From X-Men: rEvolution
Dramatis Personae

Flicker, Matt


"What are you running on by now? Just. Pure caffeine and the thrill of victory?"


<NYC> Harbor Commons - Game Room - Lower East Side

Together with the dining room, this is the largest room in the common building, a plentiful expanse of gathering space for people to come and socialize. There is typically a brightly-coloured array of whimsical artwork hanging on the walls, and its wide windows overlook the grounds. Tall cabinets along one wall hold a wide library of board and card games -- there's a sign-out sheet for the use of these clipped to the front of the cabinet doors. The room provides plenty of place to /play/ games in, as well, with several separate wide tables -- three ringed by straight-backed chairs, two nestled amid more casual clusters of couch-and-armchairs -- scattered throughout the room. In the back of the room there's a ping-pong table; over near the windows on the right, an air hockey table, while a pool table stands to the back of it. Doors to either side of the room lead off to the media room and the children's playroom.

It’s nigh on midnight, and the music in the game room has been turned down but not off (currently playing ‘Below My Feet’ by Mumford & Sons). The wreckage of the last Settlers of Catan game has been cleared away, replaced by the sprawling (new and reimagined!) Battlestar Galactica board game. No one is actually /playing/ it yet, however, taking advantage of the natural break in the action to get more food, more caffeine, or other substances. Or, in some cases, retire like the quitters they are.

Matt doesn’t need to go downstairs for more tea because he brought a /large/ thermos, though by now even that must be running low. Dressed in a blue t-shirt with cartoon person reading beneath an arch of books, bracketed by the words 'Best Time Machine EVER!’ and faded, over-long blue jeans, he’s sitting in front of Battlestar Galactica, patiently awaiting his crew. He toys idly with a little plastic raider figure, spinning it round and round and round with the tip of his finger, occasionally lifting his cup (which doubles as the outer lid to his thermos) for a drink.

Flicker's plate is empty -- his mug, too. Cocoa, not tea. He isn't heading down to get New Refreshments, though. Still just sitting at an adjacent table with the still-open box for King of New York in front of him, toying absently with a few green cubes he forgot to put back in with the rest. The rest of the seats at his table have been vacated for a bit now -- though he only seems to /notice/ this fact after a considerable delay when he glances up. Leaves his empty dishes where they were, pushing out his chair and getting to his feet to start off towards New Game.

He's frowning as he sits down, though. Gets right back /up/, if kind of sluggishly, to go /back/ to the first table and claim his dishes. Close the empty box. He's still got the green cubes clutched in one fist when he wanders back, drops down to sit beside Matt. Humming along quietly to the music. At least at first. He stops after a moment, head just tilting -- there's a faint tightening of his jaw, then quiet.

Matt glances over at Flicker when he rises, opens his mouth to speak when he sits, but then holds off while the other man returns to tidy up King of New York. When Flicker sits again, he offers him a smile and a “Hey”. Then nods to indicate his hand. “Need energy? I’m sure there’s more cocoa downstairs, and I /know/ there’s more cookies.” He sits up a little straighter to cast around the room, as if he expects to find just tubs of cookies /lurking/ around, ready to ambush them.

Flicker is slouching back in his chair -- straightens slightly when he's addressed. His fingers uncurl, green eyes dropping to fix on the green cubes nestled in his palm. His smile tips up, quick and crooked. "I had so much of it during the game." His fingers close, open, close, open again. "... these go back over there." Kind of /frowning/ towards the other table. Intently. In his mind there's a tensing -- a faint tightening like a gathering of drive. It should lead into motion, normally /would/ lead into motion, but this time there's none. "Jax takes good care of us. There's /always/ more cookies." He's not looking at his plate, though. Just the raider that Matt was toying with.

Matt rises, opens the King of New York box again and brings the whole bag of energy cubes over to Flicker. It’s not clear whether he means for this to facilitate the returning of the cubes or just giving the man as many as he’d like. “Yeah, he does,” with a warm smile. Then he glances around again, spotting a tupperware container on a smaller table beside the sodas and water pitcher. He takes the empty plate, fills it up, and brings it back over to Flicker. He does hold out his hand for the energy cubes, finally. “You got cookies for energy now.”

Flicker pokes at the bag, watching the rattle of displaced cubes as they shift around his finger. He uncurls his fingers again when Matt returns with cookies, dropping the cubes into the other man's hand. "{Thanks.}" His smile is slow in coming, but bright when it does. "What are you running on by now? Just. Pure caffeine and the thrill of victory?"

Matt collects the cubes from Flicker’s hand, returns them to their bag, then returns the bag to the box. He resumes his seat and refills his tea, his smile far the quicker but not nearly as bright. “Caffeine. Victory. Stolen cookies.” So saying, he snags one from Flicker’s plate. Doesn’t eat it immediately, though. “Fair dose of guilt and worry, too.”

"Taste better stolen." Flicker is still quick, at least, in yoinking the cookie right back out of Matt's hand. Taking a bite. /Returning/ it. "They'll forgive you, dude." His good shoulder has tensed, hard, the fingers of his mechanical hand opposite briefly seizing against the table. He pulls a slow breath. Tips his head up to the ceiling. After a pause: "... I mean, come on, you've stomped them worse than this in Catan before."

Matt doesn’t seem fazed by his pre-bitten cookie as he nibbles on the edge. “It’s not a matter of whether anyone blames me or forgives me. I’m haunted by visions of the vast herds of sheep I’ve unleashed upon this land, the monocropped fields… And now?” He gestures at the game of Battlestar laid out before them and just shakes his head.

"That kind of thing. Does tend to leave an impression." Flicker looks down, eyes locking on the game pieces. His fingers clench at the edge of the table. There's a hard swallow before he speaks again. Lower. "... they're good. They're ready for this."

Matt had started spinning the little plastic raider again, but stops kind of self-consciously when Flicker looks down at the pieces. “They /are/ good. But…” Matt chews on his lower lip. Lifts his eyes (wide, fearful, brilliant green) to his companion and stretches out a hand to clasp his. “No. You’re right.” He nods, a few too many times.

Flicker's eyes (-- wide, fearful, a shade less brilliantly green -- though perhaps accentuated by their current hint of glisten) dart up to meet Matt's. His calloused fingers close tight around Matt's hand. The breath he lets out is shaky. "But?" There's a quiet urgency to his voice when he presses.

Matt shakes his head, his hand gripping back tight enough to hurt. “I...just…” He blinks rapidly. “Can anyone be ready for...that?”

Flicker tenses, but doesn't let go. "We've had to be. So many times before. They've -- had to..."

“I know.” Matt’s voice is small, almost lost under even the relatively quiet music. He closes his eyes, bows his head. When he speaks again his voice is weary, unsteady, “I know.”

Flicker leans in, head touching very lightly to Matt's. His thumb runs slow against the back of Matt's knuckles. "I -- I should. I should." His hand is shaky, in Matt's. Shakily, too: "I should get more cocoa."

“Yeah.” Matt’s head leans against Flicker’s somewhat harder. “/I/ should. Shuffle these cards.” “Get me some, too?” It’s barely a question.

Flicker -- just nods. "'Course." Though there's another mental coiling, gathered -- poised -- it never manages to release into /movement/. Just a nod. Just /stays/, leaning against Matt. Holding his hand tight.