll have a great time!”

Franswa: “I’ve always kind of dreamed of cooking under an open flame.”

Zell: “I know they’ll be plenty of hot dogs to eat!”

Reno: “All right! We’re ready to go! Everybody in the van!”

(everybody gets in the van. Lark and Brady are the last ones)

Brady: “So I don’t know if there’s a bathroom or not. Big deal! We’ll figure it out when we get there. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Lark: “…You’ve never been on an overnight trip with the ramble gang before. Have you.”

Brady: “…No.”

Lark: “Baby…you’ve got a lot to learn.”

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

(And so the gang arrives at the camp site. Well, in the parking lot anyway. Everybody gets out and starts looking around)

Rufus: *frowns* “I didn’t know we’d be sleeping on concrete. Now I’m extra glad I sprung for that $10,000 tent with the extra cushioning!”

Brady: “Rufus, we’re not camping on the pavement.” *points to map* “We have to hike to our spot.”

Rufus: *blink blink* “Hike? As in walk?”

Algus: “Walking?! But I didn’t bring my walking stick!”

Zidane: “Good. Because you only hit me with it anyway.”

Shell: “You’re carrying all my stuff, Rude.”

Rude: “That’s what I expected, Shell.”

Sephiroth: “You need help carrying your stuff, Bryatt?”

Bryatt: *gives him an odd look* “Uh, no… I’m fine. Thanks…”

Vincent: “I could use help.”

Auron: “Don’t worry. I’ll help you.”

Vincent: *sadly nods*

Lark: “All right, let’s get going!”

(And so they begin their trek into the woods.)

Reno: “What smells so bad?”

Ashley: “That would be Seifer.”

Irvine: “Dude, take a shower!”

Seifer: “It’s not me! It’s the bug spray!”

Zell: *laughs* “I’m surprised you didn’t drive yourself away with that bug spray, Seifer! ‘Cause you’re a bug!”

Seifer: “That’s not funny, chicken wuss!”

Shell: “My feet hurt!”

Lark: “You knew we were coming to the woods! Why did you wear heels?”

Shell: “They were the only shoes that went with this outfit!”

Rude: “I highly doubt that, Shell.”

Shell: “What was that, Rude?”

Rude: “I love those shoes, Shell.”

Shell: “That’s what I thought, Rude. That’s what I thought.”

Reno: “This beer is heavier than it looks!”

Elena: “You shouldn’t have brought more than you could drink!”

Reno: “More than I could drink?! I’m going to have to ration myself!”

Zell: “Well I have to carry all the food all by myself!”

Franswa: “I’ll help you.”

Zell: “…No. I’m fine. I just wanted to join in the conversation.”

Lark: “Why is it most of our conversations seem to revolve around complaining?”

Bryatt: “I guess it’s what everyone does best.”

Sephiroth: “Hey! It’s not what I do best!”

Bryatt: “You might want to prove that by *not* complaining.”

(sephiroth frowns and for a moment it looks like he’s going to reply with one of his trademark snotty comments. But that look fades quickly)

Sephiroth: *quietly* “I would if you just gave me a chance.”

Bryatt: *blink blink* “Uh…”

Reeve: “Well let’s have an intelligent conversation for a change! We’re in the woods! Surrounded by nature! Why don’t we talk about the different wonders we can spot out?”

Reno: “Because it’s ga–“

Lark: “Great idea, Reeve! Why don’t you start?”

Reeve: “Sure! Well, I spotted a robin up in the trees!”

Shell: “I’m tripping over a lot of black rocks.”

Reeve: “Good! Who else?”

Zell: “I see lots of different kinds of green leaves!”

Rufus: “I see moss!”

Reeve: “Great! How about you, Vincent?”

Vincent: “I saw a small chipmunk hurry away.”

Sephiroth: “He probably saw the claw.”

Auron: “That was uncalled for!”

Lark: “No arguing! Hey, I saw a robin!”

Reeve: “Good! Algus? What do you see?”

Algus: “A slave who’s not trying very hard to carry all my things.”

Zidane: *has so much stuff he’s barely walking* “If my arms fall off, I’m suing your ass!”

Reeve: “Uh…okay. Irvine?”

Irvine: “Uh, I see some wild flowers!”

Reeve: “Good! Tseng–“

Tseng: “Okay, Reeve! I–“

Reeve: “Can you carry my backpack for awhile? It’s really hurting my back.”

Tseng: *frowns* “Oh. Okay, Reeve. Sure.”

Reeve: *hands him his backpack* “Okay! Who wants to go next?” *walks on ahead*

Tseng: *sigh*

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

(finally they get to the camp site and everyone drops their gear)

Algus: “Camping takes far too much work!”

Zidane: *has collapsed on the ground in exhaustion*

Algus: *pokes him with his foot* “Go set up my tent while I get a suntan.”

Zidane: *twitch*

Algus: *kicks him* “Zidane!”

Zidane: *groans*

Algus: “Ah ha! Now I know you can hear me!”

Reno: “Irvine, since you’re such a campin’ expert, how about you set up my tent? In exchange I will pay you in beer.”

Irvine: “Dude, I *bought* half that beer.”

Reno: “Yeah, but I carried it.”

Rufus: “My tent inflates!”

Shell: “Mine came with a detailed instruction manuel that Rude read!”

Rude: “Took me *3* hours.”

Shell: “So?”

Rude: ” Most of it was in Spanish.”

Shell: “And?”

Rude: “I don’t speak Spanish.”

Shell: “Well you should!”

(zell dumps out his ‘tent’. It’s a collection of poles and a big thing of canvas)

Zell: *staring at it* “Uh…I thought it said it would be easy to assemble.”

Franswa: “Did you bring the instructions?”

Zell: “I’ll figure it out! I’m a SeeD!”

Irvine: *big sigh* “I’ll do it.”

Zell: “Thanks, Irvine.” *mutters* “Because there was no way I’m getting that pile of junk into a tent.”

Rufus: “Mine comes with a foot pump for easy inflation!”

Algus: “I have my slave.” *frowns* “Who still has not gotten up!”

Zidane: *twitch*

Reeve: “Can you help me put up the tent, Tseng?”

Tseng: “Of course!”

Reeve: “Great! I’ll read the instructions and you put it together!”

Tseng: *sigh* “All right.”

Lark: “After we put the tents up we can go look around.”

Reno: “There better be a lake I can swim naked in!”

Rude: “Everybody stay away from the lake.”

Seifer: “Lookit! There’s a special spot for the campfire and everything!”

Ashley: “Why don’t you go try and start a fire while I set up the tent?”

Seifer: “Let me just find two sticks to rub together!” *runs off*

Ashley: “…Sometimes I don’t think he has two brain cells to rub together.”

Auron: “I’ll be happy to set up the tent, Vincent. You just relax.”

Vincent: *sigh*

Rufus: “My tent is done!” *gestures to his expensive looking tent*

Algus: *frowns* “Slave put up my tent at once!”

Zidane: *twitch*

Bryatt: “Uh… I think he needs a little help.” *kneels next to him* “Hey, Zidane? Can you hear me?” *puts a hand on his head*

Zidane: *opens his eyes with a smile* “My hero…”

Algus: “I should be your hero! I pay you enough!”

Zidane: “You paid me in sugar last week!”

Algus: “So?”

Zidane: “It was just a handful you got out of a bag of more sugar!”

Algus: “You were lucky to have that!”

Zidane: “I had nothing to put it in! And it melted in the rain while I was trying to get back inside!”

Algus: “That’s what you get for squandering your paycheck. Now put up my tent!”

(so everyone starts to set up their tents. Well, irvine ends up doing most of them. Reno is sitting back drinking a beer)

Irvine: “Dude, you could help me!”

Reno: “I’d just mess it up.”

Rufus: *opens his mouth to speak*

Irvine: “Rufus, if you tell me how easy your tent was to set up again I’m gonna kill ya.”

Seifer: *frantically trying to make fire with two sticks* “A spark!! A spark!! I see a spark!!” *frowns* “Dammit! I lost it again!”

Brady: “Uh…he does know we have matches right?”

Ashley: “Just let him go. I need to keep him out of my hair for awhile.”

Rude: “Our tent is done, Shell.”

Shell: “Did you set up the blankets inside, Rude?”

Rude: “Yes.”

Shell: “Did you unpack my things?”

Rude: “Yes.”

Shell: “You’re finally learning, Rude!!”

Rude: “I try, Shell.”

Shell: “You damn well better, Rude!”

Sephiroth: “All right, my tent is up. Now I’m bored. What are you supposed to do when you’re camping?”

Reno: “Get drunk and swim naked!”

Rufus: “Stop grossing everybody out, Reno!”

Reeve: “You’re supposed to enjoy nature!”

Elena: *brushing off the stroller* “Nature’s getting all over Lily’s stroller!”

Sephiroth: “No seriously.”

Auron: “You’re supposed to relax and enjoy time with friends.”

Sephiroth: “Shut up, Auroran! I didn’t ask for the Hallmark card version!”

Lark: “I think he’s basically right, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: “What?!”

Lark: “I mean we’re in the woods. There’s not much *to* do.”

Reeve: “I’m willing to share my bird watching guide!”

Sephiroth: “…Why did I agree to come?”

Bryatt: *shrugs* “If anything, there’s plenty of peace and quiet.”

Seifer: *jumping up* “My hand!!! My hand!!! I burned my hand!!!” *runs off*

Bryatt: “…Normally.”

Ashley: *sigh* “And he still didn’t make a fire.”

Seifer: *comes back with his hands wet* “I burned my hands! I am not making a fire anymore! We’ll just have to freeze!”

Brady: “I’ve got it.” *comes over with a box of matches and quickly lights a fire*

Seifer: *jaw drops*

Zell: “Good job, man!”

Sephiroth: “Well, even Neanderthals could start a fire.”

Seifer: “Ashley! Did you *know* we had matches!?”

Ashley: *shrugs*

Seifer: “Argh! Well you’re lucky I found a lake over there! My hands could have burned off!”

Ashley: “You just burned *yourself*, Seifer. You weren’t actually on fire.”

Reno: *perks up* “There’s a lake?! Yes! I am totally hitting that up later!”

Rufus: “Stop it, Reno! The idea of it is making me sick!”

Irvine: *looks tired* “There. I’m done with all the tents.” *turns to reno* “Give me a beer.”

Reno: *tosses him one* “See! Now you earned it!”

Irvine: “You didn’t earn it.”

Reno: “I work for Rufus.”

Rufus: “Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?!”

Tseng: “I work for Rufus too.”

Elena: “Me too.”

Franswa: “And me.”

Rude: “*And* I owe him money.”

Zidane: “I work for Algus! That’s worse than all of you combined!”

Algus: “If you worked on that tent half as much as you talked, you’d probably be done by now.”

Reeve: “Who’s up for a hike? I’m sure there’re plenty of birds in this forest!”

Tseng: “I’ll go!”

Reeve: *blink blink* “Really?”

Tseng: “Yeah…why not?”

Reeve: “That doesn’t seem like it’s really your thing.”

Tseng: “Sure it is! I like nature!”

Reeve: “You don’t have to come just to make me happy.”

Tseng: “I *want* to come.”

Reeve: *shrugs* “If you insist. Okay, who else?”

Bryatt: *shrugs* “I guess I’ll go.”

Sephiroth: “Then I’ll come!”

Zidane: “Me too!”

Algus: “You’ve barely finished putting my tent up!”

Zidane: “It’ll hold.”

Lark: “Guess I’ll tag along. How about you girls?”

Shell: *lounging on a rock* “I found the only sun coming through the trees. I’m not leaving now.”

Ashley: “I have to finish setting up this tent.”

Seifer: “I’d help you, but now that I’ve *burned my hands*!”

Ashley: “Oh shut up, Seifer.”

Lark: *shrugs* “Okay. Brady?”

Brady: “Nah. I’m gonna make sure the fire stays.”

Vincent: “I’ll come along.” *to auron* “Do you mind?”

Auron: *hesitates* “…No. Go ahead. Have a nice time. I’ll finish with the tent.”

Reeve: “All right! Let’s go!”

(he marches off into the woods and lark, tseng, bryatt, sephiroth, zidane and vincent follow)

Seifer: “If they get lost, who’s looking for them? Not it!”

Ashley: *smacks him upside the head*

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

(and so the gang in the woods is following a trail and looking for birds)

Reeve: “Ah! It’s so nice to be out in nature for a change!”

Zidane: “Kinda romantic in the woods! Don’t you think, Bryatt?”

Bryatt: “I guess. But at the same time I wouldn’t want to have sex with bugs crawling all over me.”

Sephiroth: “Of course not! Shame on you, Zidane.”

Lark: “I hope everyone’s still alive when I get back to camp. Or at least nothing’s on fire.”

Bryatt: “Don’t hope for too much now.”

Tseng: “There aren’t a lot of birds around…”

Vincent: “But this certainly is a big hill.”

Reeve: *huff puff* “Yeah!”

Tseng: “Want some help? Let me carry some of your stuff.”

Reeve: *huff puff* “No, I’ve got it.”

Zidane: “You know, Bryatt, you might get lonely in your tent all by yourself.”

Bryatt: “Wow. You’re really campaigning, aren’t you.”

Zidane: “Huh?”

Sephiroth: “Zidane, aren’t there some Kit Kats somewhere you should be earning?”

Zidane: “I don’t know, why don’t you ask the Magic 8 Ball?”

Sephiroth: “Hey! How dare you talk back to me!”

Zidane: “You’re not my father! And thank god! Because I had sex with you!”

Sephiroth: “Shut up, you little–“

Lark: “Both of you stop it! You’re scaring away the birds!”

Reeve: *pants* “At least we’re up the hill.”

Vincent: “Perhaps the birds will be better viewed from here.”

Bryatt: “Well, I see some blue birds over there.”

Reeve: *taking out pamphlet* “I wonder what kind they are!”

Tseng: “I think they’re blue jays, Reeve.”

Reeve: *looking it up anyway*

Tseng: “Uh, Reeve–“

Reeve: “Yeah. They’re called blue jays, Bryatt.”

Tseng: *frowns*

Lark: “You can see the lake from here.”

Sephiroth: “Is anyone swimming naked in it?”

Lark: “No.”

Sephiroth: “Then I guess it’s safe to look.”

Vincent: “I’m going to go sit on that rock over there.”

Sephiroth: “Me too. Beats looking at birds.”

Lark: “You wanted to come!”

Sephiroth: “It’s even more boring than I thought it would be.”

(sephiroth and vincent head for the rock. The rest of the group moves in the opposite direction a bit so they’re quite far down)

Vincent: “I’m surprised you actually want to be anywhere near me.”

Sephiroth: “I’m just that lazy, I guess.”

(vincent opens his mouth to say something but he suddenly slips on some leaves and starts to fall down the hill.)

Sephiroth: “Vincent!”

(sephiroth grabs for him and tries to pull him back, but they both end up falling, sephiroth on his back and vincent on top of him. They’re both stunned for a moment)

Vincent: “Are you all right?”

Sephiroth: “Y-yeah.”

Vincent: “Thank you.”

Sephiroth: “…Whatever. You can get off me now.”

Vincent: *pause* “It’s been a year, you know.”

Sephiroth: “A year what?”

Vincent: “A year…since you strayed.”

Sephiroth: “…………”

Vincent: “Sephiroth…”

Sephiroth: “Get the hell off me, Vincent!”

Vincent: *wide eyes*

Sephiroth: “Get the hell off me!”

(vincent gets off him, looking a bit shocked. He takes a few more steps towards the rock but sephiroth is already stomping back over to the group)

Vincent: “I thought you wanted to–“

Sephiroth: “Forget it!”

(and with that he leaves vincent alone.)

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

(a short time later the bird watching group returns to the others to find rufus sobbing over a flaming pile of what used to be his tent)

Lark: *jaw drops* “What the…?!”

Bryatt: “Lark…I told you asking for nothing to be on fire was too much.”

Rufus: *sobbing* “My tent! My tent! My 10,000 dollar inflatable tent! It’s gone! Ruined! How could this happen?! It cost me 10,000 dollars! I might as well have burned money!”

Rude: “You do burn money.”

Rufus: “But not 10,000 dollars worth!”

Rude: “…You’re burning money right now.”

Rufus: *looking down at the flaming $100 in his hand* “So?”

Rude: “That’s probably how the tent caught on fire.”

Rufus: “But I like the way it smells! Is that such a crime?”

Rude: “It should be.”

Algus: “Fear not, Rufus! You’ll probably go home and find 10,000 dollars under your couch!”

Rufus: “Probably, but still. Which of you don’t want to get paid in the next few months?”

Shinra employees: *cringe*

Lark: “Uh, Rufus, why don’t you concentrate on finding a place to sleep now that you don’t have a tent?”

Algus: “Fret not, my friend! I’d be happy to have you in my tent! Zidane can sleep outside like a faithful dog and keep watch for wild creatures!”

Zidane: “I can *what*?! I don’t think so!”

Bryatt: “It’s okay, Zidane. You can share with me.”

Zidane: “Never mind, Algus! Thanks for kicking me out!”

Sephiroth: “Uh oh! My tent’s on fire too!”

(everyone looks over to where sephiroth’s tent is indeed on fire)

Lark: “What the…?!”

Sephiroth: “Guess I’ll have to stay with Bryatt too.”

Bryatt: “Uh… Wait a minute here…”

Brady: “You just lit your tent on fire on purpose!”

Sephiroth: “No I didn’t, idiot. Shut up.”

Brady: “Yes you did! I saw you!”

Tseng: “You do have that reputation of lighting things on fire…”

Sephiroth: “Oh, that one time!”

Auron: “I believe you’re faking as well.”

Sephiroth: Oh, of course *you* do! I’m *sooooooooo* surprised about that!”

Seifer: “How come everyone else can start a fire but I can’t!”

Ashley: “Because they actually have a *brain*.”

Seifer: “Hey!”

Franswa: “I guess this would be a bad time to mention I need a fire to cook dinner…”

Zell: “It’s never a bad time to mention dinner!”

Brady: “You can just use the fire I made.”

(franswa nods and starts to set up the food)

Reno: “Those hot dogs are gonna go great with this beer!”

Zidane: “I’m staying with Bryatt!”

Sephiroth: “No, I am!”

Bryatt: “Don’t I get a say in this?”

Irvine: “You know, I have an extra tent, guys.”

Sephiroth and Zidane: “Huh?”

Irvine: “I brought an extra tent. Just in case.”

Reno: “Since when are you a boy scout?!”

Irvine: “I’ve had one too many tents dragged off into the woods by a bear.”

Lark: “Great! Irvine, if you could set that up, then Sephiroth and Zidane can stay in there!”

Zidane and Sephiroth: *open mouths to speak*

Lark: “And I don’t wanna hear another word about it!”

Irvine: “Reno, you’re gonna help me this time.” *pause* “…Reno.” *pause* “Reno!”

(but he turns around and reno is gone)

Reno’s voice: “Whoo hoo!”

(then there’s a loud splash)

Reno’s voice: “Holy #$%^ this is cold!” *pause* “And I think something bit me!”

Sephiroth: “Probably the leeches. Serves him right.”

Lark: *sigh* “Let’s go drag him out of there.” *she starts walking but no one follows* “Guys! Come on! This is going to have to be a group effort!”

Rude: “I’ve seen Reno naked way too many times.”

Zell: “Franswa and I have to watch the hot dogs!”

Shell: “I don’t wanna give up this rock!”

Ashley: “I’m just lazy.”

Lark: “No excuses! Come on!”

(and so everyone grumbles but winds up following lark as she follows reno’s pile of clothes to the lake, where he’s standing there shivering)

Reno: “Have you ever heard of turtles that bite you?”

Brady: “Yeah. They’re called snapping turtles.”

Reno: “No way! Turtles don’t bite people!”

Bryatt: “Yes they do. Brady’s right.”

Sephiroth: “He had to be eventually.”

Lark: “All right, everybody. Reno, put your clothes back on. Let’s get back to the camp. You can sit in front of the fire.”

Zell: “Just don’t touch the hot dogs! Franswa has them cooking over the open flame.”

Franswa: “I didn’t have much of a choice.”

(so they all head back over to the camp. Rufus is in front and when they’re nearly there he suddenly stops short)

Tseng: “Uh, Rufus? Did you forget how to walk? Move.”

Rufus: “B-b-b-b-BEAR!!!!” *points*

(sure enough there is a bear at the camp site, sniffing around near the hot dogs)

Auron: “Goodness gracious!!”

Sephiroth: “Goodness gracious?! Who says goodness gracious?!”

Algus: “Someone fire a weapon!”

Lark: “No! Don’t hurt it!”

Seifer: “Are you crazy?! It could eat us all! Let’s run away! We’ll start a new life in the woods!”

Ashley: “Right. Because there’s no bears there.”

Franswa: “My hot dogs!”

Zell: *struts forward yelling and waving arms wildly* “GO AWAY BEAR!!! GET LOST!! GO!!! GO!!! GO!!!”

(the bear looks at zell but then turns away and scampers off into the woods. Everyone comes back into the camp site)

Lark: “Wow, Zell! I’m impressed!”

Reeve: “Where did you learn how to scare a bear away?”

Zell: “Scare it away? I was just trying to save the hot dogs!”

Franswa: “Thanks, Zell.”

Zell: “Anytime, buddy!”

Lark: “If that’s the most eventful thing that happens I’ll consider us lucky.”

Sephiroth: “And I’ll consider it the most boring ramble anniversary ever.”

Lark: “I’m ready for an anniversary where something doesn’t go horribly wrong. I think me getting amnesia, the ramble room burning down, and almost losing all our land are enough to last us a long while!”

Sephiroth: “Counting this one that only accounts for 4 years.”

Lark: *shrugs* “What do you want from me?”

(and so the gang sits down to enjoy their hotdogs and sit around the campfire as the sun begins to go down)

Shell: “You know, I really thought us and camping would have turned out worse, but it’s been a pretty calm day.”

Seifer: “I wasn’t calm when I burned my hands!”

Ashley: “Seifer, that is so five hours ago. Shut up.”

Elena: “These hot dogs are really good.”

Zell: “Of course they are! Franswa made them!”

Franswa: “I only cooked them.”

Zell: “That’s all it takes!”

Franswa: *blushes lightly* “Heh…thanks, Zell.”

Reno: “I’m almost outta beer. I told you it wouldn’t be enough, Elena!”

Elena: *rolls eyes*

Rude: “It’s nice to have some peace and quiet.”

Auron: “That it is.”

Sephiroth: “It’s not really that peaceful and quiet! Some of the biggest mouths in the ramble room are here!”

Bryatt: “The biggest being yours.”

Sephiroth: “Hey!” *pause* “Touché.”

Brady: “I didn’t win such a horrible trip after all.”

Reeve: “I enjoyed it! Even though I didn’t get to see many birds.”

(then there’s the sound of a baby crying.)

Tseng: “Looks like Lily’s up. I’ll get her.” *goes to stand*

Rufus: “It’s okay! I’ll get her!” *dashes into elena’s tent*

Tseng: *frowns*

Elena: “Isn’t he good with her? He’d make such a good father.”

Tseng: *looks very annoyed* “…Yeah. I’ll be right back.” *he goes off into the woods*

Reeve: *blink blink*

Bryatt: “He okay?”

Zidane: “He probably just had to go to the bathroom.”

Algus: “I’d rather hold it for hours than use a toilet that’s not gold plated!”

Shell: “They make gold plated toilets?”

Algus: “They most certainly do! I have one in every bathroom!”

Shell: “Do tell!”

Rude: *hits himself in the head*

(rufus comes back out)

Rufus: “I rocked her back to sleep!”

Elena: “That’s so sweet of you! Thanks, Rufus!”

Rufus: “No problem, Elena.”

(tseng returns, still looking annoyed. Reeve gets up and goes over to him)

Reeve: “Hey, sweetie. Is something wrong?”

Tseng: “No. I’m fine.”

Reeve: *puts an arm around him* “You sure?”

Tseng: *small smile* “Yeah. I’m fine now.”

(they come back and sit down)

Seifer: “So what are we supposed to do now? Sit around singing Coom By Ya?”

Ashley: “…You always know how to ruin the moment, don’t you, Seifer.”

Vincent: “We should just to enjoy one another’s company, while we’re all here.”

Lark: “Well, technically we’re not *all* here.”

Everyone: *blink blink*

Lark: “…There’s a lot of people from the ramble room missing.”

Everyone: *blink blink*

Lark: “…I’ll shut up now.”

Franswa: “Who’s up for roasting marshmallows?”

Everyone: “I am!”

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

(much later…the fire is much lower and everyone is just kind of staring at it quietly…)

Lark: “I think it’s about time we all went to bed.”

Sephiroth: “I’m perfectly happy staring at the fire.”

Lark: “You just don’t want to share a tent with Zidane.”

Sephiroth: “Who would?”

Zidane: “Hey!”

Auron: “Sleep sounds wonderful.”

Rufus: “I hope you don’t snore, Algus.”

Algus: “I hope the same about you, my friend.”

Reno: “I ran outta beer hours ago. I went in the freezing lake and got bit by stuff. This was not the camping trip of my imagination!”

Seifer: “I burned my hands making a fire!”

Irvine: “I had to put up all the tents. So shut up.”

Zidane: “Hey, Bryatt, you sure you don’t wanna share with me after all?”

Bryatt: “You’re cute, and I appreciate the effort. But I just don’t think I’m ready to share a tent with anybody right now.”

Zidane: “I don’t give up so easy.”

Bryatt: “The thrill of the chase is half the fun.”

(and so everyone goes into their tents except lark, sephiroth and Brady)

Sephiroth: “I don’t wanna share with him. He’ll probably poke me with his tail in his sleep!”

Lark: “Considering, I’d say the tail would be the least of your problems.”

Sephiroth: “Oh nice! Thanks for reminding me!”

Lark: *kisses Brady* “You were right, babe. This was a pretty nice trip. And thanks for taking everyone along.”

Brady: “No problem, baby.”

Sephiroth: *rolls eyes*

Lark: “Good night, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: “Good night.”

(lark and Brady go into their tent. Sephiroth heaves a sigh and goes towards his tent when suddenly vincent comes out of his tent. He sees sephiroth but just heads over to where he left his cape by the fire)

Sephiroth: “Cold in your tent?”

Vincent: “A bit.”

Sephiroth: “You might want to pick better company.”

Vincent: *glares* “Don’t you dare say that to me.”

(with that he stalks back into his tent. Sephiroth sighs, looks a bit depressed and goes into his tent.)

Zidane: “What’s the matter with you? Why didn’t you try and go for Bryatt?”

Sephiroth: “I give up.”

(Meanwhile, lark and Brady are in their tent, just laying there in the dark)

Lark: “You asleep?”

Brady: “No. What’s up?”

Lark: “Nothing… I was just thinking…”

Brady: “About what?”

Lark: “About how I have this feeling…like we’re not going to have another anniversary.”

Brady: “You probably just feel that way because this one wasn’t crazy like the others.”

Lark: “…I guess so.”

Brady: “It wouldn’t be the ramble room if there wasn’t some kind of drama right around the corner.”

Lark: “That’s true. We’ve got some more adventures in us yet.”

Sephiroth’s voice: “Ack! Zidane! Move your stupid tail!”

Zidane’s voice: “Uh, that’s not my tail.”

Sephiroth’s voice: *screams*

Lark: *smiles* “Yeah. It’s not over yet.”

THE END

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