4th and Inches  by Tara



Bailey focused the lens of her camera on the geared up players who were currently finishing practice by sprinting the length of the football field. They'd completed the fifth one and were taking a 25 second rest before they started their final sprint.

She noted some players were quite winded, bent over with their hands on their knees. With their helmets on, the photographer couldn't see the faces, but she could imagine the grimaces and strain that would show on in them if she could.

In the middle of the line was number 13, the player who was keeping the others motivated by giving them a pep talk of how they'd be ready to decimate their opponent on Saturday night. The coach blew his whistle and the players took off down the field once more.

After the sprint was finished, the players huddled up with the coaches for the final break which would signify the end of practice. Number 13 once again took charge, "Okay everyone, on three. One - two - three." As one voice, the team shouted out, "One team, one heart, one goal - WIN Amazons!"

With that, the players broke apart and headed to their respective bags on the sideline to take off their pads and change out of their cleats for the drive home. Removing her helmet, Number 13 placed her hair in a ponytail before donning a baseball cap.

"Hey J.D., come over here a minute," the man standing next to Bailey called out. The football player walked over to where the pair stood. "J.D., this is Bailey Moore. She's doing a story on the team for Purple magazine and she'd like to talk with you and maybe take a couple of photos."

"Purple Magazine. That and The Onion are the only things I really read. I really like Laurent's column for unfortunate lesbians."

"Yes, that's one of the most popular parts of the magazine. So would it be okay if I get some information from you?"

Before the woman could answer, a loud beeping started from her waistband. J.D. unclipped a small pager and checked the number. "Sorry. I'm afraid this isn't a good time. Maybe you could come by my office tomorrow?"

"Sure, just give me the address. And a time"

"1013 Carter Blvd., Suite 116. And you can choose. Noon or 5:30ish?"

Bailey wrote down the information, "I have an 11:30 meeting, so let's go with the later time."

"Okay, see you then." The taller woman jogged over to the sideline, taking her practice jersey and pads off as she did so.

The reporter took a few more photos before she called it a night.


Bailey spent part of her night downloading the images she'd taken at the practice. She browsed through all the photos, but found herself spending more time on the ones that featured the beautiful quarterback. There was one photo in particular that caused a tingle to run up her spine. J.D. appeared to be looking directly into the camera, and straight into her soul.

"I think I need to get out more, Chewie." She informed the gray tabby cat who was currently trying to get her attention by rubbing against her legs.

"Meow," the feline replied.

"Yes, I know. You're such a starving beast," Bailey reached over and grabbed the pouch of snacks from the computer table. Chewie began purring immediately upon hearing the sound. "Here you go," she took several of the chicken flavored treats and dropped them on the ground. She then turned her attention back to the photos. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.


Bailey checked the directory on the wall for J.D.'s listing. She found suite 116 and followed it across to Jillian D. Fisher, M.D. Hmmm. Sexy and smart.  She took the elevator up to the second floor and entered the office.

The first thing the journalist noted were all the toys and kid sized furniture in the waiting room. Followed by the pint-sized people who were using those items. Bailey walked up to the receptionist window.

"Can I help you?" A red haired woman inquired.

"I have an appointment with Dr. Fisher."

The woman gave her a quizzical look, "You do know Dr. Fisher is a pediatrician."

Bailey laughed, "It's not that kind of appointment. I'm here to interview her about playing football."

The other woman smiled, "I tell her she's crazy getting out there with people who want to take her head off. But she's a stubborn one. She's running a little behind due to an emergency, but if you'd like to take a seat, I'll let her know you're here."

Bailey thanked the woman and sat down in one of the adult sized chairs. A dark haired child toddled over, looked up at her and offered her a block. "Thank you."

The process continued a few more times before the child's mother came over, "I'm sorry if she's bothering you."

"No problem, it beats reading an old magazine. What's her name?"

"Abigail-and I'm Dana."

Bailey took an orange block, "Bailey. She's a beautiful little girl. How old is she?"

"Thanks," she mussed the child's hair, "She's almost two, but can throw a temper fit like she's already reached that mark."

The door to the office area opened and a woman came out followed by a little boy who ran over and showed off his newly acquired sticker to Abigail, "Look what I got Abby, and you can't have it."

The girl began to fuss and the new woman picked her up, "Andrew, don't tease your sister. Here you go Abby, Dr. Fisher gave me one for you."

Abigail took the item and squirmed to get down. When her goal was accomplished she took the sticker over to show her new friend.

"That's very pretty," Bailey told the girl.

"Abigail, can you say goodbye to Bailey?" Dana asked as she placed the sticker on her daughter's shirt.

"Bye bye." The youngster waved her hand.

"Bye Abby, it was nice to meet you." She watched the family leave the office. Glancing back to the office door, she saw J.D. standing there with a grin on her face.

"You want to come back to my office?" the taller woman asked.

"Lead on Doc."


Bailey checked out J.D.'s office as the woman finished some end of day duties and told her staff they could go home. There were diplomas on the walls along with a large corkboard that was covered with photographs of children, and in the corner was a basket of miscellaneous toys.

"So what do you want to know?" the doctor questioned as she took a seat behind her desk.

Bailey took out a pad of paper and a pen. "How long have you been a pediatrician?"

"About five years. When I was a kid, I spent some time at the doctor's office, and I think that helped shape the path I took."

"Working with children you need to be gentle and kind. Do you ever have a problem finding the intensity you need to be a successful quarterback?" she prepared her pen for the answer.

"Not really, I've always been aggressive when it comes to sports, it just comes naturally to me. So it's not that difficult for me to switch from J.D. the doctor, to J.D. the football player."

Bailey finished writing and thought about her next question, "So what does the D. in J.D. stand for?"

Jillian smiled, "Have dinner with me, and maybe I'll tell you."

"Oh, is that right? Well how do you know I want to have dinner with you?" Bailey countered smiling.

The reporter's stomach took that moment to make its voice heard. Jillian laughed, deciding she was going to milk this for all it was worth, "Seems to me that eating is going to be a necessity fairly soon from the sound of that thing. So you might as well dine with me."

"Well since you put it like that, how could I resist?"

The pair were seated in a booth by a red-haired, older woman who obviously had seen Jillian before. "You have a good dinner and don't stay out too late, you've got to kick Houston's ass tomorrow."

The player laughed, "Don't worry, Maggie, we'll take care of them."

"I know you will honey, you always do" Maggie left the women alone and went back to her greeting station at the front of the establishment.

"Boy, they are really serious about this game," Bailey commented as she reviewed the menu.

Jillian laughed, "You're not from around here, are you? Texas, I mean."

"No. Born and raised in the Big Apple."

"Well, if you were a Texan, you would know that football is much more than a game down here, it's a way of life. When rival high schools play, it's their reputations at stake and that's very serious. Star players are bred here like race horses are in Kentucky."

"Okay, okay, I get it. Texans like their football. Now for an important question, what's good here?"

"A better question would be what isn't."

After dinner, the women walked to their cars in the parking lot. The conversation had been good during the meal, and they had hit it off well. They paused in front of Bailey's 4-Runner for a moment as Bailey tried to think of something to keep the evening from ending "I forgot to ask. What does the D stand for in JD?"

"Dangerous," the taller woman answered without skipping a beat.

"Uh huh," the blonde wasn't buying it.

"Alright, how about Delicious? Dynamite? Dandelion?"

Bailey could tell the woman was egging her on and decided to have some fun too, "I thought it would be something more along the lines of Dildo."

Jillian's jaw dropped a little but she recovered quickly, "Wow, that's right. Jillian Dildo Fisher, that's my name. How'd you guess?"

The smaller woman jokingly punched the player in the arm. Jillian grabbed the spot in mock pain, "Noooo, not my throwing arm. I'll never be able to complete another pass."

"You are such a ham. Now are you going to tell me what D really stands for or do I have to use my version?"

"Okay, you win. Just don't hurt me anymore," the physician pleaded smiling, "My middle name is Danielle. You happy?"

"For now." She looked at her watch, "Almost nine o'clock Dr. Fisher. Shouldn't you be hitting the sack?"

"How would you like to do some research on what the star quarterback wears to bed?" Jillian asked suggestively waggling her eyebrows.

"And be responsible when you're too tired to get the ball down the field tomorrow night? I don't think so. But maybe if you win tomorrow we can explore your wardrobe choices further."

The other woman nodded, "Guess I'd better have an A game then."


The game was a close one with both teams fighting hard for good field position. Jillian's passes were on target; unfortunately her receivers seemed to be suffering from a case of block hands and couldn't seem to pull any of them in for receptions. But she had gotten her team to the ten yard line with her scrambling skills and all they needed to do was get a touchdown to win the game.

Bailey cringed as a defensive end crashed through her blocker and tackled JD with a bone crushing blow. It took a moment for the sacked quarterback to get up from the ground. The reporter could tell the player was hurt, even though JD tried to cover up a slight limp.

The clock clicked down to thirteen seconds and the Amazon's coach took a time out. He came out onto the field along with the team's water girls and walked up to JD, "You okay, kid?"

"Yeah, I'll live. Let's just get this ball over the line and end this game."

"That's the plan," the man agreed. "Now here's what we're going to do."

The team broke the huddle and lined up. JD went out in the shotgun and prepared to receive the ball from the center. A silent count and the ball was hiked back to the quarterback. Jillian lateralled the ball to her tailback, who was also the back up quarterback. Number 13 then turned and raced into the end zone where she turned and caught a perfect pass thrown by her teammate.

The reporter was glad she remembered to bring her camera up to capture the winning touchdown and the aftermath of the team running onto the field to celebrate their victory. The coaches got their players settled down some to do the good game line up with the other team. Afterwards, both teams got into a circle and said a prayer that any injured players recovered quickly and that the Ravens made it back to Houston safely.

The Amazons huddled one more time as the coaches told them how proud they were and sent them off to greet their fans and family members before showering and changing back into street clothes.  Jillian walked over to Bailey, her helmet in hand, and a tired smile on her face.

"Did you enjoy the game?"

"It was okay, I thought you would have scored more points though."  The reporter teased, "I mean you are the great Jillian Fisher."

"Uh huh, how about I practice my tackling skills on you?" The taller woman inquired as  she reached her arms out and threatened to give Bailey a big sweaty hug.

The reporter took a step back and put her hands up defensively, "I don't think so, stinky."

"Stinky? I don't stink, I smell great." Jillian grabbed the smaller woman and pressed her against the moist jersey.

"Ahh," Bailey cried out as she tried to wiggle free.

"Take it back," JD ordered.


"Suit yourself." The doctor placed a hand on the reporter's head and began to maneuver the woman's face closer to her chest. "Take it back."

"Okay, okay. You don't stink," Bailey announced and JD released her, "much," she added once she was freed.

The player just shook her head laughing, "So did you get enough information to write your story?"

"Not yet. I still need to find out what the star quarterback wears to bed," the reporter grinned evilly.

Jillian raised a lone eyebrow at the comment. "Well I think that's something I can help you with, but I think we may want to keep that information off the record, if you know what I mean."

Bailey chuckled, "Anything you want, sport. But you need to take a shower first"

"Whatever you say short stuff."


8 words used in this story.

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