CALAMITY XII // IN THREES | IT’S FINE

By: Dickie Watson

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 4th Mar 2022

THE FIRE INSIDE OF MY HEAD GOT OUT
I DON’T GIVE A FUCK IF THE HOUSE BURNS DOWN
I BURY MYSELF IN A BED
I WAIT FOR THE PARTY TO END
I’M NOT IN THE MOOD TO ATTEND NOW

\\\\\\\

I’m fine.

It was the phrase everyone made sure to utter when they were trying to persuade others to their way of thinking. There was nothing underlying, there was nothing wrong with them that they couldn’t overcome. With his teeth grit and his fists clenched, he tried to put forth the facade that there was nothing wrong with him, that he could do this. He could push through because he was the fucking Empire Champion, and it didn’t matter where his head was at, he would always be laser-focused and primed for the ring.

He had to be. Nothing less was unacceptable.

I’m fine.

But was he? How long had it been since he had a simple interaction with someone? Days? Weeks? A fucking month? How long had it been since he’d crashed into Aiden at Disney World, how long had it been since he’d heard from anyone in New Status Quo? Betsy had all but disappeared into the ether. James Raven’s dick had disappeared into the ether that was Atara Themis, since we’re talking about galactic stretches. Kasey was wrapped up and around her beau, who happened to be Dickie’s primary opponent in the coming weeks that would be yet another contender to the throne he’d laid claim to since the beginning of it all. Warstein versus Watson, the Ultimate Showdown, a year and a half in the fucking making…

The fallacy that was his friends seemed to be a clincher in his brain. For one, he’d begun to trust in people like he’d once put his faith in people he called his family. But there was no family to know. No friends to see. He’d fucked up, again. Was he meant to always be alone then? Was that the verdict, the only way for him to be? He couldn’t trust any of the men he considered brothers – one wanted to put him in an early grave, and the other couldn’t be assed to do anything other than stick his dick in his girlfriend at this point. His friends disappeared. Dickie Watson was alone. No Aiden. No pals. Nothing but the skin of his own back to save him.

Maybe he liked it better that way.

Maybe he was better that way.

The doctor told him he’d be cleared the following show, provided he met concussion protocol, but absolutely not tonight. Didn’t even suggest for him to try and stick around, convinced that he would cause further damage just by being in the Las Vegas building. So now he found himself trudging along the streets of Vegas, just like he’d done all those months ago. Hands shoved in his pocket, watching as his best friend decided that eating at a drag queen diner would be the best idea while also having no fucking clue what he was walking into. Good times, but no more.

Tragedy comes in threes.

They said the universe works in threes – they being the philosophers and mathematicians in the Greek world searching to find balance and structure to make sense of things. Bad luck, good things, the holy trinity, fairy tales, fables, and everything in between had something to do with the number. It symbolized a plethora of situations, but boded death upon the world.

Three knocks in the room of a dying person brought death to the doorstep.

Three candles burning alone meant bad luck.

Everything came in threes.

Real family found, friends lost…champion vanquished?

Dickie slammed his eyes shut. Every moment of every day seemed more and more difficult to trudge through it. He kept his head up for the press. He stayed out of the limelight. The day Alex called him into the office to tell him he needed to keep his head down while he was in Wolfslair, and everything would eventually be fine, was the day that he stopped setting foot within the facility. Finn was there. Aiden was there. And the lingering chocolate eyes of a woman who called every day to check on him followed him wherever he went the second he arrived on the premises, they were there.

In Aiden’s absence, Amelia had taken up the Australian’s habits. She showed up unannounced to the New York City penthouse that Dickie owned, carrying vegemite and tim tams, talking about ginger beer and sitting with him to watch the eighty-five inch television with a silly smile and a joke right from her witty little brain. He knew that she was checking in on him, but it was hard to forget when she threw her legs over his lap while they watched The Matrix sequel, or even the scent of her cherry-scented perfum–

No.

NOPE.

This was, after all, Aiden’s sister. Bros before…never mind.

But still. Amelia Reynolds had wormed her little Australian self into his mind. Add that to the clusterfuck of his life and he just seemingly had a hole in one of a life. His fingers clenched to his championship a little more every day, hung onto it, but was the cost of it worth everything to him? His friends? His family? Were they even his friends? Were they people he could ever trust again? Would it be fixed?

He didn’t know. He didn’t even want to think of it. He walked into the hotel lobby, hands shoved in his pockets, but no smile upon his mouth. He was very much alone. Every bit of him said that it was fine. That he was fine. He didn’t need them. He didn’t need anyone. He could stand alone against the tide like he’d done time and time again.

His feet carried him somewhere within the hotel, and that somewhere being the bar. He slid into the chair and looked at the television above his head. The FIGHT! Venom show was still playing – the one he shouldn have been on. Warstein’d cut off Page at this point, stating his rules. No one could touch him or Dickie until their match. There was to be no interference.

His lips turned up into a slight smirk.

He would save his remarks for Warstein when the time came, but he knew the man wasn’t going to be okay with his rules. Hit a man in his bank account, and you’ve got them where it hurts. Dickie knew how to play this game. Shawn Warstein may have had his back at one point, but now they were adversaries. Just like it seemed all of them were. No, he would pick Shawn’s opponents, let him think that he was going to throw the hardest at him first, and then let it stave off.

No.

Hit him where it hurts.

Hit everyone where it hurt.

Right?

His phone dinged. Serotonin.

Strat match off too @ DPI. Doc thinks ur unlikely to make it.

He frowned. Another one came in.

No big, right? Rescheduling. U got Ash Cassidy next show, k?

Ashlynn Cassidy. She’d by no means failed or anything in Fight, but she hadn’t…quite gotten anywhere. Not for a lack of trying. But maybe the seventh of March would be easier for him to meet expectations. Rise above. Defeat Cassidy. The usual bullshit but he wasn’t interested in stating it. But…the question was, could he? Could he continue to defeat everyone in his path, or was it a moment in time where he finally hit his ceiling? Maybe she would be his fall. Maybe the beginning of his dow–

No.

Dickie put his hand over his face and shook his head. He’d defeated whom at Blood Money It may not have been a traditional defense, but it was a defense all the same. For all the candor, the muster, the bluster and the Machiavelli-isms across the company, the fact that I continue to rise above my opponents and retain must bother a majority of you in your glass houses. He was still the Empire Champion, no matter how many times they’d tried to tear him a new one. He remained steadfast in his service and his delivery, as sure and often as Brandon Moore changes his approach so that he can seem like he’s brought some new bullshit into the fray when it’s the same ol’ bullshit, different name.

He could do it again, right? He could fight the pressure and the waves and come out swinging. He knew it. He would do it. It was his destiny, his legacy, his charge, to be the best champion that this company had ever seen. That way, when he truly stood across from Stephen Stratford, it was not a fallacy. It was not a flaw. They could stand against each other, eyes on a true adversary. Not just…not just another name trying to attain glory at the cost of his downfall.

Downfalls were not synonymous with The Calamity, except the downfall of the person in the ring across from him. Montuori, Preston….these were names that had tried, and failed heroically. There couldn’t be a downfall. If there was, then he’d never–

No.

Fuck.

What was wrong with him? He felt like he was falling apart at the seams. Falling apart in every which way without much of a buoy or lifeboat in sight.

This wasn’t the champion that he knew he was, knew he could be. This wasn’t him, and the fact that he’d been falling apart so pervasively. He felt so disjointed, so out of touch, so…fuck. Maybe he wasn’t fine. Maybe he would never be fine. Maybe he would finally just be able to sleep for ages and stop fighting so hard.

But that isn’t me.

No. It wasn’t. The Dickie Watson that everyone knew was the fighter that continued to come out with his guns blazing, his knives ready to throw, his words ready to bury and belittle everyone. Ashlynn Cassidy was no different than another pretender to his throne. She would come in like they all would: if I beat Dickie, I’ll have my name cemented in the lights. I’ll be better than everyone.

It was facetious.

It was bullshit.

Again, he would have to rise up from the ashes and fight with everything in him in order to survive. He’d have to do everything in his power to keep the championship, to not allow it to be wrested from his own hands. It wouldn’t be for the title, but it would be for his credibility. His hopes. His dreams. His needs. It was true, wasn’t it? The Championship was all he had left, and he needed to defend it with everything in his body. Mind. Soul. Power.

He looked up at the counter, to the many bottles of various alcohols, recalling to himself the last time he’d taken a drink. The crashes, the drinks, the mirror, the gashes…he glanced at his arm, covered in ink to hide his scars. How many times would he feel as worthless as he did now? A man sitting on top of the world, while feeling so easily at the bottom of it. Panic set in. His body started caving hin, his breath clamming up within his lungs.

He set his hand on the counter, gesturing towards the bartender. He hadn’t seen the British-Russian yet, and hadn’t yet had the opportunity to serve him yet. Dickie swallowed and waited patiently, despite the pressure within his body. His hand shook, and he prayed it wasn’t outwardly. He felt his vision closing in, becoming so tunnelesque.

Maybe this is all too much. Maybe the pressure is getting to me. The family in London, Aiden, constantly having to be better and better…Maybe–

And then it stopped.

A hand covered his.

He followed the arm attached to it and found himself looking into those chocolate eyes he felt like he could stare for hours into. She closed her fingers around his palm and shook her head. “Let’s go.

He nodded.

And suddenly…

It was fine.

//////

I THINK THAT I’M LEARNING TO HOPE, OH NO
OR MAYBE JUST LEARNING TO COPE, NO
THE KITCHEN IS FILLING WITH SMOKE
I’M BREATHING IN ONLY TO CHOKE
I KNOW I COULD TRY BUT I WON’T, NO