"Danielle," Mike called out opening the door but got no response. He was returning home from a four game road trip and he just needed someone to talk to.
Of course he had plenty of people to talk to on the team but Danielle was a woman and she didn't turn serious situations into sexual innuendo.
"Danielle," he called out again, "I'm home."
Mike hung his keys on the hook by the door where he saw a note hanging where the Escalade keys hung.
Kristy and I went to look at schools and jobs, I should have asked to borrow the truck but you didn't answer your phone. When I come home we need to talk. There's pasta salad in the refrigerator and I bought you a case of Heineken because it's green =).
I'll be home soon.
xo Danielle xo
Mike smiled and put the note on the counter in the kitchen. Opening the refrigerator, he saw the pasta salad with green noodles next to the Heineken and he laughed.
Sitting down at the counter, he took a bite and he had to resist the urge to growl, the pasta was the best he ever had. Danielle was starting to spoil him with all of the cooking she did.
A voice pulled him from his thoughts and he smiled when he turned around and saw Danielle in one of his sweatshirts.
"Nice shirt," he said with a mouthful of food.
Mike smiled and swallowed taking a drink from the beer can as he stood up from the stool and gave Danielle a hug.
"I missed you," he said squeezing her lightly.
"I wish I could say the same about you," Danielle replied smiling causing him to roll his eyes.
"Did you find a school," he asked.
"I think I'm going to do online classes, that way if people find out about me I won't be the center of attention."
"I barely know you, so how are they going to know who you are?"
"You're Mike Green, people in China know who you are."
"Oh yeah cause General Tso loves hockey."
"Mmmm speaking of General Tso, that sounds so good right about now."
Mike laughed, "So Chinese tonight for dinner."
"God that sounds amazing but you just ate."
"I'm always hungry," Mike replied, "How about I order takeout and we talk."
"Sounds good to me."
Mike grabbed the menu out of the drawer and ordered the food while Danielle changed.
"45 minutes," Mike said when Danielle came out of her room.
"That's fine," she replied smiling sitting down on the couch.
Mike sat next to her and turned on the TV, "What do you want to watch?"
"Let's watch Crybaby!"
"It's my favorite movie of all time, it's an old John Waters movie with Johnny Depp and Rikki Lake."
"Johnny Depp, oh God no."
"I don't think he's hot, although put eyeliner on him and he's smoking."
"Jesus Christ," Mike laughed, "I've never saw that one."
"I have it in my suitcase, I brought it with me."
"I was going to say, I don't have that one."
"Freaking classic," Danielle said standing up suddenly, "I'll go get it."
"It better be good or we're watching Wedding Crashers."
"OH MY GOD, I love that movie too," she squealed causing Mike to laugh.
Danielle threw the DVD in Mike's lap and he put it in the DVD player as she curled up on the couch with a blanket.
"Move your legs," Mike ordered.
"Why, I'm comfortable."
Mike lifted Danielle's legs and put them on his lap as the movie began.
Danielle was enjoying the opening scene where Crybaby and his gang are getting TB vaccinations when the door bell rang.
Mike grabbed his wallet out of his pants and walked over to the door. He paid the delivery guy and walked into the kitchen.
"What do you want to drink," Mike asked.
Mike grabbed two bottles of water and headed into the living room with the food.
"I paused the movie so you could see the whole thing."
"Thanks," Mike said handing her the take-out container of lo mein and the tin of chicken.
"What'd you get," Danielle asked.
"Sweet and sour chicken and fried rice, why?"
"Want to share? I'll give you half of mine for half of yours."
"Fair trade," Mike replied smiling as Danielle slid down to the floor and placed her food on the table. She patted the spot next to her and Mike joined her on the floor as they swapped food.
They ate in silence enjoying each other's company while watching the movie.
"You honestly know every song in this movie, don't you," Mike asked.
"I love this fucking movie."
Mike laughed and put his arm around Danielle's shoulders.
"I want you to stay," Mike admitted, "I'm used to you being here already and I don't want to miss anything with the baby."
"I'm going back to Pittsburgh in a couple of days for a doctor's appointment. You have a game here that day, I wanted you to be there but it's the only day that I could get in, I'm sorry."
"It's okay," Mike said, "Just call me when it's over and let me know how it goes. You're staying though, right?"
"I haven't decided yet, Mike you don't understand how hard this is. I'll be giving up everything I've known my whole life to come lie here."
"I can ask for a trade to Pittsburgh if that's what you want. I'll do anything to make this whole thing work."
"You're not asking for any trades, I want this to work but DC's not in the cards for me right now."
Mike didn't say a word and Danielle sighed, "I'm sorry, Mike."
"Just forget it," he replied coldly standing up, taking the empty containers with him.
"Mike, come on talk to me what's going on?"
"Nothing, Danielle, just drop it."
"I'm not dropping anything, Mike. I deserve to know why you suddenly decided to go psycho."
"You piss me off."
“I piss you off,” Danielle laughed sarcastically, “Come on Mike, let’s not go there.”
Mike rolled his eyes, “What do I do that could possibly piss you off? I could kick you out of my life and never see my child but I was a man about it and I stepped up to the plate to be there for you and our baby.”
“I’m not going to argue with you,” Danielle replied going to her room and slamming the door.
“Danielle,” he called out sighing, "Fuck!"
Mike kicked the trash can by the counter knocking it to the floor, running his hand over his head he walked down the hall and knocked on Danielle's door.
"Danielle," he whispered, "I'm sorry."
"Go away," she replied and Mike heard stuff being thown.
Opening the door slowly, he realized she was packing, "Where are you going?"
"Home," Danielle replied not looking up from the dresser, "I don't want to here anymore."
"Danielle," Mike sighed walking over to her, grabbing her wrist gently, "Don't go."
"I have a life in Pittsburgh, Mike. I need to get back to it."
"I had a life too before I came here. I know how hard it is leaving the only home you've ever known but Danielle, we need to make a life together for our baby. You don't even have to live here with me, just stay in town. I want to be here for you during everything. I want to be a normal father."
Silence fell between them as Mike dropped Danielle's hand from his grasp. Danielle went back to packing and Mike hung his head in defeat walking out of the room, closing the door behind him.
Danielle slid to the floor and let the tears fall. This is not how she imagined her life at 21 years
old. She always said she'd be married with a career before she brought another human being into the world.
Standing up, Danielle took a deep breath and walked out of the room. She needed to take the high road and swallow her pride to end this once and for all with Mike.
Mike was sitting on the couch watching the end of the movie. Danielle noticed he had a sleeve tattoo for the first time.
"Since when do you have a sleeve," she asked placing her hands on his shoulders.
"I got it last summer."
"I never noticed it before."
"Are you serious," Mike asked.
"I never saw it," Danielle replied running her fingers over Mike's bicep, "It's hot."
Mike laughed, "Are you hitting on me?"
Danielle blushed, "I'm sorry, I said that out loud."
"Come here," Mike said holding his arms open.
Danielle walked around the couch and sat down on Mike's lap.
"I'm sorry," she said breaking the silence, "I'm trying to get used to everything and I'm taking it out on you."
"I'm sorry too," Mike replied, "I shouldn't have yelled at you."
"At least we're getting along, it could be a lot worse."
"Scott thinks we're together," Mike smiled, "He said we're too close to be friends."
"It's not helping that we act like a couple like of someone walked in right now they'd think that."
"Have you ever considered it," Mike asked, "Like have you ever thought about what it'd be like if we were?"
Mike's doorbell went off and Danielle stood up to answer the door.
"Look what I buy you," Ovi said shoving the DVD case into Danielle's hand, "Mike, s'okay we watch, right?"
"Sasha, I hate you but you love Gaga like Ovi does and since you're here with him," Danielle said to the young Russian, "You can watch too."
"Gee thanks," Alex Semin laughed.
"I'm going to get my ear plugs," Mike joked walking into his room.
"You two okay," Ovi asked.
"We're fine," Danielle replied smiling as he put the DVD in the blu ray player.
"This will work in here, yes," Alex asked.
"Yeah, it will work."
"I was going to say, I need to see Gaga."
Danielle laughed as the intro of "Dance in Dark" began to play. Mike returned with a DC Shoe Company hoodie and he sat down next to Danielle.
"SILICON," Ovi yelled.
"SALINE," Sasha yelled.
"POISON, INJECT ME BABY I'M A FREE BITCH!"
"Why, God, why," Mike asked looking at the ceiling, "What did I ever do to deserve this?"
"Shut you face Mikey," Sasha said as Ovi and Danielle stood up dancing to Just Dance.
Mike looked at Danielle dancing with two of his friends and teammates and he smiled lightly before Scott Hannan’s words echoed in his head.
"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."
Danielle looked up at Mike who smiled at her as she and Ovi started doing the dance moves from the song. She fit in perfectly here, he just wished she stay and take a chance on something that wasn’t familiar to her. He was willing to do it and he understood her reasons why she wouldn’t do it, he just hoped Danielle would change her mind.
Gonna do my very best and it ain't no lie
If you put me to the test, if you let me try
Take a chance on me