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Quistis Trepe stirred her cafe late idly as she turned a page in the book she was reading. She took a sip, before realizing that it had gone cold. Sighing, she put her book down.
It had been ten years since the Second Sorceress War. Nine years ago, Quistis left Balamb Garden, a year after the war had ended. She had left SeeD for many reasons, which meant that if she stayed in Balamb, she would be faced with the deniability of her identity.
Seifer had been tried during that year before she left. He was found guilty of treason, espionage and murder. He was sentenced to ten years in jail. Quistis had sat on the panel that judged him, but she was the only one who had voted against the sentence. It was the hardest thing she had ever had to do as a SeeD.
She had moved to Timber. After the Second Sorceress War ended, Quistis had helped the resistance factions drive out the Galbadian Soldiers. In the same way that Laguna Loire, Squall’s father, had been named President of Esthar, Quistis had been appointed the President of the New Timber Republic.
It was hectic, to say the least. The first thing she did was to set up a new constitution, in which all the people of Timber voted on.
That had been five years ago. The first election after the Timber Reformation, Quistis resigned as President. Even though she had won the majority again, she still resigned. She travelled to the cold north of Trabia and then to the secluded, warm and sunny Shumi Village, where she was welcomed with open arms.
She had travelled for three years after that. Wandering to the furthest locations, she didn’t leave any part of the globe uncharted. In a basic sense, she was the female equivalent of what Laguna Loire had hoped to be.
For the last two years, she had been living in Esthar. As a strategist, her skills were valuable in the Esthar Army. She was the head of the Defence Operations in the Esthar Army, a job that she excelled in.
Looking up, she saw President Loire, who looked like he was relieved to find her.
“Is there anything I can do for you, Laguna?” she asked, as the older man sat down.
“Actually I’ve got some news for you,” Laguna said, running a hand through his greying hair, “Seifer Almasy is a free man now. He was released yesterday.”
Laguna lit a cigarette as Quistis pondered on his words. He was half-hoping that Quistis and Seifer would perhaps take a chance with love. Laguna knew the tragedy of losing a loved one. Raine’s death was still hard on him and he wished that Quistis would be happy, for her sake.
She was surprised. “It’s been a long time since I saw him,” she said simply.
“True,” Laguna smiled. He had expected that to be the twenty-eight year old woman’s response. “I’ve now got to fly. Parliament,” he shook his head, “Parliament is currently going crazy. I stepped outside to take a smoke.”
Quistis nodded politely as Laguna held up his half-smoked cigarette. A wave of emotion was flooding her. It had been so long since she had seen him, so long since she was in his arms.
So long ago, had the two of them promised to get married and start a family. She could still remember the day he turned against her, joining with the albino, Fujin and her demented boyfriend, Raijin. He had scorned her, saying that he couldn’t be her knight if she was his instructor.
Knighthood. Something he had talked about for a long time. When he broke out of the disciplinary committee room, he had taken nothing but his Gunblade with him.
Laguna sighed. He knew that Quistis would probably resist seeing Seifer, after all, he assumed that if he had tried to kill her, then there would not be this reason for him to pair them up.
All Laguna wanted for his aide was someone she could love. He knew too well the pain of losing someone he loved. Raine’s death still hurt him when he thought about it, the guilt and the remorse of not being by her side as she gave birth to Squall, their lasting legacy upon the world.
He stubbed out his cigarette. Smiling at the faraway look in Quistis’s eyes, he was glad that she was at least considering the idea. He stood up and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder. She smiled at him before he left her, sitting outside the café.
“I’ll be in my office if you need me, Quistis,” he said gently, as he waved goodbye.
“Thank you, Laguna,” Quistis whispered, “Thank you for everything.”
Smiling, she finished what remained of her lunch. Hurrying to the counter to pay, she almost spilt her latte on her crisp blouse. However, what greeted her in her office when she arrived back was a surprise.
On her desk she found a vase of pure red roses. A card was attached to the roses, saying who they were from.
You are an angel in my life
The giver of gifts and hope
You seem to always be smiling
No matter how hard it is to cope
I will always love you
Now and forever
I’ll be your king
Evermore and forever
Quistis gasped as she read the card, the familiar writing caught her eye. It was Seifer’s. Her eyes glistened with tears unshed, threatening to spill at the slightest act of emotion.
She sniffled as she reached for a tissue; her hand shook as she blew her nose. Her entire body seemed to have gone into a state of disbelief and shock. Finally, she walked around and over to the window, pulling back the curtains to reveal none other than Seifer Almasy himself.
An expression that could only be described as shock registered on Quistis’s face. Seifer grinned at her, with that arrogance she had loved.
“Hello, Quistis,” he said.