Credit.

By: Jennie Fenix

Writing Prompt: Yes

Date: 30th Nov 2021

FIGHT! NYC Christmas Party

Jennie was the first one to step out of the black 2022 Lexus GX 460 Luxury. Her lavender hair was slightly curled and stopped at her shoulders. She was wearing a sparkling silver gown and an angelic hint of grey to an otherwise vibrant affair; a pencil skirt with slits at the thighs that made it easier for her to walk and the outfit was completed with a pair of black stiletto heels. The sheer material was fitted perfectly. The contrast came from wearing a red crocheted satchel that was slung over her shoulder.

Her bright eyes were filled with awe as she quietly admired the way that FIGHT! Towers had been decorated for their Christmas party; she looked down the carpet to see that security was lined on both sides. “This is so exciting!” Jennie said aloud while clapping her hands together. 

She glanced over her shoulder to see her older sister, Tara, was circling around the back of the SUV with her hand holding the hand of her youngest son, Edward whilst simultaneously handing the keys over to the valet, “Not a scratch!” Tara said to the valet and was answered with a nod. Tara was less formal than Jennie, wearing a flowing black blouse and black leggings underneath; rather than wearing heels like Jennie, she was wearing platform combat boots; however, Edward was dressed in a nice suit with his hair perfectly combed. Both of them gazed on Edward with admiration while Tara walked him up to the sidewalk and he walked between his mother and aunt, holding one hand each.

“Why did you drag me here?” Tara finally muttered to Jennie, keeping her voice low while straining a smile at some of the paparazzi that were snapping pictures of the FIGHT attendees, but she still shot a glance over at Jennie. Jennie had turned her head in time to catch the glance and could tell that she was out of her comfort zone.

“It’s going to be fun!” Jennie answered back louder than she anticipated. 

“You’re on the chopping block, Jennie–“ Tara muttered again, but before she could continue with that statement, she got her arm tugged by Edward.

“Mom!” he said.

“Sorry…” Tara instantly replied with a sense of remorse in her tone. “I’m just saying that you had no business being in the ring with Warstein, and I just don’t know why they bothered putting you in the ring with him–“ Tara continued; she had tried to sound nice and reasonable, and Edward had let it slide, but Jennie was grumbling. “–it’s why they have you now in this title match with Joe, which I don’t want to see you lose. That’s not a belt you want to carry, Jennie. And after that bull–“ Tara managed to bite her tongue just in time before finishing that last word as she glanced down at Edward; he knew the word that was about to come out, even if he feigned innocence, “…After what Warstein pulled, he’s going to be lucky if I don’t find him inside and slap the taste out of his mouth.”

“What was the deal?” Jennie asked Tara through gritted teeth. She couldn’t hide her eyes whilst cocking her head to the side and letting her gaze fixate on her sister; Tara didn’t want to put herself on display as the matriarch of the family in public, merely pursing her lips together, a sign that Jennie should probably bite her tongue, but Jennie wasn’t often intimidated by her sister. “I take care of my business, and you stay out of it.” Jennie stated quite boldly to her, which caused Tara to snicker at her, “Unless I ask you for help… But please, Tara, please stay out of it. If Shawn–…” Jennie did bite her tongue as the trio arrived at the entrance; the two greeters held the doors open for them and bowed their heads slightly.

Jennie and Edward were awestruck by the inside. A tree towered inside of the room that was decorated to perfection; it was like walking on a movie set where everything was just perfect. There were eyes that began lingering toward them but it was clear that they were more blown away by Jennie’s outfit; she smiled back at many of the people who stepped forward to greet them and it was clear they were more warped by Jennie and even Edward over Tara. Tara rolled her eyes while trying to navigate them through the room at a quicker pace.

“Hi!” Jennie shouted. She turned to another and gave a little curtsy, “Love your dress!” she said to another. “How are you?” Jennie continued while her voice trailed off.

Tara had her eyes fixed on where she wanted to go; one of the quieter tables off to the corner but she gave a quick glance to Edward, “Are you okay?” she asked him in a genuine, caring tone. You could call her whatever you wanted, but a bad mother was never one of them. He nodded in turn, and Tara took the lead; she wasn’t as courteous about weaving in and out through the crowd, and didn’t stop to greet anyone which was the opposite of Jennie; she greeted as many people as she could but didn’t want to stray too far away from her sister until they were settled in for the party. When they finally did reach the party, Jennie had a smile on her face from ear to ear, but Tara was checking on Edward and adjusting his bowtie.

“Everyone is so nice!” Jennie said while throwing her arms back, accidentally hitting a waiter that had unexpectedly walked behind her and knocking a tray of champagne to the ground. “Oh!” Jennie used her hands to cover her mouth and showed absolute shock, “I am so sorry!” 

“That’s okay!” the waiter replied and there was already a group of cleaners scrambling to clean the glass and mess. They cleared the area just as quickly as they arrived.

Jennie had a nervous smile on her face as she turned back to Tara who was still rolling her eyes over Jennie’s reaction. Jennie took a couple steps toward Tara and put her arm around Edward while Tara was still fixing his bowtie.

“Okay, so as I was saying! What was I saying?” Jennie used her other hand to tap against her chin.

“Warstein…” Tara grumbled.

“RIGHT! Shawn! If Shawn doesn’t want to be my friend, that’s fine–“ Jennie did her own traditional two-finger “peace” pose, “–PEACE!”

Tara sighed as she stood back up and fixed her own blouse, “But you don’t seem to understand what this title match is for you… This is not something you can lose. This is a sham. An embarrassment. I just get a feeling that they’re doing this to try to put our family–“

“This isn’t about you.” Jennie interjected.

“Okay, FINE! They’re doing this because they laugh at you, Jennie.” Tara said in a condescending tone.

“I lasted a lot longer against Shawn than people are giving me credit for! Including you!” Jennie answered angrily.

“But you didn’t win, and now you’re a laughing stock!” Tara slapped her hand against her own forehead, “Why is this not getting through to you? Nobody in this business cares about how close you came to winning; the only thing they care about is whether you did win. Joe has been holding that belt for a while, and you know it has to be making him hungrier to finally get this win and get that embarrassment off of him. I just need you to be… hungrier.” 

“I don’t want to lose, Tara. Why would I?” Jennie snapped back at her, but tried to keep her tone friendlier while in the presence of Edward. Edward was glancing back and forth at both of them awkwardly; he had heard his whole family arguing over the nature of the business before, so it was nothing new to him, but the first time he had heard his mother and aunt arguing over it. “I’m doing everything I can to get ready for this match and bounce back after losing to Shawn, and I know that people think that I should be some broken shell because I didn’t win, but y’know… that’s the business…” Jennie shrugged her shoulders, “I’m used to it. I’m used to hearing how I’m not as good as you… How I’m not as good as Chris… Even how I’m not as good as Sabin! But I’m trying, and I’m doing my best, and I just– I feel like I’m improving. Okay? I’m working with Sabin more, okay? I’m getting better. I’m learning. I’m learning fast.”

Jennie shook her head and was careful to wipe her fingers under her eyes as tears began welling up; she couldn’t shake the feeling that her sister didn’t believe in her, and being ridiculed, and treated as a failure. She chuckled one more time before finally answering, “But we’re not here to talk about business, okay? Let’s just… Relax. Enjoy the party!” She said with a nervous smile, “You should’ve brought that… guy… What’s his name?” Jennie said while putting her hands to her hips.

Tara’s face went to a bright red and she glanced down at Edward, then back up at Jennie; Jennie cocked her head to the side as if she were suspecting of something, but Tara finally answered, “This isn’t his scene.”

“I’m sure he would have come for you… Is it serious?” Jennie asked.

Tara merely nodded her head.

“That’s good. You shouldn’t be moping over Jason! He wasn’t worth it.” Jennie said with an exaggerated nod of her head. “What does he do?”

“Umm…” Tara shook her head; she didn’t want to have this conversation right now. “He’s in the business. Can we just talk about it later, though?” 

“Yeah, of course!” Jennie insisted. Jennie began tapping her finger against her chin as she scanned the room as if she were looking for something in particular, “Do you want… punch?!” Jennie asked while looking at Edward.

“Yes, please!” Edward said.

“I’m going to go get some punch.” Jennie said and then began navigating her way through the crowd in search of the punch bowl. People’s voices overlapped whilst Jennie weaved her way between everybody. She wore the strap for her crocheted satchel on her shoulder, and clutched the satchel itself with her hand to keep it held against her. Her eyes darted back and forth between the crowd in front of her and the decorations spread across the ceiling, on the walls, and everything. 

“Pardon me… Excuse me… Make way!” were some of the phrases that Jennie found herself muttering as she moved past everyone until she finally reached her destination: the fruit punch bowl, but someone stood in front of her blocking her from her goal so she just stood in line getting visibly antsy whilst tapping her foot against the ground, but the person in front of her didn’t appear to be in a hurry as she was, and after a long period of waiting, she finally moved forward, “Do you mind if I–“ she raised her eyes to instantly recognize the Empire Champion, the man she was supposed to face in the ring most recently, being the one that was blocking her from the fruit punch, “–oh! Hi, Dickie!” She said cheerfully with a stumble of her feet. She wanted to give him a hug, but didn’t want to disrespect him, so opted to give a curtsy. 

“Hey.” Dickie replied, nonchalantly, turning and looking at her. He glanced around in his personal space. “Oh, sorry…was just trying to make sure…” he took a step backwards from the punch bowl, holding up his phone. “Aiden may need an escort.”

Jennie was cautious in stepping forward, not wanting to make Dickie uncomfortable as she pulled up two of the glasses but just set them on the table.

“I haven’t seen Aiden yet… Is he actually wearing a shirt? That could be why I missed him.” Jennie said while trying to peer over the sea of people that had filled the room; she was a tad bit too short to be able to see, even in her heels, so quickly gave up and shrugged her shoulders. She took the ladle in her hand before filling each cup whilst tilting her head back and forth as if hearing a rhythm in her head, “But I’m actually pretty excited to see you! I–“ Jennie took a step back and began reaching into her satchel, “–made you something. If I can just–“ her hand was digging through the satchel which wasn’t very large but it was still rather full, “–just a moment. Hmm.” She pressed her lips together awkwardly and sadly. “Do you mind if I say… Just… big fan…” She said while maintaining the same awkward expression, and nodding her head at Dickie. 

The interaction was absolutely awkward, but that was likely entirely based on Dickie’s reactions. As Jennie dug for whatever she was looking for, Dickie’s eyebrow went further and further up into his hair. “Uh…thanks…?”

Jennie paused, and then she looked at him square in the face. “Is that weird? I feel like that’s weird. I’m being weird.”

Dickie chuckled and shook his head. “No, but…the whole co-worker bit, you know. Considering the rest of the company would rather my head be on a stake, I was assuming that anyone coming to get any kind of clout would join in the fun,”

“Psssh,” Jennie says and waves her hand as if to dismiss Dickie’s claim, “I’ve only heard things, but I feel like everyone deserves a chance, y’know? I’m not going to let my judgment of you be based on what others tell me.” Jennie said with a smile. She finally got the item out of the bag; a black thread with a grey outline, and “#NSQ” stitched in at the end, and “The Commonwealth” on the other end. “I hope you like it! I don’t know if you wear scarves.” 

She held it out for him to take, and he did, pocketing his phone. He blinked for a couple of seconds, folding it over in his hands and checking out the stitching. “Yeah…yeah, I do. This is great, mate.” He replied, a smile popping up slowly on his facial features. His cockney accent seemed more accented as he spoke as well. 

“Really? I mean…it’s just a scarf. No big deal.” 

He shook his head in response. “Nah, it’s awesome. Thanks Jennie. Wasn’t expecting any gifts. I’m sorry, I don’t have anything but sarcasm and wit to return anything with. Tell ya what. You’ve got that match comin’ up…with uh….”

“Joe Montuori.” Jennie replies. 

“Right. You come by Wolfslair and — I know you got good training, but if you want some different style stuff, we can do some sparring, all right?”

Jennie perked up as she was genuinely excited to partake in training with another group of people. She had always learned from her older sister, and she knew that it would be good to learn from multiple sources. “Th– that–“ Jennie couldn’t help but stutter nervously, “–that sounds amazing! I’d love to!” Jennie did have a grin on her face as she considered how much she could learn from someone with a different perspective. She could only become even better.

“Right. I should get going.” Dickie said.

She hesitates with her next move, not wanting to make anything more awkward, or invade Dickie’s space. She makes sure the flap to her satchel is sealed before picking up the glasses, “I do have another project I’m working on with the crocheting, but I should take this back to Eddy. I hope you enjoy the rest of the party!” Jennie gave another curtsy before maneuvering her way through the sea of people again. While waling through the crowd, there was someone who she saw at the corner of her eye and she turned and waved a hand but was careful not to spill the punch. “Sahara! Heeey!” she shouted.