Blair looked up from his laptop. “What?”
Bathed in the light spilling from the opened refrigerator, Jim waggled a long-neck beer in his left hand. “I asked if you wanted one.”
“Oh.” Blair's gaze and attention returned to his computer screen. “No, thanks anyway.”
Jim started to return the second bottle but seemed to change his mind. With both beers in hand, he closed the door and detoured around the table. “So what's this? I thought you said your class work is finished for the semester. And that doesn't look like your dissertation to me.” He slowed as he drew even with Blair's chair.
Fanning both hands over the back-lit screen, Blair made shooing noises. “Back to your Starburst show, man.”
Jim snorted, lightly slapping the back of his friend's head before sauntering back to his sofa. “It's *Stargate*, Mr. Ed Sullivan. Starburst is a fruit chew.”
“Stargate... starburst.” Blair waved a hand in the air. “I'm working here, man.”
“I get that part, but what are you working on?”
Dipping his head to peer over glasses, Blair frowned, nodding to the TV. “They might start zapping alien spiders or something, Jim. You don't want to miss the action.”
Jim stretched his long legs out, threw one arm over the back of the sofa and twisted his torso toward the younger man. “Commercial break. And it's
'zatting' not 'zapping'. And you know very well the bad guys are snakes, not spiders.”
“Yeah, well, sue me. I'm having an off moment.”
“I get that, what's up? Maybe I can help.”
“I'm trying to write a spontaneous snippet for my weekly creative writing course. It's due tomorrow and I'm stuck.” Blair folded his arms, both elbows framing either side of his keyboard as he massaged his temples. “I just don't feel creative tonight.”
“Believe me, Junior, you're pretty damn creative when it comes to being mybackup.” Jim chuckled. “So, you leading a secret life as a pulp fiction author?”
Blair smiled, feeling a warm glow in his chest from the unexpected praise.
“I'm honing my writing skills; finding my writing 'voice', my own style. You know? But it's harder than it looks. Last week the theme was easy, but this week it's 'crossed wires'.”
The TV commercial cut away from the cat food product and returned to the action. Jim's attention did the same. “That's easy, write about one of Joel's cases.”
“What?” Blair twisted in his chair. “Joel?”
Jim was back in the world of SG1 and the villain of the week. “Sure,” he replied, not taking his eyes off the screen. “He does all that stuff, or used to anyway. Call him up and ask him about some of the trickier bombs he's had to deal with... lots of wires there.”
Blair snickered. “Not *that* kind of wire, Jim.” He turned back to his laptop. He didn't need to write like Hemingway, he just needed a few lousy pages.
But Jim wasn't completely finished with the conversation, although most of his attention was on the barely dressed woman walking around in a Cleopatra outfit. “Ah... oh, not a bomb wire, huh? Okay... how about that case we had with the carjackers? Lots of crossing wires on that one.”
Blair was beginning to see the allure of this particular science fiction show. “C-carjackers?”
Jim took a long pull from his bottle and swallowed, eyes glued to the set. “You know, when your mom was ...”
Blair found himself standing next to the sofa, not aware he'd left the table. That redhead was really a hottie. He swallowed. “The car case, yeah. I could do something from that... hot wire, cross wire. It's sorta the same.
Who's the guy in the glasses?”
Jim chuckled. “A science geek. He's about to become the 'favored one' or something.”
“Yeah,” Blair answered with a slow smile. He sat next to Jim. “I wouldn't mind that job.”
“Yeah, you geeks always get the babes, even in TV land.” Jim grumbled. “What about your story?”
“Got it handled, man. I'll write about the car theft ring, good call.” Blair leaned back, accepted the extra beer and settled in to watch the show at his best friend's side.
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