Hell in a Cell

The Cage 
#1
The directions had been both vague and very specific. Some stranger danger alarms were going off, but the injury (broken ribs!) was serious and the pay pretty good. She mumbled her way past some frowning bouncer types, and immediately, she realized she was out of her element.

The ceiling hung lower with a layer of cigarette smoke that brought a haze to the whole thing. Glasses clanked, and a crowd cheered, and someone was dry heaving?! It took a moment of wiggling through clusters of people to see it, and her jaw dropped open as it came into view.

Two people were punching each other harder than Ashley had ever seen anyone get punched in real life. In the bright lights in the ring, she could see splashes of spray and spit and blood(!) with each strike. It frightened her, honestly, but she couldn't look away, and one hand moved to cover her mouth as if that might hide her shock.

She'd never seen anything like this, and she couldn't believe it was even legal. The sound and sight and smell of it all was distracting enough that she missed a not unfamiliar last minute flaking out text hitting her phone: "nvm no offense just not really buying the phsychic thing"

Oblivious, she turned away from the ring for a moment to see if she could pick out her customer with the broken ribs, and instead she immediately bumped into someone with a squeak.
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#2
Wearing basic workout clothes

Picking on someone your own size doesn't actually work if the other guy's a trained fighter.

Relying on strength alone, Locke bluffed his way through the first round, but after the first few wild punches, his opponent had sniffed out Locke's exact fighting prowess. Enough to say, Locke had taken a couple nasty right hooks to the face and had finished the beat down by being thrown into the barrier wall.

Sporting a sluggishly healing black eye and a dripping gash on his forehead, Locke was back up and walking, albeit with wobble in his step. That didn't deter the smile on his face. He'd felt alive in the cage and getting his ass handed to him was the best motivator. He'd be brushing up on those skills moving forward.

Problem with having a swollen eye, your depth perception goes out the window. On his way to the lockers Locke collided with a solid figure, one he didn't even see in the first place. It squeaked on impact. A mouse? Blinking hurt his swollen eye, but finally they adjusted enough to see a girl standing there. "Oh hey. Sorry." He said, a hand reached out to steady her, or possibly him from the weird swaying going on, but his hand only broke through air. Odd too, there was something wet rolling over his black eye. What? Locke forgot the girl in front of him in favor of swiping a few fingers over his brow. Some tacky blood came away. He frowned. Oh right. Head gash.
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#3
He was tall enough that she had to tilt her head up to look him in the face, but when she did, oh gosh.

Ashley had seen plenty of gore before. It wasn't as if these injuries were especially beyond her. But she just wasn't expecting to see someone walking around like that, in public, without a whole bunch of people rushing to help.

She brought a hand to her mouth immediately, her brain short circuiting a little. People just came in here. And did this on purpose. And then went back to their lives?! Like real life Fight Club? How did you go to work so beat up!

"No it was- it was my mistake! Are you-"

Maybe he was the only one. She plucked out her phone but spoke in the meantime.

"Are you Gerald with the broken ribs?"
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#4
His good eye squinted at her, matching the slitted appearance of his other eye. She said a couple words he didn't understand. The whole bumping into him was his bad, so why apologize? Didn't he already do so? This critical thinking was making his head hurt.

He didn't know any Jerry. Then again, he didn't even know the name of his opponent, nor would he remember it now. "Nooo...I'm Locke. With the broken head." He pointed to it, but his aim was off and he ended up actually pointed closer to the ceiling. That's okay. He was still dizzy. "Who are you?"
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#5
A glance down to her phone revealed a dreaded and not unfamiliar text: someone flaking out on her after she'd come all the way here.

Her stomach clenched up, some righteous little Ashley anger, but she did her best to push it away. She could forgive someone for not trusting a stranger. She just wished they'd let her know sooner than their scheduled meeting time.

And now in front of her was... wait, what was his name? Lock? Oh gosh. She'd definitely misheard.

But she did hear one thing, and she could see it, too. Probably Not Lock had a head injury, and Ashley was going to fix it.

"I'm here to heal someone, but they flaked out on me, so I'm going to heal you instead," she said with a small but fierce certainty.

"Let's go find you a seat, okay?"
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#6
Huuuh? That was a lot of words, none of them being a name.

Was she some kind of doctor? A med-student? Maybe. She looked frighteningly young, and frighteningly out of place here.

Her determination to heal him was... the nicest thing anyone had said to him in forever. Locke wanted to sniffle a little. Wait. No he didn't. Shut up. He must really be touched in the head. Only manly tears here.

And wow, he his head ached, enough that his bear wasn't even talking to him right now. However, if the big guy was around, he didn't seem to have a problem with medical girl, so Locke didn't see any harm in letting her try to help. She probably had a box of bandaids or something.

Locke snorted. Okay. Sure, she could heal him. "Okay. Let's get to da healing."
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#7
Okay. Time to do this. Ashley frowned a little, looking for a place that wasn't at a bar, which was not an appropriate place for healing!

Eventually she spotted some empty chairs at the very back of the viewing area, which was useless anyway because everyone up front and standing was kind of blocking the view?! (This might have been a short Ashley problem.)

So she put a very gentle hand to Lock(?!)'s back to lead him there, if he would let her, and guide him toward one of the chairs.

"This is going to be really simple but maybe a little startling," she said, slinging her bag into the empty seat beside him. "I'm going to dampen my hands a little, and very gently touch them to your wounds. It might itch a little, but nothing should hurt. Okay?"

Her hands moved to her hips, feeling maybe a little pushier than was typical.
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#8
He collapsed ungracefully into the chair, and ah man, his tailbone was also a bit bruised. Locke grimaced at his dumb body. Healing had likely already set in, but he'd never sustained so many injuries at once, so it was taking its sweet time.

Now, he'd been expecting some alternative medicine stuff from the girl, like a perfume bottle of essential oils or a handful of crystals she was suppose to dangle above his head, heart, or whatever body part had the most 'disturbed energy'. Whipping out the "healing touch" ploy was a bold choice. "Sounds fake, but proceed" Locke's headache had dulled enough for him to at least consider faking shock and awe, but honestly his face still hurt so any touch could be the a literal definition of bad touch.

Not much to loose though, as long as she kept her fingers away from his eyeball.
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#9
It sounded fake. It did. Ashley couldn't argue about that. But she wouldn't give it a response as she fell into quick, dutiful work. Water, dripped slightly on hands, carefully over the towel that would eventually assist with her bloody nose.

"Looks like they got your face pretty good," she said, then reached a very careful hand near the cut above his left eye. "Does anything else hurt not on your head?"

If he swatted her away, she would stop immediately. But if he allowed the very gentle touch at the skin some millimeter above the wound, the healing would begin instantaneously.

Though, if she could see a little better in the dimly lit bar, she might have noticed it had started well before her magical efforts.
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#10
He would let her touch him, out of a sense of curiosity. Bracing for an inexperienced jab, Locke was pleasantly surprised that she did not apply unnecessary pressure to his ouchies.

Was anything else damaged she asked. His mouth felt cottony, which he was lucid enough to realize telling her that would sound like the worst come-on. "Hurts when I breathe." He settled on, also true. And then he demonstrated by taking a breath to immediately regret the action as his chest lit up in pain.
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#11
Ashley had come out here to heal a guy with broken ribs, and while this wasn't the guy she'd had in mind, she supposed he fit the bill. (Except for the part about the actual bill. She probably wouldn't get paid for this. :( Ugh.)

"Okay," she said, and she was already holding her trust black hand towel to her face because... surprise, nose bleeding time! "We'll get to that next. My nose is going to bleed, but it's super normal. Like a side effect."

The skin beneath her fingers, meanwhile, was mending itself, closing and scabbing with steady, if seemingly faster than usual progress. Maybe she was getting better at this?
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#12
The fog was clearing from Locke's head and he could open the puffy eye a little more now. This reminded him of the dentist where they stand over you while poking at your face, except this would be like they were standing in front...which would actually be really awkward. Okay, moving on.

In all honesty, Locke didn't know if any of the girl's touching technique was working, his magic bear genes doing a lot of work themselves. But he could admit that the gentle tingling sensation on his face was pretty nice, hypnotizing even...

Her voice broke him out of any day dreaming about to begin. "Huh? Your nose?" His eyes immediately darted to the place in question. How was that a symptom? Wasn't he the injured party? And if she was serious, Locke had no desire to get a front row view, so he averted his eyes to somewhere else. " YO. What's up with your eyes?" Those things were red man, shouldn't she be more concerned about that??
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#13
Oh, gosh. Her eyes.

"It's just something that happens when people like me use powers!" she said, nasally through the towel that kept her nose from bleeding on him. And her. Everywhere, really!

"How's your head feeling?"

It was sort of a cheating distraction, but the red of her eyes made her a liiiittle insecure.
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#14
Oh whooooa, that the one cute girl that Locke totally freaked out on. Must of scared her off since she never texted again... :(

"Oh that's rad." Locke drawled happily. He wanted red eyes. Those would look so badass in the dark.

And since she was magic, that meant she was actually healing "Head feels good." It was nice and tingling and numb. "You're great at this."
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#15
She huffed to that, possibly shooting a blood bubble out of her nose. Good thing she had a towel covering it!

"Thank you," Ashley said, and as she pulled her hand away, he would be left with the most delicate scab, likely to fall off if he touched it.

Or removed clothing. Like!

"Okay, for me to get your ribs, you'll have to pull your shirt up or take it off."

This said as naturally as anything. It was a request she was used to making.
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#16
They were done with the head? Cool.

Locke had some trouble understanding her through the towel, mostly because one of his ears hadn't finished ringing yet.

"Shirt. Shirt, right." She needed to get to his ribs and touch magic doesn't work without something to touch. He was still tingly and moving his arms above his head didn't feel like a good idea, might hurt his ribs more...

Oh duh, bear strength. Locke rolled his eyes at himself and took a hand to his shirt collar. He pulled down swiftly, hearing a clear rip all the way through. "There you go." The shirt flaps opened to reveal his chest and, Locke thought to himself, his chiseled abs. He thankfully refrained from doing an eyebrow wiggle.
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#17
Ash saw his hands move toward his collar, realizing belatedly he might need some help with it. With his permission, she could always tug the shirt up for hE WAS TEARING IT IN HALF!

She squeaked, dropping the towel and clasping a hand to her face as fabric ripped.

Was that really a thing people did?! And so easily?! Her whole brain stopped functioning for a moment before she managed to sputter out words again, kind of blushing!

"Um! Okay! I'm going to- okay!"

Wet her hands over the towel with Great Value water like he hadn't just torn his shirt in half!!
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