The alarm clock blared at 4:30 am and Kate reached over to slap at it. She couldn't quite reach and found herself groaning, reluctant to move from her position. A moment later, the alarm still going, Doug's arm curled around her, his longer reach managing to turn off the alarm. His body pressed against her and she let out a soft sigh. "Good morning."
"We'll see if it's good," Doug said as he pushed the covers off of them both. Kate pouted and kicked her feet against them as he got out of the bed.
"Remember, we've got to be at the rink at 5:15," Kate called to him as he headed to the bathroom. When he raised one hand in response, she scowled and pushed herself up to chase after him as she heard the shower start up. "Hey! Don't run all the hot water."
Doug peeked out from behind the bathroom door, already naked. "I won't." He reached out to grab her waist, pulling her in for a kiss. "But we might."
With a roll of her eyes, Kate began to peel away her clothes. "We won't do that, either. I refuse to skate with wet hair."
"Spoilsport." Doug laughed and stepped into the shower. "Quickie?"
Tapping her hand against the vanity, Kate shrugged one shoulder. "You could be a little more romantic about it."
"Quickie, please?" Doug gave her a goofy grin as he reached for the shampoo.
She stepped in, shaking her head as the blast of hot water hit her and splashed droplets against her face, then stopped his hand. "Only because you're so polite."
Doug's hand stopped as it gripped the plastic bottle, then slipped away to land on Kate's hip. "Yeah, well-" She stopped his words with her mouth.
When 6:00 am rolled around, they took the ice. They'd already done their off-ice training (even if they'd been a little late to it because of Kate's hair dryer choosing that morning to go on the fritz). Doug grinned at Anton as the coach leaned against the wall around the rink. "Mornin'!"
Anton lifted his chin in acknowledgement, then gestured to the ice. "Skate."
Kate let herself do a few slow laps around the ice, coming to a halt in front of Doug, her toe pick digging deep into the ice. "Are you ready for today?"
"As long as we don't practice the Pamchenko, I'm ready for anything." Doug let his hands slide down to grip her waist.
Kate snorted. "Don't let him hear you."
"You know what I'm going to have you practice." Anton walked along the side of the rink, frowning at them. "You've only landed it one time in competition."
"We've only done it twice in competition!" Doug's words reverberated throughout the rink and Kate glared at him. "Don't we have to go bigger for the next Olympics anyway?"
Kate sighed. "Can't you listen when I talk sometimes? Yes, the Olympics are important, but do you know how many competitions we'll have before then?"
Doug opened his mouth to reply, but didn't actually say anything. "Skate," Anton said again. So, they did.
When 10:00 am hit, Kate downed pain killers and looked down to where one of her friends, Julie, was holding an ice pack against her shoulder. "Is is bruising?"
Pulling the ice pack away, Julie winced. "Yup. At least it's not on your face?"
Shaking her head, Kate began digging through her makeup kit and pulled out her concealer. "I shouldn't have to be bruised up today." She handed the tube to Julie. "Cover it up."
"You're the one who picked a sleeveless dress, you know." The concealer open, Julie began to dab it on the bruise.
"Doug likes my shoulders," Kate said through the grimace brought forth by the fingers against her bruise.
"Hmm. Well, maybe he should have thought of that earlier." Julie smirked at Kate over her shoulder in the mirror.
A smile crossing her lips, Kate said softly. "He did."
As 11:00 am rolled around, Kate took a deep breath and adjusted her hair. "It's just like a competition, Kate. There's no need for stage fright," Julie whispered in her ear.
The doors opened and Kate cleared her throat. "You're right. Showtime." She took her father's arm and adjusted her veil. "Well, go on then!" She took a deep breath and watched as Julie walked carefully in front of her before turning to her father. "Do you think I'm being stupid?"
He reached up to wipe at his eyes, smiling down at her. "Kate, I think you're finally being smart. I don't know why you still needed to train today-"
"Because I had to. If we didn't practice today, we'd have three days away from the ice." Kate looked up and noted her cue, pulling her father forward.
Jack whispered to her as he cupped his hand over her own as they walked down the aisle, "You could have taken a longer honeymoon. Two days at the beach?"
"If we'd gone somewhere cold, we would've skated the whole time. That hardly helps us get away from things." Kate's face lit up as she looked up to see Doug grinning at her. "It took me too long to realize how to balance my life between skating and everything else."
"You're marrying your partner. I'm still not sure you did a great job of separating things there." Jack laughed loudly enough at his own words that the focus turned momentarily to him.
"Well, I am a complicated woman." Kate smiled and took her new place in front of Doug.
"Hell yeah, you are," Doug said as he took her hands.
The sky was just starting to darken at 4:30 pm when Anton gestured to the ice and said, "Skate."
"I ate too much cake," Doug said as he pulled Kate across the ice.
Correcting his grip, Kate raised her eyebrows at him. "Only of the cake? I was worried there wouldn't be enough appetizers for everyone."
"They shouldn't've wrapped all that stuff in bacon." Doug gripped her waist with his free hand, his fingers digging in to tickle her.
Laughing, she doubled over and pulled Doug into a partial spin. "I'm glad we decided against Hawaii. I'd worry with you around one of those whole roast pigs."
Anton shouted at them to get to work, but Doug pulled Kate up and kissed her neck. "You're better than any bacon."
Haughtily thrusting her chin out, Kate began to skate again with Doug quickly matching her pace. "And you make me want to become a vegetarian." She smirked over at him. "Tequila's a vegetable, right?"
He looked confused for a moment, but shrugged. "Pretty sure it comes from a plant. And so does lime." He pulled her around to face him, lifting her easily and smiling as she gracefully took a star position.
"Close enough," she said from the lift.
Anton cleared his throat from the sidelines. "I tell you to skate and you chatter. Chatter, chatter, chatter. Give me 20 minutes solid skate and I will let you go early today."
Doug lowered Kate back to the ice and grinned. "Deal."
"I hardly think it's fair to make that kind of decision without me." Kate pouted as he pulled her into a death spiral
Smiling as he pulled her out of the death spiral a long moment later, Doug said, "Next long program we do? You can pick the song."
Moving backward, Kate smiled suddenly. "Deal." She laughed as Doug stumbled toward her. "Toe pick."
"I think I've loved you since toe pick," Doug said as he prepped to do a triple Salchow, his path turning in a circle.
Mirroring his movements, Kate nodded. "And I think I've loved you since you took a hockey puck to the face."
Anton shouted from the sidelines, "Skate!"
They pulled out identical triple Salchows and Anton clapped. "Yes, yes. This. This partnership? Is good. Good."
Kate bit her lip as she lifted her foot behind her and Doug gripped her hand to pull her as he arched into an arabesque position. "Yes. It is."
After they checked into their hotel on the beach that evening, the time ceased to matter... until it was time to go back for more training.