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Jonny has this girlfriend, and whatever, Pat's totally cool with him fooling around now, even if his variety of fooling around is serial monogamy. But then they go out for drinks one night and Jonny says he's thinking about asking this girl to move in, and Pat is all, "Isn't that kind of serious?"

Jonny says, "Well, yeah, but this is what you do when you're in a serious relationship," and, "I almost asked Tim" (who is his ex-boyfriend) "to move in, but he broke up with me," and, "I'm not ready to get married yet, but, you know, I think I'm ready for this."

Pat just gapes at him and says, "You're not marrying her."

"Well, not now, but maybe. You know, someday."

They're in public so Pat can't yell at him, but he does sort of hiss something about how Jonny's an asshole and walks out, leaving Jonny to pay their tab.

*

He's pretty much too mad to talk to Jonny for days. Jonny keeps throwing him confused looks, and Pat actually overhears Jonny say to Sharpy, "I don't even know what I did." One of the texts he reads and then deletes says, "If you hate her that much, I won't ask her to move in," which is totally missing the point.

So Pat goes out and gets wasted and hooks up with a couple of guys, which is a stupid thing to do in Chicago but he's mad and he just wants someone to make him forget that Jonny's being such a jerk. (A couple of pictures of him drunk in a bar show up on Twitter, but that happens all the time anyway.)

*

The last thing he wants when they go out of town is to spend time in the hotel room with Jonny, so he goes out with Jimmy and Shawsy, which seems like it should be fun. It's not like he's going to get wasted or anything, not the night before a game. He just doesn't want to be in the hotel room. One of his boys tells on him, though, because Sharpy's waiting for them when they meet in the hotel lobby.

Pat's only allowing himself three drinks, and Sharpy waits until he's halfway through his second one before he asks, "What's up with you and Toes? He thinks you hate his girl."

"I don't hate her," Pat protests, "but he thinks he might marry her."

"So?" Jimmy asks. "She seems nice."

"I bought a house," Pat says. "I bought a really nice house with a gate to keep people out and it's right on the lake so he can teach the kids to fish."

All three of them are staring at him, and Sharpy asks, very slowly, "What kids?"

"The kids! Our kids. Mine and Jonny's."

"Just so I have this right," Sharpy says, "you mean kids you and Jonny have together, not like your kids are going to grow up with his kids."

"Of course our kids together. That was always the plan."

"Kaner," Shawsy says, so seriously that Pat looks him in the eye, "does Tazer know about this plan?"

Pat scoffs. "Of course he knows about this plan. It's always been the plan."

"Okay," Shawsy says, "but have you actually talked to him about it? Because you have to do that kind of thing." And then he explains about how he and his girlfriend talked a lot about their future together before he got drafted, and again after.

So then Pat stops and thinks about it. Because they've talked about how their kids are going to play hockey together and how Jonny can take them golfing and how Pat is never allowed to name a kid after Kanye, no matter how awesome he is. But he's never actually said that the kids they're talking about are going to be his and Jonny's together. He always thought that part was obvious.

"Communication," Sharpy says, "is the key to any good relationship," and Pat's reasonably sure that he's both utterly serious and laughing at him.

*

Jonny's already in bed when Pat gets back. He's only pretending to sleep but Pat lets him be. They have a game tomorrow, and Pat's not going to let this get in the way of that.

He waits until they're back in Chicago, and then he follows Jonny home and lets himself into Jonny's condo.

Jonny's waiting for him, because even if they don't have all their shit together, they're still together enough that Jonny knows when Pat wants to talk to him.

"I thought you liked her," Jonny says.

Pat says, "I do like her," because he does and because he knows Jonny would never date someone Pat hated. "You just can't marry her."

"Why not?"

"I bought a house."

"I remember. You had your sisters text me a million pictures."

"I bought a house for us," Pat says. "For our kids. You can't marry her because you're going to marry me and we're going to get one of my sisters, probably Jessica, to be our surrogate, and our kids are going to grow up in that house. You can spend every summer teaching them to fish on the lake, and there's space in the backyard for a rink in the winter. And if you want to coach or whatever, then we'll live somewhere else the rest of the year and just spend summers there."

Jonny looks completely shocked, his mouth dropping open, and he actually gropes his way to the couch like something out of a book. "But you'll sleep with anything that moves," he finally says.

"Yeah, now. We're young and rich and famous. We're having fun. But not later." Pat frowns. "I'm not going to cheat on you."

"And you're really- How long have you been thinking about this?"

"Since I met you, almost," Pat says. "You can date whoever you want for a few years, but you can't marry anyone else."

"Pat, do you even love me?"

"More than anyone else in the world." Pat goes over to the couch and kisses Jonny, just a brief press to his lips, and then he leaves. Things should be good now that they've gotten that worked out.

*

Pat figures he's going to get some shit for it later, but things settle down in the next few days and it's almost like normal, except Jonny's a little quieter around him. And then Jonny comes to practice one day and he obviously hasn't slept much.

"Late night with the girlfriend?" Sharpy asks.

Jonny's mouth is a flat line when he says, "We broke up."

Everyone else winces, and there are a couple of "Sorry, man"s, and then they have to get onto the ice and Pat doesn't have a chance to talk to Jonny about it until after practice when he catches up to him at his car.

"Did you break up with her because of me?"

"Pat-"

"No, come on, did you? Because that wasn't what I meant. You can date her for a couple of years or whatever."

"No I can't! Do you get what a dick that would make me? If it's-" Jonny stops and gathers himself together, like he's forcing himself to say this. "If it's going to be you and me, then it's not fair to her to let her think there might be something more."

"Oh," Pat says. "I guess you're right." And then he really looks at Jonny. "You said if. It's not. It's not an if, okay? It's you and me."

"Right," Jonny says, but he doesn't look completely convinced.

"It is." Pat ducks in and hugs Jonny. "You and me and our kids on the lake. I promise."

*

Pat hooks up a few times over the rest of the season, but not a lot, and if Jonny's dating or picking up, he's not talking about it.

*

The night before the first game of the playoffs, Jonny stops him in the middle of their hotel room and puts his hands on Pat's hips. "This is it," he says. "Win or lose, you go do whatever you want to do this summer, and then you're done. Then it's us."

Pat leans his forehead on Jonny's. "It can be us already."

Jonny smiles at him. "I know you like to party over the summer."

Pat smiles back. "I don't have to, though. You could come to Buffalo, check out the house. We can buy some furniture."

Jonny chuckles. "This is like your condo all over again, isn't it?"

Pat grins. "I wanted to let you have a say."

"You're just lazy." Jonny squeezes his hips and lets him go. "Let's see how the playoffs go, okay?"

Pat tells him, "I'm not going to change my mind," but doesn't argue with him beyond that.

*

After the playoffs - they don't win - Jonny heads to Winnipeg and Pat takes off to Buffalo, but with Jonny's promise that he'll come visit in a couple of weeks, even though he doesn't make it until the end of the summer.

"It's a great house," Jonny says when Pat's given him the tour and they're standing out on the patio in the back.

Pat leans into Jonny's side. "I know."

"Okay," Jonny says, turning to face him. "Let's go buy some furniture."

Pat's been sleeping in one of the other bedrooms, so while they buy a bunch of other stuff too, their first priority is furniture for the master bedroom. It takes a couple of days for everything to get delivered and set up, and they spend the time between shopping trips down by the lake or playing video games.

Jonny kisses him the day the master bedroom is finally set up, sheets on the bed and all.

Pat kisses back, and then says, "There hasn't been anyone in a while. Since before playoffs. And I got tested, so. Whatever you want to do."

"I got tested too," Jonny says.

Pat smiles so wide it almost hurts. "So what are we waiting for?"

Jonny laughs, and they have sex for the first time in their bed in the master bedroom. Which, Pat discovers, Jonny has set up to the extent of stocking the nightstand with necessary supplies. Pat nearly elbows Jonny once, and Jonny smacks his hip and tells him his dirty talk is for shit, and it's messy and silly and fun. They lie there for a while after, letting sweat and come cool on their skin, and then they do it all over again.

*

After they get back to Chicago, after Pat has moved his things into Jonny's condo but before training camp has started up, Jonny sets a jeweler's box down next to Pat at the dinner table.

Pat looks at it, and looks at Jonny.

"Just open it."

Pat does, and there are a pair of rings inside, platinum with tiny diamond chips that sparkle in the light. "Are these-"

"Engagement rings," Jonny says.

"This is the least romantic proposal ever," Pat says, but he puts his on and hands Jonny his.

They can't wear them during practice, but they wear them the rest of the time. Their team knows, the guys who've been there, anyway, not the prospects, and Sharpy and Shawsy both clap Pat on the back and congratulate him on finally communicating with Jonny.

It takes longer than Pat would have thought for anyone else to notice, but eventually a reporter says to him, "There are some rumors that you got married over the summer."

Pat laughs and says, "No. Engaged."

"Patrick Kane," one of the reporters says, "engaged."

"Yep." Pat holds up his hand to let whoever wants get a good shot of the ring.

"Who's the lucky girl?" One of them asks.

"Guy," Pat says. "New York and Canada both have marriage equality."

There's a stunned silence before the reporters start barking so many questions that the front office people who are always hanging around have to step in and maintain order.

Jonny pushes through the crowd of reporters to join Pat and puts his arm around Pat's shoulders. His left arm, which means his hand with his ring is on Pat's shoulder where all the reporters can see it. That leads to another whole batch of shouted questions, loud enough to make both of them wince.

"We're getting married," Jonny says when it quiets down enough for him to be heard. "Probably over the summer because we're too busy during the season, and either in Winnipeg or Buffalo because it's still not legal here."

"You could make it legal," Pat says, grinning into one of the cameras from a local crew. "Then we could get married here."

"I don't think the entire state of Illinois is going to change its politics for our wedding," Jonny says.

"They could. Think how great that would be. Someday our kids are learning history, and there we are, the catalyst for marriage equality in Illinois."

One of the reporters interrupts them to ask, "So you two are really engaged?"

They both say yes and there are some other questions that they answer or don't, as appropriate, until media relations ushers the press out and yells at them for not informing them before they started talking to the press. It's nothing compared to the dressing down they get from their agent that only lets up when Jonny takes firm control of the conversation and promises that they'll do an interview about it.

They stare at each other for a long moment after they hang up, and then Pat can't help smiling. "We made history today. Again."

Jonny laughs and kisses Pat, and then he sighs and says, "This is going to be such a distraction."

"It'll get people in the seats," Pat says, "and it'll die down when the season gets into full swing."

"We'll see about that," Jonny says darkly. "Was this in your plan?"

"Not exactly," Pat admits.

*

People talk about them. People talk about them a lot. Some of it's shitty, and some of it's good, and almost none of it is about hockey. Still, they get through the season. Illinois doesn't change its laws, although there's a lot of talk about it. Pat gives a couple of interviews about how there are protections for married couples that he wants for himself and Jonny.

They get married in Buffalo. Pat wants to have the wedding on the lawn at the house, but they know too many people, and Jonny points out that if they do that, they can't just disappear into the master bedroom to have sex when it's over because there will be people everywhere and the whole place will be a mess. They don't go away for a real honeymoon, but they spend a week alternately staying in bed, fishing - well, Jonny fishes; Pat sits in the boat and drinks - and renting out an entire ice rink for hours at a time so they can practice.

By the time the season starts up again, they're old news, and no one even looks at the gold rings they're wearing now. Pat's not bothered, though, by the lack of attention. They're married, and they're going to raise their kids in the house Pat bought for them. Everything is going according to plan.