PTG: Alright. Here it is. The fight scene. THE BIG FIGHT SCENE! (insert cheering, clapping, etc.) I am actually sorry for not posting earlier, I just wanted to make sure I got this scene perfectly right. So I wandered about for weeks, composing it in my head. And, now that I have strep throat, or what is to all appearances strep throat, I shall start it. I really hope I got it right. Tell me whether I got it right or not, kay?

Be warned, it does take a drastic turn from what I had originally written. Because in the original, Loki had a chance.

And now, without further ado, the moment you all have been waiting for. Ladies and gents, I present to you: the fight scene!

The next day dawned bright and cool. Small cumulus clouds scudded across the sky. These same cumulus clouds I watched at the bus stop and getting on and off the bus. I could see them in history just after receiving my test with a 103: Well Done written on top. I watched them the whole of PE class, and glanced at them while running to math class. I watched them all through French class, sending the teacher into a mad rant about the evils of daydreaming. I watched them getting out of French and walking to the area behind the baseball field.

When I arrived I found a crowd of people. Most of them were from various Back Rows, but I saw some faces I didn't know by name, and some I didn't even recognize. It was insane, the number of people there. There had to be upwards of seventy. They were all talking in little groups, and I went to the fence beside the field and put my backpack down, scanning the crowd as I did so. John Neilson hadn't arrived yet. I leaned back on the fence, crossed my arms, and waited.

John arrived five minutes later. He headed immediately for a small group of friends and talked for what must have been fifteen minutes before putting his backpack down and glancing around for me. I watched him search and eventually he saw me. Shooting a backwards smirk at his friends, he approached. "So, you're finally here."

What do you mean, fool, you just arrived. I didn't say that, of course. I didn't say anything. I just stared at him until he began to feel uncomfortable. He finally averted his gaze and said, loudly, to show he was handling the situation perfectly, "C'mon. Go over t'where there's room and let's start. Unless you wanna fight here."

"One moment." I made a show of looking around. "What? No weapon?"

"I got my fists an' that's all I'm ever gonna need." He cracked his knuckled and pointed this remark to the crowd, who laughed appreciatively.

"Except that no," I cut in. "Equal terms."

"The hell you talkin' about, man?"

" First rule of any challenge: the competitors have to fight on equal terms. Don't tell me you don't know this, you're the one that issued the challenge in the first place." -But I'm the one making up the rules.- John's face was aggressive, but blank. I sighed with feigned exasperation. "Look, we have to fight on equal terms, right?" I stood straight up and looked at him, two heads taller. "I would hardly call this equal terms."

"Yeah, so?"

"So," I added, "I've got to have some kinda weapon or something. Don't worry, you'll get one, too." Abruptly I turned and walked toward the woods. Some of John's mafia group moved to stop me, but John must've given some sort of sign, because the group separated again. I dove into the underbrush, picked up the sticks, and tossed the extra to John. The two of us moved toward the center of the open space.

"A'right, are we finished wi' this shit now? Can I open my can a whup-ass?"

"No, not just yet." I shook my head and held up one hand. "One more thing, I'll be quick. We don't want anyone bothering us. Someone can go watch from the fence up there," I pointed. The ground was in a crescent shape, the outside being the woods, the inside being the baseball field fence. There was a sharp, maybe ten-foot incline to the fence so we couldn't be seen from the school. "They can tell us if any teachers are coming. Who doesn't mind doing it?" I asked the crowd.

A hand shot up in the back. "I'll go," and the kid was racing up the incline. I did a double-take. It was Kay.

John looked back. "Okay, fine," I said.

The crowd moved in, surrounding us. John's posse pushed to the front of the right side, the side closer to the woods. John and I stood across from each other. I waited. He was turned, finishing some kind of conversation that appeared to be vitally important. Apparently instructions of some kind, because the kids kept nodding periodically and I couldn't hear what was being said. I waited. And then, finally, John turned around. He raised his stick like a baseball bat, like a club, and that was where I saw my mistake.

This wasn't equal terms at all. I had only given him another weapon.

I cursed myself for a thousand kinds of idiot, but stopped as John made the first move and rushed toward me. -Back, back!- and I jumped to the right, just barely missing the downcoming club. John turned with me and swung, and this time my evasion was less successful: the club caught me over the right shoulder, and a knot dragged a hole into my shirtsleeve. I brought my own stick up and batted it away, sidestepping to the right and back. Toward the woods.

John turned fully and swung again, and this time I ducked, the club whooshing over my head. I stood, and held my stick out in two hands, like a sword, or as near as I could get, and tried to look like I knew what I was doing.

The pose was lost on John. He looked at me, and smirked, then drew himself up, took his stick in both fists, and slammed it into mine. Crack! My stick shattered in half, jolting my hands apart. The right one felt like an electric shock had been run through it, while the left one simply let go altogether. I looked down at the half of the stick that was in my hand, then up at John. John looked much too self-satisfied for my tastes. -I can't fight him like this. I can't do shit against him!- I darted back as John stepped forward, then shifted my weight, ready to duck away—

And was brought to a halt by several hands. A person cross-faced me, and the next moment I was in a sloppy half-Nelson by one of John's cohorts. "Got 'im, man," I heard, and "s' now what?"

-Now nothing,- I answered. I reversed my grip on the stick-shard that I had left, and brought it into my other hand. Holding it in a dagger grip, I drove it toward the person behind me, aiming low.

"The f—" and I didn't hear the rest, because as soon as he flinched I raised my right arm and shot down and out of his half-Nelson. The stick changed hands again, and I held it, point down, and looked at John. This was a mistake, because one of the cronies behind me lashed out, and I stumbled and was on the ground.

Now it was free game. John's cohort's crowded around me, exchanging insults and jeering commentary. My eyes were at foot level – not good. I began to draw myself into a crouch, but too slowly, because John's foot planted itself squarely in my stomach, driving all the breath out of me. I went down on my front, and one of the idiots smashed his foot down on my right hand, still holding the stick. My hand let go reflexively, but the heel came down twice more before I could snatch my fingers away and cradle them. I couldn't even get into a crouch now, because it was a blow to my side, and to my jaw, and another one beside my closed eyes, and another, and another, and they were all kicks because I was curled around my hand which I couldn't move, and all I could hear were the yells and laughter and my own "ah…ah…ah…" as I tried to draw air into my lungs that some reason didn't work—

And then the tone changed, and there were suddenly no more blows or kicks or anything, the yells had changed, and I could hear running feet. A couple cries I could discern: "Shit, it's Shiler, we're gonna be in trouble." -Damn straight,- I thought, and ducked my head as someone aimed a parting kick at my ear. Even in haste it was well-aimed, and I brought my left hand us to cover it and check for blood, because I needed to get out of here before the principal came and assumed I was the cause of it all.

Then there was silence, and only one pair of footsteps.

I opened my eyes; eye, actually, because the left one wouldn't go too far. Kay turned, from where he was watching the last of the kids run into the wood or around the curve. He turned, and saw me staring, and scowled.

"You asshole." He ran toward me. "Shit, am I gonna get in so much trouble once they found I lied. You didn't deserve that help, idiot."

Kay fell silent, but continued to glower. I looked up, and decided to refrain from comment. My eyes went back down, and I pushed at the ground with my left hand and right elbow, trying to raise myself. I felt a tug at my left arm, and suddenly I was standing. Kay let go as soon as I got my legs. He looked at my right hand, then at my face. "You didn't deserve that," he said again, and turned, and ran into the woods.