Pickman’s Masterpiece #5: Katie Holmes vs. Megan Fox by The Walkin’ Dude

Prologue: A few minutes before the bell… and Richard Fannin had just finished getting his temporary office at the back of the Silver Key Bar ready for visitors when there came a knock at the door. Pulling his gaze away from the television for a moment, Rich called, “Come in!” The door creaked open and Archer strolled in, every present notebook in one hand, a Coke in the other. Trailing just behind the archivist was a slim, pretty brunette with her arms crossed glumly across her chest.

Flopping down into one of the chairs, Rachel McAdams grumbled, “Don’t know why I’m the one under house arrest. I wasn’t the one jumping people from behind.”

Walking over to the table where Archer and Rachel had parked themselves, Fannin took a seat on the opposite side and replied; “Now Rachel, don’t think of this as house arrest. Think of it as more of a…” He apparently couldn’t find the appropriate words so he looked over to Archer for help.

Shrugging his shoulders, the Archivist offered, “Friendly temporary incarceration?”

Rachel didn’t seem satisfied. “House arrest. Seriously you guys, I don’t know why I have to be cooped up with you for the Main Event tonight. I may hate Katie but I don’t make it a habit of interfering in people’s matches.”

Trying to say it as casually as he could, Fannin offered, “We know Rachel McAdams doesn’t do run ins. But the Hood on the other hand…”

McAdams scowled fiercely and glared at both of them. “For the last time you guys, that’s not me! I don’t know what the hell Katie was rambling about but I’m not putting on that raggedy ass Halloween costume and jumping people! I mean, come on what would I even have to gain from it?” Her gaze swept defiantly back and forth between them.

Attempting to play the good cop, Archer took a pull off his Coke and answered, “Look Rachel, honestly, I don’t think you’re the Hood and I don’t think Rich does either. But there is some circumstantial evidence linking you to her and if we can clear you by keeping you under lock and key tonight, then it’ll be better for all of us in the long run.”

Settling back in her chair, Rachel ‘s face went from angry to grim as she said, “You mean that riddle? The one that has I AM RACHEL MCADAMS hidden in it?”

This time it was Fannin who answered. “That’s the one, though truth be told it’s not hidden very well.”

Rachel took this point and ran with it. “Well there you go then. If I was some sort of diabolical mastermind, why would I implicate myself and do such a shitty job in the process?”

Scribbling furiously in his notepad, Archer said quietly, “Because no one would believe the Hood would actually implicate herself. That way you or she, could use the righteous indignation angle when confronted and keep us all occupied for…”

The auburn-haired beauty didn’t like what the archivist was saying. Leaning forward in her chair, her blue eyes narrowed to furious slits, she almost yelled, “RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION? PAL, I JUST ROCKETED PAST FULL ON PISSED OFF! I TOLD YOU BOTH THAT I’M…”

Don’t scream at him Rachel, he’s just doing his job.” Fannin said flatly.

Rachel stopped and her tone turned apologetic. “I don‘t want to be here.”

Sighing, Richard cracked his knuckles and began, “ I know you don’t. But did you ever stop to think that even if you aren’t the Hood, the fact that your name was used in the riddle means that she’s got you in her sights too? We all assume she’s going after Katie tonight, but she could just as well be coming for you. Remember what happened to Jordana a month or so back? So Archer and I are going to hang out with you all through the Main Event. After the match and assuming she wins, Katie’s going to call out the Hood. With luck, whoever she is won’t be able to resist the target and come out. When she shows up, you’re in the clear and you walk out of here with our apologies and a favor owed.”

McAdams mulled it over for a moment and then asked, “But what if the Hood doesn’t show? What if she’s found out you’re watching me and purposely stays away to cast more doubt on me? Seems I’m out of luck both ways, either the Hood makes an appearance and that means I’m on her hit list, or she doesn’t show and I look guiltier than before. Not to mention that if nothing happens after the match, Katie will probably storm back here and try to take it out of my face.” Here blue eyes glinted cold and hard all the sudden. “Not that I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on her again.”

Finishing up another page in his book, Archer looked across the table to Rachel and said, “We know it’s not a perfect plan Rachel, but it’s the best we could come up with. This way you and Katie are kept away from each other and it’ll convincingly eliminate you as a suspect if the Hood shows up.”

Realizing the promoter and the archivist weren’t going to give up, Rachel sighed and said, “OK, you guys win. I’ll sit here quietly and watch the match. But one way or the other, I’m going to clear my name tonight. And after this business with the Hood is over, I’m calling in that favor you promised Rich.”

Raising an eyebrow, Rich looked at her quizzically and queried, “And what might you be interested in Rachel?”

She grinned malevolently and replied with six words. “Rachel McAdams. Katie Holmes. Pandora’s Box.”

Archer’s hand visibly slipped in the process of writing his notes and Fannin cringed openly. With a pained expression on his face, the promoter asked, “Are you serious?”

Rachel nodded once. “ As a heart attack. If the Hood doesn’t take out the Katie, I want a chance to make her suffer. She’s dragged my name through the mud these past few weeks, so I’m gonna drag her face across that steel cage. Will you set it up?”

Terribly unhappy with the corner he’d painted himself into, Fannin sighed, “If you’re innocent, consider it done. If for some reason you are the Hood, I might say yes anyway just so Katie can put you through the ringer.”

McAdams looked like she was about to say something in reply, but before she could Archer cut her off. “Rich, Rachel, I don’t mean to interrupt our tense little discussion here, but it looks like the Main Event is about to start. And since we all have vested interest in the outcome, maybe we should wander over to the couch and settle in for a round of armchair commentary?”

Agreeing with the records keeper, Rachel and Richard got up from their chairs and made the short trip from the tables to the couch in front of the television. Grabbing the remote, Fannin turned the volume up a few clicks and then settled back into the cushions. Glancing over at Rachel, he asked, “So I guess you’re a Megan Fox fan tonight?”

Rachel shook her head ‘no’ and said coldly, “I hope Megan Fox kicks the shit out of Katie Holmes, but I want Katie to win. And then I hope the Hood kicks the shit out of her, but in the end, I hope that bitch is standing tall. Because I want Katie to be on top of the world when I bring it crashing down around her ears.”

Chuckling a little, Archer flipped to a new page and said, “That’s the oddest vote of confidence I’ve ever heard. And if it means anything Rachel, I really hope you aren’t the Hood.”

Regarding him with a sad smile, she said quietly, “I know I’m innocent Archer. But knowing something and proving it are two different things.”

Before any of them could say anything else, the Ring Announcer began formal introductions and the trio kept their eyes glued on the screen. What happened over the course of the next half hour or so was going to be very important to not only them, but everyone else in the promotion as well.


It was Main Event time and the capacity crowd surrounding the ring at The Silver Key Bar and Grille let out an expectant roar as the Ring Announcer stepped into the spotlight and brought the mic to his lips. “Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for our final contest of the evening; it is scheduled for one fall with a forty minute time limit, and it is a rematch of sorts from the Sixth Circle of Hell match. Introducing first, she stands at five feet eight inches tall; she is a member of Destruction Incorporated, allow to present, MEGAN FOX!”

‘I’ll Attack’ by 30 Seconds to Mars blares through the dimly lit space as the lovely brunette makes her way down the aisle toward the ring. For her match tonight, Megan has donned a two-piece silver bikini, the gleaming material of the suit standing in stark contrast to her tanned skin. Her pads and boots were a simple black and her dark hair hung slick on her shoulders as she slid into the ring, a confidant grin dominating her pretty face. As the buzz from the crowd quieted, she moved to her corner and watched the entryway, awaiting the entrance of this evening’s opponent.

Waiting for the roar for Fox to die down, the Announcer brought the mic back up and continued his duties. “And her opponent, she stands at five feet ten inches tall and is the other half of the World Tag Team Champions; Please allow me to introduce, Katie Holmes!

‘Got You (Where I Want You)’ wafts through the speakers and the multitude goes nuts as the slender brunette pushes through the curtain and salutes them with her trademark cross sign. Marching slowly to the ring, Katie is wearing her standard fog gray bikini, boots and pads along with her old beat up motorcycle jacket. A moment later, she shrugs the jacket off her shoulders and tosses it on the ring steps before sliding under the bottom rope and getting to her feet. Watching Megan levelly from her corner, Katie rolled her shoulders and waited for the start of the match.

DONG! DONG! DONG! The bell tolled hollowly in the small confines of the Silver Key and shortly thereafter, the pair of brunettes on opposite sides of the ring left their corners, Megan in a tense, expectant stalk, while Katie moved with the feigned nonchalance and cold indifference that had become her trademark. Stopping with only a few feet between them, Holmes and Fox regarded one another silently while the crowd urged them to break their reverie in the most expedient (and preferably violent) way possible.

Putting her hands on her hips, Megan took three steps forward, bringing her nose-to-nose with the more established beauty. Staring into Katie’s eyes without a trace of fear or apprehension, the enforcer from Destruction Incorporated purred, “You know Katie, I can’t help but think you’re looking past me. You’d think after I drove your face through the mat you’d learn not to do that. Not that I mind doing it again of course, planting you in the ground all by myself is gonna put me first in line for your shitty little partner’s gold belt.” Megan punctuated her statement by grinning insolently and bumping her chest hard into Katie’s.

Unperturbed by the newcomer’s gall, Katie held her ground and shot back, “It’s impressive how you’ve managed to delude yourself into thinking you would have stood a chance against me without any help from your pint sized pals or that Hooded carnival bitch. Now that you and I are all alone, I’ll be glad to show you just how pathetic you really arreeeuunngghhh!”

The pale brunette’s last words were cut off as Megan brought her right hand up into Katie’s face and shoved back as hard as she could, blatantly pie-facing her foe. Over the loud ‘oh no she didn’t’ buzz of the crowd, Megan watched Katie recover her footing and mocked, “Through making excuses bitch?”

Flipping hair out of her face, Katie’s dark eyes went from casual boredom to blazing fury in a single blink. Stalking forward with a speed that always seemed to catch her opponents flat-footed, Holmes chested into Megan Fox and snarled, “You arrogant, grandstanding piece of shit, do you really…” Her words trailed off as she looked high over Megan’s head to a point in the rafters. Apparently forgetting all about her rival she muttered, “Well, she showed up earlier than I thought.”

Surprise dawned on Megan’s face and she jerked her head up and back to get a glimpse of the unseen intruder. That’s when Katie brought her left foot up and stomped down as hard as humanly possible across Fox’s toes. The tanned brunette shrieked in pain and staggered back, limping on her mangled toes.

Throwing her head back, Katie laughed scornfully and taunted, “So I gotta know, do you have some incriminating pictures of Elisha and Natalie making out with one another or something? Because that’s the only way I can see them letting a clod like you hook up with them. I mean really, who falls for that?”

Before Megan got a reply off, Katie lunged forward with arms extended; one threading over Fox’s shoulder while the other slipped between her thighs and palmed her butt. Without a second’s hesitation, Katie hoisted Megan off her feet and across her shoulder, holding her there for just a moment before tossing the dazed girl back to the canvas with a crisply executed Body Slam. Rocking up on her toes as Megan’s landing shook the ring, Katie slipped into her grappling stance and waited patiently as Fox rolled onto her side and got back to her feet.

Curling her fingers towards the fuming brunette, Katie smiled and chided, “C’mon dumbass, let’s see if those muscles make up for the terrible lack of brains.”

Righteously infuriated at the way Holmes was talking down to her, Megan growled low in the back of her throat and dropped into a deep crouch of her own. In an instant she launched herself at the other brunette with claws bared. Seeing Megan initiate her charge, Katie was tempted to outmaneuver the rookie again, but then decided against it. Regardless of how it happened Fox did have a pin-fall victory over her and Holmes wasn’t going to let that go unavenged.

Bracing for the impact, Katie planted her feet against the canvas and lunged forward to meet Megan in the clinch. The two statuesque brunettes met with a meaty THUD in mid-ring and immediately went into the classic Collar and Elbow Lock-Up. With one arm gripping her foe’s shoulder and the other cupping the back of her neck, Katie and Megan pushed and shoved against one another with all the finesse of two rams meeting in a head-on collision. Cursing and mumbling under their breath, Katie and Megan stamped, staggered and stumbled around the whole ring, bulling one another into ropes, turnbuckles, even the referee when the poor dope had the misfortune of getting in the way of their progression.

After nearly a minute of this wild pushing, Katie had enough and dipped into her reserves, forcing Megan back into the corner with a wicked shove that straightened her out against the steel. Ignoring the ref’s admonition to break her grip, Katie leaned in hard against Megan, making sure to dig her fingers deep into the other brunette’s chin and hair. Smiling blandly as Fox writhed in her grasp, Katie whispered malevolently, “I’m not looking through you Megan. You’re the lamb I’m gonna sacrifice to bring the Hood out of hiding.”

Hearing the zebra reach ‘FOUR’ on his count, Katie sighed heavily and gave Megan a final shove before releasing the clench and taking a step back. Gazing innocently at the referee, Katie held her hands up with palms out and asked, “Satisfied?”

Before the ref had a chance to reply, Megan exploded forward, aiming a stiff haymaker directly at the point of Katie’s jaw. But as quick as Fox was, Katie was just a bit quicker and she shot her right arm up, blocking the strike with expert precision. Savoring the surprised expression that blossomed on Megan’s face. Katie grabbed Fox by the silver straps on her top and gave her a rough toss that reversed their positions. Not letting the girl from DI recover her balance, Katie stalked forward and peppered Megan across the mouth with a trio of Forearm Smashes that snapped the big girl’s head back in a painful whiplash motion.

Eyeing Fox hungrily as she stumbled away in a daze, Katie went into a slight crouch and sprinted forward, extending her left arm level with her shoulder in anticipation of delivering the Lariat. That anticipation died a quick violent death when Megan Fox shook off the stupor and immediately charged forward and shot an arm over Katie’s shoulder and another through her thighs. The second her grip was secure Megan torqued her hips in a tight little half circle and drove Katie spine first into the mat with a Power Slam that took less than two seconds from start to finish.

Resting on her knees for a moment, Megan placed her hands on her thighs and took several deep breaths. Regarding Katie’s pained face with a cruel smile, Megan tilted her head to the side and purred, “Betchya didn’t know I was that fast didja Katie? I think after I’m done taking you apart, I’ll let the Hood have whatever tasty bits might be left.”

Megan got to her feet and stalked around her downed rival. Picking her spots carefully, Megan lined up parallel to Katie’s long torso, cocked an elbow up over her shoulder and dropped down fast, driving all her weight into Holmes’ navel with a simple but brutal Elbow Drop. Katie rolled over onto her back but that wasn’t going to be enough to save her from the calculating newcomer. Moving with a smooth, mechanical precision, Megan got to her feet and reset her stance. Looming over Katie, she cocked her elbow again and proceeded to administer a second Elbow Drop, this one targeting the small of Holmes’ back. Her smile growing wider as Katie groaned and grasped at her injured back, Megan grabbed Katie by the hip and shoulder and shoved her over onto her back.

Popping to her feet, Fox looked down at her stunned adversary and sneered, “I can’t wait to finish you off. With your name on our list, there’s no way Fannin is gonna be able to deny Destruction Inc. anything we want.”

Looking to make good on this proclamation, Megan turned her back on Katie and ran the ropes. Bouncing off the cables a moment later, Fox cut the distance between herself and Katie to about two feet before she leapt off her feet, going up very high and then coming down very fast with the full weight of her toned midsection smashing across Katie’s chest in a beautiful Splash. Watching Katie’s legs flail spastically, Megan snatched Holmes’ far leg out of the air and held it tight, bearing down for the cover. The ref dropped down to make the count but only got passed ‘ONE’ before Katie shoved Megan off of her.

Glowering at the official for a moment, Megan’s got to her feet and hauled Katie to her. Trapping the other brunette in a tight Front Face-Lock, Fox slung Katie’s arm across her shoulders and used her free hand to grab a handful of her foe’s gray tights. Not giving Katie any time to think about what was coming, Megan bent her knees and lifted up fast, taking Katie off her feet and inverting her overhead with a basic Vertical Suplex. Fox didn’t bother with a delay or anything showy with the Suplex, she simply let her strength and Katie’s own momentum drop her back to the mat. Feeling rather than seeing Katie slam into the canvas; Megan quickly released her grip on the Face Lock and rolled to her feet. Keeping up the pressure of her onslaught, Megan pulled Katie up with a single massive handful of hair and shook the other brunette by the roots.

Satisfied that Holmes wasn’t playing opossum, Megan let loose of Katie’s hair (making sure to allow herself a moment to wipe her hand disgustedly on the front of Katie’s top) and tipped Holmes’ head up. Forcing eye contact with her opponent, Megan said softly, “Elisha didn’t think I should use this move, but me and Nat have a love for the old school. And I’m willing to bet it still hurts, regardless of the year.”

Letting Katie’s head drop, Megan pulled both arms up and out to the side and held them there for a split second before snapping them forward to drive the edges of both hands deep into the base of Katie’s neck with a Mongolian Chop. Katie’s face twisted in agony and she sank to one knee. Shoving Katie’s clenching hands aside, Megan jerked Holmes to her feet and clamped an iron grip around her opponent’s left wrist. Aiming her victim towards the nearest corner, Fox whipped Holmes toward the corner and waited just long enough to see Katie ram spine first into the thinly padded steel. Hurtling across the ring like a freight train, Megan didn’t so much run into Katie as she ran through her.

If it hadn’t been for the ring-post holding her in place, Katie would have driven into the second or third row by Megan’s Avalanche Splash! Holding onto the top ropes on either side of her opponent, Fox ground her chest and belly into against Katie’s limp frame until the ref demanded that she relinquish her perch. Fixing the zebra with a cold stare, Megan rolled her eyes and stepped back a bit. Nearly quivering with excitement over her continued demolition of the former Darkness leader, Megan silently beckoned Katie forward and she was rewarded when Holmes staggered out into the open in a drunken stagger. Lacing her hands around Katie’s throat, Megan tightened her grip and pulled Holmes in close.

Sneering in the other brunette’s face, Megan whispered, “I’m gonna choke the life right out of you ya fuckin’ washed up has-been!”

She bent her knees and lifted straight up, hauling Katie off her feet in a blatant two-handed stranglehold. Smiling sadistically as Katie’s legs kicked frantically in the air, Megan dug her fingers into Holmes’ windpipe and counted sardonically along with the ref as he made his five second count.


Megan tossed Katie down in a heap, leaving the slender brunette in a gasping, sweaty pile at her feet. Raising both hands high over her head, Megan strutted around the ring and shouted, “YOU MORONS SEE THAT? THIS PATHETIC bitch CAN’T TOUCH ME!” Returning her attention to a slowly recovering Katie, Megan dropped into an expectant crouch and cooed, “When I’m done with you Katie, you’re gonna wish the Hood had crippled you months ago.”

Fox’s voice trailed off as Katie finally got to her feet and stumbled around to find her rival. As soon as she saw the whites of Katie’s eyes, Megan roared forward and fired her left foot up, catching Katie square across the face with a scintillating Big Boot that echoed loudly throughout the Silver Key. The force of Megan’s kick snapped Katie’s head back and dropped her to the mat where she landed in an awkward sprawl, covering her battered face in both hands and moaning softly as she tried to fight through the pain. Allowing herself another lap around the ring, Megan finally stopped mocking the crowd and resumed the task of taking Katie apart. Wandering over to where the other brunette was laid out, Fox looked her foe up and down for a moment before letting her gaze settle on Katie’s right arm. Remembering something Natalie had mentioned during her training for this fight, Megan bent down and grabbed Katie’s right wrist.

Wrenching the limb out to it’s full length, she pinned it flat against the canvas and sneered, “I seem to recall that Sarah did quite a lot of damage to this arm back when you and she were on different sides of the ring. I think I’ll pick up where she left off.” With her plan decided, Megan released Katie’s arm and stood up. Before Holmes had a chance to pull the exposed limb back in, Megan brought her foot smashing down on Katie’s bicep and ground her heel back and forth, eliciting a loud scream of pain from her opponent. Loving the sound of Katie at her mercy, Megan stomped down a second time, now aiming for her opponent’s forearm. Katie let loose an anguished howl and tried to roll clear but Megan bore down with all her weight, keeping her victim’s tortured arm right where she wanted it to be. Working the elementary maneuver like a seasoned veteran, Megan kept up the grind for a few more seconds before she pulled her foot back.

This time Katie immediately drew her mangled arm tight across her chest and cradled it with her left, trying to ensure it didn’t take any more damage. Unperturbed by this action, Megan casually drew back her foot a third time and lashed out again, this time striking her foe square in the right shoulder. Katie gritted her teeth and rolled over onto her side in a vain attempt to escape more of Megan’s punishment. Loving the stunned silence that had fallen over the crowd (they’d really expected Katie to make short work of her Megan thought with a sadistically glee) Fox bent down and grabbed Katie by the hair.

Pulling the tall brunette up to a standing position, Megan taunted, “Get up bitch, I’m not through with you yet. You’ve still gotta pay for all those things you did to ‘Lisha and Nat.” Shifting her grip from Katie’s hair to her right wrist, Megan took a step back and started to twist the slender limb in a long, agonizing circle that almost dropped Katie to her knees. At the highest point of the circle, Megan rose up on her toes, increasing the pressure of the Arm Wringer as much as she could. Grinning down at a semi-kneeling Katie, Megan gloated, “Awwww, are those tears Katie? Lemme tell ya something sugar, if you’re crying now, you’re gonna be bawling like a little bitch when I sit on your face!”

The threat of a Face Sit seemed to break through the haze Katie was fighting through as the injured brunette suddenly tossed her head back, flipping the hair from her face. Without a word, she put her free hand on the canvas and pushed up, regaining her vertical base. It didn’t do anything for the pressure on her right arm, but it did allow her to glare at Megan from a better vantage point. Mildly irked that Holmes had powered to her feet so easily, Megan wrenched Katie’s wrist again and sneered, “Got your attention did I?”

Katie was silent for a moment and then replied in a chillingly sweet tone, “You’re going to wish you hadn’t.”

In a flash Katie yanked back, pulling Megan off balance and into an ungraceful stagger. With her right arm still in Megan’s possession, Katie took a half step back and then charged forward. Extending her left arm out straight, she caught Megan across the mouth with an explosive Short-Arm Clothesline that took Fox off her feet and put her on her back in a confused daze. Knowing that this was her opportunity to take control of the match, Katie actually clamped down tighter on Megan’s wrist, keeping the two brunette’s linked by Katie’s right arm. Ignoring the dull ache running through her shoulder, Katie glared down at Fox for a moment and then pulled her back to a standing position. Taking a few steps back, Katie steadied her aim for a moment before pulling Megan towards her and lunging forward all in the same fluid motion. Holmes’ second Short Arm Clothesline was even stiffer than the first and because Katie was thoughtful enough to release Megan’s wrist before it connected, the blow nearly turned Fox inside out, leaving her splayed out and facedown on the canvas. Noting with some satisfaction the way the crowd had come back into the fight, Katie’s small smile was quickly replaced with an angry frown as she saw Megan getting her feet under her.

Settling into her stance as she stalked in close to her foe Katie muttered, “You ready for more already Meg? That’s good because I’ve got some pent-up frustration I’d love to take out on an outclassed bitch like you.”

Hauling Megan to her feet with a healthy yank of the tights, Katie grabbed the tanned brunette by the wrist and pointed her towards the far side of the ring. Without any preamble, Katie whipped Megan into the cables and waited patiently for her victim to draw within range. When Fox was only a few feet away, Katie ducked low and wrapped her arms around the other brunette’s upper thighs. As soon as her hands were locked, Katie lifted up, hauling Megan off her feet and into the air. Less than a second had passed when Katie took a few staggering steps and simply dropped backwards, leaving Megan to land throat first across the top rope courtesy of a brutal Hot Shot.

Quickly getting to her feet, Katie was surprised and a little pissed to see Megan still on her feet. True, the other brunette was gagging and clutching at her throat, but Katie had wanted her to be flat on the canvas and she wasn’t. Scowling fiercely, Katie lined up behind her rival muttering, “Strong as an Ox and about as smart apparently. God I hate girls like that.”

Speaking no more, she sprinted into the ropes, using them for extra momentum as she charged back towards an oblivious Megan Fox. The DI enforcer had barely begun to turn around when Katie left her feet (a rarity for her) and nearly crushed Megan’s sternum with a Flying Shoulder Block that would make the most jaded defensive linebacker proud. Quickly getting to her knees, Katie smiled evilly as she watched Megan cross both arms over her chest and try to fight off the pain of her latest attack. After a few seconds, Holmes ended her reprieve and got to her feet, preparing to take the fight to Fox once again.

She’d only taken a few steps when Megan rolled onto her stomach and pushed to her knees as well; apparently Natalie and Elisha’s newest recruit could recover fast too. Aggravated by Fox’s persistence in getting up, Katie snarled, “Stupid move Megan. If you stop getting up, I’m less inclined to keep hurting you. But if you insist on pissing me off, I’ll send you out of here on a stretcher.”

Getting no reply from the tawny brunette, Katie shook her head in disdain and yanked Megan to her feet. Foregoing any of her usual set up for her next move, Katie placed one hand on the brunette’s chest, right between her breasts while the other hand grabbed Megan’s hip, digging deep into the toned muscle of her flank. With a little grunt of exertion, Katie hoisted Megan into the air and held her there for a second before driving her down full force, ramming Fox’s back and head into the mat with a ring shaking Spinebuster. Megan hit the mat with a devilish THUD and she immediately arched up, instinctively flexing her muscles to alleviate some of the pain from Holmes’ vicious attack.

Waiting until the last aftershocks from the Spinebuster had faded from the ring, Katie dropped to her knees beside Megan. Reaching out, she brushed hair from her opponent’s face and almost tenderly clasped her left hand around Megan’s throat. All the tenderness vanished shortly thereafter when Holmes dug her long fingers into Fox’s neck and began to squeeze as hard as she could. Megan’s eye popped open and she tried to pull Katie’s hand away from her windpipe, but Holmes wasn’t going to be thwarted so easily, and Megan had to rely on the referee’s count to grant her any sort of relief. Paying the zebra’s count a minimum amount of attention, Katie leaned down into Megan’s face. With their noses less than an inch apart, Katie whispered, “Your part in this story is about to end Megan Fox. If you ever want to be in another, you’ll give up while I’m still allowing you the option.” Before Megan could gurgle anything back to Katie, the ref reached “FOUR” and Holmes released the choke.

Fox drew several ragged breaths and tried to roll away, but Katie snagged her by the waist and pulled her back in close. Passing up the opportunity to lock in the choke again, Katie instead curled her hands into claws and went after the other brunette’s face, tearing and gouging at her cheeks and eyes with an illegal Face Rake that forced the ref to administer his count for the second time in less than a minute. Pulling her hands away from Megan’s face a moment before the zebra would have disqualified her, Katie got to her feet and placed a foot on Megan’s chest. Holmes wasn’t going for a cover; she just wanted to make sure that Fox wasn’t going anywhere.

Regarding the zebra with a baleful glare, Katie slowly brought her gouging hand up and daintily licked the tip of each finger as if getting the last of something especially tasty off her hands. Smiling knowingly as the crowd cheered the remarkably heelish action, Katie pulled her foot of Megan’s chest and quickly pulled her to her feet. Jerking Fox in close to her, Katie wrapped one arm across Megan’s chest and the other around her upper thighs. Without saying a word, Katie lifted her victim off her feet and held her parallel to the mat for a moment before dropping to one knee and slamming the small of Megan’s back down across the posted joint. Katie’s cold smile made another appearance as the Backbreaker sent a painful spasm coursing through her opponent’s entire frame.

Holding Fox supplicant across her knee, Katie purred, “Don’t get too comfortable Megan. This ride’s not over yet.”

She tightened her grip and lifted up, getting to her feet with Megan still in her grasp. Taking a moment to regain her footing, Katie lifted Megan up across her chest and violently spun her around so that she was facing the canvas as opposed to the lights.

As soon as this move had been completed, Katie dropped back down to one knee, impaling Megan’s abs this time in a quickly applied Gutbuster. Fox gasped and flopped on Katie’s knee, but Holmes still would not give up her grip. Tightening her dual holds on Megan, Katie straightened up a third time only to place Fox on her feet and trap her in a Front Face Lock. Grabbing hold of the other brunette’s silver bottoms, Katie locked her foe in place and lifted up fast, inverting Megan directly over her head.

The hapless DI member had occupied this position for less than a second when Katie sat out and dropped her forward, sending Megan face and chest first into the mat from a height of several feet with a Gourdbuster. Watching as Megan was knocked back into the air and flipped onto her back by the impact of the landing, Katie decided she’d had enough fun toying with the rookie and wanted to get down to the business of dealing with the Hood. She scrambled over to where Megan had crashed and laid across the brunette’s chest, hooking the far leg. Seeing the cover, the ref swooped in to make his count, but he only got passed ‘TWO’ when Megan got a shoulder up.

Sighing heavily, Katie brushed hair from her eyes and said wryly, “So, you’re strong, stupid and tenacious. Now I REALLY hate you.”

Looking to keep up the high impact offense, Katie got to her feet and pulled Megan along for the ride. Standing the wobbly-legged girl directly in front of her, Katie appeared to be on the verge of saying something and then decided against it. Instead, she placed one hand against Megan’s chest, the other against her crotch and lifted the statuesque brunette up over her head with a textbook Military Press. Katie held Megan aloft for several seconds so the crowd could see what she had in mind, but basking in the adulation of the fans cost her dearly here as Megan suddenly came to life in her grasp and wriggled free, landing heavily on her feet behind the startled Katie. Before Holmes had a second to whirl around, Megan drove a pair of fists into her kidneys, doubling her over. Stepping up against her opponent’s back, Megan slapped a Half Nelson on Katie’s right side before using her left hand to capture the pale brunette’s right wrist and pull it roughly across Holmes’ throat.

Cinching in the Cobra Clutch, Megan panted. “It‘s OK to hate me Katie. Piss poor has-beens like you have a right to hate the girls that are taking your spot.”

She jerked up as hard as she could, the force of her lift sending Katie’s feet trailing out in front of her. As her victim began to descend, Megan dropped down, flinging her legs out behind her to add more force to her fall. The effect was a sort of Cobra Clutch Slam that drove the back of Katie’s head and shoulders into the mat from a diabolical height. Roaring vindictively as she pushed to her feet, Megan stomped away on Katie’s ribs for a few seconds before she pulled the stunned brunette to her feet. Grabbing a vicious double handful of Holmes’ dark locks, Megan yanked Katie down, bending her over directly in front of her tormentor.

Pulling her left leg back, Megan snarled, “You wanna choke me? Tear up my face? Well I’m gonna return the favor by smashing yours to a bloody pulp!”

Getting nothing but a pained moan from her rival, Megan pistoned her knee forward and smashed it directly into Katie’s forehead. Hardly satisfied with one shot, Megan repeated the tactic with her other knee and began alternating the strikes, her padded knee making a dull THUD THUD THUD against Katie’s face as Holmes legs became progressively more flimsy and then gave away entirely. Held upright by nothing more than Megan’s grip on her hair, Katie was helpless as Fox delivered a final Knee Lift and then yanked her back to her feet.

Loving the dazed, gutshot expression in Katie’s eyes, Megan got right into the other brunette’s face and sneered, “You tried to break my back a few minutes ago you sick bitch. For that, I’ll show you how a Backbreaker is supposed to work.”

Not caring if Katie had a witty response ready, Megan grabbed her wrist and Irish Whipped her hard into the ropes. Dropping quickly into her stance, Fox waited for Katie to return and when she did, the DI enforcer stepped forward to meet her. Slipping an arm across Katie’s chest, Megan grinned ferociously as; she bent her knees slightly and then pushed up fast. At the apex of her momentum, Megan suddenly dropped to one knee, bringing Katie down and across the posted joint in a move that started life as a Rock Bottom but ended as a wicked Over the Knee Backbreaker. Katie flopped limp, then slowly rolled off of Fox’s knee and dropped to the canvas on her stomach.

Watching Katie suffer with a cruel avidity that would have made Elisha and Natalie proud, Megan scooted forward and whispered, “Time to see how much you bend before ya break.” Acting on this ominous statement, Megan sidled up next to Katie and rolled her over onto her left side. Placing one knee on the canvas, she jammed the other into Holmes’ ribs, drawing a small grunt of pain from her lips. Not even close to done yet, Megan reached forward and snared Katie’s right leg with one arm and her right arm with the other. Trapping her opponent around the knee and elbow, Megan bore down tight and pulled back violently, bending Katie into a crude U shape with her application of the Bow and Arrow. Laughing under her breath as Katie started to flail, Megan alternately reduced and increased the pressure on the hold to prolong Katie’s agony.

Trapped on the mat, Katie tried to hold back the scream building up in her throat but with Megan’s knee grinding against her ribs and her back being bent at such an odd angle it was a losing battle. Voicing her pain for the world to hear, Katie ignored Megan’s taunts and the referee’s inquiries of submission. Pushing everything else aside, she located the nearest ropes and extended her free hands towards them. Cursing when she found she was a few feet short of freedom, Holmes dug deep into her reserves and jerked forward, cutting the distance with an unsightly, but rather effective flopping motion. Pleased with her success, Katie repeated the maneuver a few more times and was finally able to slip her hand around the bottom rope.

Knowing release was immanent she yelled, “GET THIS BITCH OFFA ME REF!” and waited impatiently as Megan milked the count for the five seconds she was entitled.

Then Megan did release the Bow and Arrow, allowing Katie to roll to her hands and knees. She was still in this position when Megan grabbed her by the straps of her top and hoisted her to back to a vertical base. Whirling Katie around to face her, Megan released her grip on the other brunette’s top only to treat her to several light, taunting slaps across the face. Openly baiting Holmes now, Fox smacked away at her foe’s cheeks and forehead for nearly ten seconds before she tired of the game and doubled Katie over with a hard knee to the gut. Satisfied that Holmes wasn’t going to be much of a problem, Megan secured a grip on her left wrist and tugged Katie forward, lowering her shoulder as she did so. With no real effort, Megan muscled Katie up and onto her shoulders, holding her tightly in a simple Fireman’s Carry. Beaming, Megan strutted around the ring; letting everyone in attendance see just how much fun she was having torturing her opponent.

Then with a cherry, malevolent grin, Fox announced, “Time to send this loser right through the mat!”

Ignoring the small group of folks cheering her on, Megan approached the nearest corner of the ring and situated herself with her back to the buckles. After taking a deep breath to steady her nerves, Fox loped forward, eating up the distance between her and the opposite corner at an alarming rate. When she’d covered more than seventy-five percent of the circuit she rose up on her toes and somersaulted forward, slamming Katie’s defenseless back hard into the canvas with a Rolling Fireman’s Carry. As she came out of the roll, Megan released her grip on Katie’s legs leaving the other brunette splayed out at an unfortunate angle just a few feet away from the turnbuckles; all part of Megan’s strategy as she ably demonstrated by hopping up onto the second rope in a short hop. Grabbing the top rope in both hands, the toned brunette bounced up and down on the rope for about three seconds before launching herself up and back with her legs trailing straight out behind her. Letting go of her hold on the ropes, Fox dropped down chest and belly first across Katie’s chest in a remarkably inventive version of the traditional Body Splash.

Fighting off the bit of breathlessness that always accompanied the move, Megan hooked both of Katie’s legs and leaned down hard across her foe’s chest but all her machinations got her was a count that ended halfway between ‘TWO’ and 150

Frustrated at Holmes’ durability, Megan slapped the mat and then slapped Katie, hissing, “You stubborn piece of shit.” Ignoring the downed brunette’s mostly unintelligible response, Megan snagged hold of Katie’s right wrist as she was getting to her feet and rudely dragged her adversary back to the middle of the ring. Positioning herself so that she was between Katie and the nearest set of ropes, Megan wrenched hard on the captured arm.

“Guess it’s time to go back to work on this gimpy arm of yours,” she spat. “If you’re lucky, you’ll still be able to make half of that stupid symbol of yours even while wearing a cast.”

Out to make a point, Megan took a half step back, pulled Katie’s arm a little tighter and then snapped her left foot up, driving the toes of her boot deep into Holmes’ armpit. Katie groaned and tried to wrench free of Megan’s grip but the domineering brunette just clamped down tighter and repeated the kicking over and over, not even bothering to stop until Katie’s arm was nearly limp in her hands. Convinced that Katie was nearly done for, Megan maintained her grip on her captive’s wrist while she stepped over the arm and turned around.

Standing with the wounded arm between her legs, Megan pulled the limb up a little higher and murmured, “Elisha, Natalie, make a wish.” The words were barely out of her mouth when she leapt into the air and came crashing down butt first with the full force of her weight landing directly on Katie’s right shoulder. Katie screamed long and loud and she was allowed some small measure of relief when Megan finally dropped her right arm and let her roll weakly away. But even though Megan was done working the arm for the moment, there were still plenty other parts of Holmes’ anatomy that she wanted to play with and she wasn’t willing to wait that long before she went back on the attack. Sauntering over to where Katie was cradling her arm, Megan bent down, grabbed her foe by the hair and purred, “C’mon big girl, get up and fight.”

Yanking Katie to her knees, Megan forced her rival’s head down and wedged it between her legs, locking in a loose Standing Head Scissors. Wrapping her arms around Katie’s sweat-beaded middle, Fox locked her hands and wasted no time lifting Katie up into the Powerbomb stall position. Resting with Holmes’ thighs on her shoulders and crotch inches from her face, Megan grimaced and joked, “Well the view sucks, but the floor show is SPECTACULAR.”

She ended her little joke by lifting Katie up a little higher and completed the Face-First Powerbomb by tossing Katie backward leaving her to land face and chest first on the canvas behind Megan in sweating, groaning pile. Secretly relishing the cheers the impressive maneuver had drawn from the crowd, Megan allowed herself the time to make a small adjustment to the alignment of her silver bottoms and then returned the whole of her attention to Katie.

Stalking over to her victim’s head, Megan put her hands on her hips and glared down at the wreckage of Katie Holmes. Still in a rage over the way Katie had mocked her earlier, Megan sneered, “Pathetic.” then spat directly on the back of Katie’s head. Deciding to end the match in emphatic fashion. Megan bent down and pulled Katie to her knees before slapping on the Standing Headscissors a second time. Wrapping her arms around the other brunette’s waist, Fox locked her hands and bent down a little lower, preparing to break Katie in half with a more traditional application of the Powerbomb.

Resting her cheek heavily against the small of Katie’s back, Megan whispered, “It’ll all be over soon Katie. Then everyone will be talking about how Megan Fox is the toughest woman in this outfit. Hell, even the Hood won’t have the guts to face me after she sees what I’ve done to yo…UUUUUEERRGGHHH!”

Her prophecy was never completed as Katie interrupted it with one of her own, thanks mostly in part to the fist she’d driven right into the front of Megan’s trunks. Feeling the other brunette begin to wither over her, Katie wrapped her arms around Megan’s calves and stood straight up, putting her foe in a rather awkward position strung upside down along Katie’s back with her face mere inches from Holmes’ gray clad ass. Snarling vindictively as she held Megan in this vulnerable position, Katie spat, “You’ve got it all wrong Fox. You’re not the future; you’re just the medium I’m using to send a message. A message that reads DO NOT FUCK WITH KATIE HOLMES!”

Having made her point, Katie whipped forward, bending deeply at the waist as she hurled Megan off her shoulders and sent her crashing to the canvas with a desperate modification of the Spinebuster. The impressive velocity behind the slam left Megan starfished on the mat, helpless, at least for the time being. And as much as Katie wanted to go about beating some respect into the arrogant rookie, the battle had taken a heavy toll on her as well and she collapsed on her knees beside Fox, clutching gingerly at her wounded arm as she tried to will the pain away through sheer force of will. Several seconds went by in this fashion until finally Megan rolled onto her side with a low groan and started pushing to her feet. Seeing the other brunette in motion, Katie sighed under her breath and got to her feet as well, making sure to keep a safe distance between her and Fox.

Assuming a looser than normal take on her stance, Katie waited for Megan to get her feet under her before she called, “Over here shit-for-brains.” Megan whirled around in a half stagger and glowered fiercely when she saw Katie on her feet.

Bringing her hands up in a boxing stance, Megan cocked her head to the side and taunted, “You can’t be too smart either, antagonizing the girl that nearly ripped your arm off. How’s that feeling by the way?”

Returning the barb with ease, Katie smiled smugly and said, “Good enough to do this.” She raised her wounded arm straight out in front of her and casually flipped Megan the bird.

Absolutely sick of the constant disrespect, Megan hissed her rage and launched herself at Katie sending wild, wind-milling Haymakers flying towards any part of the lanky veteran she could reach. But even with one arm mostly incapacitated, Katie was able to block and absorb most of Megan’s punches while still managing to land several shots of her own. The mindless barroom like slugfest continued for the better part of thirty seconds and then Megan got the better of an exchange and pounded about four unanswered jabs off Katie’s chin. Hoping to take the stumbling brunette off her feet with a final shot, Megan reared back to deliver a final Haymaker, but as her fist closed in, Katie’s head cleared and she stepped nimbly aside, letting the surprised rookie stumble forward into empty air.

In the instant that it took Megan to whirl back around, Katie pulled her right knee back and then drove it forward, sending it full force into Megan’s belly, just above the line of her briefs. Enjoying the hot exhalation of Megan’s breath onto her thigh, Katie easily maneuvered Megan into a Standing Headscissors of her own and wrapped both arms around her captive’s waist. Preparing to give Fox a taste of her own medicine, Katie smiled grimly and chided, “Your set-up is great Megan, you just need to learn how to master the follow-through. And as you know, the best way to learn is by EXPERIENCE!”

The last word trailed off in a guttural growl as Katie bent down even lower and then lifted up, hauling Megan up and into position for the Powerbomb. Not bothering to delay the inevitable, Katie held Megan up for less than a second before slamming her back down to the canvas, nearly folding her in half in the process. Staring down at the crudely match-booked form of Megan Fox, Katie was aggravated to find that executing the Powerbomb had caused considerable pain to course up and down the length of her right arm.

Shaking the limb to loosen it up, Katie said to herself, “Most women in my position would consider the loss of an arm to be a rather severe handicap, but I like to think of it as more of a challenge. Let’s see if I can still cripple your miserable ass with only three functional limbs.”

Still holding her wounded arm tightly across her chest and stomach, Katie booted Megan in the butt to knock her over onto her side and then knelt down to pull her up with her good left arm. Keeping Megan in close to her, Katie moved around until she was facing towards a corner. Setting her feet, she grabbed Megan by the wrist and whipped her towards the buckles with all the force she could muster. A few seconds later Megan slammed chest first into the barely covered steel and hung limply in place, not doing anything besides emitting the occasional low moan. An evil smile lit up her face and Katie murmured, “Perfect.”

Bending down, she quickly eased the pad on her left knee down around her calf before standing back up. Praying to however might be listening that Megan wouldn’t move, Katie took off at top sped towards the corner and left her feet in a leap which culminated with her recently bared knee being driven directly between Megan’s shoulder-blades. As Katie’s Knee Lift smashed her back and chest simultaneously, Megan tossed her head back and let out an ear splitting shriek of stunned agony. With the color draining from her face, the big brunette stumbled out of the corner only to wander into the clutches of an impatiently waiting Katie. Whirling Megan around to face her, Holmes ignored the dull ache in her right arm as she prepared her next move.

Thrusting her left hand into Megan’s chest and the right into Fox’s groin, Katie spat, “Fuck pain! I’m not letting anything stop me from sending this message.”

With the words hanging between them, Katie let out a pained shriek of her own as she muscled Megan up over her head and into a wobbly but effective Military Press. Smiling savagely as the crowd egged her on, Katie held Megan up for as long as she could before her arms gave out and she had to toss the other brunette down to the mat directly in front of her. But not satisfied with the most common permutation of the move, Katie added her own personal touch. As Megan was falling in front of her, Katie took a half step forward and dropped to one knee, letting Megan fall stomach first across the posted joint in Gutbuster delivered from several feet higher than usual.” Megan made a noise like a seasick tourist and immediately rolled off Katie’s knee and into a ball at her feet. Looking over the mewling form of Megan Fox, Katie was satisfied with the way the match was progressing and decided it was time to slow things down a bit, if only for the sake of resting her injured arm as much as possible. Settling into a kneeling position behind Megan, Katie pulled the other brunette to a sitting position and taunted, “You told me earlier that you had a love for the old school. Tell me if you like this one, it’s an oldie but a goodie.”

Resting both hands on Megan’s shoulders, Katie’s long fingers suddenly curled into claws and she sank them deep into the defenseless flesh, torturing her adversary with a brutally simple Nerve Hold. Groaning and thrashing in abject agony as Katie tried to rip her shoulders off, Megan opened her pain-clenched eyes and spotted the ropes not too far away. Shaking her head feebly ‘no’ when the ref asked if she wanted to give up, Megan reached for the sanctuary of the ropes and began dragging herself toward them.

Realizing what Megan was trying to do, Katie growled, “Oh no, you don’t get away that easy.”

Quickly getting to her feet, Katie tightened her grip on Fox’s shoulders and dragged her back into the middle of the ring. Dropping down behind her rival, Katie quickly extended her legs around Megan’s waist and locked her ankles, cinching in a Body Scissors. Trading in the Nerve Hold for something a little nastier, Holmes grabbed Fox by the hair and yanked her head back just long enough to loop an arm across her chin and secure the Inverted Face-Lock. With the point of Megan’s chin wedged comfortably in the crook of her left elbow, Katie squeezed with the Scissors and pulled back on the Sleeper, torturing Megan on two fronts with a combination of submissions that was collectively known as The Beast Choker.

Remembering how she had choked Sarah out with this very hold nearly two years before, Katie applied all the pressure she could and said, “You can tap out or you can choke out Megan; no shame in either, this hold has beaten better women than you.”

Her vision fading as Katie cranked her neck to its limits, Megan refused to let the fight end with her tapping to Katie Holmes. Focusing on nothing but the prospect of escape, Megan brought her hands up and dug her fingers into the arm locked across her throat. Knowing it was useless to try to pry Katie’s arm away, Megan settled for pushing it up a few inches until her mouth was being pressed hard against Katie’s elbow pad. Struggling to turn her head, Fox kept up the fight until she felt bare flesh against her nose and lips, then without any hesitation, she opened her mouth and bit Katie’s arm! The controlling brunette screamed in surprise, anger and pain at this intrusion and she tried to keep the hold locked in place for a few more seconds, but Megan kept gnawing until Katie was forced to relinquish her grip before the other brunette chewed her arm off!

Getting slowly to her knees, a murderous light burned in Katie’s eyes as she stalked over to Megan. Hauling her foe up by the hair, she hissed, “That was a mistake I see. This time I’ll just take your fucking head off at the shoulders.”

Attempting to make good on her word, Katie backed Megan into the ropes and whipped her toward the opposite cables. When Fox was on her way, Katie leaned into the ropes at her back and bounced off them, gaining speed quickly as she charged at the incoming brunette. Waiting for the perfect moment, Katie brought her right leg rocketing up and she caught Megan across the cheek with a Big Boot that could’ve knocked fillings loose. Unfortunately for Holmes, Megan had managed to pull off the same feat (no pun intended) so she ate a face-full of boot leather at almost the exact same time. Over the dueling retorts of their respective kicks, Megan and Katie went down in a silent heap, both stunned and gasping for air as the official began the monotonous chore of his ten count.

He’d gotten to just passed ‘SEVEN’ when both ladies began to show some signs of life with first Katie, and then Megan flopping over onto their sides and then rising slowly to their feet. The brunettes had been on their feet for about two seconds when Katie located Megan and lunged at her, trying to lock up her tired opposition in a clench, but Fox had other ideas which she put into effect by darting her hand out and jabbing her thumb into Holmes’ left eye. Katie let out an angry screech and staggered away tending to her injured face. Never one to miss the golden opportunity following a cheap shot, Megan charged after Katie and shot out her arm, catching the willowy girl hard across the throat with a Lariat. Holmes went down with a muted cry that was totally cut off when the back of her head met the canvas with a sweaty THUMP!

Back on the more vertical end of things, Megan shook the tingle out of her arm and stalked around to Katie’s feet. Taking a hold of an ankle in each hand, Fox pulled Holmes’ legs up, stretched them out at an almost lewd forty-five degree angle and tried to push them even further in a Wishbone that had Katie’s thigh and groin muscles. Leering down at her helpless foe as she fought and thrashed against the hold, Megan split Katie’s legs even wider and asked, “How do you like this bitch? Bringing back any fond memories yet? If not, I bet this will!” Foregoing anything attempting finesse, Megan simply brought her right foot up and let it smash down hell first on the center of Katie’s briefs. The other brunette let out an a tormented wail as her crotch was assaulted and she finally managed to wrench her legs free from Megan’s grip only to immediately roll not her side and curl into a ball, gingerly cupping her wounded center. Loving the way she was heaping the punishment onto her rival, Megan made a tsk-tsk sound and chided, “Not time for that yet Katie, you can do that when you’re lying in a hospital bed. For now you’re gonna get up and keep taking this ass-kicking you’ve had coming for so long.”

Not getting anything from the crippled girl on the mat, Megan settled a claw on the back of Katie’s head and pulled her to her feet for just a moment before doubling her over and applying a Standing Headscissors. Taking a moment to grind her thighs against Katie’s ears, Megan purred, “Oh, I’m not gonna just beat you Katie, I’m gonna embarrass you. I’ll take you and all these people back to a time when there was no Darkness and Katie Holmes usually ended her match’s unconscious and stripped naked. And I think I’ll get started right now.” Keeping the Headscissors locked in tight, Megan walked her fingers down Katie’s back until she came across the thin strap of her top. Fox toyed with the strap for only a second before she popped it open and deftly yanked Katie’s top away. Twirling the garment on her finger, Megan grinned out at the audience and said, “This isn’t for you losers, it’s going on my trophy shelf.”

Tossing Katie’s top aside, Megan let her hands slip further down Holmes’ back until she reached the edge of her briefs. Then running her hand to the very bottom of the material, Megan tugged the togs in both hands and whispered, “These can come off later, for now we’ll just let everyone have a little preview.”

Fox yanked viciously upwards, administering a butt-baring wedgie that had Katie and the crowd both screaming but for two very different reasons. After a few more derisive tugs on the material, Megan released the wedgie and wrapped both arms around Katie’s waist. Locking her hands, Fox bent her knees slightly and then lifted up, hoisting Katie into position for a Piledriver. Knowing full well her opponent’s breasts were on display, Megan held Katie inverted for several seconds, taking the time to turn to each side of the ring and give the crowd a good look at Katie’s assets. Finishing her circuit, Megan grinned and said, “I hope you took pictures because the next time you see them they won’t look nearly as good.”

Once the theatrics were over, Megan tightened her grip on Katie’s waist and quickly slammed herself forward and down, driving the length of Katie’s body face and chest first into the mat with the added unpleasantness of having all of Megan’s weight land on top of her. Pushing up to her knees, Megan realized her crotch was resting on the back of Katie’s neck, so she took her time in getting off the other brunette. When she regained her footing, Megan sauntered around Katie, arrogantly shoving her boot under the other girl’s stomach and kicking her over onto her back.

Finally deciding it was time to end this thing, Megan grabbed Katie by the wrists and pulled her into place in the center of the ring. Leaving her oblivious rival in position, Megan strode toward the corner and climbed to the top turnbuckle without incident. Pausing to look out over the ruin of her foe, Megan roared, “IT’S OVER!” As the mob cheered its approval, Fox soared off the top in a beautiful Frog Splash, the full weight of her five foot nine frame coming down perfectly across Katie’s recently bared chest. The flattened brunette quivered once and then lies still as Megan hooked the far leg and waited for the ref to make his count. Dropping down the official rattled off, “ONE… TWO…THR-NO!” Katie’s left shoulder surged off the mat with less than an inch between her and a stunning upset.

When the ref’s hand came up to signal a near fall, Megan pulled away from the cover and screamed in frustration. She’d come so close to winning the match and yet Katie continued to defy her. Glaring down hatefully at the other brunette, Fox shot out her hands and angrily raked and pinched at Katie’s breasts. Encountering minimal resistance, Megan continued the torture and snarled, “WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO BEAT YOU! WHY WON’T YOU STAY THE HELL DOWN?

Her voice trailed off after the last word as a brilliantly simple idea suddenly struck her. Releasing her claw hold on Holmes’ bounty, Megan smacked her palm against her forehead and muttered, “Of course. Why screw around with unproven moves when I KNOW there’s one thing in my arsenal that’s already beaten you?” Megan took a few deep breaths to steady her nerves before she pulled Katie up to her knees. Then after locking Holmes in a final Standing Headscissors, Megan wrapped both arms around Katie’s waist and hauled the other brunette up onto the point of her shoulder. Holding Katie in the awkward position, Megan said quietly, “This is my moment and no one‘s taking it away from me. Not you, not the Hood… no one.“

Then she shoved up fast and released her grip on Katie’s waist, rolling the injured brunette quickly off her shoulder so that Katie was dropping face first towards the mat. Acting quickly, Megan trapped the falling girl’s head in a loose Front Face Lock and sat out hard, exacerbating Holmes’ descent with her own momentum. Even though Katie had experienced this move before, it didn’t make it any easier to take as she was driven forehead first into the canvas and her chest and abdomen took a great deal of the landing as well. For the second time in her career, she’d been subjected to Megan’s finisher, the ‘Fire Fox’ a move that could best be described as a Canadian Back Breaker into an Implant DDT. Absolutely basking in the disappointed silence that was hanging over the audience, Megan muscled Katie over onto her back, hooked both legs and leaned in hard as the ref came in to administer the academic count. Watching his hand arm rise into the air, Megan followed its descent to the canvas and counted along, “ONE… TWO… THR…“ Once again, Katie got a shoulder up just in the nick of time.

The roof almost came off the Silver Key as the audience roared their approval of Katie’s last second escape (The armchair pundit would also go onto note that Holmes’ was the first woman in the promotion to kick out of the Fire Fox.) Resting on her knees beside a barely moving Katie, Megan Fox was in complete shock. Glaring daggers at the ref, she held up three fingers, questioning the count but the zebra remained steadfast, it was only 2 so the match would continue. With her incredulity slowly being replaced by hate, Megan pushed up to her feet and hauled Katie along for the ride. Doubling Holmes over, she jammed the brunette’s head back between her thighs and locked her arms around Katie’s waist.

Panting with exhaustion and rage, Megan snarled, “Congratulations, you made it out of one. But there’s no chance in hell you’ll be able to take another one.”

With a loud groan of exertion, Megan muscled Katie up and into position for a second Fire Fox. Megan’s last cogent sentence had been something about Katie not being able to survive another go-round with her finisher, and that was most undoubtedly true, only thing was, Katie didn’t ever take the move. In the second before Megan could initiate her toss, Katie whipped her hands up and raked them wickedly across the other brunette’s face. Megan let out a pained shriek and released her grip allowing Katie to wriggle free and slide down her back, landing heavily on the mat behind her. Rubbing wildly at her injured face, Megan knew that Katie was still in a bad way and took a chance by whirling on her heel and unleashing a blistering Haymaker at the air where Katie’s head should be. Unfortunately for Megan, Katie saw the strike coming and at the last second ducked aside and slipped behind her opponent.

Acting more on instinct than anything else, Katie sidled up beside Megan and hooked her up for a Back Drop Suplex. But as pedestrian as the beginnings to this move looked, fans of Katie Holmes knew the brunette had something more impressive in mind. At the apex of her lift, Katie spun Megan around so that her feet were now pointing towards the brunette. In the same motion Katie fell straight down, driving Megan straight into the canvas with a move that was technically known as a Spin-Out Powerbomb and more frequently referred to as ‘The Kill-Switch.’

Rising up on her haunches, Katie ran a hand through her hair and assessed the situation. She knew had been mostly de-clothed by her opponent but at this point reclaiming her wardrobe took a backseat to causing Megan Fox as much pain as possible. Her dark eyes almost glowing with malicious intent, Katie sank her talons into Megan’s hair and pulled them both to their feet. Without saying a word, Holmes trapped Fox in a tight Front Face-Lock and just held the position for a moment. Ever so slowly, a chilling smile broke out across her face and she mouthed, “I hope you’re watching Hood.”

Right after that not so cryptic statement, Katie drove herself back and down with everything she had left, pinning Megan’s forehead to the canvas with a skull shattering DDT. Getting slowly to her feet, Katie thought about going for the cover, but she decided she was still behind on points in this match and wanted to even things up before the night came to a close. Pulling Megan to her feet, Katie stood in front of her, holding the other brunette by her top with one hand while the other kept Megan’s head from slumping chin-first into the depths of her own cleavage.

Jiggling Fox’s head back and forth, Katie waited til there was a spark of recognition in her opponent’s eyes before she told her, “Tonight’s all about messages isn’t it Megan? Well I’ve got one just for you, so listen closely. If you EVER even think about stepping foot into the ring with me after tonight, I will make it a personal goal to BREAK YOUR NECK!”

Katie released the hand holding the brunette’s head and fetched her several brutally stiff, scathingly disrespectful bitch-slaps that knocked Megan’s head violently back and forth. After a good dozen of these slaps, Katie tired of the game and drove her knee deep into Megan’s trunks, a late payback for the low blow a little earlier on. Catching her boneless victim in another Front Face-Lock, Katie didn’t even hold the position for a second before dropping back and administering a second DDT.

When Megan’s skull hit the canvas a second time, both the crowd and the referee knew she was unconscious and they both urged Katie to make the cover, but Holmes still wasn’t satisfied. Rising wearily to her feet, Katie pulled a limp Megan Fox to her feet and stood her up straight just long enough to grab hold of the beaten brunette’s shoulder straps and yank them down, effectively stripping Megan to the waist. Derisively slapping Megan’s breasts, Katie delivered another Knee Lift to Megan’s trunks that doubled her over without a word of protest. Trapping the penitent beauty in a Standing Headscissors of her own, Katie brought up her injured right arm and slowly drew her thumb across her throat, signaling the beginning of the end. On a wave of appeal from the audience, Katie wrapped her arms around Megan’s waist and lifted her up high, bringing her to rest with the small of her back bent painfully across Katie’s left shoulder. Knowing there was nothing Megan was going to try in the way of escape, Katie turned in a slow circle, making sure there wasn’t a single doubt about what was coming. Satisfied, Katie bent her knees into a deep crouch and then leapt upwards. At the apex of her jump, Holmes tucked her legs up under her butt and landed heavily on her knees, nearly bending Megan in half with the Holmes Wrecker. At this point in the move, Katie would normally release her grip and let Megan fall to the canvas but instead, she simply clamped down a little tighter and ever so slowly muscled her way back to her feet.

Enjoying the puzzled buzz of the mob, Katie explained, “How about one more? Just to make sure.”

Cheering their approval, the audience got even louder when Katie left her feet and administered a second spine shattering Holmes Wrecker in less than a minute. Feeling Megan lying broken and sticky on her shoulder, Katie finally unclasped her hands and let the unconscious brunette go sliding off her shoulder. Staying on her knees, Katie sidled over to her beaten opponent and shoved her over onto her back. Smiling down into Megan’s oblivious face, Katie purred, “Let’s make this slaughter official.” Intending to do just that, she spun around and in a rare display for her, planted her butt directly on Megan’s upturned face, grinding her nose painfully between Katie’s damp cheeks.

Savoring the Reverse Face-Sit, Katie raised both hands overhead, then slammed them down SPLAT-SPLAT right on Megan’s exposed assets, then she silently nodded along as the red chanted, “ONE… TWO… THREE!”

Listening to the crowd explode as the match finally ended, Katie maintained her perch for a few more seconds before she sighed and slowly rose off Megan’s slumbering features. Turning to the ref, Katie was grateful to see that the zebra had collected her top and was offering it to her. Taking it, she slipped in back on (ignoring the cascade of good natured groans this brought on) and placed her foot on Megan’s chest. Perfectly content to hold this pose, Katie turned back to the zebra and said, “Bring me a mic. And stick around a while. Things are about to get very interesting.”

Doing as he was told, the ref scurried over to the corner of the ring, grabbed a microphone from the timekeeper and brought it back to Katie. Bringing it to her lips, she said, “Now that this piece of shit has been adequately flushed, I can turn my attention to bigger threats.” She paused for a moment as she turned her attention to the entryway. Still holding the mic close, she continued, “Hood, I know you’re back there and I know you wanna tear me apart. So I’m giving you the chance. You’ve got until the count of ten to get out here. And if you don’t show up, I’m gonna assume you’re locked in Fannin’s office; so I’ll make my way back there and proceed to beat the shit outta your less mysterious alter-ego, Rachel McAdams. So Hood, Rachel, consider this your last warning. Tonight, you come face to face with my darkness. And you won’t like what’s inside.”

She began to count, “ONE… TWO… THREE… FOUR… FIVE… SIX… SEVEN… EIGHT… NINE… TEN.”

Getting nothing in the way of a reply, Katie looked slightly disappointed and said, “All right, looks like I’m going backstage.” Just as she threw down the mic, all the lights in the club went out. Waiting tensely in the dark, Katie tried to block out any sounds that would mask the Hood’s arrival. Any second now, she knew the red lights would come on and she’d finally put an end to this mystery. Flashing a smile that went unseen by everyone, Katie murmured, “You wanted me to come home, baby? Well guess what? I am home.”


Epilogue: Ten minutes previously in Fannin’s office…right about the time Katie and Megan were knocking each other senseless with a pair of Big Boots, Rachel McAdams watched happily and muttered, “Bet that hurt. Too bad I’m not very good with a camera, I’d love to have a picture of…” her voice faded away suddenly and she looked over at Richard Fannin who was equally engrossed in the contest. With the look of someone who’s just remembered something very important, Rachel said, “Hey Rich, when Katie jumped me a few weeks ago, she was also ranting about Richard Pickman and how he might be involved. Is that why he’s not ringside tonight?”

Pulling his eyes away from the screen, Fannin nodded his head and replied, “Yep. I asked if he wouldn’t mind staying in the back tonight and he agreed readily enough. Our resident artist is in a room down at the end of the hall with only his easel and a television to keep him company.”

“How come he doesn’t get a babysitter tag-team?” the redhead said standoffishly.

Fannin grinned for a moment before replying, “Cuz the Hood’s a female, that’s why. And really, can you imagine Pickman being involved in anything like this? I mean, he’s kinda weird I grant you, but all I’ve seen him do so far is paint, sketch and take pictures. And they’re pretty good for that matter; we’ve had Pseudo put several up on the site.”

Just as Rachel was beginning to sit back, Archer ripped a piece of paper out of his book, crumpled it up and tossed it into the wastebasket across the room. Scowling angrily, the archivist muttered, “Damn riddle…”

Glancing over at the normally even-tempered young man, Fannin said, “What’s the problem Arch?”

Already starting to write again, Archer sighed, “It’s the riddle that the Hood left for Katie; the one that implicates Rachel. I KNOW there’s got to be a second part to the answer, but there are too many qualifiers. I can’t come up with any one thing that satisfies all the requirements.”

Interested in anything that might be able to prove her innocence, Rachel asked, “Can I have a look at it Archer?”

Rubbing his eyes, Archer handed her the notepad and answered, “Go for it. Maybe you can see something I missed.”

Looking over the record keeper’s painfully neat writing, Rachel took in the lines of the message that had been left for her newest adversary. The poem read:

I am the savior of foxes and the scourge of Hunters, blood of the Machine god and muse to O’Henry. I am food for the body and torment for the mind. Most of all, I am not who I Seem. Who am I?

McAdams read the lines to herself several times and then said, “So it’s something that helps foxes and hurts hunters; you can eat it, but it might screw up your head. And I have no idea about the middle line. Who’re the machine god and O’Henry? If you take them out, I’d say maybe the answer is some sort of poison mushroom but that makes absolutely no sense.”

Rich snickered and said, “ No it doesn’t make much sense, but maybe some poison mushrooms might give us the insight we need to solve this thing.” His laughter ended abruptly when both Rachel and Archer gave him a sour look. “Sorry just trying to lighten the mood. On a more serious note, it seems odd that so many seemingly disassociated pieces of information could all be about the same thing. Or maybe it’s not a thing; maybe it’s a person. Maybe the answer is a clue to the Hood’s identity.”

Shaking his head, Archer replied, I don’t know Rich, we already found the reference to Rachel; I don’t think there’s any way there’s another proper name hidden in there.”

From her spot between them, Rachel posited, “What if we’re looking for the wrong thing? Maybe the I AM RACHEL line really is the answer. But if you don’t have the question, what good is the other half?”

Archer considered this for a moment and asked, “You mean, the second answer is actually the question? Something like, X plus Y equals Rachel McAdams and we’re supposed to find out how all of these bits are related to you? Man, that doesn’t make things any easier.”

Over on the other end of the couch, Fannin cleaned his glasses without thinking about it and commented. “Actually Archer, it might make things a lot easier. Maybe this is nothing more than a really complex version of the old ‘when is a door not a door?’ joke ya know? When’s a door not a door? When it’s ajar? Could it be that we’re supposed to be looking for several different things with the same name?”

Flipping to a blank page on the pad, Archer said, “OK, let’s take it on a line by line basis. Where do you want to start?”

Trying to stifle a yawn, Rachel said, “I still don’t get the Machine God thing. Sounds like a bad sci-fi plot-line.”

You could almost see the light bulb go off in Fannin’s head. Smacking his fist against the arm of the couch, he leaned forward and exclaimed, “Not a bad sci-fi plot Rachel, a bad sci-fi plot device. Deus ex machina, it’s Latin for ‘God of the Machine.’ It’s a reference to a character or event that shows up at the last second in a story, usually to help some lazy author out of a corner he’s written himself into.”

Following Fannin’s lead, Archer went on. “So we’ve got ourselves a literary convention. Keeping in the realm of literature and creative writing, could that mean that O’Henry is actually O. Henry the writer? As in an O. Henry ending?”

Getting a little more enthusiastic about the game now, Fannin nodded excitedly. “It’s gotta be. But what does…”

Rachel held up both hands and interrupted, “Hold on there guys, you lost me a few turns back. Who’s O. Henry?”

Taking a moment to collect his thoughts, Archer answered, “He was a writer from back in the day who specialized in seemingly random or coincidental twists that greatly affected the outcome of his stories. Even now, some folks still refer to surprise endings as an O. Henry ending.”

Digesting this bit of information, Rachel said, “OK, so we’ve got two bits of LIT 101 trivia that have to do with screwing with peoples minds, but what about the…. Hey I think I answered my own question. Would it be safe to assume that racking your brain over something like this might ‘torment the mind?’”

Archer and Fannin both grinned. “I think it very well might. Kudos Rachel, you’ve given us another piece of the puzzle.” Archer quickly added their findings to his notes while Fannin continued, “ I think we’re on the right track, but we’re still missing something. According to the first and third lines, it’s gotta be something physical too. I mean twist endings are neat and all but it’s not something that’s going to save a fox from a hunter or taste very good to chew on for that matter.”

In the brief silence following the question, the crowd on the television went nuts as Katie nailed Megan with a double shot of the Holmes Wrecker, then pinned her ‘ONE, TWO, THREE.’ Shaking her head, Rachel whispered, “I gotta get out of here.” Getting to her feet, she stretched, yawned and then said plainly, “Sorry guys.”

Looking up at her, Fannin said, “For what?”

Smiling, Rachel replied, “I gotta go.” In the next instant she turned around and sprinted towards the door of the office.

Curing himself for not seeing that coming, Fannin hopped up from the couch and went after her, but the redhead had already cleared the office and was tearing off down the hall by the time the promoter got to the doorway.

Archer came up behind him, “Where’s she headed?”

Fannin smacked the door frame. “Who knows, probably to whatever little corner where she keeps the hood stashed. Damn, I can’t believe we had her and she got away.”

Not as convinced of Rachel’s guilt as his friend, Archer continued, “Should we follow her?”

Motioning for the archivist to follow, Fannin shook his head and headed in the direction of the ring. As her walked, the promoter answered, “Why bother, she could try to lead us anywhere, but her destination has got to be the ring. Let’s see if we can head her off.”

Archer stopped dead in his tracks and said, “What did you just say?”

Rich cocked his head and repeated, “She’s going to the ring?”

Archer shook his head. “Before that.”

Fannin thought about it for another second and replied, “She could lead us anywhere?”

Archer smacked his forehead. “How could I have missed it?” he groaned. “Rachel was right, she is being set up.”

Rich looked lost. “Help me out here Arch, not seeing what you are apparently.”

Archer slapped the notebook closed and said breathlessly, “I kept wondering, why’d she choose foxes? Almost nobody hunts them any more. People don’t even do it Britain these days and it might has well have been the national pastime there at one point. Then I remembered a bit of trivia; back in the days of fox hunts, they used hounds to track them down. Now if some fox loving individual was so inclined, there was a certain type of fish that was so strong it’s scent could pull the hounds and the hunters away from the foxes trail and force them to follow the fish’s trail. The fish was…”

Fannin was getting the picture now. “Lemme guess; The Red Herring?”

Archer nodded. “She was right. The Hood was using her as a diversion…and a really bad pun, too. Red Herring, Rachel has red hair? God I feel like a tool.”

Resuming his jog towards the ring, Richard Fannin called back, “We can feel stupid later. Right now we’ve got to warn Rachel and Katie that they’re walking into a trap.”


Meanwhile, at about the time that Archer was making his discovery, Rachel McAdams was bounding down one of the service hallways that would lead her directly to the ring not to mention Katie and presumably the Hood. With those thoughts in mind, Rachel put on the afterburners and rounded the last corner before her destination only to run headlong into someone leaning against the wall. Holding back a grunt, Rachel shook off her dizziness and quickly apologized. “Sorry about that, but I have to get to the ring and I have to get there now.”

She was about to take off again when the figure said, “What a coincidence Miz. McAdams, so does my friend.”

Rachel did a double take and found herself face to face with the smiling face of Richard Pickman. Not sure just what was going on, Rachel demanded, “What the hell are you tal…KKKEERRRRRGGHHH!”

The sentence never got completed thanks to the blackjack that came whistling down and connected heavily with the base of the redhead’s neck.
Watching Rachel slump into the artist’s waiting arms, Pickman’s Student answered, “Waiting for you.”

Back in the ring…Katie Holmes had been standing in the almost pitch darkness of the club for about ten seconds when the anxiously waiting brunette heard a noise behind her; a sort of low, stealthy whisper of fabric on canvas. ‘The kind of sound someone wearing a robe might make when they crawled into a wrestling ring.’ Katie thought. Dropping deeper into her crouch, Katie begged for the lights to come back on and seconds later, she was rewarded when the whole area was bathed in that creepy red glow. The Hood was standing less than three feet in front of her. Acting on pure instinct, Katie let out a feral shriek and shot forward, driving her left foot up in a wicked kick as she did so.

The girl in the Hood made as if to dodge the blow, but she was a little too slow and the toes of the brunette’s boot caught her squarely between the thighs. Katie couldn’t hear the Hood’s moan of agony over her own triumphant scream, but that scarcely mattered as she caught the crippled mystery girl in a tight Front Face-Lock and dropped backwards, treating the Hood to one of the DDT’s that had helped finish off Megan Fox a few minutes prior. The mysterious interloper flopped once and then rolled over onto her back, starfished on the mat.

Struggling to hear her own thoughts over the insane roar of the crowd, Katie straddled the Hood and snarled, “Let’s find out how scary you are without your costume.”

Reaching into the dark under the cowl, Katie grabbed a handful of hair and yanked hard, bringing the girl’s head into the light. For a moment, Katie thought her tormentor’s hair was jet black and then realized that was only the lighting. Pushing the mass of curls away from the Hood’s face, vindication appeared in Katie’s eyes and said, “I FUCKING KNEW IT!” She was about to slam Rachel’s head back down to the canvas when something else caught her attention. Realizing the redhead’s form didn’t feel quite right to her, Katie stood up, grabbed two handfuls of the dark cloth and tore it away from Rachel’s body with a long, dry RIPPPPP! Katie immediately saw why McAdams had felt wrong; the redhead’s arms hadn’t been in the sleeves of the costume, instead they’d been tightly bound against her sides by several layers of duct tape! She also understood why McAdams hadn’t cried out since her mouth had been gagged with a strip of it as well.

Letting the fabric fall from her hands, Katie whispered, “I’ve been set-up.”

A voice from behind her whispered, “Correction. You were BOTH set up!” Katie whirled around and came face to face with a second Hood, presumably the real deal this time since she had both arms raised mocking Katie’s sign. Dropping her arms back to her sides, the mystery girl continued, “Time to come home and join us Katie. Richard has so much more he wants to teach you.”

Holmes shook her head violently and spat, “You tell that piece of shit hack to stay outta my head.”

Her words didn’t sit well with the Hood. The interloper stepped forward and hissed, “Don’t speak ill of him, or I’ll rip your tongue out.”

But Katie wasn’t backing down; she’d dealt with the Hood’s games for too long now. Taking a step forward she growled, “All right, I’ll speak ill of you, you cowardly piece of garbage. I’m giving you one chance to drop this act and never bother me again; otherwise I will make it my mission in life to END your career in the most violent and humiliating ways possible. How’s that for an ultimatum?”

The Hood was silent for a moment. “You are in no position to make threats Katie Holmes. Listen very carefully. Richard Pickman is willing to forgive your past transgressions against the Darkness IF AND ONLY IF, you join us in our quest to restart the chaos that was so sadly quashed when you were defeated last summer. If you don’t come back to us, you have my personal guarantee that NOTHING you hold sacred will be safe. Your family, your friends, your reputation. I’ll ruin them all before I finish you off. That’s the only ultimatum that matters Katie Holmes, so I ask you one more time. Will you join us?”

The slender brunette was silent for almost ten seconds before she said, “I don’t work with strangers. Take off the hood so I can look you in the eye.”

There was an almost imperceptible nod as the Hood raised both hands and slowly pulled the cowl back from her head. Katie’s face went from expectant to stunned when she recognized her tormentor. Smiling coldly, Alyson Hannigan said, “You look surprised.”

Shaking her head, Katie muttered, “But the bloodbath… I saw her attack you.”

Alyson’s smile got a little wider, “No one suspects the victim Katie. I was willing to take a bath to strengthen the illusion. As for the attack; well, that was Richard in the costume. He makes a pretty convincing girl…wouldn’t you agree?”

Her incredulity slowly fading into anger, the brunette asked, “Buh…but…why?”

The redhead’s grin dropped away fast. “Because before I met him, I was nothing, destined to remain nothing. But Pickman showed me what a little fear could do for your reputation. That’s why I became his student. As Alyson Hannigan I was just a friendly little goody two shoes, but as the Hood, I’m fear itself. So I ask you again. Will you join us?” Hannigan extended her hand, to Holmes, awaiting her reply.

Torn in several different directions, Katie mulled over the decision for several seconds before she raised her head to stare into Alyson’s face. Extending her arm, she shook hands with Pickman’s Student and said quietly, “If you can’t beat them… lie to their faces.”

Before Alyson could react, Katie clamped down on her hand and yanked her forward, driving her knee up as she did so. The blow caught the redhead solidly and for the first time everyone saw the Hood double over in pain. Not wasting an instant, Katie wrapped her nemesis up in a Front Face Lock. A second before she could fall back and complete the DDT, however, Alyson grabbed the brunette’s waist, lifted her up and shoved, breaking the Face Lock and sending Katie staggering back several paces.

Her recruiting mission having ended in failure, Alyson glared at Katie with unadulterated hatred and sneered, “I’ll destroy you for that. But I’ll make sure to keep your pretty face in one piece so Pickman can paint the terror in your eyes as your career ends.”

Staring back at the redhead with equal intensity, Katie replied, “You’ve already lost this fight, Red. Now that I know who you are, there’s no place you can hide from me.”

Taking a step back, Alyson’s face lit up in a savage grin, “I won’t be hard to find.”

Katie was about to lunge at Alyson but at that very moment the lights went out again. When they came back on a few seconds later, Alyson was gone and Katie was alone in the ring - aside from the bound and barely beginning to stir Rachel McAdams. Dismissing McAdams without a second thought, Katie turned toward the ramp and saw Fannin, Archer, and a horde of officials making their way towards the ring. As they hit the ring, the zebras immediately started caring for Rachel while the promoter and the archivist approached Katie.

“Well,” the brunette sighed. “If it isn’t the boss and the note guy! Where were you guys when all the fun was going down?”

Rolling his eyes, Archer apologized, “We figured out the riddle, albeit a few minutes too late, I’m afraid. I’ll have to make amends with Rachel later.”

Looking Katie up and down to make sure she was injury free, Fannin added, “I’m afraid we owe her an apology but there’ll be time for that later. Was that really Hannigan under the Hood?”

Katie ran a hand through her sweat tangled hair and answered, “Yeah and I don’t relish having to tell Sarah.”

One question had been answered but now several new ones began to claw at Fannin’s brain. “Did she give you any reason for all this?”

She nodded once more. “Yes, and I’ll be glad to tell you - after I shower and got into something less…um…spandexy.”

Seeing her point, Fannin shrugged, “Fair enough. You get cleaned up and get Sarah. Then we’ll all go grab food and a lot of drinks. I have a feeling we’re going to need them tonight.”

Smiling from the corner of her mouth, Katie replied, “Right as always Richard Fannin.” With that, the three of them slipped out of the ring and headed slowly up the ramp, leaving the officials to tend to Rachel and the crowd to buzz about everything that had unfolded during the course of the evening. Continue to Pickman's Masterpiece #6