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Picture Perfect

Close Proximity

-----Kat's POV (outfit)

"Yeah just like that he apologized," I confess over the phone.

"Really? That's crazy- what are you going to do?" Jules asks, dying for more information.

"Well I mean he said to go back to being friends- it's better than avoiding each other and then treating each other like shit," I admit as I flop on my bed wearing my sweatpants, comfy slippers, and sweater.

"Well how's it been acting like friends?"

"I mean it happened a few days ago- when we were in Vancouver after the game. But so far it's okay- we've only had time talking before games or on the bus," I sigh frustratedly, "I wish we could go back to before everything happened but I've never had strictly 'just friends' feelings for him."

"Well I guess you're going to just have to try," Jules says and I hear her sip on her coffee.

"Yeah I guess so," I mutter back in a reply, "so have you talked to Sean lately?"

"Yessss," she practically sings on the phone- totally smitten, "I'm so excited to see you guys in a few days," she grins.

"Well I think it's more or less Sean who you want to see," I giggle.

"No way! The apartment is so quiet without you!"

"Sure Jules- you don't have to lie," I say, continuing to tease her, "I'm sure Sean would love to-" I begin to say but there is a loud knock on my door, interrupting me. I pause, and wait for another knock on my door to get up from my bed- who the heck would be knocking on my door this early?

"Kat- you still there?" I hear Jules say.

"Yeah hold on someone's at the door," I fill her in as I make my way across the room. I grab a scarf and wrap it around my neck to hide my scar quickly.

"Maybe it's Claude," she giggles.

"Ha very funny," I scoff, opening up the door, placing the phone against my chest. My eyes widen as I see the captain of the Flyers standing before me with a huge grin. I blink and shake my head making sure this wasn't some type of vivid mirage.

"Uh, Claude- hey," I stammer, fiddling with my scarf, spreading it out just to be sure my scar was hidden. He looks at my hand fidgeting with my scarf curiously but quickly tears his attention away from it.

"Cute pj's," he states matter-of-factly, looking me up and down with a smirk plastered on his face. I think about spitting a snarky comment in his face but I hold back- friends- we were friends- I have to be friendly.

"hah- thanks," I refrain from rolling my eyes.

"What? No sassy comeback? C'mon Kat," he teases standing in my doorway.

"What did you want?" I ask, arching my eyebrow, trying not to sound like I didn't want him around. Honestly, I'd hate to admit it but being this close to him makes my heart want to break out of my chest. I want nothing more than to be around him- despite everything that happened.

"Well, we have a free morning and I wanted to know if you wanted to go to breakfast?" he asks nervously, his cocky ego fading quickly. He reads my hesitant facial expression and begins talking before I can give him my answer, "you can even go like that- you don't even have to change if you don't want to- you look fine- no great- I just-"

"No I'll change," I half laugh, cutting him off from rambling more, and cheeks turn red as he rakes a hand through his thick hair, "you just caught me off guard- just give me a couple of minutes to change?"

"Yeah sure," he beams, stepping out of the door way as he closes the door gently.

I put the phone up to my ear and suddenly I'm bombarded by a thousand questions, "I KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE CLAUDE! WHAT'D HE WANT? WHAT'D HE SAY?!"

"Jules calm down," I laugh, "I have to go- he asked me to go to breakfast," I admit.

"So now he's being totally nice? I don't get him- did he insinuate anything?" she asks .

"I have no clue Jules he just asked to go to breakfast not my ring size- we're friends remember? He said it was nothing to him so that's what I'm going off of- I gotta go now he's waiting."

"ooooo waiting for you?" Jules teases.

"Yes! I'll talk to you later!"

"Okay! Tell me all the dirty details later," she snickers just before hanging up.

I run into the bathroom, throw on some light make-up, covering up my scar, and then toss on a pair of jeans, my moccasins and a comfy flannel along with a jacket. I stop infront of the mirror, double checking myself before walking out the door with Claude. For a split second I think, hmmm I wonder if he'll like this? I let out a groan, "who cares what he thinks Kat," I murmur to myself out loud, "he doesn't like you," I roll my eyes at my pathetic thought. I grab my purse as I walk out the door, Claude takes in a sharp breath, taking in what I was wearing but looks away almost immediately, "ready to go?" he says going stiff and emotionless. (Kat's Outfit)

"uhh, yeah, where are we going anyways?" I ask as we make our way down the hallway.

"I was thinking this diner close to here? I saw it when we were driving in on the bus," Claude says with a sweet smile, giving me butterflies in my stomach. Stop Kat he doesn't like you, my subconscious reminds me.

"Cool," I reply quietly as we walk.

Just as we get to the elevator, the doors open and Parker walks out of the elevator looking fresh as ever- damn he was a pretty guy.

"Hey Kat!" he says cheerily, as he sees the two of us standing before him.

"Hey Parker," I grin back at his perfect smile he was flashing at me. I feel Claude tense up next to me as the tension between Parker and I become evident. He clears his throat, startling the brown eyed beauty in front of me, "morning Park."

He tears his eyes from me, looking to Claude, "Morning G- enjoying the morning off?" he asks trying to be polite.

"Yeah I was- I'm not sure about it anymore though," Claude says darkly, his strong jaw being clenched. Parker looks away from him nervously and back to me- his eyes linger on my face and gives me a sweet smile before he walks past us towards his room.

"Looks like you have an admirer Katina," he says with fake pleasance as we step into the elevator.

"Eh- I don't know you really think so?" I ask dumbly, trying to irk Claude even more.

"Hah- like you don't know," he half laughs, looking down at me, "the guy was practically undressing you with his eyes."

"What's wrong Giroux, don't like seeing a guy flirting with me? Seemed like you were marking your territory," I ask holding back a laugh.

"No- it's not that- I would hate for you to end up with a pretty boy like that- you know as a friend of course," he clears his throat nervously.

"You're full of shit but I'm just gonna ignore it and let it go," I smirk and walk out of the elevator with some confidence in my step.

"And you're a piece of work Reilly- pretty boy probably wouldn't be able to put up with you after a day," he teases, matching my pace, "let alone any guy." I look towards the ground and let a small smile break out on my face I've been holding back- it felt good to do this again with Claude.

When we get to the diner, we're seated quickly in a booth with a small juke box on the table, matching the 50's theme the diner was displaying. "What song do you want?" Claude asks as he flips through the music menu, sliding a nickel into the small slot.

"How bout you pick what you want to eat?" I suggest peering over my menu at him as my stomach grumbles once again.

"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he grumbles, waving his hand at me as he focuses on the song list. By the time the waitress comes around, Claude has finally decided on what he wants and we order quickly. Our food is brought out relatively fast, and I take a picture of Claude digging into his mountain of pancakes to post to the Flyers Instagram. I caption the funny photo with, "Bulking up for tonight's game #havetoworkoffthosepancakes #don'tgaintoomuchweightG #slowskater @CGiroux28"

"Hey if you're gonna post pictures of me it's only fair I post pictures of you, eh?" he chuckles, as he checks the post. He holds up his phone, opening an app- which I'm guessing is the camera one.

"What? No!" I squeal as a take a bite of my pancakes and hold up my hand to cover my face, "no one wants to see me eating pancakes," I laugh.

"And people want to see me?"

"You're Claude Giroux- people pay to watch you play hockey so there's a definite difference between the two of us," I inform him with a giggle, "you're on billboards and on the sides of building and I-I'm-"

"The amazing person who takes those photos," he finishes my sentence and I blush wildly, "well you know- friend to friend," he adds. I internally grimace at the word "friend" but it was way better than getting the cold shoulder from him- I just have to somehow get rid of these stupid feelings.

We scarf down our pancakes with ease and leave our bare plates for the bust boy to collect. The waitress places the check on the table and Claude snatches it out of the way before I can lay a finger on it. "I'm paying," he sticks his tongue out at me.

"Friends don't pay for each other's stuff," I remark.

"Sure they do," he chimes, looking up at me as he retrieves his wallet out of his pocket, "you're just salty you didn't grab it before I did."

I let out a groan and roll my eyes, "whatever, but I pay for the next meal and then we can just rotate," I say trying to haggle a deal with him.

"Oh? So there will be a next time and a ton after that?" Claude says with a panty-melting smile, which makes my heart stop beating for a second.

"Yeah- well you know- friends go out to eat all the time," I stammer, starting to feel flustered, making him laugh softly. We get up from our comfy booth and Claude pays at the counter with a credit card. He begins to open the door for me, but drops it just as I walk through the doorway causing me to smack right into the glass. "Ow, what the hell was that for?" I ask, rubbing my forehead, wincing.

"I forgot friends don't really do that sort of thing for each other," he says with a huge grin.

"ha-ha very funny Giroux," I comment sarcastically; he follows behind me still laughing.

We walk down the concrete ramp onto the busy city streets of Columbus, I turn to head towards the hotel but Claude stops me, "wanna take the long way?"

"Uh-yeah uhm sure," I answer, caught off guard.

He gives me a gentle smile and waits for me to catch up to him to continue walking, "try to look both ways before you cross the street this time," he reminds me, recalling the time I was almost run down by a car- but- of course- superhero Claude stepped in and saved me. The memory of us being so close together and the feeling of his stubble against my forehead sends chills down my spine.

As we take the long way back to the hotel, we make small talk about how the road trip went and how the game tonight should go. Every so often, whenever we had to make our way through groups of people, Claude would place his hand gently on my back guiding us, never failing to send chills to every part of my body.

We climb the few steps leading up to the hotel, and enter the revolving door, "at least you can't smack me in the face with this one," I half laugh.

"Wanna bet?" Claude challenges, ready to somehow prove me wrong, thankfully I jump into the lobby before he can.

"Don't get cocky Claude- you can barely fit your head through the door already," I tease.

"At least I have a reason to be cocky," he fires back playfully.

"And that reason is?..." I ask keeping a straight face, holding back a smile.

"Don't act so clueless Katina," his voice like silk, the sound of my name rolling off his tongue causes my heart to go numb.

"Let's put your amazing ego to the test," I propose, walking towards the game room, filled with an air hockey table, ping-pong and pool tables.

"This ought to be good," Claude comments, his competitive edge quickly finding it's way to the surface.

"We'll start at the air hockey table, then ping-pong and finish with a game of pool, sound good?" I ask, leaning against the air hockey table.

"Alrighty," he says with a devilish smirk, walking towards me. He stops an inch away from my body, not breaking eye contact, reaching down towards my waist. My heart thumps loudly in my chest waiting for his hand to land on my hip, but instead it reaches past me, grabbing a plastic disc out of the slot in the table, "I go first" he whispers darkly, as he holds up the plastic puck. I let out a breath I was holding in as soon as he walks to the other end of the table. I shake my head to clear it, and put on a confident, competitive face- there was no way I was going to let Claude beat me.

Claude tosses down the puck and makes a shot but I block his attempt and send it back his way, and end up scoring on my first chance. He lets out a sigh, "lucky shot."

"I don't know about that Giroux- might need Mase to step in," I challenge playfully. The air hockey game goes on for a while; thankfully, I reach 21 before he does in a grueling battle filled with laughs. After he ignores my victory dance the best he can, we move onto a game of ping-pong. "Don't bet on beating me this time Reilly," he chimes, calling me by my last name.

I scoff as I grab a paddle and wait for him to serve the ball. It whirs past me multiple times during the game, but I still put up a pretty good fight. Unfortunately for me, I lose and he makes sure to do his victory dance loud and proud in my face, "time for a game of pool," he chimes walking over to the pool table.

I groan as he sets up the cue ball and racks the rest of the balls up; I'm terrible at pool- I was hoping to cream him in air hockey and ping-pong to guarantee me a win. "Since you lost the last game, you can break," he says, handing me a pool stick.

"Oh thanks for taking pity on me," I reply sarcastically, earning a chuckle out of him from behind. "Well here goes nothing," I murmur to myself as I lean over the table and set up to break the triangle formation. I slide the stick through my hand and completely fail at hitting the cue ball effectively and after three unsuccessful and sucky turns, Claude is practically on the floor laughing at how bad I am at pool.

"I didn't know how terrible you were," he said through a chuckle.

"Can I just forfeit? This is just dumb," I sneer at him from over my shoulder.

"Nah, don't do that," he leans his stick against the table and I feel him get close behind me, "you're holding it all wrong." My heart skips a beat as we lean together over the table like I'm getting ready to set up a shot. He slowly slides his hand down my arm and holds my left hand, shaping my fingers, demonstrating how I should hold the front end of the stick and his right hand is guiding mine. He feels so warm against me, and the only sound I hear is his shallow breathing, his exhaling tickling my ear.

Claude slowly moves our arms and hands together; his proximity to me is completely intoxicating- I swear my heart stops beating. The sound of the cue ball hitting another with a hard knock wakes me from my daze. We stay in this position a little longer before a throat clearing from across the room sends us jumping out of our skin.

-----Claude's POV

"Hey Masey," I say trying to sound calm, as Kat and I turn to see him leaning against the doorway.

"Hey guys," he smirks, "I was wondering where you were all day," he says fighting back a chuckle.

"Oh crap! It's 4," Kat says checking her phone, "uhhh- I gotta go get ready for the game," she spills out. Before I know it, she's across the room and walking past Steve down the hall. I watch her until Steve clears his throat waking me from my thoughts. Mase stands in the doorway, refusing to budge as I approach him.

"So uh, what's going on between you and Kat?" he asks with a big grin spread across his face.

"I shrug it off and push past him, "nothing man, we're just friends."

"Just friends, eh?" he chuckles a tad, walking next to me, matching my pace "I don't know it looks like things between you and Cinderella are just warming up again," he chimes.

I stop dead in my tracks as the name rolls off his tongue, "what? No- no she's not Cin-"

"I'm not an idiot G," he cuts me off, "you had me worried though for a while there you guys were at each other's throats."

"Well we just kind of made up," I sigh and he gives me a stern look waiting for the whole story- there was no way Steve was going to drop it until I gave him an explanation. "I didn't know what to do after that night so I was just a jerk to her to keep her away- which was an idiot move."

"Yeah, obviously," Mase laughs and I shoot him a glare as we step into the elevator. "It looks like you're keeping everything but distance in between the two of you."

"Yeah, well it's better than getting hot coffee thrown in my face," I comment, "besides we just.. click- you know as friends."

"You may be able to lie to yourself G and the other guys on the team, but you can't lie to me- I remember what you said about her the first day you met her- feelings like that just don't go away."

"Well let's hope they do because she's off limits as long as she wears the Flyers emblem with the word 'Staff' printed on the back of her t-shirt," I groan as we reach our floor and exit the elevator.

"With the way you were looking at her when she was walking away I'd say you've got a lot of work to do G," Masey laughs.


Hey guys! I'm so sorry I haven't updated in like a month- school and life have been so busy! Hopefully you like the chapter and after the semester ends (next week) I'm more than likely going to make a lot of updates to make up for this huge space. Thanks so much for the comments, and for reading! I hope your Thanksgiving was awesome (if you celebrated)! Leave some feedback if you'd like! Have a good weekend! (:


I NEED an update!!!!! AHHHHH! This story has me crazy! I want to know what happens!!

ThatFlyersFan ThatFlyersFan

I NEED an update!!!!! AHHHHH! This story has me crazy! I want to know what happens!!

ThatFlyersFan ThatFlyersFan

Makes me realize how much I've missed Mase in Columbus.

FliggyAndJoey FliggyAndJoey

Totally just saw this!! That is AMAZING! Such an awesome field of study!

Flyers3516 Flyers3516

miss this story so much :(