Rating: NC17, for language
Summary: Shannon reflects on the love of his life and the vicious circle to which all things attest.
Notes: This is one of my weird-ass song-based stories. I don't like labeling them as "songfics" because a) I think that label is dumb, and b) I don't like inserting the lyrics in the story. I'd rather just take the feeling I get from a particular song and write something about it. Then christen it the same as the song from which it was birthed. It makes sense to me... Oh, by the way, the song is called "Overdose" by Hurt.
I roll the pale yellow tablets in my hand, regarding them an utmost reverence. The same things that he used... the same things that took him away from all of us. The things that I, in my need, my longing, for him, have fallen to. My emotional crutch.
It's the damnedest thing, isn't it? You know, the fucking love of your life lost to painkillers and you start doing them too? I don't even know why...
Fuck it. I pop one, two, and swig it down with a shot of whiskey. It burns my throat, starting fires as it slides down my gullet. I feel my legs give out and I crash silently to the threadbare sofa, my thoughts going... going... gone.
You should have seen Matt after he died. Fuck, you should see him now. Empty, a hollow ghost floating around searching for his soul. A shell of his former self, you could say, except that's fucking trite and a useless phrase. I hate that phrase, I fucking hate all clichés... because that's all anyone used to describe him...
My baby, my fucking everything, my reason for life, my Jeffrey Nero. Now he's gone, his ashes scattered in the Imag-I-Nation and on that trampoline that started all of this. All of it. Yeah, you can argue that the television started it, but I disagree. That trampoline is where it all began... their shared obsession, their love for that sport.
A lot of people will say that Jeff scooted in on Matt's coattails, but that just ain't true. They both busted their asses for that shit. If anything scooted in, it was me and Shane. We both worked for it, but not nearly as hard as Matt and Jeff did.
And when did I fall in love, you ask? I don't know. I was eight? I was young. I kinda knew something was different about me, and all we did was hang out with each other and I just... revered him. I admired Matt, too, but Jeff was a whole 'nother level. I wanted to emulate him in every way, I fucking wanted to be him sometimes. We'd sleep together all the time, outside and whatnot, all four or five or six or seven of us, and I always managed to be right beside him. My whole body would shiver, because I was so close to him...
The night I told him... I'd had entirely too much to drink. We all had. Matt had secured some whiskey from someone at school and we'd all been drinking it. Shane had passed out already and Matt was off trying to piss. Just me and Jeff.
"Jefff," I slurred, my vision spinning as I tried to face him. This was so important. It had to be done now, and I knew it. It was now or never. I was fourteen... Jeff was sixteen... and it just had to be done...
"What, Shan?" his voice flowed like fucking honey. It always did.
"I... I gotta tell ya somethin'," I stumbled, trying to walk to him, and he grabbed me as I fell, settling me on the floor with him. He was drunk too, but he held it a lot better than I did, I guess.
"What's that?" "Jefff, ya gotta... ya gotta promise to not tell no one, okay? It's real... real important," I was drawing it out, I didn't know why, my whole body feeling like a bow being drawn so fucking tight I was going to explode.
"Jefff, ya gotta... ya gotta promise to not tell no one, okay? It's real... real important," I was drawing it out, I didn't know why, my whole body feeling like a bow being drawn so fucking tight I was going to explode.
"You know I take shit to the grave, Shan," he replied, looking at me with those beautiful green eyes. Green like fresh-cut grass, green like pine trees in the middle of summer, green like the way our pond would shine...
"I love you," I whispered, gasping it all out in one breath, "I love you, Jeff..."
He didn't drop me. He didn't say anything, just kept looking at me with that steady gaze that could undermine the strongest man alive.
"Yeah?" he asked. I felt... like he was mocking me. So I got up, I busted out a door, and ran - straight into a chair, so I fell over, knocking my head on the wood desk, and going unconscious right then and there.
He never spoke about that night, so I never talked about it. I just let it go - I was happy enough that he didn't beat the shit out of me. It would have been in his right... But we never talked about it again. We didn't talk about it for four long years, when he came to me one night, drunk as a skunk.
"Shan, Shan, I gotta tell ya something," his lips tripped over the words and he was holding himself up in the doorway by his shaking arms. His legs trembled and I helped him in, getting him to sit down on the couch.
"Jeff, you're fucking drunk," I observed.
"No shit, now listen to me," he looked up at me and I saw something in his face that I couldn't describe if I wanted to. "Shannon, I... I never knew how to say this. I never knew what to do. I just thought you were so drunk that night, saying stupid shit, and you probably were, but fucking shit Shan, I just can't hold back any more... Shan... Shan, I fucking love you."
He stared at me, and I at him, and I'm pretty sure I gave him that same, steady gaze he had given me four years prior. He tried to get up, but I grabbed his shoulders, sitting him back down.
"Jeff... it wasn't stupid drunk shit... I meant it," I whispered, my heart hammering in my chest so loud I was sure that he could hear it, "I love you too, Jeff."
What happened next? Jeff puked and ended up sleeping beside me. Easily not the most romantic thing in the book, right? But whatever, that's how we were. We weren't standard by any definition, which was all right by me and him. We were secret, quiet, and no one knew...
No one knows even now... If I told Matt, I think he might kill me. Maybe? I have no idea. I can't judge him anymore, he's too hard to read now. He never used to be, but I guess that's what happens when you lose half your fucking family.
Two pills isn't doing it for me tonight, so I reach for the bottle and take another.
Everyone knew that Jeff had an addictive personality - it was as clear as the dye in his hair. He was always trying something or other, and I often did it with him. He'd get addicted, I'd get pissed, and he'd try and quit. He usually succeeded.
But shit started to get real after awhile. Jeff was getting so big with the WWE, he was fucking world champion and all sorts of shit. It was amazing. We had this awesome thing going with the Hardy Show, and life was just a never-ending cycle of excellent. I was so happy, so consumed with light, that I failed to see the darkness consuming him.
He couldn't take it anymore. The glare of the cameras, the always-expanding expectations of the fans and Vince alike, the silent disapproval Matt regarded him with every time he failed a drug test. The first time was just a fluke - we had smoked up the week before and he didn't take the niacin in time.
But that disapproval... from Matt... was enough to start to sink him. His brother was the world to him, in a way that I could never be. I accepted that, and was all right with it. I knew he loved me in a different way, and he knew that I loved him just as strongly. But back to Matt. That silent poison that was his shadowed looks, his quiet whispered words when no one was around.
I heard Jeff cry about it. He'd go in the shower and just cry, thinking the water would cover the sounds. I tried to help him, but he got so angry. He hit me that night, in the shower, and I just left. I wasn't mad at him. I was powerless, and I knew it. I was defeated.
I never pushed it again, but I knew everything that went on in his head. He'd cry Matt's name in his sleep, begging for forgiveness.
And in my desperation to just let him be - because that's what he wanted - I let it go. I forced myself to forget. He tried to make himself forget, too. With these exact same pills.
It's a fucking vicious circle, man. He'd sit and pop pills and drink the same type of whiskey from all those years ago. He did it until the night he couldn't do it anymore... I found him, passed out, and the minute I touched him, I knew.
I called Matt, and Matt died that night, too. You know what, fuck it, we all did. All three of us died with Jeff.
So here I am, sitting on the same couch, taking the same pills and drinking the same whiskey because it's all I have left. All I have left of the only man I ever loved, ever will love.
You think it's creepy that I kept the fucking couch he died on? Whatever. That's part of how no one ever understood us. Or would have understood us, if they had known. I think Matt may have suspected.
I see Jeff in mind's eye, flickering in and out of my perception. Fuck, I miss him...
The tears come like they always do and I just let them fall. Just like I let him fall. Fuck. It was my fucking fault, wasn't it? I just let him... I just let him go.
I never deserved him. I never deserved shit.
I stare at the rest of the bottle, and I swear to God it's talking to me. Tempting me. Come on, Shannon. You don't deserve this world, and you know it...
My hand clasps around the bottle as if of its own accord, and I'm having trouble shaking the last few pills out.
"Jeffrey," I whisper, tossing them in my mouth. They start to dissolve on my alcohol-soaked tongue, and they're bitter as every truth I've ever faced. I reach for the whiskey and with one toss, it's all gone. "Jeffrey."
I whisper his name like the prayer it is as the room starts to fade. I wonder if this is what he felt, too. I bet it is. My last connection to him.
The night swirls in and out and all I can see is his picture on the wall. My favorite picture of him, wearing a camoflauge hoodie and just smiling at something off-camera. One of the few pictures of him being Jeff, being himself. His whole face would scrunch up when he truly laughed, his eyes and nose crinkling up and his cheeks beaming.
God, Jeff. I fucking love you so much, I miss you so much, it hurts so fucking much. I'm almost there, baby. Almost there... Almost there...
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