Or Lack Thereof

Brandon smiled at Asa, brushing back his bright, red hair as he reached out to her. “Hi! I’m Brandon. You might remember me from when we were living together. I was that wonderful stud that came out in work boots, usually told your roommates-”

 

“I don’t remember you, and I don’t care about any reason to. I’m just going to relax somewhere since Dave seems preoccupied with Kell. ‘Kay?”

 

Brandon bit into his lip, thinking about back when he still called the… Well, honestly, right now he wanted to just call her a bitch, but he could already hear Dave yelling at him for thinking that way. She doesn’t want to be here, just like any new crew member usually would rather be at home drinking a beer. That meant there was a universal truth to it though, and he smiled to himself as he scratched the back of his head. “Sorry, but George will kick my ass if I don’t act as some sort of trainer, but if you absolutely have to do something, what do you want to?”

 

Asa glanced down at her phone, a sly smirk coming onto her face before tilting her hips and pointing to the weight bench. “One armed reps with five pounds. That shou-”

 

“Treadmills it is!”

 

Asa blinked a few times, before throwing her arms next to her and growling, “I said-”

 

“I know, uh-” Brandon winced at his pause, especially as her growl turned into a sneer, and he could feel dust collecting on his sleeveless shirt from how dirty her look was, but this was what Dave and George did with people who didn’t want to do something. Then again, they were two practical greek gods while he was as short as Asa, and with barely more muscle. Or, at least visible muscle. “That tells me what we should do between exercises. Something to relax with when you’re tired or starting to hurt. Th-That’s why I’m doing the treadmill even.”

 

Asa narrowed her eyes further, almost closing them in her annoyance, but instead just sighed. Just a few weeks told her this was a Dave move, not this weakling, and even if she got out of it, she’d get shit for it at home. Or, worse, be made to wear the tutu again the next time she came with them here. “Fine. I’m walking though.”

 

Brandon hopped onto one of the treadmills, gesturing her to the one next to him, before leaning on one of the guards on the side. “How about four miles an hour? It’s a light jog, and you should be able to keep it up for a good bit. Say… thirty minutes?”

 

Asa glanced at the treadmill, and in this Brandon missed what made these tactics work. It was all about prodding someone’s defenses, and the sort of people they employed needed to be able to do some of it, but when they showed genuine fear like this, they pulled back.

 

Brandon only heard the terse, “Fine,” before he turned back to his own machine and plugged in his headphones. He was up to almost seven miles an hour for thirty minutes himself before he needed an at least minor rest, and man, what would she think of him when she saw just how much stamina he had? Yeah, that sounded wonderful! Now if only he was getting to show off to Sarah.

 

The first bars of Indestructible came into his ears as the treadmill began to pick up speed, and he looked over to Asa, letting his legs move like clockwork as he made sure she set it to four miles an hour before she put her own headphones in. She then kept her phone in her hand, but Brandon tapped on her machine to catch her attention before tapping on a small bridge on the console that his own phone was resting on. “That way your arms can swing freely.”

 

Asa rolled her eyes at him as she put her phone on the small ledge, and Brandon turned back to his own machine now that it was at pace. He wanted to focus after all. If he didn’t, he could end up running into the console by pushing his pace too quickly, something George was still working with him on at the site.

 

He hummed while he ran, first through Bitch Came Back, I Miss the Misery, before grinning at himself as his playlist went back in time. Some classic Meatloaf with Life’s a Lemon, and I Want My Money Back.

 

And it was just as it was saying how busted shit was that he heard the stomp of a sneaker on one of the side, plastic strips that protected the inner works of the machines, before a curse he couldn’t make out, a slam that he could feel from the noise, and barely watched as Asa was thrown from her machine.

 

Her phone barely missed her, instead shattering against the wall as she groaned on the ground. Fortunately, the treadmill wasn’t going fast enough to throw her too hard, but he knew she couldn’t be feeling good. He slammed the emergency stop on his machine, just like a few others, but when he hopped down to her, he froze from the glare she gave him.

 

Asa slowly managed to get to her feet, one of her shoulders bleeding through her shirt as she gripped it and turned to one of the other people who were there. “Where… Can I… Go to rest?”

 

Brandon gripped his own arm as he watched her go, before running off to find George and Dave. Maybe… maybe they’d know what to do?

 

Or have the courage to own up to his fuck up.

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