Sid panted as his orgasm faded. "So good, Zhenya..."
"I'm know," Geno smirked against his neck. "Good for me, too, Sid."
"I know," Sid sighed as Geno, who had already come twice, manhandled them into a spooning position. He took Geno's hands in his own, relishing the way they entwined together perfectly. If only Geno had been there to hold his hand earlier that day...
"Sidka..." Geno whispered, curiousity coloring his always fond voice. "Why our hands on your belly?"
Oh. Sid hadn't realized he'd rested them there. "No reason," he answered quickly, shutting their bond so his thoughts wouldn't make things awkward.
"Sid, I'm still know something wrong," Geno pointed out. He nosed Sid's neck softly as he continued to speak. "You turn off bond-faucet so strong that real faucet handle would break. You go from so happy to so...not. What I'm say?"
"It's not you, G," Sid mumbled. "It's me. You have nothing to do with it."
"You say it not me, but you squeezing my fingers hardest ever." Geno kissed Sid just beneath his ear. "Something happen with doctor? I'm sorry I have interview then."
"I know...everything got nuts with the rescheduling after the bad weather..." Sid closed his eyes and managed to speak past the lump in his throat: "I'm not fertile enough to conceive."
"Oh, Sidka..." Geno sent a steady drip of love and sadness through their bond. "I'm so sorry. I should been there when you find out."
"You're finding out now," Sid whispered, opening their bond to let all his feelings out. "I know we talked about adopting instead of conceiving, but...I wanted the option. I wanted a kid with your eyes."
"I wanted kid with your curls," Geno admitted. "We...we still get kid someday, Sidka..."
Sid couldn't bring himself to speak, so he released Geno's hands long enough to roll over and bury his face in Geno's chest before beginning to sob. Geno wrapped his arms around Sid and began crying, too. They stayed like that until they fell asleep, sad but together.
Sid's preferred method for dealing with tough losses was playing even harder for a win the next time. So he channeled the negative feelings surrounding the news about his fertility into his hockey. Geno took a similar approach, but with one extra step: giving himself an excuse to cry by watching sad Disney movies. This eventually evolved into Geno forcing Sid to join him - "Not healthy to ignore feelings, Sid!" - and to follow each movie with an attempted discussion of what they wanted in the future.
"How many kids you want, Sidka?"
"Want pets, Sidka? Dog and cat?"
"Where we live after we're retire, Sidka?"
Sid never really answered, preferring to let his mind wander as Geno babbled. That changed, however, on a rare off-day as the push for the playoffs grew intense: "Zhenya, please stop."
"Huh?" Geno reached for Sid's hand, but didn't actually touch him. "What wrong?"
"I..." Sid grabbed Geno's offered hand. "I'm angry about this, okay?! I'm angry that I didn't take care of myself properly for all those years because it's messed up my fertility. I'm angry that I wasn't brave enough to follow my heart because I've lost so much time. I'm angry that I couldn't see you waiting for me because now all you get is a broken, stupid Omega!" With a shuddering breath, he burst into tears, burying his face in Geno's chest.
"Sidka..." Geno whispered soothingly. "Sid best, remember? Best teammate, best boyfriend, best Omega. If we're get together after first Cup, we're too young for kids - we're kids ourselves, mostly. And if something go wrong with us back then, probably mess up whole team because we're not know better. This best time for us, even if how we realize it not so great."
Sid managed to stop crying and lift his head to look at Geno properly. "You want a future with me?"
"Yes," Geno replied firmly. "Is why I'm ask questions - I'm want see if we want same stuff in future." He kissed Sid softly. "I'm so lucky we're find each other, and we even luckier someday when we find and adopt our special Penguin."
"Yeah..." Sid smiled at the thought. "Our special Penguin."
It took lots of time and effort, but it finally happened in Buffalo: the Penguins clinched the playoffs!
By the time Geno and Sid got home from the mini-road trip, Sid's cheeks were sore from all the smiling. "This never gets old!"
"Going for the Cup, Sidka!" Geno kissed him hard, then whispered, "Wait here."
"Okay..." Sid watched Geno walk down the hallway, then frowned as nervousness began to seep through the bond. Sure, playoffs weren't easy, but it wasn't like Geno to get nervous about playoffs at this point - that was Sid's role, quite frankly.
"Sid..." Geno walked back into view, nervousness written all over his face. "I'm have big speech ready, but can't find now. Have to wing it."
"I'm sure you'll be fine," Sid reassured him. He reached out towards Geno, who flinched away quickly. "Zhenya? What's going on?"
"I love you so much," Geno said in one breath. "I know we not together-together long time, but we together as friends long time, and that count for something, right? Right. And we good together on ice, and we great together off ice, and I'm want that always."
The realization hit Sid like someone trying to send him into the boards. "Zhenya...really?"
"Really." Geno carefully got down on his good knee and reached into his pocket, producing a small velvet box. "Sidney Patrick Crosby, will you marry me?"
"Da, Zhenya." Sid felt a tear roll down his cheek as he nodded and reached for the box. "Yes, I'll marry you, of course I'll marry you."
Geno let out an audible sigh of relief and opened the box, revealing a plain ring. "Thank you, Sidka."
"Of course, Zhenya." Sid slipped the ring onto his finger, then kissed Geno softly. "I love you so much, Evgeni Vladimirovich Malkin. I can't wait to marry you."
"We gonna get married!" Geno stood up and hugged Sid tightly. "Two-Headed Monster getting married!"
"I'm going to be Mr. Malkina!" Sid laughed.
Geno laughed, then paused in thought, then started laughing again. "You Mr. Malkina, me Mr. Crosbaya!"
They laughed as they walked to the bedroom, where they stripped between kisses and soft touches. Eventually, they slipped under the covers and cuddled in each other's arms to fall asleep.
Sid woke up to Geno nuzzling his hair. With a soft yawn, Sid whispered, "Good morning, Mr. Crosbaya."
"Good morning, Mr. Malkina," Geno replied. "I'm have idea last night."
"I know," Sid laughed as he wiggled his hand. "I have the ring to prove it."
"I'm have that idea before last night, Sidka," Geno laughed. "But I'm have other idea last night." He paused before speaking again: "I want adopt kid this summer after wedding."
Sid jolted in surprise. "Why so quickly?"
"Don't want wait," Geno explained. "Want start family. Step one is wedding, step two is adopt."
"It won't be easy," Sid warned. "These things take time, and we're in the playoffs."
"So we start soon and get done sooner," Geno replied.
Sid hummed as he thought, taking into the account the nerves and sincerity coming across the bond. It was going to be a lot of work, but Geno had a point that the sooner they started, the sooner they would finish. "We'll talk to Jen after practice," he decided. "She'll know what to do and who to talk to. We'll have to tell her we're engaged."
"Not a problem," Geno grinned. "Can tell whole team."
"Then let's do this."
The team was very happy with the news of the Two-Headed Monster's engagement, celebrating with jokes about not scheduling it yet since their summer was still up in the air. Jen was happy, too, but instead of cracking jokes, she explained the various ways in which they could handle the wedding in terms of the media. Sid and Geno decided to release a statement after the fact.
"And there's one more thing," Sid said, glancing at Geno quickly.
"We want adopt baby, too," Geno explained. "Start process now, get done sooner than if wait."
"I see," Jen nodded. "Let me get you the business card of a social worker I know at one of the agencies in town."
By a series of miracles, Sid and Geno organized a wedding for mid-August and got started on the process for adopting a baby Omega (Sid's special request) before managing to repeat winning the Stanley Cup. They told their parents about their plans to adopt at the wedding; Sid's dad pulled Sid aside afterwards and promised to do better by the newer Omega than he'd done by Sid, which left both of them tearing up.
"Ready?" Sid asked Geno with a smile.
"Ready," Geno confirmed with a smile of his own.
They got out of the car and entered the hospital, where the social worker was waiting for them. "Congratulations on the Cup!"
"Thank you," Sid replied. "I'm sorry we couldn't meet you sooner - everyone wants pictures and interviews."
"And we're visit both families," Geno added.
The social worker nodded and began leading them down one of the hallways. "It actually works out better this way - he was born a week after the win."
"That why you think of us?" Geno asked as they entered the Neonatal Care wing.
"That was part of it," the social worker confirmed. "Plus, one of the nurses said he reminded her of a baby penguin - his dark head sticking out of his blanket as if he wanted to hatch." She opened the door to a private room and waved them in. "Judge for yourselves."
The baby was sleeping in a bassinet in the middle of the room. Sure enough, he was swaddled in an eggshell-colored blanket, with only his dark hair and pudgy face visible.
"All the blankets that color?" Geno whispered as he stared at the baby.
"No, that's the blanket he was left here in," the social worker replied. "Safe Haven law - a baby can be left in a hospital, or certain other places, without charges of abandonment."
Sid leaned down to look more closely at the baby. Then he realized something: "He's an Omega."
"That's the other reason I thought of you," the social worker said.
As if aware that he was being discussed, the baby opened his eyes and looked up at Sid. "Hi," Sid whispered.
"Hi," Geno whispered, leaning down alongside Sid. "You our special Penguin?"
The baby blinked a few times and managed a very tiny smile. Something tugged at Sid's heartstrings. "Yeah, you're our special Penguin..." He could feel Geno's overwhelming happiness through their bond.
"He the one," Geno declared, this time loud enough for the social worker to hear him.
"I agree," Sid added.
"Then you'll have to stop staring at him long enough to do some paperwork," the social worker chuckled. "Do you have a name for him?"
Sid and Geno exchanged a glance. "Nikolai Evgenievich Crosby-Malkin," Sid declared.
Geno groaned in fond exasperation. "I'm have to do full name when he in trouble until you learn say right," he informed Sid. "But yes, Nikolai, like we talk about."
"Yeah." Sid reluctantly turned around to take the papers from the social worker so he and Geno could bring their special Penguin home as soon as possible.
Jen's voice was, as per usual, unwavering. "Yes, you have to do a video."
"Why not Instagram pictures instead??" Geno whined.
"Because if the season had already started, we'd be doing something on the big screen during a game," Jen replied. "Just a quick thing starring Iceburgh. You wouldn't have to memorize lines or anything like that, just react naturally."
"The pictures haven't been a problem, right?" Sid asked quickly.
"Of course not," Jen reassured him. "I told you they wouldn't be, and I told you that simply answering a question or two about your rings would be fine for the first interview. I could, of course, call for a big press conference if you don't want to do a video where Iceburgh gives you presents for the baby..."
"Evil Jen," Geno groaned.
Sid shook his head unsurprisingly. "Iceburgh gives us stuff for the baby and we react to it, right? That's it?"
"That's it," Jen confirmed.
Geno sighed loudly. "Okay, Jen win."
They shot the video a few days later, at the very beginning of training. Sid wasn't nervous about it, but he was nervous about the reporters afterwards, and he could feel through the bond that Geno was even more nervous. "I miss him," Geno whispered as he and Sid waited in the hallway. "Gonna be weird without him in goal."
Sid blinked a few times before realizing that Geno wasn't talking about the baby. "I miss Flower, too," he whispered in reply. "But it's like he said at the wedding - it's not fair, but there's a lot of unfair stuff we've already lived through, so this will work out, too. He'll always be our friend."
Before Geno could reply, they heard the camera crew approaching with Iceburgh. The penguin stood in front of Sid and Geno, then handed them a very large shopping bag with the Penguins' logo.
"Ooh, what do we have here?" Sid wondered loudly. He reached into the bag and pulled out an Iceburgh plush. "Just what Nikolai needs! Thank you!"
Geno laughed and pulled out a baby-sized outfit. "Future Hockey Legend," he read off the shirt. He winked at Sid and said, "Only if Kolya want be!"
Sid reached in and pulled out a white piece of cloth. He dropped it in horror when he saw the logo: "The Flyers?!"
"It's for him to burp on," the cameraperson explained. "See, it says 'Yucky!' on it."
Both Sid and Geno burst out laughing as Sid picked it up gingerly. "Train him while he's young, eh?"
"Gonna cry whenever someone say city name!" Geno pulled out the last item: a baby-sized jersey. "No C or A," he observed before flipping it over - and gasping in surprise.
"Crosby-Malkin..." Sid couldn't quite believe it, either. "Taylor said she looked online for this, but the name was too long."
"Only by one character," the cameraperson said. "We figured we could make an exception for you guys."
"How pick number 79?" Geno asked.
Iceburgh pointed to Geno, then to Sid, then in between them. "It's the number in the middle of 71 and 87," the cameraperson interpreted.
Sid did some quick math in his head and smiled. "I never would have thought of that."
"Thank you so much, Iceburgh." Geno pulled Sid and the mascot into a big hug. "Kolya gonna love all of it."
Jen helped Geno and Sid find a nanny. Claudia was a beta about ten years older than their parents who spoke Russian fluently because her late husband had been a businessman based in Moscow. She scheduled a Skype call with Sid and Geno a few hours before their first away game of the season. "Kolya is all ready to watch Captain Daddy and Alternate Papa!" Claudia cooed, showing off the baby in his Crosby-Malkin jersey. "Let's go Pens!"
Sid and Geno both laughed, especially when Nikolai started waving his Timosha plushie at the screen. "We teach him right mascot later," Geno declared as they ended the call.
The game went quite badly for the Penguins, which explained why Claudia insisted on trying something different during the next Skype call. Specifically, she helped Nikolai "blow a kiss to Captain Daddy...and blow a kiss to Alternate Papa...let's go Pens!" Sid and Geno 'caught' the kisses and placed them next to their hearts.
The game went very, very well, and thus arose a new family tradition. As the years passed, Nikolai graduated to blowing the kisses by himself.
Sid and Geno taught Nikolai how to skate when he was very young. Nikolai seemed to like it, so they asked if he wanted to try hockey, and he agreed to it. So they signed him up for a basic league in the afternoons, with Claudia handling transportation when Sid and Geno traveled.
About another month into the league, Claudia told Sid and Geno that there was a problem. "Nikolai started crying on the way home from hockey. He said the coaches keep joking about him carrying on the legacy of Crosby omegas in the NHL, even when he told them to stop."
Geno cursed under his breath. "We find new league."
"Maybe not," Sid said. "I'll talk to Nikolai about what he wants."
The conversation took place after dinner, with Geno in a different room. "Kolya, Claudia says you're unhappy about your hockey coaches. Is that true?"
"Not exactly." Nikolai's gaze dropped to the ground. "It's not the coaches - it's Grandpa, too."
"From when you talked to him and Grandma on the phone last weekend?" Sid asked. Nikolai nodded, but didn't say anything. "Come here, Kolya...tell me everything, okay?"
Nikolai crawled into Sid's arms. "Grandpa said that you worked really, really hard to make it possible for omegas to do well in the NHL, so I had to make sure I didn't mess all of that up."
Sid scowled in disappointment. "Grandpa's sort of right. I did work really, really hard for myself and other omegas like you. I did it so that you would have the option of the NHL. That doesn't mean you have to take the option. Papa and I don't want you to feel pressured about hockey or anything else you choose to do, okay?"
"Okay," Nikolai told Sid's chest. "I don't like playing hockey enough to do it every day. But I can finish the season to be good to the team."
"Are you sure, Kolya?" Sid pressed. "I don't want what the coaches say to upset you."
"If you say it's not true, then I'll ignore it," Nikolai replied. "And the other kids are nice."
"Okay, then." Sid kissed Nikolai's head lightly. "Do you know what you might want to do instead?"
"I want to be a Broadway actor!" Nikolai squealed, looking up at Sid. "Claudia and I listen to Broadway all the time. I love it! I want to sing and dance!"
"Well, we'll see about that after the hockey season," Sid promised.
Sid explained everything to Geno that night. Geno found it rather funny: "Now I know why I'm not know any songs he hums! All Broadway!"
"I don't know them, either," Sid admitted. "But this doesn't mean we're going to fill his days with auditions and vocal coaches and stuff, agreed? We're not pushing him."
"He Nikolai Crosby-Malkin - he push himself." Geno kissed Sid on the cheek. "Maybe he change mind and push himself not to Broadway, but he push himself. We just help from backstage, not need do more. Our son pretty amazing like his Daddy."
"And his Papa," Sid affirmed.