Rating: NC-17 overall
Pairing/Characters: Jack Johnson/Drew Doughty, Sidney Crosby
Dedication: herwhereabouts, abby20, robi0688, early_afternoon and joolzie, thanks for all your support, feedback and encouragement. :D
Disclaimer: It's all lies!
Author's Notes: This is a sequel to Tangled Up in Blue and One Last Summer, but it's not necessary to read those fics to follow this one. This is set just after the ending of Tangled Up in Blue (1/8/11) when Jack signed a long contract extension with the Kings. Who are these guys?
Blue Moon, Part 3
I was sore the next day, which made practice kind of a bitch. Despite that, seeing Drew there didn't bother me. Our decision not to let hockey affect our relationship apparently worked the other way too, and I was grateful for that. We'd always worked well together in practice, and nothing changed that day.
After practice, Greener asked me if I wanted to join him and some of the guys for lunch at In-N-Out and I said yes without really thinking about it. He yelled over to Simmer and Drew that I was in and Drew and I exchanged brief looks of alarm. I'd woken up early that morning so I was able to leave home without having to see him or talk to him, but we wouldn't be able to do that at lunch. I thought briefly about making an excuse and bailing, but then I decided that I shouldn't have to avoid my friends just because of Drew.
Brownie decided to come along, and all of us drove our own cars to meet at In-N-Out. Greener and I got there first and we went inside together. It was a little early for lunch so neither of us had to go grab a table and we just got in line together.
"Didn't ride in with Drew?" Greener asked, and I looked suspiciously at him. I knew him well enough to know that he wasn't just trying to make casual conversation.
"I wanted to get there early," I said curtly.
"You never care about getting to practice early," he stated, then peered at me. "You're a really shitty liar."
I rolled my eyes but kept quiet, not wanting to take the bait.
"Are you guys fighting about something?" Greener was persistent, if anything.
"It's none of your business," I said curtly.
"So you guys are fighting!" he said triumphantly. "I knew it."
Brownie showed up just then, saving me from having to respond to Greener. He started bitching about how expensive gas was and how much it cost him to fill up, and Greener just laughed in his face and told him to buy a Prius. Simmer and Drew got there just as we got to the front of the line so we all placed our orders together and went to find a table.
I was the last guy to get to the table and the only two seats left were on either side of Drew, so I had no choice but to sit next to him, trying not to grimace as I sat down. Greener was staring at the two of us with a big smirk, and I got ready to kick him in the shin, just in case he decided to say anything.
"So what's going on with the two of--ouch!" he yelped and reached down to rub his leg, grumbling. "You fucking asshole."
Brownie looked strangely at Greener, then at me, then asked, somewhat reluctantly, "What's going on?"
"Drew and JJ are fighting," Greener said, moving his legs nimbly out of the way as I tried to kick him again.
"Oh yeah? What about?" Simmer asked with great interest. "How come you didn't tell me, Drew?"
"I don't want to talk about it," Drew mumbled, and I nodded in agreement.
"Oh come on, we have to resolve this," Greener said cheerfully, turning to Brownie. "Right?"
"I think we should let them work things out on their own," Brownie said reasonably.
"They were all weird in practice. It's affecting the rest of us," Greener protested.
"No we weren't, you didn't even know anything was wrong until five minutes ago," I pointed out.
"So, what happened? Spill it," he continued, completely ignoring me.
"Seriously, drop it, man," I said, starting to get annoyed.
"I'm just trying to help you out--just like you helped me out the other night." Greener started smiling at the memory, looking insufferably smug.
I glanced over at Drew and his face was dark. I looked down, feeling guilty about what I'd done, but also angry because I didn't think it warranted how he'd treated me.
Greener tilted his head, glancing from Drew to me to Drew again. "Is this because of something that happened that night? Did you go home too drunk? Thanks for taking off, by the way, two girls totally did the trick for making me feel better."
"Whoa, you fucked two girls at the same time?" Simmer interrupted. "Up high!"
They high fived over Brownie's head, and he buried his face in his hands briefly. Greener turned back to me, looking thoughtful. "Where was I? Oh yeah, so what was it? Did you do something stupid while you were wasted?"
"Yeah, he did. And you saw it," Drew said quietly, and I glared at him, angry that he was going along with this.
Greener frowned at him, confused. "I did? But I didn't see him do anything. Besides drink so much he could barely talk."
Drew decided to shut up, and I was hopeful that might be the end of it, but Greener, that fucker, just wouldn't let things go. "Come on, don't make me play twenty questions. If it wasn't the drinking, then what was--wait a minute, was it because he made out with that girl?"
Simmer sputtered, Brownie frowned, Drew clenched his jaw and I just stared at Greener in utter disbelief as he continued. "That was it? Seriously? You're pissed off at him because he kissed that girl?"
"Uhh, I would be pretty pissed off if my girl was making out with some other guy, no matter how drunk she was," Simmer said.
"But would you be pissed off if your girl was making out with another girl?" Greener asked.
"Oh, hell no," Simmer answered, and a smile spread across his face as he gazed off into the distance, rubbing his chin as if he was imagining the scenario.
"It's not the same thing," Drew said, frowning.
"Well, yeah, not exactly the same," Greener conceded. "Because JJ's a guy. But he's not into girls so it's pretty much the same thing."
"He's slept with lots of girls before," Drew said.
"He didn't that night. The guy was wasted and that girl was down to fuck. Hey, I'd like to think him leaving was totally for my benefit, but I think he did it for another reason." Greener looked to me for confirmation, and I grudgingly started to appreciate what he was trying to do for me.
Drew turned and made eye contact with me, and he didn't look angry anymore. I gave him a small smile and he smiled awkwardly back at me.
"Aww, you guys are so gay," Simmer said sweetly.
"So that's all you guys were fighting about? Nothing else? Come on, let it all out." He paused, then added, "As long as it doesn't have anything to do with your sex life."
"Gross," Simmer said, wrinkling his nose and Brownie looked even more pained.
"I think they called my number," I said loudly, getting up abruptly and walking over to the pick up area. Drew claimed that he'd heard his number as well and followed me, putting an end to the conversation. We stood comfortably next to each other, leaning against the wall, and it was nice to not have that tension between us.
When we'd all gotten our food and sat down again, the topic of conversation turned to an extremely detailed account of Greener's threesome, with plenty of incisive questions from Simmer while Brownie concentrated on pointing out some anatomical impossibilities. Drew and I sat there quietly, content to just listen, and we stayed behind in the parking lot to talk after the other guys left.
"I don't want you to move out," he said simply.
"I don't want to either." I sighed. "But I don't want to have to keep defending myself or feeling guilty when I'm with you."
"I'll stop", he said, then corrected himself. "I'll try my best to stop. I'll learn how to."
"And I can't change my past. I told you from the beginning how many people I've slept with. If it's something that bothers you-"
"It isn't," he said quickly. "I mean, it is, but it's something I have to deal with. Don't give me anything to worry about, if you can help it."
"I can do that," I said, and I was starting to feel relieved. I had said I was going to move out and I would have done it, but it would have been hard to be apart from him even if it had been the right thing to do.
"Last night, I--I think I lost my mind," he said, looking down. "I've never done anything like that before; I feel sick thinking about it." He looked back up at me, concern on his face. "Are you okay?"
"I'm sore as hell," I answered honestly. "But I'll live."
"Let's go home," he said, and the word sounded warmer and more inviting than it had in a long time.
As strange as it seemed, I felt closer to Drew than I'd been before my night out with Greener. It felt like our relationship had become stronger because it had been tested; I understood what set him off and that I had to be smarter about making choices in the future and to be conscious of my actions, while Drew promised he was going to work on trusting me more.
We talked a little more when we got home, but we'd already said everything we needed to and we just lay in bed and watched TV for a while, my arm around his shoulder and his head resting against me. I decided to go for a run afterwards and tried to get him to join me, but he claimed that the call of Black Ops was too strong and moved down to the living room, settling down comfortably on the couch.
It was eighty degrees outside in the middle of January, which would never stop being ridiculous to me, although I appreciated it. It reminded me of the runs I went on at home in the summer - without the humidity - and it made me feel good beyond the endorphin rush.
When I got back home, sweaty and out of breath, Drew was still deeply absorbed in his game and didn't even glance at me. I yelled "honey I'm home" at him but he just responded with an indecipherable grunt.
I went upstairs to shower, and I started thinking about random things, which I tended to do a lot whenever I showered. After the mystery of the disappearing glasses in our house, a hankering for the tea you get at Chinese restaurants, and a brief desire for Ohio to be swallowed up by the earth, my mind wandered to thoughts about Sid and whether he was doing okay. He'd been out over a week with a concussion and the last time I'd talked to him, he hadn't sounded like he was doing too well.
I decided to give him a call after I'd gotten dressed, closing my bedroom door. Most of the time we talked about harmless things, but I was used to being cautious since just one mistake could have devastating consequences for the both of us.
Sid answered on the second ring, sounding more cheerful than he'd been the week before. "Hey, Jack."
"Hi, you sound like you're in a good mood," I said, lying down on my bed.
"I've been headache-free for fifteen minutes. I was just thinking about popping some champagne." He chuckled, and I could hear a little bit of frustration under it. He hated missing games for any reason, and I knew that it was killing him to have to sit out.
I laughed as well, but then became serious. "Take your time, okay? Dan't fuck around when it comes to your brain--even though it's only your brain."
"Thanks for the advice that I haven't heard about a billion times," he said, and I didn't need to see him to know that he was smirking.
"Sometimes you're not too good at listening," I said, remembering how stubborn he'd been as a kid. "But seriously, Drew was really impatient to come back when he got his concussion and it just made him crazy and didn't help anything. Try to relax. Do some meditation or some bullshit like that."
"Meditation? You've been in California too long," Sid said, without much humor in his voice. I usually avoided talking about Drew with him because I knew it was a sore spot, but it had just slipped out before I could stop myself.
"I don't know what you're talking about; did I mention I just got done with yoga?" I joked, hoping he would that just forget that I'd mentioned Drew.
He was quiet for a moment, then asked, "How are you and Drew doing?"
"Oh, good, he's downstairs playing Black Ops right now," I said, not really answering the question.
"He's there? And you're on the phone with me?" Sid asked, sounding surprised.
"Yeah, we live together now; I moved in with him," I explained, realizing that I'd never told about him that because I always avoided mentioning Drew during our conversations.
"Oh. So I guess things are going well between the two of you." He cleared his throat, sounding uncomfortable.
"Right now, yeah. But we got into a fight yesterday." I knew that he probably didn't want to hear about it, but I wanted to be able to talk about Drew with him. Drew was one of the most important people in my life, and Sid was one of my best friends. He disapproved of our relationship, but I was determined to change his mind.
"What about?" he asked hesitantly.
"He thought I cheated on him," I said, the memories coming back from the night before.
Sid paused, and I wondered if he was going to change the subject, but he just asked softly, "Did you?"
"I didn't, but last week I was out with Greener and got wasted and kissed a girl, and I think he was still pissed about that." It felt awkward talking to him about it, but it was also a bit of a relief to be able to share things like that with him.
"I wouldn't have been pissed," he said, somewhat obnoxiously.
"You are such a fucking liar. You would have tried to beat the shit out of me--and failed because you'd never beat me in a fight." I laughed and so did he; I think he knew that I was right on both counts.
"And things are okay now." It was more of a statement than a question.
"Better than before, I think. I'd never cheat on him and he knows that now," I said, thinking about how hurt he'd been by my actions, and how I never wanted to do anything like that to him again.
"Never say never." Sid chuckled, but he was disguising something again.
"Hey, I'm going to go now. Take care of yourself, okay?" I sat up in bed, running my fingers through my wet hair.
"Yeah, talk to you later, Jack," he said and hung up.
I took a deep breath. I thought our conversation had gone pretty well--at least he hadn't called me stupid or hung up on me abruptly. I thought that it would become less awkward with time as Sid learned to accept that he was in my life. I got out of bed feeling hopeful and went downstairs to try to drag Drew off the couch to do something with me.