Sun high in the Nevada sky.
In the middle of a lonely road in the vast desert, Dya Rikku, Jin and Andyface look at what, at first glance, would appear to be a giant shed.
“Well? What do we do?” asks Rikku, shifting her gaze from Andy to Jin.
“Two go in, the third looks for cell phone reception?” proposes Andy.
“Got it. So, who comes in and who doesn’t?” asks Jin in a thunderous voice, performing a perfect Front Lat Spread.
Rikku and Andy observe the burly crusader. The helmet is visibly gleaming in the blazing sun.
“Okay… I think you and Rikku should go in together,” Andy proposes, nodding in agreement at his own words.
Rikku just bows her head to the side, intrigued.
“How come it’s just the two of us?”
“Well, Jin is… massive, while you have Titanium. You two are ready for anything.”
Andy smiles, despite Rikku’s unconvinced look.
“You’re only saying that because you want to stay in the car and do nothing.”
“OOPS!” exclaims Andy, barely raising his hands “You got me!”
A short laugh.
“All kidding aside. I think I’ll take a few steps around here to look for a signal in case you two don’t find anything. After all, the car’s broken down and not even the air conditioning works.”
“I still maintain that listening to Dirty Harry while traveling in the desert is bad luck,” Jin comments, accompanying the words with a mighty Front Double Biceps.
With an incredible shift of air, Jin rests a hand on Rikku’s shoulder.
“Fear not, my dear. We will tackle this little feat together as Andy stated, with muscle and Titanium!”
The determined voice reassures Rikku.
“All right. Let’s make sure we meet back here in an hour at the most, OK?”
Rikku and Jin advance towards the bizarre construction.
The glass covering it is tinted, looking inside is impossible.
“There’s a door here!” exclaims Rikku.
The two of them cross the threshold with bated breath.
Strong lighting, mirrors around the support pillars and load-bearing walls, Bass Boosted EDM and an endless expanse of treadmills, exercise bikes, weights of all sizes and dumbbells.
“But… this…” stammers Rikku, in wonder.
“IT’S A GYM!” thunders Jin, performing a Side Chest so powerful it makes the floor vibrate.
Rikku quickly advances through the equipment, with the same look a child in a candy store would have.
“What’s a gym doing in the middle of the desert?”
“This is a sign! We were meant to find this place, we who know how to appreciate cast iron!”
Jin softly strokes a 110lb bench press disc.
“What do you say? Let’s do a couple of reps?”
Rikku claps her hands in excitement.
“Wait…what about Andy?”
“We have an appointment in an hour, right? A couple of pull-ups and some squats, what do you say?”
Rikku observes Jin, intent on performing a noteworthy Rear Lat Spread.
When such a defined and powerful physique proposes you training, refusing is impossible.
“Alright,” says Rikku, barely bowing her head.
Jin grabs a dumbbell and hands it to the girl.
“Let’s start with these.”
“Wait” says Rikku taking the dumbbell from Jin’s hands, “Let’s warm up first”.
The girl rests a hand on Jin’s chest.
“Otherwise, you risk tearing your muscles…”
Jin looks Rikku in the eyes, surprised at that thoughtfulness.
“You’re right. The excitement made me forget the basics.”
Jin passes a hand around Rikku’s shoulders.
“How about a Leg Day? You can never work enough on your legs.”
“Will you be my training partner in this session?”
Rikku runs her palm over Jin’s immense chest.
“I would be very… honored,” she whispers.
Jin pulls Rikku closer to him.
“Let go of that measly dumbbell. You need something thicker.”
“You… you say so?”
Rikku blushes again.
“You’re effortlessly holding that dumbbell while you talk to me. You’re strong Rikku, I could tell right away.”
Gently, Jin helps Rikku put the weight down.
“I want to see you on the bench press. 200lb deadlift.”
“Jin… What are you talking about! It would be the first time for me… I don’t know if I’m ready…”
Jin strokes the girl’s face, looking into her eyes.
“I’m here. I’ll hold the weight in case you need any help. I won’t let anything happen to you, not even a tiny muscle tear.”
Jin pulls Rikku into a hug.
“Do you trust me?”
Rikku bites her lower lip, before slowly nodding.
“Let’s do this.”
In my backpack
I got my act right
In case you act quite difficult
“Good morning! Did you guys sleep well?”
The radio keeps playing, while Jin and Rikku stretch and yawn. Andy is intent on driving.
“You know, the desert is really fun. Miles and miles of exciting nothingness. Thanks for the company, uh! Good thing there’s a radio…”
“Uh? Didn’t we stop?” asks Rikku crinkling one eye.
“True… We were stalled in front of a cabin…”
Jin and Rikku widen their eyes, stare at each other for a moment, and blush.
“SO WHAT!?” they exclaim in chorus.
“What!? What is wrong with you people? We haven’t stopped since we left.”
“Oh, nothing! I think I had a weird dream…” says Rikku, trying to change the subject.
“You drive really well, Andy. I fell asleep without even realizing it,” Jin says, patting Andy’s shoulder and risking having him swerve off the road with the impact.
“Hey! Take it easy, let’s make it to our destination in one piece!”
The engine emits a loud screech, before shutting down.
“Damn it! Now what?!” exclaims Andy, before pulling over.
“I think the song on the radio brought bad luck,” Jin comments.
Andy points forward.
“There seems to be a shed there. How about that? Two go in to check it out and the third stays in the car?”