Getting Tough


minea_icon.gif sebastian_icon.gif simon_icon.gif

Scene Title Getting Tough
Synopsis Minea, Sebastian, and Simon are working out and sweating a lot. Simon feels stalked, and Sebastian meets a fellow math geek.
Date April 7, 2009

Pete's Gym

The gym, when viewed from the outside, hardly looks… reputable. Given some of the folks that stand outside, talking, taking a drink, whatever, most wouldn't find this place to be inviting. But at second glance the atmosphere without is a bit more than it appears. People talk, chat, laugh. There are no gang tags, or even colors. Above the door is a very simple black and white sign, that announces this as 'Pete's Gym'. Hanging on the sign are a pair of boxing gloves that have been bronze plated, perhaps 'Pete's' old gloves from yesteryear.

Inside is another story altogether. While it's far from the cleanest of places, there's an aura of 'welcoming' within, most folk appear friendly enough, if a bit on the 'tough' side, and only a few have an appearance of territoriality. The equipment left out for members to use is a wide variety of old and new, heavy bags on one side, off to the side of those are speed bags. In the back is a full compliment of free weights and various tools there-in. In the middle of the room is the boxing ring, the old mat stained with sweat and blood. Hanging from another wall, off to the side by some lockers and the entrance to the changing rooms are some jumpropes for public use.

"Ok go grab some water, kid, then we'll finish up." A tall guy with a shaved head and giant arms is talking to Simon, who looks smaller in his slightly oversized gym clothes and is covered in sweat. Earlier in the day he saw an ad for the gym, which was offering a complimentary class to newcomers. All he had to for the day was head back to Staten Island, and for some reason he was looking to postpone that trip. So now he's here, where simple boxing techniques have been drilled into his head while sweat poured out of him.

Instead of answering the trainer, he just huffs and raises his hand in acknowledgement. Water sounds good. And so he runs off to grab the bottle he brought and chug some down.

Walking into the gym, and looking a tad skeptical, is Sebastian. He's carrying a gym bag under one arm, his current outfit clearly not meant to work out in - some jeans and a thick jacket over a tee. He pauses once inside and takes a look around, his eyes floating over to Simon and his trainer, then towards the back changing room. His obvious look of 'I'm lost' has someone soon walking over. THey welcome him to the gym, and direct him to the back, hidden in the same area as the changing rooms behind a desk is Pete - or at least whoever is taking people's money today. Sebastian thanks the man and grins, then heads in that direction. Within a few minutes he is out of sight, and likely changing into something more work-out appropriate.

For once, the Company agent wasn't really following Simon. This is one of a couple places that she tends to frequent to keep in shape. No gym filled with business people slogging their ways through email while jogging in an effort to avoid the middle aged spread. Her hands are taped, a black tank top, shorts, sneakers, a vee of sweat on the back and front of her sweat that's a testament to how long she's been there adn that she's no pansy. THe boxing bag seems to be her opponent as opposed to someone who can actually hit her back.

The water is cool and refreshing and Simon drinks more than he probably should have before his trainer is once again calling him out. Man that was quick! A rush of air is let out as he walks over to the small spread of floor that he and his trainer are taking up. He clenches his reddened and tapped up hands. "Ok, but seriously. I feel great," even though he doesn't look it.

"Sure, Kid, you're doing fine," says the trainer with a grin on his face. This is probably a quick and easy way for him to warm up. The older man raises hands, which are wearing a pair of boxing mitts, and commands Simon to punch.

So he punches, and at first it takes him a moment to get into a rhythm. He wasn't so good at first, considering he punched wrong and didn't know much about the equipment used. Now, though, it seems the kid is picking up the pace. As the trainer moves his gloved hands up and down, side to side, Simon punches and lands them every time. A closer look will see that even the boy is tired, his eyes are constantly moving, tracking the movement of both the gloves and Simon's fists. It might look a little creepy.

No. no. not creepy. IT's something else entirely to the brunette who's caught sight of her quarry as she sends her arm swinging in, bending her hand towards her and striking the bag with her elbow to send it swinging. Even she has punches that she misses. Especially when she's tired but time after time she see's the hits land right where they should be. Five bucks. She'd bet it, five bucks to Katherine, that the kid evolved. The fucking toothpick was NOT a co-incidence. She keeps up her own workout, watching him in the peripheral of her vision, gathering all the evidence that she could.

LOP. PLOP. POLP. Simon punches the bags again and again, moving along with his trainer. Right leg over, left leg follows, swing around him. The footwork isn't fancy, by any means, but the movement is true and there isn't an ounce of misstep. "Good, nice work, kid," the trainer tells him as he slows to a stop. Another punch is received before the man lowers his hands and starts to remove his gloves. "Not bad for the first class. Why don't you hang out for a while, cool down, and I'll be back to talk to you."

It's more of an order than a suggestion, but Simon is eager to relax right now. He heads back over to his water bottle and gym bag and takes a seat, leaning back against the wall. He drinks some more, breathes out, and wipes some sweat from his forehead.

"I'm starting to think that your stalking me kid" Another strike of the bag, this time it's looking like an elbow to an invisible jaw, the underside of it before she strikes in with her opposite hand with thuds to the bag. "Everywhere I go, you seem to be popping up. Do I need to be scared?" It's loud enough for Simon to hear from where he is, perhaps draw him closer to the line of bags that populate this area of the gym. Up comes a knee, vicious, twice in succession.

Prepped and dressed for the occasion now, Sebastian strolls out of the changing rooms, wearing a pair of ratty old sweats and a wife-beater. Over one shoulder is a towel, and in his hand is a water bottle. For a moment he just stops, staring at the room and taking it in, his eyes distant, someplace else, before he shakes it off. His eyes lift, once more catching sight of Simon, and then they move to look over Minea - each person getting a different sort of sizing up. He moves towards the jump ropes, and takes one, heading to an empty mat, and begins his warmup.

While he works, a young man walks in, dark of skin and looking like one of the 'ruffians' outside, though he's all smiles and bright eyes. Spotting Sebastian he grins wide, "Seb! Yo!" He waves just as Sebastian is starting to find his rhythm, which he slows to a stop and grins, already a bit breathy. "Kyle, hey man." THey clasp hands for a moment, and Kyle smiles, "You came. COo. I can't stay - told my Parole I was just poppin' in. See you around, math man!" He chuckles and fake jabs at Seb, who dodges aside.

In reply Sebastian just smiles a little, looking about as if guilty of something. Nobody seems to care though. He goes back to his warm-up, the jumprope swishing through the air once more.

Simon doesn't realize anyone is talking to him for a moment, but when he looks over to see who is talking, he's kind of surprised to see Minea there. Three times in not even as many weeks seems to be a lot to run into the same stranger. "Me?" he asks her, jabbing himself in the chest with a finger. Those vicious attacks to the punching back are eyed and the kid shakes his head. "No, no I don't think you have anything to be scared of."

He pushes off the floor with a grunt, taking his water bottle along with him. A couple steps closer to the line of punching bags is taken while the two nearby men converse. He hears the words "math-man" and his ears perk up. A curious glance is given to the guy with the jump rope, though it doesn't linger too long.

"You kid, you’re the only one I see. Good to see you in here and not out there, getting in trouble. Keep up your style, your a natural it seems" That brief moment of encouragement is all he's getting because Minea's grabbing her towel and her own water bottle, heading off to the lockers. It just happens to bring her past Sebastian whom she gives a good long once over, appreciatively before she disappears into the ladies locker room.

Soon enough his heart is racing comfortably and his shirt is starting to dampen. The rope swings about him with a decent speed, whistling softly. He stops suddenly as he misses a step, and mutters under his breath before starting up once more, He's just getting started again as Kyle jogs out, lifts his head in farewell as Kyle offers a parting wave. Counting to himself his eyes lose focus as he finds the 'zone' and he keeps jumping. Movement catches his eye, and he peers over as Minea approaches, her look making him distinctly uncomfortable a second - perhaps it's been awhile. Then she moves by, and he is back hopping - though once again he missteps and comes to a halt.

Simon eyes Minea suspiciously as she walks off, then glances over at Sebastian. "I'd watch out for her. I think she's following me around or something," Simon tells him. It might be taken as a joke to some, but there's no grin on Simon's face. There's just a thoughtful look followed by a shake of his head. The kid takes a few steps out onto the open mat and starts to do some cool down stretches, starting with his arms. He pulls one arm over his head to stretch out a muscle, counting time in his head.

Sebastian is disentangling himself as the youth speaks, and grins a bit, "I'll keep it in mind," he replies, taking the comment as a joke no matter how serious he looks. Once more he is hopping, the rope whirring around him, and once more after a few long seconds, he stops, and grumbles at himself. A bit out of breath he looks over at the kid stretching, and comments, "Not that I saw much, but you looked pretty good out there. Box often?" His warm up continues then, and though he is once more counting to himself, his focus is on Simon. Oddly - this seems to help him - as he seems to do better when he's not thinking about the rope so much.

"Now way, man," Simon tells Sebastian before exhaling and switching arms. The stretching feels real good after working out his upper body and he's thankful not to be running around like he was a few minutes ago. "But thanks. I think I was starting to get the hang of things there towards the end." He offers a smile and moves his arm to a different position to stretch out a different muscle. "Hey, so not that I'm a creep or anything, but why did that guy who came in here call you math man?"

Sebastian chuckles, "Well, keep it up then," he says, his words bouncing along with his feet. The movement slows though and he sets the rope aside, his face flushed, "No problem. You're really not bad." When Simon asks about the math-man thing Seb just grins, "He knows me. Knows I have a degree in math," he explains, not feeling as if the kid is a creep at all." He shrugs a shoulder though, and tries changing the topic, "You come here often, or what?" He looks around, lifting his towel and wiping his forehead. He looks around, and finally spots some tape, 'borrowing' it to begin taping his hands and knuckles.

Simon chuckles and shakes his head, “Um, nope. This is my first time. I saw an ad in the paper and figured I would check it out. I might keep it up. We’ll see,” he says with a shrug of his own. He switches arms once again and can already feel himself mellowing out. “Where did you? I only ask because I applied as a math major at Columbia a few weeks ago. Hoping to hear back from them soon.” Apparently, he doesn’t want to let the subject go, probably because there aren’t many people who would want to talk about math.

His good demeanor fades only slightly - but it's hardly this kid's fault, right? He shrugs a shoulder, "MIT," he says, making it sound as un-impressive as possible. There's a hunt of regret, or perhaps something more, in his tone. After a moment he offers his hand, once wiped dry, "I'm Sebastian," he says, then nods towards the weights, "Spot me?" Apparently he's not up for the bags, or getting smacked around. Or maybe it's just easier to talk to someone with a hundred or so pounds over your chest.

Simon nods and quits his stretching for now, but he shakes out his arms a bit to loosen up. "Wow, that's cool," he says as he reaches out to shake Sebastan's hand. "I'm Simon. Good to meet you.". He doesn't really feel like asking the guy about school, because that's a sore subject for him as well, so he just turns to the gym for help. "So what about you? Come here often?" he asks as he starts heading to the weights.

Sebastian's grip is firm, business-like: not to hard, not too soft, and he holds it for just long enough to make it a 'shake' before drawing it back. "Thanks," he says with a small smile, making his way as well. He finds a free bench, eyeing the rather hefty weight on the bar dubiously before saying, "Mind?" He lifts his head at the opposite side, and then begins to unscrew the plate-holder so he can take a fifty pounds or so off, leaving him with about ninety. "Actually… see that guy Kyle I saw? He suggested I come in. We used to box together…" then he stops, and says, "So ya, my first day too. I admit… it's kinda cool here."

Simon glances over at the other end of the weight and nods, walking over to follow suit and remove one of the heavy weights. As he works, it might be apparent that he doesn't do this often, but he manages to work everything well enough. "Yeah," he answers to Sebastian, "It's cool. Not like a Balley's or something." Those big corporate gyms he hates. Mostly because of those bright, bright fluorescent lights. "Where did you and your friend box before this?"

Sebastian, not that he gives off any appearances now, seems to know his way around the free weights. He slides his plate off, and locks the others into place, lifting his end enough so the other side doesn't drop. "My thoughts too," he says, "There aren't going to be any prima donnas here. Course, that can probably be viewed as a downside too, eh?" he chuckles some, and glances at the door, "Though, can't much complain about the woman who was talking to you, I guess." He seems to not have heard the last question. Once the barbell is settled he lies back on the bench and plants his feet. He rubs his palms and gets a grip, then tries a trial lift, his breath issuing out in a hiss. It's not a /lot/ of weight - but then, he's not the biggest guy ever.

If Simon notices the dodge of his question, or at least the fact that it wasn't caught, he doesn't let on. It's not so important anyways. The kid moves around behind Sebastian and lifts his hands under the bar of the weights, ready to catch it if it should slip out of Sebastian's grip. "Oh, her?" Simon rolls his eyes and says, "I dunno. She's pretty hot for an older chick, and I think she likes me. I mean, I've been seeing her around lately and she always seems to want to talk to me." He shrugs, not knowing what else to say about that, even though he could see Minea and Sebastian dating - maybe.

Sebastian lifts his eyes up and grins at Simon, "I see. Maybe she has a thing for younger guys?" He'd shrug but, well, weights, all that. He takes a moment, lowers the weight, and finds he can handle it, and begins a set of reps, stopping when he reaches ten. "She's not so hard to look at, no," he admits, and chuckles, "Just saying - better to have that to train with than…" and he looks at the bald guy that was helping Simon train only a short time ago, "…That guy." As the reps end he lifts and places the bar back, and sits up, "Want a go?"

Simon laughs as he eyes his trainer as well. "Yeah, that's true," he says, until he falls into a thoughtful silence while Sebastian completes his reps. He things about how good he feels after the workout. Thinks about Minea. This about so many things at once that the next thing he knows, the weights are being offered to him. "Um," he says, looking down at Sebastian. "Sure, I guess." He's never lifted a weight in his life, but he doesn't want to seem like a complete wimp.

Sebastian chuckles, "You sure?" he looks a little concerned, "You went aware there a second," as if he's one to talk. Oddly, this whole experience is almost comfortable for him - apparently a routine of five years is harder to break than one would think. He steps off and wipes down the cushion, then steps aside, "That's only ninety… you think you can handle it?" He moves to stand behind the barbell, and can't stop himself, "What drew you to math?"

"Yeah, sorry about that, I've just got a lot on my mind," Simon explains as he walks around to the other side of the bench and takes a seat on the cushion Sebastian just wiped off. He's not sure just how much he can lift, but ninety pounds sounds like something that shouldn't kill him. He lies down slowly, watching so his head doesn't hit the bar. "Oh, I've just always been good at it, I guess. Plus I'm, like, one of the only people who think it's fun." Simon smirks and reaches up. His still-tapped hands grip the bar above him. "What about you?"

"No, no problem. I know how that goes." He nods, and then grips the bar from beneath, his own hands taped up as if he had intended to hit the bags, but then conversation began. "I have a knack for it," he says, and lifts the bar, holding it easy enough, "Ready?" he confirms, before lowering the thing and slowly letting the weight up so Simon can see if he can handle it on his own. "Plus, it's just… cool," he admits, unashamed, "Everything works out, always an answer."

"It's almost, meditative, when you really get into it," Simon says, as if trying to transcend math into some kind of spiritual pursuit. Almost. As the weight builds up, he lets out a sigh and starts to push against it. It's not as hard as he imagined, though he doesn exhibit the strength that Sebastian did. After another deep breath he exhales and pushes the weight up and up until his arms are outstretched, then he starts to let it descend, slowly.

Sebastian is careful not to give the full weight all at once, and once that first rep is complete he eases off even more, until Simon handles the whole thing by himself. "Not bad," he compliments. "Well, I can see it like that, ya. I tended to stress a lot when I was older - the whole math-for-a-living thing." And back into dangerous territory. But for now he shrugs it off - talking about something he enjoys is worth the painful memories of the past. "Ever hear of CipherSys?" The company is small, but if one were in the field of Encryption/Decryption there's a slim (READ: tiny) chance they'd know it.

Simon would have shook his head here, but he's concentration on the weights for now. As he pushes into a second up and down rotation, his body strains as the weight is lifted. It takes him a moment before letting the weight back down. "No. Maybe, I mean I might have. My counselor hooked me up with an internship at this place Stillwater," Simon says as he takes another deep breath, ready to start another rep. "It's a security company. I helped out with encryption software - sometimes. And I mean, hardly ever. Mostly I just did paperwork," the younger man says. Then he's all concentration and effort as he finishes off one more slow rep. "Ok, I'm done. Beat," he says at the end.

Sebastian quickly lifts the bar away and places it into its cradle, "Not bad," he says, and nods, "I know the company." He doesn't really offer more about his job as he steps aside, letting Simon vacate so he can finish out his own workout, "Encryption, eh? Tough field to get into," he says this of course from knowledge, "You know, I was on a team that worked on the SEAL algorithm," he states, proud. "We only came up with part of it of course, and it was all hush hush, but yup."

Simon lies there a moment, completely exhausted as he listens to the man. When he's done, Simon says, "Seriously? That's pretty freaking sweet." A grunt is given as he lifts himself into a sitting position. "It is tough, too. I only got the internship because my counselor rocks and I was an honor roll student." He rolls his eyes, grins, and stands. "Where do you work now?"

Sebastian grins, "At a bank, actually. Long story." He doesn't plan on getting into it, and instead drives the conversation around Simon's job, and his work, and schooling. As little as possible is spoken of about Sebastian's past. Until the workout ends though he is amicable and polite. Once Simon states his need to depart, Sebastian nods, "I'm gonna hit the bags a bit - but I'll see you around." He waves and finishes out his workout before he too, heads home.

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