They lose to the Blues at home. Half an hour after he gets home, Jon's buzzer rings, and he tells the doorman to let T.J. up.
"What are you doing here?"
T.J. grins at him. "The only thing better than winning is winning and then getting fucked by you."
Jon rolls his eyes, but doesn't protest when T.J. presses close and gropes him.
After, Jon lies next to T.J. to catch his breath.
T.J. makes a pleased noise. "That was so fucking good. Why did we ever stop doing that?"
T.J. grunts. "Sucks." After another moment of quiet, he says, "I really loved you."
"Yeah, I know." Jon doesn't say anything else.
T.J. hits him. "Dick."
Jon grins, and then he says, "Me too."
In the morning, Jon's cracking eggs for omelets when Kaner waltzes in. Sometimes he regrets giving Kaner a set of keys. Too late now.
"You better be making me one of those."
Jon rolls his eyes but cracks another couple of eggs into the bowl. He has the first omelet in the pan, Kaner chirping him all the way, when T.J. comes into the kitchen and steals Jon's coffee cup.
Jon takes it back. "Get your own."
T.J. looks at him mournfully.
Jon gets him a mug and points him at the coffee maker. "That's my shirt."
"I'm leaving you mine, so it's an even trade." T.J. leans against Jon's shoulder for a moment before he goes to stand out of the way with Kaner. "Kane."
Jon pretends not to see the questioning look on Kaner's face.
"This is just like college," T.J. says. "Not that he could cook in college."
"Anytime, J.T." T.J. just laughs at the face Jon makes at him and continues talking. "He would be so desperate for coffee he'd get up and go to the dining hall, and if he wasn't feeling like a dick, he'd bring breakfast back for both of us."
"If I didn't," Jon says, "he'd bitch for the rest of the day."
T.J. grins. "You keep telling yourself that."
Jon gives him the first omelet. "Eat up," he says. "We'll drop you off on the way to practice."
Breakfast isn't as awkward as it could be, except for after, when T.J. pulls him close and kisses him before they leave.
Kaner takes shotgun like he always does, and T.J. waves Jon off when he tries to protest. "Nah, whatever," he says.
They drop T.J. at his hotel with nothing more than a fist bump and a wave.
Kaner's quiet on the way to the rink, not even complaining about Jon's taste in music.
"Are you going to be weird about this?" Jon asks.
Kaner says, "No," but they can't stop chirping each other all through practice. It escalates until they're screaming at each other in the locker room. The guys are used to it and let them be, having their own conversations around them, until Kaner yells, "And since when do you fuck around with guys anyway?" and everything goes silent.
"I don't fuck around with guys!" Jon yells back.
"That's not what it looked like this morning."
"Fuck you! What do you even want from me?"
"I want you to tell me the fucking truth!"
"Fine! You want the truth? The truth is he was my first fucking love and if we'd been drafted by the same team, we'd still be together. The truth is I don't want anyone to set me up because it's a hell of a lot easier to just hook up with chicks who don't expect me to call them anyway. Breaking up with T.J. was the hardest thing I've ever done, and I'm not going through that again!" Jon hurls the rest of his gear into his stall and stalks off to the showers.
Jon gets a call from T.J. a couple of days later.
"I hear I'm your true love forever, or whatever."
Jon groans. "That's not what I said."
T.J. laughs. "Whatever you need to tell yourself."
"It was just Kaner. We were yelling at each other. He was mad."
"Mad or jealous?"
Jon makes a face. "Mad. It's not like that."
T.J. makes a hmming noise.
"It's not. He's Kaner, and he's straight anyway." Jon sighs. "Fuck. I wasn't thinking. I didn't mean to-"
"Hey," T.J. interrupts. "It's fine. We're cool. It doesn't matter if it shows up on the internet. I'm never going to marry some girl anyway."
Jon laughs a little. "I'm probably not either."
"Well, not if you keep telling people I broke your heart."
Jon groans again. "Fuck."
"Any time you want, baby."
Jon's still laughing when he hangs up.
It's not like Jon hasn't seen Kaner every day, but they haven't hung out, just the two of them, since before T.J. stayed over, so he's a little surprised when Kaner lets himself in with a six-pack. More so that Kaner brought beer instead of just drinking Jon's.
"Does this mean you're not mad at me anymore?"
Jon glares at him.
"All right, I'm not mad anymore. But, dude, you can tell me this shit. I'm not gonna care that the love of your life is T.J. Oshie."
"That's not what I said!"
Jon drinks half his beer without Kaner chirping him. "Are you jealous? T.J. thought-"
Kaner starts laughing before he even finishes the question. "I love you, man, and I know everyone wants a piece of this," he actually does a wave down his body, like it's all that great, "but I don't want to get any closer to your dick than halfway across the locker room."
Jon glares at him. It does make Kaner settle down, but the next thing he says is, "So, what, you got drafted and broke up?"
Jon shrugs. "Pretty much."
Kaner points at him with his beer bottle. "That's fucking stupid. You were totally in love with the dude."
Jon pinches the bridge of his nose. "We went to different teams. To play hockey. You remember what rookie year was like."
"Yeah, but there are summers and nights after games," Kaner does a completely ridiculous eyebrow waggle to go with that, "and you can visit."
"Kaner," Jon snaps. "Do you really think we didn't think about that? We did, and we decided it wouldn't work."
"Okay," Kaner says, "but now-"
"Fuck you, nothing's changed. You're Jonathan fucking Toews. We won the Cup, and we're on contracts with a fuckton of money. You could fly down there every day off if you wanted."
Jon sets his mouth into as forbidding a line as he knows how. "Kaner, stay out of it."
Kaner looks at him for a bit. "One more thing," he says, "and then I'm done. I'm cool with playing the field-" he glares when Jon laughs at that - "but you want the whole settled down, in love thing, and if you can have that, even if it's with a guy from the fucking Blues, then you should have that."
Jon looks down into the mouth of his beer bottle. "Thanks, man."
Kaner knocks his shoulder into Jon's. "I got your back." Then he draws back and pulls a face. "But not like that."
Jon laughs so hard he almost cries.
They win in St. Louis, and Jon decides a little payback is in order, so he begs off celebrating with Kaner and shows up at T.J.'s door after the game.
"Gonna fuck me to make up for beating our asses on the ice?"
Jon grins. "Something like that." He comes into T.J.'s place and kisses him, maybe a little softer, a little deeper than he meant to.
T.J. grabs his ass. "I could get behind that."
They stumble into T.J.'s bedroom - most of their clothes get left on the floor along the way - and they laugh more than Jon can remember doing while having sex with anyone else.
"The only thing better than winning is winning and then fucking you," Jon says after.
T.J. hits him, a weak flop of his hand onto Jon's chest. "Dick."
Jon grins, then rolls over and pins T.J. to the bed. "You just had my dick. Don't tell me you want more already."
T.J. stops laughing, the look on his face the kind of serious Jon remembers him being in bed sometimes, and cups Jon's cheek in his hand. "I always want more of you, J.T."
Jon bends down to kiss him. The second time is just as hot, and just as much fun, as the first time was.
Kaner waggles his eyebrows at him when Jon makes it back to their hotel room in the morning.
"Shut the fuck up," Jon says.
"Dude, I didn't even say anything." Kaner grins at him. "But you got laid." He draws out all the vowels.
"And you didn't," Jon says, "so."
Kaner shrugs. "It's not my one true love who lives in St. Louis."
"That's not what-" Jon gives it up as a lost cause. "Don't we have to be somewhere soon?"
"Breakfast," Kaner says cheerfully. "You could have had it with your boyfriend-"
"But now you get to eat with me."
Jon is totally making T.J. feed him next time.
Jon's been staring at the United website for half an hour, ignoring everything Kaner is doing with his life, when Kaner sits down next to him, grabs his laptop out of his hands and says, "Oh my God, just buy the fucking tickets already."
When he hands the laptop back, it's all the way through to the part where all Jon has to do is enter his credit card number. Letting Kaner choose his flights is probably a really bad idea, but Jon gets his card out, pays for the tickets, and forwards a copy of his itinerary to T.J. with a note that says, "Coming to visit. You better show me a good time."
"Fuuuck." T.J.'s arms are still looped over Jon's shoulders, his body still splayed open under Jon's. "Fuck, that was good. You can come visit to fool around with me anytime you want."
"I didn't come visit to fool around."
"The state of my dick says otherwise."
Jon laughs. "I didn't come to visit just to fool around. Tomorrow, you're showing me St. Louis."
They make out a little in the morning, before T.J. has to go to practice, and spend most of the day chirping each other over NHL 13 and Mario Kart. They do make it out of the house, but only for lunch. They don't get recognized by anyone who asks them for anything, and when they get back to T.J.'s, T.J. pulls Jon into his bedroom and sucks him off. Jon returns the favor, and they take a nap before T.J.'s game.
Jon watches the game from the press box. Fuck what anyone says. He and T.J. have been friends since college, and if this is what he wants to do with a couple of days off, this is what he's going to do.
The Blues win, which means Jon ends up hanging out at T.J.'s for a couple of hours before T.J. gets back.
"Get your pants off, J.T.," T.J. says. "That was a fucking awesome game, and I deserve to get fucked."
Jon laughs. "That was a great game." He presses T.J. up against the wall and they make out for a while.
"I really, really want your dick in my ass," T.J. says, and Jon can't stop laughing, even as he drags T.J. into bed and gives him what he wants.
Jon has his phone out after a pretty shitty practice, and he's trying not to laugh too hard at the picture T.J. just sent him when he realizes there's a weird pool of silence around him. He looks up to find no less than seven of his teammates staring at him.
"Aww," Kaner says, throwing an arm around his shoulders, "is this the first time you've seen the great Jonathan Toews happy? You might see it again, if you start completing passes." He actually shoos everyone away before he says, quieter, "Boyfriend making up for our fucking terrible playing?"
Jon shoves him off. "He's not my boyfriend. And nothing's going to make up for how terrible that was." He raises his voice at the last, so it carries across the room, and lets it serve as the beginning of a captain speech they all need to hear.
"Hey, so," T.J. says, and he's already been rambling at Jon for fifteen minutes, so he doesn't know why T.J. sounds like he's starting a conversation. "I've got a two-day break coming up. You'll be at home. Thought I might come up to Chi-town and hang with you."
"Never call it that again," Jon says. "Miss my dick already?"
"Oh, yeah, baby," T.J. says, faking it so obviously that Jon can't do anything but laugh.
Jon arranges for T.J. to get into his place when he gets to Chicago, so he comes home from a game - they won, and Kaner made stupid faces at him when he said he wasn't going out - to T.J. watching highlights on his couch.
T.J. doesn't get up, so Jon goes to him, leans in, one hand on the couch behind him, and kisses him.
T.J. hmms into his mouth and pulls him down a little more. "You going to fuck me to celebrate?"
Jon pulls away a little. "I don't have to skate tomorrow."
"Oh yeah?" T.J. kneads the back of Jon's neck with one hand. "You wanna get fucked?"
"If you think you can handle that."
T.J. pushes him off, laughing, and shoves Jon toward the bedroom. "I'll show you what I can handle."
It's been a long time since Jon's been fucked. It's good, better than he remembers. T.J. doesn't let up on him, snaps his hips, kisses Jon's neck, says things like, "You're so fucking hot. You don't even know. That pass in the second."
Jon lets T.J. deal with cleanup this time, and waits for him to get back in bed, lie down next to him.
"We're hanging out with Kaner tomorrow," Jon warns him.
T.J. just snorts. "Yeah. I didn't think I was going to get away with visiting you without him tagging along at some point."
"I'll kick him out early," Jon promises.
"It's all good." T.J. kisses him, long and sweet, and pulls the covers over them. "As long as he doesn't want in here."
"He hooks up with girls," Jon says, then reconsiders and says, "Mostly he fails at hooking up with girls. But he's definitely straight."
"You ever wish he wasn't?"
Jon can't help the face he makes; T.J laughs at it. "Really, no," Jon says. He tucks his arm around T.J., curves his hand around warm skin and solid muscle. "I like this."
Jon wakes up to a slow, lazy blowjob, which he returns, and he and T.J. are mostly dressed and hanging out on the couch playing Mario Kart when Kaner calls to say he's coming over so they'd better not be fucking right now.
"Jesus, Kaner," Jon says.
Kaner just laughs at him. "Like this wasn't a booty call." He hangs up on Jon, but doesn't bring it up when he gets there, just greets T.J. with a fist bump and picks up an extra controller.
Kaner loses three rounds before he says, "Let's get out of here."
"Just because you're losing," Jon says without taking his eyes off the screen.
"Because Oshie should see something of Chicago other than your walls," Kaner says, which is a little less alarming than what he could have said about what T.J. was seeing on his visit.
"Come on," T.J. says. "I showed you St. Louis."
"We went out to lunch." Jon turns everything off and gets his coat. "I don't even know what to take you to see."
"The Bean," Kaner says. "You can make stupid faces in it." He snaps his fingers. "Oh, wait, your face is already stupid."
They chirp each other all the way down to Jon's car, and all the way to Millenium Park where they do, indeed, make stupid faces at The Bean. Kaner insists on a picture, the three of them with arms thrown around each other's shoulders making faces into the curved surface of the sculpture.
They go for lunch after that, settling into a booth in some place with the heat up high enough that they can take off their coats and thaw out while they eat. T.J. puts his hand on Jon's thigh after he finishes his sandwich, and it keeps creeping higher.
"Let's get out of here," Kaner says after he's lost the squabble over who has to pay and signed the receipt, "before you're arrested for public indecency."
Jon glares at him and T.J. laughs. "My hand wasn't that high," he murmurs into Jon's ear, even though it was. Even though the intimacy of the whisper is making him want T.J. even more.
Jon spends the whole drive home plotting how to get rid of Kaner, which proves to be unnecessary because Kaner doesn't even come upstairs with them. He hugs T.J., fist bumps Jon, and takes off, although not before saying, "Enjoy the rest of your romantic staycation."
Jon flips him off, and Kaner walks away laughing.
"He's no me," T.J. says in the elevator.
"No one's you," Jon says without thinking.
It gets him a pleased smile before T.J. says, "But he's no slouch in the friend department."
"He's all right," Jon allows. He can't do much else until they're inside his place, but then he kisses T.J. for it.
T.J. kisses back and grins into it. "You gonna fuck me now?"
"I knew you only came to Chicago for my dick."
"And your ass," T.J. says, grabbing it.
Jon smirks at him. "You didn't know you were getting that when you decided to come."
"Call it a perk," T.J. says. "You gonna fuck me anytime today?"
"Yeah," Jon says, "right now," and he drags T.J. into his bedroom.
After, Jon lies next to T.J. and says, "Kaner-"
"Oh, God, don't talk about Kaner in bed."
"Shut up, this is important." Jon waits for a moment to see if T.J. is going to. "He said things are different now. For us."
There's a minute of silence before T.J. rolls up onto an elbow and stares down at Jon. "I love you, dude, but you're not making any kind of sense."
Jon puts his hands over his eyes and presses down with his palms. "My team won the Cup," he says, "and both of us have contracts."
Jon takes his hands away to glare at T.J. "And plane tickets from Chicago to St. Louis aren't that expensive. As you know."
"Jonathan Toews, are you asking me to go steady?"
Jon grimaces. "Shut the fuck up."
"No, really, are you going to give me your fraternity pin?"
"Fine, it's a stupid idea." Jon starts to sit up, but T.J. pulls him down.
"It's not a stupid idea." T.J. rubs his nose against Jon's shoulder. "I'm all for something that gets me laid."
Jon stares at him. "Come on, you have to get laid."
T.J. shrugs. "Not that much."
"I'm a fucking hometown hero. It's not like I can just go out and pick up guys. I bet you're not doing that in Chicago either."
"No," Jon admits. "It's been mostly chicks, and mostly when I'm out with Kaner."
"Damn, you two have a kinkier relationship than I thought."
Jon hits him in the arm. "It's not like that."
T.J. keeps snickering at him.
"So was that a yes?"
T.J. runs his fingers through Jon's hair. "Yeah, that was a yes. I mean, if I'm the fucking love of your life and all."
Jon rolls onto him and pins him, elbows in the hollows of T.J.'s shoulders and hands on either side of his face. "That's not even what I said." He kisses T.J., though, and it's been long enough that they're both getting hard again and blow jobs sound like the best way to seal their agreement.
Jon goes to St. Louis for less than twenty-four hours, flying in after a light morning practice and spending the night with T.J. before he has to be back in Chicago and T.J. has to be on a plane for an away game.
He spends a while working T.J. open, then drapes T.J.over his lap and makes T.J. ride him slow and steady.
"Fuck," T.J. says. He sounds absolutely wrecked. "Fuck, Jonathan, I fucking love you."
Jon grabs T.J.'s hips, kisses him, works him until he comes, then presses his forehead to T.J.'s chest and thrusts hard into him until he loses it too.
"Me too, you know," Jon says, after he's laid T.J. out in his bed and cleaned them up.
"Yeah?" T.J. sounds a little surprised.
"Yeah." Jon smoothes his hand over T.J.'s chest. "I don't think I ever really stopped."
They take turns traveling, fitting in meetups whenever their schedules let them. Jon's racking up frequent flyer miles like no one's business, but it's about as happy as he's ever been, this and the summer after they won the Cup.
"Are we going to tell people about us?" Jon asks T.J. even though they're both sweaty and T.J.'s still panting.
"I told my mom," T.J. says. Of course he did.
"I told my parents," Jon admits. What he'd said was that he was back together with T.J. and that this was something he wanted. His mom fussed at him a bit and his dad was quiet but said he hoped it worked out. "I meant other people. Media."
"Do you want that?" T.J. asks after a silence so long Jon's starting to regret bringing it up.
"Someone's going to notice."
"That we're fucking like newlyweds every chance we get? Probably, yeah. Do you care?"
Jon sighs. "I don't want to make a statement or be a symbol or anything, but." He reaches out to find T.J.'s hand with his. "People are going to notice, and I don't want to lie. Not about you."
T.J. nudges his arm, and Jon turns his head to look at him. T.J. looks right back, meeting his eyes with no hesitation.
"Okay," he says. "You tell whoever you want whatever you want."
"Are you sure?"
T.J. smiles and stretches close enough to kiss Jon's shoulder. "I've loved you since we were college kids getting fucked up and trading handjobs. I'm sure."
"One more thing," Jon says at the end of a team meeting. He glances around, takes a deep breath. Just because he's already talked to his agent and the front office doesn't mean this is going to be easy. "After playoffs, I'm going to be talking to the media." He takes another breath. "About my boyfriend." He looks up, finds Kaner's grin before he looks at the rest of them. "I'm going to try to keep it about me, but you'll probably all get questions about it. Just say, 'No comment,' if you don't want to talk about it." A few of his guys look resigned, but no one's outright mad at him. He points at Sharpy. "And no speculation about my sex life."
Sharpy barks out a laugh. "Toes, the last thing I want to do is think about your sex life." He's the first one out of his chair, and he thumps Jon's shoulder on the way out of the room.
Duncs is next, and once both of their other captains have accepted it, the rest of the team files past Jon, every one of them stopping to acknowledge him with a fist bump, a thwack on the shoulder, or a hand gripping and twisting his hat.
The coaches are last, Q squeezing his shoulder and smiling from under his mustache.
Jon lets out a sigh once they're all gone and it's just him and Kaner.
"You fucker," Kaner says. He hugs Jon, flicks the bill of his hat when he steps away. "You're our captain. No one's going to talk shit about you, and they don't need the threat of what I would do to them if they did to keep it that way."
Jon rolls his eyes. "That's good, because no one's scared of you."
"I am one mean motherfucker," Kaner says.
Jon hooks his elbow around Kaner's neck, forcing Kaner to bend under the pressure.
Kaner laughs and gets his hand on Jon's arm, pinching and twisting his skin until Jon lets go. "Mean," Kaner says, wiggling his fingers.
Jon shoves him into the hallway. "Very scary. Your sisters trained you well."
Kaner points at him. "Don't talk about my sisters."
Jon checks Kaner into the wall. "Your sisters could kick your ass."
"They could kick yours without breaking a nail." Kaner checks him into the wall on the other side. He looks at Jon like he's thinking about it. "And T.J.'s too, if he fucks things up."
Jon pulls his next check, more of a bump than anything else, just hard enough to send Kaner into the wall. "He won't, but thanks."
They get knocked out of the playoffs, which pisses Jon off. They're better than this. Plus, then he has to talk about what went wrong with their season and how they can be better next year, even though this is the third year in a row he's had to answer those questions.
This year, the torture of exit interviews is either extended or mitigated, depending on perspective, by Charlie from media relations and the second Blackhawks TV camera in the locker room because media relations decided to pair the serious interviews with a look at how players are going to spend their summers.
Charlie catches up with Jon after his exit interview, and Kaner cracks up and sidles himself into the frame as soon as Charlie asks his question. "Yeah, Jonathan, tell us about your plans for the summer."
Jon tries not to make the kind of face that will get him in trouble, with anyone and sighs. "My boyfriend wants to go to the Caribbean for a couple of weeks."
Charlie looks confused and Kaner won't stop laughing.
"I know that sounds great to most people," Jon says, "but it's going to be so hot."
"He's a delicate flower," Kaner says.
"I spend most of my life on the ice," Jon says. "I'm used to the cold." It's the same argument that hasn't been working on T.J.
"And your boyfriend?" Charlie asks.
"Really wants a tropical vacation."
"For the record," Kaner says, "I would also like a tropical vacation, but I'm not the boyfriend."
Jon can't help the face he makes at that. "Really not." He elbows Kaner. "And if we do go, you're not invited."
"Oh, you're going," Kaner says. "No one's going to let you spend the whole summer preparing for next season."
And just like that, they're back on track for Jon to talk about what he's going to do to prepare for next season and get out of there.
When Charlie takes the camera to whoever has to live through his questions next, Jon texts T.J., Just told Blackhawks TV my boyfriend wants to go on a tropical vacation.
T.J. sends back, We are going. You can pick the weeks, and, Good. Now everyone will know you're taken.
Jon rolls his eyes and puts his phone back into his pocket so he can get on with locker cleanout.
Jon gets more requests for interviews than he thought he might. He talks it over with T.J., and they agree to talk to Sports Illustrated, before they go to whatever tropical destination it is that T.J.'s decided they need to visit.
There are all the questions Jon expects, about their relationship, about being gay in hockey - "Bi," Jon says, still uncomfortable with saying it out loud; T.J. says, "Gay," easy as anything - about being out in hockey, and then there's the part he doesn't expect.
"I heard a story," the interviewer says, "about you and Patrick Kane yelling at each other in the locker room."
Jon's going to kill Kaner. "We do that a lot."
The interviewer chuckles. "This story says you told him T.J. is the love of your life."
Jon groans, but he has to laugh a little too. "That's not what I said." He and T.J. aren't big on the whole PDA thing, but they're giving this interview now, so he takes T.J.'s hand. "But yeah. Yeah, he is."
T.J. turns to smile at him, and that's the photo that ends up on the cover, the two of them holding hands and smiling at each other.