This story was inspired by the events of the June 2nd, 2008 and June 9th, 2008 editions of RAW, back when Kennedy was still on that brand. It shares its name with a song by The Beatles which I found to be very fitting. I encourage you to check it out if you're curious.
"Cheap? I'd say that the only one of us around here who's cheap is you. So back off, tramp!"
Katie Lea Burchill heard those harsh words echo through her head once again. The man who'd uttered them had been occupying a lot of her thoughts recently, and she didn't quite know what to think about it. She would have liked to say that she was thinking about him so intently to find weaknesses to exploit in matches, or that she was trying to find new ways of rubbing his face in the shit that so often surrounded men like him. She would have liked to say those things, but if she said them, she knew that she would be lying.
For some reason, she just couldn't stop thinking about Ken Kennedy. His face, his voice, his smile…the annoying way that he was chewing gum every time that she saw him… She didn't know what was happening to her. Two weeks ago, if anyone would have asked her opinion on Ken Kennedy, she would have called him an asshole without a second thought, but now…now she was wondering if she and her brother had judged this man correctly.
Not that he had shown her any reason to make her want to doubt her brother, but she was simply…curious. Kennedy had been staring them down a lot in the past few weeks, and Katie couldn't help but notice that there was something unreadable – perhaps unspeakable – in those hazel eyes of his. And a part of her desperately wanted to know what that something was. She vaguely noticed that the object of her… desire … err... thoughts …seemed to be heading in her direction, and she quickly decided that she wasn't going to let him pass before her unnoticed.
"My brother and I are going to completely annihilate you and Mickie out there tonight." she taunted Kennedy as he walked past her in the hallway.
"That's news to me, honey." He said to her, turning around. She had her hands on her hips and she seemed to be staring holes through him.
"You Americans," She said to him. "You all think that you're completely invincible until someone comes along and pushes you right down on your ass." Kennedy smacked his gum absently and glanced around at her backside before smiling at her. She gave him an indignant look.
"Looks like you'd fit in perfectly." He said, tapping her butt. "You've got plenty of ass for both you and your brother to land on when that happens to you two tonight." Her eyes widened at him.
"You cheeky bastard!" She said, her voice taking on a threatening tone. "If you ever touch me like that again, I will have my brother-"
"You'll have him what?" He asked, cutting her off. "Jump me from behind again? No offense, but that really isn't sending the best message. I'm actually beginning to wonder if what I said a few weeks ago was true. Maybe Sir William really was your brother's girlfriend. Hmm, that would certainly explain his fascination for attacking me when my back is turned…" He trailed off. Katie Lea shook her head at him slowly, her eyes filled with malice.
"You know, Mr. Kennedy, William Regal was right about you and I will enjoy nothing more than seeing my brother put you in your place tonight." Katie Lea promised him. Kennedy smacked his gum again and his smile widened.
"Oh is that so?" He asked her.
"Yes. Yes it is so." She said to him. Kennedy seemed to consider that for a moment. Without warning, he spit his gum out at her and it landed neatly in her hair. She stood there in shock, not entirely processing that he had just spit his gum in her hair. Her look of shock turned into one that of a scowl as he laughed, turning away from her to continue on down to his own locker room.
As he marched away from her triumphantly, she found herself thinking back to last week, standing behind the curtain, hearing her brother promise that Kennedy was going to get what was coming to him. Promising that he would make Kennedy pay. In all honesty, she knew that her brother couldn't wrestle his way out of a wet paper bag when it all came down to it. The poor kid just choked under the pressure. She could talk him up all she wanted to, but in the end, it was just talk. Paul Burchill would rarely, if ever, be able to back up anything that she claimed he was able to do. She knew that and she was pretty sure that Kennedy knew it, too. She walked into that match last week fully expecting Kennedy to win, and then she would (once again) have to try and put Paul back on solid ground with her weapon of choice. She would have to talk him back up again.
She heard the bell ring and watched as Paul and Kennedy locked up. There were a few quick reversals, a few punches thrown and not even a minute into the match Paul was tossed to the outside of the ring. In his anger at being bested for even a second, Paul slid back into the ring in a fury and Kennedy took him down easily with a leg sweep. She watched as Kennedy glanced at her briefly - the look on his face once again unreadable - and he lost his focus for a second allowing Paul to recover and hit him with a back suplex. She cheered and clapped for her brother, all the while puzzling over what the bloody hell was written in Kennedy's eyes. She could never see it anywhere but his eyes when he stared at her, and she couldn't figure it out for the life of her. There was something in those eyes that she couldn't put her finger on…something that he obviously didn't want her to detect, otherwise he would simply let it be reflected in his face.
"You're looking too hard for something that isn't there." She muttered to herself. But was that really true? Or, better yet: if it was true, then did she really want Ken Kennedy's attention or (dare she say it) affection? She didn't know the answer to that question. She had gotten his attention more than once, and each time it ended with her looking foolish and pissed off.
She looked up just in time to see Kennedy give her brother the Mic Check and cover him for the win. She knew that she was a little distracted with this Kennedy mess, but she couldn't believe that she had missed the whole match because of it. She watched as Kennedy had his arm raised by the referee and she slid into the ring behind him. When he turned to leave the ring, she put herself in between him and the ropes. He gave her a look.
"Do you think that this is over, Kennedy?" She asked him. "Do you really think that my brother is finished with you because you got a cheap victory over him?" She asked.
"Cheap?" Kennedy asked her in between gasps. "I'd say the only one of us who's cheap here is you. So back off, tramp." He spat at her. She felt her face grow hot and something in the pit of her stomach started to boil. She gave him one brief look and then slapped the taste out of his mouth. His head remained turned to the side for a moment, almost as if he was debating about whether or not he had just imagined being slapped in face. He studied the ring before slowly raising up to his full height and turning back to face her.
She looked at nothing but his eyes, determined to finally see what it was that he guarded so closely, hoping that it would give her a straight answer or reaction so that she could reconcile the battling thoughts (is it what I think?) in her mind. He looked at her intently, his eyes blazing with a mixture of utter surprise and perhaps…calculation. It was almost like he was seeing her, truly seeing her, for the first time. He seemed to be re-evaluating her. She'd struck a nerve when she slapped him – that much was obvious, but something told her that she probably wasn't the first to do such. He took a step towards her – the devilish air surrounding him made her retreat a step, pinning her back to the ropes.
Before she had time to think of her next move, Paul leapt up behind Kennedy, grabbing him by the neck and slamming him down on the mat in his finishing move. Katie recovered instantly and cheered her brother on, pointing a finger at Kennedy and berating him for calling her such a filthy name. But somehow, it felt very…forced. She no longer believed that what she was saying was true. That look, that simple, surprised look had melted her and she wasn't entirely sure why. Part of her wished that Paul hadn't interfered, at least then she thought she would know where she stood with the loudmouth from Green Bay.
The antics had only continued with him, though, as they always do with men like him. Like his business with the gum just now. It was his own little childish way of trying to get under her skin. To infuriate her and her brother to the point where they would either beat the living hell out of him, or simply deem him not worth the time and energy anymore and he would be left to go on about his merry little way. She hated to admit it – even to herself – but she rather liked the banter that went on between them. And that was the problem wasn't it?
She was falling for the man that her brother was hell bent on burying. And she was falling hard.
She couldn't pinpoint how or when or where or - most importantly - why, but she knew in the deepest sections of her mind and her heart that it was the truth. Why else did she think about him so much? Why else was she so obsessed with needing to know what lay behind those hazel eyes? Why did she wonder so much about what he really thought of her? Ah, but she knew the answer to that one too – she wanted to know if he felt the same way about her as she did about him. But if he did, then what? Ken Kennedy wasn't exactly the flowers and chocolates kind of guy, Katie guessed that much. Was a relationship with a man like him really feasible? On top of that – was it really what she wanted? Questions, questions with no answers. Katie Lea finally tore herself from her position in the hallway to prepare for their tag match tonight and work on getting his gum out of her hair.
Dear God, had she just seen what she thought she just saw? Katie Lea tried to swallow away her concern and fixed her eyes briefly to the outside of the ring where Kennedy had just leapt over the ropes and tackled her brother. She watched them for a moment longer just to make sure that neither of them were injured then returned her attention to Mickie James, who was climbing the turnbuckle. As Mickie leapt off, Katie quickly avoided her and swung around to hit Mickie with a backbreaker, covering her quickly for the win.
She kept her eyes on Kennedy as he slid into the ring to check on Mickie. He knelt down next to the fallen Diva and seemed to be saying something to her, Katie couldn't make out what, but it seemed to be something of genuine concern. She felt something inside her implode. She knew that Kennedy and Mickie had been seeing a lot of each other backstage as of late, and there were rumors going around (as rumors always did) that the two were already a couple. It seemed as though the rumors were right for once. Right, and with convenient timing (as always) since she had just gotten to the root of her emotions no more than an hour ago. Katie kept her victory face on and walked backstage with her brother, smiling a false smile as they retreated through the curtain.
She was sitting in the hallway by herself again when Kennedy walked up, his duffel bag slung over one shoulder haphazardly. He glanced at her, taking a second to register who it was and then smiled that goofy, sarcastic smile of his that had been haunting her thoughts since the match ended. He smacked his gum at her and walked over.
"Where's that brother of yours?" He asked her. "I was a little concerned that he might take that tackle in our match as something…more, but it seems that I'm not his type." Katie looked up at him and was dismayed to see nothing in his eyes but sarcasm. The unknown glimmer that had once lined his hazel orbs had disappeared and she was certain she knew why.
"No. It seems you're not." She said to him coldly, ignoring the fact that she had said nothing to defend her brother's honor and sexual preference, even though she could honestly care less what the locker room thought of her brother at the moment. It was, after all, his fault that she was in this mental cyclone in the first place. Him and his damn insistence of "honoring" William Regal's absence. Then maybe she wouldn't have-
"Someone piss in your Cheerios?" He asked her, bringing her out of her mental rampage. She sighed irritably.
"Is there something that you want Kennedy?" She asked him. "Because if not, I'd rather you just go on your way and leave me to my thoughts."
"Actually, I wanted to go to my hotel room and catch up on some much needed sleep, but seeing you sitting here all by yourself, I couldn't pass up a great opportunity to have a little chat with you like we did earlier. How'd that gum come out, by the way? Just flew right out of my mouth, I couldn't control it." He said to her, shrugging.
"I had to cut it out." She said to him curtly. Kennedy seemed to realize that she wasn't rising to his bait as quickly as she normally did.
"Aww…poor widdle Katie's had her feelings hurt so she doesn't want to pway anymore." Kennedy whined to her in a childish tone. Katie's eyes rose to his and there must have been something in them, since his smile faded when he saw it. Katie slid off of the equipment case that she'd been sitting on and started to walk away from him when he grabbed her arm suddenly. She turned to him slowly, her reaction undetermined. He released her arm after a moment.
"I didn't mean it." He said to her. "What I said last week." He added quickly. "If you're getting all bent out of shape about that - don't. We may never see eye to eye, but it was a low blow and I shouldn't have said it." A sincere attempt at an apology from Ken Kennedy! She couldn't believe what she was hearing.
"I am not, nor will I ever, be 'bent out of shape' because of something that you say to me." Katie told him, lying through her teeth.
"Sure didn't act that way last week. I seem to remember getting slapped because of something I said to you." He pointed out.
"You deserved it!" She shouted at him. "You deserve more than that for all that you've put me through these past few weeks!" She blurted in anger, instantly squeezing her eyes shut as the words left her lips. She suddenly wished for the ability to snatch her words out of thin air and yank them back where they wouldn't be heard. She hoped that he didn't catch the slip. She opened her eyes again and saw the look of confusion and curiosity in his face and knew immediately that he had.
"What I've….put you through…" He said slowly, trying to figure out what it was exactly that he'd done to the younger Burchill sibling that might cause a reaction like this one.
"Forget it." Katie told him, turning around to simply walk away when he grabbed her arm again. She didn't want to look back at him this time. She wanted to walk away from him – as far away from him as her feet would take her – and once she was there, she would walk even farther. She was confrontational about a lot of things in her life, but matters about… love ... err … her relationships …had never been one of them. She closed her eyes as she allowed him to pull her back to face him.
"Don't you have somewhere to be?" She asked him, trying to force a wall up in between her emotions and her face.
"Only my hotel room, and there's nothing to do there but sleep." He told her, once again releasing his hold on her. She opened her eyes and was momentarily distracted by how close his face was to hers.
"With Mickie?" She asked him.
"Huh?" He wrinkled his brow in confusion for a second before realizing what she was talking about. "Oh. No, no...Why does everyone think that Mickie and I are dating?" He asked, more to himself than her. Suddenly he narrowed his eyes at her.
"Does that thought bother you?" He asked her, a small smile creeping up his face. She kept her gaze even with his.
"Mr. Kennedy, the only part about that thought that bothers me is the mental image of you naked." She said to him, hoping that if she verbally sparred with him for a few minutes, he would leave and she could go back to observing him on the sidelines. Kennedy laughed at her.
"Sure it does." Kennedy said to her. "Probably because there's just too much here for you to handle." Katie scoffed.
"Too much ego, perhaps, but not much else." She said to him, looking up into his eyes and seeing her mystery emotion there once again. It was the only thing she could see this time, which suggested that it had something to do with her. She suddenly felt very lightheaded.
"Ouch." Kennedy said to her. "Now who's throwing around the low-blow insults?" He asked.
"You deserved it." Katie Lea reminded him. "Don't expect me to apologize for your being an ass." Kennedy chuckled at that. He held up his hands in defense.
"All right, fine. I won't argue with that." He said to her, pausing briefly. "How about you let me make it up to you?" He suggested. Katie raised her eyebrows at him.
"Oh? And how would you propose to do that?" She asked. That dazzling smile crossed his features and Katie became oblivious to everything else around her. She was so engrossed in mentally recording his smile that she wasn't paying attention to the fact that it was moving closer and closer towards her. She was brought back to the present in a flash the moment that his lips touched hers. She let her eyes fall shut as his hands came up to cup her face and hers wove their way around his shoulders and up his back. As soon as Katie's hands started to move up his shoulders, Kennedy pulled himself away from her slightly, their lips no more than an inch apart. He looked into her eyes and opened his mouth to say something when Katie surged forward this time, covering his mouth with her own. Kennedy let out a moan of surprise and let his duffel bag drop to the floor. If he'd been having second thoughts about anything, he definitely wasn't anymore.
Although Katie had gotten the upper hand in their second kiss at first, Kennedy didn't take long to catch up and surpass her. One of his hands strayed to the small of her back and he started to edge them backwards until her back was to the wall. He pushed a little of his weight against her as her hands continued to roam over his back, his shoulders, through his hair. Katie felt like she was drowning in his kiss – she couldn't keep up with the feverish pace that he was setting, and she was surprised to find that she didn't even care. The only thing that occupied her mind at that moment was the fact that she was kissing Ken Kennedy. She was kissing him and he was kissing her back just as fiercely, and the feelings that he was awakening in her were nothing short of amazing.
They jolted apart a little at the sound of the PA system in the arena popping on and informing everyone in the building that the doors would be locking in the next fifteen minutes. Kennedy was panting heavily, his eyes glued to her face, which had developed a nice shade of crimson high on her cheekbones. They remained like that for a moment longer, simply studying the other while trying to let their minds and their breath catch up with the events that had just transpired before them.
Finally, they completely broke apart. Kennedy took a step back from her, looking slightly abashed and ran a hand absently through his hair as Katie smoothed out her clothing and ran a few fingers through her own disheveled locks. Kennedy watched her briefly before leaning down wordlessly to pick up his duffel bag. She watched him shift his weight from side to side for a little bit longer before he finally made eye contact with her again, his hazel eyes gleaming – lined totally with…her mystery emotion ... err ... his feelings for her. He cleared his throat audibly and smirked at her.
"So…uh…what are you doing on Friday?"