Pat doesn’t really know what to do after the call from Stan, but he knows he can’t stay in his house in Buffalo. It’s honestly pretty disgusting, what with half-empty booze bottles strewn around the floor and a lingering smell of vomit and cheap cologne.
He ends up back at his apartment in Chicago because the team wants to keep an eye on him even though fuck them, Pat can take care of his own damn self, thank you very much.
It’s kind of sad though, because Chicago is basically the only place left for Pat to go. It’s not like he can crawl back to his parent’s house in Buffalo now and face the shame of his family. But being in his apartment really fucking sucks without being able to call Jonny or go to practice or do anything but sit on his ass and fuck around on his Xbox and watch porn. He didn’t think he’d ever get tired of those two things, but after a week of nothing else, Pat is seriously considering chucking his TV out the window.
Instead, Pat vengefully unplugs everything in the outlet behind the TV, including the internet router. He feels pretty good about it for a while- yeah, fuck technology, he doesn’t need it- but then he realizes that he’s even more bored now.
So of course Pat should go out and get drunk because what the fuck else is he supposed to do? The only thing that’s kept him from that kind of awesome fun lately is the team, but really, fuck everyone who thinks they can control him. He’s an adult; he makes his own choices, bitches.
Obviously the best thing for Pat to do is to go outside, hail a cab, and see where the night takes him.
But it turns out that even the people of Chicago want nothing to do with Pat because he gets kicked out of the first bar he goes to before he even gets on a table.
It’s there in the alley by the back door he was literally kicked out of (he’s got the dusty shoe-print on his ass to prove it, although really, what kind of douchebag literally kicks a dude out of a goddamn building, jeez) that Pat meets some dude with really deliberate hair and a cigarette balanced between his fingers.
Actually, meet is kind of a formal word, because what really happens is Pat stumbles into a wall that should’ve been better marked and the dude laughs at Pat loudly enough for Pat to hear it.
“Shut the fuck up,” Pat groans, rubbing at his forehead where it made contact with the wall.
“I didn’t say anything,” the dude says. Pat isn’t drunk enough to miss the accent, even if he doesn’t quite recognize where it’s from.
“Good, don’t, you have a dumb voice.” Pat almost sticks his tongue out.
“You’re one to talk,” he says, smiling around his cigarette as he takes a drag. Pat just kind of stares at his mouth, and tries to figure out whether he wants to punch it or kiss it. “I’m Zayn.”
“That’s a weird name.” Pat scrunches up his nose.
“Yeah, well.” The guy laughs again, eyes creasing a bit with it, and Pat is really leaning towards the kissing option.
“Wanna come back to my place?” He asks, because subtlety has never been Pat’s most prominent quality.
“Sure,” Zayn says. He pushes himself off the wall that he’d been leaning against and follows Pat out to the street. Pat hails a cab and gives the cabbie his address.
Zayn and Pat don’t talk in the cab, just kind of stare at each other, until they get to Pat’s apartment.
“What’s your name?” Zayn asks during the elevator ride up.
“You don’t know it?” Pat asks, sort of offended. “I’m sort of famous around here.”
“I’m not exactly from around here.” Zayn looks like he’s going to laugh again. Pat wants him to.
“My name is Patrick Kane. Ring a bell?” Pat asks, fumbling with his keys.
Pat’s not really sure how he feels about that; partly happy that he’s not famous for being a drunk idiot across the damn globe, but also offended that the dude hasn’t heard of Pat’s epic brilliance. However, not knowing who Pat is makes it unlikely that Zayn will go blabbing to Deadspin tomorrow.
Thinking about it makes Pat’s head hurt, so he pushes Zayn into his apartment and promptly kisses him as hard as he can.
Zayn chuckles against Pat’s mouth, a sound Pat realizes he really likes, and kisses back. His hands settle on the back of Pat’s neck, while Pat sort of claws at Zayn’s shirt. Pat starts tugging Zayn towards his bedroom, still attached at the mouth. They crash into the door which, ow, Pat doesn’t need a doorknob lodged up his ass.
Somehow, the door magically opens, although Pat’s willing to admit that it’s slightly possible that Zayn opened it while Pat was groaning in pain. He doesn’t dwell on the pain for too long though, because then Zayn is pushing Pat down onto his bed. He leans down to tug Pat’s shirt off and kiss at one of his nipples. Pat tries to do the same to Zayn, but ends up just sort of tugging at the hem of Zayn’s shirt.
“I got this,” Zayn mumbles against Pat’s chest, and takes his own shirt off. Pat sits up to run his hands over Zayn’s abs, fingers running along a tattoo on Zayn’s collarbone. It looks kind of like script, but Pat thinks it could just as easily be a bunch of squiggles. Zayn leans his head back like he’s into it, so Pat keeps doing it, moving down to another tattoo at his hipbone. Pat leans forward and presses a kiss to the ink, which makes Zayn literally shudder.
That seems to be all Zayn can take, because he kind of falls onto Pat then, pushing him down into the bed and kissing him with all he’s got. Pat gets a hand between them and tugs at Zayn’s pants until they open up. He’s pretty sure he cuts himself on the zipper, but Pat gets Zayn’s dick in his hand and starts stroking, deciding that he could have it much worse. Zayn pulls away from Pat’s mouth then, just to gasp a little. Pat smirks, because yeah, he’s good at this.
“Can I blow you?” Pat asks. Zayn nods kind of furiously, so Pat nudges him off and onto the bed next to him. He tugs Zayn’s jeans off, which is a less graceful move than Pat would have hoped, but it’s not his fault that Zayn’s pants are so tight that they get stuck on his own damn feet.
Pat doesn’t waste any time, just leans over and takes Zayn’s dick into his mouth. He shuts off his brain and lets his mouth take over, just sort of bobbing and sucking and licking by instinct, fist pumping at the base. It seems to work out, if the way Zayn is gasping and thrusting into Pat’s mouth is anything to go by. Zayn’s fingers thread through Pat’s hair, pushing a little. Pat goes with it and takes Zayn in a little bit deeper.
“Fuck,” Zayn pants. “I’m close.”
Pat squeezes at Zayn’s dick and strokes faster, which Zayn correctly takes as a sign to let go, so he does, and comes hot and hard down Pat’s throat. He swallows like a champ before moving up to kiss Zayn again. Zayn doesn’t seem to mind tasting himself in Pat’s mouth, just pushes his hand into Pat’s pants. Pat isn’t completely hard at first, because he’s got a serious amount of alcohol in his system, but he gets there pretty quickly after Zayn starts stroking him hard and fast.
Pat bites at Zayn’s bottom lip when he gets close, and doesn’t even bother warning him as he comes all over his own chest and Zayn’s hand. They break apart after Pat’s finished, and he reaches over to grab some tissues.
Pat’s still cleaning himself up when Zayn gets up and starts looking for his pants.
“Hey,” Pat says, voice sort of wrecked. “You can stay.”
“Nah, it’s okay,” Zayn starts to say.
“No, stay.” He slips under the covers and holds them open for Zayn to join him. Zayn looks like he’s going to protest again, so Pat glares at him a little.
“Fine,” Zayn sighs, but he’s smiling and climbing in next to Pat. Neither is under the pretense that cuddling is necessary, but Pat gets himself hooked under Zayn’s shoulder. It isn’t until Pat hears Zayn’s breath even out that he lets himself remember the images that flashed through his head when he came, images of Jonny.
He feels a little bit bad about it. Not because Pat’s never thought about Jonny during sex, because he’s past the point of denying that thinking of Jonny is the only way he can get off, but because Zayn’s pretty hot and deserves more than that.
Of course, Pat doesn’t feel bad enough to keep him from falling asleep a few minutes later. Not everyone can be a saint, after all.
Pat wakes up in the morning to the sound of grunting and shuffling. He opens his eyes open and thanks god that the lights are still off in his room because his head is already pounding.
Zayn is in the middle of pulling his shirt on when he sees Pat moving around. He sort of half-waves at him, which Pat responds to with a pained smile.
“How’s the head?” Zayn asks quietly. Pat mumbles a response, which makes Zayn laugh a little. The sound makes Pat’s head pound harder, the complete opposite effect it had last night. “I’m not surprised. Well, feel better. I’m off. I’ve got—oh fuck!” Zayn groans as he catches sight of himself in the mirror above Pat’s dresser.
“Mmmm?” Pat mumbles and rubs at his temples.
“It’s just, fuck,” Zayn tugs at his head. “My hair is fucked up.”
“What’s it matter?” Pat asks.
“Management will absolutely kill me if I show up looking like shit, fuck, they tried not to let me out last night even, fuck, I am so royally fucked!”
“Dude, don’t have a panic attack.” Pat tells him. “Take a hat. Top drawer.”
“You’re a lifesaver,” Zayn says, rummaging through the drawer.
“Yeah, yeah,” Pat grunts, kind of hoping Zayn will leave already so he can die of this hangover in peace.
“Later,” Zayn says, winking at Pat and thankfully heading out. Pat wants to feel bad about not offering breakfast or a phone number or something, but the pounding in his head makes that difficult. He lies in bed for a while after he hears the front door click shut before forcing himself up and in search of aspirin.
Pat is still too hung over a few hours later to start feeling bad about completely ignoring Stan’s lecture, so he grabs his laptop (after plugging the wireless router back in). He types “Zayn” into Google, just to make sure he didn’t sleep with a serial killer, and because it’s not like he’s got anything better to do. Pat doesn’t think he’ll have much luck with just a first name, but he clicks the first result, and fuck, did he sleep with a world-famous pop star last night?
Pat scrolls few a few pages of Google Images and yeah, his tongue was totally all over that tattoo a few hours ago. He skims the first few sites that pop up after his name and doesn’t see anything about Zayn being super gay (or at least nothing legit) so he figures he’s safe from Zayn broadcasting anything about the night before. Due to the sheer amount of information about the guy, it’s clear that Zayn is relatively famous. Then Pat sees the name of Zayn’s band and it rings a sort of distant bell, a bell that sounds a lot like Jacqueline rambling about her newest obsession, and it starts to make sense.
Pat figures that this would make a pretty good story, if he actually had anyone to tell this kind of story to.
The light from the screen is making Pat’s head hurt worse so he closes it and decides that sleeping sounds like a fun idea.
Pat’s been trying not to think about Jonny since he got to Chicago this summer, but it’s not like that’s the easiest thing to do. Everything in Pat’s apartment, everything in the city, hell— everything in the goddamn world reminds him of Jonny. It sucks major ass, really.
Whenever Pat gives in and thinks about Jonny, he feels like shit and therefore tries to distract himself with more video games or porn or something dumb like that. He’s still pretty bored of that though, so it fails more often than not, which sends him straight to the liquor cabinet. That doesn’t usually do much more than make Pat feel shitter and more pathetic, but drunk is the only time he can miss Jonny without judging himself, so he keeps drinking.
It’s a few days after Pat hooks up with Zayn that Jonny calls him. Pat gets the same feeling in his gut that he did when Stan called him a month ago, but then he’s also kind of really excited because he hasn’t heard Jonny’s voice in months and he misses it so much.
Pat answers, voice all hopeful and shaking a little, but Jonny doesn’t even care, just starts going off on Pat for being an idiot and a fuck up and fucking around with random guys, much less famous boy band members.
“How do you even know about that?” Pat groans, head falling into his hands.
“You gave him your hat.” Jonny spits the words out like they personally offend him, which hey, maybe they do.
“There are pictures of him, dumbass, from the event his band did in Chicago. He’s wearing your hat.”
“Are you stalking a boy band? Tazer, really, how manly and serious of you,” Pat jokes because fuck, that’s right, Zayn did take one of his hats. Pat hadn’t really worried about it because it’s not like he usually wears hat himself. He doesn’t need to, with hair as awesome as his. The kid must’ve taken one of the few that are actually recognizable as Pat’s.
“Fuck you, my cousin loves them and showed me.”
“Sure she did, asshole.”
“Fuck off, that’s not the point here. The point is that hooking up with him was just another cry for help—” Jonny starts to say before Pat interrupts.
“It wasn’t a fucking cry for help, okay?” Pat defends himself.
“Your entire life is a cry for help, Kaner.”
“Shut the fuck up, okay. I can fuck whoever I want; you don’t get to tell me what to do.”
“Yes, I do,” Jonny says, infuriating as ever.
“Who gave you the fucking right?” Pat can feel his face heating up with the frustration.
“I’m your captain,” Jonny’s says in his usual monotone.
“This isn’t hockey. You have no power over me when we aren’t on the ice.”
“Yes I do. You need help, Kaner, and if you’re not going to listen to me as a friend, you’re sure as hell going to listen to me as your captain.”
“Fuck off, Jonny; this isn’t any of your damn business. As long as I show up for practice and don’t fuck up too majorly on the ice, you get no fucking say in what I do.”
“If you keep acting like this, you’re not going to be on the team much longer,” Jonny says because he knows it’ll hit home.
Pat doesn’t know what to say after that
“Yeah, that’s fucking right. I said it, and I’ll say more. You weren’t your best this season. You stepped up when I was gone, and I’m proud of you for that, but after I got back, you lost the spark. Sure, you were still good, because talent is talent no matter what, but you could’ve been so much better. You know you’re on thin ice with the team right now, and if you don’t get your shit together, you know exactly what’s going to happen. Chicago might love you, but that doesn’t mean jack shit when you act like this and embarrass the entire team.”
Pat still doesn’t have a response, because yeah, Jonny is right, really fucking right, and saying all of the things that Pat has been too afraid to admit, choosing to drink it away instead of considering the possibility. So he just says, “fuck you” and hangs up and wonders how much force he’d have to collect in order to bash his head all the way through his living room wall.
Pat wants to go out and drink and party and resume his awesome life but every time he tries, he sees Jonny’s glare and hears him say “I’m disappointed in you.” It’s pretty effective, as Pat never makes it out the door.
It’s not like Pat means to listen to Jonny, but like he really likes Chicago and he likes his team and he likes his career and doesn’t want to lose all of that. So, Pat decides (completely on his own, the fact that the realization comes to him soon after Jonny’ call has no influence on him) that he should stop being an idiot and prove that he deserves to be a Blackhawk.
The decision has nothing to do with wanting to make Jonny proud, not at all, shut up okay, he totally doesn’t want Jonny to smile at him and tell him he did good. Not even a little bit.
Instead of partying, Pat makes himself go work out because he can be mature if he wants, shut up. He tells himself that he would totally go out afterwards because he can totally do moderation, but he’s always super exhausted due to being in way worse shape that he’s willing to admit, so usually Pat doesn’t do much more than sack out in his bed.
It’s about two weeks into Pat’s schedule of working out, eating vegetables, and getting to sleep before it becomes the A.M. that he decides to take a day off because his calves are getting really sore and need a break.
Pat really wants to call Jonny, hear his voice, but Pat has no idea what he’d say. Instead, he pulls up YouTube and types in Zayn’s name, because Pat did sleep with the dude, he might as well evaluate his talent.
He watches a few videos of the kid, and Pat’s only a little bit embarrassed to admit that he’s actually pretty good, even though boy bands so aren’t Pat’s thing. He considers jacking off to Zayn singing, but decides that’s way too creepy and something a crazy fan girl would do. Not to mention that Pat knows he’d only end up thinking about Jonny again.
But, well, Pat has worked really hard for the past few weeks, and it’s been a while, so fuck it. Pat closes his laptop, stretches out on his bed, and slips a hand down his pants. He doesn’t even try not to think about Jonny as he slowly fists himself. Pat’s used to hating himself for this by now, so he figures he should at least enjoy it a little.
It ends the same way it always does, with Pat groaning out Jonny’s name as he comes, and then falling asleep in a puddle of his own shame.
In a mature turn of events, Pat starts going to the United Center a few times a week to work with the trainers and show Stan and Coach Q that he’s trying and not a total fuck up. It works, too, since Pat really has been taking care of himself and is in way better shape than anyone (including himself) expected after all the stories from the beginning of the off season.
And then Jonny calls again.
Pat gets so excited that he kind of wants to throw up or dance or scream. All of the above sounds pretty good to him, actually.
“I heard you’re working out,” Jonny says immediately, without any greeting.
“Yeah, I am.” Pat doesn’t even try not to sound proud, because he is, and he thinks he deserves to be.
“Good, keep it up.” Jonny hangs up not a beat after the last syllable.
Pat so doesn’t jack off right after, replaying the last sentence in his mind over and over, because Pat swears he heard Jonny smile through the words.
And then it’s suddenly time for training camp and Pat kind of has no idea where his summer went. He’d intended to see his sisters, hang out at the beach, and maybe go visit Gags. He guesses he sort of got distracted by being a fucking idiot and then being determined to prove to everyone that he’s not a fucking idiot.
Pat shows up the first day ready to kick some serious ice ass, and miraculously, he does. It’s probably because he’s in way better shape than most of the team, since he’s been working out with the trainers instead of some dumb basement gym, but Pat insists it’s because he’s a fucking beast.
Everyone is sort of really damn impressed too, although still chirping him for his early-summer antics and then totally falling off the face of the earth after.
At lunch on the third day, Sharpy tells Pat that he was pretty sure Pat had crawled up some puck bunny’s vagina and died because Sharpy truly is the classiest individual ever.
No one is more impressed with Pat’s condition than Jonny, who just kind of watches Pat skate and scrum and work out with this tiny little smile on his face that only someone who knew Jonny as well as Pat would be able to see. Whenever Pat looks over at Jonny, which is slightly too often, he sees the smile and it pushes him to work that much harder.
Jonny follows Pat back to his place after the first day of camp. Pat sees his car in his rearview mirror on the way, and he sort of starts grinning like he just won homecoming queen. He and Jonny haven’t really talked, since Jonny only got to Chicago last night and they were busy with team things all day.
Jonny silently follows Pat up to his apartment, not speaking until the door is shut and Pat is looking at him with these cautiously excited eyes and not making any effort to look less pathetic, because what the fuck is the point of that.
“You did good,” Jonny says.
Pat lets out the biggest sigh of relief in the history of the world because those are the words that he’s been wanting and working to hear all damn summer.
Pat’s feelings of relief, joy, and fucking satisfaction are so intense that it’s not like anyone can blame him for grabbing Jonny’s head and kissing the fuck out of him.
It’s not like Jonny doesn’t kiss back.
Actually, Jonny kisses back even harder, grinning into it and cupping the back of Pat’s neck. Pat kind of whines against his lips then, all muffled and needy. Jonny responds to it in kind, dragging Pat towards the bedroom by his mouth, tugging at Pat’s shirt as they go.
Pat winds up pinned down to the mattress, but he doesn’t really mind the immobility, since Jonny is kissing up his chest and nibbling at his ear.
“I knew you could do it,” Jonny whispers, the sound low and hot in Pat’s ear.
All Pat can do is grin and pull Jonny’s face back towards his, because yeah, Pat fucking did it, and he’s sure as hell going to get his reward.