I'm Not Just a Sniper

Part 12

By Seshat

The Teardrop Lounge is one of the top bars and clubs in all of Galbadia. Even though it mainly caters to the gay community, its doors are open to everyone. On the upper level men chat and drink while scoping out the lovely servers and bartenders. Below is the colorful dance floor complete with free-flowing drinks and go-go dancers/strippers. Recently though, attendance has skyrocketed since the reappearance of the sorceress. People want to party like it's the last night on earth. At first Darlene thought the attacks would hinder her business, but in fact it boosted it. She's now very pleased with the high sales.

This night, Irvine trots around the lounge in his three-inch heels, trying to keep up with the demands of drunken men listening to the soothing music. He keeps his usual patented smile as he cleans empty glasses. The lace skirt bounces with every step he takes, making him want to walk slower. Too bad the job is very fast paced. He blushes as men whistle at him when he has to walk fast. Apparently they can see his almost bare rear along with the white garter straps. "(At least they think I'm cute)," He tells himself, barely even believing his own thoughts.

"Hey Irvine! I got another round for you at station four!" The blonde bartender calls for him. Irvine quickly runs over and fills his tray with yet more mixed drinks and straight liquor. He balances it with his right arm and goes to serve the group at Station four. They gawk at him and smile. One whispers into Irvine's ear, offering him quite a bit of gil to please each one of them. He blinks, as there are about six men in the group. "Thank you for the offer, sir, but I'm pretty busy tonight," He declines. The man frowns, but accepts the cowboy's reluctance. The minute Irvine starts to walk away however, he gets a playful slap on his butt. He squeaks and blushes, trotting back faster to attend the other tables.

"How was the first week?" Darlene helps Irvine out of his stilettos. "My feet hurt like a bitch," He groans, wiggling sore toes while stretching his back.

"It comes with the job. Best thing to do is soak them and spend the rest of the day or night in slippers or comfortable shoes. Or if you have the time and money go get a pedicure. Even the manliest of men get them," She chuckles. Once Irvine slips out of his dress he quickly puts on his soft blue jeans and chaps along with his vest and coat, "I got another mission soon, so I won't be in until probably this weekend. Will that be all right?" The teenager looks at his manager.

Darlene nods and smiles, "I'll be fine Irvy. Just be sure to call to let us know you're alive and well. I know the sorceress won't stand a chance against my Irvine!" She hugs him tight, "Where's the mission taking you, if I may ask?"

"Just around Galbadia. Hopefully it won't be too much work," He shrugs, "I really like this more than escorting though. Maybe I can come here full time once things blow over."

The older woman blinks at him, "Irvine, are you sure about that?"

"Yeah! I can make so much more here rather than bein' a SeeD. Plus the men are less dangerous than red dragons any day!"

"I'll look into any full time positions I have Irvine. No promises, but I'd love to have you on my staff all the time."

"Thanks! I'll see you in about a week, Ms. Darlene!" He hugs the woman back and walks out the door and back to the Galbadia Hotel.

"IRRVVYY!!!" A slightly shrill voice greets the cowboy the second he walks into the hotel lobby. His best friend Selphie jumps on him and hugs him tight, "Where have you been?? I thought some Wendigo ate you or something!" She clings to her friend.

"Sorry girl. I guess I lost track of time walkin' around my old haunts," He does his best to cover up where he's really been. Selphie nods, but then blinks when she sniffs his clothing, "Were you with some girl?"

"No. Why do you ask?"

"I coulda sworn I smelled women's perfume. Oh well. You ready for bed?" She takes his hand.

"You bet I am..." he puffed out his cheeks with a tired sigh. His heart sinks a bit when he watches the girl giggle and run off to the girls' dorms. He hates to have to lie about all this, but he hates to think about how they'd all react if he does tell them he's an escort/barmaid. Worst yet, if they'd react like Zell did. Right now Irvine does not want to even think of the small blonde. He pushes the images of Zell asking about marriage to the back of his head for now, walking off to relax after a brutal night at work.

Zell trains hard in the Garden Training Center, trying to blow off steam after that whole Winhill fiasco. "(Grrrr!! How dare Irvine joke around me like nothing's happened! 'Have yoo seen myyy feet?' I really want to sock him...)" One of his fists plants into a nearby tree when he sees a brightly colored piece of paper. "Huh..? Whassat?" He blinks and picks it up. It's a flyer for several Deling nightclubs and bars. One of the ads is for two free admission passes to the Teardrop Lounge. "(Hmph... maybe Squall would want to go out for a change...)" He takes the flyer to his leader.

"Chaos, Teardrop, Ultra.... Zell, these are all gay clubs," Squall looks at his friend.

"So? I hear they have all sorts of drink specials. And tonight guys are half-price!"

"Eh.. Why not, sounds like fun. And I do need to get away from those hens," Squall refers to Selphie and Rinoa. "And you better know your limits this time. I don't feel like carrying you on my back again, Dincht." Squall gets up to find a good clubbing outfit while Zell leaps for joy. Maybe now he can get over Irvine and possibly move in on Squall. Meanwhile though a young cowboy gets his first lessons on how to dance seductively...

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