Title: The Return of the Millennium
Rating: Soft R
Pairings: Phil Brooks/Shawn Michaels, Jeff Hardy/Chris Jericho, Matt Hardy/Mark Calloway (The Undertaker)
Summary: Things were just starting to come together and now they might be falling apart. What will happen to everyone now that mistakes have been made?
IMPORTANT PLEASE READ:
So this is my apology for doing what I did in the last chapter. It is something I hoped I would never do and the reason I am considering leaving the wrestling fandom as soon as I finish what I have to finish.
Don't get me wrong, I love this fandom, I truly do. But at other times I hate it. Some pairings, some stories get tonnes of attention and others don't. People are disrespected as writers for writing certain people and pairings while others are revered, no matter how skilled either writer is.
Last chapter I catered to what I thought everyone would like, the great scandal, the great mix up that always seemed to get so many reactions in every other fic. It was frightening to me and I have to admit I felt so damn ashamed. It was shocking, and it almost made me physically ill because I'd become one of the lowest common denominators in writing, someone who writes only for reviews, for reaction instead of for themselves.
So for those of you who have read this fic prior to that chapter and enjoyed it I hope you will continue to read. But please understand I will not retract that portion because it was a lesson I needed to learn I think.
So this is a chapter written for me, for no one but myself as it should be. And if someone of you like it then thank you.
NOW ONTO THE FIC!
Confrontation and Honesty
Phil stood out in the hallway for a few moments, thinking about what had just happened he took a deep breath. It was wrong, completely and horribly wrong, what had just happened between Chris and him. Sure, he had admired the other man for much of Chris' career, and seeing the strength he displayed in facing something as scary as cancer he could only admire him more. He considered him a friend and he didn't know why he'd moved closer to him with the intent of hopefully receiving a kiss. As of late, he had found himself unhappy in his relationship with Shawn but had been unable to pinpoint why. Did he really have feelings for Chris? No he didn't think so, but perhaps that is what he needed to know in the first place to move on with his life.
Stepping away from the wall Phil knocked on Chris' door, Jeff was one of his closest friends, and he wouldn't lie to him like this. He'd always been a man of morality and that wasn't going to change now, when Chris opened the door he pushed past him not caring if he seemed rude for once because the situation quite frankly called for a little rudeness in his mind.
"I won't lie to them," He told Chris in a rush, holding his hands up when the other man tried to protest. "And you shouldn't either, after all you are trying to start things off with Jeff again and honesty is seriously the best policy in something like this, and it's not like you two are fully back together and it was just one kiss because I was feeling bad for you."
Chris listened patiently, or with as much patience as he could muster in a situation like this. "You're right, I should tell him but how am I supposed to do that? I've betrayed him before." He sighed softly, hating that he was wrong once again, hating that he had done something wrong that could end up hurting Jeff horrible if he wasn't careful for the second time.
Phil shook his head, "I know you're scare of hurting him but he has to understand that you're not infallible, you're human and you're going to make mistakes. It was a moment when we were both emotional, I wanted to comfort you, and you wanted to take comfort. We just both went about doing so in the wrong way that's all; tell him to come talk to me if he has a problem." He patted Chris on the shoulder and turned on his heel walking out of the room.
Standing in the center of the room Chris felt more than a little lost as everything ran through his head at a pace he almost couldn't comprehend. He knew logically, that Phil was right and that he couldn't lie to Jeff about this or hide this from him when he had already hidden something important in his life. "Please forgive me," He pleaded with Jeff even though the other man wasn't there. He didn't know what to do, and could only imagine how hard this would be.
Picking up his coat Chris pulled it on and headed out the door quickly, hopefully he would be able to catch up with Jeff before they had their date because he didn't want the evening to end in disaster. Hell, after he told Jeff what happened there might not end up being a date at all.
Honest: Is it the best policy?
Phil had never had to sneak into his hotel room after something like this in his life, and he hated the feeling now. It felt wrong and dirty and when heard Shawn's husky laugh at something he was watching on the television he felt even worse. Shawn had never been anything but happy in their relationship together as far as he knew.
"How is Chris doing?" Shawn asked, turning the volume down on the television as Phil entered the living area. He patted the couch beside him and smiled, "Come sit and tell me all about it."
Nodding Phil moved to sit next to him, almost entirely sure that his guilt showed on his face and in his eyes. He was never really good at hiding his emotions from people he cared about and he did love Shawn, he loved Shawn even more now that he realized that his feelings for Chris were nothing but platonic and he couldn't believe that he'd even doubted their relationship. When Shawn reached for his hand, he went easily then squeezed before slipping his hand out of the older man's, looking down.
Shawn frowned, shifting around he pressed his leg against Phil's and tried to get a good look into his face, "What's wrong? Did something happen?" He asked, trying to figure out what was going on. He doubted Chris would have yelled or been mean to Phil but the way he was acting possibly said otherwise.
"I'm so sorry," Phil murmured hoarsely, fidgeting in a way he hadn't since he'd done his first promo in wrestling. "I made a horrible mistake," He cleared his throat and ran his hands along his legs. "I've never done anything like this before and it was a misunderstanding and I felt like I was missing something from our relationship but I wasn't and I feel horrible that it took kissing Chris for me to find that out. Please forgive me," He'd never spoken that fast in his life.
Spine ramrod straight Shaw sat up and looked at him, trying to figure out what exactly he was feeling. Phil had kissed Chris, that was…startling but when he thought about it…It wasn't. Phil had always respected Chris, "What exactly happened?" He asked slowly, feeling oddly calm and settled about the whole situation as it was happening. It was just a kiss. He hoped it was just a kiss.
"We were talking about his relationship with Jeff and how sometimes it felt like there was something missing there, and how I sometimes felt like that too when it came to you and me," Phil sighed and ran a hand through his hair, his mind moving rapidly. "I just…He looked so sad and so sick, I moved closer to comfort him, and I guess we both went a little too far when it came to giving and taking that comfort." He didn't know how else to explain it, hell he couldn't even wrap his head around what happened.
Shawn nodded, reaching out slowly he took Phil's hand. "Did you find what you were missing?" He asked calmly, stroking the back of Phil's hand with his thumb in what he hoped was a soothing motion as his young lover looked ready to get up and flee the room at any moment.
Phil nodded, squeezing Shawn's hand lightly with a weak smile. "The realization of my feelings for you," He replied, moving closer when he realized that Shawn wasn't going to freak out about what he had done. It was nice to know, "I guess…" He shrugged his shoulders.
"I think that now would be the best time for you to be honest don't you? Please don't hold anything back," Shawn told him calmly, not wanting Phil to clam up now, he wanted the truth about what had happened and appreciated that he'd heard it thus far. He couldn't exactly get mad at Phil otherwise he would be a hypocrite because although he had never kissed someone else while dating Phil he had kissed Phil while still with his previous partner.
"I was scared of what was happening between the two of us and wasn't sure if I could trust you or myself to go through with this kind of commitment," Phil said almost entirely in one breath, avoiding looking at Shawn. "And now I know that I can trust you, and since I told Chris it was all a big mistake and I feel nothing for him that I can trust myself with the decisions I make about my love life. I can trust you to help me through anything I have to go through," He murmured. "That is…if you'll still have me after what I did?"
Shawn smiled and pecked him on the lips very briefly, "Why wouldn't I want you still? You made a mistake, and yes, you may have stepped out of your lifestyle. Although to be honest, I don't think you did because it was just a kiss, but you are not infallible. You are human and human beings make mistakes and they learn from them." He took Phil's other hand and smiled. "And I think you're punishing yourself up here," He tapped his young lover's temple briefly, "More than I could ever punish you."
Phil smiled weakly and blinked rapidly, "Thank you," He breathed, practically weakened with relief that Shawn wasn't going to break up with him. "How come you're not angry?" He couldn't help but ask.
"I've done much worse, and you are clearly in love with me," Shawn responded mock arrogantly and kissed him softly on the lips. "So how about we go out for lunch?" He asked, arching his eyebrow.
Phil couldn't help but still feel a little bit stunned about Shawn's understanding of the matter, he nodded slowly and stood up when Shawn did and offered his hand to him. "Thank you," He kissed him firmly, "I love you," The words were choked, as he had never been that good at saying them in the first place and the situation made it even harder in some ways yet delightfully easy in others.
Fessing Up and Facing Your Mistakes
It wasn't that hard to find Jeff Hardy if you knew where to look for him, which was what Chris was counting on once again when it came to finding his former lover. He ended up tracking him down in the gym, on his way to the showers and stopped him by gently grabbing his arm above his elbow he waited patiently while the younger man pulled his headphones out of his ears and turned to him with a small smile on his face.
Chris hated the thought of being the one to make that smile disappear, "We need to talk," He told him softly, tugging him away from the door gently. "Is that okay?" He asked, sounding anxious even to himself. "And I'd like to apologize, in advance because you are going to hate me." He lowered his eyes, clearly ashamed.
Jeff's shoulders dropped forward and he looked at Chris, no hope in his eyes just bleakness. "What did you do Chris?" He crossed his arms over his chest and tried to control the tremours that wanted to take over his body. It was hard not to take a step back but he could see that whatever had Chris looking so sorry that he would try his hardest to forgive him for whatever.
"I kissed Phil," Chris told him, voice rough as though he hadn't been speaking much when really he'd been rehearsing whatever it was that he would have to say to Jeff to make sure the younger man knew how sorry he was for what he had done because he definitely felt bad for it. "It wasn't…a big kiss." He fought for the words to explain but suddenly, despite his degree and grasp of the English language they were no longer there.
"I can shower in my room." Jeff said tersely, stepping away from the door to the showers, he hefted his bag up onto his shoulder. "Come on, you're going to explain to me exactly what kind of kiss it was and how kissing someone when you've sworn you love me isn't "big,"' He resisted the urge to shove past Chris on his way out of the gym because violence didn't solve anything no matter how much he wanted to partake in it in that moment.
Chris followed along behind him silently upstairs and into Jeff's room, sighing softly when Jeff turned to look at him. "I was upset about the past, and I guess some of my insecurities about everything we'd been through and everything I couldn't be for you returned and I ended up freaking out and I kissed him. But we both know it was wrong because I love you and he loves Shawn and believe me it was no more than five seconds, it was like the minute my lips touched his it felt wrong," He ignored the fact that it hadn't been the very minute Phil's lips had touched his. It had been several moments later, when he realized that he loved Jeff more than anyone.
"So I take you back and you immediately fuck it up by kissing not only another guy but one of my close and trusted friends," Jeff shouted at him, whirling on his heel to face Chris as he paced the room. "How could you Chris?"
Running a hand through his hair Chris sighed softly and tossed his hands in the air shrugging his shoulders, "I don't know." He murmured, eyes cast toward the ground before something seemed to snap into place. "But you cannot fucking judge me for this Jeff," He'd never heard so much anger in his own voice before, not since the doctor had told him his diagnosis. "Because you can't pretend like you're some saint in all of this, that you never did anything wrong when we were together."
Jeff frowned, his lips twisting slightly as he did so. "What the hell are you talking about? You don't know anything about what I was going through when we were together."
"Oh please," Chris scoffed, practically shaking with the fury he suddenly felt, it was ridiculous. "So I didn't see you on your knees for Randy Orton after a night of taking god knows what where I had looked in nearly every hotel room for you, only to find you with him." He spat, having held onto the anger for that for so long that suddenly he felt completely empty. It was hard to grasp, the coldness creeping in on him.
Chris turned away, sighing softly his shoulders slumped. He shouldn't have said a word, he knew better than to let his anger get ahead of him like he just had. This was Jeff he was talking to, someone he considered to be both precious and breakable all at the same time. He knew it was the truth, because he had seen Jeff break before.
Jeff swallowed heavily and sat down on the edge of the bed slowly, almost as though he was frightened his legs would give out from underneath him. He hadn't known Chris had seen that, but the fact that Chris had stayed with him for at least a month after spoke volumes in his world. It was loud and clear, almost violently clear.
"I guess we've both made mistakes we need to be forgiven for," He murmured, looking down at his hands and the chipped polish, which spread across his nails.
Chris chuckled, the sound almost bitter as it passed his lips. He had changed, Jeff could see suddenly. This Chris wouldn't allow things to go back to what they had been before, and Jeff had no doubt in his mind that Chris wouldn't even hesitate to walk away should he fall to pieces again.
"That's the difference between you and me Jeff," Chris told him softly, sitting down next to him he placed his hand gently on top of Jeff's. "I forgive people before they do bad things, I give them the benefit of the doubt but you don't. You've automatically set up yourself and the people around you to fail before they even try to get close to you; it's a lot of pressure." He squeezed Jeff's hand then let go, standing back up again, he squared his shoulders.
"I apologized for my mistake, for doing something like that to you so soon after a moment that to me was pure bliss." He smiled sadly, his eyes reflecting every emotion he was feeling right then as he looked at Jeff. "But on your part I think it was pity, you aren't ready to forgive me for what I did to you. You're not ready to forgive me for being sick, or for leaving you before and lying about why I did it. Understand though that almost everything I've done in the last four years was to protect you, and all I've ever wanted to do is see you happy. When I kissed Phil I was looking for something that I couldn't get from you, that you weren't able to give me and I found it there but realized it meant nothing if it wasn't coming from you." He walked to the door, his hand on the knob but he couldn't seem to turn it.
"What was it you were looking for?" Jeff asked in a choked voice, feeling like there was something squeezing the air out of him right then. A force he couldn't begin to stop because he knew the truth of what Chris was saying, he knew that it had been pity that had driven him into Chris' arms. As much as he loved Chris, he wasn't ready to go back to him, no matter how short the other man's time was. It would spoil what time Chris had left, spoil whatever they would have together because it wouldn't be true.
Chris looked over his shoulder at Jeff and let out a soft huff of air, "Honesty. It's all I've ever wanted from you Jeff; it's all I've ever asked." He paused, licking his lips which suddenly seemed so dry. "I've lived enough lies in my life, and I've lived yours for you now for years. It's something I'm too weak to hold onto and too weak to grasp at right now." He turned the knob and slowly made his way out of the room, shutting the door behind him.
Jeff buried his face in his hands and took in a sharp breath. "Honesty…" He murmured to himself then flopped back on the bed, not caring that he needed a shower as his mind whirred. First, he would have to learn how to be honest with himself…