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[Image: instagram post by user @Chapman11, showing several running shoes and socks. Caption says: Ready to try on my new gear *shoes emoji* @adidas]

Washington Capitals @Washington Capitals
Game Day! We are ready to face the Dallas Wild tonight.  Preview: http://Washca.ps/tyg5vs9f  #ALLCAPS

Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
Let’s go boys!! #ALLCAPS

Samira @SamiLikesHockey
petition for david chapman to post anything other than boring ass ads

Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
@SamiLikesHockey you mean petition for the poor PR person who handles david chapman’s social media to post anything other than boring ass ads #FreeThem

Samira @SamiLikesHockey
@baldpuck RIP

 

David wakes up to a kiss and the smell of coffee, which somewhat mitigates the unpleasant feeling of being awake .

“Good morning,” Jake says, smile so sunny it’s blinding. However, he’s forgiven for the cheeriness, inadequate for such an early hour, when David sits up in the bed and Jake puts a mug in his hand. “There’s toast in the kitchen as well, but I didn’t think you’d want crumbs all over the bed. I know I don’t.”

Jake lays on the bed, head in David’s lap as David starts drinking the coffee. David doesn’t even realize when he starts running his hand through Jake’s hair, the light brown locks soft under his fingers. He’s wearing it longer again, and David is not complaining. He has to admit that it’s worth it, waking up even before his alarm goes off every morning, to have this, even if he would never say it out loud. 

Jake closes his eyes and leans into David’s touch. 

It’s still weird, having Jake with him all the time, every day. They’ve seen each other more since Jake retired before the season, but he still spends a lot of time in Florida, in Michigan with his family. He came to Washington when the playoffs started, though, and he’s been a fixture in David’s bed, his flat, his life, since Game one. 

It’s weird, but it’s nice. That’s all David’s saying. 

By the time his phone tells him he has to get up, he’s done with his coffee, but it’s physically hard to stop touching Jake, to move from the bed and start with his game-day routine. When David tries to get up, Jake groans but doesn’t fight him, just rolls to his side of the bed and looks at David as he moves around the room, preparing clothes for after his shower, as he always does. Other times, Jake does try to stop him from getting up, tries to pin him down on the bed and make him stay there a little bit longer, sometimes more successfully than others. Not on a game day, though. Not during the playoffs. Not during the Finals. 

All in all, it’s a good morning, a good day. David leaves Jake working on something for the podcast he has started with another recently retired friend, and takes an Uber to the rink, ready for morning skate, media he wishes he didn’t have to do; then back home for lunch and a nap. He shares a picture of some clothes on his Instagram, something a sponsor sent him. Robbie has been chirping him for his boring posts, but David doesn’t know what else he could share —he doesn’t have fishing pics he could share like Robbie, doesn’t have cats or kids like Kiro and he sure is not going to post what he had heard referred to as ‘thirst traps’ (mostly by Robbie) the way Jake does. David may have spent too much time looking at those pics of Jake. They are nice. 

It would feel like a normal day, if it weren’t for the excitement vibrating under his skin at the idea of playing for the Cup, again, and for Jake waiting for him at home, with food on the table prepared according to David’s nutrition plan. Another addition is the naptime cuddles, which David tried to refuse at first until he gave up during the second round. Now he just lets Jake wrap himself around David, hot as a furnace, and falls asleep lulled by Jake breathing softly in his ear. 

David wakes up to his alarm and a text from Kiro.

 good luck have good game )))))

It isn’t a good game, even if the Caps win. It gets dirty early on, too early for Game 1 between two teams who don’t see each other much during the season, who don’t have any previous bad blood that could justify it. A Wild defenseman lays a late hit in the first that sends Matthews into the boards, and he’s slow to get up before he’s sent down the tunnel; it goes downhill from there. By the time Matthews comes back into the game at the beginning of the second, the refs have stopped even giving penalties, too tired of the tripping and the slashing to even care anymore.

David is on the ice when it happens, and he can’t be sure, but he thinks it’s directed at him. He hears the slur and has the same second of panic he can’t seem to shake even after all these years, but forces himself to stop thinking about it and continue playing, as he always does. It’s less frequent now, but it still happens, on the ice, those words being muttered and spewed and spat, despite the programs and the workshops and Lapointe’s rants whenever he has a microphone in front of him. Even after Bouchard’s public proposal and the number of out players growing steadily.

The difference this time is the cameras. One of them is panned on the face of Walker at the right moment, exactly when he says it, and they can’t hear it, but it’s easy to guess what he is saying. And in a few moments, it’s all over social media.

David doesn’t know any of this, at least until the media scrum.

“What do you think about Walker’s comments? You were the closest player. People are asking for a suspension,” a reporter asks.

David freezes for a second, and then his hands start sweating, his heart beating faster than it was after his last shift at the game, anxiety quickly filling him. It takes a moment for him to convince himself that this is going to be the theme of the game that all the guys are going to be asked. It’s not only him; the reporters are not singling him out. They don’t know about him. 

“The league’s policy on the matter is clear,” he manages, a non-answer. The reporter who asked initially seems ready to push the issue when he realizes that David is not going to add anything, but thankfully somebody asks a question about his game-winning goal and he can talk about hockey. He knows how to do that.

GIFS 🏒 @IMakeHockeyGifs
Walker at Chapman

sarah ♡ _/ @shutthepuckup
did he just…

Samira @SamiLikesHockey
WTFFFFF

John Allen @SportsnetAllen
John Walker under fire after apparent homophobic slur. League to launch an investigation. 

 

Jake is waiting for David when he gets home to his condo, stands up immediately from the sofa when David enters the living room. On TV, a few hockey analysts are talking about the game. David wishes the TV was off. 

“Babe, how are you?” Jake says, already in David’s space, and even just him being there is making David relax. But he doesn’t want to talk about the game, the slur, anything. He just wants to go to sleep but Jake keeps talking. “Are you mad? That asshole…”

“I’m ok. It’s not a big deal,” he replies, dropping his hockey bag and leaning into Jake, who kisses his temple. However, when David looks up, Jake is frowning.

“I’m glad you’re fine, but it is a big deal. He shouldn’t get away with that.” He doesn’t look angry, not yet, but David’s getting better at reading Jake, if not anybody else, and he can see the tension rising in his face. He’s getting agitated, himself.

“It isn’t. It’s said all the time and I’m used to it. You've heard it a thousand times too!” He doubts it was ever thrown in Jake’s direction, though. He doesn’t say that.

“But it’s not something to get used to. And it’s not just about you. It’s something that doesn’t belong in the game.” Jake takes a step back, and David mourns the loss of contact. 

“I still don’t understand how it’s different from another type of penalty.” He’s getting desperate, now, unable to understand why Jake won’t let it go. He’s just so so tired. 

“Because another type of penalty doesn’t attack the rights of thousands of people! Us included! Spearing doesn’t imply that there’s something wrong with you, with me, that we shouldn’t play hockey.”

And to that, David doesn’t know what to say. He just looks at Jake, the way his face is redder, how his chest falls and raises with his breath, how he puts his hands through his hair and sighs when David doesn’t say anything. 

“You know what? I can’t do this right now, David,” Jake finishes. He storms out in the main bedroom’s direction, and David’s left there surprised Jake didn’t slam the door, with his hockey bag on the floor where he dropped it when he arrived. It was 5 minutes ago, but it feels like an eternity.

A part of him protests Jake claiming the main bedroom, David ’s room, but deep down he knows that’s not fair, that, right now, this house is as much Jake’s as it is his, regardless of the name on the lease. Still, he doesn’t want to sleep in any of the guest rooms—the beds aren’t even made there, so he goes to the kitchen and spends some time moving stuff around, trying to both quiet his thoughts and make time for Jake to fall asleep before David goes to his bedroom.

Of course Jake is still awake. David’s lucky like that.

“Hey,” Jake says from the bed, and David is taken aback by how good he looks, something he’s gotten better at admitting to himself after years together. 

“Hey,” David whispers back, feeling stupid in his game-day suit compared to Jake’s worn-soft Knights shirt. He waits for Jake to say anything else, to give any indication that they are fine, that David can change into his pyjamas and go to bed and forget this horrible day.

“I’m sorry,” Jake says, in the end. “I know this is not your fault, I just hate that it happens, that I’ve been playing this sport all my life and now I’m retired and nothing has changed.” Jake pats the bed, an invitation to go sit next to him, and David obeys without even realizing he’s doing it. Jake puts his hand on top of David’s.

“I’m sorry too,” David says. “I just…” he hesitates, but he trusts Jake, and he wants to explain. “I just don’t want to call attention to the fact that it bothers me. I fear… I fear people will figure out why.”

Jake squeezes his hand, and David is torn between feeling reassured by the gesture and taking his hand away, hiding how vulnerable he actually feels, even if he knows it’s pointless, with Jake. 

“Any decent person should be mad about this, David, regardless of who they love,” he says, and deep down, David knows Jake’s right, but he can’t say it.

“Can we go to sleep? I don’t want to talk about it tonight.” Or ever.

Jake is about to say something else but seems to think twice about it. “Sure, babe.”

When David’s changed, he’s afraid that Jake will stay in his side of the bed, that he won’t roll closer and closer to David, until they’re touching everywhere, until David can sink into Jake’s warmth. The fear lasts exactly for a second, the time it takes Jake to snuggle against David the moment he touches the mattress. 

David wasn’t sure he would be able to sleep, but both exhaustion and being this close to Jake make it very easy, in the end. 

*

Samira @SamiLikesHockey
@NHL you can’t say hockey is for everyone and then turn a blind eye on this behaviour

r/hockey

“The problem is in the system and must be addressed at all levels of the game”: Marc Lapointe shares some thoughts on the use of homophobic slurs and hockey culture. (tsn.ca)
submitted 2 hours ago by legendary_gerry
2.1M Comments share report

 

Skate the next morning is optional, but of course, David doesn’t miss it. For once, Jake leaves before David even wakes up properly, off to record that podcast he’s doing with some Washington guy that used to play in LA but went back home when he retired. David couldn’t have told you any of this about him before, but of course Jake knew the guy from some tournament or another. 

The podcast is fine, entertaining. Jake certainly knows what he’s talking about when he discusses hockey and the other guy (Tim? Tom? David should probably ask again) is not half-bad, but mostly David started listening when Jake began with the project just to hear his voice. 

When he’s finished showering after practice and checks his phone, he has several texts and a missed call from Dave. He decides to deal first with the texts. Robbie’s (who had skipped optional skate) unintelligible “i love your boy he’s hot when he’s mad” only gets a “Please delete this”, but when he reads Kiro’s he gets concerned.

hey you ok want to talk?

Oleg's message (That was good of him) doesn’t do a thing to calm him.

What has Jake done?

He doesn't answer any of the texts just cancels his Uber and goes to find a corner where nobody will bother him so that he can call Jake. It only rings once before Jake picks up.

“Hey,” he says. “I was going to call you, but the last half hour since we posted the episode has been–”

“What have you done,” David interrupts him. He needs to know, right now, because his brain is creating a thousand horrible possibilities, and he can’t cope.

“Nothing, really. I was just… very vocal about the slur thing,” he says.

“You didn’t tell me you were going to talk about it,” David says. He can feel himself relaxing minimally, but it’s not enough to fully ease his worry.

“I wasn’t planning to. But of course the topic came up. It’s all over social media, everybody is writing think pieces. We had to talk about it.”

“Ok. That’s it?”

“Yes, I swear. I just got… heated-up, I guess. I’m getting a lot of messages from friends, asking me if I’m fine. I have been on the phone for ages. I don’t— I didn’t say anything I don’t believe.”

That’s not reassuring, David doesn’t say. He knows very well that what Jake believes can be controversial among hockey fans. 

“Can we talk when you get home? I have a thousand texts and I should call some people back.”

“I got some calls too, but I wanted to talk to you first. Dave called me.”

“God, of course he did. Anyway, talk later? Love you.”

“You too.” David’s still uncomfortable saying that outside of their home when he doesn’t feel like the situation asks for it, but it makes him smile all the way to the parking lot anyway, hearing Jake say that, as natural as breathing.  

He listens to the podcast in the new Uber he orders to go back home, speeding up through the episode until he hears his name and he knows the talk about the incident is coming. 

“And you’re friends with Chapman, aren’t you?”

David’s heart misses a beat but Jake answers naturally.

“We train together, yeah.” It’s not a lie, David has to admit that at least. “But that has nothing to do with it, Tom. I would think the same if it had been said to another player, a ref, a fan, to the air! I just think it’s something that doesn’t belong in the game.”

He sounds way calmer than David was expecting, after the texts he has received and the phone conversation. Nothing out of the ordinary. 

“Well, I agree. But you know how things are on the ice. Sometimes you just say things you don’t mean, you know?”

“I don’t really know, no. That’s just something you shouldn’t say, don’t care about the context.”

“You never used it, then?” The guy is clearly incredulous, David can hear it in his voice. 

“Not as an adult, no,” Jake replies. “Not even as a teenager. And we are not talking about kids here, who repeat what they hear without understanding the meaning. That’s not the case. These are adult men who should know better. I don’t know what the solution is, higher fines, or suspensions or whatever. Not my job to decide that, but the workshops and YCP and Hockey is for everyone nights are clearly not working because it’s still happening, and this is not something we can allow." 

Now David can hear Jake getting more and more agitated as he speaks, showing just how much he cares, so he braces himself for anything that may come, for anything too incriminating that may slip through Jake's already low filters. 

“Nobody has any right to use that kind of language, a word that’s telling millions of people that they are not wanted in this sport!” Jake continues. “This just can’t be acceptable, and any normal person should understand why! It’s basic human decency! That language is dehumanizing and it’s fucked up that this is still happening!”

“Oh, wow, ok, careful with the f-bombs there,” Tom says. “It is an important issue, for sure, but…”

“There’s no buts. This has to change, and the change has to come from the roots, from the league, the players, the coaches. It is a culture problem! I don’t give a f – damn whether guys mean it or not when they say it. It has to stop. We – Nobody should have to deal with this shit anymore.”

Tom changes the topic after that.

*

Stick Taps & Chit Chats @STCCPodcast
Tom and Jake discuss the latest in the hockey world: Analysis of Game 1, the Walters incident and some comments on the Worlds gold medal game!

sarah ♡ _/ @shutthepuckup
HELL YEAH LOURDES 

Scott 🌈@icecold
Glad to see a straight player comment on the issue beyond just saying “if you can play, you can play” and thinking they have solved homophobia

Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
Do you think he’s… you know

Samira @SamiLikesHockey
@baldpuck yooo, don’t do that! if he is, he’ll tell us when he’s ready!

sarah ♡ _/ @shutthepuckup
@baldpuck @SamiLikesHockey also, i never followed him too closely, but hasn’t he had like a thousand gfs?

Scott 🌈@icecold
@baldpuck @SamiLikesHockey @shutthepuckup i’ve followed him for ages (for hockey reasons clearly no abs reasons) and he doesn’t seem to have been with anyone for ages 👀

Samira @SamiLikesHockey
@baldpuck @icecold @shutthepuckup what about those pictures shopping with a very pregnant woman a few years ago?

Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
@icecold @SamiLikesHockey @shutthepuckup LOL i remember that one THAT WAS KIRO VOLKOV’S WIFE

 

Jake’s in the kitchen fixing lunch when David gets home. That’s a good sign, David thinks, and means he’s getting something nice to eat as well. Jake enjoys cooking, was always decent, if he rarely experimented and tried new things; now he’s getting quite good in retirement. 

David stands by the door, looking as Jake moves around the kitchen and sings something David couldn’t name but recognizes as a song Jake has sung before. Jake looks confident and sure of where everything is, and oblivious to being observed. He looks very good. David can’t be mad at him, even if the idea of Jake being so vocal about this still makes him uncomfortable, a bit scared. David stops fighting the smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, lets it fill his face. That’s when Jake turns around and sees him.

“Hey, babe.” Jake walks towards him, and David waits for him by the door, lets Jake close the distance, do the work. Jake kisses him, softly, barely there, touch and go. “Are you ok? Sorry this got a bit out of hand…”

David frowns. Jake should be the one who is worried. It affects David, of course, but it’s not him everybody must be wondering about. They must be thinking about why Jake cares so much about gay slurs being used on the ice. 

“I’m fine. I listened to it. You were... vehement.”

“I guess I was, yeah,” Jake chuckles. He still doesn’t look worried at all. “It’s important to me, this topic.”

“I know. I just wish…” David doesn’t know what he wishes. That slurs weren’t used? That the world were different? Not for Jake to care less about this, to work harder to hide it. Not anymore.

“I know. I’m sorry if this is distracting for you or…”

“No, it’s fine. I’m just a bit tired of the topic.”

“Lunch is almost ready. Then nap?”

That sounds perfect to David.

*

John Allen @SportsnetAllen
Walker issues apology for homophobic slur directed at Chapman. He won’t appeal the fine imposed by the NHL, will play in Game 2. Full story here: link./57ojl-x6

Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
THIS IS BULLSHIT! A FINE?

I love the Wild @Wild7837
@baldpuck shut up its not a big deal he apologized already

Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS@baldpuck
@Wild7837 wtf i’m not even going to try to argue with you, blocked

 

David hates having two days in-between games for the Finals. 

He doesn’t blame all the free time for the Capitals losing Game 2, but he’s sure it didn’t help. He doesn’t blame Walker, either, who’s back on the ice after having faced only a fine, and having written an apology and promised to attend sensibility training. Even David knows that’s not enough, but he doesn’t dwell on it; he’s focused on the game. They play uncoordinated, passes missing that should have connected, one too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty caused by a weird line change. It’s 3-1 by the end of the second and stays like that when the final buzzer sounds. 

It’s the kind of night when he knows sleep won’t come easy to him, but Jake kisses him as soon as he gets home, his hands drifting under David’s shirt,  and walks him to their bedroom while trying to help him out of his gameday suit without breaking the kiss. They have been together for years, almost half their lives since the first time they ended up in bed together, but David doesn’t think he could ever get tired of this, of Jake’s hands on his body making space for himself between David’s legs, Jake’s lips tracing his sensitive skin from his knee to his groin. Jake goes maddeningly slow, teasing the underside of David’s cock, never reaching the head, until David, usually silent, can’t help a tiny whine. He opens his eyes and finds Jake looking up at him, hair tousled where David has involuntarily put his hands on it,  not holding or pushing, just. There.

“What do you need, David?” Jake asks, the smile in his voice unmissable. 

David will never not be ashamed of voicing what he wants, especially in bed, but when Jake doesn’t move an inch, he loses it. “Just get on with it.”

“Pushy.” Jake is still smiling, still looking at David, his mouth inches from David’s cock that could as well be miles, too far for David’s liking. David frowns, uncomfortable under the intensity of Jake’s gaze. “Still amazes me, how you just… don’t know the way you look. What you do to me”

David wants to say something, even he’s not sure what, but in the end, he only manages a pained “please.”

“As you wish,” Jake says and takes David fully into his mouth. 

David is lost, then. Forgets the game, the playoffs, the finals. Forgets where he is, his brain fogged by the wet warmth of Jake’s mouth, the blend of too much and of not enough that Jake seems to be pursuing tonight, the softness of Jake’s hair between his fingers as David comes in Jake’s mouth and tightens his hold.

When he comes down from the haze, David has no energy to return the favour. Seems like Jake doesn’t need much help, anyway, just gets himself off on David’s belly while David looks at him through half-lidded eyes, too sated to even feel gross once Jake comes on him. 

David falls asleep easily, the game forgotten once Jake finishes cleaning them both up with a wet cloth, helps him get under the covers, and wraps his arms around David.

*

                                                                   

[Image: Instagram post by user @JLourds showing several boats in a port. Caption: went for a run this morning and saw these. suddenly want a boat… Comments: kathyg34: beautiful *sun emoji* / ItsAllieL: as your sister if you get a boat you have to get me one]

sarah ♡ _/ @shutthepuckup
Just woke up, hoping last night’s game was a nightmare. It wasn’t

Kiro

if jake gets boat can we go sailing this summer pls say yes )))))))))))))

What do you mean "if Jake gets a boat"? I know nothing about a boat.

((((((((((((((((((((((

 

Jake wakes David up again before his alarm clock should go off, bringing coffee and eggs for breakfast in bed. Jake sits next to him with his face glued to his phone while David sips his coffee slowly, still too hot, and lets it wake him up little by little. Jake is typing like crazy.

“What are you doing?” David asks curiously, and not even a little annoyed by Jake basically ignoring him. Not at all.

“Ah, nothing. Just posting something on Insta. And, well… arguing with assholes on Twitter.”

“Is it about... the podcast?”

“Yup,” he says, but doesn’t elaborate. He’s still typing. 

David doesn’t use his social media for anything other than posting sponsored pictures, and he doesn’t do many of those anyway. The first thing he did with his Instagram was to figure out how to turn off all notifications. He doesn’t even have the app on his phone, he just uses the laptop whenever he’s contractually obligated to show the world how much he loves colourful isotonic drinks or sneakers. He certainly can’t imagine why anyone would want to engage with other people there, especially assholes.

“Do I want to know what they’re saying?” he asks once he’s almost done with his coffee and the world around him feels less fuzzy and hostile. 

“You really, really don’t,” Jake replies, turning his head to look at him. “But. Ehm. Actually, I wanted to talk to you about something.”

David doesn’t much like Jake’s tone, doesn’t want to think what could make him sound like that.

“Is everybody ok? Are Allie and the baby–?”

“God, no, everybody is fine.” He pauses as if considering how to say what comes next. “It’s about me.”

“Ok,” David says, trying to feign a calmness he certainly doesn’t feel.

“I know this isn’t the best time. But…” he hesitates, but breathes in deeply and sounds way more confident when he speaks again. “I want to come out. Publicly.”

David’s brain shuts down for a second. He’s unable to think, there’s a buzz in his mind, a loud static noise. He doesn’t notice he’s trembling until he feels Jake’s hand on his fingers, taking the mug of coffee David had forgotten about and setting it on the bedside table.

“David. Babe. Are you ok? Say something.” Jake’s voice manages to make its way into David’s brain, over the buzz. Jake’s hands on his ground him.

“I… I can’t,” he manages to say. There is terror coursing through his veins, filling him from head to toe. “I can’t do that.”

“I know.” Jake gives him a small smile, caresses his hands. “You don’t have to do anything. This is about me, for me. I can do it on my own.”

“But why?” He really doesn’t understand, doesn’t see why anyone would ever want to expose themselves to that. Jake is not in the league anymore, but he’s still high profile, gets media and public attention, especially with the podcast. He always knew Jake liked to share his feelings and his love with the people he cared about, but David thought Jake was happy with just their friends and Jake's family knowing..

It looks like he was wrong. 

“I need to do this. I feel like I can make a difference, doing this. For people who are still playing and don’t think the league would support them. For kids who may be thinking of not playing anymore, because they’re gay and they have been told the two are incompatible. I can help them. Every player that has come out, it has been a stone in the wall of those who say that what we have isn’t right, that there’s some kind of mould you have to fit in to play hockey and, if you don’t, you gotta get off the ice. I want to be that for somebody. And I don’t think it’ll be such a big deal for the media or the fans. Plenty of people have come out already. Bouchard proposed on the ice !”

Jake laughs but it sounds nervous. The whole speech seems rehearsed, like something that has been meditated for a long time, not just this morning. Not last night, not even since Game 1. Way longer. David doesn’t know what to say. He’s still scared, terrified of people figuring out that he… that he’s in love with Jake. But he's heard Jake’s point, and it doesn’t surprise him, knowing Jake. He’s just that kind of person. If he can make a situation better for other people, he will try. But this could affect everything they have, destroy it, if anyone figures out that they are together and David can’t continue playing or the Capitals trade him somewhere so they don’t have to deal with the media or the fans turn on him or–

“And I…” Jake is still speaking, and David makes an effort to focus, to understand what’s happening. “I get it if you don’t want any part of this. I can leave, right now, I will pack quick and–”

At that, David feels cold travel down his spine, a new fear spreading fast through from his brain to the rest of his body, freezing him in place and overcoming any previous feeling. Not only does Jake want to put in danger everything they have, their whole lives. Jake… wants to leave him.

“Are you leaving me?“ He fights the burning behind his eyes, stops any tears from falling, but knows his eyes are getting red anyways. He knows Jake can see it.

“No! What? Never. I– David” Jake looks at him, moves his hand from where it was still on David’s, and puts it on David’s cheek. David turns his head to avoid the contact. Jake sighs. 

“I love you. I need to do this for myself, but I love you and that’s not going to change. So if you want me to go, I’ll go. To protect you. But I don’t want to.”

David leans into Jake’s hand, finally, revelling in the contact. “I don’t want you to go.” 

“Good.” Jake breathes out, running his thumb over David’s cheek, capturing a small tear that has managed to escape. He doesn’t mention it, and David is thankful for that. "Because I don’t want to go. And I’m going to do everything in my power to protect you, to make sure nobody knows anything you don’t want them to know.” When David doesn’t say anything, Jake keeps on speaking. “I’m happy to be with you this way forever, but I don’t want to stay quiet if I can make a difference. If I can do anything so that nobody has to doubt whether they belong in the game. So that nobody has to look the way you looked when Lapointe came out. I don’t want to see that fear anywhere, ever again.” 

David remembers the feeling, the cold panic coursing through him, the terror that somebody would look at him and just know . He understands what Jake says, what he means. He’s not sure Jake coming out would actually make a difference; there have been out players for over a decade. But he knows Jake, and even if the change is minimal, if Jake can help, he will. 

There, in the dim morning light in the middle of the Stanley Cup Finals, in the bed he shares with Jake, David thinks about it, about coming out. About Jake. About how they have been together, really together, uninterrupted, for almost a decade. About how nobody has even figured out that they are friends, beyond the fact that they train together. There are only some conspiracy theory posts online that weren't even shared too much (or so Kiro says… David doesn't want to know how he finds those, but dread fills him whenever he gets a link from Kiro; it's always weird things). People are oblivious. And they will continue to be even if Jake comes out, even if the terror he feels won’t disappear. Even if he worries about Jake, about any possible backslash, about the assholes he already has to fight online and the thousand that will join them now.

They can do this, maybe. Jake can come out, and David can remain in the closet, and everything will be ok, or so he wants to think, looking at the hope in Jake’s eyes. 

“Ok,” David says, breaking the silence that had settled over them. Realising that while he was thinking, Jake had never stopped touching him. “How do you want to do this?”

*

James @james65498
who fucking cares what that moron @JLourds has to say about the game anyway he was a waste of a first pick wasn’t good for years thank god he retired

Jake Lourdes @JLourds
@james65498 still played more nhl games than you xoxo

matthewspuckbunny reblogged captainchapman

ok so, i have a theory?? maybe? i know the rivalry narrative between chapman and lourdes has been dead for like a decade AT LEAST but i would go far beyond that and say that they are… friends?? we know they train together and that training group seems to be small. they have common friends… more proof under the cut
[Read more]


i think you’re reaching tbh and your shipping is showing

#david chapman #jake lourdes #hockey #nhl #all those pics have a thousand other people in them #they just have friends in common #like volkov #doesn't op have a 200k enemies to lovers chapman/lourdes fic??

They call Dave. He’s not Jake’s agent anymore, but he’s David’s and he needs to know. Also, he must still have all those plans ready, just in case. It’s a good idea. It makes sense. It still grates on David, having to discuss his private life with Dave. 

They move to the living room for this, sit on the sofa side by side, and put the phone on speaker on the table. Jake’s hand on David’s knee is distracting, but David doesn’t want to slap it away, so he makes an effort to ignore the warmth, focus on the call and on the very serious topic they are discussing. 

“You hate making my life easy, eh,” Dave says, once Jake explains what he wants to do. “Anyway, thanks for telling me. I’m not your agent anymore, kid." Not a kid anymore, David doesn’t interrupt Dave to say. “But I’m David’s and this can affect him too. David, are you sure you are ok with this?"

“I–,” David hesitates. “He wants to do it. We just… we just need a plan. To make sure nobody knows about me.”

“Yes,” Jake agrees. “I’m willing to do anything it takes to make sure nobody knows about David.”

“And can’t you wait until after the playoffs?” Dave seems to be writing down things. David suspects his assistant is listening in as well. 

“I think it’d be worse because during the off-season the media doesn’t have anything else to talk about. I do it now, it fades away by the time the Caps win the–”

“Eh!” David interrupts him. He’s not superstitious. He really isn’t. And yet… he doesn’t want to risk jinxing it.

“Ok, ok. By mid-June, everybody has forgotten, and we can have a chill summer.”

“I still think it is a bad idea. It’s going to be a distraction for David...” Dave says. 

“But it minimizes the chances of it being big news. I’m not playing anymore. This won’t be like Lapointe’s. I haven’t just won a Cup. Everybody will be focused on the finals. Nobody will look too much into it.”

“I think you underestimate the interest this will generate and the impact it will have, but if David’s ok with it…”

David is probably never going to be ok with any of this, but he doesn’t say so. He understands that this is important to Jake. He gets it. He’s not ok, but he’s willing to do this for Jake. 

“Yeah,” he whispers, and hopes Dave can hear it from his side of the phone. 

“Ok. I have another proposal you may not like: you could do it while David is out of town, after Game 3 for instance.”

At that, David feels Jake tense next to him, straightening up on the sofa. He gives it a thought, being away, escaping the fallout of what he stills considers a very bad idea, even if he’s taking all this better than he would have 10 years ago, or even 5. 

If he were taking a step that could change his life forever, he would like Jake there with him. 

But.

If Jake wants to do it during the playoffs, they don’t have that much time. David’s leaving for Dallas tomorrow anyway. It makes sense. Jake doesn’t seem happy, but he agrees with Dave. David wishes he could make Jake’s frown disappear. It’s not a look Jake wears often, and it doesn’t suit him. 

“Have Nat or Allie come to stay with you, if they can,” David says. “I–I don’t want you to be alone.”

Jake’s face softens into a smile at that.

“Yes. Nat can work from home and hopefully she can travel here. I don’t think Allie could, with the kids, but… That’s a great idea, David.”

“Good. That’s settled. We have a date,” Dave says. “Do you want to do a press conference? A social media post?” Dave continues, maybe going through a prepared checklist of questions and possibilities.

“I could do it in the podcast. We’re supposed to record after Game 3 anyway.”

“That’s a good idea. That would allow you to control the narrative. It’s your space.” He pauses and David can hear the rustling of paper through the phone. “Anything else before me and my assistant start working on contingency plans, talk points and press releases?” Dave asks. David looks up and finds Jake looking at him. He shakes his head.

“No, that’s it,” Jake replies.

“Ok. Let’s do this.”