Screwing open the top of his medication bottle frantically, Sollux popped three pills into his mouth and swallowed them dry. Sighing heavily, he braced one hand on the cold bathroom sink and ran the other one down his face as he felt his eyes start to burn. No, this was so not happening. I would not cry. No fucking way. Not on the morning of my first day of work. He took a deep breath and stared at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. The cold fluorescent light cast harsh shadows across his too-hollow cheekbones and he slipped his two-tone glasses over his bicolored eyes. Lately his "condition" had been getting much much worse. After his breakup with Feferi, things had gone straight downhill. He was surprised he wasn't living on the streets by now. He was diagnosed as "severely bipolar," probably a case of a shitty childhood with an abusive dad. He had been insecure, unhappy, depressed, you name it, until Fef came along. His relationship with her had saved him, and things were looking up until she came to know the "true Sollux," and had called it off as if their relationship was nothing. That was almost a year ago, and he was just barely slugging his way through life.

He shook his head in attempt to clear the thoughts and grabbed his keys, heading for the door. His belongings consisted of his phone, computer, wallet, keys, and a few items of worn-out clothing. Oh yeah, and the shitty, barely-standing apartment. But it was better than nothing. He was at least somewhat happy about his new job. Working at the apple store just down the street would be pretty easy with his weirdly-good programing skills. He pulled open the glass door to the store, and was greeted by a curvy woman with long, somewhat tangled black hair and a name tag reading "Vriska Serket." She smirked down at him.

"So," she said in an almost mocking tone, "You must be the new Sollux Captor."

"Yup thath me," Sollux mumbled, his mood already plummeting and his insecurity pressing down on him from every angle.

"Well welcome, "Thollux," and I hope you don't screw up," she mocked as she handed him a name tag. She then proceeded to show him the basics of what he needed to do, which weren't hard at all, except for the fact that he was trying not to punch her in the face with every snarky remark and flip of her dark hair that she made. Suddenly, he heard the glass door open and a man stumbled in, tossing a bunch of designer bags into a corner and sighing loudly. He was just a little shorter than Sollux (who was a whopping six feet) and he had thick rimmed hipster glasses with a flamboyant striped scarf and designer pants and shoes. The whole of him reeked "hipster." But that didn't keep Sollux from noticing how damned attractive he was, how his straight jaw was framed by light freckles, and how dark his eyelashes were. His mind did a double take. What the hell am I thinking?! He's another guy! I'm not gay….that I know of… All the strange thoughts quickly evaporated when Eridan turned towards him and raised an eyebrow.

"And who's this?" He asked Vriska, cocking his hip out to the side and crossing his arms. Sollux had to grimace at the attitude and cringe a little at the bright purple stripe in the front of his perfectly-styled hair. He was going to have to put up with this for a long time, because, apparently this snooty guy worked here.

"This," Vriska said with a glare, "is Sollux Captor. And Sollux, meet Eridan Ampora." Sollux groaned inwardly as Eridan turned his nose up and huffed, brushing past him. He couldn't help but notice his perfect ass in those skinny jeans as he walked by, swinging his hips. Sollux walked over to his station and prepared for the long day ahead of him.

The day passed fairly quickly, to his surprise. The customers were nice enough, and he managed to stay away from Eridan. Mostly. Every time they would pass each other, Eridan would make some remark about his lisp, and Sollux would tell him to "fuck off." This went on for seven whole hours. He sighed as the doors closed for the final time today.

"Wow," Vriska remarked,"I'll have to say, that went very smoothly for a first day of work." She nodded at him in approval and grabbed her bag from the corner, tossing Eridan the keys and telling him to lock up. When she left, Sollux faced Eridan who was leaning against one of the metal tables casually.

"What the fuck ith your problem with me?!" he asked, not even trying to stay calm, "What did I ever do to ditherve this kind of treatment form you?" Eridan just looked up at him and smirked. "You athhole, do you even have a reason?!" Sollux yelled.

"Aww poor "Thollux," he can't even say an insult correctly," Eridan said in mock sympathy that was heavy with sarcasm. Sollux gave him a death glare. He absolutely hated it when people made fun of his lisp.

"Fuck you, Ampora," he growled, and stormed off. He made his way home feeling weary and trampled.

Eridan glanced at Sollux as he stormed away. The first thought of Sollux that had crossed his mind was: Damn, he's hot. But one thing that Eridan could not do was show affection well. That's why he had only been in a few relationships his whole life. So, just like a little boy in middle school trying to win over a girl, he couldn't help the endless insults that automatically spewed out of his mouth. Which happened to be one thing Eridan was very good at. He had found Sollux's sore spot: his lisp, and was planning to poke it and prod it until he snapped. This was the only way he knew how to get Sollux's attention. Only one day, and Eridan was already craving more.

Meanwhile, Sollux climbed into his ratty bed and drifted off into a slumber that, like usual, was plagued by nightmares. But then he heard a buzzing from his nightstand and cracked his eyes open groggily. His phone was vibrating, someone texting him. He wondered who the hell it would be at one in the morning. He groaned and flipped onto his back, fumbling for his glasses and his phone. Slipping on his glasses, he peered down at a number he'd never seen before. He opened the text curiously.

hey Sollux wwhats up?

Oh it's Eridan by the wway

What the fuck? How the hell did you get my number?

Oh haha Vriska gave it to me

Ok 2he'2 a total bitch. Why the hell are you texting me at two in the morning then?

Im bored. Amuse me

Don't tell me what two do, fuck face.

Wwell that wwasn't very nice, Sol.

2ince when did I allow you two call me "2ol"?!

Wwhat's up with your wweird typing, anyways?

My phone'2 crappy and my "eth" (with a li2p) key fell off so I use "2." What2 wrong with your screwed up typing?

Wwell Sol, I choose to type like this.

Oh great, that nickname'2 2ticking, i2nt it?

yes

Why aren't you a2leep?

I have insomnia.

Oh 2orry about that. I know how you feel…

Fuck you! You havve no idea how it fucking feels!

Uh I think I might, actually

No you don't. You feel so sorry for yourself because of your fucking lisp! "Oh poor little Sollux can't talk right" blah blah blah!

Uh...

guess what?! NOBODY CARES. So just shut the fuck up about your little insecurity problems and leave me the fuck alone! Don't act like you care, I know you don't. NOBODY DOES. EVER. You are a wworthless piece of shit and you should just suck it up and quit complaining. Nobody wants you and nobody ever will. Just one look at you, walking with your shoulders all hunched and head down, just waiting for someone to come and make you feel better. oh just look at that poor guy, he must be having it hard. You don't know hard. I barely even know you and I can tell you that theres no wway that you can empathize with me. Its all in your head. Deal with it or go run crying to your mommy about your little problems.

Sollux stared at the small screen of his phone in shock. Where did that come from? He read Eridan's message over again. He blinked and a drop of something fell onto the phone screen. He brought his hand up to his pale cheek, wondering if he was bleeding. But he soon realized that he wasn't bleeding, he was crying. Hot, salty tears began rolling down his cheeks silently, and he sniffed. Soon, sobs started wracking his frame and he curled around the sheets, squeezing his eyes shut in attempt to make everything disappear. He opened them to see his small pocket knife resting on his bedside table. It just sat there, taunting him.

just two small cuts, Sollux. Then everything would be gone.

No. shut up

Nobody wants you anyway, Sollux.

SHUT UP!

He heard his phone buzz again.

wwhy do I even bother talking to you?

Sollux's fingers hovered over the buttons, wondering what he should say. should he agree with him? Argue with him? Insult him? He couldn't make it obvious how much his message had hurt him.

Yeah I know. I know nobody want2 me. Yes I'm u2ele22. And I deal with it, just barely. I'm not looking for people to feel 2orry for me. It might be better if I wa2 just gone. There2 a perfectly good knife right here. I have no friend2 anyway, no one who will miss me. And I would al2o rather you not talk to me. It doe2 neither of u2 any good.

Oh, and my mom? 2he'2 dead.

Eridan stared at his iPhone blankly. Then his eyes widened.

"Wha-" he said aloud. He didn't mean to blow up that much at Sollux. His outburst was more about his own problems. He sat up farther in bed, pushing back his purple flannel sheets and praying Sollux wasn't serious.

Wwait Sol, I wasn't that serious!

Oh, 2o now your taking it back

wwell yeah, I don't want you to do anything!

But you're right. Nobody want2 me. That'2 why my dad beat me and then abandoned me.

Eridan looked at his screen in shock for the second time. Was he serious?

That's not true! People want you!

Pfft. My girlfriend who broke up with me wa2 the only per2on who ha2 ever cared about me. And then 2he 2topped when 2he actually got to know my condition.

wwell I know someone wwho cares about you.

Eridan groaned, regretting what he typed and wondering what he was going to say. He was so not going to say he had a crush on Sollux. Although it was true, there was no way he would believe him after the way Eridan treated him.

Oh yeah? Do tell, Eridan. I'm dyying two know over here.

He could practically hear the unamused sarcasm in Sollux's voice. His heart started speeding up as his fingers began pressing the touchscreen.

Uh are you bi, Sol?

What? Where did that come from? And no…I don't think so

Sollux blushed, not sure of himself. Was he bi? He'd only just started having strange thoughts around Eridan. But that didn't mean anything, did it? And why did he want to know?

Oh

Eridan's heart plummeted, face drooping as he ran a hand through his now messy hair. He sank back into his down pillow and rubbed his face with his hands, sighing.

Are you?

Yeah, I'm gay. It's pretty obvious, dont'cha think?

Uh, well I gue22 2o. No offen2e, though

pfft, none taken.

Look, I'm sorry about my outburst. I shouldn't have made any assumptions.

It'2 fine

I knoww it's not "fine" and I don't need you to accept my apology. But I just wanted to tell you anyway

Thank2 I gue22

so how do you like your job?

I 2till hate it with you around.

oh thanks, that means so much to me.

are you ever going to 2top insulting me?

haha maybe someday

ugh, great.

I'm gonna go to bed

alright. sleep well

thanks, you too. See ya tomorroww

yeah. Bye

Eridan imagined sollux in his bed, clutching his sheets, his dark hair messy and ruffled. He wondered what he was wearing. does he sleep in pajamas? in his underwear? what kind of underwear does he wear? Eridan blushed even more as he realized how much his mind was wondering. And then covered his face in embarrassment as he felt the place between his legs heat up. oh gog, this is embarrassing. He pulled his pillow out from under his head and over his face, groaning and trying to ignore his "problem."

Sollux sighed and rubbed his eyes, feeling like Eridan might not be so bad after all. He wondered what he was thinking at the moment. is he thinking about me? No, you're the least of his problems. This time, he ignored the negative voice in his head and sank into his mattress, falling asleep fast and dreaming of a certain boy with glasses and a purple streak in his hair.