#200 – And So It Goes… (part five)

Vincent: “So help me, Sephiroth. Do it for me if that helps you justify it to yourself.”

Originally Published: 7/26/2007

Synopsis
Lark and the girls realize their means of getting to the ramble room is broken. Does this mean they have to leave for good?

Ramble Milestones
-Yuffie and Locke get together.
-Ward talks.
-Irvine and Trini get together.
-Kuja and Seymour get together.
-Barret finds out what Red is.
-Zidane quits being Algus’ slave.
-Nida and Scarlet get engaged.
-Hojo is arrested.

Such cute relationship stuff in this one: Edgar and Setzer, Zell and Franswa, Al and Dante – I could go on and on. There is so much going on in this part, all you have to do is look at the milestones to see that.

(just like that the morning of the party arrives. lark’s alarm clock goes off. she reaches over and gives it a smack to turn it off. then she sits up and swings her feet over the side of the bed. she sits there for a moment and sighs sadly. the lyrics are “end it on this” by no doubt)

You see in the past

I had a dream

A fantasy

(she goes over to the bathroom and flips on the light)

I thought that we would last

Become a little family

But one, two, three, four

The years were flying by they soared

And now I know

I’ve been dreaming

It’s not happening for me

So…

(she looks at herself in the mirror for a long moment, but then turns away)

Let’s end it on this

Give me one more kiss

Let’s end it on this

Let’s end it on this

(she turns the shower on.)

You see it’s hard to face

The addict that’s inside of me

I want to fill my glass

Up with you

Constantly

(she gets into the shower.)

I’ve been here before

But I’ve never, ever felt this sure

And now I know I’ve been dreaming

And your actions

Have inspired me, so…

Let’s end it on this

Give me one more kiss

It’s over…

Let’s end it on this

Let’s end it on this…

It’s over…

(she gets out of the shower, shakes the water out of her hair, covers herself in some towels and goes back into the other room)

Just one more wish

One last kiss…

It’s over

Let’s end it on this

Let’s end it on this

(she slowly and deliberately starts to choose her clothes, laying them out on the bed as she does so)

I open up

You ignore me

No you’re not the same at all, uh uh

And if I

Turn back the pages of time

I’ll rewrite your point of view, uh huh

(she starts to get dressed)

Washed up on the shore

Given one last chance to try some more

But I’m tried

I’m freezing

Let’s stop and all it history

Let’s end it on this

Let’s end it on this

It’s over

(she starts to brush her hair)

Let’s end it on this

Let’s end it on

Instead

Let’s end it on this

End it on this

It’s over…

(she fixes her hair, pulling half of it back from her face)

Let’s end it on this

Let’s end it on…

(she slowly starts to apply her make-up)

Washed up on the shore

Given one last chance to try some more

But lets it end it on this

Let’s end it on this

(finally she pulls out some jewelry and puts it on. one of the pieces is a necklace given to her by a certain someone…)

It’s over

It’s over

It’s over

(she gives herself one final look in the mirror and walks out the door.)

It’s over

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

(jake is waiting outside of franswa’s restaurant looking rather nervous. he glances at his watch)

Jake: “Crap…where the hell are these guys…?”

(then out of the corner of his eye he spots three figures heading towards him. it seems lloyd, nemesis and nightmare have managed to get some decent disguises this time. lloyd looks totally different. nemesis and nightmare still look rather odd but you really can’t tell it’s them. they go over to jake)

Jake: “You must be Sparta Jones, Stars McCoy and Shiny Deshinyarmor.”

Lloyd: “Yeah. That’s what I said.”

Jake: “I’m glad you guys showed up. I’m expecting Rufus Shinra any minute.”

Lloyd: “You can always count on Triple N Incorporated!”

Jake: *blink blink* “Why do you call yourselves Triple *N* Incorporated if your names all start with S?”

Lloyd: “Uh, oops! Did I say N? I meant S. N just slipped out. You know, ‘cause it’s such a cooler letter.”

Jake: “Uh, okay.”

Lloyd: “Stupid mouth!” *punches himself in the mouth* “Ow!”

Jake: “Here comes Rufus now.”

(sure enough here come rufus and algus)

Rufus: “Right on time! It’s nice to meet you, uh…”

Jake: “Jake. And we’ve met a bunch of times before. I even worked at that theme park you used to own.”

Rufus: “Theme park…theme park… Oh right! The theme park! I’ve owned so many things since then, it’s hard to remember.”

Jake: “Uh huh.”

Algus: “So these are the peasants that will be serving us this morning?”

Jake: “Yup. Meets Sparta, Stars and Shiny.”

Algus: “Ugh. It sounds like the line-up for a peasant burlesque show.”

Rufus: “You guys better be good! I fire anyone who isn’t! And I fire people all the time, just ask anyone!”

Lloyd: “You can trust us, sir!”

Nemesis: “STA—“ *gets nudged in the stomach by nightmare*

Rufus: “Well if you do a good job you can come with us for the rest of the day and keep serving us. Sound like a plan?”

Lloyd: “Sure! Anything for more money!”

Rufus: “Who said anything about more money?”

(just then zell, franswa and hugh arrive. franswa looks very nervous)

Zell: “Morning, Rufus! Oh hey! Is this the staff?”

Rufus: “Yup.”

Franswa: “Everyone’s gonna be here soon! I really gotta get inside and start cooking. If I don’t, the eggs and bacon and sausage might be undercooked and then everyone will complain! I don’t want them to complain!”

Hugh: “Calm down, cousin! You’ve never undercooked a thing in your life!”

Zell: “Uh, we better get inside and start getting ready.”

Algus: “We should put these peasants to work, Rufus. Our guests will be arriving shortly.”

Rufus: “Right as always, Algus. All right – time to start the party of our lives!”

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

(Lark meets up with Ashley and shell on the porch. they are all dressed up. lark keeps fooling with the necklace she’s wearing)

Girls: “…………………”

Ashley: “Well…this is it I guess.”

Shell: “…I can’t believe this is happening. I didn’t even wanna buy a new outfit.”

Lark: “Part of me doesn’t even wanna go.”

Ashley: “…I wonder if…he’ll even be there.”

Lark: “Sephiroth? I doubt it. You heard him yesterday. Everybody did.”

Shell: “…Didn’t he give you that necklace?”

Lark: “…Yeah. When we went to Disney. A long time ago.”

(she turns back and looks at the door to the ramble room for a moment. they can hear someone coming. the door opens……and it’s Brady)

Brady: “You girls ready to go?”

Ashley: “As ready as we’ll ever be.”

(shell and Ashley start walking. Brady turns to lark)

Brady: “You gonna be okay?”

Lark: “…No. But I’ll do my best to pretend I am.”

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

(meanwhile, it seems everyone is at the party waiting for Brady and the girls to arrive. who is there? well, besides lloyd, nightmare, nemesis, rufus, algus, franswa, zell, hugh and jake the following people are there: rude, seifer, cloud, zack, tifa, richter, duke, bria, juste, trevor, simon, yuffie, locke, shadow, edgar, setzer, barret, cid, koudelka, halley, marlene, yuri, nikki, link, radius, vincent, auron, tidus, wakka, kimahri, lulu, twilight, opal, tseng, reeve, elena, max, lily, hojo, scarlet, lucretia, nida, heidegger, stinky, kuja, seymour, trent varsity, squall, rinoa, irvine, trini, selphie, reno, quistis, laguna, kiros, ward, houston, dallas, calorado, san diego, austin, billy bob, zidane, steiner, vivi, bryatt, heero, duo, wufei, quatre, trowa, zechs, treize, d, uncle herb, dracula, death, dante, gippal, maxi, chris, bowser, dedede, bowser jr, jack, rudy, hanpan, cecilia, berserk, balthier, basch, vaan, edward, bugenhagen, serge, karsh and glenn. and if there’s anyone I managed to forget who’s important, they’re there too. two important exceptions: sephiroth and alucard are not there. people are talking as they wait…)

Reno: “I don’t even *know* some of these people! How are they at the party?”

Irvine: “I guess it’s kinda like what happens at high school parties. Somebody invites some friends and then they invite friends and they invite friends.”

Trini: “Ah…high school parties. Those were some wild times.”

Reno: “You went to high school?”

Trini: “Yeah.”

Reno: “I didn’t get to go! …Well, I went for awhile. But I didn’t get to finish.”

Trini: *shrugs* “If it makes you feel better I barely graduated. Studying just is not my thing.”

(koudelka and yuri are talking while nikki is in the bathroom…)

Koudelka: “So you invited her to the party?”

Yuri: “Yup! I figured an all day party was like three dates in one! And you know what happens at the end of the third date.” *wink wink*

Koudelka: “You get dumped?”

Yuri: “No! You—“

Halley: “No, mommy! You get laid!”

(yuri and koudelka turn to halley in shock)

Yuri: “…How the hell did you know that?”

Koudelka: “Halley, I told you *not* to make eye contact with Yuri!”

(meanwhile, in the back, franswa is cooking up a storm. hugh and zell are trying to help but are mostly trying to party)

Hugh: “Bria is here! Did you know she’d be here? Did you know that?”

Zell: “Dude, everybody’s here! Even people I don’t know! And I’ve been around since like forever!”

Franswa: “Are they liking the food?! Yes or no!?!?”

Zell: “I don’t know.”

Franswa: “You don’t know!? What you *mean* you don’t know??”

Zell: “No one’s really eating yet.”

Franswa: “What?! Why?! Does it smell horrible? It smells horrible, doesn’t it! Dammit, I’m such a failure!”

Zell: “Stop it! They’re not eating it because the girls aren’t here! That’s all!”

(back outside…)

Gippal: “Hey, Dante. Where’s Al?”

Dante: “Uh, he had something to do this morning. He’ll be by later though.”

Maxi: “I see his dad over there.”

Gippal: “Yeah, and who’s that other guy?”

Dante: “You mean Death?”

Gippal: “No, that other guy.”

Dante: “You mean D? That’s Alucard’s brother.”

Gippal: “No, that other guy.”

Dante: “Oh, him? I think he’s an uncle of Alucard’s or something.”

(over to d, death, dracula and uncle herb)

Uncle Herb: “I hope I brought enough pamphlets! This is a great turnout!”

D: *sad sigh* “I wish Alucard would have come. I tried to talk to him, but he didn’t even answer.”

Death: “Master Alucard’s been known to brood for long periods of time. Sometimes centuries.”

Dracula: “When are they bringing out the alligator swimsuits?”

(then rufus, who has been looking out the window, comes running over)

Rufus: “They’re coming!! They’re coming!!”

Tseng: “Okay…what do you want us to do? Shout surprise? They know about the party!”

Rufus: “I don’t know! But we should do something!”

(then the door opens and lark, Ashley, shell and Brady enter. and what does everyone do? nothing. there is complete and utter silence. the girls look uncomfortable.)

Seifer: “……I can’t believe you have to go!!” *bursts out crying*

Squall: “Oh god. Way to go.”

Rufus: “Hey, girls! Uh, welcome to your party! Why don’t you go get some food? Franswa made it all himself!”

Franswa: “I hope it’s good!”

(rufus gestures the girls over to the food. they don’t know what else to do so they go over.)

Rufus: *hisses to seifer* “What is wrong with you?”

Seifer: *still sobbing*

(everyone else is still looking at rufus expectantly)

Rufus: “What are you looking at? Is this a party or what? Go get some food, or something.”

(and with that the conversation starts back up again. lots of people head over towards the food. edgar and setzer are sitting in a corner by themselves. edgar looks very depressed.)

Edgar: *sad sigh*

Setzer: “Uh, Edgar?”

Edgar: “What?”

Setzer: “I know this isn’t the best time…but I just can’t stand to see you so upset.” *pause* “I have an idea.”

Edgar: “If it involves drugging my brother I’ve already decided that’s far too cruel.”

Setzer: “Uh, no.” *long pause* “We could use mine.”

Edgar: *blink blink* “What?”

Setzer: “Well, uh, we’re married, right? If I was a woman, I’d be Queen and I’d be considered royalty. So shouldn’t I still be considered royalty? So shouldn’t that make it okay for me to father the child?”

Edgar: “…………………”

Setzer: *frowns* “I’d do anything for you, Eddie.”

Edgar: “……………I’ll think on it.”

(back in the kitchen)

Franswa: “Are they eating now?”

Hugh: “Yes.”

Franswa: “And??”

Hugh: *shrugs*

Franswa: “Oh no! It’s bland!”

Hugh: “I have no idea what they think! I’ve been in here with you avoiding Bria!”

Franswa: “Then what good are you?!”

(zell comes running in, chewing)

Franswa: “How’s the food?!”

Zell: “What? Oh, I didn’t have any yet.”

Franswa: “Then why are you chewing?”

Zell: “Rinoa gave me some gum.”

Franswa: “Argh!”

Zell: “But don’t worry! I plan on hitting up the buffet as soon as the line’s not so long!”

Hugh: “See! The line wouldn’t be long if the food was bad.”

Franswa: “Well it’s not like they have another choice!”

Hugh: “Bria looks pretty, doesn’t she? Did she look like she might be looking for me?”

Zell: *shrugs* “I don’t know. Go out there and talk to her.”

Hugh: *gasps* “Talk to her?! I can’t do that!”

Zell: “Why not?”

Hugh: “She’s too good for me! She’ll just reject me again!”

Zell: “Don’t be stupid! Go out there!”

(he pushes an unwilling hugh out the kitchen doors and into the main room.)

Zell: “Man, your cousin is one high strung dude.” *turns back to franswa*

Franswa: *freaking out* “I bet my potatoes are too spicy!!!!!”

(Back to the party…Ashley and shell are talking with the kinneas brothers)

Austin: “I can’t believe ya’ll are leavin’.”

Cal: “Seems like only yesterday you came to the farm for the first time.”

Houston: “We’ve been through a lot together.”

Shell: *blink blink* “You’re………Albuquerque, right?”

Houston: *frowns* “Houston.”

Dallas: *to Ashley* “Maybe you and I should sneak off for a little ‘private time’.” *wink wink*

Ashley: “I don’t know… My boyfriend is still kinda crying his eyes out.”

Seifer: *sobbing* “This is the worst party ever!”

San Diego: “There are some super hot guys here.”

Billy Bob: “Der, I misses the sheep.”

(lark, meanwhile is standing with vincent)

Lark: “I can’t believe how many people are here.”

Vincent: “You girls mean a lot to a lot of people.”

Lark: *frowns* “I notice a certain someone is missing.”

Vincent: *frowns* “……………………………I apologize for what he said to you yesterday.”

Lark: “Why are you apologizing? He said it.”

Vincent: “…I just don’t think he knows how to properly respond to what is happening.”

Lark: “So you don’t think he’ll come to the party? At all?”

Vincent: “……………I can’t promise that he will, but I will promise that I will try my best to make him understand.”

Lark: *sigh* “I don’t know if I’m upset at him or just sad.”

Vincent: “Please try to not hinge your enjoyment of the party on him. I don’t really think he deserves it.”

Lark: “Easier said than done.”

(back in the kitchen, zell walks back in, chewing again)

Franswa: “Did you get some food yet?!”

Zell: “Nope. Line’s still long.”

Franswa: “You still chewing that gum?”

Zell: “Yup! The flavor’s really lasting!”

Franswa: “Anyone say anything to you about the food?”

Zell: “Not really.”

Franswa: “That’s probably because it’s horrible and they don’t want to make me feel bad! They’re probably all pretending it’s good or something! I knew it! I knew I couldn’t run a restaurant! Cooking for your family is one thing, but cooking for this many people – every day?! I can’t do it! I made everyone go through so much for nothing!”

Zell: “Would you stop it! You’re doing it again! You have to have confidence in yourself! You think Rufus would have done all this if he didn’t have confidence in you?” *walks over to him* “You can do this! You need to stop worrying and start believing that you were born to do this!”

(Ashley then pokes her head in)

Ashley: “Hey, Franswa! What are you doing back here? People wanna talk to you!”

Franswa: “They do?”

Ashley: “Yeah! They’re all raving about the food! It even made Seifer stop crying!”

Franswa: “Really?”

Zell: “See! I told ya!”

Franswa: “Uh, I’ll be right out.”

(Ashley leaves. franswa is smiling)

Zell: “See? They all love it! Just like I said they would!”

Franswa: “I’m glad I have you around to keep me in check.”

(they kiss. as they pull away, franswa looks confused. he then reaches into his mouth and pulls out a piece of gum)

Franswa: “…I think this is yours.”

Zell: “Uh, sorry. You can just throw that out.”

(and so zell and franswa go and join the rest of the party. hugh is now stuck in a conversation with his elders. he is looking at bria who is laughing and talking with zack, cloud and tifa. he looks very sad)

Juste: “This restaurant is absolutely stunning! I couldn’t have done a better job myself!”

Richter: “It is quite…pretty.”

Simon: “Of course it is! It’s for a Belmont! And Belmont’s can have nothing but the best!”

Trevor: “I don’t know much about this whole interior designing thing, but this place makes me feel good to be here!”

Juste: “I wonder who Franswa got to do the job. Do you know, Richter?”

Richter: “Someone great, no doubt!”

Juste: “Everyone has been commenting on how nice it looks in here. I wish I knew who did it. Do you know, Hugh?”

(hugh looks like he is about to explode. he looks from his family to bria and back. finally he opens his mouth)

Hugh: *yells* “It was ME!! I did it! I designed this restaurant! I want to fight vampires but I can’t help that I’m good at interior design! And I’m not ashamed to admit it!”

(the whole room has gone silent. everyone is looking at hugh. the other belmonts and franswa especially look shocked. but hugh doesn’t notice any of them. he just sees bria, who is looking back at him with a small smile)

Juste: “Well congratulations! Why should you be ashamed? There’s nothing to be ashamed of!”

Simon: “Well this makes sense! Once again a Baldwin aids a Belmont!”

(hugh isn’t really listening to them. he walks over to bria)

Hugh: “Hi.”

Bria: “Hi.”

Hugh: “I’m sorry.”

Bria: “You don’t have to apologize to me. You were only cheating yourself.”

Hugh: “I…suppose there’s nothing wrong with a little interior decorating on the side. As long as it doesn’t interfere with my vampire hunter training!” *frowns* “I missed you. Very much. And I was wondering…if you would consider…taking me back?”

Bria: “I can’t lie, Hugh. You’re a bit of a challenge.” *smiles* “But I’ve never been the kind of girl to back down from a challenge.”

(he smiles and grabs her into a tight hug. meanwhile, lark is talking to dante)

Lark: “Is Alucard here? I haven’t seen him, but that creepy guy claiming to be his uncle gave me five of these pamphlets.” *looks at them* “I somehow doubt 1 in every 30 people is actually a vampire.”

Dante: “Oh, he’ll be here. He had something to do. You know, Al. He wouldn’t miss a party, especially when there’s booze!”

Lark: “Okay, good. I’m already upset enough that…you know who isn’t here.”

(she walks away. dante’s smile fades)

Dante: *mumbles* “Dammit, Al. Get off your stupid stubborn ass.”

(barret and cid are talking. cid is looking at edward)

Cid: “#$@%#$%^@#$!”

Barret: “Yo, he a punk.”

Cid: “#@$%^&*$%^#$%^&@#$^%!”

Barret: “What’s wit’ dem outstandin’ warrants he be talkin’ about? Why you gotta play nice wit’ him? He a damn criminal!”

Cid: “#@$%#$%^@#$%^@&*^&%!”

Barret: “Forget his ass! Just stay the hell away! Did you see Bugenhagen? I gotta talk to his ass, but he keeps floatin’ away! Damn freak a nature!”

(meanwhile, across the room…)

Edward: “Look at him. Looking at me. He probably wants to come over here and fight me! I can see it in his eyes!”

Halley: *looks over to where marlene and max are playing* “Daddy, can I play with my friends now?”

Edward: “It’s bad enough I told my boss I couldn’t make it to the party, and now I’m here! That makes me look like a liar! Like I can afford to look like a liar! I’m lucky to have this job at all!”

Halley: *sighs sadly*

(meanwhile, kuja is trying to maneuver the crowd and get away from seymour, who is trying to talk to him)

Seymour: “Kuja! Just listen to me! Please!”

Kuja: “What?? I’m sorry, whatever kind of perfume you sprayed yourself with is making me dizzy. Stay away from me!”

(he walks away. seymour sighs sadly. nemesis comes over and holds out a plate of snacks)

Nemesis: “STARS?”

Seymour: *takes one with a sigh* “Yeah. Thanks.”

(meanwhile, kiros, ward and laguna are standing together, of course)

Laguna: “Hey hey! Everyone seems to be having a great time! And the music is rockin’!” *dances*

Kiros: “Ward says stop embarrassing yourself.”

Ward: *dances too*

Laguna: “Hey hey, Ward! I didn’t know you could dance!”

Kiros: *frowns* “Uh, Ward says he’s not dancing. He’s just making fun of your dancing. Because it sucks.”

Ward: *stop dancing and glares at kiros*

Laguna: *frowns* “That’s mean, Ward! You know I’ve got a bad leg! Ooh! Pancakes!”

(he goes off. kiros smiles tightly at ward)

Kiros: “Try all you want. You can’t beat me.”

Ward: *glares*

(meanwhile, scarlet and trent are talking while nida stands nearby, glaring at them)

Trent: “And it was just so rewarding to feed those starving children.”

Scarlet: “And you made *no* money off all this work?”

Trent: “Oh, Scarlet! It’s not about the money anymore! It’s about helping people!”

Scarlet: “Uh huh. But how do you keep getting to all these places to help people if you don’t have any money?”

Nida: *mutters* “Stupid Trent. Thinks he’s so cool with his stupid helping people with his stupid heart. I help people! Nobody in Garden’d get anywhere if I didn’t drive it!” *louder* “Hey, Scarlet! I help people! I drive the Garden!”

Scarlet: *gives him a look* “Nida, if I had a dollar for every time you told me you drive that stupid Garden, I’d be as rich as Trent used to be.” *turns back to trent*

Nida: *frowns*

(rufus goes over to dante)

Rufus: “Looks like it’s almost time to go over to your club. Is everything set up?”

Dante: “We’re always ready for action.” *turns to gippal and maxi* “Can you guys go on ahead and make sure everything’s running smoothly?”

Gippal: “No prob.”

(he and maxi leave.)

Rufus: “What do you think of these severs? I told them they could come with us to the next stop if they were doing a good job.”

Dante: *shrugs* “I haven’t had a problem with them. But they haven’t really been coming over to me.”

Rufus: “Well they’re working for cheap, so I guess I’ll keep them on.” *to reno* “Ready to make the announcement?”

Reno: “You got it!” *grabs a portable mic* “Hey, everybody! This party’s headed over to the Hot Package! So head on out the door and walk on over to party phase number two!”

(everyone starts heading for the exit. lark, Ashley and shell look at each other)

Ashley: “One down, three to go.”

Lark: *dryly* “Whoo hoo.”

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

(when everyone arrives at the hot package it’s clear the party is still on. music is blasting and the food is out. lloyd stands with nightmare and nemesis, just looking around)

Lloyd: “This place sucks! You can totally tell Dante owns it ‘cause it sucks!”

Nightmare: “Nightmare is glad these costumes have fooled boss man, but price doesn’t seem worth it!”

Lloyd: “So what if what we’re making today will barely cover the cost of them – the point is we got a job!”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Lloyd: “Now be quiet! Someone might hear you!”

(meanwhile, dante is on the phone)

Dante: “Al, it’s me again. We’re at the club. Lark wants to see you… I hope you can get your head outta your ass and come by.”

(meanwhile…)

San Diego: “Ooh… For some reason I didn’t think there’d be poles.”

Dallas: “I can’t believe you worked here, Irvine!”

Austin: “A bet a lot of hot and horny chicks were all over you!”

Irvine: *sweat drops* “Bro, you’re under the same delusion I was.”

(and…)

Richter: *sad sigh*

Juste: “Are you all right, son? You seem sad.”

Simon: “Belmont’s don’t get sad!”

Richter: “Well… As you may have noticed, Tifa’s been avoiding me. I’m afraid she’s mad over the whole wedding thing. She just doesn’t understand that I can’t leave out any of the family!”

Juste: “They’d be highly offended!”

Richter: “I know!”

Juste: “Well…perhaps you should compromise.”

Richter: “How?”

Juste: “Why not have a more intimate wedding and reception with only close family and friends? Then we can invite the family to a party celebrating your wedding. That way Tifa can have the small wedding she wants and none of the family would be offended.”

Richter: *blink blink* “Why didn’t I talk to you earlier…?”

(maxi, vaan and gippal go over to dante)

Maxi: “Hey, Dante. Can we get a little ‘entertainment’ goin’?”

Dante: “Yeah. If you keep your clothes on.”

Gippal: “Hey! Why do you look at me when you say that?”

Vaan: “I asked Edward if he wanted to join in, and he acted like he didn’t even know me!”

Dante: “That’s ‘cause his baby momma’s here. Probably doesn’t want her to know he works at a strip joint.”

Maxi: “Hey! This is a classy strip joint.”

Dante: “You don’t have to tell me. Some people find it embarrassing for some reason.”

Maxi: “Weirdoes.”

Gippal: “Wow. There is a really, really hot guy over there talking to Irvine! I thought he was straight!”

Maxi: “They look kinda alike… Didn’t Irvine say he had like 6 brothers or something?”

Gippal: “Oh. I am all. Over. That.”

Dante: “Get on the stage already.”

Maxi: “What? You’re not joining us?”

Dante: “I hate to deprive everybody, but I’m waiting for Al.”

Vaan: “Suit yourself.”

Gippal: “Let’s see if we can gather the old crew up there.”

(and so gippal, maxi and vaan are joined on stage by chris, irvine, zidane, tseng, rude and even franswa. dante keeps looking towards the door. meanwhile…)

Ashley: “Whoo! Shake it, boys!”

Shell: “I can’t believe Rude used to be a stripper. You know what one of his songs was?”

Ashley: “What?”

Shell: “Gold Digger.” *dreamy sigh* “He has such a sense of humor.”

Seifer: “Ashley, you’re leaving me forever and now you’re looking at other guys!”

Ashley: “No one’s stopping you from going up there.”

Seifer: “You’d wanna see *me* up there?”

Ashley: *shrugs* “Sure. Why not?”

Seifer: “I knew those Strip To Fit tapes would pay off!” *runs to the stage*

Ashley: *mutters* “This should be interesting…”

(meanwhile, all the belmonts are starring at the stage in total shock)

Richter: “What is Franswa doing up there?”

Juste: “Some kind of gyrating dance it seems.”

Richter: “I see that! I just mean *what* is he doing up there with those strippers?”

Juste: “What’s the difference? He looks like he’s having a good time.”

Trevor: “All the ladies certainly seem to be enjoying the moves of a Belmont!”

Simon: “Too bad he’s gay!”

Richter: *looking around* “All the girls *are* looking…even Tifa.” *frowns* “…Father. I’m going up there.”

Juste: “Don’t throw your back out. Because none of us can carry you home.”

(and so richter goes over and confidently jumps onto the stage by franswa. he starts trying to dance and copy what everyone else is doing)

Franswa: “Dad!? What are you doing?”

Richter: “Dancing, Franswa! What is this pole for exactly?”

Franswa: “Dad!!”

Richter: “Is Tifa looking at me?”

Franswa: “…Uh, yeah. I guess so.”

Richter: “Is she smiling?”

Franswa: “Um…not really.”

(over to where tifa is with cloud and zack)

Cloud: “…What is he doing?”

Tifa: “…I don’t know.”

Zack: “I don’t think anybody does.”

(back to franswa and richter)

Richter: “I’m going to dance over to her!”

Franswa: “You sure you wanna do that?”

(but richter ignores him and over he struts to tifa. she can’t help it, she’s trying to contain her laughter by putting a hand over her mouth)

Richter: “Hey, honey! Like my moves?”

Tifa: “They’re certainly…creative!”

Richter: “I have a good idea for the wedding!”

Tifa: “This better not be about us standing on the severed heads of vampires during the ceremony again.”

Richter: “No! Father came up with this! He suggested we have a smaller ceremony and party first, and then follow up with a large family party at a later date to celebrate our marriage! That way we’re both happy and no one gets offended and puts a curse on me!”

Tifa: *smiles* “That sounds like a wonderful idea, Richter.”

Richter: “So are you no longer mad at me?”

Tifa: “I’m not mad.” *laughs* “Can you stop dancing now? You look like you’re having convulsions!”

Richter: *stops dancing and frowns* “Hopefully our first dance will be to something a bit slower.”

(tifa pulls him down from the stage and gives him a hug)

Tifa: “Whatever you feel comfortable with.”

Richter: *opens mouth to speak*

Tifa: “Except the Belmont victory song.”

Richter: *smiles and kisses her* “I’ll let you choose.”

(meanwhile, shadow is brooding in the corner by himself. he takes the tiny codec out of his pocket and puts it in his ear)

Shadow: “…Otacon?”

Otacon’s voice: “You again? What do you want now?”

Shadow: “…I want to ask you something.”

Otacon’s voice: “Why is there so much noise? Where are you?”

Shadow: “At a party.”

Otacon’s voice: “At a party? What is it, the loudest party ever?”

Shadow: “I don’t know. There are strippers.”

Otacon’s voice: “Strippers?! Really!?!”

Shadow: “Yeah.”

Otacon’s voice: “Where are you? I better come right over! Give me the address!”

Shadow: *sad sigh*

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

(meanwhile, we’ll take a break from the party and go back to the castle. there alucard is in his room, pacing back and forth. he’s holding his cell phone in his hand)

Alucard: “You’re being stupid, Adrian. Very, very stupid. I’m missing the whole party for what? Because dad sometimes seems to like D better when he’s not totally off his rocker? So what? D doesn’t mean to do it. He wants to be friends. He wants to be brothers. And what’s so wrong with that? Dad is crazy. He’s out of his mind! It’ll be nice to have someone else around watching him “ *stops pacing and sighs* “I have to go to this party. Even Death went to the party. He never goes to parties.” *with a nod he heads for the door* “I’ve gotten used to a lot of things in my life. The printing press, the automatic rifle, cars, computers. Even toilets that flush themselves. I can get used to D.”

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

(back at the party, it seems some of the strippers are taking a break)

Zidane: “I need a drink!”

Algus: “As do I. Go fetch one for me. And I require three pieces of ice. No more and no less. I trust you can count.”

Zidane: *scowls*

(yuri is with his date)

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

Nikki: “I’m a musician.”

Yuri: “Oh yeah? That’s hot! Do you play an instrument?”

Nikki: “Yeah, the guitar. How about you? Do you play an instrument?”

Yuri: “Oh, I’ve been known to do pretty well with an *organ* if you get what I mean.” *wink wink*

Nikki: *confused* “No. Not really.”

(meanwhile…)

Lark: “Still no Alucard and no Sephiroth.”

Ashley: “I can understand the Alucard thing, but forget about Sephiroth. He called you a bitch in front of everyone!”

Shell: “And for once you didn’t even deserve it!”

Lark: “I know, but he didn’t really feel that way. He didn’t mean it.”

Ashley: “Then why did he say it?”

Lark: “Because he doesn’t know any better.”

(meanwhile…)

Gippal: “You didn’t tell me you had a hot gay brother, Irvine.”

Irvine: “You mean San Diego?”

Gippal: “San Diego? Really?” *jokingly* “Who are your other brothers? Houston, Austin and Dallas?” *laughs*

Irvine: “…How did you know that?”

(meanwhile, zack and cloud are talking, but suddenly cloud’s eyes go wide)

Cloud: “Omg.”

Zack: “I know. I’m shocked I got so into Dawson’s Creek too.”

Cloud: “No, not that.” *points and loudly whispers* “Isn’t that…Aeris?”

Zack: “What?! Where?!”

(he spins around and sure enough there’s aeris, sneaking into the party)

Zack: “Whoa! Talk about crashing a party when you’re really, really not wanted!”

Twilight: “Look! It’s that girl everybody hates! Attack!”

Opal: “Twilight, no attacking.”

Cloud: “Hide me!”

(luckily for aeris no one is really paying attention to her except twilight, and no one is paying attention to him. dante is still waiting by the door when gippal comes over to him)

Gippal: “Still waiting for Al?”

Dante: “Am I the most pathetic guy in the world or what.”

Gippal: “Nah, you’re just in love. Anyway, you gotta kiss me.”

Dante: “Who is it?”

Gippal: “Irvine’s hot brother. And from what I’ve heard, I won’t need much luck to get lucky.”

Dante: *rolls eyes* “Okay, fine.”

(and so he leans over and kisses gippal. and just at that moment the door to the club opens and guess who comes in? well if you’ve been reading the rambles for this long the answer to that should be easy – it’s alucard of course! he sees dante and gippal kissing and stops dead in his tracks, eyes wide)

Alucard: “…Dante?!”

Dante: *pulls away quick* “Al! You came!”

Alucard: “You’re cheating on me?!”

Dante: “What? No! No way!”

Alucard: “I don’t believe this! And to think Sephiroth was right about you!”

Dante: *eyes wide* “What!? Alucard, no! Wait!”

(but alucard doesn’t wait. he just rushes out the door again)

Dracula: “Look, talking cactus! My son was just here! He’s a koala bear!”

D: “I’m not a talking cactus. And Alucard is not a koala bear.”

Dracula: “He certainly smelled like one!”

Gippal: “Oh god. I’m really sorry.”

Dante: “Not your fault. Sh*t. I don’t believe this. I’ve gotta go after him.”

(and so he does.)

Dracula: “And now Alucard’s boyfriend left! Maybe they’re going to a party!”

Death: “We are at a party, my lord.”

Dracula: “We are? Then I guess all these people aren’t in my imagination after all!”

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

(alucard transformed into a bat to cover more ground, but as he reaches the porch area of the ramble room he transforms back into a person and starts crying hysterically)

Alucard: “That stupid, lying, cheating, dirty manwhore! How could he do that to me!?”

(he starts kicking the side of the porch and yelling curses about dante. this attracts the attention of sephiroth, who comes outside)

Sephiroth: “What the hell is going on out here?”

Alucard: “Oh you were right! You were so right! I should have listened to you!”

Sephiroth: “Of course I was right!” *pause* “About what?”

Alucard: “About Dante! I went to the party and I walk in to find him kissing Gippal!”

Sephiroth: “Ew!! You’re lucky you’re not a human! You’d be sharing medications with Scarlet by now!”

Alucard: *still sobbing* “How could I be so stupid?!”

(sephiroth walks over to him and pats him on the back rather unsympathetically)

Sephiroth: “There, there. We all make mistakes. You just seem to make more of them than most people.”

(dante enters. he spots them and starts walking over. sephiroth quickly puts himself between dante and alucard)

Sephiroth: “Well, well, well. If it isn’t Sir Cheatslot.”

Dante: “That some kind of joke? Get outta my way.”

Sephiroth: “I don’t think so. Alucard doesn’t want to talk to your cheating ass right now.”

Dante: “I didn’t cheat on him!”

Sephiroth: “Call it what you want! If you kiss another guy, you’re cheating! It’s not a hard concept!”

Dante: “I wasn’t cheating! Me and Gippal have this thing where I kiss him for luck before he goes after a guy! That’s what it was! He wanted to get with Irvine’s brother!”

Sephiroth: “Oh yeah? Which one?”

Dante: “I don’t know! One named after a city!”

Sephiroth: “That’s like all of them!”

Dante: “Would you get out of my way?! I’m not here to talk to you, I’m here to talk to Al!”

Sephiroth: “Well too bad, because he doesn’t want to talk to you!”

Dante: “Move, or I’ll make you move!”

Sephiroth: “I’d like to see you try!”

(the two are both so busy yelling at each other that they don’t notice alucard has come between them)

Alucard: “Dante. …Is what you said true?”

Dante: “Of course it is, Al! I’d never cheat on you, baby!”

Sephiroth: *rolls his eyes*

Dante: “Al, if I didn’t really love you and wanted to get with somebody else I wouldn’t have bothered trying to get you to come out of your room and go to the party.”

Alucard: “I…did get all your messages.”

Sephiroth: “Oh don’t tell me you’re buying this bologna!”

Dante: “I’ll tell Gippal he’ll have to get his luck from somebody else’s lips.”

Alucard: “It’s okay. I don’t really mind. I was just caught off guard, that’s all.”

Dante: “Hey, I understand. It wasn’t the best scene to walk into.”

(they kiss. sephiroth rolls his eyes again)

Sephiroth: “God, Alucard. You’ll buy any story.”

Dante: “You’ll come back to the party with me, right?”

Alucard: “Of course.”

Dante: “Great. You go on ahead.” *glares at sephiroth* “I’ll catch up to you.”

(alucard gives sephiroth one more glance before he walks away heading back towards the club. dante is still glaring at sephiroth)

Dante: “You’ve got a lot of nerve.”

Sephiroth: “At least I don’t have a lot of diseases.”

Dante: “Look, I don’t care what you think of me. But don’t you ever stand between me and Alucard again. Unlike you, I can face my own damn problems.”

Sephiroth: “What do you mean by that!? So can I!”

Dante: “Really? Because last time I checked I didn’t see your stubborn ass at the party.”

(and with that he just turns and stalks away. sephiroth just glares after him.)

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

(and so dante and alucard return to the party. lark runs right up to him and gives him a hug)

Lark: “Alucard! You made it!”

Alucard: “Of course. I wouldn’t have missed it.”

D: “Brother!” *waves*

Lark: “Is that your brother? I’ve already met your Uncle. He can have these back.” *hands him the pamphlets*

Alucard: “…Yeah. That’s my brother. Can you excuse me for a moment?”

Lark: “Sure.”

(and so alucard goes over to where his family is. dante follows but keeps his distance)

D: “I’m glad you made it!”

Dracula: “Guess what I learned today, Alucard! I have feet!”

Uncle Herb: “I don’t seem to be winning this crowd over, Alucard. Maybe you could give me a hand. I was thinking we could act out this play.” *holds out a script titled ‘ten ways humans are inferior creatures’*

Alucard: “Uh, can I talk to D for a moment?”

Uncle Herb: “Sure, sure! I’ll just rehearse the play with your old dad here!” *hands dracula the script* “Let’s start from page three.” *acts badly* “But I’m just a puny human! My life expectancy is low and frightening!”

Dracula: “I swam with toasters last night!”

Alucard: “Look…I should say I’m sorry. I guess… I guess I was a bit…………”

Dante: “Say it, Al.”

Alucard: *rushing* “Jealous. I was jealous. I’m just not used to dad giving someone else attention. And I didn’t like that he was talking to you and ignoring me.”

D: “If it makes you feel better he’s been referring to me as a talking cactus all day.”

Alucard: “Yeah…that does make me feel better.”

Dracula: “Hey, talking cactus and Alucard! Come over here and read this play! I get to talk about coffee!”

Uncle Herb: “No, coffins! *Coffins*!”

Alucard: “…Brothers then?”

D: “Forever and ever.”

(meanwhile, the door opens and in comes otacon. he looks right at the stage where tseng, maxi and chris are still dancing)

Otacon: “What?! I shelled out bus fare to watch men dance!?”

(snake comes running over to him)

Snake: “Otakon! I lost my Codec! It’s a matter of national security!”

Otacon: “Get away from me, Snake! Someone much better has your codec now! They don’t annoy me as much! But they don’t describe things very well either! When you hear the word strippers, who assumes it’s men?!”

Snake: *frowns* “Someone has it, huh? I must find them.”

(cloud is still trying to hide…under a table. zack is standing guard)

Zack: “Cloud?”

Cloud: “Shush! She might hear my name!”

Zack: “I know Aeris is a bit of an obsessive freak, but maybe you should just face her. Think of it as part of your recovery!”

Cloud: “Are you insane?! She used to pull the hair out of my brush!”

Zack: “Well, she spotted you.”

Cloud: “What?!”

Zack: “And she’s coming this way.”

Cloud: “Sh*t!”

(he scrambles out from under the table and tries to get away but it’s too late. she’s cornered him.)

Aeris: “Cloud!!” *hugs him* “Oh, Cloud! I heard you got your memory back and I just *had* to come see if you remembered me!”

Cloud: *stiffly* “I’m gonna kill whoever told you…”

Aeris: *finally lets him go* “So do you? Do you remember me?”

Cloud: “Uh…I guess so.”

Aeris: “Hooray! This is the happiest day of my life!”

Lark: “Ack! Aeris! What are you doing here?! After what you did last time I got a restraining order!”

Aeris: “It’s only on the ramble room! Anywhere else is fair game! And besides, I just came here so Cloud and I could finally be together!”

Cloud: “Uh…”

Zack: *laughs*

Lark: *snort* “Right.”

Aeris: “What? What’s so funny!?”

Cloud: “I’m gay.”

Aeris: “What?”

Cloud: “Gay.”

Aeris: “No! No, you can’t be! I thought that was a rumor, like Cid and the chocobo!”

Cid: “What the #$%@?!”

Cloud: “Nope. No rumor. Sorry.”

Aeris: “Really?? Are you sure?”

Cloud: “Totally sure. Just ask him.” *points to zack*

Zack: “Hiya.”

Aeris: “You’re with Zack?!” *hand to head* “So both of the guys I like turn out to be gay?!” *bursts into tears* “This is the worst day of my life!”

Everyone: *looks uncomfortable*

Lulu: *walks over and puts a hand on her shoulder* “No use crying over a man.”

Aeris: “But I love him!”

Lulu: “Why don’t you come with me and we can talk?”

(and with that she leads aeris away…meanwhile, squall runs into zell)

Zell: “Hey, dude! Enjoying the party?”

Squall: *shrugs* “Rinoa’s still mad at me.”

Zell: “Still don’t want to marry her?”

Squall: “Not right now. But that guy Dante said I should just tell her that.”

Zell: “Dante always seems to know what to say.”

Squall: “I’m not really good with words.”

Zell: “I kinda noticed. So you gonna tell her?”

Squall: “I guess. What’s the worst that could happen?”

Zell: “She could break up with you. Oh, and then she could tell everybody what commitment-phobe you are so no one else will go out with you.”

Squall: “…You’re not helping.”

(meanwhile, hojo is by the stage looking at the dancers)

Hojo: “Ah, and to think I’m getting this for free.”

(lucretia comes over and grabs his arm)

Lucretia: “There you are, Alexander! I’ve been looking for you!”

Hojo: “Not now, Lucretia! Can’t you see I’m busy?!”

Lucretia: “You’re not busy! Now come over here and help me decide which pasta salad to try.”

Hojo: “Argh! You’ll be the end of me, woman!”

(lucretia just kind of smiles and drags him off. meanwhile, bowser and dedede are talking. bowser has a firm hand on bowser jr’s head)

Jr: “Aw, come on, dad! Let me go play with the other kids!”

Bowser: “No! It’s bad enough I had to bring you to this party since half your siblings are in jail!”

Jr: “When are they gonna come home?”

Bowser: “In the case of your older brother Ludwig, maybe never.”

Dedede: “I did hear about this lawyer you should try!” *quack* “He seems to get out of every jam!”

Bowser: “I’m gonna need more than a plucky lawyer to get him out of the charges. You don’t even wanna know what they found in our basement.”

(squall goes over to rinoa, who is standing with selphie)

Selphie: “So did you know Quistis has a problem with stealing things?”

Rinoa: *gasps* “What?! No way!”

Squall: “Um, Rinoa?”

Rinoa: “Oh! If it isn’t Mr. commitment-phobe!”

Squall: *gulp* “…Can I talk to you? Alone?”

Selphie: “I’ll go make sure Quistis isn’t stealing anything.” *leaves*

Rinoa: “This better be good.”

Squall: “I don’t wanna marry you.”

Rinoa: “Thanks for making that more obvious than it already was.”

Squall: “Right now. Right now! I forgot that part.”

Rinoa: *sigh* “Squall, what are you trying to say?”

Squall: “I’m trying to say…that I love you. And someday I do want to get married to you. But not right now. I’m just not ready yet. And I hope you can accept that. Because I do want to be with you.”

Rinoa: “…You didn’t come up with that on your own, did you.”

Squall: “Not really. But I still mean it.”

Rinoa: “You not wanting to marry me has nothing to do with my dad being a cranky weirdo? Because I can disown him completely!”

Squall: “No.”

Rinoa: *sigh* “Okay, I tried. I wanna be with you too, Squall. If you really want to wait, so can I.” *hugs him*

Squall: *smiles*

(meanwhile, shadow goes over to otacon)

Shadow: “Are you…Otacon?”

Otacon: “Yeah. Who are you?”

Shadow: “I’m Clyde! I mean Shadow! We spoke on this thing!” *holds up codec*

Otacon: “Oh, so you’re that guy! Thanks for mentioning the strippers were male!”

Shadow: “I need to talk to you.”

Otacon: “Are any of the girls here single?”

Shadow: “It’s about Snake.”

Otacon: “Oh god! I am so *sick* of that name! We worked together years ago! And he won’t stop calling me! I knew I never should have rode home with him on the stupid snowmobile! He kept calling me Meryl. Now I came all this way to see some half naked girls, and I’m trying to make the best out of the bus fare I already spent! I don’t need to be constantly bothered by another weirdo!”

(he walks away. shadow hangs his head sadly. meanwhile, the girls are with the gundam wing guys)

Quatre: “This party is fun but everything seems so sad! The guests seem sad, the music seems sad, even the food—“

Ashley: “Quatre, don’t replace one word with another.”

Trowa: “You won’t ever get to come to my funeral.”

Shell: “I’m kinda glad about that, Trowa.”

Wufei: “Wufei is glad! Finally I’ll be free of hearing about stupid ramble girls!”

Duo: “We’re still gonna talk about them, Wufei.”

Heero: “Are you sure you have to go?”

Lark: “Positive. Trust me. If there was any other solution, I would have taken it.”

Treize: “Tragedy happens every day. Every day people leave this beautiful planet for one reason or another. Perhaps they were killed in war. But their sacrifice will not be forgotten, for the thing about war is that people never forget. They may move on to peace but they will always look back and know that their freedom comes from the sacrifice.”

Zechs: “…What?”

Treize: “Do I get carried away sometimes?”

Zechs: “More than sometimes. Can I go up there and strip?”

Treize: “Hmm… Do you promise to keep your hands to yourself?”

Zechs: “I can’t make that promise.”

(scarlet and trent are still talking while nida eavesdrops. scarlet looks bored)

Trent: “And then after we were rescued by the Eskimos I knew I had to stay behind and help them nurse the baby seals back to health.”

Scarlet: *totally not interested* “Uh huh.”

Nida: “I nursed my cat back to health once!”

Scarlet: “You don’t have a cat.”

Nida: “…Shut up, whore! I could if I wanted to!”

(and reno goes over to sunshine)

Reno: “Hey.”

Sunshine: “Hey.”

Reno: “Enjoying the party?”

Sunshine: “Yeah!”

Reno: “Still thinking?”

Sunshine: “Yup!”

Reno: “Talk to you later then.”

(meanwhile, dante jumps onto the stage where chris, tseng, maxi and zidane are dancing)

Dante: “It’s almost time to leave here and go on to the bar.”

Maxi: “Sounds good! We can still dance on the bar! I don’t need a pole!”

Tseng: “Sure. Reeve still won’t talk to me, and this is a good distraction!”

Zidane: “I’ll join you! Maybe I won’t be able to hear Algus bark orders at me!”

Tseng: “You need a new job.”

Zidane: “You sound like Bryatt!”

Chris: “You can take my job. I’m going back to Europe!”

Dante: “What? Already?”

Chris: “Almost. I’ve nearly got enough money! If I keep working for another month I’ll have enough money! And finally I will be on my way to defeating Umbrella!”

(with that he puts up a clenched fist to punctuate his future triumph. in doing so, however, he slips off the pole, off the stage and onto the floor. there is a sickening crack)

Chris: “Ow! My leg!”

Zack: *runs over* “Oh boy. That’s obviously broken.”

Chris: “No! Now I won’t be able to work!”

Zack: “You need to get to the hospital.”

Dante: “That poor guy has got the worst luck in the world.” *yells* “I think everybody better move on to the bar!”

Irvine: “Sounds good! Follow me, everybody!”

(and so everybody starts to file out. shell, lark and Ashley lag behind)

Lark: “Poor Chris.”

Shell: “Poor us! This party is half over.”

Ashley: “It’s going so fast…”

Lark: “Don’t remind me.”

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

(and so everybody arrives at the bar which is very nicely decorated. there is food for dinner set out buffet style. irvine, reno and several of the kinneas brothers have situated themselves behind the bar.)

Auron: “This party is nearly half over already.”

Vincent: “Hard to believe.”

Auron: “I’ve noticed a certain someone still has not made an appearance.”

Vincent: “……………I’m sure when we get to the ramble room, he will be there.”

Auron: “……I hope so. For your sake and Lark’s sake. Time is running low.”

(meanwhile…)

Jack: “Cecilia! Hi! How are you? I’ve been trying to talk to you all night!”

Cecilia: “Yeah…I’ve been…trying to avoid you.”

Jack: “Are you…still with Berserk?”

Cecilia: “Yes. He’s getting me a drink right now.”

Berserk’s voice: *from across the room* “GET ME A DRINK OR I’LL BREAK YOUR FACE!”

Cecilia: *sigh* “He is so sweet.”

Jack: “Yahuh. Anyway, have you thought about coming home?”

Cecilia: “No.”

Jack: “What?! How can you say no so fast!?”

(hanpan runs by screaming in the background, with rudy close on his heels)

Rudy: “Run, run as fast as you can little mouse!” *cackles* “I love a good chase!”

(they run off. jack smiles uneasily)

Jack: “Things are better than ever!”

Cecilia: “…If you contact me again, I’m getting a restraining order.”

(she walks away. jack looks over to where cloud and zack are looking in his direction. they both look wide eyed and slightly scared)

Jack: “Heh, her loss! Things are great!” *sniff* “Oh god I hate my life!” *walks away crying*

(cloud and zack look at each other. cloud goes to speak)

Zack: “Do me a favor. Don’t say anything.”

Cloud: *closes his mouth*

(seymour rushes over to kuja, who does not run away this time)

Seymour: “Please let me explain what happened!”

Kuja: “………………………”

Seymour: “…Okay. Well, Scarlet and I were joking, about things we would never, ever say because they’re total lies…”

Kuja: *gives him a look*

Seymour: “……Okay, it’s true! I don’t know when or why it happened but somehow I fell in love with you! Now please say *something*! Even if you just slap me across the face!”

(but kuja doesn’t say anything. he just looks at seymour for a long moment, then turns and walks away. seymour sighs sadly in defeat. meanwhile, elena and rufus are talking)

Elena: “This party is going really well so far. …But I feel kind of weird having our children in a bar.”

Rufus: “Did you feel any better having them in a strip club?”

Max: “Daddy, look at me!” *mimics the dancing at the strip club*

Rufus: “Don’t do that!”

Elena: “Have you told Lark that we’re moving yet?”

Rufus: “No. What does it matter anyway?”

Elena: “I think you should still tell her. She’d want to know.”

Rufus: *sigh* “Fine, I’ll tell her. Later.”

Max: *dancing again* “This is fun!”

Rufus: “Maximilian! We need to have a serious talk!”

(zell comes over)

Zell: “Hey, Rufus! We got the instruments all set up! Supa Ego is ready to perform!”

Rufus: “Great! Is everybody ready to play?”

Zell: “Well Tseng and Irvine are…but I can’t find ‘Roth.”

Rufus: *looks around* “Yeah, where is he? I haven’t seen him all day.”

Zell: “I don’t think he came.”

Rufus: *mutters* “What a jerk.” *sigh* “Oh well. This is why we have a back-up drummer. Get Reno.”

Zell: “You got it!”

(so zell gathers reno, irvine and tseng and together with rufus they all get on stage.)

Rufus: “Hey, everybody! We are Supa Ego, and we’re gonna play some of our chart topping hits! So get out on the dance floor!”

Reno: *bangs drum sticks over his head* “One! Two! One, two, three, four!”

(and they all start playing ‘the middle’ by jimmy eat world. meanwhile, koudelka is talking to yuri)

Koudelka: “Where’s your date?”

Yuri: “Getting us some drinks. This date is going *great*! I am totally going to be scoring at the end of the night.”

Halley: “I didn’t know you got scored on dates!”

Koudelka: “Honey, go play with your friends.”

Halley: “Can I go talk to Cid?”

Koudelka: “No.”

Halley: “Why?”

Koudelka: “Because I’m mad at him.”

Halley: “But he looks sad.”

Koudelka: “Good.”

Halley: “Can I talk to daddy then?”

Koudelka: “No.”

Halley: “Are you mad at him too?”

Koudelka: “You bet I am.”

Halley: “Oh boy.”

(over to cid, who is with barret)

Cid: “#$@#$%^@#$?”

Barret: “Yo, I ain’t the one who can read minds! Now tell me if you see that there Bugenhagger in dis here crowd!”

Cid: *sad sigh* “#@$%#$%^@#$.”

Barret: “Foo! You ain’t of no damn use to me!”

(and over to edward. gippal and maxi come over to him)

Gippal: “Hey. So what’s your problem?”

Edward: *looking off in another direction* “What’re you talking about?”

Maxi: “You’re pretending like you don’t even know us.”

Edward: “…No I’m not.” *looks off in another direction whistling*

Gippal: “You’re the one standing here by yourself.”

Maxi: “Uh-huh.”

(they walk away. as they leave, edward sighs and hangs his head)

Edward: “I know.”

(meanwhile locke runs into yuffie)

Locke: “Hey, uh, hi.”

Yuffie: “Hi.”

Locke: “Enjoying the party?”

Yuffie: “Yeah. You?”

Locke: “Yeah.”

Both: “…………………”

Locke: “Do you, uh, like to dance or anything?”

Yuffie: *shrugs* “Kinda.” *pause* “You asking me?”

Locke: *smiling* “…Kinda.”

Yuffie: *smiles* “Then okay.”

(meanwhile, quistis is talking to rinoa and selphie)

Quistis: “Let’s see…from Garden I stole books, chairs, plants, Headmaster Cid’s ID card, his lunch, his collection of self motivation tapes, Triple Triad cards, student’s weapons, band-aids, cotton balls, that kid who keeps running around the main level, notebooks, glasses, cars from the parking garage, shoes, uniforms, creatures from the training center, pencils, Garden staff outfits, protractors, calculators, desks, shelves, floor tiles, wallpaper, hair gel, nail polish, backpacks, wallets, purses, socks, underwear, the sticks that pilot Garden, hot dogs, plates, forks, knives, tons of ketchup packets, Headmaster Cid’s hairpiece, man, I know there’s more stuff…”

Rinoa and Selphie: *look traumatized*

(yuri and nikki are talking alone)

Nikki: “This band is pretty good.”

Yuri: “I bet you’re even better.”

Nikki: *shrugs* “I’m pretty handy with a guitar.”

Yuri: “I hope you’re handy with more than that.”

Nikki: “You keep it up and you might just find out.”

Yuri: “I’m counting on it.”

(and so supa ego plays a pretty long set of songs during which everyone eats, drinks, talks and dances and otherwise has a grand old time. finally they finish up playing “now that it’s over” by everclear)

Rufus: “We’re going to take a short break, but we’ll be back soon with a whole new set of hits for you. We’re Supa Ego and our albums are available at any record store near you! That’s Supa Ego! S-U-P—“

Tseng: “Rufus.”

Rufus: “Okay, fine.”

(so the members of the band start to go off in opposite directions. sunshine comes up to reno.)

Sunshine: “I’ve got it.”

Reno: “Got what?”

Sunshine: “We have to have sex.”

(reno looks around confused, like he can’t believe he’s hearing this)

Reno: “Right now?”

Sunshine: “Yes right now! Reno, we have to have sex to save our relationship!”

Reno: “I never thought I’d hear those words put together.”

Sunshine: *looks at him expectantly*

Reno: “Okay, follow me.”

(meanwhile, uncle herb is still trying to hand out pamphlets with little success.)

Uncle Herb: “Eternal life is just a blood drain away!” *frustrated sigh* “Damn blood fountains. I thought I’d already have my quota for the month!”

Death: “I don’t really believe you’ve found the right crowd. Maybe you should go find one of those cults. Those people will believe anything.”

Uncle Herb: “A cult, eh?”

Dracula: “What happened to half the room? Half the room is gone!” *gasp* “Oh no! I ate half the room, didn’t I?!” *starts beating his chest* “Damn me! Damn myself!”

Alucard: *sigh* “No, dad. You just lost your eye again.”

D: “It’s right here.” *holds it up*

Dracula: “Oh! Thanks half of Alucard’s face!” *pause* “And half a talking cactus!”

(back over to edgar and setzer, setzer walks over to where edgar is sitting)

Setzer: “You okay?”

Edgar: “I’m still pondering your offer.”

Setzer: “I thought so.” *pause* “You mind if I go play some cards? One of those guys who looks like Irvine is starting a game.”

Edgar: “Go ahead.”

(setzer pauses for a long moment. then he goes back over to the bar where houston is dealing out cards to himself, treize, edward and now setzer)

Houston: “The game is Texas hold ‘em! ‘Cause my name is a city in Texas!”

Setzer: “Dallas?”

Houston: “No.”

Setzer: “Austin?”

Houston: “No.”

Setzer: “San Antonio?”

Houston: “No.”

Setzer: “Fort Worth?”

Houston: “No!”

Setzer: “Arlington?”

Houston: “No!!”

Setzer: “Corpus Christi?”

Houston: “No! It’s Houston! You really think my momma’d name me Corpus Christi?!”

San Diego: “She named me San Diego. I get alotta strange looks.”

Edward: “We gonna play for money or what?”

Treize: “I say the starting pot is one thousand dollars.”

Setzer: *shrugs* “Fine with me.”

Edward: “Whoa! No way!”

Houston: “That’s far too rich for my blood!”

Treize: *sigh* “Then what amount do you suggest?”

Edward: “……A buck.” *slaps down a dollar*

Treize: “That’s all?”

Setzer: *also slaps down a buck* “Works for me.” *mutters* “Whatever gets my mind off things…”

(meanwhile, trent is still talking to scarlet, who looks more bored than ever. nida is still listening to their conversation)

Trent: “And after I saved them they had a life debt to me. I couldn’t insult their culture so I had no choice but to live with them and be treated as a king until the debt was repaid.” *sigh* “There’s nothing like eating roasted ants in the cold desert night.”

Scarlet: *mutters* “Yeah, if you’re crazy.”

Nida: “Ew! Ants aren’t food! They’re bugs! People don’t eat bugs!”

Trent: “Yes they do. Plenty of people all over the world eat bugs.”

Nida: “No they don’t! People hate bugs! That’s why they make bug spray to kill them! Nobody eats bugs! Nobody! You’re a big liar!”

Trent: “I am not lying! How dare you! You think I would ever make up these types of stories?!”

Scarlet: “Shut up, Nida. If he made them up they’d probably be entertaining.”

(nida turns beet red with anger and stalks away)

Nida: *mutters* “Stupid Trent swoops in and tries to steal Scarlet away from me! I’ll win her back! I’m the Garden pilot!” *smacks right into an open door* “Ow! My piloting nose!”

(and then there are algus and zidane. algus is sitting at the bar with zidane. zidane looks bored. he keeps looking over at bryatt, who is talking and laughing with lark and the other ramble girls)

Zidane: *sad sigh*

Algus: “Be quiet.”

Zidane: “I didn’t say anything!”

Algus: “You sighed. That’s just as bad as talking.”

Zidane: “How is that just as bad? I didn’t even make a noise!”

Algus: “I felt your peasant breath in my general direction. I can’t even begin to describe to you just how disgusting that is.”

Zidane: “You know, Algus! I—“

Algus: “Oh, I almost forgot.” *slides some skittles over to him* “Your payment from last week.”

(zidane looks down at the candy before he quickly scoops it up and puts it in his pocket)

Zidane: *softly* “Thanks.”

(meanwhile, reno and sunshine have finished up and are putting their clothes back on. apparently they did everything in the storage room)

Sunshine: “So. Do you still want to stalk me?”

Reno: “Not in the least bit.” *pause* “How did you know that would work?”

Sunshine: “Easy. You’re used to sleeping with girls right away. We hadn’t slept together yet and you just couldn’t stand that. And you hated the idea of me getting with any other guy before you.”

Reno: “…Are you a shrink or a lawyer?”

Sunshine: *laughs* “I was a psych major for my undergrad.”

Reno: “Well whatever.”

Sunshine: “So what now? Are you bored with me?”

Reno: “Hey, I don’t get bored with girls just because I sleep with them!” *pause* “Well, sometimes I do. But only if I slept with them just because they were hot.”

Sunshine: “So can we still hang out then?”

Reno: “You bet.”

Sunshine: “And if it doesn’t work out…”

Reno: “At least we’ll have had some fun!”

(they head back towards the party)

Sunshine: “Oh, by the way…you really thought I was interested in Phoenix Wright?”

Reno: “Well the way you were talking him up…”

Sunshine: “He’s an amazing lawyer and a really nice guy. But either he’s totally gay or he’s got a weird obsession with Miles Edgeworth.”

Reno: “Guess I missed that part of the conversation.”

Sunshine: “Be glad you did.”

(back to the party, tseng goes over to reeve. reeve turns away from him)

Tseng: “Reeve, would you at least look at me?”

Reeve: “………………”

Tseng: “You still being stupid? Fine. You think I’m selfish? Then I’ll go away.”

(and he stalks away he goes over to the stage where the rest of the band is congregating again. tseng whispers something to everyone. they nod, and take their places)

Rufus: “Supa Ego is back and ready to rock the house once more! This is one of our platinum hits – Again!”

(and so they start to play the song ‘again’ by lenny kravitz. tseng is playing his guitar and standing in front of the forward mic. he looks right at reeve while he sings.)

Tseng: *sings* “I’ve been searching for you. I heard a cry within my soul. I’ve never had a yearning quite like this before, now that you are…walking right through my door. All of my life… Where have you been? I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again. And if that day comes… I’ll know we could win… I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again. A sacred gift of heaven… For better, worse, wherever… And I would never let somebody break you down – nor take your crown…never…”

(reeve finally turns around and looks at tseng out of the corner of his eye. he can see tseng looking right at him…intently)

Tseng: *sings* “All of my life…where have you been? I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again. And if that day comes, I know we could win… I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again.”

Irvine: *sings* “And everytime…”

Tseng: *sings* “I’ve always known.”

Irvine: *sings* “That you were there…”

Tseng: *sings* “Upon your throne.”

Irvine: *sings* “A lonely queen…”

Tseng: *sings* “Without her king.”

Irvine: *sings* “I longed for you…”

Tseng: *sings* “My love forever…………………………”

(he then goes and plays the guitar solo, finally breaking his eye contact with reeve as he concentrates on what he’s playing. reeve fully turns around and looks at tseng. the look in his eyes make it obvious that he’s thinking of the past.)

Tseng: *sings* “All of my life… Where have you been? I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again. And if that day comes, I know we could win. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. All of my life, where have you been? I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again. And if that day comes…I know we could win. I wonder if I’ll……ever…see you again. All of my life, where have you been? I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again. And if that day comes…I know we could win…I wonder if I’ll ever see you again.”

All (except reno): *sing* “I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again… I wonder if I’ll…ever see you again. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again. I wonder if I’ll ever see you again…”

Tseng: *sings* “I wonder if I’ll……ever see you again.”

(and then as they finish the song the crowd claps enthusiastically. tseng is starring at reeve, who is starring back at him. his face is now soft and he’s clearly not mad anymore. he walks up to the stage. tseng crouches down so they’re face to face.)

Reeve: “That’s not fair.”

Tseng: “What’s not fair?”

Reeve: “You know I hate that song.”

Tseng: “Uh huh.”

Reeve: *sigh* “………You were right. I was being stupid.” *pause* “It’s just…sometimes it seems like you get everything you want, and I get left behind.”

Tseng: “Reeve…why do you feel that way?”

Reeve: *shrugs* “I don’t know…it’s stupid, I guess.”

Tseng: “Look, I don’t want you to feel that way. I do want to have another kid. Just not right this minute. We’ve just got so much going on in our lives right now.”

Reeve: *nods* “You’re right. And I can respect that. I was just being stubborn before.”

Tseng: “Tell me about it.”

(they both laugh)

Reeve: “Hearing that song…it just made me remember that life is too short. That some things aren’t worth fighting about.”

Tseng: *smiles* “That’s what I was hoping for.”

(They hug, and then tseng goes back to the band. lark and bryatt are standing back, watching)

Bryatt: “I guess they patched things up.”

Lark: “Music is a powerful thing. It can make you remember people…places…even emotions.”

(there’s a silence. then bryatt pulls out a guitar.)

Bryatt: “Well here’s to hoping they let me play with them. How’s a little Green Day sound?”

Lark: *laughs* “Sounds good!”

(but as bryatt bounds over to the stage and the band shifts around to let him take the lead to play some green day songs, she just looks like she’s thinking of something else. meanwhile, laguna is rocking out to the band.)

Laguna: “Hey hey! I dig this sound!”

Kiros: “Ward says he likes loud music because it drowns you out!”

(ward goes to speak, but then he just looks confused and puts a hand to his throat. laguna and kiros are not paying attention to him)

Laguna: “What?! I can’t hear what Ward said, Kiros!”

Kiros: “WARD SAYS HE LIKES LOUD MUSIC BECAUSE IT DROWNS YOU OUT!”

Laguna: “Oh!” *pauses and frowns* “Does Ward not like the sound of my voice?”

(ward looks up, hand in the air like he’s pleading with the heavens. kiros glances at him, then looks back at laguna)

Kiros: “Yeah. Ward says he hates it.”

(back to the group of gundam wing guys…duo is dancing with Ashley while seifer pouts off to the side)

Wufei: “You’re a crappy dancer!”

Duo: “Shut up, Wufei! You’re just jealous you can’t dance!”

Wufei: “Wufei dances fine! Dancing is for girls anyway!”

Heero: “I’ll never forget your ‘I’m a Little Teapot’.”

Wufei: “Shut up! Wufei was forced into that!”

Quatre: “We’ve had so much fun here over the years! It’s going to be sad to leave! Just so sad!”

Trowa: “I’m always sad.” *pause* “Can you hit me over the head with one of these liquor bottles?”

Quatre: “No, Trowa!”

Zechs: “It seems like Lark’s not enjoying her own party so much.”

Treize: “Well it’s difficult to enjoy things that aren’t really happy occasions. While this may seem like a happy occasion on the outside, on the inside it’s not for anything happy at all. Just like a celebration after the ending of a war. The Gundams—“

Zechs: “I’m tuning you out.”

(shadow is looking depressed at the bar when solid snake sneaks up on him)

Snake: “You!”

Shadow: *jumps a mile* “Ahhh!”

Snake: “Still a pansy. Have you seen Otakon?”

Shadow: “How did you sneak up on me like that!?”

Snake: “I’m not a pathetic wuss like you are! That’s how! Now where is Otakon?”

Shadow: “I don’t know. Last I saw him he was wandering around complaining there weren’t any strippers here.”

Snake: “Dammit. This place is too crowded. Good for sneaking. Bad for finding.”

(and with that he’s off into the crowd again and he disappears. meanwhile, the belmonts are talking to lark. she seems kind of distracted.)

Richter: “It just won’t be the same without you girls around.”

Simon: “No more hot young girls flouncing around.”

Trevor: “It’s too loud in here!”

Juste: “This must be difficult.”

Lark: “…Yeah. It is.”

Richter: “Are there vampires in your world?”

Lark: “No.”

Simon: “They’re hiding!”

Juste: “Most likely! They can hide rather well when they want to.”

Richter: “I would be extra careful. Bolt all your windows and doors at night. And never invite anyone strange into the house.”

Simon: “Sleep with garlic and a stake under your pillow!”

Trevor: “I can’t hear anything with this confounded music!”

Juste: “And don’t let anyone bite your neck. Ever.”

Lark: “I’ll…keep that in mind.”

Richter: “You know, that’s useful advice. We should write a book. After all, that freak is handing out leaflets!” *points to uncle herb*

Uncle Herb: *exasperated* “There must be somebody here who never wants to die!”

Juste: “That’s a fantastic idea, son! I could have a chapter on decorating!”

Simon: “Don’t gay up the book!”

Trevor: “What?!”

(supa ego finishes their song and everybody claps)

Rufus: “Thanks! We appreciate it! We’ll be moving on to the ramble room soon, so finish up what you’re drinking!”

(the band breaks off in their separate directions. irvine goes over to the bar where several of his brothers are. trini comes over)

Trini: “Hey, Kinneas.”

Irvine, Dallas, Austin and San Diego: “Yeah?”

Trini: “Um, I just meant Irvine.”

Irvine: “What’s up, hot stuff?”

Trini: “Can you pass me a beer?”

Irvine: “Sure thing!” *he does* “Enjoying the party?”

Trini: “Hells yeah I am! You never told me you had so many hot brothers! Well, except for that weird one.”

Irvine: “I’m the hottest one.”

Trini: “You sure come from some damn good genes!”

Irvine: “You ever hear the phrase save the best for last? Well, that explains me.”

(calarado kinneas comes up and taps trini on the shoulder)

Cal: “We still gonna dance?”

Trini: “You bet!” *waves* “Catch you later, Irvine!”

(as she walks away, irvine glares at his brother…meanwhile, cloud and zack are watching serge, who is crouched in the corner, covering his head and rocking back and forth)

Serge: *muttering* “They’re all after me… They’re watching me… Watching me… Always following… I’m never really alone…”

(cloud and zack look at each other)

Zack: “…Is it just me, or does that really seem like he’s cured?”

Cloud: “He couldn’t have really been like that before he was affected…right?”

Zack: “I don’t think so.”

Cloud: “So why do some people wind up okay, like me, but others…” *looks back at serge*

Serge: *mutters* “That clump of hay is watching from beyond the grave!”

Both: “…………………”

Cloud: “…I think we should go for it.”

Zack: “What?”

Cloud: “Our center. I think there has to be a way to help these people. Maybe we don’t quite know how we’ll do that yet but we’re committed, right? We’ll never know if we don’t try.”

Zack: *grins* “Damn right! People with memory problems need people like us who won’t give up on them! This is what we were destined to do together, Cloud. I just know it. It may take awhile before we get a good system down, but that’s okay. It’s not like they’re gonna get worse!”

(they look back at serge)

Serge: *rocking back and forth* “The fungus…he *sees*.”

(they look at each other again)

Cloud: “That’s for damn sure.”

(they both smile and zack throws an arm around cloud. meanwhile, rufus, tseng, vincent, reno and algus are talking)

Tseng: “Looks like it’s time to go to the ramble room.”

Reno: “Can’t believe the night’s almost over.”

Algus: “Everything is set up and ready for us, from what I understand.”

Rufus: “Where’s Sephiroth? Why didn’t he show up to the party?”

Vincent: “…I’m sure he will show his face before the night is done.”

Rufus: “I hope so, because a lot of people have been asking where he is!”

Tseng: “Yeah.”

Vincent: “I’m aware of that.”

Reno: “I guess I’ll tell everybody to head over to the ramble room.” *goes over to the mic*

Rufus: “Can’t you do anything? Did you talk to him?”

Vincent: “I’ve done my best. The rest is up to him.”

Reno: *on the mic* “Hey, everybody! We saved the best party spot for last! Time to party it up old school in the ramble room! So head on out!”

(people start to head for the door. Ashley, shell and lark all look at each other as the people stream for the doors around them. they don’t say anything. they don’t have to.)

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

(and so everyone arrives at the ramble room. reno is by the mirror setting up the karaoke machine. everyone is coming in and getting drinks and snacks and he puts on the song ‘at the copa’ by barry manilow. he’s dancing to the beginning.)

Reno: *sings* “Her name was Lola! She was a show girl!”

Rufus: *comes over and grabs the mic* “I don’t think so! Let someone with talent sing!” *loudly whispers* “But not Treize and Zechs!”

(so a bunch of people gather around the karaoke machine and start picking songs. bowser and dedede are looking around. bowser jr. has decided to jump on the couch)

Bowser: “Jr! Get down from there!”

Jr: *holds up a rufus brand condom wrapper* “What the heck is this?!”

Bowser: *grabs it* “Give me that! And get down!”

Dedede: “Why are there no windows in here?” *quack*

Bowser: “Beats me. I feel like I’m in prison.”

Jr: “Is that were Ludwig’s gonna end up?”

Bowser: “If he’s lucky.”

(shell and Ashley go up to jake)

Jake: “Hey, girls! Long time no see!”

Ashley: “Yeah! How’ve you been? How’s your doggy?”

Jake: “He’s good, I’m good. I run a temp work company now.”

Shell: “You the one who provided these waiters?” *points to lloyd, nightmare and nemesis*

Lloyd: “Ow! Stupid toothpick!” *breaks it*

Jake: “…Yeah. Are they no good? Because I don’t have to hire them again.”

Shell: *shrugs* “I’m used to better service.” *snaps her fingers and rude comes over with a drink* “Thanks, Rude.”

Jake: “So it must be weird for you girls to be leaving this place.”

Ashley: “Weird is putting it lightly.”

Jake: “…Didn’t there used to be more of you girls?”

Shell: “What?”

(meanwhile…)

Algus: “Zidane, go fetch me a glass of water. I want it cold, but not too cold. If it’s too cold expect it to be thrown back in your face.”

Zidane: “Grr…”

(he stomps over to the drink station where dante is talking with alucard, gippal and maxi)

Maxi: “So we heard from Chris. He’s drugged but he’s okay. His leg’s in a cast. He won’t be able to dance for awhile.”

Gippal: “He kept crying about how he won’t be able to get to Europe now.”

Dante: “I guess we’ll have to find someone to replace him.”

Alucard: “Are you going to hold auditions again?”

Dante: *looks at zidane* “…Maybe we won’t have to. Hey, Z!”

Zidane: “What’s up?”

Dante: “How would you like your old job back?”

Zidane: “You mean be a stripper again?”

Dante: “Hells yeah! Now that Chris is outta commission, we’ll need someone to fill in the gaps.”

Zidane: “I’d love to!” *pause* “…But I don’t think Algus would let me.”

Dante: “Well think about it. I won’t offer it to anyone else till I hear from you.”

Zidane: “I’ll definitely think about it.”

(so zidane gets the glass of water and goes back over to algus. algus takes the glass and takes a sip)

Zidane: “So can I be a stripper again? Dante needs somebody because they’re short handed.”

(algus then throws the water in zidane’s face. zidane is shocked and soaking wet)

Algus: “Not cold enough. I warned you.”

(Zidane grabs the glass and stomps away looking murderous. meanwhile up at the karaoke machine rude, Ashley and shell are singing love shack. the final fantasy ten characters are all standing around chatting…except lulu)

Tidus: “This whole party’s got sort of a weird vibe to it.”

Auron: “It’s not really a celebration.”

Wakka: “Hard to believe the girls are leavin’, ya? I barely felt like we’ve been here at all!”

Kimahri: “……………………”

All: “………………………”

Tidus: “Hey, where’s Lulu?”

Wakka: “She went to go show that girl Aeris her room.”

All: “…………………………”

Tidus: “…Sure she did.”

(meanwhile, hojo is standing in the corner looking bored. lucretia is standing next to him eating some food)

Lucretia: “Are you sure you don’t want anything to eat, Alexander? This food is delicious.”

Hojo: “No. This party has been dull since we left the strip club. I want to leave.”

Lucretia: “You can’t leave! You’re lucky to be here at all!”

Hojo: “Why do you care if I stay or go?”

Lucretia: “Because! We’ve been having a good conversation!”

Hojo: “No! No we have not! You’ve been talking and I’ve been trying to drown out both you and this awful karaoke! I’m leaving.”

(he goes to leave but lucretia grabs his arm and holds him in place very forcefully)

Lucretia: “No!!! Stay!” *smiles sweetly* “Maybe one of the guys will get drunk and start to take his clothes off!”

Hojo: *frowns* “I suppose there is a good chance of that.” *pause* “I guess I’ll stay.”

Lucretia: *huge smile* “Good!”

(meanwhile, lark is wading through the crowd looking around when she runs into tseng)

Tseng: “Hey…who you looking for?”

Lark: “Oh, hey, Tseng. …Nobody, really.”

Tseng: “Sephiroth?”

Lark: *sigh* “Who else?”

Tseng: “I’m sorry.”

Lark: “Why is everyone saying they’re sorry? It’s not your fault he’s an idiot.” *pause* “People say I should be mad at him, but I’m not. I’m just…hurt.”

Tseng: “You should be. He’s just feeling so bad about all of this that he just can’t bear to face you. Sephiroth’s just thinking of who he’s always thinking of – himself.”

Lark: “Do you think there’s any chance he’ll show up?”

Tseng: “……………I wouldn’t bet on it.” *puts a hand on her arm* “Now come on. This is your party. Why don’t we go sing a song?”

Lark: “Can we sing ‘It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To’?”

Tseng: “How about ‘It’s Raining Men’?”

Lark: *smiles* “Sure.”

(so she and tseng gather dante, gippal, maxi and bryatt and they start singing it’s raining men. meanwhile, otacon is trying to flirt with quistis)

Otacon: “I think girls with glasses are hot.”

Quistis: “You look like you still live at home with your mother.”

Otacon: “I so don’t! She lives with *me*!”

Quistis: “Uh-huh.”

(shadow comes over)

Shadow: “Otacon. I need to talk to you. And I won’t take no for an answer!”

Otacon: *turns to him* “You again! Can’t you see I’m talking to a girl?” *turns back to quistis but she’s gone* “Dammit! Not again!”

Shadow: “I need to know why you think Snake is crazy.”

Otacon: “Why?! Are you kidding me?! Because he is! Always sneaking around thinking he’s on a mission.”

Shadow: “So?”

Otacon: “Why am I wasting my breath with you! You’re as crazy as him!”

Shadow: “But he’s a dedicated agent!”

Otacon: “Used to be! And he’s too dedicated! So dedicated he never stopped!”

Snake: *pops up behind otacon* “Otakon!”

Otacon: *jumps a mile* “Dammit, Snake! Stop doing that!”

Snake: “Are you here to give me top secret information?”

Otacon: “No! I’m here to see some cleavage! But so far I haven’t been very successful!”

Snake: “I see. Anything I can do to help?”

Otacon: “Not unless you wanna start pulling down girls’ tops.”

Snake: “I don’t see how that will stop any terrorist plots.”

Otacon: “There’s no terrorist plot! Leave me alone, you whacko!”

(he walks away. snake and shadow look at each other)

Snake: “You again. What do you want? Were you trying to extract confidential information from Otakon?”

Shadow: “No, Snake.” *sigh* “I’m finished. My whole life has been a lie. I’ll never be the real ninja I want to be. Never.”

Snake: “Of course you won’t! How can anyone believe you if you don’t believe in yourself?”

(and with those words he disappears into the crowd again. shadow just stands there in shock. meanwhile, lloyd, nightmare and nemesis are filling up their trays with some fresh food…)

Lloyd: “This is the best job ever! No one knows who I am, so everybody’s been nice to me!” *pause* “Well, except that guy.” *points to algus*

Nemesis: *nods* “STARS.”

Nightmare: “Nightmare doesn’t even mind he’s missing his yoga class!”

Lloyd: “Soon we’ll be counting our money and you’ll all be thanking Nelo Angelo for all I went through to get these jobs for us!”

(he confidently turns around with his tray, but he’s not really watching where he’s going. he trips over a drink cooler and goes tumbling to the floor. without taking notice that the room has gone quiet and everyone is watching him, lloyd gets up off the floor and kicks the cooler angrily)

Lloyd: “Stupid cooler! How dare you trip me!”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Nightmare: “Be quiet! Nightmare doesn’t want to get found out!”

(too late. everyone is staring at them, mostly with their jaws dropped. dante is in the background trying not to laugh. rufus comes stomping over)

Rufus: “YOU! You’re the ones who’ve been serving us all night?! How dare you try and get past me, Lloyd!”

Lloyd: “It’s Nelo Angelo!” *pause* “Er…I mean I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir!”

Nemesis: *shakes head sadly* “STARS.”

Rufus: “You’re fired!”

Lloyd: “Fired! But we’ve been doing a good job!”

Rufus: “Good employees don’t lie to their boss and hide their true identity!”

(lloyd opens his mouth to speak but then closes it again, realizing he’s got nothing more to say)

Dante: “Poor Lloyd, fired again. Oh wait! That’s not your name anymore, right? What did you change it to again? Nearo Gangleo?”

Lloyd: “It’s Nelo Angelo, Dante! Get it the @#$% right!”

Ashley: “Nelo Angelo?”

Koudelka: “How is that a name?”

Reno: *snort* “That’s the dumbest name I ever heard.”

(everyone starts muttering to each other and making cracks about the name. lloyd is slowly turning red with fury)

Lloyd: “It’s a cool name! You’re all jealous you didn’t think of it first! You’re jealous, ya hear me? Jealous!!” *holds up fists*

Rufus: “Knock it off! You shouldn’t have picked such a stupid name then! Clean up the mess you made if you and your friends here even wanna think about staying at this party!”

(lloyd looks annoyed but he puts his fists down and goes to clean up. meanwhile, irvine and reno go up to the karaoke machine and start to sing a song. they clearly don’t know the lyrics too well and are reading right off the screen…)

Irvine and Reno: *sing* “Gonna find my baby, gonna hold her tight, gonna grab some afternoon delight! My motto’s always been when it’s right it’s right, why wait until the middle of a cold dark night? When everything’s a little clearer in the light of day and you know the night is always gonna be there any way. Sky rockets in flight! Afternoon delight! Afternoon delight!”

Irvine: *sings* “Thinkin’ of you’s workin’ up my appetite looking forward to a little afternoon delight!”

Reno: *sings* “Rubbin’ sticks and stones together makes the sparks ignite and the thought of rubbin’s you is…getting…so exciting?”

Irvine: *sings* “Sky rockets in fli—“

Reno: “Hold up a minute! Is this song about sex?”

Irvine: “What?! No way! It’s about havin’ fun in the afternoon!”

Reno: “Yeah – by having sex!”

Irvine: “What?! No!”

Reno: “’The thought of rubbing you is getting so exciting’?! What does that sound like to you? Going fishing?!”

Irvine: *pales* “Oh god.”

San Diego: “Whoo! Sing it, Irvine!”

Irvine: “Shut up!”

(they both put down the mics and leave the stage looking disgusted. meanwhile, locke and yuffie are laughing about it)

Locke: “That was classic.”

Yuffie: “Why don’t you go up there and sing something?”

Locke: “Me?! I don’t think so! I think hearing Reno sing those few lines was enough torture for everyone!”

Yuffie: “I’m sure you don’t sing that bad!”

Locke: “What makes you say that?”

Yuffie: “Well, you’ve got a nice mouth.”

(he kind of looks at her in surprise for a moment. then they both lean over and kiss. as they draw away they both look rather awkward)

Locke: “Uh… Where did that come from?”

Yuffie: *shrugs* “……I think you’re kinda cute.”

Locke: “…I think you’re kinda cute too.”

(they look at each other)

Yuffie: “So you wanna, like, go out sometime?”

Locke: “Sure!” *smiles* “A girl asking me out? I like it!”

(she leans over and gives him another kiss. meanwhile, d goes up and grabs the mic)

D: “This is for my brother!”

Alucard: *hand to head* “Oh boy.”

D: *sings* “We are family! I got all my sisters with me! We are family! Get up everybody and sing! Everyone can see we’re together as we walk on by! Fly! And we fly just like birds of a feather! I won’t tell no lie!” *says* “Solo from the talking hand!”

Hand: *sings* “All of the people around us they say can they be that close.”

D: *sings* Just let me state for the record we’re giving love in a family dose!” *says* “Come sing with me, brother!”

Alucard: *hides in the crowd*

(d continues the song and just as he finishes and is expecting applause the door is darkened by a tall figure. everyone turns to look and d winds up bowing to complete silence. there in the doorway, scowling, is sephiroth.)

Sephiroth: “Don’t mind me. I’m just here for the free food.”

(he comes into the room and goes over to the food. lark is watching him with really sad eyes. the room is still awkwardly silent. rufus goes over, shoves d off the stage, grabs the mic and shoves it in the hands of the nearest person – zell)

Rufus: “Sing something!”

Zell: “Me? Sing what?”

Rufus: “Anything! This party is going straight to awkwardville!”

Zell: “Awkwardville? Never heard of it!”

Rufus: *hisses* “Sing!”

(he goes off. zell shrugs and pulls franswa on stage with him)

Franswa: “Where are you taking me?”

Zell: “Rufus said we had to sing a song!”

Franswa: “No, he said *you*! You had to sing a song!”

Zell: “We can sing something together! Ooh! This is a good one!”

(and so he and a rather reluctant franswa start to sing hungry like the wolf. the conversation starts back up again. vincent goes over to sephiroth)

Vincent: “I’m glad you came.”

Sephiroth: “I’m not really here for the party.”

Vincent: “Lark’s been asking about you.”

Sephiroth: “Who?”

Vincent: “Sephiroth, please don’t do this. Don’t take your sadness out on her.”

Sephiroth: “Sadness? What are you talking about, Vincent? I’m not sad.”

(with that he walks away. auron walks over to vincent.)

Auron: “He looks happy to be here.”

Vincent: *shakes head* “I just don’t understand why he has to take this so personally.”

(meanwhile, nikki gives yuri a wink and a nudge.)

Nikki: “What do you say we go somewhere private?”

Yuri: “Sounds like a great idea to me.”

(they head off towards the door. yuri looks over at koudelka and gives her a grin and a thumbs up. koudelka gives him a little wave and a smile)

Koudelka: *behind the smile* “Oh yeah. This is gonna be good.”

(meanwhile, it seems uncle herb has cornered algus. zidane stands nearby rolling his eyes.)

Uncle Herb: “You look like an intelligent man! Have you ever thought about living forever?”

Algus: “Why all the time! But even my money can only buy so much!”

Uncle Herb: “That’s what you think! By becoming a vampire you can have the eternal life you’ve always dreamed of! And best of all, it’s free!”

Algus: “That’s a price even my low-life peasant slave could afford! What’s the catch?”

Uncle Herb: “No catch! You get to live forever and enjoy the perks of life as a vampire!”

Algus: “Explain these perks.”

Uncle Herb: “Gladly! Well, besides the eternal life you’ll be able to enjoy all the blood you can drink! We vampires own blood banks all over the world and we ship it right to your door! No more of that going out and preying on people like they had to do in the Dark Ages. You’ll also still be able to enjoy human food!”

Algus: “That is a plus. Go on.”

Uncle Herb: “You’ll never get sick and you’ll get extra sharp fangs that make chewing a breeze!” *shows off fangs*

Algus: “Those do look handy.”

Uncle Herb: “Plus you can make extra money by recruiting more vampires!”

Algus: “I do like earning more money… But I’ve heard bad things about vampires. Such as you can’t be in the sunlight, you must sleep in a coffin and you won’t be able to see yourself in a mirror.”

Uncle Herb: “You won’t miss any of those things! You can still go outside when it’s cloudy or dark out! And you’d be surprised how comfortable coffins are these days!”

Algus: “Hmm… I don’t know…”

Uncle Herb: “Did I mention you can turn into a bat? Talk about easy transportation!”

Algus: “No more mirrors…?”

Zidane: *rolls eyes* “Oh just do it, Algus. You’re already a soulless monster anyway.”

Algus: “Be quiet, Zidane. I’m trying to have a conversation with this gentleman.” *back to uncle herb* “I believe I’ll have to think it over. Do you have any literature I can look over?”

Uncle Herb: “Sure!” *hands him a bunch of things* “And if you have any questions at all please feel free to give me a call – my number’s on the back of the card and you can call me any time. I’m up all night!” *laughs*

Algus: *stares at him for a long moment* “…Oh. Right. Because you’re a vampire.” *pause* “Quite funny.”

(meanwhile, heidegger is by the food table, but he can’t eat anything because of the muzzle he’s wearing.)

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! This sucks!”

(dante comes over and gets some food. heidegger turns to him)

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Feed me!”

Dante: *snort* “I don’t think going without a meal’s gonna hurt you, buddy.”

(he walks away. moments later koudelka walks over)

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Feed me!”

Koudelka: “If you come towards me, I have pepper spray in my pocket and I’m not afraid to use it.”

Heidegger: “So hungry! Gya haa haa!”

(he comes towards her.)

Koudelka: “I warned you.”

(she takes out the pepper spray and gets him right in the eyes)

Heidegger: “Ow!!! Gya haa haa!”

(koudelka walks away looking satisfied. heidegger’s eyes are closed tightly shut and tearing, but he’s now trying to lick his own face.)

Heidegger: “Gya haa haa! Peppery!”

(up on the makeshift stage rinoa, selphie and quistis are singing ‘I’m a barbie girl’. meanwhile jack is trying to talk to rudy while hanpan stands next to jack, shaking.)

Jack: “You really need to leave Hanpan alone. He doesn’t like you that way.”

Hanpan: “I don’t like him at all!”

Jack: “Hanpan, please.” *puts hands on rudy’s shoulders* “Rudy, I don’t want to give up on you but I don’t know how much more of this I can take.”

(rudy stares back at jack with a vacant smile. then he looks at hanpan and his smile widens)

Rudy: “I made my own model of you out of your fur.”

Hanpan: “That’s it, Jack! I can’t take any more of this! You can’t fix this whacko and I have to leave with what fur I’ve got left!”

Jack: “But Hanpan! We promised we’d never leave each other behind!”

Hanpan: “Maybe you should have done a better job of watching mine then!” *walks away*

Jack: *chases after him* “Hanpan, no! Wait! Rudy can change!”

Rudy: *following* “Let’s cuddle!”

(over to hugh and bria, they are dancing)

Bria: “I haven’t been to a party like this in a long time!”

Hugh: “I’ve never been to a party like this actually.”

Bria: “No?”

Hugh: “No. We don’t really dance at Belmont family events. Usually half the party is spent assembling for the Belmont family photo.”

Bria: “Well you’re a pretty good dancer!”

Hugh: “I look like a fool next to you!”

Bria: “Hey, I used to take dance lessons! I’m supposed to be good!”

Hugh: “Dance lessons? Really?”

Bria: “Yeah, just when I was a kid.”

Hugh: “I took vampire hunting lessons from my father. By age seven I was firing a crossbow at a 10 year old level!”

Bria: “Oh…wow…”

Hugh: “But I was never as good as Nathan. Not to my dad anyway.” *frown*

Bria: “Well I bet your dad will be impressed when he sees the restaurant you designed! Could your brother have done that?”

Hugh: “No! He barely can make his own bed!”

(they look at one another and laugh, just having a great time together. then yuri enters the room. nikki is nowhere to be seen. he casually walks over to koudelka)

Koudelka: “So, where’s Nikki?”

Yuri: “Oh. He had to go home.”

Koudelka: *fakely* “Oh. Oh! That was a man?”

Yuri: “Yeah. He looked a lot like a chick though, right?”

Koudelka: “Oh *totally*.” *pause* “So I guess you didn’t get any, huh.”

Yuri: *shrugs* “By the time I found out I already had all my clothes off.”

Koudelka: “So…? What does that mean?”

Yuri: *shrugs* “I just went with it.”

Koudelka: “…………………”

Yuri: “Not bad, but I’m still straight.”

Koudelka: “……………………”

Yuri: “I’m gonna get a drink.”

(he walks off to get a drink. koudelka looks totally shocked)

Koudelka: “……………Ouch.”

(over to the gundam wing guys, they’re all looking at the karaoke song books)

Duo: “Ooh! Big Pimpin’!”

Wufei: “NO!”

Quatre: “Let’s sing ‘Dancing Queen’!”

Wufei: “Wufei says you’re gay!”

Heero: “I don’t want to sing.”

Trowa: “Me neither. Can you just hit me over the head repeatedly with the microphone?”

Treize: “Now, now. No complaining. You lost the bet and now you have to sing a song with us.”

Wufei: *to quatre* “This is all *your* fault!”

Quatre: “What? I thought I could hold off from saying ‘beautiful’ longer than Treize could from comparing things to war!”

Heero: “I knew we should have taped your eyes shut.”

Zechs: “Here we go! I found the perfect song!”

Heero, Duo, Quatre, Trowa and Wufei: *pale*

Wufei: “Anything but that!”

Treize: “It’s the perfect warm up song.”

Heero: “God help us all.”

(so treize and zechs drag the pilots onto the stage and they start to sing…the YMCA. treize, zechs and quatre are the only ones who look the least bit energetic. but plenty of people are enthusiastically participating…including locke and yuffie.)

Locke: *laughs* “I can’t believe I’m doing this!”

Yuffie: “It’s good practice for our first date!”

Locke: “Why? Where are we gonna go?”

Yuffie: “You’ll see!”

Locke: “I don’t know if I like the sound of that!”

Yuffie: “You’ll like it when we get there! Trust me!”

Locke: “I don’t know if I should trust you yet!”

(meanwhile, rinoa, squall, zell and franswa are all talking.)

Zell: “It’s hard to believe the ramble girls are leaving tomorrow! We’ve been through a lot together!”

Rinoa: “Remember the time we all went to the beach?”

Zell: “I remember I ate Rufus’ sandwich! He was *pissed*!”

Rinoa: “Or what about the time we went sledding? That was fun!”

Zell: “I drank Rufus’ hot chocolate! He got mad again!”

Squall: “Remember when you dumped me, Rinoa, and Lark pretended to go out with me to get us back together?”

Rinoa: “For a fake romance you did some real making out.”

Squall: *shrugs* “Had to look real.”

Franswa: “What about the time Dracula had that crazy scheme to take over the world and everybody was looking for a virgin to read from that weird book?”

Zell: “We’ve had a lot of good times here.”

(there’s a long pause.)

Rinoa: “…Wow. Now I feel really depressed.”

Franswa: “Me too.”

Zell: “We just gotta focus on all the good times we’ve had together! All the happy times! That will make us less sad!”

(another long pause)

Squall: “…Easier said than done.”

(meanwhile, in his travels around the party trying to avoid certain people, sephiroth sees koudelka who is standing by herself. he glares at her and goes over.)

Sephiroth: “*You*.”

Koudelka: “I warned you.”

Sephiroth: “You would know exactly what I’m going to complain about!”

Koudelka: “Of course I would. I’m a psychic.”

Sephiroth: “……Besides that! That so-called future reading you gave me – you didn’t predict this! There was nothing about this in there!”

Koudelka: “From what I can remember there was no sign of the ramble girls at all. I’d take that as a pretty clear prediction.”

Sephiroth: *frowns* “Not clear enough! Why didn’t you tell me? I paid you enough!”

Koudelka: “At the time I don’t think that was really your concern.”

Sephiroth: “Everything you supposedly showed me could have been totally made-up!”

Koudelka: “If you think I’d make up anything with myself with another kid you’re on another planet.”

Sephiroth: “Fine! Maybe you didn’t make it up. And maybe the girls weren’t there. But you said the future could be changed. You said so! I remember that!”

Koudelka: “You’re right. I did say that. But I never said you could change everything.”

Sephiroth: “Oh! Typical! You go from the ‘future is always changing and really hard to predict’ to ‘oh, you can’t change everything’.”

Koudelka: “You can’t. It’s called fate. And that’s something you can’t f*#$ with. Fate’s going to happen whether you like it or not.”

Sephiroth: *sneers* “Fate. I thought you were supposed to be realistic. Now you’re trying to convince me that all this was fated to happen? And there was nothing anyone could do about it?”

Koudelka: “Yup.”

Sephiroth: *glares* “You’re nothing but an expensive liar!”

(and with that he stalks away. koudelka just shrugs)

Koudelka: “Truth hurts, buddy.”

(meanwhile, lloyd is walking around the room trying to enjoy the party…)

Dante: “Hey, Nickel Anchoro!” *laughs*

Alucard: “Hi, Nameo Anciento!”

Gippal: “Where ya goin’, Nemo Analo?”

Maxi: “Yeah! Come back, Naggo Analogo!”

Seifer: “Ha ha! It’s Nailo Oreo!”

Zidane: “No, it’s Newto Angero!”

Rufus: “Nutso Anteo!”

Koudelka: “Nosy Atomo!”

Cid: “Nudo Andriodo!”

Sephiroth: “Nougot Antelope!”

(soon everyone is laughing at lloyd, who looks beyond pissed. his face is turning red)

Lloyd: “No! Stop it! Don’t call me that anymore! Call me Lloyd! Please! Forget about Nelo Angelo, you don’t even have to call me Vergil! Lloyd is fine! Call me Lloyd! I’m Lloyd! Lloyd, dammit!”

Dante: “Aw, but everyone loves your new name Neato Crankaro!”

Lloyd: “I HATE YOU, DANTE!”

(he stomps over to nightmare and nemesis)

Lloyd: “Can you believe this?! Can you believe they’re making fun of my awesome name?!”

Nightmare: “Nightmare never liked your wimpy name!”

Nemesis: *nods* “STARS!”

Lloyd: “What?! B-but we were a team!”

Nightmare: “We no longer wish to be a team with you and your weird name! Nightmare and Nemesis have different dreams!”

Nemesis: *nods* “STARS!”

Lloyd: “So you’re breaking up with me?!”

Nightmare: “How the expression go? It’s not you, it’s Nightmare!”

Nemesis: *shakes head no* “STARS!”

Nightmare: “Never mind! It is totally you!”

(With that they walk away. lloyd’s lower lip is trembling)

Lloyd: “Fine! I don’t need you! I’m gonna make a great name for Nelo Angelo! I mean Vergil! I mean Lloyd!” *pause* “I’ll be great! Just you wait and see!”

(nightmare and nemesis go up to the stage. they start to sing a song from the musical les miserables. nightmare is singing way too loud and without any emotion. the name of this song will soon be obvious…)

Nightmare: *sings* “There! Out in the darkness!! A fugitive running! Fallen from grace! Fallen from grace! God be my witness! I never shall yield!! Till we come face to face! TILL WE COME FACE TO FACE! He knows his way in the dark! Mine is the way of the Lord! And those who follow the path of the RIGHTEOUS! Shell have their reward! AND IF THEY FALL AS LUCIFER FELL – THE FLAME! THE SWORD!”

Nemesis: “STARS!”

Nightmare: “In your multitudes! Scarce to be counted! Filling the darkness with order and light!! You are the SENTINELS! Silent and sure! Keeping watch in the night! KEEPING WATCH IN THE NIGHT! You know your place in the sky! You hold your course and your aim! And each in your season returns and RETURNS! And is always the same! AND IF YOU FALL AS LUCIFER FELL YOU FALL IN FLAME! AND SO IT HAS BEEN AND SO IT IS WRITTEN ON THE DOORWAY TO PARADISE THAT THOSE WHO FALTER AND THOSE WHO FALL! MUST PAY THE PRICE!”

(there’s a short musical break here. those who are paying attention are just looking at the stage in shock and disgust. nightmare turns to nemesis)

Nightmare: *whispers* “Nightmare’s voice lessons have been paying off!”

Nemesis: *whispers* “STARS.”

(and here come the lyrics again)

Nightmare: “Lord let me find him! That I may see him! SAFE BEHIND BARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRS! I will never rest! Till then – THIS I SWEAR! THIS I SWEAR BY THE—“

Nemesis: “STARS!”

(they bow but there is almost no clapping. then dracula runs up there and grabs the mic from them)

Dracula: “I wanna try! What do you call this magical language?”

Alucard: “Oh no.”

Dracula: *picks a song* “This one’s about asses!”

Alucard: “This is gonna be bad.”

Dracula: *sings* “I like big butts and I can not lie! You other brothers can’t deny! That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get sprung—“

(he has to abruptly stop when d and alucard come and drag him off stage)

Dracula: *laughs* “I love picking up the field mice and bopping them on the head!”

(shell grabs the mic)

Shell: “This one’s for Rude!” *starts singing love don’t cost a thing*

(meanwhile, karsh is chasing serge around the room)

Serge: “Every where I go is people! I can’t get away! I can’t be alone! I can’t be by myself! I just want some peace! Why can’t I get some peace!?”

Karsh: “I’m about to kill you. That would give you some peace. Now shut up!”

(zidane, meanwhile, is playing a game with max, halley and marlene. they’re playing uno.)

Max: “I only have two cards left!”

Zidane: “No fair! I have like the whole deck!”

Marlene: *giggles* “You’re not very good at this game, Zidane!”

Zidane: “Maybe I’m just letting you kids win!”

Halley: “Nope. You’re not.”

Zidane: “Well I’m definitely not shuffling next time. I don’t think the red cards were shuffled at all.”

(the kids laugh. max puts down one of his cards)

Max: “Uno!”

Zidane: “I don’t think so! Since I pretty much have the whole deck I can reverse back to you!” *puts down reverse card*

Max: *puts down last card* “I win!”

Zidane: “What!? Oh, man!”

Marlene: “Wanna play again?”

Zidane: “Maybe later, you guys. Good game! One of you should practice shuffling. Make sure those red cards stay apart.”

(he gets up and turns around, almost running right into koudelka)

Koudelka: “Like playing games with the kids, huh?”

Zidane: “Yeah, it’s fun. I like kids.”

Koudelka: “I was watching. You’re actually pretty good with them.”

Zidane: “Uh, thanks. It’s probably because I’m not very mature.”

Koudelka: “I don’t think so. You know, Cid could use some extra help at the daycare center if you’re looking for a job.”

Zidane: “Really?”

Koudelka: “Oh yeah. Bowser Jr. alone is a handful. I really should get a second person. Are you interested?”

Zidane: “Well—“

(he goes to speak but then he notices algus across the room, staring at him and shaking his empty glass obnoxiously. zidane sighs)

Zidane: “I’ll have to think about it.”

(over to the belmonts, richter, juste, trevor and simon go over to uncle herb, who is still trying to peddle his leaflets)

Uncle Herb: “Hi there! You look like a bunch of…somewhat youthful blood fountains! Have you thought about living forever?” *holds out pamphlet*

Belmonts: *stare at it*

Simon: “He called us blood fountains.”

Richter: “Stop distributing your evil literature, you heathen monster!”

Trevor: “The Belmont’s command it!”

Uncle Herb: *paling* “Belmont’s?”

(he tries to run away but the belmonts easily gang up on him and take him down, the older ones beating him with their canes. when they’re satisfied they grab the pamphlets and hurry away. uncle herb gets up looking bruised)

Uncle Herb: *sadly* “My pamphlets!”

(meanwhile, over to edward, he is standing with halley)

Edward: “So did your mother talk about me?”

Halley: “No.”

Edward: “Not at all?”

Halley: “No.”

Edward: “Typical.”

Halley: “Daddy, why can’t you and Cid just get along?”

Edward: “Because he’s a jerk.”

Halley: “I like him.”

Edward: *frowns* “You do?”

Halley: “Yeah. He’s nice to me.”

Edward: *frowns more* “…………Why don’t you go over to your mother and see if she mentions me?”

(with a sigh, halley goes to walk over towards his mother. along the way, cid walks over to him)

Cid: “Hey, champ! How ya doin’?”

Halley: “Good.”

Cid: “Your mother still pissed at me?”

Halley: “I guess so.”

Cid: “She say anything?”

Halley: *sigh* “Cid, why can’t you and my dad get along?”

Cid: “He starts it!”

Halley: “I know he says some not too nice things sometimes, but he’s my dad. I don’t want you to fight with him.”

Cid: *frowns*

Halley: “Everybody just has to try and be nice to each other. That includes mom. She’s not too nice to dad most of the time. Well, enjoy the party.”

(he goes off towards his mother. cid watches him go.)

Cid: “That is one smart little kid.”

(meanwhile, shadow is one again in the corner by himself. he’s looking over to where solid snake is standing, watching the stage where lark, Ashley and shell are finishing up singing ‘so I guess that’s why they call it the blues’.)

Shadow: *mumbles* “Have confidence. Easy for him to say. He’s highly trained. Everything I know I taught myself.” *frowns* “One more shot. And if I fail, I’ll know I’m not worthy.”

(so shadow gets down on the floor and crawls around everyone. since everyone thinks he’s weird, no one gives him a second look. he goes right behind snake and then jumps to his feet)

Shadow: “I am a ninja!”

Snake: *jumps a mile and turns around gasping for breath* “You!? What are you doing? How could you sneak up on *me*?”

Shadow: *blink blink* “I did it?”

Snake: *growls* “There’s a history of heart problems in my family.”

Shadow: “I didn’t think I could really do it!”

Snake: “You got lucky.”

Shadow: “I’m a good ninja after all!”

(he’s practically jumping up and down celebrating. then he notices that everyone is staring at him. as soon as he realizes this he stops celebrating and frowns)

Shadow: “You all know too much!”

(and with that he disappears into the crowd)

Locke: “Glad he’s finally back to normal…I think.”

(over to laguna, kiros and ward, ward keeps touching his throat looking like it hurts)

Laguna: “This party is rocking!”

Kiros: “Ward says he’d like to throw a rock at your head.”

Laguna: *looks at ward* “Is Ward choking or something?”

Kiros: “Ward says he’s fine.”

Laguna: “Glad to hear it, Ward! I don’t know what I’d do without you guys!”

Kiros: “Ward says you’d probably end up killing yourself.”

Laguna: “What makes you say something like that, Ward?”

Kiros: “Ward says because you’re the dumbest, stupidest, ignorant idiot he’s ever met.”

Ward: *yells* “I DID NOT SAY THAT, KIROS!”

(there is dead, dead silence. kiros stares at ward with his eyes so wide they look like they’re about to pop out of the sockets. even ward looks confused. he touches his throat)

Ward: “…I can talk?”

Laguna: “Ward, you can talk!”

Kiros: *softly in shock* “………He can talk………”

(zack comes over)

Zack: “Let me take a look.” *takes a quick peek in ward’s throat and feels it a bit* “Huh. It looks like after all these years your vocal cords finally healed themselves. The human body is good about that kinda thing, you know.”

Ward: “…I can’t believe it.”

Laguna: “This is great, Ward! Now Kiros doesn’t have to talk for you anymore! Isn’t this great, Kiros?”

Kiros: *shocked and speechless*

Ward: “Laguna, it looks like Kiros is at a loss for words for once. There’s something you have to know. All those times Kiros said things that I wanted to say…he was lying. I never wanted to say any of those things. That was all him.”

Laguna: *blink blink* “What…?”

Ward: “Kiros is the one who’s so mean. Not me. I really like you and consider you a great friend. And you have no idea how happy I am to finally say that.”

Laguna: “Is this true, Kiros?”

Kiros: “I-I-I…”

Ward: “Wow, Kiros. Now that I have my voice back…” *cracks knuckles* “You and I have a lot to discuss.”

Kiros: *gulp* “Uh, I didn’t know you didn’t mean those things. I just did my best! Guess I’m not a good interpreter! Heh heh.”

Ward: “Nice try.” *big smile* “I thought this day would never come.”

Kiros: *slowly backing away*

Laguna: “I’m still kinda lost.”

(meanwhile, lark is standing with shell and Ashley looking at the scene.)

Lark: “Wow. Karma’s a bitch, isn’t it.”

Ashley: “You’re talking about for Kiros, right.”

Lark: “Oh yeah.”

Shell: “Uh, guys?”

Lark: “What?”

Shell: “Look.”

(she points to the stage where treize and zechs have the mics again. the girls can see that ‘I’ve got you babe’ is the next song going to be played.)

Lark: “I’ll handle it.”

(she goes up to the stage)

Lark: “Treize, dear, can I borrow that mic a minute?”

Treize: “Of course, Lark darling.”

Lark: *takes the mic* “Can I have everybody’s attention, please?”

(everyone quiets down and listens)

Lark: “Thanks. I know we’ve been through a lot together, good times and bad. And there’s been a lot of stuff that’s just familiar, the kind of stuff you expect to happen. Like Reno having two beers in hand at a party.”

Reno: *has two beers in hand* “Damn right!”

Lark: “Anyway, Treize and Zechs are about to sing ‘I’ve Got You Babe’—“

(there is some unhappy moaning from the crowd)

Lark: “Now, now! I thought hey! We’ve all heard this song so many times  I know we all know the words – why not have everybody sing along?” *turns to treize and zechs* “You guys mind?”

Zechs: “No!”

Treize: “Not at all.”

Lark: “So the girls will sing with Zechs and the boys will sing with Treize. Everybody!”

(she hands the mic back over to treize and goes back over to Ashley and shell as the beginning notes of the song come on)

Shell: “Why did you do that?”

Lark: “I don’t know. It felt right.”

Girls: “They say we’re young and we don’t know. We won’t find out untilllll we grow.”

Guys: “Well I don’t know, if all that’s true, ‘cause you got me…and baby…I got you. Babe.”

All: “I got you babe!”

Girls: “They say our love won’t pay the rent, before it’s earned our money’s all been spent.”

Guys: “I guess that’s so, we don’t have a pot, but at least I’m sure of all the things we got…Babe.”

All: “I got you babe! I got you babe!”

Guys: “I got flowers in the spring…I got you to wear my ring.”

Girls: “And when I’m sad………you’re a clown…..and if I get scared, you’re always arouuuuuunnnnnd! Don’t let them say your hair’s too long, ‘cause I don’t care, with you I can’t go wrong!”

Guys: “Then put your little hand in mine, there ain’t no hill or mountain we can’t climb. Babe.”

All: “I got you babe! I got you babe!”

Guys: “I got you to hold my hand.”

Girls: “I got you to understand!”

Guys: “I got you to walk with me.”

Girls: “I got you to talk with me!”

Guys: “I got you to kiss goodnight.”

Girls: “I got you to hold me tight!”

Guys: “I got you, I won’t let go!”

Girls: “I got you to love me so!”

All: “I got you babe! I got you babe! I got you babe! I goooooooot *you* baaaaaaaaaaaaaaabe!”

(everyone claps as the song ends, and everyone’s smiling and laughing about it. treize and zechs actually hand the mic over to kuja, who starts to sing ‘I’m too sexy’. meanwhile, edgar walks over to setzer.)

Edgar: “That’s a pretty silly song.”

Setzer: “Yeah, but it’s got a good message.”

Edgar: “I suppose it does.” *pause* “I’ve come to a decision.”

Setzer: “That was quicker than I expected, Eddie.”

Edgar: “Well, I have to admit that the song got me thinking.”

Setzer: “Oh yeah?”

Edgar: “I realized that if our positions were reversed, I would do the same for you in a second. And I would think you’d be a fool not to accept.”

Setzer: “So that’s a yes?”

Edgar: *nods*

Setzer: *grins* “So I guess you and me are gonna be parents, huh?”

Edgar: “We’ll need a very good nanny.”

Setzer: “I’m sure the old men down at the castle won’t be thrilled with this.”

Edgar: *smiles* “Too bad for them I’m the King.”

(meanwhile, irvine is standing with reno and looking over to where trini is flirting with cal…)

Irvine: *mumbles something incomprehensible*

Reno: “What’s that?”

Irvine: “You see that?” *points*

Reno: “Twilight hitting that Gundam Wing jerk with his lightsaber handle?”

Irvine: “No! Your sister!”

Reno: “Oh. You mean my sister and your brother flirting?”

Irvine: “Yeah.”

Reno: “You jealous?”

Irvine: “……………No.”

Reno: “Did ya talk to her?”

Irvine: “…………No.”

Reno: “Then that’s what ya get.”

(he walks away to get another beer. irvine continues to watch. he then sees cal lean over and kiss trini. irvine’s eyes go wide and he immediately starts across the room towards them. when he gets there he roughly shoves cal back)

Irvine: “Get off her!”

Cal: “Irvine! What the hell are ya doin’?”

Irvine: “You jackass! Leave her alone!”

Trini: “Irvine, are you crazy?! I’m not your property!”

Irvine: “No, but he sure as hell don’t love you like I do!”

(there is a gasp from half the room. that’s when irvine notices everyone has been watching the confrontation. he suddenly looks very embarrassed.)

Irvine: “Well…kind of.”

Trini: “Irvine…I had no idea…I didn’t think you *could*–“

Irvine: “Me neither. …But I really, really like you. So do ya think, maybe, we could give the monogamy thing a try?”

Trini: *grins* “I’ll try anything once!”

(she jumps into his arms and kisses him. the kinneas brothers whistle. meanwhile, kuja is coming off the stage from singing his number. he notices seymour standing by himself in the corner looking depressed. with a sigh, he goes over.)

Kuja: “No one wants to be around you, huh? What a surprise.”

Seymour: “…You’re such a bitch.”

Kuja: “Part of the reason why you love me, I guess.” *flips hair over one shoulder*

Seymour: “Did you come over here to taunt me?”

Kuja: “No. I’ve been thinking actually. You’re far more attractive than Hojo, not that that’s saying much, you’ve actually taken my fashion advice, and you’re rich. Maybe we can work something out.”

Seymour: *eyes widen excitedly* “Really?!”

Kuja: “I can never love anyone but myself.”

Seymour: *smiles* “I can live with that.”

(meanwhile, cid reluctantly goes over to edward)

Cid: “Hey.”

Edward: “What do you want?”

Cid: “Hey – I came over here to apologize!”

Edward: *surprised* “Oh.”

Cid: “So I’m sorry! You’re Halley’s dad. I gotta respect that.”

Edward: “…………I guess I’m sorry too then. Halley likes you. I can’t always be around, so…I guess it’s good to know there’s someone else watching out for my boy.”

Both: “…………………” *look awkward*

Koudelka: *walks over* “I sensed awkwardness coming from this direction.”

Cid: “We called a truce.”

Koudelka: “Oh yeah?”

Edward: “Yup! We don’t have to like each other but we can not kill each other.”

Koudelka: “I can accept that.”

Cid: “So are we okay again?”

Koudelka: *sly smile* “I guess so.”

Edward: “How about me?”

Koudelka: “I don’t want to punch you in the face right now, so you can consider that a good sign.”

Edward: “Now that we’re on good terms again, how about you give me a job?”

Koudelka: “Are you kidding me? No way. I don’t trust you. And besides, you already have a job stripping.”

Edward: *jaw drops*

Cid: “You’re a *stripper*?!”

Edward: “How did you know that?!”

Koudelka: “I can read your mind, you dumbass.”

Cid: “By the way, Koudelka. How did Yuri’s date wind up going?”

Koudelka: “Um…good? I guess?”

Cid: “You don’t sound too sure there. Did he find out Nikki was a dude?”

Koudelka: “…Yeah.”

Cid: “And…?”

Koudelka: “And…let’s just say things don’t often blow up in my face, but this one did. This one did big time.”

Cid: “Ugh.”

(meanwhile, barret finally finds bugenhagen and red in the crowd)

Barret: “Yo! Finally I track yo’ asses down!”

Red: “We’ve been trying to avoid you. Obviously.”

Barret: “Yo, shu’ up, Christmas tree! I’m tryin’ to talk to yo’ grandpa!”

Red: “Gladly. I’m getting a drink.”

(he leaves. barret turns to bugenhagen)

Barret: “I gotta ask you somethin’!”

Bugenhagen: “What can I do for you, smiling ferret?”

Barret: “You really know what dat there cat/rat/moo be?”

Bugenhagen: “Ho ho ho! Of course! He is my grandson!”

Barret: “Well what da hell he be then? A cat? A dog? A hippopotamus? A lemur? And leopard? A kangaroo?”

(he keeps listing off animals. while he’s doing that, bugenhagen leans over and whispers something in his ear. barret stops talking immediately and his eyes go wide)

Barret: “…That what he be?”

Bugenhagen: “As sure as snails have swirly shells of delicious candy.”

Barret: “Damn! I finally find out what dat thing be, and I can’t even pronounce that sh*t!”

(meanwhile, zidane returns to the room from the bathroom. he hasn’t been gone long, only a few minutes. he walks in to see algus facing vivi. vivi is shining algus’ shoes)

Algus: “I need to see the faces of myself and my compatriots in those, Vivi.”

Vivi: “Yes, Mr. Algus.”

(zidane frowns and stomps over)

Zidane: “Algus! What the hell do you think you’re doing?!”

Algus: “You were unavailable so I went to my back-up slave.”

Zidane: “Your *back-up* slave? Vivi, stop that.”

Algus: “Don’t listen to him, Vivi. Go fetch me a glass of water. And remember what we discussed. Mind the temperature.”

Vivi: “Yes, sir.”

Zidane: “Vivi, no!”

(but vivi goes off anyway)

Zidane: “Grrr. Algus, you can’t treat him like that! He’s just a kid!”

Algus: “I can’t force him to do anything. He wants to do it. He wants the candy.”

(zidane seems to have no response to this. he stands there dumbfounded. vivi returns with the drink. he tastes it and then throws it back in vivi’s face. zidane gasps and vivi looks upset)

Algus: “Too cold. I warned you.”

Zidane: “You asshole! He’s a little kid! How could you do that to someone?!”

Algus: “You didn’t object when I did it to you.”

(zidane stiffens. he suddenly notices that people are watching, bryatt among them. he takes a deep breath and stands up taller.)

Zidane: “Well I am now.”

Algus: *rolls his eyes* “Oh, please, Zidane. Could we not put on a play for everyone? Take your Kit-Kats and be quiet.” *holds out candy*

Zidane: *smacks algus’ hand away* “I don’t want your candy.”

Algus: *frowns* “You don’t deserve it anyway. You’re a poor slave.”

Zidane: “Good! I don’t care! You know why? Because I got two job offers today, Algus! Two! I don’t need to be your slave anymore! I can get a real job!”

Algus: “A real job? With that freakish tail of yours?”

Zidane: “Yeah! Tail and all!”

(he runs to the nearby stage, picks up the mic and starts speaking. everyone in the room now has their eyes on him)

Zidane: “I’m gonna live my life the way I want to! You can find someone else to clean your ceiling, wash your cars and taste your morning oatmeal! F*$% you, Algus Sadalfas! I’m not your slave anymore! I QUIT!”

(with that he hits the machine to start playing and ‘I will survive’ comes on he starts to sing and everyone bursts into applause, except for algus, who just stands there glaring at him. zidane sings the whole song and finishes to a wild crowd. he bows several times and then hops off the stage right in front of Bryatt)

Bryatt: “Way to go quietly.”

Zidane: “It was *great*! I’ve never felt so free in my life!”

Bryatt: “I’m really proud of you. I knew you had it in you.”

Zidane: “You were right. I don’t know why I did that for so long.”

Bryatt: “Well the past is in the past. Time to think about the future. What are these job offers?”

Zidane: “Would you rather have a boyfriend that worked with children or stripped?”

Bryatt: “Hell, you’re still young yet! Why not do both?”

Zidane: *grins* “Sounds like a plan to me.”

(they kiss. meanwhile, reeve goes up to the stage to sing ‘what a wonderful world’. lots of people start to slow dance, shell and rude included)

Shell: “Can you believe by this time tomorrow I’ll be gone forever?”

Rude: “I don’t wanna think about it, Shell.”

Shell: “Me neither.” *happy sigh* “We’ve had a lot of happy times together, Rude.”

Rude: “Yeah.”

Shell: “Remember when you shoplifted for me?”

Rude: “Yeah.”

Shell: “Or that time you won all that money and we got married in Vegas?”

Rude: “Yeah.”

Shell: “No one did ever buy us those gifts I told them to.”

Rude: “Not everyone’s like me, Shell.”

Shell: “That’s true, Rude.” *smiles at him* “You’re one in a million.”

(Ashley and seifer are also dancing. seifer looks really sad)

Seifer: “This whole party has sucked.”

Ashley: “I think it’s a pretty good party. Well, you can’t expect to have a big ramble party without a couple drama filled moments.”

Seifer: “That’s not what I mean. I mean it sucks ‘cause you’re leaving. And I don’t want you to.”

Ashley: “I don’t want to either.”

Seifer: “We’ve had so much fun together! Remember when I got mad at those sharks?”

Ashley: “I don’t think I could ever forget that.”

Seifer: “Or when we took that bus and ended up stranded in the middle of nowhere?”

Ashley: “You certainly kept life interesting.”

Seifer: *softly* “I don’t know what I’ll do without you.”

Ashley: *runs a hand through his hair* “We’ll always have the memories.”

(sephiroth, meanwhile, is not dancing. he’s still walking around the room trying to avoid certain people. he runs into twilight)

Twilight: “I’m glad you showed up! People were taking bets, you know.”

Sephiroth: “People are jerks. Why aren’t you dancing?”

Twilight: “I told Opal I hurt my ankle playing basketball. If she asks, I beat the crap out of you.”

Sephiroth: *sigh* “I think I’m gonna get out of here.”

Twilight: “Why? No one’s drunkenly tried to sing a Mariah Carey song yet!”

Sephiroth: “I can’t stay here. I don’t want to celebrate this.”

(twilight opens his mouth to say something else but sephiroth just walks away. he’s heading towards the door but before he can get there he runs into one of his favorite people…auron)

Auron: “Going so soon? Party’s not over yet.”

Sephiroth: “I don’t have to answer to you.”

Auron: “Fair enough. We’ve clearly never been friends. I believe you have some friends here who might feel the same way…but you don’t answer to them either, of course. There’s only one person whose opinion matters to you.”

(sephiroth glares at auron. auron just calmly looks back at him.)

Sephiroth: “Don’t you *dare*.”

(auron still says nothing. he just looks at sephiroth. finally sephiroth turns away mumbling something and goes back into the room. meanwhile, rufus goes over to lark)

Rufus: “Hey, Lark.”

Lark: “Rufus! Hi!” *gives him a hug* “Sorry, I’m giving everybody hugs.”

Rufus: “That’s more than fine. Listen, I need to tell you something.”

Lark: *pales* “Oh please, Rufus. I can’t take any more bad news.”

Rufus: “It’s not bad! Just Elena, Reeve, Tseng, the kids and myself…are moving.”

Lark: “Moving?”

Rufus: “I bought a house. Well, two houses. It’s a really big complex. It’s being completed now and we’ll be moving in soon.”

Lark: “Well that’s exciting!”

Rufus: “I guess…now I feel horrible, though.”

Lark: “Why?”

Rufus: “We’ve been planning this a long time behind your back. No one else wanted to tell you so I got the job. I’ve been putting it off for a long time. I didn’t want you to think we were abandoning the ramble room. We were still planning to be here all the time and hang out with everyone!”

Lark: “Rufus, did you think I’d be mad or something?”

Rufus: “………………………Kind of.”

Lark: *gentle smile* “Why would I be mad? You have a family! You need your own space! I totally understand. Even if I wasn’t leaving tomorrow, I’d still feel the same way.”

Rufus: “I didn’t want you to think we didn’t care about this place anymore. Especially me.”

Lark: “Rufus – you not care about the ramble room? Without you none of this would be here.”

Rufus: “That’s not true, Lark. This was your idea. Anybody can shell out money. But not just anyone could have dreamed up this place.”

(lark looks like she’s about to cry. she reaches out and gives rufus another long, tight hug. meanwhile, nida, who looks slightly drunk, heads up to the stage and grabs the mic. trent and scarlet are talking nearby)

Trent: “So I was thinking we could get a little cottage on the ocean.”

Scarlet: “That doesn’t sound so bad.”

Trent: “We could make it ourselves out of sticks and mud!”

Scarlet: “…That sounds bad.”

(there is the loud noise of feedback from a mic. everyone flinches and looks at nida on the stage.)

Nida: “This song…is for the woman I love!”

(he then starts to sing the song ‘roxanne’ by the police, only he’s changing the lyrics…”

Nida: *sings* “SCAR~LET! You don’t have to put on the red light! Those days are over you don’t have to sell your body to the night! SCAR~LET! You don’t have to wear that dress tonight! Walk the streets for money, you don’t care if it’s wrong or if it’s right!”

(scarlet looks totally embarrassed. she rushes over to the stage)

Scarlet: “What are you doing?! Get down from there!”

Nida: *sings* “SCAR~LET! You don’t have to put on the red light! SCAR~LET! You don’t have to put on the red light! Put on the red light! Put on the red light! Put on the red light! Put on the red light! Put on the red light oh…”

Scarlet: “Get down from there, you idiot!”

Nida: *sings* “I loved you since I knew ya, I wouldn’t talk down to ya, I have to tell you just how I feel, I won’t share you with another boy! I know my mind is made up! So put away your make-up! Told you once I won’t tell you again, it’s a bad way!”

Scarlet: “Nida!”

Nida: *sings* “SCAR~LET! You don’t have to put on the red light! SCAR~LET! You don’t have to put on the red light. You don’t have to put on the red light! Put on the red light!”

(finally scarlet stomps onto the stage. with nida still singing his heart out she goes over and takes hold of the mic plug)

Nida: “Put on the re—“ *mic goes dead*

Scarlet: *drops cord on the ground* “What the *hell* do you think you’re doing?”

Nida: “That song says everything I feel about you, Scarlet!”

Scarlet: “You sound drunk.”

Nida: “I love you! And I won’t share you with that jerk!” *points to trent*

Scarlet: *big sigh* “Nida, I’m not interested in Trent anymore. Without his money he’s weird and boring as hell.”

Trent: “Oh…” *hangs head*

Nida: “I’m ready to prove to you how much I love you Scarlet!”

(nida reaches into his shirt pocket and gets down towards the floor. scarlet sighs and looks away)

Scarlet: “You’re not even listening to – HOLY SH*T!”

(she looks back at nida to find him down on one knee, holding an open ring box in his hand. the diamond ring inside the box is huge)

Nida: “Will you marry me, Scarlet?”

Scarlet: “Look at the size of that rock! How did you afford that?!”

Nida: “I’m a SeeD! I get paid every five minutes! So, will you?”

Scarlet: “What?”

Nida: “Will you marry me?”

Scarlet: “Marry you?! Really?”

Nida: “Yes! I love you and always will!”

Heidegger’s voice: *from the crowd* “Gya haa haa! Obviously!”

(scarlet looks touched by this. she looks at the ring and then back at nida)

Scarlet: “……Okay.”

Nida: “Whoo hoo!!!”

(he jumps to his feet, grabs scarlet, dips her back and kisses her…in the crowd…)

Rinoa: “I don’t know whether to be happy for them or be disgusted.”

Squall: “Whatever. I’m leaning towards the latter.”

(sunshine runs up on stage and hugs scarlet and nida. everyone seems to be in high spirits…except sephiroth. he’s trying to sneak towards the door when he runs into the main person he was trying to avoid – lark)

Lark: “So there you are.”

Sephiroth: *freezes*

Lark: “No one thought you’d show.”

Sephiroth: “I told you why I came.”

Lark: “Is that really why you came?”

Sephiroth: “Obviously. I think I made my feelings clear to you yesterday. Now if you’ll excuse me I came for what I wanted, and now I’m leaving.” *turns away*

Lark: “So this is it?! This is how you’re going to let things end between us? After everything we’ve been through?! You won’t even say good-bye?”

Sephiroth: *turns his head over his shoulder* “…There’s nothing to say good-bye to.”

(lark looks stunned as those familiar words are thrown back in her face. she looks like she’s about to cry. rufus gets on stage and is setting up a camera)

Rufus: “Okay, group picture time! Everyone squeeze in! I’m putting the timer on!”

(everyone starts to get in place for the picture. lark seems frozen in place until Brady grabs her and puts her in the center of the picture with Ashley and shell. sephiroth goes to leave but vincent blocks his way)

Vincent: “Get in the picture, Sephiroth.”

Sephiroth: *won’t look at him* “No.”

Vincent: “So help me, Sephiroth. Do it for me if that helps you justify it to yourself.”

(reluctantly sephiroth follows vincent to get in place for the picture. everyone is smiling widely except him. he pouts. just as the flash goes off and the picture is taken, the door to the ramble room is thrown open and several police officers burst into the room, guns drawn. everyone screams)

Police: “Nobody move! Put your hands up!”

(everyone complies)

Scarlet: “It wasn’t me! I swear! There are a lot of hookers named Scarlet! I’m getting married now! For real!”

Reno: “I was holding the pot for a friend! I swear!”

Cop: “Where is Dr. Alexander Hojo?”

Hojo: *blink blink*

Lucretia: *cheerily* “Right here!” *points to him*

Hojo: “What is the meaning of this?”

Cop: “You’re under arrest for possession of child pornography.”

Hojo: “This is ridiculous! You have nothing on me!”

Cop: “Oh, we have plenty on you, thanks to Detective Cresent here.”

Hojo: *looks at lucretia in shock* “Y-you?”

Lucretia: “Oh, did I forget to mention my new job?”

Hojo: “So that’s why you went through all my stuff?! To get a case against me!?”

Lucretia: “Precisely.”

Hojo: “You vile woman! How dare you!”

Lucertia: “No, Alexander! How dare *you*! After all the torture you’ve put other people through this is the least you deserve!”

Cop: “You have the right to remain silent, sir.”

(he slaps handcuffs on hojo’s wrists and starts leading him out)

Hojo: “Kuja, darling! Will you wait for me?”

Kuja: “Don’t worry, I’ll spend your money while you’re gone.”

(so hojo is lead out of the room.)

Cop: “Sorry to bother you folks.” *leaves*

Everyone: *shocked*

(well, almost everyone. tseng goes over to lucretia with a big smile on his face)

Tseng: “That went even better than I had hoped! I’ve been reporting that creep for years but you were the only one to take me seriously!”

Lucretia: “It’s about time I had a job where I could really make a difference.”

Nida: “Whoo hoo! Hojo’s gone! Now if only we could get rid of Heidegger!”

Heidegger: “Fat chance! Gya haa haa!”

Treize: “Well, it’s been a long day. Perhaps we should be heading home.”

Lark: “Already?? It’s not that late.”

Wufei: “It’s past midnight! Can’t you tell time, woman?”

Lark: “But I won’t get to see you guys again!”

(she hugs treize and zechs)

Treize: “It’s been an honor knowing you.”

Zechs: “Best of luck.”

Lark: “I’ll never be able to hear ‘I’ve Got You Babe’ again without thinking of you two.”

Treize: “Then you’ll really enjoy our CD.” *hands her a cd*

Zechs: “We signed it.”

Lark: “Thanks, you guys.”

(she hugs them again and they move on to say good-bye to shell and Ashley. lark then hugs all the gundam pilots except wufei. she hugs heero extra long)

Lark: “I’ll miss all of you. Except Wufei.”

Wufei: “Likewise, woman!”

Quatre: “I’m so bad at good-byes!” *bursts into tears*

Trowa: “Do you think you could drown me with your tears?”

Duo: “We had a lot of fun hanging out with you girls.”

Heero: “Here’s a Gundam model for you. As a memento.”

Duo: “Wufei broke one of the guns.”

Wufei: “That’s because Wufei is strong!”

Lark: “Thanks, you guys. It means a lot to me.”

(and so the girls say good-bye and good night to the gundam wing guys and some of the others they won’t get to see tomorrow.)

Lark: “I can’t believe it’s over.”

Shell: “Me neither.”

Ashley: “All I want to do is cry.”

(more people come over, interrupting their conversation. as she’s saying good-bye to maxi and gippal, lark catches sephiroth’s eye across the room. he stares at her for a moment then quickly looks away and hurries towards the door, covering his eyes with his hand. he can barely see where he’s going. vincent comes over and takes his arm.)

Vincent: “Angel, are you okay?”

Sephiroth: *shielding his eyes with a shaky voice* “Vincent…take me away so no one will see me cry.”

To Be Continued…

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