Author Topic: Yale cartoonist Ngozi Ukazu's CHECK PLEASE a young gay hockey player (who bakes)  (Read 800644 times)

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Thanks! Though I don't quite see how Jack was insulting Bitty!

Oh, playfully, teasingly so, but it is definitely there--
Jack to Bittle: (after the crash) "I guess you're looking for extra checking practice, eh, Bittle?" (Very 'Brah' (brotherly) satire--especially as Bitty has a horror of being checked by mean opposing team brutes on the ice)
Jack to Georgia: "We should get going and let Bittle here text about his walk to class."
Meaning: Bits is probably going to keep texting while walking regardless even after the little accident. Further Aside: Bittle has had some awkward moments when his teammates/frat brothers have discovered that Bitty has been (though good-naturedly) non-stop Vlogging (video blogging) and texting about his teammates' thoughts/comments/activities--to strangers.

HOWEVER: It's also clear that Jack's fondness for Bitty has become VERY apparent--

We do too, Georgia!

Tee hee! Even Mickey and Minnie!
(Look at their gloved hands making a heart!)
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:44:47 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)

Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline CellarDweller

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  • A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.
lmao!  All about mickey mouse!

Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)

Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Again, the fanfic writer jackzimmermann. (Love him!)
Remember this 'jackzimmerman' fanfic story posted two pages
back in the thread called havoc in its third year--WELL.
Two minor characters mentioned, the young hockey players
Caleb Triber and Zach Webs?
All I have to say is--omg, so fucking charming!
Utterly adorbs! and I hope 'jack' writes more about them!
Full text, no edits, no excerpting, no nothing. 5259 words.
Click the provided link below to read the original if you prefer.

3 Repurposed Blaine and Kurt fan art pieces (2013 and 2014) by CBM
(otherwise known as pencilpushingenthusiast )
but I've just decided they're actually Zach and Caleb,  two young rookie hockey players--
and like the previous story, they're Roomies and Buddies, got that? Ha!

Caleb is drafted the year before Zach, but he spends a year roughing it out in the minors, gets called up for a two week stint in that first season when Dartmen blows out his ankle.

Caleb was a fifth round pick. He’s fast, but he’s small, and when they call him up, he’s surprised. Dartmen’s an enforcer, which is not what Caleb was built for. But Dan throws him on a line with Samski and Lindsey Tremble, and Caleb keeps up with their speed, and he manages five points in his four games. No goals, but still. It’s damn nice to be on the board.

When he goes back down, he feels like he’s skating circles around everyone else on the ice. He manages a hat trick against Rockford, and he pushes for another three days later when they play Rochester. Doesn’t quite manage, but he nets two and gets an assist when they’re down a guy. He pushes himself to prove that he belongs back up there, belongs on the Falcs roster with Dartmen and Samski and Tremble. They need younger faces, and Caleb wants to be one of them.

The Falconers may be rough around the edges, but they wanted Caleb. They picked him, and he’s damn proud of himself. He’s not there yet; he was drafted, sure, but he’s not playing with them, doesn’t have a line. But he wants to get there, wants to make them better in any way he can.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Zach’s a first round pick, and when they’re in camp, Caleb sees why.

He’s light on his feet, and when they do a beep test on the second day, he’s the only guy who can keep up to Caleb. When they get thrown into teams to scrimmage, they’re put together.

Zach skates up to him, and grins. “Sup?” he says, nods at Caleb. “Can I call you Tribby?”

“My name’s Caleb,” Caleb says, smirking. “My last name’s pronounced Try-burr, no Trib-er.”

“Well,” Zach says. “If that’s how it’s gonna be,” he says, his lips tight but turning up at the corners. “I was tryna be pals, but.” He shrugs.

Caleb winces. “Sorry,” he says. “I didn’t mean--you’re the only person who could give me a run for my money. You’re fuckin’ fast. I just--” He lifts his shoulders, and Zach smiles.

“Why don’t we try to beat everyone’s asses, and see how that goes. You can fight me later.” He knocks his stick against Caleb’s. “Don’t think you’ll beat me, being smaller than Patty Kane, but we’ll see.”

“I’m not smaller than that fucker,” Caleb says, laughing.

Zach smiles. “I’m Zach. Webs.”

“Cool,” Caleb says.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

They light it the fuck up. They get played on the same line during scrimmage, and they’re definitely the fastest guys on the ice. The other team has a few guys with speed, but out of everyone in the prospect camp, they’re the fastest. They get split up on the fifth day, and Caleb thinks that means bad news, one of them’ll be cut, but they’re both there the next day, and the day after that.

Caleb likes Zach; he’s kinda quiet, but he’s snarky as fuck when he takes his seat beside Caleb on the bench. He quietly proposes plays while Caleb sips at his gatorade, knocks their shoulders together when they both notice a weak point on the other side’s goaltending, cellies when they score, over and over again.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

“Caleb, dude, we’re next to each other. Noice.”

Caleb rolls his eyes. “Dotty, dude, stop fuckin’ saying that shit. You sound like a fucknut.”

“Don’t call me Dotty.”

Schultzberger’s looking at them, but, whatever. Caleb doesn’t give a fuck if they’re the weird rookies. Zach’s, like, his only friend in Providence, he needs to solidify it.

“You like Dot Com better?”

“Ugh, no.”

Tremble nods at them. “Rooks,” he says, and Zach smiles dumbly, so Caleb nods on his behalf.

“Hey,” Caleb says. “Caleb Triber. This is Webs.”

“Lindsey,” Tremble says. “That dipshit giving you the side-eye is Ira. Schultzy,” he says, turning away from them. “Stop bein’ a dick, you’ll never get the C if you keep giving everyone stink eye.”

“Fuck off,” Schultzy says. “Kids,” he says. Samski comes in with his arms around Hacter and Rami, and Schultzberger gives him finger guns. “Look at your fuckin’ tan,” he says, and Rami says, “I’m fucking hispanic, you bitch,” and then they’re hugging, which, whatever. Caleb’s new, what the fuck does he know.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Georgia asks how he feels about having a road roomie. He didn’t know he had a choice, so he shrugs, figured he’d be getting one no matter what. “We’ve got a bit of leeway in terms of spending, since we’re not really near our cap, and fan spending is way up.”

“Is everyone paired up?”

She shakes her head. “Nah, Whatcom wanted to room alone, but Webs said he’d rather be paired up. You guys played together during camp.”

“I’ll room with him,” Caleb says. “If he’ll take me?”

Georgia nods. “Duly noted,” she says. “That’s it, I think. Welcome aboard, officially,” she says, and stands. Caleb shakes her hand, and her grip is tight. His palm is sweaty.

rooooooooooooomie  Zach texts him later that night.

Caleb sends him back a string of house emojis.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

They don’t make the playoffs, but it’s close. Tremble is two points short of winning the Art Ross, and Zach gets a Calder nomination. He doesn’t win it, but Zach texts him after Ekblad wins, responds to Caleb’s sorry babe : (  with a  i mean i didn’t think i’d get it anyway. cool to be nom’d tho. wish u were here to try to sneak drinks w me.

come to canada, Caleb says. you’ll be big enough come july.

ull nvr be big enough tho. Zach sends. even when ur 40 ull look 12

fuck off, Caleb says, but he’s laughing. Whatever, Zach can’t see.

Caleb does a Biosteel camp in Toronto, skates hard and avoids the dudes from the Bruins and puts on as much weight as he can.

His bed in his mom’s house is way smaller than the king he’s got in his condo in Providence, but it’s nice. His mom makes dinner most nights, and they spend a few days at the beach. They both read some old book about the atomic bomb, and it’s actually pretty cool, and when they’re both done, his mom recommends that Caleb read another of the guy’s books.

“I teach Slaughterhouse Five to my twelfth graders,” she says. “It’s good.”

“Okay,” he says. “Do we have a copy?”

“A few,” she says.


\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

“So,” Zach says. “Turns out Caity wants us to come up to buttfuck nowhere for my nineteenth so she can get me, I quote, ‘Patrick Schwasted.’”

“Jesus,” Caleb says, laughing into the phone. “That’s, like, offensive.”

“She said it,” Zach laughs. “The dude’s dead, what does he care?”

“I meant calling Canada ‘buttfuck nowhere.’ York is, like, big dude.”

Zach cackles. “Yeah, well.”

“You could probably stay with us. Our place isn’t big but, like, we could make space.”

“I don’t wanna impose. Caity’s annoying.”

“She is not,” Caleb says. “She’s nice. My mom’ll be obsessed with her.”

“You should double check that it’s okay,” Zach says, and he sounds shy in a way that he hasn’t been with Caleb since their first road trip last October.

“I will,” Caleb says. “She’s at summer school, but I’ll let you know, but like. She’s gonna say yes.”

“Tribby,” Zach says, exasperated. “Just ask ‘er.”

“You guys wanna stay for a week? We could go to the beach, I could kick your ass on a few hikes, y’know, ‘cause I’m faster than you.”

“Yeah,” Zach says. “Sure. Whatever you say buddy.”

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Caleb picks Zach and Caity up from YYZ. They drop their bags off, Caity set up in Caleb’s room, while Caleb and Zach are camped in the living room. Caleb’s already set up thermorests and pillows.

“This is fuckin’ sweet,” Zach says. “Can we build it into a fort?”

“My mom said no removing the couch cushions, but that was all the restrictions she gave.”

“Yas mama,” Zach says.

“Fuckin’ loser,” Caleb says, and shoulder checks him.

“It’s my birthday,” Zach whines, “stop bullying me.”

“It’s not your fuckin’ birthday,” Caleb says, and punches him in the arm.

“Birthday week, same deal.”

“Not in my house,” Caleb says, laughing.

“Worst vacation ever,” Zach says, but he’s grinning. “Shotty left side.”

“Fucker,” Caleb says, even though Zach takes the left bed whenever they’re in hotels, too. Caleb doesn’t care, but it sets Zach laughing, which was basically Caleb’s whole point.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

“I swear you two have shit for brains,” Caity says. “Why’re you drinking that shit?”

“Uhm,” Caleb says, eyes wide. “Because it’s fucking delicious.”

“You’re gonna feel like shit tomorrow,” she says, sipping at her whiskey ginger.

“I live for the moment,” Zach says, and salutes Caleb before going back to sipping at their bright blue fishbowl.

“Moment my ass,” she mutters under her breath. “Live for this moment,” she says before waving down their server. “Tequila shots, please,” she says.

“You’re fucked,” Caleb says, smirking at Zach, until Caity holds up three fingers.

“Three of ‘em,” she says, and the server nods.

“I don’t deserve this,” Caleb says.

“Yeah you do,” she says, smiling. “Zach’s insufferable, and it’s all your fault.”

“Stop slandering me,” Zach says around his straw. “It’s my birthday, you’re supposed to love me.”

“You’d like that,” Caity says.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

“You’re the best big sister in the world,” Zach is saying. Caity’s sitting in the front seat of the cab, scooting the seat forward to make more foot space.

“I know,” she says, smirking. “You’re not a bad baby bro yourself.”

Caleb rolls down the window as the cab pulls away from the curb, closes his eyes against the breeze.

Zach leans into his shoulder and whispers, “You look like a dog when you do that,” before laughing into Caleb’s shoulder. Caleb turns to glare at him, and Zach tugs at the hair that’s gotten long at the back of Caleb’s neck. “You need a haircut,” he says. “Shaggy.”

“Whatever you say, Scooby.”

Zach laughs again before resting his head back against the seat. He’s still pressed into Caleb’s side, their legs pressed together from knee to hip. Caleb nudges Zach’s foot with his own, and Zach just presses his knee into Caleb’s with a bit more pressure.

“Darth’s Scrappy Doo,” Zach says, and Caleb has to think hard about what they’d been talking about to get what the fuck Zach’s talking about.

“Yeah, that bitch.”

Zach laughs.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Caity whispers, “Night boys,” before quietly climbing the stairs and going to bed.

Caleb manages to get them each a cup of water, and finds Zach laying back across both their thermorests, one hand over his eyes and the other over his stomach.

“Hey,” Caleb whispers. “Sit up.” Zach sits up like a vampire, and Caleb snorts. “Here ya go, weirdo. Move over.”

Zach drinks half the glass before handing it back to Caleb and scooting over.

“You’re gonna get too warm if you sleep in all your clothes,” Caleb says after he finishes his own water. He leans back to put Zach’s unfinished glass on the coffee table.

“Canada’s too humid,” Zach grumbles before pulling his t-shirt over his head.

Caleb falls back onto his pillow, lifts his hips to dress down to his briefs.

“You’re too humid,” he says, his eyes falling shut.

He hears Zach shift beside him. After a few minutes, when Caleb’s almost asleep, Zach whispers, “Hey, Tribby?”

“Yeah, Dotty?” he replies without opening his eyes.

“Thanks,” Zach says.

“No prob,” he says.

He’s almost asleep again when Zach says, “Caleb?”

“Zach,” he says, rolling onto his side to face him.

“You’re my best friend,” he says, and Caleb’s throat feels tight.

“You too,” Caleb says.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

The Falcs trade their first round pick for Patrick Sharp, which would be cool except for the fact that Caleb doesn’t think he’s worth a first round pick.

They sign Jack Zimmermann, though, which is unfuckingreal. Caleb thought the dude had dropped off the face of the earth. “Turns out,” Zach says when Caleb tells him as much, “he just went to college.”

“Huh,” Caleb says.

“He’s got a history degree,” Zach says. “Caity said his school is, like, reputable.”

“She got a crush?”

“As if,” Zach says. “That fucker used to do coke. You know she’s got, like, opinions about that shit.”

“You never know,” Caleb says. “He’s got those baby blues.”

“Why don’t you date ‘im, if he’s so hot.”

Caleb laughs. “You know you’re the only boy for me,” he says, and Zach snorts, then punches Caleb in the arm.

Caleb takes a bite of his steak and says, “you fucker,” around a mouthful.

“You love me,” Zach says, laughing.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Turns out, Zimmermann’s really fucking good.

Sharpy too, actually, but he’s got a bunch of Cup rings and an ego bigger than God’s. He teases the shit out of Caleb, picks up on calling Zach Dotty, and assists the shit out of a bunch of their goals.

Zimmermann plays on a line with Tremble and Darth, but is practically attached to Sharpy’s hip off the ice. He’s pretty quiet, but he’s friendly, and Caleb likes him well enough.

They’re putting on their gear for their home opener, and Zimmermann’s knee is bouncing. Caleb’s dressed in everything but his sweater, so he walks over to Zimmermann’s stall. In quiet french he says, “You going to be okay?”

Zimmermann’s french is faster than Caleb’s, but Caleb got As in his immersion classes. “My dad’s here,” he says, looking at his skates.

Caleb doesn’t have a dad, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have issues about it. “Just him?”

Zimmermann shakes his head. “Bi--my friends from school, my parents.”

“Guess we’ll have to show ‘em how it’s done, then, eh?”

Zimmermann smiles, but it doesn’t quite meet his eyes. “Guess so.”

They’re walking up the tunnel and Caleb hears Tremble says, “Your family here?”

Zimmermann nods. “My parents, some people from school.”

“Big day, first home game,” Tremble says, and if he’s trying to calm Zimmermann down, he’s doing a pisspoor job of it.

“Yeah,” Zimmermann says.

“Hey,” Tremble calls over his shoulder. “Bad Bob Zimmermann’s in the stands.”

“Holy shit,” Zach says, and Caleb interrupts him to says, “Is your mom here? She’s so hot.”

“What the fuck,” Zimmermann says. “Shut the fuck up about my mom.”

When they line up for the anthem, Zimmermann knocks his shoulder into Caleb’s. “Thanks,” he says, quiet, and Caleb nods.

“‘Course, dude.”

Zimmermann scores, and Caleb smashes him into the boards, Zach and Tremble following suit.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Whatcom is gesticulating at Alicia Zimmermann while Zach is looking, wide-eyed, at Bad Bob. Caleb joins them, knocks his bag into Zach’s hip. “Mister Zimmermann,” he says. “It’s amazing to meet you.”

“Triber,” Bad Bob says, and Caleb does his best to beat down his nerves.

“Caleb,” he says.

“Well, Caleb, you had a good game.”

“Thank you, sir.”

Bad Bob smiles, and Caleb’s struck by the resemblance between him and his son. Jack has his mom’s eyes, but basically everything else is Bad Bob.

Jack comes walking up the hall from the locker room with his arm around a small blond guy, and Caleb has to bite the inside of his lip to keep his breathing normal. Zimmermann looks looser around than shoulders than Caleb’s ever seen him, and he’s blushing a bit. The blond guy shoves at Zimmermann’s middle, laughing, and Zimmermann just tightens his arm around his shoulders.

Zach wraps his arm around Caleb’s bicep and says, “Wanna piss Dan off and get pizza?”

When Caleb meets his eye, there’s something there, so Caleb nods. “You’re welcome to join us,” Caleb says, turning back to Bad Bob.

Bad Bob smiles, “That’s very nice of you to offer, but Eric’s already picked out some place. Maybe next time, if you can convince Jack that pizza’s not going to explode his organs.”

Caleb smiles, chuckles a bit. He’s seen Jack’s plate at team dinner. Dude’s fussy as hell. “We’re not done with him yet.”

“It was great to meet you, Mister Zimmermann.”

“You too, boys. Good game.”

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

They’re sitting on Zach’s couch, a box of pizza open on the coffee table. Caleb’s got his pizza crust hanging out of his mouth as Zach drives him right off Rainbow Road. He tosses his controller down, then takes a bite of his pizza crust before tossing the rest of it onto the box’s lid.

Zach leans forward and places his controller down before picking up a new slice. “So like,” Zach says. “You think that that was Zimmy’s boyfriend?”

“I--” Caleb says, turns to look at Zach. “You think so?”

“I looked up his school,” Zach says. “There’re lots of, uh. Statistically, the campu--”

“One in four, maybe more,” Caleb sing songs. When Zach gives him a look, he says, “I can google too.”

“Jack’s kinda quiet,” Zach says.

“Just private, I think. With the drugs and then, if--” Caleb shrugs.

Zach takes a massive bite of pizza, and Caleb hopes he chokes, because he’s disgusting.

“You’re disgusting,” Caleb says. Zach grins through his food, and Caleb laughs.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Zach sprains his ankle, and Tremble’s knee gets fucked, and Caleb spends five games playing on Zimmermann’s line. He’s unreal, magnetic and powerful, pulls plays right out of his ass and every shift has Caleb’s blood pumping electric through him.

They’re in Montreal and Zimmermann loses his shit on the ice, is bleeding from his eyebrow and looks like a fucking shark, looks like he wants to make Gallagher bleed more than he already is. It’s fucking--

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

“Oh shit,” Zach says.

“What?” Rami asks, burger half way between his plate and his mouth.

“Look at this,” he says, and holds his phone towards Caleb.

“Oh shit,” Caleb echos.

Zach turns his phone to Rami. “Zimmy wrote an editorial.”

Rami scans. “Fuck me. Sharpy’s gonna start calling him Cracker Jack if this is real.”

Zach says, “it’s real,” before clicking the top of his phone, the screen going back.


\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

They go out drinking in Boston and Zimmermann spends the night plastered to the blond guy’s side. Bittle, he calls him. Sharpy takes to the kid with more enthusiasm than Caleb’s ever see, and his feelings would be hurt if he didn’t get why Sharpy was doing it. Some random girl comes up to Caleb, tries to put her hand on his knee. He removes it, shakes his head, pays for her drink anyway. Just because he’s not interested doesn’t mean his mom didn’t raise him well, he’s nice enough to treat her if he’s going to reject her for no fault of her own.

The next morning, Schultzy pulls them aside when they’re waiting to get on the bus. “Don’t say shit to him,” he says.

“What?” Caleb says. Zach hands him a yoghurt cup.

“It’s none of our business. Just--leave him.”

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

“I did, in high school,” Zach is saying. Zimmermann is looking up at Zach like he’s got a second head, and Zach smirks. “Just wanted to tell you.”

“Okay,” Zimmermann says, and Zach claps him on the shoulder. He makes his way back over to his stall, sits beside Caleb.

“What was that about?”

Zach shrugs. “Nothin’. Ready to kick Crosby’s ass?”

“Ready to try.”

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Zach scores off Caleb’s pass, and Caleb crushes him into the boards. When the clock runs down, they’re both on the ice, and Zach crashes into Caleb, knocks him onto the ice. “Playoffs,” Zach screams into Caleb’s shoulder. “Holy shit.”

Zimmermann plays like a fucking superstar, and Caleb’s honoured to be playing with him. He’s amazing to watch, amazing to share the ice with.

Off the ice, Zimmermann is miserable, scowling all the time, his knee bouncing, fingers shaky at his sides.

“You know what’s up with Zimmy?”

Zach looks up from his plate. “Why?” He takes a sip of his milk, licks at his lip.

“He--” Caleb stops. “He seems fuckin’ miserable.”

Caleb can see Zach biting at the inside of his lip, and he looks down at his dinner.

“Zach,” Caleb says, and it comes out soft.

Zach’s knuckles are white around his fork and knife. “Later,” he says.


\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

They sweep Ottawa, but Zach doesn’t say anything about it, whatever it is. If Caleb’s honest, his ears are still ringing from when he scored, and he feels like he’s vibrating out of his skin. He’s kinda forgotten.

They eliminate the Rangers and then they eliminate the Pens, and Caleb can’t fucking believe it.

Zimmermann breaks his stick over his knee during practice, and Dan keeps him after they all clear off the ice.


\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

They’re supposed to be napping. They don’t play until the next day, but they need to stay in a routine as much as possible. Caleb is looking up at the ceiling, trying to make out shapes in the stucco.

“Dotty?” Caleb asks, soft, because he’s not sure if Zach’s sleeping or not.

Zach sighs, and Caleb hears him shift on the other bed. “What?”

“Can you tell me what’s going on with Zimmy?”

Zach sighs again, must shake his head because Caleb can hear his hair shifting against his pillow. “It’s not mine to tell.”

Caleb closes his eyes, bites the inside of his lip. “I hate that there’s something about you that he knows and I don’t,” he says, and the silence that follows feels like a pressure on Caleb’s chest, pinning him to the bed, gluing his eyes to the pink-red-black insides of his eyes.

“You’re my best friend,” Zach says, like it’s not a fucking cop out.

“But Jack gets to kn--”

“Jack gets it, alright? I don’t know if yo--”

“‘Cause he’s crazy?”

Zach sighs. “No.”

They fucking lose. They get so fucking close and it’s not enough.

Zimmermann disappears into the off-season like he’s not going to be given the C next season. The asshole. If Caleb didn’t like him so damn much, he’d fucking hate him.

Caleb goes home and helps his mom mark final papers, reads all the ones about Slaughterhouse Five and Gatsby.

Caity texts him a bunch of memes of Zimmermann, who appears to be her favourite person to make fun of other than her brother. It’s hilarious. He’s got such droopers for eyes. Poor dude, why’s he so sad if he’s so rich.

Caleb texts zach makes like five times what i make

And he’s mopey too. How about that.

Turns out that it takes Jack Zimmermann being a sad sack of shit to get anyone else moving.


\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Caleb phones Zach on Sunday morning.

“Tribby, what’s up?

“Are you busy?” Caleb asks. He wipes his palm on his shorts, his hands too clammy.

“Not really,” he says. “Just got back from the gym.”

“Are you home?”

“I...yeah? Dude, what’s--”

“Just. Listen for one second.” Caleb takes a slow, even breath. Then another. “I don’t wanna be like Jack,” he says, fast, lispy and embarrassing.

“Like Jack? What--”

“I don’t wanna be fucking miserable and I don’t want to pretend like I’m better than, I don’t know, whatever it is that he thinks he’s better than.”

Zach sighs. “Jack’s sad. He’s mentally ill, you can’t--”

“That’s not what I meant and you know it.”

“What’d you mean, then? Because I don’t think--”

“You’re my best friend,” Caleb says.

“You too,” Zach starts but Caleb huffs.

“I mean, I know you told Jack that you’re--”

Caleb stops, and Zach’s breathing is heavy through the phone. “Say it.”

“That you’re gay.”

“Well there you have it, are you done now, or did you wanna make me feel wors--”

“I wanna date you,” Caleb says, louder than he meant to. “I--”

“What?” Zach says. “This isn’t funny.”

“I’m not trying to be funny,” Caleb says. “I can fly to you, if you want. Or you can come here. I can meet you in Prov if you want. I told you, I don’t wanna be miserable.”

Zach breathes heavily, doesn’t say anything for a long moment. Caleb kind of wants to cry, so he squeezes his fingers around his knee as hard as he can, tries to count the seconds between his own inhale and exhale, until finally Zach asks, “Are you being serious?”

“Zach,” Caleb chokes.

“I actually can’t tell through the phone,” Zach says, but he sounds like he’s smiling. “I was planning to be back in Providence next week.”

“Okay,” Caleb says.

“Yeah,” Zach says. “Okay.”


\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

It’s awkward as fuck. Caleb shows up at Zach’s apartment with a bottle of wine, in a fucking dress shirt, and Zach opens the door and says, “You’re not Thai.”

“I, uh--” Caleb flounders. “No.”

“I ordered dinner,” Zach says, still not making space for Caleb to come inside.

“I brought this,” Caleb says, and holds up the bottle of red.

“Oh,” Zach says. “I-sorry.” He gestures down his front. He’s wearing basketball shorts and a University of Washington sweatshirt. “I didn’t think you--”

“It’s fine,” Caleb says, and then Zach finally holds the door open wide enough for Caleb to duck under his arm and into the apartment.

“I didn’t have any food, and I just got in. I figured we’d just, I don’t know, play Mario Kart.”

“Okay,” Caleb says, slow. “I’ll just,” he waves the bottle of wine gently.

Zach pauses the game when the buzzer sounds, gets up to pay for their take-out.

When he sits back down, handing Caleb a pair of chopsticks, Caleb says, “So, like, pretty fucked up that people play Call of Duty on purpose, eh?”

Zach cackles, and Caleb’s stomach finally settles.

They do end up drinking the wine. Zach’s sitting with his legs half under him, his head leaning back on the couch, turned towards Caleb. Caleb’s got his feet up on Zach’s coffee table because he’s a horrible guest. Whatever.

Zach leans forward and slides his empty wine glass onto the table, hands a little unsteady. “Can I ask you something?”

Caleb hesitates, but says, “Okay.”

“Are you--do you--”

“Can’t read your mind, buddy.”

Zach huffs. “Are you even gay?”

Caleb lolls his head to the side, lets his gaze flick over Zach’s face before meeting his eyes. “I don’t know,” he says. “I don’t, um,” he looks away, swirls the dregs of his wine around in his glass for something to do, something to look at. “I don’t particularly want to have sex with anyone, really, other than you.”

“Other than me,” Zach says, like he’s sounding it out.

“Like, I have,” Caleb says. “Had sex with people. Or, two. Two people.”


Caleb shrugs. “But what? I didn’t call them again or anything. It was mostly awkward.”

“That’s so--I don’t get it,” Zach says. “‘Cause I know you know you’re charming, and like, way better at talking to people than I am.”

Caleb shrugs. “I don’t know what to say,” he says, honest, and then [Zach] reaches forward to take his wine glass from his hands. He sets it down on the table, runs the pad of his finger along Caleb’s knuckles.

“Will you stay here?” he asks. “We don’t have to do anything, I just. Please.”

“Yeah,” Caleb says. “But you’re lending me a fuckin’ t-shirt.”

Caleb wakes up in Zach’s bed, which is weird, but nice. He’s warm, and Zach is pressed into his side, using half of Caleb’s pillow. Caleb rubs at his eyes before twisting towards him. He manages to get one of his hands along Zach’s side, draws a lazy pattern of circles on the fabric of his shirt until he shifts.

“Tickles,” he says, raspy, into Caleb’s shoulder.

Caleb stops moving his hand, but doesn’t take it away.

“Mhmm, no keep going,” Zach says. “Feels nice.”

Caleb falls back to sleep like that, his fingertips barely tracing the lines of Zach’s ribs, pressed into his side. It’s warm and soft and fucking awesome.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Zach scoots his ass back into Caleb, tugs on his hand where it’s flat against Zach’s stomach. “Tribby,” he says, and Caleb groans into Zach’s hair. “Wake up.”

Caleb inhales, and Zach smells like cinnamon, like the Old Spice he’s always worn, like laundry detergent and sweat and sunscreen. “Why,” Caleb mumbles, tightening his grip on Zach’s middle.

Zach presses his ass into Caleb again, and, okay, Caleb could be persuaded.

Maybe persuaded isn’t the right word, because when Zach lifts Caleb’s hand off his stomach and moves it to where his shirt is rucked up, to where the bare skin above his pyjamas is soft and warm, Caleb moans into the back of Zach’s neck.

“How come I’m the big spoon,” Caleb says, which. Probably poor timing, but Zach’s bigger than Caleb.

“Who cares,” Zach says as Caleb thrusts his dick against Zach’s pyjamas clad ass.

When Caleb moves his hand into the waistband of Zach’s, Zach turns his head, tries to kiss Caleb, misses his mouth and moans into Caleb’s jaw. Caleb shifts back so that Zach can roll to settle over him.  Caleb’s breath catches when Zach’s lips press into his, soft and closed and a little bit chapped.

Zach kisses him quickly, smiling against Caleb, before lifting up on his elbows. “This is okay, right?” Caleb nods, tries to pull Zach back down. “No, hey, Tribby, c’mon--” Zach kisses his cheek, his jaw, his chin. “I just--you’d tell me, right? If you didn’t--”

“I would,” Caleb says.

“I--Okay. Good. That’s good,” Zach says, smiling down at Caleb.

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

I cannot believe you fucked my brother  Caity sends the next morning.

can’t believe he told you, honestly  Caleb sends back.

He’s been telling me about you for two years,  Caity says. It’s, unfortunately, not new. Proud of you both though.


\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Zimmermann comes back to camp with a weird look on his face. He’s still kind of scowly, but his eyes seem lighter. He pats everyone on the shoulder, makes small talk with the newbies from prospect camp, for the guy they got when Rami was traded to Philly.

Sharpy knocks into Caleb’s shoulder on his way to the bench. “You look good, kid.”

“You look old as fuck,” Caleb says. “Dotty and I ordered you a life alert.”

“When you were curled up in your matching jammies watching infomercials?”

“Yeah,” Caleb says, skating backwards to where Zach’s stretching near the net. “Even shared a pint of ice cream. You jealous, old man?”

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

They’re lying in bed when Zach whispers, “Would it be okay if I told Zimmy? About us?”

He keeps writing his name over the soft skin of Caleb’s ribs. Caleb’s not sure if Zach knows that he’s writing it. It’s kinda weird, but it’s sweet. “That’d be okay.”

\_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_  \_

Zimmermann nods at Caleb like he always does, says, “Hey man,” like he always does. Doesn’t look at Caleb any differently.

Their first year with a named C since 2012, and they bow out of the playoffs in the second round. Still, two years in a row, not bad for a bunch of baby faced boys on a little expansion team.

Zimmermann’s boyfriend moves in sometime around mid-July, because a bunch of them get invited to his condo for a potluck. Zimmermann’s got a curly haired dog, which surprises Caleb. The food’s amazing, they have a few beers, Zach leaves his arm around Caleb’s shoulder the whole time.

It’s no Stanley Cup, but it’s not bad.

by CBM
(pencilpushingenthusiast )


this isn't the sequel that i mentioned; i have about a billion ideas for things that could happen in this universe, and this was just nagging me as i making dinner tonight. unbeta'd, all mistakes my own. if you play real nhl hockey, here be little dragons.

title taken from one direction's '18.' whatever.

stay tuned, i promise the next part is a bit more jack-centric.

Rating:                     Teen And Up Audiences
Archive Warning:     Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Category:                 M/M
Fandom:                  Check Please! (Webcomic), Hockey RPF
Relationship:           Caleb Triber/Zach Webs
Characters:              Eric Bittle/Jack Zimmermann, OMC/OMC
Additional Tags:       Demisexual Character  POV Outsider
Language:                English
Series:                     Part 2 of 'the messes of men' series
Stats:                       Published: 2015-07-21  Words: 5259  Chapters: 1/1  Comments: 29  Kudos: 634  Bookmarks: 29     Hits: 7377
« Last Edit: May 09, 2016, 07:15:33 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)

Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline CellarDweller

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  • A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.
OH,  it did say he was a figure skater.

Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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OH,  it did say he was a figure skater.

Ha! Yes--

Ngozi has had a little
fun in her own blog

ngoziu: Bitty ice skating. ;.;
August 26, 2014

And, of course, fans have run with it--

(Based off this image )

Anyways Battle of the Blades is a (now canceled) Canadian reality show where figure skaters are teamed up with hockey players and have to create a routine together?? I saw a post about it in passing earlier but post Check Please!  there HAD to be a ZimBits AU, this is non-negotiable

Anyway Bitty’s costume was really fun to design, i’ll probably draw him in more outfits ahhh

Also I googled “Providence Falconers uniform” and then the wave of Check Please! art that ensued promptly reminded me that it’s a fictional team made up by Ngozi omg why

#omgcheckplease #zimbits #jack zimmermann #eric bittle #jackbitty #battle of the blades

“Sorry, did you say something, Bittle?”
“What? No. Go change, we need to practice.”

for @mizzy2k‘s cutting edge au idea in which jack couldn’t get back
into hockey after his overdose and somehow ends up being paired with a figure skater in georgia.
there, he meets a lonely bitty who has long since quit figure skating… and who better to help
train him than the lonely boy that seems to haunt the arena?

(haven’t read check please, yet? you should get on that.)

#RIGHT THIS SECOND  #fuuuuck I love that movie  #omgcheckplease  #cutting edge  
2 DAYS AGO ON MAY 05, 2016 AT 04:14PM328 NOTES

I am obsessed with figure skating Eric Bittle. I really want a fic where
Bitty becomes a professional figure skater and meets NHL star Jack Zimmermann

I've really really got a thing for figure skating Bitty

Because this fandom can never have enough Bitty in sparkly figure skater outfits.

But I bet THIS is what
Bitty RRREALLY prefers
to see happen on the ice--

jack and bitty make their relationship public on the ice after jack wins his first stanley cup
« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:47:28 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)

Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline CellarDweller

  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • ********
  • Posts: 38,684
  • A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.
Oh, Bittle landing  a triple axel, huh?

Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Oh, Bittle landing  a triple axel, huh?

 :) :) :)
  :o :o :o
   :D :D :D
     8) 8) 8)
      :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)

Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
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  • Posts: 10,011
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Omg, the fans are the
'swawsomiest!   :D

« Last Edit: January 17, 2017, 04:48:11 pm by Aloysius J. Gleek »
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)

Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
"Camping Out"

Offline CellarDweller

  • The BetterMost 10,000 Post Club
  • ********
  • Posts: 38,684
  • A city boy's mentality, with a cowboy's soul.
So, is there an actual book to buy, or is this strictly an online thing?

Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!