Cuxie: Waha! My new Di Gi Charat story!
Dejiko: Nyo! Finally!
Puchiko: This one's all about us, nyu.
Usada: What about me?
Dejiko: Heheh. Look's like Usada doesn't get to star just yet, nyo.
Cuxie: Actually, she does.
Dejiko: Nyo? Why?
Cuxie: So she can stand in your shadow.
Dejiko: Oh. Ok, nyo.^-^
Puchiko: Rolling, nyu.
"Ah, what a beautiful day!" Usada exclaimed, stretching her arms out and staring up at the clear blue sky. She continued to talk to no one in particular. "This is the day I prove to Dejiko that I'm the true idol of Gamerz. I can feel it!" She continued on her way to work, her bunny ears bouncing as she went, and abruptly came to a halt just outside the store.
A large crowd of customers were clustered around the outside window in something of a frenzy. Usada approached curiously.
What on Earth is everyone gushing about? The bunny girl wondered. "Excuse me, sir." She tapped on the shoulder of one of the onlookers. "What is everyone so worked up about?"
"You mean you don't know?" He pointed above them at a large, almost life-size poster hanging in the window of Gamerz. It was Dejiko and Puchiko. Both in cute summer dresses, they were hugging and flashing irresistably cute smiles. "It's the new promotion! The Charat Sisters! They're having a signing today as well as some great deals on Dejiko and Puchiko products!"
Wha...WHAT IS THIS? "DEJIKO!" Usada stormed inside, pushing aside the crowd of people hanging in the doorway. Again, she stopped.
Overnight, the entire shop seemed to have gone through an extensive makeover. Dejiko's work, no doubt. Numerous Dejiko and Puchiko posters hung on every wall. Their dolls and stickers lined the checkout counter. And various promotional sale posters hung up saying things like: Limited Time Offer! Buy the new Dejiko Dance Mix and get a FREE Puchiko CD holder!
Someone had also changed the display sections. Each girl has her own display section in the store where their promotional items are held. Dejiko and Puchiko's sections, besides being slightly more crowded than usual, seemed unchanged. While Usada's...
The wall that previously displayed Rabi~en~Rose-themed items had been completely replaced by "The Charat Sisters". Posters featuring both Dejiko and Puchiko were on sale, as well as dolls being sold in sets of two. The section was completely overrun by ravenous fans, clamoring to get their hands on anything with the alien sisters' faces on it.
"Thanks for shopping at Gamerz, nyo! Come back and buy more stuff!"
"Dejiko!" Usada spun on her heels, turning to face something she really should've spotted earlier.
In the obvious center of the store, dozens off customers were lined up towards a table where Dejiko and Puchiko sat signing autographs. Pictures, dolls, and posters were being shoved their way. The crowd buzzed with animated chatter and various shouts of "I love you, Dejiko!" and "You're so cute, Puchiko!"
"What the heck is going on here?" Usada marched her way to the front of the line. "What did you do?"
"You're late, nyo." Dejiko passed a signed poster to a blushing fan. "Enjoy, nyo!"
Usada placed both hands on her hips and tapped her foot impatiently. "Explain. Now!"
Dejiko sighed and shook her head condescendingly. "Isn't it obvious, nyo? We're having a new promotion featuring me and Puchiko, nyo."
"But what happened to my display?"
"We had to move it, nyo." The hybrid girl pointed one gloved hand towards a dimly lit corner of the store where, sure enough, Usada's display had moved. It was vacant; completely devoid of customers. "We needed to make room for our new display, nyo."
"Oh, you little-! Wait 'til I tell the boss what you-"
"Dejiko-chan!" A familiar blue figure made his way through the crowd, sqeezing through until he made it to the front desk. "Dejiko-chan! Our sales quota is through the roof! This new promotion of yours was an excellent idea!"
"Aw, it was nothing, Mishter Manager," Dejiko said, feigning bashfulness.
"Here." He handed her and Puchiko two sealed envelopes. "Your paychecks, as well as a bonus. Keep up the good work girls."
"Nyo!" Dejiko gazed at him starry-eyed. "Thanks so much, Mishter Manager! Dejiko will work extra hard, nyo!" As soon as he left she turned to her rival with an evil glint in her eye. "See, Usada? Moving your dinky little display was a wise business move."
"Don't call me Usada! I'm Rabi~en~Rose!"
"Usada is Usada, nyo."
"Grrr...Hmph!" Usada flipped her long hair and stuck out her chest. "Well, I must say, Dejiko. You've hit a new low. Using poor Puchiko to increase your fanbase. How selfish can you get?"
"Hey! I'm not using Puchiko, nyo!" Dejiko protested. "We're just broadcasting our sisterhood, nyo. It's our new gimmick. We're both so cute that together we draw in twice as many customers. Besides, Puchiko's fanbase is increasing just as much, nyo."
"It's a 50-50 deal, nyu," Puchiko piped in.
"Some gimmick," Usada muttered. But it wasn't like she had much room to talk or complain. Dejiko and Puchiko really were sisters and they really were close. Heck, they went everywhere together. Sure, the new promotion made them seem a bit more huggy than usual, but it wasn't exactly false advertising.
"Hi, Dejiko. Can I have an autograph please?"
The green-haired girl looked up and blinked. "Oh, it's you. Usada's fanboy, nyo."
The pink-haired girl gasped. "Minataku! Don't tell me you've fallen for this too."
Minataku blushed and held up his hands. "R-Rabi~en~Rose! Ah, um...t-this isn't what it looks like," he said, glancing from her, to Dejiko, to the Charat Sisters poster in his hand, and back to her. "I came to see if your new postcards were in, but I couldn't find your display. S-So I saw the new display and...w-well, I just..."
"Oh, Puchiko! You look so adorable here!" Murataku presented her with a huge 24-inch poster of her and Dejiko. They were wearing adorable lacey dresses and matching sun hats with their kitty ears exposed overtop. "Would you do me the honor of signing this?"
"Ten bucks for an autograph, nyu."
"Here you are, nyo!" Dejiko said brightly, handing Minataku back his signed poster. "Now get outta here, nyo. We've got people waiting."
With a quick, guilty glance at Usada, Minatakau fled the store.
"You're in the way, nyu." Puchiko glared at Usada just as she was pushed out of the way by an impatient customer.
Obviously forgotten, Usada watched from the sidelines as her rivals were praised. Her head hung low, her fists clenched at her sides. That Dejiko! Ever since she came her she's been a threat to my status as Gamerz's idol! And now this... She glanced around, suddenly feeling suffocated by the Charat Sisters decorations. How on Earth had this happened? Dejiko and Puchiko hadn't even been working here a year and they'd completely taken over the store! Even Minataku's been swept up by the Charat Sisters wave. I can't compete...
Usada left the store.
Another one walked by.
Her eye twitched.
Two more pushed past her.
How many are there?
The pink-clad girl had left the store in order to get away from The Charat Sisters. But everywhere she turned, someone was wearing a Charat Sister something or other. A t-shirt, hat, keychain. You name it; they had it. It was as though everyone within a five-mile radius of the store had come across the new promotion and couldn't resist buying something.
"ARGH! Enough! No more Charat Sisters!" Caught up in her fit of rage, she shouted angrily at the air, earning many weird looks from strangers while also running into someone.
"Hey, watch it!"
She blinked, coming back to her senses momentarily. "Oh, I'm so sorry! I wasn't watching where I was - Hey, is that a Piyocola shirt?"
The pole-like man glanced down. "Yeah. I got it at Black Gamerz."
"Black Gamerz! That's it!" she exclaimed, dashing off again. "Why didn't I think of it before? The one place I can get away from all this Charat Sisters madness!" Truth be told, as she grew closer to the store, the less people with Charat Sisters merchandise she saw. More and more people were sporting Black Gema Gema Gang outerwear. Naturally, Piyoko wouldn't stand for her store to me surrounded by rabid Dejiko fans.
"Sancutary!" She exclaimed, bursting through the doors, practically crying tears of joy at the sight of all the Piyoko products, BGG merchandise, and non-Charat Sisters items.
"Welcome to Bla - Oh," Piyoko frowned. "You're that Usada girl, pyo. Dejiko-onee-chan's sidekick, pyo."
Usada's blood boiled. "I'm Rabi~en~Rose, and I'm not Dejiko's sidekick!"
"Well, what do you want, pyo? I'm very busy greeting customers." She placed her hands on her hips. "Unless you're here to buy something leave, pyo."
The older girl looked around the store. I can't go back out into that Charat Sisters storm. I've gotta pretend I want to buy something... "Um, actually..." Other than ostentatious Piyoko projects and black BGG wear, there was nothing that caught her eye. "I was looking for a, um, phone card?"
"That's it, pyo?" The blonde girl asked, frowning. She seemed disappointed that Usada didn't want to spend more money. "This way," she sighed. Usada followed her to the checkout counter. There was no line, unlike her own store. Even on it's best days, the Black Gamerz didn't quite manage to draw the large pull of customers the regular Gamerz did. Especially with Dejiko's new promotion. Usada breifly wondered if Piyoko knew about the promotion and was planning a counter attack to steal back customers.
"They should be in here..." Piyoko pulled on a drawer behind the counter. It didn't open. She yanked harder. "C'mon, pyo..." Her face scrunched up as she put more effort into it. "Erg...open, pyo!" The handle snapped and she fell back, hitting her head. "OW!"
"Piyoko?" Usada rushed to her side. "Are you okay?"
"I-It hurts..." Piyoko sniffled, rubbing her head.
"Oh, uh..." The wanna-be idol pulled open more drawers, rooting through old notes and receits. "Ah-ha!" She pulled out a bandaid. "Here we go..." Slapping it onto Piyoko's boo-boo, she smiled. "All better!"
Piyoko rubbed her head moodily.
Both girls looked up. "Huh?"
A nondescript woman smiled back from the other side of the checkout counter. "I said it's sweet the way you take care of your little sister. I wish my girls got along that well."
Usada chuckled. "Oh, we're not-..." Sisters? Me and Piyoko? She looked over at the little girl-Blonde hair. Rosy cheeks. A sweet smile. Panda ears. A Nurse outfit. And a catchphrase. She's...PERFECT! "Keheheheh..."
"Pyo? What's so funny?"
"Ah! It's so hot today, nyo," Dejiko said, conspicuously waving her paycheck to fan her face.
Puchiko shrugged. "It's mild, nyu." They walked hand-in-hand down the street, sporting t-shirts with each other's faces to spread the Charat Sisters wave around town. Dejiko was practically floating.
"So this is what it's like to be rich, nyo," she said with a dreamy sigh. "We can finally buy a house and live out our dreams, nyo!" Her eyes sparkled with staged tears.
"It's just a small bonus, nyu. We should spend it on groceries."
"Nyo? No way! Not when we've got extra money and that ball of cheese isn't following us," she said, referring to Gema who had to cover for them at the store since they were both on break.
"Where are we going?" Puchiko asked as they rounded another corner. People cooed appreciatively as they passed.
"Black Gamerz, nyo."
"To show the little panda girl our paychecks, nyo." Dejiko giggled evilly. "I can't wait to see the look on her face when she realizes how much we're making while her sad little shop barely rakes in a penny!" She laughed again. Puchiko just sighed beside her.
Their walk continued like this, with Dejiko chattering on about money and gloating. Puchiko, however, tuned into their surroundings. It didn't take her long to realize that the closer they got to Black Gamerz, the less Charat Sisters fans they saw. I guess that makes sense, nyu, she thought. Piyoko probably won't let anyone in the store if they're wearing our stuff, nyu. Not long after writing this off, she saw something that made her head turn.
A girl walked by. She was wearing a t-shirt that, at the angle she was walking, only revealed the ponytail of some magenta-haired girl on the front. But she could've sworn it was Usada.
I haven't seen anyone wearing an Usada product in days, she thought, furrowing her brows together. "Dejiko-"
"We're here!" Her green sister announced, flouncing right on in. Puchiko stopped at the door, staring at the huge poster on the outside.
"Meet the Analogue Sisters: Piyoko & Rabi~en~Rose!" The poster blared overtop of what looked like a hand-made poster. It featured Piyoko, front and center, but to her right it looked like someone had stuck on an oversived Rabi~en~Rose sticker to make it look like they were posing together.
Puchiko sweatdropped. You've gotta be kidding me, nyu.
"NYO? Usada, what are you doing?" She heard Dejiko scream from inside, and hurried in after her.
The inside of Black Gamerz looked like a cheap, knock-off version of Gamerz. Similarly atrocious merchandise was being featured: Piyoko t-shirts with Rabi~en~Rose iron-ons put on the backs, hand-drawn Rabi~en~Rose and Piyoko trading cards, even ceramic mugs with the words "Analogue Sisters" written in thick black marker.
This is just sad... Puchiko thought.
Dejiko glared at her two rivals who were standing side-by-side behind the checkout counter.
Usada laughed haughtily. "What do you think Dejiko? You're not the only one who can pull off the sister act!"
"But you're not real sisters, nyo!" Dejiko protested. "Usada, you're not even from the planet Analogue!" All the customers stopped to listen, murming to themselves. Dejiko noticed and cheered inwardly, then started working the crowd. She turned on her sad eyes and clasped her hands together dramatically. "I can't believe you'd belittle me and Puchiko's sisterhood like this, nyo! How could you try to fake the bond sisters have just to make a quick buck, nyo?" As soon as she heard the crowd murmur loudly in agreement, she let a few tears fall. Enough to invoke a few heartfelt sighs, but not so many that it'd appear like she was trying too hard. I'm such a great actress, nyo!
"W-Wait," Usada started to protest, not expecting a counter-attack. "I didn't -"
The crowd buzzed louder and louder: "She's right!" "They don't even look alike!" "What are they try to pull?"
Puchiko, ever faithful, did her part as well. She walked up to Dejiko, wrapping her little arms around her sisters legs and tried to look as sympathetic as possible. "It's okay, nyu. We still have each other." I deserve an Oscar, nyu.
"Oh, Puchiko!" Dejiko threw her arms around Puchiko, hugging her nice and long. On the inside, she was snickering. Take that Usada! Pulling apart, Dejiko dusted herself off and took Puchiko's hand. "C'mon. We should get back to Gamerz, nyo. Now that Usada's abandoned us we'll have to work even harder to provide for ourselves, nyo."
"But...we won't have as much sister-time together if we're always working, nyu." Puchiko pouted slightly, looking heartbroken. A collective Aww! rippled through the crowd.
Several people turned to give Usada biting glares. She stood frozen, eyes wide, mouth gaping, brain completely malfunctioning. They're really milking this!
"Wow..." Piyoko breathed quietly next to her so-called sister. "Dejiko-onee-chan's good, pyo."
Dejiko gave her sister a sad smile, taking both of her hands. Time for the grand finale! "Don't worry Puchiko. Even if we have to work our little fingers to the bone, we'll still always be together." Refraining herself from throwing Usada a triumphant smirk, the cat-girl turned on her heel and walked to the door with Puchiko, several customers trailing after them.
"Wait, pyo!" Piyoko ran out from behind the counter as Dejiko opened the door.
"That Usada girl made me do this, pyo!"
Usada's jaw dropped. Oh my God! She's totally pinning this whole thing on me! Granted, it was Usada's idea completely. But it's not as though she forced Piyoko. After much cajoling, the young girl came around and agreed in the hopes that they'd get more customers.
"I didn't want to hurt you guys like this. B-But..." Working out a few tears of her own, Piyoko drew in more gasps and sighs. "I'm just an orphan, pyo...And I'm new to this planet. I just wanted...I wanted..." She sniffled.
Dejiko stiffened, immediately suspcious. Is she trying to turn the crowd against me, nyo? Then she got an idea. "I understand, nyo!" She clasped Piyoko's hands in her own. "Since we're all new to Earth we should stick together, nyo."
"That's what sisters do, nyu," Puchiko added.
"Oh, Dejiko-onee-chan..." They stared into each others eyes for a few more seconds so the audience could get the full affect.
"C'mon. Let's go eat lunch together, nyo!" Dejiko declared, suddenly cheerful. Together, all three of them practically skipped out of the store, creating a picture perfect ending for everyone watching. Several customers even clapped in enthusiam for this latest turn of events. Everyone seemed perfectly taken with the three adorable alien girls.
Everyone except Usada. She stared at the door after them. I-I...I can't believe they just...
"Hey!" Someone shouted in her face. She jumped back, alarmed. "Where do you get off trying to use poor little Piyoko like that?"
"And abandoning the sweet little Charat Sisters!" Someone else added.
Usada held up her hands innocently as the remaining customers surrounded her like an angry mob. "N-No! I didn't - I mean, I wasn't tryin-"
"You should be ashamed of yourself!"
"Yeah! And I want my money back! This Analogue Sisters stuff is cheap!"
Ack! Usada back against the counter as people angrily shoved merchandise in her face, criticizing and insulting her the whole while. Oh man, she thought, terrified. This is totally gonna destroy my fanbase!
The next day, Usada almost couldn't bear the thought of showing her face at work. She'd never gotten a chance to defend herself the day before, so everyone would definitely be on Dejiko's side of things. Not to mention she'd had to handle returns on all the faulty Analogue Sisters merchandise at Black Gamerz, where she wasn't even getting paid to do it! She wouldn't have been surprised if the manger fired her as soon as she showed up for drawing so much negative attention.
But Dejiko's probably drawing in so many sales that no one will even notice what I do, she thought glumly as she approached the store. Her mind quickly recalled Piyoko, who was sure to be getting just as much buzz. After escaping from Black Gamerz, Usada had retreated to the safety of her home to mope. She had no idea what the other girls had done after their little performance.
It was probably something cutesy that'll bring in even MORE customers, she thought bitterly. Like holding hands all over town, or dressing alike, or- She stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes glued to the latest poster hanging on the outer window of Gamerz. A NEW PROMOTION?
The new, even bigger poster featured Dejiko, Puchiko, and Piyoko. Dejiko and Piyoko sat posing on a flying saucer while little Puchiko sat on a star just above their heads. Printed and scripted in glittery type, the poster said: The AAA! These little girls are out of this world!
The AAA? Another sales gimmick? Usada stormed in angrily. Once again, the store had gone through some more dramatic changes. But this time, all the merchandise was plastered with the "AAA". Her eyes zeroed in on the trio, once again in the center of the store. This time, instead of a signing autographs, they were taking photos with the customers.
"Nyo?" Dejiko turned as soon as her photo was snapped, rolling her eyes when she spotted her rival. She stepped away from the shoot. "Again, nyo? Why do you always interrupt when I'm busy?"
"What's the meaning of this? What is 'AAA'?"
"It stands for the 'Adorable Alien Alliance'," she stated matter-of-factly. "Piyoko's a part of our new sales pitch, nyo."
So that's the latest gimmick. I should've known. She didn't know what she'd been expecting after yesterday. But it made sense that if all three of them where working together, then the Sister Act Gimmick was done. And they couldn't use 'Charat' or 'Analogue' anymore. But an alien alliance? That was unexpected. "But how did you convince Piyoko to work with Gamerz?"
Although Piyoko was just as likely to use some gimmick to draw customers as Dejiko was, it didn't make sense that she would do it to help their store and not her own. After all, Piyoko's objective to being on Earth was definitely not to help Dejiko.
The green-haired girl shrugged. "We struck a deal; 30% of the sales go to Black Gamerz since Piyoko is only one-third of our act, nyo. And we hired out Gema to work at Piyoko's store while she's here doing promotional stuff. Everybody wins, nyo."
"Everybody but me!" The bunny girl cried desperately.
"Nobody likes a whiner Usada. It's just business." With another shrug and a nonchalant look, Dejiko marched back over to the camera setting, taking her place between her two partners in crime. "By the way," she called, smirking. "Mishter Manger's looking for you, nyo!"
Oh no...This can't be good. She breifly considered avoiding him, but it's not like she was getting paid to do that. And the sooner she was fired the sooner she could leave so she wouldn't have to watch Dejiko flaunt her cuteness in her face.
She was heading to his office when she came across him in the training cards section. "Oh, Hikaru-chan. Just the person I wanted to see." He smiled. "Follow me." He led her towards the opposite end of the store.
"Look, Mister Manger," she started, "if you want to fire me you can just go ahead and do it-"
"Fire you?" He looked surprised. "Why on Earth would I do that? I need you now more than ever with how busy things are these days."
"Oh." She sighed, relieved, then smiled gratefully. "Then what..."
They stopped in front of Usada's display in the back corner. There still wasn't a customer over there to be seen and her merchandise was starting to collect dust. The manager leaned over and picked a large box up off the floor. It was filled with Rabi~en~Rose products. He handed it to her.
"We're putting more of my stuff up on display?" she asked hopefully.
He looked away sheepishly. "Um, no, that's not it. It's just that, well, with the AAA promotion going so well, we kind of need more room for merchandise..." She could see where this was going. "So I was hoping you wouldn't mind moving this stuff to the, uh, backroom."
He shoulders slumped. Defeated. I just can't win.
Cuxie: Holy cow! This is longer than I thought!
Dejiko: It's a masterpiece, nyo! I got to show off my acting skills, take pictures, sign autographs - It's like I'm a real star, nyo!
Cuxie:(smirking) How'd you like it, Usada?
Usada:(twitching)...My name is Rabi~en~Rose.
Cuxie&Dejiko: Usada is Usada.^3^
Cuxie: Review! ^-^
Dejiko: Or else, nyo!