Inside of Me
Prologue

Lita grinned brightly as she walked down the hallways of the RAW arena, unable to get the smile off of her face. She glanced down at her left hand, intertwined with another's. Two bands around her fingers sparkled, and her smile seemed to enlarge. After all she had been through with Matt Hardy, it was sometimes hard to think that they were together—they were married—for nearly twenty years. As she looked up, Matt's eyes caught hers. He squeezed her hand, his grin matching the one on her face.

The redhead let out a breath as they reached the Divas' locker room. She smiled wistfully as she touched the doorknob and turned it. It had been nearly eight years since she had made an appearance on RAW. Everything was so different now. RAW was different. The former 2-hour show had been increased to three and a half. The Hardcore Championship had made its return, following on the heels of the introduction of the Inter-gender Tag Team Championship. Nearly all of her co-workers had retired from active duty, and several faces unknown to her littered the hallways. Evolution had combusted upon itself after the unfortunate passing of Ric Flair. Randy Orton and Dave Batista had turned on Triple H, forcibly causing the man's retirement. The only names she could recognize in the hunt for the WWE Heavyweight Title were Batista and Shelton Benjamin. Gail Kim and a string of younger Divas led the Women's Division, which, Lita had to admit, had become even greater with the extension of RAW. Eric Bischoff and Theodore Long had both been demoted. Stephanie and Shane McMahon became the commissioners of Smackdown and RAW, giving the McMahon family full reign over their company. Shane and Melissa McMahon's baby boy had progressed to the age of twenty three, and was currently doing wonders for the company by signing new talent and various other odds and ends.

"Dad, Mom!" the feminine voice interrupted the redhead's thoughts. Lita turned to the girl-no, woman now-standing before them. She was nearly 5'7", one of two attributes that Lita continually focused herself to ignore—because it obviously didn't come from Matt or herself.

"Hey, baby," Matt greeted her, hugging the woman tightly. He playfully twirled a strand of her hair around his finger. "It's shorter," he noticed, eyeing the deep red strand. She smiled back at him, tugging her hair back to its rightful place on her upper back. "And black streaks," Matt added, and grinned. "My little girl's all grown up," he announced.

She punched him playfully, "Stop that," she said with a smile. He pushed her back playfully.

"No. Huh? Whatcha gonna do about it?" he asked. She grasped his arm, pulling him into a headlock.

Lita smiled as she watched her husband and her daughter's horseplay. No one would ever guess that they weren't father and daughter. 'That's because they are!' Lita told herself. 'Matt may not be her biological father, but he's her father, period. She's Mina Hardy. She doesn't know about Kane, and she never will.'

There was a knock on the door, and nearly everyone in the room turned. "Yeah?" one of the Divas called.

"Mina Hardy is up next!" the muffled voice came through the door.

Mina grinned, turning to her parents, her excitement infectious. She had worked so hard to get to this point, and now that she was finally there, she was ready to burst with happiness. Since she was thirteen, she had worked steadily with her uncle Jeff until she turned sixteen. At that point, she'd gone to Ohio Valley Wrestling for five years straight—up until this day, which, ironically, was her twenty-first birthday. Between Lita, Matt, and Jeff, her vacations weren't quite vacations from her schooling, but she didn't mind. Mina was well aware that her heritage had helped in her selection as a WWE Diva, but she knew she deserved it in her heart. Michael McMahon—Shane's son—had genuinely impressed with her skill, and she knew it was a rare compliment.

Lita looked at her daughter, fighting the maternal tears in her eyes. Her baby girl, all grown up... She paused suddenly as Mina's eyes turned to hers. The warmth in the pit of her stomach seemed to fade as a cool pit settled. Two different colored eyes stared back at her—a deep jade and a dark, underwater blue. Lita swallowed tightly. "Mina, honey... Are you going to put your contacts in before you go?" Ever since the first day she had been mocked in grade school, Mina had had colored contacts, changing her eyes to a blue color close to her left eye's color.

Mina looked at the floor for a moment before looking at her mother and responding. "I always wore them because I was afraid to be weird, or I didn't want to be mocked..." she trailed off. "When I go out there, I want to be me, and my eyes, that's just as part of me as my hair."

Matt ruffled Mina's hair. "You're turning out to be quite the little Lita," he told her, and Mina blushed slightly. After a minute of silence, she hugged Lita and Matt tightly.

"I don't mean to be a party pooper, but I've got to get out there and introduce myself to the fans, and hopefully win a title," Mina told them, flashing a white smile. Matt and Lita escorted her to the curtains, and watched as Mina disappeared behind the navy blue confines.

Lita held Matt's hand tightly, and he held on just as tight. "We're getting old," he said finally, and she smiled, resting her head on his shoulder. They stood like that for a few moments, watching the monitor as they waited for their daughter's appearance.

"I really don't want to bring this up, but Mattie... Are you sure Shane told all of the people who know about...about Kane to keep quiet?" she whispered, hating the taste of the other man's name on her lips. Matt stiffened beside her, and then relaxed. Kane had been suspended a few weeks ago because of his reckless assault on an innocent interviewer. He would not be around anytime soon—and hopefully never. Shane was petitioning to have the monster fired.

"Shane told everybody, Lita. Everyone knows not to even mention it. Relax, Lita. Mina is going to be a superstar, and she's never going to know—and she never needs to know—about Kane." Lita nodded numbly, and watched as the arena went dark on the monitor. Lita readied herself for her daughter's entrance, but something was still nagging at her: that undeniable feeling that something was going to go horribly and utterly wrong.

And she was near positive it had something to do with Kane.


Author's Note: The next chapter should be up tomorrow if I can make it. Please review!

In the next chapter: Kane's suspension is lifted, and he makes his return to the ring—with Mina still in it. What happens when he tells Mina the truth about who her real father is?