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.