Ch 12: Conflict (edited)

Fushimi had stopped in his tracks with yanking Miwa's sleeve for him to stop as well when a group of Miwa's friends blocked the path and stood near the front of the card shop. The friends stared at the two bewildered on what was going on.

"Ehh….Yo…" Miwa greeted, still uneasy being dragged and pushed around by a stranger.

"Miwa-kun?" Aichi inquired with concern. It was unusual seeing his blonde friend handcuffed by a stranger dressed in a uniform unfamiliar to him. Was this man part of a special police force that wielded swords as weapons? Aichi doubted Miwa had done anything wrong to be caught like this.

"I'll give a warning if you all won't mind of stepping aside," Fushimi stated sharply. Before anyone of the group could say a word, his eyes darted to one familiar person in the back of the group in recognizing the loud, obnoxious voice.

"SARU?! WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!" the Homra vanguard shouted in shock causing Fushimi to be in one as well. The blue officer quickly changed his shocked expression to a neutral one as if never surprised at all. He scoffed.

"Hmph. Misaki, nothing really changes about you, huh?" Fushimi took a quick glance at the individuals. "Always surrounded by losers, and now kids? I wouldn't ever be surprised!"

Yata glowered, clenching his fists in rage by the other's mockery. He took steps to stand close to shout in Fushimi's face. "They are NOT LOSERS you ASS MONKEY!" He didn't need this right now, or ever wanted to see Fushimi especially in this side of Japan! Also, how dare the other call Misaki a loser!

Fushimi grinned tilting his head to the side a little. "Am I right, Misaki~? We can always throw down to prove I am right and always am about you." Ever since that day when he left Homra, Fushimi's only way of getting his former friend to notice and look only at him was to leave Homra and push Yata's buttons.

"I'm always ready to kick your monkey ass!" With his attention fully on Fushimi and ignoring the existence of Miwa standing in between them, Yata freed his fingers from a fist ready to tap into his red aura. The blue clansman had noticed this gesture and place one hand on the hilt of his saber ready for the offensive. Nothing and no one else had mattered in their surroundings, just a brawl between former friends turned into rivals.

As both clansmen about to tap into their aura, Misaki immediately stepped in between them unknown of the detail of their history. "If you two are going to fight, do NOT do it front of the card shop!" she chided. She didn't want any damage dealt to the shop like the time when she first met Yata, or worse damage than that. She snapped her attention onto Fushimi. "I don't know why you have Miwa in your clutches, but leave him be."

For some reason, her defense made Miwa at ease. Fushimi, however, didn't seem fazed by her piercing glare with his nonchalant expression. Yet, in his mind, he became irritated that THIS woman even DARED to step between him and Yata.

Yata became stunned by Misaki's actions to step up to Fushimi like that. He wasn't sure if he should feel proud or upset of putting herself in harm's way in getting involved. What if they had tapped into their aura and started fighting and Misaki were to step in between at that very moment before they clashed? "Don't get involved!" the way he voiced wasn't intentional and came out different then what he wanted to say.

Misaki fell silent, eyes widened taken aback. Yata took notice immediately. "Misaki….I didn't mean…" Misaki snapped her glance at him, which made him step back a little.

"Don't get involved?! What? You think I can't handle myself?!"

"I…didn't really mean… it's only because…."

"I'll be a nuisance?"

As his new friend he wanted her to be safe. "….Yeah…."

Misaki didn't say another word as she turned her heel, snatching the keys from Shin to reopen the sliding doors in order for her to storm into the shop. Yata stood rooted for a moment until realizing on what he had done in making her this upset. Again. He then forced himself to chase after her. What had mattered between him and Fushimi eroded just for the sake of this girl. "Misaki!"

Fushimi stood with a conflicted expression on his features. He wasn't sure whether to be amused by Yata being snapped at by a girl, or upset his attention was now focused on her and familiarity with her. Fushimi shrugged it off with a click of his tongue.

"So….you can free me now?" Miwa said, making Fushimi return to reality and glance at the blonde.

"No, not that easily. I'm not letting you out of my sight."

Miwa sighed, thinking when he ever going to catch a break. Then, a thought had hit the back of his mind and grinned at the dark-haired officer. "Hey, how about a game of Vanguard and prove my innocence?"

Fushimi cocked a brow. Van…guard? From the data he read on Misaki Tokura, Vanguard was mentioned; that game that seemed to be popular globally yet ironically never reached Shizume City. "And how can a card game possibly settle that accusation?"

"Wellllll….seeing as if Yata knows you and he came here without knowing the game, I can teach you while we're at it," Miwa remarked, a grin still plastered on his face.

"That still didn't answer my…" Fushimi uttered in an annoyed grimace before realizing to what the blonde was getting at. So, Yata arrived here and learned the game? He gave thought for a moment. No one else had realized Aichi and the others entered the shop sometime after Yata chased after Misaki. Fushimi gazed inside the shop to see Aichi and Kamui facing each other in their game.

So…in this game, they look at each other engaged in battle, huh?

"All right."

"Hm?" Miwa tilted his head, glance still fixated on Fushimi.

"I'll play this game of yours."

"Great! But…. I can't play with these handcuffs on me….hehehe…"

Fushimi mentally rolled his eyes to bring himself to release Miwa from the handcuffs. Miwa massaged his wrists for a moment before giving a gesture of thanks and for Fushimi to follow him into the shop. Miwa called out to Shin.

"Hey, Manager! Got a trial deck?"

"Have fun~" Shin said in handing Fushimi a Gold Paladin Trial Deck. Fushimi stared at the exterior of the box for only a second before opening and studying the deck. Miwa called from a vacant table. Once Fushimi stood opposite of the blonde, Miwa said he would explain the rules as they go along.

After shuffling their decks and setting up, both males flipped their vanguard while calling out, "Stand up! Vanguard!"

Meanwhile on the other side of the shop, Yata continued to call out to Misaki, which soon got her to snap her attention back at him. He got her attention after a few tries when seemingly ignored on purpose. Now, what? The look she gave- knitted brow and deep frown- she waited for the crow to say something.

"Let me explain, Misaki…"

"Then, do so!" She crossed her arms under her busts shifting her weight a little to the side.

It felt like it was just Yata and Misaki in one side of the shop. No one else had mattered, or Yata didn't bother in hesitating to explain enough to Misaki in what she needed to know. In the back of his mind, he wondered of how she would react. Would she still want to see him? What would she think of him? Inhaling knowing the girl is waiting patiently, he parted his lips to explain. Brows knitted and with a stern, sincere gaze,

"Finding Ashtin relates to your world and I came here to find him so to bring him back to Homra. Homra is a clan I'm a proudly part of and Ashtin is a friend of one of our deceased clansmen!" Yata's features then faltered for a moment, his gaze casting downward with shoulders sagged. "If…..if it wasn't for this quest, I wouldn't have met you….and.." He shifted his gaze back for his amber optics stare into her blue ones. "I'm glad for it…really. I want to keep you safe from any dangers if any pops up in this quest."

"…." Misaki's eyes rounded slightly, her features calmed from the hard gaze towards the other. In knowing the truth, or what could be part of knowing about Yata, gave her an understanding.

Noticing the girl had gone quiet and seeing a change in features, Yata looked at her with a bit of wary. "….are you….still mad at me? What is it, Misaki? You can tell me!"

I'm glad I met you too. She thought, yet her lips didn't form to release it. "So…after finding Ashtin, you won't come back?" She understood Yata's quest, yet there was this tense feeling when Ashtin is found. The thought of not seeing Yata again makes her a bit upset.

"What?! After learning Vanguard? NO! I will get stronger, didn't I tell ya before!" Yata grinned in his boasting, which made Misaki's heart flutter and at ease. It'll be one quest down after another and I'll be free to see you, Misaki.

Misaki smiled, her visage now that of a feisty one. "What are we standing around here for? Let's get to training you."

"Yeah!" Yata beamed and cheered, pumping his fist into the air. From here and out, they both secretly hoped to one day know more each other. What did he mean by danger? The thought lingered in Misaki's mind for a moment before it was pushed aside in order to train Yata.

As the two headed to find a vacant table, Yata spotted Fushimi in the middle of a cardfight with Miwa. "Saru…cardfighting?" he muttered to himself, bemused.

"Hey, you got the hang of it! Quite the fast learner," Miwa complimented. Fushimi didn't respond as he quietly gathered his cards from the field. With the expression he wore, it was difficult to tell what he may be thinking in another's perspective. Miwa's orbs shifted to catch a glimpse of Misaki and Yata. "Yo! Glad to see you back, Sis."

"Ah…" Misaki cocked a brow with a sheepish smile.

Yata clenched his deck near his chest. He was expecting to fight Misaki here and now for practice, but his inner desire to fight Fushimi here and now whirled within him. Sure, the former friends had clashed in a heated battle with their clan's abilities; but there was a bit of curiousness in playing against him in this game of Vanguard. The thought slightly made him recollect the old days when he and Fushimi versed against each other in a video game. Yata mentally shook off that thought as those days were gone now. Saruhiko Fushimi was a traitor of Homra now.

"Hey, Saru, fight me! We're both new to this game so let's have a go!" Yata declared, rising his deck near his eye level. Fushimi looked up from looking through his trial deck to give a nonchalant stare with a cocked brow. Without a breath wasted or any second thoughts, the cobalt-haired teen's lips curved into a grin.

"Sure."

Misaki stared towards Yata's direction who settled into position opposite side of Fushimi. Yata's decision to suddenly fight against the other didn't startle or upset her at all. It was merely just sudden without Yata personally warning her about it. Mentally shrugging it off as it wasn't necessary to get a fit over it, she let it be and watched the fight alongside Miwa who took a stand beside her.

While Fushimi and Yata shuffled their decks, Fushimi had to comment. Both of their starting vanguard were already face down on the field. "Misaki, surprisingly you can have a conversation with a girl and be concerned of her reactions towards you. Especially when she gets snappy~"

Yata spew a ghostly spit with an annoyed pout. "What's between me and Misaki isn't of YOUR DAMN business, Saru!"

Fushimi slammed his deck onto its place, scowling at the other. "None of my- Misaki… you… you don't even know damn well about anything do you?!" he growled in a low hiss. His fingers twitched grasping his deck.

Yata slammed his deck as well. "I know DAMN WELL that you are one ass monkey traitor!" he countered.

"You annoy me so much, Misaki. You annoy me with your pride in Homra and all that talk and attention towards Mikoto. It sickens me, Misaki," Fushimi voiced filled with resentment, his brows knitted with eyes narrowed into slits.

With both of their hands ready and fingering their starting vanguard, they both shouted simultaneously.

"Stand up, Vanguard!"

o0o0o0o

A card fluttered making it the sixth damage. Yata threw his hands down with force onto the table. Lost… He lost! In just a few turns, he lost! Fushimi had just learned today. And with only a trial deck he was able to win! Even he wasn't able to with the Kagero trial deck. The sudden realization was something he wouldn't want to admit out loud in front of Fushimi, but the look the officer gave Yata, it wasn't necessary.

"That's just pitiful, Misaki. And you learned the game before me. Is that clan really suited for you? Or rather, is this game suited for you?"

Still with his head lowered, eyes became rounded. Yata chose the Kagero because of the burning theme that reminded him of Homra. He wanted to play a clan that connects to his pride. Fushimi's inquiry pierced his mind and chest. Is the clan really suited for him? He had vowed of proving himself and become stronger in this game. He had vowed to Mikoto and Misaki! He vowed to himself he'll surpass Kai Toshiki in his own clan!

"You built that deck, didn't you? It's unbalanced and not workable. You aren't one for strategies, are you, Misaki? Just rush into battle. You can't win in this game, Misaki."

Fushimi was saying all of this despite learning today?! The crow's teeth gritted and fingers clenched into tight fists with shoulders shuddering. Blood boiled in his veins for the urge to grab Fushimi by the collar and shout at him in his face. Yet, at the same time, on the inside he knew Fushimi was right.

Not wanting to look down at Yata any longer, Fushimi turned his heel. Miwa grasped Misaki by the shoulders to stop her in defending Yata. Misaki turned to the blonde only for him to mutter something they both knew from Yata and Fushimi's fight.

Fushimi stopped in front of the cashier to legit buy the trial deck lending Shin a credit card. Shin rang the merchandise up before Fushimi went on his way still annoyed with the fact that he was unable to catch that strain, so ended up heading home.