Tyler found Jamie in the center of their kitchen island, cross-legged with a thing of unopened ice cream in his lap. Tyler hadn’t exactly been expecting this but he had been expecting something like this. He scratched at his belly and flipped the lights on. Jamie blinked over at him and, not for the first time that week, he had the intense urge to punch the Powers that Be.
“Hey,” Tyler said, walking from the archway to the kitchen and jumping up near Jamie. “How long you been sitting here?”
Jamie shrugged and looked down. The slow but steady drip of ice cream onto the granite beside his hand was not a bearer of good news. Tyler took his hand and grabbed the ice cream to return it to the freezer. (He’d ask his mom tomorrow if ice cream would like… go bad. Or maybe Google it. His mom had a loud laugh.)
The room remained quiet, which was just weird. The kitchen was the one place in their house that was only quiet in the small spaces of time only one of them was in there. He fidgeted.
When the announcement had come down earlier that week about their ‘behavior’ or whatever bullshit they were slinging, Tyler had braced himself for this. Jamie had taken it as a team Captain should, he worked his ass off, took the brunt of the guilt even though it was completely not entirely his fault and every player on any form of ice would tell him that.
But Jamie could only hold things for so long. His stress level was the kind that Tyler had solved with alcohol for far too long not like Jamie would do that. Jamie didn’t drink to numb himself like Tyler did. He just repressed it and repressed it until he would shut the hell down. It had been Jordie’s job to pick up the pieces until they’d moved in together and since then it’d been all his.
“Shut up,” Jamie said, out of nowhere. His voice sounded strained and tired and distinctly like he had been crying.
Tyler moved so he was wrapped around Jamie. “Didn’t say anything.”
“Keep whatever bullshit you have wrapped in you about this being a team, okay?”
Tyler sighed. “Which part, you and me or the whole NHL team apparently on our back?”
“Does it matter?”
“Not true, I would not like your mom to watching ‘me and you’ perform without the NHL involved,” he said, feeling Jamie’s back shake it a silent laugh.
Jamie turned a little to press his lips to Tyler’s goatee, a small smile on his face. “That is gross, Segs.”
“Eh, I could have made it worse.”
They both nodded, he really really could have.
It’s silent for a long moment, the air still thick with the weight of the still unspoken something. The facts that their upper management had all but made threats even with both of their no-trade clauses. They knew that if the Powers that Be wanted to they could make their lives pretty damn miserable. Not to mention the NHL optics on it. Tyler was painfully aware of all of this as he and Jamie had had meetings all week, interviews, and awkward as fuck locker rooms.
Tyler shook his head, seemingly startling Jamie. He wasn’t going to let those idiots ruin their life. He slipped his hand into the sleep pants he’d pulled on when he’d gone on his Jamie hunt. In the left pocket, he’d slipped his cell phone. He started to fiddle with it.
“You brought your cell from our room to go look for me?” Jamie said wryly.
“Cha,” Tyler said. “You didn’t?”
Jamie raised an eyebrow and then slipped his phone from his pocket. Tyler gave him a ‘there you go’ nodd.
“What are you doing?”
Tyler smiled and turned to the side of the island, took the small leap to the floor and walked over to their Alexa.
“Hey Alexa,” Tyler said. “Sync Ty’s Phone.”
After a flashing light and a beep, Alexa’s friendly voice informed him that he was synched and he hit play.
Barely three notes in Jamie practically growled. “Is this a joke?”
“That is the Fifty Shades’ song.”
Tyler crossed his arms. “Something wrong with Fifty Shades?”
“Cha,” Jamie said, but he was smiling and his legs had swung over the side of the island. “And you.”
“Is that so?”
Jamie jumped down from the counter and walked towards Tyler. Tyler beat him to it, pressing a hard kiss before he playfully nipped at Jamie’s lower lip.
“Baby baby, I feel crazy,” Tyler warbled. Jamie nipped at his cheek. “Ow.”
But then Jamie leaned his head down onto Tyler’s shoulder and Tyler knew it couldn’t be comfortable, yet he didn’t move from it. He just leaned against Tyler like Tyler was the one made like a brick wall.
Eventually, Tyler shifted slightly, not even sure what he was doing until he was mid his third sway. There was a distinct noise of confusion from Jamie, still he went with it. His head softly on Tyler’s shoulder. Tyler’s hands on Jamie’s back.
“Hey,” Tyler nudged Jamie, who looked up at him. “Remember what you said when I got here? ‘Let’s fucking show em’.”
“I don’t remember the ‘fucking’.”
Tyler beamed at him. “Oh come on, too easy.”
Jamie slapped himself on the forehead. “Fuck.”
And so they did.