Also known as “that one story where Horatio is the sarcastic freshman, William Bush is just trying to finish his gen-ed requirements before the end of 2016, and Archie is the popular sophomore who arranges campus events.” The trademarkedly unlikely trio gear up to defeat their deadliest enemy yet: Introductory Chemistry.
(Some notes before we begin: Horatio is majoring in mathematics [of course!], Archie’s major is structural engineering [because why not?] and William’s is history [don’t laugh.])
No Worries (Or Not): Chapter One
“Right. Favorite book.” Archie looked down the list, pushing his glasses up on his nose.
“A Tale of Two Cities,” Horatio said, without looking up from the chemistry textbook.
“I’m not sure. It’s probably Northanger Abbey. Because of the satiric element,” William explained.
“I like Out of the Silent Planet. Favorite movie?”
“Pass,” Horatio said, scribbling angrily in the margins of the textbook. There was no anger in his voice, either at them or at the book.
“Star Wars.” William glared at Archie as the latter snorted. “What’s wrong with that?”
“Nothing! I liked How to Train Your Dragon. How many siblings?”
“Four. And before you ask, all sisters. I’m right smack dab in the middle. And no, I do not like being called ‘Billy.’” William glared at the other two.
“Ha! I have six. Oldest.”
“I’m an only child,” Horatio muttered.
“That’s sad,” Archie remarked.
“Why?” Horatio looked up at him. “It’s not as if I’m at college to run away from anything. I’m here because there’s nothing else to do.”
“I don’t think that’s relevant,” William said, trying to keep the peace.
“Which question?” Horatio asked. William ran a hand over his face.
“You should do forensics.”
“Oh no,” Horatio said, swallowing visibly. “I don’t even test well. What makes you think I could speak in public?”
“Greek,” Archie said succinctly.
“Just because I tried to read Aristotle in the original language does not mean that I’d be good at public speaking or debate,” Horatio protested.
“Moving on… this is the topic that will never be raised again unless we wish it. Religion. I’m actually Catholic.”
“Ordinary, run-of-the-mill Anglican.”
“Um… my mother was Jewish… and we spend a lot of time with her family, Father and I. So we’re sort of Jewish Christian,” Horatio said.
“You don’t have to be ashamed of it,” Archie said. Horatio smiled, a shy smile, William thought.
“You should hear the debates over the Torah,” he said. “It’s actually pretty fun. Especially Cousin Jack. Everyone loves to rile him up.”
“Favorite color. Blue.”
“Blue.” The other two looked at Horatio, wondering if the freshman had just been unintentionally echoing them. He looked up at them with a raised eyebrow.
“Okay. That concludes that. Now, this is Rule One. As far as this study group is concerned, your sexual orientation is ‘None Of Your Business.’”
“Good, because I wasn’t planning on telling you mine, either,” Horatio said. William sighed.