(Usual disclaimer about owning nothing but a really unhealthy love for Mighty Ducks)
The celebrations for winning continued from the ice into the locker room where Orion was soaked with remaining water coolers and shouts of joy coming from all directions. Rick Riley came in with his coach, father and Dean Buckley and apologized for the pranks and hostility on behalf of his team. Though the Ducks were going to remain wary, he seemed genuine. There was also a schpeel about how all the athletes were actually typically friends and stuck together during their seasons, went to each other's games etc. Orion reasoned that his brother, Matt Riley could still tryout for the JV team because without Jesse-they technically had a fairly open roster. Tryouts for third line and a backup goalie were going to be held the following week.
Buckley then explained that 100 students had signed a petition to change the Warrior team name because it was too demeaning, so following the end of the season they were going to consider changing all of the athletics to Ducks.
So the celebrations continued. They all changed back into clothes and went to Mickey's Dinner where Charlie's mother worked. Bombay stopped by and congratulated them and the festivities continued.
Julie had successfully managed to sit as far away from Dean as she could for the majority of the day. He was the center of attention; everyone was so glad he had showed up and he explained that Bombay showed up to his house and drove him straight to the school. When asked why he had been missing in the first place his eyes flickered to Julie's but then he made an excuse to the effect of 'it's a long story.' Finally, exhausted, the team walked back to campus together. While the entire team, including Connie sauntered in the direction of the boy's dorm, Julie hung back and let them walk ahead of her. Dean noticed and left the group too, jogging back to where Julie was standing.
When he reached her, it took a lot of effort not to pull her into his arms and kiss her. Instead he said, "Hey."
The side of Julie's mouth twitched up, but she didn't smile. "Hi." She responded, pulling the sleeves of her sweatshirt over her hands and crossing her arms over her chest.
Dean had never felt so awkward in his entire life. Mostly because he wanted to tell this girl that he has spent the last month cursing himself for ending their relationship because she was incredible. All of that on his brain and he says hey?! What the fuck is wrong with me…
"Long day huh?"
"Mmmhmm" Julie mumbled, avoiding meeting his eyes.
"Can we talk?"
They walked in silence to her room. Dean followed her inside, shutting the door behind him. He could tell she was anxious to say something to him.
Julie put her key down on her desk and pulled her sweatshirt over her head, placing it over the chair. Before she realized it Dean was directly behind her. "Jules…" He whispered when she turned around, and then he brought his face down to meet hers. Slowly he kissed her and to his surprised she kissed him back. About a minute into that Julie came to her senses and pushed him off of her.
"Stop! Stop, stop, stop, stop!" Julie screamed, crossing the room so her bed was in between them.
"I'm sorry, Jules…" Dean started.
"No, STOP! I can't do this!" Julie said throwing her arms up in frustration. Dean raised an eyebrow, slightly concerned that she might throw a punch in his face.
"God, I've been waiting to kiss you like that and now I just can't!" Dean wanted to grin in satisfaction but bit his tongue instead. He knew she was just getting started. "I've had so many boyfriends and NEVER felt this way. Never missed anyone like I missed you, I actually CRIED over you. I mean what is that? I felt like such an idiot and wanted to call you a million times and beg you to just come here and be with me. The team needed you and I needed you and you didn't come!" Julie exclaimed, her face turning redder and redder, tears building in her hazel eyes. "And this is going to sound terrible and you can hate me but I even kissed someone else to try to forget about you and guess what? It didn't work! The whole time I just pretended it was you." A single tear streamed down her face and she quickly wiped it away. "I'm sorry." She murmured looking down. "It's so stupid!" She gasped and covered her face with her hands, trying to force the tears back down.
"Why is it stupid?" Dean asked, wanted to break the distance between them and comfort her.
"Because I think I'm falling for you." Julie said, her voice choking at the end of her sentence.
Dean felt the look of shock hit his face. "Jules…why would that be a bad thing?" He asked, a warm feeling tingling in his stomach.
"Because I barely know anything about you!" She screamed, exasperated.
"What do you want to know?!" He finally screamed back. "I'll tell you anything. I swear to God, Jules."
Her tears finally fell. "Why?" She shook her head, finding it hard to believe after all this time.
"Because I'm falling for with you too. I knew it the moment I met you and I spent the last month wishing I was here with you." He said, lowering his voice.
"Then why didn't you stay with me? Why did you lie?" Julie choked, narrowing her eyes.
"I'm so sorry Jules. I wanted to tell you but I thought you wouldn't understand."
"You didn't even let me try!"
"My Mom has cancer." Dean told her and Julie's mouth snapped shut. "She was starting chemotherapy. She told me to stay here but I couldn't leave her alone like that."
"Is she okay?" Julie said, her voice hoarse from screaming.
He nodded. "She got a lumpectomy yesterday, and the doctors are confident that she's going to be fine. Her sister is with her." He added. "I'm sorry, I know I should have told you. I was being an idiot for thinking you wouldn't understand."
Julie bit her lip again, unsure of what to say. "You're forgiven."
"You're forgiven too…for kissing someone else, I basically told you to." Dean said sitting down on her bed.
Julie sat down opposite him and pulled her knees into her chest.
"I've never felt this way before, especially not about someone I barely know." Julie's said quietly. "It's scary. I didn't know what to do."
"I'm scared too babe." Dean said with a smirk. "I thought about you every single day. I've never had someone as good as you care about me. I felt terrible not telling you. So…what do you want to know?"
Julie's mouth tugged into a smile. "Everything." She shifted herself next to him and he put his arm over her shoulder. "Tell me about your Mom and growing up."
"This isn't a fair game, it has to work both ways." Dean said. "So I'll go then you go." Julie nodded. "Okay well my name is Dean Andrew Portman. My Mom's name is Cristina Portman. She got pregnant with me when she was 17. Her parents disowned her so she lived with my father, but when I was four he left us, but she tells me I look just like him. So we lived in Morgan Park outside Chicago. My grandparents kind of took pity on me and gave us enough money to get by, but my Mom still worked all the time. I grew up waiting until the school bell rang so I could play hockey. Whew, cliffnotes version of my life. Your turn."
"I'm sorry about your Dad. Well my name is Julie Elizabeth Gaffney. My parents' names are Jack and Jill, yes I know it's weird. My Dad calls me Leelee. I have a brother named James but he goes by his middle name Erik, so yes we have the same initials, it's kind of a thing with my family. But Erik is eleven years older than me and he calls me JJ. Our house is outside downtown Bangor on the lake and I've lived there my whole life. Umm, my mother is the devil. When I was younger I did every single sport slash extracurricular activity humanly possible, but she really only encouraged the dainty girly things like gymnastics and dance, so I made her let me try figure skating and that's how I got into hockey." Julie said, resting her head on Dean's shoulder.
"My favorite color is orange." He muttered.
"Orange, really? That's weird. Mine is purple" Julie responded closing her eyes.
"The first thing I noticed about you was your eyes."
"That's not really about you, cheater." Julie said, smiling at his complement. "How many serious relationships have you had?"
"How many people have you had sex with?" Julie asked slowly. Dean sighed.
"Four." Dean answered.
"I've dated twenty guys back home. Only one of them ever led to anything serious…but I chose not to sleep with him." Julie said instead of commenting or asking another question. "Your turn to ask me something."
"Who was the lucky guy you kissed in my absence?"
"Pass." Julie said quickly. She did not want Dean to find out about Adam. She was afraid it would ruin their relationship as teammates, especially since it seemed like Dean was here to stay.
"Fine. Are you allergic to anything?"
"Fake jewelry. But because of hockey I usually just opt to wear none at all. What about you?"
"Nothing. I'm perfect." Dean said. "As far as I know."
"I have a yellow Labrador named Champion. Do like animals?" Julie said, her eyes now permanently shut, felt herself getting too comfortable and feeling very sleepy.
"Love them. My Mom has a cat she named Ally." He said with an eye roll.
They sat together in silence for a while. Dean noticed Julie starting to fall asleep.
"You should get to sleep. You played an awesome game tonight." He said starting to shift away from her. Julie's eyes fluttered open.
"Stay." She said with more urgency than she had meant. "I mean your bed probably doesn't even have sheets or anything, right?"
"Yeah my aunt is bringing over all my stuff tomorrow…but I wouldn't mind sleeping there, unless you really want me to stay." He raised his eyebrow.
"Connie is probably staying with Guy already." Julie said then blushed. "Not that I'm expecting anything to happen, I mean-"
Dean cut her off with a quick peck on the lips. "Jules you don't have to ever be embarrassed with me." He kissed her lightly again. "Nßo pressure. Do you want me to stay here with you?"
As Dean readjusted next to her Julie felt content for the first time since she had arrived at Eden Hall. It had been disorienting to move to Minnesota. This summer after they won the Junior Good Will games she felt confident about her hockey ability, that she had met someone truly special in Dean and loved her team. The last month had thrown all of that for a loop, but she felt it again now. And maybe those feelings would not last forever, but she knew she should enjoy it. Eden Hall with Dean's arm wrapped around her after winning a hockey game: it did feel like home.
(A/N: The End! Yay! End of the movie anyway. And where I will leave it all wrapped up for now. Sorry to any Julie/Adam fans, I couldn't do it. I just love Dean too much. If you want to read what is really a continuing Julie/Dean love please enjoy Duck Pedigree, my story about them as adults =) And again, I realize six plus years later-nobody may give a damn about this anymore, but the ducks hold a special place in my heart. Thanks again for all of you who reviewed and favorite me- I really appreciate it!)