PART ONE

SEPTEMBER 15, 2003

Trish Stratus stood in the ring, sizing up her two opponents as they made their way towards her.  She shook her head, still in disbelief that she was being forced into a Handicap Match with Molly Holly and Gail Kim--- the very two women who had only a week ago vowed to end her career.  It was obvious that Eric Bischoff, the co-GM who had signed the match, did not give a damn about the Canadian diva's safety and well being, as long as he got something in return, something that Gail Kim had apparently given to him in advance.  Then again, it *was* Eric Bischoff she was thinking about, and he had never exactly been a fair boss.  A few moments later, the bell was rung and the match began.  Trish caught her two opponents off guard, quickly giving them a crisp, solid double dropkick.  The blonde woman scored a near fall on Molly about a minute and a half into the match, and was doing a remarkable job holding her own against the two, but after Molly kicked out Trish's offense went downhill.  Gail and Molly took advantage of the handicap situation, teaming up and beating the hell out of Trish until they were sure they had her beat.  Then, Molly went up top and executed a perfect Molly-Go-Round, sealing the victory at just over four minutes.  Trish sighed and rolled over as the bell was rang… half in pain, half in relief that the match was over.  She should have known that those two weren't going to stop there… it would take class to do so, and that was a quality that neither of them seemed to possess.

Trish felt a hand rake into her blonde hair, pulling her up off the mat.  Molly and Gail swiftly gave her a double DDT, almost knocking her out cold.  Trish grimaced in pain, her hand coming up to grab a hold of her neck.  She laid back on the mat, taking a moment to catch her breath.  It was then that she noticed that Molly and Gail were no longer in the ring.  She sighed again, thinking that they must have given up and left.  Of course, she had to be wrong again, as she looked up to discover the Women's Champion and her new protégé heading towards her again… this time with steel chairs in their hands.  Trish groaned as they picked her up and laid her on the one chair.  Then she felt Gail Kim take the other chair and place it right on her face, holding her head down to the mat with it.  Trish wanted so badly to swing at Gail and get herself out of the obvious danger she was in, but she felt as though she couldn't move.  If Molly hit the chair pressing against her face at the angle she'd be jumping from the top rope, the impact would without a doubt break her neck.  She watched Molly climb to the top rope, and the young woman squeezed her eyes tightly, waiting for the worst.  All of a sudden, she heard cheers… cheers that grew louder and louder by the second, until they were so deafening that she couldn't hear herself think.  She opened her eyes to see Molly drop down from the rope, pointing behind Gail, gesturing for the Asian diva to turn around.  Trish could now hear bodies hitting the mat as the roar of the crowd continued on.  She dropped off of the chair, painfully turning over on to her side to see who her rescuer was.  Her eyes widened, and a huge grin formed on her face as she saw who was there.  The woman in the ring who was currently beating the crap out of Gail and Molly was a very close friend of Trish's, one she hadn't seen in a long time.

It was Lita.

Trish watched in amazement as her friend grabbed Molly and kicked her in the stomach, nailing her with a DDT.  She followed that up by giving Gail a massive powerbomb and giving Molly a Twist of Fate, just for good measure.  After that, she made her way over to Trish, dropping to her knees in front of her.

"You okay?" she asked, sliding out of the ring and pulling Trish with her.  Trish looked over at Lita in disbelief.  She was talking and acting as though she hadn't missed a day, when in reality she had been gone for nearly 16 months.

"You're back!" Trish cried, grinning widely, suddenly forgetting about the pain she was in.  The redhead looked down at her and returned the grin, nodding happily.

"No shit… now let's get the hell out of here," she instructed, leading Trish up the ramp. 

As she raised her friend's hand in triumph, Lita took a moment to look out and survey the crowd.  She felt goosebumps forming on her bare legs.  This was what she worked so hard for over the past year, the main reason she went against everything all those doctors told her and began her training all over again.  All the grief and agony she went through was suddenly worth it.  As Lita reached the top of the ramp, she glanced over at Trish and then scanned the crowd once more.  She inhaled deeply, knowing one thing was for sure…

It felt great to be back.

BACKSTAGE

The man who was making his way down a backstage hallway smirked as he passed by a mirror, taking a moment to admire himself.  He looked good… but then again, if you asked him, he always looked good.  As he headed in the direction of the ring, he passed by the divas locker room.  He glanced over as Ivory made her way out, and he sent her a cocky grin and nod.  The brunette woman shook her head at him, turning and heading in the other direction.  The muscular man shook his head… she was nowhere near his league anyway.  He continued down the hall, stopping when he went to turn a corner only to see three people standing in the hallway, in the midst of what seemed to be a heated argument.

"You can't do that!" Co-General Manager Stone Cold Steve Austin screamed at his partner, Eric Bischoff.  The shorter man wore an arrogant grin, laughing in Austin's face.

"I can, and I did.  You think I didn't know you were going to hire Lita back?  How dumb do you think I am?" Bischoff asked.  Austin shook his head in disbelief, wanting nothing more than to smash the can of beer he had in his left hand right in Bischoff's smug face.  He glanced over at the redhead standing next to him before narrowing his eyes at Eric once more.

"I think you're a dumb sack of shit!  Do you realize what you've done by giving Lita to Smackdown?  You dropped one of the best damn female wrestlers in the world for nothing!" Austin screamed.  As pissed as Lita was, she couldn't help but grin at the comment Steve made about her being one of the best female wrestlers in the world.

"Not for nothing, Steve.  I got something for getting rid of Lita alright… just not in the form of a wrestler.  Gail Kim approached me with the idea of sending Lita here to Smackdown, and let's just say that once again, she paid up promptly," Bischoff shot back, a sly grin forming on his face.

"Why don't *I* have a say in this Eric?  It is *my* career you're toying around with," Lita interjected.  She certainly wasn't going to stand for Eric shipping her off to a show where there was no competition for her simply because he needed someone to fuck him.

"Don't concern yourself with how I do business Red.  As far as I'm concerned, you're out of here tomorrow," Bischoff said tauntingly.  Lita scowled at her boss… normally she liked being called Red, but something about the way that man said it bothered her.  Then, Bischoff got a mischievous gleam in his eyes, and he turned back to Lita, eyeing her from head to toe. 

"Unless…" he said suggestively.  "… unless you want to prove to me just why you're someone I want to keep around."  Lita's scowl turned into a look of disgust, and it was taking all of the strength she had not to smack him.  Eric took a step in Lita's direction, putting his hand on her shoulder as he continued to look her up and down.  Austin cleared his throat loudly, causing Bischoff to jump and back away from Lita.

"You have three seconds to get the hell out of here before I get pissed off.  You *don't* want to see me pissed off," Austin threatened, pointing down the hall.  Bischoff scoffed at Steve, turning and stalking down the hall in a huff.  Once he was gone, Steve turned to the returning diva, putting a consoling hand on her shoulder.

"I'm sorry Red, but he worked behind my back.  There's nothing I can do," he said sadly, shaking his head.  Lita shook her head as well, gripping Steve's forearm gently.

"You tried Steve… you got me rehired, and that's more than I could ever ask for, even if I am getting hired to the wrong show.  Thanks," she said.  The two of them shook hands and then headed in separate directions, Austin to go find Bischoff and try to talk him out of this and Lita to go to the women's locker room and get her stuff so she could head to Smackdown the next day.

Still in the spot he had been standing in all along, the man ran a hand through his hair, his eyes narrowing at the thought of Eric Bischoff shipping Lita to Smackdown.  Ever since the redhead had injured her neck over a year before he had been watching her very closely.  While he excuse for jumping to Raw was so that he could be with his best friend, the truth of the matter was he wanted to be there when she came back.  Ever since she joined WWE, then the WWF, he had been fascinated with her.  She was different than the other women… she was tough, and she didn't take bullshit from anyone.  She was as tough as his old girlfriend and as hott as his ex-wife.  She was just the woman he needed, and he had all intentions of making her his when she returned to action.  Now that she was being sent to another show, that goal would be nearly impossible, especially with the roster split being extended into pay-per-views.  The way his scheduled conflicted with hers he would see her once every other month.  Something had to be done… he refused to let her get away.  Deciding that he no longer felt it necessary to go to the ring, the man tossed his hands in the air and turned back in the direction of his locker room.  He glanced back for a second, eyeing the spot where the woman had been standing only a few moments earlier.  One thing was for sure…

Triple H was set on making Lita his.

Hey!  Well, this is my first attempt at an 'in character' story, so I hope you all like it!!!