By Silver Dolphin
Nope, don't own any of them. I'm broke, don't sue!
"Squall? Isn't it time you went to bed?" Quistis came out of the bathroom, blond hair damp, clad only in a tank top and shorts that left little to the imagination.
"I'm trying to get these papers done as soon as possible," he grated, glaring at the stack, "But they don't seem to want to be completed. Is it my imagination, or does this stack look about the same size since I started working on it?"
Quistis put her hand over her mouth and chuckled. "Oh, Squall…" she walked up to him and placed a hand on the stack. "No more tonight," she said, in her Instructor's tone. Even though she'd stopped teaching two years ago, that one trait still lingered.
"Why do you keep working so hard?" she asked then, as he stood up and stretched. Even though she was a tall woman she had to incline her head to meet his eyes.
Squall shrugged indifferently and turned away. Quistis hadn't really expected an answer anyway, but she had to get it out in the open. Squall had been overworking himself these past few months and if he didn't pull himself back together very soon, she feared that Balamb Garden was going to be short of one very good SeeD.
"It's not Rinoa, is it?" Squall stopped dead in his tracks, and she knew then she'd hit the right nerve. For a moment it looked like he wasn't going to answer her, then he sighed and turned around.
"Quisty, she left long ago. I didn't really mind, though. I expected it to hurt like hell, but then I realized that I didn't really love her at all."
"Oh. Well then, are you all right?" Lame, but what else could she say?
He shrugged again and headed off to the bathroom.
The cold shower felt great. Squall let the icy water run over his body for a few more minutes, then turned it off and grabbed a towel. He tried to turn his thoughts away from the person that had been plaguing his mind lately – Quistis Trepe.
Since when had he become so interested in her? She was his SeeD partner, nothing more. Nothing more – right?
Squall threw on his tank top and boxers and exited the bathroom, hoping fervently that the golden angel who shared his room was fast asleep.
Of all the bad luck. The West Wing of the Dormitory had to be closed down for maintenance and Quistis had to one of those left without a room. Since they were both full-fledged SeeDs and held respected positions in Balamb Garden, the Headmaster had decided that it would be all right for Quistis to share a room with Squall. Of all people…
As he entered the bedroom, his eyes darted to the bed in the corner. Quistis sitting cross-legged on it, working the snarls out of her now-dry blond hair. Squall crossed to the other side of the room and dropped down onto his bed, contenting himself with watching her.
"You should wear your hair that way."
Quistis looked up in surprise. "Hmm?"
"You look better this way," he repeated, his face expressionless.
"Do I?" she tried to shrug off the compliment, but a slight thrill ran through her at his words.
"Mmmm." Under his steady gaze, she flushed slightly, and when she met his eyes a very faint smile touched the corners of his lips.
With a gasp, Quistis bolted up in bed. Her forehead was damp and she was breathing hard. That nightmare again! No matter how old she grew, it seemed she would never escape it. For eleven years that dream had plagued her sleep, and she doubted it would ever go away.
"Quistis?" Squall himself had not been sleeping well, and at the soft noise she made he had awoken immediately. ""What's going on?"
"N- nothing." She cursed her trembling voice silently, then willed it to be steady. "Go back to sleep."
As usual, Squall did the exact opposite. He sat up and turned on the bedside lamp. He studied her pale, sweat-misted face for a moment, then asked, "What's wrong, Quisty?"
"Nightmare," she admitted between her teeth. Such a silly, foolish thing…
"Go back to sleep. You need the rest." Squall turned off the lamp.
"I - I can't."
Squall was surprised at the desperate, pleading tone in her voice. He got out of bed and came over to her. Up close, he could see that she was visibly trembling. He sat down beside her and rubbed her back gently, trying to calm her down. Unconsciously she leaned on him and slipped her arms around his waist, burying her face into his neck.
To say Squall was surprised was putting it mildly. He had never touched Quistis in such an intimate manner before, but it was kind of pleasant to hold her. He kept his hand on her back, moving it up to the base of her neck, playing with the silky blond strands.
"Squall?" Her voice was soft. "Could you stay with me tonight?"
Stay with her? But I… "Please? I can't get back to sleep on my own."
"All right." He nudged her gently onto the bed and lay down by her side, keeping a reassuring arm around her. Soon her breathing steadied and she slept, safe in the knowledge that she was in Squall's arms.
Squall stayed still when he heard her breathing stabilize. Now was the time to get up and return to his own bed, but it would be cold and he didn't fancy sleeping between the freezing sheets. In contrast, Quistis was warm, so warm. It was very comfortable here. He looked at the blond head nestled against his chest. Softly he dropped a kiss on top of her head, and then he himself drifted off into deep slumber.
Quistis awakened to the gray morning light filtering into the room. She shifted her position – and her leg hit something hard.
"Wha -?" she uttered softly. Then her eyes caught sight of the sleeping Squall. All of a sudden she was conscious of his leg intertwined with one of her own, and his arm around her waist. Briefly she wondered if this was what he used to do with Rinoa, before…
Squall frowned a little in his sleep, then his eyes slowly opened and he was looking at her with those blue-gray orbs. She smiled at him. "You look so cute while sleeping," she said, shifting her position again. He got the hint and moved his lower body.
"You better?" He sat up and removed his arm. Instead he used it to push his bangs out of his eyes.
"Yeah, thanks. Squall, thanks for…"
"It's alright." He said shortly. "We'd better hurry, or we'll be late for our mission."
Later that day Quistis made her way to the Training Center. She had a little free time now and she'd decided to spend it thinking things through out in the "Secret Area".
When she got there, she leaned against the concrete parapet wall, thinking back to the time she'd asked Squall to accompany her there. She'd just been dismissed from her duties as an Instructor, and had been very confused and frustrated. So frustrated that it had driven her to the point of asking for Squall's help, only to be told to talk to the wall.
That still hurt whenever she thought about it. Of course, she realized that she had been asking for something Squall couldn't give. He hadn't meant to hurt her at all. Still…
Resolutely she steered her mind away from such dangerous waters. Last night… it was the first time she'd slept so deeply and felt so well rested. It had been so nice to sleep in Squall's arms.
No. She'd told Squall and the others all she felt for him was an elder sibling love. She'd stuck by the lie for two years now. She couldn't go back on it.
"A misunderstood love? Actually, I had completely given up when Rinoa came into the picture."
"I thought it was love, but they were actually the feelings of a protective older sibling."
She sighed and turned to go back. Maybe a light training session would clear her mind.
The growls of a T-rexaur attracted her attention as she stepped into the green foliage. She quickly followed it. T-rexaurs were a hell to reckon with, and an inexperienced student could easily get knocked out if fighting alone.
"Squall!" He was fighting the T-rexaur, and it looked real bad for him. He could barely stand and she could see the effort he was making to lift his gunblade.
Quistis raced to his aid and summoned Shiva. In a short while the beast collapsed and she turned her attention to the exhausted SeeD beside her.
"WHAT the hell were you doing? Where was your GF?" she demanded.
"I forgot to Junction one." His tone was sullen.
"Well, then WHY didn't you use your limit break?" her voice rose several octaves, till she was shouting at him. "You nearly got yourself killed out there! Why didn't you cast cure?"
"FORGOT?! THE HELL YOU DID!" Tears were running down her face. "You've fought sorceresses and goodness know what else before, and now you tell me you FORGOT?" She hit him angrily, and he caught her arm, pulling her towards him.
"The hell you are." She suddenly felt very tired and leaned against him for support. "Squall…why?" Then she drifted off into unconsciousness.
Squall picked his former instructor up and carried her off to their room. Even he himself couldn't understand what he had done. Why? He had felt very tired of life, of living just for SeeD. Still…he probably wouldn't have let the T-rexaur finish him off. Would he?
Once at their quarters he put Quistis down on her bed. "I'm sorry, really I am," he told the prone figure lying on the bed. "I'm just confused with life right now, and I made a stupid mistake today. I didn't mean to scare you." He took her hand in his. He had a sudden flashback of the past, of Rinoa lying on the bed, still and cold, and not moving.
Quistis's hand was warm. She'd be all right.
"Squall…I think we need to talk."
"What about?" He lifted his head from the papers on his desk and met her eyes with a cool look.
"Well…everything. Just…" she was at a loss for words.
"Hm." Squall returned to his papers.
"Well, it'll really help if you could stop that for one thing," she said with mounting irritation. "Here." Impulsively Quistis reached out and grabbed the papers off the desk with a clean movement. "Want them? Catch me first." She was in a whimsical frame of mind tonight, and she was sick of seeing Squall bent over his everlasting papers. Sick of waiting for him. Tonight. She had to know tonight. She shot him a playful look and darted out the door.
"What the?" Squall growled, staring after her in resignation. "What's she up to? Quistis is NEVER like this. Must be this afternoon…when I catch her I'll drag her to the infirmary, kicking and screaming if I have to." He got up and stamped out the door after her.
Quistis grinned as he came into view. "Quisty – " he called, but she disappeared out the side door of Balamb Garden.
"Women!" He groaned, following her till he saw her figure silhouetted on the beach. She seemed to be engrossed in something, so he moved stealthily towards her and wrapped his arms around her waist.
"Got you. Can I have my papers now?"
"Squall!" She jumped a little at his sudden embrace, a faint blush coloring her cheeks. Since when had he held her like this?
"My papers." She wriggled, but he held tight. "Oh, no. The second I let you go you'll run off again. Can I have my work back?"
She gave up struggling and leaned into his touch, enjoying the feel of his body next to hers. "Well, I would, but I don't have them right now. Stay here awhile with me though, and I'll give them back."
"Looks like I've got no choice. I might as well humor your little quirks." He let go of her and she turned to face him. Hair clip gone, clad in a light blue dress with spaghetti straps, she looked very, very beautiful. Like an alabaster statue standing bathed in moonlight. He scowled at her. "What did you want to talk about?"
"Well… you, me, our lives?"
"Squall…Squall, do you still think of Rinoa?"
He was surprised. "Why?"
"Rinoa left me last year. It just didn't work out Quisty. I didn't regret her leaving either."
"Your turn. What were you dreaming of last night?"
Silence. She was obviously unwilling to say any more.
"Quistis, you don't scare easily. What got you so frightened till you couldn't go back to sleep?"
"You really want to know?" She turned to stare at the silver sea.
"When I left you at the age of nine, I was adopted by a new family. Unfortunately the master was sadistic. He raped me."
"Quisty?" He touched her shoulder, and she turned to look at him. "You're crying." He brushed the tears off her cheek.
She shrugged. "It's nothing, really. That was eleven years ago. I'm an idiot to cry over that."
He said nothing, but he drew her into his embrace, slipping one arm around her waist. The other hand he placed at the base of her neck, massaging gently. In response she rested her head on his shoulder. Her arms came up his back; her hands gripped his shoulders tight. He turned his head ever so slightly to nuzzle her hair.
"Tell me what's wrong with you the past few months? Why you've been such a workaholic?"
Squall sighed and tightened his arms around Quistis.
"Squall, you have to tell me, or I won't understand." Her words were an eerie echo of Rinoa's.
"After Rinoa left, I was perfectly content being alone again. Until we became permanent SeeD partners."
Quistis watched him out of puzzled eyes.
"My thoughts became more oriented towards you. At first I thought it was a post-Rinoa thing, just my bruised ego searching for comfort. So the first few months I ignored it. But then the attraction grew stronger, and… But I couldn't, not after I'd taken so much from you, then rejected you."
"So you became a workaholic to stop thinking about me?"
Quistis leaned in closer to his ear. "I love you, Squall. Surely you know that."
"I do," he agreed, lips brushing her cheek gently. "I love you, too, Quisty. Always did, I guess, just that I wasn't interested in love when I came here. Then Rinoa came and showed me many new aspects of life. But we just weren't meant to be."
Quistis drew back slightly and placed a soft kiss on the edge of his lips.
"Shh." She whispered softly, nibbling lightly on his ear. He growled deep in his throat and kissed her throat. She arched her neck at his touch, granting him full access to the expanse of soft milky skin.
"Squall…let's go back to the dorm." Her voice was a breathy whisper. He nodded, kissing her forehead, then he released her from his grasp. Hand in hand they walked back to Balamb Garden.
Behind their closed door, Quistis walked over to her bed and lay down on it, staring at the ceiling. Squall stood hesitantly, unsure of what to do. He was just approaching the bed when Quistis spoke.
"Ever wondered what life would be outside Balamb? Outside being SeeD?"
Squall came to sit down by her. "No. I spent most of my life here, training to be what I am now. Why should I wish for something else?"
Quistis quirked an eyebrow. "True. Now that I've found perfection…" She sat up and studied Squall thoughtfully.
"What?" He was beginning to feel self-conscious under her intense scrutiny.
"Nothing. This is the first time I'm allowed to take such a good look at you."
"How about a closer view?" He leaned forward and wrapped her in an embrace, his mouth seeking her own. Gently but insistently he pushed her to lie back on the bed, so that he was above her.
"…tell me what you want?" he whispered, his smoky eyes searching her clear azure ones.
She replied without hesitation. "I want you, Squall."
At her words, his hands began to remove her clothing with surprising gentleness, while she performed the same service for him. The lights seemed to dim as all they felt was the intensity of their passion; as they explored the whole new world opened up before them.
In the aftermath, both lay drowsing, Quistis wrapped securely in Squall's arms. Smiling faintly, he placed a feather light kiss on her lips before they both drifted off into deep, peaceful slumber.
- Owari -
So, whaddaya think? I'm a strong supporter of Quistis x Squall, and I positively hate Squinoa
fics. This is my first fic and all, so be nice okay? Comments please!