A/N: okay....in my defense, I started this but forgot about it....until now. It starts out after The Pens loose in the playoffs to the Sens..... oh yeah...the first line means a time lapse, The second means a shift in character focus... It's kinda confusing, but i'm sure you'll catch on :)
“Hey Jordan, Wha-” Colby froze, mid-sentence, at the look on the teenager’s face. Jordan was sitting on the bench in front of his locker, staring at the dirty tiled floor under his bare feet. A pair of stone washed blue jeans barely clung to his hips, exposing the pair of pink boxers that earned him constant ribbing from his teammates. Next to him on the bench lay his shirt, snd next to it was the delicate gold chain with a cross that always adorned his neck. His blonde hair, now almost eye-length, was dripping wet. Watching a droplet of water trail down a stray lock, Colby saw an incredibly uncommon look in his young friends eyes. Said orbs were glazed over with tears, making the blue appear all the more crystal. Colby sat down next to him, startling the young star from his stupor. He looked up, a forced smile on his face.
“hey Army, what‘s up?”
“Ehh, not much. Ready to go home?” Jordan nodded
“you‘d better believe it…” he mumbled, standing up and reaching for his shirt. Colby caught his wrist quickly, however. Jordan looked at the right-wing, confusion written all over his face.
“Col-” Colby released his wrist and stood up
“get dressed quick, Jordy. We‘re going out…” Jordan shook his head and opened his mouth to protest, but was quickly stopped when Colby shot him a glare before tuning to the rest of the team.
“guys, who’s going out with me tonight?” The locker room was silent, and most of his teammates just looked at him, some in disbelief. Suddenly, ‘daddy Mark’ stood, clapped his hands together in anticipation, and reached for is jacket and personal items. Following suit, Roberts, Laroque, and Gonchar were quickly getting dressed. Sidney stared at the five as if they all belonged in a psych ward.
“you do know we lost, right? Season is over… no chance at the cup…” He asked incredulously. The entire team turned to stare at him, some nodding in agreement.
“We lost, sure, but we had a damn good season and did a lot better than anyone thought we would.” Jordan finally answered, pulling on his shirt and placing his chain around his throat. Colby smiled and nodded.
“you’re all coming, right?” he asked, looking around the room. Evgeni stood and nodded.
“Jordan crazy” Colby smiled knowingly when Jordan’s breath hitched slightly “But good crazy. I come.” He grinned and walked over to Jordan, throwing his arm around the teenager. Jordan smiled slightly, his nervousness noticeable to only a few people in the room.
“Sergei, (ask Colby what is wrong with Jordan)” Evgeni said, turning to his ‘translator’. Colby, sitting on Sergei’s other side, perked up from his distant vigil of the young teen when he heard the now-familiar Russian pronunciation of his name. Three pairs of eyes turned in the direction of one of the tables. Jordan sat by himself, a drink in front of him as he stared at the table, never moving when someone walked past. Sergei nodded and turned to Colby
“he want‘s to know what‘s wrong with Jordan…” Colby laughed slightly and leaned around Sergei
“He‘s okay Geno. The Gronk‘s just a little depressed…” Evgeni again turned to Sergei, speaking rapidly in russian, a look of concern crossing his face.
“what is he so upset about? There is always next year, and he seemed fine before.” Sergei translated. Colby shrugged
“maybe he‘s depressed because he hasn‘t lived up to his own expectations. He‘s always been overshadowed by Eric, and he just missed his shot at creating a new Staal record.” Geno nodded in understanding, finished his drink, and motioned for 2 more. Colby and Sergei watched him as he stood from the bar, picked up the drinks, and walked over to the teenage center. Sergei nudged Colby with his elbow, and the two exchanged knowing looks as they watched Evgeni set down the drinks and slide into the chair across from Jordan, startling him.
“What I would give to be butterfly on wallpaper…” Sergei mumbled. Colby laughed
“that‘s a ‘Fly on the wall‘, Sarge.”
“same thing” he snapped, disliking being corrected by the annoyingly happy redhead next to him. Colby just laughed and turned back to his drink.
“Gronk…” Jordan jumped slightly, the large russian startling him as he set down two drinks and slid into the chair across from him.
“Hey Geno” he mumbled, his gaze returning to the glass of soda in front of him. Evgeni frowned slightly.
“You look to need drink…” Evgeni mumbled, motioning to the glass he had set down in front of Jordan. Jordan looked up from his troubled gaze, looked at the drink, then Evgeni, then nodded and gave the tiniest smile.
“Thanks Ev, but… oh, never mind, I think I do need a drink or two.” He sighed, reaching for the glass and taking a swig, allowing the liquid to burn the back of his throat. He choked slightly and gagged, staring at the drink in shock. Evgeni burst into laughter at his teammates reaction. Causing what he thought was an even better reaction, a genuine Jordan Staal smile.
“Give me a break, man. I don‘t drink much! Besides, this shit is strong. How do you drink it like water?” he whined, still smiling. Geno grinned
“I teach” Jordan eyed him skeptically
“teach me what? How to drink?” Evgeni nodded
“I teach how drink Russian” Jordan nodded, smirking
“will I have Russian hangover?” he asked, imitating his friends accent. Evgeni laughed
“Drink Russian, Party Russian, PAY Russian” he chortled, grasping his drink and downing it in one gulp, keeping a straight face the entire time. Jordan stared at him in disbelief. Evgeni caught Jordan’s eye and grinned.
“Is easy. Gronk‘s turn…” Jordan stared at the glass in front of him ‘it’s gonna be a long night…. Oh well, bottoms up! he thought picking up the drink and setting it against his lips.