I gave her a nudge when I first rose and was greeted with a sleepy grunt. I noticed, to my disgust, that she looked as perfect as she did before she went to bed. Her long, dark hair was draped elegantly over the pillow, every strand laid perfectly next to its neighbour in a smooth sheet of velvet, and her central parting still as straight as a die. Why can I never wake up like that? Why do I always look like I've been dragged through a hedge backwards?
Anyway, I showered and cleaned my teeth before the second nudge, which got no better response, so I dried my hair and donned a uniform before the third and final nudge. By this time, I'd left it as long as I could. If I delayed any longer, I was going to be late too and I wasn't prepared to risk that; not on my first day back at the Academy.
Lizzy groaned loudly.
"Leave me alone," she grumbled.
"You're going to be late."
"I'm always late because I don't do morning lessons."
"Don't be daft. We all do morning lessons, and you'll never graduate if you skip them."
"I don't care. Leave me alone," and she turned over, burying her head deep under the bedclothes.
"No, Lizzy! Come on!" and I pulled the covers back.
She sat up rudely and growled at me, "And this is just what they want! Just go away and leave me alone," she said, snatching the covers back from me and throwing herself back under the covers.
"They? Who are they?" I asked, but Lizzy’s response was to bury her head further under the pillow, finally ruffling her silky hair.
"I said, who are they?" more loudly.
"Argh!" she bellowed angrily and sat up again to glare at me. "Later! I'll tell you later! But you need to sort yourself out and get out of here. Forget about me!" and with that she tunnelled back, ever deeper, under the bedclothes. I stared at the bump buried deep in the warmth and comfort of the blankets for a moment and then resolved that I had done all that I could. Lizzy was not my responsibility so I collected my things for the morning's lessons and left.
I was doing well for time though, so could afford to grab a coffee in the cafeteria before my first lesson. I headed for the lift, organising my stuff on the way. The lift doors opened and I stepped in, but immediately, a feeling of déjà vue swept over me. I was staring at the chest of a huge Klingon warrior. I grinned.
"Let's be perfectly clear about this, Urtok. I am NOT challenging you to anything."
The Klingon let out a raucous laugh that filled the elevator.
"It is good to see you again, Jenny Terran!" he boomed.
I looked up into his warm, dark eyes, smiling back at him.
"It's good to see you too," and I genuinely was pleased to see him.
"Excellent! Then you'll be delighted to hear that I've saved you a place on my callisthenics class this evening!"
I screwed my face up. An extra class was the last thing I needed. One where I’d get beaten up, even less so.
"Aw! Thank you but—"
"No buts. It's not an option," he boomed, grinning from ear to ear.
I grinned back, pulled out my datapad and began to cheerily explain.
"On the contrary, it's clearly marked as an optional class on my timetable.”
His big hands reached over and pulled the pad from my hands. He bent down to me so that our noses nearly touched and whispered.
"My dear, it is NOT an option. If ever you were to combat a Klingon without the aid of Bairn's potions, you'd lose at the first blow. Now, what would that say about me, the great Urtok, who fell at your hand. You must learn to defend yourself if only to save my honour."
Urtok was smiling, but behind that smile I could see that he was deadly serious. Klingon honour had taken many a Klingon to an early grave. Maybe I should have been intimidated, but I knew Urtok so despite his tone, I merely smiled.
"Okay," I conceded, "but go easy on me. I'm just a flimsy Human after all."
A broad, satisfied smile spread across his face again that reached into his eyes.
"Excellent. I will make a warrior of you yet!"