Status: Couldn't help it



Sidney didn’t need to say anything else as he and Annie stayed in the hospital that night. He wouldn’t have known what to say anyway, so the two just sat in a comfortable silence, and he knew just having him there was helping Annie. And around midnight, when she finally fell asleep, he reached over and set her head on his shoulder. He watched as she smiled softly, snuggling into his shirt before starting to snore softly. He chuckled, running a hand over her now limp curls before resting his head on top of hers, closing his eyes and quickly falling asleep.

It was like time itself had stopped as Sidney made his way towards the goal on a breakaway. It was only him and Rylie as the roars of the crowd all slowly turned off. All Sidney could hear was his heart, beating in his chest and his deep breaths. He was going to go top shelf, but he knew Rylie, a thin, gangly giant at nearly six foot six, could catch it without a problem. So Sidney smiled, seeing Rylie’s thigh gap, even with his pads on as he stared Sidney down. He couldn’t see the young man’s face, but he knew he was daring Sidney to go for it.

And if there’s one thing Sidney Crosby couldn’t resist, it was a challenge.

He fell down to one knee just outside the crease, shooting the heavy puck with everything he had right at that gap. He had put so much power into it that he flopped onto his back, sliding feet first into Rylie, who had fallen onto his stomach to try and cover the puck. Sidney watched in horror as Rylie looked up at him, seeing the fear in the kid’s giant eyes as one of Sidney’s skates bounced on a divot in the ice, right towards Rylie’s exposed throat.

Sidney shot up with a jolt, covered in a thin layer of sweat as he took in short, shaking breaths. He felt hands on his shoulders and reached out, gripping whoever it was tightly and burying his face in their chest as he shook. He felt like a child again as he stayed there for what seemed like forever. Finally he realized that there were breasts on either side of his head and pulled away, his eyes wide as Annie just looked at him. Her cheeks were bright red, so red he was afraid she might pass out as she just looked at him.

“I…. Uh…” He tried. “I didn’t mean to….” Finally she sighed, leaning down and giving him a small hug, rubbing his back. He was stunned for a moment before slowly reaching out again, pulling her small frame into his. He let one of his hands move to her long hair, unable to ignore how much better he felt with her in his arms.

“Maybe we should try to find somewhere better to sleep.” She said, standing back up in front of him. He nodded, quickly shooting up and not realizing how close she was as he nearly knocked her down. His arms shot out, wrapping around her waist to keep her upright before she even realized she was falling. She looked at him for a moment, her hands sitting comfortably on his chest, before she remembered this was the man who killed her brother.

She pushed herself away from him, taking several steps back before running a hand through her hair. He seemed a bit hurt, but she refused to become close to him. She had only agreed to help him get over his guilt because she knew it was what Rylie would have wanted. She already felt nauseous at how nice it had felt when he wrapped his strong arms around her, his head resting on her collarbone. She hadn’t had a man hold her like that since her date with Geno, and that had been a few weeks after the draft, now nearly six months ago.

“So.” She said coldly, trying to ignore the sad look in his perfect brown eyes. “Let’s go.”

The two made their way down the much quieter halls where those that couldn’t be saved were kept overnight, and Annie couldn’t help but shiver. Sidney looked over, not saying a word as he dropped his sweatshirt onto her slender shoulders. She looked up at him and he simply smiled softly at her. But she quickly turned away, not wanting to be caught in his famous charm.

Sidney couldn’t deny that Annie was beautiful, even when she was acting like a glacier. He could understand her hatred, but he still wondered if she looked even lovelier when she smiled. She had Rylie’s long, thin frame, looking like she must have been a dancer or a gymnast when she was a child. Her long brown hair was falling out of the tight curls it’d been in at the game, giving her soft waves as she walked down the halls. And he found he couldn’t stop from staring at those massive, amber eyes, lined with thick, long lashes. Her lips were plump and pink, and he guessed that, like her brother, she probably had a perfect set of dimples.

She knew he was staring, but tried to ignore it as the two made their way back to the room Annie had broken down in, and where Sidney had learned what he had to do to stay in the league. Annie simply opened the door, trying not to think about how she had heard Rylie was really gone in here just a few hours ago. She simply found a couch, laying out on it as Sidney too the one facing it, a coffee table keeping them a few feet apart. Annie looked at him for a moment before turning her back to him, pulling his sweatshirt tightly around her to fight off the cold and bad memories.

Sidney simply sighed, looking at the curve of her spine through her tee shirt for a moment before he spoke. “Goodnight Annie.” She was quiet for a long time, and he wondered if she’d answer before finally he receive a near silent reply.


| | |

“Annie, Annie wake up.” She woke up to rough shaking and rolled onto her back. As her eyes opened she had no idea where she was for a moment before last night’s events hit her like a slap shot to the face. She sighed, looking up at her human alarm clock to see Jeff. He didn’t say a word as he saw the sad look in her eyes, he just knelt down and hugged her. She gripped him back, letting him help her to her feet as he kept his arms around her. Finally someone loudly clearing their throat caused them to pull away from each other, Annie blushing slightly as Sidney looked at them.

“Sorry to interrupt.” He said, rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably. “But um, I got Annie some breakfast.” She looked down to see a bag on his arm, a cup of coffee in his hand. She smiled softly, reaching out and taking the small cup.

“Great, now how about you leave it and get the Hell back to Pittsburgh?” Jeff snapped, glaring at the younger man.

“Jeff.” He turned his head at Annie’s voice and couldn’t help but blush as she patted his chest softly. “It’s okay.”

“No it’s not.” He growled, going on the defensive. He knew that something had happened, that Crosby had charmed his way into Annie’s heart when Jeff knew it was his. He gripped her tightly, keeping an icy glare on Sidney. “He killed your brother Annie, he put one goal above somebody else’s life.”

“It wasn’t like that.” Sidney tried, but Jeff wouldn’t hear it.

“You’re so obsessed with winning it makes me sick.” He snarled. “Some things are more important than a fucking game.”

“Jeff stop it.” Annie pleaded, pulling away, but Jeff kept his arms around her.

“Did you two fuck or something? Why are you riding the Crosby train all of a sudden?” She turned bright red, just looking at him for what felt like eons to Jeff before she spoke.

“Maybe I learn to forgive people.” She snapped. Jeff looked at her for a long time, shaking his head slowly.

“Do you not remember Annie? The way his skate went right into Rylie’s throat? How your brother tried to scream for you but couldn’t because of how much blood he was choking on?”

“That’s enough.” Sidney snapped when he saw how pale Annie was becoming, but Jeff refused to listen.

“Your brother, who you practically raised because your parents were always gone, the one who you watched every practice, cheered on at every game, helped through teams turning him down and gave up on your dreams and dropped out of college to send him to his rookie goalie camp. Sidney destroyed all that for one fucking goal! Now tell me how the hell you can be all doe eyed and talking about forgiving him?”

Annie just looked blankly at Jeff’s chest, both men waiting to see what she would say. Jeff caught Sidney in a brutal glare, but all Sidney saw was Annie. He saw the tears forming in her eyes as her small hands gripped Jeff’s shirt. Finally there was a hiccup before she collapsed against Jeff, sobbing uncontrollably. Sidney had no idea how there could be any more tears in her body, but what came next hit him like a bullet.

“Get him out of here.” She whimpered. Jeff nearly smirked at Sidney, wrapping his arms around Annie as he kissed the top of her head. But Sidney wasn’t giving up that easily.

“Annie, it was an accident, just watch the tape and-”

Get the fuck away from me.” She snarled. And as she looked at him he saw so much pain in her eyes that it made him sick. He felt a hand on his shoulder and looked back to see Dustin Brown.

“Come on Sid.” He said simply. Sidney let him escort him out, and as they walked through the door Sidney looked back, begging her to somehow know it was an accident. He had never meant to fall like that, he was supposed to go to the side of the goal, not into it. But her face was still buried in Jeff’s shirt as he stroked her hair, his lips staying on the top of her head.

Annie looked up just in time to see Jonathan in the door, watching as Dustin led Sidney away. And as her brother’s mentor turned back to her, shaking his head, Annie pressed her lips together. She then just fell back into Jeff, wanting to just hate Sidney and let Jeff comfort her because that was so much easier.
♠ ♠ ♠
Oh no!
Will Annie realize it was just an accident?
Or will Jeff keep her pitted against Sidney?
Find out next time and thanks for reading!