Rewind - Kate
PG13 - language, mild angst
Characters: Steve Austin, Brian Pillman, Raven
Summary: Old memories and videotape Disclaimer: We own neither the characters nor the individuals who portray them. Written entirely for our own entertainment.
“Get it yet?” a gruff voice asked from behind the owner of the eyes.
“Give me a sec,” Brian Pillman’s rough voice responded as he moved closer to the camera again, destroying its focus as the lens was covered with his white T-shirt.
“He’s never going to get it working,” a third voice snickered. “Let’s go grab some more beer, Steve.”
Brian pulled back from the camera in annoyance, moving over to the seating area and giving a quick tug to the dark curls of the man sprawled on the couch, back to the camera. “You fix it, then, jackass,” he insisted, jumping over the back of the couch and claiming a seat in the unoccupied corner. “You’re the genius, right?”
Raising a single eyebrow in response, Raven regarded Brian for a moment before rolling his eyes at Steve Austin, seated in an overstuffed chair at an angle to the couch. With an exaggerated sigh, Raven used the coffee table to pull himself to his feet, placed his beer can on the table, and moved toward the camera. The shot went dark as Raven’s body eclipsed the light, but quickly resumed its focus as Raven moved behind it. “It’s already on, fucker,” he stated.
Brian looked up quickly from his quiet conversation with Steve. “Can you see the TV?”
“No, but it doesn’t matter,” Raven pointed out, still offscreen. “You can’t see what the TV’s playing anyway. It’s not like it’ll get a good shot of the matches.”
“I don’t care.” Bounding off the couch, Brain clambered over the coffee table to grab a rolling TV table and move it directly in front of the camera. “If you can’t see the TV, we’ll just look like a bunch of jackasses talking to ourselves.”
“Don’t we normally look like a bunch of jackasses talking to ourselves?” Raven asked dryly.
"Yeah, but not on camera,” Brian responded, flashing a quick grin. “Well, maybe you do…”
“I don’t know that it’s a lot better to be talking to a TV than just talking to yourself,” Steve commented, punching buttons on the remote control in his hand and frowning at the TV. “Turn the VCR on, dammit.”
“I’m getting there,” Brian fussed, adjusting the TV channel and VCR settings. “And we’re not going to be talking to the TV, we’ll be making fun of it like normal.”
“We normally don’t have a camera while we’re doing it,” Steve observed, casting a slightly apprehensive look at Raven, who was returning to his seat on the couch.
“You nervous about something, Steve?” Raven asked as he let himself drop onto the seat, deliberately placing his heavy black boots on the coffee table, ankles crossed.
Steve shrugged, taking a long drink to finish off his beer and reaching for another one from the cooler by his chair and hitting another button on the controller. The television screen switched from snow to a wrestling show, cheesy 80’s themes blasting from the speakers. Steve winced and brought the volume down to a level they could comfortably talk over. “I just don’t see why we gotta have a camera, that’s all,” he muttered.
“Because you’re leaving,” Brian answered, reclaiming his seat, folding his legs up under him. “Because I missed you guys when you were up here and I was stuck in Atlanta with those retards—“
“You’re going to love ECDub, Brian,” Raven broke in, signaling for Steve to toss him another beer. “It’s fucking great after dealing with Bischoff. Chaotic, but great.”
“Yeah?” Brian asked, grinning in anticipation. “I could deal with a little chaos right now. But Steve’s leaving,” he continued, frowning slightly, “And I—“
“I gotta leave, Bri,” Steve interrupted softly, rubbing the back of his neck. “It’s the WWF, man…I gotta try.”
“I know you do,” Brian stated emphatically. “And I think it’s great. You’re totally going to kick ass in New York, Steve.”
“I don’t know about that,” Steve hesitated, smiling despite himself at Pillman’s enthusiasm. “I just want to do alright.”
“You’re going to sell out fucking arenas,” Brian predicted confidently.
“Yeah, and we’re going to sell this tape and get rich as hell and ride off your coattails for the rest of our careers,” Raven chimed in. “World Champ Steve Austin doing commentary on classic match-ups…we’ll put it on Ebay.”
“World Champ, my ass-“ Steve started, but was distracted by the strains of “Real American” emanating from the TV.
“You’re going to be bigger than Hogan,” Brian insisted after the Hulkster had made his way to the ring. Steve snorted, but Brian ignored him. “You’re going to be so busy doing appearances and shit you won’t have time to call little old me and Raven back here in Philly. I just want to have a tape to remember you guys by.”
“That’s awfully maudlin for an individual of your disposition, Brian,” Raven commented, turning to stare at him.
Brian looked blankly at Raven for a moment, then leaned toward the chair and stage whispered conspiratorially, “You can look it up later, Steve.”
“Like I give a shit what the hell Raven’s talking about,” Steve immediately deadpanned, sending Brian into hysterical laughter and earning an annoyed glare from Raven. “Hell, I just tune him out most of the time.”
“It’s so rare that geniuses are appreciated in their own time,” Raven stated airily, tossing his hair and sighing for dramatic effect.
“I’m sure that’ll comfort you next time you wake up in a gutter,” Brian teased, nudging him with his shoulder.
“I didn’t wake up in a gutter!” Raven snapped, punching Brian solidly in the arm. “I fell ASLEEP on a SIDEWALK, not a gutter, and I woke up in that hotel room you put me in—“
“I had nothing to do with that!” Brian protested, raising both hands to signal his innocence.
“Yeah, whatever,” Raven snorted. “I’ll get you back next time I see you crawling around in a bathroom somewhere. I’m done holding your hair back, that’s for damn sure.”
“Fucking crazy,” Steve laughed, shaking his head slightly. “Both of you.”
“We're crazy?” Raven repeated, raising his eyebrows in disbelief. “You-“
“Are we even going to watch this match?” Brian jumped in.
Raven’s gaze flicked briefly to the TV before returning to Steve. “No, because it sucks. We’re going to talk about Steve’s version of partying, because that kind of shit won’t fly in New York.”
“I don’t party,” Steve objected. “I keep everything under control.”
Raven and Brian glanced at each other before breaking into simultaneous laughter. “I’m not sure beating everything that moves into unconsciousness is really the best way to keep everything under control, Steve,” Brian pointed out.
“I ain’t never-“
“Steve, you punched a blind guy in the face,” Raven reminded him.
Steve frowned until he remembered the situation, then snorted. “That jackass was looking at me funny all night,” he declared, instantly provoking another wave of laughter.
“God, I’m going to miss you, Steve,” Brian giggled, snatching a beer as he turned his attention back to the match on the TV.
"What are you still doing awake?" Raven asked softly, leaning against the doorway.
Steve blinked in surprise but couldn't tear his gaze away from the gentle light of the TV. "Watching old tapes," he answered.
Raven stared at Steve in silence, watching him watch them watch old video. The flickering TV light danced off his blue eyes, casting bizarre shadows across his face. The silence stretched on as Raven's gaze slipped to the television set, unintentionally smiling as he watched the three of them bicker. Turning to speak to Steve again, the words got caught in his throat as his gaze was arrested by the sparkling of the gold necklace resting on Steve's bare chest.
"What?" Steve asked, eyes never twitching from the screen.
Raven swallowed hard and stood up, rolling his neck and stretching his back as he stood. "Go to bed, Steve," he murmured, touching Steve's shoulder lightly before moving past him and out of the room. "The tape'll still be there tomorrow."
"I know," Steve responded, raising the remote before slowly replacing it on the table. "But Brian won't."
Raven hesitated at the doorway, staring at Steve's unblinking face, expressionlessly watching the three of them get into an impromptu wrestling match on the screen. "Fuckin' crazy," he muttered, letting the door swing shut behind him as he left.