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Kyane met Desmond and Jamie in front of the stadium. She was in a jacket with a nice blouse and black jeans. Desmond had on a button-down, khakis and his letterman. Jamie was in a hoodie and sweatpants. They could hardly hear each other over the swell of noise from the entering crowd of people. Desmond took them around the side and through a service entrance into the halls of the building.
Games were never that crowded or rowdy in the past. They were bog-standard with large parent personalities taking up most of the noise and energy, however, after everything the school went through and preserved, it made this final game a celebration, an event for everyone.
The three walked the wide corridor into an empty locker room. It was not the locker room the players used. It did not smell of anything other than lemon and bleach, with no stray towels or clothing in sight. “I take it we can wait here,” Kyane said.
“Good,” Jamie uncovered his ears. “It was too much outside right now.”
“Get used to that guys,” Desmond said. “It’s probably going to get like that during the game.”
“Great,” Jamie said in a not great tone.
Kyane kicked a locker. “Who is using this locker? Won’t we be kicked out?”
“I think this is like the girl’s locker room maybe,” Desmond said. He looked over at Jamie and shot him a look. Jamie stared blankly back until it clicked. He shimmied over to the door and locked it.
“Ah-huh…” Kyane said. She heard the lock and jolted around. “What is this?”
Jamie rose his hands up in a defensive manner. “This is just a talk.”
“I think he means something like an intervention thing,” Desmond said. He sat on the bench with a leg on either side like it was a horse.
“I’m not on the smack again,” Kyane joked, before going to the door and attempting to pry Jamie away. “I’m clean. I swear!”
“No!” Jamie said. “Just-just-just sit down and listen!”
Kyane backed away, crossed her arms, and leaned against a locker. “What’s the intervention then?”
“You put a lot of responsibility on yourself with the Dieous stuff. That is going to build and build until it breaks you. You can’t keep doing that. It will be dangerous to your psyche and can cause damage and make you retreat deeper into yourself and push us away,” Jamie said.
“Sure,” Kyane said dismissively. She rolled her eyes.
“You don’t think this is important?” Jamie asked.
“I don’t care.”
“Dammit, Kyane!” Desmond stood up and walked over to her. He was still a wall of force. He held up his cast. “Too big of words, Jay. Is this broken arm your fault?”
Kyane looked at the now mostly black cast. Then looked up at Desmond, then back to the cast. “What?”
“Is this broken arm of mine your fault?” He pushed the cast up further.
Kyane saw the raptor toss the table and shatter his arm. The rage boiled inside her again. Her failure to save him boiled inside her again. She felt the pot about to explode. She grabbed the cast and swiped it away. “Yes!” she said. “But,” she continued. Vic’s words came next. “But, no.”
“What?” they both said.
“Th-the-then what is wrong?”
“Yeah, why are you upset?”
“Look, you chose to come, and you want to help. I understand. It, it’s just… It’s dangerous and you got hurt and I don’t like that. I feel the weight of all those people I couldn’t save, and I don’t want…” she felt warm tears come down her face. “I don’t want my only two friends to get hurt when I can barely protect people I don’t know and have everyone hate me.”
Desmond grabbed her and hugged her. He didn’t let go. He gave her all his energy, warmth, and love. Kyane’s tears began staining his shirt. She raised her arms, wrapped them around him and grabbed his shirt, balling pieces of fabric in her hands. They shook.
“That won’t happen,” Desmond said. “We won’t stop. Your family won’t stop. We are all proud of you and think you do awesome stuff. We love you. I… love you,” he said like he was tasting a new wine. He liked it. “I love you.”
Kyane buried her face deeper into his clothes. She muffled out, “I love you too,” into the shirt. They backed up. “Jamie get your ass over here!” she waved.
Jamie checked his phone. “The game is about to start. Our star hero better leads his team out.”
Desmond smiled. “I’m no hero.” He kissed Kyane’s forehead. “She is.” He then shrugged. “But I’ll sure as hell get recognition for it!”
The three walked out of the locker room. Desmond filed in with his team. He stood at the front of the pack. Desmond saw Harry. “Are we still friends, dude?” Desmond asked.
Harry sighed. “You might be dumb, but you mean well.”
They walked to the dugout. Kyane and Jamie followed and took seats right above the dugout. The announcer called Desmond’s name. The crowd erupted in cheers. Jamie duct-taped his ears shut with his palms. Desmond ran to the center of the field. The announcer called the rest of the team. They all got cheers and applause, just less than. The team met in the field and high-fived and hugged each other. The away team stood for them. After the ceremony, Desmond took a seat with Kyane and Jamie. The game began.
Kyane got a buzz on her phone. She checked it. It was a message from D13. She rolled her eyes. “I’ll be right back,” she shouted over the crowds. The umpire called a strikeout on the away team.
“Have fun,” Desmond said. He held his hand up. A parent handed him a bag of popcorn. “Thanks!”
Kyane ducked back into the locker room hallway. “What’s up, Die? Please tell me that everything is silent, and I can just enjoy my date.”
“I can tell you that, but it would not be the truth.”
“Okay, well my grandfather is on call tonight and can take care of a stray or two that come over.”
“I’m afraid it is much worse than that.”
Kyane went numb. All the blood fell to her feet. “No. No, no, no. It can’t be.”
“Do not worry, Kyane. Shaotoro is alive. But indeed, the first of the twelve has come through. Your grandfather slowed him down, but satellite images and tracking predictions say he will come here due to the increased population and publicity of the area.”
“Great!” Kyane kicked the wall. “It’s all my…” she stopped. “What can we do?”
“I can activate a warning siren and evacuate the whole stadium.”
“That would cause a panic and give this guy an open bar with nothing in the way.” She laid her head back against the wall. It was cool. “I need to stop him.” She stopped and corrected herself. “We will stop him.” She then felt giddy. The best idea crossed her mind and exploded in joy. “And, this is so awesome, and if it’s publicity he wants we can give it to him and get Dieous out there to the public!”
“I don’t see how that last part will help us, but I will not argue with you on the crux of your point, Kyane.”
“Thanks, Die. I think. You can tell me what crux means later.” She hung up the phone and ran out of the hallway. Jamie and Desmond sat on the far side. She waved her hands. They looked, came down and met in the hallway. She told them everything.
“So, what’s the plan then?” Jamie asked.
“I could pull the fire alarm or something to get the people out of here,” Desmond said.
“No. We’re going public with all this,” Kyane said. She patted their shoulders. “This new one wants to come here where the most people are, I’ll be here to stop him and show the people who are fighting for them.”
“I love it!” Desmond said.
“I think it could be workshopped or something.”
“I’m going with loving it on this one,” Kyane said. She looked at Desmond. “You will go down and stall while I change, make a big entrance, kick-butt, save the day and be awesome.” She turned to Jamie. “While you record the whole thing. Not like that’s a problem but to make sure you get my best side.”
“I’m not sure.”
Kyane looked into Jamie’s eyes. “This is a major support role; which I know you want to do. You’re like my techie.”
“Oh, he def is that.”
Jamie tried to look away.
“Anyway, let’s go watch and I’ll give you the signal and we’ll go.”
They put their hands in the middle of them. “Break on three,” Desmond said. “One, two, three… break!”