The Quistis Files Ch. 2

Squall watched as Selphie ran to the elevator, pausing intermediately to perform a bouncy twirl. She beamed as she pressed the button and winked at Squall just before the doors closed. He sighed, and shook his head slightly.  

I hope she realizes how hard it will be being a SeeD… she has to realize that her childish-ness will not be so readily accepted on the field as it is here…  

Headmaster Cid cleared his throat, and Squall snapped back to attention. Cid shuffled through his papers, studied one for a moment, and then began speaking again. 

 "So you understand your current mission?" Cid asked, a twinkle in his eye. Squall nodded, and Cid handed him the papers. Squall studied them for a moment; most were geological mappings of Timber and the surrounding lands, with a few more detailing their mission and its importance to the Garden. He noticed that they were using the SeeD's reserved suite for the train ride to timber, and allowed himself a small smile.  

Selphie's gonna be really happy about this… hopefully she wont get too excited though…  

"I understand, sir." Squall said, then saluted respectfully. Cid looked at him in amusement for a moment, then his face returned to its normal cross between aged merriment and serious stern-ness.

 "Good. You leave tomorrow morning, 0600 sharp." Cid nodded, and Squall took his cue and left. He walked down the long corridors, meaning to head to his room to pack, but paused at the entrance to the cafeteria as distressed words came to him.  

"Come on, there's gotta be some hotdogs left! Look, I'll pay ya double if ya make me a hotdog, just one, please?" Squall chuckled quietly and moved on. It was Zell of course. Chicken-wuss Zell, as Seifer called him. Every time he went to the cafeteria to eat, Zell was there arguing over the famed Balamb Garden hotdogs.  

Whoa… I’m nice and cheery today. I usually don’t let my emotions get to me like this… ever since last night…  

Squall remembered his dance with Instructor Trepe the night before. She had been dressed in a beautiful evening gown, her blonde hair down, flowing down her back. He remembered the black haired girl he had danced with as well… she had been beautiful as well, and with a personality that touched you at the soul, but every time he thought about the ball, his thoughts returned to Quistis. He felt a…need, a desire that he had never felt before. For some reason, he wanted to experience that night all over again, if only to have a chance to dance with Quistis again.  

What am I thinking? This is the instructor, not some pretty girl at a ball that you'll never see again, Squall. He mentally chided himself at his foolishness and promised himself to keep out of Quistis' way until after his first SeeD mission. Just as he finished this thought, he almost bawled her over as Quistis turned the corner from the dormitories. The papers she had been carrying spilled to the floor, and Squall immediately kneeled down and began scooping them up, his face a careful mask of indignance.  

"Sorry." He said simply, handing her the newly out-of-order papers. She took them and smiled warmly, making Squall flinch noticeably. 

"It's okay. I should have seen you coming. So what's your first SeeD assignment like?" She brushed her long bangs back behind her ears, and Squall noticed how gracefully she performed the motion, like a painter at his art….

  Focus! This is your instructor and she just asked you a question!

“Selphie Tilmett, Zell Dnicht and I are to take the next train to Timber, where we will work with a small resistance group called the "Timber Owls" do whatever they can to bring liberation and freedom to the people of Timber." He finished, remembering the contract that Cid had sent to the leader of the group.

Quistis covered her smile and managed not to laugh at his serious, though she should be accustomed to it by now.  

"Well, I wish you luck, Squall." She said, saluting him. Squall groaned and grabbed her hand before she could finish the gesture.

 "As my Instructor, and being above the rank of myself, you should not be expected to salute me." He said, his face even more serious and furrowed then it usually was. Quistis withdrew her hands quickly, and frowned. She had come to her decision.  

"I’m not higher rank than you, Squall. Would you meet me at the training center tonight?" She watched as a flicker of emotions crossed his face, and he nodded, his face now it’s careful mask again.

 "As you wish, instructor. Now if you will excuse me…?" she nodded, and Squall went back to his room, grateful for the excuse to return to his room where he could think properly, away from those people which caused his confusing emotions. He lay down on his head and closed his eyes, thankful for the moment of peace he got.  

Meet her tonight? Why would she want me to meet her? And what was she talking about, saying that she wasn’t higher rank then me? Of course she's higher rank. She is a SeeD as well as an instructor and outranks me by three levels, even without her instructor license. Perhaps I will run into that brown haired girl from the dance…  

A knock at the door brought him from his thoughts, and Squall reluctantly got to his feet. He could hear the shuffling of small feet as the visitor waited impatiently outside.  

"Come in." Squall called, and the door opened a crack to reveal Selphie's smiling face. She looked around conspiratorially before opening the door fully and walking in. She looked around his room for a moment before talking excitedly.

 "Hey Squall… great room. What’s up with the lion thingy?" She pointed to where he had propped his poster Greiver's symbol onto an easel. He crossed over to the case where he stored his gunblade when not using it and brought it out, showing her the same symbol sketched into his sword. Her eyes widened in surprise, and her grin broadened.  

"Cool! I always wanted to see a gunblade up close! They're sooo cool! So what’s the lion from? Is it some kind of GF or something?" She bounced excitedly and seated herself on his bed without asking. Squall groaned and sat on a chair across from her.

  "The ancient Shumi tribe worshiped, Griever, believing that he was the bringer of thunder and earthquakes. The Shumi tribe was widespread before, and left artifacts of their religion behind. This symbol was found on most artifacts, and the tale of the Griever has been retold for thousands of generations. Most people now believe that Griever was a an outcast guardian force, like Odin and Bahamut*, and that he took his anger out on the world by bringing lightening and thunder, as well as tearing at the earth when his anger boiled to a rage." Squall paused for a second, letting this sink into the small girls mind. She fidgeted uncomfortably on the bed, her face creased into a frown, a foreign look to the petite girls face.  

"Earthquakes, huh?" She asked, her voice slightly quavering. "So, what else is there to the story?"

 "Eventually, the Shumi gave up their worship of Griever and turned to more evolved civilization. Technology had begun to grow, and as the tribe slowly recognized the wheels of evolution turning without them, they gave up their primitive way and tore down the temples built in Greiver's honor. Armed with the new technology, they migrated across the seas and settled just a few miles from where Trabia Garden is today. They built a massive city, and Shumi tribesmen traveled from around the world to settle down in the new city. But the Shumi had angered their god, and Greiver created a massive earthquake that swallowed the whole city, killing the thousands of tribesmen that lived there. So, as if in answer to the fright and pain they received from the god’s anger, they eventually evolved to a point where they changed into feline creatures, called Moogles, near the end of their life. This was considered the greatest honor, since they considered being of a feline nature was being closer to their lion god." Squall came to the end of his story, and he and Selphie sat there in silence for a moment. Squall glanced at his watch, and was shocked to see that it was already 2100.  

"Wow. I never knew that… it explains why Death Valley is so creepy. I mean, at Trabia Garden, we would all go there and camp overnight as an act of braveness to show off to our friends. And ya know, I heard that no one could cross over the valley… they tried to make a bridge once, but it kept breaking. Gosh! Look at the time! I gotta go! Sorry Squall… really cool story though. Remember to go see Xu sometime.. bye byes!" Selphie suddenly lost her serious attitude and beamed again, performing a little twirl before waving a pouncing out of the room. Squall sighed and returned his gunblade to its case.  

Well, at least she listened. Maybe it'll teach her to take history more seriously… Quistis was saying something about that yesterday.. I don’t know why she told me…Quistis! She asked me to meet her tonight! Well, I supposed I should go and get this over with.  

Squall grabbed his gunblade and left his room, jogging down the hallways to the training area, and slowed as he saw Quistis leaning on the wall just outside the entrance. She looked up and smiled as he approached, and Squall noted that she too carried her weapon of choice. Her whip was hooked to its usual spot on her belt, blending perfectly with the rest of her battle garb.

 "Come on… let's go to the 'secret spot'." She walked through the entrance of the training area, and Squall reluctantly followed, scorning at the thought of the 'secret spot' where naïve couples went after curfew. As Quistis continually scanned the area they were walking through for monsters, Squall voiced his thought.  

"We're not going to discipline the teenagers there, are we?" he asked, his voice full of distaste. She glanced at him, her amused look quickly dissolving.

"No. I want.. I need to talk to you about something." She said, then quickly moved ahead to fight an approaching gnat. Squall joined her, and after a couple smacks of her whip and slashed from his sword, the gnat fell to the ground lifeless, then dissolved back into the earth. They walked on in silence until they reached the entrance, where Quistis paused for a moment.  

"You've improved, Squall. Now come on, lets go." She entered the room, where upon sight of her, most of the teenagers scattered, pushing past Squall as they ran away from the instructor, leaving the room almost empty. Quistis chuckled in amusement, then sobered and walked over to the balcony, where Squall reluctantly joined her. They both stood in silence, and Quistis sighed as the midnight curfew bells rang. Squall watched her for a moment, wondering what was wrong, then looked away. She sighed again, and finally spoke.  

"As of today, I am no longer an instructor at this garden." Her voice was sad and wistful, and Squall looked at her, a confused look on his face.  

"They are transferring you to another garden?" He asked, keeping the emotions from leaking into his voice. Deep inside, he felt disappointment at the thought of Quistis leaving the garden, although he would never tell her that.  

"No. They took away my license. They said that I lacked the experience and devotion it took to be a good teacher." She looked away, hiding her shamed look. Squall nodded, keeping his shocked emotions in check.  

"So you are just a SeeD now. You were a good teacher, Quistis. I’m sure that Cid will realize how big a mistake he made by demoting you and return your license soon." It was Squall's turn to turn away, hiding the rising heat in his cheeks as he realized that he had just let his emotions out too much again. Quistis looked at him for a moment, a look of amazement on her face before she nodded.

 "Thanks. I think we'd better get back now, or we'll both be in trouble." Squall nodded, and they heading back to the main entrance of the training area just in time to see a young brown haired girl being attacked by monsters. The monsters hovered in front of her, and she scuttled back into a corner, her eyes wide with fear and darting around the room, looking for some escape when she noticed Squall and Quistis approach.  

"Help! Please help me!" She cried. Squall looked at Quistis, and she nodded. They drew their weapons and stepped forward, engaging in a long a grueling battle with the three insects. Between Shiva and Quezocotl, which he had lent to Quistis beforehand, and the help of his newly earned gf Ifrit, the battle quickly ended. Squall watched as two white clad men came forward and helped the girl to her feet, scolding her for traveling alone. She thanked them and was escorted out of the training center before Squall or Quistis could get a word in edge wise.  

"Weird. I wonder who they were? Well, thank you for meeting me here tonight. It was nice to finally get to talk to you… even if it was about something so depressing.. anyway, good luck on your next mission. I have to go to see headmaster Cid. I’m to be debriefed on my new mission. Have a nice night." Quistis left the training center with a click of her heels, and Squall waited until she was well away before heading back to his room. Inside, he laid down on his bed and thought back to the night of the ball.  

I wonder who that girl was… maybe I'll run into her again sometime. It was a nice change to meet someone who wasn’t worried about rank or status, or even names for once. Everyone here is so determined to change me, but the dark haired girl… she's a different matter completely. Maybe after I figure out my emotions about Quistis, I'll see if I can find out who she is…

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter