#191 – The Taste of Success

Franswa: *straightens up* “You’re right. I am a Belmont. And if this was meant to be…then it’s meant to be.”

Originally Published: 9/29/06 . 60 pages

Synopsis
Rufus might finally give Franswa the money he needs to open a restaurant, but will Zell ruin everything?

Ramble Milestones
-The Disco-Center burns down.
-Zell and Franswa finally get together.

Franswa and Zell have to be the longest will they or won’t they ramble couple ever. It was very hard to drag this out, but it was worth the wait I hope. The couple that was never supposed to be became one of my favorite couples. I love this ramble. All of the menu items were stolen off real menus from Disney World signature restaurants. I don’t know anything about food so I could not come up with fancy dishes on my own.

 I want to be the minority

I don’t need your authority

Down with the moral majority

‘Cause I want to be the minority

Stepped out of the line

Like a sheep runs from the herd

Marching out of time

To my own beat now

The only way I know

–“Minority” Green Day

 (we open at the disco-center. franswa is at his register as usual. hugh stands nearby talking to him. nemesis is knitting at his register. nightmare is walking by carrying a large box. lloyd is checking the stock with his broken clipboard in hand.)

Hugh: “We haven’t had a fire in an hour! Maybe this time I brought enough holy water!”

Nightmare: “Nightmare had to mop up all the excess water! And somebody broke the mop!”

Lloyd: “That mop had it coming! It tried to trip me!”

Franswa: “I’m glad it’s almost closing time.”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

(then rufus comes into the store, whistling happily)

Rufus: “Wow! Everybody’s working! I’m impressed! Although you could look more alert, Franswa. I’m not really impressed with that. Anyway, I’ll be in the office!” *leaves*

Hugh: “Franswa! The boss wasn’t pleased with your work! You have to get your act together or you’ll never get promoted!”

Franswa: “What work? We don’t do anything. And get promoted to what?”

Lloyd: *further breaking the clipboard* “Stop trying to eat my finger, you bloodthirsty clipboard!”

Franswa: “…I don’t think so.”

Nightmare: “Nemesis help me with these boxes of Rufus brand imitation rock!”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

(nightmare and nemesis go into the back. then the doors to the store open and chris redfield walks in. he starts to look around)

Lloyd: “Someone just broke into the store!”

Franswa: “No…that was a customer.”

Lloyd: “Oh. Right. I forgot we have those.” *goes off*

Franswa: *sigh* “I think I’m just gonna get my paycheck, clock out and leave.”

Hugh: “You can’t do that! There’s a customer here!”

Franswa: “He’s not going to buy anything. No one ever buys anything.”

Chris: *looking at rufus brand condoms* “I should get some of these for Barry.”

Franswa: “Okay, I’m leaving.” *heads towards the back*

Hugh: “Franswa, wait! No one ever taught me to use the register!”

(chris is very busy looking at the merchandise. nightmare and nemesis come back to the front)

Nightmare: “Nightmare is going to get his paycheck!”

Nemesis: *nods*

(nightmare goes into the back. nemesis goes and retrieves his knitting. he examines it in the light)

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Chris: *looks up in alarm*

(nemesis is heading towards the office in the back when chris sees him. his eyes get very wide.)

Chris: “A monster! And he’s going to attack that office!”

(he runs into the back of the store and into the office, which is deserted except for rufus, who is still whistling and going over some papers. chris has his gun out and keeps it pointed towards the door)

Chris: “Come with me if you want to live.”

Rufus: “I’m sorry, what?”

Chris: *grabs rufus by the wrist and drags him from the office* “There’s a monster coming this way!”

Rufus: “A monster?! What monster?!”

(chris pushes rufus down in front of a display of rufus brand highly flammable baby blankets. he peers over the display at nemesis, who is coming closer. he shoots at him, but misses. nemesis roars in annoyance and notices chris)

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Rufus: “Him? He’s not a monster! Well, he probably is, but he’s not for killing! He’s one of my employees!”

Chris: “Sir, you’re hysterical. Just calm down and let me handle this. It’s me he’s after now!”

Rufus: “Huh?”

Chris: “I’m part of S.T.A.R.S! Special Tactics and Rescue Squad!”

Rufus: “That’s why he keeps saying that?”

Chris: “Of course! What did you think it meant?”

Rufus: “I just thought he liked the sky! I even bought him a telescope for his birthday!” *pause* “Well, it was a Rufus brand telescope, and most of the pieces were missing, but the point is I still got him something!” *loudly whispers* “Mostly because I didn’t want him to eat me.”

Nemesis: *charges forward growling angrily and throwing stuff*

Chris: *shoots at him*

Rufus: “Ahhh!” *ducks behind stuff* “Dammit! This is what I get for being an equal opportunity employer!”

Chris: “Do you have a back door?”

Rufus: “Of course! What do I look like to you?”

Chris: “Then get out of here! I’ve got it under control!” *shoots at him more*

Rufus: “You’re getting bullet holes in everything!”

Chris: *takes a shotgun out from under his shirt*

Rufus: “Where did that come from!?”

Chris: *getting ready to shoot* “Run for it!”

(chris starts shooting and as rufus runs for the door, there’s an explosion. rufus turns around for just a second to see the display of rufus brand fire proof safes are on fire)

Rufus: “Oh come on! How is that on fire?! That should be impossible!”

(he leaves. and chris and nemesis continue their violent fighting. outside rufus joins franswa, hugh, nightmare and lloyd just as another explosion is heard. half the building is now on fire)

Rufus: “Oh my god! My nearly worthless merchandise!!”

Hugh: “You were right, cousin. The devil finally decided to cleanse this place. You used your instincts and proved me wrong.” *hangs head* “This is why I’m not a Belmont.”

Franswa: “No, Hugh. I just wanted to go home.”

Nightmare: “Nightmare knew he should have went to college.”

Lloyd: “Dammit! Where am I supposed to work now?! I’m banned from McDonalds!”

Rufus: “Calm down! The building’s not destroyed until it collapses!”

(the building collapses. everyone just stares at it in shock. chris and nemesis both stumble from the charred remains of the disco-center. nemesis runs off into the distance. chris collapses as the remains of the building are still on fire.)

Rufus: “…Okay. Now it’s destroyed.”

Franswa: “Dammit. There goes my other job.”

Hugh: “It was too evil to stand any longer!”

Lloyd: *to clipboard* “This is *your* fault!” *throws it into the flames*

Nightmare: “Nightmare had his Les Mis cast album in there!”

Chris: “He ran off… But I’ll get him next time!”

Rufus: “You idiot! You burned down my store! I’ll sue your ass off!”

Chris: “No! He was a monster! I have to destroy him! And I can’t afford anymore lawyers! I’m saving for my trip to Europe!”

Rufus: “Well you’re going to have to pay for all the merchandise that was in that store!” *dramatic pause* “Seven dollars and fifty cents!”

Chris: “Oh.” *gets up and hands over the money* “Even I can spare that.”

Rufus: “Thank you.” *pockets money* “Well, I hope you’ve all learned a valuable lesson. Always insure everything for way more than it’s worth. Especially if it always seems to catch on fire.”

Lloyd: “So you’re not gonna reopen the store?! What’re you gonna do with all that stuff?”

Rufus: *shrugs* “I’ll donate it to charity. I’m sure they can do something with it. Let something of theirs catch on fire for once.”

Lloyd: “Well, are you gonna open something else I can be the manager of?”

Rufus: “I would never hire you again. All you did was yell and break everything!”

Lloyd: “Why does everyone always say that!?”

Rufus: “Well, we should probably get out of here. Breathing in these chemicals can’t be good for your lungs. And all your health insurance was void as soon as that building collapsed.”

Nightmare: “Nightmare will have to postpone his prostate exam!”

Rufus: “And did everybody get their paychecks?”

Lloyd: “I didn’t!”

Rufus: “Well you better get in there and get it before the fire does.” *points to fire* “Because I’m not printing up new ones.”

Lloyd: *steps towards the fire* “Dammit. Ow!”

Rufus: “I’m not responsible for the burns you’re definitely going to get.”

Franswa: *sigh* “Guess I’ll have to find another way to save for cooking school…”

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

(so franswa and hugh return home covered in ash and smelling like burning. zell is sitting on the front steps.)

Zell: “Hey, you guys! How was wo—what happened?”

Franswa: “The Disco-Center burned down.”

Zell: “Oh.” *blink blink* “Well I can’t say that I’m surprised.”

Hugh: “I told you that guy was a monster.”

Franswa: “I never said he wasn’t. I just said to leave him alone.”

Zell: “Huh?”

Franswa: “Well, it wasn’t actually the merchandise that caused it to burn down.”

Zell: “Really?”

Franswa: “Nope. That cop Chris and Nemesis got in this huge fight, and they just wound up setting the merchandise on fire as a result. Not like that’s hard. I think most of that stuff went up in flames if you breathed on it.”

Hugh: “Or just walked by.”

Zell: “Was Rufus upset?”

Franswa: “No. He said we all learned a valuable lesson about the importance of insurance.

(they go inside. all the elder belmonts are sitting in the living room and they all turn their heads as the younger guys enter)

Trevor: “It smells like the depths of hell in here!”

Juste: “Did you fight Dracula without telling us?!”

Hugh: “Kind of!”

Simon: “Don’t lie, ya bum.”

Franswa: “I didn’t fight Dracula. The place where we worked burned down.”

Richter: “Did Dracula burn it down?”

Franswa: “No.”

Hugh: “But it did involve a monster!”

Trevor: “Did you slay the monster?”

Hugh: *to franswa* “I told you we should have!”

Franswa: “I’m going upstairs.”

(he goes upstairs to his room and lies down on his bed with a sigh. zell enters and closes the door behind him.)

Zell: “What’s wrong? I thought you hated working there.”

Franswa: “I did. But at least it was some money, you know?”

Zell: “Well, you did work for Rufus, so it probably wasn’t very much money.”

Franswa: “It wasn’t. But it was still money.”

Zell: “You can get another job!”

Franswa: “I guess so…”

Zell: “Or better yet, you should just forget about cooking school!”

Franswa: *sigh* “You may be right… By the way things are going, I don’t think fate wants me to…”

Zell: “You don’t need to go to cooking school! You should just open your own restaurant!”

Franswa: *sits up* “What?”

Zell: “You should just skip the cooking school part and just open your own restaurant!”

Franswa: “I can’t do that!”

Zell: “’Course you can! You’re an awesome cook!”

Franswa: “But I haven’t had the proper training!”

Zell: “You don’t need it! I bet you can convince your family to fund your restaurant! Just cook up one of your awesome meals and I bet they’ll jump at the chance to invest in your place!”

Franswa: “You really think so?”

Zell: “If I had the money, I would.”

Franswa: “I don’t know…”

Zell: “C’mon, Franswa! You don’t wanna work at another crappy job do you? It’s worth a try!”

Franswa: “…I guess you’re right. Anything’s worth a try at this point.”

Zell: “That’s the spirit! You need to stay positive!”

Franswa: “Thanks, Zell.” *gets up* “All right! I’m gonna cook the best meal my family ever had! Then they won’t be able to say no!”

Zell: “There you go!” *pause* “Can you make brownies?”

Franswa: “Zell – for you, anything.”

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

(meanwhile, rufus returns to the ramble room where lark, elena, tseng, reeve, algus and zidane are just chillin. he’s covered in ash)

Rufus: “Well, there goes that!”

Algus: “Rufus! What on earth happened?!”

Reeve: “Did the Disco-Center burn down?”

Rufus: *eyes narrow* “Yes. And what made you say that so quickly?”

Reeve: “That should be obvious.”

Rufus: “Well, it wasn’t the fault of my products! …Kind of. Well, they were indirectly involved. But they didn’t start it! They were provoked!”

Tseng: “I think you were breathing in too many toxic fumes.”

Rufus: “But anyway, I got my seven dollars and fifty cents back, so it’s all good.”

Algus: “That’s the most important thing!”

Elena: “Are you all right, sweetie?”

Rufus: “I’m fine. …Little dizzy. I guess I should lay down.”

Elena: “Let me help you.”

(she gets up and leads rufus out)

Lark: “How many businesses has he had burn down now?”

Tseng: “Um…three, I think. But one was on purpose.”

Algus: “Insurance is a wonderful, wonderful thing if you know how to use it. Otherwise they just rob you blind!”

Zidane: “You robbed me blind last night! I had three Kit Kat’s under my pillow and in the morning they were gone!”

Algus: “You didn’t clean the carpet to my satisfaction.”

Zidane: “You are so full of it!”

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

(meanwhile, back over at the belmont place, franswa has cooked up a highly intricate meal and is putting the last bits of it on the table. he’s set the table elaborately, and set up candles. the presentation is wonderful. zell stands by munching on a brownie.)

Zell: *mouth full* “It looks great!”

Franswa: *frowns and takes away the brownie* “This is for *dessert*.”

Zell: “But…it’s so good.”

Franswa: “Do you really think they’ll like it?”

Zell: “How could they not? It’s a feast for a king!”

Franswa: “All right… Here go my hopes and dreams.” *yells* “Dinner’s ready!”

(trevor, simon, juste, richter, tifa and hugh all file into the room and sit down at the table. nobody seems to notice the lovely presentation. they just sit down and starting shoveling it in)

Trevor: “I hate those daytime talk shows! No one ever knows who fathered their child!”

Richter: “Well…I can see how that can happen.”

Simon: “Those women are sluts!”

Tifa: “Grandpa two!”

Juste: “I like the home decorating shows.”

Simon: “Those are for queers!”

Hugh: “I like the Sci-Fi channel! It has monsters on it!”

Richter: “They should make a show about how to kill monsters.”

Trevor: “Yes! That would be an excellent program! More people should know how to slay evil creatures!”

Franswa: “Um—“

Juste: “Then we could show how to stuff them, and use them in decorating!”

Simon: “Stop making it gay!”

Hugh: “We could show how to stop a vampire for good!”

Franswa: “Uh…”

Richter: “Maybe we should pitch this idea to the TV networks! We deserve to be on TV more than those freaks!”

Trevor: “Great idea, Richter!”

Juste: “What would we call our show?”

Franswa: “Um, excuse me!”

Richter: “What is it, Franswa? Do you want to be on the show?”

Simon: “It’s not a gay show!”

Franswa: “In case you didn’t notice, I went through a lot of trouble to make this dinner!”

Everybody: *blink blink*

Tifa: “Oh. Well it does look nice.”

Juste: “He gets his decorating skills from me!”

Franswa: “What do you think of the food?”

Richter: “The food? Why it’s excellent as always, Franswa!”

Trevor: “Now bring me seconds and the head of Dracula.”

Franswa: “Well I’m glad you like it…because I’ve been thinking…maybe it’s about time I started my own restaurant.”

Everyone: “………………”

Franswa: “I was wondering if you would invest in it.”

Simon: “You want money?”

Franswa: “It’s an investment!”

Trevor: “Dedicating your life to fighting vampires is an investment!”

Juste: “Maybe I could do the interior design!”

Richter: “Father!”

Juste: “What?”

Richter: “I can’t have my son owning a restaurant!”

Juste: “Why not?”

Trevor: “Juste! Have you lost your mind?!”

Simon: “He’s a Belmont! Not a Baldwin!”

Hugh: *frown*

Trevor: “You want him to end up like your other son?”

Juste: “Well—“

Richter: “Franswa, I think it’s best that you stop all of this. We’re never going to give you any money for cooking school, or a restaurant, or any other culinary involved idea you can cook up! Now I’ll have some more prime rib, please.”

Franswa: “Get it yourself!”

(he runs off crying. zell frowns)

Zell: “You know, Franswa put a lot of work into this meal! And none of you even noticed! He cooks all this stuff for you and none of you even said thank you! And he’s not gonna give up! He’s gonna be a great cook one day! You just wait and see!”

(and with that he storms out. juste hangs his head looking sad and richter sighs. tifa looks uncomfortable and hugh is pouting.)

Trevor: “Who was that?”

Simon: “The hell if I know.”

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

(so zell goes upstairs to where franswa is on his bed, sobbing hysterically)

Zell: *cautiously* “Franswa…?”

Franswa: “Zell! Go away. I don’t want you to see me cry!”

Zell: “Franswa… I’ve seen you cry before a million times. You cry a lot.”

Franswa: “It’s my stupid family’s fault! They don’t care about me! They only care about Dracula and killing him!”

Zell: *sits on the bed* “This is all my fault. I talked you into asking them.”

Franswa: “You only wanted to help. But my family has never supported me. And they never will!”

Zell: “Well…maybe we could find someone else to invest in it.”

Franswa: “Like who?”

Zell: “Well…what about your uncle/dad?”

Franswa: “I don’t want to bother asking him. I don’t even know if he’s as rich as the rest of the family.”

Zell: “Well…what about Rufus? And Algus! They love investing in stuff.”

Franswa: “I don’t know, Zell…I don’t want my restaurant to burn down.”

Zell: “I bet they would do it! I’ll ask Rufus tomorrow! You deserve your own restaurant, Franswa! And I’m gonna do everything I can to help!”

Franswa: “I’m not worth your time.”

Zell: “Would you stop it?! I’m sick of you being so down on yourself all the time! You kick ass! Now I’m gonna ask Rufus to fund your restaurant for you first thing tomorrow! And I’m not gonna leave him alone until he gives you a chance! You got that?”

Franswa: *nods meekly*

Zell: “You gotta believe, man! All right? I’ll see you tomorrow!”

(he leaves. franswa sighs and turns on his side)

Franswa: “…And this is why I’m totally in love with him…”

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

(the next day, rufus comes out of his room and nearly bumps into zell, who’s standing right outside)

Rufus: “Zell? What are you doing here? I told you you didn’t have to pick up Mr. Jingles for his tuba lesson until one.”

Zell: “I know! I’m here to tell you about a great investment!”

Rufus: “For the fifth time, I’m not publishing that comic you drew about the sandwich guy who fights crime.”

Zell: “This isn’t about Bologna Man either! It’s about Franswa!”

Rufus: “I don’t want to publish his comic either.”

Zell: “He doesn’t want to publish a comic, he wants to open a restaurant! And I thought you and Algus could invest in it!”

Rufus: “I don’t think so, Zell. I just had the Disco-Center burn down. After losing money I’m not really in an investing mood. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pick up my gigantic insurance check.”

Zell: “C’mon, Rufus! You know he’s an awesome cook! This is a great chance to cash in on it when he’s up and coming! ‘Cause when he’s famous later you’ll regret it!”

Rufus: *sigh* “What kind restaurant?”

Zell: *shrugs* “I don’t know. I can’t even make toast.”

Rufus: “If Franswa is really serious about opening a restaurant, I want to know what I’m getting into first. How about he makes Algus and I dinner Friday night? If we like what he has to offer, we’ll consider it.”

Zell: “Really, Rufus?! Thanks!! You’re the best!” *hugs rufus tight*

Rufus: *uncomfortable* “Okay…you’re welcome. You can stop hugging me now.”

Zell: *still hugging him* “Everyone else thinks you’re a jerk, but I always knew you were a big softie!”

Rufus: “Okay, Zell. That’s enough.”

Zell: *finally letting go* “I’m gonna go tell Franswa about it right now! He’ll be so excited!” *runs off*

Rufus: *calls after him* “Don’t forget to pick up Mr. Jingles later! His tuba instructor gets pissed if he’s late!”

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

(meanwhile, across the street at the belmont’s, franswa is in the kitchen making himself a cup of his special hot chocolate when tifa enters with duke)

Tifa: “Good morning.”

Franswa: “Good morning. Cocoa?”

Tifa: “No thanks. Hey, I was wondering, I’m having some people over for dinner tonight—“

Franswa: *sigh* “I’ll cook.”

Tifa: “…Actually I was just going to ask you if you knew a good place to get take out.”

Franswa: “I have no problem cooking. I love to cook. I wouldn’t keep cooking for those ungrateful jerks unless I did. I don’t cook four meals a day for their benefit.”

Tifa: “Four meals?”

Franswa: “They like an afternoon snack.”

Tifa: “Well, I just thought after last night… The last thing you would wanna do is cook for more people.”

Franswa: “I have no problem cooking for your guests. Who’s coming?”

Tifa: “Oh, just Dr. Zack, Cloud and Dr. Zack’s sister Bria. That’s really kind of you, Franswa. You really don’t have to do this.”

Franswa: “It’s no problem. What should I make?”

Tifa: “Whatever you feel like making is fine.”

Franswa: *thinking* “Well… I would need to go to the store…”

Tifa: “I’ll go for you, if you don’t mind watching Duke for a bit. He just needs his bottle.”

Franswa: “Okay. I’ll just write out a list real quick.”

(he grabs some paper and a pen and starts writing)

Tifa: “You know… I could talk to your dad for you if you want.”

Franswa: “I don’t really think that would help.”

Tifa: “It might.”

Franswa: “I doubt it.” *hands her the list* “Chicken okay?”

Tifa: “It’s great. I’ll be right back.” *kisses duke on the forehead* “Mommy will be right back, sweetie!”

(she hands duke over to franswa and leaves. franswa puts the baby in his little seat and goes into the fridge to get a bottle. then zell comes running in)

Zell: “Hey, man! I got great news!”

Franswa: “Zell…how did you get in here?”

Zell: “Tifa let me in.”

Franswa: “Oh.”

Zell: “But that’s not important. What is important is that I asked Rufus about the restaurant, and he said if you cook dinner for him and Algus on Friday so they can get an idea of what the restaurant will be like, they’ll think about it!”

Franswa: *eyes widen* “Really?”

Zell: “Really!”

Franswa: “Oh my god… I have to plan a menu. I only have a couple of days… What kind of food do they like? What if they have food allergies? I’ll need someone to be a waiter. And what about—“

Zell: “Calm down! You’ll do fine! Don’t stress! You can impress them in your sleep!”

Franswa: “You really think so?”

Zell: “You bet I do!”

Franswa: *grabs zell by the shoulders* “Zell. You are the best. I don’t know how I can ever repay you.”

Zell: “We’re friends! Don’t worry about it. That’s what friends do!”

(they smile at each other for a few moments. then duke starts to cry.)

Franswa: “Crap, his bottle.” *grabs the bottle* “So what kind of food do Rufus and Algus like?”

Zell: “Uh…I don’t really know. But if I had to guess, I’d say fancy food.”

Franswa: “I’ll have to get somebody to wait on them while I cook…”

Zell: “I’m your man for that!”

Franswa: “Have you ever been a waiter?”

Zell: “Not really, but I was the manager of the restaurant. That’s like the same thing. Besides, no one will try and help you succeed as much as I will.”

Franswa: “That’s true. Okay, you’re hired.”

Zell: “I won’t let you down!”

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

(meanwhile, over at dante and lloyd’s place, lloyd walks into the kitchen holding a very charred piece of paper)

Dante: “Are you digging through other people’s trash again? Because I don’t think I could be more ashamed of you.”

Lloyd: “Shut up! I don’t do that! And my job burned down! This is all that’s left of my paycheck!”

Dante: “So you’re unemployed again? What, did you get fired and then burn the place down?”

Lloyd: “No! I had nothing to do with it! This is a pain in the ass! Now I gotta go around and see what places are hiring!”

Dante: “Don’t forget you’re banned from Kmart.”

Lloyd: “Dammit! I forgot about that!”

(he picks up the check and it crumbles to ashes. lloyd drops his jaw in shock. dante laughs)

Dante: *laughs* “That’s a pity.”

Lloyd: “Dammit!” *tries to put it back together* “It’s ruined! I dug through fire for it!”

Dante: “Oh well. The paper it was printed on was probably worth more than whatever you made anyway. So if anything, I’d mourn the paper.”

Lloyd: “F$%K YOU!”

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

(later, franswa is in the kitchen preparing the dinner. zell is watching tv.)

Zell: “Watching these cooking shows is making me hungry.”

Franswa: “Don’t worry. Dinner will be on the table as soon as Tifa’s guests get here.”

Zell: “It smells great.”

Franswa: “Thanks.”

(franswa prepares the salad and zell looks at him fondly. then hugh comes in)

Hugh: “Hey, cousin. Anything I can help with?”

Franswa: “Hugh, I thought we both agreed it would be better if you stayed out of the kitchen.”

Hugh: “But…I could fold napkins or something.”

Zell: “Sorry, dude. Already been done!”

Hugh: “Oh.” *frowns* “Grandpa Simon said I should come and help you…because all I’m good for is serving Belmont’s!”

Franswa: *sigh* “Okay, bring this to the table.”

Hugh: “No problem!”

(he grabs the salad and goes into the dining room. then the door bell rings)

Zell: “They’re here!”

Franswa: “Perfect timing, because my potatoes are done.”

(he goes over to the oven. meanwhile, tifa is about to open the door just as hugh runs over.)

Hugh: “If anyone has a coat, I’ll be happy to take it!”

Tifa: “It’s pretty warm outside, so I don’t think so.”

Hugh: *frowns* “Oh.”

(tifa opens the door and the guests enter. zack and cloud are first. hugh sighs sadly and is about to turn away when bria walks in. he catches sight of her and his eyes widen)

Hugh: *gasps and mutters to himself* “An angel…”

(he stares at her for a bit, totally zoned out as tifa greets them all. then she looks over at hugh and smiles. hugh jumps a mile and then dashes off into the kitchen)

Hugh: “Franswa!”

Franswa: “What.”

Hugh: “I just saw the most beautiful girl!”

Franswa: “Huh? Oh. Must be Dr. Zack’s sister.”

Zell: “Bria?”

Hugh: *dreamy sigh* “What a beautiful name for a beautiful girl…”

Franswa: “Hugh, you’re getting in my way.”

Zell: “Why don’t you go talk to her?”

Hugh: “Talk to her?! How could I dare!? I’m not a Belmont! She’d laugh at me!”

Zell: “No she won’t. She’s really nice.”

Hugh: “But—“

Franswa: “Hugh, go take these bread baskets to the table.” *shoves the bread at him* “And then don’t come back in here.”

Hugh: *gulp*

(he goes out to the table where tifa, richter, cloud and zack are talking. bria is listening. hugh puts the bread on the table and then takes a seat next to bria. she smiles at him and he smiles back nervously)

Hugh: “Hello…”

Bria: “Hi.”

Hugh: “I’m Hugh Baldwin.”

Bria: “Bria Mainstay.”

Hugh: “Nice to meet you.”

Bria: “How are you related to the Belmont’s?”

Hugh: “My mother is Richter Belmont’s sister.”

Bria: “Oh. So you’re immediate family.”

Hugh: *mutters* “You would think so…”

Bria: “I’m sorry?”

Hugh: “I mean yes. I am. I understand the doctor is your brother.”

Bria: “Yup. That he is.”

Both: “……………………”

Hugh: “So, what do you do for a living?”

Bria: “Well, I was working for the IRS. But then my brother and I came back into contact, so I quit to help him with his memory. And then after he got his memory back I stayed to help him with Cloud. And now that Cloud’s back, I… I…” *blink blink* “Wow. I need to get a job. Uh, anyway, what do you do?”

Hugh: “Me? Oh, I’m in training. I train. I’m going to be a vampire hunter…assistant.”

Bria: “Oh. Well that sounds interesting.”

(franswa and zell come in, carrying the rest of dinner)

Franswa: “Dinner time, old guys!”

Zell: “Hey everybody!”

Zack: “Hi, Zell.”

Cloud: “Hey.”

Bria: “Hi!”

(the older belmonts begin to trickle in and everyone takes their seats and begins to eat)

Tifa: “So how do you like living at Zack’s, Cloud?”

Cloud: “I think I’ve gotten lost in that house like five times.”

Zack: “Only twice.”

Tifa: “That’s okay. I still get lost in this house. I always end up in the trophy room.”

Trevor: “All rooms should lead to the trophy room!”

Simon: “Or the Hall of Heroes!”

Juste: “Or the room I decorated!”

Franswa: “I thought that was in Dracula’s castle, grandpa.”

Juste: “Well…it is, but…it should be here.”

Cloud: “Zack and I have been thinking about doing something to help others like us.”

Zack: “No offense to Koudelka’s center, but I think two people who have been there might be a little more understanding.”

Cloud: “I have flashes of a lot yelling and banging stuff around.”

Tifa: “I think that sounds like a great idea! Are you going to help them, Bria?”

Bria: “Me? Oh…I don’t know… I think I’ve been in Zack’s hair long enough.”

Zack: “That’s not true.”

Bria: “No…I think it’s about time I went out on my own.”

Cloud: *eating* “This food is great.”

Franswa: “Thanks.”

Zell: “Franswa is going to get his own restaurant soon!”

Zack: “Oh really?”

Richter: “What? No he’s not.”

Franswa: “Uh, well nothing’s official yet, *Zell*.”

Zell: “Don’t sell yourself short! You know Rufus’ll be impressed!”

Tifa: “Rufus?”

Zell: “Yeah! Rufus is going to fund Franswa’s restaurant!”

Richter: “Franswa! Is this true? You can’t just go against me like that!”

Franswa: “I’m not giving up on my dream just because you say so, dad.”

Trevor: “Franswa, no fighting at the table.”

Simon: “No fighting in front of the gays!”

Juste: “Would you stop saying that?”

Simon: “What? They know what they are.”

Franswa: *getting up* “I have to finish dessert.” *goes into the kitchen*

Zack: *clears throat*

Tifa: *sweat drops*

Richter: “Don’t mind them! They’re a little behind the times! We have no problem with gays. In fact I’m pretty sure my son is gay. And I still love him!”

Hugh: “Duke’s gay? He’s just a baby.”

Everyone: “…………………”

Richter: “No…not Duke…”

Hugh: *confused* “Then…” *blink blink* “Oh, you mean Franswa?”

Zell: *gets up* “Uh, I’m gonna go help with dessert.” *runs off*

Hugh: “Franswa’s gay? Really?”

Simon: “You’re shocked?! This is why you’re not a Belmont!”

Tifa: “Okay! Before this conversation can get more awkward, let’s change the subject.”

Cloud: “Good idea.”

(back in the kitchen, franswa is getting dessert together)

Zell: “Good thing you left when you did.”

Franswa: “I don’t even wanna know.”

Zell: “It’s worse than what you think. Need any help?”

Franswa: “No, I’ve got it.” *annoyed sigh* “Can you believe my dad? I thought once Duke was born he’d back off. But no. He’s no different.”

Zell: “Just keep doing what you’re doing. They have to give up sooner or later.”

Franswa: “I don’t think so. They still hassle my Uncle Horatio!”

Zell: “Oh. Well…your grandpa doesn’t seem to be harassing you about it any more.”

Franswa: “That’s true… I wonder why that is.”

Trevor’s voice: “Franswa! Come clear these dishes!”

Zell: “I got it. You finish that strawberry shortcake.”

(he leaves and hugh walks in with some plates. he puts them in the sink and then leans against the counter with a dreamy sigh)

Hugh: “I think I’m in love.”

Franswa: “You’re crazy.”

Hugh: “She’s just so beautiful and intelligent. I can’t stop thinking about her.”

Franswa: “Then go back over to her. She’s in the other room.”

Hugh: “I’m afraid! What if I do something stupid?”

Franswa: “Relax, Hugh. You can’t fall in love with someone in an hour. I’ve known Zell for over two years.” *pauses as his eyes go wide and he claps a hand over his mouth*

Hugh: *gasps* “Zell? You’re in love with Zell?”

Franswa: *shakes head no frantically* “Shush! Shut up! I didn’t say that! You didn’t hear anything!” *goes back to the cake*

Hugh: “I thought he was your best friend.”

Franswa: “He is!”

Hugh: “But—“

Franswa: “I said don’t say anything! Pretend I never said that!”

Hugh: “Suddenly so much makes sense…”

(zell enters carrying a bunch of plates)

Zell: “Hey, guys! What’d I miss?”

Franswa: *rushing* “Nothing! Hugh’s boring! I’m gonna go clear the table!” *rushes out*

Zell: *frowns* “That was weird…”

Hugh: “Zell, you seem to know this girl. Do you think I have a chance with her?”

Zell: *shrugs* “Probably. Just ask her out.”

Hugh: “Well what do you know about her? Do you know anyone else she’s dated?”

Zell: “Well…she used to date this dorky brainiac kinda guy. But he sorta dumped her for another dude.”

Hugh: “…Oh.”

Zell: “Yeah. It really sounds weird when you put it that way.”

Hugh: “So she likes smart, then? I can be smart! I’m smart! …Right?”

Zell: “Sure.”

Hugh: “Really? Because the elders told me I’m stupid.”

Zell: “So what? Since when are they right all the time?”

Hugh: “They’re not?!”

Zell: *blink blink* “Just go talk to her. You’re hurting my head.”

Hugh: “Well…if you say so, I’ll take the chance!”

(he goes back out. franswa enters carrying plates)

Zell: “Your cousin is weird.”

Franswa: “What did he tell you?!”

Zell: “Nothing. Just that your relatives tell him he’s stupid and he’s scared Bria won’t like him.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “Oh. Of course that’s what he said.” *goes to put the plates in the sink*

Zell: “Are you okay, Franswa? You seem kinda edgy.”

Franswa: “I’m fine.” *starts scrubbing dishes way too hard*

Zell: “You seem tense. Let me give you a massage!”

Franswa: “Uh, actually—“

(but before he can protest further, zell comes over and starts rubbing his shoulders. franswa just stands there and kind of smiles a bit)

Zell: “Better?”

Franswa: “…Yeah. Much better.”

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

(later, the guests are getting ready to leave. tifa, richter, franswa, zell and hugh are by the door with cloud, zack and bria.)

Richter: “Sorry about grandpa Simon. He can be rather…harsh.”

Zack: “It’s all right.”

Tifa: “Have a safe trip home!” *hugs cloud* “I’ll see you soon.”

Cloud: “Of course.”

Hugh: “Uh…I hope you had a nice time.”

Bria: “I did.”

Hugh: “Perhaps…you’d consider letting me take you out sometime?”

Bria: *blushes* “…Okay. I’d like that. I’ll give you my phone number.”

(she writes it down and hands it to him. he looks totally dazed. she then smiles and waves at him and follows cloud and zack out the door. richter shuts the door behind them)

Richter: “Well that could have gone better.  Maybe I should start using some of those parental controls on the television.”

Tifa: “Or at least block the Fox News channel.”

Richter: “Franswa, I need to talk to you.”

Franswa: “If this is about the restaurant, forget it. I’m doing what I want and you’re not going to be able to stop me.”

Tifa: *tugs on richters sleeve* “Come on, honey. Let’s go to bed.”

(richter frowns, but he does follow tifa upstairs)

Zell: “Way to go, Franswa!”

Hugh: *staring at the number* “She gave it to me. She gave me her phone number.” *looks at them in shock* “Should I call her?”

Zell: “Well, yeah. She wouldn’t give you the number unless she wanted you to call.”

Hugh: “She wants me to call her! I’m going to call her tomorrow! Then we’ll go out together and live happily ever after!”

(he runs upstairs happily. zell and franswa shrug)

Franswa: “I don’t know what’s going on in his head.”

Zell: “Me neither. Oh well. I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta be at Garden in the morning to set up for the Garden Festival.”

Franswa: “Sounds like fun.”

Zell: “Not really. I’m pretty much going to be the only one doing any actual work. And they always run out of hot dogs at the festival.”

Franswa: “Ah.”

(zell walks over to the door and franswa follows him. zell then turns to him and takes him by the shoulders)

Zell: “I’m proud of you. You defended yourself. Don’t stop doing that.”

Franswa: “I’ll try.”

Zell: “Well, good night.”

(they hug. as they draw apart they both pause and stare at each other for a good long time. then franswa shakes his head and backs away)

Franswa: “Good night.”

Zell: “Uh…see ya.”

(zell leaves, and franswa closes the door behind him. his hands in his pockets, zell begins to slowly stroll back to the ramble room, staring up at the starry sky.)

Zell: “When?! When am I gonna get the guts to find out whether he likes me or not?!”

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

(the next day at garden. zell is putting the stage together. irvine is flirting with selphie. quistis is stuffing her pockets with anything and everything that’s lying around. seifer is getting a tan. and rinoa and squall are talking)

Zell: *mutters* “I knew I’d be the only one working.”

Irvine: “So how ‘bout you and me sneak into the dorms for a little study break?” *wink*

Selphie: “I don’t know, Irvine. I heard you’re diseased now.”

Irvine: *frowns* “Who’d you hear that from? Sephiroth?! ‘Cause that is a downright lie!”

Zell: “Seifer, can you help me?”

Seifer: “Leave me alone, chicken wuss! I’m busy!”

Zell: “No you’re not! You’re sitting on your stupid ass!”

Seifer: “At least I don’t have a fat ass!”

Zell: “Yes you do! Instructor! He’s not helping!”

Quistis: “Huh?”

Zell: “Are you gathering all that stuff so you can help me set up?”

Quistis: “Uh, yeah. Sure. I’ll be right back.” *runs off*

Zell: “…I don’t think she was telling the truth…”

(nida enters)

Nida: “Okay, okay! You guys have begged for my help long enough. I guess I’ll help you now!”

Squall: “Whatever, Nida. No one even wants to breathe the same air as you.”

Nida: “Look, Squall! I brought you a refreshing beverage!” *holds out glass*

Squall: “I’m not drinking that.”

Zell: “I will! I’m thirsty!”

(zell goes to grab the glass, but nida pulls it away. the glass slips out of his hand and hits the ground. ominous smoke drifts up from the remains of the beverage)

Nida: “Dammit! I paid Hojo good money for that poison!”

Squall: “Get the hell out of here.”

Nida: *eyes narrow* “You win this time, Squall. But I’ll be back! And with better, stronger poison!” *runs off*

Squall: “Somebody just needs to kill him.”

Zell: “I’m taking a break. Can someone else please work on this? Irvine?”

Irvine: “Sorry, I’m busy!” *smiles at selphie*

Selphie: *pushing him away* “I’m not going to sleep with you right now, Irvine! Go set up the stage! You smell like women’s perfume!”

Irvine: “I didn’t get a chance to shower.”

(irvine goes over to work on the stage and selphie makes rinoa and seifer help too. that leaves zell to stand with squall)

Zell: “Squall, you’re one of my best friends, right?”

Squall: “I guess.”

Zell: “So can I talk to you about something?”

Squall: “Whatever.”

Zell: “I have to tell you something kinda important first.”

Squall: “Okay…”

Zell: “I kinda…kinda like another guy. You know…like *that*.”

Squall: “Is it me?”

Zell: “Not anymore.”

Squall: “What?”

Zell: “Uh, I mean no.”

Squall: *shrugs* “Then whatever.”

Zell: “But I don’t know if he likes me back or not! Was it hard for you to tell if Rinoa liked you or not?”

Squall: *snort* “No. She pretty much threw herself at me.”

Zell: *frowns* “That’s true… Well what should I do?”

Squall: “I don’t know. Just tell him.”

Zell: “But what if he doesn’t like me?”

Squall: “Zell. Stop acting like you’re still in school.”

Zell: “…Well we’re in a school right now…”

Squall: “Just do it or stop whining about it.”

Zell: *frowns* “I guess you’re right.”

Irvine: “Ha ha! Got your boob, Selphie!”

Rinoa: “…That’s *my* chest, Irvine.”

Irvine: “Oh. Sorry.” *pause* “Hey, they are real!”

Squall: “Irvine!” *stalks over*

Zell: *sigh* “Just tell him… Easier said than done when you’re already friends…”

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

(meanwhile, lloyd shows up at koudelka’s center with his resume in hand. he goes over to the desk where she’s sorting through some paperwork)

Koudelka: “Can I help you?”

Lloyd: “Yeah, I’m here to apply for the job.” *holds out resume*

(koudelka takes it, looks it over, then looks back up at lloyd again and stares at him a bit)

Koudelka: “Oh right. You’re the one with the hot twin brother.”

Lloyd: “We’re *identical*!”

Koudelka: “Sure you are. Anyway, basically the job is to take care of an old man. It’s pretty easy. All he does is watch TV all day. You think you can handle that?”

Lloyd: “Uh, yeah! Do you think I’m a complete moron?”

Koudelka: *studies him hard for a moment* “Yeah. I don’t think so. Sorry. Thanks for coming by.” *starts to walk away*

Lloyd: “What?! You’re not gonna give me the job?!”

Koudelka: “No.”

Lloyd: “Why the hell not?!”

Koudelka: “I don’t trust you.”

Lloyd: “You don’t trust me to watch TV all day with some old dude?”

Koudelka: “No.”

Lloyd: “That’s discrimination! You’re discriminating against me!”

Koudelka: “Tell your hot brother I said hi, Lloyd.”

Lloyd: “MY. NAME. IS. VERGIL!!!!!”

(he stomps out. then the phone rings. with a sigh, koudelka answers it)

Koudelka: “Video Game Character Therapy Center. This is Koudelka.” *pause* “Oh, you son of a bitch. What the hell do you want?”

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

(meanwhile, back at the belmonts, hugh is in his room, pacing back and forth with bria’s number in hand)

Hugh: *mutters* “She wants you to call her. She said she would like to go out. We can’t go out, unless you call her. You have to call her.” *takes a deep breath* “I have to call her.” *stalks over to the phone and dials* “Here we go.” *paces as it rings*

????: “Hello?”

Hugh: “Uh, hello. Is this Bria? It’s Hugh. Hugh Baldwin.”

Bria: “Oh, hi, Hugh! How are you?”

Hugh: “I am absolutely fantastic! And yourself?”

Bria; “I’m fine. So…what’s up?”

Hugh: “Well, uh, I was wondering if you’d give me the honor of taking you out to dinner tomorrow night.”

Bria: “That sounds great. What time?”

Hugh: “How about I pick you up around seven?”

Bria: “Great! I’ll see you tomorrow at seven then.”

Hugh: “I look forward to it.”

Bria: “Me too. Bye!”

Hugh: “Good-bye.”

(he hangs up and then just stares at the phone for a minute)

Hugh: “…I have a date!” *puts arms up triumphantly* “I have a date!” *he runs out into the hallway and nearly bumps into franswa* “Cousin!” *grabs him by the shoulders* “Can I borrow your car tomorrow night?”

Franswa: “Uh, I guess so. Why?”

Hugh: “Because I have a date! With the most beautiful girl in the universe!”

Franswa: “I’m guessing you called Bria.”

Hugh: “That I did! And I’m picking her up tomorrow night at seven!”

Franswa: “Well good. It’ll be good for you to get out of the house. Especially when I’m cooking a very important dinner.”

Hugh: “For your potential investor?”

Franswa: “Yeah. I’m still not sure what I’m making.”

Hugh: “Franswa, you could make garbage taste like filet mignon!”

Franswa: “Uh, thanks. I guess.”

Hugh: “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go figure out where to take my beautiful date tomorrow!”

(he runs off. franswa just shakes his head as simon hobbles over)

Simon: “What’s he all excited about?”

Franswa: “He has a date tomorrow.”

Simon: “A date? With a girl?”

Franswa: “Yes. With a girl.”

Simon: “And she knows he’s not a Belmont?”

Franswa: “I don’t think that really matters.”

Simon: “Is she a whore?”

Franswa: “No!”

Simon: *shakes head sadly* “What is this world coming to?”

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

(at the tv room, rufus and elena are snuggling on the couch while lily sits there watching a children’s show on tv)

Rufus: “You know what I saw in Rich and Pompous Weekly? A diamond pacifier! Do you think Lily would like that?”

Elena: “I really don’t think that would be good for her teeth. Or comfortable in her mouth.”

Rufus: *frowns* “I guess not. Diamonds can be kind of pointy.”

(zell comes running in)

Zell: “Hey, Rufus.”

Rufus: “How was Mr. Jingles’ squash lesson?”

Zell: “Fine. Are you excited about your dinner tomorrow night? It’s gonna be great!”

Rufus: *shrugs* “Sure. I like eating for free.”

Zell: “Rufus, this is really important to me! And to Franswa. You just gotta say you’ll do it!”

Rufus: “Zell, if I wanted to be harassed I’d stand in the cafeteria line with the other lowlifes at the office. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m trying to watch this…this…show.”

Zell: “Fine. I’ll see you tomorrow when you’re totally wowed by Franswa’s cooking.”

(he leaves. elena turns to rufus)

Elena: “What’s this about?”

Rufus: “Oh, Zell wants me and Algus to invest in a restaurant for Franswa Belmont.”

Elena: “Are you?”

Rufus: “I don’t know. If I feel like it.” *leans over to kiss her* “Now when’s Tseng supposed to come and pick up Lily?”

Elena: “Rufus…” *giggles* “Come on…”

(then tseng walks in)

Tseng: “Hey.”

Rufus: *jumps up* “Hey! Tseng! Great to see you! Lily’s show is almost over.” *leads tseng to the couch and pushes him down* “We’ll see you later.”

(he grabs elena by the hand and they run out. tseng looks at lily, who looks at him and smiles)

Tseng: “Hi, sweetie.” *puts her on his lap*

(reeve comes in)

Reeve: “Hey, honey.” *looks around* “Where’re Rufus and Elena?”

Tseng: “They ran off to have sex.”

Reeve: “Oh. How nice.” *plops next to him on the couch* “I guess love is in the air around this place lately.”

Tseng: *smiles at him* “Not really a bad thing.”

(they kiss. then rufus comes back in and shields his eyes)

Rufus: “Oh, god! Come on now! You do that in front of the baby?! I forgot my slippers. And I don’t want anyone to steal them. They’re brocade!” *grabs shoes* “And stop scarring the baby.” *leaves*

Reeve and Tseng: *look at each other*

Tseng: “Yeah. We’re scarring the baby. He’s wearing brocade slippers in the middle of the day.”

Reeve: *laughs* “Very true.”

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

(meanwhile, at uncle shenanigans, reno, rude and some of irvines brothers are there just cleaning up the place. there’s a knock at the window and they see lloyd standing there holding the help wanted sign. he points to it, then points to himself smiling hopefully. reno frowns.)

Reno: “Oh god.”

Rude: “Isn’t that…?”

Reno: “Dante’s loser of a brother? Yeah.” *sigh* “Well let him in. Let’s see what he’s got to say.”

(rude opens the door and lloyd strolls in looking confident.)

Lloyd: “I saw the sign in the window and I’m looking for a new job!” *holds out resume*

Reno: *takes it* “We just need somebody to sweep the floors and clean the bathrooms.”

Lloyd: “That’s fine.”

Reno: “It’s minimum wage.”

Lloyd: “That’s fine.”

Reno: “It’s a bar, so, sometimes people throw up.”

Lloyd: “That’s fine. So do I have the job?”

Reno: “Uh………I’ll think about it.”

Lloyd: “You’ll think about it?! You don’t trust me to clean up vomit?!”

Reno: “Not really. You don’t have any references on this resume, but you’ve got like three pages of jobs here.”

Lloyd: “Well I got fired from most of them!”

Reno: “You can leave now.”

Lloyd: “Well screw you! I don’t wanna work at your dumbass bar anyway!”

Reno: “Sure you don’t.”

Lloyd: “ARGH!”

(he storms out, slamming the door behind him.)

Rude: “Good call, man.”

Reno: “Look at this resume. I could write something better when I’m drunk.”

Rude: *looking it over* “I’d like to know how he got fired from McDonald’s seventeen times.”

Reno: “And yet Rufus thinks *I’m* incompetent. I’m like the model employee next to this loser! Oh well, let’s get back to work.”

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

(meanwhile, back at the therapy center, the villains group is in session. bowser, dedede, liquid snake, nemesis, nightmare, berserk and a disguised rufus, aka shinro, are all in there)

Bowser: “…And that’s why I think my son is selling pot. Who wants to go next?”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Nightmare: “Nemesis burned down my place of employment! We are no longer speaking!”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Nightmare: “Nightmare doesn’t care if you didn’t start it! Where will Nightmare work now?!”

Liquid Snake: “What happened?”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Liquid Snake: “Oh.”

Nightmare: “Then Nightmare got into three fights on the way over here! Nightmare can only break so many arms a day!”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Nightmare: “Nightmare isn’t talking to you anymore!”

Bowser: “Let’s hear from someone else. Dedede?”

Dedede: “I had that pink fluff of evil in my grasp and I was all ready to get rid of him… Then what did he do? He turned into a rock and beat me over the head! Repeatedly! I was in the hospital for two days! And nobody sent me flowers!” *bursts into tears*

Berserk: “I put people in the hospital. Then I went to Dunkin Donuts and gorged myself like a fat pig!” *bursts into tears*

Shinro: “I had a good week! I collected a big fat insurance check!”

Liquid Snake: “My daddy won’t talk to me!” *bursts into tears*

Bowser: “My kids all hate me!” *bursts into tears*

Nightmare: “Nightmare’s life sucks!” *bursts into tears*

Nemesis: “…STARS!” *bursts into tears*

Shinro: “Uh…let’s talk more about me.”

(all the villains, except rufus, keep crying. then all of the sudden the door is broken down and siegfried bursts in)

Siegfried: “Nightmare! Prepare to meet your grave!”

Nightmare: *frantically wiping away tears* “No one sees Nightmare’s feminine side!”

(they start fighting, and everyone else just  tries to get out of the way. meanwhile, koudelka and yuri are standing behind the mirror looking unaffected. yuri’s eating popcorn)

Koudelka: “I think it’s your turn to get rid of him.”

Yuri: “It’s always my turn.”

Koudelka: “Well I don’t feel like it. I got some bad news today. You know Edward?”

Yuri: “The idiot you slept with?”

Koudelka: “The very same.”

Yuri: “What about him?”

Koudelka: “Well, he’s coming. And he has a present for me.”

Yuri: “Uh-oh.”

Koudelka: “Yeah. So much for his end of the bargain.”

Yuri: “Does it really surprise you?”

Koudelka: “No. Oh god no. And it will be good to see my son again. But he’s an ass. And when he gets here… He’s gonna be hearing it from me.”

(nightmare slams siefriend up against the glass of the two way mirror. rufus screams and flees the room)

Yuri: *pops popcorn in his mouth* “I wanna be behind the two way mirror for that.”

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

(later, at the belmont house, franswa has just finished cleaning up the kitchen for the night when juste belmont shuffles in)

Franswa: “Need something, grandpa?”

Juste: “Oh no. I was just going to get a glass of milk.”

Franswa: “I got it. Have a seat.” *grabs a glass from the cabinet*

Juste: “Why thank you.” *sits*

(franswa pours him a glass of milk and places it in front of him before sitting next to him at the table.)

Franswa: “Grandpa? Can I ask you something?”

Juste: “Of course you can, Franswa.”

Franswa: “How come…how come you didn’t saying anything against me having a restaurant?”

Juste: “Because I’m not against it.”

Franswa: “But why? They all are. Even my dad.”

Juste: “Franswa, I don’t think any of us will live to see the day Trevor and Simon think any Belmont male should do anything other than fight vampires. As for your father, well, he’s still young. He’s trying to impress them.”

Franswa: *frowns* “Well he’s not impressing me.”

Juste: “Your father has quite a legacy he’s trying to live up to. And he hasn’t quite reached it yet. At least, not where they’re concerned.”

Franswa: “I guess I can kinda understand that. But how come you aren’t like them?”

Juste: “Because I understand that not all Belmont’s were born to fight vampires. And besides, you’re just like your father. Your real father. He did great things with his talent. I expect the same from you.”

Franswa: *smiles* “He told me that all Belmont’s are meant for greatness. But we’re not all meant to fight Dracula.”

Juste: *nods* “And who do you think told him that?”

Franswa: “Thanks.”

Juste: “Don’t thank me. We are all meant for greatness, Franswa. It’s in our blood. But none of us are perfect. None of us. Don’t forget that.”

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

(the next morning in the ramble room, lark and sephiroth are the tv room talking, when zell runs by)

Zell: “Today’s the big day!” *runs out*

Lark and Sephiroth: *blink blink*

Lark: “What the…?”

Sephiroth: “I think he lost his two remaining brain cells. Or he’s finally getting married to a hot dog.”

Lark: “Oh ha ha. You just get wittier every day.”

Sephiroth: “You bet I do.”

(rufus comes in)

Lark: “Hi, Rufus! What’s up with Zell?”

Rufus: “Huh?”

Sephiroth: “He ran by talking like a crazy person. Or, crazier person, I should say.”

Lark: “He was talking about how today is the day, or something…?”

Rufus: *rolls eyes* “Oh, tonight Algus and I are going to the Belmont’s for dinner. Franswa is going to cook dinner for us. He wants us to invest in his restaurant.”

Lark: “Oh! That should be nice!”

Rufus: “Speaking of which I still have to ask Algus if he wants to go. I’ve been so preoccupied with Mr. Jingles’ activities and having sex with Elena. It just totally slipped my mind.”

Sephiroth: “You really didn’t need to share that.”

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

(meanwhile, resume in hand, lloyd goes over to dracula’s and rings the doorbell, which is still someone screaming. lloyd jumps)

Lloyd: “Holy crap!”

(then dracula answers the door)

Dracula: “Oh! Are you selling something? Because I love spending money!”

Lloyd: “No. I’m here about the job opening you put in the paper.”

Dracula: “I do a lot of crazy things! Come in!”

(lloyd does come in, and jumps a little when dracula shuts the door behind him.)

Lloyd: “I brought my resume.”

Dracula: “A what?”

Lloyd: “Resume.” *holds out resume*

Dracula: “Oh! How nice of you!” *takes it and eats it*

Lloyd: *blink blink* “What the hell?! Did you just eat my resume?!”

Dracula: “It doesn’t taste very good. Tastes like paper.”

Lloyd: “It is paper!”

Dracula: “Paper’s not food! Paper’s deadly!”

Lloyd: “What?!”

Dracula: “Who are you? Where’s the colonel? Get out of my castle!”

(before he knows it, lloyd is back on the front steps looking totally confused and bewildered)

Lloyd: “What the hell just happened here?!”

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

(meanwhile, back at the ramble room, rufus knocks on algus’ door. zidane answers)

Rufus: “Is Algus here?”

Zidane: “I don’t get a hello?”

Rufus: “No.”

Zidane: *sigh* “His royal highness Sir Asshat is in the tub.”

Rufus: “I’m telling him you said that.”

(rufus goes into the bathroom where algus is in a bubble bath doing a crossword puzzle)

Algus: “It’s okay, I heard him. Uneducated peasant voices always seem to carry. What can I do for you?”

Rufus: “You want to go to dinner with me tonight?”

Algus: “Like a date?”

Rufus: “No… Franswa Belmont wants to open a restaurant and he wants us to be the investors. I said he could cook dinner for us tonight and we’ll see what we think.”

Algus: “Ooh! Sounds excellent. He does make rather fantastic food. Count me in.” *calls* “Zidane! Where’s my towel?”

Zidane’s voice: “Up my ass!”

Algus: “Zidane! The idea of that is not even humorous. Now bring me my towel.” *stands up*

Rufus: *shielding eyes* “Omg.”

Algus: “Oh. Sorry, Rufus.” *sits back down* “It was pretty much right in your face there, wasn’t it.”

Rufus: *still shielding eyes* “Yeah. Yeah it was.”

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

(and then there’s lloyd again. he’s at starbucks and delita comes over to him and shakes his hand)

Delita: “Hi. I’m Delita. Nice to meet you.”

Lloyd: “Vergil.”

Delita: *blink blink* “You look really familiar…”

Lloyd: *really annoyed sigh* “Maybe you’ve met my stupid dumbass identical twin brother Dante.”

Delita: *blink blink* “You’re Dante’s brother?”

Lloyd: “Unfortunately.”

Delita: “We work together at the club. He’s kind of a show off.”

Lloyd: “That’s Dante!”

Delita: “So you’re identical twins?”

Lloyd: “Yes.”

Delita: “…Really?”

Lloyd: “Yes! God! Why does everyone always say that?!”

Delita: “Let’s sit down.”

(they go sit and lloyd takes out his resume)

Lloyd: “Here’s my resume.”

Delita: *flipping through it* “It’s long.”

Lloyd: “Dante makes me get fired a lot.”

Delita: “So your name is Vergil, huh? I thought I remember Dante saying your name was Lloyd.”

Lloyd: “My name is *not* Lloyd! It’s Vergil! Dante’s just a stupid asshole!”

Delita: “Does he spend a lot of time in front of a mirror at home too?”

Lloyd: “Like a million hours! I’m surprised he hasn’t broken them all with his monkey horse face!”

Delita: “You’re hired.”

Lloyd: “Finally!”

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

(later, at zack’s house, bria is all dressed up for her date and is waiting by the front door. zack comes down the stairs with a video in hand)

Zack: “Hey, Brie – you look great. Excited about your date?”

Bria: “Yeah. It should be fun. He seems nice.”

Zack: “Those Belmont’s are a little strange. But he does seem nice.”

Bria: “What are your plans for tonight?”

Zack: *shrugs* “Cloud and I are just going to watch this movie I rented.”

Bria: *looks at tape* “Memento?”

Zack: “I heard good things.”

Bria: “You know it’s about a guy with a messed up memory, right?”

Zack: “…I knew I should have read the back.”

Bria: “Not like it matters. You guys have been renting a lot of movies lately. And how many have you actually seen all of?”

Zack: “Well…if you were reunited with someone you loved after many years you wouldn’t watch the movie either.”

Bria: “Right.” *she sees a car pull up* “Oh! He’s here! I’ll be back later!”

Zack: “You’re not going to make him come to the door?”

Bria: “No!”

Zack: “All right, but if he tries to take advantage of you, you call me and I’ll take care of it.”

Bria: “You’re lucky Cloud doesn’t have an older brother.”

Zack: “Oh very funny.”

(she goes outside and meets hugh about halfway up the walkway. he is holding a bouquet of roses.)

Hugh: *blink blink* “I was coming to meet you.”

Bria: “It’s okay. I was waiting for you.”

Hugh: “You were? Uh, oh. Well. I got these for you.” *holds out flowers*

Bria: *takes them* “Thank you! How sweet!”

Hugh: “I suppose we should get going then.”

(he quickly runs around to the passenger side door to open it up for her.)

Bria: “Thanks, but, you really don’t have to do this.” *gets in*

Hugh: “It’s my pleasure.”

(he runs around to the drivers side, gets in the car, starts it, and off they go.)

Hugh: “I chose an Italian restaurant.”

Bria: “Oh, I love Italian food.”

Hugh: “I’m glad to hear that.”

Both: “……………………”

Bria: “So…why don’t you tell me a little more about yourself, Hugh?”

Hugh: “Well, there’s not much to tell. I’m living with my mother’s family right now because my dad dislikes me and decided he’d rather train my adopted brother to fight vampires. My mother’s family doesn’t treat me like I’m even a human being, and I was recently unemployed when the store I was working in burned down.”

Bria: “Oh.”

Hugh: “It’s okay, though, because my mother’s family treats my adopted brother even worse than me. “

Bria: “Okay…”

Hugh: “So the most I can really hope for is being a vampire hunter’s assistant. So that means when someone else goes in the castle, I can go in there and help them. I’m going to have to wait awhile, because it looks like Duke is going to be the next one to go and he was basically just born, but it’ll be worth it.”

Bria: “Your family sure sounds………unique.”

Hugh: “Enough about me. I want to hear about you.”

Bria: “Oh. Well, there’s not really much else to tell. I’ve actually been leading a pretty boring life lately.”

Hugh: “It’s hard to believe that anyone as beautiful as you can lead a boring life.”

Bria: *blushes* “Well… That’s very nice of you to say.”

Hugh: “Even those roses lose their luster next to you.”

Bria: *blushes more* “You must say that to a lot of girls.”

Hugh: “Never. I just find you inspiring.”

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

(meanwhile, back at the belmont house, richter and tifa are looking down at duke in his crib)

Richter: “Who’s my strong manly boy? Who’s going to kill Dracula some day? You are! Yes you are!”

Tifa: “Richter, I need to talk to you about something.”

Richter: “I’ve already apologized for grandpa Simon. I threatened to limit his TV time but he threw holy water at my head.”

Tifa: “It’s not about that. It’s about Franswa.”

Richter: “Franswa? What has he done now? More of that crazy business of wanting to run a restaurant?”

Tifa: “But he’s good at it.”

Richter: “Of course he’s good at it! He’s a Belmont! But he should also be good at fighting vampires!”

Tifa: “Richter…come on. You know Franswa will never be good at fighting vampires.”

Richter: “He will be! Just give him some more time!”

Tifa: “He’s twenty-three years old!”

Richter: “Yes, well! That’s nothing! He’s an infant! Grandpa Trevor is over 500!”

Tifa: “Franswa is good at cooking, Richter. And he truly loves it! He won’t go out and say it, but it really hurts him that you don’t support him.”

Richter: “I…” *goes to sit in a chair* “You don’t understand, Tifa.”

Tifa: “What don’t I understand?”

Richter: “I raised him. He can’t end up being a restaurant owning sissy boy!”

Tifa: “First of all, owning a restaurant doesn’t make him a sissy. That’s a hard thing to do! And second of all you don’t need everybody to fight vampires. If you really need somebody now, train Hugh. He’d be great at it!”

Richter: *gasp* “He’s not a Belmont!”

Tifa: “Richter…you really need to grow out of the mindset of your elders! Even your father was in favor of it!”

Richter: “My father’s always been a little off.”

Tifa: “But he’s respected. And your brother certainly never fought a vampire.”

Richter: “………………”

Tifa: “Not everybody has to fight vampires, Richter. It’s okay. Really. Is this the kind of example you want to set for Duke? When he has kids, do you want him to keep denying one of his children their dream?”

Richter: “…I would hope all his children would want to be vampire hunters.”

Tifa: “Richter, has that ever happened in your family? Honestly.”

Richter: “Fine, fine! I understand what you’re saying. I suppose…I have been a little hard on Franswa.”

Tifa: “See? Was that so hard?”

Richter: “…If he wants to open a restaurant so badly, I won’t stand in his way!”

Tifa: “Hooray!” *hugs him* “I knew the man I loved had it in him.”

Richter: “Did he put you up to this?”

Tifa: “No. This was all me. I just couldn’t stand to see him sad anymore.”

Richter: *softly* “Neither could I.”

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

(meanwhile, hugh and bria have finished dinner and are taking an evening stroll…)

Bria: “I have to admit, Hugh, I’m impressed. You speak six other languages and know lots about classical music and literature.”

Hugh: “Well, it is part of basic Belmont education. Which I got. Even though…you know…I’m not a Belmont.”

Bria: “…Can I ask you something? What’s the obsession with the name?”

Hugh: *blank stare*

Bria: “What’s the big deal about being a Belmont?”

Hugh: “What, uh, are you kidding? Belmont! It’s a hugely famous name! And I’m not one!”

Bria: “You are by blood. Your mother is Richter’s sister!”

Hugh: “But I’m not in name! And that’s what matters!”

Bria: “Why? Why is that what matters?”

Hugh: “Because…they told me so?”

Bria: “Hugh, honestly, you sound very bitter whenever you talk about your family. And I understand why. But you can’t live in the shadow of your family like this. You’re your own person! You can’t let your name define you!”

Hugh: “………Bria, in all honesty, that is difficult for someone like me to comprehend.”

(bria stops walking, and hugh stops as well. she faces him smiling softly.)

Bria: “Well, maybe with time you’ll be able to break away.”

(and with that she leans in and kisses him.)

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

(and so we shall backtrack a bit back to the belmont house. zell has arrived to find franswa in the kitchen.)

Zell: “Hey, buddy! You ready? It’s almost showtime!”

Franswa: “I guess so. I’m really nervous.”

Zell: “Don’t be! This’ll be easy for you! What’re you making?”

Franswa: “Well, I couldn’t figure out what to make so I made a menu. That way they can pick what they want.” *holds out menu*

Zell: *looks at it* “Wow. This’ll impress them for sure.”

(the doorbell rings)

Franswa: *jumps* “Omg! They’re here!”

Zell: “Relax. You get the door, and I’ll go wait by the table with the menus. Is it set?”

Franswa: “Of course. Omg…”

Zell: *gives him a push* “Go! You can do this!”

(and so zell goes into the other room. franswa takes a deep breath, swallows, then marches over and answers the door. rufus and algus are standing there)

Franswa: “Good evening. Please come in.”

(they do. franswa shuts the door)

Algus: “Good evening, young Belmont! And how are you?”

Franswa: “I’m very well, sir. How are you?”

Algus: “I’m fantastic as always.”

Franswa: “And how are you this evening, Mr. Shinra?”

Rufus: “I’m good.”

Franswa: “Allow me to show you to your table.”

(he takes them to the dining room where a table for two has been set up rather than the huge table that’s normally there. the table has been set with fine china and expensive linens. candles have also been lit.)

Zell: “Good evening! I’m Zell and I’ll be your waiter for this evening!”

(he holds out the chairs for both algus and rufus.)

Algus: *sitting* “So far the service is good.”

Zell: “Here are your menus!” *hands out menus*

Rufus: “A menu? Nice.”

Franswa: “Well, I’m going to get into the kitchen. I hope you enjoy your meals.”

Algus: “Thank you!”

(and so franswa goes back into the kitchen.)

Zell: “Can I get you gentlemen anything to drink?”

Algus: “Ah, yes. Do you have champagne?”

Rufus: “Yeah, champagne sounds good.”

Zell: “Champagne? No problem. I’ll be right back.”

(he runs into the kitchen, where franswa is stirring something on the stove)

Zell: “They want champagne!! Do you have champagne?!”

Franswa: “Of course. We’re Belmont’s. We celebrate everything with champagne.” *goes in the fridge and pulls out a fresh bottle* “This is really expensive stuff, so, they should like it. Do you know how to open it?”

Zell: “Uh, no.”

Franswa: “I’ll do it.”

(he carefully pops the cork on the bottle, then wraps the bottle in a cloth napkin. then he goes and gets two champagne flutes, which he hands to zell.)

Franswa: “Here. Careful when you pour it.”

Zell: “No worries!”

(he goes back out there. algus and rufus are chatting. zell puts the glasses down and begins to poor)

Algus: “So did you have a nice day?”

Rufus: “It was fine. Elena really wasn’t feeling well though.”

Algus: “Oh no? What was the matter?”

Rufus: “She just said she was really tired and kind of sick to her stomach.”

Algus: “I’m sorry to hear that.”

Rufus: “She’ll probably be fine tomorrow.”

Zell: *finishes pouring* “There you go!” *knocks a fork off the table with his elbow* “Oh, crap.” *bends down and picks it up* “Um, are you ready to order?”

Algus: “We are.”

Zell: “Great! Uh, let me just get something to write it down on. Be right back!”

(he runs into the kitchen.)

Franswa: “Did they order yet?”

Zell: “They’re going to right now.” *puts fork on the counter* “I dropped this on the floor.”

Franswa: “No problem.” *grabs a new one* “Here.”

Zell: “I’ve got it covered!”

(zell grabs the fork and a pad and pen. he then goes back out, replaces the fork and stands at the ready)

Zell: “What can I get for you gentlemen this evening?”

Algus: “To start I will have the sake laced crab cake, followed by the frisee, watercress and apple salad. For my entrée I would like the seared beef tenderloin with vegetable risotto. And for dessert, vanilla bean crème brulee.”

Zell: *writing frantically* “Okay…and Rufus?”

Rufus: “I’ll have the shrimp cocktail, the cucumber, tomato and red onion salad, the prosciutto wrapped chicken breast and the honey crunch cake.”

Zell: *writing frantically* “…Okay! Got it! I’ll go put your order in right now!”

(he returns to the kitchen, where franswa is pacing nervously)

Franswa: “What did they order?”

Zell: *shrugs* “I don’t know. I can’t pronounce half this stuff.” *holds out pad*

Franswa: *looks it over* “Great. Easy. Okay. Here we go.” *gets to work*

Zell: “Easy? I can’t even pronounce it, and you’re cooking it. Can I do anything to help?”

Franswa: “No. Just make sure they’re happy in there. When I’m ready, I’ll ring this bell.”

Zell: “Easy as pie!”

(zell goes outside and waits in the doorway. rufus and algus are just chatting about boring financial things and drinking their champagne. zell looks totally bored. about ten minutes later the bell rings. zell dashes back into the kitchen.)

Zell: “You rang?”

Franswa: “Appetizers are up. And when they’re done eating come back for the salads.”

Zell: “Got it!”

(zell grabs the plates and goes back into the dining room)

Zell: “Here we are!”

(he goes to put the plates down, but he hits into rufus’ champagne glass with his elbow. the glass tips over, spilling champagne all over rufus)

Rufus: *jumps up* “Zell!! Look what you did!”

Zell: “Oh, crap! I’m sorry! I’ll get a towel!”

(he puts the plates down and runs frantically back into the kitchen, searching around for a towel.)

Franswa: “What? What happened? Something wrong?”

Zell: “No. It’s fine! I’ve got it! I just spilled something. Got a towel?”

Franswa: *tosses him a towel* “What happened?”

Zell: *grabs towel* “Nothing! Get back to the salad!”

(he runs back and quickly goes over to rufus and tries to wipe up the excess water, which is mostly in rufus’ lap. before zell can touch him, rufus snatches away the towel)

Rufus: “If you think I’m gonna let you touch me in the crotch, you got another thing coming!”

Zell: “I’m just trying to help!”

Rufus: “These pants are worth more than everything you own! You’re lucky I have a good dry cleaner.” *sits back down* “Now where’s my food?”

Zell: “Right here.” *puts plate in front of them* “Anything else I can get you?”

Rufus: “Some more champagne would be nice. And in my glass, not my lap.”

Zell: “Coming right up!”

(he serves rufus more champagne and heads back into the kitchen.)

Algus: *mutters* “That’s not the kind of service I expect at an upscale restaurant.”

Zell: *frowns*

(in the kitchen, franswa is finishing up the salads and cooking the main courses at the same time.)

Franswa: “Is everything okay?”

Zell: “Everything’s fine! How’s everything in here?”

Franswa: “Great. The salads are all done.”

Zell: “Okay! I’ll come back and grab those as soon as they’re done with their appetizers!”

(he goes back outside just as algus and rufus are finishing up)

Zell: “How was it?”

Algus: “Excellent.”

Rufus: “Very good.”

Zell: “Great!” *takes plates* “I’ll be right back with your salads!”

(he goes back inside and puts the dishes in the sink)

Franswa: “Any feedback?”

Zell: “So far so good!” *grabs the salads* “And it’s just gonna get better!”

Franswa: “I hope so.”

(zell happily heads back to the dining room.)

Zell: “Here are your—“ *sniff* “Uh, I mean, here-“ *sniff* “Here are—A-CHOO!!!”

(and with that, zell sneezes right in rufus’ salad)

Rufus: “Zell! Gross!”

Zell: “Sorry! It came out of nowhere!”

Rufus: “Well I’m not eating that now!”

Zell: “Of course not! No problem! I’ll get you a new one!”

(he puts algus’ salad in front of him and then runs back into the kitchen.)

Franswa: “What’s wrong? He didn’t like it? He hated it? Omg, he hated it, didn’t he!?”

Zell: “No! It was nothing like that! He didn’t even get to taste it! I, uh, sorta, um, sneezed in it.”

Franswa: “What?!”

Zell: “You can make a new one right?”

Franswa: *annoyed sigh* “Yes.”

(he stomps to get new ingredients and he doesn’t look happy)

Zell: “I’m sorry. It was a total accident!”

Franswa: *silently making salad*

Zell: “I’m an idiot.” *hangs head*

Franswa: “It’s okay. I know you didn’t do it on purpose.” *hands him a new one* “At least it was only a salad and not something I had to cook again.”

Zell: “There’s a bright side to everything!”

(he goes and takes the new salad in and puts it in front of rufus)

Rufus: “Finally. Did you sneeze in this one?”

Zell: “No! This one is sneeze free! Enjoy!” *heads back to kitchen*

Rufus: *mutters* “This is pretty pathetic.”

Zell: *frowns*

(back in the kitchen, franswa is finishing up the main courses.)

Franswa: “Is he okay?”

Zell: “He’s fine! It’s not like I spit in it on purpose or anything! Better than spilling champagne all over him.”

Franswa: “What?!”

Zell: “Uh…not like that happened.”

Franswa: “Zell!”

Zell: “I’ll go bring out the main course!”

(he grabs the dishes and heads back into the dining room. he sets those plates to rest on the side and comes over to the table.)

Zell: “How were the salads?”

Algus: “Quite tasty.”

Rufus: “It was good. And disease free.”

Zell: *sweat drops* “I’ll take those plates from you.”

(he takes the plates and on his way back to the kitchen, trips on his own two feet. one of the plates goes flying to the floor and shatters into a million pieces)

Zell: “Double crap!”

Algus: “What a clumsy oaf.”

Rufus: *annoyed sigh* “Well this is some dining experience.”

Zell: “I’ll clean it up. Here are your meals in the meantime!”

(he serves them their dinners and then runs back into the kitchen with the one plate)

Franswa: “How’d it—uh, where’s the other plate?”

Zell: “Um, there was a little accident.”

Franswa: *blink blink*

Zell: “They’re just plates.”

Franswa: “Those plates have been in my family for ages! Before grandpa Trevor!”

Zell: “It was an accident! Anyway, I need something to clean it up!”

(franswa sighs in total annoyance and points to a closet on the opposite end of the room. zell grabs a dustpan and a broom and then goes back into the dining room where he starts to sweep it up)

Algus: “Such lovely ambiance, isn’t it, watching a peasant sweep up the mess he made.”

Rufus: “I’m glad this meal is free.”

(zell looks like he’s about to cry. he goes back into the kitchen, dumps out the dustpan and puts the stuff away. franswa is silently making the desserts and he does not look happy.)

Zell: “Franswa… Are you mad at me?”

Franswa: “Just try not to break anymore plates when you bring those back.”

Zell: *hangs head* “I’ll be extra careful.”

(zell goes back in the dining room and refills the glasses sadly. his spirit has totally been broken. when rufus and algus are done he takes the plates without even asking about the food. he goes back into the kitchen and puts them in the sink. the finished desserts are lying on the counter. franswa is leaning against the counter looking annoyed. zell picks up the plates and looks at franswa.)

Zell: “I know they like the food at least…”

Franswa: “……………”

(with a sad sigh, zell goes back into the dining room dragging his feet and puts the plates down in front of rufus and algus. only this time he’s really not watching what he’s doing and he drags his sleeve through the candle, and now it’s on fire.)

Zell: *sniffs air* “Something’s burning.”

Algus: *casually eating* “Yes, your peasant handiwork.”

Zell: “What?” *looks at his sleeve* “Holy crap!!” *starts beating his arm with a napkin* “Ahhhh!!! Ahhh!!!”

Franswa: *runs in* “What’s going on?”

Rufus: “Zell set himself on fire.”

Zell: *has put his sleeve out* “It’s okay! I’ve got it under control!”

Algus: “This is the saddest service I have ever seen. And my servant is Zidane.”

(franswa looks like he’s about to cry and retreats into the kitchen.)

Zell: “Franswa!”

(but franswa’s gone.)

Rufus: *mutters* “Well this has been a dining experience to remember.”

(zell hangs his head and plods out of the room looking totally destroyed. he goes and sits on the steps and just hangs his head and starts to cry. then the front door opens and hugh comes in whistling happily)

Hugh: “I just had the best date of my life!” *pause* “Well, it was the only date of my life, but it still was pretty amazing.” *sees zell* “What’s wrong?”

Zell: *crying* “What’s wrong? What’s wrong? I’m a stupid idiot! That’s what’s wrong! I totally ruined Franswa’s dinner! And now Rufus and Algus will never back his restaurant!”

Hugh: “How did you ruin it?”

Zell: *crying* “How *didn’t* I ruin it?! It was a disaster! I dropped stuff, sneezed in stuff, set stuff on fire. He hates me now. I’ve ruined everything!”

(hugh pauses a moment. then he comes over and sits next to zell on the steps)

Hugh: “…………He’d beat me for telling you this, but…he loves you, you know.”

Zell: *wiping away tears* “…What?”

Hugh: “He does. He told me. It was a total accident, but he told me. And you love him too. That’s why this is so important to you.”

Zell: “……You have no idea.”

Hugh: “Well, look. Maybe everything’s not ruined. Did you ruin the food or anything?”

Zell: “No.”

Hugh: “Then there’s hope! We’re Belmont’s! We don’t fail too easily. I’ll go help Franswa out.”

Zell: *blink blink* “I thought you weren’t a Belmont.”

Hugh: “Not in name. But I am in blood. And that’s what really matters, don’t you think?”

Zell: “I am totally confused. Did you get brainwashed on your date?”

Hugh: “Yes. By the most beautiful girl in the universe. Not that I still don’t want my elders to accept me, but I think I’ve finally kind of accepted myself.”

Zell: “Oh.”

Hugh: “So don’t worry! Hugh Baldwin to the rescue!”

(and he runs into the kitchen.)

Zell: *blink blink* “I don’t think even Superman could fix this mess.”

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

(meanwhile, in the kitchen…hugh comes running in. franswa is standing by the sink looking depressed)

Hugh: “Cousin! I heard of your dilemma and came to help.”

Franswa: “Well unless you can turn back time I don’t think you can really help.”

(hugh walks right into the dining room and right over to the table)

Hugh: “Good evening! How was everything this evening?”

Algus: “Are you our new server?”

Hugh: “I’m Hugh Baldwin.”

Algus: “Excellent! A server worth talking to! The food was excellent.”

Rufus: “This dessert was really great.”

Algus: “We’d like to speak to the chef, please.”

Hugh: “Of course!”

(hugh takes the plates away and goes back inside)

Hugh: “Franswa! They want to speak with you!”

Franswa: *shakes head no frantically*

Hugh: “Come on, Franswa! They probably want to compliment you! They told me how good the dessert was!”

Franswa: “So? Zell ruined everything. They’re never going to give me another chance.”

Hugh: “…………Zell’s out there crying.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “What?”

Hugh: “This was important to him too. Because he loves you.”

Franswa: *blushes* “He does not.”

Hugh: “He does too! And he worked hard to get this opportunity for you! Are you just gonna blow it all by not going out there now?”

Franswa: “……………”

Hugh: “Go! You’re a Belmont for goodness sakes! Act like it!”

Franswa: *straightens up* “You’re right. I am a Belmont. And if this was meant to be…then it’s meant to be.”

(franswa walks into the dining room with some confidence)

Franswa: “Hello.”

Algus: “Ah, Franswa. We need to speak to you.”

Franswa: “Look, I just want to apologize for Zell. He…he means well, he just, he tried really hard. I’m sorry if he ruined everything. If you could just—“

Rufus: “He almost ruined my pants.”

Algus: “And he was the most awful waiter in the universe. But I know that he won’t be serving at your new restaurant.”

Franswa: *blink blink* “Huh?”

Rufus: “The service was awful, but the food was great. And that’s what we were here to judge.”

Algus: “We know the food will be a gigantic success we all can profit handsomely from! We’d like to start ironing out the details for your new restaurant as soon as possible.”

Franswa: *smiles* “Really?! Omg, thank you!! Thank you so much!”

Rufus: “Can we get some more coffee?”

Franswa: “Sure!! Thanks again! I won’t let you down!”

(franswa runs back into the kitchen.)

Hugh: “Well?”

Franswa: “They want to invest in my restaurant!!”

Hugh: “See! I told you!”

Franswa: “I have to tell Zell. Do you mind serving them some coffee?”

Hugh: “No problem!”

(hugh starts to do that and franswa runs towards the steps where zell is sitting)

Franswa: “Zell!!”

Zell: “Huh?” *stands up*

Franswa: “They said yes! They’re going to invest in my restaurant!” *hugs zell*

Zell: *shocked* “They are?!”

Franswa: “Yeah!!”

Zell: “But I thought I ruined everything.”

Franswa: “Oh, they thought the service was awful. But they said the food was great and that was all that mattered!”

Zell: “Well this is great news!” *hugs back* “I told you your food was great!”

(they stop hugging and just stand close together smiling)

Franswa: “This is all thanks to you. You pushed me to do this.”

Zell: “It was only what you deserved, buddy! I thought I ruined everything for you… I never would have forgiven myself if I messed it all up.”

Franswa: “You tried your best.”

Zell: “I’m a clumsy idiot.”

Franswa: “Yeah…but it’s part of what I love about you.”

Zell: *blink blink*

(franswa steps closer and puts his forehead against zell)

Franswa: “Hugh told me you love me.”

Zell: “…He told me you did too.”

Franswa: “He has a big mouth. But I’m kinda glad he did. …It’s something I’ve been wanting to say for a long time.”

Zell: “Me too. A long, long time!”

(they finally kiss. and they’re still kissing when richter comes down the stairs)

Richter: “Franswa!”

Franswa: *breaking away* “Dad!”

Richter: “Franswa, I need to talk to you.”

Franswa: “Well it’s too late now, dad! I have my investors and we’re going to start working on my restaurant as soon as possible!”

Richter: *smiles* “This is great news.” *hugs franswa*

Franswa: *blink blink* “Uh…dad? Are you okay?”

Richter: “I’m happy for you. This really is what you were born to do.”

Franswa: “You really think so?”

Richter: “I’ve always thought so… It just took a little prodding for me to admit it.”

Franswa: “Tifa said something, didn’t she.”

Richter: “She was right.”

Franswa: “Well…thanks, dad. It means a lot to me.”

Richter: “And were you just kissing this other boy?”

Franswa: “Yes I was.”

Richter: “That’s fine! I’m not as closed minded as some others in this house!” *loudly whispers* “Don’t do it in front of grandpa Simon.”

(hugh comes in)

Hugh: “Hey, Uncle Richter! There’s coffee if you want some! It’s Franswa’s special blend.”

Richter: “Then it must be good!”

(he smiles at franswa and he and hugh go into the kitchen. franswa takes zell’s hand and they follow)

Franswa: “So…you wanna sleep over tonight?”

Zell: “Sure! Should I bring my sleeping bag?”

Franswa: “Uh, no…”

Zell: “Oh. You mean…”

Franswa: “Yeah.”

Zell: “Oh. Yeah! Sounds great to me!” *pause* “I’m a little slow sometimes.”

Franswa: “Zell…what’d I tell you before?”

Zell: “That that’s what you love about me.”

Franswa: “…Right. And that’s the way it’ll always be.”

 

THE END

 

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