Counter girl at Pride Gym, LJ Knight
A strange street kid is caught stealing at Pride's Gym. Brock gives him a job.
August 15, 2015
The gym is not quite a full staff as of yet. It's just recently opened, and Brock as employed a few of the local teenagers to work the various places throughout the facility. It's a pretty big gym, so it's gonna need quite a bit of help. For now, Brock is having a much more hands on sort of role with the working parts, like the store and the front desk and stuff like that. He's around right now, and there are surprisingly a lot of people that have joined in membership, because it's a nice gym.
The new kid who wanders in is a stranger. Dressed in fairly nondescript clothes, he doesn't stand out too much--at least, not unless one has supernormal senses. There's something about the kid, something unusual but also impossible to place. It's in his scent, his aura, suffusing every element of him. But he doesn't know that. All he knows is that there's a display with energy bars near the front of the store, and he's hungry. So, he wanders in that direction, trying to look completely casual as he goes.
Brock doesn't have any magic senses or aura detection powers, but his physical senses are enhanced, even as a human. He's kind of behind the front desk, in the little supply closet back there, but he can hear most everything, seeing as how the gym is designed as a rather central area. A lot of the main parts of it being in on spot. A lot easier to manage that way. What he can hear is hunger, and while the person working the health food shop isn't paying much attention, Brock is.
The strange kid stops in front of the rack, not looking at it, but his hand snakes out, snatching as many of the bars as he can grab, before sliding up the back of his shirt to tuck them into the waistband of his pants. It's a quick, smooth move. Nobody but a very keen-eyed watcher (or maybe a predator) would be able to notice. And as soon as it's done, the kid turns and begins walking casually toward the door again, as if he failed to see the person he was looking for.
Brock noticed alright. That is what one gets for hiring teenaged staff, they don't always take their jobs seriously. Considering she was texting when the theft happened. Now Brock didn't wanna be THAT boss, and issue a no texting rule or anything, but someone just took product from right under their noses. He's concerned, and a little exasperated as he closes the supply closet, and moves out from behind the front desk. It's a good thing that it's close to the door, otherwise, he might not have been able to bring his large body to stand inbetween Sly and his exit, "Howdy mate. Ah noticed that ya looked a lil lost there. Were ya interested in obtainin a membership? Or were ya lookin fer employment?" his large arms crossing over his chest.
The kid looks up at Brock... and up... and up. The dude towers a full foot above his head, and gazing up at him, the boy's eyes widen, his jaw falling partly slack. "Uh," he says, taking a moment to find his voice. "N-no, no thanks. Just looking. I... really need to go now." Like, before this massive man decides to break him in half or something.
That's when the door opens to the gym behind Brock, revealing a casually-dressed LJ (which is still sort of fashionable) with a gym bag slung over a shoulder. Naturally, he stops right there in the foyer, since Brock's large back is turned towards said doors, and he imagines the big guy doesn't normally turn his back to gym customers. So he gently clears his throat and tries to peer around the broad man, awaiting an explanation.
Brock does have that menacing aura going on about him, when his Majesty works in the reverse of amping people. As the owner of the place, when catching a thief, it would be the thing to do to call the cops. But this is Brock here, and there is just something not quite right about this boy here. His arms unfold like two snaking anacondas, and he reaches with a large hand to firmly go and plant it down upon Sly's shoulder, "Nah, don't be shy there, mate. Ah'm always willin ta be the helpin hand in the situation. Ah insist, let's have a chat." Brock goes to firmly pull Sly close to his side, like walking with a friend. A brow going up, and he looks over his shoulder at LJ, "Don't ya jus show up at the most opportune times there, mate? Ah was just about ta have a chat with mah new friend here--" he looks down at Sly, "What did ya say yer name was?"
The kid shivers when Brock touches him, as if afraid of the power in that hand, but he falls into step beside him all the same. Can't bolt--LJ just cut off his escape route. So maybe--just maybe--he can play it cool and come out of this all right. His voice low and hollow, he says, "Sly. They call me 'Sly.'"
With a dubious glance at the kid, LJ says, "Everyone I've ever known by that name has been a very suspicious character." Has he really known that many people by the name of 'Sly?' Maybe he's lying. But to be frank, it's none of his business, so he allows the door to close and shrugs. To Brock, he says, "I suppose I have that reputation. Why, did something bad happen? It's usually something bad." This time, it's him that's armfolding.
"Sly! Right, Sly." Brock nods to LJ as if he knew it the whole time. "Right, me and Sly here were just gonna have a little talk." Brock even gives Sly a one armed hug, which is a little more like a subtle crushing squeeze, just to give him an idea of his strength and all. The king can make subtle suggestions at times if he needs, "Bad? Haha, nah, nothin bad... Ya can tag along, LJ." Brock ushers Sly, pushing him toward the room behind the front desk which is the office. "No worries kid. We're not takin ya out of the public eye so we can eat ya or anything."
Based on the way Sly bristles under Brock's arm, he takes the "eat ya" threat far more seriously than it was probably meant. Probably. His expression turns a bit sick, but the much smaller teen says nothing more, letting Brock steer him into the office. Those with keen senses may notice his heart rate climbing, though, to the point that it's approaching fight-or-flight mortal terror.
LJ still manages to keep that brow-raised dubious expression, but curiosity wins out, so he follows only to the edge of the doorway, against which he leans. Before he says anything further, he waits expectantly to hear what this is actually about. His arms are still folded.
Yes, it was Brock's intention to set Sly on edge with what he just said. And he might just be a little smug about it right now too. LJ still has no idea what is going on, and Brock knows this, but the lion is banking on him just trusting him and going with it. He leads Sly into the office, and gives him a short little shove toward the seat in front of the desk. Used to interview people. "Alright, mate. So how bout ya tell me what yer skills are, and what ya can do. And we'll discuss wages after that. Employees get paid weekly, an we'll just do some deductions, fer an advance, fer those bars there ya got in yer pocket." Brock says as he leans his large frame against the desk, waggling a finger at Sly's pocket.
Well, the bars never made it to Sly's pocket, but as it becomes clear that Brock isn't planning to eat him, the fear begins to evaporate. The kid reaches behind him and produces the bars, tossing them onto the desk. They haven't been there long enough to melt or anything. "So," he says slowly, considering, "You want me to be your servant to repay my debt for stealing?" He shrugs. "Okay." At the first opportunity, he figures, he'll just have to find a way to escape.
"Ah," LJ says, deducing the gist of the issue. His glance flicks back and forth between the other two, and he debates if his presence is even really necessary--Brock seems to have everything under control. "Employment, Sly. He's offering you a job to pay off the theft. I'd suggest you take it. Unless you'd enjoy being charged with a criminal misdemeanor." He pushes himself from the door jamb at that. "Not to mention having a man of Brock's size displeased with you."
"Servant?" Brock raises a brow, giving Sly a look that is very dubious, "Listen mate, ah may have had servants back when ah lived in the castle, but they were very well paid and well treated. But that's not what this is mate." Brock sighs and rubs a hand over his eyes, "Yah stole, case yer hungry. An since ya didn't buy em, ah'm guessin that ya don't have money, or a job, in fact..." Brock pushes off of the desk, and he leans over to get a good sniff of Sly, "Ah'm guessin, by the way you're smellin, ya don't have a home, is that correct? If ah'm wrong, ya could tell me. It's what LJ says alright, ah'm offern ya a chance. Ta make yerself better. And ya don't wanna squelch it. Cause I'll have ta hunt ya down."
Sly is actually quite clean and seems well-cared-for, oddly enough. Even his clothes seem fairly new. But he's definitely hungry, as his stomach is growling loudly enough for even normal ears to hear. He also has no scent that might betray cash, credit cards, or even a wallet or coins. At the explanations of employment, he shrugs. "Call it whatever you want," he says without argument. "I said 'okay.'"
"It's possible he's just a kid looking to act out, Brock," LJ says, reshouldering his gym bag. "I wouldn't assume he's a needy vagabond. But that said, it's your risk to take, naturally. Let him call it whatever he likes. He'll either work with you, or run out. And if he runs out, well." With a little push to his glasses to slide them higher upon the bridge of his nose (they always seem to be sliding down), he analyzes the kid with a thoughtful glance. "I suppose he'll discover rather quickly if you're speaking the truth about your tracking skills." With that, the Scotsman turns to go, having little else to add.
"Alright then. That's fine." Brock shrugs his broad shoulders. He's been wrong before, but that is what makes him an ok guy. He isn't perfect, and he lives in that. "Gunna be keepin an eye on ya. Since yer all in agreement with this. Ah can tell, somethin ain't quite right about ya. Not sure what it is, but maybe LJ an me can flip through me mum's Book of Shadows ta try and figure it out. In the meantime, kid." with a smirk, the massive man moves around the chair, over to where LJ is after taking up the energy bars. He hands one to LJ and then gives the rest to Sly, "Don't steal from me again, got it? Just ask me from now on, aye? Then I won't have ta eat ya."
Sly gives Brock a flat look, since in his experience predators usually just get down to the business of eating instead of threatening, and... but, wait. What was his experience? Damnable inability to remember! His concentration shows, dissolving into a frustrated frown, and he shrugs again. "Whatever you say, mister. If I'm so bad, you can get rid of me as soon as I've paid for what I took." Then, shooting Brock a challenging little look, he asks, "But if I have to work to pay for it, can I at least eat it?"
"If, indeed." It appears the verdict's still out so far as LJ is concerned. One meeting is hardly enough to judge such things. But whether that's communicated in his brief glance is up to Sly, as the Scotsman doesn't feel particularly inclined to illuminate the point. So, accepting the bar from Brock, he simply nods again, and leaves now Boss and Employee to get to know each other a bit better. "Let me know if you need anything," he says, as he walks out the door.
"Ya can eat whatever ya want kid, just ask is all I'm sayin." Brock is really pretty lax over the whole thing. But in perspective, it's kind of a small thing to a giant. "Ah'm not gunna kick ya round unless ya make me have ta do it, kid. Ah'm not quite sure why folks expect that of me, ta be honest." A sigh from the man of large stature, "Look, if ya ain't got a place ta stay or if yer jus not gettin food. Then yer' welcome ta some of mine. And the bars... they're on me."
Peering at Brock, Sly seems deeply thoughtful. After a long, silent moment, he just shrugs. "Okay. Just tell me what you want me to do, and I'll do it." He immediately scoops up the bars again, ripping one open, and begins to devour it like someone who hasn't eaten in a week. For the moment, that seems to be all he really cares about.