Just A Little Rusty


cardinal_icon.gif nash_icon.gif sara_icon.gif

Scene Title Just A Little Rusty
Synopsis Cardinal and Nash are looking for a little workout. They meet Coco.. er.. Sara.
Date June 2, 2010

Coco's Boxing Gym

The gym's been around so long that no one knows who Coco was. Legend has it that he was an ex-mobster or some grizzled former POW. Either story would fit with the general atmosphere of the place. This is not a trendy location that offers yoga, pilates and spin classes. The gym is grimy, run-down, perpetually smells of sweat and full of well-worn, mostly manual equipment. It offers a wide selection of weights, a wall full of bikes, an area for martial arts training and a boxing ring towards the rear of the space.

Despite its lack of modern equipment, the space is almost always busy. It has a reputation for hiring serious trainers for both weight and boxing training. A world welterweight champion once trained here, and his picture hangs over the desk. Anyone who is serious about their training would feel comfortable here. Weekend warriors need not apply.

Although there's still plenty of snow outside, the area around the entrance is thoroughly shoveled and the remaining snow is stomped flat; guess the Gym has had some customers even now. There's a handwritten sign in addition to the regular one that says, "Yes, we're open!"

And inside, Sara is perched on a stool behind the counter, turned a bit to the side. One leg is stretched up with her heel planted firmly on the counter's well-beaten edge, a long stretch while she uses her thigh as a bookrest. No other regulars in evidence at the moment, though. Yet.

Still midway through his mandatory cool off period after having put a bullet into a suspect's back, Nash decides he needs to take this time to begin working out. He's taking up a little boxing back in the day, but has not put on a pair of gloves in a number of years. He's actually considered doing a little mixed martial arts, but has been far too busy for it. There's been some rumbling about this particular gym, so he decides to take his time off and head on down to check it out.

As he walks in, he takes his jacket off and sets it down on one of the benches, dropping his bag onto it as well as he looks around for someone who might be in charge.

It was a sign that was noticed by a shadow that flitted through earlier in the day, and as it flits back to whence it came, it decides to stop in. After all, while Richard Cardinal's muscles haven't degraded any due to his ordeal, his skills are certainly rusty.

So it's a lanky fellow in a flight jacket ('Chicago Air' the name shown off on it) and urban camo BDU pants that pushes open the door and strolls along inside, neck craning to look around over the place in judgement. "Not bad," he finally murmurs to himself, noting finally the woman behind the counter as he looks past the one that's just entered, chin lifting up in an easy nod.

Ooh, someone's here? Two someones! Sara looks up toward the door and claps her book shut. Looks like a high school textbook of some kind, maybe. She pulls her leg down off the counter too… but it's only so she can switch to stretch the other side instead. With some relief, she smiles casually. Noting Nash's bag and coat, she thumbs over her shoulder and says, "Hey fellas. Locker room if you want it… new here? First workout's free."

Free's always good, so that perks Nash's interest. He offers the woman an appraising glance before nodding, reaching to grab his things again. "Well, I appreciate that." He appreciates quite a few things actually, but he'll start with the locker room. He tosses his jacket over his shoulder and disappears into the indicated room to change. He gives the second guy a glance before he grins to the female and disappears into the indicated locker room. "Be right back!" he hollars as the door closes behind him.

At the glance that's returned, Cardinal pauses for a moment - a flicker of something akin to recognition there - and then the other man's heading into the locker room, and he shakes his head at some private amusement. "Nah, couldn't be," he murmurs, stepping along up towards the counter and admitting, "First time, yeah. I've been out've commission for a bit, figured it wouldn't hurt to get back into fighting shape."

With Nash off locker-rooming, Sara turns her attention to Cardinal. Hmmmm. "Looks like you'd know how to throw a punch?" she says levelly, somewhere between a declarative guess and a question. And, he confirms it, sure enough. She drops her leg back to the floor and rises to her feet languidly, obviously pleased. "There can never be too many of us around here. Great." Sara slides around to lean on the side of the counter, without entirely approaching. Wouldn't want to look _too_ excited about it. "What style you lookin for? I got Carlos and Miguel teaching boxing and MMA, although Miguel hasn't shown up yet since the snow. Guess he's still under the weather, so to speak."

"I've thrown a few in my time," Cardinal admits with a bit of a smirk, though he's not openly bragging at all; one hand raking back through his hair, he adds to that less arrogantly, "No formal training so far. MMA's probably more my style, boxing's a little too…" He pauses to consider how best to phrase it, "…fair."

That elicits something of a knowing smirk from Sara. "Boxing is fine as a sport, but straight-up street fighting is certainly a quick teacher and can be its own kind of fun, under the right circumstances… I'd offer to go a few rounds with you myself," she says thoughtfully, pausing to look him over a bit more closely. "I have to admit though that one of my metacarpals is whiny this week. Wouldn't want you to feel like you have to go easy on me." Then, carefully casual, "You ever been here on a weekend special event night?"

That must be why one of Sara's hands is a lot more taped than the other right now, though she doesn't apparently have anything else reinforcing the tape.

"I've lived in a few bad neighborhoods," Cardinal offers by way of round-about confirmation, lips tugging up at one corner in a crooked smile as he gives her a brief once over - a glance to her hand, and then he nods, "Well, wouldn't want to have to go easy on you. Admittedly, you'd probably kick my fuckin' ass, since I'm so out've practice…" Brows lift, "Can't say that I have. What kind?"

Sara hehs, "I know how that is. Considering this _is_ one." One of the Gym's many random cats pops up onto the counter, and Sara reaches over with her less-taped hand to scritch it. "In that case, we might be relatively even right now. I'd offer to go at it with ya if you're so inclined, but no pressure. Anytime… And as for the special events," Sara continues, her eyes sliding briefly over toward the basement door, "They're a lot of fun. A bit private, in the sense that I don't like it getting around _too_ much, wouldn't want to become popular with the stuffy types." Or the cops, she fails to mention. "We call it 'Center Stage'. We're off schedule lately thanks to the snow, but most weekends we pull together a few willing contenders and they hop to. Evolved, standard-issue, whatever. No gloves, no rules except they damn well better not kill anybody in my basement. It makes me get all crotchety." At the word 'crotchety', she crinkles her nose as if that's the only reaction she would have. As a distinct afterthought, she says, "Triad takes bets, too. But whatever, the point is it's a fun show."

Walking in near the middle of her speech about the Center Stage, Christopher Nash has on his workout gear. It's still too damn cold for much less than a muscle shirt and a pair of well used sweat pants. He has a roll of blue tape that he begins to wrap around his hands, and a pair of blue boxing gloves, very well used, hanging around his neck by some string. He tears off the tape, then moves to the second hand and begins to wrap there as well. "Sounds like it might be an interesting time." Bets? That word always perks the ear of a cop. "Sorry to interrupt. Does it matter where I work out?" He's eyeing some of the bags hanging from the ceiling. The NYPD cop flashes a charming smile as he approaches the two and pulls the gloves off his neck and sets them on a bench nearby. Today he's in the mood to smack his fist into something, though he might use his gloves later.

"I could go a couple rounds with you," Cardinal replies with a crook'd smile, one brow lifting, and then something she says gets his attention in that sales pitch. "Hm. Sounds like it could be an interesting show, might have to check in sometime…" He trails off, then, head canting towards the approaching man and giving him a look that's half-warning, half-amused.

Sara completely fails to give Nash that 'oops, caught' expression. Though she might react differently if she knew he was NYPD. "Heya. Sure, grab a bag, wherever. Nobody's got a reservation. And, if that's your thing, you come on by too… once I get it rolling again, that is. A lot of our regulars still haven't reappeared from under our friendly neighborhood glaciers, and everybody's out of practice. But for a lot of my guys — and gals — it's something to work toward. A different kinda way to prove yourself." Her face breaks into a grin again and she says, "Plus it's fun. I wish I could compete there but, conflict of interest and all that. So sometimes I just play a bit more loosely after hours with my fellas." If that was a double entendre, seems it totally didn't register with Sara. And… OOH boy, Cardinal just agreed! The cat is entirely forgotten. "Far be it for me to be an ungracious hostess and say no to a friendly new gentleman!" she declares in a carefully ladylike faux-formal voice, even as she gets busy reinspecting the tape on her injured hand. "We have extra gloves over there on the rack, snag some. And I promise I sprayed 'em inside with disinfectant in a recent era."
Sara adds as an afterthought to Cardinal, "I really do need to use gloves this time, considering." But she almost sounds apologetic.

A boyish smirk crosses Nash's face. No. He won't be mentioning he's NYPD down here. At least not at the present. It might come in useful later. He eyes the woman again and nods. "Keep me posted. I'd love to check it out." With that, he walks over and begins to lay into a nearby punching back. Not very social of him, but he really didn't come here for that. Of course, even if he wanted to, that 'other guy' is rather in his way regardless. He is a little rusty, so he takes it nice and slow for now, though after a few moments, he's getting back into the rhythm of it.

The gloves are tugged off the wall as Cardinal steps along over, tugging them on one at a time and tightening the laces. "Name's Richard, by the way," he offers as he works them on, "Don't think I caught yours. You don't look like a 'Coco' to me."

Sara cracks the knuckles on her one hand in anticipation, one after the other, but carefully avoids giving the other hand the same treatment. As she does so she watches Nash lay into the innocent bag, with an appreciative expression. She pulls on the gloves next, again more cautiously for the one hand. Rather than bothering to lace since otherwise she'd have to interrupt Nash or Cardinal for help, she just tucks the laces inside for the first glove, and pulls them inside as she puts the other one on. Then back to Cardinal with that quick smirk again. "Oh yeah, it's Coco. Coco Chanel. But my friends call me Coco Puffs…" she claims, before quickly admitting, "No, it's Sara Claremont. Nice to meetcha, Richard. I'm the owner actually, this was my dad's place before for umpteen years. The legendary Coco might've been a ref to this mobbed-up boxing promoter from the 30s, but nobody really knows." As she heads over toward the ropes, she adds, "I do have to ask you something. But feel free to take the fifth and not answer: Do you have an ability that could accidentally cause us any trouble during this? Just asking, just in case. You know. Wouldn't wanna get turned into a couple gallons of Sara-flavored pudding by accident."

Nash is giving this bag a pretty good hammering, but when he sees that they're going to spar, that catches his attention. He stops working out and walks towards the ring, "Don't mind if I watch, do you?" Of course, the question of an ability catches his interest as well. Not that he has any agenda for those with them, but he's found them rather interesting. He is not familiar with Coco, though he catches Sara's name and places in the little black book that is his brain and leans his elbows against the apron and fixes his gaze on the two.

"What?" Cardinal's gaze flickers up from tying off one glove, and then he grins broadly, "Oh, hell no, not me. I don't blow shit up with my mind or anything dangerous like that—I mean, Sara pudding might taste good, but it'd totally put a crimp in my practice." A wink, and then he steps along over towards the ropes as well, shooting a glance back to Nash as he approaches. "I don't mind."

"Sure, why not? That's why this version of the ring is up here, after all." But Sara has to put in a disclaimer to Nash, since he wasn't in the room when it was discussed: "Gotta tellya though, Richard here says he's outta practice, and my hand's being a whiny little pansy this week, so it may not be much of a Battle Royale. Specially since apparently Richard here won't be melting me, and I sure as hell won't be eye-lasering him. Too bad." She claims to Richard as she slides into the ring and hops up to her feet, "Dunno, Sara pudding must be good for getting the ketone burn though… all protein!" Once Richard gets up here, she'll drop into a fluid but currently steady stance, ready and eager to go.

Sara belatedly thinks to add, "Don't feel obliged to play fair, either." She doesn't actually mua-ha-ha aloud, but it's right there in her eyes.

Nash arches a brow, at Sara's antics and grins, shaking his head. "I don't suppose we can place bets now. I'd put my money on the woman." Just a short jab of his own towards the other male in the room. "She looks like she can take you, my friend." He laces his fingers in front of him as he leans forward on the ring apron.

Cardinal hauls himself up and beneath the ropes, twisting his legs beneath him and pushing up to his feet—rocking on his heels a bit before putting himself into a relaxed stance, fists held up in classic street-fighting style. "I would too," he admits, casting a smirk down off the ring before looking back to Sara with a grin, "Don't take it easy on me, though, babe."

And we're off! Sara is clearly a high-energy type, big on weaving, dodging, and feinting, and fast with the strikes she does attempt. If she weren't so obviously well-trained, one might describe her as "scrappy." Admittedly most of that training has been along boxing lines, but she mixes it up pretty well. More than once she feints as if she's about to land on Richard's foot, but she doesn't actually go for it. Mostly she's testing the waters and keeping her weaker hand out of the major action, at this point.

There's a contrast between the two fighters, but it's a subtle one; Richard's similarly focused as keeping on the move, bouncing on the soles of his feet, weaving a bit, but there's no formality to his movements or his training. She's worked at her fighting in the ring, while he learnt his in life lessons. He feints with his hands — strikes with his feet more often, aiming to trip or foul footwork. At the beginning, just like her he works to get the measure of his opponent, sizing her up with a grin.

Formal training can help, but in a single discipline it can also reduce one's adaptability… usually. Sara does seem to have a good amount of flexibility in that regard, but you never know. She seems to be really enjoying herself, regardless, smiling even as she finds she needs to focus a lot more than usual to watch out both above and below. Maybe it was a bad idea to start playing footsie, maybe it was inevitable. She flows along without any apparent difficulty, circulating all around the ring with Richard and swapping blows with a certain amount of glee… but all it takes is one mistake, and whoo! Her eyebrows hike up in surprise as he pulls one of her legs forward, and she slips back abruptly to try and at least catch her elbows on the rope so she doesn't go down all the way. Leaves her nice and open, too, unfortunately.

As she drops, Richard starts to move forward—he catches himself, though, and instead of lunging in as he was about to he dances back a step or two, a roguish grin flashing to his lips. "You all right, there?" He bounces on his feet, "Gotta watch the ankles, babe."

Sara would've popped up a knee in a second there, if only to keep him back, but he pulls away anyway. Rather awkwardly, Sara shoves herself back upright, pulling her forearms forward again before completing that motion so she can get her guard back up. "Guess you aren't the only one rusty around the edges right now," she admits freely. "Let's see, now…" And back to it. She fights more aggressively now, as if to make up for before. And that means she's actually stopped favoring that other hand, which might be deliberate or simply forgotten. Hasn't landed any good solid punches with it yet, though she's certainly giving it her best shot.

Continuing to watch the sparring, Nash moves from one fighter to the next, back and forth, studying technique. They both have some potential showing, even if they both come across as a little bit rusty. He's not going to criticize, since he also knows he's a tad on the rusty side as well.

Cardinal is swiftly put on the defensive this time, backpedalling away from a flurry of punches and blocking as best he can. "Well, if you need some oiling up— " He takes a glancing hit about then, rocking the side of his jaw and forcing him back a step or two, grunting with a chuckle, "—maybe not." A pause, and then he drops his gloved hands completely, head dropping as he lunges forward to tackle her.

Hey, she said he could cheat.

Sara snorts lightly at that comment, then lands that nice jaw shot. Huh, even nicer than she expected — glass jaw? But no. What a fakeout! Urk! Yeah, she was on her way out of the vicinity as usual, but that abrupt reversal into a tackle does indeed catch her. She's going down for sure, and attempting to lessen the impact just results in a nice painful hand-landing. Total Sara fail! How embarassing! That expression and accompanying yelp is pained in more ways than one.

Nash watches Cardinal go for that tackle, which actually looks like something he's done a couple of times — but under different circumstances. Very different circumstances. He hears that yelp and is pulling himself into the ring to see if help is needed. "I guess that ends that." He doesn't get to close yet, since Cardinal is obviously closer, but he does hover nearby.

As she hits the canvas, Cardinal catches himself just barely beside her—exhaling a laugh as he twists to roll away to one knee rather than push his advantage, grinning down at her as he pants for breath… and then realizes she landed on her hands, and he winces, "Oh, shit. How's your hand?"

Sara is definitely pained, but choked it back after that yelp. Still, she's relieved he stopped, and she's definitely Done. "You got that right, Mister." To Nash. "And… yeah, just crown me Miss Stupid New York 2010. I shoulda known better than to be such a ring whore," she declares breathlessly. Sara pauses a second, then does a stomach crunch to sit up so she won't have to push up a different way. She looks toward her hand but it's in a glove after all, nothing to see. So she tucks her other hand under her knee, slides it out of the glove, then gingerly pulls at the other glove. "I'm sure it's fine enough," she baldly lies, even as she announces, "That was _great_. And good job!" Finally she looks over to Nash again, as if expecting confirmation.

Sara adds, "You woulda had me regardless at that point — my ground game is made of ass. I need more practice. Or better escapes." Either would do if she's down, really.

Nash just smirks down at the pair and shakes his head. "I'll wait until you've healed before I offer to spar with you." He gives a chuckle, turning to head out of the ring. "Back to my training." With that, Nash slips from the ring and goes back to punching the bags. He came here to work out, after all.

"I'm pretty sure you could find some practice rolling around on the ground with someone if you really wanted to." A rogue's grin to Cardinal's lips as he pushes himself back up to his feet, relaxing now that she's asserted her health, "You're a boxer, though, aren't you? Too much focus on the hands, you've gotta pay attention to the rest of the body too… if you did, you'd have kicked my ass."

"Like I was kind of saying earlier, it's fun to fight dirty. But obviously it's not my strong suit," Sara admits with some disappointment. She just ditches the gloves on the mat of the ring since nobody's clamoring to use it right now, frowning at her knuckles. "That really _was_ fun Richard, I mean it. You gotta give me a rematch someday. Deal?" As Nash goes back to the bag, she says, "Ooh, sure! But… uh, yeah, not this week at least… In fact I think I gotta go for now and soak this tape off, guys, see just how far we've sent my metacarpals into pudding territory."

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