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It starts with Tazer’s new house and his lack of normal heating.

“I brought a blanket,” is the first thing Kaner says, holding out the baby blue fleece like it’ll help him get more involved on the rink.

“Uh, yeah, okay,” Tazer offers, shifting his hip against the door so Pat can sneak in.

Seabs and Duncs show up separately, but somehow still at the same time, and Sharpy shows up with Shawzy, and without his wife. “It’s one of those nights!” Kane whoops, grabbing the whiskey from the top of Jonny’s fridge.

It is only 'one of those nights' for he and Shaw, apparently, because everyone else refuses shots and Sharp sticks completely to Gatorade, which totally harshes the mood. They drink extra, to make up for it, and Patrick only agrees to switch to water when Shaw curls up in a ball in the kitchen and threatens to vomit on anyone who tries to move him. 

“Nah, dude, I’m going to go home,” Kaner says to Sharpy when he leaves and offers to put him to bed in Tazer’s guest room without actually asking permission. Sharpy raises his eyebrows. “Like in an hour. When I sober up.”

“Uh-huh,” Sharp says with a smile, “Can I hold you to that?”

 

Kaner falls asleep before Sharpy leaves, legs sticking out of his blanket where he’s tucked himself into the couch. Shawzy kicks him awake before he leaves, muttering something about not wanting to lose a bet. It takes a whole ten minutes for Kaner to wake up enough to drive himself home in the snow.

 

Pat gets the guest bed the third time he’s over by telling Seabs the free skate the next day was actually a mandatory practice. “Duncs, we have to get you home. We have to skate tomorrow,” He whines, kicking at Duncan’s ankles underneath the table.

“S’not like we actually have to go,” He says back, but follows when Seabs tells him he’s too drunk to understand.

 

Patrick wakes up to Duncan throwing a pillow at his head and yelling at him to stop fucking with Seabs. He grunts and buries his head deeper in his blanket, ignoring him even when Johnny joins in with his harsh morning rasp.

 

He makes breakfast the fifth time he stays over, scrambling up some egg whites for he, Johnny, and Crow.

Johnny throws his up, coughing and sputtering over the toilet while Kaner rubs his back and Crow laughs around a mouthful of toast.

Patrick kicks Corey out before wrapping Jonny in his nice blue blanket, tucking his head into a pillow on the couch and setting water and a garbage pail next to him.

“You owe me like, four dollars,” Patrick whines when Jonny hurls into the bag for the fifth time. Jon grunts in response, tearing a tissue out of Pat’s hands to wipe his mouth.

 

It’s only an hour after he leaves the house that Patrick realizes he has about 10% remaining on his phone.

“Do you have my phone charger?” Pat says the second Jonny answers.

“I can’t even find my pants, Patrick.”

“Yeah, but, my charger, Jon,” Patrick whines.

“You have eight chargers, and I need to get some water before I throw up again, so if you don’t mind.” Patrick shuts the phone off to the sound of Jonathan dry-heaving, laughing quietly to himself as he plugs his phone into his spare in the kitchen.

 

The next time Pat stays at Jonathan’s house, it’s completely by accident. He’s over playing videogames and completely ready to give up and head home, when Jonny grins at him, tilting his chin up, and says, “bet you can’t beat the next level,” and dammit it’s so on. 

Patrick wakes up on the couch three hours later, tipped sideways with his face smashed into an Xbox controller.

“You have fucking arrows on your forehead,” Jonny says when Pat shakes him awake. He’s trying to control his stupid fond expression and completely failing.

“Yeah, yeah, if it wasn’t for the stupid controller your neck wouldn’t be able to handle tomorrow's skate.”

“You stayin’?” Jonny grumbles, rolling off the couch.

“Your guest sheets are the devil, man, I’d rather sleep on the Xbox remote.”

He only has five hours until they’re due on the ice, but it’s not a game night so there’s time for a nap. Or three.

 

*  

“Is that my sweatshirt?” Patrick asks when Jonny shuffles into the locker room the next morning, just as grumpy as he’d hoped.

“No.” It says Canisius Crusaders on it, but Pat lets it go in favor of Jonathan going a little easier on them than his mood would usually permit. He also ignores that Jonny is very clearly planning to keep his blanket. Patrick’s basically the Hawks' savior of the day.

 

The holidays come quickly when you’re neck-deep in hockey. The team has been known to refer to Christmas and New Year’s Day based on the surrounding games. This Christmas is already being referred to as “the day before the Columbus game” around the locker room.

 

*

 

Patrick could probably sneak a trip home into their four day break, but he needs the icetime more than ever. He facetimes his parents early morning on the 25th and his sisters mail him a Bluetooth speaker, which is a lot more awesome than the bamboo steamer his parents send. The speaker is admittedly mostly used during his weight training and the few times he decides to clean the place. The steamer gets tucked into his cupboard between his other unused kitchen appliances and the stash of Blue Light he keeps on hand for when Shawzy drops in.

Patrick buys Jonny a rubber duck wearing a Team Canada jersey and a shirt that says “Don’t Toews Me Bro”. Jon forgets it’s Christmas, because he’s a freak, but drops a wrapped up box in his lap two days later with a card that says “This gift is more on time than you ever are for practice”. It’s got a USA duck (that Patrick immediately sets on the mantle next to Jonny’s Canadian one) and a watch with the Blackhawks logo on the face that probably costs ten times the one he’s wearing now.

 “First of all, I was late to practice once, stop milking it,” Patrick whines, but then softens his expression, reaching out to grab Jonny’s wrist where he’s standing next to the couch. “And you didn’t have to buy me something expensive to make up for the fact you forgot. I would’ve been happy with just the duck.” 

“My mom picked it out,” Jonathan mutters, refusing to meet his eye. His brief trip to Winnipeg apparently yielded more than the syrup-eating contests and snow-shoveling Pat was picturing. 

Jonny,” Patrick says so he looks at him, “this is amazing, thank you.” Jonathan actually blushes. “It actually makes up for that time you threw up on my shoes after practice.”

He gets a pillow thrown at his head and a shouted, “I had a fucking concussion, you ass,” but it’s back to normal after that, so Patrick considers it a win.

 

The Blue Jackets go down without a fight, and they celebrate with the Cheesecake Factory and a few shots at Sharpy’s with some of his visiting family.

 

The victory is short-lived when the Kings easily shut them out. Jonny invites the guys over along with a few of the LA players. The loss stings even more with Carter, Doughty, and Quick sitting on the couch across from him, but they chirp Jonny and shotgun beer with Seabs and it feels sort of normal. Their flight leaves for Vancouver early the next morning, so they take off after a few hours. Doughty is sure to mention how excited he is to see Jonathan’s mom before he leaves, and Quick giggles drunkenly along with him while Carter cleans up their beer cans and gives Patrick a fist bump.

 

“I like them,” Pat says once they’ve left, “but I fucking hate their hockey team.”

“Andree’s not even gonna to go to their game,” Jonny mumbles into his rum glass in favor of responding.

“Guys, guys, guys,” Duncs shouts from the kitchen, “Seabs made fucking Christmas tree Jello shots.”

Sharpy bought them all dollar store gifts, and Patrick is suddenly thankful Jonny’s was a collection of ice cube molds. SO thankful, in fact, he downs about seven of them before Duncan can eat them all.

“Woah there, Kaner, give it ten minutes and that’ll catch up with you,” Shawzy laughs, popping a yellow one in his mouth and chasing it with whipped cream.

“That shit’s gonna catch up with your thighs, but you don’t hear me bitching,” Patrick retorts, downing another one just to prove a point.

“Always knew you were an ass man,” Sharpy winks, slapping Tazer’s thighs where he’s hunched over the back of the couch, looking way too sober for this party.

 

Sharpy offers Patrick a ride later when the rest of the guys stumble out to his car, but he’s not going to sit in Maddy’s new carseat or on Seabs’ lap, so he politely declines. Crow is taking one guestroom, so it doesn’t seem that weird to flop down in the other one. It should probably seem weird that the sheets are now Egyptian and not the cheap scratchy ones Jonny bought when he moved in. His blanket is folded up nicely at the foot of the bed from when he left it wrapped around Jonny months ago, but the pillows still suck, so Patrick doesn’t get too overwhelmed at the gesture.

 

He brings his own pillows next time. And his stupid vegetable steamer, because they’re having a team dinner and he’s sure as hell not bringing food to contribute to the pot luck. He lets Jonathan make some sort of salmon dish with it and totally takes all the credit when it turns out to be a hit.

He does stay to clean up, though, he and Jonathan puttering around the kitchen yawning and rubbing their eyes like children. He takes up Jonny’s offer for him to stay as soon as it’s on the table. It’s the first night he spends completely sober in the guestroom. Good thing he brought pillows.

 

Patrick’s family visits in February to see him skate at home, and he gets them a nice hotel suite and even makes them dinner before he picks them up at O’Hare. 

“This place is depressing,” Jessica whines when she walks into his condo. Too bad they’ve already dropped their stuff off at their rooms, Pat might’ve made her stay with him just for that comment.

“It’s cozy,” Patrick argues. There’s framed jerseys on the wall above the mantle interspersed with team photos, his couch has actual decorative pillows on it, and there’s a giant, stuffed Tommy Hawk sitting next to his TV.

“It’s lovely, darling,” his mom offers, patting him on the shoulder. “It just needs a potted plant or two.”

They take him out shopping the next day, because apparently a few plants can fix a sad empty apartment. His sisters choose a white orchid with a matching porcelain pot. Patrick picks out a cactus and buys a huge cowboy hat for it.

 

Erica stays longer than the rest of his family because she’s got a few days off of class. He thinks she’s probably lying and skipping, but he missed her so he bites his tongue when he hugs the rest of them goodbye.

Patrick takes Erica to Jonny’s after their next game to hang out with the guys - and keep her from bitching about his guest room - with strict instructions not to look any of them in the eye or get too friendly.

The guys stick to Gatorade partly because they have a game the next day and partly because they fear the wrath of Patrick if his sister manages to get her hands on a beer.

Erica is telling stories about summers in Buffalo when Sharpy stands up to get more pretzels and notices the ducks above the fireplace. He immediately switches course to make a beeline for them, turning the USA duck to touch beaks with the Canadian one.

“Dude, is that Tazer and Kaner?” Seabs asks, sticking an elbow in Jonny’s side.

“That’s really fucking cute,” Hammer says, shooting an apologetic look to Erica. Her eyes are wandering the room, though, jaw slack like she’s never seen the place before even though she’s been here for hours. 

“Can’t believe you have a Kaner mascot in your house, Jon,” Crow says. Jonny flips him off, but his eyes are full of mirth.

“They’re rubber ducks you fucker,” Patrick responds, tossing a pillow at Sharpy’s head where he’s still playing with the things. Duncan and Seabs are practically knocking heads they are laughing so hard.

Pat,” Erica whispers, sounding broken, and everyone goes silent, “can I talk to you for a minute?”

Patrick nods stiffly and sets his drink on the table, grabbing his sister’s elbow to take her into the guest room. He hears the guys start talking as soon as they’re out of view, hushed tones that make him even more nervous for the conversation he’s about to have.

“Oh Patrick,” She says once he closes the door, throwing herself into his arms.

“Are you drunk?” Pat asks dumbly, hugging her back all the same. She pulls back and punches him in the arm, gesturing at the bed. And oh – oh, the fucking blanket, the ducks. Of course she’d get the wrong idea.

“Erica, I just left that here by accident, I don’t know why you’re so worked –“

“Patrick Kane, he made dinner using your steamer while listening to music on the speaker I bought you for Christmas. I saw your spare skate bag in the hall closet when I took off my shoes.”

“I stay here sometimes,” Pat shrugs, “no big deal.”

“What about those pillows? Your blanket?” He shrugs again. “Okay, okay. I just hope you know what you’re doing, Patty.”

Now he gets it. “I don’t have a crush on Tazer, that’s ridiculous. Don’t be a dumb kid, Erica.”

“Where’d you get that watch?” She asks pointedly. Patrick leaves the room.

 

“Erica’s feeling really shitty, I’m taking her home. She’s gotta fly out tomorrow anyways.” The guys give well-wishes and hugs to Erica while Sharpy stares Patrick down with a look that says he’s not letting this go.

 

He doesn’t actually get anything from Sharp besides the occasional calculating look until after the next away game when he pulls Patrick into his hotel room and says, “You have a toothbrush at Tazer’s. I think that makes you the girl.”

Pat struggles in his grip and punches him in the side until he lets go.

 

He laughs when he tells Jonathan about it later, chucking a pillow at him across the hotel room and telling him to stop being so domestic.

“It’s your shit that ends up my place, dickhead,” Jonny responds, ducking neatly under the pillow while still brewing his tea.

Patrick falters a little at that because, yeah, it is only his stuff and not vice versa. “Does it bother you, really?” He asks, softer.

Jonathan turns around, sipping noisily from his cup and raising both eyebrows. “It’s been, what, five years, Kaner? You’re worried now?

“You’ve only had your house for one,” Pat points out.

“Yeah, and you’ve been moving things in to wherever I’m living since I got my own apartment.”

“Have not,” he argues.

Jonathan rolls his eyes, “Your apartment-warming gift was a subscription to Sports Illustrated so you’d have something to read when you stayed over.”

“I was sick of your fishing magazines,” Patrick grumbles, but the fight’s been won.

 

Patrick goes over that conversation when he’s packing to go home to Buffalo, sans Stanley Cup despite their best efforts. He puts it in the Not Weird category in his head, but decides he might actually need some of the shit he's moved for the summer. He stops by Jonny’s before he leaves to say goodbye and fill a bag with his speaker, spare skates, and a few pillows so he can sleep on the plane. Jonny tries to pass off more of his stuff, but Pat is out the door before he can sneak more than his toothbrush into the bag.

 

He apparently was more stealth than Patrick gave credit for, though, because when he unpacks his skate bag the Canada duck rolls out of the side pocket.

Dude, is this you returning my gift?

He attaches a picture of himself holding the duck, frowning at the camera.

 

Did you just now unpack? It’s been almost a month.

And then a minute later. It must’ve slipped in when I was cleaning, give it back to me at the convention.

 

Despite that, the duck stays happily on his bedside table when Patrick leaves for the convention. He sort of likes having a reminder with him, since Tazer insists on spending all of his time in Canada. Whenever he texts during the summer, Pat pictures him sitting next to a big LAKE TOEWS plaque, waiting to sign autographs. 

Besides, it’s about time some of Jonny’s stuff made it’s way into Patrick’s hands so Sharpy has ammunition for more than just him.

 

It’s a lot harder to get a hold of anything Jonathan owns than he anticipated.

 

“Tazer, can I borrow your camera?” 

Jonny pushes him off of his chair.


He tries smaller, after that. He borrows a pair of laces when the guys meet up to skate a little during some downtime, but when he tries to escape with them he finds Jonny standing at the door to the locker room, holding a hand out.

 

Counter intuitively, not trying is what eventually gets him what he wants. They all go out to eat the last night of the convention at some fancy place that Sharpy suggested. Patrick gets squished between Seabs and Duncs, who immediately begin to shout over him about what the other is ordering.

“Do you want to switch?” Pat offers when they start to lean into his space.

“Nah, Seabs will say I’m being a Kaner hog. This way we both get to talk to you.”

Hossa winces sympathetically from across the table.

They go to Tazer’s after dinner and Patrick tries his best to bag out because he’s actually completely wiped and he has a flight to catch early to make it to a wedding in Buffalo, but Sharpy grabs his arm and drags him along.

“I don’t even have a sweatshirt, man, I’m gonna freeze,” he whines when they get to Jonny’s. Most of the team has wandered out to the deck already, but there are a few stragglers in the living room.

“Quit bitchin’, Peeks. I’ll get one of Tazer’s for you to wear if you grab me a beer.”

He comes back with a red Blackhawks hoodie that reads TOEWS across the back above his number and boasts CAPTAIN down the left sleeve. It could’ve been the first one he saw, but based on Sharpy’s smug smirk when he pulls it on, he dug for this one.

Bicks notices as soon as he steps on the deck. “Captain envy their, Kaner?”


Jonny’s eyes shoot up at his title and he immediately rolls them when he notices.

“I think I’m going to keep it until next year. Then I can paint an 88 over it and call it official merchandise.” Patrick wags his eyebrows.

“Put an IceHogs logo on it and you might actually be onto something,” Tazer shoots back, unfazed.

 

Pat takes the sweatshirt off to sleep (because Trump Tower does not have their air-conditioning under control), but it goes back on for the family barbeque they have when he’s back in Buffalo.

 

“You’re a freak,” Jessica says when she sees it, pulling her juice and sandwich closer to her body because she knows a hockey player appetite can’t be tamed.

“I’m not going to say anything because you already know,” Erica says when he goes up for thirds, sticking her nose in the air and walking back out to the firepit.

He takes a selfie in front of the pig roast and sends it to Jonny.

 

 

*

The hockey lockout is arguably the worst thing that has ever happened to Patrick. He cries on the way to Switzerland, excited to keep up the play but pissed beyond belief that he it can’t be with his boys.

He’d tried to get Saad and Tazer to come along with him, but they’d both refused. Saad because they dropped him to the hogs and he actually still had some guys there he wanted to train with, and Toews because he’s a hockey freak and thought the lockout was something he could win.

 

After only a week Sharpy sends him a care package. He realizes when he opens it that it’s purely for the purpose of sneaking in a printed out picture of he and Segs that Maddy has colored hearts over. There’s a box of Gatorade and the protein bars he likes as well as a jug of cranberry juice (he may or may not have written a ten page email rant about how horrible it was in Switzerland). Underneath all of it is a framed picture of Burish, Sharp, Toews, Duncs, Seabs, and him in the locker room his rookie year, flushed from their first OT win with a note attached that reads don’t forget where you belong, Peeks. That was definitely Abby’s idea.

He put a long-sleeve shirt that says SHARP across the back in, too, because he’s jealous. Patrick texts him a picture of the package with a smiley face, making sure the shirt is visible where it’s crumpled on the floor.

Sharpy sends him back a picture of Maddy wearing a Keith sweater with a text that says she has a new favorite.

Patrick sends back a picture of himself in his Toews sweatshirt (that he may or may not have already been wearing) with So do I.

 

Like the whole world doesn’t know Jonny is your favorite.

 

He doesn’t dignify that with a response.

 

*

He wears the dumb Sharp shirt anyways, because he misses Chicago and it makes him feel like it’ll help get him back there somehow. Either that or he’d watched The Wizard of OZ too much as a kid. Lockout be damned, he is not clicking his heels together.

Segs chirps him for a good hour when he actually wears it in the streets of Switzerland. The Hawks’ players following his Swiss run are sure to chime in as well, and then a barrage of sweaters arrive in the mail. By the end of the month he’s probably accumulated one for every member of his team. It at least proves he’s not the only one out of his mind without the UC.

The media pick up on it, too, covering his outings with Seguin even closer like an attempt to guilt the NHL into returning. He plans to wear EHC Biel shirts for a week to make up for it, but then Jonny texts him and it’s over. The lockout is over. He’s going home.

 

Sharpy picks him up the second he arrives in Chicago. Pat’s too happy to get mad about the glittered sign reading PEEKABOO, hugging him hard until he drops the damn thing instead. Sharpy catches him up on the news in the city while they drive and – most importantly - takes him to see Madelyn before returning him to Trump. She’s shuffling around the floor in the Sharp residence when they arrive, pushing a rubber ball with a tiny hockey stick. She squeals when he picks her up, gurgling and reaching her little hands out to grab at his curls. 

Patrick holds her through dinner, trying (and failing) to get her to say “Kaner” while Abby fills his plate with steak.

 

He waits patiently until he and Sharp are alone sitting out on the deck for an after-dinner beer before he asks about who else is in town.

“His flight gets in Wednesday afternoon.”

“Whose? I meant, like, the whole team.”

Sharpy levels a stern look at him and downs his beer. They’re silent for a while, the quiet Chicago hum and muffled squealing from Maddy, who is getting her nighttime bath, filling the gaps.

 

“Think we’ll take it this year?” Pat asks after a minute. He doesn’t need to elaborate, Sharp knows what he’s asking about.

“If we keep the boys focused, I think we have a shot.”

 

*

Patrick heads to Jonny’s the day before he’s supposed to get in with the bag of things he took from there for summer. He’s standing outside the house, arms full, when he remembers that Jonny has one of those stupid keypad locks and there is no landlord to let him in. He drops all of his stuff on the stoop and digs through all of his pockets for his phone.

U have jon’s house code? It goes out as a mass text to everyone he can think of that might. He gets back four immediately.

 

Creepy, even for you from Duncs

 

Finally realize there’s nothing in your apartment because it’s ALL AT JONNY’S from Shaw

 

You better not touch my fucking house from Oduya

 

And

48734 from Saader. Trust the rookie to assume the best in him.

 

He shoots off a quick thanks to Saad and ignores everyone else in favor of dumping his stuff on Jonathan’s couch.

The place is spotless, thankfully, because Patrick really doesn’t want to have a run in with the cleaning service. It takes him a lot less time than he thought to throw the pillows on his guest bed and put his speaker back up on Jonathan’s entertainment center, so he pulls his spare skate bag out from under the bed and hangs up some of his practice stuff in the closet. The spare room is where Jonny keeps his skate stuff, anyways, so it doesn’t take him long to empty out the rest of the bag as well, tucking the extra skates in next to Jon’s tattered pair. It doesn’t feel weird, either, to put the little Canada duck back in it’s rightful place on the mantle. It does feel weird when he notices the USA one is not in it’s rightful place on the mantle.

He types out a text to Jonny to ask about it, but deletes it when he realizes that he’d probably call the cops when he realized Patrick’s location. So he just steals a pair of 19 sweatpants and locks back up the house.

 

He goes to dinner with Sharpy, Seabs, and Jonathan when they’re all back into town. Patrick catches Jonny shooting him thoughtful looks throughout the meal, but he never mentions the extra things in his house or the missing sweatpants so Pat just assumes his Captain is losing his touch and leaves it at that.

  

*

“Hey, it’s back!” Patrick rushes over to the mantle, poking at the duck.

“Pick up your fucking bag,” Jonathan says, still holding the door open where he let Pat in. “Why did you even bring this, it’s not a slumber party.” Tazer picks up his bag from the entryway anyways, dropping it on the couch. 

“It’s just a pair of shorts and some shit from Switzerland I bought for you.

Jonny gives him a calculating look, but doesn’t say anything while digging in the bag and pulling out the chocolate and stuffed lion with the EHC Biel logo embroidered on. “I can’t eat all of this,” Jon whines, and he actually manages to look distressed at the handfuls of chocolate bars on his couch. 

“Call Shaw, he’ll help,” Pat shrugs, breaking off a piece of one of the bars and popping it into his mouth.

 Jonny practically growls, yanking the chocolate away and moving to put it in the kitchen. The lion ends up in Jonathan’s room, thanks to Patrick, tucked neatly next to the picture of the team with the cup.

“Can we have pasta? Our first game back is in two days, we need to carb up,” Pat yells into the kitchen, flopping onto the couch and turning on Sports Center. 

“I’m making chicken and rice and if that’s not okay, you can leave.” Jonny says back flatly, poking his head around the kitchen doorway to toss Pat a Gatorade.

“First of all, it was just a suggestion, jeez. And second, I hate yellow Gatorade, I want blue.”

“Tough, I only have yellow and orange.” His voice is back to being muffled by the kitchen noise, so Pat doesn’t even bother to yell back. Instead, he sneaks into the kitchen after dinner when Jon’s in the bathroom and adds blue Gatorade to his grocery list.

  

*

He adds the good protein bars with peanut butter the next time he’s over, this time in front of Jonny. He rolls his eyes and asks him to add milk and Butterscotch Schnapps to the list while he’s at it.

“Are you going to make that amazing hot chocolate?” Patrick asks, interest peaked.

“Yes, for myself.” 

Pat leaves a thermos reading 88 the next time he is over with a box of the dark hot chocolate mix he got from Switzerland.

 

Jonny is his usual level of grumpy at practice the next morning, but he stops on his way into the arena to hand Patrick one of the thermos’s he’s holding so Pat counts it as a win.

 

They play mostly road games in the rushed schedule, and Patrick spends the few nights they have home passed out in Jonny’s guest bed, too tired to drive himself home when it’s just as easy to slip into Jon’s car.

He goes home for clothes after a rough game against Minnesota. He packs a weeks worth into a go-bag, ignoring the idea that this might be weird as hell, and goes back to Jonathan’s. He bangs on the door until a grumpy Tazer opens it, hair a mess and clothes rumpled from sleep. Patrick freezes.

Fuck you. Stop bringing shit over here. You make a mess. Your clothes are all over the guest room, your food is taking over my counter space and you-“ he pauses his rant, taking a deep breath to continue. But then, “Kaner, are those my pants?” It’s a little quieter and a lot less angry, but shit, yeah. Patrick is in the sweatpants he stole weeks ago standing on Jonathan’s doorstep with an armful of clothes to move in so he doesn’t have to spend anymore time away from him and - oh.

“Oh,” he says out loud, dropping the bag to the ground. “I think Erica was right.” Jonny opens his mouth like he’s about to rant again so Patrick cuts him off quickly with, “she said I had a crush on you.”

Jonny looks like he’s been punched. “And she was…right?”

“Taze – Jon, Shit. I’m so sorry I didn’t even. I just thought it was convenient and then, and you,”

“Shut up,” Jonathan says, tight lipped. Pat winces. “I don’t… I’m not mad, Patrick, just. Just stay in the fucking guest room, where all of your shitis, and we’ll talk about it when I’ve had sleep.”

 

He leaves Patrick standing alone, but the door is open. He wants to storm off, anyways. To run home and hide in his apartment and pretend he didn’t just humiliate himself, that he hadn’t been humiliating himself for weeks. But Jonathan invited him in again, despite everything, so he picks up his bag and brings it to the guest room.

His belongings scattered around the room make him wince a little, a voice in his head yelling get out while you can. But the room feels comfortable, still. Feels a little bit like home, even, and he can’t go back to an empty apartment now, not when his feelings have just been spilled all over Jonathan’s doorstep.

He falls asleep quickly - because emotional turmoil be damned, the game kicked his ass – and when he wakes up the room is clean. Patrick may or may not start to hyperventilate. Jonathan is kicking him out cold turkey. His stuff is probably strewn across the lawn, or, knowing Jonny, piled neatly next to his mailbox.

“Are you seriously freaking out right now?” And, okay, Jonathan is propped against the door now. Kaner thinks he’s probably going to blank stare him to death, or at least until he leaves the house forever. But… but he has two plates of eggs in his hands and Jon’s diet plan definitely does not accommodate that much toast, so- “Okay, shit, you are.”

Jonathan’s in the room in seconds, setting the plates down neatly on the end table and resting a hand firmly on Pat’s shoulder. “Hey, Pat,” the other hand moves to his face, tilting his eyes up to meet Jon’s.

“Hey,” he breathes out. And Jonathan looks so stupidly happy that Patrick can’t help but lean up to kiss him. The hand on his shoulder moves his hair before he can panic and they’re… they’re fucking kissing and Patrick’s already chubbbing up a little in his sweatpants, Jonathan’s sweatpants. He pulls back to point this out, and maybe to rib Jon a little bit because he totally took the USA duck home because he missed him, but all that comes out is, “I have a crush on you.”

Jonathan bursts out laughing, dropping his hands to his own sides despite Kaner’s protests. “Ditto. Do you think we can hold hands at lunch, or is that too quick?”

Patrick pouts, and Jon kisses it off of his face until he’s smiling and then quickly groaning, because Jonathan apparently knows his sweatpants well enough to get someone off through them. Which draws up a whole fantasy of Jonathan jerking off through his sweats while Patrick slept in the guestroom next door, and, yeah, this isn’t going to last long.

Except that it does, because Jonathan is apparently trying to prove something, so he pulls back and demands they eat their eggs first.

“Seriously? Jon, I’m literally three steps from coming all over your stupid sweatpants. Please?” He pokes his tongue out a little, unashamedly playing dirty.

Jonathan, thankfully, groans, proving he’s a little human, but scoots back further on the bed much to Pat’s dismay.

They eat their eggs quietly, both pretty ravenous after the shitty plane food and continental breakfasts. The second Kaner’s plate is empty he’s on Jonny, knocking his plate to the side and kissing him around a mouth full of orange juice. Which, okay, is kind of gross. But less gross than second-hand eggs would’ve probably been, so.

Patrick tips them backwards, pushing his hands up Jonny’s shirt to rub at his abs. Jon’s hands go shaky where they’re placed over Pat’s dick when he swipes over a nipple, so he does it again, pausing only to wet his fingertips with his tongue.

He stills the hand over his sweats when he’s close again - this time to Jonathan’s protest - only to ask whether or not he has clothes to change into.

“What, seriously? Seriously, Kaner?” Jon sputters. “You fucking live here.”

Patrick scoffs and gestures to the empty room around him. Jonathan goes from an appalled shade of red to an embarrassed shade of red (and, yeah, Kaner can tell the difference. That should probably have been an early sign.) and chokes out, “I put your stuff in the wash while you were sleeping.”

Patrick eyes him skeptically, “The new stuff I brought didn’t need to be washed.”

“I hung it up,” he’s going for nonchalant, but the look Pat levels him with gets out the “in my closet” bombshell

Pat’s face splits into a grin, “In your closet? Are you asking me to be your boyfriend, Jonny?”

“I wasn’t going to put it with the practice gear in this one, it stinks,” Jon argues.

“It’s fine,” Pat smiles, kissing him again, “I accept.”

Jonathan rolls his eyes, using the fact that Patrick is absolutely overcome with glee to flip them over. Jon on top is better, gives him an excuse to dig his nails into his shoulder blades and tug him closer. He shifts after a few minutes only to get both of their sweats off, intent on rubbing their dicks together. But then he notices exactly what that entails and spends a whole five minutes tugging at Jon’s foreskin, pinching it over the head and sliding his fingers into it when beads of precome build up.

“Kaner, I’m going to fucking kill you,” Jonny pants, eyes going glazed. So Pat smiles and dips his tongue into the skin instead. It takes about three minutes tops to get him off like that, and he’s boneless enough that all Pat can do is hump against his thigh – his beautiful fucking strong hockey thigh – and come all over his softening dick.

“Ew,” Jonny says, but the twitch against his thigh suggests otherwise.

Patrick laughs and cleans them both with the tissue box that he brought along during his fourth stay. A guy’s gotta be prepared.

 

*

No one so much as blinks when they show up to practice together. Or when they leave together. Or when Patrick loudly asks what the two of them are having for dinner. 

They had talked about it briefly when they stumbled out of bed for lunch, agreeing the team would find out on their own at some point and they didn’t have to announce it. But Patrick had assumed it would be right away, had wanted it to be right away if only so he could brag about Jonathan’s ass and the newly discovered sex hair. So he starts to ask questions about leaving his clothes with Jonny - even takes it as far as to show up in his TOEWS sweatpants and sweater - and no one even blinks.

 

Patrick’s getting frustrated, and no one has even mentioned it after three weeks. So, naturally, he plans it out and makes a scene.

Poor Saad gets the brunt of it, because he’s the first to offer to stop by the store and bring things to team dinner at Jonathan’s.

“Hey Jonny!” Pat calls from across the locker room, winking at Brandon. Jonathan raises his eyebrows. “Are we out of lube? Saader says he’s going shopping.”

The team erupts into giggles, teasing Saader instead of Jonny. Patrick hates all of them.

 

Saader does not pick up lube. He does get a few extra cases of the beer Patrick likes, so he’s loose and happy by the time all of them mash into Jonny’s living room and put the Kings game on in the background. Jon takes the comfy arm chair, so Patrick sits on his lap when he comes out with more beer, shooting a sleazy grin at Sharpy when he raises his eyebrows at them.

 

Shaw is the first to notice that anything has changed in the house, surprisingly. “Dude, when did you get a stuffed Blackhawks mascot?”

“His name is Tommy, first of all,” Kaner starts. The thing looked lonely when he made a half-assed attempt to actually stay in his apartment the week before.

“And second, it came from Peeksy’s house,” Sharp says, nonchalant. That gets him looking, though, as if he’s just noticing his surroundings now. “So did that team photo, because Tazer would never have a goofy one up on his wall. Also, it’s next to a Calder trophy. That Kaner won.”

 It does look pretty good next to the Conn Smythe, Patrick thinks smugly.

 Duncan spits out his beer. “You moved in together?”

“We leave the arena together and we arrive together! We share clothes! I kissed him yesterday in the hallway when you were all playing with the soccer ball!” Kaner shouts. Jonathan’s chest vibrates under his shoulder, because the asshole thinks this is funny.

“I thought you were discussing strategy,” Shawzy whines, covering his eyes like it’ll help him unsee it.

“Wow, you’re married,” Sharpy says, dazed now from more than the beer. “Kaner and Tazer are married. They are –“

“Okay there, Sharpy?” Seabs cuts in, grinning.

“Why are you not more freaked out about this?” Sharpy hisses back, gesturing frantically in the direction of… well, the house in general.

“Well I know my rookie,” Seabs responds, reaching across the couch arm to ruffle Tazer’s hair.

Sharp scoffs. “I mean I knew Kaner was in love with him, but I didn’t think either of them would ever talk about it enough to do anything.”

“We do a lot of things, Sharpy,” Jonathan says, smirking around his beer bottle. Duncs and Seabs simultaneously mime obscene gestures, getting a shocked cackle out of Shaw and a grunted laugh from Crow.

 

The Kings score a shorthanded goal before Pat has a chance to add in details on what exactly they do. He doesn’t miss Hossa looking smug while three of the guys pass him twenties, though. Traitor.

 

The next time they show up to a game together, it doesn’t go unnoticed by any of the team. Even Q chirps them a little bit, the only one that makes he and Jonny go a little shy. They do, however, miss the way Jonny tugs Pat in for a celebratory kiss in the hallway as he’s half-carrying him to the car.

Patrick leans back afterwards, smiling sleepily up at him. “Hey, Toews. Let’s go home.”