Magnus held the door open for Catarina to enter the giant police building with a smile, and they walked up to the reception where a rather young blonde guy was seated. He looked up when they approached him.
„Hello, can I help you?“, the blonde guy, whose name-tag read ‘J. Wayland’ asked the two and Magnus nodded.
„Yeah, we‘re here for the self defense class at 3pm. Which room should we look for?“, Magnus asked and the guy pointed to the elevators and up.
„The class will be held in the auditorium since it‘s the spaciest room. Take the elvator or stairs up to the last floor, then aim for the door on your right. There should be a sign“, he instructed and Catarina smiled thankfully.
„Thanks“, she answered, then they made their way to the elevator, when inside, Magnus leaned against the wall, watching her.
„Excited?”, he asked his best friend but Catarina shrugged.
“A little? I still don’t think I need this but..”, she was cut off by Magnus who shook his head.
“I insist. Ever since you told me you walk home by yourself after your shift at the hospital I’m worried about you. Besides, I think everyone could use a course like this once in a while. There’s all sorts of creeps running around, better know how to defend yourself”, he noted and she fondly roller her eyes.
“No use talking you out of this now, is there? I told you I’m fine”, she said but Magnus knew she appreciated him forcing her to do this. And he even had offered to come along so why not? Walking the dark streets of New York from the hospital to her flat, even though it wasn’t far, did creep Catarina out sometimes. So the gesture was appreciated and she knew Magnus worried a lot about her.
The elevator came to a stop and Magnus turned to exit, but when the door opened he nearly collided with another guy who just barely looked up from the papers in his hand to stop inches from Magnus face. The guy blinked rapidly, then he quickly took a step backwards.
“I’m so sorry”, he apologized but Magnus shook his head, grinning at the police officer.
“No harm done, though I couldn’t have promised that if it would have happened after the self defense course we’re about to take. Who knows what martial arts moves we’re gonna learn”, he winked at the cop who looked at Magnus confused for a second, then he couldn’t hold back a laugh.
“Hm, I’ll be sure to avoid you later, then”, he retorted playfully and Magnus smirked, nodding as he stepped past the cop, Catarina trying hard not to burst out laughing behind him.
“You do that and I promise to throw no punches your way. Bye”, Magnus said, then he and Catarina walked towards the room with the sign next to it, Catarina punching his arm slightly after Magnus looked back to watch the elevator doors close.
“Did you just flirt with that cop?”, she teased him and Magnus shrugged.
“Can’t help it, he invaded my personal space and was gorgeous”, he winked at her, then they entered the room through the open doors.
About fifteen minutes later, the room was filled with a group of women and a few younger girls. Magnus and Catarina chatted with an elderly lady, who complimented Catarina on having such a caring friend as Magnus to make her take the course. The lady told them she came here every half year when the station offered the course to freshen up her knowledge.
Impressive, Magnus thought, then their attention was caught by a female cop clearing her throat. The police officer introduced herself as Isabelle Lightwood, Izzy for everyone and specially greeted Mrs. Penhallow to attend again.
“So, I’ll be giving you an intro to what self defense is all about, why it’s always your right to defend yourself, and when my partner, Alec, will return, we’re gonna go over to demonstrate you some techniques and then we’ll have you train some of them. Sounds good? Okay so..”, Izzy started, then she dived into reasons for self defense.
For about an hour, she dived deep into scenarios where self defense was useful, told the group how, if any form of harassment went down it was absolutely okay to take actions and defend either yourself or others. Izzy walked up and down a bit, while she explained how when the police would be called at a scene, where someone got injured because another person defended themselves they would take the statement of both sides but investigate reasons behind the actions, and why it had happened in the first place.
“Even when you break someone’s nose, self defense is the right thing. Your safety is important. Also, anything you have on you can be turned into a weapon. Your smartphone? Quite heavy and would hurt a lot if it hits someone against the head. Or a key, very dangerous”, she said and reached for her belt where a set dangled from. Izzy held it against her collarbone and only pressed slightly.
“The skin at this particular area is very sensitive, a key can do some real damage here. I’m saying be careful with this, but when you’re in danger and need a distraction, even just a little pressure against this spot will hurt”, she explained and to demonstrate it, she walked around every seated person and pressed it at the same spot she had just showed them. When she was back in front of them, she looked at the clock.
“Okay, everyone up now, I’m gonna show you some techniques. Since my partner isn’t back yet, sir, could I have your assistance for a second?”, Izzy asked the question directed at Magnus and he nodded, standing up and walking to stand by her side, giving her an expectant look.
“What’s your name?”
“Magnus.” Izzy nodded, then looked at the group of women in front of them.
“Okay so Magnus is gonna assist me. I’m gonna show you how to free yourself if someone might hold you against a wall. Magnus, can you stand like this?”, she instructed him against the wall and Magnus caught a glimpse of Catarina smirking as he was being used to demonstrate this. He ignored his best friend’s grin and focused on Izzy’s instructions.
“Like this?”, he asked and leaned with his back against the wall. Izzy nodded as she stepped closer.
“I’m not going to hurt you, just demonstrate. Is it okay if I touch you?”, she asked and Magnus nodded, prepared for anything. Even though Izzy was shorter than him, he felt the weird tinge of someone invading his personal space to pin him against the wall as Izzy put one arm against his chest and the other next to his face.
“This can be a position where someone holds you down to not get away. The first thing you can do is always go for the face”, Izzy explained and looked at Magnus for a second, then back at the women.
“Reaching for someone’s face with your flat hands automatically makes them go back, because no one likes another person touching their face like that. It’s a natural instinct”, Izzy said, then she nodded down.
“Second thing to go for, if a man attacks you is to go for the groin. When the guy is standing this close, there’s a good chance for you to attack his precious parts with your knee. Very effective and it’ll give you time to get out of the grip and either run or call for help”, she said, then she let go of Magnus and stepped back, smiling at him.
“Thanks for the help. We’re having a quick brake now while I quickly go looking for Alec as I need him to show the next things. You can get a drink from the table over there and I’ll be back”, she smiled at the group, then she left the room and everyone grabbed a drink.
Magnus rolled his eyes as Catarina didn’t stop grinning at him.
“I see you’re having a lot of fun, huh”, he sighed as he poured himself some water and Catahrina nodded intently.
“Yes, you getting your ass kicked by someone two heads shorter than you is definitely a picture I won’t forget for a long time”, she laughed and Magnus couldn’t help but join her laughter.
“Yeah I thought so. To be fair, I wouldn’t want to get into a physical fight with this cop, Izzy’s grip was strong, I would get intro trouble real fast”, he said and nodded the direction of the door. Catarina grinned even further.
“I bet she does a lot of combat training”, she noted, then the door opened again and Izzy came back, followed by the cop Magnus had nearly collided with earlier.
Interesting, Magnus thought, when their eyes met and he noticed a little blush on the cops face. Izzy winked them over and the group gathered in a circle around them.
“This is my partner Alec, who will help me show you some techniques and help me teach you the right movements of defending yourself.”
Alec got a set of boxing gear to protect his hands with out of a box and took a stand in front of Izzy, holding his hands up. Izzy crouched a bit, then she held up her flat hand to show the wrist.
“This is a punch you can use to break someone’s nose, if necessary. You hold your hand like this and shove it upwards. If you hit the nose, chances are high your opponent will go down bleeding. You shouldn’t use this one recklessly but it’s useful to know. Like this”, Izzy said, then she nodded at Alec who focused and Izzy quickly threw a few strong punches at the boxing gear as Alec blocked them.
She stopped and smiled at the women, then pointed at the box filled with boxing gear.
“Okay, pick a partner and try it. We’re gonna look around and instruct what to change and how to not injure yourself”, Alec said and the group split in pairs. Magnus and Catarina started by Magnus blocking the hits and Catarina threw her strongest ones against his hands.
“Come on Cat, imagine I’m a really bad guy trying to rob you”, he teased her and Catarina snorted, throwing another punch against his hands.
“Nice work, now switch”, a voice suddenly sounded behind Magnus and he startled a little. Catarina stopped and Magnus turned to see Alec standing behind him, nodding encouragingly.
Magnus waved his hands.
“Nah, I don’t need to. I’m just here to support her actually, no need to get physical”, he joked but Alec only raised his eyebrows.
“Are you afraid you’ll hurt her? Then try me”, he said, holding out his hands for the boxing gear. Magnus blinked confused when Alec didn’t move away, then he slowly handed over the gear and took position opposite the cop. Catahrina smirked behind him as Magnus posed, ready to swing the first punch. Alec held up the gear and suddenly grinned.
“Don’t go easy, give it all you got”, he said and Magnus pressed his lips together, then he moved forward, throwing the first punch at Alec’s hands, the cop blocking it by leaning his full weight against the hit. He nodded pleased and smirked.
“Not bad, but you can do that better. Imagine I’m a robber”, he repeated what Magnus had told Catarina earlier and Magnus shook his head, then he lunged again and again. He paused and raised an eyebrow at Alec, who shrugged a little.
“Yeah, you got moves. Try again”, he instructed and Magnus focused, when someone suddenly called Alec’s name, making him lower the gear and look slightly to the right and …
Magnus punched Alec right in the face.
His hand collided with Alec’s cheekbone and the cop went down, a loud gasp from everyone echoed through the room when he hit the floor and Magnus froze, staring at the other man lying on the ground.
Catarina was the first to recover as she grabbed Magnus arm tight just as the cop who had entered the room to call Alec’s name and Izzy hurried over.
“MAGNUS, oh my god!”, Catarina shrieked, shaking her shocked best friend who kept staring at Alec slowly sitting up, holding a hand to his eye. He let out a groan of displeasure.
“Alec, are you okay? Jace, why did you distract him like this, are you insane?”, she hissed at the third cop, the blonde from the reception downstairs, who crouched down next to his colleague.
“I’m sorry, Alec, you okay?”, he asked, worry in his voice. Alec nodded, still holding his eye as he got up. Izzy pushed his hand away to look at the damage and Alec hissed, turning his head away.
“I’m fine, I’m just gonna get some ice”, he snarled at her, then he stepped away and walked towards the door, followed by Jace.
Magnus still held his breath as he watched Alec walk away, and he swallowed hard not daring to make a move. He felt Catahrina’s tight grip on his arm and a distinct pain slowly blooming in his fist.
He… had just punched Alec.
He punched a cop in the face.
IN. THE. FACE.
Magnus blinked to find everyone looking at him worried, Catarina stroking his arm as he looked around.
“..what?”, he mumbled, slowly coming back to himself.
“Magnus are you okay? Show me your hand”, Izzy demanded, and she reached for his right wrist. Magnus whimpered when she slowly stroke his heel of the hand and retreated a bit.
“You need ice, everyone take five. I’ll be right back, Magnus come with me”, Izzy said sternly and the women slowly strolled away as Izzy pointed towards the door and he followed the cop outside where they took the elevator downstairs, all while he held onto his wrist which hurt quite a lot by now. Izzy showed him to the first aid room where she instructed him to sit down as she got out a pack of ice from the fridge.
“Izzy, am I in trouble now?”, he asked carefully with a frightened voice and she looked up with raised eyebrows.
“Why would you think that?”, she asked gently, handing him the ice and he held it onto the swollen area.
“I punched a cop in the face”, he choked out, his shoulders sacking but Izzy laughed which confused Magnus a lot and he narrowed his eyes.
“Oh dear, no, that was an accident! I’m fairly certain you didn’t intend to punch Alec and it was Jace’ fault after all for distracting him. I’m actually gonna talk to him for a second, I’ll be right back. Just press the ice against your hand”, she instructed him, pat his shoulder for a second, then she left the room.
Magnus let out a shaky breath, inhaling to calm himself when he heard someone clear their throat and looked up to find Alec leaning in the door, holding a matching ice packet like Magnus’ to his eye.
“I guess I should have avoided you after all, huh”, he joked. Magnus swallowed, but when Alec gave him a crooked smile, he felt relief wash over him.
“I’m so so sorry, you have no idea”, he said regretfully as Alec sat down opposite him.
“Not bad, your right one. How does it feel?”, Alec asked and nodded down towards Magnus hand in his lap. Magnus removed the ice package to reveal the slighty swollen heel.
“How are you feeling?”, he asked warily and looked at Alec’s ice package. The cop pressed his lips together and removed it, only for Magnus to inhale sharply.
Alec’s eye was swollen, a dark red blotch forming under it where Magnus had landed the punch.
“Don’t worry, looks worse than it is”, Alec played it down but Magnus still felt a stab of guilt in his stomach.
“I’m sorry”, he mumbled and Alec was about to say something when Izzy returned to the room.
“Oh, Alec how are you?”, she asked and chuckled when he showed her his eye.
“Wow, nice. Magnus, I think you’re good to go against any burglars. Let’s get back upstairs to the group”, she said and Magnus bit his lip as he followed the two cops silently.
The group of women all looked quite worried when the three entered but Alec assured them he was fine. They sat down for Izzy’s last words, Magnus crouching down into his seat next to Catarina as Izzy spoke.
“So, as you can see on the face of my dear colleague, the hit you trained can be very effective. Aim a little more to the right and the nose would have been broken”, she said and Alec nodded.
“True. We hope you enjoyed getting some tricks and tips on how to defend yourselves today, thanks a lot for coming”, he added, then everyone clapped.
As everyone gathered to leave, Magnus and Catarina saying their goodbye to the elderly woman, Alec suddenly appeared next to Magnus and cleared his throat. Catahrina nudged his side, then she left them alone, the two men the last ones in the room and Magnus looked at Alec and swallowed, the black eye looking even worse this close.
“So uh, I just want you to know I’m not angry or anything. You looked so beaten up but it was just an accident”, Alec assured him sincerely and Magnus nodded.
“Yeah, I know. I’m still sorry”, he answered quietly and Alec rubbed his neck, giving him a crooked smile.
“Hm, maybe you’d like to tell me how you got that badass right hook over a coffee?”, he asked, a hopeful look on his face and Magnus blinked in surprise.
“Are you asking me out?”, he asked a little dumbfounded and Alec nodded with a nervous laugh.
“Yeah? Only if you’d like to, I mean I’m a cop and people are wary of that but.. I don’t know I just thought..”, Alec rambled but Magnus face lit up and he nodded.
“Yes, I’d love to! When?”, he asked cheerfully and Alec blushed a little, handing him a card.
“My number’s on there. Just message me”, he said and Magnus nodded, a happy smile on his face.
“I will. And I swear I won’t ever try punching you again”, he joked and Alec grinned.
“Hm, maybe you can pay for the coffee to make it up to me”, he winked.