Title: Like Real People Do
Author: Xiaq
Fandom: Check Please!
Pairing: Kent Parson/OMC
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: Homophobia, Racism, injured characters, angst
Genre: Romance
Word Count: ~175,000


Parson gestures with his spoon toward Hawke. “So am I allowed to ask about the service dog or is that not PC?”
“My medical history is more of a 3rd date conversation,” Eli says.
“Oh? Why’s that?”
“Because. No one sticks around afterward and I like to live in glorious denial for a short period beforehand.”

Why You Should Read This:

Ignore the Check Please! fandom tag and just go and read this story! It’s tagged “Friends to Lovers” but it’s more than that! If you love that trope, as well as ‘accidentally coming out’ and have even a passing interest in hockey, this fic is for you.

Kent Parson is a minor character in Check Please! canon. Xiaq has given him an in-depth backstory, real life problems, and an original character boyfriend who steals the story.

Kent is a talented, semi-douchey, white, early twenty-ish hockey player earning more money (like millions) than he really knows what to do with, playing (and Captain) for the NHL Vegas Aces. Eli is a figure skating, eighteen-year-old, black/Hispanic, poor college student, who has a guide-dog because of a TBI from a car accident.

The story is full of meet-cute, meet the family, closeted NHL players, a guide dog, hockey, ice skating (hokey and figure), and learning to be an adult.

Xiaq addresses the homophobia in professional sports head-on. Eli agrees to keep his relationship with Kent on the down-low, to help Kent stay in the closet. Which gets busted wide open when Eli is in the hospital (mom is on the way, but will not arrive for several hours) and Kent demands to be with his boyfriend.

One of my absolutely favorite snips:

“Fucking cocksucker,” Booker hisses.



Kent glances at the ref who is still pointedly pretending he can’t hear them.

Uh, yeah?” Kent says, tightening his grip on his stick. “I’d be a pretty shitty boyfriend if I wasn’t.”

Booker’s face goes blank.


“It’s not like it’s a hardship, though, let me tell you. Eli’s dick? Very nice, as far as dicks go. A little bigger than you’d expect for someone his size but not like, too big, you know?”

“The fuck? Don’t—”

“And he’s definitely a grower, not a shower, which threw me off at first, because I”m not a size queen or anything but I have to admit I was a little disappointed the first time—”

“Jesus,” Booker says viciously, “Shut the fuck up.”

Hey man, you brought it up. Anyway. Back to Eli’s dick. I definitely was not disappointed once—”

Booker loses the face-off.

Booker also retreats to stony silence and Kent finds himself grinning for most of the rest of the game, firstly, because they quickly tally two points in the second to tie, but secondly because he keeps hearing little snatches of conversations:

Like Rads patiently explaining the importance of prep for anal sex—since Pevs seems so interested in the topic—

The entire story is well written, thoughtful, and funny.

NOTE: as of 7/5/18 there’s one more chapter to be posted, but Xiaq has been faithful about posting and by the time you get to the end the final chapter may even be posted. But it’s complete enough to read right now.