Screw you too, Tonberries. Eurgh.

"Conflict resolved."

Oh, yeah! Finally... now, for one more mission, and I can go make that bimbo her meatcart. Lunchcart. Flowercart. Something.

Oh, no. Wait.

I have... let's see, five here and two and... thanks for literally piling me with missions when I don't really need it, Softsquare.

Oh, that's right, you call yourselves Square Enix now, don't you? No wonder Zack had to be shot to death.

"Shiho, Commander wants his report!"

If anybody ever tells you military is fun and fulfilling and adventurous and dangerous and what not... don't believe them. Nothing can be justified as all of that if paperwork is part of the job scope- NOTHING.

"I'm coming!"

Of all the times in the world.. thanks a lot, Commander.

"You're playing again, Shiho?"

"I'm saving now, Nick, don't rush me."

Yeah, don't rush- fuck.

What have I done..

Okay, I can handle this. I-I've fought before, right? I've killed before, haven't I.. so if I can take down three Earth bitches in one shot, I can do this too... right?


No, I can't. I can't... what am I going to do...

"Are you done yet, Shiho? We have to go now- as in, immediately."

"Nick, I told you, don't-"

Okay, okay. Take your time."

Wait. Nick. Nick... of course.. Nick! Hah! I have been so blind! But now I see!

"Nick! Nick, Nick, Nick..."

"Whoa, slow down! We've still got time, you know-"

"It's not that, I- help me, Nick."



"Yeah, but at night, it's like a whorehouse!"


"Abel, that's more or less the fifth time you've said this."

"But it IS like that, I swear-"

"Abel! Chill! Remember? Come what may, nothing can ever tempt our virtue, Abel, so fear not!"


Somebody shut this one-eyebrowed thing right now.


Bitch, don't you click your tongue at me! Say something!

"Sorry, but I can't help you there."

That's it? What am I gonna do... and he probably got that materia already...

"But, you know, you should have just asked me for mine."

Yeah, and then? Give it back because you want Cass to play Patapon? D'oh!

"And don't do that face, Shiho, you look terrible like that."

"I FEEL terrible, Nick. I have to look like that as well, right?"

"Well,,. I'm sorry, man..."

Eurgh... why do I feel so tired? I'm so screwed, even Nick can't help me...

"Oh, hey, Cass! Shiho, you go first. I'll be there in a minute."

"Yeah, fine."

One day, I'm going to hold that boy up at gunpoint against the wall and ask him who is more important- friends who save his ass, or Cass- and then shoot him anyway.

"Yo, Shiho!"

Who- oh, crap...


Why does she look so constipated... ah, maybe it's THAT...



"Are you reporting to Isaac?"

"What? Oh yeah."

Nick, hurry up, you dumbass.


"Ah-we'll just be goin, then... see you at dinner, Dearka!"

Huh? Fast..

"Come on, Nick, move it."

"Wait, what-ow! No need to rush, right-oh... oh, yes.. that's right..."



"Mother, I really don't have any problem with it- I'm very happy for you, Mother, but- hello? Mother?"

The click ended their conversation. It had been the longest, but it was also the one that confirmed with the greatest intensity the fundamental strains of their relationship. He collapsed, his forehead crashing onto the keyboard of his laptop.

Tired- he was just tired, and on the verge of tears.

A knock on the door. "Come in," he sighed, rubbing his face.

He glanced at the entrant as he composed himself. She looked shifty, but he was not in any mood to ask. A message from Dearka on the screen: something's not right with your one today- looked really scared, probably of me, but that's only because she turned white and ran away when I said hi. By the way, I was only trying to be nice, not doing anything funny.

For the next nine and half minutes (I counted), one maintained a monotonous and almost mechanical tone- which meant that he was talking like himself- and the other managed (managed, you hear me, managed. It wasn't mustered, it was managed. Mark the word managed, alright- stop pushing!) a veneer of coolness. At the end of it, all he said was, "Good job. What about next week?"

"Next week?"

"Next week."

It hit her, "Oh, that! Nick's bringing it in. I'll go get him now."



"Ask him later. I can see it tonight as well," he paused, "Shut the door behind you." All was still calm.

She followed the instruction. As she clicked the door shut, his chair shifted and he growled, "Lock it."

Don't look at me all funny because of the title... what, you thought I had a creative brain? Too bad, I don't. I'm much more inclined towards logic than creativity, though logic is usually equivalent to poor psychiatric health in my case. This was based on a true story. Serious. Don't laugh. Nick and Cass are real people, not fictional, and I think they're awesome. Contrary to what may be inferred, I bear no misgiving nor grudge towards Cass. In fact, I thinks she's a really sweet person. So, Cass, play Patapon all you like, honey.

Would you like footnotes? I have lots of footnotes. Oh, and I stole a bit of a point from one of Komilia's tales. The one where the mother marries her bodyguard. Forgot what it's called, though... couldn't think of anything else... sorry, darling, hope you don't mind a bit of thievery here and there... oh, but isn't Zack just gorgeous after two years?