The Unique System

(YouTube/Bakugan) New Bakugan, new brawlers - but they each need to find their place in the new, unique system of the world.

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A/N: So, this story just proves that we are the biggest nerds on the planet. And proud. (Yep!)
A couple of side notes: This is set in Australia, ‘cause I (Willow) know jackshit about other countries and I’d probably mess it up big time; and Rowenan – to my knowledge – doesn’t actually exist. But I didn’t want to use a real town and mess that up, too. So, I made one up.
*ahem* Also, excuse us (mainly Willow) with the characters. Willow’s been reading too much fanfiction lately. (Willow’s side note: I AM YOUTUBE FANFICTION TRASH RIGHT NOW PLEASE SEND HELP) 

Well, that’s all! Peace out!

-Willow and Jess *waves*

Jess's side note: Hope you both enjoy this story and excuse Miss Cray Cray up there^ (But it's not just her. We both are very weird.)

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Jack sighed, his breath turning to frost in the cold air before him. In the small Australian town of Rowenan, it wasn’t raining, like it would’ve in Ireland, and it wasn’t snowing, like it probably would’ve in any other part of the world, it was just really freaking cold. And it was annoying.

Jack was huddled in his huge raincoat, and he flipped the hood up. It was just another winter’s day in July, and it was awful. To Jack, it was like he was still in Ireland.

As he made a beeline for the bright coffee shop he could see in the gloom, he remembered leaving Ireland with his parents and four older siblings. He didn’t want to leave at all, but he’d found some friends here in Australia, and he was happy. He fell in love with Rowenan from the time he first laid eyes on the beautiful place, and he was still here now, ten years on, twenty-five years old.

Jack winced. Twenty-five. That was almost thirty. Good god, he was getting old. And working for an online programming company didn’t really help that fact.

Jack pushed open the door of the shop, and the sudden warmth was comforting. He pulled back his hood, closing the door behind him, his red nose already getting warmer. He looked around the shop, glancing at the people situated around small tables. There were the obvious teenagers, a few families and one lone man in the corner. Jack didn’t recognise the dark haired man – he must have been new in town. Jack brushed it off, and went to order a coffee.

After his order was taken by a lovely and beautiful Italian girl whose nametag read ‘Marzia’, he found his mind wandering as he listened to the teenagers exchange information about their Bakugan.

Bakugan were creatures from a different universe called “Vestroia”, Jack knew that much, considering that his buddy Felix never shut up about them. In our world, they appeared in the form of a small ball, and only in their world or in battles could they expand to their true form. Some of them could even talk. Honestly, though, Jack himself wasn’t all that interested. He was happy just the way he was, with his friends, family and job – he didn’t really see the need to bring a whole new obsession into this. Good grief.

And he was only saying that because of-

His phone vibrated, and he pulled his phone out, to see a new text from the one and only Felix Kjellberg. Speak of the devil, Jack thought, grinning and shaking his head slightly. He opened it, to see a whole message about Felix’s latest battle that he was proud to boast about. Felix hardly lost a battle, why stop now?

He absentmindedly skimmed over the message as his coffee arrived (black with one sugar) and he looked around, trying to find a seat. He chose one a few tables over from the new guy and tried to think of a way to sound enthusiastic when replying to Felix. Felix had inserted every detail, so Jack found it hard to reply.

He settles with a simple, ‘Sounds awesome, bro! Great job!’ and left it at that. His eyes wandered to the man in the corner. He was staring into his coffee and didn’t notice Jack staring.

And holy fuck, Jack thought he had never seen a more gorgeous man in his life. Raven hair and slightly tanned skin, and he had a slight Asian appearance. And Jack was sure that his eyes would be dark to match his hair, although they might be brown. He was wearing a red flannel that looked insanely good on him. Jack noticed that the man’s lips were moving slightly, as if he was talking to someone, but Jack couldn’t see anyone.

Then the man raised his hand, palm-up, and a small object floated up and landed on his palm, and Jack understood. He was lucky enough to have his own talking Bakugan.

He looked back down at his coffee and grinned. Damn, Felix would be so jealous if he were here. Felix was one of the best brawlers in town, and he didn’t have a talking Bakugan of his own. He could just imagine telling Felix about this, and then watching Felix swear off his head. Felix swore more than Jack himself did sometimes – and Jack thought that as a pure-blooded Irishman.

His phone buzzed again, and Jack looked at his phone to see that his Swedish friend had texted back. ‘Thanks, bro! But srsly tho, u have NO idea what ur missing out on! Brawling is da fucking BEST!’

Jack shook his head. He was fine without brawling and Bakugan, honestly. Having friends that ranted on about it was enough for him – he was fine living through their experiences. He just wanted to focus on his work and live a normal life. Or, as normal as possible. If that was freaking possible, he didn’t know.

He texted Felix back, ‘You’ll just have to tell me all about it then, live it for the both of us.’ and took a sip of his coffee.

Felix quickly texted back with, ‘Sure, bro! Where r u?’

Jack raised an eyebrow and texted back, ‘Coffee shop’.

‘Be there in ten!’

‘If you say so.’

“Excuse me?”

Jack looked up to see the raven-haired man standing by his table with a shy little smile on his face. Jack’s stomach did a funny little lurch as he politely replied, “Hi! Can I help you?”

The man seemed a little surprised at Jack’s Irish accent, but he nodded and his smile widened slightly. “Yeah, I think,” he replied. His voice was deep and beautiful – Jack could, and would, listen to it all day if he had the chance. “I’m new in town, I just moved here a couple days ago. I’m just trying to meet as many people as I can, is all.”

Jack smiled. “No worries!” He said, holding out his hand. “My name’s Sean, but most people call me Jack. Jack McLoughlin.”

The man shook his hand. “Mark Fischbach,” he replied. “Nice to meet you.”

“You too.” Jack gestured at the seat opposite him. “Sit down, if you like.”

“Thanks,” Mark said, taking a seat and setting his own coffee down on the table.

Jack started as a tiny little raspy voice said, “Hey, what about me?” and the little Bakugan floated up and hovered in front of Mark’s face.

Mark laughed (Jack’s stomach did that little lurching thing again because goddamn that was beautiful) and grinned sheepishly. “Oh yeah,” he chuckled.

“Ma-ark,” the Bakugan drawled out Mark’s name.

Mark looked at Jack. “Jack, this is my partner and best friend, Tim. Tim, this is Jack.”

The Bakugan floated over to Jack, and Jack studied it closely. It was slightly square-shaped and brown, like a box, with two stick-like arms poking out the sides. It had two huge blue eyes and was, all in all, adorable. “My name is Tiny Box Tim,” he said, nodding to Jack. There’s the box part, Jack thought to himself. Even its voice was tiny. It? He? Jack didn’t exactly know.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Jack replied.

As Tim flew back over to land next to Mark’s coffee, Mark asked, “Do you have any Bakugan of your own, Jack?”

Jack shook his head. “No,” he answered. “But I’m okay with that.”

Mark grinned. “Each to their own,” he agreed. “But I’ll say, my life completely changed when I met Tim. It’s been quite the ride, hasn’t it, buddy?”

“Sure has!” Tim agreed happily. “But brawling isn’t for everyone, which is understandable.”

Jack murmured his agreement, and looked at his watch, remembering Felix.

“What’s up?” Mark asked politely.

Jack looked back up at Mark and answered, “Nothin’. Just waiting for a friend is all.” Then he grinned. “One of the best brawlers in town, as he labels himself.”

Mark raised his eyebrows. “Oh, really?” he challenged.

Jack nodded. “Yep. Actually, in all the years that Bakugan have been living here in Rowenan with us, he’s rarely lost a battle, now that I think about it. But he usually gets ‘em back, anyway.”

“Usually?” Mark grinned. “He sounds pretty good.”

Jack shrugged. “I wouldn’t know, I’ve never been in a battle. Besides, he can tell you himself, he should be here any minute now.”

And, as if he had been waiting for a cue, a confident voice rings out through the coffee shop, saying, “H-how’s it going, bros?” and Jack looked up to see Felix sauntering in, running a hand through his golden-blonde hair. “God fuck, it’s freezing,” he complained, and Jack waved.

“Hey, Fe!” he called out, and Felix looked over at him.

“Hey, Jackaboy!” Felix called back. “Thirty seconds, kay?” Without waiting for an answer, he turned to order.

Jack turned back to a confused Mark, grinning. “Speak of the devil,” was all he said.

Felix came over and pulled up a chair beside Jack.  “How are ya, Jack?” he asked.

Jack shrugged. “Pretty good,” he answered, and then gestured to Mark. “Fe, this is Mark and Tim, they’re new in town. Mark, Tim, this is Felix, a good friend of mine.”

“Felix Kjellberg,” Felix said, sticking out his hand.

“Mark Fischbach.” Mark shook Felix’s hand, then held up his palm for Tiny Box Tim to sit on. “This is Tim.”

Tim waved one of his tiny arms. “I’m Tiny Box Tim, it’s nice to meet you, Felix!” he said happily.

Felix’s eyes widened. “No fucking way!” he exclaimed loudly, and a few people at neighbouring tables looked over at him. Mark shushed Felix, and Felix blushed slightly. “Sorry,” he said. “But, holy shit, you have a talking Bakugan? Seriously?!”

Jack rolled his eyes. “Yes, Fe, Mark has a talking Bakugan. Yay?”

Felix wacked Jack lightly upside the head. “Shut up,” he whined. “This is the first time I’ve ever talked to a Bakugan before – everyone around here insists on keeping their Bakugan to themselves.”

Mark chuckled at that. “Well, now you’ve talked to a Bakugan, you can cross that off your bucket list,” he joked. But Felix just stared at Tim in awe, before his gaze shifted up to Mark, and then back.

Jack watched as Felix looked from one to the other like he was in heaven, before smacking his arm. “Snap out of it, Felix,” he laughed.

Felix turned to him. “You don’t understand,” he insisted. “I have wanted a talking Bakugan of my own since I heard that they existed, Jack!”

Mark smiled. “It doesn’t just happen, you know,” he said, and Jack and Felix looked at him. “I was lucky. Tim and I met over a year ago, and Bakugan have been around for a lot longer than that.”

Felix considered that, and sighed. “Okay, then.”

Tim hummed his agreement. “Took a while, but now we’re buddies!” he said in that happy voice of his, and Mark smiled.

“Sure are,” he agreed, making Jack smile. Tim seemed like a good partner for Mark.

Felix changed subject. “So, Mark, where’re you from?” he asked. “How long have you been living here?”

“One question at a time, Fe,” Jack sighed.

Mark laughed that marvelous laugh of his, and started to talk. “I moved here from Ashon – suburban town about seven hours away – a few days ago.” He shrugged. “I dunno, I guess I just wanted a change. Besides, I drove through this town a few months ago and kinda fell in love with it. It’s nice.”

“Sure is,” Felix agreed. “I’ve been living here my whole life, actually. It has that vibe about it, and I’ve never really wanted to leave, no matter how much I want to battle.” He winked. “Jack moved here, what, ten years ago now?”

Jack nodded. “Time flies,” he joked.

“Sure does!”

Mark smiled. “Besides, I have a few friends coming here, anyway. They’ve been my friends since college – don’t know what I’d do without them, honestly. They’re coming to visit next week,” he finished happily.

“Sounds awesome, bro!” Felix exclaimed. “I’d love to meet ‘em!”

Mark’s smile grew into a grin. “Maybe,” he said. “Only one of them brawls, though. He’s also a strategist.”

“Don’t see many of them around here,” Jack said, looking sideways at Felix.

Felix blushed slightly. “Oi,” he shot back. “I can brawl however the hell I want to.”

Jack and Mark laughed. Jack still couldn’t get over how absolutely fucking gorgeous Mark’s laugh was. Just like Mark himself…

He mentally slapped himself. Shut up, Jack. You only just met the guy, and he’s probably straight anyway. Girls probably swoon over him, he told himself angrily.

He is still fucking gorgeous though, a small voice in his head murmured back.

SHUT UP!

“That you can,” Mark said, pulling Jack out of his mental battle and back into reality. “I don’t brawl very often myself, but it’s always fun when I do.”

“Heard that!” Tim put in.

Felix nodded his agreement. “I love to brawl! I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing without it.”

Jack rolled his eyes. “Sitting around playing video games, perhaps?” he asked sarcastically.

“Speak for yourself,” Felix retaliated. Jack sighed, and Mark laughed at their squabble.

The three of them continued to make conversation about brawling, video games, occasionally Marzia, the Italian serving girl that Felix had been crushing on for a while (she was very nice, and very pretty, Jack could agree – he was bi, after all), and eventually other things. The three of them talked for ages, and they were happy.

Jack didn’t know about Felix, but he felt that Mark was very quickly becoming one of the group. When he glanced over at Felix and saw that he, too, was happy with talking to Mark, Jack was certain of it.

He hoped Mark felt the same way.

The three of them stopped talking when Mark’s phone started ringing – “Cotton-Eyed Joe”. Mark’s face flushed with embarrassment as the other two quietly snickered.

“Damn him,” Mark muttered under his breath. He looked up apologetically. “Sorry,” he said. “It’s my brother.”

“No worries,” Felix said.

Jack looked down at his watch and gaped at what the time was. “Good god, we’ve been here for nearly three hours!” he exclaimed.

Felix raised his eyebrows. “Wow,” he commented, standing up. “I should probably go.”

“I hear ya.”

Mark smiled at them. “Thanks for putting up with me,” he joked, holding out his hand.

Felix shook it first. “No worries, bro,” he replied. “It was nice meeting ya.”

“Likewise,” Mark said, before offering his hand to Jack. “You too, Jack.”

Jack shook Mark’s hand. It was rough, but warm and gentle. “Anytime,” he said.

“Well, seeya,” Mark said as he answered his phone. “Hey, Tom, how are you?” Jack heard him say as he walked out of the shop. As he passed through the window, he gave a small wave, and Jack waved back, a small smile on his face.

He stared out the window of the shop, marvelling at how perfect Mark seemed to be. There was no way someone could be that perfect. Right?

“Jack? Earth to Jack!” Felix waved a hand in front of Jack’s face, who snapped back to reality.

“Sorry, what?” he asked dumbly.

Felix grinned. “Ooh,” he teased. “Does Jackaboy have a crush?”

Jack stared. “What?”

“You heard me. I think Jacky here has a crush on Mark!”

“What?” Jack repeated. “I only just met the guy, are you serious?” Felix only wiggled his eyebrows, and Jack sighed, putting his head in his hands. “He’s probably straight anyway,” Jack mumbled into his hands.

Felix laughed. “Don’t worry about it,” he said, pulling Jack out of his chair. “C’mon, video games at my house!”

Jack grinned. “Awesome.”

And Jack could not help but hope that he would see Mark again soon.

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