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The System

Title: The System
Fandom: Final Fantasy VIII
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Quistis/Selphie
Rating: AA
Summary: Quistis may question Selphie's plans... but she goes along with them.
Notes: "One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor." (for Fairady, on yuri_challenge) This one had a few very long false starts that wanted to run along and go nowhere fast. Seriously, it had hit the 3k mark and hadn't even gotten to where I started this version. Many thanks to Cyd, Ket and Sprink for watching my back and beating me back to where I needed to be.

"Here's how it works," Selphie explained, bouncing across Quistis's bed. Despite the Estharian Presidential Palace being quite large, their Commander had actually insisted on everyone sharing rooms. Something about not wanting to waste resources, Quistis recalled, not that she much minded sharing her space with Selphie.

Quistis was pulling a tight, dark top over her head, attempting to listen to Selphie while also wondering how much alcohol Selphie had already ingested. While she had been required to stand guard during the dance that marked the end of the political summit in Esthar that they'd been hired for, Selphie had been off duty and doing her share of dancing - and drinking, usually with 'Sir Laguna!' in tow.

"How what works?" Quistis asked, smoothing her top and sighing. Admittedly, she wasn't quite as party-savvy as Selphie was.

"The System," Selphie replied, somehow managing to pronounce 'System' with a capital 'S'. "We're going to a party with a bunch of Esthar's soldiers - guys who don't quite know that we could probably drop kick the lot of them. They'll be totally charmed to meet us."


"And," Selphie continued as she jumped down from the bed and stared at Quistis. "We need to stay close. So, like, if an icky boy starts talking to me and I want to get away, I'll just reach over and tap your arm and you can put your arm around me and act like we're lesbians!"

Quistis was quite happy to not be holding anything. Or drinking anything. Or even really thinking anything. For the safety of all those involved.

"You've got to be kidding me," she said after a moment.

"Remember that whole thing when Squall and Rinoa broke up? She and I went out in Galbadia and used the System," Selphie continued, a wicked grin spreading across her face. "We each had cute boys to dance with all night and I found out that Rinoa's a good kisser."

No, no- Now was the moment that Quistis was thankful not to be drinking/holding/thinking anything. Though by the time her mind had stopped attempting to imagine Selphie and Rinoa slinking along in a club together, Selphie had wandered over to lean against the full-length mirror attached to the wall.

"Maybe I don't get out enough," Quistis finally said. After all, she wasn't any stranger to the adoring kisses of her Trepies, but those were always chaste, cheek-smacks. Not anything... lingering.

"You and Squall both," Selphie said before giggling. "Y'know, I think we should have invited Squall to come with us."

"Squall once mentioned you trying to put eyeliner on him," Quistis said quickly as she tried to see enough of her hair to brush it despite Selphie still blocking most of the mirror. "After that..."

"He has to wear eyeliner anyway! Or mascara or something. No boy is naturally that pretty," Selphie argued. "Except maybe Irvine who totally ditched us for that mission in Galbadia. Loser."

Quistis smiled. Somehow Selphie being, well, Selphie put her at ease.

"So you poke my arm?" she asked, trying not to glance down as she brushed at the ends of her hair. With Selphie leaning on the mirror, each downward glance was a perfect upskirt on her companion, revealing that Selphie was at least color-coordinating.

"Right," Selphie replied. "Totally easy. And vice versa if you get some ugly dude after you."

"And if everyone just decides we are lesbians?" Quistis questioned, almost a little afraid of the answer.

"I hope you're a good kisser," Selphie commented before reaching to fix Quistis' hair to be half-pinned up and half down. "Now, let's get going."

"This sucks," Selphie commented as she flopped onto the bench that Quistis had long ago decided to occupy. "Hasn't anyone ever told these guys that acting all macho-beefhead is so five years ago? They should take lessons from Sir Laguna!"

"We can leave," Quistis replied. "The palace is..."

"Oh, I know," Selphie interrupted. "I just wanted a little fun. This is a totally lame party and even I can't figure out how to fix it! There's music playing and no one's even dancing!"

"I'm sure someone will..."

"I've nearly poked a hole in your arm!" Selphie exclaimed before pointing. "Hey, look at that guy. Maybe everyone in Esthar's a lightweight."

"Maybe you can just hold your alcohol," Quistis replied.

"Nah, I'd be all 'One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, Floor!' if I wanted to be. Though I wouldn't mind drinking til the cutest person here wasn't you," Selphie said, giggling.

Quistis smiled. "Well, we can dance. You managed to pull me out for a dance earlier, after all."

"Because Squall wouldn't dance," Selphie said, "and I wanted to dance with someone in uniform! Oh... not like that. I mean, you two were just standing there all 'business' and I couldn't help thinking that I was going to crack at least one of ya!"

Nodding, Quistis got to her feet and held out a hand. "I know. I would have asked Squall to dance too, if I'd been you. Mainly just to annoy him."

"Really?" Selphie asked, taking Quistis' hand and quickly sliding around to pull Quistis over to where speakers were blaring a fairly fast song.

"I don't really dance like this," Quistis attempted to say over the music, but she knew her words were being drowned out as Selphie began moving to the beat. Trying to follow, Quistis managed to almost stumble over both her own feet and Selphie's before finding her rhythm.

"Yay!" Selphie cried when the song was over, in the half-second lull before another began. "Let's keep going."

"But..." Quistis knew that Selphie couldn't hear her, not as chirping beats were suddenly howled over by a combination of synths and a siren-like vocalist. And Selphie slid against her, making her gasp and lose herself for a moment until Selphie guided her back. Looking down, Selphie was smiling, looking genuinely happy for reasons not having to deal with the wine coolers they'd both been buying for one another.

It took a second for Quistis to realize that Selphie was poking her arm. And again.

Wrapping an arm around Selphie, she could only wonder...

Selphie poked her again.

She leaned down for a kiss.


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Disclaimer: I don't own it, I'm just playing with it. All titles and characters belong to their respective creators and companies.