[identity profile] theftofhearts.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] shiva_dancing_backup
Bi-Winning. You're welcome.

Who: Al-Cid Margrace and Quistis Trepe
What: Traveling to Garden to update Squall on this and that!
Where: Al-Cid's airship, Balamb Garden, Balamb Area.
When: After this thread (NSFW at times) which happened after the initial incident.
Interaction: Squall Leonhart, [OPEN]
Warnings: Dunno for sure, but it's Al-Cid, so I'm gonna tag this "D" for "Damn!", also, prolly at least PG-13.



Al-Cid had spent the next few days with Quistis flying low over the terrain, having Quistis pay attention to the readings his ship picked up of the aberrant Malboros, so that they would have an idea of the size and virulence of the outbreaks. The man wanted to stop a number of times and help communities, places overrun with the huge creatures, already too far gone to be saved, which obviously upset him. At times, he even seemed angry, though he never took it out on Quistis.. she'd be able to tell by the way his fingers danced over the controls, then gripped the pilot's chair. "Damn.." he would mutter from time to time, shaking his head. Al-Cid had traveled the world, how many places that he knew and loved would be ravaged by these Malboros? How many places would he be unable to help? What was the situation in his native Rozzaria? Through the days of travel, at a slow speed so as to get accurate readings and to allow Quistis to draw maps and charts, and to draft reports, Al-Cid was becoming more and more tense.

He wasn't a hero, though, he was an agent. It wasn't his job to leap in and save the day, and herein lay the worst part of his job, his life, for the man. He had to bypass these heavily infested areas, because he knew his talents would be put to better use delivering the information to those in a position to do something substantial would be able. If he knew the source, he could handle -that-, slipping into an area unseen and delivering swift and deadly justice was another talent of his, though he very rarely employed the black hand of death in his dealings. Al-Cid put up every night out of reach of monsters and the like, but it seemed only in the recent few hours as they had approached Garden that his mood had taken a turn for the dour. He still smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes, he still tried to be pleasant and charming for Quistis, but the woman had been around him for the past few days, and would more likely than not have notice his slip into a miasmic sort of funk, culminating in this charade of good humor.

He cut the engine's propulsion as they approached Garden, and skydocked several hundred feet from the large structure, lowering the ship to the ground, where it would hang suspended several feet from the ground by the power of the Skystone core in the engine. The shields for the cockpit snapped down slowly, and locked into place, and the constant thrum of the engine died out save for a very faint echo of it, the engine idling as it was wont to do when not in use. "Here we are.. Balamb Garden." his voice had a sort of guarded quality.. really, Al-Cid was a noble person, a decent and kind man, and having to leave people behind, places in danger, was really taking its toll on the Rozzarian aristocrat.

Date: 2011-03-19 12:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
Quistis had only gotten to know Al-Cid all the better in the past few days. She studied his routines, and his moods, and noted how low he had become as their investigations continued. She said nothing of it at first, just pushing her glasses up her nose and quietly observing Al-Cid's tempers and mannerisms. Not to say that he hadn't been attentive, but between pouring over maps and charts, Quistis could see that his good humour was taking a reasonable amount of his energy.

She was sensitive to how he was feeling - everyone in her own group had sensed it at some point during their various missions. She knew too well what it felt like not to be able to single handedly save the world - but it was something that, with time, she had dealt with and, more particularly, could deal with as part of a team of others. That's why it was important that she should discuss the matter with Squall.

As he lowered the ship down into Balamb, Quistis couldn't help but feel a little comforted at the familiar surrounds. She tidied her various papers into a neat pile; findings that she could present and share at the Garden. She crossed the cockpit to stand behind him in his chair, leaning her head on his shoulder and passing her arms over his chest.

Date: 2011-03-19 12:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
Quistis shook her head slowly, leaning closer to kiss lightly at his jaw, her arms moving tighter around his chest - just in case he needed that extra reassurance that she was there. "I'm fine." She spoke the words gently, and they were honest. She was fine - apart from her concern about Al-Cid.

"How are you?" The question arose almost like she was flirting - it was a little bit daring, but she did care. She just wondered for how long he would keep up appearances as he was. After all, Quistis was known for keeping her own feelings bottled up, and she knew that Al-Cid was much the same. "What are you thinking?"

Date: 2011-03-19 12:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
Indeed, he only did have to look at her with those eyes for her to know. She'd become so intimately close with his body that she was able to read the signs of his mood, but his honest eyes gave it away. Perhaps, she wondered often, that this was what the shades before. With them on, Al-Cid was impossibly aloof and confident.

She slowly withdrew her arms from his chest and moved round his chair to stand in front of him. Quistis crawled up onto his chair, fitting a knee at either side of him and just looking at him for a moment. She wanted to kiss him, that much was obvious, but she wanted to talk first - kisses would only mean an excuse for him to keep quiet. "Al-Cid, the world isn't yours to look after on your own. It is hard to think about people suffering, I know that. As wonderful as you might well be, you can't save everyone. Besides, you're not ignoring it. We'll take the reports to Squall and we'll come up with a proactive plan."

She glanced back to the small table with her papers on - a little desk area that Quistis set up so that she could be with Al-Cid and work on her maps and charts while he was piloting.

Date: 2011-03-19 12:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
While Quistis was reasonably familiar with what Al-Cid was capable of, she was at least able to be touched by him without falling into a swooning fit. Not to say that she wasn't still driven absolutely wild, however. She was just more capable of handling the sensation that she had come to recognise as lust.

"Of course it is. I've seen towns ruined and known enough destruction that I would happily never see any more in my life but... You have to remember that they do rebuild. These towns do move on, as do the people." She reached a hand out to rest on his face, her thumb stroking lightly at his cheek. Really, she felt she would do anything to take that helpless expression away from his face.

Quistis laughed gently at his comment, "You know fine well how wonderful I think you are. And you're welcome. We'll go into the Garden, speak to Squall, and between ourselves and other Gardens we can formulate a plan to deal with these creatures." Straight forward, simple, practical Quistis. As far as she was concerned, if there was a will, there most definitely was a way.

Date: 2011-03-19 08:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
Quistis smiled as he kissed at her hand, and with the touch she allowed herself to shuffle closer on his lap. "I'm just doing what I can to help you. And I'm glad that you think that I can understand." Her smile was bright, because after all - she'd always dreamed of a man that she could sleep with that she could also understand.

She nodded, so pleased to see that he looked that little bit better, and she sat up straight, her eyes looking back into his, "Occam's Razor is the preferable rool. But you sound surprised at my plan, Al-Cid? Have you been underestimating your woman?"

Yes, 'your woman'? But as much as he might consider her as his, she considered him as part of her. He'd certainly shared enough with her to warrant being considered 'hers'.

Date: 2011-03-19 09:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
"You know, it's a pity you had to see me be injured. I'm normally more careful. But if it weren't for the fact that I had a handsome stranger staring at me I might not have been so distracted." She grinned as she remembered that, leaning forward to kiss his lips lightly and quickly.

So he thought she had hidden talents, hmm? She doubted it, but smiled coyly all the same and slipped from his chair, "Still...I wouldn't underestimate the power of a smile and a good body." And, she knew, neither would he - he'd already said it had gotten him far in life.

"Now, will we got get this business out of the way?"

Date: 2011-03-19 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
Quistis glanced over to him with a gentle smile, but it grew into a smirk as she did so. "Hmm? I don't think that you being any less sexy is going to be of any help to either of us, Al-Cid." She shook her head in false disdain as she followed him through.

She looked at him with amused patience, "I hope you don't think that you're the first person to make that joke?"

Quistis, still in her dinner dress of course, sat her legs over the edge of the hatch and eventually managed to make the jump. "Here we are. This is Balamb Garden."

She stretched out a hand towards the looming building just by them and walked alongside Al-Cid while leading the way. Eventually she takes them into the building, nodding soft smiles towards various students who, naturally, grouped together to talk about Quistis and her evening dress, and were whispering about who that gorgeous man was she was with.

Quistis made her way directly to Squall's office and knocked sharply on the door, turning to smile at Al-Cid before taking the papers from him.

Date: 2011-03-19 10:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leatheredlion.livejournal.com
Squall was close to exhausted. When he wasn't in his office, he was out in the field trying to protect Balamb. His fingers were aching, marred with Mage burns, his shoulder ached, his wrist was bandaged up. He really looked like he'd been in the wars.

He hadn't slept since the invasion started and had barely eaten. He had managed to grab a few cups of coffee along the way to keep him going. His desk was buried under a mountain of papers, his laptop was open and the phone had been almost constantly ringing.

"... Come in," even his voice sounded tired.

Date: 2011-03-19 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
Quistis nodded slowly, though she flushed for a moment, suddenly aware that she wasn't sure quite how she was going to introduce Al-Cid. However, she became more concerned with the sound of Squall's voice.

She strode into the room like someone who belonged there, an air of authority having assumed itself since she stepped foot into Garden - this really was her territory. She paused half way between door and desk, smoothing down her dress before turning to Squall, to Al-Cid, to Squall.

"Squall, this is Al-Cid Margrace. Al-Cid, this is Squall Leonhart." She cleared her throat sharply before stepping forward with the papers, "We have done considerable travelling, and I have mapped and charted where the malboros have been, and the extent of the damage they have done."

She sighed softly, relieved to have that off her chest, "Now, how are you, Squall?"

Date: 2011-03-19 11:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leatheredlion.livejournal.com
Squall looked far older than his nineteen years. "Pleased to meet you Margrace, sorry it isn't under more pleasant circumstances." He took the papers and glanced over them, before scribbling some notes down on his own papers.

"We have dispatched teams of SeeD across the worst affected areas. Malboros have yet to penetrate Esthar's borders, so they are sending us some of their soldiers as well."

Ah, the good old avoidance tactic. Pretend the question wasn't asked and then he wouldn't have to answer.

Date: 2011-03-20 12:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
While Quistis might have missed Al-Cid's look, she turned slightly to give him a lingering look of her own. There was something amusing about watching him interacting with Squall, pacing up and down and being so serious.

She lifted one of Squall's reports to take a look, hiding her face behind it before she started to smile or, worst still, to giggle. She too cleared her throat before looking pointedly at Squall, "Selphie's currently in Lindblum. I know she'll hold fort there, and she has been helping to heal the injured. Have you been in touch with any of the other Gardens? What is their plan of action?"

Date: 2011-03-20 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leatheredlion.livejournal.com
The teen rubbed at his injured wrist, and then at his tired eyes. "Galbadia are sending some of their own soldiers out into the field. I have Zell and Irvine out with their own teams."

He really wished he knew where the source of the invasion was. Cut off the source and maybe the rest would stop coming. He'd love to get his hands on who or what was behind this.

Date: 2011-03-20 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
Quistis looked quite grave, a small frown appearing on her forehead as she listened between the two men, pacing across to the other side of the room with her arms around her chest. She turned sharply towards Al-Cid when she noticed his choked voice, and though she stood at the other end of the room, she felt the sudden urge to go to him and hold his hand.

But she resisted, just turning back to look at Squall. "The Malboro attack in Lindblum is where Al-Cid and I met. I have seen him in battle, and I know that he can take care of himself. Moreover, I would vouch for his claims on his information seeking. He would certainly be an asset to us here."

Quistis sighed deeply before walking across to Squall's desk, standing directly in front of him. She pulled a hand through her hair as she looked at him, "Squall. You need rest. Let me take over here until you're feeling better."

Date: 2011-03-20 01:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leatheredlion.livejournal.com
"My best SeeD are out there doing their best. But the more people we have the better." Squall wasn't going to argue about whether or not Al-Cid was right for the job. Things were bad and they needed as much help as possible, and if Al-Cid was offering, then Squall would accept that aid.

He frowned at Quistis. "I'm fine. I just need to keep working. Things aren't going to fix themself. More Malboro are arriving and I need to be ready to defeat them." No slacking off here!

Date: 2011-03-20 10:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] takeoffmyhead.livejournal.com
"Squall, I'm here now, so you have to remember that 'we' need to keep working and that 'we' need to be ready to defeat them. This isn't something you're supposed to do on her own."

Quistis moved from in front of the desk to stand directly beside Squall in his chair. She looked down at him, feeling quite ridiculous in her evening gown, but nevertheless feeling more refreshed and ready that he looked. "At least, just for one day, let me do this. You need to eat and sleep, and whenever you feel ready for it, you can take control again." She glanced across at Al-Cid before looking back at Squall, "You can't burn yourself out over some Malboros."

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