"Why'd y'all break up?" Storm took another swig of beer, peering curiously at his drinking buddy.
Bobby grimaced. Former relationships were not something he wanted to talk about when he was drunk. Or any time, for that matter. But he sighed, answering anyway. "He thought I slept with Petey," he muttered.
Storm raised an eyebrow. "Did ya?"
"No." Bobby scowled, chugging the rest of his beer and slamming his empty bottle down on the table.
"Why'd he think ya did?" James signaled a passing waitress, ordering them a pitcher.
"I don't know. He was just convinced." Bobby sighed again, waiting impatiently for their pitcher to arrive. "Bet I could've, too, if I hadn't been with him. Petey is so hot."
"Yer tellin' me." James winked at the waitress as she set their pitcher on the table. He poured overflowing cups for both Roode and himself, clinking glasses with the other man. "I'd fuck 'im, if I wasn't taken."
"Yeah." Bobby sighed once more. "Team Canada would'a been the perfect time to fuck him. He fucked Johnny, and Alistair."
"Really." Storm grinned. "Same time?"
"Nah." Bobby chuckled. "I'd pay to see that, though."
"Me too," Storm agreed. His devilish smile lit up his face as he elbowed Bobby in the ribs. "So how was Eric in bed?"
Bobby shook his head, finishing off his cup and pouring another. "Don't ask."
James was drunk, but not drunk enough to push a clearly sore issue. "So," he tried, shifting the subject backwards, "why don't cha try 'n hook up with Petey now? He's single, ain't he?"
"I don't know." Bobby pursed his lips. "It'd seem weird, after all this time as 'just friends'."
"If ya say so." Storm shrugged. "Wonder if he'd be up for a threesome?" he mused.
"We should ask 'im." Bobby grinned, raising his beer glass to Storm. "You 'n me!"
James chuckled. "I was thinkin' more me 'n Wildcat," he murmured.
Their eyes met, then both looked away in embarrassment. Storm cleared
his throat, refilling both their glasses from the pitcher. "We ain't
drunk enough yet," he commented, chugging down his glass and pouring
If he could remember his own address, he wasn’t too drunk. That was his rule. At the moment, not only could he remember that, he was also capable of stumbling from the cab to his door, and he was even able to locate his keys. Opening the door was a more complicated matter, but he managed that after a few fumbled attempts. He dumped his keys onto the table, letting his coat drop to the floor. The room was spinning around him, but only slightly, so he was able to stumble into the living room. He had intended to pass out on the couch, but, to his great surprise, it was already occupied.
Chris Harris scowled at his errant lover. “Where the hell have you been?” he demanded.
James stumbled over his own feet, putting a hand against the wall for support. “I told ya I’s goin’ out, baby,” he murmured.
“You said you’d be out for an hour, and you might have a drink or two!” Chris stood, grasping James by the shoulders and peering into his bleary eyes. “You look like you’ve been drinking all night, and it’s 3 am!”
“So I had a few.” James laughed, pulling his lover into a hug. “I need ma boys time!” He hiccupped. “Ya wanna fuck?”
“No, I don’t wanna fuck,” Chris growled. “It’s not much fun when you pass out halfway through!” He led James over to the couch, shoving him onto the cushions and throwing a blanket at him. “You said you weren’t gonna do this anymore, James! You went a week without getting drunk. One fucking week!”
“An’ it was a long week!” James exclaimed, already flopped onto the couch, the blanket spread haphazardly over himself.
Chris sighed deeply. “I’ll talk to you tomorrow, when you’re not
drunk off your ass,” he snapped. He stomped into the bedroom, slamming
the door behind him.
Wildcat was surprised to find James curled up in his arms the next morning. He found himself stroking James’ hair affectionately, trying to ignore the reek of booze emanating from his partner. The week which had passed since they broke up and got back together had been wonderful. Chris had felt like a kid again, so in love with his wonderful, romantic partner. It had been amazing to give himself to James in an entirely new way, and he had felt that they were closer than ever. They had shared a few glasses of wine during that week, but nothing more. Then, James had announced that he was going out with some friends. Chris could almost feel his heart sink; and sure enough, James had come home blind drunk.
Chris held his lover tight, trying not to think about the fight they were going to have when his lover awoke. He enjoyed the moments that ticked by, James’ peaceful breath brushing against his shoulder. A faint groan signaled him that his lover was coming to.
“Aw hell.” James raised a hand, rubbing at his temples. “My head feels like shit.” He opened his eyes, blinking at his lover.
“Morning to you too,” Chris muttered, moving away from James. He couldn’t help but bitterly remember the last few mornings, which had begun with butterfly kisses and a bit of friendly roughhousing.
“Ya got some aspirin, baby?” James groaned.
“I took it out of the nightstand.” Chris crosses his arms over his chest, fighting the urge to pout.
James shot him a look. “Well could ya get me some? Damn.”
“Get it your damn self!” Chris got out of bed, stomping out of the room. He didn’t want to deal with Storm at the moment. He’d had more than enough of his lover’s grumpy, hung over mornings in the five years they had been together. Throwing himself into a seat at the table, he sighed deeply. He had been foolish to think that this wouldn’t happen again. But a week? That stung him.
His cell phone beeped from counter, reminding him that the battery
was low. He sighed again, standing up to plug it in. He watched
morosely as the little bar rose and fell, signaling that it was
charging. He just stared at it for a moment, then he picked it back up,
dialing a number on a whim.
“Hello,” he answered casually.
Daniels froze. This was not someone he expected to be calling him, especially after the events of the previous week. “Oh. Hi,” he replied awkwardly.
“Am I, uh, bothering you?” came Wildcat’s hesitant voice.
“No. No, I wasn’t doing much. How’s James?” Christopher ventured.
“Oh. Sorry,” he murmured.
“I – I wanted to talk to someone,” Wildcat stated. “You were real nice, the other day, letting me stay and all.”
“It was no problem,” Christopher replied quickly.
“I’m sorry I haven’t called you, ‘til now. It was – with Storm – it was awkward.”
“Right.” Christopher swallowed. “He doesn’t - ?”
“No. He doesn’t.” Harris cleared his throat. “He’s not gonna.”
Christopher breathed a mental sigh of relief. He already had AJ after him, he seriously didn’t need James Storm gunning for him as well. “Good. It was just one of those things, we should forget it.”
“Yes. Absolutely.” Harris ran a hand through his hair. “I - ” He stopped, his blood running cold as he noticed the rim of a cowboy hat just peeking out from the room’s door. “I’ll call you back,” he said quickly, hanging up the phone and setting it down. “What the hell are you doing up?” he demanded. “Shouldn’t you be passed out on your back?”
“Couldn’t find the damn aspirin,” James muttered, stepping fully into the room. “Th’hell am I ‘not gonna’?” he demanded.
“Stop drinking!” Harris shot back.
James just frowned at him. He strode up to the counter, snatching up Wildcat’s cell and pulling up the last number dialed. “Daniels?” He looked sharply at his lover. “Th’hell’ve you got to do with Daniels?”
“He’s a friend,” Harris retorted.
“Since when?” James dropped the phone back onto the counter. “I don’t ‘member shit ‘bout that night we broke up, but Roode said Daniels called him to come get me. Now how the hell would Daniels know to call Roode?”
Chris scowled at his partner, trying not to let show how fast his heart was beating. “You were drunk off your ass, you stupid bastard,” he spat. “Daniels stopped me from killing you.”
“Really.” James narrowed his eyes. “I know you didn’t sleep at home that night. The bed wasn’t touched when I got here. He take you home? He *comfort* you?”
“I was drunk! He let me crash on his couch,” Chris exclaimed.
“Oh, so you’re just callin’ your good friend Daniels this mornin’ ta bitch about my drinkin’?” James threw his hands up in the air. “I drink, Cat! I’ve always been drinkin’!”
Chris shook his head, too rattled to argue with Storm at the moment. “I don’t wanna talk about this right now!” He reached into a drawer, pulling out a bottle of aspirin and throwing it to Storm, then marching into the bathroom and slamming the door.
James heard the sound of the shower running shortly. He twirled the aspirin bottle between his fingers, picking up Wildcat’s cell phone again and hitting redial.
“Hey,” answered Daniels’ voice far too quickly.
“Boy, if you been messin’ with my man, you better say your prayers,”
James growled, hanging up the phone and dropping it onto the counter.
Christopher Daniels didn’t want to go to work. He had never felt that way before, because he loved his job. But AJ was still going after both him and Rhino, and the threat from Storm had him especially worried. The Tennessee Cowboy was not someone he wanted to mess with. He stayed in the X Division locker room, chatting with the other X boys as they filed in.
“You look happy,” he commented when Petey Williams arrived, the Canadian grinning from ear to ear.
Petey shrugged. “Heard from an old friend last night. He’s gonna be in town, we might get together.”
“Sounds nice.” Christopher raised an eyebrow. “It’s not Kash, is it?”
Petey laughed. “No. You don’t know him.” He set his bag down, pulling out his white ring gear. “Storm was looking for you, by the way.”
Christopher froze. “Did you tell him where I was?” he asked anxiously.
Petey looked up at him curiously. “I didn’t know. Why, you got beef with him?”
“He has a few misconceptions.” Daniels cleared his throat. “I think I’ll go check the booking.” He exited the room quickly, followed by the Canadian’s curious gaze. He actually intended to find a deserted room and hide out there, as the X Division room was probably the first place Storm would check for him.
“There ya are!”
Christopher stopped in his tracks as the voice rang out behind him. He instantly regretting leaving the safety of his fellow X boys. Slowly, he turned, pasting on a smile. “Hey, James,” he greeted.
James slung an arm around his shoulders, making Daniels flinch. “Ya look awful nervous, for a guy who *didn’t* sleep with my man,” James murmured, his voice laced with malice.
“I – James, I - ” Daniels found himself uncharacteristically tongue tied, but the pressure of James’ arm around his neck was just as intimidating as the cowboy intended it to be.
“Ain’t cha got somethin’ to say for yourself?” James growled. “Ya took my man home, and ya fucked him. He let ya, ‘cos he was missin’ me.”
Christopher didn’t think this was a wise time to point out that Wildcat had been ‘missing’ James because James had smashed a bottle into his face. “Nothing happened that night,” he stammered. “He was drunk, he just fell asleep.”
“Is that right.” James backed Christopher against the wall, planting his hands to either side of Daniels’ head. “Then ‘splain to me why you’re so nervous.”
“I’d be nervous too, if ya had me backed against a wall.”
James looked up, backing off when he saw AJ Styles watching them. The cowboy eyed the phenomenal one appraisingly. “Ya shouldn’t’a cut this one loose, he’s gettin' hisself into trouble,” James stated. “Don’t nobody take Harris home but me.”
“Nothing happened between them,” AJ stated. “I know. I was there.”
Both James and Christopher stared at him in surprise. “You two back together?” James looked between them, Daniels quickly masking his surprise.
“No.” AJ sighed, running a hand over his short cropped hair. “Ya don’t have to keep coverin’ for me, Chris.” He took a deep breath, looking ashamed. “I was drunk. I don’t drink often, but I was pissed ‘bout him and Rhino. I waited at his apartment for an hour before he showed up, dragging Harris along. Harris was drunker'n I was. He passed right out, an’ Christopher had ta spend the night fendin’ me off.” AJ shook his head. “I ain’t proud a what I did, but I can’t let cha blame Christopher for somethin’ that didn’t happen.”
Christopher was staring at AJ, hardly able to believe that the ex who had made his life hell was now giving him an alibi. Storm seemed to be buying it; hell, if he didn’t know it was a lie, he probably would have believed it too.
James was now the one looking ashamed. “So he didn’t sleep with Cat?” he questioned for confirmation.
AJ nodded. “Just like he told ya.”
James sighed, taking off his cowboy hat and turning it in his hands. “Well shit. Looks like I owe Cat an apology.” He scowled momentarily, plunking his hat back on his head. “Ain’t nothin’ I hate more’n apologizin’!” With that, he whirled around and strode off.
Christopher was quiet until he was certain Storm was gone, then he smiled at his ex. “AJ – thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” AJ shuffled his feet, glancing at the floor. “I still ain’t happy ‘bout you ‘n Rhino, but I can’t let Storm kill ya.” He looked up at Daniels curiously. “Did ya really mess with Harris?”
Christopher sighed, leaning his head back against the wall. “I didn’t mean to,” he stated honestly. “We were both upset, and it just – happened.” He watched AJ nervously, praying this revelation wouldn’t incite another fit of jealousy.
AJ was quiet. He gazed at the floor for a moment, his reaction hard
to gage. When he looked up, his blue eyes locked with Christopher’s for
a second, then AJ’s lips were on his. The kiss lasted only a moment,
then AJ was pulling back, hurrying away down the hall. Christopher
gazed after him, his fingers brushing across his lips.