Summary: Hit me, I dare you. They were five words he wished he never had said. But when an accident nearly claims his life, John Morrison realizes just how important their friendship truly is. Morrison/Miz friendship.
Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with the WWE.
Author's Note: Hey! It's finally here, the partner story to "I Wish It Would Rain." Though they are partner stories and can both stand on their own, I highly suggest that you read "IWIWR" first since there's some stuff in here that would make more sense having read that one. Let's see… The title is based on the version of "Blackbird" by Alter Bridge, and I throw in two lines I think toward the middle from the song, and it's still based on the 10/23 episode of Smackdown before "Bragging Rights." Still only Morrison and Miz friendship. Thank you so much to those who read and reviewed the first half, I hope you like this second half just as much! And a huge thank you to Expect-the-Unexpected75 for her medical expertise and Graelam for helping me a ton with some of the plot devices. It's greatly appreciated! With that said, enjoy!
"Hit me, I dare you."
John Hennigan stared at his former tag team partner Mike Mizanin, better known as the Miz to the wrestling world, with confidence as he spoke those words. Bragging Rights was only five days away, and facing his former tag team partner was going to be one of the biggest matches of his career.
In truth, he hated this scripted argument and found it pointless and stupid. But, they were just words written down on paper and recited from memory for their characters to say, it wasn't how he really felt. It was all just an act. Outside of the ring, Mike was his best friend. It was a friendship that was important to him, one that he knew would last even once they were done with the WWE.
"Hit me, I dare you."
But as he looked at Mike, John realized that there was something in his gaze that hadn't been there before. It was a flicker of anger that felt real. John didn't understand why that feeling would be there. This was all scripted, it wasn't real. Surely Mike knew that… But he could almost see a feeling of underlined anger in his friend's eyes, though he tried to ignore it as he continued as he was supposed to.
"Hit me, I dare you."
John lowered his microphone as he continued to stare Mike down, waiting for him to slide out of the ring. But the dark glint in his friend's eyes as he looked back at him unnerved him, and he couldn't help but feel that something was wrong…
He almost felt relieved when he saw Mike step back a little since that was the way that the script was supposed to go. But then, the other man's hand suddenly lurched forward, striking his face. There was a stunned moment of silence as John took a couple of steps back, caught off guard by the hit. Then, the arena was filled with loud, almost deafening boos.
After a moment of shock, John looked back at Mike with anger, finding that he was smirking confidently at him. How he wanted to wipe that smirk from his face… But, he knew that he could wait for five more days. In five more days, he would get his chance. But along with the anger he felt toward the man he had considered a friend, there was also confusion. Why had he actually hit him? It didn't make any sense.
This reminded him of when he was attacked by his former tag team partner when he had been drafted to RAW, but the only difference was, that had been scripted. This hit hadn't been…
Mike then turned and slid smoothly out of the ring with his United States Championship, met with booing as he walked up the ramp. John slowly approached the ropes in the ring, glaring at his back as he made his way to the locker rooms, having to wonder what his problem was. The slap itself hadn't hurt too badly- he had suffered worse injuries. It was the action itself, the anger behind it, that stung. He knew he would have to catch Mike before he left to hopefully straighten this mess out.
Then, John remembered that he was supposed to do a small speech to set up the match at Bragging Rights as the boos started to die down around him. He cleared his throat as he shook off the shock as best as he could and raised his microphone, the thousands of people almost immediately silencing as he talked.
"I am John Morrison."
Once he was done with his little speech and raised his Intercontinental Championship in the air, the boos that had once prevailed in the arena were now replaced with loud cheering as camera flashes went off around him. But John hardly paid attention as his eyes remained solely focused on the ramp that led out to the locker rooms. The only thought on his mind was talking to Mike. He tossed his microphone aside and lowered his belt before he slipped out of the ring and up the ramp, ignoring the applauding fans on either side of him as he left the arena.
The first place he went was the locker room, seeing that it had pretty much cleared out and Mike was nowhere to be seen. John grabbed his bag and put his belt in it without a word, having the intention of leaving right away so he could catch up with the other man before he left to figure out what was going on.
But, that plan was ruined when he turned around and saw the man standing behind him. "Oh. Hi, Matt," John said with a slight smile, trying to be polite.
Matt Hardy looked at him with sympathy in his gaze. "You all right?" he asked.
"Fine," John answered, brushing his concern off. "I, uh… I just need to go…"
"Do you know why Mike would do what he did?" Matt wondered. "I talked to him a little bit, and he's acting strangely…"
John was silent as he thought about his answer, averting his gaze. It was a question that was still burning in his mind, one that he knew wouldn't be answered unless he talked to Mike. "I was wondering that myself," he muttered with a sad smile.
Matt sighed, knowing that the friendship he had with Mike was something that John valued. Why had the other man risked throwing that away when he knew he felt the same way? He had seen many friendships form and deteriorate, and he didn't want the same thing to happen to these two. They were practically brothers. "Wanna' hang with me and a couple guys when we get to the hotel? We're planning on having a couple drinks."
"Sounds good, but I will probably be a little late to join you," John told him. "I was planning on getting a bit of a workout in when I got to the hotel."
"All right. Just join us when you're done, okay, Man?" Matt said. He was concerned about his friend, and he wanted to make sure he was okay.
John nodded, giving him a small smile. "I'll see you later, Matt."
With a sigh, John walked past Matt and hurried out of the locker room. If he was actually going to join them at the hotel was still debatable, but that was the last thought on his mind as he left the building and started to cross the parking lot. He saw that Mike was ahead of him, walking at a brisk pace toward his car- wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible to avoid him, no doubt. He knew he wasn't going to get out of an explanation that easily.
"What the hell is your problem, Mike?"
Mike stopped walking and slowly turned around at his call, and John approached him. Though he was still angry about what had happened between him and his former tag team partner, he was also confused about the events of that night. "If you don't know, then that's your own damn problem," he told him calmly.
Though they were spoken with a calm manner, the hostility of them startled John. How had this resentment toward him come about? "It was a stupid, scripted argument, Mike," he continued quickly, wanting the answer to his unspoken question. What was eating away at him? "Why did you hit me?"
"I gave you what you asked for," Mike replied. His tone was still calm, but there was more underlined hostility to his words.
Now John knew that something was definitely wrong, and it worried him. He had never seeing him act like this before, and his calmness was more unnerving to him than actual yelling. "What's going on?" he asked with concern. "I can tell something's wrong. Come on, Mike. We're friends…"
At least, he had believed they were…
"Don't play that game." John stopped when Mike interrupted him, visibly frustrated. "It wasn't the scripted argument that got to me, okay? It's you."
John was confused by the sudden outburst. Him? What had he done to deserve this sudden hostility? But, even though he didn't understand why Mike was so angry with him, he was silent during his rant about how everyone loved John Morrison, how he had been revered while Mike had been tossed to the side after their team separated, he suddenly understood what this was all about.
Their careers. It was obvious that his career was important to Mike, but he hadn't thought that it would be more important than their friendship.
He had no idea that all of this bitterness had been building up, finally released because of five words. "Hit me, I dare you." How he wished he could take those words back. He would have done anything he had to do to set things right between them.
Mike took a deep, steadying breath to calm himself down as he looked at him, probably wanting some kind of response. However, John didn't have one because he didn't know what to even think. Mike had thrown a lot at him- how unfair it was that after they separated, his career was taking off while his seemed to be doing the opposite. What he could say to that statement to make things better, he wasn't sure.
"Does none of it matter anymore, John?" Mike's sudden, quiet question startled him. "That time when we were a tag team? I mean, we were fucking awesome! Doesn't that matter?"
John looked at him sadly. Their time as a tag team was one of his favorite memories with the WWE. It meant a lot to him. "Mike…"
"No, John," Mike muttered with a sad smile as he slowly shook his head. "It's obvious which one of us is the Shawn Michales or whatever the hell we were talking about back there. Just keep on living the pretty boy life as you make your way to the top. I'm done with it. I'm done with you."
"I'm done with you…"
It was clear that the man he had considered to be his best friend was furious, but it was the last statement that hurt John the worst. If there was any way he could take back the events of that night, he would without a second thought. But he could only watch and sigh heavily as Mike turned his back on him as he began to walk to his car. He had no idea that resentment had been building up for so long… "Mike!" he shouted after him, hoping that they could work out whatever had happened between them to save their friendship. "Mike!"
But Mike didn't even slow down or look back. He just continued walking until he got to his car, got inside, and drove out of the parking lot and out of sight.
He was gone.
The car ride was silent as John drove to the hotel. Normally, he'd be one to blare the radio with all the windows rolled down, even though it was a tad cool outside. But not that night. That night, all that was on his mind was what had happened with Mike.
"I'm done with it…"
It was obvious that the man he had thought was his best friend, his brother, seemed to hate him, but he just couldn't wrap his mind around why. Granted, ever since their team had separated, he had gained a large burst of popularity while Mike continued to be booed, but he didn't see that as a good reason for the sudden hostile treatment. It wasn't something that he could control. He understood the frustration of him being overshadowed, but it wasn't his fault. They were friends, or so he had once thought, and he wondered why Mike couldn't see that. Their friendship was important, at least to him, and he believed that it would have lasted longer than either of their careers.
Not, it seemed that he had been wrong.
John sighed when he felt his phone begin to vibrate in his pocket, and he pulled it out, seeing that he had gotten a text message. Seeing that there was no other traffic at the moment, he opened it, seeing that it was from Matt Hardy.
It was short and to the point.
Haven't heard from you or Mike in a while. Just wondering how you guys are doing.
John glanced at the glowing green numbers on his radio, having no idea that it had nearly been an hour since he had left the arena. Time flew when there was a lot to think about… But he wasn't going to bother answering the text message since he was now close to the hotel and would see him shortly.
He was about to toss his phone into the passenger seat beside him for the time being, but something caused him to stop. Mike hadn't been heard from for a while either… He was probably driving in circles without a clear head. He had been in a couple situations where Mike had been driving angry, and none of them had been pleasant. The fact that no one had heard from him made him a bit concerned, and he decided to check up on him.
"I'm done with you…"
John stopped, his finger above the buttons on his phone as he continued to stare at the dark road ahead of him. Mike had made it clear that he didn't want to talk to him. He probably wouldn't answer if he called. Why even bother? And why was he so concerned anyway? If Mike didn't want anything to do with him, then what he didn't shouldn't have been his problem.
But, deep down, there was a feeling nagging at him that told him that regardless of what had happened that night, Mike was still his friend, and he cared about him. He wanted to make sure he was all right. Sighing, John quickly glanced down at his phone and typed in Mike's number, hesitating slightly as he debated on whether or not he should hit the call button.
"I'm done with you…"
Suddenly, John gasped when he heard the loud sound of squealing tires, and he quickly looked up. He was almost at the hotel, but he watched with mounting dread as a dark car that was driving in the opposite direction suddenly swerved wildly into his lane, and his body tensed when he realized it was coming directly toward him.
The last thought on his mind before he felt nothing at all was how he wouldn't be able to apologize to his best friend.
That was the only thing he felt as he slowly began to become aware of his surroundings. Was it even possible to be in this much pain and still be able to breathe? He wasn't sure, but he was finding that usually effortless task nearly impossible.
"Lost a lot of blood… internal bleeding… move to surgery…"
The words he was hearing didn't make any sense to him since he was only catching fragments of the conversation, but he knew that whoever was talking must have been talking about him. That would only make sense by the amount of pain he was in…
"List… family… Mike Mizanin…"
Mike? Mike was there? He wasn't sure how much longer he would last with this unbearable pain, but if Mike was truly somewhere near, he would be able to apologize. Or, at least he would be able to have someone do so for him.
"I'm done with you…"
"The cycle of suffering goes on…"
John heard a quiet sound escape from him that must have been a groan of pain as his eyes slowly fluttered open. He was instantly blinded by the lights above him, and he had to close them again for a minute. Wherever he was, he didn't understand why it had to be so bright.
"Hey, there you are."
At the sound of the pleasant voice, John willed his eyes to open again with some difficulty, seeing that there was a woman sitting in a chair beside him with red hair pulled back behind her head. When she saw that he was looking at her, she gave him a kind smile. "It's going to be okay," she said. "We're just going to move you in a few minutes."
John continued to watch the woman sitting next to him as another voice in the room said, "Get the doctor. His bp is dropping…" He knew he was going to be moved to surgery. He knew that he had some internal bleeding. He knew there was a good chance that he wouldn't see the next day, no matter what she said. But, he wasn't going to bother talking to her about all of this when there were more important things on his mind. He only had so much breath left anyway…
"I'm… dying… aren't I?" he whispered, his voice barely audible. In his mind, it wasn't a question…
The woman's gaze saddened for a second as she looked down at him. He certainly wasn't in good condition, but she was determined to help him in any small way she could. She took the oxygen mask from next to her since she could tell that he was having difficulty breathing. "No, Honey," she told him, leaning forward as she tried to put the mask on his face. "You're going to be just fine."
"No…" John weakly turned his face away from her, trying to refuse the mask. They had to know what he had to tell his best friend since he knew he wasn't going to be able to. "Mike… Tell Mike I'm sorry…"
The nurse was touched when she saw a couple of tears escape from the man's dark eyes. Mike was someone he must have been close to, and if he was apologizing, she realized that something must have happened between them. She knew that she would do everything she could to make sure that he could talk to him himself. "Here, Honey," she muttered, gently placing the mask over his face. Despite how he had tried to fight it before, she watched as the man now closed his eyes and gratefully breathed in the air. "It's going to be all right…"
Then, the door opened, and a doctor entered. "Is he ready to be moved?" he asked.
"All right, then let's go. We don't have much time."
"Yes, Doctor." The nurse looked down at the man again, seeing that he had slipped back into unconsciousness. It must have been easier to handle the pain that way… "It'll be okay, Honey," she promised him quietly, placing her hand lightly on top of his head. "You're going to be-!"
She gasped with fear, anxiously looking at the heart monitor he was hooked up to when she no longer heard the sound of his irregular heartbeat. He had flat-lined.
The oxygen mask was practically ripped from his face as the doctor immediately approached, another nurse with some supplies in tow. The doctor pulled John's head back and used a laryngoscope to open his airway. He carefully slid a long tube down his throat, which was immediately attached to an Ambu-bag, which would pump an adequate oxygen supply into his lungs until he could hopefully breathe on his own again.
"We need fifty cc's of epinephrine… now!" the doctor implored, thankful that the heard at least had a ventricular rhythm. Hopefully, the adrenaline would stimulate it into a steady, normal rhythm again. The nurse handed him a syringe full of epi, and the doctor quickly plunged it into the young man's heart, his eyes falling on the heart monitor as he hoped- prayed- for a positive response. Still, the green lines were flat, taunting him.
As the nurse bagged the patient, the doctor positioned his hands over his chest and pounded his heart, hoping this action would spur some much-needed activity. He refused to give up on this man. There were three very worried men in the waiting room that were praying he would pull through since he was important to them. He had held on this long. He certainly wasn't going to let him go now… not without a fight.
"Come on, Man, stay with us," the doctor whispered, looking into John's face as he continued to pound on his chest over his heart. "Come back to us…"
"But memories of you stay strong…"
John opened his eyes, finding himself standing in what appeared to be the backstage area of an arena. He looked around with confusion, wondering what he was doing there. Hadn't he just left the arena?
"Hey, come on, Man! We've gotta' get out there!"
At the sound of the sudden, familiar voice, John quickly turned around, seeing that Mike Mizanin was standing behind him, his face lit up by an excited, goofy grin. "What…"
"Come on!" Mike repeated, grabbing his arm as he started dragging him along behind him. "Don't tell me you're nervous. We're gonna' get their belts tonight, Man!"
Belts? This wasn't making any sense to him at all. John didn't understand why Mike was suddenly being friendly to him after the fight they had earlier, and he didn't know what belts he was talking about. They each had their own…
But, John didn't have too much time to dwell on this since Mike had pulled him out onto the entrance ramp, holding his arms up to the cheering and booing crowd around them as the theme song that used to belong to their team blared. John just looked at the mass of people with rising confusion. What was going on? Why were he and Mike fighting together? But, he decided to go along with it, smiling at the crowd as he followed his tag team partner down to the ring.
Then, another song began, and there was more cheering as two more men walked out, holding up belts. John's eyes widened with shock when he saw their opponents. CM Punk… Kofi Kingston… He remembered this match. This was when he and Mike had won the World Tag Team Championship belts. But… why was he doing this again? It had already happened…
But again, he didn't have too much time to think about it as Punk and Kofi entered the ring and the bell sounded for the match to begin. John moved to their corner of the ring since Mike was going to start against Kofi, and he watched as they began to go at each other. This was all very overwhelming. He didn't understand how he was standing in the ring with Mike as his tag team partner as they fought for the titles. It didn't make any sense to him…
He was brought out of his thoughts when he felt Mike's hand on his arm, and he realized that he had been tagged in. John climbed in through the ropes while his partner took his place, and he kicked Kofi, making him stumble into the ropes. But this allowed him to tag Punk in, and the two began their fight.
John could hear Mike's shouts of encouragement from behind him as he and Punk proved that they were evenly matched as they exchanged hits, and the crowd's cheering fueled him. But then, he staggered when he felt very weak as he pushed his opponent into the ropes. It concerned him about why this feeling had come on so suddenly. He certainly didn't remember this happening…
Punk charged at him, and John was taken by surprise by a sudden forceful arm to his throat. He fell to the mat, coughing forcefully since the wind was completely knocked out of him. After a moment, he rolled over onto his side, searching for Mike so that he could tag him in since he knew he couldn't continue. But before he could make his way over to him, Punk was back on him with a submission hold.
But he immediately knew that something was wrong. Punk's arm around his throat was cutting off his air supply, and he could feel himself becoming lightheaded as he tried to force Punk off him. But it seemed as though the harder he tried, the tighter the arm around his throat was…
John turned to where Mike was standing in their corner, frantically trying to get his attention so that he could help him somehow. But even though he waved his arms to his tag team partner, tried saying his name, Mike didn't notice the danger he was in. He reached out to him with one hand while trying to force Punk off him with the other, but his body was too weak. His strength completely left him, and his eyes closed as his head hit the mat.
Mike was watching Kofi, making sure that he wouldn't jump in to assist Punk in any way. After all, he and John were evenly matched, and their titles were on the line. When Punk put him into a submission hold, Mike sighed as he looked away for a moment, hoping that John could fight his way out of it. They were supposed to take the belts that night, but Punk had one of the most lethal submission holds that was difficult to break. But, he knew his tag team partner, and he knew he could handle it.
But when he looked back at the fighting pair in the center of the ring, he immediately knew that something was wrong. Punk was still applying the submission move, but John wasn't moving, his head limp against the mat…
For a moment, Mike forgot all about the World Tag Team Championship as he jumped into the ring, forcing Punk off of John. He then dragged him over to the opposite corner of the ring away from Kofi, angrily punching and kicking him so that he wouldn't be able to go anywhere. Then, he rushed back over to John, who hadn't moved, and gently turned him over onto his back, watching with fear as his head lolled limply to the side. Mike then anxiously checked for a pulse, and he was alarmed when he didn't feel one.
"Come on, Man," Mike whispered, beginning to pound on his chest over his heart, hoping to spur some much-needed activity. The man was his best friend, his brother. He couldn't be gone… "Stay with me, John, don't do this. Come back…"
After a few tense minutes of this, John's back suddenly arched as he coughed forcefully, air rushing back into his lungs as his heart slowly started again. His eyes slowly fluttered open, and he saw that Mike was kneeling beside him, a small smile of relief on his face. "Welcome back," he muttered.
John took a couple of deep breaths, looking around with confusion. When he realized that he was lying in the ring in the middle of one of their most important matches, he quickly looked back at Mike. "What about the championship?" he asked hoarsely.
Mike smirked in a competitive way. "Are you sure you're up to finishing this?" he wondered.
It only took John a moment to think about his answer, and he slowly nodded. He still felt incredibly weak after what had happened, but he also knew that this moment was important to both him and Mike. He wanted to finish it.
"All right, then." Mike got to his feet and hurried over to Punk, who was slowly making his way to Kofi. He grabbed his arm to stop him and pulled him to the center of the ring, performing the Reality Check, his finishing move. Then, he took John's arm and pulled it over Punk's limp form for the pin. The referee dropped down beside them and gave the three count.
There was cheering around them as Mike took the World Tag Team Championships, giving one to John before putting his arm around his neck and helping him to his feet. John looked down at the belt in his hand as he leaned against his tag team partner for support, a smile spreading across his face. This victory was definitely an important moment for both of them, one that would stay etched in their minds for as long as they were with the business. He looked over at Mike, who was grinning broadly at the crowd as he held his belt up, and he had to wonder what had happened between them. Mike was his best friend, or at least he had been during this time. What had happened to cause their friendship to turn so bitter?
But, he supposed that he didn't have to worry about that now. John sighed as he closed his eyes, simply absorbing the happiness and excitement from their victory. He preferred to focus on this moment with Mike than on what had become of their friendship.
The doctor sighed with exhaustion as he leaned against the side of the bed when he heard the quiet sound of the heart monitor picking up activity, watching the now slow, uneven movement in the glowing green lines. It was weak, but at least his heart was beating again.
"Get ready for the surgery," the doctor told the nurses that were still standing around him. "We need to stop this internal bleeding if we want to save him."
As the nurses immediately began to do what he said, the doctor sighed again as he looked into John's face, laughing a little. He knew that as long as he wasn't going to give up, then he would keep fighting to save him. "Maybe," he whispered, shaking his head with relief. "Maybe there's still hope for you yet."
"Damn, a wreck can't even fuck up your face, can it?"
John was confused when he heard the sudden voice. For what felt like an eternity, he had been completely alone. He saw nothing, heard nothing, felt nothing. For a while, he wasn't even sure if he was truly alive. It sure hadn't felt like it.
But the sudden voice… It wasn't quite clear, but it was definitely one he knew. It was Mike. John clung to that voice, comforted by the familiarity. It was a relief after being surrounded by absolute nothingness for so long…
"I don't know if you can hear me… so sorry about everything… I wish I could take it all back… a car wreck… realize how selfish I was being… careers aren't forever… friendship is… switch places with you… without a second thought… should be me… you didn't do anything wrong…"
Though he only caught what he was saying in short fragments, it was enough for John to realize what he was saying. Mike was apologizing… He allowed the voice to pull him from the empty void he had been in for so long, and John's eyes slowly fluttered open, wearily turning his head to the side. Mike was sitting in a chair beside him, his eyes closed as a single tear fell from his eye. It was at that moment John realized how guilty he was really feeling.
"I'm so sorry…"
"…It's okay… Mike…" His voice was weak and barely audible, but he wanted his best friend to know that he forgave him, even after all he had been through.
He watched as Mike gasped and quickly opened his eyes, and he gave him a weak smile when their gazes met. "It's not… your fault…" he assured him. It truly wasn't his fault that he was in the hospital, and he wanted Mike to know that he wasn't angry. He could tell by his friend's exhausted expression that he must have been there for however long he had been there after the accident, and that showed him that their friendship meant as much to Mike as it did to him.
Mike leaned forward a little as he returned the smile. It seemed to be one of surprise since he wasn't on the receiving end of John's fury. "But, after what I said-!"
John shook his head, and Mike stopped. He didn't want him to start blaming himself for something that had been out of his control. "You're not the one who hit me," he muttered, finding that his voice was coming a bit stronger now.
But after Mike laughed a little, telling him he knew that, John looked at him with concern when he watched his smile suddenly vanish. "You're not the one who it me..." He realized then what that could have also meant. "Mike, I wasn't talking about that..."
"I know, but that was my fault." John was surprised by the sudden force in his tone. "Back at the arena... I let my jealousy get a hold of me. I shouldn't have said any of it... I certainly didn't mean it..."
"I'm sorry, Mike..."
"For what?" There was no question that Mike was shocked by this statement since it must have been the last one he was expecting. "You have nothing to apologize for."
No matter what his friend said, John felt like he had to apologize. Though it was something that was out of his control, John felt bad about how Mike had been experiencing that inner jealousy because of the direction their careers had taken after their team separated because of the draft. But he could see the guilt that Mike felt about it now, which was the reason for his apology.
John sighed, not saying anything for a long moment since talking was taking most of his strength was he was trying to figure out a way to sum up everything he was thinking about. "I'm sorry that you felt that way," he finally settled on for an explanation. "I had no idea..."
The sad expression that crossed Mike's face caused John's own gaze to soften. "Well, it's not really you that I was resenting," he muttered, going on to explain again how he had been jealous about how John's career had taken off while his hadn't. "I let that get in the way of our friendship, which I can't tell you how much I regret. We won't have our careers forever, but I was hoping that our friendship would last that long. I'm just so glad you're okay..."
"I'll be fine," John assured him with a slight smile. "What's done is done." He just wanted to forget about everything that had happened the previous night. The hit at the arena, the argument that followed, the accident itself... It was all in the past to him now. It was a bridge he had crossed and burned. Mike had apologized, and he knew that they would get over what had happened and be friends again. That was all that mattered.
Mike didn't have anything to say to this other than quietly agreeing, and John realized that his guilt would be staying with him for some time, though he wished that wouldn't have been the case. It was done and over with. But, there was something else that was on his mind. "Matt Hardy said something about you about to call me before the..."
John nodded. Though his sentence wasn't finished, he knew exactly what Mike was talking about. He clearly remembered dialing his best friend's number, worried about him since no one had heard from him in a long time. But he had hesitated to make the call because of the fight he and Mike had been in, knowing that he wouldn't answer. He knew it had been that hesitation that had almost cost him their friendship since he had nearly lost the chance to talk to him again. If he wouldn't have made it through the accident, he and Mike never would have had the chance to make things right.
"I was gonna' check up on you," John finally replied, deciding not to question how Matt had known that he had been about to call Mike before he was hit. "I was a bit concerned, that's all."
"Concerned?" He wasn't surprised that Mike was caught off guard by this because of the things he had said to him before they parted ways.
A small smile appeared on John's face. "Yeah. I know how you get when you drive when you're angry," he told him, deciding to keep the conversation light since he didn't want to burden Mike down with his thoughts when he could see there was still a lot on his mind. "I haven't forgotten that time you called me to come get you because you drove your car into a ditch, okay." He smiled a bit when Mike laughed at the shared memory. "But, no one heard from you in a while, so I was just going to check up on you to see if you were okay."
"Thank you." Though Mike's response only came in the form of two words, John nodded in understanding. He knew that there was a lot of thought and emotion behind that simple phrase, though he also knew that it possibly couldn't express all that he was thinking.
But then, John slowly raised his hand with some difficulty since he didn't have too much strength yet and held it out to Mike. The argument was behind him now. He just wanted his best friend, his brother, back. "Truce?" he wondered.
For a moment, Mike just looked at his proffered hand in shock, probably amazed by his quick forgiveness. But then, he smiled as he took his hand and shook it. "Truce."
John laughed a little as they let go, relieved to feel that the tension had lifted and their friendship was mending. "Well, it seems like we won't be able to determine who's the Shawn Michaels of the team on Sunday, huh?" he said with a grin, knowing that he wouldn't be in fighting shape in time.
Mike smiled as he leaned back in his chair. "I'd say that much is clear, Man," he replied. "That much is clear."
Author's Note: Back by popular demand, I put Miz's car wreck line in there, lol! Well, there's the second half! I hope you liked it! Thanks for reading. Your reviews are much appreciated, just no flames please. Thank you!