Rating: PG 13
Word Count: 3325
Summary: David Desrosiers isn't your typical sixteen year old boy living in Juneau, Alaska. Bullied relentlessly by Pierre Bouvier, a boy he's known since elementary school, David and his best friend Jenny come up with a back-handed plan to seek revenge on the boy who makes their lives a living Hell.
Disclaimer: Don't know, don't own, didn't happen!
Author's Note: I made it on schedule by two hours! Haha, hectic week.
A week of preparation had led David to this moment, and yet he still didn't feel ready. That Monday afternoon, David headed to the hockey rink just as he had the past several days, only this time when he got there it wouldn't only be him and Pierre. What would happen when he got there? There was a huge part of him that expected to be chased out of the building by his fellow classmates, all of the jocks that had spent years tormenting him for being different, Pierre included. No one was allowed to know that Pierre had been helping him, just as no one could know that he was helping Pierre after school with his math. Would Pierre simply pretend that nothing had changed between them or would he let up a little bit at the prospect of David becoming a teammate? David was too uncertain to be comfortable, and he only grew more nervous with each step he took toward the locker room.
As he pushed open the door and stepped inside, he was met instantly by the voices of many teenage boys, though it appeared as if his presence hadn't yet been noticed. For a moment, he simply stood in the doorway, his heart pounding and breath hard to come by. He felt like a spy behind enemy lines, like he was a wolf in sheep's clothing, and one wrong move would expose him for who he really was and what he was doing there. He stepped into the locker room and allowed the door to shut behind him, drawing the attention of a few boys around him. Every person he passed grew quiet and stared at him, mouths agape, clearly at a loss for words at the audacity of David being there. He heard mutters from behind him, voices which only multiplied and grew louder as he threw his things in a locker, kicked off his shoes, and grabbed the pair of skates he had set on the ground next to himself.
“Are you lost or something?” Pierre's voice came from behind, and though he knew he shouldn't have been surprised in the slightest by the senior's behavior toward him, it still stung in a way that he couldn't quite explain to himself. He closed his eyes and took a steadying breath before he clicked a combination lock on the locker he had chosen and moved to a bench, looking at no one as he sat down and began to put his skates on just as Pierre had taught him to. There was more muttering around him, and David thought he was doing a pretty decent job of ignoring all of it until Pierre sat down next to him and wrapped a strong arm around his shoulder in a way that was less than friendly. David grimaced and tried to pull away from him, keeping his head turned resolutely down, focusing his energy on the laces he was trying to tie.
“Are you deaf? I asked you a question. Are you lost?” Pierre tried again, but David refused to answer him. He wouldn't antagonize Pierre when he knew that the older boy wouldn't hesitate to shove him in a locker or something of the sort; Hell, it wouldn't have been the first time. Pierre gave a mean laugh and released David, bringing forth a chorus of laughter from the other boys around him, as if on cue. “I don't know what you think you're doing here, but you're high if you think you're getting on the hockey team,” Pierre continued, his voice soft and calm, almost in a matter-of-fact kind of way. David grit his teeth and pulled on his other skate, refusing to look at the other boy. His resolve to go through with the plan he and Jenny had set up only grew stronger with each passing second.
The door to the rink opened up and the coach called for everyone on the ice, and like he hadn't ever been there, the other boys in the room jumped up and moved away from him, Pierre included. It made David feel as if he was nothing, like he was a worthless speck of dust that really wasn't worth their time and that the idea that he could ever be equal to his classmates was laughable. He waited until the door swung shut and every last boy was out of the locker room before sitting up and giving a heavy sigh, his eyes closing in his anger. Then, unexpectedly, the door opened again and he could hear Pierre calling to his friends. “I forgot something! I'll be there in a second!” Then he walked right up to David, smiling his perfect, pearly smile at the younger boy. “You ready?” he asked, speaking to David as if they were friends.
David just stared at him, shocked and appalled at how two sided and pathetic Pierre could be, before he shook his head and stood up, taking care to bump his shoulder into Pierre's as he passed him, muttering, “Whatever,” under his breath.
Pierre scoffed and turned to look at his retreating back. “What the fuck's your problem?” he asked, sounding truly confused at David's attitude toward him.
“You're such a douche bag!” David hurtled at him, unable to keep it inside any longer. He didn't know what it was about being around Pierre, but he was finding it easier and easier to stand up to him when it was just the two of them. Maybe it was because he was staring to doubt that Pierre would actually do anything to really harm him, maybe he really was just fed up with the other boy's idiotic mentality.
“Why?!” Pierre responded quickly, looking truly stunned that anyone might think this of him.
“Really, Pierre? Really?” David replied, walking a little awkwardly on his skates back to Pierre, staring up into his eyes with a kind of fiery anger that wasn't normally there. “You do nothing but make fun of me and put me down in front of your friends, and then you're gonna turn around and act all buddy-buddy with me? You're pathetic.”
“That's in front of my friends! It's not like anyone can know we've been helping each other out. You knew that, David. If you thought this was gonna change anything, you're the pathetic one!” Pierre argued with him, stepping closer so that there were mere inches between their faces.
David glared hard at Pierre for a long moment before he shook his head and gave an angry laugh. “You're such a loser,” David muttered darkly. “I might not have many friends, but at least I have a future. You're going to end up stuck here like the rest of the jocks, probably working on a boat for a job that keeps you from your family for months at a time and beats the hell out of your body. And when I'm far away, sitting on some beach in the middle of the week on paid vacation, I won't even stop to think of you, because you're so far beneath me you aren't worth even a second of my time.” And with that, he walked out to the rink, preparing himself to stand up to the ridicule of his classmates. He joined them on the ice, his eyes on the coach the entire time he spoke, not looking at Pierre as he joined the rest of them, though he took immediate notice of his presence.
When the coach asked the boys to split off into groups according to which positions they would be trying out for, David realized that he was the only goaltender in the bunch. He couldn't help but feel a little bubble of hope at that; if no one else tried out for the position, it would be his, right? Pierre stood to the side with the coach, talking to him, looking over the players and nodding from time to time. As he had been on the team three years running and was that year's team captain, it wasn't necessary for him to try out. Instead he helped the coach and his classmates, running them through drills, while David stood aside watching, waiting for it to be his turn.
Then, ominously enough, he saw Pierre speak in the coach's ear and point at him from across the rink. The coach looked over at David, making eye contact with him and nodding something which made David suddenly nervous. What was Pierre saying? The coach looked at his clip board and flipped through a few papers before nodding once more, saying something to Pierre that David couldn't hear from across the rink, and blew his whistle.
“Come on guys, round up!” the coach called, and soon everyone had skated toward him and was standing around, including David, though he stood toward the back, not wanting to get too close to his classmates in case he needed to make a quick get away. “Desrosiers, where are you?” the coach asked, craning his neck to try and see over the heads of the other students. David raised his hand timidly, moving a bit closer. Suddenly his throat felt tight and he found speech to be impossible, though as soon as the coach caught sight of him, he knew it wouldn't be necessary anyway. “Okay, in the goal,” he instructed simply and David gave a nod, not hesitating as he skated to the end of the rink.
Pierre skated toward him, throwing the necessary equipment down at his feet without a word, glaring hard. David swallowed nervously though he tried not to let it shake him. Instead he focused on getting everything on and moved to stand at the ready in the goal, his heart pounding and butterflies fluttering restlessly in his stomach. When Pierre grabbed a hockey stick, threw a puck on the ice and glared intensely in David's direction, to say that David felt fear grip his very core would have been putting it lightly. Suddenly he regretted the things he had said to Pierre. Suddenly he wished he had just let Pierre bully him in front of his friends and remained his ally behind closed doors, because if Pierre had been tough on him when they had been somewhat getting along, David couldn't imagine how the other boy would be when he was angry.
Without warning, Pierre slapped the puck toward David, which gave him no time to think. He simply allowed himself to react, throwing his fear to the side as his body and arm moved instinctively; to everyone's surprise, he caught it perfectly. David grinned from behind the mask in spite of himself, wanting to laugh in the other boy's face but he hardly had time to drop the puck in his glove before the senior was sending another one at him. Pierre continued to fire one puck after another, shooting them at David relentlessly and without mercy. It was clear that Pierre was giving it everything that he had, and with each save that he made, Pierre only seemed to grow more irritated, something which pleased David to no end.
David didn't know where it was coming from. It was as if he could feel the skill inside of him, like it was something that had always been there and he simply hadn't been aware he possessed it. It wasn't that it necessarily felt easy to him, because his limbs were already starting to tire and he was working up quite a sweat already, but he didn't have to think about what to make his body do and that was something that David had never really experienced before. Something told David that if he worked a little to get into shape, he could have really been spectacular at this.
A blow from the coach's whistle stopped the flying pucks, and though the coach looked rather pleased with his performance, he seemed to be the only one. David would have thought that catching literally every one of Pierre's shots would have gotten him a little bit of credit with the rest of the students, but they all seemed rather disheartened at the idea that David Desrosiers was clearly going to get onto the hockey team. He watched as his classmates threw glares in Pierre's direction, as if their team captain had lead them astray somehow, like it was his fault, like he hadn't tried his hardest. Pierre looked nothing short of livid.
Maybe had they not argued before the tryouts, Pierre might have been happy for him. David liked to think it, at least, though when he realized he had been hoping for a little bit of recognition for his good work from the other boy, he mentally slapped himself and promptly reminded himself that he and Pierre were not friends, nor would they ever be.
When the coach praised everyone for their hard work and dismissed them, David's mind went immediately to Jenny. He wanted to tell her how well he had done and that when the coach posted that year's team roster the following day, his name would most likely be on it. All he had to do was get through one game, miss every shot that came his way, and the game would be lost, the talent scout would be thoroughly unimpressed, and Pierre would have his future stolen from him. There was no doubt in David's mind that if Pierre didn't get into college to play hockey, he wouldn't get into a good college and would therefore live out the life that David told him he would have. It was a small victory, even if the plan was far from lived out.
As he began to skate back to the side, he heard his name called from behind him and David turned around, seeing that Pierre and the coach were standing side by side in the middle of the ice and that the coach was signaling for him to join them. David felt a nervous knot in his stomach but he pushed the nerves away and skated over to meet them, a politely curious, somewhat shy smile on his lips. “Yes sir?” David asked, sounding a little timid.
“Nice work out there, kid. How come I've never seen you at tryouts before?” the coach asked, making David blush almost instantly.
“Oh, I uhh...” he started nervously, his hand finding the back of his neck. “It's something I recently picked up.”
“I see,” the coach responded with a nod, before patting Pierre on the shoulder. “Pierre's told me a little bit about you. This is your team captain. If you have any questions, you go to him first and he should be able to help you out.”
Though the coach had spoken many words, David's mind began to reel when he heard 'your team'. He grinned and perked up a little, fumbling out an excited, “Does that mean I'm on the team?!”
Pierre rolled his eyes and looked away but the coach smiled in a reassuring manner and nodded. “I'd be stupid not to put you on the team. I do want to see you get in shape. I could see you struggling a little out there, but that's nothing a little hard working out can't fix, isn't that right, Pierre?” the coach explained, turning to face Pierre.
Pierre wiped the sarcastic, angry look off of his face and turned back to the coach, nodding and giving a quick, “Absolutely coach.”
David nodded quickly, his enthusiasm evident on his face. David was thrilled, and even though he didn't realize it in that moment, it wasn't just because the plan was going the way that he wanted it to. There was a part of David that was thrilled to be involved, and to be good at something, and to actually be recognized for something that he had natural talent at. All his life, he hadn't really known what those things felt like. Even if he wouldn't admit it, even to himself, getting on the hockey team made him happy.
The coach seemed to be pleased with David's show of enthusiasm, and so he smiled and patted David on the shoulder, then Pierre. “Good! I want you two boys to be inseparable. I want you running in the morning before school, and working out after practice. Pierre, you're gonna be like David's shadow. We have a real chance to go all the way this year. David, if you're gonna be ready for this, you can't let Pierre out of your sight.” David and Pierre both nodded, but neither boy made any effort to look at the other. Then the coach patted them each on the shoulder again and excused himself, leaving Pierre and David to stand in each others presence, an awkward silence falling over them.
As David stared at Pierre, he was visited with the strange urge to apologize to Pierre for the things he had said mere hours previously, though it was an urge that he fought down with everything inside of him. Why should he say he was sorry to someone who had caused him so much pain over the years? If anyone deserved a taste of their own medicine, it was Pierre Bouvier, David thought. And though he tried his best to convince himself that he hadn't been wrong in attacking the senior, in his heart David knew that he had gone below the belt. When had he gotten to the point of stooping to Pierre's level, after all?
“So...” David started, but Pierre glared at him hard, raised a hand and cut him off before he could get so much as another word out.
“Don't,” Pierre cut in firmly, effectively shutting David up. “Let me make this clear for you: We are not friends. We have never been friends. If I was ever nice to you before, it was just to make things go more smoothly. After that shit you said to me, you've lost the privilege of my decency toward you.” Pierre's words were strong and bitter, like coffee that had been left sitting in the pot for too long. It made David feel small, like he had done wrong and knew it, and he swallowed hard and gave a shaky nod, the only response he dared to give. “If you thought I worked you hard before, you haven't seen shit yet,” Pierre continued, his glare icy. Then he skated past David, though he bumped his shoulder into the younger boy's hard, effectively throwing him off of his balance and causing him to slip backward. David's arms flailed and he let out a surprised yelp but it didn't stop him from landing on the ice, his dazed eyes staring upward.
Pierre didn't come back for him, and David was far from surprised by it. He sat slowly and rubbed the back of his aching head, his eyes squinting closed at the pain. For the moment, the triumphant feeling of happiness at his victory had been wiped away and David was left with nothing but a strange feeling of shame and disappointment. Then he shook it off and got up off of the ice, making his way back to the locker rooms. Sure, this wasn't going to be easy, but he just had to get through the first game and it would all be over. So, with that in mind, he rushed off to find Jenny, intent on telling her everything that had just happened... though he would leave out their argument in the locker room. For whatever reason, David just couldn't bring himself to share that piece of information with his best friend. That was something that would stay between him and Pierre, even if the boy was his enemy.