AN: Whee, it's about time I threw out some AkaRik love into the fanfiction community! This one goes out to Ickiakki, she made the pairing... X3 Which reminds me... GO READ HER FIC "I Like You" RIGHT NOW! IT IS THE AWESOMENESS!

Also, this is slightly AU-ish because it takes place the in regular Di Gi Charat universe (as opposed to the Di Gi Charat Nyo one), but Akari is in it. For those who don't know about Akari, she's a rabbit girl with purple hair and she's a sort of ditzy pop idol. Also, I decided to bump up her age a little, so she closer to Rik's age.

No flames or anything.

Okay, so... ON WITH ZE FIC.

---

"What about rice?"

"Nope."

"...Natto?"

"Nuh-uh."

"Don't we have anything edible in this hole?"

"Um... if you're really desperate, I don't think paper is too hard to digest."

Coo shot a hard glare at Ky, who poked his head out of a virtually empty fridge.

The Black Gema Gema Gang had recently run out of the last scraps they had, and it was starting to get difficult for them to accomplish much of anything on empty stomachs.

Rik sighed sharply, rubbing his aching temples. There had been a noticeable increase in bickering and it was starting to give him a headache.

He then felt someone tugging on his pant's leg, and looked down to see that it was Piyoko. Her typically rosy face unusually pale. "Rik, we need food..." she whimpered feebly.

The oldest boy hated seeing his leader so desolate... So he announced decidedly, "This one is going grocery shopping!"

Ky and Coo eyed him curiously, "How do you plan on paying for it?"

He paused suddenly, and then continued, slightly less decidedly, "I'll... find a way."

Abruptly, he left, saying no more. His comrads couldn't help but wonder if he intended on mugging someone/fishing around for change in ponds/something altogether embarrassing.

---

Rik thought briefly, What was this one thinking? as he entered the grocery store, desperately rooting around through his pockets for spare change. Going "shopping" without money wasn't one of his better ideas.

He sighed sharply, and glanced about himself, looking for some kind of inspiration as to what he could do for money.

His train of thought was broken when someone tapped him on the shoulder. Surprised, he whizzed around and came face to face with a person cloaked and in sunglasses. Yet somehow, she looked vaguely familiar...

"Hey, I need your help," she whispered, her eyes darting back and forth, as if looking for someone.

"W-what can I help you with?" Rik asked, a bit suspicious of the request.

The stranger paused to think for a minute, then suddenly dragged him around the corner.

"What's the meaning of this!" Rik yelped, startled. The woman quickly covered his mouth, so as not to attract attention, and removed her glasses.

...Akari?

"Shh... if my fans or my manager find me, I'm doomed!" she hushed, a touch of amusement playing in her voice.

Rik stared at the popstar curiously, wondering what on earth she could possibly want with him. Especially considering she probably didn't know who he was. "What can I do for you...?" he questioned slowly.

Akari smiled and answered, "Well, it might sound a little silly, but I wanted some candy." Here, she giggled slightly, "I knew my manager wouldn't let me have any, so I decided to sneak out and get it myself, but avoiding rabid fans without body guards is a lot harder than I thought."

Rik "ahh"d softly, seeing where she was going with this...

"So anyway, I saw you here, and you looked nice and strong, so I had this idea... would you mind escorting me until I can buy what I need and go home?"

...and he was right.

He mused about it for a moment. There wasn't really any reason he shouldn't, since he didn't have money and therefore couldn't buy what he came to the store for anyway. He didn't have anything better to do with himself for the day, except mediate Ky and Coo's constant arguing.

Plus, she was cute--

...whoa, wait a minute.

Where'd THAT come from?

Rik blinked, and said, "I guess I could..."

Akari smiled again and seized his hand. "Thank you so much! I will, of course, be paying you for your services."

The boy tilted his head slightly, surprised at both her physical contact and the proposition of money.

"Let's go, then!" Akari enthusiastically dragged Rik off, skipping like a child. Rik stared in wonder at the oddly perky woman, but didn't mind. It was actually nice to know that she wasn't a snobby brat, like many rich people seemed to be...

He kept his mouth shut for most of the time, not really having any experience with talking to women. Akari, luckily, did most of the talking for him, and all he had to do was nod or "mmhm" occasionally.

After a minute or two of random talking, Akari seemed to notice that Rik was dodging conversation, and began to prod him for words.

"So, where are you from?"

"Um... Planet A-Analogue..." he muttered shyly, not used to being at such a loss for words.

"What do you do for a living?"

Rik bit his lip... "I'm... working on a... project to... raise money for my planet." There. That wasn't TOO bad.

"Ah, I see!" Akari chirped, happy to get a full sentence out of him. Then a random question suddenly popped into her head... "Ne, do you have a girlfriend?"

If Rik had been eating something at the moment, he probably would have choked to death. But as he wasn't, his eyes simply bugged out and he sputtered, "Wh-wha! N-no! I... don't... have one of those..."

Akari couldn't help but laugh at his shocked expression. She patted him on the shoulder good-naturedly. "Hey, don't seem so surprised! I just thought you seemed like the type to have a girlfriend easily."

"...You really think so?" Rik asked.

"Well, sure!"

Rik had no choice but to return Akari's infectious smile and feel considerably more comfortable.

But...

...while not watching where she was going, Akari failed to notice a "Wet floor" sign, and lost her footing...

All in less than a few seconds, Rik blinked and realized Akari had fallen on top of him.

While Rik's face cycled through various colors, Akari only laughed and said, "Woops! I'm such a klutz. Thanks for catching me!" and stood up.

Rik took a bit longer than she did to get back to his feet, still embarrassed. Akari, on the other hand, went on as if nothing had happened.

The dog boy had to wonder... what made her so perky? The first thing that popped into his mind was "she's rich", but he knew that money alone couldn't make her happy. Then another odd thought popped into his mind. What if she wasn't really as happy as she seemed?

She probably didn't have a boyfriend, he dared to guess. And she probably got really tired of the popstar life sometimes too.

If those things were the case, they were in the same boat...

He wanted to ask her about all of these things, but naturally, they weren't appropriate questions, so he brushed the thoughts away and focused on the present situation.

"Here's the candy!" Akari announced brightly, startling Rik slightly with the volume of her voice.

Rik only nodded with a slightly entertained expression as Akari eagerly looked over the various sweets, all of which would make her manager sob uncontrollably if he knew she was about to eat any.

The lavender haired rabbit turned to her bodyguard and asked, "Do you want to get some?"

The question caught him off guard, for he wasn't expecting it, so he paused for a moment before answering. "I... suppose. This one wouldn't know what to pick, though..."

The girl observed him thoughtfully, then contemplated the sweets on the shelf before her. "Hmm... you seem like the type to like... Snickers!"

And with that, she decidedly plopped the chocolate bar into her basket along with other various treats.

Rik only wondered about the candy's peculiar name and followed Akari to the check-out.

She fished around in an oversized coat pocket for a minute before finally retrieving her money. After handing a portion to the cashier, she turned on her heel and began to count out a new sum to herself, presumably to pay Rik with.

Rik waited patiently, still a little bit unsure he had completely grasped the idea of being given money. He felt that way even moreso when she placed the bills (along with the candy bar) in his steady hands and clasped her own around them.

"There you go! You earned it! Thanks so much for being my bodyguard, I can tell you're a really great guy."

And with this, she gave him a peck on the cheek.

The surprised boy reeled backwards a bit, both surprised and... happy? "May this one ask... what that was for?"

"Just call it a little tip," Akari answered, winking suggestively before leaving Rik in the most confused state of mind.

After he had stood in the same spot for a while, he looked down at the papers in his hands, counting them in his head. He was surprised to find the sum to be...

"Sixty thousand yen?" he exclaimed to himself, eyes widened. There was no way he could accept such a large amount of money for such a meager task, but when he looked around for the elusive girl, he found she was long gone.

So he surrendered to the fact that his gang sorely needed this money anyway, and continued on with his grocery shopping.

Briefly replaying all that had just happened in his head, he couldn't help but notice...

...that he had enjoyed his "tip" more than his actual pay.

-Owari-

Note: 60,000 yen is about 500 US dollars.