PHD #460: 3-2 Inoue
3-2 Inoue
Summary: There's sparring going on down in athletics.
Date: 01 Jun 2042 AE
Related Logs: None.
Ciro Ekho 
Athletics Area
A large pair of mats dominates the center of this room, their centers taped-out for a small area to practice boxing or other martial arts. Around the outside are treadmills, bikes, weights, and an impressive variety of gym equipment to help tone and shape the bodies of the crew. To one side of the room is the locker room while at the rear is a hatch that leads back to the oversized swimming pool. Off to the side is a rack that holds boxing gloves, pugil sticks, and the associated pads for the sticks.
Condition Level: 3 - All Clear
Post-Holocaust Day: #460

The Athletics area. Always loud, always busy, always full of personnel moving to and fro. Some doing their required PT, some doing extra duty, others training old…and new…skills. And always quite a few loitering, bring the level of noise and conversation up to a low, steady din. And in the middle of all of it, an MP. Thankfully, she's not having to break anything up. She's settled, seated at one of the benches that ring the well, ring, carefully winding the bands of fabric that seem to be in lieu of athletic tape, around her hands.

The door to the Athletics Room opens and Ciro steps through with a gym bag in one arm and a quieted expression. It's the same way every time. He enters quietly and scans the room, searching for faces that he recognizes before he finds a place to plant himself. Sometimes he pulls himself up on the bars, and other times he finds his way to the weights. When he spots the wrapped bands around Ekho's wrists and knuckles, he heads over in her direction. "…are you just getting started?" He asks, as if starting their conversation somewhere in the middle. He sets the gym bag down hear her and zips it open, pulling out a similar looking collection of gray colored bands.

Ekho doesn't look up, eyes focused on what she's doing, her hair falling down to hide most of the view of her face from where Ciro's now sitting, "Just getting started." Her tone is tight, clipped, as though the woman were angry, but the source of the anger weren't anywhere near enough to let it loose. Or she might simply be doing what MPs tend to do, and clam up. "You just got off the watch?" With the right hand done, it's on to the left, that one moving as easily as the other, showing no traces of the subtle carefulness that can often be used to discern which hand is dominant.

"Yes. Another day of standing in place achieved." Ciro replies flatly, glancing to the ring and the nearby heavy bags that hand from their moorings. Sensing she's in a place that isn't filled with witty conversation and banter, he starts to wrap his hands as well. He makes quick work of it, the process something he does regularly as well it seems, immobilizing his wrists as much as possible. "Before I get too deep with wrapping these hands, Ekho, am I going to be holding a bag for you or do you need some time in the ring? I'm game for either."

"If I have someone to spar with, it would seem a better choice to do that than to work the bags." Once she finishes the hand wrapping, there's a moment to make sure her hair is kept carefully up. No dirty fighting, yo! Finally, her dogtags, and the locket that always goes with them are tucked into the small bag she brought with her, before the woman comes to her feet. "Unless you think I'd be a bit too much for you." Ekho is not small, for a woman, barely five inches shorter than the marine sitting next to her, but he's at least fifty pounds heavier than she is. There's a flash of her usual humour, under all that pissedoffness.

Gauging her subdued anger, Ciro stares at the dark haired MP, issuing a weighing gaze in her direction. He bites down on the inside of his lip and then turns back to his bag, finishing the wrapping of his wrists. "Suit yourself, Elly. If you're looking for a bigger target, a bigger target I can provide." Keeping his tags on, he turns from his gym bag and moves to the metal steps that rest at the corner of the ring. He raises his knee and brings it down slowly against the ropes, giving her room to slip inside. "I'll do my best to not flatten you, of course." He fires back, giving her a dark look over lowered brows. In truth…he isn't sure as to whether or not he has the heart to hit her.

"Say that when you're crying uncle." Ekho nods a thanks, as Ciro allows her to go first, stepping into the ring, moving off to one side, allowing him to get into position on the other. "Not the face or the joints." That's sort of standard, mostly, for sparring. There's training and then there's sending someone to sickbay, or trying to explain why you can't work your assigned shift. "Or just crying." The woman settles in, taking an easy stance. One hand held ready for defense, the other gesturing for Ciro to begin.

When she turns around to look to him, he's already in the ring, tilting his head from side to side to free up some muscle tension. "No face, no joints, no cheap shots." He corrects her, giving a knowing nod in her direction as if commenting on the universal state of female treachery. Rubbing his jaw with the heel of his hand, he bounces in place a few times before he moves closer to the center of the ring. He eyes her, up and down, and then gets into a fighting stance. He steps forward, arm lashing out in a feigned jab to test her reflexes.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ciro:Melee vs Ekho:Melee
< Ciro: Bad Failure Ekho: Success
< Net Result: Ekho wins.

There's a calm, easy tension in Ekho's body, as she waits for the first foray into her defenses, but, unlike the man, she's not trying to test him out. It must all go back to her philosophy about making conditions as real as possible. And that means not testing Ciro to see what he's capable of. Ciro's jab comes up, the woman ducking easily away, swiveling her hips as she ducks down, aiming a full-powered blow towards the soft spot just below the curve of his ribs. "Good."

Her hit connects, her fist coming into contact with a tightened pair of abs. He may not have been able to avoid her quick blow, but was able to prepare his muscles for the attack. Though, by the way his eyes narrow, he did feel the impact. "You're fast." He says, hopping back a step. His arms are raised, elbows up to defend his body from her attacks, ready to spring his knee up to guard his body. It's a powerful stance, one designed for his height and strength. He's used to punching at a downwards angle, using his size as an advantage. "Alright then…" He admits, no longer testing her. He steps in again, dipping and turning his weight to one side, sending a fist towards her side.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ciro:Melee vs Ekho:Melee
< Ciro: Great Success Ekho: Failure
< Net Result: Ciro wins big.

"It's one of my better qualities." Ekho manages to get out, before she moves back into position, turning to settle back onto her feet, quick eyes darting to try to gauge his movements, but she simply isn't quick enough to avoid the return, having settled in for standing just a hair too close, the misjudgment of his reach costing her, the sound of the impact preceding the sharp sound that escapes her lips, before she steps back again. "1-1." And just as quickly, she's moving in again, this time attempting to use her lower center of gravity to pivot to sweep at one of the bigger man's legs.

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ciro:Melee vs Ekho:Melee
< Ciro: Good Success Ekho: Success
< Net Result: Ciro wins.

"One-One it is…" He replies, giving her a sly look from in between the pale wraps that bind his wrists into place. When she steps in for the sweep, he takes a step in so that her leg connects with his at the inside of her knee, rather than the full force of her lower leg to his ankle. It negates her attack, giving him room to pull her up to her full height so that he can deliver another blow to her side. It's not as hard as the first one, but he's not letting up too much. The look he gives her as he steps back, waiting for her move, is apologetic. "Two-One…" He taunts. "…you wanna hit me in the face, Ekho? Hit me in the goddamned face."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ciro:Melee vs Ekho:Melee
< Ciro: Great Success Ekho: Great Success
< Net Result: DRAW

Ekho, of necessity, is not a grappler, she hasn't the weight for it. And so, she doesn't try to fight back as Ciro forces her into the stumble, holding her in place with one of his arms, her body pulled in against his to give him room to strike, before he steps back, giving her room to do the same, "Now why would I want to hit you in the face? It's so pretty…and you were so concerned about your hair." She bounces, using the moment to focus, and some of the anger to bleed away, before she moves in, aiming lower now, though she's not aiming for anything inappropriate, thank you very much, but she is attempting a blow to the area just below his hip.

Ciro's teeth grit as she connects solidly against his lower hip, his body naturally curling up to protect himself from what he suspected was a dirty shot. Shaking his head, he gives her a shrug as he bounces back, laughing a warning glare in her direction. "Careful now…you're gonna owe me a beer you break anything worth keepin' intact." He challenges, narrowing his eyes. "You think this face is pretty? Last I thought I was a three-dee rectangle with a squirrel's tail on my head." He starts towards her once more, trying to find a…diplomatic…way of fighting her. Feigning once with his left, he sidesteps and sends a full-forced punch to her stomach, pressing against her as he does so.

The blow lands, and the woman moves to get free, meeting him glare for glare, but that long reach works to Ciro's advantage, and Ekho can't step back as smoothly as she's like, "Depends on who's judging worth, doesn't it?" A moment, to catch her breath, "A squirrel's tail? I'll buy whomever called it that a beer." She steps in, just as he does, changing tactics, in an attempt to negate the advantage of size and distance. The blow lands, solidly, her breath escaping in a ragged gasp, before she shifts, trying to slip around, in lose, to get a shot in at his kidneys. Is that a dirty trick?

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ciro:Melee vs Ekho:Melee
< Ciro: Failure Ekho: Failure
< Net Result: Both Fail.

"Then you're buying a beer for Natalie Vandenb—" Ciro manages before he twits, bringing his arms down to protect himself from her shot at his kidney. His elbow locks with hers, sending him off balance. Stumbling, he reaches out for the rope to stabilize himself, but only manages to miss as the two crumble into a heap on the floor of the mat. Laughing, Ciro grumbles and brings his fist up, making a mock power-punch to the top of her head. Catching his breath, he starts to untangle himself from her. "What's that now?" He pauses, breathing heavily. "Six-Six?"

A sound, more surprised than anything else, as Ekho finds herself getting dragged down by nearly two hundred pounds of marine landing half on and half off of her. "When they say get your opponent on the ropes, this is not what's meant by that." She at least manages to get that out what with the laughter choking her words, hands, trying to be helpful and all, shoving at the man to try to get him untangled from the ropes in the bargain, "You skipped a grade in school, did you?"

"A grade? You mean in the singular tense?" Ciro replies, his laughter mixing with hers as he stumbles up and away from her. Rubbing his ribs with his elbow, he rolls his eyes at her as he gets back into a fighting stance. "You'd be impressed to learn, Ekho Inoue, that I didn't skip just one grade. I skipped two." He winks. "By skipped I mean repeated."

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ciro:Melee vs Ekho:Melee
< Ciro: Failure Ekho: Success
< Net Result: Ekho wins.

"That smart, huh?" The woman too settles in, doing a quick check of all of the places that have not been nearly flattened, as it were. "Everything's still here." She steps in once more, and rather than trying something new, she, well, it's not dirty to be observant is it? She's a cop, damnit! And she goes for the leg Ciro's weight landed on, again attempting a sweep, hands moving in in a quick jabbing feint to keep his attention up.

Unable to decide between her sweep and the feint, Ciro chooses poorly. Her leg connects squarely with the inside of his leg, forcing him to stumble forward. Catching himself at the last second, he narrowly avoids slamming face first into the mat with a grunt. "Frakkin…" He starts, shaking his head from side to side to work away the cobwebs. Blinking, he pushes up to his knees and reaches for her leg, trying to yank her down to the mat.

The rules did say no hitting in the face, yes, but they didn't say no faceplanting, and there's a flash of something very much like success in Ekho's eyes as the sees the man go down, moving back to give him room to get back up. Anything else would be unsportsmanlike. About as unsportsmanlike as the hand that reaches out for her ankle, pulling her leg out from under her and sending her falling back onto her back on the mat, the leg that's being held kicking out of reflex, rather than intention, "Cheating!"

"How the frak is that cheating? You said no face, no joints and no low-blows?" Ciro barks back with no small amount of feigned ignorance. As she kicks, he leans to get out of the way, snarling as he smacks her leg away. With a laugh, he pushes himself to one knee and starts to rise. "Speaking of cheating I'm pretty sure you were trying to punch me in one of those places right when we were starting." He grins. "C'mon…tough it up, jarhead."

"Just for that, see if I ever help you get up from the ground again. And that includes at Pete's." Once Ekho has her hands free, and her feet, incidentally, she scrambles around as best she can, half rising, attempting to use what weight she has to push the man over and back down, before he can get up. "I was not. I'd hate to ruin another woman's fun."

"Another woman's fun?" Ciro huffs, lifting his eyebrow in her direction as he steps back from her shove. He's not going to be that easy to push down, and he's not going to let her do that again so simply. Again, his eyes narrow in a small amount of scrutiny. Perhaps his question is enough. He turns his wrists, motioning for her to come give him everything she's got. "At least you're assuming it works." He taunts, beckoning her to come hither. "You're pretty strong for such a skinny girl, you know that?"

<FS3> Opposed Roll — Ciro:Melee vs Ekho:Melee
< Ciro: Failure Ekho: Good Success
< Net Result: Ekho wins.

"Many a woman has done much more with much less, Sondray." As the man manages to get clear, Ekho gets back to her feet, taking a moment to settle into herself. "2-2. This last one is for all the marbles." A moment, another, before she goes for the shot, and this time she is playing dirty, as she's aiming for his manly bits. Or so her body and the aim of her hand would seem to indicate, but she twists, just at the last minute, bringing her elbow up, and turning to use her body and her weight to send her elbow into his stomach.

"Many a woman has done with much less? What are you doin in those showers, Ekho? Eyes up and if you get caught lookin for more than three seconds…isn't that the rule?" Ciro replies, again tensing up at the thought of another attempt to hit him in an uncomfortable place. He controls himself…mostly…but the damage is done. Her elbow slams into his stomach, something that he wasn't quite expecting. Coughing, he bends over and takes a step back, arm extended to show her that he needs some room. "Oh…" He groans. "…I'm gonna kick your ass for that someday."

"I try not to do anything in those showers. Do you have any idea where those walls have been?" Ekho snorts, as she rolls to get back onto her feet. She doesn't stay that way though, returning, but this time, not to beat the man up a little more. Rather she crouches down, offering to help him get back to his feet. "Come on up, big man, looks like you could use some water and a breather."

"Ugh…yeah maybe you're right." Ciro replies, straightening his body out with only minimal help from her. It wasn't a no-holds barred match, but the friendly competition has come to an end. She simply outshot him in the ring. Rising to his feet, he's still cordial enough to hold the ropes open for her. "You try not to do anything in the showers? That sort of infers that you have, and that you've failed at trying at some point in the past, Ekho."

Ekho assists as she can, before she steps through the ropes, padding over to the bench they were set up at, rummaging in her bag for a water bottle, which she tosses over to him, "If you're intention is to try to shock or embarrass me, Ciro, I think you'll find there's a four year old out there who will be the first one to tell you that that ship has sailed. The coy virgin act is a bit of a lost cause once you've pushed something the size of a small watermelon out through something the size of your nostril. But, alas, we were all young and stupid at some point." A shrug of her shoulders, before she pulls out a bottle for herself.

"I got my own." Ciro replies, chuckling softly as he tosses the bottle back to her. Reaching for his own, he screws off the cap and takes a long drink from the semi-cool water inside. After he swallows, he grins broadly, biting down on his tongue with a glance in her direction. His eyes light up, for the first time in a long time he appears almost giddy with a thought that's crossed his mind. Coughing to the side, he rubs his throat and gives her a matter-of-factly look. "A nostril? Really?" He chuckles, giving her a devilish look. "Your…" He points to her. "…vagina is the size of a nostril?"

Ekho's free hand reaches out, catching the water bottle he sends back her way, tossing it back into her bag, as she's already got one. true to her word, there's no sense of embarrassment or coyness in her words. She owns that she's a woman who's lived a woman's life. "They never had sex ed at your school did they? But the normal female cervix is quite about that size when it's undilated, yes, perhaps a bit smaller. Though I've never had any complaints about the rest of the anatomy that goes with it."

"Sorry that was crude, even for me." Ciro laughs, cringing a little bit with a shake of his head. Setting the water bottle back in his bag, he gives her a mock look of disapproval. "Of course we had that in school it's just…a nostril seems a little small." Maybe that's damning, but he passes over it. The mention of the rest of her body, however, has him tilting his head. "No…no I doubt you would." He admits, chuckling inwardly as he brushes his hand through his hair, lifting an eyebrow in another matter-of-factly manner. She's got a point there. "Then again, neither did I."

"Believe me, I lived through eighteen hours of my body telling me the same thing. 'He won't fit…you're killing us…make it stop! Can we return him to sender? Let him stay, we don't mind the back pain!'." Ekho finishes her water, before she settles back onto the bench, returning to the simple act of unwrapping her hands, elbows resting on her knees, "I'll pass that one on if anyone asks." Girls can help girls, see?

"You have a way of putting me right there in labor with you, Ekho. Return him to sender? Frak…that's pretty funny. Did that actually cross your mind?" He asks, pulling his dog tags out of his dual colored tank tops. He turns his attention back to her as he starts to unravel his wrist wrappings as well. "You'll pass that one if anyone asks?" He turns his head, glancing to the rest of the room to judge just how much privacy they have. Sensing that they're clear, he looks back to her. "Ruin another woman's fun, pass it along…so what you're saying is…overall, you pass?"

"It's a gift." Clearly, despite her words, it must have been a crowning moment of Ekho's life, so that even now, so long after the event, even joking about it lights her face with some of the joy she felt seeing him for the first time. Hands toss the wraps back into her bag as well, to be washed and reused later as so much is in these harder times. But she remains where she is, forearms settled on her knees, looking out across the area. At least for a few moments, before she reaches in to retrieve her tags, having set them aside, no doubt, more to protect the locket than as a sign of setting aside her rank. She opens it, offering it over. A small boy, dark of hair and slender like his mother, but with green eyes to her blue, all smiles and childish glee. He looks to be about two or so, so even before the war, the picture would have been old. "No."

Setting his wrappings aside, Ciro reaches out to take the locket into his hands carefully, as if the locket were made of glass. Glancing from the image in the locket to her, his features softening as a face is finally matched to her story. "He looks a lot like you. It's the cheekbones…You did good." He replies quietly, giving the locket a bow of his head before he offers it back. Sensing the tender moment, he looks back to her, the side of his lip tugging. "C'mon…let's get something to eat."

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