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 Out Of The Shadows

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Owen Hart

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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   10/06/11, 11:44 pm

Owen let out a sigh of relief when he was in the elevator with Shawn, and then he just cracked up laughing, Jeff's voice in his head going on and on about his 'gawdamn arm'.

"Jeff's quite the guy." Owen pressed the button for his floor, but then remembered. "So are you, Shawn." He smiled, but then a thought occurred to him. "Aw man, I forgot...the security took my room key. You mighta got me back in the hotel, but I don't have a room anymore." The elevator doors dinged open.

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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   11/06/11, 12:01 am

Shawn kinda brushed off the compliment because truth be told, he wasn't sure he's have done this if a) he wasn't having an off night and b) it was anyone other than Austin getting his comeuppance. "All credit goes to good old Double J. He and I aren't all that close, but I enjoyed our series of matches when he was chasing me for the IC belt. His promos used to crack me up. We'd be in the ring and it would take everything in my power not to laugh. If it wasn't the crazy light up hats, it would be that damn accent killing me every time. I know I'm a country boy too, but damn if DJ's accent isn't the heaviest I've ever come across."

They stepped out into the hallway, Shawn just remembering what Owen said about his key. Knowing Jeff, he probably could have charmed the the guard into giving up the key, but it was getting late and since it was his idea to sneak Owen back in, the least he could do was share his room. "Just room with me for the night. One time only deal since I have an array of issues I don't want to readdress tonight. Just...you caught me on a good night."

Shawn fumbled with his key until he heard it click, pushing it open. "It's only one bed but at least it's not a twin. I'm pretty good about staying in one spot so don't worry. Your ass is perfectly safe unless you'd rather sleep on the floor. I would but...bad back."
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   11/06/11, 12:31 am

"My ass?" Owen snickered a little. "I'm not worried about it."

He followed Shawn into his room, glad to be in the warmth instead of outside. He closed the door behind them, and sat down on the bed, kicking his shoes off. He was really kind of glad how the night had turned out after all, and even though his 'date' with the ring rat hadn't went so well, he wasn't having to spend the night alone once more after all. Just having another body sleeping next to him would be a comfort, and when the lights went out, it might not seem so dark as it sometimes could feel.

"Thanks Shawn, I really appreciate this."
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   11/06/11, 12:55 am

Shawn locked them inside and started kicking off his shoes as well. Next came his shirt and then his jeans that he wriggled out of kicking to the side. "Really. Don't thank me. Maybe we're finally even after I've roomed with you once or twice--not sure. At least by my count, we're even."

Shawn yawned stretching a little. He could feel the muscles in his back straining so he stopped, not wanting to push his luck. He really needed to go to the doctor soon but his big match with Taker was coming up followed by the biggest show of the year Wrestlemania. Both were too close to risk the doctor not medically clearing him to wrestle which would be bad. For starters that would mean randomly dropping the belt to more than likely Undertaker. Sure Taker could give Steve one hell of a match, but Taker was a face right now so there was no guarantee that the crowd wouldn't split themselves down the middle. Vince needed Austin to go way, way over and he needed a top heel and performer to do it.

Shawn peeled back the covers on his side of the bed and slid on in. The drink he had was finally kicking in so he made no effort to hunt down the painkillers for his back. He figured within a matter of minutes he would be dead to the world. "Goodnight O," he yawned again. "If ya need to shower or whatever, you can. I'm a hard sleeper."
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   11/06/11, 01:50 am

Owen left his shirt and jeans behind on the floor too. He crawled into the other side of the bed, sliding beneath the covers. Shawn's back was to him, and he couldn't help but stare at it as his cheek rested against the cool fabric of the pillowcase. Shawn's golden-brown hair was loose and falling in waves over his shoulders, touching his back, laying against the smooth looking skin. He had the urge to reach out and touch the soft looking ends of Shawn's hair, but he dare not be so intrusive. He had already taken up half of the mans bed, to touch him would be way out of line, and Shawn might think he was some sort of creep.

His fingers twitched as he found himself imagining the silky strands slip over the sensitive whorls and swirls of his fingertips. It had been much longer than he would like to admit to since he'd shared such a touch with another person, and he missed it. He missed having someone to talk to late at night, someone who understood him, or just a warm body to hold or be close to.

For what seemed like hours, he stayed in the same spot, same position, leaving a respectful gap between himself and Shawn, not sleeping. He wouldn't have minded being closer to Shawn, but he didn't want Shawn to get upset. He was sure Shawn wouldn't mind being held, but by a different Hart, who was no longer in bed with him. Owen ran a hand over his own arm, knowing that they could probably never give Shawn the same kind of comfort Bret's once had. These were Owen Hart's arms, they were the wrong ones, so they remained empty. Should he touch Shawn, his touches might always be related to Bret's, and they might never be good enough.

Owen let out a sigh, letting his eyes droop closed a little. He reached out towards the ends of Shawn's hair and let the silky strands tickle his fingertips. Just one small touch couldn't hurt, and Shawn had said he was a heavy sleeper. The strands slipped through his fingers, caressing his skin like velvet. He drew his hand away and curled it up beneath his pillow.

He was soon lulled into a good sleep, and by the time morning crept up, he had unknowingly moved closer to Shawn in the night, cuddling up to him, holding him loosely.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   11/06/11, 02:25 pm

Shawn was the first to open his eyes the next morning. Streaks of light seeped in through the blinds, kissing his cheeks just under the eyes. It was enough to wake him up, but he didn't care. He forgot to set his alarm so he was fairly certain he missed his morning workout so he'd have to squeeze one in that afternoon. He yawned, eyes opening wider taking in that hint of morning sun. He had slept pretty good. He had a few bad dreams, but he somehow managed to sleep through them guessing maybe his subconscious reminded him it was just that--bad dreams.

He shifted a little to get out of bed, but quickly paused, realizing a hand was dangling over his stomach. He rolled over and found himself face to face with Owen Hart. Normally he probably would have thrown a fit. Waking up to another Hart was something he's been avoiding ever since Montreal, but this morning it didn't seem too bad. Or maybe he was thinking this way because of the way Owen looked. Unlike Bret, Owen slept with a kind of inner peace that shown on his face. Every one of his features from his eyebrows to the muscles in his cheeks were relaxed to the point where Shawn was seeing Owen again rather than the dark, curly haired man he used to wake up to most morning.

Shawn continued to watch him sleep wondering to himself if he ever looked that peaceful when he slept. He doubted it though. When Hunter used to room with him on a regular basis, Hunt used to tell him all the time that even in his sleep, he was working. Never once did Hunter say he slept at peace except for one night--the night following Montreal. Shawn figured he was so doped up that his mind hardly had time to run in overdrive due to all the toxins. Just thinking about drugs and booze made his head hurt. He needed them--craved them even--to shut his mind down. But right now he had neither and so all he could do was watch Owen sleep and hope that someday he'll be able to sleep just as peacefully and as an added bonus, wake up next to somebody who cared.

Shawn almost did the unthinkable by reaching out to touch Owen's face. The inner peace looked so inviting that he couldn't help but wonder if he touched him, would that inner peace transfer over to him. Silly really, but that's how bad he wanted it. He started to lift his hand and graze Owen's cheek, but Owen's sudden shift made him freeze. He withdrew his hand, breath catching as Owen's eyes slowly opened meeting that of his own. "Uh...good morning. Sleep alright?"
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   12/06/11, 12:43 am

"Yeah...better than usual." His eyes though open only moments, no longer seemed touch with the grogginess of morning. They were already sparkling with life, with the possibility of fun and laughter. They weren't the dark blue of a stormy ocean, but the bright light tint of a clear summer sky, the kind that you want to last forever. To smear it with one drop of rain would be a crime.

Owen rolled over on his belly and propped himself up on his elbows, cocking his head to the side to look at Shawn for a moment. The cottony covers slipped down his body a little, reveling strong wide shoulders, and the curve of his back before it disappeared under the wrinkles and folds of the sheets. His short blond hair was messily spiked from sleep, the slightest hint of stubble barely shadowing his face.

"And my ass survived the night too." Owen smiled at Shawn, remembering his comment from last night.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   12/06/11, 01:10 am

Shawn cracked a smile. "I told ya it would be. Not my style to violate people though you may have heard otherwise." He rolled over on his back staring up at the ceiling. Today was yet another day and while every morning usually felt like the end of the world, at least for now, it did not. He knew of course, once he rolled out of bed to prepare for work, his mind would revert back to it's usual controlled, defensive state and the pressure of having a company on his shoulders would come back full force.

A small sigh escaped him as already his brain began mapping out or planning the events of the day, which ever only varied depending on whether or not it was a house show night or live taping. Today he would find brunch or lunch then it was off to the gym where he would struggle to workout without aggravating his back. From there it would be a quick nap, shower, more food and then he'd leave early for the arena to avoid being swarmed for autographs where he would sit alone in the locker room until Hunter showed up. Yeah just another day in paradise...

Right now though he probably should have been freaking out about having a Hart in his bed. He should have been up trying to get Owen out of his room before someone could see them but he just didn't feel like it. It wasn't the type of attitude one should have right now considering everything happening between himself and Owen's family, but after watching Owen sleep then wake up smiling and full of life, he just could not bring himself to be so cruel right now. Having a conscience sucked.

He rolled over on his side away from Owen, feeling the dread of another day consuming him. "Why do we do what we do for a living?" he asked quietly, thinking out loud. He didn't really mean to say that but for some reason he was suddenly being hit hard by the usual things that plague his mind when he was sober. He couldn't help it and it was all coming out.

"Why do we give our souls to something that has no sympathy for us at all? We could break our bodies, minds, and even give up our souls to this line of work, but no one cares? To those people in the arenas, we're just tools for entertainment. To the promoters, we're just that--tools. I sometimes wonder if its really worth all that money... I'm rich. I got enough money to last me a lifetime and yet sometimes I wonder if that will be enough to make me smile each day when my body can no longer withstand the abuse."

Shawn clutched his pillow, shutting his eyes wishing the day would magically turn back into night. At least by nightfall, all of his demons would disappear between the drugs and a deep sleep.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   12/06/11, 02:04 am

Owen took some time to think over his answer. Bret was fond of thinking too much, and it had resulted in some deep conversations between the brothers, and in fact a couple of discussions that were not so dissimilar from the questions Shawn was asking. He might have been asking them more to himself than actually to Owen, but there was quietness afterwards, as if Shawn was waiting for some sort of response--from himself, Owen, the gods, the magic eight ball, somewhere.

Owen wanted to comfort Shawn, he had the sense that the smaller man needed it, even if he might often times snap and shove such gestures away. Owen hated to see someone down, and that over ruled the other part of him that was half-heartedly urging him to respect Shawn's personal space. He laid his hand gently against Shawn's shoulder, the palm molding to his soft, warm skin. Owen could feel the tense muscles beneath, knotted and bunching, throwing tantrums. He rubbed gently with his thumb and fingers, carefully working at the angry muscle.

"It's just a job, Shawn. We're not so different from any other guy who goes out and punches a time clock, just that we work in front of people, in that ring. I'm not tryin' to take anything away from the business, I respect it as much as it deserves, which is probably more than it respects any of us. They see us on their tv screens, in their arenas, in our ring, and they forget that we're just men like they are. We become these larger than life icons, heroes, villains, sex objects, clowns, indestructible forces, immovable objects...we're things they aspire to be but never can be, because they're just common, average people."

Owen's hands moved slowly down Shawn's spine, taking his time, being careful not to aggravate the really tender parts, and to ease away the tension.

"Maybe that's why we give so much, because we want them to keep believing in those images of us, because as long as they do, we can believe to--that we really are some different sort of breed, something special, something extra, something superhuman. The problem with that...it's dangerous. It's really dangerous 'cause when the lights fade, when the costumes come off, after the rings torn down, we're just men moving on to the next performance. They don't see that. They don't see when we hurt for them, and maybe they don't know it."

Owen paused, chewing at his lips a little.

"All of this stuff...the questions you have...most of us who walk a mile in this business have them. You can't focus on 'em all the time, or they drive you down. They drive you to dark places. That's why I try to keep things light, and try my damndest to make people smile and laugh, 'cause I don't wanna go to that dark place, and I don't wanna see other people go there either. It's not worth it. This job isn't worth a mans life, not yours, not mine. It just isn't. You do have to give a lot, but ya can't give it all, or that leaves you with nothing. It's like...jumpin' a car. You use the juice in your battery to spark life into the other one, get it all revved up...that's what we do with our audience, our fans. Thing is, if ya give the other car all of the life in your battery, then ya don't have anything left to run your own car, and you're stuck on the side of the road with your hood up. Nobody likes to call a tow truck, they cost an arm and a leg!"

His fingers stopped their small circles and kneading caresses to Shawn's back. He hoped he hadn't made Shawn more upset than he already seemed to be by his answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   13/06/11, 12:39 pm

Shawn listened to Owen's words quietly and carefully, taking it all in. Hearing Owen speak of something Hunter, his best friend, never had an answer to was refreshing. To be fair, Hunter was still pretty new to this business so of course he couldn't realistically expect him to have answer just yet--at least not one to Owen's caliber. Hunter's answers were always the same. We do it because we love the business. We do it for the money. We do it because it's something we've always dreamed about doing. While all those things were true to some degree, that was the answer of a person who hasn't been doing this for very long. Or it was the answer from a person who didn't wake up in pain every morning wondering when his body was finally going to break from the abuse and say, "Enough".

Shawn rolled over on his back, looking up at the blonde leaning over him. He slowly sat up, reaching out to cress the side of Owen's face. Without warning he leaned in brushing his lips across Owen's before kissing him tenderly. It was brief, a part of himself still holding so much back for various reasons, but it was all he had to give for the momentary peace of mind Owen gave him. "Thank you," he said quietly, dropping his hand and looking away from Owen's cheery eyes.

"When I was a kid, I wanted to be just like Ric Flair. I had brothers and a sister and like most parents would, they dreamed of me going to college or whatever. I tried, but the longer I sat in my dorm room, the more agitated I became. My stepfather--we moved around a lot cause he was an army guy--I have to give him credit cause he believed in me. He allowed me to withdraw from school and gave me $5000 to pay for training. It was money he had saved up for my education and possibly to help me get a start once I graduated but he risked it all for me."

Shawn's thoughts fell on the the little boy holding the action figure of him and how happy he was to see him despite being lost and without his parents. "That little boy reminded me of how I used to be. God, watching Ric Flair and Ricky Steamboat. Jerry Lawler and the Von Erichs... I used to be in such awe. Ric made me want to be a rich asshole with women on each arm while Ricky made me want to be this highflying, larger than life super hero of the ring. Jerry and the Von Erichs made me want to be powerhouses and strong just like them so I guess I can see what you mean about the audience. We are larger than life people to them and you're right. They can't see that we're just men and if they did, it would ruin them...much like the dirt sheets are ruining it for a lot of people now anyway."

Shawn remained quiet for a long time before his voice broke the silence once more. "I understand, but it doesn't change the way I feel." He rolled out of bed looking for his bag to grab some gym clothes out of it. "I'm going to the gym. I'll see you around O."
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   15/06/11, 12:47 am

The Rumble had finally approached. Owen was ready, but each passing day drew him closer to something he felt was inevitable: each day he kept pushing away Vince's plans for his character to go down that racy path with Debra, he got closer to being forced to put on those blue tights and that ridiculous cape. Sure he was one for comedy and entertainment, he loved it, but he was at a point in his career where he had hoped to blossom into something more than the goofy role that he was so good at playing. He knew if he accepted the storyline with Debra, it would go over well. He never said Vince was wrong about it, sex does sell, but he wasn't going to be the one going door to door demonstrating. That would be in someone elses briefcase, not Owen Hart's.

Vince had merely fined him for the incidence with Steve, which was some what of relief, although Owen didn't enjoy parting with his hard saved money, in this case of avenging Debra, it was worth it. Austin was the future of the WWF but that didn't mean anything to Owen. He was still a scumbag, and he still deserved that glass in his forehead.

For now, Owen found his place in the rumble, and made his short stay. He was eliminated by the next contestant to enter into the Rumble--Triple H. He would have liked to been in the ring longer, but Vince was pissed at him, and so he reaped the wrath of a temper tantruming boss. On a good note, it didn't aggravate his knee, which had actually been doing better since Christmas.

Owen went to the back after his brief cameo in the rumble, and changed back into his street clothes. He hadn't even worked up enough sweat to constitute a shower. After he was dressed in his khaki shorts and polo--which Debra always pointed out nicely enough that it wasn't very fashionable--he went to trying to pry Steve's locker opened. Steve wasn't stupid enough to leave it unlocked. That's a mistake a rookie only makes once if he's smart, and Owen had to at least give credit where it was due, Steve was no bag of hammers. He was an intelligent man, and he was even good in the business, but he was an ass of a human being, and that in Owen's mind tarnished anything else Steve might do right.

He finally got the locker open, much to his joy, and dumped some itching powder into Steve's briefs. Sure it was one of the oldest tricks in the book, and not very innovative on the level most Owen Hart ribs were, but it served its purpose. He shut the locker, tossed the rest of the bottle back into his bag, and waited around for guys to trickle back into the locker room.

As he laid down on the bench that ran down between the lockers, he stared up at the ceiling, and couldn't help but think of a morning not long ago when he'd woken up to Shawn Michaels. Shawn had some deep thoughts on his mind, but it was nice enough not to be alone, and Shawn's questions were only natural ones that occur to every man whose ever made his way around the ropes of this business. He closed his eyes, thinking over the words he had said to Shawn. He wandered how long Shawn's battery would last before his car ended up stranded on the side of the road. He hoped Shawn would stop before that happened, but some nagging voice in his head told him that Shawn would not. As much as they were different, Shawn and his brother were much alike on one thing: They didn't know when to stop pushing themselves.

Sometimes you just can't push anymore, sometimes you have to know when enough is enough.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   20/06/11, 02:48 am

The day was finally here. The big Royal Rumble pay per view was tonight and once again Shawn had plans to prove himself once again to the ones who still deemed him unworthy of being champ despite the ratings slowly coming back of. In the last month or so, WWE was back on it's game often tying WCW in the ratings. They still weren't beating them, but it was enough to give the company hope that what they had planned for Austin and the new regime was a huge step in the right direction. What was even better was the fact that by now, people were whispering about the on goings of WCW management.

Everything Shawn heard these days was bad news and he could often hear in the voice of Kevin's whenever they talked to one another--which wasn't much at all due to both of them being so damn busy. A part of him felt bad that things were going bad for WCW, but on the other hand, he secretly enjoyed the idea of crushing them. No, it wasn't exactly a secret. Hell each week after his main event match, he made sure to look directly at the camera and give the competition a lovely crotch chop. He remembered telling Kevin and Scott that the grass isn't always greener on the other side, which they were finding out quickly these days. They used to kid around talking smack about McMahon but Shawn always told them that someday they would be forced to bow to McMahon when he helped kick their asses.

Shawn wasn't exactly holding up to his end of the smack talk though. Eric Bischoff was still kicking their asses week after week but they were yet to to have anyone on their roster that could out perform him and that wasn't just his ego, it was fact. Not even Bret was given a match that could hold a candle to anything he'd ever done in the WWE which was really sad considering Bret still had plenty of gas in the tank.

But now was not the time to dwell on that. He was already behind the curtain warming up with his DX buddies getting ready to make his way to the ring. His match against the Undertaker was as epic as he expected it to be. As the smaller man in the fight, it was always easy to make Mark look good and vice versa. He would spend most of the match getting tossed around like a rag doll but because it was a Casket Match, his friends could interfere as much as they liked until of course, they managed to get banned from ringside.

There was one particular moment in the match where Taker threw him to the side, knocking him against the casket. Shawn landed awkwardly, his back hitting the hard side, but he didn't think much of it. He rolled to the ground and instantly picked himself back up. All was well so he continued the match, finally superkicking the deadman into what was going to be his final resting place in their long feud.

After the match, Shawn made his way to the back with his DX buddies. They all congratulated him for a kick ass match but Shawn was hardly in the celebratory mood. The spot in his lower back where he hit that coffin was starting to ache a bit and he had developed a slight headache. He decided to skip the celebratory drinks and just get a shower so he could return to his room for some shut eye.

Once Shawn's body molded into the soft cushion of the bed and crisp sheets, his sleep came quickly. For once in his life, it was a dreamless sleep he earned after a damn near perfect match. Whenever he knew in his heart that his match was flawless, he'd tell everyone afterwards to "follow that" and would usually sleep pretty good with or without the drugs. He had done his best and laid it all out in the ring for the world to see. There were no regrets lingering and in turn, he could sleep peacefully.

But peaceful slumbers didn't always mean brighter mornings. Shawn's eyes fluttered open the next morning at the crack of dawn. Strange though it was he could not complain. In hindsight he should have been up anyway getting that early morning run on the treadmill. He laid there for another ten minutes or so before finally deciding it was time to get up. He sat up, or rather, in his mind he told himself to sit up and possibly thought that he had sat up, but that was not the case. What's wrong with me? He was beginning to panic. Try as he might to sit up in bed he simply could not move. Even his arms felt stiff as they trembled at his sides. Oh God... H

He closed his eyes and with everything in him, he forced his body upwards but the pain that shot through his back was so excruciating it brought tears to his eyes. God please...don't do this to me... I'm not supposed to break...not now, not right now... For almost an hour he lay there willing his body to move, but the pain was simply too much to bear. He glanced at the clock to his right through watery eyes. It seemed like his time was now up. The thought alone was enough to break his spirit. He clinched his eyes shut choking out a sob and before he knew it he was screaming, screaming loudly and uncontrollably for somebody--anybody--to come and fix him once more.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   21/06/11, 01:04 am

Owen hung his towel around his neck, and left the gym. It was a great work out, he'd hit it hard and early, just the way he loved to. He headed back towards his room, once in a while plucking up the end of the draping towel and dabbing his sweaty face with it. He was almost back to his room, when he heard muffled yelling from behind a door. He didn't want to step in on someones argument, that wasn't any of his business...but the longer he stood at that door, he shortly understood that the yelling was not an argument. There was only one voice, crying, screaming for help.

"Oh god..."

Owen tried the doorknob, but it was locked. He jiggled it hard, but it wouldn't budge.

"Hey everythings gonna be okay!" He called, hoping the person inside could hear him. He pushed all of his weight against the door, grunting a little as he felt a give in it. He gave it a ram with his shoulder, and was surprised when it popped open. He stumbled into the room, even more shocked to see that the screams were coming from someone he knew.

"Shawn...Shawn! What's wrong, what's goin' on?" He quickly came to Shawn's bedside, and knelt, smoothing some hair off of Shawn's face. "Shawn, what's wrong..." The twisted pain on Shawn's face answered enough, and Owen grabbed the phone from Shawn's nightstand. "I'm callin' for help, Shawn. It'll be okay." He linked his fingers with Shawn's, holding his hand as he spoke into the phone.

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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   21/06/11, 01:23 am

When Shawn saw Owen coming through that door it was enough to calm him down for the moment. He was still in pain, but the pain was hardly the issue. It was the fact that he couldn't sit up. By now he'd grown accustomed to waking up in so much pain. It was part of the job, but to be rendered motionless in a bed in some dank hotel room? Not okay.

He managed to reduce himself to just tears. No more crying out loud or screaming. Somehow he just knew with Owen by his side, he'd be alright even if it did seem pretty hopeless right now. "Always you...coming to my rescue." With some difficulty, he raised one of his arms and wiped his eyes. "I just get the feeling this time you won't be able to save me. I can't...move my body at all O. I've been laying here for a little over an hour willing my body to move but it won't..." He choked out another sob, the fleeting thought of being finished hitting him like a ton of bricks all over again.

"It can't be over for me Owen. I have to put Austin over. I--I have to finish proving myself--God it can't be over--not like this." Shawn squeezed Owen's hand and clinched his eyes shut, fighting back more tears as he listened to Owen relay to the paramedics what was wrong. He really hoped the doctor could patch him up like they always do then send him back into the war. This war was all he had left and he without it he had nothing.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   21/06/11, 01:54 am

"Shawn, Austin doesn't deserve to be put over by you." His eyes never left Shawn's as he spoke, one hand intertwined with Shawn's, the other pressing the phone to his ear. The dispatcher on the line had instructed him to stay on the phone until the help Shawn needed arrived. "But I know it means a lot to you to prove yourself. You shouldn't have to do anymore, if people had eyes they could see that your one of the best this company has to offer. You're great at what you do, Shawn, entertaining...you're helping to shape this company and push it into the future. You don't have anything left to prove. A lot of people might not understand that right now, but they will one day. They'll be able to see past personal things, and they'll see your talents. They'll appreciate it. Sometimes people just don't appreciate the things that are right in front of their face. Sometimes they have to stand back a little bit, before they can really see."

Owen glanced towards the door, as paramedics pushed a stretcher through the door. He hung up the phone, and gave Shawn's hand a final squeeze.

"Listen Shawn, everything's gonna be okay. You might not feel it right now, or very often at all, but you're a strong man. I know you are, I see it. This might take you down, but it's not gonna keep you down."

Owen moved away from Shawn, and out of the room, letting the help do their job and get Shawn to the nearest hospital.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   21/06/11, 04:31 pm

Shawn managed to stop crying as he was rushed to the hospital. By now they'd gotten the attention of most of the guys still at the hotel instead of on the road for the next city. Hunter was one of the first to get word and as Shawn was being wheeled into the emergency room, he could hear Hunter screaming at one of the EMTs for some information, but was getting nowhere since the EMT's wasn't sure what was wrong just yet.

A bright light in his face made him clinch his eyes shut and then he was lifted onto a hospital bed, nurses and docs surrounding him preparing to hook him up to equipment. "Shawn right? Listen to me. My name is Doctor Andrews and everyone keeps telling me you can't sit up. Can you tell me what happened?"

Shawn shook his head. "I'm--I'm not sure doc. I'm a wrestler so yeah, my back fucking hurts all the time but I've never hurt so bad that I couldn't sit up."

"Alright Shawn, we're gonna flip you over and take some x-rays," the doctor said. Shawn nodded, wincing a little as they carefully flipped him over and removed his shirt. For a long time he just lay there listening to the doctors as they took pictures of his back. Every now and then he would hear the scribbling of words on a clipboard as people came in and out of the room.

He sighed, closing his eyes as he waited what seemed like an eternity for the doctor to come back with some kind of news. He just hoped Owen could get to Vince or talk to Hunter before anyone else started whispering about him. This wasn't the first time he'd been rushed to the hospital. Last time it was to get his stomach pumped for alcohol poisoning so quite naturally he expected everyone to assume the worse. But this time it wasn't because he popped a few pills or had a few too many drinks. This time it really was serious and he hoped once he got out of this bed, he'd at least be able to deliver decent news to Owen who once again, came to his rescue.

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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   26/06/11, 11:41 pm

After Shawn was taken away, Owen stopped briefly to talk with Hunter and Joanie, and then he went on to find Vince. He could already hear the whispers starting up in the hallway, about what must be wrong with Shawn now. His back problem wasn't a secret, but darker possibilities were being mumbled about, and some people even seemed to have shadows of smiles curving their lips, as if they thought Shawn deserved something like this. Owen shoved past them, and made his way towards the elevator to Vince's room.

When the doors opened to allow him on board, Vince was already in the car, about to step out into the hallway. Word travels fast among wrestlers, though often too fast to be repeated properly.

"Owen, do you know what's happened with Shawn?" Vince asked, stopping Owen with a hand on his shoulder.

Owen pulled Vince into the elevator to afford them some privacy from the others, and told him what he knew. Vince frowned, the lines and creases in his face growing deeper with his expression.

"Damn. I was afraid his back wasn't going to make it til' Mania." Vince pinched the bridge of his nose. "Who am I gonna have put Austin over if not Shawn?" Vince muttered.

"Shouldn't you be more concerned about whether Shawn's going to get feeling back in his legs, rather than if he's gonna be able to put that asshole over? This isn't a storyline, Vince, this is real if you haven't noticed. But then again, you don't really care, do you? Shawn's your golden boy and everybody goes on about how much you love him, how close you guys are, but it's a lie, isn't it? You just use people, Vince. My brother loved you like a father, and ya didn't care about him either, did you? You don't see people, you see puppets, and you tie their strings to your fingers and manipulate them until their strings break. You--"

"Owen, save it." Vince snapped, pressing a finger to Owen's lips. "I'm not a complete evil bastard, but if that's what you see me as, I really don't give a damn." His dark eyes flashed, the dimple on his undersized chin quivering.

Owen swatted Vince's hand away from his face.

"No, maybe not a complete bastard, but at least 99%." It was not a joke, Owen's face was serious as he spoke those words.

Vince rolled his eyes.

"I don't have time for this." He pressed the 'open door' button, and the metal elevator doors slid apart. "Oh, wait." Vince turned back to Owen, adjusting the knot on his tie. "There is one thing. That angle--"

"Vince! You already know my answer!"

Vince moved in on Owen, pushing him to the back wall of the elevator. The doors closed again.

"Get your slimy hands offa me. If you weren't my boss, I'd spit on you. I'm thinkin' about doin' it anyway."

Vince shrugged, as if he didn't care.

"Bret already beat you too it. He beat you to a lot of things, though, didn't he? He beat you to being the best, he beat you to the gold, he beat you to...Shawn Michaels." Vince smirked coldly, enjoying the expression of surprise that momentarily captured Owen's features. "You're always in his shadow, Owen. You're a good wrestler, a very good entertainer, and you know it. I'm giving you more chances than I should be to take this push. I'm offering you a chance to move out of Bret's shadow, but all you do is refuse it over and over. You are a Hart, but you can't possibly be that fucking stupid."

Owen was silent for a moment, taking in Vince's harsh words. The man was a worm of the lowest order. Owen shook his head.

"You can stop asking, my answer isn't changing. I'm not doing that angle with Debra. I am a Hart, which means I was raised to have morals, something you couldn't possibly understand, Vince. I am not gonna do your damn sleazeball storyline, and I'm not gonna be a joke either, so you can shove it."

"It's either that, or the Blazer. You are still under my contract, so you will be in my ring if I say you will. It's up to you if you want to make a name for yourself, or be a joke in a cape, but those are your only options. There is no out, so you'll be one or the other. After Mania, I'll give you time to go home to the tundra and think it over. A few weeks, then I want to see you in Connecticut in my office. You would do good to remember who runs this company, and it is certainly not anyone named Hart."

Vince punched the 'open door' button once more, and walked out of the elevator.
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   28/06/11, 03:14 am

The doctors returned almost an hour later with a clip board in hand. The expressions on their faces pretty much told him what he needed to know, but he needed to hear it from them. "What? Help me sit up and tell me what the fuck is going on with my back! In less than 6 weeks I have to make 60,000 plus fans go home happy after a main event that has to last at least 15-20 minutes and in order to do that, I need to be able to fly around a wrestling ring so now tell me, can I do it?"

The doctors didn't answer as they flipped Shawn over on his back. "Shawn, we're gonna sit you up then give you a shot of cortisone. It'll help with the stiffness and pain for now."

Shawn didn't give a damn so long as he could move so he nodded his head, wincing momentarily as the doctor held up a long needle pressing the point into his back. The assistant immediately discarded the needle then left the room leaving Shawn alone with doctor Andrews. The doctor pulled up a chair sitting in front of Shawn. "There are guys here to see you. Do you want to see them before I tell you the news?"

Shawn frowned. "It's bad isn't it?" When Andrews hesitated he knew knew it wouldn't be good. Shawn shook his head. "No. Just...lay it on me straight."

Shawn listened quietly as doctor Andrews showed him the pictures of his back and the places that were fractured. He held in all of his tears as the doctor suggested that he get the surgery. Problem is the surgery would still keep him out of action for a year or two. "I--I can't!" he choked out. "I--I can't. I have to wrestle--you don't understand. Is there anything else I can do to get me through the next 5 weeks?"

Doctor Andrews sighed. "I can give you pain pills, but that's the best I can do. Cortisone is used by many athletes to numb the pain but we're only allowed to give one shot every six months. I'm not sure how much the shot will help you but at least you'll be able to move on your own. Your back...Shawn if you do this match, you're risking your health; a life time in a wheel chair--is that what you really want?"

Shawn didn't answer because truth be told, he was unsure if he even cared anymore. As far as he was concerned, his life was over.

"Shawn, you're a good looking man. Still young and in great health. Get the surgery, go home and heal your body. Start a family. Life...isn't over. I'm actually a huge fan of you guys and I knew who you were when they wheeled you in. I watch you every week and wonder how you do it, but there's only so much punishment a body can take. We can go, go, go for as long as our bodies hold up but once you tear your body to pieces, you can't get another one," he reasoned.

Dr. Andrews stood to his feet. "I gave your prescription to Hunter and you can take the pills I have for you tonight until you can get to a drug store in the morning. Take care of yourself Shawn and no wrestling until big day. Stay off your feet as much as possible. I can only imagine how much you're suffering right now."

Shawn sat there for the longest time after the doctor left staring down at the floor. Ten then twenty minutes passed before he finally found the strength to leave the room and face his friends. Like a zombie he exited the room, immediately spotted and pulled into an embrace which he didn't really respond to.

"Shawn? God what's going on?" Joanie asked. "What did they say?"

Hunter kept holding him loosely stroking his back in an attempt to coax his friend into a hug. "Shawn, please...what did the doctor say?"

"I...I'm done. My career is...over."
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PostSubject: Re: Out Of The Shadows   19/08/11, 06:09 pm

Meanwhile, Owen spent some much needed off time back home in Canada with his family. He tried not to spend too much time thinking about the mess things were becoming for him career wise, but he knew he had to confront it before going back. He had made his choice pretty damn clear to Vince, but the fact was that he could not bend his morals, and as much as he wanted to just be done with it and sign with WCW to be back with Bret and the others, he felt that was unwise given the shaky ground the company was on these days.

During the day, Owen was his lighthearted, good-humored self, thoroughly enjoying his family, and playing plenty of jokes on them while he had the chance. At night, he was become more Bret-like. Often times when Owen and Bret had shared rooms, Bret would brood at night rather than sleep, or let Owen get to sleep. Of course, Owen would listen until Bret ran out of things to fret and stress over, offering him the best advice he could, usually rubbing the knots out of Bret's tense shoulders. It was now in his bed that Owen dwelt upon his choice, a few times even calling his older brother for advice.

Of course, Bret would love to have Owen with him again. Bret was angry and bitter after Montreal, and he was also lonely, despite having Davey and Jim with him still. Bret however, also knew that Owen had to think of his career, and he advised him to stay with WWF, citing that the heads of WCW weren't really using him properly, and he feared they'd botch the rest of Owen's career should they get a hold of him.

"Besides Owen," Bret said, his voice soft and beginning to show the signs of weariness that being still awake at 4am brought along. "They'd probably just stick you under my shadow again. I'm not there to compete with ya in WWF, you can be your own man now and let your talent shine on it's own. After ya do that shit gimmick for Vince, maybe it'll get better." Bret sighed. "If not...then maybe you should walk. But ya better stay where you are right now, O." There was a long pause, to where Owen almost spoke, thinking Bret was finished. But then Bret spoke again. "I heard about Shawn."

"His back...it's in bad shape. But then, you already knew." Owen said, lowly. Shawn had been on his mind too, in amongst the thoughts of his career, he wondered how he was doing and how bad things really were. The rumor was that it was over for Shawn.

"Yeah. Guess I did." Bret mumbled, and Owen was barely able to hear him. "Well, I...I guess he's the one whose screwed now, then." Bret added, his still fresh wound oozing out its poison of bitterness again.

"Bret...come on, don't be like that." Owen winced at the acid bite that was behind Bret's words. It was just so sad to hear something like that coming out of Bret's mouth, when Owen knew for a fact that Bret had loved Shawn--and probably still did. Right now, Bret just didn't care though. He was too consumed with his anger to see past it; blinded.

"I gotta go, O. Love ya kid."

Phones were put to rest, and so were sleep-deprived Canadians.

By the time Owen was set to come back to WWF, he'd decided on what he would do. He would be The Blue Blazer, and he would do what he always did when life gave him lemons. He would smile, laugh, and roll with the joke. Hell, he'd make the joke. He would do the gimmick and get it over, and the real joke would be on Vince who thought he was saddling Owen with an epic fail. Owen would make it into a win, and he'd make people laugh, and he'd have fun doing it, until his sentence under that blue mask was served.

Owen swept into Vince's office, a day before he was due to return. He was wearing a costume that he'd had made for himself, and he looked like a very ridiculous superhero-joke. He stopped in front of Vince's desk, puffing his chest out and sweeping the cape around in a flourish. He pulled the mask off, and tossed it onto Vince's desk, his blond hair standing up in jagged spikes and swirls from the action.

"Guess what, Vince?" Owen beamed. "I'll do it!"
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