Your name is Sollux Captor and your lab partner is pretty.
Big fucking deal. Did he want a medal for it?
You wouldn’t put it past Eridan Ampora to want a metal for being beautiful. That asshole probably wanted a metal for being rich, too. You thought of being rich as pretty similar to being beautiful; you probably did nothing to earn it, and you get special treatment for the rest of your life because of it. Congratulations Eridan, you were born with a face that appeals to the primitive, genetic urge within all of us that associates facial symmetry with superior physical genes for our hypothetical wriggler's gene pools. That’s all that beauty is, Eridan; science. A totally arbitrary concept that we still have a social hierarchy around for some reason even though there’s no reason to. So no one would look twice at you if you weren’t pretty.
Of course, you don’t say any of this. You just kind of glare at his stupid pretty face and thank Jesus or whoever the fuck for making you a bangable six point five. Eridan gives you a confused look, so you go back to doodling.
You’re currently in physics class. Just like any other class that required calculus, students rushed to sit by you. It was one part flattering, and two parts annoying. You hadn’t been expecting Eridan to sit next to you, though. Sure, you were good at physics, but you didn’t think he would value getting a slightly higher grade over getting to sit next to anyone besides you. You knew he hated you. Platonically.
“What are you drawling?” asks Terezi as she copies down the math for the lab that you and only you had worked on.
“Copernicus.” you answer.
“What’s he doing?”
You shrug. “He’s exercising his freedom of speech and advocating for the separation of church and state.”
“Why is he on fire?” Terezi asks, bringing the drawling up to her nose.
“Don’t worry about it.”
Terezi gives a “Sollux, you’re so edgy” cackle. Eridan looks at both of you the way you look at websites that want you to disable AdBlock before you can use them.
You go back to glaring at Eridan. This time, you don’t look away when he notices.
“What?” he asks, sharply.
Be mature, Sollux.
“Nothing. Just thinking about how much I hate you.” you, say, maturely.
“Are you seriously trying to start shit with me in physics class?”
What? No. You hate drama. You had been more than happy to leave drama behind in high school. You just think that if you’re enough of an asshole, he might sit somewhere else tomorrow.
“Yeah, fight me.” you say, knowing full well you would lose. Terezi bursts out laughing.
Eridan gives an overdramatic eye roll, and begins packing up his stuff.
“Finally, you’re leaving.” you say.
“No, stupid.” he says “Class is over.”
Shit, he’s right. Class is over. You stuff your physics notebook into your backpack and watch as he leaves.
He even walks pretty. You could kill him.
“You’re an asshole.” Terezi says to you.
You hadn’t always hated Eridan Ampora. Actually, that wasn’t true. You had hated him since you were seven sweeps old. There was something about the way he held himself like he was better than everyone else. You didn’t even like the way he talked. Although he had eased up on the weird ‘w’ waver, he still had an insufferable habits of clipping his g’s and having an accent (Greek? Swedish? You really don’t care). You would mock him for it if you didn’t have the lingering hint of lisp that stuck around after middle school. But anyway, you didn’t like some human asswipe who acted like he was above you, and above your entire species. You had never found any evidence that he was truly a specist, but you had a feeling. He was rich, which you couldn’t hate by itself. But he seemed like the kind of guy who would also die rich, which you could hate. You had gotten into a fight about four years ago, when he was sixteen. You two had been in debate class, and he was babbling some shit about how he hated it when poor people wanted hand-outs and how he got this far without any. You had ended up yelling at him, claiming “What do you mean, you never got handouts? You have a car. I haven’t eaten anything but peanut butter in two days. I’m the one who never got any handouts!”
You had since come to regret your outburst, as it made it look like your emotions were in control of you. You also doubt it did anything to convince him otherwise. To be honest, you figured that what he was saying wasn’t his own words, probably just shit his parents yelled at the TV. But that didn’t make his face any less punchable, so you stop thinking about it. You curse yourself for using precious brain cells to ponder over Eridan and go back to thinking about how after you die, everything you accomplished will be forgotten slowly over time.
Calm down, edge lord.
You’re in physics class again. It’s Thursday. You’re currently supposed to be working on a lab regarding perpetual motion, but you had already done a similar experiment last year with information that could be recycled. Terezi is scribbling god knows what, while Eridan looks at what you can only assume to be terrible, tasteless memes on his phone. He probably only looked at rich people memes about how hard it was to find real friends when everyone only loved you for your money.
“You know Sol,” he starts, making you jump “I haven’t said one rude thing to you in almost three years.”
“What’s your point?” you ask.
“Oh, nothing. I just think that being excessively hostile towards me will hurt you more than it hurts me.”
“Wow. Pretentious and passive-aggressive.”
He scoffs. “How am I pretentious?”
You glance at his perfectly coordinated purple and black attire, three hundred dollar shoes, and silver scarf that might just as well said “I regularly ask to speak to the manager because the only thing more silver than this scarf is the spoon that I was born with in my mouth.”
“Please.” you say “What about you isn’t pretentious?”
“What you call pretentious, I call having a sense of class.” he quips back, observing one of the ink stains on your tee-shirt.
“If you were more socially informed, you’d wear a shirt that said ‘Wake up, sheeple!’”
“At least the ends of my pants reach my ankles.”
You gaze at the ends of your pants. It was true; they cut off about an inch before your shoes, exposing the grey of your ankles. But you were five eleven and hadn’t bought new pants since five eight. Speaking of height, you think one of the reasons you had recently rekindled your bone to pick with Eridan is he had finally grown taller than you. That, and the whole current physics conundrum.
“Is it going to be like this for the rest of the quarter?” Terezi asks.
“Yes.” you and Eridan say at the same time.
“Good.” says Terezi “This class is boring.”
You’re a little insulted that Terezi thinks physics is boring, but you let it slide. You usually get booed when you try to give a Sollux Captor “numbers are fun!” speech. You loved numbers. They were satisfying to wrap your brain around.
“You guys ready for the lab tomorrow?” Eridan asks.
You are so totally ready for the lab tomorrow. You’re dropping tennis balls out the window to collect data for who gives a shit. But this meant that you got to experience one of your favorite activities; analyzing numerical data.
“I’m ready. You guys should let me help this time.” says Terezi.
You think back to ninth grade Chemistry class when Terezi and Dave had done a lab together and ended up creating a small explosion that took out someone’s eyebrows due to Terezi being blind.
Eridan says ‘no’ the same time you say ‘sure’. You glare at each other.
“You guys smell like middle school hormones.” says Terezi.
You wish Aradia could have been here with you. But she had insisted on not taking morning classes.
“I’ll see you two tomorrow.” says Eridan, getting up.
“Where are you going?” you ask.
“Class is over. Do you ever pay attention to time?” Eridan asks, giving a face that you’ve come to know means “Sollux is an idiot”.
You roll your eyes “Do you ever pay attention to…” Oh shit, you don’t have anything. You just trailed off. And now he’s staring at you, waiting patiently for you to finish your insult.
“Shut up.” you say.
“Ohh.” he taunts “I’m going to give you until tomorrow to work on that.”
You watch as he walks away. Terezi is staring at a direction that she probably thinks you’re in.
“You’re really an asshole.” she says.
It’s Friday. Lab day. You brought your good mechanical pencil (the one with the long eraser that when you run out you can twist the end for more eraser!) and the T-84 graphing calculator Dirk had gotten you for your last wriggling day. You love that calculator. It has the exact same design of your old one that you had stolen from middle school. But alas, you lost that one.
“Will you stop looking at that calculator like you want to fuck it?” Eridan says, pulling you from your thoughts of what it would be like for Lieutenant Commander Data to sexually pleasure you.
“Will you stop having terrible taste in everything?” you reply, looking at his horrible pinstriped pants while hearing The Stones faintly playing through his asshole wireless ear buds. It’s not even any of their good music.
“Oh yeah, I’m the one with poor taste.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” you ask.
“Will you guys stop being stupid and help me throw these tennis balls out the window?” Terezi interrupts, tossing some balls in your general direction.
You’re supposed to measure the height from them second story window to the ground. Dave is currently attempting to find it with only a single tape measure. You look at him and he dabs, promptly dropping the tape measure out the window. You sigh and wonder why everyone but you is an idiot.
“Did you figure out the distance from the ground?” you ask Dave.
“Yeah.” he says, looking out the window, probably attempting to figure out where the tape measure fell in the bushes.
“What number did you get?”
“I’m not telling you.” he says “You gotta find it with your own lab partners. It will help you build character.”
You sigh. “Just tell me how high it is.”
“Higher than a CEO on a four week coke binge.”
“Fine.” he says “But you need to do something for me.”
He pulls out his phone. “Let me take a picture of you dabbing.”
You dab. “I would have done it for a lot less.” you admit “Why are you so addicted to dabbing?”
“I have literally no excuse or defense for it.”
“How tall is the building?” you ask, hopefully for the last time.
“Twenty two feet and four inches.”
“Sol! Stop being weird and get over here.” Eridan demands, ending your dreams of immortalizing the dab. You return to asshole land.
“Where’s Terezi?” you ask. Eridan points out the window and you see her on the ground.
“I’m ready!” she yells, with her hands out. She’s facing the wrong direction.
“Do you have the timer ready?” Eridan asks you.
“Yeah.” you answer, pulling up a stop watch on your phone.
“Ok, I’m going to drop it now.” Eridan yells down to Terezi. He leans out the window to drop the ball, and you’re so pissed off about how nice his butt looks that you don’t use the timer.
To your surprise, Terezi catches it.
“Ok. How long did it fall?”
You shrug. “I don’t know, I didn’t time it.”
“What do you mean you didn’t time it?”
“I didn’t know you were gonna drop it.”
“What are you, five?” he asks as you laugh.
You put your head out the window.
“Terezi, throw the ball back up.” you shout. Terezi throws the ball directly at your head and you are forced to duck. Eridan catches it.
“You drop it.” says Eridan “I don’t trust you with the timer anymore.”
“Fine.” you position yourself out the window and hand Eridan your phone.
“Are you ready?” you ask.
“Why is your phone background a picture of Bill Nye the Science Guy?”
“Why are you so nosy?” you say, snatching your phone away. You turn it back to the timer app. “Stay on the timer.”
You and Eridan successfully complete the experiment with objects of varying mass and conclude that mass has no effect on fall speed. You thank Isaac Newton for making you do this stupid experiment every year in science class.
Now you’re happily applying the numbers into the proper equations. It’s pretty basic stuff for you, but you needed this class to get into the mathematics program you were shooting for.
You glance at Eridan. You consider for a brief second being less of an asshole, but give up on the notion. After all, you did feel like he was exploiting you to get an A. And you did not like feeling exploited.
It’s Friday night. You’re sitting on your couch in your dorm room. Your homework is done, your bees are ok, and you’ve finished your nightly cybercrime. You figure you should answer your phone, because it’s buzzed at least four times in the last minute. It’s Aradia.
AA: i dab f0r the l0vers
AA: i dab f0r the haters
AA: i dab f0r the n0wies and I dab f0r the laters
AA: i was hacked
TA: 2ure you were. why ii2 everyone 2o ob2e22ed wiith dabbiing?
AA: i swear it was the hacker
TA: the only per2on who could actually hack you ii2 me, whiich ii a22ure you ii currently have no rea2on two do.
AA: d0 you want to hang 0ut 0n sunday
TA: yeah, 2ure.
AA: h0w have you been
TA: ii would be great but do you remember eriidan ampora?
AA: 0h n0
AA: are y0u really g0ing to have an0ther i hate eridan s000 much its half 0f what i think ab0ut phase
TA: iive never been that bad
AA: three years ag0 y0u wr0te an essay ab0ut h0w ann0ying he was
TA: ii know the e22ay you’re talkiing about. that wa2nt about hiim, iit wa2 about the iinefficiiency of triickle down economiic2.
AA: and i qu0te
AA: “...unfortunately for those hoping for a self-sustaining society, the concept of Reaganomics has since mutated into several government practices that have direct causation with a larger wealth divide. In other words, this allows self-entitled winey-voiced rich human kids named Eridan Ampora (#callout post) to get whatever they want while the rest of us get the short stick.”
TA: 2o ii mentiioned hiim once. iit wa2 topiical. why do you have my old essay2?
AA: y0u d0nt even kn0w if hes a c0rrupt s0cial darwinist
TA: no, but ii can make an educated gue22 ba2ed on the fact that the eviidence ii2 overwhelmiingly po22itiive
AA: l00k s0llux just try n0t t0 let it be t00 big 0f a thing
TA: ok, fiine.
TA: want to help me come up wiith way2 two fuck wiith hiim?
AA: its tempting
AA: but n0t the best thing f0r y0ur mental health
TA: what are you talkiing about my mental health ii2 great. except for the cyclothymiia and occa2tiional wale2 of the damned that echo iin my thiink pan.
AA: y0u sh0uld get that checked
TA: no it2 great they warned me the poliitiical 2hiit 2torm that wa2 2016, whiich potentiially 2aved my a22 becau2e of that in22urance plan ii took out.
AA: d0nt f0rget the adhd
TA: BREAKIING NEW2 some troll kiid ha2 ADHD cliick HERE two find out more.
TA: 2eriiou2ly you know how many tiime2 iive had 2ome mom tell my mom wow your 2on2 2uch a BRIIGHT BOY.
TA: two bad he ha2 that attentiion “dii2order” and mood i22ue2.
TA: liike 2hut up liinda.
TA: iit2 not a dii2order, liinda, youre ju2t boriing a2 fuck and ii have no dii2iire two pay attentiion two you and your yuppiie haircut.
TA: iit2 not liike your 2on trevor ii2 a geniiu2 liinda he2 2iitting iin hii2 corner laughiing at iifunny and eating glue.
TA: liinda iif you and your dumba22 son trevor can fiind a programmer wiithout adhd, ii wiill giive you your very own whole food2 giift card.
TA: now go back to po2tiing "2ciience" on facebook about how rubbiing diirt iintwo your face can age your 2kiin backward2.
AA: y0u have a pr0blem
TA: we all have problem2, aa. 2ociiety fuck2 u2 all.
TA: iit2 not even good fuckiing.
TA: iit2 the kiind of fuckiing where iit take2 them liike a full miinute two fiind my nook and by that tiime iim not horny anymore.
TA: and then they take WAY two long two fiiniish and iim liike wiill you ju2t fuckiing nut and call me an uber already?
TA: and then they 2sk me to call them daddy.
AA: remember that time we g0t drunk and had sex and y0u cried
TA: OH BOY DO II EVER
TA: ii woke up today thiinkiing golly gee fuckiing go2h ii hope my be2t friend aradiia remiind2 me of the mo2t humiiliiatiing moment of my liife.
AA: i th0ught it was cute
AA: y0u were like
AA: 0h i d0nt want t0 change 0ur friendship its s0 imp0rtant t0 me
TA: iim 2uper 2toked were 2tiill talkiing about thii2 for 2ome rea2on.
AA: im trying t0 take y0ur mind 0ff 0f eridan
TA: damn iit aa iim not a chiild.
AA: y0u have tendency to let things c0nsume y0u
TA: thank2 mom.
AA: i g0tta g0
AA: see y0u 0n sunday
AA: d0nt be t00 hard 0n y0urself
Aradia has been acting like she’s worried about you lately, and you literally have no idea as to why. It would be nice to see her on Sunday, though. You look around the small room, and spot your cat in the pile of trash that Karkat sleeps in. Speaking of Karkat, he’s not going to be home for another half hour. What should you do? You narrow it down to either masturbating or sinking another three hours into Breath of the Wild. Breath of the Wild wins. You stare at the cartridge. The cartridge stares back. You lick the cartridge. It does not taste good.
It’s Monday. You’re in physics class, and just as you’ve expected, Eridan sits next to you for like the fourth day in a row. There’s currently a lecture going on, so you can’t make any jabs at him. Class is almost over. There’s a test the day after tomorrow, which you’re excited for because you’re a huge fucking nerd.
Class ends on the hour, and you’re so utterly happy that there’s no bell that rings. Bells ringing was the bane of your existence in high school. They were like an authoritarian reminder that said “hey kid, you’re stuck here, have fun trying to learn when you're forced to do a bunch of shit you don’t want to and deal with another bullshit social hierarchy LOL”.
You’re pulled from your thoughts when you realize Eridan is snapping in your face.
“What? What do you need?” you demand, irritated.
“How do I do this?” he asks, pointing at a vector problem. You cringe a little because you’ve never been very good at explaining vectors to people. Good thing you have no intention of actually helping him.
“Maybe if you paid attention, you would know.” you say, observing the actually pretty decent self-portrait he had done. Leave it to that fucker to draw himself.
“Please?” he asks, giving you a look that you’re sure would work on anyone dumber than you. You’re torn between thinking Eridan is an asshole for being capable of mild manipulation and admiring him just a bit for it.
“Can’t you just pay somebody else to help you?”
“As much at it pains me to admit it, nobody is as good as you for this.” he says, and you feel a wave of flattery wash over you. You crush it down like a sexual fantasy in church.
“Flattery will get you nowhere with me.”
“Oh, trust me.” he says, biting down on the tip of his eraser “Just because I think you’re good at math doesn’t mean I don’t think your brain is lacking heavily in other areas.”
“Yeah, no shit. So sorry that my think-pan can’t be both proficiently analytical and capable of easily handling social situations.”
“Will you two stop flirting?” asks Terezi as she packs up her stuff.
“We’re not flirting.” you say, wondering what twisted idea Terezi has of what flirting is.
“Yeah, and I wore a bra today.” she replies, sarcastically.
“You and what boobs?” Eridan asks like a fucking savage. You laugh and attempt to turn it into a cough. He’s wittier than you had previously given him credit for.
Terezi laughs, brushing your feet with her cane as she gets up.
“See you tomorrow, asshole.” she says as she passes by. Eridan turns back to you.
“I’d pay you back.” he says.
“If you taught me how to understand vectors, I would pay you back.”
“How?” You’re legitimately curious.
“You want fifty bucks?”
You almost hyperventilate. Fifty dollars of legal money that you didn’t steal from upper-class Russians. But you try to act unimpressed.
“Really? Your family has at the very least a net of a few hundred million dollars. I want at least a hundred.” you say.
“Seventy-five.” he bargains.
“Fifty and you have to pay for me to go to grad school.”
“That’s not my decision. Just because my parents have money doesn’t mean I get to decide what to do with it.”
“Kill them so you can inherit their companies and wealth.” you say.
He laughs. “Just take the seventy-five.”
“Fine” you reply, giving in.
“Are you free tomorrow?”
“Yeah, sure. After six.”
“What’s your phone number?”
You can’t believe you’re giving your phone number to Eridan. At least you’ll get his number out of the process, and you’re sure you kind find some way to fuck with him. You give him your messaging information.
“Can I have my money now?” you ask.
“Tomorrow.” he says like the cock sucking ass-clown that he is.
You sigh and walk out to get to your next class. You flip him off on your way. He gives you an unbearably pretentious smirk.