Liam enjoyed working out with his Critical Role co-star Travis greatly but the opportunities for such workouts to happen had minimized over the past year. Such was likely to happen given Travis was a new father and as a father himself Liam really couldn’t fault him for that.
Instead he decided to take his fitness journey into his own hands rather than having to rely on his friend all the time and sought out a personal trainer who would be able to put him through his paces and help him trim up his decidedly average body. He didn’t think he was doing too bad for forty-three but he felt like challenging himself further, if only so he didn’t end up as such an embarrassingly sweaty mess the next time Travis was able to leave his newborn home long enough to join Liam in the gym. It was good to have goals, right?
Shortly after he had announced his fitness ambitions, his friend Brian, the host of Talks Machina, put him in contact with a man named Calvin. Brian shared stories that Calvin had done wonders with some of the guys at fellow internet entertainment company Rooster Teeth and came highly recommended so he seemed like the logical choice. After a quick phone call with the man, Liam agreed to have a taster session when the weekend finally rolled around and spent the rest of his week trying to eat healthily and get some cardio in each morning. First impressions were important, after all, and Liam didn’t want the man to think he was a hopeless middle-aged slob. He was going to take this fitness thing seriously.
The first thing Liam noticed upon his first face-to-face meeting with Calvin was just how handsome the other was. He didn’t seem to be any older than thirty and he appeared to be incredibly well-groomed: his skin smooth and tanned, his muscles defined and his body-fat at a minimum. He greeted Liam with a strong handshake and promised that they were going to work miracles together, flashing a brilliantly charming smile at the voice actor. While he still had some apprehensions about his body’s limitations, Liam felt enthused by the other’s confidence and it wasn’t long before Calvin was putting him through his paces in the tester session, encouraging Liam to push himself until his muscles gave out and he dropped to the ground at the end of the hour, shirt totally soaked through with sweat.
“This is a good starting point, dude,” the younger man praised. “I’m impressed! There’s definite work we can do but hey, nobody’s perfect, right?” He chuckled and, had he any energy remaining, Liam would have joined in. “I’m thinking five days a week: upper-lower alternating twice over and then a full body day. We’ll work in abs at the end of every session. I’ll fix you up with a meal plan too and give you the heads up on some meal prep companies you may want to try out. How does that sound?” Still working through the physical fatigue, Liam merely moaned in agreement. It sounded like a lot of hard work but Travis had always said that fitness didn’t come easy. Besides, Liam wasn’t the type of guy to play games - or life - on easy mode anyway.
His first week of sessions proved that training under Calvin’s watchful eye was anything but easy. Each night when Liam returned home he was aching all over and hobbling around on weak legs. Still, he was certain that he could already see some changes in his reflection each time he stood in front of the mirror to inspect himself. His slight stomach wasn’t quite as pronounced, instead his torso was nearly flat, and his waistline had trimmed down a size or two as all of his jeans were beginning to sit loose without the assistance of a belt. Seeing such quick progress only made Liam more eager to follow Calvins instructions - clearly they were doing something right together.
At the end of their next session Calvin through something towards Liam and the voice actor surprised himself with quick reactions to catch it out of the air. “What’s this?” he asked, glancing at the label. “Fresh Face: start your skin afresh?”
“I rep for a few companies and they send me a lot of freebies. I’ve got like twelve of them back at my place so I thought you might like one,” the person trainer responded with a casual shrug of his broad shoulders. “The stuff does wonders for my skin. Give it a go! Once in the morning and once in the evening.” Figuring that Calvin hadn’t let him astray previously, Liam made a note to do as instructed and slipped the small pot into his gym bag as their conversation soon turned to sport. Calvin was a keen hockey fan and ever since he had first mentioned it Liam had found himself watching too. He told himself it was only so he could better hold a conversation with his trainer but he actually found himself getting invested - loudly, from his seat on the sofa at home with an open beer in his hand. That was something he was keeping secret from Liam for the time being, at least. What was wrong with a refreshing drink every now and then?
After a few days of using the moisturiser as instructed, Liam had to admit that his skin did look a lot more youthful. A lot of the lines that had developed over the years had suddenly vanished and there just seemed to be something glowing about his skin. It was hard to explain and yet he wasn’t going to take it for granted. If ‘Fresh Face’ was to thank then he’d be making regular purchases because he looked totally rejuvenated!
A few more weeks into Calvin’s training and Travis pulled Liam aside at their Critical Role taping, holding his castmate by the shoulders and inspecting him closely. “You’re looking good, dude. This trainer is whipping you into shape in no time!” the taller man declared, the smallest hint of a frown on his lips. “He’s not… giving you anything, is he?”
Liam had to laugh. “Are you suggesting that he’s giving me steroids? That me, Liam O’Brien, is taking steroids? Travis, please. That’s ridiculous!” Travis chuckled but there was little commitment to it and he continued to eye his castmate suspiciously throughout the recording, taking note of how tight Liam’s shirt seemed to be and how clear his skin was. He certainly didn’t look like a man in his forties anymore, at least five years had vanished seemingly overnight. In fact Travis no longer dwarfed over his friend in terms of height, like the other man had actually grown several inches over the past several weeks. How was that even possible?
By the next week’s taping Liam’s changes had accelerated at a rapid pace. He had packed on a solid twenty pounds of muscle and now sported thick facial hair along a square jawline. He had been at Calvin’s apartment most evenings that week helping his trainer put together some new furniture and fixing broken plumbing. Truthfully Calvin wasn’t even working on any of it, he was just providing some ice cold beers and got some music playing while Liam did the handiwork. It came so easily to him that he didn’t mind taking charge and letting Calvin relax a little. He worked so hard to help Liam out, after all, and the music he picked was always good. It seemed to work its way right through Liam’s body and mind, keeping him focused on the task at hand. Soon it began playing in his head even when he wasn’t in the other’s company, a soundtrack to his life that made him think about pumping iron and fixing stuff with his hands.
Due to how rapid Liam’s changes where, the security guard working the door to the studio didn’t recognize him and refused to accept his staff pace. “Sorry bro, I’m not buying that you’re Liam O’Brien. Not in a million years,” the idiot security guard grunted, looking far too smug for his own good. Liam was frustrated but there was little he could do. He’d have to miss the taping and in order to occupy his mind he decided to head over to Calvin’s place and help him with some heavy lifting. His trainer had just ordered a new shelving unit that needed to be put together and who better was there to help out than someone who proudly made a living on their ability to construct things?
Calvin greeted him at the door with a fresh beer out of the fridge and announced that he’d even ordered some takeout. “Gotta keep you big and strong,” he said by way of explanation, grabbing at Liam’s football-sized upper arm and squeezing. Liam tensed against the other’s touch and chuckled. Calvin had helped him put on more size than he could possibly imagine. He was probably even bigger than Travis now. Maybe that was why the other had seemed so shifty the week before, he was just jealous of all the mad gains Liam was making while he was stuck in ‘new father’ mode twenty-four-seven.
After ensuring that Calvin’s new shelving unit was set up, downing a few beers and talking some hockey with his new best friend, Liam found himself on his knees in front of the other and “helping a bro out” by getting his lips around the other’s cock and bringing him to climax. “You’re good at that,” Calvin murmured as he cleaned himself up. “I’ll have to include it on your profile.” Liam didn’t think twice about the comment, as unusual as it was. Instead he staggered into the apartment’s spare bedroom and passed out as soon as he was horizontal.
The following morning started with both some good and bad news.
“I know you’ve been looking to get back into work for a while and I think I found a construction company that would be lucky to have you,” Calvin announced. Liam was momentarily confused - had he been looking for work? Wasn’t he a voice actor or something. Strangely the more he thought about it, the less true it felt. Besides, being a voice actor and playing Dungeons & Dragons wasn’t a real job. That was some damn nerdy stuff. He much preferred doing something that showed off his muscular body and how good he was with his hands. “It’s in Oklahoma. They’re offering some pretty big bucks. Just take a look at the contract.”
Liam had to admit that Calvin was right. This sounded like the perfect job for him, only it came with a catch. He’d be moving out of state and therefore away from the guy who had fast become his closest friend. What would he do without the other there to push him and lead him? That was a step Liam hadn’t considered taking anytime soon.
As if sensing his hesitancy, Calvin clapped him on the shoulder. “Hey, buddy, no sad faces. I can still swing by and visit. I’m pretty confident that you’ll do fine without me - I mean look at you! You’re benching even more than me these days. You’re huge!” Liam chuckled. Breaking Calvin’s lifting record had been a pretty awesome moment. He’d had the whole gym around him, cheering him on as he pushed through a whole ten reps at the kind of weight that would make most men crumble. “Just sign the damn papers, dude. This is an opportunity you don’t wanna miss out on. When have I ever led you astray, huh?”
Suitably convinced, Liam turned to the last page of the contract and frowned when he saw the name written next to ‘applicant’: Luke O’Malley. He faintly recognized that it wasn’t his own name but as he signed on the dotted line below he realized he could no longer recall going by any other name, and Luke was sure as hell excited to get back to work!
All thoughts of Dungeons & Dragons, of voice acting for anime and video games, of his life as Liam O’Brien left the six-foot-three muscular man’s mind for good as he signed the contract and washed the decision down with a nice morning beer. Calvin had given him a great gift and Luke knew precisely how he wanted to start repaying the other and it began with the large bulge that was growing in the front of his friend’s pants...