CALAMITY XIV // I’D RATHER DIE

By: Dickie Watson

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 15th Apr 2022

CALAMITY XIV // I’D RATHER DIE

IT’S LIKE I’D RATHER DIE THAN
LIKE I’D RATHER DIE THAN TAKE MY
IT’S LIKE I’D RATHER DIE THAN TAKE MY OWN ADVICE

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AFTER VENOM #19 – 4 APRIL 2022
BACKSTAGE – BRIDGESTONE ARENA – NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE

MAAAAAAAATE.” The overly excited exclamation came directly from the boisterous voice of the Australian man who, for the last few months, had been remarkably absent from FIGHT programming. After getting…annihilated into a jewelery counter by his best-friend-slash-hetero-lifemate or some shit that someone else tagged them as, Aiden Reynolds hadn’t stepped foot upon any of the shows since Countdown. Yes. It had been that long.

And yet, here he stood. Flip flops (he called them thongs, and the rest of the world groaned in response), jeans and an underground band shirt that probably came from Australia itself, Aiden Reynolds looked no more worse for wear than The Calamity did coming out from underneath the curtain, Empire Championship slung over his shoulder. Behind him, hands wrapped tightly around one of his, was his girlfriend, Kallisto Reznikski, or…to the rest of the public, Kallie Reznik.

Two for two.” Dickie replied – snarkily, of course. He brushed his sweat soaked hair back off his face and approached the two of them with his hand on his back.

Ya look like me old man,” Aiden snickered, mimicking the slight hobble that Dickie was protruding as he walked. Kallie pursed her lips behind him for a second, appearing almost worried that the response that the Australian was going to receive wasn’t going to be kind.

Looked in a mirror lately?” Instead, Dickie’s retort was good natured and he shook his head. Aiden opened his mouth to say something, pulling up a finger, but ultimately decided it wasn’t worth the time.

It was probably a good thing that The Commonwealth – rightly named for the duo’s respective ties and patriotism to their own countries – had figured out their differences and were able to stand in the same room without ripping off each others’ heads. A week prior, that hadn’t really been the case. It took a deliberate phone call, an urging of a girlfriend, and an extremely long and quiet pizza trip before Dickie and Aiden buried their bullshit. And how did they do it?

So, did ya see that Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla has some new features comin’ out, eh?

It was that simple. As much as The Calamity was a bundle of unspoken emotions and anxiety, the fact that a normal conversation over something as simplistic as a video game they both shared an interest for was enough to force them out of their shell. Of course, Aiden had a lot of words that were apologetic, and Dickie too replied in kind, but talking it out like…chicks? Nah. Fuck that.

Still.

It was a step forward. In the annals shared with the rest of the roster to get a glimpse of the mind of their Empire Champion, we know he suffers from an extreme amount of distrust. And why shouldn’t he? We know his history, we know the type of people that he’d once surrounded himself with. We even know that there’s some pieces of his past that he’s still in the process of putting together. But in the grand scheme of things, the idea that the fractured pieces of New Status Quo were somewhat mendable when just a few short weeks prior it didn’t seem probable, might have breathed life into The Molotov.

I missed the last of the match…” Kallie uttered, looking at Dickie as he reached for a water bottle from catering, uncapped it, and drained about half of it. She peered at him as if he were about to snap on them at any minute.

Aiden raised an eyebrow and looked at her. “Wha–how? Your eyes were glued to the fuckin’ screen.

I missed it, okay?” Kallie rolled her eyes and smacked Aiden in the side. The Australian issued a brief ‘ow’. “Sorry.

Joe won’t be speakin’ for a while about how he’s gonna take down the Empire Champion…or whatever analogy he was trying to go for out of the millions of opportunities he could have used.” Dickie shook his head. “Maybe if he’d been more focused on the fact that I’m not the type of dude to lord my shit over everyone when I could be a royal prick about things. Or you know, they force it down my throat.

You know, that’s what I don’t get – you’re ‘sposed to make statements about how you are…you know…the best in the company because you carry that strap…” Kallie started, crossing her arms and looking much more perturbed than Dickie or Aiden did. “If you do, you’re treated as this, like…egotistical dick. But if you don’t…

…then I’m not putting enough into it. It’s a really delicate balance, Kallie. People are going to have shitty comments no matter what I do. For a while…it bothered me. It did.” Dickie leaned against the table and crossed his arms, the bottle dangling from his fingers. “I thought to myself, why? I prove myself over and over again, and yet, someone is going to tell me I didn’t do enough, or I phoned something in, or maybe…lo and behold, I’m a favorite of the administrative staff or what the fuck ever. There’s always going to be that part of me that lets that shit fester, but at the end of the day…I have this and they don’t.” He gestured to the championship.

Kallie looked at Aiden, and then she looked at Dickie. “But…

I get what Dickie is sayin’–” Aiden started, and Kallie scoffed. “What?

Of course you do. He is your hetero-lifemate.” She air-quoted the word, pursing her lips and looking up at her boyfriend. He sputtered.

I will have ya know that it’s platypus-onic.

Kallie opened her mouth, raising her finger to snap back at him, but stopped. She narrowed her eyes and then cocked her head to the side. “Platypus…what?

He grinned at her. “You’re so easy to confuse.

I dislike you greatly.

You love me.

…maybe.” Kallie crossed her arms and side-eyed him with a snicker.

Dickie shook his head, smiling to himself a little. There had been a lot of things he was right about in the past few months, and it wasn’t like he was quiet about his thoughts. At least, when it came down to it and he needed to be vocal. But Kallie made Aiden a better person, and he knew this to be absolutely a good thing for all of them. If Aiden was in a shit mood, it would be Kallie to pick him up and make it better. And he wasn’t oblivious to the fact that it was likely Kallie that had forced Aiden to call him. She was interminable.

But it led to his own distaste as well. He’d snarkily replied to Amelia that one day, prior to this match, that Aiden probably wouldn’t give a fuck that she’d adopted his place in the interim of their broken friendship. But even he knew that it would become an issue if Aiden discovered that his sister was spending more than just a little bit of time with Dickie. In fact, it kind of ached in the back of his mind that it was him here instead of her.

That would sever everything. And right now, with the championship match that so many were both ecstatic for and royally fucked off about, he couldn’t have that. Not when the broken semblance of his life was slowly piecing itself back together. Not when Betsy’d disappeared, James had fucked off, and Kasey and Shawn…

It was no use to sit there and think about what was, when it might not be ever again. The more he said it, the more he was derisive about it, the more he felt he could believe it. The more he made it seem made it easier for him to envision a life in a company where literally every single person didn’t respect him for who he was and what he’d done. And why should they? He hadn’t…you know…beaten every single one of the “elite”, the men and women who created an echelon that became the FIGHT roster from Outlaw Pro. Even their “best”.

No.

People continued to belittle him. And maybe that was his lot in life. Never look the part, so treat with derision. At this point, he’d take on anybody within the company and he would wear that win or loss like an award. Over the tenure of the company, he’d become FIGHT. He wore it on his sleeve. It was his most important company, the place where he’d found solemnity and strength after such a fucking mess of a previous career. He would forever be the trash of the company. He might not embody trash, but he knew his place.

He was the one to tear down.

He was the one to try to make an example of. If they did, think about how powerful they might become in the company?

He said it before. He would say it again. The man made the championship. Not the other way around.

For fans of the company, it might be easier to cheer for the one man who came in like a wrecking ball and surprised everyone in the first few moments. But he knew that eventually, his light would fade. But that was his personal mission. Find a way to make that light shine brighter than it had ever been before. Make them regret. Make them hate him so much because they had to cheer him.

Watch as they continued to fail over and over again. Until one of them won. He would praise them, of course. He’d done it to Dane Preston. Praised him for his victory and then simultaneously destroyed him in the same breath. That was what Dickie could do. Dickie was far from omniscient, bue could see people for who they were, he could placate their wants and their desires. And he could annihilate them seconds later.

Perhaps he was more hated than he thought.

Nevertheless, he shook his head and rose from the table. “When you two are done flirting–

We’re not flirtin’ mate.

Ew!” Kallie’s nose turned up and she shook her head in disgust.

Ew?” Aiden replied, turning to back to Kallie with his eyes wide. “Fuckin’ why?

Dickie didn’t even bother to listen to Kallie as she placed her hands on her hips. He shook his head, chuckling at the flabbergasted response that Aiden gave her. His mind was obviously elsewhere. There was some sort of solemnity and calm he felt knowing that at least Aiden had his back. Regardless of his candor, or perhaps, the lack there of. He snatched his title up and began the walk back to his locker room, listening to the bickering behind him as they followed. He bypassed several of the locker room stars until he stopped.

His feet squeaked on the floor they came to such a fast stop.

Hiya Dickie!

She had brunette hair now, and the red was completely gone, but it was Kasey. Kasey Winterborn. Or was it something different now? He couldn’t remember what he’d heard, but nevertheless, it was someone he hadn’t spoken to in months. Not since Blood Money 2. Not since…not since Warstein was announced as his opponent.

Good job out there. Really gave ‘em the ol’ heave ho, you know?” She grinned widely, crossing her arms and looking at him with a continued happy demeanor.

Ayyyyye, Kasey!” Aiden waved boisterously, again, approaching them and standing next to Dickie.

KASEEEEYY!” Kallie cried loudly, happily, and went full throttle towards her friend, swinging her arms around her and nearly cutting off Kasey’s air supply. The girls laughed and chuckled. Aiden stepped forward, trying to help Kasey by removing the blonde haired woman from seemingly strangling while simultaneously clinging to her.

Dickie’s eyes strayed though. Down the hallway, hood over his head, was Shawn. He’d packed up his stuff and was obviously on his way out for the night, and that’s likely why Kasey was also in the hallway as well. There were no words. There was no need for any words. The time for words would be later. Dickie hiked the title up on his shoulder a bit more and tilted his head slightly. Shawn, on the other hand, stared in their direction. He didn’t seem plussed that he’d lost that night. But he did, however, nod in his direction. A small one, barely noticeable. But Dickie noticed it.

Warstein was always watching. Always observant. Even now. Dickie nodded back, imperceptibly but by the two of them. And when Shawn started walking further, Kasey – having finally detangled herself and told Kallie that they would absolutely hang out some time soon – smiled apologetically and said her goodbyes.

The Second of May.

That’s when everything would be figured out, right? If New Status Quo was finally done? If they could get past their faux pas inclusion of someone who didn’t have the wherewithal to last them out? There were so many “ifs” and Dickie did not like “ifs”. It would be noted, however, that Shawn and Dickie were not coming into this as adversaries. Certainly opponents, but never against each other. Shawn held up his end of the bargain in ensuring that Dickie could no longer be jumped. And Dickie? He wanted to ensure that Shawn was ready for their battle. Ready to face him, ready to ensure and prove he’d done everything in his power to arrive in front of him. Perhaps tonight was just a hiccup in an otherwise normal routine. He’d already proven his point, but Dickie wanted him to do the same thing he wanted from everyone.

Earn his place in the line for his championship. Whether by blood money or fight.

It was the expectation, not the exception.

Everyone would learn that eventually.

Shawn would surely hate him, especially after the next week, and perhaps that’s why he’d also avoided him all this time. It wasn’t because he thought Sahara was going to stop him in his tracks. It was because he wanted the world to know that while Sahara might have beaten their teammates, they were far from the same breed. Everyone had their own way to rise. But he’d avoided him because he was worried about it. Besides Aiden, Shawn was the only one that was honest – yes, the laughter is audible from here, but that’s the thing about former drug addicts. They’d lost themselves so many times, they’d been fucked over and fucked themselves over that they knew no different, they could trust no different.

But he was the same, wasn’t he? Were they really just mirrored? Or was this just a happenstance situation? The Thrill and the Agony. The Vessel and the Calamity.

The fight that everyone knew would happen one day. They just didn’t know when.

But he had to know. He had to have Shawn know that both of them were going into this with every bit of candor and desire they had. He had to know that Shawn wanted this as much as he did, because no matter the level of their friendship or their camaraderie…there would always be that singular question: Did I make the right choice?

And he was hoping that he was right.

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A lot of people would say that facing off in the first match is…well, it’s the bottom rung and no one should be interested in the bottom rung. The jobbers, the newbies, they ended up in the first match on the card. There’s some unspoken, maybe even hidden, agenda in booking that if you’re important? You’re at the end of the card.

I disagree.

Now, I’m absolutely sure that when people saw the card for what it was this week, that’s exactly what they thought. This is a throwaway match. A Queen that constantly loses in order to retain her title, but nevertheless, retains with a smile. And the Champion, the so-called Emperor who doesn’t even have the gall to call himself that because it’s complete bullshit. If anyone has Napoleonic syndrome, it’s certainly not me – I don’t need to wave my dick around on camera in order to prove shit.

I do it in the ring. Fwap, motherfucker.

But nevertheless, there’s something to be said about having the first match on the show. Maybe the promoters want to give clout to someone else on the roster, or maybe…maybe they just want to set off the show with a fucking brilliant match. A match that makes everyone else feel like they have to meet it. It’s a brilliant marketing scheme, if you believe in those. Put on a great show in the beginning and everyone has to follow suit.

Perhaps that’s what Miss F thought when this came about.

Anne.

When Serotonin sent me the message from Miss F that I’d be facing you…I was originally concerned. Not primarily for the wellbeing of myself, but for yours. At first I thought that perhaps you’d lost your goddamned mind. From what I remember of my country’s history, Anne Boleyn was one of that batshit king, Henry the VIII wives that couldn’t produce an heir for him so he had her beheaded for what…treason? It’s prominent that people create for themselves personas to become, but with the way you walk and talk, we’ll obviously, something must have been absolutely wrong.

I was supposed to advertise for you an antipsychotic pill, since that’s what the medical community thinks I would be the best spokesperson for and offered me beaucoup bucks to market to the masses that think wrestling is the best sport – because obviously it is. But I didn’t really want to be involved with Big Pharma and their money, money. I didn’t want to advertise a thing I didn’t believe in…

…shut up, Aiden. I’m fine.

But then I looked into you and you know what? I’m just gonna go along with it. Resurrected and with your neck stitched back on nice and sharp. You’ve made alliances with All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men and maybe you’ll put Humpty together again. You’ve done what’s required of you to create an accord so that you, of all women, can stand tall and … I don’t know, put men into the ground?

I was a little lost there, to be honest. After all, Queen Elizabeth the I was a wonderful Queen, and she came from you, so I feel like this resurrection is a little bit uncalled for. But that’s me.

Maybe it was the fact that everything in this world is about the vagina now, and rah rah, feminism. Maybe that’s the world that you needed to be born into, you know? Stand up tall, kick men in the ass. Hell yeah, maybe if Henry the VIII gets resurrected too, you can totally Marie Antoinette him too. Everyone can eat cake.

All shit off to the side, I know that waking up in this century, era…lifetime, well, it must be strange. In your day and age, it was easy to off someone simply because their husband produced too many X’s and not enough Y’s in his sperm count, but something something, science. I guess I could believe what they said about you in that day and age…you must be a heathen and a demon and all of the names that I could come up with on a Friday night but deign to…you know, not. Not for such a Queenly Queen.

Who makes accords with the sewer people.

You’ve done well in FIGHT, though. You’re recognized for the crazy shit that went down at Countdown. Back and forth the title was won, lost, gained, removed. But in the end, you are the Queen of FIGHT. And I can respect that.

But it’s not going to be enough.

Not because chauvinism or as Aiden would like to call it, chartreuseism. And then called it a pukey color, for which I agree, and chauvinism is also puke-related. But because it’s coming up to the moment in which I have to put up or shut the fuck up, and I so very much like to talk. I know what I’m good at, and that’s standing up against everyone in this company and proving each and every single one of you wrong for whatever point on the scale of HOW MUCH DO YOU HATE DICKIE? Ha, jokes on you, because no one can hate me more than myself.

I got emo down pat, yo. Maybe I should advertise for Hot Topic circa nineteen-ninety-seven.

But you know.

We don’t always get what we want, do we?

So, Queenie, I’m not interested in lobbing off your head. Not something that I go for the throat on honestly. But, I’m afraid I’m gonna have to make a point to all of the people who decide that I phone shit in. I really don’t give a flying fuck what you think of me, because at the end of the day…I have the thing you covet, and I am the one that everyone wants to watch. So sit on a dick. And if that’s too enjoyable for you? I hope you find one that slices you through.

Not you, Anne.

Just the weak willed, pussydriven cuntrags that think their shit don’t stink and don’t actually know right from wrong. The ones that politic instead of earn. I hate people who act like miscreant fools.

I’d rather die than allow them one inch, one step, one iota of respect.

Come at me.

And watch yourself burn in my light. Or whatever the fuck those lyrics used to be.

But still not you Anne. Nah. For you, I’ll provide a nice, calm, severance of the arm for a couple of weeks. I’m sure you’ll regenerate that soon. Or, we can make an accord: let’s just have the best match possible and make it a great show.

Yeah?

Yeah, I like that idea.

Let’s go with that one.

See you soon, Anne. And good luck.