The tournament was over, and Tyson and his team had been crowned victors once more and in honour of the season the BBA had put together an elaborate banquet to celebrate another year of intense battles and sportsmanship.

Mr. Dickenson had spared no expense on this party and had treated to high grade meat and fish courses, the finest wine with dinner and an open bar to show his players how much he appreciated them all. After the dinner and awards to notable players and their accomplishments to the sport a semi famous local band took the stage and everyone headed to the dance floor in their finest, ready to let loose.

As the band played classic rock covers Hilary had made her way towards the open bar to get two vodka sodas, one for herself and one for Kai who stood by the stage, accompanied by his boyfriend of two years, Tala and his teammates.

With drinks in hand she made her way back to her friend, who stood there listening to the concert as Bryan and Tala had stated headbanging to it, clearly intoxicated and enjoying themselves. Skilfully she dodged people and was careful not to spill a drop. She was almost there; she could stretch out her hand and give Kai his drink but as she was doing so Hilary was knocked down by a powerful force to the head, the drinks spilling all over her as she fell down to the floor with a hard thud and her vision going blurry instantly.

She came to as she heard Kai yelling "are you insane? She's a tiny, tiny woman! You could have killed her!"

"It was an accident! I swear!" was that…Bryan? She thought, what happened? She tried to sit up but couldn't muster the strength as a ripple of pain went through her head, she put a hand up to her face and saw blood, a lot of blood and gave out a whimper of pain.

Then the two faces of Bryan came into view as he hovered over her, he waved his hand over her face to see if she was responsive "Hilary? I'm so sorry! I didn't see you there and I didn't mean to headbutt you"

"Head…butt" she muttered, her vision blurring and un-blurring, she could feel Bryan grabbing her arms and pull her up but not a moment later he lost his grip and she went down a second time, hitting the floor with a grunt "oh no!" she heard him cry out and go for a second try. This time succeeding in getting her off the floor and to a standing position.

Her knees were wobbly, and her head felt like it had been split open and her nose…oh god, her nose hurt so fucking much! She put a hand up to it and instantly cried out in pain "what happened!?" she cried out as Kai put his face close to hers, examining the damage of Bryans headbanging "Hil, I think your nose is broken, we should maybe get you to the emergency room?"

Woozy and disoriented Hilary allowed Kai, Tala and Bryan to lead her out of the banquet hall and into a taxi that took them to the nearest hospital.

An hour later the four of them sat in the waiting room, Hilary with an icepack on her forehead and tissue stuffed into both nostrils to stop the bleeding, Bryan utterly mortified with himself and Kai on his phone while Tala napped on his shoulder, the volume of alcohol he'd already consumed that night having hit him.

Bryan suddenly got up and walked over to the watercooler, filled up a paper cup and handed it over to Hilary, who looked up confused but took the cup none the less. As the Russian man sat back down, he muttered "listen…I'm really sorry about all of this, you know I would never intentionally hurt you right?"

Hilary laughed but as soon as she did, she winced in pain "I know you didn't do this on purpose…but you are going to have to pay for my new nose if they can't reset it properly!" '

He sat up straight in panic "of course! Anything!" she shook her head grinning "I'm joking"

"oh" he gave her a small hint of a smile before continuing "I still would like to make it up to you…"

She was thoughtful for a moment then looked up at him with a smile "I like pizza and beer…you can pick me up at 7 tomorrow"

Bryans smile widened "deal"

The next day Hilary woke up groggy from pain medication and with a splitting headache, the events of the night coming back to her as she saw her favourite dress hung neatly on the bathroom door covered in blood and vodka soda. She wasn't sad about the dress or even her broken nose but…excited? Bryan had promised to take her out tonight for knocking her literally off her feet.

As she got up to brush her teeth, she thought that this wasn't a date! He was simply taking her out for pizza and some beers to make up for the fact that he had given her a concussion and a broken nose, a friendly 'sorry I maimed you' pizza.

Not. A. Date.

She got dressed and made her way down to breakfast at the hotel they were all staying at, there she made quite the impression when she entered as every single one of her friends crowded over to her, flooding her with questions about the events of last night.

"What on earth happened? I heard you got attacked!" Max asked

"I heard one of the Russians attacked you!" Mariah cried out

"Did you really black out and hit your head on the curb outside?" Ray chuckled

"Is it true you were mugged on your way to the hotel?" Julia asked

"No, no to all of these!" Hilary exclaimed "it was an accident; I was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time and got headbutted! That's all" she explained, the excitement of the story fading quickly.

"Oh…well, you're rocking those two shiners and bandages girl" Julia said as she made her way back to her brother to tell him the true story of what had happened with Hilary.

With a sigh she made her way over to Kai and Tala "people think I was attacked" she said as she poured herself a cup of coffee and buttered up some toast, Tala chuckled "well…you look like you've been attacked…but I heard you got a date out of it so, can't be all that bad"

The girl nearly spat her coffee, her face turning bright red "it's not a date! It's just a 'sorry' pizza"

Kai smiled into his cup "suuure, and what are you wearing?"

"I don't know!" she sighed "something cute I guess" ignoring the sarcastic tone her friend had dared to use.

That night, at 7 sharp there was a knock on her door, as she opened it there stood Bryan in black jeans and a surprisingly nice white dress shirt "you look nice!" she blurted out "I mean…for pizza and beers"

Bryan awkwardly looked around "oh…yeah, Tala insisted I…present" he then gazed at her, her face still swollen and bruised, her nose heavily bandaged "you look…"

She stopped him "you can say it"

He chuckled "you look terrible, again, I am so sorry about all of this, are you sure you feel up for a night out?"

Hilary gave him a laugh "of course! Don't be silly, I've taken pain meds, I made a decent effort to put on foundation…we're going out!"

"Well, in that case" he handed her his arm and she took it, and together they walked out one their not a date, date.

If anyone would have told her that Bryan Kuznetsov could be a funny, charming guy with an intense passion for strategy games and computers she would have told them they were lying but as they sat there at a small bar in city centre after having one of the best pizzas she had ever eaten and were on their third beer she realised how little she knew about the man sitting across from her.

He had opened up quite easily after some liquid courage and once he had gotten over the incident of last night, he was quite relaxed and open about his hobbies outside the sport.

She learned he liked computer science and how he wanted to take some programming courses one day, how he likes to read sci-fi novels when he travels and that him and Spencer have a movie night every week.

Bryan seemed to be a very interesting and fun guy and she'd never even noticed, they also had a lot in common it would seem, like how they both loved horror films and their friends hated them, they both loved the outdoors and the most surprising of all they were both history nerds.

As it was almost 2am when Bryan and Hilary stumbled giggling and drunk down the hallway, bumping into walls and shushing and laughing at each other the entire time.

Hilary let herself bump onto the door of her hotel room with a thud and Bryan used the opportunity and hovered over her "this was fun" she giggled and he nodded "very" was his only reply as he leaned his head down and grabbed the back of her head, pulling her into a drunken kiss against the door.

Her head spun and she could feel her knees going weak, she wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pulled him in closer, the kiss was messy and hurried and made her dopamine levels soar.

As they greedily kissed the door to the hotel room suddenly swung open and they both went tumbling into the room with a shriek and a thud.

"We are very happy for you both and all that, but Tala gets very prissy if he doesn't get enough sleep and I was hoping to take him sightseeing the city tomorrow without drama and fuss"

The pair looked up to see Kai dressed in pyjama bottoms, messy hair and a very unimpressed look on his face "Now if you would please head to your own room which is right next door"

"Oh, hi Kai!" Hilary giggled "we just had the-"

"Leave!" came the clearly annoyed grunt from Tala who was in bed.

The pair scrambled up to their feet in a hurry, muttered their apologies and left, Kai swinging the door shut after them.

They both burst out laughing once they were by Hilary's actual door and once they settled themselves Bryan leaned down and gave her another kiss, this time a small sweet one "so, can I see you again tomorrow?"

She nodded "I would like that" he gave her a smile and bid her goodnight, and as she watched him head down the hallway to his own room, he glanced back at her and gave her a wink.

She was smitten.