Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own the Mighty Ducks; Disney does.
Summary: Adam Banks didn't have a lot of lines in the first movie, so this is just his thoughts and what happened after the Ducks won.
Dedicated to Desiree, Cherie and Aileen.
Mighty Ducks: Fallen Bird Of Prey
"My son would rather not play!" Dad said.
My head jerked up and I stared at him, shocked.
But I didn't say anything.
Why didn't I?
Why didn't I just tell him that yes, I loved playing for the Hawks, but I loved playing hockey itself more?
I just wanted to play…it didn't really matter who I played for.
And why does Dad always put words in my mouth?
When I stepped into the Ducks locker room for the first time, Charlie actually came up to me and wanted to welcome me to the team.
For that split second, I was numbed.
I'd picked on these guys countless times, but now he wanted to shake my hand?
It was a good thing that Jesse stopped him.
When Jesse told me that wearing a Duck jersey didn't make me a real Duck, I felt better.
Some distant part of my heart registered hurt at this remark, but it still made me feel better.
If Charlie had been able to come right up to me to deliver that handshake, I don't know how I would've reacted, but I know that it made me sick to know that he was forgiving me.
It made me see how disgusting I was.
It made me sick of myself.
I could handle Jesse's harsh remarks because I knew that I had it coming; I expected it.
I couldn't handle forgiveness because forgiveness forced me to see what a horrible person I was.
To me, Coach Bombay's training methods were something alien.
During training sessions, he told us to have fun.
I…don't remember hearing the word "fun" during training before…with the Hawks.
With Coach Reilly, training was training. That was it.
That was the only kind of "training" that I'd known.
If you weren't good enough, you just trained harder.
And if you still weren't good enough after training, too bad; you got benched. Or worse still, you got taken off the team.
Coach Reilly didn't want "rejects" on his team.
I loved playing hockey, but when Coach Bombay told us to have fun, I saw hockey in a different light and that only made me love and enjoy it even more.
Another difference: with Coach Reilly, making it to the playoffs meant longer training sessions.
For Coach Bombay, it meant more fun and a "playoffs present": bringing the entire Ducks team to see a North Stars game.
At the game, I saw McGill and Larson.
Then I really understood why the Ducks hated us.
Now I could feel the hell that they went through.
I wasn't the bully anymore, but the bullied.
Not the predator, but the prey.
Not a Hawk; a Duck.
At first, I didn't understand why they'd do this to me; I was always hanging out with the two of them when I was a Hawk. I thought they were my best friends. I thought….
I treated them like my best friends….
Now, after they redrew the district lines, they drew their own line between me and them?
So, their friendship depended on the team that I played for?
So…being a Hawk was simply a guarantee that I wouldn't get picked on like the Ducks?
Suddenly, being a Duck made me realise things that I'd never seen before.
But the big game was what really opened my eyes.
Hawks and Ducks lined up on the ice as the national anthem was sung.
At that moment, I was a confused junk pile of feelings.
I was playing for the Ducks, but I'll admit, inside, part of me was still a Hawk.
Even my Hawk training was ingrained in me.
It was highly unlikely that players from opposing teams would ever want to get to know each other.
But in this game, I knew players from both sides.
As for the Hawks, when I once played for them, instead, now I played against them.
I could sense that I was in for a hard time in this game.
I wasn't wrong.
The minute the ref dropped the puck, McGill gave me a rough shove and I fell to the ice.
I don't remember how many times I was tripped up or slammed during that game. I only know that it was more than usual. My old Hawk teammates were out to get me.
It's funny; when I was a Hawk, I would've thought, 'Hey, anything to win.'
But now, everytime I got checked into the boards, I could feel how ruthless they were; I could feel how ruthless Coach Reilly was too, because he'd trained us…them in this way.
And under Coach Bombay, all of a sudden, winning wasn't everything.
Probably because he never pressured us to win.
At the start of the next period, I had the puck again.
I skated furiously towards the Hawks' goal.
Never thought that I'd be shooting the puck into the Hawks' goal.
I could hear the Ducks cheering me on; I knew that Dad was doing the same thing.
This was it, I told myself. I was going to score the Ducks' first goal against the Hawks!
The next thing I remember after that thought was a hard shove from behind, falling to the ice, sliding and finally, slamming into the goal post.
Instantly, everything went black.
When I woke up, Jesse told me that my shot had gone in.
From the smile on his face, I could tell that I had finally earned his friendship.
I spotted McGill sitting in the box. So, he was the one who pushed me. That so-called "best friend" of mine.
I knew that Coach Reilly would've wanted me out of the game; it was a familiar tactic that he'd used in other games. If an opposing player was in the way of us winning, he had the guy dropped out of the game.
He'd succeeded; I wasn't just physically hurt though, but emotionally too.
Now I knew what betrayal felt like.
The Hawks were the first team I had ever played for and Coach Reilly was like a second dad to me. I respected him, admired him and…he hurt me.
I always did what he told us to…
When he wanted us to speed up, I skated faster.
When he wanted us to score, I shot more goals.
My only crime was living in the wrong place when the district lines were redrawn.
Praises from his mouth were like blessings rained down from heaven.
He was practically a god to me.
I respected him so much and yet, he did this to me.
Being on the receiving end of all his dirty tricks made me see just how low he would stoop just to win.
I'd wasted my time; Coach Bombay was worthy of more respect than him.
The Hawks were a lie; all along, we were just meant to win, so that our efforts would feed Reilly's ego.
The Ducks…that was different.
Coach Bombay let us have fun, he let us grow with the game; most importantly, he showed us that that was all hockey was: a game. For fun.
And with the Ducks, I could have real friends.
People like Charlie and his understanding, yet sensitive nature; like Averman and his witty sense of humour; like Jesse and his fierce loyalty.
At least they wouldn't turn against me if we went our separate ways.
While I was hospitalised, Dad wouldn't believe me when I said that Reilly made McGill hurt me.
Dad insisted that it was purely McGill's fault and he had poor sportsmanship.
Dad always thinks he's right.
My brother had a different opinion.
He felt that Reilly was just doing whatever it took to win. He said that I was a threat and therefore, it was "necessary" to take me off the ice.
I almost couldn't believe that of all people, my brother had said that.
Then I realised that not only was he my brother; he was also a Hawk.
And loyalty to the Hawks came before his little brother who wasn't a Hawk anymore.
Larson came to see me too. I found out later that he'd called the ref over after McGill's little stunt.
Maybe he wasn't as much of a jerk as I thought.
We made useless small talk for a while, then just before he left; he extended his hand to me.
He wanted to apologise for what McGill did.
I shook his hand, but I told him that he was wasting his time; McGill was definitely not sorry.
If I knew him well enough, he was probably very proud of himself.
The day after I discharged, I went to the Hawks' skating rink.
I stood at the entrance to the ice, watching as my ex-teammates trained.
I noted the long line of black-and-white banners on the wall, demarcating the Hawks' triumphant stand in Peewee hockey history.
A yellow banner interrupted the black-and-white line; the Hawks settled for second place that year when Coach Bombay missed the penalty shot. That banner was in the team colours of the winning team.
The black-and-white line picked up again after the yellow banner and eighteen years later, it was cut off by another differently coloured banner.
This one was green and yellow.
The team colours of the Ducks, the champions for this year.
I felt pride well up inside of me as I looked at that banner.
I recall being so proud of the Hawks' long winning streak everytime I stepped onto this rink. Looking at the banners indicating their long-running victory made me feel proud to be a part of a team that practically owned the number spot.
Now, one single green-and-yellow banner instilled more pride in me than that long row of black-and-white banners ever had.
I spun around at the sound of my name.
"Coach Reilly," I acknowledged, seeing the man standing there looking at me.
He stepped closer to me.
"You've come back to see your old team? Or maybe your old coach?"
"I…I came back to say thank you."
"To me?" I detected a note of surprise in his voice.
"I want to thank you for training me, for helping me to maximise my talent and potential and for making me the player that I am today."
He smiled at the compliments and was just about to say something when I cut him off with my next sentence.
"Thank you for making me realise where I really belong. The Ducks."
And before he could say a word, I walked out of there for the last time.
Adam Banks the Hawk is nothing but a memory now.
It's time for Adam Banks the Duck to take flight.
This is my first Mighty Ducks fanfic, so please be gentle when reviewing! Thanx!