DisraeliGears sent me this prompt ages ago: Jack is having a shit day. I mean a REAL shit day. He’s out for a game with a cracked rib, his freezer peed all over the floor overnight, his run was terrible and he ate the last piece of pie yesterday. If only there was someone to cheer him up… Happy birthday, @disraeligearsgoestumblin! I hope you have an amazing special day! xoxo
Jack would have to be out for a few games. Three tops, the doctor had said. Thankfully, his rib wasn’t cracked just bruised to hell and back. And it wasn’t even a check from the Preds. It was just a badly timed run in with Tater. Jack felt stupid, he was tired, hungry, angry, and was ready for this terrible, no good night to end.
He stumbled into his apartment, and flicked on the hallway light, wincing at the pain.
Jack hung his jacket up and walked toward the kitchen. If he drank, right now would be the portion of the evening where Jack would pour himself a scotch and throw it back. But he didn’t, so he couldn’t.
Instead, he’d have a slice of Bitty’s pie. That would do it. But then, damn it all to hell, he remembered he finished it the night before. Shit. Fine. A glass of milk, a bag of frozen peas for his side, and then off to bed.
Jack walked over to the fridge, opened it, and the light didn’t go on. He closed the door and opened it again, hoping it would magically fix itself. It didn’t, and when he put his hand in the fridge it was nowhere near cold.
“What the hell?”
Jack looked at the back of the fridge and noticed it was unplugged. It had to have been the cleaning lady, or gremlins, or just the universe telling him it hated him.
He plugged the fridge back in, and slammed the door shut. So much for the milk, the peas, the everything.
Just then his phone rang. It was Bitty.
“Sweetheart? I was in the library finishing up a paper – like you told me to – and I just saw the clip.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine Bits.”
“Really? You don’t sound fine.”
Jack then sighed shakily, and knew he didn’t have to put up a brave face for Bitty. He knew he could just be.
“Bits, this day… it fucking sucked.”
“Oh no,” Bitty said, Jack hearing the concern in his voice.
“I smashed my finger this morning with a barbell. Then I was going to make my pre-game PBJ and the damn bread was moldy. I crashed into Tater and bruised my rib, basically looking like a damn moron in front of the entire arena. Then I came home, my fridge was unplugged, and now all my food is spoiled – and I had gone groceries yesterday. And then, I realized I ate all the damn pie, Bitty! There isn’t any!”
Bitty chuckled softly. “Oh, sweetheart. It sounds like you had a pretty rough day, huh?”
Jack felt his face burn.
“Crisse, now that I hear myself I sound like a big baby.”
“No. Not at all. Can I do anything for you?”
“No… I’m just gonna go to bed. I’ll deal with the fridge and whatever, tomorrow. I’m just exhausted.”
“Are you sure?”
Jack bit his bottom lip. What he really wanted was to hold Bitty, and breathe in the scent of his hair, to snuggle in bed and have Bitty whisper calming words in his ear. With Bitty everything just felt better. No matter how awful things were.
“Yeah, I’m sure. It’s late, bud. We should go to bed. Call me tomorrow when you have a moment?”
“Of course, sweet pea. I love you.”
“I love you, too, Bits.”
How Jack loved his Bitty. So, so much.
Jack had dozed off on the couch watching a baking show when he heard keys in the lock. (His preference for baking shows had grown exponentially since he had been with Bitty. Jack found they comforted him.)
Bitty came in, toed off his shoes, and walked toward Jack.
“Hey, you,” Bitty said as he put down his bags and bent down to kiss Jack.
“What are you doing here?”
“I took a Lyft. I come bearing sustenance, and pie,” he said brightly.
Jack’s heart clenched. This boy.
“But don’t you have class tomorrow?”
“At 11:00. It’ll be fine. Right now, I just want to take care of you.”
Jack could feel a prickling in the back of his throat, and smiled as he watched Bitty get up and take the bags to the kitchen. He unloaded some dishes, put them in the fridge, took out a pie and cut a slice.
Jack would never tire of seeing Bitty move though his kitchen as though he was born to be there.
“Scoot over, mister,” Bitty said as he returned with plate of pie.
Jack moved over slowly, and grinned as Bitty held a forkful of pie to his mouth.
Jack obeyed and let Bitty feed him.
“There,” Bitty said, almost a whisper, “All better.”
It was. It really was all better.