"Dunno, if I'm being real. Right now I can barely light a smoke without nearly losing a fuckin' lung. If shit goes well we can throw hands, but I'll be honest girly, I need someone who can keep an eye on me if shit goes south."
Alex rolled his neck, not really having kept up with any working out in the past months. He was out of it, he knew that much, but none of this was even really about getting stronger. It wasn't about being the toughest guy on the block or any shit like that anymore. All that didn't mean anything to him now.
"I uh, I appreciate you comin' by, by the way. Know there's not really much reason for you to help some fuckin' rando deal with getting back into the swing of things. I can try n' pay you back some time. Shoot you a text when Nel finishes a batch of donuts, they're fuckin' killer when they're fresh."
He was stalling now, he knew that. Of course he was fucking stalling, why wouldn't he? Last time he pushed himself was in Russia with Radioactive, and look how that turned out for him. Stuck in the hospital for weeks and couldn't even finish what he'd gone there for.
Aha, all that frustration was really getting him worked up now. He could feel the Riot of the Blood boiling beneath the surface, but that didn't matter to him. Partially because he was just used to it by now, always keeping those violent impulses in check. But the other more pressing reason was just that it was small fuckin potatoes to the cancer that immediately began eating at him when the Riot started acting up.
"Alright... Like I said, if I start flipping a lid or whatever, just beat my ass til I stop, yeah? Hope you don't mind if we just shoot the shit in the meantime, though. Be nice to keep my mind off this if I can."
A small purple spark lit in Alex's palm, and even that faint bit of energy was enough to evoke a visible wince. He used to be way better than this. He could cut through a fucking cliffside without even trying, and what the fuck was this now? Did he just fucking give up? Decide he was a fucking family man now? Wasn't a family man supposed to be able to protect his fucking family?
His anger at himself only exacerbated the flame in his hand, and the hunger of the cancer eating at his soul, but that was fine with him for now. Gripping his hand into a fist around the violet ember, a far greater purple blaze erupted from his hand. The hollow energy in his soul fed on it all, and admittedly, it hurt enough to drive him down to one knee. But the flame did not die down.
"So, uh, what- fuck me... Tell me about yourself, Abalia says you're- fuck- says you're alright. Said you work for Hayden. Whatcha do for a living?"
It was inane small talk, and it wasn't really his forte at all. But it was also the only thing he could really think of to keep his focus away from just how much his everything hurt.