This story is dedicated to NeroAnne. I hope you like it. Thanks for all your lovely reviews and keep those great stories coming.
It should be quite a few chapters but I'm not sure how many yet.
"I'm sorry Jeffy. I love you" Matt whispered as he hit his brother with a chair, stealing Jeff's chance to defend his title at the Royal Rumble.
He closed himself off from the scene, not hearing the jeers and boos of the crowd, not seeing Adam and Vickie's shocked expressions. All he could see was Jeff lying in the ring unconscious while he screamed inside for the terrible thing he'd just done to his baby brother. He walked away, outwardly showing no emotion but inside his heart was breaking.
It had to be done he told himself, but it was the hardest thing he'd ever had to do. It didn't matter if it was right or not. He could think of no other solution, no other way to protect Jeff from the truth than to make Jeff hate him.
He fled the arena straight away, not wanting to stay and answer the questions that would be sure to be coming from the other wrestlers, all who had been left in the dark about what was going to go down at the Rumble. Only Vince and himself knew.
"I'm sorry Jeffy. I love you" Matt whispered again as a tear fell down his cheek. He drove along the lonely stretch of highway that led to his dark and empty house, as dark and empty as his future without Jeff.
Jeff was devastated. He couldn't believe the medics when they told him his own brother had knocked him out. The last thing he remembered was Matt handing him a chair to hit Adam with…but then nothing. Then he'd seen the replay and had to face the truth – his own flesh and blood, his hero, his big brother had betrayed him.
He wanted to die. He'd never felt so alone in all his life. No event that had come before this moment had cut him quite as deeply. Not his mum dying, the drug addictions, his house burning down, not even his dog dying because through it all he'd had Matt there to comfort him.
Now the person he'd always turned to had turned from him and he couldn't understand why.
Matt had already left and wasn't answering his phone, and so the questions he yearned to ask would have to wait to be answered.
But there were some that Vince McMahon could certainly answer, and so it was to him that Jeff went to.
He barged into McMahon's office. "What the hell was that Vince?" Jeff demanded. "That was the beginning of a new feud. Hardy vs Hardy. We had to do some damage control once the Christian story got leaked and Matt stuck up his hand to take the fall. We felt it would be more authentic if you didn't know about it beforehand" Vince explained, not even bothering to look him in the eye, but continuing to look over the paperwork he'd been reading when Jeff entered the room.
"This was Matt's idea?" Jeff asked with shock. They'd agreed never to do another feud against each other.
"Sure was. If you don't mind I'm quite busy shut the door behind you when you go" Vince replied absently with a 'off you go' flick of his wrist.
Jeff burst into tears. "If it's alright with you I'd like to take a few weeks off.." Jeff choked out.
Vince thought about it for a moment, a wrinkle appearing in his forehead. "Okay sure. We can pretend Matt banged you up and that you're devastated at his betrayal. It'll sell the feud a bit more. 2 weeks. But that's it" Vince agreed.
"Thanks" Jeff whispered as he left.
He headed for home and the comfort of Beth's open arms.
Two weeks at home without any contact from Matt made them the hardest two weeks of his life. He'd tried calling, he'd gone to the house but Matt wasn't there. It was as if he'd just disappeared. And if their dad knew anything he wasn't talking.
Beth did her best to cheer him up but she knew how much Matt meant to him. Nothing was going to take away the pain of Matt's absence in his life. And it had cut to the bone to listen to his excuses for his actions as he watched Smackdown at home. It seemed Matt was jealous of all his achievements and sick of taking care of him when things went wrong. That didn't sound like Matt at all. He just couldn't believe the words coming out of his mouth were a true reflection of how he felt and told himself it was just a storyline, and that there had to be a good reason for Matt to do something like this. But then he thought of all the times he'd stuffed up and Matt had bailed him out and realised that if this was how Matt really felt, then he couldn't blame him for being angry.
As Matt finished his promo explaining the fake reasons for his actions he knew Jeff would be watching from home. He hoped Jeff believed the lies he'd told and would stay away. He imagined how much his brother must be hurting right now and wanted to take it all back – his actions and his words – but it was too late. He'd avoided Jeff since the chair shot but knew Jeff was looking for him, he saw the missed calls on his phone and had to turn the damn thing off because every time Jeff called Matt got closer and closer to picking it up and telling Jeff that it was all a lie.
His friends, especially Shannon and Gregory couldn't believe what he'd done. And what could he say? He sure as hell couldn't tell them the truth – that he was a sick freak in love with his own brother.
And so he'd had to push all of them away too with the same lies. He'd had to become the heel version of himself, and the sad truth was he playing it too well.
As he sat backstage his mind drifted back to that evening when his world had fallen apart.
It was a typical Tuesday night and Jeff and Matt had gone to their dad's for dinner as they did every Tuesday when they could manage. They'd finished eating and were cleaning up the kitchen. Their Dad was sitting at the kitchen table, Matt had been doing the dishes and Jeff, who had been looking over his shoulder telling him he'd "missed a spot" after every dish just to annoy the hell out of him – was supposed to be drying the dishes. Matt, in retaliation had splashed Jeff with the dirty dishwater, soaking his shirt. He'd laughed as Jeff cursed, claiming Matt had ruined his best white shirt and Matt had replied, "You look like you've been in a wet t-shirt contest and lost".
"Hey I'll have you know I'd win hands down if I was in a wet t-shirt contest" Jeff said cockily before removing the dripping shirt and squeezing the excess water back into the sink, then hanging it over a chair. Matt had watched Jeff's upper body being revealed against his will and his eyes had roamed his perfect torso with admiration as he thought to himself "you certainly would win that t-shirt contest. Oh yeah".
"I'm just gonna head upstairs and find one of my old shirts" Jeff had called out as he left the room, leaving Matt and his father alone.
"You sick fuck!" his father suddenly cursed, looking down at his crotch area, making Matt realise he'd gotten half-hard from ogling Jeff. "You got off watching your brother just now didn't you?"
"Dad I…" Matt stuttered but there was nothing he could say. It was obvious to them both what the truth was.
"Now I accepted it when you told me you were gay son, but wanting your own brother! It's no wonder people are always making fun of us southerners with people like you lusting over your own brother. How long have you felt this way?"
"I can't help it Dad… I love Jeff. I have since I was 16" Matt admitted with shame.
"Does he know?"
"Then stay the hell away from him from now on. He doesn't need to be corrupted by the likes of you. He's got enough problems" Matt's dad ordered.
"I'll... I'll try" Matt answered, his lip trembling as he tried not to cry.
"You won't try you'll succeed son. And don't come round here no more either. I don't want to see the sight of you while you're thinking such thoughts"
Jeff walked back in at that moment, picking up the vibe that something serious had been going on. "What'd I miss?" He asked with innocent curiosity.
"Nothing son. Your brother here was just telling me he's ready to head off home"
"Yeah we should go. See you next Tuesday dad" Jeff said cheerfully, giving his dad a kiss on the top of his head before heading for the car.
"Remember what I said Matt" was the only thing Matt's father said to him as he left.
He remembered the drive home that night, how Jeff had known something was wrong. He'd wanted to tell Jeff the truth there and then. But Jeff had Beth and Matt would never do anything to destroy their happiness. And besides, their father was right. He was sick for feeling this way.