The alarm hits 8:30 in the morning. And the alarm gets hit back, pounded into snooze.
Slowly sits up JC Stone, who just glares at the time on the clock. Then sighs, promptly flopping back down onto the bed.
"... fuck. This. Shit."
One yawn later, and Stone begrudgingly gets up from the bed. One beer later (the Breakfast of Champions®!) Stone grabs a quick shower, and gets dressed as casual as he can be, with blue jeans, army boots, and a white tank top. After looking over himself with a mirror, he smirks a little, before pulling open a dresser drawer, revealing a pair of knuckles, carved from pure marble. He smiles a little darkly, taking them and sliding them past his fingers, clenching his fist tightly.
"... fuck yeah."
Metallica's "Leper Messiah" plays over car stereo of the truck owned by Stone, as he leans against the hood of his truck as he waits patiently at the front of a college, drinking a bottle of beer. Passers by glance at him, but do their best not to pay any mind.
Two girls walk by, holding books to their chests. Seeing Stone, they turn their nose up at him.
"Eww, disgusting..." one of them mutter.
"Fuck you too, sweetheart..." Stone retorts, raising the bottle in mock toast.
"DUDE!! Rockin' tunes, man!!" Another person, a long-haired metal head cheers, holding up the devil horns gesture. Stone merely responds the same way, raising the bottle in a toast.
Stone glances off to the side, and he smirks as he sets the bottle down, quickly accepting a glomping hug from his stepdaughter Ariel Bridges. She's in blue jeans with flower imprints, sandals, and a white belly tee with the AES logo on the chest.
"Hey you," she greets, smiling.
"Hey, kid..." Stone ruffles her short blond hair, then goes to the driver's side, getting in while Ariel jumps into the passenger's side. "So how many more days?"
"Months, Jeremy..." Ariel says. "Soon as summer vacation rolls around that pretty much finishes up my college. Which is good, I've been getting that itch again."
"Y'know I hear a little ointment can clear that shit up pretty good."
"Ew gross no," Ariel giggles. "I meant the wrestling itch, Jeremy. I'm happy Commissioner Steiner let me back into FILR to be a surprise tag partner."
"Even if it is with Sterling Pierce..." Stone shakes his head, starting up the truck and pulling out of the parking lot. "Kinda random, you know. You and Pierce do NOT go well together."
"Yeah well... we still won though." Ariel sticks her tongue out at Stone.
"Yeah yeah..." Stone waves it off dismissively. "So we talkin' a full time return to the ring then?"
"Not sure yet..." Ariel looks out the window, watching the scenery pass her by. "I might just go for a part time deal. I might not stick around FILR either. That fed is a little too silly for me and my Cheshire days are behind me now."
"YAH WELL I LUV U 2 LOL!!!" =^^=
"Gah, stop that!" Stone exclaims. "I swear to Christ don't give me a reason to drive into a semi truck just to stop that Cheshire shit."
"Okay okay, sheesh..." Ariel laughs. "I promise, no more mask. The contact lenses and stage fangs can stay though."
"Yeah, okay. That's good." Stone sighs.
"Oh, when is the next show?" Ariel pulls out her phone to load up the AES site's calendar.
"I don't think you're booked anywhere just yet, Ariel..." Stone says.
"Not me. Oseiko. I wanna visit her wherever she is next."
"Ah... right..." Stone sighs. "Almost blissfully forgot you're friends with her."
"You know she and I go back, Jeremy..." Ariel says. "Back when I was only eight. She was like a big sister to me... still is, kinda. She said she reminded me of her little sister..."
"Yeah, I know..." Stone shakes his head. "You and Oseiko and that stable you were a part of back in the Indies. I remember, I was there. Buncha freaks."
"You know I'm right, Ariel! You dressed up as a cat-girl and then there was her... her uncle grandpa ancestor or some shit and the others, I mean Jesus Christ..."
"The Knight Cross were the only family I had when Mom died, you know."
"Well, I'm your family now, Ariel. And I'm tellin' ya... you should stay away from Oseiko."
"And why should I do that?"
"She's dangerous, that's why!" Stone pulls the truck over to the side of the road, putting it in neutral as he looks straight at Ariel. "Look... you're my stepdaughter. Besides myself you're the only other person in my life I care about. I'm tellin' ya Oseiko's fucked up in the head. She's ALWAYS been fucked up in the head because of what went down with her parents and her little sister. I've seen it before, back in Afghanistan... my own troops were shellshocked. PTSD, Ariel. It'll fuck anyone up, even a ninja type like her. I just don't..." Stone sighs, leaning back against his seat. "... I just don't wanna come home and find out you got your fool head cut off or some shit, okay?"
"Oseiko's my friend, she won't hurt me." Ariel pauses. "... okay, unless we were in a match together in which case she'd HAVE to hurt me. But she'd never kill me."
"... you sure 'bout that?"
Stone puts the truck back into drive, and returns to the road, parking it by their home in San Diego.
"Thanks. Jeremy..." Ariel opens the passenger seat, then glances at Stone questioningly. "... you're gonna go out, aren't you?"
"I'm gonna go train, if that's what you mean."
"You call it training... I call it something else... just... be careful, okay? I've already bailed you out of jail three times already."
Stone smirks. "I'll try not to make it an even four. No promises though."
"Right..." Ariel leans in and kisses Stone on the cheek affectionately. "See you later!"
"See ya, Ariel."
Ariel waves as she skips to the house. And Stone sighs softly, watching her enter through the door. He then pushes the gear shift forward and drives off. The only try calming influence in Stone's life as of late happens to be Ariel Bridges. And as often as she gets on his nerves with her antics, there was no denying that she just happens to be the best thing to ever happen to him.
But that had to be shifted to the back of his mind, as business had to be done.
It was time to bust some heads. Non-sanctioned style.
The only time the crowd will ever cheer for him is here... an illegal fighting ring where brutality and violence is celebrated more than in a wrestling ring.
This is where Stone keeps his skills sharp. Sure, it's not safe. It sure as hell ain't painless. But it's fun.
Stone stands, clad in the same ring gear he always wears while in a wrestling ring, staring down a bruiser type; bigger than him and with more muscles.
Stone just smirks, clenching his fists.
"WE GOT A HELL OF A FIGHT!! FAN FAVORITE J.C. STONE GOES ONE ON ONE WITH THIS STRONG NEWCOMER!!! PLACE YOUR BETS!!! WHO WILL BE LEFT STANDING!!!"
Stone glances at the announcer/fight promotor. Then as the bell rings, Stone immediately launches at his unnamed foe, delivering a straight punch that staggers him backwards, immediately in to capitalize, following up by grabbing his neck with an arm and doubling him backwards, dropping his back against his own. Once down, Stone began to rain punches down on his face, already feeling his opponent's nose begin to shift under his fists. His larger foe manages to push Stone away, but unrelenting, Stone moved to attack, stomping at him and hitting nothing but the ground as he rolled away, and throwing a defensive punch hat struck Stone in the gut, causing him to wince from the force of the blow.
"Fuck that!!" Stone shouts, shutting him down with a strong back kick to the skull that drops him back down. As he tried to get back up, Stone forces back down with an elbow drop to the back of the head. "You ain't shit, kid!! You hear me?! You ain't--"
Stone is quickly cut off as his opponent sucker punches him in the gut, then manages to barely take him down, dropping Stone to his back. Stone quickly rolls away from his opponent, and goes to throw a glancing punch to his stomach, but his opponent throws a punch, his fist connecting with Stone's jaw and sending him reeling back.
"Shit..." Stone spits a glob of blood from his mouth. "... okay, I'll give you that one..."
"Your ass is mine, asshole!!" his opponent shouts.
"Earn it and we'll see!" Stone retorts.
The young man screams, and charges in, leveling Stone with a clothesline. Stone manages to get up, but gets staggered with a straight elbow to the temple. Then is seized by the throat, lifted up and dropped hard back-first in a chokeslam. Stone gasps out, pain shooting through him, but he rolls to his side, avoiding an elbow drop.
"Yeah fuck this shit," Stone mutters, reaching into his pocket, sliding the pair of stone-cast knuckles onto his left hand. And as his opponent charges in, Stone immediately cold-cocks him across the jaw with the knuckles.
He crumples to the ground in a heap, unmoving.
"THERE IT IS!!! THE STONE DEAD KNOCK OUT!!! NO ONE GETS UP FROM THAT!!" the ring promotor proclaims, as the crowd cheers. "YOUR WINNER, J.C. STONE!!"
"You're goddamned right..." Stone smirks, staring at the blood-stained stone knuckles on his left fist.
As ring hands carry the still-unconscious young man out of the fight pit, Stone exits under his own power, walking straight to the fight promotor.
"Coulda let him last a little longer than that, J.C.!" he says.
"You know me, I don't get paid by the hour.." Stone replies. "Where's my cut?"
"Yeah, here you go..." the ring promotor hands Stone a roll of cash. "one thousand fifty, as promised. You earned it, man."
"Damn straight..." Stone smirks, then pauses as he hears the sound of sirens off in the distance. "Show's over."
"Shit! Let's go!!" The promotor gathers his cash quickly as the crowd clears out just as quick. Stone puts his stone knuckles away, and he makes a break for his truck, climbing in and starting the engine.
Only it doesn't turn over.
"Oh, motherfucker C'MON!!" Stone curses. "Start already, you piece of shit!!"
Finally the engine starts up, and Stone quickly roars away as the sirens get a little too close. Pulling out of the driveway he puts the pedal to the metal, but as he got to the road, he grimaces as he sees at least three patrol cars in front of him, ready to box him in.
"I don't need this shit...!!"
Stone stubbornly pushes through, gritting his teeth as he forces his way past the police cars. They quickly give chase as Stone guns the engine as fast as it can go, but not nearly as fast enough as he feels one of the cars ram his bumper.
"GODDAMMIT, LAY OFF!!" he shouts. "Just trying to make a living for Christ's sake!!"
It certainly doesn't help that pedestrian cars were in the way of Stone's attempted escape from the law, as Stone did his best to swerve away from them, only for the police to try to PIT maneuver him into stopping. "I SAID FUCK OFF!!" he shouts, turning away from the road to flip off the pursuing cops.
Only to accidentally ram into a car in front of him.
"SON OF A--!!" Stone backs up, quickly (as he can with his truck) pulling back to the road to resume the chase. Only for a cop car to push him back off of the road, careening across railroad tracks and into a tree. Thankfully his airbag saves him from too much injury.
"... fuck..." Stone sighs deeply, leaning back into his chair, just as he sees at least three police officers aiming their TASERs at him.
"You again?!" One of the officers frowns. "Get outta the car, Callstone! Right now!"
"All right, all right..." Stone unhooks his seat belt, then raises his hands in surrender. "I know my rights already... I give."
JC Stone sits quietly in the jail cell, an ice pack on his forehead as he waits patiently. One of the officers, the one who recognized him, walks by, and pauses, looking at him.
"Why you keep doin' this, man?" he asks Stone. "What you got to prove pullin' shit like this?"
Stone shrugs. "Dunno..." he answers. "... why do you think?"
"I think you're fucked in the head, that's what I think. You get into fights, do this fight club shit, then you get into police chases when you're found out... it ain't worth it, man. You got a stepdaughter, right? You should cut that shit out for her, at least."
"No... you don't get it..." Stone stands up, spotting Ariel off in the distance. She looks disappointed, but relieved. "Always a method to one's madness..."
"Hey, Robbie..." Ariel greets the officer. "Look, I paid his bail already. Can you let him out now?"
"Yeah yeah, all right..." Robbie relents, unlocking the cell door. "Really, Ariel... you gotta reign him in. Illegal fighting, resisting arrest... at least one guy got hurt on the road, that's assault... talk to him, okay?"
"I'll try... thanks..." Ariel nods, ushering Stone to exit the cell. "Jeremy... let's go."
"Yeah..." Stone gets up, stretching a little, exiting the cell and passing Robbie. "See you next time, Robbie."
"For your sake and for Ariel's... there better not BE a next time."
"... for God's sake, Jeremy!" Ariel talks down to Stone once the two exit the police station. "And you have the nerve to tell me Oseiko's the bad influence! What about you?!"
"Hey, I'm doing this for a reason, Ariel!" Stone retorts.
"Really?! Y'know, you're lucky some of those police officers in there know the two of us or else I might be seeing you in the morgue! Ever thought of that?!"
"I can handle myself, Ariel... besides... you know I'm doin' this for you."
"That's the lamest crock of pile I've ever heard! For me?! Really?!!" Ariel clenches her fists. "Sure you earn money in those fight pits but it COSTS money to bail you out every time you get caught!! I just... I..." Ariel is on the verge of tears as she shakes her head. "I don't want you out of my life, Jeremy! And... and you're going to be if you get put in jail for good or... or killed or..."
"... shit, c'mon..." Stone reaches out, hugging Ariel. "I'm sorry, okay... I don't mean to hurt you, I just..."
"No..." Ariel pulls away from his embrace. "No. No, just... let's just go home, okay? You... you really need to just... lay off. All of this, okay? Just... try to think of people other than yourself for once."
Stone remains silent. Watching Ariel get into her car, he sighs, and slides into the passenger's side.
It's a quiet ride back to their home. The radio isn't even on as the two say nothing to one another. Once they get him, Ariel immediately goes to her room and into bed.
Hours pass as the night sets in. And Stone sits in his recliner, sipping his bottle of beer as he contemplates the events of the day.
"... yeah..." he says to himself. '... it may not be the best life for me, sure... but it's the only life I know."
He takes another drink of his beer, then leans back in his chair.