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turn around, bright eyes

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Patrick is absolutely not sulking. He’s not. 

Well, maybe he is. A little. 

Last night Jonny had texted, just a few simple words but they were enough to make Patrick lose sleep over it (and maybe some hair, too, but that’s not up for discussion).

Can’t make it out.
Bad day.

And what was Patrick supposed to say to that? Stop having a bad day? He’s not heartless, probably has more of a heart than Jonny though seeing as he didn’t even care to call. Which is fine, he knows when it’s a bad day Jonny doesn’t like to talk, much less be on his phone. But—

But Jonny promised he’d be there for game one thousand and everyone knows when Jonathan Toews makes a promise, come hell or high water, he follows through with it. So to get a fucking text and no call in the morning? Kind of fucking sucks. 

Patrick stares at the messages in bed for a while longer until he has to get ready for practice. He washes his face and gets dressed, thinks about texting Jonny a simple morning, miss you but doesn’t know if he can handle any more rejection today. So, he doesn’t. 

He does drive by the stupid smoothie shop Jonny always goes to and buys one of the healthier options (nobody needs to know that though, especially Jonny).

Patrick’s immediately jostled around by Duncs the second he steps inside the locker before being pulled into an embrace, a sweet little proud of you whispered between them. Then it’s the rookies huddled around him, talking about how fucking cool it is that he’s playing game one thousand. 

(“So, you’re really fuckin old, huh?” Brinksy says before bursting into a fit. “Let’s see who’s laughing when you’re being bag skatted, Cat.” Kaner says. It’s safe to say DeBrincat doesn’t laugh after that).

All through practice, Patrick can’t help but think how different today would feel if Jonny was here. He’d probably make Patrick run extra drills just to fuck with him before running them with him. Jonny would make practice extra hard just so he could make it ten times more fun afterwards. Do a whole fucking speech out on the bench and purposley embarrass him, too. 

Jonny would treat him to homemade pancakes, made from whole wheat or something because he’s a freak who likes to suck the fun out of everything. Before sucking the life out of Patrick right after. 

God. Patrick feels fucking pathetic, all he wanted was Jonny today and there’s nothing he can do to have him. If he’s lucky, Jonny will call after the game— of course he will, and congratulate him. He’ll say he’s sorry (fucking Canadian) and to top it off because he’s an assole and Patrick hates him, he’ll say I miss you, Peeks and if Patrick doesn’t respond, he’ll add Chéri. Because Jonny plays dirty and he knows all of his weak spots and he’s just the worst.

Patrick showers once he gets back to his apartment and changes into Jonny’s hoodie. He eats lunch sitting on the couch, sleeves bunched up around his wrists and practically swallowing him up but it smells like Jonny and that’s all that really matters. 

When he’s done, he washes the dishes from breakfast too then finds himself back on the couch. He grabs his phone, still no text and suddenly feels like a rookie all over again. Pining for his hot as hell but also cold as fuck captain. Patrick lays down on his stomach with his face half smushed into the pillow, curls damp and the #19 stamped proudly on his shoulder. That’s the picture he sends Jonny. 

He doesn't know why but he finds himself holding his breath. He really does feel like a kid again, like he’s waiting for his crush to say yes or no to going on a date, like his life depends on the answer. Frankly, for Patrick, it feels like it's starting to. 

Before he knows it his eyes slip shut and he’s asleep, the tv a low murmur in the back and his phone tucked next to him. You know, just in case. When he wakes up, the tv's off, he gives himself a moment of hope before remembering it turned off due to the motion sensor. 

The next thing he does is check his phone like the lovesick idiot he is.

Still no text or call. There are a few messages from his family, no doubt congratulating him or saying they wish they could’ve been there. He doesn't want to dwell on the feeling of missing them more than he already does so he leaves it for later.

When he’s dressed in one of his finer suits, clasping his watch, his phone buzzes. Patrick is not above admitting that his heart races significantly quicker.

What he ends up with are two texts from Sharpy.

Seems like just yesterday I was helping you lace em up for the first time and now look at you
Time flies, Peekaboo

He rolls his eyes but can’t help the grin that tugs at his lips. He misses Sharpy, he misses the core guys from the cup runs more now than ever. 

You sound like my dad

Are you calling me old? 

Starting to look it

You wound me, Peeks

You’ll get over it

Heartless 
Feeling good for tonight?

Why wouldn’t I be?

Not what I asked but a good enough answer
No other half

Shut up 
He said he’d come

You can’t blame him 

I’m not an idiot, Sharpy
Just sucks

I know
Stop worrying. Go out there and make him proud

Okay, dad 

Patrick’s not sure if that conversation made things better or worse but his chest doesn’t feel as tight anymore, maybe Sharpy isn’t all that bad after all. With his phone still in hand and his care for annoying Jonny out the window, he opens up his camera again.

Remember the watch? 
First Christmas together 

And then, because Patrick has absolutely no chill—

Can you just say something
Before the game at least?

He contemplates hitting his head against the wall but figures that wouldn’t do anyone any good. He pockets his phone and wallet, grabs his mask and keys and then he’s out the door. 

The drive to the UC is subdued, there’s barely anyone on the streets these days so he gets there quicker than usual. 

When he’s changed into his gear for warmups, he holds onto the silver chain Jonny had got for him a second longer before tucking it underneath his jersey and making his way down the tunnel. 

Patrick skates easy circles around the ice and shoots the puck at the net. He passes the puck back and forth with some of the guys before doing his own stickhandling drills to the side. Before he knows it, one by one all the guys start trickling off the ice, the opposing team included until he’s the last one standing. 

Like every home game this season, he grabs a puck at random, twists and turns it around his skates and just as he’s ready to flip it up to Tommy Hawk, he chances a glance to where he’s standing and—

Jonathan fucking Toews is standing there.

In that moment all of Patrick’s breath escapes him and yet he feels as if his chest is ready to burst. He thinks it already is. 

Jonny’s just standing there, in his suit and a mask covering his face and all Patrick wants to do is go up there and tell him what a fucking asshole he is for not telling him about this. 

And then kiss him. 

His vision goes hazy as he stares a little longer, smile growing and he thinks if Jonny were a little closer, he’d be able to hear his heart beating. Pat skates a little further back and then his eyes flicker over to where Jonny’s lifting up a sign and his smile fucking grows

Pass me the puck Kaner.

Leave it to Jonny to know exactly what Patrick needs to hear, or see in this case. He swallows down the lump in his throat and shakes his head. He taps his stick on the ice a couple times before grabbing the puck again, he tightens his grip and then he flips it high and up toward him. 

In true Jonathan Toews fashion, his eyes follow the puck with ease, he takes two steps to the left and catches it like it’s fucking nothing. Patrick will gladly take most of the credit for having perfect aim. 

He keeps his eyes on Jonny as he skates toward the benches and then Jonny’s walking down the stairs. Patrick doesn’t have to think twice about knowing where he’s going. 

He stops to hand his stick over and then gets roped into a conversation with his trainer. Pat doesn’t want to be rude, okay? But Jonny’s only a handful of footsteps away from him and he can’t help the way his eyes keep flickering toward the hallway. 

“Alright, Kaner, we’re good here,” Ian says and all Pat can do is tap him on the shoulder before he’s rushing down the hallway. 

And then there's Jonny. Leaning against the wall by the locker room looking downwards until he’s not— until he’s looking up at Patrick and time suddenly slows like honey drips. 

“Jon,” Patrick sighs. When Patrick’s steps away from reaching him, he shoves down his feelings for a moment and finds his hands pushing at Jonny’s chest. “You’re a fucking asshole.” 

Kaner—

He pushes at his chest once-twice more until everything finally catches up to him and his eyes are watery. “You jackass.”

And then Jonny’s grabbing Patrick’s wrists and all but pulling him into his chest. 

”Tu me manques, mon chéri,” Jonny’s voice is low and reverent, heavy with his accent and Patrick wants to be swallowed up by this moment. 

And Patrick may not be fluent in French but he has been around long enough to have heard that sentence an uncountable amount of times. He slips his gloves off and lets them fall to the floor. With him still in skates, the height difference isn’t as much so he’s easily able to wrap his arms around Jonny’s neck. “Yeah,” he whispers, eyes slipping shut momentarily. “Missed you, too.”

His eyes are glossy when he moves back. Jonny has one hand still wrapped around his wrist, the other heavy and grounding on his nape. 

“Really?” Jonny grins. 

“Fuck you,” Patrick says, but it comes out more fond than anything. “You’re here.”

“Of course I am.” Jonny’s brows furrow and Patrick has a moment to wonder why the hell he looks so offended. When he’s the one that kept it a secret. 

He opens his mouth to say just that but Jonny’s already talking, right over his lips. 

"Je tiens toujours mes promesses,” Jonny whispers and then he’s swallowing the words straight from Patricks mouth. 

Patrick has half a mind to push Jonny up against a wall when he hears a cough. The both of them split apart and look behind Pat. 

The locker room door is wide open and Duncs is standing there with a wider smile. “You didn’t come to drop some retirement news too, did ya?”

“Fuck no,” Patrick answers for him before turning back to Jonny, eyes a little wide. “You didn’t, right?”

Jonny rolls his eyes at the both of them. “No,” he says, checking his watch. “Should I be worried both my A’s are standing outside the locker room before game time?”

“Not when their captain is, too.” Duncs grins and then he’s slipping through the locker room doors and Pat can’t help the laugh that escapes him. 

“Hey,” Jonny says, twirling and  tucking a loose curl behind Patricks ear. 

Patrick gives himself a moment to look at Jonny, to really look and he does look good. But Patrick can see how his eyes are slightly rimmed red, he looks tired beneath it all, a little thin and maybe anyone else wouldn’t notice it behind the smile but Patricks never just been anyone. 

“Hi, Jonny.” And something— everything suddenly falls back together. 

It’s easy with Jonny, easy in a way that it feels like fitting the last piece in a puzzle. But that’s not even the best part, the best part is when you finish and the most important person to you says—

“I’m so proud of you.” Reverent, warm and everything good.

And Patrick knows he would put together a one thousand piece performance all over again if it means he gets to hear Jonny whisper those words into his ear, again.