thinking about kent or jack getting tradef to the others team and tbqh im., pain is good
Okay but actually can I rant about this for a sec because like? It doesn’t have to be sad.
Like I’ve seen people talk about/write fics where Kent goes to the Falcs, but what if it was the other way around? (Not that I think either team would trade Jack or Kent because they’re too valuable, but let’s ignore that for the sake of this AU.) So Jack gets sent to the Aces, and everybody who gives half a shit about hockey is holding their breath because in a way, this is Jack coming full circle. He’s back on a team with Kent, he’s on the team he would have gotten drafted to if he didn’t overdose, and he’s surrounded by a level of party culture that he hasn’t really had to confront since his addiction. Nobody knows how well he’ll handle any of these things, much less all at once.
But the Jack that goes to the Aces is not the Jack that existed back then, so he handles it surprisingly well. He isn’t on a line with Kent at first, because things change and people change and there’s just too much history to throw them back together on the ice and expect it to go well. But the Aces love Jack, even if Swoops is a little protective because Kent is his best friend, and Jack adjusts well because above all else, he’s good at hockey. They figure out a line that works for him, and he builds chemistry with the team, and it’s going well, everybody’s excited. Kent still has a lot of emotional baggage, but he’s a professional, and he’s the damn captain, so he realises he needs to leave the past in the past, and he and Jack finally talk it out and get the closure they need. Their relationship is still tentative at first, because they’re re-learning each other, but Kent is the only person who saw Jack’s struggle with self-medicating firsthand so ultimately, there’s a level of closeness there that can’t be ignored. They get more comfortable, they grow closer, and they’re better for each other this time around because they’ve grown up a lot since the Q. Plus, Jack is happy. That’s all Kent really ever wanted for him.
And Kent’s happy too, because this is it. This is what he wanted, to go pro with Jack and share a line in the NHL and maybe win a Cup or two together. And even though they aren’t linies yet and haven’t even approached the playoffs together, it’s a start, and that’s all Kent wanted. Just a chance to be a part of Jack’s life, and to see him play the sport he loves and not feel pressured to do anything but enjoy it. He knows they aren’t right for each other, not like that, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still play amazing hockey together. And it’s different than it used to be, because they’ve grown up a little and moved on a little and learned a lot, but Kent is slowly realising that different doesn’t always mean bad.