Notes: This is a story that I have been working on for some time and it's still a work in progress. It starts last spring after Wrestlemania when Randy was suspended from Smackdown for 60 days. It vaguely follows storylines and real-life events but most of it is fictitious and the product of my own imagination!
Disclaimer: I do not not own Randy Orton, nor do I own anything having to do with the WWE. I only own my OCs, and they are based on people that I do not own either. The title "Saving Me" is from the song by Nickleback, and once again I do not own that (if I did I would be really rich!). This story is copyrighted to me.
Chapter One: A Chance Meeting
Another match. Another loss. It seemed to be the story of Randy Orton's life lately and there was little he could do to change it. He had screwed up his career and management was angry at him right now, so he was being punished onscreen by losing match after match.
He wasn't even getting any heat anymore, which showed just how badly his career seemed to be plummeting. He had always been able to garner heat, even when he had been a curtain-jerker or mid-card player. Then Evolution happened and he became part of one of the greatest heel factions in history, cementing his place in the spotlight. The place that he was now dangerously close to losing.
He didn't want to see anyone and he definitely did not want to talk to anyone. It wasn't as if there were going to be hoards of guys in the locker room wanting to hang out with him; after all, he had pushed a lot of people away and now that Dave Batista was injured and John Cena was on Raw, he was pretty much alone in the Smackdown locker room. Randy was used to being alone and he didn't need a lot of people, but it would be nice to be considered a normal person once in awhile and not an evil bastard who pulled pranks on the divas and had no respect for the veterans.
So he had played a couple of jokes on a few of the girls, big deal. Most of them could take it and joked with him right back, but a few of them became very upset and accused him of some horrible things. They were lies and everyone knew it, but his reputation had been tarnished. He wasn't the "lady killer" that his character thought he was; in reality, Randy was just a regular guy who liked to go out and have a good time. He had his share of women, but he treated them with nothing but respect.
As for the veterans, the "legend killer" was all character and anyone with half a brain knew it. Some people in the locker room had decided that they wanted him gone, however, and were doing whatever they could to make it happen. Randy knew he wasn't helping matters by pushing his friends away and keeping to himself, not to mention being rude to some of the people outside the arena who wanted him to stand outside and sign stacks of the same pictures for five hours just so they could be sold on Ebay. He hadn't quite perfected the art of dealing with all of that, but he was working on it. In the meantime, he did not appreciate some of the veterans ragging on him for things that they knew nothing about. They didn't know him.
The locker room was empty, just like he expected. Randy sighed to himself as he shoved his t-shirt in his gym bad and pulled out some clean clothes. They were in Madison Square Garden that night, close to the new apartment that he had purchased not too long ago. As much as he loved St. Louis, it was easier for him to travel by living in New York. It suited the fast-paced lifestyle that he had chosen to adopt as of late.
Since he was close to home, he decided to get cleaned up and then grab some dinner before stopping by a nightclub and drinking his sorrows away. Getting drunk seemed to be his self-destructive weapon of choice lately. It was usually alcohol or girls, and sometimes he combined the two if he really felt like forgetting everything. Tonight, however, simply alcohol would do.
Randy hurried about the locker room, showering quickly and changing into a nice pair of black pants, a black t-shirt, and his new and expensive black leather jacket. It was the beginning of April and the city was thankfully beginning to thaw out from the cold and snow of winter. The show had just finished and he knew it would only be minutes before others joined him. He wanted to gone and within seconds he was.
Randy made his way down the halls and past some of his co-workers. He kept his head down and avoided eye contact, letting them think whatever they wanted about him. He never gave a damn what people thought about him before and he wasn't about to start now.
The cool air was refreshing after the stifling atmosphere of the arena, but it quickly came to his attention that there was a mob of screaming fans waiting outside the barricade. They began to yell his name when they recognized him and he waved and smiled as he made his way to his car. He did stop for one girl who seemed to be about ten years old and signed her "Legend Killer" t-shirt. His heart warmed when he saw the smile that spread across her face when he finished and it was odd to him that doing something so simple could make someone's day. He didn't understand it but he was glad he could make her happy.
He sped away from the arena in his expensive car and drove deeper into the bright lights of New York City. He was contemplating dining at some swanky restaurant but the idea was suddenly becoming less appealing. After the brutal match and even nastier loss he wanted some quiet for a bit before he went out partying.
Randy knew exactly where to go get a decent meal in peace. Though he didn't frequent the establishment often, he had been there a couple of times and knew that it had good food and a quiet atmosphere. It was exactly what he needed tonight.
Sal's was located in the heart of Greenwich Village, right near New York University. The clientele consisted mostly of college kids, but it never seemed to be all that busy at this time of night. He parked nearby and as he approached the small restaurant he could see through the windows that there were only a few customers.
The inside was quaint and bright, with tables and booths as well as a counter to sit at. There was no hostess so you could sit wherever you wanted and not be bothered. Randy chose a quiet spot at the corner of the counter so that his back would be to the rest of the patrons. He certainly felt inconspicuous sitting there.
He glanced at the menu and tried to decide on what to order. He had yet to see anyone who looked like they worked there and he doubted that the group of kids sitting at the opposite end of the restaurant were employees. Where was the server?
Randy cleared his throat as he scanned the drinks that they served and began to tap his fingers impatiently. He was thirsty and wanted some service, for goodness sake. Was that too much to ask?
He heard footsteps a few seconds later, and when he looked up his eyes nearly widened at what he saw. The waitress had come out of the back room and she was certainly not what he had been expected. A young twenty-something with long dark hair and even darker eyes placed a textbook and notebook at the other end of the counter before making her way over to him. "Sorry about the wait," she apologized brightly as she pulled out her small pad of paper. "We don't get many customers at this time of night so I was in the back studying and didn't hear you come in. What can I get you?"
Randy swallowed and felt his senses return to normal. This girl was absolutely beautiful…and a pleasant surprise. "One of your chicken sandwiches with no mayonnaise and a beer," he told her.
"Sure thing," she replied as she scribbled the order down. She took the menu from him with the same bright smile that she had approached him with and put the order in. Randy watched as she went about her business, humming along to the soft radio playing as she got his drink for him.
She placed his drink in front of him, then went to go check on her other table. Randy took a sip of his beer and focused his attention on the books on the counter. He was curious as to what she was studying, mainly because there was nothing else to occupy his attention. He made out something related to English and almost laughed out loud. He was so glad he never went to college.
She came back behind the counter and they suddenly locked eyes. There was something about this girl that was just so…normal. She hadn't recognized him and treated him like any other customer. He usually enjoyed having girls throw themselves at him, but this was a different and surprisingly pleasant change of pace.
"Is your beer okay?" she asked.
"Huh? Oh yeah, it's fine," he answered quickly, slightly embarrassed that he had been caught
staring at her. "I was just trying to figure out what you were studying."
"Oh." She grabbed her books and brought them over to him. "The wonderful world of English literature and the great classics. It's fascinating stuff."
He began to flip through the book and noticed that most of it dealt with grammar and writing style. "Studying to be a writer?" he asked as he looked up at her.
She smiled again, but this time it was different. It was just as bright, but there was a passion behind it that hadn't been there before. Randy assumed that it had to do with her choice of future profession.
"It's been my dream since I was little," she confessed. "I love writing and I want to make people fall in love with books again. You know, write something meaningful that touches people's lives."
Randy couldn't help but smiling at her reply. Her description of how she felt about writing reminded him of the passion that he used to have for wrestling, before all of the drama surrounded him and he realized the ugly truth of backstage politics.
"It's good that you do something that you love," he found himself saying. "So many people get stuck in a job that they hate and they waste their lives away."
"Has that happened to you?"
It wasn't a nosy or prodding question, just a simple one that was made out of conversation. She looked interested, but not as if she was prying so he was a bit confused by it. "What do you mean?" he asked in reply.
"Well it's pretty obvious that you're not from around here," she explained. "And that's not a bad thing, it's just that you don't exactly fit the type of people that usually come in here. Call me crazy, but your demeanor is a bit sullen and it seems like you have a lot on your mind. It could have nothing to do with your job, but I just find it odd that we're talking about careers and a depressed look crosses over your face."
Was this girl a mind reader or something? She was reading into his emotions just by the way he looked and the "vibes" he was giving off. Before he had the chance to respond, she said something else that shocked him.
"Sometimes it helps to tell a complete stranger your problems," she suggested.
He raised an eyebrow at her. "Why would you want to hear about them?" he countered.
She shrugged her shoulders. "In case you haven't noticed, there isn't much around here to keep me entertained and I really don't want to have to keep studying. Plus, you look like you have a really interesting story and being the aspiring writer that I am, I love stories."
He began to laugh and he shook his head. "Normally I would tell you to take a hike, but what the hell? I have nothing better to do either. Before I share my deep dark secrets, though, there is one thing that I want to know."
Randy smiled genuinely for the first time all night. "What is your name?"
He hadn't been expecting an answer because it was clear that this girl was unlike anyone that he had ever met before. He half expected her to say that her name was none of his business and the conversation was about him, not her. But to his surprise, she did decide to reveal her name.
"Katharine. Katharine Bauer."