You Started It


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Scene Title You Started It
Synopsis After promising not to fight, Holden picks one — it doesn't count if Nick swings first, right?
Date December 20, 2010

Pollepel Island

"That's a very innerestin' trick, young man."

The fatally sharp knife is pulled back, the man's brows knitting considerably at the tiny boy in front of him. The knife comes forward again, giving the miniscule arm another little poke with the tip of the blade. Nothing. The knife is pulled back and Ethan gives a gentle nod. "Wish I could do that. Would make life a lot easier." The knife comes up and with alarming speed, the blade spins rapidly through the air. Piercing through the air, the knife embeds itself in the trunk of a tree not too far from where the pair stands.

Dawn is finally starting to break, the sun gleaming over the layer of white cloth that has made its home on the castle and forest. The morning is cold, but the two don't seem to mind it. Ethan had just returned from patrol with his daughter on the horses. After leading them away, he had come to get some morning practice in. And there just happened to be a young boy with impervious skin peering at him thoughtfully.

"Shouldn't you be inside wit' your da, or something?" Reaching into his coat pocket, a small plastic bag is produced. Reaching inside a piece of jerkey is produced and brought up to his mouth. Taking a rough bite from the meat, the rest of the piece is amiably offered to Joe. Just outside the caslte, Ethan has set up something of a practice range for himself. Several knives are stuck into a nearby log, ones that Ethan will take and fling at random trees beyond.

Taking the jerkey, Joe takes a quick bite. Watching the knife soar with wide eyes. "Can I try?" He asks quietly.

Ethan peers down at the boy. Usually this would be a harsh no, get out of here. I will kick your teeth. Something to that effect. But since he can't be huurt… A knife is plucked with one sturdy hand and offered to the boy. "If you stick me, I'll kill you."

Nights are the times that Nick tends to take patrol duty; early mornings are spent gathering or chopping firewood and lugging it inside to start the fire in the dining hall before people begin to wake and need their coffee and breakfast. The day before, Nick had chopped enough to keep the fire going for a few days' straight, but he seems to be of the mind that keeping busy is better for him than not.

Long strides bring him out of the surrounding wood, carrying a pile of wood in his arms. He's lacking in sleep, or at least restful sleep, from the dark circles beneath his pale eyes, but otherwise he seems to be a little stronger than he has been of late — after the bout in the infirmary after the mysterious attack over a week ago.

Catching sight of the knife being handed to the young boy, Nick's eyes narrow — he doesn't know Jojo's ability. "That a good idea?" he calls to the older man.

"I'm a father, you're a fucker." Ethan dismisses easily. But his hands do dip down to cover Joe's ears for the last part. Taking a step back, the man folds his arms over his large chest before motioning with his chin. "Give it a try." And so, Joe does. The blade never makes it to the tree, but clatters and slides.

Giving a gentle smile, the Wolf steps over and gives Joe's head a light pat. Then a little shove with his fingers. "Get goin' Joe." And Joe reluctantly gets going. Ethan however goes to pick up the blade off the ground, dusting it off. Taking a few steps back, Ethan smirks over at Nick. "Have to stick your foot in everything, isn't that right boy?" Turning around at the pile of wood, he pulls his arm back and lets another knife fly at the tree.

Landing only a few inches from the first knife, splintering the wood upon impact. Something about a mother is muttered under his breath.

"Sorry, kid," Nick says to Joe, if it's his fault that he's ruining the kid's fun. He scowls darkly at Ethan's words, tipping his head slightly to indicate he doesn't understand. "My foot in everything?" he echoes. "Pretty much keepin' my head down and just doin' what I can to help out's long as I'm here. Not plannin' on that being a lot longer, so whatever the hell problem you have with me, I'll be out of your hair in no time."

It may not be the brightest thing to say to a man hurling knives at a tree, but Nick's cold and weary and short on patience. He shakes his head — whatever the mother comment was gets ignored. Nick isn't the type to be offended by any slurs against mothers that men seem wont to toss around as insults. He's more likely to join in when it comes to Sophia.

Ethan glances up to his head, there's not much hair to be in up there. His eyes go back down to Nick where he smirks a little bit. A light chuckle is exhaled at the other man's response. Reaching down, another knife is taken from the log. "I ain't got no problem with you, Nick. I just don't give a fuck bout ya. And if'y'as a temperment of a twelve year old, that can make a little fella like yourself veeery sen-si-tive." Another knife slices through the air and lands into the tree.

Letting his hands hang down, Holden goes to sit on the log next to the collection of his knives. Pushing his hands into his jacket, a cigarette and a lighter our brought out. "Smoke?" An extra cigarette is taken out and offered towards Nick.

"Don't expect you to," Nick says dryly, about giving a fuck about him. His words are accented by nothing more than that generic American that Ethan knows is bullshit, but only an expert linguist would be able to pull apart otherwise. He shrugs, and bends to drop the load of firewood on the ground, moving closer to Ethan for the cigarette.

"Thanks," he says, accepting it. "Didn't expect to be here this long; ran out of my own a couple days ago," he mutters, bringing the paper stick to his lips.

"I don't expect you to expect me to." Ethan quips back. He will win the battle of who cares less about the other man, just you wait. Handing over the cigarette, a light grunt is given to reciprcate the thanks. Putting his own cancer stick in between his lips, a fire is brought up from his lighter. Sucking on the cigarette gently, once it's appopriately lift, the lighter is offered to Nick.

Taking the cigarette out for a moment he lets out a little puff. "That's because I've been stealing yours." The Wolf says flatly. Maybe he's joking, maybe he's serious. It doesn't really matter. "So. You're Eileen's sister." Buhduuhh

The lighter taken, Nick gives the wheel a quick flick and lights his own cigarette, inhaling til the paper catches, then tossing the lighter back. "This ain't my brand," he points out.

His eyes narrow a little at the mention of Eileen. Not many know their relationship. He's been called York, he's kept his accent "American," he hasn't spoken to her in public except down at the docks when Benji came in.

"Nope. Why d'you say that?" he says, eyes shifting to the treeline, watching it as if for any dangers as he takes a long drag of the cigarette, then drops his hand, letting the smoke curl up in twisting tendrils.

A chuckle comes out as Ethan drops his gaze. His free hand going to settle around one of the knives firmly. "Sophia lied like shit as well." The remark is made over a puff of smoke, the cigarette lowered to dangle near his leg. The knife pops out of the log beside him. Twirling in front of him, the blade is placed down in his lap.

His gaze slides subtly over to the younger man. "I know 'oo y'are, Ruskin. And I know your accent aint worth a shit." The blade curls up into his fingers, another twirly motion in front of his chest. Frowning over at Nick, he takes another puff. At the brand talk, "I lie for shit as well."

The names Sophia and Ruskin have Nick's head up, eyes weary as he squints at Ethan. He gives a shake of his head as if to clear it. Knowing Eileen's his sister — that could have come from Raith, from Gabriel, from Eileen, from Amato — but to mention Sophia.

"Don't fuckin' compare me to her," he growls out, throwing the cigarette to Ethan's feet, the snow quenching the tiny ember quickly enough. "And don't fuckin' mention that you know me again. I don't know who told you, but if you give a fuck about living to the new year, you'll keep that secret, got it, old man?"

"Threaten me again boy." Ethan says quietly. The invitation is rather icy, there is no follow up or counter threat. Just the implication that if Nick does oblige Ethan, it might not be good for Ethan. But as calm as he ever was, the cigarette enters his mouth once again. Puffing on it, he brings his fingers back up to let the smoke rush out through his nostrils.

"That's a lot of anger, boy. You are like a twelve year old. Get out of order that quick." Ethan tilts his head to the side. "You'll get yourself killed very quickly. You weren't quite as peppy when you were still shittin' your diapers and crying." The cigarette is allowed to smoulder near his lap. His other hand still playing idly with the sharp knife in his other hand.

"If I was gonna get killed for having a short temper, it'd have happened a long fucking time ago," Nick says through his teeth, anger raging, the implication of just how Ethan knows who he is, who his mother is, clicking. His mother's honor is certainly nothing he plans to defend; if Gregory York was a cuckold, well, it'd be the least of Sophia's sins. But for whatever reason — instinct, most likely — Nick's rage swells, and suddenly in a smooth motion that comes seemingly from out of nowhere, his steel-toe boot comes up in a kind of roundhouse, knocking Ethan's hand that holds the blade, in hopes the knife will scuttle away, giving Nick a chance in the fight that Ethan's picked with him.

As the knife skitters away in the snow, Ethan glances after it with a light frown. Glancing over at the other knives that are still embedded into the log he is seated on, the man's eyes simply go back to Nick as if to say 'really?' Placing his cigarette back into his mouth, he shakes his free hand vigorously as if to relieve the pain that those little boot-ies of Nick's caused him. The cigarette is taken out of his mouth, once again smoke flows out of his nostrils like an angry cartoon bull.

But the Wolf remains calm. Taking his time in standing up, he gives the other man a playful grin. "Yeah. Because you're not prone t'injury or anything. Fallin' down stairs or whotever it is you've been doin'." Ethan's hands remain at his side as he looks the other man up and down. "Wonder if any part of little Nicki's still sore from his last run in with…" He splays his hands out, giving a broad grin to the younger man. "Y'don't want to start this fight little Nickie. Y'won't be finishin' it."

The younger man shakes his head, blue eyes the pale color of the dawn December sky above. His jaw set, he holds his stance, hands curling into fists, ready to fly and ready to guard, should Ethan come his way.

"You started this fight. Whoever the fuck you are, acting like you know shit about me. Whatever you know, you don't know me, you got that? You don't know shit about who I am. Fucking Sophia doesn't give you the right to act like you have a fucking clue, man, and all it means on top of that is that you have shit taste in women," Nick spits.

"Bla bla bla. Bla bla bla bla bla, bla bla bla bla bla bla." It's Ethan's childish response to Nick's yelling. His babble copies the tone of the other man identically. "You sound like a fuckin' inbred hooker on Jerry Springer right now." Holden's hands stay down. He's been told not fight Nick. So that means he can't throw a punch first. But he does know on this angry little puppy if the right buttons are pushed. "Your old lady liked to yell like that before a tussle as well. Y'got a lot 'o 'er in you." He notes conversationally, taking the cigarette out of his mouth. Holding it there for a moment he smiles brightly at Nick. "Y'tryin to flirt with me little Nickie?"

That he is like Sophia in anyway is enough to push Nick past that line in the sand. He rushes Ethan, right fist swinging for the older man's jaw while his left hand aims lower, butt of his hand striking out and hard but less obvious, aiming for the solar plexus.

But that might be exactly what Ethan wanted. The smile that forms on his lips looks practically elated as Nick springs forward. Instead of dancing backward to avoid the strikes, Ethan implements an interesting strategy. The older man walks into the strikes. In-stepping immediately, Ethan's legs bend, avoiding the high left but absorbing the right in his abdomen. Tightening his stomach and decreasing the distance between Nick's fist and his stomach. Taking the hit has a grunt flowing out of his lips, but it is short-lived. The cigarette in his hand is coming down rapidly to be put out Nick's wrist as it connects with his gut.

Miliseconds later his legs are springing from the tight coil they had been wrapped in. Propelling him forward, Ethan's forehead swings viciously towards Nick's nose.

Nick hisses as the cigarette burns his skin — it won't be the first such scar he bears; another just like it is sometimes visible just behind his ear, and others mar his arms beneath his clothing. Trying to duck that headbutt is likely a mistake — the nose is actually more forgiving a target than the cheekbone which is instead where Ethan's head strikes, sending a kaleidoscope of whirls and sparks through Nick's vision.

His fist comes up even as he falls away with pain from that facial strike, striking out for wherever he might hit of Ethan's face, even as his boot makes a sweeping motion below, trying to knock Ethan off balance.

The fist slides across Ethan's bald widdle head. Making his neck bobble backwards, Ethan is ever persistent in keeping the distance close. His eyes drop down to Nick's torso, the hint of a leg coming down below being broadcasted by the younger man's hips. If anyone wondered why he was dubbed the Wolf, this may be why. Relentless even through punishment, Holden's foot pops up to hook around Nick's sweeping leg. Intending to use Nick's strike against him, Ethan flings one arm out at the opposite shoulder to optimize the situation and throw Nick's own balance off.

Nothing extremely offensive, but Ethan keeps the distance close. Following Nick should he tumble backwards. But with this brief reprieve, Holden brings his hand up to brush over his forehead. "Y'little fuck. No one 'its my 'ead but me."

Losing his balance, Nick knows he's going to fall, but he grips Ethan around the collar to make sure the man comes down with him as he goes sprawling in the snow with an oof — he's still bruised from the last "fight" all over, and Ethan on top of him certainly doesn't do any good for the deep contusion to his chest courtesy of Walsh's rubber bullets.

To irritate Ethan further, Nick grabs a fistful of snow and brings it up to strike between the man's eyes even as he tries to roll over to get the better position. Holden's the Wolf — Nick might be something of a jackal — still, the fight is uneven.

Following Nick's pace, Ethan goes to his knees. Being pulled down close to him, the Wolf peers down with a smile at the man below him. His elbow flies over to disconnect his grip from his collar. Not allowing himself to go down into a full on grapple. As Nick goes to throw a snowball at his face..

Throwing a right hook at Nick's temple, his head bobs back temporarily with the ice burning into his pupils. It's followed by a left uppercut towards the other man's chin. As Nick tries to roll, Ethan's left leg is thrown out to sprawl. Stabilizing himself in order to not go on his back, Ethan presses forward, attempting to deliver another elbow at the man's chin.

The first hit connects, sending another starburst of nauseating colors through Nick's vision, before the younger ma manages to throw an arm up to block; then when the next elbow comes, he grabs at it to fling it away, knock Ethan off balance as one booted foot moves up to kick viciously at the older man's crotch as he kneels above Nick. Whether it connects or not, Nick scrambles to try to get out of reach and to his feet.

Why are people constantly going after his testicles? Seriously. Every one he fights feel compelled to go after his balls. It's getting ridiculous. Taking the hit roughly, Ethan gives enough pause for Nick to scramble away and get to his feet. Placing his hand over his groin he lets out a growl, placing his other hand on the ground he goes about getting to his feet.

For the first time, Ethan's features aren't full of calm and smiles anymore. Now he's scowling. Ball pain is serious business. Reaching up, Ethan takes off his bigger jacket and throws it back to the ground. Taking a step forward he lets out a low growl, standing ready in front of the man. "Okay fucker. Time to put you down."

"Get the fuck away from me. I'm done with you." The words are spit out with vitriol and blood, Nick literally spitting the latter into the snow as he backs away. He shakes his head, one hand reaching into his pocket to grip around the cold metal of his gun, insurance if worse comes to worse. He holds this stance for a moment, then takes a few steps back, watching Ethan warily before apparently deciding the fight is done.

Likely a mistake.

He turns his back to the man and begins to stride toward the castle. "Just fuckin' stay out of my sight and I'll stay out of yours," Nick mutters.

"Aint that easy Nick." Ethan says dully. "You best turn back around now. You don't get to walk away from this.." Walking forward powerfully. Ethan's fists come up for the first time as if ready to start striking again. Once Nick turns around, Ethan presses in.

Starting to feint a right, Ethan suddenly lunges forward. His boot flies up in a very high roundhose headkick. Going up in a fast powerful arc, Holden's heel goes careening towards Nick's temple rapidly.

Just a touch too slow to turn, vision clouded by a little blood and rapidly swelling cheek and brow, Nick sees the fist but not the kick until it's too late.

It's the last thing he sees before darkness overtakes him.

The snow crunches as Ethan's boot descends roughly back onto the island. Nick crumples in a heap not long after. Stepping alongside the collapsed Ruskin, Holden goes into a crouch. Placing two fingers on the man's neck, he gives a light nod. There's a pulse. And because there's a pulse, when Ethan stands up Nick gets a harsh kick to the side.

Stepping away from the body, the Wolf goes to reclaim the few knives he had been throwing. Bringing one hand up to his face, he gives a light chuckle. "Still got a stomach ache you little fuck." Pulling the knife out of the tree, it goes into the holders he has on his belt. Bringing his jacket back off the frosty ground, it's flapped around a little before put back on his torso.

Walking back over to Nick, Ethan glances over to the docks. "You're gonna get me in trouble boy. So. We're both leavin'."

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