Disclaimers: This is an uber story, the characters in it may bear some resemblance to ones in a certain show we all know and love. In no way, shape or form am I trying to hurt these characters owned by MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures

Sex/Violence: Well, there are 2 women, eventually in love, so I assume sex will be involved at some point. Nothing graphic though. Same goes for the violence. Maybe a fist fight, but we should all be able to handle those. Right? Which brings me to something I have to adress as well: if you're underage or the story your about to read is considered illegal where you live please move on to more suitable places on this wide web.

Thanks: to the betas who were kind enough to filter out the grammar and spelling errors I always make. You all know who you are..<g>

Any and all mistakes you, hopefully the reader..;-), might pick up on are to blame solely on me.

Last thing before I start pestering you: if you feel you should comment on something I can be reached at d.vansteenvelt@hetnet.nl Mail is always welcome…;-)

Second Half

A dark figure was staring into the distance from its spot at the railing. Sitting on an iron bar the lone woman seemed to be lost in thought, not noticing the grassy field before her. This was not entirely true, she did see a field in her mind's eye; not a deserted one at night, but a crowded one on a bright sunny afternoon.

22 girls running around, chasing a ball. Cheered on by the many bystanders who were enjoying being spectators of a soccer match. She couldn't make out the strips of both teams, but knew one of them consisted of a white/blue shirt with matching blue shorts. Her team.

She remembered the feeling of joy and freedom when playing a match, the connection with her teammates, all focused on a single goal: win this match and the following ones to enter the final series. 5 teams would be in this series, from all across the country, fighting for the national championship title.

Looking around the field during a match and searching out those people she knew were always there. Her mother, standing proudly smiling as she caught her eye and Ingo, her older brother who never missed one of his little sister's matches. No matter how busy he was with college or one of his many girlfriends.

Every now and again they would be joined by a tall, broadshouldered man. Her father was a trucker and more often on the road than at home, but when he had the opportunity, he'd be there.

The woman let out a long sigh and threw her dark hair back over her shoulder. Caught in the soft breeze that was blowing on this summer evening, strands of hair whipped against her face as she focused on the field before her.

It was part of the college she attended, having only signed in that particular day. On her way to her appartment the new student had passed the sports complex, unable to resist the lure a soccer field still exerted over her.

Shaking her head briskly, she hopped down from the railing, startling when a soft voice came from her right.

"I hope I didn't disturb you. I like to sit here and think sometimes. Didn't mean to scare you away, though."

Turning her head in the direction of the voice, the dark haired woman replied: "It's okay, I was leaving because I was done here. I didn't even hear you, so don't worry about scaring me off."

With that she started to walk away, only to be halted once again by that same voice.

"Alright. You were thinking as well then? I don't remember ever seeing you here before."

The standing woman rolled her eyes and turned back to the voice, squinting her eyes to get a clearer image of the girl sitting obscured by dark shadows.

"Yes, I was thinking and, no, you haven't seen me here before. I just enrolled this morning. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but doesn't thinking require sorta not talking?" the last comment coming out in a slightly sarcastic tone.

The girl hopped into a standing position and beamed a smile at her. "Yes, normally, but by coincidence, I was also done thinking, and besides, I'm a curious girl."

"I'm Danni by the way," she stated, offering her hand. "Let me be the first, or one of the first assuming it was said at your enrollment, to welcome you to this lovely college of ours."

The other woman took the offered hand, taking in the reddish blonde hair, green eyes and short figure of the girl opposite her. She couldn't be more than 5'4", barely reaching her own shoulder.

Realizing that Danni had been staring expectantly at her for the last few moments, she sheepishly smiled and said: "I'm Kyra. Thanks for the welcome, Danni."

The blonde girl shrugged. "It's nothing. So, do you play?" She indicated the field with a nod of the head.


If Danni was startled by the curt response, she didn't show it. "Oh, well I do. Been playing ever since I was a little girl and I was lucky enough to make the team when I started college last year. We're not too bad either, just barely missed the series. Hopefully we'll make it this year, but we really need some new players. At the moment it's difficult to get a full team every match."

Kyra just nodded as the girl continued. "It was tough missing the series last year, especially the way we missed it. The deciding match wasn't about soccer, it was more like a battle field out there. Lost one of our best players that day when she got tackled badly…ruptured her cruciate ligament."

The soft voice trailed off, remembering the cry of pain that would remain with her for years to come. And the way the injury had unsettled the team, allowing the opposition to score a goal in the final minutes. A goal that had destroyed their chances at the title.

"Yeah," a low voice supplied. "It's hard to accept such a near miss. Even if it isn't your fault." This last was added in an undertone and missed by the blonde standing besides her.

Danni turned toward her tall companion "You sound like you know what I'm talking about?"

Reluctantly Kyra answered: "I used to play and I've been through a situation like that." Seeing that the girl was about to follow up on her questions, she cut her off: "Look, it has been fun talking to you, but I really need to get going now. Got my first class early tomorrow morning."

Green eyes curiously observed her companion and to Kyra's relief the subject was dropped. Danni started walking, calling over her shoulder: "You coming?"

Amused, Kyra followed the energetic woman, asking: "Where do you have to go then?"

It turned out that Danni lived only a few streets away from Kyra, so they walked home together in companionable silence which lasted about 5 minutes, until Danni could no longer contain herself and started to fill the silence with chatter about college, classes and their fellow students, rewarded by "hmmm's" or the occassional short reply from her companion.

When they came to Danni's place, Kyra knew a whole lot more about the college and its attendees than she could have found out in a month. Smiling slightly she looked into green eyes and thanked Danni for all the information.

Danni blushed a bit. "I'm sorry, I know I can ramble on and on. Didn't mean to bore you."

"It's not a problem, I didn't mind at all. And now it doesn't seem such a problem that I'm not a big talker. You talk for two." came the teasing response.

"This is your stop, right?" After receiving an affirmative nod, Kyra continued: "I live in the building over there, maybe I'll see you around." Pointing at an appartment complex further down the street.

"I hope so," Danni replied cheerfully. "By the way, we have practise every afternoon at the field. Come take a look sometime if you feel like it."

Quickly waving her hands she added. "Easy, I'm not trying to convince you to play. I just thought we could have a drink or something afterwards. I mean, you're not from around here are you? I could show you around town if you like."

Grinning, Kyra replied: "Thanks for the offer, I might hold you to that. And let me think about that soccer thing. I'm probably not good enough anymore, anyhow."

"Good night, Kyra. Sweet dreams."

Danni watched the tall woman walk down the street, noting the powerful legs in the tight jeans and the slight swagger to her walk. ‘Hmm, I think you could be an asset to the team, my friend. Don't know why I think so, but I do..We'll have to wait and see I suppose.'

Sighing, she turned around to head inside. There were books waiting to be read.


Danni came dashing from the bathroom, hastily drying her hair and trying to button up her jeans at the same time, a toothbrush sticking out of her mouth. She had woken late, once again, and desperately tried to leave the house on time so she wouldn't have to deal with another disapproving look from her teacher.

Throwing the damp towel in the direction of a chair, she finally managed to close her pants and proceeded to grab her bag, dumping her notebook, pens and soccer equipment inside when she heard a voice from across the hallway.

"Dan, you still there?"

Mumbling around the brush in her mouth, the blonde managed to get some vocal sounds out. This seemed to satisfy her roommate who continued to yell at her.

"Could you please tell coach I can't come to practise today? I'm way too sick. I'll stay in bed today and hopefully I'll make it tomorrow or the day after."

Danni sighed inwardly. This was not good. With Tora out of the running they'd only have 12 women available to play. If the rest weren't sick, that is. And 12 people meant only one substitution for the entire match. Again, some women would have to keep playing with minor injuries, preventing them from healing and becoming 100% fit again.

Rushing back to the bathroom she removed the brush and went over to Tora's room. It was a sad sight. Standing in the doorway, all she could see of her normally exuberant roommate was a few strands of red hair creeping from under the covers.

"Can I get you anything before I go, Tor?" She asked. "I just hope you get better before the weekend. You know we need you, right?"

Pushing back the covers, Tora coughingly answered. "I know, and I feel lousy enough as it is without you throwing on the guilt trip, thank you very much."

A contrite blonde looked into red-rimmed eyes, muttering "I'm sorry, sweetie. I'll be back straight after practise to make you a nice dinner."

"Yeah yeah," she was shooed away. "Just go, already. I know you're late as it is. Ms. Gaundry is gonna make an example of you again if you don't hurry."

Danni shivered, remembering her time in front of the group when the teacher had shown them how to completely put someone down with mere words, and make it seem like you said nothing wrong, either. It hadn't been a pretty sight, but the result her teacher had undoubtedly been after, i.e., getting Danni to arrive on time, had not been achieved.

With a quick goodbye, she closed the door and ran down the stairs, grabbing an apple on her way out, and jogged her way to class.


The shrill buzzer of an alarm clock sounded in the darkened bedroom until a bare arm waved through the air and slammed the off button. Blue eyes that had been open for a while now focused on the red lights: 7 am. ‘Time to get up.'

Kyra still had more than hour before she had to leave for class, but she liked having the time in the morning to go at her own speed. "God knows I've had to rush everything for long enough. Always on strict time tables. No, this freedom thing is even sweeter than I envisioned.' She stretched her arms over her head and thought back to the previous evening.

She had told that Danni girl she had an early class. ‘Well, 9 am would be considered early by most people.' She chuckled to herself. Not for her though; she was used to rising much earlier.

The girl had been nice, a bit of a chatterbox, but nice nonetheless. Kyra hadn't felt like answering a lot of questions, though, and she knew they would have been asked if she hadn't left when she had.

‘Wouldn't mind seeing her again. For some reason I felt more comfortable with her than with most people I met since getting back into real life. And that soccer field sure brought back memories….Maybe I could go check out the training. No harm in that, after all.'

Shaking her head to herself the dark haired woman rose from the bed, leaving a trail of clothing on her way to the shower. Kyra knew she wouldn't be able to just watch a group play soccer without joining, but for some reason it didn't seem that impossible to her to actually try it again.

‘Although it has been, what, 7 years or so since you last kicked a ball in a match? You might make a complete fool of yourself.'

Deciding not to think about it anymore, Kyra turned on the cold water and her body woke up instantly. After a few minutes she added the hot and continued to wash her hair, while preparing herself for her first day in college.

She wanted to get her law degree. ‘Most people would probably find that very ironic,' the woman snorted. Sighing, she turned off the faucets and started to towel herself dry. ‘You wanted to make a new start, so do that and stop dwelling on the past. Move on with your life.' Kyra sternly told herself, changing into a pair of sweatshorts and cut-off shirt.

Suitably dressed she walked to the empty corner of her living room and started her morning exercises. Every day started with a series of push-ups and crunches, followed by either a workout at the boxing ball hanging from the ceiling, or some drills of the martial arts variety.

Kyra had gotten used to doing them every day all those years ago when she needed to gain strength and power to survive. She'd been lucky to have had a good teacher, both in kick-boxing and jiujitsu, and over the years she had honed the skills to perfection.

Sweating profusely she glanced at the clock; 8.17. ‘Got to get a move on,' she though, suddenly bursting into a grin. ‘Geesh, where was your head this morning? Normally you'd do the exercises before taking a shower, now you'll have to jump in again.'

Still chuckling Kyra moved back towards her bathroom, thinking that the first day must be more nerve-wracking than she realized.


Slowly the tall woman walked towards the field. Shouts could be heard, probably emanating from the group of women who seemed to be doing some exercises with a ball. Taking a quick count she saw no more than 11 women. ‘No wonder Danni said they need new people.'

Coming closer Kyra saw they were busy working on their passing and finishing. Simple exercise really; two people running towards the goal. The first playing the ball to the other, waiting to get it back at the feet and take the final shot at the goal.

Keeping her distance she leaned against the railing and observed the team. ‘Not bad,' she thought. ‘Very decent goalie, the attackers seem to know what they're doing. I wonder how they do in a game though.' Kyra wondered, knowing herself the big difference between training and actually playing a match.

Searching the group she finally caught sight of a certain short blonde and watched her for a moment. Danni was very fast and agile, compensating for her lack of brute power, and she seemed to be one of the leaders of the team. Constantly giving pointers, stimulating or slowing someone down. Whatever was needed.

A tall man sauntered over to her spot, lifted his cap to rake through his blond hair and adressed her curiously. "Are you interested in playing?"

She shrugged. "Just watching."

When the man didn't move away she elaborated: "I haven't played in a long while. I might have lost the hang of it."

Smiling brightly the coach replied: "Maybe, but you never know until you've tried, now, will you?"

Quirking a smile at him Kyra only nodded without saying anything else. "All right,"

the man said, holding out his hand. "I'm Josh, the coach of this lovely bunch of ladies. How about I hand you a ball and let you decide if you still have the feel for it. If you do, we're playing a little 6 against 6 in ten minutes. I'd love for you to be the 6th person, saves me from getting my old ass kicked."

Blue eyes twinkled as she shook his hand. "Kyra. Tell you what, show me a ball and give me something more suitable to wear than this," indicating her black jeans and blouse,"and I'll try and not make a total fool out of myself."

Josh chuckled before handing her some shorts, a shirt and a ball, and directing her across the field to a dugout. "You should have enough privacy to change there; not many people around on a non-game day."

"No problem, I've learned to get past my modesty anyway." Kyra answered over her shoulder, hesitantly placing the ball on the ground before her feet. She made her way over to the dugout at a slow trot.

‘Well, managed to not trip over the ball. That's a positive sign at least.' After quickly changing, she stayed in the relative privacy behind the low dugout and started to play a bit with the ball. Trying some tricks she could do a few years ago.

‘Hmm, still have control over the ball. Not as good as before, but that'll come back when I'm playing. I guess the real test will come in a few minutes,' she thought to herself. Suddenly realizing she wanted to play again, she had missed the game of soccer.

‘Alright, convince that coach and those women of the fact that they can use you then.' And with that she picked up her clothes, walked out onto the field and ran across. Ball at her feet, speeding up, slowing down and zigzagging, all the while keeping the ball under control.

‘So far so so good,' Kyra smiled to herself, coming to a stop beside the coach again. The blond man grinned at her. "Seems like you're not making that big a fool of yourself. Yet." He added, just before using his whistle to get the attention of the women on the field.

Kyra leaned back in a casual pose, felt the stares raking her body, sizing her up. She had endured enough moments like that not to be intimidated by a bunch of college girls, so she leveled a cool stare at the group, waiting patiently for the coach to explain.

The man didn't get a chance to open his mouth though since Danni beat him to it. "Hey, Kyra. You came to watch and decided to play along huh? The lure of the ball I think," the blonde smiled warmly at Kyra.

"Let me introduce you to the rest," the coach interjected, hoping to shut his player up before she got into chatter mode again. "Ladies, this is Kyra. A new addition to the college and although she hasn't played in a long time I figured she could play along for now in our 6 against 6."

The group nodded their hellos and stood waiting expectantly for the coach to divide them into groups when suddenly a voice rang out. "Are you sure about this Josh? I mean, we wouldn't want to get a new girl injured, now, would we? And I for one am not planning on holding back. We've got a big match this weekend, so we need to train seriously."

All eyes turned to a tall brunette. She was just a little shorter than Kyra, with short brown hair and stormy gray eyes. Some girls nodded their agreement with her statement, but most waited to see what the reaction would be.

Kyra chuckled without humor as she straightened herself to her full height and took a step forward. Pinning the girl with a cold stare she carefully stated: "Don't you worry about holding back. I won't if you won't."

Josh stepped between the women and quickly devided the group in two teams of 6. Danni was happy to be paired with Kyra, but she looked at the other group with a worried expression, noticing that Sue, the brunette, was in the opposite team and not looking too friendly.

"Don't worry, I can take care of myself." Danni jumped when a voice sounded close to her ear.

"Maybe, but I don't like the way she's looking at you. We're supposed to be in the same team after all," the blonde grumbled. "Anyhow, what position do you play?"

The dark haired woman thought for a minute. "Hmm, I used to be a midfielder, defensive or attacking. Depending on the playing style and what was needed."

"Aha, a regular all-rounder huh? Good, you can play defense now. Coming to join the attack when we have possession of the ball." Danni decided, looking around to check if there were any objections.

Seeing that there were none, she signaled for her team to get ready and took her own position in the attack, waiting for Josh to get the toss-up underway.

Kyra was starting to enjoy herself, after a hesitant beginning her confidence was growing with every good action. As a defender she had always been good, not inclined to let anyone pass and her skills combined with her stubborness and fierce desire to win made it extremely difficult for players to outplay her.

And her height gave her a big advantage in corner or free kick situations, usually enabling her to head the ball away before the opposition could touch it. The tall player had suffered a few kicks and pushes already, especially coming from Sue who was a striker and therefore almost all the time in her direct vicinity.

She sighed resignedly after another hard kick in the shin, but didn't react in any way. Kyra turned around quickly to chase after Sue and executed a perfect tackle, of course the brunette took the opportunity to stand on her leg, making sure she would have yet another bruise the next day.

Rising, Kyra suddenly caught sight of blazing green eyes. The blonde was stomping towards Sue, intent on giving her a piece of her mind. Reaching out, she grabbed a passing shoulder and shook her head.

"Let me take care of it, alright? She's just trying to yank my chain and getting frustrated because it ain't working. I'll be okay." Kyra tried to calm the feisty blonde.

"Sure, I'll let it go for now, but I will address it later. I'm the captain of this team and the behaviour Sue's showing doesn't belong in our team." Danni answered determinedly

The dark haired woman just nodded and gave her teammate a slight push forward. The game had resumed and they were on the attack.

Kyra received the ball from a redhead on her left and saw she had a sea of space in front of her. Speeding up she ran forward, glancing sideways to see that Danni was moving along the outside of the field.

Hearing the distinct sound of breathing coming closer behind her, she waited a few seconds more, then passed the ball to the outside just before she got a rough push, causing her to tumble forward.

Grunting as she landed face first on the ground, Kyra got a determined glint in her eyes. There was no question who had pushed her and getting to her feet, she saw Sue standing between her and the goal, smirking.

Looking to her right, she saw that Danni still had the ball, slowing a bit to see if she was all right. After nodding reassuringly at her, Kyra moved forward and asked for the ball.

With a perfectly executed pass, the blonde placed the ball in the box where Kyra was waiting to accept it. Sue came charging forward, intending to collide with the tall woman, but Kyra turned at the last moment, getting the ball in front of her left foot and sending it into the top left corner of the goal. Out of reach of the goalie.

Her elbow came into contact with something fleshy and she heard a loud gasp as the air left Sue's body. The brunette fell to the ground, holding her chest and trying to get some air back in her lungs, while Kyra received the compliments of

her teammates for the skillful goal. Awkwardly she brushed them off, stating that the pass had been too perfect to screw up.

Walking towards the fallen player, she held out her hand. Raising her eyebrow when it wasn't grabbed. "Ah, come on now. If you dish it out, you should be able to take it as well. No hard feelings okay?"

The woman on the ground smiled reluctantly. "You play a good game of soccer." Taking the offered hand, she let herself be hauled up by a smiling Kyra and returned to her spot on the field.

The rest of the game went without a glitch and Danni's team won with a 2 goal difference. Sipping from a bottle of water, Kyra looked pensively at the team. ‘They're a good bunch and it seems like I've still got a feel for the game. Especially when paired with Danni.'

The few times she had appeared in the attack next to the blonde, it became clear they had a good feel for each other, almost knowing where the other was without looking. That didn't happen often with people who'd just met, but it was definitely promising for further matches.

‘If they want me in the team, that is.' She said to herself, locking eyes with Josh as he wandered over to where she was standing. Leaning beside her against the railing he enquired in an off-hand manner, "How do you feel about committing your time to this team almost every afternoon?"

Containing a grin, she shrugged. "Why not.'

"All right," he nodded, turning his back and making his way over to the other girls to let them know the news. Kyra watched him break the news and was happy to see that nobody seemed to object, not even Sue. All eyes traveled to her and she smiled slowly, walking over to officially introduce herself.

Most of the women she knew by name from the match, but not all. Chuckling a bit she said: "I hope you won't blame me if I forget a name or two tomorrow. I'll try to remember all 11 of them, but I dunno."

A curly haired woman, she thought was called Mari, spoke up: "Don't worry about it, you'll get the hang of it. What do you think about going for drinks and dinner tomorrow after practise to get to know each other a bit?"

Hearing murmurs of agreement from the rest, she agreed.

"It's a date then. I'm gonna head home now, see y'all tomorrow!" Mari bid the rest of her team goodbye, leaving the field in a hurry.

The group fell apart, grabbing bags and shouting goodbyes until only Danni, Kyra and the coach were left. Josh lifted a large bag with equipment over his shoulder and declined Kyra's offer to help. "Nah, I got it. You just be here on time tomorrow. Keep that outfit, it was a spare anyway. We'll get the away shirt next time."

He walked off toward the building at the far end of the field, stopping after a few paces and turning around. "Hey, Kyra! Glad to have you on the team." He smiled brightly at her and continued on his way, whistling a happy tune and leaving the two women to stare at each other.

‘Should I bring up her invitation to go for a drink and show me around town?'Kyra thought to herself. ‘We're already going for a drink with the team tomorrow, after all.'

Danni observed the silent woman who was apparently going over something in her head. Picking up her bag she started in the same direction Josh had taken minutes before, casually addressing the still unmoving woman.

"I'm going to take a shower before we head out. Care to walk along and have one yourself? I can show you around the facilities and kill two birds with one stone."

‘Guess that answers that question.' Kyra smirked, quickly picking up her clothes and jogging to catch up with the blonde. "You play pretty good," Danni mentioned. "I can only imagine how good you must have been when you still played regularly. How long has it been anyway?"

"7 years." Came the curt reply. "You're not too bad yourself by the way." Danni gracefully dropped the subject and simply said. "Thanks"

"Yeah, you have a very good tactical insight and your speed and agility more than make up for you height.." Sensing her companion's sudden stop, she tried to recover: "Ehm, lack of power."

Now the blonde started advancing on her and Kyra raised her hands in apology, stepping back at the same time. "You know what I mean," she said pleadingly, looking around for an escape. "I meant it as a compliment."

"Strange way of complimenting someone." Danni grumbled, keeping dark green eyes trained on the uncomfortable woman. All of a sudden a beaming grin broke her face in half. "Gotcha!" she exclaimed cheerfully.

"That was just plain mean," Kyra accused, mock-wiping the sweat from her brow. "Here I was thinking I insulted my new captain. Not a very good start with the team."

Her captain just shrugged carelessly, reaching past the tall woman to open the door to the dressing rooms and gesturing for her to move ahead.

After showing the new addition to the team around the complex, they ended up at the showers and both girls quickly undressed to hop under and wash the sweat and dirt off their bodies.

"Can I borrow some of your shower gel?" Kyra asked, not having thought to bring some herself. Danni held out the bottle, trying to keep her eyes on decent places.

She didn't know what was wrong her, for someone who was used to showering with other girls, she sure had a hard time keeping her eyes to herself. Peeking sideways, she noted the play of muscles along the broad back as Kyra lathered up.

‘All right, Dan, jaw closed, eyes forward and don't drool,' she sternly adressed herself. ‘Yes, she's a gorgeous woman but that doesn't mean you should stare at her. Wouldn't want to make her feel uncomfortable. You don't even know how she feels about people with your "lifestyle". Remembering the way her mother had used that word, spitting it out like it was some disgusting disease.

Tilting her head up into the warm stream she let the water wash the memories away and vigorously rubbed her hands over her face before turning the faucets off and exiting the shower.

In the process of getting into her shirt, she absently murmured a response when Kyra returned the soap, looking up in surprise a few minutes later when she noticed the tall woman sitting on the bench. Completely dressed Kyra was sitting on the bench, legs stretched out and crossed by the ankles, patiently waiting for Danni to put on her socks and shoes.

"How come you're done already?" She sputtered in surprise. The other woman shrugged. "Had a lot of practise in dressing quickly." ‘And it was a real necessity over there. Only 10 minutes to get showered and ready for work.' Not wanting to get into an explanation, Kyra immediately added: "I'll wait for you outside okay? A bit warm for me in here."

With that the dark haired woman moved past the still surprised blonde. Leaving Danni to wonder about the cryptic remark and hasty retreat.

"There's something you're not willing to tell me," she muttered half loud. "That's okay for now, but I'm intrigued. Not to mention very interested in you."

Deciding to stop thinking about it for the time being, she continued getting dressed, packed her bag and followed her new teammate outside.

Kyra was leaning against the wall of the building, letting the sun warm her face and bare arms. Letting out a explosive breath she thought back to the ritual of getting dressed, the ritual she had gotten used in the past 7 years.

The loud bell woke them. Not Kyra, though, since the blue eyes were already open and she was out of bed at the first sound. Ignoring her fellow inmates, who were muttering moodily and always slow to get started.

Not her though. The dark haired girl had soon found out that the sooner she was in and out of the shower, the better her chances were to not be harrassed by some of the older girls. So she'd made it a point to be up as soon as her door opened, usually the first in the shower, quickly getting washed and dressed. Being naked when the others arrived wasn't a very welcome situation, she had learnt with experience.

Even when she'd hardened her attitude, spent a lot of her time training and, with the help of a more experienced girl, perfected some fighting skills, still she'd followed the habit of waking up early. More than capable of holding her own, as the rest of the bunch soon found out, but preferring to be alone. Keeping her distance from the other girls and spending most of her time studying, trying to get her high school diploma.

If it hadn't been for Lori, she wouldn't have made it. The Latino girl had taken her under her wing, protected her until she had learnt to protect herself and encouraging her to keep up with the studying. It was because of a promise made to Lori that she'd come here in the first place. The girl knew Kyra had a smart mind and that she didn't belong in the world she had gotten into. Lori had made her promise to follow her dream of becoming a lawyer and help the less fortunate ones.

‘Lori,' Kyra closed her eyes upon remembering the sparkling brown eyes. Eyes that had never lost their sparkle, no matter what life decided to dish out at the owner. ‘I hope you're happy. Wherever you are, my friend.'

Danni stood watching the silent woman, not wanting to disturb her while she was obviously deep in thought. She startled a bit when blue eyes suddenly opened and lifted to meet hers.

Quirking a half smile Kyra asked: "Ready to go?" Upon receiving an affirmative nod, but not seeing any further movement, she dryly said: "Well, lead the way then. I have no idea where to go for drinks."

‘Get a grip girl,' Danni admonished herself. ‘Yes, she has extraordinary eyes. So what? Doesn't mean you have to act like some idiot.'

Speaking up, she proposed Chad's Diner. "Nothing special or anything, but a good atmosphere and the best chilli burgers in town."

"Sounds good to me," Kyra answered, waiting expectantly for the blonde to give directions. Instead of walking, though, Danni suddenly slapped herself on the forehead. "You dope!"

Her companion looked on in amusement, not having a clue what the little blonde was going on and on about, but having to grin at the sight of Danni, pacing around and muttering, obviously trying to come up with a solution for something.

Finally the girl turned and looked at her apologetically: "Ehm, I just remembered I've promised my roommate I'd make dinner for her. She's sick and….basically, I need to go home right now."

Kyra tried to ignore the unexpected feeling of disappointment that flowed through her. For some reason she had looked forward to spending time with this talkative girl and it was a very strange feeling for someone used to being on her own.

"That's okay, Danni. Guess I'll see you tomorrow at training then. Point me in the direction of good burgers though, I need to get some food inside me." She grinned reassuringly at the girl.

Danni had looked at the tall woman, catching the briefest glimpse of disappointment and she impulsively blurted out: "Why don't you come with me? I could use some help with the cooking and this way you can meet Tora. She plays in the team as well."

Holding her breath, she waited for the the other woman's response. Kyra seemed to study her while contemplating the offer in her mind. Just as Danni thought she'd decline the dark haired woman nodded slowly. "All right. Thanks, I'd love to."

‘This is gonna be a new experience, never went to dinner at someone else's place before. Never went to dinner, period. The last time was with my parents and Ingo, when he graduated from college. But that's family. Danni definitely isn't.'

Kyra shrugged those memories off and concentrated on her talking companion. She started to relax on the walk to Danni's place, actually enjoying the non-stop chatter. The girl had a nice voice and a great way with words. Some of her stories about the events at college made her chuckle and slowly she started to take part in the conversation when the topic came to high school experiences.

Danni had noticed that her new friend had deftly avoided relating anything concerning her family and had never strayed from innocent stories about home work and favorite subjects. ‘Just be glad she's participating in the conversation at all,' she admonished herself. After all, they'd only known each other for two days. Yet the blonde couldn't shake the feeling there was more to Kyra than met the eye. Normally she could get people to pour their heart out in no time, drawn out by the compassionate green eyes and obvious interest she had in the people around her.

Letting out a silent sigh Danni shrugged off the mystery that was her new teammate and entered her home. Walking into the kitchen and flinging her bag in an empty corner, she indicated for Kyra to do the same, while yelling: "Toraaa, I'm baaaaack!!"

Swatting at the tall woman who had cringed in an exaggerated manner, she moved towards the fridge. "Just for that I put you in charge of cutting the vegetables. You know how to handle a knife, right?"

A fleeting look of discomfort passed over Kyra's face, before she nodded and accepted the food that needed preparing. "Okay, knifes are over there. You can sit at the table while I putter around in here."

Bumping into the other woman, Danni grinned: "You can see why I want you at the table. This kitchen is too small for both of us to be walking around in."

"Point taken," Kyra responded, settling herself at the table when a grumpy red head entered the kitchen.

"What are you doing out of bed?" Danni exclaimed worriedly, noting the still pale complexion of her roommate.

"I've been going crazy just lying in bed, what else am I supposed to do?" came the irritated reply. "Besides, you were rather late and I was hungry, didn't know if you were coming home or not."

Danni rolled her eyes a bit at her obviously bad humored friend and answered: "Yeah, sorry about that. I'm working on dinner now though. I was late because I showed Kyra around. She's new at school and, as of this afternoon, also the latest member of our team."

The silent woman rose to her feet and held out her hand in greeting. "Hey Tora, I'm Kyra. Sorry for making Danni late."

Both women looked on in bemusement as the red head totally ignored the proffered hand, instead spitting out: "I see, already found a replacement for me have you? Should have told me sooner, that way I wouldn't have felt so bad about not being able to make the match this Saturday."

Turning on her heels, Tora rushed from the kitchen, stopping only to glare at the tall woman in her kitchen. "Hope you enjoy the match," she said bitterly. Leaving both girls open-mouthed, staring at her hasty retreat.

"Okay, now I know I didn't say enough to get such a reaction, so this can't possibly be my fault. Can it?" Kyra asked wryly, once again sitting down to continue cutting.

Putting her hand on a broad shoulder, Danni chuckled. "Nope, this definitely couldn't be something you've said. She's probably just in a rotten mood because she's sick and won't be able to play."

Kyra nodded. "I can totally understand that, I think I'd be the same way."

"Like a spoilt child?" Receiving no answer other than a shrug, Danni wiped her hands and moved past the other woman. "I'll go have a little talk with her, you can stop cutting if you want, I think we'd be better off with a takeout. There are some menu's in that cupboard. Have a glance and see if there's anything you fancy."

Kyra started browsing the many different menus that were stocked in the cupboard. ‘Seems they eat take out a lot,' she mused, picking up a Mexican one and taking it over with her to the table.

She looked up when she heard a sound in the doorway and caught sight of the roommates, Danni practically pushing the reluctant Tora inside.

"Ehm, I'm sorry about just now. I know it's not your fault I'm sick and I had no right taking my bad mood out on you." The redhead murmured apologetically.

"Sure," the dark haired woman replied, instantly perusing the menu again.

Tora drew her brows together. "Whatever," she shrugged. "I'm going into the living room, Dan. You know what to order for me." She cast her friend an ‘I've tried look' before shuffling out of the kitchen.

"Don't tell me you're mad at her." A disgruntled voice broke the silence. Confused blue eyes looked up in surprise. "How do you mean?"

Danni raised her eyebrow. "Well, you weren't very friendly just now. She apologised you know."

Still confused, Kyra responded: "I know, and I accepted didn't I? What was I supposed to do? It wasn't a big deal anyway, so why make it one? She said sorry, I said OK. It's done."

"Hmm, but the way you accepted it, with barely looking at her, made Tora feel like the apology wasn't appreciated or more precise, that she wasn't worth listening to. It just seemed…I dunno, strange. Like you were mad or something."

Danni tried explaining, seeing that the other woman had no clue what she was talking about.

"Never mind," she sighed. "Just go on ahead into the living room, I'll phone in our orders. What did you want?"

After informing Danni of her choice, Kyra made her way to the living room. Tora was in front of the TV. She glanced up to see Kyra enter, but immediately returned her attention to the screen.

"So, what are you watching?" The woman asked, plopping down at the couch and studying the screen with interest.

"Some quiz, pretty hard questions as well," came the slightly hesitant reply from Tora who looked surprised when the other woman said: "Cool, I love challenging quizzes."

The redhead smirked, getting over her discomfort when she noticed the focused expression on the face of the woman next to her. "Me too, how do you feel about having a challenge over here as well?"

Blue eyes turned her way, twinkling at the sound of a challenge. "Count me in, who's keeping score?" Tora reached out to grab a pen and paper from the table next to the couch and waved them in the air. "This will do just fine. You go first."

In no time both were totally engrossed in the gameshow, not even noticing their blonde friend enter the living room.

"Oh boy," Danni groaned, seeing her teammates in total concentration. "Don't tell me you found a fellow quiz fanatic, Tora."

"Sssssssshhhhhh!" Was the only response she could get out of them, so she moved to a chair and sat down. Shaking her head in amusement she patiently awaited the arrival of their food.


After the quiz had ended and the ice was broken between both women, they proceeded to gang up on Danni, teasing her mercilessly until the exasperated woman cried out: "All right, all right already. Let's just take a break from harassing me, okay?"

She glared at Kyra. "I've know Tora for, like, forever and I know she enjoys teasing me, but I didn't expect you to take her side. Thanks a lot."

Not quite sure if the blonde was really mad or just faking it, the dark haired woman shrugged sheepishly while saying: "I grew up with an older brother, it was tease or be teased at our house." Relieved when Danni cracked a smile at her, she added "But I'll try and control myself. For tonight."

"Thanks," Danni replied drolly. "How much older is your brother?" she asked, interested in her new friend's background.

"Almost 4 years. So, you and Tora grew up together?" came the immediate counter question, much to the blonde's frustration.

Her childhood friend chose that moment to pipe up again: "Pretty much started hanging out from the moment we were born. We lived next to each other. I could tell you stories about little Danni you wouldn't believe."

Interest piqued, Kyra moved forward and turned her complete attention to the redhead, ignoring the protests coming from Danni. Tora also chose not so see the warning looks thrown in her direction. She smirked at her friend before launching into a story.

"Well, there was this time when my darling friend decided the whole street should be able to see her naked and proceeded to run down the street in her glorious bare self…."

A dark eyebrow rose as Kyra turned her eyes to the blushing Danni who groaned and muttered: "I was 3 years old for God's sake!"

"I can't wait to hear this one," the grinning woman stated, indicating for Tora to continue. Danni shook her head and started to clean up dirty plates and leftovers,

escaping to the kitchen.

15 minutes later a still chuckling Kyra entered the kitchen where Danni was putting away the last of the, now clean, plates. "Don't even say anything!" the blonde threatened with a flick of her towel.

Blue eyes sparkled with mirth, but the other woman complied and only nodded her head, trying to keep a smile from forming on her face as she checked out Danni's rear, eyes tracking down to the place where a birthmark was supposed to be.

The girl turned and caught the look. Squinting her eyes she complained: "She told you about that one too, didn't she?"

"Hm hm," was all Kyra replied, envisioning a younger and smaller version of Danni, dropping her pants to prove that she had a heart shaped spot on her backside after losing a bet.

The blonde groaned. "I'm gonna get her for this," she vowed, already going over revenge plans in her mind.

"Awww, let her be. It was cute." Kyra snickered, but quickly shut up when a murderous glare was thrown her way. "Ehm, Tora's off to bed again by the way. And I should really go as well, I've got a course called property first thing in the morning."

Danni nodded in agreement. "Sure, it was good having you here. Did I ask what you're studying?"

"Law," came the answer as Kyra bent down to pick up her bag. "Thanks for dinner by the way, next time it's on me." She offered impulsively, but the smile on Danni's face made her doubts go away before they were fully formed.

"Hey," the short woman said, holding the door for her friend. "I haven't shown you around town yet, have I? Do you have a lot of classes tomorrow? Otherwise I was thinking I could show you around for a bit before practise."

Kyra stood in the doorway, quickly going over her schedule in her mind. "I have class until 10.30 and practise isn't until 4, right?"

Waiting for an affirmative nod, she continued: "I can be home and ready to go by 11 then."

Danni cheerfully replied: "Great, how about I pick you up at your place?" She was curious about her new friend's living arrangement, so the blonde jumped at the chance see it for herself.

Shrugging, the tall woman agreed. "Sounds good to me, apartment 24B. You know where it is?"

"Yes, the second complex. That one," she answered, pointing over a tall shoulder and grinning.

"All right, I'll see you tomorrow then, Danni. Good night." Kyra turned around to leave when two arms suddenly encircled her and she was hugged by the blonde woman.

Shocked, she awkwardly put her arms around the warm body in her arms and returned the hug, before breaking contact and hurrying down the steps to reach the street. Within moments Kyra was out of sight, leaving a laughing Danni standing in the doorway.

‘Boy, that look was just priceless,' she shook her head in amusement, closed the door and headed up to her room.


part 2

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