tim shepard headcanons
  • the shepards are latinx!
  • tim & curly both get their curly hair from their dad
  • curly is tim’s mini-me
  • takes such pride in his scars & will absolutely tell each one’s story to anyone who asks
  • not necessarily a neat freak but everything must be left in the spot where he put it
  • his pancakes are the BEST, angel & curly always wake him up before school to make them
  • “get the fuck outta my room” 
  • “but tuesday is pancake day, timmy!!” 
  • always mumbling stuff under his breath
  • If Looks Could Kill™
  • when he’s mad his voice gets so low and it is terrifying
  • so so smart, no one gives him enough credit
  • always has a cigarette between his lips

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In the Name of Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Earl Keen, and Ray Wylie Hubbard, may your blogs be blessed.

By the Power of Aaron Watson, Pat Green, and Charlie Robison, may good fortune rain down upon you.

May the Glory of Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen, and Jason Boland shine ever upon you.

May the Mighty Hand of Waylon Jennings, Don Williams, and Bill Monroe guide you always.

Let the Voice of Josh Grider, Cody Johnson, and Sam Riggs ring true upon your ears always.

And the sainted Asleep At the Wheel, Clint Black, and Diamond Rio light your path.

May the Invincible Dolly Parton, LeAnn Rimes, and Deanna Carter shower you with reblogs and likes,

And the Radiant Radney Foster, Delbert McClinton, and Kevin Fowler send you many followers,

And the Merciful Creepniks, Roger Cowan, and Brian Burns preserve you from ignominy and doxxing.

The Weary Boys, Lyle Lovett, and Stoney Larue save you.

The Turnpike Troubadours, Whiskey Myers, and Aaron Einhouse scourge your foes.

Levon Helm, Martin Flanagan, and Slim Bawb inspire you.

And Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, and Johnny Cash intercede ever on your behalf,

That the innumerable Sainted Host—oh Blessed Earl Scruggs, George Jones, Merle Haggard, George Strait, Emmylou Harris, Hank Williamses one, two, and three, Randy Travis, Guy Clark, Chris Ledoux, David Allan Coe, Roger Miller, and many more—may know you by name.

Thirteen times are you thrice blessed. Go forth and conquer!


Over the years, he’s gone through several varieties of survival training. He knows how to find water in the desert, knows how to navigate through hostile territory without being detected, has been dropped in the middle of a jungle and been told to find his way out with nothing but the clothes on his back. He’s overcome every training obstacle the Navy could throw at him and yet he still cannot find the piazza in one small Italian town.

He turns around again, back in front of a church he’s passed at least three times already, trying to find the small road that’s supposed to take him into the city center. Or maybe it’s an alley he’s looking for. A bike path? He tries to match the name on his map to any of the street signs he sees but none of them are right and he ends up crumpling the map up in frustration.

How hard can finding a festival in the center of town be? Swallowing his pride, he decides to ask a local for help and starts heading back the way he came, keeping an eye out for anyone passing by. He’s barely gone a block when he sees a man leaving his house. He rushes to catch up with him, and the guy watches his approach cautiously.

“Scusa. Per favore aiuto,” he manages to get out, fumbling over the unfamiliar words as his digs his map back out, “Sono perso,” he tries again, feeling self-conscious as the guy watches him and wishing that he knew more Italian than what he could learn on the plane ride over. “Andar a piazza. Per festival di-”

“I speak English,” the guy interrupts and he sighs in relief, hiding his embarrassment, “You want to go to the festival?”

“Yeah,” Steve says, folding up the map and shoving it into his pocket.

“Why don’t you come with me, I’m heading there anyway,” the guy says and he happily agrees, “I’m Danny, by the way.”


They make small talk as Danny leads him off of the street and through a narrow alleyway. He can already hear the faint sounds of music echoing off of the walls and when they emerge he sees the bright decorations leading to the piazza. Eventually, they get to the crowded piazza and he watches as a little girl comes tearing through the square and jumps right into Danny’s arms. She’s followed by an older woman who comes up to the more sedately.

“Daniel, who’s your friend?” the woman asks, eyeing him curiously and he stands up a little straighter under her inspection.

“Ma, this is Steve. He was lost,” Danny explains to her, “Steve, this is my Ma, Clara, and my little monkey, Grace.”

Grace lets out a peal of laughter when Danny tickles her and he finds himself watching Danny smile for maybe longer than he should. “Are you meeting anyone?” Clara asks him and when he turns to her she has a calculating expression on her face.

“No, I’m on my own.”

“We can’t have that! Festivals are about being with friends and family!” she says, looping her arm around his and pulling him forward, “You’ll hang out with us today.”

“I don’t want to impose-” he tries to protest but Danny interrupts before he can get too far.

“You might as well just agree. Once Ma sets her mind to something, she doesn’t change it,” Danny tells him and Clara pats him on the cheek with a smile, saying, “I knew I raised you right.”

He does end up spending the whole day with the Williamses. He meets Eddie and Bridget, and hears stories about Matt and Stella who couldn’t make the trip, and somehow along the line Grace latches onto him like he’s her new best friend. He doesn’t mind all that much. Grace is a great kid and having her drag him all around the festival just means that he gets to know Danny more.

“You don’t have to hang out with us anymore if you don’t want to,” Danny says out of the blue. He hands over the drinks he went to buy and sits down, watching Grace dance to one of the musicians wandering around.

“That’s okay, I don’t mind.” He takes a drink to hide his smile. Hanging out with the Williamses had been fun, a lot more fun than being on his own would have been, and he’s just selfish enough to want to keep them, and Danny… mostly Danny, around a little longer.

“If you’re sure,” Danny gives in, but Steve can see his smile. He tries to think of something to say to fill the silence but he ends up just watching Danny, lit by the glow of the setting sun. He looks so happy and beautiful that it almost hurts to look at him and he wonders about pressing his luck and trying to make a move. It’s awfully hard to do that when Grace runs up and sits on Danny’s lap, proclaiming that she’s tired.

They get up to go find the rest of the Williamses at the restaurant where they left them when Grace saw the musician and he quietly laments that he’s going to have to say goodbye to Danny soon.

“We can take her back,” Clara says, taking Grace out of Danny’s arms, “Eddie’s getting tired anyway so we’ll take Grace and you boys can stay at the festival longer. I heard this year they’re having fireworks,” she says and he swears that he sees her wink at him.

It takes some arguing but soon they’re waving goodbye as Eddie and Clara carry a dozing Grace off through the crowd. “Don’t worry about staying out too late,” Clara tells Danny and then, for the first time since they met, they’re alone.

They make their way through the festival again, grabbing some gelato and just looking at everything, and he swears that there’s something in the air between them. A tension that has them walking a little closer together than they were before. Every once in a while their shoulders will brush and he want’s desperately to do something about the somersaulting his stomach does every time, but he doesn’t know what.

Once the sun sets completely, they find a spot to watch the fireworks from and settle in. It doesn’t take long before the first one goes off, sending bright sparks flying through the sky and lighting up the town. A couple more go off in rapid succession and he turns to Danny only to see that he’s already staring at him. Their eyes meet and he can feel his heart racing, can practically feel Danny’s heartbeat they’re sitting so close together. He doesn’t think, he just leans forward and presses his lips against Danny’s.

He means for it to be a quick kiss but Danny grabs his shirt collar and holds him close. He can feel Danny’s tongue tease at his lips, and he opens his mouth, deepening the kiss so that he can taste the remnants of Danny’s creme gelato. They pull apart when the grand finale goes off, the booms echoing through the streets and pulling them back into the present.

“So, I- uh,” Danny says breathlessly and Steve wants nothing more right now than to kiss him again. So he does.

“I think I need to get back to my hotel,” he says, keeping his tone light enough to give Danny an out if he wants one.

“I think maybe I should show you the way, seeing as you got lost coming here and all,” Danny takes his hand and gently pulls him to his feet so that there’s barely any distance between them.

“I think that’s probably a good idea,” he agrees, kissing Danny again and letting him lead the way back through the piazza.


Serena Williams & Her Amazing Bod Is EVERYTHING In New York Magazine’s Fashion Issue

Come through queen! Serena Williams is shutting down the Internet today with her amazing cover and spread for New York magazine’s newest fashion issue. And she’s giving us life.

Hi haters!

What a perfect way to shut down all of those silly “she was born a man” comments. For New York magazine’s fashion issue, Serena Williams, the world’s No.1 tennis player, serves major BAWDY and grace for the cover and accompanying spread. And one thing’s for sure, she’s NO man. She’s all woman…perfectly toned and effortlessly sexy.

While she continues to dominate the tennis court, arguably as the greatest women’s player of all time, the 33-year-old tennis superstar proves tennis isn’t all she’s good at. Give chick two bars, a cut-out body suit by Baja East and she can create a sizzling hot spread that no one can deny as being totally flawless.

Switching gears, she can also serve elegance and grace when glammed up in an uber sexy dress. For the spread, shot by Norman Jean Roy, the YBF chick brings the gorgeousness in an Elizabeth and James long sleeve high slit gown styled with Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Leticia Linton jewels and Platt Boutique Jewelry.  Her cute Yorkie pup, Chip, even brings the cuteness in one of the pictorials.

In another editorial, it’s clear her muscular physique can serve fabness in…anything. Above, the tennis superstar shows off her curves in a Wolford bodysuit, accented with Platt Boutique & Robert Lee Morris cuffs, a necklace by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. and VRAM rings. YAS Serena!

And because we can’t get enough of her hot bod:

Chick served up a few behind-the-scenes shots of her spread. She captioned, “Split Warm up exercises… #proceedwithcaution” #BodyGoals

Next up for Serena? She’s weeks away from the upcoming US Open tournament set to go down at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in NYC starting August 31st. If she wins, it will be her fourth grand slam title win in a calendar year, further proving why she’s the best to ever do it! We’ll definitely be watching.

Serena Williams Is Eyeing a Fashionable Post-Court Life, But First She’s Got Tennis History to Make

It’s a little past midnight at HSN headquarters, and Serena Williams is nine minutes into a disquisition on a piece of fabric she’s called “Convertible A-line Top With Scarf,” available to you, the home shopper, for $39.95 or three “flexpays” of $13.32. “It’s like one huge circle that has a lot of style in it,” she says, not without conviction, fiddling with the bottom of the one she is wearing (“This is, um, mustard”), flapping it like a fan, rubbing one hand on her arm, and smoothing her hair. She forgets the names of colors, misstates a price. There with the right number and the right name is HSN savant Bobbi Ray Carter, sheathed in a hot-pink Convertible A-line Top With Scarf and raccooned in black eyeliner, filling in her co-host’s “ums” with the deft patter of a sales professional: “Amazingly transitional, think-fall-think-summer-think-winter-summer-into-fall versatility, quality, surprise scarf.” Bobbi Ray Carter knows how to touch a piece of fabric: She gives it a crisp snap between her fingers, smartly smooths the drape, all the while growing progressively more tense as Serena fumbles some hangers and launches, at 56 minutes, into a long anecdote about packing jeans for Wimbledon. “Mmmm,” says Bobbi Ray Carter, tight-lipped and possibly not breathing, awaiting the arc of Serena’s story to make its mumbly descent — “I felt good packing my own jeans, I had a moment there” — so she can finally change the subject — “And it’s our customer pick!” — and steer us back to the safe harbor of Denim Moto Legging color choices.

A little background on HSN’s least comfortable saleswoman: Serena Williams is the best women’s tennis player in the world, breezing through one of the best seasons of her life. Should she win the U.S. Open next month, she will have swept all four grand slams in a calendar year, cementing her reputation as the greatest women’s player of all time and making her a serious contender for the greatest athlete of her generation.

She is a 33-year-old woman who won her first major at the tail end of the previous century, a simpler era you will recall for its consequenceless Napster-facilitated intellectual-property theft and the looming threat of Y2K. By now, her shoulder should be shredded, her elbow a constant wail of hurt. Instead, she spends her days bageling 20-something moppets who have never known the game without her. The last time a man as geriatric as Serena won a grand slam was 1972. She has won three in the past six months. Her 16-year run is, in the words of Sports Illustrated, “one of the most sustained careers of excellence in the history of athletics.”

“I didn’t think it would last this long,” says Serena, on break from the HSN grind.

“Not to suggest that your career is over — ”

“But even if it was over,” she interrupts, “it’s a really long career.”

Serena Williams travels with her teacup Yorkie, Chip, and dreamboat assistant, Grant, who went to Haverford and plays lacrosse. She is here hawking “Serena’s Signature Statement Collection,” because her career will one day end and she wants there to be something beyond nostalgia on the other side of it. Williams isn’t much for nostalgia. “I have lots of trophies, and I’m just — I’m not that person that needs to see all these trophies,” she says, under a blanket in the greenroom with Chip on her lap. “I have some in my house here, some in my house there, some I don’t know what happened to ’em. I have my grand-slam trophies … somewhere.”

A flippant past-tenseness has crept into her language. “We were so fast,” she says of herself and her sister Venus as children. “We are. We were. Gosh, is this over?” She laughs. There’s a weird anxiety in her stilted professional bio: Serena “continues to also pursue her other interests and has set herself up for a career after tennis.”

Serena is the daughter of one Richard Williams, the perfect embodiment of his perfectly executed, perfectly bonkers plan. You may have heard that Richard was watching TV when he saw a Romanian player win $40,000, at which point he decided to learn a game he knew nothing about, teach this “sissy sport” to his athletic wife, Oracene, and conceive two children whom the Williamses would together turn into champions. You may have heard about the used tennis balls he cadged from country clubs, the 78-page typewritten document in which he detailed his training regime, the broken glass on the Compton courts. But the story is a good deal crazier than you’ve heard, because the facts don’t conform to the tennis-as-ticket-out-of-the-ghetto song-and-dance the networks used to play before a match. Richard Williams was not a poor black man living in the hood. He was the comfortable — very comfortable, according to his autobiography — owner of a security company who lived in Long Beach with his wife and five daughters. He moved his family to Compton, where Venus and Serena served to the sound of gunfire and his stepdaughter was later shot to death, because he thought it would “make them tough, give them a fighter’s mentality.” Oracene Price was against this plan then; one can only imagine what she thinks of it now.

Entire childhoods were devoted to slapping serves over the net and running the court in the California heat, the mundane and lactic-acid-inducing specifics of a 78-page training regime. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” is an incantation Richard imposed on his daughters, who were made to keep journals about their goals and how best to achieve them. Serena’s onboard-ness, her total and unquestioning obedience to her father’s vision, is best illustrated by an anecdote she tells in her autobiography, On the Line, in which her father walks around the corner to get sports drinks mid-practice, leaving the girls alone with a basket full of tennis balls and a sack of oranges for a snack. Nine-year-old Serena impishly tosses up some oranges and serves them over the net, to her father’s consternation. End of story. “I’ve got no justification or explanation for my behavior,” she writes. “It was just that devil streak spilling forth … I just went a little crazy.” This is the sum total of what Serena Williams has to say about youthful rebellion, and she still thinks it’s pretty outrageous.  

Serena wanted not just to design clothes but to design wedding dresses. “That was my first real love,” she says, “but then I was like, Listen. I’m playing professional tennis. I’ll just do athleticwear.” In her sartorial interests, as in all things, she followed Venus, who encouraged her to take some college design classes. Together, they brought to the game black lace, flesh-colored underwear, and knee-high sneaker boots. Today, Venus has her own line, EleVen — “Ten is just another number, but EleVen is a lifestyle” — an affordable athleticwear line far tamer than much of what Serena and Venus wear on the court. “We brought fashion back to tennis,” Serena says. “It was great when Chris Evert was around. Tracy Austin had some great designs. But the ’90s was not a good time.”

Inevitably, the sisters’ on-court style was described as “confrontational.” One sensed in early accounts of the Williams sisters’ dominance, and senses even now, a certain tightening of the available vocabulary in describing a muscular black woman on the court. Doubles-sideline-to-doubles-sideline-in-three-strides is an act of avian grace, and yet Serena is perpetually “crushing” and “slamming” and “rolling over,” as if the entire sports commentariat picked up English at a construction site. It’s instructive here to spend a few minutes googling “Roger Federer,” two words that inspire sportswriters to pseudo-spiritual cant: Federer crushes and slams but also “lifts” and “lobs” and “taps,” his stroke “liquid,” his forehand a humanity-saving treatise on the seraphic potential of the fallen human form, his feminine delicacy evidence that he exists on a higher spiritual plane. When Serena and Venus are called “masculine,” when they are accused of having been born male, when the head of the Russian Tennis Federation calls them “the Williams brothers,” it is not meant as a compliment. This impulse may also explain why Serena Williams, who has prevailed over Maria Sharapova 18 times and fallen to her only twice, makes less in endorsements than her blonde Russian counterpart, and why last month political pundit David Frum, whom no one has ever accused of being excessively masculine, publicly speculated that Serena was on steroids, whereas Venus had stopped juicing in order to get pregnant.

Serena and Venus can never simply be Serena and Venus. They are inevitably spectacle, fodder for abstractions both crude and lyrical. They have inspired not just racist commentary but also celebrated works of poetry. “Some tough little European blonde / pitted against that big black girl from Alabama / cornrowed hair and Zulu bangles on her arms / some outrageous name like Vondella Aphrodite,” wrote white poet Tony Hoagland, whom many confused for the racist speaker of his poem. “And you loved her complicated hair / and her to-hell-with-everybody stare.” Their losses could not simply be their losses. “Every look, every comment, every bad call blossoms out of history, through her, onto you,” writes black poet Claudia Rankine, of Serena, in her book Citizen, which was nominated for a National Book Award. These are works in which the sisters stand for the Sweep of History or the Black Body, and they do little to prepare one for meeting a five-nine, selfie-obsessed, hyperfeminine phenom under a blanket and a Yorkie.

Serena has been ascendant for so long now that it’s easy to forget how highly anticipated were her matches with her sister. (Venus Williams, at 35, suffering from an immune disease known as Sjögren’s syndrome, is currently ranked a more than respectable 15th.) It was a Serena-Venus match in 2001 that precipitated the infamous Indian Wells incident, in which the crowd grew enraged after an injured Venus withdrew. This was a time when Richard was often accused, in the absence of any corroborating evidence, of fixing matches such that he decided which daughter would win a tournament. With her sister out of sight, the crowd turned its ire on Serena, slinging slurs from high arena seats down to the 19-year-old woman standing alone between bright white lines. Her father turned toward the hecklers, fist raised in a black-power salute. “I will not play there again,” Serena says of Indian Wells in On the Line. “I won’t go back. I will not give these people the validation. I will not stand down.”

One can only speculate about whether the Williamses would have been better received had they been more willing to conform, to pretend to care about tennis tradition, to hop on Nick ­Bollettieri’s tennis-star assembly line. They never nailed the rehearsed humility, never mastered the stone-faced just-want-to-do-my-best-so-grateful-for-the-opportunity-thanks-to-all-my-amazing-fans act calibrated to negate the possibility of an athlete’s interiority. Serena answers most questions with mischievous half-statements, eyebrows raised over a good-natured ironic side-eye. On her eventual retirement: “I will finally be able to make some Miami Dolphin games,” she says, laughing, “and make some, uh, better decisions down there with the players.” On the way she has changed the game: “My dad taught us to have early preparation. I notice the other girls have similar preparations to mine, and I’m like, ‘Hmmm … well, you don’t want to admit where you got that from, right?’ ”

Richard Williams is a man who says what he thinks. Serena Williams is a woman who says what she thinks and follows it up with a winking retraction. On Indian Wells: “All I could see was a sea of rich people — mostly older, mostly white — standing and booing lustily, like some kind of genteel lynch mob.” Then, “I don’t mean to use such inflammatory language,” though she evidently did not not mean it enough to delete it from her autobiography. There was her 2011 attack on an umpire after a bad call, about which Serena seems less outraged than genuinely hurt: “You’re nobody,” she said, “you’re ugly on the inside.” Asked about this later, Williams was mostly concerned with the indisputable lameness of her trash-talking: “What a nerd!” And then there is 2009 — the “I’ll fucking take this ball and shove it down your fucking throat” incident, for which she was fined $82,500. “She topped me that one time,” John McEnroe said. Of the outraged reaction to her outrage, Williams tells me, “I just think it was weird. I just really thought that was strange. You have people who made a career out of yelling at line judges. And a woman does it, and it’s like a big problem. But you know, hey.”

But You Know, Hey could be the title of a second Williams autobiography, subtitle The Mellowing. This spring, after a 14-year boycott, she returned to Indian Wells, writing in Time that she wanted “a different ending” to an ugly episode, though she assures me she will still engage in something she calls “being myself.”

“If someone has a bad call, I’m really forthcoming. I’ll look you in the eye and say, ‘Are you sure?’ I’m okay with confrontation. I’ve just” — eyebrow raise — “changed the way I state certain things.”

Richard Williams’s autobiography is called Black and White and barely even approaches the subject of tennis until 150 pages in. Up until that point, it is an account of his family’s treatment at the hands of white people and a memoir of his own “acts of defiance against white people.” Christmas to the child Richard was “a holiday created by and for white people.” His daughters would have to “run even harder, just like I did when I was fleeing white people in the South.” He wondered: “Would the entrance of strong, fast, ghetto-bred black people into the game change it as dramatically as it had all other sports? … My plan was simple: to bring two children out of the ghetto to the forefront of a white-dominated game.”

Until I read Black and White, I had assumed Serena’s swagger to be a result of her talent, intertwined with but ultimately exogenous to that 78-page plan. But Richard was grooming his girls for a takeover, bestowing upon them a carapace strong enough to withstand the doubt, discomfort, and contempt of an entire culture. Winning depended on self-belief so impenetrable that a genteel lynch mob could not slice through. This was all part of the vision: a “fighter’s mentality”; a lacrosse-playing, Haverford-attending yes-man; that to-hell-with-everybody stare.

Serena hadn’t been aware of Rankine’s Citizen. I read some to her while, in the background, a redheaded HSN sales professional moves some units of Serena’s Wide Leg Knit Jumper. I ask what it is like to bear the weight of representing people of color, women, 33-year-olds who want to believe in the imagined possibility of their athletic dominance.

“I don’t think about it,” she says. “I don’t dwell in the past. If I do, I’ll be swallowed up by negativity. As Mandela once said, ‘I will be in a mental prison.’ ”

It’s a ballsy thing to do, quoting Nelson Mandela in your explanation for why you’re not going to think about race right now. But Serena is not yours or mine, and she is less and less her father’s daughter. There can be no further distance from Compton-tough than the spectacle unfolding before Grant, Chip, and me, as Serena steps back on set. “Do you like French terry?” asks the saleswoman. “Who doesn’t?” replies Serena. Richard Williams raised her to go to war with the world. Post-tennis, she plans to live in it.

Styling by Lawren Howell at Lalaland Artists; hair by Johnnie Sapong for Jed Root using Leonor Greyl; makeup by Fiona Stiles using YSL for the Wall Group.

*This article appears in the August 10, 2015 issue of New York Magazine.

What if… Danny has to go to NJ, a murderer’ll confess only to him. Steve tags along, of course. 3rd day there, they got involved in another case as Danny showed Steve around. Then Clara asks them to stay 2 more days, sister’ll be there in 4 more, Eric wants to go say hi as well; all Williamses put on smiles that gradually become more real as the impromptu vacation stretches. “Say, Danny–” “You already got Grace a ticket, didn’t you?” Steve smirks, they got a lot of leave accumulated after all.

the-ivory-and-ebony-canaries  asked:

Where Rose and Tentoo travel with their Universe's Amy and Rory and the exact thing happens to Amy where she gets kidnapped pregnant but Amy and Rory actually get to keep the real infant Melody at the end. If that's too much, please let me know.

It was a good thing Torchwood survived for centuries, because Rose wasn’t sure she and the Doctor alone had the manpower to retrieve Amy from Demons Run. It was also an even better thing that Torchwood kept good tabs on the timeline of their time-travelling COO and that her status was somewhat legendary, because that meant she could pretty much take over whatever branch she happened to encounter. 

The Torchwood of the Time Period they had tracked Amy to was monitoring the quadrant Demon’s Run was located in, and no one had been going in or out. The Doctor had taken a surprisingly short amount of time to figure out a way to counter-act the Silence’s abilities, giving the Torchwood agents of that time a sort of implant in the memory centers of the brain that would store the memories the Silence made them ‘forget’ and play them back to the affected individual. As a result they were able to operate far more efficiently than before.

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“You’re gonna love this Steve,” Stella says over her shoulder as she leads them to their seats.

“We used to come to Devils games all the time when we were kids,” Bridget says from behind him, “Ma and Pa used to bring us when they could but once Danny was old enough to drive it became a sibling thing. We would save our allowances for weeks just to get seats in the nosebleeds.”

“Hockey was just about the only thing we all liked so it became a tradition,” Danny adds sitting down next to him, Stella and Bridget on either side of them.

“I think the only tradition Mary and I had was fighting over toys,” he jokes, wishing that they had had more time to make memories like the Williamses had before they were sent away. Danny must sense where his thoughts have gone because he reaches over and takes his hand.

“Hey, I’m glad you’re a part of the tradition now.”

“Me too,” he kisses Danny, pulling away when he can feel Bridget throwing popcorn at the back of his head, saying “Stop being so cute together.” He steals a handful from her, laughing as she pouts at him, but he doesn’t let go of Danny’s hand.

He can see why the Williamses came all the time, hockey is a fast paced game, teams chasing each other back and forth across the ice, players skating on and off all the time, and he’s captivated from the moment the puck is dropped. It doesn’t take long before all three of the Williamses are cheering and heckling with the rest of the crowd. The first fight breaks out halfway through the second period and Danny and Stella are on their feet shouting for bloodshed. By the end of the period with the score tied at 4-4 the energy in the stadium is palpable.

The Devils score in the first twelve seconds of the third period and even Steve is on his feet cheering when the buzzer sounds.

“Uh-oh,” Stella says a few minutes into the third period and Steve looks over, instantly on alert, “Kiss cam,” she says pointing to the jumbotron where Kiss Cam is displayed in bright pink letters.

“It’s cuz we’re in a timeout,” Danny tells him as the first couple appears on the screens. He cheers with the crowd, watching as couples kiss until suddenly he’s staring at the four of them on screen. How about a two for one, he hears the commentator say, obviously thinking they’re on a double date, and Stella and Bridget start laughing.

He smiles and leans over, meeting Danny halfway in a kiss and the crowd erupts in cheers and catcalls, most of which come from Bridget. They pull away smiling and turn to watch as the camera switches to a new couple. He throws an arm around Danny’s shoulders, feeling the happiest he’s been in a long time.

“You’re such a goof,” Danny says, but he’s smiling as he leans further into him.

“Yeah, but I’m your goof.”

“Yeah,” Danny agrees and pulls him into another kiss.