#193 – For Posterity

Vincent: “…I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you how strange it was watching this tape. It was like watching my own memories played back before my eyes.”

Originally Published: 10/13/06 . 34 pages

Synopsis
Rufus requests some security footage from Hojo and winds up getting more than he asked for.

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

By now you must know I’m obsessed with Shinra and the back story of those characters. I wanted to tie up the loose ends that were left after the previous ramble that dealt with the videos, so this ramble came about. As usual, most of it was taken from my fanfic – not word for word, but fairly close in some cases.

 On and on, reckless abandon

something’s wrong

this is gonna shock them

nothing to hold on to

we’ll use this song

to lead you on

and break the truth

with more bad news

we left a scar

size extra large

–“Reckless Abandon”, Blink-182

 (we begin at shinra, where rufus is at his desk looking very happy when tseng comes in)

Tseng: “Hey, Rufus. How was the honeymoon?”

Rufus: “Fantastic! But it’s good to be back. And it’s especially good to see the place didn’t burn down while I was gone.”

Tseng: “There were some minor fires, but nothing a fire extinguisher couldn’t handle.”

Rufus: “And besides, I’m going to get all the video footage! So that way I can keep tabs on whatever all the rejects were up to while I was gone.”

Tseng: “You were gone for awhile! You really gonna watch all that footage?”

Rufus: “I used to watch the security camera from the Disco-Center. If I can watch six hours of Vergil kicking walls and hopping around on his one non-hurting foot, I can watch anything.”

Tseng: “I’m guessing you’re getting the videos from Hojo.”

Rufus: “Do you know any other sickos who have cameras set up all over the building?”

Tseng: “Not off hand…”

Rufus: “I think I’ll call him right now. Don’t you have work to do?”

Tseng: “No.”

Rufus: “So I pay you for…?”

Tseng: “You’ll remember next time someone you don’t like gets in your way.”

Rufus: “Oh. Right. You’re good for that. Okay, I have work to do. Go make sure your co-workers aren’t doing anything I wouldn’t like.”

Tseng: *mutter as he leaves* “I’m like a babysitter.”

(with tseng gone rufus hits the speaker phone on his phone and dials an extension. it rings a few times before someone picks up)

Hojo’s voice: “Yes, President Shinra?”

Rufus: “Hojo, you know all those videos you have of the building?”

Hojo’s voice: “…Yes.”

Rufus: “Well, I want them. All of them.”

Hojo’s voice: “*All* of them?”

Rufus: “Yes! I’m the President and I have the right to those videos! I want them in my room by the time I get home tonight!”

Hojo’s voice: “*All* of them?”

Rufus: “All of them! And there better not be anything missing! Because if there is, I’ll know!”

Hojo’s voice: “But, sir—“

Rufus: “Hojo, am I not in charge of this company? Do I not pay your salary? Then I suggest you give me the videos! And I don’t want to hear another word about it unless the word ‘yes’ is involved!”

Hojo’s voice: “…Yes, sir.”

Rufus: “That’s better! Now get back to work!”

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

(and so rufus returns home later that evening to find elena on the phone. lily is sitting in a high chair at the table and max is sitting there eating his dinner)

Elena: “…Yes, that’s Elena Shinra. ……S-H-I-N-R-A. ……Okay! Thank you!”

Rufus: “I’m home!”

Elena: “Hi, honey! How was work?”

Rufus: “Good. Did Hojo drop anything off for me?”

Elena: “Yeah! What’s that about?”

Rufus: “Just some videos I need to watch. Where are they?”

Elena: “I had him put the boxes in your TV room.”

Rufus: *blink blink* “Boxes?”

(he goes into the TV room where there are several boxes of videos lying there. elena follows him in)

Elena: “I don’t know where we’re gonna store all this…”

Rufus: “Holy crap! He must have given me *all* the videos! No wonder he didn’t wanna part with them! I just wanted the ones from the week we were away.”

Elena: “I guess you can return the rest to him then.”

Rufus: “Jackpot! This is great!” *starts looking through the tapes* “Look at all this! Some of these are from before I was born!  Now I can see all the evil stuff my father did!”

Elena: “You’re gonna watch all these tapes?”

Rufus: “You bet I am! And I’m gonna start right now! I just need some popcorn, a drink and Mr. Jingles. He likes to watch too.”

(he runs out.)

Elena: *sweat drops* “We’re going to have to buy a new cabinet or something for all this…”

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

(some time later, rufus is sitting in his chair with his drink and his popcorn and his mr. jingles. and he looks pretty disgusted)

Rufus: “Aw, come on! Again?! Who’s hiring these skanks!”

(he presses fast forward on the remote and then presses the play button again just as elena comes in)

Elena: “Hey, honey. Find out anything interesting yet?”

Rufus: “No! Unless watching all your employees have sex all over the office is considered interesting! I guess it would be, if I was looking for porn, which I’m not! Why does everyone think it’s okay to have sex at work?!”

Elena: “It’s that bad?”

Rufus: “Let me put it this way, I think there’s only like three places in the whole building that no one has had sex on.”

TV screen: *loud moaning*

Elena: *blink blink*

Rufus: *looking at screen* “…Make that two. Hey! That’s my desk! Tseng, you slut!” *presses stop button* “This is a waste of time!”

(elena starts to look through one of the boxes.)

Elena: “You know, Rufus, I think Hojo has these in some kind of order. Maybe you just happened to grab one of the porn tapes.” *takes out a tape* “Why don’t you try this one?”

Rufus: *takes it and puts it in the vcr* “All right, but I better not have to see Scarlet’s boobs again.”

Elena: “Ew!”

Rufus: “I know. I’m pretty sure your nipples aren’t supposed to face opposite directions.”

(elena pulls up a chair and they both sit down to watch as the tape starts. to make this all easier to read, all things that are on the video. are between the words GO and STOP.)

GO.

(it’s the gym at shinra and tseng is standing at his locker looking pretty glum. he’s looks a bit younger, so this footage is probably from about 10 years ago)

STOP.

Rufus: “Oh no. Elena, you got me another porn tape!”

Elena: “Shush!”

GO.

(reeve enters. tseng’s face lights up.)

Reeve: “Hey.”

Tseng: “Hey, Reeve!” *shuts his locker and goes over* “Going for a swim?”

Reeve: “That’s why I’m here. You?”

Tseng: “I was just doing some weights. I really should be heading back to the office.”

Reeve: “I hear you. I have so much paperwork my office looks like a paper factory exploded. I just really need to sit down this afternoon and start organizing everything.”

Tseng: “You know it’ll just get messed up again right after.”

Reeve: *chuckles and opens his locker* “Probably. But the point is I tried.” *grabs his swimsuit and then casually looks tseng over* “You look good.”

Tseng: “Huh?”

Reeve: “You been working out more?”

Tseng: “Oh. Me? Uh, not really.”

Reeve: “You should be fending off the girls with a stick by now! What’s wrong with you?” *laughs*

Tseng: *uneasy laughter* “Heh heh… I have no idea.”

Reeve: “Well, I’ll catch you later.”

Tseng: “Bye.”

(reeve leaves. tseng sighs sadly and leans back on the lockers. the sad expression on his face says it all)

STOP.

Elena: “Aw…look at him. Unrequited love is so hard.”

Rufus: “It was good to see him with someone he wasn’t having sex with. Let’s get another tape.”

(elena goes digging through the bin and comes out with an old looking one. she looks at it curiously)

Elena: *reading* “D.N.W?” *cocks head to one side*  “What’s D.N.W?”

Rufus: “Knowing Hojo probably a code word for porn. But pop it in anyway.”

(she does and the tape starts)

GO.

(this is an old one. there is sephiroth, who must be around seventeen or so, practicing with his masamune. he looks very focused. he’s wearing black pants but no shirt. vincent, with short hair and his turk uniform, comes in and stands in the doorway. he watches for a few minutes. then sephiroth stops and puts the sword down. he smiles at vincent)

Sephiroth: “Hello, Vincent.”

Vincent: “Hello. How is your practice going?”

Sephiroth: “Well, it’s easy.” *goes and sits on a bench and grabs a bottle of water* “And it’s boring.”  *takes a drink*

Vincent: *smiles* “I see.”

Sephiroth: “…Don’t stand all the way over there. You can come sit by me.”

(vincent goes to take a step forward but then stops)

Vincent: “…I really should be going…”

Sephiroth: “Please? I like talking to you.”

(vincent hesitates another moment, but with a sigh he smiles and gives in, walking over to sit next to sephiroth)

Vincent: *sitting* “It has been awhile since we talked.”

Sephiroth: “That’s because Hojo doesn’t like it.”

Vincent: “Oh? He told you so?”

Sephiroth: “Many times. But I’m definitely not going to listen to him.”

(he lifts his arm up and there is a long, fresh cut running almost the length of his forearm. vincent gasps)

Vincent: “He did that to you?”

Sephiroth: “Of course he did. He said he had to see how fast it would heal.”

Vincent: “I’m sorry…does it hurt?”

Sephiroth: “No…not anymore.” *puts arm down* “I wonder why he does things like that to me.”

Vincent: *stares off in the distance*

Sephiroth: “He thinks he’s a fantastic scientist. He’s a joke. Professor Gast—“ *blink blink* “Vincent? You all right?”

Vincent: *snaps back to reality* “Oh. Yes. I’m sorry.”

Sephiroth: *looks at vincent curiously* “You don’t like Hojo either, do you Vincent.”

Vincent: “Oh, I don’t…”

Sephiroth: *leans in closely* “I hate him. I can’t wait to get out of here so I can get away from him.”

Vincent: *leans away* “I see…”

Sephiroth: “I don’t want to be in SOLDIER either. I haven’t told him this yet. But I don’t want to go off and fight Shinra’s wars for them. I’ve decided I’d rather be a Turk.”

Vincent: *shocked* “A Turk?”

Sephiroth: *slides closer* “Vincent. You’re the only one who ever comes and watches me practice. You’re the only one who ever spends any time with me.”

Vincent: “I, oh, well, I enjoy your company.”

Sephiroth: “I want to be a Turk, because I want to be with you.”

(sephiroth reaches out and covers vincent’s hand with his own. vincent looks down at their hands and then he looks back at sephiroth in shock)

Vincent: “Sephiroth…”

(they lock eyes and just stare for a moment or two. then they both lean forward and grab each other, kissing passionately.)

STOP.

Rufus: “If I see any more men kissing…”

Elena: “Rufus, shush! This is important stuff!”

GO.

(finally vincent has to push sephiroth away from him)

Vincent: “No. We can’t. This is wrong.”

Sephiroth: “Why? Why is it wrong?”

Vincent: “Because!” *slides away* “We can’t. We could never make it work! Hojo – he’d…he would *never*…”

Sephiroth: “He doesn’t have to know. I’ll do anything. Whatever it takes. I just…”

Vincent: *gets up* “Sephiroth, it could never work between us. I—I’m sorry that happened. I’m weak, I just—“

Sephiroth: *hanging his head* “….Vincent? I need to tell you something.”

Vincent: *hesitates* “…What.”

Sephiroth: “…You’re not going to believe me.”

Vincent: “…I’m going to believe you. Because if I didn’t, I couldn’t expect you to believe me.”

Sephiroth: *looks up with tears in his eyes* “Just tell me, Vincent.”

Vincent: *stiffly* “I…*can’t*.”

Sephiroth: “There’s no one here to stop you. It’s only me. And I…” *wipes the tears from his face* “No one ever has…”

(he hangs his head again, probably still crying. vincent looks like his heart is breaking just watching this. stiffly he walks over and sits besides sephiroth again. he leans down so he’s shoulder to shoulder with him)

Vincent: “I’d do anything for you. And I can’t stand to see you this way. Sephiroth. Look at me.”

(sephiroth looks up. vincent wraps his hand around the back of his neck and puts their foreheads together)

Vincent: “You know. You already know.”

Sephiroth: “Why won’t you say it?”

Vincent: “Because. …I’m afraid.”

Sephiroth: “Of *him*?! He can’t watch me every second.”

Vincent: *sigh*

Sephiroth: “Tell me, Vincent. Please. Please say it. I’ve been waiting so long to hear the words…”

Vincent: *sighs and closes his eyes* “I………I love you, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: *softly* “I love you too.”

(it goes black.)

STOP.

Elena: “What?! Why does it stop there?!”

Rufus: “Because they probably had sex! Just like what everyone else does in this building! Let’s watch something else!”

Elena: “There might be more on that tape! We have to figure out with D.N.W. stands for!”

Rufus: “We can go back to it! Let’s see what’s on this.”

(he picks a random tape and shoves it in the machine)

GO.

(baby rufus, who is about two years old, is sitting on a conference table with a stuffed bear by his side. heidegger is in front of him with a box of cookies, which he is dancing around and eating.)

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Want one?” *holds out cookie for rufus*

Rufus: *tries to grab it*

Heidegger: *pulls it away* “Gya haa haa! No way!” *shoves it in his mouth*

STOP.

Rufus: *glaring* “That fat son of a bitch.”

GO.

(scarlet comes over.)

Scarlet: “Leave him alone! He’s just a baby.” *hands rufus his bear* “Here you go, Rufus. Did you buy this for him, sir?”

Shinra: “No. I’m not going to buy useless crap like that for my son. His dead mother gave it to him. Now where’s Hojo? We’re supposed to be having a meeting here.”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! He probably forgot!”

Shinra: “Argh! This is ridiculous! How am I supposed to run a company with a bunch of incompetents! Get out my sight!”

Scarlet: “But we can still go over the figures.”

Shinra: *yells* “I said get out of my sight!”

(without another word, scarlet and heidegger simply nod and leave. president shinra paces the room looking really pissed. rufus drops his teddy bear on the floor and starts to cry. his father turns to him, seeming consumed with anger)

Shinra: “What are you crying about?! Your stupid bear fell on the floor?! Is this your biggest problem? Well aren’t you lucky then! You shouldn’t have stupid sh*t like this anyway!”

Rufus: *keeps crying* “I…want…bear!”

Shinra: “Stop it! Stop crying! Or I’ll give you something to cry about!”

Rufus: *still crying*

Shinra: “Fine! You want your bear! Here’s your f**king bear!” *picks up the bear and rips the head off* “Here! Here you go! No more bear! Now you have nothing more to cry about!”

STOP.

Elena: “Oh my god!”

Rufus: *eyes wide in shock* “That son of a bitch…”

Elena: “You were just a baby…”

Rufus: “Mr. Jingles! Don’t look! It’s bearicide!” *covers mr. jingles’ eyes*

Elena: “…Now it’s finally starting to make sense.”

Rufus: *hugging mr. jingles* “Turn it off, Elena. I don’t wanna see anymore of that asshole.”

Elena: “Sure.” *turns it off* “Let’s watch something else.” *puts in a new tape and sits down*

GO.

(there’s sephiroth and tseng making out like crazy in someone’s office.)

STOP.

Rufus: “Great. I get to watch Tseng have sex. Again.”

Elena: “You don’t know that.”

Rufus: “Right. You didn’t see the other tapes, Elena. But you know,  I’d actually rather watch gay sex than my father ripping the head off my teddy bear again.”

GO.

(tseng pushes sephiroth away from him)

Tseng: “I thought we were supposed to stop this.”

STOP.

Elena: “See?”

Rufus: “There’s a first time for everything, I guess.”

GO.

Sephiroth: “You’re the one who came in here.”

Tseng: “You’re no help.”

Sephiroth: “We’ve had this discussion. I can’t just push you away all the time. It’s not that easy for me.”

Tseng: “I just…can’t stop thinking about him.” *plops down in a chair* “Am I crazy for wanting him to just give me a chance?”

Sephiroth: “No. That isn’t crazy at all.”

Tseng: “This may sound strange coming from me, but I am sick and tired of all this meaningless sex. Not that what we have is totally meaningless, but, well, you understand what I mean.”

Sephiroth: “Of course I do.” *sits behind the desk* “Ever thought of just telling him?”

Tseng: *blink blink*

Sephiroth: “Just tell him how you feel. I don’t think Reeve will shun you forever.”

Tseng: “I don’t know that! Are you crazy?! I can’t just tell him! He’s my straight best friend! He’d probably think I was a weirdo…”

Sephiroth: “I don’t think so. I think it’s something you really should think about.”

Tseng: *shakes head and stands up* “This is insane. I’ll see you later.” *goes to leave*

Sephiroth: “Sometimes you have to take a chance, Tseng. I did.”

(tseng pauses in the doorway but then leaves the room. and the tape goes black.)

STOP.

(elena stops the tape.)

Rufus: “Wow. He didn’t have sex. I have to say I’m shocked.”

Elena: “Rufus!”

Rufus: “Elena, you watch all that porn. Then talk to me.”

Elena: “Want to keep watching this?”

Rufus: “Sure, why not. What’s the worst that could happen?”

(she presses the play button on the remote)

GO.

(rude is sitting in one of the lounges at shinra reading a book with his sunglasses on. reno comes over and leans across the table at him. both of them look about 10 years younger)

Reno: “Dude!”

Rude: *peers at reno over his sunglasses*

Reno: “Dude, what’re you reading a book? What’re you, Reeve? Put that down! I gotta tell you something!”

Rude: “What?”

Reno: “You know who’s in town?”

Rude: “Your mom.”

Reno: *glares* “That’s not funny, you asshole. It’s the President’s son! Rufus! Isn’t that like the stupidest name ever?”

STOP.

Rufus: “Hey!”

GO.

Rude: “So what?”

Reno: “So we gotta go out and get him drunk!”

Rude: “I don’t think he’s old enough.”

Reno: “So? We ain’t old enough! And we get in!”

Rude: “I don’t really want to get fired.”

Reno: “You tight ass! You sound like Tseng! Put your gay ass fairy book down and let’s go!”

(he grabs rude by the hand and drags him off. then there’s nothing.)

STOP.

Rufus: “Those idiots. Fast forward.”

GO.

(elena fast forwards until reno and rude are now going over to a younger looking rufus. he is sitting at a desk, books in front of him. mr. jingles sits off to the side)

Reno: “Hey! You must be Rufus!”

Rufus: *looks up* “Who wants to know?”

Reno: “I’m Reno, and this here’s Rude. We’re Turks.”

Rufus: “Turks, huh? Nice to meet you. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m studying for my economics final.”

Reno: “School work?! Forget that sh*t! You gotta come hang out with us! Right, Rude?”

Rude: “Right.”

Rufus: “I don’t think so. I’m very busy. Please leave.”

Reno: “What the hell is that?” *goes to touch mr. jingles*

Rufus: *snaps* “Don’t touch the bear!”

Reno: *freezes* “Geez, sorry. Didn’t know grown men were still attached to teddy bears. That a rich kid thing?”

Rufus: *glares* “Leave.”

Reno: *mutters* “Everyone around here’s got stuff up their butt.” *to rude* “Let’s go, Rude.”

(they leave. rufus scowls and goes back to his books)

Rufus: *mutters* “I’ll end up like them if I don’t do well on this test.”

(then enter rufus’ father, president shinra. rufus quickly moves the bear to the floor.)

Shinra: “Rufus! There you are!”

Rufus: *jumps to his feet* “Hello, sir.”

Shinra: “I see you’re studying. Good! School’s going well I hope!”

Rufus: “Yes, sir. Very well. I almost scored all A’s last semester.”

Shinra: “Almost? Well, it seems you should be hitting the books a little harder, don’t you think?”

Rufus: “…Yes, sir.”

Shinra: “Good! We’re on the same page! And when are you going back again?”

Rufus: “At the end of the week.”

Shinra: “Right. Well, I’ll leave you to your studying, and if you need anything, call my secretary.”

(he turns to leave.)

Rufus: “Dad!”

(but president shinra is already gone. rufus scowls and sits down)

Rufus: “You asshole.”

STOP.

Rufus: *ejecting the tape* “I’ve seen enough of this tape. I’m not out to relive stuff I remember.”

Elena: “He was so cold to you.”

Rufus: “That’s not the half of it. I’m glad Hojo couldn’t put cameras in my room at boarding school. And if he did, I’d burn them all.”

Elena: “……..”

Rufus: *puts in a new tape* “Let’s watch something that’s not about me.”

GO.

(there’s a boy about 15 sitting in a chair looking very sad. he has short very red hair and has two fresh looking wounds on his cheeks.)

STOP.

Elena: *gasp* “Oh my gosh! Is that…?”

GO.

(the door opens and tseng enters. he doesn’t look much older than 20.)

Tseng: “Reno Tsunakge. I’m Tseng Tytunik. It’s nice to meet you.”

Reno: *sadly* “Hey.” *pause* “Am I gonna be arrested now or somethin’?”

Tseng: “Arrested? Now why would you think that? You gave your statement, and no one doubts it. Your uncle was much bigger and stronger than you. Clearly it was self defense.”

Reno: “He killed my mother.”

Tseng: “I know. But don’t worry about her, Reno. She’s in a better place.”

Reno: “Where’s my sister?”

Tseng: “She’s in a safe place.”

STOP.

Elena and Rufus: “Sister?!”

Rufus: “Did you know Reno had a sister?!”

Elena: “No!”

GO.

Tseng: “You haven’t been brought to Shinra Headquarters to be interrogated, Reno. You’ve been brought here to be offered a job.”

Reno: “…A job?”

Tseng: “I’m a Turk, Reno. Perhaps you’ve heard of us.”

Reno: “…Maybe…”

Tseng: “I’m here to ask you to join. If you can do what is asked of you, if you can follow orders without looking back, you can be one of us. The company will take care of you. You’ll be able to make a life for yourself. Have somewhere to go.”

Reno: “But what about my sister?”

Tseng: “…She’ll have to go to an orphanage. You’re not legally old enough to take care of her.”

Reno: “…………”

Tseng: “No matter what you choose she’ll have to stay there. But I’m giving you this choice.”

Reno: “Follow orders, huh? I can do that.”

Tseng: “Then you accept?”

Reno: “Yeah, I accept. I’ll do anything you want. But I wanna talk to my sister first.”

Tseng: “That can be arranged. Come with me.”

(they leave the room.)

STOP.

Elena: “Reno never mentioned a sister – not once.”

Rufus: “…Maybe something happened to her.”

Elena: “Maybe… Should I fast forward?”

Rufus: “Go ahead.”

GO.

(she fast forwards until the scene changes. it’s a familiar looking office, but there seems like there’s nothing there.)

STOP.

Rufus: “Okay… Fast forward more I guess.”

GO.

(before he can, tseng suddenly stands up. apparently he was lying on the floor and the camera couldn’t see that. and he’s naked.)

STOP.

Rufus: “Oh come on now!”

Elena: *blink blink* “Wow.”

Rufus: “Elena!”

Elena: *blushes* “Er…sorry.”

GO.

Tseng: “I have to go. Reeve’s…still upset.”

(sephiroth comes into view, but at least he’s already half dressed)

Sephiroth: “I would imagine so.”

Tseng: “I can’t blame him. None of this makes sense. Now that kid is on my team? How can I trust him?! I don’t know what makes me less comfortable. The fact that I have to trust this kid, or the fact that I know that someone at Shinra put him up to it!”

Sephiroth: “Trust is important. But frankly the latter would concern me more.”

Tseng: “I don’t even wanna think about that part. I mean who could it be? How could anyone dislike Reeve that much? He worked so hard on that factory.”

Sephiroth: “I don’t know the answer to any of that.”

Tseng: “But this kid… He’s strange. I don’t even think that’s his real name. And he never takes off those sunglasses.”

Sephiroth: “So tell him to take them off.” *pause* “You’re not scared of your own comrade, are you?”

Tseng: *too defensively* “No! That’s ridiculous!”

Sephiroth: “………Very well. But think about this, Tseng. Whatever the motive behind it, that kid was desperate to get in here. I don’t think he’s the real problem.”

Tseng: “I have to talk to Reeve. I’ll see you later.”

(he quickly finishes getting dressed and leaves. sephiroth sighs and sits behind the desk. elena stops the tape.)

STOP.

Elena: “They were talking about Rude!”

Rufus: “And I know what factory they were talking about…I had no idea Rude was behind that.” *shakes head* “And I’m the President of this company?!”

Elena: “Let’s change the tape.”

(she puts in a new tape and they watch.)

GO.

(hojo’s lab, a long time ago. hojo looks much younger. a young boy with short silver hair enters the room. it is clear by his green eyes that it’s sephiroth. he looks about 9 or 10.)

Hojo: “There you are. You certainly took your time. Get up on the table.”

(hojo turns around to fiddle with some needles. sephiroth goes over to the table, which is pretty high for him. he tries to climb up on it, but is having a hard time. he’s struggling. hojo finally turns around with an annoyed sigh)

Hojo: “Do you need assistance?”

Sephiroth: *coldly* “No.”

(he tries extra hard and manages to pull himself up onto the table. he sits there with a very sour face on. hojo fills up a needle and comes over)

Hojo: “Roll your sleeve up. I shouldn’t have to tell you these things every day.”

Sephiroth: *slowly rolling up his sleeve* “Can I have a cat?”

Hojo: “What?”

Sephiroth: “I want a cat. For my birthday.”

Hojo: “Don’t be stupid. There’s no place for a cat here. Stop asking for one.”

Sephiroth: “I want a cat.”

Hojo: “You’re never getting one. Stop asking. Now roll your damn sleeve up!”

(sephiroth finally does and hojo puts the needle in the crook of his elbow. sephiroth winces. then hojo draws away and goes over to another lab table.)

Hojo: “You can go.”

Sephiroth: “My birthday was months ago.”

Hojo: “So it was.”

Sephiroth: “You never got me anything. I want a cat. Why can’t I have one?”

Hojo: *snaps* “Because there is no room for it! Now leave me alone! Go away.”

Sephiroth: “I hate you!”

(he jumps off the table and runs off. hojo sighs and returns to his work table. elena fast forwards until the scene changes. there is sephiroth sitting on the steps outside the lab crying. vincent comes over, looking even younger than before. he sees sephiroth crying and goes right over to him, sitting next to him on the steps)

Vincent: “Sephiroth… Are you all right? Is something the matter?”

Sephiroth: *looks at him still crying* “Vincent! He won’t give me a cat! And my…my arm hurts.”

(sephiroth then throws himself at vincent, hugging him tightly as he keeps crying. vincent sighs sadly and pats sephiroth on the back)

Vincent: “I’m sorry to hear that. Are you all right? What did he do to your arm?”

Sephiroth: *sniffling draws away* “I’m not sure… He had a needle.” *touches his arm* “Now it’s throbbing.”

(vincent frowns and puts his hands over sephiroth’s)

Vincent: “You’ll be all right.” *pause* “I’d get you a cat if I could.”

Sephiroth: *hangs head* “I know. You were the only one who remembered my birthday.” *sigh* “Professor Gast used to remember, but Professor Gast is…”

(the lab door opens and hojo comes out looking quite cross)

Hojo: “What are you doing? Get back into your room!”

Sephiroth: *curls into a ball* “No! I hate you!”

Hojo: “Fine! Hate me! But go into your room and do it! Leave Vincent alone!”

Vincent: “It’s fine. Go back in your lab and I’ll make sure he comes back inside.”

(hojo frowns but he goes back inside. sephiroth comes out of his ball and looks at vincent sadly)

Sephiroth: “…Do I have to?”

Vincent: “I’m afraid so.” *stands up* “Come on now.”

(he takes a step towards the door but sephiroth grabs his hand. vincent pauses and turns back to look at him)

Sephiroth: “Can’t you take care of me?”

Vincent: “Sephiroth, I—“

Sephiroth: “I’d never give you any trouble. I’d be so quiet you’d hardly know I was there! Please, Vincent! Can’t I come live with you?”

(vincent has a sad smile on his face. he takes a step closer to sephiroth and kneels in front of him)

Vincent: “You know that can’t happen. And there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Sephrioth: *pouts* “…I know.”

Vincent: “But I’ll always be around for you to talk to, okay? You can count on that.”

(sephiroth gives vincent another hug. and then the tape cuts off.)

STOP.

Elena: “Wow. It’s hard to imagine Sephiroth as a child.”

Rufus: “He definitely didn’t seem like a very happy child. But then again…”

Elena: “Guess I better find a new tape.”

(she digs through one of the boxes, picks one at random, and puts it in.)

GO.

(reeve’s office. reeve is behind the desk when tseng enters)

Tseng: “Hey.”

Reeve: “Hey! How are you?”

Tseng: “Can’t complain. You busy?”

Reeve: “Never too busy to talk to you.” *stands up* “I—“

(but suddenly there is the deafening sound of some kind of alarm. both of them look around in shock)

Tseng: “The bomb alarm…”

Reeve: “The bomb alarm?! Was there supposed to be a drill? I don’t remember any drill!”

Tseng: “No drill…”

Reeve: “Not like this building can support any major explosions.” *deep breath* “Okay, it’s probably a false alarm. Just a false alarm. What do we do?”

Tseng: “Under the desk. Standard procedure.”

(they both get under the desk so they’re facing each other. tseng has his head down)

Reeve: “Under the desk. Like this will save us if a bomb goes off!”

Tseng: “……………”

Reeve: “Tseng?”

Tseng: *softly* “…F**k… I’m such a coward.”

Reeve: “Tseng, what are you talking about? It has to just be a drill. You know they don’t tell us anything.”

Tseng: *starts sobbing*

Reeve: “Tseng! Calm down! Everything will be fine!”

Tseng: *sobbing* “I’m going to die… I’m going to die and all I ever did was kill for a living!”

(tseng cries harder. reeve sighs and puts an arm around his shoulders)

Reeve: “We’re not going to die.”

Tseng: *sobbing* “Don’t let me see any flames! I’d rather be crushed to death than see flames!”

Reeve: *shakes him frantically* “Tseng, look at me! Look at me, Tseng!”

Tseng: *looks at  him* “Reeve… Reeve, I need to tell you that I l—“

(but he doesn’t get to finish. because reeve leans forward and kisses him. tseng has his eyes wide in total shock at first, but then he relaxes into it.)

STOP.

Elena: “Holy sh*t!”

Rufus: *looks at her in shock* “Elena!”

Elena: “Sorry! But that totally shocked me!”

GO.

(a few moments later the alarm stops. reeve quickly pulls away and looks at the floor.)

Voice over Intercom: “This concludes the test of the Shinra emergency alert system. Had this been a real emergency, instructions would have been given to you over this public address system. Have a nice day.”

(they both crawl out from under the desk and brush their suits off. reeve will not look at tseng. there is silence for a few minutes, and both of them look awkward)

Tseng: “…Reeve, I—“

Reeve: *snaps* “Look. I only did it to calm you down. You were hysterical. It was for your own good.”

Tseng: “I—“

Reeve: “I’m sorry. I didn’t know what else to do. I’d never kiss another guy. Ever.”

Tseng: “Uh…right. Me neither. But you don’t have to make a big deal out of it.”

Reeve: “I’m straight! Everybody knows that!”

Tseng: “I didn’t say you weren’t!”

Reeve: “You better go.” *goes back behind his desk*

Tseng: “…Right. I’ll…see you later.”

(tseng leaves. reeve sits behind his desk, and puts his head in his hands)

Reeve: *mutters* “Reeve, you idiot. That is the stupidest thing you ever did.” *shakes head* “I have to make myself stop thinking about him.”

(it goes black)

STOP.

Elena: “Aw… He was in love with him too!”

Rufus: “Uh huh. You’d think with all these tapes there’d be something about people we don’t see all the time.”

Elena: “Let’s see what else is on this one.”

GO.

(back to sephiroth’s office and sephiroth and tseng again. but the tape comes on in the middle of an argument)

Tseng: “Move on! How can you tell me to move on? How can you tell me to see other people and waste someone else’s time when the only person I will ever love is him!”

Sephiroth: “You don’t know—“

Tseng: “Bullsh*t! You know full well you’re being a hypocrite, telling me I’ll be able to love another when you know yourself that the only man you’ll ever love is Vincent! That’s just how I feel! You and I are the same, don’t you see? Except he loved you back like you loved him. …Reeve… it never will be that way.”

(sephiroth gets up and walks over to the window)

Tseng: “You know it’s true.  So why then? Why are you trying to force me into something I don’t want?”

Sephiroth: *whirls around* “Of course I know it’s true! Don’t tell me the obvious! Of course I know! Every time I look at you I know! But in many ways we are *not* the same. I *had* my love. It was brief, and I was young, but god, I *had* it. I loved Vincent, and he loved me, and I know what it feels like to be loved and love in return! I know what it feels like to make love to someone you would give your existence for! And I know what it’s like to lose that one person that you need to *live*. I know what that’s like too. And I *know* how much that *kills* you inside. …But I know how *much* it’s worth it.” *tears in his eyes* “You’ll probably never know what that feels like, Tseng. …What I had once….with Vincent. God, what I wouldn’t give for one more day. But still, I’m…I’m glad I had it at all.”

Tseng: “…Sephiroth……say it. Go… and say it.”

Sephiroth: *tear falling down his face* “I….I…I feel sorry for you, Tseng. *So* sorry.”

Tseng: *walks over* “Don’t cry.”

Sephiroth: *bows head* “I…I haven’t cried in so long….”

(it goes black. a second later it comes back up. sephiroth is now alone in his office. he goes off to the side to some drawers. he opens one and takes out a gold ring. he is already wearing one on his finger)

Sephiroth: “Vincent…it may be completely stupid, but I haven’t stopped hoping that someday I might see you again. And then I can give you your ring.”

(he puts the stuff back in the drawer and leaves the room. elena stops the tape.)

STOP.

Elena: “These tapes are like a soap opera!” *gets up and goes over to the vcr*

Rufus: “Sephiroth is like a totally different person.”

(elena takes out that tape and picks up the D.N.W tape.)

Elena: “Now I’m really curious to see what else is on this.”

Rufus: “Hell, so am I. Put it in.”

(she does, and then returns to her seat.)

GO.

(hojo’s lab. the evil doctor is working on a project when an unhappy late teens sephiroth comes in.)

Sephiroth: “Let’s make this quick.”

Hojo: “In a hurry, are we? And just what do you have planned?”

Sephiroth: “That’s none of your business.” *sits on the table and sticks his arm out*

Hojo: *looks at the cut* “It’s healing nicely. But I wonder…”

(and in a flash hojo has cut the exact same wound again. sephiroth yells and grabs his arm as it starts to bleed. he winces in pain)

Sephiroth: “You son of a bitch! What the hell is that for?!”

Hojo: “Research.”

Sephiroth: “It’s always research. Why are you stabbing me and slashing me and injecting me anyway? And what is all this crap?! Am I just the unlucky orphan you decided to pick up to be your guinea pig?”

Hojo: *holds out gauze* “Dress you wound.”

Sephiroth: *snatches the gauze* “Go f**k off.”

Hojo: “There’s no need to speak to me that way.”

Sephiroth: “So you think.”

(he storms out. hojo shakes his head and goes to write something in a  journal. then the scene switches to sephiroth and vincent. sephiroth is sitting on the floor of his practice room wrapping his arm in gauze and muttering unhappily. that’s when vincent enters and goes over looking concerned)

Vincent: “Angel? Are you okay?”

Sephiroth: “I guess. Hojo got me again. In the same place.”

Vincent: *looking at it* “Oh, angel. I’m sorry. Is it still bleeding?”

Sephiroth: “No. If I was a normal person I probably would be.”

Vincent: “………….”

Sephiroth: “…You probably wondering why I still go back there and let him do this to me.”

Vincent: “It never crossed my mind.”

Sephiroth: “He’s an idiot. But…I fear that he may have done something to me at some point, and if I don’t keep going back, it could kill me.”

Vincent: “………I see.”

Sephiroth: “He tries to tell me that I’m not special. And I don’t know what I am. But I know he’s lying. All he does is lie.”

Vincent: “………”

Sephiroth: *puts his head on vincent’s shoulder* “….I often wonder where he found me. Do you know, Vincent?”

Vincent: *squeezes eyes shut* “No. I have no idea.”

(the tape flips again and there is some more footage that rufus has already seen, including vincent giving sephiroth the ring.)

STOP.

Elena: “It looks like he edited this together.”

Rufus: “He did.”

Elena: “How do you know?”

Rufus: “Let’s just say I’ve known about these tapes for awhile.”

Elena: “Have you seen this before?”

Rufus: “Some of it.”

Elena: “Why didn’t you ever tell me about these?”

Rufus: “I didn’t tell anybody about these.”

Elena: “But why?”

Rufus: “I don’t know… I guess I didn’t think anyone would want to watch this stuff again.”

Elena: “……….”

GO.

(back to the practice room, sephiroth has just finished practicing and is smiling and taking a sip of water. vincent is there and talking to him.)

Vincent: “I believe you just get more graceful every day.”

Sephiroth: “Stop flattering me.”

Vincent: “I could do nothing less.”

(smiling, sephiroth puts down the water bottle and walks over to vincent)

Sephiroth: “What would I be without you, Vincent.”

Vincent: “Angel, I don’t make you who you are.”

Sephiroth: “No…but you have no idea how you…”

(but he doesn’t finish the sentence. instead he kisses vincent. and they’re still standing there kissing when hojo enters. and words can hardly describe the look of anger on his face)

Hojo: “Sephiroth! I knew it!”

(vincent and sephiroth quickly part)

Sephiroth: “Hojo! What are you doing here?”

Hojo: “What am *I* doing here?! How dare you question me! Valentine! I should have known better! Why else would you spend so much time with him!”

Vincent: “And what exactly is that supposed to mean, Hojo?”

Hojo: *growls* “Get out. Get out of here, Valentine! I never want to see you near Sephiroth again.”

Sephiroth: “No!” *advances towards hojo* “Don’t you even—“

Vincent: “Sephiroth, no.”

Sephiroth: *stops* “Vincent…”

(hojo grabs vincent by the arm and jerks him towards the door)

Hojo: “You think you’re so clever! How dare you betray me this way.”

Vincent: “You’re a confused and stupid man.”

Sephiroth: “What are you doing?! Let Vincent go!”

Hojo: “This doesn’t involve you, Sephiroth. Stay back! Stay back or you’ll regret it!”

Sephiroth: *hesitates* “You son of a—“

Vincent: “Sephiroth, you aren’t norm—“

(but hojo claps a hand over vincent’s mouth and drags him out of the room before he can finish. sephiroth looks totally lost and confused. he stands there stunned for a moment.)

Sephiroth: “…Vincent?!” *runs to the door* “Vincent!! Vincent!!!”

(that goes black. and it stays that way. but we hear voices. the voices of hojo and vincent)

Vincent’s voice: “And just what do you think you’re doing now?”

Hojo’s voice: “Oh…I know exactly what I’m doing. And I dare say you’ll cooperate or I’ll kill him.”

Vincent’s voice: “…You wouldn’t. He’s your prized experiment.”

Hojo’s voice: “Oh, I would. Just to spite you. I can make a new one.”

Vincent’s voice: “That’s exactly what I’ve always hated about you. He was never a person. He was never a child. He was just an experiment. You’re completely warped.”

Hojo’s voice: “Shut up. And do as I say.”

Vincent’s voice: “Kill me. If that’s what you want, kill me. But leave Sephiroth alone.”

Hojo’s voice: “I would never dream of killing you, Valentine. That’s what you’d want. It’s going to be far worse than that. Far, far worse. And it will be worse for Sephiroth too, if you don’t cooperate.”

(vincent doesn’t speak anymore. all you hear is hojo’s laughter.)

STOP.

(elena and rufus look at each other in shock)

Elena: “You don’t think he…”

Rufus: “I hope not.”

Elena: “Ew! It wouldn’t surprise me!”

Rufus: “Me neither.”

Elena: “Oh, there’s more.”

GO.

(hojo is working in his lab again. the door opens and closes. then sephiroth stomps in. and he looks beyond angry.)

Sephiroth: “Where. Is. Vincent.”

Hojo: “Vincent’s been terminated. You’ll never see him again.”

(sephiroth walks over, and he’s holding the masamune)

Sephiroth: “What did you do to him?”

Hojo: “Nothing. When I told the President about how he was engaged in a sexual relationship with you he was fired. End of story.”

Sephiroth: “You’re lying.”

Hojo: “Why would I lie? There’s no reason to lie. What he did was out of line, plain and simple.”

Sephiroth: “It was out of line because you didn’t like it! Why should the President care—“

Hojo: “What do you know about the President? Vincent is fired and you won’t see him again. Accept it and get on with your training.”

Sephiroth: “F**k the training! If Vincent was really fired he’d still try and see me! If he was fired he’d—“

Hojo: “Vincent’s not allowed to see you anymore. If he tries to, well, let’s just say it would end badly for him.”

Sephiroth: “That wouldn’t stop him.”

Hojo: “Would it? Vincent didn’t love you, Sephiroth. You were another conquest to him. That’s what Vincent does.”

Sephiroth: “You’re lying. All you do is lie.”

Hojo: “Am I? And Vincent has never lied to you?” *laughs*

(sephiroth growls and slashes the masamune across the table, breaking a row of test tubes that shatter instantly. he corners hojo and holds the masamune to his throat, glaring at him and looking mad with anger. hojo looks a little nervous)

Sephiroth: “You took Vincent away from me! You can spout all the lies you want! You sick bastard son of a bitch! I hate you! I’ve always hated you! And I can’t think of one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you right now!”

Hojo: “Because…I saved you. I took you in when no one else would.”

Sephiroth: “I would have been happier to die than to live through misery with you!”

Hojo: “Is that so? And misery with Vincent?”

Sephiroth: “………..”

Hojo: “I thought so. You’ll forget Vincent quick enough. You’re leaving for SOLDIER training tomorrow. Now release me.”

Sephiroth: *glares* “That’s not good enough.”

Hojo: “You’ll be away from me. In fact, you’ll never have to see me again.”

Sephiroth: “….Never?”

Hojo: “And if you kill me, you can go to prison. I’m sure that’s far less misery than anything I’ve ever inflicted upon you.”

(sephiroth thinks about this, but then he backs away)

Hojo: “A rational choice. But then I’d expect no less from you.”

Sephiroth: “I know what you did. And I’ll never forget. You stay away from me, Hojo. Because if I ever see you again, I can’t promise I’ll make the same choice.”

(and with that he stalks away. the scene immediately switches to sephiroth’s room. he is lying on his bed crying his eyes out. and he just cries and cries and cries. you can tell that he’s been totally destroyed inside.)

Sephiroth: *sobbing* “…Vincent… You were the only good thing that ever happened to me. Why? Why did they have to take you away…”

(he dissolves into more crying. finally it starts to fast forward)

STOP.

Elena: “Rufus!”

Rufus: “What? You wanna watch the guy sob for hours?”

Elena: “Well…it is really sad, but I guess not.”

GO.

(rufus fast forwards to where sephiroth finally stands up. he reaches under his bed and picks something up. it’s a small jewelry box. he opens it and inside is the same ring he had in the previous video)

Sephiroth: *mutters* “I saved all my money so you could have one too. …And I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again. But I’ll keep it and hope that someday I’ll be able to give it to you.” *bows head* “This pain…it’s far worse than anything else I have ever felt.”

(and there’s nothing more.)

STOP.

Elena: “I think that’s it.”

Rufus: “I wonder why he marked it D.N.W.”

Elena: “I have no idea.” *looks at clock* “Oh my gosh! It’s one-thirty in the morning! We should get to bed!”

(she gets up. rufus goes over to the vcr and takes the tape out. he stares at it a moment)

Elena: “What are you doing?”

Rufus: “There’s someone who I think should see this tape.”

Elena: *small smile* “Yeah. I think you’re right.”

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

(the next day. tape in hand, rufus is walking down one of the hallways at the ramble room. a nearby door opens and sephiroth steps out, nearly bumping right into him)

Sephiroth: “Dammit! Doesn’t anyone watch where they’re going!?”

Rufus: *stunned*

Sephiroth: “Hello! What, did you sell your brain? I’m talking to you, Shinra!”

Rufus: “…Right. Sorry. My mistake.”

Sephiroth: *gives him a weird look* “Did you eat pot brownies again?”

Rufus: “What?”

Sephiroth: “Never mind.”

(he walks off. rufus watches him go, shakes his head, and looks at the tape. then he continues to vincent’s room and knocks on the door. vincent opens the door)

Rufus: “Hi, Vincent.”

Vincent: “Hello, Rufus. What are you selling?”

Rufus: “Why does everyone always think I’m selling something?”

Vincent: “Because you usually are.”

Rufus: “Well I’m not selling anything. I have something to give you. For free.”

(he holds out the tape. vincent takes it and looks it over curiously)

Vincent: “D.N.W?”

Rufus: “I don’t know what that means either. But it’s one of Hojo’s tapes. I recently acquired them all, and I really think it’s something you should see.”

Vincent: “I understand. Thank you.”

Rufus: “You’re welcome.”

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

(later, rufus is walking towards the front door and is on his cell phone)

Rufus: “You got all that? Read it back to me. …Okay, great. Now no one can say they didn’t get the memo! There won’t be people having sex all over my building anymore! Okay, bye.”

(he hangs up and goes outside. he sees vincent sitting on the porch swing. he nods at him but keeps walking)

Vincent: “Rufus!”

Rufus: *stops* “Yeah?”

Vincent: “…I watched the tape.”

Rufus: *walks over* “I thought it was something you needed to see.”

Vincent: “…You’re right. It was. I assume you’ve seen it?”

Rufus: “Yeah. It was weird… Sephiroth was like a totally different person.”

Vincent: “He has many different faces now.”

Rufus: “Elena and I both watched it, but we couldn’t figure out what the hell D.N.W stood for.”

Vincent: “Oh. That part is actually quite simple really. Considering the tape was complied by Hojo, I believe it stands for ‘Do Not Watch’.”

Rufus: “Oh. That’s…strange.”

Vincent: “Expecting something more complicated?”

Rufus: “I guess so.”

Vincent: “Our relationship was never something Alexander could stand. I suppose he lumped it all together like that so he wouldn’t have to look at it. Most of it was conducted far away from the prying eyes of his video cassettes. Those moments are safe and secure in a private place.”

Rufus: *sits next to him* “There are a lot of parts of my life I’m glad can’t be on the tapes. I wonder how Sephiroth would react if he knew.”

Vincent: “I’m sure he’d be mortified. But I for one am glad. I have to admit I often wondered in my head how he reacted when he found out I was gone.” *small smile* “I wasn’t far off.”

Rufus: “I was surprised he didn’t just kill Hojo. Even after what he said.”

Vincent: “Now I’m sure nothing Hojo said would have spared him. But that is now. I’m sure you would be surprised to know that Sephiroth’s first reaction to finally seeing me again all those years later was anger.”

Rufus: “Anger?”

Vincent: “Yes. I had lied to him. He often wondered about himself but I never told him what I knew. I kept the truth from him. He said to me, ‘Vincent, you lied. You’re no better than Hojo.’ I can’t tell you how deeply that hurt me. Keeping the truth from him…it was never my intent. I was just trying to protect him. He said if I had told him the truth I could have sparred him the pain. But I’m afraid almost nothing I ever did for him sparred him much pain.”

Rufus: “You saved his life. Hojo said he would kill him if you didn’t…”

Vincent: *nods head* “True. But the price I paid…” *puts his real hand on his claw* “It runs far deeper than the scars you see. But I never regretted it. Not once. All I ever wanted to do was bring some happiness to his life. I suppose I did that. And that was worth everything.”

Rufus: “…Well you can keep that tape. I have all the others sitting at home. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them, but I guess it’s better than leaving them to Hojo.”

Vincent: “…I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you how strange it was watching this tape. It was like watching my own memories played back before my eyes.”

Rufus: “I know. …And some of those memories weren’t really things I wanted to remember.”

Vincent: “…In a way it’s funny, really. We at Shinra all have our memories. And these are memories that we treasure and believe are only for ourselves. But they not for ourselves at all. Instead they are available for all to see, captured on film and preserved for posterity.”

Rufus: “…It’s sick, isn’t it.”

Vincent: “…Yes. It is.”

THE END

 

 

 

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