A/N: Unbetaed. For LadyFest 2010.


Spontaneity is not a word in Kate's vocabulary (well, it is, but not in the euphemistic way where it means she constantly does it).

She's had tutors her entire life, tutors on a schedule who bill hourly, therefore, Kate, for daddy's sake, you have to be in this room at this time for geometry for x amount of hours five days out of the week.

Fine.

There's skating, then, which devours more of her life than she sometimes wished it would. Skating six days a week, five hours a day. But skating is only half of it. There are ballet lessons to ensure that her death spirals are always a delightfully whimsical thirty-eight degrees from the flat plane of the ice (there's that pesky geometry again), weight training to keep her toned and fit enough to try and attempt to be said amount of flexible, and finally, an hour's worth of cardio. This balances out her week.

There are facts and figures, statistics, numbers, calculations involved in every minute of her day.

When she goes to work with Coach, it is always crazy drunken Russian counting, raz and dva and things she would care not to study.

1988, Calgary.

Time, place.

Game, set, match.

She has a partner (not a particularly good one, she might add) and they make their way through the ranks so that by the time they're up for the scheduled free skate (ticking clocks, every minute, every hour), she is calm. She is collected. She is ready.

When they finish, she is prepared to tear every inch of flesh off of Brian herself.

Turns out, Calgary is not the place. 1988 is not the time.

-

In 1992, it is her last chance. Or it feels like her last chance.

She has run out of partners, out of patience, and it seems, out of time. People are talking. Isn't Kate Mosley near retirement age by now?

Well, they can all kindly go fuck themselves.

Kate Mosley is here and her double axel is solid and consistent and clean, thank you very much, which is more than she can say for Lorie Peckarovski. Who the hell spells Lorie with an 'e' on the end anyway?

1992 is the time, Albertville is the place.

Doug is the guy.

-

So, it turns out Doug's the guy for more than just winning Olympic gold.

Which they haven't done yet, because they did what could qualify as an illegal move and the International Skating Union just serves to piss Kate off on a daily basis so if they don't win the gold and they go home empty handed, she's going to go vandalize their table before retirement.

Okay. That might have been nerves talking.

But still, it's nerve wracking, sitting in the kiss-and-cry as the judges all look bewildered back and forth and Doug is holding her hands and shaking them and his nervousness is making her nervous so she just snaps, "Would you please stop doing that?"

And he just looks at her with that dumb mulish slack-jawed look. "Stop doing what?"

"Shaking your hands."

"Oh," he says. "Sorry."

Which, of course, makes her feel terrible because he's confessed his love for her not that long ago and she said it back not that long ago and they finished skating their fucking program not that long ago so if it wouldn't trouble the judge from Italy too much, could they please have their scores sometime this century?

Doug sets his hand on top of hers to try and be reassuring and he says, "We got this, Kate. We have to have."

And she thinks, god, if only it could be that audience reaction determined the fate of the Olympic pairs competitors. The ISU does not like her and the feeling is mutual and if she somehow loses because of this, she will shank people with the blade of her skate before the night is over.

Okay. That might have been the anticipation talking.

But then the technical scores come up and then the presentations, and three perfect sixes, they got three perfect sixes and she is kind of stunned but Anton claps her on the back and Doug has got his arms around her neck and she's having a little trouble breathing and she feels a little dizzy and she knows her mouth is hanging open but she can't really get around to fixing that right now.

-

It doesn't feel real.

It doesn't feel real until she is being handed bouquets on the platform and the head of the committee is placing a medal around her neck.

1992 -

this was the time, this was the place.