The frantic flurry of thumps, pause, hesitant thump-thump-thump next to you informs you that your competitor has no fucking clue what he's doing.
You'd watched him waffle between Beginner and Light on the difficulty setting, and he'd settled on the higher Light.
He clearly wasn't prepared for it.
Butterfly is your favorite song, and you've gradually worked your way through the difficulties over the years. You can't quite do the hardest difficulty of Heavy, yet. Normal, which is between Heavy and Light, is more than intimidating enough for most people.
You handle it with ease.
His power gauge is flashing bright red next to your multi-colored bar, and you know this kid is dying, dying, dead in the water.
But you'll give him credit. He's still going. You hear his feet continue to stammer across the arrows, and his bar never gets much higher, but at least he's in it.
By the end of the song, he's sweating and panting, glancing between the screen and your face.
He's gotten E. It's the lowest score possible.
You've gotten S. It's a new personal best.
You glance away from the score for a better look at him.
He looks enough like you that you could be brothers. It's freaky.
He plucks at his long-sleeved shirt, trying to make himself a little breeze, and you don't explain that you wear a tanktop for this reason.
The title screen comes on, and you take control, guiding it through menus until you get to the songs. You pause at Butterfly, and he bypasses it in favor of Video Killed The Radio Star. He chooses Beginner difficulty for this one, and the two of you go again.