Length: 1-5k words
Disclaimer: Characters from The Mighty Ducks belong to Disney.
Dedication: Thanks to Star for the beta, and to Hannah for letting me rewrite your story.
Explanation: This was written for the Butterfly Ficathon at Queertet.net. I rewrote Hannah’s “The Reunion”
Archived: 2 May 2009
Thing One: Adam Banks didn’t bring a date.
Adam Banks didn’t bring a date. He certainly didn’t bring a woman he’d loved for years as his date, a woman who was intelligent, athletic, and funny, a woman he only knows because she’s his roommate’s friend. He didn’t bring her as a date because she wanted to be just friends, and he never could convince her they’d be great otherwise.
He certainly didn’t try to kiss his perfect non-date in the middle of the pool room.
Katie wears a bathing suit, shiny green, and a fluffy hotel towel she nicked from the en suite bathroom. She’s shivering, and he can see goose bumps on her thighs. Maybe he and Luis shouldn’t have thrown Katie and Julie into the deep end of the pool when all they’d done is come down to use the hot tub, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. Now he’s not sure why.
Katie’s hair is plastered to the sides of her face. She clutches the towel closed in front of her, water drips off the end of her nose, and her lips have a blue tint to them.
When Adam apologizes, he stands too close. Katie doesn’t say much, but her teeth chatter, and Adam feels worse than ever. He can hear Julie chasing Luis, threatening to dunk him, too, and then she’ll get Adam.
When Adam asked Katie to attend his reunion, he just didn’t want to travel alone. He thought he had come to terms with her refusals for even dinner or the movies, and he’d accepted their friendship. He’d thought a lot about Julie, too. He’d liked her in high school, and they’d dated some. Maybe the reunion was time to rekindle that flame.
Watching Katie shiver, Adam doesn’t think about Julie, or why he’s suddenly half-crazy again. He leans forward and kisses Katie, hard, lips and teeth and tongue clashing. She pulls away first thing, and she looks mad – hurt – surprised.
Katie leaves right away, finds herself another hotel room and another way home. Julie doesn’t say two words to Adam the rest of the weekend. Julie does spend a lot of time with Luis, and rumors fly among the rest of the Ducks. They sleep together, gossip claims, and he breaks her heart.
Adam gets a new roommate the next year, and he doesn’t see Katie again.
Thing Two: Adam Banks didn’t give up his Harvard education to marry Julie Gaffney.
Adam Banks didn’t give up his Harvard education to marry Julie Gaffney.
Julie hates long-distance relationships. Adam loves Julie. It’s a situation which has never worked out for them, because they are both too driven, too intent on being a success. Unfortunately, for them, being a success means being far apart.
He’d had hope, when Julie first toured Harvard, but the University of New Hampshire offered her academic and athletic scholarships, and her parents made too much money for Harvard to give her any help, even though she didn’t want them to pay for her school.
They’d broken up, graduated, and said good-bye.
Seeing Julie again frightens Adam. He thought he was over her, he thought he’d moved on, even if he never really dated anyway, and he thought he could see her and they could be friends again. Adam misses Julie, he realizes as they head downtown with Katie and Luis.
Julie always understood him better than anyone else on the team. Julie knew about being smart and the pressure to be perfect. Julie made lists and had goals and, even though she took the time to join in on the pranks and be a part of the team, she knew high school hockey was just one more step toward success.
Saturday night, in Julie’s room, Adam sneaks peeks at her while she watches television. He makes himself laugh when the laughtrack kicks in, but he’s not paying attention to the show; all his thoughts are on Julie.
She grins at him when she notices, a slow and sweet smile, and leans in for a kiss. Adam is comfortable with her, one arm across her shoulders, the television on. They talk sometimes, about their classes or high school memories.
They never talk about their relationship, whatever it is now, or the future, and what they want. Adam knows they’ll date awhile, after this, but it won’t last. Julie won’t let it last, Julie hates distractions, and she hates to be sad, and a long-distance relationship is both.
In high school, Adam knew all this and couldn’t do a thing about it. His father was so proud he’d been accepted into Harvard, and Adam certainly couldn’t tell him he wanted to go to some state university instead. He was young then (well, younger, he knows he’s still young now), and scared.
He’s not younger now, but he’s even more scared.
“I’m having a great time,” Julie says during the commercials. She curls her legs up under her body – so flexible, still the Cat, all easy movements and confidence – and takes his hand. “Thanks for tonight, Adam.”
Adam means to say ‘you’re welcome’ but instead, when he opens his mouth, other words spill out. “Marry me,” he says, and splutters in shock, but doesn’t take back the words. “Marry me, I’ll transfer to UNH, and after we graduate, I’ll work if you want to play hockey. I love you, Julie, don’t make me say goodbye again.”
Julie stares at him, her mouth open, her eyes wide.
“I know, it’s crazy, but come on! We’re good together, we’ll do great things together. I don’t want to lose you again, Julie.”
“Okay,” she whispers. “I missed you, too, you know.”
Adam doesn’t tell anyone until he completes the paperwork so he can transfer the next semester. His father doesn’t speak to him for a year, but he’s too happy with Julie to mind the banishment from his family, and his mother thinks it’s sweet, anyway.
They marry right after graduation, and both play professional hockey for awhile. When their first child is born, a son named Adam Junior, Adam Senior quits his team, and goes to work in an office. Eventually he runs the local junior hockey league and opens an athletic store.
There’s surprisingly little bad news in their lives, and Adam likes it that way just fine.
Thing Three: Adam Banks didn’t change his future plans after one conversation with Gordon Bombay.
Adam Banks didn’t change his future plans after one conversation with Gordon Bombay.
Adam’s always been a little closed-off around Gordon. After all, in the very beginning, Gordon ripped him away from the hockey team he’d been a part of for as long as he’d played on a team. Sure, it all worked out in the end, but there’s still a little residual resentment. Gordon pulled him out of the Goodwill Games just when the scouts started showing an interest in him. Gordon took off and shook up the whole team, so Adam had to leave Varsity Hockey in high school just to fit in.
Of course, Gordon’s given him a lot of advice, too, good advice. He really shaped Adam’s hockey career, so when Gordon asks him to stay back and talk for a bit before his Saturday night date with Julie, Adam doesn’t refuse.
Gordon has lots to say about hockey, always, but this time he doesn’t ask Adam if he’s going to play forever, or what teams he wants to be drafted to join, or if he’ll even keep playing after university.
Gordon wants Adam to become a lawyer. He’s already at Harvard, Gordon says, it will be easy for Adam to join Harvard Law once he graduates. And then Gordon knows Adam will have his pick of law firms, but Gordon thinks Adam should work for Bombay, Peters, and Smith, until he’s proven himself and goes to work for the government.
Gordon thinks Adam could be president someday, and Gordon wants to plan his future. Law school, law firm, local politics, state politics, a senate bid, and then the presidency. Gordon says he’s too old to start, but he thinks Adam can do great things, amazing things. He says he knows hockey is important, but this is so much more.
Adam, drinking coffee and listening, thinks Gordon is probably a little crazy, but he certainly tells a good story.
By the time Julie comes looking for him, Gordon has Adam almost convinced.
Adam’s distracted during his date, but it doesn’t stop him from making out with Julie throughout the three hour movie, or continuing it longer back in her room. He cuddles her the next day, says he’ll miss her, and plays the good boyfriend, until Julie decides the long-distance relationship is too much, and breaks it off with him.
Gordon comes out to visit during Adam’s senior year. He tells Adam he’ll look better at the firm and in politics if he marries a nice, rich girl from a powerful family. Adam decides it can’t hurt, and he’s not had much luck with love, anyway, so maybe marriage shouldn’t hinge on such a fickle emotion.
He finds a nice girl, a powerful girl, a rich girl, and when he dates her, he finds out she’s not as nice as the rest of the world thinks, but she is rich, much richer than he is, and she is powerful, much more than he wants to be, and she has goals, just like Julie.
Shauna Valentino is beautiful, too, and precise in all she does. Adam introduces her to Gordon before his own parents, and Gordon spends a weekend getting to know her. After, Gordon says she’s perfect, and she’s in on the plan.
Shauna makes Adam’s parents love her, and if he’s not quite rich enough to impress Mr. and Mrs. Valentino, she always gets her way, and they accept him anyway. There’s been a scandal with Shauna’s younger sister, she fell in love with some girl and threw away her whole life, and their attention is scattered.
Adam attends law school while Shauna plans their wedding. They move to Minnesota after he graduates and they are wed – also after a long honeymoon in the Caribbean – but Shauna shows Adam her timeline and they won’t live there long.
She improves on Gordon’s plan. She’s a manipulator, and Adam is more than a little afraid of her schemes, but she’s very good at what she does, and Adam becomes the youngest partner the firm has ever had. The youngest state representative. He’s barely old enough to run when Shauna pushes his campaign for president.
What Shauna wants, Shauna gets, and Shauna wants to rule the country. She laughs when she talks to reporters, and says she’s always known her husband will do great things. When they comment on his youth, and the rumors he defers to her decisions, Shauna makes light of it.
“There’s a great woman behind every great man,” she quotes. “I’m just a little closer to the front than people expect, but everything he does, he does because it’s the right thing to do.”
Adam signs papers and Shauna sits in on all his meetings. He knows he’ll be reelected, and he wonders what will happen when he can’t be president anymore. He wonders if Shauna will leave him, he wonders if she’ll let him retire, he wonders if she’ll settle down and become a good mother to their two children, a little boy and a little girl.
He’s not a bad father, but the timelines he’s seen always stop after the second term. He’s not sure he understands ambition anymore, and Gordon doesn’t say much when he asks him about future plans.
He doesn’t want to admit it to himself, but Adam’s pretty sure Shauna will run for president herself within the next decade. If she does, Adam knows she will win, even though there has never been a woman president.
If she does, Adam doesn’t know where he’ll fit in.
When he asks, Shauna tells him not to worry his pretty little head.
Thing Four: Adam Banks didn’t have sex with Julie Gaffney.
Adam Banks didn’t have sex with Julie Gaffney.
He certainly didn’t do so after an innocent date, and after she told him – again – they weren’t right together, and school and hockey had to come first to both of them. Julie was logical, always, and she had a list of reasons they shouldn’t sleep together.
She’d had a similar list in high school, and Adam had always listened back then.
His entire life, Adam has been told he is the good son, the good student, the good hockey player. He is going to be successful, he is going to make a difference, he is going to do great things in the world.
He’s a nice guy. Adam has been this told more than times he can count. He’s tired of being a nice guy, he’s tired of doing the right thing. He asks Katie to go with him to the reunion, as friends, because it’s the right thing to do. She’s just gone through a bad rejection, some guy has passed her over for her female best friend, and Katie needs time away from them. Minnesota is strange and unfamiliar to her, so Adam thinks it will be a good break and will do a lot for her.
Being nice doesn’t do much for him, though. When he watches Julie watch a movie Friday night, he hopes he’ll have more luck with her this time around. When they kiss in the hallway, then in her hotel room, he thinks he’ll get what he wants, but she’s so infuriatingly logical all the time.
Saturday, when Julie corners him at the soda machines, Adam feels hope again. She’s forceful and demanding, and he knows she’s made lists of the pros and cons. If she’s coming up to him, asking him out, the pros must have been twice as long as the cons. She’s not quite so logical when she talks to him; a muscle in her cheek twitches and she blinks too fast, too often.
She says, “If you really, truly want to have something between us, meet me in the lobby at seven tonight. Got it? Good.”
She walks away quick, and Adam just grins. Upstairs later, he makes sure there’s a condom in his pocket.
Julie’s idea of “something between us” isn’t quite Adam’s. She wants to skate, and make-out at the movies, and watch television. Adam’s a nice guy, and nice guys don’t push for anything more.
Nice guys certainly don’t buy champagne, the best he can find, and so sweet Julie likes to drink it. Nice guys don’t keep her glass full, and rarely top up their own. Nice guys don’t take advantage of Julie, when she’s more than slightly drunk, and more than slightly excited, and more than slightly willing to curl up in Adam’s lap and kiss him, her mouth warm and wet and open.
Adam turns off the nice guy inside and takes Julie to bed. He remembers the condom, the first time, but he’s a little drunk, too, the only way to turn off the nice guy in his brain, and he doesn’t think about getting another one when Julie wants to have sex again.
Adam’s back in his room by midnight. He leaves Julie asleep, and covered up, and he sleeps well.
Adam doesn’t see Julie again. He had scheduled an early flight, just in case he wasn’t as happy seeing his old friends as he thought he’d be, and he leaves even earlier than he has to for it. Katie doesn’t ride with him, she drags out her last minutes with Luis, but meets him at the plane.
All she says is Julie was quiet and asked about him. Adam shrugs, and puts her out of his thoughts. He knows how Julie feels about long-distance relationships, and he doesn’t want to date her again, anyway.
Adam doesn’t play hockey much after the reunion, and he leaves Harvard early, heads out west to study technological law and business practices. He doesn’t hear about Julie’s daughter for a few years, or how she gives up her hockey career, or how she teaches school and coaches her daughter’s ice skating team. How she never lets her daughter play hockey. How she’s too proud to ask the girl’s father for help.
Adam never goes back to being a nice boy again.