Disclaimer: The real people and characters in this story do not belong to me. They belong to WWE and themselves. The story contains swearing, you've been warned.
A/N: Another new one. I know, I know, I should work on my other stories, but I can't help myself! So this one is a little bit different. You'll see once you read it. I hope that you like it, and I hope that you review. Actually, please review it, it can be brutal if you want. I'm cool with that, just leave a review, please. :)
Oh, and a big, huge, gigantic thanks to Jodi, once again, for helping out as usual. And for having the conversation with me that inspired this story, and then hearing about me go on and on about it, and reading it over and helping with lines. She's probably sick of me thanking her, but it should be said that half of my stuff is better because she gives me ideas and stuff. So Jodi, you rock, you're always such a big help to me, and thank you for all the stuff that you do and I don't give you enough credit for. :)
"I'm sick and tired of this!"
"Then leave Chris!" Stephanie screamed at him.
"Maybe I will," he threatened.
"The door is always open for you," she said snottily. "I've never said you couldn't use it. So go ahead, go ahead and leave, see if I care!"
"I don't see why I'm being unreasonable here, I don't understand why you're mad at me," Chris told her. "I don't understand why I'm being preposterous according to you."
"I've told you before!"
"Yeah, you've told me some silly shit!" Chris yelled again. "Stephanie, goddammit, I'm sick and tired of this. I've been going over the same thing for the past four years and every time, every single time, you give me the same bullshit!"
"It's not bullshit Chris, it's what I think, okay, it's what I believe, and I'm sorry that you don't think the same things as me, but I can't help that. I can't help what I feel and how I react to things."
"We've been together for six fucking years Stephanie," Chris sighed, running his hands through his hair in an effort to calm himself down. This was an argument that they had been having for the past four years. It was one that usually ended up with them sighing and leaving it for another time. But now was that time and it seemed like it was going to result in a huge blow-out.
Chris had wanted to get married, and had wanted to get married for some time now. He loved Stephanie, he loved everything about her and wanted to spend the rest of his days with her. He knew that, but he couldn't understand why Stephanie didn't want it either. She was always coming up with some reason for why they couldn't get married, and every time it came up, she would dodge it like it was a peppering of bullets coming straight at her.
He didn't want to believe the nagging voice in his head that said she didn't love him like he loved her. He would push that stupid voice to the back of his head every single time. It just couldn't be true. After everything they had gone through, after all the things they had endured together, he just couldn't believe she hadn't loved him. But that voice, it was getting louder and louder now.
"I know how long we've been together Chris, you don't have to tell me how long we've been together," she said snidely.
"Then why is it so out of the realm of possibility for us to get married? Why is getting married such a sensitive subject!"
"Because it is!" she screamed at him. "I don't want to get married, I'm not ready!"
"Well I am! I've been ready and I've been waiting and waiting, and I've been so fucking patient, Stephanie. I've waited for you to be ready, and I've told you that I can wait, but Stephanie, I'm so sick of waiting. I want to be with you."
"I'm just…I can't Chris, why can't you give me more time?"
"I've given you time!" he told her. "We go around in circles and circles and I've been patient and I haven't pushed you farther than you wanted to be pushed, but Stephanie, I need something from you. I can't live like this anymore, knowing that I want more and you don't."
"I can't Chris…I don't know what you want from me."
He went up to her and put his hands on her shoulders, "I want you Stephanie. I want to be able to call you my wife. I want everything with you. Stephanie, that's all I want."
"Just time Chris…"
"No, I can't Stephanie," he sighed. "I can't do it anymore, I'm tired. I've tried for the past four years, I've tried so hard."
"Stop trying to guilt me!" Stephanie screamed and Chris took a step back. "I know what you're doing Chris, I know what you're trying to do!"
Chris scoffed. "You know what, I can't do this anymore, I'm sorry Steph. Obviously we want different things and we're not going to agree. We keep having the same argument over and over again, and it's too much Stephanie. I can't do this anymore."
"Fine, then leave, seriously Chris, just leave," Stephanie shrugged, putting her hands on her hips. "Obviously you don't care about me, so leave."
"Oh yeah, this is all because I don't care about you," he said sarcastically. "That makes a load of sense there Stephanie. But I'm gone, this relationship is not going anywhere. Why I'm hanging on, I have no idea. We both want different things and we're never going to agree."
"No, we're not," she told him, putting up her walls. She was getting defensive now.
He didn't want to leave her, but obviously they were not going to come to any sort of resolution. He couldn't get her to agree and maybe this relationship would never be what he wanted it to be. He had been so patient with her, but six years later, he needed more. He needed to know that she would be his, and she couldn't give him that. He blinked back tears as he gazed at her.
"Fine, if that's it, fine, I can't do anymore," Chris said. "I love you Stephanie, but I can't deal with this anymore. We're through."
She looked down and nodded, "Okay…"
"That's it? Okay?"
"Well what else can I say? Just leave Chris, obviously we're not at the same point anymore, if we ever were, and we're just going to keep fighting and that'll lead to resenting each other, and that's not cool at all. So whatever, leave, go, I don't care."
"So now you don't even care, wonderful," he said coldly. "I'm going to go pack. I hope that's okay with you."
She turned away and didn't answer him. He stared at her back for a moment, her long, brown hair cascading over her back, her smooth back that he loved to caress when they fell asleep. The curve of her hips that he'd grab and use to pull her against his body, he loved it all. He was almost rooted to his spot because he didn't really want to leave, but it was all going to hell, and he couldn't stand it anymore.
He finally turned to go upstairs and into the room he had shared with Stephanie for the past five years. They had bought this house together, decorated it together and had spent all their non-traveling moments here. It was their house, truly and completely, and to be leaving it was just hitting him really hard at the moment.
He grabbed his largest suitcase and threw it on their bed, with its flowery bedspread, which Stephanie had insisted on. They usually switched off with his more manly plaid one and he chuckled to himself, but it was a hollow sound. He started opening his drawers and grabbing stuff blindly before stuffing it into his suitcase, not caring that he had no organization. He just needed to get out of here before he broke down again. He couldn't keep giving in to her because it was tearing him up inside.
It tore him apart to think that Stephanie might not care about him in the way he needed her to care. They had been together for so long and she had been by his side, but it wasn't what he needed. He needed to be with her completely because he didn't want to lose her. And in the greatest irony, he needed to get away from her in order to save himself. He couldn't live with a woman who didn't need him, and Stephanie probably didn't need him.
He finished up with his things and closed the suitcase, zipping it up. He placed his hands on top of it for a moment, collecting himself as he looked around the room. There were pictures everywhere, especially in Stephanie's vanity. She had stuck various pictures into the mirror until you could barely see yourself in the glass. He went over and plucked one of them from it, a picture from their first year together, when everything seemed simple. They were smiling for the camera and leaning back against the ropes of the ring. He stuck it into a pocket of his suitcase and then sighed at what he'd have to do next.
He left the room and trekked down the hallway to a door with a hockey-themed doorknob. He turned the knob gently and peeked into the room that was lit by a hockey player nightlight. He pushed it open and went to go sit on the small hockey bed that Stephanie had insisted they buy because he was all about hockey. He stared down at the small form engulfed by the big bed.
He knew this was going to be hard. He didn't want to have to leave his little boy, but it wasn't fair for anyone if he stayed in an unhappy relationship. His four-year old son would surely pick up on the tension and Chris never wanted his son to find out anything that could make him upset. He reached out to tousle the young boy's hair, which caused him to give a little snort as he woke up, his eyes opening slowly.
"Hey there Finn," Chris said softly.
"Daddy?" Finnegan asked sleepily. Chris knew he was tired and waking up his son wasn't a great idea, but he needed to say goodbye. He couldn't have Finnegan waking up the next morning wondering where he was.
He smiled down at the young boy. He looked completely like his mother, the same hair, the same mouth, chin, ears, smile. The only thing that distinguished him as Finnegan's father was the young boy's eyes. He had his father's blue eyes, but just a hint of the gray that his mother had. Finnegan was the love of his life and a pretty big surprise that they had found out about shortly after their first-year anniversary.
"Yeah, it's me, who else would it be?" Chris joked softly.
"Daddy, I was sleeping," the little boy said, one eye squeezed shut as the other peered at his father.
"I know kiddo, but Daddy has to leave soon and I couldn't do it without saying goodbye to you," Chris told him.
"Where are you going Daddy? Do I have to pack?" Finnegan asked, sounding like Stephanie whenever an emergency arose. Chris didn't know many four-year olds who could pack in a moment's notice like Finnegan could.
"No, you don't have to pack. It's just me that's going, Mommy's downstairs. I just have to leave tonight."
"When are you coming home?" he asked.
"I don't know," Chris said. "I might not be home for a long time. But that doesn't mean that we aren't going to see each other or anything. Mommy and I just have to figure some things out and once we do that, everything will be back to normal."
Finnegan yawned and closed his eyes, "Daddy, don't go, stay…" He didn't want to have to deal with saying goodbye right now. He was too tired to deal with that.
"I can't stay kiddo. But you go back to sleep okay, and Mommy will be here to take care of you, okay Finn?"
"Okay Daddy," Finnegan said sleepily, already half-way to dream land. He held Finn's hand as the little boy gripped his father's hand in his. He waited until Finnegan fell back asleep, his hand still encased in his father's tightly. Even in his sleep the boy had a strong grip. Chris rubbed his thumb over Finnegan's, letting the little boy know that Daddy was still there, that when he fell asleep, Daddy would be watching over him. At least for now.
When it came time for him to pull away, Chris didn't know if he could do it. He didn't know if he could pull away from his son. Finnegan was the most important, hell, at some points he was the only important thing in Chris's life. He lived and breathed for this little boy. Knowing that he was going to get to see his son and play with him made every day worth getting up for. He gently tried to pull his hand away, but the little boy whined in his slumber and pulled Chris's hand back. Chris looked towards the ceiling, closing his eyes and letting his breath out slowly. He tried again, and this time he let his hand go free.
He rubbed his mouth and then his eyes as he gazed at his little boy. He pulled the covers a little tighter around his son and knelt next to the bed, watching his little boy sleep. His soft breathing was a comfort to Chris. He would make it up to Finnegan, he would somehow make it up to him.
Finnegan had been a blessing for him and Stephanie. It had cemented their relationship in a way that he never would've guessed. He had been proposing marriage since Finnegan was born, but Stephanie never gave in and this was the last time he would ask. He loved the little family that they were and as he leaned forward to kiss his son's head, he only hoped that things would work out. He needed them to work out, for his sake, for her sake, for their child's sake. But maybe it was all just too late.
"Bye kiddo," Chris whispered, giving his son one last kiss before getting up. He left the room and closed the door gently behind him. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath, holding in his emotions. One tear slipped by him though as he leaned back against his son's door. He bit his lip to keep the rest of the tears from falling though. What was once something he could do was now something he didn't think he could. He couldn't leave his son, but he couldn't be with Stephanie and hurt his son further.
He went back and got his suitcase and lugged it downstairs. Stephanie was sitting in the kitchen, staring out into space and he walked in there. "I'm leaving now Stephanie."
"Did you say goodbye to Finny?" Stephanie said, using her nickname for their son, one she had been using since he was born because it reminded her of her favorite book, A Separate Peace.
"Yeah, I said goodbye. Once I get set up, I'll give you a call and we can work out some sort of schedule with him."
"Okay," she said emotionlessly and he sighed, deciding to go for it one more time.
"Stephanie, seriously, I just want to--" She held her hand up.
"Just go Chris, like you said, we're on separate planes here. We can't agree."
He stopped. There was nothing he could do.
Six years, washed away to nothing…