Kris is the weirdest person Marc knows, and Marc knows Sid.
People like to think Marc is the weird one, just because Marc is a goalie, but Marc is the chillest goalie Marc has ever known until he met Matt. Kris is a gentleman's gentleman, cares about grooming and suits and is almost as vain over his hair as Nealer (but with more cause), but if you get on his bad side on the ice, he's going to fly off the handle. If Marc didn't love Kris so much, if they didn't all love Kris so much, if he wasn't such a terrific offensive defensemen, it would probably bug Marc that at 29 Kris is still flying off the handle. When Kris was 19, Marc thought it was adorable, even when it meant Kris was making bad decisions in front of the crease and/or getting sent to the box. But honestly, Marc still finds it kind of adorable; it's hard not to be charmed by Kris.
Tonight, they're out at a bar and a bunch of them are still in suits; it's really only the kids who look actually appropriately dressed for the venue. Marc always lets Kris pick out his suits because it's easier than arguing, and also getting pants with the correct inseam without seeing a tailor is a hassle.
Marc is kind of drunk, he can't stop giggling, imagining perfectly groomed and coiffed be-suited Kris getting into it with another player or sassing the refs.
"But," he starts, leaning over Sid in the banquette, to get closer to Kris, "Just imagine! How could they eject you then, Kris?" Kris squints at him. Marc waves a hand at Kris' suit, wiggling his fingers. "In your suit!" Marc reaches around to tap the knot of Kris' tie.
Kris makes a mutinous face into his beer. "Oh, they still would. It would just be funnier."
"I wish you would take the A, Tanger," Sid says robotically, like he has a hundred times before, but he doesn't care because he isn't really paying attention, Geno is across the banquette from them. "They wouldn't be able to eject you if you had a letter." Sid sounds a little tired, but Kris's refusal is also always the same, unspoken at this point, and Kris just rolls his eyes.
They usually manage to change before going out after a game, but sometimes at home games it just seems silly—drive all the way home to change, then all the way back into downtown; you might as well not go out at all, and Duper usually takes that route. When they were kids, sometimes they changed in a cab, between the arena and the bar, but Kris, at least, is now too worried about ruining a suit to crumple it changing in the back of a car. Marc's jacket is carefully folded over the back of the banquette, with Kris's. Marc drapes his arm over it and reaches around Sid to tweak Kris' collar, threatening to scrunch it up. Kris ducks away, using Sid as a shield.
"That's like buying new underwear instead of doing laundry," Kris says, like he always does when it comes to the correct care of good menswear, while Marc tries to keep a straight face. It's pointless: Marc busts out laughing within 15 seconds, and Kris knows him too well to have ever been fooled. They all had once been young and dumb enough with money to have bought new underpants instead.
"Even you, Bing," Kris says, pointing a finger at Sid.
Sid laughs his ridiculous laugh, but he's sliding away out of the banquette without a retort. Geno has already disappeared, Marc vaguely notices. Most of the kids are still there though, Rusty, Shears, Junior, Murr, and all their other tiny hockey children that they raised together over the last year.
Marc finds himself fiddling with the cuff of Kris's shirt as Shears tells a story about some terrible prof he had who wouldn't give them a syllabus. Kris is yelling about it with Dumo when Marc tunes back in and suddenly realizes he isn't playing with Kris's cuff anymore, but his fingers. Kris doesn't seem to notice, thumping his other hand on the table.
"He changed how many assignments you had? What an asshole!" Shears looks vindicated, happy, to have Kris fired up with righteous indignation on his behalf. "You should—"
"―send him a framed picture of you with the Cup!" Dumo suggests, definitely at least as drunk as Marc.
Kris and Marc blink at him. It is always tempting to solve all past conflicts and slights with proof of the Stanley Cup, Marc thinks.
"... leave an angry comment on rate my prof," Kris concludes. Marc knows Kris wishes for a rate-my-ref.com so much sometimes he talks about it in his sleep. He snorts into his beer.
"Can comments have pictures? You could attach the picture of you with the cup to your rate my prof review!" Marc says. Maybe a rate-my-ref would allow attached gifs. Every comment Kris left could have that gif of him mouthing off to the refs before being ejected.
The conversation wends around to other topics, but Marc still keeps thinking about it, rate-my-ref and a be-suited brawling Kris Letang. "You'd be like the hockey Mark Zuckerberg," Marc says into the side of Kris's head. He misses when Kris's hair was long. "I miss when you were longer," he tells it sadly.
"What?" Kris asks, trying to turn his head to see Marc, but this just shifts Marc further back. He slumps onto Kris's shoulder so he can look up at him.
"Just whispering sweet nothings to you hair," Marc assures him. "Normal goalie things."
Kris squints at him. "You aren't that weird."
"Not as weird as you," Marc agrees.
"Because I'm somehow the hockey Mark Zuckerberg?"
"You would be if you actually created rate-my-ref.com instead of just talking about it in your sleep."
Kris squints more. "I talk about that in my sleep?"
"Pretty often, like every single time on a plane after a bad game."
Kris looks at him for a long time, his eyes dark in the darkness of the bar. "News to me, mon ami. I can't remember ever even thinking that."
"Cheers to your subconscious for great ideas then," Marc says, and clinks their mostly empty pint glasses together. He looks away, and slumps further into Kris, watching Dumo and Shears giggle together.
On their way out of the bar to the cab line Kris runs a hand over Marc's shoulders. "Your jacket wasn't right," he says simply, and Marc shivers standing next to him waiting for a cab. It's only October, it isn't that cold, but all the hairs on Marc's arms are standing up. Kris's hair is still long enough to fall into his eyes, and Marc can't seem to look away, even as they climb into the cab. Kris's cuffs peek out of his jacket sleeves when he leans forward to pay the driver, and Marc feels like he has to look away or he's going to do something he shouldn’t do in a cab in front of the cab driver. They get out of the car together in front of Marc's house, and the cab drives away.
Kris gives him a funny look, and Marc feels his hand on his shoulder again as they walk toward his front door.
He's known Kris for more than 10 years, but this moment feels completely unfamiliar, novel and scary. There are suddenly butterflies in Marc's stomach as they stand on his own doorstep. It takes him a moment to realize Kris has his copy of the housekey out, is unlocking Marc’s door. Marc puts a hand on Kris's wrist, and Kris stills.
Kris stills even more when Marc leans down to kiss him.
They definitely ruin both their suits.