Final Fantasy VIII: Chronicles Chapter 4

Back Again

By Choong Won

Squall was surrounded in darkness. "Where am I?" he said to himself. Darkness spread to infinity in all directions. "Am..... am I dead?" he asked. His voice echoed in the dark. Squall started walking...

"Is he awake?" asked Quistis. The worry showed on her face. She had spent most of the night drifting in and out of sleep, Squall and Seifer's wounds always present in her mind. Seifer had recovered early in the morning and was back at his dorm, recovering. Squall on the other hand, was still unconscious.

"No. I suggest you get some rest." said Dr. Kadowaki. "I'll call you when he wakes."

"Okay, thank you." Quistis sighed and walked off towards her room.

* * *

Squall had been walking for sometime now, or at least he thought so. So far all he had seen was more and more darkness. Panic was beginning to rise in his throat. "Can somebody hear me!?" he shouted. There was no answer accept for his echo. Depressed, Squall sat down. "I wonder how I can sit.... everything's the same.... complete darkness." he thought to himself. He decided to look around one last time. He peered through the darkness, searching for something. He had almost given up when he saw a small peck of light. "Hmm....I didn't notice it before." he said to himself. Squall got up and started walking towards the light.

"Hmm....breathing normal, blood pressure normal, heartbeat normal, it looks like he's doing fine." said Dr. Kadowaki to herself. She made some marks on her chart. "He's been out for at least twenty-four hours. I hope he's not in a coma." She continued to check Squall's vital signs.

"Almost there..." Squall saw that the light had grown stronger. "Only a couple more steps." He took two steps forward and reached out, blindly, towards the light. To his surprise, the darkness faded and he was standing in a flower field. Green grass and flowers spread out before him, till it reached a forest and beyond that mountains peaks loomed, their summits crowned with snow. Behind him, he thought he could hear the ocean. "Weird...I think I remember this place." thought Squall. Suddenly a wind came up and flower petals surrounded him. He suddenly felt himself begin to float. Then he ascended up with the petals. Squall passed through a cloud and then there was a bright flash and he found himself on a bed in the infirmary of Balamb Garden.

Dr. Kadowaki was checking to make sure everything was all right when Squall awoke from his sleep. Dr. Kadowaki smiled and waited for Squall to adjust to his surroundings. "How are you feeling?" she asked when Squall sat up.

Squall suddenly felt a sharp pain in his head. He waited a second and the pain went away. "Better take things easy." he said to himself. "......Ok." he replied.

Dr. Kadowaki shook her head. "Take it easy next time, you hear?" she commented. She noticed that Squall was blinking. "Looks like your eyes are focusing. You should be fine. Say your name for me." Dr. Kadowaki wanted to make sure Squall hadn't suffered any memory loss from the injury.

Squall thought for a second. "Squall Leonhart." His head felt cloudy and still hurt a little.

"Why don't take it easy in training? Next time you might not be so lucky." She frowned at him.

Squall remembered Seifer and his malevolent grin. "Tell that to Seifer." he said coldly. Things were beginning to become clearer now.

Dr. Kadowaki shook her head. "That Seifer...Won't listen to anyone." she said ruefully. "Why don't you ignore him?"

Squall shook his head. "I can't just run away," he protested.

Dr. Kadowaki frowned at him. "You want to be cool, huh? Well, don't get hurt in the process." She paused, and then changed the subject. "Let's see, your instructor is..." She paused as she sorted things through her head. "What twenty-four hours without sleep does to your memory." she thought to herself. Then she remembered a very worried Quistis. "Quistis! I'll call her now. Just wait here a minute." She quickly left the room and went to make her call.

Quistis was sitting next to the phone when it rang. She quickly grabbed the receiver, "Hello? This is Quistis Trepe." She felt her heart beat in her chest, each 'thump' resounding in her ear as she waited to hear the news.

"Quistis?" came the voice of Dr. Kadowaki over the phone. "Come get your student."

"Is awake now? Is he okay? How's his injury?" Quistis began firing question left and right.

"Yes, yes...His injury's not serious. It'll probably leave a scar."

Quistis sighed with relief. "So no problems at all?" It suddenly felt like she was million pounds lighter and she slumped back in her seat.

"......Right. Now please come by."

"Okay. Bye." Quistis hung up and hurried off in the direction of the infirmary.

* * *

Squall was resting up a bit, when he saw a young woman kneel down and look at him through the window. " we meet again." she said. She had a blue blouse on and had short brown hair and brown eyes. She looked unfamiliar, yet there was something about her.

"Huh?" thought Squall, he turned to see her better, but she was gone. "Hmm... that's strange." Squall mused. His thoughts were interrupted when the door to the infirmary opened.

"Stay're an instructor." thought Quistis as she opened the door to the infirmary. When she saw Squall, a bandage around his head, she closed her eyes and sighed a deep sigh. "Squall, what have done to yourself?" she thought. Quistis then regained her composer and smiled at Squall.

"I knew it'd be either you or Seifer!" she said in a stern voice.

"What's that supposed to mean?" thought Squall. "In a duel, only one person wins. She's right either way." he thought to himself.

Quistis motioned for Squall to get up. "Come on, let's go. Today's the field exam."

Squall slowly got up and walked out of the infirmary with Quistis. "My head's a little dizzy." he thought as he began walking down the hallway.

"Squall. Is there something on your mind?" asked Quistis.

Squall instantly got a little defensive. "...Not really." he said at the same time as Quistis.

"Hahaha!" laughed Quistis. "Predictable as usual." she thought.

Squall frowned at her. "What's so funny?"

Quistis quickly shut up. "Funny? No, no, it's not that! I'm just happy."

"Uh-huh and T-Rexaurs can fly." thought Squall.

Quistis saw that Squall wasn't buying it. "I feel like I'm beginning to understand my student a little. That's all."

"I'm more complex than you think," said Squall with an edge of darkness to his voice. "Much more.sadly," he thought as they walked down the cement gray walkway towards the main chamber.

Quistis smiled. "Then tell me. Tell me more about yourself." She had him trapped and she knew it.

"It's none of your..." started Squall.

"...Business!" finished Quistis. She laughed again.

"Why does try and probe me?" thought Squall to himself. "Oh well, I've got think about the exam." Squall glanced out the window of the hallway. Outside SeeD cadets were studying and talking. Many were walking to their classes. Some were sitting on benches outside and enjoying the sun. They all wore their formal SeeD cadet suit. The suit for boys consisted of dark navy blue pants and a dark navy blue, gold trimmed button jacket. The girls wore a similar jacket, except for the large yellow ribbon at the neck and they wore a short dark navy blue skirt.

"I hope I can make it." thought Squall as he continued down the hallway towards his classroom.


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