ArchivedLogs:Chomping Pixels

From X-Men: rEvolution
Chomping Pixels


Dramatis Personae

Alex, Amy, Micah, Flicker, Jax

1 February 2015

All the chutneys!


<NYC> The Batcave - Greenwich Village

Nestled in a basement of the meatpacking district, a hybrid of arcade and cybercafe, The Batcave is far more sociable a place than its name would suggest. Filled at all hours of day with the beeps and music and explosions of a myriad of arcade games, as well as the laughter and conversation (and curses) to go with it, the dark theme in decor is broken up by the bright lights of their game machines. One corner of the establishment is a perpetual LAN party with a projector screen-equipped lounge area for spectators. Along the opposite wall, a counter serves soft drinks and greasy junk food, and off in the back a door leads to what is by far the larger part of the establishment: a fully-equipped laser tag arena.

Sunday night isn't the busiest of nights for the Batcave - being a school day the next day, a lot of the children coming to play laser tag are back home - but it is still well-filled. People are scattered about the arcade, tokens clinking in their pockets as they walk from flashing machine to machine. A small cluster of people are sitting in two small clumps in the LAN party area, eyes fixed to the monitors in front of them as a tense game of League of Legends unfolds on projector and screen alike. Even to someone who knows nothing about the game, the annoyed grumbles from one of the teams makes it clear that the match isn't going very well for one of them.

Sitting in a ragged but recently cleaned grey hoodie, Alex is plopped in an armchair watching the game both on the projector and on a few of the people's monitors. A small sketch book is open in front of him and he is almost lazily sketching out the players as they slowly do battle. The sketch is still merely outlines and loose shapes, ovals for heads and lines for where faces will come, boxes for the monitors and for the keyboards that the gamers' fingers fly over.

It might seem that Micah is dressed a little on the nose for the location, to those that don't know that the Batsignal hoodie, Flutterbat tee, and faded-patchy jeans are just typical weekend wear for him. His auburn hair is a mussed-mess from pulling off his woollen Jayne hat when he arrived earlier, outerwear piled up in a chair in a rather impressive mound. The smallish young man is currently trying to make his way back to a table with a plate of garlic french fries without dropping them in all the jostle and hubbub.

Amy kind of got guilted into going out in the cold weather, at least once. An arcade was suggested as place to go, so she goes. When she arrives she's wearing a long, thick coat over her dress, practically dressed for the arctic, complete with fuzzy lined hood.

Flicker is at a computer nearby Micah's table. He tears his gaze away from his screen ooonly for a split second -- eying the fries sort of hungrily. Sort of. But he's eying his game more intently. On the projector, his Fiddlesticks is summoning a murder of crows, a storm of black wings dealing a flurry of damage. His eyes are narrowed, jaw tight -- /everyone/ here is rather intently focused but him maybe moreso than most. Possibly because what everyone else is doing with two hands he's largely just doing with one, the prosthetic hand at his right good for some things but rapid keyboard-and-mousing not so much. His own custom set of key bindings seems to be working out just fine for him, though, judging from the damage he's doing and the cheer going up from his team -- or the cry of dismay from the other? "-- Are those garlic, tell me they're garlic. This is hungry work."

Jax is only just bouncing in from outside -- there's still snow /melting/ on his outerwear, some flakes still keeping their shape against the shiny silver of his jacket. He is bright-bright-bright -- metallic silver asymmetrically-cut coat, black skinny jeans tucked into knee-high Very Stompy silver boots, glittery blue lip gloss and nailpolish, giant mirror-lensed sunglasses despite it being indoors at night, peacock-toned blue-purple-green hair. He is bouncing his way over to Micah but gets /distracted/ -- not by the game happening, no. Just by the /sketching/, stopping behind Alex's chair to pause, shamelessly, and tilt his head with (kind of birdlike!) curiosity to peek at the sketching.

As Alex watches Flicker play, his brow furrows and he watches the gamer's movements more carefully. It takes a few seconds for the lightbulb to go on above his head, and his expression turns curious. A hand dips into one of the deep pockets and comes out with a well-worn pencil case, filled with a variety of colored pencils and a couple different erasers. He has just finished sketching the beginnings of Flicker's head and face when the artist finally feels eyes on him. He tilts his head back, looking up at Jax with a light flush burning on his cheeks. The movement makes his head peek out from the edge of the hood, showing a faint flicker of movement down at the base of his neck, and oddly spiked hair from just under the hood. "Uh. Hi."

Amy unzips her big, long coat, but doesn't really take it off because she's still warming up. She does take her matching gloves off though, and rubs her hands together as she walks into the place she heard about, and looks around, seeing just what's going on here.

"Yessir, they're garlicky! I asked for extra. Y'can see the huge minced garlic chunks all over." Micah sidles up close to Flicker's chair. "Y'want I should feed 'em t'you like peeled grapes so's you aren't distracted from your gamin'?" A hint of teasing laughter glitters in his hazel eyes at this offer, though it's a good enough bet he'd /do/ it if asked. "My retro tour ended with some Pac-Man, an' all the pixelated chompin' was enough t'make m'stomach rumble. Figured we could do with some appetisers. Don't fill up /too/ much, though, we're s'posed t'get real food with Jax once he shows up." His husband-proximity senses are tingling, even though Jax doesn't make it all the way to the spot where they've set up. He lifts a hand to wave, smile broadening once he spots the colourful man.

"Oh, man, really? Can we do that?" Flicker is looking to his screen now. Intently. Just as intently his fingers /fly/ against the keyboard. Rapid. Responding at a somewhat ridiculous rate to the battle happening onscreen. Without looking up at Micah his mouth opens. "Did you chomp /all/ the pixels? And can we get Indian? I'm feeling Indian." He doesn't see Jax showing, though he does glimpse Micah's wave, divining well enough its meaning. "Jax. Indian?"

"Oh!" Jax catches himself with a /deep/ deep blush. Furious red as Alex looks up, his head ducking and his hand scuffing through his shaggy mop of brightly dyed hair. "'pologies," the word comes with an echoed signed-sorry, fist circling over his heart, "I jus', I get easy-distracted by art." His accent is thiiiick, a molasses-heavy drawl of the deep Deep South. He drops his hand to his side, resting it against a messenger bag slung over his shoulder and sitting on his hip (black, it carries a winged logo and reads FreakAngels above it.) "That's -- cool, that's good, you're -- you don't need me t'tell you --" His /other/ hand circles his heart, this time. He offers Alex a lopsided smile that subsequently turns towards the gaming. "Hihi. Indian? Ohwow yeah. M'starved. How's the -- uh --" He peers at the projector-screen. "... crows? Is those crows?"

Alex's eyes flick between Jax and his subject, darting over to Micah and then back again as he measures them up. The last word of Jax's catches his attention as he turns around and glances at the screen, squinting. "Yeah. Crows." He turns back to Jax, shrugging one shoulder with a slanting smile. "No problem, though it isn't much to look at, right now." He glances back at Flicker and nods his head over to him. "Don't think he'll mind, eh?" He flicks the notebook open, turning the page to a finished sketch - a carefully rendered drawing of Anole, light casting the shadow of a street grate down across his face. He turns the page again to a drawing of the Manhattan city skyline from a great height, greys and browns and yellows splayed out over the paper.

Amy slowly walks from game to game as she puts her gloves in her pockets, and takes her hood off at least. If something looks interesting she stands a few feet behind the person and stares a bit. Apparently there are some crows on this screen or something?

"Anythin' in the name of a good game," Micah giggles, feeding the little open-baby-bird mouth garlic fries one at a time. "/All/ the pixels. None left for anyone else. An' ohyes, Indian. I can already taste cilantro an' tamarind chutneys." He pauses a moment to steal a fry for himself. Once Jax starts speaking to the unfamiliar fellow, he waves again, this time making eye contact with the new guy to include him. "So many crows," he agrees once his mouth is empty. "Y'want some garlic fries, Jax?"

"Sure was. It's why they're called a /murder/. -- /Yes/." This is all the gloating Flicker indulges in as the opposing team's Nexus is destroyed. That and an eager /victory/ chomp of french fry. He swivels around in his chair, beaming up at Micah. "I'm all about the onion. Heyyy." He snags another fry himself, this time. Then gets to his feet, shoulder rolling. Slow-stretch. His chin lifts in a belated hello-nod. "Howsit." Not that he knows Alex. His smile is friendly all the same.

Amy nods a little, and decides it's getting late, and while she could push it, she's not going to risk getting in trouble before her parents even fly home. Especially since she may get lost getting back. So she starts the process of bundling back up, and heads out.

"Oh gosh chana. I want all the chana. Did you win? Did you -- successfully... game? All the... things? It looked very -- um. Picture... y. -- Wait-wait-wait go back?" Over his sunglasses Jax's pierced eyebrows are furrowing, when the picture of Anole comes up. He flutters glittery-nailed hand towards the sketchbook with sudden /acute/ interest, /bouncing/ eagerly on the tips of his stompyboots. "Go back what was that?" His elbow props against the back of Alex's chair with a sudden (inadvertently intrusive) lean. Fries are kind of forgotten. Around him there's a /brightening/ of light. A small shivering dance of sparkling-glowing colours.

... a few people in the vicinity baaack up.

"Hey." Alex returns Flicker's nod with one of his own. Bro. Dude. What up. Jax's sudden excitement causes Alex to hesitate for a moment, giving Jax a measuring look and glancing at the sparkling lights. "Uh...." Curiosity wars with a deer-in-headlights look on his face for a moment before he carefully turns the page back to the drawing of Anole. It's rendered in a hyper-realistic style, showing Anole looking up at the grate above him and the criss-crossing of light over his face. The only abstract part of the image is the small outline of a raven drawn in a single stroke of white pencil that stands out against the dark colors of the sewer.

"The onion chutney's good. If it were all there was, even /excellent/. But cilantro an' tamarind s'just /that/ much better, both of 'em. Usually I already hafta battle with Jax over the tamarind, so dif'rent tastes is a /good/ thing." Micah chuckles a bit as he delivers another fry to Flicker's mouth. His attention is drawn back to Jax's excitement, brow furrowing a little at the lights display. Leaving the fries at Flicker's side, he moves back behind Jax, wrapping arms around him in a squeezy greeting-hug. This also serves to get him close enough to whisper in his husband's ear. "Kinda puttin' on a show, sugar. Let's not get you arrested on an empty stomach, okay? S'always extra mis'rable." Standing closer also affords him a view of the sketchbook, and the familiar figure depicted thereupon. "Huh."

"What's really the absolute best is you drizzle the cilantro /on/ the onion." Flicker scoops up the container of fries, popping another into his mouth. He pauses to deliver a fistbump to one of his team members, ambling off closer to the others to abandon the computers to let a new round of battling get organized. "You're flashing everyone, dude. -- Hey. That's pretty fantastic."

"That's -- excellent." Even with Micah's arms around him for a moment Jax is distracted by the drawing. It takes a second or two before he blushes, again (deeper than he otherwise perhaps might have at the comment about flashing), the light around him dying down. He leans back into his husband's embrace, smile flashing wider. "I mean, really, that's awesome. You know him? The kid, he's a -- a friend'a. My kids'." He finally looks away from the sketchpad, grinning at Flicker. "No no, you drizzle the /tamarind/ on the onion. You got it all wrong." His head tips back, briefly bonking against Micah's shoulder. "Did I tell you the /Mayor's/ very own /personal/ attack-cop wanted t'arrest me yesterday?"

Alex grins at all the praise, nodding his head once. "Yeah, he seems to be good people. Makes a patient model too, which is always good too." He flashes the smile around the little circle, and then turns the page back to his evolving sketch of Flicker. Though the man is no longer sitting at the computer, Alex doesn't seem to mind as he continues sketching as if Flicker had never moved, with an occasional glance up at the other man's face. "Congratulations are in order, I guess," he adds, dryly. "You should be honored, eh?"

“I'll pretty much drizzle cilantro on /all/ the things,” Micah admits with a grin. “An' that's a real good renderin'. I knew who it was even at a glance.” His arms squeeze a little tighter around Jax at his lean. “The mayor...? Why'd they wanna do that? Was Elliott there? Can't imagine she was havin' none of it.” The headbonk earns a little headscritch, cautious not to muss up Jax's hair too much.

"Tamarind on the cilantro on the onion," Flicker concedes. "Wait, now I'm /really/ hungry." He pops another fry into his mouth. "... Whaaat. What did you do /this/ time." He tips his head down. Looks down to the page. Which is him now and not Anole. His brows lift. "Hey-look. Huh. You should get my good side." His smile is bright. Amused. He's turned just a little bit. Strike a small pose. The heavily-scarred side of his face is turned more towards Alex, now.

"Chutney stacking. That does sound ideal." Jax nuzzles briefly back against the side of Micah's neck, then straightens. "/Do/, I didn't do nothin'. Was waitin' for Matt at Luci's show. Elliott was there, yeah, she /weren't/ havin' none'a it. Though I don't guess I'm her /most/ favourite'a people neither." His nose crinkles up; he seems more amused by this than put out. "Jus' made the teeny-tiniest of little shields t'stop my phone from fallin' on the ground is all. I think her bodyguard's a li'l twitchy. -- Anole /is/ good people. The goodest. D'you..." But he stops short here, a little hesitant.

Tilting his head from side to side in a distinctly bird-like fashion, Alex studies Flicker's face as the other man models it. It is several moments before he smiles and shuffles through his case for a light green pencil to go with the brown one already lined up against his stomach. "Your good side, then," Alex says with a little nod, switching between pencils quickly as he sketches in eyebrows, outlines an eye and then begins coloring it, layering colors together and applying a bit of kneaded eraser to help blend and lighten the colors. He doesn't look up from the page as he answers. "Anole. Took a while to get the name out of him. And vice-versa, for that matter. I think I'm going to be guypersondude for a while, eh?"

"Ohman. Y'think they'll just bring the chutney out in /jars/ if we ask?" Micah smiles, bright and amused at Flicker's posing. "I guess letter'a the law even that little harmless nothin's an arrestable offense." This sentence is breathed out heavily, like an unhappy sigh. "Glad Elliott stopped 'em makin' too big a fuss. Dunno as she dislikes you, though. She's always tryin' t'get me t'help 'er find folks with special abilities for...consultin'. Committees. Somethin'. But you're always at the top of her list." He nods at the description of Anole. "Folks's a mite twitchy for good reason, sometimes." Rather deliberately, he bites back asking Alex's name for just this reason.

"Well, yeah. Jax is a hero." Flicker shrugs a shoulder. "To us, I mean. Getting him on a committee would be a pretty big bone she can throw to people who say she doesn't pay attention to mutant issues." It puts a small wrinkle in his smile. Briefly. "Don't see anything wrong with guypersondude. Fine name, really. Easy to shorten."

The frown on Jax's face is deeper. Longer. "... guess it would." He shifts a little uncomfortably, fingers curling tight around the strap of his bag. His teeth dig down against his lip. "... jars? Might maybe. If we ask nice. We should -- maybe. Get. T'askin'. I mean t'food. I mean dinner." He gives Alex a warm smile. "Guypersondude. Don't exactly roll off the /tongue/, but it works."

"Yeah, I mean, you're right." Alex's eyes glance up at the three men only briefly before turning back to the paper. "Got three choices to shorten it, eh? Just get confused with everyone else sometimes is all." Alex leaves just Flicker's eyes colored as he turns back to filling in the sketches with outlines, refining the detail and turning rough approximations into full outlines. "Guy. Person. Dude."

"I don't know if it's just /that/. I mean, Jax has a serious presence in the community an' can speak t'some of the needs an' such better'n folks as ain't as connected." Micah frowns faintly. "She's really a decent person. Just...a little misguided in the ways she's goin' 'bout what she's doin'. I keep...hopin' that we can lead 'er to a better understandin' of how things're workin' out in the world. S'a lot better'n dealin' with somebody as thinks all people with special abilities're evil or somethin'." The frown lightens at the talk of names and nicknames. "Mmn, yeah. Should prob'ly get t'more'n fries."

"I'm not saying she isn't." Flicker shakes his head, setting the fries aside so that he can start layering back on his winter gear. "But she's also a politician. -- In a place like this 'dude' is going to get you confused with a /lot/ of people. You could shorten it," he suggests earnestly, "to 'Uyp'. No mistaken identity there."

Jax's lips compress, briefly. His frown returns briefly as well, but he shrugs it off. "Gotta try, anyway." His nose crinkles back up. "Jus' gotta somehow find the /time/ somewhere. For --" His shudder is exaggerated. "Politics." He gives Alex a warm smile. "Y'have a good night, Guypersondude. -- Uyp." This nickname comes with a small chuckle.

"Uyp." Flicker succeeds in getting the artist to look up from the paper and fix him with a flat look. "Uyp. Ya serious, eh?" Alex shakes his head, chuckling to himself and flashing a smile at the men. "Have a good dinner. Don't eat too much chutney, eh?" He shakes his head again, ruefully, looking back down at the page. "Yup, uyp."

“Okay. I just. She's been good t'me, one-on-one, is all.” Micah shrugs, not pushing the discussion further. “No such thing's too much chutney. Have a good night.”