Fun fan art by :iconAkeron-Valanx: - damn it if this isn't the first graphic HH fan fic or what! Thank you, Valanx!
Hehhey, and welcome to the Hockey Hunk!
Wow! Final week of Season 3 ahead of us now - feels like it just came back! But indeed, the two final chapters of the third season will be posted next week, but before that, it's business as usual, with today's exciting and controversial chapter!
As always don't forget to comment, vote, fave and watch - all feedback is always appreciated, and will help others to find these stories to enjoy as well!
Have a nice read!
"... oooooh I just know that something good is gonna happen...."
"Oh, my goodness!" Peter exclaimed.
My ears perked, and my eyes jumped from the laptop screen to meet Peter's. He was sitting by his own computer on the little working "office" corner of the living room - the part that had been taken over by file folders in neatly sealed plastic containers, and his small desk. Now the cougar's eyes and tail were bouncing most curiously, and I could see him rub his chin while taking another look at his computer screen.
"What is it?" I asked curiously, peering over.
Peter paused the music blasting from his computer speakers before he turned to face me again and I could see his quirked brow and a small, moderate smirk on his lips. I wasn't sure what that said, yet.
"Well, I just checked my emails and there's one from Nicholas Faye."
My eyes widened and my tail used the armrest of Peter's couch as a punching bag for a moment while I let the deadpan declaration settle in.
"He sent you an email?" I repeated.
"Sure," Peter licked his lips. "Here, listen to this..."
He turned about in his chair, wriggled his rump on the seat, and leaned a bit closer to read the small typeface more comfortable. Peter cleared his throat with a good feline purr-murr before he spoke again.
"Dear Peter Brian Sinclair," he started, tongue slipping against his teeth for that special camp lisp, "I was so delighted to meet you again, and I cannot believe how long it has been since we last saw each other."
I made a face.
"Does he still sign letters with everyone's full names?" I questioned.
Peter gave me a look and a wink.
"Would I be perverted enough to make up stuff like this?" the cougar stated, in his normal voice, thankfully.
I scratched my chin and snuffled.
"Yes, but since it's Faye, I don't think you have," I replied.
"Alright, here we go...' I know times have taken us into very different directions, and our lives have barely entwined during the past years, but that does not mean I would not be delighted to meet you again. Seeing you and Gliese again made me remember so many wonderful moments from our time together at our alma mater, I have been practically swimming in memories since."
It was my turn to chuckle.
"So I'm just Gliese, huh?" I mused.
"Well the letter was addressed to me, not you."
I let my ears droop playfully.
Peter's tail swayed most pleasantly when he went back to reading the message in his horrible camp accent.
"And why not to refresh these memories? I would be most pleased to enjoy your company over coffee and light refreshments at a suitable location. I would love to exchange news and experiences, and get to know you again, Sinclair. And perhaps, you might even invite our friend Gliese to join us, since I'm afraid I did not find his contact information, but I would love to include him as well. I am sure you can extend my invitation to Gliese as well. Looking forward to our correspondence, Dr. Nicholas Faye Jr. PhD. Research associate and lecturer, Taylor University, Department of Modern Languages, English language and literature!"
"Ha!" I declared once Peter finished with a nice, breathless gasp, probably exhausted by the sheer length of the camp lion's pretentious title.
Peter chuckled in that very special snuffling way as he turned to sit sideways on the chair, so that he could lean on the backrest and fold his arms over its top comfortably while he looked over to me on couch.
"Well, I don't think he has changed at all over the years," Peter mused. "Still as florid as ever."
"So it seems," I made a little face to go with my declaration, which only made Peter smile more.
That was nice. I liked him smiling. Even if it required making Dr. Gaye into a hapless victim in our ruthless discourse.
"Soooooo," I started, just because I could, "do I get the feeling that even though he'd love to go out somewhere with the two of us, he might actually prefer to go with just you?"
I tilted my head a little as I spoke and licked my lips once I was done, just to make the message sound even more ludicrous. Peter scratched his arm and shrugged.
"Who knows, "he murmured, "I wouldn't put it past him to try to get into my pants, though. It's not like we haven't done it before..."
I coughed, and put my paw down over my laptop keyboard to make sure I wouldn't accidentally belly-bounce it off to the floor and get a nice expensive reminder about computer ergonomics and bellies. Peter was snickering over my by all means shocked expression.
"Well you did know, didn't you?" my cougar stated.
I flicked an ear at him.
"Remind me," I muttered.
"Well..." Peter rubbed his chin again, making his best thinking face, I presume, "it must've been somewhere around year one...hmm...yeah...I think so...hmm..."
"Can't have been too memorable if you're having trouble remembering when it happened," I mused.
"I think it happened when you were going out with that Leonard, and I had not yet started going out with Big Peter," my cougar stated after a few more moments of quietly rumbling thinking, "I think that must be it. Though I think it was just blowjobs..."
I coughed and made an appropriate face again, and let my tail do some talking, too.
"Uh huh," I vocalized.
Peter chuckled, obviously at my reaction to his TMI moment, and flicked his ears innocently.
"You know how I am with lions and..."he licked his lips meaningfully.
"First paw experience," I smiled gently.
Peter smiled back to me, and I felt good about that as well.
"Well, you can't blame me," the cougar smirked. "And no wonder that Victor of yours can't get enough, either."
I almost blushed when he said that. We might've been shameless about our sexual history with each other, and talking about the occasional college fling, sure, but what went on behind the closed doors between Victor and I had only been covered in a small conversation that went something like this:
"So, Rowreeh, how is it?"
"Pretty passionate. You know, big guy."
"Oh I know about big."
So that was it, and we hadn't gone there again. In the current emotional climate, it seemed the best way, and since neither of us had brought it up again, that's how it went. I was grateful for that. Peter might've been a bit blunt at times, but he knew courtesy as well. Victor and I were something happened in the present, and tentative as it was, and that made for the need for more tact. Joking over a fling with Nicholas Faye, or our mutual romping was a whole different thing. If Peter wanted to talk about the sex we had had, there was no way I was going to stop that.
We've had some good sex. We've had sex even when Peter couldn't have sex, and it was still pretty good for both of us. I shudder to think how lonely he would've been if it wasn't for me and my ability to see past the sickness and just feel his skin, when it was most needed. Guess that's what real friends are for.
But we were in the present now. We were in a very different place.
"Well," I puffed out my chest a little, and hoped my nice mane added to the macho effect, "...can't argue with that."
Peter blew me a kiss with a big smack of his lips, and went on to scratching his arm again. His tail flicked about and tapped against various chair legs and table legs as he kept leaning against the backrest and looking at me.
"Damn right," he said.
I rubbed my own muzzle and smiled some more, getting back into the swing of the present things, instead of retrospection, and that meant, dealing with this new peculiar social issue Peter was having at the moment.
"So, if you actually went out with Nicholas and he'd say that he wanted to get frisky with you, what would you say?"
"The truth," Peter replied immediately. "That I'm mourning, and I can't be physically close to anyone before I have grieved properly. And while I don't cry every day anymore, I still cry every other day at least, and I have a lot of grieving to do yet."
His voice remained level throughout, but I could see the signs of physical tension creep up as he spoke. His jaw line started to move sluggishly, one of his paws grasped the edge of the backrest, and his tail's movement became sharper, less amused. I tensed a little, too, hoping that I had not caused a...crisis, no matter how temporary it might be, and I was almost about to ask him whether he was fine, before Peter shook his head, snorted, and waved a paw.
"So I think that I shall be making it quite clear that I'm not looking for anything, serious or casual, at the moment," Peter said, "if I'm going to answer that message, anyway."
"Maybe you should," I said, "I mean, you guys are working at the same place...kinda...and I'm not sure whether he'd be beyond starting to badmaw you to the boss or something if you don't answer to his email."
Peter made a face before he nodded.
"You're right," he said, "of course."
He let out a big, sighing breath.
"Of course I should answer," Peter continued. "Hell, maybe I should even go out for a coffee with him. It's not like I see too many faces here."
I was painfully aware of that, too, but decided not to go there at this time.
"Maybe," I said.
Peter rubbed his chin again.
"And there's always the potential of him revealing all sorts of embarrassing facts about his recent escapades..." Peter's eyes narrowed a little, dangerously, even, as he contemplated that possibility.
"You could make him drunk and force him to reveal every single sordid detail," I smirked toothily, genuinely liking the idea.
"Or I could just ground up one of my Valiums and simply drug him...I'm sure it'd work as a truth serum..." Peter mused.
I outright chuckled.
"Well, you could."
Peter chuckled, and faced his computer again.
"...and I don't know when but just saying it could even make it happen...."
"Is that your phone ringing?" Peter's voice hollered from the kitchen.
"Yeah!" I called back, already searching for the noisy phone with my paw, since I knew it was somewhere on the floor next to the couch. It took me a few fumbling tries before I found it and lifted it up to my eye level. The blinking screen listed a number I didn't recognize. That made my ears flick a little, but wasn't too surprising. I'd been forced to do a lot of phone calls recently, and it could be anyone calling me back. The hospital, maybe, with my physiotherapy, or the police station, wanting maybe to check my statement in regards to the car accident. There was a case coming up, after all.
All these serious thoughts made me clear my throat before I lifted the phone to my ear and spoke up.
"Rory Gliese," I said in my best, deep voice.
"Rory, hiiiiii!" an almost shrill voice greeted me from the other end of the line.
My ears and my tail jumped. There was no mistaking that voice!
"Marge?" I spoke, my voice full of surprise, I was sure of that. "I didn't recognize your number!"
The cougar on the phone snickered girlishly.
"Well, I'm calling from the shop phone and not my own work phone," Marge replied, "I forgot it back home because I had to rush in the morning."
My mind conjured up the ancient black Nokia hidden under the sales counter, and I couldn't help but smile.
"Well that's it then," I replied.
"Funny that you didn't know the number," she said, "It's printed on every Albrecht Brothers bag, too."
My ears jumped a little at her play-nagging tone, and I could feel the corners of my lips pull up, too. She was really making me smile now, after a while without hearing her voice. Not since seeing her in the shop, of course, her latest contact with me had been a more simple text, asking me how I was.
I hoped she asked me now, because I was much better now.
"Must've slipped my mind, then, "I replied. "Some sort of retrograde amnesia or something."
Marge giggled again.
"Very funny," the cougar replied.
"Always to you, sweetie," I smiled in my best voice.
"How're you doing, Rory? Getting better every day, I hope!"
Was I ever? I could barely stop smiling when she made that assumption. I was back into speaking terms with Victor, I had survived coffee with a hung over Cobb, and my leg no longer kept me awake at night. I felt more hopeful than I had felt in weeks.
"Yeah, sure," I went on ,"Slowly but surely! My physical therapist told me that my leg was doing quite well the last I was there. She said that I might be ready to start walking without my crutches in a couple of weeks."
"That's great!" Marge enthused.
"Well it sure is," I said. "How're things going over there?"
"Bah," the cougar opined. "Just the usual, you know. Books, books, boxes of books, and no favorite studmuffin to lift those books in sight!"
I felt a tiny pang of guilt at that statement, and hurried to speak the next thing that came to my mind.
"Well I hope you've been telling Mason or Alex or Crystal to do the lifting," I said. I might not have been a expert when it came to babies, but I suspected that you weren't supposed to do any heavy lifting at any stage of pregnancy.
"Ohhhh of course," Marge replied. "Alex takes it as an opportunity to show off his new karaokespinning butt, so he has never missed a chance since I copped a bit of a feel of his ass and told it was looking good when he bent over."
I almost spluttered...and laughed...because it was such a Marge thing to say, to do, and as for Alex...all too much like him, too.
"Well that's...good," I stated. "Is everything going alright with...you know?"
Marge was quiet for a moment before she let out a clear, purring chuckle.
"Missing your old bookshop gossip now, Rory?" the cougar said.
"Always," I replied, because that's what Marge wanted to hear, and that was our thing.
"Well..." she paused for a moment there, before continuing, "nobody else in the shop knows, but I told Goggy."
I conjured up the image of the artistic cooking cheetah in my mind and wondered just how he would've taken to the news of sudden cougar-cheetah offspring. I really didn't know enough of him to make any kind of a guess.
"Oh?" that must've sounded so dull, but still, it was the safest way to go.
"It was a bit of a shock, frankly," Marge said. "Since we've only been together for a short time, but...well, I guess it was a big shock, but he's fine now. Didn't pack up his easel and leave, if you thought that could be the case."
I felt guilty for almost thinking about just that.
"Well that's good to hear," I enthused.
"Yeah, it'll probably take him a while to get his mind around it, but I told Goggy that I really want the baby, and I'm not going to change my mind about that, and told him that if he wants to be with me, he's gonna have to get used to the idea of Goggy Junior, too."
"I bet that's a pawful," I said.
"It's a bit," Marge snuffled, "my mother isn't exactly screaming with the joy about it, either, but I told her that even though my Goggy isn't exactly Matt Bomer, he's still a decent man. And since he doesn't drive a motorbike like my boyfriend before Goggy...that soothed out mother a little."
"Good to hear," I said, unsure how else to response to this wave of chick talk coming through into my brain.
"I haven't told anyone else at work yet because I know it would just cause a huge fuss and with things going as they are at the moment, I don't want to add up it," she continued.
"I understand," I nodded.
"Speaking of which!" Marge chirped.
My ears perked.
"Did that therapist of yours say anything about going back to work?" Marge asked.
"Well, she did say that I could soon start working either part-time, or at least avoiding any sort of heavy physical exercise while working. I'm not allowed to lift anything heavy, and I must admit that my paw's a bit clumsy because of broken fingers, but those are healing alright, too."
"Ohhhh I see," the cougar saw, I guess.
"Well?" I stated, very easily aware that she had something in mind, now.
"Well, I'm having an ultrasound next Wednesday at noon, and since it's only Alex and Crystal on duty at the time, we could use your paws as well," she said. "How'd you feel about coming in for the afternoon?"
That really doubled my feeling of surprise. I hadn't expected her to offer me the job so bluntly, even if I knew that I was slowly getting to the shape where returning to my daily chores was the only reasonable way to go forward. I wasn't in pain anymore, and I could move alright, and my paw could definitely handle the job of lifting the books to the barcode scanner. It'd just been a long time, now. Felt like ages ago, even if it was only a few weeks, of course.
"What do you have in mind for me...boss?" I teased a little.
"You could be here from noon until...four, maybe? Mason comes in for the evening and closes up the shop, so you'd only have to be in for a few hours, and I can come back around four, too, if I go to the hospital and maybe shop a little after the appointment, heheh, so Mason doesn't have to be alone in shift, either. You'd have Alex and Crystal to cover your back, of course, and you don't have to do anything except man the counter."
I rubbed my chin and contemplated this offer. I'd really been gone for so long...and Marge needed help...and frankly, I knew that I'd been getting a bit too comfortable with my couch-bound lifestyle as of late, and I knew that it wasn't good for me in the long run. Normal furs went to work every day to make their living, and I was, by some definition, I guess, normal...yet...so I might as well grab the opportunity.
"So it'd be just next Wednesday?" I asked.
"For now, of course, but whenever you want to come back, I can definitely put you in to the roster. And hopefully, if you feel fine about it, I can just fill in your name to next month's shift schedule when I make it." Marge offered.
"That sounds fine to me," I smiled, and hoped that my voice smiled too.
"Great!" Marge was purring openly now. "This is gonna make everyone's lives much easier!"
"Glad I could help," I heh-heh'd.
"You're a lifesaver, studmuffin," Marge pushed on.
"Thanks, sweetie," I said, smiling still.
"Well I'm going to tell everyone that Rory's coming back now, you can imagine how that's gonna go!" Marge purred. "Oh yes..."
I felt a small jolt of nerves as I imagined the possible hero's welcome, but held fast.
"You're free to, of course."
"Oh yes..." she let out another deep rumble, and I wasn't sure whether to feel amused or slightly worried.
"Shall we be seeing each other on Wednesday, then?" I asked.
"You bet! Can't wait!"
"See you on Wednesday, Rory!"
"See you, Marge!"
I flopped the now dormant phone against my belly and let out a big breath.
"Does that mean what I think it does?" Peter's voice cut in through the momentary silence and made my ears flick.
I glanced over my shoulder to see him leaning against the frame of the doorway to the kitchen, and then I nodded.
"She got me on for Wednesday afternoon."
Peter clapped his paws together.
"I better be a good housewife, then, and start ironing your uniform," the cougar smirked, and winked.
Thank you for reading, y'all!
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See you on Monday!