Title: Love, Fury And Passion
Author: Kelly Rowe
Summary: What if at Survivor Series 2001 The Alliance had beaten the WWF despite Kurt Angle's betrayal? Would it have changed things between him and Stephanie?
Timeline: November 2001 and onwards.
Disclaimer: I do not own the WWE or any of the talent used (except those I make up). Otherwise everything belongs to the almighty Vince McMahon and I am just playing with them.
Pairing/s: SMH/KA, SMH/HHH, SM/MM, VM/LM
The clamor emanating from within the restrictions of The Alliance locker room was almost vociferous in it's volume, but not unforeseen, after all they had just beaten the odds and done the unfeasible; they had beaten The WWF. Their leader Stone Cold Steve Austin had not only survived the Rock Bottom delivered to him, but also the perfidy of one of their own team; Kurt Angle who had brained him with his very own championship title belt. However the sabotage attempt - observably initiated by Vince McMahon - was fruitless because Austin managed to reach down within himself to kick out of the pinning predicament, get up and somehow pull off a miracle by stunning The Rock and getting not only a pin of his own, but also the three count and the elusive victory.
Stephanie could scarcely believe what she had just witnessed on the locker room monitor, flowing throughout her body along with the euphoria of triumph was the acrimonious aftertaste of treachery. After all of her grousing at her brother Shane over his recruitment of Stone Cold from their father's team and how Austin was the mole spying on them for the enemy, it turned out that it was her preference. Mortification swept over her as the events of the previous night and the purposeless reassurances of earlier in the evening swept through her mind. How could *she* have been obtuse enough to have faith in Kurt's lies? The answer was austere and inopportune; she was in love with him.
The cheers grew louder and she become conscious that Shane and Austin had returned to the locker room to join in the voracious victory celebration. Stephanie watched out of the corner of her eye as both of them lapped up all the attention that had been thrust upon them; Shane was hugging everyone and Austin was graciously accepting congratulatory pats on the back. Heaving a sigh Stephanie pushed Kurt and his duplicity to the back of her mind - provisionally - and moved over to join her team.
"Hey, baby sister. We did it!" Shane said as he picked Stephanie up and whirled her around in an excited hug, something he had not done since they were children. "We *really* did it! We beat the old bastard at his own game."
Stephanie returned the hug and tried to get into the spirit of things. "Yeah, thanks to Steve."
"I told you that he was the right choice for our leader," Shane replied smugly. "Unlike Angle..."
Stephanie felt ill at her brother's careless choice of words, but refused to let it show. "Unlike Angle," she murmured in reluctant concurrence.
Shane positioned his arm around her shoulders delicately; blissfully naive of the hurt he had just involuntarily caused her to feel. "So baby sister, what did Hunter say when you called him and told him our enormous news?"
"Nothing," Stephanie replied. At the incredulous look in her older brother's eyes, she added, "I haven't called him yet."
"Why not? He's after all *your* husband."
Stephanie didn't want to have to divulge that all thoughts of Hunter had fled her mind sometime the night before in Kurt Angle's hotel room and she struggled to think of an justification to tell him. "I merely needed - uh - a few moments to let the news sink in myself. I'll call him soon."
"Okay," Shane told her giving her an additional affectionate embrace. Out of the blue he turned extremely intense, "How do you think he'll react to the fact that if he wants to wrestle he'll have to work for you?"
"I think he'll love it. Before anyone realizes it, Hunter will be strutting around like he owns the place."
"Theoretically, little sister, he sort of will," Shane reminded her tenderly. "Anyway enjoy the merriment, Steph, I'm gonna make a quick call to Marissa."
Stephanie kept an eye on her brother as he walked off to find a clandestine environment to make his call to his wife. Heaving a silent sigh, she took a calming breath and spent the next hour or so talking to her superstars and to Paul Heyman about what could possibly be their next step in dominating the industry. When each person started to wander away to do whatever they were going to do for a celebration, Stephanie unenthusiastically returned to the hotel to make the call to Hunter. She only hoped that this tête-à-tête would not end the way all their others had recently, in a disagreement.
Things in the WWF locker room were not so jovial, the entire lot of them were now made redundant and at the mercy of Shane and Stephanie's Alliance - if they were even hiring. Vince McMahon himself was more or less in tears, after all of his fool-proof machinations had backfired and he'd had to endure the degradation of being driven out of business by his very own children.
Kurt Angle had simply been dutifully following the guidelines that Vince had given him and had never been tempted to break ranks - at least not until things had spiraled way out of his control over the past couple weeks. The reassurance that he had come through for his employer no matter what the cost was now suspiciously nonexistent and he knew why, it was all because of Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley.
Following Vince's orders had been uncomplicated enough in the beginning, he had basically voiced dissatisfaction with the WWF and Vince and before too long Paul Heyman and Shane had paid him a visit to chat about his many options. Unfortunately for him things got complicated soon after joining, when Shane - who was busy with Booker T and Austin - passed him along to Stephanie.
Endless days were spent alone together, signing contracts, arranging schedules and discussing - at length - his position within the fledgling corporation. It was during these clandestine times that all of his feelings for Stephanie - the ones that he had convinced himself were long gone - all resurfaced and he began to realize the true depths of them. He was utterly and enormously in love with her.
Kurt had never revealed his true feelings to Stephanie; instead he had simply continued to work beside her as her colleague/friend, while he surreptitiously plotted with Vince to annihilate what she was building. All this time nothing changed between them; until the night before when Stephanie came to his hotel room in tears because she'd had another fight with Hunter. Kurt was not proud that he had taken advantage of Stephanie's vulnerability, but the temptation that she had presented was simply too much to resist.
Waking up beside her that morning had been mind-blowing, much better than any of his many fantasies had hinted at. Looking into her beautiful eyes he had been able to see the mixture of emotions running through them; guilt over Hunter, confusion over her feelings and naturally apprehension over the day ahead. Unfortunately he had not been able to offer her the comfort and reassurances that she had needed, the only things he knew would tear her apart.
Pulling himself out of the memories that haunted him, he looked around at all the crestfallen faces of his team-mates and wondered if in the end it had truly been worth it. As the anguish swelled through him at the thought of the loss of not only his career, but also the love of his life; he knew that it truly hadn't been.
"Hey Angle," Jericho said as he walked on by. "Nice try, but next time I wouldn't bother."
"Buzz off, Jericho. You're little sabotage attempt wasn't much better," Kurt answered bitterly. "And at least I wasn't betraying my team just to one up The Rock."
Jericho shot Kurt a disgusted glance, "Well Mr. Gold-medalist, I'm sure *Stephanie* and her team see it that way too. I mean it's not like you were supposed to be on their side and double-crossed them... Oh wait that's what you did do."
"The truth hurts doesn't it, junior. At least after all of this is said and done I will have a shot at getting hired by The Alliance, while you and the rest of these *losers* will be perpetually unemployed."
Kurt stared at Jericho's withdrawing figure and heaved a sigh, not because he was going to be eternally unemployed but because he had lost his chance - most probably the only one he would ever get - at being with Stephanie.
Stephanie tried for hours - fruitlessly - to get a hold of Hunter; regrettably the only thing answering the phone at their residence was the answering machine. She figured that he was still feeling sorry for himself over the fight that they'd had the previous evening via the telephone. Giving up her pursuit she tossed her up-to-the-minute cell phone onto a nearby chair and lay back onto the hotel bed. It came as a complete bombshell to her that the lack of exchange with her husband of almost two years didn't in reality bother her anymore, she had become used to it; after all they seldom ever talked these days unless it was to fight over some inconsequential thing.
Closing her fatigued eyes for just a split second, she tried to assemble the keenness to go and join in The Alliance celebration she had been invited to - naturally it was being hosted by her brother and Stone Cold. Regrettably for her the memories that came to mind were images of the night before's activities with Kurt. Even though it had not been the smartest judgment that she had ever made and she had been deceived because of it, she simply could not bring herself to be repentant for making love to Kurt. In fact she were genuinely straightforward with herself then she would have to divulge that she had craved his touch from the first second that she had spotted him.
But she had to put all of those girlish fantasies that she had about Kurt away and focus on her future. A future that was now to be taken up with her business and as you would expect, giving her all to salvage her exceedingly unstable marriage from falling entirely apart. She sat up as her hotel phone extension began to ring, thinking it was Hunter she answered it quickly.
"It's about time you called, I was getting worried."
"I didn't think that you'd want me call or I would've done it sooner," a familiar voice replied.
Stephanie froze when she heard the sound, powerless to do anything but listen to him speak and pray that somehow she'd find the strength within herself to hang up on him.
Pulling herself together she managed to say, "What do you want now? Wasn't trying to destroy my business enough entertainment for you today?"
"Stephanie, I never meant..."
Kurt could hear the ice begin to creep into her customarily warm tone and decided that it was most definitely time to change the subject. "I - uh - called to talk about us."
Stephanie laughed sardonically, "You're absolutely amazing. No other man would have the nerve to call after what you have done to me and then say *that*."
Kurt continued on undisturbed, "We need to talk about last night and whatever is going on between us."
Stephanie closed her eyes and fought the urge to give in to him. Finally taking a deep breath she answered him, relieved to find her voice steady and clear. "Fine, let's talk. Last night was a mistake and one that will *never* be repeated."
"You can't mean that," Kurt almost died as his heart ripped in half at her cold words.
"Just answer me this one thing and I'll leave you alone," Kurt bargained. "If I hadn't done what I did at Survivor Series, would your answer be any different?"
"Goodbye Kurt," Stephanie ignored his inquiry as she hung up on him. Slowly she put her head into her hands and tried to regain some semblance of calm after that emotionally disturbing conversation.
A while later Stephanie pulled herself out of the emotional funk that had been in control of her for who knows how long and stood up. It was past time for her to put on her smiling face and go and join her *loyal* employees for the celebration that they all deserved. Grabbing her purse and her jacket, Stephanie headed down to the hotel lobby via the elevator. She had barely stepped a few steps inside the crowded lobby when she spotted him standing by the front desk. Stephanie could hardly believe it, but there Hunter was with his suitcase looking a little lost.
"Hi," she said walking up to him. "You came?"
Hunter looked down at his wife and smiled, "I wanted to surprise you. I just felt so stupid after that fight we had last night..."
"Me too," Stephanie whispered back trying to make it sound like the absolute truth.
Hunter gave her a quick hug and kiss, "So... who won?"
Before Stephanie could answer him, her brother and Austin leading a large group of Alliance superstars exited the hotel bar in what looked like some sort of deformed conga line.
"Hey Steph, are you coming? Oh, hi Hunter," Shane said coming to a stop.
Austin spoke up next, "Hey Mr. Non-believer, we won!"
Stephanie hid her face in Hunter's shirt trying to pretend that her brother and her employees were making such an embarrassing spectacle of themselves. When she finally gathered the courage to look up she saw Hunter smiling down at her.
"So... why don't we blow off Shane's victory party and do a little private celebrating up in the room?" Hunter suggested.
It wasn't exactly what Stephanie wanted to do with her evening, but with her renewed commitment to saving her tempestuous marriage she simply smiled in return. "I couldn't have come up with a better idea myself."
The newly reunited couple walked over to the elevator bank and pressed the 'up' button. As he impatiently waited, Hunter draped a casual arm around his wife - a mark of possession and affection. Looking down at her he teased, "Are there any advantages to sleeping with the boss in this new wonderful organization?"
Stephanie snuggled closer, "I don't know. Why don't you discuss it with Shane?"
Hunter leaned down to kiss her once again, uncaring about who saw them. "Shane wasn't the boss I was thinking about."
"In that case," Stephanie pulled his lips back down to meet hers as she unsuccessfully tried to block the images of Kurt doing the same thing from her mind.
The elevator directly in front of them opened, but they didn't notice. Unfortunately it gave the solitary occupant a view he had never wanted to bare witness to again. Kurt Angle slipped away from the seemingly happy couple and headed straight into the hotel bar to drown his sorrows in something a hell of a lot stronger than root beer.