Status: Couldn't help it


that scream

As he sat in the ER all Sidney could hear was that scream, over and over in his head. He knew that Rylie’s sister had been at the game, but he didn’t realize that she had been front and center. He looked over at the brunette, her giant eyes filled with tears as she sat, completely stoic, a few feet away in another room. Sidney had thought several times about going over to make sure she was alright, but considering the fact he was covered in her brother’s blood, he didn’t think it would help. But as he saw her just staring blankly into space, his stomach twisted itself into knots. He had seen her once before when he watched the draft, had seen her rosy cheeks and her sparkling brown eyes as she gripped her brother when his name was called. But now her skin was a ghostly shade of white, and her eyes were dull and dead. It only took him a second before he remembered her name, Annie. Annie Beckett.

Annie was surrounded by Dustin, Jonathan, and the rest of the Kings, Madison Quick sitting on her lap in a vain attempt to cheer her up. She couldn’t stop seeing the hit over and over, the way Rylie grabbed his throat and couldn’t even scream because he was choking on his own blood. How Sidney’s skate had hopped up at that freak angle and cut through her brother like butter. She knew they sharpened hem before every game, and Rylie had no chance. She had seen every moment in slow motion as her brother looked out, terrified as the ice below him was stained crimson. The thought that it would simply be cleaned up and played on again the next day made her want to vomit. But she choked it down, and when she felt a tiny hand on her cheek she was met with Madison’s massive eyes.

“Is Uncle Rylie going to be okay?” She asked. Annie stiffened as Jonathan muttered a quick apology before grabbing her, walking outside. There was a tense silence before Dustin said that the team was going to go get some coffee and see if they could find Rylie’s doctor, but they all knew it had been over the second Sidney went for that goal. Annie didn’t even nod, she just sat there as they all finally gave her some space and she completely collapsed. She couldn’t breathe as she began sobbing, finally letting out all the emotions that her shock had kept her from feeling.

Sidney felt sick to his stomach as he watched her crumple to the floor and out of his line of vision through the window. He knew he couldn’t just leave her there, especially since he was responsible. He knew she was going to be the last person he wanted to see, but it was an accident, she had to know that. He felt like a murderer, and maybe the pain they were both feeling could also bring them both some comfort. But before Sidney could stand he felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked up to see Geno, his normally goofy smile nowhere to be seen and his eyes dull.

“How are you holding up?” He asked, his Russian accent still thick even after all his time in America. Sidney had no idea how to answer that question, even though it was the only one he was getting. He wanted to demand someone go comfort Annie, go hold her because she had just lost her only brother. But he simply sighed, running a hand through his hair.

“Better than her probably.” Sidney muttered, nodding towards the room where they could hear Annie’s screams of anguish. Geno’s face somehow fell even further as he shoved his hands in his pockets. Sidney had been rushed down in his uniform, but Geno had stayed back to change and grabbed a change for Sidney too. But Sidney felt too numb to even move.

“I went on a date with her…” Geno muttered to himself after a long silence. “And Rylie was there when we got back.” He chuckled humorlessly to himself. “I remember because I was pissed I didn’t get to sleep with her. Not that she would have anyway, all I got was an innocent little goodbye kiss.”

“Maybe you should go check on her, since you know her.” Sidney tried, but Geno shook his head.

“I wouldn’t know what to say.” He admitted. “Besides, it was just the one date and that kiss goodnight.” He sighed before there was a commotion by the front desk. Geno and Sidney looked over to see a small, round man in a suit run over to them, looking terrified and out of breath. He had a briefcase in one hand, a doughnut in the other and looked as though he had run down here from Staples Center.

“Sidney!” He said. “I’m Allen Hayes, the lawyer assigned to your case.”

“Lawyer?” Geno asked.

“Yes.” Allen said simply, he then turned back to Sidney, all business. “There’s talk of charging you with manslaughter.” Sidney swore the entire world stopped as he looked at the balding man before him. Finally he let out one, choked word:


Annie pulled herself together just in time for Jeff Carter to step inside. He took one look at her red rimmed eyes and hugged her tightly, letting her sob into his chest. He kissed the top of her head softly, stroking her hair. As he sobs slowly turned into whimpers before she finally calmed down enough that he could talk to her.

“Annie.” He whispered. “We just talked to the doctor.” She shook her head, knowing what was coming as he took a deep breath. “They couldn’t revive him, Rylie’s gone.” She heard his voice crack on the last word and pulled back, looking up at her brother’s best friend. He looked just as miserable as she was, but was trying to hide it to help her be strong. It meant so much to her, having him here. She was going to reach up to touch his cheek, but stopped, dropping her hand.

“It’s not fair.” She whimpered, running her hands through her hair and trying not to start sobbing again. “Fucking Sidney didn’t even try to stop.”

“Annie.” Jeff tried, but she pushed him away. She turned away to try and compose herself, just happening to catch a glimpse of a red spattered Penguin’s jersey. Her heart stopped as she saw Sidney, Geno beside him as he spoke to a short, balding man Annie figured had to be a lawyer. She felt fire running through her veins as she ran to the door, throwing it open before she stormed over to Sidney.

“MURDERER!” She screamed, tears running down her face. She felt Jeff’s hands try to grab her, but she pushed them away as Sidney just looked at her in shock. “You didn’t even try to stop you bastard! YOU JUST KILLED MY BROTHER!” She could hear someone calling for security, but the voice was millions of miles away as she lunged at Sidney. “Why didn’t you stop?”

“Annie.” Sidney tried, but the bald man Annie assumed to be a lawyer jumped over whatever the young captain was about to say.

“Sidney don’t say a word to her.” He snapped.

“Just let me apologize-” Sidney tried, but the lawyer held up a hand.

“You don’t apologize unless you did something wrong.” He then turned to Annie. “What happened to your brother was his own fault because he didn’t wear a throat guard.” Annie froze, the entire world stopping before she felt her hand ball up on its own and she swung, her eyes closing as she connected with the round man’s face just like she had seen Rylie do a million times before. When she opened her eyes the lawyer was on the ground, saying something about suing her as Jeff finally pulled her away.

Her eye’s caught Sidney’s eyes again as one of the King’s drug her away, completely broken and overflowing with tears. In that one look Sidney saw Rylie as they had both tried to stop the bleeding, the fear in those same massive eyes. He remembered having to watch that last pleading look before the light left those same amber eyes and Sidney felt his stomach heave at the memory of having to watch the young goalie die in his arms.

“Why?” Annie murmured. Sidney flashed back to the present as Jeff led her away, cradling her bruised and most likely broken hand. The rest of the Kings ran up as Jeff muttered something about them being lucky they were in a hospital. And as she walked back to wait for an X Ray, Annie never looked back to hear Sidney’s answer.
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so, I know this is really dark
but I've been wanting to do this for a while
so bear with me, it'll get happier