"I hate school!"
Inyoninko glanced over at her best friend and right hand man, Asakay, who bent over and hung his arms, groaning. She smirked and continued to fill out the forms in front of her. From behind the desk, the administrator, a plump middle-aged woman of sickly pale skin and hair taller than her head, peered over her glasses and regarded Asakay with budding affection.
"If you hate school," Inyoninko muttered back, "you shouldn't have followed me to Amitirzh."
"Bah," he called out and straightened up. He was less than half a head taller than her but then, Inyoninko was pretty tall. Given their homeland, they were both fighters and it showed. Now that they were away from home, her friend took full advantage by piercing his ears, bleaching his hair white with his bangs colored tawny yellow, shaving the sides and wearing all kinds of rings, necklaces and arm bands. Though Inyoninko had always sensed him to be flashy, she found his new look amusing.
"Don't be so mean." He sidled up beside her. "As if I could abandon you, Ninny." He threw his arm over her shoulders and peered down at the forms in front of her, only to balk. "I hate paperwork!" He face-planted the desk, right on the forms, making it impossible for her to fill them out. She glanced at the administrator. The woman was chuckling behind her hand. By chance, the woman glanced at her. The woman avoided looking at her eyes but to seem friendly, the woman shook her head and was smiling in a way that said her best friend was cute.
"Get off." She punched his arm. He shifted but stayed in place with his face against the forms, one of which was his but she was filling it out. Staring at him, she first spared a glance towards the administrator, then shoved him away. As he fell over, she grabbed the forms before they could follow him. Even as he fumbled on the ground, she sidestepped him and ignored him, filling out the rest of the information with a few more dashes of the pen. But when she handed them to the administrator, the woman was distracted.
With a roll of her eyes, she waited for her friend to stand up and drape himself over the edge of the desk. Then she tried again to hand the forms over. Aware by now how disturbing the color of her eyes was, she averted her gaze as she gave over the forms.
"Why are we doing this now," he groaned "It's been two months."
"Procedure. And incompetence."
He snorted. She looked at him, ready to silence him should he make a reckless remark but he fell silent and for a moment, she felt a swell of pride. When the administrator began speaking, she shifted her focus but none of it was new. They just needed their student passes, account numbers, and to choose their dorms and classes. One short speech later, the administrator left them to head further into the office. Dark eyes trailed after the middle-aged woman. "I'm bored, Ninny."
She smiled to herself. "Best two out of three?"
He laughed against the desk. "Fuck you."
She thought of reading a book. There were several left on her list from the governor's mansion. The governor and governess had both in turn told her to feel free to come back and borrow the books. Until she could access the library on campus, she had every intention of returning for that book on trade history in Shsyryo fighters and Danzhilitinzhau slaves. The art history book featuring depictions of the purge also caught her attention and she thought the comprehensive history of international disputes and western trade agreements would be worth going through.
"Ninny?" She paused and looked to her friend. He viewed her from the side, dark eyes watching her. "Are you thinking of books again?"
She glanced away. Something poked her in the leg. Looking down, she saw it was a book. When she looked to her friend, she found him smiling. Taking the book, she turned it over and read the title, "Power: The Give and Take of Negotiation." Turning her back to the desk, she flipped open the book and started to read but first, leaning towards her friend, "Thief."
He chuckled against the desk and pointed behind him at another student waiting on a bench to follow them. The young man was searching for something, looking through his backpack and pockets, even around him on the seat. Inyoninko positioned the book to show its cover and when the young man looked up, upon recognizing the book, he looked between her and the book. He did not recognize her but he recognized Asakay. Sitting back, he lowered his gaze and hugged his backpack. She peered back at her friend. He grinned with satisfaction and shrugged, "You'll be quick, yeah?"
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