The Least Legendary Arm-Wrestling Match
Roleplaying Log: The Least Legendary Arm-Wrestling Match
Participants
IC Details
Synopsis:

Dani and Doug arm-wrestle. $40 and dignity are on the line.

Other Characters Referenced:
IC Date: March 10, 2019
IC Location: Xavier Mansion, the Dining Room
OOC Notes & Details
Posted On: 14 Mar 2019 04:25
Rating & Warnings:
Scene Soundtrack: [* ]
NPC & GM Credits:
Associated Plots

* OOC Time: Sun Mar 10 20:36:40 2019 *

* * *

Here it is, the Day of Reckoning. Challenge issued, challenge responded to. A table has been cleared in the lunchroom, and Mutants of every size and color are gathered around as Douglas "I am also on the team" Ramsey challenges Danielle "Cheyenne Warrior Viking Secret Agent" Moonstar to what promises to be the biggest mismatch in Arm-Wrestling history.

Doug is already sitting at the table. A student made him a t-shirt for the occasion. It says 'Danger Room Gym' on it in bold print, and then underneath in smaller letters it says 'Motto: O deus, quaeso, ne me in faciem ledo'

He cracks his knuckles, as he waits for the challenged to arrive.

* * *

Doug, and the crowd at large, aren't kept waiting for long.

Dani has always been prompt and today is no different. Soon enough her silhouette is seen within the doorway and then a second later the woman herself steps within the room. Automatically her gaze flicks tot he assembled students and faculty found within. She eyes the crowd a moment, before she shifts her attention to Doug. He might catch the vaguest head shake from her, something that reads 'I really c an't believe we're DOING THIS, but ok.'.

Really, Moonstar has just become so dour anymore. Let's just blame it on registration that still looms over their heads.

But for TODAY, the thoughts of registration and SHIELD aren't contemplated. Instead the woman steps up to that table and looks down at her seated friend. "I hope you brought some cash with you, Dougie. I don't do checks or credit cards." Her tone holds a soft note of amusement, a spark from her younger self.

The motto on his shirt is seen and it brings a crimp to her eyebrows. It's been a long time since she studied Latin, but GIVE her a few minutes. She'll figure it out. She really will.

* * *

This is ridiculous. This is absured! This is a big deal out of nothing at all.

This is also gonna be a whole lot of fun.

Domino showed up early but it had nothing to do with getting the best seat in the house. She had been getting a head start on the betting! And the beers. -And- a good seat. Sure, she hasn't spent much time around the Institute grounds and most people still don't know her but she's here now so this must have all been cleared by the higher ups, right? An official message went out about her over a week ago. It's all good.

It's also not much compared to her usual parties, but when in Westchester…

With Moonstar's entrance the albino grins and passes a casual salute her way. She's one of the people here that Neena is familiar with. But that's not the important part.

"C'mon, kids! Show us whatcha got!"

* * *

Doug looks up to Dani, and he smiles at her. He rolls his sleeves up — he's blocky, square, stocky and strong — but he was never the fighter Dani was. That just wasn't his role. But still, he places his elbow on the table, and muscle subtly rolls under his skin as he takes a deep breath, and waits for Dani to join him.

"Remember, the victor gets $40 and they choose a humilation to inflict on the loser. New Mutants don't do anything by halves."

He then adds, "I have something to tell you, when we're done, either way." He flexes his fingers, and looks to Domino. "If you'd give us a three-count, please?"

* * *

Domino is here?

What?!

The other woman garners a second look from Dani. A sort of WTF expression upon the face of the former leader of the New Mutant's.

Somehow, though, she shouldn't be surprised not. She really shouldn't.

Tucking her surprise behind a bland expression, the Cheyenne returns her attention to Doug. The soon to be defeated. The chair on the empty side is pulled out with a toe and with the ease of the self-confident, Dani sits down. She brings her arm up and sets her elbow down upon the tabletop, mirroring Doug's pose. Then she grasps his hand with her own.

"Never by halves, no." She agrees, unspoken words held within those four words.

The mention of having something more to tell her, after all is said it done, earns a curious look from the woman, "Alright. You can tell me over a beer. I've got two ready for us when I've won." There's a quick flash of teeth as Dani smiles at her friend.

Then her gaze shifts to Domino, "Hey, Domino. Fancy seeing you here."

* * *

"Only $40?"

The familiar voice turns a few heads, yielding the sight of a bemused Warren Worthington leaned in the doorway, wings neatly folded, whose attention was clearly caught while he was passing by. His gaze travels to Domino briefly, and while he looks surprised, he also doesn't look very surprised. He generally gets told when one of his places is used — and for what.

"Well, I suppose the real reward is in the social humiliation," he allows, amused, apparently ready to linger long enough to see the outcome. Maybe it reminds him of his own (mis)spent youth, back when the number of kids running around the Institute numbered just five.

* * *

Neena grins back at Dani and rolls her shoulders. 'What are ya gonna do?'

Down goes the beer and up goes the gal rocking the eternal eye patch. Dom steps over to the two and places both of her hands on top of Doug and Dani's in theatrical fashion while eyeing them each in turn.

First to Doug, she acts all mock-serious in saying "Good strategy, but quit trying to distract your opponent." Then to Dani with a smirk, "Small world, isn't it. When I heard you were gonna be here I changed my plans."

Then for the benefit of everyone assembled, "We all know why we are here tonight! This battle determines which one of these fighters becomes the champion. Ready on my left? Ready on my right?" She nods once, then it's "Three! Two! One!"

Both of her hands come away to slap down on the table beside the two wrestlers with a "Go!"

They're going to need a judge for this, aren't they? She'll stick close by the table, though she blindly reaches behind and motions wildly with a hand for someone to hand over her beer!

"Not all of us can bet with Ferraris, Warren!"

* * *

And thus the struggle of… not-titans begins. Doug is giving it his all. His arm quivers, his bicep standing out in sharp relief as he tightens his jaw and keeps his eye locked on Dani's.

Gotta get in her head. Psych her out. Distract her. His fingers tighten against hers.

"…Did you see that internet poll that says girls don't like horses anymore?"

* * *

Is that Warren? When she realizes it is Moonstar can't quite stop herself from saying quite prmptly, "Some of us don't have your exceedingly deep pockets, Warren."

And with that amused call-out to the winged X-Men, Moonstar returns all of her attention to Doug. Especially as Domino steps in to become their unofficial referee.

At the question of whether she's ready, Dani states simply, "I so am."

And just like that it's 3 - 2 - 1 -

The struggle is on.

And seriously, for Danielle there's a moment of surprise at Doug's strength. It's enough to cause her arm to lever downward toward the tabletop for a few seconds, then she tightens her hand and pushes back.

Doug's quip brings Moonstar's eyebrows up and then a flash of her teeth in a quick smile. "I'll tell Brightwind. I'm sure he'll have so much to say about it."

She should try a distraction of her own and several thoughts run rampant through her head, but each is discarded. Moonstar's going to win this on her own strength, and so all the Cheyenne says is, "I can feel that forty dollars in my pocket already, Doug. Better try harder."

* * *

Why settle on being a referee when she can also offer some encouragement? "BREATHE, Doug!" Domino calls out before chugging some of the beer she's been reunited with. Thank you Random Student #51. "C'mon, man up!" He's almost got Dani on the ropes, until…

Moonstar has caught herself and is on the rebound. "Atta girl, Dani! Kick his sorry butt!"

Just which one of these two did Neena bet on, anyway?

Beer is drunk. The match is closely observed. The albino's kinda getting into the moment, motioning to the onlookers with an upswept hand. "Let's go people, show 'em some encouragement!"

Then she passes a glance, and a grin, Warren's way as if to say 'see? I can play nice.' She hasn't even sworn yet!

* * *

Doug's arm trembles, and the vein stands out on his bicep. He takes Domino's advice, and sucks in a deep breath, but slowly his arm inches toward the table, until he asserts himself, and forces Dani back into neutral position — then forward, just a little bit. He looks her dead in the eye, and his nostrils flare.

He's in it to win it… but good God, this woman is strong.
His face turns red, and sweat drips off his chin, as he puts his back into it.

"…Hey Dani, why do chicken coops only have two doors? …Because if they had four, they'd be chicken sedans-"

* * *

Warren laughs and stretches out a wing, angling it around to idly preen at the feathers. If he's embarrassed by the reminders he's being Excessively Privileged, he doesn't show any indication of it. Hard to tell these days whether he's genuinely out of touch or just making a joke out of his history of being out of touch. "I try not to bet with them either," he says, "not unless everyone around me already is. The insurance and taxes on those things are murder. Nobody ever thinks about the maintenance."

He drops into silence afterwards, nominally not to be distracting, though Domino's glance his way draws a humored raise of his brows and an answering 'yeah, yeah, I see it,' smirk. He finally steps fully into the room and on over to the engagement, sliding the dutiful referee another beer when the first runs out.

"You're getting along very nicely," he observes aloud to Domino, though his eye wanders back to the (non)titanic struggle at Doug's latest quip. "You better save your breath for the fight," he opines, "Dani has relentless focus — "

* * *

Domino's words of wisdom for Doug earn a look from Dani. Who's side is she on?!

Both it seems, as Domino then offers Moonstar encouragement. It's enough to bring a half-snorted chuckle from the black-haired woman, but that's about it.

Much like Doug, she's here to win. You never accept a challenge without putting your all in it.
Sheo, when Doug pushes her hand back into that neutral position and then toward her side of the table, the Cheyenne's eyes narrow. "Doug." She says in all seriousness, her dark eyes locked with the blond's blue ones, "Your jokes are /still/ terrible."

"/Still/."

Which, to be honest, is a good thing when it comes down to it.

But!, before Moonstar can get distracted she renews her attack on poor Douglas' not-so-limp-noodle-arm. The force she exerts can be seen within her own expression; a thinning of her lips as she pushes Doug's own arm back to the start position, and then beyond.

* * *

It's a cheesy joke from Doug but it still has Domino grinning before she leans back in for some further encouragement. "Stay on target, soldier!" Oh, but if only she knew even a -little- of Doug's past she might have chosen her words with a little more care…

Either way, she has another beer now! Warren gets a distracted thumbs up while she takes another healthy drink from the new bottle. "A whole lotta money for a whole little reliability. They're pretty to look at, though." It's soon followed with a partial shrug, "I'm a likeable person."

Not a second goes by before she's calling out "Get it in gear, Dani! Girl power that fool!"

It just might be working, Dani's pushing Doug back over the centerline then right into the defensive. Which means Dom's right back to supporting Team Doug. "Focus, man! You gonna let this chica beat you?!"

* * *

Whatever Domino said, it hits a button — it makes Doug's eyes dilate and he takes in a deep lungful of air, before his arm, trembling with exertion, forces Dani's back to the starting line, then he starts pushing again, veins standing out on his forearm as he grits his teeth—

But then, even though he's fighting it all the way, his arm shakes, and shakes, and then Dani has him on the defensive. He struggles all the way down — "And you still" He breathes, "Are *ridiculously strong* — what do you eat for breakfast, Dani, *nails*? - Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

* * *

Warren leans against the counter of the kitchen island, his wings draping open a little at his sides in a desultory sort of way. "Expensive, unreliable, and very pretty to look at," he repeats blandly.

His grin widens, and his feathers lift a little in a self-aware sort of ruffling. "Are we still talking about cars? I felt a chill down my feathers." A brow lifts. "Though we are perfectly reliable if you accept we're just high maintenance."

I'm a likeable person, Domino insists. "Charming, certainly," he says, perhaps recalling their first interaction. "Though perhaps not to a young lady who, I'll wager, is still jumping out of her skin at loud noises."

One arm lifting so he can lean his jaw against his bent knuckles, Warren squints at the continuing battle. A frown starts on his features at Doug's reaction to Domino's remark, but he doesn't say anything. Perhaps as an act of mercy, he's staying out of the entire betting thing, too.

* * *

Stay on target soldier?

Uh oh.

With those words of Domino's, Moonstar's gaze cuts sharply to the other woman. Then a second later, Dani's attention is all but dragged back to Doug as he asserts himself once more.

She finds her hand pushed back to center and then over it again. By this point, Dani can't quite deny that she too didn't start to sweat. She had anticipated a good fight, sure, but did she anticipate this much back and forth?

Hell no.

"Wheaties, Doug, I eat Wheaties for breakfast everyday." Comes her deadpanned response to his question about her strength and eating habits.

And then, the Valkyrie digs deep and pushes back.

The ending doesn't come with a quick show, or a hard slam of Doug's hand down upon the tabletop, instead it's from slow and steady pushback on Moonstar's part. Like the moving hands of a clock - 'tick tick tick' - until finally Doug finds his hand resolutely pressed hard against the cool surface of the table.

* * *

The remark from Warren's direction earns the winged man a toothy grin from the albino. "Last I checked, but you make a fair point." Then she's quick to dismiss what he has to say about that -other- young lady. Still jumpy, after that -little thing- that Neena did—

"Psh, she'll be -fine.- Builds character. She'll thank me for it later."

The change in Doug is subtle enough that Dom probably fails to notice. A better grasp of resolve seems like a perfectly appropriate response to her words. The dilating pupils she can't see from this angle. She doesn't have Warren's eagle eyes. And she's had a couple of beers to work through.

Plus, Doug appears to be on a losing streak. "Never give up, Doug! The fight's not over, failure is not an option!" No, no no no he's losing Dani's gonna take the gold -don't give up on this Doug!- "Fight it! Take charge and finish this!"

Little by little he loses his ground until Dani drives home the win, resulting in Neena jumping up with a "-Yes!-" and a triumphant holding up of her beer while turning away from the table. "That's it, kids! Lady Luck favors the ref tonight, pay up!"

There is a whole lot of grumbling and muttering going on as more than a few of the students (and faculty!) reach into their pockets. How many bets did this lady make??

* * *

Doug is sitting there, breathing hard, staring at his wrist pressed against the table.

"Ow." He finally manages to say, before he winces. "That's going to be an ice pack and some advil…" He reaches into his wallet, and takes out $40, and puts it on the table. "$40 dollars and the humiliation of your choice. That's the terms."

Then he says, "…I really thought I could beat you. Mmm. Maybe next time?" He rubs his wrist. "…Ow."

* * *

"I'm sure," Warren laughs to Neena's insouciant shrug-off. "We could all use some toughening-up in these trying times."

He falls quiet, however, at that passing moment where Doug inevitably responds to that particular phrase. He and Dani, of course, have the benefit of a little background knowledge that Dom does not; Warren has the added advantage of his preternatural eyes. It keeps him pensive even through the drama of the match coming to an end, though he does lift his brows as Domino starts to claim her spoils from — practically everybody.

"Fleecing our students already, I see," he observes, though he sounds more amused than anything. "I suppose that's another character-building life lesson, though." He flicks a wing at the assembled. "The world will always conspire to take your money from you, some way or another. Watch out."

As the moment seems to pass without Doug having a brainwashing relapse, Warren relaxes slightly. ""Let's hear the punishment for defeat."

* * *

"You almost had me." Dani says as she works the blood back into her hand, even as she carefully watches Doug, "You're definitely stronger than what I'm used to."

At least she didn't say 'than I remember'.

"You did good." She ends with and only now does she reach for the money. It's tucked into the pocket of her jeans as she rises upward, "Come on, I'll get you a beer." She offers and as she stands her gaze flicks over to Warren and Domino. Domino gets a slightly longer look from the Cheyenne and then she's off to get that beer for herself and Doug. Once she has two beers in hand she trots back to the table and offers one to Doug, "Here you go. Drink up. It'll help with the wrist."

* * *

Domino salutes Warren with a folded up wad of bills, grinning like a madwoman as she pockets the cash. "Some of us have to work for a living, Warren."

For He Who Has Lost she calls out "Good play, Doug!" She had almost passed a beer his way but she honestly didn't know if she'd get in trouble for it! Around here she can never be too certain if someone's old enough for the hard stuff or not. With Dani's offer to him, now she knows.

To the look from Dani, Neena gets this used car salesman kind of grin and holds two thumbs up. Yep, she totally just made more money on this challenge than Dani did! The Cheyenne should have raised the bar when she had the chance.

"That's it, kids! Show's over. If you ever need someone to twist your arm and don't want to wind up in intensive care, Doug's your man!"

* * *

"You might say it's good for what — ales you." Doug says, before he snap-points at Dani. For right now, he holds the beer against his wrist.

"So," He says, "I was thinking. If — we can get the issue of what I've done for the past few years cleaned up, and get my legal identity sorted out, I'm thinking of registering, for a couple of reasons. One, so that I can work with SHIELD to stop Hydra — it's my mess, and I need to help clean it up;"

He grimaces, "And two, so that I can work openly to make Captain Marvel regret the whole stupid idea. Not that I'm—committed to anything, yet. A lot of my decisions depend on other people, right now. I just wanted to tell you where my mind was at. While it might be interesting to be a true Cypher, an identity-free man… it probably wouldn't be good for me mentally, huh."

"Also," He says, "What're you going to make me do? I do owe yo uthe humiliation of your choice."

* * *

Some of us have to work for a living, Warren.

The Worthington patriarch's reaction is to shudder in horror, and drape over the countertop like an oversized cat. With wings.

He does resuscitate in time to take an interest in the follow-up conversation, at least. "It's all up to you," he says, more seriously. "Though we should go over what you have been doing for the past few years." Left unspoken: no trusting SHIELD to relay back any of the information on Hydra if it's divulged only to them.

* * *

If Moonstar could pinch the bridge of her nose at Domino's actions -

Oh wait, she totally can. Moonstar pinches the bridge of her noise, yes she does.

Thank god, Doug is here and he tells another one of those terribly pun-tastic jokes of his. They're like Dad jokes, only better. Really. And it distracts her quite nicely.

"Doug." Groans Moonstar quietly, "You really need to get some new material." And while that's said with a good-natured sort of amusement, his next words snap her completely out of any amusement she was currently feeling.

Registration. How it looms.

"Doug, I -" She struggles briefly to find words, until finally Warren speaks up. It gives her a minute to compose herself, which then allows her to nod. "I think there's quite a bit we need to discuss." Which likely touches upon some of what Warren may likewise be thinking, melodramatic reaction to working for a living aside.

"We can do that tomorrow when I drag you out for your humiliation." Semi-jokes the Cheyenne.

* * *

..Bwuuuuh?

Domino's all set to step away from the table and move on out of here when Doug starts to talk, and certain words happen to be overheard.

Past few years, legal identity, -registering,- SHIELD… -Hydra.- Mess.

Any and all amusement is simply -gone- from her face as she turns back to the guy she had just been cheering on, and betting against, with something of an intense stare. No, he isn't talking to her, but he is talking openly and she does happen to be standing right beside him.

As much as she'd love to press the guy for more details this does not seem like the time nor place. However… Dani seems to know enough of what's going on since he's talking to the Cheyenne about it. Thus, it's Moonstar who gets a meaningful stare as Neena turns once again to walk away. They're going to catch up, these two. One way or another, there is some digging to be done. What isn't openly shared here and now, anyway. Doug is being awfully open about the subject…

Dom comes to stand beside Warren but she's still very much focused on the conversation. Aside from poking Warren in the stomach for his doofy performance, of course. He totally had it coming.

Now speaking directly to Warren, she inquires "What's gonna happen to this place after the fifteenth?" Will it still be safe to be here, or does she need to start pursuing a new address out in Gotham?

* * *

Doug murmurs, "I have copies of the things I've done and the information I have. I have one. I'll turn another over to the X-Men. I gave another to Sunspot. I'm covering my bases in case something more happens to me." He exhales, and then says, "We do not get to choose the times or the reality that we live in… we just have to live in it."

He looks to Warren, and then at Domino, and then he puts his hand on his chin. "My apologies. I ah. I was suborned by Hydra for several years — it's a difficult subject, but I'm working through it. I'm grateful for the support I've been getting — from Dani, from Warren, from others."

"We'll keep on keeping on. What choice to we have?"

* * *

Duly poked by Dom, Warren drawls an extremely halfhearted, "Ow," before he straightens up and rearranges his wings with a flick and neat fold of them at his back. His moue of affront is a sight to see on a man as effortlessly lovely as he is.

The indolent display — clearly a throwback to much more careless years of his life —quickly sobers, however, to something much more boringly responsible, as the conversation turns in that direction. There is a certain warning tone to his voice and demeanor when he does answer, a definite air of 'not here, not now,' which Dani is quick to echo. This can be discussed in full later. Not just because of the kids present, but because of other factors.

Other Factors is now asking questions about registration, which sobers Warren's expression further. A lock of hair slips over his eye as his head tilts, thinking. "This place will endure as it always has," he says bluntly, with the distinct attitude of an eagle mantled over its nest. "Most of the most vulnerable have already left the state. Those who stay intend to resist the legislation. Through legal channels, or otherwise."

His blue eyes are cool. "It won't be the first time we've hidden in plain sight."

* * *

Domino's change in demeanor is noticed by Dani, though not questioned. Just carefully watched.

Then it's to Doug and Warren, and the Cheyenne's expression turns a touch more grim. "We're survivors." She agrees, "We take one day at a time and try to keep everyone and everything as safe as we can. And then like Warren said, we fight against it."

"But I think we should perhaps take this conversation elsewhere. Or pick it up tomorrow." A look at the gathered group nearby is given, "Let them have their good mood for the night." Because it might just be their last for a very long time.

* * *

Listening is all fine and good, but what if you're not ready to hear what is being said? Domino's gone from having a lot of fun to acting incredibly guarded and withdrawn, both arms crossed in front with the half empty beer seemingly forgotten in one hand. All she can do is stare back at Doug, now completely silent as the details pour out directly from the source.

Then Doug speaks more directly to her and Warren. What he says isn't all that bad in its own right. It could even inspire hope. Yet something about it hits way, waaay too close to home for her. Still not a word is spoken. No gestures, no signals to stop or alter course. She just turns and marches on out of the area as if there is somewhere else where she now -has- to be.

* * *

Doug glances to Warren, and rubs the back of his neck. "…Well, Big Bird…?" He stands there, "…What do you think I should do?"

* * *

Warren watches the sea change in Domino's demeanor from the corner of his eyes, said eyes slightly narrowed, his sharply-cut features pensive. He watches as she leaves abruptly in total silence. The thought occurs to him, unbidden: well, what would Scott do in this scenario, if he were here? What would that be, Warren? Summers has carried the team's responsibility for so long that Warren was able to coast in relative carelessness for a long time, and his friend's absence is never more stark than in moments like these.

Still, Warren isn't without his own sense of assertive command, though in very different contexts: corporate boardrooms are not very much like superpowered paramilitary teams, though admittedly some of the skillset does transfer. One thing he is fairly sure about is that the conversation here is at an end. It can be continued another time, another place.

"All right," he says straightening up, wings fanning out with a snap of feathers to catch attention, "gawking hour's over. Go on." The crowd starts to disperse rather obediently; he might not really be faculty, but everybody knows who he is. His head turns to Doug after, at that question.

"What you're already doing is a start," he says. "I don't think your plan is bad. But it can be discussed more later, somewhere else."

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