Blue Magic; I see you there! Where have you been, gorgeous?
ooc; Oh, hey~ ♥ It’s a bit of a long story, but keeping it simple… I got pretty down with a cold for about a week, which forced me to rush my work on the last book I edited and all of a sudden, tah-dah!, got a new job, with graphic design.
And maybe there’s a another one coming. I didn’t even realize I’ve been away for a whole month!
Coldplay, “Fix You”
For the last time, stay back! You’re only going to provoke him.
Seifer knelt down to stick the objects from the package in the sand. “C’mon, save those words for…” he started, but when he looked up and saw that she closed her eyes, he felt a great sense of accomplishment, like she put all her trust in him. He didn’t expect the small gesture to feel so grand, so comforting, but it did.
“…” he took in a breath to regain his composure. “Of course I know what I’m doing.” He held his hand before a fuse, a warmth from his gloved hand ignited the cord. Seifer did this to every cord emerging from the ground and they all lit up with a raucous sizzle. He grinned from ear to ear, the light from the sparks beat against his face.
He jumped to his feet and grabbed Quistis by the upper limb in an attempt to pull her from a safe distance. “C’mon, move! Get outta the way!” he shouted with joyous alarm.
A safe distance away, high pitched whistling accompanied lights that rocketed into the sky. Tendrils of lights bloomed from its flammable seeds and burst through the air, one after another, accompanied with the booms of what the two could describe as gunshots. He set his gaze on Quistis to see her reaction. The crackling of the falling lights followed, covering the sound of Seifer’s laugh and the sound of approaching vehicles, the clicks of ammunition being set into weapons.
Quistis recognized the hiss of ignited fuses, but before her mind could process the information, Seifer was already pulling her away. Instinctively, she grabbed his sleeve for balance, the unexpected yank making her stumble on the sand. Her immediate reaction was to protest, but the words never left her mouth, interrupted by the loud whistling and the explosion of lights and colors that ensued.
Fireworks, of course — so obvious and, at the same time, the one thing she would never have expected. With eyes wide open in astonishment, she watched the pyrotechnics filling the dark skies like she had never seen anything like that. The fireworks at countless festivals and inaugurations parties at Garden could not compare; they missed the sea breeze, the blurred reflection of the lights over the ocean, the impression that there was nothing more to the world aside from the shoreline where they stood.
Above all else, there was an overwhelming feeling of finding again something she barely knew she missed.
Finally softening the grip on Seifer’s sleeve, Quistis turned to face him, only to see he was laughing. And before she could notice, she was laughing with him, not even knowing why.
As she turned her gaze once again towards the sky, another sudden explosion of light, this time coming from behind them, made her spin on her heels, startled. There was now a set of xeon searchlights pointed directly at them, oppressively white beams blinding her; she squinted and tried to protect her eyes with one hand, in a fruitless attempt of estimating how many men were surrounding them. Frustration surpassed shock in less than a moment, as she realized what was happening.
When silence once again reigned, a faceless voice — a voice that belonged to Garden and Garden alone, not a human being, Quistis decided — ordered Almasy to show his hands, step aside from the SeeD with him and walk towards the vehicles. Trepe could drive back to Balamb Garden, following their group, as long as she felt she was in conditions. In any case, a man would be assigned to join her. Quistis knew the policy well enough to understand the true meaning of those words. For that convoy, she was as much of a prisoner as Seifer. The only difference between them was that she wouldn’t question; he would probably be sent back to Garden in cuffs, while she was already chained by rules.
Anger started to boil slowly in her blood, but Quistis kept it under control, temporally forgotten in a secondary compartment of her mind. She had more pressing matters to worry about.
“Just do as they say”, she murmured to Seifer. “Please. I’ll find a way to fix this. It will be okay.”
If only she could believe herself.
Truman Capote, Other Voices, Other Rooms
Kairi nodded her head in understanding as the lady spoke. The unworried look on the girls face was wiped away by Quistis’s next statement. She had no idea if the lady would believe her story sometimes it sounded even unreal to herself.
“I hope you have some time for a somewhat long story.” Kairi said, the girl also couldn’t help but cross her fingers a little ritual she did from time to time when she hoped things would work out. It had crosses Kairi’s mind that she could maybe alter her story a bit but really where would she begin to normal people it would probably sound to crazy no matter how it was spun.
“You see I’m from a place called Destiny Islands and it’s very far away from here. In another dimension actually. A completely different world actually. And umm .. I have this ability you see to close special keyholes which are like portals that appear in different world.” Kairi tried to gauge the reaction on the ladies face but her demeanor remained calm and unwavering so the girl continued.
”These Keyholes are the hearts of worlds and if I can lock them up I can go home.” the girl realized that she had completely evaded an important part of the explanation and so with a deep breath she was about to start explaining again but Quistis cut her off with her own question.
Well, that was certainly not what Quistis was expecting to hear. Not that she didn’t believe the girl; she had been to a different worlds herself, after all, and also had the chance to meet some travelers. Not to mention that, if fighting a witch unbounded by time and space wasn’t enough to make one more prone to suspend their disbelief, nothing else could be. Kairi’s story was surprising, yes, but not so hard to buy — and Quistis made a point of not letting show whatever sign of skepticism crossing her mind.
At least until the narrative started to sound a little too different from anything else she ever heard.
“Wait.” The blonde interrupted, raising a hand. Her features were now marked by a frown, as she tried to take some conclusions from the little information she had. “So, I what you’re telling is that you need to find the… heart of this world and lock it in order to go back home? Which is what you want to do, I suppose; find your way back to Destiny Islands.”
Quistis took a moment to look around. She wanted to know more about those keyholes and portals, but standing by the Garden’s entrance, with cadets and SeeDs passing by all the time, was definitely not a good idea. “Why don’t you come with me to the cafeteria?” She finally suggested. “At least there we can sit down and take all the time we need to discuss your case.”
Florence + the Machine, “Shake It Out”
The fields swept by the window as the car zoomed across continent, but Seifer kept his eyes on the lucid image of his driver reflected. Her austere eyes stared down the path, but carried a bit blank as if her focus was anywhere but on the road. Seifer gazed into the reflection— his elbow on the door, his chin resting on his hand— wondering what she was wondering, what ailed her.
The car rolled into a stop. The sun crept away, and Seifer, truly, understood her worry. Not just of the curfew, but of all the burden— even the one he placed on her shoulders. He wanted to say she deserved it, that it was recompense for choosing him over Seifer. But he knew she didn’t, because it was her that was with him right now. No one else had given him so many chances.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” he dismissed. “We’ll get back in time. Gotta get rid of these first, eh?” He pointed to his purchase. “C’mon.”
He got out of the car, rushing her toward the shore like he did at the market. Seifer turned to face Quistis when they reached the shore. His forehead creased and he crossed his arms, unconvinced that she would cooperate to his next request. “Alright. If you wanna make it back in time, you gotta do one more thing. Close your eyes.”
“You gotta do one more thing. Close your eyes.”
From all the possible scenarios for that day, a staring contest with Seifer at the beach as the sun went down was certainly one Quistis could not foresee. And yet there she was, looking up at him with one eyebrow arched in suspicion, arms crossed just like his, trying to figure whether he was being serious — because he couldn’t possibly be.
All the staring considered, though, she wasn’t so sure anymore.
“… You said we have to get rid of these, but you’re not even telling me what these are!” With a quick nod towards the package he carried, Quistis tried to argue, in a vain attempt to buy herself some time, even if she didn’t know why she wanted it in the first place. The answer was quite clear in her head, after all; no, she was not going to close her eyes, and that was it. They were done with the cat and mouse game — done with dragging her around, done with secrets. What could he possibly want with such a childish request now?
“For Hyne’s sake, Seifer, you can’t simply—” She stopped mid-sentence, her voice cut by an exasperated sigh. For some reason she couldn’t quite get, her mind and heart raced at the same speed.
Taking a deep breath, she lowered her head, raising one gloved hand to press her temples.
“Hope you know what you’re doing.”
When she closed her eyes, it felt more like taking a leap of faith.