when i don’t belong, you say i am yours || erik johnson
Author’s Note: Bonjour! I’ve officially hit a wall with the Tyson Jost fic, so I’ve decided to try to write other fics to see if that’ll help me figure out how to continue it. The best way forward is through, right? And to do that, I just gotta keep writing and hope something happens, I guess. Anyways. GIF credit to samgirard!
Warnings: I have no clue if this is even worth a warning, but. The reader is the parent of a disabled child. The disability is specifically mentioned to be autism, though it’s only used as a general term. I don’t want any pitchforks or torches showing up at my door, so I’ll just go ahead and say I am autistic myself. So, yeah. Don’t think there’s anything else. Feel free to let me know if I should warn about anything else though.
Word Count: 870 (short boi)
Title: You Say by Lauren Daigle
Additional: The reader is gender-neutral again. I’m just trying to go along with that survey that my friend and I did where people said they preferred the reader to have they/them pronouns. Which, to me at least, meant they wanted a gender-neutral reader. So, I’m doing the best I can to live up to that. Anyways. I hope you guys enjoy this!
Being the parent of a special needs child wasn't easy. Most of the small things about life, such as getting dressed, usually became big things. You knew this all too well. Your son, Hunter, was severely autistic and required quite a lot of supervision. Despite this fact, you were very patient with your son. You knew that Hunter couldn't really control the way he acted, so there was no need for you to get angry with him; it wouldn't solve anything.
However, your ex-husband, Tony, didn't get that. He would constantly yell at Hunter if he wasn't listening or if he was having a meltdown. Even though you and Tony had been high school sweethearts, you knew that you had had to divorce him and cut all ties with him. He was toxic to Hunter and being toxic wouldn't help your son thrive.
Today was the first time since the divorce was finalized eight months ago that you were going to take Hunter out in public without the help of one person or another. To say that you were nervous would be an understatement.
After spending twenty-one minutes exactly dressing Hunter in his coat and shoes, you both embarked on your journey to Hunter's favourite hamburger restaurant. You were thankful when the ride ended up being uneventful, save for the brief outburst of sorts that Hunter had when his favourite song came on the radio. Not one to disappoint your son, you had turned the radio up and listened with a smile on your face as he clapped and did his best to sing along with his limited verbal skills.
Once you were at the restaurant and seated at a table, Hunter started fidgeting. You reached across the table, grabbing Hunter's hand and rubbing small circles into it. That usually calmed your son down tenfold. This time, however, Hunter began to make noise.
People that were sat near you began to stare. You began to apologize profusely, somewhat embarrassed by Hunter’s outburst. Despite your apologies, a couple of people gave your son looks of disgust. One guy even stood from his seat and walked over to your table.
"Why don't you control your fucking child?" The guy seethed. "He is disturbing me."
Before you could answer, a man with blonde hair approached the table. You prepared yourself for more insults, but the guy, instead, turned to the guy that yelled at you.
"Look, buddy." When the man spoke, you saw that he had a couple front teeth missing. "The kid can't help it. It's kinda obvious that he's severely autistic."
"Oh, that explains it," The other guy snickered. "He's re--"
"Don't even say it," the toothless guy interjected. He glanced at you, to which you quickly mouthed 'thank you.' He nodded quickly before he looked back at the other guy. "Nobody is that. Just because he's different than you doesn't make him any less of a human being."
"This coming from a guy that has no front teeth," the rude guy chuckled darkly. "I wouldn't be surprised if you had such poor hygiene that you got terrible cavities that caused them to fall out."
"If you must know," the toothless guy pointed to the Erik Johnson Colorado Avalanche jersey that was hung on the wall above your table. "That's my jersey up there. I lost my teeth because I'm a hockey player." Erik sounded angry as he pointed an accusatory finger at the rude guy. "Now, if you don't leave these poor people alone, I will call the cops on you for harassment."
The rude guy raised his hands in surrender and walked away from your table. A chorus of applause echoed through the small dining room. Erik raised his hand in appreciation.
You slid over in the booth to allow Erik to sit down beside you. Erik pulled his phone out and handed it to Hunter, who clapped in excitement.
"EJ! EJ!" Hunter smiled as you watched him click onto YouTube.
"That's right, bud." Erik ruffled Hunter's hair before he turned to look at you. Your facial expression was one of relief. "You're welcome before you even say it."
"I appreciate it so much," you said, a small smile on your face. "This is the first time I've brought him out on my own since I got divorced eight months ago."
"Mind if I asked why you got divorced?"
"My ex-husband was incredibly toxic to Hunter. Tony was a lot like the guy you just shooed off. He would always yell at our son for not listening. He couldn't understand that Hunter couldn't help it."
Erik grabbed a napkin from the dispenser and a pen from his pocket. He scribbled his phone number down on it. He handed it to you. "Whenever you're ready to date again, give me a call. I would love to have you and Hunter come to a game."
You blushed deeply. Erik smiled as he grabbed his phone back from Hunter and slipped out of the booth. As soon as Erik was gone, you grabbed your phone and punched in Erik's number.
"Hello?" Erik answered after a couple of rings.
"It's (Y/N), the one whose son you defended. I'm ready for that date."
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Teacher Appreciation Part 2 ~ Nathan MacKinnon 4+1
Hi everyone! Thank you for all the love on Teacher Appreciation! I loved reading all the tags and comments on it! After talking with a few of you, I came up with a part 2! Shout out to @capsvsducks for suggesting a part; as well as @avsfans95 who always gives me the best ideas to include! I hope you all like it!
Summary: The 4 times Nate took his roll as 'Teacher Dad' seriously, and the 1 time he just needed to be the teacher's boyfriend.
Word Count: 4085
Requests are still open! I'm working on them! Enjoy and stay safe and healthy!
It wasn’t long after you and Nate started dating that he realized that teaching was a group effort. And if hockey had taught him anything, it was that teamwork really did make the dream work. As much as the significant others on the team lived around the hockey schedule, he also started to live around your work schedule. But where he was able to leave work at the rink most of the time, your work always found its way home with you, eventually spilling over to Nate’s apartment as well. Though he may have been chirped endlessly about the ribbon and craft paper left on his dining table one afternoon after practice, he wouldn’t trade your bouncing enthusiasm as you made little gifts for your students for the world.
You were sitting on the floor in your main room sorting through and grading papers from the week. Everything this week seemed to go all over the place. Monday was an assembly, Tuesday was a regular minimum day with staff and grade level meetings, and then Wednesday was a field trip, leaving you behind on your grading. Unless it was a test which you liked to return right away, homework and regular classwork was sent home on Fridays. Checking answers and marking off participation in your grade book, you had forgotten that Nate had let you know he would pick up dinner on his way to your apartment that morning. Which is why when he walked in with a bag of takeout you were staring at him confused. “What’s that?” you asked, still on the floor. Nate walked into your kitchen to set it down before walking over to you.
“Dinner,” he responded simply, placing a kiss on your forehead and sitting behind you on the couch. “Please tell me you’ve eaten today?” You turned around to respond when Nate stopped you. “And coffee does not count.” You pouted, having made the mistake one time earlier on in your relationship telling him that you just didn’t have time to eat that day at work and were surviving off of coffee. You laughed it off, but Nate had lunch sent to your work for the next week while he was on the road to make sure you were eating correctly.
“I had a granola bar for breakfast?” you said while shrugging, and Nate sighed.
“You need to actually eat Y/N,” he argued.
“I know, I know! I’m just behind this week and I’m stressing! You know I can’t eat when I’m stressed,” you said, leaning back into his legs. He bent forward and wrapped his arms around your shoulders, resting his chin on top of your head.
“Well let’s eat, then I’ll help you finish this up so you can relax,” he stated simply.
“No, I need to finish this first or else I’m not going to want to eat,” you said, causing another sigh out of your boyfriend. He let go of you and gently pushed you forward, sliding down to the floor behind you with his legs out on either side of yours.
“Tell me what to do then,” he said, and you glanced over your shoulder at him. Handing him your grade book and a pen, you showed him what column you were working on.
“Write the number I tell you for each kid please,” you started naming off students and numbers while you shuffled through their work. After, Nate helped you put everyone’s papers in their own pile, and then stack them by class number so they were easier to put away in the morning.
Finally finished, Nate was able to drag you over to the dinner table where he made your plate to make sure you ate enough. “Have I told you I loved you today?” you hummed, halfway through your pineapple fried rice.
“Yes, but you can say it again,” Nate smirked at you. You giggled and leaned over to kiss his cheek.
“I love you. Thank you,” you smiled as Nate winked at you.
Nate was just about to leave practice when his phone rang. Looking at it, his eyebrows furrowed when he saw it was you. He didn’t remember what time you had recess at, but he didn’t think it was now. “Hey. Everything okay?” he asked upon answering.
“Yeah, why?” you asked, confused why he was asking. Nate huffed out a laugh.
“Aren’t you supposed to be teaching right now?”
“Oh no, they’re at music, it’s my prep,” you laughed and Nate chuckled, waving bye to some of the team. “I need a favor though, and I’ll love you forever.”
“That’s a long time,” he teased and you laughed. “What is it?”
“Could you pretty please run to the craft store and get a bag of like 30 pipe cleaners? I forgot to pick them up and we’re making water cycle bracelets today,” you explained, hoping he wouldn’t mind. You would have to switch your lessons around and do the water cycle tomorrow if he didn’t have time.
“Um sure. Are there like any certain colors you need or what? Do they come in different lengths?” he asked, wanting to make sure he got the right ones.
“No, get the colorful ones, it’ll be more fun. Just make sure they’ll fit around your wrist and we’re all good!” You answered, relieved he could run to the store for you.
“What time do you need them by?” he asked, earning some looks from his teammates that were still around. Why was he asking about colors?
“About 1:30! I have to go get my kiddos from music class right now, just drop them by the office when you get a chance and let me know please! I’ll pay you back!” you rushed.
“I think I can buy pipe cleaners for your class babe. I’ll get them to you shortly,” he said as you thanked him and hung up.
“Pipe cleaners?” Andre asked Nate.
“Y/N’s class is making water cycle bracelets today. She forgot to get them,” Nate explained, grabbing his keys so he could grab lunch quickly then get to the store. He had about 3 hours till you needed them.
“That’s cute Teacher Dad, make one for me,” Andre chirped and Nate rolled his eyes, leaving the locker room. Andre never forgot the name when one of your students first called Nate that a year ago at the rink. Now that the two of you were dating, it wasn’t rare for one of the guys to call him it when he talked about you or your class.
Nate showed up to your school at 1:15, pipe cleaners in hand. He checked in at the front office and then made his way to your classroom. Knocking on your door, one of your students answered and smiled widely when he saw who it was. “Miss Y/L/N, Mr. MacKinnon is here!” Anthony screeched. All of your students who were calmly silently reading or drawing during their 15-minute free time all started to say hi and run over to him.
“Okay, okay class sit down please! Red Robin…” you called.
“Yummmm,” your kids finished the call back and sat back down in their seats, though you could see they were getting very squirrely.
“Alright. Let’s clean off our desks and get our science notes out. We’re going to review that water cycle briefly, then I have a fun little activity for us to do!” you explained, walking over to Nate and taking the pipe cleaners. “Thank you,” you whispered and he smiled. Even though he had seen you in your class multiple times now since meeting you, he still loved to watch you with your students.
“Is Mr. MacKinnon going to stay?” Derek asked.
“Raise your hand please. Remember we don’t blurt out,” you reminded him of the classroom expectation. It had been over half the year at this point, but they were 8 and 9 years old, the reminders were needed. Derek raised his hand and you nodded, smiling at him. “Miss Y/L/N, is Mr. MacKinnon going to be staying and doing the activity with us?” he asked and you tried not to laugh at the proper tone he was trying to take. A few students giggled around him and Nate smiled at him, then you.
“I don’t know. Would you like to stay Mr. MacKinnon?” you turned to Nate.
“If you don’t mind, I would love to,” he said, and your students started to whisper please to you.
“I don’t know. If he’s going to be a distraction…” he teased your kids in a sing-song voice and they all shook their heads, some sitting up straighter and folding their hands on their desk to show they were paying attention. “Okay, he can stay,” you laughed and Nate followed you to the front where you had him pass out a bag of different colored beads to each student while you passed out the pipe cleaners. While you lead the class through the activity with each color bead representing a different part of the cycle, Nate also made a bracelet for himself. As you let your class out for their last recess, you laughed as Nate wrapped his bracelet around his wrist. “You should wear that to practice tomorrow.”
“Burky is going to be so jealous,” Nate responded in all seriousness. And to your surprise, he did actually wear it, causing you to get a load of text messages from the Swede asking if he could come in with Nate and help at some point.
One spring evening, you walked into Nate’s apartment with an armful of bags from the craft store. “Oh no,” Nate muttered as you unceremoniously dropped it all on the floor.
“Sorry, I thought instead of being stuck at home and doing all of this I could at least be with you and get it all done,” you explained, laying all the papers out on the floor as you usually did. Why you worked on the floor Nate still questioned, but he moved the coffee table over so you would have more space.
“What is all of this for?” he asked, looking at the graph paper and the different shapes outlined on different colors of construction paper.
“We’re building a dream house! Math project!” you said, clapping your hands together and leaning up to give Nate a quick kiss hello.
“What does this have to do with math?”
“They’re going to make a 3-D house to put on their desks for open house in a few weeks. Then we are creating rooms on the graph paper that would go inside their house and they have to give me the area and perimeter of them all, along with telling me what shapes they used to build their houses with.” You stated, taking scissors out of your bag and starting on a pile of circles to be cut out.
“When do you need all of this done by?” Nate asked, taking a seat on the floor next to you.
“Tomorrow…” you trailed off while Nate just looked at you. You usually were on top of most things school related. “I had a parent volunteer to do it, then she said she forgot and gave it all back to me today because she didn’t have time tonight.” You explained. Nate sighed, looking through your bag and finding another pair of scissors.
“Where do you want me to start?” he asked, and you smiled gratefully at him.
“Rectangles please,” you pointed toward the pile and Nate got to work cutting the shapes out. About half an hour later you were laughing with Nate over struggling with an octagon for whatever reason when his front door opened.
“Yo Dogg…what is happening?” Mikko asked, confused as to why there was construction paper all over the floor.
“My class is building 3-D houses,” you showed Mikko a shape and he nodded, sitting on the floor in front of a pile of triangles.
“What’s up?” Nate asked him, and he shrugged.
“I was just going to come bug you cause I’m bored,” Mikko said, picking up a piece of paper. “Need help?” he asked.
“Want to help Nate and I’ll go make us all dinner?” you asked, and Mikko nodded with a smile, taking your scissors from you. “What do you want?” you asked Nate.
“Whatever you want to make. Kitchen is all yours,” he grinned at you. You bent down to kiss him quickly, then walked off to the kitchen. Mikko chuckled and shook his head. “What?”
“Nothing. You’re just very domestic, dating a teacher and cutting out shapes on the floor.” Mikko noted, grinning at Nate. Not that Nate wasn’t domestic before, preferring to stay out of the media; but Mikko couldn’t help but laugh at the subtle calmness that took over his teammate when he started to date you. Maybe it had to do with how calm you were, dealing with kids all day. All he knew was that when they all got a little too rowdy at a party or the bar, you were always the one sent in to get them all back in line; Mel having relinquished that role to you.
“She works really hard and teachers are hardly paid enough to do everything I’ve seen her do. The least I can do is help when I can,” Nate mumbled, turning a bit red. Mikko nodded and dropped it. They finished up cutting and sorting, dinner being done not long after. Mikko went home and you helped Nate clean up. You were putting your things away, getting ready to leave when Nate came up behind you and wrapped his arms around your waist.
“Thank you again for helping me. You didn’t need to,” you said, leaning back into him.
“I don’t mind,” he said softly, kissing your cheek. “You know, you could always ask me to cut or sort things. I can do it after practice or whatever. I don’t want this mom backing out to stress you into doing it all yourself from now on,” Nate said, spinning you around so you could see he was serious.
“I don’t want to make you do that,” you smiled, appreciating his offer but not wanting to put your job onto him.
“You’re not, I’m offering. You support me and are always there even though you have 24 kids to take care of and teach each day. Let me help,” he said with no room for argument.
“Okay,” you whispered, standing on your tiptoes to give him a kiss.
Knowing you would avoid actually asking Nate for help, he inserted himself by taking things he knew you needed done. He would practically study your lesson plans for the upcoming week when you would leave them out so he could see where he could help out. That’s how he ended up with a reusable bag of “honey-do’s” as Gabe jokingly called it when Nate boarded the plane for their trip. Your class was reading Charlotte’s Web, and you wanted them to be able to put together a pig while they watched the movie to display hanging over their desks for open house. Nate ended up taking all the papers you needed cut for it with him on his trip, seeing as you didn’t need it till the following week anyways. You had packed him three pairs of scissors, just in case anyone wanted to help him.
Mid-flight, Nate opened the bag and started to pull out the first pile you had paper clipped together: the ears for Wilbur. As Nate was cutting, Mikko walked by from the restroom. He stopped, looked back at Nate and walked over, taking the empty seat next to him. Nate looked over at him with a raised eyebrow. “Do you have another pair of scissors?” he asked and Nate chuckled, reaching into the bag and handing Mikko scissors and another part of the pig. It wasn’t long before Tyson turned around in his seat to see what they were up to.
“I want to cut something!” he said and the guys laughed, Nate handing him the last pair of scissors and the tails of the pig. If raising a child took a village, apparently prepping a craft for 24 kids took a team of hockey players.
Everything was going smoothly at first, then the plane hit some turbulence. Nothing too bad, but one bump had the plane and the players bounce around for a second. “Crap,” Nate heard coming from Tyson.
“Did you cut yourself?” Nate asked, remembering how earlier that year he gave himself a papercut while coloring in your class.
“No…” Tyson trailed off and Nate and Mikko glanced at each other. Tyson’s head popped over the seat with a wide-eyed look. “Do you happen to have more tails by any chance?”
“No,” Nate said flatly, giving Tyson a look that made the younger man regret all his life decisions all at once.
“Maybe the hotel will have a copy machine…”
“What did you do?”
“I may have accidently cut a few tails in half,” Tyson showed Nate the papers. Sure enough, 3 of them were cut in half. Nate sat there and stared at it for a second too long, causing his teammates to grow worried that he was about to lose it. One of the first things they had learned about Nate when they joined the team: don’t piss him off.
“I’m sure we can get some pink paper and copy the good ones, no big deal,” Mikko tried to reason.
“Tyson, Y/N has 24 students and we have 24 tails. I started taking things because she has a flakey parent helper. Now she’s not even going to trust me because she’s not going to have enough tails!” Nate tried to explain as calmly as possible. It wasn’t even that he was really that upset with Tyson, but more upset that he let him help and now you would have more work to do.
“But the plane jumped, how is that my fault!?” Tyson tried to defend himself.
“Just give it back,” Nate muttered, taking the scissors and already cut tails from Tyson. He was almost tempted to take everything back from Mikko too but stopped himself. Mikko wasn’t the one who had screwed up.
Upon landing and arriving at the hotel they were staying at, Nate looked at the time and immediately called you, knowing school was done for the day. “Hey babe! How was your flight?” You asked upon answering.
“I messed up,” Nate said shortly.
“What do you mean?”
“I started cutting the stuff for the pig on the plane and Mikko was helping me, then Tyson wanted to help. So I handed him the tails and we hit turbulence and he cut three tails in half and now you won’t have enough and it’s all my fault. I should have just done them myself.” Nate confessed, and was thrown off by you giggling. “Did you not just hear what I said? You’re going to be short tails.” Well, that was a sentence Nate never thought would come out of his mouth.
“Did you ever count how many copies of each part I gave you?” you answered, trying to stop laughing because you could tell he was upset.
“No,” he mumbled.
“34,” you answered. Nate stopped pulling papers out of the bag.
“Why? You have 24 students.”
“Because, then I have enough for all my students plus myself to walk them through it. Then I have a few extra for when someone messes up or one of the other teachers need an extra. I always make more copies than I need,” you told him your reasoning and Nate sunk down on his bed.
“So that would mean…”
“I now have 31 tails instead of 34, so I still have plenty,” you said, and Nate sighed. “Were you mean to Tyson?” you asked.
“No…” Nate pouted, knowing what was coming next.
“Go apologize to him and tell him it’s fine,” you laughed slightly, knowing he needed to go make amends.
“Fine,” he muttered.
“I love you,” you said.
“Love you too. I’ll call you later,” Nate said, getting up and preparing for his apology tour.
It was the end of the school year and assignments for the following year had just come out. You knew there would be movement, but you didn’t expect that you would be the one changing grades. Third grade enrollment was down, and sixth grade was up. Unfortunately, being the newest third grade teacher at the school, that meant that you were the teacher being shuffled to sixth grade. Looking at the email that morning, you laughed thinking it was a cruel joke. It was not however, and you started to panic by the time last recess hit.
After school you texted Nate, letting him know you were on your way over. Walking into his apartment, you faceplanted on the couch as he walked out of his office and into the living room. “Are you okay?” he asked, sitting on the edge of the couch and running his hand up and down your back soothingly.
“No,” you sniffled, rolling over so you could look up at him.
“What happened? Did another parent yell at you? Let me have their number, I’ll talk to them,” he said, becoming protective over you. He hated the way some parents thought they could talk to you, and you were always too nice to ever say anything back.
“I got moved,” you pouted, wanting to cry.
“What do you mean your moving?” Nate asked, starting to panic.
“No not from Denver. They’re moving me to sixth grade,” you hid your face under a pillow. Hearing a chuckle come out of Nate, you jumped up and glared at him. “It’s not funny Nate!”
“I’m sorry. But really Y/N? You’re acting like you just got traded to a different team,” he said, comparing it to what he knew best.
“I did get traded to a different team! I don’t get to work with Laurie and Nora anymore! I love the sixth-grade teachers but I don’t know their dynamic and now I have to teach big kids!” You complained, and Nate rolled his eyes at you, still chuckling. “Why are you rolling your eyes at me?!”
“Because, your adorable. I don’t know why you’re worried. You can wrangle in hockey players, I’m pretty sure you can wrangle in what, eleven-year-olds?” Nate explained, reaching out for you but you took a step back and pouted, crossing your arms.
“Nate, I already have a few kids that are my height. I’ve seen the fifth graders and they’re almost all bigger than me. How am I supposed to run a class when I pretty much blend in with the population!” This was why you were panicking. When you were a sub while going to school, the one fifth grade class you subbed for, the vice principle couldn’t find you among them. You were a small person, any grade above fourth frankly made you nervous.
“We’ll just get you some heels,” Nate tried to reason, reaching for you again but you stood your ground.
“I stand all day. I’m not teaching in high heels,” you gave him your best mad look.
“That face right there, don’t use it. It’s cuter rather than making you look mad,” Nate chuckled.
“Nate…” you whined. This time when he reached out for you, you let him drag you over to sit on his lap.
“Y/N seriously. You are smart and on top of everything. You are going to be just fine with older kids. Just use your teacher voice and they’ll know you’re in charge,” he tried to calm you. You sighed and buried your head into the crook of his neck.
“What if they just run me over though?” you questioned.
“Then I’ll come in and make sure they listen to you,” he kissed your forehead.
“Great, that’s just what you need. ‘Nathan MacKinnon scares local elementary class into listening to their teacher’” you giggled, and Nate smiled, relieved you weren’t panicking anymore.
“I would do it for you,” he muttered into your hair, and you laughed even harder.
“I think I’ll be okay,” you smiled up at him.
“That’s my girl,” he grinned, leaning forward and capturing your lips with his. He wouldn’t admit it to anyone but you, but he was ready to take on his roll as Teacher Dad to a bunch of sixth graders next year.
Tagging: @avsfans95 @capsvsducks @justjosty @tysojost @natxpat @evphemia @stlbluesbrat21 @fallinallincurls @kyratallent @drewseph93 @ayohockeycheck @tkbarzal @stormingroses @dreamandrow @handwrittenheros @brandonbagel @bakerclaire123 @miranda0102 @cherrylita @musiclove-12 @reallyawkwardbandlover
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