"What is Leivell doing?"

"What does it look like? Talking to Giki," said Kifa. She was standing with her friend Ruha just outside the doorway of the studyroom, watching as Giki and Leivell conversed in low tones.

"Why would he do that?" asked Ruha, who was clearly appalled by the very idea. "Leivell and Giki are, as though, completely on different levels!"

Kifa gave her friend a disapproving look. Everyone knew the girl had feelings for Leivell, but then, she had feelings for another boy every week. Leivell was just taking a little longer to get over. "I told him to."

"What?! Why would you do that? People are going to talk..."

"I was joking."

"It doesn't look like he thinks you're very funny," Ruha commented dryly, as Leivell pulled up a chair and listened intently to what Giki was saying. When Kifa declined to answer, Ruha went on by herself. "I do hope he stops that. I can't be involved with someone who associates with people like Giki."

"He's really not that bad. You know, other than being a tifi."

Ruha looked shocked, and probably would have retorted with something nasty if she was speaking to anyone other than Kifa, but she respected and in fact even admired the other girl, so she deigned to take a closer look at the strange boy.

"I guess," she said, with a sigh to communicate just how much effort guessing had taken. "That he would be okay if he just... did something with that awful hair, and put on some nice clothes."

She glanced at Kifa, who was looking highly amused. "Don't you dare tell anyone I said that, though!" she hissed, a tinge of red that could easily have been either anger or embarrassment coming to her cheeks. "And he would have to stop with that conspiracy garbage, too," she huffed.

"Oh, the girls are going to gobble this up," Kifa said, her attention fully shifted to a highly flustered Ruha by this point.

"You wouldn't!"

"Wouldn't I?" she challenged, a raised eyebrow and a mischievous smile garnishing her façade.

"I'll tell them you have feelings for Leivell!"

Clearly this got to Kifa, and this, in turn, gave Ruha confidence. Now it was she that was smiling, and Kifa was rougeing.

"I do not have feelings for him!"

"You said he was cute. Right to my face."

"Well he is, isn't he?"

"Ohh, you're really blushing now! You do have feelings for him!"

"I do not! He's... he's... he's a Pret!" said Kifa, loud enough that Ruha, Giki, and Leivell all heard it. Giki and Leivell's conversation ceased immediately, and Ruha looked as if she was going to ask Kifa if it was true, but the look of guilt and regret on Kifa's face said it all.

"Kifa?" said Leivell, looking more puzzled than actually worried. He started toward the door, but Ruha shot him a dirty look and grabbed Kifa's arm.

"Let's go, Kifa. You can tell me all about it some place where that Pret is not."

Kifa shot Leivell a horrified, apologetic look, but was already being dragged off by Ruha, and did not seem able or willing to resist.

"I guess it is not much of a secret any more," Giki called across the room to Leivell, who was standing in the door. "Ruha has the loudest mouth in our year. I have actually measured its volume. Do you still want to go on?"


Leivell turned around and sat back down beside Giki. He knew they would figure out who he really was eventually, and it wasn't exactly happy news, but what Giki was telling him was far more important.

And far more worrisome.

The End

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