The Flyers locker room was a buzz with the energy of a well played game. They were laughing and chirping and smiling. They were patting each other on the back and snapping towels at each other. They were all filled with the adrenaline and camaraderie that came with winning.
"G!" Voracek called. His hair was damp from his shower and he wasn't wearing anything except a towel around his waist, but he didn't have any qualms about draping himself over his best friend's back. He plastered himself against Claude, wrapping his arms around his waist and hooking his chin over his shoulder. "Let's go out. We'll celebrate those beautiful goals of ours." He added, speaking a little louder so the others in the room could hear him, "And I suppose we can invite a few people who didn't make beautiful goals as well."
Simmonds snorted as he pulled his tee-shirt over his head. His voice was dripping with amusement as he said, "Aren't you being gracious today."
"I try," Voracek answered, flashing a wide grin at his friend. He turned his attention back to Claude, "So? Bar? Yes or yes?"
"How about no?" Claude said, laughing a bit as he answered. He had gotten as far as pulling his jeans on, but his shirt was still in his locker so Voracek was against his bare skin.
"Why not?" Voracek asked. "We played well today! We deserve to celebrate!"
Claude was quiet for a moment as he reached into his locker. His hand wrapped around the gold chain he'd been wearing recently, tucked into his bundled up shirt. Voracek knew there was something else on it, he'd seen Claude grab whatever trinket the chain was holding, but he'd never actually seen what it was.
"My husband's in town," Claude said after a moment. "I wanna spend some time with him before he heads back home."
"Danny's in town?" Coots asked, looking at Claude over his shoulder.
They'd been teasing Danny and Claude about being married for years now. The two of them had been almost sickeningly domestic back when they'd lived together.
"Tell him where we're going," Voracek suggested. "He can come meet us. I haven't seen him in a while so it'll be fun to hang out."
"Not Danny, idiots," Claude said. He shrugged his shoulders a bit, getting Voracek to dislodge from his place. "My actual husband."
There was a moment where all of the Flyers glanced at each other. Everyone looked confused and a little hurt. Claude was their captain, but more than that he was their best friend. For some of them Claude had been the first person to really welcome them to Philadelphia, taking them under his wing after they were drafted or helping them out after a trade, and for some of them Claude had been a huge part of their lives for years.
It was Schenn who broke the silence, speaking with a voice filled with disbelief and anger, "You married him?"
Surprised by the emotion in Schenn's voice, Voracek looked over at him.
The anger in Schenn's eyes made it clear that while this was the first time he'd heard about Claude's marriage, it wasn't the first time he'd heard of Claude's relationship.
Voracek knew it was petty and stupid, but a hard burst of jealousy pulsed through him. He was Claude's best friend, Claude's brother in all but blood, yet Schenn was the one who Claude trusted with this detail of his life while Voracek had no idea Claude was even seeing someone.
"You got married?" Simmonds said. He'd obviously picked up on the same thing that Voracek had - that this was definitely not some kind of joke on Claude's part. "I didn't even know you were seeing anyone."
"I didn't tell anyone I was seeing anyone," Claude said.
Voracek couldn't help letting out a petty, "You told Schenner."
Claude looked over his shoulder. The hurt and betrayal Voracek was feeling must have been written on his face, because guilt flashed across Claude's.
"I lived with Schenner. That was the only reason I told him. My boyfriend couldn't visit without him knowing," Claude said. "I would have told you, Jake. But things were complicated."
Schenn let out a snort. "Complicated."
Claude glanced over at him, expression thunderous for a moment, before repeating, "Yes. Complicated."
Voracek still felt that spark of betrayal, but Claude was his best friend and his happiness mattered to him. Claude had just told them he was married and yet he looked more angry than happy. That felt worst, felt more wrong, than the fact that Claude hadn't told him.
"G," Voracek said, drawing his attention back to him. He could practically see the steel wall Claude had built up behind his eyes. "Congratulations."
Claude stared at him, looking weary for a minute, before a small smile spread over his lips. "Thank you."
"What's your husbands name?" Voracek asked. He put on a smile, knowing Claude would see through it but knowing that he would appreciate it as well. "I've got to know what to write on the card."
"Sidney," Claude said, eyes locking on Voracek's. "Sidney Crosby-Giroux. We got our names changed after the wedding."
The locker room exploded with noise the second the name left Claude's name, so Voracek stepped back to let the others crowd in and ask questions.
He still felt a hint of betrayal, but Claude was smiling now as he fielded questions about his relationship.
He'd talk to Claude later. He'd get the full story on his relationship as well as vent about how shitty it felt to find out Claude had been hiding this from him.
All that mattered right now was that Claude had a look on his face that made it clear how happy he was in his marriage.