Blitz Off (Part II)
"YEVON! DID YOU SEE THAT BOBBY? PLAYER NUMBER 4 FROM THE GOERS HAS EVENED UP THE SCORE BOARD WITH ONE A PIECE!"
"THAT WOULD BE THE RISING STAR PLAYER OF THE LUCA GOERS, BICKSON. CAN THIS GAME GET ANY MORE INTENSE. THESE TEENS LOOK DEADLY SERIOUS!" the speakers throughout the stadium boomed with the loud and excited voices of the two male commentators, as the four flat screens showed the game in a more clear view for the benefit of spectators.
Seconds after Bickson had scored his first goal, the game immediately resumed back into play as the screen showed that there were only three minutes left in the first third of the tournament.
"Speaking of star players, the Zanarkand Abes' star player seems to be missing. Definitely a disappointment to his fans."
"Mm, yes. Where is Player number 7 Tidus. Don't forget, it could really hurt his team if his disappearance cost the team the game. One player can tip the scale, particularly if it's the star player."
Whilst they were commentating on the missing blonde, the players on both teams fought desperately to climb on top as the victor for the first third. However, given less than three minutes left, it was near impossible to put another point onto the scoreboard, thus leaving it one a piece as a loud siren sounded as the first thirty minutes had come to its end.
Quickly, they pushed themselves out of the sphere pool, huddling around as they took the opportunity to gain back their energy and plan their next tactics.
For the next three minutes, the music was blasted back on with the ongoing cheers and screams from the crowd. By now, the entire stadium was filled to the brim, but the crestfallen brunette made no acknowledgement of her surroundings as she gloomily walked her way back to her seat. She was beating herself up mentally, wondering constantly why she even considered trying to get Tidus to play. Had she not gone to pay him an unplanned visit she would've never had her spirits trampled on and could've still enjoyed her night. But now, not only were her spirits low, but the outcome remained the same.
It was as if three of her companions didn't even realize her departure as they made no sigh of recognition of her return. She inwardly gave out a sigh of relief when she sat down next to her jumping and dancing cousin. Even as hard as she tried to look unfazed in front of them, she was almost 100 sure she looked constipated.
Her heart sped up a bit when the siren rang, indicating the start of the second third was commencing. Maybe there was still hope left for her that she may end up enjoying the night after all. Doubtful, but hopeful.
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN," as the commentator began, the players instantly entered the sphere and swam to their designated positions, "LET THE GAME ROLL!"
The blitzball was powerfully launched upwards as two opposing players shot up to retrieve it. Missing it by a mere second, the ball as a result was held captive by the Zanarkand Abes.
As Samuel kicked though the water, he was just about to pass the ball to another playmate when he felt an abrupt shove to the side. Graav had charged up and body slammed Samuel out of the sphere pool.
"OH MY YEVON! Now that is what you call bad sportsmanship."
"Mm. Doesn't look like young player number 13, Samuel, can play. He is struggling a bit to get up."
And he was right. His body collided forcefully onto the benches and into the audience as paramedics hurriedly pushed their way into the helping fans. Swiftly yet cautiously, they hoisted the Abe player onto a stretcher and instantly brought him to the locker rooms where doctors and nurses were standing by.
At this point, the game had long resumed back into play, however, not before a few string of curses were exchanged, a few physical gestures and a small portion of the crowd booing.
The timer read 26:34.
With only two and a half minutes left on the timer for the second third, the score was still level with a point for both teams.
Bickson cursed angrily to himself. To him, losing Tidus from the scene was sure to make this an easy win for them, however, to his dismay, he failed to realize the full potential of the Zanarkand Abes. With a look of angry determination, he once again planned to resort to unfair play. Swiftly swimming his way to a fellow teammate, he subtly mouthed a few words and a few gestures to him before positioning himself after seeing the nod of approval.
With the ball in the grasp of an Abes', Leathen quickly swam ahead to retrieve from his teammate. However, just as Danny was about to release the ball to throw to Leathen, a blonde came charging up from behind, elbowing harshly into his ribcage. Without wasting a second, Bickson swam up from the side, snatching the ball as he speedily kicked his way towards the net. Seeing Graav close ahead and closer to the net, he promptly threw it over to him, which he in return took the golden opportunity to score his first goal. And that he did.
Immediately when the scoreboard changed to 02:01, the siren once again sounded.
"YEVON, THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE! THE LUCA GOERS ARE NOW IN THE LEAD, BUT DID YOU PEOPLE SEE THAT? THAT WAS APPALLING BEHAVIOUR. IS PLAYER NUMBER 2 EVEN GOING TO GET BENCHED!"
"Doesn't seem like it Jim. I'm getting that he claims that it was an accident. Surely don't look like one."
"And the crowd is not happy, not happy at all Bobby. That's two players from the Zanarkand Abes unable to play due to injury. They lose one more and they'll have to throw in the towel."
"Mm. With only thirty minutes left for them, will the Abes be able to make their comeback or will the Goers go home as the victor, and let me remind you all, Zanarkand Abes have not lost a game for four seasons straight, and the Goers have not yet beaten them in any game whatsoever."
Jim, one of the commentators laughed, "I don't know about that, but look at the Abes, they are seeing red right now, and it seems, so is the crowd."
As loud booing was heard all over the stadium from the unfair play, the players surrounding Auron were struggling desperately to not run over and just beat the shit outta the red head Bickson.
"Coach that was fucking deliberate!" Leathen raved.
"I don't know if the team will last ya? We lose one more member and we'll havta call it quits. And Sarah," Wakka turned his attention to the female player, "you holding up okay?"
She merely nodded, though her face was paling as they were speaking. It was the time of the month for her.
"After the game, I'm gonna so beat the shit outta Bickson's and Graav's asses! Coach, I'm telling ya, they planned this shit all along, even the shit with Tidus man!"
"Shut up Leathen." Auron replied firmly, "This is what we'll do, Wakka, you stand by…"
"Oh my Gosh, that was so unfair." Rikku cried out passionately before she continued booing along with everyone else around her.
Yuna had clenched her hands into tight balls as she watched with exhilaration and agitation.
"BENCH HIM, BENCH HIM!" Rikku kept chanting.
All Yuna could think to herself was, 'If only you were here Tidus.'
Three minutes was up and to announce that, the siren sounded.
"LAST THIRD OF THE TOURNAMENT LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!"
Full of determination, the Zanarkand Abes positioned themselves, glaring at the opposing team, whilst the Goers, namely Bickson and Graav, sported a really smug look on their faces.
"BLITZOFF!" and the ball was hurled upwards.
This time, the Goers were the faster ones to claim the ball. Once player number 5 held it firmly in her grasp, she hastily ducked under an opposing player as she did a little side summersault to twist her body away from any prying hands. Seeing a gap between two players, she swam straight ahead. However, as she was only concentrating on swimming forwards, she had completely disregarded her teammates and her surroundings, giving Wakka the opportunity to swim up from behind her and easily knocked the ball from her grasp.
With full force, so to prevent anyone from interjecting, he slammed the ball to Leathen, who was a good twenty meters away from him, before he pushed himself to swim quickly towards the net. Watching Leathen duck under players and twist his body here and there to keep the ball in his clutch caused a smirk to form on Wakka's lips.
'Take this you cheating Bastards.'
Just the way Auron had planned, Leathen immediately passed it to Sarah before she obviously weakly passed it to Wakka. Auron cringed when he saw Sarah's weak throw. That was definitely going to be taken advantaged of by the Goers.
Even with three players, including the goalie, ahead of Wakka, the orange haired player was still able to score his first point, making a very loud 'ding' noise on the scoreboard. It now read 02:02.
Wasting no time, the Goers quickly sped off with the ball. Inside Bickson's head as he swam behind his players, he knew he could either gamble with the game and see who would actually win after 24 more minutes but he also knew that if he knocked out one more player from their team, they would automatically have to bail out. He needed this. He needed to win. He was quickly known to be the rising star of the Goers, and if by defeating the Zanarkand Abes, he would definitely be in the spotlight. He could not gamble this.
Inside his mind, he did not miss the poor throw coming from that female. This was going to be easy.
He immediately swam up ahead of his teammate who had the ball and indicated for the ball to be passed to him. Once he held onto the ball, he paused for a brief second to search for the girl. Coincidentally, one of his own players was swimming very close to Sarah.
Pretending as if he was passing it to his teammate, he aimed straight for Sarah. Throwing the ball with enough force, it landed straight against her abdomen, pushing her at least six meters before she curled into a ball and started descending.
He faked a shocked look as the stadium gasped. This was it. One more player and the long winning streak of the Zanarkand Abes would come to its end.
"OH NO! LOOKS LIKE ANOTHER ABES PLAYER IS INJURED! DOES THIS MEAN THE GAME'S OVER ALREADY!"
All the players paused in the sphere in shock. This couldn't be it. No way. The stadium went quiet as the paramedics checked Sarah over. After a few minutes of examination along with the anticipation from the audience AND the players, one of the paramedics looked up at the commentators and shook his head before doing a crossing sign with his forearms.
Signing in disappointment, Bobby the commentator spoke, "Well folks, it seems that player number 15 cannot play, which sadly means-,"
"Wait Bobby! Look over there!" Jim spoke in the microphone.
The crowd was now confused.
"OH MY YEVON! IS THAT WHO I THINK IT IS!"
"I BELIEVE SO! LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE STAR PLAYER OF THE ZANARKAND ABES HAS ARRIVED!" Bobby yelled excitedly.
Bickson's eyes glared furiously from the unwanted news. Though he still could not spot out where Tidus was exactly, he already felt himself tremble slightly.
With his hair now cleanly washed and his jersey clung on him in all its glory, Tidus jogged his way through the camera crew before stopping besides Auron. His coach in reply merely smirked at him before saying, "fashionably late?"
The blonde chuckled, "Yeah." He then squatted down to Sarah on the stretcher. "Glad you made it blondie," She choked out, "now go kick their asses!"
He placed a gloved hand on her shoulder as he nodded. Finally he stood up for the camera crew to capture him on the plasma screens and instantly, as he was seen by the stadium, the entire audience erupted into a frenzy of screams and cheers. With a look of determination, he walked over to the sphere pool before easily pushing himself in it. Once inside, the stadium again exploded with whistles, squeals, cheers, screams, chants and everything else in between. Slowly, but surely, the crowd gave a standing ovation to the young player. It wasn't so much because he was the star player, but simply because he had made it in time before the game came to an unfair end.
His entire team charged up to him and fiercely hugged him before they repositioned themselves once more for the last third.
"YEVON! THE CROWD IS ABSOLUTELY GOING CRAZY! HE'S SURELY STOLEN A FEW HEARTS THERE WITH HIS DRAMATIC ENTRANCE!" Jim joked. The females merely screamed.
"Yep, sounds like it!"
Yuna's eyes were glazed over. She couldn't move. She felt the smiling faces of her three companions looking at her but she showed no indication of recognition. He had never looked so beautiful to her in her life. She mentally had to tell herself that this was the exact same Tidus as the drunken one before. Even with all the admirable and lustful screams from the female population, she felt no jealously whatsoever; instead, she felt an immense amount of pride. Yuna suddenly felt a pat on the shoulder. She looked up to see Seymour looking down at her with a soft smile on his lips. He mouthed, 'for you.' Before she could ask what he had meant, he had already diverted his attention back towards the game where currently, the Goers were in possession of the ball.
Her heart had long sped up and now she was smiling so broad that her perfect set of teeth could be seen. She was sure it was the impact of Tidus when she felt like she was going to explode if she didn't scream… or something. Therefore, like her over hyper cousin, she jumped up on her feet and started cheering so loudly she was sure that by tomorrow, her voice would be long gone.
'Wakka!' Johan's mind called, throwing the ball to him as he himself immediately ducked when he sensed a strong force coming up from behind him. He twisted his body in time to not only avoid a strong collision with Graav but to also make a smug and defiant gesture and expression.
Wakka wrapped his left arm around the ball, using his stronger one to push his body through the water. From the corner of his eye, he could see Tidus charging up from behind, obviously ready to have the ball thrown to him. The crowd cheered as the ball sailed to the blonde swiftly. Tidus didn't even have to look to know that Wakka was going to pass it to him, they were trained enough times to not need eye contact. The speed Tidus was swimming at was incomparable to any of the other players. Within five seconds of holding onto the ball, it was again rotated back to Wakka, who in turn, passed it to Deniva.
Tidus inwardly chuckled as he was vaguely aware of the Goers confusion. Though the ball had long left his grasp, Tidus was aimlessly tackled from the side by none other than Bickson causing yet another round of booing from the crowd. Bickson merely smirked before he swam off, leaving Tidus to glare at his retreating back.
Tidus felt a strong nudge to his side as he turned to see that it was Wakka, eyeing at the timer.
At that exact moment, the blitzball had been intercepted by Graav who smirked and swam off. Just as he set the ball up to kick to another team member, Leathen unknowingly came up from behind and tore the ball away. Graav kicked the water from anger as his face turned red.
'That's for all the shit you pulled during the game ass wipe.' Leathen thought to himself, quickly passing it to Wakka.
The orange haired besaidian looked up at the timer again and instantly swore.
There was absolutely no way he could score a goal from the middle of the sphere with less than a minute left. Desperately, he looked around and saw Tidus swimming up to him. He held his breath and begged to Yevon that this would work. Closing his eyes, he aimlessly yet forcefully hurled the ball upwards.
"WHAT IN THE WORLD IS PLAYER NUMBER 9, WAKKA, DOING!"
The entire stadium gasped, also confused with his actions.
Bickson and Graav tried to intercept the ball, but their speed only took them so far, leaving them staring skywards at the ball.
Like a snake, Tidus' body flew upwards, outdoing the two Goers as he steadily twisted his body backwards like he was doing a back flip.
Wakka had set up the Jecht shot for him and now, it was up to him to follow through with it.
The crowd had died down as they anxiously watched on.
'NOW!' his mind screamed as he quickly kicked the ball with all his force before descending downwards. Coming to a halt, he immediately twisted his body to see if he had scored.
The ball went straight past the goalie making a huge 'ding' noise as the timer hit 00.00!
"YEVON! THE ZANARKAND ABES HAS DONE IT! WHAT AN INCREDIBLE MATCH THAT WAS!"
"YES, AND LOOK AT JUST HOW HAPPY THEY ARE!"
The whole team had tackled Tidus into a large bear hug as the entire stadium erupted with deafening screams and cheers.
"Haha, and the Goers do not seem happy at all." Jimmy laughed, though not mockingly, as they watched from upwards at the kicking and the swearing coming from the team.
"Come on Yunie! Lets go!" Rikku yelled as she pointed at Wakka and Tidus once they had made their way out of the pool.
Yuna nodded excitedly as she grabbed onto Lulu's and Rikku's hands. Unfortunately, it seemed like everyone else had the same idea as people started leaving their seats and hastily pushed their way down to meet the winners.
Even though Yuna had paused in her position, she couldn't help but giggle at the behavior and expression on Tidus' face. It had felt so long since she saw him this happy. They were group hugging and cheering and even carried Tidus on their shoulders.
Camera crews tried desperately to get an interview from the star player himself as they shoved into the what now looked like a mosh pit.
Names were randomly screamed out, but one stood out the most. "TIDUS!" "Tidus over here!" "Tidus how does it feel winning the point for your team?" "Tidus did you plan that entrance?"
But all these questions and screams of praise went by unnoticed by the player when he was heaved onto the shoulders of his team. He had finally caught sight of Yuna and the first thing he could think of was how incredibly beautiful she looked standing there next to the waving and bouncing Rikku.
Sub-consciously, he spoke her name out loud. "Yuna."
Suddenly he saw Rikku pull Yuna down the aisle and knew instantly they were also trying to make their way to him and Wakka. Quickly, he jumped off the shoulders of his laughing friends and frantically tried to push his way through his screaming female fans.
Once they all made it to the bottom floor, Yuna thought that she was going to faint from the lack of space and air. People were violently pushing and shoving just to get pictures of the teams. Worse was that now, she couldn't spot out where Tidus was. She thought of trying to follow the shrill screams from girls calling out Tidus' name but soon realized that they were coming from all directions.
"Rikku!" Yuna called out weakly from the lack of oxygen, "Stop! There's too many people!"
At this point, Yuna was feeling somewhat light headed and believed that had she not been grabbing onto Lulu's arm so hard, she would've long collapsed. She looked around, still in search of the blonde when she begged to whoever for all the pointless screaming to come to an end. All her mind was able to register were the different names of the male players as people were rudely pushing her from behind.
"Wakka!" "Leathen!" "Tidus!" "Yuna!"
Her head snapped up. Yuna? Did she just hear someone call her name or was she now hallucinating? She took three quick looks at her friends, but they didn't seem to look in her direction in return. Yep, definitely hallucinating.
No. She couldn't be hallucinating. The voice was too strong, too clear to be fake. She looked up now, frantically searching for the person calling her name. As her eyes were speedily scanning amongst the many heads in front of her, she noticed one head that kept bobbing up and down. She squinted her eyes a bit just as the person jumped up again.
"Yuna!" It was Tidus!
He was jumping up to catch her attention, but his mob of fans continuously pulled him back down for a signature, a photo or even a kiss.
"Tidus." She called out quietly as she began pushing herself through the mosh pit.
He smiled a million dollar smile when he caught sight of Yuna making her way towards him. With determination, he tore himself away from those prying hands and squeezed himself through the crazy crowd. It almost seemed impossible, but they did it. They were merely a meter away from each other as Tidus longingly extended his right arm to capture her hand when an unwanted and rude pull, dragged him right in front of numerous microphones and cameras.
Almost like the parted sea had once again come back together, a whole heap of people, seemingly out of nowhere, suddenly tore the pair further away from each other as people rammed in between.
"Tidus, tell us how you feel right now!" an interviewer asked, thrusting the microphone in front of the distracted star player as he tried to pull away from them.
"Yuna!" he called out once more, leaving the interviewers very confused.
This time, however, the security guards and bouncers had rushed in, instantly escorting large groups of people outside.
"Who is Yuna?" another interviewer asked slyly.
But Tidus remained distracted as all his attention was concentrated on Yuna who was helplessly being pushed further away from him.
He was so close. So close damn it.
Finally, he watched helplessly as Yuna gradually disappeared from his line of sight as he sighed to himself, 'Yuna.'