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all pink and gold and glittering

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AJ can’t put it into words, can’t even get the words that are coming to mind straight in her head. She lost it, again, and she’s furious. Both with herself and with her opponents for pulling such a cheap stunt on her. Mostly furious with them, though: she knows she would have won had it not happened. She just knows it.

There’s something else, though. Something intermingling with all the anger and frustration, another part of the storm inside her, and it’s – it’s totally uncalled for. Maybe even more infuriating than the fact that she lost.

It’s desire, a deep, thrumming want in her body that she’s trying so hard to contain but just can’t seem to. Logic dictates that it should be directed at Brie – she’s the one who dared to take AJ by surprise with that kiss, after all – but it isn’t.

It’s directed at Nikki instead, and AJ just doesn’t understand why. She could swear her blood’s boiling, burning when she sees Nikki with that title (my title, AJ tells herself) in her arms, when Nikki struts out to the ring like she owns it, and it is – just not only because of her rage, though.

AJ always did like a winner. For whatever reason, she especially seems to like it when said winner beats her, which is just – it just doesn’t make any sense. Especially with how much winning means to her, how much hard work she put in to get here. Still, it pretty much explains everything with Paige this past summer. It even begins to explain this – this thing with Nikki, too. And it’s not just any old loss that does this, either: it’s the title that’s the key.

So, AJ watches. She watches the screens backstage when Nikki’s in a match that doesn’t involve her, looking for an in, something she could use to win the title back. She watches as Nikki lifts up her championship before and after a match, the belt pink and shining and everything AJ wants.

(Except, it’s not quite everything. It isn’t just the title AJ wants, but Nikki, too, and she’s kidding herself at this point if she says she doesn’t. She’s also kidding herself if she says she isn’t going to act on it. It sweeps over AJ whenever they’re in the ring together, because whether Nikki’s in blue or yellow or her signature red, the title’s there, sparkling in her arms, and AJ can’t quite settle it with herself which one she wants more – the belt or Nikki.)