A/N: Probably not you'd be expecting, but then again when is anything what we expect. I'll probably piss people off with this, but you know what, I don't care. So as not to give anything away, there'll be another authors note at the end. Song is 'Just to get High' by Nickelback.

Friend. Confidant. Secret Keeper. Brother. I was everything and more to him, and yet in the end I was nothing to him. I've lost count of the time I have taken the hit, that I have lied through my teeth, that I have given my all for him only for him to throw it all in my face. But still I couldn't give up on him, and I won't. He's my brother. I sit on his couch and stare at the wall that he has ordained as the wall of accomplishment. Seven replica tag belts hang on the wall, a picture of us by each; chronicling our rise through the tag team ranks. The look on his face, so serene in the moment in which he should be celebrating. And then……there is the picture, the one that is set apart from the others.

His eyes are open wide and he's got this stunned look on his face like he can't believe where he is or what's being handed to him. In fact that was the night I first had the feeling that something was off. Later that night confirmed it. He should have been at the bar with us, but instead he begged off, stating that he was too tired to go out. No one else questioned it but it didn't sit right. I stayed down in the bar for maybe an hour; my stomach literally aching with a suppressed sense of worry. I had maybe four drinks before I excused myself, using the same excuse that he had used. I got my back slapped and a chorus of "Congrats Hardy" yelled at me as I passed.

I stood staring at the door for more than a couple of minutes; my mind telling me that I needed to be in there right then but every time I reached for the knob I drew my hand away as if burnt. Finally I swallowed and let myself into the room. All was quiet and still. And both beds were empty. My stomach started to roil uncontrollably, and I felt the small amount of alcohol starting to rise up in my throat and it's all I could do to make it to the bathroom in time.

Tears fall from my eyes as I remember him lying on the floor of the bathroom, his eyes glassy with drool dripping from the corner of his mouth. I hit my knees and crawl over, my hands shaking so bad as I reach out for him that I can't get the right spot to feel for his pulse. I finally managed to find it and it's racing beneath my trembling fingers. The touch seems to revive him a little and he looks at me; his eyebrows drawn together as if he can't place my name or my face.



I sat down with my back to the sink and pulled him as far into my lap as I could; smoothing his hair from his slick face. His breathing started to labor and I started to panic. Within moments' he was convulsing in my lap and I didn't know what to do, and out of desperation I smacked him. The sound of my open palm singing loudly in the silence of the room. His head snaped to the side and he went still; his heaving chest going almost completely motionless in a matter of seconds. Once more I reached to find his pulse and I was rewarded with a faint flutter. I kept my fingers there for the rest of the night, keeping a silent vigil over my brother; keeping his secret.

He was my best friend, I tried to help him,
But he traded everything, for suffering,
And found himself alone.
I watched the lying, turn into hiding,
With scars on both his lips, his fingertips...
Were melted to the bone.

I wrench my gaze away from the belts and peruse the rest of the wall, some pictures bringing back good memories while others were just blank spots. I move over and run a trembling finger over the lovingly folded spandex that made up out first ring costumes. So bright and loud that it was hard to look at them some times. But a complete reflection of what we were. Bound for greatness. Once they see us in these they'll remember the name Hardy. We're rising stars and the brighter we burn the easy it is for them to see us. More tears roll down my cheeks as his voice comes floating back to me from far away. We looked ridiculous in that gear, but he was right. People took notice of us in a big way.

That thought then gave way to what I had thought was his lowest point. The walls blur and suddenly I'm standing in an alley way; the stench of rotting garbage and smoke lying heavy on the air. There is but one lone street light in that alley and it gives off a weak yellow glow; casting everything in shadows and playing tricks on my mind. From further down I could hear groaning; a pitiful sound to hear in the darkness in a rough neighborhood. A loud crack followed but the sound of something hitting the pavement spurred me on and soon I was racing down the alley, paying no heed to anything around me.

In hindsight I didn't know how I knew I'd find him there, but I never questioned it. There were three of them circled around his body, their cocks out and heads thrown back as they emptied their filthy essence onto his face, bare chest and hair. One even bent before cumming and opened his mouth, shooting as much as he could into it. With a growl that I'm still not sure where it came from I lunged at them; snarling, clawing and punching anything that moved. Like wounded dogs they took off, hurling sputtered curses at me as they fled and like so many times before I knelt and touched his pulse point; hoping that once again I'd feel it racing or even fluttering beneath my fingertips. And once again I was rewarded with that small win.

The sight was horrible, my brother lying discarded among the trash and broken bottles covered in cum that was mixing with the blood from various open wounds. I couldn't help it; I turned and vomited; crashing down to my knees as my stomach tried to rip itself from my body while my mind tried to erase the image. I run my arm over my mouth, grimacing as the taste of acid bites into my tongue and makes me want to gag some more then jump when I feel something grabbing at my ankle. My instinct was to kick it away but I couldn't for some reason. And when I looked down I was glad that I hadn't. He had managed to crawl over to me and was weakly grabbing at my ankle. He looks so pitiful lying there and I'm filled with anger; at him, at the drugs that have taken a hold of him and at myself for letting it happen. I drag him to his feet and shake him, my anger making my voice sharp.

"Was it worth it?" I snarled, forcing myself to stare into his dilated eyes.


"You're throwing your life away!"

Weakly he pulls from my grasp and stumbles away, pushing his matted hair from his face. I reach out for him, wanting to steady him even though I feel like I'm within an inch of beating the life out of him. He bats my hand away, the impact lighter than a feather dancing on the wind.

"I-I don't need you. I-I don't need anyone." He yells, his voice hoarse.

He starts hacking and I grimace, the thought of what he's probably bringing up enough to make me want to vomit again. Like a wraith he starts into the darkness, and I watch him go; weeping like a child.

But I can still remember what his face looked like,
When I found him in an alley in the middle of the night.
Tell me what you know! Tell me what you gone and done now!
Tell me what you know! Tell me what you gone and done now!
Gonna do the trick, get it over with,
You're better off...
To take all you've got and burn it on the spot,
To get high-igh, igh, igh (high-igh, igh, igh).

Of course as the mind often will that memory was replaced by one that was even worse. He had seemed for a while to get getting better; to be getting back to the man he used to be. But it was all ruse. He had dark circles under his eyes, something he said happened because of his detox. Then his appetite disappeared; another side effect he had said. And stupidly I believed him. I wanted to believe so bad that I over looked the fact that Mom's rings I had had come up missing, as well as some other items that I can't even begin to remember now. I over looked it all; telling myself that my mind was playing tricks on me, that I had misplaced them and just forgot where I put them.

But deep in the pit of my gut I knew better. I knew that he what he was doing. And one night I followed him when he left at 2 am. Like ghosts we stole across the city, him on the mindless hunt for his next high and I just wanting to make sure that nothing bad happened. An elderly couple was walking down the sidewalk hand in hand and I was almost to late. Without warning he had lunged at them and pulled a long knife from the back of his pants. The man fell to the ground with a yelp and he grabbed the woman; turning her so that her husband had a clear view. In a stuttering voice he demanded money; pressing the knife as to her throat when the man didn't comply right away.

This was going to end badly, I could feel it. With a loud cry that startled him I ran at the trio, hoping—no praying that he hadn't done any really damage to her throat. With a strangled cry he dropped the knife and darted away in the shadows. I stopped only long enough to help the man to his feet before racing away; my heart pounding in my chest as I tried to catch up to him. He cast paranoid looks over his shoulder as he raced blindly through the streets of a city he had no knowledge of. We ran for what seemed like hours, my breathing labored and a pain in my side that could have brought Andre the Giant to his knees. Thankfully he took a wrong turn and found himself in a dead-end.

He turned around and pressed himself up against the chain link fence; his eyes darting around wildly. With the caution that I would have used to edge away from a rabid attack dog, I crept up to him; watching him for any sudden moves. When I was within arms length I grabbed him and pulled him against my chest; wrapping my arms around him as he struggled to get free. Soon he was reduced to crying and as one we sunk to the dirty ground; broken bits of glass digging into my ass but went unnoticed as I rocked him back and forth, murmuring in his ear until he was sleeping in my arms.

That was how the dawn and the local police department found us; huddled together for warmth against the cool morning air. Once cop kicked at my foot and I had groggily opened my eyes, squinting against the bright, piercing sunlight.

"Move along." He growled. "Fucking bums."

I bite back the retort and get to my feet, hauling him to his with a slight groan. The cops watched as we hobbled away, muttering under their breaths as we stumbled and fell to the ground.

Three days no sleeping, he gave up eating,
He sold his mother's rings, she said nothing,
And pretended not to know...
He started stealing, to supply the feeling,
Found out he pulled a knife, on someone's wife...
And held it to her throat.

I wiped at my eyes, surprised to still find them weeping the hot, salty tears. There's a knock at the front door and on stiff legs I go over and pull it open. Shannon and Greg are standing there, looking solemn in their suits; their eyes turned down towards the ground. I lock the door and pull it shut behind me, taking once last look at it before walking down the sidewalk silently behind Shannon and Greg. We pile into the limo, everyone trying to keep their eyes dry as it speeds through the town. At every stop light there are people trying to look in, to see who's behind the darkened glass. I know what they're thinking, and if I were in there place I'd be thinking it too.

As the treeline blurred past I found myself thinking back to the last time I had seen him. He was slouched down outside of the arena, his head held in his hands as he sobbed. His knuckles were bruised and bleeding; red tears mingling with the clear ones that were falling from his eyes. I cleared my throat as I slid down the wall next to him. With a ragged breath he looked up at me, his brown eyes begging me to understand him one last time.


I grabbed him and pulled him close, wishing again for the millionth time that I could take what was eating him alive into my body so the he could be the person he used to be. With a shaky hand he reached out and ran his fingertips over my striped beard, a small smile on his face.

"Remember what I said Jeff, we're gonna be big, we're gonna burn bright. We did it Jeff, we did it." His breath came in shallow pants and I had held him close, petting his mass of curls.

"We did it Matty. We did it."

It was in that alley that his life drained away from him, leaving only the body of the man that was more than my brother to me. And did anyone really know? No. No one other than I was present for the passing of someone that had given his all for me. He had taken my addiction as his own, letting it ruin his life so that I might be in control of mine. If he hadn't of taken the drugs from me and taken them to keep me from doing it, it might be me that they're now lowering into the grave and covering with dirt. But then again, that was Matt, big brother to the end; shielding me from the world.

But I can still remember what his face looked like,
When I found him in an alley in the middle of the night.
Tell me what you know! Tell me what you gone and done now!
Tell me what you know! Tell me what you gone and done now!
Gonna do the trick, get it over with,
You're better off...
To take all that you've got and burn it on the spot,
Just to get high-igh, igh, igh (high-igh, igh, igh).
Tell me what did, where you gone and hid?
Show me...!
What you really want, was it what you got?
Circle in the drain, throw it all away,
Just to get high-igh, igh, igh (high-igh, igh, igh).
High-igh, igh...oooooh!

Hate me if you want. I don't know what you got out of this, but to me it is the story of not knowing the full story of what happened, but just we've been told by others than those that are living it. That's my piece, flame if you want too, they'll be ignored. Thank you.