Author: XxShawns Guardian AngelxX PM
Cena's being a right scrooge about the holiday season, but that all changes once he's invited to spend Christmas with a former tag team partner. With this stay comes an unexpected revelation that changes his feelings towards Christmas and his partner.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - John Cena & Shawn Michaels - Chapters: 2 - Words: 14,559 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 12-23-11 - Published: 12-20-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7653606
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
AN: This is an eventual two-shot. I split the chapter in half because once it reached 10k I knew folks would be too lazy to read it. I'm the same way at times so forgive me for assuming most of you are the same. I am a retired fic writer which means I update/post new fics when I get the notion. I had the notion to revisit my first slash pairing. They are my OTP and if you don't like it, tough noogies. Reviews mean little or nothing to me considering my group has been pretty loyal to me. However, i do ask that if you are going to flame, I'd rather you not hit the review button. Also, no beta which means there are probably a hell of a lot of spelling/grammar mistakes but meh. Its late and if you spot obvious ones I'll correct them later.
Title: Sharing Christmas
Pairing: John Cena and Shawn Michaels
Word Count: Roughly 8k
Warning: Fluff. Lots and lots of fluff so if it ain't your thing then I suggest you go elsewhere. The M rating should speak for itself.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot, which you had better not steal. My readers will tell me now on with the damn fic.
John Cena was not exactly in the Christmas spirit, but only a few coworkers picked up on it. Inside the arena in front of thousands of fans, one couldn't possibly know. The days leading up to his short, two day Christmas vacation was spent fulfilling wishes for various charities, appearing at various toy drives as sponsored by WWE and avoiding all of his coworkers. They were all in the spirit of buying, or as John so grouchily put it- getting gifts, that John felt the need to keep his distance. Why the hell should he participate in Secret Santa shenanigans when half of his coworkers wouldn't give him the time of day? Most of them spent countless hours before or after shows complaining about his ring work or just complaining about him in general that after a while it starts to stick.
John knew he was probably coming off as the world's biggest hypocrite. He went before crowds four to six nights a week preaching sermons to women and kids, since apparently none of his fans were adult males, telling them that they should "rise above hate" and work through the hurtful comments. But John Cena wasn't superhuman. His character might have been booked as such, but outside of the squared circle John Cena was just a man; an ordinary man who felt the same highs and lows as everyone else. Of course his jealous coworkers didn't see it that way and John figured they didn't, but every now and then he often wished some of them would look past the jean shorts and "Thuganomics" to get to know the real John Cena, regular guy from Massachusetts.
John finished lacing up his shoes and stood, throwing his things in his duffle bag. Most everybody was gone already. Since they only had roughly a day and a half to enjoy the holidays, everyone rushed to leave the arena after their final matches or segments. Only a few people remained behind like Shawn, who was busy laughing it up with his pal Hunter, Kofi, Evan and Randy. As John continued packing his duffle, he hardly registered people exiting the locker room until he was practically alone. There was a scowl so deep in his face that the last person to leave, which was Evan, squeaked a Merry Christmas to him before hurrying out the room like a bat out of hell.
"Merry Christmas my ass," John grumbled, tossing the last of his shirts in the bag angrily. Throwing it over his shoulder, he grabbed his keys off the bench and started towards the door.
"You know John, he didn't mean any harm."
John turned around just a little, throwing his hands up. "Oh, great. So now I'm gonna get scolded by my favorite wrestler for not sharing in everyone else's enthusiasm." John shook his head in disbelief. "You're usually the one who never bothers me Shawn and for the record, I never meant for you to hear me. I mumbled." He shrugged. "Didn't know you were still lurking in the midst."
"I didn't mean any harm John. I'm sorry." Shawn finished zipping up his coat then reached for his own duffle bag, which was almost twice as big as John's, but it was no secret that Shawn packed like the average Diva.
John watched him struggle with it for a bit then sighed, grabbing the bag from him. "Let me-and don't argue with me about it heartbreaker. We were partners once," he said, holding the door for Shawn as they both exited the locker room. "Least I can do is help an old man."
Shawn walked along the empty corridor next to him, their walking leaving an echo with each passing step. "Yeah, I know," Shawn said, cracking a smile, "I'm an old man, but at least I'm no scrooge."
"Yeah, yeah," John said, rolling his eyes. "That's what they've been telling me for days but I ain't hearin' it. How the hell am I suppose to enjoy the holiday in two days-no. Not even two days. More like one and a half day!"
Shawn chuckled, taking his bag from John. They were now standing just outside the nearly empty arena next to Shawn's truck. It was starting to snow and Shawn hoped that it would carry over to his neck of the woods for a white Christmas. "I've been in this business long enough to know that sometimes you have to make the most with the time you've been given." Shawn chucked his bag in the back, closing the door and leaning up against it. "You're too young to be so angry John. You've been working in this company long enough to know it's usually like this every year. I don't think I've ever seen you complain before."
"Yeah, well maybe you don't know me as well as you think you do. Sticking up under one person all the time isn't how you really get to know others," he said coldly, but then the look on Shawn's face made him instantly regret saying it. Shawn looked down, but before he did so John thought he saw a hint of sadness in his eyes. "Fuck," he mumbled. "Shawn, I'm sorry. I didn't mean-"
"You're right," Shawn answered, looking up with a face that was hard to read. "I'm sorry. I have a habit of speaking out of my place sometime so you'll have to excuse this old man." Shawn cracked another smile, but all it did was confirming John's suspicions that Shawn was probably a saint or some heavenly being in disguise. He was just too damn nice. "Anyway, I've kept you long enough. I'm gonna head home now and enjoy my one day of cookies, cake, and Hallmark movies. I hope your Christmas gets better John."
"Not sure how a Christmas alone will rank up there with my "good" Christmases, but thanks anyway Shawn. I know you mean well and I appreciate it." John walked over to the other side of Shawn's truck pulling the door open for him. "Get in. I know how you are about your pretty hair."
"When you're my age John, you start to cherish the little pretty you have left." Shawn climbed into his truck. As John made way to shut him in, Shawn had a thought. "Hey…John, I have an idea."
"Why don't you come spend Christmas with me?" he asked.
John raised his brows. "I don't know what book of romance you've been reading sexy boy, but I'm pretty sure it states in there somewhere that three's a crowd. Naa," he said, waving his hands, "I wouldn't wanna intrude."
"Intrude?" he repeated, looking very confused. "John, I live alone. I've spent the last two Christmases all by myself and if you want some company, I'm offering to share Christmas with you so neither of us has to be alone."
John took off his cap and scratched his head. He could have sworn Shawn was with Hunter. Those two were like glue and have been more so than usual these last few months. "I-well Shawn that's…real nice of ya, but I don't need you pitying me or nothin' like that."
Shawn rolled his eyes. "John, I don't know what's gotten into you, but you're letting your ego overshadow the good person I came to appreciate when we were partners. I'm not offering you this because I pity you. I'm offering because you're a friend and because no one should be alone for Christmas. Someone like you taught me that a long time ago, but if you'd rather wallow in your misery alone then fine. Either way I'll pray something good happens for you. Goodnight John." Shawn pulled the door shut and started up his engine. He was no stranger to spending holidays alone, but he had enough blessings in his life now to understand that when God found someone for him, he'd never be alone again. But for now, he would continue his personal traditions in hopes that prayers would be answered soon. As Shawn put the truck in drive, he heard a horn sound. He looked in his rear view mirror and John flashed his lights. With a smile, he drove off into the night leading the way to his empty ranch.
"Well, this is it. It's not much, but you can't expect too much from a guy like me."
"Pfft. Yeah…right. Not much."
"You say that like I'm a rich man John," Shawn said with a tired smile. "I am rich, but not in the way that you think." Shawn dropped his bag to the side and yawned. "I'm gonna grab a quick shower but feel free to explore. I'll give you a proper tour after I shower."
"Alright and take your time. It's been a long day and I know you need to indulge your girly habits."
John locked the door behind them, dropping his bag to the side as well. He watched Shawn disappear down the hall, his eyes lingering shamelessly on the perfect figure for longer than they should have, but his eyes did that a lot most days. John brushed the thought aside as he walked about the living room, taking in his country home surroundings. He was used to the country, but nothing quite like this. Shawn's ranch home was something out of an old movie. His living room walls were covered in various pictures, paintings, and antiques, most of which pertained to hunting rather than wrestling. The floor had beautiful burgundy carpet topped off with a gorgeous bearskin rug that pointed towards the fireplace. There were logs already in place so assuming Shawn wouldn't mind, John grabbed the lighter and started it up. The light from the fire lit the room in such a way that the shadows cast on the walls from the dancing embers gave off a rustic, Christmasy feel.
John warmed his hands before the fire as he took in his surroundings some more. Shawn had what John referred to as a "mancliner", also know as a recliner, but everyone knew the Lay-Z-Boy was designed specifically for men like him who loved sports. John moved away from the fire taking a seat in the recliner letting out a blissful sigh. While he was nowhere near home, this chair was giving him the only bit of his home that he actually missed right now. John kicked back, stretching his legs out. He never intended to fall asleep, but his body could no longer stay alert. After a fifteen hour flight, morning workout, getting beat up in the ring then driving an additional hour in the snow with no nap in between, his body could no longer function properly. John's body rested comfortably in the recliner sending him into a much needed, dreamless sleep.
John woke up the next morning to the smells of fresh bacon, sausage and God only knows what else. His stomach gave a loud roar knocking him right out of his slumber. He yawned, smacking his lips and looking around. Light was seeping into the dimly lit room through the blinds, but there wasn't much sun at all. John shifted in the recliner a bit, the blanket that was covering him slipping to the floor. John didn't remember much about last night, but he was sure he never planned on sleeping in the chair. But only a mancliner could give a man a goodnight's rest with the equivalent of five hours spent in bed on a Serta mattress.
John's watch suddenly beeped and he glanced at it, frowning slightly. It almost six o'clock which meant Shawn must have got up pretty early. They didn't leave the arena until a little after twelve which meant Shawn probably slept a good four hours if that. John grabbed his blanket off the floor folding it and draping it over his shoulder as he dragged himself towards the smell of hot food. The kitchen was right across from the living room and much like it, the kitchen's design was very rustic. Shawn's marble counter-tops were a light brown color to match the mahogany dining table. There was a bar on the left, but since Shawn didn't drink much, John only spotted a small bottle of Crown Royal while the rest was sparkling ciders.
Shawn was busy frying the last few pieces of bacon. His hair was pulled back with scrunchie while he sported a comfy looking white spa robe as he cooked. "Ever thought about investing in a manly looking apron?" John teased. He hopped up on the counter reaching over to steal a piece of bacon. Shawn smacked his hand away. "Ow! Come on man! What's one piece of damn bacon?"
"We eat together much like you would do at home with mom," he grinned. "And no."
"Yes, mother," he said with the roll of his eyes. "Sorry I fell asleep last night. Guess I was really tired or you took too long in the shower. Take your pick."
Shawn grabbed a plate out of the cabinet and started fixing it for John. "You don't have to apologize for falling asleep. You work harder than anyone else in our company and have been for the last three years. You needed the rest John." Shawn handed him a full plate with a smile. "Eat up. I gotta head out for a couple of hours."
John stared down at the plate then back at Shawn. "Aren't you going to eat too?" John didn't understand why Shawn would bother to cool him breakfast and not have some himself. Nobody ever did anything that nice for him except for his girlfriend, but that was a sore subject and one he'd like to erase forever.
"Nope. I don't have time," he answered. Shawn grabbed the plate out of John's hand and set it down at the table. "Sit. Eat. Enjoy." He pulled a chair out for John pointing to it with a stern look on his face. "Get your bottom in this chair. Your food's gonna get cold and I'm no fan of cold pancakes."
"But-but you made all this for me?" he asked, his face showing signs of disbelief.
Shawn rolled his eyes feeling slightly annoyed. Didn't anyone ever do anything nice for the kid? He was starting to seriously doubt it and if so, that was pretty sad. "John, you're a guest in my home and a friend. Its not everyday I get to show off talents other than wrestling and failing at relationships." Shawn grabbed John's hand pulling him to the table and forcing him in the chair. "I'm going to deliver some stuff to a shelter and stop by the mall. If you get bored, you can always get a head start on the tree." Shawn gave his broad shoulders a gentle squeeze before walking away.
"Wait. Hold up. You're putting up a tree?" he asked, frowning. "But why? We're only here for one more day. Complete waste of time if you ask me." John grabbed a knife and fork cutting into his pancakes which were surprisingly very good as well as his various meats. "I think you should nix the tree and do more cooking. This is delicious by the way. Either that or I'm hungry as hell."
"Thanks," he grinned, "but I'm not nixing the tree. It's not Christmas for me without it. I can do without gifts or company, but as long as I put up my tree, Christmas seems less depressing. My tree kept me from sinking into even deeper depression many times so if you feel like it, just bring it inside the house. Its in the garage and don't worry. I can put it up myself. I'll see you later alright?"
"Alright. Later and hey? Be careful out there. Anything happen to you and I might as well say 'Screw work'. Won't be worth going if my idol gets killed on my watch."
"Aww, how sweet, but I think I know my way safely through Texas by now." With a final smile and wave, Shawn disappeared down the hall to change and leave for a long morning of charity work and last minute shopping.
When John finished eating, he did the polite thing by cleaning the kitchen for Shawn. It was the least he could do for his hospitality. Breakfast kicked ass and he was all for a lengthy workout and more grub. John left the kitchen and explored the house a bit until he found the home gym. Shawn had every kind of machine you could think of but it was obvious which was his choice. The Chuck Norris endorsed machine at the far corner of the room right in front of the television. John chuckled to himself as he made his way past it to do his usual routine. He worked out for exactly twenty minutes then grabbed a shower in the first bathroom he came across.
By the time John was done working out and getting dressed, he hardly felt like sitting down doing nothing. It may have been snowing outside, but he was interested in seeing Shawn's ranch in its entirety. John bundled up, opting to borrow one of Shawn's scarves that was hanging on the coat rack, and headed outside. As soon as he hit the porch, the icy sting from the cold wind could be felt on his face. And to think I always thought the south was nothing but hot chicks and hot weather… John took a moment to adjust to the cold then stepped out following a trail leading towards the back of the house. As John followed the trail, he would pause every now and then taking in his surroundings. Shawn had a huge ranch for someone who lived alone. There were acres of land just begging to be cultivated and from the looks of it, some of it had been stirred once before. The trail forked off twice; once when he ended up near some empty stables and again when he came across a set of woods. Now John considered himself a pretty outdoorsy person, but hanging out in the woods wasn't exactly his thing. He wondered if Shawn was real big into that kind of thing. He had dead animals all about the house in almost every room so he made a mental note to ask inquire about it later.
John spent the remainder of the morning outside exploring Shawn's empty stables. He half wondered if Shawn ever planned on buying any horses or if he just moved out here because of the fresh air and quiet. John was used to the city life. Though John didn't grow up in a big city like New York, his hometown wasn't nearly as quiet or serene. As John took in Shawn's land, his head began forming images of how the place would look if he actually lived there. John loved dogs and he was sure that would be the first sign of life given to the empty ranch.
By lunchtime John was inside snacking on a sandwich and watching some tv. Shawn had been gone since roughly seven that morning and hadn't been home since. John was starting to get a little worried, but he reminded himself that Shawn was a big boy and could take care of himself. But sometimes John had a hard time doing that. Hulk Hogan was John's favorite wrestler growing up, but Shawn was his idol. Hogan was a big, muscular guy who preached good work ethic, eating your vitamins and staying in school so as a child it was hard not to love the Hulkster. It wasn't until John got real serious about wrestling did he turn his attention on one Heartbreak Kid. It didn't a genius to realize how special Shawn was as a wrestler, but even better was the fact that Shawn the person was pretty special as well. John heard rumors about Shawn, most of them dating back to '97. Everyone, including the boss, said Shawn was a "royal ass" with a "prima donna" attitude. It was hard hearing such things about someone you looked up to, but lucky for John he never got a chance to meet that guy.
The Shawn Michaels who introduced himself to him in 2002 was a humble man with a big heart and stunning blue eyes that sparkled like the fairest diamond in a jewelry store. John used the word "stunning" because when his eyes met Shawn's for the first time they froze him in time. It literally felt like time stopped for just the two of them. At the time, he was a blubbering idiot, but how could he not be when his idol was speaking with him? Of course John eventually got over being star struck and once Shawn got back in the groove of things, John noticed he kept to himself unless he was with Hunter. Otherwise, Shawn did not mix or mingle with many others outside of work. Any chance of the two of them becoming potential buddies went out the window and John went back to being fiercely hated by all, admiring his idol in a potential man crush way from afar.
Four years passed and things remained relatively the same unless you counted the hate of John Cena which was at an all time high. DX were running amok on Raw though it was a very cheesy, watered down version due to loony McMahon's PG obsession. He gave Hunter and Shawn mad props for working the angle though. Despite their stuff being a far cry from what it used to be, a majority of it was still insanely funny, even the stuff with Swoggle, but then disaster struck at a pay per view one night. Hunter hurt his knee benching him for the next nine weeks. That was a huge blow to the company since it had already been planned for him to defend his championship against the Batman of DX at that year's Wrestlemania. DX was no more and John was out of an opponent until McMahon decided to put Shawn in Hunter's place. At first John thought it was a silly idea since he and Shawn never had beef onscreen. They also never worked together seriously aside from one match where they teamed up with Hogan so how the hell would they build a Wrestlemania match in the next few months?
They somehow succeeded by having Shawn win a number one contender's match then adding the tension by making the two future opponents tag team champs. While the angle was some of the most comfortable fun he ever had during his entire stint on Raw, it was the off screen stuff that stuck out more. He and Shawn really clicked during that time. Shawn was without Hunter while John never really had a wrestling "buddy" to travel and bond with, but Shawn ended up being his first. They roomed together once or twice, but mainly just traveled together. Occasionally they would workout together then grab a bite to eat. During those times they shared laughs about the old days of wrestling. John loved hearing Shawn's stories about the Attitude Era or the hazing various people endured in the WWF.
Eventually John's admiration grew to new heights and he found himself becoming sort of protective of the ring veteran. He would often carry Shawn's bags for him or ice his back after matches. A lot of their coworkers took notice of this and whispered hurtful things behind their backs. John wanted to pound all their faces in, but Shawn would always convince him to let it go.
"They're just words John. You know they're not true and so do I so don't let the guys bring you down. It's lonely at the top and people are gonna do whatever it takes to knock you off your pedestal. Rise above it. Rise above the hate."
The advice stuck with him even after their time together ended. Once Hunter was back in the picture, McMahon worked it where eventually DX would reunite permanently and were still together this day. It put John in an angry, jealous rut for a while because Shawn grew on John a lot. For almost nine months John had Shawn all to himself and during that time the unthinkable happened. One night when they were showering after a match, John started noticing things about Shawn that straight men shouldn't have. For instance when Shawn shampooed his hair and the lather ran down his back, John watched, his mouth half open going dry as the lather ran down a perfect spine, all the way down to the curve of the world's most perfect, round ass and in between those delicious looking orbs.
That was the first of many nights John wondered about being with a man, but not just any man. Just Shawn, because Shawn was different and John was not gay, but John was pretty sure he could spend the rest of his life with a "Shawn" and deal with being labeled a fag. But in the back of John's mind he just knew it was never going to happen due to one Hunter Herst Helmsley, a giant, walking, career maker (or breaker depending on whether or not you ended up on his shit list) and with his trusty sledgy in hand, he made getting near Shawn almost impossible. So once Hunter returned from his injuries, things went back to normal. Shawn was snatched up by Hunter and months later DX was back in business ending whatever it was John was building with Shawn.
By the time "A Christmas Story" was coming on for the second time that day, John realized that time got away from him. He was so lost in his thoughts about Shawn that he didn't even realize Shawn was still gone. It was nearing four in the afternoon and still no sign of the blonde. John tried to focus on the movie again, but he was too worried. In the end, John found himself dragging his ass to the garage in search of this tree Shawn spoke of earlier. He found it standing tall in the far right corner near a wall of tools. John instantly scowled. The tree was hardly small and he suspected that's why Shawn wanted him to bring it in for him. The tree was easily way taller than Shawn and probably too heavy for him. This made Cena laugh as he awkwardly maneuvered the tree into the nearby wheelbarrow and into the house. He wasn't sure where Shawn wanted the tree but using his best judgment, he stuck it in the corner of the living room near the fireplace and in front of a window. John stood there admiring the empty tree in all its glory. It was a beautiful tree and smelled fresh, something he never really experienced since his family always bought the fake ones. He glanced over at the TV and saw where Ralphie and his family were decorating their own tree. It kind of motivated him to do the same. After all, what was the point if it were going to remain bare?
John searched the house for lights and boxes of ornaments. He found lights in a small closet in the hallway while there were boxes of ornaments already out in an empty room John assumed was used for storage. He dragged all the boxes into the living room and with his game face on, he began the tedious task of untangling lights and garland for the tree.
It was almost six o'clock before Shawn got back to the ranch and he was beat. He spent the first part of the morning helping serve breakfast at a homeless shelter and once he was done there, he stopped by the mall. A normal person with common sense would know better than to shop on Christmas Eve, but Shawn was not a normal person. Not only did he end up there two hours longer than planned, but he was recognized by some nice lady who begged for an autograph for her son. That led to a line of people wanting pictures and autographs. He almost did not get the chance to even buy what he was looking for, but thank God for small favors. One of the mall security guards recognized him and shooed all the people away. Not only did Shawn pose for a picture, but he promised him tickets for his whole family to the Royal Rumble. It wasn't that Shawn hated signing autographs, but this was his favorite time of year and for the first time in almost five years, he had someone to drink hot chocolate with on Christmas day.
But his adventures did not end just yet. He had two more stops to make. The first one was the church he attended regularly whenever he was home. They always baked him a cake and cookies in exchange for him delivering blankets and socks to another shelter. Shawn picked up the donations without a hitch, but it was at the shelter where he was tested beyond his resolve. The rabbi who owned the place pointed out a small boy, just barely one year old, who was found just outside the shelter in a dumpster. All of the other kids in the shelter had parents or caregivers with them, but this little boy was left all alone. When the rabbi told him this he almost cried. How could anyone dump a child in the trash when the damn shelter was one block away? To make matters worse, the baby looked scared. He sat in the middle of the floor rubbing his eyes, every now and then calling for a mother who would never come. Other mothers tried to comfort the child but none of them could get him to stop crying. He would stop for a few seconds and then start up all over again. Shawn decided to try his luck. He loved kids and always thought he'd have a few of his own someday, but fate had other plans. He held the baby for a long time, playing in his bleach blonde curls and whispering words of comfort. The baby instantly took to him, his sobs reduced to happy babbles and coos.
It was the rabbi who suggested Shawn take him home. Some of the mothers loaded up a bag full of stuff he would need and sent them on their way. According to the rabbi, reporting a lost baby on Christmas Eve would be pretty pointless. The cops were out monitoring malls for crazy people and shoplifters and probably wouldn't get around to filing police reports until the day after Christmas. So now here he was walking back towards the house with a toddler in his arms, bundled up like an Eskimo. He awkwardly pushed the front door open, grateful to be stepping into familiar warmth.
"Shawny! Welcome home."
Shawn closed the door and when his eyes finally rounded on John, he was standing before the tree, adorning it with garland. John could never know how much it meant to him seeing that tree already halfway done. "Oh-John you-"
"Yeah, I did," he grinned. He stepped back admiring his handiwork before turning to face Shawn, his grin slowly fading at the sight of stirring toddler in his arms. "O…kay then. I knew you were a secretive man Shawn, but a child? I had no idea, but don't worry. I ain't sayin' nothing!" he swore.
"It's not what you think John," Shawn said quietly. He pulled the hood off of the child's head smiling down at the boy. He was quiet, his big blue eyes studying Shawn like he was an interesting puzzle.
"Really?" John asked, voice dripping with sarcasm. "Yeah, if you say so. Blonde hair and blue eyes Shawny? You ain't getting' outta the child support that easily. He's a dead ringer for your boy if there ever was one."
"I'm not kidding!" he exclaimed quietly, not wanting to startle the child. "Somebody dumped him in the trash receptacle a block from the shelter. Left him there to freeze and die." Shawn looked like he was going to cry which made John realize Shawn's words were the absolute truth. John's doubt turned into remorse and sadness, his heart going out to the kid as well. "So when I dropped in to deliver blankets and socks," Shawn continued, "the rabbi pointed the little guy out to me." Shawn stroked the kid's cheek lovingly. "He's alone John. I couldn't leave him."
It was moments like this when Shawn was defenseless and most vulnerable that John's admiration for the blonde man would grow tenfold. Shawn rarely let his guard down but whenever he did, it was always something magical. John left the tree to stand at Shawn's side, admiring the small child. Shawn had every right to feel the way he did. This wasn't even a child; it was a baby someone abandoned on fucking Christmas Eve. It didn't get much sadder than that.
"I…have stuff I need to get out of the truck-"
"I'm on it." John pushed past Shawn, not bothering with a coat or anything and got everything out of the truck. It took him three trips, but he finally managed to get everything inside. When he was done setting the sweets in the kitchen, the scene he returned to almost changed him into a pile of goo. Shawn was sitting on the couch, shirt off with the tiny human in his arms feeding him a bottle. Every now and then the child would kick happily or make a cute baby sound. It was kind of amusing and John found himself sitting with Shawn, leaning over to poke at the baby. "You're a natural. If I didn't know any better I'd say you were mommy," he teased.
"Oh-I…really have no idea what I'm doing, but the ladies at the shelter gave me some pointers before kicking me out," he grinned.
"Yeaaaaah, but you still look too natural. So what's his name?" John asked, tugging at one of the little toes. The baby kicked again which amused John to no end.
Shawn blinked. Name? He didn't think to ask the rabbi for this info. Then again, if he was abandoned then there really was no way of knowing. Shawn shook his head. "I don't know. I guess I won't know until I report him after Christmas."
"Okay, well give him a temporary one."
"Oh, I couldn't. He's not mine so that'd be kinda wrong."
"He's kinda yours tonight Shawn so why not? I don't see any harm in it."
Shawn was quiet for a long time as he contemplated a name. He felt silly, but even if naming the child was wrong, referring to it as just "boy" was equally wrong. "Alexander," he whispered, moreso to the baby than anything. "Alex."
"Alex it is then." John patted Shawn's thigh. "I'm gonna finish the tree for ya. I know you're probably tired so let me at least do this to repay ya for that kickass breakfast."
"Are you sure? I can always finish it tomorrow."
"Nope. You're gonna sit here and play mommy. Besides, I think he likes you." Alex was still looking up at Shawn like he was the most fascinating human being on the plant. A second later Alex kicked, then cooed softly reaching for Shawn's necklace. "Yeah, I'm sure he likes you."
Shawn busied himself with the child while John worked on the tree. It wasn't long before a full stomach and some loving drove Alex into dreamland. Shawn took the child to his bedroom laying him in the middle of his bed on his back. The ladies said Alex should be fine but noted Shawn should check on him regularly in case he's a restless sleeper. When Shawn finally rejoined John in the living room, the tree was practically finished and it looked beautiful. Shawn set the tray of hot chocolate and cake on the table then stood next to John admiring his work. "Now it really feels like Christmas," he said quietly. "You even used some of the older ornaments from my childhood."
"Yeah, but they looked pretty cool," he said, pointing to an older one that was carved out of wood in the shape of a deer. "Hope there's no rule against mixing up the new school blingin' ornaments with the old school. You know me. I don't do ordinary."
"Naa. It looks great John." Shawn noticed that the star was missing. "Aren't you gonna top it?"
John cracked a smile. "I think it's best you do the topping Shawny. I get the feeling you don't get to do it very often."
"Oh, ha ha," he said, rolling his eyes. Shawn grabbed the star out of one of the boxes and placed it atop the tree. "I probably top more often than you think, but of course you wouldn't know," he grinned.
"There's that vintage HBK humor," he grinned. "Eh, well it's probably best I don't know. I'm not the biggest fan of surprises and you're full of 'em."
"That I am." Shawn moved away from the tree resuming his seat on the couch, robe tied loosely in the front. John joined him minutes later after putting all the boxes back where he found them. "Eat up. It's very good cake."
John grabbed a fork and dug in, leaning back with his chocolate in hand admiring both the warm fire and the tree. "You know I could get used to this. Haven't been some place this peaceful in a long time. It's kinda refreshing."
"Yeah, it's great," Shawn added. "After being on the road so much, being able to escape here is a blessing for me. I can't wait until I can enjoy this everyday."
"I bet, but even if you're not on the road everyday, I bet you'd still need this place as an escape. You keep busy, even during the holidays."
"I do, but it's something I just have to do," he explained. "After having so many people help turn my life around, I owe it to them and God to do all I can to help others. That shelter is probably the most heartbreaking of things I bear witness to every year. The place is overrun with people. I do a lot yet sometimes it still feels like it's not enough. I even find myself feeling guilty for having so much when they have very little."
"Hey! Don't get mad at yourself for your successes Shawn," John said, frowning slightly. "You worked too damn hard for all of this and I know you've earned the right to enjoy it. You give back when you can, but you ain't gotta give it all up. As long as you're giving cheerfully because you wanna be a good steward for Christ then that's all that matters."
Shawn looked over at John, smiling big. "Wow John. I'm impressed."
"Heh, pretty sure I read that last part somewhere in the Bible when I was big into Bible study and stuff." John finished off his drink and set the cup down. He casually placed an arm around Shawn. It was a natural reaction that most guys suffered from when sitting next to a beautiful woman. Shawn wasn't a beautiful woman, but he was definitely a very good looking man, something John often found himself thinking. He wasn't putting the moves on Shawn or nothing like that, but when they were partners, he often got away with stuff like this. They grew pretty close while Hunter was gone so in a way, John considered Shawn to be one of his closest friends, even if Shawn didn't realize this.
"Oh! Before I forget…" Shawn eased off the couch and went into the kitchen returning later with a small box. He handed it to John as he resumed his seat waiting to see his reaction.
John studied the small wrapped item for a moment. It was pretty obvious that it was a Christmas present from Shawn, but why did he get him a gift? No. Shawn was just a nice guy like that which made John feel pretty bad. He didn't think to get Shawn a damn thing all day. John looked over at Shawn, handing the box back to him. "I can't take this. I didn't even think to get you nuthin' so it ain't right for me to be acceptin' gifts from you."
Shawn rolled his eyes thrusting the gift back at him. "You will take it," he said sternly. "I didn't spend two hours signing autographs and giving out free tickets to the Rumble just to have you say you don't want it. Stop being that way John. Sometimes people do stuff for you because they actually care." Shawn grabbed his chocolate sipping on it. He was annoyed, but it didn't show on his face. On the outside it looked as if he were simply sulking which made John raise his brows.
"Alright, alright. Point taken HBK." John tore open the wrappings revealing a small, white box. Inside was a set of dog tags. On the back of them in tiny script were the words from the Bible verse found in Matthew 10:22. The inscription read:
"…and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved."
There was a cross embedded into the silver tag but the message alone was enough to get the wheels in John's head turning to the point where he almost felt choked up. John was an emotional guy, but much like Shawn, that side of him rarely came out for anyone anymore. After he came home and found his longtime girlfriend in the arms of another, he just closed the door on being sentimental and buried himself in his work again. Work kept him from dwelling on "what could have been". He'd loved that girl and planned on popping the question during the holidays, but she killed it for them. Even now, almost five years later he still felt the pain of her absence. He was alone and had no one he could rush home to for comfort or other things. Being in the WWE was tough on everyone, but when you're hated by just about all your coworkers, it made the desire for a comforting, significant other that much worse.
"John, are you okay?"
John ran a hand over his face, forcing himself not to cry. "Yeah man. Just…the words got to me is all. Powerful message but…" He gave Shawn a reassuring smile, squeezing his thigh. "I love 'em man. Nicest gift I've received in forever."
"Merry Christmas John, and don't fret about returning the favor. Well…it wasn't really favor," he said, correcting himself. "I wanted to get a good friend a gift and I did. The best part is always seeing the reaction. I'm glad you like it and I hope you listen to the message." Shawn placed a warm hand on top of John's. "People are gonna hate us until the day we die, but joy comes in the morning. Don't let the people get to you. You're perfect just the way you are. Kids don't have very many good role models to look up to John. At least you're true to who you are both inside and outside the ring."
John got similar speeches from Vince and other guys who worked with creative. He had long been sick of playing the goody-two-shoes on screen and was ready for something more edgier. He knew Vince only wanted the continued merchandise sales from his "Golden Boy", but when hearing the same thing come from Shawn, it made those words feel different. Shawn wasn't relying on John for merchandise sales which meant his words held more truth to them than Vince's ever could. "Thanks Shawn. I really needed that."
"Don't mention it." Shawn squeezed his hand as he stood, stacking their cups on the tray and cleaning everything up. He returned to the living room shortly and sat, John putting an arm around him pulling him close as they watched the fire burn low.
"I'm sorry for last night," John said after a while. "I was out of line."
"Hunter. You know big nose and I don't always get along, but that's no reason for me to talk shit to you about him. He's your best friend so he's got every right to be with you all the time. That's what best friends do and if any of mine were in our line of work, I'd probably isolate myself with them too."
"Oh…I forgot all about that," he said, yawning softly. "Don't worry about it. Hunter's always been protective of me and he's even more so now that he knows I'm leaving him."
John frowned, Shawn's words confusing him very much. "I…thought you two weren't seeing each other like…that?"
"Oh, no we're not," he said, stifling another yawn. "I'm retiring this year so he's been kind of clingy."
John was not expecting that. He looked down at the man in his arms and many, many emotions swept through him such as confusion, shock, and anger, but the one overshadowing all the others was hurt. "Re…tiring?" he repeated, more to himself than Shawn, but he also needed to make sure he heard correctly.
"Yeah. This is it for me John. I don't want to wrestle anymore. Simply put, I've done all I can do in the WWE and now it's time for this old guy to step aside and let the young folks have the ball."
"But-but you still have so much left in you! Your match last year-"
"Took more out of Mark and me then you could possibly know," he answered softly, cutting him off. "I'm sure we made it look easy, but I assure you it was not. Mark's so beat up from doing this stuff that it hurts him to even walk to the ring most nights while I'm so paranoid about ending up in a wheelchair that I simply don't want to force anymore pain on my body. I hurt all over John and I am tired of waking up in pain. Ten years ago it was fine, but I'm not 35 anymore."
There it was again. That vulnerable, defenseless Shawn that John fell victim to every time even if Shawn didn't know it. Shawn's words made a lot of sense, but they were words John wished he never had to hear. No wonder Hunter was being more rawr than usual, but who could blame him? The world's single, sweetest, most perfect man with gorgeous blue eyes and exceptional cooking skills was walking away forever and dammit it hurt. It probably shouldn't have hurt like it did since John never spent much time with Shawn lately, but the times they did share never went away. Their moments were stuck to him like paint on a canvas and he doubted they would ever fade away.
Shawn pulled away from John, stretching his arms. "I think I'm calling it a night John. It's been a long day and I'd like to fix a Christmas dinner since I actually have a reason to now." Shawn stood to his feet, holding an outstretched hand for Cena. "You should go too. I know that recliner is comfy and all but I have three other beds that are better for your body."
John pulled himself up, towering over Shawn. "I don't want you to go," he whispered. He really hadn't meant to say it, but whenever he was around Shawn like this, he often said a lot of shit he felt. It was like Shawn was his personal toilet plunger, pumping up shit he'd flushed down long ago.
Shawn looked down, fidgeting with his robe which had come slightly undone, revealing toned thighs that John was close enough to run his hands over, but refrained due to how weird it would have been and fear of Shawn kicking his ass. "I'll be around ya know, but it's time. One day you'll understand."
John may have resisted the toned thighs, but he couldn't resist those eyes when he was like this. John brushed a strand of hair behind Shawn's ear forcing their eyes to meet, eyes that were drawing him in with every second that passed. He ran a finger down Shawn's jaw line sadly. "I know it is. Just…I'm being selfish I guess." He slipped a finger under Shawn's chin, drawing him closer. The urge to kiss him was too great so John leaned in the rest of the way pressing his lips to Shawn's and kissing him gently, savoring the moment. Never had he kissed another man, but the one he was kissing right now had sweet lips he was enjoying the taste of very much. John dropped an arm behind Shawn, placing it around his waist urging him closer until their body's touched, but that's as far as they it go. A cough followed by a loud cry signaled the end of the kiss. Shawn broke away and John urged him away to see about the baby. "He needs you. Go."
Holiday Fics I Recommend:
"Home for Christmas" by wrestlefan4
"It's a Christmas Special, Chris Jericho" by seraphalexiel
"Snow" by redsandman99
"The Red Ornament" by Thorsmaven
Read them. They're top notch work and please review. I'll have part II up later. Merry Christmas.