A/N: I don't own anything so don't sue. This was inspired by this week's Monday Night RAW. Please R&R. Enjoy.
I Can't Let You Go
"AJ, will you marry me?"
AJ Lee stared down at Daniel Bryan in shock. Daniel had gotten down on one knee right after their mixed tag team match against Eve and The Miz and that was where he was now. He was also holding out the largest ring AJ had ever seen in her life. Plus it was in a red velvet box, and red was her favorite color. AJ felt tears spring to her eyes at that; he had remembered. He really did still care about her.
Daniel took her hand and slid the ring onto her finger, and AJ gazed down at it, a huge smile spreading across her face. He held the microphone up to her mouth and after a moment of speechlessness, she whispered, "Yes."
AJ sat backstage after the match, admiring her new engagement ring. The lights overhead reflected off of the ring's sparkly surface and shone glittering chips of light onto the brick walls around her. She was ecstatic, and anyone who saw her at that moment would've said that she was practically glowing with happiness. Nothing could ruin this moment for her.
AJ whipped around, startled by the voice calling her name. Her heart involuntarily sped up when she saw who was standing there, staring at her. It was CM Punk, the man she had thought was her soulmate. But Punk hadn't felt the same way about her, and so she had moved on. Back to Daniel Bryan.
"Punk?" she exclaimed, surprise running through her. "What are you doing here?"
Punk's eyes fixed on the ring on her finger and suddenly AJ felt very uncomfortable. She shifted slightly, sticking the hand sporting the ring under her thigh and hiding it from his view. She had no idea why she was hiding the ring from him; it wasn't like Punk cared. He had made that very clear.
"I heard a rumor," Punk began, his eyes darting up from the hidden ring to meet her gaze, "and I came to see if it was true. But obviously it is. Congratulations."
"Thank you," AJ whispered, her heart beating hard against her rib cage. She frowned a little on the inside; why was her body still reacting to him when her mind was way over him? She shouldn't still be feeling like this. Not when she was going to marry Daniel.
Punk studied her face for a couple of seconds as if trying to read her mind. Then he looked away, his eyes fixing on a box a few feet to her left. "I should go," he muttered, his voice oddly quiet. "I have a match in a little bit."
AJ didn't say anything–there was no need to. Punk didn't even wait for her reply; instead he just turned and began walking away, his shoulders slumped.
AJ stared after him, anger and heartbreak swelling up simultaneously inside her small body. He was leaving her again. Just like before, he was walking away.
"So that's it then?" AJ called after him, her voice bitter. Punk froze, his back still to her. "You're just going to walk away again?"
Punk stood there for a few tense moments, and then he turned slowly to look at her. AJ flinched at the amount of anger and pain contained in his brown eyes, and she felt a small rush of sympathy. Punk was obviously hurting, but from what she had no idea.
"Why wouldn't I?" he growled, his taped hands curling into fists by his sides. "You're getting married. You have a fiancé. Why wouldn't I just walk out of your life forever? You seem perfectly happy without me."
"You have no idea how I feel." AJ hissed, leaping off of the boxes she had been sitting on and stalking toward the Straight-Edge Superstar, her chestnut hair flying out behind her. "You did once, but you pushed me away when I told you. You didn't care about me then, and you don't care about me now."
"How do you know?" Punk shouted, thrusting his face close to AJ's. "You never gave me a chance to even think about anything! Instead you jumped to the next level and proposed to me on live TV! I had no idea you were going to do that, AJ. Have you even considered how that made me feel? Or are you too selfish?"
"I am not selfish!" AJ yelled back at him, her brown eyes glittering with unshed tears. "I just didn't know how else to get you to notice me! I cared about you too much, I see that now. And you cared about me too little."
"And you think Daniel Bryan cares about you enough? AJ, he doesn't care about you at all! He's just using you!"
"Don't talk about him like that! You don't know him like I do!"
"AJ, he dumped you on live TV. If you knew him like you say you do then you would've seen that coming."
AJ stared at him through a film of tears, her breathing starting to become hitched. She knew she was going to burst into tears but she didn't want Punk to see her cry. "I can't believe you'd bring that up again," she whispered, backing away from him. "You know how much that hurts me."
"But AJ, if it still hurts you so much then why would you want to go through it again? You're smarter than this, I know you are. So why did you agree to marry him?" Punk asked, looking at her helplessly.
"Maybe because he cared enough to ask me," she said, her voice so soft that Punk had to strain to hear. "And no one else did."
Punk put his hands over his face and when he removed them there were tears in his eyes. AJ was so stunned by the sight of CM Punk crying that she stopped her backwards movement and stood there, rooted to the floor.
"AJ, I was scared. I didn't know why I felt so strongly about you so I never admitted it. But when Daniel started trying to win you back I was afraid I was going to lose you," Punk admitted, his voice shaky. "So when I saw you with him out there I was mad as hell. And when you accepted his proposal, I died a little inside. I just can't let you go. Please, please don't do this. Don't marry him. I...I love you."
AJ's breath caught in her chest as those three little words left his mouth, and the world spun. Punk loved her. He really did care about her. But she had already told Daniel that she would marry him, and what if Punk was just lying to get at Daniel? She didn't think he would, but still...
"AJ, please." Punk whispered. He crossed the space between them and took her hands in his, gazing deep into her eyes. "Don't marry him..." still holding her gaze, Punk slowly knelt to one knee "...marry me."
"Oh my god," AJ gasped, lifting one hand to cover her mouth.
"AJ, do you love me?" Punk asked, gazing hopefully up at her.
"I..." Did she love him? She had been so sure that she was over him after he had rejected her proposal, but now that he had told her he loved her everything was backwards. She had already told Daniel she would marry him, but did she really want to? Or had she only told him yes because she was afraid that no one cared about her? Deep down she knew that a part of her heart had always belonged to Punk, and now that he was down on one knee, she suddenly knew what she had to say.
"I do love you," she whispered, her heart speeding up.
A small smile formed on Punk's lips, and taking her other hand he asked once more, "AJ Lee, will you marry me?"
AJ smiled tearfully down at him, and then she breathed, "Yes. Yes, I will."
Joy filled Punk's brown eyes and he stood up and pulled her into his arms. He lifted her right hand and gently worked Daniel's ring off of her finger. Tossing it to the side, he removed a small, black velvet box from his sweatshirt pocket. Seeing AJ's stunned expression, he explained, "I was going to tell you that I love you after your match, and I bought this because I was going to propose to you too. But Bryan beat me to it. That's why I was so angry, because I thought that I'd missed my shot." Punk opened the box to reveal a beautiful ring. It was smaller than the one that Daniel had given her, but it was ten times as stunning. The gorgeous diamond was set in a platinum band that interwove to create two separate bands. Around the diamond were smaller chips of diamonds that caught the light in every way possible.
Punk slid the new ring carefully onto her finger, and when AJ lifted her hand to examine it he asked anxiously, "What do you think?"
AJ pretended to examine it very carefully, making Punk even more nervous. Then she broke into a huge smile and gazed up at him adoringly. "I love it," she murmured. Still smiling, she took his face in her hands. "And I love you," she added softly.
Punk moved his head forward and kissed her gently, and AJ felt a surge of strength and joy. This was where she belonged, and she would never forget it again.