"Look, I'm here, aren't I?" Justin said, throwing his magazine down. "Doesn't that say enough? Do I have to sign a loyalty oath or something?"

"You promised," Chris said stubbornly, and JC felt like smacking him.

"I know," Justin said. "And if I didn't, you all would certainly keep reminding me. I know I promised, and I know exactly what I promised, and I don't see why I should have to -"

"Then just answer the question," Chris said. "Nobody'd have to keep reminding you if you'd just answer a straight question."

"Don't push him into something he can't take back just because you're freaked out," JC said quietly. He'd expected Chris to give him a dirty look, but he resented the glare Justin flicked his way. He was on Justin's side, after all.

"Nobody can push me into anything," Justin said. "And you know what, fine. Go ahead, if you can't trust me then go ahead and ask me, ask your fucking question, but I'll tell you right now, if you ask me today you know what the answer's going to be."

"Goddamn," JC said, because Justin knew better than that. Even mad as he was, Justin knew exactly what happened when you dared Chris to do anything. "Don't, all right, both of you. For once in your lives could one of you be the bigger person and just fucking walk away."

"I'm not running," Chris said, and Justin's chin lifted stubbornly. "You think I won't call your fucking bluff, but I will. I'll ask you straight out."

JC turned his back on both of them, but he couldn't reach the door before he heard Chris' question and Justin's answer.