Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chapter 50: Finale

Opening Night
October 4, 2029

"Are you going in with us mom?" Sidney asked during dinner.

"No, I'm going to get things cleaned up and changed then I'll be in" she said as they finished dinner. The kids were grabbing their stuff as Sidney was downstairs waiting for them. He saw Karen by the sink and walked back into the kitchen, leaning upagainst the doorframe.

"You know as well as I do those could have waited until we came back baby."

Karen smiled before turning around "and you know why I'm coming in after you." Sidney just looked at her as she walked over to him "you need this time with them alone, tell me I'm wrong."

"You're not wrong Karen" he said wrapping his arms around her "I just didn't think it was that obvious."

"Sid, you are about to play your first game, the first national televised game with your son and daughter. I know how special this is for all three of you and I know what that car ride will be like."

"A lot of nerves and excitedness."

"And your little speech about how this is the start of something special for them."

"Wow, it's like you know me or something" he said getting Karen to laugh.

"To know you is to love you."

"Dad, we're ready" Nicki yelled to him as they came down the steps and stopped by the door.

"Ok baby girl" he turned his head to respond before turning back to Karen.

"Go, enjoy the moment and I will see all three of you after the game."

"Where will you be?"

"I'll be up in the suite watching my son, daughter and husband play together for the first time. See that's what will be my proudest moment about tonight. So after player intros and the national anthem, you will look to your left and then look to your right and have your proudest moment before the puck drops."

"I like the sound to that" he said leaning in to kiss her "I love you."

"I love you too." Karen kissed him then walked to the door with him to wish Sidney and Nicki good luck. She watched them leave and smiled knowing tonight was going to be history in the making.

A couple hours later and Karen was up in the suite awaiting the players to come out. She intently watched all three during warm ups and saw the nervousness with Nicki. Every now and again she would look up into the crowd and Karen could see the uneasyness. She smiled when Sidney skated over and talked to her. Karen knew her brother would step in to help, since the twin thing got eerie at times. Karen remembered back to one day when they were little and Nicki was coloring in the living room and Sidney was outside with his dad playing around. All of the sudden Nicki started crying and came running into her mom. Next thing she knew, Sidney came into the house crying cause he had fallen and scraped his knee. They knew each other's feelings and this time Sidney felt Nicki's nerves.

"I know that smile" Nathalie said coming up behind Karen "I had it when Austin played his first game in the NHL."

"I know I should be used to it from watching their first game when they were younger, but there's something about the first NHL game of their career."

"Its not knowing what's going to happen now. Their strengths, weaknesses are all tested in this game. Every fan and media types are ready to pick them apart."

"Don't let them hear that" Karen said with a small laugh.

"I think their father will help out with that" she said pointing to the tv in the suite.

Here's a look, Sidney Crosby is giving some last minute advice maybe to his son and daughter.

Well whatever he's saying, tonight is going to be one for the record books. One team, one goal, and three Crosbys. It can't get any better than that folks and we will be back for player intros.

Soon, the arena got dark and the light show started to get the crowd pumped. Karen felt the nerves arise as the announcer came on to make the player introductions. Her heart started to flutter when they got to Sidney.

At #10 and the first overall draft pick for the Penguins, please welcome Sidney Crosby Jr

Karen smiled and proudly cheered loudly as her son skated onto the ice and lifted his stick to acknowledge the crowd and their cheers. She couldn't erase the smile from her face and it got bigger when she soon saw Nicki was coming up.

Penguin fans, at #25 and the first female to be drafted into the NHL...Nicki Crosby

Karen let the happy tears fall as her daughter skated onto the ice and lifted her stick. She couldn't believe that her kids were actually standing on the ice in Penguin jerseys getting ready to play for the fans in Pittsburgh.

"You know there wasn't anyone else I'd rather have wearing my number" Max said coming up to her.

"I figured it would have been dipped in bronze and lifted to the rafters."

"It almost was" he said getting her to laugh "but I stopped it just in time for the female phemon down there."

"Max, don't put that pressure on her like that" Natalie said hitting him in the arm.

"He's right Nat, just watch and see. She'll give the boys a run for the scoring title this year."

"That is if her dad and brother ever give her the puck" Mario chimed in.

"She'll surprise all of you, just wait" she said as Sidney was about to be called.

And now, wearing #87 and you Pittsburgh Penguins captain...Sidney Crosby

As the announcer elongated his name, the crowd roared and Karen smiled. But the smile faded knowing this was going to be the last introduction for him. After the cheering died down a little, the lights came on and the teams skated around. As the players got to the benches and the first line stood on the ice as the national anthem was sung. Karen silently said a little prayer that tonight went great for her family. After the anthem was done, the lines were getting situated for the drop of the puck. Sidney skated around and went back to Flower and hit his pads with his stick, then going by the defense and getting them ready. He looked at Sidney and Nicki talking and smiled on the inside. He skated up to the ref and bent over resting his stick on his knees. Sidney looked to his left to see his son then looked right seeing his daughter. He got a smirk on his face and waited for the puck to drop and the season to begin.

After the game, the Penguins won 5-3 with both Nicki and Sidney taking a pass from their dad to each score their first NHL goal. Karen made her way to the lounge and waited for her family. She was able to peek into the locker room and saw the media around all three of them and Karen couldn't stop the smile on her face. A while later, Nicki was the first one out and met up with her mom.

"I am so proud of you baby girl" she said hugging her.

"Thanks mom, I couldn't have done it without dad or Sidney" she said "too bad daddy only got 3 assists tonight."

"I don't think he's going to mind that Nic."

"Some of the guys are going out tonight to celebrate and they want Sid and I to go, can we?"

"I think you deserve it, just no drinking."

"Duh, I know" she said as they laughed and talked some more until her dad and brother came out.

When all four were ready, they headed out to a scream of fans wanting autographs from the two Crosby kids.

"Are you not going over?" Karen asked Sidney.

"Let the kids have this."

"But I think there are a couple that still want yours."

"Oh alright."

"Like it's such a burden" she said after he left her making him look back smiling. Karen walked down to the car and waited for them. After they got done signing, Sidney and Nicki took Karen's keys to her car and went with a couple of the players leaving Karen and Sidney alone.

"Well, well, well Mrs. Crosby, looks like we have an empty house to go home to."

"Hmm, we haven't celebrated after a game since the twins went off to Shattucks."

"Wow, you're right. Man, I feel so nervous about being alone with you."

"Oh stop it" she said hitting him only to to get a kiss in response. They got in the car and headed home.

Once they got home and headed inside, Karen was about to make a move to go into the living room when Sidney grabbed her arm and nodded his head in the direction of upstairs.

"Are you trying to seduce me Crosby?"

"I think I am. Is it working?"

"Nah" she said scrunching up her nose and shaking her head until they both laughed.

"Apparently I'm going to have to change your mind" he said before grabbing her by the waist and picking her up, flinging her over his shoulder to carry her upstairs.

"Oh my god, Sidney put me down" Karen said laughing.

"Nope, not until I get you where I want you." He continued heading upstairs and to their bedroom before putting her down on the bed and crawling over her body, letting their lips meet in a heated kiss.

Before long, clothes were scattered and their naked bodies ravished each other as the moonlight shined through the window cascading a glow over them. Karen arched her back and her head melted into the pillow as Sidney thrusted into her slowly but forcefully. Her fingers scraped into his skin down his back showing her pleasures he was bringing out in her. Sidney went harder and deeper to bring her orgasm out and make him follow with his own, leaving them sweaty and breathless. Their eyes met before their lips found each others to seal their ever growing love. After a few minutes, Sidney moved off her and to her side. Karen laid with her back upagainst his chest, resting her arms over his that were wrapped around her to hold her close.

"Do you know how amazing tonight was?"

"I can only imagine Sid."

"It was like there were three of me out there. They skated like me, made plays like was surreal at times."

"But you enjoyed it right?"

"When I had time to, yeah."

"Then why rush retiring when you could have this feeling for a couple years with them?"

"Why are you questioning my decision?"

"I'm not questioning it Sid" she said sitting up and turning to look at him "you love this game to much. You play this year, especailly with Sidney and Nicki and you are not going to be able to walk away to just watch them every night after that. I know you, you are going to hate not playing like this."

Sidney sighed and sat up beside her "maybe you're right but I want to be a father and a fan to them like my dad was to me."

"What makes you think you're not that now?" Sidney just looked at her and realized she was right "they adore you Sid and getting this chance to play with you is an achievement a lot of kids wished they had. Look at Austin and Stephanie. They would have loved to have had the chance to play with Mario. Don't make a hasty decision like this."

"Maybe if I had nagging injuries like Max then I could actually have a reason to retire, but maybe playing another year or two after this one wouldn't be so bad."

"This decision is totally up to you Sid, I just wanted you to make sure all your options were covered first."

"I love you and your voice of reasoning."

"Good, because they are both going to be around for a long time" she said leaning in to kiss him "and I love you too." They laid back down, curling up together and let different thoughts go through their minds before falling asleep.

Nine Months Later
June 7, 2030

He we are folks. Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Pittsburgh, PA as the Penguins look to close out their series and claim the Stanley Cup against the Dallas Stars. This could almost be a deja vu moment as this could mirror the first time these two teams met back in 1991.

Of course they were the Minnesota North Stars back then but history does have a way of making a full circle. This year had been a whirlwind for the Penguins as everyone got to witness the crowning moment in October when the season opened up with not one, but three Crosbys taking the ice for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

You are absolutely right. History was made in October and we will see if history will be made even more tonight if the Penguins can clinch this series and win another Stanley Cup for the franchise.

Karen sat up in the suite and listened to the tv as the announcers talked about the game. She had the nerves going through her body and wondered what the feelings were like down in the locker room.

Nicki was sitting out in the hallway taking a moment at what could happen tonight. She almost had to pinch herself that she was playing for the Stanley Cup in her first year. She had finished forth for the scoring title, only because she missed three games due to a sprained wrist and her dad insisted she didn't play with it until she had no pain. She was lost in thought when a body came by and sat beside her.

"Hey Sid."

"What's the matter Nic? Dad and I were looking for ya."

"Just needed a minute to reflect on some things. What did you and daddy want?"

"He wanted to talk to us but I think he just wants to see how we're feeling."

Sidney had come out of the locker room and turned into the hallway but stopped, ducking back when he saw his kids talking. he leaned up to the wall and listened.

"Well if anyone, he would be able to calm our nerves."

"Speak for yourself sis, I'm not nervous" he said getting a look from Nicki "oh alright, maybe once the game gets going, some nerves may be present but its nothing a lot of focus can help cure."

"Just remember what dad told us on opening night..."

"Keep your eyes on the puck and your mind in the game and in the end everything will fit into place" they both said in unison as Sidney silently chuckled to himself. He thought they only humored him when they would repeat it back to him as they were growing up.

"It's surreal that we're playing for the holy grail tonight. We have a chance to win it all after 60 minutes Nic. Can you imagine how how big this is?"

"Yes I can and we've both dreamed about it" she said with a little reserve in her voice and Sidney picked up on it while he still listened.

"Then what's wrong sis?"

"I'm scared Sid. What if this doesn't happen? What if we have this golden chance and the team blows it and goes the distance? We either could win it all tonight or lose what we've been dreaming about since we could skate."

"I don't think we're the only ones thinking it Nic. I saw dad sitting in his stall and I think he had fear in his eyes too."

"I think you're only saying that to make me feel better Sid."

"I think he said it because it's true" Sidney said walking out from the corner and kneeled down infront of them.

"Daddy, you were listening?"

"Yeah, it's something I've done with you two since you were little. You both would have these amazing conversations and I just stood to the side and listened. But your brother's right Nicki, everyone has the same feelings as you do. We don't know how tonight is going to play out until we get out there. All four games have been tough and Dallas hasn't backed down, we were just enough lucky to have one more goal than them as the game ended."

"Told you Nic" Sid told her only to get a stern look from Sidney.

"Why don't you go finish getting ready and let me talk to your sister Sid."

"Alright" he said getting up "just think positive Nic."

"Ok. Sid's gone, now tell me what's really going on in that head of yours."

"I'm just scared daddy. I was nervous on opening night but this has me rattled. I can't stop thinking about all the scenerios for tonight."

"What does your heart tell you?"

"That I'm going out there and play my hardest to win it all."

"Well tell your head to listen to your heart baby girl. You can't imagine how proud I am of you. You came into this league so headstrong and determined to be the best female player out there and you've lived up to it."

"Are you just saying that because you told Sidney the same thing?"

"No" he said shaking his head and smiling "Sidney got a different speech, this one is special for you. Whether we win tonight or lose it all in game 7, you have to take the bad with the good. Look what you've accomplished this season, fourth for the title is nothing to get all bummed about."

"I would have ended higher if it wasn't for my wrist."

"I insisted you sit out those games to make your wirst and mental ability stronger. What could have happened if you played with it sore?"

"I could have done more permenant damage to it."

"Nic, it's your first season. Don't try to win everything all at once."

"So in other words, don't be exactly like you."

Sidney smiled and laughed "you can be like me Nicki, just put your own spin on it."

"I want us to win tonight daddy."

Sidney stood up and help Nicki up "then let's go win it baby girl" he said accepting the hug she gave him.

"Thanks daddy" she said as they pulled apart and went back to finish getting ready.

After all the festivities and the national anthem was sung, the players were getting one more final skate around before getting ready to drop the puck. Sidney did his usual routine by skating by each one on the ice and then headed to center ice. He looked around the arena and then up towards the suites. Karen saw him look up in her direction and she put her fingers to her lips and blew a kiss to him to wish him good luck. Sidney bent over and got ready for the puck to drop and the game to start.

The first two periods had come and gone and there was no score to show for the hard work each team showed. The goaltenders were standing on their heads to make impossible saves as the shooters were throwing everything at them. Nicki and Sidney had a few good shots as their dad was giving them the puck every chance he had. As the game progressed, it wasn't about Sidney but his kids. He didn't care if he scored, he wanted them to and experience it all till the end.

The third period was nearing the end and it seemed overtime was going to happen. Sidney was on the bench and looked up at the clock. There was 2:15 left on the clock and the Stars were taking their last time out. The coaches of course sent out the Crosby line to see if magic could happen in these last couple of minutes. They took the face off and got the puck in motion. The Penguins were in control of the puck and slowed down the play behind the net. The defense started up and shot the puck to Sidney who started on a breakaway. He saw out of the corner of his eye that his son and daughter were coming up behind him to join him on the play. Sidney got into Dallas' end and stopped, passing the puck to Sidney. He made a couple moves and saw Nicki in perfect place. He shot a look and nod to his dad who glanced to his right and tapped his stick to the ice wanting the puck. Sidney made the play to his dad, who in turn faked a shot and passed it to Nicki who slammed it home in the corner of the net. As the goal light flashed on and the crowd erupted, Nicki got trampled by her dad, brother and teammates to celebrate the goal which they looked to see the clock was at all zeros and they had won the Stanley Cup.

Karen had sat down in a seat and put her head in her hands, crying out the tears she held in for the last minute. She looked up and saw the mayhem on the ice, smiling knowing what this meant to her family. She got up and headed down to the ice with everyone else to join in the celebration.

Sidney was hugging his son and daughter as the three of them were all smiles. He looked over to the bench and saw Karen standing there, getting their attention "go see your mom" he told them as they skated over.

Karen saw Sidney and Nicki skate towards her and she hugged them both "I am so proud of you two. Congratulations babies."

"Thanks mom" Sidney said "we couldn't have done it without dad."

"And he's saying the same thing about you too Sid." She saw how antsy he was and laughed "go celebrate." Sidney kissed his mom's cheek and skated off.

"Oh baby girl, you ok?" Karen asked Nicki as she saw the tears.

"Yeah, I'm just so happy you can't imagine mom."

"Actually I can sweetie" she said hugging her "go celebrate with your team, I'll be here when you're done." She hugged her again before watching her skate off. Karen watched as the Stanley Cup came out and the commissioner came with it.

Congratulaions to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a tremdous year. Sidney Crosby...come claim the Stanley Cup.

Sidney skated over to the cheers of his teammates and fans. He took his picture with the Cup and commissioner before picking it up and yelling as he skated around with it. He went by the bench and saw his parents and Karen, smiling as he proudly displayed the Cup over his head. As Sidney skated towards the team, they all pushed Nicki to get the Cup after her dad. She smiled through her tears and took the Cup from her dad as he whispered 'go enjoy it baby girl'. Sidney skated over to the bench and got a huge hug from Karen and stood there holding her as they watched Nicki skate by with the Cup. They watched her skate to the team and hand off the Cup to her brother, who screamed as he went around the ice pumping the Cup over his head towards the crowd.

Karen turned and looked at Sidney "so, you still think you can leave this?"

"Not in amillion years baby. I want to see this every year now" he told her watching Sidney hand off the Cup to Flower and go over to hug his sister. He kissed her and then went over to join his kids.

Karen saw her family together celebrating and the tears fell again "I want to see this every year too." After everything her and her family had been through, nothing could have topped this moment and she was happy to see that it all worked out for the best.

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