A/N: Hey guys, it's Mikaela! It's been awhile, I know. But I'm here now, so it's time for me to catch up on my writing! :D Mel's been awesome by filling in for me (she's awesome period) but now I'm ready to get back to work! So here's Chapter 22 for all of you, and don't forget to review! :)

Chapter 22

Mikaela Mizanin sat in the hallway outside of her fiancé Cody Rhodes' hotel room, tears streaming down her cheeks. She'd been knocking on the door for fifteen minutes but he refused to let her in. She looked down at the delicate diamond ring on her finger. She'd definitely crossed the line with what she'd done with Zack. She hadn't meant to hurt Cody, she'd just been so angry at Mel that she hadn't been thinking straight.

"Cody," she whispered, wrapping her arms tightly around herself and closing her eyes. "I'm so sorry, baby. I'm so sorry."

"Well I'm not Cody, but I'll accept your apology," a voice said from right in front of her.

Mikaela's eyes flew open, and she gasped when she was met with a pair of steely-gray eyes. "R–Randy," she stammered, her heart beginning to pound.

Randy squatted down in front of her, his arms resting on his knees, and tilted his head to one side. "I haven't seen you in awhile, 'Kaela," he said dryly. "I was beginning to wonder if you'd went AWOL on me."

Mikaela flinched at the sound of her nickname. Only Mike had ever called her that. To hear it come out of Randy's mouth was just wrong. Then a chill ran up her spine, and she found herself wondering how he'd known that 'Kaela was her nickname. She highly doubted that Mike had told him. "No," she said quietly. "I've been busy working on our plan."

"Mm-hmm," Randy said, obviously not buying one word of it. "And was this part of our plan?" he asked, grabbing her hand and lifting it up so that her ring sparkled in the dim hallway lights.

Mikaela ripped her hand out of his grasp and tugged the sleeve of her sweatshirt over her hand. "Please don't hurt him," she whimpered, fresh tears filling her eyes. "He's already been through enough."

Randy's eyebrows rose at that, but he just shook his head. "I'm not going to hurt him, 'Kaela, so just calm down," he told her, his voice soothing. "Now, what happened to you?"

"It was nothing," Mikaela whispered, turning her head away from him. She didn't want to tell Randy what had happened.

Randy was quiet for a moment, his eyes dark. Then he reached out and brushed some tears off of her face with his thumb. "If it was nothing, than why are you crying?" he murmured.

The touch of his fingers on her face startled her, but she found that she didn't mind too much. "My life's just going to hell," she blurted out, more tears falling. "I've lost my best friend, possibly my brother, and most likely my fiancé. Not only that, but I'm becoming someone that I don't want to be. I can't take much more of this." She had no idea why she was telling all of this to someone who quite honestly probably didn't give a shit, but she couldn't help herself. She'd been holding it in for so long that it had been slowly destroying her, and letting it out was a relief.

Randy studied her, his gray eyes bright and clear. "Well, I don't know about what person you're becoming, but I do know that you haven't lost everyone. You've still got me," he said in that impossibly deep voice.

Mikaela laughed bitterly. "Yeah, you're right. I've still got you, who's hit me on more than one occasion, kidnapped me, and basically bribed me into sticking a knife into the heart of anyone I've ever cared about. But thank God I've still got you, right, Randy?"

Randy clenched his jaw, but then he relaxed and ran a hand wearily over his buzzed head. "Listen, in case you haven't noticed, I'm not the most social person in the world. I have my issues, just like you do. And I realize that I've done some horrible things to you, but have you ever stopped to think that maybe I treated you like that because I care about you and I don't want Rhodes to have you?"

Mikaela stared at him, her mouth hanging open. Had he just said what she thought he said?

"Think about that for a little bit," Randy said, and then he placed his hand on the side of her face for a few seconds before standing up. He gave her one last glance and then he was gone, rounding the corner at the end of the hall.

Mikaela was left sitting in the hallway, more confused than she'd ever been in her life.


"I think you should just give up on that asshole," CM Punk mumbled. "He made himself pretty clear in the hallway."

"But it wasn't his fault!" Mel Brooks cried, whirling on her brother. "I was the one who accepted Mikaela's dare and kissed Mike. I could've easily said no."

"Then why didn't you?" Punk countered, his green eyes burning into hers.

Mel sighed and sat down on the bed next to him. "I don't know," she admitted, her voice barely over a whisper. "I'm so confused, Punk. I love them both so much. I don't know what to do."

Punk his arms around her and pulled her into his side. "Shh," he murmured, resting his head on top of hers. "It'll be okay, Melly. We'll figure it out together, just like we always do."

Mel was thankful for her brother's support, but she knew deep down that for once in her life, this was something that she'd have to do alone.


Zack Ryder stood alone in his locker room, his head in his hands. It seemed like everything in his life was coming undone, and he was helpless to stop it. His girlfriend was in love with another guy, and that killed him more than anything. She was his world, and without her he had no idea what he'd do.

The truth was, the war was changing him as well. He could feel it, a little pit of darkness that was slowly growing in his stomach. It was eating him up from the inside, and he didn't know how to stop it.

He sat down on a bench and pulled out his iPod. Music always helped every situation. He hit shuffle and then cranked up the volume. He closed his eyes as the song "Savin' Me" by Nickelback blared in his ears:

Prison gates won't open up for me.

On these hand and knees I'm crawlin'.

Oh, I reach for you.

Well I'm terrified of these four walls.

These iron bars can't hold my soul in.

All I need is you.

Come please, I'm callin'.

And all I scream for you.

Hurry I'm fallin'.

...I'm fallin'.

Only when Zack felt a drop of wetness land on his hand did he realize that he was crying.


John Cena sat on the floor in his locker room, his right hand wrapped in a bloodstained washcloth. He stared at the dented, blood-spattered locker directly across from him, his normally bright blue eyes dull. All of the pressures of being the leader of a team that was slowly self-destructing had gotten to him, and he'd snapped, laying into the locker until the skin on his knuckles was rubbed raw. It hadn't made him feel any better, although the new pain in his hand distracted him from the emotional pain. The war was a flood, and he was just struggling to keep his head above water. He knew that some of his teammates had already drowned, but there was nothing he could do to save them now.

The hero of any movie or book was always expected to defeat the bad guy and save the day.

But John Cena was sick of playing the hero.

A/N: Well, there's Chapter 22! This was a very emotional chapter, and I realize that it seems as though all of the characters have reached their breaking points. And perhaps they have, who knows? Besides me and Mel, of course. ;) Well, the next chapter will be written by Mel and should be up later tonight, so keep an eye out! And yes, for those of you who are wondering, "Savin' Me" is my favorite song of all time. It's a very emotional song and I highly recommend that any of you listen to it. I'm listening to it as I write this. ;) Don't forget to review, and we love you guys!