I was thinking that I hadn't written much in the way of hockey AUs, which meant that I started thinking about them. I'm still probably not going to write an AU (at least not right now), but here's a plot bunny for one. (There's another plot bunny, but it will have to wait for another day when ninja_orange
needs an incentive.)
Junior year is supposed to be awesome. Tyler's going to be an upperclassman, which means he's going to be one of the cool ones in the house (not that he wasn't cool before, but now he's cool with power), he's studying abroad fall semester, and he's going to be able to buy alcohol with his real ID when he gets back. That's the plan, and it's supposed to work even though Brownie's graduated and moved on to real life. Because Tyler and Brownie aren't just about the house. They're solid. Friends for life. And, like, they don't really talk about the fact that they've drunkenly hooked up a couple of times, but Tyler's always kind of thought that once they were both out in the real world, they'd end up together. Except that's not going to happen now, because Brownie met Julie. More than met. Is dating. Is in love with. Is happy with.
It's kind of a relief to go to Switzerland for a semester.
Tyler has a good enough time in Switzerland. He's not sure he really learns all that much, but he parties a little, goes to class when he's supposed to, and makes friends (mostly with other dudes there from Canada and the States, but it's better than nothing).
Then he comes back and being a junior isn't what he thought it was going to be. Everyone else has settled into their places and roles in the house, and they make room for him - of course they do; these are his brothers - but it's not the same as if he'd been there the whole year. They get spring pledges, which he thinks is going to be awesome because without other house responsibilities, he's totally going to be a big brother, which means he's going to get to show someone else how to be awesome. But then his little is Dougie, and Dougie is cool and all, but somehow he's already awesome. Like, the guys all like him and it's spring so he already knows almost everything about campus, and even though he's a freshman, he already has a major and, like, a plan for his life.
Things aren't really going the way Tyler planned.
The only thing that's really working for him is that he's rooming with Fred. Fred also has his shit together - he has a real major, not like Tyler's bullshit communications major - but he's not a jerk about it. He's actually totally awesome. He's one of Tyler's best friends, and he's fun to hang out with. He also doesn't say anything if, sometimes, when it's late and dark, Tyler crawls into bed with him.
So Tyler spends a lot of time with Fred, hanging out at the house, doing their homework in the lounge designated as the study room, going out to bars. They go out to dinner sometimes, just the two of them, and talk and grin at each other over burgers and beers and a giant shared basket of fries.
It takes kind of a long time, until they're at a party and none of the sorority girls seem to be taking Tyler seriously, not that he's really trying all that hard, before Tyler takes a good hard look at his life, and then goes to find Fred and ask him if they're dating.
There's an awful lot of whistling when Fred kisses him instead of giving him an answer with words.
Tyler doesn't have to sneak into Fred's bed after that.