Nattie’s applying the finishing touches to her ring gear when Paige comes from seemingly out of nowhere to – well. Nattie doesn’t actually know what exactly Paige is here to do. To judge her, it seems like, when Paige looks her up and down in the mirror with a disapproving sounding hum.
“You know,” Paige says, a hand on Nattie’s shoulder now, her tone a little patronising. “You don’t always have to wear pink out to the ring. You can like… mix it up a bit.”
“What’s wrong with pink?” she wonders, because in her opinion, there’s nothing wrong with it. Paige probably thinks it’s too girly or something, but that’s not what it is for Nattie. Besides, even if it was, girly can be strong, too. “I’ve always worn pink. It’s a family thing, you know that. Pink and black.”
“So, why not try something else?”
“Something else, like…?”
Paige only shrugs. Nattie sighs – what’s the point of Paige trying to lecture her about this if she isn’t even going to suggest anything?
“Plenty of people can make pink work,” Nattie says after it becomes clear that Paige doesn’t actually have anything to offer. “Look at – I don’t know, Ziggler, for example. He’s almost always had some pink, whether it’s on a shirt or part of his gear, and he owns it. Most of the roster wear pink in October. Even you do.”
Paige makes a face.
“That’s like, for a cause, though. To… raise awareness,” she says. “It’s not like I made that choice myself.”
“Well, this is a choice I make,” Nattie tells her. “Besides, Tyson used to wear pink as well when we were in the Hart Dynasty. Most of the rest of my family wore it, too, like I said.” She pauses, considering. “Maybe he can go back to that. And we can match again.” Another pause, remembering that it’s not just the two of them out there anymore, and she says, “We’ll have to get something pink for Cesaro, too. Just so we can all be coordinated.”
“I knew it!” Paige exclaims, just a touch too loud for the conversation. Her eyes are bright and she looks pleased with herself. “AJ owes me like, ten dollars now.”
“You two took bets on whether or not Cesaro is, uh, part of me and Tyson’s relationship?” Nattie asks with an eyebrow raise, and Paige’s expression suddenly becomes sheepish.
“I’m. Not saying we didn’t…” she begins, trailing off into nothing.
“But you did,” Nattie finishes for her, trying her best to sound disapproving. “And… well. You were right. Just don’t go around telling that to everyone, OK?”
“OK,” Paige agrees, and Nattie knows she won’t. Paige might be loud, might be a bit much for some people sometimes, but Nattie trusts her to keep quiet about things that are this important, trusts Paige to be a good friend.
“What about you two, then?” she wonders, trying to keep it conversational, though really, she’s curious.
“Huh?” Paige, distracted by her own reflection in the mirror, turns back to Nattie. “What?”
“You and AJ.”
Paige would forever maintain that it’s impossible to make her blush, but really, it’s easy, given just how pale her skin is. And now, now that something she cares about – AJ – has been brought up, it’s definitely easy.
“It’s… it’s something,” she says. “I’m not quite sure yet. But… I like her a lot and I think she feels the same and we’re managing to put the past behind us.”
“Well. Whatever it is, I hope it works for the two of you,” Nattie tells her. “I’m not – I’m definitely not a friend of AJ’s, but I’ve watched her relationships over the last couple of years, and – well. None of them worked out very well for her, I’m sure you know. She deserves someone who will treat her well. Make sure that’s you.”
“I think it will be,” Paige says, and the smile on her face softens even more for just a fraction of a second. A little uncharacteristic of her, perhaps, but good. She deserves to be happy, and if happiness is what she’s found with AJ, then Nattie’s pleased for her. “I should get going, right? Gotta go find AJ.”
She leaves without another word, and certainly not another one about Nattie’s ring gear. Still, even if she did, Nattie isn’t going to change. This is what makes her feel strong, makes her feel close to her family, to her dad and her uncles and everyone else before her. As much as she wants her own legacy, she’s still a part of her family’s one, and that’s just as important to her as herself is.