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(All My Life I've Been) Burdened by the Dreams

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Patrick wakes up a little while later to find that they’ve shifted, so that now he’s tucked in against Jonny’s shoulder, Jonny’s dick no longer in his ass. He feels…amazing. He feels like he’s had twelve nights of sleep. He feels like he could get up and play an entire round of playoff games all by himself.

Jonny moves a little, brushes his lips against Patrick’s hair. “You’re mine now,” he mumbles, and Patrick has to laugh at his possessiveness even when half-asleep.

“Yeah,” he says, fond, happy. He’s happy. It feels unfamiliar.

“My wolf,” Jonny says, and Patrick stiffens as much as it’s possible to stiffen while still in Jonny’s arms.

He tries not to show it. But Jonny’s flush against him, and of course he notices. His arms tighten.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks into Patrick’s hair.

Patrick just came his brains out and then passed out. He isn’t prepared for this question. “I, uh.” He tries for a chuckle. “I didn’t really tell anyone. For obvious reasons. You know?”

“No.” Jonny pulls back enough to look at Patrick. His eyes are dark. “I don’t know.”

Patrick huffs his annoyance. “Dude. Come on. You know no one would be okay with this.”

“Everyone would be okay with this.” Jonny lays his hands on Patrick’s back, flat and possessive. “You’re awesome.”

Patrick twists away from the touch a little, without leaving Jonny’s arms, so he doesn’t have to look at him while he says this. “Okay, let’s say none of this had ever happened. No,” he says, when Jonny starts to protest, “just, like, hypothetically. Let’s say you’d never met me. And you heard that someone on another team was like this. Was a wolf. Would you have been okay with it?”

Jonny’s pause is long enough to be incriminating. “Maybe not at first,” he finally says. “But if I got to know him—”

“Then let’s say the press found out,” Patrick says. “And the kids. All the kids who root for the Blackhawks, and their parents. They wouldn’t let me visit the children’s wards anymore. I wouldn’t be able to work with kids’ teams. Maybe not with any other teams. People would write about how I shouldn’t be allowed to play. Some of them might even have the power to make that happen.”

“They would be idiots,” Jonny says, his voice scratchy and low.

Patrick laughs a little, but it’s bitter. “Maybe so. But no one wants a wolf next to them on the bench.”

“I do.” Jonny meets his eyes again. “I don’t care. I said it and I meant it.” His fingers clench on Patrick’s back. “All I care about is that you’re Patrick.”

He lowers his face and starts nosing into Patrick’s neck. It’s not sexual, this time; it’s soothing—claiming—his teeth nipping down the tendons in tiny claiming bites and his neck rubbing against Patrick’s in a way that will get their scents on each other. Patrick feels warm down to his toes, and he leans his head back so that Jonny will lick all the way under his chin.

“I kept getting the urge to do all these things,” Jonny mumbles into his skin. “Licking you and biting you and—God, your neck, it’s been so distracting. I’ve wanted to do this for months.”

“It’s the wolf bond,” Patrick says. The touches might not be sexual, primarily, but they’re still getting Patrick revved up again. His dick is taking a little bit of interest. “You’re the alpha.”

Jonny’s face comes up into his view, close enough that Patrick almost can’t focus on him. “I don’t really know what that means.”

“It means—” Patrick feels Jonny shift over him, their dicks brushing against each other, and he can’t find all the words he needs for a full explanation. “Mostly it means you take care of me.”

Jonny’s lips quirk into a smile, and his eyes glow at him. “I can do that.”

***

After, when they’re bathing in sweat and come and still coming down from it, Patrick’s phone buzzes. He picks it up and gives a startled laugh. It’s from Sidney Crosby, and all it says is Welcome to the club.

***

 

Epilogue

 

Almost three years after Patrick first comes to Chicago, he gets the first thing he wanted: to skate around the rink to the deafening cheers of the crowd, arms raised and holding the Stanley Cup.

He didn't get the other thing he wanted, of course, but that’s sort of okay. Way better than okay, really. Having Jonny find out was better than Patrick ever dreamed. It’s been months now, and it’s still amazing, even if it’s been weird for both of them to adjust to Jonny feeling like he owns Patrick and trying to check anyone who comes near him on the ice. (And to adjust to Sidney Crosby being a wolf. Who knew?)

They’ve been good, though. They still fight, but Patrick doesn’t know who he would be without that, without Jonny to push back against and give as good as he gets. And then after they fight, he gets to lie down and bare his neck to him and until Jonny licks and bites and claims him all over, and then fucks into him, slow and sweet or fast and rough, and that’s way better than good. He brought Jonny home to Buffalo just after Christmas and lay in a pile with him and Jackie and Jess and Erica, and it felt like everything he ever wanted.

But Patrick still can’t wolf out. He can’t let himself smell like a wolf, or let the world know what he is. He thinks, though—he thinks maybe Sharpy, soon. Maybe a couple of the others, the ones he can trust. Maybe someday.

For now, it’s enough to lift the Cup, buoyed by the cheers of the fans, and slam into Jonny’s arms and hold tight, reveling in what he’s won with his pack.