First and foremost, it was not Eridan’s fault that he was running late. Of course, nothing was ever his fault, but that was not the point here.
He had been planning on arriving on time— after all, punctuality was practicality, and he didn’t exactly need to worsen his reputation with the crowd of kids that he grudgingly considered his acquaintances. Not friends, no. Mere acquaintances. However, it was Jade’s birthday, and he liked her well enough, so he wasn’t about to go out of his way to upset her. She was one of the people that had the most patience with him, and he was thankful for that.
The reason for his tardiness wasn’t even in the excuse of picking out presents— he’d picked Jade’s present up a few days prior. Anyone who knew Jade (and that was quite a lot of people) knew that she had quite the penchant for science in general, but particularly astronomy. In an attempt to one up everyone else (although, unbeknownst to him, there probably wasn’t a way he could top Kanaya or Dave’s gifts), he’d borrowed his parents’ credit card and bought the most absurdly sophisticated personal telescope he could find.
He’d arrived at the facility with an air of confidence after taking far too long to do his hair (which was his actual excuse for being late). Eridan checked his name off before entering, pleased to see that he was not the last of the guests to arrive. He walked in and collected the needed gear for the game, putting it on without making much of a fuss. He had already spotted Jade, Nepeta, and Sollux. However, Jade and Nepeta seemed to be preoccupied, and he’d rather put his hand in a blender before initiating a conversation with Sollux. Instead, he silently placed the rather large and wrapped box with the rest of the gifts.