Disclaimer: I don't own Dark Angel.
A/N: This one is a by-product of the discussion at BBWW-forum about Max's and Bling's martial arts training: What would Bling have to do to convince Logan that learning some martial art moves isn't a bad idea?
Many thanks to Mia for betaing (and telling me it's good to post when I myself wasn't sure about that) and to Shywriter for letting me borrow some of Bling's life.
Logan's thoughts are in Italics
"You know, Logan, sometimes it would come in handy, if your chair had handles."
Logan glared up to Bling with what he considered his best 'don't you dare picking up that topic'-stare. But at the same time he couldn't help feeling a tiny bit of curiosity at this so unlike Bling statement. Usually the physiotherapist was the first person to stress that Logan could very well function on his own regardless of the chair.
They had just finished an easy training session, nothing strenuous, since Logan's attention – as so often – had been with his latest Eyes Only case and clearly not with the dumbbells in his hands. Thus, while Logan had pondered absent-mindedly how to save the world, Bling in turn had wracked his brain for something to get his work-obsessed employer away from staring at his computers all day long and engage him into some kind of physical diversion. No easy task, but he had come up with a rather wicked plan, one that should get Logan moving despite his almost paranoid aversion against anything that might, in any way, make his disability more visible and therefore, in Logan's unique twisted logic, let him look incapable and 'unmanly'.
With that concept in mind Bling only rolled his eyes good-naturedly at Logan's wordless response, stifling a grin at how predictable his reactions were. His vast experiences about 'How Logan Cale ticks' in the back of his mind, the trainer was fairly confident he would get his way in the end and shooed away the small yet persistent guilty voice that chided him for using his friend's tender spots. But, after all Bling told himself with a quick, flashing smile in Logan's direction, it was only for his best. "Yeah, sure, I know, no handles. God forbid anyone might offer to push you."
That earned him another, markedly annoyed, glare from Logan.
It's easy for you to say that, Mr. 'I'm the picture of physical fitness'. You don't have people minimize you all the time, treating you like a child just because all they see is the chair.
Bling had noticed the shade of bitterness and contempt cross Logan's features at his comment and, albeit keeping up his always calm appearance, inwardly he sighed, weary and saddened at Logan's completely unnecessary feelings of inadequacy. But, as he reminded himself, those were exactly what he wanted to tackle with his little scheme, so, before Logan had the chance to sink deeper into the ever-present abyss of depression, Bling quickly proceeded to the second stage of his plan and delivered the next teaser. "But in this one case handles would be a real benefit for defending yourself."
Now it was Logan's turn to roll his eyes, exasperated at Bling's remark. This wasn't the first time Bling had bugged him with this crazy 'teach Logan some martial arts'- idea, but so far Logan had successfully resisted, being profoundly convinced that such a whole body-involving activity must be an impossibility for people in wheelchairs.
And even if it really is possible, I definitely don't plan to embarrass myself by playing the human mop.
It hadn't been mentioned for a while though and he had assumed Bling had forgotten about the whole idea. Well, maybe not exactly forgotten. Bling wasn't one to forget things. But Logan had hoped with a childish glint of triumph that maybe once his considerable stubbornness had won over Bling, whose insistence in almost every case was just that infinitesimal but deciding iota bigger.
Wrong assumption, Cale.
So he gave in and uttered, albeit reluctantly the question the waiting trainer wanted to hear. "Okay Bling. Tell me about the benefits of wheelchair handles in self-defense. Is it so the bad guys can have an easier grip on me?"
Bling just let out a soft chuckle at Logan's defiant behavior, neither taking it particularly seriously nor feeling offended, as he profited from the typical stoic attitude which life and work in such different places like the military, the medical field, or the far eastern monastery had lent him. Besides, with Logan he was used to worse as his boss on a regular basis felt the need to vent his frustration about the brokenness of the world and a body that didn't always comply with his Herculean crusade onto whichever innocent person happening to be around. Usually, with the solitary life Logan led, it was Max or Bling himself who were hit by those flares of tempers and although being on the receiving end of Logan's bitching might not be an especially pleasant experience, Bling much preferred it to the dark moods that threatened to swallow Logan every now and then.
"Nope. One of the easiest tricks actually." He came around and took position behind Logan's back, too close for comfort had he been a stranger. "Imagine you really did have handles on your chair and someone is leaning into you like that, or worse" and Bling had the grace of not demonstrating the next to Logan "is grabbing your shoulders or even trying to throttle you." At this Logan tilted his head back to in order to cast a glimpse of the bulky figure hovering over him. "Then you just grab the wheel rims and push back with all your might, maybe giving it a little twist, with the nice, little effect that the handles are rammed in your opponent's guts. Easy and very efficient, especially with guys, as you can imagine" he further explained while offering a very convincing act of doubling over in pain halfway over Logan's shoulder, dramatically clutching his lower abdomen with his big hands. "Then, when I'm down at your level, you can finish me off with some punches onto my nose or my chin."
Logan smirked almost despite himself at the image of an uncharacteristically outgoing Bling he caught out of the corner of his eyes.
Bling for his part knew better than to make a big fuss about his victory, only allowed himself a little, satisfied smile, invisible to Logan behind whose back he was still standing. As he came around to lean against the exercise table, his appearance now calm and even-tempered as ever, Bling mused that a minor lecture couldn't do any damage though, especially if the recipient had such a thick skull as Logan Cale.
"So Logan, as you can see from such simple a move, a wheelchair doesn't automatically needs to be a disadvantage in a fight but can prove to be a very effective weapon" He proffered a calm, knowing smirk at Logan who tipped his head down in a silent nod, having to concede that Bling had been right. Again. Logan knew he'd been played, out-manoeuvred by Bling's extensive knowledge in so many fields, among them, psychology. Yet his indignation dissolved quickly as he finally admitted to himself that Bling's idea to show him some martial arts moves wasn't so bad after all. He could imagine a lot of situations were it would pay out for Eyes Only to have some tricks up in the sleeve, even though these days – and the very concept still hurt Logan – he had to leave most of the 'legwork' to others. Or more specifically, Logan mused, by now totally lost in thought, he had to leave it to Max who like Bling surely also could show him a move or two. But that was – in no way – going to happen, Logan told himself wryly, humiliated by the mere notion of getting into a situation where her physical superiority – painfully glaring to him under normal circumstances – would be even more accentuated.
Finally snapping himself out of his ponderings with this demeaning picture, Logan became aware that Bling's gaze still was directed unto him as the trainer was patiently awaiting his reaction, and he berated himself for being absent once more. But then, Logan thought, a pleased flicker enlightening his downcast eyes, a little waiting was exactly the kind of penalty his cunning trainer had deserved. Glancing over to the gentle, dark face of the person who had helped him through his darkest moments, Logan couldn't pretend any longer. And so, for the second time in less than an hour, he formed the words Bling had aimed for, this time amusement tinting the resignation in his voice.
"Okay Bling. Go ahead, introduce me into the fine secrets of martial arts."