Episode 2: The Assembly (Side Stories)
Location: Ship's Gym
While Ian liked to keep himself in shape, he wouldn't have considered himself a gym rat. He went there once-in-a-while, four or five times a month, but mostly ran, or when he could swim. He also did his fair share of pushups, sit-ups and other similar exercises. Those things helped give his chest and abs definition, but he would never be thought of as a weight-lifter. Like most of his race, he depended on speed and agility rather than bulk.
With everything going on in his life, the negotiations with the Tholians, the cloud still hanging over his shoulder despite his being officially cleared of acts of terrorism and murder, he needed a release from the stress. The best way to relieve some of that tension was to spend a little more time at the gym than usual.
So, early one morning, about 0530 he headed to the Defiant's gym. There was no one in at that time so did some stretches to get loosened up. Then, since he was alone, he tossed his shirt aside, and clad only in a pair of gym shorts he hooked his feet into a pair of boots attached to a parallel bar and began bringing his body up as far as he could. He quickly broke out into a sweat but was determined to keep going as long as he could push himself.
Elias rose early and tended to do a run around the deck where his quarters were before heading to the gym. Normally he was the only one in the gym in his previous billets, but as he walked into the gym on Defiant, he noticed that he had been beaten by someone else. He recognized the face of the Chief Diplomat and was immediately impressed. He hadn't pegged the man as a gym person. Elias walked past him and nodded a greeting as he headed to the heavy bag, "Mornin." He couldn't help but let a small thought come to his mind about the man's attractiveness.
Ian grunted a reply that probably wasn't intelligible until he finished the set and unhooked his feet and dropped gracefully to the floor. He picked up his shirt and wiped his face with it. He glanced a the other man, the new tactical officer. "Good morning, " he said. His Akadian flirtiness almost caused him to add, 'tall dark and handsome' but he'd learned enough about Terran culture to know they didn't always appreciate his attitude. "Sorry about earlier, I couldn't really say anything. You're up early."
Elias nodded, "No problem. I'm an early riser, just finished with a run around the deck. But, I could say the same about you." He pulled his wrist wraps out of his bag, then stopped and offered his hand, "Elias Lindholm. I dont believe we've been properly introduced.
"Nice to meet you, " I'm Ian, Ian Acainus."
Elias shook the man's hand, then continued to wrap his wrists. When he was done, he pulled his shirt off and laid it on the bench. Then he pulled his gloves on and strapped up. He took a few moments to bounce around and get himself loose before he squared up with the bag. He let off a few right jabs and then a quick right kick. "So Ian, I notice you dont wear the standard uniform. Mind if I ask where you call home," Elias asked between strikes.
Ian was trying his best to both not stare at the other shirtless man and to at least keeping his eyes on the face and not the chest, or even more embarrassing lower down. "I'm an exchange officer," he explained, "from Akadia. there's only to of us in Starfleet and our planet hasn't even officially joined. What about you?" he asked as he sat on a bench and picked up some dumbbells. "You from Earth, or a colony world?"
Elias took a few more strikes at the bag as he hopped to the left. He hadn't heard of Akadia, but it was a big universe. "I'm from Earth, Sweden specifically. Though I don't have a lot of contact back home." Elias fired off some quick jabs followed by a left hook. Then he let loose a powerful roundhouse kick and stepped back to catch his breath. He glanced over at the man took a quick glance at him. He let his eyes look over him for a second, then return to the man's face.
Ian was good at reading body language and facial expressions. So, he was pretty confident he was being checked out. Which didn't bother him a bit. "You're pretty good at that," he said. "What kind of martial art is that, and would you like a sparring partner?"
"Traditionally its called Muay Thai, or kickboxing, Elias said. He walked over to the bench and pulled a hand towel out of his bag. He wiped his face and chest and laid the towel on the bench. He pulled out another set of gloves from his bag and held them up, "If you're up for it?"
With a sly grin, Ian replied, "Well I've never tried it before, but we have our own martial art. I think I can handle myself. And a man should always be up for it. Don't you think?"
Elias grinned back. He waited until the Akadian had racked his dumbells and tossed the gloves to him, "Agreed." He then made his way to the sparring mat and squared up with his opponent. He mentally told himself to go easy on him, but at the same time, he was interested to see how Ian handled himself.
On the one hand, Ian knew next to nothing about this form of martial arts, it was totally new to him, on the other the concepts weren't too foreign to him D'Nal, his own martial arts used the opponent's strength against him. It should be an interesting battle. He took a defensive stance, turning his side toward the bigger man trying to make himself a smaller target.
Elias approached the man slowly. Ian had adopted a defensive stance and limited Elias's offensive options. He decided to start with a few right jabs. The first two connected and sent the Akadian back a few feet. Elias dodged a left hook and spun and connected a high left kick to the man's torso. He made sure to not hit with full force, but the move did send the man off balance. He then took a step back and readied himself for Ian's response
Ian shook off the attacks. He'd been a little caught by surprise that Elias had so easily been able to hit him he may have underestimated the man, but he wouldn't do so again. At least he hadn't done too much damage in his attack. Ian was breathing a little harder than usual, but other than that really wasn't in any pain. He feinted a jab of his own, hoping to distract his opponent, then brought his foot around with lightning speed, hoping to sweep Elias' legs from under him.
The two men sparred back and forth for some time, so long in fact that they lost track of just how long it had been. They were both sweat, bruised, battered, and a little tired when they were done.
Finally, Ian looked up from the floor, where Elias had thrown him, and lifted his hand towards his opponent
Elias took a few breaths and extended his own hand. He had to admit that Ian was quite the sparring partner. He considered the match a draw. He pulled the Akadian up off the mat. "I must say, you're quite the fighter," Elias said between breaths. The Akadian stood up and for a moment they stood there close, almost touching and face to face. Elias found his eyes drifting towards the man's bare chest before he brought them back to his eyes.
Ian's eyes twinkled, "Oh, I'm good at a lot more than fighting and most of them are a lot more fun."
Elias smiled slightly as he pulled the man closer, “Well, let’s just see what your good at then.” Elias then leaned in and kissed Ian. He then pulled back suddenly, “Are Akadians familiar with that? Or was that the equivalent of shaking your hand?” Elias kept his voice light as he posed the question.
Ian hesitated for perhaps a microsecond before responding. He hadn't really expected such a reaction. Even for an Akadian Elias was moving rather quickly. He was certainly not complaining, just surprised, Elias was a good kisser. The chaste couldn't be described as chaste, but it wasn't too salacious either. He returned it in kind. "I can see we're going to get along great."
A joint post by
Lieutenant Ian Acainus
Lieutenant Elias Lindholm
Chief Tactica Officer