Author Topic: ... Changing The World ... (collab effort with Jack Michaels)  (Read 63 times)

Offline Distorted Angel

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... Changing The World ... (collab effort with Jack Michaels)
« on: August 13, 2017, 02:38:20 AM »
Jack Michaels was confused.

It was nearing three in the morning as he stood outside of the entrance to Johns Hopkins hospital and a slight chill in the air made him pull the collar up on his tan suit jacket. The 7 time Hall of Famer and current CRO of High Stakes Wrestling fished in his pocket and produced a cigar, a small gesture that signaled Jack being happy, reflective or baffled. With Amber Ryan missing from her hospital room and a staff that had no idea where she was, it was certainly the latter.

*click* *click*

"Hmmm..."

Jack looked down at his engraved golden lighter and realized that he must be out of fluid in the thing. He sighed slightly and replaced the lighter and cigar back into his jacket pocket. Instead of a smoke, Jack decided to start walking away from the private hospital and towards a small diner near the end of the road. With every step, thoughts began to burn in his mind which he simply needed to answer. Why would Amber leave after Jack footed the bill for her to be taken here instead of that chop block in downtown Baltimore? Why the sudden cold shoulder after their two business dinners? More important than that though, did she realize what Jack was proposing to her?

"She’s hard to get a read on, that’s for sure."

Jack chuckled under his breath as he struggled to figure out what exactly it was about Amber he found so fascinating. She was a heck of a talent for sure and there was no denying that she had the ability to do things in that ring that not many other people would. Hell, what he had watched at the Carnage show had more than proved that. However, there was something else that had him intrigued about her. She had a passion that was very rare in this sport... A sort of burning that Jack himself spent years perfecting in his own career. She was dangerous but she was also wild in her delivery. There was a lack of guidance, direction or something that Jack could not put his finger on.

"She is a damn beast in that ring but she fights only with her heart."

He knew she had been hurt in some way, battered to where she was. He wanted to know what got her there and what he could do to help her use her brain as well as her heart. Put it towards a cause worth fighting for. Make her see what Jack had already begun to...

"What the hell?"

Jack arrived at the doors to the diner where, through a window, Jack could see the battered Amber Ryan slowly sipping at a cup of coffee. Her dislocated thumb was wrapped tightly and the various cuts, scrapes and wounds had been tended to. Jack eyeballed her for a second before shrugging to himself and walking to her table.

-----


"Rough night huh?"

The Carnage World Champion and 4CW Pride Champion hadn’t paid much attention to the waitress until now, a cursory glance catching the mandatory look up and down in progress at the redheads rather dishevelled and battered appearance. Slipping by wordlessly with a solemn nod, Amber fathomed that the waitress saw gunshot victims stagger in desperate to evade the law or spouses seeking romantic consolation from those who hadn’t been promised more than a stolen moment.

In the redheads case, she was just avoiding having to go back into that sterile malebolge of pity and dying flowers. It brought a brief smile to her face, the idea that they’d likely realized by now that she’d simply ‘vanished’ like a poorly executed magic trick they bought into because they just wanted to believe in something.

In a much more boring truth, she’d simply hidden in plain sight; with the two titles stuffed unceremoniously into her duffel bag, hoodie down and heavily bound hand stuffed in the front pocket as though her dislocated thumb might have somehow given her away. With a half hearted smile, she passed people in the throws of the best and worst days of their lives before walking out like she belonged there instead of falling into the trap of invalidity and sucking sympathy through a straw.

"You could say that."

Now, the titles sat on the booth table top. Not that the waitress seemed to care, her bored smile broken only by a faint curiosity as she tried reading the nameplates upside down; she was pretty, pretty in the same way a weed growing through a pavement crack might have been considered so just cause it managed to sprout a flower. Maybe that helped with tips- a sweet smile prying an extra couple of dollars from those seeking the comfort of caffeine and self imposed misery.

Back of the diner, beside the window that she’d do her best not to look out of- never be the one caught staring, make everyone else feel uncomfortable. See everything and everyone. A long standing side effect of a paranoia reaching back as far as she dared to delve without a shrink present and on the clock.

Tracing her fingers across the titles, she swore internally that she’d clean the drying blood off them sooner rather than later, however for the moment she seemed more than content to stare into the depths of a half-drunk black coffee.

Everything still seemed a little fuzzy around the edges, sounds more of an echo. Her hand ached, despite the multitude of cuts and bruises- even the cut across her cheek that stung when she even looked the wrong way, her hand gave her the most discomfort.

Hindsight suggested that dislocating her thumb wasn’t necessary, that it wasn’t worth simply winning a match- of course hindsight was wrong and biased by perspectives that had never achieved anything more than participation trophies and a rough pat on the back.

Tightening her injured hand around the cup as much as she could manage, the black coffee swirling slowly, she tried to ignore the incoming footsteps.

-----

Jack took a few steps towards the table where Amber sat, the same stale look of confusion on his face. She looked like she had seen a war, not even bothering to look up from the coffee that swirled around in her cup. Jack took a seat across from her which caused her to look up suddenly.

"You know, coffee is not a good replacement for Plasma. Just saying."

She stifled a chuckle, returning her attention to the coffee- even it's slow swirl seemed to be mocking her as the heat dissipated just beyond sight.

"Huh, well it certainly tastes better. Even just marginally so."

Jack nodded slightly before raising a finger to the waitress and making a motion to get his own cup of Joe. He leaned back slightly and crossed his arms. He looked down at the two title belts on the table and smiled slightly.

"I guess congrats are in order for you kid, you put up a hell of a fight out there even if you took it a bit far."

Amber says nothing as she continues to stare down into her drink. The waitress brings Jack his coffee before Jack begins to stir some splenda into the cup. He adds a bit of cream and takes a sip before looking out the window back towards Johns Hopkins hospital.

"You know, it is a hell of a hospital to walk out of on your own. I didn't like the idea of you being taken to those butchers down in the city. Carnage seems to have some weird ideas about how to take care of their injured talent but..."

Amber didn't give him the benefit of eye contact, not yet. She felt like she was on the verge of being scolded like a disobedient child just waiting for the cane to come down across her fingers. Only without the fear; it wouldn't hurt nearly that much in comparison to the shooting pains racing through her hand.

"Hospital is a hospital. It's all the same to me, I'll walk out of one plated with gold just the same as I'd walk out of a downtown chop shop."

Jack brought his eyes back to Amber and found himself admiring the courage of this woman while at the same time being frustrated by her stubborn ways. He put his coffee down and leaned forward.

"You know, you don't have to put on the tough girl act every time you go out. I know you must be hurting but at least give me the courtesy of taking it down a notch."

With a subtle smirk, she finally free her eyes back up.

"What are you gonna do exactly?"

She briefly waved the heavily strapped hand to make a point.

"Kiss it better? I got meds that do the same thing and I'm not using those either. Thanks but I'm not the charity case you were looking for."

Jack felt blood rush into his cheeks as he began to squeeze his cup tighter. Tilted his head slightly and leaned forward even further.

"Is that what you think? That you are some charity case that I am trying to play in order to do what? Get in your pants? Not on my radar kid, so please try again. We've talked about what I want to do with you the last couple of days and I've told you that there is something you are missing and that I think I can help you find it. Are you that obtuse that you can't admit to at least being curious at what I am offering?"

"Offering? Is that what we're calling it... I'm not just some puppet to be maneuvered around for political purposes, nor am I a weapon that can calibrated at will. You sat down and you watched one match Jack, and now you think you get how my head works cause there's so little in there. You don't though."

Amber leans back, roughly shoving her injured hand into her hoodie pocket as though in preperation to leave.

"You really just have no goddamn clue."

Rage boils on Jack's face as suddenly we hear the ceramic cup explode in his hand. Amber jumps slightly at the noise as a mixture of hot coffee and blood now run on the table.

"No clue? NO CLUE? Do you know how many god damn times I've sat in that very position you are in and questioned why I was still walking? Do you know how much I had to fight and scratch and claw in order to get the honor and RESPECT I was owed? DO YOU?!?!?"

Jack reaches over and rips the coffee cup in front of Amber off the table and launches it down the empty diner. The waitress cowers as Jack continues his tirade.

"I have seen and done more than you can ever imagine and I will be damned if I don't see the same spark in you that pushed me so many years ago. However I can see you were hurt somehow. I can see you were pushed beyond what you should of been. I can see a lot about you Amber but I can also see you are so stuck up your own ass that it is going to take a serious reality check in order for you to get what the bigger purpose is."

Jack breathes heavily for a second before sitting back down and watching the waitress tell the cook what Jack has done. He shakes his head sadly and motions to the belts on the table.

"You have so much talent but nobody realizes what you can truly do... Including yourself. I want to show you what you can do with somebody who doesn't have some ulterior motive for you. I don't want to play games with you, I don't want you to be my puppet and I don't need you for politics either kid. What I need... Is for you to realize what you can do not just for yourself but for the whole god damn world around you."

Jack throws a few bills down on the table and grabs a napkin to wrap around his bleeding hand. He looks off into the night and chuckles humorlessly to himself.

"There is a whole world out there waiting for the right person to make the difference Amber... I just wish you could see that."

Jack walks away from the table as Amber sits in a stunned silence.

-----

Few people had ever spoken up in that way towards the redhead- usually handling her with cotton wool and nuclear level gloves as though she were contagious. Internally debating she swore under her breath and dragged herself up from the table, almost forgetting how sore she was until she made it upright. Roughly stuffing the belts back into the duffel bag that had lurked beneath the table during the exchange, Amber loudly exhaled and made a decision. With a slight hobble she made an effort to follow, however not quickly enough that he might get the idea that she was okay with being treated like a child. He wasn't wrong, granted he wasn't entirely right either but that could be addressed another time.

"Hey."

She stood just beyond the door, allowing the distance between them to carry her voice.

"Whatever it is you think you see in me- you're probably wrong. I'm also not the person to tell anyone not do something stupid either so to hell with it."

She looked like hell, as the duffel bag cut into her shoulder slightly while she used it to rest her hand on.

"You're right though, at least in one respect."

She swallowed hard, allowing the pause to speak momentarily.

"The right person can make a difference... and if you think I'm even remotely that person then more power to you, just don't say I didn't warn you. I have a reputation of disappointment."

-----

Jack didn’t turn around while she spoke, instead allowing her words to sweep over him. He turned his head to look at Amber who had bowed her head slightly with her last admission. An emotion came over Jack’s face as he walked back over to where she stood shakily at the door. He looked at her deeply and spoke with a tenderness that seemed to come as a surprise to Amber.

"It’s not about what we think Amber, it’s about what we believe in. Every bone of logic may say I am wrong but every ounce of my faith says I am right."

Jack extended his napkin wrapped hand out to Amber with a soft smile.

"Let’s explore it together."

Amber eyed Jack wearily before extending her hand back. Jack took it lightly but suddenly Amber stumbled from the door frame from sheer exhaustion. Catching her from falling, Jack took the duffel bag from her and helped prop her up on his shoulder.

"I got you kid, I got you."

Amber regarded Jack with uncertain eyes but oddly felt, dare she say safe, as she allowed him to help her walk. With mixed emotions in both of their heads, the two wandered off into the early Baltimore morning as we fade to black...



Former 4CW Pride Champion
Former Carnage World Champion
Current HSW Tag Team Champion
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Record:

4CW: 8-4-0
Carnage: 8-1-0
HSW: 3-0-0
Life: 0-1-0