smithyfic (smithyfic) wrote,

Chapter Three: Sick Boy

Chapter Three: Sick Boy
Words: 1,815
A/N: In which food is eaten, shit is talked, and Ben muses on his other options. Still crap. I apologize. ^^

Adam stared across the table at Eric.

“I can’t believe you’re having pizza for dinner,” he muttered, making a face as Eric took another bite.

“Believe it,” Eric grinned. “Delicious. And I fucking deserve it after the day I’ve had.”

“I’d think you’d deserve a real meal.”

“What isn’t to like? Dairy, veggies, meat, carbs…pizza’s the perfect food.”

“You’re a sick man, Woodlin.”

“You’re just figuring it out Adam?”

They both looked up as Ben dropped down into the third chair, grinning as he slipped his laptop bag off, simultaneously tossing a bag from Taco Shack onto the table.

“Look who’s talking,” Eric said, elbowing the bag away from him. “At least my food’s not already half-digested.”

“At least I’m not gonna be broke after I’m full,” Ben tore into the bag, pulling out several individually wrapped items. “I got the Muchas Gracias combo, six bucks and I’m not gonna wanna eat until this time tomorrow.”

“Man, I get that just from smelling that stuff,” Adam frowned. “Tell me you didn’t get the Buenos Nachos.”

“What’s wrong with the Buenos Nachos?”

“They offend not only my taste buds but my sense of humor,” Adam pretended to gag as Ben unwrapped a burrito. “I can only abide puns on a full stomach, which you won’t get from that because it’ll be halfway through you before you finish the whole thing.”

“Whatever,” Ben mumbled, his mouth already full. “Hey ‘ric, how was your first day teaching dude?”

“Oh yeah,” Adam nodded. “You were gonna tell me.”

“Yeah, all of them, but especially that six to eight Life Science lab?” he shook his head. “Gonna suck balls.”

“Seriously? But you were so excited.”

”I was. Until I realized I’m teaching classes full of the douche bags that used to beat me up, not the kids like me who actually liked science.”

“You got beat up once,” Ben muttered, not even looking up from his food. “In sixth grade. And from what you’ve told us? You deserved it.”

“For the last time, I was not gonna let Mrs. Thompson not collect the homework after I stayed up all night finishing it!”

“Anyway-“ Adam broke in, before Eric and Ben could rehash the same old argument. “I told you you shouldn’t get your hopes up. You’re teaching Bio Ten. ‘Life Science’. Gen-ed for non-majors. What did you expect?”

“More importantly,” Ben added. “What kind of douche bags are you talking about here?”

“Well,” Eric started, holding up a fist. “First, they’re all mostly freshman. Second, there’s a senior who’s on the football team in one, who was whining at me about how he wanted to miss most of the classes and have me somehow accommodate him. Third, first thing in the morning, there’s this sophomore who thinks he’s hot shit because he remembers bio from high school, so he’s trying to be my best friend slash teacher’s pet, and I hate the little suck-up. Fourth, if they’re not smart enough to be bored and causing trouble, they’re dumb enough to be confused and asking me questions on everything. Fifth, there are so. Many. Of them. Somehow I have like, thirty kids in each class-and still, like half a dozen didn’t show up, so I have to go through the process of dropping them, only to have them all show up next week and go ‘why aren’t I on the list?’ and then I have to add them, while dropping the people who don’t show next week, but who will be here the week after-it’s fucking ridiculous, and I don’t know how the Hell anyone makes it through undergrad anymore, because if they dumbed down the curriculum any further it’d be under ground, and yet these kids still need me to hold their fucking hands while they barely do the labs and get the completely wrong data, and it’s just like, like-”

“Damn dude,” Ben muttered. The burrito he’d been eating had been forgotten and gone cold as Eric had been talking. “Take a breath and a step back.”

“Take several,” Adam nodded. “Stressing yourself out, no reason for it.”

“No reason?” Eric sighed. “Having to spend two hours going over how to use a microscope for college freshman, and having most of them still not get the full points because they don’t know what they’re talking about so they just fill in what words they recognize? That doesn’t stress you out?”

“Nope,” Adam grinned suddenly. “Of course, I could bring up that that’s what you get for being a Bio major.”


“I got to teach Conceptual Physics labs last year.”

“I hate you.”

“They were awesome. Like, ten people each,” Adam went on.

“Oh shut up.”

“And all the kids knew what they were doing, because they were all hella nerdy. Like, I made Physics jokes, and they laughed. It was amazing.”

“You’re amazing. And not in a good way.”

“I think you’re both pretty amazing,” Ben nodded, shoving all his trash into the plastic bag. “And in a pretty bad way. You done? Can we go home now? It’s almost nine.”

“Can we go grocery shopping sometime soon?” Adam asked, shoving his chopsticks and unused soy sauce packet into his pocket. “I think I’d like having y’know, actual food again.”

“I think you should enjoy putting gas in your own car and going to the store yourself, dude.”

“But if I put gas in my car, I won’t have money for food.”

“What the Hell do you spend your paychecks on dude?”

“What the Hell kind of money do you think I have? I get like fifty cents over minimum wage at the Token, and with that I’m somehow supposed to I pay rent, have enough left to buy groceries when we actually go, put gas in my car, whatever’s left goes to tuition, books, unavoidables-“


Adam nodded. “Unavoidables.”

“Can’t you just download your shit like everyone else on campus?

“Can we please go home already?” Ben sighed. “And dude, why don’t you just see if you can pick up some more labs? You made some good money last year.”

“Yeah, but I dunno,” Adam shrugged. “I dunno if I wanna put up with all the extra stress and work.”

“Like you’re so stressed out now? You’re taking what, sixteen units? Four classes?”

“Yeah, but one of those is five units and six lab hours. Three times a week.”

Ben shuddered, standing up. “God am I glad I just have to do volunteer hours.”

“Yeah, but you have to put up with little kids all day.”

“I like little kids. And if you two lazy asses want a ride back home, you getter come now, because I’m leaving.”


“Dudes,” Adam slammed through the front door the next night, scaring Ben and waking up Eric, who nearly slid off the couch. “I took your advice and solved all my problems!”

All of them?”

“…I took your advice and I have solved my money problems!”

“What are you doing?” Ben asked.

Adam hopped over the back of the couch, flopping against Eric and staring at the ceiling, gesturing widely.

“Picture this, alright?” he started. “I walk into the Physics department yesterday, wait around for fucking ever, then follow Elm as he’s heading out to lunch. He tries to blow me off, but aha! He got in the line for China Stop, and as we’re talking, they asked what he wants. He gets the two entrée plate, and then they ask me, and I got the fried rice. He didn’t say anything, but when I started counting out my quarters to pay, he sighed and-“

“Dude, do not tell me you guilt-tripped one of your professors into giving you a job.”

“Not quite. I guilted him into buying me lunch, and then he told me to ask around in the Chem department, because they were having a severe lack of grad students, and I got a job!”

“A job?”

“Well, a lab.”

“A Chem lab,” Eric shuddered. “Hope you feel dirty, dude.”

“But no, Eric, the lab I picked up? Even you would like it. It’s gonna be a godsend.”

“Why do you think I would like it?”

“Dig this: eight people total.”


Eric scrambled to his feet. “Eight?”

“Wouldn’t it be easier just to add two people to the four existing labs?” Ben asked.

Eight?” Eric asked again.

“Yeah, if they weren’t all already at like, over capacity, forty people each. Anyway-“

“If they’re already at forty, it doesn’t seem like forty-two would be much more of a stretch, you know?”

“Fucking eight?”

“Would you guys stop harshing my buzz?”

“Would you stop acting like you were even close to being born in the seventies?”

“So we went over the basic shit, the Periodic Table today,” Adam ignored Ben as Eric picked up a pillow and threw it at him. “They all knew what they were doing, they’re hilarious and chill, we had an awesome time today.”

“You sound like you’re dating them.”

“I told them if they all get over ninety percent on the midterm, I’d take them out to dinner for the final.”

“How the Hell do you plan to do that? You’re more broke than I am, even with the extra money now.”

“I never said where I’d take them, did I?”

“You are not bringing a bunch of geeky kids who take Chem by choice over to our house.”

“Aw come on, Ben can make his grandma’s spaghetti sauce, I’ll make six pounds of pasta, you make garlic bread-“

“Hey, I’ve got shit to do, okay?”

”Like what, bullshit your lab reports and research data?”

“Fuck off, I’m working hard.”

“Yeah. What level of calculator Tetris are you on now?”

“Eight, but that doesn’t mean anything. I play during class, not when I’m in the lab.”

Ben threw his arms up in the air. “I almost moved in with Dharik Singh, have I mentioned that before?”


“My buddy Dharik, from high school, he went here too,” Ben went on. “He’s a math major. Meaning he’s A, not broke, B, has a social life, C, has time for a social life, D, never comes home smelling like he’s been dead for a couple days, E-”

“Oh come on,” Adam shook his head. “You’d be bored to death with a math major. The hard sciences at least have jokes that normal people can almost understand.”

“And I didn’t smell like I was dead,” Eric muttered. “And my zoology class was awesome. When’s the last time one of your classes had a field trip?”

“To a taxidermist?”

“He was a-“

“I don’t care what he was or wasn’t technically, all I know is you smelled like formaldehyde for a week.”

Eric snorted. “Hey Adam. You know what Math majors smell like?”


“Math professors.”

“Shoulda moved in with Dharik,” Ben sighed, as Adam burst into laughter.

Tags: nano07
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