“But you wouldn't have time to initiate the defense, because the–”

“Bullshit,” Nika countered. “I would have time to initiate the Fen Defense even if you–”

You might have time to do it,” Cole interrupted, ignoring the way it made Nika twitch, “but even that's only in a theoretical match and not–”

“Bollocks.” Nika said, scowling at Cole across the grass, trading interrupt for interrupt. Though he didn't even move from his half-sprawling seat on the grass, they could all see the tension in his muscles.

“Bollocks,” Cole scoffed, standing and throwing down the pine cone he'd been fiddling with. “Fine.”

Nika stood right after him. “Fine.”

They both turned and headed towards the mat the cadets had dutifully dug out, even though none of them wanted anything to do with it on so fine a day – nobody except Nika and Cole with their grudge-matches. Faer, leaning back and staring at the sky on his elbows, didn't even watch them go. Aspen, sitting cross-legged and picking at the grass, hadn't been listening for the past ten minutes of argument.

Aspen did turn to watch them walk off, catching the bits of argument as they hit the mat. With a jerk of his thumb, Nika sent the exiled Kir back to the group; he'd been left out doing forms so it looked as if they weren't all day-dreaming their practice away. Kir trotted up and flopped himself dramatically onto the shady ground as if returning from a day-long march.

“By the otter's steaming shaft, am I glad they got into a fight. You were going to leave me out there forever.”

“They always get in a fight,” Aspen said, picking at the grass again disdainfully.

Kir grudgingly admitted this was true with a shrug.

“At most that was, like, ten minutes,” said Faer, voice sounding stretched by the odd position of his neck.

“It could've been longer.” Kir scowled. “It could've been the dawn of new era of peace, where Galen and Cole went fifteen minutes without a fight.”

“You're such a wimp, Kir,” Aspen said, as if the sadly perennial thought had just occurred to him for the first time.

“Whatever,” Kir grunted. “You two have no idea. You just pretend stoicism to look good in front of them.” He twitched his head towards Nika and Cole, who were now locked in combat. “What were they arguing about, anyway?”

“Whether or not the Fen Defense is any good,” Faer mumbled.

“Fen Defense?” Kir asked.

“You know– 'them' stuff,” said Aspen.

“Well, good,” sighed Kir. “I didn't want to learn anything today anyway.”

Faer grunted in sympathy.

Aspen sighed.

Kir, after a moment's boredom, asked, “What's wrong with the Fen Defense?”

“Too slow,” said Faer, at the same time Aspen said, “Too weak.”

Aspen shrugged doubtfully. “Well, more like... well, if you have the Fen Defense, and say, like... uh... a wrist lock – like, say, your opponent tries a wrist-lock, will there be enough time once combat has closed to effectively initiate any part of the Fen Defense and avoid the lock... or maybe it was like... so, the opponent's Fen Defense...”

“That wasn't it,” Faer said. “Just watch them if you're that curious.”

Kir looked back at the fight. “I don't even know what they're doing now, never mind applying defenses.”

“But,” said Aspen, taking a breath and gamely trying to make the afternoon actually useful, “even just talking theory, you can see whether or not the Fen defense has use, given its complexity...”

“I can't even do the Fen defense,” said Faer.

“Balls,” said Kir, “I can't initiate shit to begin with. All I'm thinking about during a fight is how not to get creamed.”

“Does make it pretty bloody useless,” Aspen conceded. He couldn't do the Fen Defense, either.

“Alright,” said Kir, “So, for the sake of when this comes up in exercises, who was winning?”

All three heads lifted and turned to the fight. At the moment, it looked as if Cole was going to throw Nika over his back, but Nika was somehow preventing the move – it looked as it the sheer weight of his scowling disapproval had somehow rendered the flip unviable. They could hear the grunts of effort on both their parts. They turned back to each other.

“I dunno,” said Aspen. “I thought Cole had a pretty good argument.”

“Nah,” said Faer, seeming a little surprised at his own disagreement. “I thought Galen had it.”

“Cole wasn't joking when he said it wasn't a strong enough defense in the first place. It isn't, against him,” Aspen ventured.

“Well, yeah.” Faer shrugged. “But Galen's as fast as he says.”

They all turned back to the fight, squinting in the sunlight. Cole was pummeling Nika on the ground, but Nika soon swept his feet out from under him, bringing him to the ground, where they proceeded to roll inconclusively, throwing occasional punches.

Faer and Aspen turned back, but Kir's gaze lingered. After an unusually long silence he said, “So they have sex.”

Aspen and Faer looked at each other, then both looked at Kir. Unconsciously, both of their gazes slid to watching Nika put Cole into some kind of painful joint-lock only to by foiled by abruptly hitting the ground with his face, courtesy of Cole's leg.

“Uh...yeah, Kir.” Aspen chuckled. “Last I checked.”

“It's been known to happen.” Faer held down his laugh.

“From time to time–” Aspen stuffed a knuckle in his mouth.




Faer and Aspen burst with laughter.

“All right, all right,” said Kir, defensively. He went on when they finally quieted. “I'm just sayin'.”

Nika was now pinned, face to the ground, but it wasn't going to last long; they could see the grip he had on Cole's leg, which only spoke of bad things for Cole's temporary dominance.

“No, you're not,” said Faer, when they'd watched the fight in conspicuous silence. “You are, in fact, not saying anything.”

“Well,” replid Kir, “I'm just sayin'.”

Aspen and Faer exchanged glanced, which Aspen followed up with a threatening clearing of his throat.

“Well, no, you know...” Kir shrugged. “So, they have sex, right? And, I mean, I'm not into that sort of thing– I don't know how it works when you're both... with two... Aspen, reinforcements please?”

Aspen could only shrug curiously. He knew how it worked.

“Well,” said Kir, utterly failing to realize the innocence he'd just revealed. “One's got to be on top, right?”

All three turned again towards the match. There was no telling who was winning at the moment, but neither Nika or Cole gave any sign of giving up, elbows and knees and feet jutting out oddly as one or the other struck. Back at the shade, heads inclined slightly.

“Not necessarily,” Faer said, defensively. “You can do it on your side. Or standing”

“Well, but you're not going to do it like that all the time,” Kir scoffed. “You're going to fuck with one on top at some point.”

Aspen frowned. “... Yeah, I guess.”

Faer looked affronted. “Maybe not...” but even he gave up. Nobody fucked one way, all the time.

“Sooooo...” Kir said. “Who's on top?”

“Maybe they switch?” Aspen ventured.

“They can't agree on what to have for lunch,” Kir scoffed. “They arrange matches on their days off. They can't get through class without fighting to see who's stronger, or more right, or better at something. How can they arrange who does the fucking?”

“That doesn't have anything to do with being on top,” Faer said.

“I concur,” said Aspen.

“I, too, have known some ladies in my time...” Kir said, but the other two gave him such doubtful looks that he scowled and changed tack. “Fine, assholes. But my point stands. At SOME point, SOMEtimes, either Galen or Cole winks a brown eye at the moon, voluntarily.”

They watched blood hit the mat as Cole got in a good hit on Nika, splitting his lip, but neither fighter paused – for Cole's part, because he couldn't afford to. Nika rebounded from the punch by picking Cole up and flinging him nearly off of the mat.

“Maybe not voluntarily...” Aspen said, wincing.

“Voluntarily,” Faer asserted, though he was starting to see the puzzle as well as Kir did.

“So which is it?” Kir asked.

“Well,” said Aspen, still looking unhappy with the idea. “Cole will pretty much have sex with anything that moves. He'd probably do it.”

“Yeah, but,” Kir gestured to the ring, “he can't stand it when Galen gets his way.”

“Neither can Galen, with Cole getting his way,” said Faer. “But you've seen Galen defer in class, when they've had a fight over something. He's always apologizing to Cole.”

“So by apologizing he's saying 'Go ahead and fuck me?'” Aspen shook his head with disbelief. “No way. Cole's main strategy is the 'honey pot', especially when he's seducing someone. He let's 'em think 'how lucky am I that I get to rut with such a powerful guy'– and that means, at some point, he's kissed turf for Galen.”

“I don't think Galen would fall for that.” Kir shook his head gravely. “And Cole never does that for anyone he thinks is a threat. Almost all of his past lovers have either dropped out or been eliminated from the Lists, and I'm convinced he didn't bend for any of them.”

“Galen's way too much of a threat,” Faer agreed, though his words had a smack of pride to them. “If anyone's honey-potting, it's him.”

“Bravery's Balls, Faer!” Aspen chuckled. “Can you see Galen lying a bed, asking for a fucking? Can you even imagine Galen trying to act sweet and willing?”

Even if Faer had responded, it would've been hard to hear over the laughter.

Kir was laughing so hard, he had difficulty speaking. “Well, we don't have to imagine him willing, do we? Bloody battle – you can hear 'em halfway down the hallways goin' at it.”

“I thought the Librarian was going to pass out, he was so angry last week.” Aspen wiped tears of mirth from under his eyes. “Did you hear about that? The Library so echo-y he couldn't find them, and thing being what they are, by the time they'd done, they'd inspired a few others...”

Hearty laugh had, they both calmed long enough to watch the fight, except it wasn't much of a fight anymore. Fen Defense forgotten (or perhaps successfully employed), Galen and Cole lay in heap on the mat, apparently too beat to continue beyond halfhearted wrestling.

“I bet they have a system,” Kir said. “Galen's probably got it charted on the walls of their dorm.”

“Nah,” said Aspen. “I mean, Galen's smart, but Cole's not only go the experience, he's got the tricks. I bet he can get Galen wherever he wants in bed.”

“I don't know, friend,” Kir responded, shaking his head. “That just means that Cole probably knows exactly how he likes it; maybe he's just been waiting for the right person to really have it.”

“Eh,” Aspen shrugged, “Same for Galen, kind of, right? Maybe it just takes a worthy partner- somebody strong enough. Who else would even try to lay one of those two 'down in the green, green grass,' you know? 'T's Suicide. Craziness.”

“Not in the least because the other would kill you,” Kir agreed. “Speculating... it's like flipping a coin, really. That might be what they do.”

Both of them glanced towards the fight. “Nah,” they said in unison.

“Which do you think, Faer?” Kir turned, noticing they hadn't heard Faer's full theory yet.

Faer was staring off into the distance, mouth half-open, eyes fuzzy and blank, mind gone to some far off place, where it had been for some time, and from which it was reluctant to return. Kir had to slap his leg to get him to come around.

“Bollocks, Faer,” Kir sighed, exasperated, once he'd finally gotten Faer to stir. “I guess we were boring you. Did you have a nice dream?”

Faer nodded dazedly and checked his chin for drool, self-consciously bringing his knees up. “Uh... is the fight over?”

They turned to the fight.

“Oi!” Aspen shouted. “No fucking on the mat!”
Spice  by OllamhRemi
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Second Year, Part One  by OllamhRemi
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Artist's comment:
This is a stupid story, but that's what I feel like posting. Also an old one, which I'm not going through the trouble of re-writing.

Back in olden times there was a lot of discussion of who topped and bottomed and etc, so I decided to write it into one of the Kostas stories, because while the world is not one where gendered and heteronormative assumptions are predominant (or, at least, the same), there's DEFINITELY still a conversation relevant to that world about dominance and submission, and roles of power generally. And while that doesn't necessarily equate to sexual position or penetrative acts, in the world of the Academy, with its extreme devotion to ranks and hierarchy, it's certainly relevant to who has who in the pin, or at the wrong of the sword, so to speak.

Anywho, and it's dumb and it makes me laugh, so here it is.
Content details:
• Category – Literature
• Critique – Optional
• Filter – N/A
• Series – Original
• Theme – Friendship/Platonic
• Theme – Humour
• Theme – Rivalry
• Theme – Romance
• Time Taken – Who knows?
• Tools – Literary Work – Prose/Stories
Posted on 2021-05-01 @ 12:58 AM
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