There was another war waiting for him when he came back to the hotel. His battered body yelled at him to rest. But John couldn’t. Not with Punk’s stuff on the bed and him standing cross-armed in front of the suite doors, blocking him from entering.
“So that’s it.”
“Shut up.” He stepped forward, pointing to his chest. “You kept me in the dark.”
John sighed. “Punk…”
The distance between them closed. Punk came up to his face—
His head spun when their lips shoved together.
Strong hands grabbed his biceps, keeping him close. Pain shot down his side, from shoulder to hip. He didn’t have the strength to protest. Punk had all the control in the world. Brock decimated him enough to subdue him, and Punk had the power to take what was left and do whatever he wished with it, because it was Punk.
And as quick as it began, it ended with a loud smack. Their eyes met briefly. Then: “Dammit.” Punk closed his eyes. Their foreheads touched. “I can’t.”
John found his mouth pulsing. He swallowed hard. “Can’t what?”
His chest hurt worse than his shoulder. John raised his good hand to Punk’s head, fingers slipping into his wet hair. “It’s not certain.”
“You of all people deserve the break.”
“I could stay.”
The hands let him go. “You need the break.” Punk stepped back.
John gripped his fingers in Punk’s hair, keeping him in place. His lips shoved onto Punk’s, a quick kiss meant to silence and reassure. When he pulled back, he looked him in the eye and said, “I should’ve told you.”
He let go of his hair. “I’m sorry.” His fingers skipped down Punk’s cheek.
Punk took a deep breath and exhaled a shaky, “Yeah.” His hand went up to catch John’s fingers, squeezing them hard. “Yeah.”
The hand didn’t let go. Punk turned away and pulled him into the bedroom. He found himself laying back over the covers, his clothes divested away by Punk’s hands, until he was naked, save for the bandages around his bum arm.
All the lights went off, save the bathroom. He watched Punk undress, pull the tape from his hands, brush his teeth—his chest hurt again, watching Punk stare too long at his reflection—and then that light went off too, leaving them in darkness.
Feet shuffled across the carpet. The bed dipped beside him. A small squeak filled the air, followed by the rustling of covers. John lifted his legs up as they pulled under him, and they quickly covered him up to his waist.
A hand settled over his stomach. Warm skin pressed beside him.
John settled his good hand over Punk’s. “Thank you.”
Lips kissed his neck. Their fingers twined, palm on palm.
He stared at the ceiling, listening to Punk’s breathing steady out. It felt warm, like a living heating pad that spread down his collarbones, across to his fucked shoulder.
Beside him, Punk scooted closer. A leg snuck between his.
John gripped Punk’s hand better and lifted the knuckles to his lips.
When he finally closed his eyes, his head tilted towards Punk and the edges of sleep weighing his tired body down, he felt a response back: in another hand squeeze and a small kiss below his ear.