emerald_skies: (Die!))
[personal profile] emerald_skies
IT'S SADLY NOT MY GK/AI CROSSOVER OR ANYTHING ELSE I'VE GOT GOING ON RN BUT IT'S A LITTLE HOCKEY FICLET TO HELP ME GET OVER MY USA MEN'S HOCKEY FEELS AND IT'S A THING AND I DON'T HATE IT AND EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Title: #SochiProblems
Author: [livejournal.com profile] emerald_skies
Pairing: Patrick Kane/Jonathan Toews
Rating: PG (for language I guess)
Summary: In which an elevator breaks down and gives Pat and Jonny the chance for a talk at least one of them desperately needs.
A/N: Inspired by my all my misery feels following the USA/Canada men's hockey semifinal and the trainwreck that was the bronze medal game this morning, and also by those moments when you're feeling awful but just barely holding it together until someone says just the right thing to make you completely fall apart.




Of all the hard things Jonny has had to deal with in his life, he decides that watching Pat slowly crumble during the bronze medal game against Finland is easily in the top 10. They only got to speak briefly after the semifinal game the day before and Pat had insisted over and over that he was fine, really, and Jonny had known that was a lie then and seeing Pat get more and more frustrated and sad during the Finland game only serves to confirm his suspicions. Being unable to do anything except sit there and watch it happen just makes everything worse. Jonny wishes more than anything that he could go out on to the ice, take Pat aside, and just talk him through it just like any other time Pat’s had a hard time in practice or at a game. He wants to fix it but he can’t and none of the other guys on Team USA can either — none of them are Hawks and, more importantly, none of them are Jonny, and so none of them know what Pat self-destructing looks like.

Jonny spends the rest of the game waiting for this to end before the sheer feeling of powerlessness drives him completely insane, but then it does and Pat’s shoulders slump and he hangs his head in absolute defeat and when he takes a glove off to swipe at his eyes it makes something sharp and painful squeeze in Jonny’s chest and, still, all Jonny can do is watch as Pat slowly wends his way through the handshake line and off the ice.

Pat doesn’t answer the texts Jonny sends him and somehow manages to completely disappear into the Olympic Village because Jonny can’t find him anywhere and nobody he asks ever seems to know where Pat is either. Eventually Jonny just gives up (Pat will probably turn up when he’s good and ready) and goes to the hotel to visit his mom. When the elevator finally comes and the doors open, Jonny has to fight the hysterical urge to laugh because there, staring right back at him from the elevator, is Pat.

As the elevator slowly starts to go up all the things Jonny wants to say to Pat swirl around in his head but none of the words are coming out and Jonny silently curses himself for it because Jesus fucking Christ he’s a captain and he’s talked his fellow players out of slumps a million times before and this is Pat and it should be easy but still, the words stubbornly don’t come. They just stand there in tight, uncomfortable silence and Jonny can’t help but notice that Pat’s eyes are red (even though Pat is everywhere but at Jonny) and he’s biting his lip a lot and he just looks so fucking defeated that Jonny finally gets words out.

“It’s not your fault, you know.”

Pat closes his eyes and swallows hard. “Don’t.”

Jonny continues undeterred — he’s hit his stride now. “No player can carry 20 other players on his back, no matter how fucking great he is, and if the rest of the world can’t see that then that’s their problem.”

“That’s pretty rich coming from you,” Pat says quietly with a feeble attempt at a smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. “But come on, you and I know that if I could have been faster and my aim could have been better—“

“Stop.” Jonny cuts Pat off, putting the full weight of his Captain Voice into the word. Jonny turns Pat to face him and leaves both hands on Pat’s shoulders. “You poured everything you had into this, and nobody has any right to ask any more of you than that.”

“I know, but,” Pat bites his trembling lower lip as his eyes start to fill. “All I wanted was to bring back a gold medal, y’know, for him.”

Jonny pulls Pat roughly into a tight hug — and the both of them stumble a little as the elevator suddenly grinds to a halt. Jonny pushes the Door Open button a few times (with no luck) and then finally tries the Call button — and again, nothing happens. Jonny turns his attention back to Pat. “I guess we’re gonna be here a while.”

“This trip just keeps getting better and better,” Pat sighs miserably and swipes a hand over his eyes. Jonny feels that painful squeeze in his chest again and pulls Pat back into the hug. A small part of the very back of Jonny’s mind takes a moment to savor it because they’re finally alone for the first time in this whole damn trip and it’s been so long… Jonny slowly rests one hand on the back of Pat’s neck and idly brushes his thumb over the curls at the nape of Pat’s neck and Pat finally sighs and relaxes against him (except for the way his fists are clenched around handfuls of Jonny’s jacket like he’s holding on for dear life).

“The only person who’s allowed to give you a hard time is me,” Jonny says quietly, still running his thumb back and forth over the nape of Pat’s neck. “Anybody else? Fuck ‘em.”

This startles a short, rough laugh out of Pat.

“Say it.”

“What?”

“Say it,” Jonny repeats.

“Fuck ‘em,” Pat finally whispers into Jonny’s shoulder.

“Again.”

“Fuck ‘em,” Pat says, louder this time, and this time Jonny hears the tiniest hint of a smile in Pat’s voice.

[The End]



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"Life is a horizontal fall..." -- Jean Cocteau

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Cheers.
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