Toronto, the birthplace of Will Arnett, Mike Myers, and Sarah Polley, home to the Blue Jays, Raptors, Maple Leafs, and Natalie Fuse-Sparrow-Starr. Inside the Victorian home of Natalie, Jatt Starr had tried to alleviate the growing nervousness and worry by trying to catch up on sleep after his flight, but, in that bedroom, staring up at the ceiling, his thoughts wandered, images spawned by his own deep-rooted low self-esteem and jealousy began to form as he imagined what Russell and Natalie were doing on their night on the town…..
Russell and his pretty boy good looks and humanitarian awards and his two testicles and his Burt Ward modeling career….
Russell opening doors for Natalie….
Russell pulling out a chair for Natalie….
Russell taking his hand and brushing a strand of hair that fallen across Natalie’s perfectly porcelain face….
The both of them, staring at each other…..
Maybe they begin playing footsie with one another before leaning across the table passionately kissing one another, Russell sliding his sluglike tongue down Natalie’s…..
The Mayor of ManJattan popped out of bed and began pacing. All of this was in his head. Natalie, by her own admission, stated that she had never cheated on Russell. She believed that whilst married, both she and her husband would be completely faithful to one another. She believed in the sanctity of marriage. She also believed that Conor Fuse would one day become an astrophysicist (granted that was when he was four and enjoyed math and space, before the video games had taken his ambition), so that did not help Jatt Starr’s mindset.
What Jatt knew was, he could not allow those thoughts to enter his brain. If they did, they would grow and fester and the next thing he knew, he would be thinking about Russell snorting cocaine off her bare back while fucking her in the ass. The longer he thought about it, the angrier and more insecure he would get and the angrier and more insecure he would get, the more likely he would do something stalkery like popping on a ballcap and sunglasses and begin following them around time, ready to snap his neck if his penis made any contact, directly or indirectly, with his wife’s body.
How long had they been gone? An hour and half? Two hours? Three?
He checked his phone, he had to use the timestamp from when he contacted his Co-HOTv World Champion, Dan Ryan to finger it out.
The Jattlantic City Idol could not spend the whole time delving into the worst case scenarios between Natalie and Russell. Instead, he undressed, carefully hanging his still perfectly clean dress shirt and slacks in the closet. His wardrobe options were limited but something caught his eye in the closet. He removed an item of clothing from the closet and put it on. A black silk kimono with cherry blossom designs lining it. He could feel a slight tingle as the smooth fabric touched his skin. For a moment, he was able to forget about Russell.
The Ruler of Jattlantis went to Natalie’s keepsake chest and opened it. He pulled out a photo album. He began flipping through it. In his mind, Jatt Starr assumed that Russell was some absentee father that left a positive masculine void in Conor Fuse’s life. Natalie even mentioned as much, but the photo album told a slightly different story….
Halloween, year unknown, a very young Conor Fuse dressed as Luigi, Tyler dressed as Mario, and Russell donned the costume of Bowser.
Russell, Conor, and Tyler building a snowman. Well, Tyler and Russell seemed to be building a snowman, Conor Fuse was holding up his Game Boy.
A family photograph vacationing on a lake, Russell, Natalie, and Tyler smiling at the camera, Russell had his hand placed on Conor’s shoulder. Conor was playing on his Game Boy.
The Thane of Starrkarth threw the photo album closed. These photos indicated that even though Russell may not have been present for some, if not most, of his children’s lives, he was still present for others.
Unlike Simon Sparrow…..
How much of Gilda’s life did he miss? It was not his fault, her mother kept the fact that she existed from him, but if she hadn’t, perhaps his life would have taken off in a whole other trajectory.
Unlike Anakin. The Professor of Sparrowdynamics had not seen his son in over eleven years. He had accepted he would never see his son a long time ago but as he looked through that photo album, he started feeling pangs of regret. His ex-wife went through the trauma of losing an eye, she almost died, some of the blame was placed on him and, through his own guilt, he agreed to give away his parental rights.
But Russell? Here was a man who had clearly succeeded and found at least some time to spend with his children. That really irked Jatt. The problem he ran into was twofold…..
He hated Russell.
He loved Natalie.
He liked Conor Fuse, he really did, especially before he started hanging around the Sasquatch, Bobbinette Carey. There was a part of him that regretted making that phone call to Dan Ryan basically giving him the “okay” to obliterate Conor without actually saying it. Conor could win War Games. If Russell truly cared for Conor, then it would absolutely destroy him helplessly watching Dan Ryan systematically tearing the Vintage One apart at the joints.
Added bonus, as long as Conor Fuse is in War Games, Natalie would root for him to win. However, should Conor Fuse get eliminated, she would have to put all of her support behind the Sultan of SeaJattle. And winning the whole shabang? Jatt Starr would be a two-time War Games Champion. Russell’s not even a one time War Games Champion, so it would be doubly impressive especially if she were to witness it.
But it would suck to be Conor though.
Jatt Starr figured he would do something nice for the lad, maybe get him a new video game or take him on a father-son bonding trip to Hershey Park?
The Sovereign of Starrgentina promised himself that when he landed in Toronto, he would not spend a single second thinking about War Games and yet, there he was, plotting and scheming. He picked up his cell phone and walked downstairs. He went over the couch and plopped down, splaying out comfortably.
Loneliness tends to breed boredom.
The Earl of GlouStarr felt the need to talk to someone. Anyone. He could have called Dan Ryan, but he did not wish to be an annoyance, he believed in his rule, unless there is an emergency, call Dan no more than once a day. So, instead, he called the fearful yet slightly ambitious and neurotic intern…..
JATT STARR: Skippy!
ZIPPY: Mister Starr, sir! I thought it was, uh, “Zippy”?
JATT STARR: Zippy! What are you up to?
ZIPPY: Uh, nothing, I guess?
JATT STARR: What’s the good word? Any gossip?
ZIPPY: I can’t, uh…that is to say, I don’t, uh, know anything?
JATT STARR: Oh come on! I know you and the other interns and low level HOW employees bitch and moan about everything they hear. You’re worse than a bunch of old spinsters at a hairdresser.
ZIPPY: We’ve seen Brian Bare—-
JATT STARR: Brian Bare? Who gives a rat’s rectum about Brian Bare? Give El Jattador de Starrcelona something good! I pay you for juicy information not a footnote in a journal detailing the ins and outs of paper clips,
ZIPPY: There’s a rumor about Evan Ward. He may have made a comment regarding you and Dan Ryan having a, uh, partnership.
JATT STARR: We are partners. Co-HOTv World Champions. We are defending them at PWA-Two.
ZIPPY: Not, uh, not that type of, uh, partnership. He, um, uh, insinuated that you were together together?
JATT STARR: Like we are in a gay relationship?
ZIPPY: Um, yeah.
JATT STARR: That’s insulting.
ZIPPY: If you, uh, say—-
JATT STARR: Evan Ward doesn’t think the Marquis of MadagaStarr can do better than Dan Ryan? How much does he think I hate myself?! Sure, I have my issues, my neuroses, but Dan Ryan, really? The dude’s a sadist! He is the type of person you don’t want as your prison cellmate. From a behind closed doors perspective, he strikes me as the kind of guy that would cuff your hands behind your back, tell you that the safe word is “Lotus Root” and put a ball gag in your mouth.
ZIPPY: Forgive me, but, uh, isn’t Dan Ryan your, um, friend?
JATT STARR: Oh yeah! He’s my best friend. Great guy!
ZIPPY: Okay? Can I, uh, let you, um, in on something?
JATT STARR: Obviously.
ZIPPY: There’s some talk after that, uh, comment was rumored to have been said by Mister Ward, that there might be concern with a, um, certain contingent of your fanbase.
JATT STARR: My LGBTQ fans?
JATT STARR: That’s like fifty-one percent of my fanbase. Gay men alone account for forty-two percent! They can’t be mad at me! I did not say one word against them or their lifestyle!
ZIPPY: It would be, um, be a, um, uh, kind of like you would, uh, be guilty by association since you are both in the Final Alliance?
JATT STARR: Yeah, it’s an Alliance of convenience. It’s not like I like the guy! That whole “Ward Games” thing? Pathetic, contrived, and stupid! Zero creativity!
ZIPPY: I think they, um, want to feel appreciated, maybe? Or that you hear them? Maybe publicly decry Evan Ward’s words as homophobic garbage and, uh, maybe demand Lee Best take action against him?
JATT STARR: Oh, yeah, that’s not fucking happening.
ZIPPY: I’m just—
JATT STARR: I am in no position to demand anything from Lee Best. Not since I sent you out with my public proclamation admonishing Lee for placing a Hall of Fame Co-World Champion like me in a match with someone like Charlie Fopdoodle-Flopnoodle. How about this, we get them involved.
ZIPPY: What do you mean?
JATT STARR: I will text you the details but I want you to find six of the best gay dancers in the United States…no, wait….make it Canada, they are more agreeable and it would annoy the crap out of Christopher America. There should be two men, two women, and one trans dude and one trans chick. One hot bisexual babe, too, but not too hot? Need to let the straight male fans think they might have shot at least one of them. Oh! And one of them has to be African-American.
ZIPPY: If you’re looking at, ah, Canada, wouldn’t they, uh, be African-Canadian?
JATT STARR: Canada is in North America, dumbass.
ZIPPY: Sorry, you’re, uh, right.
JATT STARR: So, I need you to get on that first thing, got it?
ZIPPY: Yes, uh, yes sir.
JATT STARR: Any other news?
ZIPPY: You mentioned Christopher America—
JATT STARR: Yes?
ZIPPY: I don’t, uh, know how, um, true this is? But, I heard from Davis who heard from Zelda who heard from Jake who—-
JATT STARR: I do not know who any of these people are, get on with it.
ZIPPY: Well, Jake was told to get Christopher America a bagel and, um, when he returned, Christopher America, uh, flipped the fuck out and threw the bagel, the cream cheese, everything at him screaming that the, uh, cream cheese wasn’t American enough.
JATT STARR: That is not anything new! That’s basically every Sunday morning.
Without saying another word, Jatt Starr hit the little red circle on his phone which disconnected the line. There might be a small chance he has lost his wife by telling her to go out with her ex-husband but he will not lose any fans because of any ignorant comments made by a moron – rumored or otherwise. With the knowledge of this new information, he opened his text messages, perhaps someone had given him a heads up of this comment.
Not a single text.
Not even one from Natalie checking in to see how Jatt was feeling.
Jatt Starr tossed his cell off to the empty couch cushion to his left. The Sheriff of Jattingham started to become more restless. He had to keep his mind occupied. Sure, he gave Zippy instructions to get gay Canadian dancers but he had no idea why he did it, he had no plan for them, but he knew he would think of something, but just not in that moment. He turned towards the kitchen and from his vantage point, the bottle of wine was still there, unopened on the kitchen table. He could use a drink. He wasn’t much of a wine drinker but there it was….almost taunting him…..
Or maybe this was Russell’s diabolical plan…..
To casually leave the bottle here….
To tempt the Ruler of Jattlantis with it…..
Oh he would love that, wouldn’t he?
To drop off Natalie to find the Sultan of SeaJattle wasted, dancing around to “Mmmbop”.
Instead, he walked over to Natalie’s record player. He leaned forward to flip through her bin of vinyl. Natalie did enjoy her music. If there was one thing they could agree on, it was music. He flipped through them…..
The Rolling Stones
Sixpence None The Richer
The Tragically Hip
Okay, so they wouldn’t agree on everything….
The Scourge of Starrpathia chose a particular favorite album….
Ah, the sound of Scary Spice (or was it Ginger of Posh) belting out “Yo! I’ll tell you what I want, what I really, really want…” blared through the speakers has Jatt Starr mouthed the words with the Spice Girls and bounced his head up and down.
And this is what the Duke of Jattmandu did for the next hour until Natalie walked through the door. By that point, he had moved on from the Spice Girls to Celine Dion and from rocking out to sitting on the couch with his eyes closed listening as the Queen of Power Ballads sang about how her heart will go on. Natalie looked at her husband splayed out on the couch as she hung her keys on the hook near the front door.
JATT STARR: You’re back. That wasn’t very long. Where did he take you? McDonald’s?
Jatt Starr, while relieved that Natalie returned home alone, could not help but shoot a snarky remark at the expense of Russell. Natalie could only sigh as she kicked off her heels.
NATALIE: I guess Conor didn’t show, eh?
JATT STARR: I’m wearing nothing but my britches and a silk robe, it’s face to say he did not.
JATT STARR: Where’s Russ?
The Rembrandt of Wrestling craned his neck rather dramatically as if he were trying to locate Russell as if he were hiding behind Natalie.
NATALIE: He had to leave.
There was resignation in her voice, disappointment. This concerned Jatt, partially because he sensed that his wife was upset, which made him feel shitty and partially because he felt that she still may have harbored feelings for Russell which would make his suspicions fact, and that also made him feel shitty.
JATT STARR: What happened?
NATALIE: I just feel stupid. I should have known something like this was going to happen.
JATT STARR: What? What happened? You want me to kick his ass? I will. I will go Tonya Harding on his smarmy ass. I will legit take a lead pipe to his kneecap!
The Starrson City Icon would have done it. He just needed the okay, like a mob boss ordering a hit. He just needed the blessing. Natalie, though, assumed he was attempting to make a joke and chuckled.
NATALIE: I’ll consider it.
JATT STARR: Come on over here.
Natalie gave a half-smile and walked over to Jatt Starr. Instead of sitting next to him, she chose to sit in his lap. He wrapped his arms around her.
JATT STARR: Talk to me.
NATALIE: We ordered, our appetizers reached our table, and just as I was about to take a bite, he received a phone call. Business, he said. He had to leave. I don’t know when it happened but at some point his priorities were work….
Natalie raised her hand above her head as high it would go.
NATALIE: …Conor and Tyler…
Natalie brought her hand down ever so slightly.
NATALIE: ….and me.
Natalie brought her hand down to around her chest signifying a huge gap.
NATALIE: It wouldn’t surprise me if that phone call was from Tyler or Conor. I’m not complaining, but they never put me first. Well, not never, but it’s clear that their relationship is—-
JATT STARR: Hey, hey, hey…..stop that talk. In recovery, that’s called stinking thinking. Who cares what that
The Champion of Jattanooga gently caressed Natalie’s golden hair. She leaned into his hand and closed her eyes. She smirked as a thought popped in her head.
NATALIE: Are you jealous of him?
JATT STARR: Conor? Of course not!
NATALIE: Russell, you doof.
JATT STARR: I am not his biggest fan but jealous? Jealousy is for the unevolved.
NATALIE: And insecurity?
JATT STARR: A proper, if ugly, response to meeting a handsome douchewaffle.
JATT STARR: Look….
Jatt Starr (maybe Simon Sparrow at this point, as he dropped his bravado three minutes prior) gazed at Natalie’s face, starting with her nose, those string of freckles across the bridge and moved towards Natalie’s eyes, her beautiful, big blue eyes.
JATT STARR: You and I both know I can’t keep wrestling, right? I want you to know, that I will always put you first.
NATALIE: You don’t have to say that.
JATT STARR: But I want to say this. I need to say this. I know Conor is your son. I know I promised to look out for him and I intend to keep my end of it. But War Games is one of the toughest matches in the history of the HOW. I know going in that my chances are low. Christopher America has won THREE of them. Conor has made it to the end the last two years. This will probably be my last one.
JATT STARR: I can’t promise that I will win. But I can promise you this, if I do win, I am dedicating that win to you. It would be for you. All for mmmph.
Natalie leaned in and kissed Jatt passionately. During that moment, on that couch, with his ludicrously hot wife on his lap, he meant every word he said. He would do it for her (as conflicted as he would be considering his dunderheaded War Games Captain). Russell fucking asshole could not do that. Would Conor dedicate a War Games win to his mother? No, because he’s an insolent, selfish, little penis. But beyond Jatt’s own ego, Natalie needed it. She moved her mouth to his ear and whispered….
NATALIE: You look so sexy in my kimono.
Jatt Starr bit his lip as Natalie bit his earlobe. Yes, tonight the Starrlite Sexpress will be leaving the station with one passenger and he could hardly wait to punch her ticket. Tonight, tomorrow, and the next day would be all about Natalie. Afterwards, his focus would be on War Games.