rhiannon_lee: (magazine bw)
[personal profile] rhiannon_lee in [community profile] birthright_rpg
It had been years since Rhiannon stepped foot in an actual gym, the kind that regular fitness buffs frequented. She got her exercise at night on patrol and in sparring sessions with Cian. A major reason why she avoided gyms was that nobody her size should be capable of lifting what she could, and so it became an exercise in false straining. But she liked the places, especially old ones where the punching bags were cracked and the mats smelled like old sweat. They reminded her of the first days of training, way before things got fucked up. Those were good memories.

The gym had a help wanted sign. Rhiannon was doing okay on money, not great but able to pay the rent, based on temp work as a bartender. It couldn’t hurt to go inside though and ask, even if her primary purpose was the questionable ambiance. She pulled open the door and stepped inside, perhaps looking a bit different than the typical gym bunny, pale and tattooed and in too much make-up.

[Takes place before 'What Happens When?']

on 2014-04-27 07:56 pm (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
"Remember, ladies, always cool down after your workout with a series of stretches, and stay hydrated. The body needs water or else it'll give up on you."

Virgil was actually dragging out the cooler as he talked, iced-down plastic bottles waiting within. Some of the people who came for classes brought their own, but it was a good idea to have extras on hand in case someone hadn't. The veteran turned when he heard the big door creak open, inclined his head at the newcomer.

He'd put out the sign a couple of weeks ago, but so far the only people who'd shown any interest were muscle-heads who couldn't get work elsewhere or guys who wanted to use the place as a pick-up scene. Harkryder's Gym was not a 'trendy' place. He didn't have a juice bar or give away free towels. With most of his clientele being aspiring boxers or single mothers wanting to learn self-defense, Virgil didn't run a posh place.

He approached the brunette with a neutral expression, wiping at a trickle of sweat with the towel around his neck. Summer wasn't here yet, but he could tell it was going to be blazing when it got here.

"Yes, ma'am, can I help you?"

on 2014-04-27 08:34 pm (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Goatee)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
"Yes, ma'am, I'm Virgil Harkryder."

He was a good five inches taller than she was, and for once he resisted the urge to hunch his shoulders. He was six-three, but she didn't dress like a college student on a lark. That meant he probably couldn't intimidate her.

The boots were completely the wrong footwear if she was planning to join in on his current class, though.

"You want a water? If you want to take a look around, come on in."

on 2014-04-28 02:34 am (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Intense)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
Virgil's dark face puckered into a slight scowl, and he pointed at a large plastic trash can situated off to the side. "I have a couple of high school kids who come in and help pick up sometimes," he explained to Rhiannon. "Looks like I need to speak with them."

He rubbed his slightly stubbly jaw, adding, ""I was hoping to find someone who has fight training. I boxed when I was in the Marines, and I know a little bit about martial arts, but the classes are getting bigger now that the word is out."

He pointed at the group of women who were just finishing up their stretches, smiled and nodded when one of them waved. "It's mostly for women, but sometimes I get teenagers looking to learn to take up for themselves. What kind of experience do you have?"

on 2014-04-28 03:48 am (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Laid Back)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
The slight scowl had faded, to be replaced by bemusement. Surprised would have been the incorrect word to use. He'd seen ninety pound women take out men twice their sizes, so it wasn't that he didn't believe Rhiannon. Virgil scratched the top of his ear.

"You planning on going to cop school? With all that under your belt, you'd be a shoo-in." He tried to picture the brunette in a uniform, but it didn't compute.

on 2014-04-28 04:14 am (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Hat)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
The sudden burst of humor made the veteran grin, and he rubbed his fingers over his mouth as if to erase the expression. But he was clearly amused, despite the lack of teeth being displayed.

"Quitting smoking is harder than getting into the military," he said. "Every time I think I've kicked it, I have one smoke and it pulls me back in."

Virgil scratched his ear again. "You want to come into the office?" he asked Rhiannon. "They're almost through for the day, and we could at least sit down if you wanted to know more."

on 2014-04-28 07:21 pm (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Casual)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
Virgil wasn't sure how to go about this either, especially since Rhiannon had already revealed herself to have skills. He considered himself an easy-going man. Hell, part of the reason he'd quit the force was because after the Marines the regimentation of being a police officer was too confining. In the smaller confines of the office, he took a seat behind the rickety desk. He left the door open.

"So."

His big hands came together, fingers interlocking. "I'm not really sure of what else to ask," he admitted with a small shrug. "This is an informal place. I do some outreach work with the women's shelter on the side, give referrals for people who want help. The classes cost a small fee, but if someone can't come up with the money one week I don't press and they pay when they can. I won't go broke if I don't get the few bucks I charge."

on 2014-04-28 09:00 pm (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
"The self-defense classes are on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternating weekends, from five until seven p.m. Sometimes women bring their kids, and I have a separate area for them to read or play quietly. I thought about giving lessons to younger kids, but my insurance guy said the liability would be impossible to cover if someone got hurt, so I don't teach anyone under the age of thirteen."

Virgil had wondered if Rhiannon was someone who went clubbing at night, primarily because of the tattoos. Vegas jumped when the sun set, and the partying really only slowed down during the day, it didn't actually stop.

"Sometimes I hold a special session for women who have a bed at the shelter," he added. "That's usually on the weekends, from four to six. It's earlier because they have lights-out there. How would you feel about giving up an early evening?"

on 2014-04-29 02:56 am (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Laid Back)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
That elicited a display of teeth, and Virgil's chair creaked as he leaned back. "I was about to ask if you'd ever boxed or fought on a professional level," he told Rhiannon. "Sometimes practical knowledge is more important than a teaching certificate. Somebody coming at you in a fight doesn't ask for qualifications."

Idly, he wondered if she could take him. He was taller and heavier, but he was also probably ten years older than she was. He'd gotten in a fight with his sister once when they were teenagers, and she'd gone at him like a windmill. And that was before Momma snatched him bald-headed for hurting Tonya. He had learned the hard way to respect a woman's strength.

"How about this?" he said. "You come in later this week and help me run a class, and if it agrees with you we can discuss a more permanent arrangement. It'd just be part-time, so how about a trial run?"

on 2014-05-02 09:40 pm (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Virgil)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
"Heh. Most of these ladies might be glad to see a woman helping them learn to take up for themselves," Virgil said with a smile of his own. He looked at the piece of paper Rhiannon had written on, tucked it into a reasonably uncluttered drawer. He found a card with the gym's number on it, scrawled down his home number.

"If it doesn't work out, no hard feelings," he told the brunette. "You're the first serious person that's come in here to even ask questions, so you had a head start."

on 2014-05-03 09:11 pm (UTC)
v_harkryder: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] v_harkryder
Virgil's smile displayed more teeth, and he nodded. He was curious to see what Rhiannon could do, possibly curious enough to get in the ring with her himself. But not just yet. Certainly not in front of the last class.

He stood up from the chair, offered her his hand. "It's been nice meeting you, Rhiannon. Glad you stopped. by."

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