Title: Countdown to the Top

Author: Crimson Coin Crimson_Coin@yahoo.com

Rating: PG13 or a tiny bit higher...like maybe 24. Violence, Language, Sexual content all to come

Spoilers: Up to 4/21/03 RAW and that's it

Summery: A reflection on recent events and what exactly some superstars are going to do about it.

Disclaimer: If I owned the WWE we wouldn't be in this slump, but alas, I do not.

Archiving: . GO FOR IT!

There was only one thing he hated more in the world than politics. One little thing. And that was waiting. Yet here he was, waiting. "Li, I can't take this." His leg jittery as he looked one way in the next in the back of the Big Chevy. "The windows are tinted and everything. We don't know where we're going."

"Relax, hun. I trust Steve, don't worry. It's understandable if you think about it."

"No, it's not. It's like a cattle car. I need to see light."

"Well, get used to it, kid." The driver said over the intercom. "Cuz you ain't gonna be seein much of the world you know anytime soon."

Jeff furrowed his brow. That voice. It was so familiar and yet . wasn't. "Excuse me?"

The driver chuckled. "Trust me. It'll be worth it though."

"What's that supposed to mean? This is getting weird."

"Kid, relax. Here look." The driver opened the window on Jeff's side of the car. "See, there. Take a breather."

Jeff looked outside, his head hung halfway out as he took a deep breath. Woods and Woods and woods and a gravel road. He looked back to Lita, chuckling. "Well, this is ominous."

The driver laughed. "It's not that bad. You'll get used to it after a while." Around a curve and up a dirt road about two miles, and the car came to a stop outside a large mansion. Jeff squeezed out the window, falling to the ground. Lita only shook her head, opening the door and stepping out, helping him to his feet. "Was that really necessary?"

He shrugged, looking up at the three level GIGANTIC house. "I needed out. Damn this place is huge."

"And we're here." The two looked to their right, the driver standing there. Both jaws dropped. "What?"

"TOMMY!" Lita squealed, jumping into his arms. "What are you doin here?"

Dreamer laughed. "Hey, baby girl. I'm just your escort here. I work for da man."

Jeff crossed his arms over his chest, looking warily at the other man. "And who's da man?"

"Him." Dreamer answered, not releasing his hold of Lita but pointing up to one of the top windows. He resumed to hugging the redhead.

Jeff glanced up, spotting a tall dark figure standing in the window, watching them . waiting. DAMN THESE PEOPLE AND THEIR WAITING. He returned his gaze back to Lita, the redhead still hugging the other man. Lita laughed. "And I always loved it when you would scream out that 'This one's for you, Lita,' when you did certain moves. It was like back to ECW and old times."

He inhaled deeply, trying to resist the urge to just cut Dreamer up for lingering with his hands on her ass a little too long. "Hey, guys, hate to break up this pow wow, but you think we should go inside?"

Lita pulled away, Dreamer reluctantly letting her go and she grabbed Jeff's hand, giving it a comforting squeeze. She smiled. "You ready."

Well, hell, all thoughts of being pissed just took a nose dive. Damn, how she could do that to him. He smiled back. "Ready as ever, baby. Let's do this."

The large doors opened, a man in a tux bowing and taking their bags from Dreamer. Tommy simply walked in front. "Follow me."

Lita and Jeff followed, awestruck at the size and wealth just in the corridors. Through seven other doors and they walked into a library. Stories high with books, some paintings, a dark wooded finish and a fireplace big enough to stand three men in. Tommy led them to the overly enormous couch. "Wait here. I'll get him." And he left them alone.

Jeff looked around, wide-eyed. "Wow, this place is . great. I mean ." he fell silent, his jaw agape. "I WANNA JUMP OFF THAT!"

Lita didn't even want to look to where he was pointing. "Please don't."

"But you haven't even seen it."

"Jeff."

"But."

"No."

He stuck out his lip in a pout. "But it's so high and deadly and."

"I kinda want you alive. Call me selfish"

He crossed his arms, sinking into the couch. "Fine. No flying leaps . yet."

She cocked a brow at him. "Yet?"

"That's right. Yet." A voice Welcome to said from the door. The two jumped, looking towards the voice. "Hello. my humble abode."

"Hi." Lita said warily, then she grabbed Jeff's hand.

Jeff shifted uncomfortably. Odd that the man before them wore all black and a ski mask. "Hey."

The man chuckled. "I'm sorry for my appearance, but I can explain everything. I hope you like the place. If you decide to accept my offer, it will become your home for the next few years."

Jeff eased Lita slightly behind him, almost protectively. "It's a nice place you got."

The man walked forward, his eyes amused as he watched the Hardy. "There's no need to be protective, Jeff. I'm not planning on hurting her, or you for that matter."

Jeff didn't move, kept his place. "Where you from?"

The masked man sighed, sitting down. "I'm masked for a reason, my friend. But I was born in Amsterdam, lived in London, Hong Kong, Milan, New York and am now here in this large mansion in Texas."

Lita smiled, stepping out from behind the Hardy. "You'll have to excuse him. He tends to be a little paranoid." She kept her hold on the younger Hardy's hand. "I'm Lita and this is Jeff. This is a wonderful home you have."

His eyes brightened. "Thank you, miss. I, however, can not tell you my true name. I am here to train and only train. I am keeping my identity safe for . reasons."

"That's fine." Lita answered. "Names aren't important anyway. Uhm. what happens now."

"Now, I ask you some questions. First of all, you know why you're here. Do you know what that entails?"

Lita nodded. "Steve told me a little, but I don't really know what this place is."

"The goal here is simple. I will explain everything to you first, and then you can decide if you're still in. Ok?"

The two nodded. Jeff pulling Lita to the opposite couch and both sat down, Lita resting her chin in her hands, Jeff leaning back, his legs crossed.

"What you are in now is one large scale training facility. The training is for one purpose and one purpose alone." He leaned forward. "You see, we train you to be bringers of death. Assassins if you will. You will have no identity, you will have no history, you will have no ties. You will be erased from all documented evidence. There will be no knowledge of your existence. You will have to give up everything, everyone you love. Your death will be feigned. All personal connection to the outside world severed. In reward, you will be paid well, live in luxury. But do not be confused. We do not work for the government. On the contrary in fact, the governments do not approve of what we do. You will become ghosts, fugitives from the law, but your training should carry you well and keep you hidden. You will receive four different identities . passports, social security numbers . everything you need. You will get numbers and names for connections, you will be set for life. But all you will have is each other, and your work. It is a lonely life, mind you. I've been doing this for years and there are times when I yearn for companionship. You're lucky that the master who suggested you two wanted you placed together at all times. Granted there are situations where you'll work with another agent, but usually, this is a lone wolf profession." He sighed. "But that is that. The decision is yours." He stood walking to the door. "I'll leave you to make your decision. Ring the butler when you've made your choice."

+++

Lita shivered as the door closed and she rubbed her arms. "God, that gave me the chills."

Jeff shivered too. "Tell me about it."

They sat silently then. After a few moments, Lita sighed, turning to Jeff. "What do you want to do?"

He bowed his head. "I . I'll do whatever you want to do. I won't let you do this alone, if you want go with it."

"That's not what I want to hear, Jeffery." She shook her head, standing and walking to the fireplace. It was warm, bright; she liked it. She placed her hand on the mantle, staring into the flame. "I don't want your decision to be based on what I want."

He laid back, his head in his hands and his legs crossed at the ankles. "I don't know. I don't know if I can leave Matt or my Dad. And your Mom has been a mother to me for years. I don't know if I can leave her. Or Christian, or . I don't know. But I think I want to."

"I don't know if I can leave my mother either." She cracked her neck. Wincing, she immediately reached up, holding the back with her hand.

He stood then, walking behind her and taking her hand down. With a gentle touch he massaged her back and shoulders, lightly rubbing her neck. "But I know how much you want to do this."

Her head slumped forward slightly. "Mmmmm. I . I ." she chuckled. "Mlah blah." And she turned to look at him, a smile on her face. "Stop makin me incoherent."

He smiled back. "Sorry, just trying to help." And he really was. He knew how sensitive her neck had been, and with good reason. She did break it. But then again, sometimes he just wanted to touch her. "What do you want to do?"

She shrugged. "It's not like we'd be completely alone. We'd have each other and . I think I can live with that."

He sighed. "I'll be honest with you. I want this. This offer . this . opportunity. It'll be the biggest rush I could ever have. Always danger, always a rush. I love that. But you need to think of your future." He reached up caressing her cheek, and his heart fluttered when she leaned into his touch. "You always said you wanted a family, that you wanted to be a mom. I don't think you should give that up, at least not for just a little revenge on a bastard company."

She grabbed his hand in hers, entwining their fingers. "So that means you're going to do it."

He nodded. "Uh huh. I know I am, but what I do shouldn't affect what you do." He smiled. "Roles are reversed a bit this time. I know how much you love children and your mother and . think about this, Lita. You're still runnin in pissed off mode from when Bischoff fired you."

"And you're not runnin in pissed off mode?"

He shook his head. "I've wanted out for a while. It was only a matter of time. But wrestling . you love it so much. You could go anywhere, do anything." He swallowed hard, forcing what he had to say next out. "And there's probably an amazing guy out there just waiting for you to turn his life upside down. You're still young and beautiful and there's lots of guys just waiting to drool over you. I know you wanted to settle down and he's out there . waiting for you."

"First of all, you're younger than me."

He sighed, turning away. Damn it he didn't want her to be trapped in something like this. He really had nothing else to live for, it'd be good for him. But she had potential; she had . a life, a future. She could be happy and however much he hated the idea of her with another man, he didn't want her to throw it all away. "That's not the point. You know I'm right."

"Jeff, look at me." Her voice so soft and gentle. He wouldn't, so she stepped to him, turning him to look at her. "I'm not still acting on rage. I love a rush, freedom, danger . whatever. And I don't want to lose you. What the hell would I do without this daredevil to drive me up the wall? Remember, friends for life. I ain't leavin you."

"But a family."

She covered his mouth with her hand. "My minds made up. I'm doing this too."

He smiled, pulling her against him with a hug, she wrapping her arms around his neck in return. He nuzzled into her neck. "Friends for life."

She laughed. "That's right. For life."

*** Ok, just setting the pace. I promise, this story is a roller coaster. Give it time, and I swear, I'll take you on the ride of your life. Review what you like, don't like, whatever.***