“Come on, Elf. You can’t just sit on your own during the first day of school!”
Elf grumbled softly, Red’s hand clamped firmly on a thin wrist and dragging the reluctant student through the Dining Hall. “I met a bunch of guys in my Literature and Math classes. They seem pretty cool. We’re going to sit with them and see if we can get hooked up.”
“Red, the consequences of ‘hooking up’ far outweigh the—”
“As long as no one does the nasty, we’re fine.” The red-haired student looked back at her roommate, green eyes sparkling. “Live a little. Get a guy that will help you let your hair down. I swear, I’ve only been your roommate for a night and I can already feel the tension from your side…”
“Tension is not a foreign concept here! Red, I overheard a student being forcibly apprehended and beaten for the use of a vulgar word!” Elf glanced around before hissing softly in the human girl’s ear. “It was so vicious that I saw the blood soak through her bandages, clothes, and seat cushion during Cultural Studies.”
Red was still smiling, but she looked a little paler. “Well, we can avoid that by not breaking any rules. I mean, we’re not going to be beaten by sitting with boys.”
“I’m sure that there is a rule against it.”
“One that everyone breaks! Anyway, I’m making you do this, so be friendly.”
Red made a jerking motion, nearly ripping Elf’s arm out of its socket, and pulled her to a table of four boys. “Hey, guys! This is the roommate I told you about!”
They were all wearing their uniform blue cloaks with white shirts and black pants, but their hoods were down. A halfling boy with scraggly auburn hair and brown eyes immediately took an interest in Elf, looking her up and down and frowning thoughtfully. A boy with skin the color of chocolate and a shaved head (and a very broad and well-muscled body, Elf had to admit) looked up, smiling and gesturing for them to sit. “You’re Elf, right? Red mentioned you.”
Red forced the reluctant elf to sit. A blond boy with big blue eyes shuffled to sit next to her, smiling brightly, while a dwarf boy with a short brown beard, a shaved head, and dark eyes shook his head fondly.
“I am Elf, yes,” Elf murmured softly.
“Are you sure you’re a girl?” the halfling piped up, frowning at her. “I can’t tell!”
Elf felt an instant sense of dislike flare and she simply narrowed her eyes. “I do not believe that that is any of your business.”
“Of course she’s a girl. They wouldn’t let her in the girls’ dorms if they didn’t know that.” The dark skinned human paused, then frowned, glancing at the elf. “Right?”
“She’s a girl.” Red winked flirtatiously at the blond boy. “So, Blondie, what class do you have next?”
Blondie shrugged, smiling with an innocent gleam in his eyes. “Elven.”
“Oh, what a surprise! So do I!”
Elf rolled her eyes. “You will not learn Elven in a mere four years of classes.”
“As long as I get a good grade, I don’t care,” Red said absently, leaning towards Blondie and smiling flirtatiously. “So anyway…”
Elf rolled violet eyes before looking up at the room, watching the kids mill around with lunch trays. Two goblin boys sat at the table beside them, talking with the occasional swat to each other’s shoulders. The female elf frowned a little, noting that both boys were missing an eye—mirror images of each other.
The one missing his right eye paused, apparently sensing her stare, and glanced up.
One gold eye met violet.
Elf took a sharp breath, scowling and looking away.
“…So you speak Elven?”
She jumped in surprise, looking up at the black-skinned human and wondering if he had been speaking to her, then nodded. “Of course.”
The black-skinned human cocked his head, smiling wryly. “You think you can give me tips? Blondie, Red, Doppel, and I are the only new students in Elven One, and I already can’t make heads or tails of anything.”
“Of course. What may I call you?”
“Coal,” he said automatically, then he gestured to the dwarf sitting besides him. “And this is Dwarf.”
The dwarf made a small waving motion.
Elf dipped a delicate head. “Very well. What do you know so far of Elven?”
“Basically, all I know is ‘Saesa omentien lle’ and ‘Namaarie’.”
“It seems as though you have only looked at greetings and fairwells, then. And your accent is horrendous.”
Coal shrugged, smiling sheepishly. “I told you I couldn’t make heads or tails of anything.”
Elf shook out her wild hair, letting it cover half her face. “Well, then, we should work a little on your pronunciation if you are to make any progress whatsoever. Elven is too complex a language to mispronounce words and expect the listener to understand. Repeat after me: it is ‘Saesa…”
“Good afternoon, class.”
Elf frowned up at the teacher, pulling out a large theological studies textbook from her bag. A series of names were written on the whiteboard next to names of various minor deities. Her own name was beside ‘Crim’ and the deity Morpheus. The teacher was dressed in a Lethe-blue robe, though his brown hair was rumpled and his dark eyes looked achingly bored. That was a very bad sign for the first day of classes.
“For those of you who don’t know, I’m Element.” The teacher faced the students, gesturing to piles and piles of books on either side of his desk. The entire classroom seemed to consist of three two-seat columns—two at the walls and one going through the center—and several rows, all facing the big wooden teacher desk and the whiteboard behind it. “You’re going to need these. But before I tell you why, do you all know each other?”
Everyone shook their heads. Elf leaned forward, frowning, predicting an unpleasant class.
And judging by the hand drifting along her thigh, it was going to be much worse than she thought.
Elf grabbed the stray hand, twisting it and glaring at its owner.
A succubus with dark skin, black curly hair, folded bat wings, and red eyes grinned at her with pointed teeth, playfully daring her to tell the teacher. They both knew well enough that any girl who participated in ‘objectionable’ activities, willingly or no, would be punished just as harshly as the dominant participant.
Elf glared at her and threw her hand back, keeping violet eyes narrowed and hissing softly under her breath. “It would do you well to keep your hands to yourself.”
The succubus chuckled lowly. “You might want to pay attention to the teacher, Elf.”
Elf scowled and looked back at the front of the class, moving so she was on the edge of her seat farthest away from the succubus.
“Alright, then. Consider this a good opportunity to get to know your classmates.” Element turned to the whiteboard, frowning at the names. “Patch?”
Elf turned to look at the two seats behind her and saw, with a slight pinkish color coming to a pale face, that the goblins the student had been staring at during the lunch period were behind her and the succubus. The goblin with his left eye missing—Patch—was ignoring her and looking at the teacher with mild interest, but the goblin beside him was staring at her with a slight frown on his face.
Elf scowled at him and turned back to look at the teacher. The succubus reached over and lightly stroked her thigh, working inward slowly. Elf tried to jerk away without looking obvious, grabbing the succubus’s wrists and digging sharp nails in dark skin.
The succubus winced and tried to pull away, but Elf simply dug the nails in deeper.
“You’re paired with Tusk. You both are going to be researching the goddess Astraea. I’ll explain the details of the assignment once everyone is with their partners. She’s right there.”
He gestured to the only half-orc in the whole class—possibly in the whole school—who was wearing the traditional blue cloak and was waving a green hand sheepishly, shyly shrinking back in the corner. Patch got up, flashing a grin at the other goblin, and sat beside her.
The succubus jerked her arm out of Elf’s grip, ignoring the blood bubbling up from the nail marks, and gently ran her fingers along the slenderer creature’s abdomen, lifting the hem of her shirt gently.
Elf tensed, eyes lighting on fire, and pulled a sharpened pencil casually from the bag, lightly fingering the tip and whispering from the corner of thin lips. “If you do not remove your appendage this instant, I shall put this in an extremely uncomfortable place for you, then use the rest of my writing implements to impale every area on your body that you have touched on mine.” Her tone dropped menacingly. “Do not make the mistake of assuming that I am bluffing.”
The succubus jerked her hand back. “Playing hard to get, I see.”
“This threat extends for our entire acquaintanceship, Demon.”
Elf perked, looking completely nonchalant despite the conversation she was having, her ears twitching a little to listen to the teacher better. He arched an eyebrow before pointing behind her. “You’re researching Morpheus with Crim. Just move to the seat behind you and you’ll be with him.”
The goblin boy? His name was ‘Crim’?
Well, it had to be better than sitting next to Demon.
Elf quickly gathered her things, glaring at the succubus before sitting next to the one-eyed goblin behind them.
Crim looked over at her, a smile playing across his lips. The elf looked up at him, scowling, suddenly wondering how much of Demon’s abuse he had noticed. For his sake, he had better not be getting the wrong idea of what Elf would be willing to do to pleasure others. If he were getting the wrong idea, he would be the one getting a pencil in an uncomfortable place.
He dipped his head respectfully, that smile still on his face, before he looked back at the front of the class.
Elf brushed herself off, frowning distantly at the whiteboard and only breaking out of her haze once she had the instructions to the unnecessarily difficult project she was supposed to do with this one-eyed goblin.
Speaking of which, Elf became awkwardly aware of said one-eyed goblin looking over her shoulder at the instructions. “Looks like we’ll need to look at the library for this, but we have a good… four months before the teacher wants anything.”
Elf frowned up at him, shying away to get more personal space, and packed her bag, noting that the rest of the class was getting ready to leave.
“Very well. We must research Morpheus, correct?” She dipped her head, frowning at the goblin suspiciously. “Meet me at the library after seventh period. The theology section is at the back—I have no classes during seventh period, so I shall begin working early.”
“Don’t act so excited.”
She crossed her arms defensively, swinging her bag over her shoulder. “It would do you well to only concentrate on the assignment. Something that the general student body has not yet realized is that I came here to learn, not to socialize. Do not be a part of that majority.”
The goblin rolled his eye. “I can see that this will be a fun partnership already.”
“I do not go out of my way to make things fun.” Elf huffed softly before taking her copy of the instructions. The goblin smirked despite himself. “Oh wipe that off of your face! You know what I meant!”
The one-eyed goblin shrugged his shoulders before slinging his bag over his shoulders. “Alright, you don’t have to be friendly. Just be in the library after seventh period. And bring any other homework you have. We might be in there for a while.”
Elf nodded tersely and trotted out of the door. Patch walked up to his brother, frowning after the purple-haired girl, and crossed his arms.
“Brother, why are you still smiling? The elf seems like a pain to work with,” he said softly, folding up the instructions to his project into his pocket, presumably not to touch them again until a night before the first draft was due.
“A total pain. But did you notice what Demon was pulling on her?”
Patch frowned, ears twitching, and Crim started leading him out of the class. “Brother, I didn’t know that you were into stuff like that. But anyway, I don’t think she looked eager to have Demon’s hands all over her—I doubt she’ll let you do it.”
Crim blinked in surprise, then his eye widened as he quickly shook his head. “What? No! I mean, she managed to fend for herself really effectively. She wasn’t the usual damsel in distress.” He smiled, crossing his arms and starting towards their next class. “It’ll be a pain to work with her, but it’ll be interesting.”
“…Are we even sure it’s a girl?”
“…” Crim frowned. “Come to think of it, I have no idea. I just get the feeling that she’s a girl.”
“It’s an elf, Brother. You won’t know if it’s a girl or a guy until you see it without clothes.”
Crim stared thoughtfully at the ground, unable to shake the feeling that he had indeed seen that. That he knew that the elf was a woman.
The feeling faded and he shrugged it off.
“I’ll check the dorm tonight, Little Brother. If she’s there, then he’s a he. If she’s not, then she’s a she.”
“If she’s a she, then it looks like you have a shrew on your hands.” Patch pulled his hood up, a motion Crim mirrored, as their dean—an old man with white hair and a white cat in his arms—passed by. Neither wanted to be caught out of dress code. “I don’t envy you. Tusk seems like a nice girl, so I’m glad with my luck.”
“Just make sure you don’t get caught making out with her or something.” Crim grinned and slipped into their next class. “At least that’s one thing I won’t have to worry about with the elf.”
The brother sat down next to each other and waited for class to start.