[Catch me projecting my feelings onto Jack Kelly for the billionth time bc I feel so sick to my stomach rn with nerves heh]
[This is also inspired by a headcanon made by @gay-newsboys because Asper is a national treasure and said hc reminded me a lot of myself]
Jack wore his heart on his sleeve. Even when he thought he was doing a good job at masking his feelings, at least one peyrson could normally tell something was up.
9 times out of 10, that person was Crutchie.
“I’m just tired.”
“Don’t you worry about-”
“You’re painting on yourself.”
Jack glanced up from the lines he was painting on his arm to look at Crutchie, whose freckled face was wrinkled with concern. “I like mixing up my canvases every now and again.”
Crutchie sighed and pulled a chair over to sit next to Jack. “Davey ain’t the only one who’s picked up on this little habit of yours.”
Jack bit his lip.
“It means something’s wrong,” Crutchie frowned. “You don’t gotta tell me about it if you don’t want to. But, is there anything I can do to help?”
Jack looked from his arm, which was cold with the wet paint, to Crutchie, whose eyes were warm. Jack shrugged, dragging the paintbrush across his skin. “I’m not sure.”
The pair sat in silence for a moment. Crutchie observed Jack as he painted. “Is there somethin’ in particular you paint on yourself? A special design?”
Jack shook his head. “Not really.”
“Have you ever painted on someone else?”
Jack responded without looking up this time. “I mean, not on someone else’s skin. I’ve painted Davey’s nails.”
“Can you paint something on me?” Crutchie asked, his mouth turning up in a small grin.
Jack glanced up, and the ghost of a smile appeared on his face at the sight of Crutchie’s. “I suppose. What do you want me to paint on you?”
Jack smirked and turned his chair to face Crutchie. “Do you mind if I paint on your face?”
“Go for it.” Crutchie smiled wider and closed his eyes.
Jack began painting across Crutchie’s cheeks in silence for a while. It felt nice, Jack’s warm hand on his shoulder and the cold paint tickling his skin. Eventually, Jack spoke up.
“I had my art final today. It didn’t go so well. Snyder’s rubric said I ‘failed to show deep artistic knowledge’ and 'lacked focus and technique.’”
“Please,” Crutchie scoffed lightly. “You care so much.”
“Yeah, well, I can give every damn I’ve got,” Jack grumbled. “But, it ain’t enough to get me into art school.”
“You’re gonna get into art school,” Crutchie assured him. “You can prove him wrong.”
“I ain’t as good as the other kids, though,” Jack frowned. “I dunno technique or whatever; I just know that painting makes me happy.”
“Well, you’re gonna march right back into his class and show him that he’s judged you too soon,” Crutchie said. “You really are talented. That can’t mean much, coming from me, since I ain’t an artist, but you’re the best you’ve ever been right now, and you’re only gonna get better from here.”
Jack smirked sadly. “Thanks, Crutch. I’m all done.”
Crutchie opened his eyes and pulled out his phone to use as a mirror. He gasped at his reflection and grinned, his cheeks now covered in small orange and yellow stars. “Jack, this is so pretty.”
“Nah, you’re the pretty part,” Jack replied. “The painting is a mess.”
“I think it’s beautiful,” Crutchie said firmly before pressing a kiss to Jack’s cheek.
Jack snickered and felt his face go red. “Crutch, the paint ain’t dry yet.”
Crutchie pulled back and giggled at the orange and yellow splotches on Jack’s cheek. “Whoops. Guess that’s why you’re the artist.”
Jack’s the kind of guy who has to dip his toes into the water and wade around a bit before he goes swimming.
Gabe’s the type who needs to sit by the side of the pool for at least twenty minutes before he feels sufficiently hot enough to dive in.
And Jesse is the one who cannonballs in, splashes both of them, and ends up with two grown men attempting to drown their cowboy son in retaliation, while a sunglassed Genji watches and sips margaritas from a pool chair ten feet away.
- Senior year, Bitty is the first openly gay NCAA captain of any men’s sport. When Samwell wins the Frozen Four, commentators start speculating on him being a draft prospect. Jack isn’t out yet.
- ‘Get Bittle in the NHL’ goes viral as an equality issue and the NHL is under pressure to recruit him, which creates this divisive ‘is he really good enough to play’/’the league is homophobic’ situation among fans and within the NHL.
- Bitty gets a lot of heat from all sides and Jack is really worried about his bf, who is living every coming-out fear Jack’s ever had. The Falcs can’t recruit Bitty because Jack has already disclosed their relationship to management, so Jack can’t protect Bitty.
- Things go downhill quickly after a hacker leaks a series of emails between the Commissioner and several owners, wherein he says an AHL franchise needs to ‘take one for the team’ and recruit Bittle so the NHL won’t have to deal with the ‘problem’ anymore.
- The league course-corrects hard and is bending over backward to get Bitty to sign off on their official apology, but Bitty is disgusted by the whole process and doesn’t want to participate in the draft just to make the league look better. He isn’t planning to go pro at all, and now he’s hesitant to move to Providence with Jack, concerned that he might accidentally out Jack and land him with the same PR problems.
- Bitty goes back to Georgia the summer after he graduates.
- After things calm down a bit, Bitty gets a call from the new Schooners owner, a progressive tech billionaire who hates the NHL commissioner and genuinely wants to sell Bitty on Seattle. Unsure of himself and his relationship, Bitty agrees to the meeting…
- And surprise! Bitty loves Seattle, the team, the ownership group, the food, everything. Even less of a surprise, the team loves Bitty and offers him a two-year contract with an option for renewal.
- The distance hurts, but it actually makes things easier because the risk of Jack being outed is much less if he’s not sharing an apartment with Bitty.
- Bitty understands now why Jack needs to prove himself before he comes out, the same way Bitty needs to prove himself now. Jack deserves that buffer, and Bitty can help in his own small way.
- At the same time, after seeing how Bitty was treated Jack doesn’t want to come out until his boyfriend is established enough that he won’t be remembered as ‘that gay hockey player’ or ‘Jack Zimmermann’s boyfriend’. They’re just two dumb boys looking out for each other. They agree to revisit coming out together after Bitty’s two-year contract ends.
- Bitty’s rookie year is a hell of an adjustment, he billets with d-man called Carter Morin who is a year younger than Bitty but still has three pro seasons under his belt. Carter is convinced Bitty will be a target because of his size and sexuality, so he becomes obsessed with teaching Bitty how to ‘defend’ himself. This basically boils down to lessons in ‘how to play dirty and not get caught’.
- During these lessons, Bitty realizes he has a lot of anger he’s not dealing with. He’s pissed about being marginalized by the league, the press that won’t stay out of his and Jack’s business, he’s pissed he can’t publicly be with his boyfriend, he’s furious WBC are planning to picket his first home game. He has years of repressed southern rage and he doesn’t have to play nice to make bad people feel good. Not anymore.
- Off the ice Bitty is a perfect gentleman, does tons of outreach, fundraising, he visits hospitals and coaches day-camps, after that first season he’s a fan favorite, but on the ice Bitty slowly becomes a living embodiment of ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’; he’s a good player, everyone knows it, but now he’s absolutely ruthless and spends his fair share of time in the penalty box, initially for defending himself, later for defending others.
- During a particularly aggressive Schooners game, a commentator jokingly describes a post-fight Bitty as Bob’s spiritual successor, coining the term ‘Bad Bittle’. Bob is elated, Jack is horrified.
- Bitty ultimately makes friends on the team, builds a following, and becomes an integral part in building Seattle’s fledgling franchise into a championship team.
- Schooners take the cup in Bitty’s second year and Jack is surprisingly okay with his boyfriend getting a ring before him, it means they’re one step closer to being untouchable
- The Falconers dethrone the Schooners the following season and win the championship. Jack and Bitty come out/marry on Jack’s cup day. They don’t wear wedding bands, they wear their cup rings.
endless list of favorite movies:Brokeback Mountain (2005) dir. Ang Lee
We coulda had a good life together. Fuckin’ real good life. Had us a place of our own. But you didn’t want it, Ennis. So what we got now is Brokeback Mountain. Everything’s built on that. That’s all we got, boy, fuckin’ all. So I hope you know that, even if you don’t never know the rest…I wish I knew how to quit you.
fake ah crew lindsay “wild card with a stupid amount of good luck” jones who somehow always manages to hit her mark without ever meaning to through odd angles and from nearly impossible positions. everyone in los santos is terrified of how incredibly accurate she is and wondering how long it took her to train to be that perfect. meanwhile geoff shakes his head and says “you’ve never practiced a day in your life, have u” and lindsay grins and goes “nope!”
lindsay who trips on the sidewalk late one night and sends a throwing a knife flying only for it to land dead center in some assassins chest, michael waving his arms madly as he helps her up, screaming “HOW! JUST HOW!? HOW ARE YOU EVEN ALIVE” while lindsay laughs her ass off. lindsay who chucks grenades so close to her crew members that magically bounce away at the right time and explode in the middle of a huge cluster of cops surrounding them and everyones like “you were trying to kill us!!” and lindsay totally bullshitting like "i knew that would happen!”