Finally I got it done… Wouaaah… Chapter 33… The hardest one until now… Hope you'll like it

Disclaimer: Even after so long they are not mine, not that I'd complain if tomorrow morning I have Batista or Kane or Jeff or Mark *stops herself* ok, so I guess you've got the message, I don't own the guys in this fic, nor the WWE but I would gladly accept both should they be offered to me, and I in no way imply with this that they are gay or anything, this is only for fun…

There were non-televised events but I chose to ignore them, sorry :-)

Well well well, I finally managed to manoeuver the story towards them admitting stuff *jumps extatically through the room*, but we're not there yet lol, not quite :-)


Chapter 33

Shawn left Jeff alone to go down and talk to Ric, all the way all he could think about was getting the needed backup, but the first thing he did was grab Hunter who was on his way back in, mumbling something about an emergency and pulling him to the kitchen "Hey, there's trouble in paradise Paul", Hunter rolled his eyes, leaning on the counter and readying himself for the worst, knowing Shawn and reading his expression "Oh my, you're calling me Paul, what happened", and the way Shawn was inhaling before locking his eyes with his only proved his intuition had yet again been right and the words following only made him frown some more "Well, seems Jeff did something yesterday he shouldn't have, and before you go yelling at me, I didn't know, I swear I didn't, I was out with Darryl smoking pot, not doing coke with Jeff upstairs ok", Hunter slapped his forehead and rolled his eyes again, shaking his head and barking "Damn Michaels… Will you ever grow a brain in that head of yours?"

Jeff was sitting in the bathtube, leaning back and inhaling deeply, trying to find a way to turn back time, unfortunately Chronos didn't seem to be in reach and bluntly ignored his desperate demands, tears started flowing down his cheeks, he knew he had disappointed more than one person this time, and if Mark came to know their closeness would be ruptured for good…

Shawn couldn't see how it was his fault, he didn't know, he didn't share and if he had known he would have stopped him, now having his friend in his face pissed him slightly off and he snapped "What?", "Weren't you along on the trip to check on Jeff, so that exactly this wouldn't happen", "Yeah I know, but I couldn't know, honestly", Hunter could see how it wasn't directly Shawn's fault, but he could slap him into oblivion for having managed to let this slip by his attention "Yeah, ok, I guess you're right, but still", "And Mark was there too ok, so why don't you go blaming him", Hunter needed time to digest that "Shawn, you know it's… Damn… Mark…", it dawned to Hunter that the second where the Deadman would be informed the ship would sink, after reflecting for a moment he sighed "Shit, ok, so I'll go and talk to him and you… You go and talk to Ric", "Yeah, but Rob is with Mark right now", "Ok, so you hush over to Ric", "Yeah"

Hunter let out the sigh of the millenium, shaking his head and wondering how bad this would now escalate again, he found Mark when he was getting back in, pulling him into the kitchen "Hey, wow, your face tells me you know", "And you do too, why? Shawn told you they did it together", "No, Jeff did it alone Mark, when he went upstairs", Mark turned to Rob a little guilt-striken "You think that may have been when he was rushing past us with that cute pout? You know while we were talking in here", Rob's smile vanished "Damn, and we just ignored him and laughed about it", Hunter rolled his eyes "Well, good call guys, really, 'cause I mean he fucking got lucky Vince didn't have him tested today, geez, does he think at all", there was a little silence as the men were pondering where to go from here, Mark was the first to speak, stretching and turning away "I'll go talk to him", "Mark, stay calm, I'm not really sure you should rush up there and unleash your hatred on him ok", unfortunately Mark was more than raging "Hunter, like you said, if he had been tested he would be suspended by now, what is there to stay calm about", "Him Mark, not the situation, I know what you'll do, I remember a couple of altercations you guys had and it always ended with him in pain, so just try for once to let him tell you why he did it before you start your Deadman attitude ok"

Mark didn't even answer Hunter, he just made his way back upstairs, Ric following him with a worried gaze "Shit, I hope he won't drown him in his bath", Shawn shook his head, grinning, but also worried "Funny Flair", "What, it's not the end of the world, he did it, it wasn't an intelligent move, now let's get over it and party, shall we", "Mark won't Ric", "I know, but give him a couple of minutes, I'll join them a little later", Dave and Glen were both eavesdropping on them and trying to figure out what it was about as Rob got down, sighing and immediately having Shawn mumbling "He's your friend dammit, how could you, you know what Mark will do? He'll make him feel even more miserable, all thanx to you and the fact you couldn't shut your mouth", Shawn always considered himself a tough and cocky guy, but the glare he got made him shudder, Rob managed to scare the shit out of him the way Mark did when he glared, he blushed realizing he was probably staring at him like a deer caught in the light and he inhaled, before adding "What? Seriously, I could have taken care of it, without Mark going all nuts on him", "No, you wouldn't Shawn, and I would like for you not to discuss my decisions", Darryl laughed "Guys come on, relax a little, you're all making problems out of nothing, seriously, so he did some coke, geez, the only thing pissing me off is he didn't ask me to join him, and Rob, don't go hypocrite on him ok"

Dave laughed, nodding, yeah, he felt a little like that too, Glen was lost in thought and wondering if he should follow his brother before the real drama started, but decided against it, it was entertaining to see Shawn this spooked, Rob now directed his attention at his bandmate and friend "I'm not tested Darryl, and neither are you but maybe I should start with it though, what ya thing about that", Darryl shrugged his shoulders more than amused "Funny, only prob will be that you won't be able to work either in that case", Rob chuckled "Damn, ok, no testing, still, Jeff knows the probability of getting caught is high and he just ignores it, and that is a problem guys", Ric intervened "Yes, but I still believe the kid does it with a good reason, if Mark finally would manage to tickle it out of him"

Mark had been ready to seriously get angry, but when his eyes lay on Jeff he just couldn't, how could he start lecturing him when the guilt and the pain where shaking him like that, he entered and closed the door, locking it for more privacy and got down next to the bathtube, pulling Jeff's arm away from his hugging position around the knees "Hey… Look at me Jeff", the sobbing just intensified as he gently stroked his hand "Hey, I'm not even yelling at you, there's no reason for you not to stop crying ok, it won't solve anything Jeff", the puffy emerald eyes looked at him, tears flowing like a waterfall "I'm so sorry… so so sorry", Mark felt a warm feeling spread inside of him and somehow compassion made it to the surface, not something that happened often with him, he patted Jeff's head and let his hand linger there for a short moment before pulling it back, his voice soft as he spoke "Well, I'd say that is a start… Now, inhale deeply and calm down Jeff, and tell me what the hell went through that head of yours", Jeff was shaking his head softly, words not quite making it out the way he wanted "I don't… I don't know… I was… They were… And it just got too much…", Mark tried to make a sense out of the pieces he was fed "You and them were what Jeff? And what got too much"

Jeff was feeling like drowning even if he was above the surface, he was far from elated, he couldn't believe he hadn't been capable of keeping his mouth shut, everything had been going so well, Mark had been nice with him, nothing but nice, but now, now it would all be over, he couldn't admit why he had done it, so he kept it vague "Everything", "Care to precise a little", Jeff shook his head, making Mark turn his head by gently squeezing his chin "Hey, what is everything Jeff? And who did what?", "I just… I just felt so anxious", "Ok, and coke helps or what are you trying to tell me", Jeff shrugged his shoulders "No, not really", "Ok, so why did you do it", "I… I was nervous…", "Ok, anxious and nervous, you could have smoked some pot, why snort?", "Because it helped", "With?", "Nothing", "No no Jeff, I won't let you get off this easy, so you better start giving me more than one-word answers kid, or you'll stay in there for a long time"

He felt cornered, and Mark could see Jeff was thinking, thinking hard, he just couldn't figure out if it was on how to tell him or if he was making something up, so he squeezed his hand again "Jeff, just get it over with and tell me, how bad can it be?", "It's nothing Mark, it was a stupid decision, I was pissed and I didn't think twice", "Uhu, right, and now the truth please", "It is, it was just one stupid slip", "Ok, and now the truth", "DAMMIT MARK", now Mark had been ready to do it the nice way, without imposing anything and letting Jeff explain, being yelled at was just not included in what he was offering, he let go of Jeff's hand and grabbed the shaking man by the neck and pushed him under water without a single word, keeping him there a good ten seconds before pulling the fighting Jeff back "You're such an ass", "I see" and he just pushed him under water again, Jeff trying to scratch him to let go but Mark was very ready to play this until Jeff would give in, at least he wasn't raging anymore when he pulled him back out "So Jeff, now we'll start over, why did you do the coke". He had to keep Jeff down since he tried to get out of the bathtube, breaking completely down and crying "I just did it like that, there was no reason dammit", "Ok, you know what… I'll call Vince and tell him that you were under the influence of drugs today and that he should suspend you since no-one could talk reason into you", "You can't… Don't… Please, I'll do whatever you'll ask of me Mark, but don't do that, please", "The truth Jeff", there was an intense flicker of fear that crossed Jeff's eyes, his breath started to come out more erratically and Mark started becoming concerned with hyperventilation, so he pulled him out of the bathtube, ignoring his prior threat of not letting him out, and handed him a towel "Dry off Jeff, we'll go and talk in your room", he didn't get any reaction so he had to dry him himself, eyes very locked with Jeff's face and trying not to think about what he was actually doing…

Downstairs Rob had gone outside to calm a little and shed that feeling that he wanted to punch Shawn and Darryl, unfortunately the latter followed him and squeezed his shoulder as he sat down next to him, Rob turning his head and softly asking "Am I the only one who wants to find a way to help him", the squeeze on his shoulder became a comforting patt "There's a room full of people who want to help him Rob, so no, you're not the only one, but perhaps the one knowing him the longest, so…", "You know what I've been thinking?", "No", "I'll have a little talk with Matt", "You're sure that's a good idea?", "I don't know…", "I'd say let the Undertaker take care of him, seriously Rob, Jeff worships the guy, I can't think of him not listening to what he has to say", "It apparently hasn't worked until now", "Wow, how many weeks has he been hanging with them? It took me over a year to get close to him and have him talk to me about other things than weather or beer", Rob had to admit that Darryl had a certain point, it always took Jeff long to to open up to someone "It's hard to see him like that", "Not only for you, but getting Matt into the picture, I don't know man… All he has done until now is worsen the issues his brother has"

Matt was in his garden and the fact that so many wrestlers were at his brother's place right now pissed him slightly off, not even Rob had invited him over and that had to mean something, he was pondering if he should just walk down but dismissed the idea, knowing Jeff would throw a tantrum the second he'd see him and that it would turn out ugly, his felt his phone vibrate and answered "Yeah?", "Hi Matt, Shannon speaking, can I come over?", "Yeah, why not", "Cool, see ya man", anything to take his mind of of his younger sibling…

In the bathroom at Jeff's place Mark was ignoring the little warm and fuzzy feeling that cursed through him while he was drying a limp Jeff, once he had him dry he took him to the bedroom and helped him getting dressed, sitting him down on the bed and getting down in front of him "Ok Jeff, now tell me what scares you so much that you can't trust me with the truth", all he got was a headshake and he was seriously starting to lack patience, and the Nature Boy suddenly standing in the door and interrupting him wasn't helping him "Mark… Let me try ok… Go downstairs and have a drink, get your head cleared", he entered and he pulled Mark back, who nodded and decided to let Ric give it a shot, he closed the door behind him and sighed, scratching his head as he made it down, eyes on him the second he arrived "What?", "Nothing… How did it go", "Check stubborn in the dictionnary and you'll come up with his name", "That bad ha", "Yeah", Rob followed him into the kitchen, Shawn immediately behind them "What did he say", "Well, nothing, there's a reason he did it but he doesn't want to tell me, Ric is trying to get him to open up", "He'll tell Ric Mark, I'm sure of that"

Mark turned, beer in his hand to stare at Shawn "What do you know?", "Not much Mark, all I know is he probably went up and did it after me and Darryl teased him to death", "About?", "Yeah, well, nothing really, it was more…", Rob had enough and interrupted him "About you Mark, they probably teased him about you", "Me?", Shawn seriously started seeing Rob as a nuisance, why did he have to tell Mark everything so bluntly "Rob, please… Yes you Mark", "Oh don't tell me…", "Yeah, well the same way we're teasing you, you know, you just end up pissed off, not wasted", "Michaels… How could you", Shawn helped himself to a beer and sat down on the counter "What? He likes you Mark, and damn, it was funny at the moment, we didn't think he'd…", Mark was shaking his head, disbelief clearly written over his face "Uh yes, imagine how funny it would have been if he'd been tested Shawn… Why aren't you getting that there is nothing going on with him and me", Shawn wasn't done with the subject and added teasingly "Well, you spent the night holding him Mark", "So?", "Well, if there was nothing going on, you wouldn't have done it", "Pfff"

Ric had sat down next to Jeff and pulled him into a hug, wondering if the fact that Shawn and that other guy, he tried to remember the name, oh yes Darryl had teased Jeff about Mark had let him to his stupid actions, Jeff was cuddling against him and started gradually calming, and when his breathing was somewhat back to normal he started, not taking the long way to get there and just cutting down to the major question that was troubling him "Jeff… Was it because of Mark that you did it?", for a long moment there was no reaction, before Jeff's tears started flowing again and he nodded, Ric sighing "Oh kid, no no, don't you do stupid things like that because of him… You know, he'll end up feeling very bad for having taken his little roadtrip, even though it was the right thing, no, the best thing he could do", Ric was grinning for a moment, he knew it, and now finally there was the first real admission, now at least he could help Jeff set up a strategy, Jeff who was mumbling "I'm so sorry", "Hey, Vince didn't find out so let's say you're safe on that side 'cause none of us will say something, and Mark, well he'll calm down too, but you should explain to him why you did it, he deserves it kid", panic made it back into the emerald eyes, clouding them "But then he'll be… no, I can't Ric", Ric gave him a sweet smile "You really like him ha"

Jeff looked at him with pleading eyes "Don't tell him… Please", Ric gently stroked through Jeff's hair and started stroking his neck "Jeff, it's not my place to tell him anyways kid, so don't you worry about your secret, but you should tell him you know, 'cause he's still in denial", "Stop saying that, he doesn't… doesn't like me that way", Ric caught a green strand of hair and played with it "Oh yes Jeff he does, you just need to give him time… And not screw-up every time you get him to open up a little", emerald eyes looked up at him, sad "If I had kept my mouth shut…", "Yeah, but you didn't, and honestly, I think it is for your best… Your friends are worried kid and quite frankly I am too, you should rethink what you're doing a little", Jeff tried to talk it pretty "I just snorted a couple of lines Ric", "I know, but your problem is you're doing it too often Jeff, way too often… I mean back in the time I did many stupid things too, but right now McMahon has put a stop to all crazy lifestyles Jeff, I'm sorry, honestly, that you never experienced it in the old days like I did, but if you continue, you'll be out…. Vince will fire you Jeff… Not to mention your health"

There was a sigh and Jeff got up to retrieve his little bag out of its hiding and got back down, putting his legs over Ric's and nuzzling his head on his shoulder without even a second thought, the fact he had Ric Flair in his bedroom, talking to him and trying to help was a blessing, a dream but he still wasn't really capable of seeing that "You should have it… It's way too good for me to spill it down the toilet", "You should though Jeff… Who cares how good it is if it makes you lose what you really desire down there", Ric pointed to his heart, smiling and putting one arm around his back, the other hand grabbing the little bag…

Mark took his beer upstairs and opened the door, a brief smile flickering over his face when he saw how Ric was holding Jeff and that Jeff was looking a little less miserable "Hey… I see you guys are talking", "Yes Mark, we are… And I just got a gift" he played with the bag, smiling "I think you two should go to the bathroom and this young man will dispose of it… And it's the last one you're owning kid, you've got that, the next time you wanna snort you'll come partying with me, at least you won't use it for stupid reasons and we'll know you did it", Mark frowned "Oh, there's actually intelligent use, wow, didn't know that", Jeff got up and hugged Ric "Thanx", "You're more than welcome kid, and next time, before acting, talk to one of us", "I'll… I'll try", Jeff walked up to Mark, hesitantly looking at him before passing him and crossing the hallway to enter the bathroom, Mark behind him, leaning on the doorframe as Jeff sighed, before throwing the powder in it and flushing "You're happy now?", "Why would I be happy Jeff? I would have been happy if you hadn't taken anything at all… But I can't change that now, can I"

Jeff walked up to him and stopped in front of him, inhaling deeply as he raised his eyes and met Mark's, Ric's advise to tell him in his mind, he tried to find the right words, and the courage to actually admit what he had been hiding for so long "I… I did it because… because… I…" tears made it back into his eyes, Mark was tense, he wasn't sure he was ready to hear any admission and if Shawn was right, just that was heading his way right now, he shook his head and hugged him, hating himself for enjoying it that much, it shouldn't feel that good to sense Jeff that close "Jeff… Think it over… Tell me when you're ready ok", what somehow could be translated as "when I'm ready", he was glad he felt Jeff nodding, they stayed like that a moment before Mark released Jeff from his embrace "You know what? We should go down and party a little, ok? I'll stay here anyways and we'll have a heart to heart discussion tomorrow kid", this "being alone" with Jeff started making weird ideas popping up in his head about his own real feelings and that was something the mighty Undertaker wasn't ready to be confronted with, that stupid "cute"-thingy starting to really get old in his eyes…

He watched Jeff splash his face with cold water and inhale a couple of times and smiled, wondering if that was the last time Jeff had taken that dangerous stuff, he had seen many wrestlers come and go because of that, even Shawn had nearly drowned in sex, drugs and rock'n roll, or wrestling in their case, and the fact that Jeff was one crazy and freaky musician next to being wrestler just made him somewhat twice as vulnerable, and hell, he had to admit, back in the time they had done some crazy shit, mostly all of them, but they had grown to become responsible guys, for the most of them anyways, and now it was the younger generation that was getting their help to not make the same mistakes, well as far as it was possible, he couldn't refrain from patting Jeff's shoulder as he passed him, his eyes still a little red but looking a lot more presentable "Mark… I really didn't want to disappoint you… Seriously", "Tomorrow Jeff, you need to sleep it over too ok", "Whatever", Jeff sat down on the first step and buried his head in his hands, imagining already what the looks would be and preparing, a hand coming to lift his head "Jeff, it's ok, you only have people down there who like and respect you… No-one will say something", "Right… My place, and I haven't been there to welcome them, I can already imagine what they'll say, or at least think… Please… I need a couple of minutes Mark…", as much as he felt pulling him down by the hair, he could somehow understand him, no, not understand, but at least understand his reasons, and Mark knew it had been already way too much for his broken soul tonight and pushing him too far would just worsen the situation, so he nodded "Ok, if you need it, no problem" and he left him sitting there, walking back down…

Shawn excused himself and went upstairs the second Mark arrived downstairs, and he found Jeff still on the same spot, head buried and inhaling deeply, he got down a step below him and pulled him against his body "Hey Rainbow… You ok?", Jeff nodded and Shawn passed his hands through Jeff's hair, bringing their foreheads together "Good…", he could sense Jeff starting to shake as he whispered "Ric knows Shawn, he knows… I… I told him", "Shhh Jeff, relax, he won't use it against you, he won't tell Mark nor anybody else… He'll just grin stupidly at you kiddo", "I… I know… But still… He knows I… I… Oh my god, how could I…", Shawn found Jeff too cute all shy like that, if it weren't for the sad shimmer in his eyes "Hey, it's ok… We've all known Jeff, the way you acted around him, looked at him… I'm sorry I teased you into seeing no other option than using coke, I'm so, so sorry… I should have been there for you, not joking about it", "It's not your fault Shawn", "Why did you do it Jeff", "Because I knew I'd have all of my…"

Jeff stopped and Shawn was very aware that he had to battle with himself to tell him, so all he did was hugging him as he sat down next to him and waited for the younger man to continue "You know, I feel so stupid most of the times… Unsure of what to do and what to say… And when I'm high on coke I… I… I just forget that… And I manage to be myself…", "No, not yourself… You're only yourself with your insecurities and fears Jeff, they are part of you, and the best way to get rid of them is to work on them, not dull them", Jeff gave him a little smile "And how?", Shawn hugged him and then got up "Well, by making you realize there's nothing wrong with being yourself Jeff, and no-one thinks you're stupid, freaky perhaps, but definetely not stupid… You know what? We'll go outside and have a little smoke, you'll be calmer", that managed to get Jeff to giggle a little, as he too got up "Didn't you just say something about dulling?", "Yeah, sorry"

When Jeff made it to the kitchen, Darryl followed and pulled him outside, making them sit down a little away from all the others "How are you feeling? And no stories Jeff, I don't need fairytales", "Empty… It all sucks", "Life has that ugly side Jeff, sometimes things just don't go the way you want it", "Everything was good before Rob started getting involved and felt like telling Mark", Darryl leaned back, shaking his head "Hey, no, it started with you doing drugs Jeff… You remember what we talked about? Not doing it alone? Man, I snort too, but not alone in my room you know", "I'm not having a problem", "Oh no, you're not… Right?", "Maybe I did too much lately, but it's still ok", "How can you believe that?", "Because that's what it is", "Jeff, do you have any idea on what you have? You have guys like Shawn and Mark who care for you, don't go and destroy everything", "I'm not destroying anything", "If you continue like this you will", "When did everything go wrong?", "It can be made right again Jeff, you just have to start looking after your health and stop doing drugs like every day", "I'm not doing… Ok, right, but I can't Darryl", "Why?", "I function best on them", "That's what you think, give it a shot, I mean you've got your biggest idol looking after you, what can happen ha?", Jeff sighed, he had to admit that Darryl was right, he had the Deadman looking after him, what could happen "I'll try"

Before leaving, Rob pulled Jeff outside and hugged him, whispering in his ear "I'm sorry I yelled at you Jeff, but I'm really worried you know", "I'm ok Rob, there's no need to be worried", "I wish you were right Jeff", "I am, dammit Rob, I just did a little coke", "You do your little coke way too often Jeff", "No I don't", "Ok, I don't wanna fight with you, so you go on believing you don't ok", he kissed him on the forehead and drove home, still worried when he arrived, and frowning which made Justine sigh "Ok, they'll have a session with me", "You're sure? Jeff is fucked up, Matt is pissed and angry, and I am clueless as to what to do", "But I'm not, they'll have to settle this Rob, it's been going on for too long", "Give Mark a shot", "Who?", "The Undertaker", "He's there?", "Yeah", "And you didn't call me", "Oh come on, you've got me, what do you want to see him for", she gave her husband a lustfull glance "What do you think?", "Oh no, come here you"

Mark closed the door behind Jeff, thinking how funny fate had put him in the same bed as Jeff, again, but what was different was Jeff's behaviour, he was positively staying away from him, eyes on the floor as he sat on his bed and looked pretty lost "Jeff… Hey Jeff", there was just a little aknowledgement that he had actually heard him "What is it now?", "Nothing", "Uhu, I see, ok" Mark started undressing, noticing Jeff's eyes peaking at him from time to time, so he decided to humour him a little, even if he was finding the situation more than awkward "Hey, you're checking me out kid?", "No, I don't", "Uhu Jeff, I see your eyes looking at me as I undress, that's called checking out", now he had wanted to get Jeff to laugh or at least play it defiant, the reaction he got was far from that, the younger man blushed like a tomato and jumped up, not giving him another glance and rushed out of the room and straight into the bathroom, locking the door just before Ric could enter "Great… Jeff… I just need two minutes ok, I really have to pee… Please…"

There was no answer and he turned to look at Mark who was standing there, staring in disbelief "What have you done again?", "Nothing Ric, I wanted to bicker a little and tease him that's all", "Uh, the last teasing session made him snort, now you have to add some? Really good thinking Deadman", "Hey, I just asked him if he was checking me out… And he was, I was just stating the obvious", Ric shook his head, not believing Mark could have been both so stupid and oblivious to the younger Hardy's feelings "How stupid are you Mark?", Mark took a step towards him glaring "Hey, you watch it, I start having enough of that attitude Flair", Ric shook his head, his voice low "No seriously, of course he was… He has been for quite some time you just haven't noticed yet, you make him nervous, and telling him you noticed he drooled, man… You can be stupid sometimes", "Hey…", Ric knocked on the bathroom door "Jeff, we're starting to line up here, could you hurry a bit"

Mark stood behind him, shaking his head and trying to make sense out of what Ric just had thrown at him, but the bathroom door opened again and Jeff mumbling a sorry to Ric rushed back into the room heading straight for bed, getting under the cover and curling, head buried in the pillow, Mark shrugged his shoulders at Ric and passed him quickly to enter the bathroom "Mark… Oh, really nice of you, really… Bastard, I really have to pee", hearing Mark laugh evily he turned and decided to take care of Jeff in the meantime, he sat down and started shaking him, leaning on him "Hey, don't you pout like that, he actually likes you drooling on him kid", "Shut up Ric", "No, seriously Jeff, he just wanted to joke not make any accusations you know", "He'll never stay with me anymore Ric…", "Don't be silly kid"

He heard Mark come back and got back in time to see Shawn sneak into the bathroom and slapped his hands on his thighs, pouting "Oh come on, you've got to be kiddin me", Mark only found the situation amusing and was happy he could get back at him for once, pushing him out of the room "You better get back in line Flair", "Funny, I think I'm too old for this sleep-over crap… Well, good night guys", "Night", Mark looked at Jeff "So care to tell me what got into you", "No", "Oh come on Jeff, I was joking, I wanted to see you laugh a little", "It worked", "Right", Mark got down next to him, still wondering what Ric had meant with Jeff drooling over him for some time, up until now he had managed to convince himself Jeff actually just liked him because he was the Undertaker and he was overwhelmed he cared for him, now his mind started to imagine totally different things, and he wasn't sure he liked it "Jeff… Seriously… You were looking… And I just joked, ok, it wasn't anything else, and you can consider yourself happy and privileged that I even start explaining such stuff to you", "Ok"

It took around twenty minutes and he felt a movement and a body snuggling close, leaving him even more lost, Jeff putting an arm over his chest, his head on his shoulder "Jeff?", "Yes", "What are you doing?", "I… I just wanted…", he felt stupid to even have believed Mark would accept him in his arms for one last night, and he was just about to move away and get up when he felt a strong arm come around him and pull him closer "Wanted what kid? You should start explaining yourself clearly Jeff", it took a lot of courage for Jeff to whisper "Sleep", Mark didn't really understand, sleep ok, but this close "Sleep? Like in my arms?", "I… I sleep better when I feel you close, sorry, I guess I didn't think it over, sorry, I can go downstairs and take the couch Mark"

Mark preferred concentrating on the couch story than the sleep better part because it reminded him that he too had better nights with Jeff around "Uh, and Jericho and Rey, wanna throw them on the floor?", "No", "The couches are taken Jeff", "The floor, I can take the floor Mark… I know that you…" his voice broke, and Mark had to keep him against himself with a little more force "That I what Jeff?", "Don't like being like this", "Like what?", "With me… like this", Jeff made it very difficult for Mark to find a clear reasoning to go with all that was unfolding "Jeff… I never said that", "But I know it", "You're so all-knowing right" there was a little silence before he added "If it helps you sleep and not screw up, I think I can survive with you like this", "Really?", he could have sworn Jeff's voice was lot less depressed "Yes… Really" but he didn't really understand why he had said that now, besides the obvious, helping Jeff, it wasn't as if it was because they liked each other more than they should, it was just harmless, innocent helping…

Half an hour later Mark was mentally slapping himself, Jeff was asleep in his arms, his regular breathing and the sensation of his chest falling and rising against him made the Deadman grumpy, foremost at himself, he couldn't understand how this pup, this freak, this kid, his own sanity cringed when his inner voice added male over and over again, who needed in the end only guidance and someone who would make him come to terms with his demons managed to stirr up so very disturbing and rare emotions in his normally oh-so-impassive soul, how he came to enjoy being around someone like him, how he wanted to touch him, to keep him closer, keep him safe, and deep down something more…

When Jeff woke he felt incredibly bad, not only his head was pounding but also the realization of what had happened made him tense even before he opened his eyes and snuggled closer to Mark who had been laying awake for quite some time and had been thinking about why he liked Jeff this close, and feeling him getting closer didn't help "Jeff…", "Good morning Mark", "Good morning, how are you feeling", "Worse than shit", "Well, that's the downside to doing stuff kid", "Mark please… I'll stop, I'll never touch anything anymore, but please, don't let me fall… I'm not a failure", his voice had started breaking on the last words, Mark was trying very hard not to do what he wanted to do but failed and pulled Jeff in his arms, actually he pulled him on top of himself and hugged him, his hands roaming Jeff's back soothingly "You're not a failure Jeff, you just tend to make the wrong choices"

Jeff had his face hidden against Mark's neck and breathed deeply, relaxing his back and doing his best to enjoy their position, firmly believing it was the last time he'd be this close with the Undertaker. Their position was also something Mark was thinking about, and starting to feel awkward having a grown man on top of him like that, not that he minded it in a ring, but a bed… He cleared his throat making Jeff jump a little and patted his lower back "I'm not sure about you, but this is kinda awkward", taking up all his courage Jeff mumbled against his neck "I like it", "Really?", "Yeah, I'm finally pinning you, even if it's just in a bed", "I think this position in a ring would be even more awkward and weird", "You don't enjoy it?", "Jeff, I…" his mind really badly tried to get some answer to that question, and even if he wanted to tell him that no, he wasn't enjoying it he couldn't, he just couldn't bring those words over his lips, knowing very well it would be a blunt lie…

Pushing the thoughts that came to his mind away, Mark directed his attention to something else, more innocent "How's your back feeling", "Stinging but ok", "If you move a little I'll get my oils and give you a massage", Jeff lifted his head and managed a shy grin "Really?", "Really, but I want you to promise me that you'll have the trainers check your back in Baltimore Jeff", "Mark, they can't do anything", "They told you that?", "No, I just know, so why bother", "Well, how about believing me when I tell you that they may help you", Jeff had moved and was now laying next to Mark on his chest, head propped on his crossed arms and turned to face the Deadman. He startled Mark with his next, softly whispered question "Why do you care like that?", he sat down next to him and splashed his back with oil, making him groan a little when the cold fluid connected with his warm skin "Honestly?", "Yes please", "I don't know, you somehow remind me of Shawn when he was younger… And Hunter likes you, so we've decided to get you all the help you need, and with that ass you call your brother war-raging against you, don't you think you can use all the support you can get", "So you pity me?", "No, I want to help you still be there in ten years Jeff", his hands were gently rubbing the oil in, making sure not to push too heavily on his lower back since Jeff was hissing every time he did it…

There was a soft knock on the door and Ric entered, smiling widely at the scene unfolding before his eyes "Well well well, good morning you two", "Wipe that smirk of your face Flair", "Why, I'm in good mood… What are you guys doing?", "I'm trying to get his back going for the day", Ric just entered the room and got comfortable next to them, giving Jeff a knowing and friendly gaze "Well you're one lucky guy Jeff"

All besides Mark and Shawn left for Charlotte, not before Ric had pulled Jeff outside and done a little balade with him, making him sit down far away from prying ears "Jeff… I want you to think about what you want in your life", "Ha?", "You need to workout Jeff, you need to stop doing drugs, you need to come to terms with what you feel for Mark, for the business… And talk to that brother of yours", "No", "Jeff…", "I can't talk to Matt without it turning into the biggest screaming and blaming festival", "Want me to sit down with you two", "No", "You're sure", "Yeah, I'll survive through our match and that was it", "Jeff come on, it won't be any fun for you", "Want me to be honest?", "I demand that you be honest Jeff", "It hasn't been fun in a while", Ric was taken a little aback, he had seen Jeff's mood go from happy to sad in minutes but never had thought that it would influence on his passion and love for his job, he made a mental note to tell Mark and Hunter about it as soon as possible, but for the moment he wanted to know the reasons "Why?", "My back…", "Pain?", "Yeah, it starts when I get up and stops when I fall asleep", "Jeff… Have it checked", "There's nothing that can be done", "There's a lot that can be done Jeff, you're young" Ric got up and gave him a smile "And you're talented kid, so don't let it go to waste", "I'll try, thanx Ric" Jeff got up too and leaned against the older man "For everything", "Anytime kid, anytime… So, see you in Baltimore, ok", "Yes"

Mark was looking for Jeff so they could go and grab lunch, he found him sitting beneath a tree, head buried in his lap, he decided to play it nice and not discuss the issues at hand right away "Hungry kid?", "Not really no", "But Shawn and I are… And Rob told me about spareribs that I'd have to try, so how about you show me that place", "Now?", "Uh, no, in three weeks Jeff… Of course now", he pulled Jeff up, making sure not to hurt his back "So, can we go", "Yeah, we can". Mark's hand had been resting on Jeff's back of the neck, gently playing with his hair in a moment where he really wasn't aware of what he was doing, but upon realizing it he pushed Jeff playfully away and quickly let his mind wander of to other topics "Good… I was starting to think you were just being plain rude with your guests", "Hey…"


Wow, I seriously killed myself over this chapter, but I think I can survive with it being the way it is, hope you like it and are not too disappointed after all this time…

In the next chapter Rob and his wife will try to get Jeff and Matt to talk, it will obviously not really work since Matt will turn on Jeff in one of their next matches hehe, hope it won't take as long as this chapter to get finished…