American Thunder Pt.1

OOC: Joint post between Turk and Paladin_IPG

Sam left the rear courtyard and headed back to his bedroom on the second floor. He scooped his phone from his bed as he sat down to take its place. He scrolled through his contacts until he found Erik's number. He knew Erik wouldn't be as comfortable with being called for over the compound wide P.A. he called Erik, hoping he was still in the area.

Erik, who just a few short moments ago had been whisked back to the compound, was hurrying back to his room. In his mind it was a more tense moment than it likely appeared, but still he felt the pressure was on. He was peering around a corner when his phone buzzed and he nearly jumped into the ceiling. He hurried to check who was calling and briefly thought that the number looked familiar. It could be the hospital though so he picked up and cautiously answered, "Hello?"

"Erik, it's Sam, are you free? We haven't gotten any one on one time since we got here, so I think we should spend some time together." He tried his best to sound cheerful, despite the mission ahead.

His heartbeat jumped briefly before coming down to more reasonable rates, ‘just Sam, not some SHIELD housecall or agent, just Sam, be cool’ he thought. “Oh I mean...yeah sure...I don’t really...what were you thinking?” he replied.

"I was going to get some training done and thought you'd want to spar. I've been noticing you only volunteer for the perimeter watch in our exercises and avoid the thick of the action. I wouldn't mind seeing what you've got, up close and personal." Sam laughed. "After all, each of us has to be at our best to make sure we can protect each other, right?"

“Ahh…” he looked around, as if some excuse might appear but could find none. He had a lot to think about before the mission, some notes to take, and maybe a speech to prepare; but he also knew how sorry a state he was in with regards to mission preparedness. T’Chantem had offered of course, and he was getting some lessons in with Niko and Gwen when he could, but would it really hurt to take on a few more lessons. At this rate Theo would be teaching him magic in no time, though he shook the thought from his head as a request to be in a place alone with Theo would be easily misinterpreted.

“That sounds good...where exactly should we go? I’m gonna need a bit...to change into something...something better than this.” He looked around the corner once more, as if some agent might discover him and drag him away for as much as having a phone call, but his previous meeting still hung on his mind.

"Let's meet at our lockers in the main training hall in 10 minutes. We can use the white uniforms, may as well start breaking them in." Sam happily replied. He nearly hung up before a thought struck him, "Oh! And make sure you bring your umbrella." *click*

He pocketed his phone, grabbed his helmet off of the end table and walked out the door. He placed his earpiece back in his ear and turned it on as he walked down the hall toward the staircase. He never saw much use in using the elevators to go up a single flight.

Sam spoke softly as he opened the door to the staircase, "Helen, would you please ready the main training hall? Erik and I will be having a sparring session."

She calmly replied, "Right away, sir. Would you like me to initiate training recording?"

"Yes to the recording, but it will just be Erik and I. We’re going to spend some quality time together." Better not even ask about the Defense bots; Sam didn't think Happy was very thrilled that they were damaging them before, and had a feeling he's still in the 'we think they're toys' camp. He quickly made his way up the stairs, skipping every other step. He arrived at his locker, stripped himself of the blue and white suit, then donned the white one. Then, finally allowing himself to properly honor his father; Sam attached the magnetic strip devices to his Steve's shield and removed it from its mantle. He took a moment to admire the shine it still had after all these years, then set the shield down, leaning it against his locker. Sam slipped on the control device on his glove and stretched his limbs to feel more comfortable in the suit, he was about to get a proper work out and needed to be loose.

The phone clicked off before he could explain that it wasn’t actually an umbrella, but a second thought led him to believe that it was supposed to be a knowing comment. Thankfully he had left Thunderstrike carefully placed in his room and was more than happy to have a reason to actually rush and drop his ‘casual’ facade.

With limited time he threw on some basketball shorts and a grey workout shirt and stopped at the doorway on his way out. He looked back to the umbrella sitting next to his bed and mentally winced at the thought of using it, but still Sam had asked him to bring it. He and figured now was the best time of any to try and test out something he had been thinking of anyway. He held a hand toward the umbrella and focused, he wasn’t sure how exactly he was supposed to focus,
but he mentally was split between thinking how he wanted Thunderstrike to come to his hand and also how stupid he must sound if anyone could hear his thoughts. But that second voice was drowned out by panic as the umbrella spun up from the side of the bed hard to his hand. He marveled at it for a moment, trying in his mind to figure out how it might work. But he was still on the clock he remembered and so with umbrella in hand he made his way to the gym.

Arriving to the locker room in a huff, he waved over to Sam, “Hey, hey I’m here. If it’s all the same to you can I uhh...can I skip on the leather? It’s uhh...not sounding too appealing right now.”

"Hey, it's not my favorite thing ever, but we have to properly stress test these suits so we know they'll stack up in the field. Besides, better to damage the suits rather than the clothes we like. Now hop to, let's go!" Sam said quickly as he continued to stretch. "Time's wasting!" He smiled.

“Oh..okay…” Erik didn’t have a reason to debate with him now and looked for the nearest locker that bared the Odinson name. He reached for the handle but hesitated, thinking through what the hell he was about to find. Damn it if he wasn’t about to find out he supposed. Giving the handle a pull, half expecting some great new bits of information, some secret, some grand revelation or relics of Thor’s past, he was surprised to find only the white leather uniform within the locker. Erik looked it over again, half suspecting he had regulated something of his fathers but finding nothing changed. He grabbed ahold of the uniform and with another moments hesitation he began getting into his uniform.

Now fully suited, and surprisingly comfortable, in the new getup, Erik moved out into the training area. “Alright so uhh, did you have a plan? Because I haven’t really uhh...really trained before so….”

"Exactly. Which is why I want to give you a crash course on close quarters combat.I can't show you how to harness your magic, obviously, and I'm not the first go-to tech expert. But I can most certainly how to harness your speed and strength, to become a serious powerhouse on the battlefield. So - are you ready to have some fun?"

The Asgardian stood awkwardly holding the umbrella and looked to his stance. He wasn’t sure about the fun but he figured the experience would be formulative. He placed the umbrella beside him, realized it was probably too close to himself and moved it to the end of his reach. Looking back to Sam he shrugged his shoulders, “uhh sure”

"When I say 'go'" Sam yelled from across the hall, "I want you to close your eyes, take a deep breath; then charge me and try to hit me with your fists. Don't hold back. Understood?"

"No? That doesn't sound like a good idea Sam." Erik shouted across, clearly worried. "I mean..I'd really rather not do that." Sure he wanted to get better, but going 'all out' had proven to be a disastrous proposition before and he was very cautious to repeat it.

"Just trust me." Sam said as he smiled. He took a deep breath and his voice echoed through the entire chamber, "GO!”

Erik wasn't very certain of many things about this, but he appreciated that Sam was at least confident. He hesitated at the start but figured that any delay might bring along some form of punishment. ‘Just think about it like homework, work hard and it’ll be over faster’ he thought as he began moving toward him. He wasn’t sure exactly how to go all out but he gave a good solid jog to approach him. Within a few seconds he was within what he supposed was striking distance but as he wound up he admittedly flinched.

Sam bounced lightly on the front of his feet as Erik came forward, doing his best to read his approach. He noticed Erik slow a moment before he swung and Sam felt disappointed. He understood the hesitation, but he hoped that Erik would be able to push through his feelings and take this seriously. So he decided to teach Erik a slightly painful lesson; Sam bent down as he grabbed Erik’s left wrist, then guided his arm up as he fired a strong jab at his ribs.

The hit threw Erik off balance certainly, and in a brief moment he saw Sam wound up a hit toward him and thought to brace. But as the strike hit he expected...more he supposed. He had never been in a proper fight, the one time some jock had leveled a swing at him he had his back turned and that barely registered if it wasn’t for his hat coming off his head. He stood there awkwardly, unsure of how to proceed but feeling a bit foolish for ‘failing’ so easily.

“Go back. Let’s try that again.” Sam said coldly.

He turned back and tried to think over how to improve on that run. It seemed at least like he had some durability to him in the fight, maybe that was the key? A straightforward fist hadn’t worked, and his repertoire wasn’t exactly expansive in this regard. So as he got to what he figured was an appropriate distance he brought himself lower, ready this time to try the ever effective football tackle.

“Deep breath. Show me what you’ve got. Go!”

Now with some increased resolve Erik took off with some speed. He figured mentally a tackle was much softer an attack than a punch so maybe he could give it a bit more juice. No screams and no one about to die this time though meant he was at more of an average sprinter’s pace than any sort of demi-god speeds. He lowered his shoulder and head and prepared to try and make contact with Sam.

Sam smiled as Erik barreled towards him. ‘The speed is better,’ he thought to himself, ‘but he’s still holding back.’ Sam slid a leg back and, using Erik’s own weight and speed against him, sidestepped him as he grabbed him by the hair with both hands and threw him into the ground. “This isn’t a drunken parking lot brawl.” Sam said as he squatted down, “Don’t throw yourself at me and hope for the best, I’ll have you every time. Read me; which hand am I counting on to stop your first strike? What direction can you force me to move based on how I’m standing? Think.” Sam extended his hand to Erik, offering to help him up.

For a moment he felt helpless in the air, but the ground was thankfully there to embrace him. Despite his comment that it wasn’t a parking lot brawl he sure felt as though it was one due to the hair pull. But Sam was right, he had to do better. He took Sam’s hand and brought himself to his feet. He felt stupid certainly, and he certainly looked it to. As he righted himself all he could think of, is how much of a complete polar opposite to Thor he was. Thor caused destruction and harm where he went but at least he still could beat someone. At this rate, Erik figured, he'd only be good for training dummies and lifting things.

Sam put his hand on Erik's shoulder as he stood up. "Erik, I’d like you to really listen to me for a second. I know this is a lot. And I have a feeling I’m not your favorite person here. I’m not telling you to let go of what’s worrying you and I’m not telling you to forget about your hesitation. I’m telling you to USE it. All of that confusion and frustration and rage you’re feeling and trying to bury? THAT is your fuel. Hold it tight until it burns your hands and harness that fire. There is nothing here that can't be rebuilt, I promise you. Now, I want you to come at me one more time. And THIS time, you'll do it right. You're going to read me and come at me with everything you have.”

Sam stepped closer to speak at a softer volume, “Because if you don’t, I’m going to have Helen send the Hulkbuster over here to throw you out the window and stomp you back into the ground for wasting both of our time. Sound good?" Sam asked as he took a step back and smiled.

Erik looked to Sam with concern, was that a threat? Was he serious? He certainly didn’t know him well enough to tell if he was just trying to get a rise out of him. Shit what if he was serious? Erik focused on what he had just been told, use your brain and make them go where you want. He could use his brain, that was literally one of the few things he was comfortable using. He just had to figure out how.

He looked over Sam’s stance for a moment and tried to puzzle it out. He was definitely standing, which Erik figured was an important factor in the whole fighting thing. He suddenly had an idea though, and decided it was best to just go with what he had rather than stand around any longer. Sam wanted all out...well he’d certainly get something. Erik ran forward again with a large wind up with his right arm and threw a large wild punch toward Sam with a surprising amount of speed, even for Erik.

If it hadn't been for the fact that Sam had seen prior footage of Erik's speed, it would have taken him off guard. Even still, he found himself nearly scrambling to prepare himself. He barely had time to duck, but delivered two fast jams towards his ribs again. Then he combat rolled backwards to regain some ground.

Putting a hard step to the ground he stopped his momentum and tried to brainstorm a next step. Keep him moving, he decided, maybe you can come up with something before he can. He pushed hard into the distance and got some air, bringing his foot toward Sam’s core.

Sam crossed his arms and took the impact of Erik's kick. His whole body slid backwards, but properly absorbed the hit. He performed another combat roll forward, then countered with a low sweeping kick to knock Erik off of his feet.

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