Author's Note: Characters belong to Squaresoft. I wrote the story. Copyrighted – to me and only me. Oh, I need some clarifications here in this chapter because I can’t show Italics on this.
*stuff* – emphasized word. Equal to Italics in word documents
[stuff] – magazines, journals, books, epic poems, anything that’s a literary title
‘stuff’ – band names
“What?” Squall exclaimed.
Quistis giggled. “Don’t need to get upset. It’s for my photography class.”
“Yeah, right,” Seifer mumbled.
“Shut up.” Quistis slapped Seifer’s shoulder. “Okay, it’s not *entirely* for my photography class. It’s for this magazine. Remember two weeks ago I flew to the ceiling because of a letter? Yeah, that’s from them. They saw some of my pictures and decided I could have a little section, about a page, in each issue, for a continuing series. I need some . . . muses.”
Irvine snickered. “Bullshit.”
Quistis’ jaw dropped. “If you aren’t gonna help me, stop messing it up! Jesus, it’s nothing bad, Squall. I don’t need you to like, strip or anything.”
“Hm, but you want him to.” Seifer grinned.
“Shut up!” Quistis groaned, unimpressed. “Like I’m the only one.”
“Hey now!” Seifer’s equally unimpressed.
“What magazine?” The topic of the conversation cut in, addressing to Irvine, the only one that seemed sane at this moment. But curiously Irvine blushed slightly.
“*WHAT?*” Squall leapt up. “Isn’t that . . . ?”
“NO!” Quistis shouted and at the same time the other two guys nodded.
“It’s *photos.* Art. Objects of art. I take pictures because I find artistic value in them. Sure some of the pictures in there are quite . . . provocative and shocking, but art can be shocking, and that what makes them beautiful. You understand, Squall. Plus, Seifer, you know darn well what kind of photos I take, so stop making up stuff.” Quistis crossed her arms.
Squall licked his lips. “Like what kind?”
“She took a picture of me reading my English assignment. I fail to find artistic value in a picture of me sitting in a desk with [The Stranger] in front of me, but, well.” Seifer gestured toward Quistis with his hand.
“The point of me asking you this is that all of [Magma]’s photos are spontaneous. There’s rarely any planning, if there is, it’s arranged so it looked unstructured. Caught in the moment, if you please. So that means I may be taking a picture of you walking up the stairs without telling you ‘look and say cheese.’” Quistis patiently explained, although her voice was quite strained. “Ignore the other two fools’ hints and undertones. My pictures aren’t intrusive.”
Squall thought for a moment. This didn’t sound so bad. However, there was a tiny nagging voice in his mind telling him this topic did not simply appear out of the blue. “Why me? Is it convenient that I live here?”
Seifer chuckled. “Squall, use your head, hon. No, it just *happened* that she’s in this gig with [Magma] and she also *happened* to have three housemates, all are quite attractive men, and one is her boyfriend, the other two are gay. Yeah, how *convenient.*”
Squall stared at Quistis, who was blushing furiously at Seifer’s words. “Is *this* why you let me stay here in the first place?”
“Well, fate can work for you . . . some . . . times.” Her eyes wondered to the ceiling.
“Sure,” Irvine snickered again.
Squall gathered his empty bowl and the chopsticks. “As long as you don’t come into my room when I’m changing or my shower, I don’t really care.” He turned to put them in the sink. “Oh, or when I’m stressed out. Because then I may rip the camera apart.”
“I have enough sense to know when to *not* take a picture, thank you.” Quistis also stood up. “And you two are going to pay heavily for that.”
“For telling the truth?” Seifer attempted to wrap his arms around her, but she dodged away quickly. “Aw, Quis, don’t tell me the idea of catching goth boy in the shower doesn’t tempt you one bit.”
“Ahem,” Irvine cleared his throat. He came behind Quistis and kissed her neck. “As long as I’m alive and still her boyfriend, the only guy in the shower she’d be seeing is *me.*”
“And because of your ever-so-big-and-nasty mouth, Seifer Almasy,” Quistis added, “You’ll be doing the dishes.”
Seifer glared, while the other three left the kitchen.
“You free this Saturday?”
Fujin’s question caught Squall off guard. She looked at him expectantly from her table with clay all over her hands. He himself was dirty and streaked with brownish dashes. Sculpting class.
“Are you free this Saturday?”
She dipped her fingers into the water basin. “Rinoa invited me to her sorority party. She said I could bring a few friends. You want to go?”
“Is it any good?” Squall narrowed his eyes. He had been to a few of the parties thrown by Phi Xi Epsilon, and they weren’t all that. He’s not a big partier in the first place, rather stay home and read something.
“Well, I heard this one’s going off the wall.” Fujin shrugged. “They’re going to play a lot of good stuff, like ‘Massive Attack’. Figure you’d like it.”
He actually did like those kinds of music. ‘Kittie’ wasn’t bad, either. “Sure,” He replied. It had been a while since he attended a party. He could use one.
“Good,” Fujin smiled. “It’s at Candelabra.”
“You’re joking.” Squall raised his eyebrows.
“Nope,” Fujin shook her head. “I’m shocked, too, considering the majority of those people couldn’t imagine themselves not reading the dictionary every night. Kiss my ass.” She rolled her eyes and concentrated back on her sculpture.
But Candelabra? Squall reflected. That place was so full of illegal activities that he questioned for a long while why the cops hadn’t shut it down already. Better take it with me, then, he told himself. I was wondering when I’d need it.
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