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.
Jason was sitting on the curb near the end of my driveway again. I pulled in a little, stopped my car, and got out to join him. I invited him in, but he shook his head, saying that he preferred to stay outside.
I'd called him after I got to Disneyland; he'd already found out that I'd been traded, and he'd assumed that's why I hadn't answered his calls. I let him think that - it wasn't something that I wanted to correct over the phone - and he said he was sorry, and that he'd meet me at my place.
On the drive home, I'd wondered if he was sorry that I'd been traded, or if he was sorry about something else.
I sat down next to Jason, trying not to get too close, but I hadn't showered at Mac's place, and I knew I smelled like I'd been drinking and fucking all night. He acted as if he didn't notice, though, and he took a deep breath, as if he was going to say something that was very difficult for him.
"Look, I know you don't have much time, so I'm going to get to the point." He looked straight ahead as he spoke, and I thought he sounded tired; he suddenly looked a lot older than I'd remembered. "I love you, and I know you still love me."
He turned his head abruptly, and his expression killed the response I was preparing. "But it's not enough, is it? Not enough for you," he said, and then he added, so softly that I could barely hear him, "or me."
I swallowed hard, unable to say anything, and he kept talking. "I thought a lot, on the plane, and today, when I couldn't get you. I thought about what you were doing last night, when I called." He looked at me for confirmation and I averted my eyes, guilty just out of habit, I supposed, because I didn't owe him anything anymore.
"I was pissed off. I'm not going to lie about that; I wanted to seriously fuck up whoever-" He paused and shook his head. "Petr, if there was no Dina, it still wouldn't be enough, would it?"
I looked sharply at him, caught off-guard by his question. I'd never thought about that; Dina had always been the only thing in the way.
"You knew I was telling the truth, didn't you? That I was only there for Chase, and not to be with her." He wouldn't look away from me, and I didn't answer his question, refused to even think about it. When I thought about it later - and I would, for months afterwards - I'd realise that he was right, but I didn't then, because he was still too close to my heart.
"I know it's over," he said, the barely disguised hurt in his voice making me wish for just a moment that it wasn't over. "I'll stop calling and coming here. Fuck, I just--I just couldn't give you up, you know?"
I did know, I knew every time we'd made up and been happy together until it wore off, and I'd swear that it was the last time, but it never was; I knew what it was like, not being able to give something up, no matter how bad it was for you, because nothing felt better when you had it.
"And now you can," I said, more to myself than to him.
"I have a flight back to Dallas tonight." His hand reached towards mine, just a little, but when he became conscious of what he was doing, he quickly drew it back to his side. "I'm going to try to patch things up with Dina. For Chase."
It stung to hear that, like we'd been in some kind of competition and Dina had won, but that wasn't what it was about, and I knew it. I didn't know what to say to him, whether to wish him luck, or warn him that it was a mistake, or to tell him to go to hell. I went with none of the above. "I'm flying out tonight, too. Maybe I'll see you at the airport."
He nodded, and we both stood up. I didn't want to hug him because I was filthy, and there was no way we could just shake hands, so we just stood there, knowing it was time to say goodbye and not really knowing how to do it.
"You want a ride anywhere?" I asked.
"Nah, I'm fine." He smiled at me. "Good luck in New York. Say hi to Patty for me and tell him girls don't dig guys who spend more time on their hair than they do."
"Yeah, you would know." I grinned at him, and it was a nice way to say goodbye, being playful like we'd been way back when we were on the same team, before we'd started hurting each other.
He waved and started walking away from me, and I got into my car to park it properly in the garage. I'd have to make arrangements to get it to New York. It had come with me from New Jersey, and now it was going back. I thought about how great it was to drive my car there the whole year, and I started to think that I was going to miss Southern California.
At least I'd been to Disneyland.