Title kinda from Our Perfect Disease - The Wombats. This... got a lot longer than it was supposed to be, but that's fine. The plot also diverted a little, so it resembles the other Goody/Lamb fic I have a bit too much, but oh well.

TW: bullying, mild descriptions of violence.

Goody first realizes he might have something akin to a problem when he bumps into the last person he expected to see on the first day of high school.

To clear things up, it's been a long time since they've seen each other, all the way back to when they were kids and Goody was more of a jerk than he was now. But he, of course, still remembers her face, because it's hard to forget the face of the girl who landed him in detention for two weeks and almost got him expelled because of one little mistake.

In any case, even if she's a whole lot older than six years old now, Goody still knows that face. He'd know it anywhere—especially since her eyes are still as sharp and vicious as they were over ten years ago.

They bump against each other, quite literally, in the hallway. Goody's running late for his first class, because of course getting lost in the building is a great way to start the year, when he crashes against someone else, almost toppling to the floor. "Jesus Christ, watch where you're going," the person snaps, at the same time Goody yelps something that could either have been a "fucking shit" or a "shitting fuck". To be honest, both of those are entirely possible.

Then they actually see each other's faces, and for a moment, there's silence. And then hell breaks loose.

"You," Lambchops gapes.

"My God," Goody mutters, "I just want to get to Bio on time."

Something like recognition appears for a moment in Lambchops' expression, but Goody's quick enough to see changes in expression to know what that had meant. "Please don't tell me you have Bio in the morning too," he pleads.

Lambchops looks like she wants to throw something, preferably a dictionary straight towards his face. "And here I go hoping to find someone who actually knows where the classroom is," she grumbles, obviously meaning for Goody to hear. Not at all unusually enough, he feels the old, waiting hatred rise up from the depths of his chest and rear back to growl threateningly at the girl in front of him—it's almost nostalgic, he thinks.

"So what, little Lamb can't find her way around campus?" he simpers, allowing a cocky grin to spread lazily over his face. It's been so long since he's had someone to do this with that it's ridiculously satisfying to watch the pure anger show clearly on her face. "Follow your favorite friend, then, why don't you? It's just down this hallway." And he sets off, because he really has no idea where he's going.

Lambchops, after about ten seconds of contemplation, follows after him. "I already passed by there," she says mockingly. "Think you're some wizard who can magically find his way around this place? It's your first time here too, I'm pretty sure."

They end up bickering all the way to the gym, which, at least according to half of the map Lambchops had managed to salvage, isn't even on the same side as where the Bio room is. After a whole half hour of wandering around, exchanging jabs and remarks that get increasingly more heated with each passing minute, they find themselves wrestling on the floor. Good times, Goody would think, if he doesn't have a black eye to tend to.

The second time they meet, it's because they're late to Bio again and the last two seats are right next to each other. Goody groans—loudly—before giving up and slumping into the seat on the right. It's closer to the exit. "Why do I always have to be stuck with you? I thought I left you way back in kindergarten," he mutters.

Lambchops nearly breaks her table with the force of her bag dropping on it. She gives him a glare so venomous he can practically feel the dark vibe coming from it. "You think you're the only one who thinks that way? I don't like this situation more than you do—or less, if you're some creep who has a secret crush on me or something." She smirks, and it's probably the most infuriating thing Goody has ever seen. "Do you?"

"In your deepest, darkest dreams, Lamb," he hisses, then starts flipping through his textbook with unnecessary vehemence.

When he exits the classroom, making sure to see where Lambchops is heading first before going the opposite direction, he then runs into another someone he hadn't expected to find. Goody nearly shrieks when the shorter boy almost runs into him, because damn it, the guy is holding a cup of steaming hot coffee and if he had actually bumped into him

"Goody?" Schlomo yelps, staring up at him incredulously, like the very possibility of seeing his old childhood bully in the same high school as him is plain impossible. "It is you! Oh, wow, it's been so long! Nice to see you aga—"

"Okay, cool, get out of my way," Goody interrupts, because if there's one thing he can't stand, it's goody-two-shoes—no pun intended. He pushes past the other boy, ignoring the slightly hurt look on his face, and is about to make his way to English when a hand grabs the back of his blazer and drags him backwards. "Oh my fucking Christ!"

"Did your mother ever teach you about manners or did she think you were a lost cause from birth?" Lambchops spits, letting go of his blazer and switching hold to the front of his collar, strong enough to almost lift him up. Goody chokes something out, but Lambchops is already saying, "I swear to God, King, I'll rip you in half and throw you down a manhole if you talk to Schlomo again that way—"

"Lambchops! Let him go!" Schlomo cries, gesticulating wildly. The fact that this is happening right in the middle of the corridor for all to see is not helping Goody's reputation at the moment. Lambchops grunts and reluctantly lets go, upsetting his already unstable balance and almost causing Goody to crash to the floor if he hadn't immediately grabbed hold of her blazer to steady himself.

Lambchops looks ready to follow through with her threat. Schlomo jumps in with surprising speed. "Please calm down," he says, his voice more level than Goody's would have been in such a situation. "T-This is all just a misunderstanding! Goody was just in a hurry, Lambchops, or in a bad mood, whatever. I'm sure he didn't mean to say that! Right?"

"… Right," Goody says, because the pleading look on the boy's face is making him think of a kicked puppy left abandoned on the sidewalk. "Sure I was. Absolutely." He looks anywhere but at Lambchops' face, which he's sure is seething with anger right now.

"See, Lamb, it's all good," Schlomo says, nodding like the problem had been completely solved, just like that. "Anyway, it's nice to see you again, Goody, but we should get going now. See you!" And with that, he's off, dragging Lambchops along with him. Goody has to give him some credit—being able to control the exploding time of an angry Lambchops has to be some sort of award-worthy skill.

Goody stomps off, though more for show than anything else, head swimming with muddled thoughts and half-remembered memories.

"Let's all welcome your new classmate, Schlomo Metzenbaum," the teacher says cheerfully. Goody stares at her face for a moment—she hadn't stumbled over such difficult words that it's hard to believe she hadn't practiced that. The new kid smiles nervously as he stands on stage, hands gripping his backpack straps tightly. "Schlomo, is there anything you want to say to your new friends?"

"Um, um, I hope I get to know all of you really well," he squeaks, sounding more like a girl than Serena. "I know I'll take some time to get used to this school, but please teach me what I need to know! Thank you!"

The teacher smiles gently, resting a hand on the new kid's shoulder. "Now, Schlomo here is a bit younger than all of you—born a year after most of you here, see—but you shouldn't treat him badly just because he's younger. Guide him around the school and help him make new friends, alright?"

Goody finds out about two minutes later how ridiculously easy it is to trip someone when they, and the teacher, aren't looking. Schlomo goes toppling through air to fall flat on his face, and the classroom erupts into the kind of laughter that Goody has taught the rest of the school to fear. Schlomo shakily stands up, lip wobbling, and says, "T-That was—"

"Was what, huh? Mean? What a baby," Goody sneers, "and you expect us to treat you like you're one of us? What a joke!"

The kid looks at him some more, eyes glimmering with tears, before retreating to the back of the classroom, where the only empty seat is, just right next to some girl Goody never talked to. Before the class starts, he glances over where they are—the girl has given him a pencil.

He rolls his eyes and starts making a paper airplane out of a coloring page. It's only just begun.

This time, it's the school clinic. Goody hadn't been able to control himself and had started a fight against a senior—he had won, of course, but not without some battle scars to come with it. So he'd dragged himself all the way to the clinic, the only place he had memorized, because he'd known he'd be visiting it a whole lot.

Of course, because the universe hates him, Lambchops and Schlomo happen to be there too.

"Goody," Schlomo says, staring at him curiously. Goody almost glares at him, but remembers the monstrous strength Lambchops has, and just nods at the other boy as cordially as he can manage. "W… What happened to you? You look like… like, I don't know, like a truck ran over you or something. After you got pushed off a cliff and battered by rocks."

"Real nice description," Lambchops grunts, flinching as she massages a massive bruise on her upper arm that almost covers her whole shoulder. "Damn, King, you look like hell."

"I am in hell," Goody replies. He forces himself to look at her more carefully, because he'd at least like to know if he could possibly take her on right now if he needed to. She's just about covered in bruises, like she'd taken a shower of heavy chairs and she hadn't bothered to move. "And you, Lamb? You look like you were caught in a flood and then thrown in the middle of a hurricane."

"Vending machines," she grumbles, and doesn't elaborate. Goody figures he doesn't really want to know anyway, really. "You?"

"Fuckin' stuck-up seniors," he says, pressing some cloth into a pretty deep cut. "Don't mess with their little egos. They might start going boo-hoo and then pull a knife on you." Why the senior happened to have a knife out and no one thought it was weird, Goody didn't know, but he sure as hell knew that he could take that senior again and still come out the victor. Stronger, sure—smarter? More observant? Please.

Lambchops barks out a laugh, and oddly enough, Goody thinks this is the sort of thing he can get used to. "I got in a fight with one of them too. This one tried breaking a glass bottle over my head. He probably thought it was a good idea until I got one of the glass shards and stabbed him in the arm."

"Jesus," Goody says, because it sums up what he thinks of her and her experiences right now, really.

"Damn right." She goes right back to nursing her bruises, this time focusing on a slowly growing one on her left knee. "Ugh, fuck, who knew vending machines could be death weapons…"

Schlomo smiles weakly. He looks like he's just about ready to throw up from all the fight talk, but stays beside Lambchops anyway. For a second, Goody thinks—no, knows that he isn't ever going to have as good a friend as Schlomo can be. "I'll start carrying a first-aid kit around tomorrow."

"That you will." Lambchops nods. For some reason, Goody notices, of all things, that her skirt is hiked up to her thighs so she can tend to the bruise on her knee, and the sudden expanse of skin is…

"What're you looking at, King?" Lambchops snaps, and Goody expertly averts his eyes to fixate his gaze on her knee.

After sending a quick prayer to the heavens, he answers, "So how the hell did a vending machine do that?"

Lambchops snorts, and Goody knows he's safe—at least for now, because Schlomo is looking at him strangely. "You'd be surprised. So I was trying to get the drink that costs, like, five dollars, right…"

"Goody," Schlomo says, very slowly, like he's trying to calm down an angered wild animal. "Don't get mad at me when I say this, alright?"

Goody raises an eyebrow at the shorter boy. He had literally approached him out of nowhere, asking if they could go talk in a secluded spot, which immediately had Goody's suspicions up. In his life, very few people had asked that same thing and didn't mean they were about to beat him up and steal his money. "No promises," he settles.

Schlomo looks like he wants to be anywhere but in an empty classroom with his old classmate, but goes along with it anyway. "Lambchops," he starts. "Do you… you know, like her?" he asks, voice almost a whisper.

"What," Goody says.

"Like her," Schlomo repeats, and Goody is hit with the realization that this kid is probably still ten years old if he's using these terms. "Because… you know, I just… had this feeling…"

"The day I start liking Lambchops is the day Diaz starts liking you," Goody returns. Schlomo's entire face heats up like the sun, and Goody gives himself a mental pat on the back for changing the subject so very quickly. "Don't think I haven't noticed you making doe-eyes at her every lunch. Keep your hopes down, kid, I'm pretty sure she's having a fling with, uh, what's his name? Nick something-or-other?"

"S-She'd never!" Schlomo blurts out before realizing his mistake and burying his face in his hands. Goody can almost see the steam coming out of his ears. "Ugh, never mind! Look, we're not here to talk about C-Carmen. We're talking about you and Lambchops."

Great, so maybe this kid wasn't as easily distracted as Goody had hoped he would be. "Fine. So let's talk. I don't like her—she doesn't like me. It's easy as that, Metzenbaum. What don't you get?"

"Metzenbaum," Schlomo mumbles exasperatedly before hurrying on. "Alright, well, anyway, I just thought I should talk to you about it. Because I really started thinking about that… that possibility that you might like her, because sometimes she talks about you for a really long time so I thought you might do the same thing…"

Goody bites his lip to stop himself from saying "I've got no one to talk to about her anyway." Instead, he swallows the bitter reply and grumbles, "Gee, guess I'll make sure to tell you if I ever start developing loving feelings for her. Now I'm leaving, because unlike you, I can't afford to be late for History if I want to stay in this school." He exits the classroom without looking back.

Him? Like Lambchops? The thought was about as absurd as the sky being purple or water turning everything it touched dry. Goody makes his way through the corridors aimlessly, already having forgotten where the History class usually is.

He's counting Schlomo's lunch money when someone yells, "Hey!"

No one's actually had the guts to speak to him that way before, so when Goody lifts his head and sees nothing but a girl, her arms crossed over her chest, he laughs out loud and stuffs the minuscule amount of money in his pocket. "And who are you, huh? What're you doing talking to big ol' me?"

"Give Schlomo his money back," the girl says with a surprisingly dangerous edge to her voice, "or I'm telling a teacher."

For a moment, Goody feels the need to laugh ridiculously hard again, but realizes that there's something in the girl's eyes that mean business. After all, he's nothing but observant, and something tells him that the girl isn't afraid to get dirty. So he raises an eyebrow, putting his weight on one leg confidently. "Oh, really, now," he drawls. "Would you be telling anyone if I did this?"

He pulls his hands back for a good old push to the chest—an opening act, to weed out the sissies—but he's caught off-guard when the girl ducks under his arms and tackles him to the ground instead. Luckily, his head doesn't hit the floor, but it comes entirely too close to it for comfort. "What the heck!?" he snaps, reaching up to shove her off, but once again, the girl grabs his wrists with almost practiced ease, pinning him to the floor, her thighs clenched.

"Give him back his money!" She yells, voice loud enough to start a ringing in his ears. Goody winces—he's not about to give up now, especially against a girl. So he uses his heavier weight to his advantage and flips her so he's on top now, the two of them grabbing and slapping to get hold of the others' wrists. Eventually, though, he gets lucky and gets her across the face, getting her to drop her guard long enough for him to pin her wrists to the floor. She snarls, like she's planning her bloody, torturous revenge against him.

"Ain't giving back anyone's money, girl," Goody says, feeling a bit better about himself now that he's got the upper hand. That doesn't last long—one of the girl's feet comes up to hit him right where the sun doesn't shine and he practically flies off of her, shouting the long, complicated words he's heard his dad say before after a bad day at work. "What are you made of!?" he manages to yell coherently.

The girl stands above him, hands on her hips. "Give him back the money, for the last time, King," she growls.

"Fine, fine, take your darn money," he snaps, tossing the couple of bills towards her carelessly, still mainly focused on the throbbing pain in his privates. Remind me to never so much as look at her again next time, he tells himself, somewhere in the back of his head.

Thankfully, the girl never tells a teacher, presumably because she had gotten the money back, so Goody never gets in trouble for it. He does, however, learn that her name is Lambchops, or at least that's what they all call her. At least now he has a name to her face.

Goody is sitting on the stairs outside the school building, watching the rain fall relentlessly, when Lambchops steps out, holding the most broken umbrella he has ever seen.

She gives him a strange look. "King," she says plainly. "Not man enough to walk in the rain like all the bad boys do?"

"Fuck off," he mutters, more on reflex than anything else. Lambchops probably realizes this, too, because she doesn't look like she even registers the retort. "Maybe I don't want to get sick and miss a whole day of mind-numbing lectures and bone-breaking fights."

"Speaking of those, what happened to your eye? Did someone slam a hammer over it repeatedly or what?" Unexpectedly enough, she takes a seat next to him, the umbrella still closed. She's not sitting anywhere near him, of course, but close enough that they can hear each other over the pounding rain.

Goody huffs. "The senior. Gave up on knives, switched to good ol' fists. He ain't any better at it than he is with knives—beat him to a pulp." He absentmindedly licks his bottom lip, wincing at the sting of pain it causes. His lip had been busted open, and he can still taste the blood.

Lambchops "hmm"s, and the conversation effectively ends, if it could be called a conversation at all. To be honest, Goody's surprised they aren't at each other's throats by now—on the first day of school, he's fairly sure they would be in a fistfight right now, or at the very least he would have left as soon as she had come out, rain and all.

But now the atmosphere is almost… peaceful, like they're two good friends waiting for the rain to stop so they can walk back home. The idea of that is almost laugh-out-loud hilarious, but oddly enough, Goody thinks he can almost get used to it.

The day I start liking Lambchops is the day Diaz starts liking you…

"How's Schlomo doing?" He asks, because why the hell not. "With the Diaz girl. Did he get rejected yet or what?"

Lambchops shoots him a warning look. "For your information, Carmen confessed first."

"… Oh," he says simply, looking up at the cloudy sky. The rain had started slowing down into a drizzle. "Well, good for him. I'd just love to see how his sex life turns out with a girl like that."

He feels, rather than sees, Lambchops roll her eyes as she stands up, stretching a little as she opens her umbrella. When Goody doesn't move from his spot, still staring out at the gradually lessening rain, she grumbles out a, "Are you coming or what?"


"Don't we live in the same street? Hurry up and let's go, while the rain's not as bad as it probably will be later on," Lambchops says, twirling her umbrella a little. Goody glances at it—it's got two holes on one side and it looks like the slightest wind will send it flying to the heavens. But for some reason, he gets up anyway and holds it up for both of them.

Of course, they end up yelling at each other after about five minutes. Yet it's almost comforting, and Goody thinks she isn't half-bad after all. Maybe just one-fourths bad.

There is blood in his mouth, trickling down his chin, and he can't open his left eye for what must be the second time this month. When he hears the stinging remark and the faint swoosh of air as the senior prepares a kick to his head, Goody steels himself for unconsciousness, because damn it, he has to admit, the guy knows where to aim—

"Stay away!" a sharp voice snaps, the almost thunderous sound of footsteps charging over to them until they skid to a stop just in front of him. Goody does his best to see through his murky vision—all he can see is his own blood, and the not-quite imposing figure of someone shorter than him standing before the senior like she can take him on, no problem. With a start, he realizes that it's Lambchops. "What the hell do you think you're doing? If you know you've won, just leave!"

Won? Goody screams in his mind. Don't say that, for God's sake, woman, he hasn't won until I'm broken and bleeding in the gutter! I have my pride to keep, here!

There's a tense silence for a moment, before the senior starts howling. "Is the little King so weak he has girls to fight for him? This is lower than I thought you could go, Goodman! Having your precious girlfriend fight for y—"

He's cut off by a mean-sounding punch to the nose, sending him toppling to the floor, clutching his face as, even through Goody's one-eye vision right now, blood oozes out from one of his nostrils. "Jesus fuck," he curses, shakily getting back to his feet, "what the hell are you, girl?"

"What, never met a weak little girl who can break your nose in half and use it to castrate you?" Lambchops hisses, clenching her fists, either in anger or to throw more hits—Goody's fine with both. "Believe me, you sissy little fuck, if you move one more inch towards him, I'll make sure I won't just be tearing out your intestines."

"… Tch," the senior spits, "have it your way. This won't be the last time we meet—and the next time I see you, you won't be walking straight for a month." Then there's footsteps, angry ones, until they fade into the distance.

Peace washes over Goody, at least for about half a second. Lambchops drops down to her knees, looking over disapprovingly at his crumpled form. "And you call yourself a fighter," she says, forcefully lifting him up to his feet. Surprisingly enough, it looks like she's had plenty of experience with handling injuries, because she doesn't touch a single bruise or send any sharp pains through his head. "Come on, let's get you to the clinic. God knows you need it."

"Why'd you help me?" he asks, before he can stop himself. Then he wants to blow up—what if the next time that happened, Lambchops wouldn't be so willing to help him out then? Not like he's relying on her, now, but… but, just, why had the feeling of her helping him felt so satisfying?

Lambchops gives him a strange look. "Why wouldn't I?" she replies, and leaves it at that.

Goody almost does, too, until he realizes three things: firstly, it's the middle of winter; secondly, they're trudging through the streets in the snow; and thirdly, Lambchops is wearing a t-shirt. "What the hell are you thinking, going out in the cold like that?" he squawks, already shrugging off his own jacket before he knows what he's doing.

There's another few seconds of silence, where Goody wants to make himself a snowy grave and lie in there forever. Then Lambchops laughs, a high, surprisingly happy sound, before taking his jacket and draping it over her shoulders lazily. "It stinks of your blood, Goody," she says, "but I'll take it. You're gonna be in a heated clinic in ten minutes anyway."

Goody only realizes that she had called him by his name when he's lying on the white bed, wondering how their relationship had become like this. She never returns his jacket.

In his defense, Goody isn't the one who starts it—it's one of the older students who initiates the bullying, the scattering of papers and ripping of books. Goody just decides to join in, because really, everyone knows that ignoring it would land you in the "Definitely Uncool" group.

A bunch of older students, mixed with those of his age, are gathered in a circle around the leader of the group and the new kid—Schlomo. Goody doesn't know what the leader had been doing before he had arrived, but when he does enter the circle, the leader is pushing Schlomo to the floor, his bag torn open and his things all over the floor. "Gonna cry now, wimp? Run to your mommy and tell her all about this?"

"Y-You shouldn't be doing this," the kid sniffles, scrubbing at his eyes furiously. "I-I've seen you do this to… to Serena and M-Mabel. They don't deserve it! It's who they a—"

"Standing up for your girlfriends, huh," the leader cuts off, leaning in so they're almost face-to-face. "Here's the thing, kiddo—why're you worrying about them? It's you who should be crying right now, because you're going to feel what it's like to be hurt." He straightens up, and for a second, Goody thinks he's about to kick the boy on the floor, but instead, the leader looks at the circle for a moment before pointing over at Goody. "You, you're his classmate, aren't you?"

"Ashamed of it," Goody answers. It's the kind of thing everyone laughs at and claps his back for. The leader grins, and Goody can see that he's about to have to do something he hasn't been able to do in some time.

The leader gestures towards Schlomo, who's biting his lip in some pitiful effort to hold back his tears. "Teach him a lesson, huh?"

Of course, as soon as Goody steps up and gets himself ready for an old-fashioned one-sided fight, the shrill screech of a "Stop!" interrupts him. And before he knows it, he's thrown to the ground by someone shorter than him. This is about as worst as humiliation can get.

The circle is shocked into silence as Goody shoves the girl off of him, standing up and backing away to a respectable distance—not too far to seem like he's scared, but not too near to get hit again if she gets back up. She lifts her face, and Goody sees the pure rage written all over her expression before he remembers her name—Lambchops. "What do you want from him!?" she explodes, jumping to her feet and grabbing hold of Goody's shoulders, like she's ready to perform some complicated wrestling maneuver on him or something. "He never did anything wrong to you! Why do you keep doing this?"

"Get away from me, girl," he snaps, pushing her away, but Lambchops yells something incoherent and jumps on him—pain bursts on the right side of his face, and he realizes that she had just slapped him. The circle roars in laughter, and Goody can feel his face redden, both from the slap and from the total embarrassment. More of the slap, though. "Stop it! What are you—"

"What's going on here?" a stern voice asks. Goody feels his blood turn to ice—when he looks up, the threatening figure of a teacher towers over both of them, standing next to Schlomo, trembling all over and trying not to cry, most likely. "Goodman, Grace… I am very disappointed in the two of you. Come to my office—now."

Goody and Lambchops glare at each other all the way to the teacher's office. Schlomo walks in between them—even then, Goody had been kind of impressed, because it takes guts to walk next to someone who had been very ready to punch you in the face just minutes before.

Of course, it's detention for a full two weeks and community service for one. Lambchops and Schlomo get off scot-free, and Goody curses them the whole time.

It's not surprising when Goody finds Schlomo being pushed around by seniors. What is surprising is that Lambchops isn't around to protect him from it.

If there's one thing Goody knows, it's that you just don't interfere in the middle of a bullying session. (There's a difference between a fight and a bullying session, after all.) Usually, doing that gets you on someone's hit list, and at the very least, you become the victim in a matter of seconds.

But if there's also one thing Goody knows, it's that Schlomo has done nothing but be nice to him, and if he doesn't do something right now, Lambchops will definitely hear about this and the wrath of hell will probably come down on him. So Goody steps right in the middle of the senior and the cowering Schlomo, because he's a damn idiot with a death wish.

"… King," the senior says incredulously, like he can't believe someone like Goody would interrupt, of all things, a bullying session. Goody can understand that, of course—he's never been one to be nice, especially to someone like Schlomo, his total opposite. "What do you think you're doing?"

"Serving a good, steaming plate of justice and righteousness," Goody returns. The senior laughs in his face, but Goody continues; "What, never heard of those words before? It's okay, we're all a little illiterate sometimes. Ain't nothing to be ashamed of." He sneers. "Maybe you're just a tad more than the rest of us, though. What're you doing as a senior? Shouldn't you be down with the five-year-olds, learning the alphabet?"

"Don't you talk to me that way," the senior growls, stepping close enough for Goody to smell his break that reeks of cigarette smoke. "Listen, King, you ain't got no business here. Get out now while I'm being nice."

Goody does not get out while he's being nice. He ends up taking the senior on, this time with his own knife out—because, after all, is there's one other thing he's learned from being in high school, it's that knives can be really useful at the right times. Schlomo brings him to the clinic, where Lambchops is tending to her own bloody nose.

She gives them a look that says "I know I should be surprised by this sight, but honestly, I am just too tired to bother feeling anything but exhausted right now". She settles for moving to the side to let Goody slump on the seat beside her. "Nice going, Goody," she says—she said his name again—before looking him over. "Why do you look like you were thrown in a blender?"

"Seniors," he says, for what feels like the hundredth and fifth time. After a second, he adds, "And because of you."

She snorts and turns away, but Goody can see the upwards quirk at the corner of her lips. Beside them, Schlomo looks ridiculously happy.

They're late to Bio again. They get the seats next to each other again. The teacher yells at them some more again.

It's all very normal now. What isn't normal is that when lunch rolls around and Goody's about to take his usual seat alone by the table closest to the exit, Lambchops grabs his arm and says, words almost blending together in her hurry, "Aren't you going to sit with us?"

"… What?" Goody blinks.

Lambchops forcibly drags him to her and Schlomo's table, sitting him down on the other empty chair and watching him expectantly as Goody stares right back at her. "Do you not eat or something?" she asks, after a full minute of exactly this.

"Is today 'Be Nice to Your Worst Enemy' Day or something?" Goody returns, though half-heartedly at best—something in his chest is still hurting, an emotion he can't quite place.

Lambchops' eyes narrow like a cat's, and just as he's sure she's about to say something sharp again, like "Eat your food before I make you choke on them," Schlomo comes by. He's clearly surprised by the new addition, eyes wide, but he shrugs and sits down next to Goody, across from Lambchops. "Hello," he greets nicely enough.

"Hi," Goody says. "Can you get your pet lamb to… I don't know, quit terrorizing me?"

"Schlomo," Lambchops says, "I don't think you've ever seen anything bloodier than that one shark documentary on Animal Planet, have you?"

Schlomo stands back up. "I'll leave you two alone," he says meekly, before retreating to another table. Goody follows his path for a few seconds before giving up—he's fairly sure he's heading over to Carmen's table anyway.

Lambchops sighs and rests her chin on her arms folded on the table. "Just eat your lunch," she grumbles. "Seeing you sit by yourself everyday gets annoying sometimes too."

Goody huffs and reluctantly picks at his food, still watching the other girl. She doesn't seem to really care, her eyes looking somewhere to the left. After a while, just as Goody's about to eat his first spoon, Lambchops mumbles out a "… me?"

"What was that?" he asks, setting his spoon down and staring at her.

Face strangely red, Lambchops straightens in her seat and repeats, still looking to the left, "If you're not going to eat, want to go get some fries with me?"

It takes a long time before Goody remembers that he's capable of speech. "I'm sorry," he starts, "but did you, Grace Lamb, just ask me out on a date?"

"Do not call me Grace," Lambchops snaps. And then, like the more important part of his sentence had just registered in her head, "Getting fries does not qualify as date-material, King!"

"It sure sounded like it," Goody teases, grinning impishly. This isn't exactly how he'd imagined to see Lambchops blush for the first time, but he isn't complaining. "But, hey, why not? If there's anyone I'd go on a fast-food date with, it'd be you, Gracie. I hate fries, though."

"And I hate burgers," Lambchops retorts, but she's just about managed to wipe most of the redness off her face. She's still adamantly looking to the left. "And don't call me that, Goody."

Mabel rolls her eyes, stuffing a sandwich in her mouth. "I never thought so much sexual tension could be contained in one body," she remarks. Serena and Schlomo duck out of the way expertly, the bread crumbs from her mouth flying by them harmlessly.

"Lambchops has been wanting to ask him for, I don't know, over a week? I don't even know when it started… or how, really," Schlomo says, patting Carmen's head on his shoulder. "But at least I don't have to be caught in between their screaming matches anymore!"

"You never know, darling," Carmen says, yawning. "Relationships do not cancel out the sexual tension."

Serena coughs slightly and tries not to look at the play script in her bag.

TFW you realize your fics are coming in a pattern according to pairing.

Slacker, 4/9/16