Abandoned AU Big Bang: UGA Student Eric Bittle goes from extra to principle cast when the low budget Alicia Zimmermann biopic he’s working on can’t find an actor who can skate.
“Wait. Wait. My character is based on you?”
Jack drags a folding chair close with the tip of his boot and drops down, holding out the small stack of to-go boxes so Eric can take the one on top. His hands now free, Jack fishes silverware out of his pocket and offers a fork to Eric before tucking into his own meal, a rather plain looking spread of whitefish, steamed vegetables, and brown rice.
“I know I eat like a stunt guy,” Jack murmurs out the side of his mouth, looking down. “So much junk at crafty I have to balance out somewhere.”
“Did see you plowing through the fruit snacks the other day,” Eric chirps, popping his own box to inspect and finding a sauce-soaked chicken breast and considerate assortment of sides. “Technically, they are made of fruit.”
Jack smiles around his fork, eyes flicking up toward Eric with a softer edge.
“That why you’re so mad at me? Because I’m playing you?”
“You are the last in a long line of things I’m pissed about,” Jack admits. “The fact this movie is even happening at all is… Fuck. We sold the rights to a production company that belonged to one of Mom’s friends because it was supposed to focus on mental health outreach, then the studio was bought out, and they passed it off to a satellite network, suddenly we’re legally obligated to play along while they rewrite everything and turn us into daytime-tv filler.”
“Turn you into daytime filler.” Eric corrects. “Can’t you sue or something?”
“We did,” Jack admits, wincing before pulling a pinbone out of his mouth. “Gave us the option to buy back the rights for a crazy-fucking amount of money, or work on the production as consultants. Kind of regretting my choice, we should have left it alone. Our being involved at all gives this crap legitimacy it doesn’t deserve.”
Eric’s insecurity gets the better of him. “Not because of me, right?”
There’s scarcely three feet between them, but to Eric it feels like a mile; especially when Jack stills and looks toward the door back to set. “No,” he admits. “You’re the best thing about this so far. Even if you’re half a foot shorter than me and, Crisse, fucking blonde.”
“Hair said they could dye it dark,” Eric teases around a tight throat. “Give me lifts in my shoes, like Downey.”
“Yeah? What, can you play hockey, too?”
“Actually, I did. For about three years.”
“Fuck you didn’t,” Jack laughs, pointing his fork toward the rink. “Saw you twirling just out there!”
“Well, I’ll have you know I was a figure skater first! In high school I started playing hockey to build up my extracurriculars for college.”
The slight frown tickling Jack’s lips shows he’s picked up on Eric’s half-truth.