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relaxation station

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Chet knew that the couch was not a safe zone but, given that he’d been undisturbed for 5 whole minutes, he was starting to relax. Except then there was a thump as someone launched over the arm and a pair of legs landed hard in his lap. He winced as Burn made herself comfortable halfway on top of him. She smiled at him sweetly, all her teeth showing between her deep red stained lips, and instead of complaining, Chet decided she was welcome on his lap and patted her shins.

“Chet, honey, I’ve had such a hard day today,” she drawled, and Chet thought about how much time she’d spent sitting watching the same TV he was trying to pay attention to but, again, chose not to complain and kept listening, “and I think you’re just the thing for my aching feet.”

“No problem, boo,” he said, pulling her boots off her feet—not for the first time, certainly—and started at her feet.

They lulled into nice silence, Chet still paying attention to his show and Burn with eyes closed, sometimes murmuring with pleasure.

Then something whacked Chet across the back of the head.

“Sorry!” someone cried as they landed on the other side of Chet on the couch. Clearly someone had leapt across the distance and cracked Chet’s head with an errant foot.

Skidmark grinned and sat up, smooching the side of Chet’s head before falling onto xir back. “Sorry, Chet. It looked like a party over here so I had to see what was up ASAP.”

“It’s fine...” Chet said, rubbing his neck right over the injured spot. “I’ll recover.”

Burn’s eyes flew open, first to smile tenderly at Skidmark, but then to pierce right into Chet’s gaze. “But my feet won’t, at that rate.”

“Oh.” Chet gaped. He’d only had his hands off her for a few seconds. “Sorry.”

“Wait, is this a feet rubbing party over here? Sign me up!” Xir shoes were halfway across the room before Chet could protest that he only had two hands, not like that made a difference to them.

Skidmark poked Burn in the stomach with a sock-covered toe. “How’s your day?”

“Hard at work, as usual,” Burn replied, sighing as Chet, by necessity of only having two, assigned only one hand to either of his partners’ feet. “You’re messing up my relaxation time.”

Skidmark pouted. “That’s not fair, I should be allowed in on any relaxation action in my own home.”

They chattered away across Chet who completely gave up on TV and would have turned it off if that hadn’t required a third arm.

Skidmark poked Chet’s cheek with xir free foot. “Hey, Chet, what do you think?” Chet blinked. He had zoned out completely because they were talking cars. As usual. He knew next to nothing about cars and they got very heated about what he could only guess were slight differences in the mechanics.

“I, uh,” he started, trying to remember what they had been taking about. Something with a lot of Vs. “Burn’s right.” Burn was more likely to whack him for disagreeing with her.

Skidmark snorted. “Whatever! You can gang up on me all you want but you won’t be so happy when I’m lapping you.”

Burn rolled her eyes playfully. “If you’re not crashing into the wall because you have no handling to speak of!”

Chet smiled and zoned out again. They were just going back and forth, threatening what dreadful things they would do to each other next time they raced.

Suddenly, Burn’s phone went off. Chet didn’t know how she managed to still have a flip phone with a tinny speaker in this day and age, but she did and it was hot pink and she was so proud of its tackiness. Her ringtone was piercing for a minute as she dug it out of her jeans and eventually answered.

“Hey. Wait, really? No. Seriously? No way. Alright, alright. Yeah.” She hung up the phone. Chet sighed as he saw but did not hear what was obviously a riveting plot development on his favorite TV show.

“Yo, Skidmark. We’re being summoned. Turbo broke the uh, everything.” She sat up, kicking Chet in the ribs accidentally as she went up. Skidmark jumped up to follow.

“Am I—“ Chet started but didn’t expect anything. His safety officer position was mostly for show.

“Nah, just official F.A.S.T. stuff. You know.” Skidmark grinned and leaned down, kissing Chet’s cheek. Burn followed and kissed his other, leaving a trace of her lip gloss behind. “See you later!” xe called over xir shoulder as the two of them left. Finally. Chet smiled in the emptiness of their apartment and looked at the TV, only to see the end credits rolling.