This story is based on an RP I had with Mel. This pairing is just begging for me to write this story! Without further ado~

Chapter 1: Meeting

Wheels skidded along the pavement at an average speed with the board's owner driving its movements dodging a few pedestrians. The owner being a teenage boy, his age close of being a legal adult, named Misaki Yata. He wasn't in a rush, or so he may have believed. That bartender of Homra had sent him alone on this errand at late morning with barely any detail given as he would tell him that later. Yata was told he was the only one suited for the task as the others were occupied with other things. The boy huffed through gritted teeth at that. Well, he didn't have anything else to do anyway.

A few hours earlier, he had asked random people about "Vanguard", not knowing himself what it was, only to have them shaking their heads with confounded expressions or giving him a simple, honest decline. Most of the people he approached backed away in trepidation for they recognized him as a member of Homra, a feared group of Shizume City. It had etched on his impatience a little. He also had received some replies in regards to products under the card game "Vanguard", which he doubted related to the "Vanguard" he was looking for. If only Izumo Kusanagi gave him more hints, better yet-details!

Yata came to a stop to search for anyone who may give him some actual clues, his head following every spot his light-brown eyes set upon. Barely a second passed when a whistle from a few distances away caught his attention and his head whipped towards it. A figure, slightly engulfed under the building's shadow, stood in an alleyway and gestured for the teen to come over to where he was. Yata pulled an irritated expression that wondered why that stranger couldn't just come to him instead?! He clicked his tongue before running over towards the figure on foot, holding his skateboard under his arm. Deep in the pit of his stomach, he had a strangely negative vibe from this stranger; but if such a person held the answers he needed to know, Yata felt as if he had to take a chance.

As Yata arrived to where the figure awaited him, the enigma turned his focus onto the boy. Yata was the first to speak up. "What do you want to tell me? It better be worth it!"

In response, the stranger put up his hand in defense. From doing that, Yata took note of this individual was completely covered: a greenish-black turtleneck coat with a hood over his head, big goggles, and a black mask covering from his nose to lower jaw. His hand was the only thing not covered by fabric. He certainly looked like an untrustworthy fellow in the teen's mind.

"I offer you no harm," the stranger said calmly. It was definitely a male voice. The stranger gently lowered his hand to his side. "You are searching for Vanguard, am I correct?" He continued, although already aware to what the answer was by the look given to him. "Take an hour train ride to this town and you will find it." He searched his coat taking out a key card needed for a train ride. As Yata's fingertips touched the card, the figure leaned in to whisper the town's name in his ear. In a blink of an eye, the figure disappeared without a trace before Yata had a chance to call out. It didn't matter at that moment, but somewhere in the back of his mind he wondered who the hell that guy was. Lastly, he wasted no time in heading toward the train station.

o0o0o

Crisp beams of sunlight shone onto the area outside the train station. In stepping out into the open, Yata covered his eyes from the sudden brightness. It wasn't that blinding, yet it was bright enough after being in a train with slightly shaded windows that prevented sunlight and from the fluorescent lighting inside the station.

Yata headed down the steps with skateboard in tow, wasting no time obtain some information.

During his time in this town (he often checked the park), he observed there were various shops with some of them almost the same as the ones back home. When he had asked a man in the park, the man pointed to him of where to find game shops or card shops. Determined, Yata set the new knowledge into action and sought out each location. He had found several game and card shops and with all of them the clerks or managers gave him the same answer.

Yata released an aggravated sigh rubbing the back of his neck.

Okay, now he knew that the term "Vanguard" meant a card game that's popular in this side of town. Ironically, the term with the meaning of that he was searching for happened to be the first possibility he had earlier dismissed. Well, it was Kusanagi's fault for not enlightening him more! But even without being told in more detail, Yata still managed to figure things out and put two and two together. No matter how obvious his conclusion may have turned out to be, he was slowly getting to solve some clues. Now he had to get answers to the other word Kusanagi gave him. Yata always hated mystery games and this scavenger hunt didn't help him one bit in changing his mind.

He decided to check one more hobby shop. If there was no luck there, then he figured it best to just head back home and report to Kusanagi. He stopped in his tracks to look up at the new establishment that he came across. In small English print, the title of "Card Capital" was read with, in a bigger print, the katakana of the same thing. It must have been the name of this shop. As his eyes trailed over the glass doors of the entryway, he soon tensed from seeing a teenage girl sitting at the counter. Her long light violet hair flowed down her back, some brushed against her side as she relaxed against the chair reading her novel. She seemed entranced in her readings as she didn't notice him.

Yata quickly averted his glance from the window with flushed cheeks. He mentally slapped himself assuring himself over and over that he could do this. He released a high amount of curses under his breath through gritted teeth. Inwardly, two sides of him were fighting against his better judgment.

Yes, he could do this!

No! He couldn't! He griped to himself in frustration and at the same time cursed his weakness when it came to girls. He sucked his teeth. Why'd he have to go on this stinkin' search alone? No one told him he'd run into some girl. In fact, earlier when riding around and confronting people for leads, he shyly prevented any contact with a female on purpose. He only asked several guys in a casual manner, instead.

He inhaled then exhaled, trying to calm himself. She is just a girl….just a girl…a pretty girl…a cute girl… dammit!

Wait…but he's only here for a while and to get some information so why was he acting like this? He released another set of curses under his breath.

The sliding doors eventually opened as he stepped foot in front of the store, skateboard tightly gripped under his arm. Tension flowed to his fingers making the grip tighter under his knuckles. The young woman eyed Yata at the corner of her cerulean blue eyes as the shop's doors slid open. A cat that rested on the counter turned from his nap towards the entrance as well shifting his tail. The cat had dark gray fur with white patch at the bottom half of his face, chest, belly, and all four paws. He had a blue collar and matching eyes. The young clerk gently laid down her novel on the counter before standing.

"Can I help you?" she asked calmly. He gulped, with heated cheeks. He mentally slapped himself to get a grip and forced his mouth open to say something, reminding himself repeatedly of why he came here. He took a moment to calm himself down ignoring the fact that the girl in front of him was probably thinking that he was some weirdo.

"I-is this… another shop selling Vanguard cards?"

"Yes, it is," she replied with a tone that reflected her thoughts of whether or not this young man had even bothered to look around the shop first . He must be new to this town.

"Do you…. know anyone by the name of "Ashtin"?"

She cocked a brow. "I'm sorry I'm not familiar with anyone with that name."

"Ah…I see…." Yata trailed off, a bit disappointed. He took a moment to look around noticing advertising posters on the walls with unique looking creatures on them. Each poster held different creatures of various sizes and colors. His eyes wandered over to behind the counter and register, noticing cards behind a glass on shelves; there were also boxes that probably held more cards. It didn't take him long enough to realize that they were all related to the Vanguard game.

Yata then blurted out, "You play? Since…. It seems you run the place." Slight interest and curiosity crept in his tone. Somehow then, his nervousness around girls seemed to erode for a moment.

The girl replied with a simple, "Maybe". She lightly shrugged, closing her eyes.

"It's a yes or no, a straight-up answer."

"Does it concern you at all of wanting to know?" her eyebrow raised as she cast a stare towards him. He stared at her a bit confounded before responding with a quick blink. "Ah…keh….nevermind. Thanks." Yata turned on his heel to exit the store. That wasn't so bad he mused; he wore a proud grin across his features for his attempts of talking to a girl. Once it seemed like he was a fair distance away from the shop, he paused in his tracks. Suddenly, a long chain wrapped around his arm like a venomous snake then tugged the appendage to be held above his head. The sudden attack surprised him at first in being caught off guard (and he even doubted any trouble would linger in this town). He glanced up towards the culprit that stood on the rooftop of one of the nearby buildings. A malicious smirk stretched across Yata's face as his figure glowed a blood red. That guy had picked the wrong guy to fight with.

The teen clerk glided her fingertips gently on the counter surface. As she was just about to sit back down on the chair and continue reading her novel, she felt a wavering gust of wind whisk by in front of her, accompanied by a sequence of clattering and snapping. Her eyes widened in astonishment. What was that?

Her head whipped towards the source only to see Yata pushing off broken tables and chairs from his body, and several cracks on the wall that led to a large dent behind him. Several of the customers had stood back from the impact. The young woman's lips curved into an aggravated frown; her eyebrows furrowed.

Just as she began to maneuver around the counter to confront him, he sternly gave her an affirming warning without glancing at her, "Just stand back and don't get involved!" He soon rushed out into the open through the broken slide doors.

The girl had fallen silent for a moment watching him before turning towards the customers. "Is everyone all right?" she called with concern. It was a good thing only a few people came and gladly no one was hurt. It made her felt relieved.

She headed towards the damaged area to clean up. Some of the customers had offered to help, which she agreed to. After a few moments in piling up rubbish and broken limbs of tables and chairs, the clerk headed towards the storage room to take out a broom and started sweeping.

"Hey"

Time had gradually passed by since the incident when a voice casually called out for her attention. The girl glanced up from her chore to see Yata placing a hefty sack on top of the counter beside the cat. She stared at him a bit confounded as she didn't expect him to return and with a sack of what may be inside. Yata had avoided eye contact with her with a shy grimace. "Um….sorry…about that…. Hope this is enough. And it's not dirty money in case you're wondering!"

She blinked and only stared at him in silence before walking up to the sack to take a peek. A smile graced her lips and she turned to the boy. "Thank you, I believe it is enough. And no one got hurt gladly."

Yata gave a brisk nod with his back facing her. As he took a step to leave, he cast a bit of a curious glance towards her over his shoulder. "Ah…b-by the way…." he stammered. A tint of of rosy hue formed on his cheeks.

"Hm?"

"W-what's your name? Mine's Misaki Yata." He flinched a little giving out his first name as he hated it; it was a feminine name.

"Misaki Tokura," the clerk replied calmly. An awkward silence erupted between them. She didn't seem fazed or mind that they shared the same name, or bothered by the fact that a guy had a girl's name. As she settled on this thought, Yata stared at her for a moment not realizing his own eyes were getting the full image of her figure. Her body type was almost like any other average young woman's with slender curves. A red apron that reached a little above her mid-calf in length covered her white blouse and long black skirt with a left-high slit. On the left chest area of the apron were golden initials of the store "CC", with both C's crossing over diagonally. Her blouse sleeves were folded up to her elbows. On her feet were black platform shoes and socks.

Misaki gave him a callous look, noting how long he had been staring at her. After a few moments of realizing himself, he snapped himself out of it quickly and turned his back to her in slight embarrassment. He tightly gripped hold of his skateboard as he dashed off.

Once out of the shop, and the eyesight of a particular pretty store clerk, Yata rode his skateboard along the streets setting distances from the place. Despite how well he handled himself and confronted his shyness in front of her, he still seemed oblivious to the budding mutual interest between the two of them.

Misaki had watched him leave, assuring herself that she would remember his name and appearance. Her gaze soon wavered to and thoughts of the boy quickly left in hearing her spiky- haired cousin, Shin Nitta's, panicky screech as a reaction to the shop's condition.

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Constructive criticism/critique are always welcome. And also just telling me what you all thought!