Stephanie stood in Rob Van Dam's corner. She was worried about this match. Jericho had challenged RVD to a hardcore match and he had insisted that Stephanie accompany Rob to the ring. Nobody was better than RVD at hardcore. And Jericho had been pretty bad in the ring for the past month. She had asked Rob to take it easy, but she wasn't comfortable being there for the match.

"It's going to be fine Steph," RVD assured her. "I won't hurt him."

She smiled gratefully at him as Jericho's countdown sounded. She looked at the top of the ramp. He was standing with his back to the audience as always. He had a mic in hand.

"Oh God," Stephanie groaned. "Is he going to start all of that crap over again?"

"What crap?" Rob asked.

"The name calling crap," Stephanie replied.

"I just wanted to make sure everyone knew that there is no hardcore match that is going to take place tonight," Jericho said.

"What?" Stephanie asked. She looked over at RVD to see him nodding at her. She went to the ropes and signaled for a microphone. "What are you talking about Jericho?"

"I'm saying I went and asked Rob Van Dam to pretend that we were going to have a match so I could be sure that I could get you out to the ring," Jericho said. "Thanks again Rob."

Rob shrugged as he got out of the ring and headed to the back.

"What's going on?" Stephanie asked.

"I'm trying to talk to you Stephanie," Jericho said, advancing towards the ring. "For almost two years, you and I
have been a part of each other's lives."

"Usually we were at each other's throats," Stephanie commented dryly.

"But at least our sparring matches were memorable," Jericho said.

"I suppose," Stephanie admitted.

"And so was the 2000 King of the Ring," Jericho said. "Not to mention the 2001 SummerSlam."

"What?" Stephanie asked.

"Those were the first two times I showed you how I really felt about you," Jericho said. "Up until the King of the Ring, everyone thought I just thought you were some skank."

"Including me," Stephanie pointed out.

"Yeah, well, I kissed you," Jericho said.

"Then you called me roadkill,' Stephanie said.

"You remember that?" Jericho asked.

Stephanie suddenly became very aware of the fact that she and Jericho were standing in the middle of the ring in front of thousands of people. And who knew how many people were watching at home. Normally she would be a little uncomfortable with her personal life being so on display, but this time it didn't seem to matter.

"A girl remembers when she's compared to roadkill," Stephanie said.

"Well, I was lying," Jericho said. "I was attracted to you. I hated that I was attracted to you because you made my life a living hell. But I was attracted to you."

"Why are you bringing this up now?" Stephanie asked.

"I was thinking that if I had been attracted to you all that time and I hadn't been able to admit it to myself until recently," Jericho said. "There's a chance you were also attracted to me."

"What?" Stephanie asked, confused.

"I'm asking you Stephanie," Jericho said, looking deep into her eyes. "Is there a chance that you enjoyed that King of the Ring kiss? That you liked it when I kissed you at SummerSlam?"

"Yes," Stephanie said slowly. "There's a chance."

"So then when you decided that you wanted to be nice to me and my friends, maybe it wasn't a sudden thing," Jericho said. "Maybe it was something you had secretly wanted to do for awhile."

"I suppose," Stephanie said.

"That's good," Jericho said. "Because when you became my friend, I must admit now, it was something I had wanted deep inside for a long time."

"Really?" Stephanie asked. "Are you saying you want to be friends again?"

"Would you mind giving it a try?" Jericho asked.

"I like to give it a try," Stephanie said.

"Good," Jericho said. "Maybe I will be able to concentrate on my life again now that that's settled."

"I hope so," Stephanie said sincerely.

Stephanie turned to walk from the ring. "Wait," Jericho said.

"What?" Stephanie asked.

"I don't think it's enough," Jericho said. "I mean, after we broke up we could've still been a part of each other's lives. I know you would have been my friend after I got over everything that happened between us."

"What are you asking Chris?" Stephanie asked.

"I'm asking for you to give me another chance," Jericho said.

Stephanie stared at him. What in the world had happened to change his mind? "Are you making fun of me?"
Stephanie asked. She hadn't said it in the microphone.

"No," Jericho said. "I haven't been the same person without you."

Stephanie realized there were tears running down her cheeks. She didn't care. She nodded as she let herself be pulled into Jericho's arms.

"I love you Steph," he whispered to her. "I'm sorry it took so long for me to see what was right."

Stephanie just held him close. "So you don't think I'm trying to play you?"

"I think you are a better person than anyone gives you credit for," Jericho said. "Especially me."

"What changed your mind?" Stephanie asked. He shook his head and motioned toward the ramp. She nodded and they left the ring and headed up the ramp. Once they were backstage she asked him the question again.

"I thought about how you had treated me, about how you had changed, and the fact that I had never been the nicest guy in the world, but you still gave me a chance," Jericho said. "And I knew you hadn't been playing me when I overheard you asking your father to make me take a break."

"You heard?" Stephanie asked.

"I'm sorry you cried over me," Jericho said, wiping tears off her cheek. "You deserve better than that."

"I deserve you," Stephanie said.

"I can agree with that," Jericho said, grinning down at her. "I think it was just hard for me to accept that someone
who seemed to hate me three months earlier could be crazy about me."

"I was having a hard time believing it myself," Stephanie said. "Actually, I wondered how I didn't know you were so great earlier."

"You could've asked me," Jericho said. "I would've told you."

"You are the cockiest man alive," Stephanie shook her head.

"You know you said something to me that last night we were together," Jericho said. "I didn't want to hear it at the time but I was wondering if it was still true."

"Yes," Stephanie said. "I love you still."

"I like how you knew exactly what I meant," Jericho said.

"I can read your mind," Stephanie said, smiling at him mysteriously.

"That's a scary thought," Jericho said. "You sure you want to be inside my brain?"

"I'm not too sure you're inside your brain," Stephanie said.

"You can't just be loveable for like five minutes can you?" Jericho asked.

"How fun would that be?" Stephanie asked.

"Well, I know how to shut you up," Jericho said. He leaned down and kissed her.

"It's not always going to be that easy," Stephanie said.

"I guess only time will tell huh?" Jericho asked.

The End