INTERREGNUM EP 01-02: Letting Off Some Steam January 06, 2013, 12:07:29 AM OOC: The following takes place after the away team returns from Nimbus III, but prior to the Mysterious God Incident. [Gymnasium | Deck 07]It had been two days since Nimbus III and Skye was cleared for flight and more strenuous physical activity, not that she hadn't engaged in certain activities when possible. It was one of her rare times off duty and she slipped on the sports bra and shorts that hugged tight around her body and allowed freedom of movement, grabbing a towel which she tossed around her neck before heading to the gym.One of the long sandbags most people used for boxing technique hung there all alone and she smiled. Pounding something was just what the doctor ordered and she wrapped her hands with tape and rubbed them in talc, slapping her palms together and making a little white cloud poof out all around. Starting out a little slowly she threw a few light punches and bounced about on her toes. She could feel a tiny pull still in her left side but knew it was completely healed and just her psychologically guarding.A little more time and she was starting to get a little tougher, brow furrowed in concentration. She vaguely noticed someone enter the gym and glanced up long enough to see their chief of security. "Well there's a bright ray of sunshine," she grinned at the serious man who never seemed to smile. He was entirely too serious for his own good to her way of thinking. If you didn't have some fun it just meant you would eventually implode. Maybe someone kept putting starch in his underwear and he suffered a chaffed willie ... who knew but she still greeted him with a smile.It had been hectic getting the ship back in order after the chaos recently created by the virus, and the Security department had been stretched thin. David had found himself staying up longer with each passing day, one crisis after another keeping him from finding much respite. There had been a few moments here and there, but to borrow a phrase from his ancestors, for the most part David had been busier than a one-legged man in an ass-kicking contest.He supposed that he ought to shoulder some of the blame. David had been a tireless worker his entire life, always putting more time and dedication in than anyone else. Part of it was his natural endurance, his ability to go longer than anyone else, but he knew that there was also a subconscious aspect to it, an innate need to prove his superiority over everyone else. David was aware of the problem, and it was one of the driving forces behind his calm and stoic attitude. He feared that if he allowed himself to lose control, he would only wind up hurting someone.When he became troubled by such thoughts, David's preferred method of clearing his mind and relaxing involved hitting the gym and not leaving until he'd exhausted himself, a feat which, for someone like him, was pretty damn hard to accomplish.After ensuring that he had nothing else occupying his schedule for the rest of the day, David had gratefully changed out of his uniform and into a pair of dark blue shorts and a gray tank top, which stretched across his powerful upper body. Tossing a towel over one shoulder, David made his way down to the gym. The various long looks and double-takes he caused amongst various crew, both female and male, did not go unnoticed by David, but he made no effort to respond to any of them. As always, he was focused on the task at hand.The gym was usually empty or close to it at this time of day, which was part of the reason why David had chosen now to go there. But his enhanced hearing picked up the sound of someone beating on a punching bag long before he actually entered the gym. When he did, he immediately noticed the woman off to the side, dancing on her toes as she whaled on one of the gym's helpless sandbags. His eyesight was better than any normal human's, closer to that of the Terran hawk, allowing him to appreciate the woman's obvious physical gifts even at this distance. His cool blue eyes calmly looked her over, taking in her curves and her well-defined musculature. Many of the women he'd known were soft and frail, but not this one. This one clearly radiated strength and power in addition to grace, a trait which David appreciated.He saw the woman look his way and offer him a smile. He didn't recognize her immediately, but after a brief recollection of the Theurgy's crew profiles, he remembered that she was Ensign Skye Carver of the Lone Wolves. David had little interaction with the fighter pilots, preferring to avoid that band of hotshot cavaliers whenever possible. Still, it never hurt to be polite. He returned the ensign's smile with a nod and moved away from the door, tossing his towel onto a nearby bench as he began to put himself through his warm-up stretches.While David stretched out his muscles, preparing them for the workout ahead, he kept his eyes on Carver, watching her as she continued going at the punching bag. Though he was known for his reserved nature, he wasn't dead; even he could admire a beautiful woman when he saw one.He didn't speak but at least he kinda-sorta smiled back. Continuing with her fists, she slowly started adding in a few kicks and combos. There was definitely evidence of her training at the Academy, some of the moves they taught those specializing in security. She certainly had focus and unlike a lot of women didn't try to show off. Skye was simply Skye and doing what she needed to do.Backing away from the bag she reached for a water bottle and took a few sips, taking the chance to glance his way. Like so many on board, he was a fine figure of a man and likely had women throwing themselves at him. A little vision of him running through the corridors with a bevy of beauties chasing after him went through her might, forcing her to stop drinking and dab her lips with her forearm from nearly doing a spit take.Setting the bottle back on the bench, she took the towel and dabbed around her face and neck before looping it around the back of her neck and ambling toward him while holding the ends. "I don't think we've been properly introduced," she stated and offered her taped and talc'd hand. "Ensign Skye Carver with the Wolves. I'd like to say I don't bite but it wouldn't be true. Congrats on the promotion though I'm sure it's been rough the last few weeks."David watched Skye as she mixed in a few extra moves, nodding in approval at the precision of her attacks, noticing immediately that she wasn't just trying to show herself off. His eyes were drawn to her perfectly sculpted body, and he imagined that Skye must take just as much pride in keeping herself in shape as David did.He looked away after a few moments to concentrate on his stretching, feeling the tension in his muscles easing. He hadn't had as much time to come down here and get a workout in ever since he'd been promoted, and it felt good just to be doing this much. He finished stretching out his legs and tucked one arm behind his head, supporting the other as he lifted it straight toward the ceiling, feeling the triceps muscle stretching. He slowly turned his torso back and forth, allowing his obliques to stretch and feeling his spine popping.Once he was finished, he let his arms drop and rolled his neck and shoulders, preparing to make his way over to one of the weight machines, but before he could do so he saw Carver making her way toward him. He nodded again to her as she introduced herself, and he reached out to take her hand in his, shaking it and finding himself pleasantly surprised by the young woman's strong grip."Lieutenant Commander David Grayson," he answered. "Though I suspect you already knew that. And thank you. It has been...difficult, but I'm not the only person on this ship who's been through a lot lately." David almost smiled, then, and briefly looked Sky over again. "You were missing in action for some time, correct? Are you settling back in alright?"Skye's walk wasn't really a swagger but there was definitely confidence in her stride along with the strength and grace, much like a large earth cat. Her expression was relaxed but he could tell she could be either a barrel of laughs or one mean bitch, depending on the crowd.Her lips pursed slightly when they shook hands, a little light of amusement flaring in her eyes at the reaction in his own ice blue eyes. A hint of surprise and perhaps a little respect. She'd take that any day over the patronizing looks she used to get back at the Academy. Hard work and determination brought her this far and would keep her moving ahead."I was," she affirmed with a slight nod of her head. "Though I'm sure it wasn't nearly as bad as what I've heard happened with the virus, it was hell for a good three weeks. I'm sort of making up for all the quiet time, trying to get to know the pack I struggled to get back to so if I get too obnoxious, just swat me and I'll mosey along," she gestured with two fingers moving like legs.That actually made the corner of David's mouth tug upward in a small smile, and he shook his head. "Somehow I doubt you're the type who would take kindly to being swatted," he said. "Well, I'm sure you've heard this more times than you can count by now, but welcome back to the ship." And be glad you didn't have to deal with that virus, he added mentally. He could still remember how the virus had affected him after he'd sealed himself into the so-called "Garden of Eden" so that the rest of his party might escape. Thinking back on it now was a nightmare for David, who prided himself on his self-control. Being infected had robbed him of that self-control, allowing his baser impulses to indulge themselves as they saw fit. While his body had been more than pleased, his mind was still reeling.David was thankful that he couldn't remember more than a few images here and there. Occasionally he would recall some of the women from that day, either as they were screaming in a combination of pleasure and pain as he ruthlessly drove himself into their willing bodies, or as they stared mindlessly up at him while he forced his engorged member down their throats, their own minds too overwhelmed by lust to protest. Now, when he came across one of them, he could no longer look them in the eye. He didn't know if any of those women remembered him, but he was still too ashamed to engage them.He shook his head, trying to clear those images from his mind, and turned his gaze back onto Skye. "Those moves didn't look like they came from standard fighter pilot training," he pointed out, desperate to change the subject. "Where did you learn to fight like that?"Her eyebrows rose as he cracked a little smile, that giddy feeling rushing through her. That was a grand accomplishment in her book and her own smile widened when he said she didn't seem the type to take a swatting. "You might be surprised," she retorted with that cheeky grin.She noticed him drifting away, obviously recalling things and her smile faded though there was still a pleasant expression. She did that herself now and then and understood sometimes the memories wouldn't be pushed aside. When he shook his head and refocused, he would see that look that told him all was well.Latching on to the topic change, she bounced on her toes a couple of times. "Well, when I went to Starfleet Academy we all figured I'd be going the security route. I had good strength and agility from doing gymnastics growing up, a good aim, and normally level headed enough that's what I thought I'd do. Turns out I inherited more from my father than we thought and I'd been daredeviling as much as shuttles would let me."David nodded as he listened to Skye's response. He'd noted the patience she expressed as his mind wandered, which he appreciated. He wasn't typically the sort to let his mind drift like that, but everything had been so out of sorts ever since the Theurgy had fled from the Federation, he was surprised it had taken this long for it to happen to him."Oh, so your father was also a fighter pilot?" he nodded, that small smile of his returning. "I'm a Starfleet brat, too. My father wasn't really the daredevil sort, though," he added with a light chuckle. "He never took risks. Too concerned about his career trajectory."His gaze flickered over to the punching bag Skye had been using and could still see a few small indentations left by her strikes. "You know, a punching bag can only be so helpful in combat training. If you're interested, I've been looking for a new sparring partner. And I'd love to see what other tricks you've got up your sleeve." He glanced down at Skye's strong, naked arms and smiled again, actually showing some teeth this time. "Well, you know what I mean.""Yes he was, maybe still is though I haven't seen or heard from him in a long time," Skye affirmed about her father. "My mother says I was always like him, gave her heart attacks by trying to fly off the counters and whatnot. Never understood the concern since I'd put the cushions all over the floor," she grinned. "As far as career trajectory, as long as you don't crash what matters."Seeing his gaze drift to the punching bag, she chewed the inside of her cheek thinking she'd really gone light this time. Maybe it was because she was favoring her side a little but next time she knew she'd leave better impressions. His words rather surprised her though and when she saw the smile, she nodded agreement."I could stand a little more training in that regard, so yeah, I'd like that," she stated. The little she'd seen of him, he hadn't smiled so again she felt a wave of accomplishment in ferreting one out of him. "I've a few tricks that don't require sleeves," she said with a little purse of her lips. "I'm game now if you'd like."David nodded, glad that Skye had accepted his offer. Aside from putting his security officers through standard combat drills, he hadn't had a chance to simply enjoy a sparring session one-on-one with someone else. He'd had an assortment of programs on the holodeck, but with the recent need to ration energy, those programs had lain dormant for some time now. But a flesh-and-blood partner always made things more interesting than a holographic one anyway.He gestured for Skye to follow him and led her through the gym and into one of the private sparring rooms attached to the main gymnasium. Making his way to the equipment bench, he tossed a pair of padded gloves to Skye and then began strapping on another pair for himself. While he watched Skye get ready, he looked her over, his eyes narrowed slightly as he considered whether or not he should hold himself back a bit. Skye wasn't frail by any means, but David doubted that she was aware of his genetically enhanced strength, and he didn't want to accidentally injure the pilot.Once he was ready, he stepped onto the training mat, standing in the center as he waited for Skye to join him. Once she was ready, David brought his fists up into a combat stance, bouncing loosely on the balls of his feet. "Okay, Ensign, show me what you've got!" he said before suddenly lunging forward, jabbing his right fist lightly at Skye to test her reflexes.David was a really big guy but she was rather used to being around big guys. Just recently there was Sosche and before him Maverick, both very large, handsome, and skilled men. She couldn't help herself wondering if he was as virile and skilled as she took a sidelong glance while she equipped herself.Stepping onto the mat she had a spring in her step and an anticipatory gaze that sized him up not as a man but as an opponent. His punches would no doubt leave one's ears ringing even after regaining consciousness so she would have to focus at other places while trying to avoid the pounding.His bounce showed a certain amount too, probably more speed than one would think given his size. Add that up with the fact he was now chief of security and that meant he was definitely not one to let down your guard. Still she'd faced similar though the last time wasn't that long ago and she'd lost that fight.She was still pissed over that too, letting her concentration falter over her own crewmate and thus getting skewered. She didn't have time to think about it more though as David called his warning and lunged. Skye ducked and swung back with her gloved hand to the back of his knee before surging up and landing a decent jab just under his ribs before dancing back out of the way. Keep him moving, don't let him hit, and wear him down she thought to herself.David regarded Skye carefully as she stepped up onto the mat in front of him. His eyes swept over her, gauging the pilot for any potential weaknesses. It was an instinctual habit for David, measuring up everyone he met, trying to determine whether or not they were a threat to him. He wondered if it had something to do with his genetic engineering creating a predisposition for competitiveness. Whatever the cause, it had served him well throughout his life. His eyes locked onto Skye's left side for a brief moment, and when he examined her leg placement he noticed she seemed to be putting a little less weight on that side of her body.Filing that information away for later, David launched himself into action, jabbing experimentally at Skye and finding himself unsurprised when she easily ducked the attack. He saw her hand coming for the back of his knee before it actually made contact, and his enhanced reflexes allowed him to twist away, Skye's fist only making a small amount of contact. The attack seemed to be a distraction, however, as he then felt her other fist jab into his torso, just under his ribs.David grunted, genuinely surprised and a little pleased, and quickly whirled around to answer with a lefthanded strike, expecting Skye to dance to her right to avoid it, allowing him to make his true attack as he landed a light blow to her right side, making sure not to use his full strngth. Had this been a real fight, and David were going full strength, he probably could have done some real damage to Skye. But this was just a friendly sparring match, and the last thing he wanted to do was to hurt her.Well...not much, anyway.Her strength and reflexes weren't anything compared to his but as he came in on her right side, she used the momentum to lift up and planted her bare foot right in the middle of his chest with enough force to knock him back a step and allow herself to backflip and face him again, a smile lighting her face.She was a combination of Starfleet and bar room brawl mixed in with gymnastics, utilizing her flexibility and tumbling abilities to soften some of the blows or avoid them altogether if possible. Whenever she misstepped she'd growl at herself and step right back into the thick of things, fierce determination etched in her features.It was obvious she was having fun as she bounced on her toes, starting to circle him a bit with a hint of a seductive smirk turning up one corner of her mouth. "I've needed someone really good to spar with, to push me harder," she stated. "I'm woefully out of practice. Think you can put me on your calendar for regular sessions?"He was mildly surprised by the force behind Skye's high kick and found himself stumbling back a few steps, watching as the pilot carried her momentum into an impressive backflip. Her infectious smile inspired David to respond with one of his own, and he quickly stepped back in to continue his assault, eager to see how much this young woman could handle.They were quiet for a while, the impacts of their fists and feet hitting each other the only sounds in the room as they both tested the other's limits. David, owing to his superior endurance, was barely breathing hard, though he was mildly surprised to discover that a light layer of sweat now coated his body, causing his tank top to stick to his tanned, muscular upper body, which now glistened under the harsh glare of the lights above.The longer the session went on, the more David realized just how much he'd truly needed this. With everything that had happened recently, in addition to his disastrous dinner with Ida, his second-in-command, which had ended in infuriating fashion earlier this evening, David had come down here to blow off some steam. He'd expected to be alone, but the more time he spent with this intriguing pilot, the more he found himself appreciating that she'd shown up.David's eyes locked onto Skye's as she bounced on her toes in front of him, and he kept his fists up as he maneuvered in time with her, keeping his opponent in front of him at all times. His eyes were narrowed in concentration, but he allowed himself a little smirk as well. "I think that can be arranged," he agreed. "There aren't many people on this ship who can keep up with me in a fight the way you can. You're right about one thing, by the way..."He feinted with a right hook, just quick enough to distract Skye, and then, moving almost lightning-fast, he dropped himself toward the floor and swung his leg out, hooking it behind Skye's and sending her tumbling down to the mat. Before she could push herself back to his feet David was on her, a large, strong hand pressing onto her chest, just between her neck and the swell of her breasts, and pushing her back down onto the mat again, pinning her there. David loomed over Skye, his blue eyes regarding her intently before he grinned."You are definitely out of practice."Though she hadn't been around David that much, she'd noted how serious he always looked and now had seen him grin or smile several times. It was enough to push her further, simply needing to work out some of her own feelings as well as enjoy being physical but as it wore on that stitch in her side turned into an ache and then an actual sharp pain now and then causing her to guard it a little more.She should have quit but she was stubborn and when she saw him starting to smile again, she thought 'just a couple more minutes' and then she fell for the feint, quite literally. Ducking the fist, she realized too late the leg coming at her and she landed mostly on her ass. The impact was enough to knock the air out of her though she was going to use the momentum of her body bouncing up to get to her feet ... only to have his hand slap down on her chest and pin her to the mat.She lay there breathing heavily, her own clothes stuck to her body from sweating. "Don't think I did too bad for being stabbed in the gut a week ago," she replied with a smirk as her eyes drifted down to his hand and her heaving breasts oh so close to his palm. "I see two ways this could go you know ... either you strangle me to death or feel me up ... I rather like living," she suggested with another one of those quirks of the corner of her mouth.