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At least it wasn't Monopoly...

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Jett Sherazi, Captain of the Nightingale, laid down the ancient artifact in front of his awestruck companions. Toa, Enigmatic Boyfriend of the Captain of the Nightingale, looked in utter amazement at the wondrous box in front of him. Said box has seen an untold number of fierce battles, all have been conquered by Captain Overlord Sherazi's might. Legends have been told-


"The hell, Jett? You got dust in my eyes!" Irene exclaimed, rubbing her eyes fiercely. 


Jett's eyes turned downcast. "My narrative. Torn to shreds."


"So... is this what Irene meant by... internal monologue? It's... rather interesting watching it play on your face." Toa remarked, smiling softly. The Talyran sat comfortably on Jett's sofa, all four eyes watching Jett and the box with interest. Irene blinked a few times next to him, regaining her focus.


"Yeah," Irene said. "I've been dealing with it for as long as I've known him. He really needs to write a book. Sooo... what are we playing?"


Jett immediately placed both of his hands on the sides of the box. "The timeless masterpiece of our ancestors, Irene! Behold!" 


Jett dramatically lifted the lid, exposing the contents within. He held the lid above his head as brazenly as he could, trying hard to ignore the fact that Toa drifted off literally five seconds ago. Seeing that Jett would hold the lid indefinitely until a reaction was generated, Irene did her best to feign interest and lean forward. As she peered into the box, she hoped against all hope that Jett hadn't picked... 


Irene grumbled, and rightfully so. "Checkers? That's the big game night blowout plan, Jett? Checkers?" 


"Well, you always seem to hate it whenever I choose Monopoly," Jett pointed out. Secretly, Irene was relieved. Jett literally role-played everything, and he has loved Monopoly for as long as Irene can remember. Not only has it gotten really old to her, it just gets more cringe-worthy every time. Irene usually lets him win, and Jett knows it.


To be fair though, Jett always manages to make game nights interesting, no matter how large or small the game may be. Despite her outwardly cynical demeanor, Irene had been somewhat looking forward to this evening ever since Jett reminded her… the first time. Which was this morning when Irene had yet to add milk to her coffee. He then proceeded to remind her again eight hours ago, five hours ago, three hours ago, and six times in the past hour. 


A soft snoring emanated from the lump next to Irene. Jett awkwardly fidgeted, clearly wanting to wake his boyfriend up so they could start the show, and yet not wanting to interrupt his slumber. Irene, impatient to get at least one episode of her favorite sitcom in before the night was over, nudged Toa with her foot.


“…Mmm? Oh, I’ve been awake,” rumbled a drowsy Toa. He looked on with growing interest as Jett removed the board and strange disks from the box. Modules for the game, perhaps? If they were, Toa didn't see any inserts on the thin board. The disks seemed to be thicker than the board itself, actually. 


“Toa, a night of endless fun is upon us! Let's have the first game!" Jett announced, passing the purple disks to Toa. He picked one up and gazed at it with scrutiny. 


"This is... ordinary plastic?" Toa mused, slightly disappointed.


"Jett, he doesn't even know the rules. At least give him the instruction paper, 'kay?"  Irene said, leaning back and putting her feet on the table - a habit that bothered Jett for months before he eventually gave up. She had to hand it to Jett: Even if his room gets messy, his couch is always clean and comfortable. Alongside his sweet-as-heck TV, it's definitely the number one reason to keep him as a friend. 


"Toa... have you ever played something like Checkers on your home world?" Jett asked sheepishly. 


"I can't say that I have. Have you... ever played a game called Thlynos? It's the closest resemblance I can think off..." Toa said, stretching back and following Irene's example. Yes, this is much more comfortable...


Jett frowned. "Irene, really? It's bad enough that I have to clean my table every time I invite you over-"


"Hey, my feet are clean," Irene interuppted indignantly.


"That's not the point. Now you're getting Toa here to pick up on it..." Jett said, gesturing to a now sleeping Toa. 


Irene shrugged. "What can I say? He's my disciple." 


Jett sighed, almost wishing that he invited Toa and Toa alone. Still though, that wasn't fair to Irene. She's been his best friend since forever, and even if she wasn't in the mood, always showed up to a game night. True, sometimes she was a few hours late, but still... 


"I'm ready to start whenever you are, Jett." Toa piped up, interuppting Jett's thoughts. He was sitting up, instruction paper in one hand. "So... these don't have any holograms, do they?"


"Haha, nope! It's just checkers," Jett grinned.


"If you lover nerds need me, I'll be getting some coffee. Have fun, 'kay?" Irene waved, stood up, and promptly left Jett's room.


The two of them stared at one another. Toa smiled first. "I'll probably never win... since you're much better at this than I am... but...  s-shall we begin...?" Toa managed.


Jett wasn't fully prepared despite himself. "W-well... if you insist! I'll show you j-just why the Nightingale crew calls me the 'Guru of Gaming!'"


Toa smiled just a little more. Stars above, Jett is so cool...




After three hours worth of coffee break, Irene walked back into Jett's room with a half-finished mug. She didn't make it two steps into the room before nearly dropping her mug at Jett's shriek of joy. She looked down at the fresh new stain on her shirt, grumbled softly, then walked back out.


"Yeah! Victory! It's only a matter of time until Captain Sherazi claims the throne as the Grandmaster of Gaming!" Jett's fists were in the air, the happiest look on his face since... four hours ago, if Toa recalled correctly.


True, maybe Toa flubbed a couple of moves on purpose... but it was honestly so much more gratifying watching Jett win for the second time, you know? If anyone asked, they had a close set of games with Jett barely managing to triumph. Perhaps, instead, Toa would admit that he's no match for Jett's amazing skill. His boyfriend has a lot of pride and talent, and Toa wouldn't let a 19-loss streak ruin that. 


Tomorrow, he thought, he'll ask Jett about Monopoly. If that's what Jett truly loves playing, then Toa would be all the more glad to experience it with him.