A/N: The author owns none of the recognizable characters and names – makes no profit off of them.This was written without any romantic intentions – a simple scene early on in Quistis' acquaintance with Squall. I'm pondering a few other one shots – hence the sub-title. Enjoy!
Bill

A Wish For...
Silence


It's so quiet.

Why can't it always be like this?

It was quiet, but a whispered song seemed to emanate from the stars high above, drifting silently in their black comforter of oblivion. He dared to entertain the selfish thought that the song was being sung for an audience of one - just him.

Or maybe the rest of the world was too noisy, caught up in its endless cycle of business and life to hear it.

So quiet.

Footsteps. "You're thinking, aren't you?"

Squall didn't acknowledge Quistis Trepe's presence. He turned his head aside and suppressed a sigh. Not really. I'm trying to do just the opposite.

"You don't have to tell me what about. I just thought you might want some company," the instructor tapped the railing of the balcony, "you're always so alone after classes. I never know where you go off to."

Then how would you know I'm alone?

"It's not healthy to spend so much time on your own."

I passed my physical with proverbial 'flying colors'.

"Dr. Kadowaki's definition of 'healthy' is not what I'm citing." Quistis leaned over the railing, trying to catch a glimpse of Squall's elusive face. "Just because we're not in a class setting, doesn't rectify bad manners."

Squall gave Quistis a detached glance. "Bad manners?"

The instructor gave a terse laugh. "Your body language practically screams, 'Go away, I'm not listening, your very presence offends me'."

"What's so bad about that?" Even if it isn't true...

Quistis turned, cocking a hip against the bars of the railing. Arms crossed, she regarded her student with a measuring eye. "You are a difficult one, I'll give you that."

No reply. He stared across the plains. The small cluster of lights Squall identified as the town of Balamb, one by one, hour by hour, were extinguished, making the balm of silent night more complete. Soon...soon all would be dark – and it would be just him and the stars.

...If Instructor Trepe had any intention of leaving before dawn without a full confessional from him.

"This is the part where you're supposed to deny my analysis," she prompted.

"Why?"

"Because that's the way it usually goes."

"What reference are you referring to?" Squall retorted dryly.

"'The Book of Angst and Tragic Heroes' – don't you know it?" The raillery stopped at that. She shook her head and grinned, "You're a clever one when you try. Next I need to crowbar a laugh out of you, then I'll know my job here will be done and we can all get some shut-eye."

"If that's what it'll take..." muttered Squall sourly, "'Ha-ha."

"Don't overdo it on the cleverness, it wears out fast."

"I wasn't trying to be clever."

Quistis' brows pinched, her lips pressing into a tight line. Squall picked at the cuff of his jacket resisting the urge to fidget under her tenacious stare. Eventually the instructor gave a sound of resignation and pressed her hands against the cold metal of the railing. "I just can't figure you out, Squall. Just a peek; there has to be a crack in that mask of yours somewhere – I just can't find it."

What mask? Why does everyone think I'm an emotional basket-case? Does everyone know something I don't?

Quistis Trepe narrowed her eyes at him, her heel squeaking on the buffed floor as she turned to leave. "Not yet, but I will, Squall Leonhart."

The door hissed shut behind her as the last light in the township of Balamb faded, giving way to the reign of night.

The sigh that had been wanting desperately to be released, puffed out of his chest in a slow exhalation.

Wow, didn't think a sigh could feel that great.

Squall rubbed his chest. He hadn't thought he'd been that stressed. Afterall – it had just been Instructor Quistis Trepe interrogating him. But that was over, thank heavens, and it was quiet again.

Just him and the stars, ensconced in the silence of night.

This was so much nicer – being alone.

Right?

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