Sparring into Friendship?

When Quinn calls Skylar's cellphone to let him know she wants to stop by the shop for their sparring session, Sky lets her know that he is at home today, working on designs for a custom order. However, he seems to welcome the oppurtunity of a distraction, and invites her over to his place - letting her know that it's probably for the best since he has his basement rigged for sparring sessions, whereas the shop isn't set up for them.

And, somehow, she accepted. So when she does arrive at Sky's house, Sky is up on the second floor in his study, sitting at his drafting table, working on his designs. Printed sheets of paper bearing images of swords, armor, even a tabard are pinned to the wall in front of him. As such, it takes him a moment to answer the door. When he does, he's wearing plain street clothes, not his leathers. Jeans, a t-shirt - even a pair of flip-flops. "Hey there, Quinn. Thanks for bearing with me. I tend to do my designing at home - less distraction then the sounds of the shop. How're you?"

It's bad enough that she hasn't actually slept yet; that's due to a particularly bad night mixed with a meeting at the college. While she honestly would prefer to go home and sleep, it just isn't going to come. Already out and about and looking for a distraction, that's when Quinn decides to call Skylar. It's a distraction, nothing more. When he announces that she it is best if she go to his home, she nearly hangs up and calls it a day. Yet the chance to take out her frustrations on something actually living is too hard to pass up.

Eventually the sour woman makes way to his home and knocks on the door. She's prepared to spar, even if he isn't. Track pants that are slightly baggy are worn along with a razor back tank. Across her shoulder is a duffle bag full of who only knows what. Despite meeting up with someone, Quinn doesn't appear overly amused when the door is opened. "I would say that sparring would be a distraction," comes the immediate response. It's as if she doesn't stop to register that it could be considered rude. "I'm alright." It's a bit of a lie but her bandages are well hidden beneath her pants. "I, uh, how are you?" The question is awkward even, as if she's forcing herself to say something she believes he may want to hear.

"True enough," Skylar says in response to Quinn, stepping back and letting her inside. "But a welcome one. It'll help inspire me, both for the design I'm working on now, and for yours." He smiles, waiting for her to step inside before closing the door behind her, leading the way down the hall to an open door with stairs leading down. "And to answer your question I'm… alright I guess. Restless, definately in the mood to work up a sweat. Why don't you head down stairs, I need to go throw on something more suitable. Should have done before you got here, but well, I got distracted." He grins slightly, eyes sparkling in muted amusement - hiding the tiredness that's there ever so briefly. Looks like Quinn isn't the only one who hasn't gotten much sleep.

Leading her around isn't something that he'll get to experience often, and she puts a prompt end to it as he reaches the basement door. "You guess?" Her answer at least sounded certain, even if it was a lie. So the woman examines him, as if the very act of doing so will reveal what exactly is wrong with him. This done primarily so she can attempt to use it later as a weakness while they spar. "I don't read people well. Or at all. Even I can tell there's something more to that."

Despite playing nice so far, or as nice as she can, the duffle bag wearing woman doesn't move to go down into the basement. "To be clear," she begins in that professor tone she's known to take. "You wish for me to enter further into a home that I'm unfamiliar with, owned by someone I don't really know, and walk into a basement by myself where there's no telling when you might actually let me up for air?" A simple roll of her shoulders is made before Quinn finally gives up and begins to walk down the stairs. "I'd suggest you play nice, Smallville." Apparently she's not overly worried.

"Yes, well… all things considered I'm fine. Just a little stressed, running on little sleep, but otherwise ok," Skylar says with a small crooked (and tired) smile. He shrugs, then raises his eyebrows a little as Quinn breaks out the professor voice. He opens his mouth, but seems a bit at a loss for words… and then she's walking down the stairs. Finally, Sky closes his mouth, shakes his head, and heads upstairs to change.

Meanwhile, the basement itself is pretty open. There are mats and all kinds of other sparring and workout stuff in one corner, while a rack in another has been set out with a variety of sparring weapons, some wood, some metal, none sharp. Among the weapons Quinn will find a balanced and paired set of sparring daggers, which she might appreciate.

It only takes several moments for Sky to return, wearing a tank top and track pants, as well as carrying two bottles of water (both with the seals intact, for you suspicious types).

The lack of real response is something that happens often with her. Either that or she's normally yelled at for the way she is. This is the way that Quinn will always be, for better or for worse. When she arrives in the basement she finds a corner to camp out in. The bag is eased gently to the ground before she finally affords herself a proper view of the room. A good fighter must always know their surroundings, after all, especially if the need for escape rears its ugly head.

There are many different things for her to look at and potently touch. As tempted as she is to do so the little manners she has dictates that it would be impolite to go around fingering a strange man's weapons. What would people think? Instead she takes the moment alone to play with the bandages about her thigh through the material of her pants. This keeps her preoccupied enough that she barely notices his arrival and narrowly moves to pull her hands away from her recent injury. If he does see something she won't give him the time to comment. "Not bad, but I think you could use some more space in here." Not everyone has the space to work with that she does. "Were all of these made by you?"

"Yes, well, it's hard to find a decorater who specializes in feng shuaying sparring spaces," Skylar points out - the smile on his face is good natured, as usual, but perhaps a bit wary. After all, he -did- just get lectured by the woman. Or at least, he -thinks- he did.

"And yeah, over the years. Not that they see much use other then to whack Mr. Beanbag over there," he says, nodding to the corner with the mats and sparring gear, among which is a sparring dummy that has what looks to be a large bean bag for a head. Meanwhile, Sky moves to the rack, gesturing Quinn to it. "Take your pick," he offers.

He's most likely joking around yet Quinn tilts her head as if in deep thought. "Perhaps I should change professions, then. You'd be amazed at how I can put a place together." When one has as much open space to work with as she has, however, anything can happen. To her it's as if the lecture never happened, and in a way she honestly believes it wasn't a lecture. Interactions with others have usually been with peers or students so she's not used to the idea of being pleasant to someone.

When indicated, she does glance towards the well loved sparring dummy. "At least he's been with you for the long haul." If that's to be aimed as a blow to Skylar or is meant to reflect her own life it is hard to tell. Eventually she walks over to where he's standing, keeping a respectable distance between them. This much is done out of habit more than anything. "Are you certain about this?" For a moment the fatigue that she's feeling actually shows but she hides that with a smile as she looks from him to the weapons before her. "You did mention you were tired and I would hate to take advantage of that."

"Well, let me know if you do," Sky says with a light grin. He then glances back to the sparring dummy at Quinn's words, allowing a small chuckle to escape. "Yes, that he has," he says, seeming to take her at her words rather then reading into them too deeply. He then glances back to her, as the subject of tiredness comes up. "Well, I could say the same of you. Perhaps we'll be more evenly matched this way?" he asks. There's amusement in his tone, and perhaps (just perhaps) a glimmer of challenge in his eyes. "I'm game if you are."

Perhaps it's the very matter-of-fact way that she looks at the world, but she's surprisingly good at organizing things. "I do have the summer to invest in a secondary job, I suppose. Other than the random meetings that I attend, I'm honestly going insane waiting for the school year to start." Perhaps she should have waited longer to move but Quinn was given a mission. This mission unfortunately was a huge failure.

"And here some people just go for a dog." She's not a dog person, as they've discovered. She's not really a pet person in general. When he mentions her fatigue Quinn basically puffs her chest and reaches for the sparring daggers. "I still don't believe that it's a fair fight. I'm used to this." Which 'this' she's used to isn't specified but she means the lack of sleep. "I'd just hate to hurt you before I can fully utilize your talents."

"Yes, I could tell when I first met you that you're more of a dog person," Skylar says to Quinn with a wry grin. His hand was moving for a wooden practice sword but it pauses as he watches her grab up the daggers. He smiles, moving instead to take up a quarterstaff.

"Yes, I'd hate for you to hurt me too," Sky says as he moves to the middle of the room. He pauses to stretch for a moment, using the staff as an anchoring point as he limbers up. Once done, he turns, heading to a corner of the room, which has a small stereo. Smiling to himself about something, he programs the disc changer, then moves back into the middle of the room.

Sky turns, facing Quinn, holding the staff out - and then he begins to twirl it around his body, faster and faster until it almost appears like he is the planet Saturn, and the staff is his ring. In the background, the music starts to play… MORTAL KOMBAT! And then he stops, holding the staff behind him, and holding out his hand, closing it once towards him in invitation. "Just promise you'll be gentle - I'm very fragile," he says, during the brief pause in the mortal kombat themesong, a wolfish smile suddenly appearing on his lips.

He did not just go there. She openly stares at him, almost as if he has two heads. He'll eventually get used to her staring at him, hopefully. The almost shock she's experiencing fades rather quickly, however, and slowly turns into a smile. "Oh, yes. Dogs just love me, or don't you remember?" She's still half tempted to find the mutt and kick it.

There is no stretching to be done by Quinn. This is partially because she had time to limber up before she arrived, and partially because she doesn't want to risk injuring herself before they actually get to play. Besides, she's had plenty enough time to be ready based off the fight from the past evening. Instead she watches him curiously, her expression unreadable but it never moves from him. It's only when the music plays that it changes and only in that she adds a smile. Yes, the mighty Quinn is smiling.

When she's basically called out a few steps are taken towards him. As she moves so does her hands, the daggers spun this way and that, showing that she can indeed use the weapons. When the display end she pauses, one blade held before her and the other behind, posed and ready to strike. "I'll try to play nice."

Skylar just grins. At the dog comment, at the Mighty Quinn smiling. And at her show of obvious skill as well as her words. He raises his eyebrows in challenge, and without a word, the combat begins - with the video game theme music still playing in the background.

Skylar spins the quartstaff around his body, his eyes never leaving Quinn's. The staff strikes out, swift as a scorpion sting, but it's more of a prod then anything else, a feint. Any counterattack on Quinn's part is swiftly parried by the staff, as Sky uses it's defense capabilities to full effect - conversely, he is hardly uses it to strike, except to provoke Quinn. For now.

It's a dance of sort, that what they're doing. It only makes sense that their eyes remain on each other, as fighting can be just as intense and passionate as dancing. At first she has to remind herself that this is a person and not a foe, not someone who needs to be cut down. This is what prevents her from snarling, from truly acting aggressive.

Quinn does her best to block his forward movements with as little movement as possible, one hand if she's lucky, freeing up her other to press forward her own attack. If she were out to truly do him in, and quickly, she could easily cheat. The near decades of practice she's had with her art shows as she makes it seem fluid and effortless even though she isn't actively attempting to disarm him immediately. The lack of strikes against he doesn't go unnoticed but for now she's content just to play. To work off her frustrations for a little while.

Skylar's expression seems void of tiredness, or worry, or any other negative emotion as he fights. Indeed, as the 'dance' continues, there's a small smile pushing up the corners of his lips. His movements too are fluid, certainly no stranger to the staff - and he's certainly chosen his weapon well. While the daggers are swift and fearsome in skilled hands, the staff prevents the opponent from getting in close - and Sky uses this to full effect, holding Quinn at a distance, the few strikes he does make, the feints, are often attempts to push her back, or manuever her.

But then, just as the 'dance' almost becomes routine, Sky suddenly shifts the tempo - the parry that should have been there isn't, and he lets Quinn inside his guard. Instead, the staff slides down and behind Quinn, striking at her legs, while he uses one shoulder to push Quinn into the staff - a sly and well placed attempt to send the woman on her back.

To those who don't understand this lifestyle they likely appear insane, especially as they're smiling throughout it all. The art is one that is well respected and it just allows her to feel so alive, for as long as it lasts. It's a pleasant surprise to find such a good sparring partner and soon Quinn becomes completely emerged in the language of their movements, nearly forgetting where she is. During such a moment it's easy for one to be lulled, to accept patterns and rhythms without being suspect or overly on edge.

Perhaps it's the fatigue, or perhaps she simply isn't concerned with being her best, but even this weapon mistress allows herself to fall victim to the lullaby of their movements. The change in pace, in movements and sudden surprise attack doesn't fully escape her but her timing is off. As she attempts to move away from it she only manages to slightly turn, allowing the staff to still come into contact with one of her calves. Between that and his other actions he does manage to send the normally angry woman to the ground.

Only she doesn't land on her back, not exactly, not as planned. The attempt to move away causes her to fall back but on her side, landing on the injured thigh before her shoulder hits the mat. It's enough to cause her to just lie there momentarily, doing her very best not to show that it actually hurt. Despite it all she's still smiling.

Breathing a bit heavily after the sudden stop to combat, Sky leans on his staff, looking down at Quinn with a big crooked grin. "I have to be honest," he says. "I wasn't sure if that would work against you. It's never failed me before, but you're on a whole 'nother level from the people I usually spar with." Still catching his breath, he holds out his hand to her when he sees that she isn't yet getting up. "Time to take a break?" he asks. "Did I wear you out?" The taunt isn't serious - one, because of the smile on his lips and in his eyes. And, as well, because of the fact that he is still slightly out of breath himself. She definately put him through his paces - largely helped by the fact that he was already bone tired before hand.

Several long moments pass before she moves at all, not blinking or even speaking. If she wasn't breathing he might need to actually be worried. "I demand a rematch." The words are surprisingly gentle for the rather blunt and harsh woman. Slowly she tilts her head enough to look at him and not the mat. Every action is slow as she tries to decide how to proceed from here, as it would be easy to trick him into believe she's perfectly fine with the help of her powers.

In the end Quinn merely hopes that he believes her slowness is due to the heavy breathing and recent fight. He is aware that she was fatigued going into it also, she believes. "Eventually. I believe that you got lucky as I got lazy, and that's something that I won't allow to happen twice." This is said just before she reaches out for his hand and fully uses his support to stand. Even in doing so she stumbles at the weight on her injured leg but quickly catches herself. "A break might be needed, though. If only to allow your ego time to deflate." Unlike the other times she's said such harsh words, this time it actually is evident that she's joking.

Well, the slowness of response and the way she stumbles does seem to worry Skylar a little - but at least at the moment the stumble happens, he's busy keeping her on her feet. He lets go of the staff so that he can use his other hand to grab her side (instinctively, not out of any familiarity) to keep her steady. "Then a rematch you shall have. After we've both had time to recover," he says with a grin, letting her go as soon as Quinn seems stable, though he seems ready for any eventuality should she suddenly lose her balance. Quinn's jibes are momentarily ignored, for the most part, as Sky glances her over, a slight bit of concern written over his expression. "Did I hit your leg too hard? Can you move it ok?"

For what may be the only time ever she doesn't seem horribly bothered by the fact that his hand finds her side. Its instinct, she can tell herself, and it does help keep her balanced. The fact that he steps back right away actually makes it better so she doesn't even need to comment. "Good. Though if I'd known that I was going to get this much of a workout I might have actually gone to bed last night." What does bother Quinn is the fact that she's actually trying to be nice. Her jabs may not be funny but it's what she understands as being sociable. So mark her frustrated even if it doesn't earn a comment from her.

When he mentions her leg she looks down at it, as if she's not realized that there's a problem. "What? Oh, no. You got this one, right here." Bending at the waist the unstable woman points out exactly where his weapon hit her. She then stands tall once more, actually able to without teetering or falling over. "I just wasn't in the best shape when I got here, is all. In a little while I won't be such easy pickings for you." Clearly the adrenaline coursing through her is causing her to either forget that she's supposed to dislike people or to actually be pleasant enough to not be so awkward.

"Alright, if you're sure," Skylar says, still eyeing her a little bit askance. Perhaps he reads her as the type that might lie if she -were- injured. But he has no specific reason to think that she is lying, so he leaves it alone. Smiling in a slightly teasing manner, he says, "Yes, well, next time we'll both get plenty of rest, and we'll see where we stand… and for how long you stay standing." Yeah, there's a definate challenge there.

There it is and she can see it in the way that he's looking at her. This man needs to stop understanding her as much as he does. A little is acceptable but she's not used to this. "You don't trust me, Smallville? Seriously, you didn't do any damage that wasn't already done." Thankfully he's back to teasing her so she doesn't have to worry about running away before he somehow has an even better understanding of her. "You'd be surprised at how long I can normally stay standing." The glove is thrown and the challenge accepted. There will be more matches. "Now that I know that you're not all talk, I'll make sure I'm well mended before I dare to take you on for real."

"Wait, you were injured?" Skylar asks, vaguely horrified. "Why didn't you say anything, Quinn? I could have really hurt you." Even as the words are out of his mouth, he knows they were unneeded. She knew what she was doing, and she doesn't like to appear anything but utterly strong. "Look, just… in the future, tell me this stuff. I promise it won't pass my lips or these walls, but despite how utterly awesome at everything you are, there is always the chance I -could- hurt you more, and I wouldn't want to. Alright?"

Now who has the professor voice? The woman just stands there, watching him, again as if he has three heads. "Why would you care?" It isn't snapped at him and while it may sound rather cold her voice is unreasonably weak for her. Once the surprise wears off Quinn shakes her head. "It's okay, Skylar." The use of his real name is done because she's actually being serious about herself, something that's rare. "Not saying that you couldn't hurt me, but it would take a little bit more than what we were doing. Like claws, or maybe fangs." The last part is played off as a joke but even if it works that's a rather morbid sense of humor. "I sometimes get hurt but I always bounce right back. You can't tell me that you haven't injured yourself before."

"Better question - Why -wouldn't- I care?" Sky asks, looking at Quinn oddly, and in complete earnestness. "All I'm saying is I'd rather not aggrivate a wound. You obviously aren't new to this - you should know that repeated injuries in the same spot can cause crippling. It's better to be safe then sorry, at least in this instance." Yes, he broke out -that- old addage. "And I'm sure you do bounce back, and yes I have injured myself before. But that doesn't mean I deliberately seek out more injuries." He shakes his head, then smiles apologetically. "Look, I'm sorry. It's not my place to lecture you. We hardly know eachother after all. Just… be careful, alright?"

"I'm sorry; I don't follow." She's not used to someone actually being concerned over what happens to her past her parents, and even that was iffy at times. Where some might shy away at the lecture, or blush or show any sign of feeling, Quinn just watches Skylar. "Careful isn't something that I can afford, Smallville." Even though what she says seems to be odd she can't help but smile at him. It's her way of showing that everything is okay and that there are other things to worry about. "Next time I'm torn up I won't go jumping onto a mat with you." In effort to change the subject her eyes wander around, looking for that water she noticed earlier. "Did you happen to get the dates for that Fair, thing, that you think I should pay a visit to?"

Skylar shakes his head, but is apparently done with lectures for now, so he doesn't go into detail about his reasons for concern. Nor does he say more about her safety habits - or lack there of. Instead, he moves to the corner where he set down the water bottles, tossing one to her and opening the other for himself. After taking a good long sip, he replies to Quinn's question. "Not yet, no. If you feel trusting enough to give me your cell number, I'll give you a call when I hear. Otherwise, hopefully I'll find out by the next time we spar."

Good boy, really, for giving up before she feels as if she really needs to make her point clear. At this point she appears to be fine, moving around as if there's nothing wrong at all. Pain is apparently something that she deals with on a regular basis. The water bottle is caught and she just holds onto it for a while before opening it. No, she isn't untrusting of it; Quinn is merely starting to feel out of place again. "It's a Chicago based number," she explains, talking about her cell phone. "I don't mind you having it. I just sometimes keep odd hours so reaching me might be difficult." Thank goodness for the invention of voicemail. "And next time we'll have to do this at my place. There's more natural light." As if it's the artificial light that caused her to fail.

"Ah, I see, chalking it up to home field advantage," Skylar says with a slight, wry smile, before he nods. He takes down Quinn's number, then says, "Well, shall we call it a day then? I should probably get a little sleep myself. After a shower." He pauses, then says, "And thank you, Quinn. I'm not sure I mentioned this before I got caught up in lecturing you - but you're probably the best fighter I've ever sparred with. It was an honor."

"You haven't lived until you've sparred at my place." It just gives a whole new feeling to everything, as far as she's concerned. As tempted as she is to play with her bandages Quinn instead moves to gather her duffle bag. When she lifts it the contents inside clink together. Yes, the woman is packing. "A shower and sleep sound good. Hopefully I can actually get a little sleep today." It's only then that she does that whole staring thing before brushing it off and moving to walk by him. "Welcome to city life, Smallville." Even though she could just end it there she feels compelled to be a little less cold. So she turns to offer him a small smile. "Thank you, though. It was great to practice against someone who can actually hold their own."

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