In retrospect, Bitty should have been able to read the subtle signs.
Coach keeps his eyes trained on the TV even when the game cuts to commercial. One hand clutches the remote more firmly than usual, while the other does the same to his beer bottle. The wrinkles across his forehead become momentarily more pronounced.
But Bitty doesn’t notice he should be bracing himself until after it’s already happened.
“So. Your mama says you’ve got a sweetheart.”
Every major organ in Bitty’s body stops for a moment.
“She– What? I–”
“Well. She suspects. But you know how she is.”
Bitty swallows roughly against the desert wasteland his throat has suddenly become. It’s only the first week of his junior year’s summer break. He and Jack celebrated their one year anniversary a handful of days ago, making out like teenagers in the doorway to Jack’s old room for a few precious minutes before anyone could break away from the graduation festivities to come find them.
They’ve talked in loose terms about eventually coming out to people who aren’t a member of the Falcs or the SMH, but they don’t actually have anything resembling a plan.
Especially when it comes to Bitty’s parents.
“I don’t have a sweet–” Bitty starts, and stops at the single raised eyebrow his father shoots him.
“Mama’s wrong,” he insists anyway, breathing in deep and trying not to let his hands shake as he wrings them together.
His fingers itch to text Jack.
Coach tilts his head slightly to the side. “Could be,” he allows. “Thought you and I should have a talk either way.”
This is the longest commercial break in a football game that Bitty has ever sat through.
He purses his lips and furrows his brows. “Mama thought you should–”
“I thought,” Coach corrects easily, setting his beer down on the end table and then turning in his recliner to finally face where Bitty is curled up on the sofa. He frowns, lips thin and tight, eyes steady and assessing.
Then, after a lengthy silence: “Do you love him?”
The sharp breath Bitty sucks in nearly chokes him.
“What?” he whispers, voice ragged and harsh around what little air he can force from his frozen lungs.
The game starts up again. Coach’s hand squeezes the remote a little tighter, but he doesn’t press pause. And he doesn’t look away from Bitty. “It’s alright if you don’t. I won’t tell your mama either way if you don’t want me to.”
“You… But I thought she…” Bitty feels dazed, pulse pounding, and brain struggling to make sense of whatever alternate universe he’s somehow stumbled into.
“Junior, you know she loves you. No matter what, we both love you. And, again, she… suspects. But I wanted to talk to you first, before I go confirming or denying any of her late-night jam-making musings.” He sighs, and then lifts up the remote so that he can see the buttons well enough to hit Off on the first try.
“Do you love him?” he asks again, once the screen is dark.
Bitty swallows. Then nods.
One side of Coach’s mouth lifts into the beginnings of a rare, soft smile. “Good,” he says, as earnest as Bitty has ever heard him.
“Now. Enough of that.” Coach picks his beer back up and takes a swig as he turns back to the television set, hitting the power button once more so that the game comes back to life on the flat screen before them. “Just so you know, I’ve been keeping up with hockey as much as I can in the off hours, but it was a hell of a lot easier to do when an NHL prodigy was around to go through plays with me on the whiteboard in the den.”
Bitty bites his bottom lip against a smile.
“You still in touch with the Zimmermann kid?” his father asks. And Bitty’s smile collapses in on itself before it’s even begun. “Not that I’d expect you to be. But he’s the kind of athlete every coach dreams of, really. You’re lucky to have had him on your team.”
“…Yeah.” Bitty digs his nervous fingers into the meat of his own thighs, and resists texting Jack for just a few moments longer. Because when he does, he knows that their plans for the future will no longer be defined in loose terms. “I am.”
i found this post in my drafts and have ZERO memory of writing it (thank u alcohol) so im gonna put it in my queue lol
ok but imagine
Bitty comes out to his parents but he doesn’t tell them about Jack, thinks it’s for the best, maybe to ease his parents into things or maybe to keep the pool of People Who Know as small as possible
and like yeah Ransom and Holster are super oblivious but Suzanne Bittle is not, not when it comes to her son, because she is a certified Nosy Southern Mother and she can see he’s been acting differently, happier but quieter, always on his phone and blushing when she asks about boys
and he talks about the team a LOT
Jack’s one of his best friends and he’s just started his NHL career, so of course Bitty’s never gonna shut up about Jack
(Same goes for Shitty and law school. And eventually Ransom and med school. Dicky is proud of his friends and wants everyone to know. He gets that trait from Suzanne, she understands)
but he keeps talking about this one Boy, how sweet he is and how his smile is like a sack of puppies and how bitty’s always making this boy do things with him like baking and getting froyo and going shopping and Suzanne is like. Yes. This must be Dicky’s secret boyfriend.
the next family weekend or whatever, Suzanne demands to meet this Chowder boy who’s stolen Bitty’s heart
One Fighter. One Sacrifice. One unit, one team, bound by a name written on their bodies. It’s a mark that distinguishes them from others, and to each other, for the purpose of engaging in magical combat.
The idea is a noose tied with red thread, but a name cannot be denied. It simply is, and simply will be. Against all alliances and all reason, there is no fighting a name—
—unless you don’t have one.
A Loveless AU.
A commission for the lovely @maydei. A cover for their amazing fic,
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.
i need a list of all the stupid shit no one would expect Bitty to do other than trying to pick Tater up on the ice
okay so i had this half written and then didnt touch my computer for a week oops. so a list of stupid shit bitty has done that no one expects despite the fact he is a college student, a hockey player, a boy, and only 21:
shotgunned a beer at 10am the friday before finals bc fuck his life he’d been studying all week and if he aint ready now hes never gonna be
once nearly took out the legs of the dining room table trying to escape a post workout holster by sliding through the kitchen
ate a cold pizza straight from the box for breakfast because he was running late to class and it had been left on the table the night before
nearly fell off the roof while smoking with shitty and lardo
actually fell into the school swimming pool when the current seniors decided they wanted to break into the pool at 3am on a whim
nearly got arrested for trespassing in the park after dark bc shitty decided he wanted to play frisbee in the dark at 11pm
bitty actually was the least likely to get arrested considering he straight up vaulted over a short brick wall and tore down the side of hill away from the cop car
the others were honestly really impressed with his reaction time
did several chinese fire drills with the frogs the last time they drove to providence to see the falcs play (nursey nearly didn’t make it back into the car the very last time)
did a shot of absinthe to prove that his alcohol tolerence was amazing fuck you very much zack jimmermann
woke up the next morning on the cursed couch with a box of mickey d’s chicken nuggets sitting on his stomach and possibly a rash from said cursed couch
bus surfed (as in, balancing in the aisles without holding on not on top of the bus) on the local bus and nearly killed an old lady
rode down the Haus stairs in a laundry basket bc other than lardo and foxtrot he was the only one who would fit (lardo was too stressed and foxtrot has done some stupid shit with the boys but she at least has that much sense)
honestly i could probably come up with more but this was getting long
What if when Jack comes out and has the same slip-up he had with George?
He says he’s dating a ‘teammate’ and suddenly no one cares he’s bisexual because the real scoop is figuring out which Falconer Jack’s having a passionate affair with.
Jack tries to course-correct, even does an interview with Bitty where they hold hands and everything, but the story is out of control. Instead of clearing up the whole mess, Bitty becomes the guy the Falconers hired to fake!date Jack and cover up the scandal.
Now there’s this crazy gay witchhunt which would be terrifying if the guys didn’t find it so damn funny, and the Falcs start taking bets on which of them will be Zimmboni’s secret lover this month.
And through all of this, Kent is lounging pool-side in Vegas, low-key offended that Jack’s getting all of this attention when he’s the one actually sleeping with a Falconer.
so my moms were telling me this story about how after they’d been dating a few years they were road tripping to canada, and right before the border they stopped at this farmers market. apparently it had these amazing peaches so they got a crate full and continued on towards the border. they were stopped by the border guard who asked them what was in their back seat and they, thinking it was an innocent question, exclaimed “oh it’s these fantastic peaches!!” which the guard immediately told them they’d have to throw out as they could not bring them across the border. devastated, they pulled to the side and were about to dump them until they decided the peaches were too good to go to waste. so they sat on the side of the road, and ate all the peaches. anyway, basically what i’m getting at here is that this is definitely something that has happened to jack and bitty and i needed to share
listen, i love jack ‘it’s only minus ten out i can wear shorts out’ zimmermann as much as everyone else but as anyone who lives in a cold place can tell you, we get VERY worried about people from warm places who clearly Do Not Understand How To Winter.
and while bitty is very good at bundling up he clearly doesn’t know what to wear out (he wouldn’t have to wear so many layers if he had good winter clothes after all) and it is Very Upsetting to jack. so every single time bitty visits jack starting from october, jack has another piece of high quality winter clothing waiting for him, whether it be double layered mittens, wool-lined boots, or a coat that feels like duvet.
so even though bitty still complains bitterly about the winter and (more amusedly) about jack’s wintery mother hen tendencies (”jack it’s the third of october, i don’t need woolen socks”) he’s at least warm which makes jack’s heart as toasty as bitty’s toes.