The last thing Claude expects when his doorbell rings at three in the morning is for Sidney Crosby to be standing on the other side.
"You," Crosby says, pointing emphatically at Claude's chest. "Are an asshole."
It takes a moment for Claude's brain to process what his eyes are seeing, but eventually what comes out of his mouth is, "What the fuck are you doing here?"
"Telling you that you suck," Crosby says, words slightly slurred, before grabbing the doorframe for balance.
"Are you drunk?" Claude says. He's been in the NHL long enough to have seen some pretty weird shit come out of alcohol colliding with sheltered childhoods.
"No," Crosby says, clearly trying his best to focus his eyes on Claude's face. "A little bit," he concedes after a moment. "But only because you fucking lost!"
Claude struggles to parse all the pieces of this puzzle. "Did you seriously drive all the way from fucking Pittsburgh just to remind me that we lost?" It shouldn't be humanly possible for Crosby to be that big of an asshole. "Or did you… did you watch the game in Philly?"
Crosby's eyes dart away from some random overhead spot he'd been staring at to lock with Claude's, squinting in that particularly annoying way Claude's seen before. It's almost comforting – at least something about this Sidney Crosby is familiar. "Yeah, I did," Crosby says. "I watched you lose the series in game fucking 5 and get kicked out of the playoffs. Your fans suck, by the way."
The scary thing is, Claude can totally picture it. Sidney Crosby wearing a baseball cap and nondescript jacket, hiding in some bar in Philly, watching the game from a table in the back and downing shot after shot as the clock ticks down. "Get the fuck out of my house," Claude says. There's a limit to how weird his life is allowed to get and this shit is way beyond the pale.
Just as he's about to slam the door shut, Crosby's grip on either balance, gravity, or the last shreds of his dignity falters, and he leans against doorframe and then slides unceremoniously down, ending up in a sort-of heap on the floor. His eyes are closed, his cheeks flushed.
"How could you lose?" Crosby says, quietly, like the words hurt climbing up from his vocal chords to his tongue.
It suddenly occurs to Claude that this is what Sidney Crosby sounds like when he's completely devastated.
"Fuck," Claude says, "You are going to owe me for this for the rest of your life," before grabbing Crosby by the sweater and dragging him inside.
They sit on the couches in Claude's living room, Crosby slowly trying to conquer his third glass of water, watching Team Canada play in Helsinki on TV.
"So, what, is this your strategy?" Claude says, popping peanuts into his mouth and staring at the screen. "Do you do this every year? Get eliminated from the playoffs, show up drunk on some dude's doorstep, preferably someone from the team that kicked your asses in the last round?"
"Shut up, OK, you know it's not like that," Crosby says in between sips. He sounds quieter now, calmer, not quite as embarrassed as he should be, but closer to his usual withdrawn self.
"Whatever," Claude says, watching Patrick Sharp make a beautiful pass.
"Just…" Crosby starts. "You were supposed to win."
"Yeah, fuck you, like I don't know that," Claude throws some more peanuts in his mouth.
"You beat us fair and square. I fucking hated losing to you, but you played better than us. You were good. Briere's playoffs record is fucking unbelievable, and you—"
"I got fucking suspended!" Claude says, staring at Crosby because he can't keep his cool anymore. If Crosby says one more word to stir up shit – like Claude hasn't gone over this stuff a bunch of times with a bunch of people already and isn't about to spend an entire summer hearing about it – he'll kick him out cold or no cold, night or day. He'll call the reporters himself and ask them to pick Crosby up from his doorstep.
Crosby seems impressed with whatever's showing in Claude's gaze. "I know. I'm sorry. It sucks when you lose your temper and shit like that happens."
"What would you know," Claude says, suddenly unable to keep his mouth shut. "When was the last time you got suspended for a hit?"
Crosby shrugs. "Whatever, you know what I mean," he says, and steals the bowl of peanuts from under Claude's hand.
"I think the sun's about to come up," Crosby says, staring up at the ceiling, lying next to Claude on the floor.
"You're probably right," Claude says. He's cold, lying on the carpet, but he's too tired to get up. Everything is so quiet. He and Crosby are practically whispering but their voices still seem loud somehow.
"You know I think you're a really amazing player," Crosby says. "I mean seriously."
"Are you sober yet?" Claude asks before yawning.
"Mostly," Crosby says, yawning in return.
They move closer together, both too tired to get up, both too cold to fall asleep where they are.
"You're a living legend, man," Claude says, sighing. "You know that. I mean, you've won the Cup. You'll probably win it a bunch more times before you're done."
Crosby snorts and then laughs, and then his laughter doesn't end, just goes on and on until Claude can feel him shaking, until Crosby half-rises and falls down again, laughing even harder, draping himself half on top of Claude in the process, his head resting on Claude's shoulder as the last giggles trickle out of him.
"What the fuck is so funny?" Claude asks, unable to keep himself from smiling. Crosby's laughter is apparently impossible to resist. It's kind of annoying.
"Just. I don't know, man. This. It's fucking hilarious," Crosby says, smile all huge and unguarded.
"Yeah, well, you started it," Claude says half heartedly.
"Yeah, I know," Crosby says, taking a deep breath and coughing to get rid of the last remnants of his laughter fit. "I guess I should have just gone out and tried to get laid instead of obsessing over your stupid game."
Claude closes his eyes. Getting laid is something he could definitely get behind. "Fuck, I would love to be getting laid right now."
He opens his eyes and Crosby's staring at him. He looks… curious. Claude stares back, unsure of where this is going.
"I kind of want to get laid too," Crosby says in a low voice. It's practically a whisper against Claude's shirt.
Claude takes a moment to consider. Is Crosby really offering what he thinks he's offering? How badly is this likely to end?
Fuck it, Claude thinks, he just took Sidney Crosby into his home and babysat him for hours to keep his stupid antics out of the press. He deserves this.
He leans over and kisses Crosby. He has no doubt that if Crosby isn't into it Claude will know instantly, but Crosby responds instead by moaning and grabbing Claude's face to keep him still.
Fuck, this is definitely the best thing that's happened to Claude since the Devils put the last nail in the Flyers' playoff coffin.
Crosby climbs on top of Claude, straddles Claude's hips and licks into his mouth. They spend endless minutes like that, making out and lazily stroking each other. Claude's a little shocked to realize how much Crosby is into make outs – he hasn't met too many guys who share that preference.
Finally they start undressing each other, awkwardly pulling off each other's sweaters, shirts, pants until they're both down to their boxers and socks. Crosby licks a line down Claude's chest, biting his collarbone, gently sucking on his nipples before moving down.
Claude buries his fingers in Crosby's hair and focuses on giving directions – moaning and grunting appropriately to let Crosby know what's working and what isn't.
Crosby looks up when he gets to Claude's navel, dark, messy hair falling into his eyes. He brings one of his hands to his mouth and runs his tongue over his palm, heel to fingertips, before burying it in Claude's underwear.
Claude can't hold back a moan when Crosby's slick, warm hand finds his cock. His hips buck up, constrained by Crosby's weight on him. His teeth sink into his bottom lip. Crosby's hand strokes up and down his shaft, keeping the rhythm steady and intense, and Claude moans and feels every nerve in his body light up, his skin tingling all over, his balls aching to come.
It doesn't take long. Crosby's hand is efficient, clearly experienced in this sort of thing, no shakiness or awkwardness despite the less than ideal night they've both had. Claude closes his eyes and breathes and sinks his fingers into Crosby's shoulder hard enough to bruise when he comes.
Crosby kisses him afterwards, as Claude is trying to catch his breath. They make out and Crosby wipes his hand on Claude's shirt. Claude flips them over, practically ripping off Crosby's boxers and then holding him down, firm hand on his hips, as Claude's hand wraps around Crosby's cock and starts jerking him off. Crosby's sweaty and his cock is practically leaking but it's still a pretty dry handjob. Crosby doesn't seem to mind though, writhes and groans and closes his eyes and stays still under Claude's hands, lets Claude set the pace.
Claude uses one of the down strokes to palm Crosby's balls, sneak a finger down his perineum and down even further, lightly touching Crosby's hole and Crosby practically arches off the carpet, loud groan escaping his lips. Claude smiles to himself – as long as he's having sex with someone he likes to know they're having an awesome fucking time – and slides his hand back up, starts jerking Crosby again, getting louder, more open reactions on each stroke now that Crosby's even more revved up.
Eventually Crosby's groans turn to a litany of "fuck, fuck, fuck" and he bites his lip and comes, fingers buried in the carpet as Claude strokes him through his orgasm.
After a moment of staring at each other, Crosby's eyes wild and huge and his hair sweaty and sticking to his forehead, Claude rolls off and they lie next to each other, barely touching, staring up at the ceiling and trying to catch their breaths.
"You were supposed to win," Crosby says, slurring his words. "You beat us, for fuck's sake. It wasn't supposed to happen like this."
"Yeah, I know, this is all very hard on you," Claude says with mock sympathy. "Try to hold it together long enough to not fall asleep naked in my living room."
He hears Crosby sigh. "You're an asshole," Crosby says. "Did anyone ever tell you that?"