Disclaimer:  Do I need to say it?

We Are NOT Sports People

Chapter Five

Zoe watched the other two Badminton games moodily from behind a bottle of Budweiser.  The weather was getting sticky as well as hot, and the wind was beginning to blow promisingly, though no one paid it any mind.  Team 1 and 2 finished up not long after she had been carried off the field on Psymon's back, and she glared sullenly at her British friend as he came to sit next to her on the benches alongside the field.

"Guess what, mate?  We won!" Moby said smugly, crossing his arms in a very proud manner.  "Good thing, too.  That should show that Frenchie where his place is!"

Zoe, who had been mimicking Moby's words silently with a very childish expression the entire time, took another swig from her bottle.  Moby glanced at her.

"You okay, love?"

"You okay, love?" Zoe mocked, trying to feign a British accent and only succeeding in sounding like she was from California.  Moby's brows furrowed.

"What's the matter?"

"Nothing!" Zoe denied melodramatically, waving her hands in front of her.  Moby wasn't moved.

"Now what the 'ell did I do to you?" he persisted.  Zoe glared at him.

"Okay, I'll tell you what!" she said, the hand holding her bottle pointing at him and almost splashing Moby with alcohol.  "You're an inconsiderate… inconsiderate… Um… inconsiderate person, that's what!"  She gave a small hiccup and then added as an afterthought, "And I don't like that new nipple ring you got!"

Moby blinked.  "But love, I've had me nipple pierced for two years now."

"And I still don't like it!" Zoe shouted at him, taking another long swig from her bottle.  Moby rolled his eyes, reached over, and grabbed the bottle, yanking it out of her drunken grip.

"Where'd ya get this?"

"None of your business!"

"Zoe, mate, how many of these things 'ave you 'ad?"

"As much as I need," she slurred, trying to take the Budweiser back.  Moby snorted and tipped the bottle up to his own mouth, downing the rest.  Zoe looked like she might just burst into tears.

"You're so mean!" she shouted, drawing the attention of Eddie and Brodi nearby, who had been discussing how reckless maniacs like Psymon could beat you to a pulp without really meaning to.  "Why are you always so frickin' mean to me?"

"When 'ave I ever been mean to you?" he asked incredulously.  Zoe sniffed, hiccupped, then glared pointedly at the empty Budweiser in his hand.  Moby shoved it out of her sight quickly.

"Now I was only doin' that for your own good, and you know it!" he insisted.  Zoe crossed her arms and looked away.  "So is that the only time you can come up with?"

"No!" she shouted, rounding on him so suddenly that Moby jumped in his seat.  "I saw you!  Over there with Marisol, having a good old time, weren't you?  Winning the game without caring what kind of effect it might have on me… And then beating JP and rubbing it in his face with her!  With her!  I thought I was your Humiliate-JP partner!"

Moby stared at her behind his thick sunglasses.  "Eh, love, I don't see where you're coming from… Marisol and I won the game because we were paired up and because we were good together.  And I know you can't deny the fact that she has a thing for beating JP, mate.  She was just as cruel to him as you would have been, don't worry—"

"SO YOU'VE REPLACED ME?" Zoe shrieked, looking horrified at him.  This increase in volume caught the attention of everyone on the benches that hadn't already been watching their exchange.  JP began to laugh.  "I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU!  YOU'RE SO FREAKIN' CRUEL!"

Ignoring Moby's claims of denial, Zoe stood up and tried to stomp off.  She only succeeded in weaving drunkenly for a few paces before tripping over herself and falling down on her elbows and knees.  Several of the other spectators laughed.  Moby turned back to them and looked slightly pained.

"She's a mean little drunk sometimes, you know…  It's her feisty temper.  It can get to her…"

Marisol, who'd always considered Zoe a friend, seemed a little hurt and confused that Zoe was angry with her.  She, like Moby, couldn't seem to understand what had upset her so, or if it was just the beer talking.  Whichever it was, though, a certain Psymon Stark didn't care.  He got up from his seat on the benches, started making his way down, and then pretended to trip about halfway through, rolling down the rest of the way towards Zoe.  He looked up at her and grinned from his place on the ground when he reached her side, that maniacal glint ever-present in his feral blue eyes.

"What's wrong?" he asked in a tone that was supposedly, for Psymon, concerned.

In response, Zoe retched, looking only seconds away from puking.  Psymon stared at her for a couple seconds.  He then scooted his head a little farter away from her face.

"Need a little help there, bonny beer breath?" he asked.  Zoe didn't respond, but Psymon took this for a yes, suddenly making grotesque vomiting sounds.  The others all 'ewww'd in unison, Moby afterwards demanding that Psymon stop before Zoe threw up.

Too late.

"Oh dear Buddha," Brodi whispered, paling a shade, closing his eyes, and putting his hands over his ears.  Eddie and Marisol did likewise.  JP looked thoroughly bewildered, as if shocked Zoe should do something so disgusting in his presence.  Moby watched his friend with concern but didn't move, eyeing the pile of sick warily.  Psymon covered his nose and scooted back, looking triumphant.  Luther, however, sighed.

"What a bunch of…"

With a hefty grunt, he stood up and made his way over to Zoe, rubbing her back in the gentlest way Luther's heavy hands could.  Shaking and sweaty from the exertion, Zoe finally crumpled backwards, panting lightly.

"Got it all out?" Luther asked gruffly.  She only nodded, staring numbly at anything other than her puke.  Luther looked up and took a deep breath.

"HEY," he bellowed, "WE NEED SOMEONE TO CLEAN THIS MESS UP OVER HERE, YA GOT IT?"

Looking back down he heaved Zoe up by her shoulders and then picked her up in his arms.  Turning to JP's and Moby's appalled faces, he said tersely, "Gonna take her up to the gym, 'cause it's much cooler up there.  Be back in a bit, JP."

Everyone watched him go with incredulous looks on their faces—everyone but Psymon, that is.  He merely stood up, brushed himself off, and then asked his tattoo if it had a pen and a piece of paper on it, so that he might write Rahzel a love letter.

Eddie looked at Brodi.  "You wouldn't happen to know a Zen saying that deals with maniacal gays and fat rednecks doing favors for people, would you?"

Brodi put his face in his hands.  "No Eddie.  Sadly, I don't believe Buddha ever came across anyone quite like some of the SSX crew."

~*~*~

Rahzel strolled to court number two, a fresh bottle of water in his hand and a very bored expression on his face.  He stopped and surveyed the game going on before him with tired eyes and yawned.  Generally any sport played with such passion excited him, even if it was something as calm as golf or bowling.  And just who could deny that these kids weren't playing passionately?!

But this… this…

This was just downright boring.

Rahzel checked his watch.  This had to be the longest game ever in Badminton history.  Nearly an hour and a half had gone by, and still Mac and Kaori were going against each other, the score 14:13, Kaori and Elise's favor; or, he should say, Kaori's favor.  Elise didn't seem to be doing hardly anything.

Which was why no one said anything when she stood up from her tanning spot on the ground, stretched, and then promptly began walking off the soccer field with a long-legged strut.

Seeiah, however, was not amused.  Just as Elise had made it to her end of the court, she suddenly said, "Hey, where do you think you're going?"

"To the gym's locker rooms to piss."

Seeiah scowled.  "Wait a sec, you can't just up and leave!  You've got to sit this thing out with me!  I'm not sitting through this torture alone!  It's not fair!"

Elise smirked and continued walking.  "Sorry sister, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do."

Seeiah turned around and let out a noise of frustration, raising a hand to run it agitatedly through her hair—only to remember that she was bald.  She groaned and sunk back to the ground, watching Kaori and Mac sullenly.

"Kaori I—I think I'm gonna—gonna WHOA!—oh yea, save!—I think I'm gonna turn in the—towel!"

"Not now Mac-chan!  Just a little—eeck!—more!  You've made—it this far!  Come on!  You can do it!"

"But you—you know you're gonna—whip my butt!"

Seeiah rolled her eyes.  How many times had Mac said that already?  And he was still keeping up…  Two more points and he would win the match for he and her.  She sighed, picking at the grass underneath her idly.  This was so boring…

The wind blew the grass underneath her fingers fiercely.  She looked up.

Increasingly darkening and thickening clouds had long-since hidden the sun.  Seeiah frowned.  Now, more than ever, it looked very much like it would rain.  She sighed.  If it started pouring and she was stuck outside because of this stupid, never-ending game… Well, she didn't know what she'd do.  Go ballistic would be the first thing.  After that… maybe she'd hog-tie Mac, declare a forfeit of the match, scream at Rahzel for putting her here in the first place, then go chew out Elise for not suffering the same wet fate.

Suddenly, Kaori pulled a ghost racket and the birdie fell down to the ground.  Mac didn't even have enough energy to cry for joy and rub it in her face, though Kaori summoned spunk enough to whimper pitifully amongst her panting.  She picked up the birdie and threw it at Mac; he just barely caught it.

"Point for us?" Seeiah asked, quirking an eyebrow.  Mac nodded, throwing the birdie weakly at her.  It landed a good two feet from her legs.

"Yea…" he breathed, moping the sweat off his face, "and it's your turn to serve."

Seeiah stood up, wiped herself off, and grabbed the birdie, staring at Mac warily.  "Are you sure you're not going to pass out?"

"Pass out?  Who?" Rahzel suddenly asked from the sideline, eyes wide.  Seeiah glanced at him and rolled her eyes.

"Sheesh, get a grip Rahzzy," she chided, stepping back to the service line.  She looked through the Badminton net at Kaori, who looked very flush in the face and almost as near collapse as Mac.  She frowned and gave the disc jockey an incredulous look; how could Rahzel look at these kids and not guess that either one of them were about to faint?

Seeiah sighed and held the birdie up momentarily, serving it over the net.  Kaori somehow managed to hit it back—not to anyone's surprise.  Seeiah literally saw beads of sweat fly off Mac as he dove to retrieve it and hit it back—

But miraculously, he missed, falling flat on his face next to his racket.  The fastest point won in the game.

Everyone watching rubbed their eyes and pinched his or herself to make sure they weren't seeing things.  But no, even when Rahzel bit his lower lip extremely hard, Mac's fallen body didn't cease to be.  Kaori swelled up happily.

"Woohooooo," she said in a hoarse voice, doing her best to holler.  Seeiah watched her do a small motion with her left arm as if trying to imitate some sort of victory dance; two seconds later, the wind began to pick up and get chilly; and in even less time than that, Kaori fell flat on her face and remained still.

Rahzel blinked, looking from one passed out teenager to the other.  He scratched his head.

"Um… hey kids?"

Nothing.

"You guys?"

Still nothing.

Rahzel frowned.  "Well um… well… let's get these kids inside, people, hop to it!"

Just as everyone started to busy themselves to work, rain began to fall.  Rahzel stared blearily up at the ornery clouds, scowling.  He winced as a raindrop fell in his eye.  Seeiah snickered.

"Back to the gym everyone!" he called out, turning around to the side benches and repeating himself.  Two camera crewmembers heaved Kaori and Mac on their shoulders, and everyone began jogging back to shelter just as Elise was coming back out.  She blinked, smirked, then turned around and headed back inside.

"A natural trend-setter…" she mumbled to herself, polishing her fingernails on her shirt.

~*~*~

"Man, this sucks."

Marisol glanced from the pouting, bored-out-of-his-mind Eddie, to Elise, who was sitting only a couple feet away, and coughed.  "You wish…" she murmured.

Elise's ears almost twitched in a very cat-like way.  "What was that, Sparky?" she snapped.  Marisol only grinned politely and shook her head.

"Didn't anyone bother to check the weather forecast for today?" an exasperated Rahzel asked, pacing the floor worriedly and glancing around at the camera crew and the SSX Tricky competitors, the latter of whom were sitting on the school's bleachers.  "I mean, didn't anyone?  Huh?  Anyone?"

"Speak now or forever hold your peace," Elise snapped loudly.

"I think that means no, Rahzel," Eddie added, picking the wet grass off his sneakers idly.  Rahzel scowled, glared, and continued to assist in moving camera equipment while muttering profanities under his breath.

It had been thirty minutes since the rain had first started to fall, and only just now the last of the camera and Badminton equipment was getting inside.  Rain was pounding in thick sheets against the side of the building, the wind howling threateningly.  Every now and then thunder would crackle and bellow, but only frequent enough to hint that the storm was passing parallel to the gym, not over it.  Which was good, because it turned out that Kaori—who had revived fifteen minutes after she passed out—was profoundly afraid of thunderstorms.

"Kaaaaraaaaackle! BABABABOOOOOOOM!" Psymon suddenly screamed behind her, cackling like crazy as Kaori squeaked and dove into Mac, who had come to only a few minutes before she had.  Mac blinked and patted her back awkwardly, torn between the instinct to tell Psymon off and the desire not to.  After all, he had a pretty Japanese girl in his arms now…

Kaori recovered quickly, however, and she had had plenty of practice chewing Psymon out.  Unfortunately, she was still pretty exhausted from her Badminton game, and her nerves were too wired from the storm to stay mad very long.  "Why you big—why you mean…"

"Why me what?!" Psymon chirped, leaning foreword eagerly, as if about to be told that Zoe loved him.

Kaori sighed and looked away, an eye twitching.  "Sore ga watashi no jinsei desu…"

Psymon quirked an eyebrow but left it alone, leaning back and sighing exasperatedly.  "She's just no fun these days!  What is WITH that?!  You know anything about her strange behavior, Tattoo-boy?"  A pause.  "You too?  Hmmm… Hey, maybe Fuzz knows.  Do you know anything about it, Fuzz?"

It took Eddie a couple repeats of "Fuzz" to remember that Psymon was addressing him.  He looked up from his shoes and glared, still not having gotten over Psymon beating him up—unintentionally, of course.  "What?" he spat softly.

Psymon suppressed a laugh.  "Why's Kaori acting like such a bump on a log?  Or a bump on a lump?  Or a bump on a stump?"

Eddie shrugged.  "How should I know?  Shut up and leave me alone."  He turned back to his shoes and continued his work moodily.  Psymon grabbed his gut and went into hysterical fits of laughter, his mind totally distracted from the subject of Kaori.

Moby scowled at Psymon and turned back to Zoe; his arm was wrapped around behind her, and her snoozing head was resting on his shoulder, a thin trail of drool sticking to his shirt.  Moby grimaced.  Having his girl sleeping on his shoulder was pleasantly romantic, of course, but he wished someone had at least given her a breath mint before she fell asleep.  He didn't even WANT to think about what it was that he smelled.  JP snickered.

"Ahhh, dear knight in shining armor… the fair lady isn't worth the trouble of saving now, is she?"

Moby glared at him.  "Shut it, Frenchie."  His glare became a gleeful smirk.  "Or do I need to show ya where your place is again, eh?"

JP crossed his arms and scowled.  "We both know that you only won because my girlfriend is an excellent Badminton player.  You just need a girl to fight your battles for you."  He nodded mockingly at the snoring Zoe.  "Hence the fact that you hang out with that hideous, face-tattooed creature."

Luther cleared his throat.  "Ex, JP."

"What?"

"Ex-girlfriend… Marisol's your ex, boss."

JP paled.  "I know that… what did I say?"

"You said plain ol' girlfriend, mate," Moby interrupted, smirking.  "And I beg the lady forgive me over there, should she hear—" He jerked his head back at Marisol "—but if I'm not mistaken, she was being a bit of a flirty miss with the Buddha-miester over there today.  Must not like ya too much.  Must not be too satisfied with ya, mate."

JP's pale face became as red as a cherry.  "She is not my girlfriend!  That was just a slip of the tongue!  AND SHE WASN'T FLIRTING WITH BRODI!"

Silence; JP's should echoed throughout the gym.  The French beauty covered his mouth with a delicate hand, looking positively horrified with himself while Moby burst out laughing, making his gales pointedly loud.  Zoe snorted and murmured on Moby's shoulder.

Brodi sighed exasperatedly, hid his head between his knees, and held his arms over his sun-bleached hair, his face flushed.

Luther looked from JP to Moby and put one and one together—as he couldn't possibly put two and two together; that would be just too complicated.

"Want me to do something 'bout him, boss?  Want me to shut him up good?!"

But for once, JP was past having someone do the manual labor for him.  Forgetting all airs of formality and regality, the Frenchman stood up and began clambering down the bleachers to get to Moby.  The Englishman paled, stood up and took off in a sprint, leaving Zoe to fall sideways and wake up blearily.

"Huuuuuh?" she slurred, blinking and wincing from a severe headache.  "Wha…?  Whatsz… what's goin' on?  Whoa, turn off the bright heights—bright frights—bright… er…"

Poor Zoe was too out of it to realize fully what was going on, but everyone else watched in amazement as the playboy Frenchman chased his black rival across the volleyball court and into the boys' locker room.  No one wanted to guess what happened afterwards; there was total silence; no sounds of a scuffle, but the pair certainly didn't emerge anytime soon.

Psymon bounded down the bleachers to take Moby's place, wrapping an arm ecstatically around Zoe.  "HOWDY-DOODE COWBOY!"

"Aaah…" Zoe protested weakly, making an attempt to cover her ears.  Psymon wouldn't hear of it, however, and grabbed her hands, singing West Side Story songs like a canary—or, rather, like a wounded parakeet that had been trapped in a miserable pet shop for ten stinkin' years.

"PSYMON!" everyone shouted.

"Whaaaaaat?!" the Canadian drawled innocently.  But met with ten solid glares—one particularly pained one coming from Zoe—Psymon actually quieted for once and crossed his arms, muttering darkly to his tattoos.

The gymnasium door opened and Rahzel entered, just as the storm bellowed a particularly fierce rumble of thunder.  Kaori cried out and dove even deeper into Mac's chest; the teen suddenly began praying that he'd put on enough deodorant and that Kaori liked his choice of cologne.

Rahzel stepped up and ran a hand through his soaking hair, picking daintily at his wet clothes.  Psymon squealed happily.

"Entering a wet t-shirt contest, lover?" the crazy Canadian asked, leaning forward.  Rahzel eyed him warily before Psymon jumped out of his seat (Zoe wobbling threateningly on the spot), pulling something out of his back pocket.  "I just remembered!  I wrote you a letter, my strawberry shortcake!"

Psymon bounded happily over to the DJ, handed him a folded piece of paper, and then trotted back, giggling like a schoolgirl in love.  Rahzel groaned softly and tossed the letter behind his back with a bitter look.  Psymon gasped.

"Lover, I—I thought we were—I thought—how could you do this to me?!"  Pretending to sob melodramatically, Psymon turned and picked up Zoe, throwing her over his shoulder again.  Zoe's face turned a familiar shade of green.  Several of the boarders started snickering.

"Sketchy, what—" Elise began.

"Well I've got someone here who does care about me, and—and—AND I DON'T NEED YOUR STINKIN' LOVE ANYMORE!  Come on, hot stuff!"  And with that, the maniac took off across the gym, flung the girls' locker room door open, and rushed inside without another word.

Silence.

"Well," Rahzel said, clapping his dripping hands together.  "Er—now that that's over… there's something you guys should know."

"You're gay?" Mac whispered in mock seriousness.  Kaori started giggling, her face still hidden.  Rahzel scowled amongst plenty of snickers.

"No, Mac, it's—"

"Of course that's not it, Mac!" Marisol interrupted with a wink in Rahzel's direction.  "Rahzel wouldn't of had to tell us that!  We already knew all about it!  Rahzel came out of the closet a long time ago."

"Would someone close her over-sized mouth for once," an exasperated Rahzel asked amongst Seeiah and Marisol's ferocious giggles, "so that I can finish what I'm trying to say?!"

Elise raised her hand.  Rahzel shot her a wry look.

"Not literally, Elise."

"Awww…" the diva sighed, looking crest-fallen.  Eddie snickered.

"But anyway you guys, I just wanted to let you know that we're going back to the buses tonight.  We're postponing the rest of the Badminton tournament.  The weather forecast says it's supposed to be sunny tomorrow, so hopefully that's when we'll be shooting the rest.  But go back to your bus and get a fresh change of clothes, take a shower, do whatever you like.  We'll be eating out in about two hours.  That's all the filming we'll be doing for today."

"Thank you Buddha," Brodi mumbled.

"So, well, that's it!  But—" Rahzel's smile faulted.  "Wait a sec—where're JP and Moby?"

Luther cleared his throat, grinning like the Cheshire cat.  "Boss's goin' after the pansy Brit!  He's givin' 'em the what for!  The one two!  They're dukin' it out!"

Rahzel paled, looking around at the other boarders.  The solemn look on their faces was all the confirmation he needed.  He swallowed.  "Where are they?"

"Boys' locker room!" Luther sang, cackling happily.  The DJ sighed and put his face in his wet hands.

"All right then… Three of you come with me to help split those two up.  And… um… Seeiah, would you go and inform Psymon and Zoe about the arrangements for tonight?"

The African-American snowboarder laughed harshly.  "You kidding me?  I'm not going in there!  That's worse than going after JP and Moby!"  She shuddered.  "Who knows what kind of things they might be doing!"

Rahzel gave her a dry look.  "Then take Marisol with you if you so desperately need emotional support.  All right, Eddie—Brodi—Luther—come with me."

Elise watched as everyone filed out around her, leaving her alone with Mac and Kaori, the two of which were pulling from each other slowly, blushing uncomfortably.  Elise groaned and rolled her eyes, standing up.  She'd leave those two lovebirds alone.  Right now, she had a date with a hot shower.

She stepped outside into the pouring rain and squeaked, the clouds becoming as increasingly dark as night.  She shivered.  Cold—cold—cold—

This temperature was so wrong.  And this was even coming from a Canadian chick.

Translations:

Sore ga watashi no jinsei desu—That is the story of my life

Author's Notes:

I want to apologize if this chapter was rough, but I had a hard time plowing through it myself.  I'm trying to get the Badminton games over and done with, but I don't want to, like, rush through it, you know?  If there were too much action in one spot it'd be boring.  Or… boring to me at least, lol.  :P

Thanks for the reviews!  They really mean a lot; I hope I've entertained you all enough to get even more feedback!  ^_^

But there's something I'd like to ask.  I'm thinking the next chapter should be of their dinner and of the final Badminton games.  Would that be too much?  If I do cram all that in, it'll be pretty long, and it might be a pretty long wait for the next chapter…  So what I want to know is if you guys want two separate, shorter chapters that'll probably be published faster, or just one long chapter of SSX goodness?  ^_^  I'll go with the one that has the most votes!

(Extra thanks to Realitysplitter for plugging me in her story!)

~Pudgoose