Disclaimer: I don't own any of the people mentioned in this story, I'm just "borrowing" them.

A/N: This idea is totally mine, made up of almost nothing. However, the set-up on chapters is like the TV show, 24. Each chapter will represent one hour in one day.


12:00-1:00 AM

**12:00** Chris Irvine sat on his couch and mindlessly flipped through the channels. There was never anything good on TV at this hour in the morning. He passed a James Bond movie and thought that it might be cool to be a secret agent, always having some sort of "assignment" to do. Never a dull moment.

As that thought was completed, the phone began to ring. Chris was a little startled by the sudden ring of the phone, but recovered quickly, muted the TV and answered it.

**12:04** "Hello?" he asked uncertainly. He heard rain in the background and heavy breathing. Chris looked out the window quickly to see that it was, indeed, raining outside. Finally, the voice said something.


"Yeah. Stephanie, is that you?" he asked incredulously. She was crying.

"Yes, it's me Chris. First off, I'm sorry about last night, it's just-" she started, but he cut her off.

"Don't worry about it," he said, remembering the pain of that incident. He didn't want to think about it if he didn't have to. "What do you need?"

"I shouldn't have bothered you, but I didn't know who else to call. It's so dark out here, just so dark, and I-I'm not sure where I am," she admitted to him. Chris sighed. Somehow he knew that this was going to be one hell of a long day.

"Where are you?" he asked her. "Do you know the name of the street you're calling from?" The was a little noise on the other end of the phone as Stephanie poked her head out of the phone booth to see the name of the street sign next to her.

"It looks like Sycamore Boulevard," she replied. Chris nodded his head and turned off the TV.

"I'll be there in ten minutes," he said as he stood up.

"OK, I'll be by the phone booth," she said. He pulled one shoe on and began to tie it.

"Alright, I'll see you in a few," he said, then hung up. He put his other shoe on and tied it.

**12:10** Chris walked into the kitchen and grabbed his keys off the counter, and his coat from a chair. The he walked out to the garage. As he was walking out the door, he couldn't help but wonder why Steph didn't call Hunter. After all Hunter was her husband. He also hated to admit anything like this to himself, but he was afraid that he was in love with Stephanie. Unfortunately, he always had been. He got in his car and drove off.

**12:12** Stephanie stood by the phone booth from which she had called Chris. She didn't even consciously know why she had called him. She could've called her father, or Shane; he was close by. Instead, she had called Chris Irvine, the man whose on-screen persona hated hers and constantly threw harsh names at her.

To Stephanie, he had just seemed like the right man for the jobs.

She shivered and absently brought the shards of her coat closer around her to keep warm. It was unusually cold for a New York night in August. Stephanie rubbed at her eyes, where mascara had streaked minutes earlier. She walked out into the rain and sat on the curb and let the events of the night roll through her head again.

She shivered again when she thought of what they had almost done to her. This whole ordeal was Hunter's fault. If he hadn't left her at that club, then she wouldn't have had to even deal with them.

**12:17** Stephanie looked at her watch and grew more anxious than she already was. What was taking him so long? She bit her lip as she looked up and down the street to catch a glance of him. She hoped he wasn't mad at her for waking him up in the middle of the night. He didn't sound sleepy, though.

She put her head in her hands. Nothing had been going right in her life for a long time. The downfall of the Alliance; Hunter's public break-up with her, which they later decided to drop and go on with their lives as a couple. Maybe Chris wasn't coming after all. It would only add to her list of bad luck she'd had in the past.

She began to cry as a car pulled up in front of her. She didn't even notice it.

**12:20** Chris got out of the car and walked around the front of it to see a broken-down and crying Stephanie McMahon. Chris rushed to her and hugged her. She was freezing cold and soaked to the bone. He lifted her chin and she looked at him.

"Let's get you out of the rain," he said. She smirked at him and stood up. He got up and opened the door for her. She got in and he followed. He drove them back to his house.

**12:25** One they were on the road, Chris and Steph started talking about how unusual it was to be so cold in August. Chris tried to steer away from anything that involved Hunter/Paul. The reason most people called him Hunter was because he wasn't any different than his character on the show, and it was more catchy. Stephanie knew that it was on his mind, what happened to her, because she had been told by a friend of theirs that he liked her. So, naturally, he would be concerned. Besides, he had a reason to know why he'd been called out to the middle of nowhere at 12 in the morning.

"Chris, I know that you're wandering about what happened to me earlier tonight," she began.

"I don't want to make you uncomfortable," he said, then glanced at her; she was staring at him. She placed a hand on his arm.

"I want you to know, so I'm going to tell you," she said. Chris felt a jolt of electricity shoot through him when she touched his arm. He nodded to show that he had heard her. She went on.

"Hunter and I decided to come to this club tonight and while we were there, I said something to him that really made him mad."

"What did you say?" Chris asked.

"That he never listened to me, and that he was stupid," she answered.


"Anyways, I said that to him and he got angry and stormed off. I covered the bill and then went after him. I couldn't find him anywhere, plus I ended up wandering out a side door that was locked from the outside," she paused.

"I think I can take a guess as to what happened to you after that," he said, gesturing to her clothes that were torn. She looked at them and kind of laughed.

"They never got that far," she said proudly. Chris pulled into the driveway and then turned the car off. He put an arm around her for a second as he spoke.

"I don't doubt that they didn't get far, because you are a strong woman, don't let anyone ever tell you different, you got me?" he said to her. She nodded and wiped the tears away that had suddenly formed in her eyes. They both got out of the car.

**12:37** "This is your place?" she asked, impressed at how clean it was. Chris walked in behind her and tossed the keys on the counter.

"Yeah, nothing big and fancy, but that's OK," he said as he shrugged his coat off and locked the garage door. She stood awkwardly in the kitchen as he hung up his coat.

"You're going to want some other clothes than the ones you're wearing, I reckon, huh?" he said, showing by his intellect that he was from the Midwestern part of North America. She kind of smirked again.

"I could use some," she admitted.

"Follow me, then," he said as he led her around, and then walked up the stairs to his room. He walked over to the closet and pulled out a t-shirt, then walked over to his dresser and pulled out a pair of sweatpants with drawstrings.

"Will this work?" he asked, holding them up.

"We'll find out, won't we?" she said, taking the clothes and walking into the bathroom.

**12:43** Chris shook his head; he never thought that he'd have Stephanie McMahon in his house. She was unbelievably nice when she wasn't in character. Truth be told, so was he. After a few minutes, she emerged from the bathroom, wearing the clothes he'd picked for her. She smiled.

"Works in a pinch, I guess," she said before grabbing her wet clothes and walking over to Chris.

"Do you have a bag I could put these in?" she asked.

"Umm, yeah, I could bring one up for you, if you want to wash your face right now, or something like that," he said. She sat the clothes back in the bathroom.

"That'd be great," she said, and he headed downstairs.

"Hey, Chris?" He turned around.


"Thank you." He smiled.

**12:49** "No problem."

He continued to walk downstairs, and he got her a brown paper bag from the cabinet. He walked back upstairs and sat the bag on the bed. Then he walked downstairs and again and flipped the TV back on. He plopped down on the couch and yawned.

**12:53** Steph put her clothes in the bag that she saw lying on the bed, and then made her way downstairs. She saw Chris watching TV, and she decided to join him. She sat in the chair closest to the sofa.

**12:55** "There's never anything good on," she warned as he flipped through the channels. He sighed.

"Yeah, I know," he said, and then sat up a little bit. "What do you want to do?"

**12:59** "I don't know, there's not much to do," she said. Then an idea came to her. "Wanna play truth or dare?" she asked suddenly. Chris had been staring at the TV, and if he had been looking at Steph, she would've seen the look on his face that said, 'someone please shoot me before I go insane.' Chris quickly erased that look and forced a smile.

"Sure, Steph, I'll ask-" he started but was cut off by the phone ringing. He leaned over and picked it up.

**1:00** "Hello?"