Limited Pumping Iron

This RP is open, but with limitations.

Fang

Active member
Nat wasn’t entirely sure what to do in an actual gym. He had exercised his powers and his body in the Den easily enough, but had done so in concert without fear of being called out as a meta. Infinity Fitness was public, and surprisingly more popular than Nat had expected Sam’s place to be. It seemed that her youth didn’t impact her business acumen any more than her vigilantism.



Nat had settled on simply lifting free weights, his mind distracted by doubts of Phoenix’s allegiance while he went through the motions. He had determined to visit the gym often, in case the cannibal came looking for Sam, but he doubted he would have much success. Nat wasn’t even sure if he would recognize the man beneath mask. All he could really remember was a monster.



He watched anyway, sometimes a bit too intensely if someone caught his eye. The cannibal had been strong, and faster than expected. Anyone who demonstrated significant athletic ability caught Nat’s gaze until they left, or he was satisfied they weren’t interested in a human buffet.
 
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Isaiah had been a certified gym rat since he'd left the hospital after his incident. For years before that every therapist and expert under the planet had told him good exercise helped battle depression, he sometimes hated that they were right. Of course he forgot that as soon as he caught himself in the mirror, his body showing the signs of hard work, and it made him smile and gave him a confidence he'd never known before.

Infinity Gym had become his destination of choice ever since he got back on the vigilante horse, having the proper equipment and classes to keep his skills sharp in hand to hand. Most street thugs were tough, but lacked technique. Isaiah didn't need to be an expert, he just needed to know what he was doing.

He hadn't been totally sold on it being his main gym until he saw the owner - a very pretty redhead - fully willing to throw down with some kid. Apparently if you went three rounds with her you could get a membership for free, Isaiah respected that kind of energy. So he'd been coming almost every day he could ever since.

Isaiah was planning on doing weights today, he was really trying to build his strength - and his definition, he noticed how get got looks when his arms got bigger, he wouldn't admit how much he liked the attention - so free weights it was. Isaiah made his way over to them and paused when he saw they were occupied. He recognized the good looking guy who'd thrown down with the owner immediately, and he smiled. Just like the gym he'd be fully willing to make friends with anyone with that kind of energy.

The guy looked a tad distracted as he worked out, like something was bothering him. Isaiah figured he might be working through something, and was doing it like a man - lifting heavy shit. Isaiah made his way over and set his bag down. Watching the guy lift for a few seconds. A small part of him screamed inside that he was being weird, creepy even, but he ignored it.

"Mind if I spot in with you, man?"
 
The repetition was cathartic, a simple pattern of up and down that Nat would spice up by alternating using his power to lighten the load. When his muscles would begin to burn he gave them a break, and though the imaginary muscle of his ability had far exceeded his physical strength the constant exertion seemed to drain something from his stores. After so long sweat would bead on his brow from the concerted work out while his attention was solely focused elsewhere.



A woman called from the door to a group of her friends, and Nat thought of the monster’s voice. He could just recall it, gravelly and cold, unlikely to be a girl’s. A man walked by with thick, corded arms like tree trunks and Nat dug into his memory of the cannibal’s form. Lithe and almost wiry, Nat dismissed the thick armed man as he shook the image of teeth tearing through the flesh of another arm from his mind.



What color was his hair?



Nat had lost count of his repetitions long before the young man who prompted the thought walked in; had gone over the scene in the warehouse a dozen different ways so deeply that he had distracted himself from the motions he had repeated ad infinitum. Without realizing he had started using his power almost exclusively, the solid iron he lifted almost seeming to bend as it shifted up and down rapidly.



No, his hair was dark.



Nat’s eyes caught the white haired man’s gaze for a moment before he let his focus slide beyond, as though he hadn’t been studying him in the first place and was simply staring at the farthest motivational poster. He kept him in his peripheral vision, though, as he continued analyzing his candidacy. Temporarily changing hair color was easy, and not enough evidence to clear the boy of suspicion.



It was Nat who seemed to grow nervous, though, as the target of his attention seemed intent upon using the free weights as well. With his gaze fixed on the poster the white haired guy disappeared from the edges of Nat’s vision. He could practically feel the gaze, though, as he subconsciously began to throttle back on his exertion of his power. He had to have been doing this exercise for a good while, he realized, as his muscles burned with the entirety of the weight returned to their care.



”Mind if I spot in with you, man?”



He was closer than Nat had expected, and the sound of the young man’s voice startled him so badly that the weights crashed to the gym floor as they slipped from his exhausted grip. Nat might not have been accustomed to gym etiquette, but he knew as every eye turned to him that dropping the weights was bad form. Adding to his embarrassment was the question itself, unrecognized jargon that Nat assumed either meant the boy wanted to join him or perhaps assist him; Nat wasn’t sure.



“Um, yeah. Sure.” Nat’s flushed face was only in part due to his effort as he turned to the inquisitor and studied him more closely. Heterochromatic eyes, hair nearly as white as snow; he was a unique and immediately recognizable figure, and most certainly not Cryptid. ”I need a minute, though.” Nat’s sharply exhaled breath drove point to the results of his abandoned set, though his hand was steady as he extended it to the stranger.



”Name’s Nat. I’m not really used to, ya know. Gyms.”
 

Isaiah did his best to not react or cringe much as the weights went clattering to the floor. He felt bad, he'd started the guy and made him look bad. More to the point Isaiah had bothered him with gym lingo he didn't know - an introverts worst nightmare. Isaiah offered a comforting smile as he accepted his hand in greeting.

"It's all good man, name's Isaiah," he said. "And you could've fooled me on being new to gyms, you were hitting these weights pretty hard like it was nothing, you've obviously been putting in work - good job"

That was the secret code of gym brotherhood, positivity no matter what. Isaiah remembered what it was like when he first started going, how awkward and nervous he felt about his own body. It helped to know that no one in that space really judged him, and only saw someone working on themselves. It was all Isaiah could do to offer the same courtesy. Isaiah stopped to life the dropped and picked up the bar, exaggerating his grunt a little to imply it was harder for him than it actually was.

"There we go, yeah finish your set man I'll spot you... that means I'll make sure you're lifting safely - not that you need me two, you got perfect form."
 
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