Playbook for Love


This story is based for all the badass LOK chicks out there. -Caroline


21 days until my trip to Alabama


I once read that football was invented so people wouldn't notice that summer was ending, a distraction in proper form. But for me, I couldn't wait until summer vacation ended. Why? Oh, yeah, because it means football. Yeah, football, the best thing to look forward to in the fall. Football, the love of my life.

"White forty-two! White forty-two! Red seventeen!" I yell.

The real cue is seventeen. Iroh hikes me the ball and the defense is blitzing, excellent. Iroh then slams into a freshman safety, which knocks him to the ground. The rest of my offense line totally destroys the defense. Yay! And the field is left wide open, but my freaking wide receiver isn't where I placed him.

"What the hell, McCartney. Thanks for nothing," I mutter to myself.

Standing on my tiptoes, I scan the end zone looking for McCartney, but find Bolin Adams instead and hurl the ball. It flies in a perfect spiral in the air, heading to its designated place. He catches the ball, spikes it, and does this really horrific dance. Bo looks like a freaking ballerina spinning and doing weird moves all girly and such. With his gracefulness and curly brown hair, he could be a shoe-in for the New York Ballet.

Well, not on my watch.

This is my big senior year here at RCHS, my fourteenth year living here ever since moving from Alaska. I'm captain and quarterback, so I have to keep my players in line. Even though he's my best friend, Bo's always been such a showoff and a "ladies man" per se. His stupid antics always gets us penalties.

Through the speaker in my helmet, I hear Coach Tenzin say, "Nice throw. This is your year, Woods. You're gonna lead us to the championships. . . I can feel it. . . Now hit the showers." What he actually means? I know that you aren't gonna blow it for us in the final seconds of the championship like last year.

And he's right. I can't afford to.

University of Alabama State called last week, the first day of school, to tell me that a recruiter is coming to watch me play this Friday night. Then a very fancy letter came in the mail, inviting me to visit the campus on September. If they like what they see, they'll sign me on February!

So, I can't screw this season up.

I take my helmet off and grab a bottle of Gatorade and my playbook. Most of the team's already goofing off and are heading across the field to watch cheerleading practice, but I choose to stare off into the bleachers then yell at them.

I spot mom chatting with Iroh's dad, who comes from a line of former NFL players. My dad isn't here again. . . Asshole.

Actually a lot of people come to watch football practice because it's a big thing around here. Considering it's home to Republic City High's Fire Ferrets, 8 time state champions.

Mom always comes though, ever since I was little. But she's always afraid I'll get hurt. The worst thing that happened was a concussion back in sophomore year when Iroh didn't cover me, asshole, and I got slammed hard.

Otherwise, I'm indestructible. No knee problems, no broken limbs. Again. . . Can't afford one.

But dad never comes to practices and rarely comes to any of our games. People think it's because he's busy since he's the great Tonraq Woods, staring quarterback for the New York Giants. But the real reason is. He doesn't want me playing football. I know what you're thinking. WHAT? Why wouldn't a famous quarterback want his kid to follow in his footsteps? Well he does. He loves my brother Howl, a junior in college, plays for the University of Tennessee and led his team to win at the Sugar Bowl last year. So what the hell is dad's problem with not letting me play ball?

I'm a girl.

After chugging down my Gatorade, I jog over to Bo and look up at him.

"What's good, Kor," he says wiping sweat off of his forehead with his arm.

"Would you just quit it with the dancing?"

His grins at me, his green eyes lighting up as he drags a hand through his brown curls. "You know you love it, Woods."

Rolling my eyes and smiling, I shove his chest. "Whatever."

He shoves me back. "Want to come eat with us?"

"Me and Iroh. . ."

"And?"

"Oh, let's see. . . . . Asami and Marie and Julia and Lexi."

"When hell freezes over or better yet, when dad comes to a practice." I stick out my tongue at him as he laughs.

"We're going to Narook's Italian Villa," he said wiggling his eyebrows. Damn, I love that place. It's one of those places that let you throw peanut shells on the floor. Still, I reply, "Can't, Howl's coming over to watch film with me tonight."

I regret saying that as a look of hurt crosses his face. "Come on, Korra. Just tonight. You know I want to go to Michigan more than anything and I'm working hard, but you've been held up every night since you heard that Alabama is coming to opening game."

I suck in air. "Right, I only have three days left to get this team to perfection."

"You're already like a hundred times a better quarterback than you're brother was in high school."

I grin at him. "Thanks," I say even though it's not true.

"How 'bout I come and watch film with you instead?"

I pout. "But what about your cheerleaders Asami, Marie, Julia, and Lexi?"

He glances over at the cheerleaders who are stunting or whatever it's called. "They'd wait a year for me."

I shove him, and he laughs. "True that," I say as Iroh walks up.

Helmet in hand, Iroh drapes a arm over Bo's shoulder. "Trouble again, man?" he asks in his voice that apparently drive 97% of the girls here crazy.

"Woods over here doesn't appreciate my wonderful dancing skills."

"Dude, no one appreciates your dancing skills," he replies. He nods at me. "You up for Narook's, Woods?"

I shake my head, "Nah, gotta study," I say holding up the playbook.

"Alright," he says sighing, "more ass for me."

Bo bursts out laughing as I shove Iroh in disgust. "Yeah, you guys have fun. Try not to get anyone pregnant, don't need to make the cover page yet."

"Come on, Kor," Bo whines, "just for an hour or two."

I hate saying no to Bolin. "If I get at least for hours of Alabama film tonight, I'll come tomorrow."

"Fine," he says smiling.

"As long as you don't bring your harem." I jerk my head at the group of cheerleaders hovering ten yards away from a goal post making goggly eyes at the guys.

"But we're a package deal," he says with a laugh.

"That's 'cause all you ever think about is your package," Iroh remarks.

"And you don't," I snap and Iroh punches my shoulder causing me to stumble backwards, which we all laugh at.

Then two cheerleaders come up and start fawning over Bo and Iroh. What took them so long?

I just stand there awkwardly, watching as Marie intertwines her fingers with Bo's and smiles up at him and Asami and Iroh are just making out as if we'd won the championship already. Then, Julia and Lexi walk forward since cheerleaders travel in packs like wolves.

"Nice quarterback sneak of your's today, Korra," Asami says pulling away from Iroh.

"Thanks 'Sami," I say smiling. Asami is actually not bad, she's actually real not fake like the rest of the cheerleaders. And she's actually someone who I could consider a friend who's not a guy.

I look at the other cheerleaders, Julia and Lexi as they ruffle their pom poms and talk about Bo's "package". Okay, I'm seriously considering shoving those pom poms down my throat than listening to their conversation about Bo's manhood.

"Call if you change your mind, Kor," Bo says. We all knock fists before Iroh and Bo trudge off with their fan club over to the locker rooms.

I clutch my playbook to my chest and feel a pang of loneliness and wish that I had asked Bo to come over. He's been sad since I rejected him a couple weeks ago when he confessed his feelings for me. I told him nicely that I only see him as my best friend and partner in crime than a boyfriend. We've been back to normal ever since, but he'd probably enjoy the company, even if it's me. Especially since he's spending time with girls who think a Hail Mary is a prayer to Jesus' mom.

But he'd distract me, and the last thing I need is a distraction.

Right?

.

.

.

Back at home, I sit on the kitchen table and open my playbook. I peeled a banana as I studied a new formation called Red Rabbit, this awesome cool flea-flick Coach wants us to try tomorrow. It'll be hard, but Bo and I can pull it off.

Mom comes in carrying groceries and sets them next to me, then pours herself a glass of water. "Why didn't you go with your friends tonight, Korra?"

"I'm still readying myself for opening game," I replied studying the Xs and Os scrawled across the page.

"From my point of view, at your practices, you guys seem more than ready. I just don't want you to burn yourself out, sweetheart."

"Never."

"Maybe a massage will do you good. A spa day. . . so you'll be relaxed for Friday. We could go Thursday after I'm done volunteering at the hospital."

I slowly lift my head to stare at mom. Right because the guys will take me seriously if I show up with pink fingernails on Friday night. "Thanks, but I'll have to pass." I smile so I wouldn't hurt her feelings.

Mom smiles back. "What do you plan on wearing to your trip to Alabama?"

I shrug. "I dunno. Cleats? My Republic High sweats?"

Mom sips her water. "I was thinking that you and I could go dress shopping for that."

"Nah, but thanks."

God, if I showed up with a dress, the Alabama guys would laugh me right out of Tuscaloosa, right into a Division II school. "The head coach is a Baltimore fan. Maybe I'll wear a Raven's jersey?"

Mom laughs. "Dad would kick you out of the house."

"Why am I kicking my daughter out of the house?" the great Tonraq Woods asks as he walks into the kitchen and gives mom a kiss on the cheek.

"No reason," I mutter, flipping a page in my playbook.

Dad grabs a bottle of Gatorade, the strawberry-plum crap he advertises for, and takes a big gulp. He's still as buff as ever, but his black hair is starting to turn salt and peppery. At forty-five years old, dad has tried to retire the previous five seasons, but always comes back for some reason or another. The sportscasters look at this as a joke, so unless we want to get yelled at, we can never ask when he's actually going to retire.

He stares at my playbook and shakes his head.

"Are you coming to my game Friday?" I ask dad.

He looks at mom when he answers. "Maybe. I'll think about it."

"Okay. . ."

"How about if I take you and Bolin fishing on Saturday morning before we go to Howl's game?" he suggests, smiling at me expectantly.

What total bullshit. He'll go to Howl's game, but not mine. Then he'll suck up with fishing?

"No thanks," I reply.

The grin dissolves from his face. "Maybe next weekend then," he says softly.

"Oh, yeah. And maybe you'll come to my game Friday," I mumble to myself. "Mom, where's Howl?" I already anxious to watch some Alabama film. Even though I've watched hundreds to college and pro games, I'm willing to get a ton of expert opinion and dad. . . well he's never willing to give it.

"Oh," mom says. "His coach called a team meeting. He wanted to tell you that he's sorry."

"That's cool," I reply.

Mom then looks out into her garden and starts talking about how her flowers reached a state of "zen". Then dad starts saying how he's in a start of "zen". So, before I vomit, I grab a package of cookies and my playbook and head downstairs to our basement to watch some film.

I put in a random DVD in of Alabama and flip the lights off. I settle down on one of the leather sofas and dig into my cookies as I push the play button on the remote.

So. My friends are hooking up with some slutty cheerleaders. Great.

My dad cares more about sunflowers reaching a state of Zen, then my feelings. Awesome.

At least I've got football.

It's been my life since I was nine, but sometimes Bo says that I need to stop focusing and "live life like you're going to hell tomorrow".

But I feel like a normal teenager. Well as normal as I can be. Well, I mean, obviously I think that Justin Bieber's a mega hunk, but also I'm 5'6, smaller than 3/4 of my grade, and can launch a football over fifty yards.

Otherwise, I'm not normal?

Nope.

I've never had a boyfriend. Hell, I've never even kissed a guy. I know, it's bad. The closet I've ever come to akiss was this past summer, but it was all a total joke. At a party, one of those cheerleader suggested that we play seven minutes in heaven, you know, the closet game? Somehow, Bo and I got sent into the closet together, that's when he confessed, and of course we didn't kiss, but we did end up in a bad thumb wrestling match. Which turned into a shoving match. Which turned into everyone thinking we hooked up in the closet. Yeah, right. He's practically my brother.

It's not like guys aren't interested in me, they are, it's just that most of the guys I know are either:

1.) Way taller than me, like over six feet;

2.) Pansies;

3.) On my team;

4.) All of the above.

I would never let myself date someone on the team. That'll only lead to drama. And I prefer drama only in the cheerleading side of this. And I'm not interested in any of them anyway. Riding buses with them to and from games has turned me off with all of them 'cause one bus ride with my team produces more gas than a landfill.

Besides, I don't have time for guys. Alabama is my number one priority.

I have to be the star they love on Friday.


Hi! So this is my first fanfics and this is based off of the book "Catching Jordan", but just some tweaks here and there. So I have some OCs in this story and I'll try not to include them a lot. I know it's kinda boring, but I had to introduce everything first before getting to the "good stuff". (wink-wink)

I know it's kinda boring so far, but it'll get better. And I know Mako's not in it yet and it's a Makorra story, but I'll bring him in soon!

You know, review if you want. It's your life ya know. Pff, I don't care. No, I do care. Please review, I need people's opinions and such!

Thanks for reading!

~Caroline