Breathless

Tyrael aka LiangFeng

Also Kooritenshi

Prologue: Virgin State of Mind

There's a chair

In my head

In which I use to sit

Took a pencil and I wrote

The following on it…

"Virgin State of Mind", K's Choice

Sometimes I find myself wondering about you. Why I find myself so entranced by you. How you light me up with such emotion, such desire…such happiness. You make me happy, you make me smile, you make me laugh. I feel like…I feel something I haven't felt in so long. I can lose myself in you. I can get lost in your warm smile. I am gone in your soft brown eyes. Sometimes I am so far away…but never far enough. Not enough to say how I feel, not enough to stop the tears, not enough to say I love you.

For as much as you make me happy, for every ounce of joy you give to me, you make every tear that fall from my eyes. I cry like a lovesick teenager over you. To know that your heart will never be mine but mine is yours drives me to the dark places of my mind. I wonder how you can make me feel so easily. I wonder how-

"Quistis?"

Quistis' head shot up, her eyes leaving the plate of food that rested on the table in front of her, untouched, to the faces of the people that sat around the dining table with her.

"Oh, I'm sorry. What were you saying about Friday night, Selphie?"

Rinoa, Zell, Selphie, and Irvine all exchanged glances with each other, all of them caught off guard by Quistis' sudden out of character behavior. It wasn't like Quistis to suddenly zone out during a conversation. They had been calling her name for quite a while now before Quistis even acknowledged them. Who knows? Maybe the stress of having her newly restored instructor license was catching up to her. Hyne knows that not everyone had it in them to stay up until 2 AM every night grading papers.

"We were thinking about heading out to do some shopping. Maybe catch a movie, you know! Doesn't that sound like fun, Quisty?" Selphie asked giddily as she bounced about on her feet.

"Uh huh, sure Selphie." She mumbled as she picked up her fork and started poking at her vegetables.

Selphie blinked and somewhere in the backgroung, Zell coughed. Everyone but Quistis turned to look at him.

"I need to bail. I need to teach my San Shou class in ten minutes." Zell said as he rose from his chair to head towards the classroom.

"What happened to your Muay Thai class?"

"Everyone ditched." Zell shrugged.

"You're kidding!"

"Nope. Anyways, gotta go. I'll see you guys later." Zell waved as he started to jog off towards the direction of the elevator. 

"Hey, wait up!" Rinoa cried as she started towards Zell. "I have class too you know!"

"By the way," Selphie walked towards them, joining in on their conversation. "How ARE you finding the SeeD qualifications course?"

"Instructor Simons is a meanie!"

"Oh yeah I had him too, that dirty bastard…"

"Selphie watch your mouth." Quistis called dully to her, still staring at her unfinished food.

Selphie turned and only stuck her tongue out at the blonde, playfully, and mock saluted her. "Yes, Instrutor Trepe." She teased as she walked hurriedly to catch up with Zell and Rinoa, their fading voices and laughter dying out against the roar of all the students conversing in cafeteria.

Irvine pulled up the seat nearest to Quistis', crossed his arms upon the table and laid his head down to stare at Quistis and to the cold plate of broccoli, potatoes, and asparagus, trying to guess the pattern she was arranging her food in. "You okay, Quisty?"

"I'm fine, thank you Irvine." She replied automatically, as if she had given the answer a million times.

"Really? 'Cause if you need anyone to talk to…you know I'm here for you right?" Irvine asked carefully, an amused expression on his face as he watched Quistis finish pushing her fork around.

"Irvine, what do you want?" Quistis dropped her eating utensil and glared at the cowboy in annoyance.

"Nothing. You just seem like you have something troubling you." Irvine shrugged, a bit hurt at Quistis' act of rebuff. "Just thought I could help…"

Quistis sighed apologetically. "Oh Irvine, I'm sorry I snapped at you like that. I know you were only trying to help me and…" She rubbed at her temples, trying to relieve the pressure that rested there.

"It's okay. I know you're going under a lot of stress." Irvine waved it off. "So you wanna talk about it?"

Quistis shook her head and smiled. Though Irvine could act like a real lecher at times, he was in fact a good friend. "I'm fine, thanks."

"Really?" Irvine smirked and pointed at Quistis' plate, letting out a bark of laughter when he saw Quistis' eyes grow five times their normal size. Patting Quistis on her shoulder he rose to leave. "I'll see you soon, Quisty."

The blonde gave no response or acknowledgement that she had heard Irvine nor knew that he had left. Quistis stared unbelievably at the pattern she had arranged absently when deep in her thoughts. Written in vegetables was a single word.

R-I-N-O-A