American Thunder Pt.2

OOC: Joint post between Turk and Paladin_IPG

Just as he had planted his feet again they were pushed out from under him. He crumpled to the floor again, annoyingly again. ‘He had to be better!’ he thought as he smacked the floor and brought himself back up quickly. He came at Sam again, body low and looking to grab at his legs. ‘Grab him and then come up with a plan next, it’ll be great’ he thought.

Sam watched Erik’s eyes and realized he’d go for his legs. As Erik came with his downward bear grip, Sam leaped over him to avoid the grapple. The moment he hit the ground, Sam spun 180 degrees and put Erik in a full nelson. Not wasting a moment, Sam delivered a powerful kick to the back of Erik’s right leg, causing him to drop to one knee.

Erik’s was again thrown completely into a position he’d rather not be in. He shouldn’t care, he’d never been in a fight against anything but a tree..and the big robots he supposed, but damn if it wasn’t starting to get on his nerves how he couldn’t get a hit in. The position was awkward to push from but he had to figure something.

Sam realized that Erik still needed one final push, something to really make him lose it. Personally, Sam was never happy about being punched in the back of his head. Something about it just felt like a higher level of disrespect from one opponent to another. So he decided to get a little rude to bring out the best in his potential. He released one of his arms from it’s hold and fired a heavy elbow to the back of Thorson’s head, then shoved him to the ground. A move he was all too familiar with being on the receiving end of. It was in that moment a part of him had a small realization that the things Sharon put him through really were for something after all.

The blow hurt, but not nearly as much as it set him off. He wanted to think, he wanted to plan, he wanted to get off of the damn floor for more than five seconds, he wanted to maybe just do something right in a goddamn fight. If Sam’s goal was to anger the son of Thor, he had succeeded. Erik felt the tension spread from his head down to his whole body as he rose up again. His eyes fixed on Sam with a newfound intensity, and before perhaps even Erik acknowledged it he was at full tilt again, ready for another go.

Sam lunged forward and swung at Erik's face. He couldn't let up, he needed to keep Erik's energy up and focused on him.

Erik took the hit straight to the chin but while it did move his head it didn’t stop his momentum, he was focused and he would be damned if he wasn’t going to get his hits in. With Sam extended now Erik had his opening and he swung a fist straight to his chest. In that moment he remembered the bio lessons his mom had taught him and something in his mind guided his fist left of the sternum in the hopes that maybe that would hurt less and not put anything in jeopardy.

The blow knocked a little wind out of Sam's lungs but he didn't even care. Erik was really coming for him and the thought filled Sam with adrenaline. Absorbing the hit, Sam quickly grabbed Erik's arm and threw his body over his, landing Erik on the ground. He was used to throwing larger men, but somehow Erik was immensely denser than he looked. Sam tried to follow up with a hard stomp to his opponents chest, but Thorson rolled to the side just in time.

'Good make him throw more limbs out and stay close, no more running away' thought Erik, now back onto a knee already. The leg was all he needed and then he'd be in control. Sam was already pulling back as he moved in, grabbing a hold of his ankle with a firm grip. He lifted Sam first off balance and then fully into the air as he planted his own feet and twisted. 'Now just like that hay bail back home' he thought, 'only Sam won't explode... probably...wait shit' as he slowed his turn the force of the throw was diminished but he Sam still got air time across the room. Erik watched Sam skid and collide with the wall, planning his next move.

Sam was reminded that being skipped like a stone is not much fun. He bounced 3 times before the wall finally caught him. He grunted as he stood himself back up and thought, 'That's it. Just a little more.'

He took a step forward and dropped any pretense of a friendly spar, "Not as strong as your dad, not as smart as your mom. It must really piss you off to fail in either direction, huh?" He began walking forward, "Still, it's good to know you can be handy for moving furniture. Or maybe Theo can just use you as a big meat pillow."

And if Erik had any concept of not going for a decidedly hard blow next, it was certainly gone now. Erik didn't respond but simply furrowed his brow. If Sam wanted a hit then he'd give him one. With the necessary mental preparations for what he was certain would be a decisive blow, Erik charged harder than before. Only this time instead of a football tackle he lept into the air about 15 feet before Same. He raised a fist to feign another strike and then felt the surge of battle focus that came the last time he held the mighty Thunderstrike in his hands. The umbrella was gone now, replaced with the mace and had flown into Erik's grip midair. He gave a battle cry and brought it down toward Sam, certain that he'd either be picking him up to the infirmary or helping him get out of the floor below them.

'Finally! He's awake!' Sam thought to himself as he watched Erik launch himself into the air. Spotting the umbrella zipping through the air, Sam reached his hand out toward his locker and activated his magnetic pulse. His shield lifted itself and sped across the room to his hand. Sam barely got a grip on the handle as Erik's blow came crashing down. He lifted the shield up and a massive boom echoed through the entire facility as everything near the pair was blown away in all directions.

The force shot Sam back into the wall and Erik found himself scraping along the floor. As he roused himself he again felt the pulse of Thunderstrike on his hands, he felt a surge of aggression wash over him, wanting him to keep going and push harder. He came back to his feet, admittedly a bit slower than last time. "So that good enough for yah?" He called across the room, "Or do you want another go?"

Sam sprung up from the wall and, despite the pain of having to unjam his body from the metal panels, had the largest grin on his face he had in a long time. "THAT'S BETTER!" He cried out. Sam ran full speed toward Erik as he scanned the updated environment, spotting a battered desk leaning up against the wall, to the right of where Erik was standing. He hurled the shield at the desk, trying to angle the throw so it ricocheted towards his target. The shield pinged off the surface of the desk and careened toward the back of Erik's leg.

Erik’s senses were clear now with Thunderstrike in his grip. He braced for a charge but the shield pulled his view. It had taken the whole impact of his mace and distributed the excess kinetic energy outward rather than sustaining it, had to vibranium composite at least he thought. Sam clearly had control to pull it back and enough knowledge to wield it effectively. ‘A worthy adversary’ Erik thought, but was immediately confused by his own thought pattern. As the shield made impact with the desk though a plan began to form in his head.

As he was finishing up some slap-dash theories in his head he shifted his footing to now face the shield head on. With no one to hold it the shield would respond perfectly to any new impetus of force, and Newton was about to become a real bastard to deal with. That or he was about to blow himself across the room again. He swatted at Sam’s shield like a baseball slugger with Thunderstrike. He had intended to slam it back toward Sam, but then again he intended a lot of things with his powers. His ankle felt the slam of the shield and he nearly buckled again but the force of his swing seemed to keep him up.

Sam closed in as the shield connected, buying him enough time to jump forward and slide across the floor, just under Erik. He came up behind him, scooping the shield back into his grasp as his other fist rapidly connected with Erik's ribs. Erik's body quickly spun around for a heavy swing, so Sam raised his shield and braced himself for the blow.

The mace and shield connected again, and once again a blast knocked the pair apart with a shock wave. Erik stumbled forward for a few more feet as he barely managed to land correctly. He turned back, ready for another attack, some new plan, whatever Sam was going to do next.

Sam slid back and he stopped just short of another wall. He was hard pressed to stand after two powerful shock waves, but he managed himself to his feet. He dropped his shield at his side and waved to Erik.

"Time." He said, out of breath. He slowly walked forward and continued, "Gotta hand it to you, you're much more of a natural than you let on, I'm very impressed." Sam made it to the middle of the training hall, where a crumpled locker lay smoking. He took a seat and motioned Erik to sit with him. "I'm sorry for saying those things and getting you so worked up, I hope you know I didn't mean it. But I had to get you to come out of your shell somehow. And look and what you did! You controlled the fight where you could and improvised the defense until you saw openings! Damn proud of you."

Erik’s grip on Thunderstrike loosened as he felt his entire body ease. He had to admit he was certainly glad that this was the next move that Sam had chosen. Fighting was exhausting to think about and he’d much rather talk at this point. Granted that was a minefield and a half as well, but at least pausing while you talked made you sound thoughtful and didn’t lead to you getting punched.

Taking a seat on the locker besides Sam he looked over the area with a wary glance, “Yeah look what I did…no worries on the diss stuff though, I get what you were trying to do.” Another mess with his name on it and this was just practice. Obviously the bots would probably handle it but he still felt overly guilty for it.

Sam wiped the sweat off his forehead as he continued to look around. "If makes you feel any better, we can tell everyone it was my fault for the mess. I mean, it is technically accurate." He began to laugh but saw a worried look on Erik's face. He slicked his hair back and thought for a moment. If ever there was a time to get personal, this was it.

"Around my 16th birthday, I started to feel really lost. At the time, I didn’t know any other enhanced people still existed, my relationship with my mom was nearly non-existent and I just needed someone to talk to. I woke up one morning and decided to spend some time with dad’s things. There wasn’t much he had of his at the house, mom had a hard time looking at his stuff. But I went through some old photos; him and the team together eating, a picture of dad lifting the front of a truck so an elderly couple could change a flat and one of me, sitting on his lap, half my face covered by his helmet because I always insisted on wearing it, even though it swallowed my small head.” Sam chuckled a bit to himself. “But then I found an old iPad at the bottom of one of the boxes. I was curious, so I found a cable and charged it. I thought that it was all wiped at first, no apps or pictures, but I found a hidden video file. It was from my dad to me, made some time just before the Battle of Sokovia. I think he recorded it in case he didn’t make it back from the fight.”

Sam took another deep breath, the subject clearly starting to get to him. “My dad told me that I didn’t have to take his place, but that someday, I’m going to have to stand up and use my gifts to help people. He told me that what he does, what we will go on to do, is a hard life. That this job is about saving as many people as you can, and that sometimes, that doesn’t mean everyone. And if each of us cannot find our own way to deal with that, then next time; maybe no one gets saved. It’s on each and every one of us to stand up and help those in need. Not by being perfect soldiers, but by being good men.

There hasn't been a single day that's passed, that I haven't heard those words in my head. I took those words to heart and found a whole new resolve I never thought possible.” There was a tear slowly rolling down Sam’s cheek that he caught with his sleeve. “And I hope by sharing this with you, it will help you. Help you realize that you are truly capable of far more good than harm. And help you feel...respected.” Sam reached out to Erik for a handshake, his smile returning.

Erik had drifted to his own thoughts as Sam spoke. He pondered on his own story and how different their lives seemed to him. Sam had gotten to actually grow up with his Dad, he had memories as well as stories. He could see the type of man his father was and his dad had left something for him to tell him what to do. On top of all that his dad was freakin' Captain America, national hero and symbol of all that was good in this world. His dad cared enough to raise his kid, his dad left a contingency plan if he ever disappeared and couldn't say goodbye, his dad left him more of a message than five words on an enchanted mace. His dad...he gave a look and saw the tear growing in Sam's eye.

And look where they both were. Erik supposed it didn't matter who your father was, Sam was right that everyone here had a duty to use their power to help people, hell he'd still try to save everyone even if it was hard. Because he had to, he had to prove to himself and the world that he was more than just a destructive force like his father. He could be a hero and save people. He straightened his back and took Sam's hand, "I….thanks." He had so much more left to learn, so much more of his own power to figure out, and if he could use it to help people than his birth, everything he'd accidentally done in the past, what he'd put his own mother through, it might have just all been worth it. He had so much he could say, so much to tell Sam but...he couldn't just yet.

Sam looked up and called to Helen as he stood to retrieve his shield, "Helen, please end training recording. I'll help with clean up after I shower."

"Recording ended and archived, sir." Helen said, sweetly.

"Thank you, ma'am." He replied, slowly walking across the smashed remains of the room. "Oh and also, please send all available archive footage of Thor’s combat training and any personal logs that are on file to Erik. I'm sure he'll find a lot of useful info in there."

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