Title: Self-Reflection
Featuring: David Noble
Date: After DEFTV 45
Location: Wrestleplex

Victory.

He could still taste it on his lips. The last time he felt this was far too long ago. He'd forgotten how good it felt.

David sat on the floor in the back of the Wrestle-Plex. The fans were long gone by this point of the night. Still, he could hear their cheers. He could still feel the goosebumps on his arms when he heard the bell ring and it was his name being announced as the winner. There's nothing quite like an arena full of people screaming, chanting your name, and celebrating your victory with you. It was a feeling that David was intent on feeling again, over and over.

"Is this space taken?"

David didn't even need to look up to know who it was. The soothing tone of Mary-Lynn always put him in a good spot.

"Any space next to me is always yours," he said, a smile creeping on his face. She returned the smile before sitting next to him.

"That was amazing, David," she told him. "I am so proud of you."

David slowly nodded his head. Having her at the ringside when he was announced the winner made this feeling so much better. No longer did he have his demons battling out in his head and she got to see it first hand. 

As he looked at her, he wanted to touch her, but he restrained himself. "Thanks. It's something else, you know?"

"Yeah," she replied. "It is. You were impressive. Frank didn't know what hit him."

Frank. The man he would have to face at AfterShock. This time with a title on the line. Apprehension begin to settle in his stomach and it must have made its way to his face because Mary-Lynn noticed it immediately.

"Relax," she whispered, putting a hand on his shoulder. "You don't have to do it tonight. Let this moment sink in a bit first. Then train. You've beat him now. Now you know you can do it."

"A fluke," he muttered, replaying the scene over in his head. "He was caught off guard. A roll-up. That's not a sound victory. That's getting one by the skin of your teeth."

"No," Mary-Lynn's voice was stern. "You're not going to play that game, the game of self-doubt. You have come too far to let that happen to you. You got that victory out there. You are now the number one contender for the Southern Heritage Championship. No one else can claim that. You are the one that will be part of the headline at a pay-per-view."

She then grabbed his head and pressed her forehead against his. "You earned this. You fought for this. Now grab it and run with it." Their eyes locked and for a fleeting moment, it was years ago. A different life. A different time.

The two break their glance and take a deep breath in.

"Where's Andrea?" she asked and he was taken back to his apartment, a couple days previous, having to deal with his sister for the first time in years.

---

"I was just saying, technically we're not blood," he told her. "I'm adopted, remember?"

Words were sometimes not his strong suit. David could be a bit of a hothead when he was in the middle of an argument and it had come to bite him in the ass a few times.

This would be one of those times.

Andrea stormed into his kitchen, ripped open a cabinet, and pulled a knife out of it. She walked back towards David, pointing the knife at him. For a brief moment, David became nervous. This allowed Andrea to catch him off guard as she grabbed his hand, turns the palm towards her, and put a deep enough cut there for blood to come out.

"OW!" David yelled out in shock, surprise, and pain.

She then did the same to herself. A slight grimace appeared on her face before she clasped her hand with David's.

"I swear, you better not have something," she muttered at him. Then her eyes locked with his and it was as if time stopped for the briefest of minutes.

"Blood, David. We are blood. You forget that I was the one who dealt with the three-year old version of yourself. I was only five, but I loved you the moment Mom and Dad brought you home. Yeah, we might not be related in the strictest of sense, but you have always been my one and only brother. So I will not stand here and let you tell me we aren't blood, because you have been my blood for as long as I can remember."

She then slaps her bleeding hand onto his chest and holds it there for a moment. David could count on one hand the number of times he'd seen his sister cry. As the tears streamed down her face, it would remain on one hand.

"I will fight through HELL for you, David. You can run, you can hide, but I don't care. I will always find you. I will always care for you. I will always love you. Even when you don't deserve it. That's what blood is, that is what family is."

Andrea then grabbed David by the back of the neck and pressed his forehead against hers. "You have five sisters David, who are scared for you. Who want you in their lives more than anything. No man could ever compare to you. We judge every man who enters our lives against you and they ALL pale in comparison."

Andrea broke the embrace and turned away from David, the tears only coming heavier. "I needed you in the worst way, David, and you weren't there. And I should hate you for that. I really should. Yet, at the end of the day, I love you more than anything." She then walked away from him and towards the door. She opened the door and then looked back at David.

"I'm not going anywhere, so when you decide to stop being a stubborn asshole, you know where to find me." Just like that, she closed the door and left him alone. David slumped against the wall and found himself sitting on the floor.

---

As he sat on the floor next to Mary-Lynn, he looked over at her. "Where is she? Where is Andrea?"

The biggest smile appeared on Mary-Lynn's face. Pride couldn't describe what she felt right now as David finally cracked the biggest barrier stopping him from being himself all over again.

Slowly, but surely, she saw the pieces of the David she once knew coming back into crystal clear focus and she loved what she saw.



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