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Deepest Desire

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Sidney has Center Ice on in the background as he makes one last sweep of the living room, making sure everything is tidy. Not that it matters much—as soon as his teammates descend it will turn into chaos but it can’t hurt to start with a clean slate, he supposes.

He listens to the announcers talk about the goalie situation in Vegas as he starts setting out food and making sure the fridge is stocked with lots of ice and beer.

The poor team is on their fourth goalie of the season, kicking off with Matt’s concussion during what had been, unarguably, an amazing streak for him. Sidney thinks maybe he’ll call Matt tomorrow, see how he’s doing. He knows he’s making progress but he feels bad for the kid—going to Vegas was supposed to be his time to shine and he really, really had—until one bad hit took him out for going on six weeks now with no clear timeline for return. Sidney would definitely call and check in on him tomorrow.

The guys start straggling in and finally, six minutes before puck drop, Geno rolls in, sliding a giant box of pastries onto the counter with a grin.

“G. This is all pure sugar!” Sid whines at him as he holds the lid open and stares longingly at the pastries.

Geno extract a beer from the fridge and flips the cap off before taking a pull and raising his eyebrows in amusement. “Exactly what you like.”

Sidney glares at him and piles more celery sticks on his plate before sulking into the living room to stake out his spot.

Geno drops down next to him a minute later with two plates—one loaded with food and one loaded with pastries. He winks at Sid as he plops it on the coffee table in front of the two of them and Sid elbows him.

The asshole knows Sid too well.

Vegas is playing the Sens and it’s kind of boring, if Sid’s being honest but they still watch, all of them marveling at the way Ferguson is handling himself.

Flower shakes his head. “That kid has to have the biggest balls in the world. I mean can you fucking imagine? Being called up from fucking juniors?”

They all nod in agreement with Tanger throwing in, “I’d have shit my fucking pants.”

The game goes on and it’s still boring and Sid thinks about the goalie situation. He’s beyond grateful that Flower is safe and healthy but he starts to wonder, what would they do in a situation like that? Who would they call up if Flower and Jarry and even DeSmith were hurt. Would they have to call on someone who had never even seen an AHL game, just like Vegas had? Or would someone else be able to fill in?

Sidney’s mind starts to wander…

Sidney’s in the middle of his normal pre-game routine when he hears the commotion. He takes his PBJ and follows the commotion down the hall to an office. He can hear Sully and the other coaches and it doesn’t sound good.

“...the hell are we supposed to do! Someone has to suit up!”

“But who? The kid passed out when I told him DeSmith was sick and he was going in the net tonight.”

“So wake him up!”

“You know it doesn’t work that way!”

“We need a fucking goalie!”

“Look, the kid can sit as backup but I don’t think he’ll be able to go out on the ice. He’s too fucking nervous.”

SId’s eyes grew wide as he listened. If what they were saying was true, unless someone suited up and got in the crease, the Pens would be in violation and automatically lose.

He will not let that happen.

He tosses the last couple of bites of his sandwich into the trash can and marches to office door, bursting in. Everyone stops and stares at him. Sully frowns. “Sid, what do you need? We’re in the middle of a situ—”

Sidney holds up his hand and interrupts him. “I know about the situation. I’ll do it.”

The men gasped and began talking amongst themselves and at Sid. Sully’s voice was the loudest.

“Sid, you can’t be serious. Think about what—”

Sid cuts him off again with a stern look. “HEY! I’ve got this.” With that he turns and marches back down the hall, calling over his shoulder, “Let’s suit up!”

When Sidney is suited up—Dana somehow was able to quickly sew Sid’s name and number on a spare goalie jersey, amazingly—he leads the team to the door. Turning to them, he simply says, “Let’s do this!” and then turns and walks to the runway listening to the sounds of his teammates cheering for him.

If he thought those cheers were loud, they’re nothing to the sound of the crowd when he steps on the ice and they realize who is wearing the goalie gear. There’s a collective gasp and then the crowd goes wild, cheering for Sidney, chanting “Crosby! Crosby! Crosby!”

Sid waves humbly but then puts his head down. It’s time to focus.

Not long after puck drop, he’s facing his first shot, a weak wrister from Giroux that Sid easily catches in his glove. He stands up and laughs, leveling a look at Giroux as he says “Puck you.” Giroux gives him a sour look and skates off, clearly defeated.

Sid makes save after save and suddenly they’re in overtime and the score is still zero to zero, SId having stopped sixty shots already. Then it happens—Couturier gets a breakaway and comes barrelling down the ice, flanked closely by Giroux and Provorov. Sid gets into position just as Couturier passes it cleanly to Provorov who slaps it towards the goal. Sid dives and bats it away with his blocker before scrambling to his knees and leaping in the other direction to block Giroux’s rebound shot. They pass it again and now his guys are in the zone and it’s crowded and by the time he sees the puck coming, he knows there’s only one thing to do. He throws down his gloves and leaps into a barrell roll, coming up just in time to bat the puck down the ice hard with his blocker.

The crowd goes wild as Couturier skates after it and turns to try to shoot it again. Sidney blocks it again and looks for someone to pass it to while both groups switch lines.

And, suddenly, he knows what to do. Elliott is at the other end of the ice, looking towards the bench and Sidney doesn’t hesitate. He takes his shot.

The puck sails down the ice past everyone making their way on the ice and towards Elliott, who suddenly spots it and laughs. He gets cocky, tries to make the save with a flourish and it costs him as he fumbles and falls while the puck sails under his pads and into the net.

Sid did it! He scored the winning goal and they won the game! His teammates flood the ice and lift him into the air. The crowd is deafening, chanting his name again and Sid couldn’t hear anyone talking even if they were right next to him.

And then the noise gets impossibly louder and Sid looks over, from atop the shoulders of his team, to see two men skating onto the ice with the Stanley Cup. His team lowers him down in time for him to take it from them as they hand it over. “This is yours now,” they say. “You earned it.”

Sid lifts it above his head on the ice and smiles bigger than he’s ever smiled before, skating it around to the sound of the crowd losing it’s mind….

“SID!!”

Sid blinks and gives himself a shake as he looks up to find six sets of eyes with raised eyebrows looking at him like he’s grown a third arm. He realizes belatedly that he’s smiling hard and does his best to school his face into an acceptable expression.

He clears his throat. “Um. Yeah?”

Flower raises his eyebrows impossibly higher. “What the hell?”

“Um. Ha. I guess I just thought of something funny. Ha ha. Um, who needs topped off?” Sidney jumps up and escapes to the kitchen.