Content: Slash? Mmhmm. Language? Oh yeah.
Characters: [and mentions] [who I don't own any of....
Matt = Matt Hardy = Matt Hardy
Jeff = Jeff Hardy = Jeff Hardy
Amy = Amy Dumas = Lita
Adam = Adam Copeland = Edge
Jay = Jay Reso = Christian
Steph = Stephanie McMahon = Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
Paul = Paul Levesque = Triple H
Lance = Lance Evers = Lance Storm
Pete = Pete Gruner = Billy Kidman
Torrie = Torrie Wilson = Torrie Wilson
Kip = Monty 'Kip' Sopp = Billy Gunn
Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut.
That's what they tell everyone breaking into the biz. Of course, they're referring to actually learning to wrestle, but you'd be surprised how much more you can learn if you do it all the time. I was a big fan of that advice.
It was Saturday, and we'd just finished a house show in Nowheres-ville, Indiana, and some of the guys had decided to hit a local Outback Steakhouse. I wasn't that hungry, I came more for entertainment. And let me tell you, people are entertaining. I've been people-watching my whole life, and I like to think I've gotten quite good. Especially since no one ever suspects me. Little Jeff Hardy, slouching in the booth in the corner, drawing in his journal - he's got his head in the clouds, no idea what's going on around him. That's what I like them to think, too. People think they have the upperhand when dealing with the less informed. For instance, right now, I was watching Pete and Torrie talking at a table. I couldn't hear the words, but I got the general idea of what was going on. Torrie was -
I looked up through locks of blue hair that fell over my face at the sudden movement. Of course, I hadn't needed to look up, I'd recognize that familiar drawl forever. I smiled at my brother who was standing next to the table, waiting for me to take my feet off the other bench so he could sit. I did so, sitting up straight and clearing him some space.
"Hey," I repeated back, brushing the loose hair behind my ear.
"What's goin' on?" He asked, sitting and leaning back.
I nodded with my head towards Torrie and Pete. "Torrie thinks Pete's cheatin' on her."
Matt laughed, shaking his head. "I meant with you, y'snoop."
"S'pretty obvious," I justified, starting to smile myself. Matt - and Amy, who had learned from Matt - were the only people who knew about my people watching. That he didn't mind. He didn't so much like when I used the people's secrets to my advantage. But I think he was just as amused as I was at the fact that people didn't notice my eavesdropping.
"Is he?" Matt prodded me. Yes, he was amused by the secrets. Matt was pretty good at figuring people out, too, but he never really bothered with it.
"No way," I answered. "He's not dumb, he realizes what a good thing he's got. I have a feelin' she'll accept that, too."
I turned back to them for a second, just in time to see Torrie flash him a glittering smile and give him a quick kiss.
"Good call," Matt approved.
"Of course," I grinned back.
Matt looked at my journal, which was laying open in front of me. I caught his glance and looked down at the page I'd been working on earlier. It was a quick sketch of -
"Adam?" Matt asked. I nodded, closing the book. Matt looked over his shoulder to Adam at the bar, nursing a beer. I knew what Matt was seeing, I'd been watching him for the past few minutes before I attempted to distract myself with Torrie and Pete. Not very successfully, I might add. Adam's long hair was falling forward, hiding his face, but he seemed unconcerned. He looked like he could use a good shoulder to lean on. Matt turned back to me. "Y'still thinkin' about him? He's told you a million times, he doesn't swing."
I smirked, running my hand over the cover of my book, and lifted my eyes past Matt to where Adam now watched his oldest friend try to pick up a girl down the bar. "No, he doesn't."
"Then why -"
"He's on the other team."
Watching Jay, Adam's chest rose and fell sadly, and he anxiously ran a hand through his long hair, finally getting it out of his face. As much as I enjoyed that face, I didn't need to see it right now. I looked back down to my journal. Earlier, Jay had approached a lady and struck up a conversation. It was obvious things were going well. She was a strawberry blond, well toned, who couldn't keep her eyes of him. Which was well enough, because he seemed to be reciprocating. If all went to plan, looked like Jay might get lucky tonight. Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men... I shrugged and flipped my journal back open, taking the pencil to my sketch again.
"No, he's not. If he liked men, why would he be hittin' on that woman?"
I raised a brow and looked back to where he'd been. Adam had gotten up off his stool and went over to Jay and the woman. Again. Typical. Whenever Jay seemed to be getting somewhere with a lady, Adam would go interrupt him. With in the hour, he would sweet talk her into leaving with him then dump her in the parking lot. Just to screw with Jay. Or so it seemed. It wouldn't be the first time. Jay knew it was coming, too. He took a step back from Adam and the woman, his eyes growing dark. I watched Jay, examining his face. He had a brooding look, but his face could be so bright when he's happy. I could see why Adam liked him. What I didn't understand was why Jay hadn't jumped Adam yet. He had a great body, great hair, a great smile. And he was just such a nice guy... usually.
"See," I started, explaining the situation to Matt. "It's not that he doesn't want Jay t'have th'woman, he doesn't want th'woman t'have Jay."
Matt glanced back at me for a second with a sideways glance, then looked back to Adam and Jay. Jay seemed to be trying to work his way back into the conversation, but it was obvious he knew what was going on. He was starting to fume. Personally, I couldn't keep my eyes off Adam. I watched, amused, as Adam had transformed from the longing, lonely crush victim into the charismatic ladies man. Knowing how Adam truly swings only made it that much more amusing. Lately, I'd been thinking a lot about Adam. I think it was mostly because I knew that I couldn't really have him. Nothing was more fun than a challenge. I suppose I could use this to my advantage. After this, Adam will be overwhelmed with guilt for what he's going to do to the love of his life, and I'm sure I could use that to -
"Hardy!" A screeching voice assaulted my ears. I tried to hide a wince, closing my journal but holding the page. I knew who it was and what she wanted. I grudgingly pulled my eyes away from Adam, down to the table, then up to Stephanie.
My eyes jumped to Matt for a quick second. He was watching Steph, startled. Next, I looked back to Steph. She raised a brow at Matt, then the two looked at me simutaneously. I sighed. "Matt? Can I have a minute?"
He nodded and got up, giving me a slightly displeased look that told me I'd be getting an earful for this. I smirked slightly to myself. As soon as Matt was out of earshot, Stephanie switched from Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley to Steph. Her voice lost the edge, her face lost the sharpness, and she smiled sweetly at me. "Hi, baby."
I looked at her with a mix of shock and disgust. Her face fell slightly as I remained silent. I was further disgusted at the fact that she didn't even know what she'd done. "Jeff?"
"Don't treat my brother like that."
Her eyes widened in surprise. I'd never used a tone like that with her before. She was one of those people who liked to think she was in control, and I usually let her. But even I had certain limits. She frowned, and stuttered slightly. "I.. I.. I just don't want him to think that..."
I raised a brow to see if she'd actually finish that sentence in public. She stopped for a second, then sighed. I pulled my journal off the edge of the table, glanced quickly once more at my sketch, then closed the book and put it in my bag sitting next to me. "He doesn't. Trust me. Just do me a favor an' treat him like you'd treat me. We both know that if it wasn't for him, y'wouldn't even know who I am. Give him th'respect he deserves, all right?"
Stephanie watched me, her jaw dropping. I knew that Steph didn't like Matt all that much because he wasn't wrapped around her finger like the rest of the locker room. Matt did deserve a lot of credit for getting us into the WWF, but I had been doing my little part to score us decent storylines. I looked up to Steph again, examining her eyes. She seemed a little nervous. It was almost as if she was afraid she'd pissed me off. I shrugged, pushing down the anger she'd just built in me, and put on a slight smile. Steph relaxed physically, and smiled back. "What're y'doin' here, Steph?"
She looked around, slightly paranoid, but turned back to me, smiling, after realizing that no one was paying attention to us. "You know."
"He went to the gym. But he could come back. I think we should go to your room."
"I don't think Matt would like that."
"I'm sorry, Steph, t'day's show was hard. I don't feel much like doin' anything t'night. I plan on crashin' early." I lied through my teeth, trying my best to feign exhaustion. I was pretty relaxed most of the time, luckily, so it was hard for people to tell when I was tired or not. Actually, after thinking about Adam for the past couple hours, I just knew that Steph wouldn't do it for me tonight.
Steph watched me for a minute, in shock, then her eyes narrowed. "Listen, I apologize for your brother. Is that what you want?"
"No, I'm serious, I'm tired, I'm not in th'mood."
"Fine!" She snapped quickly, almost hissing. "Maybe next time you are in the mood, I won't be."
I couldn't help but chuckle a little. Maybe she forgot that it's always her running to me, not vice versa. Besides, if I was really that desparate for a woman, I could always just talk to that twig Stacy Keibler. She had been trying to hit this from day one. I pushed that terrible image out of my mind and reached across the table, setting a hand on Steph's, looking her sincerely in the eyes. "I'm sorry, Steph, really, jus' not t'night. Please?"
She soften a bit, and sighed. "I'm sorry, Jeff, I don't mean to push you."
"S'ok," I smiled.
She nodded, resolutely, and smiled at me. "Ok, I'm going to go apologize to Matt, then go to the hotel. I'm in room 344 if you change your mind."
"I'll keep that in mind," I smiled, letting go of her hand. She smiled at me one last time, then went over to Matt, almost timidly. She pulled him away from a conversation with Amy and Lance. Matt listened to her, surprised, then smiled. After a second, she turned away and started to leave, casting me one last look goodbye. I shook my head as she walked out and turned my attention back to Adam and Jay. Adam was going full force and Jay was practically out of the conversation. It was also obvious that the woman's attention had shifted. Adam had done it again, that rat bastard. I almost felt bad for Jay, but I couldn't bring myself to do it when I knew that he was the reason Adam did it. Sure, it was shitty, but Adam was desparate.
"You're too much," Matt said, distracting me and sitting across from me again.
"Why's that?" I smiled, looking away from Adam and Jay to my brother. He was grinning from ear to ear.
"Stephanie McMahon jus' apologized f'bein' rude t'me," Matt said, almost laughing. I grinned and rolled my eyes. "It was all Amy an' Lance could do t'keep a straight face..."
"She's over th'top sometimes."
"Y'know, y'will get caught one of these days."
"Caught by who? Her father?"
I grinned at Matt smugly. "Prolly not."
"What makes y'so sure?"
"Let's jus' say he knows that it'll be a cold day in hell b'fore I sleep with a woman."
He looked at me confused for a second, then raised his brows in a comically surprised manner. A grin broke across his face and he started laughing. "Y'didn't."
"I did. Steph wanted a way t'make sure he'd never suspect us. So I hit on him."
"Y'never told me that!" Matt was laughing pretty hard now, and it was contagious. I couldn't help but laugh. "What happened?"
"I jus' asked him what he was doin' after th'show, an' suggested that we hit th'jacuzzi f' a while. Th'look on his face was priceless." Matt and I laughed for a second, then Matt shook his head at me.
"You'd think that with all y'know about everyone here, you'd actually try an' help someone out once in a while, instead of jus' playin' with their heads."
"What's th'fun in that?" I asked, smirking.
"Jus' t'be nice. Remember what that is?" Matt ribbed playfully.
"What d'you want me t'do? Fix Steph an' Paul's relationship? No one can do that, he jus' needs t'ditch her."
"Ok, maybe not that one. Maybe y'could have helped Pete and Torrie. That was unnecessary."
I shook my head. "Y'want me t'jus' go interrupt their conversation an' say, 'Sweetie, he's not cheatin' on you?' That wouldn't make her even more suspicious."
"All right, all right. There has t'be someone you could help..."
"You're always so fucking selfish, Adam! What the fuck did you do that for?! Just to prove that you could? You're such an asshole sometimes! Jesus Christ!"
The restaurant grew quiet for a moment, and all eyes turned to Adam and Jay. Jay finished diatribe, ripping Adam apart, and was looking to him for an answer. Adam just stood there, leaning against the wall next to the door, looking sheepish. After a second, the conversations started again, but I continued to watch Adam and Jay. Adam had done this to Jay millions of times before, but Jay had never fought back before. Adam sighed, then looked at Jay. It was harder to hear, he wasn't yelling at the top of his lungs. "Jay, I -"
Jay cut him off, sharply, at a more reasonable volume. "You know what? Fuck it, I don't even want to hear this. Fuck you, Adam. Fuck you."
As Jay walked away from the fight, I looked to Matt who raised a brow at me.
"Y'want me t'fix that?" I asked, surprised.
"Since y'seem t'know Adam so well." He shrugged, and looked back to Adam who was still leaning against the wall, frowning. Jay was at the bar, ordering a beer while Adam just watched him, regretfully, and slumped into an empty booth next to the door. "But I don't think y'can. That's a tough situation."
"Is that a challenge?" I asked, raising a brow myself. Matt smiled. He knew I was always willing to try.
"I'm jus' sayin'..."
"That y'think I can't do it. I'll do it. I'll break Adam of that habit. Jus' watch. By th'end of the week, they'll be best friends again."
Matt held up his hands, backing off, but flashing that impish Hardy smirk of ours. He was just as amused as me at my game of manipulating people, but doing it to good ends seemed more up his alley. "More power t'you, if y'can."
The smirk threw me off. "What are y'up to?"
"What?" Matt asked, still smirking at me.
"What's in it f'you?"
"Th'knowledge that my little brother isn't an asshole t'everyone? That he's capable of showin' common human decency every once in a while?"
I grinned. "Deal. But jus' 'cause I'm doin' this t'help them doesn't mean I have common human decency."
"At least I can pretend y'do," Matt grinned back. "Close 'nough."
"All right, but you'll have t'help a bit."
"Absolutely, what d'y'need?"
"Take Jay back t'th'hotel, let him crash with you an' Amy t'night. If he has t'stay with Adam, Adam might not make it t'mornin'. I'll stay with him."
Matt flashed me a chastising look. "Jeff..."
"All I promised was that I'd make them friends again by next week. In th'meantime.... he's fair game."
Matt sighed. "Fine, then I guess we'll be headin' back t'th'hotel. I'll take Jay back, 'cause I'm pretty sure that Adam drove here. Amy an' I'll get your stuff over t'Jay's room. Y'gonna be here f'a while?"
"A little while," I nodded.
"Ok. See y'later."
I watched Matt go over to Amy and talk to her for a minute. She looked over Matt's shoulder, saw me watching them, smiled at me, and waved bye. I smiled back, and she turned back to Lance, finishing her conversation quickly. Then she caught up to Matt, who'd already gone over to Jay. Jay looked up at him for a minute, looking slightly disgusted, and waved him away. Matt kept talking and Jay looked up at him again, slowly, then nodded with a sigh. He finished his beer, set down some money, and then got to his feet. Casting a quick, dirty glance to Adam as he passed, Jay followed Matt and Amy out the door. Adam watched him leave, looking very sorry. After a minute, Adam got to his feet and took the bar stool that Jay had just vacated. Time for me to make my move.
I got all my things together in my sling bag and went over to Adam. He had already ordered and polished off three quarters of cheap domestic beer. I sat down on the stool next to him, watching him. "Hey, Adam."
"Fuck off, Hardy, I'm not in the mood."
"Hey, I'm sorry about that shit with Jay. Matt an' I saw it, so Matt took Jay back t'th'hotel. So he wouldn't kill you," I explained as if he were a child. Adam looked up at me slowly, with daggers in his eyes.
"I supposed you mean Jay's rooming with Matt tonight?"
I nodded, attempting to repress a smirk.
"And you, I suppose, are staying with me?"
I nodded again, rather unsuccessfully trying to keep a straight face.
"No way, Hardy. Not going to happen. I know what you're trying to pull."
"Hey, we're jus' tryin' t'help."
"Matt, I believe. You, not so much. How is it that Jay gets to stay with Matt and I'm stuck with you?"
"Tryin' t'say something?" I asked, smirking unabashedly now. Adam just looked at me, annoyed, then finished his beer. I tried to set a comforting hand on his shoulder, but he jerked away quickly. "Bartender? Get this man another one."
"Hardy..." He didn't really have anything to say.
"Y'don't really get a choice in th'matter," I said, pouring the beer from the bottle to the glass diagonally with surprising expertise for a non-drinker. "Jay's already gone, an' with this option, there's no way he's gonna stay with you t'night."
Adam didn't respond, he just took the refilled glass away from me. He drank quickly, about a quarter of the glass in one drink. I think that was because he realized that he wasn't getting away from me tonight.
"What d'y'do with those girls, anyway?"
Adam smiled to himself, almost laughing. I suddenly realized that Adam had been drinking a little more than I thought already. "I get their phone numbers."
"Yeah, they think I'm such a gentleman 'cause I never try anything." He was grinning now, and I shook my head in disbelief. I, once again, almost felt bad for Jay, but remembered that Adam was the spurned lover as well, and smiled to myself. I guess it was kind of funny.
"What d'you do with th'phone numbers?"
Adam looked up at me slowly, getting angry again. Drunken mood swings, always fun. "What the fuck do you think I do with them? Post them all over the hotel rooms to mock Jay? I rip 'em up."
Hm. Interesting. "Where're y'keys, Adam?"
"You're not driving my car."
"Well, neither are you."
"Forget it, Hardy, take off. Go bug someone else. Is Kip busy tonight?"
Now that, that was low. Oh, he'd regret it later. I sat in silence, watching Adam. I don't know how he managed to sit on these bar stools all night. My back was killing me already, but maybe that was more from the swantons rather than the barstool. But I had to suck it up and wait for... well, for him to get just a little bit drunker. I looked around the bar and noticed that the other WWF guys had pretty much cleared out. It was just Adam and me now. I looked over to Adam briefly, and he was examining the bottom of his glass. I gestured to the bartender once again. He gave me a worried look, as if he thought Adam was drinking to much. I smiled.
"S'ok. I'm keepin' an eye on him."
The bartender just watched me, then set another bottle on the counter. This time, Adam slid the glass out of the way and picked up the bottle.
He didn't even bother looking at me this time, he just set his keys on the bar. I pocketed them quickly. "I hate you, Hardy."
"I know," I smiled, and waited again. I noticed a couple in the far corner of the restaurant. They were all over each other, as if they hadn't seen one another for a long time. After watching for a moment, I noticed that the man had on a wedding ring, but not the lady. Heh. I thought of Stephanie and wondered when the time would come for me to blow her cover to Paul. Not anytime soon, I had no reason yet.
"Last call." I turned back to the bartender. Adam, melancholy, just shook his head no. I smiled and the man set a bill on the counter. Just under fifteen bucks, no problem. I laid down the cash and a generous tip. Time to check on Adam. There was a thin line between lowered inhibition drunk and hammered. I was shooting for lowered inhibition drunk.
His body rose and fell with a deep sigh. "I didn't mean to hurt him like that, dammit."
Ah, now we were making progress. I tried setting my hand on his shoulder blade again. "Hey, it's all right, man. Come on, let's get you back t'th'hotel."
"Fuck," Adam muttered, and leaned towards me. I frowned slightly. Now I was starting to feel bad for him. I put an arm around him, holding onto him silently for a moment. The poor kid. As much as I tried to prevent it, a contented smile crossed my face and I stroked his hair soothingly. I'd make him feel better. After a moment, I tried to get him to his feet.
"C'mon, Adam, let's go."
He wasn't that drunk, he was able to walk mostly on his own. Between himself and the wall, he was doing ok. Definitely a good sign. We went out to his rental car and I made sure he made it into the passenger seat all right. I got into the driver's seat and started towards the hotel. Adam didn't say anything, so I kept checking on him. He wasn't passed out, he was just watching the telephone poles whiz by the window. "You all right, man?"
"That was stupid of me. I feel like shit."
"Drank too much?" I asked. He turned to me slowly with a dull look.
"You really don't drink?"
I laughed slightly. "Nope. Not really."
"I'm not really sure."
"No, it's not 'cause I drank too much," Adam finally answered, looking out the window.
Adam sighed. "I don't even know what compelled me to do that."
"Same thing that compels you every time?"
"Fuck you, Hardy."
"I'm jus' sayin'..."
"Yeah, I hear it. And I wish you'd stop."
"Hey, man, you're th'one doin' it. If y'wanna stop, stop."
Adam turned back to me, glaring once more. It actually wasn't a bad look for him. "You don't know what you're talking about."
"I think I know more than y'think I know."
"Unfortunately," Adam sighed, looking back out the window. I pulled into the hotel parking lot and turned off the car.
"Got your room key?"
Adam dug around in his pocket and pulled out the plastic card. He examined it for a second. "Room... 342, I think."
Damn. Just my luck. I was pretty sure I could avoid Steph, though. I hoped she was asleep. I didn't want to deal with her. "C'mon, let's go."
Adam and I got out of the car, I locked the doors, and we went towards the hotel. Adam fumbled with the outer door lock for a minute until I got over there and took his hand. He looked up at me quickly, but didn't pull his hand away. Definitely a good sign. I slid the key out from his fingers and swiped it through the lock. He sighed and mumbled, "Thanks."
"Jeff, I'm sorry I'm being an asshole," Adam started as we walked into the building, "and I appreciate you trying to help, but I'll be fine. You can stay in your room tonight."
"Right," I answered, sarcastically. I don't know where this came from, but I smirked. "I can share a bed with Jay."
That was for the Kip comment. Adam looked up at me quickly and his eyes darkened. But even in his slightly intoxicated state, he tried to hide it. "Fine, whatever. Stay in my room."
I chuckled and we found the elevator. Within seconds, I was using Adam's key to open the door to room 342. There was no one in the halls, as it was relatively late. Adam was leaning on me again, his forearm resting on my shoulder. I heard the doorknob next door, 344, turn and tensed involuntarily. I was pleased to see Paul come out of the room. He saw Adam and I and raised an eyebrow, slightly surprised. I could milk this for what it was worth. Adam, likewise surprised, quickly dropped his arm and went into the room. Paul was frozen, his hand still on the door. Using an old standard, the arched brow, I invited him to join us. He wasn't my type, too big, but this was still fun. He rejected my offer by remaining thoroughly frightened and motionless. I winked at him, smiling, and followed Adam, shutting the door behind me. That should sufficiently keep him from mentioning this to Steph. I grinned to myself.
"Sweet Jesus," I heard Adam moan as he collapsed prone onto a bed.
"Fine, fine. See ya in the morning, Jeff."
I walked over to the lamp between the beds and flipped on the light. "Y'gonna sleep in that?"
"Yeah," Adam mumbled. I couldn't really tell if he was acting like this from the alcohol or self pity. Sighing and sitting on the end of the bed next to Adam, I tugged my shoes off and tossed them into a corner. I noticed that Matt had brought my things up and set them on the other bed. Adam's stuff, on the other hand, was sitting on the table by the window. I slid off my socks, as well, and tossed those onto my shoes. Casting one more glance at Adam, I pulled my shirt up over my head and tossed that in the corner, too. Getting off the end of the bed, I started tugging at Adam's shoes, too.
"Jesus, Jeff, what are you doing?"
"Y'can't sleep with y'shoes on..."
"Sure I can."
I smiled and pulled the first shoe off, then the second. Adam rolled over tiredly, leaning back on his elbows, and looked up at me with the faintest hint of a smile. I smiled at him, but he didn't really move. Following his glance, I looked down at my bare chest to see what he was looking at, then looked back to him with a smirk.
"Jeff, come on. Just go to sleep."
Right, that was going to happen. I climbed onto the bed, kneeling over Adam. He had a slight look of surprise in his eyes, but he didn't try to move. I think I'd found that perfect drunk and horny level. I put my hands on his waist and tugged his shirt up over his head. Adam tensed when I touched him, but still didn't move - just enough to let me take the shirt off. Closing my eyes, I leaned in for a soft kiss. I wasn't exactly sure what was going to happen, but one thing was for sure. When he kissed me back, I knew I'd won.