You're not sure you can take another class in close proximity to Eridan today. You're afraid that you're going to end up screaming in frustration - not a polite thing to do in public lectures!
That hadn't happened yet, of course. You have far more poise than that, as a good highblood must. You only have a few more sweeps before you'll be allowed to challenge for the throne; tolerating this sort of finishing school before then is supposed to be easy after surviving your childhood and dealing with the other potential heirs. Isn't it?
Supposed to be, maybe! But it really isn't easy at all, and you know very well that Eridan is partially to blame. He was probably doing what he could to make it as difficult on as he could. She knew that he was dropping sly hints about her differences in ideology from the Condense - and she could hear his ridiculous wavy drawl now, defending himself with a stupid smile on his face, come on Fef I'm only trying to build you some support when he knew very well that the people he was talking to were the biggest traditionalists on this station, that they'd do whatever they could to stop you -
You pause in the room before the transportalizer, and take a deep breath. It helps to do that, you think, especially before you go to one of the few lectures you actually share with him. If you don't your mind tends to start wandering, occasionally in the direction of your former moirail standing in front of the class after you've just won a particularly devastating contest of wits. The problem is that you're imagining it now - his fists clenched, his eyes narrowed and staring at you, and all you can think about is how much you want to lean in and whisper to him, twist the knife a little further and then pull back before he's bold enough to make a move. Let everyone know exactly what the two of you are -
No, no, no! This is exactly the kind of inappropriate behavior that the two of you are supposed to avoid, and you are both well aware of it. Displaying such overtures in front of the other highbloods will not aid your cause, and the only reason that Eridan hasn't already taken advantage of it is because he has as much to lose as you do. He wants to set himself up to oppose you, wants to rally the traditionalists to his banner and set them against you. And in a way you want it too, because where's the fun in a revolution that goes unopposed?
Still, you have a lot to do before that can happen. You just hope you can count on his help - such as it is - when the time actually comes.
You compose yourself and step onto the transportalizer; it whisks you away to another part of the spaceship, and you walk through the doorway to your class, a perfect aristocrat.
Eridan doesn't even give you a challenge this time! He must be distracted, you think, and sit down just close enough that you can easily catch his eye. He looks back at you with a frown - not his usual scowl, the mask of hate and disgust that he usually only shares with you, but a distracted expression.
Hmm. Trouble, you think, and lean back, preparing for the lecture as the holographic projector hums to life. If he needs your help he'll demand it of you, and of course you'll protest until he makes it clear how badly he actually needs it. That's how things usually work between the two of you - words leave no unseemly marks, and yet they can inspire as much disdain as claws and teeth.
The projector transports you to a scene from history - floating far above an army of Cavalreapers as they soar through the air - as an obviously recorded lecture begins. It's about the Summoner's revolution, and how it was crushed - you take careful notes, even though you've heard it all before. Mostly, though, you're eagerly waiting for it to be over.
Eridan doesn't wait any longer than necessary to involve her in his - their - ridiculous problem. "Capros is movin his plans up," he says in your ear. "If you're makin a move, do it fast."
"Is that all?" you whisper back, archly.
"He's the biggest traditionalist in this school and has a lot of support outside of it. Might wanna take this one seriously," he answers, before brusquely pushing his way past you.
You feign anger at his mistreatment, which gives you the perfect right to reach out and grab his arm, almost hard enough to draw blood. He freezes - obviously trying to strike the right balance between desperately wanting to fall back against you and be touched, and feigning disinterest for appearances' sake. How sad is it, after so many years of begging for this kind of intimacy once your moiraillegiance started to fall apart, that he's finally receiving it only after finally turning your digestive sac with his constant selfishness? "And why are you telling me this?" you say, as sweetly as you can.
He makes a half-growling sound as he tries to recover his voice. "Because nobody else gets to humiliate you when I'm around, why the fuck do you think?"
You smile like a shark and let him go, but judging from the way his fingers are twitching, he'll be waiting for you when you slip out of your quarters tonight. He's so predictable! Maybe a nice exciting hatedate will help him think of some ideas to deal with your other would-be rival, you think with a shark-like grin.
Even if it doesn't, well, you could use definitely use some release from all of this stress. School is a lot harder than you expected it to be!