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"He Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)"

inkspill
Title: He Kissed Me (It Felt Like a Hit)
Author: raspsun
Fandom/Pairing: NHL [Pittsburgh Penguins/Philadelphia Flyers] – Marc-André Fleury/Max Talbot
Rating: IDK, PG?
Disclaimer: Don’t know, don’t own, don’t profit. This story is completely and utterly false, and in no way do I intend for anyone to think otherwise.
Summary: The Penguins play in Philadelphia, and the cameramen – and Max Talbot – decide to have some fun with the Kiss Cam. Flower is not amused.
Author’s Notes: Prompted by withcrayons at my Sentence Meme post (f-locked) in my LJ: Max/Flower, "I have a feeling that if the kiss cam zoomed in on them, Max would indeed kiss flower" This could have been so fun and whimsical and sweet and instead I made it all weird and sad and they don't even get closure. Max going to Philadelphia really affected me into making this depressing, apparently. First time writing MAF/Talbot. Also, even game-wise, this is totally not what happened the weekend of March 17-18, whatevs, ~handwave. Title is a play on The Crystals’ song “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)”; the KissCam song in the story is also by The Crystals, “Then He Kissed Me.” [WC: 934]

---



The last time the Penguins play Philadelphia in Philly is a Sunday afternoon. The Pens played the day before in New Jersey, a win for Flower, so Thiessen is getting the start.

Flower's ridiculous in warm-ups, like he always is before games he's not starting, stickhandling and shooting the puck and practically rolling around on the ice instead of properly stretching. He's flat on his back staring up at the rafters of the Wells Fargo Center when his vision is obscured by Max's face. He startles and sits up; they nearly knock foreheads.

"Scared to face me, eh?" Max asks in lieu of a proper greeting.

"Terrified," Flower tells him. "Shaking in my skates, can't you tell? Thiess promised me he'd start today against the all-mighty Maxime Talbot because I couldn't stop crying thinking about your wrist shot."

Max smirks. "You shouldn't run from your problems, Flower."

Flower gives him a look that he hopes is layered. "You would know about that, yes, Max?"

Instead of replying, Max just gives his own look, a complicated gaze Flower can't even begin to decipher.

"Good luck," Flower says, anxious to say something, anything.

"We don't need luck," Max replies playfully.

Flower's eager to chirp right back, "You're right. We'll win. Even luck wouldn't help you."

Max smiles before skating away, back to his team...his team that is not Flower's team, which is still, even after three games against him, just...so weird.

In the middle of the second period, there's a long lull, a TV timeout. Thiessen is rolling with a shutout right now (although the Penguins haven't scored yet either), which means Flower isn't expecting to go into the game at any time, so he's spending the break in the action watching Max...like he's done pretty much the entire game. Max was on the ice before the timeout, and Laviolette has apparently decided to leave him on for the upcoming faceoff. He's chatting with Hartnell and obviously not paying much attention to anything around him, including the song that has just started blasting, a really old one, something about "and then he kissed me." Flower doesn't even have to look up to know the videoboard operators have decided it's time for the Kiss Cam.

He does look up, though, because there's usually a ham or two in the crowd who do something ridiculous and/or funny, and usually the cameramen like to find the girls who are very pretty. He watches three couples kiss quickly and awkwardly and one very pretty girl refuse to kiss the man sitting next to her, and then suddenly Flower's looking at Max. And Hartnell. He's still looking at the videoboard, and there's still a giant red heart on the screen, but he's now also looking at Max and Hartnell again...and they are outlined by said giant red heart, which means…laughter ripples through the crowd, and Simmonds drives an elbow into Hartnell's back and nods upward, pointing toward the videoboard with his chin. It's kind of strange, actually, because Flower's seen this happen to players on the away teams but never to the home team. He wonders if Max or Hartnell pissed off the cameramen or something; he wouldn't put it past either of them.

Flower sees Max mouth something that looks suspiciously like "better taste than that!" before he's pushing away from the boards and moving across the ice...toward the Penguins bench. Directly for the Penguins bench, in fact, directly for him.

"If I'm kissing anyone," Max says, but he doesn't finish the thought, and Flower doesn't even know if Max means the comment for him or for the crowd because of course the camera has followed Max, and everyone is watching, everyone is waiting to see what Max is going to do next. It even sounds like everyone has stopped talking, is holding their collective breath. Flower sneaks a look to the videoboard, and it's a little bit trippy watching himself looking up at the screen as he's actually doing it. The heart is still there. He notices that he looks mildly panicked and that Max looks smirkily confident, and he watches Max leaning in on the videoboard before it clicks that that means it's happening in real life, too.

Flower stops watching the videoboard. Max's hands are on his face, fingers curled around the back of his neck and digging into his hair a little, thumbs resting against his jawline, and he licks his lips quickly, probably without even realizing it. Flower focuses on his face.

For a moment he's very aware of Brooks sitting no more than two feet to his left, aware of the rest of the team sitting beyond that, aware of every single one of them watching him and Max right now, and then Max closes the gap and he's not aware of them anymore, he's not aware of anything that's not Max.

It's quick, it really is, the kiss. It's a few seconds, and it might even be construed as friendly. Flower knows it's not, though, and Max knows it's not. And if anyone can hear the shuddery breath Flower takes when Max pulls away, they know it's not, too.

Someone wolf-whistles, and someone else catcalls, and Max pats Flower on the cheek and then he fucking skates away.

The videoboard is now a shower of glittery hearts dancing all over the screen, and the song is cranked up even louder, “and then he kissed me....and then he kissed me....and then he kissed me….”

And then...whistle blown, puck drop, the game starts again.

It's like nothing has changed. Except it feels like everything has.

**

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
withcrayons
Apr. 10th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
UGH THIS IS SO GOOD. It's like a gutpunch. Jeez.

There is not enough fic of Fleury and Max out there and this is SO GOOD I WANT TO READ IT FOREVERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
raspsun
Apr. 11th, 2012 03:46 am (UTC)
Can I just tell you, one thing I was surprised about when I cleaned it up to post here was how short this was -- I was like "damn, I feel like so much happens in this, and it's not even 1,000 words?" Crazy.

Weird angst, outta nowhere. Glad the gutpunch worked.

THANK YOOOOUUUUU.
withcrayons
Apr. 11th, 2012 05:48 pm (UTC)
I cannot believe you packed so much into a short piece like that. Although, when you consider that first it was in comment form, which always makes things feel longer, then it makes sense? IDK. It does to me, anyway.

Ugh, so good. I am just going to go through all your hockey fic and bookmark it all on my delicious and then I can reread it forever.
vamm_goda
Apr. 10th, 2012 08:40 pm (UTC)
Omg, the melancholy and the longing that came out in this story is just amazing. Flower is so sad and he wants so badly. And, with the POV the way it is, that the reader is as in the dark as Flower as to why Max chose to do it is such a wonderful touch that makes it even more visceral.
raspsun
Apr. 11th, 2012 03:52 am (UTC)
Wow, thank you so much. Such great things to hear, so glad it all worked.
evrybdys_fool
Apr. 11th, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
Damn, this is great. These two make me so sad :(
raspsun
Apr. 11th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC)
Thanks so much!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )