Story:Let Me In, Let Me Out
Let Me In, Let Me Out
Written by IllaRouge and Jwolfman
So due to the one-point loss, the mood in the locker room had been quiet and rather sour, but most of the team was willing to move on and focus on the next game. Narkissa lingered longer than the other players however, until finally it was just Hildegard and Narkissa in the locker room. Dressed in her usual jeans and tee-shirt attire, Narkissa stood up from her finish, and with a flash of anger, she grabbed the door of her locker and slammed it so hard that the noise snapped through the silence of the locker room.
Hildegard rounded the corner, arms crossed, her ears somehow more laid back than they already naturally were. Despite Zahra's attempts, the hyena-rabbit still managed to pull off a pantsuit every so often, choosing a black number tonight. She wasn't glaring at Narkissa, but it could certainly be seen that way. "Vhat zhe hell is zhat about?"
Narkissa huffed loudly and shook her head, grabbing her duffel bag to sling over her shoulder before turning to face Hildegard. "I sucked tonight. Again." She glared at her coach. "Tell me again why I've been starting constantly lately?"
Hildegard morphed her scowl to equal Narkissa's scorn. She decided against addressing the comment on her playing. "I started you because you deserve to be started." She shrugged. "Is zhat a problem?"
"It's a problem when someone like Vance had to be benched because of me. He's a better player than I am."
Hildegard sighed and leaned against one of the lockers. "How many PotGs has Vance gotten on zhe bench, hmm?"
"Oh come on, that was once. Only my second time in my entire career."
She threw up her hands. "How many players can say zhat?!" she said overly enthusiastic. "Vhat is all zhis doubt about your ability now?"
Narkissa sighed and sat on a nearby bench, letting her duffel bag fall onto the floor with a thud. She brushed some of her red hair off her face and looked up at Hildegard. "We keep falling apart at this point of the season where we shouldn't fall apart. I'm not doing well enough, and we lose games as a result."
Hildegard hit the nearest locker jut as Narkissa did, but she left her trademark dent in it. "I can't stand zhat self-pity Scheisse." She marched closer to Narkissa but didn't get as close as she normally did when giving her usual 'pep talks.' "Zhe media says zhat nonsense. I don't expect my players to believe it!"
Narkissa leaned back in her sitting position even as Hildegard started to approach her, paused, listening. "Then how the bloody hell would I end up doing better from the bench than when I start? Maybe it's because I do better against bench players than starters?!"
Hildegard slapped her hand against her own face, dragging her features down slowly as she lowered her arm. She inhaled slowly and held her breath for a moment. "So, vhat are you going to do about it?"
"I'll just work hard to improve, but we only got like three games left before the end of the season, and right now we're in the outside again looking in. We're running out of time. Vance right now is a better fit as a starter, but damn it he's hurt." She sighed. "This happened to me and my team back in Edmonton last season. We had just one game to determine whether we were playoff bound or not. All we had to do was beat a freaking basement team, Las Vegas. We lost that game."
"And do you really think zhat vas just your fault?!" She was practically growling. "Do you really think zhat zhis team revolves around you?" She looked away from the lemur. "Zhis is not zhe behavior I expected from you."
"No, the team doesn't revolve around me! But I contribute to it. If I do badly and we lose, I become part of the reason why we lose."
"Ja, you contribute." She pushed herself up and stood over the lemur. "You are part of zhe team, und zhe team sinks und svims togezher." She pointed in the direction of the court, as if through the walls. "Franz missed baskets, und so did Amelia. Rosalie. Neil. Oliver. Juniper. Bobby-Rae. Brad. People wir all trust, und zhey all could blame zhemselves for losing zhe game." She pointed back at Narkissa. "So vhat makes you zhe one to take on all zhis guilt?"
Narkissa sighed loudly, and finally she slowly stood up, not caring if she ended up facing her coach right within their personal spaces. "I don't think I'm ready to be a consistent starter. Not yet. I'm not there." She paused and frowned slightly. "Why do you think I should be a starter, even at the expense of people like Oliver or even Franz?"
There was so much that Hildegard wanted to say, anything that didn't have to do with TAL's recent string of losses. She glared, but it was hard for her to hold the look against her player. "I made you a swing starter because you haff talent wir need out zhere." She took a step forward, and they were pressed together. "Oliver is not suffering because of zhis. I make decisions based on more zhan zhe personal feelings of my players." She sighed, "But zhose feelings do matter to my coaching."
Narkissa flinched slightly once their bodies touched, but she didn't rear away from her. Essentially she was trapped due to the bench behind her legs. She was not going to complain about that. Her ears twitched at Hildegard's words, and her tail twitched with them. "Personal feelings. Hmph. I've found a lot of success from the bench." Her mind stewed with a thought she normally wouldn't vocalize. Her worries, however, would not quiet. "Are you keeping me a starter due to your feelings for me?"
Hildegard's whole expression dropped; neither of them breathed for a moment. Then she bared her teeth and leaned in even closer to the lemur. Just millimeters from Narkissa's muzzle, Hildegard spun on her heels and stormed toward the exit.
Narkissa didn't back down when she bared her fangs at her; it was a look she had seen before many times, and its shock value was lost a long time ago. However, due to the tense moment between the two, a new thought crossed her mind, or rather a fear that Hildegard was threatening to bite a chunk out of the lemur's neck. She blinked when her coach turned around, and although she reached her paw forward, she missed her grab and huffed. "Coach! Stop!"
Hildegard's growing hair wafted as she picked up distance between her and her player. She looked down one hallway and saw an exit. She paid no mind as a ringing alarm went off when she plowed through a fire door into a maintenance lot, distinctly separated from the normal parking lot. Deciding to own her mistake and get out of there as fast as possible, she continued into the dark of the Alabama night.
Narkissa frowned, and, grabbing her duffel bag quickly, she hurried out of the room and followed Hildegard into the maintenance lot. "Hilde," she groaned and finally reached over to try and grab her coach by the wrist from behind.
The lemur succeeded, but the coach whipped her hand away, yanking outside of Narkissa's reach again. "Nicht du verdammter berühren mich!" she said, with more growling. She continued her walk across the nearly empty parking lot.
"Hilde! Please you know I can't understand German." She sighed and walked hurriedly alongside her this time. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that."
Hildegard stopped stone-still. Her shoulders didn't even huff, despite the fast walking. "Vhat do you think I vant out of zhis?" She gripped her hair with both hands, still facing away. "Vhatever zhis is."
"I don't know what you want out of this!" She shook her head quickly. "Really I don't."
She kept her back to the lemur. "Vhat do you vant, zhen?"
"Just an answer. It had crossed my mind a lot lately."
"Zhat is not vhat I meant." She sighed but finally found the courage to turn to face her player. "I am not. No one gets special treatment on my team." She put a hand on her hip and looked away. "Especially you. You don't deserve zhat. I am not going to buy your affection."
Narkissa absently raised one of her paws to rest against her own head, feeling her hair along her fingers. "I'm sorry I asked. I know it sounds strange, but I do want to go back to bench. Maybe you're right, maybe I do have the talent to be a starter. But I just don't feel like I do. Especially not lately in this season. I'm not ready. I will be, but not now."
Hildegard felt the urge to run, but she wasn't sure what from. Knees to chest, just to give her some reason for her heart to be racing as much as it was. Was she angry about the losses? The playoff contention? Narkissa? She didn't like caring about this sort of thing. "I'll decide vhezher or not you stay on zhe bench permanently." She couldn't manage a smile or a frown, just an exhausted look. "But if you vant training to become a more effective starter, you vill get it."
"And you have been training me for that this season." She sighed and finally braved herself to reach and rest one of her paws onto Hildegard's shoulder. "Look, you're tired, I'm tired, and the team's probably in the bus waiting for us. Let's just go home?"
Hildegard looked up to the dark sky, washed out in the glow of sodium lights. "Wir are not ready to talk about zhis yet, are wir?"
"Heh, will we ever?" She crossed her arms.
She looked at Narkissa, her eyes glowing as brightly as the lights. "I'm not afraid to talk."
"Then why did you try to run away?"
"I vas angry, vhat else?" she answered quickly. But after a moment of silence, she relented with, "I felt betrayed. I did not expect you to vorry about zhat, but maybe zhat is just because I didn't bozher to tell you."
"Tell me what though?" Her mind found it difficult to focus on anything.
Hildegard walked to a nearby cement construction divider. She folded her arms and took an uncomfortable seat. "I cannot forget about zhat night." She looked down at her bare feet. "I feel guilty because I don't feel guilty. Does zhat make sense?"
"Hmm. I didn't feel guilty about that either, even if it was such a spur of the moment thing." She walked with her but stood by the divider, watching her. "It makes sense though. We're in separate relationships already, after all."
"Haff you thought about...more?" she left ambiguously.
"Heh, yeah, I have. Honestly, I don't feel like I'm cheating on Yves. I don't see you as... competition with him. Honest truth. Sorry." Her ears folded back slightly.
She reached up and touched Narkissa's ears, mildly startling the lemur. "Don't do zhat. You said you vere not guilty." She put her hand back down to keep herself at bay. "I haff never been in a situation like zhis, but I saw my mozher do as much. I don't usually let people get zhis close to me."
"And yet you're letting me be close to you. Enough for a kiss to happen." She snerked.
Hildegard smirked but still wouldn't look directly at Narkissa. To hear one of them reference the act directly was a pleasant sort of jarring feeling. "Zhis year has been generous to me. I am not used to zhese emotions." She pushed herself up to stand tall. "First Zahra, but you...it feels as strong, but different. Einzigartig, unique."
"Must be the taboo. You're my coach, aren't we supposed to keep this business only? Maybe that's why it seems so unique."
She shook her head. "Nein, not like zhat." But she laughed briefly. "I mean, ja, never tell zhe Hund, or bad things vill happen." She took a few more steps out toward the lighter part of the lot. "Zhe emotion feels like something I should only feel for one person," looking over her shoulder at Narkissa, "but I feel it for bohss of you." Back up to the sky, "And yet zhe feeling is particular to each of you."
"Sounds like a paradox. It's a feeling meant for one person but you're feeling it for two, and it's still different." She grinned and started to walk with her again. "Feelings can act like that sometimes."
She chuckled and playfully shoved Narkissa, a light touch. "Maybe zhat is vhat I am afraid of, zhe how you say, paradox." She held her position for a moment. "But it does not feel wrong."
Narkissa stumbled for a half-step and then grinned, even giggling for a few moments. "It doesn't for me. In fact, I kinda like this, this...thrill of taking risks."
Hildegard chuckled. "Zhe risk excites you?" She stared off into nothing. "I just vish I knew vhat vas zhe right thing to do."
"Well I don't want to sound cliché, but often we should follow our gut. Our, um, subconscious." Narkissa even managed a wink.
Hildegard did a quarter turn to see her player. "Ja? Und vhat does your subconscious say to do now?"
"I say we keep going," wasting no time, "persevere. If Yves gets suspicious, I'll tell him the truth."
She nodded. "Yves is zhe only part of zhis I feel guilty about at zhis point." They were positioned still in the maintenance lot, but right around the corner was the bus, waiting for their arrival. Hildegard pointed to the vehicle across the lot, almost a speck on the near horizon. "I am not vorried about zhem or zhe Hund."
Narkissa sighed and nodded. "Yves...I hope he'll understand, really. He's a compassionate person, loyal and very kind. But I do worry about how you feel about him and me. Like, do you think you're a third wheel?"
Hildegard held a contemplative look that wasn't typical of her. She waved Narkissa closer and knelt down to the pavement. She produced a claw from her index finger and started to scratch into the asphalt, like a piece of chalk. There was a large circle with two smaller ones adjoining and overlapping the larger one on the side, the tertiary circles never touching each other. It looked a bit like a water molecule.
"Zhis," pointing to the big circle, "is you." She scratched an 'N' over it. "Zhese," the smaller circles, "are Yves und I." She put an 'H' over one and a 'Y' over the other. "Vhatever happens, you haff your life mit Yves. I am not wanting to be a part of zhat, or to invade on vhat you have mit him." She pointed to where the present two connected. "Zhis is all zhat I am concerned mit."
Narkissa stood by it and looked down at her and the diagram, frowning slightly as she listened. "I see. So you're worried about him. About what he would do to you or what he would do to me?"
She shook her head. "No. From vhat you tell me of him, he is a gut person. He vill not betray you and vhat you care about, even if it is anozher person." Her eyes lowered at her own circle. "I am afraid zhat I truly am being greedy. You und I haff not been through as much as ozhers, but I care. Und because he matters to you, he has to matter to me to, even if it is not for zhe same reasons."
Narkissa reached down to grip Hildegard's arm gently to pull her up to standing position, and even as she stood, she wouldn't let go of her arm as she faced her coach. "No, you're not being greedy, Hilde." She sighed. "Look, don't worry about him or even me. I say we keep going, okay?"
Hildegard tried to find the words, but they weren't going to come, not like she intended. She wiped the side of her eye before she gave up her ruse. "I am supposed to be strong, ja? Vhat vould people say if zhey saw me now?" She grinned the whole time.
"They'll probably say that you really do have a soft side, or maybe they'll think you have a wussy twin." She giggled, teasing.
She shook her head, finding it difficult to look Narkissa in the eye. "Verdammt, zhis could not happen at a home game, could it?"
"Heh, no. But really, we got a bus waiting for us." She tugged on her arm.
She gave a half-hearted smile and walked along. "Any idea vhat to do from here on?" She hated how quickly the bus was growing as they traversed the parking lot.
Narkissa walked with, letting go of her once the bus is clearer in sight. She's certain that they're being 'watched' now. "We'll keep our schedule of sparring in the ring, alright? And we can meet up at some nights when we both have time to do so."
Hildegard chuckled. "Already planning for nights, are wir?"
She laughed, "Why not? Maybe not for raves, but I won't mind, um...spa visits? Or we can even do one-on-one games at the outdoor basketball court within my condo complex."
Hildegard saw the reticence still hidden in the lemur to dive head first into everything, so she felt no urge to tease or to push onward. "I vould like zhat."
"Awesome then." She grinned and her tail started swaying more eagerly. "Maybe we can play a game of HORSE and make bets."
They were almost up to the bus, a few hundred feet away. "Bets like vhat?"
If there's one thing Narkissa loves to do, it's to push other peoples' buttons and at the most inopportune times. She loves to see how people react, so as they approached the bus, she simply grinned. "Like if you lose, you get a handicap during one of our fights, or you have to go to a music concert of my choosing, or you have to be the bottom when we're in bed." She said it all casually.
Hildegard's eyes go wide, but she does her best to turn her head to hide her sudden and piqued interest in discussing their future, even if it was only to a small, teasing degree in the moment. Almost to the bus, they were approaching from behind. No one stirred, so it seemed that they were somewhat hidden. With no windows in the back, Hildegard yanked Narkissa to the rear of the bus and lightly pinned her against the vehicle, a mild bump as the lemur's body connected with the chassis. All in good fun. "I thought you vere all about risk, Narkissa."
Narkissa grunted in surprise, pinned beneath. She felt the warm metal of the vehicle on her back, but she was more focused on the figure over her; she huffed. Once the shock eased down, she let her grin grow. "I am..." She grabbed her in return and leaned in to kiss her deeply on the lips.
Hildegard returned the kiss, recouping any former efforts to keep herself plain and behaved around the lemur. Each second spent in each other's embrace meant the risk of losing their careers, at least for the coach. But this was something she knew brought out the best in Narkissa.
Narkissa moaned curtly, barely audible over the rumbling noise of the bus engine, parting the kiss before looking in her eyes. "You can really evil sometimes. That's why I like you." Snicker, "Mostly."
The hyena-rabbit grinned and pushed herself to standing, wishing they could continue. "Evil is my specialty." She pulled Narkissa in for one last kiss.
Narkissa moaned again in the kiss, and this time she even reaches around to grope her own coach on the ass for a moment, flexing the fingers to squeeze inward. "Mmm..."
Hildegard was impressed with how forward the lemur was being. "You know, I haff punched people for less," she challenged, remembering their fights as well.
Narkissa stuck her tongue out at her. "Punch me, kick me, just wear your gloves doing it." She giggled and let go of her.
She feigned walking toward the bus's front, and as soon as Narkissa passed her, in full view of the mirror that Hildegard already saw, the bus driver nodding off a little, she reached her hands around the front of the lemur and groped her. "I'll keep zhat in mind."
Narkissa hopped slightly in surprise, and she grinned, blushing. "Yeah." She giggled and finally entered the bus.
Hildegard followed on afterward, the team already starting to snooze and barely noticing their entrance. She nodded to the bus driver, whom pulled the door closed.
Narkissa sighed in relief upon seeing the team's lack of attention at their entrance. She found an empty seat row at the very back and lounged with a sigh, exhausted.
Hildegard walked slowly to the back to join her player. She scooted Narkissa over and sat, crossing her arms. This was nice.
Narkissa chuckled, and once she was sure no one was looking, her fluffy but huge tail flopped across Hildegard's lap. She rested against a corner of the backseat row, using her duffel bag as a makeshift pillow, but she looked back at her coach with a grin.
Hildegard had one eye open at this point, giving her a permanent wink. She smirked as she closed her other eye. She welcomed the pleasant distraction of stroking Narkissa's tail, nothing sexual, nothing deviant, just an appreciation for a fluffy appendage, her fingers enjoying the feeling of a new lover's touch.
Narkissa kept her grin intact as she closed her eyes. The feeling of fingers stroking along her tail is comforting and soothing, only the noise and the bumps of the road filling the air. But she kept quiet for the remainder of the trip.
The night rolled on, the travel between Huntsville and Tallahassee accomplished easily in a handful of hours. As they rolled up to the stadium, the sun still missing from the sky, Hildegard felt a heavy weight on her shoulder, easily metaphoric but nonetheless real.
Narkissa's head rested firmly on her coach's shoulder. Apparently during the trip, she had repositioned to be closer to her, leaning against her. Oh my.
Tazel was always the early riser, even on these trips. She busied herself going up and down the rows gently coaxing folks awake. Reaching the last row, she crossed all of her arms. "Looks like someone got cozy in their sleep," she mused.
Hildegard blinked heavily as she woke. Seeing the lemur resting on her, she felt a surge of something in her chest. She reached up and played with her player's bright hair. "I'll make her run laps later," she assured the fox, neither of them missing a beat.
Narkissa's ears twitched, and she slowly peeled off of Hildegard's shoulder with a loud yawn. Once she realized her position, she blushed and scooted back to her original spot on the seat. "Oh, um, sorry..."
Hildegard chuckled and stood up. She yawned a loud yawn and looked to Tazel. "Coffee?"
"Sounds good." Tazel turned, and Hildegard joined her. But before anyone could see, the hyena-rabbit looked back and winked at Narkissa.
Narkissa blinked and shook her head with a smirk. It's a big risk of course to do all this with Hildegard. For a moment, she let the thought of what would come to pass flit by, the heavy consequences on the coach more than her, the fact that they had done nothing yet to get in trouble, what it was they would do soon to seal the deal on whatever their relationship would fall under; but in the end, she felt this would be all worth it. She blinked a while longer before shouldering her bag and joining her teammates for breakfast.
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