Story:The Francesca Equation 6
The Francesca Equation 6
Written by Wolfnumber9 and IllaRouge
March 10, 2019: Sister Insider
Hortense threw her car in park. Still in her work clothes, she sat staring at her house, almost reluctant to go inside. She'd briefly considered getting a hotel for herself just to disappear for a bit, but she felt obliged to return. She took her feet off of the pedal extenders. With a brown paper bag full of bottles in one arm, she climbed out of her SUV. As she approached the door, it opened. A small, demure fox in tight shorts and a tank top greeted her.
"Welcome home, Mistress." She trotted past without so much as acknowledging her pet. The fennec, Todd, laid his ears back, but he quickly adjusted. He'd seen the letter posted online. "I have an evening planned for you, if that would please you."
Hortense sighed. "I need a little space. At least for a few hours."
The fox nodded. "Someone called. An Alexa, if I remember."
Her ears perked. "F-Fine. I'll be in my office. Come g-get me in a f-few."
Upstairs, she set her bottles down. She wasn't very elegant in her choices. She poured whiskey and generic diet soda into a plastic cup torn out of its equally plastic bag. She stripped down to her under clothes, just plain white panties, never a need for a bra, her fuck-it attitude on full display. She set her cup by her triple-monitored rig and hopped up. In a few seconds, she had Snype loaded up. Why bother, she figured, but she felt responsible. She waited for her call. When Alexa tried to call again, the feline was at her home in Tennessee. She laid in her bed just wearing a Supergirl tank top and basketball shorts and had her laptop on her lap. With a missed call already on the log, she was reluctant to try to call again. She even felt that she should be wearing something a bit more professional, but since the corgi already saw Alexa in a very “comfortable” position before, she concluded that she was fine. With all the drama that lingered in her head, she knew that Hortense would be the best friend to talk to, or at least vent to. She clicked the call button again and waited in her barely lit bedroom. The notification buzzed, and Hortense clicked on it. Her trunky shirtless self showed up on Alexa's monitor.
"Hey, chica. How you holding up?" the maybe GM answered.
Alexa rubbed her eyes and yawned, then finally saw that her call was answered.
“Heeeeeeyy girl. Pfft, look at you. Here I thought I needed to put something else on, and you just come in all shirtless and comfortable, haha. I’m alright, I guess. I’m just...Ugh...I don’t know. How are you doing?”
The corgi held up the cup, looking mammoth in her hand. "Living the dream, moments away f-from losing the job I've been working t-t-toward since before you were in puberty. You know, a normal Sund-day." She snickered.
“Yea, and you’re just talking to the FBA player that was sexually harassed, ruined another player’s career, and is a permanent bench warmer to her team.” Alexa chuckled, but she slowly stopped as she looks in the camera with a defeated look. “I think you’ll be okay girl. They know you are passionate about what you do. They can’t let you go.”
"You k-kidding me? Of course they can." She sighed. "You haven't done anything to that p-piece of shit. You shouldn't give him a second th-thought. You didn't m-make me do shit. This is on me."
“No, seriously girl. They shouldn’t do that shit. You have a solid reputation. I know it might not mean much, but I will totally speak up and defend you.”
Hortense took a long drink and set her cup down. "Honestly, I'd r-rather you focus on you. I should be surprised at how l-little support people are giving out, but the p-person who is going to b-best take care of you is you." She tried to seem upbeat with a pleasant smile. "I've fought my own b-battles up to this point."
Alexa sighed. “Hortense, who would support me? I’m either a nobody rookie or a whiny bitch to the media. Andi has a lot more fans than I thought...also doesn’t fucking help that people found my address. The letters are very...entertaining. But any battles you fight, I fight with you. I have my close friends like you. I’ll be okay.”
She brought up the chat window. She typed in a few names, addresses, and numbers. She sent them to Alexa. "These are the names of a few good lawyers that I know. They sp-pecialize in workplace discrimination. They can't help me now, but you? You're unfortunately a t-textbook case." She leaned back in her chair. She took another long drink from the cup. It was already mostly empty. "I appreciate the support, but this was my risk from the start. It was going to be a miracle that it wouldn't just be sh-shot down without a word."
“Thanks, Hortense. If things get serious I’ll give these numbers a call.” Alexa tilted her head and asked, “We did the right thing, right? I mean, I know it’s complicated, and I got some really terrible letters and you with your job, but...this just seems like the part of the story where the whole world is against the hero, but in the end they save the day and fix everything.”
The corgi laughed softly, the references bringing her some comfort. "The world is fucked for women. That's not up for debate, but people k-keep debating it." She finished off her drink. "'All you have to do is work harder. Women should earn their place. This is reverse sexism.'" She chuckled, this time more cynically. "Did you know I'm a doctor of communications? I don't ever t-tell people, because I don't want that extra kick to my credibility. I d-do earn my place. But I needed that degree to even get considered for this j-job. You know what everyone else at my l-level has? Masters at b-best. And my predecessor? Fucking bachelors that he barely passed." She shook her head. "This doesn't end with just us saving the d-day. In this world, the p-public comes after people trying to make things right."
Alexa laughed. “That’s what’s up, girl! And yea, just forgiving Andi and walking away from it seemed like the same shit would just happen again. So I really had to make that statement. No matter what people think! Yea, fuck that! I’m...I’m gonna go get a drink too!” The panther walked off camera. Hortense heard her padding around for a while. She came back after fifteen minutes and said “I don’t have any alcohol, so I’m just gonna drink this juice box that I still have...but I’m still with you girl!”
Hortense poured her third cup, the second dispensed with while Alexa was gone, using less and less soda as she went on. "Vintage grape juice. You're so f-fancy." She just smiled, seemingly beyond full laughter. "But honestly, I've just d-done what I had to do." She adjusted her seat, pulling the lever so that she elevated. "I just feel defeated. I knew it was a p-possibility that I might be fired, but now that it's a definite possibility, I don't know if I'm ready to g-give up my career just because some swinging dicks can't deal with their fragile fucking m-masculinity being challenged."
“I would hire you,” Alexa said to lighten the mood. “I would hire you in a heartbeat. So if the worst happens you would definitely find something...oh hey, you could like do a blog or your own writing website or...wait, I’m sorry. I’m doing this wrong. You won’t get fired Hortense. They may feel challenged, but they need you.”
"I feel like we need to d-do something beyond this. A big p-problem is that there aren't enough women in the FBA, but the upper management aren't g-going to admit that they've caused this p-problem in the first p-place."
“Well, I mean, my parents still hated the thought of me being a FBA player and still think I should’ve been a teacher. Maybe that’s the problem. No one is telling girls at a young age that if you love basketball then you can make it. Lucky for me, I have my mother’s stubborn attitude, or at least that’s what my dad says.” Alexa took a sip of her juice.
The corgi paused. She thought of another drink, but a moment of clarity washed over her. "Fuck. We should do our own recruitment."
“Our own recruitment? What do you mean?” Alexa said as she laid the laptop on the bed and switched to her side.
Hortense smiled an almost malicious smile. "You're a genius, girl.”
“But I didn’t say an-”
“We use your tenacity to show women that they should f-fucking be in this league." She slammed the cup down. The whiskey splashed and rolled down the side of the plastic vessel. "We get lady FBAers to do talks at universities and other basketball groups, run camps for high school girls, that kinda shit."
Alexa choked on her drink for a little bit. “Oh yea. Yea! If an FBA player showed up in my school, I would fucking lose it! That could work!”
"It's March Madness already, but that shouldn't matter. We could still set up some visits with lady players." She chuckled. "Maybe even the few staff in the FBA. There aren't many, but I know at least a few would."
“Yea! Yea. But um...maybe someone a bit more popular than me...I’m not exactly an all-star. Oh but I could get Tia! We’re kinda friends. Or Lisa! Or Mariam!” Alexa’s tail wagged in the background as she spoke. “Yea, you really want to do this? I think we can do this.”
"Alexa." Hortense lowered her voice. She looked guilty. "I hate to ask, but I think you being in this would be a g-good thing. It's not fair. I put you in this situation, but you already know the p-publicity game. Like it or not, you're the face of this."
Alexa’s tail stood up straight and froze. “Me? The face of all this? Are you sure cause like...I mean, I was just finally defending myself, which I do encourage, but...I’m just a bench warmer and a rookie.”
"Girl, you're a fucking r-rockstar!" She smiled wide. "You've b-been a class act through all of this. Can't you see your own strength? You're what these l-ladies need to see in a star."
“You think so?” Alexa finished her juice and looked off camera. “Yea...yea! I could do it! I’ll be the fac,e and with us working together, we could totally start something big here!”
Hortense smiled for real this time. Her mind was clouded, and she still felt the deep pang of guilt. But now? This was hope. "Think you can start getting some ladies t-together?"
Alexa hopped off her bed and grabbed her phone. “Definitely. If there is one thing I remember that helped me in college, it’s how to network. What should I tell them when they call?”
"I'm sure you'll have the right w-words when you ask." There was a knock at her door. She glanced back to see Todd peek in.
"Is now a good time, Mistress?"
"Sure, T-Todd. We're just wrapping up, I think."
“Alright! Yea! You’re the real genius girl! I’ll tell them.” Alexa’s excitement paused when she say the fox peek in. “Oh, I didn’t know you had company, my bad.”
She waved her off. "No, no, it's fine." Todd walked more into frame, just his eyes and ears visible; he was a shorty, too. "This is Todd."
“Hey Todd. I’m Alexa, and Hortense just came up with the best idea! Ah, this made my whole week so much better!”
Hortense kept herself from laying her ears back and taking pity on herself. Todd sidled up next to her, and she started scratching behind his ears. He purred. "Nice to meet you, Miss Francesca," he returned.
Alexa still smiled big and laughed. “Well, it looks like the super girls won’t be ignored, haha! It will feel so good to make a difference like that! Oh, and about the FSPN thing, remember, I still got your back no matter what happens, okay?”
She just nodded at the support. She had no game plan, but that was fine for now. "Give some of the c-coaches a call first. I'll bet a few of them will help out."
“I’ll tell everyone! Thanks girl! I’m gonna make some calls now! Bye!” The panther waved at the camera still filled with excitement.
The corgi waved, though with a little less excitement. "Tell your b-boy hi." She clicked and ended the call.
"Did it go well?" Todd pressed against her side.
Hortense thought for a moment. "I suppose it did."
Alexa closed her laptop and jumped around the house in excitement. Then, before she could make a phone call, she glanced at one of the hurtful letters she received on the kitchen counter. She picked it up and said to herself.
“I am more than this. You can call me what you want, but just you wait. I’m going to go far baby and I’m taking my friends and my pride with me.” She threw the letter in the trash and began dialing on the phone.