PG - implied potential m/m slash
Characters: John Cena, Shawn Michaels
Summary: A little testing of the waters between tag team partners.
Disclaimer: We own neither the characters nor the individuals who portray them. Written solely for our own entertainment.
Author's notes: This little drabble was scrawled to play with the interaction between Shawn and John (who I've never written before). I'm hesitantly planning a few more stories with this couple, using this piece as a setup, so feedback is even more welcome than usual.
"You didn't answer the question."
"We're still champs, aren't we?" John Cena demanded, slamming his tag team championship belt onto the bench beside him for emphasis. "Does that answer your question?"
"No." Shawn Michaels took a long drink from his bottle of water and leaned back in his chair. "I already knew you could fight, John. I asked if you trusted me."
John struggled with the laces of one of his hightop tennis shoes, nearly knocking the tag belt off the bench in the process. "Look, man," he growled as the shoe finally came free, "we've both had a long night, so why don't you let me hit the showers and get some sleep? We can talk about it in the morning."
" 'Let you?' " Shawn quoted, raising his eyebrows. "It's your room, kid. I'm not stopping you." A muscle twitched along John's jaw and Shawn had to fight to keep from grinning. He sat patiently as John debated whether or not to tell him to get lost, confident that he wouldn't. John might dress like a punk kid, but he was far too polite to snap at a legend. A hero of his, Shawn amended, watching the tension in the younger man's face. God help him. "Unless you don't trust me with your stuff while you shower, that is. I can leave and--"
"No, I trust you." The words came out in a rush. John frowned as he deliberately repeated, "I trust you."
Shawn nodded, but didn't move to leave. He wasn't sure why he was sticking around, but two decades in the ring had taught him to trust his instincts. "You shouldn't."
John looked so exasperated Shawn had to struggle not to smile again. "What?"
"John, I've made it very clear what I'm after." Shawn let his eyes drift to John's gym bag in the corner of the room. His gaze lingered on the glint of gold from the world championship belt John had carefully folded and tucked into the bag, half buried under the white T-shirt thrown haphazardly across it.
John shifted uncomfortably. "I know that, Shawn. And you're not going to let anything happen to me until you get your shot at it, right?"
Shawn swallowed hard. The kid was actually starting to believe it. "The video Edge and Orton made..." he stammered hesitantly, rushing ahead when John rolled his eyes. "It was true. All of it. In fact, they left out a lot of the stuff with Bret. And Sherri. Hell, half the stuff with Hunter was--"
"Shawn," John interrupted, "slow down. Are you telling me not to trust you?"
Shawn focused on the wall over his parner's shoulder, taking his time before answering. "If I say yes," he reasoned, "you're going to get paranoid and distracted. We won't be able to defend the tag belts like that. And I hate losing belts," he muttered mostly to himself, taking a sip of water before continuing. "If I say no, and you believe me...John, you're a good kid. I don't want you to wind up as the next victim on that RKO video." John remained silent, and Shawn sighed. "I guess it comes down to whether you'll be able to sleep tonight or I will."
The tension came back into John's face. "I'm sorry," Shawn added quietly. "I'm not trying to piss you off. That's just the way it is in this busin--"
"I'm not pissed," John interrupted, shaking his head as if to clear it. "I was just...I was thinking about something else. Sorry. But it's cool. I don't get that much sleep anyway."
Shawn frowned. "I know having the belt is a lot of stress, but if you're getting distracted with--"
"I'm not." Was John blushing a little, or just still flushed from the match? "I mean, it's nothing. Forget about it."
"OK." None of my business anyway, Shawn reminded himself. Not as long as John kept performing in the ring. "Maybe I should go. Let you get back to daydreaming." He arched his back a little, stretching the sore muscles as he got to his feet.
John jumped up as well, standing awkwardly on his bare feet. "Yeah, we're kind of stinking up the place back here. We need a shower." His jaw slammed shut an instant before his eyes widened in terror. "Two showers," he corrected. "I mean, one shower each. Separately. In different rooms."
Two pairs of blue eyes locked, and Shawn felt his stomach drop. "Oh," he finally managed. "Jesus."
"Shawn," John desperately explained. "It didn't mean anything. I didn't even really mean to say it. I respect you as a wrestler, and I don't want you to feel like--"
"Is that why you want to trust me so bad?" Shawn asked flatly. "Because I'll be honest, John, I've given you very little reason to." John shook his head, but didn't speak. "This is stupid. You're putting that world title in jeopardy because you've got a little crush. When I had that belt, kid, I--"
"I'm not a kid, Shawn," John stated, his voice low. "Stop calling me that. I'm the world champion. And I know what I'm doing."
"Do you?" Shawn snapped, eyes flashing. "I don't believe you do. I think you're just as stupid as I was at your age. You got a little fame, a little money, a world title, and now you think you can have it all. Well, you can't, kid. So you better decide right now what you really want before you wind up losing everything."
John stared back stubbornly. "I know what I want. I want you."
Shawn laughed shortly, half-annoyed, half-impressed with John's earnestness. "You got a hell of a lot of nerve," he muttered, shaking his head."
"So do you," John flashed a quick grin, moving a step closer. "Come on, Heartbreaker, you take all those chances in the ring, and you want to tell me to play it safe now?"
Shawn offered a quick smile in return, but then returned to seriousness. "I'm sorry, John. You're cute, and I like you, but this won't work. And I don't want to hurt you."
John shrugged, unfazed. "You don't really want to hurt me in the ring either. But you'll do it at WrestleMania."
"If I have to," Shawn admitted.
John mock-frowned in concentration, then broke into another smile. "I think I can live with that."
"I think you're nuts," Shawn responded. "And not really very bright. And confusing respect with attraction. And a little bit too cocky."
"So what you're saying is, we should probably just take this one day at a time, right? Which is great. I know this awesome Mexican place a couple blocks from here and--"
"Shower first," Shawn laughed. "Separately, of course. We can talk about the rest later."
"Really? Awesome. You're not too tired or anything?"
Shawn shrugged, moving toward the door. "I figure being with you is a better reason for not sleeping than paranoia and guilt. More fun anyway." Shawn paused with his hand on the doorknob, tilting his head as he watched the muscle along John's jaw flex. "Do you always do that when you're thinking about inappropriate things?"
John blinked. "Do what?"
"Never mind. See you in 20."