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Dramatis Personae

Ryan, Skye


"You have way too much faith in me."


<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.

Rainy days in February were made for gaming, and so even on a weeknight the Batcave is filling up fast as it getse toward dinner hour. There's an Overwatch escort match playing on the big screen. A hulking, power-armed Reinhardt is swinging his hammer at a pair of skirmishers as they trundle through Junktown, nearing the final checkpoint. Skye is behind Reinhardt's controls at one of the gaming stations, laughing gleefully. She's wearing a fitted black t-shirt with a rainbow infinity symbol on the chest, skinny blue jeans, and there's a Mass Effect N-7 hoodie hanging from the back of her chair. Her attack knocks the assailants back, and she throws up a shimmering blue barrier field in its wake. "C'mon, we can make it!"

Beside Skye, Ryan is seated in a chair sideways, one arm hooked over its back, one leg curled up beneath him. His black jeans are slim-fit and well tailored, his green t-shirt snug against his chest, a grey button down with a very faint sheen to it worn unbuttoned over top. The match has collected itself a cluster of spectators, though these largely seem about as interested in the players at the controls than they are in the match -- the intermittent surreptitious and not-so-surreptitious photo taking, stares, whispers, directed more or less in Ryan's direction regardless of what's going on onscreen.

Which is probably for the best, because where Tracer has just blinked into screen she's shortly thereafter stunned and taking damage, snared in one of Junkrat's steel traps. "You have way too much faith in me." His answer is cheerful, evidently unfazed by his rapidly-approaching-death experience.

Despite Tracer's misfortune, her team makes it to the last checkpoint with fanfare amidst colorful explosions still impacting Reinhardt's shield. Skye whoops and spins her chair around, stretching out a hand to high-five the teammates on either side of her as she passes.

The losing team is mostly offering good-natured trash talk, perhaps cowed into good behavior by their celebrity opponent. There's a lot of "good game" and "you got lucky!" and "winners out" going around. Skye stops her chair and stands up, wobbling a bit. "You hungry?" she asks Ryan as their teammates disperse to other gaming diversions. "I could eat like a whole pizza, but I would regret it so much."

Ryan is equally amiable in his sign-offs, thanking his teammates and opponents alike before he gets to his feet. He stretches up onto his toes, arms stretching above his head. "How about half a pizza? I can pull my weight way better with dinner than on the point, at least. I think they only have dairy cheese here, though." Which isn't stopping him from wandering nearer the junk food counter, arms crossing across his chest as he rocks back on a heel. Looks up at the menu. "I think my options are pretty much fries and onion rings."

Skye's eyebrows raise up high. "Bold of you to assume there's dairy in that." She squints at the menu, too. "I think it's the kind of stuff they have to label 'cheese product' so the Dairy Farmers of America don't sue. How about..." She pulls a phone from from her pocket and taps at its screen. "I mean, fries and onion rings are great if that's what you're feeling, but..." She leans close, not-whispering conspiratorially, "You know we can get pizza that /intentionally/ contains no dairy /and/ tastes good? Don't even have to go anywhere, we could just get it delivered to my van."

Ryan tips his head in towards Skye, her words drawing a smile from him. "What? You're kidding me, right? Pizza that we choose, the future is really something." He slings an arm loosely around Skye's shoulders, turning them towards the door. "Oh man there's this place in the East Village that's fantastic. No idea if they deliver. I guess in a pinch the van does move, though. Multipurpose."

"We're living in a brave new world, my dude." Skye gestures at the door and the outside in general with the hoodie draped over her arm. "There's pizza, there's booze, there's weird artisanal pies..." The rain has eased off into a chilly mist that puts haloes around the streetlamps, and most pedestrians are still hurrying to get out of it as quickly as possible. "It'll be an adventure, however we go about it. My van is nothing if not multipurpose."

"Tell me that's a promise. It's been a while since I ended my night getting asked back to someone's van for --" Ryan's smile curls brighter, his eyebrow waggle accompanying the following extremely unsultry, "--artisanal pies."