Maybe he's just a super swell guy and he's really friendly with everyone. That might be it, definitely. Jon watches Hank playfully interact with his Swedish compatriots and pull teasingly at Karlsson's long hair. Karlsson smiles crookedly at him and slaps his hand away.
It's kind of disgusting how everyone swoons in Hank's presence, and even though Jon is now kind of one of those guys (the shame of it makes him want to dunk his head in ice water), it still doesn't make it any easier to deal with.
Like, seriously. Who in their right mind would draft a goalie third? When guys like Gaborik, Kane, Perry and a shitload of other superstars were out there? Not everything can be easily explained away with goalies being weird creatures. Jon knows that for a fact.
Jon drops his eyes and goes back to fiddling with his phone distractedly, checking out his inbox, when he feels someone looming over him. It's Hank, of course. This guy. What is his deal, Jon wants to know.
(All of his life, Jon has been a very lowkey guy; never liking all the attention solely focused on him, and whenever Hank is around him, Jon feels like a spotlight beams down on him from the heavens, to emphasize Hank's ridiculously godly presence. He loves and hates it in equal measure, and he knows that this is one of those things that Jaclyn will never let him live down.)
Hank runs a hand down Jon's jersey, hanging in his stall. He makes some noise of approval, as he judges Jon's gear and shit. Jon bites his lip and leans to his left, trying to create some space.
“Your jerseys are really classy. Probably my second favorite in the league,” Hank says with a small smile twitching at his lips, arms crossed nonchalantly over his ridiculously GQ outfit. It makes Jon internally convulse with how unfair some things are.
Jon placidly says, “Thanks, buddy. The ones you've got aren't half bad, too.” He tries to smile like a normal person and hope that Hank slinks away to his next unsuspecting victim; shower the newbies with compliments, make them feel special for a few seconds, and get a gold star. Jon is almost positive that Hank mentally gives and retracts cool points to himself when it comes to his exemplary behavior in regards to social interaction.
Hank's eyes suddenly narrow suspiciously as he continues looking at Jon's half-assed attempt at a smile (it's more of a grimace, is the thing), and then he casually leans against the wall, to his left. Jon wants to die.
“What? What's so amusing about me?” Jon can't help asking, as he runs his hands down his thighs, feeling a little trapped.
Hank shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly and says, “It's just a little weird. I like the way you play and I'm trying to like you as a person, but you look creeped out when I hang around you for more than a minute.” He drops his arms to his sides and straightens up, his face closing off and turning serious. It's the kind of look that he might get before a game, in the locker room, when he's alone.
It figures that Jon would fuck this up. He's not even surprised. His insecurities run too close to the surface, sometimes.
Jon lets out a forced huff of laughter and nudges Hank with his foot. “Man, I like you plenty. It's nothing. It's just that you don't have to talk me up or hang around because it's a duty.”
The expression on Hank's face morphs into one Jon is very familiar with, and it's the one that lets him know that he is an idiot.
Hanks tugs on Jon's hair in faux-outrage before cracking up into a smile again. It's better when he smiles.
“You are actually an idiot. How sad,” he informs Jon seriously, before he pounces on Girardi as he strolls in. Girardi rolls his eyes and takes it like a champ.
Jon heaves out a great sigh and sends JJ a text, saying please send help, canada makes no sense, and pulls his jersey over his head.
After the All Star game, Jon decides to drop by at a bar some of the guys are going to, with Jaclyn already headed back to LA to take over parental duties from her folks.
Jon fist bumps and slaps more guys on the back than he ever has before, but he figures that it's the bro thing to do, so he goes along with it. He bumps into Price and manages to tell him that he's got one of the sickest gloves in the league without turning five shades of red. Price's mouth quirks into an indulgent smile and he offers Jon his infamous flask for a sip.
Jon is a bit dumbfounded but accepts, taking a tentative sip. It's a near thing, though, trying to swallow that one tiny sip, because it's so fucking strong. It's some crazy moonshine poison, and Jon grimaces when he hands it back. It clarifies a lot of things about Carey, though, so there's that.
At some point, he accidentally overhears Kaner extolling the magically restorative benefits of the hangover remedy that he has learned to concoct like a boss (with a lot of trial and error being involved in the process), and Jon has to suppress the laughter that wants to escape when he spots all of the All Star rookies leaning into Kaner like he's Midas.
Jon is just about ready to call it a night and head back to his room (his flight is for ass o'clock in the morning), when he gets tugged back into a hug of sorts. It's so embarrassing that Jon knows this now, that he knows it's Hank because of the cologne he uses.
The desperate feeling of wanting the floor to open up and suck him in is ignored quickly enough when he hugs Hank back and thumps him on the shoulder good-naturedly.
Hank pulls back and jabs Jon with a finger right in the chest. His eyes are kind of bright and he's still fucking smiling.
“You were gonna leave without saying goodbye? Asshole. See if I ever pick you early again,” Hank says, grinning at Jon like they are both in on some truly spectacular joke. Jon wants to punch him a little and mess him up.
“Nah, I wasn't going to leave without saying bye. So,” Jon rocks back on his heels, hands in his pockets, and waits. Like, for what? He doesn't even know anymore.
Hank rolls his eyes and yanks at Jon's jacket, pulling out Jon's phone and starts tapping away. Jon twitches and wants to snag his phone back, but doesn't.
Hank holds it out to him when he's done, looking pleased. Jon takes it back and sees that Hank has added his name and number. The queasy but happy feeling in Jon's chest is a bit disconcerting, but he forces himself to smile and send Hank a text. Jon's a good guy, sadly.
“It's just... I sometimes get into moods where I want to set myself on fire and burn down our arena, and I think you're the kind of guy that might get me. At times like that,” Hank adds hesitantly.
There is no possible way that Hank can be that dumb, but Jon soldiers on. “Yeah, yeah, I definitely get you, man. It's tough, doing what we do.”
Hank nods his head and takes a sip of beer that has seemingly materialized out of thin air. “I mean, I could have exchanged numbers with Timmy,” he says conspiratorially, leaning in, “but he kind of scares me.” The way his eyes bug out is too much, and Jon laughs.
“You know, Timmy is my mentor. My role model. But, as far as talking to someone who is less ancient, I might be your guy.”
“Ancient! He's not that old! I feel offended on his behalf.”
“Says the guy that called him crazy a second ago,” Jon quips.
Just then Hank gets yanked back by the twins, who are arguing about something vehemently and pointing at one another in accusation.
Hank salutes Jon with his beer and is lost in the crowd.
Jon exchanges numbers with a few more guys before he drags himself away and out, and the text that he sent yesterday to JJ has finally been answered, and it says, america fuck yeah. team usa for life.
Jon does actually laugh at that, and thinks that it's good. Everything is as it should be.