Jeff crawled backwards from underneath his bed, rubbing the forming bump on the back of his head where he'd raised up into the frame. He sighed as he looked at the pile of things he had pulled from the dusty confines where monsters had once lurked when he was a child. Time had passed since then, quite a lot in fact, as was revealed in the dust. He blew some of it away. He still had to vacuum anyway. He grabbed an old shoe box and pulled it open, sneezing as more dust flew straight into his face. A glance into the box identified it instantly to him.
"Memories," he said quietly as he started pulling little knick knacks and things out of the box.
There were old baseball cards, notes from friends, birthday cards, pictures of his mother, and other things that he hadn't been able to ever throw away. He even discovered one of his and Matt's biggest secrets kept inside the box. He smirked at the empty condom wrapper. He and Matt had snuck out one evening to meet their girlfriends, back when they were both too young to have girlfriends. It had been the night they'd both lost their virginity. What a coincidence that they both scored that night. Of course, the girls had been two years older than Matt and really easy. Not to mention both high. So was life as a horny teenager, though.
Jeff replaced the wrapper and sifted through the box some more, whistling one of Peroxwhy?gen's songs to himself. The was when he found something he didn't recognize. He pulled out a cassette tape, one of the blank kinds made for home recording. It looked like a single song length when he peered at the short amount of tape wound up inside. The label said, 'My Song for Jeff.'
"This is Matty's writing," he said as he looked at it. "I wonder what it is."
He set the box aside and walked over to his stereo, opening the cassette deck to pop in the tape. He paused for a second to think about it. It was obviously Matt's, but it said 'for Jeff.' Did that make it okay to listen to it?
"It says it's for me and it was in my box. That makes it okay."
That confirmed he pushed play and adjusted the volume so not to risk blowing his own head off with noise. There was some static at first then a quiet song started. He turned it up a little before turning back to his spring cleaning, listening to the song. He was surprised when Matt's voice came through the speakers, nervous and shaky, but not that bad. He shook his head.
"Why the hell are you singing a song by the Bangles, Matt? You hate all that old girly pop."
He sat down on the bed and stared at the nearest speaker as his brother continued to sing with what was obviously a karaoke version of the song. It was called 'Eternal Flame' if Jeff remembered correctly. It was from the 1980's and had been played constantly in their teen years. Matt's voice sounded a lot better than the original, and he seemed to be getting less nervous as the song progressed.
"Close your eyes, give me your hand. Do you feel my heart beating? Do you understand? Do you feel the same or am I only dreaming? But is this burning an eternal flame?"
Jeff snickered as Matt didn't even try to hit the high note or hold it as long as he should've. He wasn't cut out for singing, not like his little brother was. The tape clicked off at the end, confirming Jeff's suspicion that it only held one song.
"Not bad, Matty. Not all that good, but not bad either." Jeff pulled the tape out of the player and went to toss it back in the box, but then the label caught his eye again. "My song for Jeff. That's right. He was singing it for me." He arched a brow at the tape in his hand. "Why was he singing a love song to me!"
Jeff couldn't think of any answer that didn't sound inconceivable and immoral. He pocketed the tape quickly, resolving to ask Matt himself when he came over that evening. He had gotten a break in Raw's schedule to come home and his first priority, as he had said on the phone earlier, was to sleep and then visit Jeff. Together they would visit their father the next day. Matt was planning on staying the night.
"Gah! Just clean you moron! Clean and don't think!"
Jeff attempted to do so. He made very little progress before he heard a voice calling for him from the front door of his home. He ran through the hall and pounded down the stairs quickly to find Matt removing his coat and slipping out of his shoes.
"Jeff!" He gave a happy smile and embraced his brother, squeezing him tightly. "I haven't seen you in so long."
"I know. I missed you," he said as he hugged him back. "You're cold."
"Well, it's cold outside. Got anything to warm me up with?"
"Um, I could start a fire while you make yourself some coffee."
"That sounds good, but I'm kinda hungry." As if on cue Matt's stomach growled audibly. "Okay, really hungry."
"Haven't you eaten yet today? It's after two."
"I know, but I had a lot to do. I ate breakfast, but that was hours and hours ago. Got any food?"
"Yeah, I always do." He gestured towards the kitchen and his hand brushed across his thigh on the way back down, hitting the tape in his pocket and reminding him of what he needed to ask. "Um, Matty?"
"Yeah?" Matt turned back from heading towards the kitchen.
"Is this yours?"
Matt stepped back towards him and took the tape from his hand, looking at it with his brow furrowed. He flipped it over to read the label. Instantly his eyes widened.
"Where'd you find this?" he asked without looking up.
"It was in a box under my bed."
"Did you listen to it?"
"Yeah." Matt's hand tightened on the fragile plastic cassette, but thankfully it didn't break under the pressure. Anyone could see the nervousness that had taken over his features. "Matt, what is that tape for?"
"I… I made it some time ago. It was just after you left the business and I was out on the road alone." He glanced back at him, but his eyes quickly averted again. "I was lonely."
Jeff shook his head. "You're a terrible liar. Always have been."
"I'm not lying…" he started, but looking into Jeff's face he stopped. "Listen. It's just that… I didn't mean… I…"
"Matty, calm down. It's not that big a deal. I am really wondering why you chose this song to sing to me, though."
Jeff watched his brother's face flush a deep shade of pink, his eyes turning down towards the floor quickly. Jeff had never seen Matt act this way before. He watched as he crossed his arms protectively over his stomach, as if he expected to get punched there at any moment. He stayed silent for a long moment.
"I just missed my little brother," he muttered just above a whisper.
"That song isn't made for brothers, Matt," he said back almost as quietly. "I believe it's meant to be, I watch you when you are sleeping, you belong with me. That's a lot more than sibling affection being insinuated there."
Still Matt refused to look at him. He didn't try to offer up another lie as he stood there, now beginning to tremble with what had to be fear. Jeff had a good feeling he understood precisely why Matt was acting this way. He had sung that song for a reason, but it was never a reason that anyone was supposed to know about. Now he had been discovered and he knew nothing good could come of it. Jeff stepped a little closer and took hold of Matt's shoulders with both hands, squeezing gently.
"Just answer one question for me. Do you love me as just your brother?" It took a moment, but Matt did shake his head negatively. "Okay. That's all I needed to know. It's alright, Matty. You don't have to be scared."
"I'm sorry, Jeff," he said, his voice breaking in mid-sentence.
"It's okay. Really. There's nothing wrong with what you feel. It doesn't matter what everyone else always says. Love is a pure wonderful thing and it's good no matter who you feel it for." He took Matt's chin by hand and forced him to look at him. "Don't be ashamed. You love someone. And no matter what it's better to love than to hate. You will be smiled upon for having this feeling. Believe me. And I am so flattered that you chose me to love."
"But what are you gonna do now that you know?"
"What else can I do? I accept it."
Matt's eyes turned back down to the floor quickly, his shoulders slumping just slightly. "I understand."
"I doubt it."
"Huh?" he looked back up at him with confusion.
"I was going to say, I accept it and return it."
Jeff leaned in to him and lightly kissed his lips. At first Matt didn't respond, standing completely still, his eyes closed, and his trembling returning. But Jeff kissed him again and this time he felt Matt's full pout move against his own in a gentle caress. He stepped forward and slipped an arm around his waist, noticing that the chill of outside had finally faded from Matt's skin. He was thrilled when Matt suddenly cupped his face in both hands. He leaned back to arch his body against Matt's taller stature. He was rewarded by being enveloped in strong arms and kisses that pressed with passion to his own. At last they parted, slightly out of breath, and gazing into each other's half lidded eyes.
"I love you," Matt whispered.
"You don't know how long I've waited to hear you say that." He pecked Matt's lips again, then his cheek, sighing contently against the soft skin. "Do me a favor, Matty?"
He smiled and looked up at him. "Sing it for me again. That tape is so old I can't tell if you're good at it or not." Matt's blush returned ten fold, but he smiled this time. Jeff giggled and hugged him tightly. "Please? C'mon, sing for me."
"Alright, alright… But we get to go out for dinner afterwards and you treat."
"That's no way to treat your new lover!"
Matt arched a brow. "Lover? I get that privilege?"
"Eventually. I'm a southern boy. You have to be a gentlemen and earn your way into my pants," he joked. Matt rolled his eyes at that. "Sing."
Matt finally sighed and conceded. He cleared his throat and started to sing quietly, making Jeff lean in to hear him. They set their foreheads together and stared at each other as Matt sang their song. He sounded much better in person. Jeff made note to make him sing every chance he could from now on, and make him do some backup for Peroxwhy?gen sometimes.
"You've wanted to tell me for so long haven't you?" Jeff asked when Matt finished.
"Yeah. I made that tape with the intention of giving it to you. I never had the courage, though."
"How long, Matty?"
"Forever. Ever since you were little. It started as simple curiosity, moved on to a crush, and by the time you were thirteen it was total love. Damn you for constantly hugging on me and kissing my cheek," he chuckled.
"I couldn't help it. I think I knew on a certain level that you loved me. I wanted you to love me. I'd do anything to keep your attention and make you happy."
"I know. It worked. You lured me right in."
Jeff smirked. "I seduced my brother. I'm sick."
"We both are," Matt gave the same exact smirk.
"And you're hungry."
"That's one way to say it."
"I mean for food."
"Oh. Oh yeah. Let's go."
Legalities: Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy, and any other mentioned characters are property of World Wrestling Entertainment. I claim no knowledge of each of the characters sexual preferences or lives. This is a story of fiction, none of these events are real. I received absolutely no profit from this story.