Have you ever thought about what if Jack was the figure skater that got in to hockey instead?
I HAVE, ACTUALLY :DDD
i’ve actually thought of multiple aus where this happens, but my fav one is this:
ok so in this, alicia was a famous figure skater, and bob is… idk, a businessman or whatever for something super canadian??? IDK THE POINT IS IT BRINGS THE FAMILY TO CANADA
(also bitty is older than jack by a year)
so alicia was a two-time olympic gold medalist, and jack learns to start skating from an early age
he immediately LOVES it, and he eventually asks his parents for lessons because he wants to compete
so jack skates all of his childhood and he’s good enough to win regional championships and whatnot
but by the end of middle school, jack has a ridiculous growth spurt (which they had predicted would happen considering bob’s height), and his skating is obviously super affected by it, and he realizes very quickly that he probably won’t be able to make an actual career out of it
so bob suggests hockey because at least he can still skate, and jack just shrugs and is like “sure”
turns out, jack is a million times better at hockey than he is at figure skating
he gets voted captain of his high school team after only playing for two years, and jack seriously considers playing in a junior league but ultimately decides on going to college and playing there
so he goes to samwell
he shows up for training camp and meets his coaches and new teammates, and it isn’t until the coaches have already started their introductory welcome to the frogs that another guy bounds into the arena
he has a half-dozen gift bags in one hand, and what looks like a pecan pie in the other, and he’s on the shorter side, so jack is VERY surprised when the coaches introduce the guy as the team captain
bitty welcomes everyone warmly and hands out the gift bags to the frogs and hands off the pie to the older guys, and then everyone starts introductions
then comes jack’s turn, and he’s honestly not sure how the other guys are going to react to him being a figure skater, but he realizes very quickly that he had no reason to worry because ransom and holster (sophomores) are clapping him on the back and talking about how cool that is, and shitty (another frog and, coincidentally, jack’s roommate) is saying stuff about jack defying stereotypes and whatever
then there’s bitty who keeps staring at jack when he thinks jack isn’t looking
so the guys all lace up their skates and get out on the ice, and it only takes a couple minutes of practice before jack sees why bitty, despite only being a sophomore, is captain of the team
bitty is fast, and he has amazing handling, and his energy on the ice is infectious, and it’s really fucking obvious that everyone loves him
so at the end of practice, bitty goes up to jack and asks him to hang back for a bit, and bitty shyly asks jack about what figure skating was like
“i’m just curious. you don’t have to tell me anything, of course. i’ll respect your privacy. i’ve just always wanted to do figure skating, but i never had the opportunity. coaches are kind of hard to find in the south, and hockey was the closest thing”
“you’d probably be a good figure skater”
“you’re… y’know… short”
“i can’t believe i’m getting chirped by a frog!”
“i’m just pointing out facts. my height is actually the reason why i stopped and went to hockey”
“well, you’re the one with the body built for it. no one ever takes me seriously on the ice”
“i’m sure they do once you zip right past them”
so by the end of their conversation, jack ends up volunteering to show bitty some figure skating moves, and bitty teaches jack the ins and outs of everything on the SMH and samwell
and they become fast friends
so the thing is, jack is very, very aware of the fact that he is gay
he had years of traveling with other very attractive skaters to confirm that
so he knows he’s gay, but he’s never told a soul
he is also VERY aware that he is attracted to bitty
adorable, southern baker bitty
bitty, who is also his captain
and it isn’t a secret that bitty is gay, but it’s because of this that bitty is extremely popular on campus
literally everyone knows him, and jack’s only been at samwell for about a month when he realizes he has a crush on bitty, but he’s already seen the man get asked out at least half a dozen times
jack’s very insecure to begin with, but he has no idea how he’s even supposed to compete with these other guys
so anyway, out on the ice, bitty and jack end up just… clicking
jack gets moved up to the first line right away, and the team does extremely well
but now, winter screw is around the corner, and ransom and holster are trying to set up all of the frogs on dates
and the last thing jack wants is to be set up with a date who may be… well, expecting something that jack definitely is not interested in
so jack comes out to shitty, and then eventually comes out to ransom and holster, and then bitty and the rest of the team
and jack feels a huge weight lift off his shoulders
but then bitty is super quiet around him all of a sudden, and always seems to be on edge
and jack thinks maybe it’s because bitty thinks that jack likes him (which is true) but bitty only wants to be friends and doesn’t want to lead him on
so jack’s a little dejected about that because he thought maybe he’d have a chance now, but apparently not
he goes to winter screw with some guy on the football team, and jack has fun, but when the guy kisses him, jack just isn’t into it so he decides to head home
on the way back to his dorm, he runs into bitty, who is on his way to the haus
“i thought you were still at the dance”
“oh, uh… my date got super drunk and threw up on my shoes, and i’m honestly just… really tired. i hope your date was better”
“he was fine. nice. i just wasn’t into it”
“do you wanna come to the haus? i was planning on making a couple of pies for the boys to snack on later”
so they walk back together and jack ends up helping bitty bake, and it’s fun, SO much more fun than winter screw had been
they make spiked hot cocoa and eat apple pie straight out of the tin
and tbh, we could drag the sexual tension out forever, but i firmly believe that had bitty known that jack wasn’t straight early on in canon, then they would’ve gotten together way before graduation
so they’re standing at the sink, and jack’s helping bitty dry the dishes as he listens to bitty talk about his frog year, and jack feels so… good
and the thing is, had he not been drinking, jack probably would’ve just left and gone back to his dorm and resumed his quiet pining
but jack has been drinking–not a lot, obviously, but enough for him to feel brave enough to take a chance
…except bitty kisses him first
jack freezes up, caught totally off guard, and bitty takes this as rejection and jumps back and immediately starts apologizing
but jack just cuts him off with another kiss
“what… what was that for”
“you kissed me first, bittle”
“yeah, but you didn’t seem into it and–”
“i was very into it. you just surprised me, is all”
“yeah, uh… i didn’t even–i thought you didn’t like me… like that”
“good lord, jack. i like you a lot. i was afraid of being too obvious, especially after you came out to us. i mean, i’m your captain, i didn’t want to make you feel like i was abusing my power or something and–”
Carolina straightened next to her locker, watching York put his face practically inside his workout bag and breathing deeply. When he resurfaced to face her, his eyes had a soft, blissed out look to them.
“This is the best thing ever,” he said, voice heavy with nostalgia before his head disappeared back into the bag - literally inside the bag this time. “It’s like my childhood in smell form.”
Carolina was tempted to pull it over his head like a hat - judging by the look on his face, he would probably be happy to walk around like that all day - but curiosity held her back. “How does your childhood smell like a gym bag?”
York barely heard her. “Tape. Sweaty pads. Concrete walls. That smell water bottles have.” Each muffled word emerged from the bag as smooth and reverent as beads on a rosary.
“What is he doing?” North walked in from the sim floor still in full armour, but Carolina could easily imagine the incredulous look on his face.
“North,” York said, thickly, “you’ve got to smell this.”
Carolina watched North’s helmet sag forward, heard the slightly metallic sound of his sigh. “I’m going to regret this, aren’t I?” But the helmet did come off, and with a look of deep suspicion, North sniffed the proffered bag. Carolina blinked in surprise when his head abruptly dipped inside and the sound of his next breath was so loud she suspected it could be heard all the way out in the hallway. “Oh my god.” Another deep breath. “It’s like… skates. And sticks all in a row together, like all that wood and tape, it had a smell, you know?” York was nodding fervently as North took another sniff. “And like… that smell that never left your pads, no matter if they were wet or dry. And the ice when you got snowed.”
“Yes!” York was leaning forward again, as though he couldn’t bear to be away from the scent a second longer, and Carolina shook her head at the two of them standing together, eyes closed, half looking like they wanted to just climb inside the bag and stay there.
“What the fuck are they doing?” South was clearly just out of the showers, one towel wrapped around herself. She unwrapped a second towel one-handedly from her hair, and bunched it up in her fist, as though she was considering throwing it at the two men.
“South,” North’s voice came out in a raspy whisper, as though he was reluctant to even exhale, “smell this and tell me what it reminds you of.”
South rolled her eyes, but stepped forward without question, throwing her towel towards the hamper before leaning over the bag. “It smells like the laundry room-”
“-with all our hockey gear laid out to dry. Oh my god.” Now South’s head was inside the bag. “And the locker rooms at the arena. And how it had that smell when it was freezing cold, but everyone fucking steamed and smelled exactly the same, like hot leather and velcro and…” Another deep breath. “And like, when you tape your stick and sometimes you had to tear the tape with your teeth and nothing else smelled like that, nothing…” South’s voice faltered, and now there were three heads hovering above the bag.
“You guys need a moment alone?” The words came out sarcastic, but they had barely left her mouth when Carolina realized that they probably did.
“How long’s it been for you?”
“Eight for me. Found a shinny league before I joined up, they let me play a game or two with them. I couldn’t commit to every week, but…”
“Remember how Pops used to tie our skates?”
“Yeah. And I got mad and told him I could do it myself. He’d let me, but I could never get them tight enough, so he’d fix them on the bench between shifts.”
“My mom used to tie my skates. When I played those last times, that was all I could think about.” York’s next words were tightly controlled. “Funny how little things like that seem so important later.”
“Actually, I don’t think that’s funny at all. It’s just…right.” Carolina was surprised to hear that from South, but North only smiled, and York nodded his head. He had a glazed distant look, as though he was about a million miles away. Or perhaps only a couple decades, but unreachable just the same.
Carolina quietly grabbed her bag, gathered her dirty clothes and towels. She dumped the damp bundle in the mesh hamper by the exit and turned one last time to look behind. The three teammates stood perfectly still, heads nearly touching, all three holding on to the bag as though it was something sacred. She heard, rather than saw, the last shared sigh, and just as they began to stir, she turned and walked out the door.
If you’re ever bored and want to do a social experiment, find any person you know who used to play hockey, and ask, “You know the way an ice arena smells?” You don’t have to say anything more. If you ask two or more people at the same time, you’ll watch an almost identical scene unfold.
like, ok, jack zimmermann, son of world-famous figure skater Alicia Zimmermann, is an up-and-coming pro figure skater who misses out on the 2010 (2014? timing is weird in this au) olympics because of his overdose OR overdoses bc he doesn’t make it past the canadian preliminaries
he ends up deciding to go to his father’s alma mater, samwell, and manages to walk onto their hockey team, since they don’t have collegiate figure skating.
he’s stunned to meet their captain, a 5′6″, 125-pound kid from some backwater town down south. jack hasn’t played hockey since he was a teenager, but even he knows D1 players aren’t supposed to look like Bittle
and then he finds out about bittle’s issues with checking and he almost walks off the team
(even when he’s dedicated his life to another sport, 110% jack zimmermann does NOT want to be part of a team that coddles weak links like bittle – he’s the captain for fuck’s sake!)
so in this au jack’s an old-ass freshman and bitty’s already a junior – which, surprisingly, makes them closer in age than in canon, i haven’t actually thought this all out
and blah blah blah jack, who’s been in a singles sport for so long, learns what it means to be part of a team and realizes bitty’s captain, not because he’s the best player, but because the boys all look up to him and respect his judgement.
i really just want this au to have a tiny-ass rough-n-tumble bitty who’s been playing hockey for a hell of a lot longer than in canon and has dealt with being the effeminate boy in the locker room since middle school or even earlier
(and if he’s been playing that long – hello can you say NHL bitty??)
and jack probably gets back on his feet and makes it to sochi or pyeongchang (depending on the timing of this au) through the power of GAY LOVE AND TEAMWORK or something
(OLYMPICS POWER COUPLE?? B ON TEAM USA, JACK SKATING FOR CANADA???)
Partially due in fact from a legacy of historical trauma caused by years of oppression and racism, a loss of our ancestors by genocide, loss of our homes, land, our cultures, and languages and the subsequent abuse of generations of Native children in American boarding schools.
Many American Indian and Alaska Native children live in poverty and see so much violence in their homes and communities that they suffer Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at triple the rate of the general population, akin to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. A report released at the end of last year, from the Department of Justice advisory committee indicates 22 percent of American Indian and Alaskan Native juveniles have PTSD. That’s three times higher than the national rate and that of any other ethnicity.
Under the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, Congress empowered tribes to prosecute Non-Natives who commit domestic violence, but the law, opposed by most Republican lawmakers, does not allow Non-Native people to be prosecuted by tribes for other crimes like sexual abuse or the abuse of Indian children on a reservation.
Byron Dorgan, a former senator for North Dakota said that Congress has to treat funding for Indian child health and safety as mandatory spending. Referring to congress he said, “When you have trust responsibilities and you’ve signed treaties, don’t tell me it’s discretionary about whether you fund programs that help children. It is not discretionary.”