August 26, 2015 by Lyn Thorne-Alder
They had every class of the day together. That was the whole purpose of their team and their larger eighteen-person group, after all: they spent all of their class time together and in theory, they formed a bond.
On some level, Enrie supposed it was working. She knew the names of all seventeenother teammates, and she was beginning to know what their strengths and weaknesses were. She could tell that Dotlyi excelled at math and spatial relations but had trouble stringing words together, or that Lairbyin was eloquent and had lovely calligraphy but had even more trouble in science and math than Enrie herself did.
But in the specifics, she had not had three minutes to talk alone with Taikie and Saydrie all day, and if there was one thing she knew about Lairbyin, it was that he was prone to gossiping, and he liked to sit next to Taikie in any class where Riensin hadn’t already claimed that chair.
And either he or Riensin, and because of them their teams, had been following their team from class to class as if they had acquired a small gaggle of goslings.
It would have been, in other situations, amusing: Lairbyin’s teammate Dotlyi was clearly interested in Saydrie, who himself was interested in — well, it was hard to tell with him, as he tended to become more reserved the more people were around, but Enrie thought probably Taikie’s roommate Gaikvya or the ice-blonde girl from the far north, Baarzuvrie. Riensin and Lairbyin were both pretending very assiduously not to be interested in Tairiekie, probably assuming that her lack of interest was personal. In truth, Enrie was fairly certain that Taikie would be far more interested in either boy if they came with dials and levers.
And as for interest in Enrie, there seemed to be a couple who would have been attempting some romantic gesture if she’d encouraged them, but she had been doing her best to imitate Taikie and pretend that her only concerns here at Edally were academic. It was politer than explaining exactly how boring she found them, and she might need their favor at some point. She was, after all, studying to be a Diplomat.
And right now, right now she needed a diplomatic way to get rid of their hangers-on for at least a minute, preferably five minutes. She leaned forward to tell Taikie about the missing treaty, only to have Riensin comment on the beads in Taikie’s hair. She tilted her head to Saydrie, trying to impress upon him without words that she wanted to talk. Dotlyi asked him an awkward and convoluted question about the south that left him blushing, flustered, and not talking to anyone.
And on it went. Finally, in Philosophy, Enrie found her moment. Lairbyin had scooted over to work with his team, and her team was supposed to be working together on detangling yesterday’s reading. She trailed her pencil across her notebook and struggled to sound casual and scholarly, as if she was discussing their classwork.
“I overheard something interesting last night.”