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13 November 2005 @ 09:52 pm
 
Who: Zell, Irvine.
What: "Dude! What're you doin' here?"
Where: A weapon store.
When: Day after the jailbreak.
Warnings: Zell being an oblivious spaz as usual.

Okay. Okay. Down this street, then turn to the left, then two blocks that way, turn to the right, one block down, then there would be a store. Down this street, then turn to the left, then one block down, then two to the right, wait, no, two blocks, then one to the left, and, wait, could you even left a block 'cos that wasn't even like a NOUN or VERB or... something like that--

Zell stopped, glancing up at the lamp post in set into the corner of the intersection, scratching his head a little when he didn't find a street sign there. Not that it would have helped him any, as he wasn't really sure what street this supposed weapon store was on, or what the weapon store was even CALLED or anything. Uhhhh, yeah, he'd find it eventually, it had to be like, within three blocks of here, right? He'd just like, randomly run around until he ran across it. Yeah!

It was half an hour later that Zell arrived where he was supposed to be half an hour ago, skidding to a stop at the weapon shop door and leaning forward with his hands at his knees, trying desperately to catch his breath. It was a good thing the place had like, shiny stuff on display, or he'd never have found it, 'cos like, these stores didn't even have like, awnings or SIGNS or anythin', and ALL of 'em had shiny stuff in the windows that he just HAD to stop and look at, and--

Uhhhhhh, what was he supposed to have been picking up, again...?

It was pretty easy to get confused, to be fair. At least in this particular weapons store. The building had more stories than one could ever imagine filling with weapons, and people were bustling in and out of it at an incredible speed that was only found in Midgar.

Irvine wasn't really used to it, either. As he slowly (in comparison, at least) made his way from one display table to another, he couldn't help but think about how fast-paced everything seemed to be here. It was crazy. And to be honest, he didn't like it very much.

The Galbadian man leaned against the counter as an attendant examined his best sniper rifle, Exeter. It had finally arrived after only a few days wait, but of course bullet sizes and barrel sizes were different in different worlds. The attendant was measuring the gun to determine what size ammunition Irvine would need, and it was taking forever because he kept turning to chat to a fellow employee instead of getting anything done.

Just one obstacle after another, it seemed.

Sighing, Irvine shifted his leaning position and took in the store. It was a nice place, but not at all like anything at home. Especially not the fast-moving, devil-may-care way the people had. Nobody here was like anyone at home.

Except maybe that guy with the hair, Irvine chuckled to himself. He glimpsed a short, blond guy with hair that stuck up ridiculously. His back was turned to him, but he still looked surprisingly like Zell. Short like Zell, too. Irvine grinned in amusement, mentally noting to tease the guy about this later, when the blond happened to turn around… and Irvine's jaw nearly dropped as he noticed that it WAS, in fact… Zell, himself.


WTFOMGBBQ?

"KINNEAS!"

Zell bounded through the open door, somehow managing to make it through in the wrong direction past all the people that were pushing their way outside, and ran toward Irvine, skidding to a stop again and resuming his position of cheerful exhaustion. The flurry of customers and staff and everything in general moving around didn't really seem to bother him much; if anything, it made him seem a bit calmer, if only in comparison.

"Dude!" He started when he'd caught his breath, which took about fifteen seconds or so, "What're you doin' here? I thought like, Squall sent you to do some stuff or somethin', 'cos weren't you like, supposed to leave before me or with me on the train that I kinda uhhhh, missed..." His hand went to his head again as he straightened, bouncing just twice on his heels. "Unless like, you're here to look for him too? 'Cos I haven't found him yet, and Seifer's got somethin' up his ass, and Selphie's all worried'n stuff too, and uhhhh... haveyouseenhim?"

Irvine couldn't help but grin in amusement at Zell's enthusiasm. The guy was always all hyped up about something, and… he guessed that it happened to be Squall. That realization wiped the grin off of Irvine's face pretty fast. Was there something else to this whole situation that he hadn't heard about…? Why was finding Squall such a big deal all of a sudden, anyway…?

"Uhh… nah, I was supposed to leave like a day after you," Irvine told Zell, throwing quick, periodic glances over his shoulder to make sure the attendant wasn't doing anything funny to his gun. "I just, uh… decided to stop on by Midgar. Y'see, they got this new kinda bullet here that ShinRa's making, and it's new so you can only get it in Midgar," Irvine explained with a dismissive shrug.

"But, so like… what are you doin' here? I mean, you said you were lookin' for, uh… Squall, right? What happened to your mission?"


Mission? Huh? Oh, like... riiiiight.

"I kinda like missedthetrain'n all and so I called the contact dude but he was all, who the hell are you, and I was like, y'know, I'm the SeeD guy you asked for'n stuff, and he was all, what SeeD guy, and I was all, y'know, from Garden, and he was all I didn't ask for a SeeD or nothin' and--"

"Uhhh, anyway, so I went back to Garden and everyone was all panicking'n stuff'n so I went to like, report and ask what happened to like this guy, 'cos they usually don't like, screw up on missions'n stuff 'specially if it's SQUALL'n when I got there everyone was all panickin'n stuff so I went to like--"

Zell cut himself off, glancing around in something like helpless frustration, and didn't find any Squalls or like, people he knew that could help to explain all this stuff any better. "So like, Headmaster Cid'n Matron'n stuff were all worried'n they didn't know where he went but they said Rinoa said somethin' about Midgar and DUDESQUALLDISAPPEAREDANDNOBODYKNOWSWHEREHEIS."

Nodding thoughtfully, Irvine furrowed his brow the slightest bit and tilted his head to one side. "Well…" he started, speaking slowly and drawing the single word out. It was as if he knew what he wanted to say- or at least was planning to say- but he wasn't quite sure how to word it. "Have you, uh… talked to Squall?"

Seeing Zell's mouth begin to open to spew forth yet another barely intelligible answer, Irvine raised a hand casually to signal Zell to be silent for just another moment.

"I mean, like…" Irvine sighed. "Really talked to him? Maybe he's not missing, he's just… taking a break?" Irvine attempted. He was self- conscious of sounding suspicious, but through his earlier conversation with Squall, Irvine knew for a fact that the guy was fine and just needed a little time off. That was what he had said, right? He was fine, and he was planning on going back after some rest and relaxation… right?

Irvine pushed away the beginnings of a sinking feeling forming in the pit of his stomach.

But Squall hadn't said anything about actually quitting, and he wasn't the kind of guy who would just run away from responsibility like that, Irvine assured himself unconvincingly. His mind swarmed with doubts about his course of action when he had run into Squall just days before.

"I don't know… just seems a bit overwhelming to send everyone out here lookin' for a guy that we're not even sure is in trouble, you know…?"


"Wait... huh? Like, talk to Squall? But he like, doesn't TALK." Zell shook his head, calming down a little for the first time at that thought. "Or at least like, not to ME, not about anything like, IMPORTANT, you know, like, maybe he talks to Rinoa or somethin', but I mean yeah it's be cool if he talked to me but he like, DOESN'T... what'm I 'sposed to do?"

That did make him reconsider what he was doing, though, and Zell realized that y'know, maybe like, just going out and finding Squall and draggin' him back wasn't the BEST plan or whatever, 'cos like, he might not WANNA come back, although Zell couldn't really figure out WHY, 'cos Garden was cool'n it was a lot nicer'n Midgar'n stuff. And it was HOME. But he hadn't actually been given ORDERS to find Squall or anything, he realized with a blink--he'd just kinda like, run out here after him without thinking, and uhhh...

Well he'd been like, WORRIED. And oh yeah, it was probably a good idea to like, tell Irvine why.

"'Snot like he left a note or nothin', you know? Rinoa was all worried'n stuff too. I dunno what like, happened, maybe somethin' DID, you think they like, broke up or somethin'? But she wasn't like, cryin' or nothin', and Squall just kinda like... left..." The frustration was back on his face pretty clearly. "Like, we all just wanna know for sure he's like, OKAY and stuff and not like, DYING out here, you know? And like, Garden needs him'n stuff... I'd like, do what he does but I CAN'T..."

Now there was a thought, Irvine considered. Had Squall and Rinoa broken up? He had noticed that the two hadn't seemed quite as cozy lately, and that Squall had seemed a little more antisocial than usual. That would be bad, he thought to himself as he pursed his lips a bit.

But at least girl trouble was all that it was- at the most. Right? Irvine pondered how to tell Zell that Squall was doing perfectly fine without forgetting his promise to act as if he had never met with the man. It was difficult indeed…

"Well, Garden has Cid still, right?" Irvine asked. "So they'll be fine until Squall comes back. And I'm pretty sure that he's okay… because…"

A sharp nudge in the center of his back interrupted Irvine and made him twirl around. "Ow, what was that-…" the man began. The young attendant had a baffled look on his face and the gun was on the counter. Irvine raised an eyebrow questioningly.

"Uh… I'm kind of n-new," the boy stammered, obviously embarrassed. "I don't really know anything about guns. But I'll get someone else to help you, okay?" He seemed scared that Irvine would yell at him.

"I guess…" Irvine said half-heartedly. Great, this was going to take even longer. The boy called a name and Irvine's eyes traveled over to the approaching attendant- and then stuck there. She was a young redheaded girl with dazzling brown eyes and many other… 'even-more-dazzling' features. Irvine could hardly help but gape and barely heard her ask what the problem seemed to be.

Zell was utterly forgotten for the moment.


Not that Zell noticed.

"Well yeah Garden has Cid but like, he's OLD'n stuff, and he's all having headaches and stuff about Squall 'cos he's worried, and dude he's like OLD, like DINOSAUR old, like I'm so old my flesh is slouging off my BONES old, and he's like stressed, y'know? And worried, and all that other stuff and--"

Wait wait, Irvine had just said that he was "pretty sure" that Squall was okay, and no one really ever said "pretty sure" unless they like, knew stuff, 'cos otherwise they'd have just said they were "sure," right? Or was it the other way around, or did both work the same way, or did both of 'em not or... wait, but he'd said "because," that meant he had a reason--

Zell blinked, following Irvine's gaze to somewhere below the approaching attendant's face, then blinked again, following it back up to Irvine. "Uhhhh, dude? You awake'n stuff? Hello? Uhhhh, Irvine? Heyyyy..."

No response, as expected. Zell sighed, clapping a hand to his forehead ironically in the manner of Squall, then jumped between the two of them before the girl could speak, literally having to hop up and down in place to get between Irvie's eyes and the girl's. "DUDE. SQUALL. DISAPPEARING. Howd'youlikeknowhe'sokay? No one's like, seen him in FOREVER, what if he like, got KIDNAPPED--heyyyyyy--dudethisismoreimportantthanlike,herSHIRT..."

Irvine raised an annoyed eyebrow in surprise as Zell suddenly blocked his view. Rolling his eyes playfully at the guy to make the girl laugh, Irvine took a small step to the side to resume his conversation with her. About his gun, of course. Ahem.

But when Zell persisted, Irvine sighed and weakly swatted him away without even looking. "Just like, chill out, man," Irvine said to Zell. Which was a bit odd because his eyes never left the attendant's and his charismatic smile aimed at her never ceased.

"He says he's fine, okay? Just let the man alone…" Irvine finished offhandedly, almost resuming his conversation with the redhead before he finished speaking to Zell.


"Wait, he says he's fine? Huh? How? Wait, you like, TALKED to him?" Zell rolled his eyes as Irvine swatted him away, hopping back a few steps but still persistently intrusive. "Like in person? Or over like, the internet or network or whatever? Or phone? Or what? Or--"

Zell circled around the two of them, pulling at whatever he could grab onto--arms, sleeves, shirts, even the girl's hair--but the both of them were pretty damn unresponsive. Blahhhh, Irvine always got like this around girls, and girls always got like this around Irvine, maybe Irvine had like, an ignore-Zell-Dincht aura, or like make-girls-stupid aura or something...

"Heyyyyyyy--"

After a several minutes of this and listening to them talk about like, guns or how nice the girl's hair looked or wow, how that shirt really matched her eyes, that's why Irvine had been looking, or something, Zell gave up with a sigh and shook his head, turning on his heel and heading further into the store. Well, Irvine said that like, Squall was okay, right? And Irvine wouldn't really lie about that, right? And if Squall was okay, it was okay, right? He did still want to find him and all to make sure and stuff, but at least he wouldn't have to like, worry as much...

Yeah, now he could kinda just like, go back to--

Uhhhhhh, what was he supposed to have been picking up, again...?