Disclaimer : I do not own any of the characters mentioned herein. This is pure fiction, written for entertainment only.
I would like to thank everyone for following this story! I've enjoyed myself tremendously writing this and I hope you're not disappointed with the outcome. This is the last chapter.
A week flew by quickly and the roster was in Pittsburg. The Hardy brothers were in the locker room discussing strategy. In a few minutes, they were going out to face Rated RKO for the World Tag Team titles. Matt gave Jeff some advice.
"I know how you feel about those two but we're talking championship here, Jeff! I know these past few days had been really hectic for you, with that ladder match against Morrison on Monday, our match against FBI (Full-blooded Italians) on ECW on Tuesday, and last night at Survivor Series, but this is our chance to win tag team gold again! Set aside your personal feelings and let's win this!"
He shouldn't have worried because it seemed Jeff was on the same page as him.
"I know how important this is Matt and I'll try not to let you down. I'm just as eager as you to win the tag team title for the seventh time. It has been five years since we tag each other and what better way to endorse our reunion than bringing the gold home!" Jeff said gleefully.
"That's the spirit, bro! Now, just stay focus and try not to let Adam or Randy get to you," Matt said encouragingly.
Adam had started his mind games earlier. He had caught Jeff alone and told him that he and Matt couldn't beat them because Rated RKO was just unbeatable, and he seriously believed they were.
"I don't want you to get your hopes too high because you'll only feel disheartened when you don't win."
Jeff had laughed at him and said, "I'm no rookie, Addy, so stop playing games with me. As to whether we will win or not, let's just wait and see."
Adam was pleased to see that Jeff was back to his usual self. It had been a while since he had seen him so relaxed. Scott was placed under psychiatric care for an indefinite period of time, with Jarrett promising he would have a place in TNA once he was cleared to wrestle. Adam knew that Jeff had something to do with it. He overheard Matt telling Chris that Jeff had spoken to Jarrett himself to get his assurance and the man had been sympathetic after listening to his story. On the other hand, Jeff had problems convincing his own brother and Randy to drop charges against Scott. They felt that he was making a big mistake in letting him off so easily. Rape, kidnapping and assault were serious offences, but Jeff told them that it was the drugs that fucked up Scott's mind and contorted his personality. He reminded them that Scott surrendered his weapon willingly, which showed he still had a conscience. Matt and Randy reluctantly agreed but said their decision was subject to the psychiatrist's assessment. If Scott was found to be of sound mind, they would not hesitate to reinstate their right to press charges and have him prosecuted.
They heard a knock at the door and Randy popped his head in. "Hey! Are you guys plotting to take our titles from us?" He grinned as he walked in and gave Jeff a quick peck on the lips.
"Yes, and you better be prepared to lose those titles because Matt and I are definitely lifting those titles from you and Addy!" Jeff grinned up at him.
"That's what you think!" Adam sauntered in, popping peanuts into his mouth as he spoke. "I told you before Jeffro, no one is going to take those titles from us!" He leaned in and puckered his lips at him. "Plant one right there, Jeffro," but Jeff cringed away from him and said, "Uh huh! Your breath is all nuttish and you know how much I hate nuts!"
Adam rolled his eyes and pulled him in anyways and kissed him smack on the lips! "There!" he grinned as Jeff made a face.
Just then, Cena popped his head in and was relieved to see they had not left for the ring.
"Come here!" he picked Jeff up and swung him in a circle before kissing him. "That's for luck! Now, go out and grab those titles! I want to see two belts instead of one over your shoulders by the end of the show!"
"Wise guy!" Adam punched Cena friendly on the shoulder before emptying the remaining peanuts into his mouth. "Time to get into position," he said as he munched on while looking at the clock. "I'll see you guys out there in the ring, and may the best team win!" He pushed Randy ahead of him, although he seemed reluctant to leave just as yet.
"I actually wanted to share a piece of news with everyone but I guess it can wait," Cena said as he watched them go.
"You can tell me now," Jeff linked his arm through his and they walked out with Matt leading the way out.
Cena perked up immediately.
"Remember what Vince said about going the extra mile to give the fans what they want?" and when Jeff nodded, he burst out with the good news, "I spoke to Shawn and he has agreed to become my tag team partner!"
Jeff gasped before hugging him, "That's great, John! I can imagine the fans' reaction when they find out!"
"Yeah, I can see them going ape-shit over this! Shawn Michaels, the Heartbreak Kid, the Showstopper! and John Cena, the WWE Champion! Wow! It has a nice ring to it," Cena said with awe in his voice. "Once DX finishes its feud with Rated RKO, Shawn and I will start teaming up."
Matt congratulated him and said, "It's a good move, to try something different. Tag team work is not as exhausting as singles competition. I'm sure you won't have problems making the adjustment."
They stopped at the gorilla position and looking at the small television, saw that it was almost time for their match.
"I'll see you guys after the match. Good luck!" He gave Jeff another good luck kiss before taking his leave.
Rated RKO's music hit and as they watched them stepped up towards the ring. Matt hugged his brother and said, "Let's go get that gold!"
Half an hour later …..
Matt was fuming. They had the match won but Adam deliberately got himself disqualified to retain the belts.
"Damn it!" he yelled suddenly, startling Jeff who jumped up and winced with pain. He was sitting on the bench, holding an ice pack to the back of his head where Adam had hit him with the belt, and there was a bruise forming on his forehead when Adam face-planted him in the ring after the bell was rung.
"I fucking knew he cheats every opportunity he gets but I thought it would be different this time!" Matt growled and grimaced the next moment as his head throbbed. Randy had delivered an RKO on him on top the title belt, after the match was over.
He turned to his brother and hissed, "You can cross those two out from your list! They no longer qualify to be your boyfriend after what they did!"
"Come on, Matt, you're taking this far too seriously," Jeff protested as he got up to face his brother. "This won't be the only time we will get title shots, there will be other opportunities."
"No, Jeff, that's not my main concern. They claim they love you but their actions proved them to be selfish and untrustworthy! That fucking Canadian first pushed you off the top turnbuckle to the outside of the ring. He could have broken your neck! Next, he pulled you out of the ring causing the referee to break his count when we had the match won! And then, that motherfucker went and hit you on the head with the belt when the referee's hand went down for the third count! And even after the match, he face-planted you on the mat and got his sidekick to RKO my face onto the championship belt! They don't deserve you at all!"
Jeff kept quiet. He understood what those titles meant to Adam and Randy. They had only been holding them for two weeks and were reluctant to relinquish them so soon. But, Adam went a bit too far in trying to keep the titles. He let out a heavy sigh. Why did Randy go along with it? Randy actually took it easy on him when they were facing each other in the ring but he didn't hold anything back when it came to his brother. He couldn't say the same for Adam though. He did everything he could to keep those belts and succeeded, but it really wasn't necessary to continue beating them after the match was over.
"Matty, can you reserve judgment until I talk to them?" he pleaded with his brother and squirmed at the scorching look Matt gave him.
"After everything they did, you are still taking their side?" There was a look of disbelief on his face.
Jeff hung his head in despair, wondering what he could do to persuade Matt to change his mind when there was a tentative knock and Cena opened the door warily.
"Uh … is it safe to come in?" he asked, giving Jeff a weak grin which completely wilted away when Matt turned blazing eyes on him.
"What do you want? Did they send you to plead their cause?" Matt demanded to know as he barred him from coming any further.
"Woah there, Matt, I didn't do anything!" Cena put up both his hands to placate him. "Look, I know things look bad right now but I'm sure Adam has an explanation for what he did."
"I'm not interested in anything he has to say! You can go tell that sack of crass nuts that he and his partner are not to come within five feet of my brother! I'll chop off their nuts with a crusty knife if I see them anywhere near my brother!"
Cena gulped as he clutched his nut sack protectively. He was glad he wasn't on the receiving end of Matt's dire threat. Jeff looked desperately at him for help but he didn't know what he could do to resolve their differences.
"I want you to stand guard while I grab a quick shower. Don't let them in! I mean it John, if I catch you helping them, you'll be barred from seeing Jeff as well!" and with that, Matt grabbed his bag and went to the shower room.
Cena sat down beside a despondent Jeff. "Matt forbids me to see them anymore," he said miserably. "Why the hell did Adam have to cheat and then beat on us after the match was over?" he said in an exasperated tone.
Cena hesitated before revealing something he had heard from Chris. "I don't know what his reasons were, but I heard from a reliable source that he gave up a championship title shot to Hunter for some favors, and they involved you."
Jeff looked startled at the revelation. "But, if he was prepared to forego the title shot, why did he went all the way out to retain the tag team gold?"
Cena shrugged, "Only Adam can answer that. You want me to talk to him and mediate between him and your brother?"
Jeff looked gratefully at him. "I appreciate if you can because I don't know what else to do," before leaning forward to give him a hug. "Thanks John!"
"I'll get on it as soon as grouchy pants get out from the shower," Cena said in a loud whisper, making Jeff giggle.
"I think we're really busted," Randy said forlornly as he pulled off his wrestling boots and dumped them on the floor. "Matt Hardy isn't going to forget what we did and I have a bad feeling that this is going to turn around and bite us on the ass!"
Adam nodded as he let out a sigh. He got carried away as usual. Every time he stepped into the ring, he underwent a personality change, playing Edge the villain to the hilt. Okay, he cheated, he admitted to that but it was nothing unusual. The crowd expected him to do it and he had delivered. He couldn't help himself. He was on auto-pilot once he stepped into the ring. He didn't think, he just went with the flow of things. And that extra touch, giving Jeff a face-plant after the match, riled the crowd up a few notches. Vince would have been so proud of him! He even upset poor old JR, the table announcer who called him and Randy 'dirty bastards' and even Jerry Lawler said they were rotten to the core. The match was a tremendous success but they now feared the consequences.
"I actually didn't think you would RKO Matt's face onto the belt," Adam turned to Randy with an amused grin. "Why did you do it?"
"I swore that I'll pay him back if I ever get him into the ring for all the trouble he caused me." Randy thought back to the times Matt tried to keep him and Jeff apart. "You know what? I don't regret it one bit because he had it coming to him!" he said with a satisfied grin on his face.
Both men chuckled and turned to the door when Cena walked in after knocking. "You guys are in a load of trouble!" he announced with a flourish as he plopped down onto the bench and folded his arms, a smug look on his face.
"Don't tell us we're in trouble with the Sensei of Mattitude," Adam said wryly and Cena grinned before repeating Matt's threat to castrate them and that they were forbidden to go anywhere near Jeff.
"Damn it! Now, what are we going to do?" Randy looked worried.
Adam's eyes gleamed with mischief. "Don't tell me that you're intimated by Matt. Just because he disallows us from seeing Jeff doesn't mean we're going to listen!"
"Don't fuck with Matt, man, he's really pissed at the both of you," Cena warned. "By the way, Jeff wants to know why you guys did what you did. I'm just the courier pigeon, delivering the messages," he explained.
Adam resigned himself to explaining his actions. "I'm not going to forfeit our belts so easily. I love Jeff and I'll do almost anything for him, but I will not give up the titles to him and Matt. I don't mind forfeiting a title shot but we're going to hold on to these babies as long as we can," he said as he patted the belt affectionately lying on his lap. Rated RKO was birthed from his brilliant mind and he wasn't going to give it a quick death for anyone!
"Right, Randy?" he asked his teammate who looked at him dubiously.
"What's wrong?" Adam frowned, noticing his reluctance to concur.
"I don't know, man, these titles …." he gestured to the title belts and sighed. "I'm not sure if it's worth it. Jeff and Matt are really upset."
"You're kidding me, right?" Adam gave him a look of disbelief.
He watched as Randy got up and grabbed a towel, "What's done is done, but I'm going to see Jeff and if I have to go through Matt to do it, then, so be it!"
Both men watched him head for the shower and Cena said, "I don't know what's going to happen but I sure as hell am going to be there when shit goes down!"
Jeff was frustrated. He wanted to have dinner with his friends but Matt said no. He insisted they stay put in their room and suggested they ordered in.
"But, you promised Chris that we will meet him and the others for dinner and drinks. Don't you remember?" Jeff reminded him.
Matt frowned. He had completely forgotten about the arrangement. "I'll call him to cancel," he said, picking up his phone but Jeff snatched it from him.
"I don't want to cancel! I want to go out and enjoy a nice quiet evening with our friends!" he said in an exasperated tone.
"You just want to see Randy and Adam! I told you …."
"I know what you said, Matt and I don't give a shit! So, we lost the gold! Is that all you care about? What about me? I don't want to ostracize ourselves from our friends! I want to continue seeing them! Is that so difficult to understand? Your behavior is akin to Adam's! All you two care about is the championship gold!"
"Look here, Jeffro," Matt started to say but was interrupted yet again, but this time by a firm knock at the door.
He went to open it and Jeff's face lit up when he saw it was Randy. Adam and Cena were standing some distance behind him.
"What do you want?" Matt's face was twisted into a scowl.
"I'm here to take Jeff out to dinner," Randy said politely.
"Didn't you get my message?" Matt barred the way, preventing him from entering.
"We got your message alright! Let's get something straight here, Matt. I've been taking a lot of crap from you and I have just had it with you! You either let me in or I'll fight my way in if I have to!" Randy's eyes gleamed with determination.
"You expect me to allow you to see Jeff after you RKO my face on the belt? Not a chance! And you, you cheating bastard!" he glared past Randy at Adam, "Who are you trying to kid? All you care about is yourself! Now, get out of here before I throw you out!"
He was about to slam the door when Randy literally bull-dozed his way in.
"I'm not leaving without Jeff!" and he grabbed his boyfriend the next moment, pulling him towards the door after him.
"Let him go, damn it!" Matt pulled his brother back and Jeff found himself caught in a tug-of-war between them.
"Stop it, both of you!" he screamed, pulling his arms from their grips. He took in a deep breath to compose himself. "Matt, I'm going out! Please don't try and stop me!" and with that, he marched through the door with Randy close behind him.
As soon as the door shut, Matt sat on his bed and sulked. His own brother was forsaking him! He remained so until he heard a knock at the door. Maybe Jeff changed his mind and came back! He opened the door to reveal Chris grinning up at him.
"I heard the commotion down the hall. So, Jeff ditched you, huh?" Chris chuckled.
"Oh shut up!" Matt turned to go back to sulking on his bed as Chris let himself in.
"Ease up, Matt, you're going to give yourself an ulcer if you continue your overbearing ways," Chris went to sit on Jeff's bed. "Jeff's business is his own. Don't interfere when you're not needed."
"You saw what they did! Adam is a cheating bastard and Randy is …"
"They are just doing their job," Chris pointed out to him. "So, Randy gave you an RKO. You've been giving him a hard time, more so than John or Adam combined and yet, you admitted that you like him. I bet he's just getting some payback." He laughed when Matt scowled at him. "And Adam is just being Edge. He lives the character, breathes it once he steps into the ring. So, he cheated," Chris shrugged carelessly, "It didn't surprise anyone, so why are you so upset?"
Looking at the stubborn and petulant look on Matt's face, he added, "We saw the match and everyone knows you guys won the match. I know you're pretty sore about not getting the titles but there will be other opportunities. Vince loves pandering to the masses and looking at the reception you and Jeff got from the crowd, you will get another title shot soon enough." He got up to sit beside him and put his hand around his shoulders in a placating manner. "Take my advice, live and let live. You don't want Jeff resenting you for interfering in his private life. He's having a tough time as it is with the recent spate of events and doesn't really need any more bullshit, especially from his own brother." And this time, Matt looked somewhat remorseful.
Chris checked his watch and said while getting up, "Shall we join the others? We were going to surprise you and Jeff with a mini celebration. Even though you didn't win the titles, you won the match."
He waited and was pleased when Matt finally got to his feet. "Come on, let's not keep the others waiting," and he pushed Matt ahead of him.
Jeff was distracted. He had been giving the match a lot of thought and Matt's words kept ringing in his head. Morrison and Carlito had joined them and together with Randy, Adam and Cena, they were having a drink at the hotel bar while waiting for Chris to coax Matt to come down and join them.
"Hey, are you still upset with us?" Randy couldn't help but noticed that Jeff wasn't himself. He had been quiet since he left the room.
Jeff gave him a small smile as he shook his head, but it was far from the truth. He just didn't want to talk about it. Things were slowly falling into place and he was getting some answers. He would have to find the right time to broach the subject and until then, there was no point bringing it up and ruining the celebration.
"Well, well, looks like old Chrissy did it again!" Cena brought their attention to the two men coming forward to join them.
Matt headed immediately for his brother who looked happy to see him. He sat down beside him and apologized. "I'm sorry for getting you upset. You mean more to me than any championship gold. I promise I won't interfere in your relationships, if that's what you want," and Jeff knew how difficult it was for him to say that.
He leaned in and gave his brother a hug. "Thank you, that's all I needed to hear."
The night progressed and Jeff wanted a breath of fresh air. When Randy and Cena went to the washroom, he slipped outdoors. He gazed at the stars and didn't take his eyes off them even when he felt another presence behind him.
"What are you doing out alone?" Adam asked as he pulled up a deck chair to sit beside him, drink in hand.
"Just thinking," Jeff said, keeping his eyes on the stars.
"I know you're upset," Adam said with a sigh. "Look, Jeff, I can't help myself. I'm Edge when I step into the ring. Me pushing you off the top turnbuckle, disrupting the count, hitting you with that title belt, it just happened! I just can't explain it!"
Jeff brought his gaze down to look at him.
"I understand more than you know, Adam. I can see how hard you work to get to the top. You've made a lot of sacrifices to get where you are and I can't fault you for trying to hold onto the title reign. You're just you and there's no need to explain yourself, I understand your reasons." He smiled as he reached out to cup his cheek, "You like being champion and there's nothing wrong with that."
Adam nodded smilingly. "I'm glad you understood." He frowned the next moment and added, "I've tried really hard to get your attention and I succeeded, but you deserve better, Jeffrey. I'm as selfish as they come and I don't know if I can change for anything or anyone. I hurt you for the longest time and I'm afraid to hurt you again, not in the physical sort of way but as in hurting your feelings. I know I put you in a difficult position with Matt and for that, I'm really sorry. I wasn't thinking then and to be honest, I doubt that would be the last time." He paused, trying to find the right words to tell him. "I don't know how else to say this, so I'll just come out and say it. You're better off with Randy or John. As much as I love you, I just can't bring myself to accommodate anyone. I'm sorry if I hurt you by saying so."
And to his surprise, Jeff hugged him and Adam was surprised to see tears in his eyes.
"I'm so sorry," Adam apologized again, feeling guilty for upsetting him. He felt like he was betraying him all over again, but Jeff shook his head and gave him a smile of gratitude through his tears.
"Don't be. I'm glad you spoke your mind because I was wondering how to tell you that you're not the one for me." He wiped away his tears and said, "We've known each other for a long time and we understood each other far better than most and that's why we get along so well." He smiled fondly at him. "I've always looked up to you, Addy and you've always watched out for me. I appreciate everything you have done for me. I do love you and I know you love me but our kind of love isn't the blind, everlasting type that transcends everything. We can only remain as bosom buddies."
Adam nodded and pulled him into a hug. "I'm glad we're being honest. I really don't want to hurt you. I'm grateful that you gave me a chance and honestly, I would have persisted until you do. I have to know if it will work out for us and now that I know it won't, I don't want to continue this charade and put you in an already awkward situation." He chuckled as he said, "It's strange that it would take a match to put things in perspective for us. It just dawned on me after what Randy said."
Curious, Jeff asked, "What did he say?"
"Well … not in those exact words but he said something along the line that keeping the gold wasn't worth making you upset."
"He said that?" Jeff asked, flushing with pleasure.
"He did and why are you surprised? He loves you and everyone else knows he's crazy about you!" Adam teased him.
Jeff started to chew on his nails and Adam yanked his hand away. "Stop that! Now, what's worrying you? You always chew on his nails when you get worked up."
And the look Jeff sent him explained it.
"You have made up your mind, haven't you?" he gasped out loud when Jeff nodded.
"But, that's a good thing! Why aren't you happy?" and it dawned on him. "You feel bad, don't you?" and when Jeff nodded forlornly, he hugged him.
"They will understand and they are expecting you to pick one of them, so I'm sure they will take it all in good stride."
He looked at him curiously, "Care to tell me who you picked?"
When Adam went to get the guys, saying that Jeff had something important to tell them, Randy and Cena were anxious but eager to find out if Jeff had finally made up his mind. Jeff requested to see Cena first. Meanwhile, Adam stayed with Randy at the bar and did what he could to soften the blow.
"I'm really sorry, Randy, but he didn't pick you."
He gave his friend a sympathetic look when his shoulders slumped over dejectedly.
"I went out to tell him I'm withdrawing because after we did, I knew he won't pick us. Jeff loves his brother and Matt carries a lot of clout with him. I'm sure Matt discouraged him from choosing us over John. I wish there's something I can do to make you feel better, man." He put his arm around him, "I won't leave you in your time of need. I'll drink with you and we'll just drown our sorrow in a few bottles of scotch after Jeff's done telling you. I'm really, really sorry."
Matt, Chris, Morrison and Carlito overheard and immediately came forward to offer kind words to Randy. They really felt sorry for him and didn't know what else to say to him. Cena came in shortly and told Randy that Jeff would see him now. He gave him a whimsical smile and patted him on the back before sitting down at the bar.
"Poor guy, he's so upset. He looked almost on the verge of tears," Carlito pointed out as they watched him go.
Cena gave him a quizzical look, "Why should Randy be upset?"
They heard Randy hollering and cursing and he rushed in from the outside. There was murderous rage on his face.
"Adam Joseph Copeland, you lying bastard! I'm going to pull out your testicles and feed them to you if it's the last thing I do!"
Adam muttered a quick excuse before taking flight, Randy hot on his heels. Everyone was stupefied and Matt rushed to Jeff who just walked in.
"What happened, Jeff? Why is Randy furious with Adam?" he asked.
Jeff giggled, "Adam told him that I picked John. When Randy found out he was lying, he went rabid."
His eyes softened when they fell on Cena and he went up to him. "Thank you for everything, John. Please don't hold it against me," and squeezed his hand.
Cena shook his head and smiled, "I can never do that, but if Randy gets out of line, just let me know and I'll set him straight." He hugged Jeff to him and whispered, "I'm really happy for you," to which Jeff responded, "Thank you, I know you'll find someone soon."
"Huh… shouldn't we go after those two?" Carlito asked, "They might kill each other and Jeff will be left with no one, and that's not cool."
Matt rolled his eyes before taking off with Chris, Carlito and Jeff. Knowing Randy's temper, Adam wasn't going to get off easy.
Morrison stayed behind and moved to join Cena. He poured him a drink and cleared his throat awkwardly.
"Remember what you said the other time, asking me to pretend that you're Jeff and I said that you're not my type?"
Cena gave him a puzzled look as he nodded.
"Well… what would you say if I told you I change my mind?"
For those of you who are interested to see the match between Rated RKO and the Hardyz, check out the following youtube channel - .com/watch?v=8yylCi4klDM&feature=related
Reviews are greatly appreciated.