“Come on, come on! We almost got it!” You stated the obvious as you rushed towards the point. The Lucio of the team was right beside you, giving you a helpful speed boost to catch up with the rest of the team. One by one you saw the little red plus signs with [CRITICAL] appear in the distance, but they were still holding the point on the halfway mark. “Just a little more!”
“I hope your res is ready, we’re going to need it!” Your speaker spoke just in time for the red icon of McCree to pop up in the corner of your screen. “Shit, hurry up!”
“I’m coming, I’m almost there!” You hopped a little, trying to speed up in the slightest. The overtime bar appeared at the top of the screen, burning at the edges, ready to drain soon as either team let up off the point. You heard the distant yell of a young girl, and D.Va’s icon appeared where McCree’s was a second ago. A sad booping was quick to follow, and Bastion’s icon jumped up under D.Va.
“Mercy RUN!” Another voice screamed on the teamchat, and you could feel your hands sweating as you watched the overtime bar burn down much quicker than you would have liked. You finally hopped around the corner, and saw the glowing yellow souls burning on the point. Without hesitating you hit shift, swiftly flying over as quickly as the game allowed.
“ HEROES NEVER DIE! ” You heard your entire team shout some sort of cheer as you just made it in time to resurrect all of them, and promptly started clearing the opposing team off of the point. Everyone was thanking you and praising your timing, and you couldn’t help but give a relieved laugh at all of the unnecessary tension this game had. One by one the opposite team’s icons appeared in the corner of your screen, but through the chatter you heard the distinct sound of smoke and a rough voice appearing close by.
“Where’s the Reaper?” You quickly asked, switching to your pistol and looking around. You distinctly remember watching his killcam shoot you down and get his ultimate charge, and with all of you bunched up like this-
“ABOVEABOVEABOVE-“ Someone shouted too late, and you quickly looked up as you heard the shotguns start to fire. Smoke filled your screen as the Reaper leapt off of the ledge, straight down at you.
“ DIE! DIE- “
Everything went black.
You blink, taking a moment to process what just happened.
“Hello?” You ask into your mic, hearing nothing but silence. You looked around the room, noticing that all of the lights were off, including your alarm clock. Was there a blackout? Feeling across your desk quickly, you grabbed your phone and used it as a flashlight, lighting up the messy desk. You motioned it across the room before slowly getting out of your chair, and stretching. You groaned slightly, feeling your back pop. Ooph, how long were you playing games for? You squinted at the bright phone, seeing a [2:16am] on the screen, making you sigh. It was too late to be playing any more, you supposed. No sense in waiting for the electricity to come back.
“Damn… I’m going to get an earful tomorrow…” You gradually made your way to the bathroom and did your nightly routine, though for some reason the darkness seemed tense. You weren’t normally one for paranoia, but you could feel eyes watching you. Any time you got quiet, you would quickly run the flashlight over the room to make sure no one was there. It was silly; of course no one was there. You lived alone and all your doors and windows were locked. That fact still couldn’t shake the chill that kept running up your spine whenever you turned your back to the room though.
Deciding it was simply too late for any more thoughts, you quickly headed towards your bed. You were halfway across the room when something dark rushed past your feet, making you reflexively scream and lift your leg. You rapidly moved your phone over the floor, looking for what moved. A rat?! You never had any rodent problems before, but whatever moved was way bigger and faster than any bug.
You swallowed some of your panic and grabbed the large bowl that was on the edge of your desk, as it was the closest thing to you, and waited. The silence was deafening, driving your nerves up the wall as you searched for anything out of the ordinary.
Nothing happened, and for a solid minute or so you felt silly standing in your pajamas holding a bowl like a weapon. Maybe you were just seeing things… You waved the light around the room once more, slowly, before turning it towards your bed.
Right at that instant, something small and black rushed past your feet, just barely caught by the edges of your vision. You yelped and smacked the bowl down at it, falling to your knees as you held onto the small ceramic dish with both hands. You felt something hit the inside of the bowl, moving it slightly as your panic rose. You caught something!! What it was… you didn’t know. Your phone was laying on the floor flashlight-side-up, giving a rather eerie lighting to your situation.
… Now what?
You sat on the ground, holding the bowl as heavily as you dared without fear of breaking it, and realized you didn’t have any plans after this. You looked up at your desk, seeing a plate still sitting there as well. Licking your lips, you slowly stretched and brushed your fingers against the plate, sliding it closer to you until you finally could get a grip on it, and brought it down next to the bowl. You just needed to slide it under… then you could move and release whatever it was outside your apartment. No problem.
Inhaling and taking a moment to settle your nerves, you raised one side of the bowl just a crack. Before you could start sliding the plate under, a dark smoke seeped out of the side and hung heavily in the air. Your mind screamed fire, and you lifted the bowl completely off the ground to see nothing underneath.
“What?!” You exclaimed, watching as a thick black smoke rolled from the empty bowl and onto the ground, and appear to move with its own control. The smoke quickly rolled beside you, condensing until a dark figure formed solidly. You yelped, blindly swinging your hand at the thing and smacking it across the room and into the wall.
“Gah!” The human sounding grunt caught you off guard, and you quickly scrambled over to the small thing that was collapsed on the ground. Before you could logically think about what you were doing, you grabbed it with your bare hand. Whatever it was started struggling and you used both of your hands to try and keep it from biting you or something. You still couldn’t tell what it was, thanks to the only light source being across the room, but it wasn’t a rat, that much you knew.
“Stop moving!” You instruct, trying to keep your grip tight enough to hold onto it, but not tight enough to crush whatever it was. You felt startled when it listened, and promptly froze in your hands. You sat there, holding it for an uncertain moment, and the lights flickered back on.
In your hands was a tiny man.
You stared wide eyed at the man dressed in black you hand in your hands, trying to rationally think of what was going on. You could recognize the outfit, most notably the avian-like white mask that was on his face. Reaper. You blinked, wondering when did you get a Reaper figure?
It was the only explanation you could reason with yourself with. Obviously you are so tired from playing so much Overwatch your mind made you see things, and you were simply holding a Reaper figure now… one that someone must have given you, when you weren’t paying attention. With real fabric, and poseable joints…
At least, that excuse worked until it talked .
“Are you just going to sit there and stare at me?” His raspy voice asked, and it took you a moment to comprehend what he said.
“AHH!” You yelled, holding him further from you and falling back onto your rear. You took a couple breaths, still staring with wide eyes at the man in black. “Ha. AHAh. Hah. What is going on?!” You laughed nervously, letting go with one hand to bring it to your head, still holding tightly with the other. “Ooooohhhhh my god what the fuck is up.” You took another exaggerated breath, trying to clear your head to rid of the delusion.
You took a long, hard blink, and Reaper was still there. Still in your hands. As a very, very small person.
Nothing made sense anymore.
“Okay, okay, it’s just a tiny Reaper, an itty bitty Gabe, no big deal.” You started talking to yourself, slowly standing up. He seemed to tense up at his name, but your mind was a bit preoccupied to bother catching that. You started to pace around the room, trying to think your way out of this. A dream! Of course, you passed out when playing Overwatch! You quickly used your free hand to pinch yourself, only to flinch with a small “Ow.”
“You aren’t dreaming, can you let go of me already?” Reaper growled, wiggling in your hands. You stopped your pacing, taking a deeeeeeep breath. You made your way to the bed and knelt by it, holding Reaper over it. You hesitated, not sure on what you were doing, before gently setting him onto his feet.
“So… you’re real?” You addressed him for the first time during this encounter.
“What else would I be?” His voice rumbled as he adjusted his feet on the soft ground below him. You could see him turning his head ever so slightly, surveying the area. You didn’t have an answer for him and the silence lasted a moment too long. “How do you know who I am?” He demanded, and suddenly a small shotgun was in his hand, pointed squarely at your forehead.
“W-wh-aaa ahaha, what.” You nervously laughed, moving back slightly and bringing your hands up in front of your chest. “You are Reaper, right? Like, from Overwatch?” You carefully watched the gun, and started to wonder if it still was as strong as the game, even if it was the size it was now.
“I think you are mistaken, Overwatch was destroyed.” His grip tightened on the gun, and you saw the clawed finger ready on the trigger. “The question stands. How do you know who I am?”
“S-slow down there! I think we need to take a moment and-“ You heard him chuckle deeply.
“Not likely.” The gun fired, and you yelled as you smacked your hands over your forehead and fell back. It felt like the most painful flicking you’ve received, multiple times over, and spread out throughout your forehead and on the bridge of your nose. You rubbed your forehead and looked up, seeing Reaper standing on the edge of the bed, watching you carefully. You immediately sat up and grabbed him with one hand, still using the other to rub at your head.
“You asswipe! You shot me!” You felt anger flood your system as you looked down at Reaper, his arms struggling to pull himself out of your tight fist. “You appeared in my room in the middle of the night, and the first thing you try to do is to kill me?!” He openly struggles against your grip now, apparently understanding he is at a much greater disadvantage against you than he originally thought. You opened your mouth to say something else, but suddenly his body collapsed into smoke.
“Oh no you don’t.” You quickly looked around, grabbing the dark electrical tape out from under your bed and looking for him. The smoke traveled to the edge of your cabinet before condensing, and you quickly crawled over there and grabbed Reaper before he had a chance to run. His claws scratched at one of the dresser doors before giving way, and you held him in front of you again.
“Release me, at once!” He growled, kicking at you and digging his claws into your hand. You clenched your jaw at the pain of the claws, before quickly biting the edge of the tape to pull a bit free. You swiftly stuck the tape to his back, and wrapped it around his chest and arms a few times, letting the rest of the tape dangle from him.
“You’re not going anywhere, this is crazy!” You gave him a slight shake, quickly putting an end to his struggling. You held him a moment, realizing your situation once more. “This entire thing is crazy !” You held your head, leaning against the dresser. “Oh my god, I completely lost it.”
“This isn’t a dream, so there’s no other explanation.” You laughed, trying to relieve the stress of your realization.
“Oh my god, my first free weekend I’ve had in a month and it makes me finally snap-“
“ ¡Cállate ya, carajo! ” Reaper suddenly shouted, snapping you out of your rambling. You look down at him, seeing him glaring at you while frozen. It took you a moment to realize you were squeezing him, and you quickly opened your hand. He let out a rough gasp, folding over himself slightly to breath harder.
“Sorry… I…” You caught yourself, wondering why you were apologizing to your delusion. You rubbed your head, the shotgun to the forehead clearly not helping with your thoughts at the moment. You bit your lip, uncertainty filling the back of your mind. Maybe it would be best to play along with whatever was happening, at least for now. As long as you don’t leave your room, you shouldn’t have to worry about anything. Maybe you could call someone to bring you to the hospital tomorrow.
You brought the small Reaper over to your bed again, gently setting him down on the mattress. He struggled to bring his feet under him, and quickly stood up, obviously trying to maintain any sort of illusion of power he had.
“So… Let’s try this again, shall we?” Reaper’s voice grated. He flexed his arms, trying to break through the tape you tied him with to no avail. “You look like you know just as much as I do about this situation, yet you know who I am. I demand answers.” He stepped forward, and that made you hold back a laugh.
“Pft… demand? Really? You are a little tiny to be demanding anything right now.” You put your elbows on the bed and rested your chin in your palms, looking down at him. “Maybe I’d be more inclined to answer if you asked nicely, Gabe.” The name caused the smallest flinch, you almost missed it.
“… Please.” His growl didn’t sound very pleading, but he humored you so that was worth a reward, you supposed.
“I don’t know what to tell you, man. I was playing Overwatch a few minutes ago and there was a blackout. Next thing I know you were in my room. I don’t really know the lore too well, but I know enough that you are Gabe, and you were like buddies with Jack-“
“What are you talking about? Playing Overwatch? Are you one of Sombra’s leaks?” He asked, tilting his head slightly. You realized he wouldn’t know he was part of a game… You suddenly had flashbacks to the first Toy Story movie.
“N… Not quite.” You glanced towards your computer, considering your words. “You… are part of a game, called Overwatch. Overwatch doesn’t actually exist, at least not yet. The game is based like… what, eighty years in the future or something?” You bit your lip again, trying to recall. “It’s currently twenty-seventeen, long before anyone in Overwatch was born. Actually, maybe Rein was born around this time-“ Your thoughts drifted and you brought a finger to your mouth, trying to recall the lore.
“You expect me to believe that?” Reaper’s voice grew even more annoyed at that. “If you are going to lie, at least come up with something believable.” You looked down at him, trying to think of the best way to break your reality to him. A car alarm from outside drew your attention, and you figured that was a good start.
“Here.” You grabbed him gently and brought him over to your window, pushing aside the blinds for him. It was pretty dark outside except for the single orange light post next to the parking lot, but you could easily make out a few cars sat scattered around the lot. “You guys have flying cars, right? Well, at least ones that float. We still have plain ol’ wheels on ours.” Reaper was silent as he looked at the parking lot, but he didn’t seem satisfied. You brought him back to your bed and placed your phone next to him.
“How about this, Sombra uses those really cool hologram things, right? This day and age we only have normal screens, but we are working on holograms. We can hardly program the AI’s in games to work properly, so I have no idea when Omnics will be an actual thing either.” You turn on your phone, and quickly tap on the calendar app to show him. “Do you guys even use these kind of phones anymore?”
“… No.” He answered quietly, still seeming like he was in denial. You glanced at your computer again.
“I could get on the game to show you-“
“No. I… I am good for now.” He was staring at your phone, and you could see he was tense. “Who are you affiliated with?” He turned sharply towards you.
“I’m not… Talon and Overwatch don’t exist, I already told you. I mostly play Mercy on Overwatch, but I’m not really part of any teams. I’m just a college student, man.” You gave a slight laugh and lean back, rubbing your head. “Thank goodness there isn’t class tomorrow…” Reaper took a moment to consider what you said, before quickly turning around and walking across your bed. You were about to grab him again, in case he was trying to escape, but he turned around and walked back in a pace.
“So, let me get this straight. Not only am I ridiculously small, but I am in an entirely different time where nothing I am familiar with is even remotely close to happening yet as well.” He asked, continuing to pace.
“And none of my contacts seem to be working, making you my only ally.” He continued, dropping a small flashing red light onto your bed. You didn’t notice it in his hands before.
“You shot me, bro. I’d hardly call that an ally.” You muttered with a roll of your eyes. “But yeah, I won’t hurt you or anything. Far as I know you are just my imagination still, so I’m not going to be showing you off to others either.”
“Right…” He looked at the door of the room, reminding you that he probably could sneak through the cracks and escape if he wanted to.
“Oh yeah, you should probably keep inside my apartment as well. This apartment complex is full of cats, and I mistook you for a rat when I first saw you. Just a heads up, it would be a lot safer with me than out there on your own.” You added, he paused his pacing for a moment, considering.
“Noted.” He stood for a few seconds before sighing and sitting down. “Can you take this tape off of me already?”
“You promise you won’t try to shoot me or run again?” You asked, gently picking him up.
“If you insist.” He grumbled as you picked up the tape and started to pull it off of him, noticing that the strips on his back looked partially cut through with something jagged, probably from his claws. You pretended you didn’t notice and took the rest of the tape off of him, and sat him down again.
You looked at your alarm clock, seeing that it fixed itself and was blinking [2:26am] at you. You let out a small sigh, and Reaper turned towards the clock as well to see what you were looking at.
“Thank you Dr. Obvious, I can see that.” You rubbed your eyes. “I… I need to sleep. This has been a great dream so far, but I have to pretend to have my life together after tomorrow.” You look back at Reaper. “Now… what to do with you…” You half questioned, looking around your room.
“’What to do?’ Nothing. Go about your own life, I can handle myself.” He crossed his arms. You spotted an old empty fish tank you had beside your desk, from back when your friend asked to watch their lizard over vacation. That should do the trick.
“I’m sure you can, but I’m not going to let you have free reign over my apartment when I sleep. I’m not saying I don’t trust you… but I don’t trust you.” You grabbed him before he had a chance to escape, and placed him in the mini aquarium.
“You can’t be serious.”
You closed the mesh top and searched around your room quickly, grabbing a pair of fluffy socks, a girlscout cookie, and a bottle cap full of water, placing each of the objects into the tank as Reaper had the most judgmental stare his mask could manage. Which was a lot, by the way.
You closed the top and he collapsed into smoke, and you suddenly remembered he could do that. The smoke traveled across the tank, climbing up the wall, before folding back and reforming into Reaper once more. He looked out of breath, glancing up at the mesh. Huh… maybe this would work anyway.
“Do you need anything else?” You asked, slightly humored at his death glare he was giving you.
“Perhaps not being treated like a common pet .” He growled, his clawed fist smacking into the glass. Other than the loud sound, the glass seemed fine.
“Sorry man, I… I need sleep. Maybe tomorrow we can work out the whole you being tiny thing.” You felt a nervous smile on your face, and you slowly stood up. Reaper hit the glass again.
“You will not hold me captive in this fish bowl! ” He snarled, watching you walk towards your bed.
“Come on man, its just one night. Besides, you were a super soldier or something, right? I’m sure you’ve been through worse.” At that, he grew silent. You turned off the lights and crawled into bed, already waiting for you to wake up to an empty fish tank and angry people online.
You chuckled, somewhat glad for the strange dream you were currently in. “Night, Gabe. Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
“Hope you have a nightmare.”