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 - 1457 words

Almost all SeeD cadets showed a nearly morbid interest in the blood of monsters. Xu remembered, many times, breaking up a group hanging around outside a Xenobiology class and discussing in firelight ghost story voices if Grendels bled green, or if Ruby Dragon blood boiled, or if Malboro blood was even more poisonous than Malboro breath. Earlier than that - though those memories were hazy - she remembered being in one of those groups, and stating with absolute conviction that Gayla blood was highly acidic and would burn a SeeD's arm off to the elbow.

If Xu was in one of those groups now, she could say with firsthand experience that the blood of Blue Dragons was, indeed, blue, and thick, and that it spouted from almost any wound dealt to the dragon and stuck to skin and clothes.

The dragon's blood spattered over Quistis' clothes somehow made her no less impressive. She seemed not to dance through the Blue Dragons that charged at the Ragnarok, but almost to walk through them, seeming to expend no effort, to find a perfect path through teeth and claws and poison breath and strike without fear of reprisal. The point of her whip always found an eye, or a throat, or another undefended area. Xu remembered an excellent Training Centre fighter, but the woman in front of her seemed almost like a GF.

As Quistis turned to engage one of the few dragons left, Xu raised her hand to her head, and pointed outwards. Within herself, she saw a temple built a thousand years ago, and a priestess sitting in its centre, closed-eyed, and as Xu's eyes closed Olympia's opened, and she rode out on hurricane winds to hurl a storm of javelins at the dragons before them. As two fell, Quistis turned and snapped her whip into the eye of the third, which reared back screaming before toppling over.

Quistis turned to face Xu, and smiled. "Thank you."

"I broke Regulation 26E, didn't I?" Xu replied, smiling herself.

Quistis replied with something that might have been /I won't hold it against you/, but her voice was drowned out by a viciously loud roar. Another dragon, scales not sapphire but /ruby/, was making its way around the blind side of the Ragnarok, with a mouth full of fire. Quistis raised her whip and muttered the first few words of a paramagical spell, and Xu reached out to touch Olympia again, and then the side of the Ruby Dragon was riddled with holes, and Xu only noticed that the Ragnarok's grand cannon had been firing as it spun to a halt.

"BOOYAKA!" shouted Selphie from the cockpit, and Xu relaxed. Quistis laughed, and started walking back towards the Ragnarok. Xu paused for only a moment, to Firaga the dragon corpses into a pyre, and then followed her.


Regulation 108A/, Xu invented, sitting just outside the Ragnarok's single bathroom and listening to the shower. /A SeeD shall ensure that any and all lost dragon-spaceships she brings to the Planet from orbit have more than one shower cubicle, to ensure that multiple SeeDs on board can shower at the same time without the very thought making them rather uncomfortable.

There was no Regulation 108A. Xu reminded herself to advise Cid to take it on board, though she decided to drop Regulation 108B: Even if it is a good kind of uncomfortable, because that simply makes the SeeD in question even more uncomfortable.

"What is this island, anyway?" she called to Quistis.

"From all we can work out, it's the site of a Lunar Cry from long before the Sorceress War. The area isn't inhabited, so no one's been here to keep the monster population down. Thus, the island is heavily populated with powerful monsters. An early explorer who went here once suggested that surely this was the island closest to Hell, and the name stuck."

Xu remembered a few mentions of the Island Closest to Hell in Garden, but only a very few. SeeD had no operations here - far too dangerous. "Then why are we here?"

"Squall wants to upgrade our weapons before we return to the castle, and Doomtrain needs rare items to do it. Apparently, a great deal of those items can be found here." The shower stopped running, and Xu heard the door slide aside. "Also, the island is an abundant source of paramagic. Even more so than the Deep Sea Research Centre."

That reminded Xu of Quistis telling the story of their trip into the Centre, and of transferring her Curagas soon after meeting Quistis on the Ragnarok. There had been a power inside Quistis' mind, something strong enough to shock Olympia into total silence, and Xu had experienced a brief hallucination - she had been standing on a great blue disc, with the universe stretching out on all sides of her, and a voice had echoed from all sides: /I AM EDEN/.

And that GF - much though it seems it could rend the universe asunder should it so choose - is the least of her growth. She's changed in so many ways since she last left Garden. Xu paused, and re-evaluated her thoughts. No, it was since the mission to Timber. I've not seen her nearly enough since then, but I was fighting with Garden administration - especially after NORG - and she was... saving the world, it seems.

"I'm very sorry about this," Quistis said, emerging through the door in a cleaner outfit.

"About what?" Xu asked.

"About..." Quistis started, and then laughed humourlessly. "Where to begin? Thanks to me, you're stuck in a time compressed world where as far as we know, no one but us and the monsters is alive."

"No." Xu shook her head. "I'm sorry. I should have been with you from the start."

Quistis smiled, and they walked back towards her quarters.

"What are your plans now?" Xu asked.

"When we have all our weapons upgraded, Squall intends for us to spend one more day..." Quistis laughed again, with just as little humour. "I apologise. Twenty four more hours by the ship's clock, whatever that would turn out to be in this world, to rest and consult and see if we are ready. If we decide we are, we will return to the door to Ultimecia's place and time, storm her castle, and kill her. Hopefully, if we are successful, Time Compression will never have happened."

"I should come with you," Xu said, suprising herself with her rashness. Xu never made a decision like that without hours of careful thought.

Quistis shook her head. "I'm afraid that wouldn't work out."

"What else can I do?"

"Xu..." A pause. "If we are not successful, there will need to be another path we can follow. There might be more doors, like the ones that lead to the castle. One might lead you home, or to another time that you can work from. We need to stop Ultimecia /somehow/."

Outwardly, Xu remained completely silent, but her thoughts were in a roil. I'm insurance in the case of your death? To find some door that likely doesn't exist, to lead a team that would have none of your brilliance to a similarly impossible task? Oh, Quistis, I want to fight with you...

...but you are Quistis Trepe, and I will let you decide for yourself.

"Very well," she said, eventually, and Quistis smiled the smile of a woman condemned to death.


"Well," Quistis said to Xu, thirty one nonexistent hours later. She paused after that, and seemed stuck for a continuation.

Wish me luck? Xu thought. I'll see you when the world is saved? Remember me to Cid and Edea? I'll miss you?

"I'm sorry, again, Xu," Quistis said.

"Don't be," Xu replied.

Quistis raised a hand, in a gesture of farewell that was not and could never be significant enough for such an important event. Hesitantly, she turned to go.

"Wait," said Xu, making the fastest decision of her life, and caught Quistis' wrist, and kissed her.

For a brief period, there was complete silence.

"Good luck," said Xu, rather lamely.

"Thank you," said Quistis, smiling warmly. She touched Xu's wrist for a moment, a gesture that felt far more intimate than it had any right to.

Then she turned, and went to fight the battle for time itself.

Regulation 109A/, Xu thought to herself. /A SeeD shall make a decision if she wants to kiss another SeeD far in advance, so that a global Apocalypse shall not make the decision for her. She paused for a moment, and then thought of another one. Regulation 109B, a SeeD shall not be an idiot.

She walked out of the door, to sit in the cockpit and wait for Quistis to come back.
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