only the beginning

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here it is. game day. potentially, the worst day of my life. potentially, the best.

we were all in the locker room getting ready and i couldn't seem to stop my heart from pounding.

"we're gonna be great today, guys." danny encouraged us.

coach grinned, glad for the optimism,"he's right. let's kick some ass."

we cheered, but below the surface we were terrified. i wouldn't be surprised if we all ended up with concussions.

adam walked in, his presence brightening the room. i smiled and looked at the ground as i slipped on my pads.

i wasn't sure what he was doing here, i thought maybe he was going to wish us luck.

he was grinning from ear to ear as he grabbed a hockey stick from his cubby,"look, i woke up and the pain was gone."

he fully rotated the stick, proving to us that he was fine. none of us could contain our excitement, knowing that our star player was back.

but coach was left enthusiastic,"that's great, banks. but we've already got a full roster."

i frowned, pressing my lips together. i felt bad for adam, but coach was right. it was the eleventh hour, it wouldn't be fair to pull someone out of the game. 

russ sighed, and looked down, starting to take off his jersey. charlie put a hand on his chest to stop him.

"he can have my spot," charlie announced, causing me to look at him quizzically, as he walked up to coach,"it's what i can do for the team. let me do it."

bombay stared at charlie for a second, trying to analyze the situation. finally, he smiled making his decision,"charlie, I need you on the bench right there coaching with me."

i smiled, glad with the solution, and slipped on my skates. i stared wearily at the laces, my head empty.

i couldn't believe that this was actually happening to me, but i had somehow managed to forget how to tie my skates.

i rolled my eyes, biting my thumb. i didn't want to ask for help, for fear of embarrassment.

i watched as adam walked up to me, smiling lightly,"you look like you're struggling."

i chuckled,"you picked up on that?"

adam laughed and kneeled down, beginning to tie my skates,"it was a subtle panic, but i guess i was just paying attention to you."

i felt my heart flutter, his words somehow managing to ease my stress.

"well, thank you."

he nodded, looking at me with sparkling eyes,"does that always happen with you get nervous?"

i shrugged,"i've never been this nervous."

"me either," he sighed and stood up,"all done."

he held out his hands and i grabbed them, standing up with him,"thank you, sir."

"you got it." he let go of my hands, and started to get ready.

we all skated onto the rink as the crowd erupted in cheers.

as we warmed up, i could feel myself becoming a little overwhelmed with all the noise. i shook out my arms and legs trying to get rid of my nerves.

"gilinsky, start us up!" coach called out.

i nodded and got in position, fulton on my left, and dean on my right. they were gonna knock anyone out of my way, if we had planned this well enough.

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