You guys are so amazing! I heart you all so much! I want to give a big shout out to everyone that has read the story so far. I want to send a special 'Thank You' to angelshavetheirwickedschemes, KimmieCena, lookitsria, xMyHeartShine, AngelsDestiny22, Xandman216, NCM2030, (my lovely) psion53, xDarlingNikki, Randy4rkocenahardy, Freakin' Yoda and ElleEnein. You guys rock! \m/ (^.^) \m/ I want you to know I took a little liberty with the timeline here and extended it out to fit Cody and Emery's personal timeline. (And when I finished the story originally, Cody was still wearing his mask.) Here's the final one, chapter 15. Enjoy!
I opened my eyes to the semi-dark room. I didn't make a sound as I saw Cody sitting on the edge of the bed. The moonlight coming in through the window let me take in his profile and see a little of his disheveled and slightly wrinkled clothes. I smiled to myself thinking of how his character would hate how he looked right now.
Right after we had gone back on the road after our nearly month long honeymoon, the two of us were laying in bed in our hotel room. Cody tucked himself up against my back, wrapping an arm around me and pulled me close. He let his hand drift down to hip and then down to the side of my thigh. He stroked his fingertips back and forth on my thigh, luring me to sleep. I was almost there when he spoke to me.
"Do you remember what you said to me at our wedding?" I rolled to my back so that I could look up at him where he had his hand propped up in his right hand. His left hand ended up on my stomach at the edge of my tank top. I could feel the cool band of his wedding ring against my skin. It was still cool because he had just put it back on after his shower. I smiled up at him, running the back of my fingers across his bare chest.
"I said a lot of things to you that day, Cody. You're gonna have to be more specific. Exactly when did I say it?" He grinned down at me.
"Right after you walked down the aisle and I told you how incredibly beautiful you looked?" I laid my hand flat against his chest.
"I told you that you looked dashing. I always think you look quiet dashing in a nice suit."
"Thank you, Em." He leaned in and kissed me. "I'm gonna use that. That's going to be my new storyline." I sat up excited and faced him.
"You guys finally decided on something?" He nodded.
"In a couple of weeks, after NXT starts, I'm giving a big promo and that will start the new line."
"That's so great sugar." I ran my fingers into his hair as I kissed him. "I can't wait."
Three weeks later, at a Smackdown taping, Cody and his NXT rookie, Windam Rotunda, better known as Husky Harris headed down to the ring. Cody cut his promo about how all the Divas voted him the best looking Superstar and how he deserved it. From that night on he became the vain, self-centered 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes.
One day, he got spotted by one of the writers going over his lines for his promo in the mirror while brushing his hair after a shower. It gave him an idea for the push. It spiraled from Cody interviewing/talking to himself in the mirror to him obsessively wearing a mirror on his jacket and having the mirror as part of his titan entrance to the infamous 'Grooming Tips'. I loved those because I got to see my wish come to life, Cody wearing a towel on camera. Sadly, he had his trunks on under the towel but it still looked good to me. I knew what was normally under the towel after a shower and I have a really good photographic memory.
Cody was just coming off his fourth run as a tag team champion. This time it was with Drew Galloway, or Drew McIntyre. I was actually happy that he lost them two weeks ago. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been here with me right now.
It was nearly two years to the day from the last time we were here in Atlanta University Hospital. This time, we were very happy to be here.
Almost eight months ago, we found out that everything I had thought I heard from Dr. Fisher, I heard wrong. It wouldn't be impossible, just harder. Since we had thought it was impossible, Cody and I hadn't been taking any precautions. And because of that we were here, the third floor of the hospital.
The maternity ward.
A few silent, happy tears rolled down my cheeks as I looked at the pure love and totally awe on his face as he looked down at Corrine Grace Runnels, our newborn daughter, sleeping in his arms.
Both our families and friends had already been to see us and she had been passed from person to person like she was a football. But Cody couldn't seem to not be holding her. It was almost like he was afraid she would disappear if he let her go.
I gently moved to lie on my side. The movement of the bed made Cody look over at me.
"Hey, Em." He said softly. "How long have you been awake?" He looked back down at Corrine.
"Not too long. How long have you been holding her?" He rocked her gently.
"I don't know. I picked her up right after our parents left and you fell asleep." I looked up at the clock on the wall by the window.
"That was almost three hours ago." He looked up at the clock too and shrugged.
"I guess that's about right." He grinned at me. "I can't help it." I smiled back.
"Don't you think it's someone else's turn?" He looked at me confused.
"Who else is there?" I laughed softly.
"How about me? Can I hold her?" I had held her right after she had been born and then again when I had fed her. He stood up and smiled at me. He did lay her down long enough to help me sit up in bed and put a few pillows behind me. He gently laid her in my arms. "Here you go Mommy." I smiled down at my beautiful perfect little girl in my arms. I never thought we would see this day. I felt Cody settle into the bed beside me. He wrapped his arm around me so that he could hold us both.
"What's that smile for Emmy?" Cody asked softly. He stoked my shoulder with his fingertips.
"It hasn't even been 24 hours yet and I already love being her Mommy." I looked into Cody's face. "I want to be a good mom to her." He smiled at me, cupping my cheek, stroking it with his thumb.
"You will be Em. You'll be the best mom." I leaned into his hand.
"You're going to be an amazing Daddy." He dipped his head and kissed me.
"I hope so." He kissed me again just as Corrine started to whimper in my arms. "I think someone's hungry." He said with a smile. I nodded in agreement. I moved and adjusted my gown so that I could breastfeed her like I had been taught earlier. Cody stroked her tiny hand as she filled her little belly. I glanced at his face and saw the same look he had when he was holding her. Cody was a goner. It was only a few short hours since she had been born and she already had him wrapped around her tiny little finger.
"I've lost it haven't I?" Cody lifted his head to look at me.
"Lost what Em?" I smiled at him.
"My title. Someone else is your princess now." He smiled back.
"Never Emmy. You will always be my princess." He kissed me. "Corrine," he gently stroked her head, "Corrine is our angel."
Corri and I couldn't go right back on the road with Cody so me and her stayed home and video chatted with Daddy every night. I won't lie, it was hard. It was so hard not to have him with us every night. No matter how many times my mom and dad or Rebecca, who was trying to talk Ted into having a baby of their own, came and stayed with us, it was nothing like having Cody at home with us.
Two days after Corri turned six months old, we joined Cody back on the road. God, I had missed this. Mostly I had missed waking up to Cody every morning and falling asleep in his arms.
We had been worried now Corri would do with all the traveling. Airports and airplanes and different hotel rooms every night, never staying in one place more than a day or two but she was amazing. She took to the traveling like a champ. She loved the airplanes and riding in the car. She also ate up the attention that she got from everyone. The attention was from the fact she was probably the most adorable little girl in the entire world. No, I'm not biased at all.
Cody's career was progressing beautifully. He got in all the right matches, teamed with who he needed to and feuded with the best. He was on his path, on his way to the top.
My career, the dream I had, had about writing for the company one day, stalled and fizzled out. To be honest, I really didn't think about it at all. I was so happy being a wife and a mommy that I didn't really need it anymore. All I needed was my family. Cody didn't think it was fare and he stepped in and changed that.
We were at a RAW Supershow, where both shows were in attendance. Cody and I were sitting in catering with Randy and Fallon, who had finally gotten engaged a few weeks before, and Ted. Corrine was off with Uncle Dustin who she loved to death. It was like back in the day when our little group was back together. It was wonderful.
We were talking about a current storyline and I threw in my two cents as to what I would like to see happen as a fan. I got agreement on how cool that would be when Cody excused himself and disappeared. We figured he had gone in search of Corri. He was gone for about 20 minutes when he came back and dragged me from the table and straight to Stephanie's office.
"Tell her your idea, Emery." He told me, making me sit in the chair in front of her desk. Cody stood behind me with his hand on my shoulder, encouraging me. Stephanie loved my idea.
"Do you think you could write that out for me?" I was stunned.
"I'm sorry. What?"
"I know it'll be a little harder with a one and an half year old running around. Take two weeks. Email me what you have and we'll go from there."
"Oh...uh...okay." She smiled.
"Great! I can't wait to read it." That was just the beginning. That was the first scene I wrote and far from the last.
About a week after Corri's second birthday, Cody got hit in the face and broke his nose at a house show. It wasn't too bad, according to him. They set it in the back and he promised me that he was fine. Yeah, I couldn't help but cry when we woke up the next morning and both of his eyes were black.
The doctor told him it was probably best if he didn't wrestle for a month or so until it healed completely. Of course, he wouldn't hear that. Lucky for me, WWE management agreed with the doctor. So since Cody was in a line with Rey Mysterio that supposed to lead into Wrestlemania, it was written into a small match that he would get hit in the face by Rey's exposed knee brace and they would make it seem that Rey broke his nose and continue the feud.
Cody talked to the doctor after that match to see if there was any way that he could get back any faster. The only way he would sign off was if Cody wore a protective mask while he was in the ring. Management was okay with that if Cody was willing to do it. He agreed. Anything so he could do what he loved. He was given the name of a doctor who specialized in protective equipment for athletes. The mask would be molded to his face so that it would fit perfect and not slide around during his matches.
As I was packing up to head back to the hotel that night when Rob, one of the staff writers, poked his head in the door and told me and Cody that we may want to look into changing up his character. 'Dashing' Cody Rhodes would never wear a mask to the ring.
He was quiet the whole drive back to the hotel. He didn't say much as I changed and he got Corri changed and into bed. When she fell back asleep, he pulled off his shirt and lay down beside me. He didn't get under the covers, just laid down. I curled up against his side. I kissed his neck softly before snuggling my face against it. I laid my hand flat on his chest, staying quiet and leaving him to his thoughts. His warm hand instantly covered mine.
"How am I gonna pull this off Em?" Cody asked quietly. He absently started drawing circles on the back of my hand with his forefinger. "Rob is right. Dashing would never hide his good looks behind a mask. Even if it is clear." I leaned up on my elbow as it hit me.
"That's it, Cody! You're not 'Dashing' anymore." He looked confused.
"I'm not?" I smiled, excited about my idea.
"Nope. Rey destroyed your looks when he broke your nose. He took all that away. Now, you have to hide behind a mask like he does." He leaned up on his elbow like I was. He nodded his head.
"Okay, okay, I see where you're going with this. What else?" I smiled as he got into it.
"You blame him personally. You think you're hideous to look at because of..." I thought for a second.
"Because of the reconstructive surgery I had to have to fix my face." Cody added. I laughed at him.
"I was going to say because of your deformity but I like your idea better." We stayed up half the night talking out how bitter and angry he was going to become. I wanted him to turn dark and hide from the camera and guess who got their wish? Guess who also got volunteered to help write all his promos/rants?
It worked out perfectly and led us right into Wrestlemania where Cody and Rey had a singles match. It was nice because this time we were home in Atlanta. Again, I was sitting ringside with Michelle and a seven month pregnant Rebecca. But this time we were joined by Corrine. She didn't want to miss Daddy's match. Normally, I knew the outcome of all Cody's matches but somehow he kept it away from me this time. I was going to have to watch it with everyone else.
I bounced Corri in my lap as we waited for the match to start. She played with her dog, completely unaware that we were sitting in this huge arena, surrounded by all these people. I, myself, was nervous as hell. Finally Cody's music started to play. Corri looked up.
"Daddy now, Mommy?" She asked. I nodded.
"Yes Angel. Here comes Daddy." I stood up, holding her in my arms. She leaned over and handed Rebecca her dog.
"Hold Doggy?" Rebecca smiled at her and took Doggy.
"Of course sweetheart." She held the stuffed animal just on top of her extended belly. "I'll take good care him." Corri just smiled at her. I adjusted her on my hip and turned so that she could see him coming. He was rocking his new black and dark red ring gear. I was absolutely in love with his new leather jacket with the over-sized hood that nearly hid his entire face.
"Look Corri." I pointed to the end of the ramp as Cody came into view. "Who's that?" She bounced in my arms and clapped, again completely oblivious of all the people around us booing him.
"It's Daddy! Mommy, it's Daddy!" She was so excited. Corrine was a Daddy's Girl through and through.
"I see him Angel." She turned to Michelle, patting her arm.
"Gammy, it's Daddy." She pointed towards the ring. Michelle just smiled.
"I know darlin'." When Cody climbed in the ring and headed towards our side, the four of us, at Corrine's insistence, cheered loudly for him. He quickly glanced at us as if he heard us. When his music cut out and Rey's music started, he began pacing around the ring. He stopped in front of us a couple of times so that he could catch a glimpse of Corri still clapping for him.
It took her a few minutes to settle down after the match started. She wanted to stand up and watch but she was a few inches too short to reach the top of the barrier in full stretch much less see over. So then she wanted me to stand up and hold her but I had to tell her that the people behind us wouldn't be able to see, so she settled for sitting on her knees in my lap and leaned against the barrier.
The match went back and forth nicely. At one point, I was surprised by the 'Let's Go Cody' chant that started. I figured it was probably because we were in Atlanta. Or it could be because he was doing an amazing job in that ring.
There were plenty of near falls, hits, misses, fantastic moves and two counts to keep me on the edge of my seat. But when Rey finally worked off Cody's mask and started use it against him, I was sure he was done. I had forgotten that Cody had taken off Rey's knee brace.
When he was knocked out of the ring and out of no where hit Rey with the knee brace, I gathered Corri close to me. My smile was huge. Cody rolled back into the ring and got the 1-2-3. I shot to my feet.
"Daddy won Corri!" She smiled.
"Clap now for Daddy?" I nodded.
"Yes Angel. Clap for Daddy." I was nearly brought to tears at the display of emotions and the look on Cody's face. As soon as the ref held up his hand, the four of us headed to the back. Even with 'Blimp DiBiase', as Rebecca called herself we made our way to just inside the gorilla. He was being congratulated by Mr. McMahon when we finally got there. A few people were standing around waiting to give Cody his due for the great match. Corrine and I stood in the back out of the way, letting Cody have his well deserved praise. He was kissing Rebecca's cheek when he saw us. Again, Corri bounced in my arms at seeing Cody. He smiled and made his way over to us.
"Daddy!" Corri held her arms out so he would take her. Cody finished wiping as much sweat as he could from his upper body, before tossing the towel and his mask into a nearby chair. He lifted her into his arms, making her giggle as he kissed her cheek. She wrapped her arms around his neck, clinging to him.
"You looked amazing out there sugar." I told him. He grinned. He cupped a hand around the back of my neck, pulling me close, kissing me.
Dusty and Michelle took Corrine home for the night so that Cody and I could go to the after party. We weren't going to stay long. We planned on heading back home so we could sleep in our own bed. The two of us got caught up in the party. I was happy I actually got to dance with Cody almost the entire night. When we finally made it home, Cody and I had a party of our own.
We found out the consequences of our personal little party when I found out about a month and a half later that I was pregnant. We couldn't have been more thrilled.
About that time, when they had the draft after Wrestlemania, they moved Randy, Fallon and Ted over to Smackdown with us. Our little family was back together again.
When I was about 5 months along, not only did we find out that we were having a baby boy, but that Cody was in line for the Intercontinental Championship. Three weeks later, he won the title from Ezekiel Jackson. He held and defended the title proudly. He fought everyone and his brother, well not his actual brother, for the title. He even had a short lived feud with Ted which fed into an amazing feud with Randy.
Cody eventually lost the title near the end of the year. I wish I could have been there for him but the last three months of my pregnancy were rough and I was at home on mandatory bed rest. I don't know what I would have done if Rebecca and baby Ben, who's full name was Benjamin Theodore DiBiase, hadn't come to stay with me. She took care of Ben, Corri and me. She was totally my hero. Of course, Fallon wanted to stay with me but there was no way Mr. McMahon would let her off for that long.
Cody wasn't too upset about losing the title because a week or so later, our baby girl turned three and a couple of weeks before the Royal Rumble, our son Decker Emerson Runnels was born.
Sadly, there were some serious complications with me during Decker's birth and after another emergency surgery, I truly couldn't have any more children. Surprisingly, I wasn't as upset as I thought I would be. Decker was a happy, health baby. I also had an amazing three year old and a wonderful marriage. As far as Cody and I were concerned, our family was perfect and complete.
I pulled up behind the arena, parking our rental in the parking lot with most of the other Superstar's rentals. We would have come with Cody but Deck and Corri were both napping. And God knows if you could get the two of them to nap at the same time you didn't dare wake them.
Before I could turn off the car, Corri was out of her seat, had her little backpack on and Doggy in her arms. She was ready to go. I quickly turned off the ignition and tossed the keys in my purse.
"Corri, stay there until I come around there to get you okay?"
"Kay Mommy." She had her face pressed against the window, watching the people coming and going around the back of the building, trying to catch a glimpse of the person she adored most in this world, her Daddy.
I hurried out of the car, grabbing my purse and the kids' bag before unbuckling Decker from his seat. I saved over-excited Corrine for last, knowing she was going to run at the first chance.
"Hold my hand until we get inside, then I'll let you walk on your own, alright? No running." I said to her, taking a firm grip on her little hand. She looked up at me with Cody's eyes.
"I will Mommy."
She did really good until we got inside. We turned down the first hall and Corri paused for about a millisecond before she took off running. I covered Decker's exposed ear, the other was pressed against my shoulder where he was still trying to hold on to sleep, before I yelled after her.
"Corri wait!" She didn't. "Corrine!" She didn't even slow down. I took off after her. "Corrine Grace Runnels! I said stop!" Of course, she kept running. I finally glanced to the end of the hall to see what she was running towards. There, stand with Randy and Fallon, who had just come back from their honeymoon, Ted, who was holding Ben, and Rebecca was Cody. He was already in his ring gear, which had gone from the red and black to sliver and black, with t-shirt he had left the hotel in and his infamous mask dangling from his hand as he talked to them.
Before I could stop her, she called out his name an instant before she ran full force into him, wrapping herself around his leg. He leaned down and scooped her up in his arms.
"Hey there Angel Pie. Where did you come from? Where's Mommy?" I finally caught up to her.
"I'm right here. What did I say, Corrine? Didn't I tell you no running away from me?" She ducked her head, knowing she was in trouble.
"Sorry Mommy." She snaked her arms around Cody's neck and pressed her face there, thinking he would protect her. I just huffed knowing full well I couldn't yell at her when she peeked at me from under his chin. Cody grinned at me.
"Sorry princess." He said softly, leaning in to kiss me.
"It's okay." I said, kissing him again. He rubbed the back of Decker's head where it still lay on my shoulder. The little monkey had slept through me yelling at Corrine and chasing after her. My eight month old could sleep through nearly anything.
We made small talk for a little while. We heard all about Randy and Fallon's honeymoon and then about Ben's latest little adventure. We eventually parted ways with Cody leading us to a small private locker room. It was nice. Corri could run around how she wanted and Deck, who finally woke up, could crawl around behind his big sister. Cody and I curled up in the love seat together just watching our children play. And waiting.
Cody was in the main event against Jay Reso or as most people know him, Christian. Cody and Jay had been on the same team for a while until their characters turned on each other and now they were enemies again. Christian had also been talking shit to Stephen Farrelly, or Sheamus. So more than likely, Cody was going to get caught in the crossfire of their crap tonight.
I laid my head on Cody's shoulder, he stroked my upper arm as we watched Corri try and explain coloring to Deck who just sat there, chewing on his fingers and smiling at her. Cody turned his head slightly and kissed my temple.
"I want you guys to come out there tonight." He said quietly to me. I leaned back so that I could look at him.
"For a Smackdown taping? We normally only go out for pay-per-view events. Plus, what am I gonna do with Decker?"
"I know princess but I really want all three of you out there. I want to be able to see you." I shrugged.
"Okay sugar. If that's what you want." Something was weird with him tonight. There was something he wasn't telling me.
About twenty minutes before the match, Cody had one of the security guys escort us to our seats. Lucky for me, Corrine had her own seat this time. The seats weren't perfect ringside like normal, they were front row but more off to the side. They were on the end of the section of seats by the ramp. Corri, like normal, bounced in her seat with excitement. Decker just kept chewing on his fingers, looking around at everything. Corri's bouncing attracted the attention of the lady sitting next to her decked out in Randy's shirt.
"Hey there. Aren't you a cutie?" Corri just smiled.
"And so polite too. You excited for the end of the show?" She nodded up at her. "Who's your favorite wrestler?" Corri's smile got huge.
"My Daddy." The woman looked confused.
"Corrine, baby that's enough. Leave the nice lady alone." I tried to divert her attention. So didn't work. Corri pointed to the front of the program she was holding in her lap.
"My Daddy." The lady smirked.
"Cody Rhodes? Cody Rhodes is your 'daddy'?" She shook her head, shooting me a nasty look over her head. "Sure. Whatever you say kid." Corri looked upset that the lady didn't believe her. I stroked her hair softly.
"It's okay baby. You'll see Daddy soon." She leaned into me and let me rub her back as we waited. Most if not all the fans didn't know that Cody was married much less married with two small children. God knows I wasn't about to tell them. If Cody wanted the world to know our personal life, we put it out there like others did. In interviews he always just said 'his family'.
I couldn't for the life of me figure out why Cody wanted us out there on this specific night. The only thing that wasn't what I expected was that it was turned into a match for the title. But I knew Sheamus was due to run in and screw the whole match up.
And yes, right on cue, he ran in and Brogue Kicked Christian in the face. The ref had his back turned. He didn't see a thing. Christian stumbled to his feet. Tears sprang to my eyes as I figured out what was about to happen. Cody took advantage and set up his finisher, the CrossRhodes. I stood up, pulling Corri up to stand in her chair so that she could see. The tears started to roll down my cheeks as the ref hit the mat for the three. Cody had done it.
Cody Rhodes was the new World Heavyweight Champion.
He sat back on his knees, dropped his head and closed his eyes, trying to control the emotions that were rolling through him. He stayed there until the ref handed his the title. He looked down at it for a second before a huge smile crossed his face. He stood up as Jay discreetly rolled out of the ring letting Cody have his moment. He lifted the title high in the air as the ref lifted his hand. The show ended with a shot of Cody holding up the title. I don't know what the crowd's reaction was because every bit of my focus was on his. He posed on every ring post, saving the one in front of us for last. He held up the title and smiled down at us.
He got down from the ring post and hooked the belt around his waist and started to take off his mask. He ripped it off as soon as he could and jumped out of the ring. He ignored every fan and came straight to us. The first thing he did was cup my cheek and kissed me.
"Oh my God, Cody. Why didn't you tell me?" He smiled before kissing me again.
"Surprise princess." He kissed Decker's forehead and turned to Corrine who was jumping in her seat.
"Kiss Daddy." She told him, holding her arms up for him. He lifted her and let her kiss him. He kissed her cheek before sitting her back down.
"I'll meet you guys in the locker room." He said before turning away.
"Bye Daddy." Corri called after him. Cody took a step back and affectionately smoothed down her hair.
"I'll see you in a little bit, okay Angel?"
"Okay Daddy." He turned and headed for the back. She turned to the stunned RKO fan who was sitting there with her mouth hanging open. Corrine patted her arm. "That was my Daddy." She told her. The lady just nodded like a fool.
I laid Decker down as soon as we made our way back to the empty locker room. My little monkey fell asleep on the walk back. Even Corri's eyes were drooping. It was kind of late for them. I got her to crawl up in the chair with Deck. She curled up around him protectively and was out like a light a minute or two later. I gathered our stuff and then took to pacing while I waited. I turned as the door opened.
"Waiting for me princess?" He tossed his ring jacket and mask on to our bags, revealing the shiny title around his waist. I walked right into his arms.
"There's my champ." I said smiling. He wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me close. Cody held me and kissed me like he did when we were still dating. The two of us were just as in love and crazy about each other as we were in the beginning of our relationship. It was hard to believe that we had been married nearly five years and had two beautiful children. I pulled back so that I could look at him.
"I'm so proud of you Cody. You looked like a true champion out there." I stroked the side of his face, kissing him softly. "Like our champion." He grinned at me.
"Your champion?" I nodded. "I like that princess." I ran my hand down his bare chest to rest on top of the title. "You know, no matter how many belts or titles I win, the only thing I'll ever truly need in this world is Corrine, Decker and you. You guys are my everything." I smiled.
"I love you Cody."
"I love you too. Always." I ran my fingers through his hair as I looked into the face of the man I'd love until the day I left this world.
"Always Cody?" He kissed me, holding me close.
"Always, Emery. Always."
I can't begin to tell you how amazing you guys have made me feel during the course of this story. If you wouldn't mind, give that last review and tell me how you like the ending. I want to thank you all again for taking the time to read my story. I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday! Till next time.