"I don't think I will ever be who you want me to be."

Hands strike out at the flowers on the table, sending them to the ground with a delicate crash and soft ruffle, fist settling with a knuckle whitening grip on the handle of a suitcase quickly being dragged from the locker room. Silver optics gaze over his distressed Rhodes burrowing his face into DiBiase's neck: comforted and loved. He easily knows the outcome of the younger man's dual situation, a confirmation overheard in a soft whisper, "Time off."

He sets off down the clammy hall of the arena, fixing his eyes in the reflection on his rental car window and throwing his suitcase onto the backseat. He plops down lifelessly behind the steering wheel with a heavy sigh.

Three years ago, The Viper wanted nothing more than to get rid of the annoying, pesky Michael Cole. The announcer always banging on his locker room door, pining for attention in the slightest and offering gifts and love.

It was new, different, unwanted and unrequited by far… but he had quickly won over the menacing superstar, gotten him to leave his husband after no one else could. He made life worth living again; no one had ever loved or wanted him as much as the broadcast journalist had.

Now Cole had not even attempted to try and make him stay, run after him, bring him back. It was a simple mistake Orton had made, a stupid one, and when The Viper reasons with himself, he knows the reality is that it was not a mistake at all. Maybe he was piling onto his stupid actions when he followed Michael into the announcer's dressing room, still trying to make the older man believe that; one, he did it for him, and two, that he was sorry.

He had never seen such anger in those once loving blue eyes, yelling at the top of his lungs and poking him in the chest, backing The Viper up against the wall. Cole claims that Randy is not sorry, that he had purposely embarrassed him in front of everyone. Cole smacks him with all the force in his smaller, hefty body, and only backs off at the sight of the blood dripping from his lover's mouth. In front of Booker T, Josh Mathews, Matt Striker and even Justin Roberts: Randy Orton breaks, tears streaming down his sharp cheek bones as he pleads for Cole to listen. He screams back that he was just so stressed out, and his inadequacies being pointed out every day was not helping.

Steroids was the answer he had found to compete with The Miz, and the marijuana was just another way of coping. He allows Cole to blow up at him again, though he had taken off to his own private locker room just before his fist had met his already damaged jaw again.

Thoughts flood his mind in quiet wait at the airport for the flight to come in a few hours, not bothering to wander the facility but staying stable, staring at the ground motionless, eyes moving to a buzzing cell phone every so often, but not daring to pick it up. The wait is painful over the course of time, and slowly begins to not be so lonesome as a couple of old voices drift into his mind.

They remind him of every mistake he had made, and attempt to give some ideas which credibility was lacking in terms of things that could happen in reality. Orton wasn't everything Cole had thought he would be. His shoulders shake while he fights back emotions and is forced to leave to the rest room when dawn rises on the airport and coworkers begin to show up at the terminal; he's the last one to even get on the plane, eyes cast down until he found a spot at the back, quiet and alone… at least it was quiet to those who couldn't hear the sheer amount of voices that began to flood into his thoughts.

The flight back to Texas is painfully long, unable to sleep and his phone continuing to light up. It wasn't any match for the ride home, or the empty house he had come home to; with the other superstars and personnel flying out to the next state, he had been sent home.

He sits on the bed, tired and lost in his own home. The bedroom closet beckons to him, and every step he takes towards it stops feeling so much like a mistake and much more like being numb and right for a change

He drops to his knees from pure exhaustion, unable to properly bend down and give his abused body an opportunity to not take the hardwood floors so roughly against his bones. Burrowing out the dress shoes that didn't belong to him, the sneakers, sandals and that pair of ugg boots belonging to Rhodes that irked DiBiase's fashion taste. Some fallen ties, and the hangers they had fallen off of are dug out, everything tossed into a nondiscriminatory pile.

A shoe box, destroyed, bent and broken hides in the far corner. The top pops off when Orton pulls it out front, kneeling before it's offering of salvation. The voices quell to the variation of pills popped onto his tongue and swallowed down hard; back to his feet the box is kicked away in anger, contents of prescriptions spilling across room after colliding with the wall, loosened tops opening up to scatter pills of antipsychotic drugs over the floor.

His shaky hands grip his phone, all of 16% of his battery left from the day and night before, he skips past the countless text messages and phone calls consuming his data limit, scrolling for his ex husband's name on the contact list with fingers hardly able to stabilize themselves.

"Dave?" Orton's voice is hardly above a whisper when he finally collapses on the floor.

The front door opens carefully; closed softly as the commentator steps in slowly, peering about the living room to only find Orton's suitcase, but nothing more. He tosses the apology flowers onto a table as he starts to search the house.