Kofi patted his friend on his back. He was proud that Punk finally did what had to be done; he just hoped that there weren't any other obstacles in the way except for little Miss. AJ. He was aware of the fact that Punk was head over heels for this girl but he honestly thought that their match was a match made in hell and it was highly unlikely that they were going to be together anytime soon. He kept his private thoughts to himself though, because he didn't want to discourage his friend after all that he'd been through. He was already preparing himself for the worst and he knew he was going to be there when AJ Lee told Punk to hit the road.
"So what are we going to do now?" Kofi said, tapping his finger on his chin.
"I'm going to get that tub of ice-cream from the freezer and eat my feelings away." Punk had trouble showcasing his true emotions despite his previous break down in hysterics episode.
Kofi chuckled and shook his head as CM Punk took out a spoon from the drawer. "You're acting like a 16 year old teenage girl who just got dumped for the first time."
"Unless you want to be left in New Jersey Kofi, shut the hell up." Punk winked at his friend and went at the back carrying a sealed strawberry ice cream tub ready to be devoured. He heard the 'click' of the lock being turned and for a second there, he was afraid that he might do something stupid but then again this was CM Punk and CM Punk could take care of himself without anybody's help.
It was Monday night and AJ arrived at the arena 3 hours before the show started. The seats were already being filled with eager fans and she discreetly made her way backstage avoiding eye contact with anyone. She didn't want to see or talk to anybody, even though she had to face about 2,000 of screaming fans later that day but that was another thing.
She was still hurt and the wound in her heart was still fresh but she was learning to deal with it the best way she could. She vowed to herself to never fall for a guy, especially if that guy was working in the same company as she was and she was immediately reminded that she was going to have another segment with Punk tonight. Business is business, she reassured herself, there was no point in pulling her hair out over it. It wasn't like she could just go to the creative team and ask them to ditch the storyline all because of her feelings. They would laugh right at her face and so she was going to be professional about it, like she should be, and pull it off like it's nothing.
She got her things settled in the diva's locker room which was still empty. She knew that Kaitlyn was going to be little late but the others should arrive in a couple of minutes or so. She'll know when she'll hear a lot of noise coming from outside. The other divas loved to travel together, but AJ always felt like the odd one out so she preferred going solo rather than pretend to be all girly all the time just to get a free ride, even though it seemed tempting sometimes.
There was a knock on the door and she reluctantly made her way to open it. "Here are your lines." A guy wearing a head set told her. She took the small booklet from his hands and thanked him.
She sat down with the book in her hands and stared at the front page. She sighed in frustration, not really looking forward to what the book had in store for her. She slowly flipped it open and went through the pages which had everything that was scheduled for that day. After she turned to page 20, she found her segment with Punk and skimmed it thoroughly. It was about 4 pages long and she calculated that it was going to take almost 15 minutes of air time. That was odd.
With furrowed brows she went back to the beginning and quickly read it. CM Punk was going to try and make her "join the dark side" if you will and she was going to slap him and say that she was never going to turn her back on the WWE Universe.
"So far so good." She mumbled at herself and she turned to the next page.
And that's where she realized that she had spoken too soon. "What the hell is this?" Blood rushed to her head and she was starting to look like a pumpkin, oh she was furious. "This can't be happening, no!" she pleaded as her eyes were darting from left to right reading everything in one breath. She felt as though she was about to cry, but she choked back the tears.
She stomped her way out of the locker room to find someone that was responsible for writing this garbage.
"Hey you!" she called out to the guy that handed her the script and he turned around with a confused look on his face. She walked up to him and looked up, "Who wrote this?" She lifted up the script and waved it in front of his face.
"Why, what's wrong with… it?" He took a step back afraid of the little petite diva that she might pull on something on him.
"Who gave it to you?"
"I don't know, I'm just doing my job! This is my second week here; please don't do anything to me!" He said with his voice cracking after each word he spoke. He lifted his arms to cover his face.
"Relax, I'm not going to do anything to you!" AJ Lee rolled her eyes at the young boy. He had blonde spiky hair and green eyes. Punk had green eyes. He was wearing a Randy Orton t-shirt complete with a pair of dark blue jeans.
"What's your name?"
"Well Michael, tell whoever gave you this goddamn script that I'm not doing it!"
"What's wrong with it?"
"I will NOT turn heel!"
He raised an eyebrow and quietly asked, "What's a heel?"
"Jesus, they're literally hiring anyone now are they!?"
She left Michael dumb founded and she went around in search for someone who actually knew what was going on. She found the door where some of the creative team were staying at and she knocked three times. A bald man came out and he gave one look at AJ, "Yes?"
"What is this? I will not be turning heel and join Punk! This is absurd! What about my fans! No, I can't!" She was starting to freak out and her eyes were getting puffy. She didn't want to cry especially in front of someone who could easily tell Vince McMahon to fire her and she nervously bit at her bottom lip.
"Listen, I'm sorry it's affecting you badly, but the script isn't going to change as far as I know. We'll see how it works out and if it doesn't, we'll just make it look like you were off your rocker big time and you 'll somehow get mentally stable again or whatever." He took the script from her hands and found her segment.
"But I'm the Raw GM; you can't do this to me! I have responsibilities!"
"But as from today on, your responsibility is to keep that belt on CM Punk and of course you have to be his on screen lover and yada yada yada, I'm sure you know the rest."
"But what if I'm not comfortable with this segment?"
"Honey, this is nothing compared to what other people had to go through. I don't know what's going on but keep this strictly professional and you'll be fine."
AJ Lee found her back against the wall and couldn't object anymore. She didn't want to make him think that she wasn't ready for this; she was more than ready, in fact she made a great heel but not with what was going on between Punk and her in real life. If she said another word, she might as well find herself wrestling a one minute match on Superstars and that wasn't something she was planning on to do in the near future. This was what she worked for all her life, all those nights she spent homeless and hungry, this was her big ticket and she wasn't going to let someone named CM Punk take everything away from her.
She took a deep breath to regain her composure and pushed some of her hair behind her ears, "Alright."
"Now that's what I'd like to hear! Break a leg tonight, or Vince will break mine!"
He winked at her and before she knew it, she was alone in the corridor. She made her way back to her locker room and to her dismay; it was now occupied by the rest of the diva roster. She wouldn't have minded if Kaitlyn was there to the rescue, but her friend was running late and she had to face each and every single of them by herself.
"Hey, there's AJ! Didn't know you were planning to hop on the dark side, little girl!" Rosa yelled from the other side. She was already in her outfit, sitting in front of the mirror straightening her hair.
"I didn't know either, trust me."
"What? You didn't know you were going to turn heel?" Eve jumped now into the conversation. She was still in her bathrobe and flip flops.
"No. And it sucks you know, because I could have gotten a head's up but no, I literally just found out an hour ago." AJ shrugged her shoulders defenseless. There was no point in being mad about it, it was what it was and she had to do her job.
"Aw, that's bad honey, but you'll get through it!" Rosa said again.
AJ gave them a weak smile and she went over to where her belongings were and started to take her stuff out. She had made plans to wear a white suit but since she was supposedly 'joining the dark side' now, she opted for some black trousers and a red blazer. She sighed as she looked at her clothes, she wasn't ready to turn heel yet. The crowd loved her and she could sufficiently say that she was the only diva that got a pop every time her music hit and nobody else. Now they were going to hate her and boo her and come to think of it, it was still a reaction but alas it was still a negative one and she knew that she was going to miss interacting with the crowd when it came to segments.
How in the world was she going to rule Raw alongside CM Punk? The idea was brilliant on paper but her little insecurities could easily get in the way of most probably one of the best storylines of the year.
Suddenly she felt her phone vibrate in her jeans pocket and she pulled it out and flipped it open.
"I know we're not on good terms but we need to talk about tonight. "
Keep it professional, AJ! The voice in her head kept on screaming and it was right.
She texted CM Punk on where to meet him and not after a couple of seconds later, her phone vibrated again.
"I'm already in my dressing room. Come."
She politely excused herself from the locker room and she soon found herself right in front of his door.
"This is just business." She reassured herself and she knocked three times. And as if Punk was waiting anxiously for her behind the door, he immediately opened it and before she could even put her hand down, he pulled her in for a big hug.
"Punk! Punk! Put me down!" she said as she wriggled away from his tight grasp. That sweet strawberry scent filled his nostrils and he melted inside. It was the first time he saw her after he kicked her out from his tour bus and he remembered how she looked back with hurt in her eyes and told him that she hated his guts.
"Sorry about that…" He quickly put her down and cleared his throat, "Yeah, uh, wanna come inside?"
"I'd rather do this here." It was already hard to make eye contact with those big green eyes of his and she didn't want to be her normal friendly self around him, after all he didn't even deserve it. She was still angry at him but she needed to be the mature one.
"Alright." He was uneasy and uncomfortable at how cold AJ was acting but he couldn't blame her. He just wanted to grab her from her shoulders and tell her that he told Lita but it clearly wasn't the right time or place to do it. He remembered that eventful night again, what the hell was he thinking? "First, please note that I had no clue that this was going to do down. Honestly."
"I know and I don't want to turn heel yet but if that's what I have to do, then it's my job and my duty. There's nothing much to say but whatever was between me and you is over now so we'll just keep this strictly business. After all you're a colleague of mine, and we were bound to clash together at some point or another." She said matter-o-factly. She didn't let her mind wander off to other places, and in order to stay on topic, she kept her gaze fixed on the chipped paint on the wall.
"AJ, look at me…" He put a single finger under her chin and lifted her head up.
"Don't touch me!" she said as she slapped his hand away.
"No, don't pull that crap on me right now." She pointed her index finger at him, "Let's keep this strictly business like I said and we'll both be fine. No ifs, ands or buts. Understand?"
Punk was still surprised at her behavior; this wasn't the cute little AJ he knew. He only nodded and she gave him a fake smile, "Good. Now do you have any questions for tonight?"
"Uh… yeah, you'll follow my lead and we'll continue from there?"
"You do realize that I have to carry you out of the ring bridal style and have to kiss you again before we go backstage right?"
"Yes." She said taking a deep breath, "It will mean nothing but we have to do it anyways."
"AJ are you sure you are okay?"
"Punk, listen. I am not interested in you anymore and quite frankly I don't even want to be your friend. Let's keep this-"
"Strictly business." He mimicked her as he stuck out his tongue.
"Don't make fun of me you fucking jerk face! Ugh!" she pushed him with all her strength and she stormed off angry down the hall. This was going be harder than he thought. How was he going to tell her that he left Lita just to be with her when she didn't even want to be his friend?
He took a look at the script again and out of nowhere, a light bulb went on in his head. AJ didn't want to listen to him, but AJ the RAW GM had to and he smiled at himself, feeling accomplished of thinking of such a brilliant idea.
It was show time and Raw just got into their second hour of the show. The fans were already up on their feet and as CM Punk's music started playing, the arena quickly filled with boos and that was how he liked it. He hated the fact that there were still people who cheered for him no matter how many despicable things he did. His mission was to make the fans hate him and every time he caught a glimpse of a CM Punk sign, he felt like he failed every time.
He made his way down the ramp holding his WWE Championship as high as he could above his head and he let everything sink in. He truly loved his job. He went up those three steps and up on the second turn buckle and shouted his famous, 'BEST IN THE WORLD!" line which cued into more booing. He got down and rested the championship on his shoulder and chest and got a microphone.
"Oh sure! Boo me, right? That's the easiest thing to do, huh? Let's cheer for John boy, but when it comes to me, you all decided to turn your backs on me!" He took one good look at the crowd and he knew that he was already firing them up. "Come on! I'm your WWE Champion! Show some damn respect! I've been champion for over a year now and the least you could do is bow at my feet. I've beaten everyone that stood in my way and yet that idiotic general manager AJ Lee, still believes that Mr. John Cena deserves another title shot! How many shots does this guy need? He tried and tried again but I have always proven that I am the best in the world and that's why," He lifted his belt up with one hand; "This is still right here."
"This is where it belongs! John Cena, I hope you're hearing me right now! How about you give up your title match and let's save ourselves some embarrassment of me beating you again for the hundredth time!"
The crowd started to chant 'You suck!" over and over again but as soon as John Cena's music hit everyone jumped out of their seat and started cheering. He made his routine of saluting the fans and throwing his shirt to one lucky person and he grabbed a microphone.
"Now listen to me Punk, no one cares of what you have to say! Why are you even out here complaining, Punk? Are you afraid of me finally getting the 1, 2, 3 count and eventually end up taking your prized possession? I may have lost in the past but I can guarantee that I'll pin you clean right in the middle of the ring at TLC!"
The fans were behind Cena right now and CM Punk took off his shirt and got in his opponent's face and before a fight could erupt, AJ's music blared throughout the speakers and the fans cheered even more.
"Stop it! Stop it right now!" she screamed into her mic as she made her way down the ramp and into the ring. "I've already told you," She gave Punk a look, and continued, "None of you should even put a finger on each other or both of you will be suspended! I don't want to end this into another brawl because somebody can get hurt!"
"Oh Madame General Manager, how nice of you to think of my well being! How about looking after me, your WWE Champion at TLC, huh? There are going to be tables, ladders and chairs, what are you going to do if your champion gets seriously injured?!"
"I'm fully aware of what TLC stands for CM Punk, but that doesn't mean you're going to weasel out of it that easily."
"Weasel out! Like I ever weaseled out of anything in my life! I've worked hard to get to where I am and I, unlike others, don't just get handed things…" he turned to look at Cena, "especially because I'm the poster boy of the WWE."
"I work 7 days a week, I'm always out here to please each and every single member of the WWE Universe! I work hard and that's how I earn my title shots Punk, I work for them!"
"Oh good guy John, huh, always working his ass off to be in the main event, right?"
John Cena pushed Punk which made him land on his behind.
"STOP IT RIGHT NOW!" AJ screamed into the microphone and got in between them.
"This is how you let your champion get treated? What sort of general manager are you?!" Punk yelled even more as he got up and dusted off his rear end. He got into her face and he stared down at those beautiful hazel eyes of hers. She has to make eye contact with me now, he thought to himself.
She looked up into his big, green eyes and gulped. Business, business, business, the voice in her head kept repeating like a broken record. She knew that she was about to plant one on him soon and she cleared her mind from her personal thoughts and continued.
"Punk, I'm doing the best that I can to give the WWE Universe what they want."
"Well what about what I want! This title match is absurd! Why can't you listen to what I want for once, huh? I'm the WWE Champion, I should make some of the decisions myself around here because clearly you're not doing a good job now, are you? Why in the world did they put you in charge? You're a nobody AJ, always been and still is. What the hell do you know about managing?"
"I suggest you control your temper…"
"This." She took one good look at him and before Punk could even see it, AJ Lee slapped the arrogance right off his face as hard as she could. She flashed him her pearly white teeth and started to laugh in his face. There was no way that slap was scripted, he thought to himself. He rubbed his now red cheek and for a second there he wasn't CM Punk the heel, but he was the real CM Punk and he knew that that was payback for what he did to her.
"Really, AJ? You're going to put your hands on your talent now? Oh let's see how you'll manage to run RAW next week without its champion! Face it AJ, you're nothing without me, you need me to run the show and I prove it to you every damn week. Why are you always out to get me, AJ?"
"I treat each and every superstar the same Punk, and you're no exception."
"No, no, no, no I am an exception because if that was the case, me and you wouldn't be standing right here right now and my cheek wouldn't have your hand print on it. There's more to this story because if Mr. Cena boy was champion, you would have never put him in a TLC match but oh no, CM Punk has to go through a table just to prove to you that I am the greatest champion of all time!"
"You know what Punk? Ever since I became GM, you have consistently been breathing down my neck more than the board of directors and why, huh? Why do you always think that I'm against you, Punk you are a great champion but it seems like you don't even believe it yourself and quite frankly, I thought I was trying to slap some sense into you but clearly that didn't work."
"Cancel the TLC match."
"That will not be happening."
"Cancel the match!"
"NO! Punk for the last time, the match is still on!"
Punk groaned in frustration and threw his championship on the mat. He started arguing with AJ but he didn't put the mic in front of his mouth, so nobody could hear them. He was pointing a finger at her and the vein in his neck was seconds away from exploding.
"Alright, alright!" AJ finally caved in to stop Punk from bickering. This was it. She looked up to her fans one last time as if she was saying goodbye and breathed into the mic. She pushed some of her brunette locks behind her ear and opened her mouth, "John…" she spun on her heel to face John Cena, "Don't you think it's a bit unfair that you had multiple opportunities to get the gold and you failed every time? How about you take a back seat for once, you know go on, relax and chill a bit and let's have ourselves a battle royal tonight to determine who will be facing Punk next!"
"What?! That's crazy! AJ, don't do this to me!" John yelled in the microphone.
"Sorry John, but Punk raised a great point. Guess you're at the back of the line and don't worry you can have the rest of the night off because you're not in the battle royal either!"
Punk grinned like a little kid as he watched his former opponent panic with what he was hearing from the general manager. He pointed at him and started laughing at John Cena who was seconds away from pulling his hair out.
"Wow…" AJ turned around and gave CM Punk an evil smile, "I can't believe this just happened, are you serious AJ? Is this… is this for real?" She gave him a little nod and stepped closer to CM Punk, closing in on the gap they had between them.
"AJ, don't do it! Don't fall for his ways; he's going to use you for his own advantage!" John reached out to AJ Lee, trying to save her from the trap he thought she was going to fall into.
"As your general manager, I command you to shut up and show some respect for your champion." She clasped a hand on her mouth, amazed at what she had just told the poster boy of the WWE. Punk's facial expression was priceless and without hesitation he put his hands around AJ's shoulder and kissed her head.
"AJ, I didn't even know you had it in you!"
"I've always got new tricks up my sleeve." She said as she happily adjusted her blazer. She winked at him and blew him a kiss with her free hand and then dropped her mic. Her music hit and she stepped out of the ring and started skipping up the ramp.
She then suddenly felt someone run after her but she kept on going and she soon felt a pair of hands on her hips that spun her around. She met with Punk's face that was already sweaty with all the bright lights and she looked up into his eyes. He took a moment to look at her and he gulped. The crowd was now chanting Daniel Bryan's 'No!' chant but the sound of her fast heartbeat quickly drowned them out. He ran a hand through her hair as if he was really looking at her for the first time and he grabbed her from the back of her head and pulled her in for a rough kiss to make the heel turn official. She wrapped her little fingers around his neck and he lifted her up.
This was familiar.
She wrapped her legs around his waist and he started walking slowly up the ramp, lips still attached together. The crowd was furious now that the GM turned her back against them and they stopped to look at their angry faces before they headed backstage.
Punk took one look at AJ and she buried her face in the crook of his neck. He kissed her forehead and she just smiled like a little girl, trying to hide her shy face. Maybe being a heel wasn't such a bad thing after all. He yelled his signature line again and then they both went backstage.