There's No Such Thing as a Second Chance
A/N: Inspired by Trish's reappearance on Raw, back before Christmas, I set out to write a OneShot in my old-school Trish/Randy fandom. It spread into an idea for a full-blown story, but I wasn't going to post it. To be honest, I haven't felt like posting much of anything for quite awhile. But I made the mistake of mentioning the story to my good friend Reece, and he threatened me with physical and emotional abuse if I didn't put it up. So you can either blame, or thank, him for it's being posted.
In ancient times, people with far too much time on their hands created stories of mythological, fictional, gods and goddesses simply as a form of entertainment. There was no television, and no books to read, so they crafted their own formidable characters to talk about, to keep themselves busy when things got a little bit slow. Anyone who believed that mythology was dead need look no further than the WWE locker room to find it alive and kicking. With far too much time on their hands, between traveling between cities and sitting around before matches, many filled their time concocting stories about other larger-than-life personalities with whom they worked on a daily basis.
Gossip and rumors were in wild abundance for anyone who had the spare time to partake. If he was honest, Randy Orton would say that he'd been one of the biggest instigators of such stories once upon a time. Of course, that was before he realized that training was a far better way to spend his time on the road. And that was before he learned that a trip home to share a couple of sacred days with his family was far better than sharing whatever locker room chatter he'd picked up backstage. That was before he'd grown up.
So when the rumor mill began to buzz about the return of a certain beloved Diva, he let the news roll off his back. It didn't matter anymore anyway. Even if the rumors were true, even if Trish Stratus did show up at the arena in Toronto, it wouldn't matter. Two years after her retirement, and the subsequent demise of their relationship, everything had changed. He was a married father now, the grown man she'd always hoped he would become. Even if the gossip girls were right, it didn't mean anything to Randy.
He set about Monday, December 22, 2008, just like he would any other. A phone call home as soon as he woke up. A whisper of love to his wife and daughter before he rolled out of bed and hopped in the shower. A quick breakfast from room service before jumping into his rental and heading to the nearest gym. A couple of hours working out before he made his way to the arena. A cigarette in the rental before he got out in the parking garage, and then a few waves to fans as he made his way inside.
By the time he rounded the corner, he was feeling as peaceful easy as any other day. And then he nearly dropped his bag on the floor. His heart pounded wildly against his ribcage and any moisture in his mouth dried instantly at the sight of her. Back turned to him, Trish laughed with a few crew members and Randy felt bile rising in his throat.
It wasn't supposed to matter. Wasn't supposed to mean anything. Sure, he hadn't seen her since their relationship ended two years earlier, but so what? He'd broken up with girls over the phone before. He'd even broken up with them to start relationships with other girls. It wasn't like Trish was different. She was just one of many on the 'Ex List.' Clearing his throat, he told himself that there was no reason to act like an idiot. It was just like any other day.
And then she turned on her spiked, stiletto heel and flipped her thick, blond hair over her shoulder. And she froze. As though seeing a ghost, her eyes froze on Randy's once-familiar face, her expression blank. The only movement on her fragile face was the painfully slow fade of the smile from her lips and the occasional blinking of her eyes. "Randy," she whispered.
Randy wanted to glance over her shoulder, but couldn't seem to drag his gaze from her searing hazel eyes. "You're here," he finally said, the smirk tweaking his lips without permission.
"I'm here," she answered, a smile of her own forming in response to either his words, or his own grin, though she couldn't be sure which.
Stepping forward, Randy began to close the gap between himself and his former lover. "You, uh," he stopped and allowed his blue eyes to rake over her petite, familiar form. "You look good," he managed to compliment before licking his lips and wishing that there was a drinking fountain nearby.
Trish just nodded her thanks and then let herself check him out as blatantly as he was doing to her. His arms, once boasting a golden, muscular strength that she loved to take comfort in, were covered in sleeves of black and gray tattoos. "You," she stopped short of returning his compliment, too stunned by the new punk rock prom king look he was sporting. "You got some new tats," she stammered, her words ringing stupidly in her brain even as she heard them coming out of her mouth. "It's a good," she stopped and shook her head to collect her thoughts before giving him the best smile she could muster, "It's a good look."
"Ya think so?" Randy asked, his eyes drifting to the ink on the inside of his left arm. "Had a lotta time on my hands this past year," he shrugged easily. Why did it have to be so weird? "So, how you been?"
She nodded and dragged her lingering gaze from his arms once again. "Good." She knew that she was smiling a little too brightly, that he would know it was forced, but what did it matter? What did Randy care if he made her uncomfortable anymore? That wasn't his concern, was it? "I'm good. I, uh," she stuttered slightly and then decided to throw caution to the wind, "I heard you got married." The word was even harder to say than it was to consider in her brain, but it wasn't like she could ignore the subject forever. He was wearing a gold band on his left hand, for heaven's sake.
"Yeah," Randy affirmed, finally able to hear the passing commotion of people hard at work over the thumping of his heart in his ears. "I wanted to invite you," he began to explain, though it wasn't really true. Even he knew that would have been weird.
Trish just held up a hand and shook her blond locks. "It's better that you didn't," she acknowledged. What would she have done if Randy had invited her to his wedding? She didn't know, but it was best that she not consider the scene that she would have made. It wasn't exactly her proudest moment, admitting that she probably would have been embarrassingly ridiculous, but it was true. She would have gone, and she would have spoken then. She would have never held her peace, and she knew it. "So things are good?"
With a nod, Randy dropped his duffle to the floor at his side and dug into the back pocket of his loose-fitting jeans. Producing his wallet, he flipped it open and extended it to her. When Trish cast a glance at the photo inside and then looked at him with a raised eyebrow, Randy couldn't stop the chuckle that bubbled in his throat. "My baby girl. Ella," he explained proudly.
Trish could feel the torrent of emtions building deep in her gut as she reached to take the wallet and brushed her fingers against Randy's. Flames of desire, familiarity, and regret shot to her shoulder, but she beat them back as she allowed her eyes to study the dark-haired, blue-eyed angel in the photograph. Dressed in a tee-shirt that declared her 'Daddy's Girl', there was no denying that Ella, with her right eyebrow slightly raised above her left and the very corner of her tiny lip curled in the beginnings of an Orton smirk, was a spitting image of her father. And maybe the cutest kid Trish had ever seen. 'She could have been yours,' the voice in the back of her head reminded as Trish ran a manicured fingernail over the child's sweet, little button nose.
Too focused on the thought of his beautiful daughter, Randy didn't notice the way Trish rocked from one foot to the other after returning the picture to the proud poppa. He didn't see her furiously blink back tears or nervously run her hands over the thighs of her jeans. In fact, it was hard to get Randy Orton to notice anything when Ella, or anything remotely reminding him of her, was anywhere nearby. "She's the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me," he muttered, running his own thumb over the photo before flipping the wallet closed and stuffing it back into his pocket.
There was a time when Trish had been the best thing that had ever happened to him. Or so he had said. Of course, that had been years ago. She'd been ridiculous to think that the rumors of marriage and fatherhood were going to be just that - stupid rumors. She'd been stupid to think that such life-altering events wouldn't have had any affect on the man she'd once loved. She'd been out of her mind to believe that he would be nearly as excited to see her as she had been to see him for months. And she'd been plain crazy to think that returning to the WWE, even for only one night, was going to change anything between them. Ridiculously, stupidly, out-of-her-mind crazy.
"Um, ya know what," she said as Randy pulled his phone from his pocket and flipped it open, no doubt intent on an Ella slide show that Trish knew she couldn't handle, "I need to go meet with Vince and go over the game plan for tonight." The excuse was flimsy, at best, but it was the only thing Trish could think of. The only thing other than 'get the hell out, you silly little girl.'
Where the question came from, or why Randy even opened his mouth to ask it, he wasn't sure. But before Trish could reach the end of the hall, he called out to her. "Trish?" She turned instantly, an expectant look on her face. "Did you ever . . . I mean, I always kinda thought," he started, holding his phone out as an illustration.
But Trish shook her head and held a hand out. "Don't, Randy," she pleaded. She didn't need to ask what he always kinda thought to know it was exactly what she'd always kinda thought. "It's not," she told him, though she was fairly certain she was trying harder to convince herself. "Never will be."
He nodded as he slid the phone back into his pocket. She was right. It wasn't their happily-ever-after. Wasn't their wedding, or their baby. And it never would be. But something made him wonder, even when he didn't want to. Something about the unique mixture of her perfume and shampoo. Something about the curve of her hips and the flow of her hair. Something about the arch of her eyebrow and the sound of her voice. Something reminded him of every damn thing he'd fought so hard to suppress.
"If I hadn't left, Randy?" she spoke without thinking and then snapped her mouth shut. What was the point in rehashing a past that was, and would ever only be, just that. Past.
Grabbing his bag from the floor, Randy hoisted it over his shoulder and studied her face. God, she was beautiful. As much so as she had ever been. Maybe moreso. "You tell me," he challenged. If he was honest, there had been a time when he'd have answered her unspoken question with a 'hell yes.' There was even a time when he would have said 'Not a chance in hell.' But now, standing so close to her, and watching her worry her bottom lip between her teeth as she warred between the right answer and the truth, he wasn't sure. If she hadn't left, would this have been their life? Would they be married? Would he be showing off pictures of their kid to anyone who would stop long enough to look?
"Doesn't matter anymore, does it?" Trish's voice was barely above a whisper as it waivered, but refused to crack. Without waiting for a response, she tucked her hands into the pockets of her jeans and took off around the corner, in search of Vince, or just an escape.
As Randy's phone began to ring in a familiar tone against his hip, he shook his head. Trish was right. "Hey, baby," he answered the phone and set off in search of his locker. They were all that mattered. His wife, Katie, and their daughter. His family. That was all that mattered now. It had to be.