“Alright, we’ve got a new drill. Let’s see how you ladies handle this.” Eizen called out, dragging his rink whiteboard with him.
The rest of the Pirates gathered around him, taking a knee. The last few drills were ice-biting sprints and circles. With minimal puck handling here and between lines, they wondered if it was going to be another one of his classic ‘torture’ lessons.
Five ‘X’s lined up on opposite sides of the center red line. Goalies in their respected nets. All in green marker. Eizen frowned. He somehow lost his black marker, so this’ll have to do.
“I call this ‘One-v-One-v-One’.” The coach continued. “Alright so; First person up, doesn’t matter who, is the defenseman. Second guy, the offenseman.”
“First part is One on One. You have the entire zone to yourself. The defenseman’s job is to get the puck out and become the offenseman.” His blue eyes glared at the team. “Don’t skimp on getting out.”
“The defenseman breaks it out and goes back in, once they cross the blue line, the next person in line will join on the backcheck for the offenseman-now-defenseman.
“The defenseman must pass the puck to the offenseman for the proper break out. Once your partner is out of the zone, you’re done and head back in line.
Nobody raised their hands. Despite being college students, the anxiety of outing yourself as a dummy stayed. He rubbed his temples.
“Alright. Pucks in the net and some up the red line. Get at it.”
Velvet fiddled with the puck. First in line and Eleanor just happened to be her opponent. Of course. Their constant attempts to one-up each other became the thing about their teammates.
“Hey, Vel-cake.” Her teammate bumped her shoulder. A member of the third line with their green jersey. “Toe-drag. Come-on. Do it. Do-it. Dewit.”
She sighed. Oh, it’d be the perfect thing to embarrass her with. But could she fall for a simple trick?
Eizen blew the whistle. Game on.
Barreling in, Velvet took a hard right. Eleanor keeping pace with those legs of hers. Eyes focused on the goal and puck, the centerwoman looked up, seeing her rival’s emerald green spark back the same intensity.
They grinned at one another.
Ducking herself lower, Velvet dragged the puck back, pivoting around. In the last second, Eleanor poked at her stick, knocking her off-balance. A hard brake, and they fought. Bodies bumped off one another as the puck flew into the corner.
Both of them dashed over. The raven-haired woman grabbed it and curled around. She knew Eleanor was going to take the defensive. Again with that poke. Tugging the puck back, she fired a shot.
The goalie swiped it away and with her momentum, Eleanor took the puck up out and curled around.
Velvet knew her playing defense was the absolute worst thing she could do. The only way she’s been able to play defense was backchecking; attacking in the opposite end.
Her mind accelerated. Her defensive partner from the redline coming down as Eleanor closed the gap between them. She stepped one direction and she followed through.
A smile grew on the redhead’s face as she shifted the other way.
Making her blade like a sickle, she pulled on Eleanor’s stick. Barely even registered as she fired.
Their backup goalie snagging it from the air and held it close. Velvet curled away while her partner coasted towards her. Tape to tape and she was done.
Taking a moment to watch, she saw Eleanor take the defense again.
Once in line, she saw her skate her way back in line. Everybody scooted down.
“You need to work on your backwards skating.” The defensewoman chirped.
“Yeah, yeah. Good job.” Velvet held her fist out.
They bumped together. Much to the feint affections of their teammates leaning over one another. A few kissy faces made to one another as they mimicked the Telliesin Pirate’s official couple.
“Aah, go fuck yourself.” Velvet waved them off, slapping their sticks away.
Eleanor watched Velvet break into the zone again. Legs pumped through the ice as she played backchecker. Her defenseman was another one of the forwards. A simple move and she had all the space to herself.
You’re going to shoot top left, passed helmet and shoulder aren’t you?
Eleanor pushed through and saw her effort in vain. Just as she suspected.
Velvet just curled around, letting her and her partner pass the puck out before she was back on the defensive again.
This time, she’ll try speed. Burning down the far side, Eleanor held her shoulder strong. Her roommate constantly prodding away, but she lowered her shoulder and stick. Grinding down, Eleanor fired at shot, bouncing off the pads.
Another step and she broke through, swiping at the puck. Just around and…
The goalie passed it over, but she stopped and pursued. Caught off guard, the two scrambled with Velvet immediately heading back. Eleanor took the chance, firing far corner.
A familiar ringing noise as she looked. Just in.
Confidently spinning her stick in her hands, she took off for playing defense again.
Like a bar clapping against the back of her pants pad, Velvet took a playful swing at her butt.
“Stop flirting you two!” Margaret yelled, from her side of the line.
The centerwoman leaned over. “She’s just jealous.”
Velvet skated back to her spot in the line as Margaret continued to fume. Helen leaned over, ribbing her.
“Soo, come’on. How is it? Being with Elle?”
“Like any other relationship?”
“Oh, don’t give me that! You two were literally ready to rip each other’s heads off, beginning of the season! How is it?”
“She’s… fun to be around.”
“Really? So what kind of stuff you two doing?” She scooted closer as the lined progressed.
“You know… Stuff that broke college students do. Get cheap food. Study.”
Velvet reflexively bumped her cage with Helen’s. “It’s none of your business.”
“Losing a bit of your edge there Vel-cake.” The girl chuckled. “I like it though. I think everybody does too. Makes you more approachable.”
“What? And I wasn’t before???”
“You kinda looked like you were gonna murder us.”
“Another day, another wonderful workout~” Magilou cheered as she raised her bottled soda. A special green edition of fizzy goodness that parched her through. Velvet and Eleanor casually bumping their drink with hers. The common ritual after practice. And with the semi-finals and finals coming up, they needed these little brakes like these.
The witch of the crease downed her soda, letting out a burp.
Velvet rolled her eyes. “Good one.”
“Magilou!” Eleanor shoved her shoulder.
“Blah, blah, blah.” She mocked, leaning against the walls. “Right. So we planning a small workout on Thursday?”
“Yeah, same time as we always do.”
“Perfect.” Magilou continued her slouch.
Eleanor leaned against Velvet, casually looking at the other. Of course, they wouldn’t ogle each other in the showers, but the slow changing of the weather had small things with clothing.
And with Velvet and her assets in better view.
The blonde called her out, “Hey, hey, you can have your eye candy later!”
She clung onto her chocolate milk tighter to her face. Velvet eyes almost gleamed.
“V-velvet what are you..?!” The raven-haired woman set the drink on the bench. She came from behind, wrapping her arms around her. Like snakes, they coiled around, reaching across her, patting through hoodies.
Magilou leaned forward, almost dropping her empty bottle. A small dribble of blood came from her nose.
“I’ve got it!” The goalie hopped up. “That’s the pose!” And she ran off to her dorm, doing who knows what…
“Velvet, was that really necessary?”
“Not really. But Magilou did to come to asking about something she wanted to write.”
“And this is your answer?”
“Well, it gave her what she wanted right?”
“Maybe… B-but can you let go?”
She thought for a moment. Finally she pulled her arms back. “There you go, all nice and pretty.”
Eleanor’s pitch skyrocketed. Velvet may have pulled her arms away, but it just left her open to grope her butt.
“But once we get back, it’s just you. And. Me.”