Step 38: Sleepover
Step 38: Sleepover
"Listen up men, we have to be ready!" Denzel is pretending to be some kind of army general, which reminds me that I was once a general, but I can't reminisce about the old days with the present capturing my full attention, it is rather amusing. "This is our base," he points to a square drawn on a paper, which I assume represents Cloud's room. "This is the enemy base," he points to another square, most likely Tifa's room, "and this is the war zone," he signals to the area connecting the two squares, the hall. "We need a battle plan." He's wearing the most normal looking pajamas out of all of us in a shade of blue that's not too dark and not too light.
"I have an idea, general!" Reno's pajamas match his hair, he mentioned they were glow in the dark, as if the massive red isn't bright enough as it is. Rufus warned him that he better cover his glow in the dark pajamas when it was time to go to sleep, but Reno laughed, reminding him that no one sleep in sleepovers. Personally, I'm very tired, but I don't want to have nightmares or doodles on my face, so I will try my best to stay awake.
Blaze chirps and Denzel nods, "Lieutenant Blaze is right, you're far too reckless, soldier!" It's strangely amusing to hear a Turk being called Soldier, when in fact the role change was the other way around for me.
"You didn't even let me tell you about my idea!" Reno pouted, "I think we should sneak into their base and steal their cookies!"
"That is too reckless!" Cloud argues; he's wearing sky blue pajamas with pictures of fluffy white clouds. "I've tried that before, with Cid, Vincent, Nanaki, Barret and Reeve and we walked right into a trap. Even if Yuffie and Shera aren't there, Tifa and Marlene are merciless enough on their own, plus now they have Elena to help, who knows what new ideas she'll bring."
"It is best not to try to steal cookies from Elena," Tseng is wearing royal blue pajamas with red triple sevens all over.
I vaguely recall Reno telling me a story while I was trying to ignore him one day. The Turks had gone to a casino and while Reno gambled none stop, Tseng remained an observer. Reno teased him so much about being 'too chicken' to gamble that he finally gave in and won the triple seven jackpot from the slot machine on his first try, but refused to gamble anymore after that. Maybe that's why it was decided that those pajamas suited him; maybe they were a gift from a Secret Santa or something.
"We'll have to come up with a strategy," Denzel mused.
"Why don't we just stay here and not pick a fight," Rufus spoke for the first time in a long while. His pajamas were probably a gag gift too, light green with dark green gil symbols.
"Are you giving up already? Have hope, soldier!" Denzel encouraged.
Rude remains a shadow in his black pajamas, blending into the darkness of the room, which is lit only by the flashlight in the center of our circle sitting on the floor. He would make a good ninja.
In contrast, I am used to a more direct approach, "why can't we just charge in? We outnumber them; we would win in a pillow fight." I'll admit I was feeling silly in my silvery silk pajamas with pictures of little chocobos in every color chocobos come in, a gift from Rufus and the Turks. I don't really care anymore, I've decided to focus on our cookie mission and forget about the rest.
"They'll take you down before you can even get a good grip on your pillow," Cloud warns.
"They're girls," Denzel reminds us as if it were something terrifying. "They hide horrors that we can't even begin to imagine," cooties perhaps?
There's a knock on the door and we all fall silent and wait, all eyes on the door, which is closed but not locked. "Is it a trap?" Reno inquires impatiently.
"It could be..." Denzel theorizes. "To your battle stations, ready your weapons!" By that he means pillows, there are also a lot of extra pillows in the Seventh Heaven. "Someone will have to look outside the base."
A long moment passes and no one volunteers. Is the situation truly that scary? I guess this is my chance to be the hero. "I'll go."
"You're a brave soldier!" General Denzel commends, "alright men, get ready to defend Seph, we won't abandon our comrade!"
After the dramatic speech, while everyone is holding their pillows ready to save me should the need arise, I open the door and find a plate on the floor with a cupcake on it and a little card. I pick it up and place it in the center of the planning circle, reading the card, which contains only one word, "peace."
"A peace offering? Looks like there was nothing to worry about after all," Rufus concludes too soon.
"Or maybe it's poisoned!" Reno looks at the cupcake suspiciously.
"Do you think they were hoping we would fight over the cupcake?" Tseng theorizes, "divide and conquer."
"Sleep," Rude finally speaks, causing Reno to remind him that no one sleeps in sleepovers, but Rude is not one to need reminders. He doesn't say much, but when he does, it's best to listen.
"That smell," Tseng looks alarmed.
Taking Blaze into his arms, Reno leaps towards the door, "it's sleeping gas, abandon ship, I mean base!"
In a sudden incomprehensible panic, we all rush out of the room. Reno is out, but Rufus and Cloud are stuck in the doorframe trying to get out at the same time and the rest of us are still inside our compromised base.
I look out, over Rufus and Cloud, and see that Reno is surrounded. "Hang him over, Blaze is coming with us," Marlene commands, I didn't know a little girl could sound so intimidating.
"No way, I'll never give him up!" Reno sounded determined, but his determination faded when Tifa held up a plastic glass over his head.
The glass' white color hid its contents and Tifa grinned evilly, "If I pour this on your hair..."
"I give up!" Reno pleaded for mercy, "I'm sorry Blaze, I'll rescue you, I promise!" Blaze was handed over to Marlene, who took him away to safety, out of the line of fire.
"If I pour this on your hair," Tifa spilled the contents of the glass on Reno, "it will be wet." What was in the glass was revealed to be just water.
Before Reno could complain, he was forced to retreat along with Cloud and Rufus who were also caught by the cold liquid of Elena's water gun.
We closed the door to the base, but we're exhausted from the sleeping gas and fighting against its effects is difficult. "I know this scent, there's an antidote, Elena has it," Tseng recalls.
"Traitor," Rufus collapses into a deep sleep, pushing Cloud along with him.
"Get off, Shinra!" Cloud complains, but is too sleepy to push Rufus off.
"Throw the cupcake out the window!" Reno frantically tries to open it, but it won't budge.
"It's sealed, because I thought someone was breaking in and sabotaging my shampoo, so I kept it in my room, locked the door and sealed the windows," Cloud explained. Here comes karma to get its vengeance and take everyone down at the same time.
"Bar," Rude speaks again and for a moment I wonder why he's stating the obvious. There is a bar downstairs, but it's not like we can flee there, we have no escape route. Then I realize he means we should bar the door, Tifa probably has a spare key so locking it won't be enough. Unfortunately, by then I'm on the floor, collapsed in exhaustion and sleep is claiming me.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Final Fantasy VII.