Notes from me: Hello everyone I'd like to first thank Fifithebulldog and CrabbyunderaRock for proofreading this story first as I'm terrible at noticing my errors! They both were a great help with their input! And like to thank everyone on r/GirlsundPanzer for their support in wanting this story! That's about it from me, I hope you all enjoy chapter 1 of 'A Cowboy's Wildfire'!

A Cowboy's Wildfire

Chapter 1: Ember in the Night

Note this story takes place after der Film

"I can't believe I lost again!"

A shrilled voice complained into the night sky, to no one in particular. As expected, no one answered; the owner of the voice huffed in anger as she stuffed her hands into her olive drab bomber jacket. Not that it was a cold night, she just felt incredibly frustrated.

"Stupid scissors…" That's right, the icing on the cake for this terrible night was scissors. How the hell did they lose to rocks? Sure, beating paper made perfect sense, but there was no way in hell a rock could break scissors. Unless you managed to hold down the scissors and just keep smashing them with a large rock, but more than likely you'd break the rock first!

"You always pick scissors, Alisa!" the girl said in a mocking tone, mimicking one of the girls on her team; they had all picked rock. "And those stupid taunting grins!" Ripping her hands out of her bomber jacket she grabbed at her short brown hair, peculiarly her twin ponytails. With one in each hand she gave them a hard tug in anger, a faint growl emitting from her throat.

After a few painful moments and pointless growling, she released her ponytails and let her hands fall to her sides. She stared hard at the ground in defeat; it wasn't just losing rock, paper, scissors that had her so down. Nor was it the lonely walk to the closest convenience store; no, all those small issues were just the topping on her day.

It had all started with waking up late that morning, not even having time to grab a bite to eat. Rushing out of the dorms to school, forgetting her notebooks for class, even managing to jam her locker door. If that was the worst that could happen, maybe she could get over whatever was troubling her.

But that wasn't what was truly tormenting her. She had been rejected yet again. First, Takashi had rejected her—well it wasn't really rejection, more like she never found the nerve to tell him how she felt. Only to find out from spying—well, spying was wrong, more like rumors—that Takashi was into one of Alisa's classmates, which quite frankly pissed her off. What did that bimbo have that she didn't?!

This thought caused Alisa to lift her eyes from the ground. She scanned the area briefly and spotted a large window. It was the local bakery display window. She walked quickly over to it and looked inside. The shop was dark; the bakery was closed for the day, not that she wanted anything to eat from there anyway.

No, she was more interested in the window itself, as she could see her reflection in the glass. She wore her normal tankery bomber-style jacket, with a large white star patch on the left bicep area. It was a very comfortable jacket; it hid her… "assets." Unless of course, Alisa was Kay…

"Which I'm not" Alisa admitted with a hint of jealousy. She brought her hands to her small chest. She could barely feel herself through the thick fabric of the jacket, which brought another frustrated growl. Though in reality she wasn't angry at her tank commander so much as envious…

She sniffled a few times. Tears building in her eyes. Maybe she wasn't the biggest in the chest department. But she had to have something other girls didn't. She rubbed her eyes a few times she looked at her reflection again. This time, her gaze was on her lower half; she was still wearing her red skirt. It was the normal attire for Saunders, minus the jacket, as that was from Tankery.

The red fabric stopped a little short of Alisa's mid-thigh, showing off her slender legs, which were dotted with little spots. Freckles. She knew almost no girl in all of Saunders had freckles quite like hers. Though most guys found freckles childish-looking….

"Freckles with chicken legs…" Alisa sighed. She was trying to find something attractive about herself, but she only seemed to fail at every attempt. Even if she didn't want to compare herself to Kay, which was hard as Kay was easily the most popular girl at Saunders. Which brought Alisa to the next thing…

Turning her hips a bit she stuck out her rear end. "Tiny…" Her gaze stuck to her bottom, as if she was expecting it to double in size at any moment. Though that was stupid to hope for. She found herself looking down at the ground in defeat once more. Even if she decided not to compare herself to the commander, the only other girl that came to mind was the Vice-Commander, her friend.

Naomi, the tallest girl on the tankery team. "Even she has a bigger chest then me…nicer legs…bigger butt…even prettier eyes…" Alisa looked at her reflection in the window one last time. Boring brown eyes stared back at her. Even her boring brown hair done up with two pigtails. It wasn't long and flowing like Kay's. While Kay's hair seemed to flow down her back like a golden waterfall, Alisa's just looked like someone threw a boring brown wig on her head…

"No wonder he rejected me…" Alisa sighed. She even failed to finding something attractive about herself. It was hard not to compare herself to others as she was a part of biggest tankery team in the high school league, the most expensive one as well.

"Kay's just a bombshell, and even Naomi's pretty enough to get a boyfriend," Alisa thought, turning away from her reflection she continued on her way to the store. She shoved her hands back into her jacket as she walked, her eyes locked onto the ground.

Kay didn't have a boyfriend to Alisa's knowledge, but that was because she wasn't interested in anybody. She acted more like a big sister to everyone, always cheerful and smiling, finding the good in any situation, like when Alisa tried to win by cheating against the opposing school.

Exciting… "That's what Kay said…even when I cost our team the win…" mumbled the girl. If she hadn't tried to cheat, then they could have attacked with all the power at her team's disposal. But even then, Kay was barely even angry, more disappointed than anything else, which stung even more.

"Naomi wasn't even angry, she enjoyed the match almost as much at Kay." Naomi hadn't even scolded her fellow commander; she just smiled, calling it a close match, and went about her day. But Alisa felt like a failure. She wasn't upset that she had cheated, she was angrier that she was found out. And that she didn't figure out Ooarai was using her own tactics against her…

But she didn't hate the school, no quite the opposite. She respected them for winning the whole tournament, even going on to beat a University team hand-picked by the Tankery Federation. Of course, that would have been hopeless without Alisa and her fellow commanders rushing to Ooarai's aid, saving their tanks and their butts in the match.

"Though…I went down before I could even manage to show what I'm made of…" Alisa came to a stop once again; her shoulders began to shake in anger. It was true, she had gotten knocked out in one shot by the University Team, along with the rest of her team, in the matter of seconds…

"Is that my fault too?" she wondered aloud. In her mind, it was no wonder no guy wanted her. Takashi wasn't the only one to reject her, after all; another guy had turned her down earlier that day. Another reason she wanted the day to just end but no, here she was wandering around aimlessly. Well, not aimlessly, but she felt lost deep down, with no boyfriend, no real charm to her name. She couldn't even win at a stupid children's game.

"How am I supposed to take over the team when Kay graduates?" the lonely girl asked nobody in particular, sighing once again as she continued on her path. Thankfully, the local Sunkus corner store was near the school, so she didn't need to go far, though with her heels dragging it would take forever, and knowing her teammates she'd never hear the end of it. And she wasn't in any mood to hear about it from them.

Taking a deep breath to steady her emotions and pulling her hands from her pockets, she took off at a brisk jog. If she picked up the pace, she'd be able to make up for wallowing in self-pity. But even though she was going faster, her own doubts still nagged at the back of her mind…

Thankfully, the young Vice Commander didn't need to worry much longer. She reached the block that held the little corner store. Switching gears from a brisk jog to a fast-paced walk, she came to a stop in front of the store. Big, bright red and yellow neon lettering proclaimed 'Sunkus 24 Stop' above the doors. The "K" in "Sunkus" was strangely shaped, like a cartoon character, since the lower part of the K wore cowboy boots, while the top part of it wore a baseball cap. It almost looked like a stick figure.

Now her doubts switched to remembering what she was there for. She reached into her skirt pocket and produced a list. As she distracted herself with the list, she stepped onto the pad outside the doors, which opened for her automatically. The "Ding" overhead sounded, alerting whoever was working that night that they had a customer. It didn't even take a second after the bell sounded for someone to call to her.

"Welcome to Sunkus! If you need anything just ask away!" a strange sounding voice said, though Alisa didn't really pay any attention to it as she grabbed a basket by the front door. "Yeah sure," she muttered. Her brown irises scanned the list a few times as she looped one arm under the handles of the basket so she had a free hand.

"Vanilla cola, cherry cola, chocolate milk…" Luckily for her, she didn't need much as she was only buying drinks and snacks for her tank crew. If she needed to buy drinks and snacks for the whole team, she'd be bankrupt by the end of the night.

Making her way to the back of the small store, she passed by the aisle where the employee who had greeted her stood, not even taking the time to glance in their general direction. Though she could faintly make out a male voice since they were singing softly to themselves.

"Woman I love laying in my bed, and it's alr-" The voice slowly drifted away as Alisa made it to the refrigerated back wall of the store. Once again, the voice was out of earshot. She frowned. "Lucky them," she mocked, unaware the male voice was just singing.

Still in a huff, she jerked the first door she saw open with a little more force than was necessary. The door swung open with no resistance. It caught her off guard as it nearly smacked her in the face. She backed up quickly, and the door flew past her. It came to a stop as its hinge locked, though in the emptyish store the pop it made seemed to almost echo.

"Everything a'right ma'am?" the strange male voice called out, sounding concerned. Alisa could hear the worker had stopped stocking the shelves. A small blush started to form on her cheeks. Was she stronger than she thought? She hadn't meant to nearly rip the door off!

"A-Ah yeah the door just opened so easily it caught me off guard!" she stammered. The voice answered promptly. "Ah, I apologize for that. I oiled them a few hours ago since it had been awhile, be careful they'll all be like that!" he shouted. Alisa's blush quickly faded away as she realized it wasn't her fault she nearly broke the door.

"Stupid…Huh? What kind of convenience store clerk oils the door themselves? Isn't that like a maintenance job or something?" she wondered to herself. Her eyes moved from the door she had just opened to the direction of the voice. The worker had gone back to working the shelves—not that she could see him, since she was shorter than the shelves. But she could hear him moving items around.

"At least he isn't coming over." Thankful, she turned her attention back to the open refrigerator. She had opened the first one she saw. It was the milk section, so she grabbed a plastic jug of chocolate milk. Dropping it into her empty basket, she moved out of the way of the door and bumped it with her hip making it swing shut.

Walking past a few doors, she found the soda section, this time being careful not to rip the door off as she opened it. Stepping in front of it so it wouldn't close on her, she scanned the glass bottles until she found the vanilla-flavored soda. She grabbed it and carefully placed it beside the milk. Now she only needed cherry flavor and original for herself.

Original was the next one she found; it joined the other drinks in her basket. But when she searched for the cherry flavor, it was gone; both slots were empty. "Of course…that's just my luck…" Getting onto her knees, she peered through the hole in the wall of sodas into the backroom behind the fridges. A smile formed on her lips, as she could make out several stacks of cherry flavored colas in the back.

"Hey!" she called out, pushing herself to a standing position. "I need a Cherry Cola but the shelf is empty!" she added. She heard the man stop working. "Apologies ma'am, we got our delivery this morning. Just haven't gotten a chance to stock the cold section yet! Hang on." She could hear the man making his way out of aisle he was currently working. He entered the back room through a door she couldn't see. It clicked shut behind him

Deciding to continue her shopping, she closed the refrigerator door and made her way to the chip aisle, which thankfully was fully stocked, so she wouldn't have to bother the guy again and wait even longer. She initially grabbed a bag a salt and vinegar chips and looked the bag over with a disgusted expression on her face.

"I don't understand how Yui can eat these things, they taste horrible." Alisa complained as she dropped the bag into the basket. Next, she grabbed some canned chips that had a mustache cartoon faced character on the front of the container. Sour cream and onion: a somewhat normal flavor in Alisa's opinion. It joined the small pile of items in the basket.

She then made her way around to the next aisle, which held a large selection of candy. She knew exactly what she needed from there. She grabbed a large bag of chocolate for herself, knowing with her day being as it was she'd definitely need them later on. It took up the last of the free space in the basket with its sheer size, making the basket heavy enough that she struggled to carry it.

"Just waiting on the cola." As she said this, the door leading to the back slid open slowly. From where Alisa stood she could see the worker's back. He wore a red and yellow striped "Sunkus" baseball cap backwards, with a matching short sleeve polo shirt. Though she couldn't see his face, she could make out shaggy chestnut brown hair peeking out from the sides of the hat.

Her eyes slowly trailed down his back to his lower half, stone washed blue jeans with a pair of grey sneakers. But what really caught her attention about the man wasn't the nice fitted jeans, or how they seemed to hug his rear end…it was what she saw next…

Slipping free from the door, the man was carrying 4 boxes of soda—cherry, orange, vanilla, original cola—all stacked on top of each other, which blocked her view of his face. Her eyes widened in amazement, as she could make out the label on one of the boxes reading '30 lbs' which meant he was casually carrying 120 pounds. That whole stack weighed more than she did!

He didn't seem to notice her as he walked past her aisle going to the refrigerators. She quickly followed after peeking around the end of aisle so that she was facing him. Though the boxes still blocked her line of sight, he turned into the final aisle with the fridges and made his way to the door where she complained about it being empty.

"Apologize for that again, ma'am, hope I'm not keeping you from wherever you need to be." His strange accent was now more obvious to her as she was fully focused on him. She didn't answer him, as her eyes were locked on the boxes that blocked his face. He knelt down, setting the 4 boxes on the floor (carefully, as they all held glass bottles). He released the sides, which made a small clanging sound.

"He's got to be a body builder!" she thought. Her eyes widened in even more surprise as he stood up. A huge blush spread across her face as she took in his features. What she first noticed were his eyes. They were an attractive shade of copper. He was clean shaven as well. His features didn't indicate he was Japanese; he looked like an actual American.

"Cherry, you said, right, ma'am?" he asked as he grasped the top box. His thumbs got between the cardboard lid as he ripped it open effortlessly. Reaching in, he pulled out a single bottle of cherry cola and offered it to the stunned girl. He smiled at her.

His smile was incredible, charming, roguish…no, there wasn't any words for it, at least not anywhere in Alisa's brain. It was similar to the type of scene she'd see in romance movies, the type of smile that would make any girl's heart skip a beat. And in this case, it made hers skip a beat as her basket of items crashed to the floor…