Title: Numbers

Author: Beth Pryor

Rating: K

Summary: Kevin-centric one-shot set in early Season 1.

Disclaimer: I decided to come back and add all the intro stuff. For the first time since I was 15, I did not have to file an income tax return because I have no income. Sobering, I know, but it makes it perfectly clear that I'm not making any money off of this (or anything else).


Numbers

For more than 17 years, his life had been a collection of numbers, averages, statistics, and odds. Seven pounds, three ounces, 22 inches were the digits circulated on cards after his birth. His grandma had even put it on a quilt.

Then when he was five, he was allowed to play tee ball. Eight, that was the number of positions he had played during that season. By the time he was eleven, he was the premiere little league pitcher in the area. His record was 5-1 and he had the highest batting average on the team, .347. No one calculated ERA for kids that little, but later, someone told him it had been as low as 1.33. His senior year of high school his fastball had topped out at 99 mph on one scout's gun. He struck out 115 batters and allowed 6 runs in the 10 games he started. His batting average and on base percentages, .382 and .675, respectively were the best in the district. His ERA of 0.93 was the best in the state. The value of the scholarship offered him by Arizona was more than 150,000 over four years, and the signing bonus for a first round drafted pitcher averaged around 1,000,000 dollars.

He was really good at basketball, too. His best season had been his sophomore. He was only 5'9", but he excelled as a point guard who could also shoot. He recorded double-doubles, at least ten points and ten assists, in 75 percent of the games that season. He went on to set career records in assists, 1324, and 3 point shot percentage, 67. He scored his one thousandth point in the third game of his senior year, and he made 52 consecutive free throws, a record that still stood.

Football was his dad's idea, but he had the quickness and balance (thanks to the low center of gravity) needed to become the starting tailback. He crossed the goal line 43 times his senior year, 22 times rushing, 19 times receiving, and 2 on kick returns. Rushing yards were racked up, as well, more than 2,000 in 10 games. Two state championships later, he was a 2 to 1 favorite, according to the local newspaper, to win the state's Mr. Football award.

He had lived and died by those numbers. His position as a Division I prospect depended so heavily upon them. People were constantly reminding him of this, and even though he tried his best to ignore them, those numbers were always swirling in his head. Sometimes they had dollar signs in front of them. Sometimes it was the number of people he'd be letting down if he walked away from it all.

Yeah, there were too many numbers for a 17-year-old kid to deal with, especially when new numbers replaced all of the old ones.

Like 0.11- Andy's blood alcohol level,

90 mph-the estimated top speed the car had reached shortly before they hit the tree,

100 ft- the distance Kevin had been thrown from the vehicle,

and 3- the number of places in which his spine was fractured.

He was used to dealing in numbers, odds, statistics, percentages. He could handle this. He'd dealt with pressure. He thought he'd be ok, until he heard one number that stopped him cold. He overheard his mom talking to his dad. When she said it, he couldn't believe his ears, but she had clearly said it, "Two percent." Kevin assumed she was talking about milk. She wasn't. So these were his new odds. He wasn't taking his luck to Vegas anytime soon.