Disclamier: Yep. Disclaimed.
Two weeks, Ted thinks. Two weeks since he told Cody that he loves him. He wonders if it was selfish of him to think that his confession would fix everything; that Cody would automatically be okay and they would live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, life just doesn't work that way.
So he lies in yet another hotel bed and watches as Cody sleeps peacefully for once next to him. Even though the closed eyelids with dark lashes, Ted can picture the clear blue eyes that he loves to stare into and in his heart he regrets that it took so long for him to realize that. But at this point even someone as clueless as Ted can understand that Cody is still suffering.
He thinks back to that night, all those years ago, when Cody broke down in front of him for the first time, and his instinct had kicked in. Protect Cody at all costs; that was all he could think and from that day on that was all he did. And now that they're even closer, he can do his job even better.
His mind is racing and he can't sleep, there's no way. He can only think about the multitude of events that have occurred to them in the past few weeks. Like when he first told Randy and John what had happened. Lying wasn't really part of the plan.
Okay, so he hadn't lied as much as he'd left out some key information. No need to tell them that one of the most beloved men in the history of the WWE is a rapist. Even as he thinks it, Ted's hands clench and he wonders if everyone should know; if Ric's life should be ruined, if his name should be mud because of what he did.
Yes, it should. But it won't happen.
His brain finally stops sabotaging him when Cody rolls towards him and snuggles into his chest. Ted places an arm around his waist and pulls him closer, trying to still his thoughts and concentrate on the feeling of Cody's warm body against his. It works.
It's still a little while before he falls asleep, but at least when he finally does, it's knowing that the love of his life is lying right there with him.
Tonight is RAW and they still have two more weeks on the road before any of the superstars are going to be able to go home for a while. So when Cody and Ted drag themselves out of bed sometime around noon, all they want to do is find food and then go back to sleep before they have to be at the arena for the show.
At least that's what Ted wants to do as they head down to the restaurant in the lobby. He never knows when Cody is going to want to eat these days; the times he actually does being few and far between. It's not good for him at all, but for the life of him Ted can't figure out what to do about it.
They see John sitting at a table alone reading a newspaper and they quickly join him. He puts down the paper and offers them a smile and a hello. Ted responds in kind, but Cody just nods and doesn't say anything.
The waitress working the room must have a sensory ability because she's right there, asking the newcomers what they would like to eat. She's an older woman who writes down Ted's order with a smile, but frowns when Cody shakes his head and looks away when Ted nudges him.
Walking away she decides to at least bring the sad looking boy some food, his gaunt appearance bringing out her motherly instincts. In the kitchen she puts in Ted's order and also requests a small stack of pancakes. One cook begins to complain that it's too late for pancakes, but she silences him with a glare and he goes back to work without a word.
She starts to round the room, refilling water glasses while at the same time watching the three men at the far table. They're the wrestlers staying at the hotel, she's been seeing them for the past few days, but this skinny one is new sight to her. Okay, so you can't save everyone, but this boy is in her restaurant, she can at least try.
Heading back into the kitchen, she picks up the food and heads back to their table. The sad one looks at her confusedly when she sets the pancakes down in front of him.
"Just in case," she smiles and he actually smiles back a bit. And for a while after that, she goes about her job, all the while keeping an eye on their table. She can't help but smile some more when she sees him start to pick at the plate in front of him. He nibbles on a piece of dry pancake, then slowly begins to eat more and more.
By the time the three wrestlers leave the restaurant, half the pancakes are gone. A job well done today, she thinks.
John invites himself up to Cody and Ted's room, claiming he's bored out of his mind and until the show starts he needs to be entertained. When they get through the door, John is about to sit down the closet bed when he stops and seems to be contemplating something.
"Wait, which bed were you guys in?"
It seems like it would be an innocent question but both Cody and Ted blush matching red and Ted stutters out, "We didn't . . . we haven't . . ."
John smiles and waves away Ted's attempt at speaking, but as Ted and Cody settle in on one bed and John on the other to watch some television, Ted starts to think again.
It's true. He and Cody haven't slept together. No need to rush things, he thinks, their relationship is so new and neither of them really know what they're doing. And sometimes it's just hard to be close to Cody because he gets nervous easily and Ted hates it because he wants them to be close. He wants to take their relationship to another level, but he can't even think about when he might have that chance.
Ted also notices that John keeps looking at them out of the corner of his eye and a small smile passes his lips. He is so incredibly thankful that they have John and Randy - wherever he is, probably the hotel gym – to support them.
They lounge around like this until it's time to leave for the arena. The last few shows had gone smoothly and tonight doesn't call to be any different. Ted and Cody have a big match, where they are to face off against Hunter and come out victorious. It seems as if everything should go as planned, right?
The match is nearing its end when Hunter plants Cody to the mat with a huge spinebuster. Cody is supposed to regain his footing and continue on with a few moves but instead he just lies there on the mat, breathing harshly and grimacing in pain. Ted's heart stops for a moment because it appears that Cody is really hurt, while Hunter does his flexing thing to buy a few seconds.
Cody's eyes are wide open and wild looking and Ted knows that if Cody's in pain right now, it's not physical. He's not going to be able to finish this match.
Ted jumps into the ring, not worrying about making a visible tag and the referee plays along, by acting as if his back was turned. Hunter faces off with Ted and Cody has enough sense left to pull himself under the bottom rope and slide to the floor. He sits leaning against the steel stairs and pulls his knees to his chest. He closes his eyes, not wanting to see the fans looking down at him with jeering smiles on their faces and crude insults on their lips.
All he can think about is sweat and bare skin and hands on his body.
He barely registers the sound of the bell ringing, Lillian proclaiming Legacy the winners, and walking back up the ramp, Ted helping him every step of the way. Hunter meets them in the back and he thinks they're talking to him, but everything is blurry and muffled. He doesn't even hear the sound of finely polished dress shoes approaching. But he does hear one thing.
"We need to talk."