A/N: This story takes place at Royal Rumble 2015...it's a little different but more along the lines of 'So Cold' so please give it a chance :) Thanks for all your reviews on 'The Journey'. Enjoy :) p.s- I don't own any of these characters even if I wish I did...
Part I: The Return
Royal Rumble 2015 was upon the WWE and everyone was a buzz. Royal Rumble's were always fun because there was always surprises, last year their surprise disappointed millions of people so you know this year they were looking to right that wrong. Would there be a huge return again this year? If there was Vince, Hunter and Stephanie were tight lipped and not sharing.
AJ was waiting backstage in the Diva's locker room. After her short hiatus after Wrestlemania she wasn't surprised the other girls still weren't welcoming to her. Most of the Total Divas hated her even more (if that was even possible). But it wasn't AJ's fault that none of them stood out while she was off that was on them. She returned right before Summer Slam and had a huge match with Paige that many dubbed the "Best Diva's Match of The Modern Era". Both her and Paige worked very well together and the others couldn't really stand it. They felt AJ stole their moment, that it wasn't fair AJ was gone for as long as she was able to return and get a title match even though it was owed to her.
Speaking of AJ's time off- she never spoke about it. She was engaged and moving to Chicago and by the time she got back she'd be happily married except none of that happened. Her and Punk never fought or argued and were both seemingly excited for the wedding so when he all of the sudden two days before the wedding called it off it stunned her. She never thought back to that day because she wasn't sure she could relive with it without completely falling apart. Of course most of the superstars were respectful and didn't question AJ when she returned but a lot of that had to with the fact that she had burned a lot of bridges with people when she left. She supported Punk 100% and a lot of the talent backstage felt she was backing the wrong horse…boy were they ever right.
AJ didn't return to work immediately she took off all of July to situate herself in a new home and spend weeks trying to mend her broken heart. Unfortunately for AJ once enough time passed she realized there was no fixing this feeling and went back to work anyway. It was a good distraction for her and since Punk left on such a bad note she wasn't constantly reminded of him. She'll never understand why he left her only days before their wedding because he never gave her a real explanation. Was there another woman? If there was he was keeping it quiet because she had never read anything about him being with anyone else.
Once her story with Paige was over and AJ had officially put her over she began a new story with a new NXT superstar Corey Graves. Of course Corey was a good friend of Punk's or at least he used to be but he never mentioned Punk to her, which she was happy about. Corey was a phenomenal talent and there were obvious similarities between Corey and Punk. It wasn't just that they were covered in Tattoo's it went deeper than that. Corey had a very similar fighting style and personality. He was abrasive and some would confuse it for being rude but he was just like Punk. He was always on guard and ready to protect the few people he considered a friend. Thankfully AJ felt she had made it into his tight inner circle. Another great thing about him? Total gentleman. Never made a move on her and always watched out for her on the road. She considered him to be a good friend now.
She didn't get a match at the Rumble but she did get to valet Corey to the ring and he would be participating in the actual Rumble as well. She enjoyed her heel role with him it was a lot like her time with Dolph but a little darker. She sat in the back and watched as the Rumble carried on. Roman Reigns, Corey, Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins were all still in the Rumble and there was one more superstar, #30 and no one knew who it was going to be. AJ thought she was going to fall off of her chair in the locker room when Cult of Personality blared through out the arena.
"Holy crap" the current Diva's champion Paige muttered watching the screen with all of the other girls in the locker room. AJ was absolutely frozen in place. Sure there were rumors of Punk coming back but there were rumors every week before every show he'd be back.
"Did you know about this?" Summer Rae asked turning in her seat slightly to face AJ
"No" AJ let out quietly as she kept her eyes locked on the screen. He looked great she thought to herself. Refreshed and happy to be back, rather than stay in the locker room she quickly stood up and stormed out. She couldn't stand the eyes boring holes into her.
"AJ wait!" Trinity shouted chasing her down the hall. The two were always close but over the course of Total Diva's their relationship had strained "Don't leave stay and watch, don't you want to see who wins?"
"I know whose going to win" AJ frowned. There was no way Punk agreed to return to the company without a guarantee for Wrestlemania.
"Ok so sulk with us" Trinity laughed lightly "Don't run out like this"
"I can't" AJ admitted shaking her head "Seeing him- it's just not something I can do right now"
"Ok well if you need anything let me know" Trinity offered
"Thanks Trin" AJ said forcing a smile
It was only fifteen minutes later Punk's music blared and he was crowned the winner. She was sitting on a crate in the back and a few moments later Corey fresh from the Rumble joined her.
"Did you know?" AJ asked before Corey could speak
"Do you really think I'd let you be blindsided like that?" Corey asked her seriously "I had no idea I swear"
"What is he doing here?" AJ asked him almost desperately
"My guess? He's here to main-event Wrestlemania" Corey smirked but AJ didn't find his comment funny "Hey don't worry about it I'm sure he'll stay out of your way" he assured her
"I don't doubt that" AJ muttered "He made it very clear he wants nothing to do with me"
"I'm sure that's not the case" Corey frowned
"Why else would he leave me days before our wedding?" AJ mocked "I can't be here with him here. I can't look at him, I can't-" before AJ could finish she felt herself starting to cry and her friend pulled her into a tight hug
"It's alright AJ" Corey assured her "You're not alone"
"I hate him so much" AJ said through tears and anger. When she peered up she saw Punk eyeing her from down the hall, he had a water bottle in hand and a towel thrown over his shoulder. He was engaged in a conversation with Paul Heyman but both sets of eyes were now firmly on her. She pulled away from Corey quickly and jumped off the crate.
"I'll meet you at the car" was all AJ said before she rushed down the hall in the opposite direction. Corey sighed and looked and now Punk was looking at him he turned and headed straight towards his friend
"Really?" Corey questioned Punk "Why didn't you tell me you were coming back?" he asked in almost a whisper
"Can you give us a minute?" Punk asked Paul who nodded and walked away "I didn't think I had to run by my decisions by you"
"Come on man" Corey said annoyed in the same low voice "We've been talking almost everyday since I started working with her"
"I didn't want to put you in a position where you'd have to lie to her" Punk said to him honestly "How is she?" he asked with soft eyes
"Ask her yourself" Corey remarked "How do you think she is?" he mocked "She's devastated"
"She'll get over it" Punk said sipping on is drink
"She thinks you hate her" Corey informed him causing Punk's face to scrunch up
"Hate her?" Punk asked "Why the hell does she think that?"
"Why wouldn't she? You left her at the alter!" Corey reminded him
"I didn't leave her at the alter" Punk argued back lightly
"You might as well have" Corey shot back
"I should talk to her" Punk said to him
"I wouldn't" Corey said back to him "Give her space"
"I've given her plenty of space" Punk reminded him
"Not really" Corey said shaking his head "You dumped her, threw her out of your place-"
"-I never threw AJ out of our place" Punk said with anger in his voice "I told her to stay for as long as she needed and if she wanted I would have left"
"Right" Corey mocked "Anyway after that you've never tried to reach out to her, not a call or a text but you've been watching her like a hawk since that day"
"No I haven't" Punk said shaking his head
"Since the day she stepped back into the company you've had people reporting to you" Corey reminded him
"I love her" Punk said to him "There was nothing wrong with looking out for her while I was gone"
"If you love her why did you dump her?" Corey asked "She's a mess! It's been months and she still cries herself to sleep at night"
"How do you know that?" Punk asked arching a brow
"Come on man" Corey sighed "You know I'd never try anything with your girl"
"Right" Punk said rather coldly
"I told you that I'd never put the moves on her when I called to tell you we'd be working together" Corey reminded him
It was the night of Summer Slam and Punk was in Chicago, alone. Just the way he made it himself. He missed AJ but knew he did the right selfless thing by letting her go. When his phone rang he was surprised to see his old friend Corey's number pop on the screen.
"Yea" Punk said into the phone, it had been a while since they spoke so he wasn't sure what kind of call this would be
"Hey Punk" Corey said rather nervously "How are you doing?"
"Wonderful" Punk remarked "What's going on?"
"I'm going to cut to the chase" Corey said
"Please do" Punk bit back
"I just had a meeting with creative-" Corey started
"And they're going to continue to rip off everything I did with you?" Punk joked back
"Funny" Corey remarked with a dry laugh "But no they're pairing me with AJ" Punk didn't respond right away
"Why?" Punk asked his friend
"She had her re-match and lost" Corey told him "They need something else for her and feel the two of us have good chemistry"
"It's a romantic pairing?" Punk questioned "Out of thin air they decided you were the best fit for her?"
"It's not like that man" Corey assured him "I don't even know AJ. I just met her ten minutes ago. I just wanted you to know that nothing is going on"
"You would tell me if something was going on?" Punk questioned
"I would never, ever touch your ex" Corey promised "She's very attractive and all but there is a code and I won't break it"
"Be respectful to her" Punk warned
"Of course" Corey said to him
"What AJ does is her business" Punk said to him "But if you overstep with her I'll hunt you down"
"That won't be a problem" Corey assured him then Punk hung up.
"After that call I've kept you in loop" Corey reminded him and Punk nodded, it was true Corey had giving Punk all sorts of updates about what was going on with AJ. "And tonight you couldn't have returned the favor?"
"I couldn't" Punk told him honestly "They wanted to surprise everyone. Look how about after I get changed we meet up and grab a bite and we could talk?" he offered
"I can't, AJ and I are heading into the next city" Corey told him "Maybe lunch tomorrow?" It stung about that Corey would be the one leaving with AJ tonight and not him
"Right" Punk said with a nod "yea tomorrow" he said to him "take care of her, alright?"
"Of course" Corey said with a smirk then walked away.
"What are you doing?" the voice of Paul Heyman asked coming up behind Punk asked
"You were listening?" Punk asked
"So sue me" Paul mocked "Don't ignore the question. What the hell are you doing?"
"I just wanted to see if she was ok" Punk shrugged
"She's not your problem anymore" Paul reminded him. Punk just gave him a blank stare "You left her, you washed her hands of her-"
"No I didn't" Punk said shaking his head "You know why I did what I did"
"It was very honorable I will tell you that" Paul admitted "But she doesn't know. As far she knows you dumped her and moved on and now that you're back you think what? You'll pick up right where you left off?"
"I just want to talk to her" Punk admitted "I want to clear the air"
"So you both could finally move on?" Paul asked but Punk remained quiet "You think coming back now fixes everything?"
"I can't stand to see her like that" Punk said to his friend
"She's been like that since she's been back and even though I understand why you did what you did I don't think she will" Paul told him "The damage is done. It's best you both just stay clear of each other"
"Corey told me she wasn't seeing anyone" Punk started causing Paul to let out a sigh "Was he lying to me? Has she moved on already?"
"What does it matter?" Paul questioned
"It matters" Punk said firmly
"AJ doesn't really talk to me ever" Paul admitted "She hangs out with Corey and a few of the guys but that's it and I'm sure if she was seeing someone here I would have heard by now"
"Ok" Punk said to him "Thanks"
"Did you agree to come back because of her?" Paul questioned. Punk didn't respond he just smirked at Paul and walked away
AJ was already sitting in the rental with her bags in tucked away in the trunk and gazed out the window waiting for Corey. She couldn't help but remember the night Punk ended their relationship
"I don't understand" AJ said stunned as tears freely fell from her eyes "Did I do something?"
"It's not you AJ" Punk said from across the living room "It's me" he didn't trust to stand so close to her or he'd try to comfort to her
"It's not you, it's me?" AJ mocked with a cold laugh as she cried "We're a little past that! You can't just come up to me days before we're supposed to be married and tell me it's over! I want a reason!"
"It hasn't been good between us the last few weeks" Punk told her coldly causing her to look confused "We can't lie about it anymore"
"I didn't think it was bad" AJ frowned "You're making no sense! Is there another woman?"
"What if there is?" Punk questioned and that's when AJ's heart literally started to hurt. "Did you want to wait until we were married and go through a divorce?"
"You're lying" AJ said adamantly "There isn't anyone else, there aren't any problems- why are you doing this!"
"Get out of your fantasy bubble AJ!" Punk shouted "It's done! No amount of tears is going to change the fact that we're not getting married!"
"You're making a mistake" AJ said wiping her tears "If this is truly what you want that's fine and I won't fight it but a few weeks down the road when you realize what a mistake you made do not think you can fix this"
"Trust me honey I'm not changing my mind on anything" Punk remarked rather coldly. He had never spoken to her that way. "You can take your time packing your stuff" he offered, another knot in AJ's stomach turned "I'll stay with Colt or my sisters"
"Or your new girlfriend?" AJ mocked folding her arms
"Maybe" Punk smirked "But the sooner you're gone the better. And try not to forget anything"
"You know what?" AJ questioned grabbing her keys "You stay this is your house it always has been, I'll leave now"
"Don't be stupid" Punk groaned "It's late and you don't have any friends out here to crash with"
"There are these large buildings that let you rent out rooms…what are those called again? Oh that's right hotels" AJ mocked putting on her jacket
"Just stay here" Punk said feeling himself start to crack. He grabbed her arm lightly to stop her from leaving when she jerked around and slapped him across the face completely surprising him
"Don't touch me, ever again" she warned
"What about your stuff?" Punk asked
"You're going to LA in two weeks, I'll stop by and pack while you're gone" AJ informed him "I hope whatever reason you're doing this for is worth it" she hissed before slamming the door as she headed out.
Punk was on his bus also thinking of that. He wasn't seeing another woman at that time and he hated that he lead her to believe that. He had never thought he could be that cruel but he knew he had to be to get her to leave. Loyalty was the most important quality in a person to Punk and AJ was the most loyal person he had ever met. He would never be able to wash away that image of her heartbroken face. It still haunted him at night and all he wanted to do was make sure she was all right. Coming back was an easy decision for him knowing AJ was there and truthfully Paul was right, AJ was the only reason he was back now. He didn't necessarily want to win her back because he wasn't sure that was even possible at this point but he did want to keep an eye on her and just be around her again. He didn't just lose his future wife that night he also lost his best friend and being without her had been tortures.
A/N pt 2: So why did Punk break AJ's heart? What is he hiding and why is he back now? And the better question is, is Cory more loyal to AJ or Punk? Hmmm...