Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Spoilers: Through RAW 12/15/03 and Jeff Hardy is still around
Summary: A little tradition brings Lita close to someone she thought was a lost cause.
Author's Note: Response to Cristal's Christmas Fic Challenge.
"You have to do it."
She was going to kill whoever had the idea to put up mistletoe at this godforsaken company Christmas party Jeff had dragged her to. She just wanted to forget about Christmas all together but instead she was stuck under the mistletoe with Christian of all people. After everything that he'd pulled with the bet he was one of the very last people she wanted to kiss. She'd sooner kiss Rico than she would the great Canadian jackass in front of her. "I don't have to do anything."
"Oh come on Lita. Don't you want to kiss me? It's not the end of the world, many women have assured me of that." A cocky grin lit up his face and it was all Lita could do not to punch him instead. "It's tradition," he said, pulling the one card guaranteed to make her give in. He knew she was a sucker for tradition, though how he was aware of that she didn't know. She could hear several people around them encouraging them to kiss.
"Fine," she snapped, glaring up at him, taking in the arrogant smirk that graced his features.
"You know Lita, this won't be so bad…"
"Right. It'll be like having railroad spikes driven through my skull." The comment rolled right off her tongue and she thought she saw a flicker of guilt flash through his eyes, but she knew she had to be mistaken. He wasn't feeling guilty, not after the way he went after Jericho for what happened at the last live RAW before the holidays. "Let's just get this over with." She tipped her face up to his and closed her eyes, meeting him halfway. When his lips touched hers she was shocked by the jolt of desire that shot through her from such a chaste touch. He kept the kiss soft, tender, innocent, and she found herself leaning into him, trying to get more of the gentle touch. She parted her lips slightly, allowing the kiss to deepen just a bit.
She was kissing him. That's all that mattered in that moment. His lips were on hers and for the first time in weeks he didn't have to see anger and hurt in her eyes every time he looked at her. Sure, it was because her eyes were closed, but he didn't care. She was soft and yielding, her body moving closer to his as her lips parted to deepen the kiss. The sudden shrill whistles and clapping soon penetrated the fog that had clouded his mind and he opened his eyes, pulling away, as he remembered where he was. Several of his co-workers were staring at them, wide-eyed. Trish was gaping at Lita, the tiny blond surprised by her friend's actions. He couldn't look at her and he desperately tried to salvage his reputation. "Always knew you'd be good at kissing. It makes me wonder what else you're good at," he sneered, the look not quite making it to his eyes.
He tried not to flinch when she cringed, stepping back from him hastily, turning to Jeff, who was scowling at him fiercely. Christian turned away, knowing that the youngest Hardy would look after Lita. He backed out from under the mistletoe, pushing past Chris who had stepped up to talk to him. He needed a drink. Several of them if he wanted to get the feel of Lita pressed against him, kissing him, out of his head.
Lita tried to smile as once again she was pulled beneath the mistletoe for a kiss. Bubba, D'Von, Spike, Test, Randy Orton, Batista, and Jeff had all claimed her for one kiss. She never knew Randy had it in him. His kiss was by far the steamiest and it had lasted for several minutes, neither of them wanting to pull away, much to the delight of the rest of the roster. It was ruined though, when afterwards he whispered to her, 'If you weren't in love with Christian, I'd ask you out in a second'. She'd been so floored by his words that she tripped when she stumbled back from him, almost falling to the floor before he caught her. "I'm not blind, Lita," he'd said, his tone serious, "and neither is anyone else. Trish forgave Chris," he whispered, pointing to where the two Canadians were talking in a quiet corner of the room. "And she had more reason to be angry than you. Don't let pride and anger stand in the way of being happy. I did once and I regret it every day." She saw his gaze drift to Stacy who was cornered between Test and Steiner. She saw the way he tensed and had to work to shift his focus back to her. So that's how it was. She felt sorry for him in that moment. And she took his words to heart as he kissed her on the cheek and walked toward where Evolution was holding court.
Christian stared out at the beautiful snow covered landscape, missing home more than anything at that moment. Conneticut was beautiful but it was nothing compared to Canada and he wished there was a way to go back, a way to change the person he'd become, a person he didn't even recognize anymore. He kept staring up at the starry night sky even as he felt the presence of someone else out on the patio with him. "Go away," he snapped, not in the mood for company.
"Sorry, no can do. I want to talk to you."
Great, it was Jeff Hardy. The last thing he needed was a lecture on staying away from Lita. He already planned to do just that.
"Lita." Jeff walked up next to his former friend and stood there silently for several minutes, not talking, just being. "She loves you, you know," he said softly, breaking silence after a long interlude.
Christian closed his eyes, wishing that were the case. "No, she doesn't. She couldn't, not after…"
"I said she loves you, not that you didn't hurt her with what you did. She still loves you anyway, even if she doesn't realize it or want to realize it." Jeff smiled, "And I believe that you love her. You may be a jerk and may not deserve her, but you do love her."
Christian turned to Jeff. "So what do you suggest I do about it. She's not likely to let me near her anytime soon."
"I think I can help you with that." There was a mischievous look in Jeff's eye and Christian began to wonder if Jeff was really as crazy as everyone thought him to be. He didn't think so. Christian was pretty sure that the youngest Hardy brother was more than he appeared to be.
For what seemed like the hundredth time during the night she was hustled under the mistletoe, this time by Shane Helms and she pecked him on the lips, laughing when he dipped her and planted one on her. It was a kiss worthy of a superhero. Yet, despite the constant kisses and the attention that Jeff seemed intent to lavish on her since Christian had kissed her, she was getting tired of the party. Her feet were hurting and she was ready to go to the hotel and crash, but Jeff had disappeared almost an hour and a half earlier.
Suddenly he appeared out of nowhere, popping up next to where she sat at the table, her glass of punch getting warm as it sat in front of her. "I have a surprise for you," he whispered, slipping the blindfold over her head, shushing her protests admonishingly. "It's an early Christmas present. Something I know you've been wanting for a while."
He stood her up quickly and led her from the ballroom, to the parking lot, helping her to get on the back of his bike. She was grateful for the fact that she'd worn pants and a heavy jacket to the party as she climbed on. They flew over the streets for almost twenty minutes before she felt the bike come to a stop and he was once again leading her toward something, though she didn't know what it was.
When the blindfold finally came off she looked up and saw that they were standing at the entrance of a labyrinth. "Jeff?" she asked questioningly when she saw the red rose resting bright against the brilliant white snow that covered the ground just a few feet inside the labyrinth.
"Your gift is at the center of the maze." He turned and walked away then, leaving behind a very confused redhead, as the sound of his motor faded in the distance.
Curious, she started forward, picking up the rose as she walked. Soon she had three roses in hand and was searching for the fourth. The roses were apparently her guide to the center of the maze and she was glad that she didn't have to try and solve it on her own. She followed the roses until she reached the center and was surprised to discover a bubbling fountain there.
Christmas lights were shining on the tall bushes of the labyrinth and she smiled, glancing down at the dozen white roses in her hand. She couldn't help but wonder who was doing this when a set of hands cupped her eyes and moved her forward, the long lean length of a body pressed against her back. The hands cupping her eyes were decidedly rough and she just knew that it was a man. The smell of Polo reached her nose and she tried hard not to gasp, even as the blindfold was once again placed over her eyes.
She was turned once it was on securely and was gently set down on the edge of the fountain. "Who are you?" she blurted out, pretty sure she already knew, the pounding in her heart speeding up when he spoke. It was him. Oh god!
"I'm just a guy Lita. Just a guy who fell in love with you." The words were soft, achingly whispered and she could hear the sincerity in his voice. "I'm not a good man. I haven't been for a long time, but you make me want to be a better man. I want to be someone who deserves you, even though I'm pretty sure there's not a guy on the face of the Earth who would ever be worthy of you. You're beautiful, Lita, everything I never knew I wanted. I'm hoping you'll give me the chance to make amends. I'm hoping that one day you'll be able to love me the way I love you. I'll wait forever if I have to." The words came tumbling out and Christian held his breath as she rose to her feet when she heard him speak no more.
She couldn't breathe. Christian had just put his heart on the line for her, even though he knew she might reject it. She lifted her hands, removing the blindfold. "Christian," she whispered, seeing that his back was turned to her. He was watching the water fall from the mouths of the fish at the base of the fountain, not looking up at the sculptures of the Fates looming over them.
He turned to her and she was lost. His eyes were so sad she could see how much he regretted in his life. She didn't want to be one of his regrets. She wanted so much more than to be a sad memory for him. "You don't have to wait forever," she said, her hand coming up to touch his cheek lightly before falling back to her side. "I want you Christian, but I want to do this right. I want to date and have fun and do all the things you're supposed to do. I jumped right into things with Matt and it didn't end well. You and I started off wrong," she said, tilting his face up to look into hers when he averted his gaze. "It's okay. I forgive you Christian and I want to start over. We were friends once. We were becoming friends again. I want to be your friend, but I also want to be your love. If you don't mind waiting, I think one day I'll be both to you and you'll be both to me."
She saw the second relief flooded him. His whole posture changed. He was no longer stiff, rigid, as if waiting to be rejected. He pulled her close and hugged her, whispering 'I'm sorry' over and over in her ear, even as she ran her hands down his back trying to soothe him. Finally he released her, tucking her hair behind her ears as their breath misted in the cold night air. She tilted her head back to look at him and that's when she saw it. Dangling from the hand of one of the Fates was a sprig of mistletoe tied to a string. She gestured for him to look up.
"I guess this is where we kiss," he said softly.
"I think we should. It is tradition, after all," she said, smiling at him.
He leaned down until his lips were just barely brushing hers, his arms wrapped around her waist holding her to him. "Yeah, tradition," he sighed. And then he kissed her.