2019-08-26 - Don't like bullies


Thea and Clint have different ways of making a point.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Mon Aug 26 01:30:03 2019
Location: Triskelion

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"I'm tellin' you guys, that was a nasty prank." Special Agent Barton stands in that open gymnasium. Last open period for training at this hour and afterwords it's going to be reserves only. But for now, a good amount of SHIELD agents are in there. Some are on the mats, some are working the free weights. But there's a good handful of them standing around two men, Barton and Nickels.
Nickels, for his part, shakes his head. "C'mon man, it was funny. You see when she squeaked."
"Yah, super funny. At least she's facing her fears. When's the last time you ran a HALO drop Nickels?"
At that the other SHIELD agent scowls and murmurs, "Fuck off man."
"Yeah, thought so. Just don't involve me in that junk." Barton says as he turns around and steps away from them, leaving a good few of them milling around as he grimaces and seems to stop in the gym. As if trying to figure out where he wants to go, what he wants to do. For a time he flexes his left hand, wincing a little, then shakes his head and starts to move over to the free weights.

Thea had lingered just inside the doors of the gym, enough to hear Clint yelling at another Agent. She was already moving towards Clint in that manner of making it clear who she would back up if someone decided it was time to get physical, and someone outside the main two contenders got involved.

Strawberry blonde hair is back in a tight braid, and her face is clear of makeup, ready for a workout. She's in a black tank top, and some slick blue bike shorts. She watches him flex his hand, and lingers behind a moment before she's moving to close the distance on the way to the free weights. "Barton."

For that moment he'd been lost in his thoughts, but as she advanced he looked over his shoulder first then turned. "Harman," He gives a single nod to her. He was always good with names. Ran an op with someone, go into combat, you learn who is who in briefing. Makes things during the fight easier. Sometimes makes things after it a lil easier too.
He starts to move toward the rack of weights that carries a modular design for dumbbells and heavy bars. The control panel is opened and he keys up one for forty pounds and then extracts it from the storage housing.
"What's up with you? Everythin' alright?" Since of course that's the only reason someone would seek him out.

"I'm fine. I wanted to check your hand." She will gesture to his left hand, those blue gray eyes watching his face. "I don't know who you were standing up for, but I was behind you." As if there was no question Clint was in the right. She had heard enough from a couple sentences to be sure.

She will cut a look around the gym, as if she has to measure threat levels, people who may be paying attention, who was doing what. Observation is a skill.

"Ehn it was…" He lets her examine his hand as he holds the weight in the other. "Stupid crap." Work hours, less cursing. Very important. But around them people are going through the motions of their training, and the small crowd had dispersed.
There's no rush to him, content to let her examine it and feel the subtle pressure in his hands musculature that signals a hint of a strain. Nothing serious at all but a nagging thing and fairly common amongst men who use their hands and arms so often in a repeated fashion. Like drawing a bow.
"Had a bet with Nickels on the game last weekend. Lost it, he called in his marker and said all I had to do was sign up for the hand to hand refresher course." He looks to her meeting her gaze and smirks a little, "So I did. Only thing was, that new kid Ericsson was teaching it. And she has this… public speaking problem. And me being there, old hand at a refresher course… threw her off her game. Felt terrible about it."

She will just look down at his hand, and she doesn't poke or prod. If someone was watching, they might see her pupils dilate a bit, almost unfocused looking in the gaze. Clint will feel a tingling warmth along the slight strain, to take that irritation away. "Need to keep the archer in tip top shape." There's a hint of teasing, but no mockery.

She will turn her head to glance sidelong at Nickels. "So how proud is he, exactly? And how arrogant?" There's mischief in her gaze as she glances up at Clint's eyes. "I mean, you've done your homework on me, but has he? Is he dumb enough to take another bet, if we spar and I act clumsy, but you still wager with him that I'll take him down?"

His head tilts to the side as he looks at her, "Nah, you don't wanna get in the middle of it, Harman." He then takes his hand back and stretches it again, offering her a nod and a half-smile. "Thanks, kid. Yer alright."
That said he takes the weight and walks over toward one of the bench seats, straddling it and taking it in an underhand grip for some curls. He's not wearing anything out of the ordinary, himself. Just standard issue SHIELD sweats and sneakers, though his sneakers are bright white Nikes. He tilts his head sidelong to her and says, "Then again, you get a chance to take him down a peg, knock yerself out." Then there's a smirk, "Or knock him out if yer feelng ambitious."

"I don't like people that are bullies." Not that Thea herself was likely bullied, to look at her. "Kid?" She will lift her eyebrows at him, a tilt of her head. "Did you forget your bifocals today, Barton?" There's a quick grin at that.

She will turn her head, moving to stretch, arm crossing in front of her, opposite hand on the elbow to pull and stretch her shoulder. "Well, that was sort of the whole idea. Let him pick on one of the other new kids, if he thinks he can." She will tip her head to one side, then the other, working out the kinks.

Clint knows that she's a beautiful woman, and his lips twist into a half-smile as she chides him for it. No she's not a kid. But she's got some strikes going against her. Such as her age. And the whole being a co-worker thing. Which ends up with him saying with a half-smirk, "Mmmhmm, and I stick by my guns. Kid."
But he shakes his head and looks down at the weight, adjusting the grip then starts to execute a quick set of five reps, focused breathing, exhaling precisely. His legs are spread, arm in between them, and his off hand resting on his knee as he does the needed number of curls.
Then he swaps to the other arm and does, however, take a moment to look at her when her head's turned away. His lip curls as he shakes his head as he starts the next set of five.
No law against lookin'.

Thea is watching people on the mats, pondering exactly what approach, if any, she wants to take. Arms will lower, shaking out. "I will make sure that I have prunes in my kit for you, next mission, you keep calling me kid." She says it soft and slow, a glance back at Clint. "I was the youngest person around, when I was sent off to not be a problem for my father's career and to learn to harness what I can do. I stopped being kid a long time ago. I even prefer Harman to kid. " There's a smirk at him. "I don't have a SHIELD approved nickname yet."

"Well hell *grunt*," Clint tenses as his bicep clenches, the powerful muscle drawing taut as he finishes that set and again swaps arms. "Reckon we need ta get right on that. Harman." There, at least that's a decent concession. He takes another moment to get the grip secure and then starts with another five.
"*UMF* So you… *NF* Gotta gimme a *MPH* theme here. To work with." He does the other two and with that much weight it's putting a strain on his arm, but he's going for reps as he once again swaps.
"I'll come up with somethin'."

Thea leans down, hands sliding along her calf to grasp an ankle, then straightening up before repeating it on the other side. There's a low laugh, as she looks at him while holding that stretch. "One of the guys I used to know called me River. The whole potential to kill you with my brain thing, from a sci-fi he loved to watch." There's a grin. "I'm not sure what I'm supposed to pick as a theme."

She stands up, arms clasping behind her back, lifting and lowering her shoulders. "You know what I do, powers wise. You have some idea that I can fight, I think." She moves to grip a foot and pulling it up and up behind her.

"Mmhmm, so I'm told." Clint says, his default setting being 'give someone crap' and so he does a little. But he then holds up his free hand to stave off her reaction. "Though, to be fair, you held yer own when we did that run in wasteland area." He pushes himself up off the bench and moves back toward the weight storage and sets it back down, clicking it into place.
"But listen," He steps back to her and rests a hand on her shoulder once she stops stretching out. "You don't gotta prove anything to me, Harman. I've seen a bunch of recruits run through here and usually… a good percentage of them try to show that they got the chops to be here by showing off or whatever."
He turns away then and stretches out his left arm, rubbing at the burn he feels in his bicep and then tells her, "The very fact that you're here means you're good enough, right?"

Thea turns her head, gaze sharp on his face when his hand touches her. That focus around her snaps down to just him. "I'm not looking to be the biggest, baddest dog in the junkyard, Clint. I don't have to be. But I was recruited for my ability to be a walking first aid kit, or the flip side of that coin." She means making someone hurt, bleed, or worse.

Her chin lifts just a bit, a glance at his arm. "I never thought I had to prove anything to you. I think you've already seen I'm not a moron on the mission we were on together, though you found me amusing at some points. But I don't want anyone thinking I'm all powers and no punch."

"S'fine then," Clint gives her a nod and then steps away heading down the way a bit towards the weight machines. "Just so we're on the same wavelength." He says over his shoulder as he walks, his sneakers squeaking a little on the gym floor since they seem to be super new.
"M'gonna be here for a bit prolly," He motions with a nod of his head towards the military press that's set with a padded steel chair frame and with the weights pre-set to the key of a button.
His blue eyes meet hers, "You need anything else from me? Or you just lookin't a give me more grief?" His smile is warm though, robbing any sting form the words.

"Oh, I'm totally just here to give you grief and make sure you don't hurt yourself." Thea will smirk. "Just don't go too deep in the zone. I may try to see who I can harrass on the mats. I do accept constructive criticism..if you can back it up." There's a grin then, a flash of competitive fire in her eyes. "Don't overdo that arm too much. Strains can be harder to fix than muscle breaks."

She will turn, a hand sliding down her braid before it's pushed back behind her shoulder. Hands will curls and stretch slowly as she steps carefully over to the mats, visually measuring those still hanging around and working on some hand to hand. She's seriously tempted to find an angle on Nickels, but with Clint in mind she'll only do it if the path comes clear.

As Thea moves out onto those mats she'll step between the multiple pairs of men paired off and going through the movements of several grappling drills. It's all clean and textbook with each one taking turns throwing an attack and then the defender executing the counter. There's the sound of controlled breathing, focused shouts, and the thump and thuds of bodies hitting the mats.
As she walks by the small group of men, Nickels pipes up with a friendly, "Hey, Doc." Since that's how a bunch of them see her. The Healer. The Miracle-Worker. And, to be fair, Agent Nickels isn't a /bad/ guy, just a bit of a jerk. A twenty-five and handsome crew cut son of a marine fresh out of the academy, but a decent guy. Just, you know, jerk.
The other agents, however, give her a small wave as they step back to get set for their next round of attacks and defenses.

Thea will slow, and no one who didn't know her wouldn't be able to tell she was smiling on the inside. She will arch an eyebrow, and the gaze she gives Nickles is nearly frosty. "Hey Bugs Bunny." She'll return at him, a faint tilt of her chin up. "Feel like humoring the girl late to the party with a round on the mats?"

She's silently hoping he will, she can feel that slow creep of adrenaline into her blood stream. She's all but spoiling for it, at this point, but her body language is still loose and neutral.

With her understanding and sense of physiology she can likely tell he's not ready or perceiving it. In fact his lip curls a bit warmly as he looks to her and says, "Bugs Bunny?" But he ignores that and instead says, "Sure, Agent. What did you have in mind?"
That said he steps towards her and starts to move off from where the rest of his group are still training. It'll take them a little bit to get to some real estate clear enough for the pair to square off so he tries his hand at small talk. "This your first time down here?" Since he hadn't seen her before.
"It can be a bit rough, but most of the people here are professionals we get very few injuries." Just in case she was worried about getting hurt.
As for Clint he's just shaking his head as he pushes that military press grip upwards, going through the reps. He's not 'watching' per se, but he's occasionally stealing a look. Since yeah if Nickels breaks an arm or two, he won't mind. Much.

"Oh, just a little hand to hand. That is what you all are doing down here, right? Supposed to be a refresher for some of the longer term agents?" If Clint didn't know what she was up to, even he might believe that slightly wide-eyed naive expression and tone.

"Yeah, I haven't spent much time here in the gym. I've been kept busy with other things." Like malevolent magic stuff, and missions with people who don't have the title Agent. "It's nice, I'll have to use it more than the one in my building. I could use some more definition in my shoulders and arms." That's the truth, Thea wants to be more than in shape.

She will move over the mat, eyes on Nickels' chest, since that's where actions start. "Oh, I'm not worried about getting hurt, really. Nothing serious, anyhow. I've had some self defense classes and all." Again, truth, just not all of it.

"Alright then, are you familiar with rotation drills, or randori?" Nickels squares up with her and brings his hands up, getting set and ready. He shifts his legs a little weight on the back one as he begins to explain to her what they are. "In case you're not familiar, that's when one of us throws a punch or a kick or some kind of attack, and then the defender uses one of their known techniques to defend. Once you get it done, then we both get up and then roles are reversed. Cool?"
Nickels' smile is a friendly thing and he probably doesn't know better. Though it's most likely not sexism as there are plenty of female SHIELD agents that are quite whupass. Just nobody's really paid attention to her.
"Here, I'll go first. Are you ready?" And if she agrees he steps forwards and throws a slow punch, half-speed, zero impact intended if it somehow got through.

She will seem to mimic his posture, and appears to be looking at his face, but that's not where her focus is. "How about you just come at me? I'm always willing to risk bruises to see where I'm at, progress wise. I'll just feel foolish, if you go around and around on me in slo-mo."

No, no one that hasn't gone on mission with her likely knows much of anything about her. Clint, Stark, Agent Black… the list is short. She will smile at him brightly, playing up the pretty girl angle. "Don't worry, I won't hold it against you if you come at me and show me what you've got."

Stopping the punch as she tells him to, he'll pause and listen long enough. "Oh uh, well alright. First one to tap." Since free form is usually reserved for later. But then he shrugs a little and squares back up, shaking his head a few times as if to get the cobwebs out. He flashes her a smile and hunkers down a little, trying to be a lil more level with her.
For a time he'll look to her eyes, her body placement, then nods to himself. "Ready?" And if she gives some form of acknowledgment he nods and then he'll step in.
And it's a clean jab thrown at her, quick, sharp, not as fast as he likely can throw one, but it's more meant to just let her know what she's in for. She can almost hear the silent, 'you asked for it' tacked on to the end of his sentence.

"Sure." She's done this before, with a wide variety of shaped and sized opponents - almost all men. She knows how to use her more slender frame for the speed to make up for the lack of brute strength. But that is the glory of her favorite fight style - Krav Maga. She doesn't have to be the strongest, she can use her speed to her advantage.

But she doesn't start to strike back yet, instead she will just sweep her foot back and turn on the other heel to let his jab go by her. If they were deeper into the matchup, she would have thrown a jab of her own towards his side, but she wants to frustrate him a little first.

Nickels' smile is still there, still a bit amused, but he's enjoying himself as he throws another punch as if just to keep her honest. He's got the reach on her, got the weight, likely the upper body strength. So he doesn't feel rushed and really, Thea is a beautiful young woman, he probably doesn't mind that she's paying him attention.
So he steps in and hunkers down behind his guard to try a few more quick punches. Clearly not going full speed since they're just sparring but if any of those punches would connect they'd be little more than just open slaps.
There's a clank of weights settling on weights as Clint gets up from the bench seat and rolls his shoulders, wincing at the exertion. He does spare a glance over towards Thea and shakes his head. Probably figuring not too much good could come of this.

Thea will let him press ahead, let him keep trying to closing the distance as she steps back and to the side, slapping down his hands. He's telling her more and more with every punch he throws, which side he favors, how his body moves before he launches one. She's silently categorizing all that information, along with the things her powers tell her about his heart rate, his adrenaline flow, his respiration.

She will try to tease him into overextending his reach just a bit, just enough to bring him forward and off his core balance, stepping back just a little bit further. If she can, she will step off to the side, a hand up to catch him under the chin with her palm, before she will use her momentum to come up behind him, and fold her other arm up around behind his neck to pull him down and back, to put his face to the ground. Truth is, if she can't get him to overextend soon, she'll still try it.

She gets what she wants when she teases him forward. He steps ahead, shifting his weight to his front foot and fires a quick combination that's a jabbing short left, followed by a powerhouse right that though he's got grappling gloves on might well snap her head back painfully if it connected.
And that's when she makes her move. She's able to sway to the left and right to avoid those punches, then she feels the impact on her hand pushing his head back slightly but mainly breaking eye contact and startling him, giving her those few seconds of a window, an opening to get her technique down and applied as she pushes into his features, stepping forward and forcing him off balance. It's a quick press, grasp, twist and then /slam/ onto the mats that if they had been fighting on concrete would end with his features cracked open.
But Nickels finds himself suddenly on the floor, he quickly shakes his head and tries to get some leverage, feet sliding on the mat as he tries to plant a foot while his palms flatten. She's got a split second, maybe two.

This is a move she's practiced against bigger and badder than Nickels. Faster and more wirey, too. She's quick to put her knee in the middle of his back, to pin him to the mat with the focal point of her weight, leaning down with her hands bracing one against the back of his shoulder, the other on the back of his neck. "Don't make me hurt you. Tap out." She will whisper in his ear, almost like a sweet nothing.

She can feel the flush from him before she sees it. The rush of blood to his head that has him scowling as his temper frays a little bit. But this isn't a schoolyard. The other agents aren't gathered around to watch or laugh. This is going to be her own personal victory and for him, perhaps his own personal shaming. But he won't go so easily.
He lifts his head slightly as if to say something in her direction, but then from the other side tries to twist to /slam/ an elbow towards her side, seeking to actually hit her this time if she won't literally get off his back.

This is where the big tempers lose it, and Thea is well used to that. Years of training keep her cool and aware, and the moment he lifts his head, she will drop from hand to forearm on the back of his neck to try and disrupt his precarious positioning. Her braid will brush along the side of his face before she will slide off to the side to roll and get up, back on the balls of her feet. She does better with weapons, but this is sparring only. She doesn't really need to damage Nickels.

Despite other agents mostly not watching, Clint seems inclined to step up and he clears his throat loud enough perhaps to get their attention. And then he asks them both, "Things alright over here?" He spares a look between Thea and Nickels, playing it off that perhaps he's just checking in. But he's a good judge of fighters and he just saw Thea put him down in a position that if she wanted to she could have broken his neck. But she sacrificed it for the whisper.
Agent Nickels answers with a scowl as he bounces back to his feet, retaking stance quickly and bringing his hands up. "Everything's perfect, Barton." He gives a nod towards the man though he doesn't take his eyes off Thea. "Ain't it?" He asks her.
And it's when she might be about to answer Clint that Nickels darts forwards, uncurling and twisting to the side as he fires a low side kick aimed at her shin before he brings a wickedly fast right cross around to try and catch the side of her head while she's in transition.

Well, breaking his neck would have not looked good in her file, after all. She doesn't want to really damage the guy, just maybe give him a little perspective on what's funny or not. Her eyes don't leave Nickels anymore than his leave her, knowing better than to look away from a man with his temper provoked.

She's about to tell Clint everything is just peachy, when he comes foward. She takes the kick to the shin, even as she darts lower, her own right coming up to strike at his ribs to use his own momentum against him. The bonus is that the right will just graze along the side of her head with her leaned in position.

She can recover from an almost bell ringing blow faster than most, of course, a flick of her powers to keep her sharp and in the game with the barest shake of her head. She will have a bruise on her shin if she doesn't deal with it shortly, but she's not against bruises. It's Thea that advances now, without any of the signs of temper coming from Nickels, those blue-gray eyes clear as she watches him. She will use her powers to make her muscles on her right side jump like she's about to throw a punch of her own, but it's really her left coming around and up to go for the uppercut.

Her arm slams into his side and she can feel the impact jolt up her arm, causing him to merely scowl at first, though the bruise'll grow there and likely pain him for a few days.
Yet it's the use of her abilities to send a feint that works, she can tell Nickels has been in many fights before but seeing her arm tense she's able to draw his defense up into that quadrant, leaving an opening just enough for her uppercut to catch the side of his chin and crack is head to the side. Not hard enough to fell him likely, not by a long shot…
But it's enough to break his balance and set him on his back foot, the shift of weight causing the mat fabric to exhale a short hiss of compressed air even as he grunts from that impact. Most fighters would retreat a step, two to recover their balance and get set for the next go. But Agent Nickels instead tries to throw a wild right trying to catch her before she can duck back out, looking to peg her hard in the side.

She won't back up, instead turning her body towards the blow. Left hand will drop and move to deflect and try to send his shot wide, while her outside foot will come in to kick along the backside of his knee, point of her toes aimed right for the back of that joint. Her right will come up to aim for his ribs on the other side with as much force as she can muster. She isn't ignoring Clint, but she's sure he understands where her focus needs to be.

It's enough to crack her foot into the back of his knee, triggering the joint as if it were the latch on a door and striking it like that gets it to open and open clean. His knee thumps onto the mats and it forces him to lower his guard with one hand to catch himself while the other tries to interfere and catch at that punch she /slams/ into his side. It's not enough to take him down, with the padded gloves and all. But it's enough to make him mad realizing that he's… getting schooled.
She's too fast with the snap back for him to grab her hand and again he doesn't retreat. Instead he uses that time after her strike to surge up and back to his feet as he charges at her with a rush, trying to tackle her and seeking to wrap his arms around her waist and take her down hard onto the mats.

She had that heartbeat to think about kicking him while he was down, and despite her training, she's trying to be the good sport. She will back up, and move her feet as quick as she can to let him rush her. She will try her favorite move again, trying to spin out of his line of attack. If she succeeds this time, she will let her foot move in front of him while she will turn and try to palm strike between his shoulder blades to set him forward further from his center of gravity.

He hadn't set properly, his charge at her was a wild thing executed in a rush, so when she slips to the side and catches his leg with her foot, slamming a palm heel strike into his back, it's enough to break his balance and send him to the mats again with a rush of movement and a faint /whuf/ that comes from him.
Yet he's already scrambling, hands flat and one leg sliding on the mats to try and help him get up quickly. She as a moment, perhaps two or three seconds to strike and strike quickly.

She will move quick, and still being on her feet certainly helps. She will move to slide her arm around his throat, her opposite hand wrapping around her forearm while she will lean in to put weight against his back to try and throw him off balance and send him back to the mat with her choke hold still applied. At this point, they may be drawing more attention than Thea had intended when she'd asked him for a match, but she can't take the blame for that.

A rear naked choke locked into place as she slams into him, crushing him back down onto the mats and tensing her grip upon her arms. She can feel the man's struggles as he tries to pull at her arm, hoping he can break her grip before she can fully lock it down. She has to twist a little to dodge the attempts of him trying to slam his head back into her face but he has no angle with her hunkered down so close.
There's the steady pounding of his pulse in his neck as she starts to tighten in and cut it off. He surrenders some leverage to try and twist to the side and slam an elbow up into her side, but he loses his balance and ends up on his side.
Clint steps forwards and says, "Tap, Nickels. It's over." And another group of Agents is looking over but haven't moved to watch.
Nickels, however, doesn't tap. Not yet at least.

Thea actually looks up at Clint, and the look she gives him is almost bored, not one of a woman engaged in a spar that's gone awry with an angry partner. She will not actually choke him out, instead she will use her powers to flood his system with serotonin and melatonin to make him suddenly woozy and sleepy, and losing that temper. She could have done this to combat his temper before, but she didn't know how far he'd take it. She needs him down and out, but actually choking him out would leave him with a nasty headache. Once she's sure he will not charge like an enraged bull, she lets go and springs up to her feet to step away.

Doesn't take long as she exerts her power and floods his system with that chemical cocktail, causing his senses to blur and then slowly for his system to shut down into a nice relaxing and peaceful slumber. He slumps in her grip and then hits the ground once she lets go of him. She bounds back to her feet and Nickels even starts to snore a little.
It's enough to cause a few titters from a couple of the agents near. But Clint he just shakes his head as he smirks at her, "Not bad, Harman." He offers, "Not bad." And then he starts to walk onto the mats, casually nudging Nickels with his foot. Just enough to break the slumber.
"Alright hit the showers, we got a class comin' in." He turns and tells the other agents. And this time he'll take his own advice, lifting a hand to wave after Thea.

"Well, I wouldn't have cheated, but sometimes the best way to deal with the enraged bull is to tranq the bull." Thea says in a soft aside to Clint. She'll watch Nickels a moment, giving him just a tiny boost to help him wake up, before she too is heading for the showers. "Later, Barton!" She sounds so much more cheerful now than when she came in, doesn't she?

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