If Only Tonight - By Andene, Chapter 27, Romance

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If Only Tonight - By Andene, Chapter 27, Romance

Post  Andene on Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:08 am

Unfamiliar Territory

Chapter Twenty Seven: Keep Your Head Up


Monday morning, Mia found herself sitting around a huge oak table, she couldn't help but think about how much more she preferred sleep to this. Across from her sat Felix, and around the table were the other doctors, specialists, and a few other medical personnel.

"As the last set of games nears, is there anything that needs to be improved right now? Next season?" Felix asked them.

"I think the doctors shouldn't have to go to the practices...it takes valuable time from us reviewing our files and figuring out treatments." Complained Chuckie Manson, one of the regular doctors who sat next to Jon Lever.

"Sorry, but starting next season even the specialists will be coming to practice." Felix chuckled glancing towards where Mia was sitting. It suddenly hit Mia what he had just said.

"What!" Kyle, Calvin, and Mia blurted out in unison.

"Sir, we spend our time doing the same things they do. Except we check, and double check, sometimes even triple check the players. We also prepare treatments to heal their injuries. Sir, we have more work than they do." Calvin said quickly.

"Sir, we read papers to get up to date with new treatments to help benefit the players. Do we have to go to practices?" Mia asked.

"Felix, there are three of us and five of them treating not only the first team but the reserves regularly...we have more of a workload than they do. I don't think it's necessary." Kyle, the most senior of the three, followed up at the rear.

Felix looked at the three of them with amusement. The other doctors looked rather annoyed.

"That's completely unfair, Felix! If they're taking care of the players they should come to both practice and the games." Damien Woods, argued.

"What!" Calvin said, outraged. The room exploded with chatter.

Felix held up a hand, silencing them from their squabbling.

"Hold on. What treatments are you using that are different?" He asked Mia.

"I'm currently researching on homeopathic and naturopathic medicines, and it seems that they are a better choice and some are showing very good recovery time. Depending on injury, I use which ever suits the player best. Although in some cases it is better to go with allopathic medicine." She told Felix, hoping that he would be pleased.

"Isn't homeopathy a bunch of crock?" asked James March. He was looking at her with disbelief and held a certain air of superiority.

"No! Just because it isn't understood properly doesn't make it crock." Mia shot, she was starting to get flustered.

"What about you two, Calvin and Kyle. What methods are you implementing?" Felix asked, keeping the situation from becoming more heated and taking the attention away from Mia.

As Calvin and Kyle took turns explaining their own stances with new treatments, Mia couldn't help but shoot a dirty look towards James. He was always trying to belittle her at these meetings. The others whispered amongst themselves.

Tapping on the table to get the rooms attention, Felix sat back in his comfortable leather chair.

"Alright, alright. Settle down. Since it is rather unfair to be asking the specialists to attend each practice, I am of the opinion that the team will benefit from their research. So they will not be going to every practice." Felix started, before Calvin, Mia, and Kyle could cheer...Mia could tell there was a 'but' in his words. Something that neither of them would like.

"But as the other doctors find it unfair to attend every practice, starting next season the specialists will attend one practice per week and on that one practice the regulars will sit in their offices and research new treatments. In fact it is imperative that all the medical staff become up to date with the latest technology and treatments used. If any of you need any equipment let me know." He finished.

A look around the room showed that though they weren't completely happy, Felix had been fair to each of them.

"Alright, this meeting is adjourned. No more bickering from any of you. I want to see you all bright and early for the match on Wednesday. Understood?"

"Yes, Felix." Came a resounding chorus of replies.

Walking out of the room with Calvin, Mia heard Kyle call out to them from behind.

"That was fair...I guess." He said, as he walked up alongside them.

"Yea...too bad we have to go to a practice...that's going to sting in the winter." Calvin moaned.

"Be grateful we only have to go to one...the others are going to freeze most of the week." Mia snickered.

"That's true." Kyle laughed.

"Let's take Mondays. They can freeze their asses the rest of the week." Calvin proposed.

"Agreed." Both Mia and Kyle said in unison.

Walking down the corridor, the three of them discussed the pros and cons of some things they had read. As they reached Mia's office, Kyle turned to her.

"So are you joining the team at Indigo?" He asked.

Mia had forgotten that the team would be going out to a club tonight. She hadn't gone out with the guys since going to Mahiki, and both Matthew and Nathaniel had asked her the same question a few days ago.

"No..." She said, remembering the misfortune of her last date. "I think I'm going to sleep early."

"You should come. It'll give us a chance to get even with James and Damien..." Calvin said, with a note of bitterness in his voice.

"Nah...I'll pass." She told them, resolutely. Ryan had given her a bitter aftertaste, one that had lasted a few weeks.

"Suit yourself." Kyle chimed as they waved goodbye to her.

"Oh I will..." Mia muttered before heading in to her office, but not before she heard a loud whistle. Bristling at the sound, Mia shut her door loudly, and made sure it was locked.

-----

Matthew sat on the couch watching an episode of 'Top Gear', when the door opened and in walked Mia.

"Hey." She greeted him. He watched as she put her things beside the coffee table.

"Hey." He replied. She had walked over to the kitchen to wash up. Matthew turned back to his show.

"Have you eaten already?" He heard her ask, he could hear the fridge open.

"Nope...I'm going out with the team later." He told her.

"Indigo, right?"

"Yea. Are you coming?" He asked.

"Nope."

Coming over to sit on the opposite end of the sofa, Matthew saw her dig in to a plate of chicken fried rice, a bottle of VitaminWater wedged in between her and the sofa.

"How come you're not coming?" He asked.

"Let's face it...I'm a socially inept person. Large gatherings, girls in cliques, and dates, will never work in my favour...I think it'll be better if I just stay home and watch 'The Big Bang Theory' DVDs I bought." She told him, taking a bite of her food. It was the first time she was addressing her date with Ryan.

He was still clueless to what had happened between her and Ryan. Their upcoming match against West Ham, didn't help Matthew. He hoped he would keep himself from confronting Ryan. All he knew that Ryan had wanted something she wasn't willing to give. That much Matthew had understood.

But here she was shunning yet another gathering, he couldn't help but think there was more to this. Not just Ryan...

"If you're worried about seeing Jason...you shouldn't...and the girls aren't going to say anything. Oliver will be there with Ariana, Nathaniel will be there...You'll be fine." He told her.

"No...I just want to stay home." She mumbled.

"Alright..." Matthew decided to let it drop. Instead of prodding the information out of Mia, he returned his attention to the TV. If she felt like telling him, she would.

"Hey, you two!" Oliver said as he stepped in to the room.

"Hey." "Hi, Oliver." Both Matthew and Mia greeted the older player.

"Ready, Matt?" He asked.

"Yea." Matthew got up and grabbed his jacket from the closet.

"Ariana has my car, so you'll be driving me around my good chauffeur." Oliver told him, as Mia giggled.

"I'll drive, but never call me that again." Matthew said, with a grin.

"Deal."

Turning to Mia, he asked one last time.

"Last chance to reconsider."

"I think I'll pass." Mia said firmly, shaking her head.

"See you later, Mia." Oliver said as they stepped out the door.

Walking to his car, with Oliver beside him, Matthew couldn't help but feel as though maybe they should have warned her about Ryan.

"You were wrong." He told Oliver.

"About?"

"Letting her figure it out herself."

"What are you talking about?" Oliver asked him, confusion colouring his voice.

"Mia. We should have stopped her from going out with Ryan." He clarified.

"Why?"

Matthew sighed, he had yet to tell Oliver about his picking Mia up at the theatre.

"Ryan was a jerk towards her." He said instead.

"How do you know? Mia seems fine." Oliver looked perplexed.

"I-I picked Mia up from the theatre...she called me to get her."

"What happened? Why didn't you tell me before?" Oliver sounded unhappy.

"I don't know...I guess he was expecting more from her. I forgot to tell you...I was going to." Matthew told him honestly.

They were silent, as Matthew unlocked the car and they both sat inside.

"We did the right thing not interfering." Oliver told him, sounding resolute.

"How can you say that?" Matthew asked.

"Look by interfering, we would have pushed her to prove us wrong. This way she learned without really getting hurt."Oliver tried to explain.

"That makes no sense..." Matthew muttered.

"Think of it this way...each step away from the riff-raff of the footballing world, in some messed up way, it may mean she's one step closer to you...but only if you behave." Oliver told him, making his point clear. "Of course if I was her...you'd be the biggest piece of-"

"Hey! But I'm behaving!" Matthew defended himself.

"You've got a long way to go...you can't honestly believe she's forgotten the first half of the season?"

"Yea...maybe...okay no..." Matthew hated to agree with him. "Alright...I get it, stop giving me that look." He said, becoming annoyed of Oliver's knowing stare.

Starting the engine and pulling out of the parking lot, Matthew decided to change the subject.

"So...Lina and Ariana have reunited."

Oliver laughed upon hearing this.

"Oh yea...we are so in for it...especially after your little stunt with the locket. I hear Lina's still angry about it."

Matthew sighed.

-----

Sitting on the seat beside Kyle and Calvin, Mia watched as Nathaniel, Matthew, and Oliver played their part on the field.

Having stayed away from Indigo, and gone to sleep earlier than the guys the night before. Mia had been slightly avoiding Matthew. She was a little scared that he would ask her about what happened with Ryan. Oliver hadn't said anything, though Mia didn't doubt that he knew Matthew had come to get her from the theatre.

Mia returned her attention to the game. It was clear Jason and Ryan knew each other...they had greeted each other warmly...Mia had gritted her teeth as she had watched the exchange.

Keeping her eyes on the field, she watched her players carefully. At the moment Oliver was running with ball along the left flank, Matthew was trying to position himself somewhere close to the net for Oliver but not close enough to be told it was offside. Nathaniel was keeping one of the opposing players from coming after Oliver.

It was interesting to see Oliver pass the ball successfully to Matthew. As Matthew ran for the goal, she saw Ryan come out of nowhere and tackle him. The ball was safely with the goal keeper.

Watching in shock as Matthew got up, muttering something. Ryan was saying something back. They were arguing about something, as the referee was coming up to them. She was horrified when Ryan shoved Matthew, and he retaliated by pushing back. The referee was pulling them apart, as Oliver and Lucas took Matthew aside. Oliver was talking Matthew down. Calm! Stay calm! Mia thought, hoping he would hear her thoughts.

The referee held up a yellow card for both Ryan and Matthew. "What!" Mia exclaimed, shooting up from her seat. "He was tackled...Ryan should get a red!" Calvin and Kyle agreed.

It was then that Mia noticed Matthew limping as he walked towards the referee. "He's hurt." She told the two beside her. He was motioning to his leg with a grimace.

"Looks like...it kind of looked like Ryan stepped on the back of his leg." Kyle commented. Mia's heart plummeted. She hoped he hadn't been too seriously injured. Matthew was talking to the referee, motioning to his leg.

"Mia! Matthew's coming off...go check the damage." She heard Felix tell her, as Matthew started his walk towards them. Mia walked down from her seat and towards the edge of the technical area.

As he reached her, Mia led him down the tunnel. Several questions clouding her mind.

Facing him as they entered the locker room, Mia couldn't help but blurt out her question.

"What was that about?"

-----

He was so close to the goal. He knew he could kick the ball to the back of the net, the keeper wouldn't know what hit him. It was then that something hit Matthew. He felt someone's cleat dig into the flesh on the back of his leg.

Falling face first, Matthew was furious with whoever had fouled him. Just my luck, he thought as he saw Ryan being helped up by the keeper.

"What the hell was that for?" Matthew muttered, loud enough for Ryan to hear, as he picked himself up.

"You were going to score. I stopped you. Nothing personal." Ryan said, coming near.

"Sure as hell felt personal!" Matthew shot back. His leg was stinging in pain. Matthew ignored it.

"Well next time, don't interfere." Ryan spat at him.

"Interfere? Are you stupid? It's my job to score on your net, asshole!" Matthew said, feeling perplexed. Ryan was looking angry, he was coming up to him.

"Yea? Is it your job to poison everyone against me?" Ryan asked, his nose almost touching Matthew's.

"What are you talking about?" Matthew asked, though he had some idea of where this was going.

"Mia! You told her to stay away from me, didn't you?" Ryan said.

"Are you insane? I didn't say anything about you."

Ryan kept getting in Matthew's face, trying to provoke him.

"You're so full of yourself, Rossi. Jason was right about you two. You're arrogant, and she's just a tease." Ryan said angrily, his face inches away from Matthew's. Ryan didn't stop there, he shoved Matthew away.

That did it! Matthew stepped close to Ryan.

"Jason is full of shit. You're an idiot to believe him." Matthew snapped, pushing Ryan away with a hard shove. Livid with fury, Matthew saw red. "Mia's not a tease."

"Obviously not for you, jerk."

Before Matthew could take a step further or respond with something colourful, the referee was standing in between them, pushing them away from each other.

"Cut it out you two. Come on!" He admonished them.

Arms reached out to restrain Matthew, pulling him away from going back to get even with Ryan. It was then Matthew realized both Oliver and Lucas were pitting their strength against his, in order to keep him away.

"Matt, come on! Let it go!" Oliver was shouting at him. "Don't make it worse!"

It was almost surreal as the referee pulled a yellow card from his pocket, and showed it to both him and Ryan. Fumed. Matthew wanted nothing more than to punch Ryan. He should have known that even after all these years, Ryan and Jason would remain friends. Idiot, He thought angrily.

As he started to walk away from both Oliver and Lucas, it was then he felt enormous pain in his leg. Bloody freaking hell! He thought thoroughly irritated with the outcome of the last few moments. The moron clipped me, Matthew thought with renewed anger towards Ryan. Limping towards the referee, Matthew couldn't stand the pain as he walked.

"I can't walk properly. He clipped the back of my leg." He showed the back of his leg, which was starting to show bruises. The referee said something in to his headpiece and then allowed Matthew to walk off the field. He saw Felix waiting for him. His face blank and unreadable. I'm in trouble, Matthew thought with dread. Walking towards the technical area, Felix patted him on the back.

"We'll talk later..." Felix told him. Matthew hoped the elderly man wasn't too cross with him.

It was then that he saw Mia waiting for him. She looked worried. Preparing himself for the worse, Matthew walked quietly behind her. It was one thing to face her with an injury, but another to face her after squabbling with her former date. Matthew could only think how he wasn't looking so good in her books.

As they strode in to the tunnel, Matthew couldn't help but grimace from the pain. Karma can be such a- he didn't have time to complete the sentence, as Mia spoke.

"What was that about?" She asked him, standing in the locker room.

Deciding to play dumb, Matthew looked at her innocently, as he sat down by his things.

"What was what about?" He asked.

"The little exchange between you and Ryan. What happened?" She asked him, she crossed her arms.

"Nothing. He thought it was funny to step on my leg." Matthew said, deciding to cover up what had happened.

"Really? You were fighting about him stepping on your leg?"

"Yea. It hurts like hell, Doc." Matthew retorted pointedly.

"Right..." Mia mumbled. "Take those off." She said, meaning for him to take of his cleat, sock, and shin pad, from the affected leg.

He saw her sit down on the ground beside his leg. It was always a surprise to feel how cold her hands were. Even in a heated office or in the sun, it didn't change her temperature.

Her ice cold fingers pressed at the bruises, he winced in pain, her hands moving his leg up and down, checking the extent of the injury.

"I can't say for sure, but I don't think you tore anything. At least I hope you didn't. We'll need to get it x-rayed. But I know you won't be playing for the next one or two games." She told him the news hesitantly. She must have remembered their encounters during the first half of the season...Matthew felt slightly ashamed.

"Those bruises are going to take some time to heal. He stepped on you with a lot of force, you can see the imprint of his cleats." She pointed to the pattern of blue and red marks on the back of his leg. Kill Ryan, his mind hummed. Mia's news didn't shock him, he had expected as much.

He watched as she got up and got a cloth bandage, wrapping it around his leg, before clipping it in place.

Sitting beside him on the bench, Mia looked at him, straight in the eyes.

"So what really happened?" She asked him, once more.

"Nothing." He said, shaking his head. Mia wasn't willing to give up, she was just as stubborn as he was.

"Then why did he shove you?"

"He thinks I'm full of myself." He said, deciding to tell her half of what had transpired.

"Really? Well you are sometimes..." She told him, a small grin on her face. Mia looked almost relieved to know their confrontation wasn't about her.

Glad to have kept her from the truth, Matthew watched her intently.

"Well, I am the top scorer. I have a right to be." He got a laugh out of her.

-----

Walking out of the locker room so that Matthew could change, Mia walked down to the tunnel. She wasn't completely sure she believed Matthew. There was something he wasn't telling her. Mia decided to let it go...there was no way to get it out of him, so why spend time worrying about it?

As the players started to come in, Mia realized that the game was over. Standing on one side, she let them pass, nodding to Oliver and Nathaniel as they walked in.

It was when she saw Ryan, Mia stood up straight. He leered at her. Saying something too quietly, Ryan and one of his teammates laughed loudly as he nodded his head towards her. The other footballer gave her a once over. Mia shot him a look of disgust.

Whatever had happened between him and Matthew, Mia was sure it had something to do with her. Not because she thought she was important to Matthew, but because of the way Ryan was watching her at the moment. Too bad Matt didn't punch him, she thought.

Holding her head high, Mia didn't waste time. She walked out of the tunnel towards the others from her team. No matter what happened, Mia knew the truth and that was all she needed. If she had learned anything from Matthew, it was to keep her head up and no one would be able to bring her down.
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Andene

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