Disclaimer: I do NOT own the following wrestlers, or any of the events that actually happened on camera, or anything else mentioned that is recognizable.
I respect the actual beliefs and sexualities of the following wrestlers.
As more and more people filtered out of the venue, Scott pulled his phone out, looking at the screen of his phone for the time—and for the possibility that, in his anxiousness, he missed a call from Punk. He couldn't help but grow more worried as time flew. Phil should've called him by then. Phil should've been there already.
"Shit Punkers," he whispered, shoving his phone back into his pocket. He couldn't stand still; he was pacing next to his car, filled with restlessness and fear. If all went according to Punk's plans, then this would be the last night he'd see his best friend. He understood Phil's reasons, and knew there were no other feasible options. But it still sucked, seeing Phil pay the ultimate price for his mistakes.
He missed him already.
The parking lot began to clear. More cars were driving out, and the empty spaces just served to scare Colt further. What was taking so long? Punk should have…
Clarity hit, finally making Scott freeze. He knew CM Punk better than anyone, and he almost hated himself for not realizing it sooner. Punk should've been there already? Scott should've known he was never going to come.
"Fuck. Fuck! Fuck fuck fuck..." He punched his car hard, trying hard not to tear. Right before Punk went inside, Colt hugged him, wishing him good luck. And that was the last thing he'd ever tell Phil Brooks.
He pulled out his phone, dialing Punk's number. He put it to his ear and, after three rings, he found himself listening to Punk's voicemail. Right after the beep, without a hesitation, Colt said, "You fucked up, Brooks." He leaned against his car, feeling weak. There was nothing he could do, and he hated this powerless feeling. "You should've… you should've come to me. You didn't think I wanted to be there? You didn't think I wanted to say goodbye?" He stopped, no longer able to yell at him. He was aware of what was going to happen, and he didn't want that to be the last thing Punk ever heard him say.
"Good luck Punkers." He took a breath, but it wasn't enough to calm him. Still, he rambled. "We'll see each other again sometime. There's gotta be an afterlife, right? If so many people believe in it, it must be real. And I'll get you a Pepsi, and this… this will be behind you. And then, you and Matt can be happy, and we can all be happy. I know it. So this is goodbye, but it's not really goodbye, okay? This is just see you later."
He forced himself to hang up, staring at the phone again. He thought about calling the police, but then he reminded himself that they couldn't do anything either. They never did anything to help Phil and Matt.
He finally put his phone away again, sighing. "I'll see you later, Punk."
For a long time, there was only silence. The radio wasn't on, and Jeff and Punk didn't speak to each other. Neither of them looked at each other, just at the road. Jeff was driving, quickly but nothing that would call unwanted attention to them. All they had was a silent trust, relying on each other because there was no one else to rely on.
Suddenly, as Jeff impatiently stopped at a red light, he spoke. He didn't even look at Punk as he said, "You didn't kidnap him, huh?" There was more faith in the statement than anything; although Jeff didn't want to trust Punk, and the story seemed odd, he was willing to keep his mind open if it meant saving his brother.
"No. I was trying to save him." Punk also didn't look at him. It wasn't necessary, and his mind was on something other than in that car, right then and there.
"From what, exactly?"
"It's hard to explain."
"Try me." Jeff nearly growled out. He wanted an explanation for the pain, what could've possibly happened.
"You won't believe me."
Punk sighed. If Jeff wanted to hear it, well, he could hear it. He didn't care at this point whether or not anyone believed him. After all, his life would end soon enough. What did it matter if Jeff fucking Hardy thought he was insane for those last minutes?
"I made a deal with a demon," Punk said, "For the belt, for getting Matt out of the way so that I could ruin your life, for making Matt thank me for doing it. I didn't think it was real. But it was… and the demon has Matt."
"A deal with a demon," Jeff echoed. Punk couldn't tell what Jeff thought about it at all; the words were just spoken plainly.
"Yeah." Punk nodded. He felt no need to expound on that.
"You really expect me to believe that?"
"I don't care if you do. It's what happened."
"Don't joke with me," Jeff warned, "This is serious."
"I am serious. I wouldn't joke about that right now." Punk tapped his fingers against the door, before saying, "Fuck, how far away are you staying?"
"I'm getting there as fast as I can!" Jeff snapped, "You think… you think this is some type of game to me? Matt's my brother! No one takes this more seriously than me!" They both kept silent then, digesting every single thing that was said in the past few minutes. Punk stared at the window, at the buildings they passed by in the darkness.
"What?" Punk could tell that Jeff was on the edge. He was tense, seconds away from breaking.
"It's Adam." Jeff finally looked at Punk, confused. "The demon's Adam."
"Adam's not a fuckin' demon…"
"He is. He has Matt. He's the one who offered me the deal, all that for my soul."
"We know Adam, you jackass, I know him. He's anythin' buh…" Jeff trailed off. His mind went back to a month ago, to Adam comforting him. To him saying he would do whatever it takes to get what he wanted, about Adam saying that he could help him.
"No, I could. I mean it." Adam sounded so confident that Jeff met his eyes, confused. "Well? Do you want my help or not?"
"Adam can't be a demon," Jeff shook his head, talking more to himself than to Punk, "No, I…"
"How could you help me?"
"Want to find out?"
Jeff blinked, before saying, "We were… jokin' around. That's all. Adam was comfortin' me. He's not a fuckin' deal makin' demon." But he had no idea how Punk could've known about their joke. Jeff didn't tell him, and he was sure as shit Adam didn't tell him.
"Joking around?" Punk looked over at Jeff, his mind catching up with everything Jeff said. There was no fucking way. "Then that means… you didn't."
"I didn't what?"
"Tell me you fucking didn't!" Phil shouted, "Fuck, Jeff, did you make a fucking deal?"
"It's not real!" Jeff shouted back, but he no longer sounded sure.
"It's very fucking real, okay?"
"I can't have sold my fucking soul to Adam, okay?" He was getting more frantic. He knew facts. Deals and demons weren't real. But everything seemed to fit. And Phil seemed to be on the up with him. "Okay? I didn't. It's impossible."
"What did he promise you?"
"WHAT DID HE PROMISE YOU?" Phil screamed. Jeff stared at him for a moment, before finally answering.
"Hold the title longer than a month," he said quietly, "Find Matt. Beat you up. And I wanted… some order in my life. Everything seemed to be falling apart and I wanted some kind of order."
Phil was about to yell at him more, but then he remembered the things Matt said about Jeff. The way he said them. The amount of sadness Matt talked about him with, about how he hurt him and how Jeff was truly a good person. He softened, trying to have sympathy for Jeff… especially since Jeff made the same mistake that he did. They both didn't understand how serious what they were getting into was… they both didn't realize that they were selling their souls.
"It's hard to take him seriously, right?" Punk said, "At least until you realize he's legit and he'll kill a dog to prove it."
"That couldn't be Adam."
"It was Adam. Or… Azazel. Whatever. It was him." Jeff took a left turn, and Phil saw a hotel coming up to their right. "That you?"
"Yeah, that's me." Jeff was stuck in his own mind at that moment, going over everything he was told. He couldn't believe that, not of Adam. Not of his friend.
He didn't know what to think anymore.
Matt woke up.
He blinked, looking around the room. He was on a bed in a hotel room he didn't really recognize. All he knew was that he had a piercing headache, the pain making it difficult to focus.
"Can you feel them?" Matt looked for the voice, and he saw Adam—or Azazel, that is—standing by the door. Staring at it as if he could see past the wood paneling. The last thing he could remember was being at Colt's apartment, seeing Punk with a bat through him, and he couldn't help but wonder how long ago that was. He tried to remember, but his head hurt too much to focus on what happened. "I can. They're both coming soon." He lifted his hand, laying it on the door, studying it. "I never meant to stay so long around here. Adam has such a… fragile body. So injury prone. I was going to leave him behind after collecting your soul and find a stronger body, more valuable souls."
He turned around, facing Matt. "Your kind are so quick to sell their most valuable possession for a moment in the spotlight, a second holding the belt. It's much more fun to watch a strong soul reluctantly sell out than to take a bunch of weak ones. Ken, Candice, Brian… all of them… weak."
"Then why did you stick around?" Matt asked, the spite coming out of his mouth. His friends weren't weak, no matter what this man said. He caught them at a weak moment, but they weren't weak.
"Because you cheated me," Azazel replied evenly, "And today, I get what's mine."
"I'm not selling my soul!" His headache immediately lashed out at him for his outburst, making him cringe in pain. He brought his hand to his head, trying to get his bearings. He could hear Azazel laughing at him.
"We'll see, won't we?" Azazel turned back to the door, waiting. As soon as Matt could bring himself to speak again, he asked the one question on his mind for a long time.
"Excuse me, Matthew?"
"Why us? You said we were weak, so why did you come to the WWE in the first place?"
Azazel laughed. "Give a bunch of humans one Satanic gimmick, and they'll read anything to prepare for it. Heck, maybe a couple of young blonde Canadians will get their hands on an actual incantation, try it out for kicks. Next thing you know, you're inside of some kid who calls himself Edge, and you think… it would be cool to see who you can pick up before you go back to some bigger fish."
"All an accident," Matt said, thinking about how not only the current situation, but Azazel being around his friends in general started because his friends were just playing around.
"Or fate," he suggested. He unlocked the door, as if someone was coming closer. "It's a shame, Matthew, but it's a simple fact that I've gotten more souls over the past decades because people didn't believe rather than they did."
The door opened, and at the door, Matt could see Punk… and his brother. "Matt!" Jeff shoved past Azazel, running straight to the bed. He threw his arms around his brother's neck, hugging him, just glad to see that he was presumably in one piece. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah." Matt held his brother close, staring over to Azazel, wondering why Jeff was in the room. Meanwhile, Punk was at the door, staring at Azazel. Azazel just smiled, stepping out of his way, allowing him to enter. Punk kept his eyes on Azazel as he walked in, hatred shining through his eyes, before walking towards Matt and Jeff.
He stopped before getting too close, allowing the brothers to have a moment. All he knew was that he could see Matt, and that was enough for him. It didn't look like Azazel hurt him, and it made him sigh in relief.
It took a long time before either man remembered he was in the room. Matt looked up from his brother's shoulder, looking at Punk. "How long?"
"A month," Punk replied.
"A month…" Matt closed his eyes for a moment, wondering what could've happened in those months, or why he didn't remember. "And Colt?"
"He's fine," Punk promised.
Punk raised the once broken hand, clenching and unclenching it. "I'm 100% now."
"Not to break up this beautiful scene here…" They all turned to Azazel, who was smiling widely. Jeff pulled out of the hug to glare as well, prepared for whatever may happen. "I believe I have a deal that needs finishing up right now." Punk nodded. It was time to finish this. He turned to Matt, looking at him pleadingly.
"Matt, thank me. Thank me for getting rid of Jeff…"
"No," Matt said, half because he couldn't believe that this moment has come, and half because he wouldn't let Punk lose his soul.
"Oh no Brooks, we'll get to that." Azazel's eyes were focused on Jeff. "Right now, it's his turn."
"What's he talking about…?"
"No," Punk said, "No, this is about you and me, remember…"
"Who said that?" He grinned at Jeff. "You see, you owe me something, don't you?" Jeff's body shivered; he could feel his whole body turning colder for some reason.
"Jeff, what's going on?" Matt asked, growing more worried. Jeff's face was twisting with pain, and neither man was sure what was causing it.
Phil looked back at Azazel, screaming, "What're you doing?"
"His deal's done," Azazel said, "I held up my half… now it's time he holds up his half." Jeff leaned forward, but Matt caught him before he could fall off the bed.
"Jeff!" Matt screamed, and suddenly, he could hear his brother choking. "Azazel, stop it!"
"It'll be done soon." Jeff kept choking in Matt's arms, the only things keeping him from falling onto the floor. Until there was not another sound. The coughs just suddenly stopped. Matt pulled Jeff back up, and his eyes were closed.
"Jeff?" Matt laid him down on the bed, putting a hand to his neck, looking for a pulse. There was one, but it didn't change the fact that he was cold. Too cold. Something was wrong.
"What have you done?" Phil screamed.
Azazel just kept calm. "I took his soul."
Matt's eyes widened, and he stood up off the bed. His head was pounding, but he could ignore the feeling for Jeff. "No! This had nothing to do with him! You can't!"
"I did." He stepped closer, towards Phil and Matt. "It wasn't too hard. He got what he wanted… I got what I wanted.'
"But you didn't want him!" Matt moved closer, past Phil. Punk kept his eyes on Matt, prepared to back him up should he need it. "You don't want him, or Phil, you want me!" He stepped forward again. "Don't do this, please, don't do this…"
"Your brother's body is going to do my bidding," Azazel said cruelly, "My every whim. He'll chase down people who dare to run from me…"
"Please!" Matt screamed, and Phil could feel his pain. At that moment, he would do anything to take it away. "Please, don't do this, don't…"
"While his soul feeds my power," he finished, not changing his countenance. "Your brother will be my little slave…"
"You know what I want," Azazel said, "You always knew." He looked at Jeff's body. "I'll give your brother his soul before it's too late." He looked at Phil, smirking. "I'll break my deal with him as well, and I will leave the WWE alone forever. You know what I want."
"No!" This time, it was Phil's turn to scream. "No, fuck you motherfucker, you're not…" Matt grabbed Phil's arm, stopping him.
"Punk, please." No more screaming. There was only a calm in him. "You came here ready to sacrifice yourself, didn't you? To save me.'
"Yeah," he said, "But no, Matt, you can't."
"This is the best thing possible," Matt said. He sounded resigned. "This way, he'll leave you and everyone else alone forever." He stepped closer to Phil, throwing his arm around him. "Thank you for trying." Matt pulled away, but then Phil grabbed his arm, pulling him back towards him.
"No," he said, "Matt, there's got to be another way."
"I'm a big brother, Phil. I have to. Same way you were going to sacrifice yourself for me, I have to do it for Jeff. And for you."
Phil could hear the sense, but that didn't mean he liked it. In fact, he hated it. But this was unfortunately the best way. Phil leaned in, pressing his lips to Matt's quickly. To show him that he did care. "I'm sorry."
"It's okay." He put his hand on Phil's shoulder, managing a weak smile. "I'm sorry too."
"Why?" Phil asked, "You have no reason…" Matt moved his hand away, before turning towards Azazel. He walked towards Azazel, stopping before him, and it took everything in Phil's power not to stop him.
He could hardly hold himself back, but somehow, he managed it.
"Hey, Azazel. Let's make a deal."