"I've got the PETA on my ass about fur, what's your contribution to the glory of figure skating?" comes out of the earphone of his Olympic suite phone. Stephane thinks, de quoi il parle? before hanging up.
Later, while they're waiting for the rink to clear up, Johnny comes up to him, not even pretending to be subtle about his giant, pouty displeasure at having been ignored. "Stephaaaaaaaaaaaane," and there's really only one person who can whine like he's alternately purring and putting paws on your shoulders, ready to dig in and knead until his belly is scratched. Or, in this case, for you to crouch into a position of absolute penitence, despite the skates. He tries for the calm approach. "I was sleeping."
He supposes he should feel lucky that Johnny's not wearing jeans, that he's even here, awake and bright-eyed. Weir's lack of discipline is something of a byword, especially compared to stolid Evan, who probably practices in his sleep. Maybe he'll stop whining if Stephane just ignores him.
He leans forward against the rather flimsy rink wall, and watches the women's competitors A block finish their morning warm-ups. He's not sure how a fleet of skaters is going to manage in such a small space, even with two rinks between them. And the speculation about Vancouver being a mess up this year isn't exactly reassuring.
"- and so I told him that he could kiss my white feathered ass and threw up all over him. Then killer purple unicorns came flying down and gored him for food. You're not listening, are you?"
"It is not a good idea to fuel discord in your team. And Evan is not so bad."
Johnny glowers like a five year old deprived of candy, "He made fun of my costume! Him! The guy who's always in black!"
He cannot remember where he read it, but apparently any conversation approaching more than five exclamation marks was an indicator of insanity, and besides, he isn't sure he wants a five page discussion on the merits of glitter in figure skating costumes, so he attempts to stop the onslaught. The first thing that comes out of his mouth is, "Perhaps he knows he does not have your figure and wishes to keep all the attention on his program?"
Thankfully, Johnny doesn't seem to be paying too much attention to what he's saying.
"Whatever. His nefarious motives will be uncovered one day!" Stephane tries to ignore Evan - Lysacek, really, looming curiously nearby (hopefully he hadn't been there for the unicorns part of the conversation), clad from head to toe in unrelieved black, as always. "Woah! Did you see that? Kim Yuna was totally eyeballing Asada Mao's ass!"
Stephane resists the urge to smack his head into the clear partition between the rink and the holding area. Too many reporters around, and god, he hopes none of them caught that last tidbit.
"She was probably assessing Asada's form. You know they're both favourites for the gold." It comes out flatter than he hoped for, his mouth nearly mashed against the plastic. Johnny snorts.
"She was assessing something alright."
It's probably more applicable to himself, given that Johnny's currently wearing skintight lycra over, you guessed it, more skintight lycra. People call him too thin in a sport dominated by muscled thighs, but his slim grace does give an extra flair on the ice -
Stephane shakes his head to clear out that last thought and hopes everyone (read: Johnny) attributed it to the jetlag or being woken up at 4 in the morning. (Going by Johnny's usual style of overreaction, the entire Vancouver contingent probably knows by now that he'd called Stephane upon flying in and had been promptly hung up upon.)
He pushes aside all guilt. It's the Olympics, and neither of them should do anything to jeopardise a chance at a medal, especially over something like sleep. On the ice, Mirai sketches a beautiful arabesque, her trademark flexibility making it look both flawless and easy, and Stephane stifles a surge of regret for his own injury. It's not taken skating away from him entirely, and for that much he should be grateful.
With his usual lack of sympathy for sentimentalism (his words), Johnny pokes him in the side, right where it hurts, and Stephane doesn't even pause to say ow, just casually reaches over to grab him in a headlock. Plushenko, sipping the noxious brew of black tar that he calls coffee, casts a disdainful eye in their direction, but he doesn't move from his seat. The others are equally blasé at the sight of the two of them, and soon Johnny pounds his arm, conceding defeat.
When Stephane releases him from some rather energetic tussling, his hair is sticking up everywhere and the exertion of the mock wrestling has turned Johnny's pale, wintry skin flushed. His eyes brighten at the affectionate exasperation in Galina's face and he skips over to his beckoning coaches, who are both here and trying to restrain him from saying anything more outrageous than 'mongoose' to the media. Stephane turns his head away from the clustered trio, checking the surrounding rink for fans. He spots Tanith standing behind the tallest row of the bleachers, who waves back and smiles at him approvingly.
He grins at her, remembering something about 'ambiance' and 'all girls like pink, Stephane' and 'yes, but only when they are seven, madame la princesse'.
Overhead, the klaxon for a zamboni break sounds. In the tumult of the gate opening and the rush of exits, Stephane suddenly wishes for a hot chocolate and decides to ask Johnny if he has time for one later. He'll probably say yes.
(Even if his daily breakfast consists of espresso coffee.)