Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or real people in this story. The characters are owned by the WWE and the real people own themselves unless Vince makes them sign their lives away.
A/N: Hey, a new one-shot from me. I was inspired when talking with Jodi (StephanieIrvine) and she always says that she stays somewhere instead of saying she lives somewhere and I thought it was cool and a story came to my head so I put it into words. I didn't revise this and it was written in an IM like a half hour ago so I hope that it isn't too disjointed. I hope you enjoy this little fic from me and reviews would be great, be brutal if you want to, I encourage it as always. Hope you enjoy. :)
When asked where his family lives, where his wife and kids stay while he's on the road, he says they live in Florida and he says it without hesitation. There is no tone to his voice except fact. They live in Florida. He doesn't say it to mean that he is the roamer and they the left-behinds. He goes to Florida and he resides there, but he can't call it living. He doesn't call it living because it isn't. He stays in Florida yes, but he simply stays there because his life draws him back and forth between two places, two worlds.
He lives in Connecticut.
His heart lives in Connecticut, it sits in her chest where it beats alongside hers. He only borrows it every now and then for the important stuff, the beating of his blood, the giving of life. That's about it, everything else, he lets her keep it tight and protected. When her heart beats, so too does his and he's fine with that. They've added little pitter-pattering hearts over the years, three to be exact and she keeps those too and sometimes when one of his daughters is lying on his chest listening to his (and her) heart beat, he listens too, feels that pitter-patter of their chests and they all match up, one heartbeat, one heartbeat that she keeps for them all.
She lives in Connecticut.
That other heartbeat that stays under her roof doesn't beat the same way. The pattern is off, too slow, too quick, never quite matching up with hers, with those other little hearts. It's not the right heart, it doesn't quite beat the same and it never has. He looks on jealously whenever they're together because they can be together and those moments, he knows his heart is not his because he feels numb and those times, she is carrying his heart, pulling it towards her in protection from that other heart that tries so hard to get the rhythm right, but his heart reminds her heart with a gentle tapping that it will never match, the pattern, even if close, will never beat as one. The pattern and timbre and rhythm will always beat one beat, half a beat, a quarter beat off.
The other man stays in Connecticut.
He never wonders if their hearts were separate because they weren't. He does not believe in soulmates or fate or destiny, but he does know a heartbeat. He knows that when he first saw her and his heart beat so quickly it threatened to beat right out of his chest, hers was doing the same thing. He knows the first time they slept together, when their eyes were closing in sweet repose that their hearts slowed at the exact same rate. He knows that when their first daughter was born their hearts (now three) were all beating in that same peacefulness of family and love. His heart must have been so lonely those six years between his birth and hers. His five year old self must have felt so at home when she was born, hundreds upon hundreds of miles away. It must have thought finally, she's here.
And even though they, their bodies, eyes, hands, fingers, toes, legs, everywhere else have only known each other or a little over ten years, their hearts have known each other far longer. When he was losing his virginity to some girl he hardly recalls his heart was still hers, when she was at prom and some boy was wrapping himself around her, her heart went quick, but not out of love or want, his was somewhere wrestling and her heart could feel it. When he was getting married, her heart hurt in a way she wasn't aware of and she pressed a hand to her chest, his heart telling her that it was sorry for the rest of him. When she got married, his heart hurt in a more profound way because their bodies and the rest of them had finally figured out what their hearts knew all along. And her heart felt it and her eyes drifted towards him and their hearts were still one even has the rest of her belonged to another.
One time, before they were married, he overheard them. It wasn't meant to be eavesdropping, they were simply sitting at the next table over. He could hear that other man, "You have my heart, do I have yours?" Pretty words that were empty of any true meaning. If their hearts, that man's and hers had been one, had truly been one, there would be no need for asking. Their hearts would tell each other, confide in each other the truth of their selves. She turned to him, smiled softly and said no more. His heart had obviously spoken up, beat for her, beat her answer into her blood and then his heart had guided her heart, which then guided her eyes to his eyes, which held all the answer. Your heart is safe her eyes whispered the message from her heart to his eyes.
Their hearts know better than any other part of them that they should be together. Their hearts have always known and they (this mysterious they) say one should always follow their heart. Their hearts have known all along, driven him to wrestling, driven her to the family business, they've pushed they've prodded, but the rest of them stubborn have made these hearts, these two hearts so unhappy that that while their happiness is so close, it still stays so far away. She stays with that man and he stays with that woman and though temporary, it has lasted far longer than their hearts can possibly bear and hearts, they can explode, they can implode, they can tear apart, though their rhythms stay the same, always the same. Their hearts are tearing now, ripping at the seam. Three hearts they've made and his heart wants all four hearts and three more hearts together, but they stay apart, they don't live together.
And then one day, their hearts explode into words.
"Why do you stay with him!"
"Because he's my husband!" Their brains have never quite been in sync, but brains are complicated things and their hearts don't bother with their brains because their brains are stubborn and never listen and always have opinions so contradictory. Brains like logic and order and hearts have no use for such things. Their brains in particular never listen to their hearts so they've given up trying.
"Some husband he is when you have three children with me!" Hearts quickening and pounding and battering against each other.
"It's not like I asked you to get my pregnant!"
"Oh Chris, yes, Chris, it's fine, you can do that, go ahead, I won't get pregnant!" he mimicked her. Hearts wild and thrashing.
"Shut up, it's over!" Except it would never be until a heart stops beating and these hearts are very much alive.
"You know it's not, it never is!" Their hearts are prevailing, reason be damned, feeling, up with feeling!
"It is!" she insists. Her heart rears and bucks in her chest and he feels it, he feels all of it right next to hers. "We've never even really been together."
"Then what do you call this?" he asks, walking up to her, pressing his hand to her chest. Her breath inhales slowly and exhales even slower.
"Call what?" Her brain wants him to leave. Her heart wants him to stay, her brain says that logically, this man has no claim, her hearts says that illogically, his heart has all the claim.
"This," he says again and she looks down at her chest where his hand presses and feels.
"It's just my heart." Just her heart, she says, her heart is insulted and his heart is insulted that her heart is insulted.
"Do you feel it?"
"My heart, yes, of course I do," she tells him. Brain, shut up, shut up, shut up! "It's always been there, it's my heart."
"Do you feel the rest of it?" he asks her, looking up at her eyes. "Do you feel it all?"
"All what?" Her brain is confused as it always is in the face of real feeling. That other man, he's here for you, bullshit, her heart says, that other man, he's stuck around, crap, that other man...that other man's heart doesn't fit!
"The rest of them."
"The rest of what?" she wonders, looking down.
"Can you feel my heart?" he tells her. She reaches up to rest her hand on his chest even as her heart is screaming that it's not in there. His heart knows though and his heart goes back to him for a moment and tells the rest of him and his hand lifts up and catches her wrist.
"What?" she starts, but never finishes.
His hand has taken her hand and pressed it against his other hand. "Can you feel my heart?"
She looks confused. Brain is confused, brain doesn't know how to process anything and her heart laughs and his heart laughs and brain is angry now and wants to find the logic, but as it's processing (which it does endlessly) her heart is already taking over and its rhythm is slowing into a pretty beat.
"Your heart is over there," she says, brain trying to make sense of it all.
"No," he told her, shaking his head, "my heart is here and all the rest of you knows it, I just don't think your brain does."
"You've got to leave," she tries, brain tries, but heart is winning and making her brain stutter.
"You have them all in there," he tells her, "and your heart knows it, listen to it. Can you hear them all?"
"Them all?" she asks weakly. Her brain is lost, too lost and her heart triumphant. It's only a matter of time now. It's only a matter of time before the war is won.
He leans forward so his forehead is resting against hers. Beat. "There's yours." Beat. "There's Aurora's." Beat. "There's Murphy's." Beat. "There's little no-name's." Beat. "Oh would you look at that, there's mine."
She looks down at her chest as if it's a foreign object. Her brain is completely confused, looking in every memory bank, peeking in every corner, every crevice, but it cannot make sense of what he's saying. She opens her mouth a couple times, but her brain goes back to check again and she is left with nothing. Her heart is screaming towards her, but her brain is still somewhat in control, though horribly weakened.
"I don't understand." Of course her brain doesn't understand. Her brain thought that other heart could eventually beat with hers and it can't, no matter how it tries again and again.
"You have them all in your chest," he explains to her, kissing her forehead, her nose, her cheek. "They're all right in there."
"You've had it, you've always had it." Her heart wonders how his heart can be so in control when she is in a constant struggle with her brain. His heart is smug. "From the moment you were born, you've had it. It knew it. It's always known it. Your heart knows it if you'd listen to it."
Her heart thanks his heart and her brain is not working. "This isn't right," her brain working again, for now.
"You'll understand, if you listen," he says to her. "Just listen to it. Come on, it's not that hard, I promise."
She closes her eyes and she listens. There they are, all of them. She can hear them and he knows it as their hands press against her chest. Yes, they've all been there, just sitting in there and she's been taking care of them all and she hasn't even known it. His heart congratulates her heart and she feels that too. She feels every flutter of their hearts, all of theirs. She's listening to them and the sound is deafening and melodic and beautiful.
"I hear them."
He smiles because she does. "Now tell me again how you want me to leave because I'm not exactly sure how to leave there."
She opens her eyes and looks up at him. "I'm not sure I want you out of there."
"I've always been there."
"I never listened."
"You're a little hard-headed," he said, knocking on her skull. Her brain is insulted, her heart exuberant. "And sometimes we just need a little nudge in the right direction."
"How long have you known?"
"My heart...forever, the rest of me...it took a little while longer," he says kindly and she's kind of glad that her brain isn't functioning properly because her heart is more than making up for that temporary brain malfunction. "And now you know too."
"We can never go back," she tells him very seriously as her heart beats quietly and somberly. "There is no going back."
"There was never a back to begin with," he explains. "There was only ever us. They've been in there and now it's time to let them speak. Our brains have said more than enough for us. They've told us that this was wrong and that was wrong and our hearts have been so patient. I don't want to keep them waiting any longer, do you?"
"No, I don't."
And their hearts know that they've ushered in a new age where they are allowed to coexist with their brains. They get to control the eyes, the mouth, the fingers now all the time, not just some of the time. They beat as they always have, together, in sync. They beat as one as they've done far beyond his near 40 years and her near 34. They've just always beat in that simple, perfect rhythm, a symphony of sound rushing blood and love and everything between the one, the two, the three, four, five and however many more there are.
They live in Connecticut.