A/N: I just needed to let this out. Ric Flair cancelled his signing, Mr. Kennedy is out with an injury, and Shannon Moore got let go from the WWE. I finally get a Smackdown near me, and two of my favorite wrestlers won't be there. The universe is just molesting my happiness right now.
I didn't hear his car pull up or the door close, just the tired shuffle of footsteps. He dropped his gym bag in the doorway of the kitchen, stalling behind me. "Samantha?"
I turned my upper-half and smiled at him. "Hi. You hungry?"
He wrinkled his nose slightly. He looked exhausted. "Sort of. Why? Did you... make something?"
I nodded, stepping aside to show him the stuff on the stove. I shrugged. "It's not a lot, but... "
Shannon walked up, eyes searching the counter top. He dipped his finger into the ceramic bowl next to the simmering pots and pans, examining it with the smallest smile on his face. Hesitant, he put his finger in his mouth and licked off the left over cake batter. He grunted in approval, putting his hand back in for another round.
"Oh, and I made a cake." I smiled again.
"Really," he said distractedly, sucking his fingers. He leaned over and kissed me quickly. "Thank you."
He tasted like cake batter. "You're welcome."
Shannon sighed and patted his stomach. "Better go... shower."
I nodded. "Okay. Supper should be ready soon."
He headed back to the hallway, snatching his gym bag. "Uh... What are we having?"
He nodded, turning to go to the bathroom. I watched him disappear into the darkness, flicking on the light just before the door closed. The shower turned on a second later.
I turned back to the sauce, sighing. I wasn't complaining, really. I loved having him home. Just... not like this. Not when he just stared off into the distance, eyes wide and unfocused. Not when he wouldn't get out of bed until two or so and then just sit around, slouching half off the couch with the television remote in his hand. He'd just drink until he had to go to bed, then repeat the process the next day.
I finally managed to get him out of the house, shoving his stuff at him this morning. Working out always made him feel better, so I threw him his keys and told him to get down to Vass Fitness Center before they forgot who he was. He perked up a bit, but it didn't look like working out did him any good. He still had that distant look in his eyes.
The oven buzzer went off. I blinked, noticing I had practically boiled my hand over the bubbling pot of sauce in front of me. I shook my head and leaned over, turning off the annoying chirping. I opened the oven and pulled out the coconut cake, sliding it onto the cool counter top.
"Damn, that smells good," Shannon said flatly, coming into the kitchen. He looked disheveled - his hair was stringy and all over the place, dripping water onto his bare chest. I think his white track pants were on backwards.
"That's for afterward." I shook my finger at him when he came closer. "Not yet, Shannon Moore."
Shannon groaned down in his throat, smiling slightly. He leaned over the spaghetti sauce, sniffing. "That smells good, too. I guess."
"You guess?" I slapped him with a dish towel, smiling.
Shannon shrugged. "Well... you know." He eyed the cake.
I narrowed my eyes and took the wooden spoon I'd been using to stir the sauce, dipping it into the red liquid. I held the sample in front of his mouth.
"Samantha, baby, I don't want to die."
I just stared at him, the spoon practically dripping into my hand. I held it closer to his mouth.
He looked at me over it, and for a split second, I saw the old Shannon in those eyes. The sultry, teasing, everything-has-to-be-sexual Shannon Moore. Then he dropped his tired eyes to the spoon, opening his mouth and sliding his lips around it.
"Good?" I asked hopefully, watching him try to lick sauce off his top lip and smile at the same time.
He smacked his lips together. "Not bad."
"Not bad? Get out of my kitchen."
"Okay," he said, bored. He walked out, heading over to the table. I watched him sit down and sigh, staring across the table with his laced fingers near his mouth. Shannon's thinking face.
"Shannon, beer or wine?"
He shrugged, staring at the middle of the long table. "Whatever you want."
I rolled my eyes, taking a bottle of wine from the rack tucked away beside his fridge. After I drained the spaghetti and mixed it with the sauce, I carried all of it - including two wine glasses - into the dining room, where Shannon was STILL staring at nothing.
"Help yourself," I said briskly, sitting next to him. It was always weird, having that big table with only two people sitting adjacent to each other at one end.
"Can I have some?" he asked softly, pointing to the wine glass.
"You need to eat, too." I handed him the glass and watched him drink more than a sip. "Shannon," I warned.
"I am, I am." He tiredly took some pasta and dumped it on his plate, staring at it blankly with his fork ready.
"You have to put it in your mouth," I enunciated.
Shannon blinked slowly, twirling the prongs between the strands. He lifted the dripping food and slurped it into his mouth noisily. "Good," he muttered.
He drank the rest of his wine, slumping tiredly against his chair, just watching me eat. He didn't touch most of his dinner - he only ate when I yelled at him.
When I finished, he stared at me expectantly. "Do you want some cake?" I asked.
He shrugged. "I guess."
I rolled my eyes and stood up abruptly, taking our plates. "Finished?" I didn't wait for him to answer.
He pissed me off so much sometimes. I really felt bad for him. I did. Getting let go hurts. I knew - I'd been let go a handful of times. But this was goddamn ridiculous. He had a life besides fucking wrestling. He had Gas Chamber, he had his friends, he had me... Sure, he lost one of the most important things in his life. That didn't mean he had to let go of the rest.
I heard his feet slap against the linoleum floor. I'd been angrily icing the cake, slapping the chocolate mountains in the center and spreading it all around. I didn't notice he was close to me until I felt his wet hair touch my bare shoulder.
"Looks good, babe," he said, almost enthusiastically. "Can I try some?"
"No." I was still pissed. Acting cute wasn't going to help him this time.
His sigh tickled the back of my neck. He kissed just under my jaw, hand reaching around to shake my stomach. There wasn't much to shake, but Shannon had weird quirks like that.
"Am I fat now, Shannon Moore?" I hissed, turning around.
His eyes didn't looked tired for once. Just sad. He stared at me, blinking. "No," he said softly. He dropped his hand. "Sorry."
I watched him with narrowed eyes for a few seconds, then sighed and flopped the rubber spatula into the tub of icing. "I'm sorry."
Shannon smiled. I loved his apple cheeks. "You have some... " He lifted his hand and wagged his finger near my mouth, wrinkling his nose. "Chocolate."
"Oh." I lifted my hand to wipe it away, but Shannon caught it, smoothly locking our fingers together.
"Uh uh," he said quietly, leaning forward. He kissed the spot he pointed out, moving over to kiss me fully on the lips. He pulled back and sighed, going into sad Shannon again.
I was about to roll my eyes and turn away, but Shannon stopped me when he leaned forward again and laid his forehead against my shoulder. He stayed like that for the longest time, just breathing evenly.
I reached my free hand up to his head, sliding my fingers through his hair. I felt him sigh. Something dripped onto my skin - it wasn't from his hair.
"I'm sorry, baby," I said softly.
"So am I," he mumbled, turning his head against my neck. "But I guess it's better this way."
He smiled. "I get to spend more time with you."
"And Gas Chamber."
He shook his head, lifting it. His eyes were Old Shannon. "No. You."
I smiled crookedly, feeling my heart break when his eyes slowly slid back to normal. It was terrifying that normal was sad. " I love you, Shannon."
He shrugged. "I guess I love you, too."
I laughed - it felt good. "Well, good. I guess."
Shannon smiled, turning his head to look at the counter. He reached over and slid two fingers across the top of the cake, building up an obscene amount of icing on the tip.
"Want some?" I asked, reaching for a knife to cut it.
He licked some of the chocolate off, then turned and slid the rest between my lips. It was the sexiest thing Shannon had ever done, especially lately.
"I think we can find something better than cake." He smiled brightly, swiping another line through the icing. He sucked his forefinger, then his thumb, taking my hand in his other. "Let's go."
As he tugged me along, I forgot all about the mess in the kitchen.