Author: The Magic Rat
Warnings: Cid’s butt and juvenile humour.
Website – Ex Libris: http://www.winter-wood.net/ex-libris/index.html
Live Journal: http://delaese.livejournal.com/profile
Disclaimer: All Final Fantasy Seven characters, places and situations are the property of Square Soft/Square Enix and are used without permission and without intent of plagiarism or profit. Metalocalypse, the members of Dethklok, and lyrics to Dethklok songs belong to Brendon Small, Cartoon Network and Turner Music. Copyright for all stories and original characters such as Badger the Roadie is with the author, and may not be published, copied, distributed or archived without the author's prior written consent.
Summary: Just another silly night on the road.
Author’s notes: This is a sort of prequel to ‘It’s Late’.
My friend and webmistress The Pointy-Eared Bow Twanger asked me TWO YEARS AGO to write a fic with a certain word in it. Then the other day she asked me to write a fic in which I explained where Capey got her name. I’ve finally done both.
Aeris, Tifa and Yuffie watched as the flap of their tent was pulled back, and a moment later a rolled sleeping bag was tossed inside, amidst the packs and blankets and assorted small feminine necessities and trinkets. Moments later, Vincent Valentine crawled in. He closed the flap of the tent, unrolled the sleeping bag, and got in without a word, quickly becoming just another lump in the pile. Tifa stared at him as Aeris slowly waved her hands to dry her nail polish. Yuffie poked the lump with a hair brush.
“Hey Valentine. This is the girls’ tent.”
“You’re not a girl.”
“I know that too.”
“Then why are you here? Why aren’t you with Cid? Didn’t you two stop off at his friend’s house for a barbecue or something before coming back here?”
“Cid and I are not speaking at the moment,” said Vincent.
“Uh-oh,” said Aeris.
“Oh poor Vincent!” said Tifa. “Did he get drunk and blow up at you?”
There was a long silence as Vincent thought. “In a manner of speaking,” he said.
“Oh poor baby, did he yell? Come on, sit up and tell us all about it, okay?”
Vincent slowly sat up, accepting a cup of tea from Aeris. He sipped it, watched closely by the three women. After carefully considering his words, he straightened his back and spoke.
“Let’s just say that after a full evening of beans, beer, chili and cabbage rolls, the name ‘Highwind’ takes on a whole new meaning.”
“Oh dear,” said Aeris.
The tent flap blew open, and Cloud climbed in, dragging his sleeping bag. He closed the flap after himself, and looked at Vincent.
“What the hell did that man eat while you two were off visiting his buddy?”
“Beans, beer, chili and cabbage rolls,” repeated Yuffie dutifully.
“I have never in my LIFE been subjected to anything so foul in my life,” said Cloud, “and I’ve cleaned pig stys.”
The tent flap pulled back, and in prowled Nanaki and Cait Sith.
“What are you doing in here?” asked Tifa. “You two were asleep by the fire.”
“We were awakened by strange noises coming from Cid’s tent,” said Nanaki.
“Beans, beer, chili and cabbage rolls will do that,” said Aeris. She picked up Cait Sith. “Cait ask Reeve if there is a motel or something, we can’t sleep here. We can’t all fit in this tent.”
Moments later, Reeve’s voice came through the animatronic cat. “There’s a small house about a mile away. Don’t run up my phone bill.”
“Oh Reeve, we can’t take over your house!” said Tifa.
“It’s fine, I haven’t been there in a few days, and I can’t get back for at least a week. I’d be happy knowing my plants are getting watered.”
“Anything you want us to do while we’re there?” asked Aeris.
“Water the plants, put a couple more long-term feeding blocks into the tank with my fish, and check the bird feeders in my yard.”
“Awww…” said Tifa. “You’re such a big softie. How do we get in?”
“There’s a statue of a lion in my front yard, look in his mouth. And if my pistachio ice cream goes missing I’ll know who to blame.”
“We swear not to eat your pistachio ice cream,” said Tifa. “Thank you, Reeve.”
The tent flap opened, and Barret forced his huge frame into the small tent, taking up any remaining space.
“I don’t know what Highwind ate, but it died and is seeking vengeance from beyond the grave.”
“Pack up,” said Cloud, “we found a new place to sleep.”
“Good thing too,” said Aeris as the first few drops of rain hit the tent.
“Do we have to take Cid Buttwind?” asked Yuffie. “Can’t we just leave him here as an anti-Sephiroth weapon?”
“We can’t leave him alone!” said Tifa.
“Yes we can,” said Cloud. “I honestly can’t see Sephiroth going anywhere near anything that stinks that bad. Not with his sense of smell.”
“We’re not leaving Cid,” said Aeris firmly. “It’s mean.”
“And smelling up Reeve’s house isn’t?” said Yuffie.
“Reeve’s house?!” exclaimed Barret.
A sudden boom of thunder cut the argument short. They packed up and prepared to move out, then Barret walked over to Cid’s tent and shook it.
“Highwind! Wake your stinky ass up!”
Cid did not wake up. Finally Cloud braved the tent long enough to hang a lit flashlight from a hook in the roof with directions on a piece of paper taped to it. Then the small group fled the impending storm, following a path further up the hill to a little house in the woods. Tifa found the key in the mouth of the lion, and they dashed inside just as the skies opened up. Barret was the last inside. He closed the door, turned on the kitchen light, and he and his friends stared around at the room in which they stood.
“Oh…migawd,” said Yuffie. “Reeve’s gay.”
“You think?” said Tifa dryly.
“The last time I saw a kitchen that looked like this,” said Vincent, “I was four, and I was visiting my grandmother.”
The kitchen was clean, organized, orderly, and decorated in a manner that made one think of families of humanoid bears and kitties. The flowered curtains matched the flowered wallpaper, and the wall paper matched the floral seats on the little wrought iron and wicker chairs around the little round kitchen table. Ornate little glass shades hung over the ceiling lights, and completing the picture was a little cuckoo clock on the wall.
“Gay,” said Cloud. “And we haven’t even seen the livingroom yet.”
“I’ll look,” said Aeris. “We Ancients are immune to kitsch.”
“Is that true?” asked Yuffie.
“It must be,” said Barret. “This kitchen hasn’t killed her yet.”
As Aeris went into the livingroom, Yuffie walked over to one wall to view the calendar hung there. It had a painting of teddy bears making jam, and something written across the bottom of the picture.
“Sesquipedality,” she read aloud. “Meaning; The practice of using long words. Literally speaking, sesquipedality is using words that are one and a half feet long. A related word is sesquicentennial (150th anniversary). Nothing wrong with using a sesquipedalian word once in a while, if it fits, but it's best to avoid too many long, polysyllabic words.”
Yuffie stepped back and cocked her head to one side, pondering the calendar.
“What the fuck does that have to do with teddy bears making jam?!” she asked indignantly.
Aeris walked back into the kitchen. “It’s worse than we thought. There are doilies.”
Vincent’s cape abruptly fell off, and, to the horror of all gathered, scuttled into the livingroom like a live thing. Yuffie screamed.
“CID’S FARTS ANIMATED THE CAPE!”
“They did not,” said Vincent. “She’s a live entity, she was just as glad to get out of that tent as I was. She’s just… fascinated by doilies and I’m not sure why.”
Everyone in the kitchen stared at Vincent, who blinked back nervously.
“She?” Barret inquired.
Vincent cringed slightly. That seemed to be his response to any confrontation. How the man had made it as a Turk, they had no idea, but it may explain why he had been guarding a female scientist; he didn’t seem to be brave enough to do much more. Barret rolled his eyes.
“Valentine, you’re scared of your own shadow.”
“I’m not the one who had a fit when my cape crawled across the floor.”
“What is it?” asked Cloud.
“‘She’, not ‘it’,” said Vincent. “She’s alive. She’s a physical manifestation of one of the monsters living in my body. She’s harmless.”
“Does she have a name?” asked Yuffie.
“A little blonde boy, and his little girl-friend would come visit me sometimes,” said Vincent. “It was a long time ago. They were no more than four. I would have to scoop them up and take them back upstairs and outside. One day their mothers caught them at it. I… never saw them again after that. The little girl would play with her, and named her Capey-cape.”
Tifa stared at Vincent, her eyes enormous. “That was you! It’s been so long Cloud and I were starting to think we imagined you! But… you were real!”
Vincent nodded. “I’m real.”
Tifa put her hands on her hips and stared at him. “You were supposed to marry me, you know.”
He smiled. “I thought I’d give you a chance to grow up and reconsider.”
“I wonder if Capey remembers me?”
“She might,” said Vincent. “But you’re a little bigger than you were the last time she saw you.”
Tifa walked into the livingroom, returning moments later holding the tattered red cape.
“There are not only doilies, there are coasters,” said Tifa.
“Does she remember you?” asked Aeris, indicating the cape.
“Hard to tell,” said Tifa, petting it. “How do you know if a piece of clothing remembers you?”
“Well let’s not make a mess,” said Barret. “I’ll make coffee.”
They made dinner, then made sure Reeve’s plants, fish and bird feeders were seen to. Finally they found places to sleep, and settled in for the night, the only sound in the house that of the cuckoo clock in the kitchen, and the wind and rain outside.
They were gathered around the kitchen table, having breakfast, where there was a knock at the door; a loud, slow knock that spoke of supreme annoyance. Cloud answered the door, and found Cid standing before him; wet, rumpled, and not in a good mood.
“Why Cid, fancy meeting you here,” said Cloud. “Come in for breakfast.”
Cid walked in, dragging his soggy pack and bedroll, which he dropped onto the kitchen floor.
“You wanna explain to me why I woke up this morning all alone in a tent that smelled like the ghosts of a million farts?”
“Because we couldn’t wake you up and you were passing gas like it was a contest,” said Barret. “Congratulations, you won. Cleared out the whole area. I’m pretty sure nothing will ever grow there again.”
“Ha ha,” said Cid. “Who’s house is this? Goldilocks’?”
“Reeve’s,” said Yuffie.
“Damn,” said Cid. “Well I gotta hand it to him. He has achieved a level of gay previously unknown on this planet.”
“That’s nothing,” said Cloud. “He’s got cheesecake photos of Rufus Shinra.”
Tifa gasped. “Cloud what were you doing going through Reeve’s drawers?!”
“Who went through his drawers?!” asked Cloud. “I went into his office to find a pen, and there’s the president of Shinra Incorporated, posed like a pin-up girl.”
There was a stampeded of females out of the kitchen. Moments later there were shrieks and giggles coming from Reeve’s home office.
“Think we can sneak away?” asked Barret.
“Why not? You did it to me!” said Cid reproachfully.
“If you’d been awake, you’d have sneaked away from you too!” said Barret.
“I am being unjustly maligned!” Cid looked to Vincent. “You’re my friend, stick up for me!”
Vincent cringed, red eyes blinking worriedly. Cid stared at him sourly.
“You’re no help.”
“Don’t blame Valentine,” said Barret. “It’s not his fault his mama taught him not to lie.”
There were more shrieks and giggles from the next room.
“How many cheesecake pics did Reeve have?” asked Barret.
“I only saw two,” said Cloud. “But I’m not going in there to find out what they’re looking at.”
“Well I’m hungry, and I’m not in the mood for pancakes,” said Cid. He began looking through Reeve’s cupboards and fridge. “Hey he’s got all the ingredients for chili!”
Vincent stood up and walked over to Cid, taking him by the shoulders and guiding him back to the table.
“I’m making soup,” said Vincent.
Cid huffed. “Yer no fun.”