A/N: The entire thing with The Shield from Monday has clearly spawned a plethora of fics around here so I might as well add this one to the mix.


The boom of the thunder jolted Dean out of his sleep. He sucked in a harsh breath and sat straight up. His room was pitch dark though the lightning from outside gave a flash of occasional light. The rain pounded against the window and the sound was almost as bad as the thunder. He laid back on the dirty, broken old mattress that he had to call his bed. It was just a stupid storm. A stupid god damn thunderstorm. There was nothing to be afraid of. The other kids in his class would laugh at him if they knew he was scared of a stupid storm. But as he tried to go back to sleep the thunder sounded again. This time he nearly screamed. He couldn't stand the storms. He didn't know why they freaked him out so much but they did. He clutched his blanket more tightly, his breathing quickening as each second past by. "Mommy!" he finally yelled. He threw his covers off him and scramble up to his feet. His tiny body shivered though he was too young to understand it had more to do from his fear and anxiety over being cold. "Mom!" He opened the door and stepped out of his room. The apartment was so tiny. A dinky one bedroom piece of shit that he hated so much. "Mom!"

The couch his mother slept on was empty. He knew it before he even turned on the living room lights. Empty bottles of vodka and used needles littered the stained carpet. "Mom!" He checked the rest of the apartment but she was long gone. Fucking gone once again. Off to do whatever it was she did. He was only eight; he didn't understand about her prostitution or how serious her alcohol and drug problem actually was. He just knew she put bad stuff into her. He knew she came with weird bruises on her neck and her clothes would be all messed up and she would smell weird. And he knew she promised him that she would stop leaving him alone at night. She said things would be better. That she would get a good job and they would move far away and get a good place to live. Yet she was gone now. She had lied to him again. She always lied to him and left him all alone.

The thunder came again and he whimpered. Very carefully he cleared the couch of any drug paraphernalia and sat down. He had been good this time. He really had been. He hadn't put a snake down Lily Christensen's dress again even though she was still making fun of him. He hadn't hit anyone with a baseball bat again. He hadn't done anything because he wanted to be good and have his mother's promise be true. But it hadn't. He didn't understand. Did he do something wrong without knowing it? He tried to think but came up with nothing.

"I was good." He pulled his knees up to his chest and hugged them tight. He could feel the tears coming but he tried not to let them fall. Only babies cried after all. "I was good. I was good I was good I was good...

"Fucking mother fucker. We were going so good. We were good we were good we were fucking good!"

Dean's hissed mantra was the only sound in the arena hallway. The entire locker room was shocked by what they had seen but nobody wanted to say a word. The look on Dean's face alone scared everyone away. Roman was in too much pain to put terror in everyone's hearts. Physically he could barely even walk. Referees had to help him. His back had already been in terrible shape due to the kendo stick beating from the night before and the chair shots had only worsened it. Worse than the physical pain though was the heartbreak. He hadn't seen this coming. It hadn't been like when Seth left them during the match with the Wyatts. Dean and Roman had been getting along since the whole summit thing. They had been getting along pretty damn well actually. There had been no reason for Seth to do what he did other than his own selfish desires.

"Fucking liar. Fucking traitor. Fucking Judas. Judas ass mother fucker I'll fucking kill him." Dean didn't know what he was saying. He was too hurt and too angry, both at Seth and himself. He hated Seth for fooling him. The son of a bitch had lured him in. Such sweet words of brotherhood and friendship. Giving him something he hadn't ever truly had before and then just taking it away. And he had fallen for it. Hook, line and sinker. He had been so stupid. He should have known better. Nobody was to be trusted in this world. People existed to hurt each other. Or just hurt him anyway. From the day he was born all there had been was pain and disappointment. Wrestling had been his only escape but even that hadn't turned out to be the escape it was when he had watched it as a kid. The wrestling world was filled with sharks. People so willing to smile in your face but stab you in the back to move themselves up the ladder. He was guilty of it too but he hadn't wanted to be. He had just done what he always did and that was adapt to survive. Evolution knew nothing about the concept of adapt or perish. That was what he had been forced to do his entire life. One didn't get out of the neighborhood he grew up in without doing that. And someone like him certainly didn't make it to the number one wrestling company in the world without doing it. But despite what he said or acted he never liked living that way. He wanted friends. He wanted brothers he could trust without question. And he thought he had that with Seth and Roman. But Seth had thrown it all away and had left him in the cold.

Roman was being led to the trainer's room. His hand reached out and Dean felt him tug on him gently. Dean froze. Roman didn't want to be alone. He didn't say. He couldn't say it but it was in his eyes. He didn't want to be completely alone. And Dean didn't know how to respond. He didn't want to be like Seth and just leave Roman in the dust. He didn't want to be that piece of trash. But how could he even trust Roman now? If Seth could leave him then why shouldn't Roman? Everyone left. That was all anyone did. They took from him and then they left. And even as he let Roman pull him along he only did so because he had nowhere else to go. He didn't offer the other man any help. He didn't offer him any kind of comfort. Doing that meant lying and saying their world hadn't just crashed down on top of them and he didn't have the energy to pretend it hadn't.

He couldn't stop pacing. The cigarette hung from his mouth as he walked up and down the lonely stretch of sidewalk. It was freezing but he had nowhere else to go. Another night as CZW champion had gone by but he couldn't be happy about his victory tonight. Sami had been the one he beat and now Sami was gone. The closest thing he ever had to a friend wanted nothing to do with him now. He couldn't not being champion and when he couldn't just take what he wanted off him he threw him out of the hotel room they shared. He hadn't seen what he had done that was so wrong. All he had done was won the match but it got him screamed at. He got called stupid and worthless and he knew he was but that didn't mean Sami had to rub it in his face. Of course he had screamed back, telling Sami he was still nothing but the fat fuck who couldn't lace up his boots and maybe he had said he had liked sleeping with Sami's wife better than him but he hadn't meant it. He had just been so angry and he wanted to hurt him for lashing out at him like a big asshole. Joke was on him now of course. Sami had someone to go home to and he was just alone. Always alone.

"Don't touch me!" Dean growled as one of the trainers tried to look him over. He glared at the balding, middle aged man who nearly jumped at his tone. "Fucking stay away from me."

"Mr. Ambrose please. We just need to look you over."

"Fuck you."

"Mr. Ambrose-"

Dean's fist shot out and connected with the man's face. There was the satisfying crack of the man's jaw breaking but it didn't last. It wasn't who he wanted to hit. But that didn't mean he didn't hit the man again. And again. And again and again as he screamed. Curses flew from his mouth and he couldn't control himself. He couldn't stop his yelling. He couldn't stop his hands and he certainly couldn't stop his memories. Everything was swirling together in his head. The world had fallen away and there was only the pain. The one thing that would never, ever leave him no matter what.

Dean watched the family from the shadows. Jealousy burned through his stomach like acid. He shouldn't have come out here. He didn't know what he was thinking. He hadn't seen his father in years yet when he had gotten a bitter, drunken phone call from his mother saying the bastard had gotten remarried he had decided to track him down. He had felt the need to see it for himself. Now he wish he hadn't. The tall, dirty blonde man he was watching didn't look like the ex-con who had left his junkie whore of a mother and his own son to rot in a hell hole. No, now he looked like some normal, respectable man with a beautiful wife and a little boy and a little girl. All blonde and blue eyed. Fucking picture perfect Brady Bunch was what they were. And the bastard was so attentive to the fucking kids. He had each of them by the hand, absorbed in whatever it was they were babbling about to him. He looked like an actual father. He was being an actual father and Dean could only stand there and watch.

Why couldn't he had done that with him? That was the question he kept asking himself. What made these kids so special? Or what made him so bad that he just left? He just needed to know. But he couldn't bring himself to ask. As much as he needed to know he couldn't bear what he knew he would hear. Instead he chickened out and just ran until his legs gave out from under him and he was struggling to suck in a single breath.

"Dean!" Roman finally spoke. He pushed himself off the table and moved the other trainers out of the way. "Dean!" He snagged Dean by the waist and hugged him close. "Stop." His plea was weak. Broken just like his trust and heart. "Stop. Just stop. That's not helping."

Dean went still in Roman's grip. His touch brought such a war within Dean's mind. He wanted to fall back into it. He wanted the comfort and the closeness. He didn't want to be alone. He hated it. He always had. But not being alone just caused pain. Any time he pinned his hopes on someone they let him down. Seth had done what everyone else did and eventually Roman would do the same. How could he just stick around and let it happen again?

"I'm sorry." These were his first words he spoke since being in the ring. He could barely even get them out. The lump in his throat almost stopped them in their tracks. He didn't know why he was apologizing. Was it for beating up the trainer? He wasn't sorry for that. Was it for not seeing this thing with Seth coming? Or was he sorry that he couldn't be stronger? That he couldn't be there for Roman? Was he sorry that he was just so weak and broken and tired of getting shit on and tossed away by everyone who was supposed to care?

"Don't leave me." The words were so quiet Dean almost didn't even hear them. The other trainers were checking on the one Dean assaulted so they weren't listening to them. "I need you." Roman never said these kinds of things. Not to him anyway. "I can't lose you too."

Dean didn't say a word this time. He just stared down at the damage he caused. He was going to be in trouble but he didn't care. Let them try and do something to him. There was nothing they could do to him now. They already made sure his heart had gotten ripped out and stomped on for what was going to be the last time. There was no coming back from this. He had put all his eggs in the basket for Seth and Roman and Seth had crushed them all. Take and leave. Take and leave. That was all anyone ever did and he was just done. There was nothing left to take. There was nothing left to give, not even to poor Roman who was practically begging it from him. There was just nothing.