Old Habits Die Hard
By Misha

Disclaimer- I don't own anything, it all belongs to people with a lot more money than me and I'm not making any money from this, so please don't sue me.

Author's Notes- I got the idea this before "No Way Out" 2009, when it really looked like Stephanie McMahon was going to turn heel. This fan fiction ignores everything that happened story line wise after the February 2nd 2009 episode of Raw, where Legacy attacked Shane and Stephanie in the hallway. It also ignores real life information and focuses on the TV characters. I'm aware that in real life Randy Orton is married and that Stephanie McMahon is married to Paul Levesque and they have two daughters, but this story ignores that. It also ignores the later introduction of Randy's wife and Stephanie and Triple H's marriage into the story line, as well as the existence of Stephanie's second child. In this story Stephanie and Triple H have been divorced since 2002, though they do have a daughter (that will be explained in the story) and Randy Orton is single. His fling with Kelly Kelly never happened, either. Story line wise it mimics the McMahon/Helmsley Faction (something I have my characters acknowledge) and the events of Armageddon 1999, but it'll evolve beyond the similarities, I promise. This is in a completely different universe than "The Road to Ruin" and "The Road to Redemption", though I may use a similar back story for Steph and Hunter as the one I present in "The Road to Ruin", but they won't be exactly the same and the stories have no baring on each other. The characters might seem a little out of character, but I'm just trying to add another level and you'll see that their perspectives on certain things differ, because that's how it works in real life. I'm a big Steph/Triple H fan, but I couldn't resist writing this story and I'm still not sure where I'm going to go with it, I'm just letting it decide what direction it wants to go in! I think it's going to be Stephanie/Randy, because for some reason that pairing appeals to me, and at times there'll be Stephanie/Hunter elements, but at other times it may not be that friendly to that pairing at all. The characters are going to be tormented about what they feel and think and that's going to impact how I portray past events, since it'll be from the perspective of a specific character. The story will just unfold as it goes along, so you'll have to wait and see what happens, really. That's all for now, enjoy!

Pairings- Stephanie/Randy Orton, mild Stephanie/Hunter.

Summery- Stephanie McMahon has been having a secret relationship that's going to shake the very foundations of the WWE and tear the McMahon family apart...

Rating- PG-13

Chapter One: Almost Time

February 2nd, 2009

"Are you sure you're okay, baby? We didn't hurt you tonight, did we?"

Stephanie couldn't help but smile at the question coming from the other end of the phone and the obvious concern in the asker's voice.

"I'm fine, honey, you and the guys didn't hurt me at all." She assured her lover, unable to contain her appreciation over the fact that he cared enough to ask. It was still a new feeling for her, to have a man in her life constantly put her and her feelings first.

"Good." The man on the other end replied. "I mean, I know we had to attack both you and Shane for our plan to work, but I didn't like it."

"Randy, baby, I'm fine." Stephanie assured him and it was the truth.

Oh, she had a couple of bruises from when she hit the wall, but the boys had been as gentle as they could with her and it wasn't not like she hadn't taken worse before. If there was one thing that Stephanie had gained from spending her adulthood surrounded by professional wrestlers, it was the ability to take a few bumps and bruises without really feeling them. After a while, pain took on a whole new meaning.

"Shane's not feeling so hot, though." She added. "He took that kick to the ribs pretty hard. I think he really thought you were going to punt me in the head, tonight." She couldn't help but laugh at the thought, since she knew Randy was incapable of laying a hand on her, but her brother didn't need to know that, not yet, anyway.

"Good. Imagine how's going to feel in two weeks, after I'm finished with him at No Way Out." Randy replied and Stephanie could practically see the evil grin on his face. "Especially when he find out that his sweet little sister set the whole thing up."

Stephanie winced at his words. Shane was going to be furious when he found out that she'd been siding with Legacy all along. Hell, her whole family was going to be furious when they found out, not that she could blame them. Yet, she didn't feel nearly as bad about the betrayal as she thought she should.

"He shouldn't have gotten in my way by trying to take over my show." Stephanie said viciously, trying to convince Randy, if not herself, that that was how she really felt.

She kept telling herself that she was doing what she had to do, that she was doing what was best for her for, her career, for her personal life. She wasn't going to change her mind about her decision, there was no chance of that, but she couldn't quite rid herself of the guilt.

Turns out, it wasn't as easy to betray her family at thirty-two as it had been at twenty-three. Back then, she'd made her decision with a clear conscience, now she couldn't help but see the other side, however she vowed that she'd never let Randy sense her doubts, knowing that they'd only hurt him and he didn't deserve that.

"You mean our show." He corrected her lightly. "Isn't that the whole point of all this? So we can finally be together out in the open, running Raw as a team?"

"Of course it is." Stephanie assured him, fighting the quick stab of pain that his words brought.

Just like she'd never tell Randy about the guilt she struggled, she'd also never admit to the painful memories his words brought rushing back. After all, it wasn't Randy's fault that she'd been in this position, about to betray her family to be with the man she loved, once before and it had ended badly.

"You and me, baby, we're going to have it all." Stephanie promised him. "We're going to run Raw side-by-side and the whole WWE what we're capable of."

"That's what I like to hear." Randy told her and Stephanie could hear the satisfaction in his voice. "And Legacy, of course. Ted and Cody have had our backs through all this, they deserve to go to the top with us."

"They will." Stephanie agreed, fighting a bittersweet smile. It could have been a decade ago, for the way this conversation was playing. All she had to do was substitute Legacy for DX and Randy for...

No, she told herself silently, don't go there.

The truth was, even after a decade, those memories still hurt. She'd gone though so much since then, including the divorce from Hell, and she'd honestly thought that she'd changed and learnt from her past mistakes.

Yet, here she was, in the same position she was all those years ago. Once again, she was plotting to bring her family down so that she could run the show alongside a man her family hated and would never approve of.

The only thing thad had changed was the identity of the man by her side. Except, that wasn't true. On the surface, the situations seemed the same, but they weren't.

Her first marriage had been brutal and destructive, based more on rebellion and ambition than anything else, of course it had exploded. Oh, there had been love, she'd be a liar if she said otherwise, but... The love hadn't been enough to survive everything else.

This time, this time she was older, more mature and it wasn't about power or revenge or rebelling against her family's restrictions. She was honestly in love with Randy, honestly wanted to spend the rest of her life with him and... He was the best thing that had ever happened to her.

However, she knew her family would never see it that way. Once they found out about her and Randy, they'd think that Shane was right about her and that she just couldn't break the old, destructive patterns.

Her family would see it as repeat of her past mistakes and wouldn't listen to any argument to the contrary, she just knew it and that was what motivated her to go through with her and Randy's plan--the fact that it was the only they'd be able to be together.

"Is the coast clear?" Randy asked after a moment, obviously completely unaware of her internal ramblings.

"All clear." Stephanie assured him, knowing exactly what he was asking. "Shane's out cold, he took a bunch of pain killers and they always knock him out. Plus, we're flying out separately this time, so I won't even see him tomorrow. So you don't even have to worry about having to sneak out of here in the wee hours of the morning."

"I'll be there in five minutes then." Randy promised her. "I'll have to get Ted and Cody to keep the lookout and then I'll be over. We don't want to get caught now, not when we're so close."

It was true, there were only two weeks left in their plan. It was hard to believe that in only two weeks her whole world would change.

"Hurry on over, I'll be waiting." Stephanie promised and then ended the call.

She walked over to the mirror and admired her reflection. She'd known that Randy would be paying a late night visit to her hotel, once the coast was clear, so when she'd come back from the arena, she'd put on the sapphire blue baby-doll nightie that she hadn't been able to resist purchasing last time she'd been shopping. Blue was a good colour on her and she knew that Randy would appreciate the nightie, he always did.

With that thought in mind and a smile on her face, Stephanie finished prettying herself up for her man just in time for the door of her hotel room to open and the man in question to appear.

"Mmmm...' Randy said when he stepped inside the hotel room and got a good look at her.

"Like what you see?" Stephanie asked seductively, giving a little twirl for his benefit. The skirt of the nightie rose up as she did so, showing off more of her legs. Stephanie could tell from Randy's expression that he did indeed like what he saw.

"Always." Randy told her, before pulling her towards him and claiming her mouth with his. When the kiss finally ended, he picked her up and carried her over to the bed, setting her down gently, as if she made of glass.

"Not wasting any time, huh?" She teased him.

"With you, never." He assured her, discarding his t-shirt. "Baby, I just have to look at you and I'm hard. I'm never ever going to get enough of you."

As always, Stephanie found herself melting at his words and reminded once again, why she was willing to give up everything for this man.

The world saw Randy as the merciless viper, the cold-hearted Legend Killer and that was how he wanted the world to see him. He actually enjoyed his reputation as a psychopath, cold-bloodedly using his perceived mental instability to get what he wanted.

And that side really did exist, there was a part of Randy that was cold and ruthless, capable of doing whatever to achieve his gaol and not caring who he hurt in the process.

But, Stephanie knew that there was so much more to Randy than that. When she looked at him, she didn't see that side of him, though she never let herself forget that it existed, instead she saw the warm, kind-hearted man who'd come into her life and made her feel like a beautiful, desirable woman for the first time in years.

She looked at Randy and she saw the man who treated her like a princess and helped give her back a part of herself that she thought she'd lost a long time ago.

Her divorce and her family's reaction to the circumstances behind both it and her marriage in general, had devastated her, destroyed her confidence and feelings of self-worth. She'd fuelled all her energy into being the good daughter, doing exactly what her family expected of her, and lost a part of herself in the process.

Randy had changed that.

Before him, Stephanie had been a divorced, single mother, determined to do whatever her family asked of her, in fear of ever letting them down or disappointing them again, never able to forget the mistakes of her past. Then, this sexy man, who was four years younger than her, which in itself was an ego boost, came into her life and started actively pursuing her, making it clear that he didn't just want a casual relationship, but that he wanted to have family and a life with her.

Randy made it clear that he didn't care if she wasn't perfect, he just loved her the way she was. She'd needed that badly, after her divorce, after her many dealings with her family, and when you added Randy's smokin' bod and the fact that he was amazing in bed into the equation, well it was no wonder that Stephanie had fallen head over heels in love with him.

"I can't wait until the day I get to tell the entire world that you're mine." Randy told her, running his mouth over her neck and shoulders, as he caressed her body with his hands.

"Two weeks." Stephanie reminded him, giving a little moan as his mouth and hands worked their magic. "Two weeks until No Way Out where you take Shane out of commission, just like you did Dear Ol Dad and you and I show the entire WWE universe what we're made of."

Honestly, Stephanie felt more guilt about what she and Randy intended to do to Shane, than what they had already done to her father. It was hard for her to feel any guilt about betraying her father, because quite honestly her father was a manipulative bastard who deserved everything he got.

Shane, on the other hand... Shane's biggest fault was that he didn't know how to mind his own business and stay out of Stephanie's way.

"I can't wait." Randy told her and then claimed her mouth in a hungry kiss, showing her that he was sick of talking.

Stephanie surrendered to his kiss, like she always did. It was at moments like this that Randy could make her forget that the rest of the world even existed...

"So you're making me face the Undertaker next week, huh?" Randy inquired later when he and Steph lay in bed together, at least temporarily sated.

Randy had meant what he told Stephanie--he just couldn't enough of her. Even now, only a few minutes after some very vigourous activity, he was still very aware of Stephanie's sexy naked body pressed up against his as he held her tight.

"Yeah, I figured that that would make it look like I really wanted to punish you." Stephanie explained, making contented noises as Randy traced lazy circles over her stomach.

"Gee, thanks." Randy said with a mock pout. "Couldn't you at least have picked someone who likes me a little better?"

"Awww, my poor baby." Stephanie murmured teasingly. "I'll tell you what, I'll kiss you all better after the match."

"You better." Randy told her, shifting their bodies so that they were now facing, both of them laying on their sides.

After a moment, he shrugged. "It'd not actually that big a deal, though. I'll just have Cody and Ted run in and help."

He knew it was technically cheating, but he didn't care. Besides, it wasn't a real match, just a fake punishment so that people didn't catch onto his and Steph's plan.

"I'd expect nothing less." Stephanie assured him. She gave him that sexy smile of hers, the one that always turned him rock hard in an instant. "Your match will be the Main Event, so by the time Legacy runs out, the show will be almost over and it'll be too late for me to punish you. At least before No Way Out anyway."

"So you'll leave it with the theory that Shane can punish me there." Randy said with a snort. "I love how you mind works."

Stephanie just smiled and then she paused, turning serious. "About Shane, don't be too hard on him, Randy, ok?"

Randy sighed. They'd been over this before and he just didn't understand Stephanie's loyalty to her family, especially her idiot brother. Why couldn't see she that none of them deserved or appreciated her, that they constantly tried to keep her down? Stephanie deserved better than she ever got from her own family and Randy was determined to give it to her.

"Baby, Shane's only going to get what he deserves." Randy told her, putting his hand under her chin and forcing her to look at him. "Steph, this weekend isn't just about me or Legacy, it's about you too. We're doing this for our life together." He reminded her. "Honey, think back to how your family has treated you over the years. Your father has constantly humiliated you with his actions, yet punished you for the smallest mistake. He forced you to quit when you were really the best General Manager that Smackdown has ever had. They buried you in an office for years, when you deserved to thrive in the spotlight, punishing you over and over for your mistakes, when we all know they pale in comparisons to your father's."

Stephanie bit her lip and Randy knew that the truth of his words were sinking in. He knew it wasn't easy for Stephanie to be a ruthless bitch, at least not anymore, but she needed to do be this time. It was what her family deserved.

Randy had every intention fo destroying the McMahon family, of wiping them the annals of the WWE history. The McMahon time was done, it was time for a change and he was going to bring it. Stephanie was going to be the last McMahon standing and in two weeks the whole world would know that she wasn't a McMahon any longer. Not really.

"Steph, you know that your family would never accept our relationship." Randy continued, pressing his advantage. "You heard Shane a few months ago, when you first came back to Raw; you heard him taunting you about abusing your power as General Manager to find yourself another husband. Once your family finds about us, that's what they'll think and they'll you that you're making a mistake, that it'll be like it was with Hunter all over again, that you're a fool and that I'm just using you for your power."

It wasn't like that at all. First of all, whatever her brother might think, Stephanie hadn't used her power to woo him. In fact, she hadn't encouraged him at all. Randy was the one that had done all the running in their relationship, pursuing her determinedly until she'd given in.

Hell, he'd wanted Stephanie from the moment he'd first met her, but the timing hadn't been right then and he'd turn his attention to other women. But no matter how many women he dated, in the back of his mind, he was never able to forget his attraction to Stephanie and she starred in more than a few of his fantasies over the years, but he had barely seen her over the years since she didn't have a lot to do with the talent and the back stage running of things.

Then, last year, he'd run into her out of the blue, when she'd made a rare appearance back stage and he'd realized how attracted to her he really was and how fascinating her found her and he'd started the slow, but steady assault on her defences that had lead them to where they were now and they'd slowing put their plan into action. A plan formed when Shane's words had made Stephanie realize that her family would never accept their relationship, never understand that they were truly in love with one another.

Still, things were finally starting to happen, if a bit too slowly for Randy's taste. He just couldn't wait to tell the whole world that this amazing woman belonged with him.

"I'm just worried about how all this is going to affect Aurora." Stephanie confessed, once again biting her bottom lip, a nervous gesture of hers that Randy found adorable.

But then there were very few things about Stephanie that Randy didn't like, she was the most sexy, beautiful, amazing woman and he couldn't believe that he got to share his life with her. He was going to give her the world, because she deserved it.

"What she's going to think about Mommy turning on Uncle Shane?" Stephanie continued, looking distressed. "She loves him so much and she won't understand why she can't see him or Grandpa or Grandma or her cousins."

"Aurora's young, honey, she won't really know what's going on." Randy assured her. "Besides, we'll keep her as sheltered as possible from all this mess. We won't let the fall out affect her, I promise."

He meant ever word. He loved that little girl as much as if she was his own and he was determined to keep her safe and happy, though he didn't think contact with the McMahon family was crucial for either of those things.

Though, he'd never say so to Steph, he actually thought that Aurora would grow up much happier and well-adjusted away from her mother's family and he knew in time Stephanie would see that to.

Aurora was one of the reasons that Randy was so eager to this all to be over, so he could claim both Stephanie and her daughter, tell the world that they belonged to him, that they were his family now.

There was one particular that Randy wanted to make sure got that message. Hunter. Stephanie's ex-husband, Aurora's father.

It had eaten Randy up inside when, early in their relationship, Stephanie had confessed the WWE's best kept secret: the fact that, though Stephanie and Hunter had been divorced for nearly seven years, they were the proud parents of two and a half year old Aurora Rose.

Stephanie had explained that she and Hunter had had a brief fling several years after their divorce, something she explained as the result of too much alcohol and reminiscing, and Aurora was the product of that fling. Reconciliation had never been in the cards, because while Stephanie and Hunter no longer hated each other's guts, there was to much bad blood for them to ever be able to get back together, instead they concentrated on doing what was best for their daughter, which included keeping her out of the spotlight. That was one of the reasons why very few people knew that Hunter was her father, because that would just create more questions and publicity and neither Stephanie or Hunter wanted that for their daughter.

It had been hard for Randy not to react badly when Stephanie had told him the news, it didn't change how he felt about either Stephanie or Aurora, but he still hated the fact that Hunter was Aurora's father.

Randy hated Hunter more than anyone else in the world and it secretly made him sick to that the woman he loved had belonged to Hunter before him, that the little girl he considered to be his daughter was really Hunter's.

Randy knew that once his relationship with Stephanie became public knowledge, people would accuse him of being with her for the power, of using her to further his desire to reach the top of the WWE, but that wasn't true at all.

His career meant a lot to him and he wanted to be champion, but that was because he knew he was good enough to be champion. He was the best and he wanted to prove that to the world, however his relationship with Stephanie had nothing to do with that.

He was positive that even if Stephanie had been some random woman without any connection to the business, she still would have enthralled him. It would have been harder though, because the business was his life and he didn't really meet people outside the WWE, it was just one of the downfalls of the life he had chosen.

However, it was Stephanie's wit, her charm, her keen intellect and driving ambition, as well as her gorgeous face and smoking body, that drew his attention and had him so hooked, not the fact that she was a McMahon. Randy couldn't really care less about that. He would have found a way to take out the McMahons and take his rightful place at the top, even without Stephanie, she just gave him added motive.

Yet, if there was an added bonus to their relationship, it wasn't power--it was revenge. Randy had to admit that he felt a lot of satisfaction over the fact that he'd taken something that had once belonged to Hunter and that, unlike Hunter, he'd never be stupid enough to let her go.

"I'll be glad when this is over, too." Stephanie admitted, cuddling closer to him. "I really hate watching the divas flirt with you."

"Steph, baby, you know none of those silly little twits can hold a candle to you." Randy assured her as he caressed her body with his hands. "You are the only woman in the world for me, Steph, and in just two weeks, the whole world is going to know that. It will finally be our time."

"The Legacy era." Stephanie said, smiling as she tested out the words.

"The greatest wrestling stable of all time." Randy confirmed. "A time for second and third generation superstars to show the WWE what greatness is all about."

"Lead by none other than Randy Orton and Stephanie McMahon Orton." Stephanie continued happily.

Randy had to admit he was pretty happy himself and he loved hearing her name linked with his. He still couldn't believe that Stephanie was his wife, but she was and soon the whole world would know it.

"It's our time." Stephanie told him, her lips curving into that devious smile that Randy loved so much.

He loved the bad girl side of Stephanie, the one who didn't give a damn what anyone thought about her, but who did what she wanted, regardless of the consequences.

"Yes, it is." Randy agreed, leaning in to kiss his wife. "We're going to rule Raw together, Steph, you and I and no one is going to be able to stop us."

He claimed her lips once more in a passionate kiss and then manoeuvred both their bodies so that he was on top of her, all thoughts of his career taking a backseat to more earthy pleasures...