“I like the way you said everything is streamlined on me…..even my hair”
John smiles, even as he continues with his work, repairing a rip in one of his trademark, full length coats.
“Only speaking the truth, babe”
“Hmm” Miz gets off the sofa, and wanders over to the kitchen table, where John has his coat and all his sewing equipment spread out. “Does that apply to everything that you said?”
“What do you mean?” John asks distractedly, as he concentrates on threading a fine needle.
Miz pulls out the chair across from John, and sits down.
“I don’t know….maybe that reference you ‘almost’ made, about me being your husband” he pauses. “Do you wish that that was true?”
John looks up at him.
“How long have we been together?” Miz asks, responding to John’s question with one of his own.
John furrows his brow.
“Five months….since we won the tag belts, but you already know that”
“Of course I do. Can you work and talk at the same time?”
“You’ve never complained about my multi-tasking before…..yes, I can”
Miz looks him in the eye.
“Then humour me”
“Ok, if it makes you happy”
“Actually, I’m more concerned about both of us being happy” Miz responds, fiddling with a yellow feather that has come loose from the coat.
“And you don’t think we are? Is that what this is?” John asks, picking up the ripped piece of the coat and starting to sew it closed with brisk movements of his hands.
“John, you’re one of the most…..the most important person in my life. I want to know if you’re happy. It’s not a complicated question”
John raises his eyebrows.
“Isn’t it? I thought happiness was one of the hardest things to define?”
Miz rolls his eyes.
“Please, don’t pull a Dr. Phil on me…..not this time”
“Why not this time?” John says, with a smirk.
“Because I need you to be serious this time, ok!” Miz burst out, losing his cool temporarily at John’s light attitude.
John shakes his head, still continuing to do his work.
“Okay…..take a chill pill, babe”
“I’m sorry, baby. I just….I really need to talk to you about this”
“So, talk. I’m listening”
It wasn’t exactly the enthusiasm Miz had been hoping for.
“Isn’t this important to you?”
“What?” John finished sewing up the rip and snipped the thread off.
John sighed, setting his coat and needle down on the table. “I don’t know how you can even ask me a question like that” he pushed his chair back, and stood. “Go take that fucking chill pill!”
He walked past Miz, and went into their bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him.
“How often do you talk about your relationship?” Tommy may not have been the person at the top of his list to ask, but he’d happened to find the stalwart ECW star on his own, getting ready for a match, the first guy he had found on his own since his disturbing conversation with John. And in any case, he knew Tommy was in a long term relationship with Matt, a relationship that had survived different brand names, long term benching of one or other of them, as well as other difficulties that Miz had no way of checking the veracity of. Tommy would do, but he still found it difficult to open up to any of the guys about his relationship with John. Some because, to them five months was nothing, others because five months was an eternity, and a few who, he knew, if they smelled trouble, would come sniffing round John like lions circling a wounded zebra. Tommy, he knew, fell into none of these categories.
“Not enough apparently”
“Never mind” Tommy shook his head ruefully. “How do you mean?”
“I mean…..I just wanted to talk to John about….things, and he went all apeshit on me. I can’t understand it. Matt’s not like that, is he?”
Tommy hesitated, considering.
“No, but all guys are different, Miz. What did John say exactly?”
“First he was being all…..like, you know, not taking it seriously, then when I asked him isn’t our relationship important to you, he got all pissy, and fucking stormed out of the room. I mean, what the fuck is up with that?”
Tommy took a roll of tape out of his gym bag, and started taping his left wrist.
“I don’t think John would have meant to hurt you, Miz” he paused. “You and John have been together, what…..five months?” Miz nodded, though Tommy had made it sound more like a statement than a question. Tommy no doubt knew the number, there was little that went on in ECW or SD, the two being fairly interchangeable these days, that Tommy didn’t know. “And how often do you talk?”
“Talk? We talk every day. Fuck, we live together, Tommy….in as much as two active wrestlers can”
Tommy shook his head.
“Tell me about it. But, it’s what you talk about that’s important. Like, how much do you think you really know about John? Or how much does he know about you? That shit’s important, Miz”
Miz narrowed his eyes, but he wasn’t glaring at Tommy, rather he was thinking on what he’d said. How much did he know about John? He knew he was hot, fucking, smoking hot, and he knew the sex was….out of this world, but even this latter question opened up a whole can of worms. As he thought about it, he realized that even to do with John’s sex life he knew surprisingly little. I mean, sure the basics he had covered. After five months he’d have been pretty fucking backward not to know whether John liked to top or sub, how he felt about giving blowjobs or handjobs, what flavour lube he preferred. He was on top of all of that….well at least John had never complained, which in and out of itself was quite an accomplishment. John was a guy with high standards in the bedroom. A guy like John Morrison, a guy with a body that good…..I mean, it was only reasonable that he’d expect a certain quality of treatment. But all those things were day to day stuff. When it came to things like, how many guys John had been with, who had been his first…..anything like that, Miz realized he had no idea. Even the way they’d hooked up sometimes worried him. It had been management’s idea to make them a tag-team. Admittedly the notion had been incredibly successful. You put two superstars like himself and John together, and success just happened.
Also it didn’t hurt that, in a very short space of time, they’d gelled, become a team who really watched each other’s backs, and, you know, helped each other out if that was needed. Along the way, of course, they’d become more than tag-team partners, they’d also become lovers. For himself, so fresh out of a rocky relationship, finding a lover like John had been a godsend. Not only was the man smoking hot, but the incident with Mark, as terrifying as it had been, had proved a depth of feeling that he’d hardly dared hope John had for him. Yet, for all of that, he realized now that, he and John had never really talked.
“You know what, Tommy, I think that’s a fucking good idea” he said, only to realize that he was talking to empty air. Tommy was long gone. ‘Oh, well, it’s still a good idea. Now, I just need to find John, and convince him to stay in the room long enough to explain all this shit to him.' A challenge perhaps, but one Miz felt sure he could meet.
What kind of luck was this, Miz thought, turning around to see John walking towards him along the corridor. He’d only just left the locker room in search of John, and here he was. Not only that, but John had called out to him, which had to mean he wanted to talk.
“John….I was just looking for you”
“Yeah” John glanced past him at the door Miz had only recently come through. “In the ECW locker room?”
“Oh…..I just ran into Tommy in there. We were talking about…..stuff”
John raised his eyebrows.
“Stuff like you and me?” Miz just nodded, figuring this was one of those times were honesty was the best policy. John smiled a little. “I figured as much. Listen, babe, we need to talk”
Miz rolled his eyes, considering this to be quite a glaringly obvious statement.
“Fucking A, we need to talk. That’s why I was looking for you”
John touched a hand to his cheek.
“Not here though. We’ll go out after the show, k babe?”
Like he could say no, Miz thought.
“Yeah, of course. Where do you wanna go?”
Miz returned his smile, the answer immediately springing to mind.
“This was your first choice?” John looked around him, at the vinyl seating, plastic tables and glaring neon lighting, with barely disguised distaste.
“Of course” Miz responded, chomping down on one of his French fries. “What’s wrong with it?”
John made a face.
“What’s right with it, is the better question. What do you think their hygiene rating is?” he added, looking at Miz as though he actually expected him to know the answer.
Miz shook his head.
“Who knows? Who fucking cares? You ever heard of someone getting food poisoning after eating at a McDonald’s?”
John glanced down at his chicken salad, the only food Miz had actually managed to convince him to order, as though expecting to see it crawling with cockroaches.
“There’s always a first time”
“Fuck it, John, you don’t have to eat it, but you did say we needed to talk, so….can we do that now” Miz inquired, taking a large bite from his Big Mac, and chewing it with relish.
“Fine” John pushed his salad away. “I’ll make up a protein shake when we get back to the hotel room. I don’t know how you can put that stuff inside you”
“And I don’t know how you’ve managed this long on the road, without eating fast food” Miz returned. “Now quit evading the subject…….whatever, you know, the subject is anyway”
“I don’t know about a subject, but…..I do know that I have an apology to make to you” he paused. “I’m sorry about before, babe. I should have been more understanding. If something’s upsetting you, then of course it’s important to me”
Miz set his burger down, lowering his gaze.
“I guess I didn’t need to have come on that strong, it’s just…..this…..what we have, it’s so important to me”
Miz felt John’s hand cover his own.
“I know, babe. That’s why we’re……here. To talk”
Miz hid a smile, hearing the distaste so clear in John’s voice.
“Ok” he looked back up into John’s eyes. “Can I ask you some questions, then?”
John smiled, giving his hand a gentle squeeze.
“Of course, babe. Ask away”
“I just want to know more about you, baby…..like…..like how many guys have you gone out with? Who was your first boyfriend? Stuff like that, that’s what I want to know”
John raised his eyebrows.
“Whoa……ok. Personal stuff” Miz nodded. “Is this a turn and turnabout situation?”
“Hmmm” John drew his hand back and ran his fingers through his dark hair. “Go back to eating, babe. I need to think about these answers” Miz obligingly went back to eating his Big Mac and large French fries, taking the occasional swig of his Coke, as he waited for John to start. Finally, after taking a deep breath, he did.
“I’m going to answer your second question first…..just seems easier that way. Well, I first knew……found out….I was…..babe, are you sure that this is the place you want to have this conversation?”
Miz rolled his eyes.
“You’re not gonna bitch about the food again, are you?”
John pursed his lips.
“No……I was thinking more of the privacy, or lack of it”
“Baby, come on…..who the fuck eats at McDonald’s at….” He glanced at his “Resident Evil 1” themed watch, a gift from John. “Eleven o’clock at night? There’s no one else fucking here”
“I guess….but I’m warning you right now….if any part of this conversation ends up on the Net, I will kick your ass”
Miz feigned a sudden coughing fit to hide his laughter.
“Sure you will, baby”
John didn’t look entirely convinced by his reaction, but he cleared his throat and began again.
“As I was saying, I knew I was gay when I was fifteen. Not a particularly early starter, if you listen to some of the other guys…um, but that’s just when it happened for me. I guess, maybe, deep down, everyone whose gay knows it….you know, on some level, right from the word go, but we’re afraid, we refuse to acknowledge it for one reason or another. Fifteen for me, was when I stopped doing that, when I came out, so to speak… not to my parents…..God, no….not to them, but…to myself, if that makes any sense” he paused. “To be honest I never did come out to my parents, or any other members of my family for that matter. That was the major reason I left home so young. Being gay in Los Angeles is a hell of a lot easier than being gay in Bandersville frickin’ Ohio. As you may have already guessed, I never had a relationship while I was still living at home, just would have been way to hard” he paused again, but Miz only nodded, not wanting to interrupt John’s flow of words. John looked down at the table, drawing in a breath. “So, well…..once I got to LA, I quickly realized that about a million other young guys, most of them better looking than me, were already there, trying to make names for themselves. I decided if I was going to succeed at anything, I needed an education, which is why I ended up enrolling at Uni, in probably the two most disparate subjects you could find; film and geology…..only to discover that I didn’t really want to study either of them. About a year into my study, Tough Enough came along. I’d always kept in good shape, and a WWE contract offered me the chance at fame. I certainly didn’t have any experience to speak of, but I knew if I put my head down and worked my ass off, I could make it…..long story short, that’s what I did. Mind you, all that training didn’t leave much time for a relationship. And it didn’t get any easier once I started in the OVW. I was still busting my ass…..just making shit money doing it”
“Like we’re still doing” Miz put in, unable to help himself.
John smiled, shaking his head.
“Yeah…..exactly. Anyway, what with work and training for work…..relationships were still on the sideline….just didn’t have the time……”
Miz dipped his last French fry into his BBQ sauce.
“Until?” John didn’t say anything, just lowered his head, staring with great interest at the surface of the table. Miz frowned. “Baby? Are you ok?”
John hesitated for a long time, so long that Miz had almost given up on him answering, then he finally did.
“Five months ago”
“Five months….but that was when we….you mean you’d never? You mean I was your….”
John nodded without raising his head.
“Fuck” Miz sat back, his appetite which had been raging only a moment ago, suddenly forgotten. “Me”
“What? Is that so bad?” John asked, and he sounded so low, that Miz forgot his own astonishment, at least for the time being.
“Baby” Miz reached across the table, and put his hand under John’s chin, tilting his head so that John was forced to meet his gaze. “No, baby…..no, not at all” he caressed John’s cheek with his hand, and got a weak smile in return. “It’s just….I’ve never….I’ve never been that…for anyone. I never imagined…..I mean you’re so….so fucking…confident, I guess”
John took his hand in both of his, and pressed Miz’s knuckles to his lips.
“You know why, babe?” Miz shook his head. “Because it’s you. I feel what I need to do…..how I need to be….it’s all in my heart”
Miz cleared his throat, feeling tears sting.
“You know, baby….if you fucking make me cry in a McDonalds of all places, I will kick your ass”
John laughed softly. He leaned across the table, and Miz who had been expecting to be kissed, instead found John’s lips against his ear.
“Tell you what, let’s get to our hotel room…..then you can do WHATEVER you want to my ass”
Miz knew, he had never, in his life, heard a better offer. Words weren’t an option, so he simply nodded, and sliding out of his seat, got to his feet.
John followed suit, then hesitated, glancing back at Miz’s half eaten dinner.
“Oh, no” Miz grabbed hold of his arm and began leading him towards the exit. “You ain’t stalling after that offer. Food can always come after”
John feigned a look of innocence.
“Me? I was just thinking of your wellbeing”
Miz got them out of the restaurant, ignoring the startled looks of the staff member behind the counter, and into the cold night outside.
“I do appreciate that you’re always thinking of me, baby. It’s definitely your second best trait. Now, get in the fucking car”
John flipped his hair back from his face, and climbed into the passenger’s side, figuring Miz owed him at least the drive to the hotel. Maybe he deserved the truth as well, a small voice whispered in the back of his mind, but John shrugged it off. It was a minor omission he’d made at most. Miz never had to know. In fact it would better for both of them if he never found out, and why would he?
Miz got in beside him and leaned over for a brief kiss.
“Love you, baby”
“Love you too, babe”
Next: A Night In