penpal au, Sid keeps writing but doesn't send them. He keeps them ina box in his closet. Geno is helping him move (again) and comes upon the box in Sid's guest room closet full of letters. He sit down and reads them, entranced.
Okay i want every one of you to imagine this as a movie scene and Ed Sheeran’s Give Me Love is playing in the background:
“There’s a few more boxes in the last room,” Sidney says. “Down the hallway, to your right. I’m gonna move these to the truck.”
“Why you need so many guest bedrooms?” Geno grumbles. Sid can never seem to stay in one house long enough before he starts to think that something doesn’t feel right.
There’s a couple boxes on the high shelf in the walk-in closet. “Shit,” Geno hisses, as the knocks one over, and letters–tons of letters–spill out. Fuck. He hates moving.
He bends over to pick them up, stuffing them back into the container and hopin Sidney won’t notice they’re out of order–but it’s Sidney, he notices everything. Geno’s gonna get chewed out one way or another, even if he was the one who volunteered his help. Sidney’s just going to nag, and Geno will have to take him out for mozzarella sticks or something–
His heart stops momentarily. The letters are all addressed to him. Well, to ‘Zhenya,’ no last name, to his old childhood address in Magnitogorsk. He opens one with trembling fingers, notices that they’re all signed with Sidney’s handwriting, and reads:
My head hurts less today. The doctors say I should be able to play in a few weeks–’
I found this bakery the other day, I think you would love it if you ever visit Nova Scotia–’
I know this letter will never get to you. I wish I knew your new address. I miss you. I’m so unhappy today. It’s too much. I wish you were here with me–’
We have an Evgeni on our team, I don’t think I mentioned this before. I had hoped it was you. It wasn’t. He didn’t seem to recognize me. I couldn’t bring myself to ask–’
I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you–’
We won the Cup today. I won it for you. Just thought you should know.’
The most recent one was dated just two days ago, and it read:
I’m moving in a few days. I think I told you once, before, that I think anywhere would feel like home if I was with you. I don’t think I ever sent that letter, though–’
“Geno, did you get the–Geno, what are you doing?”
Geno turns around and stares at a petrified Sidney, scanning the letters, opened and unopened, both strewn across the floor.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” Sidney yelps, bending down to gather them. He’s furious, his ears reddening. “Geno, these are fucking personal, what the fuck?”
“You…” Geno holds a letter to his chest, the one that reads ‘I love you’ repeatedly, for a whole page. “You write to me, even now.”
“What?” Sidney says shrilly. He looks like he’s about to lose it, his eyes welling with embarrassment and shame. “How many did you read?”
“Sidney,” Geno says. “You love me.”
“I think I fucking hate you right now,” Sidney says, still angrily shuffling the letters. “Fuck, they’re all–I’ll organize them later–” He look up and holds a hand out. “Give me that. Now.”
“Sidney, you not listening,” Geno says, grinning now. “Sidney, you write to me, you still write. Sidney, I’m Zhenya. From Magnitogorsk. Sidney, we pen pals before. Sid.”
“What?” Sidney asks, suddenly quiet. He looks afraid. “Geno, what–”
“Zhenya short for Evgeni,” Geno says happily. “This my address, childhood home. We moved–”
“Why didn’t you write to me again?” Sidney says softly. “Why–?”
“Too much coward,” Geno says. “Last letter just say I love you, think I make huge mistake and you hate me. Sidney, I’m sorry–”
“You left me,” Sidney accuses, his voice getting reedy again. “You left me alone–you didn’t tell me–fuck you–”
“I didn’t know,” Geno says, pulling Sidney down when Sidney looks like he’s about to run. “Please stay, Sidney, I’m so sorry–”
“You could’ve said something,” Sidney chokes out, shaking in Geno’s embrace. “I kept all your letters, I kept writing–”
“I’m sorry,” Geno says into Sidney’s hair until Sidney’s shuddering dies down, and he feels Sidney’s arms trail up slowly and grab onto the back of his t-shirt desperately. “I’m here. I’m here now.”
Anywhere with you is home, Sidney had written. This house feels right, finally, with Sidney in his arms in this mostly empty room. They sit there for a long time, because Geno knows Sidney is thinking the same thing.
“Don’t leave,” Sidney whispers. “Don’t go again.”
“I’m not leave ever,” Geno answers.
They’re home now.