Disclaimer: I own nothing associated with the WWE.
Author's Note: Hey, guys, thanks for your reviews! This is the last update for this story, but there will be an announcement at the end. This may not go exactly the way you thought (after all, you never know what to expect with these, lol), but the questions will be answered. Thanks for sticking with me through this trilogy! Enjoy the last update!
"And even in my darkest hour
When my world's gone sour
When I look out into the night
I know you're always there for me..."
- "New Day's Dawn," Fozzy
One month later...
Jay slowly opened his eyes, looking around the dark room and wondering what had woken him up. He and Adam had flown into Chicago earlier that day for Lexie's birthday the next day, staying in the same hotel as the rest of their friends who were there for the event. He glanced at the bed that was next to his, able to see in the faint moonlight filtering in through the window that Adam was still asleep, so he hadn't been the one who had caused him to wake up.
Then, he heard it. It was a quiet knocking sound, signaling someone was at their door.
Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, Jay slowly got out from under the covers and crossed the room, yawning as he pulled open the door. He blinked with surprise when he saw who was standing on the other side. "Taryn?"
Taryn gave him a small smile. "I'm sorry it's so late, Jay," she said quietly, biting her lip. "I didn't wake you up, did I?"
Jay rubbed his eyes again. "Um, yeah, but no big deal," he told her. He looked at her closely, noticing her face was pale and her eyes tear-filled. "Taryn, are you okay?"
Sighing, Taryn raised her left hand and brushed some hair behind her ear, and Jay's eyes narrowed slightly when he saw there was no ring on her finger. "What happened?" he pressed with concern.
"Can I come in?" Taryn asked in nearly a whisper, a single tear falling from her eye.
Jay nodded, stepping back from the doorway so she could come in. Taryn wiped the tear from her cheek as she stepped inside, Jay closing the door quietly behind her. They both walked further into the room, sitting next to each other on the couch. "So what happened?" he repeated, keeping his voice down so he wouldn't wake Adam.
Taryn took a deep breath, leaning forward and resting her arms on her knees. "Well, it's kind of a long story," she muttered. "But the last month has been hard..."
"Well, I don't mind listening," Jay replied. "Take as long as you need to."
"Okay." Taryn waited for a moment, forcing her tears back before she began. "The first week after Drew woke up was a long one, but that was to be expected. It wasn't until the end of that week that his memory came back, and since he lost some of his English, it took him that week to relearn it. For about a week after that, he had some physical therapy sessions due to the atrophy. All of this was fine. I was patient and there for him every step of the way. Never once did I blame him for the slow recovery process."
"That's good," Jay said, trying to be encouraging. "At least he's recovering." But when he saw Taryn's expression stayed blank, he rested his hand on her shoulder. "What happened then, Taryn?"
Taryn looked back at him, fresh tears in her eyes. "Remember the night he woke up when I told you the eyes I saw weren't Drew's?" she wondered. "And you said in time he would probably be back to normal?" When Jay nodded, she sighed and lowered her gaze. "A month later... they're still not Drew's eyes."
Jay's gaze saddened, and he wrapped his arm around her, surprised when she leaned into him. He really couldn't think of anything to say as she rested her head on his shoulder, so he didn't say anything, hoping his presence would be enough.
"He's just not Drew anymore," Taryn continued quietly. "Part of it has to do with the coma, I'm sure, but even before that..." She paused for a minute. "Even before all of that happened, I was feeling tension in our relationship. Sure, a lot of times we worked through it, but in the back of my mind, I found myself wondering how long that was going to last before something else happened. Hell, the last time I really talked to Drew before he was attacked, we were in a fight! That's why... that's why I was afraid to tell him I was pregnant. We weren't planning on having children... He doesn't want them yet. I didn't want to bring my child into that sort of uncertainty. I just can't believe it took this whole thing to make me realize we were falling out of love for some time now..."
"Is that why... you took your ring off?" Jay asked hesitantly.
Taryn laughed a little. "You noticed that, huh?" She took a deep breath as she straightened up again. "Drew and I flew out here earlier today. And... I don't know what happened. He wasn't talking to me at all, so I tried starting a conversation. He was impatient with me. I mentioned something about how much he's changed, and... he just lost his temper. I couldn't deal with it anymore. So, I took my ring off, left it in the room, and came here. It's not official yet, by any means, but... I'm going to start filing for a divorce as soon as I can. I can't bring my child into this, Jay."
"I understand," Jay told her, brushing some hair behind her ear. "I'm glad you came here when things got that bad." Then, his eyes narrowed slightly when Taryn bit her bottom lip nervously. "Is there something else?"
"Yeah," Taryn muttered with a sigh. "I need to get this off my chest. I... I lied to you, Jay, and I'm sorry about that. I felt like I had my obligations, and that stopped me from telling you what I should have."
"What do you mean?" Jay looked at her with confusion.
Taryn slowly met his gaze. "When you told me you loved me that night at the hospital, and I told you I didn't feel the same," she explained. "I looked you straight in the eye, and... I lied."
Jay looked at her with surprise. "Taryn..." he began, but he stopped when she held her hand up.
"Please, Jay, just let me finish," she said. "It took me until Drew's coma to realize it, but... I love you too. I have since working with you. That special friendship we had... I know now that's what it was. It was you I loved all along. But I didn't think you felt the same, so I never said anything. I was naive, a girl looking for love and rushing into it when she thought she found it. Ignoring what was right in front of her when it was there all along. Maybe if I had slowed down a little, I would have realized how I actually felt a lot sooner. Maybe then I could have stopped this mess from happening..." She sighed, putting her head in her hands. "I just feel like I told you this too late."
"No, Taryn," Jay replied gently, placing his hand on her cheek. "It's not too late."
Taryn looked at him carefully, trying to read the look in his eyes. "Really?" she wondered hopefully.
Jay smiled, nodding slightly. Then, he slowly started to lean toward her, both of them closing their eyes when their lips were only inches apart.
But then, Jay sighed and pulled away when a loud sound came from across the room. He looked over at Adam's bed, Taryn smiling slightly next to him, when he heard his best friend had started snoring. "Excuse me while I smother him with his pillow," he muttered, starting to push himself to his feet.
Taryn laughed, placing her hand on his arm to pull him back down to the couch. "Jay, it's okay, really," she told him, the smile still lingering on her face. "He has no idea what's going on right now."
Jay laughed a little himself. "Yeah, I guess you're right," he agreed, feigning disappointment. "It's not his fault."
"Nope." Taryn smiled at him, reaching up and running her hand through his short hair. Then, she pulled him into a soft kiss. Jay returned it with a little more intensity, wrapping his arms around her as he held her close. They broke it after a long moment, Taryn smiling as she rested her head on his shoulder again.
"So, what are you going to do tonight?" Jay asked. "I don't want you going back to your room..."
Taryn raised her head again to look at him. "Well... Would it be okay if I stayed here?" she wondered. "Just for the night?"
Jay nodded. "Of course," he told her. "If you want, you can take my bed, and I'll sleep on the couch..."
"Don't be ridiculous," Taryn replied with a smile. "I'll take the couch. No big deal. After all, I've invaded your room."
"Are you sure?" Jay didn't like the idea much. "I don't mind."
Taryn kissed his cheek. "Yes, I'm sure," she said. "I'd feel better if I took the couch."
Sighing, Jay took her hand and squeezed it. "Here. Let me at least do this for you." He got off the couch and walked over to his bed, picking up the second pillow and one of the blankets. He paused, looking down at his still snoring best friend for a moment before hitting him with the pillow. Adam turned over to face the other way as his snores stopped, but otherwise remained asleep.
"There, that's better," Jay muttered with a smile as he walked back to the couch, handing Taryn the pillow and blanket when she got to her feet.
Taryn returned the smile as she set the pillow on one end of the couch, turning back to Jay and giving him a tight hug. "I love you," she whispered, the words coming effortlessly.
"I love you too," Jay replied, meeting her lips in another quick kiss. "Good night." He watched as Taryn laid down on the couch, getting comfortable under the blanket as she closed her eyes. He leaned over, kissing her head before going back to his bed, getting under the covers and looking at Taryn until his eyes closed, not able to believe she had actually shared his feelings all along.
He wasn't sure how long he lay in bed, drifting in and out of sleep, but Jay slowly opened his eyes when he felt some more weight on the bed behind him. He started to turn over, seeing Taryn had brought her pillow and blanket back to the bed and was lying on it a good distance from him.
But when she felt him move, she quickly opened her eyes. "Oh, I'm sorry, Jay," she whispered. "I thought you were sleeping."
"It's fine, I was pretty much awake," Jay replied just as quietly, completely turning over to face her. "Are you okay?"
Taryn nodded. "I just can't sleep," she told him. "I thought it might be a bit easier if I was closer to someone."
Jay gave her a small smile. "I'm glad you came over then," he muttered, holding his arm out to her. "Come on."
Taryn looked at him for a moment before smiling as she moved closer to him, snuggling into Jay's chest as he wrapped his arm around her securely. She closed her eyes, already feeling better because of his closeness. "Thank you, Jay..."
"Of course." Jay lightly kissed her forehead, able to tell by her light, even breathing that she had already fallen asleep. "Good night, Taryn."
"Happy birthday, Lexie!"
The excited three-year-old grinned as she stood up on her chair, Phil placing his hands on her waist so she wouldn't fall, as she blew out the matching number of candles on her cake. The rest of the group sitting around her clapped as Lexie laughed, Maria catching everything on her video camera.
"What'd you wish for, Lex?" Phil wondered with a smile.
"Silly Daddy," Lexie told him in a matter-of-fact tone. "Can't tell you! It won't come true!"
"Yeah, Phil," Adam added from his chair next to the girl. "You should know that."
Phil rolled his eyes at the other man in mock annoyance before he kissed his daughter's head. "Of course I knew that," he muttered. "Whatever it is, girlie, I hope it comes true."
Lexie smiled, wrapping her arms tightly around her father's neck. "Love you, Daddy!"
"Love you too, Lex." Then, Phil picked up the knife off the table. "Okay, time to cut the cake. Birthday girl gets first pick."
"Um..." Lexie smiled as she pointed at the center. "I want my name!"
Phil raised an eyebrow. "Can you eat it all?" he asked. The pink lettering of her name was the biggest thing on the cake aside from the words "happy birthday." "How about just the 'L'?"
"Hmm, okay!" Lexie agreed.
"All right." Phil carefully started to cut around the first letter of his daughter's name, putting it on a paper plate and setting it in front of her. "There you go, Lex."
"Thanks, Daddy!" Lexie then hopped off her chair before climbing up to sit on Adam's lap, reaching for her plate.
"Here, sweetheart," Maria said, turning off her video camera and setting it down before handing Lexie her plate. "Careful to not spill on your dress, okay?"
Lexie smiled, taking a bite of the vanilla cake, smearing a little of the buttercream frosting on her cheek. "Okay, Mommy!"
"Well, Adam, since you're next, what piece do you want?" Phil asked.
"It doesn't matter," Adam answered, catching a small piece of cake that fell off Lexie's fork so it wouldn't land on her navy blue dress.
Phil looked down at the cake for a moment before he smirked, quickly cutting him a piece and putting it on a plate as he handed it to him. Adam sighed when he looked at it, seeing it was one of the pink frosting flowers. "Thanks, Man," he muttered. "You just had to..."
"Well, then you should be more specific next time," Phil told him with a laugh, preparing to cut pieces for the rest of the group.
When everyone got a piece, Phil sat down next to his wife at the table as she smiled broadly at all of the people sitting at their kitchen table. Lexie, Adam, Jay, Taryn, John, Jeff, and her husband. After everything that had happened, it was a reprieve to have everyone together for a happy occasion.
Then, she looked up when she heard the doorbell ring. "I'll get it, sweetheart," she muttered to Phil when he started to get up, kissing his cheek before crossing the room. She opened the door, seeing Drew on the other side. "Hey, come on in!"
But the Scotsman only chuckled quietly and shook his head. "No, I'm not going to stay," he said. "I just wanted to drop this off since Taryn didn't bring it. It's our gift for Lexie."
"Oh, thank you!" Maria replied, taking the wrapped box from him. It had been a surprise to her when Taryn had shown up at their house with Adam and Jay, but after learning something had happened between her and Drew, it was understandable. She could see the change in him as she looked at him now. "Are you sure you don't want to stay for a little bit?"
"Yeah, I'm sure," Drew told her with a slight smile. "Thank you anyway."
Maria returned the smile. "Let me at least give you a piece of cake to take with you," she offered.
"Well... all right," Drew muttered. "Thank you." He watched as the redhead turned and walked back into the house, setting the gift he had given her on a table with the others before going to where the group was sitting. He leaned against the doorway, seeing Taryn sitting with Jay as she ate her cake. She was laughing at something he had said, the broad smile lingering on her face as she leaned closer to him.
Then, her gaze moved over to the door and landed on him, and her smile slowly vanished. Drew took a deep breath, giving her a small smile as he slightly nodded. Relief crossed Taryn's face as she returned the smile before turning her attention back to Jay.
"Here you go, Drew."
Drew moved his gaze away from Taryn when Maria came back, holding out a plate with a piece of cake on it covered in plastic wrap. "Thanks, Maria," he said, taking it from her. "I'll see you later. I hope Lexie has a great birthday."
"See you later, Drew, and thank you," Maria replied, giving him a quick hug. She smiled as he began to walk away from the house, shutting the door behind him.
Once everyone was finished with their cake, Lexie having to give some of hers to Adam, the group started to make their way to the living room so they could watch the three-year-old open her gifts while Phil and Maria began to pick up the mess from the cake. Lexie watched Jeff carefully as he sat in a chair away from the others and looked out the window, sighing before she went over to him.
"Why you sad?" she asked. "Today happy day!"
Jeff looked down at her, giving her a small smile. "I'm not sad," he answered quietly.
"You look sad," Lexie muttered.
The younger Hardy laughed, picking up the little girl when she held her arms out to him and setting her on his lap. "Why would I be sad on your birthday?" he wondered.
Lexie shrugged. "I don't know," she replied. "You tell me."
Jeff's green eyes faltered a little, but he did his best to hide it behind a smile. "It's nothing, Lexie, okay?" he muttered. "Today's your day, and that's what's important. I'm not sad. Promise."
"Hmm..." Lexie looked at him for a moment before reaching up and placing her small hand on his cheek. "It's okay," she told him. "It get better."
The younger Hardy looked down at her with surprise, Lexie only smiling before she hopped off his lap and ran to the gift table when Phil and Maria came into the room. The three-year-old jumped up and down with excitement while her mother started video recording, and her father helped her decide which present she wanted to open first. Jeff knew that it was impossible for Lexie to know what was on his mind, but yet, she had told him just what he needed to hear.
Jeff slowly walked down the hallway, sighing as he came to a stop in front of the door that had 33 in fading gold numbers on it. He waited for a long moment, simply staring at the two numbers before finally knocking.
Jeff ran his hand through his hair, taking a deep breath as he turned the handle and pushed the door open. He looked around the room as he shut the door behind him, seeing there was a bed against the wall and a chair next to the window. A television was across the room from the furniture, a small bookshelf filled with reading material right beside it.
"Hey, Man," he said, seeing the person he had come to see was sitting on the bed with a book in his hands.
Matt looked up at the familiar voice, a smile appearing on his face. "Hey, Jeffro!" he replied cheerfully, marking his page and setting the book aside. "What brings you here?"
Jeff returned the smile as he walked closer to the bed. "Just thought I'd come say hi," he told him. "I know it must get kinda lonely."
"Yeah, it does," Matt agreed. "And when you only get basic cable, it gets boring pretty quick too." He laughed a little. "But that's why I asked to get transfered to the one here in Raleigh. I'm closer to my family that way, and I think it'll make this fight easier for me."
"That's good. And you're closer, so it's easier for me to visit you." Jeff looked at his older brother sadly. He knew Matt wasn't completely aware of the reason he was being kept in the hospital for his multiple personality disorder, but at least he understood that it was something he had to have controlled. He didn't remember anything Matthew had done, and for that, the younger Hardy was grateful.
Matt nodded. "And that's what's important to me," he said with a smile. "Oh! And they have a weight and exercise room I can use a couple times a week, and that helps a lot."
"I'm glad you're making yourself comfortable here," Jeff muttered, returning the smile.
"Yeah, I'm making it by." Matt's gaze faltered a little. "Jeff. Can I ask you something?"
Jeff looked at his brother curiously. "Sure, Matt. What is it?"
Matt slowly turned to look at his brother, a sad look in his dark eyes. "You know... what I did." It was a statement, not a question. "Jeff... what did I do to you? To all of you?"
"First off, it wasn't you," Jeff said quickly, his gaze saddening. "It was the other personality. And... It's over, Matt. None of it was your fault."
"Did I... did he kill anyone?" Matt asked quietly. "Will you at least tell me that?"
Jeff sighed, running his hand through his hair. "Yes," he answered, not able to meet his brother's gaze. "The other two people who were working for Shane McMahon."
Matt looked at the younger Hardy with confusion. "But I thought he was working with Shane," he said.
"I don't know what his reasonings were, Matt," Jeff muttered, a thin line of tears forming in his eyes. "But it doesn't matter anymore. You're in control, and hopefully with time spent here, Matthew won't emerge again."
"Hopefully," Matt agreed, though there was a look in his eye that the younger Hardy couldn't quite read. "It's just... I can't imagine someone else doing something through me that I have no recollection of... At least he didn't kill any of you. I don't know what I would do if that happened."
Jeff forced his tears back as he placed his hand on the older Hardy's shoulder. "That's all that matters. All of us, including you, are all right," he told him with a small smile. "And now, you just need to have the strength to keep fighting, Matt, and know I'll be fighting with you."
Matt looked at his younger brother for a long moment, tears forming in his own eyes as he wrapped his arms around him and pulled him close. "Thank you, Jeff," he whispered.
Sighing, Jeff hugged him back, resting his head on his shoulder. "You don't need to thank me," he replied with a slight laugh as his tears came back. "I'll be with you every step of the way. That's what brothers do."
"True. And I couldn't ask for a better one." Matt smiled at Jeff once they parted, ruffling his hair.
The two brothers lost track of how much time they sat together, just talking and laughing. Finally, the younger Hardy left, saying how he had to get home to Beth. They gave each other a goodbye hug, Matt's smile still lingering even after the door closed behind Jeff. He turned to look out the window, seeing the sun was starting to set over the city. He felt stronger than he had when he had first arrived at the hospital, and he knew his brother's support had a lot to do with that. It wasn't going to be easy, but he knew with that behind him, he had the strength to keep fighting.
Matthew wouldn't be coming back.
"When my demons start to call
I need you to save me
And if the heavens were to fall
I need you to pray for me
And even in my darkest hour
When my world's gone sour
When I look out into the night
I know you're always there for me..."
Author's Note: Okay, so here's my announcement. No, there's not going to be a fourth story, per se. This is truly the end of this trilogy. BUT, I am going to be doing an off-branch story focusing on Jay and Taryn's relationship since I feel as though their storyline isn't quite tied up. So, be on the lookout for that. Thanks again for reading! Your reviews are much appreciated! Thank you! And I'm glad you enjoyed this trilogy.