Welsh knew that the higher-ups had their eyes on the Queen Cobra for a long time, along with a slew of others whom they probably held in a higher regard than herself given the aforementioned losing streak of hers.
Who knew when she would get another title opportunity, or even an opportunity for that opportunity? The Rumble Bunny's losing streak had been holding strong for so long now that her name was becoming synonymous with getting pinned amongst the rest of the locker room.
Cursing her luck, the Rumble Bunny flipped her cover down, growing tired of it enveloping her head.
With a sigh, she decided to try the counting method again, but this time, she would count all the little nicks and ridges in the wall right in front of her eyes, hoping again that boredom would provide a good-enough mental shielding,
"1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 ,9..."
Suddenly, Becky realized that the wall's ridges had become a bit easier to spot, standing out more. The wall had become brighter, illuminated by a light that was apparently behind her, seeing as how her shadow was now visible. It was as if a light was being emitted from the center of the room.
Soon, something else alerted her senses; an odd, rapid, repetitious sound was coming from somewhere behind her as well. It was fairly loud, sounding much like a high-pitched keyboard or synthesizer,
"Dwoo, doo, doo, dwoo, doo, doo, dwoo, dwoo,"
Becky instinctively whipped around to view whatever the source was, finding herself shocked to see a swirling mass of star-like white lights floating in the middle of the room. Suddenly, the spacey mass erupted into a brilliant flash of white, which Becky had to instantly look away from in order to shield her eyes.
When she turned back, the cheerleader was even more flabbergasted by what greeted her eyes then: There was a man standing before her.
His dark blue eyes were narrow, focused solely on her. His hair was bleached a platinum blond, almost white, and spiked-up in an eye-grabbing manner. He had his nose pointed up at her as his lips were parted in a sneer. All this alone gave the stranger an aura of justified yet arrogant confidence and seemingly unmatched virility.
Her eyes slowly moved from his face down to his body, which was of a decent build, although skinny. He wore a silver necklace around his neck, hanging down to his chest bone; There was a shimmering red-leather vest on his body, with random tatters of fabric lopping down from its edges; On his hands was a pair of fingerless leather biker gloves, one accompanied by a studded wristband; He had a studded belt, worn loosely and crooked on his waist, and on his legs was a pair of obscenely-tight leather pants tucked into black motorcycle boots on his feet.
The two locked eyes with one another in silence. Becky could see her gaping-mouthed expression of shock reflected like a mirror in the man's eyes, though she could do nothing to remedy it. Far greater forces within her, namely shock, left her paralyzed, allowing this flamboyant leather-clad stranger to scan her with his piercing eyes. She couldn't even move, much less speak.
The man's lips slowly came together and out of his sneer whilst he eased his head to a normal uncrooked position. His eyes widened to normalcy, yet he kept them locked with Rebecca's as he did so.
Suddenly, he raised his right arm up, pointing to Becky, causing her to jump with a start at the abrupt movement. He did nothing after that, only standing there, paused in that stance.
Finally, he lowered his arm, and spoke.
"I've come for you, Ms. Welsh," his voice was low, yet easy, only letting a touch of gravel naturally creep into it when necessary. It was serious, a bit intimidating in tonality, coated with a slight hint of a British accent.
Becky just sat there, still silent.
"Do you know who I am?" he asked, letting a slight smile creep into his lips, though his vocal tone remained dark.
Rebecca still was unable to speak, only able to close her mouth with no answer.
"Come on, now," he shrugged his shoulders, allowing his sneery smile to widen as he added with a smirk, "You don't have to be shy."
With that show of a more earthly disposition, the man seemed like less of an ominous specter and more of a human. Still, Becky's uncertainty maintained its hold of her vocal and mental prowess when she made an attempt to respond.
"Uh..," it was an odd, squealy sound squeezed from her throat. She hadn't even moved her tongue to speak.
He had to laugh, shaking his head with a grin.
"Come on," he coaxed her teasingly, almost squeaking on the 'n' in a rather dorky way. He flung his arms out to his sides in a cartoonish manner with an intentionally comical roar of, "You've got to remember me!"
The Rumble Bunny looked at him, letting her eyes give away her persisting cluelessness.
The man sighed, though continued to look cheery.
"So, you really don't remember me?" he ran a hand through his snowy-white hair.
Becky was still silent.
"You watched me all the time!" his arms went up again with another playful scream. "Come on, try harder, now!"
With a sigh, the Rumble Bunny timidly looked the stranger up-and-down, eyeing his bleached hair, eyeing his grinning face, eyeing his punk-rock clothing, thinking of how she might have 'watched him all the time'.
Now he was the one who stood there silently, waiting for her answer with his seemingly omnipresent confident smile.
Soon enough, Becky raised her head up, able to bring herself to look him in the eyes once again.
"Well?" he smiled, then gave her a sneer which he thought to surely erase any doubt of his identity with.
"um…," the cheerleader began feebly.
"Yes?" he beamed with hope.
"Um…," Rebecca started again, "You're…"
The man nodded, urging her utterance of an answer on.
"You're…," she started with promise, but soon trailed off.
"Yes," the punk nodded, grinning with anticipation.
"You're that guy from 'Buffy'?"
Her guest's eyes widened in shock before he sneered again. This wasn't his usual sneer, however; It was one of disgust. He looked as if some horrible smell had suddenly shot into his nostrils.
"'The guy from Buffy'!?" he groaned with a bit of a screech.
"Yeah," Becky nodded, her eyes retreating to her left as the confidence in her words dwindled. "'Slade', right?"
After a moment of staring at the cheerleader in disbelief, the guy who wasn't from Buffy let out a dejected sigh, letting his head sink, allowing the white sickles of his hair to point at her.
"No…," he groaned before apathetically raising his head again, sighing out, "I'm Billy Idol."
He was again met with a knowledge-less stare.
"Oh, come on!!" he exclaimed with a stomp of his foot, wildly letting his arms flail above his shaking head before snapping them down. His sarcastic playfulness was gone. "You're bloody joking, right!?"
"No," Rebecca answered gingerly, hoping to soften the blow by tacking on, "sorry…"
Idol let out a heavy breath of air, raising his gaze up as if looking to the heavens for temperment.
"Look," he shrugged his shoulders, "I'm here because I'm supposed to…"
Billy abruptly stopped, and just stood there with an annoyed grimace, his mouth slightly open as if he was searching for words to come out, a process physically represented by a twirling of his hand.
"You really don't remember me?" he asked. "I mean, really? You must have heard one of my songs, right?"
He paused as if to wait for an answer, but just as Becky was about to give one, Idol suddenly popped into an energetic shimmy of his shoulders, stepping rhythmically to the left and right as he belted out a line from a song of his,
"Hey little sister,
What have you done…"
He stopped, and looked to her askingly.
Her silence answered for her.
Maintaining his temper, Billy tensed up his shoulders before letting them drop down with a heavy breath of air.
"Okay," he groaned. "Surely you've at least heard of a song of mine?"
Becky had to take a moment to think, rubbing her chin whilst doing so.
"I… don't think so," she answered with an air of guilt about her tone before the punk's slowly forming frown caused her to add, "I mean, I don't think I could name one."
"'Rebel Yell'?" Idol gave it a shot.
"N-no," she shook her head.
"'Hot in the City'?"
"'Cradle of Love'?"
"'Flesh for Fantasy'?"
"Okay,… 'Sweet 16'?"
"'Dancin' With Myself'?"
"N- Wait, isn't that a Generation X song?"
Their eyes simultaneously widened in shock at her sudden spurt of knowledge, the cheerleader just as surprised by it as the singer.
"Yes!" Idol exclaimed with a wide beaming smile, almost hopping.
Becky gasped, verbally representing the suddenly-sparked epiphany that struck her.
She once again looked at the now smiling rocker standing before her, finding him to be a much more familiar entity. She saw him singing in a club, howling into a microphone and pumping a gloved fist as his guitarist broke into a ballerina spin before coming down onto his strings once the rotation was done. She saw him singing on TV, dancing in a dark church alongside a group of leather-clad women, horror movie style ground-smoke covering their feet. She saw him some 30 years later, aged but undaunted, singing in some stadium, pumping his fist and howling as he had 30 years prior.
Then, she saw him standing in the middle of her locker room, looking at her, younger than that final image of him she had seen in her mind, as if he had jumped back 30 years to the prime of his life.
"Oh yeah," she just barely smiled at him, feeling much more confident. Confident enough to look at and speak to the rocker, but not enough to totally do-away with her visible tentativity.
Still, Idol had to give her a smile.
"'Billy Idol'," she said his name to herself, nodding with a fulfilled feeling. "Yeah, I remember you now."
Billy laughed, slapping his hands together.
"Great!" he happily remarked, following that up with a triumphant raise of his hand.
With his ego now intact, Idol clasped his hands behind his back before turning on a foot to his right in order to slowly take a few steps forward, letting his eyes wander about the surroundings of Becky's locker room. He lazily glanced at her little plant and her closet with a quaint "hm". As he turned himself around to walk back the other way, however, Idol was forced to stop and eye the numerous plaques and banners splattered about the wall across from Becky's bed.
He let a "hah" slip out as he looked at her with a raised eyebrow, causing the struggled smile to leave her face.
"Do you have enough of those things up there?" he smirked.
Before the cheerleader could grant a reply, Billy started walking again, but only for a short moment before he noticed the wall's mirror. He gave the reflective glass slab a look, and then approached it, rubbing his chin as he eyed it in contemplation.
"Yeah," he muttered to himself, nodding. "This'll do."
He then once again looked to Becky, who's wondering eyes told him she had a question. He stopped, waiting for it.
"So,… why are you here?" she finally asked.
"I almost forgot to tell you, didn't I?" he crossed his arms, nonchalantly stepping forward as he spoke. "I'm here to help you."
Rebecca raised an eyebrow.
"Help me?" she reiterated inquiriously.
"Yeah," Idol nodded, coming to a stop after only a slow step or two.
There was a silence as the rockstar's answer was much shorter than what Becky had expected, leaving her to sit there for a moment before asking, "how?"
"Oh, you know," he started, "give you some advice, set you on the right path, a swift kick in the ass. That sort of thing."
"Ok," Becky looked away for a second, turning back unsurely with, "What do I need help with?"
Billy quickly shook his head with a "feh", going on to ask the cheerleader with a pitying smile, "what don't you need help with?"
Becky's eyes widened with surprise, then narrowed in offense.
"What do you mean by that?" she asked.
"Here," Billy said, undaunted by the apprehensivness of her question. "Take a look at yourself in this thing". He had a thumb pointing back to the mirror behind him to accompany the gentle command.
Rebecca slid herself over a bit so that she was lined up with the mirror, enabling herself to look at her reflection looking back at her in the mirror.
"Get a bit closer," Idol lazily wafted a hand towards it.
Obliging, the cheerleader hopped off the mattress and approached the mirror, her mirrored self growing in size with each step they took towards one another. Soon, they were standing face-to-face, foot-to-foot. They locked eyes with one another. When Becky looked up, she looked up. When Becky looked at her legs, she looked at Becky's legs.
"Alright, Becky," Billy started, "what do you see?"
"Um…," Becky thought, blankly staring at herself staring at her, "me?"
"Well, yes," Idol loosely agreed, "but what about yourself?"
"What do you mean?" she asked, this time looking back at him.
"What is it of yours that you see?" he shrugged his shoulders.
"What things are there that make you you?"
Becky returned to the mirror, her mirrored image boasting a puzzled expression on her face, as did she. The two of them scanned each other, but only the unmirrored one was deep in contemplation whilst going about this.
"Ummm," Rebecca's eyes and a rubbing hand went to the top of her head, "there's my hair, my eyes," she went lower, "and there's my shirt," she added laughingly, "with my name on it," lower again, "and my skirt…"
She trailed off, out of things to notice. She figured her answer wouldn't suffice for Idol, but upon looking back, Becky found the singer nodding with a complacent look of neutrality.
"Alright," he said, "that's all well n' good…"
He started towards her, making sure to look her in the eyes as he finished his statement,
"… but is any of this really yours?"
Billy Idol's words had the affect he had hoped for. Becky looked at him in silence, confused, and a bit weary of his words to come.
"Take another look at the mirror," he instructed with the twirl a finger.
The cheerleader did so, turning around and again eyeing her reflected form, still unable to make much since of Billy's inquiry, though she made an effort, or at least that's what she told herself.
"Now tell me," Idol started again, a bit snotty about it, then pointed to Becky's head in the mirror, "is that really your hair?"
"Um," she thought, "I guess so…"
"Oh, really?" Idol crossed his arms with a sneery smile. "And I suppose that's your skirt, to?"
"Um,… yes," Becky looked at her skirt in irked fashion, a bit put off by the smile, and Idol's intonation. "Why wouldn-"
"You're sure it is?" Idol cocked an eyebrow, smirking at her. "It all looks a bit…," he paused to find the word, "fake to me."
"Well, I-" she stammered, "I don't th-"
"What about that top?" Bill cut-in again, "Or what about that name on it?"
"I, I mean don-," the Rumble Bunny gave up on that sentence to spin around and glare at Idol, demanding, "What do you mean 'fake'!?"
Idol almost laughed, as he had again gotten a rise out of Becky, but caught himself, and just smirked while the cheerleader angrily scowled at him.
"Look, Becky," he raised his hands up pleadingly, "I just…"
The punk rocker suddenly dropped that statement, and rubbed his chin as his eyes wandered off in contemplation.
"You know," he began, looking down at the cheerleader again, "I'm really getting tired of calling you 'Becky'…"
Becky's face went from anger to confusion.
"I mean," Idol paused to shrug his shoulders, "it's just a fake name anyway."
"What!?" she blurted out, almost laughing as a smile of annoyance crept into her lips. "Now what you talking about!?"
"Well, it certainly isn't your real name," Billy crossed his arms.
"Are you nuts!?" she exclaimed, still with a bit of exasperated laughing. "How isn't it my real name?"
Billy gave her a Beavis-harking grin, his eyes narrowed in confidence.
"I think you know," he answered with a nod, letting his eyes linger on the cheerleader a moment afterwards to gauge her reaction.
Rebecca let out a "pff" of a laugh.
"Really?" she asked in jest, taking a moment to cross her arms and angle her body, "Okay, so the that name my parents probably wrote on my birth certificate, and that I write on all of my freakin' school papers, isn't really my name?" She rolled her eyes, adding, "riiight".
"Yep," Idol smiled, leaning in as he tacked on, "That's riiiight."
"Look, rockstar," Becky unknowingly stomped a foot, "Just what the hell are you getting at, anyway!? Do you have some stupid point to make, or whatever!?"
"Yeah," Idol calmly replied, struggling not to grin.
"Then hurry-up and make it!" Becky barked.
With that go-ahead, Billy cleared his throat and took a moment to piece his words together. Once ready to do so, he clasped his hands being his back and began to pace left and right, letting Becky's gaze follow him as he started to speak,
"Look at it this way: Just because someone gives you a name doesn't mean it has to be yours."
He turned around, walking to the right now.
"I mean, the name my parents wrote on my birth certificate was 'William Broad', and I even wrote that on all of my school papers, as well…"
He reversed directions again.
"… but that isn't my name, now is it?"
Becky raised an eyebrow, watching as he spun around and walked towards the door again.
"So what's your name then?" she asked.
He stopped walking, and looked back at her with a simple answer,
Becky's eyes widened. She was startled by that statement, startled because it made sense to her, something had broken through.
Billy turned around and stepped until he was standing in front of her.
"Do you get what I'm saying?" he asked.
Becky sighed, then nodded.
"I think so," she said, still unnerved by the whole notion Billy was alluding to. Just admitting that it made sense to her made her feel exposed somehow, unsheltered, so she fought it. "But how can you just change something like your name?"
"By erasing it and writing a new one," Billy replied.
"No," Rebecca persisted, wanting to sate her point "I mean, how can you change your name when someone like your parents are the ones who decide you should have it?"
"Because they aren't you," Billy shrugged his shoulders matter-of-factly. "Just because someone says you should do something doesn't mean you have to agree with them, even if they are your parents!"
Becky had to walk past him and sit down on her bed, waiting to see where Idol would go with this.
"By all means, listen to authority now and then, but not simply because they're authority."
"Then why else would you listen to them?" she had to ask.
"Because you want to listen to them."
The more Idol spoke, the more his words crept into her psyche, becoming louder, more poignant.
"What if they want you to listen them, anyway?" the cheerleader asked, still hoping to stop this.
"Who cares!?" Billy exclaimed. "What's all this they stuff?"
He approached the bed and sat down, placing an arm around Becky.
"Listen," he instructed, "'They' don't matter, only 'you' matter…"
Idol looked into Rebecca's eyes, letting that statement linger. The tingles of fear within her seemed to dissipating, slowly being replaced by a sense of empowerment. He needed to drive the point home, then and there.
Billy got off of the bed and stood in the center of the room, looking down at Becky with a fire in his eyes, a belief in his words.
"All you've been doing lately is asking yourself, 'what'll they think?', 'What'll they say if I do this?' Right?"
Becky's silence gave her away.
"You're just trying to be what everyone else wants you to be," the rockstar continued. "What happened to what you want you to be?"
That was it, the fear was gone. The fear was replaced with a sense of excitement, a sense of excitement that she hadn't felt in awhile.
Billy then held his hands out to the side, clasping them together, and then pulling them apart. As he did so, a bright sphere of white light appeared, growing the more he spread his hands out, until it grew to the size of a modest TV set, granting the dark room a decent amount of illumination.
Becky eyed the glowing light in awe until Idol snapped his fingers and an image of Rowdy Reiko manifested itself within the orb. She was standing over Rebecca, hoisting the Rose of Roses belt high into the air.
The punk rocker leaned an arm atop the spherical screen and crossed his legs, smiling at the Rumble Bunny.
"So," he gestured towards the image, "what do you see here?"
Becky watched the screen as Diana leaped into view, standing over her downed form and busting out an odd, sexy-dance type routine.
"Me being humiliated," she narrowed her eyes.
"Well, yes," Idol had to agree, "but take a look at Rowdy there…"
The Rumble Bunny eyed Reiko as she continued to boastfully display her championship belt to the jeering audience.
"What about her?" Becky smirked. "She's just showin' off that stupid belt.""Exactly!" Idol pumped a fist. "Now you're getting it!"
Becky looked at him inquisitively.
"Um, no I'm not," she rolled her eyes.
"She's got the belt!" Billy yelled, still abuzz.
"So?" Becky wasn't quite as enthused.
"So, why does she have the belt?" he asked.
"I don't know," the cheerleader answered roughly. "Because she's a cheating bitch?"
"Um, close," Idol rubbed his chin, "but not exactly what I was looking for."
The Rumble Bunny crossed her arms.
"What, then?" she raised an eyebrow.
Billy snapped his fingers again, causing the orb's image to switch to a shot of Becky with a Singapore cane standing over a cowering Reiko.
Just like the previous scene, it was also from the match earlier. Becky remembered all too well what would happen next.
She watched as Reiko desperately threw a punch to her stomach, then followed it up with her twisting piledriver maneuver.
"Ooh-hoo!" Billy laughed, watching the screen. "She gotcha good there!"
`"Ermmm," the cheerleader's grumble was audible.
"Oh, sorry," Idol lowered his head, turning back to the screen.
At this point, the Queen Cobra was ascending the turnbuckle, about ready to put Becky away with her Fallen Angel.
"Is there a point here," Rebecca abruptly cut-in. "Or can we just turn this stupid thing off?"
"Wha'?" Billy looked away from the screen. "Oh, right. Sorry…"
With another snap of the punk rocker's fingers, the image on the screen rewound itself until it stopped on a still image of Becky balefully standing over Reiko with the cane.
"Tell me," Billy leaned on the orb-screen once more, looking at Rebecca, "if Reiko had been in your spot right here, would she have stopped to think about whether or not to swing that cane?"
Becky didn't answer, even though she already knew the answer.
"No," Billy filled it in for her. "Reiko doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks. She does things the way she thinks they should be done…"
He let his words linger and approached the bed, placing a foot on the mattress,
"… and that, Ms. Welsh, is why she's got the belt!"
Feeling that his point was made, Idol turned around and crossed his arms with a confident smile, waiting for a response.
"But…," Rebecca began, "she's a total bitch."
"Yes," he turned to face her, "but that's besides the point. You can argue for her morals, but there's no arguing with success."
He snapped his fingers, causing the orb to display Reiko proudly showcasing the Rose of Roses title.
"I guess not," Becky sighed, lowering her head.
Billy then clapped his hands, causing the orb to break apart and dissipate into tiny specs of white light which soon faded into nothingness.
"Besides," Billy smiled, "I remember a certain redhead who used to have that belt, too."
"Yeah," she smiled, "she did."
"Yeah," the rockstar nodded, "you did."
With that, Billy stepped to the center of the room, raising his arms up.
"Well, Beck'," he said, "it looks like I've gotta get goin'."
A smattering of white lights began to form, swirling around his feet as his body began to levitate.
"Remember everything I told you, Rebecca," he instructed.
More lights came, slowly beginning to climb up his body, until he was widely engulfed by streams of white sparkles.
"Will I ever see you again?" Becky felt inclined to ask. "I mean, besides on TV and your concerts and stuff?"
The sparkles began to create a sound, an odd, mystical, watery, laser-like melody of "dwoo"s and "dweep"s.
"I dunno, maybe," he replied. "Oh, by the way, what's the name of that tall blonde girl with the twangy accent?"
"You mean Dixie?"
"Dixie! That's it!'
"Oh, hell yes!"
The sound grew louder, and the lights even brighter, forcing the cheerleader to partially shield her eyes.
"Farewell for now, Ms. Welsh," Idol called over the noise. "I'm off to rock the world! WWAAAAAOOOAAAHHH!!!"
With that parting rebel yell, Billy Idol disappeared in a brilliant flash, leaving Becky alone in her locker room, which now seemed much more dark, and much more quiet.
Rebecca jumped upon hearing the abrupt sound. Was he coming back? Where were the lights?
She quickly felt very stupid, realizing that it was just her cellphone sitting on her desk. She clicked on the lamp to see what she was doing and grabbed the phone, not bothering to check the caller ID before flipping it open.
"Hello?" she held it to her ear.
It was Ms. Spencer. She sounded alarmed, and Becky had a good notion as to why.
"Hi, Ms. Spencer," she replied.
"Oh, Ms. Welsh! I saw your match earlier tonight, and… well, I- I'm so sorry I wasn't there!"
This was it. Decision time.
You and I must meet and discuss this soon. There are so many things that y-"
"Uh, Ms. Spencer? I can't talk right now. I've- I've got plans…"
There was a pause on the other line.
"Wh-you what?""Thanks, Ms. Spencer," Rebecca took in a deep breath, "but I've got plans, ok?"
"Ms. Welsh? Are you feeling alright? Oh, I do hope you aren't sick. I as-"
Ms. Welsh hung up, plopping the phone back onto the desk, setting it aside.
Her eyes happened to look to the mirror when she did so. She saw someone looking back at her, but it wasn't a reflection of her. Rather, it was a reflection of someone else.
Keen on investigating, Rebecca got up, and slowly approached the mirror, the stranger grew and grew in size as the two got closer. Soon, they were standing face-to-face, foot-to-foot. They locked eyes with one another. When Becky looked up, the stranger looked up. When Becky looked at her legs, the stranger looked at Becky's legs.
Though the person in the mirror was indeed a stranger, she could still make out small details of herself within her. Because of this, Rebecca could feel an excitement swell up inside her. It was an excitement born of a certain hope; a hope that she could be freed from the long-reigning tyranny of this paper identity, this false self kept in power by those around her who kept her from being all that she could be, reducing her to a prized possession on their shoulder, instead of the glorious thing that she should be.