Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Part 2 Chapter 6: In the Aftermath

A few notes...yes, even more than usual. We're to the point in the story that when I was writing this it was before the games happened and obviously a large chunk of this chapter hasn't passed in real time yet so we're talking 100% fictional. Even more fictional than usual. Also if you're aware of the soundtrack songs the song for this chapter is 21 Guns from American Idiot the musical. Lyrics, words all of it, I love for this chapter but it's not exactly title worthy. I hope you guys like this chapter it was a tough one.

Three games since Christmas, three multi-point showings for Kris. Sarah could easily see he was channeling whatever feelings of anger, frustration and hurt into his game because he sure as hell wasn’t talking to her. After the game with the Islanders he had pulled to the lead in points for defensemen and cracked the top five of all skaters.

Sarah on the other had had no one more than DTD injured and was back to regular shifts ar the hospital. They stuck her in her most hated department ever. The ER. It wasn’t the snapped bones or kids with dangerously high fevers that bothered her, it was when an all to familiar scene from her past played out. A police car would pull up and they would carry in children who were confused and more than likely dirty wrapped in scratchy blankets that usually get stored in the trunk of the cars carrying the only possession that mattered to them a teddy bear or ratty doll. It was always the worst when a sexual assault evidence collection kit was asked to be brought and completed.

December 30th was the lay that it was finally to much. An 18 hour shift that had three burns, four flu’s, two ear infections and one appendicitis and three sexual assault kit collections on a trio of Sisters removed from the custody of their parents. They were three, four and six years old. It was the straw that broke her back. She walked into the apartment which had been extremely stuffy with awkwardness since their return home. Sarah didn’t even bother to remove her coat just kicking her boots off by the door and immediately curling up on his lap on the sofa where he was watching tv.

“Bad day?” he asked stroking her hair for the first time in to her what felt like forever.

All Sarah could do was nod and lay her head against his shoulder.

“I know you hate ER.” he said as he unzipped her coat taking it off of her and tossing it into the chair across the room. When she didn’t respond he rubbed his face against her arm like a cat demanding attention would. It was one of his little physical cues he gave her always pushing her to talk or interact when she was stone walling him. When she didn’t respond he picked up her hand reading off the three names written there. “Who are Ramona, Rebecca and Ruby?” he asked catching her golden brown eyes with his dark chocolate ones.

“Remember back in the fall when I told you about what happened to me when I was little?” she said softly just resting against him.

“How could I forget?” he said shifting so he could watch her talk.

“Well it happened to these little girls too. They’re staying at the hospital for a few days and I wanted to check on them on Monday.” She sighed. “I just… no one checked on me. No one checked on me when I was at the hospital. No one could even look at me till G-Dad and Grandma got there.” She started to tear up but did her best to fight it back. “They knew but we never talked about it. I never talk about it with anyone. Mal guessed about some of it but I didn’t even tell her the whole truth. You’re the first person to really know it all.” she pushed her hair out of her face looking everywhere but at him. “I let Eric do what he did because I thought he loved me. They can tell you a million times in books and classes about your past effecting your future but I let him do what he did to me over and over again hurting me because that was my fucked up view on love. I thought when I was little if I let those men do what they wanted if I was a quiet good girl maybe my Mom would bring home KFC for dinner and we’d be a normal family. I thought she’d love me for being a good girl.” she shook her head the silent tears turning to body shaking sobs. “I thought maybe if I was a good girl fro Eric the perfect girlfriend…” she paused taking in a ragged breath. “I tried so hard to be lovely for all of them. I thought if I was a lovely little girl and a lovely girlfriend they would stop hurting me. I just had to try harder.”

He cut her rant off. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” He wasn’t sure what the quote was from but he thought it applied. It was all starting to come together in his head. He was understand why she did what she did in Montreal. He had never hurt her and she didn’t think she was deserving of his love. Those psych books of hers she had put on the shelves of the apartment that he had been secretly reading were paying off.

“I don’t deserve someone as good as you.” she whispered crying into his shoulder.

“But you do!” he said stroking her hair holding her close. “I know you don’t believe me but you do deserve love, love that will never hurt you.”

All she could do was look up at him unbelieving.

“God, Sarah I love you so much. Love you because you do this…” he picked up her hand looking at the three names. “You care about people.” He carefully shifted her from his lap going to the message pad she had put by the phone taking a sheet. Previously he would just use whatever receipts he had in his pocket or laying around. He took a piece of her message paper copying down the three names for her. He then headed to the bathroom starting up the shower for her.

“Ok bath time.” he said leading her by the hand to the bathroom putting her in the shower.

“Get in with me?” she asked softly standing in the shower just letting the water wash over her.

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Kris. I’m processing a lot but my brain isn’t completely broken.” she gave him a little smile. “As in get in here the cold air is getting in.”

“oh my God Sarah that’s two goals!” Mal said jumping up and down with her friend in the second goal celebration for Kris Letang. “Sarah do you think Kris is going to get a H-------”

Sarah covered Mal’s mouth cutting her off. “DO NOT JINX IT.” Sarah said letting to of her friend. She usually wasn’t the superstitious type but when it came to something like this in such a big game she had to err on the side of caution.

Apparently it was a beautiful day for outside hockey. 20 degrees with the wind chill dropping it down to 15. The cold winter sun over head making the eyes a white so bright it was almost hard to look at. Heinz field was crawling with Pens fans just the way it was supposed to be. With Kris’ two goals the Pens had the advantage by one. Sid wasn’t scoring, Geno wasn’t scoring no one was from around the net it was just to defensively fortified. Kris’ two goals had come on the power play.

With 9 mins left in the second Kuni, Sid and Kris flew up the ice in a three on two. Sid had just jumped out of the box took puck on side and boom drop pass to Kuni, cross ice to Tanger a rocket of a shot top shelf blocker side. Pen up 3-1 hat trick Kris Letang. Never before had anyone heard anything like that roar of the crowd and what looked like thousands of hats, scarves and gloves rained down on the ice and field that surrounded it.

It was a simple play on Kris’ next shift. He pinched down like was usual for him. It didn’t matter who took the cross ice run at him smashing his head off the boards and ice as he went down. It didn’t matter if HBO was there filming every second of it. For a moment time stood still and everyone in the stadium gasped. The hero of the game taken out with what looked like serious intent to hard. The scrum followed but Sarah wasn’t paying attention. She was charging from her seat digging through her bag for her security pass. She was working hard to separate nurse from girl friend as she made it to the runway.

She was ready to charge on the ice, ready to kill and by the look in her eye. “Clear a path!” she screamed as she stomped down the runway. She was caught by the arm by her friend and the team Chaplin Brian. “Let go of me.” she demanded. “I’m going to kill whoever did this. I’m going to kill the bastard who just dropped the man I love.” she yelled trying to yank her arm free wrenching it till it hurt her shoulder.

“Sarah Kris needs you now. He you to be you, he needs you as a nurse and as the woman he loves. Don’t go getting yourself in trouble.” he said continuing to squeeze her arm.

“I know!” she yelled back. “I know.” she said softer relaxing so he would let go of her arm.

They wheeled Kris by on the backboard head in the brace position. Sarah and Brian followed down the runway and out of the stadium.

“She rides with.” Brian said catching the door as the EMS attempted to shut them out.

“She’s the team nurse.” Chris Stewart said pulling the door back so Sarah could climb in.


Sarah pulled on a pair of gloves. “No latex allergy.” she said seeing them looking at her. Next she snatched the pen from the paramedic’s pocket jotting down the time the hit happened. When sometime like that happens it’s second nature for her to check her watch and note the time.

She looked up as she put the pen back in the pocket seeing Kris’ brown eyes open and alert. He flinched as the Paramedic started to remove his skates.

“Just relax.” she said softly putting her hand on his chest meeting his eyes. “Be as still as you can.” she knew that would be hard for him. He was usually a fidgety mess especially when uncomfortable and being strapped to a back board was in no way comfortable.

“I’m fine.” he half groaned. “Where are we. I need to be ready when Goose hops off.”

“Can you tell me your name?” the paramedic asked.

“Kris, Kristopher Allen Letang.” he said looking between Sarah and the Paramedic who’s nametag said Rick.

Sarah made note of the time again. In total he was unconscious for 17 mins. That was a scary long time.

“Ok Kris do you know the date?” Paramedic Rick asked next as Sarah texted Chris Stewart the head trainer that Kris was conscious now.

“The first of January 2011.” he said looking at Sarah. “You’re beautiful.” he smiled a kind of flirty smile she didn’t see from him till maybe their third date when he conquered his shyness. “Your hair, makes you glow like an angel.”

All Sarah could do was touch the side of his face lightly. She loved him and was seriously afraid about what might be going on inside his head.

They arrived at the hospital and immediately sent him up for a CT scan.

“What is your number?” he asked watching her out the corner of his eye filling in his medical history.

“Same as yours silly.” she said not thinking anything of the question as she filled in his information.

“Oh so you’re my wife. I remember.” he said smiling. “I’m a lucky man to have a wife a beautiful as you. My friends always joked that I would marry the first girl who was willing to sit in silence with me and not feel the need to talk.”

Sarah stepped closer as the orderly started to snip off his gear with scissors. “Don’t cut his pads.” she said softly. You can get them off by taking them apart.” She knew he would flip to find his pads had been destroyed. “Kris what’s my name?” she asked resting a hand on his bare chest.

He looked up at her blankly his brows then knitting. “Sweetie?” he said that weird smile returning.

“Kris I’m not your wife.” Sarah said softly working hard to maintain eye contact. She was panic stricken her heart racing. She hoped he couldn’t feel it through the pulse in her wrist.

“Not yet. But you will be.” he winked at her and she did everything she could not to tear up or give away any emotion. This was not her Kris.

“Did we win the game?” he asked to whomever could answer.

“Yeah man. That hattie of yours sealed the deal. The guy who hit you got a game misconduct and will more than likely be fined and suspended.” The tech said as he and Sarah worked to take off his chest protector sliding the back section out from under him extremely carefully.

“I’ll be just over there.” she said as she was motioned to the room behind the safety glass. She was sat down in front of the microphone and prompted to talk.

“He likes you. Just try to help him stay calm.” The tech said.

“It’s going to make some noise. Kris just be as still as possible.” Sarah said into the mic the reality of the situation her mind trying to handle.

“Dude why don’t you tell me how you met your future wife here?” The Tech asked when he saw Sarah struggling.

She turned off their end of the mic looking at the tech. “We’ve been together for over a year you know. I really love him and am kinda freaking out here.” she explained turning the volume up on Kris so they could hear his response.

“I wake up and she there sitting next to me in the…” He paused searching for the right word. “transport de carabin… she has gold brown eye and light hair. I like her light hair. She look like angel.” he said using about what Sarah thought was her panic stricken face.

“Is his speech off?” the tech asked looking at Sarah.

“No, he’s French Canadian. Plurals are always a struggle for him.” She explained.

“Ambulance Kris.” she said pointing out the right word.

“See and she smart. I like the smart angel.” he said as the machine completed it’s scan.


Two hours and a few more tests later he was freed from the back board and neck brace given an ok to use ‘gentle movement’.

“I can not wait to go home and sleep.” he said being careful as he reached for the cup of juice with a straw he had been given.

“Are you feeling sleepy?” Sarah asked from the visitors chair next to him in the standard room he had been put on.

“Not like dat. After a game tired.” he explained. “You may not be my wife but you did my forms so you know where I live and will take me home.” he smiled that smile that was so uncharacteristically him that it worried her.
Sarah opened her mouth to speak but a knock at the door interrupted her. Mal stood there beckoning Sarah into the hall.

“I’ll be back Kris. Try not to go to sleep ok. Watch some tv or something.” she said giving him the remote control for the tv.

Sarah picked up his chart and headed into the hall where her friend waited.

“What do you mean he doesn’t remember you? Sitting in the waiting room with Sarah going over the chart with her.

“He think’s we just met.” Sarah said with a shrug. “They always say memory loss is possible but I’ve only ever see it be temporary and with teenage football players in the ER. He hasn’t come around to remembering me yet. He’s got everything else falling into place but me.” Sarah ran a hand through her hair. “He asked me to marry him.”

“Even though he thinks you just met?” Mal asked holding an x-ray up to the light.

“No in Montreal on Christmas eve.” Sarah said with a sigh.

“OMG Sarah congratu-..” Mal paused looking at Sarah’s hands. “You don’t have the ring. Where’s the ring? Did you lose it? You better not have it‘s so perfect.”

“I said no for now but how did you… you knew!?!” Sarah asked dropping her jaw.

“You said no!” Mal shrieked looking at her friend in total shocker. “I can’t believe it. Actually I can.” Mal said as she got up. You finally get something good in your life and you just can’t accept it.” Mal stood putting the x-rays and sheets back in the file. “God Sarah you don’t always need drama and pain in your life. I don’t know what happened to you as a kid but I know what you let Eric do to you. You’ve had it rough I get it but you’re doing this to yourself.”

“Shut up Mal.” Sarah said looking down at the floor between her feet. “Just shut up.”

“You’re right I don’t know about everything but that man does and if he doesn’t I know he’s still willing to accept whatever it is.” Mal pointed to Kris’ room as she spoke. “That man fucking loves you. He would die for you Sarah, you need to get your issues dealt with or he’s gong to walk.”

“I know Mal.. I know.” Sarah chocked out through tears. “I know.” she whispered again.

“The truth is painful. Both the truths we can accept and the ones we can forgive our friends for pointing out.” Mal said sitting down next to her friend.
“Yeah.” was all Sarah could say in agreement as she did her best to dry her tears as the Doctor approached.

“I’ll see you soon Sarah. Mal said getting up. Just keep me posted ok?” Mal put her hand on her friends shoulder.

“I will.” she agreed.

“The only thing that’s concerning me is his memory.” Sarah said to the Doctor who was slightly annoyed to be talking with a nurse rather than just hysterical family. Family didn’t have opinions or ideas they just accepted what he said.

“Well we’re going to keep him overnight. He can sleep but someone will be in to wake him every few hours. We can reassess in the morning.” The doctor closed the file.

“I’ll wake him. You don’t have to have the nurses bother I know how busy they are.”

“I’m sure you do.” he said straightening the file handing it back to her. Sarah close to ignore the somewhat snide comment.

She took a moment to call and text the necessary people keeping them aware of the most recent news. By the time she got back to the room he was asleep and the nurse was waiting on her.

“Sweetie we’ll wake him up. You need rest too.” The nurse on duty said.

“No, it’s ok.” Sarah insisted.

“Really dear. Your friend stopped by the desk and said we should insist.” Sarah sighed giving in. She was tired.

“He was just awake about 15 mins ago so we’ll be back in about an hour.” the nurse who’s name was Becky said patting Sarah on the back. “Get some rest. He’ll need you tomorrow.”

Alone in the room Sarah silently moved the chair next to his bed taking his hand as she said her head on it. “You have to come back to me.” she whispered knowing he was sleeping. “I’m so scared Kris and you’re the only person who can make me feel safe.” she whispered sniffing. She was all out of tears. “You’re the only person who can make me feel ok.” she chuckled. “I know it’s a cliché but you made me a whole person when I didn’t even know I was partially empty.”

Sarah slept there with her hand on his hand not daring to let go. She missed all the early morning flower deliveries, she even missed breakfast.

“Hey you’re drooling on me.” she heard in an all to familiar accent as the hand she hadn’t dared to let go wiggled under her face.

“Oh… sorry.” she mumbled sitting up her back cracking in a million places as she stretched.

“I can not blame you.” he said with a smile that was like the one she was used to seeing from him.

“It is a good thing you slept on my right hand.” he said making no effort to pull it from where she still held it even now.

There was a pause as they just looked at one another.

“Next time I ask you, you will say yes?”

“Yes, Kris completely yes.” she said though a combination sob and laugh.

He was back.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chapter 5: Petit Papa Noel // So Close - Jon McLaughlin

Happy Christmas! This is EXTREMELY Christmas centric chapter so you get it today! I hope everyone has a great holiday!

“How do you feel about Christmas in Montreal with me?” Kris asked from across the phone line.

Sarah almost dripped the hot pumpkin pie she was pulling from the oven. He was boarding the plane out of Buffalo and she had him on speaker phone as she continued to cook.

“Um… I don’t know. I can’t just leave G-Dad. I mean sure Russ has settled sown a lot but still.” she said resting an oven mit covered hand on her hip.

“He can come too.” Kris said from the other end of the call.

She had to laugh at that. “Yeah right. Good luck getting him on a plane.” she put the double crusted apple pie in the hot oven before going back to hand chopping everything for her stuffing.

“Trust me.”

She said a silent prayer hoping it would all work out. “Ok. Christmas in Montreal. With or without G-Dad I guess.” He missed out on so much with his family she couldn’t deny him Christmas when G-Dad came up for dinner almost once a week now.

“Good I will tell my Mama. She will be so happy. I will take care of everything.” He was a giddy as a child as he searched out their home phone.

“You better because I’m waist deep in Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping at the moment."

Thanksgiving went off without a hitch. Once again Sarah fed the guys without family in town. She did a good job keeping herself busy trying to push Montreal Christmas out of her mind. She went out shopping with Mal and even a now 6th month pregnant Nessa. The guys were even hitting a huge winning streak as they approached the holiday. Everyone was happy though it was clear that her G-Dad had no intention of putting himself in a ‘flying tin can bound for the artic to come to Montreal for Christmas.


Sarah was packing and she hated every second of it. She was dragging her feet as she put things in the overnight bag. She was flying part of the way like any other member of the public would and she didn’t want to deal with lost baggage or worse baggage fees.

“He isn’t coming is he?” She asked as she folded her Christmas eve outfit into the bag. She would hang it up upon arrival.

“Not yet.” Kris said from the other side of the bed where he was doing his own packing. He had the luxury of the team jet so Sarah had put a few things in his case. “But it isn’t over.” he said trying to counter his disappointment.

“It’s fine, I want to spend Christmas with you. Your Mom is even letting me keep my Tradition of pie. I know she makes the best cake but I do pie.” It was the tradition that reminded her the most of her grandmother. Even if G-Dad wasn’t coming she could still have this bit of home.

“Pecan?” he asked saying it like her G-Dad always did with the West Virginia coming out. The two of them had spent hours trying to get Kris to say it 'right'. “It is my favorite of your pies.”

“Yes silly. I can’t deny you pecan pie.” Sarah repeated with with the fake twang.


“Mama do you care if Sarah and I walk home?” Kris asked his Mother as they exited midnight mass.

“You children go. We used to walk home when you were little Kristopher, do you remember.?” she asked pausing to kiss them both on the cheek.

“Of course Mama. That is why I want to share it with Sarah.” he said hugging both his Mother and then a rare real hug for his Step-Father.

He took Sarah’s arm wrapping it around his as they walked nice and slow through the light snow. It was everything about Christmas in Montreal he wanted to share with Sarah. He held her close as they walked pointing out things that never changed like the house that always had the multi-colored lights the looked exactly like gingerbread and the statue of some solider statue people always ‘vandalize’ by putting a wreath around it’s neck no matter how many times the authorities remove them one goes up every night.

“It’s beautiful here.” Sarah said giving his arm a squeeze. “I’m glad I came and you can share your Christmas with me.” She hadn’t expected him to be such a Christmas-y person but here he was talking about memories of Pere Noel visits at the mall and even a failed attempt at caroling when he was in elementary school. As it turns out the one artistic thing he can’t do is sing.

“Me too. It would not be Christmas for me without you now.” he said putting his arm around her back holding their bodies close together as they walked.

“You always know what to say.” she was half joking when she said it but it was frequently true. He didn't always say much but what he did say was always perfect.

“Marry me?” he asked stopping in the middle of the empty street just a few blocks from his home.

She stopped turning to face him. “Wait what? I think I have snow in my ears.” she joked.

“Be my wife.” he said pulling the little box from his coat pocket.

“Holy fu-” she covered her mouth with her mitten hands. “Oh my God Kris… you can’t be doing this right now.” she said shaking her head taking a step back. “Yes, but not now not yet.” she took another step away from him and the box. “I want to say yes but we need more time.” she shook her head no tears welling up in her eyes.

He tucked the box back into his pocket and stepped in close grabbing the front of her coat so she couldn’t step back again. He took his gloves off brushing her tears from her cheeks meeting her eyes. “So yes, but not yet?” he questioned.
She nodded leaning in resting her forehead against his chest.

He lifted her chin so their eyes could meet. Swallowing his emotions down hard he nodded. “Ok… whatever it is you need time for it is worth the wait.”

Sarah threw her arms around him. “The next time you ask me it will be yes, all yes.” she whispered in his ear before they started out for home again.
Silently she couldn’t help but wonder if he would ever ask again.

When the house came into view the car pulling into the drive way caused a bit of confusion. She didn’t understand how Kris’ Parents could just now be getting home from church.

“We found someone at the airport. Sarah he say’s he knows you?” Henri shouted down the street in French. They had been having great fun testing how hard Sarah had been working on the rosetta stone program over the last year.

She looked to Kris giving him a big hug emotion filled hug. “You’ve done the impossible.” she whispered. “The next time you ask it will be yes.” she said before letting go and running to meet her G-Dad as he climbed out of the car.

Sarah sobbed into the familiar arms of the man who had raised her up when everyone else in her life had abused, abandoned or died on her.

“Shhh… it’s ok Sare-Bear.” he whispered petting her hair as he held her close. She was crying everything out on him. The excitement of him being there, the breaking of her heart from saying no to Kris and the mending of all the old wounds when he said he was willing to wait. It all came out in tears there in a front yard in the suburbs of Montreal.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Part 2: Chapter 4: All This Time - One Republic

I'm super excited for the upcoming chapters. I hope you guys are too. As you know I'm writing in real time now as in so things are going into the AU (alternate universe) world where I can make up stats and the outcomes of games. I wish I could make things peachy keen all the time but they won't be because I'm evil to my characters. However things are peachy keen in this chapter so enjoy and let me know what you think!

All the WAGS said the first long road trip was the most painful thing to experience as a couple. With her role in the Penguins organization diminished Sarah had found greater acceptance within the extended family of Pend wives, girlfriends and children. With Duper’s wife about to pop any second it seem Sarah’s offers to baby sit were called upon a few times for appointments and the like.

She wasn’t that’s hocked when the call came begging her to stay with the Dupuis children till their Grandparents could arrive from Quebec. All in all she was thankful for the distraction from the apartment that felt painfully empty without Kris.

The children made card for their new baby sister Lola. The made cookies too with pink icing for everyone to enjoy. All the while answering the door bell as casseroles’ were delivered from the other WAGS and friends of the family. Sarah kept a careful list of who brought what dish and the type of container so Carole-Lynn would have what she needed to write note cards and return the glass/plastic ware. She was actually sad to go home when the grandparents arrived. She made the children promise to tell their Parents how much fun they had and how they wanted Sarah to come back. She especially wanted to watch them with Kris getting him some of that practice they had talked about.


In an effort to fill the quiet of the apartment without Kris being home she begged Mal to stay, Had Jimmy and a now 6 month pregnant Nessa up for a weekend visit. She even had Jstaal over for dinner a few times though they were getting sick of seeing one another with him being continuously on IR. She also cleaned the apartment from floor to ceiling, scrubbing down the walls in hopes of preventing colds and flus this winter. She nearly made herself sick on cleaner fumes it was so well done. By the time the team plane had landed they had been apart for ten days. Funny how she managed for three months apart but this 10 days had been about enough to do her in.

She couldn’t help but sit perched on the edge of the sofa waiting for him to arrive. She watched the door like an anxious puppy awaiting it’s owner to return. She even managed to hear his keys in the hall as he opened the door. If she had a tail it would have been wagging. When the door opened and he entered she launched off the sofa immediately tackling him to the ground.

“Don’t ever leave me again!” she squealed as she dropped kisses all over his face as he laid on the floor under her in his suit.

“Stop, stop!” he said through laughter at her behavior. She finally let up on sitting back on his hips allowing him to smile up at her. “I missed you too.” he said making no move to get up enjoying having her on top of him.

“I baked bread, made chicken and snap peas for dinner.” she said almost on random as she got up ready to have him settle in and just be home again.

“Wait…” he said catching her hand as she turned to go to the kitchen. He pulled her to his body his arm looped around her waist. With her so close he almost went crossed eyed looking at her. “ Ees good to be home with you…” he said before leaning in bringing a gentle kiss to her lips. “I could get used to coming home and having you here.”

If he wasn’t holding onto her she might have fallen down. She knew she loved him even when he left globs of toothpaste in the sink but it were moments like these that she would tell her children about her their Father was indeed prince charming.


“So we’re watching Duper’s kids while he and Carole-Lynn go for baby photos and a doctor’s appointment?” he asked trying to figure out exactly what they would be doing with the kids.

“Yeah. Don’t worry. I brought cookies and stuff. They call me cookie Sarah.” she said as she drove looking over giving him a grin.

“I can only have one.” he said with a little frown. Generally they both subscribed to eating well even though Sarah could indeed eat whatever she wanted. Eating with him was healthy though well eating what he ate only without the carb loading for pre-game was healthy. She didn’t have to worry about food when they ate together and she found freedom in that. Even though he never would ever question what she ate she felt comforted knowing it was healthy for the most part.

“Dear, the cookies are for the kids. Mostly to keep the busy decorating them rather than eating them.” she explained.

It was simple enough kicking the oldest and the youngest member of the Dupuis clan out of the house leaving Sarah in charge of the Six year old Maeva, four year old Kody and two year old Zoe and one extremely frightened looking man-child who was holding Zoe like a football about to be passed. Four sets of expectant eyes looked at her for direction.

“Ok Kris can you and Kody and Mavea go draw in the family room while I take care of Zoe?” she asked taking the sleepy two year old from him holding her to her body.

“Oh I love to draw.” Maeva said leading the was.
“I make a car.” Kody said immediately latching onto Kris’ hand pulling him along.

They all sat down at a tiny art table and worked. Kris did well like this. She had seen him be like this with Jason after a few visits. Kris didn’t know it but he had an instant connection with the Dupuis children just like he had Jason.

Sarah laid down a now sleeping Zoe in her pack and play. She escaped next to the kitchen to get things ready for cookie baking.

“Kody says he has to pee.” Kris said standing in the entry to the kitchen Kody holding his hand. It about made her heart melt but she held in her ‘awww…’
“Well you guys better take care of that.” she said to both of them. “Really just pull the step stool up for him. “Kody you can do the rest right?”

‘Yeah!” Kody exclaimed jumping only to then need to hold himself.

“Better hurry.” she said to both of them as they trotted upstairs.

Mave entered the kitchen next using a letter D magnet on the fridge to post the new family portrait she had drawn.

“Is he your husband?” she asked climbing up to the table to watch Sarah and talk like it was girl time.

“No, we’re dating. He’s my boyfriend.” Sarah explained as she laid out all the icing tubes and sprinkle containers.

“He wants to be your husband. He said so when Kody asked him if you were married.” Maeva said resting her head on her hand proped by her elbow.

“That’s great. Someday we’ll be husband and wife then I hope.” Sarah said as she put her bag of cookie cutters down in front of the six year old. “Pick out some shapes?”

Thankfully Maeva was distracted by that and let the subject slide so Sarah could roll out the cookie dough.

“All good?” she asked as the boys returned.

He nodded moving to stand next to her.

“Ok everyone needs to wash hands, Kris will help you.” she said with a smile. It was cute how he held them up like superman flying so they could use the sink.

“So, everyone gets to cut out three.” Sarah said as Maeva held up her flower, Kody his hockey stick, Kris a duck and Sarah had a plain circle that Kody had picked calling it a puck.

With the cut outs done Sarah sent the kids and Kris to go draw more as the cookies baked the seconds ticking off the chicken shaped egg timer on the counter.

She sat near by on the sofa watching them. Maeva was drawing flowers and a pony talking about how she wanted one for her birthday. Sarah couldn’t help but think how something’s never changed when it came to being a little girl. Kody was working on… well Sarah wasn’t sure what it was but it looked like a happy pineapple. Kris’s papers on the other hand were unexpected. He was doing portraits of Maeva and Kody. She had seen him leave little doodles around the apartment and the shoes he had painted for max’s charity event were really nice but these having been done in black and blue crayons were amazing. She stood behind him her hands on his shoulders.

Leaning down she pressed a kiss to the top of his head. “Add this to things you’re amazing at.” She sighed continuing to watch him and the kids. Finally the chicken went off making her jump. The loud ringing immediately made Zoe wake up crying.

“I’ll get the cookies you get Zoe?” she asked Kris not giving him a chance to respond as she headed for the kitchen the elder Dupuis children trotting after her.

Kris looked down at the little girl with big wet tears in her eyes and almost melted. Being extremely careful he bend down picking her up cradling her against his chest as he had seen Sarah do. Zoe still fussed so just like Sarah he walked her around kind of rocking her. Once she was calm he headed for the kitchen to see the older children watching the cookies willing them to cool faster so they could play with the sugary toppings.

“Guys if you go do something you won’t notice how long it takes.” Sarah offered seeing them in agony as they waited.

“Can we watch sponge bob?” Kody asked.

Sarah sighed. “Fine but one episode.” she hated seeing kids watch tv all day and when she was baby sitting she did everything to avoid turning the tv on.

The kids made a run for the living room as they turned the tv and dvd player on with no trouble. It seemed to involve six remotes and Sarah knew she’d never figure it out on her own. It took three lessons for her to learn how to switch Kris’ crazy tv from the wii back to cable.

“Here I’ll take her.” Sarah said reaching out for Zoe. Much to her surprise Kris turned away.

“No I like holding her.” he said looking down at the little girl in his arms who had fallen back asleep.

“Go sit with her.” Sarah encouraged pointing him to the sofa. Kris Sat with Zoe. Maeva and Kody flanking him as they watched sponge bob.

The decorated cookies the rest of the afternoon and drew so Kris could finish all the portraits of the kids. They even had time to squeeze in a game of hide and seek.


Pascal and Carole-Lynn returned with Lola at 5:30 right on time with McDonalds in hand for the kids who were left at home. Just like the last time Sarah had baby sat for them they were shocked to find the house clean and the kids happy. What made her cry tears of joy though were the three portraits Kris had drawn that Maeva put up on the fridge with her own art.

“Who did there? Sarah was this your doing too?” Carole-lynn asked.

“Oh no. I don’t have an artistic bone in my body. This was all Kris.” Sarah said with a smile.

Carole-lynn walked immediately into the family room where Pascal was as always picking on Kris. “Shut up Pascal. Get the kids ready fro dinner.” She had the Mom tone that let everyone know she was not to be messed with. Even Duper put his head down and followed her instructions. “Kris you must draw Lola. I want to frame these they are to beautiful.”

His cheeks went pink at the compliment and just shrugged. “It won’t take long.” he said going to the art table to sit like he had. Lola’s car carrier was put down next to him and he went to work drawing the tiny infant.

The elder Dupuis family members all ate their dinner leaving Kris alone to work as Sarah sat with him watching him. He was perfect like that his hat holding his hair out of his face as he intently worked. He had the same kind of focus when he taped his sticks. It made her wonder what he would have been if it hadn’t been for hockey. She thought of him as an artist in Old Town Montreal who did portraits for people on the streets who had an apartment over an art gallery where he showed his work as well as the works of his friends. She would have never met him if it wasn’t for hockey other than perhaps to cross paths if she happened to stay into his shop on a vacation. Two strangers that’s all the would have been. Or maybe just maybe they really were meant to be and fate from this alternate world meeting would be enough to draw them together.

He finished up and it was time to leave. Sarah and Kris were both exhausted as were the Dupuis children from the looks of it.

“That you so much Kris these are lovely.” Carole-lynn said looking over the drawings in her hands which she had forced her to sign.

“I always knew you were a sensitive artist emo boy.” Pascal teased like the proud older brother figure he was to Kris. Carole-lynn give her husband a glair that forced him to stand down.

“Please come play again soon.” Kody said throwing his arms around Kris’s legs.

“They’re going to get married.” Maeva said to her parents beaming.

Sarah chuckled. “Someday Maeva, though not soon.” she said looking between all the Dupuis' who seemed not to shocked by their daughters comment.

“We’ll be heading home then.” Kris said helping Sarah into her jacket before putting his own on. The headed out to the car hand in hand ready to crash at home exhausted from chasing the children around all day.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Part 2: Chapter 2 & 3 : F**k Gentely - Tenacious D, I'd Rather Be With You - Joshua Radin

I decided to post these two Chapter's together because they're both short. So no complaints this time *you know who you are*. As always I hope everyone enjoys it as we head into the freakishly dense 3 'chapters' coming up.

“Ok with a smile like that you totally got laid this morning. If I wasn’t aware of your total aversion to car sex I’d say you just got laid in the parking lot.” Mal said as the pair headed into the hospital. Sarah was in for a training and Mal for the training followed by a shift.

“Can’t a girl be happy to be home?” Sarah asked lifting her coffee to her lips to hide her smile.

“Oh please you totally had hot long haired French Canadian hockey stud sex at 5am.” Mal hit the up button on the elevator as she talked.

“You’re one to talk walking a little bow legged this morning?” she asked in a sing song voice.

“Damn straight.” Mal said with a big grin. “Let me guess you and Mr. Sensitive held hands all night and cried while you…”she paused for dramatic effect “made LOVE.”

“Ha. Nice. If you must know we totally fucked in the living room yesterday. I mean could barely get the door closed before he was on me.” she grinned mischievously. “This morning was half asleep slow lazy cozy… honestly I don’t’ think he’s ever had a bad performance.” she usually wasn’t one to chat about her and Kris’ sex life. She was always a little paranoid about people listening.

“Damn girl. God love my Max but I could go for half asleep and lazy on occasion.”

They reached the floor they needed for the training. “Lunch before I lose you to hockey land again?” Mal asked as they took their seats.


“Oh man you must be tired Tanger.” max said from the tredmill next to Kris.

“Why?” he asked slightly confused by the random question. They hadn’t been in the workout room that long yet.

“Dude you and your sexy girlfriend just reunited after three months. Even I know what he’s talking about.” Sid said from Kris’ other side.

“Oh yes. I missed her lots. I actually rest better now that she is home and safe.” Kris said dodging the question.

“You know I was only in Haiti for a few days but when I got home I think Mal and I both had trouble walking for days.” Max said as the conditioning coach came over bumping up the speed on Max and Sid but the incline for Kris knowing what would break each of the guys sooner.

“Come on Tanger give me something. I don’t have a girlfriend right now and I gotta live through you guys.” Sid said.

“Sid. Dat’s creepy.” Max said blanking.

“Don’t let Sarah know you want to know about her.” Kris said shaking his head. “She’s scary. She’ll prank you like before or worse yet she’ll make you think she's did something which is so much worse. Psychological warfare.” he explained.

“Do not think you’ll get out of this.” Max said. “Psycho or not you have to give us something.”

“Fine. Yesterday night frantic hallway living room. I needed her bad. This morning lazy slow spoons. Are you both happy?" He asked his face bright pink with embarrassment.

“Damn you do love her don’t you? No one spoons unless they are in love.” Max sad with Sid nodding his agreement.

“Yeah I do.”


“So spoon sex…” Mal said crunching into a red pepper that topped her salad.

“Yeah it’s nice. Really intimate feeling, being connected head to toe.” Sarah explained happily adding mayo to her turkey sandwich.

“Sounds like it.” Mal said with another crunchy bite. “So what’s wrong with him? I mean he’s been perfect since the beginning. Like Max is amazing but his flaws are being horny all the fucking time and the whole superstar persona thing he insists on keeping up in public. He has trouble being the real Max.” Mal explained.

“Kris is to giving. I know that sounds stupid but he would lasso the moon if I asked him to. He never expresses his needs though. I have to dog so deep to get anything out of him. Someday I’m afraid he’ll resent me for not knowing his needs better. He’s a secret keeper too. I know it’s just his general quietness but I don’t like secrets.”

“If he’s the pot then you’re the kettle calling him black when it comes to secrets and open communication.” Mal said lifting her fork to her mouth. “You still haven’t told him everything about Dr. Asshat and when you were a kid.” Mal lifted her eyes to her friend.

“I know Mal.” she said taking a bite of pineapple from her fruit cup she had gotten with her sandwich. She hoped the sweet acid of the fruit would push down the burning acid her stomach was churning up at the mention of her past.

“So tell me about this spooning thing…” Mal said changing the subject.

“Well sometimes when one of us need that connection we just sleep like that so close together. I mean he’s just kind of there and ready to go in the morning s I mean it just kind of happened.” she said her neck and chest going pink. “I mean well first he gets me going but you get the idea.”

“Damn girl. For real hold onto him.”

“I plan on it Mal. I mean I love him.”

Mal just smiled knowingly trying to hide behind her salad.

“So what’s she like Tanger?” Sid asked not looking aay from the big HD tv they were playing one of the final fantasy games on at MAF’s house.

“Ew, Sid I do not want to know. She is like our Sister.” Marc-Andre said making a face.

“Liar. Before she and Kris were official you said she was hot.” Sid shot back.

“Yes, hot but I do not want to think about Tanger having sex.”

“Gross. Just say about her Tanger. come on.” Sid begged.

“If you don’t he will never shut up. Better here than the locker room.” Marc said with a sigh

Kris ran a hand through his hair. “Well she is good at everything. Giving, flexibility, endurance, strength…”

“Tanger this isn’t a scouting report get to the good stuff.” Sid said putting the game on pause looking at his friend.

“Well she has a great tongue. It just doesn’t things. Her breast are perfect.” he said holding his hands up. They just big enough to look amazing when she lays down… she isn’t shy about being naked when it’s just us. She’s made me a sandwich topless.” he said grinning like a school boy though it was his friends with their mouths hanging open that made him chuckle.

“Dude if you guys break up I’m so jumping in there.” Sid said joking… well mostly joking.

“She’s forever guys. She is the one.” Kris said taking the game off pause continuing with the level they were on.
Chapter 3

“So this is it?” Mal asked looking over Sarah and the exactly 20 boxes she had sitting on the side of the curb.

“Yep this is it.” Sarah confirmed.

“No really this is it?” Mal asked again.

“Yeah Kris has everything and all his stuff was better than mine. Well except my wok and baking stuff. He didn’t have any of that. We got me a desk and a new book cake too. So I gave all the rest of my stuff to charity or junked it. Well except that.” She said pointing out one box with Mal’s name on it. “That’s all your stuff or stuff I knew you would want.”

“The purple rain boots?” she asked raising an eyebrow.

“Yes since I have the newer black one wit white polka-dots.” Sarah confirmed. “And the silver heels I only wore to that one Christmas party. Just stuff I know you would dive in the dumpster for if I told you I threw it out.” she said with a shrug.

“Have I told you lately that I love you…” mal started to sing.
“Shut up you nut.” Sarah laughed as she picked up the first box lugging it into the back of Mal’s SUV.


The girls worked all morning moving the boxes tll Mal had to go to a meeting for Max’s Foundation. Mal was actually really knowledgeable about that kind of stuff and thought it was great the couple could be involved together on the project.

Sarah got all of her clothes put away first then the kitchen. Finally she tackled the biggest project. Putting together the Ikea bookcase for all their books, DVD’s and cd’s. She was standing up on a chair putting things on the top shelf when she heard the door open and then close.

“Well dat is going to take getting used to.” Kris said as he entered the room.

“Hey!” she asked from where she was perched on the chair. “Can you hand me your red piñata horse award thing?” she asked pointing out the award he had won at world juniors with team Canada. She had found it buried in the back of what was now her closet and thought it would look good on display.

He handed it p to her where she put it between some books. It looked nice there which he was confused about. How would she know to put it between books. It must have been some weird girl instinct he thought.
“Come here.” he said taking her out at the knees forcing her to fall into his arms with a gleeful squeal.

“And to think I was worried about how I was going to get down.” she joked shifting in his arms to press a kiss to his lips. “How was practice with the shooting?” she asked as he put her down on her feet. She knew he had been working all summer putting pucks on the net.

“Good. I think we want to change my stick a bit. A bit more of a curve.” he said with a shrug. He didn’t really like change but if it would help him not miss the goal he would give it a try. “I see you made progress. Is this all you brought?” he asked remembering her apartment to be full of stuff.

“Yeah I got rid of a bunch of stuff. I know you don’t like clutter and it was stuff I didn’t need.”

“You didn’t have to we could have gotten storage.” he said sitting on the arm of the sofa watching her go back to putting books and things on the shelves.

“Sweetie I just spent three months living out of one suitcase. I learned what’s important and what isn’t.” she said giving him a smile.

“I just don’t want you to mss anything.” he said getting up bound for the kitchen. He saw her stack of cook books arranged on what were his next to bare counters along with her cookie jar and set of canisters looking like something out of an interior design magazine. It looked good, like a woman lived here which she did now but it was going to take some getting used to. He wasn’t as bad about change as some but it was still a challenge. Good thing this wasn’t happening mid-season.

‘Drink?” he asked going to the fridge.

“Water please.” she replied from the other room. “Can you make pesto chicken for dinner? I missed your pesto chicken oh and salad. That sound really good.”

“Um yeah. Let me check if there is everything here…”

“There is. I checked and put the chicken down to thaw.” she said with an obvious smile in her voice.

“Cheater. You knew I would make it before you asked.” he said bringing her the water even opening the lid for her.

“Maybe but you me love.” she called from the living room where she was still working at the book shelf.

“Yeah I do.”

“Hey what is dis?” Kris asked standing at her open dresser drawers in their now shared bedroom. He pulled out a purple satin and lace number holding it up. His wet hair dripped on it leaving dark water spots on the material.

Sarah emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a towel. “Well that was going to be a surprise…” she paused for dramatic effect. “Surprise.” she said with a chuckle. “I can put it on now if you want but after that good clean fun we just had I don’t know if I can go or another round right now. I need to rest.” she said putting her hand on his arm feeling the contours of his muscles.

“Another night.” he said putting it away before pulling out pajama’s for her.

“Why thank you.” she said taking the shorts and tank top he had picked for her.

He couldn’t help but watch as she got dressed. She was the only woman he had ever seen who could look just as sexy putting clothes on as she could taking them off.

“What?” she asked catching him watching her as she pulled the tank over her head.

“I am a lucky man.” he said with a grin going to his own dresser pulling out boxers to sleep in.

She crawled across the bed to get to him faster. “Please. I am the luck one. You are like a freaking statue of a greek god or something.” she said running her hands over his toned back and shoulders. She sighed the contented sigh she always had when she was happy as she moved away from him to turn down the bed. She climbed into bed feeling like things were really official now even though they had to have done the same thing over a hundred nights before. It was just she lived her now and this was her bed as well as his.

Kris climbed into bed after turning of the lights and cozied up next to her. They always started off like this drifting apart as they slept most night. “Play question game with me till one of us falls asleep?” he asked wrapping his arms around her.

“Ok.” she said knowing it wouldn’t be long till he drifted off.

“Best day of your life? Do not be cheese and say something about us.” they had to put stipulations on the questions knowing one another as well as they did.

“Um… I think finishing my first marathon. No one thought I could do it. I didn’t even think I could do it.” she explained. “Ok your turn. What was your favorite toy growing up. Excluding hockey stuff.”

“When I was really little I had this brow stuffed dog. It is on the shelf in my bedroom at my Mom’s. Theo was its name. Then I like building toys, drawing stuff too.”

In another life she thought maybe he could have turned out to be an architect or something.

“When were you most scared?” he asked next. She waited a moment thinking maybe he would drift off but his lips on her shoulder let her know he was waiting for an answer no matter how slow and steady his breathing got.

“Sometimes when I was really little and lived with my Mom she would bring these guys home and they were more interested in me than her.” This was what Mal was talking about right? Being honest, no secrets.

“Wait you mean she let them…” he asked trailing off propping himself up on an elbow to lean over her a bit.

“Yeah…. What ever you’re thinking yeah and maybe worse.” Sarah said softly. “I really don’t want to go into detail.”

“Why have you never told me?” he asked softly. Suddenly her reluctance to try certain things in bed made sense.

Sarah rolled over to meet his eyes in the darkened bedroom. “What was I supposed to say? By the way my history of neglect wasn’t what got me removed from my Mom’s care but some seriously fucked up shit she let happen in exchange for drugs and money?” she turned away from him again. “She did what she did and I am who I am because of it. I mean if I it wasn’t like that maybe I wouldn’t even be here. I could have turned out like her.”

“You’ll never be like that.” he said cutting her off. “Never ever. And I will never let anyone hurt you ever again. It should not have ever happened to any child ever.”

“You’re right.” she said turning over and forcing him to his back so she could lay against his chest. “My question.” she needed to change the subject though things were already uncomfortable so she figured shed ask something she didn’t know the answer to. “Do you want to be a Dad?” over all she found that he ignored children when they were around. He casually observed them but never interacted unless prompted to do something specific. People handed their babies to MAF and Max all the time but it was like no one dared to hand their child to Kris.

“Before I did not think so. Now I think yes. I don’t know many childs and even less babies. But I know you will be the best Mom ever so much so to make up for my being a bad Dad.”

His answer made her smile. “You won’t be a bad Dad. You just need to practice. We should baby sit for Duper or Kuni sometime.”

“Not Duper even his kids beak me.”

Sarah really had to work hard not to laugh. Duper’s kids looked and acted just like him so she could see that happening under Duper’s supervision.

“I remember seeing you at the hospital one day when I was bringing you lunch. We were just starting. You had this little girl about four or five just clinging to you as you held her. She was crying but no sound, I think she was in pain and you just walked the hall with her up and down trying to sooth her. It make me think sometime I want to come home and see you with our little girl taking care of her. I never thought like that till I knew you.”

She softly patted his chest unsure of how to respond.

“Do you want to be a Mom?” he asked after a pause so long she had thought he had fallen asleep.

“Yeah.” she said softly even though the light buzz of a snore he had when he slept on his back could be heard.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Part 2: Chapter 1: Brand New Day - Joshua Radin

I Couldn't resist! Updates here and over at Max & Mal!

“The stars are so bright here.” he said look up at the dark sky that was dotted by pin pricks of light.

“Yeah it’s like when you’re a kid and you started with the black paper on the lite brite slowly putting the pegs in to make the creepy clown.”

He looked at her like she was a bit crazy. “I’m really glad there isn’t a fucking creepy clown in the sky.” he turned his head to look at the girl net to him on the blanket. “I’m glad you’re better. We all are.”

“Yeah it’s like that book Eat, Pray, Love. Well movie now, I want to see that when we get home... I needed , to get away from it all. Even you guys. Who I love, I became defined by what I did.” she sighed laying back completely on the poured concrete floor.

“Yes. This has made me see that I need to be more than hockey.” I think starting my foundation here will be good.” He looked down at her next to him.

“Max, you’re right about the foundation, but if you don’t stop looking at my boobs I’ll black your eyes and have my boyfriend and your girlfriend do the same once we get home. They’ll be waiting at baggage claim to do it and you know it.”
“Ok. Only because I am afraid of Mal and you. Tanger is just Tanger.”


‘Don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t fall..’ he thought to himself as he stiffly moved down the runway. ‘Try not to look like a douche…’ he thought each time he changed and was restyled to be sent out under the lights. ‘Thank you Jesus.’ he prayed as the show came to an end.

The backstage was crazy. People everywhere, models in various states of undress. ‘eyes down’ he reminded himself as he headed for the lounge. It was there he promised to wait.

‘You…” she said covering her mouth trying not to laugh,. “The hairless look?” she asked reaching out to touch his bare stomach and chest.

“Oh shut up.” he said batting her hand away. “Do you like it?”

“No. But my opinion doesn’t matter.” glasses of champagne were brought to them. They each took a glass as the toast was made across the room.

“I think she’ll like it.” Kris said with a little the shrug after taking a sip of the drink only to abandon his glass on a near by table.

“Not that hair.” mal said pulling here camera from her bag snapping a picture in his face. “That I am never ever going to let you live down.”

“I figures.” he violently shook his head the hair sprayed pool falling apart leaving a half puff on side of his head.

“Sweet baby jesus… you look a hot mess.” Mal said snapping another picture.

“Yes I know.” he joked putting on a blue steel kind of look joking with her.

“No that means… never mind.” she didn’t want to take the time to explain the slang.

Each of them were pulled in different directions to talk to different people. They really didn’t meet again till it was time to leave.

“Going back to Max’s parents?” he asked walking with Mal to the parking lot.

“Yeah they let me borrow their car to drive in. They’re taking me to the airport in the morning. Max’ll be back the day after and I wanted to get some rest before I spend my last few days off in this cycle with him.” she explained.

“Yes, I come back to Pit the day before Sarah. I wanted to be able to pick her up but her G-Dad is. I have special shots coach coming in. Then we spend the next weeks moving her stuff.”

“Yeah I’m helping with that. You nutters moving in together, if I lived with Max I would kill him. Really you’d all start to wonder when he didn’t show up for practice one day.”

“Yeah well it the next steps.” he shrugged. “Then this.” he said fishing in his bag pulling out a ring box.

“Oh shit.” Mal said her hand at her mouth covering her smile. She took the box opening looking at the antique ring with gold leaves flanking a round cut diamond that was big without being ridiculous. “That is so Sarah. It’s perfect.”

“You think so?” he asked taking the box back looking at it. “I think so but sometimes I’m wrong.” he said tucking the box back in his bag.

“Really she’ll love it.”

“Was my Great-Grandmother’s. Her husband, my Great-Grandfather brought it back from Italy WWII her her.” he explained.

“Seriously she’ll love it. She likes leaves and things and that story. Because it’s special to you it will be even more special to her.” Sarah liked those kinds of sentimental things where as Mal tended to go for new and shiny. “Just make sure you’re both ready. Make sure you truly know one another.” Mal said as she unlocked the car.

“I do. But I like finding new things about her. I want to know it all and I want forever to do it.”

His sincerity made her heart melt. “Good. I can honestly say I can’t imagine a better match for my best friend…” she paused. “I’ll save all my mushy stuff for my wedding toast.”

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chapter 26: Beautiful Life - Charlotte Martin

It's friday now so officially the weekend hence why I can post this. So here is the end to All or Nothing: Kris & Sarah Part 1. Don't worry though I'm already 6 chapters deep in part two. Updates here should still be regular so no worries. I hope you guys like it all. Leave comments on hopes, fears, what you want to happen ect. If someone actually manages to guess what's going to go down in part two I'll be shocked! Thanks for reading!

No one expected the season to end like this. No one wanted to send the arena out with a loss. No one wanted to see their friend feel like he let the team down. No on wanted to pack of their gear. No one wanted to turn up the morning after the last loss of the season facing down a long summer.

Sarah was in putting in the final stats of the game the night before and starting to pack up when she got a knock on her door. It was Ray, her boss. The big boss, the one step from the ultimate top boss. “Sarah the guys are just about ready to talk to you but I think we should talk first. Can I come in?” he asked still standing outside of her door.

“Yeah, come in, have a seat.” she said moving to clear a space in her guest chair for him. She had prepped books for the guys with their current stats to take with them to their summer trainers.

“You’ve done a great job this year. Chris and the rest of the training staff say they feel comfortable with the system. That means you’ve done your job well.”

“Thanks you. Really they weren’t hard to teach and seemed thankful to have less paper to keep track of.” she relaxed some.

“I’m sure you know by now that we will not be renewing your full time contract. However we would like to offer you a consulting position. This would entail reporting to the training staff when called in mostly in cases where someone is facing a long term recovery.” he explained.

“I think that sounds like something I would enjoy.” Sarah relaxed back into the chair. “I will not be available until September though. I hope that isn’t a problem. I’ve taken a position outside of the country for the summer.”

“No problem at all. I will have the contract drawn up and you can sign this afternoon. I hope you have an excellent summer Sarah. The guys will be waiting for you. Feel free to tell them about your new place with the team.” He shook her hand and was out the door before she could do anything about it. He was a man of fast deals and mystery as far as she was concerned.

With her box in hand she made her way to the old nasty locker room. They all still looked defeated as they bundled their sticks and packed away their gear to have it sent to where they trained in the summer. Kris’s and Max’s were headed to Montreal, Geno’s was headed for Moscow and Sid, Cole Harbor. She let them continue their work as she gave each person their binder where they found every stat humanly possible from face offs won to their average treadmill speed on the second Thursday of every month.

“So as you can see I’ve given you all your books. I think this confirms I’ve been paid to be a creepy stalker to all of you.” everyone gave a chuckle but no one was in the mood to laugh. “I hope you all have a great summer. Train hard, have fun, heal…” she emphasized the last word staring a few of them down in hopes she could put the fear of a Mother into them. “I’m sure you all know I’m not contracted for next year.” they looked nervously at Kris before nodding collectively. “But I’m happy to say I will see you all next year.” There was a collective cheer and clapping as those close to Kris slapped him on the back making him go bright red.
“you can all relax though. I won’t be here all the time but I’ll be here when you need me. I won’t be your creepy stalker anymore but more like….” she paused smiling shaking her head. “More like you fairy health godmother. Or the nagging voice of giving something time to heal.” they all groaned and she laughed. “Enjoy the summer boys.” she ended giving them all a hand smiling. She knew they were all still disappointed but she could see one person smiling across the room one who got up to follow her out of the locker room.

Kris scooped her up in a big hug squeezing so hard he made her back crack. Usually he was beyond gentle so she knew he was consumed by emotion to be this rough on her. He put her back down on her feet his hands on his hips.

“How long have you known? Do you enjoy keeping news from me?” he asked trying to play stern. When she kept good news from him he never minded to much.

“I just found out. I haven’t even signed the deal yet. Ray turned up at my office made the offer, I said yes and then he disappeared again. I think he might be magical.” she said with a shrug. “I have to go sign for real later this afternoon."

“This make me so happy.” he said holding her shoulders for a second before pulling her into a hug again. He knew now she would be back. She wouldn’t run away to Haiti and never come back to him. His fears for their future were eased.


They stood in line at the baggage counter. Sarah had one bag on either side of her with Kris behind her his arms around her, his chin resting on her shoulder. He had to stoop a bit to do it but for some reason he had taken to standing like this while they were on vacation. On the cruise he said he liked it because he could always kiss her shoulders. Why he did it now she’d never know. He just said it was comfortable. She let him go though as they inched their way though the line.

Vacation had been fun but now her bags were much more carefully packed. What held bikinis and cute casual dresses before now held clothes, a bed roll and mosquito netting in one bag and another packed full of medical supplies. Thankfully when the bags were weighed they passed the under 50 lbs mark. Her ticket and passport were scanned and she was checked in. There were still two hours till her flight boarded and at the ridiculous hour of 4am no one was passing though security yet. So the couple found a bench to spend their last bit of time together. They sat holding hands their tans nearly matching. Her head on his shoulder and his head on hers.

“I think you will be everyone favorite in Haiti.” he said softly.

She chuckled. “I don’t want to be everyone’s favorite just yours.”

Kris lifted his head from her to look into her eyes. “Come home to me ok? I do not think I will be happy till you come home. Just as I know you will not be happy till you go.” He knew she was going as a way to jump start her nursing again. After Jason passed away she didn’t go back to the hospital. She couldn’t. Now she would need to so she could support herself. Well she didn’t need to he made that quite clear that he was content to support her but she refused. She did however agree to move in upon her return.

“I’ll always come home to you.” she whispered kissing him lightly. Traffic though security started to pick up as business people started to arrive for their early morning flights. “I should go…” she said resting her forehead against his.
“Come home to me.” he said again one they were standing and she had her beat up old backpack of a carryon over her shoulders.

“Always.” she echoed again.

One last kiss and she was on her way.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Ok guys I just wanted to let you know I have the first chapter of All or Nothing: Max & Mal up in their own blog. You can check it out Here. This section of Kris & Sarah is ending soon and as I work on part two there will be sporadic updates to Max & Mal to kind of keep me from burning out on Kris and Sarah because OMG guys they are drama city lately. If only you knew.

Yes I'm an evil tease.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Chapter 24: Be Ok - Ingrid Michaelson

Hey everyone! As always thanks for reading. Part One of the story is nearing an end here (with one more chapter to go!). I'd really appreciate it if you would leave me some feed back on what you would like to see next. Obviously (JStaal) There is more to come for Kris and Sarah. I'm ahead and have a plan as always. What I want to know is if you want more Max & Mal. I have some stuff of them as a kind of spin off as well as having them featured more in Part 2. Is this something people like or absolutely hate? I'm just curious. Let me know what you think!


It was May 2nd the day of the marathon. It was the second game in the Montreal series. They had won the first game of the series a few days before. Sarah was thinner then she had intended her grief taking off more weight than the most intense part of training. Mal however looked strong and happy that morning. Kris and Max had dropped them off at the start. They each had their own contest that day. For Sarah in addition to the race she had a big decision to deliberate over.

The girls stretched Sarah cracking every joint in her body from her toes to her neck. Mal was down on the ground doing yoga poses. She found they helped her stretch, strengthen and relax. That in itself was funny considering Mal’s loud over the top personality. The thought of her in a yoga class was completely hysterical. Sarah shook her limbs out as the one minuet till start happened.

“Where did you learn yoga?” Sarah asked her friend as they both started to jog in place.

“Max taught me and then I started a class.” she said with a little shrug.

“Max does yoga?” I asked half laughing.

Mal didn’t get to answer as the starter pistol went off.


Sarah was wrapped up in her own thoughts as the race ran it’s course. It’s mile 22 when the pain becomes next to unbearable. Blisters have formed and broken, the burn of the muscles as they reach their wall. It’s so close to the end but there is nothing to be hopeful about because the only thing waiting there is the pain of stopping. Mal was still at her side though her gait was suffering. Sarah could remember her first race. It’s at this point where you wonder what the fuck you’ve been smoking for the last few months as you made futile attempts to prepare for this. Nothing could prepare someone for this. She had to do it though. Sarah was running in honor of Jason. She had told his family that was what she was doing. There was no way she could win but she would run knowing he couldn’t anymore.’

It was then she started to notice Mal slowing down at her side.

“Where are we going?” Mal asked her gait jagged as she weaved next to Sarah.

“It’s the wall you can do this. We talked about this.” Sarah encouraged. She knew her wall was mostly in her mind. There was the pain, the breaking of her muscles from over use that felt like she had no legs but hot pokers from an iron forge that connected her body to the ground with each step.

“You have to remember why you’re doing this Mal.” Sarah encouraged tell me why you’re doing this.” Thankfully they were approaching a drinking station. They all started out as water by now they all had Gatorade to help with the hypoglycemia every runner was experiencing by this point.

“I’m doing to show my fucking Parents they don’t own me.” Mal said as she licked her dry lips. “I want them to know I don’t need their head games, their money or their words of pride when I told them I was dating Max. They aren’t happy that I’m happy. They’re happy because they think he’s fucking rich.” Her gait steadied a little as she took the cup drinking from it before tossing it to the ground with the others.

“That’s it Mal. You’re doing this because you’re better than all of that. You aren’t defined by how you were raised or who they want you to be.” Sarah encouraged. All the while she told herself over and over in her head. ‘I’m doing this for Jay, I’m doing this for Jay and occasionally I’m doing this for Kris so it will end my madness. I'm doing this to save my relationship. I do this for Jay now so I can go back to how things were… I hope.’ In completing the race she would have little to distract her from her upcoming decisions that needed to be made. Ones she hadn’t talked to her boyfriend about. It was the playoffs, she didn’t want to upset him… or at least that was what she told herself.


The last mile was a straight shot. You could see the finish line ahead; the whole thing was lined with people. Nessa, Jimmy and G-Dad were there to cheer for Mal and Sarah as well as take them home, push them into the shower, feed them and strap bags of frozen corn and peas to them and then take them to the Mellon for the game. It was a lot to ask of them but it had to be done.

It was a weird feeling being so exhausted and in but completely high when you cross the finish line. There were hugs all around as they stood there and were congratulated by everyone. They crossed crossed the line at 4:12: 06 &07. They couldn’t cross at exactly the same time so Mal who’s name came first in alphabetical order gave her the one second lead before Sarah. They finished an hour behind the leader for their age group. Not a bad time at all for recreational runners.

There wasn't long to relish in the showers and veggie ice packs. Everyone had to be at the game. Everyone was going because it seemed like the only time they could all be together. Nessa, Jimmy, G-Dad and Mal would all be sitting together in the end where the Pens would be on defense twice. Sarah had offered them the offensive end but they all wanted to see Kris play. Well Mal was happy to hear that Sarah kept them in the defensive end but cheated them to the side so she could see Max.
The game was less than spectacular… it was down right odd actually. Sarah felt good that Jordan Leopold was back in the line up after a devastating concussion but that was about the only highlight. The game ended and everyone headed home. Mal went with Max so they could both baby their injuries. Mal was obviously in need of recovering and Max hadn’t been completely healthy all season. No doubt they would spend the night on the sofa and then in bed actually sleeping.

Back at Kris’s they to were spending a bit of time on the sofa before bed. Sarah had bags of frozen peas duct taped to her legs and Kris had one sitting on his shoulder which he had hurt earlier in the season as well as on on his ankle that was propped up on the coffee table.

“Next year looks good right? I mean you have your contract to stay here and everything.” she said starting what was no doubt going to be a difficult conversation.

“Are you already counting us out of final?” Kris asked his voice raspy with fatigue.

“No that’s not what I mean at all.” she she said shifting so she could sit next to him her feet now on the coffee table next to his. “I just want to talk about the future.”

His eyebrow raised at that. She wasn’t really one to ever talk about the direction of their relationship. He loved her, she loved him and that seemed to be enough for her. They had only ever talked once before in the days before the trade deadline. His contract was running out and the worries of having to move in the summer were getting to him. As it turned out the worries had been for nothing with his contract being renewed early and quite handsomely.

“You have a contract for the next three years but I don’t.” That was the flat out truth. “I’m not going to be with the team next season. At least not like I am now. It was my job to set up the system and train everyone how to use it. I turn things over to the regular training staff once we get it moved into the new arena.” It was news she had known all along though she had expected to hear if she would be kept for longer by now but no word had come and she doubted it would. Her voice for guys resting properly and not playing through injuries made her a hindrance to some of them rather than a voice of reason.

“Oh. I did not know.” he lightly squished the pack of peas taped to her thigh. They were starting to get squishy.

“I haven’t told anyone. I mean there’s still time to renew but I don’t think it’ll happen.” she shrugged. “In the fall I’ll be working somewhere in the city I just don’t know where yet. We’ll be a normal couple like everyone else.” she half chuckled at that. “Well never normal but normal in the world of players and wags.”

“It will be different.” was all he said. Everyone knew change was coming. The new arena was different in every way possible that would no doubt leave all their heads spinning.

“Yeah. But what I really want to talk about is the summer. After the finals… I know you want to go on vacation and go back to Montreal.” she paused and he nodded to confirm. “What if I told you I had an opportunity I couldn’t pass up?”

“How do you mean?” he asked still quashing individual peas in her veggie ice pack.

“Brian offered me a job for the summer.” she paused looking from his fingers at he popped a pea by her leg then to his eyes. “In Haiti.”

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Chapter 23: A Comet Appears - The Shins

Hello new followers! I think readership doubled this week which is crazy to me. I hope you're all enjoying the story. Let me know what you think as I am writing 'part two' now. :)

It was upon Max’s insistence that everyone go out for Kris’ birthday. Not the day of the Playoff win but the day after. They were all tired and wanted to rest even if they had won the first round of the playoffs against Ottawa on Kris’s birthday. There was a six day break but the guys really needed it. Everyone was banged up some worse than others. Many of them had no business on the ice but there was no way they would give up playing now.

Sarah was sure to tell all the guys they could drink but no one did. Ok they had a bit of wine or beer at dinner but it was in the way that was to enjoy rather than get drunk. They were big goofballs sometimes big drunken goofballs but when it came down to it they were indeed serious professional athletes. Instead of drinking themselves they pumped the rest of the non-athlete crew with drinks.

“You look pretty tonight.” Kris said as he sat down next to her. We had gone from dinner at his favorite restaurant to Diesel. “I know I told you already but you do. I like it when you wear purple.” he said sitting in the corner of the semi-private lounge watching the crew we were out with. Max and Mal were out on the dance floor, Jordan and his Girlfriend were on the sofa hanging out. MAF and his girlfriend were near by as well. A lot of the other guys had been at dinner but went home to their families or at least hot showers and sleep.

“I picked it out with that in mind.” Sarah said leaning into him. She was drinking far to much than she knew she should Max and Mal kept handing her drinks as Dad Kris like it was some big conspiracy. She was sitting now because she knew there was no way in hell she could stand on her own.
Sarah had been in a bad way for the first two weeks after Jason’s death. She went to the funeral but everyone around her knew she carried a burden of grief. Thankfully Kris was understanding having some experience with grief himself. She dropped more weight in that time than was healthy. She ran, worked and slept but didn’t eat. Kris tried to make her eat but was barely successful.

“I love your presents.” he said putting his arm around her. The classic looking large headphones that blocked outside noises and pumped the music right into his brain were something he really wanted but never got around to getting for himself. She got him new high thread count sheets though they were partially a gift for herself. What he had liked the most though was the year of laundry service she had gotten for him. Gone were days of having to drop off and pick up his suits or feel like an idiot when he got home to find he had left wet clothes in the washer while he was gone that now had mold on them.

“I’m glad.” she could feel herself spinning as she sat next to him. She kissed his cheek and leaned into him. They were quiet for awhile just enjoying their friends laughing as Jordan nearly killed his girlfriend falling on her.

“I think I need to go home now.” Sarah announced looking at Kris. The spinning and blurring of the room were getting especially bad. She didn’t feel like she was going to vomit but the two empty bottle of vodka on the table led her to believe otherwise.

The crew hooted and hollered as Kris scooped her up. She felt like a child in his arms as he carried her to the car carefully putting her inside being mindful not to bump her head. He even buckled her seatbelt for her. As always the ride back to his place was short. He got her out of the car just the same as he put her in.

“I’m sorry I’m so drunk.” she said standing in his bedroom as he unzipped her dress tossing it aside replacing it with one of his t-shirts. “You deserve birthday sex. Wild hot birthday sex. Wild hot birthday and advancing in the playoffs sex.” she poutted as he carefully searched out the pins she had put in her hair to make her bangs a bit poofy. He thought it was a bit over the top as he fished six pins out of her wavy blond hair. “You’ll get you birthday sex tomorrow I promise. I don’t want to throw up in your face or something gross like that.” she continued to talk and he continued to take care of her awkwardly pulling her hair up in a lop sided ponytail circa 1989 but it was how hard he was trying that made it adorable. He grabbed a bag lined trash can putting it on her side of the bed as well as a glass of water. Next he brought her two aspirin and a small paper cup of water. “You’re good at this you should be a nurse.” she teased. “Sexiest nurse ever.” she took the pills taking the little cup of water like a shot. “Not in a skirt though. You don’t have the legs for it. You have some seriously thick thighs. That‘s a good thing though. Skate fast, hold me tight…”
Kris just continued on guiding her to the bed. He tucked her in and then changed himself all while she continued to babble about nursing and loving it though it was obvious in her tone that as much as she meant the words in the long haul at the moment they only contained the bitterness of loss.

“I love it, you know? I do. I love taking care of people. Especially kids. There’s nothing like seeing a little one be well enough to actually play….” she felt Kris climb into bed next to her. He moved so his back aligned with her and they were connected head to toe.

“Shhh… close your eyes.” he said in a soft tone just beside her ear.
“I can’t. If I close my eyes I can’t fight it.” she said in a drunken loud whisper.

“Can’t fight what?” he asked tightening his arm around her pulling her closer to his chest.

“Can’t fight the pain.” she said in the same whisper. “I’m sad. I’m so sad.” she confessed. “I can’t cry anymore. I can’t smile anymore. I know you know.” she rolled in his arms to face him their noses almost touching they were so close. He was really glad he made her brush her teeth now.

“I know. I know you try to be well. But you aren’t.” he kissed the tip of her nose. “I’ll be here now and when you’re better because I love you and I know you’ll get better.”

Sarah felt like dead weight in his arms now. He knew she was asleep or at least passed out. What she was going though frightened him. It brought up old memories of his own grief. There was only one person he thought of who could really help her. An old friend he hadn’t talked to in awhile.


It was 11am when Sarah finally woke up. The sun was bright and hurt her eyes. She ached all over and had a bit of a headache. She knew right away what had happened. What she didn’t understand though was the side ponytail her hair was pulled into. She pulled on some shorts and headed out into the rest of the apartment to find Kris. She learned a long time ago to always put the shorts on. Max and MAF had seen her in just a t-shirt several times and Geno had actually seen her in just her bra and underwear that was when he walked in on her fresh out of the shower though.

“I’m waist deep in the shame and pain of drinking to much.” she said going to the coffee pot pouring herself a cup not bothering with her usual splenda.

“You need to shower I have someone coming over for lunch.” Kris said as he turned the microwave a plate of pancakes spinning inside.

“Who’s coming?” she asked holding the warm cup tightly between her hands. “Aww, did your Mom come in to surprise you?” she asked hopeful to see his Mom. They had chatted on the phone a few times since her visit to Montreal.

“Non. My friend Brian is coming over. You’ve met him before in passing. He’s the team Chaplin.” Kris explained as the microwave dinged. He added syrup to the two pancakes putting them on the table guiding her there. “Now eat these.”

“I’m not hungry.” she said raising her eyes to meet his. It was a lie. She was hungry but didn’t feel like eating.

“Bullshit. Eat the pancakes Sarah.” he crossed his arms not giving her any ground.

She sighed sitting down. “Fine.”

Once she ate enough of the pancakes for him to release her from the table as if she was a child she showered and dressed. By the time she was ready she knew the Chaplin was already there. She went into the living room seeing the two men sitting on the sofa.

“Brian this is my girlfriend and our team Nurse Sarah. Sarah, Brian our Chaplin.” Kris made the introduction sound so simple.

“It’s nice to meet you.” Sarah extended her hand and he took it in introduction.

“Kris has told me a lot about you. All wonderful things. I know he’s an honest man so I know you’re quite the woman.” Brian said as he took a seat in a near by chair allowing Sarah to sit by Kris.

“Sarah I asked Brian to come because I want you to have help. He helped me when Luc died.” Kris looked to her eyes though she avoided his gaze.

“Is this because I got drunk last night?” She asked leaning away from him into the arm of the couch.

“No, not at all.” Kris said giving up on trying to get her to move closer to him. “It’s about what you said. Last night you told me how sad you are. You told me you can’t fight the pain anymore.”

“I was drunk.” she said with a little chuckle though she didn't smile since it was the truth.

“I know you have experience dealing in psych work Sarah. I know that makes it harder to reach out for help.” Brian said as he moved to the edge of his seat. “I just want to be a resource or a sounding board for you. You can talk with Kris about me, I know he was real skeptical when Max introduced us. Right Kris?”

“I was so pissed at Max that day. I wanted to murder him.” he looked at Sarah smiling. “Max did it at the rink. Maybe I should have too. Less knives and ways for you to kill me... though more skate blades.” he joked.

“Ah yes but there is that nice table saw in the stick room.” Sarah said with a glair.

“Don’t worry Kris isn’t going to leave us now or anything. This was really just an introduction.” Brian moved to get up. “I actually need to go I have a lot of stuff to do today. I’m gearing up to head down to Haiti.” Brian explained.

“Oh?” Sarah asked her interest perked.

“Yeah. I’m working with an orphanage there. The need is so great. I’ll be heading down once the playoffs are over. If you’re interested you should come meet the team.”

“Ok. I’ll meet the team sometime.” Sarah said relaxing a bit.

“Great. I should really get going. Kris, it’s always great to see you doing so well. Sarah don’t be a stranger. I’m always around the rink on game day if you ever want to talk about anything.” Kris got up as did Brian and she was left alone to think about the encounter.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Chapter 22 Good Night - Liz Calloway

I rarely say you MUST listen to the music but on this one you MUST even with the annoying lady talking in the beginning just please do it. I'm actually really proud of this chapter and think it might be the best most difficult thing I've ever written in my life. I hope you guys think I did it justice. Let me know what you think.

February ended and March came. Between the team’s season kicking down the stretch, training with Mal for the upcoming marathon and spending as much time with Jason as she could there was little time for much else in Sarah’s life. Her relationships with her family, friends and Kris. He was being kind and understand as she grew more standoffish as her young friend slowly slipped away. He even went to visit a few times. The end was near though, the end of training for the big race, the end of the regular season and the end of a young life.

Sarah had been keeping Jason company. It was to the point where he could barely tell she was there but she was there reading him stories while his Parents kept his other sibling occupied. Sarah knew what it was like to never have and to lose Parents but she could never imagine the pain of having to lose her Brother.

The time was passed by reading stories and sleeping. Sarah spent the little free time she had there which overlapped the time she had for sleep. Kris brought food when he could for her but he rarely saw her eat. She had been losing weight since he met her due to her running but she was crashing since spending more time at the hospital. She was in a downward spiral with a little boy she couldn’t help. He would eventually hit bottom where as she would continue to fall for no one knew how long.

Kris crept in beside her putting the cool foil box with plastic lid on her lap. Sushi. One of their favorite treats. When she didn’t respond he opened the cover and opened the chopsticks putting them in her hand.

“I’m not hungry.” she said not taking her eyes off the little boy who looked especially tiny now that he was hooked up to the many machines helping him function.

“This is sad.” Kris said taking the sushi off her lap putting the lid back on. He knew she would eat some of it eventually.

“I would expect so he’s dying.” Sarah said plainly. Finally she brought her eyes to Kris’s face. “How was practice?” she asked. Sure, she had been there but she was keeping her head down focusing on her work rather than watching them with their sticks and pucks.

“Fine. Playoffs soon so everyone is intense. The arena closing add more pressure.” he confessed. Sarah put her arm around his back letting her palm flatly move over his t-shirt.

“I’m sure it’s a lot of pressure on you guys. I can honestly say the fans will love you no matter what.” unless it was something having to do with Flower in which case the radio personalities would have a field day taking calls about it.

“Yeah.” Kris paused looking back to Jason again. “How much longer do you think?” he had asked the question before. It sounded impatient but that wasn’t how he meant it.

“Less than a week I would expect.” Sarah leaned back in her chair. “I’m ready to go home now.”

This was how it went. She would be there for awhile and Kris would come and then they would go home. Sarah would run and then they would sleep. The next morning they would get up and do it all over again.

The call came at 4am. Sarah got out of bed dressing in sweats. It was down to hours for Jason. Sarah woke Kris up to tell him where she was going. He nodded sleepily and said he would be down after morning skate. It was a game day.

The hospital was always quiet in the early morning. Kids were sleeping though their fevers, Parents weren’t worried yet. The first chicken pox hadn’t been noticed this was the blissful time of paperwork for nurses. Not for Sarah though as she ran up the stairs to Jason’s floor. She had beaten his family there. They were coming from farther out of the city.

“Hey little man it’s me.” she said sitting down at his bedside. “I know you hate it when I call you little man now. You’ve gotten so tall in the last year.” she reached up brushing the sandy blond hair from his forehead. “I’m glad we have minuets to ourselves. I think you should know that someday when I have little boy I want him to be just like you.” she chuckled. “Yeah, you’re right it would be great if he got some awesome hockey playing genes. It’s still early days for that kind of talk.” she took his hand in hers. “I want to tell you not to be scared.” her eyes welled and her bottom lip quivered. “You’re the bravest person I know already so I know you’ll be strong on this trip. I wish I could ask you what it’s like once you’ve gone. I think it’s beautiful though. I know my Grandma will be waiting to meet you. I never got to tell her about you but she’s the kind of lady who couldn’t resist a cutie like you.” There were full on tears streaming down her face as she continued. “I really want you to wait for me while you’re there. Not like wait around and do nothing wait for me but just know I’ll be joining you someday. I know you have a Mom already but I want to be there with you. We’re closer than you’ll ever know little man. I lo…” she was interrupted as his Parents rushed in. Sarah hugged them both giving her seat and their sons hand. She was close by though there the whole time. She was even there at 10:23am when time of death was called. She was there an hour later when the bed was cleaned and fresh linens were put on.

Kris arrived at noon meeting Mal in the hall. She gave him a hug and walked with him to Jason’s old room. “She hasn’t come out yet. Even his family is gone. I think they were more ready than she was.” Mal explained resting a hand on Kris’s shoulder as they peaked in seeing Sarah sitting by the bed.

“I do not know what to do.” he confessed standing there in the door.

“Just be yourself. You’re exactly who and what she needs.” Mal knocked on the door jam. “Look who I found wondering the halls.” She offered a little Mal smile pushing through the pain as was her stile.

“I’m ready to go home now.” Sarah said plainly getting up. “I need to shower and change there’s a game tonight.”