Title: Hello, Lonely
Summary: Randy relies on the alcohol to help him forget
Disclaimer: Not mine
Author's Notes: Love is Candy. 3 Totally inspired by Lady Antebellum's Need You Now.
Another bar. Another city. Another night of wondering about the what ifs. Randy sighed, staring into the contents of his shot glass, to the brim with vodka. It shouldn't have been like this. He glanced at his cellphone. Quarter to twelve. He should have been sound asleep in his hotel room, maybe on the phone with his wife, or partying hard with his boys. Not alone, in a small bar, nursing the same drink that he'd been staring into for the past half hour. Not thinking about another man in a way that he should have been thinking about a woman.
He exhaled another solid breath. He ignored the looks from the bartender, from the several patrons that were drowning their own miseries. Randy hoped to numb himself. Hoped to go back to his hotel room and pass out. But it never happened. He'd imagine his hands on him. Imagine the feel of his cock. Imagine his lips. Randy's grip on the glass was vice like and he was surprised it didn't shatter underneath the force. This wasn't how it was supposed to be. Randy Orton shouldn't have been love sick.
He stared at his cellphone resting on the bar, wanting nothing more than to dial his number, to hear that familiar voice. He was finding it harder and harder to fight it. It used to be he could drink until he forgot, could find a ring rat to fuck, but not anymore. Randy grabbed the glass, draining it of its contents, not wincing at the burning sensation sliding down his esophagus. He'd gotten too used to it in the past year.
A year. Randy signaled the woman for another shot of Grey Goose. A fucking year of the same dance. Did Randy ever cross his mind? For Randy it happened all the time. The current story line was making it even more impossible to resist the magnetic lure. They were constantly being pushed together. Whether for Raw, for house shows, for Pay Per Views… Randy finished his second shot, the bartender already lining up a third. "You have some demons, don't you?" the woman asked, smiling at him knowingly.
"If demons are fallen angels with blue eyes the color of the sea after it storms," Randy murmured, accepting the fourth glass with a grateful nod. His mind was beginning to feel the effects, the pain in his heart ebbing to a dull ache. "I'm waxing poetic tonight."
The woman grinned, "All of your fans are gone," she indicated the near empty bar with a wave of her hand, "So you can relax. And even though I know you can afford it, your drinks are on the house. I own this bar," she winked at him, disappearing into the back.
It was rare that he met people that knew who he was and didn't fawn over him. It was nice. Randy kicked his legs up on the stool beside him, glancing at the entire bottle of Grey Goose the woman had set in front of him. Did he honestly look that depressed? He glanced at his phone again, torn between calling Cody Runnels and confessing his feelings, damning the consequences. Or letting it go, leaving him to wallow in abject self loathing and pity.
Five. Six shots. Randy barely felt his mind. Could hardly tell up from down. He squinted at the blurry numbers on the clock above the liquor cabinet. Half past three. The bartender, Eli, had closed an hour ago, allowing Randy to remain inside to make friends with Jack Daniels and Grey Goose. He'd stop using the glass after the sixth shot, drinking straight from the bottles. He wasn't positive how much alcohol was coursing through his system but it deadened the feelings in him.
"You ok?" Eli asked, handing Randy a glass of water. "You've been going at it pretty hard for the last hour."
"You ever wanted somethin' so much that," Randy licked his lips, mind foggy. He rarely spilled his thoughts to other people, "So much that you'd do anything to get it?"
She nodded, "Been there, done that. It's not easy."
Randy laughed, "Nope."
Eli walked from behind the counter, arms crossed in front of her chest, regarding Randy with eyes that had seen more than Randy could probably imagine. She'd probably heard thousands of people's stories, listened with an unbiased ear, offered advice. Randy missed having people that he trusted. "Alcohol doesn't make it any easier," she said softly, screwing the caps back on the nearly empty bottles of JD and Grey Goose. "When you wake up tomorrow with a screaming hangover…you're going to hate yourself even more."
"Don't hate myself," Randy protested weakly, hating that she was right. Right now he felt good. Real good. But tomorrow morning when the alcohol's effects waned… He'd be right back at square one.
"I've learned to not live with regrets. If you want it, you go for it. If not…" Eli pressed a wet towel against Randy's sweaty brow, the cold water feeling good against the heat of his skin, "I'm not going to pretend to know what's going through your mind. To be honest, I don't want to know. It's not my business. But if you keep this up, you'll lose yourself. You'll do things that you'll regret."
"Sounds like experience talkin'," Randy said, eyes shuddering close. The woman couldn't have been more than thirty but she spoke like someone that seen the world.
"It is. Not just my own but customers. I get people from all walks of life. And love is usually the driving force behind the drinking. Does he know?"
"He?" Randy croaked, wondering if he'd let it slip, if he'd said Cody's name.
"You haven't said her or she once. Just they. That usually means he."
Randy's eyes snapped open, tensing immediately. But Eli was looking at him with a soft smile. There was no mocking. No disgust. Just plain and simple sympathy. "It's not wrong? I can't… I can't keep doin' this. You know? It kills me," he was babbling, the liquor loosening his tongue, "And I'm married for fuck's sake. What kinda sick fuck does that make me? I don't know what to do. It's like no matter what option I choose, I screw someone over."
"Being selfish isn't a crime," was all she offered. His phone was in Eli's hand, "I think you need to get some rest, Randy. I called you a cab."
So she did know who he was. "You can't tell-"
Eli shook her head, "I won't. I have a strict bartender-patient confidentiality. Besides, I don't know who he is." Oh, Randy knew she did. It was obvious. "Do you think you can walk to the door? I doubt I could carry you."
No, Randy was positive he would snap the slender woman in half. "I can walk. I think," he said, legs wobbly underneath him as he stood. He leaned heavily against the counter, smiling a little at Eli's grin. "Never seen a drunk star?"
"All the time. Apparently I have a sign out front about strays. And you can't be too drunk. You aren't slurring your words."
"I'm makin' a conscious effort not to," Randy waited for the feeling to return in his legs. "I'm probably gonna disgrace myself walkin' outta here."
"It's ok. I see it all the time. Do you want some advice?"
"I'm all ears."
Eli stayed with an arms length of Randy, providing the reassurance that if he couldn't make it, she'd be there to help him. He was stumbling but found his footing. "I've learned through some hard choices and some losses that you cherish what you have while you have it because one day, it might not be there. One day, you'll wake up, all alone and wonder what it would have been like. You'll look at your wife and find yourself hating her. You'll distance yourself from your family. From your daughter. From your friends. All because you were scared."
"Fifty years from now, when you're an old man, you'll look back at and you'll think about him. You'll wonder what ever happened to him. You'll wonder what it would have been like to love him. I've lived it, Randy. My brother was just like you. In love with another man but terrified of it. He was married. Had a son and a daughter. But he was in love with his best friend. He had been since they were kids." Randy's heart broke to see the tears in her eyes, to see them coursing her cheeks, "Justin killed himself last year when he found out the man he loved had slit his wrists. In his suicide note, he explained it all. I lost my only brother, the only family I have left, because he took the easy route. The safe one."
"I'm sorry," Randy whispered.
"It's ironic that Tony had loved my brother too. For years. And Tony had killed himself because of it," Eli wiped the tears away, "They spent twenty years pining for each other. And it ended in minutes. Don't let yourself be like them. Don't give up before it ever really began. Don't let another day go by. Tell him tonight. Tell him that you love him. Even if he hates you for it."
The cab was out front, the driver beeping the horn. Randy looked at her, "Thank you. For everything."
"Swear you'll do it."
"I swear," Randy was serious, "Thanks again."
"Go on Romeo," she said, smiling wryly at him, before turning and going back into the bar.
Randy rested his head against the leather seat, not listening the cabbie's conversation. Eli's story had hit close to home. Randy wasn't a suicidal person but if he was pushed too far, became too depressed… Who knew what he would do? Randy's buzz was fading only to be replaced by a sadness that threatened to overwhelm him. This wasn't how he wanted his night to end; not dwelling on the possibilities of a bleak future, not imagining that beautiful face and those beautiful blue eyes, not hearing the words of a woman that knew too well the harshness of reality.
"You need any help, buddy?" the cabbie asked, indicating the hotel with a wave of his hand. Randy shook his head, reaching in his wallet only to have the man laugh. "That's taken care of, man. Be careful."
Randy's pace was slow. He ignored the looks from the few employees working the graveyard shift. He sank graciously against the wall as the doors to elevator dinged close, gazing at the buttons with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. He could push the 3 for his level. Or the 4 for Cody's. Room 403. The four lit up and Randy felt the butterflies in his stomach warping into hundreds of leprechauns doing cartwheels. He was terrified. And eager. And a dozen other things that he couldn't sort through the haze of alcohol.
His hand was on his phone, knowing that if he pressed 1, that it would immediately go to Cody. He couldn't back down. He didn't want to ever lose Cody and even if Cody hated him after all was said and done, Randy would be fine with it because he'd admitted his love to the one he cherished above all else. "Hello?" Cody's sleepy voice came on the other end. "Randy?"
"I'm a little drunk and I need you now," Randy found himself saying, desperately wanting to stop before he embarrassed himself, but unable to because of all the liquor in his blood.
"Randy? You ok? Where are you?" Cody's voice was worried.
Randy paused in front of Cody and Ted's room. He had only one more chance to leave, to just forget about it, to go back to his room where he'd bury himself into the pillow and imagine it was Cody. He hung up and raised his hand, knocking on the door, his mind made up. He wasn't going to be a coward any longer. He wasn't going to hide behind a façade. He wasn't going to watch anymore as men and women flirted with Cody, all of them desperate to get into Cody's pants. He wanted to listen to Cody whine, and talk about comics and Zelda, and a million other things that were uniquely Cody that Randy loved unconditionally about him.
The door creaked open, revealing Cody. Randy's lips quirked into a smile. He was half naked except for Spiderman boxers and an RKO shirt; inside out and backwards but it was still Randy's signature t-shirt. Even with his dark locks mussed up and disheveled, with his blue eyes half lidded with fatigue... He was gorgeous. "Coddles."
Cody frowned, pressing his hand against Randy's forehead. "You're not sick. Shit, man, you really are drunk." His lisp was more pronounced; Randy had never teased him about it. Some of the other stars had but Randy hadn't. Not once. "What are you doin' up here? You should be asleep in your room. Not walkin' around. What if you were mugged or taken or-"
Randy pressed his finger to Cody's lips, shutting the younger man up. He didn't care that they were in the middle of the hallway or that Ted Dibiase was sound asleep a few meters away from them. It had gone on long enough. He wasn't waiting another second. "I've spent the last three hours thinkin' about you."
Cody's brows furrowed in confusion, escaping from Randy's touch by tilting his head to the side, "Are you high?" Cody grabbed Randy's chin with one of his hands, staring into Randy's eyes. "You don't look stoned…"
"Baby, I-" Cody's eyes widened and it was too late for Randy to take it back. He could always pass it off tomorrow as drunken stupidity. That he couldn't remember anything but he was finished with lying to himself but to Cody as well. "Look, you really wanna be doin' this out here?"
"Doing what?" Cody asked, not protesting as Randy pushed him gently back into the room, the door closing shut and leaving them in complete darkness save for the faint light filtering through the blinds from the neon signs and street lights. "Randy, you're worryin' me. This isn't like you," Cody whispered, gesturing towards Ted, the blonde snoring, his entire body wrapped around a pillow. "Don't wake him up. He was grouchy as hell before fallin' asleep."
"I'm fine. Never been better, actually," Randy stated, flopping down on Cody's bed.
"Ugh, you need to be part of the Straight Edge Society," Cody quipped, "Because you're wasted. How much did you drink?"
Randy shrugged, eyes following Cody's every move, leisurely exploring every inch of that sexy body as Cody took off his shirt. Cody wasn't insanely muscular, not like Batista or John. He was curves and muscle and sinew all rolled into one stunning package. Not many men had the face of an angel and the body of a sinful demon. "Coddles," Randy frowned, "I'm tired."
"Coddles… Seriously, Randy, you make me sound like a dog. I swear, if you whistle and slap your legs and say, 'Come here, Coddles. That's a good boy,' I'm goin' to smother you in your sleep," Cody groused, standing beside the bed, looking down at Randy. "I don't think I've ever seen you this plastered."
"Just a little drunk."
Cody laughed, "You're slurring your words. You might sound coherent to your own ears but not to mine, old man." Cody bent down, slipping off Randy's expensive boots and socks. "The things I do for you, Randy…" Cody sighed, not noticing how Randy was staring at him.
"You take care of me," Randy said, just now realizing it. "You're too good for me."
"Stop talking stupid," Cody rolled his eyes, hands pausing as he came to Randy's jeans. It didn't last but a few seconds but it was more than enough time for Randy to notice how Cody's hands were shaking. At how they trembled as he unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans. As he slid them down Randy's thick thighs and long legs… As he pulled Randy's shirt over his head, leaving him clad in nothing but his boxers briefs.
This was intimate. Personal. This was what lovers did for each other. Friends would have let the other sleep in his clothes. A friend wouldn't have taken the time to make sure their buddy was comfortable. "Cody." Cody paused in his meticulous folding of Randy's pants, shoulders visibly tensing. Randy reached out and grabbed Cody by the hand. "Cody," he repeated, licking his lips, the perfect opportunity presenting itself but fear settling in.
"Randy," Cody turned towards him, "I'm about to do something really stupid. And I'll understand if you hit me. But I've wanted to do this for a long, long time."
Before Randy could respond, Cody's lips were crushed against his own. Insistent. Passionate. Randy couldn't think with his arms full of Cody, with his mouth molded to the younger man's, with Cody straddling his hips. Randy's cock pressed adamantly against Cody's thigh and a shiver wound its way down his spine he felt Cody's answering arousal making itself known. Randy's hands were gripping Cody's ass as he ground against him. Cody moaned into the kiss and it was the most erotic sound that Randy had ever heard.
"You're not hitting me," Cody breathed, gazing wide eyed at Randy. "You're not-"
Randy shook his head, "I think we've both been hidin' somethin'."
"Yeah, that you're packin'," Cody tittered nervously.
"Other than that," Randy winked cheshirely at Cody, "You know, it's funny that I've loved you for a year and the night that I finally get the balls to do somethin' about it, you beat me to it. It's kinda not fair."
"Hey, I've loved you longer. Try the first time I met you."
Randy thought back. God, it seemed so long ago. His father had taken him to Georgia to meet Virgil Runnels, to listen to what Virgil had to say about the business, to give him advice before he left for OVW. Randy smiled. Cody couldn't have been more than fifteen, a shade of the man that he would one day become. "You pervert."
"To a fifteen year old boy that was goin' through an identity crisis, you were walkin' sex," Cody said dryly, "I had a lot of wet dreams about you."
"That's kinda icky," Randy made a face, "Really icky."
"You're sayin' icky and you're still tryin' to deny you're smashed? O-K," Cody rolled his eyes. "You won't even remember this tomorrow."
"I will," Randy said, fighting sleep, wanting to stay awake and make sweet love to his boy. To his Cody. "I'll be wakin' up next to you."
Cody kissed him again, not nearly long enough to satisfy Randy. "Go to sleep."
Randy's eyes were heavy and he knew he couldn't ignore it. His arms were around Cody, the other man nestled against his chest. This was how it was meant to be. This was heaven or as close as humanly possible as person could get on Earth. And all because of Cody.