This fic is for Sharpedge.

I'm pretty sure he can guess why.


------'-----,---Chapter One------'-----,---


"Quistis Trepe, please report to the board room" Xu's voice boomed out over the PA system. Her amplified voice echoing off the walls of the blue garden. It was another normal typical day, with student bustling around their agendas planned out for them.

Quistis stirred in her white-sheeted bed, the blue comforter sliding to the ground. She rolled over to glare at the green numbers on her alarm clock. It was close to noon the single window in the room reflecting a square of light onto the beige carpet. Her walls were bare except for a simple shelf holding a few tattered paperbacks and a silver picture frame.

The faces from the frame stared out at her, shiny glossy smiles matching the glossy paper. Her, Zell, Selphie and Squall the day that they had passed the SeeD exam when the Dollet communications tower had been attacked. A shadow was leaning against the wall in the background, his grey trench coat revealing that it was Seifer.

Her closet stood open, perfect rows of clothes over perfect rows of shoes. All color coordinated, all exact in nature. Red to black, colors of the rainbow. She stood up placing her feet on the nubby carpet, reaching her arms up to stretch. Quickly, she bent over and tossed her comforter back on the bed.

Quistis shuffled over to the closet rolling her eyes as Xu's voice boomed over the loud speaker again. She yawned pulling out her navy uniform, sliding it on quickly. She picked her clip off its place on its nightstand and with a twist clipped her hair up.

Walking out the door she rubbed her eyes against the bright sun streaming into the Garden. Quistis moved down the hallway, ignoring people as they passed her. Her boot heels clicked on the marble tile.

The double doors to the boardroom were waiting in front of her with their perfect carved wood. Voices came from beyond the doors, arguing. Quistis pushed the doors open and stepped into the long room.

The table was surrounded by every important figure in the Garden.

Headmaster Cid, his wife Edea. Cid with his red v-necked sweater, and wire rimmed glasses. Edea in a black dress and her timeless beauty. They were the picture of perfect couple love always held in their eyes for each other.

Irvine and his fiancée Selphie stood next to them, looking over a set of plans spread across the table. His black hat was tilted down over his brow, one hand resting on her bare shoulder. She was frowning slightly clashing with her bright yellow dress.

Zell lounged in a chair across the table, his feet resting on the table. He was chewing on a pen cap, flipping the pen through his long nimble fingers. His blond hair, as always, was sticking straight up matching his black lightening like tattoo.

Xu stood beside him, her hands clasped in front of her perfectly pressed uniform. The immaculate gold decorated lapels of her SeeD uniform lined up almost exact with her sleek brown hair. Her almond eyes stared at Quistis, almost though her. With her straight back posture and stern demeanor she was the flawless picture of the new Balamb Garden Commander.

Sitting closest to the door always surrounded but forever alone was Sorceress Rinoa. She looked up at Quistis a ring of red around her dark rich eyes. Face pale with pain her lips were almost white. Two silver rings dangled on a chain from her neck, the prominent one holding an image of the immortal Guardian Force Griever. White feathers caressed her chin from the collar of the black leather coat she wore.


Pain tore through Quistis' heart at that sight. It pecked at her soul, like tiny hot needles. The former commander had never made it through Time Compression. His sacrifice had brought them all out, the world building around them the center The Orphanage flower field.

Quistis' heart had broken when she saw Rinoa cradling Squall's head in her lap. Tears rolling down her porcelain face, white wings sprouting from her back. She was casting heal spells over and over again, the magic falling to the ground useless. Magic could not resurrect the dead.

The room fell silent and everyone turned to look at her. Cid was in mid-sentence; the file he was holding fluttered to the table. The contents splashed to the ground like a waterfall.

"Took ya long enough, what's up Quis" Zell said breaking the silence ringing through the room.

"Quistis, you are a mess" Xu cut in her voice cold. Quistis looked down at her rumpled uniform, and her mis-laced shoes. Her legs were two weeks un-shaven, and she knew her hair was a tangle. She simply shrugged sliding into one of the brown leather seats.

"Galbadia has just called us for a new mission, they requested you on their team" Cid spoke up. Quistis raised her eyebrows leaning forward in her chair a bit.

"Unfortunately, you will not be going" Xu spoke up her voice taking on the tone of the typical commander. Quistis glared across the table at her gritting her teeth.

"Why not?" Quistis said her voice cracking in a mimic of her whip. Xu glared back at her, placing both hands on the table and leaning forward a bit.

"Until you pull yourself together you will not be going on any missions. You are temporarily suspended from your SeeD duties. You will be taken from Balamb to a location of our choosing. There in you will become involved in a simple work mission. Once you have gotten yourself together then you may return to your duties as Seed. We all decided it would be the best for you Quistis" Xu replied her voice softly serious.

"You're putting me on off-site suspension?" Quistis asked shooting to her feet. She looked around appalled outraged.

"You have one day to pack" Xu said standing up straight to cross her across her chest.

Tiny snowflakes were sticking to her eyelashes. She blinked hard, rubbing at her face. Snow was everywhere. The bright dome of Shumi Village loomed in front of her, sending a golden gleam across the white surrounding it.

"Why did Xu have to chose Shumi of all places" Quistis muttered to herself. One of her SeeD escorts looked at her with raised eyebrows and she just shook her head in response. What in the world did Xu think she needed two SeeD escorts for? They reached the opening of the dome and headed inside.

"This is Quistis Trepe, she is here to help with the excavation" One of the SeeD's said to the two small men standing in front of the elevator doors.

"She is expected" The short man said moving to the side to allow entrance to the elevator.

"Good luck Miss Trepe" One of her escorts said. She nodded and stepped into the plush elevator. She unwrapped the red scarf from her neck and sat down on the red pillowed bench. The elevator started moving downward, the mechanical whirring of the machine filling the room.

It pinged, the doors opening to reveal the underground world of Shumi village.

It was an amazing utopia of warmth and greenery located on one of the snowiest islands in the world. The tiny stone huts were covered with growing vines. Moombas criss-crossed the road, their orange clashing with the surroundings. Quistis sighed picking up her suitcase, heading deeper into the village.

"Hello" a tall man called out to her walking up. He had short brunette hair, and a smile that dimpled his face. He was wearing a simple tan suit over a dark brown shirt.

"Hi, I'm Quistis Trepe" Quistis responded with a nod.

"I'm Baker, in change of the excavation" he said reaching out to shake her hand. She took it softly and shook it with a small smile.

"What exactly is this excavation?" Quistis asked raising her eyebrows. Barker smiled and motioned for her to follow him. They moved along the main street, Moombas prancing along side them. He led her to an empty space beyond all the houses; tables set up all around a huge hole in the ground.

She could see tiny shovels and brushes spread across the tables. Some of them had deep trays filled with dirty objects. People were bent over brushing and picking at some of the strange objects.

Baker motioned to the hole with a smile. The sides were jagged leading down into a great trench. Half a broken building jutted from the wall, its shattered windows like two gaping eyes looking up at her. People roamed over the site, cleaning, brushing, and digging.

"Some archeologists stumbled over this great find a few weeks ago. You are going to help us dig up any artifacts we can find" Baker said with a wide grin. She rolled her eyes and shook her head, playing in the dirt had never appealed to Quistis,

"Where will I be staying?" she asked glancing behind her at the row of houses.

"Since there are so many people here for the dig, we had to give you one of the smaller huts" Baker said softly pointing to a tiny hut off the side of the road. Quistis nodded curtly and headed for it, dragging her suitcase behind her.

She stepped inside glaring around the room, with a bed across the wall. Setting her suitcase on the desk, she shrugged out of her coat. Quistis draped her coat over the chair. Sitting on the bed she slipped her shoes off and lay back on the bed staring up at the ceiling.

What kind of cruel joke was it for Xu to send her to help these people? Xu knew she detested being dirty. How was she ever expected to get things together when she was so far away from everyone she knew?

How could she pull herself together when the only man she had ever loved had died?

A/N: Yup, I'm at it again. This is my new seiftis. Please enjoy J .

Special thanks to Sharpedge for reading this for me and grammerizing it.