Character(s): All Ducks
Short summary: The Ducks go on a skiing trip, which takes a disastrous turn for five of them.
“I have a beautiful picture in my head of you falling on your butt halfway down the mountain,” Connie Moreau teased her boyfriend as they loaded their luggage underneath the team bus.
“If I remember correctly it was you who fell last time we went skiing,” Guy Germaine replied, baring to her his trademark grin. Connie responded with a warning glare and a playful shove.
“I get my own seat, if I have to share with Russ my ears will fall off!” Les Averman exclaimed, interrupting the couple, to put his own suitcase under the bus. “And can someone explain to me why Dwayne is bringing his cowboy hat on a skiing trip?”
“I can’t believe you’re complaining about Russ talking too much,” Connie laughed. Averman grinned sheepishly, knowing he was also well known for letting his mouth run. With a shrug, he turned to go back to his dorm room to get his skis.
The high school hockey team to which the three belonged, the Eden Hall Academy Ducks, were taking a ski trip for the weekend. The Ducks had been pumped up for it for several weeks, especially Connie and Guy because the trip would give them time alone together. Between school, practice, games, and homework, sometimes the two scrambled to find a moment alone together. The coming weekend would be a welcome change.
“Why is everyone taking so long?” Charlie Conway, captain of the Ducks, roared as he stepped off the bus. “Coach said we were leaving at eight a.m. sharp, and almost everyone still has their stuff inside!”
“Charlie, chill out, it’s only quarter ‘til!” Guy assured his friend as he and Connie exchanged an amused look. “Breathe.”
Charlie threw Guy an annoyed glare and headed for the dorms, muttering under his breath. The couple watched him go before claiming their seats in the back on the bus.
“He always freaks out like that when we have to go somewhere, and yet we always leave on time,” Guy smirked as Connie settled herself in his arms.
“Well, that’s only because he rushes everyone out the door,” she pointed out, and Guy had to admit she was right.
Charlie made the perfect team captain. He was a natural leader, and the Ducks naturally followed him, with few exceptions. There were other leaders on the team too, such as Dean Portman and Fulton Reed. Guy didn’t mind being one of the followers. He was used to fading into the background, even if he didn’t always like it. He knew he was not a natural leader. In fact, if he was put in the position of having to be, he had no idea what he would do. He’d never had to before.
At five minutes to eight, the Ducks were in their seats and anxiously waiting to get going. “Remember,” he told them in his usual strict tone. “No one goes off by themselves, you’re all to be with at least one other person at all times unless you’re in the lodge lobby. Pay attention to all signs when you’re out skiing. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes that will keep you warm enough. And most important,” he added, a smile coming to his face, “is that this trip is for you guys to have fun."
No one considered that last part a problem. The bus was quickly full of loud voices trying to talk over each other. In the back of the bus, Guy, Connie, Charlie and Greg Goldburg fondly recalled when Goldburg’s parents had taken them all skiing back when they were eight. They were all part of the pee-wee hockey team back then, long before anyone had put them together as a real team. Averman, the only other one on the team who had been with them in pee-wee, was at the front of the bus making fun of Dwayne’s hat.
Guy was all too happy to point out to Charlie that they had left on time. Charlie gave him a wry smile, knowing not to take the jest seriously. As the time passed, the Ducks slowly quieted down, talking to people nearest them or putting on their headphones. Julie Gaffney, the team goalie, pulled out a new book she’d been waiting to have time to read. Connie and Guy made small talk, reveling in the time they had with each other and excited to get up to the ski resort to start in their weekend.
FF.net link: In The Face of Fear