Recipient-icon ficlet for stubbleglitter:

by Lesa Soja

JC's affidavit is the longest, and also the first to be finished. Chris catches Justin's eye when JC passes his sheaf of papers over the conference table to Adam, and Justin gives Chris the tiniest eyeroll back. Adam is nodding as he skims down the pages. At the end he says, "Yeah. Okay, JC, we can use this. And if the rest of you " JC looks earnest and righteous, Chris thinks; white shirt, dark pants. He could have a little sword and Chris could pour lighter fluid on it for him. He shouldn't wear ties though, they make his face look even longer and narrower. "- by Friday," Adam finishes. Now he's the one catching Chris's eye, waiting for a response. Chris bobs his head once.

When it gets dark out, Justin knocks on Chris's door. "Wanna work on these things together?" he says. "I mean. Not, together," because Adam made a big deal about how he needed each of them to give their individual testimony. "But."

"C'mon in," Chris says, waving majestically. He grabs another handful of peanuts from the bag. Justin sets up his laptop on the tiny desk and types a few things in. Chris picks up his pen and draws a star in the corner of his pad. Then he turns it into a pointy-headed person instead.

"Hey," Justin says after a bit, "can you mute the TV?"

Chris laughs. "Make me," he says. Justin puts his hands on his hips without getting up, which makes Chris laugh harder.

"You're gonna regret that," Justin says, and then he does stand up, looming over the bed suddenly and throwing a knee across Chris's ankles. Chris wriggles and twists, still cackling, and his pad goes flying. Finally he gets out from under and flips round in his turn to pin Justin's wrists down. Justin doesn't say anything, just lies there looking up at him.

Chris snaps his hands free and backs away, off the bed. "I'm gonna get some ice," he says.

JC answers his door in an undershirt and track pants. "Hey, Chris," he says. His TV has the same show on, and he settles back on the pillows piled against the headboard. His laptop is tidily stowed away in its case. Chris steals a pillow and stretches out with his sneakers on the bedspread.

"How's your thing coming?" JC says during a commercial.

"I'm working on it," Chris says.

"Adam says they're really important," JC says. His face is in shadow, his mouth hard to see.

"I know," Chris says. "I'm working on it."