A/N: Thanks to Nadia and JJ for the last set of reviews! :D I was very pleasantly surprised to see that this story had gotten reviews again, when I thought no one was reading anymore. Here's the new chapter, and I hope you enjoy it! ;)
Lita wasn't quite sure what had caused the crowd to suddenly grow collectively loud with cheers. One minute, she was getting shoved down to the canvas by Christian, and the next, she was nearly deafened by the noise.
Trish, who was on the apron, had more of a vantage point as she cast a perplexed look over her shoulder. In a flash, two men slid into the ring to attack their opponents. She gasped as Christian was speared to the mat by his own brother, and Chris was shoved off the apron by Rob Van Dam.
The redhead, shocked, scurried out of harm's way to go to her friend. The two divas exchanged glances and then watched the melee ensue. Edge and Van Dam clearly had the upper hand, as the two blond men hadn't been expecting this ambush. The referee called for the bell, signaling an abrupt end to the Battle of the Sexes match that had barely gotten underway.
All of a sudden, a microphoned and very irate voice cut through the noise from the crowd.
"Hold on just a minute there!"
Lita and Trish turned in the direction of the entry ramp to see Eric Bischoff at its very top. The General Manager looked none too pleased, and that was an understatement.
Referees that had rushed out to the ring to break it up between Jericho and Christian and Edge and Van Dam somehow managed to hold the four grapplers back.
"You boys wanna play, do you?" Bischoff spat. "You wanna play white knights to these two so-called damsels in distress? I don't think so!"
The GM was met with a rousing chorus of boos from the fans in attendance for the show. Eric didn't care. He ignored them and went on.
"I expected a match! These people expected a match! And if we can't have the one we planned on, then we're gonna have ourselves a regular tag team contest!"
Rob and Edge exchanged glances and grinned at one another. The latter nodded, as he had no problem with that idea.
"Ring the damn bell!" Bischoff barked. "It's now going to be Christian and Chris Jericho against Edge and Rob Van Dam!"
Trish sucked a breath of relief between her teeth. To say she was grateful the original match was now called off would be putting things mildly.
Lita felt grateful as well as she thought about what their saviors would do to Y2J and Christian - especially Christian. After what he'd tried to pull with her, she sincerely hoped he'd get his teeth kicked in. She hopped off the apron, the little blonde following suit, and went to stand in Edge and Rob's corner.
The new match seemed all set to take place. Nobody seemed to realize that Eric was still on the stage until he spoke again.
"Just a minute, gentlemen," the General Manager cut in. A grin came to his smug face as he got their attention. "There's a special stipulation for your match. You see, Christian and Jericho will both be allowed in the ring at all times, but you two...?"
Trish held her breath in fear and worry as she anticipated Bischoff's next words... And of course, she knew exactly what he was about to say, the rat!
"Rob Van Dam and Edge? You two have to tag in and out of the ring."
Boos circulated loudly from just about every niche of the arena.
"Oh, and ladies?" Eric said, smiling again as the two divas glared at him. "You're both banned from ringside."
Lita was outraged. She felt her hands clenching into fists as she muttered under her breath. Her hazel eyes were slitted as she eyed Bischoff. Of all the nerve! Reluctantly, she and Trish retreated from the ringside area, but not before wishing their rescuers good luck.
"Can you believe that?" Trish cried as they reached the backstage area. Her pretty face was indignant.
"Of course I can," the redhead replied. "It's Eric Bischoff... Hell, we should have expected it."
"I can't believe they did that for us," the Canadian said, her gaze taking on a faraway quality. "Wow."
In spite of the situation, Lita smiled.
"Yeah," she agreed. "That was very sweet of them. Hey, come on - let's go find a TV monitor to watch."
Moments later, they found the locker room of Shawn Michaels and decided to go visit. Much to the two divas' surprise, Lilian was ensconced inside, her bad ankle heavily wrapped and propped up on a chair. And of course, the TV monitor was showing Armageddon.
"Sure, come and join us, ladies!" the Heartbreak Kid sang. He made a grand sweeping gesture with both hands, inviting them in.
"Lil!" Trish exclaimed with surprise. A smile came back to her face as she went over to the ring announcer to hug her.
Lita mouthed a grateful 'thank you' to Shawn as she stepped more fully into the room. She nodded at Lilian as she saw her.
"How's the ankle?"
"Still swollen," the slim blonde replied, "but definitely getting better." She cocked a glance over to the television monitor. "You two sure are lucky those guys came on the scene for you!"
Trish nodded as she took a seat beside her friend.
"Oh, we know... I still can't believe they did that!" She was silently thoughtful for a moment. "That must be why they said, 'See you out there.'"
"Huh?" Lita asked. She was still standing with Michaels, engaged in small conversation with him, but turned her head in the blonde's direction at her words.
"Before you and I met up earlier, I saw Rob," Trish explained. "He gave me a sort of encouraging pep-talk. He was very cool, not even worried for us, it seemed. And then he said, 'See you out there.'" She shook her head as her gaze was glued to Van Dam's image on the TV screen. Wonder filled her as she surmised, "The two of them must have planned this!"
Lilian grabbed Trish's hand and gave it a soft squeeze. At the same time, Lita stood with her gaze fixed on the monitor, once again feeling touched as she thought about what the guys had done for her and Trish.