Disclaimer: I do NOT own the following wrestlers, or any of the events that actually happened on camera, or anything else mentioned that is recognizable.
I respect the actual beliefs and sexualities of the following wrestlers.
This one's for Alyssa. Hope you like it, pal. No real warnings for this part.
-A Brief Introduction-
Nashville, Tennessee. July 2002
"Here." The beer was put into Allen Jones' hand, and he nodded thankfully. Christopher Daniels smiled at him, sitting by the window of the cheap motel room they shared. It was the most they could afford, between traveling from show to show for different promotions, but it had all they needed. Two beds and a roof.
The room was depressingly hot, even at night; the thin motel walls and lack of circulation made the room suffocating, especially on the humid July night. The small fan only blew hot air on the two, so they gave up on it, instead letting the natural air work it's course. They both sat by the window, the random and scarce breezes making their lives a little easier, while enjoying the beer they could afford.
"How did I do?"
"You did great, Chris." AJ popped open his beer, drinking some slowly. "Ya always do great."
"I know, I mean, I am me, but... I mean, do you think Jarrett'll want to keep me on?" Christopher Daniels was never happy with what he was doing, even at 31. He had to try a bit of everything, wrestle everywhere he could. And AJ had nothing but good things to say about Jarrett's fledgling production, so Chris decided to give NWA-TNA a shot. And from the word go, he had a great time.
"What aren't you understanding?" AJ laughed; sometimes, it was hard for Chris to remember that AJ was seven years his junior. He could wrestle with the best of them and he was a lot less hot headed then a lot of guys his age. It was what made it so easy for Chris to travel and share rooms with him as opposed to someone more his age. "Jarrett would be crazy not to keep you on. You're just fishin' now, aren't ya?"
"So what if I am? You're the one giving me what I want."
"You're a bum."
"You mean an ass, AJ?"
"I mean a bum."
Chris shook his head. He still couldn't get over how weird AJ was when it came to language. "Whatever. You know what this means, right? Once that ink is final, I'm going to be a member of this roster. Which means I'm taking over another roster." He patted AJ's back, seeing the look on his face. It was one of amusement and disbelief, but Chris chose to take it as a face of disappointment. "Don't be like that, there'll be a place for you. After all, the top guy needs someone to wrestle."
"Well, thanks for rememberin' me," AJ said sarcastically.
"Least I can do." Chris stretched his legs out, smiling. "Yup. One day, it'll be Christopher Daniels vs AJ Styles in the main event. TNA, ROH... everywhere we go. People will be begging us to wrestle their main event."
"Sure man. We'll have a great finish with dual Kamehamehas."
"Someone help me, I'm serious and he's being funny." Chris stood up, and then he grabbed AJ's arm. He dragged him up, waiting until AJ got the picture and stood up.
"Hey! That hurt, ya know," AJ said, rubbing his shoulder.
"You'll live." Chris held up what was left of his beer, smiling. "You, me, the main event. A match so great that Jarrett's going to piss his pants when he sees it and people will be talking about it way past our expiration dates. What do you say?"
"You, me, the main event?" AJ raised his beer and slapped it against Chris'. "If you can keep up with me, then you got yerself a deal."
"Keep up with you?" Chris wrapped his arm around AJ's shoulder, using the other one to bring his beer to his mouth and finish it off. Once he was done, he said, "Still trying to be funny, eh?"
-10 is greater than 15-
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. October 2002
"Man, you are one efficient bastard." Christopher Daniels said, buttoning up his shirt. He smiled over at Joe, his new associate, watching the associate tie his sneakers. "I've never seen Feinstein wet his pants like that. Trust me, you'll find yourself a nice place in ROH in no time."
Joe shrugged. He'd been around for a while, fighting where ever he could, just trying to get exposure. So, when he got a call to fight for one night against Low Ki in Ring of Honor, he accepted without hesitation. "It was that good?"
"Phenomenal. Speaking of which, where is that phenomenal asshole?"
"Who?" Joe didn't get his answer; instead, Chris walked further into the locker room. He offered no explanation to his actions, just walking away, giving Joe no idea what he was up to. Joe watched as he turned back into the showers, and decided to follow along. After all, he didn't know much anyone; just Chris. As he got to the door, Chris went to a stall and knocked.
"What?" A British accent rang out.
"Sorry, wrong stall." Chris went to the next one and knocked; this time, a more Southern accent answered.
"I didn't know you knew that word," Chris said smugly. There was a silence, and Joe took the moment to mouth the question 'What's going on' to Chris. Chris put up a finger, signifying that he wanted a moment.
"Go away Chris, I'm takin' a shower."
"Yeah, well, run some water on your body and dry off. It's time to go." Chris banged on the door, telling him to hurry up, before turning to Joe. "Will you tell the man you don't want to wait here forever?" Joe was confused, but he said it anyway. He wondered who Chris was bothering and why they were waiting for him. "Hear that? Come on now Al, we're getting impatient..."
The door opened a bit, and the face of someone Joe recognized as AJ Styles peeped out. He glared at Chris, but the irritated expression seemed almost comical with the water dripping down his cheeks. "Listen bum. I'm takin' a shower. Let me take it in peace."
"Well, unless you're not taking a shower in ten seconds, I'm going in there and I'm dragging you out."
"You wouldn't dare."
"Chris, stop playin'."
Joe watched the spectacle, his confusion giving way to amusement as AJ walked out of the shower at nine, a towel wrapped around his waist. "You happy now?" AJ snapped.
"Why yes I am, Al, I got what I wanted, didn't I?" He slapped AJ's back, the hand almost immediately slipping off the slick back. "Now get dressed Al, our new friend's probably tired after his great debut."
AJ's eyes turned on Joe, and his face softened to a friendlier look. Almost sympathetic, like he knew that Joe was about to face hell. "Sorry you have to deal with Chris. I'll be done in a few, just wait." He began walking towards the benches, leaving Chris and Joe alone again.
"AJ Styles, the reason a motel room only costs fifteen bucks," Chris explained, "And if you want, we can split a room three ways. Every buck counts when you travel like we do." Chris wrapped an arm around Joe's neck, letting the gesture make his offer seem sweeter. "What do you say, ten bucks for a place to stay. And we'll even give you a ride to the motel. So...?"
"You had me at ten bucks, Daniels," Joe said, cutting him off, "You know, unless you and Styles plan to rob me."
"Joe, look at you. Me and Al would have to be retarded to rob you."
A few minutes later, Joe was walking with Chris and AJ to their car. He couldn't help but be glad for the offer; using the bus was iffy, and it sometimes got you places late, but it was better than spending a ridiculous amount of money on the rental. This way, he could get to a bed quickly and still spend very little.
"So..." Chris pointed his hands at AJ. "Joe, this is Allen Jones."
"Call me AJ," AJ said, shaking Joe's hand, "And you?"
Before Joe could answer, Chris said, "You can call him Joe."
"Oh, shut up man. I know his ring name's Samoa Joe, but I wanna hear his name."
Joe laughed. "You wanna know my name?"
"Yeah, I do." They reached the rental Chris and AJ shared, and they popped open the trunk so they could throw their bags in the back. "What's your name?"
Joe grinned, wanting to see how he'd react to hearing his whole name. It was a personal game of his; counting how many attempts it took for people to give up on trying to pronounce his name. "Nuufalou Seanoa."
AJ blinked, caught off guard by the name. For a moment, it looked like he was going to attempt to repeat the name, but then he said "...I'm gonna call you Joe, okay?"
"What did I say?" Chris shouted back. He settled himself in the front seat of the car; because of AJ's age, the car was rented under Chris' name, so Chris automatically got to drive the car.
AJ laughed, shaking his head. "He's a little annoyin', but you get used to him quick Joe." AJ kept laughing as he sat in the passenger seat, getting comfortable. Joe nodded and sat in the back, in the middle of the two seats. 10 dollars a night, company... sounded good to him.
They'd talked the whole ride over; Joe only knew Chris in a professional manner, and he didn't know AJ at all, so it was a good time to get to know them. It was hard to believe they'd only known each other for six months; they were so easy with each other, so used to each other's ways, that it seemed like they had known each other their whole lives.
On the way over, they bought something quick to eat, and then they continued on to the small motel. As Chris got them a room, AJ nudged his elbow into Joe's stomach. "See that, Joe?" He said, pointing at the peeling paint on the side of the motel and the faded letters, looking more like RO D I E than ROADSIDE. "It's the glamorous life we lead."
"Practically the Marriott." Joe laughed as Chris came back, waving around a small brass key. They walked to their room and entered, looking around; it was clean enough, and it meant they had a roof over their heads. Not great, but it looked better than what the outside promised. And what could they really expect for thirty dollars a night?
"So, how're we gonna split this?" AJ asked, pointing between the two beds.
Joe shrugged, so they both looked at Chris. He scratched his chin thoughtfully, before declaring, "Last one to say bed sleeps on sheets."
Chris patted his hand on AJ's back, holding back a snicker at the dumbfounded look on AJ's face. "Sorry bud. Don't worry, we'll give you the quilts. It won't be so bad."
AJ looked disappointed for a moment, but then he just shrugged. "Ah well. I lost, right?" He threw his bag down on a chair, digging into it. Joe didn't say anything, just quietly accepting AJ's choice to go along with the verdict, before going into his bag to grab his shorts. He could imagine they were all as exhausted as he was, and they'd be sleeping soon anyway.
Joe watched as AJ, now in a pair of basketball shorts and a t-shirt, set the blankets up on the floor. He couldn't help but notice the look on AJ's face. He knew he wouldn't like sleeping on the floor, even with quilts, and he doubted AJ would either. "Hey, you sure you'll be alright down there?"
"Huh? Oh, yeah. Don't worry 'bout me." AJ grinned back at him, grabbing a pillow off Chris' bed and putting it down. "'Sides, I'm sure you two soft bums can't handle a floor."
"Shut it." Chris threw his shirt at AJ's head, laughing as AJ threw the shirt aside, glaring at him. AJ shook his head in disgust before getting comfortable on his makeshift mattress, shifting until he managed to be somewhat comfortable. Chris and Joe got settled in their beds, and soon, they were all ready to knock out. The lights went off and Joe closed his eyes, trying to relax into the bed.
"Al?" Chris whispered, breaking the tranquil silence. Joe thought for a moment AJ was asleep, but then he responded.
"You good down there?"
"Yup. Lemme sleep, man."
"Yeah. Shut it, Joe's sleepin'. Don't wake the guy up."
There was a silence, and it almost seemed like Chris obeyed AJ, but then a rustle of sheets filled the room. "Get your ass up here."
"Will you just..."
"Look, either share this bed with me or sleep on the floor. Your choice, man." AJ didn't answer, so Chris added, "Look, I know your back must be killing you. Just get up here. It's not like I'm going to kill you or something like that." There was no answer again, but from the sounds, Joe was able to tell what AJ's choice was. Soon, when Joe permanently began traveling with two men he would soon call best friends, it became a routine in every motel they went to; Joe in one bed, AJ and Chris in the other.