Chokeholds and Lies


brian_icon.gif nora_icon.gif

Scene Title Chokeholds and Lies
Synopsis A not-so-friendly sparring match results in a very temporary truce followed by what might be a long silence.
Date January 5, 2010

Pollepel Island

For January, it's not too cold to be outdoors, a balmy 40 degrees or so with a cloud layer insulating the land. The building surrounding the courtyard keeps it warm enough for exercise, since the wind is kept at bay here. The courtyard is empty but for Nora who seems to be in the middle of a martial arts routine — a Tai Chi form that hints at an innate grace in the blind girl that has since been honed and practiced.

Usually she seems small, almost frail, despite her sailor-like speech, but out here, alone, without anything to bump into within 30 feet on either side, she seems strong, confident. There is a surety in her motions that suggests this is an artform she has long practiced, and there is a calmness to her expression that is rarely seen when she is around others.

Nearby a radio plays, something instrumental and tranquil, all piano and cello and harp.

Back pressed against the wall, arms folded over his chest, Brian watches the woman silently.

He snuck in not too long ago, allowing her to continue on with her routine and the music. Winters himself has made his boring but quiet way to the side of the building. Settling down, his back slides against the wall smoothly.

Taking a seat, his legs go to stretch out. He watches her for a long moment without saying anything. But finally, he'll let out something.

"Do something less boring."

She freezes, brows furrowing that she hadn't heard the visitor come in. She narrows her eyes, and the radio turns off. "Stalker," she tosses his way, hands coming to rest akimbo on her hips.

Nora tips her head in a "come here" sort of gesture. "If you want less boring, I need a target. The air kinda doesn't stand a chance, you know?" She smiles and waits for his response, or perhaps the sound of footfalls should he accept her invitation.

"Don't call me names. When people call me names, I fire back.. and I only have a few in my repetoire. And they're all very nasty."

"Asshole." He drops in, just for an example. Placing his hands on the ground he goes to push himself up. Getting to his feet, Brian takes a few steps forward. "What are you the daredevil?" Circling her cautiously, he pauses. "Shoes on or off?"

If he wasn't a crazy Replicator, he would decline. But if she wants to box on a body, Brian can get rid of the injuries pretty easily.

"Off, if you can stand the cold," Nora says, moving to pull off her Ugg boot off one foot, and then the other, throwing them a few feet away. There's no snow but the ground is fairly frigid beneath her socked feet.

"Bastard," she adds a moment later. Quid pro quo.

"I'm not a daredevil. I know how to fight, and I need to practice, now more than ever," she says a little more somberly. "But if you're scared…"

The shoes are taken off, "I didn't say a daredevil. I said the daredevil. What are you seven? The daredevil? The superhero who is blind but can fight because… He's the daredevil." Stepping on one heel, his shoes are easily flipped off. Bouncing on his toes in socks, Brian shrugs a little.

"Why's that? Why now more than ever?" His fingers flex out as he gives her a cockeyed look. "Yeah. I'm scared." It's flat, his eyes tracking her feet. "Cold?" He asks quietly.

"Oh," is offered, a furrow of her brows showing she hasn't heard of it before. "Never head of him. Was he real or like some comic book thing?" she asks, but then more serious questions are being asked.

Nora snorts. "Why more than ever? Because I can't fucking see now more than ever, Brian. I need to practice fighting blind."

She tips her head, her own eyes narrowed, her arms dropping to her side as oblique angles, hands held not in fists but in closed-fingered blades. "Don't take it easy on me," she says, and suddenly her feet move, bouncing on her toes as she darts forward, striking one hand at his face in an attempt to hide the intended strike at his solar plexus with her other hand, meanwhile her knee rises to bring her foot down on one of his feet.

"Comics. How have you never heard of the Daredevil? Have you heard of Superman? The Flash? Me?"

He makes a pbbbt sound. A little sigh exhales, he hates when he makes himself look stupid. That should have been one of those questions… Well fuck.

Recovering from the stupid moment, he takes a step back. A lip twitches up slightly as his mind wanders back to when Thompson used to kick his ass multiple times of the day. Idly wondering if he could take Thompson down, now. His eyes tip down to Nora's feet.

When Nora's attacks go forward, his head flings back. Oh the solar plexus thing works for her though. Letting out a slight grunt, Brian continues on his escape strategy. Dancing backwards, he avoids the stomping move, eyes narrowing some. With his shoes off their is not so much noise… So he just starts to circle her quietly.

Cold foot stomping on cold ground gets a little grimace from her — so much for that strategy. "Not really a big comic book reader, no," she says lightly. "Even when, you know, I could read. Wonder if anyone knows how to teach Braille?" She stills for a moment, listening for his breath, for the slightest scuff of feet on pavement.

"Nice duck. Who taught you how to fight?" she adds conversationally, turning slowly and listening for his reactions.

"Wait. So you've never heard of Superman? Or Batman?" Brian sounds shocked, really. "You don't have to be a.. comic book person. You just have to know how to be a human. So I'm guessing the X-men would be a total loss on you. If I told you my name was Jaimie, the joke would go way over your head."

After delivering his little speech, Brian moves again. No he's not ashamed that he's sneaking around a blind girl. And if there's one thing he's good at, it's deception. A little breath here, then he's gone. A slight tap of the foot there, and then he's gone. Finally he speaks again, "Paper company." On who taught him how to fight. "And ex-mossad lady.. And a big black guy."

And he's gone again. "So I might know a little Krav… You know. Krav whatsit." And then he's gone again. To her back, where he immediately slinks in, his arm going to snake around her neck from behind. Back cranking as he tries to get her in the choke hold.

"Batman and Superman are a little more famous, I think," Nora says. "And it's Krav Maga. I'd suggest you not call it Krav Whatsit your ex-mossad ladyfriend. Is that Gitelman? She and I have practiced, together, too."

When his arms snake around her, she does a few things all at once: Two hands come up, one thumb curling around the bone of his elbow to press in on his ulnar nerve as hard as she can, while at the same time, her other hand pulls down; her head dips as her shoulders hunch. One thin leg hooks back around to trap one of his, and she moves sharply toward the arm choking her, to try to break his grip and swing him away from her.

"Krav whatsit suits me fine." Yeah. It hurts. Yeah he's grunting. But he's not going to let go. Why? Because he will not allow it to be floating around Bannerman Castle that he fought a blind girl and lost. That is not acceptable. With her arms up working on his one it makes this next part easier. Flinging his other arm around her up arm, his hand and wrist connect, making the lock more solid. Gripping his wrist tightly to ensure the lock as well as restricting her movement with that arm.

She's trying to dip her chin. Which he fights against, pushing his arm in more. But he's heard of with the right leverage, a man not able to get the neck was just able to break the other man's jaw. Not that he's looking for any jaw breaking today. He imagines Nora would probably squeak before that.

And then his leg is going out from under him. No problem! Starting to fall, Brian's other leg springs up. Attempting to bring both legs up and wrap them around her waist. A seatbelt maneuver, trying to spidermonkey his way onto her back. He might be a little too heavy for her. But he's about to find out!

He is too heavy for her, but no matter, she doesn't plan on giving him that long of a piggy back ride. One hand goes up, the punch pulled so it's not full force, the butt of her hand aimed at his forehead before she then claws a grip of his hair. If he lets go to block, the chokehold's broken. If he doesn't let go, he'll have a headache.

Either way, she then bends suddenly at the waist, other hand grabbing at his upper arm to help hurl him forward and off her back.

It's like the picture that famous picture. Of the heel crushing the snake. The snake is going to hurt like fuck, but the heel is going to drive the insides of the snake down into its tail. That's the picture he has in his head when the hand smashes into his forehead. He pulls his head in closer to hers. His lips practically on her ear. Harder to punch at your own face with a lot of force. Can still hurt, but he won't get a lot of real damage as long as he keeps his head tucked. He burrows his face somewhat into her neck so that only the top of his head is exposed.

Keeping his arms wrapped tightly, when she bends at the waist his arms do loosen. But he still has his legs secured around her. So with a jerk of his hips, he encourages her to join him on the ground. As he works on recapturing the neck he has just lost. Pushing his forehead against the side of her head to deter any defense of pushing her chin down, he looks to secure his arm around her neck once more.

When his arms loosen, so do hers, and Nora uses the force of her own arms and legs on the ground to help her roll, seeking to get him on his back with her on top of him — at the same time, she ducks her head as far forward as possible before bringing it back to smack the back of her skull against his face as hard as she can — this time, the force isn't pulled.

Going on his back gladly, Brian actually helps her. This is where he wants to be. Him with her back facing him on his own back. With the ground to give him leverage. He arches his back some, putting more weight on the top of his back. His feet then spread out, pressing against the floor. She may be faster but he is most definitely stronger. Pushing up, on his feet he makes it so that her own feet can't reach the ground.

While.. if someone came in it might look like they're just doing some kinky clothed sex…

Nothing could be further from the truth. As the back of her head slams against his face, blood immediately drolls out into the stubble on his face. The red liquid mixing into the bristly hair. As soon as he feels that force the young man is left seeing red. Not really, he can't see his own blood yet. But he's angry. Moving his head to the side, Brian aims his own headbutt at the side and closer to the temple of Nora's. One headtrauma for another! With his newfound leverage, Brian's large arms go to wrap around Nora's neck and squeeze tightly. He might have changed his stance on jawbreaking.

"Who the fuck are you guys?"

Bleeding noses make you say things you shouldn't.

Her lids flutter closed for a second when he headbutts her temple, a wave of nausea accompanying the jar to the head, but she manages to keep consciousness, and it only serves to make her more angry as well. Far past the eight seconds now, she is angry, and quite a bit of that anger is at herself — she's made mistakes, and if this were the real thing, it would cost her her life, most likely.

That's not to say that Brian doesn't own quite a large supply of her ire.

She lets go of his arms and brings her hands up again — this time not in a strike — one goes to grab the back of his head, holding it in place while the palm of the other hand flattens out against his mouth and nose, fingers curling under his jaw so he can't open it to bite her.

They might both asphyxiate.

She wants him to stop talking. Fine. His arm squeezes tighter. His hand reaching to pull his opposite elbow in against her neck. He's not going to crush and kill her. He knows where to squeeze just to put someone to sleep. And that is what he is attempting to do. The arm is pulled tighter and tighter.

When the hand is pushed against his mouth and nose, his effort increases. Don't let go of the goal. You've been cutting off her air longer. She will have to go down first. Don't give in. Keep going. The blood trickling from his nose is mooshed against his lips as her hand presses in. He tries to scowl, but the facemooshing makes it difficult. Time slows down. Don't give in. Squeeeze.

At this point, Nora knows she's lost — what she doesn't know is if it's a game anymore. Any energy spent trying to break the hold that doesn't work means the quicker she'll use the little oxygen she has left in her system. But any energy not spent in trying to break that hold might mean death, if Brian is serious.

Her now bloody hand lets go of his face, fist punching at the side of his face with lessening force, then her fingers grip his hair by the temple.

Both hands at his head, she intends to jerk it to the side. Not a safe move in sparring. Not a move for sparring at all.

But that's when her oxygen runs out, and her body grows slack.

A gasping breath is given when her hand releases his face. H

When the strikes lessen, and the force grows weak. It grows apparent that he won. And so the hold is released slowly.And then she's trying to break his neck. He hears the cracks in his neck, the pain searing into his brain. Releasing his leverage, Brian presses his shoulder up to dump her to the side. Let her slump there.

His first decision as winner of this match? To let his head slump against the ground. Bringing his hand up to his bloody face. He takes a few stabilizing breaths, trying to get rid of the dizziness that comes from the suffocation he just went through. Glancing over to Nora, he tries to clean up his nose. She should be awake soon. One hand goes to pick up her hand then release. It drops. Gathering himself enough to roll to his side, he slinks up to Nora's side. Snapping once in front of her face, he puts his fingers to the side of her neck, just in case in his rage he did the sleeper hold wrong or something…

The pulse there tells him he hasn't accidentally killed the blind teenager. Her lips, slightly blue, begin to grow more pink as the oxygen returns to her lungs and bloodstream. The first hint that she's conscious again is her lashes growing wet, tears seeping from behind closed eyes that then scrunch tighter, trying to keep the tears from slipping — but too late.

Her hand snaps out and grabs his, then shoves it away violently.

"Get the fuck away from me," she growls, scurrying to her feet, cheeks flushing with anger — but she stumbles on one of her thrown boots. Arms windmill for a moment before she falls flat on her ass.

Knees come up to her chest and her arms fold upon them. Her forehead is pressed against her fore arms as sobs begin to rack her body.

Pushing himself to his feet, Brian's features look rather emotionless. When she stumbles on her boot, his own hand flings out trying to catch her. He's too late, his hand just brushing hers before she goes down. He watches her, blood continuing to gently trickle down his lip. Watching her quietly, he doesn't do as asked. Getting the fuck away. He decides to do the opposite.

Sliding into a seat beside her, his knees come up to his chest as well. His own arms lacing around his knees. He sits close enough so that she could feel his warmth, know he's there. But not so close that he's actually touching her, yet.

She doesn't flinch from him when he sits down, apparently deciding he's not a threat any longer. The sobs continue for a minute or more, and she lifts her head to swipe at her face with the ragged cuff of her sweater sleeve once. So much for the grace of the Tai Chi forms. Now she's back to being just an awkward teenager. The anger has abated; despondency swooping in, in its place.

His hand slowly reaches out, gently touching against her back. Testing to see if she might bight his hand off. When he decides that she won't his hand goes to loop around her back, loosely. Hand resting on her shoulder, "Sorry." He murmurs quietly. It's all he'll say. He forgot who his opponent was. That's what happens when you get headbutted in the face. "You okay?"

"Don't be," comes her muffled reply, a bit congested before she lifts her head and wipes at her eyes.

"Not for that, anyway," she adds, so apparently she's still a little angry. "I told you not to hold back. I didn't want you to hold back."

Her voice is a touch tremulous, breath still coming in raspy shudders. She swallows thickly, and shakes her head. "I'm no fucking good like this. Just a fucking liability."

"No. I'm not sorry for that." Brian murmurs hoarsely. "You told me not to hold back." He nods in affirmation. "I'm sorry I kidnapped your boyfriend." He lets out, choosing a piece of ground in front of him and staring at it. He assumed she already knew, and if she didn't… Well the best way to find out about something is with an apology. He glances over at her, narrowing his brows a bit. He's never been in that position. Never been handicapped like that.

"What's it feel like?"

Her brows twitch at his assumption that she knew about Calvin, but she doesn't argue it one way or the other. Her hand comes up to her bruised temple, fingering the swollen knot already growing there.

Her face contorts with a pain that's not caused by that headbutt but instead something deeper, something less temporary and more disabling. "Like being in a fog. It's just … nothing," she murmurs. "Like I'm alone."

She heaves a sigh, and tips her head toward him, teary dark eyes looking past him. "I'm usually better than that, you know? Fighting. I could kick your ass if I could see, you know." There's a slight curve of her lips to suggest she's (probably) kidding.

"I know." He lets out, his hand moving across her back gently before dangling over his knees. He tilts his head back, looking up. The bleeding has slowed and has altogether stopped. But the blood on his shirt and dripping down his face is a good indicator that shit just went down. Fortunately, Nora can't see the horrible sight.

"God. You got blood all up inmy beautiful black hair.." He whines, brushing a hand through his hair. He falls silent for a moment. "I wouldn't like that feeling." He comments, frowning over at her. "I'm sorry this happened to you."

Nora actually smiles at the 'I know,' even if he probably thinks he's just humoring her. She snorts a little at the mention of his black hair. "Whatever, blondie. I'm sure you can wash it out." No apologies for making him bleed from her, it seems.

At the more somber apology, she shrugs. "Sorry ain't gonna get shit done, but thanks for the sentiment. I need to stop feeling sorry for myself. This…" she gestures vaguely at her teary face, "is not acceptable."

"Hey, Nora." Brian comments softly, smiling a little smugly to himself. And people call him stupid. "Sorry. I don't want you to keep having to think about this, but when did you lose your sight again? Was it the day of the eighth, or the day after?" He gives her a little pat on the back. "Now that's the attitude, trooper."

Her brows furrow at the question, giving a shake of her head. "The day after? No, it was the 8th. There was an explosion. I got thrown pretty far," she says quietly, eyes dropping to the ground as if to study her feet. She shrugs. "I came to, and I couldn't see. There were some flickers, like lightning streaks or spots at first? Now it's just mostly gray."

"Oh." He lets out, he frowns softly. "That really sucks. I'm sorry. Maybe.. Maybe they can correct it." Brian lets out, his voice sounding like he's grimacing as he's saying it. "But one thing I was thinking… Did you ever come to the Lighthouse before? You look kind of familiar. But I could never put my finger on it. Have we seen each other before Pollepel?" Brian asks, tilting his head back some, watching her features carefully.

"If you're trying to catch me in a lie, Brian," Nora says evenly, though her lips curve in a smirk, "I know you're not a raven-haired beauty because I have asked people to describe people to me. I'm blind, not deaf."

She leans to bump him with her shoulder. "I know, you're just jealous of me being so small, dark, and cute, but you're gonna have to just get by on your All-American baby-faced good looks, all right? Not everyone can be as exotic as I am."

Despite the joking, there is still a tension in her posture and her expression. "No, I've never been to the Lighthouse."

"What? That's not what I was doing." That's exactly what he was doing. His teeth ground down on his bottom lip. Damnit, he was already doing the victory dance inside his head. But damnit. He allows her to bump him, frame jostling slightly. "Aha! So you know I'm amazingly attractive. I knew you knew about me somehow." It's more grasping at straws and a joke now.

"Right. Didn't think you had been." He lets out, glancing over at her. He smirks a little bit. "Exotic? Really? Is that why Calvin wants you?"

She snorts again. "Wants me? Right." That idea is tossed aside rather quickly. "And don't worry. I know I'm not exotic. Plain Jane, but I'm not the type to care, luck would have it." She grins a little mischievously. "Now I have an excuse, right? It's hard to care about the state of your manicure when you can't see it."

Nora splays out her fingers, displaying the ragged nails, the "Sienna" polish chipped on every nail but one left pinky.

A little softer, she adds, "I didn't break your nose, did I?"

But you are neurotic about the size of your ass. The words almost come out. But he stops them. Maybe it's better she doesn't know that he's been spying on her radio time with Calvin. For now, at least. "If he doesn't want you.. Then what.." He throws his hands up. "You guys aren't dating? He seemed rather.. Unnh. Clingy. To you." Winters explains , looking down at her fingers. "They do look terrible." He admits before flinging a dismissive hand. "Doesn't matter. I'll just absorb this body anyway."

"We're friends," Nora says with a shrug. "I guess he's protective of me, since… I'm like this." Another vague gesture to her eyes before she reaches out to find the boot she tripped on, fingers sliding around to feel its curve to decide which foot it goes on, then stretching out a foot to pull it on.

"Why did you do it?" she asks, finally reacting to his apology of a few moments' past.

"I made a mistake." He admits. "I don't trust you guys.. Because you're liars. Doesn't mean I don't like you. Just, I know you're lying to me. You know you're lying to me. And that doesn't change anything. You couple.. Jolene. Calvin. I just want to know why all of a sudden you're poppping up. Around my friends, around the people I care about." Brian murmurs, glancing over at her. "And why you're all liars."

Nora's lips flatten into a line and she reaches around trying to find her other boot — when it's not in easy grasping, she moves to her knees to feel around for it, finally finding it a few feet away. This one gets tugged on as well with a little more concentration than is probably necessary.

"Thanks for the sparring," she says politely, moving to her feet and taking a moment, eyes narrowing as she turns her head slowly from one side to the other. A moment later she begins to move toward the wall, carefully paced steps getting her there and her hand coming up to touch it just in time. "I won't lie to you anymore, then," she tosses over her shoulder as she moves toward the door to the interior of the castle — her radio left behind in the courtyard.

Watching her go, he glances to the radio. Tucking his legs under him, he'll remain there for a while. Brian gives a little nod. "No problem." His eyes following her as she moves back to the castle. Looking over to the radio he lets out a little snort of a laugh. She won't lie to him anymore.

He imagines they will no longer be speaking.

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