The Princess and the Toad

Discussion in 'ONE ON ONES IN CHARACTER' started by The Mood is Write, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Aldric leaned heavily on his cane. The usual taxi wasn't available, and so he walked to the gym, and he felt it in his everything. Cross from the pain, the small man was in no mood when the woman behind the counter stared at him like he was a freak.

    He was, but that was no excuse to be rude. He lifted his eyepatch absently as he pulled out his gym membership, and watched her shudder in his periphery.

    Once that business was tended to, he flipped his eyepatch back down. It was petty and childish of him, but even if she was a new employee, that didn't make it less uncomfortable for him. He wanted a beer instead of a workout at this point.

    With a grunt, he made his way to the locker room and changed, then entered the gym proper to begin, already regretting the decision to come. He leaned on his cane heavily as he looked around with his one good eye, scowling before he found a machine that would get him off his feet for a time. He set it to a fairly low weight to use for warming up, thankful that such a thing didn't require a spotter.

    No, that was later, if he decided to try presses or lifts.

    Fuck those things, but they made him feel strong, and the psychological good outweighed the horrible pain, he supposed.

    He eyed the bench and the person currently on it, then sighed and began pulling down on the weights, the bar as crooked as his back. Each slow and purposeful pull brought a quiet-uttered curse until he ran out of swears and sat a few moments.

    His rest ended, and he wiped down the equipment, drank from his water bottle, then began to hobble towards the bench press, with a muttering of "Screw leg day, I walked here today..."

    Aldric's one eye peered around though, seeking a good spotter, until he saw her.

    She was as tall as he was short, but at first he thought she was a man, until he was halfway to her and noticed those little things that indicated she wasn't a man, or at least wasn't a normal man.

    "Hey!" It came out sharper than he intended, more angry-sounding, and he grimaced before he cleared his throat. "Sorry. Throat's fucked up. Mind spotting for me? Name's Aldric." His voice sounded like he gargled asphalt for fun.

    With his twisted spine and uneven legs, and the way his face looked like it'd been halfway caved in by the ugly stick, he frankly expected her to run off, though something nagged. He'd seen her before... Why couldn't he place her? The man didn't realize he was squinting at her, nor that it was looking almost like he was glaring at her. His lack of proper eyebrows didn't help, nor did his prominent brow and deep-set eyes.
     
  2. Barbara entered the gym like she did every morning, bright an early. Unlike the average gym goer, she had to be there longer and do a lot more to get any benefit from it. It was no different this day either. Besides getting some actual work in, it was also the best time to avoid the odd looks. She was definitely out of the average height range for women, and even more so out of the ordinary muscle build for most men. It was easier just to get things done when most people weren't around instead of dealing with the weird flirts and even weirder challenges.

    After doing several reps on most of the machines in the area, as well as doing an hour-long run on a treadmill, she was about halfway through her usual weekend workout. She was thinking about going to the free weights for another hour when she heard someone calling out to her. At first, she glanced around, finding no one until she glanced down.

    The man standing before her was probably not the average individual. He was about only as high as her hips and seemed to suffer from several medical conditions that she had seen many times over at work. However, she had never seen them all on one individual at the same time. Blinking, she didn't process his question until he cleared his throat, his voice gravelly, but still much better off than she would have anticipated.

    "You need a spotter? Sure, I'm in the middle of sets anyway. Which one are you setting up at?" She asked politely, her voice smooth but thick for a woman in general. Giving a lopsided smile, she motioned for him to lead the way.

    Being a physical therapist made Barbara numb to most conditions of the body, such as twisted spins or messed up knees. There wasn't a day where she didn't work on or assist a person with such conditions. She became a physical therapist to help with such things, and a trainer to support the same people in improving their strength so that they would be less dependant on pills and more on their bodies will.

    "I'm Barb by the way if you need a name." She added as she followed him at his pace.
     
  3. Another starer, but this one didn't seem to be judgmental so much as surprised. That, he could handle without being a grumpy-ass.

    After a moment of looking around, he pointed towards a bench far from anyone else. "That one," he said. It had no weights yet. "I figured I'd get weights onto it after the first few rejections." A wide grin revealed the attempt at humor, his effort at making dealing with him less awkward for her.

    After all, she was a looker, with those eyes of hers... He turned on her introduction and stared into them a moment, then snorted. "I'll remember that. Barb."

    His first instinct was to say that it seemed fitting, but a lot of people were weird about their names.

    So, he instead turned toward the weights and grabbed two 25's, then rolled them on either side of himself. "Mind grabbing two tens and two fives, Barb?"

    "Can't bench a lot by most standards, but even if it hurts, gives me a little pride that I'm not a complete potato sack yet."

    And yet, he was carrying the better part of his weights, and only asked for help on what he couldn't get to the bench on his own.
     
  4. Barbara politely laughed a bit at the joke he made at his own expense, shaking her head a little as she followed him to a weightlifting bench that was far off from the others. "Smart thinking, the usual meatheads don't process much outside of their protein shakes and deafening music."

    Setting her things off to the side as he gathered his weights, she watched with an impressed expression on her face. Most people in his condition wouldn't even think to grab their weights, let alone also come to a gym and work out. Conditions like his own were the kind people took pills for to cope. Grabbing the requested weights, she chuckled again before setting them down beside him so he could put them on in the order he liked.

    "You can certainly bench more than a lot of the people around here for someone who is on the way to being a potato sack." She started out with a small tease. "You can color me impressed, Aldric. Do you weight lift often? It takes a lot of arm days to get to get to this kind of weight for anyone unless you are an everyday kind of gym goer."
     
  5. "Few times a week," he grunted as he looked down at his weights, then up to the bar. With a scowl, he set the weights down carefully, then began to adjust the bench and bar heights, muttering not about tall people, but about how he always forgot he needed to adjust it.

    "I come a few times a week," he repeated, "And I can only do a few reps before it hurts too much and I regret being born, so don't be too impressed."

    Still, he couldn't hide the subtle pride that entered his eyes.

    Once he got the station to a good height for him, which was less 'good' and more 'as good as it was going to get', he leaned down to pick up one of the two 25-pound weights.

    He stopped suddenly and sucked in air through his teeth.

    "Walking here... bad idea..."
     
  6. "I can't help but be," Barbara started with a light laugh. "Weights like this are no laughing matter, for anyone."

    She stepped behind the bar, careful to keep out of his way and not interrupt him. Waiting for his signal, she looked down at her phone for just a second to check her time. She needed to keep her heart rate going and was considering multitasking with a few weights of her own. It wasn't as if she couldn't quickly catch what he was working on, in fact, she could do it one-handed and with her eyes closed, However, he didn't need to know that.

    At the sound of his hissing, she turned to him with a concerned look. That didn't sound good at all. Catching his words, she gave him a shocked look. "You walked here? Jeeze you are a wonder! What's hurting?" She asked, wondering if she might need to call an assistant over to get him some help?
     
  7. "Everything," he half-spat, "Mostly my hips and back." He straightened, then sighed. "Maybe I should hold off on weights and do lighter stuff," he grumbled as he glared down at the weight, as though it was the absent taxi driver.

    He looked up at Barbara, then quickly away as he caught the look on her face. "I'll be fine. Don't worry. Guess I don't need a spotter, though."
     
  8. Seeing both the anger and disappointment on his face, Barb felt terrible for the guy. After all, to walk all the way to the gym, in his condition no less, and not even be able to make progress was the worst sort of feeling. She had those days, and they could throw off her work. Thinking about what she could do to help that wouldn't be overstepping any boundaries, she then remembered she still had some of her physical therapy machines with her in her duffle back. Barbara never emptied it out at home because sometimes she used the tools when working out of in-between sets to keep her muscles relaxed and to prevent severe damage.

    "Hold on a sec; You might still get to lift. I'll be right back, stay put!" She said with a grin before she turned and headed back to the locker rooms. It wasn't long until she returned with a small box and what seemed to be a couple of packets filled with wires. Holding them up, she slowly spoke as she offered them to him to look over. "I suffer from knee pain and shoulder pain from time to time. Usually, I find using these little electric jolt machines helps loosen the sore and tight muscles and relieves pain. If you want, I can set these up on your back and see if that helps relax you before you try the weights. It will make the stiff muscles more fluid, and they might benefit more from your workout. All it does is send a steady pulse that you can control through a determined span using these sticky pads. "
     
  9. He watched her go, then return, scowling with confusion. Once she explained, though, his eyebrows lifted.

    "You're a fucking spot of sunshine, Barb," he breathed, only to grin as he looked up at her from the box. "Let's try it out."

    Fuck walking all the way here for nothing! He couldn't help but get a little excited at the prospect of not only being able to lift, but also not having to do a walk of shame of putting away the weights before even getting use out of them.

    "Woman after my blackened heart."
     
  10. Laughing lightly at his last little compliment, she set the machine down on the bench before speaking gently. "What can I say, it breaks my heart to see someone miss out on a good set of lifts. Now come on, Let's get this set up on your back."

    Letting him take the bench to sit, she waited for him to get comfortable and lift up his shirt enough for her to work. Once he was ready, she knelt beside the bench while being behind him. Barb pulled open the small packages of pads and placed the first one on his right shoulder; the other went on his left him. She repeated this on the opposite hip and shoulder, making an invisible 'x' on his back. Barbara then plugged in the wires to the machine, turning it on as it beeped to life. There was no pulse yet, but it had a bright little screen with numbers.

    "Okay, I'm going to start with the lowest setting. You can always crank it up until you feel comfortable."
     
  11. "Sounds good," he grunted.

    As the pulses began, he closed his eye, seeming to scowl. In reality, he was concentrating on the sensation. As his body got used to it, he opened his eye and turned it up, a little at a time.

    The reduction of pain translated to pleasure for his body in the most awkward way, but he ignored it as best he could. It'd been some time since his muscles felt this relaxed, and he even felt it slightly in his knee—that might have been a placebo effect, though.

    He didn't care, though. It felt better.

    He kept quiet throughout, only to turn it off suddenly.

    "Any more of that, and I'll fall asleep," he huffed. "Thanks."

    Ignore the awkward thing, he begged in his mind.
     
  12. Barbara simply watched, glad that it seemed to be helping him out in some manner. She always did find the throbbing shocks to be comforting as they melted away the pain. More than once, Barb could remember nodding off and waking up hours later with the machine still going. That was the kind of effect that it had on her.

    When he suddenly stopped, Barbara glanced over at Aldric curiously. Chuckling at his comment, she nodded her head a bit before stepping back over to the bench and getting within reach of the bar to be his spotter. "I'm the same way, being on a couch at home is dangerous with that thing. I could sleep for hours and be completely unaware. Now is it time for some weights?" She said with a grin of sorts.
     
  13. "Yeah," he nodded, then began the task of putting the weights on the bar, then locked them in place before he took his position.

    "Ready?"

    He didn't want to get squashed if she wasn't ready and he started. That would suck.

    Already he hurt again, but not nearly so much, and it distracted him from his stiffy, letting it go back down.

    Thank fuck.

    Once all was prepared, he lifted the bar, bracing himself for it as he lowered it slowly, then pushed it back up slowly. This was repeated three times, and by the end of the fourth, when he finally placed the thing back on the stand, he was red-faced and dizzy.

    Should not have done that last rep, he thought to himself, but it was hard not to try and show off a tiny bit to the nice young lady who helped him out.

    Even if he was hurting again.
     
  14. Barbara, who was more than ready, nodded her head and smiled at Aldric before giving him a thumbs up. "I'm ready when you are."

    With that, Barb helped the shorter man do his lifts, observing as he benched the weights to the best of his ability. He wasn't a weightlifting champ, but he did well for his condition. Better than any other person she had ever seen with his medical limitations. It was awe-inspiring. Once he finished, the young woman wandered back around to him in the face.

    "Well, I'll be damned. That is a mighty impressive lift. Can't say I see many men do that with a sore back on top of it. You've got my praise, Aldric. I have to ask, though, what drives you to come around here? Leaving out the health part, you don't seem the type to enjoy the long-term social interaction with people like...these." Barb said, an annoying jock dropping a set of weights on a floor as he yelled along with his hype men at his sides just as she finished talking.

    That was a classic annoying gym monkey. Aldric was far off that path.
     
  15. Aldric laid there for several moments, forcing himself to breathe before he answered. "Honestly? Hate being inside all the time," he paused for breath, "Home, work... same places all the time? Stupid."

    He might have called it maddening, if he had the breath for it after that set of lifts. He definitely pushed himself too far today, and he'd feel it the next day. Slowly, he pushed himself upright.

    "Plus... got the apes trained," he shot her a wicked, if brief, grin.

    "Tiny freaks like me... we know how to make words hurt worse..."
     
  16. Barbara lightly chuckled as she stepped back a bit, crossing her arms over her chest as she glanced at Aldric. "You are a very interesting man, Aldric. I'll give you that. Sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword. However, do yourself a favor and consider in investing in one of these therapy machines. It could reduce the pain and risk of injury in the long run. After all, I'd hate not to see you coming around to train."

    Before she could say more, the young woman's phone started to ring loudly, catching her attention. It was a text, work related of course. It seemed that she would need to head in for some more close combat training for her weightlifting and mixed combat competitions. Sighing a little, she tucked her phone away and looked at the shorter man.

    "Well, I need to get going. Work has some last minute training for me, and I can't afford to miss it. You have yourself a good day, Aldric. Hopefully, I'll be seeing you more often." She said with a grin of sorts before she picked up her machine and wandered off.
     
  17. "Take care," he grunted as he forced himself upright, then began wiping down the bench.

    He'd been pondering getting a machine like that of his own, but his life was often too busy, with his kid and his job. It was hard to go shopping for himself, sometimes.

    He figured it might be good to call a ride up, though, before he changed. Give them time to show up.

    So, he did just that.
     
  18. Barbara didn't see Aldric for several days. It seemed that the timing was off, as she was never at the gym when he was. Work was keeping her jumping around, from training at the gym to working the physical therapy area at the local sports clinic. There wasn't a moment where the giantess could even think to try and run into the shorter man. He had proven to be quite entertaining and enjoyable company, even if only for a short while.

    When she finally did have time to pull back, Barbara had to make a grocery run. Her fridge was empty and she had no other options besides going to buy some food. The giantess wandered the aisles quietly, looking over items on the shelves and deciding if they were worth the cost. Other times she was reading ingredients and calorie values. Eating out was difficult for a woman like her, being as large as she was Barbara had a special diet to meet her energy needs. However, eating out got every expensive on such a diet, so she enjoyed cooking her food instead.

    She was floating around near the coffee in her work attire, a pencil skirt and a lovely sweater and jacket combo. A pair of black heels finished it off, making her even taller than usual. Barb didn't also look like the gym junkie that she was, her clothing making her appear more feminine and yet delicate. Huffing a bit as she picked up another coffee can, she seemed to be comparing weight value at the moment as she stood beside her cart.
     
  19. "Here," a grumpy voice came from below and to one side, and a can thrust upward towards her. "This tastes the same, twice as cheap."

    Aldric peered up at her, trying to put a name to the face as he squinted with his one good eye.

    After a moment, he grunted. "Barb, right?"

    "DADDYYYYYYY!"

    A screech from further down the aisle brought a grimace, and he whirled, lifting his cane.

    "Not so loud!" he barked, "Screeching is for dying only!"

    "Daddy!" The call came quieter this time as a young girl ran up to him, no older than five, hair in curled pigtails and wearing overalls with a tonka trunk on them. "I found someone who helped me get your cereal down!"

    His expression softened, barely perceptible, and he rested a hand on her head with a nod. "Good job. Thank you. Can you put it in the cart?" Though his voice still sounded rough, his manner was gentle with the child.
     
  20. Blinking, Barb looked around herself for a moment before glancing down, seeing none other than Aldric standing right beside her offering up a can of coffee. Setting down the ones she was holding, the taller woman reached down and grabbed the container, reading it carefully before nodding to herself and placing it in her cart.

    "That's right, nice you see you again Aldric," Barbara commented with a soft smile of sorts.

    The child-like voice caught her off guard though, making her look up and blink as the tiniest and most adorable little girl appeared running towards them. Like an angel, she ran up to her father, offering of the cereal that she had been told to gather apparently. Though the man in front of her was known to be grumpy, she could see from the look in his eye that this little girl was special to him.

    "I can't believe it; you have a kid? That's the last thing I expected from a man who seems all business like you." Barbara teased a little.