“So this is it huh?”
Sutler looked around the hospice room with a wary eye. His childhood friend lay in a bed hooked up to several machines that beeped and chirped. David’s face was gaunt though Sutler still recognized him. He was a shadow compared to what the Champion remembered as when they were children.
“Casa de David, in all its glory.” Dave said with a smile, waving toward the rest of the room. It was sparsely furnished, two chairs, a nightstand and a TV mounted to the wall. The smell of the place bothered Sutler, sanitizer and sorrow. He cast a quick glance around the room before nodding.
“Yeah, it’s pretty glorious.” the Son of Scions said jokingly before looking down at his frail friend.
“I never thought I’d see you again, Sut. It was just a coincidence that I saw you last Saturday. My son loves wrestling and he was here..” David said proudly before he took a moment to breathe in some oxygen. “..watching Returned..”
“Refueled.” Sutler corrected as he pulled a seat up next to the bed.
“Refueled, yeah. Low and below I hear a familiar name, not a lot of Sutlers in the world. Then I recognized that ugly face of yours.”
Both men chuckled as Sutler shrugged.
“You’ve got a son?”
Slowly David turned and pulled a picture off the nearby nightstand. He held out toward Sutler with a shaky hand welcoming him to take it. The World Champion took the picture and stared down at it. He saw the face of two proud parents and a cheerful young boy who looked to be about 8 years old.
“How the hell do you have a kid this old?” Sutler asked in confusion. David was the same age, he would have had to knock up his wife when he was twelve or thirteen. His friend just chuckled again before letting off a gentle sigh.
“His name is Charles, we adopted him. I was adopted, my wife can’t have children and I wanted to do the same for a child that my Father did for me. I love him, he’s my son.” he said in a melancholy tone as Sutler handed the picture back. “..we didn’t know..then…”
There is a grim silence fell between the two as David let Sutler put the final pieces of what he was saying together.
“You wear that everywhere?”
His friend broke the silence pointing at the #97Red Championship wrapped around his waist. Shame and embarrassment washed over Sutler as he remember the title around his waist.
“Oh, uh, yeah, hah, it’s for promotional reasons. When you’re the World Champion you have to represent the company to the public.” Sutler lied through his teeth. He was far too embarrassed to admit that he wanted to show it off and his ego wouldn’t allow him to part with it.
David nodded, the answer being logical and making sense.
“So there isn’t anything that can be done? I know some amazing doctors tha-”
Before Sutler could finish David was already shaking his head, his hand held up as a smile crossed his face again.
“It’s too late. The cancer is eating me alive despite the treatments and now it’s just a matter of waiting. I didn’t want you to visit in the hopes that you’d save me, I just wanted to see my friend one last time. It’s fine, really. I’m.. as at peace as I can be.”
Sutler could tell that David was being honest even as tears began to fill his friends eyes. The world just wasn’t fair, it wasn’t kind, that a man like his own father, Max Kael, could live for decades while David only got twenty years.
“I’m glad you found me, David.”
So Darin Zion, do you know ANYTHING about what has happened in the last two months?
Oh my fucking GOD Zion, do you even bother to do research? Is it even in you to take a moment and actually watch the shows, pay attention to the promos, give the product even an ounce of respect?
Clearly the answer is no, fuck it, I’ll just wing it.
That’s why you fucking lose, dude. You just spout off whatever you THINK is going on without ever actually trying to know. Now I understand why my Dad wrote down “Darin is super dumb” several times in the book he kept on you.
Lee isn’t padding my stats though kudos for you assuming that. You just got dumb shit lucky walking in that room. This is my THIRD title defense in as many weeks, he’s hoping I’m weak and run down and that you have a shot you fucking idiot.
I’m not in the Best Alliance you lowly turd blossom. I’ve NEVER been in the Best Alliance. Maybe that whole Lee Best had Mina Starr-Kael run over and jabbed her eye out because I turned him down snuck past ya. Or perhaps you just didn’t see the news post where HR declared that Sutler Reynolds-Kael wasn’t joining the Best Alliance. I guess you’ve completely ignored the weeks of Lee publicly tempting me to join the Best Alliance.
How the fuck are you expecting to win a match when you don’t even bother to check these things before you just let it fall out of your stupid head?
Also I’m not a Millennial you waste of fucking cum, I was born in 2001. YOU are a Millennial. Jesus fucking Christ, I was warned that you were trash with a stick but I was expecting like, something more? Anything more? If that was supposed to be your best effort, your WORLD CHAMPION effort maybe you should focus on the TV Title.
Holy fuck. Do you write for the Republican Party cause you spread misinformation like your valet spreads her legs.
Did… did you even listen to my last promo? I know you’re not going to sleep on this because that’s what you do. You take advantage of other people’s willingness to believe that you will. Fuck, I spent a whole fucking five minutes singing your praises and then, well, whatever the fuck that promo was happened.
In fact, after experiencing that, I’m kinda with my Father about you. I fucking hate you. I HATE YOU. You literally waste my time and disrespect history. All the shit I’ve been through over the last couple of weeks with my grandfather and you thought I was in the Best Alliance?!
Jesus, fucking, Christ. LEARN THE PRODUCT.
Also don’t be making promises you can’t back up, sugartits. I left Teddy Palmer AND Clay Byrd unconscious in the ring the last two weeks. I’m a trained fucking killer, broke the stupid Union 214 Group of Buddies with my bare fucking hands! I’m the Baby Faced Assassin while you’re just a fuckin’ Baby! The only thing you’re going to be lucky to walk out of Refueled with is your life.
I’m going to fucking choke you.
Until you stop moving.
….and maybe a little longer than that.
Cause I’m a Champion and you’re a lazy scrub.
“You’ve got a nice place here.”
Sutler sighed as he peered up at the sun peeking through the clouds above. The beautiful, sunny July afternoon did little to warm the World Champion’s heart. He shifted uncomfortably, gripping the World Title close to his chest.
“A very nice view.”
He turned his head to stare down the hill toward the quaint little town that was laid out at it’s base. As a gentle breeze kissed his cheek he could feel tears running down them. Taking in a shaky break, Sutler rubbed away the tears with his forearm, sniffling slightly as he did so. His eyes turned down to the freshly planted tombstone.
“Sorry I didn’t come during the service I just.. I just didn’t want to distract or detract from your last big party.” Sutler whispered to David’s grave, his voice wavering slightly. “Surprising, I know. Usually I like to take up all the attention in a room but uh.. I guess I just didn’t feel like it today.”
The #97Red title slipped from his fingers and landed on the soft grass at his feet. The World Champion was quick to follow, falling first to his knees and then falling back onto his ass. His eyes had turned red from crying while his face was puffy and damp. The deaths of Elenore and Maximillian hadn’t really affected him, he had never shed a tear for either of his abusive retainers.
“I should have reached out to you, I should have tried to find you but I was.. I don’t know what I was.” he cried through growing sobs. “You were the only good friend I’ve ever had, the only good memories I have of my childhood. I only had one more day with you and only because you recognized me. You were determined to get the goodbye we never got to have as kids. I.. I never would have done that.”
He turned his tear filled eyes toward the World Title that lay facing up toward him in the grass ahead of him. The #97Red leather suddenly reminded him of blood while the gold and jewels glittered beneath the sun. It was a beautiful and terrible title, to own it was suffering, to take it required sacrifice. He didn’t know how much longer he could do this.
“I’m a piece of shit who only cares about myself, who only cares about overshadowing my Father.. My Adopted Father. He was a fucking piece of shit and he.. Spread that to me. I.. I didn’t want to believe it. You know, I thought I’d be more like my real father but I guess it’s just one of those nature vs. nurture situations. I don’t know.”
He sighed again, rubbing the tears out of his eyes. He grunted, picking up the High Octane World Championship as he regained his composure.
“It’s kind of crazy, you know? My grandfather hates me cause I won’t join his shitty group. My real father hates me and attacked me in the match I won the World Championship. My adopted father spent almost every waking moment trying to figure out how to kill me. Nobody in High Octane Wrestling wants to be my friend. Even Max managed to befriend Uncle Mike and Cecilworth.. You were the only friend I’ve ever really had. Now you’re gone.”
Sutler pushed himself up off the ground as he stared down at the tombstone. His cheeks had dried as his face fell into a flat, emotionless expression.
“I guess the last of the old me goes with you, David..”
He leaned forward and tapped the tombstone with his fingers.
“Tag, you’re it.”
The Uber dropped Sutler off at the gates of the Kael Estate in Arkham. The gloomy towers of the gothic revival style home casting long shadows over him. As he passed through the gates he noticed about a dozen new Family members. Some were standing guard near the front door, others were maintaining the lawn.
Just how many Family members were there in the World and how many of them were coming here? His mind raced as he slowly walked toward the Estate.
The booming voice of MAXKAELJr broke the Son of Scions out of his thoughts. As he turned he saw his towering Japanese bodyguard meandering toward him.
“Yo, Junior, what’s with all the new faces?” The Champion asked as he adjusted the World Title strapped around his waist.
“Your father’s legacy is spread far and wide, his many children are called to the Estate.” Junior matter-of-factly answered. “How was the funeral?”
Sutler turned away from MAXKAELJr avoiding the question as he pressed on.
“We’re going to have to build a separate place to house all these people, Junior.” Sutler switched the subject back to the number of Family members who all seemed to be smiling at him creepily.
“Yes, you are correct which is why we’ve purchased the homes on either side of the property to begin expanding, Master Sutler.” MAXKAELJr grumbled as he followed the World Champion.
That news caused Sutler to pause, turning to look at MAXKAELJr with a shocked expression.
“And who the FUCK authorized that shit?!”
There is a long pause between the two of them before Junior pushes past Sutler toward the double front doors. Sutler’s burning glare followed him before he scrambled after the behemoth.
“I said who the fuck authorized that because it sure as fuck wasn’t me! I’ve been to a funeral and reading that stupid Zion book, which, by the way, that dude is a fucking tool. I didn’t need a book to tell me that, all I had to do was watch a fucking promo from that, how did my Father put it, ninnyhammer? I come back home to find out that people are just authorizing expansions and welcoming in new random strangers?!” the World Champion berated his bodyguard as the two entered the Kael Estate.
MAXKAELJr was silent as he absorbed the verbal barrage from Sutler. Upon entering the front foyer Junior turned to stare down at the Son of Scions. He let both of his hands rest on Sutler’s shoulder as he stared into his face with a serious expression. The Boy Who Was Champion wasn’t sure what to make of that action as he quirked an eyebrow.
“..uh..Junior? What the fuck are you doing.”
Junior answered with a solemn, reassuring nod of his head before he stepped out of the way. Sutler’s eyes widened as he stared into the gaunt bandaged face of Mina Starr-Kael. Her diminutive body was strapped into a wheelchair, her broken body in braces and casts. Though most of her face was covered in bandages he could still see a broken tooth smile parting her chapped lips.
“Welcome home, Darling….”