The Invincible M.A.E.


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Patrick Marleau
harleymae

Heart in a Box, 1

Title: Heart in a Box
Author: Mae
Rating: PG-13, some swearing
Characters: Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton
Archive: http://maefic.50webs.com/slash/heart.html
Dedication: The Vegas girls. :D
Disclaimer: It's all lies!
Author's Notes: This is set just after Joe Thornton was traded to the Sharks in November 2005. I started writing this in 2007 but only picked it up again recently and it's finally done! The idea came from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, but I went a different direction with it.


Heart in a Box, 1


After Marco got traded, Patrick Marleau cut his heart out and put it in a box.

Everyone in the locker room noticed the red line of the wound bisecting his chest, held together with seven ragged stitches, but none of them ever said anything. A captain was still a captain, even if he was younger or had less experience, and the C was the most important thing on his chest, more important than the cut that still oozed blood occasionally.

The guys weren't really talking much anyway, and if you asked them to comment, they would speak about shock and guilt and underachievement, when in their hearts all of them were just incredibly grateful that it wasn't them on their way to Boston that night.

Patty sat silently by the window on the team plane, staring out into the inky blackness as red bloomed in the white of his crisp shirt. As always, his expression was inscrutable, but Evgeni Nabokov knew that he was far from numb. A wound like that would be felt for a very long time, and Nabby took the empty seat next to him, placing his hand lightly on his shoulder. Patty turned slowly, moving like he was underwater, looking at Nabby through blurred, viscous air.

"I will miss him too," Nabby said, and his voice was genuine. He had grown close to Marco over the years, trading jokes and barbs and secrets, but it was one thing to make a connection, and another thing to make a bond. He looked into Patty's eyes, and he thought he caught a glimpse of something--pain? regret? guilt? Nabby settled on a blend of pain and guilt, the kind of pain that you bring upon yourself.

Patty was alarmed by the eye contact, and he raised his hand self-consciously to his chest, the blood smearing warm and sticky over his palm. He turned deliberately away from Nabby, gazing out the window as he adjusted to the unbeating of the heart that was no longer beneath his hand.

He didn't bother to put a bandage over his wound before he went to bed, not caring that he stained the sheets crimson; not caring about much at all. It was a miserable night for everyone else, but at least their hearts still beat strong in their chests as they fell asleep.

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viscous! I knew I saw that in there, I heart that word, and this, an awful lot. Wow

It's a really fun word! Although I'm sure that almost-ESL person would have used "vicious" there. :P Thank you. *hugs*

This is very powerful and vivid and painful and I love it.

Thank you so much. :) :)

Also, Chip was peering at my monitor and he likes your icon.

Thanks! I didn't make it, but I still appreciate that others like it :D

Oh, oh. You had me from the opening line!

- The guys weren't really talking much anyway, and if you asked them to comment, they would speak about shock and guilt and underachievement, when in their hearts all of them were just incredibly grateful that it wasn't them on their way to Boston that night.

I like that observation, because you know it's true. Even with their hearts in the right place (ahem), the relief outweighs the guilt.

- as red bloomed in the white of his crisp shirt

Ah, can't go wrong with that image.

- moving like he was underwater, looking at Nabby through blurred, viscous air.

That's great too. (I'm also a big fan of the word "viscous." :D) I also really like Nabby reading him.

- as he adjusted to the unbeating of the heart that was no longer beneath his hand.

It was a miserable night for everyone else, but at least their hearts still beat strong in their chests as they fell asleep.

Love, love, love. This is such a cool and powerful idea (in the right hands, which yours are!); I can't wait for the rest. :)

I admit to being quite fascinated with that part of PotC!

I like that observation, because you know it's true. Even with their hearts in the right place (ahem), the relief outweighs the guilt.

I remember reading this vet talking about how you're in the trenches and your best friend gets blown up right next to you and your first thought is that you're happy that it isn't you. Err, that's quite a bit more extreme, but same general idea.

Ah, can't go wrong with that image.

More theft! In the illustrious movie Hellraiser: Deader (a straight-to-video production that features the IMDB keywords: male nudity, lesbianism, knee in groin and breasts) a character gets stabbed through the heart by a friend who's attempting to convince her that she's already dead and she walks around trying to conceal the fact that she's bleeding copiously. Ahh, one day I will have to watch the whole movie! :D

And *squeaks* thank you!!!

I can't even remember how I came up with the idea for this fic. Err, I mean, obvious Pirates of the Caribbean reference

Hahhahhaha

when in their hearts all of them were just incredibly grateful that it wasn't them on their way to Boston that night.

I love that detail. I think it really makes these kinds of fic. What did Lira call it? Magical realism? It's very straight forward, but not simple in its observations. I think that's what I kinda like the best about fairy tales, too. Because you're dealing with very adult ideas but using child-like or fantasy type concepts or imagery, you know? It reminds me of when you were talking about comic books and how the best ones make the most of the fewest words. Anyways, I like the challenge of keeping things serious with an out there concept.

A wound like that would be felt for a very long time,

Awww

but at least their hearts still beat strong in their chests as they fell asleep.

I love that! That jealousy and envy--it's like a little surprise at the end.

Oh hey, "magical realism"! That's a lot better than "when weird things happen and everyone just takes it in stride and behaves normally", which is more or less what I was going with to describe that kind of story. :P And it's appropriate you bring up comics because I've seen it used a lot there, especially with Neil Gaiman stuff.

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