Fandom: Tellerman Legacy
Characters: Khalid ("Kleed") and the Gen 8s (Apollo and his cousins Splash, Zorra, and Romeo)
This fic starts in Apollo's POV, and Khalid "talks funny" to them because he's used to speaking 21st century English instead of what the Gen 8s speak, and learning Future English is tricky.
"Wat do you?"
Apollo looked up at Kleed. Apollo and his cousins were in the midst of their second game of cards, and Apollo and Zorra were winning.
"We're playing cards, Kleed. You know, cards?"
"Carten. Yah. We play, I when child, much time."
"You want to play?" Apollo offered.
Splash snorted. "He doesn't know how to play. He can barely talk properly."
"He can talk a lot better than when he first came here," Zorra pointed out.
This was true, probably a combination of intensive teaching from Hopewell and Apollo, and just hanging around the Tellermans. Kleed wasn't ready to go to school yet, by a long shot, but he was definitely improving, and pretty smart, too.
"I to play?" Kleed brought the focus back to Apollo's question.
"Sure, I'll drop," Splash said, throwing down his cards. "Romeo couldn't get a bishop trick if his life depended on it."
"It's not my fault you don't know how to churn," Romeo retorted.
"Knock it off, both of you," Zorra snapped. "If this is the only thing we can play, don't ruin it for everyone."
~ ~ ~
So Khalid was paired with Romyo to learn how to play the game, which, to Khalid's surprise, seemed to translate to "between-the-sheets". He hoped he was translating incorrectly, because otherwise, asking someone if they wanted to play between-the-sheets was likely to get him slapped or worse.
The rules seemed simple at first, and then Khalid began seeing the strategy beneath them. Very tricky, some of it. When he made a wrong play, the others tried to explain to him (sometimes all at once) what was wrong about it. He learned, and picked up their emotional cues, and by the seventh hand, he was starting to hold his own.
Card games, he thought. Who would've guessed those would still be around, or that it would be so much fun to finally get the right combination of cards that would let him and Romeo win the hand. Competitive teamwork, he thought.
"Play we again," he said, and it was not a question.