I meant to post this last night. I apologize! I must've been in awe of Vancouver* Yeah Vancouver!
Let's Go Pens!!!
“Well, you look no worse for wear,” Amanda said as Mel walked up to the table. She’d had to pry herself from Sid’s arms this morning to shower… again… That man should come with a frickin’ warning label! Not like I’d pay attention to it anyway. Her thoughts were cut short when she sat down too hard in the chair, wincing as her butt hit the wooden surface.
“Maybe it’s only in places we can’t see,” Erin suggested.
Mel shot both of them a look that meant ‘hey-shut-up-about-it’ but came out more of a ‘hey-don’t-be-jealous’ kind of way. Vero was sitting there, confusion and curiosity all over her face.
“What am I missing here? Something happened last night? You didn’t hurt yourself again did you? Marc told me all about the backyard incident. I’m sorry, but I believe we laughed quite a bit over it.”
“No V, I didn’t hurt myself. It just has to do with Sid. It’s nothing,” Mel replied. There had never been a night in her life that she’d had that compared to what they’d done.
“Oh my god, did he beat you?!”
“Shhhh… no he didn’t beat me! What on earth would give you that idea?!”
“Well, you sat down very gingerly, you say you don’t want to talk about it, and you look exhausted. Still…”
“What? Still what?”
“You look very satisfied…”
Mel watched her friend. Vero was staring at her with her nose scrunched up, like she was mentally trying to form her conclusions. Then her eyes widened and she squealed, which caused Amanda to choke on her water. Then as Erin tapped Amanda on the back, an ice cube shot out over the table and skipped into a plate of spaghetti one table away. The little old lady sitting there threw a hand to her throat like it was a damn spider or something and Mel couldn’t help the laughter that came out.
She was still sitting there, tears in her eyes and a stitch in her side from the heaving giggles, when the waitress came over to ask if everyone was alright and if they needed any assistance. Erin calmly replied that they were fine, and perhaps the woman beside them would like a new plate of food. Mel found her composure long enough to tell the woman to put it on her bill as well.
“Okay,” Mel said, wiping her eyes with her hands, “now that the little freak out is over… did you figure something out V?” Vero looked around the table and then leaned in, beckoning the rest of them to do the same. It was like some sort of secret meeting and Mel giggled again. Vero glared at her though and Mel held up her hands in defense. Then V started whispering.
“You let him take out his frustrations on you, no?”
“Ooooooh, I have been there before. I’m surprised to can even walk right now. I think I lay in bed for hours before I could stand! But it was glorious!”
“And it was even better the way we did it,” Mel said with a wink. Then she remembered that V had no idea what she was talking about. “We… ummm… you remember my birthday party, the gag gift from Max…”
“Mon dieu! You did not! You did! Ahhh, tell me all about it! Well, not all of it please, but just… what was it like??”
The next twenty minutes were spent answering questions from all three of her friends and finally they put an end to what Mel figured must be like a post-game interview when the food arrived. While waiting for dessert they made plans for a party after Game 6. None of them wanted to consider the fact that it could be a going away party, well, unless it was meant as a ‘Good luck in Detroit’-type of going away party.
Mel spent Sunday night at her mom’s and tried, unsuccessfully at first, to get her to come up to Mario’s on Monday afternoon.
“I’ll be in the way, and I don’t want to ruin any pre-game rituals or anything like that,” she’d told Mel with a wave of her hands.
“Mom, seriously… they want you to come up. I wouldn’t have invited you if I didn’t have the full support of everyone else. That meaning Sid, Mario, Nathalie, Trina and Troy. C’mon… it’ll be fun!”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes! Please, you haven’t come to a game since Geno’s hattie. This is going to be the last home game until next season. Period. They’ll be flying out for Detroit tomorrow night, hopefully, and Sid’s getting me a ticket to fly out the next morning like the rest of the girls if we’re victorious. So you absolutely HAVE to come!”
She watched her mom think it over for what seemed like an eternity. Then she started smiling.
“Oh fine, if I must,” she told Mel in mock annoyance. “I have one condition though.”
“I’m going to buy a jersey and I want it signed before the game starts.”
“Okay… I’m pretty sure Sid would have an extra one that you could just wear. That’s what I do!”
“I don’t want Sid’s jersey… I want Staal’s.”
“Staal’s… Jordan?? But, I’m dating Sid…”
“Well, I know that. But after being forced to sit there and watch those guys skate around and everything… I’ve decided that he’s my favorite. No offense to your boyfriend, I just like the blonde giant.”
Mel started laughing and promised her mom that a signed jersey would be no problem. They both packed up a small overnight bag and were headed up to Sewickley in no time. They were half way there when her mom looked around the inside of her car.
“Why don’t you just get a place in Pittsburgh? You look like you live in your car. There are more clothes in here than in your closet. And I’m guessing that you’ve got your own area at Sid’s.”
“Well, just a drawer and a portion of the closet. And space in the bathroom. Nothing big or anything. Besides, I can’t afford to live in Pittsburgh right now mom. Erin’s talking about moving in with Geno though. She’s going to quit her job here and go back to school, but not as a student. Something about teaching people to be a chef. Can you believe that? I mean, that is flippin’ awesome!”
“So go back to school as well. You’ve been talking about it for months. That would get you the money to get an apartment while you took classes. Or look into what it would take to get your certificate so you could teach. I’m sure that the schools are always looking for people. See what it would take.”
“What if it all fails again though? What if I fail?”
“You have never failed at anything in your life.”
“I couldn’t make it work with either one of my roommates mom. Both times it ended badly. I barely talk to Rachel anymore.”
“Yes, well, she was a stick in the mud. You need someone lively as your roommate. Someone who can keep up with you, but doesn’t mind your independent nature. You need someone like one of the guys. They would be perfect. Why don’t you move in with Sid?”
“Way too early for that!”
“But you just said that Erin is moving in with Geno.”
“MAY be moving in with him. And their relationship is different.”
“What about Amanda? What has she been doing with Brooks?”
“I’m pretty sure they started living together last week.”
“So what’s stopping you?”
“He’s not ready.”
“How can you know that?”
“If he was ready for something that serious… When Sid and I move in together, it’ll be our own place, and I’ll have a ring on my finger. It won’t happen before that.”
“God no… if that were the case, we wouldn’t be having se… umm… living together is just something that he won’t take lightly. And neither will I.”
“Have you two talked about it?”
“Once. I told him that he has to be the one to make that move. Everything happened so fast in our relationship. We needed to keep it somewhat grounded. Moving in together would’ve been a bad idea. Neither of us is ready for that kind of commitment yet.”
“Well, then I still suggest that you move up there. You’re never here anyway,” her mom said with a laugh.
“Oh god Mom, I’m sorry!” Mel tried to apologize for realizing that she was ignoring the one person who had been there for her like no one else. But her mom just laughed again and promised that she wasn’t hurt by anything that had happened. In fact, she was glad.
“You don’t want me living at home?”
“I know you’re unhappy about it. And I don’t blame you… you’ve been on your own now; you love the taste of freedom. Just… look into the different options. Give it some thought. I’m not saying you have to move out tomorrow!”
“What about you though? I don’t… I don’t want you to think I’m abandoning you.”
“It’s Pittsburgh Melany, it’s not like Sid’s being traded to L.A. or Anaheim or something.”
“GAH! Don’t even kid like that!”
“Like they would ever get rid of that boy… I’m just saying, I’m fine hun.”
They rode the rest of the way in silence, just listening to the radio. And Mel started thinking up ways to make this possibility a reality. The schooling or job part wasn’t going to be hard. Colleges were always taking in new people & there were tons of job opportunities in Pittsburgh. The living arrangements, that was going to be the kicker.
Sid was pretty sure that Staalsy’s yell could be heard all the way in Thunder Bay and, like everyone else, he stood waiting to tap gloves with him in celebration. They needed this, the first goal in the game. They’d had it before, but this night… it was different. They needed the lead, and they needed to keep it. No backing down, no mercy. Even if they couldn’t ring up the goals like Detroit had the other night, they just needed the win.
The rest of the period was uneventful however. No penalties, no more goals, nothing more than a few words exchanged against the boards or in front of the net after the whistles blew. It wasn’t enough. They needed another goal. Even then though, a two goal lead wouldn’t really mean much in a game like this. Sid wanted this game so badly it made him ache inside.
Going into the dressing room at the end of the second period they were clinging to the lead and praying that they could get a goal in the beginning of the third and keep up the momentum. He was sitting in his stall contemplating life in general when Billy plopped down next to him.
“How’s that girl of yours doing lately Dooly? Haven’t heard you complaining or worrying like you’d been before. In fact, there seems to be a little pep in your step ever since we got home from Detroit. What’s your secret?”
Sid stared down at the ground, his face beet red. There was no way he was going to tell anyone what had happened between he and Mel at the hotel. It was the most liberating and exhilarating experience of his life. She was amazing. She truly was. She had held him all night long, keeping him as close to her as possible. After what he’d put her through, he had seriously expected her to sleep in the other bedroom of the suite. But she’d curled on top of him and promptly slept like a baby.
The next morning they’d made love once more before showering. Then he drove her to lunch with her friends. She’d hopped out of his car with a chaste kiss on the lips, totally different from the passionate lip locks they’d shared the night before. And he hadn’t seen her for more than two minutes alone since then.
She had refused to sleep with him last night, even under the guise of just sleeping. He couldn’t blame her in the end though. He would’ve ravaged her body no matter what, and he knew that she would’ve given in. She knew that too. So he settled for a heated kiss this morning, stolen by the refrigerator when she had opened it to get more orange juice for the table. He’d followed her, knowing there would be no one else there to interrupt him.
Mel had giggled as he’d cornered her in the open fridge, pressing her lips to his as she tried to grab for the carafe of juice. Thank god she hadn’t actually attempted to hold it while he kissed her. The thing would’ve fallen to the floor and made a complete mess. Stopping the kiss as quickly as he’d started, he made his way back to the table before her. As she sat down Mario had started chuckling.
“What’s so funny,” Nathalie asked Mario.
“Ummm, Melany… I thought you were bringing in more juice.”
“I… I was, wasn’t I… damn you Crosby.” The last part had been mumbled almost under her breath but he knew her mom had heard because she started laughing. Which started a chain reaction until everyone was smiling and or chuckling.
Sid blinked as a tape ball smacked him in the forehead. Billy had that toothless grin on his face.
“Oh nothin’, just trying to talk to you. Someone seemed a little out of it though. I was asking you how Melany was.”
“Good. She’s good.”
“So, you two planning on something serious? Moving in together, getting married, poppin’ out a kid.”
“Wh-what?! No! Why the third degree old man?”
“Old man my ass… anyway, you just had that look of bliss on your face when I mentioned her. so it seemed valid.”
“It’s too soon for any of that.”
“You’re in love with her.”
“Yes. And she’s in love with me. But we aren’t ready for that.”
“Geno’s going to ask Red to move in with him after the Finals are over.”
“Really?? Well… that’s good. They’re great together.”
“Have you even considered the possibility?”
“We talked about it… once. It’s not the right time for us. We both agreed on it.”
“Don’t you think it’s a little trying for her though. Constantly driving up and back.”
“She hasn’t really left all that much since we met.”
“So, why not just move in together? I mean, if you practically are now…”
“I’m so not asking her to move in with me at Mario’s.”
“Why?” He looked at Billy. No matter how he chose the next words, it would either make him sound stupidly superstitious, or just stupid. Either way, Billy was going to laugh. “C’mon kid, what’s in that head?” Might as well tell him both reasons.
“First,” Sid looked around to see if anyone was paying them any attention. “I’m scared. I don’t know how well I’d do on my own. Second, I’ve lived at Mario’s since I came to Pittsburgh. I’ve got my routine’s all down for game days and… and I sound like a fucking whack job…”
“I was scared when I first got my own place. And you are a superstitious little fuck… Let me ask you this, what happens when we move into the new arena after next season?”
“I’m doomed,” he said with a smile.
“Maybe… maybe you should look into moving after next season then. New arena, new living quarters.”
“That… Billy that makes total sense!”
“Of course it does. I only tell you things that make sense.”
“I sound crazy. I am crazy. I could move into a new place. I could.”
“No, you couldn’t. But if Melany understands that, and she’s willing to put up with your insanity, then who am I to argue with you.” Billy clapped him on the back and they listened to what Coach had to say before getting ready to head back out for the final period. Do or die tonight, do or die.
Thankfully they didn’t die and Sid jumped over the boards to go over and celebrate not losing the Cup at home for a second year. He skated over to Flower, showing him some love and appreciation for not letting in more than the one goal. He knew the guy would bounce back from the horror of Game 5. Fuck what the media said.
They were all exhausted as they walked into the locker room and Sid felt the pull of tired muscles as he shucked off his uniform. He wanted nothing more than to answer questions, grab a shower, take Mel home and hold her to him as he fell asleep. Coach gave them the morning off, so no practice until afternoon and he wanted to soak up the free time with sleep and… bedroom activities.
But when he came out of the showers he was told that Mel had left with Erin and that he was to meet them at Geno’s house for a small celebration of not losing. Supposedly they had spent part of the day decorating the house for this party. How did they know we were going to win?? He slid on his suit jacket and headed out to his car. His phone vibrated as he hopped inside.
You better get here soon, your teammates are looking pretty appetizing right now baby.
Sid laughed and started making his way to Geno’s, stopping to sign for the group of fans still waiting for him. On the road finally, he dialed her number and waited for her to pick up.
“Could you hurry please, I’d very much like to kiss you.”
“Then I will try to get to you as soon as possible,” he said with a smile. They talked about unimportant things while he drove the rest of the way to his teammate’s house. He pulled in the drive and was surprised by what he saw.
There were lights coming from around back and enough cars to suggest that there were more than just a few people there. And when he got out of his car, the music and laughter made him think that it was more like the entire team was there. Sid took the walkway around the house and stared in amazement at what the girls had created.
Three long tables ran parallel to the house and each one was filled with either food or beverages. He noticed that Max was at the third table, pouring shots of god knows what at a makeshift bar, and Staalsy was over by some speakers playing with an iPod, and Tanger was leading something that looked like a dance-off. He was just about to join the group when a pair of hands circled his waist from behind and stared to undo the buttons of his jacket.
“You have too much clothing on,” the voice rasped at his ear and Sid went from feeling elation to being creeped out in a matter of seconds because the voice did not belong to Melany. No, it was distinctly male, and accented. He tried to move away but the hands tightened their hold and lifted him up, spinning him around much to the delight of the crowd that was now paying attention to what was going on.
Sid laughed and threatened Geno with everything he could think of but the Russian just spun him around once more before placing him back on the ground, sans jacket, in front of a very amused Melany.
“Is there something you need to tell me Sidney?”
“I… that is he… I need a damn drink.”
Everyone laughed and Geno slung an arm around his neck as the three of them walked over to Max. In no time at all everyone was feeling a little bit tipsy and dancing along with some random techno music. Not normally one for the ‘rave scene,’ Sid meandered over to change the tune when Dupuis stepped in front of him.
“Don’ touch it.”
“But I wan--”
“Go dance with your woman.”
“Duper, can’t we ju--”
“Go. Enjoy the music.” Damn the man for not letting people change music… it’s not like we’re in the locker room now. Sighing, Sid found Mel on the outskirts of the ‘dance floor’ and pulled her against him. he didn’t like to dance, he didn’t want to dance, but feeling her shake and shimmy against him was worth it.
He wasn’t sure how long they stayed like that, him behind her with his hands on her hips, but the hard beat of the music trailed off and was replaced by a soft jazz number. Sid grabbed Mel’s hand and turned her toward him, enveloping her in his arms. As they swayed back and forth he leaned down to plant a kiss on her lips. She tasted like oranges because of the coolers she’d been drinking.
“Congratulations on the win tonight,” she told him as he pulled away.
“I didn’t do much.”
“Don’t ever think that. You’re their captain. They wouldn’t have made it this far without you. Just don’t go getting all egotistical on me.”
“Okay, I won’t. I love what you guys did for us. But how did you know we’d win?”
“I told you in the beginning Sidney. I would be there cheering you on in Game 7.”
“Cocky little thing aren’t you,” he said with a smile.
“I am. And you got your second chance. Now don’t screw it up.”
She poked him in the chest as she said the last part and he couldn’t help but smile as he took her face in his hands and kissed her again. She was his everything right now. Yeah, tomorrow he’d start worrying about Detroit. But tonight, tonight he was going to enjoy the night with his friends and girlfriend.