Dawn of a New Beginning

Blitzball Challenge! (Part 2)

Once we reached the locker room, I wasn't much surprised from the scene. The Aurochs made the atmosphere in the room very exhausted, but still full of hope.

They were in various states of recovery, Dean and Yero lying down, while Aron, Bettina, and Lauro were sitting. I saw Lisie standing near the corner, her eyes closed and taking deep breaths. "Lisie, you alright?" I called over to her. She didn't respond. I looked at Shaun, who smirked.

"She's fine, don't worry. She's usually like this at halftimes. It's a good thing." He could see that I didn't fully understand. Smirking again, he called over his shoulder, "Hey Analise, how ya feeling?" Still without opening her eyes, she spun on her heel and kicked the wall, leaving a dent. To my surprise, there were numerous other dents in that corner as well. "Perfect." Shaun said with a smile. I could see Sargent flinch back from the dents in the wall. I mentally flinched, which was probably what Iyana and Vidina as well. Xanxus just stood there, trying to subtly look at Analise without anyone catching him.

"He's so obvious." Iyana muttered.

I nodded, "I know." Xanxus walked over to me and asked if she was normally this pissed when losing. "That's the thing." I replied as I patted Xanxus on his bare shoulder. "They rarely lose."

"Well, all I gotta say is guys…" I started. Everyone looked at me, except for Analise, who still had her eyes closed. I could tell she was listening. "Win this thing! For Besaid!" I shouted. Everyone started to cheer. "For Wakka!" I called out. They cheered louder. I looked down for a moment, but looked back up and mumbled, "For my father." That seemed to get everyone riled up because I started cheering with everyone as well.

"We gotta go, Naya." Aron told me as he ruffled my hair.

"Good luck you guys! Kick some ass out there!" Iyana shouted.

Vidina threw his fist in the air and added, "Yeah! Goers are gonna kiss your asses when you're done with them!"

Sargent advised, "Don't let 'em provoke you." Xanxus simply stood there with his arms crossed.

"Do good out there you guys. I don't think they'll be much of a challenge now for you." Xanxus finished off. The Aurochs cheered and ran out the room in high spirits.

I giggled, "Back to our seats guys! Come on!" As we ran out the door, I slowed down to look at the screen, seeing the Goers already inside. I watched Aron put on his cocky little smile and I scoffed, slashing my sword in the air. *Whatever dude* We made it to the top of the stairs and found our seats. Now I noticed there were more people watching, which meant more attention drawn to me as well.

"It's Lady Danaya!" a man called out. I put on a smile as I stood up and bowed in every direction, seeing Sainey in the crowd in the process.

"The High Summoner's daughter is here!" another man shouted. I sat down and focused my eyes on the sphere pool, concentrating on the game. Iyana nudged me and I heard her giggle. I shook my head and scooted closer to Vidina, whom in turn, tensed up as the ball was launched.

Dean got it first again, and passed it over to Shaun. He then swam back to around where Lauro and Bettina were. Shaun received the pass, and then dodged an attack from Mylene. As she brought herself around to attack again, he passed the ball to Analise, before falling back as well. We were all confused as to why they were pulling back; they had left Analise to face 5 players by herself. Then I remembered something she had taught me about combat a long time ago: "When you are in a desperate situation, stay away from those you care about; you don't want to hurt them." I realized what their plan was even as she completely flattened Aron. Instead of trying to dodge Ed's attack from the side, she spun in the water, the momentum from her forward motion and her spin adding force to her foot as it knocked him aside. Continuing forward, she blew past Gigi and Fifi before they could get to her. Right in front of the goal, she tossed the ball up and performed a perfect Sphere shot. It sped right at Jester, who somehow caught it, but the sheer force of the shot pushed him back into the goal. The scoreboard sounded as the score changed to 2-3.

"WOOO! LET'S GO!" Iyana cheered as she stood up and fist pumped. I looked around and saw a lot of people cheering for the Aurochs as well. I stood up and cupped my hands around my mouth as I screamed for the Aurochs. Vidina joined me as well, but sat back down with the rest of us as the ball got launched once again.

Ed got the ball this time, but was immediately flattened by Analise, who passed the ball over to Shaun. She continued her momentum forward, running over Mylene as she tried to block Shaun as he moved to the goal. He was stopped again by Gigi and Fifi. Then he did something that surprised them, and us. He let go of the ball, and let it float in the water while he swam away. In their hesitation, Analise came up and kicked the ball toward midfield – right where Shaun was waiting. He caught the ball, spun, and took a big shot at the goal. Jester managed to deflect it, only to have Analise volley it into his face, again pushing him back into the goal as well.

"3-3!" Sargent boomed out as the scoreboard changed.

"YEEEEAAHHHH!" Iyana and I shouted as we stood up again.

Vidina whooped, "OVERTIME BABY!"

"Come on, let's go back to the locker room to check on them." Xanxus suggested as he started off on his own. Iyana and I looked at each other with knowing looks as we grabbed our weapons and walked over to the locker room, leaving Sargent and Vidina to follow us. Once we got inside the locker room, we saw everyone discussing their strategies and moves for the overtime round. I walked over to Analise and hugged her tightly.

"You're doing great!" I exclaimed. I leaned into her ear and whispered, "He was worried when you got hurt. Worried a lot. He watched you the whole time, Lisie." I pulled back from her and found a wide eyed Analise. I nodded and giggled, then walked over to Shaun and gave him a high-five. "All right Shaun! Dude you're awesome out there!"

Shaun rubbed his neck and replied, "Thanks, ya? Sorry if we were cutting you away from the journey right now, but…" I placed my index finger on my lips to shush him.

"It's fine." I replied. "Don't worry about it." Shaun beamed and ruffled my hair. I was about to walk over back to Analise, but saw her chatting with Xanxus, so I backed up and walked over to Sargent, Iyana, Vidina, and the other Aurochs.

Yero smirked and looked over at Vidina and me, "So Vidina, Danaya. Are you guys together yet?" My cheeks turned pink and my eyes widened.

"W-what are you t-talking about, ya?" Vidina stuttered as he started to remove his cloak and set it on one of the benches. Lauro and Dean let out wolf whistles as Vidina and I looked down shyly.

"Come on you guys, it isn't funny." Iyana started. *Thank you* "They're just oblivious!" Iyana shrieked with laughter. My head shot up and by now, I'm sure my cheeks were cherry red.

Bettina smirked and added, "You guys are just so cute together! Just go ask her out already, Vidina!" I could feel Vidina's gaze on me so I looked around the round.

"Um, oh! Look at the time! You guys should really get going back into the sphere! Good luck!" I shouted as I hurriedly pushed the Aurochs out of the room. Bettina hugged me with a giggle. I saw Analise grab Shaun and start whispering something to him. I don't know what it was, but he seemed to like it, judging from the evil smile he got. Anyways, the rest of us ran up the steps and back to our seats. This time, I sat in between Xanxus and Iyana, looking anxiously at the launched ball.

Dean got the ball again, and passed it back to Bettina, who gave a strong but pointless shot at goal. As the ball made its way toward Jester, Yero swam forward while Analise swam back to the Goalie position. We were stunned and confused by this. Distracted by it as well, Jester threw a poor pass, and it was picked off by Dean. Then all 5 of the Aurochs, not including Lisie, swam forward to the offensive. Their first attempt was stopped by Gigi and Fifi, who passed the ball way up to Mylene, who swam to the goal with Aron on the opposite side of the sphere. They passed between them a number of times before Mylene volleyed a pass at the goal. Analise was able to deflect it, but it was grabbed by Aron, who shot it at her again. This time she kicked it, and it somehow made its way across the sphere to Bettina, who started toward the goal. Back and forth across the sphere both teams were unable to score; Gigi and Fifi being a large problem, and Lisie somehow blocking everything. Finally, Shaun made it through Gigi and Fifi and passed to Dean, who passed it right back to Shaun, who made a strong shot from right next to the goal. Jester wasn't able to stop this one, and it flew into the goal. The sound of that buzzer had never sounded better! "4-3" read the scoreboard as it went in favor of the Aurochs.

We all jumped up and cheered with one another. Iyana and I hugged tightly, jumping up and down while shrieking. "WE WON WE WON!" I shrieked as I hugged everyone else: Sargent, Xanxus, and even Vidina. When I got to Viddie, I didn't even think of the awkwardness earlier. I let go of him and ran back to the locker room as fast as I could, not even thinking of letting the others catch up with me. Once I got into the locker room, I flung myself on Analise and tackled her. We both giggled as I shouted, "WE WON, ANALISE!"

I heard the door open again and saw the others congratulating the Aurochs. As I helped Analise up, she looked at Xanxus with a huge smile. Iyana and I looked at each other knowingly as we pushed Analise closer to him. "Go on!" Iyana urged as she pushed the two out the door. Sargent smirked.

"And don't come back until we say so!" Sargent ordered as he shut the door closed. The rest of the Aurochs turned to us in confusion and we smiled.

"Just leave them." Vidina advised the Aurochs. "They'll be back later." Just as we started talking happily to one another about the game, the Goers walked in. As Captain of the Aurochs, Shaun confidently stepped in front of all of us and looked at Aron.

"You guys got lucky." Gigi and Fifi sneered.

"Oh shut up! You know we won fair and square!" Sainey shouted from the bench.

Iyana smirked, "What sportsmanship." Mylene growled, but Aron shook his head at her and put his arm out to stop her.

"That's enough. Let's go." Aron looked at me and I glared. "Danaya…" Aron started. I cleared my throat and straightened up my posture. Aron's eyes, for a second, seemed to soften up, but then went back to their cold and hard nature. "Nevermind. Keep staying in your parents' shadows. See ya, High Summoner's Daughter." Aron led his group out of the locker room and left.

"And don't come back, ya!" Shaun shouted.

"Did Aron just….soften up on you, ya?" Lauro asked. I stared at the door in confusion.

I answered, "I….I think so." Just as Sargent, Iyana, Vidina and I were about to leave to go find Analise and Xanxus, they came back talking to one another happily.

"So! What happened to you two, ya?" Shaun questioned. Analise smirked and crossed her arms.

"Like we would say anything. I know shortie has a big mouth over there." Xanxus replied with his eyes closed as he jabbed his thumb over to me. I gaped.

"Hey! I take offense to that!" I shouted. "Wait, so does that mean…" I started off. Analise nodded and the slightest of a smile appeared on Xanxus' face. "OH MY GOSH!" Along with Bettina, Iyana, and Sainey, I squealed and jumped up and down. We tackled Analise and giggled. Vidina let out a wolf whistle.

"Score!" Shaun bellowed out to Xanxus as he gave him a slap on the back.

I heard Yero whisper to Dean, "Looks like that Xanxus guy is going to get some tonight." I stared at them in pure disgust and hit them both on the head with the flat side of my sword. "What…"

"No. Just no." I answered as I shook my head. After all the congratulating, the girls and I begged Analise for details.

"Nope. Not letting you guys figure out. Just think of how it happened on your own." Analise replied with a smile. Sargent suggested we leave and continue back to Guadosalam.

"Yeah, you really should get going. Thanks for letting Analise play, Danaya." Shaun exclaimed as he gave me a big hug. I giggled.

"It was no big deal!" I shouted as I hugged the rest of the Aurochs goodbye. As our group exited the locker room, Vidina and I continued to bug Analise and Xanxus about the details.

Iyana exclaimed, "Danaya! Just leave her. She'll tell us or won't….did you guys kiss?"

"I don't kiss and tell." Analise muttered as she looked down. Iyana and I squealed as we both ran to the airship in glee.

"THEY KISSED! THEY KISSED!" I shouted in joy.

"DO YOU HAVE TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD?" Xanxus shouted as he started to chase me with Analise.

Sargent and Vidina yelled, "RUN DANAYA!" I ran as fast as I could to the airship and to the Cabin. When I got in the elevator, I let out a sigh of relief as the airship took off.



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