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Long Story Short

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1Long Story Short Empty Long Story Short on Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:41 pm

James Ceno

HSW North American Champion
HSW North American Champion
”Some things are so unexpected that no one is prepared for them.” - Leo Rosten

Teaming with Christy... It’s an intimidating proposal.

She is part-owner with Jack too.

But why isn’t Jack alongside me for this match?

It should have been him, since he’s the guy that brought me along.

I guess it might be his way of exercising his control, by making Christy the guinea pig here.

The adversary is clear enough: the team of Eli and Kris.

Eli, a bitter rival, and Kris, Christy’s own nephew.

I had better keep my head on my shoulders.

At least better than I did at the last Slam event.

I’ll get you for that, Eli.


~Ceno was livid after his match, a no-contest, against Kris Chaos. Considering that Christy stabbed her own kin in the back, it was no surprise that she said nothing about Eli’s encroachment upon the match: a Goode Bye to a fair fight. Holding the icepack to his head and neck, The Firestorm paced nearby Christy’s office, fuming with frustration over Christy’s “need” to intervene, but the person to come by was a more worthy person to vent to.~

JC: Jack! What the hell! What was Christy doing, getting into my business?

JM: Doing what had to be done, James.

JC: Doing what had to be done? Are you serious?!

~Jack tries to walk around James, but the latter pushes him back to where he was.~

JC: No, you look me in the eye and you give me some Goddamn closure, Jack. What was Christy doing, intervening in my match?

JM: You were losing, James.

JC: And THAT gives you the right to get in the way? Is that how much faith Paragon has in me, Jack?

JM: Wait, where are you going with this?

JC: I’m taking this to you, Jack: do you and Paragon have the faith in me to come away with my own wins, under my own power?

JM: Yes we do, James, but...

JC: But what? The fact that Kris nailed me and, if not for the downed ref, I’d be done?

JM: Yes.

JC: But let’s not forget that I had Kris down for a shadow 3-count as well. The fans, although the booing was loud enough to hide it, counted that 3 as well. Is that how much faith you have in me?

~Jack places his hand on James’ shoulder.~

JM: Quite frankly, James, that’s how much faith Christy has in you.

~Ceno freezes for a few minutes, confused by Jack’s statement, which only makes his anger worse, and the realization of the statement’s meaning hits him even harder.~

JC: So that’s why you’re not in my corner this coming show, eh? Because you have all the faith and Christy has none?

JM: No.

JC: No matter how you slice it, Jack, Christy stuck her foot in my business, a business that was going to win without the interference of a chair shot to her nephew.

JM: Then explain Eli.

JC: By the time I would be making that pinfall, Jack, Eli’s attack would have come too late, not to mention that it would have and could have been countered.

~James brushes Jack’s hand aside.~

JC: It was either Christy who made the call, or it was you, and I can’t seem to trust either of you lately. Yes, you chose me, and this is where I build my spot up as part of Paragon. That’s why I’m going to see you at Sole Survivor, and that’s why I have a plane to catch.

JM: Plane to catch? You have training to do.

JC: Exactly. I’m going to Albany.

JM: For what?

JC: To be something you are to me, but for my daughter, whether she believes the truth or not.

~James goes to turn around and go to the locker room, but Jack grabs him.~

JM: All that talk in the ring about abuse, and you go grovelling?

JC: If you have forgotten already...

~James slaps the older wrestler’s hand off his arm.~

JC: I gave my word, to a woman, to improve her standing and make her better. I don’t care who it is, but in this case, the woman is my blood. Paragon is about the purity of the sport, right? Part of that purity is keeping one’s promises and giving back to those who give to us, and Maya has given much to wrestling. I am going to make sure she gets to a level where she can beat Annie again, and this time she will become the Women’s champion, maybe before Amber gets a shot.

JM: And what are you expecting from me?

JC: You to move out of my way and let me make my decisions. I’ll be ready to... work with Christy, as long as she’s ready to play fair and right.

~Jack moves aside to let Ceno through, but, just as the latter walks by, Jack gently stops James again.~

JM: What’s with the turn?

JC: One of our edicts is for fairness. I’m merely doing what I’ve been doing all along, and if the fans want to boo me, fine, but I’ll still win inside the rules. After all, the rules are what makes us what we are, aren’t they?

~James moves out from under Jack’s hand and continues to the locker room to get changed and make his flight.~


Nobody seems to understand why I’m doing this, but that’s okay.

This is my decision to make; I’m an adult, after all.

I was a kid then, and I held that regret for my entire life.

I hold no ill will against Michael. He did good for both of them.

But I’ve already seen some nastiness behind the scenes.

Is it worth putting up with, though?


~At the airport to go back to Vegas, Ceno had traveled from the Jensen Mansion with Annabelle, who volunteered to go with him to see him off, since Maya felt very uncomfortable about it and Kristy didn’t care. As for Mizore, the answer would be obvious there. Annabelle wanted to at least express the gratitude that was due to him. They got out of the limo together, the driver moving to the parking lot while the two went inside, almost looking like a honeymooning couple, as Annabelle offered to carry one of Ceno’s lighter bags.

Once inside, after a silent car ride and quiet walk into the building, Annabelle touched James’ arm, to get his attention.~

AB: So how do you think Maya is doing, with your training I mean?

JC: She’s picking it up quickly, which I’m glad to see. It’s a promising sign of her recovery.

AB: Her recovery?

JC: Not just her sight, but her self-esteem and confidence. As long as Mizore gives her a proper challenge, she should be back to give Ryan and Cashmere a war.

AB: That’s...

~Annabelle’s quiet expression brightens with a smile.~

AB: That’s good to hear, James. But you have your match coming up. That’s why you’re flying back, right?

JC: Yes, yes I do.

AB: I guess helping Maya will give you a bit of help too?

JC: In a sense. I was always stronger in my studies after helping fellow students understand what I couldn’t, because I would end up understanding it with their help, unbeknownst to them. With Maya, I was essentially able to remind myself of the almost spiritual way to get into the ring and focus; I forgot what it was like to feel a state Zen in the ring.

~Then again, that reminder of Zen also served another purpose: all Ceno felt was nothing. He felt eyes on Maya, he felt eyes on Mizore, he felt eyes on himself; all emotions were pointed past Ceno, regardless of his efforts. Maybe that yearbook was a day too early for Maya to be his, because Kristy could have dumped him; he didn’t remember, as it was so long ago.~

AB: But Kris and Eli... I haven’t really seen either of them.

JC: Kris was my opponent last Slam. We wrestled to a no-contest due to Christy and Eli, more Christy than Eli, but Eli wants my spot in Paragon and my title. Both are things he cannot have, as long as I have them.

AB: But why even be in Paragon?

JC: Because what they want is something I’ve been doing my entire career: striving for the purest form of the sport. Yes, they’ve twisted the idea, but I hold my ideals to still be theirs.

AB: I understand.

~They stop in front of the gate to get to Vegas, and Ceno checks in his larger pieces of luggage. He gets ready for the security check, but Annabelle pulls him aside, taking his hands.~

AB: I do have to thank you for helping Maya. I know that Mizore and you have that troubled rivalry, you being in Paragon and how you’ve badmouthed the both of them, but you’re a different person here compared to there, a better person.

JC: I play a character, Annabelle, and that character is the villain. I can still be a hero while getting booed by the people too.

AB: But this tag team match...

JC: The tag team match will end with an undisputed pair of winners: Kris & Eli, or myself & Christy. I’m not afraid of what’s coming, if that’s your worry.

~Annabelle gives James a very warm hug, something that Ceno felt nothing of while in that mansion. He returns the sentiment, stroking her back before forcing her gently to back away.~

JC: I need you to know that Maya’s heart belongs to Mizore, not you.

AB: What?

JC: I saw how you have been looking at her, seeing your expressions, watching your body language, especially when Mizore was the one in the ring with her and not you. Put your jealousy aside and be happy for them.

~Annabelle bites her lip, confused by James’ statement.~

JC: And don’t worry about me. I’ve dealt with worse in bigger matches than this. Sure, Eli is tough and Kris proved himself to be tough as well, but no one is tougher than me, because I’m a few layers deeper than anyone else in that ring today. That is why I’m in Paragon: because I can feel things better than they can.

AB: Then do us a favour on Saturday, James. Do something you’re usually good for.

JC: And what might that be, kid?

AB: Win the match. What happens afterwards is a result of your choices, and I can see that those choices have no regrets to them.

~Ceno smiles at Annabelle, and, this time, he initiates a hug.~

JC: Thanks. I forgot what it felt like to have someone in your corner, especially like this. Paragon feels too cold, but I can play ball with that.

~The Firestorm backs off gently and shakes Annabelle’s hand.~

AB: Be sure to come back if we need you again.

JC: We?

~Annabelle shakes her head, hiding something behind her smile, but it was still a genuine smile.~

AB: Yes, we. I’m sure Maya will want more help from you after these sessions, and Mizore, regardless of her feelings, appreciates your effort. As for Britney and Kristy...

JC: They will stay where they need to be.

AB: And me?

JC: Keep taking care of my little girl, but don’t step on too many toes. I have a plane to catch and two men to educate.

~James backs away and waves to Annabelle, who leaves after Ceno blends into the crowd.~


Kris Chaos, it doesn’t matter who your family is.

Eli Goode, it doesn’t matter what you want.

You’re going to be in the ring with me, and neither of you were 100% successful.

Kris, you couldn’t keep me down.

Eli, you lost in our most recent faceoff.

If you two think you can get past me, with Christy in my corner,

you’re going to get burned, kids.

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