Out Of The Frying Pan and Into The Fire
By: Shawn Warstein
Writing Prompt: No
Date: 25th Aug 2021
(OOC: Writerís Note, this takes place between the two sections of Kaseyís RP. Thank You and Enjoy)
ó-When One Falls, We Both Falló-
Itís been a long strange journey for me.
I can vaguely remember the days when he was in charge. Piloting the ship, not caring for anyone or anything. Iíll tell you this, it was a lonely journey. Even my wife at the time could sense it. I was becoming more and more reckless.
As each day passed. Deeper and deeper I delved. Then my son, Jacob, was born and I needed to be better for him. He gave me something to fight for.
Something greater than even myself. Everyone is looking to find themselves and to put themselves in a position to be better than they were before. I honestly lay up at night staring at the ceiling plotting and planning my next steps.
Some people would call it nervous energy, others insomnia. I have always called it peace. You see while others worry about whatís going to happen, and think of all the horrible outcomes that can follow. I sit there and visualize everything. Each move. Every step. Pattern my breathing for whatís next. Itís why when you see me in the ring, nothing bothers me. Iíve seen it all.
Sure there are things that will catch me off guard. Like Dickie breaking habits, or others who strayed slightly from the course. Yet both of those are easily adjusted for, sure Dickie got the pin on me and went on to become The Empire ChampionÖ.
But who is right there nipping at his heels.
Who watched as Paul callously cashed in all his money for a shot at Watson.
Who sat back and smiled, knowing that the title right now isnít the current goal. Currently my only goal is to win Toxic Tag, even if Iím saddled with Brandon “Party City Mask” Moore. It could be worse I guess. I could be saddled with Paul. Poor poor Dickie. That guy is literally on top of the company and he has to take pot shots and carry a useless sack of shit across the finish line. Too bad for them Iím standing on the other side. Dickie wonít be so lucky this time around. I know that we are technically on the same side in the grand scheme of things but as he said himselfÖ.
“No hard feelings mate.”
I mean that is all well and good, yeah? I donít have to worry about anyone elseÖ.
But you all should know me by now. That just isnít going to happen. Like my own opponents. Apathy and Anika. How I wish it wasnít you two. Not because either of you are worth a damn, but because Iíve got to keep an eye out over my shoulder to make sure my own partner doesnít pull some shit. You know Apathy I was, no, I am disappointed in you. The last time we stood across from each other you had the stones to bring the whole bitch brigade with you. Guess what? Iím still standing. And now Iím going to pick each and everyone of you off one by one. I was going to start with you, but you didnít want that. There will be no avoiding it this time. Youíre gonna regret looking in my direction. Oh yeah, I guess Anika is there too. Maybe sheíll get off her back long enough to make an impact. I know, I know. Low hanging fruit, but what do you expect? In the words of my Ex, minimum effort, maximum results. And much like my ex youíre going to be moved to the side for a new model. Donít worry lady, I’m sure youíll land on your feet, or knees, or back, or side. You got this!
Vincent and Dollface? Jesus, how many of them are there? Listen DollÖ. That feels odd. Listen FaceÖ. No, that’s worse. ListenÖ.thingÖ. Not great but itíll have to do. Iím going to reiterate the same thing Iíve said a thousand times. Donít fuck with someone who has more ammo than you. Donít parade around like you got one over on me. The real ones know that the job isnít done until the chamber is clear. You left one in there, whoops, the job isnít done. Vince I hope that youíre ready for this. I would hate to make Vhodka upset. Sheís been nice to me and I donít want to garner her wrath.
Not that it means much really. Gnats fly around me all day. Vhodka and Voo and Saraha and Allison. All of them are meaningless in the grand scheme of everything. Look at the way everything is set up. There arenít going to be any surprises. Dickie and One Mont move on to face Brandon and Myself. Thereís your unofficial final right there. Dane and Two Mont have the easier path to the endgame and isnít that just a bitÖ sad?
Yes, that Dane Preston. The same guy who canít keep a woman happy. The same guy who is more concerned about not being on a list, is going to basically waltz to the finals? Yes I just said that Dane and Thing Two are going to make it to the finals. Thatís as far as they are going to make it, but hey, thanks for showing up.
As for Dru, Iím sorry girl. I really like you. Youíre cool. You have a fuck everyone attitude, and above all elseÖ youíre the only person Iíd let stay in my house unattended. Iím sorry that you got stuck with GraÖ wait no that bitch left alreadyÖ I see you were given an equally annoying partner in Asher. Cool for him. Sucks to be you.
And thatís really the crux of the situation. Everyone is playing for second. No one seems to realize exactly what they are in for. Everyone has rainbows and lollipops on their minds to win and advance. Make nice and stand tall. Not me. Iím not in this to make nice. Iím going to allow my hatred of Brandon carry me. Itís going to put me on another level. Seeing everything. Time slows. My senses will be enhanced. All we have to do is coexist for one night. Hell not even the whole night. Part of the night. A small sliver of 24 hours.
For that small amount of time, all bets are off.
All Bets are Off.
The front door of the brownstone closed behind Kasey and I with a loud thud. She instinctively grabbed her head. “Sorry babe.” I grab her by the shoulders and give them a rub. “Letís get some food in you.”
“Iím not really hungry.” She said while turning around. “I just need a bit of time.”
I sigh. “I know. Iíll go grab us a few snacks and we can talk about it.” Kasey gives me a resigned nod. I could tell she wasnít really in the sharing mood, but I have to try and help her get out of her own head. My phone buzzes in my pocket.
“You should answer that.” Kasey plops down on the couch and curls herself into a ball. Her red hair covers the entirety of the pillow sheís laying on.
“Itís probably nothing. Or itís her trying to get my attention again.” I said as I disappeared into the kitchen, emerging with a bag of chips, some chocolate and a few glasses with some ice cubes in them.
“Is she going to stop?” Dragging herself up into a seated position and pulling her hair up into a bun.
“Iím sure she will get tired soon enough, donít worry about her. Youíre the one I come to after every show.” I sit down, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close.
“I know, but with your historyÖ”
I stop her before she can continue. “Thatís what it is. History. Donít worry about her. Ever.”
“Well why are you always talking to her? If itís so much in the past?” She removes my arm from her shoulder, and looks me right in the eyes. “If there is a glimmerÖ”
“Thereís not.” Grasping both her hands. “She is nothing. A mere distraction.”
“Am I not distracting enough?” I could feel a sense of disappointment from Kasey.
“Youíre not a distraction. You mean the world to me, thatís why Iím telling you this. Itís not like that.” I turn my head away but her hand pulls my face back to meet hers.
“Tell me what it is then.”
“Itís justó-“ I trail for a moment before taking a deep breath. “I need to keep my brain occupied or else Iíll drive myself crazy thinking about the Toxic Tag. I donít want to wear you down and lean on you for everything. So yesÖ sheís a distraction. Nothing more than that. Youíre the one I want. Youíre the one I have.”
“I know. I just like hearing it, that’s all.” Kasey leans forward and gives me a kiss on the cheek, while also grabbing for the chocolate. “You can check your phone now.”
“I wasnít going to, Iím here with you.”
“Shawn, youíre a liar and a bad one at that.” Kasey smiles as she opens the candy and takes a bite.
“Only to you.” I said while grabbing my phone and checking the message. It wasnít from Atara as previously thought. It was from an unknown number.
óMr. Warstein, I request your presence at my home. Saying no is not an option. Either you show up willingly, or we take you by force and youíll see the inside of my shed. The car is waiting. Choose wisely, I wouldnít want to hurt your lovely friend. B.ó
“Uh.” I stare at the message on my phone for longer than anticipated. Kasey taps my phone screen, as I look up at her. “Ió- I think Iíve been summoned.”
“By who?” She grabs my phone from my hand and reads the message. “What do they mean the car will be waiting?”
No sooner than she says that a car horn is heard from outside. We both stand up and walk toward the front bay window. Pulling the curtain aside we both see a black Lincoln Towncar parked in front of my home. “Should I go?” I said damn well knowing I wasnít about to put her in danger and I was getting into that car.
“I donít want you to.” She grabs my hand and gives it a firm squeeze. “But I think you have to. I mean I think this will help you with your distraction issue.”
“Are you going to be okay?”
“Yes Shawn. Iíll be fine. I could use a little Ďme timeí. Just come home in one piece and donít do anything stupid.”
“You know me.” I said with a slight smile.
“Thatís why I said it.” Kasey smacks me on the ass as we begin to walk towards the door. I grab a jacket and throw it on. “No hoodie?”
“Not this time.” I give her a kiss and open the door. I give her one last look and shut the door behind me, pausing only for a moment until I hear the lock latch.
The clouds hovering in the sky were dark and intimidating. With the crackle of lightning lighting up the street. As I approach the car a man gets out and opens the back door. I roll my eyes and get in the backseat. I see Kasey watching from the window as the door closes. Where am I going? I have no clue, all I know is that to keep her safe I have a feeling Iím about to do something extremely stupid.
ó-Out Of The Frying Pan, And Into The Fireó-
(Collab Portion With Brandon)
The lightning crackles across a dark skyline, dimly lit by a moon shrouded in cascades of cloud puffs. Brandon Moore is sitting at a table inside of his home on Eulogeo Island, an empty chair across from him as if he knew a man would be joining him soon enough. On the table sat an unopened bottle of Jewel of Russia Ultra Black Label vodka, the finest of pure Russian vodka, and two highball glasses. Something obscured lay in Brandonís lap, but it was large and metallic in nature. All that was clearly visible to the naked eye was an engraving of a headless eagle on a wooden grip. Brandon looks over into the darkness, a smile coming to his face. He reaches forward, and begins to open the expensive bottle of vodka, and drops three fingers into each highball glass.
A lightning strike blasts off in the distance as a man covered in shadow walks in and approaches the table. A steely glare and a sigh as he sat down across from Brandon. “So Iím here. Whatís this all about?” Shawn says while leaning forward elbows on the table top and finally coming into frame fully.
*This guy better make all of this worth it, and if I get home and there is a hair touched on Kasey, Iím going to put his head on a pike and place it right in front of the tower*
“Mr. Warstein..” Brandon, whose attention is now on the man that has been at odds with him for a short while. But that short while feels like a lifetime now that he is sitting face to face across from him. He slides Shawn one of the glasses of Black Label, taking the other into his own hand. “Shall we cut the shit and get straight to business or do ya wanna jerk each other off first a little? The night that Iíve had, I could go either way bubba.”
“You do have a way with words donít you?” Shawn reaches for the glass and slides it away. A small smirk comes across his face. “Sorry, I donít do vodka. Prefer bourbon. You asked for me here, so why donít we just cut to the chase.”
*All these assholes with god complexes. They think they are being straightforward, but itís always a roundabout way to make themselves feel bigger than they are. This guy is going to fuck me overÖ only if I donít do it first.*
Brandon snaps his fingers a couple of times, and out of the shadows from nowhere appears none other than Jim Cornette. But not the Jim Cornette you are probably familiar with seeing. No, this man is different. In his hands, a bottle of some standard bar brand whiskey, and he sets it on the table next to his master, along with another glass. Brandon reaches across the table and grabs the turned away glass, pulling it to himself as Cornette just up and disappears to which he came.
“You see friend, here in my world, desire is a concept that does not exist. What you want, you will get. And buddy, for future reference, for your safety, where I am from, when a man offers you a drink in his home, you abibe, especially if you join him at his table.” Brandon lays out the law of his land as he proceeds to throw down three more fingers of alcohol into a glass and slide it Shawnís way. “For safety of course.”
*This fucking guy.*
A side smile from Shawn as he grabs the glass. Holding it up to the light. Itís not the first time heís been offered a drink and probably not the last. “You see Brandon, when it comes to desire.” While rolling his wrist with the glass. “I have a certain way about getting what I want. You say that I came and sat at your table. That itís rude of me to turn down a drink. You know what isnít?” Shawn takes the glass and empties its contents directly into his mouth in one large gulp. “Manifesting what you desire. What I want, I always get. Thereís no denying that. Iím sure youíve done your research on me, but let me let you in on a little secret.” Shawn once again leans forward. “You should know that anything told secondhand is just a myth. Neat trick with Jeeves.” Shawnís gaze never leaves the unimpressed Moore.
“Bubba, truth be told, I havenít done a damn thing in trying to discover who in the fuck you are. Or where the fuck you came from. I can look into your eyes and see all that I would ever need to know. Since you have done your homework on me, you should know that I have been playing the long con. I was just biding my time until the correct opportunity presented itself to me. That was before Fight absorbed the company called Outlaw Pro Wrestling, which was part mine in the beginning, but I wonít get into that detail again. Just know that your research could not tell you the true story of the man sitting across from you, because the darkside had clouded the reality of my being in a way you can not fathom. It wasnít until two weeks ago that I truly stepped out from that darkness. And my friend, you should know that the darkness hasnít stepped out from me. And you more than anybody should know the meaning behind what I am going to say next.”
*Am I at all surprised he hasnít checked up on me? Nope. Thatís going to be a really rough lesson for him. Ask anyone, Shawn gets what Shawn wants. Fuck we sound a lot alike.*
DARKNESS ALWAYS SAYS HELLO
Brandon follows Shawnís lead, and takes one of the glasses of vodka into his hand. A second later, the glass is empty and turned upside down on the table. He takes the other glass and slams it too. Brandon throws the glass at the wall of his makeshift house. “ANOTHER!”
*Ha! Love Thor.*
Cornette returns, his eyes locked on Warstein and an almost snarl on his lip. He removes the remaining dirty glass from in front of Brandon before making his way over to Shawn. Cornette gives him the stinkiest of stink eyes before taking his glass and replacing it with another. Corny returns over to his liege, and leans down against his ear whispering. “I donít like this man boss. Heís hiding something.” Cornette stands back straight, his eyes peering back at Warstein before he completely returns his focus on his present task and disappears.
“Corny doesnít like you Shawn. Maybe I should check into what youíve been up to before now. I canít be teaming with some cosplayer whoís just happy to be here. But those eyes, I look into them, and itís almost romantic in a sense. Not romantic in the way of physical and mental adoration. Romantic in the fact that the eyes are a window into the soul, and as I sit here now, I find myself hypnotized by the gaze of a man who, like me, has seen some shit. A man who has been in the shit. But most importantly, I see a man who, like me, prospered in the shit and emerged as more myth than man. A living legend.” Brandon adds more Black Label to his glass, and rolls the whiskey bottle across the table to Shawn who stops it in front of him. “But donít take my words as friendly Shawn, because although you may not truly know the man who you are sharing this table with, you should believe everything you have heard about him. For all that I have waxed poetic onto you, you are looking at the embodiment of a living legend. You are looking at the last prodigy of this business. And whether you are with me or against me, I will be winning this Tag War. The ill golden twine of Fate has twisted it as so.”
*What the fuck is this guy talking about? The only thing I took from that is that he wants to win. Lucky for himÖ Me Too.*
“Has anyone ever told you that you talk, and you talk a lot about nothing? Brandon you can look me in the eyes and get all the reads you want. This isnít poker. You say youíve been playing the long con?” Shawn glances over to Cornette and smiles. “This whole thing about Toxic teams is nothing more than a ruse to drum up drama. Look me right in the eyes. Iíve stood across the ring from GOATs, Gods, Antichrists, the second-comings, and they all felt what youíre feeling right now. Trepidation. I walked into your home. Calm, cool and collected.” Shawn quickly cuts his attention back towards Brandon. “Youíre playing the game. Iím playing the board. This isnít chess, there are no right moves. There is only the outcome. Thatís what we have in common. The outcome. I donít like to lose and if I have to go through you to win, I will.”
Brandon scoffs. “Playing the board? I thought better of you Shawn, but disappointment is an old friend. Take a look around you bud, do you see the pawns? Do you see the knights and rooks? I am about building the board the others are forced to play upon, while the weaker are the ones holding it up in the first place. You talk as if you are a man of substance, but your words just dismiss any other notion that what your little noggin has bouncing around in it. Open your eyes to the real world, my friend. Do you see it? Can you smell it? Can you taste it in the air? Seriously consider what it is that you perceive, because you are looking at the one thing in this world that you will never be able to conquer. The one person who can hold your head beneath the water and make you drown. I offer you respect, and you verbally attempt to spit in my face? Why even bother walking in here all nonchalant with your dick swinging like you are something if youíre just going to end up like every other man, woman, and child who has had the gall to metaphorically try to smear their shit into my face?”
“Do you listen to yourself? Like at all? Or are you simply content with beating the same people, over and over again. Iíve said it once and Iíll say it to your face.” Shawn leans back in his chair. “Gods donít govern over one, they govern over many. Everywhere I go, I dominate. I go somewhere and doors open for everyone. I take down the established. Itís not my fault you think that itís you.”
Brandon sighs as he pulls the .45 caliber Colt Model 1917 revolver out that had been sitting in his lap. He lays it out on the table before him. “Pay Sheila no mind, my family draws a lot of enemies you see, and one can never be too careful.” He finishes the rest of his glass before flipping it over as well.
*Ohhhh did this just actually get Interesting?*
“So you say then that you have come to conquer? I have not had the privilege of being anywhere as I am before you today. If we are measuring our dicks, then you should know that everywhere I have been, I enter unknown, and before they know it, it is a massacre and the blood flows like one of these opponentís monthly when they forget to pop in a kleenex. I was the king of the death match. But I wasnít always that way, Shawn. I was once like you, many years ago, when I was brand new. Now, nothing is new and I find myself living in the past. Not metaphorically. But for real. Always doomed to repeat itself, history is.” Brandon picks the revolver up into his hand, giving it a hard once over.
“If you think that is going to rattle me, you have to try a little harder.” Shawn lifts up the bottom of his shirt, revealing two small scars. “One. Two. Nine millimeter, point blank.” Shawn lowers his shirt and cracks a smile. “Guy was honestly a shit shot.”
“No, no, no. I will never shoot a man unless I have failed otherwise. No, this.. well, Sheila is calling out to us Shawn. She wants her favorite game to be played.” Brandon unclicks the cylinder, and kinda flicks his wrist to pop it out to the side, revealing not six, but seven chambers with each housing a .45 caliber round. Brandon looks up from his weapon at Shawn. “Have you ever played?”
*Ohhhh it did get interesting. Gotta remember what Kasey said, nothing stupid.*
Shawn tilts his head to the right. “I have. Undefeated champion.” Shawn reaches for the weapon, as Brandon quickly pulls it away. “Thought you wanted to have fun?”
“First, the rules.” Brandon interjects as he begins to allow every round but one to fall from his revolver, and they each hit the floor and scatter in a different direction. The one that remained had landed in his hand. “Before each pull, you open the cylinder, and give it another spin.” Brandon pops the single round into a chamber and slams the cylinder closed. “Iíll go first.” And without hesitation, Brandon Moore puts the firearm up square with his temple, and squeezes the trigger. Crickets from outside. His demeanor does not change, he just simply slides the weapon across the table to his, whether he likes it or not, tag team partner..
“Okay.” Shawn releases the chamber and gives it spin. With the flick of his wrist the chamber closes. “So. Just like this?” Shawnís finger hovers over the trigger.
*Pause for dramatic effect.*
*Dick. Well rules are meant to be broken.*
“When you do something more, it takes a second.” Shawn smiles and slides the firearm across the table. “Youíre up big boy.”
Brandon snatches up the weapon as it slides his way. His eyes donít leave those of Shawnís. He flips open the cylinder, and stops. He looks at the bullet resting in itís chamber, and looks back at Shawn. Brandon reaches down at his feet and scoops up another round, and without looking at the weapon, adds it to a chamber before slamming it shut. “My kind of man.” And he pulls the trigger, his eyes locked onto his partners. Brandon goes to slide it across the table but stops, a smile permeating his face. He returns the barrel to himself, this time into his mouth, and pulls the trigger. Mumbled, “Well, damn, would you look at that?” Brandon removes the barrel from his mouth and slides the revolver back to Shawn.
*wOuLd YoU lOoK aT tHaT? God this guy is annoying.*
Shawn grabs the weapon and once again lifts up his shirt. This time wiping the remnants of saliva off the barrel. “Can never be too careful.” He opens the chamber and gives it a spin. Placing it right to his left temple.
*No pausing this time, go for it Shawn.*
Shawn points the weapon towards the wall pulling the trigger. A shot echoes in the room, causing glass to shatter. He places it on his temple once again.
Shawn smiles and slides the weapon over to Brandon. Neither man has broken their glare at the other.
“God Damnit, I love it!” Brandon shouts as he gets up quickly to his feet, knocking his chair over backwards in the process. “We are going to be unstoppable!”
*Holy shitÖ. I get it now. Now I know why I fucking hate this guy!?!?*
“Listen. Iím only going to say this once, so listen closely.” Shawn stands up from the table and holds his arms out to his side. “Iím in this to win it. If I have to take the head off of Watson to do it, oh well. He will get over it. If I have to castrate or spay each and every one of them I will. I value nothing more than me winning. Unstoppable? No.” Shawn pulls his hands down and shrugs.“Unbeatable.”
Brandon looks back to Shawn, a sarcastic look on his face.“My friend, we are going to completely wreck every last piece of crap that advances right along with us.” Brandon quickly picks up the revolver and puts it to his head without checking the cylinder. “And the only thing I like more than myself is winning.. myself. Ah, fuck it. You get it.”
*Friend is a strong word. But I see it now, heís essentially ME. When opposites attract, then the opposite must be true as well. So if I know anything about myself. Winning is the only thing that is important. Fuck the rest. This guy isnít so badÖ.For one night only I have to befriend him, then itís back to the status quo. I can live with that.*
ó-The Adrenaline Doesnít Stopó
(End Collab With Brandon)
The Towncar pulls up to my house and I let myself out. I take a deep breath and before I know it the car is gone. No tail lights, just gone. Maybe I wasnít paying attention but with the adrenaline coursing through my body I didnít care.
The lights in the living room are on, but dimly lit. I can see the dancing reflection of the television.
Walking up the steps to the front door I pause for just a moment. My hand hovers over the door knob. A slight tremor. Maybe itís the adrenaline. Maybe heís coming back. He tends to do that when Iím under a great amount of stress. I take one final deep breath.
I turn the knob and open the door. Was I expecting Kasey to leap into my arms? Maybe. Am I surprised she didnít? No. Sheís been through a lot and now I need to be here for her. I have my distractions sorted out, now itís time to get her on the right track again.
I approach the living room. Empty. “Hmm. Sheís not here.” I heard some rustling in the kitchen and headed towards there.
Some pans rattled and cabinet doors closed with a bang. I hear her sigh as I walk in. She looks at me and smiles. I guess the time alone helped her.
“How did it go?” She asked as I took a step towards her.
“It went, heís not that bad of guy.” Another step.
“I was going to make us something to eat.” She points towards the stove as I take another step.
“Thatís okay. Iím not really hungry right now.”
I grab her by the waist and pull her close. She drops what was in her hands, as I brush the hair away from her face. A smile from her as I lean over and begin to kiss the nape of her neck. Which leads me going down to the clavicle. We jostle for position as I pin her up against the refrigerator. She raises a leg and wraps it around my waist. She pulls away briefly for a second. “Whatís gotten into you?”
I pick her up and carry her towards the stairs. Each kiss is filled with more passion than the previous. Her hair is flowing everywhere. As we approach the bedroom door I kick it open and after we pass the threshold I use my heel to kick the door closed.
*Adrenaline. It was adrenaline at the door.*
Fade To Black.