The light shifted, blaring down into his eyes. He squinted them tightly against the glare, cursing something under his breath as he brought his arm across his face. Another hand pulled that arm away, bringing it down to examine the trickle of a warm wet fluid that drained from his forehead. He opened his eyes, very slightly, only to allow a few tears of pain to seep through and fall down his cheek. They glistened in the light as a soft female hand gently tapped the cut that lay on his head, extending the scar he already had to his hairline. He reach up and grabbed that hand, pulling it away. Peering, he whispered something in a choked breath before passing out.
"Instructor, how pleasant of you."
The woman regarded the young man before writing down in her notebook his condition. Stable. Better at least. When he washed ashore he was near death, broken bones in his arm, a compound fracture in his leg. He was tore up, to say the least. She flipped back her long blonde hair and stood up, ready to give the new information to the president. Looking back at him, she cocked her hair to the side and wondered to herself out loud. "Instructor?"
"An old friend of his, Dhari. How is he holding up?"
Dhari nodded, checking her charts. "Well after a few curaga spells and esuna, the pneumonia cleared and the breaks are healing dramatically. Except for the gash across his forehead, which i might add will give him one hell of a scar, he's alive. Coming out of the coma as well. You wish to speak to him?"
The older man nodded, his tired blue eyes tracing towards the young blonde. "Is he awake?"
Darhi shook her head. "No sir."
"Then wake him up."
She nodded, retracing her steps back towards the bedridden boy. That's how she regarded him, a boy. He looked so young, but the scars and healed fractures across his body told her that even as just a boy, he has endured the hardships of a man. Pulling a bottle of ammonia out of the drawer, she waved it under his nose lightly. The boy shook slightly, before widening his green eyes, then closing them, waving with his one good arm. "The lights, dammit, dim the lights!"
The older gentleman walked towards him, and fiddled with his ponytail, a goofy smile crossing his lips. "Wake up Seifer, you've kind of slept enough."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
He frowned, the lines in his ace becoming deep. "I said wake up-"
The boy sat up slightly, supporting himself on his good arm. Squinting at the older gentleman. "No, I said who the hell is Seifer?"
Now it was the older gentleman's turn to look surprised as he regarded the young man. "You're not Seifer?"
The younger man laid back down, staring at the ceiling. "Obviously not."
Dhari brought a chair into the room, and set it down next to the bed. The older gentleman sat in it, and stared at the boy. He had to be almost twenty, and fit the description. he looked upwards to Dhari. "Did the fingerprints come through?"
Dhari nodded. "Yes. It's confirmed, he is Seifer Almasy, last known residence, Balamb garden, but that was over a year ago Mr. Loire."
Laguna nodded, and looked at the boy once again. "If your not Seifer, then tell me who you are?"
The young man thought hard. The harder he thought, the more he couldn't understand. Still staring at the ceiling, he mouthed the answer.
"What was that? I didn't hear you." Laguna leaned forward to listen in
The young man felt suddenly low. He sat up, supported himself on his good arm once again, and stared Laguna in the eye. "I said, I. Don't. Know."
Laguna nodded and stood up, taking Dhari with him. Whispering something in her ear, she looked at him and nodded reluctantly, tracing her steps out to the hall of her office. She looked across the Estar continent, seeing how it had expanded greatly since the SeeDs last visit. She shook her head and dialed the number to the Garden. Might as well get it over with. The patient wasn't exactly the greatest of company anymore now that he was awake.
Quistis Trepe walked along the halls of the school, a slight smile on her face. She endured the gasps and sheiks from all the other students, most of them males, and the questions that arose from the females, asking her how she was, and from the males, who she was dating. With all those, the simple answers where "Fine." "No one." and "Someday." After the crowd ceased, she made her way towards the cafeteria, sitting at the table with her friends. Zell kicked out a chair for her and as she occupied it, he spoke to her with a mouthful of food.
"So Quisty, what's new in the neighborhood o all the guys that seem to fawn over you?"
She smiled. "Nothng at all. So far it's just work work work now that I'm back to being the instructor again."
Rinoa smiled at her. "So how does it feel Quistis? I mean, being the head one around here."
The blond woman smiled and lowered her head. "Like I'm on the magic school bus minus the magic. I's hard, but I can't say I'm complaining. Just wish that some times.."
"That you can go out on the field and whip some sense into the enemy? No pun intended."
The group looked behind them and Rinoa's face lit up. Squall came by and sat next to her, giving her a kiss on her cheek before wrapping an arm about her shoulders. Quistis pinged with a subtle jealousy, not at Squall and Rinoa, but at the fact that yet another happy couple were joined in Garden. Aside from Selphie and Irvine's constant bickering and breaking up, coming together again and breaking up again, Squall and Rinoa were considered the 'ultimate couple' amongst all the other children at the Garden. She sighed and hung her head low on the table.
Zell spoke up, his mouth full of hot dog. "Sup Quistis?"
She was about to answer before hearing her name called over by the lady at the cafeteria, holding a phone. "Quistis Trepe! Call for Quistis Trepe!"
Squall's eyes narrowed. "Who would be calling during lunch time?"
Rinoa shrugged and Zell smirked. "Maybe Quistis has a new assignment: Wash Cid's underwear!"
The laughter around the table erupted and Quistis smiled, holding up a hand to silence them. She nodded into the receiver. "Hello, Quistis Trepe here."
The others at the table kept their eyes on her as her face went from peachy and full of color to a tint blow gray. She spoke in hushed tones now and placed the receiver down, rushing back to the table to pack her things. The questions came at once, from all different directions.
"Quisty? What's up man?"
"Quistis, is everything alright?
"What's going on?"
After placing her things in her bag and attaching her bull whip Save The Queen to her hip she sped off towards the exit o the cafeteria. Squall planted a kiss on Rinoa's forehead and motioned for them to remain still as he followed her. "Hey! Instructor wait up!"
Quistis turned to look behind her, not stopping for a moment. "Not now Squall, I have something to do."
Squall grabbed her arm and glared at her. "What's going on? You can't just walk out like that. Is something wrong?"
Quistis sighed and let herself ease up a little. "No, nothing is wrong. I just got a message from headmaster that I need to be somewhere else right here and right now, and this place isn't where I'm supposed to be."
Squall crossed his arms over his chest and raised an eyebrow, a line creasing into the scar on his face. "Oh, a hush hush thing right?"
"Well alright. Give me details when you return. Take care." He walked back to the cafeteria, waving a hand at the departing blonde as she made her way down the hall and up to the office of the Headmaster and his wife Edea. Edea welcomed her with a hug and a smile as she entered the office. Cid was behind his desk, reading some faxes that where sent by Laguna Loire. Edea spoke softly, and Cid looked upwards as Quistis raised her hand in the SeeD salute. Nodding he handed the documents to Quistis, who eyed them. "What are these?"
Cid nodded towards the flimsy papers in her hand. "Those are detailed accounts of the past two weeks in the Estar Infirmery. Apparently they found a young man fitting Seifer's description and took him in. After finger printing him and checking up on his current situation, his last known residence was here. So of course President Loire called and inquired about him."
Quistis nodded and scanned the papers with her eyes. "Broken bones? Cuts and bruises? What happened to him?"
Cid sat back down in his chair. "No one knows, since Seifer is suffering from a mild case of amnesia. Doesn't remember who he is, or where he's from, nothing. His mind is a total blank slate."
Quistis felt Edea's hand on her shoulder. She shrugged it off. "Why should I be the one to go get him? Why not Squall, or Selphie?"
Cid's grim look gave her a slight hint of guilt. "Selphie and Irvine are on a different duty with the training of the SeeDs. Squall, Rinoa, and Zell, this remains between us, but I'm afraid they might kill him on sight. You so far, are the best one who might be able to handle this. With your past teaching skills and credentials you are the only one I can think of qualified with enough experience with Mr. Almasy to handle this with precaution, and not with a death threat."
Quistis nodded. She knew how Rinoa and Squall would react. Rinoa, angry with him for what he made her go through, Squall, the same, and Zell, the childhood years of torment never faded with him. She nodded at the headmaster as Edea handed her a ticket. "You will ride the train to Estar and use this," She handed her an envelope, "As the pass to enter the Presidential palace. There, Laguna will take you through the rest. Are you ready Quistis?"
She heaved a breath from her lungs and crossed herself. "As ready as I'll ever be, I assume."
With a smile, Edea hugged her for luck as Cid looked on. After Quistis left, he thought hard. Edea noticed and wrapped her arms lovingly around his neck. "Troubles my dear?"
Cid sighed and leaned back into his wife's arms. "Yes. If anyone can do this, Quistis can."
Cid nodded. "Quistis seems to be the only person he might remember, only slightly, not even her name. Just 'Instructor.' I feel that maybe Quistis won't allow herself to befriend him. The girl is one hell of a SeeD but sometimes her emotions..."
Edea understood him. She remembered long ago, bossy little Quisty. Sometimes the young blonde's ego came into play, her own setback. But, as Eda thought this over, if anyone can handle this, Quistis could. She makes an exceptional instructor and SeeD. She informed Cid of her thoughts and her husband remained silent. Edea smiled again, whispering into Cid's ear. "Don't be afraid. We raised her well."
"I know that Edea. I just dearly hope she can bring him back."
"I know dear. I know."