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The Collarbone Triptych

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Nobody But You

Looking back, Chris wasn't sure exactly how he'd managed to persuade Alex to drag himself out for a night on the town despite having broken his collarbone less than a week ago. It was probably something to do with the meds he'd been prescribed – good stuff, Alex had said, though still not really worth the pain. He couldn't drink on them, but they'd left him a little loopy anyway, so Chris thought he'd still have some fun.

It was several hours and – for Chris, at least – several beers later that they had ended up in a quiet corner somewhere, just the two of them, and Chris wasn't sure if he was going crazy or if it was the beer he was drinking, but he could have sworn that Alex was pressing tight against him and murmuring in his ear that he was sick of taking things so slow, wanted to be more than friends.

And it felt like the universe had vanished and all the stars collapsed out of sight and all he could see was Alex's face, his glowing eyes, and Chris knew then that nobody amazed him like Alex.

So he stopped over-thinking things and just kissed him.


Weekend in Orlando

Losing a match is no fun, Chris had decided, particularly when you lost that match because a couple of asshole brothers cheated, and even more so when your partner and – what was Alex to him anyway? his lover? his fuck-buddy? his boyfriend? – was stuck at home in Michigan with a broken collarbone so you couldn't even get any... um, "relief", so to speak. Instead, he was stuck in his hotel going stir-crazy. Fan-fucking-tastic.

It felt like years since he'd last seen Alex, but in reality, it had been... what, a day? He'd left just last night, waved goodbye and driven off so he could make the iMPACT! Zone for the match he'd just lost to those cheating Buck douche-bags. Perhaps he should have stayed with Alex instead, made sure he was okay. He hated leaving Alex when he was hurt.

Chris sighed and grabbed his laptop. With any luck, Alex would be on Skype and they'd be able to talk, even if they couldn't see each other, their eyes couldn't meet, they couldn't touch or hold each other. Just knowing Alex was there was enough to remind Chris that earth wasn't so bad because somewhere, there was his Heaven.


Three A.M.

They'd argued. That's what killed Chris most. Out back, before the house show match against Generation Me, they'd argued about losing their title belts. And then Alex had gotten hurt. Bad. And he was laid up at home while Chris was driving in his car at three a.m. to get to a house show he didn't give a shit about.

He'd been okay before. Before Alex broke his collarbone. Before they'd argued. Before everything started to go wrong. Something changed when they lost the belts to Beer Money, something fundamental between the two of them, some connection they shared that had kept them perfectly in sync, like clockwork, together. And that scared him. More than anything.

Fuck, he just wanted it to be like it was before. When they were a team. When he wasn't driving alone in his car and running on words that got him nowhere because they didn't mean shit.

He could call Alex. Talk to him. Maybe that would help. But he couldn't bring himself to press the button on his cell. He was too scared of losing it. Of cracking up. Of a broken heart.

He loved Alex. He couldn't bear to lose him now.