Continuing the story of Penelope Primrose, taking place during the start of the Beautiful Angels of Boxing Entertainment league.
The author of these stories goes by the DeviantArt handle of thegeorgiapeach. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed his post-match analysis of B.A.B.E. matches very much. But now, he’s covered a year in the life of the former UK Foxy Boxing champion.
Without detracting from the current B.A.B.E. storylines and keeping true to (and in some cases building up) the personalities of B.A.B.E. fighters, this story presented an outsider (UK) view of what was going on with the league. These stories helped make my own fictional world seem more real to me! In fact, as far as I’m concerned, these stories are canon to my own stories.
This doesn’t usually happen but I was so into this storyline, that I actually wanted to help bring some of it to life. And with the author’s permission, I will be re-publishing these stories to the B.A.B.E. blog.
So, (around) every week, you can tune in here for the stories with some associated images. (Not everything will have images… just the action-oriented stuff! And, please, visit thegeorgiapeach‘s DA page for his stories and analysis. It’ll be worth your time!
Story by thegeorgiapeach and art by cpunch . (Please note, some of the images in these stories may have been previously published. Click the highlighted links below for refreshers as you go along.)
Even though it had been a week, Penelope still couldn’t believe she was back in the United States; still more, she couldn’t believe she was running the streets and training with Lana Sinclair.
Penelope had been ecstatic when Lana had called her two weeks ago and said she had been feeling good after doing light sparring, and after a consultation with her doctor she had been given the go-ahead to ramp up her training. The fact that Missy was in full agreement with the plan only added to Penelope’s rosy deposition.
Not only had Missy supported the move to the U.S. for two weeks of training, she had managed to get out of her B.S.N. obligations for the two weeks, and had travelled with Penelope. She had told Missy about the plan shortly after Missy had called Morgan Mace’s latest title defense victory, and Penelope smiled to herself remembering Missy’s reaction – “God yes, Penny! Let’s get out of here! This plan is better than anything I’ve come up with . . . besides, I could use the change of scenery . . . and you Ms. Penny could use a break from all things Chantelle and Ophelia Daniels!”
Penelope thought about Chantelle for a bit, and how the extra weeks had really just allowed both of them to recycle the same insults over and over again – working the pre-hype had become a little bit tiring. At least her going to the U.S. had allowed Chantelle new material; Chantelle was now pushing the ‘Primrose is trying to hide in America again’ angle. Almost by instinct Penelope fired off a right hook into the air . . .
“Woh! Watch it there Penny!” cried out Lana as she dipped out of the way of Penelope’s little air missile at the last second.
“Oops . . . sorry Lana . . . just imagining my fight!”
On the bike behind Penelope, Missy watched as Lana ducked the Lana ‘shadow hook,’ enjoying the sunshine, and the relative ease of her bike ride compared to the ten mile jaunt Lana and Penelope were currently engaged in. Missy was glad they had come, and Penelope looked happier than ever, and being around Lana had rejuvenated her affect and brought renewed life to her training. It was good to get away from the questions and ‘war of words’ with Chantelle but, for Missy, the bigger reason she agreed so easily to uproot camp was because of Penelope’s increasing annoyance to the incredible Kelly Fairchild hype. If Penelope had been truly honest with herself, thought Missy, it wasn’t necessarily Chantelle she needed a break from. Missy knew Penelope well, and could see that the amount of attention Kelly was getting, in comparison to her own and that of Chantelle’s, was nearly three-fold.
Nearly once a day Penelope would vent, “We are Champions! What has she done?! How is she the Main Event . . .” One day Missy had jibed ‘former champions, Pen” during sparring and nearly had her head taken off. Looking back at Penelope and Lana she smiled. They were keeping a good pace, and for someone who had been forced out of the game for such a long time Missy marvelled at Lana’s work ethic and how good she was looking in and outside the ring. Lana was talented and was a large step above any of the sparring partners they had found back in the UK. Clearly not in tip-top fighting shape yet, but she was keeping up with Penelope, who was looking, to Missy, the best she had ever looked.
Missy yelled out, “Penny! Lana! You want to do the hills today?” as she knew the turn off was about a quarter-mile up ahead.
Lana looked at Penelope, and gave a quick shake of her head.
“No, not today . . . had it in my mind to do it tomorrow . . . . huff . . . on our shorter run.”
“Okay, agreed.” and Penelope yelled back at Missy, “No! Tomorrow!”
Missy was relieved, as she didn’t really want to bike up the hills either, although she did enjoy the ride that was the downhills.
“I know I’ve said it a million times, huff . . . but so happy you agreed to let me come out here and train with you. Almost like old times, except for no B.A.B.E. gym . . .”
“ . . .Or Trixies . . .” Lana responded.
“Ha! . . . Someday!” and Penelope looked towards her right at the hills they would be running tomorrow.
“Someday!? Huff . . . more like tomorrow, Pen!” Lana said.
“No . . . someday I’ll celebrate again at Trix . . . . Hey, that’s not who I think it is, is it?” Penelope was still looking to her right, down the uphill turn off into the hills.
“Lana matched her gaze and said, “I think so . . . yeah! That’s Rocky! She’s up early!”
“Running the hills too . . . should we go say ‘hi’ . . . ?”
“I’m good! I have a meeting with her in a couple of days to see . . . huff . . . about my reinstatement. She was reviewing it . . .You can if you want . . .”
Penelope thought about it, as she watched the figure of Rocky climbing the first hill. Last time she saw Raquel Balboa she was being fired from B.A.B.E. after her ‘Trixiegate’ affair. In reflection, she had been a mess. “Yeah, Lana . . . I’m gonna do a quick fly by . . . I’ll take the first left after this first . . . huff . . . hill and meet you down at the corner where it comes out on Fair Oaks.” Penelope swerved to the right and picked up speed. “Be right back Missy!” she yelled.
“Okay . . .”
“Where’s she going?” Missy asked Lana as she pulled up beside her.
“Say hello to Rocky . . .” and Lana pointed up the hill to where Penelope was quickly gaining on Rocky.
Sometimes she couldn’t help herself, Penelope thought, as she raised her speed to catch up with Rocky. She still galled at the memory of Rocky’s scrutiny and criticisms of her condition and preparation after her fights with Ivanna and Hannah. She knew she screwed up at Trixie’s, but she still felt Rocky could have been more supportive. She had had a simple plan to just say ‘hello,’ nothing more, and to time it for the left turn she was going to take to get back to Lana. As she closed on Rocky and heard Rocky’s heavy breathing she quickly decided on another plan.
Rocky was wearing shiny blue, high-rise spandex running tights, and her thin white tank top, due to the warm early sun, was pulled up and stuffed into the underside of her sports bra.
Rocky was keeping a decent pace, and she was working hard at maintaining it as Penelope approached from behind. Penelope marvelled at Rocky’s bum bouncing at each step,and to herself thought “You always had a nice ass Rocky, but there does seem to be more of it than I remember! Who’s jiggling now!” And with that Penelope put her little mischievous plan into effect and she cranked her speed into high gear, while maintaining a rhythm to it so it looked like she was running at a pace and not sprinting. She blew past Rocky and five steps later looked back as she saw Rocky raise her head to the runner flying past her, “Rocky!? Is that you?”
“ . . .Huff . . .Primrose?” Rocky responded confused, caught off guard by Penelope’s sudden and surprising presence.
“Rocky?” Penelope pretended to be surprised herself, “Yeah, it’s me! Nice to see you darling . . .. didn’t know you ran so . . . huff . . . early”
“ . . . Puff . . . well . . . lots to do . . . these days . . .gotta start early . . .”
Penelope was a bit taken aback by the apparent strain on the face of the legendary Raquel Balboa, and it clearly wasn’t all from the exertion of the climb. Lana had mentioned Rocky’s stresses of late. Well, what is a little needling thought Penelope, “Is the mighty Rocky finally slowing down? This hill can be killer . . . ” Penelope turned down the road to the left and smiled, ”Sorry Rocky . . . this is my left . . . see you around . . . ” She accelerated down the hill without looking back, leaving Rocky alone climbing the hill. Penelope did have a fleeting thought as she descended, “Nobody runs these hills if they don’t have to.” Good for Balboa she thought, fighting against the trappings of retirement. As Missy came into sight, Penelope muttered to herself, “Like Missy has!”
“What are you . . . huff . . .smiling at?”
“Oh, just good . . . huff . . . to say hello to a friend . . .puff . . .”
“Did you sprint up and down that . . . Thought we’d be waiting for you . . .?”
“Yeah . . . let’s keep going . . .”
“And how is Rock?” Lana chimed in, interrupting the Missy and Penelope banter.
“”Well, either you’re getting in better and better . . . puff . . . shape, or Rocky isn’t in great shape . . . because I am not sure who is huffing and puffing more!” With that Penelope smacked Lana’s ass and picked up the pace. Penelope had new found energy, and as Lana chased her she hopefully thought Rocky had seen how fit she was.
Lana walked out of Raquel Balboa’s office teary eyed, escorted by Liberty Lane, who squeezed her arm in a show of support as they crossed the reception area. Liberty waved off the concerned look of Rocky’s secretary, and continued walking beside Lana.
“Lana, it’ll all work out. Let’s all give this more time.” Liberty was all for Lana returning to B.A.B.E.’s active roster, but she had been overruled by Rocky. Liberty hadn’t really pushed the issue, for she had her own trepidations about Lana returning to the very ring The Jade Fist had so eviscerated her in. Liberty was weary of any fighter returning to the ring, especially from injury. For a fleeting moment Liberty’s mind wandered back to her disastrous return from retirement in the International Tournament and winced, “Rocky’ll come around . . .”
“Will she, Libs? She didn’t seem too keen on the idea, even with the doctors reports and the evidence of my training.”
“Yes, Lana, I am sure we’ll see you back in a B.A.B.E. ring, and sooner than later. Goodness knows, we could use more good gals like you policing this place!”
Lana gave a weak smile, appreciating Liberty’s efforts. Most every fighter respected Liberty Lane, she was a pioneer, and she treated everyone with kindness and respect, “We’ll see, I guess . . .” and she trailed off.
“Lana,” Liberty stopped Lana at the elevator and turned her towards her, “You’ll see. There are a ton of things Rocky is dealing with right now, and I don’t even know the half of it! She’s here late every night – on the phone, meetings after meetings. I’ve seen her accountant and lawyer here more in the past three weeks than ever before, so who knows what Rocky is up to. Hopefully Ash can set Nikita straight, that’ll relieve some of Rocky’s stresses. I’ll be working on her though, Lana.But go get at least two more doctor opinions to your condition. It can’t hurt, and will alleviate Rocky’s concern.”
“Thanks Liberty. I’m just frustrated. I’ve been gone so long!”
“I know! We know! It’ll happen, just hang in there! And by the way, you look great! Clearly you’ve been working on your return!”
“Thanks . . . been training with Primrose. She’s in town, helping her get ready for her next fight.”
“I had heard she was in town! Good for her, and good for you. And word to the wise, as I know too well, be 100% when you return or your return will look like mine did! Rocky remembers that too – so I am sure that’s also on her mind, not pushing a fighter back too soon.” The elevator pinged and the doors slid open. Lana stepped in and turned around. “It’ll happen Lana! It’ll happen!” Liberty said as the doors closed on Lana.
Lana saw Liberty’s face disappear behind the closing elevator doors. She looked up at the elevator ceiling and let out a muffled scream. The tear that had been waiting to come out since she left Rocky’s office finally slid down her cheek. Sparring with Penelope had reignited a passion, but the avenue to unleash that passion had just been closed again. Rocky had been nervous about liability, and insurance costs upon bringing Lana back. The meeting hadn’t been a very long one.
“Pfft . . . clufft!”
“Penny, close the gap, duck and get out of there! Don’t get caught standing!”
Missy yelled at Penelope Primrose. She had just seen Penelope eat another one-two combination from Lana Sinclair and, headgear aside, this latest combination had rocked Penelope. Lana continued to swarm all over Penelope, and Penelope could not get out of the corner. Lana had done a great job testing and preparing Penelope, but today Lana was throwing punches with more heft and with more speed.
An uppercut broke through Penelope’s defenses and Missy saw a bit of a wobble in Penelope as her head snapped back. Missy quickly rang the bell, ending the round, hoping neither fighter would notice she rang it thirty seconds early. Lana immediately wheeled back towards her corner, grabbing water and leaning on the ropes. Penelope took a second and watched Lana walk away before meeting Missy at her own corner.
“Hey! You alright Penny . . . you have to keep moving, especially when she starts rapid firing like that. You cover, and Chantelle will pick you apart just like that.” Missy was talking quietly into Penelope’s ear while massaging her shoulders. Missy wasn’t upset with Penelope, a little concerned maybe, but mostly she was happy that Penelope was enduring harsh treatment in the ring from an elite fighter like Lana Sinclir. It could only do her good. Lana wasn’t as fast, or as tall, as Chantelle Daniels, but she wasn’t too far off, but she was stronger. The more Lana and Penelope worked out together, the better Lana was getting, and the more comfortable she was in the sparring. Today she was given a lot more than she was getting.
“I’m fine . . . Lana’s got a burr under her bonnet today, doesn’t she!?” Penelope responded after awhile.
“Seems so . . . but that is good for us . . . although if this keeps up, you’ll be on concussion protocol!” Missy had also seen the change in Lana today. She came in brooding, and as the sparring session wore on she seemed to release more and more energy. Problem was, it was all landing on her fighter.
“Twenty seconds Penny. One more round.” Missy walked across the ring to Lana, “Twenty seconds Lana.”
“And, I know I probably shouldn’t say this, but keep it up! Don’t stop! Chantelle Daniels doesn’t stop . . . ever . . . Penelope needs this . . . but I won’t lie, I am nervous you’ll drop her!”
“Nah, Penny’s tough . . . I’ll try to keep it up, but I won’t lie either. I am tired!”
Missy walked back to the side of the ring and climbed under the ropes, bent over and rang the bell. Lana came out a little slower than the previous rounds, and Missy was encouraged that Penelope came out fast and was still moving with quickness. They had done eight rounds today, the first four designed for mostly shadow movement between the two, mere simulation. The last four rounds were pure sparring. Lana had jumped on Penelope from the get go, needing little encouragement or direction from Missy to do so. Penelope had defended fairly well, and Missy was pleased with Penelope’s counterpunching, more for the accuracy than for the power behind it. Lana had been relentless though, hitting Penelope with everything she had. The pace Lana had gone at, as Lana had predicted, had taken its toll on Lana. She was noticeably slower in this round, but did as Missy had asked and tried to keep the tempo high.
Lana charged in and bullied Penelope into the ropes, throwing wide rights behind stiff jabs. Penelope’s head movement was still good, but Lana was strong and was able to bully Penelope into the corner. Lana started to empty her take on Penelope, and Penelope leaned back, ducked, and dipped the best she could. Missy liked that Penelope had a good focus about her, and more so when Penelope unleashed a two punch combination to Lana’s midsection that stopped Lana in her tracks. Lana tried to back away, and as she did so Penelope caught her with a hook to the chin. Lana stumbled back a little bit before regaining her footing.
Penelope jumped at the chance to put Lana in the corner, but Lana, refinding her wits, wouldn’t allow it to happen and started throwing flurries of punches, not sure where they would land. Penelope absorbed many of them, but resisted any serious damage. As the clock wound down, Lana started pouring on punches, mostly sloppy now as Lana was working past her second wind. Missy was amazed at the sheer ability of Lana to push through her fatigue and do what she had asked her to do, which was to not stop punching. Lana was working her tail off. Penelope was a little frustrated not to have followed up better on her nose hook she had landed, but she was going toe-to-toe with Lana when Missy finally rang the bell ending the session.
At the sound of the bell, both Lana and Penelope fell into an embrace. Lana was exhausted, Penelope doing her most to hold her up. They addled over to Lana’s corner, Lana sitting and Penelope leaning on the ropes. Missy yelled across the ring, “Nice job! Nice job! That’s it for today!”
After they had both caught their breath and taken in some water Penelope looked down at Lana, “No kidding that’s it for today! . . . What got into you today? If I didn’t know better I’d have guessed you were trying to take me out!” Lana didn’t respond. Here mood was turning sullen again, and Lana just sat quietly.
“What is it?” Penelope waited.
Lana finally looked up, “Sorry Pen. Just . . . well, Rocky said ‘No’ . . . and . . .”
“. . . you decided to take your frustration out on me . . . I get it! Well, darling, it certainly worked! Though next time let me know and I can dress up like Jade! Honey, I am hurting all over! Hot tub for me today!”
“And . . . I’ll be right there with you . . .”
“Sorry about Rocky’s decision.”
“Yeah well, we’ll see . . .”
“If she had seen you today, she’d have definitely taken you back!”
“Mmm . . . well . . .”
“You should invite her to watch you spar . . .”
“It’s not that Pen. It’s the liability. She feels if something happens to me again it’ll be her ass . . . B.A.B.E. is doing well, but it’s still young enough that it doesn’t need any speed bumps.”
“So what now? You gonna try another league . . . try the international circuit?”
“Nah . . . I don’t know . . . we’ll see. I am here, would like it to work here but we’ll see . . .”
“Well, I would say it’s Trixie’s time to help cheer you up, but that is out, so why not hit the hot tub!”
“Sounds grand . . . uggh . . . help me up would you!”
“Ha! You’re almost all the way back . . .”
“Almost!” Lana agreed, and smiled for the first time today.
(To be Continued)