Chapter 30: Melting of the Frost
By Victory Thru TearsGuy's POV
Who'd have thought it would be like this? Tied, 9-9. Just like our first game against the Bears. Is that dramatic, or what?
No one even remembered the playoffs, really. They snuck up on us, like a Cat or something.
The weight of the game is heavy on my shoulders. I wonder if this is how it was for Charlie during the Goodwill Games. Of course, it was much more intense then, we were playing at international level. I've said it before, I'll say it again- I don't like being Captain.
Charlie gasps audibly as Adam is hit hard on the ice. I pat his shoulder comfortingly, as Banks gets up and steals the puck from the player who checked him. We both stand up and cheer as our Cake-eater skates down the ice, ready to tap the puck in. He's checked again, just as he gears up for his shot.
"You going to call something, ref?" Coach thunders from beside us.
Orion starts shouting obscenities as the buzzer goes off, signaling the end of the second period.
We trudge into the locker room for a between periods pep talk. Coach comes in, looking somewhat deranged.
"You guys are doing excellent out there. I'm so proud of you." He chokes out.
I exchange a glance with Dwayne, who happens to be next to me. Orion- getting teary?
"You've come together for one final battle, and I have no doubt that you will go out with a bang. Some of you may not realize it, but this may well be your last game together. Many of you will be moving up to Varsity next year, and will be continuing your hockey career with Coach Wilson."
Charlie and Adam look at each other, horrified. We all know Banks will be the first to leave us for Varsity, and no one wants to see him go.
"But let's concentrate on the here and now." Coach continues. "You're doing great on defense, but for once your offense is lacking. You need to get together and score! What's that motto that you always use? Ducks fly together!"
He pauses for a moment and sighs. "Although, you don't have any surprise players that might suddenly show up like Portman, do you?"
This gets a slight chuckle out of everyone, but Averman turns to Charlie.
Charlie looks more surprised that Les is talking to him than by his question.
We look up in shock as the door bangs open. But it's not Jesse Hall. It's Connie Moreau. She walks up hesitantly to Coach Orion.
"Coach. I'm sorry for my behaviour. It was inexcusable. I wish I could take back everything I said and everything I did, and the minute they create a time machine, I will."
She turns and looks at Adam. "I just want to play hockey."
We stare at each other with utter and complete disbelief.
Coach Orion turns to look at us. "I'll let you back on one condition. If the team says its ok."
Connie bites her lip nervously. I should say something.
"I think the Captain should decide."
Everyone looks at me in confusion. I know they're thinking, Yeah, so decide, Captain…
Thank god for these sticky C's. I rip it off of my jersey and reach over Dwayne to slap it onto Charlie.
"Decide, Captain." I'm fully prepared to stare him down.
He smiles at me, and I know he's accepted. He stands, and crosses to Connie.
"Welcome back." He holds out his hand for her to shake, but she looks at him with fear in her eyes.
"Some things never change." Fulton mutters from my other side. I think he's wrong.
Connie pushes Charlie's hand away and hugs him fiercely. He stands numbly for a moment, and then wraps his arms around her.
She pulls away, beaming. "I gotta get ready."
Coach Orion's face looks like its going to split from the grin. "That's right, Moreau. Team, drink some water, and then get back on the ice to kick some ass!"
We stand and cheer. We're finally on our way to being the Mighty Ducks again.Charlie's POV
We beat the Bears, 11-9. One goal made by Fulton, unassisted and way out from just past the centerline, and the other made by Banksie, assisted by Connie.
Right now we're in the locker room, yelling our brains out. Guy looks blissfully confused sandwiched in between Connie and Julie. Fulton has cheered up a lot since the incident in the locker room before the game, and is now continually chest butting Portman. Adam is attached to me, and hasn't said a word since the end of the game. He's smiling so wide I think his face is going to fall off.
Connie pushes through the crowd and jumps on me, pulling me into a hug again. I hug her back, and kiss her forehead.
"I'm sorry Charlie!" She yells.
"Don't worry, Connie."
I know she hasn't changed. Maybe she's done a complete 180 so she can play hockey, but she still has kept her old beliefs. That's fine with me. I don't mind having her as a superficial friend. I guess I'd rather have that than an enemy.
Through all of the madness I turn to Adam.
"I love you." I say it loud enough so that he hears me.
"I love you too." He kisses me, just as Coach Orion comes in with a big bucket of ice.
"No time for that, Captain!" He roars as he dumps the cold cubes on top of Banksie and I.
I laugh, and look down at the C on my jersey. I kinda missed it. I'm glad that it's back, actually. Mostly, I'm glad that we're the Ducks again.
Look out for Breeze under the pen name of "Star".