Danielle woke up in the morning and darted for the bathroom. Mike heard her up and walked into his guest bedroom and saw her on the bathroom floor.
"Hey," he whispered crouching down next to her, "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine," Danielle whispered smiling slightly, "It's the morning sickness, it passes eventually."
Mike cringed as Danielle turned her head and threw up. Grabbing her hair, he held it back and rubbed her back comfortingly.
Danielle leaned back and Mike sat down next to her putting his arm around her hugging her to his side, "Get dressed, we'll go get some breakfast."
"You have practice."
"SHIT," Mike said standing up, "I forgot!"
Danielle laughed, "You're an idiot."
Mike laughed too and put his hand out to help her up, "Take a shower, you're coming with me."
"I look and feel like shit today, there's no way in hell I'm coming."
"Okay, you can stay here and get some sleep. I'll be back later."
Danielle gave him a small smile and turned the hot water on, "I'll call you if I need anything."
"Tomorrow's the New Years Eve party and I know you're worried about your hair and stuff so if you're up to it later, I'll take you to the salon and we'll get one of those trial things. That way you can decide of you want to do your hair yourself or have them else do it."
"I'll let you take a bath, I'm going to go get ready for practice."
Mike smiled giving her a hug before shutting the door behind him. Danielle looked at herself in the mirror as she got undressed and took in her appearance.
"Sweatpants kind of day it is," she whispered taking her clothes off before climbing in the hot bath.
Mike sat in his stall at Kettler Iceoplex with his head against the wall, He was the first one there and he enjoyed the quiet that surrounded him.
He shut his eyes trying to clear his head. He didn't understand why he wasn't mad at Kara. He had every reason to be, right?
She was pregnant with his baby because he foolishly slept with her while drunk. He should have denied the baby wasn't his but he trusted her word. She was a hardworking college student who paid her own bills by working full time while going to school and Mike could tell by the two days that he spent with her family that she was an all around good person.
"Hey Mike," Scott Hannan said entering the room, "How are you?"
"I'm doing okay," Mike smiled, "How are you?"
"Not doing too bad," Scott smiled, "How's your friend?"
"She's doing okay, she wasn't feeling well this morning. Morning sickness kept her up and she's at home sleeping."
"Her having your baby is a beautiful thing, just remember that. I know you two aren't together and you're manning up to be a father but don't let her or that child walk out of your life because you'll regret it."
Mike sighed, Scott's words sinking into his mind.
"Is she coming to the party tomorrow?"
"Yes she is, I haven't asked her to come to the game yet."
"Tell her to come, my wife wants to meet her."
"I'll let her know, thanks Scotty."
"Not judging me, I guess. Not everyone around here is thrilled with my actions."
"It's not their business, you're doing the right thing by stepping up to the plate and accepting your responsibility. No one has the right to judge you! People are going to talk about the both of you but you can’t let it get to you. No one’s perfect.”
“You’re right,” Mike sighed, “I just, I don’t know. I’m scared but then I have moments where I feel anxious because I’m having a baby, weird right?”
“I know how you feel but do what you can do to protect Danielle from the criticism. She doesn’t deserve it just like you don’t and whatever you do, don’t let her go back to Pittsburgh. I know she’ll fight with you because she doesn’t want to leave her family but you have to prove to her that she isn’t a burden to you and that even though you two aren’t together you are her friend and will take care of her and be there for her. She has all of us who will support her, Ovi is dying to meet her.”
“He found out she loves Lady Gaga and he went apeshit.”
“Oh my God, keep them away from each other,” Scott laughed before Ovi came in the room followed by Alex Semin.
“Where Danielle,” Ovi asked.
“She didn’t feel like coming, she’s having bad morning sickness.”
“That’s too bad, she come to game tomorrow though?”
“I haven’t asked her yet, I’ll try to get her to come. If not you can meet her at the party.”
“You bring her?”
“Yeah, I figured since she was coming down to get a taste of what life here is like and to look for schools that I’d ask her to go besides Kate has a boyfriend now.”
“She not pretty, never knew why you like her in the first place. She thought you were douche bag.”
“If it isn’t the pot calling the kettle black,” Mike thought to himself before he rolled his eyes and smirked, “Fuck off Ovi.”
As the locker room filled with techno music and fist pumps, Bruce Boudreau came in, “Alright you fucking shit bums, listen up. You are going to work your fucking asses off today and I don’t get a flying fuck if you fucking pass out. Too many fucking turnovers are occurring in the neutral zone and we need to fucking get our shit together. Do you understand me?”
“Yes Bruce,” the guys said in unison.
“Good, now get your fucking shit and get the fuck out on the ice.”
“If I had a shot for every time he says ‘fuck’ when he talks, I’d be fucking drunk off of my ass,” Brooks said and everyone laughed.
“Bruce Boudreau drinking game,” Ovi laughed, “HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
Mike just shook his head and walked out of the locker room behind Brooks. Practice seemed to go on for hours and when it was finally over, Mike took a hot shower. Signing a few autographs and posing for a few pictures with fans, Mike headed home.
“Danielle,” he called out as he opened the door.
He got no answer and he went straight to her bedroom where he found her sound asleep. Gently sitting down on the bed, he shook her, “Danielle,” he whispered.
“Hey,” she mumbled smiling, “What time is it?”
“It’s almost five.”
“Did you just get home?”
“Yeah, Bruce killed us today since we lost last night. Something about ‘too many fucking turnovers.’”
Danielle laughed as she sat up, “I think I’m going to do my own hair tomorrow, I’m not up to going to a salon today.”
“You look better,” Mike smiled, “Are you up for going to dinner or do you just want to order take out?”
“Want me to cook?”
“My mom taught me when I was little, I love to cook.”
“You don’t have to if you don’t feel well.”
“I feel a lot better now, I told you it goes away. That’s why they call it morning sickness.”
Mike laughed and Danielle smiled, “Okay, just don’t try to poison me.”
“I’ll only poison Sasha.”
Mike noticed Danielle’s stomach was starting to form a bump and he had to resist the urge to put his hand on her stomach. It was still early but he wanted to see if he felt something. He had read online that the baby didn’t start moving until the fourth or fifth month.
“What do you have in the kitchen?”
“I think I have steak and chicken, not sure.”
“Which one do you want?”
“Make whichever one you want, I’ll eat whatever.”
“Okay,” Danielle replied getting out of bed and throwing her hair up in a ponytail before leaving the room to head into the kitchen.
“Use whatever you need to use, I’ll go get more if we need it,” Mike said coming into the kitchen. Danielle looked in the freezer and saw two steaks.
“Do steak salads sound good to you?”
“Yeah, there should be a bag of fries I stashed in the freezer when the guys came over last week.”
Danielle dug around and found them, taking a two sheet pans out of the oven, she turned it on as she placed the steaks on one and the fries on the other.
“I’ve never seen steak baked before.”
“It keeps the meat juicy and hey it’s healthy for the three of us.”
Mike smiled at the word three as he grabbed his vibrating phone out of his pocket. He looked at the screen and saw he had a text from Ovi.
Did you ask her to game?
Mike deleted it instead of replying and sat the phone on the counter in the kitchen, “Want to come to the game with me tomorrow? It’s in the afternoon. The party is from nine to two so we’ll have plenty of time to come back and get dressed.”
“What time is the game?”
“That’s fine,” Danielle replied, “I’d love to go, just don’t expect me to wear red.”
“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Mike laughed, “Guess who we’re playing?”
“SHUT UP,” Danielle shrieked, “YES, I CAN WEAR MY SHARP JERSEY.”
“You have one of those?”
“I have Sharp, Toews, Keith, Kane, and Versteeg but he’s a Flyer now.”
“You’re going to meet my teammates wearing a Blackhawks jersey?”
“Mhm,” Danielle replied smiling and Mike laughed rolling his eyes.
“I knew you’d be happy that we were playing them, I remembered you said that they were your second favorite team.”
“Thanks,” she replied washing her hands before placing the pans in the oven, “How do you want your steak?”
Danielle shivered, “That’s disgusting.”
Mike just shrugged with a smile on his face as he walked into the living room and turned on the TV. Mike settled on the news to kill the time before an important game for the Caps to watch came on. The Penguins were playing the Islanders and it was sure to be one hell of a game especially after the brawl the season before but the Capitals were battling for first place in the East but the Penguins were sitting there comfortably with a three point lead.
“Pens vs. Isles tonight,” Mike called out, “Want to watch it?”
“Why would you even ask that question?”
Mike laughed as he replied a simple, ‘Yes, she’s coming,’ to Ovi before he shut the phone off and sat it on the coffee table. He started to smell the food cooking and it smelled great. Danielle came in and handed him his bowl of salad ten minutes later with the fries and the steak on top of it along with cheese and croutons before she headed back into the kitchen. Mike followed behind her to get the salad dressing out of the refrigerator and a bottle of Perrier water.
“Salad dressing,” Mike began, “The only thing that isn’t green in my fridge.”
“LAME,” Danielle sang causing him to laugh as she pulled her steak out of the oven and sat down at the counter cutting it to put in her bowl that already had the fries and cheese on top of it.
Mike sat on the couch eating his salad while Danielle sat at the counter, both of them eating in a comfortable silence. When they were finished, Mike helped Danielle clean the pans and bowls before the game came on.
The game was a bloodbath just like Mike had predicted and he laughed at Danielle screaming, “KICK HIS ASS ENGO,” to Derek Engelland who was battling with Trevor Gillies, “TAKE THAT GILLIES, YOU FUCKING PUSSY!”
“Potty mouth much,” Mike chuckled.
“Take his fucking knee out from under him when you play the Islanders, I hate this prick.”
Mike laughed again when the buzzer sounded and the Pens won by seven goals.
“They kicked their asses in more ways than one,” Mike said, “Damn, they’re tough this year.”
“Get used to it Green, they’re winning the cup.”
“I love how you’re pregnant to a Capital and you still despise us.”
“Loyalties lie, Mike,” Danielle chuckled standing up from the couch, “Goodnight.”
“Going to bed already,” Mike asked looking at the clock, it’s only nine thirty.”
“I have to get up early tomorrow to go the arena with you, I know you guys wake up at the ass crack of dawn on early game days and I need my beauty sleep.”
“Goodnight, I’ll wake you up in the morning.”
“You owe me breakfast assclown,” she laughed running her hand over Mike’s hair and he wanted to grab her wrist and encourage her to continue doing it since he found it relaxing but he already felt things between them felt like they were together even if they weren’t and he didn’t want to push it.
The next day Mike woke Danielle up and took her to breakfast before they headed to Verizon Center to get ready for the game. Danielle wanted to sit in with the crowd and Mike agreed to it. Danielle voted not to meet the team and Scott’s wife until the party because she left early to go home since she started to get sick. Mike gave her his keys and had Nicky drive him home.
The Caps lost their fourth game in a row to the Blackhawks and Mike took note that when they played them again in Chicago before the season ended to ask Danielle if she wanted to go. When Mike arrived home, Danielle was in the shower and his suit was laid out neatly over his bed with a new tie that Mike assumed she had bought so it matched her dress.
Mike took a shower himself and when he had finished getting ready, Danielle was putting her shoes on with the door to her bedroom open. She was wearing a black dress with a red ribbon around the waist, that explained the all black outfit and red tie she had laid out for him. Her hair was tied back in curls and was off to the side. She had smoke colored eye shadow that looked black and Mike noticed it made her blue eyes pop.
“You look great,” Mike complimented and Danielle smiled.
“Thanks, you too,” she replied, “Are you ready to go?”
“Yeah, we have to take pictures first when we get there, is that okay?”
They arrived at the Jefferson Hotel in DC in Mike’s Lamborghini. Mike insisted he take it since the weather was somewhat warm and it was a “special occasion.”
Mike gave the keys to the valet and put his arm out for Danielle to take as they headed inside.
Ovi smiled when he saw Mike and Danielle coming towards him, “Mikey,” he said, “You make it.”
“Alex, this is Danielle, Danielle this is Alex,” he said introducing them.
“I know who she is,” Alex smiled with his toothless smile before hugging Danielle, “I remember you from camp, you funny girl who told me she was Pens fan and would be disowned if people knew she there.”
Danielle laughed pulling away, “I’ll be disowned when people find out I’m here too.”
“Smart choice having baby with Mike, he very responsible.”
Danielle laughed turning to Mike who looked like he was ready to strangle the Russian, “You’re a dick.”
Both Alex and Danielle laughed before Brooks Laich came out of the ballroom where the pictures were being taken.
“Ah, you must be Danielle,” he said extending his hand, “I’m Brooks, nice to meet you.”
“It’s nice to meet you too,” Danielle replied, “Oh my God, that’s John Carlson.”
Mike looked behind Brooks where the young defenseman was, “Yep that’s him.”
“I’m sorry; I’m a little star struck. I watched him win the gold for the USA at the WJC and he’s one of my favorites.”
“Hey guys,” he said with a smile coming over to them, “Are you the only ones here?”
“There are a few others in the room getting their picture taken. Why we’re getting professional pictures taken at a private party, I have no idea,” Brooks said and Mike put his arm around Danielle’s waist without realizing it. She jumped at the sudden contact making him realize what he had done, “I’m sorry,” he whispered, “I didn’t realize it.”
“It’s okay,” she replied, “I’m not going to yell at you.”
Mike just smiled as he introduced John to Danielle. Danielle seemed to get along with everyone and she impressed Scott and his wife, Kristina who held their son Gage.
Gage reached his arms out for Danielle who took him and held him for a little bit, “She’s a good girl, Mike,” Scott said as he looked at Danielle who was sitting at the table with Kristina while Gage crawled out of Danielle’s arms and into his mother’s lap, “Definitely a keeper if you decided to go down that road.”
“I’m still trying to get to know her; we haven’t had much time since we came back since we’ve been playing.”
“Get to know her then make your decision, what’s the worst that could happen?”
“I don’t want her thinking I’m just with her because we’re having a baby.”
“Take it slow, that’s all you have to do. It’s worth a try.”
For the second time in two days, Scott was right. As the party wound down and the clock got closer to midnight, everyone was either dancing or sitting around talking. Danielle was talking to Mike who was taking Scott’s advice and getting to know her.
“Ten seconds,” Ovi yelled. Everyone counted down as the TV played the ball dropping.
“HAPPY NEW YEAR,” everyone yelled before kissing their dates. Mike looked at Danielle who looked up at him shyly.
Mike leaned forward and placed a light kiss on her lips. It surprised him when she returned it and he wrapped his arm around her waist, “Happy New Year,” he whispered.
“Thanks,” she replied blushing and Mike immediately felt guilty for kissing her. This was going to make things awkward between the two of them.
“Are you ready to go,” he asked and Danielle nodded before the two of them slipped out going unnoticed because everyone was too busy dancing celebrating the New Year.
Danielle pulled out her phone and called her family back in Pittsburgh to wish them Happy New Year and Mike wished them one in return as well.
“No wonder we haven’t seen Nicky all night, look,” Mike pointed to the young Swede who was fixing his tie and his disheveled hair. Kristi was right next to him and Danielle laughed.
“It’s nice to know she told me she was banging him.”
Mike laughed, “Oh God, look out Nicky got a girl.”
Danielle and Mike laughed as they got in the car and drove back to Mike’s house. Danielle had a big decision to make. It was either staying in DC or going back to Pittsburgh but New Year means new things and Danielle was willing to try a new life in the nation’s capital.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?