It's the summer before 9th grade and the "little" Giants aren't so little anymore. On this hot day in late May, we see our team, once divided by an old pro's prejudice, standing united.

To see how the players functioned together, the coach split them into two groups for a scrimmage. Team one was on defense, with Spike as a free-safety. Team two on the offense had Junior as quarterback, and Becky "the Ice Box" as a receiver. At the sound of the whistle, the ball was snapped.

Becky shot off glancing behind her for the ball she knew was coming. Without fail, Junior, her stepbrother and friend, sent it sailing to her in a perfect spiral. She had it in her hand less than two seconds before she was down. She wasn't hurt, but it never felt that great to get tackled anymore. For some reason, Nike hadn't seen a reason to make shoulder pads for the body type that came with boobs.

As she landed, the scent of grass, sweat, and another smell she didn't recognize drowned her senses. It had a spice to it, similar to whatever stuff Junior wore, but it was different in a very good way. When the guy who took her down didn't seem to be moving, she opened her eyes to see pair of warm, dark eyes staring at her in concern. Her breath was taken away.

"You okay?"

It was Spike. He'd never looked at her like this. Worry was etched all over his face. Those eyes studied her. The seconds of silence ticked by as his weight against her body registered to her brain. With a flush creeping up her face she realized she didn't want him to move.

'Wait a minute… This is Spike!' The thought echoed in her brain, breaking it free of whatever held it captive for that brief moment. "What do you mean am I okay?" she murmured.

"I don't know. You were making a face like you were in pain. I've never seen you make that face before just from getting tackled." Those eyes were still studying her, always moving but lingering as if drawn to hers.

That smell was starting to intoxicate her. When she didn't move or say anything else, he knelt beside her and started to take her helmet off of her. Her only thought was, 'Is he going to kiss me!' Shocking as that would be, she wasn't totally against the idea.

"Spike! What the hell are you two doin' over there!" the coach shouted.

"She's acting weird, coach! I think she might be concussed or somethin'!"

Shaking his head, the coach started over to the two. Looking down at her confused face, flushed appearance, and flustered demeanor, he told Spike to take her to trainer's office. 'I knew it. Girls shouldn't be playing football at this age.'

Jerking her arm out of Spike's reach she bristled. "No. I'm fine. I'll go check in with the trainer myself," and stormed off.

Climbing the stairs out of the stadium, her thoughts were in a whirl. 'Is this what it's always going to be like? Every time I get tackled? Maybe there's a reason why girls don't play football.' Her face was on fire, her stomach full of butterflies and bees, and her heart wan on overdrive.

Entering the weight room, heading for the back offices, she noticed a sign-up sheet on the wall. "GIRL'S SOCCER TRY-OUTS JUNE 1st!"

'Soccer? It's not quite football but… well...' Before she could talk herself out of it, she signed the sheet. She was done with football. She couldn't risk that happening in a game; it wouldn't be fair to the team. It wouldn't be right for the team. Though she doubted she would react like that if Zoltech tackled her, she couldn't let that happen again.

Whether it was the right decision or just hormones, she couldn't be sure. 'Maybe this is growing up.' Looking at her name written in bold black marker, she hoped she was doing the right thing and started off for the back offices again. She still couldn't get those eyes out of her mind.

Later that evening, Becky was lying on her bed staring at her ceiling, enjoying the breeze wafting through her open window. She couldn't get him off her mind. Walking home, taking a shower, eating a snack; no matter what she was doing, thoughts of him gnawed at her brain. She couldn't understand it.

She knew that thing she had for Junior in the sixth grade was a crush that had nowhere to go. They were meant to be friends. Not mention since their parents got married, that would be a little weird. She was happy with the way things had turned out.

When the Giants beat the Cowboys, there was a mutual respect when the teams united. They got along well, but the friendships were slow. It was in the seventh grade when Junior, Becky, and Spike truly bonded. That was when everything went badly for Spike.

In the middle of October that year, Spike's dad got caught. Spike's mom, Debbie, found a bottle of steroids in his dad's work bench drawer. She had thought he was taking them and confronted him. He said he wasn't and didn't know how they got there. He even took an at-home drug test to prove himself.

A couple weeks later, she found him mixing something into Spike's food. Her suspicion was too strong to be ignored. She bought a second test and had Spike take it. It came back positive. His father had been giving him measured doses of steroids to "increase his athletic performance" since he was ten. It all made sense to her now. Spike's raging fits, his aggression; even those points in the off-season when he was felt what could only be described a puny.

Debbie had her husband arrested, divorced him, and took him for all he was worth. The only reason she and Spike stayed were his friends were here. But, when everybody found out what happened, his friends shied away from him. No one would sit with him at lunch. No one, that is, but Junior and Becky.

At first, he took it for pity, which it was. But soon, they grew to understand each other better. Spike stopped referring to himself in third person. Becky dropped the attitude. Junior was... well, he was Junior. Spike kept playing football, after a bit of persuasion by his new friends.

Friends were all they had ever been. So what was going on now? 'Am I falling for Spike?' Thoughts of his eyes and that smile kept coming. 'A smile that looks so much better now that he's taken that stupid cap off his front tooth,' she thought with a snort. About that time, the front door opened and shut, followed by the pounding of feet on the stairs.

A/N: Okay. It's my first fanfiction EVER. Is it good? Bad? Let me know. The rating might go up later for content or something but for now, we'll start out slow.