Training Day
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Kev tries to teach Harry to become aware of her senses.

A.C.R.U. Headquarters

October 7th, 2012

"I'ma say you've graduated from balls today."


The buzz of one shift changing over — late evening switching to late late on every clock in the building — fills the air, the familiar chatter of the teams laughing and rousting each other, the low drone of the captains talking as they walk by, the convivial hollers of new teammates coming to replace the tired after a long day. It's been a busy day for ACRU, a particularly rowdy crowd of powered criminals cropping up to annoy more than terrorize Beverly Hills, keeping the team running every which way until each and every situation was contained. The mood is almost festive but, as usual, the job will start all over again tomorrow.

While the lab and CSI team runs on a different schedule than the teams, it's still possible that one can memorize the general likely whereabouts of one Harriet Parker at any given time. It seems also possibly that given the noise one's security ID card makes when it's used on the lab door that it might benefit one to lurk outside in the hallway until one diminutive Ms. Parker eventually leaves, if one has patience, which one is determined to have despite nearly giving up exactly four times while getting restless standing around like an idiot. But when Ms. Parker does eventually appear, it's seems easy to jump the (hopefully) unsuspecting woman with a fast assault of—

Ain't no use to run, you rascal, you! Ain't no use to run, you rascal, you!

The bitter, yet somehow upbeat, song lyrics chirp from big, DJ-style headphones hovered near Harry's ears, filling them with the cool twang of a song by Hanni El Khatib — ain't no use to run, I done bought a Gatling gun, and you still having your fun, you rascal, you! — as Kev's goofy self-satisfied grin lights up at arm's length.

It has been just as long of a day for the CSI team as it has been for the officers who had to track the culprits on foot. Loads of evidence that needed to be logged in, organized and evaluate just kept coming in and coming it. Some days Harry can sit down and listen to a physics book on tape while she catalogues, but none of that has been possible today.

Finally, the brunette has punched her card and filed her last piece of evidence into the proper place. She fiddles with her little iPod that houses her collection of audio books and the entire Dixie Chick library with her keycard held in her teeth. Her playlist is cued up, so finally she takes the keycard out of her teeth just in time to make the loud beeping sound that allows her to leave the lab. Completely unaware of Kev's planned assault against her - or even that this is his fifth attempt - she slips her card back into her pocket just in time to hear the beginning lyrics and as something is placed over her ears.

To Harry's credit, though she is startled, she does not shriek. Instead, she stands straight up and then jumps a little, pawing at the headphones until she realizes what they are and that they seem to be attached to someone. She swings around, attempting to dislodge whoever is attached to them and to see who the culprit is. Then, however, she listens to a few of the words and tilts her head slightly. "I…I think I like this song.." she says confusedly.

After a second longer, the lyrics are swept away as Kev whisks the headphones away and slings them around his neck, the tune faraway and muffled. "It's fun shit, that." More importantly — with his usual casualness, he asks, "Did I surprise ya, huh?" A lively hopeful glint exists in his eyes, right alongside the knowledge of Harry's startle — which he seems a little bit proud of, from the upward twitching corners of his mouth. "That means," he sets off matter-of-factly, a tone which he rarely gets to use due to rarely knowing (or being asked) the matters of facts, "it's time to get your senses in order. You got plans? Gym's free."

With a playful swat of her hand at Kev when he takes the headphones away from her ears, Harry rolls her eyes - in a good natured way. "You very well know you almost startled the pants off of me. Figuratively speaking, of course. My pants can handle more startlement than a gravely voiced singer telling me I'm a rascal." Did Kev really need to know that? Who knows, but Harry will at least let him know.

"I was going to listen to a Stephen Hawking book in the car and then work on my model on fifth dimensional space to blow off some steam. Easy enough to change that those plans." Hoisting her bag on her shoulder, she frowns and looks around. "I'm not sure I have any work out clothes on me, though." Looking down, she's wearing slacks and a button down shirt. Normally, she wears a skirt, so it may be lucky that today she decided to wear pants for one reason or another.

Kev loses Harry somewhere around the suggestion of how much her pants can take, mostly due to the words Stephen Hawking and model of fifth dimensional space turning into a blur of language in his head. However, he picks up some key parts, and tunes back in at the end with a carefree shrug of shoulders made heavy by muscle. "You have a funny way of blowin' off steam, girl," he can say with confidence — a confused, confused confidence, squinting his perplexed eyes at Harry until they're small. "And no sweat," he replies, recovering from his bewilderment. "I mean, literally, you're good, we ain't gonna be pumpin' any iron. C'mon," he commands — barely that, so casual, just a smile and a lazy bob of his head away from the lab area.

It's not like Harry has never been told that she sees or does things in a strange way before. And, as such, she takes Kev's statement in what she's sure he meant it as - just a comment. "I've been told. Sometimes I just have a lot of thoughts up in my head and the only way I can get to sleep is to just distract them with something else. I tend to dream in equations and models." She, of course, just assumes that Kev understands what she's talking about and that he, too, has to do similar things in order to sleep at night. One of Harry's best and infuriating qualities is thinking that everyone is as smart as she is. She never talks down to anyone because of it, but she also has a tendency to skip over the simpler things because she assumes they're already known.

Smoothing some of her curly fly-aways on her head, she follows after Kev and continues talking - as per usual. "Well, I didn't assume so. But, I figure this would involve some sort of tucking and rolling or something. Possibly breaking boards with heads or something. Granted, I don't normally go to the gym or anything. I took a fencing class when I was in middle school, but then I messed with the point meter so that any time you would swish it it would give you a point and I got kicked out. I was only attempting to make it more accurate! It was an early experiment."

As Kev's slow lumber takes them toward the training area, a perpetual smile hangs out on his face, quirky at the at the corners nearly under his mustache — confused again, but at least he's amused by it. By Harry, and her equations and fencing experiments. The mere mention of fencing, strange and sophisticated sport that it is, prompts his eyebrows up. "See, I don't get fencing. I mean I get the, you know, the coordination and stabbin' at people and shit, but it just seems weird unless you're a knight." He winces a little, reaching up to scratch the side of his head, realizing to some extent that his opinion of the sport might be dumb next to someone who rigged whatever a point meter is. He spins himself around somewhat hurriedly at the entrance of the "gym", gesturing in. "No heads and boards," he assures, smiling. "Nah, see, I have a big thick skull," and bouts of super-strength, "We wouldn't wanna break yours, it's too important."

The gym is barely that; an area set aside with a ragtag — but growing, and well-kept! — collection of equipment, it's all the police department allotted them. Kev strolls backwards. "Uhh," he glances this way and that, trying to organize his plans. "Alright, I want you to come stand in the middle here."

"Honestly, I didn't either. But, they had advanced equipment that I wanted to get my hands on. I basically used the whole year to fiddle with the meters. Then, I got kicked out and didn't get involved with any other sort of sports." Harry continues to rattle on as they wander down the hallways to the gym. "From what I understand, the knight version of using swords is very different. It was all hack and bash. Fencing is modeled after if you weren't wearing a suit of armor to protect you. As if the point of a sword would go right through your clothing to kill you. Civilized, I guess." If killing people with swords could be considered civilized. "I have a pretty thick head, I think. It could survive a board or two." However, at the prompting, Harry drops her bags by the corner near the door and then moves to the middle where indicated. Alert, now, she waits for more instructions from Kev.

Backing away to give Harry space, making her the focal point of the area, Kev swipes one palm over the other and vice-versa several times, preparatory. While his easygoing nature doesn't fade, his face does harden a smidge, becoming more serious and looking more the part: partly in charge of training the troops, physical aptitude is the combat specialist's zone. "'Kay." He roams to Harry's left, rummaging in a mesh bag of sporting equipment. "First things first." With a light underhand toss, he sends a typical, neon tennis ball her way.

Not exactly the most coordinated, Harry attempts to catch the tennis ball, but it sort of popcorns from one hand to the other until to drops with an echo-ey sound on the floor. With a sheepish grin, she bends over and scoops it up on one of it's high bounces. She realizes that Kev's normally easy going face has now turned into something more serious and thoughtful. Respectful of that, she schools her expression into a serious one as well. "Sorry. I'm not really good at catching things." Case in point, she's holding the tennis ball tentatively in two hands as if it were an egg about to break. "What should I do with it?"

Although he's flicked a serious switch on, he's easy to smile at Harry's fumble — though none of the expression is mocking, or even amused at her lack of coordination, just at her. It's warm and unbothered. "I want you to hang on to that," he says, pointing at the ball. "Get a feel for it. It won't bite. You gotta know the weight of it. In a minute, you're gonna throw it." His shoulders idly roll — stiff under his easy posture — as he wanders in front of Harry, but at a distance of several feet. "So, we gotta get you usin' all your senses, right? That's what this is about. Being aware of your surroundings at all times. So uh, when you're ready, close your eyes. I could use a blindfold, but uh, we don't need to go there."

Though she knows that Kev's smile isn't mocking, Harry can't help but blush at it. She's not exactly used to being slow on the uptake. She was always first in her class and a quick study. This, unfortunately, isn't something she can go home and read about all night - though she most likely will be taking what Kev is teaching her and practicing it as often as possible in order to make sure she has it completely memorized for the next time they practice together. Taking Kev's advice, she stops holding it like and egg and just clutches it in one hand. Then, as instructed, she closes her eyes, ready to throw it when she wants to. With a quirk of a smile, she nods. "Ready. I quite agree about the blind folds. No need to go there just yet."

"Just don't peek. Try focus on the stuff you hear. Think about where it's comin' from. How close, how far." The training area isn't exactly cut off from the rest of the building; muffled chatter still drifts in from elsewhere, interspersed with the shuffle of distant footsteps and a ringing phone at someone's desk. Music still emanates quietly from Kev's headphones, now amped up to something faster, with a succinct rhythm; rap, maybe. After several long moments — in which the man, himself, is quiet — he turns it down, increment by increment, until one noise is removed from Harry's hearing and the others become clearer. Stepping purposefully with his regulation boots, he makes a wide half-circle closer to Harry's left, still at a distance. Once he's settled in spot, he says, "Toss it at me."

This is quite a good exercise in attempting to get Harry to be more aware of her surroundings. As her mind tends to get overcrowded and her desire to listen in on every conversation and music cue, she forgets about where that places everything. With her eyes closed, that desire gets stronger. She's straining her ears to hear the gossip behind the door to the gym as well as the lyrics to the rap song that Kev is playing when it slowly shuts itself down. From there, she hears the clomp of his boots on the floor and his instructions. Once he's stopped running, she frowns and tosses the ball in what she thinks is his general direction. It's not actually too far away, but it's not completely on target by any means. Turning her head that way without opening her eyes, she asks, "How'd I do?"

"Uh, not bad," he answers with a chuckle to his voice as he bends down to catch the ball as it rolls slightly further off Harry's intended track. "You were close." He ambles toward Harry and brushes the ball's greenish fuzz against her hand so she can grab it. "Try again, yeah?" As he moves back to his spot, his voice gets progressively further away along with his footsteps. "Listen to where I am." And he stops.

Without opening her eyes, Harry grabs onto the tennis ball with a bit of a blind woman's grasp. However, she is getting the hang of it. "Close involves something about horse shoes and hand grenades." This time, she takes a deep breath and then breathes out - something she's read about snipers doing to make a perfect shot. As he moves away from her, she waits until he stops and then tosses the tennis ball again. It's certainly more on target this time.

It's certainly on target enough for him to reach out and snatch it out of the air with a satisfactory thwack of his palm, even with the throw being low velocity. "Yeah! Good!" He doesn't give it back this time — he strolls around slowly, circling Harry widely, then branching off into a corner of the room behind her, where he instructs her to do it again, until she gets it closer than horseshoes and hand grenades. He keeps moving about the room, pausing in different locations, at different distances, and getting Harry to toss the ball at him in every one. Sometimes his footsteps are stealthier.

"Bein' aware of your surroundings is a good thing in any dangerous situation but you know, all things considered, you could come up against an invisible dude some day," he says with the results of the most recent throw in his hand. He holds the ball up, twirling it around in his fingers even though he's the only one who can currently see it. "Or an invisi-chick, I guess, too. Anyway, I'ma say you've graduated from balls today. But keep those eyes closed." His feet approach. He's standing in front of Harry. "Next step is movin' on to movin' targets. Keeping your wits about you when you can't see and exercising your senses. It's a whole mind-body senses integration jigga-thing that I'm sure you know about more than me because of neutrinos in the brain or whatever." With a shuffle of feet, his stance solidifies. "Now, hit me."

Harry is attempting to just focus and listen to where Kev is as opposed to everything else that is going on around them and for the most part, she succeeds. In fact, she starts to get better at it as she goes along. While she's not exactly a sniper just yet, she certainly has more awareness of where she is throwing things and where Kev is approximately in the room at any given point. She smiles proudly when Kev says she's done well.

But, then she's told that she should hit Kev and she's not sure if she's really up for that. "Oh, I know I won't hurt you or anything since you're Kev and all, but I don't exactly want to hit you or anything. I could miss and take out your eye or something." However, she does realize that this is an exercise and that she did say she wanted this help. And, so, she half-heartedly reaches out a hand in Kev's general direction to more touch him as opposed to hit him. In any event, she most likely misses.

"Even horseshoes need some force behind 'em," he says as her harmless hand drifts just beyond him. "Hey," he starts to say with an easygoing, helpful tone, "wait one sec." His presence becomes noisier with rustling about, digging around; he finds his sunglasses and shoves them on. "There. I'm wearing safety goggles. Have at it. Like this," Kev says, swinging an arm toward Harry. His arm is heavy, but made inert; he just bumps her shoulder, "except," he instructs, preparing to repeat the move, "try to block me."

"But not grenades?" Harry grins. Once Kev has properly applied his safety gear, she feels more confident in swinging wildly about in an attempt to hit him. Of course she wouldn't attempt to put as much force to hurt him as just to actually grab or touch him in his circuits around her. Instead, she focuses on defense now - much more her strong suit. "Okay. Blocking." Her eyes squeeze tighter shut as she attempts to concentrate on where Kev is and where she might be able to block him. His movements around her are not incredibly hard to track, however, how is she supposed to block an arm when she can't hear that coming? In the meantime, she attempts to just windmill her arms in Kev's direction to stop whatever her may have coming at her. It's not exactly the most practical of solutions.

It's successful enough in that Kev's arms are repeatedly smacked by the haphazard flail. He lets it go on for awhile — she's trying! — but soon starts to break into a slow laugh. "Okay, chill, chill." Two of the hands she's supposed to be blocking come down firmly on Harry's shoulders and stay there as a calm countermeasure to her windmilling. "This part, it's not about combat. I mean, it is, but the point is to focus it up, you know, really feel it out, yeah? Like, I'm not makin' much noise, but the air is, you know? When I cut through it." He may not be the most articulate teacher, but he cuts to the point as he sees it. "So you listen to that, and you feel where I am, and you think, how is this dude gonna come at me in a way that makes sense, then you come back at me. Try this." He moves just one hand off and stretches his arm far; far to Harry's left, he snaps his fingers, then brings his 'attacking' arm back toward hers.

It's not, of course, the most dignified of defenses, but it is a defense! At least she's doing something. And that's the main point to her. She has, though, let out of sight the reason for this entire exercise, which is to hear and pay attention to things she normally wouldn't. And, so, when Kev puts his hands on her shoulders, she lets her arms drop and takes a deep breath. "It just! I panicked a bit. I don't really liked he dark so much any more." Not since the asylum. Not since the attack. She somehow made it out with a properly applied tray and a help of a strange Scottish woman, but she can't keep relying on that any more. So, she really focuses this time and attempts to take everything Kev has been attempting to teach her to heart. When he snaps and brings his arm back, she slowly reaches out to grab it. She can do this! She can!

"Yeahhh!" A laugh rumbles Kev's shout of victory — for Harry, as her hand clasps his arm. Of course, he could have avoided it, but that's not the point of this exercise. She tried and she did it and his proud smile for even this one basic task beams in his voice. "Good job. Now, keep paying attention. 'N just, uh, lemme know when you wanna break." From the dark. He drops that arm and lifts the other, pressure disappearing from Harry's shoulder. This time, when he snaps his fingers, it's to her right and much higher up before he starts to bring his arm down, as if he's going for her head.

Harry isn't exactly trained for martial arts or for much defensive movement, but she is quite proud of herself when she at least grasps at Kev's hand when he does the useful thing of snapping before he makes his attempt. She'll get this without him doing that one day, but for now she's grateful that he's not making her feel silly for doing that. "I will, don't worry. Soon, but not yet." When he snaps and reaches for her head, she also makes the adjustment. When he makes his presence known, she doesn't flail about wildly and is able to at least make an attempt at the proper place at the proper time.

Again, he uses the same method coming from several different places, until it's time to change tracks again. "You're doin' good . Now uh, time to change it up. Get your feet movin'. I'ma be over here— " He's on the move: disappearing from in front of Harry, he strolls around behind her, a few feet away. "Work on some of that, uh— coordination." Or sometimes lack of. "Come at me." He waits, ready to block her.

C-come at him? Is he serious? That is not exactly something the Harry would be good at. In fact, this is exactly something she is going to stupendously fail at. She knows where his voice was last and using that as a quite, she flails somewhat in that direction. It's not exactly he most coordinated of gestures.

"It's alright," Kev says, his voice giving away his position. "You just gotta find me." His coaxing is a bit like encouraging a child to walk for the first time, but he means nothing but well. "Pretend you're a ninja." Sound advice here from the combat specialist. "And remember to breathe." He side-steps with a rustle, changing location slightly.

A ninja. Harry is very much not like a ninja. In fact, where she actually to somehow be transported into the boy of a ninja, she would immediately implode with the desire to talk about everything she found around her. It's quite exactly why she can have problems with figuring out where everyone is and how they are in relation to her - her mind is preoccupied with other things." She takes a deep breath when instructed and keeps moving, attempting to follow Kev's voice, but of course, she's always a little bit behind him because he keeps moving after he speaks.

Though she can't see it, Kev's expression twitches a few times, his mouth twisting, as if he wants to give Harry advice, but doing so would give his position away. He lends her some assistance anyway, after a few moments; he snaps his fingers. He's on the move when he does, and he keeps shifting position after the fact, trailing away from Harry's attempts — but again, snap, a quick but resounding call to attention, and another, little auditory breadcrumbs for her to follow. The last is closer than the others — he's closer, attempting to skirt around her. The only sounds left in the wake of the snap is a faint rustle of clothes; under that, contained breathing.

The breadcrumbs are infuriating, but helpful. Finally, Harry remembers that she is a smart woman and that she can use her brain to make her body move in the way she desires. Putting everything together with the snaps, she starts to discern a pattern and from that, where he might actually start to snap next. Then, she halves it and finally, with a desperate grabs makes for Kev's position. It helps that he's closer to her than before, but she does also use her own thoughts in order to make sure she grabs him.

He keeps moving when he sees her incoming grab, but he's keeping it slow as molasses, giving her a chance; sure enough, he watches her narrow in on him. His arm springs under her grab with a lively flex. "Y'caught me!" he declares, as if caught red-handed and off-guard (but not particularly concerned about it). His other arm lifts and he gives Harry a congenial pat or three on the shoulder. "How 'bout you open your eyes. Feels like breaktime to me — you've got a good, uh," his caught arm frees as he scratches into his dark mess of hair, bobbing his black-lensed sunglasses, "primer."

Opening her eyes, Harry feels slightly triumphant at having caught Kev after so many tries. She, of course, knows that he was slowing himself down for her benefit, at least she managed to do something with that advantage. Grinning, she reaches forward to give Kev a hug. "Thanks so much for helping me out with this. I know it's only been a short while, but I'm learning things! And while I know I'm still terrible, the learning is what I know is important. So, thank you."

Kev breaks into a smile that flashes teeth under his whiskery swathe of facial hair and squints his eyes behind his shades. In it's sincerity, it's goofy. He's legitimately caught slightly off-guard by the hug, though, and just spreads his arms out at his sides for a second as if they've become leaden objects he doesn't know how to control. "Anytime," he says, coming to life to give Harry a quick squeeze and a solid, friendly pat on the back as he'd give any of his teammates, though less spine-crushing, as the investigator isn't wearing a bulletproof vest or extra pounds of muscle.

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