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A Show of Their Own

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"Listen, Star, I don't think this is a good idea," Julio said, watching as Shatterstar loaded the DVD players and knowing full well Star wasn't going to listen him, but he'd be a bad boyfriend if he didn't at least try. "You're a little … sensitive about certain topics."

Star scoffed dismissively. "Nonsense. This is a movie aimed at teenagers. I'll be fine."

"If you say so," Julio replied blandly, shuffling over to let Star squeeze between him and the armrest, despite all the room in the world on the other side. Casually, he laid an arm across Shatterstar's shoulders, and Star settled comfortably against him with a small sigh. "It's a good thing you're so good looking, or your stubbornness would be a total turn off."

"I am really good looking," Star agreed, grinning up at him, and Julio rolled his eyes.

"Modest, too." Julio tapped Star on the head. "You going to press play some day soon?"

"I'm waiting for …"

"Oh, god, don't say it," Julio groaned, slapping a hand over his face.

"Longshot." Shatterstar looked up at him. "What? You said I could invite him."

"Oh, nothing," Julio replied. "This is going to be great. Best night of my life."

Shatterstar stared at him, obviously trying to decode the underlying sarcasm, and Julio looked back blankly. Julio would never understand how Star and Longshot could exist on a team of incredibly sarcastic people and always be so thoroughly baffled by it.

"Don't worry about it," Julio said finally.

"I'm not."

Julio didn't know whether to kiss him or poke him, so he settled on brushing his fingers over the edge of Star's hair, smirking when Star shivered full-body and shifted slightly on the couch. Sometimes, he really missed Star's long hair, even if nobody else seemed to.

"I brought popcorn!" Longshot shouted suddenly, launching into the only open seat, and Julio practically jumped off the couch then glared at him. "What? Shatterstar invited me."

"Let's just watch the movie," Julio gritted out.

"He's so grumpy today," Longshot said to Star, who nodded.

It was probably his own fault, Julio thought as the movie started, for at least two things. One, for finding Star so endearing and attractive on all levels, even when he was pissing Julio off, that he couldn't actually say no to him, ever. Two, for having such a high tolerance for the various quirky personalities possessed by people from Mojoworld that spending extending periods of time with them usually defaulted to him and him alone.

It was hard to pay attention to the movie when Star and Longshot were putting on such a show of their own, though he doubted either of them was even aware of it. They both started off relaxed, passing popcorn between them, then slowly started sitting up straighter, entertained smiles sliding into distressed frowns and narrowed eyes.

A little over an hour and forty minutes into the movie, Julio had Star curled into a ball on one side and Longshot coiled up on the other, snuggled in so tightly he was sweating. He had to go the bathroom, but he was sure if he tried to leave them, he'd end up with company, and Julio could not pee under such stressful conditions. Not that he'd ever tried.

"I can turn it off," Julio offered helplessly, patting them both on the back. They looked up at him with identical eyes. "I read the books. I can tell you what happens."

"It's just so unfair," Shatterstar replied, pausing the movie. "You make friends then you have to kill them."

"You have no control over your own life," Longshot added.

"You're owned like animals."

"But you're treated as if you're less than them."

"It's no way to live," Shatterstar said softly, and Longshot nodded. They stared meaningfully at each other, sharing some intense Mojoworld moment together that Julio didn't entirely understand, and didn't really want to. "It's dehumanising."

"This is the saddest movie I have ever watched," Longshot agreed.

They sighed in unison then pressed more fully against him, heads on both of Julio's shoulders. He pressed a soothing kiss to Star's forehead then, after a second, did the same to Longshot. "For the record, I knew watching The Hunger Games was a terrible idea."

"I want to watch the rest," Shatterstar said. "I want Katniss to have her vengeance."

"Yes, yes, very much," Longshot replied, nodding. "They could use Cadre techniques."

Julio frowned. "We understand this isn't real, right?"

"It's real enough," Shatterstar replied, sitting up and squaring his shoulders. On the other side of the couch, Longshot did the same thing. They are such weirdos, Julio thought, not for the first time. "Press play, Julio. She must persevere. Katniss must win."

"If Longshot ends up in our room tonight because neither of you can sleep, I'm going to be pissed."

"If he does, it's your fault for letting us watch this movie," Shatterstar replied.

"And maybe you're going to be sleeping on the couch."

"We could have a sleepover," Longshot suggested. "That would solve all of our problems."

Shatterstar pumped a fist in the air. "That's a great idea!"

"You're both ridiculous," Julio muttered, reaching for the remote and trying to ignore the imploring sets of eyes focussed entirely on him, but he had a particular weakness for earnest Mojoworlders. "Fine, we can have a sleepover if you let me pick the next movie."

Shatterstar and Longshot looked at each then nodded. "Okay, we agree to your demand."

Julio rolled his eyes, swearing softly. "I can't believe this is my life."

"I can," Shatterstar replied, patting his knee comfortingly. "Please press play, Julio."

Julio turned the movie back on, unsurprised when they turned into messes of emotions again almost immediately. It wasn't so bad, he thought, squeezing Longshot as he rubbed soothing circles over Star's back while he snuffled unhappily into Julio's neck, and things could definitely be much worse.