A/N: I got a PM from ExtremeDiva18 saying that there are no good stories relating to The Brood and The Ministry. That got my brain going--so maybe I've come up with something. I'll let you all decide. The story revolved mainly around Christian but other Brood, New Brood, and Ministry players along with others will def be in this some more than others. So, here we go. If it's stupid let me know, I want constructive criticism so if it needs fixing or if anything seems out of place, please let me know. Thanks all!! Enjoy.
Deceived by my eyes and all I was told I should see
Opinions not mine, the person they taught me to be
One night in the dark, a vision of someone I knew
And in the darkness I saw, a voice say, I'm you.
Inside me a light was turned on then I was alive.
If you close your eyes your life, a naked truth revealed
Dreams you never lived, and scars never healed
The Unprettier Side
Things may seem like they've changed, but for some the past still gripped them deeply, with tough talons. The biggest part of the darkness had long since washed away from most of those involved with those times but a couple still bared the scars inside and out. Some of them were treated better than others. Some of them were lied to, deceived, used, and abused. Some still curl up in bed at night and feel oddly empty, because now they knew they deserve the stripes they endured, but there is no one left to give it to them.
One of them is so far gone, that the only thing he can cling to anymore is the pain. Now it has become some sort of strange comfort, and he doesn't even know why. Sometimes when he can't sleep he moves his fingers over the raised scars, caressing them in the shadowy night. Sometimes he meets the skin with a glimmer of metal and retraces the marks put eternally onto the pale flesh, their unforgettable patterns, outlined in new ruby jewels.
Tonight was not one of those nights. Tonight he just lay staring up at the ceiling with wide, wondering, distant eyes as his heart thumped hard in his chest. He had thought that leaving the company that kept him surrounded by many of the same people involved would have proved to help him, with the state he was finding himself in, but it didn't. He had simply dragged all the baggage along with him to this new venue called TNA and even though on the outside things might have appeared well, that was all it was—an appearance. After all, it was his job to put on another character night after night, so it was no trouble to hide behind the façade of a happy man. The worn lines in his face might have given away some clue, or the fact that he didn't seem to smile very much, or that when he did it seemed forced, but if anyone ever noticed they never bothered to ask questions. For that he was glad, and for that reason he made it a habit to keep to himself.
But things had led him back to this place where those ghosts of his past walked around in real, live, human bodies. Actually, it was only one thing that set his feet back on this path, only one person. Matt Hardy. He and Matt were the only ones who truly understood each other. They were the only ones who had felt the darkness close in so deep around them and managed to survive it. They were the only ones who had ever remained loyal to one another when all others around them betrayed their trust with the metaphorical twist of the knife. But never, ever had they let each other fall. If one were to let the other go, the plunge downwards would just be too much to bear.
He shook his head, and his thoughts began to trace back over the story of his life. Really, it had only begun ten years ago. Ten years isn't that long, but to him, it seemed already like an eternity, an eternity that was riddled with darkness. So many alliances and bonds had been formed during that time, and likewise so many bitterly broken. Even now, though certain ties had been severed, he still felt the tugging of the broken strings. Even some which still held, seemed to soon be raveling away. He knew what he was doing now was wrong, and he knew that he would have to break, and tell Matt the truth sooner or later. Then, it would all come undone for good. He would be left alone again, the same way he felt when he started out. Perhaps that was how he should have stayed, but that wasn't what happened. That night, Jason Reso had been visited by an enchanting stranger, and his life had forever been placed onto a different path.
Adam Copeland and Jason Reso stood outside of the tall building, unbelieving that they were there, in Stamford, Connecticut. Adam held in his hand a letter, and his flashing blue eyes glanced over it again and again, as Jason tilted his face skywards to follow the high rise of the company before them. He took a wobbly step back, the view dizzying. Adam swatted his arm, and turned to him with a wide smile, snapping his gum.
"Come on." The taller blond said, striding confidently towards the glass doors that might lead the two young men to their dreamed of future.
Jason stood behind for a moment, watching the coolness of his brother. Everything about Adam oozed confidence, from his posture, to look in his eyes, to the way he spoke, or bobbled his head. All of it just came so natural to Adam. It was as if he didn't know there was an option for failure, and even if there was such a silly thing, it would never dare to touch him.
Jason on the other hand, was so anxious about this meeting. He tried to mimic his brothers air of certain successes but it only fell flat. His palms were still sweaty, his pulse still racing, his belly still writhing with worms of nerves. He was all too aware of his shortcomings, only ever magnified by being next to Adam who was charming, funny, outgoing, and not to mention, gorgeous. Jason wasn't jealous of Adam, it was just that he was the complete opposite. Jason was awkward, and shy, and Adam often joked with him that he had a face only their mother could love. He meant it only as brothers do, as good natured ribbing, but Jason knew it to be the truth when he looked in the mirror. Adam was the perfect one, and he was the average guy who would get passed on the street, and maybe shoved.
"Jay, what are you waiting for, your balls to drop? Come on!" Adam called for him with a laugh, and waved his arm.
With a shaky sigh Jason hurried towards the doors where his brother waited for him.
"Stop doing that, would you?" Adam hissed once they were inside. "You look nervous."
"I…I am." Jason answered, threading his fingers through his long blond hair and tugging at it.
"Stop it, you're knotting it up." Adam swatted Jason's hands out of the way, and with one hard yank tore the tangles out.
"Better not pull my hair." Jason smirked. "I might like it."
"Shut up, you're so creepy." Adam shook his head, and snapped his gum again.
The two of them went quiet again. After a silent elevator ride, they found themselves in a lobby, waiting to see the man who owned it all. Adam sank into one of the chairs, making himself comfortable. Jason instead paced the small area with his arms crossed over his chest. He was terrified to meet this man face to face. He had watched wrestling since he was a child, it was the only thing he had ever wanted to do, and now here he was with his brother and this was their chance—and what if they blew it. He felt so sick, what if he threw up all over McMahon's shoes? Oh god, hell no. Jason groaned and sank into a chair at the opposite side of the room.
"Take chill pill Jay." Adam sing-songed.
Jason looked up at him, glaring. Adam had no idea how it felt to be Jason. Adam had no idea how hard it was to live in his own shadow and still try to be seen. It was impossible not to see Adam, but Jason was often missed, or blatantly ignored.
"Mr. Copeland, Mr. Reso?"
The voice startled Jason, and he jumped up out of his chair. Adam moved over with his head held high, as though he had not a doubt in the world.
"I'm Copeland." He said, extending his hand before the man in front of them had even offered. "Adam Copeland."
"Fine, fine very good to meet you."
Jason watched as Vince McMahon Jr. took his brothers hand and shook it firmly. It took him a moment to realize that Vince had turned to him, and was holding his hand out.
"Um, oh…sorry." Jason fumbled over his words and scrubbed his palm against his pants, fearing that it was wet and clammy. His cheeks were burning red and when he reached for McMahon's hand all three of them saw the shakiness. Once Vince clasped his hand he was so shaken up that he forgot to grip back, and his handshake was like a limp fish. Embarrassed he stuffed it into his pocket as soon as Vince let go.
"So, then I take it you're Jason Reso?"
"Me?" Jason nearly squeaked. "Uh, yeah. That's me um, Jason Reso or-or y'know some people call me Gay. I-I mean Jay. Jay with a J...like eh…jelly."
Adam shook his head at his brother when McMahon turned to lead them to his office. Jason could barely make his feet move along with the other two. He felt like nothing more than crawling in a hole and staying there for the rest of his miserable life. His first impression to the fucking owner of the WWF was a lifeless-wet hand and the introduction of himself as Gay. This was not going well, to say the least.
The two of them were led into Vince's office, and Adam immediately sat down in one of the chairs in front of Vince's desk. Jason was surprised the cocky blond hadn't went all the way, and propped his feet up on the holy desk, but of course he hadn't. Vince took his seat in the tall leather chair behind the massive polished desk, and turned his gaze to Jason who was still standing and fidgeting with his fingers.
"Mr. Reso, have a seat please." Vince said slowly, as if talking to someone of lower intelligence.
He motioned towards the empty chair next to Adam. Jason just blinked stupidly, he was so fucking nervous that he couldn't even pay attention to whatever it was Vince had said. With a barely swallowed sigh of disgust, Adam grabbed Jason's wrist and yanked him down into the chair. Vince began to speak to them, and Adam met his gaze and held it each time Vince looked at him, while Jason tried, but blinked away feeling smaller and smaller each time the eyes landed on him. Adam answered all of his questions with the perfect responses, while Jason stuttered and fumbled with his. By the time their interview was over, Jason's head was pounding and he felt as if he was going to be sick. He didn't feel any better when Vince leaned over his desk and shook Adam's hand again, their clasped fists bobbing over one signed contract. He turned back to Jason, and assured him that there was just not a suitable position open for him at the moment, and that if one was to come up he would get a phone call.
Adam strode proudly out of the office, while Jason slinked defeated behind him, scuffling his toe against the carpet. The taller blond stopped at the elevator and turned, shaking his head as he watched his brother mope his way towards the opening doors.
"Look Jay, don't take it so hard. He said he'd call, you'll be with me on the roster in no time!" Adam clapped his brother on the back, but his words did nothing to take away the despairing look in Jason's downcast eyes.
"S'alright, Adam. I'm a realist. I knew both of us wouldn't be realizing our dreams today. In fact, I don't think any of mine were made to come true. They're only fantasy shadows that dissipate once I step into the real world. " The smaller blond swallowed hard, feeling ashamed for how stupid and incompetent he'd come off as.
Adam leaned against the wall of the elevator, snapped his gum, and rolled his eyes.
"Jay, don't talk that way. You heard McMahon, he said he'd call if another opening came up, and you know I'll spend all my spare time putting in good words for you. After all, he can't ignore this for long, can he?" Adam put on a dopey grin, and pointed to himself.
"Get away from me." Jason grumbled, quickly ducking through the opening doors of the elevator.
"Hey!" Adam called after him as he hurried towards the doors to exit the building. "It's not my fault you're a chump-stain!"
Jason opted to stay holed up in his hotel room as Adam went out that night to celebrate. In the morning, Adam would still be there nursing a hangover, and readying himself for his new life as that coveted icon—professional wrestler. Jason would be at the airport catching a flight back to Canada. He had made up his mind that if he didn't get signed with Adam, then he wouldn't wrestle anymore, not even on the indy circuits. So now his only option was to go home and find something else to do with his own life, some hum-drum, nothing job where no one would know his name or care to see his face.
It was a horrible feeling, because he and Adam had always been so close and now their lives were destined to take drastically different paths. Adam would be traveling all over the world, with little time to come home and tease his brother, who wanted nothing more than to be something like him, rather than like himself. Tears sat in Jason's eyes as he laid still and quiet in the middle of the lumpy bed that seemed to take up most of the small rented room. After a few moments of gazing at the ceiling through the salty blur, he angrily scrubbed the tears away, so hard that black and red dots danced in front of his vision when he was finished. He closed his eyes slowly, wondering if Adam would still remember him after he was a famous superstar.
The edges of sleep began to creep over him, ebbing in with their numbing tides, when something whispered into his ear made him startle awake. It was his name, so softly spoken against the ticklish lobe. He jerked up, sitting up and then falling over and almost off of the bed when he saw a figure standing at the side of his bed.
"Do not be afraid." The man stepped out of the shadows, and Jason saw a slant of moonlight catch in the man's curly blond hair, spill over his rounded face, and glimmer from the stud bolted through his wiggling tongue. The pale light caught again and shone from the twin ivory fangs that he scraped the piercing over.
"Wh-who…how did you…"
"My name is Gangrel. How I've come upon you is business of my own. You do not need to trouble yourself with such questions." His silky voice seemed to wash over the frightened young man, and set his shivering nerves to a strange, still calm. The man called Gangrel rested one knee on the bed, and motioned for Jason. "Come here."
Oddly enough, Jason found himself moving slowly to meet the man with the glittering, enchanting blue eyes. Jason situated himself in front of Gangrel, sitting back on his heels, and automatically bowing his head.
"Oh yes, perfect." Gangrel hissed, the words somehow conveying to Jason that this suddenly appearing specter was pleased with him. Gangrel reached for Jason's head, and rested his palm against the soft hair, then slowly drew his fingers through the golden strands. "Look at me." Gangrel instructed
Jason stayed still, agonizing between doing as he was told, or disobeying. For a reason he could not identify, he felt the need submit to this man and do as he said, but he didn't want Gangrel to see his face--A face only our mother could love. They were Adams words, meant as only a silly tease of course, but taken as a stinging barb which repeated through Jay's mind. He let out a long sigh, and hesitantly tilted his face upwards. The moment Jason met Gangrel's gaze, he immediately ducked his head again, but Gangrel gripped his chin only hard enough to steer it back to its prior position. Jason's eyes flickered here and there, anywhere but to Gangrel's. Fingers brushed against Jason's face, and made him shiver as the nimble tips moved a curtain of his long hair away from his face, fully revealing it.
"Beautiful." Gangrel breathed. "Why would you cry, when you are so beautiful?"
Jason blinked at Gangrel in astonishment, completely thrown by his words. He hadn't even noticed that he'd been crying, but now as he blinked he could easily feel the warm, crystal tears clinging to his lashes and drying on his cheeks. Secondly, this mysterious man had just called him…
"M-me?" Jason barely whispered the single word as a perplexed question.
"I see none other in the room with us." Gangrel said. He brought his face close to Jason's, and dragged the tip of his tongue over one of Jay's cheeks, cleaning away the path of his tears. "And I know you're confused, but worry not, I've found you. As for that phone call, you will receive it soon, I assure you of that. I've chosen you." Gangrel purred, moving towards Jason's lips, and hovering there.
"Me?" Jason repeated again, still unbelieving that this man with the wonderful, hypnotic eyes, had found something of worth in him.
"Stop avoiding my eyes, and look at me."
Jason complied, seeing nothing but truth and acceptance in the cobalt-gray depths. He knew that somehow, in this man he had been found. Of course, he didn't even know who he was, why he was here, or where he had come from, but none of those questions seemed important. None of them even seemed worthy of asking—so Jay stayed silent and just watched those eyes.
"You've accepted." Gangrel spoke, his lips parting into a pointed smile. He knew this without asking the young man before him, he could see it in his eyes and feel it through him.
"Yes I have…Sir." Jason added, feeling it proper to tack on the title of respect.
"Oh yes, good. So very perfect my good boy." Gangrel purred, stroking Jason's face. "Would you like me to show you how Grel rewards a good boy?"
Jason nodded, and then chewed his lip.
"Then I will Precious, but not tonight. Your brother is coming." Gangrel pulled his fingers once more through Jason's pretty locks, letting the strands slide smoothly between his fingers. "And my good, beautiful boy, I will call you Christian."
A knock sounded, breaking the quiet moment. Jason—newly dubbed Christian—startled and cut his eyes to the locked entrance, and then back to Gangrel—only the fanged blond was no longer in front of him, but completely gone from the room. Christian moved from the bed and padded towards the door. He looked through the peephole, and sure enough just as Grel had said, there was Adam on the other side, looking disheveled. Christian unbolted the door, and Adam fell onto him, reeking of alcohol.
"Hey bro, I los' my cardkey…keycar' you know. Can I?" Adam wobbled away from Christian and towards the bed.
"Of course you can, Addy." Christian said with a small smile, and then turned back to lock up the door.
Behind him Adam groaned as he stretched out onto the bed, his eyelids drooping.
"S'what you do up here alone a'night Jay--Gay as y'said? Give your lef' hand a workout?" Adam slurred.
"No, actually, I met someone. I met a very wonderful man tonight." Christian said, climbing onto the bed and curling up next to Adam, laying his head on his brother's chest.
"Who?" Adam yawned, his eyes closing to glassy slits.
Christian smiled in the darkness, remembering the touch of the man's hand against his face, and the words that made him feel like he mattered, that he was worth something too.
"His name," Christian whispered, closing his eyes too. "Is Gangrel."