She's the Tear That Hangs Inside My Soul Forever
Author: Vicky (The Heartbreak Babe)
Story: In the midst of reunions and friendships, Chris Jericho runs into the one woman he had once given his whole heart to, Trish Stratus. What occurs when the two meet during the 15th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw?
Time Period: During Raw's 15th Anniversary Show.
Note: Fic title and song excerpt comes from Jeff Buckley's "Lover, You Should've Come Over". And yes, I had that song on repeat the whole time as I wrote this story. Although a one-shot, the story's actually cut into two parts. The first part's more humor-driven and light-hearted. The last part's more serious and dramatic. Also, when you finish reading this, you'll have the same thought that I'm having right now...that I'm sooooooo evil!
Warning: A few choice words here and there, but nothing really serious.
Having completed his short in-ring promo with Eric Bischoff and Randy Orton, Chris Jericho stepped through the curtain, officially out of sight of both the WWE fans and the cameramen. The promo had been a success. Eric had come out first to the chorus of booes as fans were forced to sit and listen to him rattle on and on about himself as if he were some kind of deity to be worshiped. Cue Chris Jericho. The man noted as the first ever Undisputed Champion made his way to the ring and began to give Bischoff quite the tongue lashing. The conversation, if one could call it that, came to a close as Bischoff insinuated that Chris didn't stand a chance against Randy Orton at Armageddon. Chris took offense to this as he began to spew a ton of insults at the former General Manager of Raw followed by a sharp right to his face. Chris would attempt to put Bischoff in the Walls of Jericho as at that very moment, Randy Orton would enter the scene. Jericho, ever the wiser, would prove to be at the top of his game as he'd release Eric just in time to combat his Armageddon opponent, locking him in his submission maneuver instead. With Orton rolling around on the mat in agony, Chris would take the liberty to grab Orton's title while allowing fans to soak up the fact that that could be the very same scene played before them at the PPV. With that in mind, Jericho deliberately placed the belt before Randy and made his exit, which led him to the very area he was now occupying.
The backstage area didn't have too much to offer, decoration-wise, but no one was really bothered by that seeing as it was the stomping ground for last minute chats before making that grand entrance before thousands of people in the arena and the millions at home.
Today was a bit different, though. The area was occupied here and there with many familiar faces, some from his era; some from the generation before him. It was a bit humbling to see so much history in this one room. For fifteen years, fans grew up admiring all of these men and women who made such memorable contributions to the WWE's flagship show.
As Chris grabbed an ice cold bottle of water that sat in a water cooler for anyone who so desired to have one, he marveled at the many people he grew up watching as well as the ones he grew accustomed to working with on a daily basis. He looked over and saw his friend Shawn Michaels enjoying a polite conversation with his tag team partner in the Rockers, Marty Jannetty. Shawn fell into both categories. Never in a million years did he imagine he'd one day work with the very man he'd at one point in his life only known through a television set. Shawn happened to look up and see Chris looking in his direction. With a gentle smile on his face, Shawn raised his arm in a wave at him. Chris returned the gesture as Shawn placed his focus back with Marty.
Chris took his first sip of the bottled water he had acquired a few moments before and closed his eyes in fulfillment. He was met with an ice cold river of H2O that casually brushed past his tongue and plunged down his esophagus. Sheer ecstasy.
Just then, he felt a hand on his shoulder and opened his eyes.
"Enjoying that water a bit much, huh?"
Chris turned around to see Eric Bischoff looking directly at him with a smile on his face, humored at what he had just seen.
"Eric, trust me when I say this. This water," he pointed to the bottle, "it's from the Heavens above."
"Hm, I see. So did you by any chance hear the angels sing as you drank that?"
"Well, does the Hallelujah chorus count?"
Eric chuckled at the joke. "You always were the funny one. I enjoyed out banter out there. Quite fun."
"Oh wow. You're starting to like people making an ass out of you on national TV. Don't let Vince hear that one!"
Eric chuckled again. "It's funny you mention Vince. I was on my way to go see him."
"Oh crap, you're going to tell him for real. You can't be that desperate for money."
"You're on a roll today, Chris! Well, I'll see you later. Gotta meet up with our higher power."
Chris laughed at that one. "McMahonism….in full force!"
"Tell me about it. Alright, Chris."
And with that, Eric left the scene.
Chris took another swig from his bottle as Randy Orton walked through the curtain holding his back. Chris grinned.
"You can stop selling now. They can't see you anymore."
"I'm not selling. My back's hurting for real thanks to you. Damn, Chris, would it hurt you to lighten up a little?"
"I'm sorry, man. I got a little excited out there. It's a special night for all of us."
"It's alright. I understand. It's easy to lose yourself out there. Makes for great TV."
Randy grabbed himself a fresh bottle of water. "You got any plans for tonight? Some of the guys are going out to eat in celebration."
"At the moment, no. Maybe I will, though." Chris replied as he watched Randy take his first sip of water.
"Damn, that's good!" Randy said, looking at the bottle in his hand.
"Did you by any chance hear the Hallelujah chorus?"
"Nothing. It's not important. You know, we still haven't gone over our match on Sunday."
"Yeah, you're right. We might can fit that in on Friday. Saturday at the latest. Shouldn't be a problem, though."
"Besides, that meeting won't take up too much of our time seeing as it won't take long for me to kick your ass." Randy joked.
"Hey now!" Chris warned, taking mock offense.
"Alright, I'll see you in a bit. My dad's here." Randy said, placing his hand on Chris' shoulder as he walked towards his father, Bob Orton.
And there Chris was, on his own once again. He took another sip of his water, finishing it off, and threw it away.
He took another look around the room, noting that some of the same faces were still around, but some had chosen to talk to other people or leave altogether. Shawn was still around, although Marty wasn't, seeing as he had a match against Mr. Kennedy coming up. Instead, Shawn was now talking to Triple H. Whether they were going over their run-ins after Marty's match or just being buddies, he wasn't sure. Maybe they were doing both. It was possible.
All of a sudden, Chris heard a familiar female voice chatting away with another familiar female voice. He turned his attention their way and saw Trish Stratus and Lita in front of a monitor watching Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes compete for the Tag Team titles against Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch.
It's her, Chris thought to himself as he found himself walking towards Trish.
"Sometimes a man gets carried away, when he feels like he should be having his fun
And much too blind to see the damage he's done
Sometimes a man must awake to find that really, he has no one"
Jeff Buckley "Lover, You Should've Come Over"
"Cody's doing a great job out there!" said Lita.
"He really is. I'm proud of him." replied Trish.
"Well, that's because I taught him everything he knows."
Trish and Lita turned around to see that Chris Jericho had joined them.
"That's farther from the truth. He has his dad for that." said Lita.
"Ah, well….I tried." Chris confessed.
"Horribly." Trish added.
Chris grinned and looked at the two ladies. "So, how are the two of you doing?"
"We're good." said Trish.
Noticing that Chris seemed to pay more attention to Trish, Lita saw this as her signal to leave.
"Trish, I'm gonna go check on Jillian and see if she's prepared for our promo."
"Okay. I'll see you guys in a bit." Trish responded.
"See ya later, Li."
Lita smiled at Chris in response and quietly walked away.
"You know, Trish, it really is a pleasure to see you again."
"Yeah, same here. That's quite the look you've got there. Love the hair. It really makes you look like --"
Trish grinned. "Yeah."
"I get that a lot these days. I've always been known to change up my appearance, though."
"Yeah, I noticed. The long beard was a bad idea, though."
Chris chuckled. "Well, as you know, it was just another way to get the fans to hate me….and I also wanted to see if I could grow my beard as long as Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill."
Trish laughed at the ZZ Top reference. "You should've taken the Frank Beard route and stay clean shaven."
"Nice one! I see you've brushed up on your ZZ history. I'm impressed!"
Chris chuckled. "Oh, well, yeah, he'll talk to anyone about anything related to rock music. One time, he lectured me for a whole hour on the guys who do his entrance theme."
"Yeah, funny thing is, I invited those same guys over to perform on some Fozzy tracks not that long afterwards."
"Yeah, rock music is our life."
"I can tell!"
At that moment, Chris decided to take the conversation to a more serious level.
"Trish, I want things to be the way they were before, only without the baggage."
Shocked at Chris' sudden change of pace, Trish struggled with what to say in response. "Chris, I—"
"Look, I know I was a complete jackass back then but I'm sorry. The bet Christian and I had was so stupid and I was such a fool for allowing it to happen. I'm sorry."
"I-I'm sorry, too, for turning my back on you and siding with Christian. The whole thing was messy. I wasn't even in love with him. I just….I just wanted to spite you."
"I know, Trish, I know. But all of that's in the past now. We could start over, without the baggage, without the pain, and without Christian who works for Total Nonstop Assclowns now. Thank goodness."
Chris took her by her hands and gazed into her eyes, his own filled with such love and need for the woman in front of him. "I love you. Really, I do. I want us to start over. I want us to one day get married, have kids, fight, make up, make love, and grow old together. You're the only woman in the world I'd ever want to do that with."
"Uh….Chris…." Trish said quietly. She didn't know how to break it to him but she couldn't just stand there and watch him pour out his whole heart and soul to her considering the circumstances. When Chris stopped talking, she carefully motioned to her hands, mentally willing Chris to look down. Finally, Chris looked down and his heart sank. Right there on her left finger was a ring.
A wedding ring.
It took everything in his power to speak again. He looked at her and with a heart wrenched voice she had never heard come from him before, quietly replied with "You're married?"
She nodded her head and quietly said "yes", pulling her hands from him. It pained her to see Chris this way. A part of her would always love him, she admitted to herself, but he had hurt her. It crushed her to know that in the beginning, he wasn't even interested in her. His only interest lied on the Canadian coin he'd earn if he was able to bed her before Christian could do the same with Lita. She had been a game to him. And what made it even worse for her was the fact that she fell for him. Hard. She had never felt the feelings she felt when Chris would run his fingers through her hair, when he'd hold her in his arms, or more importantly, when he'd kiss her. Prior to those moments, she had never known that those feelings had ever existed. And there she had stood, outside of Chris and Christian's locker room, overhearing Chris gloat boastfully about how it'd only be a matter of time before he'd sleep with her and win his prize. Sure, Chris did end up falling for her but she responded by turning on him at WrestleMania. She embarrassed him in front of the world by locking lips with Christian, the very man he'd shared a bet with. They'd hurt each other, Trish realized. She couldn't be with a man who originally wasn't in love with her. Chris didn't see it that way, but things would never be the same with him. She had needed to move on. She needed to know that there was life after Chris. And after years of searching, she had finally found her dream guy. She had also found the dream life she had always wanted and Chris Jericho didn't fit into any of that. She looked into Chris' eyes and felt for him.
His eyes, once a vibrant blue filled with love for her had darkened with a mixture of fear, shock, and hopelessness. He was afraid to admit that he didn't know what life without Trish would be like. Not once did he even think that in the two years he was gone that she's go on to love another man to the point of marriage. And as the realization sunk in that he couldn't have her to himself, his world came tumbling down. But he had to know. He had to ask her because if he didn't, it'd plague him for the rest of his life.
"What's….what's," he took a deep breath. "What's his name?"
"Ron. His name is Ron. We've been married for a year now."
As if on cue, Ron showed up and placed his hands on Trish's shoulders.
"There you are, sweetheart. I've been looking for you everywhere."
Chris watched against his will as Ron leaned in to give Trish a gentle kiss on her cheek.
"And who's this fellow?" Ron asked, motioning to Jericho.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Ron Fisico, this is Chris Jericho. Chris, Ron."
"Ah, Chris Jericho. You look so different without the long hair." He extended his hand as Chris reluctantly shook it.
"Yeah, well, the hair's been quite the buzz lately." He managed to say, showing off a small smile as he stuck his hands in his pockets.
"I see. Well, I'm a fan of your work. Through Trish, I've become quite the wrestling fan myself."
"That's nice to hear. I'm glad you enjoy what we do for a living. I, uh, I'll be going now. It was nice seeing you again, Trish, and it was an honor to meet you, Ron."
"Same here, Chris." Ron replied as Trish just smiled.
"Congratulations, you two." Chris said.
"Thank you." the couple said in unison.
Chris smiled at the two and walked away.
With the reality of Trish's marriage in mind, Chris rushed to his locker room, not wanting to be around anyone else. Once inside, he locked the door and sat down on the bench a defeated man. The woman of his dreams was married…to another man. She had fallen in love with someone else while he was away. Trish was somebody's wife. She had a man to come home to, a man to hold, a man to kiss, a man to grown old with, a man to make love to and that man wasn't Chris Jericho. If only things had been different between them. If only the bet had never happened. If only he hadn't broken her heart. Under different circumstances, Trish would've been his wife.
And there he had stood, spilling his heart out to her about marriage and kids and everything that came with it unbeknownst to the fact that another man had beaten him to the punch.
He had told her that she was the only one he'd want to do those things with. He'd said those words unknowingly over her wedding ring. Her wedding ring.
As Chris replayed each scene in his mind, a tear escaped his eye, leaving a wet trail of despair on his face. That tear was followed by many more as he ran his hands through his hair in anguish.
"Why me?" Chris said aloud to the empty room in between sobs as he rocked back and forth on the bench. "Why me?"
Those were the only words he could mutter as little by little those few words were muddled completely by his sobs. He babbled incoherently to himself, cursing himself for being such a fool.
"If only I had known then what I know now. If only I had known!" he cried.
Outside his locker room, everyone wore smiles, shared laughs, and welcomed life with arms with open. Here in this locker room, Chris couldn't shake the depression that had entered his spirit as a piece of him died minute by minute.
Filled with overwhelming sorrow, Chris Jericho sobbed his life away knowing all too well where the consequences of his past actions had finally led him to in his present. It was something he'd have to live with every day of his life. A life that he felt had no meaning without her.
See? Wasn't that ending evil? It was pretty hard to write those last parts but sometimes you can't always get what you want. This is a side of Chris I don't often see in fics and I wanted to show that different side to him. I'm well aware of the fact that Trish and Ron (who is Trish's real life husband for those who aren't in the know) have been together for over 14 years, but I used some creative license and of course blended in reality with fiction to tell this story. There's a lot of Chris/Trish stories out there and I thought I'd write one that wasn't mushy or predictable as well as add a few appearances from other superstars to further flesh out the story and make you care for Chris more (that is, if you didn't already). Tell me what you think! Until next time, Take Care and God Bless!