So, this is a story that I absolutely love, formerly named 'Yume no Naka.' I have pages and pages of notes on this, and it was put on hiatus because it was kind of sucking. This is the reposted, re-edited version, freshly beta read, for your reading pleasure! If you remember the old story, this is the same plotline. I'm still the same author, and no plagiarism is taking place. Thank you!

Original A/N in italics, July 2005: The characters of FFVIII absolutely don't belong to me. Ainsley, Ryuu, Hayes, etc. do, so don't use them without my permission. Thanks! Read and review please!

1. SeeD Classroom.

Ainsley Matthews snapped her drooping head up in a desperate attempt to force herself to pay attention.

Class didn't seem to offer the same promise to her that it once had. The promise of learning new, dynamic techniques, listening to an experienced instructor relate her own incredible stories to what the students would eventually face as SeeD cadets.

After studying her teacher for a moment, Ainsley began to look around at the rest of the class. Most of her fellow students had their eyes glued towards the front of the classroom in rapt attention.

Her eyes stopped on a tall girl with long black hair. She was one of the two students, besides herself, who was not following the every move of their instructor. Ainsley squinted at her, smirking when she realized that the girl was studying something completely different than they were supposed to be learning.

Honestly, Ainsley admitted to herself, she admired the girl's audacity. She also wondered how the black-haired girl had overridden her computer console to access information that was not on the current day's syllabus.

Bajiru Shizuka was the other student whose attention was diverted and this came as no surprise to Ainsley. She had never talked to Bajiru for any length of time, but everyone knew that Bajiru only paid attention to two things, girls and hotdogs.

As Bajiru ceased his attempts to stick an unknown object in the hair of the pretty girl in front of him he caught Ainsley's stare and winked playfully. Ainsley didn't respond, holding her stare a bit longer before returning her eyes to the head of the class.

She didn't blame the rest of the class for their obvious interest in their teacher, whether genuine or not. Quistis Trepe's class was one of the most sought after at the Garden.

Instructor Trepe was brilliant by any standard. She had risen through her classes and into a teaching position in the Garden faster than any known student in SeeD history. On top of this, she had lived through the final battle with the sorceress and, more important to the males in Ainsley's class, was admittedly very pretty.

Ainsley sighed. Although she knew, very deep down, that she was, in fact, smart enough to be placed in Instructor Trepe's class, she was also certain that her wealthy parents had a great deal to do with her placement as well.

Sighing once more, Ainsley bowed her head down to glance at her computer screen. With a start, she realized that the computer had automatically signed her off, as it did at the end of every class.

She began to push her chair back when she felt a small hand on her shoulder. She looked up to see the calm eyes of Quistis Trepe staring back at her.

"I was wondering if I could have a word with you later, Miss Matthews?" she politely asked.

Ainsley had read the press releases before she was accepted into Balamb Garden. She knew that the Garden had assured the press that Instructor Trepe had been removed from her position because of her inevitable part in the recent Sorceress War. The Garden had also immediately reinstated her as soon as the war had ended with a full vote of confidence.

Despite these facts, Ainsley suspected that the reason why Quistis Trepe was one of the strictest teachers in the Garden was due to her remarkable failure to train Seifer Almasy. She cast her eyes down, knowing that she was about to be called in for a meeting to discuss her inability to focus in class.

"Miss Matthews?"

Instructor Trepe's voice sounded calm, but slightly concerned. Ainsley colored, realizing that she had once again daydreamed in front of one of the most recognizable people on the continent.

"That would be fine, Instructor," Ainsley replied, nodding her head.

Inwardly she groaned to herself. If word did reach back to her parents, and there was no doubt in her mind that it would, they were certainly going to contact her about it.

The less interaction she had with her parents, the better.

"What time?"

Instructor Trepe smiled. Ainsley couldn't imagine why her instructor seemed so happy. Perhaps Instructor Trepe strongly disliked her and couldn't wait to lay into her about her daydreaming.

Ainsley shuddered at the thought.

"I'll be in my office for a bit after lunch hours, why don't you drop by then?" she responded.

"That sounds okay," Ainsley said weakly, nodding her head.

Instructor Trepe nodded at her, bowing politely before walking back to her desk at the head of the classroom.

Ainsley groaned aloud as she gathered up her few notebooks that lay scattered on the desktop of her console. She could feel the jealous glares of various classmates while she turned to exit the class and resisted the urge to scream at them that she was actually going to get yelled at, not praised by Quistis Trepe.

"Wouldn't do any good anyway," she sighed.

She shook her head as she watched her classmates take an impossibly long time to leave the room simply to get the chance to talk to their famous instructor.