A Somewhat Different Christmas Carol

By Elice McCleod

Rufus paced around his office fuming. Stopping in front of what was making him so mad he muttered "Tseng I’m gonna wring you scrawny little neck" The tree just sat on his desk with a cute little plastic star with the ShinRa logo on it plopped carelessly on it’s top. It was only a small tree but a tree none the less. Just then the office door burst open. "Sorry sir!" called Tseng as he rushed over to the young president. " You wanted something boss?" he asked while straitening out his dark blue tie. "Yes Tseng, there is a problem. What may I ask is that?" inquired Rufus pointing to the little hemlock. "It’s a Christmas tree Sir" replied the Turk. "You know what I think of it?"

Rufus inquired dangerously calm. "I think this" walking over to the tree Rufus took out his shotgun and pumped a few shells into the tree. It fell over in a billion pieces from the impact.

Rufus then walked over to where it was on the floor and stomped on it until there was nothing but a green mess on the floor. "That is what I think!" he called triumphantly while brushing a loose strand of hair from his ice blue coldly glowing eyes. Tseng was utterly shocked. "You may leave now Tseng, oh yah, your gonna want the day off right?" Rufus asked, his expression as cold as his eyes. "uhhh yah, we *all* wanted the day off tomorrow" He responded. "All of you? No way! I need someone to go and press the Destruct button on a few plate supports tomorrow!" Rufus growled angrily. " Nevermind, you may all have the day off…but I’m not gonna pay you, got it?"

"OK Sir, thanx and merry….." Tseng caught himself before he finished the sentence. Rufus glared at him and motioned for him to leave. Tseng walked out while muttering. "geeze he needs to lighten up." Rufus walked over to his desk and sat down frowning. "Damn it all to hell! I cant even get help to drop any plates on the slums tomorrow!" he cursed to himself. Just then he got an idea. Smirking he turned to his computer and began to make a program that would allow him to initialize the Destruct sequence from his office. Then his eyes began to glow icily, he would get his Christmas wish of death and destruction after all. Rufus was thinking about all this when he heard something outside is office. "geeze what now? I’m trying to figure out how to decrease the surplus population" he sighed as he moved toward his door. Scarlet and Hojo stood outside, Scarlet was in her usual red satin dress gloves and heels. Hojo in his usual lab coat. The only different thing was Hojo was holding up a songbook while Scarlet sang some song about silver bells. Rufus narrowed his eyes and yelled at the top of his lungs. "GO AWAY, CAN’T YOU SEE I HATE CHRITMAS!!!!!!" Scarlet and Hojo stood dead in their tracks. Hojo dropped the book and walked off quickly. Scarlet on the other hand stood there for a minute. Her lip began to quiver and then she ran off bawling. Rufus glared at the book then picked it up and walked back into his office. He tossed it in the incinerator then turned off the lights and left. He walked along the hall of the ShinRa building till he got to his room. He stopped and stuck the key in the door. As he turned the knob it the other wise flat smooth surface began to move. He gasped and jumped back. Looking at the knob his eyes widened. It looked like the face of his father, but he had been dead for awhile. Then as quickly as it had changed it was normal again. Rufus dismissed it as his imagination and walked into his room.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tseng trudged down the stairs and went into the Turk’s lounge. Rude was sitting at the table drinking some booze, Reno was playing with his nightstick and Elena was watching TV.

In the corner of the room was a Christmas tree decorated with little ShinRa logo’s and little ornaments. Tseng smiled happily as he looked at a small pair of official Turk sunglasses tied to the tree. Underneath it was a few packages addressed to various Turks. Just then he got an idea. Quickly grabbing the others he led them to his room and discussed his plan.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Rufus sat alone in his recliner and ate a TV dinner. As he flipped the tube on the radio turned on and the volume was up full blast. Rufus hollered and ran over to turn the radio off. He was about an inch away from it when it mysteriously switched off, as did all the electric appliances in the apartment. He gave a cry of frustration and groped around in the darkness for the light switch. When his finger finally made contact with it he flipped it on and walked angrily over to the door and locked it. All of a sudden the room got cold and an odd green light filtered in through the door. A ghostly figure walked in covered in chains. The pudgy form walked over to the wide eyed Rufus and spoke in a slow monotone voice. " Son, it is your father, I’m here to see that you aren't doomed to roam the earth as a specter as a cause of things you've done in your life, i wear the chains i made in life, i made this coil link by link." Rufus stood there coldly staring at this supposed ghost. "uh huh like i believe that, it's all a carefully plotted illusion or something....now get out you thing before i call the guards." The ghost looked at him with a painful countenance. Then spoke. "you will be haunted by three ghost, my time grows short goodbye." With that it disappeared. "Oh great" replied Rufus to the now empty room. "this is just what I need." He currently became of how sleepy he actually was so Rufus went over to his bed and lay down. He fell asleep at the instant his head touched the pillow.

A few hours later or so it seemed Rufus awoke with a start. He groggily looked around his apartment, it was completely dark. He sat up and shuffled across the floor and was about to change into his night clothes when a small white light appeared in his room. "hello, I’m the ghost of Christmas past" announced a feminine looking creature wearing a pale gold gown. Rufus looked at the girl who looked surprisingly like a Turk he knew laughed out loud. "you? A ghost HA!" he managed to say between laughing. " I am, follow me" the moogle replied flatly. Then it grabbed Rufus’s hand and pulled him through the apartment wall. Expecting to be falling Rufus looked around. He was standing in the middle of small town in the dessert. " I was born here" he said dully. The ghost. Looked at him and pointed to a small building. Rufus walked over and peered through the dusty window. A small boy sat in the house while an older women rushed around packing things away to be transported somewhere. No Christmas tree, no nothing. The boy had a few tufts of blonde hair and ice blue eyes.

He sat alone on a chair holding a teddy bear. "that’s me……..we were moving away to the ShinRa building to live with my dad……" he whispered softly. "Let us see another Christmas" the ghost called from the street. Then suddenly they were in Rufus’s office, only it wasn’t his…yet.

The same boy sat in a chair waiting in line to speak with the man at the desk, he was still holding a raggedy older looking teddy bear. Rufus spoke up meekly. " I waited for hours just to ask my father if he would eat dinner with us and when he said no and I started to cry he took my bear and tossed it in the incinerator." He looked at the ground and felt a warm wet drop start to trickle down his face. He wiped his eyes and quickly shrugged the hole matter off. "ummm heh heh, how about another year in the ShinRa building?" the spirit asked. With a flick of its chubby wrist him and Rufus were now in the employee lounge. The boy had grown and was about 16. He sat on a bench infant of a large plant with a girl sitting next to him. "Rufus I have had it with you! All you care about is your stupid money and your fathers stupid company. With all these things you care about there is no room in your heart to care about me." The young women cried out sadly.

"How can you say that? I love you with *all* my heart." The younger Rufus replied. "oh uh huh I really believe that….I"M through with you, your a….a…DUFUS!!!" The girl screamed the last part and ran off crying. The younger Rufus sat there paralyzed. Meanwhile the older Rufus kneeled down and broke down crying. " Why do like to torment me?" he sobbed. " Chill out dude!" the spirit retorted. "These are things that happened in the past and I cant change them! Oh boy this aint working." " can I go back to bed now?" Rufus asked coldly. The spirit sighed. Magically Rufus was in his room and the spirit was gone. Rufus walked over to his bed and lay down, in an instant he was asleep again.

After what seemed like only a few minutes of sleep but was really an hour Rufus was woken up by a loud shout. " wake up stupid I got a lot to do before tomorrow!" Rufus pooped his eyes open and saw a larger, fatter Moogle with a cat atop his head. The cat had a wreath of holly ‘round it’s head and the Moogle had on a funny looking tunic. "Hi, I’m….errr *we* are the ghost of Christmas present!" It announced loudly into a megaphone. Rufus sat up and looked at it. "Nice try Reeve, Go away Cait Sith….NOW." He spoke agitatedly to the quote un quote ghost. "your dumber than we though, come on!" It shouted as it bounced across the room and grabbed Rufus’s hand. They appeared in the hallway of the ShinRa building. Scarlet walked down the hallway happily. The Ghost and Rufus followed her. She went into the Press room where all the higher up like Heidegger and Palmer where. They were exchanging gifts. Hojo got a new lab coat, Palmer got a tub of lard, Heidegger got a voice a self help book on how to laugh less, Scarlet got a new pair of red pumps, Reeve got a new map of Midgar. Everyone was so happy. Rufus looked around the scene. "Rufus is such a crab, he made Scarlet cry last night." Spoke someone from the corner. "he’s a big meanie! I hate him" Hojo whined. Rufus turned to the ghost. " do they really hate me?" he asked. " Uh huh" it replied frankly. " show me something else" Rufus spoke as he cleared his voice. In an instant they were somewhere else. The street was covered with trash and it smelled like something had died. " Ugh…slums, why did you bring me to this cesspool? I hate this place, it’s so dirty an unlivable." Rufus said while covering his nose. "look over there in that pipe." The ghost replied. Rufus walked over and looked into the pipe. Inside was a family of four.

Two children, a little girl and boy and their parents. They had on little more than scraps for clothing and they’re faces were dirty. The Father handed the two children a each a plate with a small piece of bread on each. " daddy…..aren’t you and momma gonna eat?" asked the small girl.

"You just eat up and be worried about yourself Mara. You need all the food you can get to grow up and be strong and healthy." Replied the father. The girl ate the bread no question asked. A few minutes later the mother walked over to the children with two small packages. She gave them each one and the kids grinned happily. They tore open the paper and looked at the gifts. The girl got a tattered old dolly but she still smiled and cried out. " oh thank you Mommy and daddy! I love her! I’m gonna name her Aeris after the flower lady!" The parents smiled and hugged the little girl. The boy got a small pistol with a cork that popped out for a bullet. He grinned and shouted out. " I’m gonna be rich and famous and be a president someday with a gun like this!! It’s just like Mr. Rufus’s!!!" His mother glared at him and said. "you will never be like that evil man Rufus Denis, you are nice unlike him." The boy walked over to his little corner and sat down. Rufus on the other hand was kind of shocked. " Do people actually think that about me???" He asked the moogle. " Gee I think, people don’t like you that much sorry to say." It replied. Rufus frowned and looked away. "Sorry to bust your bubble but it’s the truth." It said apologetically. "I wanna go to sleep now, get me out of this raunchy place." The moogle sighed and responded with an "ok" and then instantly Rufus was in his apartment once again. "The ghost of Christmas future will be here soon, I hope I have taught you something." Rufus stared at the ghost coldly. "yah yah whatever, now let me sleep." The ghost sighed and then vanished. Rufus walked over to his bed and laid down. To say he wasn’t the slightest bit upset by this hole matter would have been a lie. He lay down again and fell asleep.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Tseng crept down the hall with long dark blanket thrown over him like a cloak. He snickered and kept walking to his final destination. " This is the will teach him to lighten up" he said aloud as reached the end of the hall. He opened the door and crept into the dark room.


On The next hour Rufus was awoken a third time by a sudden rush of cold air. Stirring from his slumber he opened one eye than the other. He looked over to where the cold air was originating from and saw a tall creature in a long black robe. In place of it’s eyes were two glowing sockets, the rest of it’s face seemed not to exist. It pointed a finger at him and motioned for Rufus to get up. Rufus seemed to understand what it implied and get up and walked over to it. "You must be the ghost of Christmas future right? Well hurry up….i have to get *some* sleep if I’m going to get up early tomorrow to drop the plate on sector three." He spoke to the creature in an arrogant voice. The thing walked to the other side of the room and made a circular motion with it’s hands.

A portal opened and it walked through. Rufus ran in after it. They ended up in Rufus’s office. The light were dim and it was raining outside. Tseng, Reno, and Hojo stood there talking. " I’m just glad he’s finally dead." Reno exclaimed. "yup," replied Hojo "I’m only going to his funeral if lunch is free." Tseng looked at everyone. "you guys! It’s not nice to disrespect him, it was a freak accident and all but we should at least show him *some* respect." The others bowed their heads for a second then they all burst out laughing. "listen to yourself Tseng!" Reno exclaimed. "thanx to that freak accident your the new big cheese, and I got a raise!" Tseng shrugged and walked out, Reno and Hojo close behind. Rufus Turned to the spirit and spoke "Hey, who’s dead and why is Reno getting a raise? He’s the laziest guy around?" The spirit didn’t speak but pointed to the hallway. Rufus looked out and saw a bunch of cleaning ladies walking down the hallway carrying bed linen’s. Rufus followed them until they were in the laundry room. One of them whistled and a man stepped out from the shadows. "what do you have for me today ladies??" he asked. "Here, I got one of his suits." One said as she handed the man a white business suit. The other women stepped forward and handed the man a black silk turtle neck. " I got this fine silk shirt." She said in a hushed tone. Rufus looked at the suit and shirt. "hey! Those are *MINE*" he screeched.

Of course they couldn’t hear him. The third woman handed the man a blanket. " I got this, and it’s still warm." She exclaimed. The man took the blanket and examined it. "your right! It is still warm, probably the only warmth he ever had." He spoke aloud as he handed them all a couple pieces of Gil each. Then he slipped back into the shadows and was gone. Rufus looked at the people as they faded out. Then he became aware he was in a morgue. The ghost pointed to a specific slab and motioned for Rufus to go look at it. Rufus took a step forward and then paused.

"This person who they were talking about is in here isn’t he?" he questioned. The ghost just pointed to the slab again. Rufus stepped over to it and peered at the name plate. It was covered in frost so he had to wipe to wipe it away before he could read it. He moaned and lurched forward as if he was going to be sick. The name plate said. " Rufus ShinRa" in brass letters. "No!" he moaned again backing up. "this….this can’t be!" Rufus turned to the spirit. "Can these events be changed? Please tell me spirit! I…I….I have changed! I’m no longer the man I was!!!!" Rufus cried out. He took hold of it’s arm and closed his eyes. When he opened them he was in his bed again. He sat up and looked around. " I’m alive!!!!!" he shouted. Rufus jumped off his bed and ran around his room happily. "YIPPEY!!!!!" he bellowed. Then he stopped dead in his tracks.

He ran over to his closet and got changed then he ran out of his room to his office.


A few minutes later his entire office was dressed up in holiday style. Rufus looked around and noticed he no longer had a tree. He smiled and walked down to the Turks lounge. Peering in he noticed no one was there. So he snuck in and stole they’re tree. When he got back to his office he sat it up on his desk and placed nine huge packages underneath it. He smirked and walked over to the P.A announcer and spoke in his normal cold tone. " All my department leaders report to my office NOW, that include the Turks too, YOUR ALL IN DEEP CRAP!!!"


Somewhere in the Pressroom from underneath the large table Tseng and Elena crept out. They looked like they had seen a ghost. Tseng was still wearing the dark blanket as a cloak and Elena had on a pale yellow sheet wrapped around and over a white nightie as a toga type thing. They clung to each other as they walked to Rufus’s office. "What if he saw us last night!" Elena frantically asked Tseng. "Uhhh considering how mad he sounded he probably knows already knows it was us." He replied his countenance grim. As they walked down the hallway they met up with Rude and Reno. "Boss, the Prez sounds mad, I told you not to do that dumb plan of yours but nooooooooooooo, never listen to the red haired one." Reno spoke agitatedly. Rude just looked at Tseng and Elena and laughed. The four of them headed to Rufus’s office.

Scarlet walked down the hall with Hojo, Palmer, and Hiedegger at her side. She couldn’t find Reeve anywhere. Just then a door opened and Reeve stepped out. "There you are!" Scarlet exclaimed. Reeve spun around his face white. " Uhh I was just checking up on my other Cait Sith prototypes and checking in with….with…….Cloud and his gang! Yah thats it!!!" He explained quickly. Scarlet flashed a questioning look and then shrugged. "Who cares, come on were all in deep crap." She said sadistically. Then continued to walk. Reeve walked with them but more in the back and wiped the sweat off his brow.

Rufus hurried and shut off the light and walked out of his office. He shut the door just as the group with Scarlet in it came trudging up the stairs. He brushed a loose strand of hair out of his eyes then cleared his throat. Speaking in a low icy cold tone he spoke. "Where are the Turks?" Just then Reno came bounding up the stairs. "Here sir!!" He called from the back of the group. Rufus scanned the ranks and then spoke again. " Didn’t I say I had plans this morning?? I specifically said I wanted you all in my office this morning for a briefing, now my plans are foiled and the time for killing is now past! I have a specific time in which I allow for murdering innocent people!" Everyone’s faces went white as Rufus yelled at them. " IN MY OFFICE NOW!!!!" After he yelled he walked in and went over to his desk. " S….S..Sir? it’s awful dark in here….do you want me to turn on the lights??" questioned a scared Elena. Rufus called from across the room. "why not?" When Elena flipped the switch the room instantly became lit up with dozens of red, green, and white lights, Everyone gasped as they saw the sight. Rufus grinned and shouted. "Merry Christmas! I bought you each a little something to commemorate your fine service to ShinRa electric company." Everyone rushed over to the tree and picked up their package. A little later Rufus caught site of Tseng and Elena. They had forgotten to change into they’re clothes.

He walked over and looked at them. "Tseng? Elena?…………..Nah, couldn’t be" he spoke to himself. Tseng heard him and his eyes went wide. Then Rufus turned around and walked over to his desk. As he sat down he smiled. Turning to his computer he erased the program to Destruct the plates from his office. Then he got up and went to talk with Reeve. "first thing I want you to do is get the slums cleaned up." Reeve looked at Rufus. "My you have changed Sir" He said. Then he smiled to himself. Rufus looked at Reeve’s odd expression. "yah, I would tell you how this change came about, but I’m not sure I believe it myself. "He replied. Then Rufus turned around and walked over to join in with the others who were sipping on eggnog. Reeve looked over at Tseng and Elena who were talking to each other in a corner. He cleared his throat just loud enough so they could hear him. Reeve smiled and winked at them. Tseng winked back. Before Reeve headed over to get his on glass of eggnog he said to himself. "Believe it Rufus, I know what happened. If I hadn’t known I was awake I would be just as delirious as you were." With That Reeve Went over and joined the festivities.



Elice McCleod's Fanfiction