Disclaimer: I do not own the characters...Although I really wish the Tonberry was my creation. They have so much personality, ya know?!

Notes: Umm...None so to speak of... Oh! The Ton does some tailor work...Read and Review? You will? Thanks!

Life in the Thing That Smacks Into Things

Chapter 3 - The Planning

By WanderingTonberry

It wasn't long before I had successfully gotten all the details about the Lover's Festival. According to the little book hidden underneath Selphie's mattress, the festival was a fantasy come true for lovers. Something she...I shouldn't have been reading this, right? Oh well...Anyway, from what I could gather, it would be kind of like the festivals they once held in ancient Greece to honor the Goddess Aphrodite. Grandpappy knew her. He always said she was 'damn fine' for a human. Well, she wasn't really a human, now was she?

The basics of the festival centered around the wine that the SeeD's would make themselves. It would be like it was straight out of the old days. Couches, bowls of fruit...Slaves. I grinned. This is where Nida came in. I always suspected he was a submissive fella. Well, here was his chance to fulfill a dream of his own! I tended to visit at inconvenient times. Walked in on some scary things...But dreams were one of my specialties! Along with Chinese Cuisine and matchmaking. I also liked sewing...I'm the youngest of 20 berries! I was Mama's little Tonberry! Can ya blame me?

It had only taken a few seconds to creep into his dreams for a look at what was brewing within his unconscious thoughts. Sure, it was breaching his privacy. But he'd thank me when I got him the position as Squall's slave! Heehee...Only time would tell, wouldn't it?

As for his dream, it wasn't all that complicated. Squall had bought him at a brothel...and he ended up serving him...In how many ways? Let's not go there. Who would have thought the boy was so sexually curious? He always seemed so shy. Well, as the saying goes, "It's always the quiet ones!"

I dug through Selphie's files on her desk, looking for the designs for the togas. Sure, everyone designed their own, but Selphie and Quistis were doing the ones for their buddies. I was also accepted into the planning community. Not only could I sew, I had exquisite taste in fabric! I mean, it's so obvious! Everyone with eyeballs can tell that Emerald trim on Seifer's toga would bring out the flecks of green in his eyes!

While the girls would sew most of the designs, I was allowed to make adjustments in the patterns where I thought fit. I would make everyone proud! A nice modest piece for Quistis, but something that would show off her slender build... Something teasingly revealing for Selphie, but nothing that would make her appear...easy. Perhaps a longer skirt for Xu. She had nice legs.

For the men...That would be a bit more difficult. Zell would most definitely want something he could move around in. Tight clothes really didn't seem to be his thing. I was almost positive that he'd end up in the slave auction. So...He wanted something comfortable? Loincloth it was! What? All the slaves needed something to show their status! I decided on a gold trim to the black fabric. I thought it would contrast nicely with his pale skin. It was a given Seifer would be his highest bidder. As popular as Zell was, I seriously doubted anyone could outbid the tall man I had set on fire.

Seifer's garb would have to be elegant. As tempted as I was to leave a few pins in the final product, I wasn't that mean. Or maybe I was. But I wanted to make him happy, so I decided to be nice. I would give him a cream-colored fabric...Soft to the touch...Emerald Green on the edges. Something to suit his haughty taste. No doubt he wanted to be the best looking one there.

I heaved a sigh. I was getting tired just thinking how much all this would take to put together. I reached for my can of Mountain Dew, gulping the liquid that resembled a rather unpleasant bodily fluid down. Perhaps if I didn't think about it...

I wiped a paw across my mouth. Alright! On to the next vict-...Person! I suppose that left Irvine, Squall, Nida, and...Rinoa...How I was persuaded into designing her garb is beyond me! If those Twinkies hadn't looked so ooey-gooey good, I would have said no! I was developing a weakness...

I shook my head violently, trying not to picture that scary woman in a toga. No questions asked, she'd want something revealing. Grr. I'd give her a set of drapes and tell her to wear that...Muahahaha...Something baggy...I liked the sound of that.

Irvine! I would give him...Something simple. I doubt he was all that picky. He had volunteered to help MC the festival. I don't think he'd be too active during the games. Probably get smashed with the wine, but that was his choice. Plain white sounded good. I bet he'd where that hat...Well, maybe I could steal it from him before anyone saw it mixed with our creation. The girls would kill him for making their toga look stupid.

For Squall, I'd give him a milky gray. I think it would make him look irresistible! And that's what I was aiming for. I had to make Nida look good as well...They had to be the only thing each other saw...Not too difficult.

Nida...Nida, Nida Nida...What to do for him? I had tailor's block. I chewed thoughtfully on the end of my pen. What would I create for him? Perhaps...a blood red. Crimson! He was so pale...It would look like milk and blood! What a contrast! Was I good or what? Bow down, bow down!

I scribbled down my final thoughts for Selphie to follow when putting the pieces together. Now...All I needed to do was find someone to accompany me to the material shop. The closest city? I think it's called...Dollet?

I picked up Selphie's phone and dialed for Irvine. He'd take me.

"Howdy, Irvine here."

Good, he was in his room!

"...? Anyone there?"

I mumbled something. I never was too good with the human tongue. Sure, I could read and right it, but pronouncing their guttural language was a pain. I think he got the gist of what I said.

"Oh, hey. Need a ride? Alright, alright...I'm come by and get ya."

Great! I never really needed to talk much. People mostly understood what I needed to say by my expressions and actions. I could be a mime! I giggled at the thought. I hopped off the pile of phonebooks I had been sitting on and made my way to the door as Irvine came in.

"Where we off to today?" He looked down at me, an amused smile on his face. "Let me see... From the papers scattered, heap of MD cans...and the aspirin bottle...I'd say we are off to the fabric store!"

At least he was smart. He picked me up and we headed to the entrance, signing out. It wasn't too long of a walk, but he kept whacking me when I stole his hat. Eventually he just gave up and let me wear it.

When we arrived at the store, a rather pudgy man who looked very willing to take my money greeted us. I didn't trust him...and he needed a shower. It was unbelievable what kind of a stench was rolling of this guy! Irvine had his handkerchief pressed over his nose, mumbling something about dust. Loser, I knew he was dying from the smell!

I coughed a little and starting selecting fabrics. I ran my paws over some silky fabric the color of old wine...This would do nicely... Squall would get a nice surprise when he touched Nida's toga... I had to have this fabric!

I tossed the rolls I wanted into a little basket I had found near the door of the shop and gave it to Irvine to place on the counter. I envied him. Not because he was tall enough to do things I couldn't, but because he had something to lessen the smell and I didn't!

"That will be 11000 gil." The shopkeeper gave us an oily smile. I blinked. How could it be that much?? I narrowed my eyes, whipping out my abacus.

As I calculated the numbers, he has started to sweat. Hyne, could this place smell any worse? This was even worse than Rinoa's perfume! At least that smelled like a fairly recent carcass smothered in herbs! This man smelled like road kill! OLD road kill. The kind that sticks to your tires even after you've driven for a few miles.

I handed my abacus to Irvine who squinted at it for a moment before lowering his blue handkerchief.

"Looks like you overcharged my little buddy."

The sulfuric-smelling man shook his head violent. "No way! That's the correct price. Let me see that!"

He snatched the device from the cowboy's hands, playing with the beads quickly. I growled and climbed up a stack of material next to wooden counter. I stood right before the man, a death glare on my face, half-hidden beneath Irvine's hat. Inside I wanted nothing more to pay and get some air, but I held my ground. No way I'd pay that much! I pressed the tip of my chief's knife to his flabby throat. Guess this was a time for words.


"N-no! I j-j-just...um...miscalculated...P-price is 9800 gil..."

I smiled in satisfaction and handed him my coin purse. I wiped my knife off on his relatively clean shirt and hopped down to the floor. Irvine picked up the bolts of fabric and we headed back to the Garden. I had a date with a sewing machine and the girls would be expecting some help...Things wouldn't be the same 'round here...

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