Standard Disclaimer: Not mine; no sue, I'm poor.

Notes: Ugh. I'm so sick right now that I can barely sit up…but I'm tired of sleeping. I've been doing that for like…3 days straight…

Anyway! Thanx 4EVA to Tala Mitena who beta'd this for me and gave me some very sagely advice about writing, the universe, and everything. She's an AMAZING writer and you should go read her stuff…cuz it's really cool.

This is a brain fart that turned into…something a lot more uh…corporeal. It's a story about Blitzball…but not just Blitzball. I'm not a fan of sports per se, but those crazy sports movies always draw me in somehow, so I'm aiming for that kind of feel. Things are gonna get fairly intense as we get further into the story. We'll be dealing with themes of sexual identity(like that's anything new) and some other traumatic experiences and just…see how everyone makes their way through crappy old life without being total angst-mongers. This prologue is really short, but don't be fooled. Chapter 1 is a bit gargantuan, I think…Oh, and the quote below was yoinked from a friend who keeps track of such interesting quotes and adages.(he's MoCaW at deviantART) I read it and it fit so perfectly with this section that I had to toss it in, don't expect there to always be cool quotes tho…

Warnings: Gratuitous use of Disney and Square characters, probably some language, at least one homosexual relationship, bigoted ass-holes, semi non-con encounters, made-up culture and language, lots of Blitzball, and general teen awkwardness. Enjoy!

-:-finem-:-

Life on the Blitz

"Always try to exude an aura of happiness and confidence, even when you yourself are not happy and confident. If you appear happy and confident, people will enjoy your company, and you might end up feeling better. If you always appear sad and depressed, people will get sick and tired of you, then you'll be even MORE sad and depressed."

- Carlos Nogales Rule Number 1

Prologue:

Smiles and Laughter

One of the earliest lessons I learned in life is that people don't care. Everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives and their own problems that they really can't bother to see things through the eyes of another or even recognize when the kid right in front of them is screaming for help. All of this became apparent to me as I made my confused way through my Elementary School years. I wandered through life just watching. There were so many people in so much pain, but no one else seemed to notice. Everyone was too busy feeling sorry for themselves or trying to hide.

It made me sad.

I always did my best to be there for others. I understood what the rest of the world apparently didn't, and I wanted to not be like everyone else. If someone were hurting, I would be there to listen and offer whatever support I could. If someone was crying out, I would pay attention…funny thing is, I didn't often get the opportunity. I was the quiet kid who always sat off in a corner alone, never sure how to approach others and nervous whenever anyone approached me.

I lived my life through books and television, trying to decipher the mysteries of the universe through the worlds and experiences captured in print or on screen. I was solemn, and pensive, and awkward, and nervous…and I generally didn't understand a lot of things about life. I tried, and I had a few friends who I think were having the same issues with the world that I was, but they weren't lasting friendships. They weren't the soul connection that I always read about in books, or the alwaysandforeverthrougthickandthin bonds celebrated in TV land.

I was confused. I figured that I must have been doing something wrong…or maybe there was something wrong with me…

It was some time early in Middle School that I read a line in a book that changed my life. I was sitting in Science class. We were studying health. Our teach told us to turn to Unit 7 in our text and as my eyes traveled over the information about Physical vs. Mental vs. Emotional vs. Spiritual vs. Sexual health, I noticed a soft blue box with bright colors and happy faces strewn orderly across the page. The heading read:

"Laughter: A Universal Medicine"

I didn't pay much attention to the class after that, instead reading through the information in the box on how laughter increased the white blood cell count in the body, and burned calories, and exercised several muscles in the body, and was contagious and…

"…others like to be around happy people…"

It was like a wake up call. I thought about myself then, about my nervous chuckles, my timid smiles, my gloomy attitude about the suffering of the world and its peoples. Was it any wonder that I was struggling in making friends? People liked happy people not people who brooded about all the bad things in the world. It gave me a new perspective on…everything. It gave me ideas and solutions and plans and more things for my brain to deal with at once than it had in a long time.

That was the day I learned to smile.

After that, I made it a point to smile as often as I could, no matter how I was feeling, and to always remember to laugh. Things in life were never so bad that they couldn't be eased in some way with a little bit of laughter and a friendly smile. It became my new goal in life…a new way to accomplish the goal I had set to be there for others. Maybe I couldn't always talk with them or even hear their problems, but I could smile, and I could laugh and I could hopefully bring a little bit of light into their world no matter what was weighing them down. Pretty soon it was automatic. I didn't even need to work at my smile to make it look genuine, and over time, people began to love me. I was Sora, the goof; Sora, the kid who laughs at everything; ever the optimist, always good for a smile.

That was my life. I was as happy as I could expect to be, and I took comfort in knowing that I was an element of positive in the lives of a lot of people. That was what I held onto, that knowledge. It was my anchor, my center, my purpose in life.

So it came that I made it through Middle School with several strong acquaintanceships that had high potential to become something more, and a new found confidence in my ability to interact with the rest of the human species. Today is my first day of High School. It's exciting to think about having a fresh start, being able to redefine myself, and maybe have a shot at actual happiness to fuel my smiles and laughter.

I examine my smile in the bathroom mirror after brushing me teeth, checking for any flaws. Of course there are none. Running through a checklist of things I need for the day in my head, I can't help but think about all the great things that High School has in store for me. There would be tons of new people to meet, tons of connections to make, maybe a shot at a more mature relationship, and of course…

Blitzball.

Blitzing is one of the most popular sports in all of the Destiny Islands, and Paopu High, where I'll be starting today, has the highest rate of college recruiters giving free rides on Blitzball scholarships in the nation. I've played Blitzball a lot over the years. It's one of the few things around provided for all kids to play for free, and even though the way we play it outside of official arenas is pretty different from the real game, it gives a good enough idea of how you'd fair in the tank.

I'm pretty good at it if I can trust what other people have told me. I just spent two weeks at the school's Blitzball Camp for those who wanted to try for the team, and already I stood out above most of the other kids. Try-outs would be at the end of this week, and I apparently made a good impression on the Varsity coach, which meant very good things for my chances of getting on the team.

For me, Blitzing is my one sure ticket out. All I have to do is make the team, work hard for the four years I'll be in High School, and I'll be set. I'll actually be able to go to college; my mom won't have to worry about that anymore. I'll get the education she wants me to have, make a future for myself, and maybe I'll finally manage to break the cycle of crap I've been living in for half my life. Thinking about all of the potential that waited for me with the start of this day, I feel a rush of confidence and positive energy for the up-coming year. Grabbing my bag, I give myself one more beaming smile before heading out of my lonely apartment, and for once, I think that there is actually something genuine behind it.

-:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:- -:-

Author Notes:

And so it begins. Totally a short thing, but it introduces Sora and as he's our main character, I think this is a fairly important look into his outlook on life. So there you go! Tell me how you liked it. I know I can definitely relate to some of those feelings…not shocking since I wrote it. HA! Anyway…moving on.

REVIEW please:puppy-dog eyes: