Rapping on the Past


sebastian_icon.gif simon_icon.gif

Scene Title Rapping on the Past
Synopsis Simon and Sebastian meet for the second time in Pete's Gym, and Simon dig's a bit into Seb's past.
Date April 29, 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.

A loud THWACK rings off the walls of the gym as Simon's fist meets an Everlast bag, dangling from the ceiling by a few hardy chains. It's been a few weeks, at least, since he's been at the gym, but that's mostly due to the travel issues that exist between Staten Island and Manhattan. Still, he's made it back and has been kicking the snot out of the punching bag for the past 30 minutes or so.
He stops, heavy breathing causing his chest to swell repeatedly. Tiny beads of sweat have started to form on his brow and he figures it's a good time to take a break. So, he walks away from the bag and starts to do some easy stretches, working on the muscles in his arms to start.

Sebastian is only just arriving, his gym bag under arm. He's been here fairly often, on and off, and as such he gets a few head nods and waves from the regulars. He returns them quietly, preferring to keep it all low key. He spies Simon moving to stretch some, and catching his eye gives him a nod as well. Rather than stop and make small talk just yet though, he heads for the locker room to change, his current suit not exactly something that lends itself to a proper gym workout. Probably just off of work.

Simon remembers Sebastian from the first time he came in here. How couldn't he? There aren't too many other people who are math geeks like he is. The nod from the older man is received and one of his own is tossed over. As Simon's biceps start to burn (in the good way), he switches focus to his legs. His right foot is pulled up and back to stretch out the upper leg muscles.

A scant few minutes later Seb returns, wearing far more appropriate gym attire. His hands are already wrapped, and it appears he intends to hit the bags today. Still, a good warm-up is essential, and gets himself a jump rope, and a spot not far down from Simon on the mats before he begins skipping. Looking over as he hops - clearly having regained a bit of his control - he offers Simon a small grin, his voice 'hopping' a bit with each jump of his feet, "Hey. Math guy, right?"

"Yeah, but most people just call me Simon," is the kid's response. He gives it with a grin and turns to eye Sebastian and his jump rope. "What was your name again? I don't want to have to call you 'The Other Math Guy.'" He switches legs and pulls to really give his muscle a good stretch. He recently learned that skipping the stretching process could lead to big problems when working out, so he's putting extra time into it.

Sebastian chuckles, nodding as he goes, "Simon, that's right. Sebastian," he responds to the request for his name. He continues hopping, mixing up the number of spins he jumps (never more than two) and how he holds the rope. Soon enough he is perspiring, and as he slows he stops the rope, and stretches a little, "Good to see you made it back to the gym," he comments, as if trying to make small talk, "I hadn't seen ya, wasn't sure if Pete there hadn't scared you off."

"Scare me?" Simon says with an arch of his brow and a light chuckle. "Nah, I've just been pretty busy. I need to get a routine going, though," he explains, dropping his foot to the ground with a light thud. He then settles into a sitting position and extends his right leg, tucking his other in. "What about you, ugh - " Simon says as he reaches out with both hands to touch the tip of his toes. "What have you been up to?"

Sebastian lifts a brow as he stretches his arm - taking his opposite elbow and pulling the length of his arm across his chest, "Just kidding," he explains, "Anyway, routine is key. Takes about two weeks to find it." He says it with a hint of know-how, rather than regurgitating something he read online, "So keep it up. As for me," and now he gets the other arm, "I've been getting by. Working my job, getting to the gym." He shrugs a shoulder without losing the stretch, and says, "Boring really." He grins, "I'm too old to be doing much more'n that." And with that he turns nad heads towards the heavy bags, checking his wraps as he goes.

Simon blinks and nods his head to show that he knows Sebastian was kidding. To himself, he makes a note to stop acting so defensive. "Old? You don't look very old," Simon tells Sebastian, switching his legs in the process so he can start stretching the other one. "But it does sound boring, you're right there." He smirks, eyes the other man, and grunts a bit as he pushes himself to reach those toes.

His laugh trails back as he reaches the bag, looking over his shoulder, "OK, not /old/ but still. TOo old to be adventuring, I think. I'm… done with that." Once more his tone shifts a bit, from joking to serious, but he is facing the bag, and his face is unreadable. He shifts his footing some, and begins to work the bag, his breath going out in little huffs with each hit, every so often speaking between blows, "Gee" he begins, "thanks. What is *thump* it you *whack* do for *thud* fun?"

"Seriously? You used to go adventuring?" Simon asks with a dash of disbelief in his voice. He pulls his leg back and sits cross-legged for a moment, still breathing hard, though it's more controlled than before. "For fun?" It's kind of sad that he actually has to think about this. "Well, lately I've just been hanging out with my friends, my sister. Just?trying to be a kid, I guess."As he says this and pushes himself off the ground, it dawns on him just how unlike a kid he has been acting lately. He used to goof off, have fun. Now he's worried about kidnappings and monsters.

Sebastian chuckles at the first, "Never by my own choice," he says, "I liked boring. Boring was good." His punches are landed a little heavier, and more than once now he has to reach out and stop the bag from moving. Taking a moment to take a breath he leans down to grab a bottled water he had carried with him. Taking a short sip he turns, listening to the rest of Simon's words before nodding, "Nothing wrong with that. This city isn't exactly kid friendly of late. Do me a favor, when yer done come hold this thing in place for me ya?"

"Sure thing," Simon tells Sebastian. He could use a break from the bags, anyways. "Yeah, this city has changed a lot since I was a kid. Well, since I was a younger kid," because as much as he would like to act otherwise, he still is one. A hand comes up to brush some sweat-ridden locks of hair from his face as he walks over to the bag. His hands grip it, hold it tight. "So tell me more about these adventures of yours. Boring never makes for good stories."

Sebastian lifts a brow as Simon takes a hold of the weight bag. he gives him a moment to settle and frowns a little, "They're not good stories," he says, and once more settles himself into a good stance. The first few blows are light, making the bag shift subtly in Simon's hands, "No whips or fedoras, leather outfits, or shaken, not stirred martinis." He snerks, and the next blow is a big heavier, as are those that follow. "Boring is… safe. It may not make good stories, but it's better than going to prison, right?"
The light punches are good for Simon because he can adjust his stance a bit to make it easier for him not get knocked to the ground when the heavier punches start to connect. "I guess. I don't think I could handle prison, to tell you the truth. I've seen - Oof! - " one of the connecting punches surprises him, with its force but only for a moment, " - Oz. Not pretty."

Sebastian grunts a reply, his heaviest hits not over-powering, though perhaps a bit surprising. "I can't speak to Oz,' he admits, "I was in a … softer environment. But it still ain't all roses and sunshine." he continues to hit, and now drones on, his tone shifting to a level that almost palpably states a need to /talk/ about it. "First week was hell, everybody thinks they can push you around." The hits, more frequent, soften, his voice once more breaking between blows, "And they can, cause you never know what's coming 'less you've been there. I hadn't." The bag sways a bit, but with Simon's help it stays in place, "Took me a month 'fore I found a friend, and longer before I finally got into the boxing club…"

Simon does a pretty good job of holding onto the bag. He gets used to the feel of the punches and settles into a stance that keeps him, and thus also the bag, from moving around much. As Sebastian explains about his time in the minimal security prison, Simon wonders how it is he gets involved with criminals so easily these days. "What did you do?" he asks when there is a break in the narrative.

Brows furrow and Sebastian's face almost visibly darkens, "Nothing," he says, his tone almost begging for the youth to disagree or crack a joke. He moves in and lands a few 'low' blows on the back, then dances back as he finds a rhythm, "I was set up." The next flurry is harder than the last, making the bag jump some with each landed punch, "But if you want to know the crime I was found guilty of, that'd be 'computer crime in furtherance of terrorism'." He hits the back again, and one more time, punctuating each previous word with a hit.

"Uh huh," Simon says, playing around with the name of the crime in his head for a moment. "I would have thought that furthering terrorism would have been a more serious crime." He pushes against the bag some to meet the force of Sebastian's punches. "How did you get mixed up with someone that would frame you?" Apparently he's just full of questions.

Apparently Sebastian is OK answering them, that far-off memory-lane look still in place, that need to discuss. "Five years, minimum. I had an alibi, and a strong one, they had forensics against me," he words, clipped, are once more punctuated by blows, his voice breathy now and his forehead is damp with perspiration, "I didn't get… I don't know who did it. I think I know what. One of those… evolved humans. Only thing that makes sense to me." The conviction in his voice is solid, he believes it, "It had to be someone in CipherSys. They leaked the algorithm to my project to some suspected terrorist group, made it look like me…" he goes on now, softer, almost muttering, "…passed biometrics… password.. even looked like me…"

Simon can't see that memory-lane look in Sebastian's eyes because the bag is in his face. Still, the man's words alone reveal how deep inside his own head he is. When Simon finds a moment, he says, "That really sucks, man. And you have no idea who it might have been?" He pauses a moment and chuckles, "It must have been a hell of an algorithm."

His voice pauses at Simon's first words, and though he says the word, he doesn't even believe himself, "No." The last blow he gives is solid, the bag shuddering on its chain before he steps back, panting softly as he grabs his bottle, and takes a swig. He glowers at the kid and then blinks, slowly coming back to hear and now. Finally he comments, "It would have been revolutionary. But they had to scrap it, for obvious reasons." He nods, "It was almost 3 years of work, a team of mathematicians and computer sci geniuses." He nods, and catches another breath or two, "Yeah. I t was pretty."

Simon lets out one last grunt as the final punch hits home. He then lets go of the bag, as Sebastian seems to be finished for the time being. "Man, if I were you I would be doing everything I could to figure out who it was." He lifts his shoulders in a slight shrug. "Then again, after jail, who knows." Simon really can't way what he would do after being confined for five years. Probably nothing, for fear of being thrown back in.

He shakes his head, and grabs his towel, left conveniently by his water, and mops off his forehead, "What can I do? I talked to my lawyer. He did everything he could to… to get me out a few days earlier than the mandatory 5 years. There's just not enough evidence to back my claim up, even with these freaks running around as proof." He shakes his head, "I'm… I'd rather just be done. With all of it. All of that." He glances aside then, an once more mops off his face, "Past is the past, right? I came here to start over."

"Sure, yeah," Simon tells Sebastian, hands on hips as he starts to pace a bit, continuing to cool off. "Starting over is a good thing. I did it not too long ago, too. It can definitely put things in perspective." For Simon, it helped as a transition into something that's beginning to resemble manhood, since he's no longer the timid high school math geek.

Sebastian nods, eyes watching the other man pace some, "What started you over?" he asks, inquisitive. He grimaces and flexes his left arm, then moves it a bit to keep it loose, swearing as he spots where he skinned a knuckle and is now bleeding a bit. A drop of water, and a quick press seem to staunch it though. "I mean, what is it that made you do it?" He glances over from his hand, frowning as he lifts it to suck at the bleeding knuckle, which, apparently, wasn't stopped.

"A bomb, actually," Simon tells Sebastian as he starts to loosen his hand wrappings. "Not the big one, even though that sucked. It was the one that took down my school. After that, I split. I was running around the country for a few months when I realized that I needed to suck it up and come back home. So, I did, and I started over. Now, things are completely different, but I think I like the way they're going. Sometimes."

Sebastian lifts a brow, then seems to recall something about other explosions. Course, back then he had plenty of other things to worry about, and so he nods a little, "I'm sorry. I didn't even think." He takes a moment, inspecting Simon before he says, "It's tough … coming home again after something like that. Takes a strong person." He smiles a little, the compliment offered without any hint of jealousy - as Simon did exactly what Sebastian could not. "Can't go perfect all the time. Even I'm beginning to settle in here. It has it moments though." He shrugs.

"Thanks. It really fucked me up, actually. I knew people who, well," Simon shakes his head and decides to let Sebastian's imagination finish up that sentence. "it doesn't matter. What's past is past." He smiles and glances over to the locker room for a moment, before turning back to Sebastian. "Well I think I'm going to get out of here. We should exchange numbers or something, though. I need a regular workout buddy."

Sebastian nods, not needing Simon to say anything more than he did, and he gives a wry smile to the past comment. "Sure, sounds good," he says to the last, and then rattles off his phone number, assuming that the math student can retain said information until he gets a piece of paper. "Give me a call some time, good to see you again, Simon." At that a voice calls from a short distance off - a perhaps familiar face seen as Kyle walks back in. "Sebastian, man," calls Kyle, "I want a rematch from that beating last week!" Sebastian laughs, and gives Simon a final wave, before turning to greet his friend, soon the two are ribbing at one another even as they head for the ring.

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