Michael Cole could have gone his entire life with out ever having to learn how to administer tranquilizers; or just how deeply a person could love another human being or how one individual was meant to deal with the worst series of decisions life could possibly throw at an you.
The sun goes down over his southern Texas home, the beautiful mix of purple, blue, red and oranges in the sky settling into another starry black night. He pulls the soft fabric shades a boyfriend from long-ago had chosen into his hands, and with a heavy sigh, he's reluctant to shut them and look away from the beauty of the nature in his own back yard, and turn back around to life's tragic reality. He avoids it for just a little longer, instead of focusing on the tragedy at hand, he's content to think of a time when things were not in such a state of despair. Picking up a picture frame he observes it in the continued silence and shadows; life was so perfect in that captured moment.
The GM had thought it would be absolutely hilarious to throw Cole and Randy out in front of a sold out Raw crowd - an to a certain extent, it really was, no matter the amount of embarrassment that had taken place beforehand, during, and afterward. The inevitable news spread like wildfire that Randy had left Dave Batista for none other than The Voice of The WWE: Michael Cole. As soon as it was widely reported that the two had married officially, they had been thrown out in front of a crowd together the next week. Luckily for the scenario, Randy was currently playing up an annoying baby-face comedy routine with Sheamus instead of being his brutal and sinister self in the ring. In a second turn of luck and inspiration for the GM and Talent Relations was that ex-superstar John Morrison and his little pal Melina had taken yet another swipe at Diva legend Trish Stratus for upstaging the fired Diva. In an effort to mock Melina and Morrison's time in WWE, and step on them just a little bit further, Laurinaitis and the GM had tossed forth Cole and Randy from backstage in front of the crowd.
Cole remembers the moment on stage captured perfectly in the picture.
With his obnoxious "I Never Thought My Life Could Be This Good" theme and his entrance video playing up on the titantron; Michael Cole and Randy Orton calmly walked out in front of the crowd; Cole cockier than his partner. He extended his hand to Randy and the two walked hand in hand to center stage for all to see. Cole remembers the look on Randy's face when he was forced to twirl into Cole's arms, obnoxiously taller than his short lover wrapping his arms around his waist behind him. Randy turns around to face him and tosses his gargantuan sized thigh around Cole's body, and the announcer does his best to dip The Viper… the very, very heavy Viper. They almost topple onto the ground rather than Cole lustfully adoring the Viper in his arms before pulling him back up where they stumbled to their feet and headed down to the ring, arm in arm. Orton looks awkward as he heads to the ring and does some sort of shimmy, with no real knowledge of how to make himself look feminine in the process. The next part is just a little bit easier; with Randy stretching his perfectly oversized thighs up onto the apron and seducing Cole, who seemed to be one of few people in the entire arena with full knowledge that the Viper could actually do a split as he got into the ring and slithered in. Cole was much more ridiculous at looking "sexy," and if he had any sense of shame, self-consciousness or humility, would have remembered it as looking ridiculous, making a weird face, and generally looking annoying, short and fat before he attempted to slide into the ring with a fair amount of issue. Randy strikes his Legend Killer pose and looks a little less embarrassed, and the two share their first kiss in front of the WWE Universe.
Cole sit's the picture back down, laying it face down on the night stand with a sigh of defeat as he moves to the edge of the bed: he is disgusted with himself when hesitates before taking a seat at his lover's bedside. It's just another groan of despondency as shakes up a vial watching the little bead like fragments drift around in the bottle like glitter before transferring it to the syringe before injecting it into the tattooed arm lying idly on the tucked in, neat bed sheets. He used to count Randy as one of the luckiest people in the world.
Life is so drastically different from the years of romping around in bed with the likes of Rhodes and DiBiase. Things had once been so interesting, always new and fresh. Now everything was repetitive and the same. They even lived in a suburb where every house was the same. Every day was the same. Cole does his best to not feel so trapped. He would have given anything to take back the days he would complain about the travel schedule of being with WWE on the road. He was given a chance to go back, something he regretted jumping at the chance of, though it had just been a ploy to give away the fact that he had simply forgotten he was hiding Orton away from McMahon. Cole runs his fingers down Randy's cheek, cold and pale. He sighs. Hiding with Randy was romantic, for a short time. They'd go back to Cole's native Texas from Missouri, and Cole had fought off everyone to keep Randy close and protect him from a world that wanted him to stay thrust into the spotlight when he was so sick. Vince had purposely kept him so sick, the despicable man had made things worse for the pair, if anything. It's remembering these little things that keep him content with the plain life.
Orton stares off into the black abyss of shadows claiming the darkest corner of the room, watching furniture fade into the shadows and occasionally blinking. Tranquilizers and morphine mixing in his dilated eyes as he turns his head slowly to face the ex-announcer. The touch on his face he can barely feel is heartbreaking. He wonders if he truly notices, or cares how bad things are getting inside of his mind and body. Cole had done so much to keep him safe, as healthy as possible, and still feel loved; and the man was so tired it was obvious all over his face; from the way Orton watched him look at his bedridden self, the way he walked, the way he talked so quietly outside the bedroom on his phone. Orton knew he was nothing more than a burden.
Orton speaks so softly that he doesn't remember the sound of his own fatigued voice; he doesn't remember the last time he has ever spoke, it could have been five minutes, five months, or years ago. It didn't even matter. The drugs fight off all of the voices long enough for him to hear his own thoughts, for him to speak aloud and beg for Cole's help. Randy was already dead on the inside.
Michael Cole was the perfect man to Randy Orton. There was something about him. Sure, he was small, annoying, fat and irritating… but Randy had fallen in love with him anyway; he saw what everyone was so vehemently against him for. Michael Cole had seen men fired trying to get where he was; he didn't hold his tongue, he didn't back down to no-one, and his choice of words kept his enemies up at night. He had the Viper to hide behind once he had gotten him, because Cole was the guy who got what he wanted while Lawler was still single and past sixty. Cole got a younger, gorgeous champion with amazing Superstar lineage…. Lawler got to look at dirty magazines. Everyone was shocked at the things Cole could say, or get away with saying.
He shouldn't have been shocked by the question Randy was asking of him; but he was. Randy knew that Cole was a loving, understanding man; and it showed even when he was looking at him with bewilderment. Randy offers this smile that still looks vacant. Trapped within himself, it was hard to look anything but lifeless and suffering. He guesses that if left to fight in the ring as planned, no one would have noticed but his announcer lover.
He watches the blue eyed man stare at him with panic, contemplation, and something The Viper could only describe as love and fear mixed together. Cole breathes, finally, and turns away from Randy. He didn't have the strength to do what was asked of him, and Orton wonders if perhaps, maybe he had spent all of his power on taking care of him and helping him try to fight through everything so wrong with him. Maybe with Orton saying it, he figures, he had made the situation all that much more real, and that behind all of the lost vigor for life, that Cole had hope left in him somewhere for a better life for not just himself, but himself with the man he loved.
Randy's voice whispers so quietly that he doesn't hear himself as he tries to convey words to his love; the silence leaving his vocals assured him that he was unable to speak until Cole is looking at him with nothing short of heartbreak, a heartbreak that was different from the way he usually cast it upon him. Orton's lifeless eyes divert away from him, unable to bare that expression. His shaking hand finds it's way to Cole's, resting his cold skin on the older man's warm palm. He lets Cole know that he still loves him, and no matter how many times Michael could say it back, it didn't change the way Orton had begged his question. Cole hesitates further to give any response.
Cole gets up from the bed, it's something that Orton doesn't expect until he realizes he's about to be abandoned into the room, to listen to another night of Syracuse football games loudly echoing into the hell Orton was trapped in.
Cole turns from his way out, he looks back at Randy so fondly that the other man could only assume he was as lost in a dream world again where everything was just so perfect for them. He wished he could have a taste of it. Cole suddenly walks forward at such a pace that it almost frightens The Viper. He's not sure if the announcer notices the flash of fear that darted across his eyes, and maybe the room was too dark for him to even see the way his pupils dilated, and as he sits at his bedside he stops caring about it. Cole's hands envelope around his, holding his clammy hands firmly in his grip. Randy offers the best smile that he could, the shadowy room hiding bloodstained teeth and bitten up tongue and lips from sight. One of his hands break away to caress The Viper's face as if he was already dead.
Cole makes a soft, quiet statement that Randy, astonished, accepts eagerly and silently. He lays his head down, sinking into the freshly changed linens. The Viper watches him with his head turned slightly, silver, lifeless eyes following his every move as he fills a large syringe with several small vials shaken. He proclaims his love for his caretaker several more times as he goes through the process hesitantly. He stops to look back at him and Randy gives him a reassuring smile before turning back to the ceiling where the fan had disappeared into the shadows.
Their lips connect and The Viper smiles into it, his hand finding it's way to tangle in the black and gray hair and hold him in his arms for just a few more seconds. It was as if the world of hell inside of his body and the room of hell outside of it had abandoned completely.
The cold, sharp feel of the needle piercing his skin registers to his brain for once. The panic that went through his mind was nothing but expected, his eyes squeeze shut to avoid seeing the man above him in tears. The moment of silence encompasses the room when the needle is removed from Orton's tattooed skin. The stillness a calm relief to the endless hell until a fit of coughing and panic ensued; The Viper's picked up into Cole's arms and he burrows his face into his chest while Cole rests his head on top of Randy's, holding him close and whispering things that were lost in the asphyxia. The fragile body is laid back to rest on the bed, writhing with a natural state of terror until it moves no longer and the suffering was cured.
Michael slowly rises up from the bed, tucking Orton in as he had done every night before and leaving his bedside with a kiss. He didn't have to acknowledge what he had done tonight.