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Merry and Bright
A Shifter Agents Christmas story
“Hey man, you gotta help me.”
Avery Hollen blinked at the computer screen sliding in and out of focus in front of him, and turned his bleary, sleep-deprived gaze on the rangy figure that had leaned a hip on the corner of his desk. Jack Ross was wearing his usual beat-up leather jacket and jeans, but under the jacket he had on a festive sweater with snowflakes on it. He also had a plastic holly sprig pinned to his collar and was holding a steaming mug shaped like the lower half of Santa: belt, boots, and red-clad buttocks. His wire-frame glasses gave him a deceptively mild demeanor; right now, with the sweater and the mug, he looked like an unusually ripped professor at a faculty holiday party.
As Avery stared at him blankly, Jack frowned. “Are you awake?”
“I’m totally awake; why wouldn’t I be?” Avery tried to push himself upright in his chair, rather than slumping over his keyboard.
“Because,” Jack said, leaning around to see the screen, “you just typed a whole row of the letter D.”