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Russian Duet

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 So this fic is based on @rosepetals42 fic Ice Crew Please. If you haven't read it, you really should because it is amazing and fantastic. To sum up a few points about this world before we get into the fic. 

 In the original fic the Ice Crew, minus Jack work as the ice crew in the stadium for the NHL team. In real life people who are on the ice crew onto the ice during the game  and skating around and attempting to get as much loose ice off the rink and zamboni the ice. Usually they are a lucky hockey team who gets to do this. But in here and in Ice Crew Please, the Ice Crew are a munch of people who get paid minimum wage to clean the ice.    

 Also Jack never over-dosed on his anxiety and is the captain. 

 One last point, in the original fic it's based in Providence and the team is the Falconers but here it's in New York and it's the Rangers instead of the Falconers.

 Sorry that was a lot and now onto the fic.


 Jack wasn’t sure what to expect when they got new team members from the trade. They had gotten two new defensemen from the KHL. The falconers had lost their former first line and apparently these two that they had just gotten were some of the best. 

 But he wasn’t expecting for Alexei Mashkov and Dimitri Ranskahov. They seemed to be polar opposites. 

 Jack watched as Alexei bellow at what Snowy said. Dimitri just rose an eyebrow. Either in amusement or judgmental. “No no Snowy. That is not how Russia works. Trust me. I was born there.” Alexei boomed. 

 There was such a stark difference between the two of them. Even their appearance was the polar opposite. Dimitri was skinny, and blonde with a face that showed no emotion and huge bags under his eyes. While Alexei was an outgoing, barrel like build, who was more animated than an cartoon. 

 And yet those two were the best. 

 “So how are you guys liking America so far?” Marty asked. 

 “Alexei is obsessed with little potatoes.” Dimitri said. His accent was more engulfing then Alexei’s. Jack just assumed that he wasn’t as fluent in English as Alexei was. 

 Dimitri’s voice low and Jack nearly missed it. 

 “What? Like tater tots?” Thirdy asked. 

 Alexei nodded and smiled. “Yes tater tots! I enjoy them very much!” He said. 

 Dimitri rolled his eyes in good humour and pulled off his chest protector. “He enjoys them to point that he is obsessed with them.” He said. 

 “I am not obsessed.” Alexei tried to defend himself. 

 Dimitri rose a pointed eyebrow and the look on Dimitri’s face made Jack shiver in fear. He’s seen a lot of scary guys but he took the cake. Alexei didn’t seem fazed at all. He just went on smiling. “Yes you are.” Dimitri said softly. 

 Thirdy hooted. “It looks like we have you a nickname. Everyone welcome tater to the team!” He said cheerfully. 

 Alexei, now christened as Tater beamed as people started cheering. 

 “What should we call you?” Thirdy asked Dimitri. 

 “Dimitri is just fine. Thank you very much.” Dimitri said thickly. He sniffled and turned back to undoing his laces. 

 “Ah ignore him. He is just grumpy because he had to say goodbye to his god-sister last night.” Tater said clapping Dimitri’s back. 

 Dimitri grumbled and shoved Tater’s hand off of his shoulder. “You should be to. Anna’s cooking is no more.” He muttered and a horror spread across Tater’s face. 

 Jack had to fight back a grin. “Don’t worry about food. If you’re not scared of Nate our nutritionist, one of my roommate’s Bitty likes to cook or well bake.” He said. Jack felt his stomach drop, he wanted to call Bits his boyfriend but he was scared of how these guys would react. Especially their fresh off the boat Russians. 

 But Tater seemed like a good guy. He was cheerful and accepting but Jack didn’t know about Dimitri. The guy was hard to read. His face was a careful blank. 

 Dimitri looked vaguely interested while Tater looked at Jack in wonder. “Bring me over yes?” Tater asked.  

 Jack let out a huff laughter. “I gotta talk to Bits and the rest of the guys first.” He said. 

 “So have you guys moved into your apartment yet?” Guy asked. 

 “No. We move tomorrow.” Tater said. “Our things are being moved. We are in hotel right now.”

 Dimitri let out a small groan and sat up. Jack could hear the crack in Dimitri’s back. He was down to his underarmours and collected his clothes. He muttered something to Tater and headed to the shower before everyone else. 

 It was kind of strange. Dimitri seemed a little closed off then most. 

 Jack made a mental note to talk to the guy later. He didn’t know if it was just because Dimitri felt closed off because the language barrier or something else. 

 “Is he okay?” Marty asked Tater. 

 Tater shrugged. “It is just a ritual. He also is also homesick. He will get better soon.” He explained. 

 Jack still should talk to Dimitri. He knew what it was like moving to another country. But at least Jack didn’t have a language barrier. 

 Dimitri came back out in a couple of minutes with damp hair pressing to his face. 

 “Hey.” Tater whined as Dimitri put on his boots and old leather jacket. “Wait for me.” He pouted at Dimitri. 

 Dimitri paused while fixing the heavy jade pendant that he wore. “Hurry up then.” He said. He mouth curled into a grin when Tater made a face and mumbled to himself. “I will be outside.” Dimitri said and headed out of the change room.  

 Jack hurried to finish up getting changed. 

 He wanted to check up with Dimitri before Tater finished. Jack may be over projecting onto Dimitri. 

 But he had been sort of in Dimitri’s shoes and it was the captain’s job to make sure that all of his players were okay. 

 When Jack came out of the shower, Tater was still half undressed and was chatting away with Poots and Jack found Dimitri leaning up against the wall outside of the change room, texting someone. 

 How to start a conversation? “Hey man.” Jack said nervously. 

 Dimitri looked up with his eyebrows raised. At a closer look, Jack could see the huge bags under his eyes and Jack understood. He didn’t know the pressure that Dimitri was under back in Russia but it had to be something. 

 “Hello.” Dimitri said. 

 “Didn’t get a chance to properly introduce myself. I’m Jack.” Jack said. 

 “I know who you are captain.” Dimitri said with a small grin. “But it is nice to meet you. Heard lots of things about you back home. I am sorry you had to go through that.” His light tone dropped. 

 Of course Dimitri heard about what Jack went through. Jack sighed and put his hands in his pockets. “Yeah about that. Look this goes out to all my players but if you need anything mental health or otherwise, my door’s open.” Jack said. 

 It was shitty what Jack went through. To say the least. He was still trying to pick his life back together.  At least he had his friends. They were an interesting bunch. 

 They let Jack mope for a decent amount of time and then dragged him out of his mope central. 

 A slow smile spread across Dimitri’s face. “Thank you captain. It is nice to hear this.” Dimitri said and held out his fist bump. 

 Jack grinned and bumped his fist against Dimitri’s. 

 Dimitri let out a little sigh and looked over to the door. “Alexei is still half dressed is he not?” He asked. 

 “Yeah.” Jack said apologetic. 

 Dimitri sighed and went back to texting someone. He looked up with a grin to the door. Jack was wondering what was going on. 

 His question was answered as second later when Jack heard Tater let out a stagnated sound. “Dimitri!” He yelled. 

 Jack turned to Dimitri. “What did you do?” He asked. 

 “Oh I texted Anna to tattle on him. I assume she texted him and scolded him.” Dimitri said with a little grin. Oh boy. Anna must mean a lot to these two. 

 Also how close were these two? 

 “Unfair use of Anna.” Tater yelled, bursting out of the change room. He stopped when he saw jack and huge grin spread across his face. “Hello captain. I hope you are not being corrupted this mudak.” He said, shooting a glare at Dimitri. 

 Dimitri just gave Tater a tired grin and gently punched him on the chest right next to the shoulder. Tater just seem to accept it. 

 “No. He’s not. I was just telling Dimitri and all the rookies, same with you that if you guys need any help, mental health or otherwise just come and find me.” Jack said. “Also you guys need help moving in tomorrow?” He asked. 

 Dimitri turned to Alexei and they descended into a conversation in Russian. Now Jack has been around some Russian people before but Jack knew like a total of five words in that language and they said none of them. 

 All he picked up was the name Rozalina. 

 Dimitri shrugged and nodded. He turned back to Jack and shrugged. “Sure. That would be nice. Our friend Rozalina will be there as well. She is little distant.” Dimitri added on at the end, unsure how to articulate what he wanted to say. 

 Tater grinned and leaned on Dimitri. “Okay you think he is intense?” He asked, waving a hand under Dimitri’s face. 

 Dimitri made a face and rolled his eyes and then looked over to Jack. Jack shrugged. “ I mean a little.” He said. 

 “Well Rozalina is more intense then him. She is known to make people little uncomfortable.” Tater warned Jack. “She is great though.” 

 “Alright.” Jack said. He wasn’t sure what to expect. But that didn’t seem to faze him. “Text me the address and I’ll see you guys tomorrow. Sounds good?” He asked. 

 Dimitri nodded. “Sounds good. Thank you captain.” He said. 


 

 Jack finally made it home. “Hey bro. How’s the rookies?” Holster asked, not looking up from his laptop. Ransom paused and looked up at Jack. 

 He had promised to the talk to the guys about the new guys. For Holster it was because he generally liked keeping up with team and putting them in the excel sheet. While Ransom was just procrastinating.       

 “They’re okay. I’ll explain more after I say hi to Bits.” Jack said and headed to the kitchen. 

 “Okay. Just wipe down the counter when you two are done.” Holster said. Jack nearly choked while Ransom nearly cackled. 

 “Shut up.” Jack muttered and flipped off Holster. “Hey.” Jack said softly and kissed the back of Bitty’s neck and wrapped his arms around his waist. 

 “Hey sweet pea. How was practice?” Bitty asked, putting down his roller and dusted his hands free from flower. He turning around and kissed the corner of Jack’s mouth. 

 Jack shrugged and put his head on the tip of Bitty’s head. 

“I mean it was the rookie’s first practice.” Jack said, shrugging. “Whatcha making he?” He asked and stole a strawberry from the pile. 

 “Hey. No.” Bitty scolded and gently smacked Jack’s hand away. Jack grinned and ate the strawberry. “Out of my kitchen Mr. Zimmerman.” He said, shooing Jack out of the kitchen. 

 “Bro!” Shitty yelled and tackled Jack into a hug. “You beautiful motherfucker! You forgot to tell me that rookies were coming! What are they like?” He demanded, pulling Jack to the disgusting green couch that somehow managed to stay in the house after Jack renovated it.  

“Yeah bro!” Chowder said, perking up and staring at jack. “What are they like? Are they cool? I heard that we got some Russians.” He rambled on. 

 “Yeah we did. Well there’s Poots. The guy is kind has an innocent, bushy tailed sort of rookie. Fresh into the league.” Jack said. 

 Shitty let out a dramatic sigh and collapsed onto Jack. “I love those shits.” He said. “Yo Lards we got one of those babies this year!” He yelled into the house. 

 “Sweet.” Lardo yelled back. 

 “Tell us about the Russian bros.” Holster said. “Are they dicks?” He asked. 

 “I mean Tater doesn’t seem like that. He’s like that loud, cheerful, very friendly Russian guy. He is very friendly.” Jack said. “Then there’s Dimitri. He’s the complete opposite. He barely spoke and looked like if you spoke to him, he was going to fight you.” 

 “Hun. Cheerful.” Holster said sarcastically, looking unimpressed. 

 “He’s actually okay. I talked to him on his own and he seemed okay.” Jack defended Dimitri. Innocent until proven guilty.

 It kind of felt like that Dimitri had a lot on his plate and just came off rude by accident. 

 Jack unfortunately knew how that felt. 

 “But I’m helping them move in their places tomorrow.” Jack said.

 “Oh! I’ll make them pie!” Bitty said. His eyes lit up when he mentioned pie. Jack smiled at the stars in Bitty’s eyes. “You wouldn’t happen to know their favourite kind pie would you sweet pea?” He asked. 

 “Sorry. It didn’t come up in conversation. Unless you can make a pie with tater tots.” Jack said. 

 “Jack Laurent Zimmerman don’t you dare even suggest that blasphemy.” Bitty scolded and put his hands on his hips and glared at Jack. “I’ll just make them apple pie. I’ve been meaning to experiment with those recipes.” He muttered and headed back to the kitchen.   

 Jack grinned and then pushed Shitty’s head off of his lap and then followed Bitty into the kitchen. “I told you that you’re amazing recently?” He mumbled and dropped his head onto Bitty’s head.  

 “You embellish too much.” Bitty giggled. 

 “It’s true.” Jack defended Bitty. He’s changed Jack’s life so much for the better and Jack wanted to know that Bitty had done this and that he was well deserving in the praise that Jack gave him.


 

 Jack headed past an old looking church and down to the building that had a huge a moving van in front of it. He clutched the pie tins in his hands He spotted Dimitri’s lanky figure and Tater’s very animated movements. Between them there was a small and very angry looking woman. She reminded him of Lardo a little.

 “Hey guys.” Jack said, stopping a little ways back. 

 Dimitri paused and turned around. He gave Jack a half smile and then picked up a box. “Hey captain. Glad you could make it.” He said. 

 “Glad I could help.” Jack said. 

 The woman, Rozalina rose an eyebrow at Jack but didn’t say anything. She looked almost the exact same as Dimitri. They both had the same tired eyes, and dirty blonde hair. She gave him a curt nod. 

 “Captain!” Tater cried and roped Jack into a hug. Jack let out a winded laugh. He had thankfully gotten used to these types of hugs thanks to Shitty. “What are these?” He asked, looking down at the pies. 

 “One of my roommates, he’s also one of the ice crew players made you guys welcome pies.” Jack said. 

 Dimitri grinned. “Tell him thank you from us.” He said. He turned to Rozalina. “You coming? Or are you going to doodle?” He chirped. 

 “Fight me.” Rozalina challenged. 

 “Back at you Solovna.” Dimitri fought back as they headed into the building. Both of them carrying a huge amount of boxes. Here Dimitri seemed to be lighter and not as angry. 

 “One word captain about those two. Do not bring up anything up that could be taken as challenge. Those two will take it as challenge and I have to make sure that they do not do something stupid.” Tater warned Jack. “And I do not want to be adult.” 

 Jack scoffed and rose an eyebrow Tater. “You? An adult? Tater I’ve known you less then a day and I can tell that you’re not an adult person and I have a lot experience. I live with like four guys and a girl.” He said. 

 Tater cackled. “This is true. I am not adult. But when it comes to those two, I have to be adult and same with Anna. She has adult too. It is not fun. All Dimitri and Rozalina do is compete.” He said, shaking his head. 

 “What happens if one of them loses?” Jack asked. 

 Tater snorted and pressed the button for the elevator. He rested his boxes on a hip. “It depends. One time Rozalina made Dimitri help her with ballet and another time Dimitri made her get dressed up in goalie stuff to help with his slap shot. There was also time that Rozalina accidentally stabbed him.” Tater sighed. 

 The mental image that Jack had built up around what he thought of Dimitri.  

 “For most part Dimitri and Rozalina are adults of our group. But then as soon as one of them says bet.” Tater said, shaking his head.

 Jack snorted in amusement. 

 “But it makes me adult. I do not want to be adult. I want to be child but no they makes me be adult.” Tater continued on as they headed out into the elevator. 

 “How long was have you guys known each other?” Jack asked. 

 “Ah! Dimitri has known Anna since two of them were born. Rozalina and I came into picture when we were all seven and have been inseparable ever since.” Tater said cheerfully. His face dropped then the elevator door opened and saw Dimitri carrying Rozalina over his shoulder with her yelling at him in Russian. 

 Tater sighed and dropped his face while Jack just rose an eyebrow at those two. 

 “Why?” Tater mumbled. 

 “So where do these go?” Jack asked, raising the boxes in question. 

 “Oh those belong to Dimitri. First door.” Tater said. “But I will take those pies.” He said. 

 “No.” Jack said and rose an eyebrow at Tater. Tater made a face and shrugged before heading to his apartment.

 “Watch out for those two.” Tater warned cheerfully, before he headed into his apartment. 

 Jack headed into Dimitri’s apartment. It was barren and filled with boxes. Dimitri had dropped Rozalina onto a pile of  couches. “I hate you.” Rozalina grumbled and crossed her arms. 

 “Yeah yeah.” Dimitri said, not convinced and turned to Jack. “Thank you captain for helping us. Ignore her. She is just pouty today.” He said, casting a look over to Rozalina. “I will take that pie from you though.” He said and took the top pie from Jack and put it away on the counter. 

 Rozalina groaned and rolled off of the couch and headed out without another word. 

 Her stormy face was unsettling. At least Dimitri had been a little more cheerful with Alexei around. Rozalina just looked angry with everyone. 

 “Sorry about Rozalina. She is not really people person.” Dimitri apologized. “She has had some difficulties in life. She is trying to be better.” 

 “No it’s fine. She seems fine around you guys.” Jack said, following Dimitri out. 

 Dimitri snorted. “That is because we have known each other for too long.” He said. 

 “Yeah since you guys were seven? Don’t you get tired of each other? I would. I mean my roommates are great but they’re so tiring sometimes and I’ve known them for like a year and lived with them for even less.” Jack said. 

 “Ha. No. Four us are like siblings.” Dimitri said with a soft sigh as he leaned up against the wall of the elevator. “What about you? How are your friends?” He asked. 

 “Well I love them but they’re messes.” Jack admitted. “Like sheep herding cats sometimes.” 

 “I like cats.” Dimitri said softly. 

 It was hard to continue the conversation after something so out of place just popped into place. Also Dimitri wasn’t adding much to the conversation. 

 The doors open and Rozalina appeared out of nowhere. She cocked an eyebrow at him. “Hurry up old man. I am winning.” She said with a heavy smirk. 

 “I am still going to win.” Dimitri grumbled and headed outside. Jack sighed and shook his head.


 

 Dimitri sighed and stared at the room around him. Boxes upon the boxes surrounded him. Rozalina had gone off to work and left him alone and he had forgotten about how fucking lonely he was. At least captain had been trying. 

 Dimitri liked that. Jack was a good man. A good man who didn’t deserve what had happened to him. Alexei would tell Dimitri that would it would apply to him but Dimitri could argue back. 

 He wasn’t the best of people. 

 Dimitri let out a sigh and stood up, pushing the box away from him. He didn’t want to unpack anymore. He didn’t want to do anything any more. 

 He wanted Anna. He wanted Irina and Viktor. 

 He didn’t want to be in America anymore. Why did he think that this was a good idea? He should have stayed back in Russia. 

 That pie that Jack’s roommate had made for Dimitri looked very appetizing. Shit. When was the last time that Dimitri actually had something to eat?

 Dimitri looked down at his phone and sighed. Fuck. Not since this morning. 

 Now where was his utensils? Dimitri eyed the mass of boxes around him. He had no fucking clue. Great. Now he had to go through his belongings to find a goddamn fork. Dimitri let out a groan and dropped his head onto the marble counter. 

 Dimitri sniffled and tried to stop the tears from pouring out. He didn’t try to hide the sob that wracked his body. He was alone now and he didn’t want to have to put face on. 

 His friends were worried for him and while Dimitri appreciated their concern but he just wants to be left alone right now. 

 Dimitri let out a long sigh and raised his head and raising his head. He wiped his eyes and sighed again. He fucking hated his life. 

 “Is this a bad time?” A woman asked. Dimitri looked up and rose an eyebrow. He had forgotten to close his door. The woman gave him a sympathetic smile. Dimitri was distracted by her old looking dog. He was so cute.  

 “No. I just hate unpacking and I cannot find a fork for some pie.” Dimitri said. 

 The woman looked confused but gave him a grin. “Well I feel sorry for you. I’m Ming by the way. Your new neighbour.” She introduced herself. 

 “I am Dimitri. The fucker next door to me is Alexei.” Dimitri said. 

 Ming smiled. “I can lend you a fork if you want.” She offered. The dog at her feet let out a dramatic sigh and then flop onto the floor. Both of them looked down to the dog. “This is Lord Byron by the way. He’s a dramatic dog.” She explained. 

 “He is cute and I had cat like that.” Dimitri said. He missed Mr. Pushistyy. He was a great cat. He should get cat. Maybe he wouldn’t be so lonely. “And do not worry about fork. I should actually unpack.” He said. 

 Ming gently nudged a box with her nice looking stilettos. “Have fun.” She said, heavy sarcasm influenced her tone. 

 “Thank you. I look forward to it.” Dimitri copied her tone. 

 “Do you want some help? Or should I be asking your friend Alexei?” Ming asked. 

 Dimitri shrugged. “Alexei got help from Rozalina. I did not, also I am pretty sure that he is taking mid day nap.” He said. “You can help if you wish. I am not stopping you from helping.” He said. 

 “Perfect. I’ll help in exchange of some of that pie.” Ming said, pointing to the pie next to Dimitri. 

 “If you can find my forks.” Dimitri said dryly. Ming grinned and picked up Lord Byron and put him on the couch. Byron groaned and flopped across the pillow that he had been put on and then quickly went to sleep. 

 Ming grinned at him and looked around the mess. “Where do we start?” She asked. 

 “Uh.” Dimitri said “Living room?” He asked. “I do not have much stuff for living room. Do not have much things for anything. Except clothes.” 

 “So does that mean you have to go shopping for things?” Ming asked, picking up a box and peering at the word that Dimitri had scrawled across the side. He didn’t think that she would be able to read the Russian word. 

 “I hope not. I have everything that I need but there is not much.” Dimitri explained. 

 “Ah. Well you’re not going to like my place. It’s just filled to the brim with things.” Ming said, sitting down next to her dog and opening the box. “Also where do these books go?” She asked. “Also Alexander Pushkin?” She held up a well worn book. 

 Dimitri shrugged and opened his box of CDs. 

 He had a vague plan of where things were going to go. He had gotten a shelving unit that went around the TV. The books were going to go on the right and the CDs and whatever DVDs/games he had brought over and then whatever decoration pieces that Anna had pushed on him on the top. 

 In honesty, Anna had planned things for him and if Dimitri didn’t follow her instructions, she would pout. 

 “My brother was fan of Pushkin.” Dimitri said. He had never really liked reading, especially the old Russian authors when he was younger but had gotten into reading these old authors to be closer to Anatoly. 

 Dimitri didn’t know if Ming had picked up on the undertone of Dimitri’s words but she didn’t comment on when he said. 

 “Wait. You read Russian?” Dimitri asked, frowning and looked over to Ming who was reading the back of his book in slight interest. 

Ming shrugged. “I wanted to learn Russian when I was young so I learnt it.” She said, switching into Russian pretty flawlessly. 

 “I am impressed.” Dimitri said also switching into Russian as well, getting up and headed over to the unit to start putting things into the unit. 

 His music, which used to be his father’s CDs were on the same page with the books. Dimitri hadn’t been to interested in it growing up but it’s been how Dimitri connected with his dad recently. 

 “Thank you. My parents said it was waste of time but it’s helping me now.” Ming said cheerfully and stood up. “Also how do you want them organized?” She asked. 

 Dimitri scoffed and turned to Ming with a raised eyebrow. “You think that that I am organized?” He asked. 

 “I mean. Sort of? Appearances are very deceiving. Do I look put together?” Ming asked. 

 Dimitri paused and looked her up and down. Her clothing was top notch. Pale beige khakis and a loose mint shirt that was tucked into her pants with gold jewelry and watch. “I mean little?” Dimitri said nervously. 

 Ming snorted and put a book on the shelf. “Ha! I have fooled you. I am such a god fucking hot mess. I have barely survived it into adulthood.” She said.  

 Dimitri smiled softly and pushed more CDs onto the unit. 

 He liked Ming. She was easy to talk to and kind of pushed through the awkwardness. Now Dimitri was of course not easy around new people, very much so thanks to Sasha. 

 “So what brings you here across sea to his fine land?” Ming asked. 

 “Work. Alexei and I play for Rangers now.” Dimitri said quietly. Back in Russia, people were fans but they were not as in face as apparently American fans could be. He just did not know how Ming would take it. She gave him a confused look. “Hockey.” He explained. Well that answered his question. 

 “Oh cool dude. Sorry I don't know much about hockey.” Ming apologized. 

 Dimitri shook his head and folded the now empty box. “It is fine. Relief actually.” He said. Ming smiled and Dimitri tossed the box into the pile of empty boxes. 

 The door banged opened and Lord Byron (what a weird name for dog) looked in surprise. Dimitri was used to it. Alexei had very energetic nature to himself. “Oh good you are alive.” Dimitri said flatly. “I thought you died, you were asleep for so long.” 

 Alexei made face at Dimitri but Dimitri ignored it like he was ignoring ache in his limbs. Why was he in so much pain? He was twenty not old. Whatever. The pain has been there since he was young anyways. 

 “Oh hello!” Alexei said brightly, spotting Ming. “Who are you?” His voice was thick with confusion, and he looked back to Dimitri. 

 Ming let out a tinkling laugh. “I’m Ming. Your new neighbour. I’m just helping out your friend because he looked defeated by the amount of boxes surrounding him.” She said. 

 Alarmed, Alexei looked over to Dimitri. He knew better then to think that Dimitri had been overwhelmed by his boxes. Dimitri just shrugged and opened another box. 

 Now he wished he had not done that. 

 It was blanket that his mom had made for sofa back home. Dimitri didn’t remember packing it. He looked at that side of the box. It was Irina’s writing. Why had she packed this? 

 Dimitri sighed and closed the box. He wasn’t going to do this right now. 

 “Hello little dog.” Alexei said, crouching down and petting Lord Byron. Lord Byron yawned and let Alexei continue to pet him. “What is your name?” He cooed. 

 “Lord Byron.” Ming said. 

 Alexei’s eyes light up and he turned to Dimitri with an menacing look in his eyes. “Fuck you.” Dimitri told him off and then flipped him off. Alexei opened his mouth but Dimitri threw one of his pillows at Alexei. Alexei cackled as he toppled over at the force of the pillow. 

 Ming paused and looked over to Dimitri. Her eyebrows were drawn together in confusion. He sighed and shrugged. “He is referencing my last cat. Mr. Pushistyy.” He explained. 

 “Mr. Fluffy?” Ming asked, a small smile drawing on up on her lips. 

 “I was seven thank you very much.” Dimitri grumbled. “Also my brother made his opinion on Mr. Pushistyy’s name quite clear.” 

 “You speak Russian?” Alexei asked. 

 “I do!” Ming said cheerfully, switching back into Russian effortlessly. “My parents said it was stupid to learn but it is helping me now. So they can fucking suck it.” 

 “Very true.” Alexei said. 

 Dimitri hummed and looked through the boxes. The grand majority of his things were already put in. Thanks to the movers. He did have to put down the rug that was rolled up and stuck in a corner. “Can you help me move coffee table?” He asked Alexei.

 He had one big couch that face the TV, then an two other other couch the was slightly smaller on the left and on the right and coffee table.  

 He wasn’t quite sure why he had so much. He had two friends in America. That’s all. 

 But here Dimitri was. 

 “Of course.” Alexei said and got up. He helped Dimitri move the glass coffee table off to the side and push the rest of his boxes off the the side. 

 Now that Dimitri thought about it, most of his boxes for the living room were mostly just books. 

 The rug that he had chosen was red and gold design. A very modern design. Dimitri just liked how the red of colour went with the dark brown of his couches. He was simple man with simple needs. 

 Dimitri sighed and put the coffee table back. 

 “How many books do you have?” Ming asked, opening another box of books. 

 “I like to read?” Dimitri offered. Outside of hockey, all Dimitri had to do was work. But since he was all of the way over in America and Viktor had given him certified dad look and told him to ‘enjoy’ rest of his childhood. 

 So Dimitri read. Also because he read to try to understand why Anatoly actually liked these books. They were kind of terrible. But he held so much value on those books so he did not want to lose those books. 

 Dimitri sighed and sat down on the floor next to Lord Byron. Lord Byron sighed and stood up and wobbled over to Dimitri and then just collapsed onto his lap. Dimitri smiled and scratched Byron’s head.

 “Bro, okay so most the reading that I do is paperwork. But I’ve got friends who are huge nerds and I seriously don’t think that they have this many books.” Ming said. “And they are certified nerds. Like two of them still fight about who should have been captain of robotics team.” 

  “Okay, Dimitri is not that bad but he is still nerd.” Alexei said. “But me? I am jock.” He said, wiggling his eyebrows at Ming. 

 “And I am not desperate.” Ming said, raising her eyebrows at him. She looked unimpressed with him.

 Dimitri let out little chuckle at Alexei’s slightly deflated look. “I did not mean to hit on you. I mean  little but I am sorry.” Alexei apologized. 

 “It is fine my dude. I get this all of time. As long as we get all cards on table now.” Ming said and shoved couple more books away. 

 “Sorry that happens.” Dimitri said. It sucked that it happened Ming. When Anna was last here she got unfortunately hit on by some asshole who did not understand the meaning of no. 

 Ming shrugged and looked away. 

 “Hey, if you need help to get rid of assholes. You can come to us.” Alexei offered. 

 With surprise on her face, Ming looked over to Dimitri who just shrugged. “I mean I have been told multiple times that I look like I can kill someone. So yes, come find me and I will scare them for you.” He said. 

 “Thanks dudes.” Ming said. “Nice to know that I have some scary Russians in my corner.”

 Alexei clicked his tongue and gave Ming double finger guns. Dimitri just shrugged and went back to playing with Byron.