I haven’t seen any fix-it-fics written yet,, so I guess the duty falls to me. Based a little bit off of this post by @dadbob. May be crossposted to AO3 eventually. Sorry for any typos, it’s hard to write and cry at the same time.
“… Can we talk?”
Bitty’s voice was soft and rough, like he’d been crying, which on its own had caused the worst kind of knots in Jack’s stomach. The ones you get when it feels like there’s nothing you can do. But those words? Those words had been at the center of Jack’s anxiety since he and Bitty had started dating. He couldn’t help the way it felt like something cold and hard had grown in his chest, causing him to grip the phone a little tighter.
“Always, Bits,” He said. God, he was going to throw up.
“I know- Jack, this hasn’t been easy for either of us. We knew it wouldn’t be. But recently there’s just been a lot of pressure. Like, from the media. From-” Bitty choked a little, his words a little ragged. “From the team. And I can’t even blame them; it’s just been so hard, Jack. And I think we need to, maybe, just, I don’t- I don’t know. I don’t think we can keep doing this.” Bitty’s speech rambled and then stuttered to a stop, and Jack’s heart clenched. This shouldn’t have to hurt both of them
“It’s fine, Bits, we can take a-” Jack said, trying to keep his voice steady, at the same time Bitty said:
“I think we need to tell some of the team.”
There was silence on both ends of the line.
“Jack Zimmermann,” Bitty said, voice solid and calm. “Do you want to take a break?”
“God no,” Jack said, “Crisse, Bitty, I definitely do not want to take a break. I want to do a lot of things, I want to drive up to Samwell and take you to Annie’s and I just
[REDACTED]**, I want to do a lot of things with you Bitty. But I don’t want to take a break, unless you want one.“
“Thank goodness,” Bitty gushed, “I, uh, not to the taking-a-break part. I don’t want to take one either.”
Jack slumped forward a little bit in his seat in relief.
“And as much as I would love to have you up here,” Bitty continued. “The weather is terrible and I’d be too worried about you on these roads, driving all the way up here in the storm.”
“It would only take an hour, Bits.” Jack said, smiling shakily. He could almost feel Bitty’s grin over the call.
“Mr. Zimmermann, you do know how to make it sounding tempting, but I’m gonna come visit you this weekend anyways. Go home.”
“Home is with you.” He said. Sweet talk always made Bitty blush.
“You charmer,” Bitty half-laughed. “But I mean it. Go home. Sleep. Lord, I know roadies are exhausting, and I want to be able to talk to you tomorrow. Really talk. I love you, but we need to find a better way of making this work.”
Jack let out a breath as the frozen thing in his chest started to melt. “We can do that, Bits. And we can tell people, too, I think. But you’re right, we need to talk about it.” He paused a little bit, not sure if it needed saying, but deciding to say it anyways. “You can always talk to me, Bits.”
Bitty huffed out a laugh, “I know, sweetheart. I was just a little scared is all, it’s a lot to ask, with your career and, well, everything.”
“Mon coeur, it’s nothing we can’t handle. Besides, did you see Sportscenter?” Jack snorted a little bit. It was stupidly gratifying to see the same reporters who had put him down in the past have to swallow their words. “My career is already a success. They say I’m going to be just as good as my father.”
“I think you’re better; you’re my favorite NHL player, after all,” Bitty said, and Jack felt a little bit like he glowed.
“I would hope so, I’m your boyfriend.”
“Yeah, well, Tater does come in a close second-”
“Ha ha, ha.”
“Jack Zimmermann if you keep on like that I might not bake you anything at all this weekend.”
“I do have a diet plan.”
“Oh hush. Don’t act like-”
There was scuffling on the other end of the call, and Jack could vaguely hear Ransom saying, “You good, Bitty? You’ve been in there a while.”
“I’m fine,” Bitty responded, and his voice was faint over Jack’s phone, like Bitty’d put his down. “I’ll be out in a second.”
“I have to go, but text me when you get home sweetheart.” Bitty said quickly when he picked his phone up again.
“I will, Bits.” Jack said, turning to buckle his seatbelt. “Love you.”
“I love you too, baby. We’ll talk tomorrow?”
Jack smirked. “You already said that.”
“I know, I just love you a lot.”
He had never really understood the phrase ‘butterflies in your stomach’ before Bitty, and now he could get them when he and Bits weren’t even in the same state. “I love you a lot too, Bits.”
“I would hope so,” Bitty chirped, “I am your boyfriend.”
Jack could hear something about the words “haunted attic,” “90s-themed kegster,” and “ouija board” in the background of the call. After whatever the “ouija board” comment was, Jack could hear Ransom shout, “Holster, you are NOT doing any of that crazy-ass white people bullshit while I am living in this Haus. DO NOT-”
“I really have to go before Holster and Ransom make some kind of terrible life choice,” Bitty said. “Bye, Jack.”
“Bye, Bitty.” He said. Bitty hung up, and Jack stared at his phone for a second before tossing it into the passenger seat. He started up his car, and tried to figure out whether or not Shitty would try to throw a mini-kegster when he finally found out that Bitty was the mysterious “lover” who’d “stolen Jack away.”
He probably would.
**I’m a memelord don’t judge me.