“Hey.” Rune felt the call directed at him, from a voice he didn’t recognize yet still seemed familiar. He stopped, turned, water in the bottles he held rattling against the plastic; a smiling black-haired gal walking towards him, from the Academy, he’d have known that from the pristine condition of her silver lame and white fencing pants, even if he didn’t recall meeting her at the scrimmage back in November.
“How’s it going, Rune?” He bit his lower lip. Harris, he definitely remembered her last name, repeated it silently to himself, hoping to recall her first.
“What strip are you on?” Her eyes betraying uncertainty. She sees I’m not suited up.
“Gluh — ” Rune cleared his throat — “Not competing today. I’m just, you know, trying to be helpful.” He held up the two bottles of water.
“No thanks.” She raised her right hand, showed her aluminum canteen. “It’s cool, you’re being here, supporting your teammates.”
“Yeah.” His mother was taking his brother to his hockey game, which would have left Rune alone with his father at the house. Behind him, a scoring machine buzzed. “I guess we’re starting.”
“I’m at three.” Harris pointed up and to her right, indicating the strip beyond the one currently next to them. “Think I’ve got one of your Bark Bay teammates, Ankiel?”
Rune nodded. “Rex.” He held up the bottles again. “And I need to get him his water.”