~*~*~

Chapter V

~**~

For HeartbreakDX and my FicFource friends wrestlefan4, Dark Kaneanite, and Seraphalexiel

~*~*~*~

Bret towered over the nightstand, his hands gripping the sides for support. He was crying, his head and chest hurt, and to make matters worse, he was completely and utterly alone on Christmas Eve. Not that Bret actually expected to have visitors. The way he treated his family sometimes, it's a wonder they still even bothered with him. Bret never really got over the Montreal incident, but not for reasons he led the media to believe. Sure he hated Vince McMahon for it and had some kind of contempt for Shawn but Bret knew the first time their eyes met that he could never really hate that blonde. He was too perfect and Bret missed him very much. Why am I thinking about him again? It was never meant to be! He's a man for fuck's sake!

Bret sighed. Shawn was a man which meant they could never be together anyway. Bret's father was only ever too happy to explain to the Hart children about being on the road as a professional wrestler. One of the discussions that came up during training was dealing with loneliness. Stu spoke of how easy it was to find oneself attracted to other men, but it was usually out of weakness. Harts were not weak and they weren't allowed to swing the other way. It was wrong. It was against the Bible. It was against everything Harts stood for and Stu wasn't having it. That is why Bret had to keep his relationship with Shawn a secret in the first place. He didn't want to be disowned and at the same time, Bret was not exactly happy that Shawn was a man. He loved him but…it was just so complicated.

But he loved him. By God he loved Shawn more than anything in this world which was why he still felt guilty about leaving him in Montreal. So many times he wanted to just come out and tell the world that he forgave Shawn. He wanted to shout to the universe that he made a mistake by leaving Vince, but he couldn't do it. His father still hated Shawn for lying while Bret was still hurting over his brother's sudden death. Each time Bret thought he had the courage to publically forgive Shawn, someone would mention Owen's name and he would forget. He would remember how thoughtlessly the WWE acted upon the news and would lash out. Often times he'd be reminded of a very heartbreaking scene he witnessed roughly 12 years ago at Owens home - Shawn - his ex lover and rival sound asleep in Owen's bed - and he's say things he didn't really mean.

Bret choked back a sob. He and Owen grew farther apart after that day. They spoke on occasion and managed to make it through another Christmas without killing one another, but things just wasn't the same anymore. Owen didn't look exactly happy but at the same time, he wasn't sad either. If anything there was an unusual glow about him all the time which used to anger Bret all the time. That glowing could only come (in his mind) from having great sex and a loving relationship. After seeing Shawn in Owen's bed, there was no doubt in Bret's mind that they were a couple.

Oh how Bret hated Shawn for a while. The darkness in his heart grew tenfold because he couldn't understand it. He just could not understand how a person like Shawn could betray him by sleeping with his own brother. At the same time he held Owen equally responsible because Owen knew Shawn was weak. He knew Shawn had low self esteem which meant at the time Shawn wasn't exactly hard to tempt into bed, not to mention Bret heard Shawn had been passed around the entire roster. If Bret heard then he was sure Owen knew, but Owen never said a thing about it. He never attempted to apologize for it and that only made Bret resent him even more.

But holding grudges never helps the situation. In fact, holding grudges only makes things worse in the long run. The first sign of that came when Bret suffered his career ending injury from WCW. He was sent packing back home to wallow in self pity. It was a sad time for Bret but his sadness had no end. Just a few months later he found out that his brother was dead. D-E-A-D. Dead. The death of his brother should have turned him dark and cold, but instead it motivated him to stop worrying – and it worked for a while. Bulldog's David along with Nattie and Tyson were up and coming wrestlers readying to start their official training in the famous Stu Hart Dungeon.

Bret volunteered to do most of the training and for three years he trained them nonstop. The training of these future stars kept his mind off of his problems though occasionally he would have visions of Davey Boy in Smith and Owen in Kidd. It was easy to forget the visions until they actually left for the WWE. Once they were gone, Bret was left alone to his thoughts; dark thoughts that almost killed him when he suffered a stroke prior to his Hall of Fame induction. The doctors weren't sure he would ever be the same again but a tiny voice in the back of his head kept telling him to push forward. Bret ignored the doctors by forcing himself out of that wheelchair and into some serious physical therapy. Once again, Bret had a goal to work towards; a goal that kept his mind out of the darkness.

The year is now 2009 and Bret's walking and wrestling as to be expected for his age yet he's still surrounded by darkness. This time it was regret. Bret did the Hall of Fame ceremony as a step towards rebuilding a broken relationship with a man who was like a second father to him. The only condition he asked for was for Shawn to take a hike. He didn't want to look out over the audience into the eyes of a man he both loved and hated. At the time, he was just terrified that he would spill his guts about Owen; about how he knew they were lovers and how much he resented him for stooping so low, but now…now Bret couldn't help but wish he would have seen Shawn's face again. Hating Shawn was so easy to do until you looked into his eyes. His eyes were always so loving and dreamy and those eyes are something he wish he could have seen once more. He needed to know. He had too much thinking time since Montreal; so much time that he managed to convince himself for a while that he never even loved Shawn. He never loved Shawn at all…until he saw his match against Mark at Wrestlemania.

Bret quit watching wrestling all together until the Hart Dynasty debuted in the 'E. He made it his business to watch all of their matches so that he could give them advice on how to improve. But Wrestlemania 25 was being boasted as the end all-end all of Wrestlemania's, and the advertised big draw featured Shawn Michaels attempting to end the Undertaker's streak. Of course Bret was pretty sure Shawn wasn't going to win the match but his curiosity got the better of him and he found himself ordering the PPV. It was a bore. Even the usual Money in the Bank ladder match lacked a certain spark. By the time Shawn's match against Mark rolled around, Bret was sure he would fall asleep.

But then he saw him. Like an angel descending from heaven. Bret sat up on the couch, his eyes completely glued at the man on the screen. Bret hadn't seen Shawn in years and it just amazed him how time had been so good to the blonde. Shawn was still very beautiful, his long hair and contagious smile lighting up the arena. The crowd popped big time for him giving Bret an adrenaline rush he hadn't felt in years.

The match…Bret didn't know much about the build up for the match but the way Mark and Shawn battled in that match you'd think one or the other was fighting for their life. The match was simply unforgettable and more than likely the greatest match he'd ever seen. He didn't bother to watch the rest of the pay per view. Once Shawn performed on a card, you knew it was going to be the best match of the night. He'd heard stories of his matches against Jericho and Kurt, but resentment kept him from looking at them. That night changed his mind. Out of habit, he purchased all of the WWE DVDs just in case and for the next several months, he watched every match that Shawn was in since his 2002 return, allowing his ex to plant himself in his heart all over again.

Tonight he finished watching the last of the dvds opting for one more viewing of Wrestlemania 25. When it was over, he doubled over on the couch, crying until he just couldn't cry anymore. He cried for so long that he feared he would never stop crying and die from lack of air. Die. Death. Death was a guy he'd grown accustomed to calling on during dark times and tonight was no different. For eleven straight years, he spent Christmas Eve alone in his bed, miserable. Tonight was worse than the last eleven all together. Tonight…tonight he just couldn't take it anymore. He was done. He was through. Nothing in the world could make him happy. At least if he welcomed death, he would be able to see his brother again. That alone was better than living a miserable, sickly life in loneliness.

Bret pulled open the drawer and grabbed the small hand gun. It felt cool in his hands, a chill he more than welcomed. Safety off. It clicked and then his hand moved towards his head, the cool steel barrow resting against his head. He closed his eyes. This was the end. Tonight he was going to be reunited with his brother leaving this miserable old world behind him. No one would miss him. Maybe the Hart children but they'd live. He taught them everything they needed to know and they would be taken care of. The insurance policies and settlement from Owen's death left more than enough to carry them over. They were fine and knowing that, he could leave this world without feeling any kind of remorse.

"Bret."

I can hear my brother calling my name…

Bret's hand started to tremble but he willed himself to hold it steady. In the back of his head, he could see Owen reaching out to him with a sad look on his face.

"Bret!"

I'm coming Owen.

It was time.

click…

"Bret, no!"

A pair of arms quickly grabbed him from behind, gripping his body in a tight embrace. There were sobs and faint whispers of "thank God" and "Bret" causing his body to tremble uncontrollably. His legs gave way and he dropped to his knees, the gun landing several feet away from him. Bret was angry. Bret was angry, sad, and confused but mostly angry. He wanted to die. He wasn't supposed to be saved. Who was this? And who gave them the right to interfere?

"Let me go!" he cried. "I want to go."

Shawn buried his face in the small of Bret's back. "I can't do that," Shawn whispered. "If you go then I might have to go too."

That voice…

Bret's heart stopped, his body tensing up in fear. There was no way…there was just no way he…

"I'm dreaming," Bret whispered. "It must…only a dream. The dvds…I watched too many of them tonight. You…"

"I'm here," sobbed. "I'm here with you and I won't let you go."

"Who are you?!" Bret cried angrily. "Who the hell are you! Tell me your name!" He had to know. He had to know for sure…

"You already know."

"Lies!" he screamed. "Why would he be here? How would he know…?"

"I…I had a dream tonight and in my dream something told me to seek the one my heart's always longed for," he stated softly. "I'd rather die here with you tonight Bret than to spend another Christmas all alone in my home."

Bret choked back another sob. It sounded like him. It even felt like him, but he was just too afraid to face him and see. So many years were wasted hurting him through the media. So many years Bret pretended to hate him and yet here he was (possibly) sitting behind him attempting to save his life and for what?

"Why?" he asked. "Why are you really here? I've spent the last eleven years hating your guts so it makes no sense for God to send you to me now. What's wrong with God? Has he lost his damn mind?" he asked bitterly.

Shawn pressed his face deeper into Bret's warm flesh, his hands subconsciously caressing his torso. "I don't think anything's wrong with God. I think…I think this was the plan for us from the very beginning."

"To let me suffer like this for so long?" he snapped. "How did that help me Shawn? What gives God the right to play with people's lives?"

"I don't have all the answers," he managed. "I just…I tried to make myself die tonight."

"Make yourself die? Why would you want to do that? You look so happy Shawn. I saw you…I watched all your matches," he confessed. "Every last one of them since your return. I…I'm so jealous," he choked. "You're healthy and happy while I'm here all alone and suffering…"

"I'm not happy Bret. I haven't been happy since Owen's death."

"But you seem so at peace. When I…when I see your face lighting up the screen, a part me longs to be in your place, experiencing a little bit of that. And I cried Shawn. I cried watching your match against Mark because for some reason it reminded me of our struggle years ago. Not our matches but our…our love…if it was even love at all," he added quietly.

"It wasn't meant to be," Shawn said moments later. "It wasn't the right time and if we're both honest with ourselves, we were both too insecure to fight for what we had. But know this Bret. I was devastated when you left me. I…I had no one who truly understood me. Kevin left then you left and God…God sent Owen to me."

"Oh yeah," he scoffed bitterly. "God sent my brother to sleep with you in your time of need—

"It wasn't like that Bret!"

"Oh yeah? Then how was it because I'm pretty sure I watched my brother fall in love with the whore you became when I left!" he screamed.

"He…we…we only made love once Bret! We…he…he told me you saw us in the house that Christmas but I didn't know!" he cried. "I had no idea that you came by the house and…after that we just remained friends. I'm not sure how much he loved me Bret but even he knew that a part of me always saw him as the blonde version of you! It has always been you Bret and I'm sorry," he choked. "I'm sorry for Montreal. I'm sorry for sleeping with Owen. I'm even sorry for making you fall in love with me."

Bret didn't know what to say to that. The man he hated (or thought he hated) for all those years has just apologized for every possible reason to hate him and Bret's heart was just begging him to let down his guard; to accept the apology and bury himself in the man he never stopped loving, but was it right?

Several long minutes later, Shawn willed his aching heart to his feet, his mind no longer able to take the uncomfortable silence. "Before I had my dream tonight, I prayed for one last chance to see the man I love. I've only ever loved two men in my life Bret and I just…I'm just grateful that I got to see him one last time. Merry Christmas."

Shawn turned away from him and started for the door, his face streaming tears again. Owen told him not to leave but what else could he do? Bret still hated him and had every right in the world not to believe Shawn's bogus story about his dream. The only reason he told him that was because he knew Bret would never believe that he saw Owen. Besides, a part of Shawn still longed to follow the younger Hart brother and from the looks of it, he was well on his way again. Shawn grabbed the gun on his way out the door, giving it a loud cock.

Bret's head shot up. What was Shawn doing? Bret looked back in time to see Shawn hurrying out the door, his bare legs and feet taking Bret off guard. Shawn was wearing only a thin shirt that stopped just barely at his knees and no shoes. Did he come out in the cold in only that? Bret jumped to his feet almost knocking the nightstand down. "Shawn?" He was scared. Was Shawn really thinking about killing himself? "Shawn don't you dare!" Bret scrambled out into the hallway and saw Shawn hurrying down the stairs, the gun clutched tightly by his side.

Bret sprinted towards the stairs taking them three at the time just barley reaching Shawn at the door. Bret knocked the gun from Shawn's hand before spinning him around to look upon a face he hadn't seen in almost twelve full years. He paused, his eyes unable to tear themselves away from him. He was so beautiful – just like he imagined he would be after watching those DVDs. Shawn turned away fumbling for the doorknob but Bret was too quick. It was as if all his energy and strength had come back to him, breathing life into him that he wished away earlier in the evening. He grabbed Shawn and just pulled him into him, enclosing him in a warm embrace.

"Bret—

"I can't let you kill yourself Shawn," he cried. "I do…I still need you."

"No you don't."

"Yes, I do!" he pleaded. "You're so warm and so at peace. Even now as I run my fingers through your hair, it's warming my heart in a way I haven't felt since we broke up. I love you. I love you so much!" he choked. He squeezed the blonde tighter and they both just cried. Bret kissed the top of Shawn's head, whispering thanks to God for sending Shawn to him. He knew he was a hypocrite but only Shawn could understand him. Bret's family pride was shattered the moment Shawn cocked that gun. Bret could kill himself with no problem knowing Shawn was at peace but the idea of someone so beautiful and perfect spilling their own blood was just too much for Bret. Over and over he apologized to Shawn, kissing his neck and just burying himself into him. He missed him more than Shawn could ever know. He just hoped this wasn't a cruel joke from God.

Shawn raised his head, meeting Bret's loving eyes. "I'm sorry," Shawn whispered. "I'm sorry for all the pain I've caused you and I'm—

He was silenced when Bret's lips crushed his in a powerful kiss, the force of it almost taking his breath completely away. Both fought for dominance, a fight Shawn easily conceded when Bret lifted him in the air. It felt so real and so natural to Bret but he needed to know. He needed to explore the mirage before him to make sure it was real and not just a beautiful nightmare.

Shawn was still light as a feather, clinging to him as Bret carried him up the stairs. He placed the blonde on the bed, but not to make love to him. He wanted to do it so badly but the need to just feel him – to make sure he was real – was greater than his lust. Bret lowered himself onto Shawn kissing his lips again and just refamiliarizing himself with all of him. His hands cupped his face then ghosted over his shoulders squeezing them gently. Shawn's flesh felt so warm and inviting; so much so that Bret just couldn't stop feeling him. He tore his lips away only to give them to the beating pulse of Shawn's neck, his tongue going crazy at the taste. Shawn whimpered and moaned underneath him, whispering Bret's name as his smaller hands gripped his sides out of need. Bret felt Shawn's body arch into his and his desire for flesh took him over.

"Shawn I can't stop…I need you," he breathed. He quickly moved to kiss Shawn's collar while a hand found it's way underneath the silk shirt, ghosting across bare, sensitive flesh. Shawn squirmed.

"Please Bret…this is real…so real I'm going crazy," he cried. "Take me…"

Bret flipped them over so that Shawn was now on top. He lifted a hand, caressing the side of his face like he used to. It was real enough now, but the way Shawn's body seemed to glow made Bret wonder if it was still all just a dream. Shawn leaned into Bret's hand kissing his wrist. He could feel it…Bret's pulse beating against his lips. It was real. It had to be and now Bret was sitting up on the bed helping him out of his shirt. By now Shawn was so turned on that he feared he would peak before Bret could even think to touch him.

"Bret please…" he pleaded. "I'm gonna explode…"

Bret sat up to claim Shawn's lips again. "It's really you," he murmured. "God I've wanted…needed you for so long Shawn. You're so perfect princess…my princess."

Bret clasped Shawn's hips, grinding him against his fully erect member. Bret pushed Shawn back, sliding his hands down his body, never knowing that his hands were burning Shawn's flesh with every touch. "So…hot…" He pulled Shawn back up, claiming his lips again, their tongues entangling passionately. Shawn wriggled his perfect hips, panting heavily against Bret. His eyes were clouded with lust as he rocked back and forth against his raven haired ex, the friction bringing him closer to climax.

"Bret…Bret please…I'm so close…"

"God I miss hearing your sexy pleas." Bret fell back against the sheets watching his beautiful lover. He reached out to him, taking his hands. "Rock beautiful."

Bret held Shawn's hands as he rocked back and forth. Shawn just looked so perfect moving his hips, his eyes glazed over with need.

"Bret…"

"Keep rocking beautiful. I need to watch you as you cum." Bret guided Shawn back and forth over his cock, his own precum spilling through his boxers. He was so close too but he refused to cum without Shawn.

"Bret I'm…"

"Cum with me." Bret pulled Shawn hard and Shawn moaned, both men releasing at the same time. Bret pulled his lover on him, his soft, silky hair blanketing his shoulders. Bret buried his face in Shawn's neck. "I still love you so very much. I didn't get a damn thing for the last five Christmases but if you stay with me, it won't matter if I ever get anything else again. All I want…all I need Shawn…is you."

Shawn raised his head and looked into Bret's eyes. He was crying, something Owen said he never did and in turn it made Shawn cry as well. He buried his face in Bret's chest sobbing until he could bring himself to answer. "Shawn?"

"I'll stay."

"Look at me." Shawn raised his head again so Bret could pull him into another kiss. "Will you…?"

"I'll stay."

"Forever?"

"If you want me too."

"I'll prove it. Marry me."

Shawn just stared at him, his mouth agape from shock. Bret said marry. Marry which meant… "You…you want to…"

"I want to marry you and keep you with me forever. I want to make up for all the hurt by showing our love to the world. Owen…he was right Shawn. If I could see him again, I'd tell him that I was wrong and he was right. I'd ask him to forgive me for lashing out at him about loving you because honestly Shawn, you're hard not to love. Its not your fault beautiful. Never your fault, but when I saw you lying in his bed I just…"

"It's okay Bret and just so you know, Owen forgave you a long time ago for being angry. In fact, I think he once told me that he blamed himself."

"But it was all me Shawn."

"And me, but its all in the past now Bret. Tonight…I'm just glad we were able to save each other and on Christmas. A dream sent me to you and you saved me from myself."

"And you did the same for me princess. The next time you talk to God, tell him thanks for sending me the only gift I'll ever need." He kissed his lips. "I love you…so much princess. Merry Christmas love."

"Merry Christmas Bret."

~*~*~

Owen stood at the door watching the two men curl up in the bed. It's about time… Bret closed his eyes and started drifting off to sleep but it was Shawn who sensed that they were being watched. He lifted his head in time enough to see Owen smiling at the two of them.

"Thank you," he mouthed. "And I love you."

Shawn smiled. "Love you too." He looked back at Bret grinning. "Him too."

"Goodbye Shawn. Merry Christmas my Emmanuel…and my princess."

~Fin

Merry Christmas!


AN: There! It's all done! And thank the heavens! Owen was being…I don't quite know. I'm wondering if it has anything to do with him being in heaven for real.

Owen: Thank you HeartbreakDX for requesting this. I've been wanting to love Shawn for a long time now.

Bret: You and everyone else. At least it wasn't big nose this time.

Hunter: Keep my nose out of your mouth Bret! That's why Shawn loves Owen more.

Me: SHUT UP!!!

Bret: Shawn is that true? *pouts*

Shawn: Uh…

Me: Don't answer that. Hunter, GO WAI!

You see what I go through on a day to day basis? Anyway, I'd also like to thank my FicFource wrestlefan4, Dark Kaneanite, and Seraphalexiel because they were big inspirations during my down times. Special shout out to CerebralPrincess for also putting up with me on Twitter. This fic is dedicated to all of you.

And last but not least, thank you all for reviewing this fic. I know I haven't messaged a lot of you back (and I usually reply to every review) but most of you know how occupied I've been with the prompt as well as other things like work. So I do thank you ALL for the reviews. They inspire me to do my very best! The next time you hear from me in writing, it will be an update for (gag) "Heart to Hart". Hope you enjoyed it! ~Nef