Categories > Games > Final Fantasy 8 > Everybody Else's Girl


by Kadrin 0 reviews

Xu and Quistis, across the years.

Category: Final Fantasy 8 - Rating: PG - Genres: Romance - Characters: Quistis - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2005-05-06 - Updated: 2005-05-06 - 1567 words

Xu's schedule for the three hours after the officially-determined SeeD lunch hour said "free time". Being the young woman she was, free time meant working in the Training Centre to preserve her skills and have a decent "kill list" to show off to NORG when the time came to evaluate her Rank, even if most of them were Grats. Quantity was what NORG wanted, and if he saw the occasional T-Rexaur, so much the better.

It was only in these periods that her GF was awake, these days. She tried her best to keep her compatibility with Olympia strong, but most of the time Xu sorted paperwork and Olympia lounged in her hindbrain, half-asleep.

Now, though, Olympia was whispering tactics to her near-constantly, pointing out weak spots in Grat tentacles that Xu slammed with the heel of her hand, shouting the assigned names of paramagic spells in Xu's voice as Xu let them fly from her hands. Sometimes, Xu was shocked by the blend of calm and viciousness that the GF in her head exhibited. Most of the time, she found it wonderfully freeing - when she worked at payroll duty so long that Olympia told her, you could blow them all into a frenzy and out of the window with an Aero, or burn them to ash with a Fire, or render them inky and illegible with Water, she found herself wishing she could, and yearning for the release of the Training Centre.

There were always enough Grats there to keep her occupied, running in a flood into her Aeros, and then into her hands and feet. Perhaps they thought that a seemingly unarmed SeeD was an easy target, but even without the fighting gloves a great deal of SeeDs preferred, Xu was as deadly as a gunblader.

She threw a Tornado into three Grats charging at her and readied herself to the next, when Olympia shouted in her head; Behind you!

She turned, and saw two more Grats rushing at her, waving their tentacles and 'speaking' gibberish - she slammed a chop into one, rendering a single tentacle useless, and kicked it in the side of what served it for a head. It went down, burbling, and when she turned to the other, she was surprised to see it already falling.

Then a very familiar whip point came back from the body into the hands of a very familiar SeeD.

"Hello again, Xu," Quistis said, for all the world as if she'd only been gone for an hour, rather than a half-year mission to a place in which SeeDs were never welcome.

"Regulation 26E," Xu replied, for all the world as if seeing Quistis again wasn't the most wonderful thing that had happened to her in the year, "states that SeeD training battles, whether in the Centre or otherwise, are not to be interfered with without the personal permission of the SeeD who initiated the battle, through attacking or being attacked, unless the SeeD is in mortal danger."

Quistis laughed at that one, and then stepped decorously forward through the Grat bodies. Xu expected a pat on the shoulder, perhaps a quick clasp of hands, but Quistis surprised her by wrapping her arms around her for a quick hug. "I missed you," she said into Xu's ear.

Xu had to fight the urge to bring her arms around Quistis' waist and hold her close as long as humanly possible. She squeezed the other girl close for a moment, and then stepped away. "I should probably change my clothes," she said in half an explanation, gesturing at two tiny spots of Grat blood on the side of her jacket.

"Should I meet you in the library?" Quistis asked.

Xu shook her head. "Don't bother, really! You can come back to my dorm. Quieter, and I really want to speak to you."

"But didn't you say you had to change?" /Quistis the Ever-Demure/, thought Xu. She was surprised that Quistis had done anything so indecorous as to hug her, but very pleasantly so.

"As a Faculty Assistant, I'm in the Instructors' quarters. We have personal bathrooms."

"Such /luxury/," Quistis said. "I should take the test."

"You should/," said Xu, surprising herself with her vehemence. "You'd be a much better Instructor than most of the ones we have now, even if you /are young. You're a credit to SeeD as you are, and you'd make for a marvelous Instructor."

"Well," said Quistis, and linked her arm with Xu's. "Maybe I will."


Quistis placed one of her many Caterchipillar cards in the centre square, and leaned back. "Your turn."

Xu took a sip from her tea and contemplated the sparse board. They always played with the Same and Plus rules in effect - "without them, the game is just who's got the better cards", Xu had once said - and one of Quistis' favourite tactics was to place a weak card in the centre space and lure Xu to take it. After that, she'd have a good base to work Same and Plus from. "How much combat was there in your mission?" Xu asked, while she thought.

"Very little, thankfully," said Quistis, sipping her own tea. She'd made it herself - she always insisted on making the tea when they met, even though Xu always offered. "We were very lucky."

Xu laid an Iron Giant card down. "You were tracking down Galbadian deserters, weren't you?"

"Yes," Quistis replied, laying down another card. "One had gone into hiding with an FH resident. When we discovered him, he gave up without a struggle. I think the FH ideals had sunk in to him. He strongly resists extradition and wishes to be tried by an international court, but I don't believe we can offer that."

Xu nodded, and laid down one of her own cards. Quistis immediately set down a Tonberry and flipped all the cards on the board to her colour, with a Plus combo Xu had not anticipated at all.

"Another had been making a walking trip to Esthar, but she misjudged the distance. We found her dehydrated and half-starved. She was in no condition to fight even if she'd wanted to. We had to keep her alive with a Regen spell until we could get her into hospital. She's thankful for her life, but she resents us for stopping her escape attempt. She, too, strongly resists extradition."

Xu tentatively laid down a card. Quistis flipped it over with a much stronger one.

"The last... had made his way along the other side of the Horizon Bridge, back to Galbadia. We had to track him down, and then spread out to find him. When we did, SeeD Rank 7 Callen and I were the only two in range. SeeD Callen attacked with a Sleep spell, which didn't take effect. He attacked SeeD Callen with a Fira spell, and followed that up with a blast of machine-gun fire. Even with his GF working through him, SeeD Callen was knocked down by the attack. I used a Life spell to keep him conscious and alive, and engaged the enemy with my whip. I managed to disarm him of his sword, and then used a Demi to weaken him before using a Sleep spell to end the battle. I assume we were then brought back to the hospital."

"You /assume/?" Xu asked, still wondering which of the two remaining places was the best to use her last-ditch effort.

"Well, I was unconscious at the time," Quistis said.

"You were /hit/?" Xu asked. "You didn't mention that."

Quistis tapped the right side of her abdomen. "Here. Two bullets. My GF kept me alive long enough to get me to the hospital, and I assume the other SeeDs bolstered that with Cure spells. The soldier wouldn't talk to me when I visited his hospital bed, and had been restrained."

SeeD came so close to losing her, Xu thought, and chose to ignore that originally the first word in that sentence had been /I/. She laid down her Gilgamesh card in the top centre of the board, and Quistis laid down her last card, activating another Plus combo that turned the entire board blue once again.

"You're a credit to SeeD and a consummate card player," Xu said, shaking her head, and was silent for a moment before deciding to add, "and I am so proud of you."

"Well, thank you," Quistis replied, and... is she blushing? Xu thought to herself. It wasn't particularly surprising - Quistis tended to react that way to the compliments she received all too infrequently.

"We're playing by the One trade rule, aren't we?" asked Xu, looking over her demolished cards.

"Oh, I don't think that's necessary..."

"I insist. And if you dare take a card besides Gilgamesh because you feel sorry for me..."

Quistis laughed, and picked up Gilgamesh, sorting the card into her hand as she picked up her other cards. Then she looked at Xu, smiled for a moment, and handed the card back. "As I recall, I forgot to get you something from FH. Here's a souvenir."

Xu smiled in return, and just as promptly handed the card back. "I forgot to get you something myself. Here's a welcome home present, Quistis."

Quistis held the Gilgamesh card for a moment, before bursting into sudden laughter and very nearly upsetting her tea. Xu leaned back, smiling, and thinking what a wonderful thing Quistis' laughter was.
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