#196 – Time Heals No Wounds

Koudelka: “The future is a dangerous thing to play with.”

Originally Published: 11/3/06 . 49 pages

Synopsis
Sephiroth enlists Koudelka to help him see the future – but will he be happy with what he sees?

Ramble Milestones
Nothing this time.

I love this ramble. Crafting the future ramble world was really fun. I wish I had gotten a chance to play around with it a bit more. The ending is one of my favorite ramble dramatic moments.

 15 there’s still time for you

Time to buy, Time to lose yourself

Within a morning star

15 I’m all right with you

15, there’s never a wish better than this

When you only got 100 years to live

Half time goes by

Suddenly you’re wise

Another blink of an eye

67 is gone

The sun is getting high

We’re moving on…

I’m 99 for a moment

Dying for just another moment

And I’m just dreaming

Counting the ways to where you are…

–“100 Years”, Five For Fighting

 (we open at the ramble room where sephiroth is sitting in his room, his head in his hands looking depressed. he keeps staring at the phone. he picks it up, quickly dials, but then slams it back down. then he takes a breath, dials a different number, and puts the receiver to his ear.)

Alucard’s voice: *sniff* “…What do you want?”

Sephiroth: “Are you crying or something?”

Alucard’s voice: “Huh? Uh, oh, no. No. What do you want?”

Sephiroth: “Liar. Dante do something to you?”

Alucard’s voice: “No. Of course not. Why did you call me anyway? Or why did I pick up is more like it.”

Sephiroth: “Why do you sound so sad?”

Alucard’s voice: *sigh* “If you must know I was just down at the video game character therapy center.”

Sephiroth: “Oh. Good! You’re finally getting the help you need!”

Alucard’s voice: “*No*. Koudelka has this new service where she talks to the dead.”

Sephiroth: “Oh that’s not creepy at all.”

Alucard’s voice: “I shouldn’t have answered…”

Sephiroth: “No, now I’m curious. What dead person did you talk to?”

Alucard’s voice: “My mother.”

Sephiroth: “And she can do that? Talk to the dead?”

Alucard’s voice: “Yeah. Talk to the dead, read the future—“

Sephiroth: “She reads the future?”

Alucard’s voice: “Well…it was in her ad. I don’t know how accurate it is and it was really expensive.”

Sephiroth: “How can anyone read the future? That’s impossible.”

Alucard’s voice: “Well, she can talk to the dead. That much I can promise you.” *sniff*

Sephiroth: “How do you know that? She’s a psychic! She can read stuff and make it up! You ever see that John Edwards show? That guy lies for a living!”

Alucard’s voice: *annoyed* “So why did you call me anyway, Sephiroth? After what happened between you and Dante I told you—“

Sephiroth: “So I don’t like your stupid whore of a boyfriend, so what? Why can’t we still be friends?”

Alucard’s voice: “Because I’m tired, Sephiroth. I already told you this a dozen times. I am tired of being your referee.”

Sephiroth: “He’s no better than me! But you defend him!”

Alucard’s voice: “I believe we’ve had this same conversation several times now. I’m not repeating myself again. I shouldn’t have answered…”

Sephiroth: “You think he’s going to be with you forever, Alucard? Get real. The man is a manwhore! He takes off his clothes for money! A hotter, richer guy comes along and he won’t even remember your name!”

Alucard’s voice: “I thought you said reading the future was impossible, Sephiroth. Good-bye.”

(he hangs up. sephiroth frowns and hangs up.)

Sephiroth: “Stupid Alucard. It is impossible.” *he looks down at his hands a moment looking at one naked finger in particular* “…It must be. It…”

(there’s a knock on his door. he gets up and answers it. it’s lark)

Lark: “Hey, Sephy.”

Sephiroth: “What are you doing here?”

Lark: “Well I haven’t seen you around much lately. I was worried—“

Sephiroth: “I was just coming out. Nothing to worry about. Are you crazy? A guy can’t have any time to himself?”

Lark: “Well it wasn’t just you I was worried about. Vincent—“

Sephiroth: “You lost me. Bye.”

Lark: “Sephiroth, wait!”

(but he ignores her, and closes the door behind him as he heads towards the front porch. along the way he peers into the tv room where vincent and auron are talking. vincent looks pale and his claw still looks badly damaged. he’s cradling it with his other arm. auron is frowning and looking concerned. sephiroth stares at vincent and frowns himself. then he gets a determined look on his face and heads for the doors. he nearly bangs into tseng, who is on his way in)

Tseng: “Where you running off to?”

Sephiroth: “You think it’s possible to see the future, Tseng?”

Tseng: “See the future? What—“

(but sephiroth is already gone)

 

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

 

(meanwhile, rufus and algus are standing outside watching as the new tenant moves their boxes into the condos. they both look confused. that’s because the new tenant is a pink creature with a white belly and a red bow in it’s hair. it also has a huge open hole for a mouth)

Algus: “Rufus…”

Rufus: “If you’re going to ask me what that is, I can easily tell you I don’t know. But it paid me three months rent up front.”

Algus: “…Then that’s all that matters, I suppose.” *pause* “Does it have a name?”

Rufus: “Birdo.”

Algus: “And I have to assume it’s female.”

Rufus: “Or a cross dresser.”

Both: *tilt their heads to one side*

Algus: “What do you suppose the large gaping hole in it’s face is for?”

Rufus: “I don’t know, but I feel like it’ll suck my brain out if I get too close. So I’ll be keeping my distance.”

Algus: “Smart idea as always, Rufus.”

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

(at the video game character therapy center, cid and barret are talking while koudelka is behind the desk on the phone)

Cid: “@#%#$^$&%$*^@#%&$^&!”

Barret: “Damn right, yo!”

Koudelka: *sigh* “Jack, you have to stop calling me like this, Jack. If you want to pay, I’ll be more than happy to give you private sessions. ………Okay, I can’t hear you with the mouse crying in the background. Look, if you find some money somewhere, feel free to call me. Until then, don’t call me.” *hangs up and shakes head* “That poor, poor shard of a man.” *calls* “Cid!”

Cid: “@#$%^^&&*$%^&*($%?”

Koudelka: “*What*?”

Cid: “Uh, I mean, yeah?”

Koudelka: “You’re supposed to be watching kids. Not talking it up with Barret.”

Barret: “I gotta be gettin’ back to work anyway, bro! I catch ya lata!”

Cid: “@#$%^&*##%^&#$^!”

(barret leaves. cid comes over to koudelka)

Cid: “He thinks you’re a bitch.”

Koudelka: “I am a bitch.”

Cid: “That’s why I like you.”

Koudelka: *grins* “Get back to the kids, you idiot.”

Cid: *chuckles* “You like me too.”

(he goes into the daycare room. then sephiroth comes storming in, a bag in his hand)

Sephiroth: “I want you to read the future.”

Koudelka: “Are you kidding me? You can’t barge in without an appointment, in the middle of the afternoon and just ask me to read the future—“

Sephiroth: *drops a bag of money on the table*

Koudelka: *looks at it* “…Right this way.”

(she takes him to a small room with a table and two chairs that are placed on either side of the table. she takes one seat and sephiroth takes the other. she then smiles at him sweetly)

Koudelka: “So, what brings you here today?”

Sephiroth: “Alucard told me you can read the future.”

Koudelka: “Alucard…oh, he came in about his mother. That really did him a lot of good.”

Sephiroth: “Sure it did. Anyway, I thought this whole thing seemed pretty bogus.”

Koudelka: *smirks* “I see. So then why did you come?”

Sephiroth: *gives her a look* “I thought you were supposed to be psychic.”

Koudelka: “Oh, so you don’t trust any of my abilities, huh? Fine. You’re here because you’re feeling a bit lost lately and you think seeing the future will put you at ease. Am I right?”

Sephiroth: *mutters* “Maybe.”

Koudelka: “I can see the future, Sephiroth, whether you believe it or not. I don’t really care, you already paid me. But I must warn you. And this will sound totally cliché, but it’s true. The future is always changing. Depending on the choices people make, it could totally change, or it could stay the same. What I can show you is based on if nothing changes based on this moment.”

Sephiroth: “I expected you to say something like that.”

Koudelka: “I’ve found that half of it stays the same, half tends to change. Sometimes more, sometimes less. But that’s an average.”

Sephiroth: “How can you even do that?”

Koudelka: “I just have my powers. I can’t explain them.”

Sephiroth: “How far in the future are you going to go?”

Koudelka: “About twenty years.”  *holds out both her hands* “Now take my hands and close your eyes.”

Sephiroth: “Why?”

Koudelka: *sighs in annoyance* “I’m going to project the image into your mind.”

Sephiroth: “Project into my mind?! You’re not going to steal anything, are you?”

Koudelka: “Yeah, I’m really desperate to wipe away your knowledge of shampoo.”

Sephiroth: *eyes narrow* “Don’t even joke about that.”

Koudelka: “Trust me, okay? Is Vincent important to you or not?”

(sephiroth visibly flusters at the mention of vincent. but he takes koudelka’s hands and closes his eyes. as soon as he does he can see the outside of the ramble room. it’s a beautiful bright sunny day, but there are no people in sight)

Koudelka: “What do you see?”

Sephiroth: “I see the ramble room. But I don’t see anyone.”

Koudelka: “Okay good. Here we go.”

(then we see rufus, who looks about 20 years older but still looks great. he’s standing with someone with a camera and he looks annoyed)

Rufus: “I am paying this photographer good money for this picture! Now if your last name is Shinra or Tityunik, get over here!

(elena, tseng and reeve come over. they too look older but still good. tseng has his hair pulled back from his face in low ponytail. there are also three kids who come over. one looks about 25. he is tall and handsome with blonde hair and blue eyes. the next oldest looks about 20-21. she has black hair and blue eyes, is dressed in something low cut and is very beautiful. the other is about 19. he looks a lot like rufus.)

Rufus: “Finally! Max, Lily, Rufus Jr., go over to the photographer.”

Elena: “Lily! This is what you wear?”

Lily: “What? This is cute! I just bought this!”

Tseng: “Lily, don’t you have a sweater or anything you could put on?”

Lily: “Dad, stop it! This is fine!”

(they go over to the photographer and start to be arranged for the picture. the adults look over with frowns)

Tseng: “Taj! Come on! Let’s go!”

Rufus: “Charlotte Justine Shinra! Right now!”

Elena: “Come on, CJ! Your hair is fine!”

(the two kids finally come over. they both look about 16. CJ, the girl, has blonde hair and blue eyes, just like her mother. the boy, taj, has dark hair and green eyes, and somewhat resembles reeve.)

Reeve: “All right, come on. Get over in the picture.”

CJ: “My hair looks awful! Look at it!”

Rufus: “It looks fine. Now get in the picture.”

(they finally go over to join the others in the picture. the photographer places the three boys in the center and the two girls on the outside. the parents stand on proudly as the photographer starts to take some pictures.)

Elena: “I can’t believe how much they’ve grown. I still remember when Max was an infant. Now he’s running Shinra brand electronics!”

Rufus: “And doing a bang up job of it! He was sent to the finest schools and it shows! And it looks like Rufus Jr. will be following in his footsteps! He’s been talking about his own Shinra brand fashion line when he graduates college!”

Reeve: “And even CJ wants to go into business. So it must be something in the water over where you are.”

Rufus: “And I didn’t force them to do anything! I must just lead by example!”

Tseng: “The way Taj works on that car you gave him, I can’t believe it’s still in one piece. All he does is take things apart. Wonder where he gets that from.” *points to reeve*

Reeve: “I bought him some books on engineering. He seemed really interested, so when we start looking at colleges soon we’ll have to find one with a good program.”

Elena: *sigh* “And then there’s Lily.”

Rufus: “Is her major still undecided?”

Tseng: “Her entire life is undecided. She’s far from stupid, but her grades aren’t very good. She just doesn’t try. All she does is go out with her friends and talk to boys. And I’m not stupid. I know she’s been having sex.”

Rufus: *mutters* “Well the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.”

Tseng: *glares* “I heard that.”

(the photographer finishes up and the kids wander back over. rufus goes to talk to the photographer.)

CJ: “Well now you have a picture of me with awful hair. Wonderful.”

Elena: “Would you stop it? Your hair looks fine. Your father just paid for you to get it done this morning. How could it look bad?”

CJ: “I’m just having a bad hair day!”

Elena: “So what are you kids up to today?”

Max: “I’m just meeting Halley for dinner later tonight.”

Elena: “Oh good! How’s his show going?”

Max: “It’s going really well. They just renewed it for another season.”

Elena: “That’s great!”

Rufus Jr: “I have to study for my economics test.”

CJ: “At least you have Mr. Jingles Jr. to keep you company.”

Rufus Jr: “Shut up, CJ.”

CJ: “I’m hanging out with Olivia.”

Taj: *shrugs* “I don’t really have any plans.”

Tseng: “And how about you, Lily?”

Lily: “Me? Oh. I have a date, I guess.”

Tseng: “You guess?”

Elena: “With who?”

Lily: “Just Duke Belmont. I really didn’t wanna go out with him, but he kept asking so I just said yes to shut him up.”

Tseng: “Duke Belmont? Why don’t you wanna go out with him?”

Lily: “Dad, it’s really none of your business.”

Tseng: “You’re my daughter! Of course it’s my business!”

Reeve: “Leave her alone, Tseng.”

(Rufus comes back over)

Rufus: “Okay! We will have our new family photo soon enough!” *mutters* “That photographer jacks up his prices every freakin’ year.”

Elena: “All right, let’s go kids. Bye, Tseng. Bye, Reeve. See you later.”

(so rufus, elena, max, rufus jr. and CJ all leave. rufus and elena get into a waiting car that is being driven by a chauffeur, but the rest of the kids get into their own cars and drive away. lily takes out some car keys and starts to walk away)

Tseng: “And where are you off to?”

Lily: “I left something at mom’s. Don’t worry, I’ll be home before my date. I have to get changed.”

Tseng: “All right.”

(she leaves. taj also takes out car keys)

Taj: “I’ll see you at home, okay?”

Reeve: “All right. We’ll be home soon.”

(he gets in his car and drives off)

Tseng: “…You know, I never thought Rufus would spoil *our* kids.”

Reeve: “Well, Lily is his step-daughter.”

Tseng: “I know, but Taj?”

Reeve: *shrugs* “It wouldn’t be fair to leave him out. And it’s not like Rufus can’t afford it.”

Tseng: *looks at the ramble room* “This place still looks good.”

Reeve: “Well, so many of us still hang out here, so it pays to maintain it. Plus the condos are still there and Dante still lives there. And Dracula still lives next door. And the Belmont’s still live across the street. Well, most of them. And loser land is still there.” *pause* “I guess some things didn’t change very much.”

Tseng: “If they could see it now, I wonder if they’d be surprised.”

Reeve: “I wonder…”

Tseng: “Anyway, I’m going to see if you-know-who is hanging around. Mind waiting? I’ll be right back.”

Reeve: “Take your time.”

(so tseng goes to the front porch of the ramble room, and who is sitting on the porch swing? sephiroth. and he looks awful. his hair is all flat and not nearly as shiny as it used to be. his faced hasn’t aged like the others, but he still looks very tired. around his neck is a chain with a gold ring on it. he looks very sad.)

Tseng: “Hi.”

Sephiroth: “…Took the family picture today?”

Tseng: “Yeah. We were just heading home. You wanna come and have some tea or something?”

Sephiroth: “No. I’m fine.”

Tseng: “Sephiroth…I think it would do you a lot of good if…”

Sephiroth: “Don’t even start. The last person I want to hear that from is you.”

Tseng: “I’m your friend.”

Sephiroth: *mutters* “I don’t have any friends any more.”

Tseng: “I’m still your friend.”

Sephiroth: “No you’re not. If you were really my friend you wouldn’t talk about it every time you came around here.”

Tseng: “What you’re doing won’t make the pain go away.”

Sephiroth: “You should go away.”

Tseng: “Fine. I will.”

(and he does. back in real time, sephiroth pulls his hands away from koudelka’s.)

Sephiroth: “That was me?!”

Koudelka: “Obviously.”

Sephiroth: “But I looked awful! My hair – what did I let happen?”

Koudelka: “A lack of conditioner, that’s for sure.”

Sephiroth: “What was I talking about? What happened?”

Koudelka: “I don’t know. I’m psychic and I can see the future, but I can’t do both at once. If you want to keep looking, we’ll see what we can find out.”

Sephiroth: “…Fine.”

(he lets her take his hands again and they both close their eyes. now he sees rude, irvine, trini and a young boy of about 11 with long brownish-red hair and a cowboy hat standing in front of a grave in a cemetery. irvine and trini look the same except older. rude is dressed in very expensive clothing. they all look solemn)

Irvine: “…I can’t believe he’s been gone for two years.”

Rude: *shakes head* “Poor Reno.”

Trini: “I miss him every day.”

Irvine: “Everyone always thought the booze or smoking would kill him. But I don’t think anybody ever thought he’d be hit by a truck carryin’ both.”

Trini: “He shouldn’t have drunkenly run across the street.”

Rude: “…Ironic, really.”

Irvine: “Put down the gift we got for your uncle there, Phoenix.”

(the boy takes two bottles of beer and puts them in front of the grave)

Phoenix: “We all know you’re drinkin’ booze with somebody cool up in heaven.”

(they all bow their heads in silence sadly for another moment)

Irvine: “All right, let’s go.”

(they start walking back to the car)

Irvine: “Hey, Rude, you wanna come down to the bar tonight? It’s Reno appreciation night. All drinks are half price.”

Rude: “Sure. Just need to head to the bank first and make a deposit.”

Trini: “Don’t be surprised if I don’t come home, tonight, Irvine. One of the regulars has been giving me the eye lately.”

Phoenix: “Daddy said he’s gonna score with the big boobed chick with the boots!”

Irvine: *sweat drops* “Okay, Phoenix. Everybody didn’t have to hear that.”

Trini: “Crap. Who’s gonna watch our kid?”

Phoenix: “Why can’t I come to the bar? I wanna hang out with Uncle San Diego!”

Irvine: “No, tonight’s not a good night for little boys to be by. Besides, I don’t think you should be spendin’ so much time with Uncle San Diego.”

Phoenix: “He showed me how to stick a whole banana down my throat!”

Irvine: “Now you’re never gonna talk to him again.”

Trini: “Maybe we could ask Squall and Rinoa to watch him.”

Irvine: “Good idea, babe. I’ll call ‘em.”

(there’s a static noise and then the scene skips, like there was a bad connection or something. we go now to a huge mansion. inside, lily is coming down the steps with a bag in her hand. she goes into the kitchen where elena is cooking and rufus is looking over some bills. he has reading glasses on)

Rufus: “Honey, have you seen this cell phone bill? Who is CJ talking to for three hours?!”

Elena: “She’s sixteen years old.”

Rufus: “So? Is there some kind of rule that when you’re sixteen years old you have to talk non-stop?”

Lily: *laughs* “I wonder if she was talking to a boy.”

Rufus: “A boy?!”

Elena: “You heading home, Lily?”

Lily: “Yeah. Just came to say good-bye.”

Elena: “Well have fun on your date tonight. Where is he taking you?”

Lily: “To the dinner and to the movies, I think. Nothing special.”

Elena: “Duke is a nice guy. You should give him a chance.”

Lily: “Moooooooom.”

Elena: “All right, all right. I’ll keep my opinion out of it.”

(lily goes over to the counter across from where rufus is looking down at a bill. she smiles at him sweetly)

Lily: “Daddy, can I have some gas money?”

Rufus: *looks up with a sigh* “What happened to the gas money I gave you yesterday?”

Lily: “I spent it on gas!”

Rufus: “And where did you drive after that? To the moon?”

Lily: “Please, daddy?”

(rufus gives a big sigh, but he reaches into his pocket and comes out with some money which he hands to her)

Rufus: “Here. But no more driving to the moon.”

Lily: “Thanks, daddy!”

(she kisses him on the cheek and leaves the room.)

Elena: *shakes her head with a smile*

Rufus: “What? What are you smiling at?”

Elena: “Nothing…”

Rufus: “Well I don’t want her to run out of gas and have to call a tow truck! And what are you doing anyway? Cooking? Then what do I pay a cook for?”

(cj then comes in room. she tries to be quiet and just grab an apple out of the bowl on the counter, but rufus spots her right away)

Rufus: “CJ! Who are you talking to for three hours? Is it a boy? Are you talking to a boy?”

(but she just runs out of the room and into the foyer where lily is putting on her boots and getting ready to leave)

CJ: “You going on your date?”

Lily: “I’m going home first.”

CJ: “Duke’s totally in love with you, you know. Olivia told me.”

Lily: *sigh* “Oh trust me. I know.”

CJ: “He’s totally hot. Why don’t you wanna date him?”

Lily: “Because I really don’t wanna date right now. I just…wanna have fun and stuff.”

CJ: “I’m going over to his house to hang out with Olivia in a little bit. You want me to get any info from her about him?”

Lily: “No, that’s okay, CJ. I’ll see you later.”

(lily leaves. cj sits on the steps and starts to eat her apple. rufus jr. comes down with a school book)

Rufus Jr: “What are you doing here?”

CJ: “I don’t wanna get the third degree from dad about my cell phone bill.”

Rufus Jr: “Oh. Well you do get a generous amount of minutes a month. You really shouldn’t be going over.”

CJ: *gets up and walks away* “You’re such a suck up!”

(the scene skips again, and we’re at a moderate but very nice home owned by reeve and tseng. they are sitting in the living room. reeve is reading the paper. tseng is kind of watching tv but keeps looking out the front window)

Reeve: “Would you stop?”

Tseng: “I don’t trust her at all, Reeve.”

Reeve: “That’s really not good, Tseng.”

Tseng: “I know it’s not, but I can’t help it. Has she ever done anything that would make her trustworthy?”

Reeve: “She’s young. She’s not stupid. Give her a little credit. You did a lot of crazy things when you were younger.”

Tseng: “I just don’t like her going out and sleeping with all these guys! And I’m pretty sure she’s been going to the bar.”

Reeve: “Well she is in college. That’s what most college kids do.”

Tseng: “It’s not what you did.”

Reeve: “I was hardly like most college kids.”

Tseng: “And why do I always have to be the bad guy?”

Reeve: “Huh?”

Tseng: “I’m always the one to discipline her. I always have been. All she has to do is give you that look of hers with her big blue eyes and you crumble like a cookie.”

Reeve: “That’s not true.”

Tseng: “Oh yes it is.”

(the door opens and closes)

Tseng: “Here’s the princess now.”

(lily comes in the room.)

Lily: “Hey.”

Tseng: “Hey, Lil. What’d you leave at mom’s?”

Lily: “Just my make-up bag. I’m gonna get ready for my date.”

Tseng: “Hold on a second. I wanna talk to you.”

Lily: *rolls her eyes* “Daaaaaad, I have to get ready.”

Tseng: “Look, Lily, I may be old. But I’m not as dumb as you think I am.”

Lily: “I don’t think you’re dumb!”

Tseng: “I know you’re out there having fun, and that’s fine. But you really need to be careful. And I don’t think at your age you should be going around sleeping with all these guys.”

Lily: “All these guys?! Dad! I haven’t slept with that many people! I’ve only slept with five!”

Tseng: “Five?! You’re only twenty years old!”

Reeve: “Actually, Tseng, by the time you were twenty—“

Tseng: “You’re not helping, Reeve!”

Lily: “Dad, I’m almost twenty-one. I’m not your little baby anymore! You have *got* to stop being overprotective! I’m careful, okay? I’m not going to do anything stupid! And besides, from what I’ve heard, you’re the last person to preach abstinence.”

Tseng: “Lily!”

(but lily just runs up the steps. tseng sighs in annoyance)

Reeve: “Tseng, you have to trust her. Really. We raised her well. She’s not out there doing drugs or selling herself on the street. She’s young. That’s all.”

Tseng: *shakes head* “It feels like yesterday she was a year old. Now look at her.”

Reeve: “I know. Time flies.”

(the scene skips again. now we are at a large house that is similar to the old belmont estate. CJ rings the doorbell and a pretty brunette about her age opens the door. she has vague resemblance of tifa)

CJ: “Hey, Olivia.”

Olivia: “Hey, come in.”

(CJ comes in and they go into the kitchen. there tifa is sitting at the table. she looks older but still beautiful. richter, who is looking slightly elderly but still pretty good, is talking to a very handsome, strapping young man with thick brown hair.)

Richter: “Are you going out to fight vampires tonight, Duke?”

Duke: “No…I’m taking a girl out on a date.”

Richter: “A girl? Who is this girl?”

Duke: “Lily Tityunik.”

Richter: “Her?! She seems like a bit of a tramp.”

Olivia: “Dad! Watch your big mouth!”

Richter: “Oh! Hello, Charlotte. And how is your family?”

CJ: “Good.”

Tifa: “Hi, CJ. How are you?”

CJ: “I’m fine, thank you, Mrs. Belmont.”

Tifa: “Oh and Liv, Franswa called. He said it’s fine for you girls to come over.”

Olivia: “Cool! Let me just get my stuff and we’ll go!”

(they run out of the room)

Richter: “Now that the girls are gone I can talk to you man to man, Duke! You’re entering a very confusing time in your life where you may be tempted by the cunning trickeries of the opposite sex!”

Tifa: “Richter!”

Richter: “What? I’m telling it like it is!”

Duke: “It’s okay, father. I know all about that kind of thing already.”

Richter: “Well it’s important not to get distracted! You have to fight vampires first! Then worry about skanks later!”

Tifa: “Richter!”

Richter: “Sorry.” *whispers loudly* “Skanks make bad wives!”

Duke: “Uh…thanks, father. I’m going to be going now.”

Richter: “Where are you going?”

Duke: “I think I’ll go with the girls to Franswa’s before I pick Lily up.”

Richter: “All right, then! Be sure to slay any passing vampires!”

Duke: “I will!”

(he leaves. richter comes over and sits with tifa at the table.)

Tifa: “Richter, Duke is twenty years old. He knows about sex already. You don’t have to talk to him about it every time he goes near a girl.”

Richter: “I need to be sure he’ll make the right choices! The last thing I want is for him to be having pre-martial relations!”

Tifa: “We had pre-martial relations. And Duke was born months before we even got married.”

Richter: “True, but I had been married before! So that doesn’t count!”

Tifa: “I hadn’t been married before.”

Richter: “I know, honey, but the woman doesn’t count.”

Tifa: *rolls her eyes* “Anyway, I just got a postcard from Zack and Cloud. They’re having a great time on their trip.”

Richter: “That’s all they do now. Jet set around the globe! I wish I had such a free life!”

Tifa: “Richter, you sit around the house talking about vampires. We have plenty of money. You could take a trip if you wanted to.”

Richter: “Yes, but…I don’t want to.”

(the scene skips again to outside. it’s getting dark out. dante, who still looks exactly the same, unbuttoned shirt and all, is out for a stroll with alucard. they are walking in front of the castle. lloyd is tagging behind them.)

Lloyd: “So then I got fired! So I said fine! I’ve worked for Arby’s fifteen times and I’m sick of working there anyway!”

Dante: “I think you’re out of places to be fired from, Lloyd.”

Lloyd: “If you don’t call me Vergil, I *swear*, Dante!”

Alucard: “Dante, it’s dark out.”

Dante: “Yup.”

Alucard: “Do you think…do you think the stars will wave?”

Dante: “Sure, why not?”

(the front door to the castle opens and someone steps out into the growing darkness. he’s a tall, very handsome and dapper looking man with a beard. he comes over to dante)

???????: “Beautiful night, isn’t it?”

Dante: “Hey, big D! What is up?”

(they do some kind of complicated handshake. alucard looks totally out of it)

Dracula: “Not much really. Think I’ll go out and see if any ladies are *biting* if you get my drift.” *chuckles*

Dante: “You are a pimp. Didn’t you just pick up some girls last night?”

Dracula: “Three. Thinking about making them into my new brides. Still not sure yet.” *looks at alucard* “How’s he doing?”

Dante: “I think all the years before your rebirth really took a toll on him.”

Alucard: “Darkness doesn’t burn me.”

Dracula: “I really admire you for sticking by him when he’s like this.”

Dante: “I could never abandon Al. He’ll snap out of it. And besides, he stuck by you through worse.”

Dracula: “Yeah…” *chuckles* “I had major issues.”

Lloyd: “Hey, Dracula! Do you have any jobs for me in your castle? I could be a bride!”

Dracula: “I don’t really sleep with men, Lloyd. Especially not men like you.”

Lloyd: “Even you can’t call me Vergil?!”

Dracula: “Anyway, I am off. Take care, Dante!”

(he turns into a bat and flies off. alucard watches him go)

Alucard: “……Bye, daddy.”

(back in the real world, sephiroth rips his hands out of koudelka’s again. and she looks annoyed)

Koudelka: “What.”

Sephiroth: “Wait a second. So now Dracula is fine? And Alucard’s crazy?”

Koudelka: *shrugs* “I guess so.”

Sephiroth: “The diseases from Dante probably didn’t help…”

Koudelka: “Are you going to keep interrupting me?”

Sephiroth: “Are you going to actually show more of me, or just everybody’s future brats running around?”

Koudelka: “I don’t pick what I show you. I can only show you what’s available. So do you wanna keep going or not?”

Sephiroth: “I paid enough for it!”

(he gives his hands back to koudelka and they begin again. the scene skips. we’re now at a very nice home. inside, franswa is on the phone and mixing something in a bowl at the same time. he has his hair cut short and looks a bit older)

Franswa: “That’s great, Hugh. Glad to hear the kids are doing great. ……Uh-huh.” *the doorbell rings* “Look, I have to go. I have company. Tell Bria I said hi. ………Okay, I will. Bye.”

(he hangs up and goes to get the door. it’s duke, olivia and cj)

Duke: “Hello, brother.”

Olivia: “Hi, Franswa!”

CJ: “Hey!”

Franswa: “Hey, guys. Come on in.” *he lets them in and shuts the door* “Bart! Vi! They’re here!”

(a boy and a girl of about fourteen both run down the stairs at the same time. the boy has blonde hair and the girl has reddish hair. at the same time, zell comes up the steps. he looks older but still in great shape. and he still has the tattoo on his face)

Zell: “Hey, guys! How’s it going? Get any vampires lately, Duke?”

Duke: “Not this week.”

CJ: “Zell, dad says hi. And he wants you to know that Mr. Jingles’ transfusion went well.”

Zell: “Oh good. He needed some new stuffing.”

Olivia: “Hi Bart and Violet.”

Bart: “Hey.”

Violet: “Hi! You guys wanna make some Halloween cookies? Dad just got some new cookie cutters.”

CJ: “Sure.”

Olivia: “Sounds cool.”

Bart: “What are you making, dad?”

Franswa: “Chocolate mousse. And *no* you can’t have any.”

Zell and Bart: “Why not?”

Bart: “You’re always makin’ stuff we can’t have!”

Franswa: “If you’re good and finish your homework I’ll make you some. Is your homework done?”

Bart: “…No. I have to write a stupid history essay.”

Zell: “History’s not stupid! It’s cool! I’ll help you if you want!”

Bart: “I guess so.”

Zell: “Well let’s go get started!”

(bart leaves the room. zell gives franswa a kiss on the cheek before following)

Violet: “Dad, where are the cookie cutters?”

Franswa: “They’re downstairs with the others.”

Violet: “Let’s go get ‘em.”

(the girls leave. so the only ones left are duke and franswa)

Franswa: “So what brings you over to this neck of the woods?”

Duke: “I wanted to talk to you.”

Franswa: “About what?”

Duke: “Well…I have this date with a girl tonight. A girl I really like. But I practically had to beg just to get this chance. She says I’m boring. Am I boring? Dad said girls like a man who’s predictable and steady.”

Franswa: “Yeah…dad says a lot of outdated things. Did he tell you women also like it when the man talks about himself all the time?”

Duke: “Many times.”

Franswa: “Yeah. I wouldn’t always listen to dad if I were you.”

Duke: “Well then what should I do?”

Franswa: “Look, I’m not telling you to go crazy or anything, but just be yourself. Don’t be afraid to have fun. You know the difference between right and wrong. You’re not a kid anymore. Make your own decisions.”

Duke: “Hmm….”

(meanwhile, downstairs, the girls are getting the cookie cutters)

CJ: “So my sister is going out with your brother tonight.”

Olivia: “Yup. He’s been freaking out about it all week.”

CJ: “I heard her talking on the phone with her friend. She was saying she thinks he’s really hot but he’s kind of boring. And he probably wouldn’t sleep with her.”

Violet: *gasp* “She said that to somebody?!”

CJ: “Yeah.”

Olivia: “He probably won’t. Dad’s drilled it into his head that that’s disrespectful or something.”

CJ: “Speaking of dads, mine was yelling at me today! He wanted to know if I was using my cell phone to talk to boys!”

Olivia: “Well you are.”

Violet: “Mine gets mad if Bart and I eat the stuff he’s bringing to work. But that’s pretty much it. And my other dad really never gets mad.”

Olivia: “My dad says I have to grow up to have sons. Then my mom yells at him. It’s really funny.”

(the girls all laugh. then the scene skips again to another house. there, squall is walking into the room with phoenix kinneas. squall looks pretty much the same, except he’s a little older. in the room is a boy with dark hair who resembles squall. he’s about 15. sitting next to him is laguna, who looks older but still seems young at heart. they’re playing a video game together.)

Squall: “Rinoa…Phoenix is here.”

(rinoa comes in. she has a little gray in her hair but still looks fairly young)

Rinoa: “Hi, Phoenix! Roland, why don’t you get another controller and let Phoenix play with you and grandpa?”

Roland: *grabs one* “Sure! Just pull up a chair!”

(phoenix takes the controller, takes a seat and starts playing)

Laguna: “Hey hey! We’re playing Mario Kart! I picked this crazy dinosaur!”

Roland: “Yoshi, grandpa. Yoshi.”

Laguna: “Loshi!”

Roland: “Yoshi!”

Squall: “Whatever.”

Rinoa: “Why don’t you play with them, Squall?”

Squall: “No.”

Roland: “Yeah! Come on, dad! We’ve got an extra controller!”

Laguna: “Come on, son! It’ll be fun!”

Squall: “No.”

Roland: “Oh! I totally beat you!”

Laguna: “Loshi is just too slow!”

Roland: *laughs* “You are too funny, grandpa.”

Squall: *frowns* “I swear he’s not my son.”

Rinoa: “Stop it, Squall!”

Squall: “Whatever.”

Rinoa: “So what are your parents up to tonight, Phoenix?”

Phoenix: “Drinkin’ booze and gettin’ laid!”

Rinoa: *paling* “Oh dear.”

Laguna: “Sounds like a crazy time!”

Roland: “You’re crazy, grandpa.” *grins*

Laguna: “Not as crazy as this dinosaur! Why do I throw eggs at people?”

Rinoa: *shakes head* “I don’t know how they’re raising their son.”

Squall: “Whatever…Irvine’s a crappy father.”

Roland: “Come play with us, dad!”

Squall: “No.”

(again it skips. we’re back at reeve and tseng’s place. lily comes down the steps. she is dressed like she’s going out to a club. she sees reeve sitting in the living room reading the newspaper, and she goes over to him with a smile)

Lily: “Hi, daddy!”

Reeve: *looks up* “Oh. Hey, Lil. Almost time for your date?”

Lily: “Yup! Could I have some money, please?”

Reeve: “I thought the boy was supposed to pay for the date.”

Lily: “That’s so old fashioned!”

Reeve: “Didn’t I just give you money yesterday?”

Lily: “Daddy! You only gave me five dollars!”

Reeve: “All right.” *takes out some money and gives it to her* “But don’t go squandering it. Because I’m not going to fall for the same trick tomorrow.”

Lily: “Thank you, daddy!”

(she turns and goes to leave, but nearly bumps right into tseng, who is coming into the room)

Tseng: “You leaving, Lily?”

Lily: “In a few minutes.”

Tseng: *sees the money* “Where’d you get that money?”

Lily: “Daddy gave it to me.”

Tseng: “Reeve!”

Reeve: “What?”

Tseng: “Why don’t you ever come to me for money?”

Lily: “Because you never give it to me!”

Tseng: “That’s right! Because if you need so much money all the time you should get a job!”

Lily: “I can’t have a job! I have to go to school!” *glances out the window* “Ooh! Duke’s here!”

Tseng: “You’re not even going to let him come to the door?”

Lily: “Bye, dad! Be back later!”

(she kisses him on the cheek and then she leaves. tseng sighs and walks over to reeve)

Tseng: “You’re not helping me.”

Reeve: “It was only a few dollars. You think Rufus doesn’t give his kids money?”

Tseng: “Not as freely as you do!”

Reeve: “Rufus probably gives her money.”

Tseng: “You think he gives Lily money?”

Reeve: “Why not?”

Tseng: “That’s it! Either she pulls her grades up or she’s getting a job! No more free ride!” *shakes head* “Too bad Reno isn’t alive. He’d help me keep her in line.”

(flashback to when reno was alive. he and lily are standing by some kind of crowded parade)

Reno: “Flash your boobs, Lily! You’ll get beads!”

(end flashback)

Reeve: “I guess maybe I do let her get away with a lot…”

Tseng: “Are you kidding me? She walks all over you! She walks all over everybody! Everybody but me. And it has got to stop.”

(meanwhile, outside, lily slides into the passenger side of duke belmont’s car)

Duke: “Good evening, Lily.”

Lily: “Hey. So where we going to dinner?”

Duke: “Actually, I decided to change those plans. What would *you* like to do?”

Lily: *big grin* “Are you serious?”

Duke: “Completely.”

Lily: *raises eyebrow* “Well…maybe you’re not as stiff as I thought you were. Leave the directions to me.”

(the scene skips again. now we’re down at the therapy center. koudelka is behind the desk talking on the phone. she looks very good for her age. nearby, a grown up halley is sitting down. he’s wearing a suit. next to him is a little boy with blonde hair who looks about 10.)

Koudelka: “Well I’m sorry for your loss. But a turnip shouldn’t be a person anyway. That thing was just asking to get eaten by something. ……Oh, it did get eaten. ….Isn’t that another party member? …Oh. …Oh. Well I really am sorry. Okay, bye.” *hangs up* “That was thrilling. Hi, Halley.”

Halley: “Hi, mom. Where’s Cid?”

Cid’s voice: “#@$@%^&#$%^&@#$%^&!”

Koudelka: “…He’s around. As you can tell.”

(then yuri comes out of the back, he still looks nearly the same. he has his arm around a mermaid who is floating on the ground)

Yuri: “I’ll meet you in the car, baby.”

(she nods and floats out the door. koudelka gives him a look)

Koudelka: “You’re gross.”

Yuri: “What?”

Koudelka: “How do you have sex with a mermaid?”

Yuri: “You just don’t like to see me happy.”

Koudelka: “No…I don’t like to think about you having sex with a mermaid.”

Yuri: “See you tomorrow.”

(he leaves. then cid comes over looking annoyed)

Cid: “Damn boiler’s acting up again!”

Koudelka: “I heard.”

Little boy: “Hey, dad!”

Cid: “Hey, Sam. Hey, Halley.”

Halley: “Hi.”

Cid: “I’ve been watchin’ that show of yours. You really talkin’ to people’s dead relatives?”

Halley: “Yes.”

Cid: “Really?”

Halley: “Yes.”

Koudelka: “He’s really doing it, Cid. And you know it.”

Sam: “That’s show’s #$%^@#$ awesome!”

Koudelka: “Sam! I told you not to curse like that!”

Sam: “Sorry, mom.”

(cut back to the present. koudelka yanks her hands away from sephiroth’s)

Koudelka: “Whoa! Hold on a minute here! I have a kid with Cid?!”

Sephiroth: “There are nasty surprises for all of us I guess.”

Koudelka: *looks dazed*

Sephiroth: “I paid good money for this!”

Koudelka: “Okay, fine! Stop complaining!”

(she takes his hands and they return to the same scene. the doors to the therapy center open and max comes in)

Max: “I’m here! Sorry I’m late.”

Halley: “It’s okay. You’re always late. So I made the reservation for 7:30.”

Max: “Oh. Thanks.”

Halley: “Anytime. All right, mom. I’ll see you later.”

Koudelka: “Have fun.”

(max and halley leave)

Sam: “What am I getting for #@$%#$% dinner?”

Koudelka: “Samuel! You are on thin ice!”

Cid: *chuckles*

Koudelka: “You! You can’t laugh! Where do you think he’s getting it from?”

Cid: *stops laughing*

Koudelka: “I never had a problem with Halley. And have you *seen* his father?”

Cid: *rolls eyes* “Not this again…”

Koudelka: “I’m pretty sure he’s in jail again.”

Cid: “Can we get some dinner?”

Sam: “Yeah! Dinner!”

Koudelka: “All right. Let’s go.”

(the scene skips again. we’re at uncle shenanigans, which looks the same as it always did. lily and duke are going inside)

Duke: “Should we be going to a bar? We’re underage…”

Lily: “I’ll be twenty-one in a few days! Plus I know the owners, of course.”

Irvine: “Hey, Lily!”

Lily: “Hey, Irvine! Tonight’s Reno appreciation night, right? I didn’t miss it?”

Irvine: “You sure didn’t.”

Lily: *sad sigh* “I miss him.”

Irvine: “I know. We all do. But I know wherever that son of a bitch is he’s glad to have a day in his honor.”

Lily: “Yeah…”

Irvine: “So what can I get ya?”

Lily: “Cosmo?”

Irvine: “And…” *looks at duke* “Hey, you’re Duke Belmont, aren’t ya?”

Duke: “Yes, sir.”

Trini: “Belmont?” *comes over* “Wow.” *looks him over* “They *do* have good genes!”

Duke: “I’ll just have cola, please.”

Irvine: “Comin’ right up!”

(he goes off to get the drinks. the inside of the bar hasn’t changed much. besides trini, an assortment of irvine’s brothers are working there. san diego comes by)

San Diego: “Hey, Lil! I thought I’d see you here tonight!” *sees duke* “Nice man candy!”

Lily: “Thanks. This is Duke.”

Duke: “Hello.”

Irvine: “San Diego, get outta my way. And stop teaching my son your sick tricks.”

San Diego: “He asked!”

(irvine gives them the drinks and lily takes duke to a booth off in the corner)

Duke: “You come here often?”

Lily: “Pretty often. I know everybody here, so it’s kinda like a home away from home. Plus it reminds me of my Uncle Reno.”

Duke: “I’m sorry for your loss.”

Lily: “Thanks…not like he was really my uncle. But when you have such a strange family like I do, people who aren’t even really related to you by blood are family. Hell, my own brother, who has the same last name as me, has nothing in common with me gene wise. I’ve got more in common with R Jr. and CJ. At least we’re half related.”

Duke: “Well my niece and nephew are only two years younger than my sister, so, I suppose I can relate.”

(they look at one another and laugh)

Lily: “God, Duke. How long have I known you? Forever. Our moms used to make us play together when we were kids.”

Duke: “That they did.”

Lily: “You always wanted to play ‘slay the vampire’.”

Duke: “I guess I still do.” *chuckles*

Lily: “…It must be nice.”

Duke: “What is?”

Lily: “…Being destined to do something like that.”

Duke: *shrugs* “It was all I ever wanted to do anyway.”

Lily: *sigh* “My dad’s always on my case because I haven’t picked a major yet. There’s just so much out there. How am I supposed to pick something already? I feel like a total wreck. Meanwhile you kill vampires and speak a million languages.”

Duke: “And that’s why I’m dull.”

Lily: “Huh?”

Duke: “You think I’m dull, don’t you? Predictable?”

Lily: “Well…maybe a little. But I guess it’s good to have a little stability sometimes.” *laughs* “Hey, all this coming from a person who lived her whole life between two houses. I guess I’m a product of my environment.”

(she smiles at him and he smiles back. he then reaches over and caresses her cheek)

Duke: “I may be somewhat predictable and boring. But you’re not. And that’s part of what I admire about you, Lily. Your spunk.”

Lily: *blushes* “I’ve never had a guy say he admired me before.”

Duke: “Well I’m glad to be the first.”

(the scene skips again. and we are now at the remains of loser land. it’s a real craphole inside. heidegger is really, really disgustingly obese. he is lying on the couch with empty bags of chips surrounding him. scarlet sits in a nearby chair smoking. she looks old and bony, still done up like she’s trying to make herself look pretty. nida looks older but successful. he’s wearing a suit. kuja and seymour are there as well. seymour looks very good, clearly he’s been following kuja’s beauty advice. and kuja looks lovely as always. he’s wearing a sash that says ‘miss america’ across it)

Nida: “I don’t know why I agreed to do this reunion! Hojo didn’t even show up!”

Scarlet: “He’s half dead and in jail. Police finally got him. He’ll probably die there. And the bad news is I think he left the licky licky monster running around loose.”

Heidegger: “I haven’t moved from this couch in 10 years! Gya haa haa!”

Seymour: “It certainly smells like it.”

Scarlet: “Kuja, is my eyesight failing me or does your sash say Miss America?”

Kuja: *pushes hair back* “It does.”

Scarlet: “How the hell is that possible?”

Kuja: “They just relaxed the rules so much they couldn’t turn a man away.”

Seymour: “He wowed everyone in the swimsuit competition.”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! They’ll have to break the wall down when I die!”

Nida: “Guess what I’ve been up to? Running Garden! And I only had to poison…er…I earned it!”

Scarlet: “Sure you did.”

Nida: “I earned it, whore! And now look at me! I’m successful! And you’re a dirty old whore who lives with a fat lardo who can’t even move!”

Heidegger: “Or breathe sometimes! Gya haa haa!”

Kuja: “I don’t know why I agreed to come back here. I could be waving from a parade vehicle right now.”

Seymour: “It smells like a skunk died in here.”

Heidegger: “One did! Gya haa haa!”

Nida: “You probably sat on him, fat ass!”

Scarlet: “He did. Please don’t mention it again.”

Seymour: “They find any cures for your diseases yet, Scarlet?”

Scarlet: “No. But they found four new ones. I got my name in a medical journal.”

Nida: “Ew! Who would want that?”

Scarlet: “Better than being in the police blotter. Again.”

Kuja: “Well, this has been awful. I think we’ll be going now. Seymour?”

Seymour: “I’m right behind you.”

Nida: “I’m leaving too. I have some kids to discipline! I love being in charge!”

(they leave. scarlet sits there still smoking)

Scarlet: “I wish I was dead.”

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Something licked me!”

(the scene skips and it appears to be several hours later. duke’s car is parked in front of reeve and tseng’s house. inside the car lily and duke are making out passionately. lily then breaks away and runs a hand through his hair)

Lily: “You wanna come inside?”

Duke: “…Aren’t your parents at home?”

Lily: “It’s late. They’re asleep. They won’t even know.”

Duke: “I don’t think that’s such a good idea.”

Lily: “But we had such a good time tonight.”

Duke: “We did, but…”

Lily: “Are you afraid? Is it your first time? That’s okay, I don’t care.”

(duke pulls away from her. he sits forward staring out the windshield.)

Duke: “I’m not afraid.”

Lily: “Then what’s the problem?” *pause* “What, am I not pretty enough or something?”

Duke: “Don’t even say that.”

Lily: “Then what’s wrong with me?”

Duke: “Nothing is wrong with you. I just…I won’t disrespect you like that.”

Lily: “…Disrespect me?”

Duke: “I hope we can go out again.”

Lily: *sounds hurt* “………I guess…I’ll talk to you later.”

(she gets out of the car and goes inside. duke sighs sadly and shakes his head, but then he drives home. he goes inside and finds his father has fallen asleep watching unsolved mysteries on tv. he walks over and turns the tv off, and richter jumps up)

Richter: “Vampire! You’ll meet your doom!” *whips out knife*

Duke: “It’s just me, father.”

Richter: “Oh! Duke! How was your night out?”

Duke: “It was fine.” *pause* “Though I’m afraid I may have disappointed her.”

Richter: “That’s impossible! You’re a Belmont! Nothing about you is possibly disappointing!”

Duke: “…Good night, father.”

(he goes upstairs to his room, shuts the door and looks out the window)

Duke: “I hurt her feelings. …How is that possible?”

(Back in the present time, sephiroth once again yanks his hands from koudelka’s. she looks momentarily dazed. he looks pissed)

Sephiroth: “What the hell is this?! I didn’t plunk down hundreds of dollars to watch the future romantic problems of some stupid kids!”

Koudelka: “I told you. I can’t control—“

Sephiroth: “You showed me a *shadow* of myself and now don’t think I want to see more!?”

Koudelka: “The future is a dangerous thing to play with.”

Sephiroth: “You show me what I came for!”

(koudelka glares at him a moment. but then she offers her hands out to him again)

Koudelka: “I’ll see what I can do.”

(sephiroth takes her hands again and closes his eyes. it takes a few moments but suddenly he sees himself come into view. he looks awful once again. he’s inside his room and it’s dark outside. he has the light on, and he’s just sitting on his bed alone, a hand to his head, crying. the ring is still hanging around his neck. all he does is cry. and then the picture fades away. back in the present, sephiroth sits there looking solemn. he and koudelka still have their hands joined)

Koudelka: “That’s all I could get.”

Sephiroth: *mutters* “That doesn’t say very much.”

Koudelka: “It doesn’t?”

(he glares at her. then he yanks his hands away and stands up)

Sephiroth: “I don’t believe any of that.”

Koudelka: “You can’t lie to a psychic.”

Sephiroth: “None of that made sense!”

Koudelka: “Really? You didn’t recognize the ring hanging around your neck?”

Sephiroth: “You probably made that all up to get more business.”

Koudelka: “You think?”

Sephiroth: *sets jaw* “What a waste of time!”

(he storms out of the room. koudelka sighs and takes out a small tape recorder from her pocket.)

Koudelka: “If you don’t like the future, there’s still time to change it.”

(she presses a button on the recorder and talks into it)

Koudelka: “Note to self – get tubes tied.”

 

(back in front of the condos, rufus and algus are standing by in shock as the paramedics wheel out a stretcher covered in a sheet. clearly it is the outline of birdo underneath)

Algus: “What on earth happened?”

Rufus: “I don’t know! I came to check on everything and I found it lying on the floor, it’s mouth stuffed with a bunch of eggs!”

Algus: “So that was a mouth?”

Rufus: “I guess!” *sigh* “Now I have to find somebody else.”

Algus: “I’m beginning to think you’re cursed.”

Rufus: “Well, I gotta call the cleaning crew. Don’t wanna be late for my walk with Elena.” *shudders* “Ugh. And I don’t ever think I’ll get that image outta my head.”

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

(a short time later, sephiroth goes back to the ramble room. by now it’s getting dark out, and everywhere he looks…reminders. alucard and dante trying to get dracula off the roof. franswa and zell watering some plants in front of the belmont house. richter and tifa with duke in his stroller talking to tseng and reeve with lily in a stroller. elena and rufus talking on the porch swing. rude sitting on the steps patching holes in his socks. reno, irvine and trini laughing together and getting ready for a night out. squall and rinoa trying to get away from laguna. hugh and bria taking a walk and holding hands. the more people he sees like this the more frantic he looks. as he reaches the inside of the ramble room he seems like he’s on auto-pilot. he goes to vincent’s room and knocks on the door gently, leaning his head against the door with a sigh. vincent opens the door. and he looks shocked to see sephiroth. sephiroth looks at him with sad eyes. vincent still looks pale and his eyes seem glassy. the claw is hanging dead at his side.)

Vincent: “Angel?”

(sephiroth just reaches forward, grabs vincent’s face in his hands and kisses him deeply. he then backs vincent into the room and shuts the door behind him. and as time passes and clothes are shed, here are the lyrics from “my sundown” by jimmy eat world)

 

I see it around me, I see it in everything.

I could be so much more than this.

I said my goodbye’s this is my sundown.

I’m gonna be so much more than this.

With one hand high, you’ll show them your progress.

You’ll take your time, but no one cares.

No one cares.

I need you to show me the way from crazy.

I wanna be so much more than this.

With one hand high, you’ll show them your progress.

You’ll take your time, but no one cares.

With one hand high, you’ll show them your progress.

You’ll take your time, but no one cares.

No one cares.

I could be so much more than this.

No one cares.

I wanna be so much more than this.

No one cares.

I could be so much more than this.

No one cares.

I wanna be so much more than this.

No one cares.

I wanna be so much more than this.

No one cares.

I wanna be so much more than this.

Good goodbye lovely time.

Good goodbye tin sunshine.

Good goodbye I’ll be fine.

Good goodbye, good goodnight.

(afterwards, their clothes lie in neat piles on the floor. sephiroth is sitting off the side of the bed, his head in his hands. vincent lies down next to him, his hand on sephiroth’s back)

Vincent: “Angel, why don’t you lie down?”

Sephiroth: “………….”

Vincent: “Angel? Are you all right?”

Sephiroth: *mutters very quietly* “…This was a mistake.”

Vincent: *sits up* “…I’m sorry?”

(sephiroth stands up and starts to pace)

Sephiroth: “This. This was a mistake. I never should have come here.”

Vincent: *hesitantly* “…Why? Why was it a mistake?”

Sephiroth: “…I have to get out of here…”

Vincent: “What is the matter with you? Sephiroth, stop—“

Sephiroth: “This was a mistake! I didn’t mean for this to happen! I don’t want to be with you! How much clearer can I make that?!”

Vincent: *moves towards him* “How can you say that to me? After all this time…I’ve stood by you. I…I don’t believe you when you say that!”

Sephiroth: “Because you’re delusional! You always have been! It-it was a childhood crush that went too far! Nothing more!”

Vincent: “…You’re lying!”

Sephiroth: “I wouldn’t lie! That would make me like Hojo! Do you think I want to be like him?!”

Vincent: “You lie, you betray me – you already are!”

Sephiroth: *stunned* “How *dare* you! How could you—“

Vincent: “I could ask the same of you! Why, Sephiroth? Just tell me why it has to be like this?!”

Sephiroth: “Because you mean nothing to me!”

(words alone cannot describe the hurt look on vincent’s face. that look quickly turns to anger. glaring at sephiroth, vincent picks his clothes off the floor)

Vincent: “We made a promise! A promise that we would always love each other!” *throws sephiroth his clothes* “But now even I’m finding it hard to keep!”

(vincent starts crying. sephiroth says nothing. he just takes his clothes and quickly throws them on. then without looking back at vincent he leaves the room, slamming the door behind him. then he turns around bangs his fist on the door and yells at it)

Sephiroth: “Argh! Promises are made to be broken! You can’t live in the past! Just like you can’t predict the future! Time heals no pain! It just causes more of it! You should know that by now!”

(with that he just slams on the door again and walks away. tseng, lark and auron, who had all been standing in the hallway,  just watch him as he storms by and out of sight. and despite all of this, there is not a peep from vincent’s room.)

THE END…?

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