On Angel's Wings

By Quis

To Dia

The world was a vibrant, alive, quixotic array of colours. The dancers in their finest of fine attire danced away as though they had not a care in the world. But there was one who was not enjoying herself that night. A pale frown appeared as she nodded politely to her partner before the next part of the dance.

Inside, Quistis was screaming. She did not want to be at the dance, but she had been ordered to go. Forced to go, more like, she reasoned. Her feet moved in the music, its melodic tunes doing absolutely nothing to soothe the raging fire in her head, the fire that burnt and stung its brightest when she was solitary.

The infuriating thing for her was her lack of a life. Trained and bred to be a SeeD, she knew that she was not allowed to love, for love would make them weak. Love is just a game, her mind told her, but her heart was crying out against that notion. Love is for anyone. All you need is love, and you will go far.

Quistis looked up to her next partner. Clad in a red leather vest and a black trench coat, her partner conveyed an aura of mystery. Seeing that the ball was a masquerade ball, the man had a mask of plain and unadorned silver.

She herself had dressed up for the occasion. Her dress was of the finest of fine. Long billowing sleeves that trailed half way down to the floor; a tight, simplistic corseted bodice with lace around the top, with a long, trailing skirt. She looked like a queen.

A pity Quistis did not feel like a queen in all her finery. She felt like a duckling masquerading as a swan. Her partner smiled at her as he led her through the steps of the dance.

I wish I could get free! Her mind cried out, playing with the emotions she was starting to feel from dancing with the yet-unknown man in the iron mask.

The ball had been Rinoa's idea as a celebration of the defeat of Ultimecia. She looked radiant that night, dancing with the man of her dreams, Squall Leonhart.

Quistis moved through the steps gracefully, her feet gliding with the music. I want to leave, she thought.

Her partner stopped abruptly. She glanced up, studying his eyes for any sign of recognition. A pair of emerald green eyes met her azure blue ones. He smiled, and with practiced ease, he spun her around, until she was dizzy.

"Let me go," she said, " I feel dizzy."

"My dear, I shall escort you," he said. He was very much the Knight in shiny armour that every girl would dream about, courteous to a fault, and chivalrous to the dying day.

The clock struck twelve. Its chiming melody booming out over the ballroom, and out onto the balcony, where Quistis and the still unknown stranger sat. Yet Quistis somehow felt as though she knew the stranger, almost by name,

His hair was the colour of ripe straw, just waiting to be threshed. A characteristic grin appeared on his chiselled features, making him look like a demigod.

The balcony was in the cooling air of the night where the stars shone so very brightly. He grinned as he led her inside.

"Now we shall take off our masks," the stranger whispered in her ear.

Quistis removed her half-mask, its colour ruby red and vibrant. He removed his silver mask, and she saw the all-too-familiar scar working its way down the bridge of his nose.

"Seifer?" The word came as a whisper.

Seifer grinned, and lent to whisper something in her ear.

Then he left her, standing alone in the middle of the dance floor.

~`~`~`@ Fin@`~`~`~