Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 7


by KevehKins 0 reviews

Barret and Red XIII get to know each other a little better by playing a game while they travel to the chocobo farm. Prompt Fill for 's "Give us Something to Write About" thread. Rated PG-13 for swe...

Category: Final Fantasy 7 - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor - Characters: Barret Wallace,Red XIII - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2015-03-17 - 2743 words - Complete

Disclaimer: All characters and settings in this piece are based upon and are the property of Square Enix unless otherwise stated. No profit has been made from this piece of fiction.

"Yo Red, you wanna play a game?"

Red glanced to the left with his one good eye, peering up at the face of his companion. Barret didn't return the gaze, keeping stride and surveying the greenery ahead of them.

"A game? Is now really the time for a game?" He replied.

"Ain't no better time. It's a beautiful day, we've got nothin' but grass ahead of us and I ain't assed to hike all the way to this farm with you and not have a damn word spoken between us."

Red looked ahead, sure enough there seemed to be no monsters in sight, or living creatures of any sort. A quick sniff of the air told the same story, no scent of anything but grass on the breeze.

"What sort of game?" He asked, turning his gaze back to his fellow traveller. The right side of Barret's mouth curled upwards into a small, pleased smile.

"This old guy taught me it way back when I first came to Midgar. Hitched a ride in his truck, coming from Junon. He was a chatty kind o' guy, nosy as all hell. S'probably why he suggested the game in the first place." Barret said, his tone wistful.

"What is it?" Red asked, somewhat curious now in spite of his earlier reluctance.

"He just called it the question game."

"The question game?"

"Yup. Basically, we take turns askin' each other shit about each other. Or anything really."

Red cast a sceptical glare at that.

"You want to ask questions about me?"

Barret's face morphed into an expression of sheer bemusement.

"Sure as shit I do. I know nothin' about you. And no offense, but you're a bit of an anomaly. Who wouldn't wanna ask questions about you?"

Red's response resounded with a low, dismissive growl.

"I don't think I want to play."

Barret scoffed. "Don't get all uptight on me man, I didn't mean nothin' by it. I figured it'd be a good way to get talkin', y'know? I mean if we're going to be travelling together, and we sure as hell are because Spiky ain't about to let up on that whole 'chivalrous soldier' crap he's got going on, then I want to get to know the guy I'm gonna be cruising with."

Red turned his eye to glower up at his companion once more.

"What if I don't feel like getting to know you?"

To his surprise, Barret simply gave an amused chuckle at his question.

"You're tellin' me you ain't the least bit curious about me? Me? The big scary lookin' dude with skull tattoos and scars and a gun for a hand?"

"What if I said 'No, you don't interest me'?" Red replied, and Barret let out a derisive snort before responding.

"I'd call total bullshit. Don't think I don't see you sneaking looks at my arm and crap. Same damn looks I sneak at your tail and scars."

Red felt his stomach lurch at this revelation. Evidently Barret was more observant than he'd given him credit for. And now he felt like a child caught out in some little white lie. He glanced to his left again. Barret had a ridiculous grin plastered across his face.

In spite of himself, Red laughed, a low, throaty but pleasant sound.

"You are something of an anomaly." He conceded, eliciting another, louder laugh from his comrade.

"A nice little pair of 'what-the-fucks', the two of us." Barret spoke, his grin subsiding into a wry smile. "So how about it Red? You game? I'll let ya ask the first question."

Red remained silent for a moment, contemplating. His mouth spread into a toothy smile.

"Fine." He sighed with resigned amusement. Barret gave a triumphant nod and muttered something approving.

"Alright man, shoot."

Red pondered a moment. Trying to think of a decent question was much more difficult now that he'd been given an open platform of inquiry. Eventually he settled on one, a good opener, he thought.

"Any family?" He asked. Barret smiled.

"I got a daughter, Marlene. She's stayin' in Midgar with a carer right now. Real smart kid, tough. She's gonna be strong when she gets older. Hell, she's strong already."

"And her mother?"

His partner's smile dwindled at this and Red felt a pang of guilt for broaching the subject at all. Pointless, senseless guilt, but guilt nonetheless.

"Her mom died a few years back." Barret answered. Though he gave no indication, Red rather thought Barret to be making a pointed effort not to look at him as he spoke. He decided not to push it, instead guiding the game forward.

"Your turn."

"Same question." Barret replied immediately, and Red felt a small wave of relief wash through him as Barret seemed to regain some of his cheer, or at least his curiosity took control if nothing else.

"I have no family, save for Grandpa. Though I suppose he isn't my real grandfather." Red spoke. "He is human." He clarified upon catching sight of Barret's puzzled expression.

"Really? He the guy that taught you to speak?"

It was his turn to dawn a puzzled expression.

"…No. My parents spoke."

"No shit? Who taught them?"

"No one taught them." Red growled, irritated. "All members of my species are capable of speaking and as far as I know, we always have been."

Barret whistled a low note, evidently surprised and amazed at this information.

"Damn man." He spoke, his voice soft, contemplative. Red glowered at him, agitated.

"What? Why you looking at me like that?" Barret asked, brow furrowed in bemusement.

"Humans are always disturbed to learn that other species are capable of communication. They think they're the only intelligent race and that makes them above everything else." Red growled, eye locked in a cold stare out towards the landscape ahead.

Barret frowned. "Nah man, that's not what I meant. It ain't weird to me that other species can communicate, ain't weird to me at all."

"Oh really?" Red asked, unable to keep the sarcasm from seeping into his voice. Barret quirked an eyebrow, but made no further remark of it.

"Yeah man. I mean, when you hear about all this stuff with Ancients being able to talk to the Planet and the Planet being able to communicate back and all that. It just kind o' makes sense that all these different species would be able to communicate and have their own language or signs or whatever, y'know? Cycle of spirit energy and all that crap, right?"

Red continued to stare up at his partner, though the anger in his expression had faded somewhat. He turned his head away, saying nothing as they walked onward. The chocobo farm couldn't be much farther at this point. It had been an hour since they cleared the valley between the Midgar Mountains and the Healin Cliffs. They trod along in silence for a time, peering out at the horizon, waiting for something to rise out of the level grassland. At last, Barret broke the silence once more.

"Your turn." He said, his voice soft. Another few moments of silence but for the sound of grass rustling in the breeze and Red spoke.

"You seem to have an interest in the study of Planet life?"

Barret shrugged. "What? You mean like I have an interest in creatures and animals and that kind of crap? Yeah I guess I do. But keep it to yourself." He added with a stern expression. "I got a reputation to protect."

Red snorted, shaking his head. "You never pursued it?"

Barret furrowed his brow once more. "How do you mean?"

"Well, were I come from many dedicate their lives to studying the Planet and its inhabitants."

"Is that so? Alright, my question. Where do you come from?"

Barret watched his companion digest the question, saw him deliberate over whether or not to reveal that particular piece of information, glancing back at him for a moment as if checking to make sure he was still trustworthy. Barret merely raised his eyebrows into a questioning expression.

With a grunt, Red turned to look ahead again before speaking. "Cosmo Canyon."

Barret stopped walking, mouth hanging open slightly. Red paused, craning his neck to peer around at his stalled accomplice.

"What is it?"

Barret shook his head, a breath of laughter escaping him. "Cosmo fuckin' Canyon." He said. He moved forward, striding to catch up with Red who fell into pace beside him.

"Why so pleased?" Red asked.

Barret smiled. "Always wanted to go to Cosmo Canyon, man. That place is like my Gold Saucer. S'where all the AVALANCHE stuff began. I remember I promised my guys…"

He trailed off, his face dropping into a sombre frown.

"Your turn." He said, clearing his throat before he spoke.

"Did you pursue it?" Red asked quickly, taking the hint.

"Pursue what?"

"Your interest in Planet life? You never answered me earlier."

Barret shook his head. "Oh, nah. Never did it properly at least."

"Why not?" Red asked.

Barret let out a mirthless chuckle. "Ah y'know, reality gets in the way of pipe dreams." He reached up to scratch the back of his head, running his fingers over the stubbly hair that covered it. "I grew up in this little mountain town. Real dusty old place. Folks were poor, but decent and they worked for everything they had. Most were pretty happy. Guess I was the same as every other kid in the town though. Becoming a coal miner was just what you did when you got old enough to be able to do it, y'know? Weren't a lot of money in it, I wasn't going to afford any college degree in biology or some crap like that. But we made a living out of it."

"You never thought of just leaving?" Red asked.

"Sure." He replied with a shrug. "Just about everybody thought about it at one point or another. But like I said, folks were poor. Couldn't afford to just up and leave and take their chances elsewhere, not when most of them had families to provide for. I still got my share of wildlife though. Me and this buddy o' mine used to go hiking around the mountains, lot of real cool birds around. Damn near got pecked to death once by this flock of Needle Kiss, still got a scar from that day on my knee." He finished with a grin.

Red chuckled in response, flashing a toothy grin. "Your turn."

Barret clucked his tongue and clicked his fingers, perusing his imaginings and memories for a question worth asking. Something topical, maybe?

"Alrigh', lemme ask you a paleontological question, Red."

"A paleontological question." His bestial friend repeated.

"Yeah. All this talk about Planet life's got me thinkin' about shit. Communication and different species and history and all that crap."

"So? What's your question?" Red replied with an expectant look in his eye.

"Right, y'know how you were saying about other species communicatin' and shit right?" Barret asked, looking towards Red who nodded in affirmation.

"Right, well, my question is why do you think of all those species, yours and ours ended up having the same way of communicatin'? Why do we both speak the same way?"

Red's eye widened in surprise at the question, genuinely taken aback.

"I…I've never thought about it." He replied.

"Are you fuckin' kidding me?" Barret replied, expression contorted into one of sheer bemusement. "You've never thought about how fuckin' weird it is that we speak the same way? Jeez man!"

The beast shot him a glare. "I was usually too occupied by what humans were doing to me to worry about what they were saying to me."

Barret raised his hand in a gesture of peace. "Alright, alright, that's fair. Don't go gettin' a fire under your ass, your tail's already got that covered."

A low growl came from the red-furred creature beside him.

"Ah man I'm just messing with ya!" Barret said, laughing as he spoke. "Seriously though, man, me and you, we know a little somethin' about anomalies. And us speaking the same way? That right there is one big ass fuckin' anomaly, don't ya think?"

"It is….unusual." He agreed.

"No, Cloud's hair is unusual. This right here, two species developing speech the exact same way? That's a straight up fuckin' mind blow, man." Barret retorted, shaking his head and grimacing.

"There's probably a logical explanation for it, one species just adopted the language of the other, or something like that." Red replied, earning an irritated scowl from Barret.

"Man, we're shooting the breeze here, not trying to beat it to death."

"Shoot the bre-"

"But even if that is how it went down, that's still fascinating stuff man, two completely different species interactin' like that. Really makes you appreciate how much of an awesome force nature is, how much it can do."

"Yeah, I suppose." Red replied, anxiety creeping into his expression. "There's so much about my own people I do not know. I suppose I never really had time to think about how much history my species has. Hojo's lab never facilitated much thinking."

Barret's lips curled into an amused smirk.

"That's another anomaly, a lab that doesn't facilitate thinking. But seriously man, when all this is done, we should look into that, me and you, y'know? Who better to look into anomalies than two 'what-the-fucks' like us, huh?"

Red eyed the man with an amused scepticism.

"Are you being serious, or is this "shooting the breeze" too?"

Barret shrugged once again.

"Don't see why I couldn't be serious. When all this is done Sephiroth, Shinra and all o' them ain't gonna be a problem no more. I'mma need something to do, and like I said, I've always wanted to stay in Cosmo Canyon. Marlene could get some good schoolin' there too, I bet."

"I think you may be jumping ahead a little bit." Red replied, eliciting a wry smile from his companion.

"Yeah…maybe I am. But I gotta think about what comes after all this too y'know, for Marlene. She deserves better than Midgar."

"It must have been difficult to leave her there."

Barret nodded forlornly. "Hardest thing I've ever done. Sometimes I still wonder if I made the right decision, y'know…"

"You did." Red responded in a firm tone.

"Aw yeah? How you so sure?"

"A father should face the threat head on, not close his eyes and flee from it like some coward." Red answered, and though his tone remained level his eye betrayed the furious venom in his words.

"Uh, yeah, I guess." Barret spoke, words wary and uncertain.

Silence descended upon them once again as they carried on their march across the grasslands. The vegetation swishing underfoot and the rustling of the grass blades in the breeze the only sound that graced their ears, and on they continued until at last Red came to a halt, nose pointed upward, twitching in rapid intervals as he sniffed the air.

"Chocobos…" He muttered, scanning the horizon for an indication of the avian creature's presence.

"Over there." Barret exclaimed, pointing northeast of their location. A large structure jutted upwards from the flat line of the horizon. "That's gotta be the farm up there, I'd bet that big tower thing's a silo."

Red grunted in agreement, immediately setting off in the direction of the farm, nose still twitching furiously, tracking the scent of the chocobos there. Barret followed behind him, grimacing at the beast's return to his usual aloof form.

"Everyone in this group is just full o' fuckin' surprises…"
Author's Note: Fill for prompt: Imagine a conversation between Barret and Red XIII. Anywhere, anytime. What they talk about isn't related to the compilation plot; it's just a casual conversation between two dudes.

This ain't a great bit of writing on my part, but I had immense fun writing it. Feel free to leave criticisms and whatnot, t'is always appreciated. And don't hold back with them, I can take it!...Sort of...

Thanks to LicoriceAllsorts over at TLS for creating the prompt thread, and thanks to whoever suggested the prompt (as far as I know it was anonymously submitted). And o' course, thanks to ye for reading it.

Take it easy folks,
Sign up to rate and review this story