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Chapter 4.5: The Lodgers


League Member
Apr 7, 2012
Continuing on from Chapter 4, the last RP I made for my match against Jace Gryphon, here's the rest of the story, which was initially intended for that RP until I reached a natural ending point and decided to post it as it was. Too bad I won't be judged on it, but as it's no more "on-topic" than the other, it doesn't really matter.

Chapter 4.5: The Lodgers

Penny Picket cinched her robe as she headed toward the door of her apartment, muttering British obscenities under her breath. It was 3 AM and someone was pounding on the door furiously. She was in no mood to be awakened from her favourite David Tennant dream.

“What the--”

Penny looked through the peephole to find two somewhat familiar faces – those of ULTRATITLE competitor Showtime and his manager/trainer/tag team partner Proteus – looking in at her.

“Hellooooo?” Proteus called in.

Gritting her teeth, Penny opened the door. “Pardon me, do you know what time it is?”

“3:04 AM,” Proteus answered precisely.

“And what exactly are you doing here?”

“We have a slight favour to ask,” Showtime said. “Recent circumstances have left us without accommodations. We don’t have the cash to spend on a hotel right now, so we were hoping, if it’s not too much trouble—”

“It absolutely is too much trouble,” protested Penny. “I’ve only just met you this evening, and you barge ‘round at 3 in the morning...”

“3:05 now,” Proteus interjected.

“Assuming I had nothing better than to play billet to a pair of traveling mat-jockeys?” She scoffed, “Pardon my reticence.”

“Come on,” Showtime insisted, “Without at least a good night’s sleep, I don’t have a chance against Jace Gryphon. Weren’t you at least a little moved by my interview?”

“That was business,” Penny said, “And as business goes, my employers would not look fondly on fraternizing too closely with one subject over all the others.”

“So that’s all I am to you,” Showtime said, walking through the apartment, “A subject. A news article. A piece for the portfolio.”

“When you put it that way it sounds callous,” Penny said.

“It is callous!” Showtime said, fluffing a couch cushion, “You get what you need from me, a few words to fill a column, and kick me out into the cold. I see how it is. I don’t use the words ‘Selfish Monster’ every day, but...”

“Do you have any grapes?” Proteus said, peering in the fridge.

“In the crisper—wait, stop this! We need to maintain a professional relationship. I can’t have every homeless wrestler traipsing through here like it’s a halfway house.”

“Not every homeless wrestler. Just us!” Proteus reasoned.

“Out. Now.”

“Just one night,” Showtime pled.

Penny stood and thought it over a minute. “Let me speak with you privately. On the balcony.”

Showtime slid open the glass door and followed her out. Penny stared out to the city.

“Let’s have a rational discussion about this. It’s 3 AM and I’m exhausted and it seems you’re determined to hold me hostage.”

“3:09!” Proteus said, muffled through the door. Penny shooed him away.

She continued, “We’ve only just met. I shouldn’t trust you. Shouldn’t let you in my house. You’re a professional entertainer and you’ve certainly cultivated a powerful aura about yourself and I’m worried you’re using it to overpower me.”

“I don’t think you would have become a journalist if you couldn’t handle powerful personae,” Showtime said.

“That’s true,” she said. “I’ve known some strong men. There’s an MP back in Lancashire whose balls I literally own, contractually. But none of them ever came to my door at 3-oh-whatever in the morning asking for room and board just because I spent a minute asking them questions. What makes you special?”

Showtime looked out over the city lights, up to the stars and moon, and said, “I think you sense it. I think you approached me for that interview thinking I was just some dickhead in a mask and tights, but when you prodded me for reality, you sensed there were bigger things at work here and I think part of you wants to see it through. The logic part of your brain wants to remain outside it, but there’s something inside you that’s drawn to it.”

“And what makes you think that?”

“Because that same part of me is drawn to it. And that part of Proteus, and of hundreds of others in our business. It’s the one thing that binds us, our opponents, our tag team partners, the commentators and the fans...”

“You speak like a cult leader,” she said half-kiddingly.

“Maybe I am! Maybe I’m just a member. But I’m definitely out to recruit you, Penny Pickett. You’re not some faceless reporter, a walking microphone stand. You’ve got adventure in your heart. You want to be part of this. And it starts with you giving me and Proteus a place to stay. Just tonight.”

Penny bit her lip. “Just a head’s up. I live with my mother, so you must be extra quiet.”

“Of course.”

“That shouldn’t be too hard. You’re spending tonight out here. Sorry, mate. My house, my rules.”

“What? I--”

With that, Penny slipped through the door and locked it, tossing a throw blanket and cushion to him in a remarkably swift maneuver. Chuffed, but grateful, Showtime settled into the patio chair.

Penny tiptoed past Proteus, who was already asleep on the couch with an unbecoming pile of loose grapes on his torso. Heading back to her room, she whispered to herself: “Adventure, indeed. Penny Pickett, you’ve really stepped in it this time.”

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