The arena quieted quickly, animated voices eventually giving way to tired whispers.
At long last, silence reigned and settled on the remaining inhabitants.
A quiet pair sat, alone, in a locker room far removed from the others. Showered with praise from the moment their match ended, all the way to the media interviews and trainer's room, the lack of noise was, in fact, quite welcome.
But Kota knew that Kenny's silence wasn't good. He was brooding, in agony over what he had to go through tonight. Over what had to do to his brothers.
And Ibushi knew that, as hard as this match was for everyone involved, Kenny Omega was the one who had suffered the most.
“I'm so sorry,” the Golden Star whispered quietly into the silence.
Kenny looked up, as though startled; his blue eyes, usually so vibrant with near-manic energy, were dull and watery. Kota felt his heart constrict.
“Oh, it's nothing,” Kenny answered absently, gingerly touching the swollen parts of his face. “We're bound to crash into each other a few times before we get it right—”
“I wasn't talking about your face.”
The silence returned. Kota pursed his lips. Sometimes, Kenny could be so difficult...
“I'm sorry that you had to go through that. I'm sorry that you had to fight your friends. I'm sorry...that I pushed you so hard. And I'm sorry that you're suffering now.”
Kenny blinked slowly, the room taking on a dream-like quality through the lens of his physical and emotional exhaustion.
“Ibu-tan, you have a concussion,” he said carefully, as though that could explain his partner's words.
Because, deep down, he just could not believe that Kota's words. There's no way in hell that he was sorry.
In fact, Kenny wasn't sure if he himself was sorry for how things turned out, either.
Of course, he was heartbroken over Matt's rage towards him; and he was pissed as hell at Cody's manipulation; mixed in all of that was a tentative relief that came with Nick's small forgiveness; and, overshadowing it all, he was genuinely afraid of how things would end once everything came to a head.
But was he truly sorry that he had Kota back in his life again? Did he regret being back with the man he loved so much that every moment away from him was like living in a nightmare? Could he apologize for being reunited with his honest-to-goodness soul mate?
“I'm not sorry,” Kenny whispered, allowing the tears that he'd been holding back all night to finally fall. “Not for...this. Not for loving you. Not for being together again.”
Kota smiled sadly, and stood up so that he was right in front of Kenny. Though dizzy and drained, he bent at the waist, wrapped his hands around the back of Kenny's neck, and pulled his beloved into a warm, crouching embrace.
“I'm not sorry for this either,” Ibushi assured him, kissing Kenny's creased forehead, his wild hair, his bruised face. “Nor for loving you, too.”
The Golden Lovers let the silence return once more, quiet tears and the occasional sigh keeping them company in the empty arena.
Kenny let his emotions drain out slowly with his tears, until he felt weak and empty, but significantly lighter. Kota held him the entire time, no doubt dealing with his own thoughts, and fears, and hopes, though he did not yet speak them aloud.
After what seemed like an hour, but could only have been 15 minutes, Kenny lifted his head.
“Thank you,” he said appreciatively, pulling Kota into a hug of his own. “You're always so strong. I don't know how you do it.”
The Golden Star sighed and sat down on the bench, leaning down and letting his throbbing head rest on Kenny's solid shoulder.
“I'm not strong,” he said simply, letting his eyes drift shut. “I've never been strong. I've only ever loved you.” Ibushi interlaced his fingers with Kenny's.
“It will be okay,” he swore, as much to himself as to the former Cleaner. “The Young Bucks love you almost as much as I do... They'll come around. And Cody won't be running wild forever. We'll get through this.”
Kenny smiled and kissed the top of Kota's head, inadvertently getting a mouthful of soft brown hair.
“The only way I want to get through this is with you,” he said resolutely. “I'm not giving up another damn thing.”
The two men fell into another comfortable silence. Besides being tired, they both knew they had to wash, ice up, and prepare for tomorrow before falling asleep.
But the moment was too serene, and both were loathe to break the quiet calm that had fallen over them.
At last, the spell was broken by a soft snore; Kota had fallen asleep against Kenny's warm body.
Kenny couldn't keep a wide smile from forming on his face, even though it hurt the swollen area under his eye to do so.
“Thank you,” he whispered, taking out his phone to call a cab. He had no idea how he was going to drag both of their bodies into the car, and then into the room...But he was sure he'd think of something.
In the meantime, he'd sit quietly, Kota's body against his, and thank the Stars that he'd found love once again.