there's morning light that slants across the wall, catching on cracks and juts of concrete.
this is our purpose - in a building of black and grey and white, to see the advantages, the opponent, the opportunities, and to use them. to train for ten years and die in one. but some people are stuck with the kind of heartbeat that gets them nowhere - to live is to survive and to survive is to live.
but distractions are baiting. and i think i might be weak-willed.
there's no crowd this time, no sense of strange glory. just a handful of trainees and their bruised egos. i see serpentino reznik from across the room, walk a little closer, trace a pattern into the wall, and wonder what his distraction is.
i doubt he'll enlighten me.
my gaze catches on his hand, "sorry" on his face "about the fingers."
“You lost one finger, the other one’s a bit cracked, but we can fix everything up for you if you’d like.”
I didn’t lose the finger, in fact all ten lay deep in my pockets as the doctor, medic or whatever, sews with her needle and wraps my arms up where the cuts aren’t too deep. Cordelia, overall, was less of an ordeal than the Hammerfell, but she still brought me a pain that sunk deep like a ball and chain from head to toe.
I see her, after she’s done getting tended to like me, advance on my left. I never did get to shake her hand, but given the bloodstream coming from the finger she stole away, I saw it as a little bit awkward. Maybe now, as the spectators have left and only a few energetic voices remain, it may be a little appropriate. She was a good fight, and I had to give credit where credit was due.
She is closer now, apologizing to me about the fingers she damaged. I shake my head and smile, “Only one is a goner, the other might have to take a vacation or something.”
I extend one hand toward her, the one that isn’t as head-turning, offering a handshake of respect. “Good match, though, Cordelia. I’d rather be in pain about losing a finger than cry about a paper cut.”
I found myself being kind for a change, probably out of respect for fight she put up. Maybe chivalry wasn't dead in me after all.