It’s a valid hit. It’s not even all that bad. Sure, Patrick’s entire left side hurts like a bitch having been hurled and slammed onto the ice by a Canuck twice his size. He isn’t entirely blameless. He hadn’t been paying attention what with the speed he’s been going and his puck handling. When the hit happened he barely managed to land properly and protect his neck and ugh there’s definitely going to be bruising.
It isn’t a concussion at least. Or a dislocated shoulder. Or, fuck, his wrists again and there will be serious reckoning with the hockey gods if that happens since the last time was a nightmare, okay? He’s not going through that shit again and it’s not like Jonny’s talking to him right now.
There hasn’t been a him and Jonny for weeks starting this new playoff season. Patrick’s fine with it, yeah, he doesn’t even like himself at this point despite actively avoiding all references to Deadspin and his apparent drinking problems. But then there’s Jonny not speaking to him, and there’s Jonny on center ice right now, duking it out with a rookie for causing Patrick’s not-injury.
He would’ve laughed at Jonny throwing the first flailing fist if he isn’t feeling so confused and bewildered by it.
“Uh, sorry I guess? He’s-” Patrick trails off, feeling vaguely uncomfortable standing beside Kesler and watching the refs deal with the fight. Should he be flattered? Touched? Are they Call of Duty levels of okay now instead of the usual I barely tolerate sharing breathing space with you kind of okay?
And did he just fucking apologized to the Canucks for Jonny starting the shittiest fight over him ever?
Kesler snorts. “Kid has to learn sometime.”
“What? How to fight?” Jonny and the rookie are grappling on the ice floor. It’s like watching puppies paw and paddle at each other’s faces. It’s a little sad to be honest. “Jonny is shit at it.”
“How to pick his battles. Look, can we break this little party over here so we can move on to kicking your ass? I have a standing dinner appointment.” Jonny is still glaring at the kid when the refs split them apart, like he could cut the rookie into ribbons with the power of his mind. Damn Jonny and his captainly honor. Patrick- no, the team needs him playing on the ice, not avenging Patrick’s sore ass or something.
“Fuck you, we’re the ones kicking your collective asses.” And just to prove a point Patrick skates extra hard and scores a goal and an assist before the third period ends. Ha fucking ha.
Patrick goes straight to the trainers’ rooms right after the game ends.
“We won by the way. And oh, you suck.” It needs to be said. He doesn’t want Jonny to have any delusions about his fighting skills (none). That’s just wrong.
Jonny’s cheek is bleeding because of course the rookie managed to sock him one. Patrick isn’t even that hurt to begin with, how the hell does Jonny end up with three fucking stitches on his stupid face?
“I wasn’t even that hurt and you go ninja on their asses. With shitty ninja moves. Man, I hope you schooled him better than that because that’s just embarrassing.” Patrick says, pointing to Jonny’s cheek.
“Your face sucks you ungrateful asshole.” Jonny mutters morosely to the ceiling. It’s a weak comeback by all means but Patrick can forgive him since he is injured and all that, and hey, Jonny’s talking to him again in full sentences so he counts that as a win-win.
Patrick is supposed to slink away having done his mocking bit and go to the lockers to finally change. But he feels a tug at the sleeve of his jersey and he turns to find Jonny with his Captain face on.
He hates it immediately on principle.
“You didn’t get checked out.”
Patrick scrunches his own face. “I’m not a baby, I could handle getting banged up every now and then. They couldn’t keep this much awesome out of the ice. I’m fucking golden, see?” He shows off a couple of jumping jacks just to shut Jonny up and if anything it just makes the expression on Jonny’s face grow darker.
“Geez your ugly mug is gonna stick that way.”
Patrick does before Jonny forces him to strip in front of the trainers or something.
There is bruising. So much bruising. By the time Patrick’s home, showered, and slipped into boxers and a worn Blackhawks shirt, the sprawling map of that day’s hit on his left arm and hip is starting to turn an ugly shade of purple.
He gets an ice pack from the freezer--ice cubes from the tray but whatever, it works. His hand lingers on a beer bottle, not gonna lie, but this is a familiar tug he’s starting to ignore these past couple of weeks and so he reaches for the milk instead. He’s going to sleep soon anyways. It’s not like he’s going on another fucking post-win bender. There’s early morning skate tomorrow and he swears Jonny is going to smell the alcohol off of him even if he only had one bottle.
Patrick spends the next fifteen minutes fooling around the tv, channel surfing until he ends up watching highlights from that evening’s game. Jonny’s hilarious fight makes it through, one full glorious minute of it, which means Patrick also gets to see the footage of his collision with the rookie.
No wonder Jonny overreacted. It looks pretty terrible on any angle other than Patrick’s own; Patrick doesn’t remember being airborne for the most of it, doesn’t remember the awkward way he sort of crumples on the ice like a marionette with the strings cut off. He just thought he was caught off-guard that’s all. Now there goes Jonny again with the first punch and Patrick has seen this before, he was there when it happened, but sits through it nonetheless, caught up and somehow mesmerized by the tv until his side starts aching again and he’s dripping lukewarm water on his couch. Oh fuck it, he’s calling it a night.
He’s in the middle of creating a pillow fort or something to stop him from rolling over to his left side and experiencing worlds of pain, and seriously rethinking his non-beer guzzling decisions, when there’s a knock on his door. It figures that Jonny is summoned right away to beer-block him.
“I only had milk you fucking beer-block, what do you want?” It only comes out half-crazy judging by the half-raised eyebrow of Jonathan fucking Toews. His right cheek is red and slightly swollen and the stitches are a terrible dark knotted thing on his face. He doesn’t say hello like a proper polite Canadian should and just shoulders his way past Patrick and into the living room. “And what the hell happened to using a phone? Couldn’t even text before you dropped by? I was about to sleep, you ass.”
“Shut up, it’s only nine. Stop being so pissy about it.” Jonny replies from the couch, one foot tapping an erratic rhythm on the carpet. He does look a little grumpy, a bit too on edge after what seems like a great win. Patrick chooses to be the better (and much more awesome) man and slides into the non-wet portion of his couch and ignores him.
For fifteen seconds. “Seriously, what?” Patrick’s all about talking with Jonny. God, he’s missed him alright? There’s no denying it when he has taken to beer-blocking himself and insulting anyone with a high forehead. But this is a bit too sudden. Maybe Jonny’s been hit too much at the fight and- “Fuck, did you get yourself concussed again? Because if you are, I swear I am so kicking your ass.“
“What? No!” Jonny’s running his hands over his hair like staying here and talking to Patrick frustrates him. Which, ditto, man. Jonny’s being a fucking impenetrable wall right now. “I couldn’t sleep.”
“Duh. Maybe you should try harder? It’s only 9 o’clock like you said.”
Jonny sighs, heavy. “I was hoping you’d have something stronger than milk.”
Patrick settles himself fully into the couch. Might as well get comfortable. “Help yourself.”
Jonny brings him back a bottle so Patrick drinks too. He figures if Jonny’s okay with it Patrick doesn’t need to keep beer-blocking himself. He has always taken his cue from him anyway.
But it’s clear when Jonny demolishes a second, a third bottle, that Patrick needs to grab small talk by its balls if he’s getting anything out of this other than uncomfortable silence.
“Girls dig scars. They’ll love your face.” Patrick gets a glare. “Hey, maybe yours would fill a small gap in our merch. A new line of scarred Tazer bobble-head dolls. You never know.”
“You fucking love my face.” Jonny says it like a long forgotten reflex making a comeback. The thing is, Patrick kinda does even though it looks stupid. Stupider with the stitches he got from fucking fighting for Patrick’s dubious honor. It makes it that much harder to look away from him.
“Look if you’re just going to sit here glaring holes in my carpet and drinking all my beer,” They were expensive beers to begin with, fuck Jonny and his whatever, he doesn’t even have the decency to look drunk. “fine. But I’m still sore and I meant it when I said I was gonna crash.”
“You said you’re okay.” Jonny sounds betrayed for some reason and that makes Patrick pause. He’s been in enough arguments with him to know you don’t hesitate in front of Tazer. Not only is it a sign of weakness, he’ll think you’re trying to lie to his face.
Patrick’s not going to lie to him. He’s just searching for words less blunt than I have a bruise the size of fucking Canada that doesn’t trigger Jonny punching people in the face and getting punched back. The whole of Winterpeg is going to kill him, okay, if he gets Jonny’s face more damaged than it is. Well, he’s going to kill himself first if that happens because Jonny’s face.
“Kaner, let me see.”
“Oh man, you don’t have to. It might look like shit and fine, it feels like one. It doesn’t mean-”
“Kaner, get your fucking shirt off.”
“That’s the worst line ever. You’ve got no game at all. I can’t imagine how you’ve gotten laid all this time.” Patrick ends up taking his shirt off anyway, still slightly damp from the unfortunate contact with ice cubes, because Jonny’s much worse than a ninja vigilante on a mission when he’s like this.
Under his living room lights the bruises at least have the decency of being less purple and ugly. Thank god, that would shut someone up. Except that someone is also a stubborn asshole who still won’t believe things even if it fucking poked him in the eyes.
Jonny is glaring down at Patrick’s left arm like it personally offends him. “I’m fine. Ugh. Stop worrying you freak. Let me sleep.”
“Of course it’s fucking painful-“ Patrick’s cut off by Jonny reaching out from his end of the couch, scooting closer to him. His hand is a little warmer than Patrick expected. Jonny’s long fingers are carefully tracing the outline of the bruise, pressure both firm and gentle, and it shouldn’t hurt, doesn’t hurt really, but Patrick ends up taking in more air as if he’s fighting for it, like there’s less of it in the room and he’s going to run out. Jonny goes on like he doesn’t notice, moving down the length of Patrick’s arm, his ribs, prodding at Patrick’s side where he’s feeling a little tender, and moves on again when Patrick doesn’t quite hide a wince.
His hand glances over the bruise peeking out of Patrick’s waistband, the one spreading generously across his hipbone, and Patrick’s skin flashes hot and cold all at once.
“It needs more ice. Go get a new shirt on, a dry one this time, idiot. Wait in your room.” It’s a relief to hear him use his captain voice again, something Patrick has never thought before. He gets up and drags his sorry ass into his room, not thinking, not letting his mind drift to the expression on Jonny’s face, focused as if he’s on ice and Patrick is a tricky play he has to learn.
When Jonny comes into his room with real ice packs (how he manages to find shit in Patrick’s apartment is anyone’s guess), Patrick’s halfway to conking out on his bed, lying awkwardly on his un-bruised side with pillows tumbling all over his legs and feet. The pillow fort is sort of a fail one, no surprise there, and Patrick would’ve laughed at Jonny’s attempts to eviscerate the pillows with his death stare if he’s not feeling so bone-deep tired and exhausted.
Not thinking is hard, okay? That is shit you have to maintain. Whatever steaming piles people have given him over the summer for ‘not thinking’ enough and getting ass-off drunk and shirtless all over the internet, you know fuck ‘em, they don’t know. Thinking is easy. Over-fucking-thinking is a hella lot easier to fall into when you’re in a bad place and that was basically last season in a nutshell. Patrick not-thinks he’s doing it again and he just wants Jonny to go away and let him sleep it off.
“Get up, you’re going to fuck up your back that way.”
Patrick closes his eyes, slows down his breathing like a way more competent ninja than Jonny.
“Kaner, I could hear your stupid thoughts all the way from here. I’m going to throw ice on your face if you don’t move in the next five seconds.” Patrick glares back at him and the asshole doesn’t even flinch.
“You’re a dick and I don’t know why I’m friends with you.”
Jonny rolls his eyes. “I don’t know either. The universe probably hates me.” He waits for Patrick to take his time sitting up even if Patrick’s deliberately slow to piss him off.
Jonny applies himself to plastering Patrick Kane with ice packs in strategic points like the crazy person he is. He probably studied how to guide chi flow or some shit for maximum healing just to ensure Patrick has no reason skipping morning skate tomorrow. Again, asshole.
“Sorry.” Jonny says.
“I don’t know. Maybe if you punched the rookie harder.” Jonny doesn’t snap back at him like Patrick expects him to. He just sits there on his bedside having this blank thing on his face, like. God. “Hey, did the rookie beat out the embarrassingly little humor you have left or is this you being a grumpy drunk? What the fuck man, only you can be more uptight with booze.”
“I mean. Just. Sorry.” Jonny’s glaring down at his own hands, pressing the ice pack to Patrick’s hip, one thumb rubbing at the exposed skin there. It’s distracting in a way Patrick doesn’t let himself dwell on because, okay, something’s wrong here but it’s definitely not the touching. He’s just not sure what.
“What the hell are you being sorry for? It’s not your fault. Well, getting your own stupid face broken is your fault but not this. This is all me.”
“I had been thinking since this summer. Sorting things out.”
Oh. That. “That’s cool.” Patrick slumps down onto the bed, giving way to the tiredness he’s feeling. Are they talking about this now? Fuck, maybe he should’ve gotten drunk. “Just so you know, you’ve got the worst timing.”
“I’m not mad at you. I don’t think I ever was. I was just annoyed why you felt you couldn’t come to me and I realized I- I didn’t ever-” Patrick can’t take this, he’s the one who should be apologizing, not Jonny.
“It’s okay now, you don’t have to.”
“No I think- Pat, here, I could- Let me.” It’s not weird. Not weird at all when Jonny climbs in with him and sweeps the extra pillows off the bed. Patrick is seriously starting to doubt if Jonny is any better than him in pillow-fort-building when Jonny lies down next to him, pulling Patrick close until Jonny’s all but plastered to his back. He settles an arm around Patrick’s waist to keep him from rolling over to his bad side and- Oh.
“Okay?” Jonny says, voice close to Patrick’s ear. Patrick hates hearing him sound unsure because Patrick’s always been a sure thing for Jonny, even in this, even if he hasn’t let himself think so far as this, and Patrick suppresses a shiver going through him at the soft brush of lips at the back of his neck. Instead he thinks he’s ass-off drunk again (on milk, on one fucking bottle of beer, fuck, fuck, when did he become such a lightweight?).
“Say something you little dipshit. I wanna know if I’m getting punched in the face again today.”
Patrick finds his hand settling over Jonny’s, keeping the warm presence of it pressed over his stomach and Jonny relaxes behind him.
“You better not snore, fucker, or I’m kicking you out of bed.”
They don’t talk about it in the morning.
Patrick freaks out about it for the ten seconds he’s suddenly awake, blissfully warm and only slightly sore with Jonny’s naked legs all tangled up with his in some approximation of a pretzel. The just woken up part of his brain tells him Jonny must have kicked off his pants during the night and the other part is stuck with naked and damn it, Patrick’s got morning wood. Shit is about to get awkward.
Patrick shifts and okay, Jonny’s own morning wood is nudging the back of his thighs, and he can just leave that there you know? Spooning might have been on offer but from there it’s a pretty big fucking leap to outright dick-touching.
He’s incredibly curious though and has like zero self-preservation skills, so he sort of wiggles back at Jonny, wondering at the feel of him hard against his ass. He’s really into it for an embarrassing length of time or something like it because Jonny’s grip on his waist tightens. Jonny’s moving with him, or against him, whatever, point being Jonny’s awake now and fuck, rolling his hips to match Patrick’s, thrusting upwards, breathing out “Pat, come on, Pat, fuck” like a broken prayer. Patrick grinds back harder, giving Jonny as much friction as he needs and it’s hot, so mind-bendingly hot Patrick can’t- Patrick reaches back and grips Jonny’s hip, fingers digging hard he’s sure he’ll leave marks, and keeps him close as Jonny ruts against him one more time and comes.
“Pat, look at me I want to kiss you asshole.” Jonny pants out warm air against the shell of his ear. Patrick does and lets Jonny lick his way into his mouth, dirty and a little too wet, just like how Patrick thought he might kiss because Jonny’s the sort of uptight that’s secretly into kinky shit. He barely registers the hand rubbing him through his boxers until he’s coming in five seconds flat and Patrick can’t even feel embarrassed about it. Mutual orgasms, yo.
“Gross.” Patrick says after a while.
“Your morning breath tastes like rat’s ass too.”
“I meant,” He gestures down at himself. “I’m all sticky and shit.”
“Who told you to let me hump you at ass-o’clock in the morning?”
“Your boner’s right there! What was I supposed to do?”
Jonny’s up, being responsible and shit even though he hates mornings, and Patrick expects him to shove him out of bed like always whenever they’re rooming together. Instead he leans back into Patrick’s space, says “I’m drinking all your coffee” with the concentrated power of his seriousness and kisses him despite all his complaints about morning breath.
Because Patrick’s still a terrible person he throws his soiled boxers in the smug bastard’s face.
He goes with Jonny when he finally gets the stitches out.
The team doctor says the scar won’t be noticeable in a few weeks and Patrick must have all his feelings showing on his face (or rather, Jonny’s gotten too good at reading them, which, sucks man) because the minute they’re out of earshot Jonny’s nudging him with his elbow.
“Stop pouting. You look like someone stole your candy.”
“Ha ha. Kid joke cause I’m short, I get it. Fuck you.”
Jonny’s still glaring at the side of his head though and doesn’t take the bait. “Okay fine. I’ll miss it. Not that it makes you distinguished or anything and I’m glad people will stop chasing me with torches and pitchforks for essentially ruining your asshole face.”
Jonny rolls his eyes.
“You got it because of me, so.” Patrick shrugs.
“You’re crazy. Should’ve known you for a hopeless fucking romantic. I took care of your sore ass that night and all you wanted was to carve our names on a tree.” Jonny’s hand circles around Patrick’s wrist, tugs on it until they’re walking side by side. Who the fuck’s a romantic asshole now you handholding bastard, Patrick stops himself from saying out loud.
“It’s a fucking awesome tree.”
“Please don’t get yourself into shit just so I could save your ass.”
“Naah.” Then Patrick lets out the sleaziest grin he knows, ”I’ve found other ways to mark you anyways,” and laughs as Jonny’s face flushes a blotchy red.