Propositions Chapter 1

Sad Traveling Artist -or- Job Change! Hairstylist!

By Kenji Kotaro

"Okay, what's this guy's name again? Miko?" Asked Ken, the Archer, as he and his two companions waited at the Gariland bar. It was late, and he was getting annoyed at the lateness of their client.

"His name is Mameko." Ai, the Priest, replied, "I don't know WHY Ramza trusted *you* of all people to come with us, you can't even remember his name!" She sighed, sitting at the counter, "Bartender, one glass of wine, please, I think I'm gonna need it..."

"When was the last time you ran into someone named Mameko?" Ken shouted, leaning against the wall, "Sounds like a dumb name, anyhow!"

"Guys, please!!" Cried Osamu, the Knight, putting down a cup of tea he ordered, "We're supposed to HELP this guy, not argue amongst ourselves," He made a sharp glare at Ken, "OR make fun of his name."

"You're right, your name is worse." Ken casually commented. Soon after a large tea pot shattered against the wall, right over his head, Ken immediately ducked as hot tea and shards of broken clay fell on his head. Various people in the bar looked at Osamu and Ken in surprise.

Osamu looked up a shocked bar waitress, "Another pot of black tea, please." He said, as if nothing had happened.

"Y-Yes, sir!" The waitress walked into the back room to get another pot.

"Osamu!! You want to get us thrown out of here!?" Ai whisper-shouted at her friend.

"Trust me, no-one wants to mess with a guy who's got the Blood Sword sheathed at his side."

"That stupid thing you stole from Gafgarion at Golgorland?" Ken asked, "It's barely even wroth it, these days! You can get a Long Sword to do more damage to an enemy's armor!"

Osamu unsheathed the sword, resting it on the table. The blood red blade shimmered in the dull light of the room, a few people at nearby tables moved away, "Hey, it took a LOT of work to master the art of stealing weapons to get this thing! I had to train EVERY DAY for a MONTH to learn how to do it, just in case I ran into someone with a rare sword such as this!"

Ken grinned, "Oh, so THAT'S why you bought that copy of 'Thievery For Dummies' in Warjilis the week before we fought at Golgorland!"

Osamu's eyes widened, "H-Hey!! I was too busy to get the proper skills from battle, so I took a short cut! Is it so wrong to learn how to steal a weapon from a book?"

"You were too *lazy* to get the proper skills from battle," Ai commented, "And you were *lucky* that one of Ken's arrows bounced off the stone walls around the execution site and into Gafgarion's rear and causing him to *drop* it just before you 'stole' it!"

"I was so mad about missing that Time Mage... She cast that stupid Slow spell on me!" Ken shouted, "I hate that, I move at the rate of a snail and it's hard to concentrate!"

"Then become a Time Mage yourself and learn how to use Haste!" Osamu shouted, sheathing his sword, "It's not *that* hard! I learned how to avoid Break techniques without even trying!"

Ai sighed, "....Ducking and rolling out of the way ISN'T how you avoid break techniques."

"...But, you've gotta admit, it works!"

Ken grinned at Ai, "At least it works better than the time he threw a clod of dirt at Wiegraf when he was a Squire...."

Osamu's face turned red, "Hey!! Keep it down!! No-one needs to know about *that* incident!"

"Oh yeeeaaaah!" Ai said, evilly, "When we fought him at that Windmill Shed.... Osamu got behind him and threw a clod of dirt at his head instead of a rock!"

"And he said, 'Huh? ....Who threw DIRT at me!?'" Ken began to chuckle.

Ai continued, "And the 'Genius' pointed to Delita and said, '...Him! Right there! There's your dirt thrower!' And, of course, guess who got a Stasis Sword in the face...."

"...No-one else, but, Osamu!" Ken finished, many people in the bar were laughing.

"Jerks...!! At least I distracted him long enough for Ramza to get some good attacks on him!" The Archer and the Priest continued laughing, until someone approached them.

"E... Excuse me... Are you Ai, Ken and Osamu?" He asked.

Ai was the first to look up at him, "Yes we are--" Here eye widened... Before her was a young man, early 20s (older than she was), blonde hair, blue eyes, but, above all he was... "CUUUUUUTE!!" She shouted, lovestruck, standing next to the embarrassed Man, "You're Mameko, right?"

Mameko slowly backed away, "Y-Yes.."

Ken sat down next to Osamu, "Ai's got a new boyfriend." He joked.

"Poor Mameko." Osamu added, the two boys began to chuckle. Until a dark shadow loomed over their heads, they up in terror, "...Uh-oh..."

"Shut up!" Ai screamed, bringing her Wizard Staff down over the two boys' heads as hard as she could.

"A...Agh..." Ken fell over, knocking his chair over.

"Are you... sure you... shouldn't be a Warrior....?" Osamu fell face first onto the table, just as the waitress came back.

"Sir, your tea is ready!" The waitress placed it the tray with a full tea pot and cups in front of Osamu and walked off.

Osamu lifted his head up, just enough to look at the tea, "Argh...Bad luck...has...cursed me twice..?" He asked, looking up and no-one in particular.

"What's wrong?" Mameko asked.

"...She forgot the sugar..." Osamu put his head back down and groaned in pain.

"Serves your right!" Ai shouted at the two unconscious Warriors. She then sighed, and rubbed the sides of her head in annoyance, "Anyone got a Phoenix Down? I don't *want* to waste my time and energy on a revive spell for these two idiots."

Mameko reached into his pocket and pulled out two Phoenix Downs, tossing them both on the unconscious Warriors. The magical feathers absorbed themselves into the Warriors and woke them up.

"Agh...." Osamu held his head in pain as he got up, "Ow..." He looked to his side, and saw Ken still laying on the floor, "...I think you killed him."

Ai sighed, "He's NOT dead." Ai lightly kicked Ken in the back.

Ken stirred and said, in a sleepy voice, "No Mommy, I don't want to go to the Academy today...." A loud whack was heard as Ai used her staff, "OW!!!" Ken jumped out in pain, "Ow! Ow! Ow!" He held his arm in pain, "What was *THAT* for?!"

"What WASN'T it for!?"

"Guys, Mameko." Osamu said, pointing to the lonely actor in a corner.

"Uh... Heh heh... Sorry..." Ai apologized to Mameko, a little embarassed about her outburst, "Sorry about that, Mameko." Mameko only watched, looking as if he was thinking about something. He finally noticed Ai had been speaking to him.

"Oh, it's quite all right. I like watching peoples' personalities, it helps me think of characters for my plays." Mameko said, smiling a little.

Ai motioned for Mameko to sit down, she poured him a cup of tea, before sitting down next to him.

"So, what's your problem?" Osamu asked, ignoring Ken thrashing around in pain.

Mameko sighed, "I don't really know... I've lost my inspiration, I feel like I can't act anymore.. And it would be hopeless if I were to write another performance..." He hung his head, "I've lost my gifts..."

There was a long pause as the group tried to think of a way to help Mameko. Osamu was the first to speak, "...Suppose you... Uh.... No, that wouldn't work... What if you....? ...Nah, that'd NEVER work.... Maybe if you tried..................Darn it! I'm just not creative!!" Osamu shouted, slamming his fist on the table.

"Hey! Why don't you try writing a new play?" Ken suggested. Mameko shot a glare at him, "What?" Ai just smacked him in the back of the head, "Ow!!"

"...Waitress, a round of beer, please," Ai said to a waitress who was passing by, "we're going to be here a while..."

"What about a play about the Zodiac Braves?" Osamu suggested, "I mean, the Zodiac Braves were really cool and they fought for justice!"

".....That's what my last failure was about....." Mameko hung his head, "This is hopeless.."

"No, it isn't!" Ai pat Mameko on the back.

"She's right!" Osamu said, "This isn't hopeless!"

"It's just *almost* hopeless!" Ken added. Mameko responded by bursting into tears.

"I'll NEVER write another play again..!!! I'm a failure! FAILURE! FAILURE! FAILURE!!!" Mameko screamed, pounding his fists on table, almost knocking over his tea cup.

"You're NOT helping!" Osamu glared at Ken.

"Your beer is ready!" The waitress who Ai had spoken to earlier came by, placed the round of beer in front of Mameko, who was still crying, and left, "Have a nice night!"

"....And neither is she!" Osamu added, lowering his head, "This is going to be a long night..." He took his beer and began to drink, "..........What about changing your appearance?"

"Oh yeah!!" Ai said, patting Mameko's back, "You could change your clothing!! It could make you feel different!"

"How?" Mameko asked.

"Yeah, Osamu looks and acts stupid no matter WHAT he wears!" Ken said. Osamu responded by punching Ken hard in the arm, "Ow!!"

"But...I've worn this same style for years!" Mameko said.

"What about changing your hair?" Ai asked.

Osamu thought, "Or your attitude!"

"Or your name!" Ken shouted, Ai elbowed him in the stomach, "Urk!!"

"My... hair?" Mameko looked upward and felt his hair, "What's wrong with my hair?"

"Well... Maybe a new style would make you feel different! It might make you feel happy and get you out of this 'I suck at everything I do' phase!" Ai explained.

"You think so?"

"Osamu! Ken! Prepare some shampoo and conditioner!!" Ai called, the two boys stood up, saluted and ran to the local item store.

"Which way to your house?" Ai asked.

"Down the block."




At the Gariland item shop...

"How can I help you?" Asked the shopkeeper.

"Got any shampoo, conditioner and other hairstyle products?" Ken asked.

"Yes, sir!" The shopkeeper pointed to various bottles of shampoos and conditioners, "There they all are!"

".......Uh.... Which ones are the good ones?" Osamu asked, picking up a bottle, "...Herbal... Essence...?" He put it back, "I'm in way over my head here..."

"Just grab something! There can't be a difference!" Ken shouted.

Osamu sighed, closing his eyes and moving his arm left and right along the shelf, eventually stopping at a shampoo, "...I guess this'll work!" He picked it up, Ken grabbed a conditioner.

"Let's go!" Ken said, reaching into his wallet to produce the Gil needed to pay for the shampoo and conditioner, "...Uh... Help?" He said, motioning to his wallet and the shopkeeper.

Osamu sighed, he put the shampoo aside and paid for the hair care products.

The two Warriors went back to the bar...

...Only to find that Ai had already gone to Mameko's house, and left them to pay the bill before they got directions to Mameko's house.

They arrived, only to find Mameko sitting on a chair with scissors, water, combs, brushes on a table to his left, and Ai behind him, both waiting for Ken and Osamu.

"Finally!" Ai took the products, "Head into the other room, Mameko prepared some food for you two!"

Ken and Osamu headed into the other room, finding a bowl of fruit in front of them.

"All right! Peaches!!" Ken began eating one of the Peaches, Osamu took a banana.

It was about half an hour into Ai's attempts at styling Mameko's hair before a well recognized scream was heard....


"...Ai's mad..." Ken stated.

"What'd we do now?" Osamu shouted, getting up. He and Ken wandered into the other room...

Only to gape in horror as they found Mameko with an AMAZING hairstyle, no arguing that point, but...

...His hair had gone from blonde to blue, Mameko, due to lack of a mirror was clueless as to what Ai was upset about.

"...Do you idiots know what you BOUGHT!?" Ai shouted, throwing the bottle of Shampoo into Osamu's hands.

"Let's see.. ShinRa brand shampoo, guaranteed to leave your hair as beautiful as ever with a... new... blue... color...." Osamu almost dropped the shampoo in shock, "Errrrr...."

"You two are SO--"


Ai, Osamu and Ken looked over to Mameko, who was looking at his new hair in a hand mirror, "I love it!! It's so much better than before!"

"But it's.. Blue!!"

"My favorite shade of blue!" Mameko smiled, putting down the mirror, "I even came up with the perfect play!"

"....You did?" Ken asked.

"A story, about a Priest named Seph... Who's dream is to one day become a hairstylist," Mameko described the play, "But, his cruel master Jen refuses to let him become a Hair Stylist until he pays her back for the money his family had stolen from her...."

Osamu, Ai and Ken clapped, "Great idea!" Ai told him.

"I thank you all! But, please, before you go..." Mameko walked over to a safe, unlocked it and pulled out a large bag of Gil, "Please, take this as a token of my gratitude!!"

"This... much.. Gil...?" Ken took the bag, two large Gs appeared in his eyes as a large grin spread across his face.

"Yes, it's the least I can do!" Mameko smiled broadly, reaching for a feather pen and some paper from a desk, scribbling down a note, "Take this to the innkeeper down the street, and he'll give you a free room." He gave Ai the note, "It's a little late, I suppose we all need some rest for the night."

"Do you want us to come back tomorrow?" Ai asked, hoping for Mameko to say 'yes.'

Mameko thought for a moment, "I think I can write my play without help...But, as an extra thank you..." Mameko took another piece of paper from the desk, and gave it to Osamu and a pen, "If you can write down an address, I'll mail you three free tickets to see the play on opening night."

"Whoa! Thanks, Mameko! That'll be great!" Ken said.

"Ai, should I have it sent to Igros Castle? Ramza'll get the letter that way!" Osamu whispered to the Priest, who just nodded.

"Thank you all, very much. I feel ideas rushing into my head, already!" Mameko took the paper from Osamu when he finished writing.

Ken walked towards the door, "Good night, Mameko. Good luck with the play!"

Osamu and Ai did the same, "Good night." They said.

Mameko walked them to the door, after that he looked to his desk...His feather pen resting in the ink well, and a pile of blank paper, "To work!" He announced to himself, sitting down, starting to write his first success in months.


Job Report

Mameko, the traveling artist, restarted his act.
Years back, he wrote many famous plays his audience praised his originality. But, he's been in a slump for a long time.
We drank together all night, thinking about his new job. We suggested things to him like, "Why don't you change your hair style?"
We were glad since he's starting to write again.


Ramza's Evaluation:

I got your free tickets from a messenger a little while ago, the play's opening night is in two weeks. Expect to be there after your next job! Though, I recently saw a picture of Mameko in an advertisement for his new play, did you three have anything to do with the fact that his hair was blue or was that just something the artist who made the poster did?

The End.

Notes: What do you think? I'm planning to do a fic for each proposition in the game (All 80-something of them). And yes, the game really did mention the suggestion of Mameko changing his hair in the job report (which is why I couldn't resist the idea of blue hair dye).

Yes, Ken, Ai and Osamu are random units from my copy of FFT. And it's true, Osamu still has the (useless) blood sword.

Name notes:

Ai = Japanese word for "Love"
Ken = One of the Japanese words for sword.
Osamu = A semi-common name, one of the spellings for it translates to "Reign".

Ken and Osamu are also named after two characters from one of my favorite anime, but they aren't anything like the characters they're named after.

Language notes: Japanese will come up a little frequently in this fic (Don't worry, it's nothing highly technical, or randomly placed terms). Sort of as a joke on translating, I'm using it as an Ancient Language in Ivalice (Like what you'd find ancient scrolls written in).

Plot note: Yes, there is actually a secret plot to this series than just the propositions in the game.

Final Fantasy reference notes: FFT is a weird game... It references a pretty much every Final Fantasy (Up to VII, anyway) somehow. Locations awarded from Propositions (Matoya's cave, Baron, etc), treasures (Black Materia, Red Materia, etc) and characters from other Final Fantasy games are also mentioned. Setzer is mentioned in one job report, the proposition "Mother" includes a mysterious man in a black cloak (Sephiroth).

Other Final Fantasy characters will only appear in the propositions they are mentioned in, and probably no other. The treasures and locations, however, will be used\revisited.

Final note: Most of the "Help wanted" notices (if mentioned) will be quoted from the game (occasionally fixed type-os. All job reports are the same used in the game (with occasional fixed type-os), though, there will be times where something will be changed from the original report (Usually just a name or job class, not the entire report) so it will match up with the fic a little better.

Sorry for the long notes, they won't be this long in later chapters. Also, if anyone is interested I have made a list of all propositions in the game (so far, I'm still replaying it) that includes the job description from the bar and the job report you'll find under "Brave Story." If you want a copy, please email me and I will gladly send it to you.

-Kenji Kotaro

Chapter 2

Kenji Kotaro's Fanfiction