"You think he'll show?" Lucy asked, looking at Charlie as she rose her eyebrows. Charlie looked at her once before biting his lip and looking to the jersey hanging from the locker rack.
"He won't if he knows what's good for him," Fulton said from behind Charlie as he pulled on his jersey. Lucy rolled her eyes and looked at Connie, motioning for help but Connie turned back to Guy.
"Fulton…" she began but he shook his head interrupting her.
"No, Lu, he was horrible to you that day in the alley and it could've gotten worse had I not found you," Fulton said, turning to grab his helmet. Lucy remembered the day like it was yesterday.
She had been walking home from practice, her bag slung around her shoulder, stick in hand when McGill, Banks and Larson had skated by her, blocking her from moving through the alley.
"Excuse me?" she said with her head down and eyes cast at the ground.
"Does the wittle duck want to get by?" McGill asked, snickering at the young girl in front of him. Lucy adjusted her bag on her shoulder and sighed.
"Please, I just want to get home," she mumbled, looking up to meet a pair of cold blue eyes.
"Too bad," Larson said, grabbing her stick from her hands and slapping it against the wall, breaking it in half. McGill stepped toward her, pushing her backwards into the barrels of trash. She fell roughly, scrapping up her forearms and palms.
"Hey," someone bellowed from the end of the alley, heading towards them. Fulton appeared and pushed all three boys down on the ground and screaming at them before they got up and ran away. He rushed quickly to her and lifted her up, brushing off her jacket.
"You alright?" he asked, frowning at her palms. Lucy nodded, before she looked at her stick.
"Well, looks like I'll have to buy a new one," she muttered, a frown on her face.
"Come on," Fulton said, grabbing her bag and stick pieces of the ground. "Let's get you cleaned up."
"He didn't push me," Lucy defended, now looking down at her scarred hands.
"He didn't stop them either," Charlie replied, tying up his skates just as the door to the locker room opened. Lucy looked up and her eyes widened in shock as the rest of the team stood up.
There, staring back at everyone was Adam Banks. Just after him, Coach Bombay came in and patted Adam on the back. "Hey, didn't think you'd come." Adam shrugged lazily.
"Yeah, whatever, I just want to play hockey," he said, looking at the group before his eyes landed on Lucy. She bit her lip and looked down at her hands, before hiding them behind her back.
"Just because you put on a Ducks jersey, doesn't mean you're a real duck," Jesse said, slamming his shoulder into Adam's as he walked past him, the team following him out to the ice.
"Lucy, do you need me to wrap your hands?" Coach Bombay asked, looking to the small girl. She shook her head and smiled faintly.
"No thanks Coach," Lucy replied, "I think I've got it." Coach nodded and glanced to Adam.
"Jersey's there, meet us on the ice when you're done," Coach said, before patting his back and leaving the locker room. Lucy moved towards the medical kit on the table next to the lockers as Adam placed his bag on the ground. He stared at his jersey for a moment before looking at Lucy who was, at the moment, bandaging her palms and wrists.
"That from-," he started but choked when she looked up at him, her brown eyes gleaming with confusion.
"I'm sorry…?" she asked, staring at him as she continued to wrap.
"Are those from that one day?" he asked gently, staring at her brown eyes. She nodded lightly before turning away from him.
"They don't hurt much but Coach makes me wrap them so they don't get infected while they heal," she said quietly as she finished.
"I'm sorry for them doing that," Adam said, slipping on his hockey pants. "I didn't know they were going to push you."
"You didn't stop them either, I slightly remember you laughing," Lucy said, throwing the Band-Aid wrappers into the garbage.
"I know but-,"
"The Ducks are the greatest people you'll ever meet," Lucy said, walking past him without even listening. "We're a tight knit family, so…just wear that jersey with pride when your 'wittle' friends get here." Lucy finished as she left the locker room.
After Banks scored a few goals for the Ducks that day, the Ducks decided to be a little less harsh and invite him out for pizza with them that night. As they walked through the streets to the diner a few blocks away from the rink, they heard laughter behind them as they walked.
"Well, well, well," McGill said, skating towards the group, and Lucy was pulled behind Charlie as the boys approached. McGill was with half of the Hawks and they surrounded the Ducks, making them stop.
"Look guys, Banksie is one of them now," Larson said, smirking at his former teammate. Banks clenched his jaw as his knuckles tightened.
"Get out of here McGill," he said harshly, not looking McGill in the eyes.
"Just remember Banks, you'll always be that one player who could've had it all," McGill said, with a chuckle. "But you chose to be a duck."
"Why don't you just leave," Lucy said loudly, surprising everyone including her. "No one wants you here and I'm quite annoyed with you."
"Look, she speaks. Adam, you have girls fighting your battles for you now? I guess there's nothing wrong with it, considering what a pretty little thing you are," McGill replied, stepping toward Lucy. Charlie stepped forward before Adam could, and pulled Lucy back next to him with an arm wrapped around her waist.
"Leave her alone," Charlie said sternly, standing up taller and the Hawks stepped back.
"Fine, fine," Larson said, "Have it your way." The team finally got to the pizzeria and walked inside to their designated table in the back. They ordered their pizza and Charlie pulled Lucy up to go to play some arcade games, Adam watching them as they went.
"What's up with those two?" he asked Connie as she sipped on her drink.
"Who? Lucy and Charlie?" Connie said, pointing to the pair. Adam nodded and Connie looked at the couple with a small smile. "Charlie's been in love with her for as long as I can remember. They grew up together, you know? Always been by each other's sides, having sleepovers together and stuff. They do everything together but I think Lucy's afraid that she'll ruin her friendship with Charlie if anything happened," Connie shrugged and went back to talking to Guy as Adam continued to watch the pair at the pinball machine, laughing and smiling at eachother.