He couldn't believe how much he had missed Chris in the short period of time they'd been separated. They'd became so close, and being apart had really felt almost painful. Paul missed his blond counterpart absconding with the blankets, complaining about food, singing in the shower, ranting, joking, smiling, anything and everything about Chris Irvine, Paul missed. Soon, he knew, their tag team would be split, and the thought that Chris would be stuck back on Smackdown, traveling with that roster, the two of them apart indefinitely—sent a twinge of anxiety and sadness deep into the pit of his chest. He didn't even realize, as he stood bolted to the floor, in a sea of bustling people, that he was rubbing at the center of his chest, as though trying to snuff out a bad case of heartburn. Just the thought of not having Chris around made him feel terribly empty, just like a 7ft shell.
Really, it might have all been silly. Surely these feelings that bunched up into a nervous knot in his chest would not be reflected back to him in Chris' dazzling blue eyes. After all, they had became very close friends, the best of friends really, but love? That was a big leap, one Paul was almost sure Chris would not dive in to. Insecurity crept up on him, that old, tried and true voice nagging at the back of his head that reminded him that he was different from everyone else, that he was a freak. Just looking around, he knew it to be true. Passerby cast him curious, quizzical, disgusted, and nervous glances. Some of them did little to hide their curiosity, just flat out staring. After thirty plus years, one would imagine Paul Wight was used to such glances. But now, just now with his heart thudding in his chest, with thoughts of Chris running through his mind, he felt anything but comfortable with those shifty eyes, anything but flippant about what others saw in him when they gazed with harsh eyes.
He forced his feet to move, though they felt like cinderblocks attached to his ankles. The sea of people parted for him, and he made his way to the baggage claim where he sought out the familiar top of Chris' head—bleached blond and messy—otherwise known as Big Shows' armrest. Paul smiled, picking out Chris at last. He moved towards the baggage claim with its slow moving belt of inspected belongings, and the closer he got, the harder and quicker his heart thundered. When he reached Chris, he just stared at the shorter mans back for what seemed like ages, as he wrung his big hands, and his mouth went dry, all words evaporating quicker than a drop of rain plummeting towards the parched land of the Sahara.
"C-Chris." He finally managed out, and almost comically, his characteristic deep, rumbling voice, pitched upwards nervously.
The blond turned on his heel and swept his sunglasses into his hair, which made Paul smile. When Chris' lips pulled into that familiar crooked smirk, Pauls' smile widened into an ear aching grin.
"Chris, I really missed you!" Before the smaller man could say a word, he was crushed against Pauls' massive chest, tree trunk arms eagerly and forcefully—embraced him. After a few moments of being accidentally squashed, and trying unsuccessfully to breathe, Paul unwrapped him.
Chris laughed, and smoothed his shirt. He gazed up at Paul, sincerely happy to see him again. He'd done nothing but miss the big guy since he'd been gone. The whole flight back, he'd been agitated and anxious, not his usual snoring self when it came to plane rides. That was because Paul was on his mind, and as the plane cut through the air and came closer and closer to his destination, he became more excited, as though he'd been on a year-long deployment away from his lover. Lover? Chris thought as he looked up at Paul, holding his dark eyes. Lover. He smiled, liking the sound of it. It wasn't the first time he'd thought of such things either. While they'd been separated, Chris had laid awake with insomnia, against scratchy hotel sheets, and in between Tweeting and sipping Grey Goose, those thoughts had drifted around his mind, and around his heart. Somewhere between his check out, to the time he'd been watching for his bags—and completely missing them when they came—he'd made up his mind of exactly what he wanted. No, needed. It was Paul, it just was. Chris had never been so sure of anything in his life…and it scared him. It scared him because he knew what he felt, but what of Paul? The smile slowly slid from Chris' face, and when he answered Paul his voice was lilting, like a child first learning to read and sounding out all the words in jerky lurches.
"I—I missed you too."
Now Paul was frowning too, and Chris wondered what he had done wrong. He tried to read what was in those dark eyes, but couldn't. What was there was a pang of doubt. The way Chris had spoke, Paul wondered if really had been missed…he searched Chris' face for the answer, but all he saw was a wall, guarding whatever Chris was really feeling. Paul only took a moment, and then plunged ahead with one swift move. When he surfaced from those depths, he would either be rewarded with a similar confirmation, or coldly rejected. He bent, as his hands awkwardly found nothing to do with themselves, and pressed his lips to Chris'. He lingered only long enough for the action to register with the blond, and then quickly straightened, his face burning hot crimson, as Chris' mouth fell slightly ajar, in a response of surprise. His eyes were bright, glimmering, wide, rapidly blinking. He stood still, frozen for so long that Paul began to panic. He offered rushed apologies that became no more than a garble of words stumbling over themselves, and out of his mouth.
"Paul, shut up!" Chris demanded, and obediently, he snapped his mouth closed. Chris' hands slid over his shirt, and up to his chest, where they pawed at buttons on his shirt. "Come here."
"I am here."
"No…" Chris stood up on his toes. "I mean down…so I can reach you." He added quietly. Paul bent towards him, and Chris wrapped his arms around his neck, and their lips met for a second time. They felt each other cautiously at first, but after a few moments, it seemed so natural, so perfect. Pauls' large hands circled Chris waist, and their lips parted, each allowing the other more exploration, as soft sighs passed form Chris' lips to Paul's. The hands around Chris' waist lifted him from the ground, and his feet were placed on the edge of the baggage conveyer, as Paul held him securely. Their lips never broke their mated seal. When they did finally part, both pairs of lips were puffy and pink. Pauls' heart had seemed to cease functioning in his chest, and Chris' eyes were floating behind a shimmer of tears, which slowly poured over his golden lashes.
"Chris, don't cry." Paul said quietly, moving one of his hands gently up and down Chris' back. "What's wrong?"
"I…I'm scared." Chris answered, his voice not above a whisper, as his eyes dropped, and he sniffled.
"What are you afraid of?"
He looked back to Paul, just the sound of his voice soothing, the warmth of his hands comforting.
"That this isn't real."
The hand that was at Chris' back moved, while the other one still held him safely. Paul took Chris' hand, disappearing it into his own, and pressed the palm to the middle of his wide chest.
"I'm real. I'm right here and as long as you'll have me, I don't plan to go anywhere." He let go of Chris' hand, and with his thumb smeared away the tears. He lifted Chris from the edge of the baggage claim, and set him back on his feet. The blonds' tears were quickly dried, and that dazzling, amazing, smile of his was pasted from ear to ear across his face. Paul pressed another quick kiss to the top of his head. "I care about you, Chris, if you haven't noticed."
"I care about you too, a lot." Chris answered, every fiber of his being bursting with joy. For moments they just stood, looking at each other, too enveloped in the moment to speak or do anything more. The frozen scene lasted only moments, but to each of them it seemed like an eternity, and yet no time at all. Finally, Chris broke the stillness. He wrapped both hands around Pauls' wrist, and guided his hand much as Paul had his, only he brought it to a different, lower, resting place. With a smirk on his face, Chris pressed Pauls' palm there. "I'm real too, just in case you haven't noticed."
Paul burst out laughing, and ruffled Chris' hair.
"Subtle, real subtle!" He reached over the shorter man, and plucked his waiting bags from the conveyer. "You kill me." He shook his head, still coughing laughter.
"Not yet." Chris shot back, elbowing Paul in the side. "Carry my bags, ass-clown."
"Yes sir." Paul played along, and shouldered Chris's duffle. "And maybe I'll just carry you too."
Before Chris could protest, Paul scooped him up bridal style, and both of them started laughing. Paul parted the sea of people scuffling and shuffling around the busy airport, and moved them towards the exit. Neither cared about the strange looks they were getting. Let people look, all they'd see was love.
I lubbs Jerishow!!!