Disclaimer: WWE and all related logos and merchandise belongs to some McMahon. Superstars belong to themselves, I hope.
alice's notes(/rants): This is in NANCY's point of view, because I feel someone needs to say something for her. This is my fictitious take on their relationship of seven years, based on actual events (Nancy did file a divorce and restraining order in 2003, and Chris did seek joint-custody. She said it was because their marriage was broken and alleged "cruel treament"; the restraining order was charged because Benoit threatened Nancy and broke furniture in their home). I don't know what really happened to them, but I think knowing makes me feel better. This is how I move on.
I wrote this because one of the best wrestlers I've ever seen, a hero, a role model, someone I cheered for, lost it all and let many people down. Can you believe that? I cheered for this man. I cheered for him to win, and when he won or lost.
I cheered for him. Now what am I supposed to do?
based on the best quote i heard on this tragedy: "You always rooted for him, because he was a good guy and he overcame the odds," said Dave Meltzer, editor of the Wrestling Observer, a weekly news letter. "It's like if you watched 'Rocky,' and in the end it comes out that Rocky killed his wife and his son."
alice fools- ×°▫»
He's broken a table and the lamp that was sitting on it. She's standing tall with her eyes closed, trying to take deep breaths despite her terror forming a rock in her throat. Daniel is in his room; lock your door, baby.
They're in the living room downstairs, he's in a rage and she's scared out of her mind. One of the legs of the broken table is lying a few feet away from her and she's wondering if she could reach it. She doesn't want to think of needing it.
Chris is griping the top of the couch with white knuckles testimony to his death-hold. His breathing is shallow. She doesn't know what to do nor say, or if she should do or say anything at all. One wrong move and she's afraid it'll set him off.
"What do you want from me, Nancy?" he asks. His head is downcast and his voice is low and choked.
She didn't think he would speak, and it takes a moment for her to actually answer his question. "I…Chris, I can't keep doing this."
Her eyes are on the ground, on the pieces of coffee table scattered on her recently-cleaned carpet. It'll take hours to clean this up.
"Doing what?" his gaze is on her and she can feel it. It's unnerving, it's as though he's trying to read her mind and she's afraid of what he's seeing.
"This," she chokes out. "While you're on the road, I have to raise our son by myself and Daniel has to grow up without his father. It's him and me when he loses his first tooth, when he learns to ride a bike, when he goes to his first baseball game." She wants a divorce and she knows she's walking on dangerous grounds, but this is necessary for her own sake and Daniel's happiness.
"At least back home with my mom, Dad will be there and Danny can have a father figure to look up to," she can't believe she's still speaking, much less standing with the earthquake underneath her feet.
"You can't—you can't just take him away from me!" he shouts incredulously. His features scrunch together angrily as he advances towards her. Her feet are rooted to the spot and she's standing stock-still despite the shiver his glare is giving her.
In a flash, his hands are griping her arms painfully, and all she can do is whisper, "Stay away from us, Chris."
"He's my son."
Her legs are trembling and she's sure if he wasn't holding on to her so tightly, she would have been a crumpled mess on the ground. How ironic, she thinks, that even in his worst moment, he's the only thing keeping her upright.
The divorce papers have been signed but Nancy doesn't know what to think. Daniel is napping, her boy of three, and she's awake and aware and trying to convince herself this is for the best. She knows once the divorce is carried through, there will be no turning back.
There's a knock on the door and when she sees it's Chris, she opens it quickly. "Chris? What are you doing here?" she asks bluntly.
He walks past her, into the living room before he says, "I want joint-custody."
"Joint-custody?" she repeats disbelievingly and shakes her head. "No. I want permanent custody of my son."
"He's my son, too." And it's like in the past where he's griping onto her painfully, throwing things around and she remembers the purple bruises barely healing on her arm. She shakes her head again, but this time, more forcibly.
His face screw ups angrily, and his mouth is twisted into a nasty frown. "I want to see my son," he says.
She feels her voice stuck in her throat.
She whispers a "No" but he's already heading to Daniel's room and she knows she can't really stop him. Not when he's like this and not while Chris is still his father. She follows hurriedly but he's already there and picking up the sleeping child.
"W-where are you taking him?!" she cries, moving to stop him.
"With me," but he sets him down again to face Nancy.
"He's staying with me, Chris. I won't let you take him."
"Listen to yourself, Nancy – Daniel is mine too."
"But I'm taking care of him, and I'd be damned if I let you hurt him."
He looks confused and then he's mad and screaming, "Hurt him?! I love him, I wouldn't hurt him—"
She remembers the broken furniture and the bruises and her tears. She slaps him, hard. "Yes you would," she hisses.
He looks at her, surprised mostly but his expression is guarded. This is the first time she's ever stood up against Chris, but for Daniel, she knows she'd do anything. He doesn't say a word, and moves away from her and leaves.
Danny is crying now, and she sits down on his bed and hugs him close to her.
Chris wants joint-custody and nothing has ever scared her more in her life.
She's a mess without him (she's a mess with him). The bruises on her arms are already fading, but she still wears a long-sleeved shirt when she visits her lawyer and asks that the divorce papers and all charges are removed.
Her lawyer raises an eyebrow curiously and asks why. Nancy smiles slowly and rubs her arms.
She says, "I love him," and it doesn't matter if that's not the real reason, because she thinks she truly does.
They're back together and she thinks things are going better than ever. He's still wrestling, but they cope. It's been a hectic year and when he comes home for the first time in three months, Daniel is asleep. It's a Sunday like most, lazy and slow, but the sunset looks more spectacular than usual when Chris walks in with his bags and a smile. She drops her book on the seat beside hers and stands up. "Daniel is asleep upstairs, long day at the hospital," she explains when he looks around, anticipating running feet and a small voice to greet him.
She hugs him when he removes his luggage off his person. He returns the gesture although absentmindedly, and she can't help but notice. She pauses and looks up from her hug when he asks, quietly and a little alarmed, "Hospital?"
Nancy frowns. "Well he's…not growing properly, Chris," she starts, trying to sound calm and steady, "the doctor said he was a little dwarfed for his age and he recommended growth hormones…he says it's nothing life-threatening, but it's still an issue we need to be aware of."
She shakes her head and he doesn't say anything. "I don't think so though, maybe it'll just happen in its due time," it sounds like she's trying to convince him of something. "…I just—I want him to grow normally, without any hormones. Naturally like God intended. Using all these medications doesn't sit right with me."
His smile comes back although it doesn't look as happy as his previous one. "You know it's just because you hate doctors," he says, trying to lighten the mood and she's grateful. "Don't worry about it, okay? If things don't get better we'll take action, but staying natural for now sounds like a good idea."
She nods and releases him.
"Did the doctor suggest anything else?" he asks, making his way to the couch. He suddenly looks tired and worn-out and she regrets bringing up the subject so quickly, but the news scared her and even though the doctor said it was nothing serious, hearing Chris say it would be okay made her feel million times better. She makes her way to the open kitchen to make him a hot cup of coffee.
With Chris still in view from the kitchen, she says, "Yeah, he made another appointment for a couple weeks from today, to speak to a nutritionist and organize a dietary plan."
"Sounds good," Chris offered. "Maybe he just needs something in particular. He's still taking his vitamins, isn't he?"
"Yeah," she walks back in and sits down beside him. She cuddles to his side, and he wraps an arm around her shoulders. She loves him so much and has almost forgotten the past tribulations.
She's afraid still, less than before but it's there and real and waiting to send her over the edge. She doesn't want to think that something may be wrong with Daniel. She's afraid because Daniel is everything to her, because she's alone when she's not with him, because she knows Chris can't be there for her always and forever. She's afraid for Daniel. She's afraid of life without him.
She wants Chris to be here for her but she knows that's not possible. And that scares her too.
The day Chris decides to buy growth hormones is the day Daniel skins his knee playing basketball. A month had passed since she told Chris the news and Daniel hasn't changed much, if at all. She doesn't want to show it, but with each passing day, she feels more helpless. Useless, like no matter what she does, this is beyond her control. Having Chris there chases the feelings away, but it's always temporary. And then he is gone again and she's falling apart at the seams like she imagines her baby boy is.
"Let's see how much you've grown, huh champ?" Chris asks, ruffling Daniel's hair softly. He grins and runs down to the basement yelling something about rotten eggs with Chris hot on his tail. Nancy smiles at the two before following noiselessly. She doesn't want to interrupt their moment together but she doesn't want to miss it either.
Daniel is standing with his back to a pillar in the basement, trying to keep as still as possible. Chris is grinning as he draws a line above Daniel's head, the five-year-old impatiently fidgeting and shuffling his weight from foot to foot.
"There we go," he says and Daniel steps away to see the new line. He smiles slowly and energetically points to the new, fresh line.
"Wow, did I really grow that much?" he asks loudly in his surprise and Chris laughs before trying to nod seriously. His grin betrays his joy. Nancy slips out before they notice her, wearing a smile that feels more sincere than it has in years.
She makes it to the kitchen in time to hear Daniel shouting his happiness. "Mom, mom, guess what?! Guess what, guess mom!"
She laughs as he practically bounces in front of her, "What, what is it?"
"I grew, I grew!" he answers and her eyes widen comically, pretending to be surprised.
"Yeah!" he insists, tugging on her sleeve softly despite his loud yells. He's still a little gentleman, she thinks with pride swelling in her chest. In the corner of her eye she can see Chris standing in the open doorway of the kitchen, his figure leaning against the frame. "Come on, Mom, don't you wanna see?" Daniel asks with a pouty look on his soft face.
"Of course I do," she replies and kisses him on the forehead. He allows the motherly gesture but his frown informs her of his distaste. She doesn't need to see it; just knowing that the hormone treatment is working is enough to make her soar. She's sure she's glowing because she feels like she is, she feels like she's floating but Daniel is holding her down.
His hold on her hand urges her to the basement and she follows obediently.
After dinner and TV to pass the time, Daniel is in bed. Nancy finishes the dishes and wipes her hands on a washcloth before heading to his room. The door is open and she peeks in to see Chris sitting on Daniel's bedside. Only a small nightlight is on, but it is enough to illuminate Chris's face; loving and proud.
She pushes the black hair from her eyes.
They're watching a movie in the living room, the picture of a normal family. Nancy and Chris are sitting on the couch with Danny sitting on the ground at their feet. He's too antsy to stay in one place, especially during an action movie. Nancy isn't paying as much attention as the boys, but she still jumps when Chris speaks.
"I wish we could spend more time together like this."
His face is tilted in her direction but his eyes are on the screen where a trigger-happy man is shooting people left and right. She smiles softly and wraps her arms around Chris's neck. "Yeah, me too," she replies and kisses him on the cheek.
His eyes meet hers and she can't help but stare back. He looks like he's trying to figure out if she means it. His gaze is so serious, contemplative. Chris was never one for deep thought but the way he's looking at her---through her, into her---like he's taking her apart and putting her back together. He looks away after an eternity, and she can finally breathe.
"They're moving me to ECW," he says with his head in his hands. He's sitting on their bed and she's standing in front of him.
"Bad, isn't it?" she asks tentatively, afraid to say anything more.
He runs his hands across his face before replying. "Yeah, ECW means more promos, more things to do outside the show."
More time away from home. "You can't do anything?"
"Nothing," he answers, and the bitter tone of resignation is clear in his voice. He tries to rub the insomnia from his eyes. She nods though he can't see it.
"It'll be alright," she assures and her hand is moving towards his shoulder when his head snaps forward and he's griping her moving wrist painfully.
"No," he shakes his head. His hold on her wrist brings back bad memories and she tugs on it to tell him to release her. He pays her no attention and stands up instead. "It'll never be okay, Nancy," he whispers. His hands are now on her shoulders, and he's staring her down, the way a parent would to a misbehaving child; hard, yet forgiving.
"What'll happen to our family?" he asks, and she stays still, knowing in the back of her mind that their relationship was falling apart right in front of her.
His work is only getting harder and harder. Weeks pass by at a time before he gets to visit and even then, it's not for very long. Every time he comes by, the more he seems like a stranger in his own home. Nancy doesn't know what to do.
"We're home!" they sing as they walk through the front door. Chris smiles and meets them in the living room. It's a Monday and Danny is back from school. Nancy drops the car keys on the coffee table as Chris hugs Daniel and leads him to the kitchen.
She smiles and follows.
"So what'd you do in school today, champ?" Chris asks, offering Danny a plate of snacks. He starts munching on a carrot.
"Oh! We painted Christmas trees and snowmen and gingerbread people! I think I want to be a painter when I grow up! See, I got talent," he exclaims happily, and practically rips open his backpack to show his new art piece.
It's a weird, green blob, in the shape of a triangle that almost looks like a Christmas tree. Nancy laughs and says it's a wonderful painting, while Chris looks a little put out.
"A painter?" he asks with a small frown, "You're in kindergarten and you already know what you want to be when you grow up?" His voice is playful, joking, but Nancy knows Chris and he always wanted Daniel to follow in his footsteps.
Nancy opens her mouth to speak when Danny shouts, "I'm in first-grade, Dad!" He puffs out his cheeks and drops his backpack on the countertop before he shoots through the backyard-door. There's a shattering sound that comes from it but Daniel keeps running.
"He's just a kid, Chris," Nancy explains as she empties out Daniel's backpack.
Chris shrugs it off, "Shows how much I know my son."
Nancy sees the mug, broken and chipped at the bottom of the bag and already knows what it is. Danny wasn't quiet about it for days. She frowns and tries to close the bag before Chris took notice but it was too late.
"What is it?" he asks, eyeing the backpack.
"Um…it's just an arts-and-crafts project. It's broken though."
She picks up the bag when he says, "Let me see it, Nan."
"Uh, well, I don't—"
"Come on," he motions for the bag and she hands it to him dejectedly. He takes it and reaches his hand inside, pulling out the handle of a mug. She bites her lip as he takes out the rest of the remaining pieces of the broken cup. He sets it on the table and lets out a loud sigh.
Sitting there, broken and pathetic, a red pottery mug with 'World's Greatest DAD' painted in blue. He tells her to throw it away and she does.
It's Daniel's seventh birthday and Chris is nowhere to be seen. He's halfway across the country, attending to numerous WWE-related issues. She's not sure what it is this time, but Danny is waiting for an answer.
"Honey…" she looks back at him pathetically.
"Why isn't Daddy here?"
She kneels down to his eyelevel, her smile watered-down. "I don't know sweetie, but I'm sure it's important. You know he'd give anything to be here for your big day, right?"
"Yeah," he begins uncertainly, "but he's busy again wrestling, isn't he?" The way he says it breaks her heart, as though he should have known better – wrestling would always come before him. She grabs his little hand and her mouth opens but she doesn't know what to say.
"Sweetie – it's not like that."
"Yeah…" he mutters and suddenly perks up a little, "Hey, know what? When I become a wrestler like my dad, I promise I'll come visit you, Mom! I'll be here on your birthday and holidays and just because – okay? I promise. I really do!"
Her smile is huge but she feels like crying.
"You promise?" she whispers.
He nods eagerly. "I promise."
"Alright, that sounds good. It's a deal," she pulls him into a hug so he won't see her watery eyes.
Softly, Nancy says, "Want some cake?"
He nods a little and he's sniffling, that little gesture enough to make her frown tremble. Nancy squeezes him gently, and gives him a slice before it's time to cut the cake.
The phone call comes after all the presents are opened, and Danny, who hasn't spoken the whole day is shouting, "Dad!"
Nancy walks over with a small smile. Danny is grinning now, "Yeah, can you believe it? I got a Wii! It's so cool, and Mom says I can play once the party's over!"
Danny, with his small face and big eyes is more perfect than Nancy thought possible. His dark hair is shining and his large grin is endearing. He loves his Dad more than ever and proves it when he says, "Nah, the party was dumb anyway…You will? Cool!"
Danny hands the phone to Nancy, and starts jumping around happily. "Mom, Dad said he'd bring me an extra special present when he comes by! Isn't that cool?"
She smiles, and she's trying as hard as she can to keep it from shaking. "Yes sweetie, that's great."
He's still grinning as he jumps off to tell everyone else the news of his great dad.
Nancy takes a breath before she puts the phone to her ear. "Hey," she says.
"I'm sorry, Nancy..." his voice is low and quiet.
"I know, Chris," she whispers, watching Danny silently.
"There was this big meeting with Vince, and I couldn't miss it. I told Danny I'm sorry but I'll make it up to him…I promise," just like he promised to be here, Nancy thought, "Nancy?"
His voice is quiet but firm, decided.
"I just want us to be together as a family," he says and she thinks that sounds odd. It's like someone else is speaking instead of Chris. She wonders if this is his way of saying I'm sorry and thinking so, tries miserably to smile.
"Its okay," she lies.
It's been two weeks since Daniel's birthday and Chris still hasn't shown up.
She calls him, and on the fourth ring he answers.
She planned nothing; no speech nor argument but the words come rushing out anyway, "Your son keeps asking why his dad hasn't visited yet." The voice on the other line is silent. "What am I supposed to tell him, Chris?"
"Nancy, I'm really busy."
I know, she wants to say and maybe apologize and tell him its okay, but it's not and she says just that. She says it's not fair to their child. She says it's breaking his heart.
"You think I don't want to go visit?! God, Nancy, I'm doing the best I can over here just so I can see my kid again and you blame me?"
He sounds hysterical and she tries to stay calm, "I'm not blaming you, Chris."
"Oh, you're not?" he says sarcastically but there is no mirth, just anger.
"No," she insists, "I just wish you'd be a little more considerate of our child."
"Considerate? You want me to be a little more considerate?" he asks slowly and she has the feeling he's going to explode. "I've been working my ass over here. Day in and day out. What, do you think I've been partying?! I'm doing the best I can, Nancy. I'm sorry that isn't enough." He doesn't sound sorry. He sounds spiteful and indignant and her heart is hurting is because of it.
"So am I," she whispers.
"Why haven't you sent anything?" her voice is soft and pleading, but when he says nothing, it turns harsh. "A gift, a toy, a card?! Anything, Chris, send him anything and my baby will cherish it."
He doesn't and she thinks cruelly, that she still loves him enough to be surprised.
Outside, it's a sunny Friday afternoon. It's bright and warm with little clouds in the sky – but it doesn't matter, because the curtains are drawn and it's not like she could see either way. She's in the upstairs family room.
And on the ground.
Her feet and wrists are bound but she's still struggling against him. She doesn't know how things spiraled so fast out of control, how Chris (the husband, father) lost it. She doesn't understand and doesn't want to now, doesn't want to ever. But still, shekeeps her eyes on the open door, hoping against hope that her son is far away. She pushes her head back but it bangs against the floor instead and she's left dazed, thinking and praying for her son.
Tears are pushing against her eyes, stinging.
She keeps squirming and trashing against the hold on her neck, and finally, it's loosened. She can't believe it and gulps down air, but it hurts her chest. Her lungs ache and her heart feels like it might explode. He shoves her body back down towards the floor violently, brutally, and once more, she's out of breath. She can't breathe fast enough, with the chord around her neck again.
Idly, she sees two bibles sitting at her feet, out of the corner of one eye and for a second, doesn't understand.
"We'll be together, Nancy."
We'll be together.
The air is leaving her body. She's choking on nothing. The ceiling above her starts dancing, bright dots appearing in her vision.She's shaking and a headache is stabbing and blooming behind her eyes. Two, she thinks and the hot tears are spilling around her lashes.
Two and her heart is exploding and her smile is faltering and she's dieing and shaking and crying and she can't think anymore – can't think beyond Daniel, can't think beyond him – or her life, or her hope, or her love. "C-Chris…" she begs. Her voice is pleading and she thinks she loves him, with hot tears burning her cheeks, she knows she will always love him.
"P-please Chris, Da-Danny…" softly, the only words she can force out.
Desperately (with her hope dieing in her chest), she thinks this is okay.
She thinks it's okay he's killing her, it doesn't matter; not if Daniel will be alright. That's all she wants, really, she swears it doesn't matter if she dies or doesn't – but Daniel matters. He matters more than anything, more than life itself, and for him it's okay if she's dieing, choking, sleeping, rotting, praying, loving, dieing.
It's okay, but he says nothing (or maybe she can't hear anything anymore), and once more, he's left her afraid.
She's afraid (of Chris, death, life, love), and she thinks she will always be afraid.
She wonders, hopelessly, where Danny could be, but everything's black now and she's afraid to close her eyes. She knows if she does they'll never open again.