"What do you mean you’ve never played a sport?”
"I mean I played soccer when I was seven, but a girl pulled my hair and I started crying so my parents took me out."
"This is unacceptable," Danny gasped. "Come with me." She grabbed Laura’s hand and dragged her out of the room.
"What?" Laura yelped. "Where are we going?"
"You," Danny said with a smirk, "are going to learn how to play softball."
After ten minutes of Laura protesting about what a terrible idea this was, they had stopped at Danny’s room for some of her equipment and were out on the field, tossing the ball back and forth.
"See? This isn’t so bad." Danny lobbed the ball, and Laura barely caught it.
Laura shrugged as she tossed it back. ”No, I guess not.”
"Now let’s try hitting!"
Laura’s eyes widened. ”No. No, no, no. This is a terrible idea.”
Danny grabbed the ball from Laura’s grasp and threw an arm around her shoulder. ”It’ll be fine,” she reassured. ”I can hit first so you can see how it’s done.” She took the bat and walked a little ways away, then chucked the ball back to Laura. ”Ok, just toss the ball over here. It doesn’t have to be a real pitch, it’s just so you can see how to hit. I’ll go easy and you can try to catch it.”
Laura hesitated, staring at the softball in her hands. When she glanced up Danny gave her a reassuring smile, and Laura knew she could do this. ”Fine,” she said, and tossed the ball.
It wasn’t perfect, but she watched as Danny hit the ball and flew into the air, practically inviting her to catch it. Laura found herself underneath the ball as it fell from the sky. She held out her mitt, but instead of the ball falling into her hand, she felt a thud, then a sharp pain on her head, and the next thing she knew she was on the ground.
"Laura!" Suddenly Danny kneeled next to Laura and pulled her head into her lap. "Laura, are you ok?"
"Wh—yeah, I’m fine." Laura tried to sit up, but Danny held her down.
"Are you sure?" Laura nodded. "How are you feeling? Do you feel nauseous? Confused? Dizzy? Tired?"
"Annoyed?" Laura said, ignoring Danny and sitting up. "I said I’m fine."
Danny took Laura’s face in her hands and inspected the top of her head. ”What about pressure where the ball hit?”
"Well yeah it hurts, I just got hit in the head with a softball. Which, contrary to the name, is not very soft.” Danny chuckled. ”What are you even doing?”
"I’m trying to see if you have a concussion." Danny, with Laura’s face still in her hands, brought her own face inches from Laura’s, looking at her intently. Laura’s breath hitched at the closeness, and her eyes glanced down briefly at Danny’s lips.
"Danny, I’m fine—"
"Your pupils are dilated," Danny stated.
"Your pupils are dilated, that can mean concussion."
"Or it can mean…something else."
"What else can it—" Before Danny could finish her question, Laura closed the space between them and kissed her. After a moment of initial shock, Danny responded and kissed back. Neither wanted to pull away, but eventually oxygen became a necessity. "Oh."
"I know I said you’re a genius," Laura said, "but you can be kinda dumb sometimes."
Danny giggled. ”Shut up.”
"So," Laura said, standing up and dusting herself off, "I’m going to reiterate that this was a terrible idea."
"You were right," Danny agreed. "No more sports for you."
"Besides," she continued, "I can think of other activities that can be more enjoyable for the both of us."
Danny grabbed her hand and Laura’s cheeks turned almost as red as her hair, and giggling, she followed Danny right back to her room.