The argument had started in the bar of the hotel and soon gotten out of control. He was tired of Zeke sniping at him, accusing him of holding everyone down while he was only ever on the up. John had tried to reason with Zeke but it was no good. The hands started to fly and he only stopped swinging his fists when an arm locked hard around his throat, dragging him off balance and pulling him backwards. The red mist had descended and it was only the lack of air getting into his burning lungs that had made him calm down.

He didn't know who had hold of him until his senses levelled out and he glanced down, catching sight of the heavily inked limb that was restraining him. Orton. Always the first to get in the middle of his business, always interfering. John was almost as tired of him as he was of Zeke. It was like whatever the situation was Randy would be there making his presence felt. He breathed steadily and let his body go limp to the point where Randy would let go. Once the arm had loosened John shook himself free and turned on his heel, elbowing Randy out of his way. He watched as Randy stumbled backwards into the wall at the entrance to the bar and, with a disdainful air, scowled at the younger man and let himself out through the glass panelled door.

Forcing his way through the group of those just checking in John marched onwards towards the elevators, fully intent on locking himself in his room for the night and ignoring any attempts to make him do otherwise. Two or three aggressive finger jabs at the up button were enough to illuminate it but not to bring the car back down to the ground floor before Orton could track him down.

"Just what the fuck do you think you're doing Cena? You want Zeke to hand your ass to you, go ahead and do it. Step toe to toe with a man bigger and less of a beaten up wreck than you, let's see how that works out."

The words were a red rag to the barely controlled raging bull that was snorting steam just behind his eyes. In a split second they were nose to nose and John's fists were balled at his sides, the last shreds of his temper close to being non-existent.

"Yeah, Randy. You come and tell me what it's like to be a little fiery. You'd know all about it. Mr 'I can't keep my hands to myself', Mr 'I fight other people's battles'. Well, here's a newsflash for you, man. I don't need you watching my back. I don't need you draggin' me out of fights like some dirt cheap roadhouse security."

With the ping of the elevator bell John walked backwards, not looking if anyone was trying to leave the car but being fortunate enough that at that time of night most people were already tucked up in bed. His attention was taken by the panel of neon lit buttons which he pressed vigorously without anything happening. A further angry prod at the floor number left him with one hand on the nape of his freshly shorn neck, firmly on the verge of losing his temper with whichever member of the docile staff crossed his path when he'd be forced to go to reception to report the fault.

A few seconds later and the doors were closing and John had no idea how until he saw Randy was stood beside him, smug grin in place and his arms crossed.

"Helps if you swipe your card Cena. Seems like you're not used to staying in a more upmarket environment. I think the jean shorts give that much away."

The words sounded self-satisfied and so they were. Randy didn't care for his ability to get under John's skin as much as his ability to be right most of the time. His travels had seen him experience plenty of high end hotels and it hadn't escaped his attention that John rarely stayed in the same places as him. He would get the most he could in his contract negotiations towards his trans, accommodation and notional per diems but John hadn't got the background or the advisers behind him to help with the bartering. John was the guy who smiled and signed just because he was so pleased that he'd been presented with a new contract. Randy found it as endearing as he did utterly naïve. John was like him; beat down and therefore beat up; finally on the home stretch of his career in the main event. Their main difference was that Randy was determined that he wouldn't be run into the ground or made to work past when he wanted to. He arranged his affairs to ensure that he got maximum reward for his efforts, something his father had impressed on him the day he first walked through the doors at OVW.

He couldn't help but stare at the twitchy and rather sullen looking man across from him. Long gone were the days when they'd been best friends and he rued and regretted that their bridges had been so badly burnt. Legacy had come between them at first and as Vince and Hunter primed John for his inevitable backstage role he spent less and less time travelling with the rest of the roster and more time on the company jet. That resulted in John's back being full of knives except when Randy was in earshot. Despite the gulf that had grown between them he'd never stopped caring about the man he believed knew him the best. Not even his lovers had been privy to the real Randy Orton. It was that concern for John on a deeper level that drove him to keep interfering, to mind the arguments and bust ups that seemed to find their way to John whether he was looking for them or not. Something wouldn't let him stay away.

John wasn't enjoying the slow ride in the elevator. His ability to pretend that he wasn't aware of Randy's gaze boring into him was poor and his eyes constantly flickered between the floor numbers as they lit in turn, his battered sneakers and the denim clad legs of his colleague. He wanted nothing more than for the doors to open and let him out, the tension in the small space sparking every time the muscles in his hands flexed and bounced. Part of him wanted to turn and tell Randy to leave him alone, to back off and give him the space to breathe. The other part still had a vague recollection of how it used to be and wouldn't let him stamp out the last burning embers left behind. Randy had chosen his allegiances a few years ago and that hurt was still prickling under John's skin. He didn't see that anything could change that.

Eventually the doors opened and he ducked through them, heading in the direction of his room and clearly eager to get away. Once he got there John pulled the keycard from his pocket and swiped it through the reader. The door didn't open. He sighed, waited for the lights to reset and did it again. Still nothing. His already tried patience was wearing even thinner and he reached up to yank the cap off his head, rubbing his palm over the stubbly hair that sat under it. He tried the handle to make sure that he wasn't imagining things but it was still locked. With a resigned sounding sigh he swiped the card once more but again the red light came on. The glowing light was much like the mist that was descending over him and a forceful kick was the next action he took. His foot connected with the bottom of the solid panel, resonating in the hallway like a gunshot but having no effect on the door itself. Another followed, just as loud and ineffectual as the first.

"Hey Cena, you need a hand?"

Taking a mere second to breathe deeply John spun his head around to see Randy leaning against the far wall of the hallway, arms crossed across his chest and a smug smile plastered on his face. John had never been a fan of being patronised and he had to credit Randy with picking the worst time and place to have a crack at doing just that to him.

"Fuck you, Orton. What are you doing here anyway? Isn't your room on the next floor up?"

Randy stared into the chest of the man before him, refusing to make the precious eye contact that he new John based all his reactions and smart comments on. If John couldn't get a read on someone he was immediately on the back foot; one precious piece of information Randy had always kept to himself.

"Yeah. I guess I didn't feel like leaving our conversation on such a low note when you almost shoved me through a wall after I saved you from a beating. Then you never said thank you for my getting the elevator to work. See, Cena, you've changed. What happened to your manners?"

"What do you want Randy? A thank you? Well here you go. Thanks for making the fucking elevator work. Thanks for being so worried that you had to interfere as usual. Thanks for nothing."

John turned his attention back to the door and slotted the card into the swipe again but felt himself freeze when a hand appeared over his own, slender fingers locking around his wide wrist. Before he had a chance to argue the force of the hand was pulling his back and the card out of the reader. After some swift manoeuvring he found his hand turned by 180 degrees and the card in the reader the opposite way round. Slowly his arm was guided to the bottom and the green light flashed twice as the lock clicked itself open. The fingers unfurled and grabbed the door handle, pushing the door open before resting on the wood above John's head. Randy was using his height advantage to full effect and that only served to make John angrier still.

"I'll ask you again. What do you want? What's all this about Randy, huh? So I couldn't open a door and you're some smart ass that can do it first time. So what? Just go back to your room and get out of my damn face. I'm done with having a babysitter at my age."

Even as the door began to close in front of him Randy kept his position in the doorway. He couldn't help but smile. It was a long time since he and John had spent that much time in each other's company outside the ring, let alone talking to each other. The heated tension between them was delicious and distressing at the same time and the sadist in him wanted to make it even worse. The pacifist in him had long since been beaten into submission when it came to John and the fire the older man lit under him.

"I'm not here to babysit you John. You of all people should know that's far, far from my style. You might recall that, albeit some time ago, you and I used to be friends. I had your back as much as you had mine. Now I'm not saying either of us need it but I'm not going to stand by and watch your mouth talk you into fights that you and your bad neck haven't a hope of winning," The door clicked shut as Randy spoke but he wasn't going to let that stop him getting things off his chest. Much to his regret it seemed easier to talk to the door than the man who had just passed through it. "I don't know what your problem is, why these guys want to kick your teeth down your throat but I sure as hell want to know what's gone wrong with you. Where's the Cena that used to have a smile and a joke for everyone? What happened to the crazy guy from Boston that used to chase me out of the arena naked with a camera for a rib? The guy that took the rookies under his wing and was everyone's best friend. Where did he go John, just where did he go?"

At that precise moment Randy was glad that there was nobody else in the hallway. It appeared that although their company had taken over the upper levels of the hotel most of them were still putting serious money in the till of the bar downstairs. His accusations echoed away against the bland magnolia walls and he was about to leave when the door swung open and there was John, cap and keycard discarded onto the dresser that sat inside the entrance to the suite. This time Randy gave John direct eye contact. He meant every word of what he'd said and wasn't intending on apologising for any of it. Somewhere in the hollowed out shell of a man was his best friend and against his better judgement he had made the decision to try and bait him out of it.

"You want to know where he went? He headed for the hills a long time ago when he had nothing left to care about. You want to know why? He got sick of being the go-to-guy that had nobody around when he needed a favour. He got tired of putting over seven new guys only to watch them shit on him and all the guys who'd gone before him. You wanna know what's there in his place then take a good hard look at me Randy. This is what, no, this is who I am now. Cold, ruthless, uncaring; ring any bells?"

With a sarcastic smile on his face John expected Randy to walk away, just like all that time ago when certain choices were made. What he didn't expect was the fist that came in his direction and connected squarely with his jaw, knocking his head to one side and his coherency out of kilter altogether.

When he finally regained some composure he found himself slumped shoulder first against the wall and Randy rubbing at the knuckles of his right hand. He didn't need to open his mouth to ask what it had been for, the hurt expression on his aching face enough to do that on his behalf.

"You're not surprised at that John surely? You might live this business like it's your life but don't get me confused as someone who does that too. In these eyes," Randy gestured towards his face. "In these eyes there's a coldness that I take to the ring that gets me over. It's the reason I am where I am. If you bothered to be around to see me when I'm outside the ring then you'd realise, just like years ago, there's a human in here, a person you used to know when you had the time. I'm sorry John but it's not my fault if you've lost touch with who I am as much as you have with who you are."

Initially the words spoken made John start to wonder how true they were but he soon dismissed them. He knew that there had been a couple of choices to be made by both of them and somewhere along the line those decisions had panned out to be better for their careers but a whole world worse for their friendship and any potential relationship. It was something neither man had talked about to anyone else. The years of hurt were enough to ensure a silence like no other and it had been maintained perfectly up until the moment the punch had landed.

His eyes stayed locked with Randy's as he straightened himself up until he was firmly planted back on two feet. He rubbed at the sore spot on the side of his chin even though it only made it hurt all the more. The words he wanted to say refused to form an orderly queue, let alone a sentence, but he didn't want to stay silent and say nothing. He couldn't leave the statement unanswered, no matter whether he agreed with parts of it or not.

Randy however took the initiative, moving forwards into the room just far enough for the door to slowly close behind him. He didn't want any further rinsing of their dirty laundry to go off in clear earshot of anyone that knew them. Nobody had known about what they could've had, both men bright enough to know that until they were the top of the pile that their positions weren't safe. In what he considered a risky move he reached out his hand and went to touch the bright red point of contact where his punch had landed. By the time his hand was three quarters of the way there he'd met no resistance but it wasn't until his fingers could all but feel the slight stubble on John's chin that he found it being slapped away. The rejection was expected but he'd let himself believe that even being allowed to stay inside the room was progress. Maybe he did need to learn to be a little more patient.

"John, you know how things are with us. This is how they've always been. Always will be. We fight, we get over it."

The tone of the words wasn't pleading or pathetic. More matter of fact. It was the plain and simple truth of who they were to each other. After five years of dancing around the issue their first kiss had followed a brawl outside the back of a motel. Neither had admitted to leaning in, to making the first move but millimetres from lip to lip contact the fists had flown, neither man confident enough that he was reading the situation properly to take the chance. It wasn't until they found themselves bathed in ditch water and flecked with gravel that the kiss happened, the one that changed everything. There hadn't been a night of passion or any repeat performances. From that day on it had been clear what their connection was and it scared the hell out of both of them. Everything was different but for a while at least they somehow managed to pretend that it was the same.

John's head spun with memories and TV movie style flashbacks. He saw Randy's face with the dirty water running down it hovering just above his own, he felt the sting of that first forbidden contact all over again. His jaw ached but he was convinced that had he let Randy touch it that it would have been the start of more. The fingers would turn into lips and then the lips into the soft flesh below the ever impressive hip dents. On that nights on the road when he couldn't sleep and resorted to jacking off rather than pills it was always Randy's imagined body that would be pressed against his own, his skin that John's mouth would be exploring.

"We get over it?" The laughter in John's voice wasn't intentional but he didn't have time to stop it before it started. He didn't really find their situation all that funny. "Randy we used to be inseparable and one kiss did this to us. You're like a bad penny and all because I was through with being second best. Gimme a break, man."

"You seriously think you were second best John? Maybe you should let me know who took your spot cos I sure as hell don't know."

The silence between them felt an eternity longer than it really was and the confused expression on both their faces did little to help.

"Don't bullshit me Randy. You had your two guys and they did everything for you and were everything to you. Nobody could talk to you, them... shit, I tried so hard to be around but you were a closed group. Nobody in and nobody out. I watched my best friend turn his back on me and all because you got hooked on the high of bossing those two kids around. We had one kiss. One kiss Randy, that's all it was. Enough to make me disappear to you. Well I'm sorry. I can't-"

"Wait, you think this is about that night? John," Rubbing his face with the palms of both his hands Randy bought himself a few moments to process what had been said and what he wanted to say. "I tried to talk to you and you shut me down at every turn. I couldn't talk to you and find out what the hell that night meant and the more you pushed me away the more I thought you could go fuck yourself. Ted and Cody are good guys but I never laid a finger on either of them, I got a warning from both their fathers about that courtesy of Poppa Orton. I'm not going to lie and say there haven't been others but not Ted and not Cody. Not ever."

"So if you weren't in a thing with them why'd you get so upset when they split you guys up again?"

Randy smiled, somewhat wistfully, and the tiny lines around his eyes gathered, the way the light caught his eyes softened the flint colour with a rarely seen tint of pale blue.

"Because without them I had nobody around that meant anything to me. You were gone and they were next out the door. I was done with them, creative was done with us as a stable. C'mon John you know how this all works. You warned me that it was lonely at the top. I guess you were right."

The painfully honest answer was the equivalent of a slap in the face for John. He'd added two and two together and made fourteen from the whole situation. Having never gotten to know Ted and Cody he had no idea that their eyes were only for each other or that they always had been and would be. They'd given Randy the close contact and friendship that he had lost once and so he fought hard not to lose it again despite what creative had planned. John was slowly coming to realise that the vulnerable side of him was mirrored in Randy; the latest in a long line of similarities they had that had always been as much in danger of keeping them apart as bringing them back together.

"So now you're back to hanging around me because they're gone, Is that it?"

The indignant look on John's face was like a fuel to the fire of Randy's volatile nature and he charged forward, grabbing a handful of John's t-shirt and slamming him into the wall. Ordinarily John had the beating of him every day of the week but when the rage in his brain was triggered there was no stopping him. Randy didn't fear the repercussions as there wouldn't be any, everyone knew to handle his attitude with kid gloves, especially his ex-best friend who had felt the brunt end of it more than most.

"No, John. That's not it. Think what you like but I watch out for you because I'm the last person in this company, hell maybe the last person walking this planet, that gives a fuck about the asshole you're turning into."

By the time Randy finished speaking his eyes were wide and his chest rose and fell rapidly, his anger combining with a desire to make John understand. He had no idea where the man he knew before had gone and how he'd been replaced with someone he he barely recognised. His muscles stayed tense to the point of high alert, expecting a fist to find his face or a knee into his balls. Instead all he found were two cold and empty crystalline blue eyes staring back into his, as emotionless as they had ever been.

Behind those eyes raged conflict; anger and desperation met with confusion and embarrassment. John had long assumed that his place in Randy's life had been taken by the younger men and he hadn't listened hard enough to know that he'd been wrong. After extricating himself from his closest friendships he dove headlong into his career to fill the gaps in his time where real people should be. Every day was a cycle of work, eat, train and sleep with little deviation. He no longer knew what a day off was because he didn't need them. There was nobody there to share that time with so why not give it to Vince or some sick kids. If it was that or loneliness there wasn't much of a choice to make.

What struck him most was the passion with which Randy had taken him to task, the younger man clearly enraged and frustrated. John wished he had the words to explain himself, the humility to say that he was paranoid that he wasn't enough anymore and that it was easier to get out of the game than to carry on playing it. His clarity of thought was derailed by the scent of a familiar cologne that drifted up, Randy so close to him that by the time they were separated he would probably smell of it too. Unable to stifle his smile John looked away, needing to concentrate on something else entirely.

"This isn't funny John."

"I know, alright, I know. I'm not laughing just... you still wear the same cologne. No matter where I smell it, it always reminds me of you."

Randy's stunned silence reflected exactly how he felt. He was trying to salvage what was left of their friendship and all John could do was play Queer Eye over his aftershave. Releasing his hand from the bunched fabric he stepped back, shaking his head and trying to fathom what to say. Instead he chose to simply turn his back and head for the door, deciding that he would be better trying to get through to John some other time.

Seconds later and Randy found himself being spun around by a hand planted firmly on his shoulder. Before he had a chance to object or establish what was going on both of John's hands were clasped around the sides of his face, holding him steady but much more tenderly than he first thought. In John's face was a look of pleading, like he was wordlessly asking a complicated question that he hoped Randy would be able to answer for him.

"John, talk to me."

The words were little more than a rumble, a gentle urging for John to open up, to let Randy know what was going on.

"I don't want to talk. Not yet."

Tilting his head to one side John moved closer, closing the gap between their two bodies until there was barely a hair's breadth keeping them apart. He closed his eyes leaned in, pressing his warm lips against Randy's in the hope that the connection of that night so long ago could start to get back in touch with who he really was.

Randy knew what was coming the second after the warmth of John's hands overrode the cool skin of his cheeks. His heart had begun to race in anticipation of what might happen but when he felt the soft insistence of John's mouth against his own all reason deserted him absolutely. He didn't know if he was misleading John by kissing him back but it was an automatic reaction to do so. Gone was the tang of a bloodied split lip and traces of dirt that had tainted their first kiss. Instead as his lips parted all he found was the sweet traces of bourbon lingering as he got his first proper taste of the most forbidden fruit.

Soon enough the slow and careful kiss had picked up pace and turned into a hungry plundering of each other's mouths. Randy took the lead and moved his hands from where they'd settled on John's waist around to the buckle of the belt that secured the cheap jean shorts in place. The adrenaline made him bold enough to undo it and then slide the denim down over the round ass and thick hips, feeling John step out of them when they hit the floor.

The favour was returned almost straight away and John noticed how Randy offered as little resistance as he had. Once Randy was in his more recognisable trouserless state John tugged the close fitting t-shirt up and over the shorn head, realising how unfamiliar he had become with the perfect physical form hidden beneath the clothes he'd removed.

Their kiss broken, both men stood staring at one another. Neither moved until Randy raised an eyebrow and John took the hint, pulling his t-shirt off in the usual way which meant he hardly had to break their eye contact as he threw it aside. With a lop sided grin he tugged his boxer shorts down and kicked them off, stepping towards Randy as if he was going to do the same for him. Instead he brought his hands up and pushing the taller man squarely in the chest.

The force sent Randy flying backwards onto the soft mattress of the bed where he sprawled with his arms out at his sides. Not wanting to be bettered he soon slipped his own underwear down and off before propping himself on one elbow. The brazen side of his nature took over with no prompting and as John stared down at him he curled the fingers of his free hand around his shaft and started to work himself rhythmically.

"You wanna play rough Cena, huh?"

"Maybe a little. You know I'm just showing you I can handle myself."

"John, you might wanna have a rethink on who's handling business the best right now."

Randy did little more than grin and pause his actions to move himself into a more comfortable and conventional position on the bed. His back propped against the wall he watched as John grabbed lube and a condom from the nearby washbag and threw them onto the bottom of the bed. The assumption took him by surprise but in the best possible way. If he could use fucking as a way to rediscover the warm yet powerfully animalistic side of his friend then they both had something to gain from the encounter. Resuming his enthusiastic self pleasuring he caught sight of John's narrowed eyes and, without realising, licked his lips, the pink blade of flesh flicking over them and leaving a film of much needed moisture behind.

"Are you puttin' on a show or you want to finish what we started the right way?"

"You tell me John. You're the one that took my clothes off and shoved me ass first on the bed. If you want me, well, I'm here. What is it you say? If you want some..."

Closing his eyes Randy waited for John to react to the gentle mocking, not caring whether it was a curled fist or probing fingers that reached him first. He knew that soon enough one of them would be getting aggressively pounded and a second split lip at the hands of John Cena wouldn't deter him from getting what secretly he had always wanted.

Feeling more alive that he had for a long time John crawled onto the end of the bed, using one hand to support his weight as he stroked his erection idly with the other one. He bit his way up Randy's thigh first, tugging wherever there was enough give to do so. Slowly he moved forwards, nipping and sucking along a haphazard path until he was at eye level with a hard nipple. The tip of his cock bobbed and bounced against Randy's ass, slipping against the darkly tanned skin as the few pearls of opaque fluid leaked out. He took the nipple in his mouth and bit at it, dragging the engorged nub up with his teeth before pushing it back with his tongue. Randy groaned underneath him and that was enough to make his cock twitch hard and demand to play a bigger role.

Although the loss of the pleasure pain was disappointing Randy couldn't help but be excited by the sight that greeted his barely open eyes. John was slipping the condom over his cock and dribbling lube all over it like he was putting sauce on a sundae. It stood proud against an abdomen of pure muscle that didn't need to be perfectly ridged to be as tough as they came. John was thick and masculine and that was just what Randy wanted. He didn't need romance and caresses, not yet anyway. All that was needed was the sense of connection, the cleansing that he knew would come with sweating and groaning through until they were both wrecked and that was what he intended to have.

Without further ado Randy stopped jerking himself and extended his hand, inviting John closer. As he got closer Randy grabbed the wrist of the hand John had used to spread the lube over his cock and guided it down between his spread legs until it was wedged firmly between the cheeks of his ass. Grinding against the intrusion he felt two fingers slip straight inside him, more a sign of the amount of lube still available than any slackness on his behalf.

"Don't make me wait John, I'm not a patient man."

With that permission John sunk his fingers in up to the knuckle, loving the way Randy arched up against him. The sudden intrusion was either bliss or misery but the reaction gave nothing away. Sliding his hand backwards and forwards soon revealed all as Randy pressed his head harder into the pillows and groaned throatily.

"And I'm not patient when it comes to you. I waited too long Randy. We waited too long. Now we're gonna make up for lost time."

Withdrawing his fingers John quickly lined himself up and pushed inside, breaching the tight pucker that had been barely loosened by his fingers. As he leaned forward he didn't stop rocking his hips, working his way inside with all intentions of being fully seated when his mouth met Randy's. Inch by wide inch he slid in, the plentiful lube warming and making he noises in the room all the more obscene.

By the time Randy felt rough kisses peppering his neck and jawline he was clawing the sheets, frustrated by the slow pace being set. He wanted fast and rough, dirty and sleazy and it hadn't happened so far. John was being too careful and he didn't want that. Whether it hurt, made him bleed or just made him burst all over his belly he didn't care. No amount of kind consideration was going to cut it.

"John... you've got to give me everything you've got..."

"But Randy, we're only just getting into it and..." John hesitated, not sure what Randy could truly take but not wanting to disappoint. The last thing he wanted to do was ruin the moment by snapping Randy in half.

"Just fuck me. If, as you say, I have waited too long then make this worth the wait. Gimme the John Cena who knocked me over on my ass in a parking lot just for a chance to kiss me."

John needed no further encouragement than the lowly spoken words, putting all his weight on his arms and moving faster. Soon he had reached a piston like pace, using the strength in his hips to pin Randy down as he slammed into him. Arms encircled his neck and Randy pulled him down into a kiss that seemed unending, their tongues duelling as both of them struggled for dominance and breath. The force moved their bodies up and down on the bed in unison, John's forearms flexing and straining as he unleashed the pent up frustration from deep inside.

Breaking the kiss to breathe John let his head hang low, concentrating on controlling himself to make it last as long as possible. Moving only his eyes he saw the vision that was Randy, head sunken into a deep pillow, face contorted as he took everything John had to give. He had never seen anything more alluring or beautiful than the straining curve of Randy's neck as tiny drops of perspiration rolled down the valleys between the corded peaks. Bitten and marked thighs were clamped around his body and John closed his eyes and prayed he could last. Mentally he tried every trick in the book to hold back the crashing release that seemed only moments away as he continued to revel in the who and the how.

Tensing every muscle from waist to toe Randy was trying to start what John was desperate to stop. He was ready to feel John's weight crashing down on him, to hear the gasping for breath as his body sucked John dry of everything he had from oxygen to coherence to cum. He had waited too long but it seemed somehow worth it if he could give of himself and take from John all he'd ever desired. As firmly as the quickfire thrusts would allow he clenched and unclenched internally, knowing that the growling and cursing he could hear marked the beginning of the end.

One of his hands snook down between their bodies and slipped around his aching cock, the friction between them not quite enough to get him off. Their bodies weren't flush together but the perfect fit would come in time, practice would see to that. All he did was hold his hand steady and let John's movement force him through his curled fingers, feeling wanton yet incredibly alive as he drifted off into that moment of pure pleasure. Releasing his grip Randy let it happen, sinking his fingers into the back of John's neck as he convulsed and came. With a low groan he pressed the small of his back down onto the bed and felt John stop dead.

All John could see, hear and feel was white. White heat in his groin as he lost it, the tight passage trapping him as he lost the power to move. Inside Randy felt like the place in the world he most belonged, the most right he'd ever felt. As the adrenaline deserted him his muscles began to tingle and shake. It was the two strong palms that rubbed softly at his biceps that coaxed him to take the strain off his arms and lie against the flushed chest below him. Resting his head on Randy's shoulder he withdrew carefully to be able to stretch out his aching legs, his body going limp in the process.

"I'm sorry Randy."

"Sorry for what?"

"Everything. Being an asshole. Not doing this earlier. And not lasting longer, but mainly being such an asshole."

Using the last of his energy to his advantage Randy somehow managed to roll them over so that he was on top, anxious to let John's body relax before some pretty nasty and unsexy bouts of cramp set in. He stared down at John and made sure to store the details of the spent and sated look for future private moments. It had taken a while but once they had shared that pure togetherness he didn't see how they could go back to it being any other way.

"Shut your mouth John. I don't wanna hear apologies. It does nothing for my sex drive."

"But-"

"No buts, I've heard enough of them. We're either doing this and you're going to man up or we're not and we can go back to glaring at each other backstage every night. Your call."

"I can't go back to that but you have to give me some space, stop being my shadow."

With a shake of his head Randy signalled his answer.

"No chance. You might be super Cena in the ring but Zeke still wants to wear your teeth for a necklace. You stop pissing people off and I'll give your request due consideration."

Unable to stop himself laughing at the telling off he'd just received John smiled as wide and genuine a grin as he could remember. Slowly coming back to him was the memory of the easy way he and Randy used to have. The sense of how good it used to be as friends gave him hope that as lovers they could get back to and go beyond that.

"Okay, okay. If I've got to have a bodyguard it might as well be you I suppose. I don't pay well though, I'm warning you now."

Bringing his hand up Randy ran one finger along John's kiss bruised bottom lip. A wicked smirk crossed his face as he pulled it apart from it's upper companion, the small gesture indicating just how remuneration would be sought.

"Oh you will John, I'm sure you will."


A/N: So, this has taken me almost two months to complete due to dodgy arm-ness! Here's hoping it turned out okay as that break in the train of thought has been a big one!

Title inspired by an appropriate song – Knock You Out – Tiesto & Emily Haines

All reads and reviews appreciate as always :)