A/N: I'm on a roll with updating my stories lately. Well... no not really. But two stories in one day has to give me some credit. Ha. Anywho, sorry for taking so long. This story is officially back in action. Yay!
It had been almost three months. Three months since Chris left. Three months since they had kissed. Three months since Alex had been truly happy. Staring down into the dark liquid before him, Alex hunched over the wooden counter inside the local nightclub. Kevin and Austin were once again over at Jeff's and Austin was still acting like his weird self around Kevin.
But Alex pushed all of those thoughts out of his mind, instead focusing on himself and himself only. In another week Chris would be back and they'd pick up right where they had left off.
The man mentally shook his head, hands clenching even more tightly around his drink. When Chris came back, they would pick up exactly where they had left off. No ifs, ands or buts about it. He was going to make sure of it. But for the current moment, Chris wasn't here and he wouldn't be back for another two weeks.
If he had survived this long without the dirty-blonde haired man, what would another fourteen days do to crack him? Inhaling slightly, Alex leaned back into his seat, now focusing his dark gaze on the counter before him.
He had to concentrate on something other than Chris, at least for a few minutes. He was starting to feel as if he were obsessed with the other man. Sure he had been there when things truly sucked and stuck by him, despite a few bumps along the road so far, but was thinking about him twenty four hours a day worth it all? Was love really all it was cracked up to be?
He felt empty when Chris wasn't around, but yet he always felt so vulnerable and insecure about himself when he was around. But then again... it felt right. He felt safe. Alex closed his eyes, swallowing a small lump in his throat.
As if to help himself stop thinking about everything, he quickly picked up his glass, downing the dark liquid in the blink of an eye. Slamming the glass back down onto the counter, he flagged down the bar tender and ordered another drink.
"Kid, you're looking a little pale. You doing alright tonight?" The bar tender quirked an eyebrow at Alex upon handing him his drink. Alex nodded carelessly, waving the older man off.
With a shrug, the man had disappeared to two new customers. Alex once again downed his drink, ignoring the burning in the back of his throat. If sitting here, drinking his night away alone was his great idea of forgetting things, then he really sucked at great ideas.
Aggravation growing within him, Alex stood up and tossed a twenty onto the counter. There was no point in getting wasted and feeling like crap the next morning. Hands shoved into pockets, he headed out the door and back to his car. There was only one place he could honestly think of at the moment to try and forget the present.
"Christy, I shouldn't be here. You shouldn't be here. Why are we here?" Jackie grumbled angrily, standing still and looking her best friend dead in the eye. The seemingly cheery red head only continued to dance along with the overly loud music, alcohol already flowing through her veins.
"Because we need to live. Are we really going to let men run our lives?" Christy giggled, holding her hands up above her head and humming her own happy tune. Leticia and SoCal were dancing only a few feet away, both equally as lost in the giant swarm of people inside Jeff's house.
"Uhm, well if that man happened to fuck everything up, then yes." Jackie shook her head, ignoring the deafening beat of the music. Christy seemed to ignore her, however, and continued dancing. Jackie inwardly sighed. Getting wasted over some stupid guy wasn't going to make Christy feel better, so why did she even bother? Groaning inwardly, the blonde moved away from the crowd.
She definitely shouldn't be here. Especially not with so much alcohol already out and about. The smell alone was making her stomach churn. Breathing out deeply, she moved out to the balcony to try and ease her stomach with some fresh air. Thankfully she didn't share Christy's state of mind and even as much as she didn't want to carry around AJ's child, she wasn't going to drink herself silly in hopes of killing it.
Jackie lightly closed the door behind her, quickly enjoying the cool breeze that welcomed her out onto the balcony. She rested her palms on the railing, staring out across the sky and focusing on the honking of the cars down below.
"Well, if it isn't just the lucky lady I was looking for." A southern accent quickly brought Jackie back to earth and she whirled around, coming face to face with AJ. His twinkling blue eyes met her startled brown ones and they both stood there, staring at each other for a good second or two until Jackie broke the silence.
"Hi AJ." Even saying his name felt weird to her. Swallowing her pride, the blonde subconsciously wrapped her arms around herself. AJ smirked at noticing her uneasiness, but cocked an eyebrow.
"What's wrong, doll? Thought you could be yourself around me?" He chuckled quietly, obviously thinking back to the night he and Jackie had spent together only a few months ago. But it seemed as if it were just last night to Jackie. She felt trapped in this nightmare, but wasn't about to sit here and pity herself.
"Is there anything I can do for you, AJ?" Shifting her gaze to the ground, Jackie drew a shaky breath.
"What? A guy can't have a civilized conversation with someone now a days?" AJ jammed his fists into the front pockets of his jeans, that same smirk from before still on his face.
"Is there even a point in asking me whether or not I want to talk? After all, you never seem to take 'no' for an answer, do you?" Jackie looked back up to meet his gaze, spitting this out dangerously. Her heart beat sped up, knowing she was back into treading into dangerous waters, but her mind told her to keep going down this road.
"Excuse me?" AJ's eyes narrowed only slightly, but his eyes still glowed with amusement. "Don't you dare talk to me like I'm some selfish bastard."
"Why shouldn't I? After all, that's all you are!" Jackie straightened her posture a little bit, balling her hands into tight fists at her sides. AJ's expression hardened.
"You disrespectful little bitch. Give me a good reason as to why I shouldn't-"
"Shouldn't what, AJ? What more could you possibly do to me!?" Jackie's voice raised with each word she shouted, trying to push back the inevitable tears threatening to spill. "You got me insanely drunk. You took me back to your place, knowing very well what you were planning on doing. You raped me, AJ." The blonde gave up trying to fight back the tears as her voice cracked. AJ only stared back at her, his expression unreadable. "You raped me and you humiliated me and you know what? You got me fucking pregnant. I'm stuck dealing with your mistake for the rest of my life!"
She stomped her foot almost childishly, but she didn't care. She had gotten her point across and had finally broken the news to the man. AJ continued to stare back at her, shock suddenly filling his eyes as he seemed to soak all of this in. Both remained quiet for a few minutes, Jackie glaring at the ground while AJ focused on his shoes.
"Who else knows."
Jackie blinked as the silence was broken, unsure if she had heard him right. Was that really the first question to pop into his mind?
"Who else fucking knows that you're pregnant." AJ repeated himself, anger dripping in his words. Jackie swallowed uneasily, those tears still streaming down her cheeks. Hearing him repeat himself, she quickly realized why he wanted to know. He wanted her to tell him whether or not she had broken their little deal.
AJ's face grew skeptical upon hearing this, but Jackie kept her eyes focused on his face. The Southern man let out a long sigh, running his fingers through his short hair.
"Are you positive it's mine?"
"What, are you implying that I'm some sort of slut?" Jackie's gaze narrowed, watching him give a tiny shrug.
"Well, you're friends with Christy and you prance around in your underwear on national TV, which you consider a career..."
"I'm positive it's yours." Grinding her teeth, Jackie felt her anger heighten upon him dragging both Christy and her job into all of this. AJ nodded, looking away for half a second.
"Get rid of it." He spoke with authority, hands moving back to his pockets as if that settled everything. Jackie's eyes widened upon hearing this.
"I don't want it. Neither of us do. It's nothing more than a mistake. I mean, do you really think Cornette's going to love the idea of me knocking you up on a drunken night? Exactly." He turned on his heel as if he were going to leave, but Jackie speaking up caused him to stop.
"I don't want to."
Now it was AJ's turn to let confusion cross his features. "Why?"
"It's my baby, AJ. I can't just get rid of it because you told me to. Like I said, you made a mistake and I'm stuck living with it for the rest of my life. But unlike you, I'm not a chicken and I'm not walking away as if it never happened." Jackie licked her lips, staring at AJ's back. The man seemed to take all of this into consideration before spinning back around to face her.
"If you keep that damned thing, I will personally make sure that you lose everything else that's precious to you, including everyone close to you." He pointed a warning finger at her dangerously.
"Why does it matter so much to you whether or not I have this baby?" Jackie spoke quietly, visibly shaken by his words.
"Because people will talk. Do you really want to prove to everyone that it's alright to have kids from stupid one-night-stands? My reputation will be crushed as soon as they find out whose the kid's father. Trust me, they will find out. You women are all the same." AJ shook his head slowly, swearing as he did so. Jackie felt a new batch of tears fill her eyes, but spoked nonetheless.
"And whose fault is that?"
With that said and done, she brushed past him to head back inside. However, he caught her wrist and drew her back to him.
"Believe me when I say this, Jacks. You keep that baby, I will personally make sure your life turns into a living hell." He spat these words out dangerously, giving Jackie goosebumps. The blonde broke free of his grasp and tried to walk as quickly as she could to the double doors, desperate to get back home and just try to forget this night.
But fate wasn't on her side tonight. After yanking open the doors, she managed to walk straight into someone heading out onto the balcony. She grumbled an apology, but froze at noticing who it was.
Alex stared down at her, seemingly ignoring the fact that his drink had spilled onto the ground. He raised an eyebrow and Jackie quickly wiped her eyes with the back of her hands.
"I was just leaving." She mumbled quietly, knowing very well AJ was still watching the scene from a few feet away.
"Are you okay?" Alex shuffled his feet, eyes still watching her curiously.
"I'm fine. Just tired. Heading home for some much-needed sleep. Sorry again." Shaking her head, the blonde tried to worm her way past Alex, but he stood still, eyes taking note of AJ's figure. He lowered his gaze back down to Jackie, frowning.
"Do you... want me to drive you home?"
Jackie's eyes flicked back up to Alex's and she froze, seeming to take into consideration her choices. She had used a taxi to get here seeing as Christy had decided it was "smart" that neither of them drove everyone home. And it was a lengthy walk back home...
"Sure." She gave him a half smile, which he returned only slightly. "Just let me tell Christy I'm leaving." And with that, she had disappeared into the crowd. Alex glanced at his drink, finishing what was left of it before deciding to make his way to the door to wait for Jackie.
Why had he offered her a ride home, especially when he was in no condition to drive in the first place? All he had done since getting here was drink even more, and even share a few laughs with Austin and Kevin for some bizarre reason. He had originally come here to think and free his mind, but that ship sailed as soon as he had finished two more drinks.
Shaking his mind as Jackie came back into view, he flagged her down and opened the door for the pair to start heading off. If he could manage to hold the alcohol down for the ten minute drive back home, then he should be fine. After all, what Jackie didn't know couldn't hurt her.
"Well, this is cozy." Jackie murmured, her hand sliding against the cool leather inside the small black car. Alex sat beside her in the driver's seat, his hands gripping the steering wheel more tightly than needed. The blonde didn't seem to notice, her mind elsewhere. AJ's words still bounced around inside her head, giving her a small headache.
She leaned her head against the cool glass of the window, closing her eyes briefly. Alex didn't seem to want to talk, letting her choose between thinking and sleeping. As of the current moment, the latter definitely seemed to be in her favor.
"Thanks for coming with me tonight." Jackie mumbled this almost inaudibly, arms crossing protectively around her body. Alex remained silent, eyes still glaring out at the road.
Letting out a small yawn, Jackie finally let herself slip into unconsciousness, mind drifting further and further away from the small car speeding down the almost abandoned road inside the unusually quiet city. Instead, she was in a happier place. Somewhere where no one like AJ could touch her or the people she loved - including his son.
However, it was far too soon when reality struck in. The blonde only had enough time to flutter open her eyes and see the tree coming straight at the car. She let out an ear-piercing scream, trying to move her body out of the way to no avail. The car hit the tree at a dead stop, thrusting both Alex and Jackie forward and into the dashboard.
Jackie let out another scream, this one more like a whimper, as the pain surged through her body. She doubled over in pain as best she could, tears springing to her eyes as she lay there, forehead resting against the dashboard. She was only half thankful for the seatbelt she had chosen to put on before heading off. But the pain was absolutely unbearable.
Alex, on the other hand, felt his entire body stiffen as he lay half out on the hood of the car. His face remained face down on the car hood as an almost sadistic smile crossed his features. He could hear Jackie's whimpering, but it sounded so much farther away than it really was. Other than that, it was silent. No arguing, no screaming, nothing. He was peaceful.
People often imagined death as a constant blackness full of nothing. Alex, however, appreciated the slowly creeping of the black. He wanted to feel nothing. He wanted to be numb. To no longer have to constantly battle with himself would be a gift alone.
But to never have to argue with anyone ever again... that was something he had never dreamt of achieving. These few moments of absolutely nothing but peace and mindless floating were what made Alex believe that deep down inside, this was all worth it.
As corny as he knew it sounded, he saw his life flash before his eyes. He could see the times - both good and bad - throughout various stages of his life. When he met Chris, when his father officially abandoned him, when he first fell in what he thought was love with that Kristen girl from high school, when he got the job at TNA... everything.
He had to suffer for so long to realize what true peace was. Everything happened for a reason.
Jay, Sonjay, AJ, Cornette, Chris... they would never know what pure bliss this felt like. They would never understand.
Chris... The ever-familiar name sent a sudden jolt through Alex's body and he immediately put his mind on over-drive. What would happen to the dirty-blonde haired man now? Would he just come home to find out that Alex was dead? That he had officially wasted his time here?
Alex's heart tightened in his chest. He couldn't do that to Chris. He had to survive this no matter how good it felt. He couldn't die here. He wouldn't let himself.
"How long do you think it's been since the accident?" Alex felt himself tune in more closely at hearing new voices arrive on the scene.
"Not too long. Damage looks pretty recent."
"Let's get them back to the the hospital. Looks pretty bad."
Alex could feel their hands on his body, pulling him onto the stretcher after checking him out. He could hear them talking to him, but all he could do was stare back up at them through blank, unreadable eyes. He felt his mouth run dry, but couldn't find the will to close it. Suddenly, everything hurt. He couldn't move, but he felt as if he were on fire.
He didn't try to talk back. He didn't try to nod or shake his head. He only had one thought running through his mind, especially as Chris flashed through his memories.
Chris let out an almost monstrous yawn, stretching out all parts of his body as soon as he got off the plane. The tour in Japan had ended about one week before it should've - more or less because of the fact that there hadn't been that many guys in the first place. But whatever. He had gotten his money and gotten out of there.
Now that he was back on American land, the only thought in his mind was Alex. Ever since that unforgettable scene in the airport three months ago, Chris had been ultimately excited to return, just to see Alex's smiling face once again. He rubbed the back of his head, sleep still evident in his eyes.
Stupid time difference. Picking up his bags, he moved out towards the taxis, hoping to grab one before too much traffic started up. He quickly flagged a guy down, tossed his duffel bags in the trunk, and climbed into the back seat. After instructing the driver on where exactly to go he leaned back into the seat and pulled out his neon green i-pod nano, choosing a song to listen to.
As Tokio Hotel's "Ready, Set, Go" filled his ears, Chris let his head fall against the window drowsily. Wrestling every night was definitely something he missed, even if he didn't miss the bruises. And the fans out there were great too. They appreciated real wrestling and not the drama a lot of other fans enjoyed.
Feeling his phone vibrating against his leg in his jeans' pocket, Chris quickly whipped it out and studied the caller ID. Confusion crossing his features, he pulled out the headphones and flipped open the phone.
"Chris! How're you doing, buddy boy!?" Cornette's unusually happy tune greeted Chris' ears before he could even register the words.
"G-good, sir. Uhm... can I ask why you're calling?" Blue eyes glancing back out the window, Chris tuned back into the music, only half listening to his boss - even if he didn't really count now that he was pretty much on probation.
"Of course you can, my boy." Cornette let out a chuckle. Okay, he was sounding way too cheery. What the hell. "I just went over a few things and well, you're more than welcome to come back to TNA as of next week. You're a hit with the fans and I have this amazing storyline to go over with you. Trust me, it'll be like you never even left!"
"Excuse me!?" Chris' grin was almost impossible to contain. He sat up straighter, officially paying full attention to the cellular device next to his ear.
"You heard me. You're coming back next week. New storyline, new attitude, new everything!" Cornette gave a hearty laugh and Chris almost clapped in excitement. Getting his job back so soon was the last thing he expected, but he definitely wasn't going to complain. Just wait until Alex heard. Alex...
"Wait, Jim. What about Alex...?" Chris frowned more to himself now, once again rubbing the back of his neck. Cornette was silent on the other end.
"...what about him?"
"Is he coming back too?" Chris' eyes glanced around the taxi almost impatiently, chewing on the inside of his cheek quietly.
"Why would he be? After all of the drama he caused around here last time-"
"Then no deal." Chris spoke evenly, free arm crossing across his black hoodie stubbornly.
"You heard me. If you want me to come back, Alex comes back too. We're a package deal." Chris shrugged, letting out a small sigh.
"Since when did you two get all buddy-buddy again? I thought for sure you two were going to tear each other's heads off last time I checked..." Cornette spoke unsurely and Chris could picture him scratching his head thoughtfully, even if a small blush came across his features at hearing Jim question the pair.
"The deal still stands despite what's happened the past few months. We've... matured?" Chris struggled for a correct term, but didn't say much more. Cornette was once again quiet, seemingly debating the whole situation and how it could turn around in his favor.
"Fine. Next week, both you and Alex will return to Total Nonstop Action. I suppose this can work out into a slightly different angle than I originally planned, but no big deal." Cornette's happy voice was back once more. Chris grinned into the phone.
"Thanks, Jim. Really."
"Not a problem, Sabin. Just remember. See me sometime this week for a briefing over your new storyline. Both of you."
"Got it." Chris licked his lips, that grin still resting on his features.
"Now if you excuse me, I have some errands to run." Cornette almost suddenly transferred back into a businessman, causing Chris to shake his head.
"Don't let me keep you from getting them done. Bye, Jim." After hearing a bye, Chris snapped the phone shut. He sat there for a few more seconds, just grinning at the seat before him.
They got their jobs back.
"Alex?" Lightly tapping on the door to the hotel room, Chris peeked his head inside. It was surprisingly open, prompting the dirty-blonde haired man to walk inside a few more feet. "Hello?"
"What." Kevin's dead-panned response was one Chris really didn't miss. He had actually forgotten about the monstrously large man up until now. Blinking blankly, Chris frowned.
"Is Alex around?"
"No. No thanks to you." Austin's sarcastic tone came from behind Chris and he spun around to find the flamboyant man leaning against the door frame.
"What do you mean?" Chris glanced between each of Alex's roommates, curiosity and fear both filling his heart.
"What, are you st-"
"Alex got into an accident." Kevin cut Austin off swiftly, arms crossed across his chest gruffly. "Jackie was with him."
"What... kind of accident?" Chris swallowed the sudden lump in his throat, wide eyes meeting Kevin's surprisingly concerned ones.
"Car accident, of course. What else would it be? Him and Jackie are both in the hospital." Kevin met Austin's gaze and with a single nod, the purple-clad man had disappeared down the hall and to the elevator.
"That bad?" Chris grit his teeth together almost regretfully.
"We don't know yet. We were just heading out to go check it out when you showed up, delaying us." Kevin rolled his eyes, but anger seemed to be the last thing on his mind.
"I'm sorry..." Chris lowered his gaze, looking at the floor now. He nervously shuffled his feet, fists jammed into his pockets.
"I take it you want to come visit the kid too?"
"Of course... if you want me to..."
"You know just as well as I do that I don't want you there. But I'm not about to ruin Alex's day any worse by telling him I wouldn't let his new playmate come visit him." Kevin moved past Chris, heading over towards the door.
"Kevin?" Chris spun around, looking up at the much bigger man with a half smile, "Thanks." The only response he got was a huff, but that didn't stop him from following Kevin to the elevator Austin had waiting for them.
"How are you?" Sitting up sorely, Alex glanced over at Jackie, who had been oddly quiet despite everything. It was eerie. The white walls, the pristine sheets, creepy silence... everything about this place made Alex jumpy, but he tried to stay calm, telling himself that it would all be over soon.
The blonde, however, remained quiet. She still sat there, hooked up to different IVs, those once warm brown eyes staring lifelessly ahead of herself. Alex lowered his own brown eyes, taking note of his own IVs and battle scars.
Other than major bruising, a sprained wrist from when he landed on the car hood and various cuts along his face and arms - including a gash on his forehead - he was fine. The doctors told him to take it easy for a while and that the alcohol would only make things worse tomorrow... great.
None of them were too pleased to find out that alcohol had been involved and even questioned the scabbing scratches, but he dismissed them, instead focusing on other matters at hand. He glared down at the white sheets covering his body angrily. Why had he been so stupid? All of this could've been avoided so easily.
"They said I lost it."
Jackie's quiet voice broke the silence, causing Alex to peek back over at her through his hair. He took in her unusually pale skin and the way she shook before quickly catching onto what she was saying.
"Jacks... I'm so sorry..."
"Don't, Alex. It's not your fault. It wasn't meant to be... I wasn't meant to be a mother just yet." Jackie continued to stare ahead of herself, words being spoken but nothing crossing her face. Alex frowned, guilt washing over him.
"Who was the father?" Alex continued to watch her, mentally trying to picture the kind of guy she would go after so he knew who to avoid.
"No one important." Jackie whispered back.
"I said it was no one important, Alex. He never mattered. It was all an accident."
Alex finally tore his gaze away from Jackie, sinking back down into his own cot. He stared up at the ceiling behind blurry eyes. He had screwed up her life forever because of a stupid moment. He had screwed up his own life even worse than it had been before, as well. Brilliant.
Just fucking brilliant.
"You only have about a half hour until closing and please try to be quiet." A woman's voice was heard, speaking too softly to be normal, before the door opened. Not a second later, a blur of red that Alex assumed was Christy had rushed to Jackie's side. Behind her, Gail and Traci followed a bit more calmly. After them was Kevin and Chris, Austin following them only after he had finished checking out the nurse that had let them in.
"OH JACKIE!" Christy wailed, grabbing her best friend's hand sympathetically and unusually gently despite her obnoxious voice.
"Sh, Christy." Gail warned, slapping the red head's arm lightly. She turned her attention back on Jackie. "How're you doing, sweetheart?"
"Bastard." Christy's grumble was heard throughout the room, eyes glaring daggers straight at Alex. But Traci stepped in front of her view on the other side of Jackie almost purposely.
"Hey, 'lex." Kevin smiled grimly, placing a hand lightly on Alex's shoulder comfortingly. Austin gave Alex a tiny nod as well, while Chris stood back a few feet away awkwardly.
"You don't have to be here if you don't want to be, you know." Alex muttered, gaze focused entirely on the foot of his bed.
"What makes you think we don't want to be here?" Kevin frowned, studying the smaller man incredulously.
"You've made it quite obvious these past few months. Sorry for being such a bother." Alex narrowed his eyes, refusing to meet Kevin or Austin's gazes.
"Alex." Chris spoke up, taking a tiny step forward. He took note of the sudden light in Alex's eyes, but tried his best to remain on track and not jump on the other man and kiss him. "Cut them a break. They really were worried about you..."
Alex finally looked up at Kevin, and then Austin. He chewed on his bottom lip unsurely. "Why."
"Because they're your friends, whether you want to believe so or not." Chris continued to speak up, moving so that he was right by Alex's head on the opposite side of Kevin and Austin. "We all haven't been very good to you in the past. But we all realized our wrongs and we're here now, aren't we? If this was nothing more than a charity case, trust me, you would be able to tell. But does it look like any of us are faking our concern?" Chris reached down to place his hand on Alex's arm, locking eyes with him.
"Exactly. You scared us... all of us." Chris nodded, staring down at the white sheets, refusing to meet Kevin or Austin's gazes. The other two men stared over at Alex, neither saying anything else. Alex was quiet for a minute or two, seeming to take into consideration his current predicament.
"Thank you." He finally looked back up to look at Kevin and Austin and then Chris. "For everything..." Alex shook his head, moving so that his hair covered his teary eyes. Chris didn't fight the urge to move this time. He immediately leaned down to kiss Alex's forehead and hug him as closely to himself as he could without causing much pain. Alex gladly returned the hug, giving Kevin the tiniest of smiles over Chris' shoulder.
I will not die, I'll wait here for you
I will not die, when you're beside me
I will not die, I'll wait here for you
In my time of dying
A/N: What's this? Did I actually write a happy ending for once!? Well... okay, maybe it's not the ending. But it was a happy ending to a chapter. That's gotta count for something, right? Haha. The chunk of lyrics at the end of the last scene is from Three Days Grace's "Time of Dying" - in which I own absolutely nothing because unfortunately, I will never ever marry Adam Gontier. Sigh.
I planned the whole car accident scene out somewhat according to the lyrics of that song. It was actually my inspiration to write that scene. Hopefully I didn't screw it up too badly.. Mleh. And the song Chris listens to on the car drive home has some meaning to me in the sense that it makes me think of this story. You could say that it's one of their songs. :)
Be on the lookout for an update sometime (hopefully) soon!