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The Invincible M.A.E.

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Candy Days, Part 10

Title: Candy Days
Author: Mae
Rating: R, for language
Characters: Petr Sykora, Andy McDonald, Jason Arnott
Archive: http://tika.bravepages.com/hockey/slash/candy.html
Dedication: This is the end! Thanks so much, everyone, for all the awesome feedback. :)
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.

Part 10

Mac met me at the airport, just like he said he would. I was sad to see that he'd shaved. I should have told him I didn't want him to, but I didn't get to tell him a lot of things. We had coffee at Starbucks and just talked about trivial things like the wonderful weather I'd be giving up, and baseball scores, and the ways in which I thought he cheated at foosball.

We behaved like we were just starting something together; I couldn't take my eyes off him, and he couldn't stop smiling. I watched the way his lips moved when he talked, wanting so badly to kiss them, to taste him again, and he told me that he would reign supreme as foosball champion. We were willfully ignoring the fact that the clock was ticking, and soon I'd be on a plane, and who knew when I'd be back, and if he'd even be around at the time. I just wanted to make him smile for as long as I could.

"I'm an idiot," he blurted, as I got ready to join the back of the security line. "I shouldn't have waited; I should have asked you out a long time ago."

I shrugged. "Yeah, you have no excuse--you already knew how big my dick is."

"Petr! There are small children and old people around!" he hissed, glancing around in concern for the innocent small children and old people wandering the airport. He couldn't keep the smile from his face as soon as he'd said it, though.

"It's not like any of them are going to see me again." I'd known that it was going to happen, that my days with the Ducks were numbered, and it was something we were all supposed to expect - it was part of the job, the life - but at that moment, I couldn't bear to leave, not when I had Mac right in front of me. "Tell the guys I'll miss them."

"I will; we're all going to miss you too." He hugged me, giving me a short, tight squeeze and stepped back. "Goodbye, Petr."


I got in line and watched him go, and I thought, I could have loved him.


I never really talked to Mac again after that. I thought about calling him a few times when I first got to New York, but then I'd realise that I didn't have anything to say to him, so I never did. And of course I saw him again when our teams played each other, but by then, I was married, and so was he. We'd say hi during pre-game warmups, and he looked a little older every time I saw him, although his smile stayed the same.

I lost touch with Jason, too, something I'd never imagined would happen. We'd been through so much--we'd won a fucking Cup together, and he'd been the centre of my universe for so long, and all of it just faded as time went by. I couldn't remember why I'd loved him so much, just that I did. And I forgot why I'd fought so hard to be with him, because I couldn't even really remember what it was like to be with him anymore.

Jason and I retired at the same time, then Mac a couple of years later, I think. I'd moved back to the Czech Republic with Renata, and I stopped keeping track of what was happening in the NHL, so I wasn't sure. My main concern was trying to help my children adjust to life in a different country than the one they'd grown up in. It felt strange for me to see that my home was so foreign to them, like I'd expected them to somehow know deep down that this was the place that they came from.

I'm lucky; I found the right person, and I guess she thought I was the right person too, because we're still together, and I can't imagine us ever being apart. It's not all good - it never is, is it? - and it's hard to remember to talk, sometimes, about new things, and not rehash conversations we've had for years. It's tough with the kids gone; they would always fill in the gaps between what Renata and I said.

But after all these years, I can still remember that night I spent with Mac. I can almost taste the cotton candy on his lips, and it makes me smile to think how giddy I was, like I'm tapping into some reservoir of joy every time the memories come back.

I liked him very much, but I didn't love him; I couldn't have, not after just one day. But something about what happened stayed with me, clear as day after all these years, and I don't know why. Was it because of the promise that was left unfulfilled? Or was it because we'd had to end things just when they were beginning, when things were the most intense? Was it because things were perfect, because there wasn't time for anything to go wrong?

All I know is that I can never see cotton candy without thinking of Mac, and that I never found out why it had such a strange effect on him. Maybe one day I will call him, and we'll catch up on too many years, and I'll ask him and finally know the answer. But it's okay if I don't; answers aren't as important to me as they once were.

Jason was supposed to be the constant in my life, but nothing remains from that stormy time. People have come into my life and they've gone, only to be replaced by new people, who were then replaced themselves. I've believed that certain things would never change, and been proved wrong every time.

And maybe that's why I've never forgotten the one thing that never changed because it never had a chance to; Mac, Disneyland, drunk, happy, lost, dizzy, candy days.


A/N: Petr actually married Renata the summer of 2005, before he got traded to New York. Andy's getting married sometime this summer (2006).

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Oh that was...oh. I'm speechless. The ending is...it's happy, because Petr is generally happy, and things worked out and he had those memories, but that idea of being perfect because there was never a chance for it not to be....that just seems so hard. Still, so wonderful.

I think there are some things that we'll always remember, for whatever reason. Man. I kind of love the idea of Petr retiring with his wife to his mountain farm in the Czech Republic and raising little furry babies together. *wistful*

Thank you so much for all your fb, Chrissy! *hugs and squishes*

Probably not the ending we'd all hoped for, but a realistic one, nonetheless. I am glad that Petr has that one, thrilling memory of what might have been.

I enjoyed this series, and I hope to see more from you soon!

I love the idea of Petr and Andy, but, the long distance thing is tough. :(

Thanks so much for all your fb! I'm really happy that you liked the fic. :D

*heart... wrenches...*

God... this whole fic was just amazing. I know I didn't comment as much as I should have, but rest assured I read all of it and loved every bit of it. You are such an amazingly talented writer and have a wonderful gift for bringing out every nuance of your stories. Thank you for sharing this with us! :)

Ahh, don't worry about it, I'm happy that you read and liked it!!! *blush* Thank you so much!! :D

I think that is the best possible ending that could have happened. :)

I'm glad you liked it. I like to think that everyone ended up happy in their own way. :)

Thanks for all your fb!!! :D

This last bit pretty much makes the fic for me. I can't remember if I actually said something about this when you first posted, or if I just squeed. For some reason I must've misread and was surprised on the reread not to see that he had lost touch with Patrik as well. For some reason, I thought he had. I remember that really struck me. Because it was fitting that he never really stayed in touch with Mac, and also for him to eventually lose touch with Jason (and, god, I love that line about not even remembering what it was like to be with him. Man, that's so life), but for him to do that with Patrik really shocked me.

And then it didn't happen. Heh.

I got in line and watched him go, and I thought, I could have loved him.

I always enjoy lines like that.

It felt strange for me to see that my home was so foreign to them, like I'd expected them to somehow know deep down that this was the place that they came from.

That's brilliant! I figure I'll never leave So Cal, but if I do, I think that'd be weird to realize my children would never experience the same things that I did.

It's tough with the kids gone; they would always fill in the gaps between what Renata and I said.

EEE! Oh man, you are hitting on like. All of my fic kinks.

like I'm tapping into some reservoir of joy every time the memories come back.

Oh, I love that.

The end of this fic is stolen from inspired by this book I read when I was a kid called Is That You, Miss Blue? I only vaguely remember what it was about, but I remembered that idea of the one person that you could never forget, and other people who are so important in your life at a given time just kind of fade away later and keep getting replaced.

So I basically had to come up with an entire fic to get to this point, and then I was so tired that I wasn't sure if I could even write the ending anymore, haha.

Dude, I keep hearing that Petr and Patty aren't close anymore and it makes me sad. Cos' it's like, it's one thing where you don't call each other every day or anything, but another where it's like, yeaaaah I don't feel close to him anymore.

*giggle* Families talking is one of your fic kinks? :)

Haha, no, I like marriages in fic. Either good ones or the dissolution of good ones. :D I like interesting details like children becoming the only things people really talk about anymore.

People being all married and contented makes me happy. Which is why I think sitting on a porch quietly is like the most romantic thing ever. *sighs*

It must be really weird for parents when their kids are suddenly gone. That whole empty nest syndrome.

Oh! Oh have you ever read Until I Find You by John Irving? The main character has this one girlfriend in high school, and even though he fucks everything up with her (umm because he sleeps with a lot of older women and has serious Issues but hey, it's Irving) he sees her as the only chance for normalcy/happiness years later even though it's obvious they wouldn't have worked out regardless.

Um, which is kind of opposite from what you did here. But. That's what it made me think of, hah. There's something to unfinished business that keeps coming back and you pretty much nailed that with Petr without, you know, bashing us over the head with it.

And dammit I didn't mean to post. OKAY.

Basically. I want to eat Petr (just a little) and hug Jason who finally got hit with the newspaper enough times and umm, pat Mac a little maybe. Siiigh. This was wonderful.

That's what he reminds me of :(. But Petr too! They're like retarded little puppies!

I love the image of Whore looking really annoyed as he's getting whapped by a newspaper.

I like the idea of him being shocked and perplexed as to why he is being hit.

Hmm, you're right, confused!Whore is much better.

On the nose, preferably. At least tapped. Mmhmm

I haven't, but I remember reading something about how when he was a kid, this older woman had sex with him and it really screwed him up, like he'd always be more attracted to his gf's moms than them and stuff.

But that's cool, kind of along the same lines. The ending is actually stolen from inspired by Is That You, Miss Blue? which I don't remember except for the ending, hehe.

Thank you so much for all your fb, Robyn. :) *hugs* *cops a feel*

*cops a feel*

Not underage anymore!

*sniffle* It's just not the same.

*giggles* Does it still have the same effect now that it's legal?

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Except he had this odd relationship with a relatively older girl that was just as screwed up from when he was like, six. And she was eleven. Very, very Irving.

*sniffles* It's just not the same!

It's always the Lolita-type thing happening (not that there's anything wrong with that *grin*), so that's kind of interesting and different.

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