Lie Number One:
I am better than some hell cat with rabies, who was never my friend, who was never my brother, and who I never gave a damn about in the first place
The first time Seth lied to himself about Dean was on an episode of Smackdown. He was still young, still had his blonde streak and Authority influence.
The words fell out of his mouth effortlessly, or at least that’s what the crowd saw. For him, every word stung. It took every ounce of Seth’s energy to not cry, to hold his sneer in place.
That was the first time Dean punched him for real. It happened backstage, long after everyone else was gone. He simply walked up and slugged the Architect, giving him a nosebleed.
Lie Number Two:
It was never about you
The match at Elimination Chamber sucked for the both of them. They were no longer friends, no longer brothers. But Seth lied to himself again, secretly convinced it was worth saving.
He winced upon seeing the replay. Winced upon seeing Dean in the corner, pushed away. But Seth didn’t get time to dwell on it.
Dean tackled him backstage, screaming in his ear and punching his face. Security escorted him out as he shouted profanities and Seth lay there, stunned.
It turned out to be good practice.
Alright. Truth is, Seth, this may come as a surprise to you, but not everything’s about you.
By the time 2017 rolled around, Dean was in a good place. He was on Smackdown, throwing well-deserved insults at the Miz. But then he was transferred back to Raw, back to where Seth was.
He told himself he mattered. But he knew it wasn’t true. The Shield had always been about Seth, even when Dean was the leader. He and Roman were the pretty ones, the ones who could go places. Never mind the thumbtacks and glass.
That was the first time he drowned his sorrows. Sitting at a bar, Dean sucked down whiskey shots and tried not to dwell.
I’m in control.
Seth lay in the ring, fighting to stay awake. Dean was kneeling over him, shouting nasty sentence after nasty sentence. And those three words were the only ones that belonged to him.
He wasn’t in control. He never had been. For six years, it was Dean Ambrose this and Dean Ambrose that. No one bothered to ask how he was feeling.
The only time he’d been happy was the tailend of 2017, winning the tag titles with Seth. They’d reconciled for only a short period of time, splitting again after the injury.
He stood up and walked out, trying not to shake. The mask of Dean Ambrose was slipping away, falling between his fingers like sand.
He drank in his hotel room that night. He drank until he couldn’t remember the name Dean or the name Jon. He drank until he couldn’t criticise his fall.
What’s all this about? Is this really about Roman? Or is it about ME having this?
Dean held the WWE Championship over his head, staring into a pair of brown doe eyes. Seth watched him, his own veneer beginning to crack. He didn’t like doing this on Raw, taunting the man he’d once called a friend. Neither of them did.
That was the first time they kissed. Seth shoulder-tackled Dean into the wall backstage and held it for three seconds. His auburn-haired friend was stunned, saying nothing as the doe-eyed boy walked away.
Truth Number One:
A single look in your eyes tells me you’re lying because the truth is, Dean, I know you care
Seth regretted everything. He regretted agreeing to turn heel, he regretted agreeing to destroy his best friend. And now here they were.
He knew Dean still thought about him. He’d seen the tiny little twitches backstage. And Seth didn’t want it to be a lie, told by his broken heart to soothe him.
That was the last time they kissed. Standing backstage at the end of the night, he tried to get his bearings. And there was Dean, pressing his mouth to Seth’s for three precious seconds.
They never said anything to each other after that night. Whenever they did promos, whenever they had matches, none of it was discussed. Seth watched Dean fade, cutting ties with WWE entirely. The last interaction they had was a silent hug the night he left.
So many things were unspoken. So many regrets and forced advances. But it all meant the same in the end.
A Truth And A Lie:
I love you