Chapter 1: Chapter 1
[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
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
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…
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.
@NHL you can’t say hockey is for everyone and then turn a blind eye on this behaviour
“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
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
@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?
@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 👀
@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
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?”
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
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.
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.”
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Washington Capital @capitals
Up in the air and on our way to face the Dallas Wild! Puck drops for Game 3 tomorrow at 9pm EST. #ALLCAPS
Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
why do i love a team that dresses like this
@baldpuck RIGHT? some color wouldn’t kill you guys pls
David spends the whole flight to Dallas nervous, fidgeting to the point that Robbie snaps at him.
“If you don’t stop bumping your leg I’ll go sit with Matty. I’ll take the tablet with me and you’ll never know who’s the murderer.”
It’s a dumb threat; David could just watch it alone, could just google it. But he guesses Robbie understands David well enough to know he wouldn’t. He stops moving his leg, does his best to keep it frozen.
“Better,” Robbie says.
When Robbie doesn’t hit play again, David looks up from the tablet screen and finds his teammate looking at him, curious.
“What’s wrong anyway?” Robbie asks.
“I’m just nervous,” David says, unconvincing.
“You usually keep your cool before games better than this.”
“Can we talk about this later? I don’t want to…” David points at the rest of the plane, full with their teammates. He trusts Robbie, but the team plane is not the place to discuss something like this.
Surprisingly, Robbie drops it. “Sure. Back to Third Time Charm ?”
David doesn’t look at his phone until they land, and by then he has several texts from Kiro.
jake has been on phone with emily for 1hr wassup
u guys ok
is this bout the rant in podcast
emily just told me call me when u can
David texts Jake in the bus, a simple “landed” that Jake answers in a second with a thousand smileys, a hockey stick, a sun and a heart. David waits until he’s in his hotel room to call Kiro.
“How are you,” Kiro says the moment he picks up the phone.
“Fine?” David’s unsure of how he feels, but he doesn’t know how to express that.
“Fine? You’re fine with this?”
“I–yes? No. I don’t know.”
“And does he know you aren’t fine?”
“I’m not not-fine," David argues. “I understand why this is important to Jake.”
“But you’re a couple. This impacts you.”
“Believe me, I know that. But we have been together for years and people still don’t know. We just have to keep on being careful.”
“Are you trying to convince me or yourself?”
David actually doesn’t know. The more he thinks about it, the less sure he is that it’s a good idea. But it’s what Jake wants. Jake, who David knows would like nothing more than to shout what he feels from the rooftops, and doesn’t do it because of David. Who could have been out for years, holding hands with someone in public, bringing a plus one to team events, even if David will never understand how Jake can be so casual about that, so unconcerned with what everybody else will think. Whether it could affect his career. Not that that matters much anymore, Jake’s career.
He knows that, if he called Jake right now, told him not to do it, that he has changed his mind, Jake would listen and call the whole thing off. And that’s when David realizes he doesn’t want to do it. He doesn’t want to take this from Jake. He’s scared, of course he’s scared. He’s been scared all his life. But, right now, the fear of losing Jake is stronger. The need to make Jake happy weighs more than almost anything in his life.
They are doing this.
“David?” Kiro asks, sounding unsure. “You there?”
“I’m here. I’m–I’m sure about this,” he says, and he is.
“Good. If this is what you want, I’m with you. 100%. 110% even.”
David can hear the smile in Kiro’s voice, but he can’t help arguing “That’s not actually possible and you know it.”
“Shh, Davidson. Let me support you.”
“Whatever you say.”
“What I say is that I am proud of you, and I love you, and I want you to be happy.”
“Thanks.” He doesn’t know what else to say. David doesn’t think he’ll ever get used to Kiro’s intensity, his easy way both of chirping David and praising him for the smallest things.
“Now I go. Em and the kids say hi. Orange and Magenta don’t say anything.”
“Because they are cats?”
“No, because they’re mad you don’t visit. Come visit, Davidson.”
“Bring them to the cottage when you come this summer,” he suggests. The house is big enough.
“Orange is sulky when we put her in a car, but I’m sure she’ll be happy when she sees Davidson. Deal. We can all hang out in Jake’s boat.”
“I’m still not sure what’s that about a boat.”
“Just follow your man on Insta. Well, good luck tomorrow. Bye!”
“Thanks,” David says, and hangs up.
Nobody goes out that night, they just have a quiet team dinner. David sits between Elliot and Raf, and they talk about Dallas’ goalie to Robbie’s dismay, who’s sitting in front of them and is trying to distract them, unsuccessfully. David’s nervous, but he knows how to focus on hockey no matter what. That much he can do.
“Damn Canadians. You can’t even relax and not think about hockey for an hour, can you?” he says. He gets a napkin to the face.
“Shut up, Bardi. It’s not as if you’re not a professional hockey player,” O'Donnell says. “Also, you’re surrounded. Don’t risk your life for nothing.”
“Et tu, brutus? You’re American for fuck’s sake.”
“Language, you’ll scare the rookies,” Elliot says.
David laughs, quietly, but goes back to talking about Dallas’ players.
After dinner, he bows down an invitation to play Mario Kart and goes to his room to facetime Jake.
“Hey,” Jake says, from the tablet. “You look good. Nice dinner?”
David blushes slightly at the compliment. “Yes. Relaxed.”
“Nobody’s going out?”
“No, they’re just playing Mario Kart.”
“And you aren’t in the mood for being destroyed at videogames?”
David frowns. He’s still not the best, but he has been practicing, with Jake and sometimes Robbie. He may lose, but he’s not getting destroyed. He says as much.
“Sure, babe. You’re the Mario Kart master now.”
David is about to argue again but he gets distracted by Jake’s big smile, the dimples he gets. The sight melts away the stress he has been feeling. It only takes a second. He relaxes against the headboard.
“How was your flight?” Jake asks.
“Normal. Long. Watched Third Time Charm with Robbie.”
“Ah, I talked to Georgie yesterday. Do you know if there’s anything going on there again? I got like… a vibe.”
“Uh, no?” David really has no idea. He hasn’t talked to Georgie in ages, and he tries to avoid relationship conversations with Robbie. Robbie manages to bring up the most embarrassing topics.
“It doesn’t matter, I’m just curious.”
“How are you feeling?” David asks, changing the topic.
“Good. A bit bored now that you’re not here.
“And about… about the podcast?” He doesn’t know how else to call it. ‘Coming out’ sounds too big, which it is, he guesses. But, still, he doesn’t want to say it.
“Fine, really. I still have two days to prepare. And I have been going through what I should say with Dave. I’m fine. It’ll be fine. How are you?”
“Nervous,” he admits.
“About the game?”
“Yes, but also about your thing.” He pauses. “I’m worried about you.”
“It’s ok, really. I’m ready for this. I have been ready for years.” Jake pauses and David waits for him to continue, but Jake doesn’t. David’s about to open his mouth when Jake adds, “I just want you to be ok as well. I know you don’t want this.”
“I don’t want this for myself,” David explains. He feels like he has been repeating the same arguments a thousand times, but it still needs saying. Every time he voices it, he feels more sure. “But now I see why it’s important to you. You want this and I want you to have it.”
Jake’s face does something complicated that David doesn’t know how to read.
“I love you so much, you know?” Jake says, out of nowhere.
“I love you, too,” David says and feels warm inside when Jake smiles. He can’t help the way his heart seems to grow twice its size at the interaction. It’s not as if they don’t say it often; Jake certainly does. But David thinks it will always feel new to him, saying those words that sound enormous and yet insufficient to express the overpowering happiness he feels when he looks at Jake, when he is reminded that he gets to have this. Many times, like right now, it’s enough for him to overcome the fear and doubts.
“If you don’t stop looking at me like that, I won’t be able to hang up, and you need to sleep. You have a big day tomorrow, and I need to wake up early to take Nat for breakfast. She demands it for having to fly halfway across the country for this.”
David wasn’t aware he was looking at Jake in any specific way, but he makes an effort to put on a neutral face. “Ok. Good night. Tell Nat I say hi.”
“Good night,” Jake replies. David is the one who ends the video call, after another second of looking at Jake’s face on his tablet.
I neutral, but Orange and Magenta know who they root for #GoCaps
David’s not thinking about Jake during the game. He’s focused, as always. He gets a goal and an assist and they lose anyway.
The mood in the locker room afterwards is subdued. Nobody talks, nobody makes plans to go out. Some of the guys murmur about meeting in somebody’s room, but David just wants to go back to his own, and nobody pressures him. He texts with Oleg about the game on the way to the hotel, but drops it when he reaches his room to facetime Jake briefly. That puts the game out of his mind, releases the restless energy that wouldn’t have let him sleep otherwise. His eyes start drooping while they are still talking, and no matter how hard he tries to stay awake, he falls asleep with Jake’s voice coming from the tablet.
He wakes up to a text from Jake, sent probably the moment he fell asleep.
u look prtty when u sleep
David tries to ignore that, uselessly tries to stop the warmth he feels from spreading to his face, making him red. He doesn’t respond to that, sends a simple Good luck today , and starts his daily routine.
David’s not focused during morning skate. The podcast is not live, but they record in the morning and with the time difference it’s supposed to be posted just before team lunch. He’s managed to keep calm so far but now that the moment has arrived, he keeps thinking about whether Jake has done it already, whether his co-host has taken it well. How Jake is feeling.
He checks when practice is over, but nothing is up yet. He does have a message from Jake, so David decides to call him.
“How did it go?” David asks when Jake picks up the phone, not giving him time to even say “hi”.
“It went well, I think. Tom was surprised when I told him what I was going to do, before recording, but he took it well otherwise. I went a bit off-script, to be honest. I just got so angry, talking about that bullshit fine Walker got.”
David can picture that. He has decided he won’t listen to the podcast—he already knows what Jake will say. But he can imagine perfectly how Jake would be unable to keep his cool once they started discussing the topic.
“And how are you feeling?” he asks.
“Good, to be honest. Nervous, but good. I took Nat for lunch and now we’re at the botanical garden, just taking a walk.”
“Hi, David,” David hears Nat say through the phone, sounding far away.
“I really am fine. We’ll go home soon, to deal with the fallout from there. Love you.”
“You too,” David says, and hangs up.
[Image: Instagram post by user @JLourds showing the inside of a greenhouse full of cacti. Caption: taking the sis to the botanical garden for a nice stroll after the podcast *cactus emoji* this one’s a good one. hope you listen! *hockey stick emoji* Comments: kshutthepuckup Your podcast is the best! / ItsAllieL Nat gets the garden and I don’t get a boat / icecold AAAHH I love the botanical garden *heart emoji*]
Stick Taps & Chit Chats @STCCPodcast
Listen now as Tom and Jake continue to discuss the Finals. Listen until the end to hear some news Jake wants to share.
sarah ♡ _/ @shutthepuckup
HAVE YOU GUYS LISTENED???????????????????????
Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
It happens during team lunch, as David predicted. His phone starts vibrating when he’s midway through a salad and doesn’t stop until he is done eating. He ignores it; he would rather deal with everything in his room. At some point during lunch, David sees Robbie checking his own phone, looking up to David and then elbowing Elliot to show him what’s on the screen. Elliot takes a quick look at it, looks around the table and starts speaking, loud enough for it to be heard by everybody in the team.
“I don’t know if you are checking social media or sports news right now, but a retired player has just come out as bisexual. I’d just like to remind all of you that I will not tolerate homophobic remarks in the locker room. That’s it. Thanks, guys.”
“I’ll beat up anyone who says anything,” Robbie adds, lower, but still loud enough to be heard by everybody.
“Robbie, please,” Elliot says, but he doesn’t seem mad.
Raf, sitting next to David, squeezes his knee. David relaxes. He knows most of these guys; they have played together for years, they are friends. But there are always new guys, people picked up at the deadline, players David has seen through the years across the ice longer than in the locker room, and he’s still scared, of what they may think of Jake when they know, what they may say now, and how David may react to that. Some may have known, already; Jake did come out to his own teammates once and rumours spread quickly within the league. But that was years ago, and he has been quiet about it since. Younger guys won’t know, older ones may have forgotten.
He’s grateful for Elliot and Robbie and Raf.
He knows Jake will be busy for hours, but David texts him anyway, both to settle his own nerves and to reassure Jake, to remind him that he’s there.
Call me when you can. I hope you’re ok.
Robbie follows David to his room after lunch, and David lets him in. Raf looks about to join them but seems to decide against it. Robbie sits on the bed, not even asking whether that’s ok. David doesn’t mind anyway. He doesn’t sit.
“This is what you were worried about.” It’s an affirmation, not a question. David just nods. “That was very brave of him.”
Robbie is not out, not to the media or the fans, but he’s not hiding, either, especially not with the team. He has been bringing Ted along for years, even if just then David notices that he hasn’t seen Ted for a while now. Still, it’s different, telling your team than telling the whole world.
“I’m proud, to be honest. I don’t envy the attention he’s going to get, though.”
David can feel himself getting pale at the mention of the attention, even if he tries to school his face. Robbie notices.
“How do you feel about this? You knew he was going to do it, but still… you’ve never been the most open person about this shit. Fuck, you’re not going to come out, are you?
“No,” David says, fast, curt.
“And how will you keep it secret, now?”
“We’re hoping the attention will die down once the Cup is decided. He’s retired, he’s not the first one… hopefully people don’t care that much.”
“Sure,” Robbie says, clearly unsure. “Anyway. You know I’m here for you.”
“I do.” David can’t help a smile, small and tense, but still there. He knows Robbie has his back.
“But tell your boyfriend his timing could have been better, for fuck’s sake. In the middle of the finals? I’m gonna beat his ass next time we see each other.”
David does go to O’Donnell’s room for Mario Kart that evening. He doesn’t win a single round, but it’s comfortable, sharing an armchair with Raf, seeing Robbie try to wrestle Elliot for the controller and losing. It helps him, soothes him, even if he can see some guys whispering in small groups through the evening, and he can imagine what they are talking about. Nobody says anything loud enough for David to hear, and he knows Robbie doesn’t hear anything because nobody is leaving the room with a black eye.
By the time Jake replies to David’s text, it’s been hours and David’s in bed, almost asleep. He sits up on the bed and calls Jake when he receives the im tired. David has made his best effort to avoid looking Jake up, to avoid social media and blogs and even TV, but he got calls from Kiro, Oleg (and even one from Maria), and while the video games settled a bit the sick twist in his stomach, they left him exhausted. He can’t even begin to imagine how Jake must be feeling right now.
“Babe, how are you?” Jake says, first thing, and David will never understand how Jake can worry about David, how he can care so much about how David feels even in a situation like this. David doesn’t want to answer, because he’s not really fine, but he doesn’t want to worry Jake. He doesn’t have to, in the end, as Jake keeps on talking when he doesn’t reply. “Did any of the guys say anything?”
“Ah, not really.” That he can say without lying. “Elliot reminded everybody that he won’t tolerate certain comments in his locker room.”
“That’s good. I like Matty,” Jake replies, and he does sound pleased.
“I can’t be sure what the guys are saying in private, but nobody has said anything in front of me.” He breathes in, before asking what he really wants to know. “How are you?”
“Exhausted. Dead. I have had so many calls today, David.”
“I’m sorry.” It’s the only thing David can think to say.
“Don’t be. I just wish… I really wish this wasn’t a big deal anymore, you know?”
David does know. “Are you going to do any TV appearances in the end?”
“Yes, only the one. Tomorrow. Then a magazine and a video for You Can Play.”
“And–” David needs to ask this, but he’s scared to know the answer. “Has anyone asked about your…” David struggles to find the right word, before settling on: “relationships?”
“Yes. Only every media outlet I have talked to today. “Jake laughs. “I just said I don’t want to talk about my private life, and asked them to respect my privacy.”
David releases the breath he was holding. He knew Jake wouldn’t say anything about him, but the idea of Jake lying outright and saying he’s single made something dark curl in his stomach. He didn’t want that at all.
“They’ll keep on asking, of course. But that’s all they’re getting.”
“I’m going to do everything I can to protect you, David. I promised that.”
David knows that.
“And about that,” Jake continues, and something in his tone tells David he should worry. “I moved into a hotel.”
“What.” David is caught off-guard. They talked about this; no hotels, no Jake going away in any form. Jake was supposed to stay at the condo. “Why?”
“I saw somebody following me, “Jake explains. “With a camera. While Nat and I were getting back home. So we decided to come to a hotel. She’ll go alone to your condo tomorrow to bring me some stuff, but we’ll both stay here until things calm down.”
Our condo , David thinks but doesn’t say. He doesn't say anything at all. He doesn’t know what to say. He hadn’t expected people to actually follow Jake, even if he thinks he should have.
“I won’t–I won't do anything to risk your safety, David,” Jake keeps saying. “If somebody is following me, I can't be at your flat… I’m sorry.”
It’s not Jake’s fault, not at all. He hates that Jake’s apologizing, but he still doesn’t know what to say. Jake just keeps on talking, either because he knows David can’t say anything or because he can’t stop himself.
“I thought this may happen if I’m being honest. I just hoped it wouldn’t… I’d rather be with you.”
David finally speaks, small, almost too soft to be heard. “Me too”.
“It’ll only be for a couple of weeks. You just focus on the games. And when you have won the Cup, we’ll go to the cottage and only leave for your Cup day, which will be amazing.”
“You shouldn’t be saying things like that,” David says, but he knows Jake’s only trying to distract him.
“Not another word from me,” Jake says, mimicking zipping his mouth shut, and David can hear the smile in his voice, the victory, because he thinks he has managed to make David forget that Jake’s currently in a hotel room, will be for the foreseeable future. That David won’t be able to curl at his side in bed, won’t fall asleep to his heartbeat, won’t wake up to his morning kiss and his coffee. All things he has grown used to and doesn’t want to miss.
I want to see you. Another thing David doesn't say. If Jake’s being followed, reporters must know where he's staying. David can't risk being caught there. He doesn’t know when he’ll see Jake again. He doesn’t like that.
Marc Lapointe @Lapointe27
I want to congratulate Jake Lourdes @jlourdy for the brave step he has taken today. You have mine and my husband’s full support.
@Lapointe27 You guys are always talking about your sexuality. Can’t a man just watch some hockey in peace anymore? I don’t care!
@RaymonEllner4587 @Lapointe27 The 00s are calling they miss your takes and want you back where you belong.
[VIDEO] Watch Jake Lourdes’ full interview after coming out as bisexual (youtu.be)
submitted 54 minutes ago by panthers_69
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The Capitals get back to Washington with the series tied 2-2, after having won Game 4 in OT.
On the plane, David watches Jake’s TV interview before joining Robbie for another episode of their show. Jake doesn’t say anything he didn’t tell David he was going to say, nothing he hasn’t rehearsed with Dave. The host, a young woman, doesn’t ask anything intrusive, doesn’t seem to be interested at all in Jake’s personal life. She sticks to questions about the game, the culture. Despite how interested David’s in knowing what Jake wants to share with the world, he keeps getting distracted by Jake’s… everything. He looks good. There’s not even a trace of stubble that David can see. Jake’s dressed casually, but he does seem to have paid more attention than he normally does outside of game-day suits. The blue shirt he’s wearing was a present from David, one he feels particularly proud about, since he got minimal help from Em for that one. He feels something he doesn’t know how to describe when he thinks that Jake decided to wear it for something as big as a TV interview about his sexuality.
He realizes he hasn’t listened to a word that’s being said and makes a point of paying attention.
“How have your former teammates been reacting?” the host is asking.
Jake smiles. “Good, actually. Most of them knew already. I have been out to my team and some friends in other organizations for a long time now.”
“And players from other teams? People who didn’t know?”
“I’ve only gotten nice messages, to be honest. Even some guys I’ve never talked to have reached out. I–I know not everybody is ok with this. That’s how I ended up here, isn’t it?” He laughs, playing it down. “I guess this would be different if I was still playing. I’d hear about it on the ice. But so far, everyone has been a class act.”
“I’m very glad to hear that,” the woman says, and that’s when David notices the little rainbow pin on her dress. That explains how nice she’s being, how she isn’t asking any intrusive questions, doesn't seem judgemental at all. “Another thing I really want to know: have you talked to Marc Lapointe? He has been the face of gay hockey players for over a decade, so I’m sure you have things to talk about.”
David remembers playing with Lapointe, remembers how loud and proud he was. If he has contacted Jake, Jake hasn’t told David. But it would make sense, for them to talk. Lapointe was incapable of shutting up, anyway.
Jake laughs. “Well, I’m not sure how he got my number, but we actually have been texting for a few days.”
“Now, what everybody wants to know: are you single?”
That’s the first time she touches on any subject that could be more sensitive, more intrusive. Her tone is playful, but David notices how, for a split second, Jake’s eyes darken with annoyance, something he’s sure nobody else has picked up. Jake recovers quickly and smiles before answering the question.
“You’re all very nosy people!” He laughs, and the host laughs with him. “But I don’t want to talk about my personal life. It has nothing to do with my reasons to come out and I’d like for private things to be, well, private.”
She takes it well, doesn’t push the topic, and the interview moves along with questions about the league and its policies.
Robbie is asleep for once when David finishes watching the interview, and David doesn’t wake him up to continue with their show. He looks at the clouds out the window as the sky progressively darkens, thinking about how comfortable Jake looked, on live TV speaking about this. David realises the world hasn't ended. He’s surprised the anxiety, the uneasiness he normally feels in his stomach at any mention of all of this, the fear that took over him those years ago when he learnt about Lapointe is less strong. It’s still there, simmering, but it’s not paralyzing and all-consuming.
He doesn’t know how to feel about that.
You Can Play @YouCanPlayTeam
Watch @jlourds’ message to all the little boys and girls wondering whether there is a place for them in sports 🌈
Gabe @Marksy retweeted this
Julien Perreault @JP17 retweeted this
Kiro @kvolky retweeted this
Joe @ForsterJoe retweeted this
When David goes back to his condo it feels huge and empty, after months of Jake filling it with his presence; noise in the kitchen, lights on in other rooms, unmissable signs that there’s somebody else in the flat, all gone.
David sits on the sofa and feels alone in a way he didn't when they were playing in different corners of the continent, the knowledge that Jake is so close, in the same city, and they can't see each other, which hasn't happened in years, too much to bear.
It’s late, late enough that he should be going to sleep. Too late to make a phone call.
He calls Jake anyway, once he’s in bed, and they talk until David finally falls asleep, exhausted.
sarah ♡ _/ @shutthepuckup
STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS!!
Best! Day! Of! My! Life!
Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
this is a dream ;_;
are those lourdes and volkov on the ice??????????
The first time David sees Jake after Jake comes out is at Capital One Arena, for Game 7.
Jake’s in the stands when the Washington Capitals win, with Kiro, Em, the kids, Nat and Marie-Anne. The rest of Jake’s family wanted to come, but couldn’t in the end. Still, most of David’s family is in that arena, either playing or watching, when the clock counts down to zero. David feels a heady joy take over him as he feels his teammates rush across the ice to crash against him, against each other, helmets and gloves flying.
David wasn’t sure if they would go on the ice, any of them. If he had been asked beforehand, he would have said it would be better for them not to, not even Jake. Especially not Jake; the media is still all over his story. However, when he looks around and sees them join the Kurmazovs in the circle surrounding him, when Em jumps and he catches her, when he sees Marie-Anne’s tears, his heart feels so full he thinks it may explode.
David knows it’s weird, that Jake’s here, and somebody is going to realize and write about it, but he can’t find it in himself to care right now. David’s here, surrounded by everybody he loves and who loves him, and has just won his second Stanley Cup. At that moment, he doesn’t care what people are going to think or say. He has his family with him. Besides, Jake, and Kiro for that matter, are retired. Neither of them has a team to feel betrayed about this. Besides, the Panthers… David would never say it, not out loud, and not to Jake, who may not take it well, but the Panthers didn’t treat Jake well, in the end. The fact that they didn’t retire Jake’s number just adds, ironically, to the resentment David will always feel for being passed over by them at the Draft, even if he can’t complain about the way things happened.
Jake’s smile is the brightest David’s ever seen, and David knows it’s just mirroring his own. Jake wades through the crowd to finally reach David and hug him, full body. They separate a second later, earlier than David would have liked, but he’s still vibrating with happiness anyway.
“I wasn’t sure you’d want us here. I know you must be worried about what people think,” Jake is saying. “ But we’re friends! We train together, everybody knows that” Kiro and I are just two retired players who came to support a friend and–”
“I don’t care!” David shouts over the noise and the sounds of his teammates partying around them.
“You don’t?” Jake asks, confused, but it’s clear in his face that he’s delighted.
“No! I’m just–”
David’s interrupted by Robbie jumping on Kiro’s back and almost making him topple over. David can’t stop laughing, and Jake joins him.
“MY LOVE,” Robbie screams, and Kiro laughs as well, straightening even with the weight of Robbie on his back.
“That may raise some eyebrows,” Jake says, as David is hugged by a crying Marie-Anne.
At that moment, there’s nothing else David wants in life.
Washington Capitals @Capitals
The Washington Capitals are your Stanley Cup Champions!!
Caps Off @CapsOffBlog
David Chapman gave several post-win interviews while holding small children and we died of cuteness… again. cptsblog.com/682klM143k5
Ami ~ CAPS TO THE FINALS @baldpuck
bardi and volkov tho 👀👀👀
The first thing David registers when he wakes up is the too-bright light on his eyes, followed right away by the foul taste in his mouth and the splitting headache. Once he has noticed all that, he can focus on the very naked and sweaty Jake splayed on top of him. And on the fact that he has won the Stanley Cup. Again. Smiling makes the headache worse, but David doesn’t care, the same way he doesn’t care that Jake is crushing him. He can feel Jake’s heartbeat, slower than his own as Jake sleeps, has Jake’s hair tickling his cheek. David brushes it away, careful not to make any abrupt movement that could wake Jake up. He can see Jake’s face now, soft and relaxed.
David couldn’t explain loving Jake, if anyone asked, but he has known for years that he does love him. He can tell in the way his heart tightens in moments like this, when they are alone and he feels like nothing else matter, not the way this matters. He knows it when he can’t seem to stop smiling every time he gets home and Jake’s waiting for him; or when he wakes up every morning and, even if Jake is awake, he can still feel his warmth at the other side of the bed. It’s the small things that make him sure of this, so much that those small things become huge for him. Important. He doesn’t talk about feelings, doesn’t even like thinking about them, even if he seems to be doing that more often these days, but the way he loves Jake feels all-encompassing and big in his chest.
David doesn’t know how long he stays like that, watching Jake sleep, brushing his hair with soft fingers, but after a while, the stickiness gets too much. He needs to get up, at least wash his mouth and pee. He makes an attempt at pushing Jake to the side, but that seems to wake Jake up, at least enough for Jake to change his position so that he is effectively pinning David against the bed. David tries to get him off, but it’s useless. Besides he can feel Jake’s cock hard against his leg, and that’s making his feel interested. But he. Needs. To move.
“Jake,” David whispers. Then, louder, when there’s no response. “Jake!”
Jake only groans, but that at least confirms to David he’s somewhat awake.
“I need to go to the bathroom.”
“Don’t go away,” Jake mumbles, and David almost caves in. Almost.
“I’ll be gone one minute. Come on, Jake, let me go.”
Jake rolls over and goes back to his side of the mattress, and David is free to go to the bathroom. When he comes back, ibuprofen and a glass of water for Jake in hand, Jake’s looking at him from the bed.
“Is that water?” Jake asks, as he sits up to drink it. “I love you,” he adds when he’s done and David is leaving the glass on the table to lie down again.
“That was very hot, that thing you did,” Jake says after a while, with David pressed against him again, David’s head on his chest. Jake hands never leave David’s back, between a caress and a tickle, and David can feel the headache begin to disappear.
“Bringing you water?” David asks, confused.
“Well, bringing me water buck naked was good,” he laughs, and David feels his skin burn. “But I meant winning that big shiny thing. What was it called? Oh, yeah, the Stanley Cup.”
David smiles. He would be a hypocrite if he denied that Jake’s hockey had him burn all over, at least a few times. And he’s not going to complain if winning the Stanley Cup gets Jake’s hands on him gaining intent and wandering lower down his body. In a second Jake is on top of him again, but this time he’s not sleeping. He’s very awake, and David can feel all of him.
It starts as a sweet kiss, Jake’s lips barely brushing against David’s, soft and questioning. It’s David who catches them between his teeth, the pressure too light to hurt but enough to fire Jake up in a way David knew would happen. Jake grinds down against David’s groin without breaking the kiss, and David feels himself harden.
It’s Jake who reaches for the lube on the nightstand and starts preparing himself, still on David’s lap, his hips never stopping drawing circles.
“Let me–” David says, his hand reaching to where Jake has a finger inside himself, but Jake stops him.
“No,” he says. “You lay there and look pretty and maybe you can say ‘I just won a Stanley Cup’ from time to time.”
“I’m–what? I’m not saying that.”
“Lord Stanley's Mug?” Jake suggests, and he’s grinning, and David cannot think about the Cup or anything else when Jake is looking at him like that, all colour-changing eyes and dimples and sweaty hair and mouth open in a gasp as his fingers keep moving.
David is certainly not thinking about Lord Stanley when Jake sits down on his cock. Jake’s movements are languid, maddeningly so, like they have all the time in the word, and David guesses they do have time, but he doesn’t want to wait. His hand finds Jake’s cock and starts stroking, and that has Jake losing control, moving faster, until he comes and collapses on top of David, finding his mouth in something that’s more panting and sharing breath than kissing.
David waits for Jake to come down, waiting to see if he’s too sensitive, even if it’s killing him, the need to move into Jake’s heat, to come.
“You can move,” Jake says, in the end, it doesn’t take long for David to come.
They stay like that for a while, touching everywhere, catching their breaths, until David, once again, can’t deal with the heat and the stickiness.
“Shower,” he mumbles against Jake’s lips.
“No,” Jake argues. “You don’t have to be anywhere until the afternoon. No shower yet.” Jake goes back to kissing David, and David surrenders for a moment, before gathering his strength again.
“This is very gross.”
Jake stops kissing David, looks down at him, and smiles. “Shower sex?”
If it gets him clean, David is going to agree. He hasn’t finished saying “yes”, and Jake is already getting up and marching to the bathroom. He hears the water start running.
The rest of the morning is spent in bed, napping and making out at intervals, Jake bringing fruit to bed at some point to pretend they’re at least having breakfast.
“You should have asked Matty to let you have the Cup tonight. We could have had sex in front of the Stanley Cup,” Jake says at some point, his lips, red from kissing, still close to David’s mouth.
David frowns. He’s not religious, or even superstitious the way some of his teammates are, but that feels sacrilegious, somehow.
“We are not having sex in front of the Stanley Cup,” he says, stern.
“Of course not, but only because we won’t have a chance to be alone with it again. If only we had thought of it before…”
“Of course we will, we have my Cup Day” he catches himself saying. “But no Cup sex!”
The moment he sees Jake’s face, not smiling anymore, he realized what he was said.
“You think that’s a good idea? Me being there for your Cup Day?”
David considers it. It’s probably not. It’s probably a terrible idea. But he remembers his other day with the Cup, years ago. Remembers going to bed alone that night, missing Jake like a limb. He remembers how he felt on the ice last night, complete and loved, his heart so full it felt like it was going to burst. His family, not by blood but by choice, with him, and Jake fitting there as if that family were his own.
He wants Jake with him. He wants Jake in every part of his life, private, of course, but public too. That’s something he already knew, but now he can feel it almost physically, the conviction so clear in his mind, strong in his body. He doesn’t just want Jake in the morning when he wakes up and at night when he gets home after a game. He wants Jake at his Cup Day and wants Jake at fundraisers and wants Jake at team events and wants Jake when he retires and wants Jake there at every step of the path. He never again wants to endure something like Jake hiding at a hotel, closer than they were for years and yet too far to touch. Ever.
He doesn’t know how to express all of that, any of that, and he struggles to remember what Jake was saying, but Jake’s still looking at him as if expecting an answer to a question David can’t recall.
“I want to marry you,” he blurts out, everything he’s feeling and thinking just coming out in those five words. And it’s true, the wants that, even if he wouldn't have known he wanted it a second before voicing it.
Jake’s surprised face, eyes big and mouth gaping, would be comical if dread weren’t growing in David’s chest with every second that passes without a word from him. He can’t take it back. He doesn’t want to take it back, but Jake is not answering and David doesn’t know what to do.
“What?” Jake finally says. Then, “God. Yes. I want to marry you too.” Jake’s face morphs quickly into a huge smile, but David doesn’t get to see it for long, because in a second Jake’s mouth is on his, intense and hot and burning, Jake’s hand on the back of his neck, his nails a light scratch that’s sending shivers down David’ spine at the same pace Jake’s other hand travels down his back. David melts into the kiss, answering Jake’s wandering hand with his own.
“I cannot believe you proposed in bed, hungover as hell.” Jake laughs against David’s mouth. David feels shame burning up his neck, but he doesn’t have time to dwell on it, because Jake is kissing him again, only to break the kiss a second later.
“Wait! You didn’t even “propose”! You didn’t ask! you just said “I want to marry you”!” David feels mortified, but the fact that Jake can’t stop giggling, shaking against David’s neck, and is not saying that he doesn’t want to marry David, is reassuring. “Gosh, David, we can’t tell anyone this story. We would be chirped. Forever. Kiro would never let you live this down. Besides. I can’t believe I have been thinking about this for a decade, and you just... sprung it on me! Without even thinking about it, by the look of it!”
“You’ve been thinking about this?” David asks, shame forgotten, replaced by a warm feeling making its home in his chest.
“God, love, yes. Of course I’ve been thinking about marrying you,” Jake assures him. “For ages! Remember when Bouchard proposed to his husband at center ice? Why do you think I was mad for a week? He stole my idea! One of them at least...
David does remember that. That moment transcended hockey. It made national news. He frowns; there was a mascot involved.
“You wouldn’t have proposed to me with the help of a mascot,” is all David can say, but he’s less sure with every word he says. “Would you?”
“Well, not with a mascot!” Jake says, then adds: “Probably. No, really. But the whole thing, a big proposal… I still want to do that.”
“I’m sorry I ruined that.”
“Don’t you dare be sorry for wanting to marry me so much you just blurted it out. We’ll just… get some rings, then I get to kneel down by the lake back home and ask you properly. Ok?”
David kisses Jake again, comfortable in his embrace, and is not scared of what the future may bring.
Epilogue: One month later
[Image: Instagram post by user @Chapman11 showing a hand with a ring in the ring finger. No caption. Comments: shutthepuckup: WHAT / KirVolk: *four heart emojis* / icecold: !!!!!!!!!!!!!! / SamiHockey: Congrats! / baldpuck: WHAT IS THIS ]
[Image: Instagram post by user @JLourds showing a hand with a ring in the middle finger. Light forms a little rainbow. Caption: Always and forever. Comments: kathyg34: aawwww who’s the lucky lady / Marksy: that’s… the wrong finger… / icecold: what is this what is this / ForsterJoe: I have my speech ready for the wedding/ ]
GUYS GUYS GUYS GUYS GO ON INSTAGRAM RN
sarah ♡ _/ @shutthepuckup
what… what does that mean… are they...is this a coincidence……. what’s going on!!!!
Ami ~ CAPS ARE STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS @baldpuck
@shutthepuckup THEY POSTED THEM AT THE SAME TIME THIS CAN’T BE A COINCIDENCE THIS MEANS MARRIAGE
remember when the caps won the cup and i said it was the best day of my life? TODAY IS BETTER #LoveWins
DIDN’T I TELL YOU ALL!!!!
DIDN’T I TELL YOU ALL!!!!
#david chapman #jake lourdes #hockey #MARRIED #I CAN’T BELIEVE