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 Filling In The Gaps (Part Two)

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Faulerro

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PostSubject: Filling In The Gaps (Part Two)   Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:19 pm

Soudouki



I’ve arrived.

The shameless leeches that comprise LWJ management gathered around my car to greet me as I drove into the parking lot. I was here early to avoid the stares and screams of bottom-feeding fans - as is my custom - and after shoving my way through the panicked and apologetic nerds running this place, I sought out my contractually-required dressing room.

The best they could manage in this run-down high school gym was an emptied storage room. Ordinarily I’d find this to be utterly unacceptable and would complain until they found me something far more suitable, but this time I decided against it. I’ll take these inferior surroundings; I’ve got more pressing issues to concern myself with than comfort right now.

Melanie Riggs. I haven’t forgotten you, darling. When we were younger you despised me, and rightfully so; I had what you could only dream of. I had fortune. I had popularity. I had beauty. I had everything, and you; nothing. You lumbered around with that scowl plastered on your face, hoping that one day I’d get what was ”coming to me”. All that came to me was further fortune, unmatched popularity, and I blossomed into greater a beauty than any in our little town.

Now I stand tall as the queen of women’s wrestling. I am the alpha female of our very gender. People hear my name and they bow in reverence. I earned my way to the top and I didn’t even need to, what with my lineage. What hope do you have, Mel? What challenge do you bring, a floundering child with nothing to her name but a grudge and lacklustre training? I demonstrated all too clearly what happens when you try me, but still you continue this charade.

That’s fine, old friend. Come at me. I will chop you down again, and this time in front of a crowd of witnesses. It will be glorious.

Treasure that pride of yours while you still can. Soon I will take it from you.

------



Melanie



Back in America.

I missed this place; I’ve been here lots of times in my life, mostly to visit family members. The trip to New York (and thereabouts) with Chris two years ago was good fun too. This is my first time in Philadelphia, though. Feels really strange being here; like stepping right into one of the Rocky films.

From the plane I was picked up by a stretch limo. Yes, a limo. This whole trip was financed by Gloria Kortial, so I find myself enjoying the comfort of this luxurious vehicle that couldn’t look any less appropriate in this city. I arrived just about on time, and caused quite a fuss amongst the fans queuing up outside the gym. It is unusual for a limo to drive up to an indie show, after all.

The people in charge were very accommodating, even though this was my professional debut. They told me that they usually wouldn’t let somebody fresh off the block into a match, let alone against their headliner, but Karen Winshetta was very insistent that this would be worth the risk. Of course this only stood to make me feel more nervous, but I did my best to assure them that I would put on a show they wouldn’t forget.

I didn’t mind sharing the locker room with the other lady wrestlers that made up the roster; it was a lot like getting changed before using a swimming pool. They were all incredibly nice, giving me words of encouragement. Truth be told though it felt like they were preparing me for the worst, and were quite happy for me to take that unenviable spot. I guess Soudouki Kobayashi really is notorious here.

I zipped open my rucksack and pulled out a vacuum-packed costume. In the time between the announcement of the match and today, Gloria had some wrestling gear designed for me: a crop top and capri trousers, which works for me because I don’t think I’d feel comfortable in spandex stuff. They’re both yellow and black, but thankfully not striped: I didn’t want to go out there looking like a freaking bee.

I slipped the gear on and was surprised at how well it all fit me; it’s not like I ever gave Gloria my measurements. Perhaps she just has a good eye. There’s a pair of sports trainers here too, also bearing that colour scheme. She was very insistent that I wear these, despite my usual capoeira-influenced habit of fighting barefoot. Considering Soudouki, it’s likely for the best that I protect my feet, as well as add a little edge to my kicks.

It’s Saturday, 12th of March. Today I finally put Soudouki in her place, or die trying. I can’t describe the disdain - the hatred - I have for that girl; it’s consumed me for years. I tried to bury it, but as soon as I saw her face again it rose up to the surface as strong as ever. At one point in my life I’d convinced myself that I was just being childish and jealous, and that harbouring a grudge against somebody like her forever just wasn’t healthy. But then she did what she did to Chris. When it became apparent that she hadn’t changed, even in adulthood, I knew something had to be done.

That’s not to say that I’m doing this for Chris. I’m doing this for me. I have been disrespected, mistreated and looked down upon by that Soudouki too many times over the course of my life. I am not inferior to her. I will not be subjugated by that privileged little shit. I will prove my worth, and will do so by beating her at what she does best.

Nerves are frazzled. It’s okay. I can do this. I’ve trained for this.

Give me your worst, Soudouki. It won’t compare to mine.

------

I’m up first. I stand at the entrance curtain, trying to gain control of my breathing. I’ll admit that I’m not used to going out in front of a crowd; the most I’d performed capoeira for was a small group of like-minded individuals. I grasp my black necklace tight, toying with its bead as the lighting flickers back an inverted image of the wrestling ring upon it. They play a Brazilian piece of music that I requested, one that helped me get into the zone when preparing. It blasts out of the dusty PA system, and the crowd of already-excited wrestling fans, still buzzing from the matches they’d seen thus far, let out a collective bellow of excitement.

Here it goes. They give me a signal and I shove the curtains aside. I hear a louder bellow from the fans as I walk onto the entrance way. Metallic barriers separate me from them, but even amidst the screams and catcalls I actually feel comfortable. These people are wrestling fans just like me. I wave enthusiastically as I steadily make my way towards the ring, trying my best to ignore my ever-worsening nerves.

“The following match is scheduled for one-fall,” the ring announcer’s voice boomed from the PA system, “Coming to the ring, from Torquay, England... Melanie Riggs!”

There it is in front of me, towering above like a monolith. The ring. I’ve obviously been in one before, but this one seems different. It exudes an aura of independent wrestling, that pure, no-frills sport where the real athletes battle. It’s quite intimidating, but I set my fear aside and hop onto the apron, grasping the top rope between my hands. As I do so, I can feel the tension of the wires underneath. Seems these ropes and I have a lot in common.

It is then that I hear murmuring amongst some of the fans in the front row.

“Shit dude, I knew it. It is her.”

That’s Kobayashi’s opponent? Oh man, it figures.”

“I wonder if Reto’s watching this?”

That took me by surprise. I knew that many fans liked to read the dirt sheets, but had it really got out about Chris and me? I haven’t spoken to him in months, of course, but I was training with him in Dan’s school for a good two years. Maybe one of the students dropped my name...

I grit my teeth. I don’t have the time to be distracted. I pull back on the ropes and in one swift motion vault myself over them, flipping over and landing on my feet. I’d practiced this little move, and it seems to have impressed the crowd.

Okay, here I am. No backing out now; and no intention of doing so.

A new track bursts out of the speakers, causing the crowd to erupt, but my attention isn’t on that. It’s on the person now shoving the curtains aside. She struts her way into sight, golden championship belt glittering around her waist and I hear male fans letting out squeals of joy while flashing their camera phones at her, and female fans booing relentlessly. She absorbs it all delightedly, throwing her arms into the air in that all-too-suggestive manner.

“And her opponent, from Osaka, Japan...” the ring announcer stated with vigour, “She is the LWJ Champion... Osaka’s Pearl, Soudouki Kobayashi!”

It’s my first time seeing in the flesh her since the end of last year. She and I didn’t so much as approach each other backstage. It’s all about this match; right here, right now.

Her ring gear is just how I remember it from videos and photos; a revealing top and skimpy shorts, set above a pair of lengthy boots. It’s obvious why she has such a male following from the amount of skin that’s on display. She sways from side to side provocatively as she heads down the ramp, looking in every direction but mine, putting on that slutty air that seems to say “you want me but you can’t have me” to all the lusting fans here tonight. I will take inordinate amounts of pleasure ridding her of that self-important attitude.

I watch her every movement as she inches closer to the ring. The referee has entered it without my noticing, and pats me on the shoulder, waking me from my trance-like state.

“You alright there? Nervous?”

“Haha, a little,” I reply with a wan smile, “I’ll be okay, though. Just can’t wait to get started.”

He gives me a surprised look. Seems he doesn’t hear that often in regards to matches with Soudouki.

Speaking of her, she’s ceased teasing the fans long enough to make her way onto the apron. I shoot her a look, and see that she’s finally set eyes on me. I can detect a familiar look in that face of hers; the last time I saw it was, well, the last time I saw her. It’s quite unnerving. I hold my ground, however.

She walks up to me. I step right up to her, and give her a good hard reminder of just how tall I am. She shows no fear whatsoever, and I do my best to return the favour. Our eyes lock in the centre of that ring and I am amazed that this is even happening.

“You’re going to beg,” she tells me with a grin, and I feel every last hair on me stand up, “You’re going to beg for your life.”

I kick her right in the face.

Soudouki hits the canvas hard and I scramble to grab a limb; any limb. I’m following Gloria’s advice and going for a submission hold early. She’s able to regain her bearings quick enough to kick me away and roll back to her feet.

Her hair and make-up are a mess. She glares a whole right through me, crouched guardedly on the other side of the ring. Then, from her nose, a single drop of blood seeps out. She is apparently aware of it because her hand goes up to wipe it off. She spends a whole split-second eyeing it and those eyes widen with fury.

She launches herself at me and I hear the referee finally calling for the bell, signifying the official start of this match. She takes off with a spinning kick that I duck under, and I adopt the ginga to get into my groove. As Soudouki tries to recover from the failed kick, I press my hands against the mat and start to elevate my legs into the air with a plethora of kicks. She backs away from all of them, panic in her eyes. I am loving this.

I decide to transition from one style to the next; and using the momentum from an attempted sweep I spin around and force my forearm into her face. I hear a crunch. She wasn’t expecting that. Neither was the crowd, who let out a collective gasp. Soudouki cradles her nose in pain and I seize this opportunity. I slip an arm under hers, twist around to her back, and before she can register what’s going on I have both of her arms hooked into a full nelson.

A scream crackles in the back of her throat and it fills me with joy. I’m not even done yet. I yank backwards, stretching the tendons in her shoulders, and then thrust my entire body forwards. I land on my thighs and Soudouki lands on her face. The Kiss Goodnight, a move that Karen taught me. My opponent flails around on the mat with her face buried between both hands. The staccato grunts of pain that burst out of her are what I’ve been waiting years to hear.

I grasp a handful of her hair and the referee warns me about this but I don’t care. I drag her up to a vertical base and suddenly my eyes flash and white spots cloud my vision. She slapped me. I try to regain my bearings but I feel pressure against my throat as my own arm is wrapped across it. I want to right myself and as the thought crosses my mind, I feel my world turn upside down and a jarring impact on my head. The pain comes a moment later. As does the realisation: she just hit me with one of her finishing moves already: the Okonomiyaki neckbreaker.

I’m on my back, unable to get my body to respond. She could cover me right now. She could try to pin me and I might be too dazed to do anything about it; but she doesn’t. I feel her legs press against my torso and my arm grasped tightly; the arm that she hurt the last time we faced off. This time it’s being placed in far worse a situation: the Kobayashi Armbar. I force myself to struggle with all that I can do, but the jolt of fiery pain that strikes my shoulder and runs all the way down to my fingertips indicates that the hold is locked in.

“Beg, Melanie!” I hear her scream above my own yells.

Never, Soudouki. Never.

I’ve done this before. I wriggle as hard as I can and use my superior strength to push those legs of hers upwards. Her negative shrieks tell me all I need to know about how effective this is. I grit my teeth once again and am able to tip her over, gaining the leverage I need to shift her legs and pull my arm free. Bet she didn’t see that coming.

To make sure she’s subdued, as she attempts to get back up I sweep her legs right from underneath her with my trusty rasteira. She was so surprised by my escape of her hold that she left herself open to it. She groans deeply as she lies on her back, and it is then that I notice the support I’m receiving, even from the male fans. I have to say it’s quite flattering.

But I can’t let those thoughts distract me. Soudouki’s down and now’s my chance. I reach for her arms, but one of them flies out and scratches me right across the face. Damn it that hurt.

It’s Soudouki’s turn to be warned by the referee but she clearly doesn’t care. What she does care about is the fact that her catfight-style move has enraged me because I’m charging at her. Her eyes are open wide again in terror...

...Or so I think. Again. Just like that day.

This time I’m not restrained by an armlock, she just catches me right in the midsection with a perfectly timed kick. Soudouki’s steel-toed boot is driven into my stomach and I can feel the oxygen escape me. Both of my arms are hooked from my doubled-over position, seemingly as revenge for earlier, and I feel like I’m in a tumble dryer as I spin around and land hard on my spine. I’m racked with pain from that horrible impact: The Panther Driver, a move made famous by her father.

As I take the time to note what I was just hit with, I feel my legs being twisted in a familiar pattern. I realise too late what is happening. I’m flipped over like a pancake and that agonising sensation is felt in my back again. It’s like she dropped a hand grenade there.

The crowd explodes with excitement but I can barely hear them. My world has become one of suffering. I’m in that damn Vanity Mirror and I’ve never felt it quite like this. This is what it’s like to be placed into it by the specialist.

“Beg for your life, Melanie!” Soudouki practically spits at me, “Or I’ll break your back!”

She’s serious. My thoughts are becoming jumbled as my body sends the same message over and over: “save yourself”. That’s what the pain is; that very command. I can barely make sense of it at this point, though. I have to free myself of this. There’s only one option.

“What do you say, Melanie?” the referee asks me, referring to whether I can take any more.

I can’t. I can’t stand a moment more of this.

”So why are you letting her do it to you?”

A... voice? Where did that come from?

”You know how to get out of this. Quitting is not the way. You waited for this, Mel. Don’t let this slip away from you.”

That voice... it sounds so familiar.

And it’s coming out of my own mouth.

My thoughts are clear. I don’t feel a thing. With every word that voice speaks, I feel more and more confident. Now I can focus on it.

I throw both closed fists onto to the canvas, and put my revision and lower body training to the test.

I duck under and am able to flip. I’m not the only one who does. Soudouki is sent from her dominant position to right back down on her hideous face.

I’m free of that hold; I made it out! I can feel my back pulsing with agony still, but that voice keeps me going.

”You won’t get another chance like this one. Take it.”

Soudouki is infuriated. She doesn’t appreciate being repeatedly dropped onto her face. She charges me just like I did to her, screaming her lungs out.

My mind flashes back to February. Gloria Kortial’s living room.

My head rears to the side. I clench my fists so hard in preparation I’d swear I’m drawing blood. She’s getting closer to me with every step and it all happens in slow motion just like before.

”Remember that time she called you an ugly hooker in front of all your friends, and they laughed?”

I sure do.

Smack!

I feel dizzy from the collision but it’s worth it as my head collides with hers. She hits the mat so hard she practically leaves an imprint. My Cabeçada Crunch headbutt worked. It worked an absolute treat.

I pace around behind her and see her woozily raising her head. I’m in position.

”Remember that time she poured a cold drink down your top while at the cinema, just to embarrass you?”

Damn right I do.

Crack!

I flip forward over her head while grasping her neck, driving it forward at an unnatural angle. Her whole upper body flies backwards and I hear her squeal.

I stare down at her fallen, broken form. The fans are ecstatic about this turn of events. I take her by the arm and she does nothing to fight back. She’s barely conscious. It’s time.

”Remember how she told you that you’d never amount to anything while she’d be a superstar in everybody’s eyes?

You bet.

Click!

I’ve locked in the Gogoplata. I pull that tiny neck of hers and drive her throat into my shin. I don’t let a single bit of air into her windpipe. The fans have absolutely erupted. She struggles for breath and wheezes with terror in her eyes; her bloodied nose from before starts bleeding again from the pressure. She struggles pathetically, and the high-and-mighty Soudouki Kobayashi looks like a frightened child.

“Beg, Soudouki,” I hiss at her, and can’t prevent a satisfied smile from creeping onto my face.

Her eyebrows arch downwards and the look she gives me is priceless. She struggles more, desperately seeking a way out, but she’s completely at my mercy. I could never have prepared for the pleasure this moment is giving me.

Suddenly I feel a repeated slap on my leg and can barely make out a whispered whimper:

“Fucking get her off me, ref.”

That’ll do just fine, Soudouki. I let her loose, my goal achieved. I’ve blood all over my legs from her nose but I don’t care. The referee signals to the timekeeper, and the bell rings. What a sweet sound.

“The winner of this match as a result of submission,” the ring announcer’s voice booms over the PA system, “Melanie Riggs!”

Soudouki flops down to the mat, practically lifeless. I stay seated, completely spent and utterly joyous. A moment later, I see her limbs flailing and a squeal so high-pitched it must be setting off dogs all across the country. She’s throwing a temper tantrum. This couldn’t have gone any better.

She rolls out of the ring, grasping her neck and still breathing awkwardly. She grasps her still-bleeding nose with one hand. A staff member offers to help her to the back, but she kicks him away. This sight is incredible. The crowd and me are laughing at her; all of us together. This feels so good I can’t even describe it. I have no pity for that girl whatsoever.

As she makes her way to the back, presumably to yell at management, I see her shoot me a glare so deathly it would have turned me cold in any other situation. Not tonight, bitch.

The referee puts a hand out, and I accept it. He helps me to my feet and raises my arm, much to the adulation of the fans.

“Hey,” he says to me, “Good going. Really.”

“Thanks,” I smile at him, and place my arm on my back as the pain begins to register, “Think I could get some ice?”

He chuckles, “Sure, they’ll have some waiting for you backstage.”

“Brilliant,” I smile broader amidst the pain, and bow to the crowd before sliding underneath the ropes.

As I exit the ring, that voice echoes through my ears.

”I’m proud of you, Melanie.”

“I am too...” I mutter to myself softly, “...Strange voice in my head.”

Perhaps I lost my mind in this match. But if that’s the case, it’s more than worth it.

I can’t believe it.

------



Soudouki



I can’t believe it.

I won’t believe it.

There’s no way that could have happened. She is not capable of defeating me!

I am Osaka’s Pearl, Soudouki Kobayashi! I am so much more than she could ever conceive of being!

She... humiliated me. She shattered my image in front of the world. I will not let her get away with this.

Mark my words, Melanie Riggs. I will never forgive you. The next time we face each other in that ring, you will be stripped of your pride.

You are not victorious. You will not be victorious.

Not while one of us is still breathing.

I’ll meet you again soon, old friend.

------



Chris



Melanie told me the whole story, recounting it like it was happening right there and then. I sat the whole time on my sofa in disbelief. This happened and I wasn’t aware of it? I’m surprised Parko didn’t tell me about it.

Man, I spent way too much time cutting myself off from the world.

“So you beat her,” I repeated, still unable to process it properly, “And this was three days ago?”

She smirked at me, “You really should pay more attention to current affairs, Mr. Reto.”

I sat back, my eyebrows currently stuck in an elevated position.

“Good lord.”

“At the time it felt like the ultimate retribution,” she told me, “Like, that was it, you know? I finally got her back, and did so in style.”

“How do you feel now?”

“Oh, still frigging awesome,” she shrugged cheekily, “But I do wonder if it’s really over. After all, Soudouki never was one to let a matter drop.”

“Tell me about it,” I say with a wince.

“For now, though? I think I’ll be just fine,” she smiled warmly, “Hell, as reward for my actions, Gloria pulled a few more strings for me.”

“She did?”

“Yup,” she folded her arms and narrowed her eyes with a devious look on her face, “Guess who else is going to wrestle at CXA Reunion?”

If I were drinking something at this time I would’ve done a spit-take.

“I know, I’m not a former CWA or TXA wrestler,” Melanie admitted, “But they’re making an exception for me. I did just beat the LWJ Champion, after all.”

“Unbelievable,” I comment, still taken aback by all of this.

“You know what’s going to be especially awkward now, though,” I begin to tell her, “Trying to talk to Soudouki like an adult.”

“Ah, yeah,” she bit her lip, “Something tells me I won’t have humbled her much. In fact, I bet she’ll be even harder to deal with.”

“Still got that challenge ahead,” I sighed, “Especially if I want to keep my mind clear for David.”

“That reminds me, the match is officially happening, eh?” she asked, “I wasn’t around when you made the challenge.”

“Yeah, Trinity of Iron no less,” I groan, “Still, I’ll be ready for it. I’ll have to be. At least you’re here now.”

“Oh, flatter me all you like Christopher,” she said jokingly, “What makes you so certain I’ll remain at your side? Especially since I’ve a match of my own at the show?”

“Well, I was about to order us a Chinese,” I replied, motioning towards my phone.

After a moment of silence and a really dirty look, she sighed, defeated, “Oh fine. I suppose I can stick around.”

“I’ll get us a couple of Chow Meins and a Special Fried Rice then,” I smiled.

“Forget the prawn crackers and I’ll put you in the Gogoplata, young man,” she warned me with a grin.

As I chuckled and dialled the number, I was unable to ignore the fact that there was so much ahead of me that remained yet to be dealt with. I felt good though, especially for Melanie. She was able to achieve her goal through incredible effort and determination. She’s a great example of what happens when you give something your all.

Something about her story definitely stood out to me, though. It was part of the reason I was so surprised. She flat-out told me about a voice that willed her on. She dismissed it afterwards as just landing on her head too many times and being disoriented, but I had to wonder...

”Does she have a Worldbelonger too?”

Perhaps we’ve more in common than I thought. Still, I could worry about that later. Something far more important loomed ahead of me.

“Uh yes,” I said to the voice over my phone, “Could I make an order for delivery please?”
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PostSubject: Re: Filling In The Gaps (Part Two)   Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:46 pm

ooc: That was absolutely phenomenal.

I was really inspired by that quite a great deal.

And as for as IMMENSELY satisfying as that was, it's exciting to know that it's definitely not over between these two.

Not yet. Wink But soon, it will be.
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PostSubject: Re: Filling In The Gaps (Part Two)   Mon Mar 21, 2011 2:15 am

ooc: Standing ovation. That was marvelous.

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