It had been five weeks since CM Punk had walked out on the WWE. Just before a Monday Night Raw was about to begin all of his repressed agitations boiled over. He had enough. He took his stuff, jumped on a plane, and flew home to Chicago.

He had become a recluse since then. He only left his apartment when he needed groceries. He didn't keep his phone on him at all times. He ignored all of his calls and messages. He didn't get on the Internet for anything. He had told his close friends to not come by his place. He really hadn't been in contact with anyone.

He walked to his kitchen and opened his fridge in search of breakfast. It was a Wednesday: the first off day of the week for a WWE Superstar. As hard as he tried not to he couldn't help but think about the company's schedule; the schedule his friends and coworkers were enduring; the schedule that he had bailed out on. He sighed and grabbed an apple.

He checked his phone later on. He had several more text messages. He read through the list of names the messages were from. Some of them were reappearing names and some of them were new: John, Nick, Kofi, Stephanie, Teddy, Stephen and Cody. He paused for a second on the last name but still ignored the message.

The day dragged on. He was starting to become stir crazy. Ironically, he always complained about how he didn't get to use his place as often as he'd like since buying it years ago because of the busy work schedule, and now he had spent all of his time here and he had no idea what to do with himself. He had read a lot, listened to a lot of music, watched a lot of movies and was now running out of things to do. Still not enough to go out into the world yet. He wasn't ready to face their judgments, explain his decisions, or harbor guilt for his actions.

He was shocked when there was a knock on his door later in the afternoon. He had trusted his friends and family to leave him alone until he told them otherwise. He thought that Vince or Hunter might eventually get the audacity to show up on his doorstep, but he thought it was still too soon for that. He looked through the peephole on his door before answering it. He immediately stepped back from the door.

"Hey Punk."

Punk looked to his side where the young Cody Rhodes stood. The kid was around more often now days. His faction with Ted Dibiase and Randy Orton was really taking off and keeping the three of them busy. He and Ted were at ECW for a tag match this night.

"Hey Cody," Punk nodded.

The two weren't friends. They were work acquaintances at best. They had the occasional bonding conversation over comic books. They were two of the few nerds in WWE's employment.

"ECWs are always fun to do," Cody said.

"Why's that?"

Cody smiled widely then shrugged. "I don't know. Just are."

Punk had to smirk at the near childlike behavior emitting from him. "Just are?"

"Yeah," Cody said, nodding repeatedly. "It's just you know… different. Different crowd, different matches, different people backstage."

"That's any show though. They're always different."

"Yeah," Cody looked down, "but certain people backstage can make some shows better than others." When he looked back up Punk was staring at him through an arched brow. "But I need to go and get warmed up now. I'll see you around Punk." He smiled at Punk again and Punk forgot to say something in response.

He was frozen in thought. Was he actually getting cabin fever? Was he seeing things? He looked through the hole again. Sure enough, Cody Runnels was standing on the other side. Punk was suddenly very aware of his appearance. He was in gym shorts and a baggy t-shirt. His hair was even more of a rustled mess than usual, courtesy of lying around all day. His facial hair was more grown out than he'd like it to be for public presentation. He sighed and opened the door.

Cody turned to him with a smile. Punk had learned through the years that Cody had several different smiles: the one he used on TV when he was a heel, the one he used when he posed for pictures, the one he used on TV when he was a baby face, and his actual smile. The real one was the only where he didn't flash his teeth and his eyes smiled too. Punk didn't get to see any teeth in the smile he got.

"Punk," he said through the smile.

"Hey," Punk said. His mind was still a blank. Cody standing there with that smile, slim jeans and a dark, nice jacket was not helping. A cold wind breezed by just then and chilled Punk. "Shit it's cold. Come in." Punk stepped to the side and closed the door behind him.

"Thanks," Cody said.

"What's the temperature out there? It's gotta be like below zero." Punk awkwardly shifted around in front of the door before finding a place to stand.

"Yeah, it's been like that all over. Chicago's one of the worst I've been to though. You'd know better than me though." Punk was happy to see Cody was doing some awkward shifting himself.

"Not really, actually. I haven't been getting out much."

"Oh-"

"Do you want to sit?" Punk said quickly, desperate to change the subject. Cody nodded and Punk led him towards the couch. Cody took a seat on it and Punk took the chair in front of it, facing the younger man. Silence over took them once they were seated. Cody looked all around the apartment he had never been to. Punk tried to make it seem like he was looking around but in reality he was always keeping an eye on Cody. He had no idea what he was doing here, on his couch. Punk was never one to remain silent. "So, what are you doing here Cody?"

Cody turned to him. "Right," he said through a tense face. "I… Ha… I-Uh, don't know."

"You don't know why you came here?"

"No," Cody chuckled and shook his head. "No. I just don't know how to say it exactly. I… Or you-Just… Um…"

"What?"

"I-You… No. You, um, you…"

"Just say it."

"Come back."

Cody watched from a distance backstage of Punk, Vince, and Hunter talking heatedly. Punk had said something in a radio interview. Cody hadn't heard it but he could imagine. Punk was always outspoken. He was forward thinking about the company and the industry and wasn't afraid to state his thoughts or feelings. It was admirable. Punk turned from them, anger evident in his green eyes. He walked past Cody and the younger turned to watch him walk away. He didn't know why he was compelled to follow him.

"Punk." The call tore him from his pacing thoughts. He looked to the side and saw Cody catching up to the unknowingly brisk pace he had set. "Are you okay?"

Punk exhaled deeply. He shook his head before saying, "They just really piss me off sometimes."

Cody nodded slowly. "What did you say in the interview?"

Punk grinned sarcastically. "Word travels fast here. It was nothing really. There's that basketball player that just came out of the closet, you know?"

"Yeah, sure." Cody answered with only the slightest blush evident in his cheeks.

"So they asked me about there not being any gay wrestlers, or out wrestlers or whatever and I said that it was a shame that wrestlers here are too nervous to be open and honest about who they are."

Cody paused for a second. "So… you said that there are like, you know, closeted superstars?"

Punk nodded. "I mean even just speaking statistically there has to be." Punk became nervous. He and Cody weren't the closest but he still saw things. He saw him date divas like his life depended on it. He saw the expensive clothes. He saw the beauty products he always packed. They were of course all stereotypes but everyone in the back whispered about these things.

"Yeah. I guess so."

"And I… It just really sucks… for them."

They were silent for a while then. Cody looked up and his blues met Punk's greens. A few more moment passed. "It does."

Things went silent for a while after Cody said it. He visibly relaxed. Punk looked down. He of course broke the silence eventually. "It's not that simple."

"Why not?" Cody asked. "They get it. You're mad. They'll figure something out with you that works."

"I don't trust that they will."

"But-"

"And that's not the only reason I left. I'm beat. I've been wrestling for twenty years. I've been regularly working long matches. I've been regularly doing big spots. I'm under appreciated. I haven't been happy for as long as I can remember. My head hurts from repeatedly banging it against their glass ceiling!"

Cody didn't speak for several moments, allowing Punk time to calm down. "I know it's got to be frustrating."

"I still don't understand why you're here. You're not here under any official capacity from the company, you're not a locker room leader, and we're not close friends or anything." Cody looked down at his words. Punk sighed. "Sorry. I didn't mean to come off like a dick. I just really don't know what my leaving has to do with you. I don't know why you're here."

Cody looked back up at him with sincerity in his blue eyes that Punk had never seen before. It was intimate. "I want you to come back."

Punk's mind was still trying to wrap around it. The entire environment backstage felt different somehow. He couldn't determine if it were better or worse; it was just different. Fred Rosser had publically come out. He was the first openly gay active WWE Superstar. Punk knew it would happen soon, but didn't know what it would feel like when it happened. He still didn't. There was a small feeling of optimism deep down inside of him somewhere.

"It's crazy, huh?"

Punk turned his head and found Cody Rhodes standing next to him. His match had just ended several minutes ago. He was still in ring gear and shiny with sweat. Punk had to remind himself to answer the question once he stared. "What's that?"

"About Fred."

Punk ignored whatever awkward feeling any other employee would have while having this conversation with Cody. He was even married now and people still talked. They whispered that it was a cover up, that he was hiding, that he was lying to himself. Punk wasn't one to judge or stereotype though. "Yeah. Yeah, it is."

"I had no clue."

"You don't have a good gay-dar?" Punk asked with a smirk.

Cody chuckled softly. "I guess not. I wasn't really paying attention."

Punk shrugged. "Me either. I was too caught up in my own stuff."

"That's great for him though. And for the company, the locker room. Breaks down walls for the rest of us." Punk raised an eyebrow at Cody. "You know—just… in general."

"Hey Punk." It was Ryan Reeves voice from across the room. Punk turned his head to him. "Can we work on something for our segment tonight?"

Punk nodded. "Yeah, sure." He looked back at Cody. "I'll see you around Cody."

"Yeah, later," Cody said adding a meek smile.

Cody held the gaze. Punk didn't know how to react. He left the seat and walked over to peer out of his glass wall that overlooked the city. He heard Cody leave the couch and walk towards him. His footsteps seemed so loud. When Cody's form was in his peripheral vision he still looked through the window, as did Cody. He had taken his jacket off now revealing a dark violet button up shirt.

"It's a nice view."

"Why?" Punk asked.

"Why do I want you to come back?" Punk nodded, never turning to face him. Cody sighed and nodded. He too remained facing the window. He waited a while before speaking. "There's this thing between us." He spoke slowly, pausing after every sentence. "I think we've both been denying it for a while because of who we are and what we do. I thought I could keep ignoring it. And then you left. It's only been three weeks but I feel your absence at every show, in every city. Every night I look around for you. I can't hear your voice or laugh echoing through the back. I don't see you lazily pushing your hair around without a care, but still walking down that ramp with unwavering confidence. I can't watch you tape up your wrists every single night with dedication. I don't get to admire the fact that you make the Wolverine beard look good, when I'm obviously a Cyclops guy. And I don't get to watch you leave the arena every night and chastise myself. I always thought I could just ignore it." He turned to face Punk. "Now I know that I can't. I miss you."

Punk was excited tonight. Cody could tell from his position in front of one of the backstage monitors. It was their Hell in a Cell event and Punk was currently on top of the cage with a kendo stick and Paul Heyman. This was the culmination of a long program and the crowd was hot. Punk's vibe off the crowd shined through his character as he beat Paul senseless. Cody knew the feeling. Last month he and his brother had got a similar reaction when they took on the Shield with their dad at ringside. It was a rush of adrenaline unlike anything. Cody remembered it all too well. He was reliving it just watching Punk right now. The segment ended and Cody looked down the isle he was in. The gorilla area was just feet from him. Moments later Punk burst through the curtain with lingering intensity. Cody was drawn to it.

"Punk! That was great!" Cody beamed.

He was still red and panting. "Thank you Cody. Damn, that felt good."

"It looked good!"

"Really? Did it?"

"Yes! The crowd was completely into it! You looked insane!" Cody could feel himself getting more and more revved up.

"I really got into it! I just felt the crowd and went all out with it!"

"I could tell!" Cody didn't know how he was short of breath.

"And I've waited for this feud to be over and it's taken so long, I didn't want to squander it."

"I'm so happy for you Punk."

Then they weren't talking. They were just staring at each other and breathing quickly. Before either of them knew it was happening Cody had a hand on Punk's neck and their faces were moving toward each other. Their heads were angled; their eyes were closed; their mouths were getting increasingly close.

"Punk! You nailed it!"

In less than a second they completely separated and turned to see an excited Kofi coming towards them. "Didn't he nail it Cody?"

Cody nodded slowly. "Yeah… Yeah he did." He said it with a teethy grin.

Punk struggled to not turn and look at him the whole time he was talking. "I heard your wife was getting called up from developmental soon."

Cody hung his head. "That's not why you left is it?"

"No. I told you it's not that simple." He could see a slight frown form on Cody's face out of the corner of his eye. He finally turned and faced him. "It was another factor." Cody's hands grabbed the back of his neck and pulled his face into a kiss. It was still. Just their lips pressed together. It was different, for both of them. Their lips were stronger, stiffer than a woman's. Cody encountered the facial hair on Punk with his lips; it was peculiar. Punk pulled back. His face was flush. "What the fuck Cody?"

Their faces were still just inches apart. "I'm sorry… I thought…"

"No, not like that. What the fuck are we doing? What are we going to do?"

Cody's fingers began gently caressing Punk's neck and hair. "I don't know. Do we have to know? Can't we just finally let go?" Punk slowly lingered closer to Cody with every word. "Can't we finally just stop pretending, and fighting our feelings? Can't we instead just let ourselves feel? Let ourselves embrace it?"

Their mouths came together again. This one wasn't still and apprehensive. This one was years of repression being relieved. This kiss was fast, and hurried. Their lips moved together fiercely. Both men clashed, fought for dominance. It was exhilarating. It wasn't like a woman. It wasn't like Cody's wife. They were compliant and this was unyielding. This kiss was a duel. It was suspenseful. Which one would give in first? Their tongues were battling for entry. Neither man would relent. Punk's hands grabbed Cody roughly by his waist and roamed his body there. Cody grunted into Punk's mouth and returned the act by moving his hands to Punk's back and pulling his body flush against his own. He earned a louder groan from Punk. The contact heated everything up. Their bodies were firm, also unlike having a woman's body pressed up against it. Cody's hands were everywhere. One second they were tugging on Punk's dark hair, then kneading his back, then pulling at his waist. He was so much bigger and so much stronger. Punk caved. He opened his mouth to the younger man and it was immediately filled with his tongue. He sucked on the muscle. Cody moaned in appreciation causing his tongue to vibrate in Punk's mouth. Punk's hands began to play in Cody's short hair. He massaged his tongue with his own. Cody had to pull back to gasp. Their foreheads pressed together and they looked into each others' glossed over eyes while they breathed heavily.

"Do you want to… um bedroom?" Cody said, his voice weak.

"Yes," Punk answered, his voice just as shaky.

He kissed Cody and pulled him by the waist as he walked backwards to his bedroom. They kissed short and quick kisses, pulling off each other's clothes as they went. They tossed their clothes all over the apartment, bumped into walls and furniture, and kissed all the way to the room. Punk then spun them around and pushed Cody on to the bed. He darted up the bed as the elder seductively crawled up on top of him. He crashed his lips down on to him again at the same time their erections pressed together. Both men moaned into the other. This was all so foreign. Their bodies were now pressed together. They were all smooth skin and hard planes. Cody's hands again traveled Punk's body, this time clawing at the naked flesh. Punk began to thrust his hips down into Cody's, trapping their cocks in-between their tight bodies with delicious friction. Cody roughly clutched Punk's ass. He squeezed and tugged on the firm cheeks, pulling Punk down harder with every thrust. Their mouths separated for air and Cody took the opportunity to mold his flush lips to Punk's jaw. He kissed up and down his jawline, now enjoying the rough sensation of the short beard hairs against his smooth lips. Punk just turned into and moaned. Hearing him so raw and needy turned Cody on so much more. His hands squeezed tighter on one of Punk's ass cheeks and his other fingers pressed against Punk's entrance. He backed his head down to look up at Punk. Punk looked down at the gorgeous face beneath his. His eyes were questioning. Punk nodded. He wanted this. Cody kissed him again, this time opening his mouth for the older man to invade. Punk complied and mapped out the other man's entire mouth with his tongue. He spread his legs wider around Cody. Cody's finger pressed firmly against Punk's tight hole. He slowly pushed it in. It was tight. Punk groaned into Cody's mouth. It hurt. The pain increased the further he pushed the digit in. Punk eventually had to separate their mouths to gasp.

"Have you ever done this before?"

"No," Punk said between deep breaths. "Have you?"

"No."

Punk gasped even louder with Cody's second finger added into his entrance. Cody shushed him kindly and pressed kisses down Punk's throat. He continued to stretch and kiss Punk's body until he felt ready for him. He removed his fingers and grabbed Punk's waist. He spun the both of them so he was now on top. He kissed Punk again. "Do you have any lube?" Cody asked against his lips.

"Some lotion. Bathroom. Top shelf." He said nodding towards the bathroom door in the corner of the room. Cody was off of him and gone an instant. Punk immediately missed his weight and heat. He spread out on the bed and ran a hand through his hair. Cody returned and Punk just got lost in him. He was dark, smooth, and sculpted, and his cock was standing tall like it was on display. Cody smiled at him when he caught his eyes roaming his body. He got on the bed in between Punk's open legs. He had to pause with one hand on his cock and the other holding the lotion. Punk's entire body was flush and it had a layer of sheen. Cody put a hand on his chest and gently traced the lines of his tattoos. His hand roamed down and traced the V of his crotch. He paused just inches away from Punk's hard manhood. He grabbed it strongly and gave it a couple of exploratory tugs. Punk moaned and threw his head back into the pillow.

Cody took his hand away to apply the lotion to it. He stroked it on to his length. He pressed it to Punk's hole and slowly began to push it in. Punk fisted the sheets and arched his back at the intrusion.

"God," Punk breathed.

"It hurts?" Cody asked, stilling his hips and looking down at Punk's writhing body.

"It's fine. Keep going."

Cody nodded and slid his dick in until his hips met Punk's ass. Cody took deep slow breaths. It was like nothing else he had ever felt. Punk was so tight and incredibly hot.

"That's… You're amazing," Cody said, his voice rough and raspy.

"You're… fucking big," Punk breathed between groans. Cody's girth was stretching him open, and it felt like he was on fire. Underneath the pain was a pleasure that was starting to erupt. It was a unique feeling. It was indescribable. His grasp left the sheets and moved to Cody's arms. Cody brought his body down over top of Punk, his hands landing on either side of Punk's head. Punk pulled on Cody's strong arms. "Move."

Then there was nothing slow. Cody got lost in Punk's tight grip. He plunged himself into it repeatedly. Punk's warm embrace was all too welcoming. It was all Cody could do but rush his cock back into it as quick as possible. The constant hot friction inside of Punk replaced all the pain. He was a constant moaning mess. He looked up at Cody and was in awe. His beautiful face was mauled with bliss. His entire body was shining with sweat. His torso muscles flexed with every thrust in. He was astonished. He moved to grab the back of Cody's head and pulled him down for a clumsy kiss. They were both hot and panting and their mouths and tongues collided openly. With Cody's back flatter Punk wrapped his legs around his waist. He pulled Cody's crotch down into him harder enough to leave marks. The new depth's Cody was reaching caused his prick to hit Punk's sweet spot. He yelped into Cody's mouth.

"There! Fucking there, Cody! Fuck!" He said into his mouth. Cody kept pushing in at the same angle again and again. Their bodies were now pressed firmly against each other, trapping Punk's hard cock between them. Cody continued to hammer into Punk's channel. He moved one hand to grab Punk's erection and stroked it harsh and rapid. Their mouths separated so Punk could moan. Cody pressed open mouth kisses anywhere he could: a cheek, ear, throat, jaw, forehead. He praised Punk. He was lost in Punk. He felt the warm pull inside of him and knew he'd be done for soon.

"Punk. Damn I'm close."

Punk nodded. "Go for it. I am too."

Cody continued to thrust and stroke. Punk continued to pull and arch. Cody grunted with every drive in. He looked down at Punk and the sight was stunning. He was all hot and moaning and writhing and tight and wet. Cody exploded. His orgasm tore through him like a wave. He gasped. Punk watched his face wracked with ecstasy. He rode his climax out, still thrusting into Punk. His hand never stopped squeezing at Punk's girth, and it pulled his peak from him. He came hard, shooting his seed all over their abs. Punk nearly yelled. Cody weakened: lazily stroking and pushing in. He rode them both through their climaxes. He regretfully pulled out of Punk and then crashed next to him on the bed.

They were still for a while then. Both men panted endlessly. They both stared up at the ceiling. They reeled. They replayed everything. They processed everything.

"Are we supposed to cuddle?" Punk asked.

Both men laughed. "I don't know. I'm new to this."

"Could've fooled me."

They turned their heads towards each other and smiled. "I could say the same to you."

"What now?"

"I don't know," Cody stated. "But I do know that I need you to come back."

Punk smiled. "Need?"

"I need you." Cody turned on to his side and put a hand on Punk's chest. "I don't know what we have or what this is but I need it. I can't go without it now."

Punk held the hand on him. "I can't either."

Cody grinned ear to ear like a child. "So?"

Punk turned on his side to face him. "So I'll come back."

Cody immediately kissed him and Punk happily kissed him back.