Logs:Pumping Iron

From NOLA: The Game that Care Forgot
Jump to: navigation, search


Pumping Iron


Characters: Lance and Marek
Date: 2020-02-12
Summary: Swimmer Lance meets transfer wrestler, Marek, at the Tulane sports complex. They bro it up over parties, pumping iron and other common interests.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

It's mid-afternoon in beautiful New Orleans. Tulane has one of the better sports complexes and is the real blessing for Marek, a recent transfer. He enters the weight room, dressed in a track suit matching Tulane's school colors. The sky blue and olive does wonders to bring out his bright blue eyes.

Marek sits his bag down off to the side and grabs his water bottle. Off comes his hoody and lumps on the bag unceremoniously. He smiles and offers a small nod to those he's starting to recognize. He stretches a little and makes his way open to an open weight bench, lifting a few dumbbells and preparing to get his lift on.

--

Life as a jock is harder than it looks. The rigors of maintaining a rocking bod (okay, and all the functional strength thereof that in turn does its part in warranting the sports scholarship money) takes more time and discipline than many blonde haired, blue-eyed, weight-lifting bros are given credit for. That's why this afternoon finds Lance here in the sports complex in his workout gear of a grey tank-top and LSU Purple basketball shorts, both worn but suitable to the occasion.

A wireless earbud occupies one ear while the other dangles, keeping him tuned into the rhythm of the weight room and those making use of it. It's a good time to work out, enough people to keep one's motivation up, but not so much that there's a wait for most equipment. There's the up-nod greeting for Marek as he takes the bench beside the one Lance occupies, his bag with his water and his nothing-fancy phone that must be just good enough to connect to his earbuds set on top.

It's easy to be in one's own little world when working through a work out, but that doesn't stop Lance from giving the transfer another look and finally a, "Sup," that might be question or just more of an invitation to conversation that the silent gesture before.

--

Marek grunts as he finishes his rep. He gives his hair a bit of a flip so he can get a better look at his new work-out neighbor. His blue eyes twinkle with friendly interest and his smirk twists into a smile as he regards the other young man. "Sup, dude," he almost chirps in proper California style. He sits the weight down and starts to adjust to curl with the other arm. "Arm day for you too, dude?" He snatches up the weight and slowly makes it rise and fall, his bicep flexing and relaxing with agonizing slowness.

--

"You know it," Lance's laconic response might be lazy because he's focused in on the task at hand as much, if not more, than in making casual conversation. One knee draws up on the side of his bench while one hand braces so he can draw his arm, bent at the elbow straight, using the dumbbell to work the tricep in a kickback. Obviously, he's exhausted the larger muscle group exercises and moved on to targeted smaller ones.

For all that his attention is split between the steady draw of breath, the control of the muscles working against gravity and weight to force improvement, the blonde still comments, without looking this time because that might change the very specific motion he's going for, "Haven't seen you here before. Did I see you at that party last week though? You know at that chick's place? Ashley? Alice? Something like that." Who even knows. Who even cares? Not Lance, evidently.

--

Marek blinks as he listens, counting out his slow twenty reps for that arm. "Ashley... Alice..." he muses absently. "Oh yeah! That red-head, right? Yeah. I was there. My first party here." He lays back, grabbing the weight and holding it over his chest. He slowly starts to pump it up and down, his arms and chest flexing under the fabric of his Billie Eilish T-shirt. "Woulda... killed... for... better... shots... though." he puffs.

He focuses on his movements then, making sure he gets it right. Wrestling is all about leverage and upper body strength is incredibly important. As he sits up after his reps, he takes a moment to catch his breath. "I just transfered this semester. Wrestling scholarship and whatever." He flashes a smile and rises to collect a second barbell. "Did I hear she was having another one this weekend? Or was that the other red-head in that sorority?" His brow furrows a little as he starts to think and do some lateral raises.

--

"Yeah, that red-head." That seems to register as a more firm identifier than her name with Lance which may say all one needs to about how the blonde thinks. "Too bad, really," he comments as he swaps sides to give the other tricep the same torture-or-treatment. "She's dying for an in with the sports teams, and the dude she's fucking pulled a lot of favors to get some of the teams to show up. I'm a swimmer," by the way. He drops the detail as just part of the story, "And then she throws that party with all that lame music and cheap drinks." Not that cheap drinks are so much a problem, but when the party's not great... well, the drinks make it look better, if they're the right drinks.

"I think you mean Tanner. Definitely go to that one. She looks a lot like that other chick, but her parents are loaded, I'm on scholarship too," another quick drop and back to the point, "so hers will have better drinks and maybe even a real DJ or band or something. Her parents have a pool and a hot tub and all that rich people shit, so it'll at least be a better kind of party." His local knowledge dispensed, he glances toward Marek, blue eyes taking him in again as he sets his dumbbell down at the end of his set to grab his water. "Where'd you come from anyway? What's your name?" Probably, unless he wants to be 'that wrestler transfer' in Lance's mind forever, a name would be handy. "I'm Lance."

--

Marek pays attention as the Junior's wisdom is dispensed, making his reps maybe a touch sloppy, but they seem to get the job done. His brow creases a little as he tries to remember if he's met the dude the lame-party-thrower is with, but he draws a blank and shrugs it off. He flashes a smile and nods as he takes in the other woman's actual name. "Tanner, yeah," he repeats to try and remember it.

"Awesome," he chirps as he ends his set, nodding and taking the recommendation to attend Tanner's party. "Thanks, dude." He flashes a smile, but glances away with a hint of distraction, rather like a cat is prone to do from time to time when ghosts are on the prowl. He refocuses and nods a little before he catches that some questions were asked. He lowers the bells and offers his fist to bump. "Marek. I'm from Pebble Beach in California. Like a couple hours South of San Fran." He shrugs, used to people from this part of the country not really knowing. "Good to meet you, Lance." He cants his head a little and asks, "What do you swim?" He narrows his eyes, flitting his attention along Lance's frame. "I bet butterfly."

--

"No problem, bro," Lance's response is just as easy-going as the rest of his rendition. His hand reaches out to meet the friendly gesture, bump for bump, but he's up in the next breath and swapping dumbbells to start shrugs, watching his own form in the mirror. His attention to detail is meticulous, even stopping when his form starts to slip, resetting and setting right back in. If he noticed Marek's earlier distraction, it doesn't show. Maybe he just assumes that, like him, the wrestler is focused on his own workout. Mortals are skilled at filling in explanations and Lance is no exception.

"I hear there's good beaches out in Cali, but I've never been. Surfing too. Sounds fun. You surf?" All Californians surf, right? Lance doesn't have an accent, but there is something about the framing of his remarks that might hint toward being a local. "Fly, yeah. I mean, I do a little of everything, really, but that's my best." Between sets he turns to look Marek over in turn. "I've never paid attention to wrestling. Weight classes, right?" That's a thing?

--

As Lance works on his shoulders, Marek goes down flat and planks for a long few minutes, glancing into the mirror, ostensibly to ensure his back is flat and his form is proper as his arms bulge and his body stays rigidly tense. "Yeah," he puffs with some exertion. "Weight classes." He draws in a deep breath and lets it out slowly before he answers the longer answered question. "California has some of the best beaches, dude. Where I grew up, the diving is really good too. Scuba or snorkeling or whatever, yaknow?" He pauses as his arms start to tremble a little. He bites his lower lip and focuses, steeling his resolve. "I hear the Gulf isn't quite as good for surfing, but I figure I'll give it a try once I'm settled better and find my groove." He flits his attention up to meet Lance's eyes in the mirror. "If you ever wanna give it a shot, I can show ya a thing or two."

--

Given that the dumbbells end up back on the rack at the end of this set and Lance settles himself onto the floor to start stretching, it's a good bet that his workout's just completed. He doesn't look like he's in a hurry to get gone. Stretching, while it does occasionally require his head be directed in a certain way to get the right stretch, is much more friendly to conversation and lets him keep his eyes more on the wrestler still working. "I've done some snorkeling. I want to get scuba certified, but takes some cash." Not a lot, but it sounds like scholarship guy doesn't have much to spare in that department.

"I've seen some people at it, but never had the time. I'd be down to try it for sure, though. I've watched vids and stuff, but that's not the same as doing." Especially not with something as physically demanding as surfing. "Did you do anything besides surfing back home? What's your major anyway?" In this conversation that seems to be a preemptive or an afterthought tit-for-tat exchange, he adds, "I'm pre-med. I come here for some of my gen eds and over at the LSU Health Sciences Center for core classes."

--

Marek relaxes from his plank position and explodes out into some escape exercises that would be used for wrestling. He shows off some of his flexibility, strength and balance as his limbs seem to tuck and roll in a slippery fashion to ostensibly escape an opponent's clutches. He ends that by landing on his behind across from Lance, smirking a little as he joins in the stretching. He leans forward, almost bending himself in half as he muffles out, "Oh, yeah. I was a swimmer for a while, but I wasn't ever really tall enough to be competitive after, like, ninth grade really. Wrestling was more my jam. Surfing's a blast and gets you into all the best beach parties." He smiles a little broader as he talks about surfing and his eyes twinkle with a mischievous glint. "Bonfires on the beach is really what we did though. In college too, really. Drinking and dancing and fff... umm... stuff, yaknow?"

Marek glances around as he stretches his legs out instead, making sure nobody was offended by his near f-bomb. "I'm in finance. I thought about economics, but... frankly... I'd rather be rich." He laughs a little and shrugs as he twists a little and tries to unkink his back. "LSU is a good school. I met with their coach, but..." He shrugs and flits his attention back to Lance. "Pre-med, huh? Ya must be way smarter than me. My Mom wanted me to go into medicine, but I dunno. That's so much school. I bet, like, EMT training would be really cool though. Like being in the front lines of helping people." He flashes a wistful little smile and shrugs again.

--

Lance won't let the show go unappreciated, but his response is limited to an arch of a brow, a slight answering smirk, amusement playing on his features and a verbal, "Nice." There's an assessing slide of his gaze over the other man's frame, probably this time comparing him to that would-be swimmer, and offering a shrug-and-nod combo that admits the hurdle that would've faced him for the competitive route. The rest draws the smirk into a grin. "Yeah, man. That's what's popular here. Minus the bonfires on the beach. I mean, sometimes, but it's easier to just go somewhere with a pool and a firepit out back. There are some wilder things sometimes. Some places." That comes with the easing of that grin into a smile that teases intrigue though he doesn't go on to elaborate. "But there's no shortage of things besides dancing if you're on a sports team." At least, not in his experience, but then, he also looks like he looks, so there's that going for him even if he doesn't seem especially smooth.

"Finance is a good way to go. Money talks, walks and makes the world go round. Can't blame you for that. Sort of why I'm going pre-med. But with the way the industry's changing, that might not bank me as much as I thought, even if I go for some crazy surgical specialty down the road." He shrugs as if it doesn't bother him much, and maybe it doesn't, but then who in college isn't usually having some low level existential 'what do I want to do with my life?' crisis basically all the time? It's fine. "I work as an EMT to help pay my bills. Have for a couple years now. Can't do a lot of shifts while I'm swimming and schooling and partying and everything." It does sound like a full schedule. "But they might be looking for some people to pull some shifts if you don't mind going through the trainings for it and all. You can drive for that kind of thing without a lot of certs. And I could help you out." If Marek's offering surfing, maybe Lance is just offering skills in kind, but there is a sudden sharpening of his attention on the other young man.

--

When Lance dangles the carrot of 'wilder things', Marek doesn't even pretend to feign disinterest. He leans forward, his own answering smile holding a smoldering intensity. Back home he was popular and rich, so wilder holds an intense draw. At the failure to elaborate, Marek just smiles all the brighter and gives a little nod of props. "I've heard this city has a wilder side... if you're ever fortunate enough to happen upon it." He shrugs and grins wickedly. "I'll have to sniff around more, I guess." He casts the other guy a wink and nods a little more in agreement with the second more upfront offer. "Yeah. I mean, I'd be down to doing what I can. Every little bit of extra cash helps when you're trying to build an investment portfolio and wanting to look into day trading and all that." He meets Lance's gaze, seeming to focus in on the sharpening of Lance's attention. It gives him pause for a moment and he confides, "I bet I could breeze a lot of the training. My mum is a surgeon actually, so I have some homeschooling I guess you could say."

He pauses a moment, flitting his attention away from Lance's gaze. His smile reappears and he laughs just a little to ease the intensity just a touch. "Sorry, dude, but I'm starving. Can I get your number maybe? Maybe we can meet up at that party this weekend or something?"

--

"Sometimes finding it just comes down to who you know." The flash of a smile from Lance might be a hint that he, or at least people he knows might just be a pipeline to that wilder side. Even if Lance, himself, doesn't know the half of it... yet. "Yeah?" That's to the matter of Marek's homeschooling experience, "Then I definitely want your number." Once again, he doesn't bother explaining why, of course, but he'll take up his phone and if the wrestler's willing, he'll take the dude's number and send a text with his in turn before he sets back to finishing his stretches. "I'll see you at the party, or sometime." Sometime for sure, it sounds like. "See you, Marek." That's about as much of a farewell as he's going to give while he moves onto his feet and then into a deep lunge to finish cooling down his muscles and be on his own way to whatever he has to do next.