A/N: So this is the last chapter, you guys. I know, I'm sad that it has to end too, but no worries. I think I'm gonna do a sequel. :) Keep the reviews comin', and let me know what you think the sequel should be about. I'd really appreciate it. :) Here's the conclusion for ya.
Look After You, Chapter 14
Randy Orton slammed on the brakes in front of the hospital's entrance, jolting the car and making its tires screech on the pavement. As soon as the car was stopped, CM Punk threw the passenger door open and hit the sidewalk at a dead run. "Get Sheamus and Ted taken care of!" he yelled back over his shoulder to Randy and John Cena, who had jumped out of the car as well. "I'm gonna go find AJ!"
While Randy and John struggled to get the other two unconscious guys out of the car, Punk raced into the hospital and made a beeline for the front desk. A woman wearing a name tag that read 'Mel' sat at a computer behind it. She looked up in surprise when he skidded to a halt in front of the desk.
"What room is AJ Lee staying in?" Punk demanded, his green eyes boring twin holes in her with their intensity.
Mel quickly brought up the information she'd found for Zack Ryder earlier, blinking in bewilderment as she read it out loud. "She's in room 209. She must have a lot of friends, because one was just here earlier. I think his name was–"
Mel stopped talking when she looked up and realized that Punk was already gone.
"No! Let me go!" AJ screamed, pulling against the tight grip that Daniel had on her wrist. "I'm not going with you!"
Daniel raised his other hand and smacked her hard across the face, causing her head to snap back. "Shut up," he said calmly, dragging her toward the door.
AJ tried to blink away the spots that had burst in front of her eyes when Daniel had hit her, and she felt rage fill her as she did so. How dare he hit her! She wasn't his girlfriend anymore, and she refused to be treated like his punching bag. Her brown eyes flitted to the limp bodies of Cody and Zack. And she sure as hell wasn't going to let this bastard hurt anymore of her friends.
Daniel didn't seem to notice the murderous glare she was directing at him. He reached for the door handle and pulled the door open, at the same time saying, "There's a car waiting out back. All we have to do is–"
He was cut off by a fist colliding with his face. Daniel fell back, and at the same time AJ ripped her arm free of his grasp and darted to the opposite side of the room, as far away from him as she could get. Then she looked at who had just stepped through the doorway, and she felt her heart lift.
"Punk," she whispered, tears filling her eyes at the sight of him. He was bruised and there was dried blood on the back of his head, but otherwise he was fine. Other than being insanely pissed-off, that is.
Punk's green eyes found her, a small form huddled in the corner, and he was filled with so much emotion that he felt as though he was going to be torn in two. Then he saw the hand-shaped mark on her cheek, and all of the other emotions faded away to be replaced with burning fury.
"Stay there, AJ," he ordered the petite brunette, and then he turned towards Daniel Bryan, who was busy picking himself up off the floor. There was already a bruise beginning to form under his left eye, and he glared at Punk as he stumbled to his feet.
"Doesn't feel too good to be on the receiving end of the hit, does it?" Punk snarled, stalking towards the smaller man. As he advanced towards Daniel, he noticed two other limp forms lying sprawled on the floor, and when he looked at them closely he realized that they were his two friends, Cody Rhodes and Zack Ryder. Zack was out cold by the wall and Cody was lying face-down on the floor in a spreading pool of his own blood.
Punk stopped dead, horror rising inside of him when he noticed that both Zack and Cody weren't moving. "What the fuck did you do?" he hissed at Daniel, who just smiled coldly back at him, his face devoid of any emotion.
"They were in my way, so I took them out," Daniel replied simply, a taunting note entering his voice. "What're you gonna do about, Punk?"
"I'll tell you what I'm gonna do about it," Punk spat, refocusing his attention on the bearded man. "I'm gonna kill you."
Punk leaped at him suddenly, and Daniel barely had enough time to put his arms up and protect his head before the Straight-Edge Superstar was on him. Punk rained blow after vicious blow on Daniel, and the smaller man was being forced to retreat. He backed up until his back was pressed against the wall and he slid down to sit on the floor, with Punk still beating on him and snarling unintelligible words under his breath. It looked as though Punk was going to beat him to a pulp.
Then AJ saw Daniel reach for the bloody remote that he had used to bludgeon Cody with earlier. It was lying on the floor a few inches away, and Punk was so intent on hurting Daniel as much as possible that he didn't notice. But AJ did.
Just as Daniel's fingers brushed the remote, AJ's foot came down on his hand. He let out a harsh scream of pain as she twisted her heel, digging it into his skin, and she enjoyed hearing him suffer like she had for so long.
"I don't think so," she said to him, and then she bent down and picked up the remote. "Punk! Here."
She tossed Punk the remote, and he brought it sharply down on Daniel's head. The sound of plastic meeting skull echoed through the room, and Daniel's eyes went wide and then glazed over, and he went limp. Punk backed away from him, his chest heaving and sweat glistening on his forehead. The remote fell from his fingers and hit the floor with a thud.
Silence fell over them, and then AJ lunged forward and crashed into him. Punk wrapped his arms tightly around her as she sobbed into his chest, and he rocked her back and forth, crooning soothing words into her ear.
Punk looked up to see John and Randy standing in the open doorway, the nurse from the front desk, Mel, standing just behind them. Their eyes were wide as they swept over the carnage in the room, and when Randy's gaze fell on Cody's bloody form, he went as pale as the walls of the room.
"Cody?" he said, hurrying over to his friend. He knelt down beside him and shook him, getting more and more panicky as the seconds ticked by without Cody waking up. "Cody? Cody!"
Just when everyone was beginning to fear the worst, Cody's eyes flew open and settled on Randy's relieved face. "Randy? What the fuck happened?"
Randy took a deep, shaky breath and shook his head. "Cody, you dumbass. I thought you were dead."
"Do I look dead?" Cody demanded. He managed to sit up, and he frowned. "Why does my face feel so wet?" He raised a hand and ran it over the his face, and when he brought it away blood covered it. "Damn. That bastard reopened my wound, didn't he?"
"Yeah, but he's not going to be much of a problem to us anymore," Randy told him. "Punk saw to that."
Cody peered around Randy, and his ice-blue eyes widened when he spotted Daniel Bryan's motionless body. "Is he dead?"
"No, just unconscious." It was Mel who answered; she had crossed the room and now knelt by Daniel, her fingers pressed to the pulse in his neck.
"Damn," Cody muttered.
Mel shot him an amused look, but then her eyes went past him and landed on the other limp body that was lying by the wall. Her face filled with horror, and she sprang up and shoved past Randy and Cody.
"Zack?" she gasped, dropping to her knees beside Zack. She checked for his pulse and her face paled. "I can't find a pulse," she told the others. She immediately began CPR while the others watched in concern. AJ had her face buried in Punk's chest, unable to watch, and John was clutching the doorframe so hard that his knuckles had turned white.
"Come on Zack," Mel begged between chest compressions. "Don't do this. Don't leave us. Come on."
After about a minute of this, Zack still hadn't moved, and Mel sat back, tears streaming down her face as she was forced to accept the fact that Zack wasn't coming back. She closed her eyes and forced herself not scream. What happened to you calling me later? she thought. You can't call me if you're dead.
A weak squeeze on her hand caused Mel to open her eyes, and she gasped when she was met by a pair of alert blue orbs staring right at her.
"Hey, why are you crying?" Zack asked, his voice soft. He lifted one hand and brushed the tears off of her cheeks. "Who died?" he joked.
Mel stared at him for a couple of seconds, and then she grabbed his face in her hands and kissed him, the tears still running down her cheeks.
But these ones were tears of joy.
"Your friends are going to be okay," Mel informed them. "All of them."
Randy, John, Punk and AJ all exchanged relieved looks. They had been sitting in the waiting room for nearly an hour, waiting anxiously to hear news of Ted, Sheamus, Cody and Zack. To know that they were all okay was the best feeling in the world.
"When can we see them?" Randy asked. He wanted to see for himself that Ted and Cody really were okay. Those two were the closest thing he had to a family, and he wanted to make sure that they were fine.
"You can see them right now," Mel told him with a smile. "Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to Zack."
She walked off, and Punk stared after her with amusement gleaming in his green eyes. "Man, I never thought Zack would actually land a girl." When AJ didn't answer, he turned his head to look at her and was startled when he saw tears shimmering in her big brown eyes. "Hey, what's wrong?"
She gazed up at him, fear and disbelief written across her face. "What if Daniel comes after me again?"
"AJ, he can't come after you. He's in jail right now being charged with eight counts of assault and one count of domestic violence. He isn't getting out in a long time."
AJ blinked at him, her eyes filling with something close to hope. "So...it's really over?"
Punk smiled down at her and brushed the tears off of her cheeks. "It really is."
He bent down and kissed her, and AJ wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him back. When they finally pulled apart, AJ rested her head on Punk's chest and closed her eyes.
"I love you, CM Punk," she whispered.
Punk felt a flood of affection wash over him, and he kissed the top of her head. "I love you too, AJ Lee. Now come on, let's go visit our friends."
As they stood up and walked down the hall leading to their friends' rooms hand-in-hand, AJ said, "Punk? Thank you for saving me."
Punk grinned down at her, eyes green eyes shining with love and happiness.
"Hey, I promised I'd look after you, didn't I?"