School Daze - A Compliation of Short Stories
Story 3 - Wrong Way Day
Duo's Friendship Arc 14
by Dyna Dee
This was just not his day, thought the blonde Arabian as he plopped himself down on the bench in the boy's locker room. His first clue should have been when he had over slept his alarm and had to skip showering in order to get some breakfast. Then, as he sat at the kitchen table, Duo started wrestling Wufei for the last bit of jam in the jar and bumped into him just as he raised a full glass of orange juice to his lips. The result was a sticky and drenched shirt and lap. Leaving his untouched cereal and toast, he ran to his room to change, only to realize that he hadn't any clean clothes as he had just returned from a mission the night before. Grumbling words under his breath that were once totally unfamiliar to his tongue, he took a pair of wrinkled pants and shirt out of the hamper and forced himself to bear the unaccustomed untidiness to wear them. After all the rushing, he missed the bus and was late for his first class that had a surprise quiz, which the teacher refused to let him take because of his tardiness. He'd forgotten one of his textbooks for the next class, earning docked points and a scowl from that teacher, plus his lunch that Trowa had packed for him and his wallet both had been left at the safehouse when he made the mad dash for the bus. Lunch was miserable as he couldn't find his friends and he was starving. And now this.
"Crap!!!" Quatre Winner barked out his frustration as the lace to his tennis shoe broke in his attempt to tie it.
"I heard that." Wufei's voice called out in his usual droll humor from somewhere else in the boy's locker room.
"Shut up!" he snapped back, now feeling even more flustered that he had allowed himself to openly vent his frustration, something the other pilots weren't use to. They always looked to him as being their calm, cheerful friend, "Brilliant in more ways then one." Duo had dubbed him one day. Well dammit, he had bad days, too, and he could curse if he wanted to, certainly the others did. Though he grudgingly admitted to himself that Duo had cut down his ribald vocabulary since they first met, and he knew it was for his benefit that he had done so.
Speak of the devil. "You're getting better." Duo teased as his head peeked around the corner of the lockers. "But I could teach you a few different words with a bit more punch to 'em." he added with a crooked smile.
"I'm sure you could, but no thanks." Quatre replied with a snort of disdain.
The long haired boy frowned at his friend's uncharacteristic attitude. He came around the corner of the row of lockers dressed in his P.E. clothes and carrying his tennis shoes to approach his frowning friend. "What's wrong, Q, bad day?" He asked quietly as he sat next to the blonde on the bench.
The Arabian held up his broken lace for Duo's inspection. "I hate this class." he announced.
"I know," Duo smiled knowingly as he put a commiserating hand on his friend's slumped shoulder. "Just consider it workout time. If we do this at school, then Heero won't put us through the paces back at the house."
Quatre shuddered at the thought. He wasn't a wimp, but neither did he have the stamina that Heero and Wufei had. Duo's hyperactivity and competitive streak seemed to help him to keep up with them, and Trowa's strength sometimes rivaled Heero's. Quatre knew that he would never be as strong nor as fast as the others, his talents lay elsewhere. The workouts that Heero came up with were more than challenging, they were designed to keep the Perfect Soldier pushing the limits of his own remarkable strength, far and away superior over his own abilities. Could he help it that his favorite sports were polo, tennis, and racquetball? Not wimp sports by any means, they just didn't require one thousand sit-ups and five hundred push-ups. P.E. class was definitely preferable to Heero's workouts, even if they were currently playing the game he loathed.
"I hate football." he told Duo with a disgruntled sigh. "Why can't we play volleyball or tennis? Why don't they have a racquetball court? Anything but football. I don't know the rules and I don't like to be tackled. It's.... not..... fun!" he pouted and inwardly winced as he heard himself whine.
Duo sling his arm over his friend's shoulder. "Could be worse." he suggested. "It could be rugby, and you don't like basketball either."
"You're not making me feel any better, Duo." Quatre looked askance at his friend.
"Come on, Q, it's flag football today." his friend chided with a smile, then got a devilish look about him as he lowered his voice. "And I overheard coach telling another guy that we're playing against the girls today and there's no tackling allowed, even for fun."
"Really?" the blonde perked up at the thought, his interest piqued at the idea of a gentler game and girls to boot.
"Really." Duo smiled. "If you want to, you can just stick to the outside of the line and just pull the strips of cloth from the person carrying the ball, that stops the play....no tackling."
"Well," the blonde gave a slight smile. "That might be better. I hate it when you guys tackle me. Heero and Trowa are brutal."
"Don't I know it." Duo's smile dimmed just a bit as a memory of one of the tackles he'd received from Heero left him with a slight concussion. He'd been the unfortunate beneficiary of his friends' strength many times on a variety of playing fields, and it made him run all that much faster when he saw any of them coming for him.
"What about this?" Quatre held up the broken lace.
"Here, take mine." Duo quickly put his shoe on his lap and began to unlace one of them. "It'll be more fair to the girls if I'm handicapped and can't run as fast." He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. "Gotta let them catch me once in a while." he added with a pixilated smile.
Quatre stood on the large green field at the end of the line of boys, facing a line of girls. He was trying to understand this American game and be a part of the team. He was relieved that the others, seeing his confusion and reluctance, chose to run the ball themselves or pass it to someone who actually wanted it. He was content to follow in their wake as they ran down the field, and tried to block the passage of whatever girl opposite him tried to sneak by.
It was nearing the end of the class period and the girls currently had the ball in their possession and everyone on the field was waiting for the play to start. Personally, Quatre was waiting for the coach to blow his whistle, signaling an end to the class.
He watched as a pony-tailed brunet that was playing center placed the ball down between her spread feet and bent over. She hiked the ball back to the girl standing approximately eight feet behind her. The tall, amazon-like redhead easily caught the ball and ran to her left as the line of boys converged forward to stop her progress.
Quatre dutifully ran towards the small blonde opposite him. She wasn't very fast and probably hated this game as much as he did. But during the game, he had noticed she was pretty and had nice legs. Her name was Brenna. Nice name, he thought as he trailed after her thinking maybe he'd follow Duo's example and ask her out. She'd certainly seemed friendly enough as they'd exchanged names and shy smiles as they lined up against each other throughout the game.
Suddenly, Brenna cut back and her eyes widened. Quatre turned to see what was happening just in time to see the deep brown pigskin come flying towards him. Reaching his hands out, he stood feeling flabbergasted when it landed squarely in his open hands. He momentarily blinked at the football, feeling stunned and knowing he was suppose to be doing something.
"Run!" Duo's voice rang above all the other voices on the field, obviously excited with the turn of events. Tucking the ball under his arm, he shot down the field. All around him the air was filled with the shouts of his teammates, and the high pitched squeals of the girls as they followed behind him. Out of the combined cacophony of shouting, he could hear Brenna, dogging his heels and yelling at him, he focused his mind so he could make out her words.
"Stop, you're going the wrong way." she shouted, her hands cupped around her mouth as she chased after him. She repeated it again and comprehending her words, his steps faltered. She ran up close to him, but didn't try to take his flag.
"Listen," she said almost breathless, her hands out. "Give me the ball so you don't score for us."
Quatre looked up seeing both the guys and girls behind him running towards them with a stunned look on their faces and their shouts combining into words that were completely uncomprehensible to him.
"Hurry!" she urged him anxiously, her hands motioning for him to act quickly.
Looking up and down the field, he wondered how he'd gotten turned around as he tossed her the ball, then blinked in confusion when Brenna caught the ball, tucked it under her arm, and immediately ran back the way they'd come.
A cry went up across the field and Quatre couldn't make sense of it. The girls on the field quickly rallied to protect their teammate with the ball now tucked securely in her arms and running for all she was worth down the field. He turned to look at his friends who were standing still on the field and looking at him in obvious disbelief. Heero was the first to come out of his state of shock and turned to chase after the girls, Duo fell dramatically to the ground onto his stomach and gripped his hair, Wufei rolled his eyes heavenward, and Trowa shook his head, a wry grin on his face before they, too, started down the field.
The Sandrock pilot put the pieces together realizing he'd been duped, royally, and with his head bowed and shoulders slumped, he walked over to Duo's prone body.
In the background, the sounds of the girls squealing at the surprised touchdown could be heard, probably all across the campus, Quatre grimaced. Duo rolled onto his back as he approached and squinted up against the sunlight as he gazed with disbelief at his fellow pilot.
"You gave her the ball?" he asked the obvious, his voice sounding incredulous.
Quatre shrugged as the coach's shrill whistle ended the game, five minutes too late, the blonde sighed.
Trowa walked up to them and his widening grin and mirthful silence spoke volumes......he was highly amused. He extended his hand to Duo, still on the ground, and hauled the smaller Deathscythe pilot up to his feet. Immediately, Duo's shoulders began to shake as Wufei walked up, shaking his head.
"Bested by an onna." he snickered.
"Shut. Up!" the blonde demanded, then straightened his shoulders, held his head up, and left them behind as he walked single-mindedly toward the locker room door, hoping just to make it inside and hide in his locker for the rest of the day, and trying hard to ignore the stifled laughter as the three followed behind him. Heero silently joined him as the field slowly cleared, a sly grin on his face. Quatre gave him a warning glance and the Wing Pilot wisely withheld any comment as they continued on together.
They walked only a few steps before Heero said in a droll manner. "You've got dog crap on your shoes."
Quatre looked down, and sure enough on his left tennis shoe was the offensive evidence of Heero's observation. "Well shit." he said disgustedly, and tried to scape it off on the grass.
"That's what I said." Heero snickered. It was obvious he was losing the battle to remain stoic today.
As he approached the boy's locker room door, he looked up sharply when he heard Brenna's voice calling loudly out to him the words he'd never live down. "Hey, Quin, stop, you're going the wrong way!" she pointed to the locker room, and all the girls around her burst into a hilarious laughter.
So much for asking her out, the voice in his head commented derisively.
"Can we transfer out tomorrow?" Quatre dismally asked Heero, his face turning a bright shade of pink, his shoulders slumped in defeat, as he looked up through his long blonde bangs to his friend.
With a crooked smile, Heero shook his head.
"Damn." he muttered. "Can this day get any worse?" he asked himself out loud as his exasperation carried him into the locker room where, after a moment of silence, the entire room of boys burst into laughter.
*This really happened to my sister, Brenna, at school. The poor guy will never live it down.*