A/N: This story is going to be as correct as I can make it, to real life as well as the series. I have researched this topic thoroughly to try and find a way of preventing it. The only way that seems to be possible (prevention) is through education. This story is written to try and show the horrors of this topic, not make it somehow glorious or seem right in anyway. Also, my knowledge of Yu-Gi-Oh is somewhat limited, so if something is blaringly obviously wrong please don't hold it against me and let me know. For those who are wondering why I picked Joey, out of all the characters, the answer is very simple. If you watch him closely enough, he shows signs of it.

Warning: This story deals, sometime graphically, with physical child abuse. Also included, though less graphic, are accounts of emotional abuse and sexual abuse by another male to a young boy.

Rating: PG-13 and maybe even R

Disclaimer: I don't own any characters recognized from Yu-Gi-Oh (Joey, Serenity, Tristan, and so on), and I am making no money off this. No copyright infringement is intended, nor do I claim this story to be fact. I do own some minor characters that may appear, but I do not care for them and others can use them freely, if so desired.

Authoress: Princess Tyler Briefs

Summery: Joey Wheeler is seven-years-old. He's got a mom, a dad, a five-year-old sister Serenity, and a best friend named Tristan. On the outside he's a curious happy little boy. On the outside. But at home is a different story. *The sad and dark tale of Joey's childhood from seven until fourteen*

Now on with the story (finally).

Songs of Angels

Joey didn't know much about the world, that's true, but he did know that something about his life was different from the other kids at school.

He knew that not everyone's daddies worked all day and well past his little sister's bed time and came home smelling bad and walking funny, then spent the next morning before work throwing up.

He knew that not everyone's mommies took pills for everything, and worked nights at the grocery store so they could eat.

Not everyone's little sisters had to share the same room with them, for safety sake as his mommy said. Not everyone's houses were so dirty that their little sisters got sick sometimes, and they always had to wear shoes to protect their feet. They didn't have food rotting on the table for days, or share their house with rats.

But what he knew, most of all, was that not everybody's daddies hit them like his daddy did. Other daddies didn't tell their kids how stupid they were, that they were a disgrace, and horrible and everything else his daddy said about him. Other people's daddies didn't touch them in places they didn't like, or make them uncomfortable like his daddy did.

Other people just didn't do the stuff his daddy did! They didn't lock them up for days in the closet for saying something in front of their friends from work that he thought was embarrassing, or for doing things little boys do. They just didn't!

How did Joey know this? Well Tristan of course! Tristan knew everything about anything. Tristan got good grades in school, and was liked by everybody. No one called Tristan stupid, or a brat, or clumsy, or anything else people called Joey. Everybody liked Tristan, because Tristan could do anything and he was real nice. The first time they'd met in Kindergarten, Tristan had said hi and laughed after Joey spilt paint all over his new shirt.

It was the first time it had ever occurred to Joey that his family was a little different. He'd thought Tristan would get angry with him for doing that, and call him clumsy like Daddy did and hit him. But Tristan didn't mind, and said that he knew that Joey hadn't meant to, and that he'd hated that shirt anyway. Joey asked him how badly he'd get beaten for ruining his shirt, but Tristan only blinked and asked him what those words meant. When Joey had explained, he'd said that his mommy and daddy didn't do things like Joey's. They never hit him!

Joey had been over to Tristan's house lots and lots of times since then, but the very first time it had shocked and even almost scared him. Their house was big, and only one family lived in it. Not like Joey's family, who lived in a two-bedroom apartment at the very top floor of an old building. They had carpet that was the color his mom said it should be, and it didn't smell like urine or anything else! Tristan's house was very very clean, and everything had its proper place.

Tristan's daddy wasn't like Joey's daddy at all! Joey's daddy was a big man, with muscular arms and lots of thick blonde hair, with eyes just like Joey's. Tristan's daddy was smaller, and wore nice blue suits, and had thin arms that Joey didn't think could be used to hurt anyone! Tristan's daddy had soft brown hair, and a soft beard that Tristan said tickled, and eyes that reminded Joey of the sky in the summer.

And Tristan's mommy defiantly wasn't Joey's mommy! She never ever snapped at Tristan, even after he accidentally broke one of her pretty dishes. She never had to work, and she kept the house clean because she didn't have to sleep during the day like Joey's mommy. She always smiled, and she had a happy face. Someone once said that Tristan's mommy was pleasantly plump, but Joey and Tristan agreed that this just made her easier to hug. And Tristan's mommy always had fresh cookies made for them when they came home from school. Joey didn't think his mommy even knew how to make a sandwich, let alone one of those complex little cookies!

Tristan never had to share a room with his sister, but he said that was because he didn't have any. And his older brother, Tino, was really nice to them and sometimes let him go into his big boy room and watch him practice on his noisy drums. Tristan had a bunk bed all to himself, instead of a mattress on the floor, and lots of warm blankets instead of just one little one. But best of all, Tristan had toys. Joey didn't have any toys at all, but Tristan had boxes, chest, and shelves full of anything Joey ever wanted to imagine! Teddy bears, and trains, and cars, and boats, and airplane, and everything! They'd play with them for hours, or fight with plastic swords, or color, or put together puzzles, or whatever they wanted. Tristan didn't have chores to do, like Joey did, and his parents didn't mind if they made a mess or noise. They simply said that boys would be boys and left it at that.

Tristan's life was as different for Joey's as possible, and that's why he liked it. He spent as much time over there as he was allowed, even if it wasn't as much as he would have liked it to be. When Tristan would run to his daddy to give him a hug after work, Joey would follow him. Sometimes Tristan's daddy would even give him a hug too! And he always got a kiss from Tristan's mommy after school when he came over, when he could get his jobs done in the morning. Tristan's mommy called Joey her third little boy, and they never minded if he stayed for dinner. He never went hungry at Tristan's house like he did at home, because they could eat wherever they wanted as long as it didn't ruin dinner. And Tristan's mommy always sent home a bag of cookies for Serenity so she wouldn't feel left out that she couldn't come play too, so days Joey went over to Tristan's house were good for her too.

But he couldn't go over everyday, because his daddy said that Tristan's mommy and daddy wouldn't want a stupid little brat like him around all the time, and they probably only put up with him because they felt sorry that he was such an idiot. Joey didn't want to think that was true, he wanted to believe that Tristan's mommy and daddy liked him like Tristan did, but his daddy had never been wrong before. After all, when he said that Joey deserved the beatings he got, it was true, even if he didn't understand why it was. When he said that Joey was stupid, and clumsy, and a waste of space, and a mutt, and a puppy dog, and would never amount to anything it always seemed to be true because his grades were much worse than Tristan's, and the kids at school all said the same things about him. And since he said that Joey had made him touch him like that, made him take his pants off and then make Joey get naked too, then that must be true as well.

Yes, Joey was well aware that there was something different in his family then there was in other families. His family had him in it. It was because he was such a bad naughty child that his family was what it wasn't, and wasn't like Tristan's. Somehow he just knew that if he could be more like Tristan then everything would magically get better. But he tried and tried and tried and he just couldn't be like Tristan. His grades were always so much worse than Tristan's, and teachers were always telling him to be still and silent, and sending home notes to Mommy and Daddy about what a bad child he was being in class, or suggesting he get special help in his classes. It seemed the harder he tried, the worse things always got.

But this year things were going to be different! Because Tristan had promised to help him this year to be more like him. Tristan promised that if they worked really hard together then Joey would get good grades, and then everything in Joey's life would fix itself and then he'd be happy like Tristan and Tino! Joey was going to try and be perfect this year, and everything would be good. He was going make sure of it.

End A/N: Well, that's the first chapter. There wasn't any dialogue, but it effectively set up my plot and contrasted the lives of the two best friends. Please leave reviews and constructive critism. And if you know what Joey's mother looks like, or have a picture, please let me know. I know she's in an episode and it's important to me that I get it right. Thanks. Later Days,