Yuu was sure he hated them all."
-Tevak, Tokusa, Madarao, Howard Link, and Yuu Kanda from Fledgings
-""They'll wake up sometime soon," Alma added, though he didn't sound confident.
It was odd, thought Yuu, sitting at the poolside, to hear Alma talking to kids other than him. Maybe Alma'd finally gotten what he wanted. He spoke up. "Maybe she'll wake up right now," he said. And be locked in rooms and stuck with wires and measured. Maybe then the scientists would leave him alone more often.
Alma looked across the pool at him. "Well...I think she's just sleeping today." Then his smile came back. "But you should stay there. I'm sure she'd love to hear you tell her ‘Good morning' when she does wake up."
Ordinarily this would have started a fistfight because Yuu would have leapt across the pool and punched him. "I'm not a stalker!" he yelled. That would have to do.
The visiting children were looking at them oddly. Alma turned back to them, smile bright. "Yuu doesn't make friends very fast. He's shy."
Yuu fumed and plotted revenge."
-Alma Karma and Yuu Kanda from Fledgings
-"They were both so...ordinary. One too talkative and one too angry, but most children weren't as well-behaved as Tevak and him, anyway, even some of the other trainees, but then, those trainees weren't talented enough to come. Never mind them.
"How am I supposed to address an Exorcist?" asked Link.
"‘Oh Honored Disciple, how do I serve you,'" answered Tokusa.
Of course Link wasn't planning to follow his over-the-top way. "I meant their last names, or their first ones, or any titles besides that one. I heard the scientists just calling them Alma and Yuu—but why do they call only one by his last name?"
Tokusa looked taken aback for a moment, then said, "That's not his last name."
"You don't speak Chinese." Tokusa laughed softly. "Otherwise you might be able to tell that it isn't.""
-Link and Tokusa from Fledgings
-""Have you tried the dumplings at the cafeteria yet? The best ones are the beef with—"
Yuu stopped listening as Alma filled the silence with his words, Tokusa putting in a comment here or there. He stared at the long curving arcs and sharp angles decorating the ceiling.
Then Alma said something that froze the room around him. "—said they're born from a woman's stomach. Say, do you have a mother?""
-Alma Karma, Yuu Kanda, and Tokusa from Fledgings
-""What's ‘brother and sister,' exactly?" asked Yuu. All right, so there were some things he didn't know. Didn't make him an idiot.
"You're siblings when you have the same mother, or father, or both," said Link. It was the perfect chance for him to go on treating Yuu as stupid, but he wasn't taking it. Although he still talked too much. "Usually one is raised by the parents who gave birth to you, but there's also adoption. If you don't have any, you're sent to the orphanage or the workhouse."
Yuu wondered what happened if you were born from a hole in the ground. Scientists stuck wires into you and tried to make you "compatible," apparently. He didn't have any parents—sure, there were Tuyi and Edgar, who were a mother and father, but no matter how you looked at it, not his—but at least he had his hole-in-the-ground brother, Alma Karma."
-Yuu Kanda and Howard Link from Fledgings
-""Hey, did you ever want to be something besides a scientist?" asked Alma.
He'd surprised her again. Dr. Edgar had chided him for speaking without thinking before, and this must count as one of those times.
"Like what?" she asked.
"I don't know. A princess."
She gave a wry smile at that. It was a better look than the exhaustion. "Princesses don't exist. Well, they do, but not the kind you're thinking of."
"They do so," said Alma.
"What, you can't possibly think that Tevak girl's a princess."
How did she know? Alma gave a loud, embarrassed laugh. "Well, maybe not her, then. But somewhere." He had the feeling there was one somewhere. It was an odd feeling, tickling the back of his mind, and he felt uneasy for a moment.
"I always wanted to be a scientist," Renee said firmly,"
-Renee and Alma from Fledgings