When Shawn, Hunter, and I first walked backstage we could tell something was wrong. It wasn't because of the atmosphere backstage because it was the same as usual; energetic and cheerful. It was just a gut feeling that all three of had in the pit of our stomachs. None of wanted to openly admit we knew something wasn't right, but the concerned looks we kept exchanging spoke volumes.
"Well, well, well if it isn't DX."
All three of us spun around on our heels in unison and faced the person talking only to find Legacy standing there. "Why do you three keep bothering us?" I groaned in annoyance, "You three have a computer, there's a lot of stuff on the interwebs I'm still not allowed to look at or even think about, do the math."
"Will you stop with all the porn references?" Randy growled, anger clearly written across his face.
"Oh, I wasn't talking about that. I was talking about what can be found when you search 'Randy Orton Gay Community'." A childish grin was spread across my face. I knew I was skating on thin ice but I was determined to get under Legacy's skin right before our match this Sunday.
All three members were angry but none more than Randy. "Listen here; we have control of Raw tonight so we can put you through the most torturous match possible." He hissed as he brought his face up to mine. Our faces were literally mere inches away from each other.
"Try me." I whispered just loud enough for him alone to hear.
Randy smirked and backed away from me. "Good to see how enthusiastic you are because you have the main event match against both members of Jerishow."
"Skip all the minor details, what's the catch?" I asked. I knew better than to believe Randy would just stick me in a handicap match.
"Ah yes, the stipulation." He thought for a second, "DX isn't allowed at ringside for your Inferno match."
I narrowed my eyes and bared my teeth at him. "Fine, I'll have fun sending both members of Jerishow through a curtain of fire."
"I think it's more likely that they'll send you through the flames." Randy laughed before he, Cody, and Ted left.
I watched the three of them disappear before I completely flipped my lid. "I'm so screwed! It's me against a freaking giant and Chris Jericho! In an Inferno match nonetheless! Randy's ensuring DX is weakened for Sunday! When I get my hands on him he won't be a viper, at best he'll be a garter snake!" I cried out as I began pacing back and forth.
"Don't say that Ash. Just do what I do before a match." Hunter said enthusiastically.
"What, you mean flirt with every girl that walks past me? Yeah right!" I laughed in a panicked tone.
"No, study up on your opponent. Learn their strengths, weaknesses, stuff like that."
"Yeah, let's see...Big Show just needs to grab me and he can throw me through the flames and Jericho has a much better arsenal than me when it comes to wrestling moves!" I cried out. I think it's safe to say I was scared about my match coming up in two hours.
"Just trust us Ash," Shawn pleaded, "You can beat them. They may work well as a unit, but Show is slow and Jericho's moves are limited. You think he's really going to even try a Lionsault in there?"
"I'm not as quick as you give me credit for Shawn." I protested, "I mean sure, I'm quicker than Show, but even if I can avoid him Jericho will be right there ready hit me with a Codebreaker or something." I let out an exhausted sigh and looked up at the two of them deeply. "I'm fighting a losing..." I stopped my own sentence right in its tracks when I had a light bulb moment. "You guys can teach me how to get out of their moves! Shawn, you can take over Jericho's move-set and Hunter can take over Big Show's!"
"I don't know," Shawn said skeptically, "What if we hurt you before the match?"
"Don't fully execute the move, just set up for it." I replied enthusiastically.
"It's our only chance Shawn." Hunter pointed out.
Shawn let out a defeated sigh and agreed to help. "Just don't tire yourself out. We'll teach you how to get out of their signature moves, but nothing else."
"What if he decides to put me in an armbar?" I asked weakly.
"Next you're going to say Cena learned a sixth move!" Hunter exclaimed.
"Hunter," I said in a low, dramatic voice, "Go find John Cena and apologize for that joke."
"Why? Cena didn't hear it!"
"I do not care, go find him and apologize right now."
"But Cena could be anywhere!"
"Just hurry up and find him."
Reluctantly Hunter trudged down the hallway in search of John Cena, leaving me and Shawn alone .
"So...should we start practicing or what?" I asked as I turned to Shawn.
"I mean I guess," Shawn said, "But first I need to grab a few things."
"Do you need any help?" I asked, knowing that I would have nothing to do if he said no.
"Nah," He replied, "I'm just gonna grab some waters and a few other things. I think I can manage."
My heart dropped. "Oh alright, see ya back at the locker room." I was truly disappointed because I sometimes felt like the useless member of DX.
"Yeah, see ya." Shawn turned and went down the hall, leaving me all alone.
I was all alone and I hated the feeling. I really never was use to being alone because I was always with either Shawn or Hunter, and occasionally Matt and Jeff. My spirits lifted when I remembered that Matt and Jeff were here. I quickly made my way to their locker room; located conveniently nearby. For the second time today my heart dropped when I discovered nobody was home. Now my day officially sucked. I began heading back towards my own locker room when I heard what sounded like a brawl going on down another hallway a few hundred feet away. Normally I wouldn't give it a second thought, but I was so bored that I just had to see some form of action. As I got closer to wherever the fight was I could distinguish voices a little better and the first one I made out was that of Shawn Michaels.
"Get off Ambrose!" I heard Shawn call out.
I tore down the hallway; my teeth bared back in a snarl, and ran straight into the room where the fight was taking place. Before my very eyes was The Shield viciously attacking Shawn. Yeah, and they call themselves a shield from injustice! I instantly charged at Roman Reigns and knocked him off his feet. I then got up and jumped Seth Rollins' back, but was quickly pried off him by Dean Ambrose.
"You have a lot of guts taking us on like that." Dean said in a low voice as he gripped the back of my shirt tightly and held me in the air.
"You were attacking my friend, what other options did I have?" I snapped.
Dean chuckled a few times and let go of me. "You're braver than most of the people in this place, I respect that."
The second my feet hit the floor I kneeled down beside Shawn and checked to make sure he was alright. The second I realized he was unconscious I looked up at Dean, who was now joined by Seth and Roman, and growled, "Just get the heck out of here right now you three. One of the things I'm known for is having a fiery temper and I really don't want to start something. I already have an inferno match against Jerishow; I don't need to fight with you guys right now." With that being said I hauled Shawn up and wrapped his arms around my neck and pretty much tried piggy-backing him to our locker room but he weighed a ton! I don't even think I was a quarter of the way there when I had to stop and catch my breath. "Geez Shawn, I can understand why Hunter says you need too lose some weight." After I took a quick breather I started off again. As I was trudging along I thought Shawn's arms had slipped out of my grip, but instead he was pulled. I whipped around and came face to face with Dean Ambrose. "What do you want?" I hissed.
"I came to help you." He replied calmly, "You seemed to be struggling so I thought I'd help."
"What the heck?" I practically shouted, "You just attacked Shawn and now you're all like 'oh I want to help you'. People don't change just like that!"
Dean just shrugged and put Shawn's right arm around his neck and motioned for me to do the same. Silence followed us as we carried Shawn back to the locker room. I can't say I was opposed to that silence, but then again, I was never one for silence.
Desperate to break the silence I asked the one question that refused to leave my brain. "Why did you guys attack Shawn?"
"Randy asked, no told us to attack him. Since he knew we weren't going to do it originally he paid us to do it." He replied.
"So you just got paid to beat up Shawn? No injustice involved?" I could tell I was beginning to growl, but I think I had every right to be angry.
"Yeah, I guess we did." He mumbled. I thought I saw a hint of guilt flash in his eyes, but I quickly dismissed it. Wait, did Dean Ambrose just admit The Shield attacked somebody and it wasn't in the name of justice?
"If you guys really wanted to stop injustice I wouldn't be forced to face Jerishow in an Inferno Match." I muttered. For the rest of the time we both remained silent and it stayed that way until we laid Shawn down on the couch. "Um...thanks Dean." I mumbled as I stuck my hand out for a handshake.
"Sure," He said as he turned to leave, but he stopped and gently tilted my head upward so I was looking up into his eyes, "And people can change if you give them a chance."
Our faces were a few inches apart and I found we were both slowly leaning closer to each other. When our lips were just barely an inch apart he pulled away and left me standing there. I couldn't believe what just happened. Did I really almost kiss Dean Ambrose? I didn't have too much time to think about it because a few moments later Hunter came in.
"Did I just see Dean Ambrose leave our locker room?" He asked.
I couldn't speak so I just nodded my head.
"And um...what exactly happened?" This time Hunter's tone was much firmer.
"The Shield attacked Shawn, and then Dean helped me get him back here." I replied, my words laced in confusion. I really didn't intend on telling him we almost kissed.
Hunter gave me the same puzzled look that I had. "Why? Why did he help you and more importantly, why did you let him help you?"
"Shawn needs to go on a diet or something, okay? I mean seriously I could hardly move him!" I cried out in frustration.
"Don't tell me you actually trust him?" Hunter asked in an aggravated tone. "He's a member of The Shield, which automatically means you can't trust him!"
I instantly shrunk back at the harshness in his voice. "Hunter...please stop." The one thing I hated more than anything was my friends being angry at me.
"You seriously have to be stupid if you even believed him for one second!" Hunter continued, not bothering to lower his voice.
Finally I'd had enough of being yelled at. "I said stop!" Tears were now streaming down from my eyes and I tried to wipe them away, but they just kept coming.
Hunter finally realized what he had done and instantly reached towards me. "Ashlan I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you."
As he grabbed my arm I pulled away from him and ran out of the room in tears. I didn't really know where I was going but I knew I wanted to get away from that locker room, away from Hunter. Not caring to pay any mind to my surroundings I barely noticed when I ran into somebody. The only reason I actually knew it was a person was because I was wrapped in a comforting hug by the person.
"What happened Ashlan?" The person had familiar masculine tone, but I couldn't but my finger on it.
I didn't look up to see who was trying to comfort me when I replied. "H-Hunter yelled at m-me when I told hi-him Dean Ambrose helped me." I clung tightly to whoever's chest I had my face buried into.
The man gently caressed the back of my head as he tried to calm me down. "It'll be alright, if you want you can come with me for a little while."
I sniffled and looked up to see that it was none other than Dean Ambrose comforting me. "I'd like that a lot." As crazy as it might sound, I think I might be developing a crush on Dean.
Dean put his arm around my shoulder and the two of us walk to what I'm guessing was the undisclosed location where The Shield make's their video messages. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns were already back there and they didn't look too thrilled to see me, but they weren't vocal about it.
"I have to talk To Roman and Seth," Dean said, "You can wait here if you want or do whatever." He then went over to Roman and Seth and they began talking in hushed voices so I couldn't hear. It didn't take a genius to know they were talking about me, and thank god because I know for a fact that I'm no genius.
I sat down on a crate a few feet away and just stared at the floor until I remembered my I-pod was in my pocket. I quickly pulled it out and put my headphones in. Ironically the first song that began playing was The Shield's theme song. Say what you will about them but they have a pretty badass theme song. I then checked the time, only to be disappointed by the fact it was already ten. Sure I had forty five minutes until my match but I wasn't looking forward to my Inferno Match later. I probably sat there for ten minutes until I got bored sitting and laid down on the crates. The Shield's theme song was left on repeat so that was all I was listening to, but not even it playing full blast could drown out the shouting that was soon about to erupt from The Shield.
"You can't be serious, that's crazy!"
"Hey, we agreed that if one of us started liking a girl then we'd all protect her!"
"Yeah but what you suggested is practically suicide!"
"We're supposed to be a shield from injustice and right there is a perfect example of injustice!"
After that the shouting stopped but the talking itself continued. I couldn't make out who said what exactly, but at least I picked up what they said. After waiting a few more minutes I checked my phone and saw that I only had ten minutes left. I quickly dug around in all my cargo pocket until I found a piece of paper and a small pencil to write with and left Dean a note that read:
I have to head out for my match, be back when I can.
I paused my I-pod and left it there, thinking that I wouldn't be gone for more than twenty minutes, and headed for the Gorilla Position. It took me a little while to find my way there since I was in an unfamiliar location, but once I did I managed to make it there with a few minutes to spare. Jerishow was already there, but they paid no mind to me since they knew just as well as I did there was virtually no chance of me winning. I probably stood in the background for a good five minutes until Chris and Show went out for their entrance. Knowing how high the odds were stacked against me I gulped. Just the fact that I knew I had no chance was a sign that things were pretty bad as is.
When the ring announcer called my name I had a knot in my stomach. I've seen the damage Inferno Matches have done to people and let me tell you, it's not pretty. I did my usual entrance, which usually consisted of me being all hyper, jumping around like an idiot, maybe a crotch chop or two, then I usually enter the ring and set off the huge X pyrotechnics, but this time Jericho attacked me just as I was setting up to do them.
The outside of the ring suddenly burst into flames and the match was under way. Jericho was just absolutely brutal on me. He would kick my ribs then stomp an them and he repeated that procedure repeatedly until Big Show stopped him and did a knee drop on my chest. Breathing was now difficult for me and the heat being given off by the fire wasn't helping me much either. Jericho and Show then decided to attack my arms and legs. Jericho would stomp on, jump on, do whatever just to damage my arms badly while all Show had to do was just step on my legs for them to feel broken. Heck, for all I know he did break them. After I was pretty much rendered immobile the two of them decided to use their finishers on. Chris immediately put me in the Walls of Jericho which, if my arms would've moves, I would've tapped right there, no matter how useless it would've been. Chris then got me to my feet and held me there for Show to get a hold of my throat so he could Chokeslam me.
The unbearable heat mixed with my own fatigue was a lethal combination, especially in this case. Every time I tried to get up off the ground either Show or Jericho would kick me until I was back on the mat again. Knowing that the match wasn't going to drag on for much longer I prepared myself to be thrown through the flames. Instead a very familiar theme music hit and at once I recognized it; it belonged to The Shield. I didn't know whether them coming out here was a good thing or not but all I knew was that they momentarily distracted Jerishow, not that it mattered much since I could still hardly move.
After all three members of The Shield came through the crowd, and once they actually got down to the ring area, Dean and Seth climbed up the steps nearest me and got up on the second rope only to jump over the third and land in the ring. Roman did the exact same thing except it was on the other side of the ring. Roman and Dean went straight after Big Show and, even though he put up one heck of a fight, Show was outnumbered and eventually overpowered. Seth however was having a harder time subduing Jericho. The two traded punches back and forth until the Dean and Roman intervened. After they had both members of Jerishow down they turned to me.
Not knowing what they were going to do next, I tried to rise up off the mat but heat exhaustion was beginning to set in and I just face planted the mat. My vision began to blur which only managed to freak me out even more because now I really couldn't tell what they were doing.
Roman approached me and I did the best I could to flinch away, but then he gently picked me up. He carried me over to the steps where he handed me over to Seth since the fire had yet to die down. Seth then carried me down the steel steps and over to the barrier and handed me over to Dean.
I clung tightly to Dean's hoodie...wait, hoodie? 'That must be why they didn't get burned.' His hoodie smelled of charred fabric, making me worry if he got burned, but if he did then he didn't show it. I was now getting light headed and I could feel myself blacking out. The last thing I remembered before losing consciousness was hearing DX's theme song blaring throughout the arena.