Final Fantasy 8

All That Really Counts

By: Squall Leonhart

All That Really Counts
By Squall Leonhart (
DISCLAIMER: However much I wish I did, I don’t own any of the characters in this story. They all belong to Square. I’m just borrowing them for a little non-profit fun and hijinx.
FEEDBACK: Feedback=food. Please feed me!
DISTRIBUTION: Ask, and ye shall receive.
AUTHOUR’S NOTE: Pairing for this fic is Quistis and Shiva… no, you’re not seeing things. It’s a Quistis/Shiva fic (or Quiva if you prefer). That of course mean that this is yuri/shoujo ai. If that kind of thing isn’t your cup of tea, then you don’t have to read this. Any feedback you, the Esteemed Reader, may be able to provide will be much appreciated. But no flames. Flames BAD.


Quistis Trepe sat at the desk of her classroom, not even really paying attention to the students that were patiently sitting at their desks doing their work. I wish I’d stayed in my room today, she thought to herself. I need the extra sleep.

All of a sudden, the bell signifying the end of the period went off, and all the students got up from their desks and began to leave. “Don’t forget that your assignment is due after the weekend!” she reminded her class before they could all leave. As soon as the last of her students left the classroom, Quistis slumped back in her chair and heaved a sigh of relief. Thank Hyne it’s all over for today, she thought to herself. I’m so glad someone thought to invent the weekend.

As Quistis was about to get up from her desk, someone came into the room. “Heeyyy, Quisty, whatcha’ doin’?” the person said. Quistis turned around to see her friend, Selphie Tilmitt standing there with a huge smile on her face.

“Nothing, Selphie,” Quistis said to her. “Just getting my things together and heading back to my room.” Selphie walked over to her friend and leaned over the front of Quistis’s desk, her hands gripping the edge. “You have any plans for the weekend, Quistis?” Selphie asked.

“Not really,” Quistis said. “I figured I’d just get around to grading some tests that have been sitting in my desk since yesterday.”

“Quisty,” Selphie said, with a serious look on her face, “you really need to go out this weekend. Just get out and relax, have some fun, you know? It’s not good to keep on working all the time like you’ve been lately.”

“Selphie,” Quistis said putting a hand to her forehead, “it’s only been three months since they gave me my instructors license back. And that’s probably only because Squall used his influence as the commander of SeeD. I can’t screw this up.”

Selphie put a hand on Quistis’ shoulder and said, “I know you want to prove you can handle this job, but it’s unhealthy to work like you’ve been working. You need some time to yourself. Take a load off.” At least working keeps my mind off of… other things, Quistis thought to herself. On the other hand, maybe Selphie’s right. Maybe I should just relax a little once in a while. “Selphie,” Quistis said, turning her attention back to her friend, “I may end up taking your suggestion after all…”

“Woo-hoo!” Selphie yelled, pumping her fist into the air.

“BUT I’m going to have to have a nice, long nap first,” Quistis continued. “There’s no way I’m going anywhere feeling as tired as I do right now.”

“Perfectly understandable,” Selphie said, still smiling. “No one can party when they’re falling over from exhaustion.”

Quistis smiled slightly at Selphie, then gathered up her things from her desk. “Thanks for the talk, Selphie. I really needed it.” Waving at Selphie one last time, Quistis turned around and left the classroom.


When Quistis got back to her room in the Garden, she tossed her things onto a chair and collapsed onto her bed. What a day, she thought to herself as she kicked off her shoes. Thank Hyne it’s over with. Quistis sat up and began to remove her SeeD uniform, and once she had stripped down to her bra and panties, she slipped under the covers of her bed and started to drift off to sleep. Here’s to hoping that I have pleasant dreams, she thought to herself, as sleep finally overtook her.


[Quistis opened her eyes, and realized that she must have slept for quite a while. She looked out the window of her room and saw that the sun had set long ago and that night was here. I guess that I should get up and do something to help me be able to sleep for the rest of the night, she thought to herself. Then she remembered her talk with Selphie that morning after her class. Well, no better time than the present, she thought, tossing back the covers of her bed.]

[As Quistis was slipping out of bed, she heard a sound coming from the bathroom. Operating on instinct, she grabbed her whip from her nightstand and immediately jumped out of bed, into a battle stance. “Who’s there?” she said.]

[Quistis stood there, holding her stance as she waited for the person in her bathroom to come out. They slowly walked towards the doorway, holding their hands out in front of them. “Don’t worry, Quistis,” the person said, “it’s just me.” The person then lowered their hands, and Quistis realized for the first time just who she was talking to.]

[“Shiva?” Quistis said, dropping her whip in shock. The ice GF stood before Quistis, her blue skin looking just as it always did whenever she was summoned in battle. “Shiva, what are you doing here? Did I summon you while I was asleep?”]

[“No, Quisty,” Shiva said, using the nickname that most of her friends used for her. “You’re still asleep right now. You’re dreaming this whole conversation.”]

[Quistis sat back down on her bed with a thump. “What a relief,” she said. “I was worried that something had happened.”]

[Shiva said down beside Quistis and put an arm around her shoulder, Shiva’s cold touch raising goosebumps on Quistis’s skin. “You don’t have to worry, Quisty. You’re still sleeping soundly in your bed. I just really needed to talk to you.”]

[“What’s wrong, Shiva?” Quistis said to the GF. “Why did you need to talk to me?”]

[Shiva removed her arm from Quistis’s shoulder, and folded her hands in her lap. “I… I don’t know if I should tell you,” Shiva said nervously. “I mean, I really like being junctioned to you, and I don’t wanna say anything that’ll make you want to get rid of me.”]

[Quistis put a reassuring hand on the GF’s shoulder, and said. “It’s all right, Shiva. You can tell me anything.”]

[Shiva, still looking down at her hands in her lap, said in a voice almost too low to hear, “I think I’m in love...” the GF said, almost too low for Quistis to hear.]

[Quistis was slightly surprised by this, and rubbed Shiva’s shoulder in sympathy. “I know how it feels,” she said reassuringly to the GF. “Who is it you’re in love with? Is it one of the other GF’s?”]

[“No,” Shiva said, wiping a small tear away from one of her eyes.]

[“It’s not… Squall, is it?” Quistis asked cautiously. Shiva had been junctioned to Squall for a time before Squall had given her to Quistis. Wouldn’t that be just great, Quistis thought to herself. Both me and Shiva in love with a man that we can’t have.]

[“No, it’s not Squall, either,” Shiva said. “It’s you.”]

[Quistis was nearly knocked over when what Shiva said sank in. She’s… in love… with me!? She thought to herself. But… I’m a human, and she’s a GF! Trying to regain her composure, Quistis removed her hand from Shiva’s shoulder and said, “Shiva… did you say you were in love with me?”]

[“Yes,” Shiva said, turning to look Quistis in the eyes. “I don’t know how it happened,” Shiva said, tears forming in her eyes. “I mean, after I was junctioned to you, I found that I liked being with you. Your mind was so much more… sophisticated than anyone else’s that I’d been junctioned to before.” Shiva swallowed, and a couple of frozen tears fell from her face before she continued. “I really liked being your GF. I felt… special, I guess. But, after a while, I started to have this feeling whenever I saw you when you summoned me in battle. I thought you were so…beautiful!” Shiva managed to choke out, before she started sobbing uncontrollably. “Oh, Quistis, please don’t hate me!”]

[Quistis’s heart went out to Shiva, and she put an arm around the GF’s shoulder in an attempt to comfort her. “Hey,” Quistis said, “don’t worry. I don’t hate you.”]

[Shiva rubbed at her eyes and looked at Quistis again. “You don’t?” she said, sounding apprehensive.] [“No, I don’t,” Quistis said, trying to convince Shiva. She rubbed Shiva’s shoulder to try and comfort the distressed GF.]

[Shiva smiled a little, and then practically jumped at Quistis, wrapping her arms around her in a hug that nearly knocked Quistis over. “Oh, thank you, Quistis,” Shiva said over and over again. After a while, Shiva calmed down enough to back away from Quistis a little and look her in the face. She began to inch closer to Quistis’s face, and all Quistis could do was just sit there and look into Shiva’s ice-blue eyes. Shiva finally finished closing the distance between herself and Quistis, and kissed her gently on the lips.]


Quistis sat bolt upright in her bed, breathing heavily. Wow, she thought to herself, what a dream. Quistis swung her legs out of her bed, and went over to her closet to find something to change into. I wonder if it meant anything. I’ve never heard of a GF trying to make contact with someone in their dreams before. She grabbed her usual ensemble of a pink skirt and top with knee-high boots and put them on her bed. She went into her bathroom and turned on the water in her shower, and looked into the mirror while she waited for the water to warm up.

Quistis nearly fell over in shock when she turned to look in the mirror. Instead of seeing herself, she saw Shiva’s face in the mirror. Quistis, she heard the GF say, I love you…

Quistis blinked a couple of times and shook her head a little. When she looked back in the mirror, all she saw was her own face. Great, Quistis, she thought to herself. You’re daydreaming about a GF. She tried not to think about it anymore as she removed her underwear and stepped into the shower.

After Quistis finished her shower, she grabbed her bathrobe from the hook on the back of her door and put it on. As she went to her drawer to get a clean set of underwear, there was a knock at her door.

“Come in,” she yelled.

The door opened, and Selphie walked into Quistis’s room. “Did you have a good nap, Quisty?” Selphie asked, with the usual cheery tone to her voice.

“Yeah, I guess,” Quistis said, sitting down on her bed. “But I had this weird dream…”

“Ohh, tell me all about it!” Selphie said, pulling a chair close to Quistis’s bed and sitting down in it.

“What did you dream about?” “It was kinda strange,” Quistis said. “Shiva came to me in this dream and said she wanted to talk to me.” Selphie got a confused look on her face. “You mean the GF Shiva?” she said.

“Yeah,” Quistis said.

“Well, what did she say to you?” Selphie said, sounding excited.

“She said she loved me,” Quistis said, giving a small nervous laugh. “Imagine that,” she continued. “A GF said she was in love with me.”

Selphie looked like she would fall over if she hadn’t been sitting. “She said she was in love with you?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Quistis replied. “But that’s not all. Right before I woke up, she… she kinda kissed me.”

Selphie’s eyes bugged out of her head, and her jaw nearly hit the ground when what Quistis said sank in.

“She kissed you?” Selphie said, nearly yelling in surprise.

“Yeah,” Quistis said. She briefly considered telling Selphie about seeing Shiva in the mirror after she woke up, but decided that she had had enough surprises for today. “Do you think it means anything?” Quistis asked Selphie. “I mean, can a GF actually contact someone in their dreams?”

Selphie snapped back to reality and tried to answer Quistis’s question. “I’m not sure,” Selphie said. “I mean, I’ve had some dreams where I’ve seen the GF’s that I’ve had junctioned at the time, but I’ve never had a dream like the one you described.”

“Well, maybe it was nothing,” Quistis said. “Maybe it was just a result of too many sleepless nights.”

Selphie scratched her chin, thinking about what Quistis had just told her. “Maybe you’re right.” She then remembered why she had come to Quistis’s room in the first place. “Oh, I almost forgot. Everyone’s going to Balamb City tonight for dinner. You wanna go with us?”

Quistis thought about it for a minute before answering. “Sure,” she said, smiling a little. “It’s not like I have anything important to do tonight.”

“Great!” Selphie said. “Once you’re dressed, just meet us at the directory in the main hall. See you soon!” Selphie got up out of the chair she had been sitting in and waved goodbye as she left the room. Quistis got up off the bed and began to get dressed. Shiva, actually in love with me, she thought to herself. It must have been a dream. She grinned as she remembered the details of the dream. But… that kiss wasn’t half-bad. Quistis shook her head, trying to get her thoughts back in order, and finished getting dressed.


Later that evening, Quistis and the rest of her friends were sitting around a table at a restaurant in Balamb City. Everyone was making idle small talk about whatever their tasks for the day had been. Quistis was only paying enough attention to know when to nod when she was being talked to. Squall and Rinoa were sitting close together, Squall with his arm around Rinoa’s shoulder. Irvine was sitting with Selphie, trying his best to get a kiss from her, Selphie doing her best to make sure that Irvine didn’t do anything stupid out in public. Even Zell had a date that night. It was the pig-tailed girl that Quistis had seen with Zell quite a bit lately. They looked happy together, holding each other’s hands in plain view. Suddenly, Quistis was broken out of her thoughts when Squall said something to her. “I’m sorry, Squall,” Quistis said, “what did you just say?”

“I was just asking how your day was,” Squall said.

This is a first, Quistis thought to herself. Squall’s actually asking someone how they feel. Rinoa is actually making some headway with his people skills. “Can’t complain,” she said, finally responding to Squall’s question. “What about you?”

“Fine,” Squall said, giving the traditional monosyllabic response.

Rinoa gave Squall a light elbow to the side, and said to Quistis, “What have you been up to lately?”

Quistis smiled as she answered. “Just work, work, and more work,” Quistis said. Although she had been jealous of Rinoa at first for getting the man she had thought she was in love with for so long, she had eventually warmed up to the girl. “How about you?”

Rinoa smiled as she began to answer, but just before she could say anything, Quistis looked in a mirror behind the bar of the restaurant, and nearly fell over when, instead of seeing her own reflection, she once again saw Shiva. The GF smiled at her, and Quistis heard her say, I love you. Quistis squeezed her eyes shut and when opened them again, Shiva was gone from the mirror. Rinoa noticed the change of expression on Quistis’s face, and felt concern for her friend. “Quistis,” Rinoa asked, “are you all right? You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”

Quistis recovered after a second, and then said “I… I’m all right.” She then began to get up from the table. “I need to go to the washroom. Rinoa, would you mind coming with me?” Rinoa got up from her seat beside Squall, and said “No problem, Quisty.” The two women then walked off in the direction of the washroom.

Zell watched Quistis and Rinoa as they left. “Wonder what that was all about?” he said to the rest of the group.

“Beats me,” said Irvine.

Selphie looked off in the direction that her two friends had walked, knowing what Quistis was going to tell Rinoa. I just hope she doesn’t nearly pass out like I did, she thought to herself, then returned to fending off Irvine’s amorous advances.


When Quistis was sure that she and Rinoa were alone in the ladies room, she turned to her friend and said, “Rinoa, I need to talk to you.”

Rinoa turned to Quistis and said, “What is it Quisty? You’ve been acting strange all night. Is something wrong?”

“It’s about this dream I had after I went back to my room after class today,” Quistis said, bracing herself on a counter and looking down at her hands. “Shiva came to me in a dream and said that she wanted to talk to me.”

“A GF contacted you in your dreams?” Rinoa said. “That’s unusual, but not unheard of. They usually warn the people they’re junctioned to about an upcoming danger. What did she say?”

“She said she loved me,” Quistis said, barely loud enough for Rinoa to hear.

“She said what?” Rinoa said, obviously shocked.

“She said she loved me,” Quistis repeated. “But that’s not all. Right before I woke up, she kissed me.”

“She kissed you?” Rinoa said, suddenly feeling the need to sit down.

“Yeah,” Quistis said, fighting back the urge to cry she was having right now. “And, to top it all off, I’ve been seeing her whenever I look into a mirror ever since I woke up.” A tear escaped from her eyes and made a trail down her face. “What am I supposed to do? Is this real, or is it just a dream?” She covered her face with her hands and her shoulders began to shake.

Rinoa cautiously put a hand on Quistis’s shoulder to try and comfort her friend. “Hey, Quistis,” Rinoa said, “don’t worry. It was probably just a dream. Nothing more.”

“I’ve been trying to convince myself of that all night,” Quistis said. “But the more and more I think about it, the more I’m sure that it was more than just a dream.” She wiped at her face with the back of her hand and tried to compose herself as she continued. “What if Shiva really is in love with me? The only time we could be together is in my dreams. How could we possibly make a long lasting relationship when the only time we can see each other is when I’m asleep?”

Rinoa paced in front of Quistis a couple of times, trying to figure out what to say to her friend. I never knew that Quistis might be gay, she thought to herself. What am I supposed to say to her? “Hey, Quisty, you may not be able to be with Shiva, but I know this nice girl that you might like…” …yeah, right! She turned to face Quistis and said, “Quistis… are you saying that you might have the same feelings for Shiva as she has for you?”

Quistis wiped a few more tears from her eyes and said, “I think I do.”

Rinoa saw the look in Quistis’s eyes, and knew that she meant every word of what she said. “Well, then,” Rinoa said, “I guess we’ll just have to find a way that you and Shiva can be together when you’re not asleep, then, won’t we?”

Quistis looked up at Rinoa, and managed to get out, “You’d help me do that?”

Rinoa smiled warmly at Quistis and said, “You’re my friend. Of course I would.”

Quistis ran up to Rinoa and nearly bowled her over with a hug. “Oh, thank you,” she said breathlessly. “Thank you so much!”

“Hey,” Rinoa said, returning the hug, “what good is being a sorceress if she can’t do something like bringing a GF to life for one of her best friends?”

Once Quistis had composed herself and cleaned her face, her and Rinoa went back to the table that the rest of the group was sitting at. Her friends could tell that she had been crying, but when they saw the huge smile on her face, they decided that whatever Rinoa had said to her had cheered her up, and they went back to talking or eating whatever they had ordered.

Quistis sat in her seat, feeling happy and content. She was finally going to be with the person she loved. Don’t worry, Shiva, Quistis thought to herself. We’ll be together before you know it.


Meanwhile, in the corner of Quistis’s mind where the GF’s she had junctioned were living, Shiva could barley contain herself. She loves me! Shiva thought to herself, barely able to keep from jumping up and down (so to speak). She really loves me!

Shiva was so excited at the prospect of being able to be with Quistis whenever she wanted that she didn’t notice when the other GF Quistis had junctioned, Siren, walked over to where Shiva was. “What’s got you so excited?” Siren asked. “You look like a kid that got everything they wanted for Winter Solstice.” “Well,” Shiva began, a huge grin still plastered on her blue face, “I kinda told Quistis how I felt about her while she was asleep this afternoon.”

Siren smiled at her friend. “So, you finally worked up the nerve to tell Quistis that you love her, eh?” She sat down beside her friend and asked, “What did she say?”

“Well, she was just in the washroom with that human friend of hers, Rinoa,” Shiva said, “and she said that they were going to try and find a way for me to be with her all the time!”

“You mean they’re going to try and find a way to make your next appearance permanent?” Siren said incredulously.

“Yup,” Shiva said, still grinning happily. “Rinoa’s a sorceress, so she’s going to try and help Quistis find a way to make my next appearance somewhat longer than usual.” Shiva giggled, and rubbed her arms with her hands quickly. “Oh, I can’t wait ‘till Quistis is asleep tonight! I can’t wait to talk to her again!” Siren gave Shiva a hug, and said, “Well, good luck. I hope that you and Quistis are very happy together.” “Thanks, Siren,” Shiva said, still with a huge smile on her face. When Siren walked away, Shiva practically jumped up and down for joy.

She loves me!


Soon after Quistis and the rest of her friends returned to Garden, she quickly said goodnight to everyone and went straight to her room.

As she left the group’s sight, Squall turned to Rinoa and said, “Hey, Rinoa, what did Quistis want to talk to you about?”

Rinoa paused for a second while she considered her answer. “Oh,” she said, “nothing much. Just girl talk, really.” Rinoa almost sighed audibly when Squall accepted her answer and didn’t press for details. Rinoa was distracted from her thoughts about Quistis when she felt someone tap her on the shoulder. She turned around to look Selphie in the eye. “Rinoa,” she said, “mind if I talk to you for a minute? Alone?” Rinoa saw the urgent look in Selphie’s eyes, and said, “Uhh, sure, Selphie.” Selphie then grabbed Rinoa by the arm and dragged her towards her own room in the Garden.

Once they were in Selphie’s room, Selphie turned to Rinoa and said, “All right, what did you and Quistis talk about?”

“I’m sorry Selphie,” Rinoa said, “but I really don’t think that she’d want me to tell you. Or anyone for that matter. No offense intended, of course.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Selphie said. The young SeeD swallowed a little before she continued. “Rinoa,” she said, “Quistis told me about Shiva coming to her in her dreams. I already know all about it.” Rinoa plopped down onto Selphie’s bed, feeling relieved beyond belief. “Thank Hyne I’m not the only one that knows,” Rinoa said. “I don’t know if I’d be able to do what I told Quistis I’d help her do if it were just me and her.”

“What do you mean, what you told Quistis that you’d help her do?” Selphie asked as she sat beside Rinoa on the bed, her curiosity suddenly piqued.

“Well,” Rinoa said, “I promised Quistis that I’d help her find a way to let Shiva stay here with her permanently.”

Selphie’s jaw dropped when she heard what Rinoa said. “What?” she asked, not quite sure what to think. Once she got over the shock, Selphie managed to say, “So, it wasn’t just another dream? Shiva really did make contact with Quistis while she was asleep?”

“Yes,” Rinoa said. “If Quistis had just seen her in her dreams, then I might have thought differently. But, since she’s been seeing Shiva whenever she looks into a mirror today, I figured that Shiva really did make contact with Quistis.”

“Whoa, back up there,” Selphie said. “Quistis has been seeing Shiva while she was awake? She never told me that.”

“Well, apparently she has,” Rinoa said. “That’s what convinced me that it wasn’t just a dream, and that Shiva really was talking to Quistis.”

“Wow,” Selphie said, falling backwards onto her bed. “You know, this is going to be kinda hard to do.”

“Yeah,” Rinoa said falling backwards to lie beside Selphie. “But, you should have seen the look on Quistis’s face. She was so sad at the thought of never being able to be with the person she loved. Then, when I told her I’d help, she was so… elated, I guess the word is.”

“Yeah, I saw the look on her face when the two of you came back to the table,” Selphie said. “One question,” she continued. “Do you have any idea on how to go about liberating a GF permanently?”

“None whatsoever,” Rinoa said. “But I’m going to try.”


[Quistis opened her eyes, and immediately knew that she was dreaming. She had been so excited at the prospect of actually being able to be with Shiva all the time, she had barley been able to strip down to her underwear before she was in her bed trying to fall asleep. She sat up in her bed and swung her legs out of it to the floor. “Shiva?” Quistis called out cautiously. “Are you there?”]

[Suddenly, a pair of ice-blue hands covered her eyes from behind, and a voice said, “Guess who!”]

[“Hmm,” Quistis said, a smile spreading across her face. “Is it… Siren?”]

[“Smartass,” Shiva said, removing her hands from Quistis’s eyes. “I missed you, you know.”]

[“Yeah,” Quistis said, “I missed you, too.” She turned around to face Shiva, and smiled at the GF.]

[“I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation with Rinoa in the washroom this evening,” Shiva said, smiling as she looked at Quistis. “Do you think that it’s really possible?”]

[“I’m not going to stop trying until it’s a reality,” Quistis said, putting her arms around Shiva’s neck. “I’m really sorry I didn’t say this the last time we talked,” Quistis continued, “but… I love you.”]

[Shiva just smiled, and put her arms around Quistis. “It’s all right,” she said. “I knew how you felt when you finished talking to Rinoa.”]

[Quistis just looked Shiva in the eyes, and moved closer to the one she loved. Their lips met in a passionate kiss, their tongues exploring each other’s mouths. When they finally broke the kiss, Quistis was the first one of them to speak. “Wow,” she said, feeling out of breath. “That was… rather… enjoyable.”]

[Shiva just sat back on the bed, feeling the same way that Quistis felt. “Yeah. Enjoyable pretty much sums that up.”]

[Quistis grinned as she thought of being able to kiss Shiva while she wasn’t dreaming. “I can hardly wait until you’re in the real world with me,” Quistis said.]

[“Me either,” Shiva said, running a hand through Quistis’s hair. “I’m so excited.”]

[Quistis looked at Shiva and smiled. “That would make two of us,” she said, pulling the GF into another long kiss.]


Quistis woke up from her dream with a huge smile on her face. Who knew that a GF would be able to kiss that well? She got up from her bed, and went about her daily morning ritual of showering and getting dressed. Since it was still the weekend, Quistis decided to go for a walk to the beach near the Garden. Once she was finished getting dressed after her shower, she fastened her whip to her belt and headed out of the Garden towards the beach.

When Quistis arrived at the beach, she saw Rinoa sitting there with Squall. The two lovebirds, Quistis thought to herself as she got closer. She made sure that she wasn’t disturbing anything before she made her presence known.

Rinoa turned around when she heard someone coming, and got up to greet Quistis with a friendly hug. “Hey, Quistis,” she said, smiling as she let go of her friend. “Did you sleep well?”

Quistis blushed a little as she remembered what she had dreamed about that night. “Umm… yeah, I did,” she replied quickly. Eager to change the subject, Quistis said, “So, what are you and Squall up to?”

“Oh, nothing,” Rinoa said, sitting down beside Squall on their blanket and motioning for Quistis to do the same.

Quistis took the offered seat, and Squall waved a greeting at her as she did. “Hey, Quistis,” he said, glancing in her direction.

Quistis looked at Squall and said, “Good morning, Squall. How you feeling today?”

“Pretty good,” he responded. Wow, Quistis thought to herself. He actually responded with more than one word! Rinoa really is having a positive influence on him!

Once Quistis got over the shock of Squall actually answering a question with more than one word, she turned to Rinoa. “Rinoa,” she said, “mind if I drag you off for a second?”

Rinoa saw the look on Quistis’s face, and knew right away what she wanted to talk about. “Sure,” she said. “Squall, I’ll be right back,” she said to her boyfriend. “Don’t disappear on me, all right?” “Sure,” Squall responded. “Don’t be gone too long.” He took Rinoa’s hand into his own and kissed it before she walked off with Quistis.

Once Quistis thought she and Rinoa were out of Squall’s range of hearing, she said to Rinoa, “All right, who is that, and what have you done with the real Squall Leonhart?”

Rinoa laughed at Quistis’s statement. “He has changed, hasn’t he?” She looked back towards where Squall was sitting, and a warm smile spread across her face. “I can still remember when he wouldn’t even say more than two words to me at a time unless it was absolutely necessary.”

Quistis grinned as she compared the way Squall was before he had met Rinoa, and the way he was now that Rinoa was in his life. She definitely has been a positive influence on him, she thought to herself. Then she remembered what she had wanted to ask Rinoa. “Rinoa,” Quistis asked, smoothing out her face before she continued, “do you have any idea on how to keep Shiva from disappearing the next time she’s summoned?”

Rinoa got a serious look on her face, and said, “I’ve been trying to come up with an idea, but so far I’ve only been able to think of one thing that may work.”

Quistis looked Rinoa right in the eye, and said “What? What were you thinking of doing?” “Well,” Rinoa started, “I would need to borrow Shiva’s orb from you. Then, I summon Shiva. When she appears, I’ll try to concentrate all of my powers into her. If everything goes well, she should be here permanently.”

Quistis looked at her friend again, and gave her an appreciative hug. “Thank you so much for doing this for me,” Quistis said. “I won’t ever be able to repay you for this.”

“Ahh, don’t worry about it,” Rinoa said, waving her hand in a dismissive gesture. “Just invite Squall and I to the wedding.” The two smiled and made small talk as they returned to the blanket where Squall was sitting.


Meanwhile, back at the Garden, Selphie sat in her room, trying her best to figure out how she could help Rinoa with summoning Shiva permanently. I may not be able to help with the actual summoning of Shiva, Selphie thought to herself, but there must be something that I can do! She paced back and forth across her room, thinking of and discarding ideas with each step. Suddenly, she realized something that she hadn’t even thought of before. Shiva’s going to need some clothes, Selphie realized with a start. She can’t very well go around looking the way she does when she’s summoned! Selphie, glad that she had finally found some way that she could help Quistis and Rinoa with Shiva, began to search through her closet for something that might fit Shiva.

Selphie still had her head stuck in her closet when there was a knock at the door. “Come in!” she yelled, still searching through the closet.

The door opened to admit Selphie’s boyfriend, Irvine. “Hey, baby,” he said, with his usual cocky tone of voice, “what are you up to now?”

Quick, think up a lie, and for Hyne’s sake, make it a good one! Selphie thought to herself before she answered. “I’m… I’m looking for clothes I don’t need anymore to give away,” she said quickly. Good, Selphie thought to herself. And it’s the truth, too.

Irvine, typical to his nature, said, “Well, what about those clothes you’re wearing? I don’t think you really need them anymore…”

Selphie gave an exasperated sigh, turned around to face Irvine, and said, “Irvine, enough with the innuendoes already.”

Irvine held his hands up in defeat, knowing that Selphie was getting angry. “All right, all right,” he said, “I’m sorry. I’ll be good, I swear.”

Selphie silently thanked Hyne as she turned back around to look through the clothes in her closet. “What did you come here for, anyways, Irvine?” she asked as she tossed an old dress over her shoulder. Irvine almost made a crude joke after Selphie asked her question, but thought better of it and said instead, “Quistis and Rinoa just got back to the Garden with Squall a few minutes ago. They told me to tell you to meet them outside the Training Center as soon as possible.”

“Oh, all right,” Selphie said, knowing right away what the two women wanted to talk to her about. “Well, I’m not really getting anything done right now, so I may as well go and meet them now.” She walked towards the door, pausing to give Irvine a light kiss before she left. “Thanks for delivering the message, Irvy.”

“Any time, Sefie,” Irvine said, using the childhood nickname everyone had used for her. “See you later.”

“See ya,” Selphie said, waving goodbye as she walked off towards the training center.


Quistis and Rinoa were standing outside the entrance to the training center making idle small talk when they saw Selphie coming from the direction of the dorm rooms. Selphie waved at them when she saw them, and Quistis and Rinoa waved back in acknowledgement. When Selphie finally got near enough to them so that they would be able to hear her, she said, “Hey, there. What did you guys want?”

Rinoa answered. “We’re going to go through with the summoning of Shiva on the next full moon, which is one week from today.” Rinoa motioned for the other two women to follow her, and she began walking into the training center, keeping her voice low so that no one could hear what she said. “We’re going to do it in a small clearing I found in the forest right in front of the Fire Cavern.”

“What about the monsters that live there?” Selphie asked.

“I’m going to borrow Diablos from Squall and use the Encounter None ability,” Rinoa said. “That way we won’t have to worry about being attacked by any monsters before we can finish summoning Shiva.”

“All right, what then?” Quistis asked.

“Like I said before, I’m going to need to borrow Shiva’s orb from you,” Rinoa went on. “I’ll summon Shiva, and concentrate all my power into her. Hopefully, with the amount of power she’ll have in her, she’ll be able to break the hold the orb has on her, and she’ll be free to live in our world just like any other normal human.”

“Will there be anything I can do during the summoning?” Quistis asked.

“No,” Rinoa said. “But after Shiva is summoned, you should make sure she’s as comfortable as possible. I imagine that after the summoning is over that she’ll be completely exhausted.”

“I can bring a cloak or something to cover her up for when we bring her back to the Garden,” Selphie said. “Wouldn’t do for someone to see us walking into the Garden holding up a barely conscious GF.”

“Good idea,” Rinoa said.

“Wait a second,” Quistis said as a thought popped into her head. “Will she be able to stand the warm temperatures around here? I mean, she is an ice-based GF, after all.”

“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Rinoa said. “Once the summoning is complete, she should physically be just like any other human… except for the blue skin, of course.”

Both Selphie and Quistis giggled at that. “I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Quistis said. “What do you say we go to Balamb City and get something to eat? My treat.” The other two women agreed immediately, and they all walked out of Garden and headed towards the city.


After spending a few hours talking and laughing over their meals, Quistis, Rinoa, and Selphie decided to call it a night. Once they returned to the Garden, they all said their goodbyes and went to their dorm rooms. When Rinoa walked through the door to the room that she now shared with Squall, she was surprised to find that Squall was still awake. “What have you been up to?” Squall asked as soon as Rinoa walked through the door.

Rinoa nearly jumped out of her skin when she heard Squall’s voice. She hadn’t thought that Squall would have waited up for her. “Nothing,” she said, trying to sound nonchalant. “Quistis, Selphie and I just went out for dinner, that’s all.”

“That’s not all you three have been up to lately,” Squall said. “What are you planning?”

“What makes you thinking we’re planning something?” she asked, trying to keep her voice level. At the same time, though, she was thinking, Oh, Hyne, what does he know? Did he overhear us talking this afternoon?

“Quistis was more depressed than I’ve ever seen her in my entire life,” Squall said, getting up and starting to pace across the room. “Then, you take her into the washroom of a restaurant, talk to her for about ten minutes, and she’s suddenly acting like a kid that just got some extra dessert after dinner.”

Squall stopped pacing and turned to look Rinoa directly in the face. “No one comes out of a depression that deep that fast without a really good reason. I just want to know what Quistis’s reason was.” Rinoa stood there with her head bowed for a second, trying to figure out if she should tell Squall the whole truth. Well, she eventually thought, he’s going to find out sooner or later. May as well be now. “Squall, you may want to sit down before I tell you this.”

Squall sat down in a nearby chair, and Rinoa pulled up another one so that she was sitting directly in front of him. “All right, I’m sitting down,” Squall said. “Now what are the three of you planning?” Rinoa cleared her throat, and said, “We’re going to summon Shiva.”

Squall looked at her like she had just said that she was going to eat breakfast tomorrow morning. “You’re going to summon Shiva?” he asked. “What’s with all the secrecy then?”

“Well,” Rinoa said, sounding more nervous by the second, “we’re going to summon Shiva… permanently.”

Squall looked at her, confusion etched on his face. “Permanently?” he said. “What do you mean permanently?”

Rinoa then launched into the story of how Shiva had come to Quistis in a dream, and all about the plan to summon Shiva so that she could stay on their plane of existence permanently. When she finally finished, she sat back in her chair, drained from the telling of the story. “Well,” Rinoa said, “what do you have to say on the subject?”

Squall ran a hand through his hair, trying to gather his thoughts and let what Rinoa told him sink in. “Well,” he began, “I think that you already know that I’m going to say that I don’t like the idea of you trying this. One or all of you might end up getting hurt.”

“I know that, Squall,” Rinoa said, “but I made a promise to Quistis, and I intend to keep it.”

Squall saw the determined look on Rinoa’s face, and realized that no matter what he said to her, there would be no talking her out of the course of action she had chosen. “Fine,” he said finally after a long silence, “go ahead and do it. But I don’t have to like it.”

Rinoa jumped out of the chair she was sitting in and nearly knocked Squall over with a hug. “Thanks, Squall,” she said.

Squall didn’t say anything. He just returned Rinoa’s hug, knowing that she would be as careful as she possibly could while fulfilling her promise to Quistis. When he was sure that she was asleep, he gently put her into their bed, and crawled in beside her, following her into sleep.


One Week Later… Rinoa, Selphie, and Quistis were all gathered in the clearing that Rinoa had found in the forest near the Fire Cavern. Selphie had an old blanket to wrap Shiva in once she had been summoned. Rinoa had been preparing herself all week by resting, since the she knew the summoning would most likely completely exhaust her. Quistis was almost biting her fingernails in anticipation of Shiva being summoned. I hope she’ll be all right, Quistis kept on thinking over and over. After walking for what seemed like forever to Quistis, the three women finally reached the clearing.

“All right, here we are,” Rinoa announced. She turned to Quistis and said, “Quistis, I’m going to need Shiva’s orb now.”

Quistis took Shiva’s orb and handed it over to Rinoa, who junctioned it right away. “Is there anything else that I can do?” Quistis asked, anxious to see Shiva soon.

“No,” Rinoa replied. “Just stand back while I’m summoning Shiva. As soon as I’m done, you should take the blanket from Selphie and make Shiva as comfortable as possible.”

Selphie put a reassuring hand on Quistis’ shoulder and said, “Hey, don’t worry. Everything will turn out all right.”

Quistis smiled at Selphie, glad for her friend’s reassurances. “Thanks, Selphie,” Quistis said. Rinoa then moved to the center of the clearing. “All right, you may want to stand back now,” she said to her friends. Quistis and Selphie backed up to the edge of the clearing, giving Rinoa as much room as they possibly could while still being able to see what was going on. Rinoa then assumed her usual stance for summoning a GF, and concentrated.

As Selphie and Quistis looked on, the air in front of Rinoa began to shimmer, and Shiva began to appear. After a few short seconds, the ice GF was fully visible. Rinoa then began to concentrate even harder, and a light began to emanate from her, growing to surround her and Shiva. The light kept on growing brighter and brighter, becoming so bright that Selphie and Quistis had to look away.

Rinoa kept on concentrating, pouring more and more of her power into Shiva. Eventually, Rinoa felt something change in the GF, and realized that she had been successful. She cut off the flow of power from herself to Shiva, collapsing to the ground in exhaustion.

Quistis and Selphie, suddenly realizing that the light that had lit up the clearing a minute before was now gone, removed their hands from their eyes and turned around to look where Rinoa was. When they looked, Selphie immediately noticed that Rinoa had fallen to the ground, apparently completely exhausted. The first thing Quistis noticed, however, was Shiva, laying on the ground beside Rinoa, apparently in the same condition.

“Shiva!” Quistis yelled, running over to the GF’s side. Quistis kneeled on the ground beside her, and cradled Shiva’s head in her lap. Quistis brushed a hand against Shiva’s cheek, being as gentle as possible. At Quistis’s touch, Shiva’s eyes fluttered open. “Q…Quistis?” she said, her voice barely a whisper. “Did it work?”

Quistis gave a hoarse laugh, and kissed Shiva lightly on the forehead. “Yeah,” Quistis said, barely able to hold back the tears of joy that were threatening to overwhelm her. “Yeah, it worked.”

The next few minutes were a blur to Quistis. She only vaguely remembered Selphie casting Curaga on Rinoa and Shiva, and could barely recall Selphie handing her the blanket to wrap up Shiva with so they could sneak her back into the Garden. She felt Selphie touch her lightly on the shoulder, telling her that they should all get going before they were missed. Quistis got up, and held an arm tightly around Shiva’s shoulders to support her as they walked back to the Garden, Selphie doing the same for Rinoa.

Quistis was fairly surprised when Shiva spoke up as they walked back to the Garden. “Quistis,” she said, “I hope you don’t mind me sleeping in tomorrow morning.”

Quistis just smiled and tightened her hold on Shiva a little. “Don’t worry. You can sleep as long as you want.” The four walked the rest of the way back to the Garden in silence, Quistis and Shiva with a content smile on their faces.


Epilogue With a little luck, Quistis, Selphie, and Rinoa managed to sneak Shiva back into the Garden without arousing anyone’s suspicion. Quistis went back to her room with Shiva, and Selphie helped Rinoa back to her room. When Selphie and Rinoa walked in, they found Squall waiting.

As soon as he saw them walk in, Squall got up and helped Rinoa, thanking Selphie for bringing her this far. He walked her over to the bed, and she immediately fell over, still feeling completely drained. “So, how’d it go?” Squall asked, brushing some hair out of Rinoa’s face.

“Perfectly,” Rinoa said, giving a weak smile. “Quistis took Shiva back to her room as soon as we got back.”

Squall smiled, and said, “I’m glad everything worked out.”

Rinoa looked up at him, and said, “You hardly ever smile. You should do it more often.” “I hardly ever have a reason to,” Squall said.

“Well, I guess I’m going to have to change that,” Rinoa said. She grabbed Squall by his shirt and dragged him down onto the bed beside her. She wrapped her arms around him and they eventually fell into a blissful sleep.


Meanwhile, back in Quistis’s room, her and Shiva were lying in bed together, Shiva staring intently into Quistis’s eyes. “I feel like this is some sort of wonderful dream,” Shiva said. “It’s like I’ll wake up when it gets to the best part.”

Quistis reached up and lightly pinched Shiva’s arm. “I’m still here, aren’t I?” she said.

“Yeah,” Shiva said, smiling. She pulled closer to Quistis and kissed her gently on the lips.

“You know,” Quistis said, more seriously, “we’re eventually going to have to explain this to everyone.”

“Yeah, I know,” Shiva said. “But let’s not think about that for now. Let’s just relax for now.”

“I like that idea,” Quistis said. The two women got as close together as they possibly could, so that not even air could fit between them. “You know,” Quistis said, “I’m going to be saying this a lot now, so I’d better get started.”

“Going to be saying what a lot now?” Shiva asked, running a hand through Quistis’s hair. “I love you, that’s what,” Quistis answered.

Shiva smiled, and said, “I love you, too, Quisty.” The two women kissed passionately, not wanting to ever stop. They eventually fell asleep, not caring that tomorrow they would have a lot of explaining to do. They didn’t care what people would think about them. They were in love, as deeply in love as any two people had ever been, and that’s all that really counts.

The End!

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