Vigil of the Fates Chapter 2

The Instructor

By PeterEliot

Quistis entered the infirmary with measured and dignified steps. She divined instinctively that her forbearance was about to be tested by whomever she would find there. Upon catching his sight and confirming her suspicion, she closed her eyes and sighed deeply, shaking her head of long twin golden locks with just a touch of dramatic exaggeration. Then against her better judgment she indulged in an amused smile at the figure on the bed.

“I knew it’d be either you or Seifer,” she declared, arms folded authoritatively over the chest, as she leaned over her bedridden student with all the sternness of a mother who addressed a troublesome child.

He immediately arose and sat on the bed. The way his jaw visibly clenched for a second showed that he found the movement not entirely comfortable. A white bandage encircled his head above the eyes, tinged pink at the forehead.

“Thankfully, Dr. K. says the wound shouldn’t do more than leaving a scar. And you know you ought to be thankful; it wouldn’t do at all for you to get knocked out even before the field exam begins.”

A grimacing half-nod from the young man told her that he had at least thought of that disaster, himself. She grinned.

“Well, then. Get on your feet, cadet. The exam is today and you’ve got work to do.”

* * * * * * * *

Quistis observed her student while they walked down the open corridor. His characteristic reticence aside, the boy seemed lost in thought. His face was curiously devoid of expression even for him, showing none of the customary frown that he assumed when thoughtful.

“Squall, is there something on your mind?”

The answer was a long time in coming. The cadet continued walking at brisk pace, not bothering to see if his companion was keeping up with him. When he finally acknowledged the question, it was with an answer all too predictable.

“...Not really,” he said at almost the same instant his instructor supplied her own “Not really, huh?”

Quistis did not hide her snicker. Squall halted in irritation. A pair of passing female cadets looked at the two of them and whispered to each other.

“What do you find so funny?” Squall asked, turning.

That boy never does add the required honorific when talking to me, Quistis thought. As usual, she let it slide. “Funny? No, no, it’s not that at all,” she said, waving her hands merrily. “I’m just—glad. Glad that I’m finally beginning to understand how the inscrutable mind of a certain student of mine works.”

“I’m not all that predictable as you might think, instructor,” said Squall in a clipped tone.

Warning, Quistis said to herself. Now he was adding the honorific. “Seriously, Squall—if you don’t want the people around you to be second-guessing your thoughts all the time, you should start telling them more about yourself.”

“What I tell or don’t tell others about myself is no...”

“...None of my business, I know.”

Forgoing her better judgment for the third or fourth time in the morning, the young instructor snickered again. His sentence cut off, Squall frowned and winced immediately; his wound was making furrowing of the brows painful. Ah, Quistis mused as she walked ahead of her vexed pupil, so that’s why he was being more stone-faced than usual.

Over their heads, colorful drapes extending upward to the pinnacle of the azure conic tower wherein they walked proclaimed:


Chapter 3

Final Fantasy 8 Fanfic