Author's Note: Alright… don't lynch me for this one. I know it's been done before. I can't help it if my muse is constantly going through PMS. Yeah. Too much info. Aaaaanyway… on with the show.

Disclaimer: I don't own Squaresoft, FFVIII or any of the characters. You guys should be smart enough to figure that one out. Obviously I'd be making a FFVIII-2 if I owned the company. Sheesh.


As midnight became twilight, and the SeeD celebration of Ultimecia's defeat was drawn to a close, Quistis Trepe trudged back to her quarters. The Balamb Garden SeeD facilities had always been… inadequate, to describe them accurately, but tonight they looked like heaven.

The weary former-instructor sauntered immediately into her bathroom, drawing hot water for a bubble bath. Steam filled the standard-issue grey room and fogged the mirrors. Quistis stripped off her clothing and sank into the perfumed water. She allowed the cleansing aromas and sensations to wash away all the trials and tribulations of late. The battle with Ultimecia, the temporary separation from not only her friends, but her own dimension, and most of all, the social politics of tonight.

Memories like snapshots swirled through her mind, gradually at first, then picked up speed until they were unbearable. Flashes of smiling faces, forgotten tears, lost souls, and bloody hands were hallucinogenic for her. There was to be no escape tonight.

Soon after these memories came flooding back, she let the tears fall. It all began with a single tear… it streamed down her face and dropped, inconsequentially, into the tepid water of the bath. More tears followed. They cut millions of paths down her elegant face to find their end, just as the first had. Eventually, these silent cries transformed into heart-wrenching sobs. She tried to hold them back… to contain them as she had for so many years. To her dismay, all this resulted in was involuntary shaking. She was trembling so violently, small ripples were traveling in waves across the tub.

How could they all be so full of joy? How could they dismiss her so easily? Couldn't they see…?

It was if she had never felt anything in her life, and it was tearing her apart.

Rinoa and Squall… they were so perfectly suited for one another. In a matter of days, Rinoa had done more for Quistis' former student than she could have dreamed of doing. The love that lit up his stormy grey eyes had only been present once Rinoa had arrived. She had done for him what Quistis desperately needed to be done for her.

Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. She weakly rose from the water and let it drain. She glanced at herself in the fogged mirrors, seeing only a distorted and vague image. It defined her. She was perfectly obscure. Completely forgettable. The others had forgotten her tonight, hadn't they…? They were so absorbed in the moment. They were in the prime of their youth. Quistis could identify with that physically, but internally she was ahead of them by decades. She could feel herself growing weaker every day.

She managed to move past the mirror and pulled a slip on before turning out the lights and crawling into bed. She pulled the drab blankets close to her and clutched them to her chest, letting the last of her tears fall onto her pillow. She closed her eyes and prayed that this was all simply a nightmare as she drifted off into restless sleep.

Author's Note: So much of this stuff is just old, cheesy stuff that I find in random notebooks. It's crazy that I put it here, but I figure there's no harm done. Give me some feedback, people…! I need to know if I should continue this or not. I have plans for it in the future, but if no one is going to read it, I won't bother!