The Dream

It seemed like something out of a dream. He was going full speed ahead and knowing that he was close, so very close, to the end gave him the inspiration he needed to go forward.

He was exhausted but somehow still exhilarated. He was growing fuzzy but yet he was still focused. The muscles in his legs, especially his thighs, were beginning to cry out in agony and his knee- the very problematic one- was screaming at him to stop this madness now.

He couldn’t stop now! He had been here once before but everything had gone wrong and it had been a disaster. This time he was more mature. Yes, this time he was older, yes, this time his body would regret his efforts tomorrow, but this chance, this wonderfully amazing second chance, might never come again.

This had now gone on for twenty minutes without pause. Normally, there would be a change in position, an opportunity to switch things and offer a bit of rest from this test of endurance but tonight there was not. It was wholly in his control and for once, he would not disappoint.

Lizzy had said he could do it. “I know that you have what it takes Fitz! I’ve seen the fire in your eyes and know you well enough that I can say when you want something this badly, you won’t let anything get in your way! I love you, I believe in you, and together, we can do this!”

He broke his concentration just a little to watch her. She was silent and as focused on the goal as he was. He caught her eye and for a moment they shared a smile before they each returned towards achieving their mutual goal. With determination written on her face, she began to call out his name, “Go D’Arcy! Almost there! You can do it! Now! Now! Now! Now!”

He did it!! His shot was spent and his aim had been true. He, they, had done it at last! When it was over, his taut, overworked body finally began to relax from the punishing workout he’d just been through. Lizzy found her way into his arms and flushed from their combined efforts, was glowing with happiness.

Sweat was dripping from Fitz D’Arcy’s brow. He was still panting after having reached the goal he’d set for himself all those months ago. “I never thought I’d be here… this is so unreal!”

Lizzy had been mesmerized by his performance. From her place in her arms, she kissed his bearded cheek and teased, “You were magnificent, but this was not a solo act!”

D’Arcy grinned. It had taken so long for him to understand the complicated Lizzy but all of his efforts had been worth it because she was here with him, she loved him and all the sacrifices and effort that had been made by them both had been worth it.

“No, Lizzy, this was definitely a team effort. There are some things that even I can’t do by myself.”

Lizzy, still herself in a frenzied state, exclaimed, “What? The great Fitzwilliam D’Arcy is being humble and admitting that he can’t do everything by himself? What happened to the arrogant, self-important goon I fell in love with? Is he here somewhere? I have no idea what to do with a mild-mannered D’Arcy!”

“You, madam, are a cruel taskmaster! First, I’m an arrogant goon and that’s no good. Then, I try to be Mr. Nice Guy but you didn’t like that either. This is what I am Liz! For good or for bad, this is it… what’s it going to be?”

They had discussed this before. She knew this moment would eventually come, but that still didn’t prepare her for when it finally came! “You’re not serious Fitz? Here? Now? Like this?”

He wiped the sweat from his face as best he could before he kissed her. She laughed and made a face in protest of the salty taste of her beloved Fitz.

“Elizabeth Bennet, I can’t think of a better time, or a better place to make this official! You, crazy woman, need me every bit as much as I need you. You can deny it if you like, but you know that it’s true!”

“You, Fitzwilliam D’Arcy, make me insane! It just works highly in your favor that my life was in serious need of some insanity. And, for the record, if I have become a crazy lady, it’s only because you have made me so!”

D’Arcy chuckled at her protests. “So you do love me and will be my wife?”

Lizzy smiled, “There’s my arrogant goon! What kind of half-assed proposal is that? Am I supposed to swoon into your arms and we ride off into the sunset now?”

“I cannot, for the life of me, ever picture you swooning over anything, including me.”

“Good, something we are in agreement over. How about this? Fitz D’Arcy, will you marry me?”

“Lizzy, I love you… more than anything… but come on Lizzy! A man’s pride will only go so far!”

“And I do love a masculine man. So, feel free to try again.”

He shook his head, “Now you’re just being mean! Alright, Elizabeth Bennet, the sun rises and falls with… Hell. I can’t do this! Lizzy, I love you, please marry me?”

She kissed him and answered, “Yes, Fitz, I’ll gladly marry you! All you had to do was say the magic word!”

Fitzwilliam D’Arcy was not a man who was easily overcome with emotion, but upon hearing his greatest prayer answered, he was delighted beyond anything that he’d ever experienced before. He picked up Lizzy and spun her around until they were both feeling the effects of lightheadedness.

The din of the crowd finally seeped into their consciousness. Flashes dotted the stands and the cheers were still roaring long after Fitz’s final game-winning goal had been scored. An Olympic liaison was ushering the team towards the podium. “Miss Bennet, Mr. D’Arcy, they’re waiting for you.”

Team Canada, though plagued with many injuries, had managed with determination and fortitude to make up for the loss of an entire line. Will’s line played the entire third period with no changes and the man who was once on the verge of becoming another washed-up goon in the beer leagues, had redeemed himself in the eyes of his woman, his beloved country and most importantly himself.

Lizzy watched proudly from her position with the other trainers and staff as the players stood tall and proud as they received their hard-earned gold medals.

Tomorrow would take them back to Detroit, but tonight, they were Olympians!

This is an outtake/vignette from my PB Last Stop: Hockeytown.  The story is time-lined and the characters are developed. Much is written but I have a few things that need wrapped up now before I can commit to writing a new story.

Fitz D’Arcy is an almost-was. The player from Montreal was always traded just ahead of when a team would finally come into its own and over the years, he’d gone from being a finesse offense player to a defensive goon with a huge penalty record.  Finally, he gets traded, at the ancient age of 35, to Detroit. While Detroit is Hockeytown, it does seem to be the place where older players come to finish out their careers. He gets to town and behaves badly. One of the members of the origination, Lizzy Bennet, is assigned to help Fitz ‘adjust’ and try to make him fit into Detroit’s image. Eventually, he realizes (with lots of help from the usual suspects) his latent potential and he becomes more than he ever thought he could be.

The Olympic bit was inspired by Team Canada’s win and yes, I know that there’s no way Mike Babcock, Kenny Holland, Stevie Y (Yay! Go Wings!!) would ever let one line play a whole period, even if it was legal… but it makes for a dramatic story!

If you’d like to (eventually) see more of these characters… let me know at If there’s enough response, I might do this sooner than later.

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The Dream (a Last Stop: Hockeytown vignette) by michchick aka Jennifer Hickling is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.