Disclaimer: Vince McMahon, the WWE, or themselves own the characters in the story. No profit is being made. It's strictly for entertainment purposes. (At least I hope it's entertaining!)
A/N: I had been thinking about doing a one shot for Christmas and this it is. (I would like to thank Jodi for the help with the title. Thanks Skittles;-) I hope everyone enjoys this little Smoochy Christmas story and remember; all reviews are welcomed!
Chris Jericho had just finished putting the last icicle ornament on his tree when he thought he heard singing. "Ok, I know I've been working too hard now," he muttered to himself. After shaking his head of his thoughts, he picked up another set of Christmas decorations and started putting the finishing touches on his masterpiece.
Ok, so it wasn't a masterpiece but it was to Chris. As he picked up the fake snow and placed it around the outside of his fireplace, he couldn't help but wish things were different this time. Christmas was always a wonderful time of year for him except this year. It was a little bit harder to be in the Christmas spirit when he had lost his parentsat Thanksgiving.
It was still like being in a horrible dream sometimes. He always wanted to wake up and find that it was all just a horrible lie. The only thing was that it wasn't a lie. His parents had died in a car wreck on the way back to their house after visiting him. It was the first Thanksgiving dinner that he had cooked for his parents. Unfortunately, it was also the last. For weeks now, Chris had been trying to make sense of something that just didn't make sense.
"Stop it!" Chris exclaimed to himself trying to push the thoughts of his parents out of his mind. The harder he pushed, the more pain he felt on the inside. It literally felt like his heart was breaking in two. He slowly slid to the floor with tears silently falling down his face. The memories of his parents swirling around in his head overwhelmed him with the emptiness inside of himself. He didn't think he would ever be whole again.
Stephanie McMahon sang as loud as she dared to. She still wasn't sure why she was doing this. She couldn't really sing but it didn't matter to the group of people that she was with. They were just regular ordinary people and for a short period of time, so was she.
She smiled as she continued to sing with a real smile on her face instead of her 'fake' smile. Nobody knew that she was doing this and that was fine with her. This was her little secret and she intended to keep it that way. Besides, a girl had to have some sort of fun and this was her 'fun'.
It had all started two days before hand; Stephanie was walking down the street when a flyer got handed to her. She glanced at it, not really reading it, before she stuffing it into her pants pocket. She was in the middle of her Christmas shopping and needed her hands free. She didn't give it another thought as she rushed off into the next store.
It wasn't until she got home that she remembered it. It was a unique invitation of sorts and one that Stephanie couldn't quite turn down. Anybody and everybody that would like to go around the local neighborhood singing Christmas Carols was invited to meet the originators of such a group and join them. Stephanie couldn't stop her curiosity and found herself at the appointed place and at the appointed time just to see what it was all about.
Needless to say, it was an awesome experience that she fully enjoyed. Nobody saw her as Stephanie McMahon. Nobody treated her like the Billion-Dollar Princess. In their eyes, she was just plain old Stephanie, which was a strange but exhilarating experience to say the least. Now, while she was standing there singing, she felt like a 'normal' person enjoying Christmas. This was the first time in as long as she could remember enjoying Christmas so much.
Maybe it was the fact that she had been spoiled her entire life. Sure, her parents had a lot to do with that but she couldn't help but remember how cold Christmas had become at the McMahon house. She wished she could help them understand that it was more about giving then receiving but that went against everything that the McMahon family stood for. So, she was standing out in the snow, singing her heart out, and loving every minute of it.
As she stood there singing, she couldn't help but notice that the lights were on at the house that they were singing at. She was a little puzzled as to why the person didn't at least come to the window to acknowledge the caroling. But then again, not everybody was in the Christmas spirit. She shrugged her shoulders as she continued smiling and singing.
Chris wiped the tears from his eyes and took a deep breath. He knew that eventually the pain would fade away. Eventually, he would be able to think of his parents without crying. Eventually, he would be able to smile with the memories instead of crying over them. The wounds were just too fresh and too raw to just ignore. He had to quit trying to bottle them up inside. Eventually, the dam would break, just like it did a few moments ago. It was a vicious cycle that he didn't know how to end.
He slowly stood up and rolled his head around with his eyes closed. Suddenly, the singing seemed to be right outside of his door. He opened his eyes wondering what was going on. Was his mind playing tricks on him? There was only one way to find out. Quietly, he put on his coat and opened the door surprised to see the carolers in his yard.
As he listened to music, a small smile formed on his face. He found himself slowly starting to sing with them. One of the older gentlemen smiled at him and Chris couldn't help but smile back. It felt good to be around people right now, even if they were strangers singing in his yard. He then noticed Stephanie looking at him as if she had seen a ghost.
Of all of the houses to sing, they had chosen Chris Jericho's. She couldn't believe it. This whole time she had hoped to keep this to herself, not that she was ashamed about it. She was anything but ashamed about it. She was happy and while Chris was one of her best friends, she could only imagine the picking she was going to receive from him about it.
She continued singing wishing that she had known that he lived there. He had moved a few months before and she had no idea that he lived in the same town that she did. "Some friend you are," she thought to herself.
The singing ended and the group started to walk away. Stephanie found that her legs wouldn't move. It was like they were filled with lead. While she stood there, she couldn't help but notice that while Chris was smiling, his smile never quite reached his eyes. All she could see was pain and knew he had to be thinking about his parents. As many problems as she had had with her parents, she couldn't imagine the pain of losing both of them at the same time. She loved them, faults and all, the same way they did with her.
Chris looked at Stephanie and noticed the look on sadness on her face. He tried to smile but his mouth just did not want to cooperate. He quietly walked down the steps and into the snow until he was standing in front of her. "Stephanie, are you ok?"
"I'm fine," Stephanie said with a small smile. She couldn't help but notice how tired he looked. He also looked like he had been crying and she chose to tactfully ignore that fact. "How about you? How are you holding up?"
Chris looked up into the sky and shrugged his shoulders. "I guess I'm about as good as could be expected." He looked over at her with a small grin. "I would have never imagined you caroling."
"Me either," Stephanie said with a small laugh. She shrugged her shoulders. "I have to say though, I've really enjoyed it."
"I'm glad, would you like to come in for some hot chocolate?" Chris asked not wanting to be alone. It was nice to finally see a familiar face. He wasn't really ready for her to leave him alone again. He didn't need to be alone right now.
"I would love some," Stephanie said with a smile. She knew inside that he didn't want to be alone and he shouldn't really be alone. He had been thru so much the last few months that Stephanie was ashamed of herself for not being a better friend to him when he really and truly needed a friend.
Chris walked back up the steps and opened the screen door. He then opened the door and waited for Stephanie to walk in. Stephanie quickly pounded her boots against the steps before walking into the house.
"Wow Princess, I didn't know they had you house trained," Chris said with an amused look on his face. He loved teasing Stephanie and vice versa. He couldn't imagine not picking on her and decided that maybe a good old dose of Stephanie was just what he needed at the time.
Stephanie noticed the sparkle in his eyes and felt warm inside. It was the first bit of emotion that she had seen in his eyes. It was nice to see life in them again. "You know Chris, there's a lot that you don't know about me," Stephanie said with a mischievous grin on her face. "Not only am I house trained, I'm potty trained too."
Chris laughed out loud and felt strange. It had been so long since he had laughed a true laugh that it sounded foreign to him. He had to admit that it did feel good to laugh at something so simple as a joke. "Go ahead and have a seat, I'll go get the hot chocolate." With that he turned and walked out of the room, while Stephanie hung up her coat, scarf, and toboggan on the coat rack.
Stephanie gingerly took a step into the living room and gasped. The Christmas tree had to be the prettiest one that she had ever seen. She slowly walked over in front of it amazed at what she was seeing. There were white lights with icicles hanging from the limbs. She reached out to touch the icicles but then changed her mind right before she touched it. She didn't want to mess it up. It was just too beautiful to even touch in her mind.
There were also little red bows all over the tree. The white and red on the tree was different that anything Stephanie had seen. She walked a little closer and smiled a soft smile. The pearl strands around the tree brought out the bows while the beautiful star at the top finished what Stephanie deemed the perfect Christmas tree. She had never seen anything quite like it.
"Hope you like marshmallows," Chris said with a grin as he walked into the room carrying a tray with two huge mugs on it. He set the tray down and noticed that Stephanie hadn't said a word. "Stephanie, are you here?"
"What, oh, Chris! I'm sorry. This tree has to be the most perfect tree that I've ever seen," Stephanie said. She slowly picked up one of her cups and smiled. "I love marshmallows on hot chocolate."
"I knew you were a smart girl," Chris said with a chuckle. "I, for one, detest hot chocolate without marshmallows. I mean, it is just not right."
"I know exactly how you feel. Hot chocolate and marshmallows are like peanut butter and jelly; they just go well together," Stephanie said taking a sip. The hot liquid, while quite tasty, was still quite hot. "Ouch! I had better let that sit for a minute."
Chris picked up his mug and blew on the hot liquid before taking a sip. The heat of the hot chocolate burned his tongue. He quickly put the mug down and smiled. "I think you're right. It's better to let it sit just a minute."
Stephanie smiled at Chris and stood up. If he was anything like her, it was better to keep him busy and occupied than sitting there dwelling on his parents. She couldn't help but notice all of the boxes of decorations sitting around in the living room. She decided it was time to help her friend get out of the dark place that he was at. "Well, since we're letting them cool down a little, what do you say to a little help with decorating?"
"Sure, but only if you want to," Chris said surprised to hear Stephanie offer to help him. It wasn't like it was the first time that she had ever offered to do anything. She was the type person that would give a total and complete stranger the shirt off of her back if the person really needed it. Then again, she was just as prone to take the person shopping too.
"Silly boy, I wouldn't have offered if I didn't want to," Stephanie said while pointing her finger. She grinned as a thought popped in her head. "Besides, I don't have anything else better to do."
"Somehow, I doubt that Princess," Chris said with a wry grin. He stood up and walked over to the decorations. " But if you insist on helping, then let's get started."
Two hours later, a very tired but happy Stephanie sat down on the couch for a must needed break. They had hung holly, mistletoe, and every imaginable Christmas decoration that there was all over the house, even in the bathrooms. She smiled as she saw Chris bringing out another cup of hot chocolate to her.
"For the hard working lady," Chris said with a smile. He looked around the house and grinned. "You know, this would have taken me at least two days by myself and then I still don't think that I did as good a job as you did."
"Well, you're the lucky one. I just happen to love decorating for Christmas," Stephanie said taking her third cup of hot chocolate of the night. She gingerly took a sip and grinned. "You know, I'm going to be wired all night from all of this sugar."
"Probably," Chris said with a smirk. "I figured that you were so good at decorating that you wouldn't mind doing some light housework while you were here."
Stephanie gingerly let the last remark slide. They were having such a good time and she didn't want to ruin the good vibration going on in the house. She then noticed Chris sitting there waiting rather impatiently for her to say something. With a small smile, she spoke. "I don't do windows."
"Oh really and I thought you would do anything," Chris said with his smirk more intensified. It was nice having Stephanie around. She was like a breath of fresh air on a crisp, spring morning. He had to admit that her being there had took his mind off of everything. They had laughed and told jokes the whole time they were decorating. He didn't think he would ever find a way to thank her for the way that she helped him make it thru the night.
Stephanie smiled an evil smile and stood up. She pulled Chris out of his chair and grinned. It was like seeing the light being turned on inside of him. He was genuinely happy and she was glad that she could help with that. Nobody should ever have to go thru what he was going thru. "You know, Chris, I can do anything that I want to do and some things that I don't want to do."
"Oh yeah?" Chris said taking her words as a challenge. He saw the sparkle in her eyes and was amazed at how much emotion there was in her blue eyes. It was almost like he could see her smile thru her eyes. He had never really looked at her eyes until now.
"Yeah," Stephanie said with her own trademark smirk. Seeing those clear blue eyes of his actually looking clear made her think that she was meant to sing Christmas Carols at his house. She didn't know exactly why or how she knew but she did. She knew at the moment that she was supposed to be with Chris that night.
Chris quickly pulled her into his arms noting the look of pure shock on her face. He couldn't help but take advantage of an old Christmas tradition that was begging to be done. He smiled at her, his eyes so blue that they were almost white. "What if I were to tell you that you are standing underneath some mistletoe?"
Stephanie's shocked look turned to a small smile as she looked up above her head to see the mistletoe hanging down off of the ceiling fan. "I would have to say that we can't break tradition." She slowly put her arms up around his neck and let them rest behind his head. She licked her lips slowly noticing Chris watching her every move. "Come here Chris and get your mistletoe special. Get it now while it's half off!"
Chris laughed out loud pulling her into a hug. It felt good holding her; which was something that he had never really thought about before now. She was one of his best friends and he never thought of herany other wayway until that moment. In that moment, he wished they were more than just friends. A startling thought that left him speechless.
Stephanie closed her eyes and laid her head down on his shoulders. Her heart started beating a little faster and she couldn't help but notice how safe she felt at that moment. She had been alone for a long time and never really thought about it until now. Chris had always been her secret crush. She cherished their friendship more than anything, which was one of the main reasons that she had never acted on her impulses to tell him just exactlyhow she really felt.
Slowly, Stephanie pulled herself away but not out of his arms. She looped her arms around his shoulders and with a mischievous grin said, "So, when am I going to get my kiss?"
Chris looked into her eyes and saw that she seemed to really want him to kiss her. He looked at her closely and said, "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure," Stephanie said her heartbeat increasing at the thought of him kissing her.
"Ok," Chris said with a small smile.
He bent down his head and gingerly touched her lips almost as if he were afraid to touch her. Pressing his lips against hers gently, he was surprised by the overwhelming need to take her in his arms and kiss her the way she was meant to be kissed. He quickly pulled back and smiled at Stephanie. "How's that?"
"Is that it?" Stephanie asked with a gleam in her eyes. The disappointment showed in her eyes before her eyes changed into twinkling mischief. "Chris, let me show how you kiss under the mistletoe."
With that being said, she put her hand up around his neck and pulled his lips down to hers. She felt his mouth open slightly and with a smile against his mouth, kissed him the way she had dreamed of kissing him for years.
Suddenly, she felt Chris's arms tighten around her and pulled her closer to him. He took over the control of the kiss, which was fine with Stephanie. She was pretty close to losing herself completely in the kiss. Finally, she let her control go and soared with Chris to places that she had never known existed.
Chris couldn't believe that he was kissing Stephanie and not in front of a camera this time. He was always wondering what it would be like to really kiss her with feeling and now he knew. Slowly but surely, he brought the kiss to an end. He pulled back and smiled at the flushed look on her face. "So, was that better?"
"Much better," Stephanie said with a sigh. "You know, you could really be a good kisser if you just practiced some more."
"Oh really?" Chris said with a small smile. "Are you offering to be my practicing partner?"
"No," Stephanie said with a serious look on her face. "I'm offering you more than that. I'm offering you me, just the way I am."
Chris looked into her eyes and saw the truth shining back at him. She wanted to be with him. It was there in her eyes. "You want me?"
"Yes, I want you but not just for a short period of time. I think we've got a chance at really having something special together. I mean, I do get all of your corny jokes all of the time. Who else can do that?"
"That is totally true," Chris said with a small smile. He kissed her on the nose and pulled her back into his arms. "I'm willing, if you are."
"I'm more than willing," Stephanie said with a grin.
"Well, you'll always be my filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom-feeding, trash bag ho," Chris said with a small smile.
He noticed her eyes flare up and she raised her hand to slap him across the face, just like old times. Except this time, she loving brought her hand up and placed it on his face. "Only with you and only behind closed doors."
"Merry Christmas Stephanie."
"Merry Christmas Jericho."