Chapter 1: The Meeting
Eridan Ampora wasn't even sure what to make of it. He was being kicked out of his house by his father. He didn't have anywhere to go. He was sure that no one would take him in. He was an asshole to everyone after all. So here he was, sitting on the edge of a curb with a few bags behind him. He sighed and ran a hand through his blonde and brown hair. His dad did say that he would transfer money into his bank account at least, but who knows when that would be. It could be days, or even months and Eridan only had twenty dollars in his pocket. He took off his glasses and chewed on the ear piece absent mindedly as he thought. Feferi wouldn't take him in- no she was dating that Sollux guy. Sollux of course wouldn't because the guy hated his guts and they barely knew each other. Plus, both of them were together in Georgia because that's where Sollux had moved to. Who did he know that lived in Tennessee? No one, that's who.
It was about this time that Eridan noticed that a car had pulled up. He didn't both to look up until he heard his name being called by a girl. He lifted his violet gaze to see who it was. It was that one girl- the one that used to date Sollux before the computer nerd had stolen Feferi from him. He searched his memory for her name as she pulled a little ways down and parked her car. She got out and was walking towards him. She had wavy, waist length dark red hair with a few lighter steaks through it from the sun. She was dressed simply- a knee-length grey skirt and a black t-shirt. His eyes traveled up further past her chest to her eyes. She actually looked concerned. He remembered her name now, Aradia Megido.
"Eridan? What are you doing here? What's that behind you?"Her rich,soft voice washed over him.
"I wwas kicked outta my fuckin' house by my Dad," He replied as she crouched down next to him. "I don't knoww wwhen he wwill put fuckin' cash in my account so I havve no place to stay." God he hated his stupid speech troubles. It was just the w's and the v's too.
"Would you like to stay with me?"She asked quietly, after a pause
"I wwould love to,"He said quickly before she could change her mind. "Once he puts in my damn money I wwill be out of your hair."
He stood up, putting his gasses back on as she nodded and grabbed his bags. She grabbed one of the lighter ones and let him to her car. She popped the trunk and set his bag in it, and he follower her suit before climbing into the passenger seat of her car. She had a decent car, he didn't know what kind of car it was nor did he want to ask. He did know that it was older, and beat up. If he could remember correctly she was poor and going to college to be an archeologist or some shit.
"So wwhy did you invvite me to come stay wwith you? I thought everyone hated me," He questioned, turning his head slightly to look at her reaction.
She glanced over at him, but her face stayed mostly the same. She looked pretty cheery, a content yet prideful air about her as it always seemed to be. She opened her mouth to reply as she stopped at a red light, "I know that you can be an ass, but you were alright to me. Plus no one deserves to be alone forever, and I have the room now that Sollux moved out."
Eridan took in the information. Aradia was a nice girl- why didn't he talk to her more? "Thanks Ara."
He smiled lightly, pleased to see a small smile in return from her. They didn't have to ride in silence much longer, even if it was a comfortable silence. Eridan watched out the window as they pulled up to an older looking apartment. He resisted the urge to curl his upper lip. He would just make the best of the old place and get over his usual, expensive tastes. He slipped out of the car and retrieved his bags from the trunk alongside Aradia. He followed her up a set of stairs, resisting the urge to whine and complain about having to carry his stuff up the stairs in the dusty old place. He was glad whenever they finally reached his room- room number 121. He would have to remember that number for later. He walked into the room after her, following her all the way into another room with her. It just seemed to be a two roomed apartment.
The room she led him into appeared to be the bedroom-with one bed. He glanced around the cluttered room. It was covered in books of all kinds, sketches, skulls, and various other things. He had a feeling that it was an organized mess for her, unlike how it looked to him. He set his bags down near what was probably a closet as she said something about only having one bed, but didn't mind sharing it with him. She must trust him a lot already to think he wouldn't do anything. He walked back out into the other room which served as the kitchen, living room and a door to the bathroom all in one. This room was just as cluttered as the rest only in what seemed to be college work and job things. He turned to look at Aradia who appeared to be judging his reaction.
"Nice place you'vve got here Ara,"He commented and he actually did mean it. It had the feeling that the place was lived in, and used unlike where he used to live. Everything there was strictly clean and proper. Eridan didn't think he'd miss it as much now that he had seen what Aradia's place looked like.
"Sorry about the mess,"She said with a smile in thanks. "I usually am gone during the day between work and college but I am here at night. Feel free to make yourself home, but I have to go now- I have a shift at work soon."
With a wave, Eridan was left alone in the woman's house.
Chapter 2: Getting Ready
I don't know when I will be able to upate, so I'm sorry!
Eridan was settling in with Aradia rather easily. The woman wasn't that hard to get along with, even though she was very independent and stubborn at times. She rarely asked him for help, or really needed the help in the first place. Eridan found himself growing to like her faster than he found himself liking anyone before. She even treated him with respect, and while she teased him, it was a friendly tease and not like anyone else who had teased him before. He liked it. He liked being paid attention to whenever she had the time. She still did have to work and go to classes, so he really only got to see her a few times during the week and more on the weekend. The downside was that he was bored the other times. She let him play on her computer, but it was slow and old. It annoyed Eridan to no end so he rarely used it. There was nothing to do when the redheaded woman wasn't home.
Eridan was going through one of those times right now. He was sprawled out on her couch, looking at the ceiling that was in decent shape. It had a few random stains that could make one wonder how they happened. He was so bored that he jumped to grab his phone off his chest whenever it buzzed. He opened it to see a text message from Aradia. It read 'want t0 g0 0ut and eat t0night? –AA'. He smiled lightly at her name on his phone. Okay, maybe he was starting to like her more than he thought, at least, as a friend that was. 'sure I wwould lovve to ara –CA' He texted back. He didn't really know why she used zeros, maybe it was the same reason he typed out his speech problem. It was just something to do to make their texts different. He hopped up and went to look for something to wear tonight. Did she mean a fancy place, a casual or what? Well, he didn't have a suit with him so it better be casual or not to high class. Wait, she was poor so it had to be casual. He sighed, relaxing a bit and ignoring the nagging question of why he cared so much. He knew it was just because he sought her approval and wanted to stay under her roof until he could leave. Eridan looked at the time; he had a few hours to kill before her classes ended. Maybe he could go buy her something with the twenty that he had. He grabbed his wallet and shoved it into his back pocket before walking about the door.
He started down the street, taking care to check where he was going so that he didn't get lost. God, he knew that it would end badly if he did. Now, what to get Aradia for being so kind to him the past few weeks? He pondered this question for a bit. Well she might like jewelry if he could find something that didn't look to feminine. He did know that she adored older things. Maybe he could find some bone necklace or something for her to have. Yea, maybe that would be something she would like. He would go find a necklace that reminded him of her, and give it to her on their 'date' so to speak. He paused outside a little, almost run down looking shop. He usually would never think to even come near a place like this, but it seemed like a pretty good shot. He hadn't really seen any other place as he had walked down the street. He slowly opened the door, peering into the shop. It looked better on the inside- if you liked older looking things.
The shop was lined with a self in the back that had a few, old looking books on display. Various pieces of jewelry were set neatly on a pillow which was on top of a small table. Along with the few, small tables of jewelry, and the self, was the front desk that looked to of been there for a long time. Eridan actually found himself starting to like the little, old shop. He closed the door gently behind him; afraid the whole place might fall apart otherwise and he was greeted by an elderly woman that looked to be about in her seventies. She had grey-white hair that was pulled back into a neat bun. She looked at him from wrinkled, brown eyes with a content look about her. She was dressed in an elderly-type dress that had a flowery design on it.
"Hello there young one, how may I help you today?" She smiled softly at him.
"Wwell I wwas lookin' for somethin' to givve my friend- she likes older things," He replied, looking through the jewelry.
She didn't snicker, or even seem to care about his small stutter with his w's and v's. She just walked around her counter and moved over to him, shuffling through her wares with ease. She paused at what appeared to be a newer piece- not like most of the antiques she had on display. It was a small, bone-typed piece that was curved in a "u" shape. On the end of the side not connected to the plastic-looking tie, the bone colored material was sharpened into a point like an arrow, and had small, jagged spikes along it. It wasn't really what he had in mind but he was drawn to it.
"This is a piece I can't seem to get rid of- maybe this will be of interest to your young lady?" She held it in her wrinkled palm, her hand shaking just a little with the effort.
"Wwell I only havve twenty dollars on me,"He started, a little embarrassed to be admitting it. "I don't knoww if that's enough or not."
She looked at him for a moment, then back at the piece. It really was somewhat cheap looking but he did think Aradia would enjoy it. Well, he hoped so anyway. "Yes Deary, I will sell it to you for fifteen dollars." She started to head back to the counter, and Eridan followed her.
"Thanks Ma'am,"He replied, remembering some of his manners. He dug into his pocket and pulled out his twenty dollar bill, handing it over to her as she opened her cash register. She returned the 5 dollars he got in return, and put the necklace into a small bag, handing it over with a smile.
"Come by anytime," She called as he started for the door.
"I wwill wwhenevver I can," And he meant it. He liked the old woman.
He started back towards Aradia's apartment, looking at his watch. He still had about an hour before Aradia would arrive back at her place. He could at least get dressed and wait around for her. He arrived back at the apartment without too much trouble that was because of him getting lost. He only got turned around once, and even then it wasn't for too long at all. He was glad to be back though, and past that. The streets were not as high class as he liked them to be, and it still made him nervous.
Eridan walked into her apartment with the spare key she had given him, and locked it behind him. He went towards the room he shared with Aradia. He had actually kept to himself whenever they slept together. That is, unless they ended up snuggling together in the midst of the night. It did tend to happen because one of them would have a bad dream, and cling to the other for comfort. It was a silent bond they already shared with each other. He brushed away his thoughts momentarily and went to his suitcase, he shuffled through the clothing until he found a button up, white shirt with a collar to match his khaki pants and brown shoes. It wasn't too stylish, but it would work for the hipster. He moved out of the room once dressed and pocketed the necklace he had gotten for Aradia in his pants pocket. Sure, it wasn't that romantic or friendly-like to have it there, but he didn't want to tear apart her place looking for something to wrap the gift in. Thus, the pocket would have to do. He moved to the couch, waiting for Aradia to arrive while he shuffled through the channels.
Finally, there was the sound of the lock turning, and Aradia walked in. She smiled at him, mentioning that she was going to change before she left him alone once more. Their little dinner "date" was about to begin.
Chapter 3: The Date
Eridan and Aradia's date.
[[Sorry that this took so long! I lost all will to keep on, and this gets pretty awkward and ooc for them. I'll try to update more, or drabble some of the pair! ]]
Eridan fiddled with the necklace in his pocket as he waited. He ran his finger along the jagged end of the bone-like material, his mind mulling over the outcomes of this outing. On one hand, it could be a very normal and nice outing with the ginger. It could also end up as something more. There were probably other outcomes, but he really only cared about those two right now. He turned his head towards Aradia’s room whenever he heard the door open. He was greeted with the sight of her dressed in a simple black dress that clung to her every, gorgeous curve. It flowed down to her knees, and the top was a simple tank-top like top with a v neck. Her hair was put up into a high ponytail and her hair flowed down her back in waves. In short, she looked beautiful.
“Wwoww Ara, you look great,” He managed out at last, his cheeks tinting a bit red.
She just smiled in response,” Thank you! It was really all that I had to wear but you look nice as well Eridan.”
She walked past him and he got up to follow her out the door. They headed down the stair case, and into her car. She drove them towards where ever they were going to eat as Eridan stared out the window. He didn’t even try and remember where they were going. He was too distracted by his own inner struggles. Eridan struggled to come up with words that wouldn’t insult her. He knew that mentioning how poor she was, was a bad idea and well bringing up Sollux would probably bother them both. Thankfully she seemed to pick up on his distress.
“What have you been doing since the schools let out?” She kept her eyes on the road as she spoke,” I mean besides the recent ordeal with your Dad.”
“Wwell I’vve not really been doin’ much. I mean after Fef left me I moped for the long time an’ all that jazz. I havve been lookin’ for somewhere that wwill take me in. I think I wwant to major in some type a art. I just like the feel of a camera in my hands or wwhen I wwas on stage in high school.” He responded slowly, actually thinking through his answer.
She hums a bit as she thinks, “Photography? You did seem to be rather attached to a camera during high school. That or the stage. It seemed to be where we saw how you really are under your, well, douche act.”
“Wwell thanks for puttin’ that so gently, “Eridan replied with a bit of sarcasm. It didn’t bother him to much, but he was a bit touched that she remembered him that well. Of course, it was associated with a negative meaning but hey she remembered him. He was going to ask more, but she had parked.
“Well, here we are!” She slid out of the driver seat, and he followed suit looking at the restaurant.
They were outside of a Gondolier, and from peering into the windows it wasn’t too crowded either. Perfect. Eridan tended to get grumpy around to many people. It was more of a reflex now than anything. He walked beside her until they reached the door and went to open it for her. They walked into the waiting room and Eridan once again looked around the restaurant. The inside was adorned with paintings lining the walls near the crowded tables. The room was airy and light as well, and there was a display case of cakes right by the check out. He had never been here in his life, but he guessed it was okay. They were seated soon in a back booth— not that Eridan minded. Eridan picked up the menu, looking it over as Aradia did the same.
“Wwhat’s good here Ara? I’vve never been here before,” He finally mused aloud, unable to see anything that caught his eye.
“Oh, well I usually just get pizza!” She flashes a smile at him. “But they have pretty good calzones, and baked spaghetti. If you want to split a pizza though, we can.”
“Wwell splitting a pizza doesn’t sound that bad so I mean wwe might as wwell.” He responded as their waitress finally came to take their drink order.
“What can I get you?” A young woman asked, looking bored of her job.
“I’ll havve a coke,” Eridan said after a quick glance at their drink options.
“And for you honey?” The waitress asked, forcing a smile now.
“I’ll have the same,” Aradia paused as she wrote their drinks down,” And can we go ahead and order— Eridan get whatever you want on your half. We’ll have a medium pizza and on one half I want extra cheese, pepperoni, and sausage. “
Eridan took the smile that she flashed his way as a sign that she was done,” An’ I’ll havve the same as her plus mushrooms.”
He couldn’t help the grin towards Aradia as she made a face at the mention of “mushrooms”.
“Alright, I’ll be right back with your drinks.” And with that, the waitress left them alone.
“Wwhat’s so wwrong wwith mushrooms Ara?” He asked with a teasing smile.
“Everything!” Her arms moved outward in a movement like an explosion to aid in her opinion. “I mean they are okay plain or with ranch sauce but on a pizza—“She cut off to make another face that ended in a grin.
Eridan chuckled at her, trying to keep his teasing face the same.”Are you sure that you don’t secretly lovve them because I think that they really do lovve you.”
They kept their playful banter up even as their drinks arrived. They switched from mushrooms to Aradia’s college major to Eridan’s distaste of the silly girl photographers and back to mushrooms as their pizza arrived. Eridan picked a mushroom off one of his pieces and placed it onto the one Aradia was getting— much to her mock dismay of course. He just smirked a bit and grabbed his two slices and they both started to eat while Eridan thought.
Honestly he never remembered this side of her. Of course he barely knew her right now, but he hadn’t seen her act childish in that time. Generally she spoke with an almost hollow tone, and always looked tired. Today she looked like she had been refreshed and was ready to do anything, and she sounded so alive. He hoped that it stayed this way though. He liked her more when she was like this. She was a pleasure to hang out with.
“Wwell I do havve to say that this pizza is pretty good—“He stopped a smile at the look she was giving him.” Because the mushrooms really compliment this pizza’s over all taste.”
Aradia rolled her eyes at his statement and moved on.” I know. I could have just ordered us pizza but I thought that getting out of the apartment would be a better idea!”
Eridan nodded along with her. “I agree. I’vve not really been out much an’ I wwas goin’ stir crazy.”
He finished off three pieces of his pizza, and Aradia two. During that time they ate in a content silence. Sometimes they would have little, snide comments about things or laugh childishly about some memory that they both recalled. Once they received their check it was time to depart back to their apartment. Well, Aradia’s that was.
The ride back was comfortable, both with full bellies and wandering minds. They took the stairs back up and Aradia unlocked the door, allowing Eridan to enter first and herself behind him. He shoves his hands back into his pockets, turning to smile at her as he felt the necklace. He had almost forgot!
“Oh, Ara, I havve somethin’ for you. I mean it’s rather small, an’ I don’t know if you’ll like it but-“ He cuts himself off, getting a bit flustered over this small sign of affection.
She raises her eyebrows at him questioningly as he started to slip out the necklace. He holds it out by the string, letting the bone hang down. She blinks, moving closer and taking it from his hand to inspect it. She seems to light up once she has a closer look. She started to blush, looking at Eridan and moving closer. Her lips touched his cheek faintly, but it sent him blushing more.
“Thank you so much Eridan! I love it. I like the little curved parts on it, and that it looks like it was made from bone. You really didn’t have to get me anything though, but thank you. I will have to wear this now,” She is grinning by the time she was finished.
Her pearly whites were almost perfect in the apartment light. Eridan couldn’t help it. He knew that he should wait, but he had to give it a shot. He leans in, pressing a gentle and awkward kiss to her lips. It was one that she slowly begins to return. It wasn’t hard to tell that she had more practice at this than he did even if their lips weren’t connected very long. Whenever they pulled away they were both flustered, and mumbling to the other.
“I have to go change now. I have work early,” She finally says, slipping off to go change.
Eridan grins once she is gone, waiting for his turn to change before being allowed the wonders of sleeping next to her. He had done it. He had kissed her, and she hadn’t totally rejected him. Sure it might be a bit much since they were supposed to be friends, but hey he had done it. And he was smiling a true smile the rest of the night until he drifted off, her close to his cooler body.