AN: Don't own. Obviously.
I've been a LOOONG time lurker of this site and just recently started reviewing and such. And now, I'm ready to give it a go, I think.
This is my first attempt at writing anything. Haha. So, please be kind, but please review. I'd like to know whether I should even finish this.
Thanks for reading. Oh, and I apologize for the weird time line of the writing.

-FortheLoveofWrestling


"You better take it easy on those wings there, rocketman," Mark pointed out.

Brian chuckled, "Sorry, I've been sick the past couple of days and haven't had much to eat. I'm starving."

Mark couldn't help but smile. Smile. That was one thing he couldn't help but do when he thought of Brian. The kid was so goofy.

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Before the draft a while back, when he and Paul were moved to RAW, they had gotten a chance to get to know each other a little. It started out with Brian asking Mark if he could watch his match that night and maybe let him know what he thought about it, what he thought of his skills in the ring. He was so shy and almost seemed nervous to ask him. And that only made him look cuter.

Of course, Mark watched the match and was quite impressed. After the taping, Mark waited for Brian in the parking garage. When he saw Brain walking out of the building, with Paul and a couple of other guys. He asked him if he wanted to grab a bite to eat and discuss the match. Nervously, he accepted. Mark was always honest when people sought his opinion, and never did he recall a time when Mark made this kind of offer to someone who wanted his opinion. They went out, grabbed a bite and after a little small talk, got down to his match. Even then, Mark couldn't help but smile as Brian fidgeted in his seat the whole time.

"...like someone let off a rocket in the ring. You're really something else, you know?" Mark told him.

With a goofy, crooked smile on his face, Brian looked down into his plate and all he could manage was "yeah?"

"Yeah. Keep doing what you're doing and keep learning, you'll set you're career off like a rocket too," Mark smiled back at him.

"Thanks," he said as he played with a fry. Goofy smile still on his face.

Mark continued to watch his matches, and always had something to let him know about. He was even hanging out by the ring whenever he and Paul had a practice, every once in a while he'd jump in the ring with them and showing, and learning, a few things.

A couple weeks later though, Kendrick and London were drafted to Raw.

"We're going to get buried over there," Brian told Paul.

"I know, but what are we gonna do about it?" he replied.

"Not worry about it, that's what," both guys turned around to see Mark walking up to them. "They're moving you guys for a reason, so have trust that these knucklehead writers have something in store." Both men nodded.

Paul looked down at his phone, he read the text and excused himself for a minute. Saying something about a missing shoe. Mark and Brain stood there until finally...

"I guess I better start getting my stuff ready to go," Brain said. "Listen Mark, thanks for everything these past couple of weeks. You have no idea how much Paul and I appreciate it."

"No problem, Brian. Don't go letting Shawn erase all my work either, okay?" Brian chuckled and said bye, and just as he had turned to leave he felt Mark's hand on his arm. "Just be the rocketman you are and you'll be okay. They notice you, you just gotta keep going at it the way you do, alright? You guys will be fine." Brain nodded and thanked him again.

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Although they had spoken a few times since Brian came back to Smackdown!, he was just as shy and nervous as he was the first time he asked Mark to watch his match. Mark chalked it up to being that he was a little nervous because Paul was still on Raw and he was here with no partner. Things weren't looking too good for Paul over there either, that might have been why he was so quiet and shy; he didn't want to draw any attention to himself, just in case.

One night after a show, Brian was left in the locker room with only his gym bag and the clothes he had on. Some rib someone or other was pulling left him with out his stuff and no ride back to the hotel.

As Mark was walking out of his own room, he noticed Brian, sitting on one of the big cases scattered around the arena. He stopped just behind him and said...

"Hey, kid."

Brian turned around and found himself looking straight into the Deadman's eyes. Not as bad as some might think.

"Hey, Mark."

"What are you still doing here? I heard all your friends laughing like a bunch of hyenas outside my locker room earlier. I thought maybe you all had some big night planned or something," Mark said as Brian's face turned into a frown. Hm, he's even cute when he frowns.

"Yeah, well I think maybe they had some fun plans. Which included leaving me here stranded with nothing and no ride," he said.

"Oh. I see, rib gone wrong, huh?" Brain nodded. "Well if you need a ride, i'm on my way out."

"Are you sure? I don't want to ruin any of your plans or anything," Brian asked.

Mark laughed, "Kid, all I have planned for tonight is an uncomfortable hotel bed and some Law and Order reruns, so come on."

With a pat of the back, Brian looked at Mark, and there it was again: that goofy smile.

The car ride to the hotel was mostly silent other than a few comments of the usual small talk.

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Mark's POV
In the hotel hallway.

"Hey, thanks for the ride Mark. I really appreciate it."

"Don't worry about, just make sure to get your stuff back because if Vince finds out you don't have your gear, he's gonna have a fit."

I shouldn't have said that. What if he worries about Vince on his case now?

"Yeah, I know. I'm sure someone has it stashed away somewhere."

Guess this is when I say bye and leave.

"Alright, well, I guess i'll see you around tomorrow. Goodnight."

"Hey, since we don't have to be at the arena until the evening, you want to catch lunch or something?"

Wow. How did this happen?

"Uh, yeah, sure. Sounds good."

First it's like he's afraid to talk to me, and now he's asking to hang out?

"Cool. Thanks again for the ride, Mark. Goodnight."

God, that smile.

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Brian's POV

Wow. He actually agreed to lunch. I thought for sure he was going to make up some excuse about being busy or having to go to some meeting.
Well, he did ask if I needed a ride. Why was I upset at him in the first place? I came back to Smackdown! and he's talked to me a few times. What was I being immature about?

Brian flopped down into the bed. Being careful not to wake his sleeping roommate. He turned on the TV, making sure the volume was turned down though. As he was flipping through the channels, he stopped on Raw. He kept it there, even though it was in spanish. At least it was something decent he could fall asleep to.

Oh yeah. That's why I was upset. I was starting to think he really liked me. I mean, why would he just take me on as a charity and want to help me out? I was really excited, it's one thing to have him talk to me about it, but to actually make an effort into helping me was something special. I was afraid he might catch on to my crush for him though, or maybe I was hoping he did.

Either way, it doesn't matter. After the draft, I went to Raw and he didn't even care enough to call or email. At the least I thought maybe he cared about me as a wrestler and he wanted to help me succeed. Guess not.

But it's not like he's avoiding me or anything now. If anything, I was avoiding him. Maybe I should ask?

And with that final thought, Brian fell asleep.

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Mark's POV

God, that smile is something else. It's killing me how cute and goofy he looks sometimes.

At least this was a good sign, right? Maybe him asking to go to lunch will get things going with our relationship. Friendship.

Mark laid down on his uncomfortable bed and turned on the TV, he didn't share a room with anyone so volume was no concern.

Of course, nothing on.

Wonder what the rocketman is doing? What the hell? He's probably sleeping. Why do you even care, pervert? He tried to shake the thoughts and questions running in his mind.

That smile though.

I wonder what made him come out of his shell tonight? Maybe he just needed a ride?

Man, what in the world is going on with me? I thought maybe there might be a chance that he liked me, but that was back before the draft last year. Now it seemed like all he wanted to do was avoid me. I'd start a conversation and then as soon as it started something popped up and he had to go. At the least I thought maybe he just didn't want me poking into his wrestling again. That's fine. Couldn't we just talk? Weren't we friends? ... Well, I guess a friend would have talked to him sometime in the time he was over on Raw.

Whatever. He seems to be coming around. Maybe i'll ask him what has been bothering him these past couple of weeks.

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"You ready to go?"

"Yeah, let's get going."

Mark and Brian headed out of the hotel lobby and into the parking garage. Every so often though, one could feel the other's eyes on him. When they reached the car Mark asked if maybe he wanted to drive.

"Yeah?... Sure."

"Just don't kill me or anything. You do know how to drive right?"

"Yes, I know how to drive," Brian said as he flashed Mark a quick smile.

"Since i'm driving, that means i'm in charge of the radio right?"

"As long as it isn't anything I don't like."

Brian reached over and plugged in his iPod. "How about this?" he giggled.

"Now that is music," Mark laughed as he listened to his theme song. "Why in the world is this on your iPod?" he asked.

"I like it." This time it was Mark who flashed his smile.

Cute smile Brian thought.

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"You better take it easy on those wings there, rocketman," Mark pointed out.

Brian chuckled, "Sorry, I've been sick the past couple of days and haven't had much to eat. I'm staaarving." He made a show of wiping his face and gently placing the wet nap on top of the small mountain of napkins he had accumulated on the table.

Mark couldn't help but smile. This kid is so goofy. He's acting like he does when he's with his friends. That's a good sign. Maybe he doesn't see me as some old guy trying to tell him what to do with his work. Maybe he's starting to see me as a friend again.

After lunch and a round of basketball at the adjoined arcade, Mark and Brian headed back to the hotel to get ready for the night's show.

They stopped in the hallway, in front of Brian's door, where they had the night before.

"Have you gotten a chance to check out my new gimmick?" Brian asked, almost as if he already knew a 'Not yet' was coming.

"Yeah, I have. It's pretty good. Reminds me of Shawn, Hayes and Brian Pillman- all rolled into to one little rocket." Mark said.

"Really? Wow. Big shoes to fill."

"You don't need to fill any shoes. Just find your right size." Mark looked at Brian and noticed that he looked especially happy.

"What are you so happy about all of a sudden?"

"I-I didn't think you had really noticed my character or anything, that's all."

"Why wouldn't I? You're out there stealing the show, it's hard not to."

"I'm glad you noticed." Brian mumbled and hung his head.

Mark reached over and tilted his head back up. "Hey, there's no need for an attitude like that. You get a great response from the crowd, some hate you and there's some who love the new you, but it's a good reaction either way. I'm not the only one who has noticed. I know it probably seems like nothing is coming out they way you want, but believe me. People are noticing. And it's about damn time." Another smile from both men.

By this time, neither one of them noticed that Mark had Brian's hand in his. Brian finally looked down and pulled his hand away. Instantly missing whatever it was that they didn't notice to begin with. Mark looked down and then met Brian's eyes. He also already missed whatever it was.

"I'm sorry, Brian. I-I didn't realize I..."

"It's okay."

A moment.

"I better let you go get ready."

"Yeah, better get going."

Another moment.

"Listen kid, I don't know if i'm reading too much into any of this, but if there is anything you ever want to talk about, you can come to me, if you need to."

"Actually. There is something I wanted to talk to you about," he chuckled, shaking his head, "now more than ever."

"Oh." was all Mark could muster. He was sure he was just reading too much, he was sure it was only wishful thinking on his part. "Okay."

"Are you busy tonight? After the show, I mean." Brian asked.

"Not anymore," Mark smirked.

Brian gave him a half smile. "Alright. I'll call you after the show, if that's okay?"

"Yeah, that's fine. I'll talk to you then, I guess." Mark shuffled around left.

"Bye." Brian managed to say. Hopefully I don't make a fool of myself and don't go ruining what's starting to be a good friendship.