What is Justice?

Ashlan Shaw isn't your average diva. She fights superstars instead of divas. As the Intercontinental Champion, things couldn't be better for the 25 year old. As things begin changing in the WWE however, Ashlan may be forced to face an ugly truth; her worst enemy may be one of her closest friends.

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18. Forgiven

*Outside POV*

*Earlier That Night...*

Ash sat backstage at the Smack down taping and poked at the stitches on her arm. She couldn't believe that the cuts from the broken glass needed stitches. She thought that the cuts would need to be bandaged at worst, but apparently she was wrong.

She was alone in The Hardy Boyz locker room. Matt and Jeff had pretty much been taking care of Ash ever since the fight she had with Dean last night. They were some of the only few people on the roster she could trust right now.

Shawn was furious when he found out Dean laid a finger on her, let alone punched her in the face. If Ash hadn't begged Matt and Jeff to keep Shawn as far away from The Shield as possible, he would've most likely killed all three of them.

Hunter was out of the picture for obvious reasons. He was actually amused slightly by the whole situation. While he was upset by the fact Dean actually hit her, he found it quite amusing that he didn't need to be involved in breaking Ash and Dean up, Dean managed to do it all by himself.

Pretty much the rest of the roster, with the exception of a few other people, wouldn't even look at Ash. It was fine by her though, she preferred having a small circle of friends.

Her I-phone was blaring the song Riot by Three Days Grace, as she waited for Matt and Jeff to finish up with their match, and everybody else had enough sense to leave her alone. To most people it would the definition of peaceful. To Ashlan it was like going through Hell. All she could think about was the fight she had the night before with Dean. No matter how hard she tried she just couldn't seem to forget about what was said. Of course she meant none of what she said, but she didn't know if Dean meant what he said.

She spent at least fifteen minutes lost in thought until Matt and Jeff came back, but the two of them didn't look too thrilled. Teddy Long wanted Ash to wrestle a match in twenty minutes against Daniel Bryan, and he asked the Hardy Boyz to tell her. If Ash would've just had the stitches they would've been fine with her wrestling, but all day she'd been trying to hide from people the fact that she had a black eye.

"Matty...Jeffro...what's wrong?" Ash asked quietly as she sat Indian-style on the couch.

"Teddy wants you to wrestle Bryan in twenty minutes." Matt growled as he began pacing around the room.

Ash's heart started racing. She knew that if she couldn't think of something quick, the whole world would see her black eye. "Okay, we need to do something quick. We could um...I could...dang...I'm so totally screwed." As Matt and Jeff nodded in agreement Ash noticed a smudge on Jeff's left cheek. In an instant she had a light-bulb moment. "Wait, you have your face paint, right Jeff?"

"Yeah, but I don't see...oh I get it. You're going to hide your black eye with the face paint...clever." Jeff remarked.

"Yup, but I'm going to need some help applying it. I'm only skilled with a paint brush when it's pointed away from me." Ash admitted with a hint of embarrassment.

Jeff chuckled and smirked at her. "Just leave that to me. It would be wise if you changed before we started though, unless you plan on wrestling in jeans and a tank top."

Ash reluctantly got off the couch, grabbed her bag, and went to the privacy of showers to get changed.

*Fifteen Minutes Later*

As Jeff put the finishing touches on Ash's face paint, which had a green and black spider look to it, she couldn't help but to feel a twinge of guilt. She had spent so much time with The Shield that she had neglected all her other friends. Now that she was avoiding The Shield, it made her realize how much she really needed her friends. She even thought about apologizing to Hunter and hopefully getting a clean slate with him. She would then have to apologize to her other friends; but that was a bridge she'd cross when she got there.

"And...there...we...go." Jeff mumbled as he finished gingerly applying the face paint to Ash's eye.

When he backed away from Ash and let her look in the mirror. She was amazed by what and incredible job Jeff had done in such a short amount of time. "Jeff...this looks incredible...thank you." She gave him a tight hug and refused to let go. "Jeff, I'm sorry I've been neglecting you guys. I've been spending so much time with The Shield I've pretty much forgot what it's like to have other friends." Ash was ready to cry from how much guilt she was feeling.

"Shh...It's alright Ash. That's all in the past now. You need to focus on your match and head to the curtain before you're late." Jeff said quietly as he tried to soothe his distressed friend.

Ash smiled at how willing Jeff was to forgive her. "Thanks Jeffy, tell Matt I'm sorry when you see him later."

Jeff waved Ash away. "I will. Get out there before Vickie has to chew you out again."

With a smile (and some face paint) on her face, Ash hastily made her way to the Gorilla Position just in time for her match against Daniel Bryan.

*After the Match*

After having lost to Daniel Bryan, Ash took a big gulp of water as she made her way towards DX's locker room. She decided that she was going to try and smooth things over with Hunter so there would no longer be tension between the two of them every time they were within twenty feet of each other.

As she approached the locker room door, she couldn't help but to feel slightly nervous. If Hunter didn't accept her apology, it might only make things worse. She pushed that thought away, knowing that the future of DX...and their friendship was more important that her petty fears.

She stood outside the door and gave herself a mini pep-talk. "Okay Ash, you can do this. Just knock on the door and ask to come in. After that, swallow your pride and apologize for being a jerk about the whole situation with The Shield." She took a deep breath and prepared to knock on the door, but it opened at that very moment.

"Ash, what do you want?" Hunter asked in a deep, menacing tone.

"Can I come in?" Ash asked weakly.

Hunter stepped out of the doorway, but annoyance was clearly written on his face. "Alright, but make it quick."

"I actually came to talk to you Hunt. I wanted to...apologize for being such a jerk during this whole situation with The Shield. If you accept my apology, I'd like to start over from before my wrist was broken." After she finished she held her breath and prayed that Hunter would find it in his heart to forgive her.

Hunter rubbed the stubble on his chin and thought for a few moments. He was trying to convince himself that he wasn't a hundred percent willing to forgive her, but he knew that it was impossible to stay mad at her. He did also feel as though he owed her this at least since all of her injuries within the past few months were either directly or indirectly because of him. "Heck, you didn't need to apologize. I can't stay mad at you."

Ash took a deep breath and let out a content sigh. "You don't know how relieved I am to hear that." She lied down on the couch and made herself at home. "So what have you been up to?"

"Oh you know, fighting Jerishow, going on dates, doing some DX stuff...the usual." Hunter shrugged as he sat down at the end of the couch.

When Ash heard he had been going on dates, the corners of her lips curved upwards. "So...who ya datin'?"

Hunter folded his arms behind his head and leaned back as he smirked cockily. "Stephanie McMahon, we started dating after you dyed all my clothes pink."

Ash rubbed the back of her neck in embarrassment. "That wasn't my best prank...sorry."

The locker room door opened to reveal Shawn Michaels talking to the newest Diva; Tyler Kennedy.

"Oh hey Shawn, Ash dropped in to say hi." Hunter stated.

"That's great!" Shawn exclaimed as he followed Tyler into the room. "I actually wanted to introduce her to Tyler." Shawn then turned his attention to Ash. "Ashlan, this is Tyler Anderson...Tyler, this is Ashlan Shaw."

Ash looked over Shawn's new "acquaintance" and nodded approvingly. "Hey, I'm Ashlan or Ash if you want to call me that."

"Hi...I'm Tyler." Tyler said nervously as she twirled her blonde hair with her fingers.

"I know I just met you and all, but I'm going to take a stab at this and say you're Ken's sister. Am I right?" Ash asked as she let her head hang over the arm of the couch so she could look Tyler in the eyes.

"Yeah," Tyler said sheepishly. "He convinced me to be a wrestler a few years back so we could spend more time together."

"Nice, he use to talk about you all the time. I must say though, you're much prettier than he described." Ash said bluntly.

Tyler blushed and moved some of her hair into her face. "Thanks."

Ash chuckled and looked over at Shawn. "I like her. You always know how to pick the best people to be friends with."

Tyler shuffled her feet nervously and looked at the floor, but there was a smile on her face. She wasn't nervous because of what Ash was saying, but because she had a crush on Shawn. Ken always use to talk to her about people backstage, so she already knew a little bit about Shawn. The last thing Tyler expected was to develop a crush on Shawn, but from what Ken told her and having actually met him, it was unavoidable.

"I...I have to go, bye Shawn, bye Hunter, bye Ash." Tyler said quickly before dashing out of the locker room.

"Dude," Ash said as she looked up at Shawn. "She totally has a crush on you."

Shawn's cheeks grew hot and he avoided her gaze. "I don't think she has a crush on me Ash."

Ash shook her head in disappointment. "You're either stupid, in denial, or you're too blinded by your own crush to see what's obvious."

"Who told you I have a crush on Tyler?" Shawn asked in awe. He'd only told Hunter that he liked Tyler, and since Ash and Hunter just started talking again, he knew it wasn't Hunter.

"You did, just now." Ash smirked as she got up off the couch and made her way to Shawn's side. "Besides, you make it way too obvious."

"I do not!" Shawn stomped his foot down in protest.

"Just trust me on this...you do." She put her arm on his shoulder and leaned on him.

"Shawn, I hate to admit it...but she's right. You make it way to obvious that you like Tyler." Hunter added as he stretched out across the couch.

Ash looked at Hunter in shock. "Dude, you just took my spot! This is a direct violation of the DX Bro Code!"

"We don't have a DX Bro Code." Hunter pointed out before taking a drink out of Ash's water.

"Now you're drinking my water! That's breaking rule four of the Bro Code!" Ash whined in frustration. "And we so do have a Bro Code!"

Hunter's cocky grin returned. "Then prove to me that there's a DX Bro Code."

Ash melodramatically sighed and began fishing around in Shawn's duffle bag until she pulled out a small, bright green and black journal. "See, I made it myself."

"I've never seen that before. When did you put that in my duffle bag?" Shawn asked as he took the journal away from Ash.

"I dunno, when was WrestleMania 25?" She asked innocently.

"Three years ago." Hunter answered before Shawn could.

"It was like three weeks before that." She smiled as she sat down on the floor next to the couch.

"I know this is random and all, but shouldn't you wash the face paint of your face?" Hunter inquired.

Ash thought for a second before jumping up off the floor and heading to the showers. She turned the shower on and stuck her head under the cold water. she kept it there for a minute or two before she turned the water off and shook her hair like a wet dog would. There were still a few spots where the paint still remained, so she grabbed a towel and scrubbed it off before heading back to the locker room.

The second Shawn and Hunter saw her they both gasped. They didn't know Ash had a black eye, and this was not the way Ash had intended for them to find out.

"Hunter, Shawn, what's..." When Ash realized what had caused Shawn and Hunter's reaction she began freaking out. "You guys, it's not as bad as you think. Trust me, for all we know it'll be gone by tomorrow."

"How can you sit here and tell us it's fine that Dean Ambrose hit you?!" Hunter didn't mean to, but he yelled that at Ashlan.

"I'm not saying its fine, but...I...I..." She just couldn't find a way to argue with them.

"When I get my hands on Ambrose..." Shawn mumbled as he headed for the door.

"No!" Ash cried out as she dove and wrapped her arms around Shawn's legs. "Please don't hurt him! He didn't mean it!"

Shawn tried to shake Ash off his legs. "Ash, please don't stop me from doing what I have to do."

"Shawny please don't do this. If you hurt him, you'll hurt me." She begged as she gripped his legs as though her life depended on it.

Shawn and Hunter couldn't believe what they were hearing. It didn't make sense why Ash would be defending Ambrose after what he and The Shield did last night.

Shawn finally got his legs free and sat down beside Ash. "Why are you still defending Ambrose after what he did?"

Ash crawled to Shawn's side and rested her head against his leg. "If I try to think of a reason to be mad at him, it hurts. Even just thinking about it now hurts."

Shawn stroked Ash's hair in an attempt to calm her. "Alright...how 'bout me and Hunter take you back to your hotel room?"

"Thanks Shawny, thanks Hunt." She mumbled as she got up off the floor.

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