Chapter 1

Strong Sad made his way along the sidewalk quietly, the crisp November air chilling his face. He had the newest Sloshy album pouring into his ears through the old partially working iPod headphones. Strong Bad had broken his brand new ones that morning and having turned his room upside down Strong Sad finally found a slightly less mangled pair. He needed music to keep his sanity intact, what with his brother and dorky boyfriend being around all the time. Walking outside was actually the only way to get away from them. He almost gagged at the memory of walking in on them making out yet again in the basement. He might as well never go down there again. And if he ever did, it would only be if they got a new couch…and burned the old one.

Strong Sad couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy at the idea of Strong Bad being so happy while he remained miserable. He was living up to his nickname after all, but it made life seem really…pointless. The only time he felt nearly un-depressed was when talking to Homeschool about computers, AI and any other sci-fi nerdy stuff. He had been almost excited to find someone willing to talk to him who wasn't as pathetic as that group of Gregs. Honestly, talk about no life. Come to think of it though, he wouldn't call what he had 'a life'. Maybe he was being a bit of a hypocrite…?

"Oh great, something else wrong with me…" he muttered under his breath, zipping his hoodie up to his neck and shoving his hands in his pockets to warm them. It wasn't very cold yet, but he wasn't wearing particularly warm clothing either. He'd left the house in a bit of a rush and didn't plan on going back any time soon, so he would have to suffer for a bit. Maybe I could use this for my writing.

Ice cold shutters

Encasing eyes

Losing sense

Stumbling in the dark

Unable to find home

"Home is where the heart is"

The heart is ice

Frozen in hopeless despair

Strong Sad had reached the bus stop and in an odd instance of good luck, saw the bus approaching. He'd had pretty good timing apparently. Not that he minded sitting by himself on the cold bench. He could have gone on for hours, mentally composing poetry about pain and darkness. It was his favourite kind, after all.

He climbed on, moved to his favourite seat in the back of the bus and listened to his music. The journey wasn't a particularly long one, and before he knew it, Strong Sad was looking out the window at the large grey library building. Paying the driver and getting off the bus he wandered along the steps to the library deep in thought. Before he knew it he'd by habit walked to the section relating to computer sciences and the like. It didn't matter anyway, he wasn't entirely sick of the subject yet.

Strong Sad had been spending more time with Homeschool after he found out about his little 'project'. He had been asking him a million questions in hope of broadening his knowledge of robotics, and it was working extremely well. He had to take advantage of the situation, right? He never got what he wanted; he deserved to give himself something for once.

He had to admit, he did wonder if it wasn't wrong of him to be probing Homeschool for all this information. But then again, the look on his face when answering those questions was something resembling…when you give Homestar a bag of Fluffy Puff marshmallows. Elation.

Strong Sad looked at the time, and saw that he had just over an hour before he was supposed to be studying. Not all too worried about rushing (there's not all that much studying he had to do for art class) he wandered along the shelves. It was somewhat relaxing just trailing his fingers along the spines of the books; scanning for a worthwhile read. He didn't have the energy to examine every book in the library today. Taking it slow he took in the smell of the books. It was refreshing for him. These ones were new and not as dusty or musty as the old literature books. Being around those too much clogs up your head.

Picking a book he finally wanted to actually read, he slid it off the shelf and turned to find a table. However he was rudely interrupted by someone slamming into him and thus knocking him to the ground. Books scattered across the floor and Strong Sad noticed a change in surroundings. Silence. His headphones must have popped out his ears upon collision. By impulse he wanted to find where they had landed, until he noticed just who it was that knocked him down.

"Um…hi Homeschool."

The older brown-haired man adjusted his glasses, the frustrated scowl wiping off his face to be replaced by a sign of slight confusion. Upon recognising Strong Sad, this changed to an expression of embarrassment. "Oh. Um. Yes. Sorry about that." he stammered gathering up his books, muttering angrily under his breath about getting distracted.

As one book in particular was lifted, it revealed that Strong Sad's last set of headphones were no longer. The right earpiece had popped apart, and by the looks of the frayed wires it couldn't be repairable. "So that's why it was so useless…" Strong Sad mumbled and examined it with a look of genuine remorse. He would have no escape from his disturbing home life until he got his next pay cheque and got to the computer store. Homeschool noticed the worn out electronic and frowned. Looking up he noticed Strong Sad's attention on it, and although he couldn't see any difference in his expression, it was obviously a great loss.

Homeschool awkwardly cleared his throat and said that they could go get him another pair from his house. He was sure that he had at least seven lying around somewhere. Strong Sad's face changed slightly, to an almost normal expression which must have meant he was…relieved? It was so hard to tell with him. Sad, melancholic, depressed, remorseful, troubled…they were all slightly different when you were with Strong Sad.

Then it occurred to the young white-haired adult that this meant going to Homeschool's house. Seeing the place where all his genius work took place? That was something worth getting almost excited about. He hadn't felt like this since just before his first Sloshy concert…which he didn't end up getting that into anyway. He couldn't recall ever really getting an adrenaline rush for anything. But either way, he could probably find out more about androids if he was where all the repairs took place, and nobody was around to overhear them.

"That would help me out a lot, thanks." he answered as he helped pick up the last of Homeschool's books, handing them to him. "I'd completely lose it without my music."

"I can understand what you mean…living with Strong Bad and all." Homeschool was almost frightened by the thought. That would be a test of patience that he knew wouldn't be successful. He made his way to check out his books, while Strong Sad ambled along beside him.

"Yeah…it's been much harder lately to get any peace." Strong Sad tried keeping his voice down so the librarian wouldn't kick him out. It took Homeschool five days to be allowed back in after his outburst. The librarian still seemed to have a grudge against him as she stamped his mountain of books with malice.

Homeschool wasn't too sure how to react to that statement. It was completely necessary for his research that Homestar fulfil a proper relationship with Strong Bad. A slight disturbance in the household is a sacrifice that would have to be made. It couldn't be that bad, surely. Awkward, yes, but Strong Sad doesn't seem like the type to leave his room much anyway.

The two left the building in moderate silence, and got into Homeschool's white van. Agreed, it does look rather suspicious, but Strong Sad didn't really want to have to pay for the bus again. He decided the awkward silence was a bit too weird, and decided to make it easier by asking Homeschool a few questions about androids and such. It certainly made his face brighten up, even though he had to avoid some of the questions as he was not permitted to answer them. Either way, the drive was shortened considerably and they pulled into the driveway. Strong Sad noticed the irony of having to go all the way to the library just to come back to his neighbour's house.