Fandom: Final Fantasy VIII
Word Count: 679
Warnings: None; takes place pre-game. No spoilers.
Prompt/request: A request by imadra_blue for "FFVIII, Quistis". With luck, you won't need to have played the game to understand the fic.
On bad days, she wonders why she ever thought she could be a good instructor. She started teaching at seventeen, when some of her students were older than her. Just because she became a SeeD at fifteen doesn't mean she can teach.
On good days, she feels very grown-up, carrying her instructional materials, wearing the official Balamb Garden uniform, graciously noting the devotion of her fan club. It feels strange sometimes to have a fan club – yes, they call themselves that! But it's also a huge ego boost, and on some of the bad days, it's nice to have one or another of those students hanging on her every word.
Not all of the students are so enthralled by her, of course. Some of them are just students, and some of them are troublemakers, like Seifer. Some of them... well, it'd be nice if she could date, actually. As an instructor, she can't have that kind of relationship with any of the students, her fellow teenagers. Yet it's not like she knows anyone from the town, either. Her whole life revolves around the Garden now. What would she do, go into town, visit a bar and hope to find a nice guy? Besides the scandal – in her own mind, at the very least – what would they have to talk about?
Her best bet, in the long run, is probably going to be another instructor, either here at Balamb Garden or at one of the other Gardens. Commonality in employment and upbringing. She's lived here since she was ten, after all, when her foster family didn't work out. The Garden is her family now.
Maybe that's why she's so driven to succeed, and why it hurts so much on the bad days, when she wonders why anyone ever thought she could do well. She craves approval – who doesn't? – and judges herself – again, who doesn't? – and on the bad days, she knows she judges too harshly. She has to look past that feeling, and keep herself on an even keel. Instructors must set a good example for the students.
~ ~ ~
She arranges her instructional materials on the desk as the first students file into the classroom. Her first year of teaching is almost over, and Headmaster Cid will arrange her evaluation. It's a little scary, but she thinks she's done a pretty good job. Most of the students have done well this year. Of course, two of them are their own problem... Squall and Seifer, who've already become bitter enemies. But Squall generally controls himself, whereas Seifer, the hothead, has become Quistis' major disciplinary problem. She's done her best – at least, she hopes so – to keep Seifer in check, but she also suspects Seifer's problem have internal causes. For all that he's a hothead, his behaviors and attitude are so ingrained, she wonders if he can ever overcome them. She hopes so, for his sake; he's failed his SeeD exam several times now, and he's almost at the age where he has to pass, or leave the Garden forever.
If he passes, too, he'll leave her classes forever, which has its own very strong appeal right now. All the time she has to waste on disciplining him is time away from the deserving students.
Speaking of which, they're all here now – the deserving students, that is – so Quistis clears her throat for attention. Seifer's late, but Squall is here. Quistis looks at him, trying to make the look brief, hoping it's not too obvious that she likes him. Instructor-student relationships are forbidden, after all, and for good reason. On the other hand, either Squall doesn't care about her as anything but an instructor – which is very likely – or Quistis hides her feelings so well that he doesn't notice anyway. She should hide her feelings no matter what, given her position.
It's time to get to work and not give wings to flights of teenage romantic fantasy. She turns her attention to her lesson plan; her fan club, sitting in the front rows, perks up as she begins to speak.
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