Crossfire

By Neptune

Summary: During that famous dinner scene in D3, Adam Banks has a lot on his mind.

PG

~~~

"Don't forget what side you're on."

And Adam Banks was once again faced with the story of his life.

~~~

"It's cool." He said. And he'd really believed himself.

And what killed him was that they'd believed him too.

He'd been so glad (relieved) that the two opposing forces in his life would be reconciled--

"You're friends have guts, Banksie. I admire that…"

--and that he'd finally be pulled out of the crossfire he constantly got himself trapped in--

"At Eden Hall, we learn to respect traditions."

--that he'd failed to see the signs that now seemed blatantly obvious. His premature optimism blinded him, and was about hurt his closest friends. If the past few weeks were any indication, they were not going to forgive him for this.

He had walked into the restaurant (Charlie on his right, Riley on his left) feeling lighter than he had in days. Things were working themselves out. And it was about time.

"Iceland must have been a tough team. That recovery during the 3rd period was fantastic," Riley enthused. "And giving up your spot for Banksie…it's the reason you're the Captain, Conway."

Charlie beamed and patted Adam's back. "What can I say, it had to be done. He's one of the best. Fired in the goal that won it for us. On a bad wrist, too"

Adam turned a little red. "I wouldn't say that. Julie really won that game for us."

"Always so modest. That's what I like about you, Banksie," Riley said, flashing his best smile.

The conversation continued amicably throughout the evening. It was a good day, he decided, and it was going to be a great year.

He excused himself from the table and headed to the washrooms.

"Adam, wait up."

He paused his gait and allowed Guy Germaine to catch up with him. "You know where the bathrooms in this place are?"

"Actually headed there myself." They continued walking down the long carpeted corridor until they reached a well-finished wooden door with the word Gentlemen carved on its frame.

"Hey guys." There were three other occupants in the room already: Riley, Cole and Anderson.

The bathroom was as lavish as their private dinning room. Black marble counter tops, and faucets as polished as a Marine's shoes. He turned the left handle and ran his hands under the water.

Riley nudged Cole with his elbow and cocked his head to the bathroom stall Guy had stepped into. Cole smiled—something Banks saw him do only when—

Oh no. Oh please, no.

His blood ran cold.

"You check with the kitchen, Goalie?"

"Yeah. Even saw it myself. It's baked, frosted—even has that inscription on it."

"Only the best for our JV." He looked straight at him. "Right Banksie?"

The lightness he'd felt earlier drained out of him. This was a set up. This was a set up!

Before he could say anything, Guy stepped out of he stall, grinning ear to ear. "This has been awesome so far guys," he said as he washed his hands in the next sink over.

Not awesome, Guy. They're up to something. See it, come on, see it!

"The evenings not over yet, my friend. We've got something else in store for you guys," Anderson said putting his hand on Guy's back leading him towards the door.

Guy's smile expanded. "Can't wait." Clapping Banks's back as they passed, he said, "See ya outside, Adam."

He wasn't sure what the expression on his face was (despite the large mirror in front of him), but it did entice a slight eyebrow arch in his friend before he and Anderson left the lavatory.

Once Guy was gone, Cole (poorly) attempted to fight his laughter. Riley looked at the goalie, amused, and then to Banks.

"Think you're hands are clean enough Banks?"

He realized that his hands still hung (immobilized) under the stream of water. Slowly turning the faucet off, he trained his stare on his new Captain. "You're setting them up, aren't you."

Cole (now recovered from his amusement) took a step forward, but Riley stopped him with an arm. "Go outside and make sure our guests are doing okay. I think Banks and I have something to discuss in private." Cole nodded and headed out, brushing roughly against Banks as he did.

"What is it? The cake you were talking about in front of Guy? Are you and the rest of the guys going to start some kind of food fight with it?"

Riley chuckled and crossed his arms over his chest. "Nothing as messy as that."

"You can't do this."

This seemed to amuse him. "I can't, huh? Who's gonna stop me?" He came closer. "You?" He smiled his rather nauseating crest kid grin.

"Those are my friends out there! You said this was legit. You told me it was. And then I told them—"

I told them; they believed me. That's how Riley knew it would play out.

"You used me to get to them." It all seemed so clear now. "It wasn't enough that you guys pull this ridiculous stunt. You wanted to make it personal by pitting me against them as we—"

His speech was cut short by Riley's fists grabbing the lapels of his jacket. "Speeches are good Banks, but at the end of the day, what are you going to do about it?"

No matter what he chose he would get punished—either by JV or Varsity. Ducks or Warriors.

"Don't forget what side you're on."

"Ducks fly together."

Right?

There really wasn't any contest.

"I'm going to tell them."

He laughed. "You're problem, Banksie, is your inability to let go of the past and your little Ducky friends. I understand that there must have been some administrative reason for your scholarships. Maybe it was just a Publicity stunt. But I'm not going to sit by and watch as those clowns make a mockery of this school. If they're going to stay here, they better damn well know that I'm going to make their lives miserable. And yours if you try anything." Riley dropped the lapels and brushed out the creases, letting his point set in with Banks. "It'll all be over soon. So just sit down and keep it shut. You got that?"

There was nothing for him to say. He concentrated on the scuffmark on his shoe, unable to look up.

"It's cool. Banks says its cool."

"I said, you got that?"

He weakly moved his head in acknowledgement.

Ducks fly together.

It's not as easy when your wings are clipped.

"Let's go. And try not too look like you're about to loose your dinner." Riley gripped his upper arm and thrust him towards the door.

He numbly walked back to his seat, which was flanked on either side by his new teammates. Looking up, he saw Riley assume his seat next to Charlie. "You have to show me that triple deke."

He needed a plan; he needed to warn them. He needed time to make eye contact with one of them—Charlie, look up—and let them know .They should know by the look on your face, Banks. They should understand. Because they know you.

Riley stood up and clinked his water glass. You hope they know you, because it's about to be too late. Adam barely heard a word of what was said.

Riley's palm was hard on his shoulder, and he wondered if the Captain had pulled him up from his seat. Otherwise, he couldn't for the life of him understand how (or why) he'd stood.

"Let's go, Banksie."

He didn't mean to, but he accidentally looked at his friends; accidentally met Charlie's eyes. His friend smiled. They don't know what's coming. I don't know what's coming and he swallowed to keep the mushroom quiche in his stomach.

They weren't going to forgive this.

He didn't blame them.

~~~

"They didn't tell me until it was too late. Charlie, you have to believe me."

He had to try to make them understand. It was ridiculous, but he had to try.

Mission Unaccomplished. Charlie, his best chance, probably his best friend, didn't want anything to do with him. He skated away and to the Varsity bench. Just in time to bump into Riley. The ant bitten captain grabbed his helmet and whispered "Don't forget what side you're on."

And once again, Adam Banks was faced with the story of his life.

~~~

The End

AN: If you made it to the end, congratulations! I wrote this piece last year sometime, but wanted to revamp it before I posted. Unfortunately, my interest in Ducks fics has diminished since then, so this was posted as is.

It's still love to know what you thought, so please review!