Raido and Hikiki – The Final Farewell? …de arimasu.
It had been a week since the big rumble. Since then, everyone had seemed to rest easier. Hikiki's arm had healed very quickly; she and Kururu started working much harder on their mentoring sessions. They still were easily infuriated by the other; Kururu was ignorant and refused to follow some of Hikiki's directions, and Hikiki still hadn't managed to build a working invention. On the contrary, they were still best friends – or rather – best acquaintances. In addition, Raido was beginning to treat the Keroro Platoon as if they were his own brothers. They had become practically one with the Platoon. However, Keroro knew that in the great words of Robert Frost, "…nothing gold can stay…"
Tamama walked into Keroro's room late that afternoon. Raido was talking with Dororo and Giroro. They all seemed very happy; laughing and grinning at each other as they joked around and socialized. Just watching the conversation made him feel happy. He noticed Keroro watching from the other side of the room. His mood seemed rather contrast. He went to him.
"Gunso-san…? What's wrong?" he asked. Keroro looked over at him and then back at Raido.
"They've been such great friends… haven't they?" he asked. Tamama looked over at them.
"Hai, desu, but why does that make you sad?" he asked. Keroro sighed.
"Raido-san and Hiki-chan have been with us for over a month. We've all been through good times and bad times; laughing and crying. We've all learned so much from each other and become like an inseparable family. But…" He broke off. Tamama waited quietly. Keroro found his voice again,
"The rest of their friends will be back for them shortly. Our time together – like our time left for invasion – is limited. We won't be seeing them for much longer. It will be hard to watch them go," he finished.
Tamama had never realized this. Keroro was right. Daikiki had said that they would be back as soon as they got Nozizi medical help. It had been a week; surely they would return soon. He felt sick as he realized that they may be spending their last days with Raido and Hikiki. They were already the siblings he never had.
"We should make our final days worth while…" Keroro continued, "I shouldn't mope around like this. There's still time." Again, he was right.
"Hai, Gunso-san!" Tamama replied enthusiastically, "What should we do?"
"Well… for starters, we should find out!" Keroro exclaimed, "Hey, Raido!" Raido looked over Dororo and Giroro.
"Yeah, Gunso?" he asked with a smile.
"Anything you want to do today? Just… for fun?" Keroro asked. Giroro gave him an exasperated stare. Keroro returned it.
"I don't mind hanging out outside," Raido replied, "If you want, I can show you guys how to skateboard. My friends have always agreed that I'm the best instructor there is!"
"That sounds like fun! We can give it a try!" Keroro smiled. He and the others went to the door.
"You guys have boards, right?" Raido asked.
"Sure do!" Keroro replied. Giroro looked over at him.
"What are you doing? Why are we slacking off again?" he hissed quietly. Keroro leaned over a bit.
"Will you relax? I don't know how much longer we have with Raido and Hikiki, so I'm trying to make the best of it!" he whispered. Dororo looked over at them with a confused expression.
"That being said, where is Hikiki?" he asked.
(Hikiki's POV. Oh boy, here we go...)
"No! You're doing it wrong!" Kururu hissed. Hikiki rolled her eyes and groaned, slamming the wrench down on the table.
"That's because you're not showing me how to do it right, dingbat!" she barked. She and Kururu had been working constantly on this invention for hours. It was supposed to be an airboard, but apparently, she wasn't connecting the fuel tank to the rest of the board right. Her hands ached from tightening and loosening screws and bolts.
"Alright, watch carefully this time," Kururu said calmly, "You don't tighten this bolt; you don't touch it. You have too many screws over here; you don't want the fuel tank to be impossible to remove. So just take off two from the left side and that one on the bottom right. Okay?"
"Alright…" Hikiki sighed. She picked up the screwdriver and went to taking off the screws.
Kururu had been very patient with her. She began to feel a bit bad about snapping at him so much. She was lucky he was even helping her at all. He was only trying to help.
"Hey, hey, not that one," Kururu said sternly. Hikiki snapped out of her thoughts and realized that she was starting to try and take off the wrong screw.
"Sorry, Kururu-senpai," she muttered, tightening back on and taking off the right one. Once she was finished, she set the screwdriver down and wiped away at the small sweat from her forehead.
"Okay, what next?" she asked. Kururu examined the interior of the board a little.
"Just close it up and it should be good to go," he replied.
Hikiki was surprised by this answer.
"Really?" she asked. Kururu nodded. Hikiki closed up the board and picked it up,
"It's awfully lightweight…" she commented.
"Good, it should be," Kururu replied, "Give it a little test run." She set on the floor and put her heel on the switch on the back. The small engine inside whirred a little and lifted up a bit. She couldn't believe it; it was finally a success.
"I-It works!" she exclaimed.
"It does! It actually works! You did it!" Kururu said with a bit of excitement. Hikiki landed it and jumped off, taking Kururu's hands in hers.
"I couldn't have done it without the help of the best teacher," she smiled. Kururu blushed and a small, proud grin showed on his face.
"Eh… I am, aren't I?" he asked. Hikiki chuckled and let his hands go.
Just then, the lab door opened. Keroro poked his head in.
"Yo, homies," he grinned.
"Go away," Kururu said disgustedly, turning away and blushing severely.
"Well, I'm sorry to interrupt your session, but Raido was going to show us how to skateboard. Wanna come?" Keroro asked.
"No-" Kururu started.
"Ohh, yes! We'd love to!" Hikiki smiled. She had always loved skateboarding with Raido. She wanted Kururu to know what it was like. She looked over at him, "Please, Kururu-senpai? Could we? It's so much fun!" Kururu was hesitant.
"Well… I don't know…" he started. Hikiki took his hands again.
"Please…?" she begged with a sweet smile. Kururu blushed.
"A-All right," he said finally.
"Yay!" Hikiki squeaked, "Arigato, Kururu!" She picked up the airboard, "We can test this out more if you'd like!" Kururu smiled.
"It's nice to find you so enthusiastic about your first invention," he said, putting his hand on her shoulder. Hikiki beamed.
"Aww! This is one of those moments I will treasure for life!" Keroro exclaimed, wiping at a joyful tear. Kururu's face reddened in embarrassment.
"Would you go away?! We'll be there in a minute!" he snapped.
"Fine then. I'll see you later… …you two," Keroro said with a "Bow Chika Wow Wow" expression.
Once outside, Tamama inhaled a breath of fresh air. It had been awhile since he had been able to come outside and relax. Dororo came out with the Keroro Platoon's skateboards. Keroro ran outside frantically. Kururu and Hikiki came running out after him.
"SAY IT AGAIN! I DARE YOU TO SAY IT AGAIN!" Kururu screamed.
"It was mere playful chat! Don't hurt me!" Keroro squealed, giggling.
"Kururu! He's not serious! Keroro, tell him you were kidding!" Hikiki called. Keroro didn't reply for awhile.
"Well… to be honest… I wasn't," he grinned. Hikiki's face reddened.
"YOU'RE DEAD, GUNSO!" she screamed, joining the chase. Tamama didn't know whether to start deathblowing people or to laugh.
"Guys, quit," Raido laughed. Hikiki immediately stopped and went to Raido. She held a board without wheels. Raido cocked his head.
"Hmm? What's this?" Raido asked. Hikiki handed it to him.
"My first invention," she smiled. Raido smiled at her.
"Are you serious?!" he asked excitedly. Hikiki beamed and nodded. Raido threw his arms around her.
"Ohh, Hiki-chan, I'm so happy for you! This is great!" he grinned.
Keroro ran past them. Kururu ran after him. Raido grabbed Kururu by the arm.
"Hey, buddy, thanks for helping Hikiki out with inventing. It really means a lot to her. Being able to see her so happy is truly a joy. Thank you," he smiled, giving Kururu a man-hug. Kururu pretended not to like the friendship gesture.
"Hey! Ew! No hugging! That's not cool! Stop it!" he wailed. Raido let him go.
"Okay, okay, go kill Gunso for whatever he said," he grinned. Kururu stopped a moment to look at Raido.
"Thanks…" he said quietly, "…buddy." Then he took off. Raido beamed.
"I knew he had a soft spot," he chuckled. Hikiki chuckled and took his hand.
"Wanna go them?" she asked. Raido smiled and looked up at the other three.
"How about it, guys?" he asked. Giroro shrugged.
"If we're fooling around today… why not?" he said with a smile, "Alright, Keroro! You can run but you can't hide!" Dororo smiled.
"Just like the old days," he smiled, taking off after them. Hikiki went to Tamama and took his hand.
"Come on! Let's go!" she smiled, leading him to chase after Keroro. Even though it seemed strange and childish, Tamama found it rather fun.
They all chased each other around the yard until the sun had set and the evening sky was a sheet of dark blue and sparkling stars. They laughed and joked around, throwing playful insults at each other. Tamama never wanted it to end. He, Kururu, Raido, and Hikiki had all dog piled Keroro.
"Okay! Okay, I give!" Keroro rasped.
"No way, Gunso, we're not backing down that easy. Tickle him," Hikiki said. Keroro sweatdropped.
"No!" he wailed. Giroro and Raido got into a tickle fight with him. "No! Stop it! That tickles! Stop it!" Keroro laughed.
There was an odd sound that towered over Keroro's laughs. Tamama looked up towards the sky. A Keronian aircraft hovered down to the middle of the Hinata's yard. The seven all stood up and looked at it.
"Could it be…?" Hikiki asked. Tamama looked over at Keroro. He stared at it incredulously.
"No way…"he said quietly, "They came back already…?"
The ship's door opened up with a hissing noise. Daikiki stepped out. He looked up at the group and smiled.
"Hey…" he greeted quietly. He walked towards them.
"Daikiki…" Raido smiled. The two laughed and man-hugged.
"Hey, Raido. It's been awhile, hasn't it?" Daikiki asked.
"Try four years," Hikiki said. Daikiki chuckled and put his arms around her.
"Ah, that's our little Princess…" he sighed. Hikiki giggled. Kururu rolled his eyes.
Behind him, Tamama noticed two others step out. Eddodo and Nozizi were okay. Nozizi had his leg wrapped in a cast. Eddodo helped him limp out of the ship.
"Raido! Hiki-chan!" Nozizi squeaked. Raido grinned.
"Nozizi, you're okay!" he exclaimed. Nozizi went to them quickly and embraced them.
"Thank you guys so much for everything. Raido for saving my life twice and Hiki-chan for bringing her laptop to hack into the Teleporter!" he squeaked. He looked over at Dororo.
"You're the one who wrapped my leg up, aren't you?" he asked. Dororo nodded.
"Yes, that's me," he replied. Nozizi smiled and hugged him.
"Thanks so much!" he smiled. He looked at Keroro, Giroro, and Tamama.
"You all helped with diversions, medical care, and ideas right?" he asked.
"Pretty much," Keroro said. Nozizi smiled and hugged each of them.
"Thank you guys too," he smiled, then looking at Kururu.
"You must be the hacker," he said. Kururu sweatdropped.
"Yes…" he replied. Nozizi smiled and went to hug him. Kururu pulled away quickly.
"NO-! …Thank you…" Kururu said, avoiding hugs. Nozizi shrugged.
"No, thank YOU," he said.
Eddodo smiled at Tamama.
"Eddodo thank Raido friend. Raido friend help Eddodo. Eddodo promise to help Raido friend someday," he said. Tamama smiled back.
"Thanks. That means a lot, desu~," he replied. Eddodo held his hand out. Tamama shook it.
"So… um… we were just wondering…" Daikiki said, "Raido… Hikiki… would you guys like to start over…? Pretend none of us were separated and we can go back to Keron and convince our school to let us form a Platoon?" Raido looked back at the Keroro Platoon. He looked back at Daikiki.
"No. We can still form a Platoon, but I don't want to forget any of this. This whole experience made all of us stronger as individuals and as a team," he said. Daikiki gazed at him awhile before smiling and nodding.
"Fair enough. Hey, if we're going to be getting back to Keron, we should leave soon," he said. Raido nodded.
"Okay," he replied.
Raido turned around to face the Keroro Platoon. Tamama stared at him and Hikiki. It felt strange. Almost like it was the last time he would see them ever again. He looked at Keroro; tears trembled in his eyes.
"So… I guess… I guess this is good-bye…" he sniffled. Raido gave him a sympathetic gaze and he wrapped his arms around him.
"No, this isn't good-bye, it's only TTFN," he said. Keroro cocked his head. Raido chuckled and smiled, "It means 'Ta ta for now.'" Keroro laughed and hugged Raido back with one arm and pulled Hikiki in with the other.
"We're gonna miss you," he said to them. Tamama went and gave them a hug as well. Giroro and Dororo also joined in on it. Kururu watched quietly from a distance. Hikiki gave Tamama a kiss on the forehead and pulled away from the group. She went to Kururu.
"Hey, best acquaintance," she smiled, "I'll bet you'll be glad that you don't have to waste anymore time teaching me about inventing."
"No…" Kururu said quietly. Hikiki cocked her head to one side. Kururu was quiet a moment, "I-I have something for you." He handed her a disk in a pitch black case.
"What's this…?" Hikiki asked curiously.
"It-It's a DVD I made for you about how to invent some other things. I figured… if I wasn't always going to be with you that I had to have some way of knowing you were going in the right direction," he replied. Hikiki smiled.
"Aw, thank you, Kururu-senpai…" she cooed. Kururu blushed and held out his hand to her.
"Well… good-bye, Hiki-chan…" he said quietly. Hikiki looked at his hand and then at him. She smiled and threw her arms around him. Kururu was rather surprised by the gesture, but he didn't mind it at all. Hikiki loosened her hug slightly and kissed him tenderly on the cheek. Kururu's cheeks reddened a bright red. Hikiki pulled away and smiled at him.
"Catch you on the flipside, dingbat," she crooned, winking at him. Kururu blushed more.
"Erm… see ya…" he said nervously.
Hikiki turned and went back to Raido, who was just then leaving from his hug. The two went back to their old friends.
"Okay, we're ready," Raido said. Daikiki nodded. He, Nozizi, Eddodo, Raido, and Hikiki headed back towards the ship.
"Hey, wait!" a voice called. Raido and Hikiki looked up. Tamama looked down the street and saw Masaru. He ran to them quickly.
"Don't leave without telling me good-bye!" he said, reaching their destination. Raido and Hikiki smiled and gave him a hug.
"Thanks for taking care of us, Masaru-dono," Raido smiled.
"You're a good kid, make sure you don't change," Hikiki smiled. They released Masaru and went with their friends. They all boarded the ship and turned to face the Keroro Platoon.
"Yo, Gunso," Raido called out. Keroro looked at him. Raido gave him a reassuring smile, "Don't lose your Spark of Inspiration." Keroro smiled and saluted Raido and his friends.
"I won't…" he vowed. The rest of his Platoon and Masaru saluted. Raido and Hikiki smiled and all five of them saluted.
Slowly, the ship's door began to close. Once it shut, the ship slowly hovered above the ground before rising up higher and higher. With a whir of the engine, the ship sped off into the night sky and into outer space. The moment they were out of sight, Keroro broke into quiet sobs. Tamama released tears of his own and put his arms around Keroro in an act of comfort. Giroro, Masaru, and Dororo went and joined the hug. Even Kururu reluctantly went to join in. Keroro's cries were so weak and pitiful; Keroro seemed almost ashamed to be letting it out.
Tamama tightened his hold on Keroro and said quietly,
"We know, Gunso-san. We'll miss them too."