Rating: R, for language
Characters: Petr Sykora, Andy McDonald, Jason Arnott
Dedication: almightychrissy, frala, lastcatastrophe, joolzie, and of course, tamiflu. :)
Disclaimer: It's all lies!
Author's Notes: This is set just before Petr got traded from the Ducks to the Rangers and is written from Petr's POV.
Mac's phone rang, and he got out of bed to answer it, then went out into the hallway to talk. Hearing his phone ring reminded me that I'd turned mine off, and then I remembered that Jason was here, that he'd come to see me, and I panicked, feeling guilty, then annoyed that I felt guilty, and I started looking for my phone on the floor.
It didn't take too long to find, and I checked the display. I had nine missed calls, and voicemail. I sat on the floor, leaning against the foot of the bed as I listened to my messages.
Mac came back into the room while I was listening to the fourth message from Jason. I'd already heard the one from Burke, so I understood why his expression was so serious. He sat down next to me, resting a hand on my thigh and rubbing it, like he was trying to soothe me.
I finally got to the end of my messages, deleting the last one, just as I'd done with all the earlier messages, and put my phone down by my side. I reached for his hand to hold and he squeezed mine gently. You'd think that I would have had a million thoughts running through my head, about Jason, Mac, leaving Anaheim, all of it finally being over, a new place that was really an old one, being with old friends, leaving new ones, having a fresh start, and ending in failure; all those things I could have thought, and there was nothing, because my mind was blank, and I was devoid of feeling, because everything had gone right and wrong at the same time.
"New York, huh?" he said finally, breaking the silence. "New York's nice."
I could hear my heartbeat, and I could feel Mac rubbing the back of my hand with his thumb. And a thought did enter my mind. Mac in Disneyland eating cotton candy. He eats pink and blue, but he ends up tasting like blue.
"You could speak Czech in the locker room again." He sighed. "I always liked hearing that."
"I should go," I said, sounding harsh even though I hadn't meant to be. "I have a lot of things to take care of, arrangements to make."
He let go of my hand and stood up, turning away from me, and I got up quickly, grabbing his shoulders and turning his body to face me. I kissed him lightly, and he didn't kiss me back, but he didn't stop me from doing it. "I don't want to go; I have to."
He nodded, and I felt guilty again, because I was going to see Jason--just to talk to him, that's all, but I didn't want Mac to know. I sighed heavily, dropping my hands to my sides, unable to meet his gaze. "We both knew this was going to happen."
"I wish we had more time," he said softly, regretfully. "You're flying out tonight, aren't you?"
"Yeah. My flight leaves at ten." I walked away from him, picking my clothes up and getting dressed. He watched me for a while, then started getting dressed himself.
"I'll be at the airport." His voice was firm, and I was a little surprised by the sudden change.
"Thanks," I muttered, and I almost hurried out right then, but I couldn't go without kissing him one last time. Our lips lingered, his stubble scratching lazily against my beard, and I inhaled his scent, a scent that was becoming familiar, but never would. "Thanks for everything."
My car was still at Disneyland so I called a cab, and Mac waited with me on the street until it came. We didn't hug or say goodbye because we knew we'd see each other later. He didn't wave as the cab drove off, and I didn't look back.