Apr 302007
 

Title: Karaoke
Fandom: Mitarashi Games
Characters: Jester, Scurvy
Rating: G-
Warnings: Threats of blackmail?
Notes: There’s nothing going on here. This was supposed to be a karaoke bar scene, but Jess got angsty in the elevator. It might make it to the bar, yet.


The computer stopped making irritated noises as it finished working through the last frame of the cutscene Jester had been working on. He set his sketchpad back on the desk, picked up his nearly-empty root beer, and pressed play. On-screen, Lania considered throwing herself off a cliff, until Armeth climbed up behind her and professed his love. Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen glitch, Armeth’s left leg passed straight through several large stones along the way. Jester bounced the now-empty can off the screen with a muttered curse, and leaned in to watch that part more closely. It looked like he’d forgotten to enable collisions on several objects that were in Armeth’s path. With a groan, he switched back over to the editor as a voice interrupted from behind him.

"Jess, it’s almost nine. You’ve been here for a little more than twelve hours." Roy sounded mildly amused. "Leave it alone, for now. Come on, we’ll go for a drink."

"I’ve almost got it, Roy. I just have to turn on collisions so he stops stepping in rocks and starts stepping on them. I don’t know how I could have missed that —"

"I do. You’re exhausted. Now, stop poking it; they don’t pay you enough to put in hours like this." He’d been watching Jess do this for a few years, now. If he didn’t go home, he was going to start making really stupid mistakes, and ruining the work he’d already put into the scene. "Don’t make me carry you out. If you’re making mistakes like this, already, they’re only going to get worse."

"Fifteen minutes, Roy; I swear."

"No." Roy rolled Jester’s chair away from the desk. "Now. Get up and let’s go. You need a martini and some time off that doesn’t involve sleeping."

Jess looked like he was going to start arguing, but he just stared at the screen for a bit. "Fine. You’re probably right." He stood up and turned off the monitor. Picking up the pop can to dispose of it, he took a long look at his desk. "Almost looks like I live here."

"That’s because you do almost live here." Roy watched the can collapse in Jess’s hand and then strike the metal trash can with a sharp clank. Jess looked like he’d been sucker-punched. "You gonna be alright?"

"No, probably not." Jess turned a sickly attempt at a smile on Roy as he walked past him, toward the hall. "Come on. Let’s go before I start doing something else."

A startled hiss escaped Roy, but neither of them spoke another word until they’d reached the elevator.

Jess punched the button for the first floor and stared contemplatively at nothing in particular. "You ever get the sense that you’ve slowed down? That no matter what you do, or how fast you think you’re working, time just keeps slipping by, and you’re missing all of the important things? That you’re just standing in the river, watching your life pour through your hands?"

"Sleep, Jess. You really need some rest." Roy just shook his head.

Jess just stared at his hands, as though he could see his life slipping away through his fingers. "I can’t sleep, Roy. I’ll miss something. It’s all going by so fast."

"Okay, then make something happen at your speed. We’ll go to the bar. You’ll get trashed and wake up with some girl. I’ll blackmail you for the rest of your natural life with the photos." Roy looked up as the elevator rang the floors. "It’ll be great. I’ve always wanted good blackmail material on someone."

Jess blinked and looked up at Roy. "I can never tell when you’re joking."

As the elevator touched down, Roy laughed and waved his friend out ahead of him. "Good, it’ll keep you on your toes."

—- Time passes —-

They walked down the street, past a few loud clubs. Music spilled out into the street, blending like toxic chemical smears in the gutter after a hard rain. They were still a few blocks away from the dim, quiet lounge they tended to frequent, when something caught Jester’s eye, and he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk. "Roy, I have the worst idea. Karaoke. You, me, and karaoke."

Roy stared down into Jester’s gleefully wild eyes for a few moments. "Jess? Are you sure you didn’t leave your brain on your desk?"

"No, I mean it! It’ll be great! It’ll be silly!" Jester gestured at the door of the bar they stood in front of.

Roy continued to stare, his face taking on a pained expression. Karaoke was not his idea of a good time. He almost wished Meeps were around, to say all the things that would never come out of his own mouth. Weak objections escaped him. "I can’t sing. This is a terrible idea. I’m sure I have somewhere else to be."

Jester laughed and grabbed Roy’s arm, pulling him toward the door. "Great, we’ll trade blackmail materials later. You give me the photos of the drunk girl, and I’ll hand over the karaoke tapes."

He fished out his ID and passed it to the bouncer, a large Hispanic woman.