To be honest, I felt this piece was perfect the way it was, before you updated it. I feel like cutting away the "fat", as you call it, took away a lot of the imagery and lessened the strength of feeling that came with it, because there's less buildup time now, and a shorter resolution. I'm sorry, I know you put a lot of work into this.
I didn't see the earlier versions, but this seems like a well-polished piece. It definitely doesn't look like there's any more you could stand to trim: you might be able to tell the same story without quite so much detail at the beginning, but I don't think it would be as effective.
I can spot only a couple of things that might be worth a change: "debating who really the best actor to play Batman was" is one. I'm guessing this might have already been shifted around a bit during editing, as it makes sense but the "really" doesn't seem to belong there (unless it's a regional quirk I've never come across before). The other is the sentence beginning "Our ritual became less often." Dictionary.com suggests that "often" can mean "frequent" (which I think would make sense, though it's probably too formal here) but that's archaic.
That's really it, though. Having one small detail at the end of a story illustrate a greater change is a tried and tested technique, and I think you've used it well. I agree with *glossolalias that you've turned a very ordinary situation into something remarkable.
And thanks for posting this Lit. Comm. Experiment; it has been really exciting to meet and mingle with other writers on DA, and this Experiment has been very instrumental in introducing writers to each other from across DA.