When NHL star Patrick Kane's off-ice antics finally get him into trouble for the last time, captain and best friend Jonathan Toews has one final trump card to keep him from being traded: marriage...to each other. But between being the first openly gay hockey players, facing down a lockout, and the fact that Patrick has been in love with Jonny for years, will these two ever be able to work past their miscommunication to realize that their marriage may not be as much of a sham as they think it is?
Written for the Harlequin Big Bang 2013.
Warnings: Please be aware that this fic contains talk of homophobia and homophobic language. It also includes discussion of Patrick Kane's Cinco de Mayo debacle and references to excessive alcohol consumption.
Accessibility Note: There is a multimedia section in Part 3, which we have provided transcripts for at an off-site location. If you need these for accessibility reasons and are downloading the fic for offline reading, be sure to snag these as well! 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
handwaving; please see the end-of-fic author notes for things hand waved during this fic (not much at all tbh)
Note about dealing with the 'coming out' issue: I realise this can be a trigger for many people but I dealt with this as best I could. I know this is a harlequin and people may not be expecting some of the things that happen, but I wanted to give an accurate description of what they would face. It was 160k before I realised it maybe didn't do as much as I wanted it to, or give as good a commentary as the subject deserved, but the fic physically couldn't survive being any longer. As someone to whom coming out is a subject personal to me, I couldn't let myself not deal with it in the right way. Patrick and Jonny both have differing views on how they'd react to it as well, so be prepared for that going in. I hope I've done enough. <3
It has arrived!
This fic has been a labour (BRITISH SPELLING!!!!) of love- and pain and despair and feels - but mostly of love. The all-consuming kind. I know I've been teasing you guys on twitter and tumblr with this for months and I'm finally, finally able to bring it to you now - I hope it doesn't disappoint. This fic is responsible for my lack of attention to anything not remotely Married Verse related for four months. I will be sorry to see it go but also NOT because any time I don't have to endure hours of sobbing over my Patrick/Jonny marriage feelings is GREAT.
This fic requires that I thank a lot of people.
First and foremost, this fic would not actually exist without Bess. My original idea was a harmless Mike/Jeff fic which still exists somewhere. Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for you, she changed my mind. I think we originally planned on 70k max as our final estimate. However, feels kind of got in the way and we ended up with this 160k beast. Bess has been INVALUABLE TO ME. You guys don't even know. There were dark times in February when I was convinced I was going to give up and go back to that soulbonding Mike/Jeff fic but Bess wouldn't let me - and rightfully so. She also spent the entire month of April hating me for making her hard beta this shit, so she deserves ALL OF YOUR GRATITUDE. I ruined her life for an entire weekend of beta-ing, so thank you, Bess. I could LITERALLY not have done this without you!
My team of betas and cheerleaders: mizubyte, madecunningly and novembersmith. They pretty much beat this into shape when I was convinced all was lost. That said, there ARE a lot of mistakes still (as is inevitable when I'm editing and don't always catch everything) and those are all my fault, not theirs. Either because I didn't read the comments they left me, or because I'm just stupid and didn't see the error. Bear with me as I fix them! <3
Eiirene gets LOTS of thanks for her amazing art used on the cover. It's amazing and I love it.
Thanks for the radio clip in the media section belong to: Bess' RL male friends who agreed to record things without asking questions, special thanks to Eric, who knows who these guys are and recorded it anyway. Thanks also to kalakirya who edited the audio broadcast.
(See the end of the work for more notes.)
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