AN: I can't believe how long it's been since I've last written. After writing this chapter I realized that I missed it a lot. I've had this idea in my head for a while, even when I was in the middle of writing "More Than A Feeling". I have a lot of plans for this story and I'm pretty excited about where it will go. I really hope you all like it
AN 2: The name of this chapter comes from a Todd Rundgren song. It'll be pretty obvious from the chapter though!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything relating to "Miracle".
"So I guess this is it."
Jim Craig parked his car in front of Sanford Hall. He was with his friends Jack O'Callahan, Mike Eruzione, and Dave Silk and the four of them had just finished their road trip to Minnesota from Boston. They had been selected by Herb Brooks to join the US Olympic team through exhibition period in hopes that they would go to Lake Placid in February.
"Doesn't look like much," OC shrugged. The Boston boy at heart loved the opportunity he had but couldn't help feeling a little homesick. This training season would be the longest time he would ever spend out of Boston since he was born.
"Come on OC," Rizzo tried to keep his friend optimistic, "It's gonna be great!"
"Let's get out of the car," Silk tried, "My legs are killing me."
The guys had been driving in the car for twenty-two hours non-stop, with the exception of food and bathroom breaks, since leaving Boston. They drove in shifts, not wanting to spend the money for a hotel for the night. The trip was planned very last minute anyways. Only a few short days ago they were in Colorado Spring, Colorado, at try-outs that were expected to run a week long. Instead, after only a few hours on the ice Herb Brooks called out twenty-six names and the rest went home. On the plane back to Boston the four BU guys planned on taking this epic road trip in Jimmy's car that he did not want to leave in Boston.
The Terriers all got out of the car. Silk and OC opened up the trunk that was completely full of stuff. It was packed to the rim and many stuff had to go into the back seat or on the floor of the front.
"I'll go get the room keys from the RA," Rizzo offered, "Do you want me to get yours too?
"Yeah, thanks Riz," OC nodded.
"I'll go too," Jim said, "I need to stretch my legs."
"We'll unload the stuff," Silk told them.
As Silk and OC began unloading all the stuff from the car, Rizzo and Jimmy entered the building. They went upstairs to the third floor, where they thought Craig Patrick told them they'd be rooming.
"It's floor three right?" Jimmy asked Rizzo.
"Let's hope," Rizzo chuckled, "He said the RA was in room 314. Let's go and get the keys from him."
The two hockey players walked down the hall until they reached room 314. Rizzo knocked on the door and put his hands in his pockets waiting for their RA to come out. There was no answer.
"Let's knock again," Jimmy impatiently said after waiting for a minute. He knocked this time and louder.
After about thirty seconds, the door suddenly opened. But a guy didn't open it. It was a blonde girl. Her hair was in a very messy bun and she looked like she slept in her clothes from the night before.
"What the fuck do you want?" she asked in a raspy voice, squinting her eyes at the light of the hallway.
"I'm sorry," Rizzo told her, "I think we got the wrong room. We're looking for the RA."
The blonde girl gave sniggered, "I'm the RA. What do you want?"
"We're with the hockey players moving in," Rizzo said. She looked utterly confused; did they get the wrong information?
The girl sighed and looked up for a moment. She got her eyes used to the light.
"Oh yeah. The Olympic team," she shook her head, "Sorry I blanked for a moment. What time is it?"
"It's one o'clock," Jimmy answered.
"AM or PM?" the girl put her hand on her head and rubbed her fingers on her temple.
"Afternoon," Jimmy answered.
"Ok," she nodded.
The blonde then turned around and walked back into her room, closing the door behind her. Rizzo and Jimmy both exchanged a 'what the hell?' look. A couple seconds later the blonde opened the door again. She had a little basket full of keys and a list in her hands.
"Here," she tried handing the basket and list to Rizzo.
Rizzo, who still had his hands in his pockets, took them out and immediately grabbed the items before she dropped them.
"You handle the list. You know, give the guys the keys and stuff. I haven't even looked at the list yet, so I don't know any of the names or anything," she yawned as she explained to the guys.
Rizzo and Jimmy both looked confused.
"You look like a natural-born leader. I'm sure you can handle it," she told Rizzo, then said quietly to herself, "I need to go to bed."
Before Jimmy or Rizzo could say anything back, the girl closed the door in their faces.
"Well she's a peach," Rizzo joked.
Jimmy laughed and nodded in sarcastic agreement. The two began to walk down the hallway to meet up with OC and Silk outside. They got to the elevator and saw Phil Verchota and Rob McClanahan get off. They had their suitcases with them.
"Hey Rizzo," Mac nodded, "What's up?"
"Just got the keys and room assignments from the RA," Rizzo told his new teammates.
Rizzo looked down at the list. After reading it he reached in the basket for the keys. He handed keys to the two of them.
"Mac you're with Johnson and Verchota you're rooming with Silky," Rizzo informed the guys.
"Thanks," Verchota nodded.
"More of the guys are unloading their cars outside. You can probably catch most of them there," Mac said.
Rizzo and Jimmy told Mac and Verchota that they'd see them later and then they went into the elevator.
"So who am I rooming with?" Jimmy asked.
"You're the only one in a single," Rizzo told him.
"Really?" Jimmy was confused. There were twenty-six guys even so there were supposed to be thirteen rooms for them.
"Well Buzzy's your roommate and he's married. So he won't be around much," Rizzo told him.
"Finally after all these years of college hockey and I get a room all to myself," Jimmy joked.
"Lucky you! I'm stuck with OC!" Rizzo laughed.
"Bummer," Jim sarcastically replied.
A couple of hours after the guys arrived to the residence halls, a few of them lazily immigrated into Mac and Mark's room. They lounged around, getting to know each other, all while trying to avoid the inevitable unpacking. The guys wanted to unpack in order to take away the ominous feeling of not knowing how long they would even be on the team, but at the moment they were lazy and wanted nothing more than to sit around and do nothing.
"So besides the girls in the hall, how are the women out here?" Silk asked no one in particular as he sat on the ground against one of the beds.
"Depends where you look," Bah began, "Girls from the city are hot but some are stuck up. The girls from small towns are only cute but down to earth. That's what makes Minnesota so great, there's a little bit of both."
"You mean there's more to do here than just tipping cows?" OC joked. He was dragged here reluctantly by his roommate Rizzo.
"So, Rizzo," Mark quickly tried to change the subject before there was any tense Boston vs. Minnesota moments, "I heard you met the RA. What's his name?"
"It's some girl. I didn't catch her name though," Rizzo answered.
"Was she hot?" Mac asked.
"I only saw her for like two seconds, and she was more of a hot mess. Hung-over and all," Rizzo laughed.
"Well that's good! It means we can get away with anything!" Phil joked.
The guys chuckled at this. They kept their door open to see some of their new hall-mates walk by. Besides the team, everyone else on the floor were girls. And if there was a female RA then it looked like it would be this way through the fall semester as well. For them, life was good.
For some of them, the good feeling quickly dissolved. The door to the RA's room, right across from Mac and Mark's, opened and out walked the girl from before. The only difference was she was a little cleaner. It looked like she showered and changed into some lounge clothes. She was holding a laundry basket with one arm and held it up with her hip. The blonde had a cigarette between her lips and with her free hand she picked up a lighter that was on top of her dirty clothes and lit the cigarette. She briefly looked up while she did this but then quickly looked away and threw the lighter back in her basket. She then hurried away.
"Holy shit," Robbie murmured under his breath so no one could hear him.
"Oh fuck," Phil muttered.
"Who's that?" Buzz questioned.
"Isn't that the RA from before?" Jimmy asked Rizzo.
"Yup," Rizzo nodded.
"She's the RA too?!" Verchota exclaimed.
"Yeah," Rizzo answered the question again, "Why? Who is that?"
"Mac's unfinished business," Phil answered.
"She's not unfinished business," Mac immediately responded.
"How's she unfinished?" Silk asked his new roommate Phil, ignoring Mac's response.
"Mallory, that's her name, and Mac were pretty hot and heavy last fall semester and then she just walked off the face of the earth," Phil explained.
"You mean she tried to avoid you?" Mark asked his roommate.
"I don't really know," Mac shrugged, sounding like he didn't care, "We weren't really serious. We were supposed to meet up at some end of semester party but she never showed up and then after break I went to her dorm and her roommate said she left school. And I mean I never saw her on campus or at parties or anything so I guess that must be true..."
"That's random," Bah said.
"Yeah," a few of the guys nodded in agreement.
"You know Mallory peaced out without a word, maybe she had a baby," Phil laughed as he tried to remain serious.
"Doubt it," Mac shook his head.
"Why not? You haven't seen her in months; she looks like she's put on some…"
"No it's not that."
"Then what? Mac doesn't want to be a baby daddy?" OC chirped.
"Well even if she had a kid it probably wouldn't be mine. We used protection every time and we were just dating, not in a relationship or anything. I didn't ask her but I have no doubt that she probably hooked up with other guys," Mac explained, "But I don't think she did because she wouldn't have kept it and stayed in school."
"You think she'd get rid of it?" Mark questioned.
"Yeah," Mac nodded knowingly, "She hates kids. She told me she never wants them."
"Why not?" Buzz was curious. He knew his wife wanted kids one day and did when she was Mallory's age too. He assumed all women wanted kids.
"Because they 'cry and poop and shit'," Mac air quoted Mallory's exact words. He remembered the conversation well, not because of its contents but it was right after they hooked up and were lying in his bed.
"Is she one of those new age-y feminist types?" Silk inquired a little weirded out by the idea.
"Nope," Mac answered, "She's just Mal."
"Do you think she saw you?" Ramsey asked Mac, "She like ran away after she lit her cigarette."
"I hope not," Mac groaned.
"Well dude, you're going to have to see her eventually," Mark laughed.
The guys badgered Mac about the Mallory situation for a while but Mac eventually got them to change the subject. Then the conversation turned to small talk. Periodically, and much to the guys' liking, random girls from the floor would come by the door and introduce themselves.
"Suter, did you watch the Brewers game last night?" Mark asked his friend and fellow Badger Bob Suter.
Before Bob could answer OC interjected, "Magic, don't get regional!"
"Sorry, man," Mark smiled, "I love the Brew Crew."
"Hey guys," their conversation was interrupted by a female voice.
The guys all turned their heads towards the door and saw Mallory standing against the door frame. The blonde had her laundry basket with her still but this time the clothes were all folded neatly inside. None of the guys knew what to say.
"I'm Mallory …your RA," she gave an awkwardly shy half smile.
"Hi," Mark and Rizzo in unison broke the silence.
"Hey it's Mallory McDonnell back from the dead!" Phil laughed, "Where you been for the past seven months, Mal?"
"Hiding from you, Verchota," Mallory teased giving him a wink.
A few of the guys laughed at this and it brought Mallory's confidence up so she was able to speak to them normally.
"Listen I gotta let you guys know the ground rules of the floor. I'm really lucky I caught you guys all together," Mallory began, "First off about drugs and stuff…"
"We know, we know! Don't do pot!" Silk interrupted her. He's heard that speech from all his RAs and coaches in the past. He can practically recite it.
"Actually I was gonna say, let me in on it!" Mallory laughed, "Seriously there's a drought going on around here. If you got some share with the rest of us on the floor. I've already talked to the other girls about it and we'd pay and stuff."
The guys all chuckled at this. They've never met an RA that was cool about drugs. They didn't do it that much since they were athletes but occasionally they did stuff. It was the '70s after all.
"But make sure you don't get caught by the cops or the other RAs or we won't help you out! Other than that you're not going to get in 'trouble'" Mallory warned while emphasizing 'trouble' to sound like a little kid, "Rule number two: no underage guests! I'm looking at you, Verchota!"
The guys all laughed again and so did Verchota, "That was only one time! And she was seventeen and eleven months!"
"Yeah well don't let it happen again. Younger brothers are fine. But, I bet you guys won't want to bring younger sisters here with a bunch of single hockey players around," the blonde snickered, "Rule number three is directly about me. Don't wake me up with a problem before eleven. If you do than you'll have an even bigger problem. Other than that, if you guys want to come to my room to talk, listen to good music, or just hang out I'm in the room right across from here and my door is usually open."
"I think Mac wants to talk to you," Verchota hinted.
Then the awkwardness from the beginning of this conversation came back. Noticeable to Verchota, Mac, and a lot of the other guys was that Mallory didn't even glance over to Mac's direction during this talk.
"Well if anyone wants to talk than they can come to my room," Mallory nervously shifted her weight to one foot.
"I have a question," OC raised his hand towards Mallory's shirt, "Are you a Rundy fan?"
The blonde looked down at her Todd Rundgren shirt and smiled, glad to change topics, "Yes! I am. I went to his concert last night. 'Hello It's Me' is like one of my favorite songs!"
"Guess that explains why she was a hot mess this morning," Rizzo whispered to Jimmy.
Jimmy laughed quietly and nodded in agreement.
"That's awesome. I love Rundy!" OC smiled at her.
Mac and the rest of the guys didn't know what OC was trying to do but before anyone could say anything else, a girl intervened.
"Hey Mal," a girl they briefly met on their floor earlier walked over to the blonde, "I just saw Randy pull up in the parking lot. He's talking to some people but he'll probably be up in five minutes."
"Shit!" Mallory exclaimed. She looked down at her messy clothes, "I'm still a wreck from last night!"
Mallory turned a quickly walked away, but not before shouting, "Nice to meet you guys! I'll learn names later!"
She opened her door and quickly slammed it shut. And like that she was gone.
"Glad you guys met Mallory! She's awesome," the girl smiled before walking away.
"She sure is," OC grinned at some of the guys.
Rizzo this time intervened before anyone else could say anything, "Woah, it's like seven thirty! Who wants a bite to eat?"
Rizzo and a couple of the guys, including OC, left Mac and Mark's room. Verchota still stayed though and Mac was pretty ticked with him as well.
"Phil, what the fuck?" Mac asked.
"What?" Phil replied, "I knew Mallory too! And you certainly wouldn't have talked to her voluntarily."
"Yeah because it would be so awkward. It's not like we were in love or anything. We just hooked up. I don't really want to talk to her that badly," Mac explained.
"Well just in case you want to start something up with her, I just opened that window for you!" Phil tried.
"He's already been there and done that!" Ramsey laughed.
The door to Mac and Mark's room was still open and from Mallory's room right across the guys could hear "Hello It's Me" from her record player.
"Well she has good taste in music. I'm not so sure about her taste in guys though," Bah joked.
The guys continued talking and joking around for a few more minutes until they saw some guy stop across from that at Mallory's door. He looked pretty young, maybe eighteen or nineteen max. He knocked on her door. A few seconds later an a lot nicer looking Mallory answered.
"It's important to me! That you know you are free!" she smiled and sang along with the album playing behind her.
The guy laughed, "Ready to go?"
"Yeah," Mallory smiled.
She quickly skipped into her room to turn off her record player and then left her room shutting the door behind her. The pair were walking away when they heard Verchota, who was watching with his friends from the other room, yell to them.
"Mal, I didn't know you were into younger guys! Just remember don't let him sleepover!"
The young guy looked pissed off and about to charge, "Excuse me! Who the hell…"
Mallory grabbed his arm, "Come on! Let's just go! Ignore him!"
The blonde pulled him away from the scene and before storming off herself she exclaimed, "He's my little brother you moron!"
"She sure showed you, Verchota," Pav joked.
"Whatever," Phil shrugged, "So Mac, are you going to talk to her?"
"Yeah, maybe," Robbie replied, "I'll figure it out later."
Well, that was the first chapter! I really hope you liked it! Please review! I would love feedback and I want to know if I have readers that like it so I can continue this story!