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Hope this is alright! I wish I could've found a better avatar reference other than just ripping Doomguy, but it'll do.
Eric Barclay


College classes were starting soon, so making a habit out of getting up early would be beneficial. Of course, that's what his parents told him; the same parents who were down in Fort Lauderdale partying the night away. Whatever. As long as they were there and not here to hassle him about fucking everything, he didn't care. Honestly, he preferred the simplicity of Blacktown over the hectic tourism trap that was Florida.

By 7:00, Eric was out the shower, the last of his grogginess having been washed down the drain. As he brushed his short, dark brown hair, he took in his appearance. Being alone and responsible for himself had taken a toll on his body. Where he once had a slight paunch, there was now a developing potbelly. His hips had widened as well, leaving some stretch marks that thankfully no one would be able to see. Despite this, he generally still retained a rather skinny shape. His face, dotted with stubble, remained as it always had; slightly rounded cheeks, blue eyes and all.

His shower finished, Eric took some time to tidy up his apartment. Brendon Urie's voice pulsed through his earbuds as he vacuumed the main "living" area. There was something satisfying about the independence that came with moving into his apartment building. Perhaps it was the sense of accomplishment he had whenever he finished menial housework. It really made him feel like he knew what he was doing.

Next was breakfast, and Eric knew just where to get it. Yes, this would be the day he finally tried "Emily's Family Diner." He'd heard plenty of locals recommend it, but he preferred to have breakfast in his own home. It was just more comfortable that way. Not today, though.

Traffic was light due to the hour, but Eric could tell it was going to pick up pretty quickly. There was a good chance it'd be a nightmare by the time he was done with breakfast. Oh, well. He could probably kill time by wandering around the nearby shops until things cleared up. The diner in question was pretty empty when he arrived. He quickly snagged himself an empty table, pulling out his phone to browse while he waited for a server to come by.

Pancakes, or French toast? Maybe I can get both with one as a side. Could I even eat all that?
I'll be honest, I'm not entirely sure what sort of direction you guys are going for here, but I'm game to try it out. I'll try and type up a character when I'm not so sleepy.
I'm definitely down for this.
I'm intrigued. How many versions of Spider-Man have been involved thus far?
"Oh, I think we already are known for something other than football, Augie. How many schools you know have a website that has dirt on every single student and staff member?"

This comment casually slipped from DJ as he doodled in the margins of his math notebook. While there were mostly notes (DJ was a class clown, not a slacker), there were also a few little sketches of stick figures and various patterns and that weird S thing everybody drew for some reason or another.

"You guys know what's bullshit?" he asked, setting his pencil down and leaning in close to whisper. "I overheard a couple of sophomores making bets on who the site was gonna hit next. I just wanna state for the record that that was MY idea first, alright?"

DJ exhaled, looking around the table at his friends.

"Four of us in a row...which one of us is next?"
When it came to a party, there was only one thing better than dancing.

And that was pizza.

The fact that Bernie was paying for it made it all the more tastier. "Watch yourself, Berns. You keep doing things like this for me, I might marry you on the spot." Of course, the irony and impact of that statement was lost to DJ as he tore into his first slice.

After a round of thrilling conversation, the mini pizza party was interrupted by the appearance of one Trevor Rogers. DJ was familiar with Trevor, but wasn't really someone he hung out with. There were a few times, but mostly DJ just associated him with Rob. They did look similar, after all.

"Takes one to know one, Fido," he commented, taking a drink of punch as he peered at Trevor's phone to see what the fuss was about this time. He didn't expect a whole lot; Rob was one of his best friends, after all. Whatever secret he had, it couldn't have been that shock-

"Jesus, Carter! Say it, don't spray it!"

DJ ignored the annoyed dance-goers, coughing as he recovered from his impromptu spit-take. He knew Rob and Ara had a tendency to stick together, but he didn't think it would lead to something like that. It made him wonder when exactly it happened; before or after Ara was dating Ron. Furthermore, he wondered who exactly knew such a secret aside from Rob or Ara, and put it on the site. With each reveal, it seemed, the scope of the mastermind got bigger and bigger.

"Well...I guess that's out there now," he said, wiping his mouth with a napkin. Looking at Rob and Ara, he offered a shrug. "I mean...congrats. Both of you. I...assume you didn't expect us to find out this way, but, regardless, I'm happy for you. I think some of the rest of us are, too, right guys?"
"Projection is an unhealthy coping mechanism, Robert," DJ snidely remarked in response to Rob's joke. As he stood up, following the others' lead in ditching the game, he decided to make another quip. "I might be a little late to the dance, I gotta stop by Kathy's Salon to get my hair dun did." Assured that his friends would leave with a smile on their face, DJ went on his way, accompanying Rob to the parking lot before hopping into his uncle's truck.

The Carter home was rather quiet that evening. When DJ arrived, Max was doing his homework at the dinner table while his mother was finishing up the last of the dishes. DJ gave them both a quick hello before going to his room.

Now, formal wear was not DJ's strong suit in the slightest. Outside of funerals, weddings, and other unavoidable events, DJ stayed far away from anything resembling a suit and tie. Regardless, he made himself dress up for Homecoming, because he knew his friends would never let him live it down. Especially not Isaac.

Theresa, bless her heart, went through the trouble of digging up one of his father's old tuxedos for him. Grey jacket and pants, black dress shirt, and a white bow tie came together to create a look DJ was...actually pretty happy with. Of course, he was mostly just glad it fit him.

One truck ride later, and he was back at school. Proud of his new ensemble, DJ strutted into the hall with his head held high, offering minor greetings to any other students who recognized him.

"Yes, it's really me."

"Old suit, actually. Used to be my dad's."

"Hey, not as good as you, hotshot. You are killing it in those heels."

"Clear the dance floor. There's a storm coming, and it's looking to be a Cat 5."

It didn't take long for DJ to spot his friends, as they were all standing in a rather close circle. With a quick adjustment of his tie, he approached, catching the tail end of Rob's words as he reached the group.

"Look, she spends most of her nights drinking prune juice and watching Dr. Phil. I just thought it'd be a good way to get her out of the house."
"Players are probably on edge over SHS," DJ offered, tossing more popcorn into his waiting mouth (store bought crap from the school concessions, but it was something). "Can't say I blame them."

Since the website's attack on Deus, followed by Claire and Ron, DJ had developed a more serious opinion about the page. At first, he merely saw it as an elaborate prank, maybe to get back at some particular students, but once Deus' name showed up, DJ knew it was far more than some practical joke.

Whoever ran the site had a mission to expose every one at Sterling Heights. Every last student, staff member, maybe even the custodians. Nobody was safe; especially not DJ and his friends.

But if someone were running the site, that meant that said someone could be tracked down, caught, and brought to justice before anyone else fell victim to the hateful perpetrator. And from the moment Deus' name scrolled across the green on Halloween night, DJ made that his mission.

For now, though, that mission was on the back burner as DJ enjoyed the homecoming game with his friends, minus the two that had vanished after their own secrets were exposed. DJ didn't care all that much (Ron was kind of an ass, let's be honest), but a part of him was sad to see them go. Another motive for him to find this SHS mastermind and put a stop to their actions.

...After another handful of popcorn or two.

"Hey, Rob," he called, plucking a single kernel from the box. "If I make this, you owe me a dance."

DJ tilted his head back and opened his mouth before tossing the kernel into the air...

...which landed perfectly on DJ's tongue.

A fist pump and swallow later, DJ slapped Rob lightly on the back. "Get your dancing shoes ready, brother. Shit's gonna be magical."
DJ watched dejectedly as Isaac left the room. Poor guy; he didn't deserve to feel like such a burden on everyone. DJ knew he was far more than that. As much as he wanted to go out and keep him company, he understood that Isaac just needed his space sometimes. It wasn't uncommon for him to step out onto DJ's front porch by himself while they were hanging out. It was just one of his quirks that DJ had gotten used to during their friendship.

When the group settled on a horror movie, DJ took it as his cue to pull out his phone. He was never one for scary films, even though he loved Halloween. In his mind, the difference between Halloween and horror movies was that Halloween was scary fun, while horror movies were just straight-up scary. Funny enough, the other party-goers didn't seem as interested in the movie either. For the first half hour or so, DJ browsed his phone before striking up a conversation with Augie regarding the worst possible Halloween candy.

That discussion ground to a halt when Bernie mentioned SHS.

"No fucking way," DJ said, quickly navigating to the mysterious website. Indeed, Deus's name was front and center on the page, and each click brought a new line to the twisted poem. DJ's heart sank as he processed what exactly the rhyme was implying. He didn't know Deus that well, at least not as much as Isaac, but he had spoken to DJ about the house fire that left him an orphan. He didn't talk about it all that much, but DJ always assumed that was because of the trauma.

"Deus," he finally uttered, "it's...not true, is it? This SHS asshole is just being a dick, right?"
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