(because I couldn’t HELP myself, okay?)
Jack knew, though. He knew.
There hasn’t been a doubt in his mind. Every time he’s been down to Samwell, every time he watched from a corner in the kitchen as Bitty simultaneously baked muffins and batted away Holster’s interference and counseled the tadpoles on affairs of the heart, it’s been obvious. As much as Jack loves Bittle, this team loves him too. All of them love him.
It’s not just love, though. It’s just that Jack understands the love most. But there’s more to it. Another side to Bittle that he hasn’t been privileged to see, that he can’t see from his vantage point as a former captain and now-boyfriend.
Jack gets his first glimpse of it when the tadpole – Whiskey, his name is – comes in and asks Bittle about his wrist shot. Two years ago, a year ago even, Bittle would have turned to Jack and said, “Gosh, I’m not sure I can – better ask the master.” This time, Bittle out-and-out forgets Jack’s in the room. He picks up a spatula and uses it as a prop to explain launch angles from the stick blade, and Whiskey watches with rapt attention. It’s the look on Whiskey’s face that strikes Jack. He’s never looked at Bittle like that; he’s never had cause to. But Whiskey does.