Author’s Note: Enjoy the story and R&R.
Disclaimer: “Omake” are gifts packaged with Japanese sweets (think Kinder Surprise). Inspired by the “Person Disappointed He Got Duplicate Prizes from Choco Tamago” statuette from episode 11 of Stream, which bears an uncanny resemblance to Kosuke. I do not own anything related to or of the Rockman EXE series.
It’s a battle of the collectors! Meijin vs. Kosuke! Who will win?
The Net Police had been called in response to a disturbance taking place at Dodeka Mall. Over the radio, the dispatcher informed that details of the incident were sparse, since the person on the other end of the line didn’t get into specifics before hanging up.
Manabe Rin and Hikari Netto headed there to check on the state of affairs, in case it warranted further attention. The last thing they expected to find when they arrived was a grown man and child fighting over Choco Tamago in the candy aisle.
The man wore familiar specs; the child, an unmistakable baseball cap. Netto recognized the bickerers instantly.
The adult between them hoarded the last three crates of snacks, celebrating his victory as the kid continued clawing at his pants like a mongoose pouncing on a snake. “No need for formalities, Netto-kun!”
“This is why we’re here? Shouldn’t this be a job for mall security? Who called it in?”
“That’d be me, chu!” Oyama Dekao’s younger brother humourlessly made himself known beside Netto, the taproot on his turnip-shaped cranium giving him away.
“Chisao! You shouldn’t phone in to the Net Police for non-internet matters, especially when it isn’t an emergency. Or even a crime, really.”
“I panicked. I’m sorry. But aren’t obasan and ojisan dating, chu?”
Netto gasped. First he was hearing of it!
Manabe hid her redness behind her manicured nails. “We are absolutely not!”
“Oh…My mistake, then, chu.”
Propelled by the false accusation, she urged, “Meijin, please! They’re just chocolate eggs! You’re a liaison to the Net Police! Show some restraint!”
“No offence, Inspector. I’m off-duty!” He added mentally: And my consultancy with the Net Police is merely the smoke highlighting my mysteriousness!
“What’s goin’ on?” Netto officially approached Chisao.
“Kosuke-kun said he’d be gone a minute to buy omake, chu! A minute! Next thing I know, he and ojisan are stockpiling every chocolate-covered toy the store has left, chu!”
“Not just any toy!” Kosuke yelled, strikes not letting up. “A super secret rare character from the new set that releases today!”
In the row, he actually managed to knock Meijin off balance and send the topmost carton in the scientist’s grasp tumbling to Netto’s feet.
Meijin’s mania was well documented. Kosuke demonstrably shared his obsession. Truth be told, Netto collected the prizes inside those disposable cocoa husks too. If Manabe were to discover that fact at a time like this, he’d be court-martialed! (Rockman: “That’s military, Netto-kun. The word you’re after is ‘suspended.’”). Thus, he was sneaky about it. With Meijin and Kosuke occupied, he quietly secured the loot between his shoes.
Chisao put a stop to his aspirations, slapping him as he stealthily lowered toward the overturned goods.
Hopping mad, the fourth-grader picked up the package in his large-for-his-size hands, then shoved it into Kosuke’s arms.
“THERE! YOU HAVE WHAT YOU CAME FOR! NOW LET’S GO GET THAT ICE CREAM YOU PROMISED, CHU!”
“But I need all three! Only one, and I might not pull the super secret rare!”
Poking an angry Chisao amounted to poking an angry Dekao. It unfolded as smoothly as you’d predict.
Conscious of the crowd of gawkers forming, Chisao modulated his volume and issued an ultimatum, “Which is more important: your reputation or some stupid figurine, chu?”
Stupid? Meijin and Kosuke’s eyes glazed over at Chisao’s blasphemy.
Kosuke groused, “I saved my allowance!”
“I faked a hernia to skip work!” Meijin also dissented, still not acting his age.
Embarrassed for both of them, Manabe inserted herself and apprehended them by their ears. The fire emanating her paper-thin calm could have melted all the chocolate in the grocer’s twenty times over. “We’re having a nice chat with your respective guardians.”
“No, not Gramps!”
“Not my boss!”
“Get a hold of yourselves!”
They succumbed to her maximum authority. “Y-yes, ma’am!”
Netto and Chisao reflexively straightened their backs.
“She’s scary, chu.”
The gathered busybodies nodded their heads in agreement.
Meijin and Kosuke followed Manabe to her car.
“Looks like I’m dismissed early,” Netto hip-hipped. “Chisao, what’s say we grab that ice cream you wanted?”
“Right after I do one thing, hehe.” He stole possession of the boxes Meijin waived.
“GRR! NETTO, YOU MORON!”