|Quality Bonding Moment|
|Summary: Yazan Gable punishes Leo Stenbuck for disobeying his order to shoot down a distracted Camille Bidan.|
There are many advantages to being a Titan, especially one stationed aboard the Dogosse Gier. These range from the mundane (the personal privelige that comes with being able to threaten people with perfectly legal bodily harm) to the extraordinary (free massages!)
Leo Stenbuck makes great use of many of these, and today he has just finished doing so with the surprisingly robust array of personal exercise equipment made available to officers on the Dogosse Gier. It's important to stay in tiptop shape when your body is slowly deteriorating, denied the precious pull of Earth's gravity.
Leo sits slouched atop a bench in Locker Room 4, clad in a tank top and shorts. A towel is draped over his shoulders, and a half-empty water bottle is clutched in one hand. The locker room is empty, save for him. This proves for the best when, without warning or provocation, Leo leaps to his feet, slams a fist into the locker in front of him, and shouts, "God DAMMIT!"
"Leo Stanbuke. Where is he?"
"Leo... what? Do you mean 'Stenbuck'?"
"Stanbuke, Stenbuck, does it matter? You really wanna correct me? The mousy little mutant from space that Scirocco loves so damn much."
"Uh -- right. He's at the gym, he--"
"Tch. What a waste."
The locker room is almost eerily vacant as Leo sits within it; even now aboard the Dogosse Gier, the Titans gym is usually at least vaguely busy with Aryan Earthnoids slapping each other on the ass and congratulating themselves on their last gas-based gene cleansing -- if only because exercising with homosexual overtones somehow meant they were less likely to run into Bask Om. Still, it's quiet, and Leo Stenbuck is free to yell profanity to his heart's content--
"Sure got a temper on you, for a kid with the silver spoon shoved down his throat."
--just not free from prying eyes.
Yazan Gable stands, fairly specifically, at the entrance to the locker room, arms folded over his chest and carrying an expression that suggests a combination of disgust and condescending amusement. It's not a nice face to see. "Who'd think such a little brat could get so angry, huh?"
Leo starts at the speech; he was sure he was alone, and he spins to face the door. "Oh... it's you," he scowls. Yazan's reputation has not eluded Leo, nor has their 'disagreement' in days past been forgotten, and the man's presence is enough to visibly unsettle him.
But it's not enough to completely dispel his fury. "I don't... whatever," he huffs, turning angrily back to the locker. He rips it open, door slamming into the adjacent locker, and begins gathering his things. Uniform, sidearm, keyring... "If you have a problem, talk to Master Paptimus."
Tapping an index finger against his right bicep, Yazan Gable lets out a sharp burst of laughter, belittling and unpleasant. "'Master' Paptimus? HAH! That's gotta swell Scirocco's ego up like a fucking balloon. You his little manservant now on top of being his token Spacenoid simp?"
Yazan's shoulders roll easily in a shrug as he shoves off of the locker room entrance. Keeping the exit blocked by his presence, he squints at Leo closely, looking sickened by the young man's display. "Pathetic. Trying to get someone else to fight for you, huh? Y'know who else gets people to fight battles they can't handle for them? Little babies. Are you a little baby, Leo Sandbeak?" The Titans ace lays down the bait with a helpless shrug, hands lifting in an almost exasperated fashion. "But I guess you can't help it, can you? Once an Ender, always a pussy -- right?"
Leo does his best to ignore Yazan's taunts, tossing his towel aside and pulling off his tanktop. The comments about 'Master Paptimus' visibly chafe, but they generate less anger than embarassment. "It's what everybody else calls him," he mutters under his breath, looking pointedly away from Yazan and beginning to redon his uniform.
The more general taunting has, surprisingly, little obvious effect. He endured it for most of his years in school, and he's endured it - even from those under his technical command - since joining the Titans. It still hurts, but he has at least learned to avoid breaking down in public.
He's almost done buttoning his shirt when the 'E' word comes out. There is an instant and violent response. "Shut the hell up!" Leo barks, whirling to face Yazan. "What the hell is your problem?! -- Fine, you were right, okay?! I should have shot him down when I had the chance! Is that what you wanted to hear?! Now leave me alone!"
"You don't have any respect for people who're just plain smarter than you," Yazan states blandly. His lips twist into a thin and unpleasant smile. "Little underdeveloped Spacenoids like you oughta learn that no matter what rank you think you are, you're never gonna be anything more than glorified cannon-fodder. I don't wanna hear you tell me I'm 'right,' you stupid piece of shit. I know I'm right." Hairless brows slant together, as Yazan's eyes narrow dangerously. "I'm just gonna teach you a lesson about respecting your betters."
As he speaks, Yazan advances upon Leo. His right hand shoves deep into his pants pocket, and when it pulls out, it is holding a simple handle. "Y'know, I got into my first knife fight when I was thirteen. Taught me how t'be a man. You ever get stabbed, Leo Stakebreak?" A blade suddenly flips out from the handle, cold metal gleaming in the artificial lighting.
"I think it's about time I shared a quality bonding moment with Scirocco's newest sycophant."
As Yazan advances, Leo retreats, anger melting away in the face of terror. There is, of course, nowhere to go, and by the time the boy has really processed the gravity of the situation, his back is pressed against the row of lockers behind him, and Yazan is holding a knife and, considering this fact, uncomfortably close.
"G-get away from me," Leo demands, gaze flitting rapidly between Yazan, Yazan's knife, and the pile of crap on the nearby bench that contains his pistol. It is even MORE uncomfortably close to Yazan. His options rapidly diminishing, Leo does what comes naturally, and panics.
"I said BACK OFF!" he screams frantically, scrambling away from Yazan. "Get away from me, you psycho!!"
"You're never gonna learn to not be so goddamn stupid if you keep acting like a pussy!" raves Yazan, a look of predatory delight in his eyes as Leo starts to scramble. Gripping tight onto the knife, Gable doesn't bother to look over at the pile; he's only here for one reason.
Besides, shooting Leo would just waste the moment.
Yazan springs forward ferociously, to grab Leo by the back of the neck with one rough hand. If he does, he'll swing the boy around and /slam/ him face-first into one of the lockers, to disorient him even as he plays with his knife almost casually with the other hand.
"Now, I'm gonna offer you a deal," the Titan breathes out roughly. "You beg to me like the little baby Ender you are for me not to hurt you, and I won't cut you up like a Thanksgiving turkey. You got it? But you gotta /really/ /mean/ it." Yazan's lips pull ingo a thin smile.
"We Titans don't condone insincerity."
Leo's speed isn't surprising, and were he of a clearer mind he would be quite the slippery prey. But, as they say, fear is the mind killer, and his terrified scramble to escape falls just short of an actual escape. He lets out a yelp as Yazan's hand latches onto the back of his neck, and though he struggles, he weighs less than a hundred pounds, and is not at all hard to manhandle.
When Leo's face slams into the locker, there is a loud cracking noise as his nose shatters, and within moments the face of the locker and those below it are covered with blood. He yowls in agony, and his struggles are redoubled, fingers clawing at Yazan's hand as the man makes his offer.
The struggle continues for a few seconds even after Yazan's offer is made, until abruptly blood loss and stress catch up with Leo, and his grunts of effort, protest and pain are replaced with body-wracking sobs. "P-please," he begs. "Please, stop... don't hurt me..."
Yazan is the epitome of patience as he waits, right thumb pressing lightly against the edge of his switchblade. His head tilts to the side as Leo starts to sob. It might be an almost pitiable scene for some. Yazan, though, only grins.
The pressure on Leo's neck loosens somewhat, but is not completely released as he begins to beg. "Told you I'd make you cry like the little baby you are, didn't I? Keep that in mind, kid; I always keep my word."
At which point, Yazan will promptly stick the switchblade into Leo's right leg.
Yazan releases Leo shortly thereafter, leaving the blade to be stuck in the boy's thigh as he wipes off his hands. "You Enders are way too fragile. But don't worry; Scirocco and I are buddies. I'll make sure his newest little space buddy becomes a real man and not a sobbing pansy-ass. Even if it kills you." And, unless Leo stops him, Yazan will step back, and then slowly walk away, lifting a hand into the air.
"You can go ahead and keep the knife, kiddo.
Consider it a souvenir."
Appropriately enough, Leo squeals like a stuck pig when Yazan stabs him, his struggle beginning anew. Yazan's 'support' disappears, and Leo, suddenly unable to support his own weight, collapses, landing heavily on his side. He makes no move to strike back. He just curls into a fetal position, lying helpless in a spreading pool of his own blood, sobbing.
Leo doesn't move again until well after Yazan has made his exit, and he's run out of tears. Slowly, hands trembling, he reaches down and grabs ahold of the switchblade buried in his flesh. He takes a deep, shaky breath, grits his teeth, and yanks it out.
Okay, that hurt a lot more than Leo expected it to, and his sudden scream of agony reflects this. The flow of blood, having slowed, begins in earnest again. Growling, Leo drags himself across the ground to his pile of belonging, blood trailing behind him.
Unable to actually lift himself, Leo gropes feebly at the pile until he manages to snag the sleeve of his uniform jacket, and he pulls the entire pile from the bench with a clatter. After a few moments of searching, he finds what he was looking for.
Fingers trembling, Leo undoes the clasp on his belt holster and withdraws the pistol from within it. He works the slide once, more for the now oddly comforting sound than for any real purpose, and lifts the weapon to point it uselessly at the door which Yazan made his exit through.
"Next time," he swears to the empty doorway.