Pins & Needles Chapter 4


By Asyria

Quistis watched the night scenery roll by from the passenger side of Dr. Kadowaki's van. Even though the ride to Balamb was a short one, the thoughts and questions that kept popping up in her mind made it take forever. How did I get talked into this? Why am I helping them? That last thought brought her eyes forward. I feel bad for Raijin and Fujin. In order to help them, I have to help Seifer too. But I despise him! He was our enemy! Not only that, but he's an asshole! Always has been! He got my license taken away! I should be letting him kill himself! Why am I doing this? Why? Her eyes rolled at that. Who am I going to convince to help us? Her mind visually went through her friends.

The secretary. Xu? No chance! She hates Seifer more than I do!

The pilot. Nida either, same reason.

The tattooed martial artist. Again, same reason.

The spunky messenger. Possible. I'll bribe her by joining the Festival committee.

The cowboy. Maybe. I'll bribe him too. But if he asks for sex I'll maim him!

The sorceress. Probably not. Seifer did throw her to Adel. Besides, she wouldn't be able to keep this from…

The lion.

Quistis did not want to think about Squall now, but she couldn't help it. What if Squall found out? What would he think of his rival's drug habit? Would he feel bad? Would he laugh? No. Squall would probably be too shocked and angry that he was even in the Garden to care what he'd been doing. Quistis inwardly groaned. I have to keep this secret from everyone? I have to lie to my students and friends!? For Seifer!? I have to let the enemy back in the Garden and keep it a secret!? That makes me a traitor! A worthless fucking traitor! Just like him! What the hell am I doing!? They trust me and I'm betraying them! Why!?

She looked over at Dr. Kadowaki for a moment, then turned her eyes away again. She the one who talked me into this. Made me hurry and get in this car before I had time to think about it like this. Before I could tell her no! She knew I wouldn't want to help! Why did she do this to me? Why?

"It's right over there!" Quistis heard Raijin tell them. She looked at Raijin's house as they pulled up to it. House? That's barely a building! When the car stopped, she got out and looked at the home of the 'posse'. It was very small. It didn't look comfortable for one person to live in, let alone three. It had to be over fifty years old. "You pay rent for this place?" Quistis asked Raijin, who lowered his head.

"This was the only place somebody would let us stay." He replied.

Nice, Quistis. Real nice. She scolded herself, regretting her comment. "I…I'm sorry."

"I understand, ya know." Raijin said, attempting to smile. Then, the dark expression reappeared. "Come on in."

Quistis followed after Raijin and Dr. Kadowaki inside the house. Inside it was dark. The only light coming from the window, where the moon's glow seemed to invade rather than shed light. Then she saw him.

Oh…oh Hyne…Seifer? The Seifer Almasy she remembered was larger than life in every way. Muscular and powerful body to go along with the personality. She remembered he was very particular about his physical appearance. Quistis had admitted to herself on more than one occasion of his good looks, even though he was a jerk.

But this Seifer Almasy was different. He'd lost a lot of weight and muscle, probably from lack of food and exercise. Quistis approached the sleeping figure slowly. She could see his face now. His hair had grown longer, almost down to his chin. It was dirty and tangled. He hadn't showered or shaved in weeks. The temples of his forehead and his cheeks were sunk in slightly. He seemed as though he'd aged ten years. Is the moonlight making his skin so pale? He looked dead. She crouched down quickly when she realized that he might actually be dead. She went to feel for a pulse, but hesitated.

"Don't worry." Raijin said to her. "He won't wake up."

Quistis nodded and felt Seifer's wrist. It was there, a little too slow, but there. "He's alive and he's breathing normally." She said, gazing over to where Dr. Kadowaki was examining Fujin.

Fujin!? Seifer's appearance had been shocking, but not nearly as bad as Fujin. The already thin woman was now extremely gaunt, skeletal. Her skin had always been pale, but at least her lips had been pink, not white. Her hair was now down to her shoulders, also disheveled and unwashed.

"This isn't good." The doctor said. "Her pulse is too weak and her breathing is shallow. We need to get her back to the Garden, now."

"Is she gonna die?" Raijin asked anxiously.

Dr. Kadowaki looked at him. "I don't know. I'll go open the doors for you. Quistis, you get Fujin and lay her down in the back. Raijin, I'll come back and help you with Seifer." She directed them.

"What about that?" Raijin asked, pointing to the middle of the room.

Quistis looked over where he pointed. The heroin. Seifer and Fujin's sickness and salvation. Their pain and pleasure. It was there, along with the instruments to use it.

"Get a bag and put all that stuff in it. I'll need to dispose of it properly. I don't want any kids to find it in the trash." Tayle told him.

He nodded and went off to find a bag. Dr. Kadowaki left to open her van doors, leaving Quistis alone in the house. Still kneeling by Seifer, she gazed down at him again. His arm donned dozens of tracks. The pinpricks of the needle. Some used more than others.

She heard Raijin come back and begin putting the heroin and it's components in the bag.

"How long have they been doing this?" She asked.

Raijin looked over at her. "Seifer started about a month after Ultimecia. Fu started a couple weeks after."

"Six months!" Quistis exclaimed, trying to keep her voice down. Raijin nodded, standing to take the bag to the van. Quistis stood as well, walking over to where Fujin lay. She gently moved her arms under Fujin's head and knees. The comatose woman didn't flinch as Quistis lifted her. She weighs almost nothing!

She felt a little better now that she was outside, carefully placing Fujin in the back of the van. She looked back at their house just to see Raijin and Dr. Kadowaki, holding up Seifer in between them. They eased him cautiously into the back, alongside Fujin. Quistis couldn't believe they hadn't awoke. She waited until Raijin went back in the house for the posses few possessions.

"Is this what heroin does?" Quistis asked the doctor.

"Yes, for the first few hours. But they might come around on the drive back, depending on how long ago they used it last."

Quistis placed her hands on her hips. "How are we going to get them in the infirmary?"

"You're going to drop me off at the parking lot and then drive over to the back door of the infirmary. We'll get them in there, and I'll get Fujin taken care of. That's when you need to talk to who ever you're getting to help. We'll all gather in the infirmary and talk about it." She told them.

Raijin had come back with the rest of their things in a trash bag, along with their weapons. "Could you carry this?" He asked holding out Seifer's gunblade. Raijin chuckled uneasily. "It's a good thing I didn't let him pawn it. He woulda been pissed, ya know!"

Pawn his gunblade!? Is that how desperate he was for the drugs? Quistis took the Hyperon in her hands in shock. Shock. This had to be the most shocking night of her life. She was beginning to thing that she was just dreaming. Dreaming, safe and sound in her dorm room back at the Garden. Not outside a shack with the doctor and the former Disciplinary Committee.

"Alright, let's go." Tayle said, starting up her van.

Quistis watched the night scenery roll by from the passenger side of Dr. Kadowaki's van, again. Even though the ride to the Garden was a short one, the thoughts and questions that kept popping up in her mind made it take forever. How did they get like this? Why did they start doing heroin? Her eyes looked forward again, and her mind began to race quickly. I feel bad for Raijin, having to support them. He's been practically alone for the last six months. I want to help them. But I despise him, don't I? He was my enemy! But so was Edea, because she was possessed. Was he? He had to have been! He was a wretched person, but he wouldn't do those things of his own free will? Would he? He was my student. Not only that, but I grew up with him. He was an orphan just like me. I can't just let him kill himself! Why are they doing this? Why?


Notes: Another chapter done! Did you notice how Quistis' thougths changed on the way back?


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