With the nights freed, he has had time to practice many games. Running on more than a pair of fleeting hours sleep, his expression is fuller. Perhaps even real. His hands more surely move the pieces about their respective boards, and gradually, he closes the gap. He makes his placement and...

"Checkmate."

Oh. Well, not as close to matching him as he thought. Nevertheless, one must persist!

"Another game?"

"Sure."

No compliments for his improvement. Typical, but that is the brusqueness he loves. That is the man he is happy to sit across the table from, tranquilly smirking.