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Love Me, If You Will

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Soundtrack: Dancing On My Own - Calum Scott

 

Time is a funny thing. The concept of it may change in one's eye, depending on the urgency one feels. Hours can fly by in a blink whereas minutes may dragged on for all eternity. The latter seems to be happening for him, when he tilts his head up and see the number 'thirteen' blinking brightly on the jumbotron. It all but calms him, knowing that he is so near to the end but can't really acknowledge it yet. It is already within reach though, as if he can taste the sweet victory in the air, but those thirteen seconds are crucial, for they stand in between him and what he wants.

He looks around and sees that the crowd is on their feet, waving their towels furiously in the air. They adorn in several different shades of yellow, all screaming their support for their respective team. There is no ignoring the energy vibrating in the building; it is electrifying as much as it is intimidating, and it reverberates through his body in waves.

He skates around while he waits with jitter thrumming in his body. It feels like forever before the referee beckons him with a little wave of his hand. He slides to the centre ice, drops into his faceoff stance and schools his expression into something resembling more intense and less giddy. It will be the last faceoff for him in this post season, and he wants to make the best out of it. His focus is razor sharp, his heart pounding in his ears, but when the puck drops, he is just a fraction of a second slower than his opponent. It is understandable because the desperation is soaring high for his opponent, for they only have thirteen seconds to work their miracle, and the clock is already counting down.

His blades cut shallow grooves onto the ice, his eyes trained on the puck as he skates after it. It pinballs from tape to tape of their opponents, trying to create diversion and chances before they fire shots towards the net. It is obvious that the shots are made in desperation, and it showed when they miss the net but hit the board behind it instead. Sounds of disappointed groan can be heard from the crowd and when the last attempt goes wide over the net, it all but guaranteed the fate of the home team in this final second. And it also guaranteed that he and his team just did what they could only dream of in the beginning of the season.

They are going dancing with Lord Stanley again.

The final siren sounded and the building erupts in waves of boos. It is understandable since they are playing in their enemy's territory, but that doesn't deter him or his teammates to crowd around on the ice in celebration. Helmets and sticks and gloves are strewn all over like the wrapping papers on Christmas mornings, and they are hugging and patting each other on the shoulders, celebrating their long, gruelling win.

While all is busy laughing and talking to everyone and anyone at the same time, he is drowning in his own pool of disbelief. It is as though there is something separating him from feeling the joy and celebration that is going on around him. To some extent, it feels like he is not even there. He blames it on his jumbled mess of his heart, that the win hasn't really sink in yet, and that it takes one look from a pair of brown, gentle eyes—smiling blindingly at him—to tear through to him.

It is then that the limbo he is in is slowly dissipating. The earth feels like it has stopped beneath his skates, and the chaos around him ceased into white noise. He nods, as if he can convey everything he is feeling into that one simple gesture, and feels the corners of his lips being pulled up into a tiny smile. He reminds himself all the time that he shouldn't make it out to be something that it is not, but he can't help how his heart skips a beat at the exchange, can't suppress the swirling warmth bubbling in the pit of his stomach. It is the one thing that haunts him but also the one thing that he needs, and all he can do is pray that his hopeless longing isn't translating on his face.

It so happens that there is a sea of teammates wedged between them that lessen his worry of being outed. Nonetheless, he still does, because what else can he do then? He is trained extensively to hold his tongue necessarily, to shut down his emotions and put on a superficial incognito that he has perfected over the years. It sure as hell looks like he is all set, but somehow, somewhere, when it comes to this man whom he considers as one of his best friend on the team and off, he has never been more wary of the cracks in his carefully crafted armour.

Because underneath all the pretences, he is a simple man who carries the burden of forbidden, complicated feelings. Even as his gaze lands on the goofy grin, the mess of a helmet hair and a ridiculously bruised nose, the affection he feels for this man is threatening to seep out through his pores.

But it didn't start off like this at all. Many years ago, he was just a kid who wanted to play good hockey, and he was great at it. It didn't take long before everyone in the hockey world knew of his name. First came the fame, then followed by hostility. They were well to be expected because people are weird, and they hate greatness, and he all but took it as a very well-earned compliment.

Being on the top meant that he got the best view, and it was great. He worked hard to stay there because that was the only thing he knew how to do best. But sometimes it felt a little lonely, not because he was shunned by jealousy, but because no one shared the obsession he has with hockey. Then came the very determined twenty year old who hailed from the city near magnetic mountain, charging into his life like a provoked bull.

Contrary to popular belief, their friendship hasn't started easy. Apart from the most obvious barrier of not speaking the same language, the twenty year old was a young, talented and headstrong player who shared the same drive and intensity as him. But it was a welcomed arrival, for he saw no harm in a little bit of competition, which in turn pushed him and one another to do better.

While they worked hard to prove their superiority above each other, they had learnt everything there was to be learnt about one another's play, and that was how they took the hockey world by storm.

They dominated on the ice and made headlines together. Coined the two-headed monster, they created buzz wherever they went. And some time between not able to understand each other due to the language barrier to winning the Stanley Cup together for the third time, their little healthy rivalry has turned into friendship, and then unknowingly evolved into something more.

However, he has limited their interactions to just platonic, no matter how much he was held prisoner of his own feelings. He didn't think starting something controversial like dating his own teammate would do any either of them good, and looking at the lack of initiative from the other man, he seemed to think the same. It would be difficult enough to maintain a relationship within the team, and it would be that much worse if the relationship ever go south. So, nothing ever happened.

He pined a lot while he dated from time to time. It was his effort to delude himself that it will eventually pass, but nothing really stuck. His heart was a stubborn little thing, he finds absolutely no satisfaction to be dating anyone who isn't 6' 3", hockey hungry Russian who spoke terrible English. One that came close to resembling a semi-decent relationship was when he was dating Kathryn, whom was his friend first before they ventured into anything beyond that. But after a long on and off relationship, she broke it off—to which he felt quite fine except for the guilt for stringing her along for so long. Since then, he has never put himself out there more than some discreet, stringless hookups.

For the most part, he is content. There is nothing that eases the loneliness better than overcoming adversities and winning championships. He is adequately happy, vaulting all of those stolen moments within the four walls of his too big and too empty a house, and focusing on the life that he had chosen for himself.

Hockey. That is how he coped, and by the end of the day, it is all that mattered.

_/_/_/_/

Sidney wakes up with a weird feeling churning in his gut. His head is pounding, the room is spinning and the air is unseasonably cool for summer. The sky outside is still quite dark, sans the burst of deep orange brimming low on the horizon. He rolls over to his side and squints at the clock on the nightstand, and it confirms his suspicion. It is a little more than an hour before his alarm is supposed to go off and he groans in annoyance.

There is no way he can go back to sleep in the state he is in—with the nagging headache and all—but the idea of leaving the warmth of his bed seems really unappealing. He tries to recall if he has done anything stupid the night before like drinking his own weight in champagne to merit him such dire consequences, but he knews the answer is 'no'. The action can be justified easily since he has just won the Stanley Cup two years in a row, but he dislikes hangovers more than anything. So, like a petulant child, he buries his head deep in his pillow and pulls the cover over his head as an effort to will the pounding in his head to subside.

Then, he hears it. The noise of someone snoring, low and deep. It goes on for a little while before the bed moves, and a hand sneaks up around his waist and tugs him backwards. His back collides against a flat, sturdy chest and the warmth from it almost made him forget the one big question in his head. Has he brought someone home yesterday and totally forgot about it? Say it isn't so because no matter how many times he has done this, he still dreads the awkward morning after that is almost guaranteed when they are both much awake later, especially when he doesn't remember a thing about it.

He doesn't think he was that drunk, even if so, he is usually more careful about bringing his hookups back home. One blabber mouth could mean scandal and it is unlike him to have total blackout like that. But before he has the time to contemplate his actions or that of his alcohol tolerance, he is distracted by the bursts of warm breath against the back of his neck, soothing him and arousing him all at the same time. The sudden rush of blood in his body eases his headache a little and he hums quietly when he feels the soft press of lips against his nape, sucking and licking lazily until his skin feels tender.

And then there lies the most difficult dilemma. He contemplates if there should be a repeat of what he has had yesterday—call it a refresh of memory or whatnot—or there should be some kind of resistance on his part before things get even more awkward. On one hand it seems like the right thing to do, not taking any more advantage of whoever that is in bed with him right now, because duh, he was raised to be a gentlemen. But on the other hand—where even the most chivalrous of a man would have a difficult time to resist—is the evident hard bulge that is currently digging into the crease of his ass. It feels huge to say the least, and he shudders just thinking about how delicious it will feel if he gets to ride it until he comes.

And then a groan comes from behind—all low and breathy—and it all but sends his blood rushing towards his own dick. His breathing picks up when the hand on his waist slips underneath the waistband of his sweats, and plays with the coarse hair near his crotch. His body grows hot and wired, and any thoughts of not wanting another go with this stranger is conveniently tossed out the window, together with his dignity as he spreads his thighs wider. The stranger seems to like it, and he groans that deep, throaty groan again. He has to bite down his own lips just so he doesn't make any more noise that could embarrassed himself further and relents himself to the soft touch of the very skilled fingers. But then, like sticking a stick into a spinning wheel, something in that voice makes his eyes shoot wide open, and when he realises why the voice sounded so familiar, he is more awake than being doused by a barrel of icy water.

"Mmm, Sid.."

A million warning alarms start to go off in his head at the same time. He knows that voice, he knows that accent and he knows it far too well for it to be real or for it to be moaning his name like that. He bounces away from the bed so quickly, it is an awe he doesn't trip over his own feet and fall flat on his face. Instead, he stands a few feet away from the bed, feeling absolutely flabbergastered and confused as hell.

"What the fuck! What are you do—uh—"

The rest of his sentence dies in his throat as he takes in the picture in front of him. Geno, naked as a jay bird, is stretched out on his bed, with a wonderfully tousled bed hair and a sleep-warm face. The lack of light in the room hides absolutely nothing at all and honestly, he isn't sure where to look, or if he should look. It is not to say that he has never seen Geno naked before, quite the contrary actually. With them being on the same team for a little more than a decade, he has had his fair share of Geno's nakedness in the locker room. But, to be perfectly fair, never has he thought he would be seeing it in a setting quite like this.

"Sid? Baby, why you leave? Is cold. Come back and I'm make you warm."

With that, he is officially more confused than he has ever been. He is almost 99.9% certain that he is in some kind of a dream. It would have been one hell of an elaborated dream, but only that will explain why Geno is calling him by sweet endearments or touching him intimately or fucking grinding his hard dick against his ass.

"G—Geno. What—what are you doing in—in my bed?" Sidney sputters through his line of question.

As baffled as he feels at the moment, he can't deny that Geno looks exceptionally good in his bed. When Geno raises his arms above his head and gives his body a good stretch, it makes his throat dry all of a sudden. There is so much of Geno on display—the long stretch of his pale body, the dark hair decorating his chest that trickles down to his abdomen and all those prominent lines when his muscles flex underneath the taut skin. And then there is the very impressive package that he felt against his ass not too long ago.

"I'm sleep. Of course I'm in bed." Geno says it like it is the most obvious thing in the world. And it is, except that it isn't.

"Well, yeah. But what are you doing sleeping in my bed? And why are you uh—," Sidney questions again with his hands waving frantically in the air, "—naked?"

"Huh? I'm always sleep naked. I'm tell you, is more comfortable and easy if want fuck." Geno replies with a confidence that will normally make him laugh but right then it just made him want to pull out his hair.

"Wh—what? Okay, Geno. Listen to me. You're in my bed, naked, and with me in it. And you and I uh—we almost—" Sidney is too embarrassed to finish that sentence but judging by the sly grin adorning Geno's face, he doesn't have to.

"Yeah, I'm know, baby. And if you come back, we continue. I'm blow you, then I'm fuck you."

Sidney feels his body going through a tornado of emotions because he is simultaneously shocked and turned on by what Geno said. He shifts on his feet, trying to hide his hardening dick tenting in his sweats. "Oh my god, Geno. How much have you got to drink yesterday?"

"Drink? No drink, Sid. You know I'm never drink before game day."

"What game day? We just won the cup, G. There is no more game until the summer's over or did you forget?

Geno seems to catch on onto the confusion now as he sits up on the bed and looks at Sidney, concern written all over his face. Sidney feels his cheeks heating when he catches himself tracking Geno's every movement—because Geno in his birthday suit is fucking too hard to ignore. He has neither the self control nor the time to chide himself for not able to tear his gaze away right now.

"Sid, you okay? Head hurt? Come lie down, take rest."

Sitting down sounds really good to him at that moment. After all he has gone through since he woke up, he really need to sit and give himself some time to gather his thoughts a little bit. But then, "I would but you're still very naked."

Geno holds up his hands in surrender before he pulls the sheets up to his waist (as if that will help) and pats his hand on the space beside him on the bed. Sidney resigns and goes to him, sitting himself just a few inches away from Geno. He doesn't make any more movement once he is seated, because he doesn't want to accidentally strip Geno of his cover or something equally as mortifying.

"Sid, you feel not good? Head okay?"

Sidney shrugs. "Yeah, no. It's fine. It hurts a little when I woke up, but it's fine now."

"Sid sure? 'Cause Vyas said keep watch for symptom."

Vyas, the head of their medical team, is one hell of an annoying bugger. "Yes, I'm sure, Geno. I have gone more than a month without any symptoms now. I'm fine."

Something in Geno's face tells him that he might have said something wrong—which he really isn't expecting at all. He basically just told Geno that he is symptom free for quite a long amount of time but Geno is looking at him as if that is a terrible news. Like, okay—his head still hurts a little but that is just the champagne's doing. Otherwise, he feels perfectly fine.

"Sid, Nisky crosscheck two days ago. Vyas say is concussion so maybe Sid confuse." Geno explains gently like he is afraid to startle a wounded animal.

"What? What are you talking about, G? We've beaten the Caps a while ago, eh? And we just won the fucking Cup."

"Sid." Geno begins as he scoots closer to Sidney and cups his hands to Sidney's face. "Sid, is okay. I'm know maybe you forget and Vyas say sometimes is normal. But Sid, we not finish round two yet."

Then the confusion starts to really set in because that is just not possible. Sidney remembers clearly that they were well pass his minor concussion and went on to defeat the Caps, then the Sens, and then fucking hoisted the Stanley Cup in Nashville after they shut the Preds out in game six. "Geno, what the hell are you talking about?"

"Today is game four, Sid. Sully say you take rest and then be ready for game five, remember?"

He knows that if he is smart, he should say 'yes' just so he won't attract more unnecessary attention that will surely leads to more unnecessary tests. But then, "No, Geno. We already took out the Caps and then we move on to play the Sens and beat them in double overtime and then the—wait. Geno, are you pranking me? Is this a prank? Shit, did Flower put you up to this? Oh my god, of course he did. I can't believe I actually fell for that. Good job, G. You got me. Ugh, Vegas's gonna have to choose some other goalie because I'm gonna fucking kill Flower!"

"Sid, wait. Okay, calm down. I'm promise is no prank. I'm kill Flower for you if he prank."

"What do you mean it's not—of course it's a prank. If this whole thing isn't a prank, then why do you keep telling me that we're playing the Caps today and more importantly, you waking up in my bed naked?"

"Um, because I'm live here?"

"Oh, right. That's real funny, G. Ha-ha."

"Wait, Sid. You really not remember?"

"What don't I remember?"

The silence that stretches on after that makes him really uncomfortable. It is like the inevitable moment when the blood starts ringing in the ears just before someone is about to receive a monumentally bizarre news.

"Sid, we married. We married for five years."

_/_/_/_/

Sidney sits on the high stool at the kitchen island, nursing a cup of tea while he tries to make some sense of the morning he has had. He takes subtle peeks in between sips, watching Geno comfortably playing house while he secretly admires the view of Geno's back. He never thought Geno would look good in an apron but for once in his life, he has never been happier to be proven wrong. Domestic Geno is something everyone should get to see at least once because it is something so worth seeing. Like how settled Geno is in the kitchen, moving around and whipping out the pots and pans so effortlessly, one would have to see it to believe it.

It is insane, to put it mildly, but having Geno like this in his house does something to his insides. All the longing he feels for Geno has once again being stirred up and it makes him want the things that he thought was long gone. Things that he previously thought were impossible, they don't feel so out of reach anymore.

It makes no sense whatsoever in his head, absolutely crazy to think that even a fraction of it is real but the evidence is staring at him right in the eye—or on his fourth finger, to be exact. The titanium ring glints dully when the light hit it at the right angle. It is simple, it is beautiful and it looks like something he will definitely choose for himself. It feels like it belonged right where it is, and it is so well worn, his finger has the indent from the band to show for it.

The only problem is that everything he knows now is what Geno has told him. He has no memories of them at all, and as good and as perfect as they sound, he can't recall even a smidgen of it to save his life. A small part of him still think that this is all a joke that his team is playing on him, but even as playful and obnoxious as they are sometimes, they still know where to draw the line. This is borderline too personal and it just doesn't seem like them to be so cruel.

And then the fact that he has heard so much about the repercussions of repetitive head injuries and what they will do to a person's health. He doesn't want to think that that is what happening to him but he can't discount it either. It is one thing if he mixed up the days of the week, and then an entirely another to have his memory be replaced with something totally different. Yesterday he was the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion but today he is Mr. Crosby-Malkin. It makes him wonder if there could be anything bigger than that.

"Meatball almost ready. Sid get plates and I'm drain pasta." Geno's voice snaps him out of his buzzing thoughts, and it takes Geno raising an eyebrow at him to make him process what Geno has just said. He quickly hops off the stool and pulls two sets of everything from the overhead cabinet near where Geno is standing. He is suddenly ambushed by the thoughts of doing this every day for the rest of his life, and feels the butterflies in his stomach come to life. He dismisses it with a shrug and goes to set the plates on the kitchen top and waits for Geno to do the rest.

Not that anything should surprise Sidney anymore than it already has, but Geno's cooking is making his kitchen smell incredible. The meatballs look juicy and perfectly browned and the aroma from the sauce is just divine. Geno holds up the wooden spatula in front of him and urges him to have a taste, which he obeys and so glad that he did. It tastes really good and he all but moans about it.

"Is good?" Geno asks with a stupid grin on his face.

"Oh, God. Yes. Wow, when did you learn how to cook like that, G?"

Geno chuckles as he has a taste of the remaining sauce on the spatula, only to have a little of it smeared on the corner of his mouth. Sidney tries hard not to gawk at Geno as he licks the sauce off with his tongue.

"I'm do this because Sid most picky person in the world," He pauses for effect, which Sidney humours him by giving him an unamused look before forking one of the meatball and gobbles half of it in one go. Geno chuckles again before he continues, "And then I'm think, if I'm not learn to cook, Sid not marry me. So, I'm learn."

Sidney almost choked on the meatball and quickly flushes it down with a big gulp of water. "Is that all it took? I can't be that easy."

"Oh, Sid always easy for me." Geno smirks and wiggles his brows vigorously at Sidney, and it makes him blush ten shades of red by the obvious, unspoken innuendo. It is no secret that Geno loves to go with suggestive materials for his locker room chirps, smugly parading his sexual prowess with lines like that and Sidney won't bat an eye. But it somehow makes all the difference when the lines are directed at him. Sidney is so not used to being the receiver of Geno's flirting or peacock dance or whatever. By the time he figured out how to untie his tongue, Geno has already finish most of his pasta and moving on to his second serving.

"I'm always cook pasta on game day. Some day I'm cook alfredo, some day carbonara, but meatball is best." Geno supplies as he scoops more sauce into his plate of pasta.

"Why? Because it's your favourite?"

"Yes, favourite but no. Is because I'm propose with lots of meatballs."

Sidney wonders if Geno has practiced that line before because he said it with such straight face. Geno can't mean what Sidney thought he meant, right? But then again, Geno's limited comprehension to english really does make things easier if Sidney would just take all Geno says literally.

"Oh, wait. You're actually serious. God, that must have been the most unromantic proposal I've ever heard. And to think that I actually said yes to that? Unbelievable."

"What? I'm most romantic, Sid surprise. I'm put music, I'm cook dinner and I'm arrange meatball on pasta for propose. Very much romantic."

Sidney snorts before he throws his head back, providing a good honking laugh at the details Geno has just described. Absurdly, he can actually picture the scene clearly in his head, Geno being all extra with the decorations, he probably dragged his two ugly ass AVP statues in and dressed them as servers for their proposal dinner. As much as he wants to hate it, he doesn't have the heart to because knowing Geno, that is practically his heart and soul. And maybe Sidney finds it a little cute.

"Hey, Sid not believe me? I'm show proof. After Sid say 'yes' to marry, we take selfie and send to group chat."

"The entire team has to see that? Oh my god, this is so embarrassing."

"Vero see photo and cry because Flower no cook meatball for propose."

"Now you're just making things up."

Geno laughs and shakes his head. "No, no. I'm promise, I'm never lie to Sid. All I'm say is true."

The meaning behind the statement slowly deflates the light mood that the two of them are in. Sidney's smile drops and his demeanor is showing exhaustion from the confusing unfamiliarity. Geno senses the change and lifted his hand over the kitchen top to take Sidney's. The gesture is sweet, and it anchors him and makes all of the confusion a little more bearable.

"Geno, I—" He pauses and Geno squeezes his hand, urging him to go on.

"I know this is becoming unfair to you. I'm still trying to convince myself to just go with it but I don't know, it's—it's a lot to take in. Don't get me wrong, G. You've painted a really beautiful picture and I want that, I really do. But I also want it to feel as beautiful as it sounds, you know what I mean?"

Sidney looks up to see Geno's soft eyes trained on him before he nods in agreement. Gathering from Geno's reassuring nods, Sidney braves on.

"What I don't understand is how is it possible that I don't have a single memory of them? All that I know is what I remember in my head and trust me, it's a total one eighty from what you've told me."

Geno hums in acknowledgement. "What Sid remember?"

"We're not married, for one." Sidney blurts and Geno makes a face like the idea of them not being together appalled him plenty. It makes him feel a little lighter.

"So, we aren't married, not even like dating or anything because you're married to Anna and I'm not—"

"Wait, who Anna?"

"Um, Anna Kasterova? She's a real person, right? Or did I make her up?"

The corner of Geno's mouth upturns into a slow grin. "Wow, Sid. I'm have good taste. Anna very hot wife."

"Oh, okay. Well, yeah, she is and—"

"Best Russian celebrity, win all awards but now she princess. She married prince in Jordan. If she no marry, maybe I'm have chance.

Sidney rolls his eyes at him and Geno's loud roar of laughter fills the room. It is a wonderful thing that Geno could tame his nerves with the corniest things, regardless of how dire his situation is. He knows exactly what to say to make Sidney feel better, and what to do to help him overcome it. That is why they always gravitates towards each other when things aren't looking good. Sidney has learnt not to take anything for granted when it comes to Geno, for he is first and foremost his best friend and confidante before anything else.

But this is something much bigger than some scoreless drought or linemate incompatibility that they have to push through. This isn't waiting for the bits and pieces of his memory to come back and filling up the blanks, far from that. This is needing something powerful to jolt his memory back.

"Anyway, it's a shame, really. You and Anna have a beautiful kid together and honestly, fatherhood looked really good on you, G." He says it just to tease Geno a little bit, but the way Geno reacted to it is not too encouraging. He is stuck in motion for a moment and his face is going through a series of complicated expressions.

"Geno, what?"

"Hmm, I'm guess is good time I'm tell Sid about Sofya?"

_/_/_/_/

He feels odd walking down the familiar hallway towards the locker room in the PPG Paint Arena. Everything looks as it should be and yet, it feels somewhat difference. He has just finished a brief chat with Sully in his office, relaying the good news after his follow-up check-up with the team doctor. As expected, Dr Vyas has cleared him to play in game five but not before he is reminded to keep a look out for any more symptoms. He has decided not to enclose his issue with his messed-up memory, and it is arguably the most conflicted he has ever felt. It feels a lot like a betrayal of trust to the management, but with the playoff on the line, too much is at risk.

On the drive from their house to the rink, he has some time to think about the matter on hand and he has decided not to let anyone know other than himself and Geno. He is still shaken about it for sure, but years of practice has allowed him to compartmentalise his fear and do what needs to be done. And what he needs is for this to not interfere with his chance to go for the Stanley Cup with his team.

It took him more than half an hour in the staffs' parking lot to convince Geno. Geno has looked so offended when he has first suggested to keep it a secret. Geno was absolutely appalled and almost recruited Brisson to talk some sense into him until he begs Geno not to. He talked to Geno with as much sincerity as he could muster, reasoning with Geno that there would not be a quick fix to his condition. What if Dr. Vyas decided to pull him out for the rest of the playoff? What good will that do to the team?

And Geno had been so angry that he said to hell with the playoff because everything else pales in comparison to Sidney's health. Sidney would have been really touched by that, that Geno is genuinely scared for his sake. If only he wasn't a selfish bastard.

He pried further into Geno's weakness and used it to his advantage. He pleaded Geno to understand his desire to keep playing, telling him how much it would mean for him if he could raise the cup over his head again, how happy it would make him if they could kiss the cup again and bring it home together. And that if his memory never comes back, then at least he could have this, and they could build new ones together. It was a cheap shot, borderline manipulative to be taking advantage of Geno's kindness like that, but he was desperate, and it did get him what he wanted. Geno's reluctance was torn down bits by bits, and finally crumbled down when Sidney promised to come clean right away when he feels any worse.

So, as of right now, the secret is safe. In a moment of honesty, he is willing to admit that he has never been as shaken as he has. He is somehow thrust in the center on an entirely different life that he knows nothing of. He has a husband and a beautiful, doting 3-year old daughter. Sofya, the child who is rightfully theirs through surrogacy. He is still not done digesting the fact that his own sister has volunteered to donate her egg and carry the child to term. It feels all too weird at first, but when he sees the picture of his—their daughter—on Geno's phone, he has never been more thankful. Dressed in tiny hockey gears, bright smile on her face, and cluthing a giant penguin plushie in her tiny arms, she is just a ball of sunshine that makes him want to weep. A little bit of Geno and a little bit of him, she is just the perfect little miracle that melts his heart through and through.

And then he wonders to himself, how could I have forgotten my own child, as sweet and as beautiful as her?

And all that has accomplished is making him dispose of any doubt he has for keeping his condition under wraps. This whole thing about not remembering is messing with him quite a lot. He can't seem to shake off the gnawing feelings his guts. It grows stronger with more stones being turned, and he can't ignore that something is disproportionally wrong with him. He thinks that it is his body trying to tell him something, that maybe his time as a hockey player is dated. That thought leaves him petrified and that further pushes him to make the most out of whatever time he still has.

He doesn't know what to expect when he pushes the door into the locker room. It smells just as it should be right after every practice session and just as loud too, maybe even louder. The picture of twenty over something men in all states of undress is a comfortable norm to him and for brief moment, he feels at home for the first time since he woke up. He doesn't know why but he comes in, prepared to feel somewhat out of place, but the warm greetings and lame chirps from his teammates give him a sense of familiarity he didn't know he craves until now. It calms him.

Geno is already out of his gear—thankfully with his undershirt still on—when he makes a beeline over to Sidney. He ducks down to give Sidney a chaste kiss on the mouth and hears some of the guys in the room hollering at them to get a room or something along that line and Geno chirping back. He doesn't know what to make of that little display of affection, nor he has the time to, because his mind is still reeling with it as he is being escorted back to Geno's stall. It isn't much, just a brief touching of lips on lips but it is enough to keep him stunned for a bit. The guys don't seem to bat an eye to see their captain and their alternate kiss, which tells him that it may be something of a frequent occurance. Oh, yes. Of course it does. He just remembered that he and Geno have been married for five fucking years. They are practically one of the old married couples now.

"Sid, talk with Sully okay?" Geno asks and he almost can't hear it when the younger guys throw a couple more dirty chirps their way that comprises of their sex life. Sidney blushes and nods at Geno as a respond before they are once again interrupted, this time by Cully who comes by and gives his back a couple of friendly pats.

"Hey, babe. Good to have you back in one piece. You scared the hell out of a lot of us when you stayed down on the ice, especially your protective Russian bear over here."

"It's true, I can attest to that." Chimes Phil who looks like he has just came out of the shower judging by how his hair matted on his forehead. "You know, this guy here looked about to hurl when you went down and it took three of us to physically stop him from going over to make Niskanen pay."

Sidney chuckles when Geno grumbles disapprovingly at the two babble mouths and to his surprise, he finds Grumpy Geno kind of adorable. "Well, it's really just bad luck that he got me that way. It's just how it is, right? I don't think it was on purpose or anything. It's just ill-timed, is all. I think he left me several texts, probably apologising, but I haven't check them out yet, so."

"Ill-timed my ass! More like perfectly timed to me, man. If he hits any harder, who knows if it's gonna end it for you right there and then, huh? I don't know about you guys, man, but Flower definitely agrees with me, right Flower?"

"Huh?" Flower looks up from his lap where his helmet is on, and takes a few moments looking back and forth between Kuni and Sidney to catch on to what is being asked of him. He tosses a roll of tape onto the bench and smooths his long fringe away from his eyes. "Oh, yeah. For sure, man. Sid, so glad you're okay. What Nisky did was so not cool and I'm gonna make sure he knows that we're very upset with him."

Sidney frowns because Flower is usually not much of an instigator but he must say, he is curious to see what Flower would do to show his dissatisfaction. "Thanks, guys. I really appreciate it. I'm sorry for making you guys worry about me. But hey—it's game four. You guys are gonna kill it tonight, eh?"

"Hell yeah, baby!"

"You bet your gigantic ass we will!"

"We're gonna take this game for you, man!"

"For Sid!"

"Watch and learn, boys. I'm gonna make Ovi cry like a baby tonight."

To say that Sidney is touched by the support from his teammates is an understatement, especially when Horny make his way over without a word and gives him a tight, bone-crushing hug. It lasts longer than any ordinary locker room hugs should be, and probably longer than Geno has liked because it has him practically prying Horny's arms away to end it. When they part, Sidney thinks he caught a glimpse of Horny's watery eyes before he heads out of the locker room. At that moment, he thinks himself as the most privileged guy to be surrounded by these group of good people and he is grateful.

He stays in the room while he waits for Geno to come back. Geno is with Dana in the equipment room, sorting out some issue Geno has on his pair of new skates. Some of the rookies come to him and they talk for a bit, mostly asking how he is doing and talking about how to improve their plays. Shearsy—who is also out for concussion—sits quietly beside him and listens when he comments about Jake's wrist shots.

It is nice to be having these talks with the boys. It makes him feel like he is contributing something to the team, as much as it distracts him from searching for answers that never seem to be there. For what it is worth, apart from being called Mrs Malkin every five minutes or so—all in good fun, of course—the team is still more or less the same. They are still the same driven group and he wants nothing more than to help them achieve their best game, regardless if he is playing or not.

Optimistically, everything will return to normal once he regains his lost memories. But realistically, the brain is quite a fickle thing and God knows what will happen to him in the near future, if his health will deteriorate drastically at some point. Whichever way his health leads him to, he wants to be able to look himself in the mirror and says that he has done everything he can to help his team be the better team.

"Okay, rookies. Time's up. I'm take husband back now."

"Come on, Geno. Don't hog Sid all to yourself, man."

"I'm hog because I'm put ring on it. Now fuck off, Olli."

Geno squeezes himself into the space between Olli and Sidney and pushes Olli's blonde head away. Olli pushes back playfully and it makes Geno loses his balance a little, causing him to land onto Sidney's lap. Sidney catches a lapful of Geno and his hands flies up to Geno's waist on instinct, just as Geno wraps his arms around Sidney's shoulders. He has to bite back a moan when Geno moves to sits himself more comfortable and—probably not deliberately—grinding onto his crotch. He can't help the blush that rises when the rookies give them some horrified scandalous looks.

"Oh, come on. Really? Stop with the foreplay, dude. You know we can't unsee this, right?"

"Don't be baby. You see worse." Geno snarks at Jake as he make a show to tease the watchful eyes around them by tracing his hand slowly down the line of Sidney's spine. Sidney can't help the shiver that wrecks through his body and hides his profile behind of Geno, shielding his blush that is unmistakably coloring his cheeks.

"Ugh, don't remind me. I'm still trying to bleach that image of your naked ass out of my brain."

"Hey, is good ass." Geno counters and defends his ass further when the rookies shakes their head in disbelief. "You not believe me? Wait, I'm show—"

"Yeah, okay. I think we're just gonna go now and leave you two to it. And Sidney, try not to drain too much out of Geno, okay? We kinda need him tonight? Alright. Good talk, team. Dismiss!"

It is amusing to see how fast the rookies can disperse at the threat of seeing Geno's ass. Just in a few minutes time, Sidney finds himself alone with Geno in the room, with Geno still perched comfortably on his lap. He is in no hurry to get Geno off, and he will never admit it to Geno, but he is starting to lose feelings in his legs.

"Sorry for long wait. I'm make sure Dana do job."

Sidney glances up and stunned to have Geno's face just inches away from his. "It's fine, G. New skates, I know how it is."

"Yes. Dana say Sid worse than me."

Sidney shoves him away with a firm push and laughs a little guiltily when Geno lands on the carpeted floor with a thud.

"Hey, why Sid push me? What I'm say?" Geno asks as Sidney straightens his suit and heading for the door.

"Yeah, keep playing dumb, Geno. Come on, I'm hungry. Hurry up or I'm leaving without you." He shouts over his shoulder just as the door closes, and hears Geno chuckling lightly on the other side of the door.

_/_/_/_/

Out of public's knowledge, Sidney has another set of routine being done at home on every game day. It is the routine before the widely known routine that is done at the rink. It consist of an hour nap right after lunch, a shower, followed by a thirty minute meditation and excessive tape watching until he can point out all of the opponent's strengths and weaknesses. But that is just him. He isn't sure if Geno has one and he respects the privacy of one's quirks enough to not ask Geno about it. So basically he doesn't know what Geno does when he leave the rink after practice.

Of all things Sidney would have guessed, he definitely doesn't see Geno eating himself into a piroshki coma on a game day. After they leave the rink, Geno makes a stop at one of his favourite Russian restaurant and gets himself something of two dozens of them in various fillings.

"Wow, G. That's a lot of—" Sidney has to say something as Geno stuffs the last piece into his mouth.

"Mmm.. Sid have pasta, I'm have piroshki." Geno huffs in between munch, and huffs and Sidney wonders if their nutritionist knew about this.

"Oh no, I'm not judging. I'm just a little concern. Like, are you okay? Do you need someone to rub your belly?"

"Sid need practice. Chirps still terrible."

Sidney stands to get the dirty dishes to the sink, all the while chuckling at Geno.

"So, this is your routine, eh? Or do you have more?

"Not as many as you, for sure. But some we do together."

"Really? So what? After you demolished those piroshki, we burn it out with hot kinky sex marathon?"

He doesn't know why he said that, or does he know anything else because that was one of the very few times when his mouth runs faster than his brain, and he blames it on the concussion. He could easily play it out as some casual chirp that means nothing if he doesn't feel his own cheeks burn. He is sure his blush tells the same level of embarassment he feels internally when Geno stares at him like he has just spoken the forbidden word. Then it dawns on him.

"Oh. Um, I mean, yeah. We're married and married couple have sex all the time but that doesn't mean we do that as part of our routine, right? I mean, I was just trying to be funny, you know? Because you devoured all those calories and what better way to sweat it all out than some vigorous round of—"

He stops and winces at his choice of word and finds himself get all the more flustered when Geno gives him a sly grin, clearly enjoying seeing Sidney digging himself a hole. "Not that it immediately meant sex. I mean, of course not. There are other forms of workout that two people can do together that doesn't involve taking their clothes off or—"

"We do that many times, Sid."

"Wh—what?"

"Have sex with clothes on. And we have sex before marry too. Many times."

He should not be so flabbergasted at the mention of sex at his age. "Oh wow, okay." Absolutely not. "Um, that's—

"One time we late for practice, I'm give handjob until Sid come in boxers."

"Oh, God."

"Then sometime Sid tease a lot, I'm fuck Sid with pants down over couch."

A wave of arousal crashes over him and he finds himself getting hard in his pants. He should feel ashamed by the sort of response his body has from Geno's implications.

"Okay. So we um—we need to—"

"Sid."

He looks up promptly when he hears his name and is instantly caught in the depths of Geno's brown orbs. How did he get so close so fast?

"Sid think too much, brain not rest." Geno taps a finger to Sidney's temple before he slides his hand down to cup Sidney's flushed face. He leans into Geno's touch when Geno rubs soothing circles onto his heated cheeks. "I'm not force Sid. If Sid not remember, how I'm do?"

Sidney gulps visibly. "But—but if it's the routine—"

"No, Sid. We not fuck before game. You say too much distract from game." Geno moves his free hand down to his neck while murmuring those words in his ear. Sidney gasps softly as the burst of warm breath sends a tingling sensation down his spine.

With his renewed bravery fuelled by his waking arousal, he asks, "Then, what about after?"

Geno grunts and pushes Sidney back until the edge of the kitchen counter is digging into his ass. "I'm try be gentleman but Sid always make hard for me."

"Geno—"

He is cut off when Geno charges forward and kisses him with fervent, with an intensity that he has never known before. It is bruisingly delicious—all the licking and battling of tongues is making Sidney breathless and dizzy with want. And when Geno pulls on his bottom lip in between his teeth and sucks on the plump flesh, Sidney is hit with a strong current of desire that makes his hips buck forward on its own accord. Sidney lets out a broken, whiny noise when his own erection comes in contact with the obvious hard bulge, and it blows Sidney's mind to know that Geno is just as affected by the kiss as he is.

"Geno, do you want—"

Geno breaks their kiss and rears back, leaving a heady Sidney chasing after it. He opens his eyes and sees an equally flustered Geno, gasping for breath.

"Sid, we need to stop." Geno says desperately. His eyes—completely darkened with lust—drop down to Sidney's mouth and his finger comes up to trace the seam of the swollen lip.

"Yeah, we need—we need to stop." Sidney echoes Geno's words in a stutter whilst trying to catch Geno's mouth into another round of head-spinning kiss.

"Mmm, no, Sid. We uh—we can't." Geno grits out and pushes Sidney away with much reluctance. Sidney is confused by the mixed messages and seeing the pained look on Geno's face makes him jump back a little. In a minute window of clarity, he is crushed by the weight of his own stupidity. He chides himself for getting too caught up in his own feeling to see that Geno is trying to let him down easy.

"Oh. Okay. You're right. I'm—I'm sorry. This is probably a bad idea and I'd totally understand if you don't—"

"No, no. Sid. I'm not mean that. I'm want you, but we have game.." Geno let that trail off to its obvious conclusion. As clueless as he is sometimes, the indication is dawning clear and it makes him feel good again.

"Oh. The routine. Right. Superstitions." Sidney bites down on his lips in the hopes of salvaging himself from sounding more like an inarticulate fool. For some reason, that makes Geno dips back down and kisses him with a deep, throaty groan, and once again steals all his breath away.

"Sid drive me crazy. Bite lip and look so beautiful."

Sidney's breath hitches in his throat and his eyes flutter close. "God, you need to stop saying things like that if you don't want to break routine, G."

Geno leans back for the sake of giving both of them some breathing room, and takes long, deep breaths to calm himself. "I'm go out for run now, then shower, then nap. We watch tape after, yes?"

"Yeah," Sidney says, nodding at the same time. "We can do that."

And it is routine and more routine from then on. It becomes a comfortable setting for both of them, each minding their own quirks studiously. As promised, they goes to the entertainment room later in the afternoon and binge on their previous games with the Caps, and discuss game plays and strategies like the professionals they are. They flinch when the tape plays the hit on Sidney on repeat, capturing every detail from every angle and the slow motion makes it look ten times worse than it is.

"The guys, they all angry about hit. Want revenge."

There is a moment of silence before Sidney speaks. "Hey, I know you guys are angry about that but focus on what's important, okay? Please don't go around starting stupid shit because you know we're not gonna win the game from the box."

"I'm try but I'm no promise. Hard to control Horny."

Sidney laughs and secretly agrees with Geno. There is no stopping Horny from anything when he is all fired up because he has been proven to runs solely on intensity stemming from his loyalty to his team.

"Just win this one for me, eh?"

"I'm make sure. Score and make Holtby look bad goalie."

"Well, I'd like to see that for a change because in my head, it was a pretty frustrated game. I don't remember like the exact sequence of it, but we were like, outshot the entire time. We're lucky that Shultzy scored a late one in the third, I think it's a power play or something or else we're heading into overtime for sure."

Geno snickers at the mention of overtime because it is no fun and the pressure is too high.

"Oh wait, I think you get an assist from that goal, so there's something."

Geno scoffs at the subtle chirp, "Your head broken. I'm show you hat trick tonight."

Sidney wants nothing more than to kiss the stupid smug look away from Geno's face but he isn't sure if he is capable of stopping once he get started. So, he settles on something else instead.

"Yeah, put your money where your mouth is, G."

"Huh?"

"Nevermind."

Geno uncaps the new bottle of Gatorade and down half of it in several gulps, and then they are back to tape watching and serious hockey talk until it is time to get to the rink for one interesting game with the Caps, sans a concussed Sidney Crosby.

_/_/_/_/

"What the fuck is happen, Sid?"

That is the first thing that comes out of Geno's mouth when the front door of their house closes. Honestly, Sidney is quite surprised that it took this long for the dam to break. The game has ended several hours ago and Geno has not said a word to him or to anyone else since then. The guys were quite puzzled by the broody vibe Geno was giving out, but kept a their distance accordingly anyway. No need to poke the bear or anything.

Before the game, they have arrived at the rink a little earlier than Sidney usually would. They walked together to the locker room, gave the guys some pep talks before he left to let them continue with their preparation. He walked around the arena (the long route, of course) and greeted some of the friendly faces and declined with a forced smile when some unauthorised media came up to him and asked for an impromptu interview. He then went to join Mario and his son, Austin in the press box, and talked about hockey and mostly family while waiting impatiently for the game to start.

Sidney has a complicated relationship with the press box. He doesn't hate it, but he doesn't necessarily fond of the times he was in one either. It is totally understandable, considering the only time he will be in the press box is when he is scratched from the game, and it is usually due to injuries. But having Mario in the room with him meant he has a role of leadership that he needed to uphold. So, he tried to school his distaste for the press box as best as he can and focused on the game that started right after James Jameson finished the national anthem.

The game started with a fairly good pace—they have good possession of the puck, a great surge of pressure in the offensive zone and a couple of good shots on goal. There was also a couple of avoidable takeaways but all in all, he liked how the game was playing out. It was when Horny scored the first goal early in the first period that things started to get a little weird for Sidney. Though his brain is still fucked up and most of the things he remembers are kind of hazy, but the important bits are still there. The way the game was playing out was awfully familiar, the shots and blocks and steals were so painfully similar they were anticlimactic. It was like watching a dream, and he felt a terrible sense of deja vu washed over him like cold storm.

Minutes before the game ended, he was standing in the hallway of the locker room with Tanger and a couple of the other guys, waiting for the victory music to sound over the overhead speakers. When it did, the team waddled back in with their skates, high-fiving and fist-bumping everyone as they went. He was a little taken aback when Geno looked at him with rage and fear in his wild eyes before moving along, but he knew not to take it to heart, because it was most probably not directed at him personally.

Sidney was leaning against the door frame when Sully stepped into the room and started his post game pep talk. The whole time when Sully was commending the team on their victory, he could feel Geno glaring at him from his stall across the room. He made a conscious effort to avoid eye contact with Geno the entire time. He didn't think he could calm down a confused bear without making some sort of a scene, nor was he feeling adventurous enough to attempt to do so. He reckoned they would hash it all out once they are more alone than a locker room full of teammates and coaching staffs and the PensTV crews.

"Sid, I'm not understand! What is happen? Why you know Shultzy score? How you know this?!"

They are all the kind of questions Sidney is expecting from Geno, because they are the same questions he has been asking himself. He sits silently on the couch while he waits for Geno to calm down a little, which is looking like it is going to take a while. Geno is currently pacing back and forth in front of him, hands swinging frantically in the air as his rambling starts advancing into explicit Russian. It is comical to see Geno talking animatedly in another language that he doesn't understand, and he would have laughed if he actually finds their predicament a tiny bit humorous. The couch bounces when Geno finally plops himself down next to him, head tossed back with his arm resting over his eyes.

"Um, Geno?"

"—Это сумасшедший. Is crazy, Sid."

Sidney scoots over until their thighs touch and closes his hand over Geno's knees and squeezes. "Feel better now?"

Geno grunts his reply and Sidney almost giggled at Geno's antic if their situation isn't this tense. Sidney wishes that they can just ignore the elephant in the room and goes back to the easy going mood they have had before the game.

"If it makes you feel any better, you're not the only confused one here."

Geno hums a deep tune and knocks his knee with Sidney's. "Sid not help."

This time Sidney lets out a small chuckle. "Hey, you don't have to read too much into this, okay? Maybe it's just a lucky guess." Sidney provides, even though he highly doubt that it has anything to do with guessing or luck. But Geno doesn't have to know that.

"No, Sid. I'm not think you guess. You know he score tonight. Is inside head."

Sidney ponders for a beat and then, "Well, it's not like the concussion screwed with my memory and then gave me the future. These kind of things only happen in movies, don't they?"

Geno turns towards Sidney and folds one leg underneath his thigh. "But is happen, Sid. What if all memory real? What this mean?"

He looks into Geno's eyes, concern and wary clear in his big brown orbs. He sighs and drops his gaze to their touching knees.

"Honestly, G. I haven't had a lot of time to think about it," He says defeatedly. "It has been one bizarre thing after another but I guess we'll just have to take them as they come, eh?

Geno's expression softens as he picks Sidney's hands into his own, and tangles their fingers together. Letting out a big sigh, he says, "I'm sorry I'm not help. Sid always best at handle crisis."

Sidney gives him a shrug and a peck on his cheek as if to say, meh, what can we do? and have Geno smile at him softly before leaning back in and gives Sidney a full kiss on the mouth.

The rest of their conversation doesn't progress further than teasing each other of their terrible playoff beards and arguing about which side of the bed they want to sleep in—which is really unnecessary because when they do get into bed later that night, they end up bundled up together in the middle of their king-sized bed because Geno is a big baby and he insists he can't fall asleep without having Sidney in his arms. Despite the initial awkwardness, Sidney doesn't feel weird to be spooned by Geno. It is mostly due to the feel of Geno pressed to his back and the warmth emanating off of his body feels really nice and comfortable. They fit well in each other's arms and it just feels right. It makes Sidney wonder how the hell did he managed to go on so long without having this.

Geno murmurs a goodnight and plants a kiss on Sidney's nape before he nuzzles his nose into the crook of Sidney's neck. Sidney listens to the slow rhythm of Geno's breathing and it takes no time at all for both of them to find sleep.

_/_/_/_/

As days turn to weeks, the line between his memory and his reality has began to blur into one big dream. He has played every game after missing one, and he played them with the same tenacity just as before. Game five and six with the Caps were brutal, and even though he already knew, it still didn't take the sting out when they lost. However, the sting kind of faded away when Flower shut the front door in game seven and led them to the East Conference final.

It wasn't like Sidney was surprised by it or anything, because it was already in his head. He kept them mostly to himself though and only hinted vaguely when Geno was curious enough to ask. Sometimes it felt like he was cheating, but no matter how much he thought he knew, he wasn't capable to change anything that happened on the ice. So, in a way it felt like he was just a spectator reliving the playoff for the second time.

At the same time, something new and not hockey related is also happening in his life. It is exciting as much as it is frustrating, but he has never felt more alive. Before all these madness started, he has sometimes allowed himself to fantasise about having a family of his own. White picket fence, a golden retriever named 'Pucky' and a bunch of kids whom he can't get enough of. But as crazy and demanding as his career is, it all seemed pretty out of reach, even when the lack of someone who wants to have all of that with him doesn't put a damper on things.

But it is funny how the universe works sometimes. Somehow he finds himself living in the ultimate fantasy without remembering how he got there.

For one, he has the sweetest little girl that has him wrapped around her little finger the first time they spoke. It was during one of their off days when they called Sidney's parents, whom were temporarily taking care of the little one during the post season. He recalls being so damn nervous that he kept zoning out on what his mother was saying, and strained his ear to listen to the small voice that was mumbling adorably in the background. His mother let out a fond sigh before she finally placed the phone to her granddaughter's ear and urged her to speak.

No one can blame Sidney for wanting to make a good impression on his own daughter. He already feels guilty for not remembering her, and he doesn't want her to sense that something is wrong with him. So, understandingly, he over thinks about how he should act or what he should say to her just so he won't feel foreign to her as she would be to him, but as soon as he hears her squealing 'daddee, daddee!' quite excitedly in his ear, all his nerves are gone on an instant.

And then there is Geno, his husband of five years and fiancé a year before that and boyfriend of two years before that.

And Sidney has no idea what to make of Geno.

To sum it all up, Geno is everything and nothing Sidney has ever expected him to be. There is a side to Geno which Sidney is very well acquainted with—the side which racks up points on the ice like it is nothing, does some hasty dumb shit when he is provoked and comically yells back and forth with Phil when they get frustrated during game time. Sidney is awfully familiar with that side and he has no problem dealing with that.

However, he is woefully under prepared when the husband side of Geno comes up. For one, Geno is very touchy whenever Sidney is around. In other words, he loves to touch Sidney, like, a lot. It is not necessarily a bad thing in Sidney's opinion, if only those lingering touches are not becoming a teasing nuisance that is fucking driving him up the wall.

Sometimes when they are waiting in line to pay for their groceries, Geno would casually slides his hand into Sidney's back pocket and squeezes his ass lightly. And then there are a few occasions when they are driving, Geno would take Sidney's hand in his own, resting them on Geno's thigh before he starts to trace his calloused finger into Sidney's palm and the back of his hand. And one that is more intimate than the others is when Geno joins him in their bathroom, with him crowding Sidney from behind while Sidney is at the sink. Their gaze would connect in the mirror for a short, meaningful moment before Geno hooks his chin over Sidney's shoulder, and they would each brush their teeth in silence. All those little interactions seem innocent enough, and it may have been really nice if only they don't leave Sidney feeling hugely frustrated.

Ever since their almost-incident before game four, Sidney has been expecting Geno to jump him the first chance he gets. Those lingering touches seems promising at first, but it never advanced anything further than that, and it both baffles and infuriates Sidney to no end. Sidney is craving the intimacy that he had a brief taste of, his body is itching for it, but nothing is happening the way he wants to. He is yearning for the hard press of Geno's body on his and those hot, wet kisses that makes his knees go weak. He wants Geno to slam him against the wall and devour him like his last plate of piroshki. But the most he has gotten from Geno—other than those menacing touches—is a little peck here and there and some warm cuddling.

And when he wakes up one night to Geno pressed warmly against his back, he thinks the cock tease is finally coming to an end. Geno is gliding his fingers along Sidney's arm, so soft they almost tickle. The gesture is gentle and unhurried, like it is meant to lull someone back to sleep, but for the intimacy-starved Sidney, it is the most alluring things he has ever felt in weeks. He closes his eyes and surrenders himself into the sweet assault of Geno's touch, and lets out a shuddering breath when Geno plants a feather-light kiss onto the back of his neck. His dick twitches at that and he feels himself getting hotter by the second. And when Geno shifts to get more comfortable behind him, Sidney's throat goes dry. There is no mistaking the hard bulge poking at the small of his back, and it takes every ounce of Sidney's control to stay in absolute stillness, just so he won't startle away whatever that is going on between them.

And then Geno's hand gets more adventurous. Sidney waits with bated breath when the touch trickle from his biceps down to his side, and slowly dragging the warmth to the jut of his hip bone. Sidney's boxer briefs has been tugged low when he is sleeping and he has never been happier to know that Geno is taking full advantage of that. He leans back a little against Geno's chest, and spreads his thighs as subtly as he can manage, at the same time hoping for Geno to slip his hand towards where Sidney desperate needs him to. The anticipation is killing him, and he feels a little light-headed from the sheer amount of time he has held his breath. But then he relents, his body is charged with electricity when Geno starts drawing invisible patterns at the patch of skin very near to his crotch, separated only by the elastics of his sweats. He is miles deep in the cloud of his own pleasure, suffocatingly good before he feels it dissipating, and then gone completely.

He is immediately shocked back to earth and his eyes shoot wide. He counts the seconds before he feels the bed dip behind him, followed by the soft pitter-pattering on their hardwood floor and the click of the light switch. Sidney turns around to see lights coming from their ensuite bathroom, with the door slightly ajar. He tries to listen in from where he is, and it is pin-drop quiet for a moment before he hears a rustling sound followed by a light thud, and then the unmistakable sound of someone jerking off. His mind is immediately assaulted by the image of Geno touching himself. The moans are coming in low and throaty, and it comes in tandem with the image in Sidney's head, and all hell breaks loose.

Sidney springs up on the bed, mind reeling with his unimaginable predicament. Here he is, well and awake and horny as hell. His weeks of accumulated frustration is reaching its boiling point and it is bubbling over the brim. He doesn't think Geno is capable of being cruel like that, riling him up and then abandoning him to his own demise. Geno should know that he is a perfectly willing participant with a perfectly healthy libido, and it is ten levels of unacceptable for Geno to outright rob him of the attention that he deserves. And then Geno goes to take care of himself in the bathroom? No can do.

Sidney crosses the room in several big strides and swings the door wide open. He is all ready to let Geno know how upset he has been, ready to argue that he too has a perfectly functional pair of hands that can make Geno come just the same, if not more. However, he finds himself stuck in motion, his mind blank and there is not much he can do other than staring ahead with his jaw on the floor.

It feels like he is watching a scene out of his own personal wet dream. Geno is leaning over the sink, one hand perched on the marble top and the other a blur around his hardened dick. His chin rests against his flushed chest, totally lost in the chase of his own high, and Sidney swallows hard when Geno lets out a low, throaty groan. It is hypnotising and hot as fuck to see Geno pleasuring himself in quick, hard strokes, and Sidney can't help but presses the heel of his palm onto his own erection, tenting uncomfortably in his sweats.

He hears a guttural moan reverberates into the room before he registers it as his own, and Geno's eyes fly open in surprise. If he is embarrassed for getting caught jerking off on his own, it doesn't show in his face. He just halts his hand but makes no move to shield himself from Sidney whatsoever. Sidney ought to feel annoyed for the lack of scrambling or something of the sort, but he can't help but be more turned on by that confidence. Geno stares at Sidney with hazy, bedroom eyes, and gives his dick a few cursory strokes before he lets out a breath in a huff.

"Sid," Geno starts, his voice noticeably low and husky. "Sorry I'm wake you, I'm try to be quiet but," He continues a little sheepishly, but Sidney isn't paying a lot of attention to what Geno has to say, really. His eyes are stuck on the throbbing length in Geno's big hand, and it is reddened and slick with precome and looks so incredibly mouth-watering, he just want to drop onto his knees and just lick.

"I—I was already awake when you uh—when you were groping me." Sidney mutters with his eyes still locked on Geno's dick, and by the way his precome is dripping down the side, Sidney can tell that Geno is almost near the end if he hasn't interrupted earlier.

"Oh! I'm not know you awa—fuck, Sid. I'm sorry, I'm not mean to—" He tears his eyes away from Geno's dick when he hears Geno's rambling, trying to make sense of what he is saying. It takes a while though—since his mind is filled with nothing but lust at the moment—but he thinks he get what Geno is apologising for. He flicks his eyes back up and locks Geno in, before he takes a cautious, experimental step towards Geno.

"Why'd you leave, Geno?" He asks with another step forward. Seeing Geno being frazzled by his admission is making him feel braver.

"Fuck, I'm not plan to do. I'm think we just sleep, but Sid feel good, very pretty when sleep and I'm uh—"

"But why did you leave?" Sidney asks again, cutting Geno's rambling short. Geno looks at him with a confused daze on his face but it is quickly dissolved into something else. Sidney closes the remaining distance between them, until he is just a breath away from Geno.

"I—I'm not—"

"Geno," Sidney stops him again, his voice just short of a whisper. "Don't you want me?"

In that instance, Geno's demeanor changes entirely. His face crumbles in defeat, his eyes shut tight in a groan. And when he opens them again, they are looking at Sidney with so much want, it makes Sidney buckle under the weight of it.

The first touch of their lips together is more chaste that Sidney expects. It is tender and sweet, with soft press of lips and gentle swipes of tongue. But the tenderness escalates into something else quickly when Sidney opens his mouth in invitation, and Geno takes it without hesitation, deepening their kiss by thrusting his tongue pass Sidney's mouth. Sidney grabs Geno by the arms and pushes himself up on his tippy toes and gives his all into the kiss, sucking and licking and biting on Geno's lips. Sidney moans his delight when Geno slides his hand to his ass, the warmth from his palms seeping through the layers. Geno gives his ass a good hard knead before he smooths it towards the bottom and hauls Sidney up in a heave. Sidney lets out a surprised yelp and wraps his powerful thighs around Geno's waist. He pulls back to see Geno smirking at him (the gall of him!) but all humour is forgotten when Sidney clings himself tighter to Geno, and groans in unison when their hardened length press firmly together.

"Take me to bed, G." Sidney pants out against Geno's mouth, and grins when Geno complies without any question.

Sidney continues to kiss Geno and thoroughly enjoys the little punched out groan whenever he does something Geno likes, and it is not long before he is lowered onto the bed and he takes Geno with him without ever breaking their kiss. Geno is draped above him, his hips snugly in between Sidney's thighs and Sidney loves the weight of Geno pressing him into the bed.

"I'm miss you, Sid." Geno says as he comes up for breath, and ducks down to drop wet, opened-mouth kisses along his neck. "I'm miss you so much, baby."

Sidney's moan reverberates across their chests and he arches his back into a bow when Geno bites down hard near his pulse point. He curls his fingers into Geno's hair and tugs, feeling himself losing his mind quickly because Geno has started to rock his hips in a circular motion, grinding him into the bed.

"Hmm, Geno.."

Geno breaks away, and rears back just enough for him to bunch Sidney's shirt up and over his head.

"Fuck, baby. So pretty." Geno swears above him as he drags his big hands down Sidney's chest and stops to play with Sidney's nipples. He pinches the hard nubs in between his thumbs and index fingers, tugging and rolling them until they are red and tender. "I'm want you, baby. Fuck, I'm want you so fucking much."

Sidney moans as his body jerks upwards, and his hands clench and unclench on his sides. His moans turn into sobbing whimper when Geno replaces one hand with his mouth and sucks.

"Sid okay? Is too much?" Geno checks in after he has paid both the nipples an ample amount of attention.

"It's uh—it's a little sensitive but I like it."

Geno's smirks at the admission, like he is pleased to hear it and drops to kiss a long line down Sidney's sternum. "Sid still same, like when I'm make little pain."

Sidney feels his blush rushes up to his cheeks, because he does like his pleasure with a little pain on the side. This little kink of his is far from uncommon but it is one that very few knew about. It is not like he is ashamed of it but he is used to taking whatever his partner is willing to give, and hardly asks for anything he wants. But he can't deny the convenience that his husband not only knew about it, but seems to take pleasure from giving it to him.

He lets out a dry gasp when Geno sucks on the skin near his ribs, and his hands flies up to tug at Geno's hair again as Geno kisses lower and lower until he comes dangerously near Sidney's dick.

"Hhmm, Geno, please.." Sidney pleads in broken voice and he tilts his head up to see Geno looking back at him with a sly grin, like he is about to do something filthy to Sidney.

Sidney watches as Geno hooks his fingers under the waist band and pulls his sweats and briefs down smoothly. His dick bobs out before it rests on his lower abdomen, precome smears messily on his skin there. Geno kisses Sidney's inner thigh and locks him into an intense staring match, then flattens his tongue on the underside of Sidney's balls and drags it up until the dripping tip, and licks the precome off the slit.

"Oh, fuck.." Sidney feels his body shakes with the sudden influx of endorphins and almost crashes over by how good Geno's tongue felt on his dick.

Sidney is easily falling apart and Geno hasn't even done anything yet. At this point, he is not sure if he can survive to actually have his dick in Geno's mouth. But the thought is quickly put to test, as Geno begins pecking small kisses on his swollen head before Geno takes it into his hot, wet mouth.

The first sensation hits him like a punch to his gut, and it feels infinitely better than he imagined. When Geno engulfs more and more of his length, he feels his body is ready to combust at any moment. Watching Geno's luscious lips wrapped around his dick, stretched thinner as he goes deeper, feels a lot like watching live porn, only better and more intimate. He is about halfway down before he bobs up, hollowing his cheek as he goes. The suction feels incredible, like Geno is trying to suck his soul through his dick, and Sidney has to look away, simply to preserve his dignity by not coming too fast like an adolescent child.

Sidney lets out a whiny sob when Geno comes up for air, and he hitches Sidney's legs over his shoulder before going down on his dick again. Sidney trashes his head from side to side, his orgasm mounting fast and it is when Geno slips one finger into his hole that has him wailing into their once quiet room.

Having Geno sucking earnestly on his dick and his long finger in his ass, Sidney feels like his body is coming apart at the seam. His moans are getting gradually louder and his voice is almost hoarse from the constant need to gulp down air. The sensation is too much and not nearly enough, as he bucks his hips to chase the slight stretch of Geno's finger. Geno keeps a steady pace of fucking Sidney's ass with his finger and adds a second one, pushing it slowly in. Sidney rolls his hips and almost chokes Geno with his dick, but he really wants to speed things up a little, not because he is impatient, but because he is rapidly losing his goddamn mind.

"Oh god, Geno. Geno please, please, please.. I—I need more.."

It feels like forever before Geno pushes in a third finger, twisting and stretching the rim of his hole and the inner muscles and Sidney keens over it. Geno has switched to stroking his dick now, and focuses on driving Sidney crazy with the ever slow thrust of his fingers. Geno brushes against his prostate once in a while, and Sidney has his suspicion that Geno knows exactly where to touch, just that he is missing it on purpose. It makes it rather difficult for Sidney to get annoyed by that, especially when it feels like he is shocked by electricity whenever Geno does hit his prostate. He can only whimper like a sobbing mess and surrenders himself to the wishes of what Geno wants to do to him.

"Ass look so good, baby. Want to fucking destroy it."

Like music to his ears, Sidney nods frantically and makes a noise that is almost too whiny when Geno withdraws his hands from his ass as well as his dick. Sidney huffs a few deep breaths as he watches Geno go over the content in their nightstand, and pulls out a less than half empty bottle of clear lube. Oh, yes. They will need a lot of those if Sidney wants the night to go with what he has in mind. The spit may do an okay job for when it is just Geno's fingers, but no matter how stretched Sidney is, they will still need lubes to help ease Geno's impressive length into Sidney.

"How you want?"

Without hesitation, Sidney shifts onto his front and gets up onto his hands and knees. He spreads his knees a little, testing the position to acquire the best balance and comfort before he hears a string of Russian that sounds really filthy in his ears. He looks over his shoulder and sees Geno's wrecked face and he feels a smug satisfaction for making Geno forgets his English.

"Like what you see, Geno?" Sidney teases with a little wiggling of his ass.

It sets off another round of incoherent swearing but it boils Sidney's blood just the same. The look of desire and want is clear on Geno's face, and suddenly, there is just too much space in between them.

"Come on, Geno. Fucking destroy me."

Sidney feels as scandalous as he is desperate, but it no longer matter when Geno comes up behind him, spreading generous amount on Sidney's entrance and lubes himself up in a hurry. Sidney holds his breath at the first press of Geno's blunt head, and hisses when Geno gives a constant pressure in his thrust. When the tip of Geno's tip is all the way through the tight rim, he pauses, and sucks in a breath before he pushes again. It is now Sidney's turn to sucks in air in rapid succession, as his ass is filled inch by inch, his muscles stretching to accommodate the girth of Geno's dick.

Geno grits his teeth in concentration and punches out a deep grunts when he is balls' deep in Sidney, and he keeps himself as still as possible, giving Sidney some time to get used it. For what feels like the longest time, Sidney rocks forward a little to test it out, and it earns him a delicious friction. Geno's grip on his hips tightens significantly, and Sidney knows it is just as good for him as it is for Geno. So Sidney gives Geno the go ahead, and very slowly, Geno rears back until only the head is still inside, and pushes back in. The slow drag of Geno's dick is deliciously good, and they both moan their pleasure in harmony of each other.

"Fuck, baby," Geno grunts as he pulls out again. "You feel fucking good, so fucking tight." And thrusts forward a little harder.

"Oh, God, Geno. Don't stop. That feels so go—" His word ends with a bashful moan when Geno slams into him again.

Geno's thrusts are long and deep, and increasing in strength and speed. It is not long before Sidney is a moaning mess and muttering absolute nonsense, and Geno is pounding into Sidney without much inhibition. All bets are off when Geno plants one leg up on the bed, shifting his position a little, and the slight change of angle has allowed Geno to hit him squarely on his prostate with every thrust. He cries out in pleasure and buries his head into the pillow, and takes it hungrily as Geno continues to pound into him.

"Sid, baby, come on. I'm want you to come." Geno says lowly through gritted teeth, and his hand winds down to tug at Sidney's dripping dick. With just a few strokes, in sync with Geno's thrusts, Sidney comes hard, his vision whites out and his body goes boneless with only Geno holding him up by the waist. Geno's rhythm begins to falter after a few more thrusts, and comes deep in Sidney with a loud roar.

It feels like a while before any of them can move, and that being Geno because Sidney still can't feel his limps. Geno lays Sidney face down, thoughtfully avoiding the cooling splats of come on the sheets before he carefully pulls his softening length out. Sidney winces slightly at the sudden change of pressure but let out a content sigh when he feels Geno's warm come dripping out of his hole. Then, in his bliss-addled mind, he feels the bed bounce beside him and registers Geno plopping himself face down, an arm across his back.

"Fuck.."

"Mhmm.."

Minutes passes, or maybe it is hours, but it sure feels like a long while before Sidney feels his heart go back to its normal rhythm and his limps no longer feel like jelly. The room is now quiet aside from their breathing slowly coming back to normal, and Sidney chances a look at Geno next to him, only to snort as he takes in the wrecked look on Geno's face.

"You're slacking off, G. Need to work on that stamina a little."

Geno groans and says, "No, Sid. I'm come so hard, dick maybe broken now."

Sidney gives out a loud honking laugh only to have an annoyed Geno slapping his palm onto his ass before he snuggles closer. Sidney lets himself bask in the aftermath of their explosive orgasm, and hums in delight when Geno litters some kisses on his shoulder. Sidney eyes the puddle of come on the sheets and makes a mental note to strip it out before the cleaning lady comes in tomorrow. But when he tries to push himself up, he is immediately reprimanded by Geno's arm across his back.

"Hey, I'm just gonna get a wash cloth for us, eh?"

Geno grunts and tugs him in even closer, if that is possible.

"Come on, G. It'll only take a second."

Geno wriggles like a fish and plops half his body onto Sidney's back. "No."

Sidney shakes his head and laughs unceremoniously into his pillow, but not moving away from the physical touch. "Is this how it's going to be with you, moving forward?"

"Yes."

"You are unbelievable, you know that?"

And so they stay in that position and bask in the comfortable haze of having their body so wrung out and satiated.

"That was really good, Geno. I think I've never come so hard in my life."

Sidney says with an expectation of a smug response that will sound something like 'of course, Russian best' but Geno is uncharacterically silent. A few moment passes and Sidney feels the weight of Geno lifts as Geno turns onto his back, his arms draped across his eyes.

"I'm feel like asshole, Sid."

Puzzled, Sidney asks, "What? Why?"

Geno lets out a long sigh before turning to face Sidney, and his expression is something Sidney usually saw when Geno feels bad about something. "Sid not remember many things."

"What? What does that have anything to do with—" Sidney trails off and backtracks all the conversations and interactions between them, from the time since the morning he woke up confused up until this very moment, and finds no clue to help him understand what Geno is saying.

Sidney has been nothing but an open book about the glitches of his memory, and it is a relief that Geno seems not bothered by it at all. Geno has been really understanding and supportive, especially when Sidney has his doubts and insecurities. Geno makes an effort to fill Sidney in about their time together, and half of them makes Sidney all flustered and red-faced. And then of course Geno tells him everything about their daughter, about her first word, about how she loves her baths, and about how she would only fall asleep on Sidney's chest before she is put into her cot.

And they just go about their life as normal as they would, and Sidney is thankful that Geno gives him the time and space that he needs, and not pressuring him to remember. If anything, Geno seems rather confident that the memory will return to Sidney, so in the meantime, they live like a pair of doting husbands, except..

"Geno, did you—did you think you were taking advantage of me or something?"

Geno is quiet for a second before he turns to his side and faces Sidney. "Ugh, is hard to say in english. You not remember we together, Sid. To you, we not kiss, we not do things like lover. I'm not want make weird for you."

Sidney doesn't know how to react to this new piece of information. His brain is still stuck on the insinuation of being taken advantage of and it is making it difficult for him to process anything else. Then it dawns on Sidney that Geno has been carrying this false burden with him all these time and it is the cause for all of Sidney's sexual frustration. He cannot believe the surreality of it but at the same time he cannot dismiss the selflessness of Geno's effort to stay away. Stupid, but very thoughtful nonetheless.

"Geno, you stupid jerk," Sidney says when he grabs Geno's chin and kisses him for a full minute. "Did you really think that I don't want this?

"Hmm, I'm think you maybe want, but you not say, so I'm not sure." Geno replies without a pause, still catching his breath.

"Are you serious right now? You flaunt around the house half naked all the time and then you touch me every chance you get. How could you be not sure?"

Geno grins something borderline sheepish, and it is the kind when someone is caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

"Oh my god, you evil bastard. You know exactly what you're doing, don't you?" Sidney accuses and gives Geno's chest a little shove. He goes for it another time just for fun and it falls into the grasp of Geno's hand.

"Come on, Sid. Don't be angry. I'm just have little fun." Geno says as he tugs Sidney down onto his chest.

"Oh, I bet it's plenty fun for you, doesn't it? Seeing me squirm like that? Ugh, God. You don't know the amount of cold shower I've had these past few weeks—"

"Wait. Sid, you not jerk off?"

Sidney rolls his eyes at the assumption. "Well, of course not. I was waiting for you, dickwat."

Geno looks shocked for a moment before his brows furrow into a straight line and looking all serious and determined. "Give me twenty—no, ten. Give me ten minutes, then we go again."

Sidney lets out an embarrassing squeak then laughs heartily when Geno flips them around and starts peppering little kisses all over Sidney's face. "Oh, God. Geno, stop. Your beard tickles!"

Geno in turn kisses Sidney on the lips and the complain quickly melts into a long moan. Sidney doesn't think it was possible before, but it seems like they can actually go again despite the fact that they have both came not too long ago. Geno seems pretty determined to make good on his words, with him grinding down on Sidney and doing sinful things with his mouth. It awakens the hunger in Sidney and his previously tired body isn't so tired anymore. However, he pushes Geno away all too reluctantly and ends their foreplay prematurely.

"Wait. Wait, Geno. I—I need to say something."

"Ugh, you killing me, Sid." Geno whines out, panting, and rests his forehead against his. Sidney can't resist the puckered lips and tilts his chin up to steal a kiss from it.

"Just hear me out, okay?" Sidney smiles to himself as Geno mutters an 'okay' before he goes nuzzling into Sidney's neck, all the while murmuring his dissatisfaction in a mix of Russian and broken English. Sidney can't find it in his heart to chirp Geno of his childlike behaviour, because he finds it embarrassingly endearing. He soothes his hand down the back of Geno's head and plays with the his hair near the nape.

"I guess I wanna thank you for being so patient with me these past few weeks. I know it sucks that my brain decided to screw with me now but you were handling it so well, way better than I could ever ask of you. It must have really stressful to deal with me in the middle of the playoff, and I can only imagine how it feels to suddenly have a husband who doesn't remember anything about their time together." Sidney pauses to see if Geno has something to say to that, but Geno just buries his head deeper into the crook and wraps his arm tighter around Sidney's waist.

"But you keep surprising me by being so thoughtful and sweet. I just—" Sidney draws a long breath to calm the emotions that came up unannounced. "I just want you to know that I'm really happy that I get to start this new memory with you as my husband. And you know something else? You don't have to feel like you have to keep away from me. It doesn't matter if I remember about us or not because beyond all that, I think I have always been attracted to you, since the first day we met."

Geno lifts his head to look into Sidney's eyes, gaze piercing with such adoration and fondness. It is almost like Geno is confessing his feelings through his gaze, and Sidney is overwhelmed by the amount of love that he is receiving. Sidney winds his arms around Geno's neck and tugs him down for a kiss. It starts sweet—gentle swipes of lips against lips, once, twice before Geno delves his tongue into Sidney's mouth to deepen it. Sidney has never known such passionate kiss before this, and he surrenders himself into it completely and lets Geno take the lead.

Sometimes Sidney wonders if this is crafted by someone higher in the universe to fill up the emptiness in his heart, because he knows not of such happiness could exist in real life. He has someone who knows all of his quirks and accepts them without question. He has someone who chirps him relentlessly about his huge ass but still cook him his favourite pasta, a mountain of it. And it so happened that, that someone is Geno.

He thought about the possibility of maybe waking up one day and be heartbroken over losing it all. He thought about how devastated he would be, having to finally have a taste of such bliss and then be stripped away after. But even with that risk looming threateningly over his head, Sidney can't see himself trading it, for the alternative is ten times worse, because it means that he will not have any at all.

And the night ends with them snuggled closely under the cover, sharing body warmth and lazy kisses. Their hands wander with meaningful touches, coaxing quiet moans and short gasps little by little. And it is another twenty minutes before the quiet affair reach its pinnacle, and when it does, they murmur their 'I love you's during the throes of their pleasure against each others' mouth. And they lay in the bed, languidly with their limps entangled, and they stay that way until eventually, sleep finds them.

_/_/_/_/

It has been a rude awakening for Sidney after that. As much as he gets to see and touch Geno day in and day out, there still exists an infinite hunger that sits stubbornly deep in his stomach. Even after a gruesome game, even when he is more banged up than usual, his body still craves for the touch of his husband, still thrums in anticipation for how his husband makes him feel.

And it is a relief that his husband is in the same predicament as him, not keeping his hands to himself even if he could. They get a lot of chirping shit from their teammates, because they always show up with new, mouth-shaped bruises on their bodies while the others are still fading, alongside those they got from the game.

And it is not like that will make them stop. Definitely not. Both of them have seem equally insatiable, going at it whenever they can, like two bunnies in breezy spring. Sometimes they take their time, thoroughly exploring each others' body with leisure touches and lazy kisses until they both shudder in pleasure, moaning their bliss into each others' mouth. But sometimes it is an urgent affair, hard and fast, with nothing but raw desire to ravished and be ravished by one another.

One recent occasion that still has Sidney's body tingling and his mind reeling was three nights ago, when both of them were so amped up after the victorious shutout in game five against the Preds. Geno has waited until they reached the confine of their home before he jumped Sidney. Geno has Sidney pinned to the wall as soon as he was under the roof, with his leg hitched around Geno's hip while Geno kissed him senselessly and rocking their hips together. Sidney got hard really fast and he was frantically trying to get them out of their clothes. It was messy and uncoordinated, their hands kept knocking at each other because they were both impatient and too horny to undress properly.

It took Sidney a great amount of determination to shove Geno away and almost regretted it immediately, because Geno looked impossibly sexy with his shirt hanging askew on his shoulders, breathing heavily through his chapped and swollen lips, and with dark fire in his eyes. Sidney swallowed hard as he take in the picture of debauchery and shuddered as a strong spark of desire ran down his spine and to his dick. He started to undress and urged Geno to do the same, and as soon as they were both naked, Geno moved them to the couch, and fucked him until he sees stars.

And Sidney can't wait for what Geno has planned for them tonight.

Game six has been just as stressful and gruelling as he remembered, until the very last minute. Preds put up a real fight, just as a true contender would, but it was just poetic as it was heartbreaking for them, that Horny was the one who outsmarted them and scored the winning goal. It was pandemonium after that. The Nashville crowd were booing and throwing their towels onto the ice, and the Preds' bench scrambled to strategise. But it seemed like they were beating a dead horse. Hags scored their insurance goal on a Dumo pass, and it was all over.

Sidney is just as happy this time around, if not more. He has someone to share this moment with, someone whom he doesn't have to see from afar this time. Sidney sees the same goofy face and the same bruised nose as he skates around tugging people into headlocks, and Sidney just want to be with him. So he skates towards the other man, hugging a couple of his teammates on the way and when the other man is within reach, he grabs the back of the jersey with the big number '71' and yanks it to him. Geno turns around and gives him the biggest smile he has ever seen and coddled him into a tight hug. Sidney has to make a conscious effort to keep his hands where it is appropriate, and separates after a few too short seconds to cater to the needs of selfies and interviews.

When it is finally time to hoist the Stanley Cup again, Sidney contemplates for a second before deciding to not warn Geno of his little incident. Call it a mischief on his part, but it is all too fun to see Geno almost tripping as he hoist the Cup above his head. The craziness that ensues is nothing short of well-earned. The champagne shower in the locker room, the drunk singing and the making out with Geno in the rumbling of cheers and wolf-whistling from the guys. It all feels just right and then some.

And it is not like they trash their hotel room until it is beyond recognition or anything. He is too much of a polite Canadian to do such a thing, he tries to sustain the damage to the minimum but let's just say that he leaves quite a hefty tips before they check out of there. 

But he no longer can ignore the slow and insufferable dread that has been festering in the pit of his stomach since winning the cup. When they touch down in Pittsburgh the next day, the dread has become a full blown anxiety, wondering if this is the end, wondering if everything will return to how he remembers it. His new life, the one that is filled with so much laughter and so much love has started from the win, and now it has come to a full circle. He won't be surprise if he goes to bed tonight and wakes up tomorrow morning all alone. He tries to be okay with that, and the only way he can be is if he gets something out of this whole experience.

And he does, he thinks. The comparison of his parallel realities has made him realise what he has been missing out. It made him realise his priority has been misplaced, and if given the chance, he will do everything in his ability to correct the wrongs before they become too late.

And when he pries his eyes open the next morning and see the space next to him on the bed empty, he tries to push down the pang of disappointment and sadness and focuses only on the positives. No matter how prepared he is, he is still not ready to feel the pain in his heart, like someone slicing through it with a rusty knife. Hotness begins to prick the back of his eyes as he grieves the lost of his borrowed happiness, and he knows that deep down, it is all good while it lasts.

Just as he is about to slump back into the bed and lick his wounds, he hears a splash of water coming from his bathroom, followed by a muffled, one sided conversation. Hope begin to blossom in his wounded heart like the young bud in spring, and before he knows it, he is calling out in the direction of where the noise is coming from.

"Geno?"

He hears another splash of water and then a tiny squeak before Geno's head peeks out from the door, looking all soaked but a happy grin on his face.

"Oh, good! You awake," Geno says quickly before he sneaks his head back in and mutters a few words in Russian, and sneaks back out. "Come help! Don't be lazy."

"What is going on in there?"

"Sofya make mess when eat breakfast, I'm give bath now." Geno says.

"My parents are here?"

"Yes. Mama and Papa Crosby they come in morning, bring Sofya, now they downstairs."

"Oh, okay."

"Sid, you okay? Why look sad?"

"Oh, no, no.. Uhm, I'm—," Sidney pauses, blinks away the unshed tears and glances over to the laundry basket nearby before noticing the beak of Sofya's penguin plushie peeking out from underneath. "—good. I'm really good."

Geno nods and the bubbles that are stuck on his fringe drips down and lands on his nose before he wipes it away with the back of his wet hand. "Okay. Then you—no, no, no. Sofyushka, you make more mess, I'm be tickle monster again.."

And Geno goes back into the bathroom and leaves the door ajar. Sidney smiles to himself as he hears Geno makes an exaggerated roar followed by more sloshing of water and some happy squealing. Sweet laughter fills the room and Sidney's heart leaps with joy when the squealing turn into giggly plea, asking him to rescue her from the tickle monster. Sidney takes one more look around the room, feeling satisfied with its domesticity before he gets himself out of the bed and walks towards where happiness is waiting for him.

"Daddy's coming."

_/_/_/_/

 

"We win game four, Sid. We win for you. Just one more then we play in East Conference Final. Like last year."

"Rookie is not bad, he smart, little bit like you. Good speed, make good play. Yesterday he help score, shoot puck at net, hit Orlov skate. They show Orlov face after puck go in, is funny, maybe you laugh."

"Media ask Flower why he tape Nisky name on mask after game, he say he not know and then say something stupid, everyone laugh. Flower good when talk to media. Good guy."

"Sasha send regard. He say he want come but I'm not let him because he bad luck. I'm tell him he see you back on ice, yes? Don't make me liar to that asshole, he chirp me always."

"No, Sid. You know I'm hate losing. I'm hate so much. I'm want to forget game five and just play game six. Fuck! I'm play better, I promise. I'm want do this for you."

"Sid, I'm sorry. I'm not keep promise. I'm let you down, I'm let Sully down, I'm let everyone down. I'm not step up and now we play game seven. You think we have chance? The Caps very good this year, maybe they pass second round this time. Fuck, I'm nervous, Sid. Sid?"

"Sid! We win! Flower is incredible, you know? He like have super power or something. The Caps they have good scoring chance, but Flower not let. I think Sasha still shock when he not score. The puck hit Flower stick shaft, can you believe, Sid? But you not tell him I say this, okay? I'm deny everything. His head too big now, if bigger then won't fit mask anymore."

"Sid. Can you hear? Sid, please wake up."

"Game one with Ottawa sucks. They play the trap, we all know this. But still hard to get in offensive zone. I'm score one but not enough, still lose in overtime."

"You know I'm love Phil very much. He good player, is funny guy, but sometimes I'm wanna kill him. We not score over two periods, I'm emotional, he emotional, we just shout at each other on bench. But he good player, great player. I'm feed him puck, he score last period and we win."

"I'm so tired, Sid. Sometimes I'm want sleep like you. You still not wanting to wake up? Maybe we switch place."

"Fucking Ottawa Senators. They tough team to play against. I think Flower is most upset because he let Ottawa score four in first period. Now maybe he not start game. We wait what Sully decide later.

"Is hard decision, Sid, but Sully want Muzz start game. I'm think is good decision. Sully, he good coach, not emotional and he think about best way to win. But I'm sad for Flower. I'm know you sad too. You play with him longest time. Now he complain nobody sit with him on plane and bus. He lonely."

"When I find you on floor in your house, I'm think maybe you tired. Is playoff, everybody tired but you are Sidney Crosby. You better than everybody. But why you not wake up now? I'm need you, Sid."

"I'm think you be proud of team, Sid. Game five we play best game, big blowout! Remember we play Dallas last December, and we win 6-2? Is almost same, but we score four early. Then Ottawa take out Anderson but still we score three more. Is good game. I'm wish you play with us, Sid."

"Hey, Sid. We going to game seven again. I'm really want to win but I'm not sure, Sid. Team is tired, many injury. I'm feel like maybe we not go to final. If we lose, I'm be very upset. But at least I'm not have to see your ugly beard anymore. Can shave after playoff over, yes?

"Oh my god, Sid! I'm not want to do that again. Play overtime in game seven is very stressful. Fuck! The game is so close, Sid, everybody have chance to win. But Kuni have hot hands. Score in second period, score winning goal in second overtime. He remember for long time for sure."

"And we touch Wales trophy, Sid. I'm almost forget but Kuni remind. Is tradition, yes? Now we for sure win Stanley next."

"Now we are having few day rest, then we play Nashville. Is home game, so I'm feeling good. The guys they ready to play, Sid. We ready to win back to back. I'm feel it, Sid."

"Come on, Sid. Is enough rest for you. Don't be lazy. You wake up now, play in final and win cup, yes?"

"I'm not understand, Sid. Doctor say nothing wrong with you, everything normal, but why you no wake up? Fuck! Please, Sid. I'm need you to wake up, please."

"We did it, finally. We win back to back, Sid. I'm bring Cup to you. See this? Is your name and my name. We—we win together, Sid."

"Anna she—she say I'm too obsess. Maybe she right but she not understand. I'm have to do this. She not like, she say I'm do stupid things, come here everyday to talk. Sid, you think I'm do stupid things?"

"Sometime I'm think I'm not understand what I'm do. I'm come here, tell you everything. About life, about team, about everything. But I'm feel happy. I'm think maybe you hear, and maybe one day you wake up."

"Today is Nikita birthday, Sid. He big boy now, five year old. Time go very fast, I'm know. He say he want become hockey player when grow up. Who know? Maybe he change mind, but if he my son he not change mind, yes?"

"I'm remember when I'm first time meet 'Sid the Kid', I'm very nervous. More nervous than dinner with Mario and family. I'm want impress you because I'm hear Sidney Crosby is best. And I'm want play with best."

"I'm have long talk with Anna. She uh—she say want go back Russia with Nikita. But I—I can't do that. I can't leave you alone here. So, I'm tell her I'm stay. I'm miss Nikita a lot, but I'm stay. Pittsburgh is offer me three year extension, I'm think I'm accept. You think is good, Sid? We Penguins forever."

"When I'm come from Magnitogorsk, I'm not know English. Gonch he help but hard to translate when play hockey, yes? But you—you not care about that. You just keep play hockey, you remember? We play good together, yes? I'm miss playing with you. Miss it very much, Sid."

"I'm think I'm regret most because I'm not say this to you before. I'm keep this long time, and when I'm want to say, is bad timing always. Maybe now is bad timing too but I'm have to say. I'm love you, Sid. I'm love you very much. Sid, please."

"Sid, you losing weight. Need to keep up always, yes? I'm bring pasta for you. You like, is meatball."

"Anna she call today. She ask about life, ask about you. Is good to hear her voice again. When we together, we have good life. She good friend now, good mother to Nikita. I'm always love her."

"Your nail getting long again, Sid. I'm trim again tomorrow. I'm like professional now, many practice. Maybe is second career when I'm retire, yes?"

"How about Sofya? You like name? We can adopt boy too but I'm think maybe little sister for Nikita is cute, yes? He be protective big brother when he come visit."

"I love you, Sid."

"Wow, I'm feel I'm getting old, Sid. Yesterday training is brutal. My knee is hurt but I'm think I'm better than Jagr when he forty and he—Sid? Your hand.. You—did you—oh my god, Sid. Sid! Doctor—!"

_/_/_/_/

 

Chapter Text

Hi guys, I’ve started the sequel to this story so if you’re interested, go and head on over to my account and read Catch A Falling Star. Hope you guys will enjoy it.

Also, just a heads up; the end note contains spoilers to this story. So, avoid it at all cost if you do not wish to know. 

Cheers!