Patrick feels his phone vibrate in his pocket over and over, texts rolling in as he’s announced the inaugural winner of the NHL’s new—and pretty stupid—from-the-fucking-stands shooting contest. When the dust settles, there’ll definitely be more chirps than congratulations in his messages, but to be honest, that’s what this gimmicky stuff deserves. Since when did a good old fashioned puck control relay stop being entertaining enough, huh? That was a meaningful display of skill, at least. This shit’s a party trick.
On top of everything else, the two-fer to win it feels cheap to him, though nobody ever asks how, only how many (and in this particular case, nobody will be asking anything because nobody gives a fuck). Overall, it was pretty fun though, and Patrick smiles like he just won some money, because he did win some, even if he will end up donating it. Winning on its own is a pretty untouchable feeling, money or not, and the boos raining down around him only serve to raise his smugness to the next level. For $30K, bragging rights, and yet another win in St. Louis, they can boo him all they want. Sticks and fucking stones, baby.
After he finishes giving an interview nobody can even hear over the roaring hostility of the crowd, Patrick endures another six or eight excruciating back taps on his walk through the stands and fans, down to the ice for a winners’ photo.
It’s fucking ridiculous, being out there without skates and having everyone completely tower over him even more so than usual, but Patrick can’t seem to wipe the smile off his face. Not when Weber chirps him for being too short to see. Not when his phone starts up in his pocket again because they’re on live TV. Part of him wants to mass text everyone he knows, “Turn the channel. Show’s over now!” because between the shooting stars and the boos, the night’s already provided enough ammo for the boys for the next month-plus. Another part of him says: Fuck it, they’d kill to be 5’10” if it meant being me.
That part wins. He smiles wider.
After it’s all over, Patrick signs a few things on his way down the tunnel, and when he’s finally deep in the locker room, pulls out his phone to survey the damage.
There are five texts from his family group chat:
Jackie: going yaaaaard, huh?
Erica: no chance mom or dad get that
Jess: yay pat!
Mom: Proud of you Patrick! (Even if that was pretty silly <3 Erica I’m ignoring)
Dad: Maybe not your mother but I know these things
Mom: Your father I’m ignoring too
One from Ian Mack:
Congrats on another accomplishment, brother! Bring it home for the Central tomorrow, and enjoy your much deserved break! Nobody in the game works harder! #mr1000 #88forprez
Seven from Stromer:
what the fuck that’s far
did u guys practice this
it’s pretty dumb but u still have to win
aww, nvm don’t do mitchy like that he can’t take it
alright nvm fuck mitch win it
god the 2fer kaner?? weakkkkkk
congrats anyway I guess
Three from Seabs:
If your mid-range game was this good, you could maybe beat me 1 out of 10 times we play golf instead of the usual none
Congrats shooting star, only you could succeed at something that stupid so fast
Tell sharpy I miss him
One from Duncs he tries to forget as soon as he reads it:
Coulda got you out of this whole shebang if you’d just listened to me
Four from Sharpy:
Oh, the two, Peeks? Geez
You’ve maybe never looked shorter
Somebody get this guy a step stool so he can be in the photo eh?
He replies with a quick, “Stfu” and “Only if you’re buying,” before getting to the heart of the issue—
Ten messages from Jonny:
What the fuck is this competition you’re in
It’s worse than you said
Long range empty net bullshit
Can’t believe they got rid of the relay for this
Still expecting a win though or else don’t come to Arizona
Jk, please come to Arizona asap
Shooting star champ at the all star game, the most impressive addition to your hockey resume recently eh? haha
Fuck they hate you in there
Call me when you can, shooting star ;)
Patrick can’t see his own face, but it hurts from grinning, so he can’t imagine how it looks. He clears his throat, neutralizing his expression, and types out, “Headed to dinner with Sharpshooter. Wait up for me?” Then, because he feels good, “I wanna FaceTime to look at you when you tell me you’re so jealous of all the boos I got tonight.”
Jonny’s reply is instant: You just miss me. Admit it and I’ll wait up
Patrick scoffs at the challenge, amused despite the truth aching hollow in his chest. He’s not cut out for distance. Not from Jonny. Everything comes up empty without him in a way that’s hard to place, devoid of that magic and comfortable feeling Jonny brings to Patrick, to whatever he touches.
Patrick types, “You’ll wait either way,” on principle, then erases it, types again—
“I miss you,” and presses send.
It’s just after midnight when Patrick settles into bed with his laptop, done with all the bullshit and ready to unwind with Jonny in the most fulfilling way he can.
He fires up FaceTime, sparing a worry to wonder if Jonny’s maybe fallen asleep. It rings once, then twice, and Patrick shakes the thought, even as it rings a third and fourth time. If Jonny said he’d wait, he’s waiting. That steadiness is one thing on a list of many Patrick loves and admires about him. When his mind can’t be quiet and his body can’t be still, even if nothing else is right, Jonny never wavers. He does what he says. He shows up, on ice and off. Might be five minutes late with a fresh cup of coffee from the players’ lounge or red-faced and cursing, but he’s there.
As if on cue, Jonny answers, and Patrick bites his lower lip to stifle the full force of his smile as Jonny fills up the screen. He’s predictably, painfully shirtless, his hair still damp from the shower or pool or hot tub or whatever relaxing vacation activity Jonny’s been enjoying without him.
“Well,” Jonny starts, fighting a smile of his own, “It’s about time, eh?”
“It’s about time you picked up, eh?” Patrick shoots back. “Rang like a million times.”
“Or like, three,” Jonny corrects. “Been waiting around for you all night, and of course you call while I’m taking a piss.”
“Nice, perfect timing by me,” Patrick says, very thoroughly admiring all the skin he can see—Jonny’s abs bunching as he silently chuckles, the bulk of his chest and shoulders, the cut of his collarbones, and the barest flush of his cheeks and neck by the soft light of the lamp. He asks the first coherent thing that comes to mind: “How are you so fucking tan already?”
“It’s all in the DNA, baby,” Jonny says with a smirk and a lowering of his eyes that might read as self-conscious if Patrick didn’t know exactly what he was looking at—a man more sure of himself than anybody’s got a good right to be.
Either way, it’s not fair, is what it is. Patrick’s DNA would have his Irish-American ass roasted, not perfectly bronzed like Jonny gets after a fraction of a second spent out in the sun.
“Yeah, yeah. How’s the resort though?”
“Nicer than St. Louis, that’s for sure,” Jonny says, laughing at his own burn, even if it was a tap-in. Nearly everywhere is nicer than St. Louis.
“Oh, I fucking bet,” Patrick says, doing his best to keep the pining out of his voice. He doesn’t want to sound ungrateful. He’s honored to be where he is—it would bug the hell out of him not to be, to have his All Star streak end, and he does actually enjoy them more than most—but it would be pretty cool to be where Jonny is for the full break, too. “Done anything fun without me?”
“Well, it’s no shooting stars competition—” Jonny waggles his eyebrows, teasing. “But I’ve mostly been taking it easy, did some sunrise yoga today, if that counts.”
“It does,” Patrick says, making a mental note to pencil that in for them once he gets there. Jonny doing bendy shit with a beautiful, Arizona sunrise for extra scenery? Sign him the fuck up.
“Went on a pretty good hike, too,” Jonny adds, and Patrick shakes his head. Even on vacation he can’t rest, probably testing his vertical onto big rocks and shit. Not that Patrick’s much better, but still…
“In the fucking desert? Sick. Doesn’t count.”
“Why do you think I did it without you?” Jonny replies, and Patrick recoils at the implication, a little wounded despite what he just said.
“Hey, c’mon. If you asked me to hike, I’d hike.”
“You just said it doesn’t count as fun,” Jonny says.
“Well, yeah, obviously, but I still would,” Patrick argues, his voice going quieter, rougher, the more vulnerable his words become. “Being with you is good regardless what we’re doing.”
Jonny’s silent for a moment, his eyes soft, crinkled at the corners when he smiles in the face of Patrick’s sudden sincerity, then— “Keep talking to me like that,” he starts, his smile shifting from softly touched to something else, “Then maybe we won’t be leaving the room at all when you get here.”
“Oh yeah?” Patrick says, his own eyes widening in interest. He straightens a little, keeps his voice cool. “They got good room service in there?”
“Great room service,” Jonny confirms. Instead of straightening like Patrick, Jonny sinks lower in the bed, sets the laptop near his hip in the perfect position to see more of his body, and Patrick’s heartbeat kicks into overdrive at the possibilities swirling around his brain.
“ESPN? Movie channels, too?” Patrick asks, playing along even as his attention is pulled elsewhere: To the movement of the bedsheets as Jonny eases them slowly off him. To his thick thighs as he lets them fall open, one down to the mattress, the other leg bent up at the knee. The black boxer briefs that Patrick’s seen him in a thousand times seem tighter than he remembers, constricting.
He should probably take them off.
“Allllll the channels,” Jonny exaggerates.
“In that case—” Patrick swallows hard, “We could definitely start not leaving the room right now. If you want.”
“M’not goin’ anywhere, Peeks,” Jonny says, trailing his fingers down his body from the base of his throat to his stomach then lower, toying with his waistband in a way that makes Patrick’s dick throb in his sweats.
“Fuck, Jonny,” Patrick breathes out, “Lemme see you, baby.”
“Tell me what, Patrick,” Jonny says, dragging the heel of his hand over himself through the briefs that he should definitely take off now. “Say it.”
“I want you naked. I wanna see you touch yourself like I’d touch you.”
“Nobody can touch me like you,” Jonny tells him, and it hits Patrick like a hard check to the chest. He curses under his breath, his face flushing hot. He fucking loves that—knowing that nobody’s ever touched Jonny like him, that nobody’s ever made him feel the way Patrick makes him feel, that together, wherever they are or whatever they’re doing, they make magic nothing else can hold a candle to. It’s an exhilarating, overwhelming feeling.
“Lose the pants, and let’s see your best effort,” Patrick challenges, and Jonny nods in his direction.
“What about you? Lose the shirt. S’not a one man show here, eh?”
“But it could be. I am the shooting star champion, you know? I probably deserve it,” Patrick notes with a smirk, already working his pants down his thighs.
“Oh, how could I forget?” Jonny says, sucking air through his teeth when he gets a hand on himself, still cruelly clothed and out of sight. He moves in slow, short twists of his wrist, stroking himself hard. “Shirt, Patrick.”
“Briefs, Jonathan,” Patrick says, muffled by his shirt as he reaches behind his head and tugs it over and off. The room is relatively toasty, an advantage of full thermostat control in Jonny’s absence, but it still sends a chill over him to be exposed, his nipples harder now than they already were. He runs a hand through his hair, taming his curls to the best of his ability before giving up and reaching to the bedside table for his handy dandy, multipurpose travel companion.
Jonny laughs at the bottle of Jergens, as if his all-natural hippie version is so fucking superior. “It always feels like rookies again, seeing that.”
“Oh, shut up,” Patrick chuckles, “She’s always been there for me in hard times.”
“Hard times, huh?” Jonny snorts, pushing his hips off the bed as he slides out of his boxers. He’s hard already, erection long and thick between his legs. His dick is perfect, just like the rest of him, and it pains Patrick that he isn’t there to take it; to take care of him in return, to put his mouth, his tongue, his cock wherever Jonny wants it, for as long and hard as he needs it.
“I want you so bad, Jonny,” Patrick blurts, and gets a firm hand on himself, strokes slowly as he watches Jonny do the same, trying his best to take in everything at once: The flush that spreads over Jonny’s chest as his arousal grows; the flex of his thighs and abs as he starts to really get into it; and the soft, breathy moans that escape him when he circles the head with his thumb just like Patrick might do with his tongue.
After a minute stunned silent by the view and his own need to get off, Patrick keeps talking, “If I was there, I’d be between your legs right now. Start slow, kiss all those places inside your thighs you like. Take you in my mouth just right, that pretty fucking cock, Jonny. Push my tongue inside you deep. You want that?”
“Yeahhh, I do, Pat,” Jonny answers, voice strained and rough, “Fuck yeah. I want it all. I want you here.”
“I want you to come,” Patrick says, coaxing, “I’m close, baby—” Embarrassingly so. “Come with me.”
Jonny groans, long and louder than Patrick expects, and loses it, bringing Patrick right over the edge with him. The last thing he sees before his eyes shut tight is Jonny’s face, scrunched through his orgasm but blissed out all the same. When he opens them, Patrick’s disgusted to realize he’s accidentally jizzed a little on his fucking laptop screen, but if that’s the price to pay for how good this was for him, then so be it.
“That was beyond awesome,” Patrick announces, breathing harder than he probably should be, absently looking around for his shirt to clean up the mess he made. He feels relaxed, loose and sated in all the right ways, fucking fantastic.
When Jonny doesn’t respond immediately, Patrick meets his eyes on screen, dark and intensely focused in that way only Jonny can manage. It used to overwhelm him, having that heavy gaze trained on him and to have it mean everything it means. Sometimes it still does.
“Patrick,” is all Jonny says when he speaks, but all at once it holds, ‘I love you, I miss you, I still wish you were here.’
He doesn’t have to say it out loud.
“Won’t be too long now,” Patrick replies, longing. “One more day.”
“One more day,” Jonny repeats.