Author's Note: Spontaneous combust- I mean fanfiction. Heh.

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Criers

By xaphanea

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Quistis sat at her desk, and let out a loud sigh. She was all alone in her office, as usual, on a Friday night. Selphie, Zell, and Irvine had gone to Balamb to party at the hotel with friends, and she'd stayed behind. She was always staying behind. All work and no play. But it was efficient that way, wasn't it? The strawberry blonde beauty sighed again, pulling her hair clip out and tossing it onto a nearby chair. Her hair fell down, thick fiery locks tumbling over her skin. She removed her vest too, deciding that even if she was alone and not having any fun, she might as well be comfortable.

'So why don't I just go with them?' She mused. 'If I'm so unhappy, why don't I just go?' She shook her head, leaning her forehead on her hands. She had no answer to that question.

Deciding to try and get her mind off of things, she opened up her messages. All of them she knew, except for one. The from name was SilverSnake. Furrowing her brow, she clicked on it, and all it contained was a link. For a moment she considered it may be some sort of virus, but curiosity got the best of her. She clicked on it, and for a moment nothing happened.

Then, a small box opened, and prompted her for a screen name. It looked like some sort of instant messaging system. She hesitated for a moment, but wanted to know who this SilverSnake was and why they were fucking with her.

She decided on LadyWhip as her screen name, just to be a little daring. She was sparked by this; not knowing who she was going to be talking to or why. After hitting enter, she waited as the system loaded. When it did, the screen was empty. She wanted to type something, but decided to wait.

SilverSnake Evening.

Quistis blinked, and then pursed her lips, wondering what to say.

SilverSnake Cat got your tongue?

She narrowed her eyes, shaking her head slightly.

LadyWhip Who are you?

SilverSnake Are you lonely?

That struck the Instructor as odd. It was a weird question to really start a conversation with, especially because she didn't know who it was. And they'd totally avoided her question. She decided to stay quiet for a moment, and see what else this person had to say.

SilverSnake Put you on the spot, huh?

SilverSnake Too bad for you.

She seethed.

LadyWhip You're an asshole.

SilverSnake Don't judge a book by its cover.

LadyWhip And you expect me not to? Your cover is taunting me.

SilverSnake I just asked a question. You got defensive.

LadyWhip Defensive?!

LadyWhip Prick. You've got to be male.

SilverSnake And why is that?

LadyWhip Because all men are the same.

SilverSnake Oh I'm different than the rest, baby.

LadyWhip Caught you. You are a man.

SilverSnake Of course I am.

SilverSnake You haven't answered my question.

Quistis wasn't sure what to say. She didn't know what kind of game he was playing, and was repulsed by it. What she didn't want to admit was that part of her was excited by the thought of having some total stranger pseudo-stalking her through instant messaging.

SilverSnake Come on, it's an easy question.

SilverSnake I won't think any less of you.

It clicked in her head suddenly that this man knew her. Who could it be? Irvine would be most likely to do something like this, but he was out in Balamb. And Zell was too computer taboo to dream of spending this much time on one. Seifer? Seifer wouldn't waste his time playing games with her. And Squall... Squall wouldn't indulge in anything so mysterious and weird. Perhaps one of her students...

SilverSnake What's taking so long, Instructor?

Must be one of her students. Probably one of her little Trepies trying to get a piece. She narrowed her eyes. She wouldn't let a junior classmen get the best of her.

LadyWhip You think you can make me an offer, little boy?

She was quite proud of that.

SilverSnake Oh ho, so the lady does have a little bite in her.

SilverSnake What kind of offers do you usually accept, Instructor?

'Boys...' Quistis thought bitterly.

LadyWhip Ones better than my own.

There was a pause, and she was semi satisfied with herself. She figured that with this kind of talk there would be chatting in the classroom, and she could probably single out who this was.

SilverSnake I wouldn't expect that from you.

SilverSnake Guess that answers my question.

Quistis narrowed her eyes.

LadyWhip How so?

SilverSnake If you have to resort to your own.

LadyWhip Just so happens little classmen like you don't satisfy me.

SilverSnake Who said I was a classman?

LadyWhip Process of elimination.

She paused, not sure all of a sudden. He did seem kind of articulate for a junior classman. But who else could it be? Nida? No. Raijin? Unlikely. No 'ya know' anywhere. Cid? Impossible.

SilverSnake Well you're wrong, Instructor.

SilverSnake I bet that boils your blood.

LadyWhip What?

SilverSnake To be wrong.

LadyWhip Prove me wrong. Tell me who you are.

SilverSnake Ah, I won't give in that easily.

LadyWhip So what do you want from me?

SilverSnake I'll let you figure that out.

LadyWhip I don't need this.

She hesitated.

LadyWhip I'm leaving.

SilverSnake No you aren't.

LadyWhip Excuse me?

SilverSnake You're still here.

Quistis fumed. She moved her hand to hover over the escape button, but stopped. She wanted to exit, she wanted to leave, but she was so curious. She was desperate to know who this person was; it was driving her mad.

SilverSnake Still here.

LadyWhip Alright, I'll play your game. What's first?

SilverSnake That's more like it.

SilverSnake Take off your shirt.

The instructor's jaw dropped and she froze. Take off WHAT?

LadyWhip Pardon me?!

SilverSnake It's always hot in your office. Just want you to be comfortable.

LadyWhip I'm quite comfortable, thank you.

SilverSnake You're welcome.

LadyWhip You're as irritating as some of my former students.

Namely, Seifer Almasy, she noted innately.

SilverSnake I'll take that as a compliment.

LadyWhip So what next? More questions?

SilverSnake Do you know how beautiful you are, Instructor?

Quistis was taken aback. Nobody had ever told her she was beautiful, save her Trepies, but they didn't count. Hyne, those words were gold to her. She would suddenly have given her own two legs to know who this was. Someone thought she was beautiful? She'd never considered herself beautiful. Pretty, perhaps. But not beautiful. Rinoa was beautiful. The Instructor shivered, still feeling a little resentful. She still had feelings for Squall, regardless of everything they'd been through. And she couldn't help feeling a little low that he'd chosen Rinoa.

LadyWhip Is that a rhetorical question?

She asked this with bitterness.

SilverSnake Well I meant for it to be a statement, but it came out as a question.

SilverSnake You really should start leaving your hair out of that damned clip.

LadyWhip Well if it interests you, it's out of it now.

SilverSnake It does interest me. I didn't think you ever loosened up.

LadyWhip I'm not allowed to loosen up around my students.

SilverSnake I think you're allowed to be comfortable around your students.

SilverSnake Take that stick out of your ass.

LadyWhip I don't have anything in my ass, thank you.

SilverSnake I bet you'd like that, wouldn't you Instructor?

LadyWhip Not particularly.

SilverSnake Not the kinky type?

LadyWhip Assfucking isn't kinky... it's disgusting.

SilverSnake Language, Instructor. I'm apalled.

LadyWhip You think I don't know how to swear?

SilverSnake Now I know.

SilverSnake And it's hot.

Quistis smirked. This guy was sick. Hyne, she wanted to know who he was though. It was making her crazy, and she'd only been talking to him for a few minutes. How could someone she didn't even know (potentially) have so much power over her?

LadyWhip Well you should feel priveleged, I don't swear for many people.

SilverSnake I do feel priveleged. I'm flirting with the statue Quistis Trepe.

LadyWhip Statue? How quaint.

SilverSnake I'm far from quaint, doll.

LadyWhip I'm not a doll.

SilverSnake I know.

There was hesitation, and then Quistis typed without even thinking.

LadyWhip I want to see you.

No answer. She waited, mentally kicking herself for typing it. But it was true.

SilverSnake No you don't.

Wrong.

LadyWhip Yes, I do.

'Please...'

SilverSnake You don't know me.

LadyWhip I want to.

'Please...'

SilverSnake How INEPT you can be, Instructor!

LadyWhip I beg your pardon?

SilverSnake You're diving into this like you're sure of everything.

'I'm not sure of anything.'

SilverSnake You think you have power over me?

'I've got no power...'

SilverSnake You're the one that followed my message.

'I was just curious...'

SilverSnake I brought YOU here.

LadyWhip You did.

SilverSnake Yes. I did.

LadyWhip You've got me on a leash, and I can admit that.

LadyWhip I want to see you.

LadyWhip Now.

There was a long period of time where she sat there staring at the screen.

LadyWhip I am lonely.

LadyWhip I sit here night after night doing work or feeling sorry for myself. I know I'm pathetic.

LadyWhip I've always been pathetic.

LadyWhip I am a statue. I let nobody in. I'm ignorant.

LadyWhip You asked me if I knew I was beautiful. Nobody has ever said I was beautiful.

'I'm NOT lonely!' Quistis' mind screamed in protest. 'I don't need people to tell me I'm beautiful! I don't!' Her fingers shivered over the keys, as if electricity would shock her the minute she touched them.

SilverSnake You are beautiful.

And then he was gone.

She was left alone once again, staring at an empty message terminal. Her office was empty, the terminal was empty... she was empty. She let out a frustrated cry, slamming her hands down on the keyboard. What was her problem? She wasn't supposed to break. She bore her heart to this stranger and he didn't have the decency to tell her who he was! She had finally realized what a pathetic lonely piece of shit she had become, and he thought she was beautiful, and now her thoughts were jumbled, and she wondered if she was going crazy.

She lowered her head onto her desk and wrapped her arms around it, clutching painfully at her strawberry locks. What was happening to her? Why had she let this anonymous person fuck with her head?

A quick knock at the door startled her into sitting bolt upright. Again, another tap. It was fast, almost desperate. Unaware of her frightful state of appearance, hair mussed and face streaked with tears, she stood up, briskly walking to the door. In the midst of a third more forceful knock, she opened the door wide.

There, in the dim light of the hallway, stood the man that she'd least expected to care. But when he drew her into his arms, she knew it was right. They fit perfectly together, clutching one another like they'd never let go.

"I'm sorry Quis," He began, but she shook her head against his chest.

"Don't apologize." The Instructor said to her former student. "You've done me good, Seifer."

END