two my yoda duck

..and give the nice fluffy white feathers to Squall to make a new boa-unmanly-accessory for his stupid girly leather jacket! «yuffie kisaragi»

× go ..

Once upon a time in a Café across the way... there was a mostly female ninja in great distress.

She waited for a knight in shining armor, but all she had was Squall.

My right eye twitched dramatically, and a slightly manic grin flashed across my lips. It was the kind of smile that looks like, 'Oh happy day!' but means, 'I hope you die!' It was the kind of smile that makes children cry and grandmas look down at my small Yuffie-self in shame, muttering, "The children these days, fo shizzle." My eye twitched again and a sigh wormed its little wormy way out of my chest. I don't usually let the wormy kind of sighs live in my chest. Grossness.

And you may wonder why I was acting so abnormal.

It seemed to be that I was the only person in the town with a hint of moral fiber.

The people around me ate with what was left of their families and some with new friends, but they didn't seem to think about what they ate, or where they ate it. There were loads of people that night, but I had arrived early.

I smiled politely up at the pink-haired waitress standing over me. Her pale skin was blinding me with its blemish free-ness. "I'm sorry," I said, "But, I can't eat this." I pointed at my plate and grimaced slightly, trying with all my heart trying not to barf. Because, really, I didn't want to offend the poor girl, even if she was glowering down at me with one pierced eyebrow raised and her arms folded impatiently across her chest.

She let her dark black eyes wander over the plate and shrugged like it was no big deal or something. (NO BIG DEAL? Inner-child-Yuffie screamed. I'LL SHOW YOU A BIG DEAL IN WAYS THAT YOU DON'T EVEN WANNA KNOW! And Inner-child-Yuffie screamed and screamed until all the waitresses died and I came spiraling back into reality.) "You ordered it," she replied dully, chewing on her piece of gum with half a smirk. She pointed at the dish with her pen. "Dead stuff usually doesn't order itself, you know, girl."

I blinked.

Twice, I blinked.

The girl continued to raise her pierced eyebrow. And there was a tiny blue dolphin dangling from the end of the thin piece of silver.

"Listen..." I checked the brown nametag on her black uniform absently. It said JERBILLINI in capital white letters. So, I while I was thinking about how strange a name that was, I continued, "Jerballini, I didn't order this and I hope you'll bring it back to your stupid, fat cook before you have to go to him and get some frickin' ice cream!" I thought I was finished, but then realized that I was quite unsatisfied with myself, "You know... cause I'm gonna hit you, and you're gonna need the ice cream to stop the swelling!" Feeling better, I smirked and picked up the plate for her, in case her bitty little girl arms couldn't take it.

I held it out and waited for a reaction; a reaction that simply wouldn't come.

In all of my ranting, her expression didn't change, and she popped her gum a few times. Pop-pop-poppity-pop and I was sure that she hated my little ninja anger-level, for some reason unknown to me, or, most likely, any other person in the world. The brat of a girl didn't even try to take my dinner away and just stared me in the face. Her black eyes were like freaking drills. They bore holes in me and just when I was about to burst and chuck the whole table at her face, she said, "My name is Jeralli." Her pink hair, sticking out in every direction, fell in her face a bit and she puffed at it silently.

Blink.

B l i n k.

"Wait—wha...?"

And then she walked away, flapping her too-small black skirt and muttering something about 'Global Warming in Agrabah.'

I was so confused that I didn't even try to stop her as her flapping flip-flops floomped away from my table.

You may call me slow; I just call me strange and challenged when it comes to matters of the mind. And it's true, too. After all, there are times when I can't get the image of Cid and Shera in the broom closet out of my mind. I can't get it to go away. If that's not a challenge, then you tell me what is.

That's what I thought.

But, after staring at the place where Jerbali-Jeralli-Jerla-Lulii-Lala disappeared into a door, I took a look back at my dinner, and very nearly died.

Because I was hungry, and I had juicy meat sitting before me and I couldn't eat it. Because, as I said before, I was the only one in the stupid town with an ounce of morality. The only one! I swear to... like... Simba or something.

Sighing again, and pulling my bright orange gloves on farther; I took my footing; picked up my plate filled with meat, lettuce, and lemons; and strode in the expert style of Humjumi-Jumhumi-REAL-NINJA-TECHNIQUE, up to the little open window at the back of the café. It was a hard thing to do, you know! With all the... stones... and... rocks...

And stones.

When I reached the windows, I placed my fingers on the gruff plaster of the counter and kicked the wall lazily. "Helloooo?" I called into the kitchen. "Anybodyyy theeeeeere? Don't hide, children! I don't bite! I just want to give you some nice shiny candy! It's red! And purple! And white! And you know you want it! You total—"

The Jaja-woman arrived at the counter, most likely afraid that I was scaring away the customers. "Yes?" she asked dryly as if I couldn't hear the edge of venom on her voice, glaring down at me, from her higher standpoint. She looked twice as intimidating when she was smirk-glaring. Let me tell you. Her every-shade-of-pink hair was glowing from the lights behind her. This strange girl, who I saw every morning, but had never really talked to until now, was looking me over like I was interesting or anything equally absurd.

I carefully leaned my elbow into her booth and off-handedly—or what probably passed off as it—pushed my plate in front of her. "You gave me duck. Deep—freaking—fried duck. And, that, as you may know, is a problem, seeing as I know a good few ducks. Huey, Duey, and Luey?" She kept chewing her gum and fiddling with her hair and reminding me all too much of a flamingo as I went on, "They're these cute little ducklings… and I think I may be eating their cousin… Or like… father… And what if they come and are all like, 'Our names are Huey, Duey, and Luey! You ate our father! Prepare to die!' And what will I do then? I can't fight cute little duckies and pluck them and give the nice fluffy white feathers to Squall to make a new boa-unmanly-accessory for his stupid girly leather jacket. That wannabe jacket…(I took a lot of time in getting him to take off that… weirdo faux fur stuff. Chilling, really.) But—" I stopped for a breath, "Anyway, I can't eat this! All I see is three little heads staring at me and saying random stuff in scary scratchy Yoda sounding voices!" Jaja blinked at me slowly and nodded, her head cocking to one side, deciding if I was drink or just deranged.

"Well, it's dead now. You might as well eat it." I saw her mouth quirk a little in the corners and I cracked. (Assuming that before, I was simply spontaneously combusting. Which is, when you think about it, completely different. When you spontaneously combust, there is a chance that you can be saved. When you crack, you're always going to be cracked… or at least a penguin hunter. Nobody likes penguin hunters.)

"Have you got any idea how creepy it is to look at a plate and say, 'I'm sorry you're dead,' and have it reply, 'Uuuuuse the foooooooooooorce… Do not thiiiiiiiiiiiink… feeeeeeeeeeeeeeel…"? Do ya! And, lemme tell ya, true power, no matter what the stupid little dudes say, does not lie within!

Then she said, "Whatever, girl," and shut the booth in my face with her eyes laughing and her hair sparkling.

Blink.

B l i n k .

"Well then," I said to the harsh brown wood before me. "If you had not been made into a door, we might have been friends."

I guessed that I wasn't getting a refund, and my shoulders slumped a little to realize it. There were still good people in the world, I tried to convince myself, they're just hiding it deftly. A little like Squall.

My orange shoe made contact with the wall one more time and then I turned on my heel and left the place with people's stares lingering on my retreating back.

But I didn't care. I had a log waiting for me.

Just remember: I will never eat duck. I may crack, spontaneously combust, and wet myself all at the same time. Then, if I survived, Huey, Duey, and Luey would come and cook my ass over the spit just to see me go down for killing their second cousin twice removed.

× wait up ..

When the orange moon sets, so does the sun. And when it comes back up, the orange moon has coaxed the crying one out of its hiding place for a while. It wants so badly to be in the light and yet, sometimes, the day moon must need comfort too.

Sometimes, it just doesn't come out at all. And that, they say, is when it has a broken heart.

I always just assumed it ate one too many burritos.

× go on ..

He was sitting by opening to the Waterway, (and quite feather boa-less, I might add) when I found him. His feet dangled in the water, boots set up neatly next to his hands with supported him from behind. A rare pose for a snoring lion-log with far too many girly accessories to speak of. But—surprise, surprise—I didn't exactly come for Squall, who was likely to yell in my face or at least make a snide comment so I yelled in his. I came for the food sitting next to him, with his boots.

I wrinkled my nose, hoping that they wouldn't stink up the mouth-watering Mac'n'Cheese.

Leon didn't go to the Café sometimes when it was busy (like that night) so he'd make his own food. (The only other restaurant in town was a little hole-in-the-wall Agrabahan Barbeque, you see. It was unsanitary in there.) After all, neither Aerith nor I could cook worth crap. She, because I was thinking that she was cursed. And me because I was incapable of following directions in any form. (Because Tsp., for your information, doesn't stand for: Two salty people.)

I seriously wanted Squall to dress up in an apron, but it was quite difficult to make him do anything when he constantly sharpened his huge-ass sword with a menacing look on his face.

Tch... some ninja I was.

He looked up when I sat down in a huff next to him, cold stones beneath me dirtying my long, long, utterly-too-huge socks. I think many people thought I had chronic leg fungus or something.

That's the thing about Traverse Town, you know. It's entirely too large for the small number of people that live there. So, everything that happens or someone assumed has happened travels around the town at Gummi speed. Then it echoes off the empty spaces and is distorted until it's hardly something that happened at all, but more something that people want to happen, just for hope or a good laugh.

For instance, a couple of months before the Jaja incident, a rumor when through the town that Aerith and Leon were an "item." A couple of weeks after that it was me and Squall. Of course, with my taunting of him and telling people that he was secretly in love with me and that we were running away to Wonderland to get married, I wasn't helping our case so much. (I was hardly offended. At one point in time, it was said that Squall was caught doing dirty things in the Gizmo Shop with an Angel Star.)

Of course, they all ignored the fact that they knew I begged Aerith everyday to move in with her nearly everyday. I had a sneaking suspicion that she was saving room for Cloud.

I never expected him to come back.

But then again, I never expected us to live for more than three days after we escaped Hollow Bastion either.

I sighed slightly and peeled off my own shoes and socks, dipping my feet in the chilling water. I felt rather like I'd been sitting naked in the middle Hollow Bastion's winter and rolling around, hoping that I didn't get frost bite so my feet wouldn't turn brown and fall off in front of some hungry Heartless.. But I ignored it…

After all, we'd been doing this since we arrived here when I was only five.

Squall gave me an awkward look-over and opened and closed his mouth a few times, probably trying to think of something to say. "You look awful," he mumbled finally, staring pointedly into the murky water swallowing us from the ankles.

"Better than you, Mr. My-pants-may-fall-down-at-any-moment-One-more-belt-sir Leonheart," I retorted bitterly as my stomach growled along with me. "I'm about to die, Squallie! Die!" And when he got that mischievous look in his azure eyes, (or at least a bit less dull), I elbowed him in the bicep, adding, "Not a word from you, ya' stupid log."

He blinked into the pool and shook his head like he wasn't about to say I'd be better off dead, anyway.. "Whatever."

"Idiot," I replied, glaring sideways at his weirdly long brown hair.

Aren't girls from California the only girls who say 'Whatever?'

The echoing Yoda voice in my head murmured, "The force be with you."

And when I took his bowl of food, he didn't say a word, but the tiniest, littlest, most microscopic trace of a smile crossed his face.

× pause ..