Friday, May 30, 2008

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYEIGHT

FIFTYEIGHT;;

"You actually wore it!" Sidney smiled when he first saw me in the locker room.
"Well yeah, I didn't want you saying 'told you so' if I get sick," I laughed, pulling off the infamous fury hat once I was in the warm room.
Taylor and her parents had gone to find their seats, so I was on my own to find them later.
"It's gonna start snowing soon," I mused, "the clouds are perfect for it.."
"Well aren't you a little meteorologist," my brother chimed in from halfway across the room.
"Yeah, you're just jealous," I shot back, and Marc-Andre rolled his eyes, unable to make a comeback.

I sat with Sidney as he began to gear up, and I watched every move he made. I noticed the way he put his things on right side first, and how he struggled to pull his socks all the way up.
"Having difficulties?" I asked as he grew frustrated.
Sidney nodded, and I asked another question, "Want some help?" He nodded yet again.

I sat on the floor in front of him, slowly tugging up his right sock, keeping our gazes locked on each other. I smiled softly, running my hands up his calf, smoothing out his left sock after I finished pulling it up too.
Our little 'moment' was ruined by Brooks Orpik's voice.
"Jesus, you two want to take that somewhere else? Somewhere we won't be able to see or hear your dirty kids?"
Sidney turned bright red, and I knew I was almost the same shade as I got up and sat next to him.
"Yeah, no repeats of yesterday. Do that somewhere far, far away from us all," Danny Sabourin grinned, loving how embarrassed we obviously were.
"I should probably go find my seat and adjust to the cold. Damn you and your heated bench!" I cursed them all as I got up.
Sidney got up too, and turned me to face him, and he smiled, "Thanks for being here."
"De rien, mon petit ami. Bon chance," I sent him a grin before saying, "show those Sabres what you're made of. Snow or not, you're a force to be reckoned with."
"Yeah, well I'll let them know."
"I think they've gotten the memo.. Along with the rest of the league," Colby laughed.
"Shut up! I'm trying to be supportive and inspirational, something you apparently aren't," I snapped sarcastically, and I heard Colby mutter, "Damn, someone's got a puck up their ass.."
"Oh, just wait till he falls asleep on the bus ride home," I told Sidney before giving him a long good luck kiss and wishing a good game to everyone else.
"What? We don't get good luck kisses too?" Jordan Staal called after me, and I shot him a smirk, "Only in your dreams."
"Yeah, but in my dreams, you're not dating Sid," Jordan muttered, but I still heard him.
"What was that, Staal?" I asked, shooting him a cold glare.
"No-nothing Brie," he told me nervously.
"Yeah, that's what I thought." I left the locker room, quickly finding my seat with the Crosby family before the game began.

I stood on my tip toes trying to see the beginning of the shootout. I was ready to get up on my seat when Sidney came onto the ice, so I did.
The crowd was going wild as Sid took off down the ice towards Ryan Miller and quickly flicked his wrist, the puck flying past Miller and the buzzer going off.
I grinned as I watched Sidney skate back to his team, an enormous smile on his face. He had not only gotten the first goal with the help of Colby, but won the shootout. It was a spectacular game for him.

A few hours later I'd said goodbye to Sidney's family, and was now on the bus home.
"Sid, that was.. Just wow," I told him with a smile before giving him yet another congratulatory kiss. "You played a great game," I added to my previous statement, lacing my fingers with his.
"I'm glad you came with me," he smiled back, his cheeks still rosy and dark red from being out in the snow for so long.
I held my free hand to his cheek and laughed, "You're still freezing! Do I have a popsicle for a boyfriend?"
"Maybe you're too hot and I've got a heater for a girlfriend," he retorted with a small smile.
"No, I'm pretty sure I'm right this time. You're frozen," I pulled his baby blue and white Winter Classic beanie down further and zipped his jacket up all the way before snuggling into his arms.
"Much better," he sighed, resting his head on mine and dozing off.

We got to Mellon after several long hours on the road, and Sidney had slept the whole time.
"Hey Sid, get up. It's time to go home."
"Five more minute," he grumbled, swatting my hand away as I shook his shoulder.
"I'd carry you off the bus myself.. But you do weight eighty more pounds that me," I laughed and finally convinced him to get off his butt and to the Range Rover.
I drove him to Mario's, knowing he'd want to be in his own bed tonight.
"Come in with me," he demanded, now considerately more alert than he was earlier.
"I think you need some more sleep, dear," I answered, turning the car off.
"And you don't? I know you're exhausted and didn't sleep on the bus."
I avoided his gaze, nodding as I got out and helped bring our stuff inside.
"Salut, Nathalie," I smiled wearily as we passed her on our way to Sid's room.
I set his stuff in the designated spot and kicked off my shoes before following Sidney's example and getting into my pajama shorts, tee shirt, and a pair of my old game socks I found in my bag.
"Mm. I'm thirsty. Want anything while I'm out there?" I asked Sid, who was already in bed, propped up against his pillows.
"Just some water, s'il te plait." "Bien, d'accord," I nodded, heading out into the kitchen.

Mario and his wife were there doing the dishes together, and I smiled at how cute they were.
"Those are some nice socks, Aubrie," Mario laughed.
"Merci, Monsieur Lemieux," I answered quickly as I opened the fridge, pulling out a bottle of Smart Water for myself, then I found Sid's favourite water bottle nestled towards the back. I grabbed that too, and conversed with Mister and Missus Lemieux for a few minutes before getting back to Sidney.

I tossed him the water bottle once I got to the bed, and he gaped at me.
"How'd you find this?" "There's not too many places to hide stuff in a refrigerator," I answered with a laugh as I snuggled into bed.
Sidney had already turned the TV onto the forty-eight hour New Year's Twilight Zone marathon, and my favourite one was on; the wax museum of murderers.
"I knew there was a reason why I loved you," I grinned, kissing his cheek.
"Well, that's good to hear," he smiled in return, "cause I know there's lots of reasons to love you.."
"You're so incredibly cheesy, Sidney. But it's adorable. Now shut up and watch TV."

Monday, May 26, 2008

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYSEVEN

FIFTYSEVEN;;

New Year's Eve day came, and it was the first time Sidney brought me to practice on the outdoor rink.
He'd made me stay inside at the hotel, saying he didn't want me
out in the cold more than necessary.
"Sid, relax. I'm fine. Keeping the blood flow going," I told him for the hundredth time after he asked if I was cold.
He and the team were practicing on the rink, while I skated around on the small patch of ice near one of the ends.
Every chance he got, Sidney would look over and shoot me a concerned glance, telepathically asking if I was okay. I would just roll my eyes and nod.
I grew up playing pond hockey in Sorel, which is much closer to the North Pole. I've been in worse weather during games.
I actually love skating outside. It gives me that familiar sense of freedom that skating has naturally, and multiplies it by ten.
"Aubrie, we can go now.. Practice is over," Sidney stood on the mini-rink with me now, pulling me away from my thoughts.
"Hmm?" I asked, then realized what he said.
"Alright," I took his outstretched hand and we walked back to the locker room.

At the hotel, Marc-Andre and Maxime were going room to room and taking orders and money for a Tim Horton's run.
"I haven't had Timmie's in so long.. " I reminisced back to when were in Western Canada.
"Well, I already know you want Timbits, Brie."
"Naturally," I grinned at my brother.
Sidney told Maxime what he wanted, handing him a twenty as the pair left.
Sidney shut the door and turned to me, a devious grin on his face.
"Oh no.."
"Oh yes," he pulled me into a rough kiss, leading me over to the bed at the same time.
"Sidney, not right now," I breathed quickly.
"Yes, now," he smirked, kissing me again.
"Sid, no," I told him firmly, putting my hands up to push him back a little.
He stared at me for a second, then apologized.
"It's not your fault, it's mine," I assured him.
"Ohh, you don't want to get me sick, huh?"
"Something like that," I nodded a little, "plus you're staying up with me to watch the ball drop.. I don't want you to e completely worn out for tomorrow," I winked, lightening his mood.
"Well anyways, I'm still sorry. I don't mean to pressure you or anything like that."
"I know you don't. Let's do something else," I suggested, knowing he meant well.

Nearly an hour later, I told Sidney that he should go see if my brother and Maxime were back, and he agreed.
Once he was out of the room, I pulled out my black lacey bra and matching boyshort panties, my 'sexy lingerie' that I'd been saving for a rainy day; well, today was that day.
I quickly got out of Sidney's practice pants I'd been wearing and my shirt, changing into the underwear and pulling on Sidney's bright blue game socks for tomorrow, then I cleared some stuff off the bed.
I ran into the bathroom and pulled my hair down, letting it fall messily over my shoulders.
Next, I peeked out the door, slipping the 'privacy please' card over the handle, then shut the door and waited.
"Hey, they weren't back yet.. and what's with the do not disturb-" Sidney cut himself off as soon as he walked in, "Oh."
He stared for a second, his eyes scanning over me, and I couldn't help but blush.
"Wow.."
"Happy New Year?" I half asked, and he grinned, "Definitely."
Sidney practically pounced on me, and began to attack my lips with his, all the while trying to undress himself.
With my help, he was out of his clothes in a matter of seconds, and I could feel him reaching behind me for the clasp of my bra.
"Sidney," I let out a laugh as he sat me on the bed, his hungry lips not once leaving my neck. "Hmm?" he asked, his eyes meeting mine.
"It hooks in the front.." I untangled my fingers from his hair and let go of his shoulder so I could help guide his hands.
"Success!" he smiled up at me, "you're very tricky."
"I know," I winked, smiling again.

No one bothered us for several hours, but I'm sure we bothered them.
"Would you care to take a shower.. avec moi?" Sidney offered as he got up and stretched, making me blush.
"Alright, but no funny business," I nodded as I got up, pulling the sheet with me.
After getting all cleaned up and into some jammies, Sidney was ready to call for room service, seeing as we never got our Tim Horton's.
A knock came to the door, and Maxime's voice rang out.
"Is it safe to bring you your.. uh, dinner?"
I opened the door to see Mister Talbot, and he wasn't alone.
Colby, Kris, Jordan, Evgeni, Erik, Ryan Whitney and my brother were there too.
"Jesus, Brie. Could you warn us to vacate the premesis next time?" Kris laughed, and I turned beet red.
"Yeah, poor Marc here is scarred for life because of you," Colby told me sterntly.
"Sorry.. dads." I replied.
"Here's your Tim Horton's," Marc-Andre handed me a bag and attempted to run away, but it didn't work with his high ankle sprain and all.
"Bye guys," I told them quickly, shutting the door and returning to Sidney with our dinner.
I had the channel on MTV, and I watched as the huge ball dropped slowly in Times Square.

"Happy New Year, Sid," I said softly, then looked up at him only to see that he was fast asleep.
I couldn't help but grin, brushing the stray curls out of his face and kissing his forehead before turning off the TV and snuggling into bed.

I was up at eight the next morning, and Sidney was already gone.
I found a note at the foot of the bed, so I picked it up and read it.
'Aubs, gone in for a morning skate. Come see me before the game, don't forget your pass! Oh, and please wear the stuff I left for you; can't have you getting hypothermia. Bisous- Sidney.'
I looked down to see the thermal-esque shirt and odd, hooded face guard thing he'd been wearing around at practice, and I laughed, "He's crazy to think I'm wearing that."
Then I saw the furry hat and grinned, "But this.. This is good."
I got dressed in the warmest clothes I had, yes, even the weird ski mask shirt, pulling the fuzzy hat on last. Once I had everything I went downstairs to meet up with Troy, Trina and Taylor, then we all went to the stadium.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYSIX

FIFTYSIX;;

Not even ten minutes into the bus ride to Buffalo for the Winter Classic, and Sidney had already persuaded me to take a nap. Ever since Christmas, he'd been keeping a close watch on me.
The guys had just come from a wicked win against the Caps, and they were all jittery for the upcoming outdoor game.
"Sidney.. There is no way I'm sleeping with all these crazy kids," I motioned back to my brother, Jordan and Kris Letang.
"Fine, come here," Sidney grinned, pulling me into him so I could somewhat lay back, setting my feet on the armrest of Colby Armstrong.
"Aubrie!" Colby whined.
"Whatie?" I mocked, peering at him over my issue of the Hockey News.
"Do you have to to have you feet in my area?"
"Why, yes Colby. My feet quite enjoy invading your space," I laughed, and he huffed, dealing with it.
I began to read the interview with Sidney, seeing as it was his cover issue I was holding.
"Sidney!" I yelped, jumping off him and sitting up straight.
"Huh? What?" he had been watching the cars zooming by on the dark highway.
"What do you mean 'Eva Mendes- she's my favourite'?" I gaped, pointing to the picture.
"Aubs, no. The question was if I could not would date any-"
I cut him off, "Yeah, I bet you would if you could."
I got up, throwing my magazine in the seat and storming towards the back of the bus where Marc-Andre sat.
"Dude, Brie. What's wrong?" My brother asked as soon as I sat down next to him.
"I don't know, Marc.." I shook my head, pulling out my phone.
I quickly sent Henry a text telling him about what just happened, and I sighed, "I just.. I think I got really jealous. Eva Mendes I mean.. She's gorgeous and talented and people just adore her.."
"And she's waaay high maintenance," Kris added, making me laugh.
"Thanks Letang," "Anytime. I've got lots. She has that weird mole, she's fat.. Her eyes are too far apart, she seems like a total bi-"
"That's enough, man," my brother silenced him.
My phone buzzed and I quickly read Henry's text.
'It's the hormones..'
I answered back a quick 'I hate you'
"Don't pick a fight about something so stupid. You have to choose your battles," I nodded at Marc-Andre's wise advice.. Something he's known to offer from time to time.
"Thanks Marc.. Kris," I headed back up and sat gingerly in my seat, tapping Sidney almost hesitantly.
"Yeah? Oh.." he pulled out his headphones and turned off his iPod.
"Sid.. Je suis desolee. I don't know why I got so mad, but I shouldn't have. I was just being stupid and jealous," I told him in a quiet, sincere voice.
"Hey don't worry. I'd get ticked too if I read in an interview that you'd date Leo DiCaprio," Sidney told me.
"Yeah? Leo's pretty good looking," I nodded, "But I'm much more into curly-haired, hazel eyed cutie pies like you."
Sid's cheeks turned pink before returning my corniness, "Well Eva Mendes is y'know, cool and all. But I'm more prone to this girl with long, brunette hair, a fantastic smile and an awesome body named Aubrie. She's smokin' hot." Now it was my turn to laugh and blush at his remarks.
"Now that we've got that all cleared up," I smiled, giving him a long kiss.

"So that's how you're gonna play?" he asked once I pulled away from him.
"Maybe," I nodded, biting my bottom lip. Sidney let out a slight groan of frustration, and my jaw dropped, "Sidney!"
"What?!" he asked.
"Are you disappointed that I won't make out with you?" "A little," he pouted, and I rolled my eyes.
"You do realize how much I could torture you right now, yeah?" I grinned, merely placing my hand on his upper thigh.
"Mmhmm," he nodded, his eyes fluttering closed as I leaned into him, pressing our lips together roughly.
"Oh, EW. Not on the bus guys!" Colby exclaimed, shielding his eyes and I laughed as I turned around to face him.
"You're just jealous," I shot with a grin, hearing Sidney snicker.
"Of you making out with Sid? More like I'm envious if him."
"What was that, Colbs?" Sidney asked, wrapping his arms around my waist and setting his chin on my right shoulder so he could see past me.
"I'm just saying, man.. You're lucky."
"You got that right," he smiled, giving me a quick squeeze around he middle, making me groan.
"Sid, please don't do that."
"Do what?" he asked.
"Squeeze me like you just did.."
"Like this?" he asked playfully, squeezing me again.
"Sidney, I said don't!" I snapped, feeling a little rush of nausea. I did not want to get sick on the bus.
"Sorry Aubs," he immediately apologized, "still feeling icky?"
I half nodded, trying to think of a way to explain, "Plus ou moins.." was what came to mind. "More or less," I repeated in English this time.
"We'll have to get you checked out when we get back."
"Yeah.. Maybe. It'll probably clear up after I get a good nights sleep," I concluded the conversation, and Sidney shot me a skeptical look; one I'd seen frequently since Christmas.

When the bus pulled into the parking lot of the hotel, a group of Sabres fans were there in their snow gear.
Soon after we sat them, we heard weird noises, and something hitting the bus.
"They're snowballing us!" Colby laughed as we all peered out the huge windows.
After the crowd had been contained, all of us were allowed off the bus and up to our rooms.
Sidney and I practically raced eachother through the door and to the remote.
Like usual, I won, flicking the TV on and to the channel that usually plays 48 Hours; Hard Evidence and all those murder mystery shows.
"Ughh," Sidney sighed as he got ready for bed, "whyyy must you watch these shows?" I laughed, knowing his normal road-roomie Colby subjected him to the same thing.
"Hey, at least I don't make you watch Ellen Degeneres!"
"True. But can't we just watch Friends or something?"
"No. We've seen every episode.. Thirty times."
"Fine," he huffed, getting under the covers with me, but still kept his distance.
"Sid, don't be all pouty," I told him, setting my hand on his neck as I turned onto my side and faced him.
I traced my thumb along his jaw and he smiled, wrapping me up in his arms and pulling me into his body, like his personal teddy bear.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYFIVE

FIFTYFIVE;;

Christmas eve dinner was great. Full of food and family; everything you could ever want.
Afterwards, Sidney and I were in his room sorting through and wrapping the presents we'd gotten today, seeing as we were spending Christmas morning here we brought all the gifts for the Lemieux and Sid's family.

"Sid, you seriously don't know how good you look in a suit," I grinned as he took off his blazer and undid the top button of his collared shirt.
"And you, Miss Aubrie, don't realize how rediculously good you look in that dress... and just about everything else you wear," he replied, making me blush. "Your mom got it for me."
"No kidding? Well I'll be sure to thank her," he smiled, pulling me up off the bed and into a sweet kiss.
"What're your plans for New Years?" Sid asked as I sat on his bed wrapping a cool cookbook for Nathalie.
"Uhh.. as of right now?" I asked, and Sidney nodded. "Absolutely nothing."
"Oh really? So you'd rather sit in your apartment all by yourself than in Buffalo with me?"
"Well I haven't exactly been invited to go to Buffalo with you," I answered as I set the last of the presents with all the others I'd wrapped and labeled.
"How stupid of me then. Would you please come to the Winter Classic with me?"
"Hmm. I think I've got plans that day." When Sidney shot me a look, I laughed, "Of course I'll come. I'd be an idiot not to."

After all the kids went to bed, Sidney and I snuck out and put all the presents under the tree then headed back to his room.
I opened Sidney's closet door to look for a shirt to wear to bed, when something fell from one of the shelves.
"Oh my gosh.. Is this.." I picked it up with a grin, "the furry hat!" I yelped as I pulled it on.
Sidney quickly finished putting on his pajama pants and groaned, "Aubrie."
"No! This is the most hilarious... ridiculous thing I've ever seen. It's fantastic!' I found a mirror and laughed at my reflection.
"I hoped you didn't see the interview," he sighed, rubbing his hand over the back of his neck.
"The one on Youtube from when they announced you as alternate? Marc-Andre made me watch it.. You were so.."
"Young? Stupid? Poorly dressed?" he tried to fill in the blank for me.
"Adorable!" I answered, pulling him over for a hard kiss.
He quickly pulled back, taking the strange hat off my head and placing it on his own, making me crack up.
"It's like.. Davy Crockett found roadkill or something," I mused, petting one of the pieces covering his ears.
"Yeah, it's not that funny," Sidney tried his best to conceal his grin as he put the hat away and threw me a big shirt to wear to bed.
"Thanks," I smiled, "and just so you know.. You're never going to hear the end of the furry hat."
"I know," he nodded, getting into bed.

At six thirty sharp, Taylor and the Lemieux kids were in Sidney's room, standing at the foot of the bed.
"Sidney! Aubrie! Santa came! Santa came!" Austin told us, tugging at the covers, "come open presents! Everyone's waiting for you guys."
"Huh?" I heard Sidney, and Austin repeated, "Come open presents! Everyone's waiting!"
"Alright, we'll be out in a minute," I told him as I sat up.
The little blond boy nodded as the five kids left the room in a hurry.
"Get up Sid. Pere Noel came," I grinned, kissing his forehead before getting out of bed and getting ready.
Sidney finally got out of bed with much persuasion, and the two of us were out in the living room.
I heard Taylor sigh, "Finaallyyy! Can we open presents now, Mum?" Trina nodded, and everyone dug in.
Sidney and I sat on the floor with the kids, and he handed me a box.
"I know we agreed not to get eachother anything, but I couldn't resist."
"Well, I couldn't either," I laughed, grabbing what I'd gotten him out from under the tree.
"Hockey stick cuff links? With my number engraved? These are awesome!" I smiled as I watched Sidney carefully inspecting the little cuff links.
"Now you," he told me, and I peeled back the wrapping paper.
"Sid," I grinned, staring down at the simple black frame holding a picture of the two of us at the All Star games in Dallas last January. It was Joes' Sakic and Thornton, Marty Tucro, Sidney and myself in the middle, Danny Briere, Miikka and Ovechkin all standing together after breakfast on the first day.
"This is the best!" I gave him a quick kiss, then leaned on his shoulder as we watched the kiddos unwrap the rest of their stuff.
I noticed the way Trina watched us; she wore that same dazed, far-off, proud look from when she first saw Sid and I kiss forever ago.

Christmas day lunch rocked out loud, and after that, Sidney and I took Taylor and the little Lemieux's to the movies.
"What do you all want to see?" I asked, receiving different answers from each kid.
"Ohhkayy," I sighed, and Sidney laughed.
"I want to see the new National Treasure," Sid smiled, and the kids all agreed.
We got to theatre, bought tickets, snacks, and quickly found seats.
I sighed in relief once we got back from the movies, now exhausted.

"Did the kids tire you out?" Sidney teased.
"Pshh, no.. Okay, a little," I admitted.
"Does someone still not feel good?" I shook my head a bit, lying down on Sid's bed after taking off my shoes, scarf and jacket.
Sidney followed suit, lying down with me.
"Yeahh. Imagine doing that every day."
"What?"
"When we have kids," Sidney quickly caught himself, "if we have kdis, every day is gonna be hectic like this."
I simply nodded, thinking to myself, 'You're not too far ahead of yourself there..'
Sidney and I laid there watching the 24 hour marathon of a Christmas Story on TBS, when I got that nauseous feeling gain.
I pulled out of Sidney's grasp, hopping out of bed and rushing to the bathroom, tying my hair up on the way.
I shut the door behind me, and commenced my prayers to the porcelain god.
I finished throwing up and I flushed the toilet, now lying on my back; the cool tile comforting me.
"Babe, are you ok?" I heard Sidney as he knocked on the door.
I groaned, rubbing my face and the door clicked, signaling Sid coming in.
"Are you sure you're alright?" he asked again, now kneeling next to me, "Aubrie?"
"I'll be fine," I mumbled, sitting up only for Sid to pull me into him, gently rubbing my back and rocking me slightly.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYFOUR

FIFTYFOUR;;

Christmas eve day arrived, and Sidney and I were finishing some very last minute shopping.
We had talked about everything that was happening in our relationship, and what needed to happen.
Okay, that's a lie. I didn't mention the twenty-two positive and negative pregnancy tests I'd taken the other day...
Things were getting back to, and even better than normal..
Slowly, but surely they were.
I could tell by the grin on Sidney's face whenever we did something small, like holding hands.
I remember when he used to turn bright red if I so much as said hello to him..

We walked through the busy mall, hand in hand, blushing like mad for no reason.
Sidney was wearing a beanie to be 'inconspicuous' but it didn't matter. Everyone around us was in their own hectic world while we slowly meandered and perused the mall and browsed the stores.
We passed a few kids eating fresh chocolate chip cookies, and they smelled amazing.
"Ooh, I want one of those," I awed as we continued to walk."
"One of what?"
"Paradise Bakery cookies."
Sidney laughed at me, "That's really random.."
"Nuh-uh! That girl we just passed had one. It looked gooey and delicious. Please," I asked, looking up at him with pleading puppy eyes.
"You'd better be glad I love you," he smiled, wrapping an arm around my shoulders.
"Oh yeah? You'd better be happy I love you back," I leaned up and kissed his cheek.
"Let's get you some cookies then."
"What should I get for Marc-Andre?" I asked as I swallowed a piece of my warm cookie.
"You haven't gotten anything for your brother yet?"
"He's hard to shop for!" I exclaimed, "help?"
"Anything for you," Sidney grinned, kissing my temple and quickly breaking off a piece of my treat.
Sidney took me to a small, lesser-known sports store that I'd only been in once before.
"Find him something neat," he whispered, then nudged me inside.
I wandered through the place and found a pair of old school, vintage goalie pads
"These," I grinned, showing Sidney what I'd found.
"Let's get them!" he nodded, picking them up and taking them to the register.
"Fantastic. He was the last one on my list."

Sidney and I were laying on the couch together watching the original cartoon version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and I groaned when the door buzzed.
"Nooo. Make them go away," I muttered, nuzzling my face deeper into Sidney's neck.
"Come on, you gotta get off me so I can get rid of whoever it is," he laughed, and I sighed as I got up and went to the door.
"Merry Christmas!" I was met by the smiling faces of Sidney's parents and his sister.
"Hey, merry Christmas!" I smiled back, and Sidney practically came running to the door.
"Taylor, Mum, Dad! I didn't know you were coming out for the holidays.."
"We thought we'd surprise you, hun," Trina explained, and I let them come inside.
"We brought you guys presents, too!" Taylor announced with a wide smile.
"You didn't have to," I started, but Trina wouldn't have it.
"Oh yes we did. You're basically a part of the family!"
"So Mario was right when he said we'd find you two here being lazy bums," Troy laughed upon seeing our pajama pants and tee shirts.
"He told us to come get you two for dinner," Taylor added, "like when we had that big dinner in April."
"So get dressed, you kids!" Trina smiled, pushing me towards my room and closing the door behind us.

"Here. I got you a little something," she said, handing me a neatly wrapped box.
"Trina, like I said earlier.. You didn't have to get me anything.."
"Stop it, Aubrie! How could I not get you a present or two? After all, I can't thank you enough for how happy you've made Sidney. Now go on, open it."
I carefully unwrapped the gift and opened the box to find a very pretty dress.
[click to see the dress]
I set the box down and held up the dress.
"This is gorgeous," I grinned, pulling Sidney's mother into a tight hug.
"I saw it and thought of you," she told me, and I began to laugh.
"What's so funny?"
"I'm sorry.. That's just.. exactly what Sidney said when he gave me this for our six month anniversary," I held up my right hand so she could see the ring.
"That's beautiful.. I must say, my son does have good taste," she sent me a wide smile.
"Want to help me get ready?" I asked, and Trina nodded.

I went into my bathroom and changed into the dress, seeing that it fit perfectly.
"Trina, you're amazing," I told her as I re-entered my room, "thank you for this."
I quickly blushed, "Do you think you could help me make my hair wavy? I've got a curling iron, but I can't use it alone."
"Not at all!" She followed me back into the bathroom and I got the curling iron out from underneath the sink and plugged it in.
"While that heats up, I'm gonna find some shoes," I told Trina as I went back into my room to look in the closet for my bring pink, glossy flats.
"Aubrie?" I heard Trina call from the bathroom, and I dropped the shoes, heading back in through the adjoining door.
"What's up?" I asked, unable to see Trina's face, her back turned away from me.
"Trina, what's wrong?" I asked again, now worried.
When she turned around I saw a slight smile on her face, then my gaze shifted down to the small white stick with the big plus on it.
"Trina, no..."
"I'm going to be a grandmother?" she asked.
"Where did you find that?" I counter questioned her quickly.
"I dropped your eyeliner by the trash and saw it.."
I noticed how she didn't sound angry or upset that her son might have gotten his girlfriend pregnant. She seemed excited.
"Trina, look. I might be, I might not. I took twenty-something tests. Half said yes, half said no."
Her excited look fell, and my heart dropped.
"Oh.." she said simply, setting the test back in the trash.
"I'm sorry if I got your hopes up.. Or for making you hate me momentarily."
"Why wold I hate you for having a baby?"
"Well.. For one, Sidney and I aren't married.. Not that I have a problem or anything with that.. Plus, this just isn't the best time in either of our lives to have a baby.. We're still kids ourselves, y'know?" I sighed.

"Hey," she sat me down in my room, "if you are pregnant, I'll still be here. We all will. I know just how much you and my son love eachother."
"Things have been rough with him lately," I told her a little about our lack of communication during the last month as she helped wave-ify my hair.
"Who knows.. This could bring you two closer together." I shrugged, "We'll find out. I've got a doctors appointment on the third."
"Is Sidney coming with you? I know he has a game that night.."
"He doesn't know about any of this- the tests, the appointment. I thought I had the flu, so that's what I told him."
"If you don't let him know soon.."
"I know," I cut her off, "I just want to be sure. That's why I took so many tests. But those didn't help."
Trina laughed, helping me finish getting ready.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYTHREE

FIFTYTHREE;;

That Thursday I went to the Pen's last home game before a
three game road trip to play the Islanders, Rangers and the
Bruins.
It was the first time I'd seen Sidney since our fight, and he
looked pretty shaken up and angry, but he tried his best to hide
it, and it was working pretty well.
I still felt awful and drained, and against Henry's advice, I went
to the game anyways.
After another disappointing loss I went home, not wanting to face
an upset, moody Sidney, and found a text from him waiting on
my phone.
'I really want to talk..'
So I texted him back.
'When you get back from the roadtrip. I don't want you
getting sick.'

I'm pretty sure I've got some sort of flu, and it's not the best
feeling in the world.
But that's not why I didn't want to talk to him.
I still couldn't get over what he'd done.
I didn't want to talk to him, because I knew I'd explode and do
something stupid, just like he had.
I just needed time to cool off and get everything straight in my mind before talking to Sidney.

"Bubbles!" Henry called from the living room, and I followed his
voice.
"What, Hen?" I asked in an annoyed tone, and he looked up
from the magazine he was reading.
"When're you supposed to get your, uh.. monthly visitor
again?"
"Around the second week of the month.. Why?"
"Just curious."
"Henry, tell me."
"I'm just trying to figure out why you're suddenly throwing up and
feeling like crap."
"You think I'm pregnant? Henry! It's just a bug I caught in
Vancouver.. I was out in freezing cold weather for an
extended period of time. Then watched a hockey game..."
"Hey, I'm just throwing out possibilities."
"Yeah, and we'll scratch pregnancy off the list in a few
days when I'm popping Midol like House and his Vicodin," I rolled
my eyes at my best friend.
That kid can be a real idiot some times.
"Yeah, and I'll be the one you send out to get you a hundred
different home pregnancy tests when you don't!" he shot
back.
"Henry, how can I get pregnant if Sidney and I take just about
every precaution, every time?" As soon as I said it, I
thought back to Vancouver, "Oh crap."
"What was that, Bubbles?" Henry asked, a light smile on his face
as if to say, 'told ya so'
"Last week, in Vancouver. I don't really remember.."
"Like we learned in sex-ed! It only takes one time!"
"Hen! This is serious."
"Well how about you don't worry until Aunt Flow is supposed to
come. If it doesn't, then you freak out."
I nodded a little, then flopped on the couch and turned on the
TV.

Next week came quickly; the Pens beat the Islanders, but lost to
the Rangers and tonight they were playing the Bruins. They had
just lost their 4-nothing lead, and it was tied four to four.
Then something happened that genuinely shocked me.
Sidney dropped his gloves and went in with some of the best
punches I've ever seen him throw.
"Oh my god," I breathed as I watched my boyfriend's first NHL
fight, ever.
Andrew Ference's helmet had cut his own face during it's
removal, while Sidney continued to hold onto him, throwing punch
after punch and earning that necessary morale, taking his
responsibilities as captain seriously until a ref separated the
two.
"Holy crap.." I rewound the DVR to watch it again, making sure I
hadn't hallucinated or something.
Kris Letang won the shootout, and Henry came home with a big
bag of at-home pregnancy tests. Yeah; my monthly friend never
came to visit.

"UGH!" I groaned, throwing yet another stick in the trash, "How
come half say yes, and half say no?! I need an answer! I'm
tired of peeing on sticks!"
Henry snickered at my frustration, and was immediately hit in the
head by a projectile box.
"What am I supposed to tell Sidney?" I asked, sitting on my
bed.
"Nothing yet. Not until you find out for sure," Henry told me.
"Well, those stupid things aren't helping."
"Just wait a little longer, and go to the doctor if you still feel
weird. It could just be a bug."
"Yeah," I glared down at the box I'd been holding, "99.9 percent
accurate my ass.."

The next night, I was at Mellon to see the Pens lose to the
Islanders 4-2. I sat outside the locker room door afterwards, and
waited for Sidney. I noticed the poor, defeated looks on
everyone's face as they walked by, kicking the trashcan on their
way out.
Sid was one of the last people to leave.
"Aubrie!" I heard him finally, and I got up, somewhat
reluctantly.
I wasn't sure if I was really ready to do this.
He pulled me into a hug, one which I could really only half-
return.
"Are you feeling better?" he asked, the concern taking over his
usually calm voice.
"Kinda," I shrugged.
"Well are you ok to talk about the other night?"
I nodded quickly, "As much as I want to be pissed off and yell
and throw things at you.. I won't. I saw your fight. I'm very
proud. I was really impressed with those punches we worked
on."
Sidney flushed bright pink, then asked, "You want to talk here,
or where?"
"How about my place?" He nodded, and then we parted
ways.

I beat Sidney to my apartment and sat at the kitchen table,
waiting for him to come sit down, calming myself for what was to
come.
"First off, I need to explain why I was drunk.." he told me, and
I nodded, wanting to hear his side of the story.
"On the bus ride home from Philly, all the guys were passing
stuff around, and they put something in my harmless soda, saying
I was 'too stressed' and needed to take a load off. I
guess I was too upset to care, so I drank it anyways."
"Yeah. Then you came over here and took everything out on me
when you should've just gone back to the Lemieux's or with one
of the guys."
"Drinking was something I never intended to do.. I didn't want to
come back totally drunk and angry, Aubrie. And you know I
never, never wanted to hurt you.. There's no excuse for
what I said and did that night.." I saw a guilty, extremely
apologetic look in his eyes.
"You're right about one thing. There is absolutely no excuse
for how you acted. Those things you said about me not knowing
what it was like hurt, Sid. I'm trying to understand. You know I
spent years regretting who I was, because I knew I'd never get
a chance to have my name on the Stanley Cup, and I hated
myself. I hated being alienated because I'm a female hockey
player."
"But you're practically a legend.."

"Yeah, but my name isn't a household term... My brother's is, but
not mine, and that's as close as I'll ever get. So I got over it.. But
when you said that, it just brought back a lot of feelings and
bad memories," I sighed a little, running a hand through my
hair.
"Everything you said that night was true, and I'm not just saying
that. I do need to open up and talk more. I can't help it
when I don't- It's what I've always done, since I was a kid. I
can't not shut myself off. Never to this extent though. I
never wanted to make you feel unloved or like you don't mean
anything to me. I want you to feel the exact opposite."
Sidney was quiet for a minute, and I waited for him to continue,
crossing my arms over my chest expectantly.
"I can't stand knowing I hurt you, physically and emotionally,
and I can't say sorry enough. Saying that I'm sorry seems
worthless... I want to get through this and go back to how we
used to be.."
"Me too, Sidney, but I don't think we can go back to how we
were.." I shook my head, and his head shot up, horrified.

"Things won't be the same after what you did.. But after this
talk, I think things will only get better than they were before," I
grinned.
This was the beginning of the road to recovery for us.

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYTWO

FIFTYTWO;;

After a great game in Vancouver, we returned to Pittsburgh until
the guys had to go to Philadelphia on the eleventh.
I couldn't come, because the kids had a game that night.. One
which we won.
I came home and watched Sid's game that I'd DVRed and was
horrified.
They lost 8-2, and the game was fights galore.
Sidney wasn't even on the ice for the last six minutes.
The Flyers played well, and it just wasn't the guys' night.
I guess I fell asleep on the couch waiting for Sidney to come
home, and when he did..
Oh gosh.

"Hey Sidney," I greeted groggily as soon as I heard the front
door open, then I looked at the clock.
Four am..
Hmm. He must've woken me up.
"Yeah, yeah.. Whatever," he grumbled.
"You're back late.. Traffic or something?"
"Uh, yeah. Something like that," he set his bag down near the
kitchen door, and I got up from the couch, walking over to wrap
my arms around his waist.
He jerked away, moving towards where I had just been
sitting.
"Sidney.. what's wrong?"
"What's wrong with me?" he repeated, now facing me.
I gasped when I saw his pale face and bloodshot eyes.
"You're asking way too many annoying questions is what's
wrong!"
"Have you been drinking?" I asked, my voice cracking barely
above a whisper.
When Sidney didn't answer, I asked again in a louder, more
demanding voice, "I asked, have you been drinking?"
"Just a little," he admitted.
"Why would you do that?" I tried not to let him know I was
upset, but it clearly showed in my voice.

"You don't know what it's like.." he told me.
"What what's like?"
"All this pressure.. From my coaches, friends, team mates, fans..
Everyone wants me to be the best.. They all want the team to
be the best."
"You're right. I wouldn't," I mumbled.
"Yeah, cause you're just a girl who coaches a team of high
school boys," he snapped.
"That's right. I'm the coach of the best high school
hockey team in the country, and I used to be their
captain. I'm sorry I'm not some hot shot man like
you who has the privilege of playing in the NHL.
I'm sorry I don't know what it feels like to be the 'next
one'
the great Sidney Crosby. Your life must really blow,
eh? You're living out your dream and getting paid to do it!
You've got a girlfriend who loves you like crazy, you get
to travel with your best friends, and have fun. Being you must
really suck," I finished.
He stared at me as if I'd just slapped him.
"Aubrie, I'm not in the mood right now."

"Well too bad. I'm sick and tired of being treated like I don't
matter! I don't care whether or not you and the team win or
lose! I hate it when you shut me out; it's like I don't even exist
after you lose a game! I can't take it anymore."
"Then why don't you just dump me and find someone better?" he
asked quickly.
"Because, Sidney. No matter what, I love you and only
you. I know you're stressed after rough nights, and I want to
help, but you won't let me!"
I stopped for a second and took a breath, "Why won't you let
me help you?"
"Because there's nothing you can do! Hugs and kisses don't
make everything disappear and neither does talking about it.
Practicing is the only thing that helps."
"Well you can't totally focus on a game when you've got all this
going on in the back of your mind, now can you?"
He shook his head, and I took a few steps towards him.
I tried to put my hand on his shoulder to offer some sort of
comfort.
Wrong move.
I don't really know what happened next.
He must've pushed me harder than he meant to, and I stumbled
backwards, tripping and falling over the ottoman and landing on my
back.

"Aubrie?" I heard as I just lay there on the ground, trying to
overcome the shock of Sidney actually being physical like that
towards me.
"Aubrie, are you ok?" he asked again, now kneeling next to
me.
"Sidney, don't come near me," I told him, quickly getting up and
stumbling, falling into his outstretched arms.
"No! Let me go!" I yelped, and he immediately let go of me as
soon as he was standing.
"Just.. just get out of here!" I told him, then hurried to my room,
locking the door behind me.
I slid down the door, my back resting against it as I leaned my
head on my knees.
"Aubrie, open up!" I heard as Sidney knocked on the door.
"Please, open the door.. I didn't.. I didn't mean to hurt you, you
know that, right?"
"Sidney, just go home," I said, ignoring his pleas and waiting for
the silence before getting into bed and crying myself to
sleep.

I woke up the next morning around 9:30, very groggy and
tired.
I could feel a small bruise forming on my back, and looked in
the mirror only to be reassured by the dark blue patch of
skin.
'It could've been worse..' I told myself.
I unlocked the door, opening it to see Sidney asleep, propped
up against the wall next to my door. I didn't want to wake him
up, or be there when he did, so I got ready, grabbed my stuff,
and went to the rink to clear my head.

I wasn't even on the ice for an hour when I suddenly felt
exhausted.
I drove home as quickly as I could, trying to fight the nauseous
feeling from overworking and over stressing myself.
I got inside the apartment and made a mad dash for the
bathroom, lifting up the toilet seat and heaving.
I flushed and wiped my mouth with some toilet paper, leaning
back against the cabinets.
"Bubbles?" I heard my best friend calling from the other
room.
"Henry!" I smiled a little, then got that feeling again and rolled
back towards the toilet.
"What're you doing?" he asked once I'd finished.
"Not a whole lot.. Just becoming reacquainted with everything I've
eaten in the past two days.. How about you?" I glared.
"Are you alright?"
"I just don't feel that great.. Haven't been sleeping very much
lately. Too stressed," I groaned.
"I came home and found Sid asleep in the hall. What was that
all about?"
"He came home at four am, and we got in a fight. Then he
pushed me, and I just.. I tripped and fell over that stool thing."
"He hurt you?" Henry asked, totally shocked, so I began to explain.
"He didn't mean it.. I could tell he'd been drinking.. Sidney just didn't realize how much strength he was
using."
"Thats bull, Bubbles. Don't make excuses for him."
"I know," I sighed, then explained about my weird exhaustion
from the rink.
"You two really need to work things out," Henry advised.
"Trust me.. I know."

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTYONE

FIFTYONE;;

We ordered room service around seven, and I felt bad for
Sidney.
"It sucks you can't go out and see the city.. It's great," I told
him while we ate.
"I know, but I really need to focus for tomorrow."
I nodded, "That's why I took pictures of my excursion today."
"Really?" "Mmhmm. You can take a look after we eat."

A little while later Sidney and I sat on the bed with the digital
camera from my birthday, as I showed him pictures of the
city.
There were lots of Pens fans out in there paraphernalia, so I
made it my goal to take a picture with every one I came
across.
Sidney laughed at our funny faces, clearly enjoying the idea.
He loved the ones I'd taken of myself in front of store windows,
pointing out the cute trinkets inside, and the one's I'd gotten
people to take of me outside of cool buildings or near the
water.
"Looks like you had a lot of fun today.."
"Yeah. Oh! Look who I saw today!" I skipped ahead to a huge
poster of Sidney that was hanging inside the Sportchek, and I
stood below it, holding my fingers together to shape a heart.
"Ohh geeze," he laughed, "am I really that fat?"
"Uh, yeahh. You're enormous. I'd say obese, even," then I
made a 'pshh' noise, "you're two hundred pounds of pure
muscle, babe."
"Well that's nice to hear," he laughed again before continuing
through the pictures.
"I really appreciate this, Aubs," he grinned, "and I'm still sorry
that they wouldn't let you up.. I should've made sure they
knew.."
"It's okay. I'm over it, really. Don't worry yourself," I assured him,
then a knock hit the door.

"Hey guys," I laughed as I saw Kris Letang, Jordan Staal, my
brother and Colby Armstrong in the hall.
"We're bored," Marc-Andre groaned.
"Entertain us!" Kris demanded.
"Guys, I'm not your babysitter! But I bet Sidney wants to come
out and play with you kiddies."
"What do I want to do?" Sidney asked from the bed.
"Go back to one of their big rooms and hang out," I told him,
"hold on a sec, guys."
I shut the door and helped Sidney up.
"Go hang out with your team mates. Maybe we'll do
something when you get back," I somehow managed a small
smirk before leaning up and giving him a lingering kiss.
"Awh, now I don't want to leave!" he whined.
"Nope. Go have fun with your friends!" I laughed, pushing him
towards he door.
On his way out, I grinned, "Don't be gone for too long," and I
smacked his butt as he walked by.

[SIDNEY'S POV]
"Gee, she's feisty tonight," Kris laughed, and I nodded.
"You sure you don't wanna stay?" Marc-Andre asked.
"Yeah, I need some advice from you guys anyways," I told them
as we went into the room Jordan and Kris were sharing.
"Uh-ohh. Having some... issues?" Jordan laughed, then he saw
my serious face.
"Are you and my sister having problems?" Marc-Andre asked,
shooting me a threatening look.
"I overheard her on the phone with your mum the other night in
Edmonton."
"What'd she say?" Colby asked, clearly interested in helping.
"Aubrie said that since we've been losing lately, I've been distant
and that I blame myself for our slump."
"Well, you kind of do, Sid," Jordan told me, and Kris added,
"and you do get really quiet and distant."
"I guess I've been letting it bother me too much, and it's having
a bad effect on us."
"Dude, yeah. She says you don't talk after losses," Marc told me,
"she hates the lack of communication.."
He paused for a second, "Look.. I don't know if I should really
be talking about this, but Aubrie told me its like you ignore her
or take it out on her or whatever.."
"When did she say this?" I asked quickly.
"A few weeks into November.." Marc answered.
"Why didn't she say anything?"
"Probably because you were in a bad mood," Jordan mused.
"How do I fix this?"

"You have to talk to her. That's what seems to be the main
problem here. Just don't shut everyone out after a loss."
"You know my sister. She's like a freaking therapist," Marc-Andre
added to Colby's advice.
"Thanks guys. Now, let's do something that's not so serious," I
laughed, flipping on the TV.

[AUBRIE'S POV]
As soon as Sidney left, I slipped on my shoes and went to find
the room Gary Roberts was in.
Luckily he wasn't too far away, and he was willing to talk.
"Gary, what should I do if Sidney's ignoring me because he's so
stressed from losing?" I asked as soon as we sat down, and he
just shot me a curious look.
"Have you confronted him about it?"
I shook my head a little, "No, he just overheard me talking to
my mum about it in Edmonton.. But we haven't directly talked
about it."
"Well that's step one."
"But what am I supposed to say?"
"How about, 'hey Sid? How come you've been taking your
frustrations out on me lately?'
or something simple like that,"
Gary suggested.
"It's not as easy as it sounds.."
"Once you get that one little question out, you'll feel a lot
better."

"I sure hope so. It's like, everything's great when you guys win.
But he gets so quiet after you all lose, and I know he blames
himself. But it's not like he's playing every position, there's an
entire team involved here."
"Sometimes you gotta let him deal and have his space."
"Oh believe me, I do. I'm just tired of him putting himself down.
It's not good for him, or you guys. I mean, who wants a
pessimistic captain?"
Gary continued to give me advice, then walked me back to my
room.

I made sure bring a room key, so I went in and shut the door
behind me gently, only to see Sidney coming out of the
bathroom, a towel wrapped around his waist, toothbrush in his
mouth.
"Hey Aubshh," he smiled, then went and rinsed his mouth
out.
"Hey Sid, remember earlier when I said 'maybe' we'd do
something?"
His head poked out from the door frame as I sat on the bed,
"Yeah?"
"Well, I didn't mean it."

"Oh.. Okay," his head hung a little.
"I meant definitely," I grinned,
patting the spot next to me on the
bed.
Within seconds, a white towel fell to the floor and a big, peachy
blur tackled me back onto the bed,
laughing the whole time.


I took this at the Vancouver Sportchek =]
Yeah.. I gave into the peer pressure and bought his clothes.
But can you blame me?
=D

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FIFTY

FIFTY;;

I walked down the very busy Robson street, my hands tucked
into the pockets of Sidney's warm jacket I'd borrowed, just taking
in the gorgeous city.
In between the skyscraper-esque buildings, you could see the
mountains, and it was amazing.
Every once in a while I'd peek into a store like Roots or a
touristy gift shop and pick up little things for the boys on my
team.
I even stumbled upon a Sportchek in a mall and saw Sidney's
line being advertised and sold there.
Around lunchtime, I was walking down by the water, and I found
a cool little brewery to eat at.
Though it's legal to drink at nineteen, I prefer not to, so I had
a Pepsi, a cheeseburger and fries.
Once I finished and was back outside, I noticed that the
temperature had dropped significantly.. and it was only 30
degrees Celsius when I'd come in.. I had to walk all the way
back to the hotel.. Wonderful.

In the lobby I was met with an employee.
"Miss, do you have your room key?"
"What?" I asked, totally caught off guard by the question.
"Security is requiring that everyone who comes in must present
their room key."
"Ohh, because of the team.." The man nodded.
"Yeah, hold on a second," I began to rummage through my small
backpack, and my heart stopped. I knew exactly where my key
was; the bedside table up in our room.
"Oh my gosh, I'm an idiot. I left it up in my room when I went
out this morning.."
"Can you tell me what room you're staying in?"
We were now standing at the front desk.
"Seven-oh-nine," I told him quickly.
"Miss..?" "Fleury. Aubrie Fleury."
"Yes, Miss Fleury. Well.."
I could tell he was trying to let me down easy.
"Who're you here with?"
"My boyfriend and his team mates," I answered.
"Who's name are you checked in with?"
"Sidney Crosby.." I told him in a quiet voice, and the guy just
stared at me like I was insane.
"Miss, I can't let you up without your room key. I'm sorry."
"Could you just please call up there so he can set things
straight?"
"I'm sorry. The team isn't back yet."
"Great. So you're saying you're not letting me up to my room
then?" "No.. Extra precautions have been put in place for the
safety of the players."
"So you think I'm a crazed fan?'
Even though he didn't answer, I knew he did.
Then I recognized another woman behind the desk, "Ask her," I
pointed, "she was here last night when we checked in!"
The woman simply stared at me before walking to a back
room.
"Look. My brother is on the team, too. Marc-Andre Fleury," I
pulled out my ID and a picture of the two of us, showing it to
him.
"Miss Fleury, I still can't let you upstairs without a room key."
"I can't believe this.. This is a joke," I shook my head before
leaving the hotel.

I found my way to the GM Place, and saw my brother hanging
around outside the back.
"Aubrie, you're out of your mind!" he laughed, bringing me inside
with him. "You're going to get sick," he told me as we went to
the locker rooms.
"Aubs, what're you doing here?" Sidney asked once he saw me
come in, "did you walk here?! You're all red from the
cold." I nodded and he pulled off his jacket, wrapping it around
me. "Thanks... and they wouldn't let me up to the room because
I didn't have my key. And when I told them I was staying in
your room.." I shook my head.
"They seriously wouldn't let you up?" Jarkko Ruutu asked, and I
nodded.
"That's bogus," my brother said, and I quickly agreed.
"Well, we're all done here. So want to go get this all sorted
out?" Sidney asked, leading me out and onto the bus.

When we got back to the hotel, Sidney and I went to the front
desk and I pointed out the guy that wouldn't let me up.
"Ah, Mister Crosby. Did you have a pleasant outing?" he asked,
then saw me standing there too.
"I did, until Aubrie walked all the way to the GM Place because
you wouldn't let her up to our room."
"She didn't have a room key.."
"She showed her ID, proving she was here with her brother. Is
that not good enough? Because I really don't appreciate the way
you treated my girlfriend.."
"I am so sorry. I really am.. But I couldn't just take her
word for it. Then just anyone could walk in and say they left
their key upstairs."
I could tell he was doing everything he could to keep Sidney
from getting even more upset.
"All I know is that it better not happen again."
"It certainly won't, Mister Crosby," the man quickly apologized to
me, then I pulled Sidney to the vacant elevators.

As soon as we got into the room, I got into my pajama pants
and a three-quarter sleeve shirt, seeing as we weren't going
anywhere for the rest of the day.
Sidney sat on the edge of the bed, now in a long sleeve
Reebok undershirt and shorts, fixing his socks, and I could tell
he was still frustrated.
"Sid, it's no big deal. I would've done the same thing if I were
him" I said as I sat behind him on the bed, setting my hands
on his shoulders as I began to gently massage his tense
muscles.
He immediately loosened at my touch, and I smiled in
triumph.
"Yeah, but there's really no reason as to why he treated you
like you didn't matter."
"Well dear, I think an entire NHL team is more important than
any other hotel guests they happen to have at the moment.."
He quickly turned to face me, "But you're what's important."
"To you, maybe," I mumbled, "but not to other people."
Sidney stared me straight on, making me blush and look
away.
"I know things have been weird lately.." he finally said, and I
laid back across the bed to rest my tired feet.
"Tell me about it," I sighed.
"Things'll get better once everything settles down.. We've gotta
find our groove." As soon as those words escaped Sidney's lips,
I burst out laughing, and didn't stop for a good minute or
two.
"Wow, Sidney.. You need new adjectives. Or was that an adverb?
Well, whatever it was.. I haven't heard someone say
'groove' in forever."
"What're you trying to tell me?" he asked playfully.
"That you're adorable," I grinned, sitting up and pecking his
lips.
Next thing I know,
Sid's pushing me back down onto the bed
and deepening my innocently intended kiss.
"Sid, you've got a game tomorrow. So no," I laughed, making him
groan.

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FORTYNINE

FORTYNINE;;

I spent the day running errands, enjoying my time behind the
wheel of the Range Rover.
After my little outing, I went home and cleaned a bit to keep
myself occupied, but I ended up falling asleep on the couch.
When I woke up, I saw the clock and panicked.
6:45
"Fuhh," I groaned, jumping off the couch, grabbing the keys and
running down to the Rover.
I got to the rink around seven, and saw Sidney sitting on the
curb, his hat pulled down, the brim covering his eyes.
I pulled up to where he was and got out.
"I'm so sorry, babe.. I.. I was cleaning the apartment and I
sat down to take a break, and the next thing I know I wake up
and it's six forty five," I apologized profusely.
Without a word, Sidney got up, threw his stuff in the back and
got into the drivers seat.
Sid pulled up outside my building, and I turned to look at
him.
"Sidney, I really am sorry. And I know it's not the first time I've
been late to pick someone up from practice.. Just ask my
brother. But I used to 'forget' him intentionally," I finished, smiling
as Sidney cracked a small grin.
"It's not you. I just had a rough day at practice."
"Aw.. Does someone need me to make them some breakfast
crepes for dinner? I went to the grocery store today.."
"Yeah. That'd be good," he nodded, turning the car off.

November was a tough month for the Pens.
Of the twelve games they played, they only won four.
I had good hopes for December.. I had to. These losses were
really taking a toll on Sid.
The first week of December would be in new territory.
They were making a trek across Western Canada, and I was
coming too.
Marc-Andre wasn't able to goal tend.. He's still shaken up from
getting hurt, but he was coming along as well.

Our first night in Edmonton, Sidney and I were confined to our
hotel room with two security guards outside the door to
keep the fans at bay.
I was sitting on one of the two beds colouring and watching
TinTin on the French channel, while Sidney was on the other
bed looking over plays and listening to his iPod.
I looked over to him and let out a soft sigh, then went back to
my Finding Nemo colouring page.
Things had been tense between us since early November, and I
had no clue as to what to do.
I got off the bed, and pulled on my jacket and scarf, slipping on
my Ugg moccasins before grabbing my phone and going out onto
the balcony.
Then I did what any confused girl would do; I called my
mother.
"Aubrie?" she answered.
"Bonjour mamon," I sighed.
"Ahh. Salut, ma fille.." she greeted, and I leaned against the
glass door, looking out at the city as I told her about
everything.
It felt good to get out all my frustrations, and my mum listened
because I spoke in my fast French. She always got what I
meant when I spoke it, and if I told her anything in English she
wouldn't take it as seriously as she did now.
My mother gave me some much needed advice. She old me that
if it really bothered me, I needed to speak up.
But since I didn't want to stress Sid any more than he already
was, I should wait until we get back to Pittsburgh for a day
off.
I felt bad for making her stay up, so I let her go and I just
stood outside watching the streets below.
I groaned, running my hands over my face and wiping the
threatening tears away.

"Aubrie?" I heard Sidney behind me, and I jumped at the sound
of his voice.
"Hi Sid," I answered without turning to face him. I felt him come
lean against the railing next to me, and my stomach tied itself in
knots.
"I uh.. I heard you talking to your mum."
"What?" I asked, a little surprised.
"You left the door open a little, and I was trying to figure out
where you went."
"So you decided to listen in?" I glanced up and saw him nod.
"And you got it all?" He nodded again.
I smiled a little, then leaned my head against his arm and
shoulder. Sid wrapped his arm around my waist, pulling me into
his warm body.
"I'm trying my hardest to do everything I can for the team. But
we're not winning, and I'm just mad at myself," he admitted.
"It's not up to you to win every game. Every team has their
slumps.. I played on a team that didn't win a single game
all season, but I scored or assisted every game.. Some
teams just get more opportunities to score, and it's not your
fault. You're neither the defensemen nor the goalie. You're a
forward, so you just need to keep doing what you're
doing.."
Sidney and I talked for a few more minutes before heading back
into the room for bed.
Even though the tension had lightened a little, it was still there.
So, I slept in the second bed rather than with Sidney.

Immediately following a 4-2 victory over the Oilers, we were on
our bus to Calgary. I hadn't gotten a chance to even
congratulate Sidney. I was four or five rows in front of him,
sitting with Kris Letang, Ryan Malone across the aisle from me.
The three of us had fun playing cards and that hand held
twenty questions sports edition game. We tried to stump it with
guys on the team, but this thing was good.
The visit to Calgary went well. The guys won the game in a
shootout, and then we were off to Vancouver.

We checked into the Waterfront hotel, and got to our room, only
to find one king size bed. I sighed quietly before setting my stuff
down.
By the time we got into bed, I was exhausted.
"Aubs?"
"Hmm?" I asked, my eyes shifting from the Simpsons to
Sidney.
"You do know.. I don't have anything contagious, and I don't
bite. Ok, sometimes, but that's not the point."
"Ohh.. Yeah," I nodded. I guess he noticed that I was scootched
towards the edge of the bed, away from him.
I moved myself over more, so he could pull me closer.
"That's better," he smiled, planting a kiss on my
forehead.

I'm not sure why, but I did not sleep easily. I woke up
just as tired as I was when I went to bed, and Sidney wasn't
there.
But he did leave a note.
'Aubs- We're all checking out the GM Place. Be back in a
few hours. Love ya! -Sid'

I smiled a little then took a shower and got ready to go out
and explore Vancouver.
I wrote a little note for Sidney, just in case he beat me back,

then I grabbed my mustard coloured Lacoste backpack equipped
with my wallet, gum and random things,
finishing it off with my
iPod and camera, shoving my phone in my pocket, and I left the
hotel.

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FORTYEIGHT

FORTYEIGHT;;

Sidney had me up bright and early for my birthday. It was like he was more excited than I was.
"Sid, relax," I laughed as we walked into Mario's, only to be greeted by the entire Pen's team, Henry, and a few of my other friends.
"Oh, you guys! Thanks so much," I smiled after they sang and dished out cake.
"Hey it wasn't us. Sidney planned it, and we just showed up," my brother told me before shoving a piece of cake in his mouth.
"Lovely.." I rolled my eyes and turned to face Sidney, who had a proud look on his face.
"Hi," he grinned, making me laugh.
"Merci beaucoup, mon cher," I kissed the tip of his nose before wandering off amongst the crowd.

Around five, Sidney announced that he had to take me somewhere else, then he loaded me up in the Range Rover.
"Sidney, where are we going?"
"You'll see. But first, please put this on," he held up a blindfold.
"You're kidding, right?" "Nope."
I shook my head, then let him tie the fabric over my eyes.
Once we got to wherever we were going, Sidney picked me up out of the car bridal style.
"Sid! I think I can walk," I screeched in surprise.
"Yeah, but I don't think you'd like it if you tripped and we had to go to the ER."
"True.."
When we got inside, I felt a familiar chill wash over me, and I was right at home.
"Sidney, what are we doing at the Igloo?"
"You caught me.." he laughed as he set me down, removing the blindfold, "come on!"
As we got to the entrance of one of the sections and I could see the ice, my jaw dropped.
A mattress, complete with pillows and blankets sat out on the ice, along with a cooler and what looked to be hot dogs and icees.
"Surprise," Sidney whispered, pulling me down and onto the surface of the ice over to the mattress.
"You're crazy!" I laughed once I'd gotten under the warm, cozy blankets, "but I love it."
"Just wait," he nodded towards the huge screens above the ice, and I gaped as my favourite movie came on.
"The Blues Brothers? Sidney, this.. This is the best birthday, ever."
"Really?" he asked, now beside me in the bed, handing me a hot dog.
"Mmhmm. I love this." "Good," he smiled.

We sat in bed and watched the movie, occasionally talking and making jokes. After it was over, Sid got up and retrieved something from the bench, coming back over with a manila envelope.
"Here."
I opened it up, then pulled out the papers.
"Langley is retiring my jersey? For real?" Sidney nodded.
"How cool is this?" I grinned, "thanks, Sidney."
"Hey that's not all I've got for you. The rest is at your place."
"So that means we gotta get out of here then, huh?"
"If you want to." "I dunno. I'm kinda comfy right here," I smiled as I snuggled into him.

Sidney covered my eyes before he opened the door to my room, and I could hardly contain my curiosity.
"You know how you always complain about never having a good stick?" he asked, and my smile grew when he uncovered my eyes and I saw four brand new sticks resting against the wall.
I ran over and picked one up, running my hand along the barely curved blade.
"They're personalized?" I asked when I saw 'Fleury #18' towards the middle of the shaft.
"Of course. I know these will be perfect for you too."
"And how's that?" I asked, and Sidney beamed, "The people at Reebok know everything- we designed these based off videos your brother had of you playing at practices and stuff."
I blushed, staring down at the gorgeous sticks. They were red and black, Team Canada and Langley colours.
"These are just awesome.."
"And tomorrow, we're going to meet with some Reebok people to get you a new pair of skates made," he informed me.
"Made?!"
"Mmhmm," Sidney nodded, and before he knew it, I was giving him the tightest hug ever.
"Thank you.. You don't know how much this all means to me.. The party, the movie at Mellon, the sticks and now skates? This seriously is the best birthday."
"You're forgetting one more thing.."
"Oh? Yeah! I love you!" "Well, that.. and this," he pointed to may wall where all my favourite pictures hung.
"Sid.." I said as I stared at it.
On my wall hung the framed front page article and photo from the day after Nationals.
'Langley High Dominates at Nationals'
The headline read in bold, and beneath it read,
'With Coach Aubrie Fleury behind the bench, what can't these kids do?'
Then my attention turned to the wrapped box that sat on my desk.
"Ok, I lied. Two things," Sidney laughed, handing me the gift.
I pulled off the turquoise bow, sticking it on top of Sidney's head as I carefully unwrapped the box, opening it up and finding a gorgeous digital camera.
He turned it on for me, and I saw that there was already a picture on it, so I quickly figured out how to view it.
"Sidney, you're a sweetheart," I smiled, giving him a quick, soft kiss before looking back at the picture.
Of course, it was of Sidney, and he was standing outside he RBC Arena in North Carolina with an entire crowd of fans, all holding signs spelling out, 'HAPPY BDAY AUBS'
"Ohh, and if you break your sticks, let me know. Cause the Reebok guys will replace them."
"Awesome," I grinned before giving Sidney yet another thank you kiss.

After spending the morning being fitted and having molds done for my skates, Sidney and I had a quick lunch then drove to the rink; Sid had practice today.
"Ok. So you can go home or whatever if you want," Sidney told me in the parking lot.
"You're gonna let me drive the Rover?" I asked. Sidney loved his car, and I couldn't come between those two. Haha.

"No, I'm gonna make you hitchhike," he laughed, rolling his eyes, "of course you can take my car."
"Gee, thanks! I think I may go chill at home."
"Kay. Just don't forget to pick me up at six thirty."
"Alright. Love you." He leaned in and kissed me gently before heading towards the building with his gear, and I got in the Range Rover then headed to the grocery store.

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FORTYSEVEN

FORTYSEVEN;;

September twelfth I was at the apartment getting my stuff ready
to go meet the boys for practice. Yeah. School started up again,
and their season would start in nearly a month.
The same goes for Sidney.
The season starts October fifth. But today, Sid, my brother, and
a couple other guys were out delivering full season ticket boxes
to lucky fans.
I had just gotten into a pair of jeans and a black fitted tee,
when I heard someone knocking at the door.
"Just a minute!" I yelled, quickly fixing my wild hair and slipping
on my bright blue Vans.
I opened the door and grinned, "Hey there."
I saw another man holding a camera, "What's going on?"
"Aubrie, I'm here to deliver your season tickets!" Sidney laughed,
"This is Kyle. He's been photographing the adventure, and you're
our last stop."
"Well then, come on in," I opened the door and they came
in.
"Ooh, is that them?" I asked, taking notice of the sleek black
box in Sidney's hand.
"Maybe," he smirked, "for a price." I saw Kyle watching us
intently, his camera poised and ready for anything.
"Yeah? Well if you knew what was good for you, you'd hand
that box over," hen I shrugged, "but y'know. I can live without
you-know-what for a lot longer than you."
Sidney groaned, then gave me the box, and Kyle burst out
laughing.
Sidney sent him a glare, "Just because I'm addicted to her
cooking doesn't mean it's funny!"
"Well, I'd love to stay and chat. But I've got to get to the
rink."
"Oh yeah, you scheduled practice today, eh?" I nodded, setting
the neat ticket box on the kitchen table and picking up my
practice bag.
"Let me take that," Sidney pulled the strap over his shoulder,
"Come on, Kyle. Let's get back to the car."
Sidney, Kyle, and I stood outside my car before I had to
leave.
I pulled Sidney over towards the drivers side before
speaking.
"So we're doing dinner tonight, yeah?"
"Uh.. about that.."
"Sidney," I sighed.
"I promised I'd stay at Mario's tonight. It's Austin's birthday.."
"Oh! Then yeah. I gotcha.. Have fun tonight. I'll see you
tomorrow," I gave him a quick kiss before getting in my car
and driving to practice.

The boys noticed I was a little miffed, but they didn't say
anything because they knew I'd make hem work harder than they
already were.
I stayed out on the ice after the team went home so I could
clear my head.
I knew I shouldn't make a big deal out of Sidney not being
able to come to my place for dinner. He was gonna be at the
Lemieux's, celebrating Austin's birthday. Plus that Kyle guy was
pretty creepy..
"Come on babe, it's time to get off the ice," I heard Sidney
from he bench.
"What if I don't want to?"
"Then I'll have to come out there and get you, and we'll be late
for Austin's party."
I was off the ice and changed out, ready to leave in less than
ten minutes.
"Where's the Rover?" I asked, noticing that Sidney was following
me to my Rabbit.
"Henry dropped me off," he answered, getting into the
passenger side of my car.
"Happy birthday, Austin!" I grinned once he saw us walk in the
door.
"Aubrie!" he laughed, running over to me in a blond blur,
jumping into my arms for a huge hug.

As the days leading up to my birthday drew closer, I grew more
and more excited. The Pen's season was starting today, and my
birthday was this coming Sunday.
Unfortunately, their game tonight was visiting the Carolina
Hurricanes, and I had to resort to watching the game at
home.
Henry and I sat on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a
couple of bottles of water.
After a disappointing loss, I went to bed early, only to wake up
not long after.
"Henry?" I asked groggily, angry he'd woken me up, the bright
green letters of my clock reading 3:30 am.
"No Aubs, it's me. Now go back to bed." I nodded, rubbing my
eyes as Sidney set his stuff on the floor and climbed into
bed.
"Already in pajamas, eh?"
"Yup. Wore them on the plane too," he grinned before kissing my
cheek and turning off the light by his side.

That morning I sat in the locker room at Mellon, waiting for the
morning skate to end.
Sidney had asked me to watch his phone, and I suppose it was
because he's expecting a call.
But everyone who ever calls him is out on the ice right
now..
Sure enough, it began to ring.
"Hello?" I asked after flipping the Razr open.
"Hi, is Sidney there?"
"No, he isn't. Can I take a message?"
"Could you just tell him Mike called, and that everything is good
to go."
"Yeah, I'll let him know." "Thanks, have a good day." "You too.
Bye," I pressed end, then saw the photo Sidney had as his
background.
I waited for him to come in before asking, "Why is a picture of
me in nothing but your jersey your wallpaper?" I held up
his phone, and he snatched it from me now blushing like
mad.
"What?!" my brother asked, now rather alert.
It's not like the picture was revealing or anything like that; the
jersey was enormous on me, falling down to my mid-thigh.
"Oh, and Mike just called. He said everything is good to
go?"
Sidney lit up, "Sweet!" "Uh, sure. But that doesn't answer my
question."
"Well.. What's your phone's background?" I pulled my phone
out and let him see the picture of when he gave me a piggy-back ride to our gate at the airport. "See, nothing strange," I
laughed, "we're rather cute. I must admit."
"Yeah, and you're pretty cute here, too," he motioned to his
phone.
"Alright.. If you say so," I smiled.

During the game against the Ducks that night, the Pens stayed
ahead most of the time. The end of the second period came,
and they played the birthday-grams.

"Tonight we have a special video birthday-gram, so please turn
your attentions above center ice," the announcer boomed, and I
tilted my head up, smiling at the cute gesture.
Then I realized it was for me, and my smile brightened.
An image of Sidney from what looked like earlier today came
up.
"Hey Aubrie! Tomorrow you're turning twenty and all.. So I
thought I'd wish you a happy early birthday, and so did
everyone else," he backed up so the entire team could be
seen.
"Happy birthday, Aubrie!" they all cheered, and then
Sidney came back into view, "Happy birthday, babe. Je
t'aime."
Fans began to clap and applaud as soon as Sidney stepped
back onto the ice, and I mouthed 'je t'aime aussi' when
he skated by, making him flush bright red.

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FORTYSIX

FORTYSIX;;

Henry steered clear of the apartment for the next few days, but under the wrong assumptions.
All Sidney and I did was hang out like usual. Today, he'd brought stuff from his line for me to see.
"So, you're gonna model these for me, right?" I asked, plopping down on my bed.
"Only if you model the stuff I brought for you."
"We have a deal. Now strip!" I laughed, watching him take off his Reebok hat and set it on my head before pulling off his teeshirt.
"Oohh, baby," I grinned as he unzipped his pants.
"Shut up," he blushed, making my smile widen even more. "No! You're cute when you're embarrassed and practically naked."
As Sidney tried on and showed off his clothes, I was pretty impressed seeing how fashion-inept he can be. The womens line was pretty cute too. But I absolutely loved a specific jacket.
"Sid, can I keep this one?" I asked as I zipped it up on myself, even though I knew very well it was for him.
"Of course! I brought this stuff for us, babe." "Awh, thanks," I gave him a hug.
"I knew you'd like that one, anyways," he smiled softly.
"Then why'd you get it in your size?"
"I also know you like to steal my sweatshirts because you like being comfy," he told me as he got back into his original clothes.
"You know me all too well," I laughed, "it's kinda scary."
"Yeah, I could say the same for you." I nodded in agreement.
"Hey, do you want to come help out with a pee-wee hockey day on Saturday?" Sidney asked as he sat on the bed with me.
"Of course! I miss the team I used to coach."
I coached and taught kids last season and loved it.
"Ohh yeah, I forgot you did pee-wee." I nodded as I got up to grab a small photo album off my shelf.
"Here's some of me and Marc-Andre when we played," I handed him the book, and Sidney grinned, "I'll have to show you mine sometime."

We stood on the ice in warm practice pants and Pens jackets as nearly twenty nine-year-old kids skated out to greet us. They muttered and whispered amongst themselves as the coordinater spoke, but once Sidney opened his mouth, they became so quiet you could hear their skates shifting nervously over the ice.
We taught the group a few passing drills and teamwork exercises, and when they all broke into groups, I noticed the only girl there was being left out.
"Hey there, Leslie," I smiled as I skated over to the little brunette girl.
"Hi, Aubrie," she nodded with a sullen tone to her voice.
"What's wrong, sweetie?" I asked, leaning on my stick. "None of the boys want to play with me."
"I don't see why not. You're pretty good," I told her with a grin, knowing exactly how she felt and why these boys wouldn't include her. I'd been through the same thing.
"I don't think they like me very much.."
"You know what, Leslie? Those boys are just scared you'll beat them! When I was your age, my brother and his friends used me for target practice. Then they realized how good I was, and didn't want to play with me anymore either," by the time I'd told her this, Sidney had skated over to us.
"What's going on, ladies?"
"Oh, nothing. We're just talking about how guys are afraid to play with girls because we're super awesome, isn't that right Leslie?" She nodded as she stared up at Sidney, "Right.."
"Well us guys 'oughta be! When your opponents are afraid of you, use it to do amazing things, like Aubrie. She's done some awesome stuff that guys dream of doing."
"You can do it too, you know," I finished Sidney's thought, "just go out there and play your heart out." Leslie nodded, then gave me a big hug before skating over to a group of boys and joining in.
I lifted myself up onto the boards in front of the bench, as the cooridnator came over to us.
"You two handled that really well.." "Thanks," I smiled, looking over to Sid.
"I have a feeling you two would make great parents," he finished, then disappeared.
"Did he just say what I thought he said?" I asked, and Sidney nodded, his cheeks a dark pink. "That's.."
"Awkward?" "Yeah," I laughed, "maybe we're super great with kids cause we're just really big ones."
Sidney and I helped the kids practice for another hour and a half, then we went to lunch and hung around.

Not long after our six-month anniversary, Sidney's birthday came.
"Bon anniversaire!" I grinned as all his friends and team mates yelled 'Happy Birthday' when he walked in. Yeah, we threw him a huge party with lots of cake, pizza, and other foods the guys aren't supposed to eat mass amounts of during the season.
After the party, I took Sidney back to the apartment so he could open my presents.
He loved the Langley hockey shirt with his number and 'Loverboy' on the back. When he opened his second gift, his eyes lit up.
I'd gotten him a new, 160 gig, black iPod classic and loaded it with all his iTunes, adding his favourite movies, tv shows, and Friends episodes. I put on my segment from the NHL awards, and tons of photos of us so he wouldn't feel so lonely when he's on the road.
"How'd you know.."
"You trashed your old thirty gig video?" He nodded.
"Well, it's kinda obvious because I haven't seen it in a month, annnddd you keep swiping mine when you think I'm not looking."
"Thank you so much, Aubs," he grinned, his cheeks tinging red. "It's no big dea. But you know what is big?" "What?" he asked.
"You're TWENTY!" I smiled.
"Well, yeah. But you're almost twenty, too." He had a point. "But not for two months, exactly," I answered smartly.
"I already know what I'm getting you, too," Sidney teased. "Oh yeah?" I asked, intrigued by this.
"Mmhmm," he nodded. "Care to tell me what it is?"
"I'm not sure I do."
I wrapped my arms around his neck, getting up on my tip toes to give him a hard, passion-filled kiss. Sidney returned my gesture, and then I pulled away after a bit.
"How about now?" Sid tapped his chin as he thought, "Hmm.. Nope!"
"Oh, you jerk!" I screeched, hitting his arm harshly.
"Oww, geeze," he muttered, rubbing the spot I'd hit.
"Oh, deal with it, you pansy."

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FORTYFIVE

FORTYFIVE;;

Around four that same afternoon, my phone rang.
I lifted my head up from Sidney's chest, reaching over him to
grab it.
"Hello?"
"Hey, Aubrie. It's Dennis." "Hey, what's up?"
"You free for a practice today?" I looked over to Sidney, who
was blankly flipping channels until he finally stopped on a decent
movie. "No, I can't. My boyfriend came back from a trip last
night, and we need to spend some time together." "Alright then.
Call us up when you get the chance." "Yeah.. Later," Dennis
said bye and I hung up, turning my phone off. "No
interruptions," I mumbled, laying back down.
"Who was that?" "One of the college kids wanting to know if I
could come practice with them," I shrugged.
"Not a long one, I'd hope. You look pretty overworked if you
ask me," he smiled, running the tips of his fingers along my
shoulder blade and down my back. "Hmm. I wonder why?" I
rolled my eyes and gave a content sigh.
"What do you say we get all spiffed up and I take you
somewhere nice for dinner."
"What's the occasion?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Do I need a reason to take my beloved girlfriend out to
a fancy dinner?" "I suppose not.. So alright. I'm in."
"Sweet," he grinned, pressing his lips to the side of my head,
"Let's go take a shower and get ready."
"So that's why," I couldn't finish my thought, as Sidney
had gotten out of bed and picked me up bridal style.
"Sid!" I yelped as he carried me to the bathroom. "Oh
come on, I'll wash your haiirrr," he offered. "Fine. But I can't
guarantee I'll like it," I crossed my arms as Sid set me down
and turned on the water.

By the time I began getting dressed it was six, and Sidney said
our reservations were at seven fifteen. "Dress or pants?" I
asked, standing at my closet in a towel, and Sidney laughed,
sending me a playful hipcheck to get me out of the way.
"This one!" he smiled, pulling out a pretty dress I forgot existed,
"It's my favourite."
"Thanks dearie," I took it off the hanger and slipped it on,
"Zip?" Sidney zipped the dress up, then went to iron his
shirt.
[click to see the dress.]
I dried my hair and did my makeup, finding a pair of silver flats
and a bag before checking up on Sidney.
He stood in the middle of the living room, trying to look down
as he attempted to tie his tie.
"Let me get that," I suppressed a giggle at his frustrated look.
Sid huffed, throwing his hands down to his sides as I effortlessly
fixed his silky tie and smoothed it out.
"You look wonderful. I'm glad you talked me into this," I said as
I ruffled up his hair.
"What're you doing?" "I'm not really into the whole oily, slicked
back look. I love your fluffy curls." He smiled down at me,
taking my hand. "I'd just be a fashion nightmare without you,
eh? You're looking especially stunning right now."
I felt my face flush as I pressed the 'down' button for the
elevator.
"The sad thing is it's probably true," I laughed, "Oh, and thanks,"
I pecked his lips for the compliments he'd been giving me.
"Yeah.. That's why I designed my line with you in mind."
"Seriously?"
He nodded, "Every time we talked about something, I always
thought, 'would Brie let me out wearing this?' or something
along those lines.."
"Then I've taught you well.. Because if I ever see you
wearing a long sleeve fleece tucked into sweatpants,"
I shook my head, "you're dead."
"That was one time!" "Yeah, because after that one
time, I hid that shirt," I explained.
"So that's why it disappeared? I thought I lost it.." he
said, opening the door to the Range Rover for me before
getting in the drivers side. "That was the whole point," I
grinned.

We ate dinner at a small, relatively unknown, yet upscale
restaurant that served a little bit of everything. When dessert
came, I noticed that Sidney had become a little less talkitive than
he was minutes before.
"It's just cheesecake, Sid. It doesn't bite," I assured him, then
ate a small forkful.
Sid shook his head, "That's not it."
He took a quick breath, "Look. I know our anniversary is in two
and a half weeks, and six months is really big for me.
You've dealt with the traveling and practices and late nights, and
haven't complained. Every other girl ditched me after two or
three weeks, but made up some bogus reason. They never
admitted that my job was the reason. You understand how
important hockey is to me, because you love it just as much as
I do. I dunno.. But when we're on the bus home from a long
road trip, I know I've got something to look forward to, and
that's seeing you light up when I walk through the door..."
"Sidney," I was blushing like mad as he poured his heart
out.
"I got this in LA, but I can't wait till the twenty seventh to give
it to you." He pulled a box out from his pocket, and my eyes
grew wide.
"Now, I'm not proposing or anything.. But I saw this and thought
of you," he opened the small box and slid it across the table to
me.
I gasped, pulling the beautiful ring out of its box, feeling the
cold metal against my fingers.
It was a simply set diamond, and it was just beautiful.
"Sid, this is gorgeous.." He slipped it onto my right ring finger
with a slight smile.
"Now, how am I gonna top this?"
"With six more months so I can dazzle you on our one year
mark?" he suggested. "Sounds good to me."

Once we got back to the apartment I checked the answering
machine.
"Hey Bubbles... and Sidney. I just wanted to let you know I'm
crashing with Mark Recchi and Marc-Andre until it's safe to come
home. I don't want to walk in and be scarred for life, so call
me when it's all clear. Bye."
I laughed, "Only Henry..."
I felt Sid wrap his arms around my waist, and I smiled as he
softly said, "Wanna put our alone time to good use?"
"Sidney!" I yelped, somehow managing to turn myself around to
face him.
"What?" he asked in the same tone. "You're a sex fiend!"
"Nuhh-uhh! I'm a love making fiend who's making up for
lost time."
"Can't we do something else?" I sighed a little, "I'm tired."
"I don't have a problem with playing Sonic on Sega. You
know I'm not about sex and that kind of thing." "I know.. I just
like to mess with you. And I've missed you too.. Henry said he'll
come home when he gets the all clear. He never said it had to
be soon," I grinned, giving him a hard kiss before breaking free
of his grasp and running over to the TV, turning on my ancient
Sega Genesis so we could do exactly what Sidney had
suggested.

SKATE YOUR LANE;; FORTYFOUR

FORTYFOUR;;

I hung around the rink and continued to play with these guys
until I was exhausted.
"Guys, I'm beat. I've been here since nine, and it's nearly
seven," I yawned. A couple of us exchanged phone numbers so
they could invite me to practice, then I changed out and went
home.
Jared wasn't there, but he'd left me a note.
'CB- Good for you! Call if you need anything. --
Jareeddd.'

I took a quick shower then made myself some pasta and
checked my phone.
'One New Voicemail'
I held the reciever to my ear with my shoulder as I strained the
raviolli.
'"Hey Aubs, it's Sidney. Uh- I just wanted to see how
you're doing today. You were pretty shaken up last night.. I hate
not being there with you. Call me when you can.. Je t'aime,
mon chere."

I set my phone on the counter, wiping the threatening tears out
of my eyes; he sounded so worried and upset.
I ate quickly, then called him up.

"Aubrie?" he asked, picking up during the second ring.
"Hey babe," I smiled into the phone, "I got your message..
How's LA?"
"It's alright. How're you doing? I was up pretty much all night
thinking about you."
"Sidney, don't.. You're going to make me cry again.."
"Again?"
"Your message earlier just kinda hit me, and I dunno.. Next
thing I know I was tearing up a little. I didn't want to worry
you."
"Don't be sad, ok? Now tell me how you're doing."
"I'm feeling a lot better today. Jared came over last night
and we talked.. Then this morning I went to the rink, and a
college team was there practicing.. Of course they underestimated
me, and invited me to a little game. I had a ton of fun, and
playing just took my mind off everything. It felt great."
"How long did you practice for and stuff?"
"Six and a half hours," I admitted.
"What? You know that's not healthy, Aubrie."
"I took breaks, it wasn't one continuous thing.. Plus I had
so much energy to burn. I'm exhausted and it's not even
eight," I explained.
"Still. I don't like the idea of overworking yourself. Don't practice
for more than three and a half, maybe even four hours every
other dayish. Two if you want to go every day."
"Siiidnneyyyy," I whined.
"No. You're not gonna get hurt over something like that."
"Fine. Does just skating around count?" "Not unless you're geared
up or have a stick in your hands.. And please don't try to find
a loophole, I'm trying to do what's best and help.. Unless you
want to end up like Gretzky.. A great player forced into full-time
coaching."
"Ohhh, hell no," I yelped, "I promise I'll keep track of
time!"

Sidney and I continued to talk; I asked about his trip, and he
had lots to tell, which was totally fine with me.
"Yeah, I guess a couple of the guys went to a wild party
last night.. I think your brother got laid."
"Oh, ew! I didn't need to hear that.." I cringed at the thought of
Marc-Andre.. just ew.
"Just thought I'd let you know."
"Well next time, please spare me." He laughed, "Will do, Aubs.
But hey, I gotta go. The guys are waiting for me to get ready
so we can grab dinner."
"Alrighty, have fun and don't worry so much! I don't want you to
have a bad time."
"Ok. Bye babe, love you."
"You too, bye." I hung up and plugged my phone into the
charger then flopped onto my bed to watch some Arrested
Development.

Sidney was in LA for the next four days, and he made certain
to call and check up on me. At first, he was trying to be
inconspicuous about it, but I quickly caught on. I didn't really
mind; I liked having him call, but I didn't want to be a bother,
or needy. Each time he asked if I'd practiced that day, and how
long, I didn't want to make him mad, so I lied and told him an
'appropriate' amount. I'd played at the practices with the
college kids for hours on end. It was like I was
trying to test my limits and see how far I could push
myself.
Around ten thirty on a Thursday night I was all nice and clean,
fresh out of the shower in a pair of Sidney's boxers and a tank
top, my hair nearly dry.
I was just sitting around folding laundry.
"Aubrieeee, I'm hoomeeeee!" I heard that familiar voice calling
from the other room.
I dropped the shirt onto the desk and ran out, jumping into
Sidney's arms and wrapping my legs around his waist.
I felt my feet hit the door behind him, and I winced a little
before grinning, "Hi Sidney."
"Hey Aubs," he smiled as I reached up and turned his Reebok
hat around so the brim wasn't in my face, then pulled him into
a kiss. I felt his lips curl into a smile as he began to move
towards my room.

"Awhh.. I just took a shower too," I sighed a few hours
later.
"Well now you can take another with me," he winked, and I
smacked his now slightly tanned chest.
"Hey! I thought you liked bathing with me," he huffed, making
me smile.
"I quite enjoy it, Mister Crosby. But it's three in the morning,
and you've worn me out."
We laid there in a comfortable silence, then I giggled a little
before thinking out loud, "Now you can tell my brother I got
laid, and see how he reacts. It's creepy knowing stuff like that
about your sibling."
Sidney laughed a bit, "Uh.. No. He'll kill me if I tell him."
"Yeah.. That's a distinct possibility," I yawned as I settled into
bed, curling up to Sidney and the warmth he was
radiating.

The next morning I was up at ten thirty, and well... Sidney
wasn't.
I took a shower even though I knew Sidney would be
disappointed, but I had to get clean.
I got dressed in another tank and the same pair of Sid's boxers
I'd worn last night, seeing as I wasn't in them for very long.
I didn't exactly feel like cooking, but I made crepes anyways.
"Do I smell Aubrie's would famous crepes?" I smiled as I heard
Sidney emerge from my room.
"That you do," I nodded as he got the fruit and other
necessities out.
"Hey, what're you doing?" he asked once he noticed that I was
dancing a little as I cooked.
"Having a party in your pants," I grinned, making him nearly
choke on his breakfast.
"Hey, you asked," I shrugged, finishing mine up.
As I cleared the plates, I felt Sidney's eyes following me the
whole time. "Again?" I asked with a laugh, and he jumped up
from his seat.
"I literally just took a showe--" he caught my lips with
his, then pulled away quickly, "mm. Raspberries." I grabbed his
hand and pulled him back into my room.