Rating: PG-13, some swearing
Characters: Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton
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, 7
Instead of shipping his winter coats to his cousin's place in San Jose, Joe gave them all away. If he was moving to California, he was done with the cold and he wasn't sorry to say goodbye to it.
The Sharks had a four game homestand that stretched over eleven days, which gave Joe plenty of time to get to settle in at Scott's place. He didn't really know his cousin all that well because he was eight years older and had left home as a teenager to go play junior hockey. But their fathers were very close, and that bond translated into an immediate connection between them. Scott reminded Joe of his two older brothers, right down to the teasing and quick temper, and it made him feel like he was at home.
By the end of the Sharks homestand, a ten game losing streak had turned into a six game winning streak. The team gained confidence with each win; young guys started to realize their potential and the older guys seemed like they were revitalized. They had all been given a second chance, paid for by the sacrifice of the three who had been traded away.
Patty had made his own personal sacrifice.
The boys had become used to the sight of Patty's chest; they no longer averted their eyes or stared with morbid fascination when they thought that Patty wasn't looking. They would have felt sorry for him, but there was no suffering, no anguish--nothing to feel sorry for. He was as much of a captain as he had been before, giving encouragement and advice and leading on the ice, and so they accorded him the same amount of respect.
But they still wanted him back the way he was before.