Rating: PG-13 (may change)
Genre/Warning: Modern AU, mentions of MMA-related violence and language
Summary: Nasir interviews Agron and Duro Krueger, two of the UFC's newest recruits. But things don't end between Nasir and Agron when the interview does.
Disclaimer: I don't own this show or its characters. They belong to Starz and the all-mighty Steven DeKnight. I'm just playing with them.
Author's Notes: This is my first story for this fandom! *nervous smile* This story was inspired by a Tumblr conversation between myself and my new buddy, ancgangsta. We talked about the great fics where Agron was a MMA fighter and how we wished that they were go into more detail on the MMA aspect. Originally this was supposed to be a drabble, but...yeah. So special thanks to ancgangsta for the idea and inspiration and apeirophobia-andtheidesofmarch for answering some of my MMA questions! Okay, enough yakking! Enjoy!
Nasir grinned as he put his car into park. He had been given an interview at The Pit, one of the UFC's leading fight teams. Several of the guys at Bloody Elbow had tried to get interviews there in the past but with no success. So when Nasir sent in his request to interview the Krueger brothers, he did so with low expectations of a positive response. But to his surprise, it was approved.
He grabbed his messenger bag from the seat next to him and his press credentials, which hung on a lanyard on his rearview mirror. After juggling with his things while locking his truck, he proceeded to the front entrance of the gym. A pretty brunette was sitting behind a desk in the lobby. Nasir approached her and she gave him a bright smile.
“Hi, I'm Sybil,” she said. “Are you from Bloody Elbow?”
“Yeah, I'm Nasir D'Angelo,” he replied and they shook hands.
She came out from behind the desk and motioned for him to follow. Nasir felt like Charlie getting to go to the Wonka Chocolate Factory. He had seen some of the most impressive fights from fighters out of this house. As they entered the gym, Nasir was taking in as much as he could. He followed Sybil to the Octagon at the center of the training area, where Oenomaus was working with one of the Krueger brothers, Duro. Nasir waited while she got the trainer's attention. Oenomaus exited the ring, Duro behind him, and said, “Mr. D'Angelo, welcome to The Pit.”
Nasir met him as he came down the stairs, saying, “Thank you for having me. And let me just say what an honor it is to meet you. I'm a fan of several fighters from here.”
“I hope I'm one of them!” Duro said with an easy grin. They shook hands before Duro turned to Oenomaus and said, “I'll go grab Agron, and we'll get cleaned up.”
Oenomaus nodded, then turned his attention back to Nasir. He extended an arm and said, “Follow me, please.”
As they walked, Nasir asked him a few questions about the Krueger brothers' debut fights in the UFC and what plans he had for their futures. Agron, a light heavyweight, won his first UFC bout against Anthony Perosh via submission in the 2nd round. Duro's first middleweight win was a bloody three round brawl with Brad Tavares. Oenomaus was pleased with their performances but was mum on what the future held, saying it was up to Dana. He led Nasir to a small conference room on the second floor of the gym. Oenomaus left him alone to set up, chuckling, “I have to get back. Fighters are much like children: leave them unattended for too long and they will begin to run wild.”
Nasir laughed and began organizing his things. He grabbed his tape recorder and a spare tape and set them aside. Sitting down in one of the chairs, he pulled out his notepad and reviewed his topics and questions. He watched fights from smaller organizations besides the UFC, so he was not entirely unfamiliar with the pair of brothers. Agron was a bit of brawler while Duro showed a bit more technical skill. But both appeared to be the kind of fighters that were eager to learn and expand on different areas of their fight games. Just as he finished setting up, the door opened and the brothers entered. They had changed into street clothes but each held a bottle of water and had a towel hanging around his neck.
Nasir stood and held a hand out to Agron. The taller man took it, saying, “My brother wasn't lying: you are short!”
Nasir rolled his eyes and snorted. “Yeah, like I've never heard that one before.”
“Sorry about my brother,” Duro said, taking one of the seats. “Our mom tried to teach us good manners, but it didn't really take with Aggy.”
Nasir snickered while Agron shoved at his brother, grunting, “Fuck off!”
Clearing his throat, Nasir switched on his recorder and said, “The two of you are some of the UFC's newest recruits, but you've been in the fight game for a few years now. What was it that drew you to MMA?”
“When we were kids, we would watch HBO Boxing with Duro's dad,” Agron replied, taking a drink from his water. “Then he had heard about this new organization at work, so we ordered a pay preview. It was the early days when the UFC was in its infancy, but we were hooked. We lived in a rough neighborhood, so our parents didn't mind enrolling us in different self-defense classes. In their minds, it was keeping us off the streets and out of trouble.”
“Lot of good that did,” Duro snickered and the brothers shared a laugh.
Nasir talked them through their formative years, the pair opening up easily. Agron teased that whatever style of fighting he showed an interest in growing up, Duro was right behind him, eager to learn. Even though they teased each other endlessly and tried to one up the other with embarrassing stories, the love and affection that they had for each other was plain to see. Nasir found himself pausing in his note-taking to simply listen to their stories. Their stories took a decidedly darker turn when they talked about their time fighting in the underground circuits and their time with Quintus Batiatus's Ultimate Warrior Championship.
“From my research,” Nasir said, “I understand that you nearly died in one of those fights, Duro.”
Duro nodded, staying silent, and Agron put a hand on his little brother's shoulder, squeezing and replying, “That fucker's main goal was making an easy buck. He put Duro in the ring with a guy twice his size and let the bastard beat him until he was unconscious. He was in a coma for almost three days, and the doctors were unsure for a while that he would make it.”
Nasir bit his lip and set down his pen. “I'm sorry for bringing back painful memories.”
“Don't be,” Duro dismissed with a sniff. “I survived and was able to testify against him when the authorities started investigating him. I was one of the lucky ones. Plus if we hadn't been there, we wouldn't have met Oenomaus.”
Agron grinned. “He helped us go legit.”
“It was either that or walk away,” Duro added. “Our mom sat us down and said that she wasn't going to stand there and watch us kill ourselves for a dream.”
“And does she approved of your new trainer?”
“Oh yeah,” both brothers replied. Duro took a sip of his water and chuckled, “He brought some much needed discipline back to our fight game, which they loved. Well...that and tickets to our events.”
Nasir nodded. “I saw them on the pay preview for Agron's fight.”
Studying his notes, Nasir saw that he had covered pretty much everything. He closed his notebook and said, “So what's next for you guys?”
“More fights,” Agron replied with a huge grin. “We both realize how lucky we are to be where we are, so we plan to make the most of it.”
Agron looked at his little brother, who nodded and said, “What he said.”
Nasir smiled and reached over to turn off his recorder. Putting back into his messenger bag, he said, “Thank you so much for this. Our readers are going to eat this up. After both of your fights, we've been fielding questions left and right about when we were getting an exclusive with you two.”
“We are pretty awesome,” Duro said in a mock-smug tone.
“So when do you think the article will be ready?” Agron asked, leaning forward.
Nasir packed away the last of his things and said, shrugging, “By the end of this week. I'm sure you'll be sent a notification from my editor.”
“What about you?” Agron asked. “Is there some way we could keep in touch? You seem like a pretty cool guy, and it would be nice to hang out outside of an interview.”
Duro snorted, which caused Agron to punch him on the shoulder. Nasir arched an eyebrow at the strange exchange but pulled out his smaller note pad. Scribbling quickly, he ripped the paper out and handed to Agron, saying, “That's my personal e-mail. If I don't answer, it's because I have two other articles to write this week and I'll be crazy busy with that. But I'd be up for getting together sometime.”
“Awesome,” Agron replied.
The three of them went back down to the first floor and parted ways as the brothers headed back to the locker room. Nasir took a moment to look around before heading to his car so he could get home and start work on the article.
“You are fucking shameless! You know that, right?”
Agron rolled his eyes as he tucked the piece of paper in his locker and started changing back into his workout clothes. Tugging on his muscle shirt, he replied, “I have no idea what you're talking about.”
“Bullshit!” Duro laughed. “You forget, big brother. Besides Mom and Dad, I know you better than anyone and that little bit of getting that guy's email? You were totally hitting on him!”
“You are delusional!” Agron denied, despite that his ears were burning. “I might be gay, but that doesn't mean I will hit on anything with a dick!”
They sat down on a bench and Duro began taping up Agron's hands, saying, “I'm not saying you're wrong for it. If I were into dick, I'm sure I would have hit on him too.”
Agron glared at him, which made Duro laugh and say, “Calm down, cro-magnon man! I have Mira, and she keeps me more than satisfied.”
“Happy to hear it.”
Agron turned around to see Mira leaning against the lockers, smirking. As Duro started on his other hand, Agron stated, “This locker room is strictly dickly. So explain yourself.”
Mira shrugged, that smirk not leaving her face. “I just heard you two gabbing away and was curious as to the topic of conversation. I want to say that I can't believe you hit on your interviewer, but it's you so I can.”
Agron gave her the finger, which caused Duro to snort a laugh. Mira pushed off the lockers and said, “Oenomaus says to tell you that if you two aren't back out soon, he'll have you do squats until your legs fall off.”
The brothers groaned and Duro sped up his wrapping. Agron tapped up Duro twice as fast, the routine like second nature after so many years. Once they were finished, they closed their lockers and headed back out into the gym. Oenomaus shouted for Agron to get in the Octagon with Crixus and Duro to the weights as soon as they were in sight. They exchanged smiles and jogged to where they were ordered.
A/N- Please leave kudos and comments! I love feedback! And if you have one, you can follow me on Tumblr @ othablugrl.tumblr.com! Thank you for reading and tune in next time!