Disclaimer: I do NOT own the following wrestlers, or any of the events that actually happened on camera.
I respect the actual beliefs and sexualities of the following wrestlers.
This was originally meant to be the next Hot One Shots chapter, but then it got a whole lot more angsty, and I couldn't bring myself to do it. It just didn't fit with the formula of the one shots that were only related to this point by the fact that there's a sexually explicit scene in them and the fact that I wrote them. So, I decided to publish it separately, but it's still dedicated to wrestlefan4, since I was writing it for her in the first place. But the Matt/Chris chapter will still come up, promise.
Mentions of the members of Fozzy are made. They are actual members and not wrestlers. So don't worry if you don't know who they are, and I respect their actual beliefs too.
Read on, and I hope you enjoy it.
"Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die." -Malachy McCourt
I peeked out the curtain and looked around, a small smile on my face. Some things never change; the Showstopperwas one of them. It was packed, as always, and everyone was having a good time. It was the best club in the city, currently being run by the original Showstopper himself, Shawn Michaels. I could remember the first time I saw him vividly; Shawn wasn't a man you forgot. He was breathtaking, and everything he did added to the image of a god he had going on. "What's with that goofy grin, Mongoose?" I put my attention on Rich, one of my best friends and fellow member of Fozzy.
"I saw your face," I joked. I hadn't been called Mongoose in a while; I dropped it after our second album dropped.
Rich laughed, and then he put an arm around me. "I know how you feel. I felt the same way when we played in Atlanta."
I nodded. Coming home was something truly special for me. I'd left here four years ago, chasing my dream to become a rockstar, and here I was. We weren't the most successful band ever, but we had a strong following and the best fans ever. I didn't want it any other way.
I continued watching the crowd, getting a little anxious. I wondered how many people would remember me. Rich put his hand on my shoulder, promising me that I'd be alright. But seeing people I'd grown up with, waiting for me, all judging me- it was more nerve racking than even the biggest venues we performed in, or the most famous.
Shawn got on stage and announced us, and I almost had a panic attack. That was THE Showstopper, announcing me onto the stage. But Rich gave me a little push, and suddenly, there we were, on stage. I gulped on stage and looked around for a friendly face to focus on, but all the faces seemed to blur together.
"Hi, I'm Chris Jericho, and we're Fozzy," I said, trying to keep my composure. There were a few screams as I announced the first song we were playing. I got lost in my art, letting my nerves fuel me to a better level. As I got lost in the song, people grew more excited, and people jumped and sang along with me, if they knew the lyrics.
After the first song, as we prepared for the second one, my eyes caught something in the back. A redhead girl was pulling a man with long, dark hair in a ponytail to the crowd, and he was trying to pull away, as if he didn't want to go out there. He dressed in a casual and laid back way, but his eyes were filled with intensity and gravity. Something about him seemed familiar, but I couldn't put my finger on it. He also had a really soothing effect on me, and all the nerves I felt were gone.
As I sang the second song, I trained my eyes on him. In fact, my eyes never left him during the entire set. Eventually, he noticed my eyes on him, and he stared back, the look he was wearing almost challenging.
It made me smile.
After the set, I told Rich and the guys that I was going to go to the bar, but instead made a beeline to where he was standing with his red haired friend. She saw me first and said, "Holy crap, look!"
The dark haired man turned around, and I was once again hit with another feeling of recognition. But I couldn't put my finger on where I might have seen him before. "Well, if it isn't Mr. Rockstar himself," he said.
"Chris Jericho," I said, holding out my hand. "What's your name?"
His eyes darkened for a moment, but then he said, "Not interested." He turned around, and his friend looked from him to me.
"Are you crazy?" she asked, "It's Chris Jericho, for crying out loud!"
"Let's just go, Amy." They began to walk away, and the Amy girl kept looking back and forth, not able to understand what just happened. Heck, I didn't get it. I ran to catch up to them, grabbing the guy by his shoulder.
"Wait a minute," I said, "Look, I just wanted to talk."
"Not really in the mood to listen."
I stared at him as he and his friend left. I heard a laugh from behind me and turned around, looking at Rich. "And Chris strikes out!"
"Shut up," I said.
The next day, I was surprised to see the dark haired man back. More surprised to see him standing behind the bar, serving drinks. So he works here... I sauntered up to the counter as he poured a few beers.
"What can I get you?" he asked, still not turning around.
"What do you recommend?" He whipped around, almost dropping the beers. He regained his composure quickly and said, "One moment." He served the beers to a few guys and then came back. "Shouldn't you be getting ready for your set or something?"
"Not yet. So, what do you recommend, angel?" He shook his head and poured a drink, which, from the look of the bottle, would cost way more than a normal beer. He passed it to me and I drank it anyway. "So," I said, "You have a name, angel?"
"Still not interested," he said.
"Come on, I just want to know your name," I said, "Or do angels like you have no need for names?"
He rolled his eyes and said, "That's 15 dollars."
"You know, I'm just going to call you angel, if you don't give me something else to call you," I said, pulling out some money. He took it, and then he noticed the tip was more than the actual price of the alcohol.
He leaned forward, almost close enough for me to kiss him, and he pushed the tip down my shirt. "I'm not a whore," he whispered, "Nice try, Mongoose." He walked down the bar, and I was sure that I just fell for him.
Leave it to me to get a crush on the one guy he wants nothing to do with me.
"What the hell are you doing?" Shawn yelled, walking up to me, "Your set is in five damn minutes, get back there!"
"One minute," I said. I pointed at the dark haired man, who was serving a couple a lot more friendlier than when he served me. "Whose that?"
Shawn chuckled. "You should know who that is, Chrissy boy. Better than anyone."
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Are you serious?" Shawn said, "You don't remember him?" I shook my head, and Shawn sighed. "You two were practically inseparable before you went off. How could you forget Matt Hardy?"
I looked down the bar again at him, and I shook my head. No way. There was NO WAY that was Matt Hardy. "You sure you aren't going senile?" I asked. Matt was supposed to be in college now, and even if he wasn't, he couldn't be that guy. I mean, sure, they have the same dark hair and eyes. But there was no way that was Matt.
"I'm not that old!" Shawn snapped, "And yes, that's Matt."
"But... Matt was..." When I left, Matt was heavily into the Gothic scene. His hair was almost always in his face, he wore all black or really dark clothing, and he was practically a key chain. He wasn't this guy.
"People change," Shawn said, shrugging, "Get backstage, man, you have a set!" Shawn began pushing me, and I looked back at him. Now that I thought about it, if you peeled away everything that made Matt the dark, brooding kid he was, you'd probably end up with that.
And no wonder he was so cold to me. How could I forget him?
After the set, I ran after him, hoping to find him before I lost him for the night. One of the workers said he was taking out the trash, so I ran outside and sure enough, there he was. He took one look at me and tried to go inside, but I blocked him.
"Get out of my way," he said, trying to move around me. I moved with him, not allowing him to go around me.
"We need to talk," I said.
"There's nothing to talk about," Matt said. He tried to side step me again, but this time, I grabbed him, wrapping my arms around him. "Shit, what're you now, a stalker?"
"Matt, just wait," I said. He looked up at me and let out a hollow laugh.
"Now he remembers," Matt tried to pull away, but I held on more tightly.
"I'm sorry," I said.
"For what?" Matt finally pulled away, "For what, Chris? For forgetting me? Or for leaving me?"
I looked down, not willing to look in his eyes. Last time I saw him, he was asleep against me, under the impression that we'd be together in this, my quest for stardom. But I couldn't take him with me. His father's opinion of me and my 'horrible influence' aside, he was only sixteen. He had dreams of becoming an engineer, of coming back and building something the town could be proud of. If he came with me on tour, I would've ruined his life.
"Why did you sneak away that night? Why did you leave me?" Matt yelled, finally breaking.
"Matt, I'm sorry," I repeated.
"Sorry? Sorry? All you have to say is sorry? Get real, Chris! You told me you wanted to be with me always, that you needed me beside you. And then you just left! You snuck away without so much as a goodbye or anything! A fuck you, Matt would've at least let me know that you didn't care about me. But you just left."
"What did you want me to do, Matt?" I asked, "You were a minor! Your father would've never let you go with me."
"You know I would've went anyway," Matt insisted, "I would've found a way."
"The only way would be to run away, and your father would've called the cops on me," I argued, "Where would that leave us?"
"I would've found a way," Matt said, "I would've convinced him somehow."
"And even if you did, what about school? What about your friends? What about college?"
"If you weren't aware, you meant more to me than any of that." Matt clenched his fists. "Damn it, Chris, I loved you!" I took a step closer, wanting to hold him, but he shook his head. "Don't you dare." I closed the distance between us, ignoring his protests. "Chris, don't." His last protest was so weak, so half hearted that I knew that I had to continue.
I wrapped my arms around him and said, "I'm sorry." I must've said that a million times in this one alleyway, but I had to say it again. Matt looked like he was about to put up a fight, but then he just let me hold him.
We just stood at the bar for ages. Even after Matt's shift ended, even after the Showstopper closed, we stood there, drinking a little and mostly talking. The conversations were asinine, in comparison to the looming threat that we'd breach the subject on where he and I stood.
I told him about the band, touring, the places I've seen, the people I've met. He told me about the classes he was taking at the local college, about the current gossip around town, and about his friends and family. I wondered if he was dating Amy, but I wasn't sure if I was in a position to ask.
"When's the next album dropping?" he asked.
"January," I answered, "You listen to our music?"
He nodded. "I was there when you wrote a few of them, remember?"
I gulped, remembering the notebook I wrote little poems, songs, and (every once in a while) raps. That notebook was really what brought he and I together- he found it, read a few of them, and, when he returned them, he told me he liked them. And I ended up playing some for him. And he came back every now and again, seeing me practice, watching me write them.
That was really before we fell in love, but his father didn't approve of me then either.
I had to ask, now or never. "What is this... where is this going?"
"Nowhere," he replied, "By the end of the week, you'll be back on the road. Nothing will have changed." He smiled softly. "But at least I know why you left."
"Are you still mad?" I asked.
"Very. I don't think I could ever fully forgive you for that. But I understand, and I guess that matters more."
"It hurts me, hearing you talk like that," I said, grabbing his hand.
"I can't help it," he said, "I just... I wish you could've tried to talk to me about why I couldn't go."
"Would you have listened?" I asked.
"No. I guess I'm just stubborn like that." Matt's hand slipped out of mine. "I really would've given it all up for you."
"If I asked you to, you'd hate me for it," I said, "Not right away, but eventually, you would have. You would've hated me for taking you away from your friends, your home, your dream, all for a stinky tour bus and hours of being alone and bored while I was in the recording studio."
"How do you know?" Matt asked.
"I just do." Half of me wondered if I'd give up being a rockstar for Matt. I mean, yes, I'd do it, but would I end up resenting him for it? For the most part, I loved my band, I loved touring, and I loved the fans. I'd miss it all terribly if I had to give it up.
"You know, half of me hoped you wouldn't recognize me, and you'd leave me alone," Matt said, abruptly changing the subject, "So we wouldn't end up here."
"I guess fate had other plans," I said.
"Yeah, I guess." Matt licked his lips nervously, and then he said, "What are those plans?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean... do you want to hang out for the week you're here? Do we keep in contact? Where is this going?" There, now the question was in the air. Could he and I really go anywhere now? I guess that was the biggest question.
"I don't know," I admitted, "I... I still care about you a lot, but, after everything..."
"...you're just not sure," he finished, "I get the feeling."
"So, are you going to fuck the bartender?"
"Shut up Sean," I said, throwing something at the guitarist. He moved out of the way and Rich said, "Well, actually, Chris, it's kind of a valid question. You and him have like, this sexual chemistry..."
"Come on," I said, "Can we stop talking about my sexual chemistry?"
"I'm just saying," Rich said, "We're leaving tomorrow, Chris, and you have been hanging at the bar just talking to the guy. You're about to lose your window of opportunity."
"Sing for him and he'll drop to his knees," Sean offered. I glared at him, and he took that as a sign to get lost. Sean left to find someone else to bother, and Rich said, "Want to talk about it?"
"It's... complicated," I said.
After the last show of our time here, I saw Matt finishing his shift. He got out from behind the bar and I held out my hands, non verbally asking him to dance. He nodded and I pulled him out to the dance floor, trying to keep my distance but at the same time trying to memorize the little things about him.
I didn't want to leave him again, but there was no way I could take him with me, no way I could stay. We were two different people, with two different dreams. We belonged in two different worlds. What was I supposed to do?
The song changed to a slow song, and I began to pull away, but Matt grabbed me. He pulled me back and suddenly, we were next to each other, dancing so closely I think we were even breathing in time. "I don't want to miss you again," he whispered.
I held him more tightly, telling myself that I'd have to let him go, but unwilling to listen. I wondered if I made the first move, or if he did, but next thing I knew, his lips were against mine.
"I don't want to miss you either," I said, pulling away.
"Then why are we separating again?" he asked. "Why? Why are you leaving me again? Why did you make me care about you again?"
And then I knew the real conundrum. Although we would resent each other for making the other give up, we would also resent each other for not being willing to try. I kissed his forehead and pulled away, unwilling to try for the answer. He began to follow me, and I felt a lump grow in my throat. I had to push him away.
We got to the back, and I heard him say, "Can't we try?"
Make him hate you. "No," I said, shaking my head.
"We have to try."
"We don't." Snap at him. Make him hate you.
"Please." I stopped. The plea was so rich with raw emotion that I was frozen. I turned around and saw his eyes, shining with pain and love. "Please, Chris. Let's just try." He pushed me into the wall, looking into my eyes. "You have no idea how long I've waited for you to come home. I wasn't sure what I was going to do when you did, but I knew I was waiting for you." His hands went up to my face, holding me softly. Then, he kissed me again. We stood that way, just so in love, but I remembered the issue.
I pushed away and said, "Okay. We can do this... if I give up the band for you."
"What?" Matt took a step back. "No, you can't..."
"It's the only way," I vowed, "I won't let you come on tour with me. Either I give up music, or we separate."
He shook his head. "But you love music. I can't ask you to give it up."
"But I can ask you to give up your life?" I asked. He looked down, and I wanted to reach out, to hold him, to love him. Instead, all I could do was walk away, not turning back. If I did, I was sure I'd turn into a stone statue for my weakness, like in the biblical story about Lot and his family.
One day, I'll look back and wish I took Matt with me. But I'd rather wish that then have Matt wish that I was never born because he gave up his dream for me. I'd rather Matt somehow forgot me and moved on with his life, fall in love with Amy or somebody else, and just move on.
Some things just weren't meant to happen. There's nothing you can do about it; it wasn't meant to happen. No matter how much we want it to, it just can never be. And this was one of them.
Reviews deeply appreciated