The author is messing with the universe and doing it all wrong. Fic the first: A young woman walks into a bar...
Warnings: Shounen ai, all manner of perversion, blatant self-insertion, OOC behavior. If non-graphic man-loving, even just for laughs, gives you a bad turn, please don't torment yourself. There are plenty of other things to read.
The Bishy Bistro
It was late in the afternoon when the student dragged her way down to the busiest little restaurant in town. It had been a long time since she had felt comfortable with the crowd there, but she was at the end of her rope. She was exhausted and hungry, two things that made a dangerous combination in her line of study. She needed rest and relaxation and most importantly, something to ease the violent craving that had been plaguing her for weeks.
She had tried every place in town, from fancy restaurants to tiny take-out counters, but there was nowhere that could meet her order. It was mind-boggling. What she wanted wasn't that hard to make, was it? The ingredients were not rare or hard to find. With a little effort, the local supermarket could have her dish readymade and stashed in the deli section, right next to the sushi trays.
Desperation had driven her to this, coming to a place she wanted little to do with these days. She stood near the doorway and sighed. The place was still a mess and the noise was high-pitched enough to break glass. Sitting down here too long was a good way to lose all common sense. The student was willing to risk it though, if just to get rid of that unnatural craving.
"Miss?" A slim woman called out to get her attention. "Will you be sitting in the het or the yaoi section today?"
The student frowned. "Could I just sit somewhere in the middle?"
The woman looked horrified. "I... I don't think we have any seats in the middle. We've been keeping a wider gap between the sections since the last... incident."
"Fine," the student mumbled. "I'll sit in the yaoi section today."
The uniformed women smiled and led the way to a small table in the corner. The student collapsed into it and hung on to the menu she was given as if it were a lifeline. It was her last hope after all.
It didn't take long for her to scan the lists. Her heart sank. What she wanted wasn't on the menu. Still, the place was known for being very accommodating to requests. If there was any place she had a chance to get what she wanted, this might just be the place. The student set the menu down and slumped forward with her chin on her arms to wait for her server.
The place hadn't changed much in the time she had been away. Table after table was filled with giggling young girls. The squealing was incessant. Giggle fits and high-pitched arguments seemed to break out at random.
"Like, ohmyfuckinggawd," one ponytailed young girl cried out from the next table. "How can you possibly stomach a Heidegger-Cid? That's nasty!"
"Totally!" Her friends piped up in agreement.
"Man, Heidegger-anything is just... EWWW!"
The lone dissenter in the group edged her chair away and hunched over her order. "I ordered it for me. It's not like I'm asking any of you to try it. Now pass the angst shaker!"
The student groaned. There was always too much going on in this place. A waiter came by bearing a large tray for the group directly in front of her.
"One Rufus and Turks Orgy for table four. Enjoy, ladies."
The girls barely waited for the waiter to leave before they started squealing. "This is going to be good!"
The student turned her eyes away, not wanting to infringe on anyone's enjoyment, even if they did seem to be into the group thing. There were a few quieter patrons at the bar. The student found that if she shifted just right she could hear the discussion. Eavesdropping was not exactly a prime trait, but she would have done anything at that point to be able to focus on something other than the shrill chatter nearby.
"I just can't stomach that Kadaj and Yazoo mix," one girl said as she kicked her heels against the bar stool. "It gives me a sort of unsettled feeling."
"But it's not like they're really brothers, as far as we know for sure," her friend said, cheerfully stirring her own drink.
"I guess," the first girl mumbled and proceeded to order a Red XIII licker.
The sight of all those orders being filled made the student acutely aware of her deprived, near-ravenous state. She really wouldn't be able to concentrate if she didn't get her craving out of the way. She sat up straight in her chair to make sure someone took notice.
Two waiters crossed paths right by her table. "We're not out of the Cid and Vinny special, are we?"
"Don't think so. I've got someone waiting for this Reeve and Tifa at my table. It took a while so I gotta run. Oh, and if you see Lou in there, tell him we need to refill the blonde hair and violet eyes at the Suelad bar."
The student waited patiently. She was too faint with hunger to make much fuss. When her waiter did come by, she was too weak from lack of sustenance to notice.
"Oh, lost in thought, huh?" The waiter chuckled. "Hi, I'm Steve and I'll be your waiter today. Are you ready to order?"
The student nodded and handed him her menu. "I want an off-menu order. Your chef is still willing to accommodate, right?"
"Absolutely! We aim to please here at the Bishy Bistro. No mix is too rare or unsavory. If you want it and we're up to it, you'll get it."
The student breathed a sigh of relief. At last, at long, long last...
"I want a Zack sandwich."
The waiter blinked before scribbling it into his notepad. "A Zack sandwich? We don't get asked for too many of those around here."
"It's what I want," the student said firmly.
Steve nodded. "Right away, then, Ma'am. I'll just go see if our chef can whip it up." The student smiled and leaned back in her chair to wait.
Steve was back way too soon. "I'm very, very sorry. The chef in question says she's not prepared to make Zack sandwiches right now. I brought the menu back. Perhaps there's something else you'd be interested in."
The student stared at the proffered menu. It was just too much. To have searched so long and come up with nothing, even here of all places, where nothing was supposed to be too hard to prepare. The long weeks of deprivation and stress with no relief in sight finally became too much to bear.
The student began breathing heavily, a sure sign that she was trying to hold something in, but that something would not be held any longer. It came bursting forth in a fiery blaze that put even the restaurant's notoriously passionate patrons to shame.
"Whaddaya mean you can't make a Zack sandwich?" The student pounded the table for emphasis. "This is the one place that anybody can get anything they want, never mind if it turns out like crap, they can still have it! That's what you're famous for, right?"
Steve held the menu up before him like a shield. "Well, yes, Ma'am, but some things are a little out of the normal range of skill. You could special order."
"I don't want to special order! I want my sandwich now!" The student pounded the table again, setting off a slew of murmurs all around her.
"What is wrong with that old beyotch?"
"They think they can just walk in here and make demands above the rest of us."
The student shot the offending girls a black glare and turned back to the trembling waiter. "I would like a Zack sandwich," she said slowly and quietly.
"I appreciate you keeping it down, Ma'am." Steve lowered the menu but took a half step back to be just out of reach. "If you disturb the patrons again, I might have to ask you to leave."
"You could do that, Steve, but you and I both know you have no way to actually make me go." The student gave him a dark grin. "Now about that sandwich."
"I... I don't know..."
"Look, Steve, I've had a really rough couple of months but despite my worn-out appearance, I'm a very good tipper. I'm tired, I'm hungry and I want a Zack sandwich." The student lunged out and took the menu. She opened it up and pointed. "See, if you can make all of this, you've got to have the makings of a Zack sandwich somewhere back there. Now if your chef doesn't know how to do things, let me break it down for you." She sat up in the chair and smiled a little at the thought of just what went into making that rare spicy meal.
"First, you lay down a sweet young Cloud. I know you have those, so don't give me any stories about being all out. Then, you take a fresh Zack and put it on top of the Cloud. Finally, you top the whole pile off with a naked Sephiroth, a real horny one if you can get it. I know it's a little hard to get the pile to stay together, but I'm sure your cooks are up to the basics at least." The student shut the menu and passed it back to Steve.
Steve headed into the kitchen without a word. "She's not taking 'no' for an answer. It's a Zack sandwich or bust."
The chef looked a little worried. "Damn. I hate these rare order things. They take so much effort. Go get a Cloud out of the freezer for me, will you?"
It took nearly three times as long as a regular order, but finally, Steve made it back to the table with a large, unwieldy sandwich. He set the plate down before the student. The young woman brightened considerably at the sight.
"Thank you, Steve," she said, and reached out for the long-awaited sandwich with both hands.
Steve hurried away to the bar, glad that the whole mess was sorted out for now.
"Tough customer?" Lou asked on his way to put a fresh tray of alabaster skin down at the Suelad bar.
"Yeah," Steve replied, keeping his eye on the crazed student. He hoped she was happy with her order. The Bishy Bistro could crank out just about anything in a pinch, but doing it well was another matter entirely.
He needn't have worried. After long hours of searching, the student would have been satisfied with just about anything resembling the sandwich she'd wanted so badly. This one, true to Bishy Bistro form, was passable, not great, but it was the Holy Grail to one who had searched for it. The student sighed happily as she dug into it.
"Hmm," she mumbled, as her only complaint. "Needs lube."
A.N.: The increasing workload is making my brain run amuck and this is the kind of thing my head comes up with to keep me from unhinging completely. I get a kick out of it and hopefully somebody else will too.