A/N: Finally cranking out some crappy original content! Wow. The writing style's all weird and impulsive and jumpy, but Yuffie's all weird and impulsive and jumpy too so I guess it works (in some weird and impulsive and jumpy way).
(OHMYGOD, I can't believe ROSE FLAME reviewed my last crapfic! OHMYGAWWWWWWWD-)
I love parentheses.
And angst!fluff! is the nourishment of the soul.
tamatebako – n. a reputedly small, black box that held the old age of the fisherman Urashima Taro as he stayed beneath the seas with Oto-hime, Mistress of the Sea and daughter of the Dragon King.
When he opened it on the shores of his island home, he was restored to his human mortality as a white-haired old man and was lost to the joys and freedoms of the kingdom beneath the sea forever.
(I am trying very, very hard – not to think!)
She could not kill the Nightmares anymore, just as Squall could not kill the Angel Wings, and she hated that. She hated them, she hated herself, she hated the helplessness of everything she did. It was enough hatred to power a world, but it didn't, because it was never enough, never ever anywhere near enough. White wings, black wings; darkwinged demons and feathered glass globes all seemed to twirl and swirl and dance around her, him, them, us - until Sora had to show up and let 'em meet their maker.
I could have been him. I could be him.
Why did they all sing it? Singing this wordless song in her head, the message sewn into their wingfeathers - she wanted to snarl at their disgusting faces, their pearl-eyes and black masks and scream at them because she hated them so damn much. (She wondered if Squall had the same problem; but of course she only knewwhat she didon the limited info she'd obtained after copious amounts of scotch and scotch and even more scotch – only that her name was Rinoa and she'd had white wings sometimes too-)
I hate you but I can't kill you. Gawd, now the universe really was ending, all screwed-up and shit. She couldn't kill the demons anymore. What the hell? Some Great Ninja Yuffie you turned out to be, just because they could be him – stupid romances! Look what they do!
"I hate you. Hate you hate you hate you. Hate you." Ninja shoes should never be orange, never ever ever again. "HATE YOU."
"Were I you," he growled, "I would stop hating my shoes and start killing stuff."
Her shoes are glaring at her. Squall is glaring at her. Or, really, maybe it's just Squall doing enough glaring for the both of them. "Shut up. You start killing them!"
Orange is not (was never) a good color for ninja shoes because it glows in the dark and catches the light and doesn't blend into natural shrubbery. (Like she'd ever be caught dead sitting in some crappy shrubbery.) It just doesn't work. Orange works, however, for The Great Ninja Yuffie because it is pretty and vibrant and sticks out like mad-crazy begonias (in shrubbery. Do begonias grow in shrubbery, Yuffie finds herself wondering, dancing on cobblestones and spinning her tiny silver stars of DOOM and DEATH and DESTRUCTION) and she was never a very good ninjaish ninja anyway.
Orange is never quiet. Orange stuck out like mad-crazy jumpin' bouncin' begonias that danced on Traverse-Nowhere-Town pavement and made perfect Heartless bait.
(It was so much easier to think about shoes than the things Squall was killing, and easier to wonder what dancing begonias looked like than what dancing Heartless did. She puts these thoughts away, into the little black box from the fairytale that she keeps in her mind-)
Squall is dancing, too, lovely and lethal and sparks flying from bullets hitting brick and concrete and Heartless-flesh. Or did they have flesh? Shadow minus light and plus Vinnie-soul-
"YUFFIE! RUN, DAMN YOU, RUN!"
And they dance around her, black wings furling and white eyes laughing and dark masks grinning with malice, right before the plunge.
(It annoyed her to think that Squall could move faster than her. Well, really, he probably couldn't, but in this one incident he did, and that annoyed her to no end-)
Squall was screaming something else now, something frantic and wild and so… unimportant. Something vague, otherworldly – was he really speaking at all…? She hated him screaming at her and loved to tune him out, but now she couldn't pick. What was he saying…?
So she looked down at the sword in her stomach and blinked. She blandly reached a shivering hand (newly-formed lily of a hand, graceful, beautiful, pale no one, not even the rain, has such small hands) to the hilt.
Oh. This just explained so much, thank you.
Swirls of darkness seemed to rotate around the sword (kind of like a planetarium model, Yuffie thought distantly, the kind in Bugenhagen's house, or so said Nanaki-). It was a little bit higher than her belly button, a little bit lower than her barely-there breasts, a little bit between her ribs and a little bit to the left of her stomach.
This she knew in nanoseconds. It took her a considerable bit longer to register Squall.
Hacking and slashing and ping ping ping went bullets in Heartless-flesh.
Just like that, he was shadow minus light plus Vincent-soul
(who was Nanaki? She couldn't remember. Who was screaming?)
Squall was gone, Traverse-slash-Nowhere was gone, but it was quickly replaced by swirling fuchsia-purple-black-not-orange (but orange works, for Yuffie) - and she couldn't say she missed either of them. The sword wasn't gone and neither was Vincent.
Vincent. When the hell'd he show up?
(But he was still tall, and beautiful, and Yuffie feels her heart stop and break a bit – she didn't think she'd see that face again, not until she was dead and buried and Aerith had planted dandelions or begonias or something equally obnoxious on her gravedirt – and his long, loose hair, dark and flowing and ragged like his cloak, and Yuffie feels her heart stop and break a bit, like it'll only take a little more to make it shatter like materia-)
(Leviathan, his voice sounded just the same, and now Yuffie wondered if he could hear her getting older in her voice, because she knew she was) "When'd ya get here?"
He blinked. "Just now. How do you feel?"
"Like shit. When'd ya really get here?"
"Just now, I told you."
"Liar, liar, pants on fire… Cid'd have murdered you if you were really here." (And she knew it, too! You had only to listen to Cid drunk, and Yuffie drunk, and Yuffie bawling and Cid swearing God DAMMIT, Valentine, 'f I ev'r see your#$in'zombie ass again I'm gonna kick it from here to MIDGAR, 'nd back again, ya got that? I'm gonna $in' KILL ya, fer makin' the brat bawl like some snot-nosed little sissy, I will!, and Yuffie would slap him with her salt-damp hands and tell the old bastard to shut up and make the bells stop ringing in her head.)
He blinked (long slow Vinnie blink, just like I remember. Thank God I'm not dying yet.)
"Soo…" She fingered the blade in her ribs (not her stomach, though saying stomach made it sound slightly less serious), "I gotta kill you?"
If he were anyone else, with his age (well, his supposed age, however many gajillions of years that was), with his looks, he'd have smiled in a condescending (some irritating, jackassed king-of-the-world way that showed up on Cid's ugly mug alllll the time, said Yuffie, thought Yuffie-) way. But because he wasn't, and because he was Vincent Valentine, and because he knew that Yuffie hated people who did that to her, he did not.
"No. This situation doesn't call for that yet."
"Oh." She grasped the handle and winced when her fingers burned. "Ouch. Well, that's… nice."
"I would watch that sword." How there could be wind in a big mass of purple-fuchsia-black-Heartless-shtuff was something that Yuffie would not begin to fathom, but his cape still ruffled in it, the frayed threads catching the breeze and her eyes, if only because she didn't want to keep staring at the damn sword. "Only the original Nightmare can pull it out. If you try to, the effects may prove fatal."
She frowned at her hand and the sword and at him (not her shoes, wow, now there was something new). "Well, that just makes things ever so much better, you dumb prick. Go 'way if you won't help me, you… you Vinnie-imposter-THING!"
He stared at her. (She shivered – she always felt so naked when he did that, glistening and pale and freezing in the moonlight – and, oh, and-)
(stripped down. I can read your mind.) Fogged crystal-ball eyes made life so less convenient, and she knew he was in - the bastard. (Since when had anything been convenient? She was a princess, dammit, an elegant lady, not some internally-stripped twentysomething in a staring contest with an imposter-zombie-vampire-boyfriend!)
(snap. And she was fucking sick of it.) "Stop it!" She grabbed the sword, the intrusion (-there's no place like home! there'snoplacelikehome! theresnoplacelike- TAKE ME BACK- but Traverse was never my home, my Wutai-)
(-TO PAGODAS, TO MATERIA, TO VINNIEVINNIEVINNIE - oh, dear Gods, please let me out - TO CATS, TO KIMONOS, TO AIRSHIPS- but it's all darkness now. And all the things in the little black turtle-box that she opened are let loose, all because she had to think of these things, she just had to! No-)
It's a strangled sort of cry that kills her. Breathing heavy, like she'd run to the top of Da Chao without stopping – "Then let me go back there!"
It's his voice that kills her. "…please…"
Her hand was on the sword, his hand was on the sword. "Stop. You'll kill yourself. Stop."
I – am – trying – very, very hard – not to think. Breathing heavy, weakly grinning, a shadow of the smirk that makes her tough inside and all shiny – but it's something, I'm still alive, holy Planet. "You make a pretty good Vincent, I'll give you that."
(The corners of his eyes crinkle just a little bit, slowly and a bit rusty, like the cogs that move his face aren't used to the position and Yuffie feels a little glow inside – a tiny little glow, in the cracks –) "I try."
(- a tiny bright begonia.) " Well, stop, alright?" (Listen to her, reasoning with a damned Heartless, if that was what he was, of all things. Nothing was sacred, listen to Yuffsters, absolutely nothing, not even Yuffie's ever-so-intelligent mind) "Okay." And she slips automatically into deal-mode, into two-faced mode, into why-don't-you-go-pick-up-that-innocent-little-bag-of-one-million-gazillion-gil-while-I-creep-up-from-behind-and-leave-you-with-your-unmentionables-if-you're-lucky mode. "How about we make a deal? You help me pull out this sword… and… I'll… errrr…"
What could she promise him? "Weeellllll… uh, something. Yeah! What do Heartless like, anyway? …You are a Heartless, right…?"
More soft, slow blinks (and she didn't know how anyone could blink softly, but he did, and she hated how he could do it – Vinnie, the real Vinnie, dammit, was the only one who was supposed to! DIR!) and a silence, him right in front of her and practically oozing the stupid awkward silence, and she hated silence and she had to break it, just had to, just like she had to break all sorts of things, like locks and swords and hearts (but never his, of course, no one could touch that - only hers, keeps breaking all the time, like now) "Hey! I bet you like kittens!"
She juts out her lower lip and widens her eyes till they shine, gigantic gray materia orbs in her face. "See? KITTIES!" (Okay, so she sucks at the kittie-face – mental note to never do that in public, never ever-)
And then it comes to her in a magical bolt of inspiration – something better to give away. "Hey, I know! Do you want a friend? I know this guy – he's perfect for you! He doesn't need much… 'cept a bath…" (Of course, Yuffie had no idea whether Squall smelled or not, but it was ever so much nicer to think that he did) "…and some Ritalin… all he does is brood and grunt! Unless you poke him repeatedly… then he yells! See? SOUND EFFECTS!" She threw her arms out wide, like this was some sort of incredible thing never before achieved and got the nice burning pain from her abdomen for her advertising.
Yuffie was taken by surprise (for the briefest, tiniest moment) by the sword in her stomach. (sort of like a WHOA where did THAT come from oh yeah. Damn.) "Hey, Vinnie-imposter-person, why-"
"The poison's spreading." She couldn't see his face. Stupid cape! She could never see real-Vinnie's face clearly either. ("real-Vinnie"! Whoops, there went her mind!) "The darkness is eating away at you."
… (the dot-dot-dots are friggin' audible!)
And now the panic sets in.
"WHAAAAAAAAAAAT!" (And then there's a bit of silence that Yuffie lets him get away with because it's just one of Those Moments. Yes, Those Moments where you wait for someone to pop out from some hidden niche and screech "No, you don't REALLY have cancer from the fumes of that crashed plane that you jumped out of just in time to escape the fate of incineration that befell the rest of all the people you ever knew and loved who were - coincidentally - riding in that very plane! JUST KIDDING, JAY-KAY, JAY-KAY!")
"Dammit, Vinnie-person, you didn't tell me about THAT!" (Though she shoulda known better, she thought in her head – what else would the sword be doing to her! Turning her into gelatin! Yeah, that'd be so cool, jelly-Yuffie, bright orange and jiggling and dancing on Nowhere-pavement-) "Well then PICK SOMETHING, for the love of Planet, so I can live!" (And so not be absorbed by Heartless, I don't wanna – don't wanna die!)
For a half-moment, he thiought - and then he sighed, and moved in front of her. "…Very well."
Stupid godforsaken Leviathan-cursed mother-$in' bast- "…what?"
He didn't answer – just pulled.
Even though it didn't (really) hurt, Yuffie found it all in all very disgusting, and very disturbing, and very disturbingly disgusting and disgustingly disturbing – and this scenario definitely called for a loud proclamation of GROSSNESS right about now… "Um. Wow. Ew."
Despite his strength (which Yuffie knew he had, despite how frail and thin and underfed he looked – weren't them Heartless feedin' him nothin'? Oh, wait, she remembered, he's not real…), the sword moved at a grudgingly slow pace, like it was stuck in some sort of (GIANT ANVIL! Yuffie immediately thinks, then realizes she needs to lay off the cartoons) rock instead of some (frail and thin and underfed-looking ninja girl, which wasn't too far off – Aerith had been away for the last couple of days and Squall had gotten it into his pretty little head that maybe he needed to find some food before they all starved to death. Yuffie preferred fasting in some made-up Da Chao religious ceremony she'd made up on the spot – she could smell what had gone into that curry. Excluding Cid, of course, who said he was fine with his cigs and some bar peanuts, though Yuffie knew he was lying because she'd seen the damn secret-underground-rum-storage-room. Oh yes, very secret, so secret that he hadn't even bothered covering the thing, because who on earth would ever dream of looking for a trap door in the middle of the room?) ninja, who liked orange and sucked at her job and saw every damn thing in the world.
(And she was thinking too much. Why was she thinking she thought too much? It made no sense, none at all-)
The blade had moved only a couple inches. Yuffie could feel her breath in small little gasps – her heartbeat in her head, ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dumba-dum-ba– "Why isn't it coming out!"
He pulled harder, a tiny grunt on his lips as the sword started to slide out a bit smoother.
He paused, and looked up. "…Isn't the sky beautiful?"
"Oh YEAH, talk about the SKY while I'm freaking DYING – pull it out, for the love of everything holy!" (Panicky, panicking Yuffie – she hadn't been this agitated even as she stared down the one-winged angel himself – but that had been when she was so sure she was going to win, with Cloud and Vinnie and Tifa and Cid and the cheerleading of Aerith's ghost or whatever, hey, the Planet was on their side, not Sephiroth's, but now she was all alone-)
-too alone. And the sky was beautiful. (When did the sky get there? she briefly wonders. Weren't we in some fuchsia-purple-black-vortex-o'-DOOM kinda thing?)
Not that she'd let him know. "Move it or lose it, bastard!" She did her best impression of a harpy (of Chekhov) and waved her arms around a bit frantically, though some ancient-long-forgotten-rational part of her brain knew that was useless and stupid and not very ninjaish at all.
But she had never been a ninjaish ninja anyway, and Vinnie knew that. Or he should've, if he'd been the real Vinnie, which he wasn't, so he wouldn't know any of that stuff and would just think she was being useless and stupid and-
-and it really didn't hurt too much, which was surprising. Yuffie looked down – sure enough, there was this gargantuan slash in the middle of her stomach that actually went through her entirely, but it didn't actually hurt (like, her brain wasn't exploding in sheer mortal agony like it did the time Aerith took out that splinter in her leg, which had been the length of a lamp post – or at least the Venus Gospel. Honestly) She knew this because if she had been hurting, she would be weeping like a little girl right now and getting Vinnie all wet or something equally weak and nauseating because the hole just looked so disgusting, and thinking about it just made her sick. Oh, ugh, she was going to be violently ill. She wanted to cry just looking at it – but she wouldn't. She wouldn't, wouldn't, woul-
And she did it anyway. Vinnie-imposter didn't look like he minded (too much. Yuffie made sure to watch out for those conveniently eye-level buckles that were gajillions of years old and could easily blind such a pretty young thing as she – this was known from experience, of course-) but he did say, "It… doesn't hurt too much, does it?"
"…Oh, shut up." She was still coherent through the crying and the irritation and the not-pain, so faintly like jiggling a baby tooth- "Just… ew. Ew ew EWWW ew ewww-"
"…Grossness?" And she feels a surge of happiness, because she could taste that smile in the air, for God's sake – she won't look up. She won't look up. She won't look-
She gnashes her teeth in his cloak and makes some contorted mutant grin-frown in irritation and elation – I made him smile! "…Shut up, you stupid bastard. Just shut up. I know you're smiling, I just freaking know it…" ( I, Yuffie Kisaragi made him smile – who rocks? Hmmm! WHO. FREAKING. ROCKS? And Inner-Yuffie is dancing around in her underwear, laughing maniacally as materia pours from the skies.)
"…" And she feels him awkwardly try to disengage himself from Yuffie's MegaHugThing – so, just to spite him, of course she tightens it till a buckle starts to imprint itself on her cheek, and she still won't let go, her face smushed against his chest and hurting-
And it's quiet. And she hates it.
And she realizes.
And she recoils.
(She can still feel the cut, right on her cheekbone, where the buckle dug into her, and she relishes and mourns that it was all real, because-)
He holds out the sword to her, grabbing it by the blade with his dully shining claw – lets her take the hilt. "…Yuffie. Here."
(-because he has no heartbeat. Oh, God.) "What? What do you want me to do with it?" (God, oh, God, she's trembling again. Leviathan, make me stop being so damned scared!) "What, is this my magical ticket home or something?"
And he fixes her with that stern scarlet gaze, and stares at her for a couple eternities (give or take a few), and she knows what she has to do. "No. No, no, no. Ohhhh, no. No fucking way!" She's screaming, again, and again, and she can't help it! (No!) "Don't you dare make me do this, Vincent Valentine!" (Screechy like a banshee – panicking, panicky Yuffie. Such a scaredy-cat – some Great Ninja Yuffie you turned out to be!)
Her eyes are a wobbly gray, and he destroys her. "You know I'm not him. Do it." Destroys her, utterly, entirely, and she hates losing but she always loses to him when it comes to things like these – damn him, damn him again and again! (She was so siccing Cid on him, once he got his nice widdle Turkey ass into her hellhole-of-a-town, she'd have his ass on a plate! And so Yuffie made a ninjaish vow, third one in her life, right after restoring Wutai and avenging Aerith-)
And wide-eyed gray closes for a moment, preparing itself. "...I just hate you right now. I want you to know that. Just… fucking… hate you. Bastard. I'm going to make Cid kill you, and then revive you, and then I'll kill you, and then I'll revive you again and again and we'll just keep killing you and I'll invite Squall in for the fun of it and Aerith can just watch with some sweet kind of omniscient smile on her lips – and –" and she has to swallow here, she just has to, she can't let it leak into her face, "and she can be the one to revive you, every time, 'cause you can be sure as hell that I won't be doing it for you!"
(She tastes his tiny smile again in the air, the little corners of his lips going up in that pale mask of a face and staying there before flitting away like a skittish butterfly) "…As long as you're alive to do it, you can do whatever you want."
(She can't swallow fast enough.) "And… and now you just had to go and say – say something sappy and stupid like that, didn't you!" The gray is leaking onto her face now, and she can feel it travel over the mark on her cheek and her nose and settle on the corners of her unnatural frown, but she can't swallow the sobs down fast enough to stop them now. "You big idiot!"
So she runs forward now, giant chunky sword in her hand (kinda like when she filched Cloud's gargantuan monster-of-a-sword away in the middle of the night and tried to swing it, only to decapitate an innocent flower bush – might've been a couple of begonias, now that she thinks about it-), and she tries (very, very hard) not to think about it too much, tries not to think about it at all, just like she always does – never thinking about running away from Wutai, about losing Tifa and Barrett and Cait and Red in the swarms, about watching Vincent disappear-
-tries not to think about it, as she stabs the sword into (her) Vinnie-imposter-prick-thing, right where his heart was supposed to be beating but wasn't, tries not to think about the sharp gasp he makes (and should never have made), tries not to think about his jerking hands, one of porcelain and the other of brass, violent in their death-spasms, embracing her, and being careful not to scratch her even as she cried into his neck and left the sword in his heart and swung her tiny, lily-pale hands around him-
Yuffie cries, and tries not to think about how she just killed her first Nightmare.
And she really almost misses it. Almost, but not quite – almost misses his velvet-voice, with just a hint of death-sandpaper in it – "But here are wings to take you there."
(His hands on her back, and there are black feathers freaking everywhere - it's quick, really, she almost misses it-)
And she feels herself falling out of fuchsia-purple-black-not-orange, but she still can't see straight – not till Squall comes into focus, a foot above her, and she realizes how very cold concrete is on bare skin.
And she tries not to think about it – she thinks very, very hard- of something else.
Then decides it's not worth it.
"Squall?" Her voice is still tear-choked (and she hopes for some sympathy and pity, she really does, because she could use a pity party right about now – even though she knows she's got a snowball's chance in hell eliciting some from Squall, of all people. He really did need some Ritalin.), and she puts a piteous and pathetic mewl at the end of her voice on purpose.
She can read his mind, right now.Oh Good Lord, she's lost it now. (Yes, Squall, she finds, has a very, very simple mind to read.) "…Yessss, Yuffie?" Cautiously, warily. (Dammit! He already knows what's coming!)
And Yuffie sighs heartbrokenly, her head still on the pavement and slowly freezing the (few) brain cells inside it.
"Never mind… I was going to glomp you, and grind my wet and salty face into your nice shirt and jacket, but I decided it wasn't worth the effort."
Well, that made him step away pretty fast. Yuffie smiles, just a little – and Squall scowls. "Hn. What… happened, anyway?" His eyes soften a bit as he gives her a second (or third, or fifteenth – Yuffie has no idea how long she was elsewhere, with- tries not to think about it!) look over. But they only soften a very, very tiny bit. "Didn't you get hurt? I got hit as I was coming over for you… I woke up a bit ago, and all the Heartless were gone." He shifts a bit, puts his weight on the opposite foot – Yuffie doesn't know why he leans all the time, but he does, and she knows it means he's indecisive about something. Which explains why he's constantly shifting his feet and weight around. "…Good job, getting them all."
And Yuffie blinks twice and quick before a crafty sort of smile creeps up on her face, and she pushes herself up with her palms on the cold, cold Traverse-Nowhere brick, "I didn't do anything. I got stabbed, Squallie-boy, and – and got conked out, and woke up to see your beautiful face above mine." Here she sighs dramatically, like a lovelorn schoolgirl (which is what she is, after all, and she tries so damn hard not to think about it! – but maybe it shows up on her face, that anger at herself, so she squashes it again, back into the little black box in her head)
Squall frowns. (Not that it looks any different from his normal expression, really.) "…"
She just grins. "I think… a Nightmare rebelled. A bit. And killed them. Aaaand… then he went away." And it spreads a little wider, till it takes up half her face – the smirk that makes her all shiny inside, like polished materia, but she already knows he thinks she's lying. After all, she can read his mind. "But don't worry. I'm sure… that he's okay."
(she stuffs it into that little black box, so she can smile again, and get drunk with Cid again, and love orange again – so she can think about it later, and decide that she should leave it to Sora, Sora will fix everything in the end-)
And she backflips and stand up straight again, still short, still underfed, still as un-ninjaish as ever. "Also, Squall – I don't think you should go near any Angel Wings for a bit." Impish and whiny, still the same Yuffie – "Might bump into someone you don't wanna see just yet, y'know."
(-so she can start killing Nightmares again, and keep wishing on all the fading stars in the sky that he's still out there, and)
- and she saunters off towards the bar, where she knows Cid will be, to start creating their devilish plans of torture – upon his return.
(and she tries, very, very hard, not to think, and to lock all those little thoughts up in the black box and throw them away to the sea.)
A/N: The words you're looking for here are "hopelessly incoherent."
This started out as something completely different. Completely. I must have gone through three or four titles and ideas, and I refused to rewrite any of it because it was a bitch to do so I wrote multiple paragraphs in insanely different mindframes and while listening to the seductive crooning of a thousand different plotbunnies.
The reason Cid is reduced to various symbols whil Yuffie is allowed usage of the word "fuck" is because Cid always just curses in symbols. Always. So I had to. Don't ask.
I hope you all spotted that awful yet random Pirates of the Caribbean reference. I sort of didn't realize it until I reread it for the four-hundredth time and decided that rum was way, way cooler than stupid old gin and whiskey and sake. And then I spotted it on another reread and was all "oh God Karasu you suck."
Urashima Taro and the "little black box" are all references to what is possibly one of the most famous Japanese folktales ever. You know, that one with the fisherman that saves the turtle, and in return the turtle takes him to the palace of the undersea Dragon King, and he falls in love with the King's daughter, but then he goes to visit his home one last time before he marries her and she gives him a little black box that she tells him not open – and then he goes home, finds all his friends are old men, opens the stupid box and gets old. Yeah. It's famous.
I overuse the word "and" to the point of ad nauseam. You are definitely allowed to shoot me for it.
Can't write Squall to save my soul. Nyah.