Chapter 1: I hate my life!

A/N: Okay, be prepared. This is my first SI, and I hope that I don't butcher the game. My brother moved recently, taking our only copy of FFIX with him, so I have to try to do this by memory. I will be using original dialogue and screwing around a bit with the plot a bit because I think it'll be fun. Moreover, after reading the first few chapters, a very big question may pop into your minds concerning Rick. The answer is YES, so get over it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I hate summer vacation; the endless hours of boredom that I can only fill with books, TV, and video games. At least I can catch up on my Soaps before my parents make me get a job. I also hate being single. Life is just such a drag when all of my friends are out on dates and I'm stuck at home with only my buddies Ben and Jerry to cheer me up. Hell, half the time I don't even get that luxury because my mother spent our money on something stupid like toilet paper instead of comfort food. What good is toilet paper going to be if I don't even have anything to eat and then excrete! (Eww…) Kind of defeats the purpose, if you ask me.

"Richard!" my mother yells for the umpteenth time today. "You didn't do the dishes!"

"I'll be right down," I call back with false sweetness. Really, I want to wretch. I hate doing dishes. My mom cooks these really nasty meals consisting of some poor dead animal, and half the time it gets burnt onto the pot and has to be scraped off, which I hate doing. I always end up with all of this grossness under my nails and it takes forever to dig it out.

"You are so lazy. Sometimes I wonder why I had children," my mother says as I bound down the stairs and into the living. There she stands, arms all folded across her chest and a look of death in her eyes. "Go do the dishes."

Ignoring her, I hold out my arms and spin around to show off my new sweater. I know sweaters are fall and winter attire, but it just looked so cute on the hanger that I had to spend the last of my birthday money on it. Of course, my mother doesn't say a word. Fashion is so unappreciated in my family. Half the time my dad walks around in nothing but his underwear, which overweight and middle-aged men have no business doing. Well, George Clooney (who, thankfully, isn't overweight) could do it, but only because he's George Clooney.

"Did I not just tell you to go in the kitchen and clean the pots and pans?" my moms huffs again. I roll my eyes and glance at my nails before regarding her.

"Why do I have to clean them?" I whine. Really, I'm a big baby. I still cry when I read Old Yeller and Gone with the Wind. Man! What Scarlet must've looked like with that red dress at the bazaar! Maybe I should watch the movie again, there's a copy of it somewhere in my house. Then I look at my mother. She's not at all pleased with my attitude, so I try to appeal to her logical side. "I don't eat any of that stuff anyway. Why should I have to clean it?"

Then come those four words that make me want to rip my hair out. "Because I said so."

I fight the urge to do so because it takes me forever to style my hair just right. In all honesty, I don't see why I do it. Nobody ever notices. The sacrifices, meaning the half an hour in the bathroom with nothing but my product and a mirror, I make for style.

"Ma," I say in all of my Mid-Western glory, "listen to me. I'm a vegetarian and don't eat meat. You and dad are practically carnivores. I don't go around telling you to stop eating all of those baby lambs and pigs, so please don't make me clean up your slaughtering."

"Shut up and do it! You don't do anything else around here. Look at this place. It's a mess!" she shrieks. My eyes scan the living room and I wince. Aside from the ugly brown carpet, boring light blue walls, and hideous floral-patterned furniture, the living room looks like a war zone. The coffee table is covered with magazines and mail, there are dirty plates and cups in every crevice possible, and the floor is covered with towels because of our fifteen-year-old beagle with bladder problems. Then they wonder why I stay in my room all the time.

"It's not my fault!" I decry in outrage, being a real drama queen. This is so unfair! I'm only 17, so I can't just leave. "I'm in my room all the time, so don't blame this on me."

My mother is exasperated and rubs her temples before looking at me like she wants to strangle me. I actually shrink back in fear and whimper a little. My, how macho of me. Scared of a forty-something homemaker. If the military saw me now, would they still be sending me all of those things in the mail telling me to be the best I can be?

"Just go to your room. I'll let your dad deal with you when he gets home," she says. I scamper back upstairs and close the door behind me. Clapping and jumping in victory, I plop down on my bed. My dad never makes me do anything. Well, for a few years, he tried to get me to go to church with him every Sunday morning, but it didn't go over well. It interrupted my weekend beauty sleep, which always seemed to catch up with me as I sat in those uncomfortable pews while some idiot yelled about something that I didn't care about. Then, later, there were other reasons… He just gave up.

I wonder what to do until dad gets home until I see my PSX. My brother and I used to share it, but then he got a job and a PS2, leaving me with the "obsolete" gaming system. Of course, I don't care. He bought the PSX a few years ago with his Christmas money. I didn't have to shell out a dime for anything but my games.

Now, let's see what I have to work with. When he got his PS2, my brother took all of the games he bought. His library is considerably larger than mine, since most of my money goes to my awesome wardrobe. Anyway, all I have is Final Fantasy VII-IX, Tomb Raider III, and Resident Evil 2. As much as I love zombies and girls with guns, I decide to be a little adventurous and save the world from some maniac with a large ego.

My favourite game is FFVIII, but I'm not in the mood for it just now. Quistis rocks and all, but I beat it just the other day. I could face off against Sephiroth and Shinra, but it always takes forever to get Yuffie. Really, she's the main reason I play the game. The Wutai episode with Yuffie, Elena, and Don Corneo always makes me fuzzy inside. Eh, I guess Zidane and company is coming to my rescue. I really do like the game's music and the moogles. They were their most prevalent since FFVI with Mog.

"Yay!" I chirp happily as I pop open my PSX and stick the first disk in. Then I close it and hit the power button. It goes through all of its company-naming stuff and finally I get to play. Well, since I don't have a saved file on this memory card, I'm going to play a new game. It's so awesome, because that means I get to watch Steiner crash into the side of the Prima Vista!

"Richard, get down here!" mommy dearest yells again, just as the FMV sequence of Garnet and her birth mother in the boat starts. I love the graphics and take a moment to admire them. Apparently, I do so for a second too long as my mom yells again. "Richard! I want you down here now!"

Turning away sadly, I walk to my door and grab the handle. When my hand comes into contact with the brass, though, I get shocked. Ignoring the shock, I open it anyway and turn to look at my TV as I step out the door and promptly fall into nothingness.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A/N: So, what did you guys think? The actual game stuff starts in the next chapter, but I wanted to do the gratuitous "this is me before getting sucked into the game" chapter. Rick isn't exactly like me, though we both do have a profound love for spoiled southern bells and their awesome clothes.