#188 – Too Legit to Strip

Irvine: “I didn’t give a lap dance to one single girl last night! And when you’re givin’ one to a guy sometimes you can feel the…you know! That just ain’t right!”

Originally Published: 9/8/06 . 90 pages

Synopsis
The strip club is expanding, and some of the ramble guys want to be a part of it! Can they keep the rest of the gang from finding out? Meanwhile, Reeve feels him and Tseng are drifting apart.

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

Ah, the strip club rambles. I quite enjoy this pair of rambles, which I had been planning and setting up for quite some time. I think the only character who winds up working there that was kind of a surprise was Franswa. My favorite parts are Sephiroth’s failed lap dances and drunk Alucard. I had a really hard time coming up with a title. The one I ended up using was literally the only idea I couldn’t get out of my head.

(we open at dante and lloyds condo where chris is at the door, suitcases all around him. He is totally dressed like a tourist)

Chris: “So thanks for letting me stay here, but I’m finally off to Europe.”

Dante: “Lloyd told me you were already gone, but he lies a lot.”

Lloyd: “Shut up, Dante! You lie about my name every day a zillion times! It’s Vergil!”

Chris: “I left some of that green weed you like on your bed.”

Dante: “You’re the best.”

Chris: “You must have some really bad headaches.”

Dante: “Yeah…that’s it. Anyway, good luck with…whatever you’re planning to do over there. We’ll miss you at the club, and around here.”

Chris: “Same here.” *takes out a shotgun and pumps it* “Be seeing you.”

(and with that he takes his gun and all his bags and gets into a waiting cab. Dante watches him go.)

Dante: “…I think they’re going to give him a problem taking that on the plane.”

(later, dante is sitting at the strip club, which is currently closed. Hes sitting around with his co-workers maxi, gippal, and delita.)

Gippal: “So Chris is gone, huh?”

Dante: “Yup.”

Maxi: “I like Chris and all, but he worked every day. Now there’ll be more shifts for the rest of us.”

Delita: “Old man Caraway is late…”

Gippal: “So why did Chris wanna go to Europe again? To fight…what was it?”

Maxi: “Umbrella.”

Gippal: “Right.” *pause* “What is that?”

Dante: *shrugs* “The hell if I know.”

(then general caraway comes in)

Caraway: “Good. You’re all here.” *sigh* “In case you haven’t heard yet, Chris has gone to Europe finally. So you know what that means.”

Maxi: “We don’t have to hear him talk about it anymore.”

Caraway: “Besides that. We’re going to need a new dancer. Or, should I say, five new dancers. I’m expanding the club. We’re getting busier and we’re going to need new dancers to pick up the slack.”

Dante: “New meat, huh?”

Caraway: “So I put an ad in the paper today, and if any of you know anyone who might be interested, tell them to come by for an audition.”

Gippal: “An audition, huh? You gonna be running this?”

Caraway: “No. You guys are. I don’t have the time. Besides, I trust your judgment. If you hire sh*tty strippers it would bring the whole club down. And you wouldn’t want that.”

Maxi: “Hells no.”

Caraway: “I want the new positions filled tomorrow.”

Delita: “Already?”

Caraway: “Yeah. The weekend are the busiest days of the week. And I want to get in a few days of training. So auditions are tomorrow. Dante – you get the final say.”

Dante: “Of course.”

Caraway: *checks watch* “Dammit. I’m late for lunch with my daughter. So you think the four of you can handle this yourselves?”

Dante: “No sweat.”

Caraway: “Great. I’ll swing by tomorrow night to meet the newbies.”

(with that he leaves. The other guys look at each other)

Delita: “Tomorrow? I can’t make auditions tomorrow! I have a second job because Chris was hogging all the shifts! And now he wants to hire *more guys*?”

Maxi: “The boss knows what he’s doing, man. We’ve been doing fantastic business. And he did use the word ‘expand’.”

Gippal: “Don’t worry about the auditions. The three of us will handle it.”

Dante: “I already know somebody who’s been dying for a spot to open up.”

Gippal: “Ooh, is it that guy Tseng?”

Dante: “That’s the one.”

Maxi: “Yeah, he’s totally hot.”

Delita: “Huh?”

Maxi: “They all look the same to you, Delita. You’re straight.”

Delita: “…So!?”

Dante: “So I’ll get the word out that we’re hiring. And we’ll meet here in the morning to see who makes the cut.”

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

(meanwhile, at the ramble room, lark and tseng are talking on the porch)

Lark: “So…we haven’t really talked since we got back. I mean, am I crazy?”

Tseng: “No. If anyone’s crazy it’s him. Crazy desperate.”

Lark: “Right? Good! So I’m not alone!”

Tseng: “Are you kidding? Since he and Alucard broke up he must have propositioned me for sex at least a dozen times!”

Lark: “Oh my god. He has got to just suck it up and—“

(before she can finish her sentence, Brady comes outside)

Brady: “Hey, babe – I’ve got it. You wanna—“

Lark: “Yes! Hold on a sec. Sorry, Tseng. I’ve gotta go. See you later?”

Tseng: “I’ll be around.”

(lark leaves with Brady. Tseng sighs and is about to go inside himself when dante comes over)

Dante: “Hey, there.”

Tseng: “Hey yourself. What’s going on?”

Dante: “It’s your lucky day – that’s what’s going on. You got a minute?”

Tseng: *coming closer* “If this is about what I think it’s about I’ve got way more than a minute.”

Dante: *grins* “I thought you’d say that. Anyway, I’ll cut to the chase. We’re hiring. There are auditions at the club. Of course, for you, that’s pretty much just a formality. ‘Cause as far as I’m concerned you’re hired. That is…if you’re still interested.”

Tseng: “You know it.”

Dante: “Great. I’ve gotta run for now, but I guess I’ll be seeing you tomorrow.”

Tseng: “You bet.”

(dante winks at him and then is gone. Tseng smiles and turns around, nearly bumping right into reeve, who is frowning)

Reeve: “What was that about?”

Tseng: “What was what about?”

Reeve: “That was Dante, wasn’t it?”

Tseng: “Yeah. So what?”

Reeve: “So…what could you two possibly have to talk about?”

Tseng: *frowns* “Nothing.”

(and with that he pushes past reeve and goes inside.)

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

(meanwhile, in the ramble room, rude is reading the paper, the want ads more specifically, when he comes across something of interest.)

Rude: *reads aloud* “Wanted. Male strippers for exotic dance club. Good pay plus tips. Apply tomorrow at The Hot Package.” *looks up* “I’ve gotta prepare.”

(he then goes to run out the door, nearly bumping into Irvine and zidane in the process)

Zidane: “…So that’s why I think I should work at the bar.”

Irvine: “I don’t know…I think you’ll just wind up drinking the booze.”

Zidane: “So? All you do is drink the booze.”

Irvine: “Yeah, but I’m co-owner.”

Rude: “Excuse me.”

Zidane: “Hey, Rude. Where you running off too?”

Rude: “Here. Don’t tell Shell.”

(with that he shoves the paper at zidane and runs off. Zidane reads it over)

Irvine: “I didn’t know they had a section in the paper for hookers to advertise.”

Zidane: *gasp* “The strip club is hiring!”

Irvine: “The male strip club?”

Zidane: “Yeah! They’re having auditions tomorrow! Hot damn! I am *so* there!”

Irvine: “It’s like a dream come true! Finally I’ll be paid to have chicks grope me!”

Zidane: “You’ll probably have dudes groping you too.”

Irvine: “It’s a small price to pay for all the horny chicks I’ll pick up!”

Zidane: “And you can send all the horny dudes my way!”

Irvine: “Score!”

(they high five, then immediately look awkward)

Zidane: “Uh…”

Irvine: “That felt weird…”

Zidane: “Uh, anyway, we should probably go practice our audition.”

Irvine: “Good idea! Let’s go!”

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

(meanwhile, back across the street at dantes, dante, Lloyd and alucard are all sitting in the kitchen)

Dante: “…So, long story short we’re hiring.”

Lloyd: “Can I have my old room back?”

Dante: “How many times do I have to tell you no, Lloyd?”

Lloyd: “F**k you! Call me Vergil!”

Dante: “Uh huh. And where’s your half of the rent again?”

Lloyd: “Rufus said he was a little short this month and he’d pay us next week!”

Dante: “Uh huh. Good thing the floor is good for your back.”

Lloyd: “Go sit on a stick and die!” *stalks out*

Dante: *blink blink* “He’s just runnin’ outta material.”

Alucard: “So how is the hiring being done?”

Dante: “Oh, we’re doing auditions tomorrow. You should come by! It would be a great part time job for you. It would get you out of the house during the day! The club is always really dark.”

Alucard: “I…just can’t be a stripper again.”

Dante: “*Again*?”

Alucard: “…I did a lot of things I’m not proud of back in the seventies.”

Dante: “The 1970’s?”

Alucard: “…Yeah.”

Dante: “What? With you you never know.”

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

(meanwhile, chris is at the airport and is waiting to go through security.)

Chris: “Finally… I’ll get to carry out my lifelong dream…”

Security Guard: “Step through the metal detector, sir.”

(he steps through and sets it off)

Security Guard: “You have any metal on you, sir?”

Chris: “No.”

(the security guard sighs and gets the little wand thing. he waves it over chris and it beeps over his coat)

Security Guard: “Take your coat off please, sir.”

(chris sighs and takes his coat off. he has like 5 guns strapped to him. the security guards eyes go wide.)

Security Guard: “You can’t take those on the plane with you!”

Chris: “Why not? I’m a cop! I’m going to Europe to fight Umbrella! I’ll need guns!”

(he pulls his coat around him again and a small baggie of a green substance falls out of his pocket. the security guard picks it up curiously)

Security Guard: “And what’s this?”

Chris: “It’s an herb. I brought some with me in case I get a headache. I sell it to people all the time.”

Security Guard: *grabs him by the arm* “I think you better come with me, sir.”

Chris: “But…but I’m a cop!”

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

(the next day at the club, dante, maxi and gippal are all reclining behind a table.)

Maxi: “This is gonna be fun.”

Gippal: “Hells yeah it is. I’m more excited about the duds than the guys we actually hire.”

Dante: “Speaking of guys we actually hire, we’re hiring the first guy.”

Gippal: “Omg, it’s Alucard.”

Dante: “No. He said he didn’t want to be a stripper again.”

Maxi: “*Again*?!”

Dante: “It’s this guy Tseng I know. Trust me.”

Gippal: “Oh, we trust you.”

Maxi: “Let’s see him then.”

Dante: *yells* “Okay! Come on in!”

(tseng comes in wearing a very sexy outfit. He stands on stage and goes to open his mouth but)

Gippal and Maxi: “You’re hired!”

Tseng: *blink blink*

Dante: *chuckles* “I told you you had nothing to worry about.”

Tseng: “You won’t be disappointed.”

Dante: “Oh trust me, I know. Now you can just go have a seat in the back and fill out the application and all that technical sh*t.”

Tseng: “Got it.” *he leaves*

Maxi: “You’re right.”

Dante: “I’m always right.”

Gippal: “I said I trusted you.”

Dante: “Next!”

(next comes a guy who looks somewhat familiar, except for the really fake looking blonde wig hes wearing.)

Maxi: “Name?”

Guy: “Uh, my name? It’s, uh, Bob. Yeah. My name is Bob.”

Dante: “Okay…’Bob’. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

(the music comes on and bob is an awful, awful stripper. He spends most of the time trying not to fall on his face. Maxi, gippal and dante spend the whole time restraining laughter. Finally the song ends and bob tries to strike a confident pose)

Dante: “Okay, Lloyd. Thanks for the laugh. Now get off the stage.”

Lloyd: “Screw you, Dante!” *takes off crappy wig* “How’d you know it was me?”

Dante: “Only you can *possibly* dance that badly.”

Lloyd: “I’m a great dancer! You’re just jealous!”

Dante: “If I danced like you I’d kill myself. Next!”

Lloyd: “You’re an *asshole*, Dante!”

(he stalks offstage)

Maxi: “Oh my god.”

Gippal: “How are you related?”

Dante: “And we’re twins – go figure. NEXT!”

(the next one to enter is irvine. hes all smiles, cowboy hat included, of course.)

Irvine: “Howdy.”

Maxi: “Name?”

Irvine: “Irvine Kinneas.”

Dante: “Show us what you’ve got.”

(and so irvines music starts to play. its the song save a horse, ride a cowboy by big & rich. so he does his whole routine and hes pretty good. then)

Maxi: “Not bad… Pretty good, actually.”

Gippal: “And the cowboy thing is hot.”

Dante: “Aren’t you straight?”

Irvine: “Totally! Why, there some kinda rule you can’t be or something?”

Dante: “No. Just usually straight guys don’t wanna do this kind of job. You know, because of all the guys.”

Irvine: “It’s cool! It’s worth it for the chicks!”

(gippal, maxi and dante all look at each other and shrug)

Dante: “All right, you’re hired. Go fill out the application.” *points to back room*

Irvine: “Whoo hoo! This is my lucky day!”

(irvine gathers up his stuff and runs into the back.)

Gippal: “He must really, really like chicks.”

Dante: “NEXT!”

(the next to enteris nida. he confidently strolls onto the stage and smiles widely)

Maxi: “Name?”

Nida: “My name is Nida! Nida—“

Dante: “We don’t want your life story. Just show us your moves.”

Nida: “You got it! Prepare yourself for Nida’s awesomeness!”

(and he starts to dance. if you can call it that. if he was any stiffer, hed be dead. the guys roll their eyes)

Dante: “NEXT!”

Nida: “Did that mean I get the job?”

Dante: “No.”

Nida: “What?! But I’m so totally awesome!”

Dante: “No…you’re so totally awful.”

Nida: “What?”

Gippal: “I’ve seen rocks with better moves.”

Maxi: “Yeah.”

Nida: “Aw, come on! You’re crazy! I’m great at everything! You don’t know what you’re missing.”

Dante: “Yeah we do. *Nothing*.”

Nida: “Fine! You’re making a huge mistake! You’ll all be crying later!”

(he stalks off stage)

Gippal: “…We’ll be crying with joy if anything.”

Maxi: “Totally.”

Dante: “NEXT!”

(the next person to enter is rude. he walks up on the stage and nods.)

Gippal: “Name please?”

Rude: “Rude.”

Maxi: “Asking your name is rude?”

Rude: “No. That’s my name. Rude.”

Maxi: “Oh. Interesting…”

Dante: “Let’s see what you’ve got, Rude.”

(and so rudes music, gold digger by kanye west, comes on and he does his thing. hes really good, of course.)

Maxi: “Wow. Pretty impressive.”

Gippal: “And the whole bald thing *is* kinda sexy…”

Dante: “Yup. I like you. You’re hired.”

Rude: *small smile*

Dante: “You can go fill out the application.” *points to the back*

Rude: “…Thanks.” *takes his stuff and leaves*

Gippal: “…Chatty guy, isn’t he.”

Maxi: “Some of the customers like that.”

Gippal: “What – the chatty thing or the bald thing?”

Maxi: “Both.”

Dante: “NEXT!”

(next to enterheidegger. everyone grimaces)

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! I got winded just climbing on stage!”

Maxi: “Ugh!”

Gippal: “If I have to see him strip I’m gonna hurl.”

Maxi: “Me too.”

Dante: “That’s makes three of us. Don’t bother. NEXT!”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! I wasted my time!”

(he leaves. the next person comes in and goes up to the stage)

Nightmare: “Nightmare is ready to shake his groove thing!”

Maxi: *jumps to his feet* “YOU!”

Nightmare: “Dammit.”

Maxi: “I won’t let you get away this time!”

Nightmare: “Nightmare just wanted to audition for stripper job.”

Maxi: *rushing the stage* “ARGH!!!”

(they start fighting. dante and gippal just sit there looking bored.)

Gippal: “…You wanna bottle of water?”

Dante: “Yeah, okay.”

(gippal leaves. nightmare and maxi are still fighting. a short time later gippal returns with waters for himself, dante and maxi, who will get it eventually. he sits back down)

Gippal: “Still?”

Dante: “Yup.”

(and theyre still fighting. finally maxi manages to beat nightmare. he lays unconscious)

Maxi: “Yeah! Yeah! Maxi wins!”

Dante: “Dude, you look like sh*t.”

Gippal: “Your hair’s a mess.”

Maxi: “Sh*t!” *tries to fix hair* “I’ll be right back.”

(he drags nightmares body off stage. dante and gippal look at each other)

Gippal: “Not like that guy had a shot anyway.”

Dante: “Oh hell no.”

(finally maxi returns, his hair all fixed. he grabs his water and sits down)

Maxi: “Thanks.”

Gippal: “You gonna jump anybody else like that?”

Maxi: “Only if they’re really hot.” *grin*

Gippal: “You’re a slut.”

Dante: “NEXT!”

(the next to enterzidane.)

Zidane: “Hey! Hey, Dante.”

Dante: “Hi, Zidane. Tseng tell you about this?”

Zidane: “No, I saw it in the paper. I am *so* excited to be here!”

Maxi: “You have a tail.”

Zidane: “Uh, yeah.”

Gippal: “Is it real?”

Zidane: “Yeah, it’s real! Why would I go around wearing a fake tail? That would be even weirder!”

Dante: “Okay, Zidane, let’s see what you’ve got.”

Zidane: “You got it!”

(and so zidane does his thing. and hes pretty good. obviously, hes been working on this. afterwards, hes smiling hopefully)

Dante: “Hmm…”

Zidane: “Please! I’ve been practicing! You’ve gotta take me! You just gotta! I’ll do anything you want! Is it the tail? It’s the tail, right?”

Gippal: “Actually, I think some people might like the tail.”

Maxi: “Yeah, people who like furry porn.”

Gippal: “They’re still paying customers.”

Dante: “Point.”

Gippal: “Plus he’s kinda cute.”

Zidane: “Yeah, I’m kinda cute!”

Maxi: “Plus after some of the crap acts we’ve seen today…”

Dante: “Another point. Okay, Zidane. We’ll give you a shot.”

Zidane: “Yippee!” *back flips* “You won’t regret it!”

Dante: *points* “Go fill out the application.”

Zidane: “You got it!”

(he leaves.)

Maxi: “There’s somebody who’ll be happy to come to work.”

Dante: “NEXT!”

(next to enter is alucard and dracula)

Dante: “Al?”

Alucard: “Sorry. I’m not auditioning. Just came by to see how it was going.”

Dante: “Pretty good. Why don’t you have a seat?”

Dracula: “Auditions? For what? A play?”

Alucard: “Sorry, I had to bring him. Dad, come sit down.”

Dracula: “A musical? ‘Cause I can sing!” *sings* “The hills are alive!!!!!!!!! With the sound of MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!” *says* “That’s all I know. Do I get the part?”

Alucard: “Dad, stop that. They don’t want you to audition for anything. Come sit down.”

Dracula: “Why can’t I audition? Is it dancing? Do they think I can’t dance? Because I can dance! I can dance with the best of them! Play it, Sam!”

(he then begins to dance to no music of course. hes awful. after a few steps he slips and falls, hitting his head on the side of the stage before falling onto the floor. several body parts fly off in various directions. alucard puts a hand to his head)

Dracula: *chuckles* “I meant to do that! Put me back together, Alucard! I’m like a talking puzzle!”

Alucard: “Dad…” *sigh* “I’m sorry. I better go.”

Dante: “Need some help?”

Alucard: “No…I’ve got it.” *goes over and quickly puts dracula back together* “Let’s go, dad.”

Dracula: “But we just got here, Alucard!”

Alucard: “Let’s go.”

Dracula: “But I’m auditioning! Next I’m going to do the hula! Where’s my flaming hula hoop?”

Alucard: “We’re going.” *starts to drag dracula out the door*

Dracula: “I think you’re scared of fire, Alucard! That or my hula dance! Actually I’m pretty afraid of that myself!” *chuckles* “I’m awful.”

(they leave. dante, gippal and maxi all look at each other)

Maxi: “You have to put up with that?”

Dante: “Well, I’ve got Lloyd, so it’s pretty much even. NEXT!”

(the next to enter is scarlet, whos smoking)

Scarlet: “How much does this job pay? ‘Cause I’ve got offers from five other places in town.” *cough hack*

Guys: *blink blink*

Maxi: “This is a *male* strip club.”

Scarlet: “It is?”

Gippal: “Yeah. Are you a transvestite?”

Scarlet: “No! Do I look like a transvestite to you?!”

Gippal: “Well…”

Scarlet: “I’ll let myself out!”

(she leaves.)

Dante: “I don’t think she could get five offers on the street corner.”

Maxi: “I was totally thinking that.”

Gippal: “I think we’ve got one more audition.”

Dante: “They better be good, ‘cause there’s one more hole to fill. NEXT!”

(next to enter is someone who looks kind of familiar. hes got a baseball cap pulled really low over his face)

Maxi: “Name?”

Guy: “Uh…” *cough mumble* “Ashton.”

Gippal: “Ashton?”

Guy: “Um, yeah.”

Dante: “All right, well – go for it.”

(the guy does his thing to toxic by britney spears and hes very, very good. afterwards he stands there looking uncomfortable)

Maxi: “That was awesome.”

Gippal: “Really good.”

Dante: “Yup. Not bad. Can we get a look at your face?”

(ashton hesitates, but then he whips his cap off and longish red hair falls out. its franswa belmont.)

Dante: “Holy sh*t! Franswa?!”

Franswa: “Yeah… It’s me.”

Dante: “Where the hell did you learn to dance like that?”

Franswa: “…I found some tapes lying around. I’m not sure who they belong to, and I’m not sure I wanna know.”

Dante: “Why’d you give a phony name?”

Franswa: “Because I didn’t think you’d take me seriously otherwise! And that’s my middle name.”

Dante: “So your initials spell FAB?”

Franswa: “…Yeah.”

Dante: “Totally gay.”

Franswa: “I know.”

Dante: “Why do you want this job anyway? You realize you’re gonna have people pawing at you all night long.”

Franswa: “I don’t care. My family won’t give me the money to go to cooking school and this is the best paying job I could find. You’ve just gotta let me have the job, Dante. Please.”

Dante: “You do know a certain…uh…relative of yours comes by the club a lot.”

Franswa: “I have my stage name – I’ll even change my hair. I really, really need to do this.”

Dante: *shrugs* “Okay. I’m not gonna argue with you about it.” *points* “Go fill out the app.”

Franswa: “Thanks!! Thank you so much! You won’t regret this!”

(he runs in the back)

Gippal: “What a cutie.”

Maxi: “Glad we don’t have a policy against sleeping with your co-workers…”

Dante: *snort*

Gippal: “What?”

Dante: “That kid is a total virgin.”

Maxi: “Seriously?”

Gippal: “Oh my god.”

Dante: “Yeah. *This* should be interesting.”

Gippal: “To say the least.”

Maxi: “Well we did what we had to do. Five new dancers all ready to go. The boss’ll be happy.”

Dante: “Of course he will be. Now let’s go talk to the newbies.”

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

(meanwhile, in the back, franswa is just walking ineveryone stares at him and blinks)

Zidane: “Franswa?”

Franswa: “I need the money for cooking school, okay?” *grabs the application and sits*

Zidane: “Hey, I’m not judging you! I think it’s cool! Now we can work together!”

Rude: “Hm. So there’s five of us then.”

Irvine: “Seems that way.”

Tseng: “I think this is a good time to have a little talk… We all have our own reasons for being here. And we’re not going to judge each other. But some people back at the ramble room…they might not be so kind.”

Rude: “Shell.”

Irvine: “Reno.”

Zidane: “Algus.”

Franswa: “My whole family.”

Tseng: “Right. Well I think it would be a good idea if we don’t tell anyone in the ramble room about this.”

Rude: *nods*

Irvine: “Sounds good to me.”

Franswa: “Me too.”

Zidane: “I won’t tell. But what if someone in the ramble room comes to the club?”

Tseng: “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Franswa: “For added protection, I’m using a stage name.”

Zidane: “A stage name! That’s a great idea! What is it?”

Franswa: “Ashton. It’s my middle name.”

Zidane: “I don’t have a middle name.” *frowns* “Hey! I know! I’ll just be known as ‘Z’.”

Irvine: “But lots of people call you Z anyway, man.”

Zidane: “Yeah, but…I like it.”

Tseng: “Stage name, huh? I never thought of that. Maybe I should think of something…”

(dante, gippal and maxi enter)

Dante: “Hey.”

Zidane: “I finished my application!” *hands it over happily*

Dante: *looks at it* “I like how you wrote ‘don’t call references’ in huge letters.”

Zidane: “We all wrote that.”

Tseng: “My idea. No offense. Just don’t want everyone else knowing my business.” *hands over application*

Dante: “None taken.” *looks at application* “I like how you wrote ‘classified’ under the duties of your previous job.”

Tseng: “Other job. And I can’t reveal that information.”

Rude: “Me neither.”

Gippal: “What are you guys, assassins?”

Tseng and Rude: *look at each other* “No…”

Irvine: “I don’t really have a lotta job experience, but I am a highly trained mercenary sniper. Oh, and I co-own a bar. Oh yeah, and I know how to run a farm.”

Franswa: “I’ve been a cook and a cashier. That’s it.”

Maxi: “We’ve got a pretty diverse group here.”

Gippal: “I was a soldier and then started this group that dug up sh*t in the desert. We’ve all got our issues.”

Zidane: “Speaking of issues…is it okay if we take stage names?”

Dante: “Yeah.”

Zidane: “Awesome! From now on I’m gonna be known as Z!”

Dante: “Isn’t that your nickname anyway?”

Zidane: “Not that many people use it!”

(then general caraway enters)

Caraway: “So. How’d it go?”

Dante: “Great. Here are your new dancers.”

Caraway: “Wonderful.” *looks at irvine* “You look familiar…”

Irvine: *looks away* “Uh…I get that a lot.”

Caraway: “Anyway, better get to training them right away. I have to get Snake over here to start training the new bartender.”

Maxi: “You got a new bartender?”

Zidane: “Finally!”

Everyone: *looks at him*

Zidane: “It’s just…he’s not very helpful.”

Caraway: “…Okay. Anyway, one bartender isn’t really enough to handle the crowd. So I hired someone else.” *checks watch* “And now I’m late. So you three get to training these guys and I’ll be back later. Oh. And welcome.”

(he leaves. dante turns to the group)

Dante: “Okay, this’ll be easy. First things first. We’re not hookers. So no charging to have sex with the customers.”

Irvine: “But we can have sex with the customers for free, right?”

Maxi: “Yeah.”

Irvine: “Sweet!”

Gippal: “You are *straight*, right?”

Dante: “Second, we’re not hookers, so don’t let them touch you when you’re giving them a lap dance.”

Irvine: “Not even the hot ones?”

Gippal: “…Straight, as in you don’t like men?”

Dante: “And finally we’re not hookers, so don’t touch the customers in an inappropriate place.”

Irvine: “Unless it’s after work, right? And they’re cool with it?”

Gippal: “You know, Irvine, not too many chicks want lap dances.”

Irvine: “That’s cool. I can probably convince them I’m worth paying for.”

Zidane: “You just sounded like a hooker.”

Franswa: “Uh, I think I got the stripping part down pretty good, but I don’t know about the whole lap dance thing…”

Dante: *sigh* “I’ll have to give you a private lesson on that.”

Franswa: *gulp* “Uh, okay.”

Zidane: *eagerly* “Can I get a private lesson?”

Dante: “No, Zidane. Stop being a skank.”

Zidane: *frowns* “Oh…”

Dante: “Any questions?”

Tseng: “How do we get paid?”

Dante: “I was waiting for that one. Well we make a flat fee every night of 150 bucks, then you get to keep all the tips you earn on stage and you get to keep half of what you charge for a lap dance.”

Tseng: “So we set our own price for that?”

Dante: “Yup. And if they want it in the back room, we charge more.”

Tseng: “Great.”

Dante: “Anything else?”

Rude: “When do we start?”

Dante: “In two days. The club opens at six but you probably wanna get here around four since it’s your first day. You’ll have to pick your music and get your costumes in order.”

Franswa: “Costumes? Like what do you mean by that?”

Dante: *sigh* “Franswa, you better get here at three o’clock.”

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

(afterwards, our new strippers are on their way home)

Zidane: “Two days cannot come fast enough! I can’t wait to start working there! It’s going to be the best job I ever had!”

Irvine: “Damn right it is!”

Franswa: *sigh*

Zidane: “Franswa, cheer up! How can you be depressed over a job where you get felt up all day?”

Franswa: “I’m just nervous. I’m sure I’ll get over it.”

Zidane: “You will! Especially since you’re getting private lessons from Dante! I wish I was so lucky!”

Irvine: “I’ve been thinkin’ more about my stage name! And I think I’ve got it! You guys come up with anything yet?”

Rude: “I’m going to use my real name.”

Irvine: “I thought you said you were gonna use a stage name.”

Rude: “I am.”

Irvine: “But your real name isn’t a stage name.”

Rude: “Rude is already a fake name.”

Irvine: “What?”

Rude: “My real name is Oron.”

Irvine: “Really? Are you serious?”

Rude: “Yes.”

Irvine: “What the—But I’ve known you for like five years! And you never mentioned that once!”

Rude: “You never asked.”

Irvine: “Anyway, what about you, Tseng?”

Tseng: “I’m not sure. I’m trying to think of something that sounds really sexy.”

Zidane: “Do you have a middle name?”

Tseng: “No.”

Zidane: “Well there goes that idea. What about nicknames?”

Tseng: “Um…none I really wanna share.”

Rude: *snort*

Tseng: “I heard that, Rude.”

Irvine: “I’m gonna call myself Cowboy Kid! It says I’m young, and that I’m a cowboy!”

Zidane: “That’s pretty good, Irvine.”

Tseng: *big sigh* “I’ll think of something. The important thing is that nobody at the ramble room finds out about our new jobs.”

Franswa: “Right.”

Rude: “Right.”

Irvine: “Right.”

Zidane: “Right. Because Algus would totally kill me. He already knows I’m deathly allergic to strawberries and I really don’t trust him.”

Tseng: “That’s a really healthy relationship you two have.”

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

(the next day, Brady, lark, vincent, reeve, sephiroth, rufus and zell are in the tv room. they are all watching sephiroth play dirge of cerberus)

Reeve: “I can’t believe I’m in this game so much! This is so exciting!”

Rufus: “Why aren’t I in the game? It’s totally obvious I’m the financial backer for the WRO!”

Reeve: “You were in the game.”

Rufus: “It doesn’t count when I’m being carried off in a stretcher!”

Sephiroth: “These WRO soldiers suck!”

Lark: “That’s because they’re probably former Shinra soldiers. And you know those guys were all brainless lowlifes.”

Sephiroth: “That certainly explains Cloud.”

(cut scene in the game)

Zell: “Whoa! That is totally awesome!”

Sephiroth: “Look at you, Vincent! You think you’re so hot swirling your cape around! What a show boater!”

Vincent: “I’m just moving it out of my way.”

Sephiroth: “Yeah, right. And I don’t practice my victory dance before I go to bed every night.”

Brady: “You *what*?”

Sephiroth: “I said nothing.”

(tseng, zidane and rude enter)

Zidane: “Hey, guys! What are you doing?”

Lark: “Hey! We’re playing Dirge of Cerberus! Where have you guys been?”

Tseng: “Just…hanging around.”

Reeve: “Tseng! Look! I’m in the game! And I’m in the game a lot! And Cait Sith’s in the game too!”

Tseng: “Why the hell is that hideous thing in the game?”

Reeve: *frowns* “You mean me or Cait?”

Tseng: “The stupid cat, Reeve! Obviously!”

Sephiroth: “To annoy the crap out of everyone! Look at him! I want to control him just so I can make him die!”

Reeve: “Hey!”

Rufus: “And where’s the remote for that thing?! Are you even controlling it anymore?”

Reeve: *sigh* “As I’ve tried to explain—“

Tseng: “Stop scaring everyone, Reeve.”

Brady: “Can I play now? It’s my game.”

Sephiroth: “No! I have to play the game to make sure I’m in it!”

Brady: “Can’t you just let me play and you can sit here and watch?”

Sephiroth: “No! I don’t have time to watch you die a thousand times!”

Brady: “I won’t die a thousand times. You die a thousand times.”

Sephiroth: “That’s because Vincent sucks.”

Vincent: “That’s because you refuse to heal me.”

Sephiroth: “Jenova should heal you! That’s her job, not mine!”

Vincent: “I don’t have Jenova cells.”

Sephiroth: “Well…you should! Everybody else was doing it!”

Tseng: “Well, as interesting as it looks to watch Sephiroth kill poor Vincent over and over, I have other things to do.”

Reeve: “But, Tseng! I’m in the game! Don’t you wanna see me?”

Tseng: “I’ll see you later.”

Zidane: “I’ll go too.”

(tseng and zidane leave. reeve frowns)

Rufus: “I don’t blame him! This game is boring! It needs more me!”

Rude: “Am I in it?”

Rufus: “No, Rude! If I’m not in it you know they’re sure as hell not going to bother animating your hideous mug.”

Rude: *frowns*

Sephiroth: “Oh god, come on! Why are they blocking out his face! You can totally tell that’s Hojo!”

Lark: “Because he’s probably too ugly for the game.”

Rufus: “That’s what they’d have to do to you, Rude.”

Rude: “…I’m leaving.” *leaves*

Rufus: “Can you get me a soda?” *pause* “Rude?” *pause* “Rude?” *frowns* “He’s so fired later.”

Sephiroth: “Look! It’s my mom! Before life and Jenova slowly killed her from the inside!”

Vincent: “She was a beautiful lady.”

Reeve: “I don’t understand why you’re so hard on yourself, Vincent. Obviously you made your point pretty clear that you didn’t want them to do the Jenova project. I don’t know how else you could have stopped them.”

Zell: “Ooh! I know! You could have tied them to trees!”

Everyone: *looks at zell*

Zell: “What? They couldn’t have done anything if they were tied to trees!”

Sephiroth: “Zell…stop bringing the IQ of the room all the way down to zero.”

Lark: *gasp*

Sephiroth: “What?”

Lark: “Look!”

Sephiroth: *smiles* “It’s me! I *am* in the game!”

Brady: “Wow. So your mother basically knew that you would be pure evil before you were even born.”

Sephiroth: “I was just that awesome.”

Brady: “Can I play now?”

Sephiroth: “I guess.” *throws controller at him* “Obviously that was the best part of the game.” *stretches* “Later.” *he leaves*

Reeve: “Hey, guys…have you noticed Tseng’s been acting…kinda weird lately?”

Lark: “What do you mean?”

Reeve: “I don’t know…he just…doesn’t seem like himself.”

Rufus: “I like him a lot better lately! He’s actually listening to what I tell him to do!”

Reeve: “Exactly.”

Lark: “I wouldn’t worry about it, Reeve. He is a Turk. Maybe he’s just feeling extra loyal to Shinra lately.”

Rufus: “As everyone should!”

Reeve: *uncertainly* “Maybe…”

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

(we now skip ahead two days and its time for the gang to start work at the club. franswa arrives at 3 oclock like hes told. his hair, which he usually pulls back, is hanging loose over his shoulders. dante is there waiting for him)

Dante: “Right on time. That’s good. You nervous?”

Franswa: “Um…no.”

Dante: “Liar. There’s still time to back out.”

Franswa: *firmly* “No.”

Dante: “Okay then. Well follow me.”

(they go into the back room. one hour later, tseng, zidane, rude and irvine arrive just as franswa and dante are coming out of the back. franswa looks totally dazed.)

Zidane: “Hey, Franswa. How was the private lesson?”

Franswa: *totally dazed* “…Wow.”

Dante: *grins* “And that’s why I’m worth every penny.”

Zidane: *pouts* “Nobody ever teaches me anything.”

Irvine: “So we came up with stage names for ourselves! I’m gonna be Cowboy Kid! C.K. for short!”

Rude: “I’m Oron.”

Tseng: “And I’m Rico. That sounds slutty, right?”

Dante: “Sounds good. Let’s go in the back and get your music choices lined up.”

(before they can do that, caraway enters. hes with this scary looking guy in armor. everyone stares at him warily)

Caraway: “Hello, all.”

Everyone: *staring at the scary armor guy*

Caraway: “What?”

Zidane: “Who is *that*?”

Caraway: “Oh, this? This is Bomberman. Our new bartender. Say hello, Bomberman.”

Bomberman: “Bomberman destroy.”

Zidane: “*That’s* Bomberman?! I thought he was this cute little cartoon thing!”

Caraway: *shrugs* “I guess he got a new look. Maybe no one wants to play a game where a cartoon guy blows stuff up.”

Bomberman: “Bomberman look cool now!”

Zidane: “He looks like he’s gonna kill us all!”

Caraway: *taps foot* “He came very highly recommended.”

Tseng: *mutters* “…I don’t wanna ask by who.”

Caraway: “Where’s Snake?”

Dante: *shrugs* “I’ve been here for an hour and haven’t seen him.”

(suddenly snake jumps up from behind the bar. franswa and zidane both jump a mile)

Snake: “Covert ops…gets ‘em every time.”

Zidane: “Okay! That scared the crap outta me!”

Caraway: “Snake, meet your new co-worker, Bomberman.”

Bomberman: “Bomberman destroy.”

Snake: “Otakon! Come in, Otakon! I see some sort of robot bent on destruction! What should I do? Answer me, Otakon!”

Caraway: “…I’ll leave you two to get acquainted. See you all later.”

(he leaves. everyone is looking at snake and bomberman)

Snake: “Who sent you? Who do you work for?”

Bomberman: “Bomberman destroy whoever gets in way!”

Snake: “Otakon! Did you hear that, Otakon?”

Dante: “…Let’s go in the back.”

Everyone else: *nods frantically*

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

(meanwhile, at the ramble room, sephiroth is laying on the porch swing and swinging back and forth when alucard comes over)

Alucard: “Hi.”

Sephiroth: “What do you want?”

Alucard: “You look pretty busy.”

Sephiroth: *sits up* “I could be.”

Alucard: “Wanna come down to the strip club?”

Sephiroth: “That is all you ever ask me. Why is that?”

Alucard: “Come on. It’ll be good for you.”

Sephiroth: “You’ve also said that about five times and it’s never true.”

Alucard: “They’ve got five new dancers.”

Sephiroth: “From where? A street corner on the other side of town?”

Alucard: “I don’t know. But maybe you’ll find somebody you like.”

Sephiroth: “At the strip club? What am I, you? I guess after six hundred years you just pick them up wherever you can find them.”

Alucard: *sigh* “I’m going with or without you.”

Sephiroth: “Fine. I’ll come. But don’t say I’m a bad friend.”

Alucard: “You are.”

Sephiroth: “At least I’m not a bad drunk.”

Alucard: “Shut up.”

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

(back at the ramble roomreeve walks in to find elena and rufus with lily. lily is standing up and holding onto the couch for support)

Reeve: “Has anybody seen Tseng?”

Rufus: “No.”

Elena: “Nope.”

Reeve: *annoyed sigh* “Where the hell did he go now? He keeps disappearing on me!”

Rufus: “Maybe he’s putting in extra hours at the office.” *pause* “But I’m not paying him extra for it!”

Reeve: *sighs and shakes his head*

Elena: “Come and relax for a minute, Reeve!” *pats the space next to her*

Reeve: *sits* “Lily looks like she’s going to take her first steps any day now.”

Elena: “I think so! I’ve been keeping the camera with me at all times!”

Reeve: “You didn’t lend it to Reno again, did you?”

Elena: “Oh no. Never again.”

Rufus: “What?”

Elena: “You don’t wanna know.”

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

(meanwhile, alucard and sephiroth arrive at the club. dante is on stage)

Sephiroth: “Ugh. Things are already looking bad.”

Alucard: “Cheer up. Let’s get drinks.”

Sephiroth: “Yes, please. I want to watch you get drunk and make an ass of yourself.”

(alucard shoots sephiroth a nasty look but they go over to the bar. bomberman and snake are there)

Sephiroth: “Whoa. Who’s the stormtrooper?”

Bomberman: “I am Bomberman. Give order.”

Sephiroth: “You mean to kill something or make a drink?”

Alucard: “I’ll have a jack and cola. What do you want?”

Sephiroth: “Because if I can kill something, I’d like to kill Dante.”

Alucard: “He’ll just have a beer.”

(bomberman goes to get the drinks. snake is glaring at him)

Snake: “Otakon! The terrorist is trying to steal my equipment! I need reinforcements, Otakon!”

Sephiroth: “I don’t know where the businesses around here keep getting their help from…but these freaks can’t possibly work for *that* cheap.”

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

(meanwhile, backstage, franswa, zidane, irvine, tseng and rude are waiting around.)

Zidane: “This is exciting! Isn’t this is exciting? I’m so excited!!!”

Franswa: “…I’m gonna throw up.”

Zidane: “Relax, man! It can’t be any worse than the constant fires at the Disco-Center!”

Rude: “My lungs hurt after I worked there for a day.”

Franswa: “I guess you’re right.”

Tseng: “I can’t believe we can’t do lap dances until we go out there for the first time. I could be making money right now!”

Irvine: “I hope there are a lot of chicks out there. Hot chicks. Not desperate chicks.” *pause* “Unless they’re hot desperate chicks.”

(dante comes in)

Dante: “Okay, Tseng. You’re on. You ready?”

Tseng: “I’ve only got two talents and this is one of them.” *walks out on stage*

Dante: “How’re the rest of you?”

Zidane: “Excited!”

Rude: “Fine.”

Franswa: “Nervous.”

Irvine: “Are there alotta chicks?”

Dante: *shrugs* “A good amount I guess.”

Irvine: “Man, I can’t *wait* to get out there!”

Dante: “Don’t forget, after you’re done on stage walk around the room to get some lap dances. You guys figure out what you’re charging?”

Franswa: “Um…I don’t know, like 5 bucks?”

Dante: “Franswa…give yourself a little credit. No one here charges less than 30 bucks for 10 minutes.”

Franswa: “That’s 3 dollars a minute!”

Dante: “Well this is a classy place.”

Franswa: “Really?”

Dante: “For a strip club. Anyway, I’ve gotta get back on the floor. Just relax.”

(he leaves.)

Franswa: “You think anybody will really pay me 30 bucks to grind on their lap for 10 minutes?”

Zidane: “I would. And I work here!”

Franswa: “Well…I guess I made the right decision.”

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

(meanwhile, some time later, alucard and sephiroth are sitting in a booth. they both have several empty drinks in front of them. alucard is way more drunk.)

Alucard: “You know what you need? You need a lap dance.”

Sephiroth: “Ew. No.”

Alucard: “Yeah, come on! I’m gonna buy you a lap dance!”

Sephiroth: “Some guy rubbing his ass all over me is not gonna make me feel better.”

Alucard: “Yes it is. I’m totally doing it.”

Sephiroth: “No, come on! They’re all gross!”

Alucard: “They are not. They’ll all hot! I’ll pick someone good for ya.” *gets up*

Sephiroth: “Adrian Farenheits Tepes you sit your ass down this minute!”

Alucard: “Not taking no for an answer!”

(he scampers off. sephiroth glowers and shakes his head. a minute later, alucard slides back into the booth looking giddy)

Alucard: “Go wait in the back room.”

Sephiroth: “Oh nice. So I have to be one of those creepy guys who wants to be molested, but not in public.”

Alucard: “Just go. I already paid for it!”

Sephiroth: *gets up* “I hate you.”

(so he goes in the back, which is empty, and takes a seat on a chair with a sigh.)

Sephiroth: “This is humiliating.”

(a second later someone enters. its really dark in the room and sephiroth cant make out the face at first)

??????: “Hey, there! I’m Z! What’s your name, hot stuff?”

Sephiroth: *blink blink* “…Zidane?”

Zidane: “…Sephiroth?”

Both: “……………”

Zidane: “Awesome! You’re my first lap dance!”

Sephiroth: *jumps up* “Damn that, Alucard! If he could die I’d kill him!”

Zidane: “Aw… You don’t want me to do it?”

Sephiroth: “No I don’t want you to do it! Are you kidding me?”

Zidane: “Why not? We already slept together.”

Sephiroth: “No we didn’t!”

Zidane: “Come on, Sephiroth! I promise I’m really good at it!”

Sephiroth: *puts hands over ears* “Lalala! I can’t hear you!”

Zidane: *frowns* “Fine. Just don’t tell anybody I work here then.”

Sephiroth: “Gladly. And don’t tell anybody I was anywhere *near* here.”

(he stalks out of the room and walks over to alucard)

Alucard: “That was fast! I paid for ten minutes!”

Sephiroth: “You paid for nothing! The stripper was Zidane! I can’t get a lap dance from Zidane!”

Alucard: *blink blink* “That was Zidane? I thought he said his name was Z.”

Sephiroth: “That’s a stage name! And you’re drunk! I’m leaving!”

(he stalks away)

Alucard: *looks at empty glass* “Where’s that…bomber…guy? I need another drink.”

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

(and the night is over and the club closes. dante is sitting on the edge of the bar sucking on a lollipop. alucard is passed out in a booth nearby. caraway comes over to the bar and goes over to snake)

Caraway: “How’d the new guy work out?”

Snake: “…He won’t know what hit him.”

Caraway: “Okay. And Dante…” *goes to dante and holds out a stack of money* “Can you make sure everybody gets their cut?”

Dante: *takes money* “You got it.”

Caraway: “Good work on picking the new guys. They fit right in.”

Dante: “I was born to impress.”

Caraway: “I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

(he leaves. the rest of the strippers come out of the back and head over to dante. first is delita. he just takes the money and walks off)

Dante: “Nice chatting with you.”

(then gippal and maxi)

Gippal: “Big tippers in tonight.”

Maxi: “And it was crowded. I hope every night stays like this.”

Dante: “It will as long as we’re here.” *hands over the money* “Have a good night, boys.”

(they leave. irvine comes over, frowning a little)

Irvine: “You call that a lot of chicks?”

Dante: “Yeah.”

(irvine takes the money and goes off shaking his head. rude steps in)

Dante: “You’re straight. Does it bother you?”

Rude: “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

(he takes the money and leaves. next is franswa)

Dante: “Hey – how’d it go? You seemed to be on top of things.” *grin*

Franswa: “I got by. And I can’t argue with the money.”

(he sighs, takes his money and leaves. zidane steps up all smiles)

Zidane: “This is the best job ever! I almost feel bad getting paid for it!”

Dante: “I’m sure the boss would love to hear that.”

Zidane: “I don’t feel that bad.”

(he takes his money and goes. and finally theres tseng. hes standing there counting through a stack of singles.)

Dante: *clears throat*

Tseng: *looks up* “Oh. Sorry. Got distracted counting.”

Dante: “You kept yourself quite available tonight. I don’t think you took a break once.”

Tseng: “Why would I? I was cleaning up. I don’t get paid to sit down. Well, unless it’s on somebody’s lap.” *takes the money from dante* “Nice lollipop by the way. That gives me an idea…”

Dante: “You are evil.”

Tseng: “See you tomorrow.”

Dante: “Yeah you will.”

(tseng leaves. dante hops off the bar and stretches)

Dante: “All right, Al. Time to go.”

(alucard lifts his head off the table, stands and blearily walks over to dante)

Alucard: “I got drunk.”

Dante: “Yeah you did.”

Alucard: “I got drunk and gave Zidane 30 bucks to give Sephiroth a lap dance. I didn’t even know it was him.”

Dante: “Well, it is kinda dark in here. That probably didn’t help.”

Alucard: “I don’t have a problem recognizing you.”

Dante: “That’s because the best always stand out, baby. Don’t forget that.”

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

(so tseng goes home to find reeve already in bed. reeve is awake but he doesnt say anything until tseng climbs into bed. then he turns around and is about to give him a hug but he hangs back looking confused)

Reeve: “What’s that smell?”

Tseng: “Huh?”

Reeve: “I didn’t know you changed colognes.”

Tseng: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” *settles in and closes his eyes*

Reeve: *frowns*

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

(the next dayreno goes into the ramble room to find irvine having breakfast)

Reno: “Hey, dude. Missed ya at the bar last night.”

Irvine: “Everything cool?”

Reno: “Everything was fine. You coming by tonight?”

Irvine: “Uh…I can’t.”

Reno: “Why not?”

Irvine: “I’ve got a date.”

Reno: “Again? You just had a date last night!” *gasp* “It’s not with the same girl, is it?”

Irvine: “No!”

Reno: “Good! You almost gave me a heart attack, man.” *sigh* “Fine, go on your stupid date. I don’t know why you’re going on dates all of the sudden when you can pick up chicks at the bar for free.”

Irvine: *sweat drops*

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

(meanwhile, lark and sephiroth pass one another in the hall)

Lark: “Hey, Sephy!”

Sephiroth: *grunts and walks by*

Lark: *stops and turns around* “What is that about?”

Sephiroth: *stops but doesn’t turn around* “What?”

Lark: “That’s your greeting?”

Sephiroth: “I can’t talk to you, Lark. Then you’ll think I’m in love with you.”

Lark: “Sephiroth, come on. We need to talk about this.”

Sephiroth: *turns around* “Just take it back.”

Lark: “Take what back?”

Sephiroth: “What you said.”

Lark: *hesitates*

Sephiroth: “Because it’s not true. So just take it back, and everything’ll be fine.”

Lark: *hesitates for a long time* “……………Fine. I’m sorry. Maybe I was just seeing things.”

Sephiroth: “There. Was that so hard? Hello, Lark, good-bye, Lark. I’ll see you later.”

(and with that he walks away)

Lark: *sighs and mutters* “I guess it’s just not worth it.”

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

(meanwhile, later, zidane, irvine, rude and franswa are in the back room at the club getting ready. then tseng walks in with a huge bag of lollipops he obviously bought at a price club. he plops it down on the table and everybody stares at him.)

Tseng: *blink blink* “What?”

Zidane: “…You are such a skank.”

Tseng: “You wish you thought of it.”

Zidane: “Yeah, you’re right! Can I have some?”

Tseng: “No.”

Zidane: “Heh…you’re kidding, right? Gimme one.”

Tseng: “I’m not kidding. Get your own.”

Zidane: “…But you’ve got like a million of them.”

Tseng: “Yeah…and I paid for them.”

Zidane: “And how much is that? Like two cents each? So what?”

Tseng: “You earned money last night, didn’t you? And doesn’t Algus pay you in candy anyway?”

Zidane: “Not in lollipops! I’ll never be that lucky! Come on! Just give me one! *One*!”

Tseng: “Look, I bought this with my own hard earned money. You can do the same.” *picks up the bag* “I’m gonna put this in my locker.” *he walks off into the back*

Zidane: *snort* “He made like a thousand dollars last night. He can’t spare it?”

Irvine: “There better be more chicks here tonight.”

Franswa: “I just found everybody really sweaty. I was in the shower for two hours when I got home.”

Zidane: “Geez! That’s a long time to be in the shower!”

Franswa: “I would have stayed longer but my dad thought I was drowning and he broke down the door to save me.”

Zidane: “Oh god.”

Franswa: “Yeah. That was embarrassing.”

(tseng walks back in)

Zidane: “You want to hear embarrassing? Sephiroth was here last night. Apparently Alucard bought him a lap dance but he didn’t want one from me and threw a huge fit about it. Then he made me promise not to tell anyone about it.” *pause* “Oops. Well, it’s only you guys. Don’t tell anybody.”

Tseng: “Sephiroth was here?”

Zidane: “Yeah.”

Tseng: “And he wouldn’t let you near him, huh?”

Zidane: “No. Of course!”

Tseng: *snort*

Zidane: “What’s *that* about?”

Tseng: “Nothing.”

Irvine: “I didn’t give a lap dance to one single girl last night! And when you’re givin’ one to a guy sometimes you can feel the…you know! That just ain’t right!”

Rude: “What did you expect?”

Irvine: “I don’t know, but it sure wasn’t that!”

Zidane: “It looked like you made pretty good money last night though.”

Irvine: “Who cares?! I’m not here for the money!”

Franswa: “If I wasn’t here for the money… I wouldn’t be here.”

(dante enters with gippal and maxi)

Dante: “Hey in here. How’s it going?”

Irvine: “You think there’ll be more chicks in here tonight?”

Gippal: “There’s always the chance.”

Maxi: “We’re opening in a few minutes. There’re already people waiting outside.”

Tseng: “Great.” *sticks lollipop in his mouth*

Dante: “Nice touch.”

Tseng: “Well, you were the inspiration. I’ve got a whole bag in my locker if you want any.”

Zidane: *jaw drops*

Dante: “Maybe later. Right now I’ve gotta get ready to go on stage.”

(he walks off into the back. zidane is glaring at tseng)

Zidane: “So Dante gets some for free, and I don’t? I thought we were friends!”

Tseng: “Stop being such a baby, Zidane.” *goes into the back*

Zidane: *mutters to himself* “…Nah. He’s not arrogant much.”

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

(meanwhile, alucard goes over to the ramble room where sephiroth is in the tv room with vincent, Brady and lark. lark is playing dirge of cerberus)

Lark: “Oh yeah! Vincent, you’re awesome!”

Sephiroth: *rolls eyes* “Oh, please. If they made a game starring me you’d see how unimpressive that all is.”

Alucard: “Hello, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: “Oh! Well if it isn’t Drunky McDrinks a lot! How soon after I left last night did you pass out?”

Alucard: “…Pretty soon. But I promise if you come with me tonight I won’t get drunk.”

(sephiroth looks skeptical. he then drags alucard by the arm out into the hall)

Sephiroth: “Are you kidding me? You want me to go with you again?”

Alucard: “I want to make it up to you.”

Sephiroth: “That’s okay. I don’t consider going to the strip club making up for anything.”

Alucard: “You’ll have fun this time. I promise.”

Sephiroth: “If I had a dollar for every time you make that promise…”

Alucard: *grabs him by the wrist and starts dragging him away* “Trust me.”

Sephiroth: “You’re lucky I’m really bored.”

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

(at the club, alucard and sephiroth go up to the bar. on stage is irvine, dancing to revolving door by crazy town. its dark in the club and hes got his hat down over his face, so you really cant tell its him, especially from a distance)

Bomberman: “Bomberman take order.”

Alucard: “Two beers.”

Sephiroth: “I thought you said you weren’t drinking.”

Alucard: “Beers aren’t drinking.”

Sephiroth: “…This night is gonna end badly…”

Alucard: *looking at the stage* “He’s cute.”

Sephiroth: “How can you even tell? It’s so dark in here everybody could look like Hojo and you wouldn’t know the difference. That’s how they get you.”

Alucard: “Let’s go take a seat.”

(alucard and sephiroth move away from the bar.)

Snake: “Otakon! The terrorist has come back again. I think he’s planning to plant additional bombs! I need back-up, Otakon! Otakon! Why won’t you ever answer me?”

Bomberman: “Bomberman will destroy everything.”

Snake: “Otakon! Do you copy??”

(then who walks into the club? but hojo)

Hojo: *happy sigh* “Thank goodness I saw that advertisement in the paper. I would have never known this place existed! It’s like a dream!” *rubs hands together eagerly* “I’ll be blowing lots of money tonight!”

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

(laterthere are lots of empty beer bottles in front of alucard and sephiroth, and guess whos drunk again? hojo is sitting by the stage, watching dante dance to lucifer by jay-z.)

Alucard: “Wow. I forgot beer has so much alcohol in it.”

Sephiroth: “It does if you drink ten of them.”

Alucard: *looking at dante* “I picked this song for him to use.”

Sephiroth: “What an accomplishment.”

Alucard: “He is so hot.”

Sephiroth: “Yeah. If you like your men with a side order of venereal disease.”

Alucard: “You mean you’d never have sex with him?”

Sephiroth: “No.”

Alucard: “Never?”

Sephiroth: “Never.”

Alucard: “What if…what if you were the last two people on the planet?”

Sephiroth: “Still no.”

Alucard: “What about…what about if you were told if you have sex with Dante, you could live forever?”

Sephiroth: “No. Not worth it.”

Alucard: “How about if you had sex with Dante, you would be ruler of the world?”

Sephiroth: “Hmm… Maybe. But I’d tell him how bad it was afterwards.”

Alucard: “What if you could be ruler of the world, but only if you told the truth about how good it was?”

Sephiroth: “Oh come on! In that extremely unlikely situation?”

Alucard: “Just answer the question!”

Sephiroth: “It would suck anyway! But no! Forget it!”

Alucard: “What if you were captured by a tribe of cannibals and they had you hanging upside down over a fire pit, and they said the only way they would let you go is if you had sex with Dante, but—“

Sephiroth: “Alucard, I’m not answering any more of your stupid, drunken pointless questions that would never happen in a million years.”

Alucard: “You’re no fun.” *pushes a beer over to him* “Have another drink.”

Sephiroth: “Only because you’re paying.” *takes it and drinks*

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

(meanwhile, tseng walks into the back room counting his money and ready to go make some more)

????: “I recognized you right away.”

(tseng tucks the money away and looks up, eyes wide. its hojo)

Tseng: “*You*.”

Hojo: “I knew you wouldn’t come unless I told someone who didn’t know me you were wanted in the back room.”

Tseng: “Where did you find out about this place?”

Hojo: “Newspaper. I read it cover to cover every day. Mostly the science section. But none of the articles they print are ever very interesting. Who cares about new drugs? There are much more important things to be discovered. Such as—“

Tseng: “I don’t even know why I’m still standing here.”

Hojo: “Because. I’ve paid your price already, plus there’s a very nice tip in it for you…”

Tseng: *grimaces* “How much?”

Hojo: “Let’s just say it has 3 zeros…”

Tseng: *hesitates*

Hojo: “Pretty good money, if you ask me. And worth every penny. So?”

(tseng hesitates for another moment, but then he walks over to hojo and sticks his hand out)

Tseng: “I want it up front.”

Hojo: “Not a problem.” *takes out a large roll of money and puts it in his hand* “I could hardly believe it when I saw you on stage. It was like a dream.”

Tseng: “Shut up. Just because I took your money doesn’t mean I have to hear you talk.”

(and so tseng does what he has to do. ten minutes later hojo walks out of the back room with a big smile on his face. he goes over and sits by the stage. a minute or two later tseng comes out, he looks like hes totally disgusted with himself. then he looks at the money in his hand and stares at it a long moment)

Tseng: “…Who am I kidding? …I’d do it again.”

(hojo has wandered over to the stage where zidane is now dancing to no diggity by blackstreet. he smiles)

Hojo: “Oh, yes. A dream come true.”

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

(meanwhile, back over at alucard and sephiroths table)

Alucard: “Know what I gotta do? I gotta buy you a lap dance.”

Sephiroth: “No.”

Alucard: “Yeah! To make up for last night!”

Sephiroth: “No.”

Alucard: “Yeah! Go wait in the back room and I’ll get somebody really hot for you!”

Sephiroth: “No.”

Alucard: “Aw, come on!”

(he stumbles to his feet and then drags sephiroth to his feet. he then drags him over to the back room and pushes him inside.)

Alucard: “Go sit. You’ll like it this time!”

Sephiroth: *mutters* “Sure I will.”

(he sits down and waits. a minute later a tall figure enters the darkened room)

??????: *mutters* “Damn. Another dude.” *louder* “Howdy there! You ready to get your world rocked by Cowboy—“

Sephiroth: *blink blink* “Cowboy geek?!”

Irvine: “No, Cowboy *Kid*. Who do you think you are? Seph—“ *pause* “Sephiroth?”

Both: “………………”

Sephiroth: “What the hell are you doing working here?”

Irvine: “You wanted a lap dance from me?!”

Sephiroth: “No! Alucard bought it for me! I didn’t know who he was picking!” *jumps to his feet* “He screwed me again!”

Irvine: “They always said you had kinda a thing for me but I never believed them! I just thought you hated me!”

Sephiroth: “I do hate you! And who the hell thought I liked you!? ‘Cause now I hate them!”

Irvine: “So you really didn’t request me or nothing?”

Sephiroth: “No! Oh my god, no! What are you doing working here anyway? Aren’t you straight?”

Irvine: “Yeah, but, chicks come here too!”

Sephiroth: *blink blink* “Really?”

Irvine: “Yes! Look, just don’t tell anyone I work here, okay?”

Sephiroth: “Fine! And you never saw me!”

Irvine: “Fine!”

(they both stalk out. sephiroth goes back over to alucard)

Sephiroth: “Nice going, Alucard! That’s strike two! That was *Irvine*. I can’t get a lap dance from *Irvine*! He probably has more diseases than Dante!”

Alucard: “That was Irvine?” *pause* “Irvine’s hot.”

Sephiroth: “I’m leaving. And don’t try and drag me here tomorrow night!” *leaves*

Alucard: “…Oh man. I gotta make it up to him!”

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

(the night ends, and the group gets their money and starts walking out. well, all of them except tseng that is.)

Zidane: “I think I saw Hojo in the crowd! Hojo! And he was looking at me!”

Franswa: *shudders* “I need to shower.”

Irvine: “Dude, there were no chicks who wanted lap dances, man! No chicks!”

Rude: “I made money.”

Irvine: *looking around* “Hey…where’s Tseng?”

Zidane: “Who cares? Let’s go.”

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

(speaking of tseng, hes still at the club with dante, maxi and gippal. hes showing off his money)

Tseng: “Look at this. One tip was a thousand bucks all by itself.”

Gippal: “Was it that creepy guy with the lab coat and the greasy hair?”

Tseng: “…Maybe.”

Dante: “Some people are just born to do this job. Like me. I’d never wanna do anything else.”

Maxi: “I used to be a ship’s Captain before my crew was killed. This is much better though. Better money. And I don’t have to eat prepackaged food that tastes like salt and ass.”

Gippal: “Bet you didn’t mind being trapped on a boat with all those men though.”

Maxi: “You wouldn’t have either.”

Dante: *stretches* “All right. Let’s get out of here. Come on, Al!”

Alucard: *stumbles over* “I got drunk again.”

Dante: “Yeah you did.”

Alucard: “And I think Sephiroth is mad at me.”

Dante: “What else is new? Come on, let’s go.”

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

(the next day. lark is in the ramble room when zell walks in)

Zell: “Hey, Lark.”

Lark: “Hey, Zell! Good morning!”

Zell: “Morning, I guess. Have you seen Franswa anywhere lately?”

Lark: “Nope. Why?”

Zell: “He just hasn’t really been around lately. He said he’s busy taking care of his brother, but he won’t even let me come over and help.”

Lark: “Well…maybe he just wants some time alone.”

Zell: “Maybe. But that’s not really like him.”

Lark: “I wouldn’t worry about it, Zell. A baby is a lot of work. He probably doesn’t want to bother you with it.”

Zell: “I wouldn’t feel bothered by it.”

Lark: “Just give him some time. Why don’t you go hang out with Squall? He’s seemed really bored lately.”

Zell: “You think Squall would go to the comic store with me?”

Lark: “It never hurts to ask.”

Zell: “Yeah, I guess I’ll go ask him!”

(he leaves. zidane, irvine and reno enter)

Reno: “How was your date last night, man?”

Irvine: “Oh. It was good.”

Reno: “You score?”

Irvine: “Of course!”

Zidane: *snort*

Irvine: *shoots zidane a nasty look*

Lark: “Hey guys! I haven’t seen you around much lately!”

Irvine: “Just been busy, Lark. With the bar and all.”

Reno: “And your constant dates!”

Lark: “You’re seeing somebody, Irvine?”

Irvine: “No. I mean yeah. Yeah, I’m seeing different girls.”

Lark: “Oh. That sounds more like you.”

(algus enters looking annoyed)

Algus: “There you are, Zidane! I’ve been looking all over for you!”

Zidane: *sigh* “What is it, Algus?”

Algus: “You were supposed to put up my curtains last night! This morning the sun was in my face when I woke up!”

Zidane: “Oh big deal.”

Algus: “Where were you last night anyway? You know I don’t like you running around unsupervised!”

Zidane: “I’ll go put up your stupid curtains right now, okay?” *mutters* “Geez…you’d think it’d kill him to pick up a hammer.”

Algus: “I heard that!”

(they leave. irvine and reno are also on their way out the door)

Reno: “Catch you later, Lark!”

Irvine: “See ya!”

Lark: “Bye!”

(theyre gone. lark is alone in the ramble room once again.)

Lark: “…It’s weird for this room to be so empty…”

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

(meanwhile, in reeve and tsengs room, there is a ton of money lying on tsengs dresser. reeve notices it just before tseng picks it up and shoves it in his pocket)

Reeve: “Tseng…where the hell did you get all that money from?”

Tseng: “What, I can’t have money?”

Reeve: “You don’t usually carry wads of it around like that!”

Tseng: “I earn a paycheck too, Reeve.”

Reeve: “I didn’t say you didn’t, but—“

Tseng: “I have to get to the bank, and then I’m going out tonight. Don’t wait up.”

Reeve: *grabs his arm* “Where are you going?”

Tseng: “I told you. I’m going out with some friends.”

Reeve: “Can’t I come?”

Tseng: “It really wouldn’t interest you.”

(he pulls his arm away and leaves. reeve looks pissed)

Reeve: “…I wonder what you’re *really* doing, Tseng.” *mutters* “Or who you’re doing.”

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

(zidane is walking away from algus room after putting up the curtains)

Zidane: *mutters* “Stupid Algus. Stupid curtains. They’re ugly anyway.”

(bryatt walks by)

Bryatt: “Hey, Zidane.”

Zidane: “Bryatt! Hey! What’s going on? Haven’t seen you in awhile! How’ve you been?”

Bryatt: “Good. I’ve been good. You?”

Zidane: “Good, good! Can’t complain. Well, more than usual. You look hot!”

Bryatt: *chuckles* “Thanks. You never miss an opportunity, do you?”

Zidane: “Nope.”

Bryatt: “I’m glad I ran into you actually. What are you doing tonight?”

Zidane: “Tonight? Oh…” *frowns* “I’m actually busy tonight.”

Bryatt: “Oh. Well that’s okay. Another time then. I’ll see you around I’m sure!”

(he leaves. zidane stands there and watches him go)

Zidane: “………………I like him more than I should.”

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

(sephiroth is sitting on his bed in his room flipping through his sword owners magazine when his cell rings. he sees its alucard, sighs dramatically, but answers it)

Sephiroth: “No, I will not go to the strip club with you.”

Alucard: “How did you know I was going to ask that?”

Sephiroth: “Weren’t you?”

Alucard: “…Perhaps.”

Sephiroth: “Ha. I totally know you by now. Besides, shouldn’t you be hung over?”

Alucard: “I wasn’t that drunk last night.”

Sephiroth: “Yes you were. And this was after promising not to drink.”

Alucard: “Well, I guess I over did it. But I want you to come by tonight.”

Sephiroth: “Why? So you can get drunk, ask me stupid questions and try and buy me a lap dance from another unappealing person I know?”

Alucard: “I promise tonight I’ll get you somebody you’ll like.”

Sephiroth: “Sure you will.”

Alucard: “If I’m wrong, I’ll give you fifty bucks.”

Sephiroth: “You’re on. I’ll meet you later.” *hangs up and goes back to his magazine with a smile* “I’m 50 bucks richer already.”

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

(several hours later at the club, zidane and gippal are in the back room getting ready. theyre the only ones there.)

Zidane: “What’s with the patch?”

Gippal: “Huh?”

Zidane: “On your eye.”

Gippal: “Oh.” *pushes it off revealing his perfectly fine eye* “It’s fake.”

Zidane: “Why do you wear a fake eye patch?”

Gippal: “I’m used to it by now. I started wearing it ‘cause it’s kinda mysterious. And people find mysterious kinda sexy.”

Zidane: *nodding* “Yeah… It is kinda sexy.”

Gippal: “You’re kinda cute yourself.”

Zidane: “Thanks.”

Gippal: “Maybe we could get together sometime.”

Zidane: “A month ago I would have been all over that, and yeah, you’re totally hot, but…there’s this other guy I kinda can’t get outta my head.”

Gippal: “Really? You? You’re like the horniest guy here.”

Zidane: “I know.”

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

(meanwhile, at loser land, hojo is leaving. kuja is sitting on the couch flipping through a magazine)

Hojo: “I’ll be back later tonight, my dear. No need to wait up for me!”

Kuja: “Why would I wait up? If you disappeared the only thing I’d miss is your money.”

Hojo: “Speaking of money, try not to spend too much of it in those catalogs.”

Kuja: “No promises.”

(hojo leaves. kuja is still just sitting there flipping through the catalog and marking off stuff he wants. several minutes later theres a knock at the door. kuja doesnt move. then theres another knock. and another. no response from kuja. finally theres a scream from somewhere in the back and seymour comes running out wearing a towel)

Seymour: “Someone was knocking on the window!”

Kuja: “Was it Hojo? He just left.”

Seymour: “I couldn’t see his face. Maybe it’s an axe murderer!”

Kuja: “I’m sure it’s not an axe murderer.”

Seymour: “How do you know that?! Most of those horror movies start with two pretty girls home alone!”

Kuja: “Yeah. Two.”

Seymour: “Oh you’re such a bitch!”

(then theres another knock on the window)

Reeve’s voice: “Hello? Anyone home?”

Kuja: “See? It’s just Reeve.”

Seymour: “Oh.” *goes into the back*

(kuja goes and answers the door. reeve comes in)

Kuja: “You didn’t have to go knocking on the windows, you know. Seymour thought you were an axe murderer.”

Reeve: “I was knocking on the door but nobody answered!”

Kuja: *shrugs* “I didn’t hear anything.”

Reeve: “Anyway, I came here to talk about Tseng.”

Kuja: “What about him?”

Reeve: “Have you talked to him lately?”

Kuja: “Not really. But then again I’m very self involved.”

Reeve: “He’s been acting strange lately… He leaves and is gone until late at night, saying he’s going out with friends…there’s money lying all over the place. I thought you might know something.”

Kuja: “Sorry. I can’t help you.”

Reeve: *sigh* “Thanks anyway.”

(he leaves. kuja goes back over to his catalog and as he picks it off the table he notices the newspaper with the ad to the strip club lying there)

Kuja: *shakes head* “……No. There’s no way.”

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

(meanwhile, at the club, alucard and sephiroth get drinks and take their usual seats. zidane is on stage and hojo is sitting there watching him. sephiroth notices this.)

Sephiroth: “Oh my god.”

Alucard: “What?”

Sephiroth: “That man who…who…who…f#$%^ed my mother is here.”

Alucard: *blink blink* “…That’s an interesting way to describe your father.”

Sephiroth: “Look!”

(he points and alucard turns around to see hojo happily tipping zidane)

Alucard: “Ew.”

Sephiroth: “I have to make sure I keep my back to that!”

(he does, and they sit and start to drink)

Sephiroth: “So no pretending you’re not going to drink tonight?”

Alucard: “Nope.”

Sephiroth: “Good thing your liver can’t die.”

Alucard: “That’s not funny.”

Sephiroth: “That’s because it’s true.”

Alucard: “You don’t understand how difficult it is to deal with dad sometimes.”

Sephiroth: “Yes I do. But I also know that drinking’s not the answer.”

Alucard: “This from the man who burned down a town to deal with his problems.”

Sephiroth: “…Touché.”

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

(meanwhile, backstage, zidane comes in the back. tseng is looking at himself in the mirror and franswa is sitting in a chair staring into space)

Zidane: “Hojo’s out there again.”

Tseng: “Good. I hope he has a lot of money on him again.”

Zidane: *blink blink* “I’m sorry. I just said Hojo was out there and *you* said *good*?”

(tseng says nothing. he just leaves the room.)

Zidane: *mutters* “I do *not* like him lately.” *looks at franswa* “Hey, Franswa!”

Franswa: “Huh?”

Zidane: “Aren’t you on stage now?”

Franswa: “Oh yeah!”

(he scrambles up and runs out on stage and starts to do his dancing. part of it involves walking around to collect tips. of course hojo is by the stage and franswa has to pass him by)

Hojo: “Hello there, young man.”

Franswa: *dancing* “Uh, hi.”

Hojo: “What’s your name?”

Franswa: *dancing* “…Ashton.”

Hojo: “Well, Ashton…” *shoves money at him* “There’s more in it for you if you come by after your performance.” *wink*

Franswa: *eyes get wide*

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

(later on that nightif you guessed alucard got drunk again, youre right. and sephiroth could not look more bored)

Alucard: “So it’s like, you know Lloyd?! Just pick up your socks, and there won’t be a problem! But I don’t say anything. I’m too nice.”

Sephiroth: “If you’re gonna pass out just do it already so I can leave.”

Alucard: “I’m not gonna pass out.”

Sephiroth: “Uh huh.”

Alucard: ”’Sides, I gotta buy you a lap dance first.”

Sephiroth: “Oh god. You’re not still sticking with that idea, are you? Haven’t you wasted enough money already?”

Alucard: “You can’t waste money. What good is money? Money can’t buy you love.”

Sephiroth: “If it didn’t your boyfriend would be out of a job.”

Alucard: “You wait there. I’ll be right back.”

(he goes off. sephiroth sits there drumming his fingers on the table. a minute later alucard returns)

Alucard: “Okay. You’re all set. Go in the back room.”

Sephiroth: “Who’s it gonna be this time? At the rate you’re going it’ll probably be your dad.”

Alucard: “Don’t be stupid…dad doesn’t work here. And his audition was horrible. Anyway, if you don’t like him this time, it’s your fault, not mine.”

Sephiroth: “And how is that?”

Alucard: “’Cause this time it’s totally random. I left a note in the back with the money so the first one to get it is gonna be who you get.”

Sephiroth: “And what if it’s Zidane or Irvine again?”

Alucard: “…………………”

Sephiroth: “Yeah. That’s what I thought.” *gets up* “Okay, have the fifty bucks ready when I get back.”

(he goes into the back and sits down. moments later, the random stripper enters)

?????: “Well, well, well. I always thought this day would come.”

Sephiroth: *jumps to his feet* “YOU! I don’t believe this.”

Dante: *coming closer* “It’s okay, you can just admit it. You want me.”

Sephiroth: “Don’t flatter yourself! This was a totally random thing and apparently fate hates my freaking guts! The last thing I want is for you to rub your diseases all over me!”

Dante: “That’s because you know you’ll like it.”

Sephiroth: “You wish.”

Dante: “I don’t have to wish what I already know. Now just sit back down and let me rock your world.”

Sephiroth: “Argh!!!!”

(with that he just storms out while dante chuckles. sephiroth goes back over to alucard)

Alucard: “What? Who was it now? Was it dad? Because then he must have snuck in.”

Sephiroth: “It was your disgusting boyfriend! And if I were you I would watch him because he totally wanted me because he’s a whore!”

Alucard: *chuckles* “Whatever.”

Sephiroth: *frowns* “Now give me my money.”

Alucard: “Aw…leaving already?”

Sephiroth: “Yes!”

Alucard: *hands over money* “I’ll have you back here tomorrow night.”

Sephiroth: “To hell you will!”

Alucard: “Double or nothing?”

Sephiroth: “You’re on!” *stomps out*

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

(its the end of the night again. the guys are getting ready to go back home. franswa is washing his hands very thoroughly)

Zidane: “What’s with you? You’ve been washing your hands for five minutes!”

Franswa: “There was this guy Hojo…he must have paid for five lap dances.”

Zidane: “Oh gross. I’m sorry.”

Franswa: “At least I got more money for cooking school!” *shaky smile*

Irvine: “There are still not enough chicks at this place! I’m gonna get the word out about it more!”

Rude: “Good idea.” *happily tucks money away* “Where’s Tseng?”

Zidane: “Who cares? Probably being a jerk with his new best friend Dante. Guess we’re not cool enough for him anymore.”

(speak of the devil, dante and tseng enter laughing)

Tseng: “Too funny.”

Dante: “Tell me about it. Hey – you guys all got your money?”

Rude: “Yup.”

Dante: “Great. Well I’m headed out.”

Tseng: “I’m going to pass by the bank and drop off some of this money. It’s too much to carry around.”

Zidane: *rolls eyes*

Dante: “All right, I’ll catch you tomorrow. I’ve gotta go pry Alucard out of the booth. Later.”

(he leaves. tseng starts to get his stuff together)

Zidane: “Do well tonight?”

Tseng: “Of course. Those lollipops really helped. The skankier you are the more money you make.”

Zidane: “Yeah. Thanks for offering some to Dante but not to me.”

Tseng: “Oh come on. They’re lollipops.”

Zidane: “Exactly.”

Tseng: “Dante helped me get this job.”

Zidane: “I thought we were friends.”

Tseng: “I don’t have time for this.”

(he gets his stuff and goes.)

Zidane: “Maybe I was wrong!”

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

(that night when the guys get home, irvine goes into the ramble room, writes something on a piece of paper and tapes it to the wall. it says. are you ladies looking for a fun night on the town? well stop by the hot package for drinks and some of the hottest guys youll ever see. tell your friends! the next morning rinoa comes in the room, notices the flyer and takes it off the wall)

Rinoa: “Hmm… I have been looking to organize a girl’s night…”

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

(later on that same morning, lark and vincent are talking in the hallway outside the ramble room.)

Lark: “The game is really fun, Vincent! You should play!”

Vincent: “I find it too odd to be controlling myself.”

Lark: “Hmm… I guess I can see how that would be weird…”

(just then tseng walks by. he is obviously wearing all new clothes and looks like he just got his hair cut.)

Lark: “Hey, Tseng! Wow. Look at you!”

Tseng: “Huh? Oh. Hi, Lark.”

Vincent: “Keeping the short hair cut?”

Tseng: “It stays out of my face. Is this important?”

Lark: “No… Just wanted to say hi.”

Tseng: “Oh. Well, I’m late for an appointment.”

(with that he just hurries away. lark and vincent give one another confused looks)

Vincent: “That was…rather odd.”

Lark: “Yeah…”

Vincent: “Reeve did comment that he had been acting strange lately.”

Lark: “And I think I’m beginning to see why.”

?????????: “Who’s acting strangely? Alucard? That’s because he’s drunk all the time.”

(lark and vincent turn to see sephiroth standing there)

Lark: “Sephiroth! How long have you been standing there?”

Sephiroth: “Just got here. Why?”

Vincent: “Did you happen to run into Tseng?”

Sephiroth: “Nope. Is that who you’re talking about?”

Lark: “Yeah. He was acting really weird just now. And come to think of it, I haven’t seen him around much lately.” *pause* “Although I haven’t seen you around much lately either.”

Sephiroth: “That’s because Alucard keeps making me hang out with him. Then he gets drunk and I leave. Whoo hoo. What fun I’ve been having.”

Reno: *walking over* “Are you talking about me?”

Sephiroth: “No.”

Reno: “Oh. I just heard the part about getting drunk and assumed it was me.”

Lark: “Reno, have *you* talked to Tseng lately?”

Reno: “I haven’t even seen him lately. Him or Irvine.”

Lark: “Still going out on dates?”

Reno: “So he says. He says it’s with different girls, but I’m beginning to suspect the worst…”

Vincent: “What would that be?”

Reno: “That he’s seeing the same girl!”

Sephiroth: “Oh please.”

(then reeve walks over. he looks pissed off)

Reeve: “Did Tseng come by here a little while ago?”

Lark: “Yeah.”

Reeve: “F*ck.”

Everyone: *blink blink*

Reeve: “Did you get a good look at him? Did you see what he was wearing? He’s been throwing money around left and right. There was a gold plated hairbrush in the bathroom! I sure as hell never bought that! And I just… I just…” *sigh* “Never mind.”

(he walks away. everyone watches him go.)

Lark: “Poor Reeve. What is going on with Tseng?”

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

(reeve goes into the ramble room where rufus and elena are with lily. rufus is holding her up and elena is kneeling a few feet away.)

Elena: “Come on, sweetie! Come to mommy!”

Lily: “…Mama…dada!”

Elena: “Let her go, Rufus.”

(rufus lets go of lily. she stands for a moment but then goes to fall. he quickly catches her before she can.)

Rufus: “Oops! I’ve got you!”

Elena: “Guess she’s still not ready yet.”

Reeve: *sits on the couch looking upset*

Elena: “Hi, Reeve.” *frowns* “Something wrong?”

Reeve: “Is something wrong? You bet something’s wrong! Have either of you talked to Tseng lately?”

Elena: “No…”

Rufus: “I haven’t even seen him at the office. I went to fire him the other day, and he wasn’t even there!”

Reeve: “Yeah, well, I think he’s cheating on me.”

Elena: *gasp*

Rufus: “…Really?”

Reeve: “I haven’t told anyone else this yet because I don’t want to look like a total loser. I’ve asked everybody about it and nobody knows. I even went to loser land to talk to Kuja and he knew nothing. He has all this money all of the sudden and he’s spending it like crazy. I know he sure as hell didn’t get it from you, Rufus.”

Rufus: “Damn straight! I’m not made of money! Well, not technically.”

Reeve: “I saw him talking to Dante the other day and then when I asked him about it he got all weird. He comes home smelling of another guy’s cologne. I don’t know if it’s Dante or what, but whoever it is they’re certainly giving him a lot of money.”

Elena: “Oh, Reeve…”

Reeve: *sighs and hangs head* “…I always feared this would happen. In the back of my head. I just…I always knew he could do better than me.”

Elena: “Maybe it’s not what it seems.”

Reeve: “What else could it be?” *shakes head* “I shouldn’t have said anything. I’ll see you later.”

(he leaves. elena looks at rufus)

Elena: “Oh, Rufus do you think it could be true? Could Tseng be cheating on Reeve?”

Rufus: “I know he’s got a bad reputation, but honestly, Elena. …I just can’t see it.”

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

(meanwhile, in loser land. hojo is getting ready to go out again. nida is writing something. scarlet is watching tv. heidegger and stinky are untangling a yo-yo. and kuja and seymour are flipping through a magazine together.)

Heidegger: “Sir Stringy reborn! Gya haa haa!”

Scarlet: “Where’d you find that stupid yo-yo anyway? I thought you lost it.”

Heidegger: “I had a whole box! Gya haa haa! And I ate most of them! Gya haa haa! But Stinky found this one at the bottom of my closet! Gya haa haa!”

Scarlet: “I think that skunk is probably the one of the few things left that you haven’t eaten yet.”

Stinky: *snort*

Heidegger: “He’d kill me first! Gya haa haa!”

Hojo: “Well I’m going out again.”

Nida: “Again?”

Scarlet: “I haven’t seen you leave the house so much since the ice cream man used to come by every night.”

Hojo: “Yes, those little boys sure do love their ice cream. But I have business to attend to. With the…um…business and the…work…and the…uh…so on and so forth. You get the idea.”

(he leaves. everyone stares in confusion)

Nida: “Uh…did that make no sense to anyone else?”

Scarlet: “I don’t think he’s really going out on business.”

Kuja: “Sure he is. If business is having a stripper gyrate in your face.”

Seymour: “He’s going to the male strip club?”

Kuja: “Obviously. What else could pry him away from his porn?”

Nida: “Ew! Well I’m glad I didn’t get that job now!”

Scarlet: “*You* tried to get a job at the strip club?”

Nida: “Yeah! And I deserved it too! But they said I was too good looking! I might blind people!”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! In your dreams!”

Seymour: “Nida, I don’t think you’d blind anyone with good looks. More like you’d blind them with—“

Nida: “Oh ha ha! You’re so funny! You all suck!”

Kuja: “Some more than others.”

Seymour: “Oh that was just perverse.”

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

(meanwhile, at the club, zidane, franswa, rude and irvine are all getting ready)

Irvine: “Hopefully there’ll be more chicks in here tonight, man.”

Rude: “What’d you do?”

Irvine: “Let’s just say I left a little ad lying around.”

Franswa: “I hope that Hojo guy doesn’t come back.”

Zidane: “Oh, trust me. He’ll be back.”

Franswa: *shudders*

(then tseng waltzes in. he says hi to no one. as usual, hes counting money. he finishes with that and he goes over to the mirror and fixes his hair a bit. then he walks right past everyone and goes into the back)

Zidane: “Well hello to you too!”

Rude: “He’s been rather…distant.”

Zidane: “Distant! Yeah! If that’s the new word for complete asshole!” *imitates* “Ooh, I’m Tseng! Look at me! I’m so good looking! Everybody wants a piece of me and I know it! So I exploit myself so I can make money and make everyone else feel like they’re not good enough! And I won’t give Zidane a two cent lollipop because he’s not cool enough to talk to me anymore! I don’t talk to anyone who’s not as pretty as me!” *notices rude irvine and franswa are no longer smiling* “…What?”

Irvine: “Uh…dude…?” *points*

(zidane turns around nearly bumps right into tseng. and from the look on his face he heard the whole thing)

Tseng: “You got a problem with me, Zidane?”

Zidane: “Yeah! I do! I don’t know what happened but you’ve morphed into a complete ass!”

Tseng: “Oh yeah? Well I just think you’re jealous!”

Zidane: “Jealous? Of what? If I wanted to be an f$%^ing asshole, I’d model myself after Algus!”

(this really pisses tseng off. he raises his fist and goes to hit zidane. zidane goes to fight back. but before they can fight irvine and rude quickly get between them. franswa runs into the corner to get out of the way)

Rude: “Cool off.”

Irvine: “Knock it off! You’re gonna get us in trouble!”

Tseng: *backing away* “Yeah, Zidane. Don’t want to get yourself fired. God knows no one else would hire you with that tail.”

Zidane: “F$%^ you!”

(tseng leaves. zidane kicks the wall in frustration)

Zidane: “What an ASS!”

Franswa: “…Oh my goodness.”

Irvine: “I don’t know what’s gotten into Tseng lately, but whatever it is it…”

Rude: “Sucks.”

Irvine: “Yeah. Totally.”

Zidane: “Well I hope he’s happy with his money and his new friends!” *stomps into the back and slams the door*

Irvine: “Oh well. Gotta keep gettin’ ready I guess.”

Franswa: “You guys…do *you* think that guy Hojo will show up again tonight?”

Rude: “Yup.”

Irvine: “Oh yeah.”

Franswa: *shudders*

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

(shortly afterwards the club opens and alucard and sephiroth arrive once again. gippal is on stage dancing to milkshake. they bypass the bar. sephiroth pauses and blinks a few times)

Sephiroth: “No drinks?”

Alucard: “No, I’m not drinking tonight. I thought about what you said and alcohol is not the solution to my troubles at home.”

Sephiroth: “You’ve replaced it with sex, haven’t you.”

Alucard: “…Maybe.”

Sephiroth: “Well if I were you I’d be glad I wasn’t human. Because that would probably kill you faster than the booze.”

(they sit and stare at each other.)

Sephiroth: “Why do you keep coming here so much lately?”

Alucard: “I need to get out of the house.”

Sephiroth: “I guess I can understand that.”

Alucard: “So…how’s that villain of the year trophy of yours?”

Sephiroth: “Huh? Why you asking about that?”

Alucard: “I just thought about it.”

Sephiroth: “Well it’s fine. Great. Looks great, I mean. Great in my room.”

Alucard: “Yeah. I bet it does.”

Sephiroth: “You’re just jealous.”

Alucard: “Jealous of what? I’m not a bad guy.”

Sephiroth: “Still. …Jealous.”

Alucard: *looking at the stage* “Would you ever do it?”

Sephiroth: “What? Strip?”

Alucard: “Yes.”

Sephiroth: “No! I’d rather impale myself on my own masamune. Would you?”

Alucard: “Not again.”

Sephiroth: “Again?!”

Alucard: “I did a lot of things I regret back in the 70’s.”

Sephiroth: “The 1970’s?”

Alucard: “Yes! Why does everyone always ask that?”

Sephiroth: “Well with you you never know!”

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

(meanwhile, tseng walks in the back to find dante sitting there by himself, enjoying a lollipop)

Dante: “Hey – thanks for the lollipop.”

Tseng: “No problem. Can I ask you something?”

Dante: “Shoot.”

Tseng: “People ever get jealous of you?”

Dante: “Are you kidding? Look at me! Of course.”

Tseng: “Right! God, it’s so annoying.”

Dante: “Why – who’s jealous?”

Tseng: “Zidane. He’s always tried to copy me. But now he’s really getting on my nerves. He’s just jealous that I’m making so much more money than him.”

Dante: “Oh.”

Tseng: “What a baby. Anyway, speaking of money, I should get back out there. Later.”

Dante: “Later.”

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

(meanwhile, back outside, alucard and sephiroth appear to be having a good time together.)

Alucard: “So that’s why I don’t let dad near the dog anymore.”

Sephiroth: “I wouldn’t let him near anything with four legs anymore.”

Alucard: *glances at the stage* “So… I believe I owe you a lap dance.”

Sephiroth: “Double or nothing. Although I have to tell you you’re not getting that money from yesterday back.”

Alucard: “I thought not. But that’s fine. Tonight I’m finally going to get someone you like.”

Sephiroth: “And how are you going to ensure that?”

Alucard: “Because you’re going to pick.”

Sephiroth: “What?”

Alucard: “Ha! Now you can’t complain.”

Sephiroth: “This isn’t fair.”

Alucard: “Yes it is. Now look around and pick somebody out.”

(with a sigh, sephiroth looks around the room. tseng is on stage dancing to buttons by the pussycat dolls. but its so dark in the club that sephiroth cant tell its him. he stares for awhile, then looks back at alucard)

Sephiroth: “All right, fine. I’ll play your game. The guy who’s on stage right now.”

Alucard: *looks and nods* “Nice choice. Okay then.” *digs money out of his pocket and notices maxi passing by* “Hey, Maxi!”

Maxi: “Hey, Alucard! What’s going on?” *blink blink* “Not drinking tonight?”

Alucard: “Uh, no. Do you mind doing me a favor?”

Maxi: “What’s up?”

Alucard: *hands him money* “When the guy on stage is finished with his set, can you have him go in the back room for my friend here?”

Maxi: “Sure thing. I’ll make sure Rico meets you in there.”

(he walks away)

Sephiroth: *blink blink* “Rico. That sounds skanky.”

Alucard: “You picked him. Now go.”

Sephiroth: “All right, I’m going, I’m going.”

(he goes in the back. meanwhile, general caraway comes in and goes into his vip booth with several very attractive women. dante comes over and slides into the booth with alucard)

Dante: “Hey, baby. What’s going on?”

Alucard: “Not much, except it seems Sephiroth will finally get a lap dance he’ll enjoy.”

Dante: “Oh yeah? How you figure that?”

Alucard: “I made him pick.”

Dante: “Seriously?! Who’d he pick?”

Alucard: *points to stage* “Him.”

Dante: *snort*

Alucard: *frowns* “What? What’s wrong with him?”

Dante: “Nothing. But I thought Sephiroth didn’t like getting dances from people he knows.”

Alucard: “Uh oh…”

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

(in the back, sephiroth is sitting in the chair waiting. then rico walks in, counting money. he quickly tucks it away.)

Tseng: “All right – are you ready to—Sephiroth?!”

Sephiroth: “Tseng?!”

Both: “……………………………………………”

Tseng: “This is awkward…”

Sephiroth: *sigh* “Well are you gonna do it, or not?”

Tseng: “You want me to do it?”

Sephiroth: “It’s already been paid for!”

Tseng: “You don’t think it would be weird at all?”

Sephiroth: “No.”

Tseng: *sigh* “All right…” *walks over* “Just don’t tell Reeve I work here.”

Sephiroth: “Uh? Oh. Fine. Whatever. Get to it.”

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

(ten minutes later, sephiroth comes back over to alucard, who is sitting alone once again)

Alucard: “You were gone a long time.”

Sephiroth: “You paid for ten minutes.”

Alucard: “Yeah, but. Dante said you wouldn’t want a lap dance from someone you know.”

Sephiroth: “What?”

Alucard: “He came by here after you left and told me ‘Rico’ was Tseng.”

Sephiroth: “Oh. Well, you know, not all people I know are created equal.”

Alucard: “He’s one of your good friends!”

Sephiroth: “So?”

Alucard: “That would be like if I gave you a lap dance!”

Sephiroth: “You offering?”

Alucard: “No! That’s weird! Especially since he’s with someone else!”

Sephiroth: “Hey! It’s not like I made him work here!”

Alucard: “True.”

Sephiroth: “Besides, he could do a lot worse than me.”

(he points to where hojo is holding out money so by tseng, zidane and franswa are all dancing for him)

Hojo: “I could die happy tomorrow…”

Alucard: *grimaces* “Ugh. Never mind. I take it all back.”

Sephiroth: “Thank you.”

(at that moment, irvine comes on stage, and in walks rinoa, selphie and yuffie, all laughing and giggling together.)

Yuffie: “This is gonna be fun!”

Selphie: “I’ve never been to a place like this before! I hope the guys are hot!”

Rinoa: “Well, according to the ad—“ *spots her father across the room in his booth and freezes* “…Daddy?”

Caraway: *sees his daughter* “Oh sh*t.”

TO BE CONTINUED

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