All the brothers jumped a foot in the air when Ed took one look and practically yelled, "Hey, that guy looks like me!" The tight end would laugh for days afterwards when he remembered the looks on their faces. Then he started laughing. "I guess everybody has a dead ringer. Did you guys remember to bring lipstick?"

"Yep," Sena piped up from another seat, completely ignorant of the three gobsmacked expressions behind him. "See," he added, brandishing the small tube and making Ed hold in laughter when he got a good look at the ace's face. He'd actually put the stuff on his lips! But the Hah brothers must have thought it was a grand idea, because Togano produced a mirror from somewhere, and soon they all had smacking red lips, manga forgotten. Slowly, Edward breathed out, and concentrated on keeping his breathing even. He thanked Truth that he'd had something worked out for a situation like that, and that Hiruma was further up in the seats, discussing something with their coach, probably going over the reason for the change in the team's cosmetics.

They finally got to the stadium and started suiting up, Kuroki trying to scrub Togano's lipstick spirals off his cheeks. Silently, Ed mulled over in his brain how to get out of this situation. Togano and the two others saw him on almost a daily basis, but that didn't mean others wouldn't make the connection. He ran a hand through his hair. Maybe it was time for a change, even though he cringed a bit at the thought. Once everyone had their shoulder pads, helmets, and other pieces of equipment in place, they headed out onto the field to discuss tactics. Ed rolled his eyes at Monta's reaction to Dokubari's winning streak during the spring season. Yeah, he'd read the stats on today's opponent, but they were no Ojo. They relied more on mind games than anything else, and those were guaranteed to fail with Hiruma on the other side of the football. When at the start of the first half, Hiruma told the linemen to redden the tips of their fingers with lipstick, the alchemist grinned. This was going to be fun.

Two passes later, the team midgets backed away from a maniacally laughing Edward. He couldn't help it, it was just so funny! It was like watching Mustang get schooled by Hawkeye, thinking he had the upper hand and then getting totally whipped. Only this guy was a total amateur, so much so that racking up touchdowns was laughably easy. Still, Sena didn't treat the game like the win it was, with twenty-two points on the board. Ed was tempted to whistle when the scrawny kid pulled two of the Scorpion players into the end zone along with him. Those Kyoshi morons had really lit a fire under him. Smirking, Ed yelled at the other side of the field, "I don't think your sting thing is working. Maybe you should try playing dead." The girly-looking quarterback on the opposing side blew steam off the top of his head again and would have attacked Edward if one of his fellow players hadn't grabbed him around the waist.

When the Devil Bats crushed their buggy adversary with a score of 42 to nothing, there was much friendly jostling and people thrown into the air. Still with grins and smirks, they trooped back into the changing rooms to get out of their clunky pads and into something more comfortable so they could watch the next match. "Hey Hiruma," Ed shouted across the room,"who's playing in the next match?"

The demonic blond rolled his eyes. "Don't you keep up with the news, Blondie? Next up is Zokugaku and Kyoshin."

Oh, the guys we beat last spring against the freakishly tall team, the former alchemist mused. At least we'll get a good look at how they play. And it looked like the Chameleons wanted to give them a good look, because their much taller line forced the one tall wildcard blond to bring out the swim move. Ed's mind went into overdrive as he watched. When he reaches over the other player, his whole right side is completely exposed and he leans away slightly. Interested now, he ran that through his head. We could catch him off guard, especially if he's letting his balance get faulty. But the swim move clobbered the other team, so they brought out a shorter line. Maybe the Chameleons had picked up on the balance shift too!

But as Edward watched the blond crazy intercept, the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He's like me, only his abilities come from his height instead of training. As the game progressed, the feeling got worse. That brash attitude, bond with the other tall brown-haired kid, his seeming ignorance of others, it reminded ed far too much of himself before Nina. Suddenly, that thought kindled a fire under Edward. I'm just going to have to be that for him, knock him down to size. He grinned at the thought.

Juumonji and his two friends, still kind of smarting from the fact that they'd been extremely wrong about the manga, kept watching Ed and so noticed the gleam in his eye that sometimes made him scarier than Hiruma, which was saying something. When the game was oer and the team splintered, the ex-punk told Hiruma that he and the other two would jog back. Togano looked at him with the are-we-really-doing-even-more-extra look, but the scarred team shot him a look that promised to explain. "We need to stop by the store and grab a few things," he said once they were far enough away from the other team members. "I think we might need some extra first aids kits, and getting a few protein shakes would be a good idea."

Kuroki opened his mouth to comment, ran the image of Ed's grin through his head again, shut his mouth, and nodded. "The store by my house sells both for cheap. They even have a manga shelf." So the three left, the manga still kind of in the backs of their heads, but the promise of bodily harm via training much further towards the front of their minds.

Finally, I am able to write this again! I spent the last two years living in San Diego with my new husband. None of the libraries down there had Eyeshield 21. None! And since I don't have the funds to buy the whole series and couldn't find a place to read it online, I had to leave you with that terrible cliffhanger for over two years! I am so sorry. Rest assured, I will continue writing this in between house hunting, my new job, and getting ready for our first child in December. I know, a lot's happened, but at least you know I wanted to write this.