Disclaimer: No one is mine, darn it. But I'd happily buy HBK if they were selling him.
Distribution: ask first
Rating: G (mostly... The world just ended, I know...)
Characters: Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahon
Content: implied m/m relations
Spoilers: Ummm... Summerslam '95. Sort of.
Author's Notes: Look at the characters listed above. Look at the rating. Look at the type of story. Add them up. If that equals "OMG! EWWW! Squick!!" for you... don't read it. ;)
Dedication: For those of you who went, "OMG, I can't believe you'd write that... but I'll read it anyway." You know who you are. *grins*
The room was dim, the only illumination coming from the flickering of the television set. The large screen, set into heavy wooden shelving, cast more than enough light for the two men on the couch in front of it. Sitting close together, arms around each other in easy silence, words were largely unnecessary between them. Years of familiarity said more than most conversations could.
It had been years since Shawn had watched his old matches... and watching this particular match, here, now, with this man, leant it an especial meaning. Even so, he couldn't quite hold back the occasional wry comment as they watched the small figures tumbling together on the screen, wincing occasionally at particularly nasty blows with the orange ladder.
"I'm not so sure that Michaels will ever be the same!"
"Well, you certainly made sure of that, didn't you?" he said teasingly, lips curling in a fond smirk as he looked at the man he was curled up against. His companion shook his head, an answering smile on his own lips.
"It wasn't quite that easy, and you know it."
Any reply he might've had was interrupted by a snort of laughter at the running commentary on the tape.
"And here in the ladder match, anything goes as well!"
Not bothering to hide his smirk, Shawn murmured, "You had the most suggestive commentary... even King doesn't hold a candle to some of your lines." He could feel the quiet laugh shake the other man's body and slid his hand down a few inches to curl more comfortably around his waist, enjoying feel of the warm cotton against his fingers.
"Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels, going at it, in Pittsburgh..."
"Oh, please. If I'd ever even looked at Scott that way, Kevin would've had my head." Another laugh and some small shifting, and he was being pinned by warm brown eyes, the serious tone in the cultured voice not hiding the amused glint in their depths.
"Kevin wouldn't have been the only one to have a problem with that." A soft brush of fingers across his cheek and the surprisingly serious words made his eyes soften as he watched the slightly uncomfortable expression on the familiar face. "I spent far too long watching you play the scene backstage with too many people... the only thing that made it at all bearable was knowing that none of them were serious. Scott would've been different, I think."
Shawn shook his head, understanding the still-obvious thread of self-conscious worry underlying the words, but knowing better. "If it hadn't been for Kevin, maybe... but they'd been together for years before they came to the WWF. I'd never try to come between those two."
"Surely that was not intentional on the part of Shawn Michaels!"
Raising an eyebrow, he wondered out loud, partly to prevent the mood from becoming too serious, "Surely you weren't that obviously biased toward me in all my matches... were you?"
"Probably." A wry smile. "But then, I had my reasons. And at least by showing some favour, you were a little easier to deal with."
The other eyebrow shot up to join the first and Shawn pushed himself up a bit. "Easier to deal with? Well..." He tilted his head in thought for a moment as the Summerslam match continued unnoticed in front of them. "I suppose I was full of myself then..." he conceded, fully expecting the half-amused, half-outraged response that he got in return. "Honestly, though... I was a spoiled brat. How did you ever put up with me?"
"It wasn't easy, trust me."
Bouncing slightly on his toes, Shawn leaned against the wall, his gaze fastened firmly on the golden belt in his hands. Even knowing ahead of time that it would be his again did nothing to decrease the sense of accomplishment and pride that he felt. That match had been even better than the first one he and Scott had had, and more innovative. It might even go down in history... hell, who was he kidding? The Ladder Rematch between The Heartbreak Kid and The Bad Guy... of course it would go down in history. Smirking a little to himself, he brushed sweaty hair out of his eyes and frowned a little. Damn, he stank... he needed a shower, and now... because after the rest of the matches were over, the fans would want photos.
Sauntering down the hall, already planning what to wear out of the building, he was caught by surprise at the voice calling his name.
And that voice, not even he could ignore. Stopping cold, he turned, suddenly dreading what Vince McMahon might have to say to him. It couldn't be a criticism of the match... that had been one of his best ever. But one thing he'd learned very quickly in this business was that you never, ever blew off the boss... no matter what he had to say. Bracing himself, he grinned cockily at the man, one hand protectively on the title strap over his shoulder.
"Yeah, Vince? Come out to tell me what an amazing match that was?" Hiding his insecurity behind his ego wasn't the best solution, he did know that... but he'd never been able to break himself of the habit. After all, arrogance and attitude were what everyone expected from him, and they were practically second nature to him now. Even when he didn't really want them to be.
He watched Vince's slight frown at his tone and felt himself shrivel a bit. Dammit. He respected the hell out of the man's opinion... why couldn't he ever bring himself to show that? Maybe because the feelings he'd been struggling with for the past year were not exactly good things to be having for your boss, he castigated himself mentally. Distracted by his own thoughts, he realised abruptly that he'd missed part of Vince's words.
"...to tell you that that was a great match. I'm really proud of you and Scott. You put on a great show out there."
Blinking in surprise, Shawn nodded, his mouth opening before he could stop himself.
"Thanks, Vince! I think it might go down in history, y'know... one of the signs said "Rematch of the Century" and I think it was." Listening to himself, caught somewhere between amazement and horror, the half-amused expression on Vince's face finally caught his attention and he fell silent, wondering what the hell he'd just said, because he had no idea.
Tilting his head, Vince paused for a moment, almost like he was waiting, and then said into the silence, "If you're quite done idolizing yourself... I actually wanted to ask you something."
The tone in Vince's voice was... strange, but familiar at the same time. Trying to hide his confusion at this strange encounter, Shawn nearly missed the quiet question.
"Would you like to have dinner with me?"
His eyes opened wide and he stared at Vince. Only after a long moment had passed and Vince's slightly self-conscious expression penetrated his shock did he realise that he really had heard what he'd thought he'd heard.
"Dinner...? With you...?" The slight narrowing of Vince's eyes at his incredulous tone brought him up short, and he floundered, not wanting to piss off his boss... especially not when the impression he was giving was exactly the opposite of how he actually felt. "Um. Sorry, I just..." Stopping again, he drew in a shaky breath, forcing the attitude away... and said quietly, his eyes fixed firmly on the floor, "I'd love to."
Another long moment of silence passed, and Shawn began to feel a lot like a bug on a window right before it got squashed. Just when he was contemplating flight, the light pressure of fingers on his chin, lifting his head, made his eyes fly up to meet Vince's amused gaze. Something about that look sent a shiver all the way down to his toes, and Vince's smile brought forth a hesitant curve of his own lips.
"Good. I'll meet you outside my office in..." A quick glance at his watch. "An hour? That should give you enough time to get cleaned up and let me finish up the last-minute things that have to be done."
A quick nod, and then Shawn was watching Vince walk away... whistling. Something about that made him smile... and then he snapped back to himself. An hour? Damn! That barely gave him enough time to get his shower and get his dried and done, and... Muttering under his breath, he hurried down the hall... an unnameable undercurrent making his step lighter than it had been.
"You were an arrogant jerk... but too damned attractive to ignore." Shawn couldn't help the laugh, but still narrowed his eyes at Vince, nearly offended at the statement. Vince grinned at him, and he knew that it had been a calculated comment... one thing had never changed, and that was Vince's joy at pushing his buttons. Shaking his head in exaggerated motion, Vince said, "And some things just never change."
That did it. Now he was offended. Pushing away from his lover of a decade, Shawn pulled out his deadliest weapon: He pouted.
It didn't get the reaction he'd hoped for. Chuckling, Vince only closed the distance between them, his breath coming in warm puff against Shawn's cheek as he said softly, "You're still the best-looking man I've ever seen."
The slow kiss that followed finished destroying the last shreds of his indignation, and Shawn leaned into Vince, his free arm wrapping around the broad shoulder for additional support. Only when Vince lifted his head, separating their lips, did he open his eyes again, bestowing a quietly joyful look on him.
The glint in the familiar brown eyes warned him even as Vince added, just as softly, "And you're still an arrogant jerk." His eyes widened in shock before the humour visible on Vince's face registered, and he huffed, muttering, "You're one to talk!" Even the smile that broke free of his assumed indignation didn't stop him from landing a solid thump to Vince's shoulder. The blow only provoked further laughter from Vince, who twined his fingers through Shawn's, partly to prevent any further mock-violence and partly to assist him in leaning Shawn backwards onto the couch.
"And I still love you." The quietly sincere words took Shawn's breath away, just as they had the first time this man had uttered them, and he smiled, shifting underneath Vince as he returned the words in a quiet murmur, his free hand coming up to encircle Vince's waist.
Any further noises were lost beneath the noise of the match still playing, now unnoticed, on the television.
~ finis ~
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