(A/N: It has come to my attention that some of you dislike my tendency not to put "he-said-she-said" after every single line of dialogue.

Not putting such markers of who said what is part of an art known as alldialogue. This is a very fun method of writing; if you dislike it, I recommend that you close this window now, as this chapter consists of essentially entirely alldialogue.)

Chapter Seven And A Half: Lieutenant & Commander: Two and one-third Conversations


The pub in Cyril, at least midnight. The time, obvious from the low occupancy of the place – one barmaid, very blonde, busty, and otherwise lusty, half-asleep behind the bar; a group of men in a corner, having a small arm-wrestling contest; a few young people in the corner, clearly engaging in a drinking competition; and that's all.

Or at least, until the entrance of two clansmen – one moogle, orange furred, ugly clothing, along with one human boy, appearing sixteen, tousled blonde hair, sweaty and exhausted.

"Today," he declares, "sucked so much, Montblanc."
"Elaborate, kupopo?"

"I was soooo sure that once I found Ritz, everything would be the same again!"
"But… things are different now."
"Shoulda had longer chapters on that fic…"

"Nothing, kupo! Continue, kupo."
"'Kay, then. Anyway, things are different now – Ritz looks like a supermodel, she's convinced that absolutely nothing happened, and my best clanner is in jail!"
"Hey, kupo? What about me, kupo?"
"Oh, you? Actually… You suck."
"Oh, thanks soooo much, kupo. That makes me feel so kupo wonderful about myself."
"No! Now, what's so wrong with that?"

"Well, this isn't the real world, Monty!"
"Um, yeah…"

"Nobody has ever called me Monty!"

"It's weird, kupo!"
"Who cares?"

"I do!"
"So, nobody cares."
"But I care! Kupo!"

"You know, that's the most intelligent thing you've said in kupo forever, kupo."
"…Kupo, forget about it. Now, what's wrong with the fact that Things Are Different Now, kupo?"
"…Well, it defies the natural order of things! Ritz is a girl; I'm not supposed to think about her all the time! I'm supposed to think about swinging my sword and stuff like that! It's not normal for me to be remembering her pretty pink hair and the way she smiles at me and… and… and…. Monty? Are you still listening?"
"What did I say about calling me that?"

"Nobody cares about it?"
"I said that I cared!"
"Which means that nobody cares."

"Montblanc! Why are you slamming your head against the table?"
"Headdesk… headdesk… headdesk…"


"Are you still listening? It's weird for me to be thinking of Ritz all the time!"
"Well, kupo, even if you've been thinking of her ever since she left-"
"I've been doing that."
"…Even so, that doesn't mean 'all the time', kupo."
"Yes, kupo."

"But still, Montblanc! I'm not supposed to think about her like this! She's a girl! And girls are all gross, and they like flowers and pink and all this icky girly stuff…"

"…Have you ever considered, kupo, that girls think that boys are all icky and gross for liking things like mud and toy trucks?"
"Well. That doesn't matter, kupo. How are you feeling? Do you feel like you have a fever?"

"Um… I feel all warm and tingly inside, and my heart is beating a thousand beats a minute. Does that count?"


"There's no doubt about it, kupo. You've got it horrible, kupo."
"Got what? How? Is there a cure?"

"In order, kupo: The Jones for her; because she's gorgeous; and unless you claw your heart out of your chest, kupo, probably not, kupo."
"…The 'Jones'? What's that?"

"Well, when a stupid boy meets a hot girl-"

"Zeke! You shut up, kupo! Go back to sleeping, or thinking about Charise, or whatever the kupo hell it is you do in your spare time!"
"Oy! Dontcha mean me, not that stupid sister o' mine?"
"Trust me, dollface, he means Charise. But exactly what would have lovely you involved-"

"Zeke, you've had too much to drink, kupo."

"'E probably 'as. In fact, I think I'll just 'aul 'im off now…"
"That Christine chick is a whore, kupopo."

"Yeah, but she's gone now! And Zeke is, too!"

"And we care, kupo?"
"Well. Anyway, kupo, about Ritz?"
"She's giving me a headache. And a heartache."
"…It's time for sleep, kupo."


The pub, Muscadet, probably around one in the morning. The only people visible: A single Vierra, in barmaid garb, behind the counter, looking drowsy; a moogle standing on a barstool, singing a dirty ditty while juggling knives; a quartet of twittering human women, sitting at the bar on stools, chatting without cease.

Wait- we forget the door, becoming open, allowing the entrance of a pair of friends. The one who enters first: Human, female, about seventeen, long pink hair and clothing to match. At her heels, a Vierra, holding a bow, green clothing that defies her likeliest class. The latter's first statement is:

"Okay, Ritz, I'll bite: Who in the heavens was that guy?"
"He was… Look, you remember when we first m- I mean, when I first saw you after hitting my head?"
"And you remember the name I first said when I woke up?"
"Wasn't it… Marche?"
"Yes, it was; that's the name of the guy."
"…But Marche is somebody from your false memories, isn't he?"

"Yes, he's somebody from my false recollections of my life."

"Yet, you never knew him in Muscadet…"
"Uhuh. In Ivalice-as-it-is-now, I've never met him until this day."

"But you recognized him?"
"So… he's evidence that there's something to your false memories?"
"…I really don't like that idea."
"Neither do I; but there are two logical explanations, and that's only one of them."
"There's a logical explanation for this, Shara?"
"Yes, there are always two for everything. Now, will you allow me to present them?"
"The first is that Marche is actually right, that the world he speaks of and that you remember is The Real World, that everything and everyone in Ivalice whom you can't remember, myself included, is an elaborate mirage, and that you have woven an elaborate web of denial and lies for yourself in not acknowledging the truth of this matter."

"And the second?"
"Marche is bonkers, but you two were in love in a past life, so Fate has conspired to get you back together, and planted the false memories to aid this process."

"Personally, I like the second explanation more."
"So do I."

"Honestly, that weedy human kid being anything besides–"

"Absolutely without doubt the hottest man alive?"

"Hazel, go away. Shara and I are having a conversation."
"Yes, we were."
"But he is!"
"And you know this because…"
"Well, he gathered the sacred Muscamoli herbs while a mob of monsters attacked him! And he used them to cure the fever of an entire neighborhood!"
"…He picked flowers that grow everywhere and they were utilized to cure ten people's headaches."

"Shara has a point, Hazel. Leave us alone."

"But he single-handedly recovered a university's library with the knives of twenty bandits at his throat!"
"It's not schematically possible for twenty people to have knives at his throat, Hazel."

"And he faced six bandits with the help of five other people to recover one research paper."

"Say, Ritz, wasn't that thesis they recovered written by a Nu Mou who'd just gotten out of elementary school?"
"Why yes, Shara, I think it was."
"…But Nu Mou learn a lot at elementary school!"


"Ritz, why are you banging your head against the table?"

"Hazel, shut up, and let her bang her head in peace. While you're at it, you could just leave me in peace, which amounts to the same thing."

"Anyway, I have one example that neither of you can deny!"
"Which is…?"
"In that tale of how he and two friends defeated ten bandits with the assistance of a skilled Archer and a pink-haired human fencer, the pink-haired girl is clearly a metaphor for how incredibly hot Marche must be!"

"Hazel, I was there. The Archer and the Fencer were Shara and me."

"But he has to be hot!"
"I'm going to bed."
"So am I."


"Say, Yenke?"
"You up for a game of chess?"