"All right, gimme a word. Convey somethin' to me with all you know."
Dean scoffed and pinched his chin, crouched thoughtfully on the tar floor next to Seth in spite of his sheer unwillingness. "This is a stupid game, man. Boring."
Although it wasn't like they had much else to do. Their match wasn't for another hour, and they already got a nice warmup in. Amped up and warm, but not fatigued. Ready to run; ready to wrestle the entire Raw locker room and win (seeing as, an attempt like that would likely lead to running). It was probably why doing anything else besides those things during the wait made Dean sigh and shake his head.
They were shoved into an echoey stairwell and told to wait there, with primed bodies ready to work and minds just as sharp to match. All they had to entertain themselves with was the dumb notions they brought up to the empty air shared between the three of them.
Dean made a face contorted by scrutiny.
"Tango," he said finally. It helped that somewhere in the ruckus, noisy building, tango music had started playing, jogging his memory.
"All right." Seth tilted his head back against the brick wall, waiting for the next addition.
The next one was easy: "India."
"Uh, all right." He had honestly expected an H or an A. He supposed he was foolish to think Dean Ambrose would ever go a conventional route, but now he was getting curious.
"Dean, what in the world are you spelling?"
Dean left a pregnant pause (only there, in all actuality, because he forgot the word for the letter he wanted) before continuing, with more intensity in his eyes than what had accompanied the first letter even though his voice was less sure, "Kilo."
Seth stared confusedly at the opposite wall, hands clasped together behind his back and brown eyes squinty. He saw Dean open his mouth to slap another letter on out of the corner of his vision, which was milliseconds before a streak of white fabric barreled in front of it; movement paired with a familiar roar from their third teammate, and a whoosh! of wind to couple with the impossibly quick action.
For half a second, Seth thought Roman speared their middle brother— clean through his abdomen, possibly cracking a rib from the initial impact or sending him brokenly rolling down the nearby set of stairs, or both— but visual evidence and the unaffected trust that Roman would never do that to Dean intentionally or with ill-will nixed that idea.
He brought Dean down to the hard floor with a sloppy tackle instead, dragging him by fistfuls of fabric more than anything else. He had Dean to land on, and Dean had his unvelcroed vest. No cracked ribs today.
After a brief struggle on the ground that Seth could just barely see behind Roman's back and elbows, Dean's loud, gruff laughter bounced around the stairwell all of a sudden, broken up by an occasional, unintelligible yelp or, just once, the guttural snarl of, "Traitor!" before falling back into ridiculous, goofy mirth and an almost unrestrained amount of squirming as a few choice sensitive spots on his torso were repetitively poked and scribbled on— and, oh right, tickled— by his teammate's sneaky hands.
"Lima. Echo," Seth finished, in newfound realization that had him huffing out a warm chuckle. "I get it now. You boys think you're sly or somethin'?"
"He thought he was," Roman answered, in referral to Ambrose, who was still pinned beneath him and in stitches. He took it as an incentive to continue the onslaught, sliding his hands down from his brother's ribs and scratching at his sides instead, mid forearm-deep inside the hole the opened flaps of vest made. He vied under the thin, white tank top Dean wore beneath the clunky gear while he was at it and scrabbled over his bare skin. Dean wheezed.
"You're torturing him, bro. No flesh and blood man could survive that." Seth crossed his arms and didn't move off the spot, enjoying the view. Dean's hands were latched onto Roman's wrists, trying to gain some semblance of control over the movements he couldn't predict and curling against the touching whenever it ventured higher; snapping an elbow to his side to protect an armpit or fruitlessly trying to mold his entire body around the fingers pressing into his rib cage.
"Naaahaha— tricked meheehee! S'posed ta get him, Romahahan; nah'me!"
Seth's eyebrows shot up at the information. "Oh, is that true?"
Roman didn't look up from what he was doing in case Dean writhed away, or, more importantly, tumbled down the stairs and hurt himself. "I just used your name for the sake of ambush, man. It's fine."
"I dunno, pal. The fact that you entertained the idea at all kinda pisses me off."
"Then do somethin' about it!" Dean snapped, in a harsh voice that didn't match the involuntary grin on his lips. Though it was hard to tell whether the anger was genuine or not through the gasps of laughter, his brothers knew he would have been trying much harder to escape if he really wasn't enjoying the treatment, and Roman wasn't restraining him much— if at all— aside from making sure he didn't slither down the stairs in his body's reflexive efforts to pull away.
Seth knew they couldn't goof forever, though.
"All right, man, lay off my tag partner; you're not even steppin' through the ropes tonight." He stepped closer and hovered over them both, giving Roman a firm tap on the back. "I don't wanna exhaust my whole arsenal try'na get you to stop tickling our brother, Roman. What are we— five?"
Even as he said it, he smiled; the reprimanding meaning absolutely nothing coming from him. He hardly believed in it himself. It was so much simpler than exhausting a whole arsenal... and Seth could barely conceive the idea of stomping Roman's head into the floor. God no.
What Seth had in mind was much, much easier than that. Made especially so by the logic that Roman was wearing the same exact getup Dean was— and he had yet to don his vest over the thin tank. Fire with fire.
"All right, cool, we're doin' this." Seth didn't ask again and didn't wait for Roman to comply on a belated whim. His hands immediately went for his older brother's sides through the loose fabric, deftly scratching and pinching everywhere that had a fair chance at being ticklish between his underarms and hips until the attack on Dean ground to a hasty halt and Roman ducked Seth's hands with a chuckle, falling aside. Seth was far from satisfied and dropped to his knees beside him, grinning impishly.
"Seth, I beg of you— no!" The exclamation wasn't entirely accurate, since Dean sprung up and joined the effort alongside Seth's persistent, teasing pokes and prods at their third man's stomach; glomming onto Roman's shoulders in a faux hug that nearly knocked him over and tickling the back of his neck, right on his hairline.
"Eeehehe no no, don't! Dean!" Roman frantically wormed out of the hold, pushing Dean away with a certain stint in his strength that little else could bring out. He backed up for the wall beneath the railing, and didn't see how close he was to the top of the stairs until it was too late. It ripped a gasp out of Seth.
"Whoa! Hey. Careful."
Of course, they didn't let him tumble one step down the flight before they reeled him back in by an arm and a handful of pants fabric. Roman quickly crawled between them once they let go, giving them each a grateful pat on the head once he was safely seated on the landing.
Seth tsked. "Okay, all right, seriously, guys, we gotta stop. We're lucky nobody's walked in on us yet. You wanna explain this crap?"
"I'd dare you." Dean rose a hand to the younger's forehead and gave it a derisive little push, smirking.
"Yeah, right." Seth swiped his hand off. "You wouldn't know what to say, either."
"No, I wouldn't. I do know one thing for sure, though."
Dean was scheming. Seth knew he was. Yet, he wasn't dreading what would come of it. It wasn't a drastic leap to say he was looking forward to it, actually. He loved this game as much as the next Hound did, even if he pretended like he didn't sometimes.
"Roman— he knocked me down to like... eighty percent battery?" He pointed at Seth with one finger, either not noticing or ignoring the tiny smile that showed up on Roman's face and continuing to deliver the statement completely deadpan. "You're still at a hundred, so... we're not on par no more."
A beat of silence followed. Seth licked his lips and glanced from one brother to the other, knowing all too well that there was no way out for him. The least he could do was stick a quip or two before his grisly end came.
"Maybe you can learn a little somethin'," he said, deciding with finalizing certainty that he didn't fear death.
Dean's eye twitched. Within the next frame of movement he completely filled Seth's field of sight, arms snaring his waist and fingers navigating grooves and blockages and flaps, mercilessly digging into taut muscles once they were located and causing Seth to crumble— as well as incessantly giggle his head off— instantly.
"Might as well even the stats," Roman said. He pressed Seth's thighs into the floor by laying down on them, and twisted in the position, tickling behind his knees and down his goddamn calves if only to make matters worse.
Seth screamed and swore and laughed as they held him down and took him apart.
He had little interest in being anywhere else.