There are papers on the desk before her, and she dreams of fighting. [Quistis-centric ficlet] [No pairings]
Quistis dreams of fighting a lot, these days. It wasn't always like this (but then, she can't remember much of how it used to be). These days, though, it's like every time she teaches a class, something slots into place in the back of her brain, reserving a block of dream-time for the combat-related matters she's ignoring as she stands by her desk.
She dreams of fighting, and there are always people there with her.
Squall is always there. Usually Seifer, too, although sometimes she winds up knocking him down so that he stops being an ass in the middle of the fight. Sometimes Zell, and sometimes a bright-eyed girl and a very pretty young man.
Quistis wonders if it's normal to dream of people she's sure she's never met, but she doesn't ask. She's learned not to ask about these things. She's not supposed to be unsure. She shouldn't have questions about what happens inside her head.
She should be standing straight and tall at the head of her class.
Instead she dreams of being the one at the head of the fight. Squall and Seifer stand behind her, fighting off the ill-defined enemies with weapons that are sometimes gunblades and sometimes wooden swords or sticks. She stands in front of them, her whip uncoiling at their foes like a righteous gesture.
These are my boys.
When the whip cracks once, it scatters the enemy better than magic.
You don't harm them.
When the whip cracks twice, Quistis opens her eyes and sees a test that needs to be graded. It seems less real than her dream.
There is no one in the room with her. She has a sudden urge to speak in confession to the empty seats.
I don't know how to grade a paper. I don't know how to teach a class.
I used to think I knew how to protect the people I cared for, but maybe I never knew anything.
Maybe I never will.
But she can't do that. There's always someone waiting for her to admit her weakness, even if it's only herself.
Quistis looks back down and goes back to pretending she knows how to grade a paper.