Bitty laughed as Jack crowded into his space, and urgently pressed kisses onto his lips, his chin, his nose and cheeks.
“Sweetheart, you’re going to have to step away eventually.”
Jack gently bit the underside of Bitty’s chin, and insistently pulled him even closer.
“Jack, I’m serious,” Bitty said as his words were smothered by Jack’s mouth.
“Me, too. So serious,” Jack mumbled and parted Bitty’s lips with a swipe of his tongue quickly inside.
Jack turned around, hands still on Bitty’s blushing face, as Shitty stood behind them with a huge smirk on his face.
“I hate to interrupt this unabashed display of manlove but one, Jack brah, let the Bittster breathe, will you? And two, everyone is waiting for you.”
Bitty playfully smacked Jack on the arm, “See? I told you!”
Jack sighed, “Fine. Fine!”
Jack let go of Bitty’s face, then quickly pressed one more kiss onto his nose and said to Shitty, “Shits, have you ever seen anyone as beautiful as my boyfriend in your entire life?”
“Oh, stop,” Bitty said, cheeks pinked again.
“Fuck me,” Shitty laughed. “No. No, Jack, I have never seen anyone as beautiful as this little bit of sunshine you’re currently smothering and trying to give a tonsillectomy to.”
Bitty laughed, smoothed down Jack’s tie, and stood from the table, gently shoving Jack as he tried to get him to stand as well. The team was heading out to New York to face the Rangers and the bus was loaded and waited for Jack, while Jack, well -- while Jack sucked his boyfriend’s face off in the Falconers’ nook.
“I gotta go, but I'll text you, okay?,” Jack said as Shitty grabbed him by the shoulders, and began to push him out of the nook.
“Okay,” Bitty said as he clutched his phone.
“You’ll only be gone two days, Jack,” Shitty said.
“Lord, this is getting overly dramatic. I feel like I should be waving a hanky and maybe running alongside the bus as it pulls away?”
Jack smiled as Shitty called out, “Please don’t!”
“I love you! I’ll text you!” Jack called out.
“I love you, too!” Bitty said as he waved.
“Joanie loves Chachi,” Shitty said and rolled his eyes while he pushed Jack out of the room completely.
Bitty plopped back down onto a chair, and then looked at his phone which promptly began to buzz.
“It’s about time, loverboy. It’s not as if we have a schedule to keep or anything,” Poots called out while Jack walked onto the bus and was instantly pelted by several sheets of crumpled up paper.
“Hey! That’s a waste of paper!” Jack said as he bent down to pick them up.
“You’re lucky I didn’t shoot spitballs at you,” Snowy bellowed.
“What are you, twelve?” Jack asked.
“On a scale of one to ten, yes. Yes, I am,” Snowy replied confidently. “It’s my eyes. They’re gorgeous.”
The paper was then thrown at Snowy as everyone on the bus booed.
“Okay, I got him on the bus. You’re all set to go. Beat the shit out of the Rangers, and have a good trip everyone,” Shitty yelled as he began to disembark.
“Thank you, Knight,” Coach Johansson said as he clapped the bus driver’s shoulder.
“Bye, Mr. Shitty!” Everyone yelled in unison as Shitty laughed and waved them off.
“See you on the other side, you fuckers!”
“Zimmboni, beside sugar from Bitty, you get pie?” Tater asked.
“Tater, even if Bitty did give him a pie, you know you can’t eat that shit before a game,” Guy groused. “Uh, no offense to Bitty’s cooking, Jack.”
“None taken,” Jack said as he shoved his duffle bag in an overhead bin. “And no, I didn’t get pie.”
“So, just sugar?” Tater said as he wagged his eyebrows at Jack. “Zimmboni, you going to get cavity.”
Jack smiled and made his way toward the back of the bus and pulled out his phone from his suit pocket. Bitty had already replied to the text he sent as he left the arena.
Jack: I’ll miss you.
Bitty: I know, sweetpea. I’ll miss you too but it’s only for a couple days. See you soon and kick their butts!
The raucous excitement of the bus began to die down as they made their way toward I-95. Jack sunk into his seat and sighed contentedly as he thought about Bitty.
They had been dating for two months now, and Jack could not believe how happy he was. It scared him when he realized how he almost missed out on it all. All of the Bitty smiles, laughs, kisses, and everything else -- he could have missed it, and all because he was afraid.
He leaned his head against the glass and watched the road zoom by as he recalled how their relationship grew instantly -- deep and full of unwavering commitment.
After that first kiss at Faber, there was never a “Should we?” or “Maybe? Maybe not?” Jack and Bitty knew right away that this was it. They knew the way you know about a good shot the second the puck left your stick, the way you know about a how good a loaf of bread will be just by seeing it rise.
They knew and never looked back.
Their official first date had been the evening Jack showed up at Faber to declare his (unspoken) love for Bitty.
“I was thinking,” Jack said as he kissed Bitty’s forehead that night while the two stood tangled amongst each other just outside the Wellie locker room, “that we should have our first real date soon.”
“Mmm… sure. Whatever you say, honey,” Bitty said softly as he dotted Jack’s jaw with tiny kisses.
Bitty pulled back and looked at Jack, “Yes?”
“Would you like to go out to dinner with me tonight?”
“Jack, it’s 9:00. Isn’t too late for dinner?”
“Is that a no?”
Bitty smiled, “No. Yes, I’d love to go out to dinner with you.”
“Great! I’ll just tell the guys to go on without me, and I’ll meet you outside?”
Bitty bit his lower lip and nodded. “I’ll be quick!”
Jack found the guys outside, all of them leaned against Thirdy’s minivan.
“So?” Marty asked.
Jack smiled and nodded, as they erupted in cheers and high fived Jack and each other.
Snowy grinned, “I feel like a goddamn matchmaker!”
“Me too,” Poots added and slung an arm around Snowy’s neck. “My bubbe would be so proud.”
“Uh… we’re going to go out for dinner, so I’m going to stay.” Jack said as he nervously ran his fingers through his hair.
“How are you gonna get back?” Thirdy asked.
Jack blushed and the group erupted in cheers again.
“Oh, Zimmboni. You’re smooth operator,” Tater said and cackled. “Do you need condom?”
“Tater!” Jack said disapprovingly while everyone laughed.
“I’m just saying, I don’t think you’re coming home tonight so you should be prepared for baker and his… loaf?”
Everyone groaned as Tater laughed, “Okay, that was bad. Have fun, Zimmboni!”
And now weeks later, Jack found himself constantly smiling, wanting to be near Bitty all the time. Love was great, and he was glad he had finally found it.
“Zimmboni, you have so many hearts in eyes -- I think you need cardiologist,” Tater said as he playfully bonked Jack on the head.