It had started with a simple remark.
"Your hair is getting long." She had told him, during the break in the meeting.
"…Yeah. I guess it is." Running his fingers though his hair, he turned to look at her. "Any suggestions?"
"Hmm. I don't suppose you go to hairdresser." A laugh escaped her lips at the thought of it. "What about Rinoa, she doesn't do your hair?"
Through he loved the girl dearly, the commander gave an inward wince at the thought of her with a pair of scissors in her hands. "…No." The thought of him being bald with chunks of awkwardly placed hair made him almost shudder at the mere thought of it.
"Well, how about Matron? She always used to do it when we were little." The brunette shifted uncomfortably, as if to say he was a bit too old for that now. "Well," A sigh escaped her lips as she rolled her eyes as his constant vetoes of the ideas she had been giving. "I do Selphie's sometimes. I suppose I could trim it for you." Checking her watch, the blonde muttered a soft curse before turning to leave. "I'm sorry, Squall. I have to get to class now, but you know where my dorm is if you want to take me up on the offer."
A few passing Trepies stopped mid step, slack jawed at the comment before being shooed off by a frustrated Xu. Squall simply eyed his hair with a sigh. Sacrifices must be made occasionally, after all, he reminded himself dryly.
She never expected him to actually show up; but at the time of exactly four o clock pm, she stood dumbstruck at the sight of the commander standing perfectly straight in all his tall, dark, handsome glory at her front door. Of all the things to show up at her door, she was rather thankful it was him as opposed to a heaping mass of fan letters of reports.
Stunned for a moment that he was actually going to take her up on her offer, she blankly pointed him in the direction of her bathroom, fumbling for a towel along the way. "Alright," The blonde finally announced, freshly out of her confused phase. "Kneel down here. I need to be able to get your head in the bath."
Because out off all things you can be planning right now with your bedroom ever so conveniently placed right next to the bathroom is what shampoo would be the best for this hair type?! Rolling her eyes to herself, she started the showerhead and grabbed the shampoo, somewhat flustered. Was it the apple or peach? Maybe vanilla would have been better. …Did she even have vanilla shampoo? Argh.
Torn between throwing her hands up in the hair and stubbornly telling him to give Rinoa a pair of scissors and see how it would work out, the blonde found herself washing his hair a bit more forcefully than necessarily. With a wince of sympathy, she eased up while finishing and handed him a towel, somewhat flustered. Because apparently in a school with hundreds of single men, some of which who were willing throw themselves in front of speeding train in an effort to prevent her hair from being windblown, she ended up with the one that was taken a million times over. With a waiting list, to boot.
Yes sir, she sure knew how to pick them.
He sat in her chair, awkwardly eyeing her as she picked up a pair of scissors. Trusting a comrade in battle was one thing, trusting them with your hair was another. After a moment of silent deliberation, she started carefully. (Because not only would she annoy him if anything went wrong and mostly likely be treated to the silent treatment for a week or two; she hated to think what would happen to her pay cheque. Or lack thereof.)
Standing back, she judged her work silently. It didn't look any different than his normal look, and she wasn't sure if that was a good think or not. Maybe if Rinoa streaked his hair as well— though she was sure he would rather wrestle a couple of grats rather than subject his hair to bleaching of all things. A blonde Squall, she made a face at the thought of that. Huh. That'd be a new image to greet the halls in the morning, alright.
"I noticed." Was than an amused remark or a statement?
"You know, most people would charge for these kinds of things." She told him, with a small smile. Holding out the towel to him, the blonde watched as he dug into his pocket and produced his wallet. "Oh Squall, I was just joking-"
Grey eyes regarded her a moment before he ran his fingers through his still wet hair. "You said you wanted payment, right?"
"I wasn't serious." A small laugh escaped her as placed her hand over his, closing his fingers around the wallet. "If you want to pay me, tell me a secret."
"A secret?" The commander asked, confused.
"You don't need to say it. You can write it down if you like." She gestured to the paper on her desk. "It doesn't have to be anything gossip worthy. Something small will do." Turning around, she folded her arms across her chest. "I won't look either. Just tell me when you're done."
Glancing at the paper, somewhat making a face, he brought the pen to the paper. After scribbling down a quick sentence, he handed the paper to her over her shoulder, awkwardly. "Here. Thanks."
The blonde watched him leave, before unfolding the piece of paper.
Cid knew you were sleeping during the last meeting. Crap.
"Your hair grows faster than I thought it would." She had mused, running her fingers though his hair lightly. Two weeks later and he had stopped by her dorm completely unannounced. "It grows faster than mine." The blonde let out a small laugh, nudging him to sit. "How do you want it?"
A shrug. "…Anything's fine." He watched her blankly. "I trust you."
"You must care what I do to it. I could give you a bowl cut for all you know." Silence reigned through the room. "I wonder how you would look blonde." The jest passed without a comment, and she sighed softly. "Well, if you're not going to direct me, I'll have to do this myself. Here, come."
She pushed him into the chair with a playful shove, leaning over him with a smile. "Just a trim right?" A nod. "You're quieter than usual today, Squall. Is something wrong?"
"Nothing." He sighed, looking away for a moment. "…If you had to let someone you loved go, would you do it?"
"Would I do it?" She repeated, as if in daze. "What do you mean?"
"…Never mind. It's nothing."
She finished in silence, and watched him leave before opening the piece of paper.
I let her go.
The next day, she found out that Rinoa had left.
"I told you not slice that grat." The blonde gave a sigh, looking him over. "I don't even know if this will come out. I have to send all my clothes to the dry cleaner in Balamb when this happens. Hyne only knows what we'll have to do to your hair." With a frown, she tried to get a comb through his hair only to fail miserably. Who knew grat blood would be so durable? And so… so for lack of better words… green.
"Are you laughing?"
The instructor straightened up, pressing a hand to her mouth for a moment. "Of course not." Her smile said otherwise. "Let's see if I have anything that can get this out."
He just hoped she just had some sort of get-everything-out-including-grat-blood conditioner in there. After all, she was a women. Who knew exactly what she had in her cabinet. Her head popped out of the bathroom, with an amused smile. "You're in luck. I happen to have some extra strength shampoo. Kadowaki gave it to me a few years ago, but I've never used it. I suppose you'll have to be my guinea pig."
He wasn't sure he liked the sound of that, but head down in the sink, he was beginning to think he wasn't going to have a say in this either way. It was when she stared at him like he had grown another head after she had washed his hair, he began to worry, though. "What?"
She said nothing, simply staring. "Quistis, what's wrong?"
"It's…how should I put this? Well, the shampoo uses chemicals to rid the hair of the blood—"
"…Is my hair gone?" The commander asked slowly.
"No, it's just… bleached."
"Bleached?" He repeated, deadpanned. "You mean… I'm blonde?"
"It will only be for a couple of months, your natural colour will grow in again after all." After a long lingering moment of silence, she laughed at his blank expression. He stared at her incredulously. "I'm just kidding. Your hair's fine, you should have seen your face."
His lips twitched upwards after a moment. "…You got me."
The blonde smiled. Well, he always had her.
"Honestly though, your hair is fine. All the blood is out, it's actually softer than usual, I think. I have to say, that's some shampoo—" A beeping noise rang through the small dorm as the PA sounded. "I think that's your cue."
"Yeah… I guess the mayor is here. Thanks, Quis." He handed her a paper taking his smooth leave.
You're teaching homeroom next term. She smirked.
"You'll never believe what I saw!" Selphie exclaimed wildly. "Quistis had Squall in the bathroom, I mean I think it was the bathroom, and the door was closed — I think they were in the shower together! In the shower — together! Do you know what this means?!"
"They're conserving water?" Xu asked dryly, examining her files.
"And there was thumping. I mean, a lot of thumping! That's not normal, you know! And she asked him if it felt good!"
Zell proceeded to choke on his hotdog while Xu simply raised an eyebrow.
"Gossiping again?" Quistis asked, walking by with Squall in tow.
There was silence at the table as the group looked from each other back to the two newcomers. "Are you sleeping together?" Selphie finally blurted out, before clapping her hands over her mouth.
"See? They even said it in unison! You know what that means!" Selphie said, slamming her hands down on the table. "I knocked on your door this afternoon and I heard the shower and you and Squall, and asked him if it felt good. And there was thumping, I heard thumping, Quis!"
The two stared at each other before the blonde finally broke into a laugh. "I know what you heard!"
"Y-you did? …You're not embarrassed about me hearing… you know?"
"Squall fell on the mat in the bathroom, which was the thump, and then I tripped over him, which was the other thump. Then all the shampoo bottles fell over, which was the other—"
"Okay, okay, but you asked him if it felt good!"
"I was washing his hair, some people like it when—"
"Argh!" The girl threw her hands up in the air and stalked off. "There's never any good couple gossip now days!"
"…I don't understand how you can see from there."
She smiled at him, amused. "Believe it or not, I had do Selphie's hair once upon a time, too. If I can manage those curls, I'm sure your hair will be fine with a wash. Now lean over." Patting the side of the tub, she gave him mock stern look.
Gloved fingers grasped her hands, dragging her down to the tilled floor, down to his lap. "This is easier."
The blonde begged to differ.
Swallowing hard, she leaned forward and turned the shower head on. "Squall, I don't think this is very appropriate."
"I don't need you falling behind in battle because your back hurts."
"Touché." She murmured, with a small smile. "But you still need to lean back." And there goes her glasses fogging up again. They'd have to go too. As if it wasn't already turning out to be some sexually awkward scene to begin with. And she wasn't even counting the fact that she currently resting (and very contently, she might add) in his lap. She just hoped the headmaster or Selphie wouldn't stop by anytime soon. They'd have a hard time explaining this uh, predicament.
And all at once, it was over. She was handing him a towel, her hands shivering from the wet and cold. "Make sure you rub your hair dry as much as possible, okay? You know where to go." The blonde told him softly, when she has finally regained her voice. Following him slowly, she retrieved the scissors from the desk drawer. "The usual?" A shaky question.
A nod. Taking the edges of the hair in her hand, she trimmed it before starting on the next area.
And she'd damned if she couldn't get the sensation of sitting his lap out of her mind. She chided herself for retaining onto the lingering feeling. Hopefully he wouldn't notice she messed up there. It was only an inch. He'd be fine. Setting the scissors down, she decided she would rather quite earlier than give her commander as rather lopsided do.
"You should know by now you don't need to thank me." She brushed her bangs behind her ear. "It's getting late, and I'd imagine the Commander has a busy schedule tomorrow. Good night, Squall."
"Good night, Quistis." The commander regarded her a moment before pressing paper into her hand. Leather squeezed against the cold skin, achingly pressing their palms together before leaving.
She pretended she didn't notice when the cold found its way back to her skin. She pretended not to care when he left, or the ache she had felt when he had whispered her name. A delayed breath finally parted from her lips as she unfolded the piece of paper. His last secret.
I'm in love with you.
And she smiled.
Quallistic made me do it. No, really. It's dedicated to her anyway, so there you go. Go stop by her page and get her back on the writing bandwagon, people! She also saved my butt by helping me out with the title.