Quistis is introspective. Laguna is... well, Laguna. And also, there's Triple Triad.
As for patience, she suspected she'd spent it all on her favorite problem students.
And now she was left on the Ragnarok while Squall, Rinoa and Zell were off doing God knows what - something about a research center, here/, in the middle of the sea; she would've /loved to come along, it was right up her alley, but she would have to let her broken arm heal a little longer first. Damn those Malboros for being so selfish about their tentacles, and damn herself for being so stubbornly decided on getting them too, for that matter. (It had been worth it, though, she thought and touched the coiled-up whip hanging at her waist lovingly. She just... didn't need to think about the details. Ugh.)
Selphie and Irvine were left aboard too, but she didn't dare to visit the cockpit. Her poor virgin eyes would probably burst from the experience, judging by the excited giggling and... /other /sounds she could hear filtering down.
She made another round of the premises, measuring up step by precise step, and she could feel her face slipping into Instructor mode again. Down the stairs, click, click, click said her high heels against the hard floor, and she made her way over to the air lock.
I wonder what it must've been like, she thought idly, resting her fingertips lightly against the doorm mechanism. Lost in space, just the two of them, and then a big mechanical dragon appearing from nowhere; coming to save them like a true deus ex machina. And for at least that moment, they were alone in a new world just for them. Being born anew, huh? Well, at least it seemed like Squall had been.
Damn! She formed her hand into a tight fist and punched the wall. At least it worked as a distraction against those tears springing unbidden to her eyes; it hurt, but physical pain she could deal with.Alone on the space ship serving as a monument to Squall's and Rinoa's love? No, there existed far better places for her to be right now, and that probably included being right back in battle against the tentacled beast (even though she still had a bad taste lingering like a hangover in her brain).
But it wasn't like her to mope like this. Chin up, deep breath, turn around and walk back to your cabin - and there's Laguna behind you with a frown on his face.
/Right/. She'd totally forgotten about the Esthar president, and some of that confusion must've slipped through to her face, because he offered her an arm and "a game of cards?"
Laguna was a crappy player, and Quistis cards were far better than his, so they decided on playing with a random deck to even out the odds a little and it seemed his skills were picking up after a while. It surprised her, but as she placed an Oilboyle, flipping over three cards in the process, she found herself having fun.
"I don't think he minds," she discovered herself saying, later, and Laguna scrunched up his face and sent her a quizzical look.
"Squall, I mean," she clarified, vaguely shocked with herself for bringing this up, now. "We haven't talked about it, of course, but I do think he likes you. But don't expect him to treat you like a father; he's been doing without for so long." If Quistis had been the type, she would've covered her mouth by now. 'Am I still talking?'
Laguna blushed faintly, and then his face split up in a goofy grin which he quickly hid as he turned away to scratch his neck. "You knew?" he mumbled into his hair, and then he composed himself and turned to face her again. The grin was still there, though, and it made him look so much younger, so heart-wrenchingly /happy /she decided the indiscretion had been worth it.
Quistis shrugged. "Ellone left clues all over," she said, "and somehow, when I see you together..."
"We're that much alike?" Laguna guessed.
Quistis giggled. "Not at all, no," she smiled. "Polar opposites. But there's something..." she trailed off and shook her head. "Let's keep playing. You should have this talk with /him/."
Laguna nodded, and put down a Buel in a completely illogical position, and Quistis sighed and won the game with an Imp. And then Squall and the others returned battle-weary, scarred and joined by two new guardian forces (/two! In the middle of the sea!) /and it was all business again.
Quistis couldn't stop thinking about it, though. /Polar opposites, except for your shared total dedication to the people you love/, she mused, and suddenly the thought struck her that maybe Laguna... He's all that Squall isn't but yet he's almost Squall, and maybe that would make the difference?
But no, she may be old beyond her years and adult since the age of ten while he would never ever grow up, but it would be too weird. Wow. Where did that thought come from?
Still, she couldn't stop that peculiar notion from returning later, when it all was over and they were supposed to live happily ever after. Occasionally - far too often, and it didn't help that they now had "diplomatic relations" with Esthar (too formal a word, really) - she would find herself mulling it over, and think "Well, maybe one day?" before she stuffed that thought right back into whatever deep, psychologically unsound recess in the corner of her mind it came from.