Land Down Unda #1: Brotherhood of Wolves (Part 4 of 5)
By: Aiden Reynolds
Date: 13th Oct 2021
It had been a strange few years for Aiden Reynolds.
He had joined a gym that had become like a family, found a tag team partner that was like a brother, and now joined another unit that had aspirations of greatness. However, a few years ago, this would’ve been the furthest thing from his thoughts. There was a time when all Aiden wanted to do was be alone.
He didn’t start off that way; in fact, you could probably say his life has come full circle. When he first started down the road to become a professional wrestler, he was completely open and wanted to get to know the people around him. Wanted to bond with them, and enjoy his life and being an open, happy, exuberant human being. He found a like-minded individual, they formed a team, and started to travel around the world. They drank beers, went to parties, had success in the ring, and forged a friendship.
He trusted him.
The two men settled in Japan. There, they were as successful as they could be, known to everyone as the crazy Brit and the outrageous Australian. What a team, right? But, every good story has an end, and for this one, Aiden was betrayed. The Australian looked and treated the Brit like a brother, yet this man, this member of his family, ripped into his chest, pulled out his heart, and stepped on it. He stabbed him in the back like it was nothing to solve his own problems and save his own skin. Aiden closed himself off after that. The happy-go-lucky Australian went against his nature and shut everything and everyone out.
He made mistake after mistake in not only his professional life but also his personal life. Falling for someone who was, in hindsight, all wrong for him. Someone who didn’t get his personality, his way of thinking or his lifestyle. That crashed and burned quicker than his professional life.
He had trust issues.
But, that would always be temporary. He joined a gym owned by a legend, he met people, forged friendships. But it was from outside this home base where he would forward his greatest friendship. A Brotherhood with someone who he trusted and knew had his back and who he also would stand behind and always support.
The man who Aiden now was looking for. After walking away from the others, Aiden felt a certain sense of pride in knowing that Shawn Warstein had wanted them both to watch his back, to team with. To rule the wrestling world with. But, after leaving the trio, Aiden knew where his loyalty would lie. He and Dickie were ready to be a part of something greater. Dickie had made his decision first, but he talked Aiden over with ease…
Hetro lifemates and all that.
Aiden moved towards the door, he sighed heavily and reached out grabbing hold of the handle but before he pushing it open something stopped him, his hand was in his pocket, he felt something in there that shouldn’t have been.
What was it?
He pulled it out, it’s edges were torn in a strange way, the colors seemed off. Like something out of a dream. Torn from a bigger picture that Aiden didn’t recognize, his eyebrow-raising as he tried to make out anything else from the torn piece of this strange puzzle. He blinked a few times and shook his head trying to snap out of it. After leaving Betsy, Shawn and Kasey he knew he had to find Dickie, he knew where he would find him and now he was right in front of the door.
He stuffed the picture back in his pockedt and shook his head pushing into the room. A small smile coming across his lips as he walked up to see his friend. “Oi Dickhead. You disappeared.“
Insult humour. Both Dickie and Aiden had been products of broken culture. They cared about each other, they had each other’s backs, but at the same time, they would pick on each other relentlessly. Pointing out each other’s shortcomings and making sure that the other one knew that they paid attention to even the smallest, most minute of things.
“Yeah, I…needed a minute.” There was something on his mind. Dickie was the type to wear his emotions on his sleeve, and most people would be able to see it. But they wouldn’t know exactly how deep it was.
But Aiden knew. His demeanor changed from that of a childish frat boy looking to pick on his friend to one of the caring brother, ready to listen and knowing what questions to ask. It didn’t take much to figure it out, but he even knew the ins and outs and why’s of Dickie’s feelings. The slump in his movements, the dull expression.
“You still thinking about the weak link bullshit?” The question burned, even after the conversation was done. Dickie still seemed to have a certain amount of self-loathing. Doubt crept into his mind time and time again, but instead of coming out vocally, it manifested itself in small ways. His body language, the tone of certain phrases. Even his effort when it came to training. For someone so talented, it amazed Aiden just how little his friend saw of it in himself.
Dickie kept his mouth shut, deep in thought and concentrating as Aiden folded his large arms over his chest and shook his head. “Mate, there comes a time when you just gotta let go. Just…I dunno. Trust.” Silence. But he could still tell that Dickie could hear him and was listening. “There was a time, when I stopped givin’ a shit about anyone else, I just wanted to do me own thing….”
Aiden paused for a moment, moving across the room to sit on an old leather chair. “But you changed that, you little shit. You made me care about the relationships that I was forging with people. In companies, at the gym, my personal life. And now here we are with a chance to be champions in something greater than that. We can help Shawn, Betsy and Kasey, as good as they are be better…that’s what success is, mate. What’s the point of standing on top of the mountain if ya can’t share the fuckin view?“
He laughed to himself realising just how unbelievably ridiculous the statement he just made was. It was corny, cheesy, and right up his alley for the kind of comments and statements that he would make. He could tell that Dickie heard him, but it was sinking in. But Aiden was also smart enough to know when it came to his best friend, and brother, that he had to wait for Dickie to make the decision to open up. Lucky for Dickie, Aiden and the others had nothing but time.
— — — — —
“Aye, this is a surprise to no one right?“
The voice of Aiden Reynolds breaks the silence again. His chiseled jaw and piercing blue eyes accentuating the boyish charm and good looks he had as his lips turned into a smirk.
“The bloody worst kept secret in wrestlin’ and fighting and this company. Every man, woman, child, dog and cat knew I was comin. Dickie hasn’t exactly been hidin it and Shawny Warboi has been chasin’ me around for months. We weren’t stupid. We knew, eventually, they would ask. The Commonwealth combining with Legacy, it was just too good of a deal to let go of. He got Dickie, so then he had to get me. And to do it, he just dangled a few carrots in front of me nose.“
“A place where I could make some cash by simply bein’ a badass, a place where I could work with friends. Like Betsy, Kasey, him an’ Dickie, and a guaranteed place as a champion.“
“Yeah, that’s right. I’m a champion without stepping in a fight for this company.“
“But, truth be told, all Shawn had to do to get me in the fold, to get me to contact management and come to FIGHT! was the thing that happened organically. All he had to do, was get Dickie to ask. Although it’s not like I wasn’t tempted before that. See Dickie and I have known Shawny, Betsy and Kasey for a while. We also know Shawny’s bestest friend, James Raven. We’ve always liked them all and Dickie was the first one to make the jump. I sat back, nodded with approval and I’ve been watching em light all this up. I’ve been watching Dickie dominate, I’ve been watching Betsy, Shawn and Kasey do what they do, so when Dickie said they were havin’ problems with Dynasty and the Cure, well…me war boys got tickled…“
“War boys?” Dickie interrupted suddenly, drawing attention to himself.
Aiden raised an eyebrow and slowly smiled. “Aye, me war boys…you know…me nuts?“
You could hear the exasperated sigh ring out. Aiden just shrugged.
“Good ol’ gang warfare. Gather ya mates, face off against others and have a good old scrap. That’s what we’re doing right? New Status Quo, five of the best talents in this business today standing together and ready to rock and roll. And I get it, the other three groups, gangs, teams, whatever, they think they have it over us. They think they’re gonna scurry up that tower before us, survive and pick us off…good luck. See, there’s a reason why Shawn wanted me in, there’s a reason why Dickie agreed with his request; it’s because they know I’ll watch their backs, I’ll hold up my end of the bargain and I’ll bloody do what it takes and sacrifice anything I have to do the good of the team…“
“See, as long as one of us gets all those keys and reaches the roof…we all win…“
“That’s what this is all about. Winnin. I hate losing, I hate being looked at as less of what I am and I know that if I hold up my end of the bargain Betsy, Kasey, Shawn and Dickie will hold up theirs. But, as for my future beyond this event and this fight? Well the truth is I don’t know. Being a part of the New Status Quo means that I am technically one of the Islands Champions. And I can gladly stay and help defend those championships while watching the backs of my brothers and sisters. I haven’t really got any other plans aside from that.“
Dickie raises an eyebrow, Aiden offers another shrug showing he is completely honest in everything that he is thinking and feeling at the current moment.
“I will fight anyone who they put me in the ring against, or in this case a giant building. See if there is one thing that you all need to learn about me is that I will put my body on the line for the stupidest reasons on earth–“
“This isn’t a lie.“
“–so you have to imagine that when it’s something that means something to me, like not letting down the others, you better believe that I will do everything I can to hold up my end of the bargain. I have wrestled around the world from Japan to Europe throughout the US and into South America, I’ve even made the trip once or twice up to Canada…..”
“And no matter the country, the continent, or the hemisphere one thing is always for certain and that is Aiden Reynolds ain’t no punk bitch.“
He seems to get fired up a bit. Dickie blinks a few times and folded his arms over his chest “That’s a double negative…“
“Oi, mate I can’t be negative. I’m always positive: well positive for everything except herpes. We’ll leave that to your ex...“
Dickie puts his finger up to object, but instead blinks a few times and comes to a form of acceptance that Aiden is probably right.
“The fact remains, this is a fight. This isn’t a technical exhibition. This isn’t supposed to show our submission wrestling process or show what we can do in the confines of a professional wrestling setting. No. This is a knock down drag out old-fashioned gang warfare street fight in a giant tower where one of us is going to have to reach the roof after we steal a bunch of keys off everyone else. And now that I say it out loud, this is kind of dangerous.“
Dickie nods slowly.
“I have a match on Night One, so…“
Aiden’s head snaps sideways. “Who do I have?“
“On Night One…“
“I don’t have a match on Night One?” Dickie shakes his head. “So all I have to do is worry about the gang warfare? Dickie..am I…am I a hired gun?” Aiden seems dejected as he looks down.
Dickie reaches out to his friend, “Nah, Aiden you’re more than tha-“
“This is fuckin awesome.“
“Oh. Never mind.” Dickie pulls his hand back as Aiden seems to be as excited as a little kid at Disney World.
“I gotta go…“
Dickie blinks a few times as Aiden takes off. “Wait…where are you goin’?“
Aiden’s voice is harder to hear as he moves further away from Dickie “I gotta go get some chrome paint, mate. Me Warboys need to be set up properly. WITNESS ME!“
“I…he….I’m sorry everyone…“
Dickie takes off in a full sprint after Aiden, as much as Aiden is there to watch Dickies back Dickie is there to make sure Aiden doesn’t do anything stupid.
Or rather, stupider than he usually does.