I do not own inFAMOUS.
"You're in my seat tubby." Cole had never been subtle. He had never beaten around the bush. So when he saw a fat kid in his seat he spared no quarter.
Said fat kid ignored him, continuing to wolf down his unexplainable goo and drink his who-knows-how-old milk carton. Bad move.
"I said; you're in my seat." Cole's voice grew louder, but lowered half an octave; he meant business. The fat kid paused, finally taking his eyes off his food. Eyes that were behind sunglasses. What, was he trying to be cool or something, wearing that shit inside?
"Huh?" Oh, a real bright one here, must be an ancestor of Einstein or something.
"You got potatoes in your ears hammy? You. Are. In. My. Seat." The kid scowled at the fat jokes. Okay, maybe Cole was going a smidge over the top with them. But this was his seat! Had been for three years. No fatso was going to take it from him four days before the end of the school year.
"I heard you I heard you. So, wadda you wanna do about it?" Cole's eyebrows shot up. Did this dickweed know who he was talking to? Dropping his tray from a considerable height onto the graffiti-covered table, the slop jumping from its pen and splashing on the destroyed finish, Cole spread his hands on the faux-stone of the fold-out and leaned into the dude's face.
"What do you think I'm gonna do dipshit? I'm gonna knock your face in."
"Over a seat at an empty table?" Okay, so the dork had a point. Still, it was Cole's seat!
"Yeah, over a seat at an empty table."
"Why don't you just shut the fuck up, sit down, an' eat? By the way, you gonna finish that?" Cole's mouth fell open as the guy went back to eating, as though nothing had happened. Who… what…?
"You've got a lotta nerve talking to me like that!" Cole almost shouted, turning it into more of a growl as he sat down to get a good look at the douche that had taken his seat.
"Yeah? And you gotta lotta balls for carin' about a damned seat in high school."
"Got that right. Big harry balls of steel you pissant."
"Who told you they were big, your boyfriend?"
"You always wear you shades inside like a dumbfuck?"
No answer. Oooh, touchy subject, nice! Time to play with it.
"You got a crush on Elvis or somethin'? I thought the only shit stains that wore glasses that big were nerds and cheerleaders hiding their weed addiction." The kid kept his head down, now playing with his food more than eating it. It was a little sad, actually. Putting a fat kid off food was like taking a train off tracks; you can't help but stare and feel a bit bad for the dead people inside. Still, fun was always made at someone else's expense.
"No wonder you can eat this shit, prob'ly can't even see it those things are so dar-"
"Shut up." The boy's voice was quiet, but dangerous. It made Cole pause, his "holier than thou" high suddenly just as quickly gone as the cornbread from the other's plate. "You don't know shit."
"Oh man, I throw all that fat shit at you and it's your glass that rubs you the wrong way? The fuck is that?"
"You don't geddit alright?" The kid threw down his spork, pinching the bridge of his nose a moment while trying to figure out what to say. Cole let him have a moment to do so. "It hurts."
"No shit it's call teasing and bullying it's supposed to hurt."
"Not that you dumbass. The light. Light hurts."
"Light. Light hurts. You gotta hangover or somthin'?"
"Yeah. No! Ugh, look." The guy pulled off his glasses, wincing before glaring Cole in the eye. Brown met blue. "It's called Photophobia. Yehknow, sensitivity to light or some shit. It hurts." He put the glasses back on, facing his food again. Cole said nothing, trying to process what was going on.
"When I was a kid, I got sick. It got my eyes, alright? So say fuckall you want with fat jokes. Leave my eyes alone." Cole sat for a moment, watching the fat boy go back to eating his school slop, trying to understand exactly what was going on. It was a sore spot, one that went beyond being embarrassed. This was some super heavy shit going on.
"Cole." Cole extended a hand, unsure of why exactly he was throwing this guy a bone. But the grin that appeared on the other's face felt good, he honestly couldn't explain why.
"Zeke." They shook, like gentlemen, like business partners… like friends. "I was serious, you gonna finish that?" Cole rolled his eyes, shoving his tray to Zeke.
"Hurry up fatass, the bell's about to ring."
Cole learned later, much later, through bits and pieces that Zeke hadn't exactly been a healthy kid, nor in the best of homes. His eyes had started to swell; the irises of his eyes had become inflamed and had started to give him grief. He complained that his eyes hurt, but like any little kid he was ignored. "In a phase" his parents had claimed, saying he'd grow out of attention seeking. It took over a week for them to realize that his sobbing and rubbing at his eyes wasn't fake. By then the damage had been done.
Glaucoma caused by the swelling of the tissue of the uvea (Cole had no idea what this was, and never looked it up. Trish told him it was the middle of the eye, which confused him more and she wasn't going to explain the parts of the eye to him.) It had been sudden, and fast, and had done damage that wasn't going to heal. He had been six years old.
Photophobia, despite how it sounds, is not always a fear of light. It is sometimes, but more often than not there is a reason for it. In Zeke's case, the swelling had gone on long enough that there was damage to the eye. He could see; he had been lucky and young enough to not have become totally blind. But his vision was reduced. And light was one hell of a migraine. His sunglasses were prescription, he couldn't just go buy a random pair off the drug store counter.
Cole and Zeke had spent their last year of high school as best friends. They might as well have been attached at the hip, because no matter where Cole went, Zeke tagged along. Zeke got picked on for his weight, Cole would bust a few faces. Cole didn't make the track team, Zeke would wake up buttass early in the morning to run with him to try and lower his time.
The same had happened through college. Neither of them graduated, both had dropped out after taking different random classes to try and figure out what either of them enjoyed. Zeke tended to do a more hands-on approach with life, taking wielding classes and engineering classes, the vehicular repair courses. Sometimes, Cole would wonder if Zeke would have stayed in school and been some six-figure earning inventor of some kind had he not followed Cole and dropped out.
Whether it was because they had fucked up their son's eyes, or just because they wanted to get rid of him, Zeke's parents had rented them an apartment while they had been in college. After they dropped out, that funding went away and Cole took up a bike messenger job to keep money coming in. Zeke, on the other hand, didn't honestly do all that much. The place was in his name, though Cole paid the rent. It didn't bother either of them, and when Trish brought it up both of them just kind of shrugged and didn't give it a second thought. It was easy, living with the other.
And after so many years, so was forgiving.