"I'm going home to Pittsburgh this weekend to help my mom make favors for my baby shower next Saturday, are you coming with me?"
Mike looked up from the screen of his Macbook and shook his head no, "I wish I could but we have two practices this weekend and back to back games on Monday and Tuesday. I'm coming with you for your shower though; your dad and I are going fishing."
"The game on Tuesday decides if you guys get into the playoffs or not, right?"
"Yeah it does, are you coming?"
"Kristi and I are coming. Kiley is coming too but she's a nervous wreck about it."
Mike frowned, "I wish you'd get excited for the game. I know you are loyal to the flightless birds but honestly, I'm your boyfriend, can you be supportive of me?"
"Are you fucking serious right now," Danielle began, "You're going to sit there and tell me that I'm not supportive. I fucking gave up my entire life to move here. I put my dreams on hold and you're living yours. If anyone should be pissed off here, then it should be me."
Mike shut his laptop and walked into the bedroom slamming the door.
"You're a fucking asshole," she shouted, "Until you're done acting like a child, I am going out."
Danielle grabbed her keys to her car that her cousin drove down to Arlington for her and headed to Brooks' house that he shared with Kiley.
"Wait, let me get this straight," Kiley asked, "He just picked your first fight for no reason and said you need to be more supportive of him. Is he not aware of how much you have sacrificed for him? Honestly, he's acting like a prick."
"I mean she is a loyal Pens fan, I see where he's coming from," Brooks said.
"Who asked you," Kiley snapped, "Then you wonder why I own a Kesler jersey. I cannot believe you are siding with him."
Brooks smirked while shrugging his shoulders, "Bros before hoes."
"Keep it up and you are sleeping on the couch tonight."
Danielle took a sip of her water bottle before placing a hand on her now six months pregnant stomach, "I just think something is up with him. I know we act perfect but no relationship is perfect, I mean we were bound to fight sometime, right?"
"Just don't pay any attention to him. It could be just the stress of the season winding down."
"Yeah, you're right;" Danielle replied putting her phone in her jacket pocket, "I'm going to head out, it's getting late."
"I'll see you tomorrow," Kiley said standing up to give Danielle a hug, "I'll see you in the morning."
"What? No hug for me," Brooks pouted.
"Fine, give me a hug jackass," Danielle replied.
"He loves you," Brooks reassured her, "All he talks about is you and Landon. You make him happy, just ignore him."
Danielle smiled, "I ain't the easiest person to live with."
"Neither is she," Brooks whispered nodding towards Kiley.
“Fuck you,” Kiley glared, “Danielle, call me if you need anything. I am going to go call my mom and ask her when she and my grandma are coming down to visit.”
“Bye Kiley, see you later Brooks,” she replied walking to her car.
Mike stood in disbelief as he stared at the woman standing in front of him, “What are you doing here Tara,” he asked.
“Are you really having a baby with a girl you don’t even know,” she asked standing there in disbelief.
“We were friends,” Mike replied sticking to the story that he had told the nurse at one of Danielle’s doctor’s appointments, “We both decided we wanted kids and she got pregnant. We’re together now, 3 months now.”
“Do you love her?”
“Fuck you,” Mike spat, “Get the fuck out of my house and don’t come back. I don’t need you trying to fuck up my relationship. Another thing, my parents, my brother, and my sister actually like her. She’s not a gold digging slut like you were.”
“Mike, what the fuck is going on here,” Danielle asked coming through the door, “Are you fucking serious right now?”
“I’m Tara, his ex.”
“I fucking know who you are. I’m Danielle, mother of his child. My question is, what are you doing in our house?”
“Our house,” Tara laughed, “Too fucking funny.”
“LEAVE TARA,” Mike screamed, “NOW!”
Tara smirked before leaving, “He’ll just find someone else.”
“Danielle,” Mike said reaching for her, “Please hear me out.”
“Never took you for the hit them and leave them type. Was this some sick game, you knock me up, tell me you love me, and then kick me to the curb.”
“God no,” Mike replied, “I do love you, Danielle, I really do.”
“Mike, I am not dealing with this,” she replied walking towards their bedroom. Grabbing her suitcase from under the bed, stepping into the closet, she began folding clothes and putting them in their suitcase.
“Where are you going?”
“To Pittsburgh, I’ll call you when Landon is born.”
Mike sighed, “Danielle, please don’t do this,” he pleaded.
“I gave up every fucking thing to move here. I wish I never would have met you."
Mike watched as Danielle broke down crying as she sat on the bed, "Call me if you need anything."
Shutting the door behind him, Mike left the room so Danielle didn't see his tears.
Danielle sat down on the bed with her arms wrapped around her stomach. Tears hit the floor as Danielle cried. Sliding back on the bed, she closed her eyes and fell asleep.
Mike locked the door after the locksmith left, changing the keys on Danielle's keys to the ones needed to unlock the new locks. Mike crawled in bed next to Danielle and wrapped his arms around her.
She stirred in her sleep, "Mike," she whispered turning to face him. Mike felt like someone stabbed him in the chest when he saw Danielle's mascara stained face.
"I love you," he whispered running the pads of his thumbs under her eyes, "Tara was here to cause trouble and I kicked her out. I got the locks changed. I'd never cheat on you."
Danielle wrapped her arms around his waist, "I'm sorry for overreacting."
"I'm sorry for telling you that you don't support me. I know you love your hometown and you love me too. I'm just stressed out about my injury."
"You're injured," Danielle asked, "Mike, when?"
"A couple of days ago when you took your cousin back to Pittsburgh, I went to finish my check, the guy jumped out of the way, and I went shoulder first into the boards."
"Are you okay?"
"It's separated, I'm out the rest of the season," Mike said above a whisper.
Danielle ran her hands through his hair as he laid his head on her stomach, she had seen him cry before and it broke her heart every time.
Danielle felt her shirt getting wet as Mike silently let the tears fall down his face.
"Sit up," Danielle whispered shifting herself into a sitting position. Mike shifted so that he was sitting next to her; Danielle crawled into his lap and put her arms around his waist. Mike kissed her forehead and held her against his chest.
"I hate it when you're injured."
"I hate being injured," he replied, "I can't catch a break."
Danielle scratched the back of Mike’s neck, “I love you,” she said cuddling closer to his chest.
Mike pulled away and smiled, “I love you too.”
“Are you hungry,” Danielle asked when Mike’s stomach growled.
“A little bit, want to go get a late dinner?”
“Can we please go to Johnny Rockets? I really, really, really want a milkshake.”
Mike laughed before looking at the clock, “It’s only nine, and they’re open until eleven.”
“We better speed the whole way there and you better promise cops tickets to the playoff games.”
“You’re terrible,” Mike smiled as Danielle stood up and went into the bathroom to wash her face.
Danielle practically ran out of the door and to Mike’s Escalade as he locked the door behind them, “Hurry up,” she whined, “I’m hungry.”
Mike and Danielle talked about their up and coming trip to Pittsburgh, “Maybe you should see a doctor in Pittsburgh,” she suggested, “They’re the best in the country with their Sports Medicine program. A lot of athletes have traveled here to get surgery done and we can always stay with my parents for a little bit while you recover. They love having you at the house.”
“We could always find our own place there,” Mike suggested, “What about in that apartment building that you’ve always wanted to live in up on that hill you took me to on our first date?”
“Mike, you already do enough, you are not buying another house.”
“I already have my own back in Calgary that we can go to in the summer, but come on don’t you want something that you can call your own back in Pittsburgh? I know you love your parents but do you really want to stay with them every time you go back there. What about when I’m there and we want to be alone, besides, I’ve been looking into it off and on and those apartments are really nice and I want to make you happy.”
“How do we go from fighting to talking about moving into a new apartment in a matter of hours?”
“If we didn’t fight, our relationship wouldn’t work. No relationship is perfect, hell look at how we got together.”
“We’re fucked up!”
“Cheers to being fucked up,” Mike smiled raising his water glass as Danielle reached for her milkshake. As the glasses clung together, Mike and Danielle laughed before finishing their dinner while the waitresses danced as part of the tradition at Johnny Rockets.
Mike and Danielle drove home from the restaurant and talked about when they were going to go look for apartments in Pittsburgh. Mike had his heart set on the apartment building that overlooked the city. He had to have the view or he wasn’t moving. As much as he was supposed to hate the city and everything that came with it, he was growing to love it.
He knew one very important in his life was from there and he had to accept that she wasn’t giving up her hometown any time soon. Landon was more than likely going to be born there and Mike was bound and determined that his son would be raised a Caps fan but if he liked the Penguins Mike would have to accept it.
Mike prayed to God that if he was ever traded, it would be to Pittsburgh. There were talks that Mike would be traded within the next season at the trade deadline, Mike pleaded with George McPhee to trade him to Pittsburgh. He wouldn’t settle for Toronto, Los Angeles, Edmonton, or Montreal. It was Pittsburgh or he wasn’t going anywhere and in the end when an offer came to the Capitals from Calgary for the young defenseman, George McPhee politely declined the offer.
Mike noticed Danielle had fallen asleep, reaching over the console, Mike grabbed Danielle’s hand and rubbed his thumb over her knuckles. Instead of waking Danielle up, Mike picked her up and carried her into the house.
Laying her in bed while he went through his drawers to find her a t-shirt to put on, Mike lifted her gently and removed her clothes. As he soothed the shirt over Danielle’s stomach, he felt Landon kick and he smiled.
“Hey buddy,” he whispered.
Landon kicked again and Mike laughed, “You’re already back talking. Stubborn like your mother.”
Mike placed a kiss on Danielle’s forehead and walked over to the bathroom to take a shower. When Mike finished, he crawled in bed and wrapped his arms around Danielle.
A part of Mike was devastated that he was injured for the rest of the playoffs but at least it meant that if the Capitals made it far into the playoffs, and took their season to June, Mike would be there for Landon’s birth.
Closing his eyes to get some sleep for the day ahead of him at Kettler to undergo testing with the training staff, Mike realized that both he and Danielle’s relationship wasn’t perfect but he knew deep down that no matter what happened, they would get through it because although their circumstances were crazy, they loved each other and love conquers all in the end.