Kevin doesn’t like this. This is his 5th high school in as many years and he hates how he can’t stay at one place for more than a year.
His parents have been separated for many years and his mom doesn’t want anything to do with him. Kevin has no choice but to move from one town to another with his dad because he doesn’t have a stable job.
He’s getting over it though, it’s not like there was anything keeping him in Prince George. He only had one friend and his school didn’t even have a hockey team.
“Hey, you better come here to visit from Vancouver…or better yet I’ll come to visit you,” Alex, his best friend, told Kevin.
“As if I’d want your company,” Kevin joked. “I’m pretty sure you’d crash your car, you’ve had your license for what – 3 months?”
“2 months longer than you, you smart ass. Don’t tell me you’ll fall in love with a prince and forget all about me,” Alex replied while making puppy eyes.
“Fuck off, you’re my one and only love,” Kevin teased, jabbing Alex in the ribs.
“Seriously though, keep me in the loop.”
“Yeah man, don’t worry. Now stop it – don’t get all sentimental on me, you’re going to ruin my tough guy image,” Kevin laughed. He wouldn’t admit under the threat of a gun that before he left, he hugged Alex goodbye and had to blink away tears.
It was an awkward 10 hour drive with his dad along with many breaks in between. Kevin was driving right now and if he didn’t get a coffee right this moment he would definitely get into an accident. They were already in Vancouver but his dad was asleep in the passenger seat. It was no surprise that his dad hadn’t even given the address to their house to Kevin even though he had asked for it last night.
It’s 10 am and Kev decides to stop at a Starbucks. He considers waking up his dad but decides against it, it’s not like he’s going to leave him in the car for a long time.
Kev gets out of the car and fuck its cold. He jogs the short distance from the parking spot to the warm café.
“Uhh…can I have a large peppermint mocha,” Kevin says as he tries to warm up his hands. He knew it didn’t snow often in Vancouver but it was fucking cold and it was only December, he was lucky he didn’t hit any ice while driving.
“A venti?” the employee asked.
“Yeah a venti,” Kevin replied, rolling his eyes. Starbucks and their stupid cup sizes.
Kevin heard a muffled scoff behind him and oh. There was an incredibly hot guy behind him with messy hair and broad shoulders. He was taller than Kevin and had chocolate brown eyes. Kevin tried not to ogle and he thanked the hockey gods when his order was called out right away.
“Can I have a venti double double,” the cute guy asked slightly mockingly.
Kevin felt his face burning up because he was sure the guy was making fun on him. But the guy’s voice made Kevin stop in his tracks. It wasn’t as deep as he expected it to be and it made Kevin hesitate to make sure it was him who had spoken. Of course it was, there was no one else at the counter.
Kev was sure that he looked like a mess right now with only 6 hours of sleep so he was glad that he was able to leave without doing something like trip over his feet in front of the cute guy.
“Kevin, wake up!”
Kevin groaned and rolled around, stuffing his head into his pillow. You would think that he would not have to go to school less than 48 hours after a roadtrip to Vancouver but he doesn’t get that luxury.
Kevin’s door opens and his dad sticks his head in, “You don’t wanna be late on your first day, come on Kev.”
“Mmm-yeah okay,” Kevin mumbles, trying to wake himself up. He rubs his eyes and throws off his bedsheets. The bare chest is stung by the sudden change in temperature but if definitely wakes him up. He turns on his shower and lets it warm up while he decides what to wear. He decides on these dark blue jeans that make his ass look really good and a dark grey full sleeve V neck. He gets into the shower and lets the hot water beat against his back, slowly relaxing his tense muscles and letting the warmth overtake him.
While he’s taking a shower his mind wanders back to the guy in the café. He didn’t seem much older than Kevin, in fact he might’ve been the same age. He had an athletic build but he wasn’t overly defined like Kevin was. He still seemed like the type who could manhandle Kevin and Kev’s dick started to take interest in this thought – which, what. Kevin didn’t even know the guy and he was already having fantasies about him?
Before long the hot water started to run out so Kevin got out of the shower with his towel loosely wrapped around his waist. Kevin was still slightly hard so it took him a few tries to be able to close the button on his jeans but he managed to do it without letting out more than a few hisses. He went downstairs to find himself some toast and juice only to find that his dad had already left for work.
He scarfed down his toast because the shower had taken him longer than expected and he was running late. He pulled on his hoodie and grabbed his backpack and thanked the lord for the fact that his dad hadn’t taken the car. The first thing he would do after school was look for advertisements on second hand cars.
Kevin pulled up into the parking lot of the school and luckily he wasn’t late. There were a few flashy cars in the lot but nothing too fancy.
Kevin slinged his backpack over his shoulder and made his way into the front office.
“Uhh hi, I’m a new student here. Can i get my schedule?” Kevin asked the secretary with overly big eyeglasses.
“Of course, can I get your name? I’m Mrs. Lance,” she smiled brightly.
“Last name too, sweetheart.”
“Oh umm sorry, Bieksa - Kevin Bieksa,” Kevin replied feeling his cheeks heat up. If he didn’t know any better, he would’ve thought this was the first time he came to a new school.
“Here you go. Your first class is biology, it’s on the first floor all the way at the end of the hallway. Do you think you’ll be able to find it?” Mrs. Lance inquired.
“Yeah I’ll be fine, thank you.”
Kevin fumbled with his schedule and then made his way to the staircase. He hated biology. It was a subject that he had no clue on what to do and he had barely passed bio 11. It seemed like this school year would pass by extremely slowly.
He entered the class and most of the students were already in their seats chatting away. The teacher was in his chair so Kevin made his way over to his desk and handed him his note thing that Mrs. Lance had told him to show to all of his teachers.
“Alright, my name is Mr. Smith. You can go take a seat in that chair next to Ryan,” the teacher told Kevin.
Kevin scanned the room since how was he supposed to know who Ryan was. As he was scanning the room his eyes froze on him. It was the Starbucks guy. He was in the same school, same class as him and…he was Ryan. He was the only student who didn’t have a classmate next to him on his table so he had to be Ryan.
Kevin made his way over and dropped his backpack on the floor and sank down into his seat. Ryan was facing the girl behind him and hadn’t noticed Kevin yet. The bell rang to announce the start of class and Ryan turned around. Kevin saw Ryan go rigid from his peripheral vision but Kevin kept looking forward. He could feel Ryan’s eyes burning holes into the side of his face and his breath caught in his throat.
“Hi, I’m Ryan,” he finally said.
“I’m Kevin,” Kev replied nervously. He had no clue why he was nervous, he shouldn’t be nervous, there was nothing to be nervous about.
“You’re the venti guy, right? I mean at Starbucks the other day.”
Kevin clenched his teeth. Of course this guy was a dick, Kev wouldn’t be that lucky. “Yeah I’m him,” Kev mumbled not looking at Ryan, which was a tough task to do.
Mr. Smith started talking so thankfully Ryan stopped talking to Kevin.
The rest of the day passed by excruciatingly slowly. He ended up having 6 of his 8 classes with Ryan which didn’t help his mood and he already had piles of homework since it was December and he had missed the first three months of school.
In most of Kevin’s classes with Ryan, girls had been all over him: giggling, twirling their hair, and finding excuses to touch his arms. But Ryan had flirted with them and had invited them to watch his hockey game tonight. Not that Kevin was jealous - why would he be jealous. It’s not like he liked Ryan or anything. But hockey. Kevin had played since he was 2 years old, he could go watch the game. He might even join the team, he was good enough, he knew he was.
After school Kevin looked for the hockey coach and found him in the gym.
"Hi Mr. Davis I’m Kevin. I know I’m a few months late but I was wondering if I could try out for the hockey team,” Kevin asked.
“I’m sorry Kevin but our season has already started. Why didn’t you try out in September?” Mr. Davis asked.
“Today’s actually my first day at this school but I understand if I can’t try out,” Kevin replied a bit dejected.
“Actually hold on. How long have you played hockey?”
“Since I was 2 years old. I was in a peewee and midget hockey team too and I played for my highschool a few years ago.”
“What position do you play?” inquired Mr.Davis.
“I play defense, left or right wing, it doesn’t matter.” Kevin replied.
“Hmm…how about this. We have practice on Friday at 6 so you can join us and treat it like a tryout?” Mr. Davis offered.
“Yeah, that’d be great! Thanks!” Kevin smiled.
“See you then kid.”
Kevin was ecstatic. This was the first time since grade 8 that he went to a school that had a hockey team and he was going to try his damn hardest to make it onto the team.
Kevin had looked through a shit ton of newspapers and had finally found two cars that were in his budget and he wasn’t sure which one to get. One was a 2003 Nissan Frontier and the other was a 1999 Honda Civic. The Nissan dealer was ready to sell it right away and since it wasn’t as old as the Honda, Kevin decided to buy to pickup.
Kev had done most of his homework and was thinking about going out to watch Ryan’s – the school’s hockey game. It would be a great way to see how his future teammates played like so Kevin headed out in his new pickup.
When Kevin arrived at the Britannia ice rink he regretted not wearing a warmer hoodie. He heard that this ice rink was cooler than most ice rinks but fuck he didn’t expect it to be this cold. He shivered but when he saw some girls from his highschool just wearing T-shirts he questioned their decision. Suddenly they started cheering and waving their signs around. Kevin looked back at the ice and saw that the players had come on for their warmup. One player, with the name of Kesler on his jersey, blew a kiss to the girls and they started shrieking all over again. Well that was obviously Ryan because who else would do that. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and his flow was slicked back by water. He moved with such ease on the ice and had deft hands. Kevin tore his eyes away from Ryan and looked at the other players. It seemed like they were all fairly skilled but Ryan was the one with the C on his chest.
The puck dropped and it was the start of the first period. Kevin tried his best to tune out the girls and just focus on the game. His school team, the Rebels, had possession for most of the first period and badly outplayed the other team. Ryan had set up his liney for a powerplay goal and had also tipped a puck in. Kevin tried to pay attention to the other players but his eyes were drawn to Ryan because he was by far the most talented player. He caught up with other players within three strides and on the backcheck he was hell-bent on getting the puck back. In the third period the other team was pushing for a goal and there were four minutes left in the period. They were also on a powerplay and Ryan had been sent out to win the faceoff in the defensive zone. Ryan tangled up his man and kicked the puck to the corner but his teammate failed to clear the puck. Number 71 gained possession and passed to his d partner who one timed it right past the screen and into the net. The opposing bench erupting into cheers while Ryan slammed his stick onto the ice. There was now one minute left in the period and the Patriots were within one goal so they called a timeout. After the puck drop, the rebels managed to set up in the offensive zone with 30 seconds left. The Rebels were doing a good job keeping them to the outside and having an active stick. 20 seconds. The Patriots found a seam and shot the puck and the rebound was cleared to the line but not out. 10 seconds. The D partner passed to the other D. 6 seconds. The D passed back who wired for a slapshot and let it blast off of his stick but Ryan blocked it with his shin. He immediately went down onto one knee but thankfully the buzzer sounded to indicate the end of the game. The Rebels had won 2-1 and it was an intense nail biter.
Kevin was still staring at Ryan who was still down and was only now getting to his feet. He had a small limp in his stride but he skated it off and went to congratulate his goalie.
Kevin stood up and made his way to the exit when he heard someone yelling.
"Hey! Venti guy!”
It was stupid but Kevin stopped in his tracks.
"Uhhh- KEVIN! Yeah Kevin, hold up.”
Kevin turned around to see Ryan walking towards him, but Kevin couldn’t help but notice the small limp he had.
“Hey,” Ryan said.
”..Hi,” Kevin replied awkwardly.
“So I heard you were going to come to our practice this Friday.How long have you played?”
“Yeah Coach invited me and it’s basically a tryout. And I’ve played since I was two,” Kevin answered.
Ryan said something but Kevin was staring at a bead of sweat running down Ryan’s cheek and down his throat.
“Huh,” Kevin said when he noticed that Ryan had stopped talking.
“Nothing, good luck though,” Ryan replied.
“Wait- how did you know I was trying out?” Kevin asked with a puzzled face.
“I’m captain man, I know everything, ” and with that Ryan turned around and headed to the change room.
The next day passes by relatively quickly with Ryan making slightly more attempts to talk to Kevin. Not that it affected him or anything, he was perfectly fine. Those butterflies in his stomach were only nerves for the tryout after school, right?
In math Ryan had dosed off from boredom and suddenly jolted awake when he felt a sharp pain in his shin.
“Ow! What the fuck bro,” Ryan hissed at Kevin.
“Ryan” the teacher called on him, waiting for the answer to a question he hadn’t heard.
“24,” Kevin whispered.
“Uhhh..24?” Ryan replied.
“Good, that’s the correct answer.” Ryan sheepishly looked at Kevin and whispered a quick thanks.
Near the end of class everyone was fucking around and fooling around.
“I owe you one. Ms.Kellet would have ripped my head off by now,” Ryan told Kevin.
“Naw man, I’m pretty sure you would do the same…not that I would trust your answers, especially for math,” Kevin teased.
“Fuck off,” Ryan laughed. “But I’m going to give you some advice for practice today. Make sure you don’t go all out for the suicides at the beginning.”
“You mean there’s going to be more at the end?” Kevin groaned.
Ryan kind of stared at Kevin and finally replied “Ye-yeah,” his voice huskier than usual and then left.
Kevin stared at Ryan and couldn’t help but notice his perky butt. Kevin groaned again. This was gonna be a tough season.
Kevin had managed to find all of his gear from the garage and was making his way to the arena. He had those jittery feelings that he always felt before a game but this was just his nerves. He had nothing to be nervous about though. He needed to be confident but he felt nothing but nerves when he entered the dressing room.
Kevin had planned to go to the arena extremely early so he wouldn’t have to change with the other guys and feel them questioning him. He quickly changed and immediately started to feel calm. There was nothing like the feeling of getting ready to go out onto the ice. He tightened his skates and adjusted his elbow pads before pulling on his jersey.
He was done changing within a few minutes and started to stretch out his legs. Kevin was one of the kids who pulled on the least amount of gear and were eager to just go out and play. He always used to be the kid sitting by the door nearly bouncing up and down in anticipation.
Kevin smiled at the memory but was interrupted when he heard someone else tumbling inside the dressing room.
It was Ryan.
“Hi,” Kevin replied while looking at how much of a mess Ryan looked like. His gear was half falling out of his bag and his hair was messier than usual. “You are so not the type to come to practice this early,” Kevin said with a pointed look at Ryan’s appearance.
“Fuck off, you don’t know that. But I thought you wouldn’t want to be here alone with the guys because you would feel, like awkward and shit.”
It was the sweetest thing Ryan could’ve done for Kevin and Kevin was secretly pleased. “So I’m right? You aren’t usually here this early,” Kevin laughed.
“I will body check you so hard into the boards if you don’t thank me,” Ryan threatened with a smile on his face.
“Yeah, whatever…thanks,” Kevin finally replied when Ryan kept glaring at him.
Soon the rest of the guys had filled the room and Ryan had introduced them to Kevin.
“Who do you think he’ll be partnered with?” Chris asked Jannik.
“I don’t know. Maybe Eagle?”
There was a lot of chatter in the room and Kevin decided to go out onto the bench. The Zamboni had just gotten off the ice but Kevin hadn’t gotten the signal to go onto the ice yet. He waited for five minutes and was finally allowed on the ice.
Kevin took a deep breath and skated two slow laps around the ice. Skating was something that came second natured to him and it made him feel like this was something he was meant to do.
Kevin started to practice his puck handling skills and shot a few pucks into the net. Coach Smith had finally arrived and now everyone was making their way to the ice.
“I want two hard laps boys,” Coach commanded.
Everyone took off and came back to the front of the bench.
“If you guys haven’t noticed yet, we have a potential new team member here. This is Kevin Beeska,” Mr. Smith told the team.
“It’s bi-ek-sa, Coach,” Kevin corrected when he felt everyone’s eyes on him.
“Oh sorry, Bieksa,” Coach corrected himself. “Anyways, I want you to treat him how you would treat anyone else, got it.”
“Yes sir,” everyone replied.
“Okay, now go to the end line and get ready for suicides.”
Kevin took Ryan’s advice and didn’t go all out for the suicides but he did take longer strides to impress Coach.
They did a few pivoting, and breaking out drills when Coach gathered them in again.
“Okay we’re going to have a game for the rest of practice. Kevin, put on a blue bib. Chris, green. Edler, blue. Ryan….green.”
Coach finished dividing up the teams and it was obvious that the Green team was stronger in skill. Kevin was up to the challenge and knew this was his make it or break it chance.
“Alex, what side do you prefer?” Kevin asked Edler.
“Right side, but you could take it if you want. It is your tryout,” Edler told Kev.
Kevin was already liking some of his teammates.
“Naw man, I prefer the left side.”
The puck dropped and the Blue team won possession. The puck was passed to Kevin so he gained the red line and dumped the puck in for Nicklas to chase after. They had a few scoring chances but Zack managed to skate the puck out and slide it down the ice. Kevin went to the bench on a chance and noticed that the Green team made a lot of long passes. Kevin took note of this and continued to see watch the action.
The game was scoreless but when the Blue team failed to take the puck out of their zone, Danny had scored on them. Kevin went on the ice for the next shift and immediately started to skate backwards while Ryan skated into their zone. He dropped the puck for Mike, who shot it but Kevin blocked it with his shin pads. The puck came back to the Green team who set up and had Ryan parked in front of the net.