Disclaimer: I don't own Miracle, it's characters or any lines from the movie that may or may not appear as this story progresses.
AN: I'm still learning about hockey but I'm a huge fan of the movie. In fact, I would credit the movie for making me interested in the sport and its history. This is my first foray into writing fics on this website again, so any critiques that you can give will be greatly appreciated.
"I'll see you soon Craig."
Patti Brooks had walked through the office door for the second instance in a matter of minutes just in time to see her husband end another conversation. Having recently been awarded the job of coaching the US Olympic hockey team, it wasn't much of a surprise to her how her husband had quickly jumped to getting things together. And with the US Olympic Committee wanting him to be ready to hold tryouts in two weeks, it meant Herb Brooks had a lot to do and he better do it fast.
"I think I need to have Frankie on board too."
His statement hung in the air, the uncertainty of his words putting a slight damper to what was otherwise a grand occasion. A tense silence fell upon the room, neither knowing how to approach the subject.
"Herb," she called out warily.
The stormy blue gaze of the man in question lifted from his desk and over to his wife. "You don't think it's right."
He said it more as a statement rather than a question, the couple both having an idea what the repercussions of placing that call could be.
"I have no doubt that Frankie is capable of helping you get things done the way you want them to," Patti started to say. "But being ready to handle all of this is a whole other story. Do you really want to take that risk?"
"There's only one way to find out."
Herb sat in the den with his eyes trained on the screen, the steady hum of the projector and the rustling of papers the only sounds heard throughout the house. Patti had gone to pick up their kids, giving him some time and space to get a head start on his new job.
Taking a quick glance to the corner of the desk, he eyed the stack of film reels that he was yet to load. Even as the coach of the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers, he had been known to do this – study film about different players and teams – so it felt almost normal for him to be doing it. But there was a cloud hanging above him that relentlessly reminded him that what lies ahead of him was no college game. Seasoned as he was and being a champion coach, he knew he still had a lot of work to do.
He was pulled from his thoughts when a knock rapped against the open doorway, turning his head to see the new arrival.
"What do you have for me?"
"I got information on housing around the U including on campus ones that are willing to give whole floors just for the team, availability of rinks and rental prices, and the numbers of the coaches that you wanted to talk to."
He stared blankly once the reply came to a close. He had said how he wanted some information but he was slightly taken aback by how much more detail he was being given. He shook his head and let the smallest of smiles tug at his lips. That was the reason he wanted Frankie around.
"Can I ask for a favor?"
Herb tilted his head to one side before indicating to wanting to hear of the favor.
"Can I be around when you call up Bob Johnson?"
The teasing tone and the wry smile brought out a short chuckle from Herb. "Leave it to you to find amusement in me having to call on an old rival for help. You've been around me for too long."
"I wouldn't complain."
"These guys might," he said, waving his hand towards the stack of film reels.
"Then they're not worth the look if they do. It's a chance to play hockey in the Olympics, not some summer camp. They should know that it's not just fun and games."
Herb only gave a nod in reply, letting the truth of the words sink in. "Why don't you take a seat?" he said, pointing to the empty space beside him on the couch. "Maybe you can see something that I don't the first time around and this can go faster."
There was no hesitation as Frankie took a seat, even pulling out a small notepad and pen from a backpack, ready to take down notes as if it was for an important class.
"Since you mentioned Bob, it's only appropriate that the next reel is for his son."
"Dad, Frankie," 11-year old Danny Brooks called from the doorway. "Mom asked me to tell you that dinner will be ready in five minutes."
"Alright, buddy," Herb started, pulling his eyeglasses off. "We'll be right there."
As his son disappeared back into the hallway, he stood to turn off the projector as Frankie took hold of the many notes between them and piling them all into a neat stack.
"Are you sure this is how you want to do things?"
"Was it or wasn't it you who sat down with me for nearly six hours going over this? I even let you sit in on talking with good ol' Bob."
Two pairs of near identical blue eyes stared each other down as the silence stretched on between them. The pointed look he got in return sent a shiver up his spine, reminding him not only of how serious the task at hand was and that the question wasn't posed as a teasing remark, but also of distant memories.
"You know what kind of team I want, Frankie," Herb started. "And we both know for damn sure that the USOC isn't going to give me that if they have their way."
"I know," came the mumbled reply. "It should be an interesting seven months because of that."
Whatever tension that settled in the room was lifted, a more companionable silence taking its place as they got everything organized before making their way to the dining room.
"I can't begin to tell you how grateful I am that you agreed to this, Frankie. I know that –"
"I know about you being worried," cutting Herb's sentiments off. "I think we can all agree that it's understandable. But from my point of view, I need to do this. I need to get back into the swing of things. Doing this with you makes me feel normal again. I'll be okay, I promise."
"If you're sure."