Ch 10: To Deserve of Kagero (rewrite)

Anger and embarrassment swirled within him. He growled irritably with blushed cheeks. The first thing when Yata, Kamamoto, and Shouhei returned to Homra, Kamamoto just HAD to spill how proud he was in Yata meeting a girl.

"You're…kidding, right?" Chitose snickered.

"As much as we all bet Yata-san would never find a girl, he did!" Kamamoto replied heartily. "She just came outta nowhere calling for him! When we chased after the Black Dog."

Yata wondered how hard he should punch Kamamoto; hard enough to knock him out after several punches maybe?

Kusanagi placed a wine glass gently on the bar counter after wiping it with a cloth. As much as he would like to believe it, he doubted just for a moment.

Seeing no one seemed to believe him and Shouhei (who was chatting away with a non-amused Bandou), Kamamoto turned to Anna. "Anna, you believe me, right?"

Anna glanced towards Yata and spoke nonchalantly, "Misaki is blushing." Words were still stuck on the young crow's tongue.

"Oh? So Yata-chan did meet someone?" the bartender inquired, taking notice. He still had bit of a doubt about Yata befriending a girl. "And if so, where is she?"

"…."

The Homra members directed their attention to their second youngest member as if he was gonna say something, or more. Yata hoped they wouldn't know about her this soon. Does he have a choice? The way his comrades are staring at him, he had a feeling he's not gonna live this down. Also, what can he say? Misaki IS real! It would make him upset if he were to say she isn't, but he wants to keep her safe. He mentally sighed and vowed he's gonna kill Kamamoto later.

"Her name is Misaki Tokura! She's the one sweet enough to teach me vanguard. She's a clerk at Card Capital, the last place where I looked for Ashtin," Yata blurted out. He mentioned her almost proudly without realizing. "And where I got my cards from."

"uh…huh…." The guys (excluding Shouhei and Kamamoto) silently nodded.

"WHAT?!" Yata's temper and impatience were rising. "You guys still sound doubtful! Ahh… screw it, I'm leaving!" With that, he marched out of the bar with his skateboard.

"It was true that Yata knew the girl Kamamoto and I saw in the alleyway," Shouhei spoke. Now getting the feeling of believing, the Homra guys voiced their remarks.

"So, what?"

"You think it might have been an accident or something?"

"Should we fol- "

"Yata-san! Wait!" Kamamoto shouted as he hastily exited the bar hoping to catch up to his friend.

"…we can trust Kamamoto, right?"

o0o0o0o

Yata slowed down and picked up his skateboard as he reached the train station. That ride around town and even a few tricks were enough to calm his mind. He wondered if Misaki completed her duties here and boarded the train home. He had no way of contact in finding out now. Maybe he'll head over to Card Capital. As he went up to swipe his card to enter through the gate, he turned at his name being called.

"Yata-san!"

He glowered at Kamamoto who was catching his breath. "What?!" he snapped. It was obvious to the other male that Yata was still upset about earlier at the bar.

"I'm sure they'll know her soon if you want to," the blonde thought out loud. "I would like to meet her and see if she really is suited for you."

Yata stared at him with a cocked brow. "You crazy?! With that womanizer Chitose, no way!"

"Where are you going? To her place?"

"Maybe. Yeah, so what?"

"Can I come….OOF!" Yata gave him a hard punch on his head. It was for earlier at the bar. He then averted his gaze from the blonde and swiped his card. The bars locked after Yata stepped through the terminal.

"Tell the guys they can stick their doubts up their ass," Yata said not facing Kamamoto. Kamamoto rubbed his head where he was punched. By his tone and no eye contact, it was as if Yata wanted to go alone. No word was said as Kamamoto watched Yata walk away.

"But Yata-san, what if she's not there?!" he called out. Yata stopped in his tracks. After a moment, he continued and asked the operator before boarding if Misaki boarded the train.

"Who?"

"Long light lavender hair and blue eyes!"

"No, I don't believe I've seen a girl with that description board."

Misaki didn't leave yet? Yata rushed out to meet Kamamato, who looked at him with concern. "She didn't leave Shizume city yet!"

"Are you going to chase after her?" Kamamoto said, almost hoping he'll meet her.

"Nah, I'm going home." Yata didn't feel in a rush to meet her again this soon. He'll wait to see her tomorrow at Card Capital, alone.

o0o0o0o

The doors of Card Capital slid open the next day. "Welcome," Misaki greeted warmly. Yata turned to her, slightly remembering about what happened at Homra yesterday before quickly shaking it off. He returned with a casual smile, a tint of hue on his cheeks. "Hey, Misaki." The bit of shyness soon went away as Yata boasted, almost hopeful,

"Misaki, fight with me again!"

Before Misaki could reply, the phone on the desk rang. "Hold on." She picked up the receiver to answer, "Hello, Card Capital clerk Misaki Tokura speaking. Yes, I believe we do sell booster set 11 and still have the previous sets in stock." She whispered and/or mouthed to Yata a 'later'. "Ah, would you like to place an order?" Misaki spoke to the customer in a professional manner, in a way an employee would offer his/her customer service.

Yata watched her. He knows what it's like having a job so he went to sit at an empty table across from the register to watch her, holding his cheek with a fist. He'll wait even if it'll take all day for her to finish. Just a moment later, Morikawa blocked his view of her setting a glare at the raven-haired. "What?"

"You know, I woke up one morning and decided…Hey! I wanna fight a noobie! Let's have it a go!" the teen offered, holding up his deck.

Looking uninterested, Yata shrugged, "Hah? And why should I?"

"You'll learn a lot from the great Katsumi!"

"Only thing you'll learn from him is losing!" Kamui sneered. "a LOT."

"I'm being generous here!"

Yata ignored Kamui and Morikawa bickering. "I'll just wait for Misaki to finish." He murmured to himself. Aichi tried to intervene the two bickering males yet was futile. "Aaahh…y-you guys! Please…no arguing….." The two began to cardfight and Kamui was made victor in a few rounds.

"Lose-umi~"

"Grade 3's never fail!"

"Your deck is full of them!"

Yata frowned, bored and bit irritated on how loud the two boys were. He glanced at Misaki who was still on the phone placing orders.

"You…you guys! Calm down…enough already!" Aichi cried.

Yata's eyebrows knitted. "Oi! You two shut up and break it up! Misaki's on the phone placing orders, can't you see?! Or do I have to come over there and knock some sense into your heads?!" He shot a glare with a raised fist that silenced the two boys and caused a chill down their spines.

Misaki took a quick glance towards the group before focusing on her job.

"T-thank you….um…" Aichi began nervously, not knowing the boy's name.

"Yata."

Aichi smiled happily before bowing his head. "Yata-san, thank you."

Rubbing the back of his neck, Yata wasn't sure what to say. So he said the first thing that came to mind. "Uh…don't need to thank me. Just gotta put yourself out there and take control! They don't listen, pound them!" Yata emphasized this by pounding his right fist into his left palm.

"Uh….mmm…"The timid boy nodded slightly to the older male's impulsive advice. "Yata-san…would you…mind if you want to fight me? I'm willing to help a new fighter."

"Aichi's Royal Paladin deck is strong! Stronger than Lose-umi!" Kamui exclaimed.

"Hey!"

"Hnn…." Yata thought for a moment then shrugged. "Sure, why the hell not." The response made Aichi's face beam in delight and rush to sit across from Yata.

Aichi closed his eyes, and started to speak in a soft voice, "Imeeji Shiro, Picture it! we're mere astral bodies on the planet Cray, a world almost similar to our own."

Yata stared at the boy across from his seat, dumbfounded. "Haaaaaahh?! Cray?"

"Miwa-kun told me Misaki-san taught you Vanguard that day. Has she told you about Planet Cray?" Aichi said, peeking at the other boy with one eye. A smile still displayed on his face.

Dumfounded, Yata yelled, "Uhh…..what?! there's more to know about this game?"

Aichi smiled nervously. "Well…. You see…" He closed his eyes. "Please picture it, Yata-san."

Yata eventually closed his eyes. As he reopened them, he glanced down at his hands covered in white mist yet still visible. Aichi and him were of spirits on this foreign planet. He took a moment to glance around his surroundings. Tall boulders surrounded them no taller than a skyscraper, moss covering some parts of the nearby boulders. The blue sky casted over several moons making them mystical crescent; and white clouds hovering. "This is the same place where I saw Misaki in cosplay", Yata mused.

As if he could read the older boy's thoughts, "One ability we obtain while on here is we become our Vanguard. Let's start!"

The two males shouted simultaneously, "Stand up! Vanguard!"

Misaki sighed relief as there weren't any more calls for now. She caught a glance at Aichi and Yata cardfighting. A smile spread on her lips.

Aichi gave tips and pointers: review of drive checks in attacking with your vanguard, using perfect guards against huge power attacks, and intercepts with grade 2s.

"For the finishing move, I attack with my avatar, Blaster Blade! I win! And when we lose, we return to our astral bodies before returning to Earth," Aichi chirped. Yata held his head low in frustration.

"Guhh…still need to get the hang of this…..and quit making dumb mistakes!" Although, he isn't aware of why or what sort of mistakes he had made during the game.

"You'll get stronger someday!" Aichi assured. "I was once a beginner, too. Wish you luck, Yata-san! And you're using Kagero, like Kai-kun! do you have a build? like a deck based on? Like I built my deck to support Blaster Blade, while Kai-kun's build is around Dragonic Overlord."

"Misaki helped me and this deck is cool and fun," Yata admitted holding his deck and glancing at it.

"Maybe Kai-kun can help!" the boy chirped.

Yata tried a smile. "Guess that Cray wasn't so bad and thanks. You're not a bad kid. What's your name?"

"Aichi Sendou."

The doors of Card Capital slid open to welcome a couple of steps towards the table Aichi and Yata sat at. The figure that stepped in spoke the blue-haired youth's name in a natural manner. "Aichi."

"K-Kai-kun!" Aichi jolted in his seat, startled to see the brunet of whom he had just mentioned a minute ago. Here was the one teen Aichi had always looked up to when he was a beginner turned rival and good friend. For Kai to step in unexpectedly without a call or text prior to appearing, Aichi had become unprepared. What timing when Aichi had spoken of the Kagero user. "This is Yata-san. He's a beginner and uses Kagero. I've thought you could help him."

"Tokura helped him many times, and you were helping him just now," Kai spoke, nonchalantly. "Don't you think he's supposed to be pass the novice-learning-given-tips level by now?"

"What's that supposed to mean?! Misaki taught me and Aichi gave me some tips! We're both Kagero players," Yata argued.

Kai scoot Aichi to the seat beside the one Aichi once sat and took his seat. "I'll show you what it means of being a Kagero player. I'll also see if you are deserving of the clan," Kai said, shuffling his deck.

"I don't know what you mean by deserving of the clan. I'll prove to you because I damn well am capable of being a Kagero player!" Yata countered, slapping his deck on the playmat after shuffling.

"Final Turn!" The declaration was made in just a few mere turns. With one swing or two and the additional critical trigger, Kai managed to win the game.

"So strong~! As expected of Kai-kun!" Aichi chimed in admiration.

Yata only sat staring down at the field, stunned and mouth gaped. "Whoa! So strong and cool!" Of course he was upset in losing. Kai had played his cards like a true master with no misplays. "Let's go with another round!"

Kai gathered up his cards and placed them in his deck box. "Once is enough to see that you have not made progress. Despite the many help you received, shouldn't there be progress?" He inquired.

Yata cocked a brow. "Huh? Of course I'll get better eventually!"

Kai then pressed, "How many times have you cardfought against Tokura?"

Yata thought for a moment. "I don't know…never counted! A lot of times."

"So, I see. That proves it then."

"Kai-kun, do you think he has a chance of getting better?"

Blatant and blunt, Kai responded in a straight up, "No."

Yata became taken aback by the brunet's response. Normally, he would have made progress with the many times he had fought against Misaki, and once with Aichi. They had helped him in pointers so he could improve. Unaware that he was blind to see that those certain pointers had not sink into his mind and plays; unaware of Kai's point in studying Yata's strategies Yata felt a temper swelling within him. Perhaps, he felt a little insulted in his ability of using his clan choice.

As Yata opened his mouth to retort, Shin spoke out, "Everyone, let's go out and have some lunch!"

Being finished with her duties on the phone, Misaki turned to Yata. "You're coming with us, right, Yata?"

"…. Yeah."

o0o0o0o0o

Yata fidgeted in his seat, the cushion under him crumpling to his movements. If the others weren't there present in the local restaurant sitting on other tables, he would be alone with Misaki who was sitting across from him. He quickly shook of the mentioning of "date" from those certain Homra members yesterday. He mused and griped to himself. This isn't a date as he and Misaki weren't really alone, right? He took a peak towards the girl and mentally sighed with relief she didn't seem to notice him being a little nervous. Misaki was in the middle of eating her side salad before their meals arrived.

Although, in noticing the other friends that accompanied them, the thought of being alone with just her for lunch didn't sound like a bad idea. Yata glanced over at the table where Kai and Aichi occupied, the two sitting across from another.

"So, you fought Aichi and Kai."

Yata averted his glance from the other booth to Misaki. "Yeah, is that Kai always a jerk?"

"He can sound harsh at times, but he means well."

"Is that a defense for him?!"

"No! All I'm saying is that's the person he is!"

"Did you have to go all snappy about it?!"

"Snappy?! I'm just trying to….Agh…nevermind!"

A slip of misunderstanding when stating a point caused the eruption of their short bickering. When it seemed like her point was unable to get through that thick hothead of Yata's, Misaki rather just drop the conversation and eat their meal in silence. She didn't want to argue any further. It'll just give her a headache. And with Yata's quick to misunderstand and getting temperamental about a certain topic, perhaps she shouldn't bother the next time.

Amazing that one simple and small thing can lead to a small argument.

Yata didn't understand how Misaki got all snappy at him. To him, she didn't see how offended he had gotten from Kai's remarks towards him. Who does that guy think he is? Judging on his choice of clan whether or not he's best suited for it?! Sure he makes misplays and all, they're just mistakes he can work on. He hoped, so to become stronger in the game and make Misaki and Mikoto proud.

When everyone's meal arrived, Yata and Misaki only sat in silence not once exchanging a conversation or a glance.