Chapter 1:

Turn Up The Music And Pray That She Makes It Through! Girl in the War by Josh Ritter

The phone rings insistently and he tries ignoring it but it keeps ringing he opens his eyes blearily and notes the time.

4:35 A.M. he knocks the phone off the cradle by reaching blindly but he manages to snag the phone.

"Hello." He croaks into the phone.

"Is this a Mr. Adam Copeland?"

"It is." He sits up in bed.

"This is Sherri at Tampa Bay General Hospital and I'm Dr. Robertson's PA, It seems you are listed as next of kin for Miss Meredith Pearson."

Adam's heart stops. "Is she okay?" He swings his legs over the side of the bed and moves to get up without even acknowledging Beth staring at him with a perplexed expression.

"She was in a structure fire and is in stable condition that's all I'm at liberty to say over the phone Sir. "Comes the soft clipped reply.

"Ok I'm on my way; just…tell her I'm on my way."

He hangs up and puts on his jeans and grabs his keys and goes to leave.

"Adam! Where are you going?" Beth asks exasperated.

He turns and looks at Beth who's getting out of bed to follow him.

He must look more than a little dumbfounded because she says gently, "Just tell me what's wrong."

"Mere was in a fire I've got to go." He says almost robotically.

"Okay baby, but you aren't wearing a shirt and you need shoes too."

-/-/-/-

Once they're dressed and in the car on the way. "Can you tell me about her?" Beth asks. She'd always found it odd that this was one person Adam was so close with but Beth had never met her. He kept those two pieces of his life separate for what reason she didn't know.

He grips the wheel tightly and says through clenched teeth. "You're asking now?"

"Well yeah, you jumped out of bed half-dressed and are practically running to her."

"Meredith worked in the PR office for WWE as an intern we became friends back when I didn't have many, we're close. Her sister died six months ago a car accident so she doesn't have any family. I'm it."

"Other friends?" Beth presses on.

"Not many, she's hard to win over. "

"You love her." It was a statement not a question.

"Not romantically, but yes I do." He says easily as he turns into the hospital parking lot.

-/-/-/-

They stop at the front desk and are escorted back to a curtained off area. Meredith sits in blue medical scrubs with her legs drawn up on the gurney. Her forearms are bandaged and her left shoulder seems too padded. H

"Meredith!" he calls and she doesn't look over she just stares in to space, lank hair in her eyes. Her silence and utter stillness alarms him. He sits on the side of the bed and very carefully so as not to startle her cups her cheek. "Mere Can you hear me?" she looks at him for what seems an eternity but in reality is only a minute or two.

He sees the moment she recognizes him something in her brown eyed gaze relaxes. "Hi AJ."

"Hi sweetheart."

The doctor strides in clipboard in hand and austere manner in place.

"Miss Pearson is very lucky, other than minor burns to her arms and left shoulder and some smoke inhalation she's relatively fine. We'll give you burn cream antibiotics and pain meds but she should be fine. If she has trouble breathing bring her back."

"Why is acting like that? Zombie-ish…" Beth asked.

"Don't talk about me like I'm not here." She murmurs.

"Shock and pain medication ma'am I wouldn't leave her alone for a day or two." The doctor replies.

"And the burns?" Adam asked never looking away from Meredith.

"Reports show she was trying to rescue her cat." At that she looks over. "Where's Baxter?" The doctor shakes his head.

"They had to put him down." Adam answers softly.

"oh." Tears fill her eyes. "It's all gone Adam everything even my cat."

He kisses the top of her and smells smoke clinging to her dark hair. He wills himself not to cry. "We'll fix what we can Meredith."

-/-/-/-

"Scuse me sweetie but I don't know you from well…Adam!" She giggles a little drunkenly from the medication. "What's your name? "

"Beth."

"Oh you don't like me… you got that pinched look goin'! Well you won't be the first so big deal…" her words slur. "I punched Amy Dumas for being well…Amy so be nice to him."

"Hey! Hey! My….Adam." She says if something just occurred to her.

He smirked at her in the review. "Hey! Hey! What?"

"You need me to punch anybody?"

"Nope I'm good. Thanks though, "he laughed as she cocked her head to look up at the street lights. "I think they overdosed you just a little baby." Beth seemed to sullen up then.

"What?" He asked.

"Nothing."

Meredith was out cold two stop lights later.

-/-/-/-

He carries her into the guest room and pulls back the covers one handed, he lays her down and tucks her in, he brushes the hair falling into her eyes behind one ear and kisses her forehead "Night babe."

Frisco his Alaskan husky comes and lies on the end of the bed.

"Gonna guard her for me huh boy?"

He pets the dog, turns on the night light and leaves the room. He turns from closing the door to find Beth staring him down.

"You wanna convince me you don't love her? Do better than that."

Adam rolls his eyes "I'm too tired and freaked out to fight you on this; I never said I didn't love her. What I'm saying now is you're reading way too much into shit. We're friends that's it. Are you coming to bed or not?" He walked away.

-/-/-/-

Some nightmare she can't remember wakes her, on the way to the bathroom she looks at the microwave clock. Nine thirty am she wonders if Adam has it set wrong it feels later.

She strips down and when she stands to her full height again she catches sight of Adam in the bathroom mirror, she jumps out of her skin. "Christ you scared me!" she feels a difference in the way he's looking at her and realizes she's naked. She lunges for a towel.

"Chill Mere… it's not a big deal." He makes her sit down at the vanity and begins peeling away the bandage at her shoulder. "Besides all I see is you," he smiles at her "Tell me if I hurt you." She nods unable to speak.

She sits clutching her towel and tries to convince herself things aren't shifting...

-/-/-/-

"I think Adam is going to cheat on me." Beth says as soon as Michelle picks up.

"Do what did you fall on your head?"

"No…I this Meredith chick what do you know about her?"

"Killer Publicist she can spin shit better and faster than Vince, she was on her way out when I was coming in. she's friends with your guy and she dated Cena for a bit but who hasn't. What's up?"

"There is definitely something between them I can freaking see it, feel it, and he just denies it. This morning I walked in and he was helping her remove her bandages, her house burned down last night…really shitty I know but you should see the way he looks at her Chelle… he doesn't look at me that way. I don't even think he knows he does it."

"Hold on, hey Mark…what's your opinion on Meredith and Adam?" Beth hears hushed conversation and Michelle blows air through her teeth. "Never mind then."

"No what?"

"Uh Mark's just surprised they've been friends for six years and not you know… he thinks it's because shit would get serious and Adam doesn't seem to want to get married again."

-/-/-/-

She comes back from getting dressed and finds a sticky note on the kitchen table.

If you don't want to wear my things there's always your spare stuff in the guest closet. I went to the market I think Beth is at the gym. Be back, love ya Adam!

When he returns she's painting her toenails.

"I rented, Barefoot in the park, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and Love Actually. Be grateful you weren't there the checker girl asked what barefoot in the park was."

"No!"

"Yes!"

"That makes my insides cry."

He smirked "I figured. There is also your favorite ice cream and snacks." He replied sitting down on the ottoman and putting her feet in his lap.

"Red Huh? The color red says you're bold and fun."

"How do you know that?"

"Read it in a discarded Cosmo in Dulles Airport once."

She laughed. "Why I am not surprised. Listen you don't 'have to all this I'm fine. I'll be out of your way as soon as I can find a place and stuff okay."

"Meredith honey, shut up. Okay I do what I want got that? You are not in my way, you never will be and you sure as fuck are very far from fine."

"I'm scared. Rebuilding everything seems so daunting."

"We'll figure it out for now, let's watch Jane Fonda and Robert Redford drive each other up the wall."

"If I conk out wake me up for my favorite part." She adds.

"I'll wake up at the barefoot in the park part Mere."

-/-/-/-

Jay Reso goes into the house without knocking. "I just found-"he rounds through the kitchen and down into the den, where they lay sleeping on the couch. Meredith's wearing a worn hockey jersey and baggy sweats. She lay across Adam's chest. Adam is wearing jeans and a plain blue tee shirt.

They look comfortable like they fit there lounging on the couch with the dogs at their feet and junk food surrounding them.

Jay puts an empty ice cream bowl in the sink before waking Adam. "Hm, guess they shared."

He nudges Adam who comes awake with a start. "Oh hey man."

"Why did I find out from someone who is not you that Mere's house burned down?"

"Forgot to call, sorry. How'd you hear?"

"Very involved game of telephone McCool has a big mouth. Anyway your girl?"

"It's not like that, and we got fucking lucky minor burns and smoke inhalation. She was most upset about losing Baxter I think."

"Dude it is like that, No don't look at me like that! You wanna lie fine, just do it with someone who can't see through you. You're holding her!" He gestured to the girl in his arms.

"So!"

"So, where's Beth Adam?" before he can reply the phone rings. He answers quickly so as not to wake Meredith.

"She's sleeping can I take a message? Sure, okay. Why? Okay we'll be there, thank you bye."

"Adam, you are the color of chalk what?"

"They think Meredith's house fire was arson, not an accident." And silence falls.

AN: I own nothing but Meredith. This is my first Edge fic so if you like it please review.