Pins & Needles Chapter 5
Quistis sat rubbing her temples in the front seat of Tayle Kadowaki's van, parked outside of the Garden by the infirmary. Surprisingly, neither Seifer nor Fujin had awoken during the way back. Quistis was now praying silently. Please Hyne, don't let them wake till we get them to their rooms! Not until they're safely hidden! Safe? Could they be safe during their stay? Right now, this place was the most dangerous place for them to be. Should someone discover their presence, they wouldn't be in any condition to fight or even escape. Lambs to the slaughter. Quistis knew that soon she would be asking people for help with this. She didn't want to force them as she had sort of been. Who would she go to first? I don't want to go to Cid and Edea by myself. But everyone else will react as I did! Selphie didn't know Seifer before, Quistis thought, but then added, That could be a good thing too! I wish I could remember something good about Seifer to encourage her. Selphie has only really known him as an enemy. If she thought there was something good about him, she might be more inclined to help.
And then it hit her. Irvine! Quistis stopped rubbing her temples as she thought of the Galbadian cowboy. He was the one that remembered their childhood together the best. Maybe he remembered Seifer in a different way? At least if he didn't, he would be able to realize most of the reason Seifer was the way he was. A lonely, abandoned orphan, just like them. It might be a long shot, but worth a try. Besides, with Irvine's help it would be easier to get Selphie. They have always been close friends.
"Whatcha thinkin' about, instructor?" Raijin asked her from the passenger side. He had been lost in his own thoughts and worries when he saw the instructor deep in hers.
Quistis looked over to him and gave a small smile. "Please, just Quistis." She told him. "I was thinking of asking Irvine for help first. He might remember Seifer better from when we were kids."
"Who's Irvine? And how does he know Seifer?" Raijin asked.
Quistis looked at him perplexed. Then, she realized that he didn't know anything about Irvine Kinneas or the orphanage. Or maybe he did, and just forgot because of GF's like they had. "Did Seifer ever tell you anything about his childhood?" She asked.
Raijin shrugged. "Just that he was sent here to the Garden when he was ten. Why?"
"Well, before he came here, he lived in an orphanage. Irvine Kinneas lived there too, as did I."
"You grew up with Seifer?"
"Yes. So did Zell Dincht."
"Chicken-wuss too?" Raijin said using Seifer's term for Zell, but not as insultingly.
"And Selphie Tilmitt."
"Umm she graduated SeeD with Zell and Squall."
"Oh, that hyper girl?"
Quistis laughed lightly. "That's her." She told him, then hesitated, wondering what he would think of the next person. "Squall grew up there too."
Raijin looked shocked. "Squall and Seifer grew up together? Did they always hate each other?"
"I think so. Headmaster Cid and Edea ran the orphanage."
"So all you guys grew up together in an orphanage. Seifer never told me that. I knew he was an orphan, so are me and Fujin." Raijin told her. "Didn't you guys feel bad about havin' to fight Edea and Seifer?"
Quistis sighed. "We didn't remember that we'd all grown up together until Irvine told us at Trabia Garden, after Seifer blew it up." She regretted adding that last part.
"But how could you forget something like that?" He asked. Quistis explained about how Guardian Force's make people lose their memories. "Wow. I wonder about all the things that I might have forgotten."
Dr. Kadowaki came out the door of the infirmary, telling them that the coast was clear. Tayle and Raijin got Seifer first, taking him inside the Garden. Quistis followed, carrying Fujin. After both of them were in their rooms, and Fujin was given an IV, the three of them stood in the doctor's office.
"This is what we'll do now." Dr. Kadowaki told them. "I'll go to Cid and Edea, get them down here, and explain the situation. I think they'll respect my position as a doctor. Quistis, you go talk to whoever you have in mind and get them down here. But when you talk to them, you must get them to keep this a secret, before you tell them exactly what they have to keep a secret."
"Easier said than done!" Quistis retorted bitterly.
Tayle understood. "I know, but I know you can do it. You can do anything, Quistis. That's why I called you. That stuff about you not having leadership skills is bullshit! Pardon my language, but it's true."
Quistis' mouth gaped, too overwhelmed to speak. Raijin nodded in compliance. "What do you want me to do, ya know?"
"You're going to stay here and watch Seifer, make sure he doesn't flip when he finds out where he is." Quistis told him.
"I'm going to lock the door behind me, Raijin. And when we get everyone here, stay with him until I come in and get you."
He nodded and went in the room with Seifer. The two women left the infirmary to their respective destinations.
Quistis got to Irvine Kinneas' room quickly. It was only 10:00, so he might not be asleep. She just hoped he wasn't in there with anyone. As she held her ear against the door, she discovered that her hopes were not answered.
Irvine was just about to get Geena's shirt off when there was a knock at the door. His first reaction of the knock was anger. Then panic when he thought it might be another woman he'd invited over that night. He rose from his bed and went to the door.
Quistis tried to stifle a laugh when she saw Irvine after the door opened. He was in his jeans, without a shirt, but still wearing the cowboy hat. He had a look of irritation on his face. He stood in the doorway, blocking her view of whoever was behind him.
"Well, Instructor Trepe," He said loudly, and Quistis could hear someone scrambling out of the bed and hiding in the bathroom. He's with one of my students again! I'll have to remember to scold him later. "What brings you here?" He asked innocently.
She smiled slyly. "Don't worry, I don't care which of my students you're with." She said quietly, smile dissolving into a look of all seriousness. "I need to talk to you now. It's very important. Meet me in my quarters in five minutes." She said, knowing he was going to take this the wrong way. "I'm serious, Irvine. There is a critical situation happening that I need your help with."
He noted her words and nodded, retreating back into his room. She sighed and left for her own dorm. Quistis immediately went for her aspirin. Irvine was there in three minutes.
"What's the problem?" He asked, taking a seat in one of her chairs.
Quistis breathed out heavily, sitting down as well. "Before I tell you that, there are a few things I have to clear with you."
Quistis clenched her fists. "Everything I'm about to tell you and everything you're going to see must not be told to anybody. This must be kept in complete secrecy, even from our friends. Especially Squall."
It was Irvine's turn to be confused. "You sound so serious. How big is this secret?"
"It's pretty big." She stated. "Actually, it's really big! That's why it must be a secret! I'm not going to tell you what it is, until you promise not to tell anyone!"
"Okay, I won't tell anyone." Irvine said.
Quistis shook her head. "No, Irvine. You must think about it before you make that promise. You absolutely cannot tell anyone what I tell you. If you told, It could mean death to a number of people, including me."
Now, it was his turn to be shocked. "Death? Sweet Hyne, what the hell is going on!?"
Quistis sighed again. "If you refuse, I'll understand. If I had been given the time to think about it like I'm giving you, I would have probably said no. But now that I've seen Anyway, if you can't make that promise, I only ask that you not tell anyone that you were here."
"Does anybody else know this secret?"
"Yes, but I can't tell you who."
Irvine looked directly into her eyes. "Is this that important to you?"
"Yes." She replied.
"Alright Quistis, I promise I won't tell anyone the secret."
Quistis finally unclenched her fists. "Thank you, Irvine."
Irvine nodded, pulling his chair closer to hers. "Now, what is this about?"
" Seifer Almasy."
There was a slight narrowing of his eyes. "What about him?"
She bit her lip. "He's here."
"Here? As in, here in the Garden?" He said surprisingly calmly.
"Yes. I brought him here."
The calm was now lost. "What!?"
"Shut up! Dammit, I told you this was important!"
He settled down slightly. "You have a really good reason I suppose?"
"Yes, I'm going to explain everything." Quistis said.
After a shortened version, but nothing excluded, of the night's events so far, Irvine shook his head. "Heroin? He was the last guy I thought would get messed up in that." He told her, getting a concurring nod from Quistis. "So, what now?"
"Well, we still need one person."
"Did you have someone in mind?" He asked.
"I was thinking Selphie."
"Yeah, she would help. But I don't know if she could deal with the keeping it a secret part." Irvine suggested. "It's not that she has a big mouth, she can keep a secret. But the weight of it alone would take a toll on her behavior. People would noticed if Selphie wasn't being all happy like she usually is, especially Rinoa."
Quistis frowned. "You think she wouldn't be able to hide it?"
"Probably not, and definitely not from Rinoa. Selphie would feel guilty about having to keep such a big secret from her best friend." Irvine told her.
Quistis nodded. Rinoa and Selphie had become very close friend after Ultimecia's downfall. "You're right. I don't want to do that to her! You have any suggestions?"
"Actually, yes. And you're gonna think I'm nuts when I say who!" Irvine said.
"Just tell me."
Quistis rolled her eyes. "Holy shit, Irvine! You are nuts! He hates Seifer!"
Irvine smirked. "So did you."
She was taken back by his comment to say the least. Indeed, she had hated him. But what surprised her more was that he used the sentence in past tense. "And you think he would be able to keep this under raps?"
"He's kept a lot of things under raps. You'd be surprised. Zell and I have been getting along really well, and he's confessed a few things to me. I'll tell you one, just because it will help our cause."
Quistis' brow frowned. "What?"
"If you asked Zell to watch Seifer, he would do it. And keep it a secret."
"Why me?" She asked.
"Because Zell Dincht is in love with our little Instructor Trepe."
Hyne, I can't take much more of this! "He's in love with me?"
"Uh huh." Irvine said with a silly grin on his face. Quistis clasped her forehead, on the verge of tears. Irvine's grin quickly faded. "Is this bad news?"
Quistis shook her head. "You shouldn't have told me that!"
"Because! By going to him and asking for his help, I'd be using him! Using the love or whatever he feels for me to get my way! It's wrong, Irvine!"
Irvine groaned. "I know that Quistis! But so is this whole fucking situation! Bringing Seifer back into the Garden is wrong! Lying to our friends is wrong! Treason is wrong, Quistis! This goes against every rule and moral code we have!" Irvine stated harshly. He stopped when he saw Quistis' tears. "But there's a reason we're doing this."
She laughed bitterly, wiping away the tears. "There is?"
"Regardless of what they've done, Seifer and Fujin are still human beings. And they're lives are in danger. We may not be doctors, but we are human too. Helping them goes against our moral code as SeeD's. But not helping them goes against our moral code as human beings." Irvine told her.
Quistis looked at him surprised. That had to be the most intelligent thing he's ever said. "What about Zell?" She asked.
Irvine shrugged. "I think he'll understand."
Quistis let out another exasperated sigh. "I hope so."
Notes: I know, I said no romance. And there won't be any. Just a little suggestive stuff. Flirting only,probably. I'll have to see where it goes. I also just realized how long this story is going to be. I was thinking about adding lyrics of appropriate songs to the beginning of the chapters. But a lot of people have done that. Should I? Tell me what you think!
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