Episode 3: Operation: Jaundiced Genus
Summary: The spies investigate full on attacks that began as a seemingly harmless pranks against the York University's college football team. B-Story: Lee's ego is popped and deflated by Lindsey's sharp wonders and observation, but because of this he improved his relationship with the hard to please Lindsey.
Lee hustled down the sidewalk. The chilly winds pushed him along; the dropping temperature reminded him of the approaching winter and the fact that he totally forgot to check the weather forecast as he wore only his thin sweatpants and t-shirt. He debated on throwing in his gí for warmth but the dojo was in site and decided to sprint it.
At three fifty five, he arrived at the small, worn down building. He entered and soaked in the room's heat. He exhaled, releasing the last bit of cold from his body. The bell's jingle from his entrance prompted heads to turn. His instructors and friends greeted him with warmth that matched the room.
"Hey guys." He smiled and high fived one of his friends nearby.
Lee joined the cluster of boys near the carpeted bench area. Most of the boys were already tying their belts and migrating off to the mats Lee quickly put on his gí and begin warm up.
After Lee's feet hit the mat, a fresh face caught his eye.
Lindsey. In the corner of the room, she was stretching, alone. She was working her legs with one extended to the site and the other bent. Her stance was firm, balance. Her eyes scoped the room while wearing her stoic countenance.
She intimidated kids in their class and now that he sees her with that black strap wrung around her waist proudly, he understood why. Or he always knew why. She seemed standoffish, but the way she gets along with the Amy, a girl warmer than the sun, opened Lee to think: she can't be that bad. What does he know anyway? However, when she'd sit with him and their siblings, she wouldn't talk much. Only contributing her two sense or a question occasionally but...alway critically. Nonetheless, Lindsey was a part of their little gang the've been creating in this beginning year, and he felt he should reach out to her more.
He turned his body and halfway across to the room to her when the instructor began the session.
Lee and the rest of the dojo shuffled into their well organized lines, thwarting Lee's plans.
After stretching and warm was conditioning, ten minutes of tedious kata, and then the last part of class was left for sparing.
Lee was excited. Sparing was his favorite part of practice. He scanned the room for who he would be partnered up with. He was eyeing the largest and the fastest in his level that were asked to go in the first round which included him. However, one by one each of these guys paired up with one another, and he was left alone. For a moment, he was left without a partner until his teacher order him to be with Jared Kim to his utter disappointment.
Lee found Jared's face quickly, and they made eye contact. After they moved to their own section in the room, they bowed on their instructors orders and snapped into their beginning stances. The buzzer cut through the quiet of the dojo, signaling for them to start. They began bouncing on the balls of their feet, circulating around each other. Their movements light and quick.
Lee's gaze was unyielding and his mind locked into combat mode. It didn't take long for him to go in for his first kick. Jared bounced back dodging the foot. Another kick. A punch. It was an unremitting succession of strikes, but Jared was able to dodge.
Lee was so focused. He was in the game, the match until...
"Lee is so good," a voice, Janet's voice, sighed.
"Yeah," Mary agreed.
At this, his confidence swelled, and for a moment, his brained wandered to the girls' compliments. Lee's ego was a monster possessing his body. Lee glanced over to wink at his admiring spectators. That was when he felt something solid collide into chest. That knocked the ghost of his ego right out. Lee's stomach dropped from Jared's first contact. The voices whispered disappointedly. His attention snapped back to Jared and only Jared.
Lee pounced back. Jared was going for another attack, but Lee blocked it. Jared just couldn't hit Lee. Lee searched for an opening, but Jared was too agile. However, not very powerful, Jared offered a collections of speedy blows. Then again, Lee responded with adept blocks and dodges. The girls returned to cheering him on.
.It went on like this for a little longer. Their sparing felt like a dead end argument, going nowhere. Thirsty for triumph, he leaped, he kicked, and his foot collided into Jared's chest — an advanced move he perfected in combat with villains. Jared's expression frozen into shock, and he flew back and slammed into the mat.
This loud impact attracted more spectators and gasps from those who were watching.
Lee landed on his feet and stepped back. He was surprised though by Jared's resilience. Fierce determination replaced his shock. He popped back on his feet, his fist clenched and jaw tight.
Jared surprised the growing audience with his comeback.
They returned to their positions. Lee finally admitted to himself that he underestimated Jared but kept his decisions to win. He held that promise to himself in a tighter grip when Jared stood back on his feet.
Jared's eyes held the intensity of fire. His attempted blows were more aggressive and erratic almost like flying bullets from a pistol.
Lee brought it up a notch. As a counter to one of Jared's kicks, Lee applied another field move. He grabbed Jared's ankle and swung him over his shoulder.
There was an eruption of aw.
Jared landed on his hands and knees. He flipped over, returned to his feet, and charged. He pulled his arm back ready to launch a punch, but at last second, Lee grabbed it and threw him to the ground.
He fell on his left side, his arm. He let out a pained groan and rolled on his back. His hand gripped his injured arm. Lee was worried if he seriously hurt Jared. He was good at controlling his moves, he thought, but didn't intend to throw that hard.
Lee breathed a sigh of relief when he stood. Jared's face was deflated like a week old balloon while Lee's adoring fans didn't help his confidence, but he recovered and back to his fighting stance.
But before any further action could be taken, the instructor announced the end of sparring and class.
The small crowed dispersed. It took the two boys a moment for the fact that they can't fight anymore sink in. Thy finally let their guards down, their stances anyway, after the ring disappeared. Lee let unwound any tension in his body and allowed himself to catch his breath. "Nice try," he said to Jared who was ready to walk way. "Maybe next time?"
"Whatever, Clark," Jared snapped, "always the showoff. Was beating me enough compensation for your lack of intellect?"
This time it was Lee's turn for his jaw to tighten and fist to clench. He knew he wasn't genius levels like Marc or Jared, but he didn't need to compensate for it.
"Don't take it out on me you can't fight," he protested.
Jared's only response was a rude snort, and he stormed off.
Lee shook his head. Typical Jared Kim. Couldn't take a loss.
Karate mates swarmed towards Lee praising him for his moves, and then as him and everyone was leaving, Lee strode outside with triumphant feeling that made his head spin in the best way.
After all the action, fluorescent lights, and the heat trapped in his gí from exercising, it was disorienting to walk outside onto a still, dark street where the air was crisp and nippy. He let a shiver rattle through his bones and looked down the sidewalk on each sides. Yellow-orangish streetlights colored the street and the fellow teens waiting for their rides.
Lee noticed Lindsey standing by the curb. She looked weary, but only her eyes showed alertness. The other thing he saw on her features were irritation, but she always appeared irritated. However, he would find out that she was looked bothered and irritated because she actually was, and it was because of him.
"He, Lindsey," Lee called out to her
She twisted to face him. "Don't 'hey me'," she said with distaste.
Her tone startled Lee. He stepped back as if it would relieve him of Lindsey's pressing stare.
"I can't believe you're acting all high and mightily beating a guy belts lower and half the combat skill. On top of that you were using your fancy WOOHP moves that you're not even allowed to use."
Lee felt everything in his stomach go rotten. It was true. It was like he was proud of beating a fourth grader. He questioned: did Jared deserve to lose that way? Should had Lee showed restraint in his fighting. It is hard wired into him not to, but it wasn't the restraint that was the problem. he broke the rules and overstepped conditions. All his triumph depleted. He looked back up at Lindsey, and she still was pissed. Her remained arms crossed. Watching her, Lee felt like stray litter to Lindsey on the side of the sidewalks, and now Lindsey won't even look at him because who would want to look at trash. Their just polluting the area.
"I'm sorry," Lee said.
"Don't apologize to me. I'm not the one who got humiliated."
Lee scrambled to his defense. "He's fine. I just damaged his ego, and you should have saw how he took his defeat. He takes all his losses like that."
"This isn't about him being a sore loser. You broke the rules and took pride defeating someone weaker than you," she accused. "You got away with it only because sensei was busy with an injured kid.'
"This is your first day here. You don't understand how annoying he is. Nobody likes him, and he needed to lose. He's even worse as a winner." Lee added, " when he wins."
"You don't seem all that graceful when you win either," She muttered.
A car had pulled up from behind. She hopped in the vehicle, and it pulled away. Lee stood, frozen and abandoned with only the cold weather and the guilt eating at his insides.
Their argument rang in Lee's ear as the sound of the engine faded away
Hi, I know it has been a long while since I have updated. I have this story almost finished, but I thought that I would post the first chapter. To be honest, I have been working on this so much that it's hard to read for the thousandth time, but I will just tough it through. I hope I can get the next chapter to you soon.
Thank you for reading.