Graduation

The following morning was graduation. All of them would be leaving, and Quistis's heart felt as though it were in her stomach. Cid would announce all of their names and say something about them. She hoped he wouldn't be TOO harsh.

The students who were SeeD's wore their SeeD uniforms and everyone else dressed formally. Rinoa and Squall sat near the front row, holding hands, Rinoa leaned on Squall's shoulder. Zell, Selphie, Irvine, Seifer, Fujjin, with little Neeva, and Rajjin sat in chairs near them.

Everyone was on the staircase in the lobby of the Garden. Cid stood below them, and looked up to them all, smiling warmly. "This is a joyous, yet sad day for me.. but mostly joyous." Everyone giggled a little, and he continued. "I will call you all out by alphabetical order and hand you your diplomas:

"Seifer Almasy. Though you caused much trouble to all of us in some sense, if not in the Disiplinary Committee, then joining Edea when she was possessed, you were loyal to Fujjin and more people than they realized. I realize you could have your obnoxious moments, but you led well against.. or for.. the Galbadia soldiers."

"Zell Dincht. You always knew how to clear out the hotdogs in the lunchroom, provided you could get to them on time. You were a great fighter and joker. Though you and Selphie being a couple just recently has caused everyone a bit of stress, you still hang in there when times are tough."

"Irvine Kinneas. I never got to know you very well, but what I do remember of you, I remember as good times. Just recently, I heard you are going back to Galbadia. Though it pains me that I may not be seeing you around here, I hope you find happiness back at your old home. You always kid around with all the ladies, and men at times, and kept everyone in high spirits."

"Fujjin Kogiera. You were so quiet and somehow mischievious when I first met you. Actually, to be truthful, when I first saw you, you seemed so sweet, but then I was quickly misjudged when you joined Seifer in the Disiplinary Committee, but now I am glad it happened because you and Seifer seem to be so happy together. I wish you luck with you, Seifer, and Neeva."

"Rajjin Kogiera. All I got to say is.. you're the best damn fish catcher and cook around these parts." Everyone couldn't help but laugh. "I remember that you always had a humorous side, and found everything funny. Why, I could hear you from a mile away, just laughing your lungs out, but I enjoyed hearing it and getting to know you."

"Rinoa.. Leonhart." Everyone cheered wildly when they heard her new last name. Cid smiled. "You seemed quiet, yet optimistic when I first met you. You strategized well in battle and always kept everyone in high spirits next to Selphie. Squall Leonhart, if it weren't for her, you may still be a little down in the dumps, am I right?"

Squall scratched his head and smiled shyly. Everyone continued cheering when they left back to their seats. Selphie stood up, her lip pouty. "They get cheering and applause, and then it's old Selphie to come up and get her diploma."

Everyone chuckled a bit, then Selphie took her diploma.

"Selphie Tilmitt. There was not one time of peace when you came here from Trabia. I wonder how many people you had as friends back as Trabia. Surely, not as many as you made here and as quickly. I thought you talked a lot before and caused mischief, but you and Zell being a couple didn't help anything. Nevertheless, I enjoyed having you."

Everyone giggled and chattered for a moment to the people at their sides, and then Cid raised his hand to resume silence. "I have one more announcement. Quistis Trepe, please come up here."

Everyone squeeled and applauded wildly. Quistis blushed somewhat, and was confused about what was going on. "I would like Edea to become an instructor here at this Garden, and for Quistis, with her skills and personality, to run it for me." The applause loudened. Quistis stood there, feeling awkward when the noise died down, but she had to admit it:

"I have attended this Garden since I was young, and always dreamed of being Headmaster, and kind of a sense of bossing people around, but I know I can't do that anymore. I've gone to this Garden as an instructor, but still feeling as though I'm a student, because I was admitted as an instructor so early. Growing up with these students, who are also my childhood friends, I realize that I can't stay here and watch them go off. I.. want to be with them."

"You had better," Laguna shouted from the entrance, "because we're having a party at my place."

The bell for school to end had rung and everyone stood and piled for the doors. "School hasn't ended quite yet!" Cid shouted, but no one heard him. Edea placed a hand on his shoulder.

"I could resume as Headmaster," she said, and smiled.

Cid watched Quistis run off with the others, laughing as though she were a student again. Cid smiled. "I would appreciate it. I wouldn't have the heart to take her happiness, or any of theirs, away from them."

THE END