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Although often looked upon with interest by individuals hailing from a far vantage point, Squall rarely faced anyone with the will to try to get through his quite obviously in-place barriers. He was admired from afar, if admired at all, and he much preferred it that way. Human contact he avoided, unless necessary, and he made his preferences quite clear. But there was one who chose to ignore it, at her own peril.

quote_l Then tell me. Tell me
more about yourself. quote_r

Quistis

Quistis had been watching a particular student of hers, one whom she felt was perhaps a kindred spirit. Distant, intelligent and driven, she saw Squall as having much in common with herself. As his instructor, she came to know his outward quirks, and teased him with that knowledge. She thought she was showing Squall her interest in him. She thought she was showing him someone understood, even if only a little bit.

But Squall didn't want to be understood. Squall was not only content with being a mystery to those around him—he preferred it. To think of himself as a problem to be solved, especially as easily as Quistis was showcasing through her gentle mockery of his mannerisms left Squall feeling insulted.

quote_l I'm more complex
than you think. quote_r

Squall

Quistis felt Squall was leading her into a game: how could he be so serious? Or perhaps she herself was nervous and needed a cover. In any case, she could only laugh at his verbal frustration and tease him further still. She took his irritation as proof of his interest; his silence only inspired her. She was only seeing what she wanted to. She thought he might find her as interesting as she found him.

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Quistis realises the truth too late. Calling Squall out to the 'secret place' at the back of the training area—a place well-known to be frequented by lovers looking to be left alone for a while—Quistis pours her heart out to him under the stars. She believes he'll care; she believes he'll understand. She just wants someone to listen to her.

quote_l Then go talk to a wall. quote_r

Squall

Squall is blunt and cruel. He doesn't want to listen to her problems—hers, or anyone else's. He relies on himself, and he expects others to do the same. When he leaves, Quistis ponders her failings as an instructor, and realises they may be right, that she doesn't have what it takes to lead and inspire, whether it be in her professional life...or otherwise.

quote_l (Squall...why did you
choose us? Did you choose us
because you knew this would
  happen?) quote_r

Quistis

Quistis is facing imminent death, having set the Galbadian missile site to self-destruct and finding herself and the two others with her trapped inside. Squall had chosen her to go on this mission. Her trust in him falters: did he chose her because...he wanted to get rid of her? She speaks her fears aloud to the other two. Selphie is appalled to hear Quistis' words. She knew Squall had created their team because he believed in them. What could be going on inside Quistis' head to make her say such things?

As luck would have it, Quistis and the others stow away on an abandoned mech unit and survive the explosion. Somehow, under the command of the Galbadian fleet, the unit is recovered and used to threaten the people of Fisherman's Horizon. Squall, Rinoa and others battle the unit, and at its defeat Quistis and the others are freed. Squall is surprisingly emotive at seeing they've survived. It seems he cares for his comrades in some way, after all.

quote_l It was my childhood
feelings as a big sister
  that lingered... quote_r

Quistis

Together at last, huddled amidst the ruins of Trabia Garden. Selphie swears revenge against Edea for destroying the garden, her home. It's time, Irvine thinks, and tells them all a story from long ago, a story that they, unlike he, seem to have forgotten. Slowly, Quistis, Zell, Selphie and Squall recall a time long ago, when they were just children in a stone orphanage by the sea. Squall recalls Quistis being bossy and difficult to deal with, himself a lonely boy standing on his own out in the rain, waiting for his sis Ellone to return to him.

The truth at last: Squall, Seifer and Quistis, all children from the orphanage who were never adopted. Difficult children, hard to deal with, the ones opted out in favour of more spirited, easy-going children. Quistis was adopted, but by the age of ten she found herself at Balamb Garden, not having done well with her adoptive parents. Squall and Seifer had been there since they were five, and Quistis found herself taking on the role of the elder sister—the role Ellone had taken on before—separating the two each time they fought.

Slowly, as she and Squall and Seifer junctioned themselves to the GFs for more extended periods of time, they began to forget the past, their memories becoming as muddled as puddle water drying up after a storm. Quistis found herself thinking of Squall, and began to wonder if she was falling in love with him.

But it was not as it seemed, and Irvine's retelling of the past made it clear to her. Besides, she already knew who Squall was likely to chose, if anyone. She could only look on as an older sister; she could not be the one to open his heart.

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epilogue
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