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what you want

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“I hate playing in fucking Florida, the ice is always shit,” Sharpy announces, throwing himself onto Patrick’s previously untouched bed.

“Welcome, Sharpy, thanks for knocking, make yourself at home,” Patrick scowls, not bothering to turn around from the mirror where he’s attacking his curls with a thick glob of hair gel. He squints in dismay as they scrunch into something resembling ramen rather than the “full, luscious, locks,” the bottle promised. Fuck. He’s never listening to Erica again—holy grail product his ass.

Sharpy’s reflection settles further back into his bed with an unbothered grin. “Hey, your fault for keeping the door unlocked. Not very wise of you, Peeks, you never know what could be out there,” he finishes with a waggle of his eyebrows.

Patrick snorts. “You’re by far the worst thing within a hundred miles of this hotel.” It’s the outskirts of Miami. The only things nearby are a 24/7 laundromat, a CVS, and a quiet little residential block—Patrick thinks he’ll survive. He walks over and knocks his knees into Sharpy’s feet, which are dangling off the bed. “What’s up?” It's not unusual for Sharpy to barge into his room on road trips—their movie nights are the stuff of legends, after all. But Sharpy's dressed in a crisp button down and tight jeans rather than his pj's.

“The boys are going out for dinner, it’s a toss up between steak and Chinese,” Sharpy explains, grabbing one of Patrick’s pillows and hugging it against his stomach. “We’re rounding up votes—still gotta get Tazer after you.”

Patrick waves him off. “Don’t bother, put us both down for Chinese. Plus, he's probably in the shower right now, so you won't be able to ask him anyway, ” he says decisively. They might not be rooming together anymore, but Patrick knows Jonny's hotel habits like the back of his hand. Patrick always showered first. Jonny took his time, parking in front of the TV for a while, sometimes with his shirt half-off his body or meditating on the floor in his dumb, tiny black briefs. A decent amount of time has passed since they've gotten back to the hotel, so Patrick is willing to bet Jonny has finally dragged himself to the bathroom.

Sharpy raises an eyebrow at him. “Is there something you’re not telling me bud? Are you wearing an earpiece, or have Jonny and you just evolved past the plane of normal human communication and started to use telepathy?”

Patrick rolls his eyes and steals Sharpy’s pillow, smushing it into Sharpy’s face as he makes an outraged squawk. “Neither, moron. Jonny won’t want steak, trust me.” Duh. It seems pretty obvious to Patrick, but judging by the incredulous look on Sharpy's face, not all of his teammates have managed to catch on to their illustrious captain's dietary habits.

“How could you possibly know that?" Sharpy demands."Jonny, like, loves steak man. It’s right up there alongside fishing and gray ties on the list of Jonny’s Favorite Things.”

“Yeah, but we had a shoot-out,” Patrick says simply. Jonny's not going to want steak after a shoot-out. He won't make a fuss out of it if that's what the boys choose, of course, but at the very least he'll get that dumb little frown that appears when Jonny's displeased but too polite to admit it.

Sharpy scrunches his brow. “Uh, yeah? I know? I won it for us? What’s your point?”

Patrick sighs. “Look, man, I don’t know how to explain it. Jonny always gets a sensitive stomach when we go to a shoot-out. I think it just makes him super nervous or something, overloads his system. Steak is a no-go.” He'd end up eating the steak anyways and then get grumpy later on when his stomach hurt and would probably end up whining to Patrick about it and asking Patrick if he thinks Jonny should change his fiber supplement—no thank you.

Sharpy stares. “We won the game. Jonny scored one of our only two regular goals. He even scored on Markstrom during the shoot-out.”

Patrick throws his hands up in the air defensively. “Hey, man, I don’t know how Jonny’s whacko biology works. But that stuff doesn’t matter. Shoot-out equals cranky tummy. That’s all I know.”

Sharpy pulls himself off the bed. “Peeks, you are so full of shit,” he snickers, slapping a hand against Patrick’s back. Okay, yeah, it objectively sounds kind of insane, but Patrick just… knows it's true, the same way he knows Jonny secretly likes the Nickelback Patrick blasts even though he threatens to pull over his car unless Patrick turns it off.

“You’re just a hater,” Patrick retorts nonsensically, shoving Sharpy’s arm off of him.

“Wait, but do you actually want Chinese?” Sharpy presses with an inscrutable look. Patrick squirms, going a little warm and itchy for some inexplicable reason. “I mean, not really, but I’m not going to pick something Jonny can’t eat.”

A smirk is growing on Sharpy’s face. “I see,” he says, mirth coloring his voice.

Patrick finds himself flushing. “I have to sit next to him on the plane back, I just don’t want to have to constantly get up because he needs to use the bathroom!”

“Uh huh.”

“Ugh,” Patrick groans. “Whatever, let’s go.”


“What died on your head, Kaner?” Duncs calls as Sharpy and Patrick walk towards the gaggle of hockey players clustered by the lobby door. Patrick flashes a lazy middle finger in his direction, going to stand beside Shawzy and Seabs, who are laughing over something on Shawzy’s phone.

Despite the late hour, almost the whole crew is coming out, crowding the lobby with their long limbs. Sharpy cranes his head. “Looks like we’re just missing— ”

“Hey guys, sorry I’m late,” Jonny interrupts, jogging over to them with a sheepish smile. He’s a little flushed and out of breath—he probably ran the whole way from his room. What a dork, Patrick thinks fondly.

Of course, Jonny has to go and ruin it. “What happened to your hair?” Jonny asks him, doing a double-take. Oh for fuck’s sake. He’s going to kill Erica.

“I’m just trying a new hair gel, Jesus. Can you guys get off my dick, please?” Patrick says darkly, surreptitiously reaching up to try and break up some of the clumps. The chirps are well-deserved, he has to admit—he would’ve worn a beanie, but of course it’s 80 degrees in December. Fucking Florida.

Patrick waits for another biting remark, but Jonny just frowns, reaching up to tuck an errant curl that had escaped the wrath of Erica’s gel behind Patrick’s ear. Patrick shivers involuntarily. “I wish you would stop trying to put shit in your hair. It’s nice the way it is,” Jonny says softly and oh.

“I—uh, thanks, man,” Patrick stutters out, wanting to melt into the floor from the way Sharpy is looking at them, eyebrows shooting towards his hairline. Patrick knows his cheeks have gone bright red.

Sharpy gives a small cough. “To-es, just the man I wanted to see!” he exclaims, clapping his hands together and stepping between Patrick and Jonny. He shoots Patrick a conniving look before turning to face Jonny. “So, we were between Chinese and steak, and you were the deciding vote. I couldn't get a hold of you, but I know you love steak, so I put you down for that. Is that cool ?” Sharpy smiles beatifically.

Patrick watches in amusement as Jonny opens and closes his mouth open a few times, the silence stretching on for a hair too long. “I—yeah, man, that’s fine,” Jonny says finally, scratching at the back of his neck. His tone is injected with forced cheer, but his lips threaten to pull down at the corners, and his eyebrows grow a little crease between them. “I mean that’s great, actually,” he corrects, plastering on a weak smile.

Sharpy looks at him hard for a moment before flicking his eyes to Patrick, who just shrugs and mouths “I told you so.”

“You know what, I'm actually defecting to Team Chinese, not really feeling the steak after all. Sorry Taze,” Sharpy says casually before abruptly turning from Jonny's now surprised expression to face the rest of the guys. “Boys!” he calls out. “Change of plans. We’re doing Chinese. Anybody that has a problem with that can either suck it up or order room service.”

There are a few grumbles from the crowd, but one by one they turn to amble out the door. Sharpy hangs back, walking in step with Patrick. “Jesus, you were not kidding,” he says in a low voice. "I don't think I've ever seen Tazer not want steak before. It's crazy that you knew that. ”

Patrick shrugs, feeling suddenly uncomfortable. “It’s not—I guess. I don’t know.” He doesn’t like the way Sharpy is looking at him, intense and eyes all unreadable and shit.

“Yeah,” Sharpy says finally, apparently choosing to drop the subject. Patrick unclenches, feeling the tension he didn’t know he was holding leave his body. He doesn’t think for a second this is over, though. He knows what Sharpy’s like when he gets a certain thought or idea in his head—he’s like a dog with a bone. And Patrick has no idea what exactly Sharpy is thinking, but he can guarantee he’s probably not going to like it.

Ugh, why did he have to be so considerate—he should’ve just kept his mouth shut about the whole shoot-out thing. He can admit to himself that maybe it was a bit of an odd thing to notice about a teammate, but he and Jonny spend a lot of time together—it’s not like Patrick is intentionally paying attention, or whatever. This is clearly all Jonny’s fault.

An hour later, Jonny is eating steamed dumplings, looking relaxed and happy, laughing at Shawzy's stupid impressions of guys on other teams. When he looks up to give Patrick a quick smile over the dinner table that makes him go warm all over, Patrick can't bring himself to regret it all that much.