maybe now i can finish that alternate captain patrick kane fic because this intro demanded to be written
“Kaner!” someone yells, but he turns too late and he feels the hit rather than sees it, flying through the air as his skates leave the ice, and then there’s pain everywhere -
- “Patrick?” someone asks, and he tries to say yes but the words won’t come out, “Can you hear me?” and there’s a hand against his chest -
- there are lights above him, too bright and he moans, because it hurts -
- when he blinks his eyes open, scratchy and dry, it’s bright. It’s too bright, and he squints against the harsh lighting until he can focus on something. There isn’t much to look at; the strip lights above his head, the square ceiling tiles, the top of the doorframe. The walls are pale yellow but they’re washed out with the sunlight streaming through the window, the blinds pulled open.
It looks like a hospital room; Patrick doesn’t remember why he’s here but there’s a dull ache in the back of his neck and across his shoulders. There’s a machine next to him, beeping every time his heart beats, a clip on his finger that he knows is for measuring his blood oxygen. He feels bruised, sore in the worst way, like he hasn’t stretched out enough after a game. It hurts when he turns his head, sucking in a sharp breath as the pain hits him in a way he hadn’t expected.
It’s then that he notices the figure curled into the chairs in the corner of the room. It’s Jonny, slack jawed and sleeping, his body pressed against the chair backs, his knees pulled up tight to his chest. It looks uncomfortable, all six foot whatever of Jonny crammed into two tiny hospital chairs, and unless Jonny’s here out of guilt because he’s the one who caused this, there’s no reason for him to be sleeping in Patrick’s room.
He doesn’t want to wake Jonny, and he’s suddenly tired, and he lets himself be lulled back to sleep.
The next time he wakes, there’s no Jonny; his mom is sitting at his bedside, flicking through a magazine but not reading a page of it. He opens his mouth but his throat is dry and scratchy, and instead of saying mom he ends up coughing, his neck hurting with every movement. There’s a flurry of motion, too much for Patrick to track, but as his mom presses kisses to his face his dad’s entering the room with someone in a white coat, a huge smile on his face.
His mom’s got his hand gripped tight in hers and he curls his fingers around her own just as tightly. She’s crying a little now, her cheeks damp with tears, soft sniffles pressed into the sleeve of her blouse as the doctor steps closer.
“Hi Patrick,” she says, picking up the chart from the end of the bed and glancing it over, “I’m Dr. Martinez. I’m going to look over a few things and then we can get you some water, okay?”
He doesn’t even try talking, just nods his head slowly, sending a new wave of pain down his neck. He bites his lip, sucking in another breath, and when the pain’s started to dissipate he sees her watching him intently, noting something onto the chart. She does a lot of that as she checks the various machines he’s hooked up to, and gives him a small smile when she appears to be satisfied.
“I’m going to get a nurse to bring you some water and something for the pain, okay Patrick? I’ll be back a little later.”
This time he curls his hand into a thumbs up sign instead of a nod, and she laughs before she leaves the room.
It doesn’t take long for the nurse to appear with the water and the pain meds; she helps him sit up, using the up and down arrows to raise and lower the top half of the bed, and he takes tiny sips of water while she hooks him up to whatever wonder drug he’s being given, making conversation with his parents for the whole time.
“It shouldn’t take long for this to kick in. There’s a button by the side of your bed if you need anything else. Your chart didn’t indicate that you were allergic to anything, but if you start feeling weird then make sure you call for someone right away.”
“Thanks,” he rasps, and she gives him a warm smile. She’s pretty, with long dark hair and green eyes, and if he wasn’t with Amanda – or maybe if his parents weren’t here – then he’d try and get her to stick around, maybe give her his number. As it is, he just lets her leave, watching her perfect ass walk out of his life forever.
“How are you feeling, Buzz?” his dad says once they’re alone, and he pauses for a second before he answers.
“My neck hurts,” he says eventually, because it’s true. He doesn’t mention his shoulders, or the fuzz that’s in his head, because he doesn’t want them to worry more than they have to.
“We came as soon as we could, baby,” his mom says, still a little tearful as she presses a kiss to his cheek. “We’re glad you’re awake.”
“Me too,” he mumbles, even though he’s still not quite sure why he’s here. He can feel the painkillers running through his body already, relaxing his tight muscles and soothing his aches. “’m glad you’re here too.”
He’s not sure he even reaches the end of the sentence before his eyes close, the floaty feeling from the painkillers dragging him back into the world of slumber.
The third time he wakes, his parents and Jonny are there. His parents are in the chairs, once again pushed back against the walls, and Jonny’s stalking by the door, trying to glare something into submission. It doesn’t take long for Jonny to notice that he’s awake, and he’s by Patrick’s side in three steps, brushing his hand over Patrick’s, his face a jumbled mess of concern and relief.
“I’ll get Dr. Martinez,” his mom offers, and she slips out of the room while Jonny just stares at him like he’s an exhibit in a museum. If he wasn’t so used to Jonny’s weirdness, he’d be creeped out by the intense gaze. It just makes him mildly confused though, and as he’s about to ask Jonny to stop being so fucking weird, Dr. Martinez saves him from a conversation he didn’t want to have.
“I’m so glad to see you’re awake again, Patrick,” she says, “how’s your neck feeling?”
“Better,” he admits after he tests moving his head a little, “there’s a little pain still, but not much.”
“That’s good to hear,” she says, smiling at him as she moves closer. She checks over the machines again, fiddling with the dial on the pain medication, and Patrick hopes it’s not going any lower. He likes the floaty feeling it gives him, even if it does make him want to sleep a lot. “Do you know why you’re here?”
He thinks back over the last few days; they’d won the Cup again, 2-0 against Tampa, and he’d drunk a lot, and then there’s just a huge fucking hole after that. Patrick’s pretty sure that it wasn’t caused by the excessive alcohol consumption, although that may have had a part to it.
“No,” he admits, “I don’t- what happened to me?”
There’s panic rising in his voice, because it’s the first time he’s really thought about why he’s here and he doesn’t fucking remember a thing. His parents look concerned, but it’s Jonny’s face that really gets him, Jonny who can’t hide his emotions for shit when he’s around Patrick and right now he looks like he does when he’s in a faceoff, a little angry, but mostly he’s a blank canvas.
“We’ll get to that, okay?” He nods, only feeling a slight twinge in his neck, and manages a small smile. “We’re going to ask you some questions, just to test your memory. It’s just standard procedure.”
“Okay,” he says quietly, because a memory test indicates some kind of head trauma, and he doesn’t fucking remember.
“And you’re okay with your guests being here?”
“They can stay,” he says quietly. He really doesn’t want to be alone right now.
She starts with the basics; his name is Patrick Timothy Kane the second (which Jonny laughs at, and then mutters something under his breath), his birthday is November 19th 1988, he was born in Buffalo, New York, he plays for the Chicago Blackhawks, he wears number 88, the president of the United States is Barack Obama.
He watches everyone’s expression shift at that, but he knows Obama is the president. Unless he’s been in hospital for eighteen months then there’s no way he’s wrong.
“What year is it, Patrick? Dr. Martinez asks, and Patrick can hear the concern in her voice.
“2015,” he answers, but he’s not confident in his answer at all any more.
There’s a look shared between his parents and the doctor, and he knows that look. He’s seen that look more times than he wants to count. It’s the Patrick Kane Has Fucked Up Again look. This time with a side of concern.
But Jonny- Jonny looks like he’s in pain, and he doesn’t understand why.
It’s not surprising since it’s still early, and Jonny’s never been anything resembling a morning person in the twenty years they’ve known each other. The sun’s barely peeking over the horizon as he closes the front door behind him, the clatter of his keys on the table echoing through the hallway. From experience, he knows it won’t wake anyone in the house up.
He kicks off his shoes before he makes his way upstairs, not bothering to miss the creaking sixth step as he takes them two at a time. There’s no point in looking in the kids’ bedrooms, because Jonny accidentally started the tradition of watching Wednesday Night Rivalry in their bed with Ben and Izzy, and they’ve never let him miss a week since. Izzy’s too young to really understand, but there’s a video on his phone of her pointing at the television and saying daddy, and when he can’t sleep in the crappy airport hotel he plays it on repeat.
They’ve never told anyone that their kids sleep with Jonny once a week, because they’ve learned from experience that other parents have an opinion on everything from Ben wearing pink to Izzy being slow to start talking because she was being raised bilingual. Patrick’s learned to tune most of it out, but Jonny only ever wants to be the best at everything he tries, and that includes being a parent. It’s better for both of them that it remains their secret.
In truth, there’s nothing Patrick loves more than coming home and finding the three people he loves the most sprawled in their giant bed.
When he pushes the door open, it’s no surprise to see Jonny spread eagled on his side of the bed, face smashed into the pillows, breathing stupidly loudly because he insists on sleeping on his front. Izzy’s asleep next to him, curled into his side. She looks angelic in sleep; her golden curls are matted on one side of her head, her tiny thumb tucked into her mouth, but it’s the only time she’s really ever quiet. Ben’s on the other side of the bed, mouth open and sleeping in a position that’s identical to his father. He’s half Kane and half Toews thanks to Jackie, but he’s really just a tiny Tazer, dedicated and serious and a perpetual hater of mornings, even at only four years old.
Jonny’s somehow managed to create a pile of clothing on the floor despite him being gone for less than twenty four hours, and he strips his hoodie and socks and tosses them on top of it, marvelling at how Jonny can still be such a slob.
Now he’s got better things to do than pick an argument that Patrick never wins though, and he lifts the edge of the duvet up and slides over to wrap an arm around his husband, hand sliding under the long faded Hawks t-shirt that Jonny favors at night. Sometimes he doesn’t wake and sometimes he does, but either way, Patrick’s going to be next to him when Jonny finally joins the world of the living.
He lets his eyes drift shut, enjoying the warmth of Jonny next to him when he hears a quiet hey, and when he opens his eyes Jonny’s awake, barely, his eyes soft and unfocused on Patrick. Jonny in the morning is unguarded, his emotions not yet hidden by coffee and Canadianness, and Patrick really loves him like this.
“Hey, babe,” he replies, squirming closer as Jonny lifts his free arm so Patrick can tuck himself under it. Jonny’s smiling, just a little, and Patrick can’t help pressing a kiss to his lips, a quick hello;. The rest will come later, once Ben’s at pre-school and Izzy’s at daycare, and they have the whole house to themselves.
“Missed you,” Jonny mumbles into the pillow, soft and sleepy, already on his way back to the land of the dead. Patrick doesn’t blame him; it is early, and he doesn’t expect Jonny to remember this later. He rarely does.
“You too, Taze,” he says quietly, but Jonny’s already back asleep, quiet snores replacing his weird loud breathing. Patrick’s used to it by now though, and he curls into Jonny as much as he can, plastering himself along his side.
He rarely sleeps when he gets home since one of them has to be up in an hour to get the kids ready, and that person is rarely Jonny, but the quiet moments like this give him time to reflect on the life that they’ve built together. It hasn’t always been perfect and peaceful; their teammates had been accepting, but they’d been ostracised by management, made a spectacle of by the NHL, but they’d stuck together and they’d been stronger for it. Jonny had promised him for better for worse long before they’d stood together and said their wedding vows, and Patrick had never forgotten that.
It’s part of why he loves Jonny so much. It’s why he loves their family so much; he sees Jonny in their kids every day, everything from Izzy’s stubbornness to Ben’s seriousness. It’s taken them a long time to get here, but now they are, Patrick can’t imagine ever wanting to give it up.
“I love you,” he murmurs to Jonny, barely loud enough for even himself to hear. He doesn’t expect a reply from Jonny, but he gets a soft smile, and Patrick traces it with his thumb, watching the lines of Jonny’s forehead smooth out in sleep.
He never thought he could love anything more than hockey, anything more than winning, but if he had to choose between his cup rings and this slice of domesticity, there wouldn’t even be a competition. This is his life now.
Once upon a time, football RPF had such an OTP as the world has never seen, heartwarming and noble and dorky and full of language barriers (Scouse is a language barrier, okay) and sly jokes and ending in tragic transfer drama and then continued good friendship and oh did I mention one time they kissed each other on camera?
So then Rave, who I do not know but whose opinion on Stevie and Xabi is entirely concordant with my own (let us not discuss Barcelona), posted this here.
And then obviously I wrote a futurefic AU in which Stevie is a commentator and Xabi is Real Madrid’s manager and they finally, finally get together. And here we are.
Steven Gerrard/Xabi Alonso
The first thing you had to learn as a commentator was how to talk like one. Stevie was notoriously miserable at it; he’d been taken aside no less than ten times in the first four weeks to be told, in order, to tone down the accent and turn up the charm. He was being charming, he thought. Apparently not.