Disclaimer will apply to this chapter and every chapter henceforth: WWE and all related logos, merchandise, and personas belong to a McMahon. Superstars belong to themselves, and to each other if they want.
A/N: Uh, my excuse, you say? Well, it all started the day my brother was born…no? Okay then, uhh, there's nothing hotter than John and Shawn together? (Honesty is the best policy.) C'mon, they're already insanely hot by themselves, so can you imagine their hotness multiplied by two?! What? NO, YOU CAN'T?! Well neither can I, but I'll give it a shot (cheeky grin).
OMG: SLASH! Yes. Slash. MichaelsCena. Remember, the back button is your friend, oh and also, I'm going to be using a few quotes from Michael's autobiography because I like to make my stories as real and accurate as I can. So…the book is not mine either (which has a LOT of sweet pictures, though most black-and-white, it doesn't deter from Shawn's sexiness).
Time Period: Before the 5/23/07 Michaels-Cena match in England, y'know the one that lasted an hour. Yeah, so tag champs are the Hardy's I think, and Cena is WWE Champion just in case that changes. Triple H is still out on injury at this point and this is pretty AU from then on…so yeah. Please R&R, comments and criticism is appreciated.
alice fools- ×°▫»
…before we start.
The current WWE Champion burst through the double doors of the chairman's office. One of his shoes untied, he hopped over to a seat. His shirt looked suspiciously like it was inside-out and one of the legs of his suit pants was rolled up. He looked to say the least, disheveled.
The other occupant of the room took notice with an amused smile. "Slow down, Vince isn't here yet."
"Huh?" John asked stupidly, feeling the affect of all-nighters finally taking toll.
"Not a morning person, I'm guessing."
It was around nine. John scowled darkly and began tying his shoes, "Not when Randy's idea of fun is all-night bar hopping, I'm not."
After he finished, Shawn, dressed in dark blue jeans and a snug, black sweater, cleared his throat. "You do know your shirt is inside-out, right?" he mentioned with a small smirk. John looked down at himself, and sure enough he spotted the white thread of the buttons and the stitches on the edges against the navy fabric.
He laughed nervously for a second before he started taking off the shirt. It was a button-up, classy shirt, and something he wouldn't normally wear. He was so used to his street clothes that he forgot the proper way to remove said shirt, and ended up stuck with his arms up near his head when he tried to pull it up and off. He tugged a second time but the shirt wouldn't budge.
"Uh…Shawn?" he muttered, his panicky voice muffled by the fabric around his head.
Shawn looked up from his view of the carpet. "What?" he asked and stopped.
"I'm stuck," John explained helplessly.
Shawn cleared his throat to cover his laughter and ended up failing miserably. "Sorry but…you look stupid, Cena."
"Well thanks…" he paused, "but seriously, man…I can't breathe!"
"Alright, alright…" he muttered with another chuckle and moved in front of the struggling wrestler. It looked like he couldn't even move his arms too much, or else the shirt would rip. "It's a button-up, idiot, what were you trying to do?"
"Can we skip the name-calling until I'm free, please?!" John choked out, sounding like he was seriously suffocating. Shawn rolled his eyes and started tugging, but the shirt wasn't budging. If he continued pulling, Shawn was sure the shirt wouldn't come out alive so he changed tactic and began unbuttoning it quickly.
"Figures, your head can't fit through the hole…" Shawn said when John stopped speaking completely. He couldn't be seriously suffocating, right? His arms were up, and the shirt was squeezing him enough Shawn figured it was something akin to a choke-hold, so he might be. Still, that'd be a first (not to mention, really stupid).
Shawn placed his knee in between John's legs on the chair to gain leverage, before increasing his pace. "Hey Cena…you alive in there?" he asked, peeking inside. All he could see was the top of John's head. Finally getting mid-way through the shirt, John's arms fell down like dead weight and he groaned.
"Ow. Man, and I thought I was sore before…" he complained and rubbed his forearms. Annoyed with John in general, Shawn flicked him in the forehead. John whined again and started rubbing the offended area. With a fake and obnoxiously-loud cough, a new voice interrupted them.
It was Vince. And he was grinning.
"I see you two are…getting along," he stated with a smirk in his voice. Shawn, with his knee still in place between John's legs on the chair, was the first to notice how (uncomfortably) close they were. He moved away hastily and clumsily (how in the hell did that happen?!), trying hard to keep himself from jumping away and freaking out. John was trying to blink the shock out of his face, but only managed to get it new shades of red.
While Shawn was trying to figure out how Vince entered the room without him noticing, Mr. McMahon moved behind his desk to sit down. "I'm just kidding you two, relax," he said airily (but still grinning) and shuffled some papers on his desk. "I was just caught up in some morning paperwork. Sorry if I kept you waiting…uh, Cena…is there any particular reason your shirt is inside-out and half-buttoned?"
Shawn couldn't bring himself to look but he could hear the champ chuckling nervously. "Uh, long story?" Mr. McMahon looked confused and a little disturbed, but nodded regardless as John fixed his shirt.
"I'll get straight to the point, gentlemen," he started once John was done, "I called you here to discuss a possible future for your tag-team duo." This certainly got their attention.
"What?" they chorused, both staring (well, Shawn was borderline glaring) at Mr. McMahon.
Vince, expecting such a response, raised his hands in a pacifying manner. It didn't exactly calm them down but they were quiet long enough for him to continue without interruption. Calmly, he said, "I know the angle is done. You were tag champions simultaneously feuding for the WWE Championship. It was a one-time thing through-and-through, but we didn't expect such a positive crowd reaction."
"What about the Khali angle, and the WWE Championship?" John asked abruptly.
"The idea is still in the works. For now, things will progress as planned; I only wanted to put this out there as a possibility. I think it might be a positive change for the both of you." When they shot him unconvinced looks, he sighed mentally.
He really had to sell the idea if he wanted to get anywhere. "You two have on-screen chemistry. You work well together and the crowd loves you. You guys have it, charms, spark, sense of humor; you're jokesters in more of an innocent light than DX," he directed this statement towards Shawn, who for his part, looked away from the chairman with a frown, "but still with your respective, edgy, inner demons."
John looked uneasy and Shawn wasn't speaking. Vince looked the current champ in the eye, "John, I know tag-team isn't exactly high card but trust me, this could do wonders for your career. Tag matches are a different world entirely and they might help you out ring-wise. This is a chance for you to grow as a wrestler and there's no better way than working with Michaels. He's the best there is." Vince didn't need to convince anyone of that.
John nodded. "I know, Vince…" he trailed off, still looking indecisive. "How long would our tag-team last anyway?"
Vince tried not to smile. "I'm not sure. I'm thinking along the terms of a simple return, so it could just be for an angle if things don't work out…" he stopped and both wrestlers looked up at as Vince stood up from his seat, "Listen, I'm not speaking in permanent terms; you should know better, I'm just interested in bringing your team back for a while."
Shawn shot Cena a look, noting the small gestures of anxiety the champ kept displaying. He was making him nervous.
Vince noticed too, and feeling bad (and a little annoyed) he dismissed the wrestler, telling him to think things through and give him an answer later. He turned to Shawn, who moved to stand up too, and said, "Not you, Shawn."
Said wrestler blinked and sat back down, barely catching John's sympathetic glance as he made his escape. Once the current champ was gone, Shawn spoke, "What it is, Vince?"
The chairman smiled behind his desk. "What do you think?" he answered, speaking of his new idea.
"Sorry, doesn't interest me."
Vince frowned. "What? Why not?" he asked and sounded sincerely confused. Shawn almost glared at his boss.
"Cena isn't going to agree to this, Vince. He has his WWE Championship to worry about, and besides, what about DX?" he demanded.
"At the end of the day, it's my choice and what about DX? Shawn, honestly speaking, do you really think DX will make a return after this? Six months is a long time, and soon you'll have to have that knee surgery."
He couldn't argue with reason, but damn it, he'd try. "Yeah, but DX can overcome this. People love us, Vince, and pushing for a tag-team with Cena is only squashing any hope of a DX-reunion."
Vince closed his eyes and massaged his temples momentarily. "Shawn," he began, sounding tired, "don't be so close-minded. This is a great opportunity, why won't you give it a chance?"
He didn't really have an answer for that one.
"I understand DX is important to you but…"
"It won't be the same," Shawn cut in.
"I know, and I don't expect it to be. Hunter is one of a kind," Vince said with a knowing smile, "DX is one of a kind. I'm not trying to replace it or him." He still had that look on his face, like he knew what Shawn was thinking and he found it slightly humorous.
Well…maybe Shawn was afraid Vince was trying to replace Hunter with John or DX with this new tag-team. Maybe he was afraid it would work. Maybe he was afraid they would make it and people would love them. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea. Maybe he was thinking too much.
"Feels like you are," he said at last and Vince chuckled despite Shawn's testy tone.
"Does it now? Shawn, don't take this the wrong way but – DX is over. At least for now, and you have to move on. You know I'm not going to push you into this tag-team but I think it's worth a shot."
Vince knew the question before Shawn even said it, "And what if it does work?"
"Do you really think it'll work?"
"No," Shawn answered quickly and Vince chuckled again.
"Then?" he asked.
"But what if it does?"
"Shawn…what is this really about? Is it Cena? Hunter? DX?" he paused, "Cena?"
It was a bit of everything but Shawn didn't answer.
"What's going on? Are you guys not getting along? Is that it?" By the tell-tale wrinkles in Vince's forehead, Shawn knew Vince was trying not to laugh. He was probably remembering the shirt incident earlier. Great, he'd never live that down.
Embarrassed (and with a tic in his eye), Shawn snapped, "No. I get along with him the same as everybody else in the locker room."
"Which means…you pretty much ignore him until you're forced to work with him, right?"
"Pretty much, yeah," Shawn admitted with a shrug. He wasn't paid to socialize.
Vince let out a sigh.
Shawn looked at the carpet underneath his feet. It wasn't just Cena, it was Hunter, it was DX, and it was everything. What would Hunter think when he saw Shawn and John working together again as a tag-team? Sure, Shawn would explain but…there would still be the blow of watching them on TV, probably triumphing against their foes and initiating a new tag era. Shawn was DX. There was room for nothing more but Vince couldn't understand that and Shawn didn't know why.
Vince brought him back to his office with an offer, his tone now professional, "Just do me this favor, Shawn. I'm not bringing this tag-team back for you – you're already a legend – I'm bringing it back for the kid. He needs some experience working and connecting with wrestlers and it doesn't get more cooperative than tag. If you agree to help, I promise it won't last."
"How long?" Shawn asked, tiredly. He needed a nap or something.
"Until you can't stand him," Vince answered humouredly, which prompted a glare from the Heartbreak Kid.
"So, you want me to be in a tag-team with him so he can improve as a wrestler? Or as a performer?"
"Both. You're great with both, and he needs help with both."
Shawn sat forward in his chair, "Okay, why the sudden interest in Cena?"
Mr. McMahon stayed quiet and Shawn raised an eyebrow suspiciously in his direction. The chairman folded his hands in front of him. "You were right…I was forcing him down the fans' throats…" he said, his tone sounding more abashed than upset.
"I told you, didn't I?"
Vince looked annoyed, "Yes, and I've paid the price. Cena's paid the price…but in that match with you at WrestleMania, he was something else, Shawn. You were something else. I couldn't believe it, I was actually seeing something there besides marketing value and you were forcing it out of him. It was great…" He took a breath, "I want you two to work together again."
Mr. McMahon's tone had gradually changed as he spoke. He sounded excited proposing the idea to him, and yet Shawn couldn't figure out why this plan didn't sit well with him. "I didn't think the match was anything special," he said and he didn't really; it was just another match in his career, another WrestleMania he was proud of like all the others. Certainly nothing spectacular, or jaw-dropping, or career-changing like McMahon was making it out to be.
Vince smiled knowingly, looking wise for his years. "I know these things, Shawn. Trust me."
With the conversation weighing in his mind, Shawn stepped out of the chairman's office and almost ran into Cena's back. Apparently, the man made it a hobby of his to stand right in front of the door. Shawn grunted, annoyed, and pushed him away.
"Sorry," John apologized, turning to face the Heartbreak Kid. Shawn waved it off and moved to walk away.
Before he had walked too far, John called him back. "Uh, wait up!" he said quickly, and caught up with the older wrestler. "Shawn, man, I was waiting for you."
"What for?" He raised an eyebrow curiously, knowing Vince had kept him a long time.
They stepped into an elevator and John pressed the button for the first-floor, pretending to be undeterred by Shawn's indifferent response. "Breakfast," he explained, flashing a small smile in Shawn's direction. "IHOP, man. Can't have pancake-eating contests alone, you in?"
Shawn tried to stop himself from scowling. John wasn't the first one to invite him out somewhere; it seemed that everyone in the locker room had taken a special interest in Shawn's social life. Just this morning, Jeff invited him out sightseeing and some of the divas were jogging and asked him to tag along. Shelton was hitting the gym and Adam was going out to get some fresh air and they wanted him to join them. Frankly, it was getting (fucking) annoying.
He wondered if something was going on. People weren't usually so friendly and pleasant. Even if they were coworkers, most of the time the wrestlers preferred to get the hell away from everybody else when they got the chance. You could be the nicest of people, but traveling and practically living with the same group of people day-and-night, will drive you nuts.
Sometimes you just wanted to be alone. "Nah, not today, thanks for the invite though. I think I'm just going to crash back at the hotel, but, uh…rain check?" he offered only to be polite and he knew it, but he didn't really care. It wasn't like John would remember either way (or take him up on it).
"Yeah, sure. Rain check," he agreed with an easy smile as the elevator reached floor level. "Oh yeah, thanks for the help with the shirt back there, bro," he said offhandedly but Shawn noticed he wouldn't look him in the eye. He nodded as the doors opened and gave a noncommittal 'no problem'. They walked out together through the lobby, Shawn suddenly feeling uncomfortable in the silence. He wondered why Cena wasn't bringing up the tag-team issue, and then he wondered why he cared.
Finally, John said with a teasing look, "So what are you doing later? You know, after your nap?"
Glad for the conversation, Shawn smiled mockingly in return, "Eh, play with my toy trains or something."
"Ooh, fun!" he retorted with an overzealous grin. Shawn shook his head, amused, when John spoke again. "I was just wondering if we could get in some practice for that match next Monday…"
"Huh?" he asked, obviously not following.
"Sorry," he said with an apologetic smile, "I'm kinda stressing because I know this match is going to be huge."
He was talking about the one hour match scheduled for them on the next Monday Night RAW, but to be honest, Shawn wasn't all that worried. He wasn't a practicer either, and things just had to happen in the ring for him to work.
"I don't know. I don't usually practice for matches," he offered him a sorry-shrug.
"Yeah, I know, but think you could make an exception? Pretty please?" he asked and tried the puppy-dog eyes. Shawn smiled at the lousy attempt.
He figured there was no reason why not (except he didn't want to, but his conscience wouldn't let him get away with that) so he gave in. With a defeated sigh for effect, he said, "Fine, fine, enough with the eyes already."
"Sweet! Thanks man," he said and raced over to his rental before Shawn could change his mind. "I'll call you!" he shouted over his shoulder with a wave.
Shawn didn't say anything in return and only stared as the champ ran off in the opposite direction.