Take The Bull By The Thorns, Pt. II
Take The Bull By The Thorns, Pt. II
Summary: Picks up where Part I left off. Ariadne challenges Thorn to a friendly sparring match, but he's not feeling too friendly. It doesn't end well.
Date: PHD128
Related Logs: Take The Bull By The Thorns Pt. I, duh

Thorn nods, waving to Hale as the other man leaves. He removes his sweatsoaked t-shirt with "VAQ-13 WILD CARDS" and three bullet-ridden Triad cards emblazoned on the back, grabbing a fresh towel off the rack. There's a brief headshake as he towels off, then the towel is dumped down a laundry chute and the shirt is draped over his shoulder as Thorn, too, heads for the door.

Ariadne glances at Thorn as he leaves, then tosses out a casual, "Don't suppose you're like to spar?"

Komnenos stops as the priestess addresses him. He turns, giving her a surprised eyebrow. Komnenos stares at her for a long moment before nodding slightly. "All right," he says finally. "As winded as I am, it just might be an even match, too," is added dryly as he comes back. The t-shirt is tossed down, and Thorn grabs a pair of gloves as he makes for the ring.

"Oh-ho… so you'll blame it on being winded when you lose, will you?" Ariadne pulls off her sweatshirt and climbs into the ring. "I suppose that means we'll have a rematch when you're fresh."

Thorn snorts; it's not exactly a friendly sound. "We'll see." That suffices for an answer to both her statements, it seems. He climbs into the ring himself, stepping into one of the corners as he pulls the gloves on.

Ariadne rolls back her shoulders and bends slightly at the knees — then she waits. "Let me know when you're ready to begin."

Komnenos sneers across the ring as he bangs his gloves together. "Now." With that, he steps forward, hands up in a guard position, eyes directing a piercing gaze at his opponent.

Ariadne smiles, eyes flashing. "Excellent."

Ariadne neatly sidesteps Thorn's blow, darting in with a straight-arm strike to the chest.

Thorn is just a little sluggish at the moment, it seems; a slow right from him is easily dodged by Ariadne, while her own strike pummels him in the chest. Not a heavy blow, but enough to make him take notice. He scowls, moving back in and readying another blow.

Thorn snarls something undoubtedly foul in Mierce as Ariadne once again dodges his attack, while directing another one of those pinhammer punches to his chest. In exactly the same spot. His breathing gets a little heavier as he rushes in, throwing a haymaker.

Another blow dodged — another swift strike dealt to Thorn's chest. The priestess dances back, bent at the knees, arms relaxed at her sides. It's a bizarre stance, really. But apparently effective. "Are you sure you want to continue?" she asks.

"Hrrgh!" It was the kick that opened her up — she got cheeky, and while her foot impacted nicely right beneath Thorn's chin, it left her open for a nice, solid blow to her midsection. She doubles over and bit. "Nicely done!" she gasps a moment later, and then spins into another attack.

"Yes, I want t' bloody continue," he growls, sweat pouring down his face and neck. As Ariadne's attacks have been high, he comes in low, directing a savage blow towards her gut; the same attack he used as a coup de grace on Roubani in the last dance. That, though, only opens his upper body to attack, and a lightning blow from her foot catches him under the chin. There's another wordless growl as he presses the attack; she seems to be more skillful, but he can take more damage.

They glance off one another — her blows continue to be high. Perhaps that's a serious weakness in her technique. Her elbow to Thorn's arm leaves her midsection open to yet another strike.

The priestess is like a spitting cat, attacking with elbows, feet, hands… everything but the kitchen sink. He winces as a slender, needly elbow catches him in the arm, but that only leaves her midsection open again, and he directs another blow there. It doesn't quite have the same force, though.

And she's smiling like a cat, too. One with canary feathers still sticking out of its jaws. It's not malicious smile — simply that of a body glorying in movement, action and reaction. She deftly spins away from Thorn's next blow. Another elbow to the arm — it's not alot of damage, but that doesn't seem to be the point of her technique. It's nerve bundles she's going for. Pressure points. Subduing, rather than badly injuring, her opponent.

Thorn is operating under no such restrictions; a glare directed at his opponent, he is clearly out to cause PAIN. He's getting more than he's giving, though; he simply isn't making enough of his blows connect to slow the infernally quick little woman down. He soldiers on, though, shrugging off yet another blow.

Ariadne sidesteps away from Thorn's blow, but not quickly enough — he connects with her chest, the impact making her wince. At the same time, however, reflex kicks in and the arm that strikes her is in her grasp, twisted as she pulls Thorn past her, using his own momentum. She spins to face her opponent again.

Jules snaps out of the fog she's been in at the step machine and blinks down, noting the rather large amount of steps she's racked up. "Huh." Off goes the machine and she reaches for a towel, wiping at sweat streaming down the sides of her face. Gingerly stepping off the machine, she stands still for a bit, getting her breath and starts to watch the fight going on the mat.

"Frakkin' witch!" Thorn roars in pain as, unable to land a blow, she grabs his hand and twists. Really twists. She disappears behind him, and the tall ECO spins around, snarling as he charges in on the attack once again.

"That's not nice." However winded she is, she still manages to made that mild rebuke sound… mild. Where Thorn is growing furious, she seems quiet calm. And sharp. He practically charges past her in the next exchange, but at the last moment she grabs his arms once more. Instead of twisting, this time, she simply guides him through into the turnbuckle, letting the post hit him for her.

Julse scowls a little at the name calling, but it doesn't last long. She's back to staring and toweling, biting her lip and every so often tossing a jab into the air, mimicking the fight.

There's an ugly sneer on his lips and a glint in his eyes; he senses he's just being toyed with, now. He spits on the ring floor. "That for nice," he growls. His battered arms raised in a guard position, he comes in a little more cautiously, trying to keep his rage under control and working for him, not against him. Certainly, the adrenaline has kept him going this long.

By this point, Thorn's pride and ego are just as wounded as his body, if not more so. Actually, yeah, probably more so. Yet another attack catches him in the chest, and yet another blow from the now-winded ECO catches nothing in return.

Ariadne stands immobile for the raging bull that is Anton Komnenos, then lifts her elbow at the last second, striking his chest. "I thought it might make you feel better to beat on the priestess a bit," Ariadne comments. "The wise Brothers of Ares teach, however, that the best way to avoid a blow is not to be there when it falls."

Tossing her towel over her shoulder, Jules tosses out a few more shadow jabs before strolling towards the door. When she gets there, she casts a glance back at the two, smiles then heads into the corridor.

"I told you before. Frak you and your pity. What th' frak do you care, anyway?" With all his concentration, he sends a heavy blow hurtling towards her upper body — though leaving his guard completely down in the process.

Ariadne sucks in a sharp breath and grimaces as Thorn gets a solid blow in, but is quick and ready to exploit the lowering of his guard. Her palm strike connects with his breastbone — she's stronger than she looks, when she chooses to hit outright. "And I told you before," she pants, "I don't pity you."

Yet again, Ariadne dodges, and she retaliates with an even harder blow to the same spot as before. Thorn wheezes, as the combination of force, surprise, and fatigue drives him back into the post. With a glare, he tears the gloves off his hands, tossing them out of the ring. His battered body can't take any more punishment, it seems. "Then what th' frak d' you care?" he snarls, repeating his earlier question. "'Make me feel better'? What the frak's it matter t' you? We're not friends, we aren't going t' be friends, so perhaps you should stick with frakking my pilot and leaving me the frak alone, eh?"

The priestess spins out of the way, and when she comes back around the next palm-strike is already in motion. Stronger than she looks? A lot stronger than she looks — thought perhaps it's not brute strength as much as momentum. She seems to leverage the latter a great deal. This time the blow is in earnest.

She stands panting but upright, spine and shoulders proudly erect. "You're the enemy of my enemies… but more importantly, the friend of my friends. That, by itself, is reason to care. There's no reason we shouldn't be friends, Thorn."

Thorn leans against the post, chest heaving, sweat pouring down his face and exposed chest. An angry finger jabs in her direction, quivering with either rage or exhaustion — though, again, a combination of the two is more likely. He pants raggedly for a moment, catching his breath. Finally, he speaks, the vitriol in his tone undisguised. "That only shows how little you know." He slides awkwardly out of the ring, moving to reclaim his dropped t-shirt on the way out.

Ariadne calls, cheerfully, "We'll try again when you're better rested."

"Like hell," he calls out behind him, his tone almost sweet as he opens the hatch, an odd contrast to the naked fury in his tone while in the ring.

Laughter — clear and without any detectable derision — follows the pilot out of the gym.

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