Chapter 4

Her eyes widened and she almost stumbled back a step but caught herself in time. Okay calm Quistis, CALM DOWN.

"Seifer?" she asked in shock.


It was almost comical, thought Quistis absently, between the frantic thoughts of 'OH HYNE HYNE HYNEoohhe'sinatowel NO NO'.

She took a deep breath and put an easy smile on her face, forcing down any feelings. "Haven't seen you for a while, how are you?" she asked.

He was the same as she remembered. His hair was maybe a little longer but his intense green eyes were the same.

He recovered after a few moments "I'm fine, you know, doing okay. You?" he said in a polite way.

She hid a slight disappointment he didn't seem more affected "Good, yeah." She smiled "Well, apart from maybe my cabin." She motioned towards her cabin.

Quistis stared at the floor as an awkward silence descended. He rubbed his hair with another towel and moved over to the bed. "Small and crap?" he asked conversationally as he unzipped a small toilet bag.

His questions disturbed her reverie where she was mostly trying hard not to look at Seifer in just a towel. "Yeah," she said, looking up finally "How did you know?"

He chuckled and threw the towel he had been drying his hair with over the chair "I had one too, threatened the staff until they gave me a larger one." He snorted "They still gave me an economy one though."

Quistis sighed "At least you can breathe." Seifer disappeared into the bathroom again. "Just a minute." He called and shut the door.

Quistis wandered over to the chair and sat down, careful of the wet towel. She took a deep breath, okay, this isn't too awkward…

I am accepting, moving on…Okay I'm leaving now.

She stood up quickly, she needed time to think. She knocked on the bathroom "I'm just going to go ask about a new room." She said clearly.

The door opened suddenly and she froze. Seifer stood there, fully clothed, he stared down at her, eyes unreadable. Too close! She thought and stepped back quickly. His face relaxed and he grinned "Want me to come?" he asked casually.

She waved her hand in front of her "No, I'll be fine. Bye." She walked out quietly, shutting the door behind her.

She leant back against it, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She opened her eyes and pushed herself off and began to walk away.

It was midday, and the plains shimmered in the heat. Flies buzzed around her and she waved them away impatiently. She folded her arms again and continued to wait. She felt glad for the little cool shade the trees behind her offered.

"Miss me?" a voice whispered in her ear and arms slipped around her waist. She smiled and turned around, his arms still loosely draped around her.

He grinned "Hello." He bent down to kiss her. She moved away from him, a reproving smile on her face "You know I don't like public displays of affection." Seifer rolled his eyes and moved towards her "I'm sure the bitebugs will be very offended." He sighed.

She sniffed "They appear to be an endangered species now, after Zell decided to get revenge for them eating that delivery of chilli dogs…"

Seifer stretched "They will be mourned." He said dryly. "However, that means that there are indeed very few bitebugs to be upset by us. So," he paused and casually pulled her back towards him "As I was saying: Miss me?"

She put her arms around him and whispered against his neck "I missed you." His expression softened at the rare show of vulnerability. His gloved hands rested on her back. They stood together in a contented silence for a few minutes longer.

Quistis lifted her head after a while "How did you get here?" she asked curiously. He tilted his head and smirked "Well, you know someone was coming to pick you up? A bit of gentle persuasion on my part and they were very willing to give up the responsibility." Quistis laughed and moved away. "Bully." She said teasingly.

Seifer ran a hand through his hair "And you love me for it." He grinned.

"Excuse me?" Quistis looked round the doorway, knocking lightly on the frame. The room had only two occupants. A tired looking man slouched on a battered sofa, smoking moodily. A woman sat by a table, silently flicking through a magazine.

At the sound of her voice, the two people scrambled up and stood to attention, it seemed. The man hurriedly stamped the cigarette up his heel. The woman smoothed back her hair and smiled shakily "Yes? How may we help?"

Quistis smiled warily "Um well yes. Would it possible for me to have another cabin?" The woman frowned "Is there a problem?" she folded her arms. Quistis stepped more fully into the room "Not exactly, but my room seems to be quite small. I was wondering if you had any other –bigger- rooms?"

The man and the woman exchanged swift wry smiles. "Of course." Said the woman "Come this way." The man chuckled and lit up another cigarette, shaking the match out as they walked out. "Those are gonna kill you one day." The voice of the woman floated back through the doorway, the man snorted. Quistis raised an eyebrow.

The woman walked just a bit in front of her "You're the other SeeD right?" Quistis gazed at her "How did you guess?" she asked dryly. The woman chuckled humourlessly "Your colleague came and nearly scared ten years off Diam's – the chimney back there – life. He had the same complaint."

Quistis sighed, "Sorry." She said frankly. Bully.

The woman shook her head "No problem, Diam needed a wake-up call anyway. I'm Eva, by the way. What number is your cabin?" she asked suddenly.

"Room 312, I think." Replied Quistis. A knowing look passed over Eva's face. "Ah. That would be small."

"Roughly the size of a spacious shoe box really." Said Quistis conversationally.

Eva laughed and pulled out a key card as she reached Quistis's cabin. She opened it and looked in quickly. "Take your bag, there's a bigger one across the hall."

Quistis thanked her, and slid into her former cabin to retrieve the bag.

Her new room was much better, much like Seifer's. Quistis sighed with satisfaction on seeing the desk.

"Well, this one seems habitable, call me if you need anything." Eva walked out, presumably back to Diam.

Quistis sat down on the bed, testing the springs cautiously. It seemed okay, she sighed and leant back. She didn't feel very tired, as she'd slept most of the way to Port Harbour. She glanced out of the porthole to see Port Harbour growing smaller as the large ship floated out to sea.

She lay back and closed her eyes. Hm, I could read through the mission spec again…She half-heartedly stood and rooted through her bag and picked out the folder. She lifted it out and narrowed her eyes as she noticed a small tear in it. Has someone…?

Looking worried, she opened it up and sifted through the papers, nothing appeared to be missing…but the papers could have been moved around. She frowned, am I just imagining things?

She sat down on the bed, her thoughts straying to Seifer. Damn, this isn't awkward. She managed a desperate chuckle at her own expense, closing her eyes and placing a hand on her forehead. She could feel a headache building up.

FLUFF! ...Anyway, this chapter was surprisingly easy to write...Well, suppose its either that or revision. I have become a master procrastinator recently. Oh and the bit in the middle was a flashback, in case of any confusion.

Please review.

You know you want to...

Go oooon...

(Right, I'll stop now. Sorry.)