I rambled at the—generators about a self-indulgent toews/saad and toews/kane story, and now I’m sticking that nonsense here, bye.
ceej: when i was thinking about it the other day, in my head saad is, like. he’s not in love with tazer. there’s an attraction there and he has crush on him but it’s not like he’s spending all his nights imagining being tazer’s boyfriend. probably he knows that kaner and tazer apparently dated as recently as last season. he was only with the blackhawks for the tail end of last season, so it’s not like he got to see it a whole lot or anything, but he knows they were together or something. but he also heard they were kind of on the rocks, and then when he’s back in january, they’re broken up. so. so, okay.
i think saad’s crush totally develops this season. tazer’s really great to him! now that he’s spending the whole season, he’s learning a lot more about everyone and tazer’s teaching him a lot, and he totally develops this crush. he thinks he’s not being obvious about being attracted to tazer, but then shawzer and bollig call him out on it.
if they know, then other people have probably laughed about it, too, which means maybe tazer maybe has heard some stuff. that’s all awkward to consider until it dawns on him — oh shit, what does kaner think?
he does his best to NOT FIND OUT, because it’s not like anything’s gonna happen. except then on one of the rare nights that kaner actually drinks with them this season, he and saad are talking and something about tazer comes up, and kaner’s like, “it’s okay if you want to fuck him, man. i’m not mad.”
saad’s basically dying of embarrassment except he’s too tipsy to do anything about it so he just sits there and says, “uhhh. what?”
kaner laughs at him.
he says, “he likes you. i think he’d be into it.”
saad wonders if this is a trap. it’s not very nice, if so, but also he can feel his face heating up, or maybe that’s the alcohol. he says, “i wouldn’t… i know it’s not a good idea.”
kaner shakes his head and chuckles again. he drinks his drink and says, “i can’t tell anybody about good or bad ideas,” and then seems to zone off in his own world for a second. when he snaps to again, he says, “if you want to, whatever,” and then pats his saad’s shoulder in this way that’s totally bizarre for the situation or maybe saad’s just too drunk and this whole conversation would make sense to an outsider.
he feels weird about it, but then also, like, kaner seems completely normal in the days following, and tazer still hangs out with him. they really do get along super, super well. he always looks happy to see saad and is proud of him when he plays really well, and saad definitely wants to bang him. he thinks tazer might be flirting a little? but also it’s TAZER and he’s the CAPTAIN, and saad can’t bang his CAPTAIN. can he? maybe he can. nobody said he can’t.
he eventually just kind of goes for it the next time they’re in a casual setting. i don’t think it’s a bar. some team thing, idk. whatever. they’re at a thing, and they’re not even drunk, and saad turns the flirting up. he thinks, belatedly, that maybe he should’ve waited until they were drinking somewhere or something, because at first tazer seems slightly surprised. but then he sort of smiles, and saad feels like an idiot, but tazer isn’t pushing him across the room, so he tries to keep going with it.
saad invites tazer to hang out. that’s how he says it, too.
"you want to hang out?" he says and suggests a movie or golfing or something. wait, it’s still cold as fuck. not golfing, but something. he tries to make it sound both casual and suggestive at the same time. he’s not sure if he’s successful but tazer says sure.
they end up hanging out one afternoon, and saad goes back to tazer’s in the evening. they order food, and while they’re waiting for it, saad gets bold and moves in to kiss tazer in the middle of talking about, like, his fucking cable package. tazer… pauses… and then reaches up to touch the back of saad’s head and kiss and saad wants to fistpump in the air, because fuuuuuuuuuck yeeessss.
saad wants to blow him, but tazer is apparently only doing do much so fast, so instead saad ends up humping him on the couch for a while. it’s driving him crazy, and he can tell tazer’s hard, so what the hell. he says, “can i — um. are you gonna let me get you off?”
tazer takes this shaky breath and says, “what the fuck, brandon?” but obviously doesn’t expect an answer because he kisses saad again.
saad jerks him off some, and then DOES get to blow him, and tazer gives him a handjob, and it’s a great night. what a day, what a night. the food they order is also delicious when it arrives.
he’s feeling pretty good about it until they’re at practice, and he sees kaner and tazer talking to each other in the dressing room after it ends. not in a secretive way but also saad feels like he’s intruding by staring, so he focuses on getting himself together and then feels weirdly unsettled for that afternoon.
he tells himself it’s nothing, but then when he and tazer are around each other, like, on the bus or something and it’s late and nobody’s really listening, he says, “i’m sorry if what happened with,” and sort of shakes his hand out between them, hoping that communicates it, “i don’t know if i was out of line.”
tazer doesn’t pretend to be confused about what he means, thankfully, but of course he wouldn’t. he says, “why would you think that?”
saad shrugs and sort of looks over at kaner, kind of jerks his head that way. he says, “i mean, i heard about… that, so. it might’ve been shitty for me to, you know. i was thinking about it —”
tazer looks from saad to where kaner’s sitting and back to saad and interrupts to say, “don’t worry about it.”
saad says, “i know, i know. he said it would be cool, but i’m — i like it here and i don’t want —”
"he said it was okay? you asked him?"
"no," saad says. "i mean, yeah, he said, but he brought it up. he said i was flirting, and —"
“it’s fine,” tazer says. “you’re fine.”
he pretty much leaves it at that, and saad says, “okay. just, you know. checking.”
he thinks maybe that’ll be the extent of it. he hooked up with tazer one time, and it was cool, then weird, but then things went back to normal. he’s surprised when tazer’s the one doing the inviting next time. he invites saad to hang out and tazer has some friends at his place, and it’s casual, and saad sticks around even after others leave, and tazer kisses him while they’re leaning against his floor-to-ceiling windows and saad really likes it.
tazer says, after a while, “you want to stay?”
saad absolutely does, preferably without being in his clothes. his wish comes true, and they have sex, and saad wakes up first. they have practice at noon, but it’s fucking, like, 7 in the morning, so he’s in no rush yet. he just wanders into tazer’s living room. he goes to the kitchen, gets some water, and then pokes through his music and movie collection. tazer still has some actual cds, which is hilarious to him.
the variety is kind of random for all of it. there’s country and canadian rock bands he recognizes from tazer talking about them and then, like, three lil wayne cds. in the movies there are thrillers and action movies and a few dramas and west side story, okay, and then tazer eventually comes out and says, “hey.”
"hi," saad says, looking around. he holds up one of the cds. "the carter II?"
tazer shakes his head and says, “some of those aren’t mine.”
it takes saad a second to get it, and then he feels like a dummy that it took any time at all.
"right," he says. "you, uh. kept ‘em, though."
tazer shrugs and asks if saad wants food. saad’s starving, so yes.
he probably sleeps with tazer a couple more times, and he notices more and more where kaner still exists in tazer’s space. it’s not even — the weirdest part is how unobtrusive it is. like, he’ll be playing a video game and notice there are still saved games with kaner’s initials on them or characters obviously named by him. tazer has a few of kaner’s shirts, just hanging out to one side of his closet, never touched by tazer seemingly, and the only reason saad realizes they’re there is because tazer loans a shirt to saad when he doesn’t have time to go home before they need to be in for a team meeting and one of the shirts he pulls out, he looks at and says, “wait, this one’s too small,” and then hangs it right back and moves on.
there’s still some of kaner’s body wash in the cabinet under the sink (he knows because tazer says it’s “that junk kaner likes”) and one of his coats in the closet, and saad doesn’t understand. does kaner literally not miss any of this stuff? being rich is weird. he’s still fairly new at having money, so maybe not. maybe kaner doesn’t think about it and maybe tazer barely notices, but he still asks one day, sitting around in his boxers, just after he finds a book with kaner’s initials written in the inside cover, “do you think you’ll get back together?”
"excuse me?" tazer says.
saad says — look, he knows he might be treading precarious ground here, but kaner is everywhere in this place, and he wonders if tazer is still all over kaner’s place too. so saad says, “you still have a bunch of his stuff. i was wondering.”
people tell him he can come off naive and eager. saad thinks maybe he can get away with asking.
"is that his?" is what tazer gives him, indicating the book.
saad says, “yeah.”
it’s a paperback. the spine is pretty crinkled, like kaner went through it a couple times, or maybe he read it and then made tazer read it. saad’s not really sure why he’s trying to figure it out. he lifts it so tazer can see the cover.
"oh, yeah," tazer says, and, "he probably wouldn’t mind if you borrowed it."
that… isn’t really what saad was asking, but he can take a hint.
"right, sure. okay," he says.
he totally does take the book because he’d feel like a bigger loser for not taking it for some reason. he reads it and then he keeps it in his practice bag for two days and eventually sucks it up and gives it back to kaner.
he says, “i kind of borrowed this?”
kaner looks at it crazy, like, why the fuck is saad handing him a book? but then he sees it — really sees it and says, “yeah? i love this book.”
"it was interesting," saad says, and they talk about the book for barely a minute, and kaner puts it in his own bag.
he asks, “why’re you giving it back to me?”
"it’s…. yours?" saad says.
kaner just nods and then says, “cool. thanks,” and saad just wants to know what the hell their deal is at this point.
it’s not like it’s his business, but also he wants to know. they’re just so fucking weird. he’s definitely not about to date tazer if there’s all this going on. it gets even more confusing when he’s at tazer’s a few days later, and the book is sitting on tazer’s entertainment center again.
he sees tazer and kaner talking to each other again. like, more than just friendly team banter. they even sit next to each other during one of the plane rides, and both times saad goes to use the bathroom, he tries not to look over at them, because it’s really, really not his business. it doesn’t matter. they could be talking about the game earlier or something. or they could be talking about their confusing relationship — at least it’s confusing to saad. and then tazer asks saad if he wants to come over after they land, and saad is so lost but also, like, yeah. he likes being around tazer. and the sex is good. so he goes.
it’s a few weeks before kaner finally says to him one day, “having fun?”
they’re celebrating making it through the first round of the playoffs. they have a few days to rest up and prepare for round two but right now they can be glad, and saad knows kaner isn’t just talking about tonight. or saad’s going to assume he’s not, because he says, “i know he loves you, man.”
kaner’s eyes get a little wider, and saad says, “i don’t get all of it, with you guys. but i get that.”
kaner gets this lopsided smile, like he’s both amused and caught and not sure how to proceed. so. maybe he had just been talking about tonight. saad takes a drink and waits.
when kaner speaks, he says, “he does like you.”
saad lifts a shoulder. he’s not particularly hurt by the truth or anything. he just needed to say it out loud since no one else will.
he thinks about what he wants to say next — what he wants to know. there are a lot of questions, and he can’t figure out what to ask first about their complicated whatever, so saad asks, “did you fuck him up?”
kaner snorts. he says, “nah, not yet.”
saad nods and then thinks to ask, “did he fuck you up?”
kaner seems to weigh it, but then a smile creeps across his mouth, something soft but more genuine than the last. he says, “probably,” but he looks really fucking excited about it for some reason.
"why’d you break up?" saad asks, because tazer never fucking says. tazer’s good at talking about a lot of stuff but not this, saad’s picked up.
kaner says, “kinda stopped being fun.”
saad thinks about that and wonders what all the lingering overlap still means. the disappearing, reappearing books.
"what about now? is it fun again?" he asks.
they’re in the damn playoffs. saad doesn’t think life gets more fun for people like them.
kaner finishes whatever he’s drinking and says, “getting close.”
saad doesn’t sleep with tazer again, but he still hangs out sometimes. they do make out a few more times, because it’s fun, and that matters. saad breaks away before long though and says, “i’m gonna stop coming over here for this, okay?”
"okay…" tazer says.
continuing, saad says, “i know you don’t like talking about him — or maybe just talking to me about him, but kaner told me about stuff. i’m gonna bow out.”
tazer blinks at him and says, “it’s not you.”
“dude, i know. i’m not —” saad starts.
"no, i mean," tazer says. "it’s not that i don’t want to talk about him to you, it’s most people."
"you’re private, that’s fine."
tazer actually laughs a little, saying, “you’ve been all through this place. his shit is all over. i know what it looks like.”
saad kind of didn’t think tazer did, so this is a revelation. he says, “umm. oh?”
tazer says, “i talk about kaner, i don’t fucking shut up about kaner. so i don’t talk about him.”
and that…. okay, that makes sense.
"that’s cool," saad says, because he doesn’t know what else to say. "so, where’s my goodbye kiss?"
that prompts tazer to let out a really full laugh. he obliges though, and after a while says, “sorry i’m an asshole. i heard i can be that way by accident sometimes.”
saad says, “nah, you’re good. it works for you. i see why certain people are into it.”
yeah, so saad stops banging tazer, which is good, because they’ve got things to do. saad has to keep focusing on hockey. he needs the blackhawks to let him stick around next season.
then he’s allowed to be part of the blackhawks convention that summer, which is awesome. he doesn’t find out until folks are leaving after the first day that tazer and kaner totally came together.
as he’s saying goodbye to kaner, tazer walks by and says, “hey, you ready?”
"yeah, here i come," kaner says.
tazer says he’s going to the car and says a quick, “see you tomorrow, saad.”
saad says bye and when he looks back at kaner, he asks, “having fun, eh?”
"you know it," kaner says, and his smile becomes somehow different. he pats saad’s arm. "see you here?"
"of course," saad says, and then watches kaner go to catch up with tazer.
ceej: oh! also! while i’m thinking about it — with the book. i think kaner totally just goes to tazer’s and is like, “this is how you’re giving my shit back?”
tazer says, “did you or did you not tell him to try to fuck me?”
"i didn’t tell him to do anything he didn’t already want to do," kaner says, trying to be flippant about it, even though, whatever, mostly he needed to say something so he could stop thinking about how he wasn’t saying something. he’d heard about saad being into tazer. he saw. they were broken up. saad and tazer could do what they wanted.
tazer asks, “is that what you wanted?”
"it’s not up to me."
"don’t fucking pull that. what do you want?"
kaner shoves the book at him and says, “put this back where i fucking left it.”
it’s kind of a fight, but it’s a them fight, and they end up making out, because that’s what happens to them when they get each other riled up. they stop before they get carried too far though and kaner breathes a lot and says, “you’re into him?”
"he’s great," tazer says.
"should i take my stuff?" kaner asks, and tazer’s quiet, just sort of hovering, letting his nose brush kaner’s cheek, keeping him close.
he eventually says, “no.”
kaner kisses tazer one more time and then leaves.