A Magical Roleplaying Experience 

 #38473  by William Darlington
Location: Copenhagen, Gym • Date: Spring 2024

William had been the lucky fellow who had been chosen to follow WADA's touring company. Other than setting up the décor upon arrival and taking it down once they were ready to move on to the next city, his responsibilities were rather sparse. And that was perfect for him.

He had been known to help the other departments, but there was a limit to the support he could provide. His make up charms and his sowing charms were not on par with the art school's professionals.

His lack of responsibilities and abilities had left him with a good amount of spare time which was why he found himself in a random gym in the middle of the afternoon. Given his particular set of magical abilities, he did not necessitate much exercise, but he had always enjoyed the gym's ambiance. Something about the silent competitions happening within the enclosed environment had always intrigued him.

Wearing his long blonde hair in a disheveled man-bun, he sat on a bench and was lifting a few weights. Though in truth he was mostly people watching.
 #38484  by Aksel Larsen
Since getting back to Denmark, Aksel had been living with his parents once more, something he had not done in almost ten years. It was a weird feeling, and he didn't especially like his mother's sad looks, but they comforted him, at least, the both of them. He'd been able to settle back into his old job without too much of a fuss, and that had been such a massive relief. He had never realised the fact he had been out of a job in England had been such a weight on his shoulders. Everything had come down to Beckham, and he had been entirely reliant on him.

Outside of that, however, Aksel had no desire to do anything with his free time. He walked his dog, and sometimes took the bunny to the park, but otherwise, all the engineer did was go to the gym and take crossfit classes. All the effort and the pain was the one thing that actually made him feel good, or, in fact, feel anything at all other than the dull ache that had taken residence in his stomach, and made everything under a grey filter.

He usually adhered to a strict routine, since coming back home, for fear of everything falling into chaos if he didn't. He got up early, went for a run with Perle, went to work, came home, went back to run with Perle, went to the gym, ate, and went to bed. Today had been a little different. His brother had come over to visit, and he'd decided to take the day off so he could play with little Magnus. He was a bubbly, bouncy baby, and his joy was almost contagious. Almost.

This had freed him to go to the gym earlier than he was used to, and as he arrived towards the bench press, where he was used to lifting heavier and heavier weights, he saw it was already occupied. None of the other guys in the gym were paying this one any attention, and it was just bad gym etiquette, Aksel thought. He approached the man, and waited for a second, searching for his words. He didn't really talk to strangers anymore.

'Do you need someone to spot you?' Aksel asked, in Danish, of course.
Last edited by Aksel Larsen on 12 Jun 2020, 19:46, edited 1 time in total.
 #38555  by William Darlington
William looked at the feeble weight in his fist. "Hardly the strenuous workout that deserves spotting," he chuckled at his self-deprecation.

"But please," he got up and put his weight back on the rack. "Let me spot you."
 #38559  by Aksel Larsen
Aksel gave the man an indulgent smile. 'There's no shame in that. Any workout is a good workout. You have to start somewhere, don't you?' He was all about positivity in the gym. It helped keep all the negativity out of his mind, if only for the time he was training.

He laid down his towel on the bench, and went to grab the appropriate weights to slink on the bar. 'I bench 125 kilos, if that's alright?' He looked at the man sheepishly. The guy had not been lifting much at all. There was the matter of whether the other guy could handle it, of course, but then he also didn't want him to feel bad.

'Thank you. Your Danish is very good,' he observed. 'Where are you from?'
 #38804  by William Darlington
Used to the macho and rather chauvinistic ambiance of the gym, William was taken aback by the man’s kind remark. Perhaps the Danes were of a softer nature than William had anticipated.

125 kilos was beyond what William could lift, but that had never stopped him from spotting. “That’s impressive,” he whistled his admiration. The man was clearly in shape, but William had seen more than one bulgy gym dweller without clout.

“Oh thank you,” he smirked. From a young age William had harboured a talent for languages. It likely came from his parents entertaining the worldly elite. “I am from England,” he answered purposefully neglecting to mention his American heritage.
 #38816  by Aksel Larsen
Aksel grinned. He was proud of what he’d achieved physically. He was dedicated to working out, and to crossfit. Those were some of the things he loved most in life, and, currently, his only saving grace.

‘Thanks,’ he replied. His grin vanished when the other man mentioned England, but quickly returned, this time forced. ‘Oh, I see. That’s nice. I, uh, I lived there for a while.’
 #39246  by William Darlington
William got into position. Oblivious to Aksel's discomfort he pursued the conversation. "What made you leave?" He paused for a second before he picked one of the many possible humorous reasons, "British politeness got a little boring?" On that, William's American side tended to agree.
 #39249  by Aksel Larsen
After choosing the right weights, Aksel got into position as well, laying himself down on the bench. He used the pretense of getting himself ready to justify his silence. He didn't owe this man any explanation. He was a stranger. He'd never seen this guy before, and odds were, he'd never see him again after today, either. Still, though, maybe it wouldn't kill him to talk. He could tell this guy stuff, especially since he was a stranger he'd never see again. His family's doleful eyes did get old, sometimes.

He lifted the weight, maintained it in the air for a few seconds, then put it back into position. Ah, yes, that was the stuff.

'No,' he said, lifting it again. 'We moved there last September, with my husband. But, uh... things got...' He wasn't sure how to finish his sentence, so he let it hang in the air as he brought down the weight. 'I moved back here in February.' Aksel was incredibly uncomfortable. Talking with this stranger wasn't half as cathartic as he'd thought it might be. 'It hurts,' he said, though he didn't know what had prompted him.
 #39360  by William Darlington
William was not a perspective man. Changes and nuances could take place under his nose and he would not notice. However, he did notice his gym partner's pronoun change. Not too sure how to react he was almost relieved when Aksel expressed pain.

"Oh sorry, man," he apologized as he quickly attempted to pull the weight towards the bar. "I didn't mean to hurt you," he added quickly once the weight was secured. Of course, he was completely oblivious to his misinterpretation of the situation.
 #39366  by Aksel Larsen
Aksel reached to lift the weight again, and found his spotting partner to be moving it away from his grasp. He met him with a bewildered look.

'Hurt me? You didn't hurt me.' Beckham had. 'It's not the weight. I was just talking about... the other thing. It doesn't matter.' He didn't want to inconvenience this guy with his sob story, after all. He hadn't asked for it, and it wasn't like Aksel to impose on other people. Ever.
 #39480  by William Darlington
"Oh, you mean your marriage," he finally understood. "Sorry, man. I completely missed that."

He remained silent for a minute but continued to spot his partner. "What did he do?" William eventually asked. "Clearly it was awful enough for you to move so far from him."
 #39512  by Aksel Larsen
Aksel's hands closed around the bar, but not before waving away the man's apology. He wasn't to know.

He continued to lift for a while, silently, pondering his next words. It sounded stupid when he tried to put into words, but that didn't change the hurt he felt.

After a longer moment still, he finally spoke. 'He lied to me about who he was,' he said simply. 'For five years he was hiding who he was.'
 #39528  by William Darlington
"Oh wow, that's..." William had not expected that. In fact, he wondered how that was possible. What kind of information could someone hide about themselves for 5 years?

"Does he feel bad or is her a total tool?"
 #39537  by Aksel Larsen
Aksel continued to lift the weight, silently. It was good to feel heard, and by someone who wasn't his friends or his family, which gave an obligation of sycophantic commiseration. He liked their empathy, liked that they were always in his corner, but it was nice to know that someone who didn't have to have any sympathy for his predicament still did.

'I think...' Aksel continued lifting the bar for a while. 'He does feel bad, but he doesn't understand...' A few more lifts. 'He doesn't understand that his lying, rather than what he lied about, is what's upsetting.'
 #39613  by William Darlington
William nodded. Somehow that made sense to him.

"The thing with someone who lies is that you have to wonder if it will happen again," he caught himself saying before he could assess if it was helpful or not. "But I don't know, maybe he just lied about this one thing," he quickly added.