Disclaimer: In no way at all do I own the ANY of the characters or places in this piece of writing. They are all from the game Final Fantasy VIII, which I do not own. This piece of writing was created ONLY for the reading pleasure of fans everywhere. I make no profit off of this writing whatsoever, and it is completely fictitious.
A/N: All I own is the idea for this piece of creative writing, so please don't take it.
In an empty bar in Timber sat a drunken Irvine Kinneas singing to himself (and the bartender) in a rather pathetic manner. "Eigh'y eight bo'les o' Sylkis on da waaaall…" He held the last note before continuing on. "OH! Eigh'y eight bo'les o' Sylkiiiis…"
The bartender glanced over at Irvine with a knowing expression that the man had had a few too many glasses of Sylkis.
" 'Eh man," Irvine held out his empty Sylkis mug and slurred, "wanna fill 'er up?"
The bartender shook his head hopelessly. "Sure, but this it the last one, okay?" He filled up Irvine's mug once more, and leaned forward on the bar counter on his elbows.
" 'Ow much do I owe ya?" Irvine reached for his wallet to pay the bartender for all of the drinks he had had, but when he reached into his pocket, all he grasped was the material of the inside of his suede pants. He wore a blank, almost stunned, expression for a moment and the bartender knew that he wasn't going to be paid for the drinks he had served once again.
The bartender wasn't surprised. It wasn't the first time that the man had not been able to pay for his drinks. He pushed himself off of the counter and went to wiping some glasses.
"I'm s'rry, maaaan," Irvine said almost incoherently. "You'll 'afta put 'er on muh tab."
"Excuse me! Pardon me! Look out! MOVE!!!" The head of Zell Dincht could hardly been seen over the massive crowd of students waiting, in a not-so-orderly fashion, for the ever-so-popular hotdogs that were served in the Balamb Garden cafeteria.
"Hey!" shouted a girl waiting her turn for a hotdog when Zell was accidentally pushed into her by the crowd that was pushing him from behind to get closer. Zell smiled nervously and shook his head at a lack of words, trying to prove to the girl that it had been the students behind him that had pushed him into her, and that he wasn't trying to feel her up.
Zell side-stepped to the right and stood on tip-toe to try and see around the tall Trepe Groupie in front of him. "Ugh!" Zell hunched and folded his arms in front of him.
"Settle down, man." Zell looked up to see that the Trepe Groupie was talking to him. "We're all waiting for hotdogs too, so you'd better get comfy." The boy turned his back to Zell again, and Zell thought that he should give the guy a good shove, but instead his eye caught the clock on the wall. He had already been there for over twenty-five minutes! How much longer would it take? The crowd had already gone way out the cafeteria doors behind him.
The bartender took Irvine's empty Sylkis mug from the bar top.
"Jus' one mo'e," Irvine pleaded, holding up two fingers.
The bartender snorted. "No way, you've had way more than your fill. Besides, all my bottles of Sylkis are gone. You've cleaned me out."
"Wha-da-ya mean they're all gone?" Irvine and Zell exclaimed at the exact same moment in time, even though they weren't even near each other, or complaining about the same thing in the least.
Zell pounding his fist onto the counter. He had finally managed to push his way to the front of the crowd, but for what? All the hotdogs had been sold out.
The bartender was startled by Irvine's sudden outburst of rage. "I'm going to have to ask you to leave."
Zell took his fist off the counter. "Tch! Fine."
Irvine took out the keys to his rental car, which were immediately seized by the bartender. "Maybe you should find a place around here to stay for the night," he suggested. "I'll give you back your keys in the morning."
Irvine stood up tipsily. "I'll be fine, gimme back muh keys." He took a step away from the bar, only to trip over his feet, causing him to nearly hit the floor, but he caught himself and stood back up.
The bartender opened a safe behind him and put Irvine's keys into it before repeating, "Find a place here for the night."
Irvine took out his riffle and aimed it at the bartender. "Gimme. Back. Muh keys," he said slowly.
"If you shoot me, how will you get your keys out of the safe?"
Irvine thought about this for a moment before lowering his weapon. He turned around. "Fine, but yuh bettah not take muh car any where. 'Sa rental." Irvine straightened his hat and staggered his way toward the door.
All that time spent waiting in the crowd of people for a simple hotdog had now been wasted. Zell fumed from the cafeteria with a hot head. He could have spent all that time training, but it was too late for that. Now he had to hurry now if he were to get to the meeting about protecting the endangered Pupu aliens on time. He couldn't care less about the stupid Pupus, but Selphie had asked him to attend the meeting with her. After all, she was the one running it, and he would feel sorry for her if no body else showed up. If it wasn't that he had been asked by her personally, he wouldn't even bother going himself.
"Zell! There you are!" Rinoa called from behind him.
Zell turned around. "I'm kinda in a hurry," he informed her. He could already tell from the tone in Rinoa's voice that she wanted a favor of him.
"It'll only take a second, I swear." She smiled at him sweetly.
Zell tried to ignore her sickeningly sweet expression by looking over her shoulder. He scratched the back of his head. Then he looked back at Rinoa, who was still waiting for his reply. "Oh, all right! I'll do it! Just stop looking at me like that. ...It's creepy."
Rinoa narrowed her eyes and grinned wickedly. She knew exactly how to get guys to do what she wanted. "Okay, this is what I need you to do."
Irvine stumbled around Timber for a while, until he was told by a soldier that his presence was upsetting the locals, so Irvine decided it was time to look for a place to stay for the night. It took him a while, but eventually he found himself a place to sleep. Most of the locals wouldn't let him into their homes due to the fact that he held a riffle and was under the influence, and some wouldn't even open up their doors for him, but a kind old man agreed to let Irvine sleep on his porch. He even brought him a pillow and blanket.
Though it was not quite dark outside, Irvine fell asleep almost immediately.
Zell suffered through Selphie's longwinded speech about what could be done to save the Pupu species, and tried to look interested for as long as his attention span could take him. Just when he thought that he was going to scream if he heard the word 'Pupu' again, the meeting ended.
A few people went up to Selphie after the meeting to thank her for her presentation or to offer her some suggests on how the group could help protect the aliens. One person even said that she would let some of her friends know about the meeting and see if they would go with her to the next one.
Zell figured that the girl must have actually meant that she would tell her enemies about the meeting, because who in the world would want to make their friends suffer so much?
When everyone else had left, Zell approached Selphie. "Hey, ya did a really great job," he said, and gave her a pat on her shoulder.
Selphie let out a sigh of relief. "Do you really think so?"
No, thought Zell, but he kept the opinion to himself. "Yeah!"
"I didn't expect for such a big turn out," Selphie said, packing up some of the diagrams that she had used in her presentation. "I was really nervous!" She zipped up her bag and put it over her shoulder, before gathering up her laptop.
"I'll help you with this." Zell grabbed another one of Selphie's bags, and held the door for her on their way out of the meeting room.
Together, Zell and Selphie return all of the supplies to various instructors, until everything was back to its rightful owner. The last thing they returned was a rolled up map which belonged in the library. Zell had meant to talk to Selphie about what Rinoa had said to him before the meeting, but he wasn't quite sure about how to approach Selphie about the situation.
"Thanks for all your help and support, Zell," said Selphie, smiling with appreciation. "Now what are you going to do?"
Zell thought for a moment and in the silence, his stomach growled, and Zell remembered that he still had not eaten yet.
"Well first, I'm gonna find me something to eat." Zell put a hand on his belly. "I'm starved! Wanna come with?"
"Sure!" Selphie exclaimed excitedly. "I'm getting kinda hungry myself."
Halfway through their meals, Zell finally decided it was time to tell Selphie about his talk with Rinoa. "Selphie..." he started.
"Yeah?" she asked happily while munching on her baked potato.
"I was talking with Rinoa earlier today, and-"
"Oh really?" Selphie interrupted him. "How is she doing?"
"Uh..." Zell had prepared in his head exactly what he was going to say to Selphie, but now she had broken his train of thought. "Well I didn't ask her, she seems all right to me, but..."
"Yes?" Selphie urged him to continue.
"She was, uh, telling me about..." He began to blush.
"What is it Zell? What did she tell you about?" Selphie asked through a mouthful of potato.
Zell leaned in closer to Selphie, so that the people sitting at the tables around them wouldn't be able to hear. Selphie leaned in, too. "She told me about you and Seifer."
Selphie choked on her potato and began to cough before turning beet-red. "How much did she tell you about me and Seifer?"
"... Enough." Zell stated simply, not wanting to consciously recall the images back to his mind so soon.
"I'm gonna kill her," Selphie said in a tone that made Zell wonder if she actually was going to murder Rinoa, and if he should tell her. Selphie leaned in closer to Zell again and said in a hushed voice, "if you tell a single soul about Seifer and me, I'll come after you, too." Zell laughed nervously. Yep! He was definitely going to tell Rinoa to steer clear of Selphie.
"Cross my heart," Zell reassured the girl. Like he would go around gossiping about something that he couldn't even fully vocalize. Rinoa was the one who liked to gossip, not him.
Selphie narrowed her eyes at Zell, and stared deep into his eyes as if daring him to tell someone about what had happened. Then... she smiled sweetly again. "Anything else you wanna say?"
"Well... how is Irvine taking it?"
Selphie rolled her eyes. "I really don't want to talk about Irvine right now, okay?" She turned her attention back to her meal.
Zell held his breath. He was about to take a big chance, but he decided that he would be safe... for now, anyway. Selphie wouldn't kill him in front of the other students in the cafeteria... or would she? "Oh, common." Zell urged. "I want to hear the story from you. You don't really want me to go on believing the story in the way that Rinoa told it to me, do ya?"
Selphie turned a redder shade than before. Zell knew that that would get her. Everyone knew how Rinoa liked to exaggerate and juice up stories way beyond the reality of them. Zell prayed that Rinoa would forgive him in the afterlife for what he had just done to provoke Selphie to off her.
Selphie looked up again and met Zell's eyes. "Look," she started, "it was his own damn fault. Irvine never spent any quality time with me, and he made me feel terrible when he would look at every other girl in a way that he never looked at me, so I figured, if he can look at other girls, then I can look at other guys, just as easily. It just so happened that Seifer was there to listen to my story first. At least Seifer actually listens to me when I talk. Like, really listens."
Zell was suddenly thankful that he hadn't been the first one that Selphie told her story to. "So how long were you with Seifer before Irvine found out?"
"About a month," Selphie replied, shoving more food into her mouth and chewing it rather violently. "Now stop asking me questions and eat your meal before it gets cold," she ordered.
Zell reluctantly took a bite of his meal, which was in fact becoming cold. Neither of them said anything for a while, but then Selphie spoke up again. "I mean. It's not like I wanted to cheat on Irvine deliberately. It just, well... happened before I could stop it."
Zell looked confused. "So you didn't want to cheat on Irvine, but then you just suddenly found Seifer all over you?" He immediately regret his words, and prepared to duck out of the way in case Selphie decided to throw her glass of water at him before she could stop that as well.
"You don't understand. It wasn't like that. I loved Irvine at one time, but now I love Seifer." Selphie gave a chuckle. "You couldn't possibly understand the way that I feel, Zell. You've never been in love before have you?"
It was true, Zell had never been in love before, but the way that Selphie had said it made the blond boy suddenly feel very young and inexperienced. It was like there was something missing in his life. Something that all of his other friends had experienced but him. Rinoa and Squall were in love; there was no doubt about that. Quistis wasn't seeing anyone at the moment, but she too had experienced love before. And Selphie... well that was obvious, but Zell... Suddenly, Zell was alone in a world that he shared with no one.
"I'm sorry, Zell," Selphie apologized, seeing the sad look that befell her friend's face. "I didn't mean..."
"Nope," Zell held up his hand to stop her. "That's all right."
"You'll find that special girl someday, Zell," Selphie reassured. "That day just hasn't come yet."
End of Part I.