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The Invincible M.A.E.


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Petr
harleymae

Love On Repeat

RATING: PG-13 for language
CAST: Jason Arnott/Petr Sykora
DISCLAIMER: It's all lies!
A/N: Jason is married to Dina, and they have a son, Chase. Patty is Patrik Elias. The title is a line from the song "In My Head" by Anna Nalick.


LOVE ON REPEAT


Petr soaked me. He did it by surprise, of course. That was always the way he got you. He'd stand there, smiling that smile that was too young for his age, moving awkwardly, the water gun strange as an alien artifact in his hands, then suddenly he'd aim it at you and he'd turn into psycho commando marksman and you'd find yourself wearing the entire contents of the water chamber.

Maybe you wouldn't, but I would. He always aimed at me. And he always made it up to me later, in private.

*****

He didn't like peanut butter and banana sandwiches. He thought it was a crazy combination, like ice cream on pizza, or cherries in mac and cheese. I loved them. I'd been eating them since I was a kid, open-faced, grilled until the bread was toasted just right and the bananas were coated with a sweet, shimmery glaze.

Petr hated peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but he always made them for me.

*****

We argued about something. I wouldn't back down; I couldn't back down. I'd never seen him so angry before. He shouted at me and I stood there like a brick wall. He screamed, and in those screams, he told me everything he wanted, and I wanted to give those things to him, but I couldn't; I didn't think I could. I whispered "I love you" and I saw something inside him break, something I wasn't sure that I would fix.

The something we argued about was Dina.

*****

He tried to teach me Czech. The first thing I wanted to learn was how to say his name. We sat there for fifteen minutes, me repeating after him. To my ears it sounded like I was parroting him and to him, it sounded like I was butchering his name. He went syllable by syllable, watching my lips, making me watch his, trying to make everything perfect. I finally got it right, and he made me repeat it five more times to be satisfied that I'd truly gotten it. I repeated it another ten times for fun, and also because it made him smile.

I can still say his name perfectly.

*****

I went to a Metallica concert with him because he told me that they were amazing live. We drank beers and he sang along badly with every song, the library of lyrics tucked away under his mop of dark hair. I pushed comfortably against him, camouflaged by the pressing crowd, squeezing his hand and rubbing my thumb over his palm. I could sense more than see him smiling in response in the dim light.

I stopped by the side of the road on the way home so that I could kiss him.

*****

I accused him of fucking around with Patty. The two of them had always been close but I didn't like how much contact there was between them. I didn't like the way Patty's hands lingered on Petr when they hugged, and I could see something very wrong in the tenderness of Patty's smile when he looked at Petr. He was outraged and he stormed out of the room. We didn't speak for a few days, and when we started talking again, it was about how crappy the traffic had been that morning getting to the rink.

He never denied it.

*****

He gave me a watch. I thought he was joking; the watch was much too small for me, it was battered and bruised and dirty and worst of all, it was broken. He quickly explained that it was a watch his father had given to him when he was six, on his first day at school. It had been new and clean and shiny then, and it had fit on a small wrist that wore it faithfully until no more holes could be punched to grow with its owner. It had been in his pocket the day he was drafted by the Devils. He said that it had been with him most of his life, so maybe it could tell me all the things I wanted to know about him that had happened before I'd met him.

Three moves, and millions of boxes later, and I still know exactly where it is.

*****

As I get older, I realize that my memory isn't what it used to be. Maybe it's because my present is filled with Chase; diapers and almost words; crying and burping and sleeping; loose clothes growing tight. The past gets squeezed and focused into a few snatches of memories, little bits that repeat in my mind, the things I can't forget.

The scenes that play in my head aren't necessarily the ones that are the most important, just ones that stayed with me because of the way I felt when they happened. Going to another team, moving to another city--all of that was supposed to help me forget about him. Out of sight, out of mind, is what they say, but that's not the way it happened. I guess you can't forget about love.

He wasn't there anymore and all I had were memories. The more I thought about him and the things we'd done together, the more polished my memories of him became, and now I feel like at this time of night, just before I go to sleep, I'm watching reruns of my life with him, and they're strangely funny and comforting and feel just right, just the way reruns should be.

Dina lies next to me and she's awake as well, but she's pretending to be asleep so we won't have to talk. I stroke her back with a hand that moves mechanically, and it feels like she's shaking slightly. She didn't get much sleep last night, getting up to check on Chase every time he started crying even though I kept offering to do it. She must be exhausted.

I loved them both. I didn't think it was possible to love two people at the same time until it happened to me. I didn't think there would be a happy ending, and I'd hoped that I was wrong about that too, that somehow I would have everything, and that we'd all end up happy together, but of course it didn't work out that way.

I had to choose; I had to choose between two people I loved. But I couldn't do it. It wasn't a reality show and I couldn't bear to choose a winner because it meant choosing a loser. So I didn't choose either of them, and instead I chose the future.

Petr wasn't surprised when I told him. He knew that I'd never seen a way that it could work out for the two of us. He looked at me with profound disappointment as I cupped his chin in my hand. He never really talked to me again after that. The only time we ever saw each other was when our teams played against each other, and he always looked away when our eyes met.

I feel myself finally drifting off to sleep and I try to think about the future, imagining what it will be like to put skates on Chase and let him feel what it's like to glide over ice. But I'm too tired, and I can't control my thoughts; they slide and branch and reach backward instead of forward.

*****

He lied about breaking the ugly lamp, blaming it on his chinchilla instead and sticking to his story even when I pointed out that the lamp was at least fifty times heavier than PJ. All he did was smile crookedly and...


THE END


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yeah but pj is magic! *smish* this was so lovely Mae, sweeet but like that's after you get past the candy coating of the special kind of angst that only these two have :)

He's a pretty resourceful little fella! Ahh, thanks. :) Damn that Whore for getting married, LOL!

*gasps* whorekora! *runs around excitedly in circles and runs into wall*

this was, really different and patient and sweetly sad. it's hard to know the end in the beginning and go from there, but you pulled it off beautifully. please keep writing (especially ciao, bella!)

*giggle* Whorekora! I like that. :)

I was actually planning to continue Ciao, Bella last night but only got 100 words in and got the idea for this. I'll try again later, hehe.

OMGARKORA! So beautifully angsty, as always. ::squees and cries::

The angst in this is both heartwarming and sad which is part of what makes it so beautiful. I really loved this!

I'm glad you got that from it, thanks so much for your fb! :)

Such lovely stuff, Mae. The angst made it that much more wonderful. *sighs*

Mae...so good as always. Your writing always flows so nicely.

(Deleted comment)
They might like being spanked! :P Thanks very much for your fb. :)

Maybe you wouldn't, but I would. He always aimed at me.

Ohh I like that. The way they zero in on each other

Petr hated peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but he always made them for me.

that, quite foolishly, makes my heart clench

I whispered "I love you" and I saw something inside him break, something I wasn't sure that I would fix.

that line, it kind of sums up hidden relationships right? on the one hand that are so wonderful because they are illicit, because you literally have a world that is only between the two of you. But it's usually the most delicate of all worlds, because when you try to make it more than just between the two of you it tends to shatter.

He went syllable by syllable, watching my lips, making me watch his, trying to make everything perfect. I finally got it right, and he made me repeat it five more times to be satisfied that I'd truly gotten it. I repeated it another ten times for fun, and also because it made him smile.
that is so gorgeous, that is such an intimate thing that lovers do.

I stopped by the side of the road on the way home so that I could kiss him.

I really like the style of this, the way it unfolds, sort of good memory / sadder memory, and the way that they aren't in any particular order, I suppose as he says in the last bit, things get jumbled up in your memory.

focused into a few snatches of memories, little bits that repeat in my mind, the things I can't forget.

that was the line I was looking for. Now I can't stop humming pictures of you.

I'm watching reruns of my life with him, and they're strangely funny and comforting and feel just right, just the way reruns should be.

now I can see baby!Jason eating pb&banana sandwiches watching A-Team re-runs or something

But I'm too tired, and I can't control my thoughts; they slide and branch and reach backward instead of forward.</i. that was beautiful and sad mae *hugs you* B

Maybe you wouldn't, but I would. He always aimed at me.

Ohh I like that. The way they zero in on each other

- Destiny! *sigh*

Petr hated peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but he always made them for me.

that, quite foolishly, makes my heart clench

- It's a sign of true love. :)

I whispered "I love you" and I saw something inside him break, something I wasn't sure that I would fix.

that line, it kind of sums up hidden relationships right? on the one hand that are so wonderful because they are illicit, because you literally have a world that is only between the two of you. But it's usually the most delicate of all worlds, because when you try to make it more than just between the two of you it tends to shatter.

- Ahh, your fb is better than my fic, LOL! Yeah, the problem is needing/wanting more. And you have to let go of something to try for that.

He went syllable by syllable, watching my lips, making me watch his, trying to make everything perfect. I finally got it right, and he made me repeat it five more times to be satisfied that I'd truly gotten it. I repeated it another ten times for fun, and also because it made him smile.

that is so gorgeous, that is such an intimate thing that lovers do.

- Thanks. :) (Also, Whore is not the quickest learner)

I stopped by the side of the road on the way home so that I could kiss him.

I really like the style of this, the way it unfolds, sort of good memory / sadder memory, and the way that they aren't in any particular order, I suppose as he says in the last bit, things get jumbled up in your memory.

- Ahh, I'm glad you liked that! I wanted to mix up the good and bad so he wasn't sentimentalizing, just remembering all the different ways they were together.

I'm watching reruns of my life with him, and they're strangely funny and comforting and feel just right, just the way reruns should be.

now I can see baby!Jason eating pb&banana sandwiches watching A-Team re-runs or something

Hee! Humming the theme song? :)

Thanks so much for your fb, Bernie. :)

okay when this showed up on my lj page it linked certain words to googled items and at first i just thought you were trying to direct me to pictures of the words you were using, but then i realized that lj just has a new feature. That is annoying.

I love Chase man. He makes Whore more fun to write now. All daddyish. I like his explanation of his memories, and the bit about how choosing one would mean choosing a loser.

The first time around I think I didn't realize how, well not nostalgic, but sad Jason is. He likes where he is. Well, I mean, he loved Dina too, but he still misses Petr and what they had. It's hard to be nostalgic about the things you still have.

What? Huh? I have not seen this feature.

Babies are fun as long as they're not mine.

If he chose Petr he'd be thinking about Dina. Can't avoid hurting someone. Man, I'm really glad I'm not Whore! ;)

Heyyyyy. How did I miss this? Okay, it's about Arnott. But I still liked it!

I post fics very stealthily!

Does it help that he's kind of unhappy? *grin* Thanks. :)

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