Rocky de Leon
Trigger Warning: this RP touches on some elements of domestic violence. If you find discussion of DV issues disturbing or triggering, consider skipping this post.
February 25, 2023
🎵 He hit me… and it felt like a kiss
🎵 He hit me… but it didn’t hurt me
Donny took responsibility for the playlist for the evening in celebration of Rocky’s victory over the Paperwork Kaiju, Mike McGee. Rocky was pretty sure Donny hadn’t listened past the first two lines of the little known 1962 tune by The Crystals, but he took it for the fun it was intended to be. The song had a very slow-dance vibe to it, and Rocky playfully took advantage of the moment grabbing Stu’s hands, pulling him out of his chair, and making a grandiose pantomime of leading him. Stu played along, awkwardly, but he noped out when Rocky went to twirl him. Cindy happily stepped in, and she and Rocky bounded playfully around the office as Stu returned to analyzing film from the Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy vs. The Anglo Luchador match. Donny took a long pull from his beer and turned up the stereo.
The gym neared closing time, and Donny turned down the music. “Nice win, rook. Now get the fuck out of my gym and do it again.” Donny took a beer for the road and left.
“Yes, sir!” Rocky beamed. “Just as soon as I’m given the chance.”
“March 10th.” Stu continued to watch TCG wade through a crowd that was eating up what he was dishing out.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“March 10th. You’ll get your chance then. You fight Gladhappy at Rev 24.” Stu handed Rocky the match card.
“But… Jesus Christ, that’s like a week away!”
“13 days.” Cindy corrected.
“Like two weeks away!”
“We will begin preparing for Gladhappy on Monday.” Stu said, as he closed up his laptop.
“Shouldn’t we start now? I’ve only got 13 days.” Rocky was anxious. Still amped from the fight the day before, he didn’t want to waste one second.
“Rest is critical. Take the weekend off. We don’t need you getting injured or overworking your body.”
Cindy tossed her purse over her shoulder, and walked toward the door. “Guess you boys better get to work, then!” She smacked Rocky’s butt on her way out. “Nice job, FDP.” She winked, gave Rocky a wry grin, and popped her gum as she continued toward her car. “Lock up fer me, Stu, wouldja, honey?”
Rocky gave a quiet, “Skree!” as he watched her walk away. “Yes, Ms. Walker,” Stu replied in monotone, as he packed up his laptop.
Rocky heard, faintly, from the parking lot, “Goddammit, Stu! How many times do Ah have ta tell ya ta call me Cindy?” before a car door slammed, an engine revved, and the gym fell quiet.
Rocky spent the first half of Saturday cleaning. He needed to tidy up both his house and his thoughts, and it was convenient to handle both at once. As Marie Kondo taught, anything that did not Spark Joy™ needed to go, and that included intrusive thoughts about any and all members of the Love Convoy, specifically Tristan-Crispan Gladhappy.
Why the fuck do I keep fighting people that are either mentally insane or have lips on their pants?
Just as that thought began to infiltrate the folds of his brain, Rocky found a box of his mother’s unfinished knitting projects. A memory came to the forefront and shoved the image of the Nuzzle Lord to the side.
“Sometimes it don’t matter why you gotta do something Rocky, all that matters is gettin’ the job done.”
“…but what if I don’t like the job, Mama? Or what if I don’t wanna do it?”
“Do you think Papi puts on his uniform because he likes it?”
She laughs, “I can assure you he does not. If it were up to him, he would spend every single day with you practicing your hoochabore moves.”
“Are you suuuuuure?”
Rocky grinned. The projects may not be completed, but he decided that as yet, they still Sparked Joy. Get the job done. He sighed, placed the box of unfinished work product on the coffee table in his living room and picked up the dossier Stu had prepared for him on DJ Tristy Crispy. Rocky had promised to take the weekend off, but the idea of doing no preparation was simply anathema to his existence. Surely Stu only meant *physical* rest…
On the table next to the dossier was a burned DVD with a sharpied piece of masking tape affixed to it which read simply, “TCG.” Rocky picked it up, walked across the room, and popped it into his bluray player. He sat as the video began to autoplay. “Oh my lord, Stu, you amazing and wonderful nerd.” Stu had taken the trouble and liberty of creating a fully working graphical menu interface for the videos on disc. The background was a cartoon figure of Rocky performing a flying squirrel into a depiction of Gladhappy. Stars and dizzy symbols appeared over the Gen-Z’s head when the move connected, and the animation played on a short loop.
The contents of the DVD consisted of all four of Gladhappy’s PRIME matches. Rocky watched the first three at high speed, pausing only to analyze certain moves. The fight against the Anglo Luchador, however, he watched in its entirety.
At first, he was impressed. Lip Pants the Younger moved lithely and seemed to have the upper hand on the seasoned luchador veteran. Then he watched in disbelief as the newest member of the Love Convoy elected to canoodle the crowd rather than finish his fight. I cannot imagine coming back from that match against Paxton Ray, but to be made to fight… this disrespectful child… I can only imagine how low the Paladin of Prime must have felt during this match.
Soon enough, disbelief gave way to revolt and fury. The hedonistic wrestler had the audacity, no, the temerity, no… the absolute fucking gall to violate the unconscious body of a cornerstone of PRIME history. He not only tried to nuzzle the stunned Luchador, he tried to unmask him!
Rocky could not fully process what he was seeing. Ugh, disgusting. Does the Love Convoy have NO moral code? This is a violation of the sanctity of self – a violation of that which is sacred. TAL would never have consented to such a scene, and even if he had any such consent would CLEARLY be revoked by his lack of awareness in the moment in time.
What the hell could he possibly be thinking? Or is he thinking… maybe he got too into the moment and just wants to show off. Hubris is a bitch. Oh man, what if he had nuzzled an unconscious Kohime Mori, Justine Calvin, or Anna Daniels? Is he assuming we’ll all be ok with it because The Anglo Luchador is a man and will probably have too much pride to do anything about it?
Rocky then watched The Anglo Luchador burst out of his insentient state and deliver absolute righteous fury upon The Nuzzle Lord. …OK, so I guess he did something about it, but I’m amazed this guy wasn’t even suspended. Heck, I’m kind of surprised he wasn’t booted from the fed. It’s 2023 – the PR optics alone should prod Troy to eject him.
Rocky opened the dossier Stu provided. “…three time winner of the… does this really say ‘Nuzzle Cup’? Oh lord, the insanity is genetic.” The Love Convoy was inherently ridiculous, and their newest member no exception. Rocky was already feeling a need to beat Tristan and regain pride lost after his match against Darren Zion. Watching the display from ReVival 23 took him from a desire for prideful vengeance to blazing righteous anger.
Tristan-Crispin, I don’t know how you were raised. Clearly you lacked for any sort of positive influence during your plainly stunted emotional development. How could you possibly have been brought up in this, our most progressive timeline, and still fail to grasp the concept of consent? It ends now. You’re going to learn that you cannot force your brand of love upon people. You and the rest of the Love Convoy, one by one, are going to hear me Skree until you ditch that ridiculous lip-covered display on your ass. The good news is that by signing up for ReVival 24, you’ve consented in advance to contact between my forearm and your face, and I’m going to leverage that consent to teach you how to display proper respect for your opponent, one blow at a time.
Rocky’s stomach grumbled. He remembered he had not gone shopping since coming back from ReVival 23, so he was forced to leave the house for food. It seemed an excellent excuse to go check in on Luisa. He was a tad too hungry to run, so he drove to Tacos Kissi.
Rocky parked his car in the crowded parking lot. Being Saturday night, he expected to wait for a table, but he got lucky and snagged an open seat at the bar. He saw Luisa, but knew she wouldn’t have time to chat during dinner. He smiled, waved, and decided to eat and hang out at the bar until her shift was done. He ordered a plate of enchiladas suizas (del pollo), then watched Telemundo and nursed his drink until close to 10:00pm. The bartender didn’t mind; he knew why Rocky was there (and he knew Rocky would tip well enough to make up for bogarting the seat).
Rocky waved Luisa down after she took off her apron. “Conejita!” He smiled and gave her a big hug, picking her up off the ground in the process. As he set her down, he noticed she was smiling, too, but it was forced. Her posture was terrible, and she rifled a hand through her hair. “Prima, are you ok?”
“I’m fine, Carlos, I’m fine.” She was not particularly convincing. Luisa only ever called him Carlos when she was upset. She continued to glance in the direction of her home, and her hands were shaking.
“Conejita?” Rocky gently grabbed her shoulders. Her shaking slowed, and she took a long deep breath. “What’s going on?”
Luisa buried her face in Rocky’s chest, pulling her arms in tightly as he wrapped his around her in a tight hug. “Diego came home last night,” she spoke into his t-shirt.
“Oh.” Rocky understood. “Come on, let’s go. I’ll take you home.”
“Nooo, Carlos, you don’t have to do that. I’ll be fine, it’s ok. I can walk.” She sniffed.
Rocky gently wiped away the tear that trailed down her face. “I said I’ll take you home. I won’t hear another word about it. Let’s go. I’ll even let you control the radio.”
Rocky parked in the driveway of Luisa’s home. The curtains were drawn, but the lights were on inside. The shadow of a man paced back and forth in the window. Even from inside the car, Rocky could make out the faint noise of Diego yelling. “You really don’t have to come in, I’ll be ok.” Luisa’s words were calm, but her hands gripped her knees so hard her knuckles were white.
“Let’s go,” Rocky said, and exited the vehicle without waiting for Luisa. The front door was unlocked.
“It’s not that fucking HARD, Juani! You buy the meat, you cook the meat, you have the meat ready to eat at 6pm. Which part did you not understand? Was it the cooking part? The pork chop was drier than a Popeye’s biscuit, so maybe, yeah, it was the cooking part. Oh, or was it the 6pm part? Can you read a clock, perra!? CAN YOU FUCKING READ, JUANITA?”
Juanita was doing her best to ignore the venom flying from Diego’s mouth as she cleaned the kitchen. Diego paced in the living room, pulling from a bottle of Cuervo Gold. He was not a large man, standing about five and a half feet tall, and weighing perhaps 150 pounds. “Maybe if your whore of a mother hadn’t had so many children she would have had time to teach you right.”
“…good evening, Diego.” Rocky announced his presence, having heard enough of Diego’s diatribe. “You’re in fine form, tonight, it seems.”
“OH LOOK WHO IT IS! Look, Juanita, el sobrino gordo come to grace us with his bulk. How many enchilada did you eat on the way here, Rolly Polly Carlos?” The derogatory nickname was more than a little outdated, but it still stung as Rocky remembered Diego bullying him for his weight as a child. Diego giggled with every lobbed insult. “I see you found my whore of a daughter, too! Look at you, dressed up for street walking.”
“Daddy, you know this is my work uniform. The skirt isn’t even particularly short.” Luisa instinctively tugged it down a little, nonetheless.
“I bet you like it when the drunks at the bar hit on you. Does it make you feel good? Do you feel pretty when they stare at you and give you their change?” Diego stood inches away from Luisa, practically spraying tequila in her face.
At this, Juanita turned from the kitchen and gripped Diego’s shoulder. “That is ENOUGH, Diego! Do not speak to our daughter this way!”
“You know better than to tell me what to do, woman.” Diego spun one hundred eighty degrees and quickly raised his hand with an open palm. He was not, however, as quick as a sober and trained Rocky. Rocky caught Diego’s wrist and quickly spun Diegon into an inverted facelock, pressing his forearm into the back of Diego’s neck and effectively placing himself between Diego and the women.
“Fortunately, I think I missed that lesson. You wanna try and give me that lecture now, Tio?” Rocky began wrench Diego’s neck a bit when Luisa reached out and touched his arm.
Diego’s behavior was well known in their neighborhood. Several times the police had been called by neighbors or friends, but Juanita would always cover for him. He was never arrested, never removed from the house. Juanita was raised in a devout Catholic home. She took her wedding vows deathly seriously, and she would not divorce Diego, for fear of the shame that would be brought on her. She was taught that abuse levied on her by her husband was her cross to bear. The church had denounced this view for years, but it was as ingrained in her as the belief that it was her job to serve and please her husband, and that if he lashed out she needed to do a better job.
“He may have moral failings, Carlos,” Juanita said softly, “but it is my duty to forgive him his transgressions.” A single tear ran down the side of her face. “Please. Please do not hurt him.”
Rocky struggled internally. He could not stand by and allow Diego to hurt Juanita or Luisa, but neither could he cause them pain by beating up the man they loved as husband and father despite his abuse.
Rocky released his hold on Diego. “Get out, Tio. Go somewhere and sober up. You don’t get to hurt them any more tonight.”
Diego narrowed his eyes and furrowed his brow. “Who the FUCK do you think you are?! This is MY house, you little shit.” Diego jabbed his right index finger into Rocky’s chest. Rocky stood, stoically, like the Buckingham Palace guard. “Oh, what, you’re just gonna stand there in silence? What are you gonna do Rolly Polly? Huh? I’ll teach you to disrespect me in my home.” Diego swung and slapped Rocky across the face.
Rocky looked down on Diego’s form as the blood rushed to his head. In his anger, the sound of the room faded, and it was as if he was watching Diego on mute. He stood there and accepted Diego’s blows – punches to the arm and chest, kicks to the thigh, slaps to the face. He allowed Diego to take intoxicated rage out on his body in place of Diego’s wife and child.
This is what you don’t understand, Tristan. You can’t teach someone to love by hitting them or violating that which they hold sacred. You can’t show someone how to love through harm. We PROTECT what we love. We protect with pain and sacrifice. By sacrificing ourselves for others, we show them how we love them. Love commands respect, and you can’t respect someone while also violating their boundaries. Drawing lips on your knee pads and nuzzling everything you see will never make the world love you – it will only make you a spectacle.
Diego closed his fist and swung. Rocky caught it in his hand and began to squeeze, slowly tighter and tighter. He leaned down into Diego’s face. “This ends tonight, Diego. You are going to pack a bag, and you are going to leave. You are never going to hit Juanita or Luisa ever again. You are never going to insult them ever again. You are going to leave, and you are never going to come back.”
Diego had enough awareness to realize Rocky had a substantial physical advantage, but he was also drunk enough to still attempt puffery, “You gonna fuckin’ make me? What are you gonna do, huh? You gonna beat me up in front of Luisa? Show her what a big man you are?”
Rocky released Diego’s hand, and Diego fell to the ground. “No. I’m going to call ICE and inform them of your lack of citizenship… after I report the abuse I witnessed tonight to the local authorities, and after I report your cash earnings to the IRS. Or you can leave.”
Diego spat at Rocky’s feet. He walked upstairs. Luisa ran to Rocky and hugged him, tears rolling down her face. Juanita stared at the floor. Diego came back downstairs minutes later with a plump duffle bag. He did not stop to say goodbye as he entered the garage. Rocky heard the garage door open, then saw the headlights flash across the curtains as Diego peeled out of the driveway. Rocky counted himself lucky that Diego didn’t scrape or smash against his car.
You never hurt the ones you love, Tristan. You prevent them from being hurt by those whose hearts are filled with hate. You guard them, protect them, and shelter them. A nuzzle may be affectionate, but an unwelcome nuzzle isn’t love. Removing a Lucha’s mask isn’t love. Wearing pants with lips on your ass isn’t love.
🎵 He hit me and it felt like a kiss
🎵 He hit me and I knew he loved me
🎵 If he didn’t care for me
🎵I could have never made him mad