1965-08-31 - Sparring
Summary: Kai and Steve spar by the pool at the manor.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kai steve-rogers 

Kai works out sometimes, though compared to Steve he's a layabout. At the moment, he's in swim trunks, though he hasn't gone in the pool yet. He stretches massively, joints popping and cracking. Then he rolls his shoulders and pads along the deck. He's fit, despite that he's not a very big guy. It's all lean musculature, built for agility rather than brute force.

A long workout lifting weights — only six-hundred pounds, nothing much, really — deserves a nice long swim in the pool afterwards. At the far end of the pool, a blond head surfaces on the rise of a butterfly stroke and then disappears beneath the water again. He rotates and presses off the wall, bunching and then extending beneath the gently-rippling water like a human torpedo. Steve easily makes it three-quarters of the Olympic-length swimming lane before surfacing with a puft of mist. He spots the arrival and shifts into a lazier breast-stroke, one that keeps his head above water.

"Didn't think I'd have company," he calls out to the Elf as he arrives at the pool's edge and throws up one arm to anchor himself. He swipes back his hair and smiles. He's in swim trunks at well, a simple pair in navy blue.

Kai ambles up to the poolside and says, "I was just going to swim a few laps, maybe find someone to spar with. Bucky's not around or I'd tackle him just to find out what'll happen." He has no fear of the dreaded Winter Soldier, even after a rocky past.

Kai eyes the water, then makes a lifting gesture, and a column of water rises, just wide enough to make a platform upon which he takes a step. Then he makes a lowering gesture, and the column lowers itself back into the main body of water. Princely treatment for an Elf. Now he's submerged about waist-deep.

Steve laughs at the idea of a sudden sacking of the Bucky. No doubt hilarity would ensue. He swipes back his hair once more and watches the Elf enter the pool in his singular manner. Wheat-blond eyebrows lift.

"And here I was thinking of slapping some water at you, but I suspect you could bring a wave down on me and that's not turnabout fair-play," he deadpans. "Still, go ahead and tackle Buck whenever you feel appropriate…within reason," he clarifies, still the house-dad whether he intends to be or not, " — and make sure I'm around to see it. He knows how I fight. I doubt he knows your fighting style."

Kai grins at Steve. "As the moon to the tides, my friend. And yes, I think I'm going to do that sometime. I just want to make sure it's him and not one of the boys. It's so hard getting any of them to trust you. I've been working on it for weeks." He dips beneath the water briefly, slicking back his hair as he comes up again. "I fight dirty. That's the thing about peaceful people. There's no such thing as a fair fight."

Steve nods, his legs moving back and forth in a slow scissoring to keep the blood flowing and muscles from cramping.

"Fair fights are for the betting rings. War is never fair," he agrees. "You be faster, stronger, or have better weaponry…or sheer dumb luck. Smart of you to avoid tackling one of the boys though. I can't see it ending well." And Tony doesn't need to be asking about why there's another set of haphazard holes kicked into the mansion's walls. Again.

"You need a sparring partner though? Or you're going to swim?" he then asks.

Kai nods firmly to Steve. "Exactly. War is about survival." It would serve Kai right to be tackled by a pack of rabid Buckys if he picked that fight. "I fight with knives that a Dwarf made for me. They're intuitive, which is good because I don't really get to practice with them."

He's quick to add, "Not that I'd use them during sparring." He's not even wearing his knives today. That crescent moon pendant is with the rest of his clothing. "I could use a sparring partner," he says after some consideration. Then he flicks his hand and a splash of water hits the back of Steve's head. Then, laughing, he causes a wave of water to wash him onto the deck, and he gets up running.

The super-soldier dips underwater briefly for one last resettling of his hair from his face and replies once surfaced, "Happy to be of — " SPLASH. He flinches and then shakes his head like a dog, laughing. "I can't trust any of you!"

It's a half-hearted grouse at most as he then pulls himself up and out of the pool. He snags a nearby towel and works at getting the water off himself. It's not uncomfortably cool this late-summer evening, but he's not about to go sparring with wet feet. That's dangerous. He also does not tell Kai to not run beside the pool because that's too much house-dad-ing.

Kai's laughter is musical in the way that Elves just seem to be ever-artful. He runs to his clothes, where there is a towel, and he dries off, doing a quick, slap-dash job. "Got you," he says. "It's just that without my knives or a nearby body of water, I can only do so much."

He pads back onto the deck, hair still dripping, bright-eyed and grinning. "So hand-to-hand combat isn't my strong suit. I rely on being stronger than the average mortal."

Not minding that his hair is touseled, especially after pulling on a grey t-shirt, Steve meanders over to stand across from Kai on the deck.

"While it might be about your strength, it won't always be. There are things out there stronger than me and I have to think beyond muscle to beat them." Having said his wise schtick, the Captain then adds, "We can always go down to the mats in the basement gym. Easier on the skin than this here."

"If you want," Kai says. "I'll defer to the guy who does this all the time. I am practically bulletproof, though. I don't think a scrape or scratch is going to bother me much." He glances around, making a note of any untoward sharp things that might prove problematic.

"How do you fight someone stronger than you hand to hand?" he asks. "How much of it is deception? I've been called a liar by a lot of different people." Spoken like a compliment, of course.

"You could call it deception," Steve replies even as he sets himself into a readied stance, hands upheld and loosely closed. He sets orthodox to start, in a boxer-puncher slant to starting fighting style. "The goal would be to avoid the blows. Wear 'em out. No one can last forever." Says the man who can do this all day. Apparently, he's not going to do downstairs after all. Maybe there's a bit of Brooklyn pride to display after all.

Kai settles into a similar stance, though he's only mimicking Steve. Most of his fights are seat-of-the-pants. There's no planning. He's got a quick eye, though, and he sizes Steve up. "I prefer to avoid getting hit," he says, "so I'm already on the same page, there."

His quick eyes take in their surroundings, too. He's not ashamed to use props in a fight. That counter-turned-bar… can it be thrown?

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 7

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 9

Subtle movements back and forth are proof that Steve is testing the balance of his feet, finding his legs not terribly fatigued by the earlier workout and the few dozen laps in the pool. He's inching closer and closer by some impossibly smooth motion in this manner and smiles almost benevolently the entire time.

Then the first punch flies, when he thinks that Kai's busy appreciating the various objects about the deck. It's a simple hook, aimed at Kai's face — because Steve, at heart, is a soldier and not afraid to mess up someone's face if it means getting out alive.

Maybe those big eyes have better peripheral vision, or the attention elsewhere is a feint. Either way, the punch flies, and Kai's arm comes up to block it. He then moves with fey fluidity, his gaze turning to Steve, and then his fist stops short of the soldier's nose. Then, with a fingertip, Kai goes, "Boop."

He backs up, light on his feet and ready again. "Are we really hitting each other or are we pulling our punches?" he says. "I should've asked. I don't really know how this goes."

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 3

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 14

Taken aback by the sudden and dramatically smooth motions of the Elf, Steve takes a moment to rub the back of his hand across his nose. He then scowls lightly and shakes his head, mouth split in a wry smile.

"For the sake of the infirmary and the off-chance that we might be necessary in full capacity, I'd recommend we pull punches," he replies, setting himself up again in a similar stance to his beginning position, both hands still upheld in those loose fists. Another hook, this time, flies towards Kai in a sudden seamless switch into southpaw expertise.

Kai already knows to use his smaller height to his advantage, and he ducks the swing, moving in to tap one fist, then the other, to Steve's kidneys. It'd be a pair of nasty jabs if he put any force behind it. "Boop boop," he says with delight.

It might be the fact he's had no formal training that gives him at least a temporary advantage. Good luck predicting what he's going to do next. "It's imperative to tackle Bucky from behind," Kai says, "to test how good he is at threat assessment."

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 14

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 16

Steve takes a step or two back even as he evaluates the state of his torso: lightly tapped, kidneys functional. Talk about pulling punches. Now the Captain is beginning to sport an expression of marked attentiveness, his joviality fading a notch.

"You might make fun, but Buck's no one to take lightly. He'll have you in a headlock faster than you can spit." The next two punches fly as fast as the super-soldier can manage, far speedier than the current heavy-weight champion could ever manage.

Kai pulls his head back swiftly, moving snakelike from one side to another. He's fast. He's not Pietro Maximoff fast, but he's quick. And agile. He pops another punch at Steve's nose, and again, he pulls the punch. No booping this time. "I wouldn't be surprised if he kicked my ass," Kai admits.

"The second time I ever met him, it was Winter. He broke into my flat tried to kill me. That wasn't a good night."

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 10

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 9

The Captain attempts to roll with the punch, but it's still solid enough to make his nose sting. He blinks quickly and sneezes once in his brief retreat, sniffing to clear his airway before squinting at the Elf. Some rapid re-evaluations are made and his stance subtly shifts into something more akin to martial arts.

"You seem no worse for the wear," he comments flippantly before suddenly kicking out. In a crescent, his leg flies, the flat of his shin just above his ankle aimed at Kai's lowest rib.

Where Kai falls down is he underestimates. He takes Steve for a boxer, and the kick surprises him. Kai's quick, but he's not quick enough. The blow connects, and it's like kicking a young tree. He's a solid creature, all appearances to the contrary.

The Elf oofs, then laughs it off. Pulled punches mean no one's really getting hurt. "I don't stay down long," he says. "Besides, it wasn't really Bucky, so no hard feelings."

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 12

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 8

The impact is brief, but Steve is shocked to find how there's a decided lack of give beneath his shin. The Elf sincerely is far sturdier than he looks, speed of movement notwithstanding. He rallies, however, and returns to the back-and-forth shifting on his feet, his stance that same weird amalagamation of boxing and martial arts once more.

"A good way to look at things." Then flies another punch in an attempt to throw expectations by not repeating an attack, this one flying at the other half of Kai's ribs.

Kai's arm comes down to block the punch, and Kai moves in to deliver another tap to Steve's kidney. He's all laughter and friendly fun times, but those strikes are aimed to violently disable and incapacitate. At least they would be with any strength behind them.

"He's my friend," Kai says reasonably. "You know what it's like. You get it. You don't give up on friends."

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 5

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 6

Attempting to dodge the return punch after recovering his balance fails him. He lets out a soft sound, more reaction than actual pain considering no one's looking to lay out the other, and then dances back. A short huff and Steve then sets his jaw. Right about now, Bucky would probably give him That Look and mutter something about 'here he goes again'.

"Nope, you don't. You stick with 'em, through thick and thin." This time, a flurry of punches, one after another, aimed to put Kai on his back foot and possibly even in retreat.

The tactic works, at least at first. Kai's instinct is to draw back, and that does put his weight on his back foot. He holds up his arms to block the flurry of blows, and being the little guy, he finally pushes past them by ducking under. He goes low, catching Steve around the calf in an attempt to pull him off his feet.

"No matter what," he agrees. "Bucky's a good guy. I know he'd stand up for me no matter what."

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 16

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 17

The blond super-soldier tries to avoid the sudden in-rush, but he realizes his mistake far too late. The solid grip of hands about his calf is something he can't shake off, though he tries once and finds Kai to be rather heavy for his stature. His next response is to attempt to slip an arm around the Elf's neck and lift to torque his neck up. It might force him to release his leg and then comes the art of the grapple. This one's an old favorite of Steve, as Bucky might relate and then disparage him for his propensity in kindness rather than simply locking someone into unconsciousness.

"He'll stand up for anything he believes in," the man agrees, his words gone short with effort and concentration.

Kai squeaks as he's forced to release the leg. Grappling eh? Well, the Elf will see about that! Except Steve's got the upper hand, and there's just more Steve than there is of Kai. He's a dense but smaller package. More manageable than Mr. Tall and Strapping.

Kai tries to get an arm around Steve's to break his grasp, but for the moment. Steve's got himself a wriggling and flailing Elf, who still manages to say, "Yeah, he's pretty groovy."

|ROLL| Kai +rolls 1d20 for: 15

|ROLL| Steve Rogers +rolls 1d20 for: 3

"Don't tell him that, he'll get a big head and strut about and then I'll have to remind him about that one time back in France with breaking cover before I said to," replies Steve, grunts interspersed through his words as he tries to keep the squirrely Elf in check. It's hard, especially with the density of the smaller being, and he's having trouble keeping his feet. Putting a Longhorn bull into a headlock would probably be easier to manage.

Kai wriggles a lot, is the thing. All those micro-adjustments give him a chance to plant his feet, and once his feet are planted, he starts to take steps, grunting with effort for every millimeter of ground gained. He doesn't try to break free of Steve. On the contrary, he holds onto him for leverage against those steps.

"Well, you don't want him to get a big head," Kai agrees, the words coming with effort. Along the deck he pushes back against Steve. It's not a long push. It doesn't need to be. He only needs to get those couple feet between sparrers and the pool.

Sploosh! Kai can't avoid being pulled into the pool as well, but never let it be said he won't make the ultimate sacrifice in the name of getting the job done.

Steve tries to lock his knees and push back against his opponent, but the strength ratio is not in his favor this time. He realizes that they're reaching the pool's edge once he feels the shift in dry ground to ground still wet with past foosteps and splash radius. Friction slips and that's all that Kai needs to turn the scuffle in his favor.

In they both go and the Captain immediately releases Kai in order to head for the surface. He breaks it with a whoop and a gasping laugh. "Son of a bitch," he says in a whisper to himself, shaking water from his face as he treads in place.

Kai surges up from the water laughing, like it's all just one big game. Then again, play does teach real world skills. He sweeps his hair back and sputters water from his nose and mouth before fixing Steve with those big blue eyes. "You had me a few times," he says. "I'm not used to fighting people as strong as you."

"Right, and I'll grow wings and fly." Steve swims over to the edge of the pool and anchors himself once again with a bent arm. He wipes down his face and back over his hair, shaking his head. "You've got less give to you than a punching bag and that was like attempting to stop a semi. Makes me think that I've got to put on a few more pounds of muscle."

Kai looks Steve over and asks, "Where are you going to put it?" He gestures with a dripping hand. "You're already so much muscle." He grins, though. "You should try shoving Loki over when he steals the blankets. I might as well try moving Stonehenge."

He swims over to anchor himself beside the super soldier. "I should get us more steaks," he says. "I hear protein is good for putting on muscle. Now that Bertie can see, he could do us a barbecue."

"I won't say no to a barbeque." Steve glances over at the grill in question tucked over and out of the way of the pool, a rather large contraption that was brought on simply because there are many mouths to feed within the mansion. "I'd put the food in my stomach and the pounds of muscle can fit where they can."

Lifting himself out the pool then, he pads over to retrieve his towel again. He works at drying himself off as best he can before attempting to wring out his t-shirt. Water splashes as he says, "You let me know when you plan to have this barbeque. I'll let the team know."

Kai hoists himself out of the water and pads toward his towel. "You've got it," he says. "It'd be nice to get the whole gang together. We'll do it soon, before the weather turns." He shakes his head. "Can't believe this summer is already on its way out. It went so fast.

He dries off, save for his damp curls which are left to drip. Toweling them will bring frizz, and that way lies madness. "Let's gang up on Bucky next time. It'll be fun."

Steve wraps his towel about himself now and nods, looking out and across the rooftop towards the city proper.

"It went too fast, it seems. Not enough time to get half of anything done." Still, he smiles to himself and glances over at Kai. "Gang up on Buck? …I suppose I could be distraction," he finally reneges almost guiltily. "But only where we can't cause structural damage to the mansion. I'm not looking to have Tony up in arms."

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