It was not quite the brightest morning in Washington. Eridan woke up from his two hour nap to see the birds chirping, singing, and honestly, he found it more than slightly annoying.
He glanced over at the clock, reading 7:30, but hearing the sound of cooking in the kitchen. There was a major difference between when Dad was home, and when it was only Cronus. Cronus could cook, his time working in the 50's modeled diner, Alternia, near their home made it quite simple to smell the difference. He felt groggy, as if all the life had been sucked from him the moment he sat upright. There was little to see in the Washington sky, as he stood up, wearing some Slytherin underwear, and making his way to the closet.
To the disappointment of the other children at school who believed he had a walk-in closet, it was a simple closet. He took off his pajama shirt, to reveal fair skin, littered with freckles, and a rather large scar that took up most of his waist, a souvenir from the Incident a few years back. He was told that he was pretty lanky for someone his age, but he’d seen worse. Eridan grabbed his white collared shirt and grabbed a V-neck sweater with no sleeves. He secretly liked to imagine that people actually thought he was dirty rich, however, because he knew Dad barely even talked to him, he knew that was almost impossible. Eridan looked around and looked at the blue striped scarf that his mother had given him years ago, he grabbed it and wrapped it around his neck, covering up some scars that had yet to fade away. He grabbed his square glasses and placed them delicately on his face, grimacing at the sight of his untamed wave of blonde hair, the one purple stripe standing out from the rest. He wanted to re-dye it, but he got lazy and it stayed there. He quickly brushed and gelled his hair for it to stand up, and not awkwardly land in curls that went close to his chin.
Walking downstairs quietly had become Eridan’s second nature, closely watching his father go on rants with his businessmen on the phone made him a quiet kid back then, back when he talked. Cronus came to terms with his muteness. “Hey chief, ready for another day at school?” his older brother’s cowslick moved slightly, revealing bits of the stitches from the accident from three years ago. Eridan pursed his lips and he shrugged. “Good, because I’m giving you a ride.” To that there was an immediate response, ‘Cronus, come on, I could just walk to school.’ His older brother smirked, “Eat, I hav-ve to go change into my uniform, then, I drop you off.” He ran and Eridan looked down at the bacon and eggs that looked slightly burnt, but it looked edible. When he spoke, his w’s and v’s got scrambled and he would stutter them often, like his Dad and like Cronus. That was at least back in eighth grade, and no word had been spoken since, only chuckles, and sometimes, he would laugh. He stuffed his mouth with a bit of bacon, not really caring about how badly burnt it was. It was either eat or suffer the pain of the empty stomach, which was irritating, and he wouldn’t stand for another lecture from Karkat about not eating. “So, chief, how-w do I look?” Cronus’ voice rang from the doorway, he was wearing a white shirt with a leather jacket over it, some denim jeans, and some Converse, the white shirt and the denim were apart of the ridiculous costume, but the really funny bit were the roller skates in his hand. Eridan let go of his fork and signed, ‘Great. I thought Halloween was in two months though.’ Cronus tossed something, which felt like a pen, at him and chuckled, “Get your stuff and get in the car.” Eridan nodded, going upstairs to grab his messenger bag, which had a lot of his homework and everything.
In the driveway, Eridan could see that his brother was starting up his bright red 1957 Chevrolet truck. He remembered the large amount of money Cronus had to obtain to buy it, since it was a vintage car. Dad was angry, and he punished Cronus badly for wasting money on a ‘piece of garbage’. Cronus had never looked happier to get the car. “C’mon Dan, get it in or you’re gonna be late.” Eridan rolled his eyes but got into the truck. They pulled out of the driveway, and drove to school, Cronus seemed slightly off. He even sighed. “How-w much rest did you get Dan?” Eridan didn’t believe in lying to his brother, ‘Two hours.’ Cronus sighed, much deeper than before, “You need to get some actual sleep. You know-w Dad’s out of tow-wn this month.” Eridan shrugged, ‘I spent the night talking to Kar, until he went to sleep.’ His brother nodded, looking at how Eridan decided to tuck himself into the scarf, and his drooping squarish glasses were poked back to the bridge of his nose. This was usually the sign that Eridan didn’t want to talk anymore.
Eridan looked at his high school as they came upon it. He let out a small huff, and Cronus lightened up a little. “C’mon chief, it’s only high school. Besides, this is the year you graduate, so that makes things a lot better.” Eridan gave Cronus a glare, but Cronus had already spotted something, or someone, else. “W-Wannabe Emo has been found, near a tree and reading w-what could be a v-very interesting book.” Eridan elbowed his brother, who was close to howling either in pain or in laughter. He grabbed his messenger bag and walked out of the car, quickly signing ‘goodbye’ to Cronus. The once upon a time ginger was sitting calmly, a rare sight, his newly dyed black hair was lightly touching his face, as the bags under Karkat’s eyes were more prominent in irritated than tired. There were some huge headphones covering his ears, which made Eridan’s efforts of scaring the shit out of him easy. At the slow count of three, Eridan let his hands fall onto the younger boy’s shoulders, which resulted in a girly scream that could have ended up in a black eye, but, Eridan instantly jumped back to avoid the swing.
“Jesus fucking christ covered in holy water, what the actual fuck?” Karkat’s glares could kill people, but Eridan was used to them, so he just grinned like an idiot. “Being mute doesn’t give you the right to scare the shit out of people and act like a fucking ninja all the time, a heads up would be great douchebag.” Eridan reached for the whiteboard in his messenger bag, but Karkat stopped him. “Don’t bother, when Kankri isn’t ranting on my ass for not doing well in my classes, he teaches me some words in your language.” Eridan smiled, signing slowly but surely, ‘That’s great. How’d meeting Dave go for him?’ Karkat shrugged, “Confusing, but I assume he’ll get used to it since Strider is more into movie theaters and consuming garbage shit than I am, but he’s more willing to eat right, have movie nights and snuggle. I think that as of now, he likes Dave more than I do.” Eridan gave a chuckle, deep and strained from lack of use. ‘How sweet, you two are finally getting along.’ Karkat huffed, his comeback was ready the instant Eridan ‘said’ something, and he was screwed. “I don’t see you and Sollux getting together in the near future, so your argument is invalid when it comes to relationships.” The smug look on Eridan’s face disappeared in seconds, blushing a light pink at the mention of his old childhood friend, who hated him, but Eridan harboured a strong crush on the heterochromic boy.
‘Uncalled for,’ he signed, in slight anger at the trump card that Karkat always had stored away in his small deck of comebacks. Karkat smirked, triumphant at the way Eridan squirmed. “You might want to control that blush of yours, because we’re seeing him in first period, and he still hates you and your brother.” Eridan let out a noise that would sound like a groan, but a lot quieter. The Incident had been his fault, as he had called Cronus and Sollux’s brother Mituna to pick him up from the party he and Sollux had snuck out to. He had not been responding to them and he remembered Cronus yelling for his attention looking back at him instead of the road, but suddenly there was a loud crash. Cronus had fractured his skull, Eridan received a deep gash across his waist, the other driver was a construction worker and had a power saw in the car, with nothing to cover it. However Mituna, who had not put his seatbelt on, went through the front window and received brain damage. Sollux has hated the Amporas ever since. Both Karkat and Eridan walked to their class English, which was taught by Dr. Scratch, a man who Eridan swore was a serial killer that was obsessed with cue balls and order. Karkat rubbed his tired eyes and Eridan understood the irritating feeling of insomnia. As they walked into the classroom, Eridan spotted brown hair, and had to push himself through the doorway at the sight of it.
Sollux Captor was a dark chestnut brown haired boy that looked a lot more lanky than other people gave him credit for. The only thing that made him look ‘manly’ were his broad shoulders, but otherwise, he was pretty narrow everywhere you looked. Teeth so crooked that the seven years with braces made him look slightly nerdy, if the glasses were thick enough. Eridan couldn’t really wrap his head around why he liked this one boy so much, but he figured that it was because he knew him the longest. He sat in the first row, which, was right next to Sollux because of the teacher’s obsession with the alphabetical order. He dealt with Sollux’s glares towards him like anything else in this school. There were stomps coming into the room, and Eridan could tell that Sr. Slick, the dean, had managed to piss off Dr. Scratch again, which meant either a incredibly long essay, or a project. Sollux’s glare lessened as soon as the teacher opened his mouth. “You will be writing an essay on Julius Caesar, make sure it is done by the end of this week, you will all be graded for spelling, punctuation and historical accuracy.” There were groans, but, Eridan said nothing. It was better an essay than a project.
He got up and grabbed a paper that read “Relationship Between Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, and Brutus.” He shrugged and went back to his desk, he placed it on his desk. He went to the computer cart and checked out number 11, and returned to his desk once more to continue researching for his work. He looked up Mark Antony first, which led to some serious eyebrow raising because he had no idea that Romans could be so gay towards each other, then again, he was reading old man Shakespeare’s play. He found a PDF of the play and began reading. “Are you theriouthly reading a play inthtead of rethearching?” the lisp was all too familiar, and Eridan made a note to continue avoiding eye contact. Sollux tapped on his shoulder, which almost made everything in Eridan’s body stop, but, he turned, his lavender eyes mixed in both confusion and some very slight daze. “I kinda got the thame thing you did, I wath wondering if you could help an old friend out.” Oh, so he wanted to cheat. Eridan’s eyes slightly narrowed, he remembered that Sollux didn’t know sign language, but, he opened a document and started typing. ‘So, when you decide to bullshit an assignment is when you finally consider me an old friend? Douche.’ Sollux squinted to read the text, so Eridan made the text slightly larger, so as to not have anyone else read it. After reading it, Sollux seemed a lot more pissed off, “I wath jutht trying to get a good grade for once in thith clath, no need to be a dick about it.” Eridan pressed the Tab button and typed a response, ‘No need to be a dick about you hating my very existence for three years, gee, I wonder why I should be nice to you.’ A part of Eridan’s mind was screaming "STOP TALKING TO HIM", while the other part was stirring at the fact that he was finally talking to Sollux.
“Thut the fuck up,” was Sollux’s response, cold, icy, and direct. Eridan gave him a sneer, ‘I already am.’ The thing about Sollux that Eridan had learned a long time ago, that if Sollux switched to his cold tone, things got serious and one should simply shut up. Eridan however, felt nothing but pure rage at this boy, where it should be a floaty and crush-like feeling, was nothing but rage. Sollux made a small scoff and moved away from him, which felt both, lonely and a relief. The one boy who had not spoken to him in three years finally did, but it was all for nothing. He continued researching, relating more and more to Brutus, who was unaware of what decision to make. Eridan’s phone buzzed and he got a message from someone. He opened his phone while Mr. Scratch was at his desk.
---carcinoGeneticist [CG] began pestering calligulasAquarium [CA]===
CG: LISTEN HERE FUCKER
CG: I GET IT THAT YOU’VE HAD SEXUAL FANTASIES WITH SOLLUX FUCKING CAPTOR EVER SINCE THE TWO OF YOU MET
CG: SO GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND LISTEN
CA: i’m listenin
CG: DON’T INTERRUPT ME
CG: AS I WAS SAYING
CG: KANKRI IS GOING ON ABOUT A PARTY OVER AT MEENAH’S HOUSE TONIGHT
CG: YOU UP FOR GETTING WASTED AGAIN?
CA: and make unwwise choices?
CA: i’ll pass
CG: IT’S NOT GOING TO BE LIKE LAST TIME
CG: I WOULD LIKE TO FORGET YOUR SCREAMS AS THEY HORRIFY ME
CG: THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR HOOKING UP WITH GAMZEE
CA: gam and i wweren’t doing anything too drastic
CA: just havving some good fun
CG: YOU TWO FUCKED CG: ADMIT IT
CG: ACTUALLY DON’T CG: CONSIDERING I KNOW WHAT I HEARD
CA: believve wwhat you wwant
CA: is it too late to consider dating vvris again?
CG: LAST TIME YOU TWO DATED SHE NEARLY STABBED YOU
CG: WITH A SPOON
CG: WHICH IS THE MOST USELESS WEAPON CHOICE OF ALL TIME
CA: still, i gotta have my fun
CG: I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT MY MUTE FRIEND IS WILLING TO GET FUCKED
CG: RIGHT IN THE ASS
CG: BECAUSE HE PREFERS ONE NIGHT STANDS THAN RELATIONSHIPS
CA: i mean
CA: i wwould date sol, but wwe knoww howw that wwould turn out
CG: HOWEVER, THIS DOUCHEMUFFIN IS IGNORANT TO YOUR ADVANCES BECAUSE YOU NEVER MAKE ANY AND HONESTLY
CG: IT IS PISSING ME OFF
CG: THERE’S ME PISSED OFF, AND THEN THERE’S JUST YOUR BULLSHIT THAT MAKES ME SHIT BRICKS FOR DAYS
CA: wwoww tell me howw you reely feel
CA: actually don’t, since it’s time to leavve
--calligulasAquarium [CA] ceased pestering carcinoGeneticist [CG]--
The thought of Vriska Serket made his skin crawl. If anyone thought dealing with Sollux Captor’s mood swings were terrible, Vriska’s mood swings were eight times worse. Everyone knew of the school bully Vriska Serket, the same girl who swore him to secrecy about her because she wanted to graduate valedictorian and all that, but she still loved to party, and her mother’s reputation was also at stake. The one girl who made him question why he even bothered looking for a relationship, was the one who drove him there in the first place. With a quick guess as to how long it would take for the bell to ring, Eridan put away the computer but not before deleting the document he had typed as ‘conversation’ with Sollux, and he put away the paper he needed to write in his messenger bag. He heard the bell ring and instinct had him bolt out the door. He stayed behind for a while, waiting on Karkat, who had a class in the same hallway as him. “See you at lunch, or not depending on how you act today,” was the traditional goodbye of Karkat Vantas. Most of the time anyway.