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The Softball Game
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The Softball Game
by Twig

Russell House

Eve, sniffling, placed some photo albums in a cardboard box.

"Oh Grace," she whispered, looking at a picture of herself and her friend, "I wish you could understand why I have to do this."

"I wish *I* could understand why we have to do this," TC muttered, limping over to another box with an armload of tennis supplies.

"I told you TC, I have my reasons, and I think it's important that we make a fresh start," Eve told him in a strained voice.

"Why do we need a fresh start?" TC complained, "We were perfectly happy here."

"How's your leg?" she asked him, pointedly changing the subject.

TC shrugged, thinking back to when he tripped over Luis in the Lobster Shack, injuring his bad leg all over again, "It's all right. Hurts a bit."

The screen door banged open, and Grace Bennett burst in, a huge smile on her face.

"EVE!" she yelled, "Guess what?"

"What?" Eve asked her warily.

"I talked to the mayor, and he agreed with me that you shouldn't be forced to leave Harmony because of financial problems."

TC shot Eve a questioning look.

"So…" Grace beamed at them, "He's approved a charity softball game so we can raise money for you!"

Eve buried her face in her hands. "I knew the money thing wasn't a good idea," she grumbled under her breath.

"Everyone that plays donates money," Grace bubbled excitedly, "and we should raise enough to help you out, at least temporarily. And Sam and I are willing to-"

Eve shook her head, "Grace, it's really sweet of you, but I have to say no."

Grace looked crushed, "But…why?"

TC crossed his arms, "Yes Eve, please tell us why. Why we need money in the first place."

Eve looked stricken as her eyes flicked back and forth to her husband and her best friend.


Crane Cottage

Sheridan had just walked in the door when the phone began ringing insistently. Shooting Luis yet another apologetic look, she picked it up.

"Hello?"

"Sheridan!" Hank Bennett's voice filtered over the line. He sounded positively thrilled to be talking to her.

"Hello Hank," she said with a sigh. Luis raised his eyebrows at her.

"I just wanted to let you know," he said, and she could practically hear his smile through the phone, "that my sister-in-law and my brother are arranging a charity softball game to keep the Russells from moving away."

"A softball game?" she asked doubtfully, glancing over at Luis.

"Yeah," Hank said, enthused, "So I was hoping you would join me there. I know you don't know the Russells very well, but-"

"I'll be there," she said, forcing a smile.

"Great!" Hank practically shouted into the phone, "That's…that's great. I'll see you there."

"When is it?"

Hank laughed, "Oh yeah, forgot about that. It's tomorrow at the fields."

"Got it."

"Okay," he said happily, "See you there."

"Yes, you will," she told him, before saying her good-byes and hanging up the phone.

Luis, sitting on the couch, looked positively glum, the sad puppy dog face looking unusual with his horrendous haircut that was compliments of Theresa. At least it was growing out, Sheridan thought with a smile.

"What did Hank want?" Luis asked her softly.

"He wanted to tell me about the charity softball game that Sam and Grace arranged to keep the Russells in town."

Luis brightened marginally, "That's all?"

"All that I cared about, anyway," she informed him with a smile.

"Oh, okay."

"The game's tomorrow. I told him I'd go. I suppose you're joining me?"

"I wouldn't miss a chance at seeing you try and hit a softball."

Sheridan pouted, "What makes you think I can't hit a softball?"

"Just a guess."

She sighed, "Luis, I can so hit a softball."

"Have you ever tried it?"

She squirmed slightly, "Well…no…not exactly…but how hard can it be?"

"I believe that was your same attitude when you challenged me to a basketball game," Luis said with a knowing grin.

"I *won* that basketball game."

"Only because you had professional help."

Sheridan stood up and stood in front of him, arms crossed, "I am willing to bet that I can hit the softball farther than YOU can."

He smirked at her, "You so sure about that?"

"I'm sure."

"Then you're on."

"May the best woman win," she tilted her chin up.

"Fine."

"Fine!"

After a moment of silence, Luis glanced at her, "Does this little…arrangement preclude our earlier…arrangements?"

"Of course not!" Sheridan said, and grabbed him.



Bennett House

"Oh, this is exactly what I needed!" Kay yelled excitedly, clutching one of the flyers her mother had made up, advertising the softball game.

Simone, somewhat subdued, sat on her friend's bed and stared at her, "What could this softball game *possibly* do for you?"

"Have you forgotten?" Kay gaped at her friend, "Miguel and I play softball together! Since Charity obviously won't have any athletic skills, he'll see how good I am and then he'll leave her for me!"

"Why would Miguel leave Charity because she lacks softball skills?"

"BECAUSE," Kay said eagerly, "He'll see that I'm right for him! We have so much in common, and he'll be sure to realize that once this game gets going."

"Kay, if he hasn't realized it by now, he isn't going to realize it," Simone said with a sigh.

"He will realize it," Kay stated determinedly, "I'll make sure of it."

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