Take The Bull By The Thorns, Pt. I
Take The Bull By The Thorns, Pt. I
Summary: Komnenos meets Hale in the gym. A couple lingering issues are discussed, and then an impromptu game of Pyramid breaks out. Computer nerd vs. collegiate all-star… guess who wins?
Date: PHD128
Related Logs: Take The Bull By The Thorns, Pt. II (scene split into two logs to for the sake of continuity)

Given that he's been in here more times than not due to the double PT he's pulled in order to get Eddie's ass back into a cockpit, Hale has managed to at least find time to do something he loves. And right now, that would be pyramid. off in a corner away from the weight machines he is practicing, the ball being dribbled twice and hen held and one of those classical poses one has seen freeze framed on CSPN or in a magazine is taken. And then with some Athletic grace Hale maneuver's one step throwing at a circle that has been taped out on the wall, scoring a point before he is moving to catch the ball, and begin all over. Nothing like pushing one's muscles through old memories. Its almost as if the war is temporarily tuned out.

Thorn, for his part, doesn't get down here much; though he's been finding himself coming down to work out a little more often lately than is his usual habit. He's wearing a pair of fleet-issue gym shorts and a t-shirt with the logo from his old squadron emblazoned on the front, where the pocket on another shirt might be. He's heading over towards the punching bag at first, but when he notices Hale, he tilts his head and alters course, walking over to the marked off area behind the weight machines. "Oi, bro," he calls out in greeting.

There's a pause after his next shot, which bounces off the 'rim' but is caught easily for a second try. Instead, though he is easing up as he turns and looks back to the familiar voice- an easy calling from one piker to another. "Oi, Bro." called back as he relaxes a step before easily lofting the pyramid ball over to Thorn. "How're you?" asked with a raise of his brow- seems like both are able t' meet up after all, which would be a gods-send given how out of whack schedules can be.

"All things considered… pretty bloody good," Anton replies, a slight smile on his face. He pauses a few feet away from the other man, arms folded across the chest as he watches Hale show off his mad Pyramid skills. "I'm not in trouble, anyway, so that seems like a good day t' me." He holds his hand up, silently requesting the ball as he takes a step or two into the impromptu Pyramid ring.

"Well this is good, No trouble- an all." A grin given to his friend, before Abe's nodding and passing over the ball to Thorn, and yes he's moving aside to give the ECO a shot to warm up, before applying the pressure of defense. It is only fair, right? Still the grin remains on Rabbit's face as hands plant themselves on his hips. A slight nod for a moment before he is letting the silence creep in. "Sorry about that bit of awkwardness in th' lounge last night, mate."

Thorn is quiet for a moment as he steps into the 'ring', as it were. He stares at the target for a moment before flinging the ball; the man's throwing mechanics aren't nearly as good as the more practiced Hale's, and while he's blessed with a strong arm, it's not a terribly accurate one, as the ball tails off wide away from the target. He winces, jogging over to pick up the errant sphere, tossing it back to Hale with a grimace. "You don't need t' apologize. Look, I…" Anton trails off momentarily, considering his words. "I know what happened with you an' Thea. But it's not my business t' get involved, eh? You're both my friends, I'm not going t' take sides."

"Oh I don't want you too." Hale says with a step, as he catches the ball, taking time to dribble it once, before he is looking to see if Thorn is going to try and block him. If not he won't go for no fancy maneuvers, just a shot after he bends his knees a little, you know to get rid of any stiffness in the bones. "But, you're like my best mate. I just." and a frown there as he lobs off the ball, waiting to see how that is going to go. And its a successful goal which sends Rabbit in a trot to catch the bounce back, before he is passing again towards Anton. "I'd like you t' know where I am comin' from..Specially given the hate that might be prevalent there. Like…what others think about me, I don' give shit right?" a shrug "You, I do."

Knowing that Hale could likely dance around any attempt at a block from Thorn at ease, the ECO doesn't even try, simply nodding appreciatively as the ball bounces against the middle of the target once again. "Well, can't say I'm happy about what happened. You know what Thea means t' me." He catches the pass, moving back into throwing position. "But, I'd be a pretty shit friend if I didn't hear both sides, eh? I'd be lying if I said I wasn't curious, anyway." Thorn smiles slightly as he takes a moment to aim more carefully before throwing again; this time the throw is both strong and accurate, hitting the middle of the ring and dribbling slowly back to him. "We're all adults, though… these things happen. I'm not going t' think any worse of you because of it."

Hale nods as he moves one hand coming out to get ready as Hale seems ready to play defense on this one, if Thorn's ready for a little bit of effort in that direction either way he is giving Thorn a chance at the court, to make for a safe zone where Rabbit can't really tackle him or knock him over with an elbow. But, as knees bend the viper pilot keeps concentrated on the ECO "I do.." he says, so he is plainly aware. " And it wasn't as if I was looking to hurt her, or just use her, as it might look. Sorry mate- I don't do that.." A kiss of his teeth " But, I'd be an idiot t' remain in a relationship in which th' woman I was trying to see was constantly telling me, Oi, if my old scratch comes back I am leaving you. That's th' risk. Frak it, right?" a shake of his head there, as he moves to keep tabs on the eco

"I was told that every time we were together, should a friend of mine come back an ask for her, she'd go. On top of that she couldn't be honest with me." a kiss of his teeth "Sorry mate if it hurt her, but that's not fair t' me-nor is it right t' be hurt an used like a frakking walking mat." A roll of his shoulders "Where as I don' like makin friends chose sides in this- I am not goin t' carry on in some form a mourning-nor am I goin t' fall for the martyr routine. She's a good gel mate- but" a shake of his head "Guess I am little angry about m' portrayal in all this."

Thorn stops in his tracks, a slight twitch in his lips as Hale speaks. "I can't argue with that." Thorn rolls his eyes slightly. "She's been holding a torch for Marek… well, for years." Anton catches the pass, but stops to say his peace before he throws. "And you're right, it's not fair t' you. At all. I feel for her, but… frak all if the whole situation isn't just right frakked up." He shakes his head. "Like I said, I'm not taking sides. I can't. I won't lose either of you over this, especially when… well." Thorn looks over at the man, a hard glint in his eye. "But if anyone else decides t' hate you for this… frak 'em. They don't deserve t' be called friend anyway." A guilty expression comes over his features. "I didn't know the whole story on your side of it, and I'm sorry if I made things awkward the other day. I should've talked t' you sooner before I started thinking about it." There's another rueful shake of the head. "I'm… sometimes not exactly logical where she's concerned."

"Yeah she has." there's a faint frown from Hale there as he moves hand going to catch the throw, before he is tucking it back into himself, taking the time to turn and shoot. "Its no trip to be reminded that you're not Spider every day.", said while letting the ball resound with the goal, before he is walking over to snag up the ball gingerly. "Y' won't lose me mate, I am too stubborn to go away like that over a girl. But, like I said you're me mate and you deserve t' know. An I woulda told you about Sen earlier, but eh." a a dead laugh there as he dribbles the ball slowly. "I like t' keep things private, an I don't want anyone giving her shit." And the ball is passed back. "I am a big man about honesty mate, an apparently there was someone in the mix even when I was starting to see her. She wouldn't name names, which I thought was bollocks…Not like I am going to do anything about it." and he's walking over to hand Thorn the ball before clasping him on the shoulder. "Mate, we all get that way- but now you know, so Water under the bridge as far as I am concerned."

"Heh. Yeah, I have an idea how that would feel." Thorn smiles slightly at the mention of Kai before he lobs the ball at the goal again. True to form, the throw goes way off the mark, ricocheting off the wall and bouncing off one of the weight machines. He frowns at himself, trotting over to pick it back up, tossing it back to Hale. "I don't blame you for wanting t' keep shit quiet. Even if you know bloody frakkin' well you could have trusted me with it." Thorn chuckles, obviously not truly offended, just ragging the pilot a bit. "Hells, I'd've kept what's going on with Case — whatever it is, yet — quiet, if I could. But then I had t' open my big mouth on th' hangar deck." He nods at Hale as the other man claps him on the shoulder. "It's forgotten, then. Tell the Cap'n I'm sorry if I made things awkward for her, too, eh? I'm just glad you're happy, mate."

"I bet so." a chuckle all the same And Rabbit ducks slightly as the ball ricochets off, and there's a snicker all the same to his mate's words as he moves slightly so that Komnenos doesn't have to trot all the way back. There's one look over his shoulder as he takes a step back, once the ball is caught. "I will, I don' think you did it alone. Rebound didn't help with his bloody loud exclamation, but eh. We're fine. I think we're just bloody tired of hiding, you know?" And then with a grin he is tossing the ball behind him with practices ease, before he is turning to see it hit close to dead center, but a goal never the less. And yeah he's grinning like an idiot at that shot. "As for what's goin on with Case. I wish you luck mate- just be careful." No, he is not making an Ajax joke here. "Don' wanna see her with you then back with Dash- because then I'd have t' lob her one in the jaw." teasing there, but its clear where Rabbit's loyalties lie.

Thorn shakes his head, a knowing smirk on his face at Hale's trick shot. The ECO takes a quick step over to retrieve the ball, planting his feet carefully and aiming as he did before before he throws. He holds the ball an instant too long, though, and it soars way low of the target, bouncing off the floor and high into the air. Thorn winces again, catching the ball in one hand and lobbing it over to Hale. "Look, I was telling… someone the other day, if something makes y' happy, frak it. With th' situation we're in, the phrase 'life is too short for that shit' takes on a whole new meaning." He nods with a smile as the conversation turns to Samantha. "She's not even technically with me, but… I'd be lying if I said I didn't want that." The smile widens into a grin. "Don't be too quick t' pop off if shit does go south. It could always be my fault, y' know." After all, he nearly wrecked it all before it even started.

"Well, course, it could- but still doesn't mean I won't pop her one." a snicker there as hale Catches the ball low and comes up as he moves three quick steps, passing back to Thorn, before he is moving again, apparently setting up for some unseen shot. But, all the same Hale's grinning which was the exact opposite of how he was feeling last night. So a good change of things, yes? Of course-yes. "I have faith you'll do well. An if you need help I'll try to play some bloody music or something, serenade you why you eat noodles an make out." A joke there but hands are open for the ball.

"Fair enough," Thorn replies, still grinning widely, then laughing at the noodles comment. "I don't think I'm quite that hopeless, bro. Thanks, though," he says, returning teasing with teasing. Yeah, he definitely seems a little more relaxed, a little more loose, than he has lately. He tosses the ball over to Hale, but this time he crowds the other man, finally starting to play a little defense.

And it seems Its going to be a game now, as Hale makes the move to take a shot, however its just an easy one, cutting his mate some slack? Perhaps, that or he is trying to keep things alive. Either way the shot can easily be blocked by his friend. "I'd hope not- hate to have to hold your hair back for you too."

Komnenos doesn't perhaps have the most accurate arm, as Hale's undoubtedly seen, but there's nothing wrong with his reflexes. Abe will have to do better than that, as Thorn contemptuously swats Hale's shot away with a smirk. "Thought you were a college all star, or somethin'," he teases lightly. Komnenos goes to retrieve the bouncing ball, returning to the makeshift court. "Come on," he replies to Hale's last remark in protest. "It's not that long," he adds with a smirk, as he runs a hand through it. It might be time for a trim, though, actually… if he cared.

"Oi, I haven't played in how many years?" the Lieutenant asks as a brow shoots up. But all the same he is now moving into a defensive crouch. A grin there as he is watching his mate return with the ball. Yeah he's going to let Thorny try for a shot himself, this time. He'll bloody well play some Defense. Eyes remain focused on the ECO as he offers out a chuckle. "Its long enough.." but then Hale does keep his hair ridiculously short.

Ariadne strolls in with her gym back slung over her shoulder, humming softly to herself. She looks to be in exceedingly good spirits… perhaps, even, aglow? Perhaps. This state of being persists as she drops to sit on a bench, near the pyramid game, watching the exchange with a smile. She draws a breath, looking as though she might call out to the participants, then seems to think better of it and bends to remove her sneakers.

Jules pops into the gym just behind Ariadne, putting the finishing touches on a long pony tail. She draws shortly as she spots the Pyramid game and bounds over, an excited smile on her face. "Who is winning?" Blunt, her.

Thorn cackles. "Excuses, excuses." He takes the ball, setting into motion himself as he goes into a crouch of his own. Hale muscles in, moving to block, and indeed denies Komnenos any opportunities at a shot for a long few seconds. Finally, though, Thorn actually takes a few steps -in- towards the man, nudging Hale as Thorn tries to throw around him.

Perhaps the wrong move to go for where, as hale isn't handsy at first, there's the step he's looking for before he's waiting for those initial tell tale signs that the man's going for a shot, and Hale then throws his weight into Thorn, with a bit of a forearm. After all Pyramid is a contact sport, and Hale was a goon amongst goons. So that shot will be going wide, and Hale will be knocking poor Thorn to his arse. "That a good excuse there?" tossed back in a good natured fashion. Hale is then moving for the ball, to take it back to the right corner, before starting for the main pinnacle. Thorn best get up an stop, or he's going to score on poor Broraham Lincoln there.

As for Jules' question? "Just started."

"Ooooo…" Jules finds herself a perch on a piece of exercise equipment nearby and watches intently, wincing when Hale sends Komnenos to the floor. "Uh oh… pwnnnnnnned." She kicks in the stair stepper.

Thorn shakes his head as he goes down with a surprised grunt. "Good enough, it seems." He drags himself up a moment later, dashing back in towards Hale as the other man charges for the goal. Komnenos has more than a bit of inner goon in himself as well, though, as he charges in and checks Hale; it's a rough move, but technically legal, if not exactly subtle. It's just in time, too, as he knocks into Hale right before he can get the shot off. Thorn smirks. "Don't frak around, Rabbit. I'm not afraid t' play dirty," Thorn retorts, shit-faced smirk still plastered on his face. "Especially when you've already got th' advantage."

There's a laugh there, before Hale's getting back to his feet after that bit of stumble, the shot goes, off, and so there's a motion to thorn to catch the ball up and try again for a goal. "Right then" and there's a grin-one rarely scene as the cockpit and his helmet usually hide such things from others- and Rabbit is now in competitive mode-whatever that means. A roll of his fingers as he's moving back towards the goal-kicking out his legs and making ready. "Bring it, Mate." Or has it already been brought.

Jules watches some more from her stepper, moving her little legs as fast as she can while she does so. She tenses as she sees Hale get up. Maybe she knows what's coming? Eyes opened wide and excited, she leans forward on the machine, eyeballing both men intently.

Komnenos smiles wolfishly as he snatches the ball out of the air, sidestepping as he watches Hale switch to defense. He's evidently trying to make up for lack of experience with aggressiveness; after a moment he finally bursts into motion, charging headlong at Hale, before feinting to the side and making a snap-throw at the goal. Or trying to, anyway. Something in his posture betrays him, and Hale sidesteps forcefully into the side Thorn was feinting to, sidechecking the ECO with almost contemptuous ease. Thorn is knocked down with another surprised gasp, shaking his head and tossing the ball to Hale a moment later as he gets up.

"Dddddeeeeeeee-nieeeeeeeed," Jules catcalls from her stepper machine, smiling a friendly smile for Komnenos as he gets to his feet this time. "Good try, sir!" Annnnnnnnd more stepping, rapidly even. The machine below her beeps and she puts her hands on the handles like it wants her to, measuring her heart rate.

Ariadne tapes her hands, keeping half and eye on the game, a fairly entertained spectator. At length she stands and begins going through stretches, limbering up for her workout.

This time Hale with the Ball, has eyes focused on the defender, and only gives a snap look to the goal every now and then as he dribbles the ball once, before its snatched up for that three step charge towards Thorn, using strength this time, one hand comes out as feet plant to push at his mate's shoulder as he comes up for the throw, the ball just barely getting past the raptor ECO who remains doggedly in and almost-almost snags the shot

Still, the ball lands right in the marked goal, which has Hale relaxing back with a slight laugh as e's jogging to the right corner, where he promptly stops-and dances slightly All the while chanting; "Vindaloo! Vindaloo! NAH NAH.. We're going to score one more than you! LEONIS!" yes, that was for Thorn's bit of a benefit.

Thorn rolls his eyes, chuckling ruefully. It was a damn good move on Hale's part, and he'd almost blocked it. He makes a rude gesture as Abe begins to sing and dance, though with a grin on his face the whole time. There's a belated smile and wave over at Sunshine on her machine before he turns back to the game. Komnenos is showing the signs of exertion now, sweating and beginning to breath heavily; that's what years of merciless chain smoking will do to your stamina. He's not nearly out of it though, not by a long shot, as he wipes his forehead and goes back on offense, picking up the ball.

Thorn stays aggressive; he charges in, taking a few running steps towards Hale, reaching out and pushing the other man aside as his other arm rears back for the shot; the next thing he knows, he's lying flat on his back, the ball bouncing harmlessly away. He blinks, sighing heavily. "Follow follow indeed," he says sardonically.

Ariadne laughs at Hale's taunting, bent at the waist and holding her left ankle in a long stretch. "Why score one more when you can skunk him?"

There's a grin there, as he looks down to his friend. And out comes that meaty hand extended out for Thorn, in order to hoist the boyo up and dust him down, much as he would anyone he just knocked royal on their arse. "You'll get there one day Aerelon." a snicker all the same as he trots over to snag up his ball, and hold it in the crook of his arm. " Remember I've been doing this for a bloody long while." A chuckle all the same as he looks back over towards Ariadne for a second- a grin. "Cause he's me mate- Scoring one more would be tantamount..Better than skunking." A look back towards Thorn. "Y' know Sen is helping us make a court so we can get this going?"

"So my poor bruised body is starting t' tell me," Komnenos responds deadpan to Hale's comment about experience. He accepts the offered hand, pulling himself up with a grimace. "Feh, Pyramid was never my sport anyway," he adds with a shake of the head. There's a pointed glance over at Ariadne, but probably realizing it's just meant in fun, he says nothing. There's a nod at the mention of the court. "Oi, I'd heard something t' that effect," he replies. "I don't know that I should play—" Thorn says, grinning as he waves a hand to encompass their impromptu playing field — "but if you need another bloke or two t' coach a team, I could do that."

"I'll think on it, but I'll let ya know mate." Hale says with a grin, of course he needs another coach to go up against Timon, so this could prove to be fortuitous and all that jazz. But time being as it is Hale's tucking his ball an heading for the hatch, but not before looking right back towards Thorn "Thanks for the chat Bro- I need to meet rebound for some work, but I'll be on ya in a bit." There's a glance to the Priestess, and with that Hale is fleeing.

Ariadne sighs and rolls her eyes, standing and twisting at the waist. "He fears me," she remarks wryly, to no one in particular.


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