Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with the WWE.
Author's Note: I'M BACK!!!!! Sorry it's been so long since I've updated! This story is still being written! But, I've also been writing one called "Forever and a Day" with Graelam and "Life is a Highway," both about wrestling, while this one is in being worked on, lol! Um, let's see, thank you to Graelam, x0allisonqt0x, -. I .Dream .Of .Hardyz.-, BassQueen007, ponygirl-loves-mcqueen, and dumwolf for your awesome reviews! I hope you enjoy this chapter as well! Thanks, guys!
Chapter One- Because of You
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Jeff Hardy lay in bed, staring up at the ceiling as tears silently fell from his eyes. He knew that if he was discovered awake this late, he usually would have been scolded, but not that night. Not only would his dad not have the heart to scold him, but he knew that no matter what, he wouldn't be able to sleep. No one would. Not that night...
He remembered that day all too clearly. His mother, the one woman who he loved more than anything, lying in her hospital bed... watching tears of indescribable grief fall from both his father and older brother's eyes through his own tear-filled ones. He was only at the tender age of nine. He expected himself to cry, though he tried not to. Not them. His father and brother were strong. They weren't supposed to cry...
Jeff sniffed as he reached up and tried to wipe his tears away, but more immediately took their place as he held his blanket close to him. He missed his mother terribly, her last memories with them continuing to haunt his mind when he closed his eyes. It was terrifying...
He was supposed to be strong and move on, that's what his father had told them, both him and Matt. He didn't think that he would be able to do that quite yet, at least, not alone.
Knowing that he couldn't be by himself any longer, Jeff slowly climbed out of bed and left his room. He carefully walked down the dark hallway, being as quiet as possible, and walked through the open door to the one place he knew he would find comfort.
HIs brother was lying on his bed with his back to him, but Jeff could tell by his short, uneven breathing that he wasn't sleeping. At the quiet sound of his voice, Matt gasped and quickly turned over to look at him, hurriedly wiping his eyes on his sleeve. "Jeffro... What are you doing here?" he asked, trying to be as calm as possible. It was clear that he had been crying while he was alone, but he didn't want Jeff to see.
"I couldn't sleep," Jeff answered, looking at him desperately. "I'm scared..."
Matt looked at his younger brother sadly when a few tears fell from his green eyes. He knew Jeff couldn't sleep for the same reason he couldn't. "Come on, Jeffro," Matt muttered, scooting over on the bed to make more room.
Jeff immediately climbed onto the bed next to him, laying down on one of the pillows. Matt sighed as he looked back at him, his gaze softening when he saw the fear on his brother's face as he pulled the covers up to his chin almost protectively. There was a tense moment of silence, but then, the younger's next statement sent a feeling of pain through the older Hardy.
"I want Mom..."
"She's still with us, Jeffro," Matt muttered, a thin line of tears forming in his dark eyes. He put conviction in the statement, but it was one he found hard to believe.
Jeff looked at him with confusion. "But I can't see her, Matty..."
"You will if you close your eyes." Matt knew that even though Jeff was terrified of it, he needed some sleep. That would help him the most. "She's there in your dreams."
"Really?" Jeff's green eyes were wide, almost filled with disbelief.
Matt smiled slightly as he wrapped his arm around his younger brother. "She'll always be with us, Jeffro, whenever we need her."
Jeff slowly nodded, comforted by Matt's arm around him. He could almost feel their mother with them in the room now, and his eyes finally closed from pure exhaustion.
Once he was sure he was asleep, Matt sighed and pulled Jeff closer as a few tears fell from his eyes. He had fought to keep his tears at bay in front of his little brother since he wanted to be strong for him, but he felt as though he was far from it. He was empty on the inside with the with the passing of their mother, and his fear mirrored his about what they would do without her. And he hadn't wrapped Jeff in his arm just to comfort him so he could sleep- he also found comfort at having his brother so close.
But then, he felt some kind of warm presence in the room, one that was very familiar to him. Matt cautiously raised his head, making sure that he was still covering Jeff, but he was confused when he saw nothing. He slowly laid his head back down, looking at his brother's peaceful face before his own eyes closed, following him into sleep.
Jeff slowly opened his eyes, looking around at the darkness surrounding him as he sighed quietly, realizing that he was in the bedroom of the new house. It had been a long time since he had dreamt about the day his mother died. That had been so long ago...
The arm wrapped lightly around him now was not Matt's, of course, but Beth's, and he was relieved to see that she hadn't been disturbed by his waking up. He tenderly ran his fingers over his cheek as she continued to sleep, but then, Jeff froze when his gaze landed on her stomach.
It was three months after Beth had told him that she was pregnant, making her five months along, and she was visibly showing some. Jeff was excited about the opportunity of being a father, but something about the dream he had just woken from made him nervous. What if something happened to him? Being involved with the WWE, that concern wasn't unfounded. Or worse, what if something happened to Beth after their child was born? He had lost his mother at a young age, and he was afraid of the same happening to his own son or daughter.
But then, he calmed down a bit as he gently pulled Beth a bit closer. Nothing would happen, he assured himself. He would make sure of it. Besides, it was normal for a father to have some fears and worries before their child was born.
A small smile appeared on Jeff's face when he heard Beth murmur his name in her sleep, and he gently kissed her forehead. This was where he wanted to be, he knew, in the arms of the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with. They were about to start a family, and that was exciting to him. But it was also nerve-wracking. It was a new part of his life, one that he was unsure if he was ready to accept.
Though he hadn't really voiced these thoughts to anyone, Jeff had made the decision that he would be taking time off from the WWE once Beth had the baby. He loved his career, he loved being on the road, he loved the excitement of being in the ring surrounded by screaming fans, but he loved the woman lying beside him even more. He wanted to be there for her and their child, not wanting to miss all of the opportunities that came along with being a father.
These thoughts made him feel much calmer after his dream, and he pulled Beth even closer, burying his face in her soft hair as he gently felt himself beginning to drift back into sleep.
Matt Hardy gasped as his eyes snapped open, and he groaned as he rolled over onto his back and sat up, running his hand over his face. He wondered if these nightmares would ever stop. The burning apartment building... Eric Howe... Except this time, it was just a little different. He saw himself punching Eric with enough force to cause him to stumble back, but it wasn't Eric that fell into the flames.
It was the kid that he had seen three months before when he, Beth, and Shannon had gone to Southern Pines, North Carolina to rescue Jeff from Brittany Howe, Eric's daughter. But no matter how hard he tried, he could not get this other man's face out of his mind. He reminded him so much of Eric, especially since he shared the man's dark, malicious eyes. He had the feeling that Jeff had been right. They hadn't seen the last of him.
Sighing, Matt slowly climbed out of bed and left his dark room, looking at the open door that had served as Jeff and Beth's guest room. He missed having them at his house, but he was also glad that they now had a place to call their own. He knew that they were relieved that they no longer felt like a burden to him, and he couldn't deny them that happiness.
Matt then went downstairs to the kitchen, turning on the light before grabbing a cup from above the sink and filling it with water. He drank about half of it before pausing and looking out the window in the direction of his brother's house. He only tore his gaze away when he heard soft footsteps behind him, and a small smile appeared on his face when he watched Lucas yawn and stretch as he entered the kitchen, tail wagging at the sight of him.
Then, Matt was started by his house phone suddenly ringing. He walked over to the counter and looked at the name flashing on the screen, and he was surprised to see who it was and picked up immediately. "Hello?"
"Hey, Man," Jeff said, sounding exhausted on the other end. "I'm sorry it's so late. Did I wake you?"
"No, I was up," Matt replied, not bothering to go into detail about the dream he had, but he was wondering why Jeff was calling so late. "What's up?"
"I... I had a dream about Mom."
Matt paused before a heavy sigh escaped from him. That was the last thing he had expected to hear. "What about?" he asked quietly.
There was a long moment of silence on the other end. "The... the day she died..." Jeff finally answered quietly. The memory was one that was difficult to think about. "I tried going back to sleep, but I just kept seeing her face and couldn't... I just needed to talk to you..."
"All right. I'm on my way over," Matt muttered, leaving the kitchen to put his shoes on.
"That's not exactly what I meant, Matt..."
"I know, but I don't mind," Matt assured him, opening the closet to get his coat. "Believe me."
Another pause from his younger brother. "Okay... See you in a bit," he muttered.
"See you in a bit," Matt agreed. "Bye."
Matt ended the call and went back to the kitchen to hand up the phone. Then, he grabbed his car key and stepped outside into the chilly March air. He started the car and drove down the road that connected the Hardy properties, sighing. He clearly remembered the day that their mother died and had his share of nightmares, as his brother had. Her passing had been difficult for both of them.
Jeff's new house then came into view, and Matt pulled into the driveway. He sat for a moment, thinking of what could possibly be said in this situation, but not coming up with anything. Sighing, Matt opened the door and stepped out into the night, locking the car and approaching the front door.
After he knocked a couple times, the door immediately opened to reveal an exhausted looking Jeff. The dark rings under his eyes and the pale tint to his cheeks tore at Matt's heart, and without a word, he reached out and wrapped his arms around him, holding him close. His younger brother's body was tense under his arms, but he slowly hugged him back, slowly starting to relax.
"Thanks, Matt," Jeff muttered, pulling away.
"Of course, Jeffro," Matt replied with a small smile, taking his shoes and jacket off and entering the living room with his brother. They sat on couch, simply looking around at the artwork painted by the younger Hardy that was mounted on the purple walls. There was a silence between them, but it wasn't awkward. Matt knew that even though he hadn't thought of anything he could say to Jeff about the topic of their mother, his presence was enough.
Then, Jeff sighed as he hung his head, staring at his hands. "There's something else I wanted to talk to you about," he said quietly.
"What is it, Jeffro?" Matt asked, looking at the younger Hardy with a bit of concern.
With another sigh, Jeff raised his gaze to meet his brother's, a bit of uncertainty in his gaze. "Matt... I think I'm going to leave the WWE."
Author's Note: Hmm, I'm kinda "eh" about this chapter. But, it'll get better, I promise! You guys saw the trailer, lol. Thanks for reading! Your reviews are much appreciated. Thank you!