Story:The One Good Thing - Part 3

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The One Good Thing - Part 3
Written by Blades

The One Good Thing part 3: A Moment's Time

...Current Time...

"Hold on Linds...gotta give this a read..." Ash unlocking his phone. A text message...from Lance...from his number at least. He quickly scanned the message, taking a minute to click out a message in return.

"So what was it?"

"Lance..."

"See Ash...things are already turning up. How'd it go?"

"Perfectly fine...Just wanna really get back home now though. Those million and one reasons are really callin' me now."

"Don't you worry. I'll make sure you're home nice and safe. Also maybe throw a little impromptu party from Suzie..."

"Maybe...we'll see. I know a few players got her gifts and all. See what we can stitch together."

...Ten hours Later...

"I think we gotta stop for the night Ash...i'm really shot and you're still not quite a hundred percent." Lindsey whipping out her phone as she walked across the parking lot.

"Fine...but we leave soon as we can tomorrow..." Ash clutching his head. "Damn headache..."

"Well that's what a bender'll do to you..."

"Don't gotta keep rubbin' it in Lindsey..."

"Just stating the facts..." Patting him on the shoulder with a chuckle. She smiled a bit "Y'know what they say helps a hangover...a greasy meal." pointing out the diner on the other side of the road.

"You tryin' to say somethin'?"

"Yeah...getting us dinner silly..." taking his paw and running across. "Nothing beats a roadside diner in the dead of night." the door bell ringing as they walked in.

The waitress, an older golden retriever sitting behind the counter. She looked up from a stack of papers. "Anywhere's fine."

As they sat across from each other, Lindsey took and squeezed Ash's paws for a minute. "So like...lemme get in a quick check. How are you holding up?"

"Not great but...better..." Ash still a little weak of voice as he spoke, smiling a little at having his paws squeezed.

"Sure you'll be right as rain when we roll into Bangor."

"Trust me...don't think I been more fired up than now. My focus is clear now..."

"And what might that be, think I know but...just wanna check."

Soon enough the waitress came and took their orders. Both settling on the classic hamburger...greasy meal to help out with the headache and all. As their meals arrived soon after, things seemed a bit...closer to normal. Though...one thing did itch a bit at him. After he took a single bite he stopped and looked to Lindsey.

"Hey Lindsey...I...why do you care about me so much? I'm just your sideguy..."

"...Well, like I know i'm more than a sidechick to you. Most recently, my job title's began including counselor. You are a good young man Ash...but as much as you might've grown up overnight, you still got some left to do." "I...I guess I do."

"Like I said...Suzie wants to see you and Lance sharing spots in the backcourt, not beds in a hospital room..." Ash froze a bit at that, realizing had he not been found or even just a bit later...very well could've been in that spot."...Sorry to put the fear of death in you. Much as i'm sure her Get Well Soon cards are the tops..."

"They really are. Knowin' her she's made like...five for him by now."

"Probably." Lindsey returning back to her food.

Ash ate slowly, pondering the last few days...seeing the game, crying alongside Suzanne, driving away to Rosewood in the dead of the night, drinking himself into trouble...Another thing to make him wonder how was he still alive?...Then he thought of the talk he'd had with Lance after his initial outburst over the postseason. It all made him realize his life and now career weren't his to peril anymore...never were to begin with.

He'd always lived for others...Those he held close and called family...So why'd he break his personal creed like that? Why? Why'd he been so stupid and selfish? Sure he'd 'failed' to keep Suzie happy and safe from the world but...Lance'd be back, and Ash needed to be in top gear when he did...Well no changing what was done, just had to get on track the minute he got back to Bangor...him and the rest of the Tides. Tired by thoughts though...he just dug back into his food.

Lindsey took a slurp of her milkshake, seeing the somewhat long look on Ash's face once more. "I won't lie Ash...you screwed up royally. You're really lucky I care...but I know you care too. Maybe too much at times..." Ash's ears drooped a bit at the statement. "You have so much good going for you, your family, your girlfriend, your career...I don't wanna see you lose it all after what you been through. League's a long game...you gotta look down the road too."

"I know but...Lance's farewell, this is an important year..."

"Not saying it ain't...I'm sure you'll give him one hell of a finale. But...we can discuss that a little later." Lindsey taking the final drink of her milkshake.

"Okay..." Ash finishing up his food quickly.

...Half an Hour Later...

Lindsey was showering in the motel bathroom. Not the greatest place she'd spent the night but...could do much worse. Least the water was nice and warm. After a decent soak, she stepped out and shook herself dry. She grabbed her phone, firing off a quick message to Toby stating they'd be back the next morning. Afterwards she slipped on her shirt and panties, getting ready for bed. As she threw the bathroom door open she'd find Ash kneeled over the bed, head bowed.

"Ash? Ash you okay?"

Ash looked up gently. "Yeah...i'm alright..."

"Thought you'd like passed out there for a second."

"No, no, not that tired I...I was praying..."

"To who? I mean there's so many gods..."

"I...I don't know...whichever one's listenin, I guess. I never really prayed before so...how'd I know who i'm prayin' to? But...could it really hurt at this point?"

"I guess not...anyways, time to sleep. You got family to see tomorrow." Lovingly patting him on the chest as she climbed onto the bed. Ash slipped up beside her, looking with a half smile.

"Still troubled?"

"Just...not that sleepy I guess..."

"Well...take my hand. We can just lie awake for now." Grabbing his paw firmly. "So what's keeping you awake..."

"What you told me...About how the league's a long game and all. I get it but...this season's different."

"You'll have a good season Ash...don't worry."

"Who knows...I have to work for it. Y'know, earn it. But still...seeing Lance off on the top of the league. That's what i'm doin; this all for. That...is my focus."

"Well easier said than done..."

"Don't care who we gotta tear through to get it. You and Umaechi's Spirits, Delmont and his Summit, The 'Roots...all of 'em...i'll tear through all of 'em...Second place ain't good enough."

"Seems your fire's back...but you gotta learn to harness it, not the other way around..."

"Well...this helped."

"Good. Remember this whenever you think of doing...that again. Got it?"

"I promise...Though...still not that sleepy."

"Like I said. Let's just lie awake..." The pair staring up at the ceiling as they held hands.


Featured Characters

Ash Van Zant Lindsey Morrison

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