A/n: This chapter mostly followed Mel and my RP. So…. Here it's a bit of collab.

Chapter 4: Start of Something New

Sub-manager laid on top of Misaki's bed, tail shifting back and forth as he warily watched his owner. Misaki stood in front of the mirror twisting a little to get a good view of how she looked. A white short-sleeved turtle neck top with a black belt and a dark gray skirt were her decision of what to wear today. A golden key with a heart-shaped loop hung on the golden chain was also worn with her attire. That necklace was precious to her as it held memories of her deceased parents. A satisfied smile graced her lips. It was another day of work in the shop.

"Meow" called her cat. Misaki glanced and walked towards her bedroom door, then escalating down the stairs with her cat following after. Scuffling sounds were heard behind the door that connected the shop. Misaki had paused in her movements with her grip on the knob. She pondered for a moment before quickly brushing those thoughts aside. She must've just heard something that wasn't much to be concerned about. As she opened the door fully, she froze with eyes widened at the shouting of, "SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISAKI!"

"E-eh-ehhhh?" Misaki was mostly neutral, or not into the whole celebrating-own-birthday thing, as it was just another day to her. It had been ever since her parents died; birthdays were never the same. Party decorations filled the shop from streamers, balloons in various colors that bring fullness and fun. Party platters of various cuisine with beverages filled a few tables stood by the walls.

"Everyone here pitched in to make this a surprise," Shin, the manager and Misaki's relative, said. It was his idea for it to be a surprise party and the shop was closed all day today. He held his digital camcorder recording the birthday girl that had slightly blushed cheeks and what seemed like a pout.

"Shin….." She glanced around. Her teammates that she had fought alongside with in previous vanguard tournaments were here, and original visitors and comrades to Card Capital. She became surprised to see Team Caesar and three members of AL4. Shin admitted he invited them.

Misaki didn't know what to think. These surprises filled her with many thoughts and inner emotions. Her outer features didn't reveal most of how overwhelmed she felt, but a hint of it may have sifted through her gestures.

"I…. thank you…" she spoke shyly, trying a smile.

"Let's have some fun, Misaki-san!" Aichi chimed. He had short blue hair and sapphire eyes of innocence. A much broader smile spread across her features and she nodded.

Soon the shop was filled with everyone chatting among themselves while eating some of the food. A few laughs erupted from certain parts of the crowd. There were even vanguard fights, especially with the birthday girl but no one went easy on her. She was a strong fighter after all. The first minutes of the party had started to change Misaki's views on celebration. And it was all thanks to the friends and comrades she had gained and memories she had with them.

One person, one event that hadn't crossed her mind in a while, was a bit of an exception.

o0o0o

Yata groaned. He hated days like this. It was far too cold outside and on top of that, all of the other Homra members were out watching some game on an entertainment system he had absolutely neither care for. The bar was closed and he was all alone-save for Anna who was nearby. But what could he say to her? She was never one for conversation. He swore bluntly under his breath and deepened his slouch atop one of the bar stools. He was bored, and lonely. Absentmindedly, his thoughts wavered towards the lively girl with the stern eyes of whom he had ran into at that card shop. A faint twinge of pink teased his cheeks from the idea and he mentally waved it away. What was he doing thinking about her?! He hadn't even heard from her!

She hadn't contacted him so why should he care what she was up to? Of course, that would have made sense as he didn't give her a way of contact for her protection. He had mentally vowed to protect her since that day they met. With another swear, he checked his watch for the coordinates to her place, but the data he had wasn't enough despite his victorious search for the train station. He needed Anna's help...

As his thoughts dallied on her, his attention automatically traveled to her form near a window. She perched perfectly still, her gaze lingering someplace between this world and the next. It was bad enough he had difficulty speaking with females. Having to approach someone as mystifying and as cute as her had him hesitating. Finally, he gave up and snatched up his skateboard. He was going to locate that girl the old fashioned way.

Anna's eyes gestured towards the door as soon as Yata rushed out. She didn't move or call out to him from her seat on the couch. Her eyes soon trailed down to her marbles laid out in front of her on the polished wooden table.

o0o0o0o

A card fluttered and landed on the row of cards in the damage zone. "Great game, Misaki-san!" Kamui piped. "I'll beat you one day!" Misaki responded with a firm nod that she would look forward to it. After she gathered her cards and packed them in her deck case, she told the optimistic adolescent she was going outside for some fresh air.

"Okay then!" he turned his heel towards a certain direction. "Aichi! Big bro! Fight with me!"

The sliding doors opened and closed after Misaki stepped outside. She released a breath of relief before smiling to herself. She had to admit to herself that she had a lot of fun. At the sound of wheels skidding on the pavement, her eyes quickly glanced to two kids riding on skateboards a few distances away. At that moment, that boy crossed her mind that she had met that eventful day; the musing had occurred a couple times during today, actually.

Misaki shook her head, attempting to shake it off. Despite his childish behavior at the market, he had a sweet, gentlemanly side. It had made her very grateful as the money he gave was enough for the repairs; there was even a little extra cash. A curious question of how he was able to have that much money never dawned on her mind. This shop was her family shop and important to her. A smile had graced her lips at the thought before curving into a frown. Somewhere in her mind, she felt that she wouldn't be able to see him again and there were also other priorities to think about. Wait, why was she thinking of him all of a sudden? She sighed. She then turned at her name (Miwa had called her) saying they were ready for the cake. Misaki nodded slightly and followed. She assured the blonde that she was all right when he asked with concern.

o0o0o

"Dammit! That was another wrong turn! I thought I came this way the last time! Tch!" To say Yata was infuriated was an understatement-as well as him being lost again in this town. It couldn't be helped, however. He was in the middle of a scuffle when he barged through the shop's doors for the first time. He only wished his memory would serve him better. He ignored the countless stares as he scurried away from one of the game shops. As he continued on, he noticed a few kids on skateboards. An eye twitched from how carelessly unsafe they were executing their hobby. Before he realized it, he grabbed the both of them by their collars as he passed and lifted them. "Dumb kids, show some respect for the boards, would you?! It's a part of you! Don't forget it!"

"UWAAAH!" One of them shouted, and attempted to squirm out of Yata's clutches. In the panic, the tike dropped his deck of cards all over the ground, "No! My cards! Let me go!"

The hot-headed teen noticed different colored pictures on them as well as fonts he couldn't figure out. Those cards had fallen facing up, while others with the back facing opposite. On the back was black with a white thin border near the edges. The middle design reminded him of a magic circle. Outlined in blue lettering underneath it was "Vanguard". Oblivious to the meaning of the finding, Yata's focus was directed at the poor child, "What? They're just pieces of paper!"

"Let us go, you tyrant!" the other quipped, "If Misaki sees we've damaged our decks, she won't let us shop at Card Capital anymore!"

A familiar jolt spiked through Yata at the sound of her name as well as his destination and he suddenly stared into space. His grip automatically loosened and he dropped them both to their feet, "Card...Capi... WHERE IS THIS PLACE?! TELL ME NOW!"

Disturbed and fearful seconds later, Yata drained his answer from the kids and headed for the shop in a flash.

o0o0o

Misaki took a breath after everyone sang a "Happy Birthday" before blowing out the candles in front of her. A crowd of applause, cheers and whistles echoed throughout the room. Unexpectedly, an arm wrapped around her waist and pulled towards her captor and into a passionate, yet not deep kiss. She had tasted the cream from the cake in his mouth. Her eyes widened and her voice became muffled in the kiss.

Miwa quickly pulled away before she kicked his butt and put up his hands in defense. He grinned sheepishly at her. "Easy, Sis. It was a dare!" he confessed. He felt a twinge of nervousness in the back of his mind of what she was going to do next from that hard stare of hers. Along with her glare, her cheeks were of rosy hue. Kai wore a smug grin, arms crossed while standing by Aichi. Kai's brown hair was combed to the side, the edges were spiked. An antenna crossed the middle of his front bangs, causing his expression to point him out as the culprit for the dare.

At that moment, the entrance doors stuttered open; a darkened aura surrounded the new presence that stepped into the shop. A torrent of gleaming flames outlined the new figure and tapered up to the ceiling. Light eyes zeroed in on Misaki shortly before trailing over to Miwa and narrowed, "You little shit! How dare you steal a kiss from Misaki like that! "

Everyone paused and stared at the newcomer. Miwa turned around to stare at him dumbfounded, before tensing at the other's deathly glare and sensing a dangerous aura. It caused a nervous grin to cross his lips. "Whoa! Chill! it was just..." His hands remained in defense position for emphasis. Misaki casually stepped in front of Miwa and placed her fists on her hips. Everyone had stepped aside away from the entrance so it was her and Yata with no barriers between them. "I won't have anyone hurt my friends, or interrupt MY day! Even if it's you!" Her tone was stern, and a bit cold; a piercing glare shone in her blue eyes.

"Yeah! No one's gonna ruin Misaki-san's bachelor party!" Kamui exclaimed, pointing at Yata rudely. "Kamui-kun...its birthday party," Aichi whispered. Kamui muttered something under his breath. "I knew THAT!" he said defiantly.

"Hnn...didn't know Misa-Q knew such a strange looking guy~" Ren thought out loud, absentmindedly. He stood beside Asaka. His messy long crimson hair that flowed down to his mid back complimented his vacant crimson eyes and his companion's appearance. Asaka had medium-length blue hair and bright cerulean eyes. They watched the display with interest and entertainment.

Without noticing, Yata curled his lip at Misaki's reaction and possible rejection. His flames also inflated around him, creeping eerily closer to Miwa while he kept his attention on her. On cue, Miwa had moved farther away to stand beside Kai for some sort of protection.

Fixated on Misaki, Yata continued "...Your day... tch you getting married today?" Apparently in his angered state, the obvious birthday indications around the room had eluded him. He took a step closer towards her with a raised fist, "AND DON'T YELL AT ME!"

Misaki didn't react to his behavior or tone of voice and kept her ground. She knew he was loud and she didn't bother to chide him for it. "Isn't it obvious around you," she retorted calmly, "of what today is?"

"..." Yata paused and decided to take a look around. As he did, his expression loosened gradually, with his fiery raid following suit, "It's your...birthday...today?! I—Misaki I-! M-my bad, all right?!" he confessed, turning on his heels out of embarrassment. The hint of a blush sparked over his face from his folly. Here he was, in the presence of a girl he may really like and already he could have blown his chances.

What else could he say? He wanted to leave. He'd already made a total fool out of himself. He never should have even bothered to show up!

Misaki's eyes softened seeing Yata's change in behavior, with special notice to his embarrassment. She was very close to demanding him to leave and not ever come back, but seeing this side of him gave her a bit of a change of heart. She turned her heel and headed towards the part of the room where the cake was. The flavor was vanilla with white icing and strawberry filling. She sliced a piece of cake before placing it on a small plate beside a plastic fork. She made her way towards the boy and tapped on his shoulder.

"Cake?" she offered with a gentle smile, a gesture that she had forgiven him slightly for the unexpected, rude entrance. She was still a little upset for the encounter, but presented herself as generous.

He didn't move right away; his entire body was tensed from being in such close contact with her. Instead of facing her, he slightly tilted his head to a near profile where he could easily glance at her expression but she wouldn't be greeted with his. "..." Then without thinking, he faced her and prompted something that was wrapped in multiple contexts, "Take me to your room first."

Misaki blinked and stared for a moment. "...Eh?" What could he possibly be thinking? Why did he want to go to her room? "What?"

"-! Th-that! That d-didn't come out right!" he exclaimed, nervously rubbing the back of his head, "H-hey! I need to talk to you in private, okay? I-I can't eat in front of all these people eyeballing me like that!"

"Oh. There is a side door to outside," she informed casually. Usually food and beverages weren't allowed in the shop or consumed, but for this occasion it was an exception.

His eyes darted to the cake, to the crowd of friends beyond it, then to her. Then he blinked and took hold of her arm in a brave attempt. Maybe it would somehow keep his face from growing any redder, "I...I We just need to be alone for a while. Lead the way. And...bring the cake too..." His features warmed even more to that suggestion.

Misaki took him by the hand with her free hand and escorted him, passing the guests. She looked to them after turning the knob. "Continue celebrating, don't worry about me," she assured before closing the door after them. On cue, there were many mutters and murmurs among themselves about the guest and his relation to the birthday girl.

Once outside, she walked over to the bench and gestured to him to sit beside her. She handed him the plate and offered, "Would you like a beverage? Soda? Water?"

Yata stared, utterly awestruck, while he observed her movements for some reason. It took him a moment to snap back into reality. Instinctively, he brought the plate close to his mouth, "Ah... soda sounds good. ...Cola. Um, you live in the shop?" Why was he being so nervous? In light of it, his abrasiveness seemed to have subsided for now.

Misaki silently nodded to his request but she didn't bother to answer his question at the moment. She stood up with her necklace swinging to her movements. "I'll be right back." As she entered back into the shop she was greeted by Emi and Mai. "Misaki-san...um...what's his name?" Emi was Aichi's younger sister. Her front of her short apricot hair framed her face. Her sapphire eyes shone curiousness with her question. Mai was her best friend with long green-grayish hair and violet eyes.

The older girl replied simply with, "Misaki Yata."

The two girls' eyes slightly widened. "That's a pretty name for a boy~!" Emi chimed. "And it's the same as yours, too!" Misaki lightly chuckled and this as she passed them, heading to get him his requested drink.

Few moments later, she returned to their private spot with the soda. "Here"

"Thank you," he responded politely, receiving the beverage. He popped it open and took a sip with the cake in his lap. After that, he didn't speak a word for a while, as he stole quiet looks at her. Then finally he figured he may as well say something, "I guess my timing was bad again, huh? Barging in on your birthday... … ...I suppose you want me to apologize for that too? And...why are you being so nice to me? I already gave you every last penny I had to spend!"

Misaki averted her glance from his. "I help run this shop with my cousin so, of course I have to treat guests nicely! Even those who crash in on my birthday." There was no other reason of why she was treating him nicely, after all right? "I… never properly told you how grateful I am for the repair money," she added quietly, her gaze seemingly to face the wall across from them.

"And the rest of it? You can go buy yourself some make up or candy or a dress...whatever it is that girls spend their money on," he prattled before taking another swig, "Not that you need that stuff or anything." burp "Makeup's a waste anyway. Costs too much and makes most girls look uglier," he continued with a grimace, "You don't need it." He concluded honestly, and idly took a bite of the cake. His first reaction was one of shock before he closed his eyes and made an appeased sound from the treat's flavor.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm~~~~!"

Misaki observed him with light amusement, "I don't intend on buying any of those things," she retorted defiantly. Sure, she liked to shop for clothes, but she wasn't one to look for fancy jewelry or make-up much. The type of clothes she would search for were ones to make her seem mature. Her tone then softened a little. "I'll save a bit of it for my cat." She paused for a moment to consider his make-up comment. "Some girls that put on too much make-up look more like clowns rather than looking 'gorgeous' for an event," she said flatly.

She then spied him out the corner of her eye, smiling inwardly knowing what he meant that she didn't need it. "Would I need it to make myself glow if I ever had to attend a formal event~?" she remarked slyly.

The words came to him seamlessly and he delivered them without looking at her, "No. You already glow like a goddess..." he then trailed off and led his gaze towards her. Once his brain finally registered the expression she was giving him, his composure went red, "N-! Not that it matters what I think! Y-you're gonna wear whatever you want! Y-you could even wear nothing at all!" he huffed. Unfortunately, the statement he was trying to make just became a little suggestive.

"...Excuse me? Don't tell what image you have in your mind right now!"

"Wait! No! You've got it all wrong! AGHH! I can never say these things right!" he griped to himself, "I meant you have your own choices! To do whatever you want! You're gorgeous enough to do that, Misaki!"

And then... his face turned white. He didn't mean to blurt that out either! This was a disaster. He needed to leave before things got worse! Anyone could have heard.

Misaki stared at him for a moment before chuckling. Her chortles fluttered behind her fingers, her hand in a light fist. His flustering made him quite cute, she had to admit.

"Wh-! St-!" he stammered. He wanted to tell her to stop laughing at him, but he found the song emitting from her far too delicate and precious to cease. Still, he had to do something! At a loss, he placed the food and drink aside and stood. He had no idea what else to do and hesitantly placed his hands atop her shoulders, "...H...hey..." he murmured gently; a pout was evident in his tone.

Misaki stopped and remained silent at the sudden contact. She glanced up at him to give him her attention. "...?"

It was silent between them for a moment, staring into each other's eyes. The side door then swung open, revealing Ren. "Oi~ oh! Am I interrupting something~?" he grinned with deceptive innocence from what he had just caught glimpse of.

Misaki glanced at the red-head before to Yata, then averted her glance with a light blush. "What, Ren?" she snapped. In compliance, Yata had no mercy for the intruding and he gave the red-head a piece of his mind in a string of swears.

Ren waved off Yata's cursings as if it were a fly. "The piñata hitting's gonna start~ maybe your friend, Misa-Q #2 would like to join? More the merrier!" he chirped lyrically.

Great! Now, aside from that cheeky blonde who kissed Misaki earlier, there was a new target! Yata glowered fiercely at him, wanting badly to roast him and laugh while the flames glittered off his fallen body. But that wouldn't earn him any points with Misaki. And speaking of "Misaki", what was this weird guy doing calling HIM by HIS first name? With a snort, Yata directed an ember Ren's way, but made sure it missed on purpose, "CAN'T YOU LEAVE!?"

Ren didn't even flinch. Instead, he watched with indifference as the flame flew past his hair, only missing by an inch. He silently brushed it off as if it were a type of stage act; slight amusement was shown through crimson and he smiled. "Everyone is waiting for the birthday girl to hit the piñata. The kiddies are desperate for some treats inside to take home after the day is over. And did you know the piñata was a courtesy of AL4? Ordered and delivered from Spain?" He prattled with a hint of childishness in his tone.

Misaki stood up. "I'll be there in a minute," she said calmly. With that, Ren cast one more smug look to Yata before he left to join the others. With the two of them alone again for the moment, Misaki turned to Yata. Ren was the leader of her rival team and ever since that summer vacation on that island, they became both rivals and allies. "Don't mind him. He's an airhead from what I've heard," she assured flatly. Then, she blinked. The once boisterous boy was now very quiet and looking down as if he were about to be scolded. He seemed very uncomfortable, as if battling inwardly with something. It crossed her mind to ask what the problem was, but his lips had already parted, drawing a small breath to speak.

"...Are you…. angry? I mean... do you want me to come in with you or should I leave?"

Why was he acting like this? She was just a girl. A pretty girl. A feisty girl. Should he even compete with her? Should he allow her to take control instead? He didn't have to voice these concerns; his emotions and thoughts were easily read on his face. In contrast, he frowned, "I don't like that guy."

"I...didn't like him before either..." she said, remembering that one time at the Nationals, he was once psycho and had a creepy aura surrounding him. After Aichi defeated him, he had changed since then. "Some of the others didn't like him either, but things changed." she lightly wrapped herself with her arms, gazing to the side to prevent his glance.

Automatically, he became protective and spread his arms in the event she would need to be caught or steadied, "You all right? Hey, you don't have to go in there. I'd actually rather stay with you."

"I'm fine." Misaki felt she couldn't stay outside forever even with someone she just recently met. The decision, whether on wanting to hang out with her friends or staying alone with Yata, racked her mind. Vanguard, after months and weeks, had given her these friends. Yata however…

Her conscience nudged her to stay with him a little longer. Would she be able to see him again after today? And wait… why would she be so concerned about that anyhow? After that one day, she hadn't seen nor heard from him for several weeks. Yata had felt the same. What else would he come here for?

"Have something in mind for us to do before the day is over?" the question had escaped from her lips accidentally. She quickly took notice, but seeing his expression she couldn't take it back.

The offer caught him off guard and his visage faltered; his eyes rounded in surprise and awe for a whole second before returning to the norm. He attempted to brush it all off as if it were no big deal when he, and his body language, showed otherwise. Just who was this girl and why did he feel so vulnerable towards her? "Uh well...we could talk mor-hey! You're the birthday girl! You decide!"

She tried not to chuckle and attempted to hide her efforts as she studied his body language and outbursts. She quietly hummed to herself in deciding. "We go back inside the shop where everyone is waiting. Can you handle it?" she said briefly.

He hesitated, "No way! I can't and I don't feel like it! I came here to talk and spend time with you, not all those other guys! You're the only one I wanted to see!" Although he was behaving selfishly, there was truth in his exclamations. However, no matter how steeped in truth his words may have been, the reality was still the same. He knew, that under "normal" circumstances, an apology should go here. But he could not force his lips to shape them. Instead, he kept his eyes situated on hers and waited for some way to prove himself.

She had a hunch of what and how he would answer, and recalled how he had reacted in front of the guests when he first arrived. A twinge of guilt stabbed her in the stomach then, but her features refused to show it. Also, she couldn't figure out what they could do, just the two of them. Of what came to mind, she figured, she may as well say it truthfully. She released sigh. Her features faltered slightly before giving him a stern look, preparing to tell him a hard truth.

"I'm sorry, Yata. I can't think of anything else we can do. If you don't want to go back inside, then it's fine with me, but what else can we talk about?"

"... Well... that is... uh..." He stammered. The answer was obvious.

"So...there's only one thing, then..." She paused for a moment almost expecting for him to reply. There was a certain part of her that didn't want her to say it. His interest perked up from her evasion and his curiosity overruled all else, "What is?"

Her eyelids fluttered shut. "That...you leave."

"... Leave?" he repeated; an expression of loss feathered over his features; his vision consumed her with wide eyes. Then, he smiled smugly with a laugh in tow. With newfound vigor, he crossed his arms and gave her a sarcastic grin, "Oh I see what this is. You're jerking me around. I saw your face! You had more to say, didn't you?! Tch! But who am I to make you say it? Tell me the truth first and then I'll decide to leave or not. So tell me! The spotlight's on you! Misaki!"

Misaki shot him a stern gaze. "There isn't anything!" her voice had risen, before her volume return to normal. Her fingers were curled into a tight fist as her voice rose. "I'm serious. If there is nothing we can discuss about then we are done," she called coldly. "Unless you have something in mind that you want to say?"

"Hnnnnn?" His amusement broadened, "I do as a matter of fact. I want you to show me how tough you are," It would seem his shy nature towards females had ebbed in light of being issued a gauntlet by one instead. He wanted to test Misaki, to see how she reacted; he wanted her to show him how much of an equal she truly was to him.

She frowned. what does he really want? She crossed her arms over her chest. "Was that a challenge that I just heard?"

"Maybe it was! Do something about it! I'll take you on in anything you can think of!"

"One thing. Oh right, you don't know how to play, as I've never taught you~" she taunted a little.

Yata puffed out his chest and spread his arms wide, "Bring it, sister! Show me your best!"

"So you're expecting me to challenge you to Vanguard, huh, Yata?" she said, keeping her current composure.

"You bet I am! I can learn as I play! So teach me!"

She grinned. Just as she was about to reply, a familiar voice, but in an annoying way, exploded from beyond the door. Along with that was... "HUUUSSSSSHHHHHSSSSSHHHH! SHADDUP LOSE-UMI!"

"WHO'RE YOU CALLIN' LOSE-UMI?! I'M SINGING MY FUTURE WIFE'S SONGS! 'MIRACLE TRIGGER'!"

"Off-key no doubt..." Misaki's eyebrows twitched irritably and darted towards the door, turning the knob.

"H-hey! Where are you going?!" Yata spoke up "HEY! SOMEBODY SHUT THAT NOISE UP! YOU'RE SCARIN' THE NEIGHBORS WITH THAT GARBAGE! AND GIVING ME A HEADACHE!"

Misaki opened the door and became a bit surprised from who was eavesdropping. First, was Miwa. She cast a stern, cold glance at him in which he gave a sheepish grin. Misaki's attention then wavered to Asaka and Yuri, who hummed, averting their glance and acting innocent. She then looked towards the karaoke area and it seemed Kai had stolen the mic from Morikawa, who was yelling at him to give it back.

Kai kept his nonchalant expression while holding the mic. Thank goodness, she mused. Morikawa's singing was awful and good timing too from hearing Yata's shouting.

Misaki then returned her glance to the eavesdroppers. "Ohh~ seems like someone not only once needed training, but now needs some relationship advice?" Asaka jeered. Misaki's eyebrows knitted. Was she teasing her? Yuri, of Team Caesar, seemed to wear the same teasing features and thought the same.

"There's nothing between us, okay!" Misaki shot back. The older women mentally rolled their eyes and thought their young Vanguard rival was in denial and they snickered lightly. Misaki clicked her tongue in annoyance before calming herself down. As she did, she stuck her head out the door and called out to the boy.

"It's safe to come in now and I can teach you. I'll search for a trial deck you can use," she motioned for him to come back inside.

Yata stood rooted to the ground momentarily before pushing every other gripe aside for now and followed her in. Misaki handed him the deck she had just picked out for him. "Here". She led him to a vacant table for standing. A play mat was laid in front of them used for playing the Vanguard game. Misaki told him she'd teach him the basics of the game and define the placements on the mat. A few members of the party gathered at a good enough distance to watch while others' attention were towards the karaoke stage cheering on Kai and Aichi.

Kai poked at the mic, testing if any tuning was needed. It was good and clear. He glanced at Aichi beside him, who returned with his own look of cuteness. Aichi also held a mic. Music began to envelope the room with Aichi singing first and Kai following after. They sang a duet to the song, "Believe in My Existence".

Being around so many people he didn't know nor care to know, Yata felt out of place. But because Misaki was next to him, those feelings slowly began to erode and give way to something new.

o0o0o0o

A/n: everyone gathered here is kinna based on the mini dramas of CFV character CDs. On the CDs, besides the character songs were the mini dramas and pretty much mostly the ones who had character songs were gathered and stuff….

Kai and Aichi's voice actors once sang "Believe in my Existence" (2nd opening of CFV) in one of the radio shows; but it was just them fooling around and singing it terribly. Such dorks lol

I had to separate this as it turned out 10 pages long!