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No title.
(2013-01-02 - 2013-01-03)
No description.
Tifa Lockhart The sound of a motorcycle is heard outside, pulling arounnd the house, and then to the back of the building, the engine's sound dying out moments after. It doesn't take very long for the barmaid to walk back in through the front door afterwards, looking around. She carries the plate and drying cloth she left outside when she went out for a sudden ride through town like that. Well, that was certainly an odd ride.
Jecht Jecht hasn't been in Goug for long, but while he's been here, he's quickly adapted to modern life. It's much like Zanarkand; it's exactly the same feel as his old home, with electricity, running water, /televisions/'s great. Speaking of televisions, Jecht's watching whatever's on the Shinra Network right now, which is probably that MASSIVE CHASE SCENE that just happened. The motorcycle pulling up jostles him out of his television-induced hypnosis, and he rolls out of his seat, snagging his glass of shoopuf milk.

"Hey, welcome back. What was all that about?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart shakes her head as she moves behind the counter "I can't say for sure. I was there, I helped with the cahse, but I'm not even sure why we were chasing them exactly." She slides a hand through her hair, sighing a bit "But since my friends were part of it, there was probably a good reason for it too. At least we caught them, despite the... chaos that it did."
Jecht "Weird." Jecht sits down at the bar, setting his milk down next to him. He hasn't had anything stronger since Tifa met him, actually; not even a drop of alcohol. Nothing fermented, nothing that could possibly get him drunk, not even a soda; just...milk. A couple guys had asked if he was some kind of sissy; he'd responded by tossing them out of the bar.

"I was watching the news report. Glad you actually get video around here; I'd almost forgotten what it was like! Heh." He takes a sip of the milk. "This city's pretty great. Needs some work,'s got real potential. So besides this crazy street chase thing, how are you?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles, moving behind the counter "Oh I'm doing fine here. The bar is now an inn, as you can see the workers are gone, and its a bit more spacious. I have an actual room rather than a bed in the storage room." She moves to the fridge, leaning into it to fetch out the milk pitcher, and refills your glass "Nothing strong for you hm? Milk is healthy.
Jecht Jecht waves his hand in front of his face. "I made a promise to an old friend that I'd never have real alcohol again. I only made an exception 'cause I was in mourning; now I'm over it, so back on the ol' milk diet. I used to hate this stuff, too, but it's kinda...grown on me, y'know? Lot like Spira. More I travelled, more I liked it."

"You travel much, Tifa? See the world? Whatever it looks like now, anyway...or before all this happened, I guess."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart leans on the counter on her elbows, crossing under her chest a bit as she thinks about it "Well, I didn't travel much before the whole new world thing. But now, oddly enough, travelled more than I ever did in my life. This world is weird. I mean, my world was fine as it was, but I wasn't so curious. Here, I was given reason to move around, and since it doesn't take so long either, it's been easier. So Manhattan, Costa Del Sol, China, the desert, Luca, Traverse Town, seen so many places I never knew about, these weren't in my world I'm certain. Even this place, Goug, only has passing resemblance. It doesn't seem like much about my world crossed into this one."
Jecht Jecht nods. Yeah, he's been there; not to Manhattan, but the whole thrown-out-of-his-world-to-a-place-he-barely-recognizes? That's old hat to Jecht. He's never felt so much like an old man, either; never felt so world-weary. Before leaving Zanarkand, he wanted for nothing; when he was thrown out, all he wanted was to go home. As he travelled, he gained an appreciation for his new home...and in the end, even sacrificed himself for it. Was this his reward? Getting brought back to life like this? It was almost unfair. He had a whole new world to explore, after he'd learned the joys of travel, but all he wanted to do was stay in Goug, where he felt so at home, and ride a chocobo.

"So you just settled down when you found this place in your old world? Didn't have any urge to go anywhere? Just knew what you wanted to do from the moment you found your calling?" He raises his glass to his lips to cover his grin. He'd been like that, too; good at one thing, practicing to the point of perfection.

"I can't blame you, though. Being a probably hear all kinds of stories and problems. Probably more connected with the world than I've ever been."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart hmmms, as she thinks about how to phrase her thoughts "Its a bit more complex than that." She stands up, and walks over to the side, taking a framed picture off the wall "How would you feel if you had everything torn away from you suddenly? I don't mean faling into a new world, but literally having no place to go back to, simply because it doesn't exist anymore?"

She hands you the picture as she walks back. Its titled "Nibelheim" on a small plaque under the picture "That was my home village. Was, because its no more. It was a peaceful village in the mountains, until Shinra installed one of their reactors. It creates electricity, powers up houses and appliances. I can't deny it made life much easier, but it also increased the monsters around, and the mountain itself became bared of any plant."

She shakes her head "We didn't think much about it at the time, but then one day a small convoy of SOLDIER, which are Shinra's private army, came to investigate the monsters and potential breaking down in the reactor. A few days later, one of them killed everyone in the village and burned it down..."

She looks away, sighing "... So how would you feel if you lost everything you had, and was able to pin a name on the culprit?"
Jecht Jecht takes the picture and looks down at it for a really long moment, studying it carefully. It was a nice-looking place; some kinda mountain town, probably. Didn't look like any mountains he knew, but a nice one nonetheless.

As Tifa tells her story - about her home being destroyed, about ShinRa's SOLDIER coming in to wreck the place, about one of them killing everyone in the village and setting it on fire - Jecht's face grows increasingly harder, increasingly more set. That was the kind of crap he hated the most. People who were right in front of him and needed help, when he was was like seeing Sin in action all over again, before the whole thing started. He sets the picture down and lays back against the barstool, looking up at the ceiling.

"If I could pin a name on the guy...? I'd hunt him down and beat the crap out of him, if he did something like that to me and mine." He quirks a bit of a grin. "But then, I'm kinda a violent guy."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart takes the picture back, hanging it back on the wall "That's why I said its complicated. Because that's the way I feel." She puts a hand on her chest "I want to make people happy, people smile, but there's this part that just gnaws at me constantly, the reminder that its all their fault, somehow..." She looks down "... That man even came here, as if taunting me. I couldn't do anything because I knew he would be stronger than me. But more than just him, the entire organization behind him is what I hate."

She points up at the red square logo, written "Shinra" on it. "In the end, they are the reason for all of it happening. If they had never came to the village with their reactor, it never would have happened." She looks back to you "... Its part of the reason I'm here, in Goug. This is Shinra's territory. And I guess that the old saying that a lighthouse can see far away but doesn't light up what's closeby is true in this case."
Jecht "That guy who burned down your village came here?" Jecht keeps his hands out of Tifa's sight, but his knuckles are whitening. Yeah, he wasn't the best guy in the world. He wasn't some kind of hero or anything; he just did what he could to make the world a little better, a little brighter. Once, a long time ago, he'd thought he was a hero. But Braska...Braska and Auron, they'd made him realize what that really meant.

He shakes his head, leaning forward and sliding his arms onto the bar; his hands disappear under them, but for just a moment, Tifa would get a glimpse of how white his knuckles actually are. "So he came here to make you remember that trauma...I hope you decked him. I hope you knocked him so far outta here he was limping back to his ShinRa buddies. You did, right? You didn't just let him push you around?" He eyes her slowly. She'd been pretty good to him since he showed up in her bar; he'd also seen that she was more than capable of taking care of herself. So if somebody like this was taking advantage of her trauma...well, he was the kind of guy who didn't really stand around and let that happen.

"I don't get it. If ShinRa's that bad, why don't people revolt or something? Whole company can't be that bad. People are varied, I mean, there's gotta be good people in there who'd potest that kinda thing."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart sits down, shaking her head "I couldn't. He is much stronger than I am, and it wouldn't just end with killing me, but probably everyone else around. He wasn't here to kill me,, just to taunt me. I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me break down." Her shoulders slump a bit. Obviously, it did affect her a great deal. Her hand even unconciously rubs over her stomach... Where she used to have a deep gash from being nearly cut in half from his sword.

"Its not that they are bad people per se." She sighs. "They gave electricity to the people, so you could say that they control the entire city because people enjoy the luxury. And not all of their actions are bad either. They protect the people, allowing some sort of order, they send people to protect or help villages as well. The public image is strong. Those going against them are rebels, terrorists, as a result. They control the information network, so its propaganda if you like." She slides a hand through the bangs on her forehead. The cheerful barmaid has alot on her chest, quite obviously. "Before the world merge there was a group I joined, that was chipping away slowly at Shinra. They were seen as terrorists, anti-shinra movements are not well seen by the people. Right now, all of the members are missing except for me. So that's why I am here. I'm waiting, making money for when we start again. I don't even know if its going to make any difference, maybe we'll all be killed before we can change things. But is it better doing nothing?"
Jecht "Hell no doing nothing ain't better!" Jecht slams his fist on the bar; it shudders. He's a strong guy - not that she couldn't already tell that, given his propensity for not wearing anything above the waistline more covering than a belt. Still, there's 'not being strong', and then there's 'making a bar shake on its foundations'. He's...stronger than he looks, clearly. "Doin' nothing is what lets that kinda guy win. Just standing around, letting 'em walk all over you...that's how little guys get kept down. It ain't right."

Jecht scratches the back of his neck. "If these ShinRa guys are that bad, then...hell, I guess you can count me in. I'll help you guys out, if you want, whenever you need. It don't sit right with me to stand by when people need help. And if that guy comes around and bothers you again, let me know, huh? I may be an old man, but I've still got it where it counts." He grins, holding up an arm and flexing. Besides, he's /pretty/ sure he can't die, so...

He sets his arm back down and picks up his drink again. "So...what's with your stomach?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart blinks a bit, and looks down "... Oh, there's nothing, not exactly at least..." She traces a line, from her left side, right over the hip, and then slides it up, diagonally, under her right breast. "... He almost killed me to you know. A deep wound, like that. Its almost a miracle that I'm alive, and even more than it left no marks. That's because of healing magic though. You might not see it, but its like I can feel it sometimes..."

She shakes her head, and then smiles "I'm not asking you to fight with us, but if you want to help, I'd be grateful for your help. Right now though, there... really isn't any operations here. I'm not much of a leader, even less of a planner. All of the members, Avalanche that they were called, disapeared with the darkness. So, you could say I'm alone again." She looks a bit sad at that.

But just for a moment "... That's the other reason I opened a bar. Even if the first reason to come here was for... well, revenge I suppose, the other reason is that I don't want to see sad faces around me either. That's why I have a bar here, in the middle of depressing slums, rather than in a high class, touristic place. You could say that putting a smile on people that are already smiling isn't doing much. And here, they have much more need of a smile than anywhere else, wouldn't you think?"
Jecht "Well, you're not alone now." Jecht jerks his thumb at himself and grins. "Just count me in as your first convert since the Darkness, huh? It burns me up, thinking about people like that doing whatever they want without consequences, so even if you're not askin', I'm tellin'. I don't like to sit by when I've got the power to help somebody. It just ain't in my nature. Used to drive my buddies nuts. I'd insist on getting involved in every stupid problem...couldn't sit still, couldn't just focus on our goal. My friend, Braska, he'd just grin like a jackass every time I said we had to help...and my other pal, Auron, he'd just frown and shake his head, but he helped out anyway."

"It's not right, y'know? If you can see someone suffering in font of help 'em. Otherwise, how can you even call yourself a human being?" That was all he had to call himself a human being these days. The things he'd been forced to do, the blood on his hands...helping people was one of the only ways he could feel like a person again, even if he was a dead man. "Tch. Seriously, burns me up thinking about this guy. If he bothers you that much, I can't wait to put my fist in his smug jerkass face."

Jecht knocks back his glass, slamming it down on the table (carefully, so as not to break it and give her more work). He frowns. "I guess that's true, too. You could work in any bar you wanted, you've got everything it'd take to be a high-class tender for rich folk...but I guess down here, people are still on the way to a smile, huh? I guess they appreciate you way more for helping them down that path."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods "That's it. That's part of why I work with the other groups too, I can't stand letting people in trouble, every little bit counts. Of course, I make money as well on the side, but I also spend it when I need to. I've been expanding, thanks to Xanatos' loan and investment in the bar, we're going to open bars in other towns as well, spreading more smiles. Its more work, but I rather be doing something. Honestly, if I had to be left alone with my thoughts for too long, I'd probably go nuts."

She has enough on her mind for that. "But I'm lucky that I found so many good friends... I have lots of people caring for me here. Even if I lost everything, I can find comfort in finding new things..."
Jecht "Yeah, I can imagine. Sittin' here in a city run by guys like that, unable to do anything? I'd get pretty pissed-off, too." Truth was, he was already pissed-off. He wanted to hunt this murderer down and put a Blitzball in his face. But if he kept thinking about that, he'd probably wind up going to do it, and he was pretty sure this was the sort of thing Tifa had to do for herself.

Jecht nods distantly. Friends...he really missed Braska right about now. Auron, Auron was probably fine; even death wouldn't stop that old goon. But Braska...Braska had probably passed on to the Otherworld. Jecht was unwilling to go there; he wasn't sure what would happen to the Pyreflies in his presence, after all. What if they turned into fiends, even on the Farplane? It'd be a disaster. "Yeah...friends are irreplaceable."

"Hey," Jecht adds all of a sudden. "Remind me. I oughta teach you to play Blitzball one of these days. Only skill I've really got, after all; might as well thank you for your hospitality with it, huh?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart smiles, leaning on the counter "I saw that in Luca the other day, it was pretty interesting, but I wonder how you can hold your breath for that long really. If you count the stopped timer, you need to be in there for 10-15 minutes at a time. I'm not sure I'd be able to." Not that she ever tried really.

"And I'm sure you have many other talents. Also, stop saying you're an old man. Sure, you're more aged than I am, but you're obviously fit. You're only as old as you feel like. Have you any troubles moving, bones cracking, the slightest discomfort wanting you to go back home in your slippers and nightrobe and sip on a tea while saying 'back in muh days'." She says that last part with a bit of a impersonation too.

She grins "I wouldn't think so looking at you. You're probably giving a run for their money to lots of youngsters."
Jecht Jecht laughs. "It's just training. Real specific training; I can teach you that. Besides, no game in the world like Blitzball - never has been, never will be. Although I heard about this thing called 'hockey' from some guy the other night, sounds like fun. Might have to go check that Galbadia place out, y'know? Could be neat."

"Hah. You say that now, but I've got a kid. I feel old just thinking about that. I've changed a lot over the years...being old ain't so bad. You wouldn'ta liked the guy I used to be, anyway. He wasn't so nice." Jecht fiddles with his empty glass thoughtfully. "I used to be a real impulsive guy. Kinda self-centered. Didn't really think about how I affected other people. Used to think I was God's gift to the world. I was a lot more pushy back in those days, too. A lot more wild."

He grins. "But it's sweet of you to make an old man feel like a kid. Besides, I had some...circumstances. Not sure how old I am anymore. Could be in my early thirties, could still be in my mid-twenties. But...I've aged, at heart if not in body. Even if I still look like a crazy stallion, this horse is...I dunno. Kinda lost the metaphor." He laughs.

"Life takes you weird places. It's up, it's down, it's all over the place. Kinda like Blitzball, really; you gotta keep your eye on the prize or it just gets lost in all the excitement."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart nods "Well that must be odd then huh. When I say you're as old as you feel, I guess you don't really know and it seems your mind is older than your body, the way you talk." She shakes her head "Well, I guess you shouldn't be worrying about it anyway. I'm sure you'll attract your lot of young ladies preening for your attention." She giggles "Oh, and I didn't mean that as an offense for your wife or anything. But you can't really help the way others will look or react to you, don't you think?"

She knows a page or two on being on the receiving end after all. How she doesn't have a boyfriend though, one can wonder.
Jecht "Don't think she's gonna be terribly offended by it," Jecht replies cheerfully. "Moved on. She was a real good woman, Adelaide was, but she's gone now, and dwelling on her memory ain't healthy for me any more than her dwelling on me was for her. She stopped taking care of herself, I heard...just wasted away quietly because she was so obsessed." His cheerful attitude turns a touch maudlin, and he plays with his glass a little more.

"I wish I coulda been there for her, but...I couldn't. I mean, I physically couldn't; I didn't leave home by choice, and I couldn't find a way back. Still haven't, really...not really my home anymore, though." He shrugs a little bit, his maudlin mood evaporating. Jecht was a mercurial man, after all. He grins at Tifa.

"You're one to talk. How is it a pretty girl like you isn't up to her eyes in men? This is the best time of your life, y'know; it's okay to play around a little when you're young. Make mistakes, screw up, live a little, that kinda thing. But I haven't seen even one guy brave enough to talk you up. Are the guys around here just cowards or somethin'? Or have you already rejected all of 'em?"
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart tilts her head a bit, thinking it over "... I guess you could say that I already have someone at heart, but yes, I do have plenty of propositions. Not interested in them though." She smiles softly "I don't have to reject them really. Sure, some of them ask, its not like I refuse every offer, but I don't really get into the girlfriend mode with them either. A few dates sometimes, but not much more. I guess they catch on that I'm not looking for something serious."

She hrms though "Well there's the occasional one that tries to either trick me into weird things, or the odd one that thinks I'm playing hard to get and will get a bit forceful, but that's what the toe steeled boots are for. The word spread that I know how to use them."
Jecht "Well, that's good. Glad to hear you've got somebody dear to you." Jecht grins and holds up his glass. "What's this guy like, huh? He must be pretty special if he's got a girl like you so hot for him."

He winces a little at the mention of steel-toed boots. He'd never been on the receiving end, but he'd seen a guy who was; the guy DESERVED it, sure, but still. You had to have sympathy for even the coldest of hearts when a guy gets THAT treatment. "Ruthless. Just ruthless." He laughs.
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart has a tiny blush on her cheeks at that, which doesn't make her any less cute to look at really "He is a little special, yes..." She looks downcast a little though "He's the only other survivor of my village, you could say. He was in Shinra, part of SOLDIER, so he wasn't in the village when it all happened. I saw him when I got here, but briefly. He disapeared again, I don't know where." She looks up a bit at that, toward the ceiling "We were childhood friends, he left the village saying that he'd become strong. And we made a promise that he'd come to save me when I was in trouble, once he became strong. Maybe he doesn't even remember it, or maybe he doesn't feel the same way. Maybe he doesn't even know what happened to Nibelheim. There's too many ifs and buts involved right now." She shakes her head again, but smiles "Better not to dwell upon it too much, maybe its just a silly little crush after all, maybe he changed in the 5 years, maybe he found a girlfriend too, we didn't have much time to talk about it all."
Jecht "Childhood friends, huh?" Jecht grins at that. "You're blushing, y'know that? It's pretty cute; this SOLDIER guy's a lucky guy. Sounds like he might be a reliable guy...if he feels the same way about you that you do about him, hey, I'm sure it'll work out. He'll probably come running to help you the moment he knows where you are. Guy's probably just not satisfied, not ready to face you yet."

Jecht stands up, hopping over the bar to grab himself some more milk; he really doesn't want to trouble her with it. "Sounds to me like that, anyway. If I made a promise like that with such a cute girl, I'd make sure that I was as strong as I could get before facing her again. That's how men are, y'know?" He looks over his shoulder and flexes again, his grin widening a bit. "We're alway trying to make ourselves tougher, so we can be satisfied with ourselves. Real men are, 'least; that's how you can tell a real man from a boy. A boy just talks about getting tougher to impress a lady; a real man doesn't stop till he deserves her."

Jecht vaults back over the bar and sits down, sipping at his milk. "And a man in uniform, no less, huh?"

"You're looking down on yourself too much! Any guy who'd walk away from you is an idiot, trust me. You're something special; a real man doesn't just leave that behind." He drinks a little more of his milk. "Tell you what. Let's go hit the town later; you'll feel better if you get outta these slums. Helping people smile's all well and good, but you gotta take some time for yourself, and I don't mean just wandering around the world checking out all the weird sights, I mean getting out there and having some fun! Nothing helps you feel good about yourself like hitting the town and seeing the sights."
Tifa Lockhart Tifa Lockhart hms as she thinks about it, nodding "Well I suppose that would be nice. I do take some time off once in a while, I get out of the house often for mercenary work, but also to go take care of my chocobo." She smirks "Oh, its getting pretty fast too you know, such a nice Red color, it will attract attention I'm sure."

She nods "Oh, I'm not saying he'd walk away from me either... I mean, we're not anything special to each other yet, not in that sense at least. Who knows what happened in 5 years..." she thinks "Or was it 7 years?" She counts on her fingers "Its been 2 years since Nibelheim, and he left the village 5 years before that, we were 14 years old. Maybe its just a silly teenage crush after all. He was rather small, not looking strong at all." She smiles a bit "But when I saw him here, even if he's still not very tall, he looked alot stronger."
Jecht "Yeah, but going out to beat people up and ride the chocobos isn't /going out/, you know what I mean? You gotta get out of the house, hit a fancy restauraunt, break something, see a band, see a game, see a spherecast - whatever! Gotta take some time to play. All work and no play, something something I forget the rest." Jecht offers a lopsided grin as he takes another sip of his milk. He still can't believe he liked this stuff. Ten years learned the strangest things, sometimes.

"C'mon! Even if you're not special to each other, he's special to you. You're carrying a torch for this guy. Even if he can't reciprocate right now, you still think he's special. If you really think this is a silly teenaged crush, you'll get over it in time, reason to talk yourself down. You're hot, Tifa Lockhart; you're hot, you're clever, and you're tough. Talk yourself up, huh? Self-confidence. Swagger! Makes you feel better about life."

This scene contained 28 poses. The players who were present were: Tifa Lockhart, Jecht