This story is a romance between two women. If you don't like
it that's your problem. Flame away if
you want, they make me giggle. The
rating may change with future chapters.
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy VIII belongs to Square. Niloka is
my own creation.
the three women pass me in the hall to the cafeteria and fought the urge to
bow. I don't think they'd like it, but
I couldn't help it. They were more than
celebrities or heroes; they were legends.
I didn't think I'd ever get used to seeing them occasionally and seeing
three of the six together was like a religious experience.
followed them my eyes focused on the tall blonde, not quite as tall as me, but
almost towering over her companions.
She didn't sway her hips like the raven-haired beauty on her right or
skip along energetically like the short brunette. Her stride was confident and commanding. Her hair was up in its customary barrette,
only the loose ends and hair framing her face betraying a younger, more
fun-loving side to her strictly business appearance.
tease me for being a Treppie. But they
each have their own favorite; everyone does.
I like to think that I'm different, but I suppose it's probably just a
typical crush. Typical except that I'm
a girl. Girls are supposed to admire
Quistis Trepe, not have a crush on her.
And don't think I mean that sappy non-sexual crush a lot of girls get
for other girls. No, if she'd have me
I'd be everything to her, including a lover.
cafeteria their presence was impossible to ignore. A large crowd gathered around them, following them through the
line and to their table. I sat at a
table by the wall, trying to read my homework assignment while I ate.
minutes later there was a sudden hush in the cafeteria and the crowd around the
three girls flocked to the dark figure who had just entered. Even some of the students who had ignored
the girls rushed to join the crowd. I guess
they thought it was too rare an opportunity to see the young Commander to not
take advantage. Ignoring them, I looked
over at Quistis and watched her for a minute.
I tried not to stare, but her every movement fascinated me.
suddenly turned and looked right at me, her bright blue eyes meeting mine. Feeling like a jerk, I looked down at my
food and felt myself blush. Good
job, Niloka. Leer at her like all the
others. She'll really love you for
* * *
with relief. I felt bad for Squall, but
he didn't have to deal with these crowds as often as the rest of us, so the
temporary respite was welcome. I
glanced over at Rinoa to ask her why Squall was here and caught sight of a girl
staring at me. When I saw her she
blushed and looked away. At first I was
angry, figuring she was another Treppie with nothing better to do than bug
me. But there was something different
in her look. And Treppies don't usually
have the good sense or manners to be embarrassed about their staring. The fact that she was attractive helped cool
my anger, I had to admit. Her hair was
short, like Fujin's, but a deep chestnut brown. She'd looked away too fast to tell what color her eyes were, but
I thought they were blue or gray. She
had a strong profile, not delicate, but not masculine, either. What really caught my interest was that she
was wearing a man's uniform, not a skirt.
A lot of girls complained about the skirts, but no one had actually done
anything about it before. If it hadn't
been for her figure I might have thought she was a somewhat effeminate
boy. The almost androgynous look was
nudged me. "Whatcha lookin' at?"
was probably being as rude as I thought she had been and looked away. "That girl over there," I answered.
Rinoa grinned. Why'd I open my big
mouth? They loved playing matchmaker.
glanced over her shoulder to look at her.
nodding and giggling. They always
seemed to get a big kick out of the fact that I'm a lesbian. Not that I'm complaining. They're great friends.
Before I could
stop her Selphie bounded from the table and headed over towards the girl. I groaned.
Just then I wanted to kick my great friend's ass.
* * *
they were talking about me. It's bad
enough I acted like a jerk, staring at her like that. She didn't have to point it out to her friends.
crossed the table from behind me. I
figured it was my friend and turned to greet her.
won't believe—" I blinked, looking up into the eyes of a grinning Selphie
felt hot as I blushed, figuring she wanted to tell me to stop bothering her
friend. I wasn't fooled by that grin.
sorry… I didn't mean to—"
interrupted me with a giggle. "What are
you talking about? I came to ask you to
eat with us."
I stared at
her, probably looking like an idiot. I
glanced over at their table. Heartilly
was watching us, but trying to look like she wasn't. Quistis looked… embarrassed or annoyed? I couldn't tell.
blurted out. Nothing like being rude
when you're invited to lunch. But
Selphie didn't seem phased at all.
lonely sitting here by yourself. Come
hell? Even if it turned out horribly,
at least I'd have a good story. Who was
I to turn down an invitation most Garden students would kill for? "Ok," I said.
her with my tray and sat across from Quistis at the table for four.
said rather lamely.
be Niloka," Rinoa said, surprising me.
"I heard there was a female student who refused to wear a skirt," she
explained. "I'm glad I finally get to
reaction was resentment. I didn't want
to be the freak on display. But her
smile was so honest, I couldn't believe she really thought of me that way. I glanced at Quistis and wondered what she
was thinking. She was looking towards
me without really looking at me.
martial arts specialist and I prefer not to flash everyone when I kick."
laughed. I think maybe Quistis blushed,
but it could have been my imagination.
arts, huh? That's cool. Like Zell," Tilmitt said.
It was a
little strange to hear that name mentioned so casually.
yet. But I hope I can be as good as he
talk to him. Maybe he'd give you some
pointers. And he's got all those Combat
King magazines wasting away in his room," Rinoa suggested.
choked on my coke. Like it was so easy
to just talk to Zell Dincht. "You think
just telling me the other day he wished more students took hand-to-hand combat
more seriously," Quistis said. "I'm
surprised he hasn't taken you under his wing already." She smiled.
Her eyes reminded me of the blue topaz ring my foster mother had: a
bright, pure blue, untouched by any other color. If I was the flirtatious type I'd tell her Zell wasn't the one I
wanted to take me.
that?" Tilmitt asked. "Really? Cuz that
doesn't sound like him. Sounds more
like you. I mean, maybe he thinks it'd
be cool to have another martial arts student, but he—"
stopped at a dark look from Quistis and I was a little confused by the
long have you been at the Garden," Heartilly asked.
months," I answered around a mouthfull of french fries.
join the Garden?" This time it was
Quistis. I usually give a
well-rehearsed, short answer but for some reason I wanted Quistis to know the
and uncle couldn't support me any more.
I refused to be married off and this was my only other option. My parents died when I was young."
at each other and smiled sadly.
Always tactful, I am.
we know what it's like to be an orphan," Quistis said. Her eyes were sad and full of
compassion. I felt like I was falling
into them and could have stared into that beautiful face forever.
A strand of
hair had fallen into her eye and tangled in her eyelashes. Before I knew what I was doing I reached
across the small table and brushed the hair away from her face, my fingers
lightly touching her skin, lingering there tenderly. She grasped my hand firmly, a soft, questioning look in her eyes.
was pounding. I couldn't believe what I'd just done. In my panic I jerked my arm back and knocked my silverware to the
floor with a startlingly loud clatter.
muttered and bent down to pick it up. A
pair of legs appeared beside my chair and as I sat up, trying to avoid bumping
into them I hit my head on the table.
Dazed and more than humiliated enough for one day I stood to make my
escape and nearly stumbled into Squall Leonhart. Instead I plopped rather ungracefully back down in my chair. The crowd had followed Squall and engulfed
the tiny table.
put her hand on my arm. "Are you ok?
touched the back of my head and winced.
weren't hurt, were you?"
chuckled. "Just my pride."
laughed and it seemed to relieve some of the tension, but I wasn't brave enough
to look at Quistis yet. Leonhart had
pulled up a chair and sat at the corner of the table between me and Heartilly,
his arm draped casually over the back of her chair.
this is Niloka, a new student."
nodded, but didn't say anything.
giggled. "Squall you're
impossible. You could say something
nice after the way you just startled her."
attention to myself was not exactly what I wanted.
"Who do we
have to thank for your presence, Squall?" Quistis' question gave me an excuse
to look at her and try to see if she was angry. I couldn't tell.
she won't be commanded like soldier and gets angry if I send a messenger to
bring her to my office," he grumbled good-naturedly.
In my six
months at the garden I'd never heard him say more than a few words. His voice was soft and smooth. If I liked guys I might even call it
sexy. It's probably just as good that
he doesn't talk much, considering how most of the girls already fawn all over
why don't you walk Niloka back to her room," Rinoa suggested as they prepared
need—" I started.
smiled. "You're going to be the hottest
gossip topic. You sure you want to try
to walk through the halls alone?"
think walking with Quistis Trepe was going to improve the situation, but it
would probably keep people at a respectable distance. I looked at Quistis.
you don't mind."
looking thoughtful. "I was going that
polite good byes and nice to meet you's I left the cafeteria with Quistis,
followed by wide-eyed admirers. Quistis
remained silent and I didn't know what to say.
I stopped when we arrived at my room.
sorry about… earlier."
ok. I'm used to it."
Ouch. "I understand how you feel. But I hope you'll believe I'm not like
that. I'm not a Treppie and I didn't
mean to bother you." There you go.
Dig yourself even deeper.
around awkwardly. "I don't usually
invite myself to student's rooms, but we might want a little more privacy," she
relieved that she would give me a chance, but not sure what I was going to
say. I let her into the common room of
my dorm. Luckily, my roommate was out.
you mean you're not like that?"
want to force myself on you. I haven't
been following you or anything like that.
I don't want anything from you and don't expect you to do anything but
go back to your life and forget about me."
her head. "What do you want?"
question caught me by surprise and I didn't answer right away.
I'd like to know you. You seem like an
interesting person." I was sure I
sounded stupid. I was beginning to wish
she'd just leave before I made a complete fool of myself.
come to a party with me tonight" she asked suddenly.
There's that tact again.
having a party in my quarters for Squall and Rinoa's anniversary. Just a small group of us. You want to come?"
grinned. If I'd dreamed this it
couldn't have been better. Well, maybe
if fewer clothes were involved. "I'd
smiled. "Come to my room at
eight." She started for the door.
don't know where…"
surprised. "I'm sorry. I guess I'm used to…" She shook her
head. "Anyway. I'll come get you before the others
arrive. Is 7:30 ok?"
to leave but stopped again with her hand on the doorknob. She turned back towards me, crossing her
arms and looking at me thoughtfully.
be so awkward. But, um, I just want to
be sure. This is a date, right?"
again and I felt a little rush at the thought that I was the reason. "Good," she said. "I'll see you at 7:30."
I think I
surprised us both when I leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. She didn't mind, though, and said nothing as
she left me to my thoughts.
* * *
As her door
closed behind me I touched my cheek. It
tingled where she had placed soft, full lips and I wondered what it would be
like to feel them against my own. I
don't usually ask someone out so soon after I've met her. It's gotten so difficult to know if someone
is really interested in me or is just fascinated with the fame. I sometimes envied Squall and Rinoa. They didn't have to worry about it. Even Irvine had grown tired of the girls who
threw themselves at him and had become close to Selphie, though she was still
resisting as serious relationship. It
was just easier for all of us to be with each other.
When I got
back to my room I took a quick shower and started cleaning for the party. As fascinating as she was, I was starting to
wish I hadn't invited Niloka; instead of looking forward to a relaxing evening
with friends I was nervous. She seemed
sincere, but even if she was, any chance for a relationship would be
complicated by all the gossip and attention.
It had already come between Zell and his girlfriend and a couple girls
I'd dated in the past few years couldn't handle it, either.
sure what it was about Niloka that made it seem worth all the risks. Maybe it was because she wasn't giggly or
star-struck like so many of the students who followed us around. She was a little aloof, but friendly.
sighed. Be honest with yourself,
Quistis. What I was really thinking
about was looking into blue-gray eyes and feeling her fingers brush against my
forehead. Truthfully, I didn't know
what to think about that. It scared me
a little, knowing this woman I'd just met obviously felt something more than a
casual attraction to me. But before I
had stopped to think about it, her eyes had entranced me and I had grabbed her
hand, not to stop her, but to stop myself from acting on the sudden flood of
desire that coursed through my body.
subsequent embarrassment and clumsiness was endearing, really. She must normally have so much control over
herself, physically, she had to have been really flustered to lose it like
that. I think that's what made up my
mind to give her a chance.
* * *
taken me an hour to get dressed. I
don't usually worry about clothes.
Comfort and simplicity are my only concerns. I guess when you grow up fighting to keep your lunch money you
don't worry about fashion. Skirts made
me look weak, and that could get me hurt unless I wanted to rely on a boyfriend
for protection. Exchanging sex for
safety wasn't something I was willing to do.
tried on my entire wardrobe I settled for tailored black pants and a black
button-down shirt with long sleeves.
The only jewelry I ever wear is a silver chain with my parents' wedding
bands on it. It'd been given to me by
my aunt after the funeral and I hadn't taken it off since, except to have the
I was ready Quistis had arrived and we walked to her quarters. I was now standing in the main room watching
her greet her friends. She was
surprisingly warm, hugging each of them and smiling happily. She looked
breathtaking in a long, sleeveless red dress.
Her hair was down and curled at the ends. I stood aside, sipping a glass
of wine. None of them had noticed me
had greeted all of them she motioned towards me. "Zell, Irvine this is Niloka.
I – and everyone else – met her at lunch."
looked shocked to see me. It made me a
little nervous, having all of them looking at me. I smiled. "Nice to meet
you. Commander, Miss Heartilly, I hear
it's your anniversary.
smiled and Squall wrapped his arm around her shoulders.
Rinoa said. "And we're all friends
here. You don't have to be so formal."
and relaxed a little, It was all a little intimidating. Can you imagine having your first date at a
party held by the greatest heroes the world had known?
a martial arts specialist," Quistis said as she poured them all drinks.
Zell nearly spilled his drink in his enthusiasm. "Hey, we could spar sometime.
I just got the new Combat King and there's a bunch of stuff I can't wait
to try out—"
stood by me and took my hand in hers.
It almost seemed like a possessive gesture, but I didn't mind. "Zell, calm down," she said, laughing. "Niloka's here for a party. You can talk business later."
the back of his neck sheepishly.
"Sorry. I get carried away
ok. I don't mind."
and his attention was soon caught by something Selphie said. He reminded me of a big puppy, so full of
energy and eager to please.
exactly the fearless warrior of legend," I murmured.
just people," she said a little sadly.
sorry. I guess it's just hard not to
think that way sometimes."
then made some excuse about the food and left for the kitchen. My hand suddenly felt cold and empty without
hers. Sometimes I am such a jerk.
What do you think so far? Please review and let me
know. I hope the switching between
points of view wasn't confusing. There
will be more coming soon!