"Where is the boy, who's bass is big and bold? Where is the boy who's beats are made of solid gold? They've got sound, funny how, funny how, funny how it flows. . . . . "
John's foot was tapping to the beat of the song that was pouring smoothly from his headphones, which were draped around his neck as he as he looked at the little list he'd gathered that afternoon. A social experiment, huh? His teacher had asked for his help, and Ms. Paint was too nice to turn down when she needed a favor. She'd had three other kids volunteer for an online pen pal thing, that she promised an explanation for later, but needed a fourth. So, of course, John happily obliged, agreeing to stop by after school to meeting the other people in his group.
He was more than a little surprised to discover that after school, when he visited Ms. Paints room to get the information, that he was tackled by no one other other than his cousin Jade.
"John!" She'd squealed happily, bouncing on the balls of her feet as she let him go. "I didn't know you were doing this! All Ms. Paint told us was that she got the final person for our group! Come here, I'm gonna introduce you."
"Whoa, hi Jade, I-"
"Shhh, new people now, no words." Ever since he'd found out 'the name' (Jade began calling it that after their Ben and Jerry's run, and John could only laugh and go along with it), his cousin had been doing everything in her power to cheer John up. It's not like he was even sad at this point, but more just. . . bummed. It had been two weeks, and he couldn't even bring himself to look for the guy. He knew he should, and he was more than a little conflicted. He'd been waiting for this person his entire life, and his father had helped him realize that he was being ridiculous. So what if it was a guy? However, after a lot of reflection and a pint of Pistachio Pistachio, he had a new fear.
What if he himself wasn't good enough?
After sharing this fear with her, John was paying for it with Jades's want for him to be happy when he found this mystery guy.
She practically dragged him by his sleeve as she ran forward, tugging him over to two people who appeared to be in a light and annoyed conversation. The moment she popped into view, they're mouths zipped shut. A girl and a boy, the girl wearing red glasses which caused John to raise an eyebrow. The moment they were standing next to them and Jade said hello, the girl sniffed the air and smiled widely. "Good cologne," She laughed in reference to John, crossing her arms over her chest.
". . . .Thank you?" John answered with a confused expression, and the boy across from her just shook his head.
"That's her w-way of saying hello, you could say," He sighed, his wire framed glasses glinting from the lights above. "I'm Eridan, by the by. It appears that you know-w Jade?" Even with a stutter, this dude seemed to practically ooze confidence and superiority, a purple streak running through his perfectly groomed hair, and John could only blink owlishly in return.
"This is my cousin, John," Jade introduced, before turning to the other girl, who tipped her head. "And John, this is Terezi."
"Pleasure," She purred sarcastically, holding out her hand. John took at, shaking once before Terezi turned to look in Eridan's general direction. "Wow, a strong handshake, that's hard to find these days, wouldn't you say Ampora?"
"Yes, w-well, maybe he could giv-ve you lessons too, but I think it's more of a v-visual tutorial."
She reached out and swatted his shoulder, nearly missing and causing Jade to laugh.
"Guys!" Ms. Paint called out happily as she entered the room, her free range brown curls spilling loosely around her, "Over here, I printed out your sheets for you." As he was walking, John noticed that Terezi pulled out a cane, tapping the floor in front of her as she walked. Meeting them half way, she began to hand out each sheet, the last one seemingly blank but actually covered in small dots, which sent to Terezi's open hand. "Instructions are on the back, but rules are listed at the top, and I'm repeating them because you guys really can't stray from this! Don't give out any information about yourself. You can make small talk and all that fun stuff, but don't tell them name, age, where you live, yada yada yada," Rolling her hand, he laced her fingers together in front of herself, her fingernails having small hearts painted on them in various colors, "but have fun! You'll know them by their 'Chum Handles', and that's all. Hopefully, you guys make some friends, and get better acquainted with each other along the way!"
Flipping the paper over in his hands, John looked at the instructions. He was going to have to talk to this stranger daily? It was going to be a bit of work, but overall it did seem kinda fun. It also said that the group he was in was going to be having a meeting with Ms. Paint once a month, as a way to get more results in progress.
"Aww, look, we each have names!" Jade cooed, reading her own, "'gardenGnostic'? Aww, Ms. Paint, how did you know I liked gardening?"
The teacher shrugged and waved her off with a small smile, "I tried to match the names accordingly, but I only had so many options, I apologize."
"ectoBiologist?" Grinning, John looked up, "It's perfect!"
"You've referenced Ghost Busters too many times in your papers to pass it up, not to even mention your major," The woman grinned. "Terezi, Eridan, was I at least close?"
"gallowsCalibrator," Terezi felt out, her grin turning wicked, "I couldn't have chosen a better one."
"You managed to get my fav-vorite Roman tyrant in this," Eridan noticed, nodding approvingly. "W-well done, Ms. Paint."
"Now, first assignment, is to go home and introduce yourselves! Well, to the best of your ability with the stipulations given."
As it turned out, that was way easier said than done.
And so here John was, listening to music and trying to a way to introduce himself to this complete stranger. "turntechGodhead," John muttered, tapping his desk in beat with the music, "What do I say?"
-- ectoBiologist [EB] began pestering turntechGodhead [TG] at 16:13 --
EB: uh, hi! i'm your penpal!
Even after he'd already sent it, he sighed. He was gonna suck at this.