Title: Marry Me A Little
Fandom: Hockey RPF
Pairing: Patrick Kane/Jonathan Toews
Categories/Genres: Alternate Universe, Harlequin, Marriage of Convenience, Fake Relationship, Coming Out, First Time, Miscommunication, Romance, Family, Fluff, Angst, Drama, Friendship, Domestic
Length: Super Epic (154814 words)
Warnings: N/A

Author on LJ: [livejournal.com profile] bessyboo, [livejournal.com profile] thisissirius
Author Website: bessyboo, thisissirius


Summary:

When NHL star Patrick Kane's off-ice antics finally get him into trouble for the last time, captain and best friend Jonathan Toews has one final trump card to keep him from being traded: marriage...to each other. But between being the first openly gay hockey players, facing down a lockout, and the fact that Patrick has been in love with Jonny for years, will these two ever be able to work past their miscommunication to realize that their marriage may not be as much of a sham as they think it is?

Review:

First things first, a disclaimer: I am very new to hockey fandom. As such, I consider myself utterly unqualified to review the authors' characterization of the people appearing in this fic. I'll be reccing this almost as an original work.

But if you're fine with that, and if you love the fake relationship trope and all that it entails, then Marry Me A Little is the fic for you. It features such timeless classics as 'I've been in love with you since we first met', tooootally platonic sleep cuddling, emotional constipation, 'all our friends/family are surprisingly unsurprised by our relationship', fear of exposing one's unrequited feelings, the angstful suppression of said feelings for the sake of the fake relationship, running hot and cold in the attempt to suppress said feelings, and more communication failure than you can shake a hockey stick at. And let's not forget the dramatic reveal of fully requited feelings and the ensuing Happily Ever After.

But seriously, folks. So much communication failure. So much communication failure that multiple side characters in the fic make a point to tell the two of them to pull their heads out of their asses and actually communicate about important things. In fact, my only serious gripe with the fic is how bafflingly resistant Patrick and Jonny are to calmly talking things out. They go through multiple cycles of conflict and resolution throughout the fic, but with so little genuine discussion going on, the resolutions to their issues feel superficial and incomplete, provided that they're resolved at all.

What makes up for it is the sense that other characters notice and have opinions on the miscommunication roller coaster that is Jonny and Patrick's marriage. bessyboo and thisissirius don't just make the rest of the cast silent or blindly supportive bystanders. The vast majority of the people that appear in this fic have their own observations and opinions on the marriage, and though they're all supportive of the relationship, that doesn't stop some of them from expressing reservations about this or that consequence of the two of them being married and out while still being prominent hockey players. That level of detail and consideration creates a wondrously complex narrative that keeps the fic from becoming hyperfocused on Jonny and Patrick and their respective emotional struggles.

But that attention to detail isn't restricted to the people that appear in the fic. Even various news outlets offer their two cents on the relationship through a series of mock articles. Personally, I doubt that the media would be as kind to the first out and married hockey players in the league as they are in the fic, (which is probably why there's no mock FOX News article), but hey, this is fanfiction. We're only required to abide by reality as much as is necessary for the purposes of the story.

Honestly, I wouldn't recommend this fic to every hockey RPF fan out there, because obviously YKINMK and I won't assume that everyone is a fan of the fake relationship trope. But if you are, and you've been hesitating to read this because of reasons that may or may not include its prodigious length, then I would definitely say to take the leap. Don't worry, I won't chirp you (much) for taking more than four days to finish it.

Marry Me A Little


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