Characters: Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Randy Orton, John Cena, Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon
Summary: Shawn Michaels is retired from wrestling and has one thing on his mind: Continuing to raise his teenage son, Aaron. But the sweet little boy Shawn used to know is becoming a man and dealing with more things than any teenager should have to. And with Shawn trying to manage his own personal life as well, the world can sometimes seem too unfair. But life, as we know, isn't always fair.
He had been retired one year and was now a member of the WWE Hall of Fame. What to say…hmm? Shawn thought back to his days as a wrestler and found himself slightly missing it, but those days were gone. He was a home man now—a father and a Follower of Christ. His wrestling days were over. How sad…
Shawn shook his head as he made breakfast for himself and his 15-year-old son, Aaron. Today as the big day! Aaron's 15th birthday! Shawn thought back to the little guy running around in nothing but a diaper. To this day he could barely get the boy to wear a shirt. Shawn smiled—that blond-headed boy had it all and he didn't even know it.
If there was one thing he'd done right in this world it was Aaron: Shawn's whole world. Wrestling hadn't mattered as much after Aaron's arrival. Shawn had to admit, Aaron had picked a bad time to pop into the world, but who couldn't love that beautiful face that was identical to Shawn's? Well, there seemed to be one person on the cusp of love and hate but Shawn shook that from his head.
Aaron, born October 10, 1996, came at a time when Shawn and his then-wife, Cynthia Waller, were both living a tumultuous life style. It was Cynthia who had wanted to get rid of Aaron from the start and Shawn had been the one to save him from abortion and then adoption. Then, Cynthia seemed to slip into mother mode at the sight of her son. That wouldn't last long, though, and Shawn was sickened by the thought of what he'd seen when Aaron was only 18-months.
He came home to hear Aaron crying upstairs. Shawn had taken a look around, having been attempting to clean up, he and his wife were constantly checking on each other for signs of drugs or alcohol—or at least Shawn was. What he saw worried him. Meth…alcohol…pot—Cynthia had fallen off the proverbial wagon and it scared the hell out of Shawn that she had been home the whole week with Aaron while he was on the road with the WWE. Shawn panicked but was cool to react. He ran up the stairs, calling to his wife and ran straight to their baby boy's doorway. It was open and in a wooden crib was Aaron screaming, and there was Cynthia, her hands on him, shaking the baby.
"Shut up!" She screamed, "Shut up, shut up, shut up!" She was drunk off her head. Shawn felt like going ballistic. He ran to the crib to pull Cynthia away from the baby but found it hard to release her grasp, "Shut up you little brat!" And with that she reared back and slapped Aaron, causing the baby to fall back and scream even louder. Shawn used all his force to pull Cynthia away from the crib and pinned her to the floor. His breathing heavy his mind ran amuck about what to do. This was not happening. There was only one thing to do and so Shawn had picked a struggling Cynthia up and pulled her into their bedroom, holding her down with his knee while he grabbed the phone and called the police. It was risky, but Shawn didn't have any drugs or alcohol on him and had been clean, amazingly, for four months. Then, as the police came, all there was to do was wait, with a pinned down, screaming Cynthia below him.
They arrested her and took Shawn in for questioning. Aaron was taken away for two weeks while the entire situation was investigated. Those were the longest two weeks of Shawn's life and the most tempting, but he new retreating to pills would only keep Aaron away for good, so he fought to stay clean. Finally, when all investigations on Shawn were through, he was able to hold his baby boy, who smiled brightly when he saw his daddy. Shawn would never forget that smile. And he would never forget—or forgive—what that woman had done.
Shawn was brought out of his thoughts and jumped slightly as a loud cough came from behind him, Aaron entering the kitchen. Shawn turned to greet his son; he looked just like Shawn. The only difference was that he had bleach blond hair still—a trait of Aaron's mother.
"Morning, boy!" Shawn hollered gruffly, pulling his son into an unwilling hug, "Happy birthday."
"Dad," came Aaron's changing voice, muffled from his father's shirt, "I'm much too old for hugs."
Shawn let go of Aaron and smiled, "Are you now. Come here. Come here. No Come here." Shawn taunted with a smile as Aaron retreated, laughing and falling to the floor, "Come give your old man a hug!"
"No, dad, no!" But it was too late. Aaron was enveloped in a hug so tight he could barely breathe. This was one of those times he wished his father wouldn't work out so much.
But he was saved! The phone rang and a laughing Shawn got up to answer the phone, "Hello, HBK, The Heartbreak Kid speaking."
"You're an idiot you know that, don't you?" Came a familiar voice from the other end of the phone.
Shawn smiled, "But I'm your favorite idiot, Paul." He said to Paul Levesque, Triple H.
Paul sighed on the other end of the line, "So were on our way now. Should be there in about an hour if Murphy doesn't have another breakdown."
Shawn laughed, "What's got into her this time?"
Paul rolled his eyes and sighed again, "Apparently it has something to do with my hair, gold, and Captain Hook. You can thank Aurora for that one." Shawn laughed as Aaron ran up to the phone.
"Gimme! Is that Uncle Paul? I wanna talk to him!" Aaron said, ungraciously yanking the phone from Shawn's hand.
Shawn looked down and raised his hands as he spoke to himself, "'Dad, can I have the phone,' 'Sure son,' 'Thank you, father who gave me life.'"
Aaron rolled his eyes as Shawn moved back to the pancakes—now burnt—that he'd forgotten about, "Uncle Paul! Guess what? I'm fifteen! Can you believe it? I'm grown!"
Paul laughed, "Yeah, I'm sure you are, kid."
Aaron leaned on the counter, shirtless as usual and wearing white drawstring pants, "So, tell me, what'd you get me for my birthday?"
About an hour later saw happy greetings as the Levesque family and Vince and Linda McMahon entered the house, luggage and presents in hand. Vince McMahon handed a greedy-looking Aaron a suitcase, "Here boy, your present from me to you. Now take it to my room!" He joked as he threw Aaron a heavy suitcase.
Paul walked in and he and Shawn shared a mutual hug to Aaron's horrified face, "Dad!"
Shawn smiled and looked back at his son slyly, "See, you're never too grown up for hugs." And Aaron scurried away before Shawn could get a grip of him again.
Stephanie McMahon walked in, her daughter Murphy in her arms, and looked around the entrance room that was their living room. It had paneled walls and tan fabric furniture. To ungraciously mismatch the décor there was a huge fifty-inch widescreen HD television and with surround sound. She shook her head as she hugged Shawn and then Aaron when he came back excitedly, "Men."
Shawn stepped to the side and kissed little Aurora on the cheek, "So the Captain Hook story worked, huh?" He said, nudging the giggling girl. He stood up and pointed to the door to the kitchen, "Well there's food if ya'll are hungry. We can have some coffee and catch up."
Aaron looked around bewildered, "What about presents?"
Shawn looked at Aaron sternly, "Aaron, quit it. It's very disrespectful." He admonished his son, who dropped his head in shame and followed everyone into the kitchen.
Linda McMahon smiled and ran a hand through Aaron's bleach-blond hair as he passed her, "Oh, Shawn, don't be so hard. It's his birthday! He's doing what any normal FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD would do." And the acknowledgement that he was now fifteen seemed to perk Aaron up as he began an excited conversation with Vince about "the business".
"I think the bag think with Cody Rhodes is stupid, sir." Aaron added hastily to his blunt comment. But Vince took no offense, finding Aaron's honesty refreshing as the older man reared back and laughed.
"Well, then." Vince said, straightening up, "I guess I'll have to change it, then, won't I?"
Aaron smiled mischievously, "I wish you would."
Over by the stove, a little away from Aaron and everyone else, Shawn was checking on the cake he had baked. He had to admit that he was proud of himself: His first cake and it already looked and smelled so good. He was going to cover it in orange frosting—Aaron's favorite color, because, to be honest, that was about the only cake-decorating talent he had. And even that was a doubtful talent.
Shawn straightened up as Paul and Stephanie approached him. Paul leaned with his back against the counter, crossing his arms over his black shirt, "Any calls yet?" He asked as Stephanie looked up nervously.
Shawn shook his head, "No. But, as per usual, I'm trying to keep Aaron away from the phone."
Paul nodded as Stephanie looked back at Aaron and then Shawn, "She calls every year, doesn't she?"
Shawn looked her honestly, his eyes a little angry and a little sad, "Every year. And every Christmas, too."
"Have you ever let him talk to her?" Stephanie asked, keeping her voice low as Vince laughed at something else Aaron had said.
Shawn shrugged, "Can't always avoid. I can't blame him for wanting to talk to her sometimes."
Stephanie nodded as Paul studied the floor, "It's a shame."
Shawn's eyes now burned angry, "Yeah, it is a shame a boy can't have his mother for his birthday because she's a—"
"Daddy!" Came a little voice that caused all three of them to jump. They looked down to see an excited and curious Aurora Rose holding onto her father's jeans, "Daddy what kind of birthday party is it?"
Paul forced a smile, though he didn't really feel like smiling at the moment. Aaron might as well be his nephew, ignoring the blood-relations thing, and Paul felt the same sadness and anger that Shawn did. Nevertheless, Paul smiled and leaned down to be level with his daughter, "A pool party, baby, that's why we brought your swimsuit."
The little girl furrowed her brow, "In October?"
At this they all laughed as Shawn piped in, "Baby, I don't think you understand Texas climate as well as we do."
Aurora smiled at Shawn, "I can spell Texas though."
Shawn smiled, folding his arms across his Heartbreak Kid t-shirt he'd picked out that day, "Spell it, then."
The little girl smiled even brighter and swayed as she spelled it, "T-E-X-A-S, Texas!" And then she ran off to tackle Aaron by the knee, "Got you!" She screamed as Aaron crumpled to the floor, Vince laughing at him.
Shawn, Paul, and Stephanie looked at each other and smiled, "Well," Shawn said, "Shall we get ready? I think my boy's gonna burst if he doesn't see progress soon." And they all laughed as they helped to get the decorations out of a bag and stepped out back to decorate around the pool area.
Hunter hung some happy birthday signs up from the limbs of a tree and called to Shawn, not far away, "So, Shawn, what have you been up to? I mean, besides being a lazy bastard."
"Paul!" Stephanie screamed from across the yard, "Language!"
Shawn laughed, "Nothing much. Just taking care of Aaron, which is becoming harder and harder everyday."
Paul smiled, "How so?"
Shawn sighed, "Oh, when yours are fifteen, you'll get it." He was quiet for a moment as he studied the tiki light he was placing in the ground at the edge of where the concrete surrounding the pool met the grass, "I met a girl." He huffed out, not looking up to see the shocked faces of Paul and Stephanie.
Paul had to do a double take to make sure he'd heard right. Shawn didn't seem to be acting any different, "What?"
Shawn sighed, but smiled a little, "I met a girl—woman. Her name's Rebecca."
Stephanie stayed quiet, thought she was bursting at the seam due to this news, to give the best friends time to catch up, "That's great! How'd you meet? How is she?" Paul asked excitedly, fighting with the white happy birthday signs as the wind blew and they fell of the tree and wrapped around him.
Shawn smiled, "Church. Apparently we've been going to the same church for years and never even noticed each other." He thought excitedly of the woman with tan skin that he would see that night, "She's wonderful." Was all he could say. And the three then proceeded to catch up on all the phone conversations had left out. Soon it was noon and time for the guests to start arriving. And to think the cake hadn't been painted—err frosted—yet! Shawn ran in to find it had graciously been finished by Linda McMahon, who had scribbled "Happy Birthday, Aaron!" on the top in blue.
One by one the guests arrived and were treated to a lunch of pizza and soda and tea. Aaron greeted every person at the door with hungry eyes and eventually had to be banished to the backyard by Shawn for his crazy attempts to get peeks at the presents the guests were holding. But, not to be let down, Aaron had merely done a back flip into the pool that had only scared several years off of Shawn's life. Not to mention Aaron hadn't bothered to change out of his pants and into swimming trunks that Shawn had specifically taken him shopping for. There was 80 bucks down the drain, "Should've known…" Shawn mumbled as his wallet felt significantly lighter in his back pocket suddenly.
By the time all the guests had arrived—most teenagers and their parents—there were no less than fifty people out back as the sun began to fade. People swam and people joked about politics. People ate pizza and nibbled on chips, all awaiting the special birthday cake, though the adults new that was for the kids as the adults would have hamburgers, courtesy of Paul.
It was at five o'clock that there was a knock on the door and a dripping Aaron, who had been close to the back door and heard, came strolling through the house in a race against Shawn to answer the door. It was Shawn who just barely won, his longer leg advantage not as strong as it used to be but good enough for the time being. He pulled the door open to reveal a fifteen-year-old girl with flowing, slightly wavy brown hair and tan skin. Aaron took a step back and almost fell when he saw how nicely she was dressed—in a tank top and short skirt that undoubtedly covered a bikini. Shawn had to grab Aaron and push him forward to remind the boy of his manners, "Aaron, don't you want to say hi to your guest."
Aaron was pushed forward as he smiled stupidly, "H-Hi, Jessica. Great of you to come!" Was all he could manage to say, sounding so excited that Shawn had to hide behind his hand to hide his laughter.
Jessica smiled and stepped in, handing Aaron a wrapped box with a bow on top. She kissed his cheek slightly as she walked in, "Hi, Aaron. Thank you for inviting me." She said smoothly as Aaron tried to recover from her kiss. Shawn just smirked at Aaron as the boy swayed on his feet.
"Oh, dad." He said once Jessica was in the kitchen and safely out of range. Shawn just laughed and shook his head as he closed the door, "I'll be out back, Aaron. I'll let you two say hello." And then he walked through the kitchen and out the back door to be sprayed by Vince with the hose, "Dammit!" Aaron heard Shawn accidentally curse, though his father was laughing.
Aaron made his way into the kitchen and stood next to Jessica who stared at the table, piled with presents, "So…you missed school today." Jessica said.
Aaron grasped the back of a chair and looked at the presents, though now they were the farthest thing from his mind. All he could think of was Jessica. Jessica, "Ugh, yeah. My dad said 'cause it's my birthday. And it's not like I ever miss school anyway." He smiled, "Bet the teachers were glad."
Jessica laughed, "To say the least, Mrs. Taylor nearly announced a free day since the class clown was gone." And they both laughed. And then the phone rang.
Shawn heard it at the same time as Aaron did and, realizing who it might be, rushed to get to the house. But Aaron was right there and so he picked up the phone and said, "Hello?"
Shawn rushed in, his arm out automatically for the phone, but he was too late. Aaron's face went pale as he heard on the line a rushed and worried voice, "Aaron!"
Aaron stared at the counter as emotions he normally blocked entered his body, "Mom?"