Disclaimer: I own nothing WWE related nor do I own any of the superstars. I am not making money off of this so please don't try and sue me. This is a complete work of fiction and any likeness in real life are completely coincidental.

AN: This is actually part of a series of fics that all somehow - in a weird way - tie together. OCs are used in them from the other stories so it may help if you read them in order. Of course you do not HAVE to, but it would help if you did. There are several stories going on at once but in this fic I'll mainly focus on Hunter, Eric, and Shawn. Shawn is a big part of the series anyway so there's no way I can actually leave him out. He as well as a few others are already in established relationships while others pick up from where I left off in other fics. The suggested order that you read them in is as follows:

Oh, Choices

Oh, Choices II

My Time is Now

Dark Pride

Summary: When Eric lost his company to Vince McMahon years ago, that was the start of a very unpleasant series of unfortunate events. Not being able to find a steady job, his wife ran off with his best friend leaving him all alone, broke, and broken hearted. Vince hears of this and because he respects Bischoff, he wants to help him get out of debt and get his life straightened but to do this he enlists the help of his daughter Stephanie. She is reluctant to help for she has her own problems. Being forced to work together brings Stephanie and Eric closer together. See what happens after that infamous kiss that happened on Smackdown coming up to Halloween in 2002.

~**Dark Pride**~

Eric Bischoff sat in his favorite recliner with his heels kicked back patiently awaiting the start of Monday Night Raw. He had his beer in one hand and the remote in the other. His hair had turned slightly gray over the summer so he looked a lot older than he really was, but he knew why this was so. It was because he had no idea how he was going to pay his bills among other things. He was up to his head in debt and had already maxed out all of his loans trying to pay back what he owed. Sure he could probably go and borrow some money from a friend or two but he was a prideful man. It wasn't his style to beg or borrow.

Right as Raw was getting ready to kick off, Eric's house phone rang. "I'll be goddamn. Who the hell could this be? People know not to call me on Monday nights," he mumbled, scratching the back of his leg as he hobbled towards the phone in his kitchen. "Hello."

"Hey Eric, it's me Vince."


As Eric entered the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, he felt a strange sensation that he hadn't felt in so long. He was being greeted by Vince McMahon's workers and instead of jeers or hushed whispers as he walked by, all he heard was heartfelt praises about his return. It would seem that everyone was excited to see him; the very opposite of how he assumed they'd react. When Vince first offered him the job, the thought crossed his mind to just say no. Simple as that. However, being honest with himself for the first time in a long time, he had realized that he wasn't in the position to say no. He didn't have a steady job and the few odd jobs that he did work did not pay enough to satisfy his outstanding debt. Truth is, he needed money and fast otherwise he was going to be in serious trouble. He was dodging creditors day after day and a few of them were coming by the house waiting, hoping he'd be there so that they could chew him out or worse, embarrass him. He was ready for it to end and this time he couldn't let pride get in the way.

"Good evening Mr. Bischoff. I was starting to think you weren't going to show."

Eric chuckled, sticking his hand out to shake his new boss' hand. "Yeah well I realized that sometimes you got to push pride aside. Besides, you're a smart man Mr. McMahon. I'm sure you know what's been going on with me as far as finances are concerned."

"Yeah well I heard some things but you need not worry about that now. And for the record, that's not why I called you up. I needed something new…something fresh and I knew you were just the man for the job."

Eric ran a hand through his dark hair stifling a chuckle. "Vince you don't have to pity me."

"Eric, you of all people should know me by now. I have no reason to pity you; I won't pity you for that matter. After all, you were at one time the biggest pain in my ass. Now come along to my office. I got some people you need to meet." Eric reluctantly followed Vince towards his office near the back. Along the way he was greeted by some of his former employees; Booker T and Y2J to name a few. Man I'm getting old…

Once inside, Eric was surprised to see that it was only Vince's daughter Stephanie sitting behind what he presumed to be Vince's desk.

"Stephanie, just what do you think you're doing?" Vince asked.

"Oh, you know, just getting myself comfortable to take over some day," she said laughing. She stood up and walked from behind the desk showcasing a short, black dress that was tight and revealing highlighting everything a man could ever hope for in a dress. Eric found himself trying not to stare even though it had been ages since he'd actually been involved with a woman. Ever since his wife Crystal left him, he'd never been able to open his heart to another woman and vowed to never do so again. All thoughts of Stephanie he may have had quickly vanished as he shook her hand taking a seat on the couch next to Vince.

"So the reason I wanted…wait a second. Honey where's Hunter?" Vince asked.

"I have no idea," she shrugged. "He said he would be here but maybe he got stuck in traffic. I left the hotel before he did so there's no telling."

"Oh well I'll have to chew him out later then. So I'm sure you two know of each other." Both Stephanie and Eric nodded towards one another in agreement. "Eric as you know, you'll be acting GM of Raw while my daughter Stephanie will be running things on Smackdown. Even though you two are representing two different brands, you will be working together on various occasions and I think it'll be good for you both, especially you Eric."

"What?" Eric shook his head. "Vince with all due respect it's not like I have suicidal thoughts or anything on a day to day basis. I'm perfectly capable of doing things on my own."

"Yes, that may be true but all the same you're working with her. It'll be good for ratings," he reasoned though Eric wasn't entirely convinced.

"As you wish boss," Eric replied lazily, throwing his hands up in defeat. Stephanie just frowned looking slightly taken back. Apparently she too had no idea of this arrangement.

"Good. Then it's settled. Eric all we're doing tonight is revealing you to the world and then we'll go from there. You'll get some say so on how you want to run things. I value your opinion just as much as the other writers but since you're going to be the one in front of the camera every night, I am sure you'd like to have some say on how things are set up."

"Uh…right. Thank you Mr. McMahon."

Vince stood up and headed for the door. "No need to thank me. I hope you're ready because we're about to be on one hell of a roller coaster ride." And with that he left the office. Neither Stephanie nor Eric uttered a word for the next few minutes. They were both still trying to take in what Vince said. For starters, Eric hated working directly with others. When he was co-owner of WCW, he did everything his way all the time. To make this situation worse was the fact that Stephanie was a woman and a fine ass woman at that. Of course he wasn't interested in her. He wouldn't even dream of being with someone as spoiled as the so-called "Billion Dollar Princess". He was way past the little girl stage at his age. In fact, the only thing he was interested in now was making some quick cash to get out of debt and then settling down on his own somewhere—preferably out of the country.

"Eric, I'm…I'm sorry." Eric looked up, startled from her sudden unexpected apology. "I didn't know my father was going to pull something like this but I promise to stay out of your way." That was all she said before taking her leave.


"So it's done. I am really official," Bischoff said trying hard to fight off the excitement in his voice. They had just finished the live taping of Raw and as planned, Vince announced him as the new GM of Raw and even shook his hand on live tv. Vince patted him on the back leading him towards his office. They both sat down and a second later, Stephanie McMahon entered the room with her husband bringing drinks for all of them. Hunter turned to Bischoff and shook his hand.

"Welcome to the staff Mr. Bischoff. Sorry about earlier but I had to pick up some things for my baby here." He walked over and planted a kiss on Stephanie's cheek then took a seat next to her.

"No, it's alright," Eric smiled. "I know how it is and believe me there's no need to rush to see me."

"Oh you're humble now?" Hunter joked.

"In more ways than you can imagine," he laughed.

Vince cleared his throat gaining their attention. "So are you ready?" Vince asked.

"Hey! That's my line!" Hunter choked. Vince rolled his eyes and chuckled.

"Uh…yeah, I'm raring to go," Eric answered. "I've read the script and I like the way it's going…on some aspects but I'm not sure about others. However, I'm willing to work through them so it's no big deal," he said with a smile.

"Good. Well I was just making sure. Steph and Hunter can be a big help when I'm not around but I trust you can run things on your own. Not much has changed since…" Vince's voice trailed off as he searched for the right thing to say without sounding so arrogant, but there was no need. Eric stood to his feet and started for the door.

"Yeah. Well unless there's anything else then I need to go and get packed. I do believe I need to be in Charleston by Sunday," he replied.

"Alright. I'll see you then and if you need anything you know how to reach me." Bischoff nodded and headed out the door.

"I need to go too Vince," Hunter winced. "I believe a shower is calling my name." He kissed Stephanie before taking his leave as well. Not wanting to be left alone with her dad, Stephanie rose to take leave as well.

"Honey a word."

Stephanie rolled her eyes as she fell back into her seat. "What is it father?" she asked impatiently. "I really need to be going."

"Is something going on with you and Hunter that I need to know about?"

Stephanie just sat their frozen stiff. How the hell does he know? No wait…he's just speculating… "What? Dad you're imagining things. Everything is going great between Hunter and me," she said calmly. It was so calm that for a second she almost believed it herself.

Vince smiled down at his princess nodding his head. "Alright then. I was just checking. You take care of yourself and I expect you to make Eric's stay here in the business a good one. I know he and I weren't always the best of friends but I respect him. As a business man he is nothing but pure genius."

"But why do I have to look out for him? Why can't you do it?" she whined.

"Because I'm a busy man and he needs someone who will be patient with him. He's…had it rough lately, especially this past year."

Stephanie drew in a deep breath before responding. "Fine. I'll try but if things don't work out then you'll have to get someone else. I have a husband and children to look after that's way more important than the well being of an old rival father." With that she stormed out of the office.


FYI: I read and write a LOT of slash. So...just so YOU know, a slash couple may appear from time to time in my fics. (Like this one). And if the rating changes, depending on how serious it is will determine whether or not they engage in rated r acts. You have been warned so flaming will be pointless.