FANCY MEETING YOU HERE
The parking garage at the MGM Grand. Yep, we’re here again.
Oh look, there’s the FLAMBOrghini. After repairs, it’s looking like the high-performance, envy-inspiring machine it has always been.
Oh look, there’s FLAMBERGE. He’s…looking pretty rough. His neck is held at an odd angle, because holding it straight up hurts too much. Every step brings a fresh grimace to his face. His bag hangs loosely by his right side; his arm lacking the strength to sling it over his shoulder.
He walks gingerly toward his car. He probably shouldn’t be on his feet yet, and the medics even told him to wait, but he couldn’t stand being in the building anymore. Not with that clean-cut, white-bread, holier-than-thou douchebag.
He had almost reached the FLAMBOrghini when he froze. The last few times he’s made this trip, it has ended in disaster, either for himself or his car. Naturally, this has made him a lot more cautious.
Good thing, too, as he might not have heard the footsteps otherwise.
They are uneven, almost shambling, but definitely coming toward him from the darkness. FLAMBERGE, of course, assumes the worst.
FLAMBERGE: Mon Dieu. Il vaut mieux que ce ne soit plus ce morceau de merde.
And sure enough, it is that morceau de merde again. The footsteps get closer, and as he steps into the light, we see that they belong to Nate Colton. He looks just as bad as FLAMBO, if not worse; there are several pronounced bruises on his face and arms, and his jaw is slightly swollen. His voice is barely above a whisper, thanks to all the choke holds he was locked in.
Nate Colton: We gotta stop meeting like this.
FLAMBERGE lets his bag fall to the cement, and takes a defensive stance…or, at least, tries to. Colton attempts to do the same, but ends up leaning on a nearby cement pillar.
Nate Colton: Believe it or not, I’m just dropping off my gear; gonna go back in and watch the rest of the show. I’d have been just fine with not seeing you again tonight. But since we’re both here, I might as well do one more thing. I promised to give you somethin’, and I’m a man of my word.
FLAMBERGE: I want nothing from you.
Nate Colton: Too bad, you’re getting it anyway.
Colton holds out his right hand and opens his fist…and as dismissive as FLAMBERGE is, he still takes a glance to see what Nate Colton is holding.
Which, it turns out, is nothing. Instead, Colton simply extends his arm toward the man he fought with so bitterly, just a few hours before.
And there in Nathan’s empty hand, we see what he had promised to give FLAMBERGE tonight. The thing that the Glue Factory protégé had received so little of, from so many people in his life.
Nate Colton: That was a hell of a fight, man.
FLAMBERGE is stunned – maybe just as much by the open hand as much as his inability to come up with some snarky comment, some hateful barb, even a half-hearted slap to the face.
FLAMBERGE is a façade that’s held firm from the moment he first stepped foot in a wrestling ring, and really, from the moment his father finally turned into the rage machine we all know today…but something’s cracking here. Maybe Nate Colton beat it out of him, maybe he’s just too emotionally drained from the ten years he’s lived in the past few months…but for the first time, PRIME sees something in his eye if only for only a second or two.
We see the heart Julien Lavigne’s mother always knew was there.
He lifts his hand for a moment, but before he can extend it – his fist closes. His eyes return to FLAMBO Mode. He knows he can’t taunt this man who is his equal, if not more. He knows his fighting spirit is spent, at least for tonight. He holds his closed fist inches away from Colton’s extended hand, and after trembling for a moment, withdraws.
He doesn’t have it in him to shake hands. Not yet. He knows this night, this fight, was only the first chapter of a story that may one day come to define something much, much bigger than either man could imagine now…and so he lowers his hand and turns his back on Colton.
FLAMBERGE walks toward his car, not bothering to look back at his opponent. But he does pause long enough to say…
FLAMBERGE: La prochaine fois.
And though Nate Colton doesn’t speak a lick of French, he’s got a pretty good idea of what was just said. He smiles (as best he can) and nods (as best he can.)
Nate Colton: Next time.