Seth tried his best to sit still on the examination table as the trainer felt around his body for any injuries. Having someone's hands on him made him feel uncomfortable and restless, a feeling that he rarely got nowadays.
Damn The Miz and his Miztourage or whatever they were called. This was all their fault. If they hadn't interrupted his speech then none of this would've happened. Who the hell did they think they were to get in between him and his former brother like that? They were having an emotional conversation and things were going somewhat okay before they stuck their nose into his business.
This was the first time that he and Dean had a deep conversation since their departure three years ago. Well, it was more like a screaming match than an actual conversation but it was better than not saying anything at all.
Just the thought of him made Seth's heart speed up and his body shake. His former brother, teammate, partner, and anything else he could think of was so close to him in that ring. He could feel his body heat whenever he got close to Seth's face to yell at him. Even though it was wrong, Seth actually enjoyed that. Hell, if that was the only way he could be that close to Dean, then he would gladly let him scream at him some more.
Inside that ring he had made the most emotional decision in his life. For the first time in three years, he actually apologized to the man that he had hurt, both mentally and physically. When he said the words that he'd been wanting to say for months it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He was finally free of the guilt and shame that coursed through him whenever he so much as looked in Dean's direction.
Well, most of it at least.
Seth couldn't deny how Dean's words broke his heart. The defeated look in his big blue eyes and heartbroken tone in his voice made Seth feel even guiltier. He didn't remember ever feeling that way in the early months after he broke up The Shield. But maybe that was because he was filled with selfishness and cockiness that he didn't know what he had lost.
He was so happy to be the top guy in the WWE that he didn't think about his loneliness that much. Sure, he noticed the empty feeling following him every day, but it wasn't a huge concern. He was content with dealing with his one man army as long as he had his championship.
When he got injured, his whole world turned upside down. Not once during all those months did The Authority call him or check on him to make sure he was okay. Not once did they send him a letter or flowers to wish him luck in his recovery. No, that was the fans. They showered him with love and affection, things that he had forgotten he missed.
That was his wake up call.
He had finally realized what he had lost. He lost the appreciation of the fans, he lost the respect of his co-workers, he lost his championship, he lost his brothers, but most of all, he lost himself. He remembered looking at himself in the mirror and feeling disgusted at the man he had become.
He was on his own. And it was because he wanted to be the best wrestler in the WWE. Sure, he achieved that goal, but he had no one to share it with. So, sucking it up and knowing what he had to do, he worked towards his recovery.
When he came back, he was a man on a mission. He was going to right all of his wrongs and make a better future for himself. Getting the respect and forgiveness from Roman wasn't as hard as he first thought, seeing as the bigger man had almost immediately forgiven him. He had seen the error of his ways and decided to give Seth another chance. After all, everyone deserved second chances.
Dean, however, was a different story.
The blonde wanted nothing to do with him and made an effort to avoid him at all costs. It worked well for him since he was drafted to Smackdown Live while he himself was drafted to RAW. Even though they were on different brands, Seth's thoughts were always on Dean. Hell, he would even watch Smackdown Live as it was the only way he could see Dean.
When Dean was drafted to RAW, a missing piece in Seth had filled and he took every opportunity to talk to the blonde. Of course Dean ignored him but at least he wasn't attacking him. That was progress. That was how they spent their time together, one trying to talk to the other but being shunned and thrown away.
Seth knew Dean wasn't doing it for revenge. Rather it was because he didn't want to get hurt again. With the way Dean had grown up, he learned to treasure the rare friendships that he had made. Unfortunately, some of them didn't last but he still wanted to have a connection to someone.
The fact that Seth broke his relationship with Dean had made the blonde distrusting and wary of practically everyone. Seth hated that he had caused that and he made his best efforts to make it right. Now, after so long, he took his opportunity and made the best of it.
Out there in that ring he had said his peace, hoping Dean would understand his intentions. He could see in Dean's eyes that he wanted to trust him, that he wanted to accept his apology and forgive him, but he couldn't. Not everything was going to be settled with just one conversation. And Seth understood that, knew that things weren't going to be that easy. Nothing was easy when it came to Dean, but fuck, Seth was going to work hard to patch things up with Dean. Even if it took years he would still work for his forgiveness. As long as he had Dean in his life, it didn't matter if they were co-workers, brothers, of something more.
God, Seth wished they could be more than brothers, but he wasn't going to rush Dean into things. He deserved to think things through and go at his own pace. Seth owed that to him. He would be okay with whatever choice he made.
A soft knock at the door brought Seth out of his head, making his eyes snap up towards the door. Who would come to see him at this time? "Come in," the trainer called out without stopping his roaming hands.
A few seconds passed and then the door opened, revealing an unsure Dean Ambrose. His blue eyes held a hint of concern, making Seth's heart skip a beat at that feeling being directed towards him. As much as he wanted to get up and get closer, one look from the trainer told him to sit still and wait for Dean to come to him.
Dean closed the door behind him and made his way towards Seth, the slightly younger man getting even more excited at having his former brother near him. When the blonde stood next to him, he made a signal with his head towards the trainer, seemingly wanting some privacy. The trainer nodded and left the room after he gave Seth directions to take it easy for a couple of days. Once the trainer closed the door, the two men were engulfed in silence.
"You okay?" Dean asked. His voice had a softness to it, something that Seth hasn't heard in years. Attempting to brush off his soreness, he flashed the blonde a smirk. "I'm fine. Just a few bumps here and there. Nothing I haven't dealt with before," he answered. Dean nodded and looked away, fiddling with his fingers.
"Sorry about that earlier. Wouldn't have happened if I would've just listened and forgave you," Dean mumbled out, blushing a little as he wasn't used to expressing his emotions. Seth's smirk fell and he looked at the man next to him with concern.
"Hey, it wasn't your fault. I wasn't expecting you to forgive me so easily," Seth said in a gentle tone, reaching out a hand to lay it on Dean's. Said man looked down at him with a confused look. He gazed at their touching hands but didn't say a word. "You weren't?" he asked.
Seth shook his head. "No. I knew things couldn't be resolved so easily, especially with you," he said. Dean frowned at the last comment. "And what does that mean?" he asked irritably. Seth held his hands up in surrender. "Nothing bad. I just mean that you're stubborn and you need time to think things through," he defended himself. Dean narrowed his eyes at the former two-toned but there was a hint of a smile on his face.
"You're damn right I am. Besides, you're gonna have to work hard to earn my forgiveness," Dean replied. It was meant to sound like a joke, but Seth took it very seriously. "I'm prepared to do that until the day I die," he said. His brown eyes hardened and filled with determination. Dean's own eyes widened, his lips parted and he tilted his head to the side. It was almost cute.
"You'd do that? For me?" he asked. Seth nodded, his eyes not changing and his lips in a thin line. "I would. Because you're worth it. You're all I have to be myself again. If it takes months or years, I won't stop," he said. The words tumbled out so easily from his lips, almost like he's practiced saying those words over and over.
Dean stood there in a state of shock, his body frozen from the words Seth had said. After a few moments of silence, he seemed to have regained his composure and turned his head. Seth looked confused at first, but when he saw a blush spread on Dean's cheeks, he smiled and chuckled a little at his accomplishment.
Dean glared at him and cleared his throat, willing his blush to go away. "Alright. If you're feeling okay then I'll just go and let you rest," he said and he made his way towards the door. Seth nodded, though Dean couldn't see it. Seeing Dean, even if it was only for a few minutes, was good for now.
Dean opened the door and made his way through, but he stopped himself and turned back to face Seth. "I hope you're ready cause you'll be seeing a lot of me the coming weeks. Make sure you keep your promise about making things up to me," he reminded. Without waiting for a response, he winked and with a smile, he closed the door, leaving Seth alone in the room.
Seth just kept on staring at the door from where Dean left. His lips were open but no words came out. Who knew that a conversation like that was possible? Especially with Dean's temper, nothing was secure when it came to him.
A few minutes later, Seth smiled a little and laughed in the silence of the room.
"I promise I will Dean," he whispered. His voice so quiet that if someone was listening they wouldn't be able to hear it. It was a promise that he intended to keep for the rest of his life.
Maybe, just maybe, things between him and Dean would work out in the end.