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アルトネリコ2ー外伝ー
Ar tonelico 2 Sidestory: 

ゲロッゴハンターココナ
Cocona, The Gergo Hunter

作・富松元気  監修・土屋暁
Writer: Tomimatsu Genki Supervisor: Tsuchiya Akira

著者プロフイール
富松元気

Author's Profile:
Tomimatsu Genki

ショップイベントやトークマター、お風呂の会話、バイナリ野のシナリオを主に
担当。聆紗と「とろとろむらむら」をこよなく愛する。

Mainly in charge of the Shop Events, Talk Matters, Bathroom Conversations 
and the Scenario for the Binary Field. He greatly loves Reisha and [Syrupy 
Arousal].
 それは、クロアが久しぶりに仕事の休暇をもらった
日の朝のことだった。
 久しぶりの休みなのだからのんびりと過ごそう、
最近はココナともあまり一緒にいてあげられなかった
から、少しは構ってやらないといけなし。
 歯を磨きながらそんなことを考えていたクロア
だったが、彼は気づいていなかった。
 この時点で、既にとんでもない大失敗を犯してい
るということに......。
「えっと......ココナ?」
 テーブルを挟んで向かいに座る少女、ココナに
声をかけるクロア。
 しかしココナはムスッとした不機嫌な表情のまま、
クロアの声に何も返さない。
「ご、ゴメンな。まさかココナの歯ブラシだと思
わなくてさ」
 そう、ココナが怒っているのはクロアがココナの歯
ブラシを使ってしまったからだ。
 しかもそれがココナのかなりお気に入りのキャラ
クター、ゲロッゴをモチーフにした歯ブラシだったた
めに、今のような状況になっているのだ。
「本当にゴメンな。まさかそんなに大切にしてたも
のだなんて思わなくてさ」
「......凄く大切にしてたのに」
 ようやく喋ってくれたか。
 とりあえずコミュニケーションがとれる状態に
なったことにホッとするクロア。
 既に最初の謝罪の言葉から一時間以上が経過し
ていたが、そのことは気にしないことにした。
 とにかく今は謝って謝って、ココナに機嫌を直して
もらうことが第一だ。
「あとで新しいのを買って返すからな。ゲロッゴ歯
ブラシなら、ファンシーショップに行けば売ってるだろ
うしな」
 ゲロッゴグッズであるのならばファンシーショップ
に行けば確実に手に入る。
 そう思って言った一言であったが、これが更けに災
いを呼んだ。
「クロのバカァ!」
「ええ!? な、なんだよ突然」
 テーブルの上に置かれた歯ブラシを掴んだココナは、
それをクロアの顔に押し付けるようにしてみせる。
「これがタダのゲロッゴに見えるの!?」
「え、えっと......」
「ほら、よく見てよ!」
 今までに見たことのない剣幕のココナに驚き、
目の前の歯ブラシをジッと見つめてみる。
 相変わらず謎なデザインだ。
 とはいえ、これが女の子の間で大人気なのは事実な
のだから、可愛い、と言っておくべきなのだろうか?
 そんなことを考えながら見ていると、違和感を
感じた。
「あれ? このゲロッゴ、なんか違うような気が......」
 それを聞いたココナは満足そうに頷き、
「そう、これはただのゲロッゴじゃなくて、ゲロッ
ゴリラだよ」
「......ゲロッゴの偽者か?」
「偽者じゃなくて、限定商品なの! 半年前に期間
限定数量限定で販売された、ゲロッゴシリーズの
超プレミアグッズの一つ、それがこのゲロッゴリラ
歯ブラシなんだよ」
「プレミア? これ、そんなに凄いものだったのか」
「超プレミアなの! ゲロッゴリラのキャラ自体も
レアで、ゲロッゴリラグッズは私、これしか持って
なかったのに......」
 言われ、クロアは家の中を見回す。
 家の中のあちこちに置かれているココナが買っ
てきたゲロッゴグッズは、百を軽く超えているのは
明らかだった。
 しかし、それだけのゲロッゴグッズがあっても
ゲロッゴリラはたった一つしか手に入れることが出
来なかったというのだから、つまり、
「とんでもないレアものじゃないか!」
「そうなの! なのに、それを使っちゃうだなんて信じら
れない! ぷーだよ、ぷー!
ぷーぷーのぷーっだ!」
 ぷいっ、と顔を反らす
ココナ。
 知らなかったとはい
え、それだけ凄い物を
使ってしまったと知った
以上、クロアはもう何も言え
なかった。
 怒っても当然だな、と思いなが
ら、どうすれば許してもらえるだろうか、と考える。
 結論としては一つ、許してくれるのを待つしかな
いのだが......
 もし仮にクロアにゲロッゴに関する知識があっ
たのならば、少しでもレアなゲロッゴグッズを見
つけてきてココナにプレゼントすることも出来た
だろう。
 だが、クロアのゲロッゴ知識は限りなくゼロに近
いうえに、どれを見ても同じ物に見えてしまう。
 下手をすれば、既に持っているものをプレゼント
してしまうなんてことになる可能性も大いにありえる。
 そうなると、今のクロアに出来ることは?
 ......時が解決してくれるのを待つしかない。
 頬を膨らませてそっぽ向かいているココナを見て
一度ため息をつくと、クロアはテーブルの上の
新聞を広げた。
 とはいっても、大したニュースなど載っていない
のはわかりきっている。
 もし大事件が起きているのなら、騎士であるク
ロアはすぐに呼び出されるはずなのだから。
 予想は当たり、新聞の一面からして近所のファン
シーショップの話題という、平和そのものだった。
『本日緊急開催! 一日限定数量限定超レアゲロッゴ
グッズプレゼント!』
 一面に持ってくるような内容だろうか?
 そう思って苦笑するも、数秒後.......。
「......ゲロッゴ!?」
「ど、どうしてのクロ?」
 突然のクロアの大声に驚いているココナに、
クロアは新聞の一面を見せる。
「うそっ! 限定ゲロッゴ!?」
 クロアの方へ身を乗り出してくるココナを見て、
クロアはその詳細を読む。
「えっと、今日店でゲロッゴグッズを買うと、その
オマケとして限定品がもらえる、だってさ。これは
行くべきだろう」
 パッ、とココナの表情が明るくなるが、しかしすぐに
沈んだものへと変わってしまう。
「どうしたんだ? 限定のゲロッゴ、ほしくないのか?」
「え、えっと......突然だったから、 ちょっとお小遣い
足りなくて......」
「歯ブラシを使ったお詫びにプレゼントする。それで
どうだ?」
「本当!? やったぁ! クロ、大好き!」
 ようやく笑顔の戻ったココナがテーブルの向う
から身を乗り出し、クロアの首に抱きついてくる。
 いつもならば、重いから離れる、と言うところ
だったがようやくココナの機嫌が良くなったことに
ほっとして言うのを忘れていた。
 そして、クロアがそれを思い出すよりも早くココナは
クロアから離れ、
「それじゃあ、早く用意して行こうよ! 数がなく
なっちゃうよ」
「そんな急がなくてもいいだろ? 朝飯くらい食べて
からでも......」
「今頃はパスタリアの中のゲロッゴマニアが押し寄せ
てるはずだから、早くしないと売り切れちゃうよ!」
「まさかそんな、うわっ! おい、引っ張るなって!」
 ココナに引っ張られ、仕方なく朝飯を諦めて
ファンシーショップへ急ぐことにした。
 ただ、クロアは思う。
 パスタリアで大人気のキュラクターグッズ、ゲロッゴ。
期間限定数量限定でゲロッゴ商品を買った人へ
のプレゼント。
 しかもそんなゲロッゴ好きにとっての大イベントを
新聞で当日発表。
 ......限定って言葉に踊らされている気がしなくも
ないな。
 忙しい休暇になることを覚悟しながら、ココナ
に腕を引っ張られファンシーソップへと向かう
のだった。

 ファンシーショップの中は女性各でいっぱいだった。
 普段からこの店は女性各で賑わってはいるが、今
日は異常な程に混んでいる。
 クロアはたった今入ってきた店のドアの外を見る。
入店人数制限のため、順番待ちをしている大行列が
続いていた。
「...その辺の適当に買ってオマケの限定ゲロッゴ
貰わないか?」
「ダメ! それはゲロッゴに対して失礼だよ。ホントに
ぷーなんだから!」
 店内にいる女性各達が、ココナの言葉にウンウンと
頷くのをクロアは見逃さなかった。
 みんな、本当にゲロッゴが好きなんだな。
 ならば自分もココナの手助けっをしなくてはと、
ゲロッゴの並ぶ棚を見ていった。
「家に無いのを見つければいいのか?」
「うん。家に無い可愛いのだったらべりグーだよ」
 ......ゲロッゴは可愛いの部類に入るのか?
「......あれ?」
 クロアは商品棚の間にある、カーテンで区切ら
れたスペースを覗いた。
 その奥に見える棚には、見たこともないゲロッゴが
大量に並んでいる。
「ココナ、ここに珍しいゲロッゴがたくさん......」
 瞬間、クロアはバッとした。
 こんな堂々と、カーテン一枚向うに置いてある
ようなものをココナが知らないわけがない。
 というより、同じゲロッゴなのにどうしてカーテンで
区切られているのか?
 しまった、と思うより早くココナはクロアの方を向き、
「クロのバカ! そこにあるのは全部ゲロシゴだよ!」
「......ゲロシゴ?」
「ゲロッゴの偽者のゲロシゴな
の! どうしてゲロシゴとゲロ
ッゴを間違えるかなあ!」
 どこか違うんだ、という疑問
は口に出すことは出来ない。
 ゲロシゴ、という言葉が出た
瞬間に自分へと向けられた、店内と、
外で並ぶ大勢の女性各達からの非難の
視線に気づいたからだ。
 ......逃げよう、視線の届かない場所に。
「店の奥の方を見てくるよ」
 俯きつつ早足で、クロアは店の奥へと行ってしまった。
「もう、ゲロッゴとゲロシゴを間違えるなんて、ぷー
過ぎだよ......」
 ぷーはココナの口癖、今日は朝からやたらとよく
使う日だな、と思いながらゲロッゴ探しを再開する。
 ココナのゲロッゴ好きは、多分ゲロッゴマニアの中
でもかなり上位に入るものだろう。
 だが、そんなココナでも持っていないグッズは
まだまだ沢山ある。
 棚を眺めているでも、まだ手に入れていな
いグッズが多数見つかるくらいだ。
 だが、持っていないモノならば何でもいい、と言う
わけではない。持っていないグッズで、その中でも
飛び切り可愛くて、そして自分が家に置いておき
たいと思えるものを買わなければ真のゲロッゴ好き
ではないのだから。
「困ったお兄さんよね」
 ココナの隣にいた女性が声をかけてくる。
「え?」
「ゲロッゴとゲロシゴを間違えるだなんて、信じられ
ないわ」
 うん、それは私も思う。
 そう心の中で肯定しつつ、
「えっと、あの人は私のお兄さんじゃないよ」
「あら、そうなの? それじゃあ......彼氏さん?」
「そうじゃなくって、えぇっと......」
 何と答えればいいのだろうか?
 クロアとココナは一緒に暮らしている、家族である。
 しかしそれは兄妹でもなければ親子でもなく、
親戚という間柄でもない。
「......クロは、私の家族なんだよ」
 曖昧な答え。
 だが、女性もココナ同様にゲロッゴグッズを探す
方が重要なためか、それ以上詮索しようとはして
こなかった。
 ......こう聞かれたときが一番困るんだよね。
 何度も同じ経験をしているが、いつもこんな
感じだった。
 ココナにとっては、クロアは大切な家族、という
ので十分なのだが。
 ......まあ、いつものことなんだから悩んだって
仕方ないけどね。
「ココナ」
 振り向くと、クロアが立っていた。
「クロ、何か見つかったの?」
 期待はしていなかった。
 ゲロッゴとゲロシゴを間違えるクロアだから。
 しかしココナの思いとは反対に、クロアの表情は
自信に溢れている。
 クロアが持っているのは、日に焼けてパッケージが
薄くなってしまっている箱だった。
「......なんだか、物凄く売れ残りっぽい感じがするね」
「奥にある棚の一番上でホコリ被ってたんだよ」
「やっぱり......でもこれ、なんなの?」
「ああ、これはな」
 日に焼けていない箱の反対側を見せる。
「あ......これって......」
 それはレア物でもなんでもない、ただのゲロッゴの
貯金箱だった。
「......クロ、どうしてこれを?」
 偶然選んできたのだろうか、という疑問。
「前にさ、ココナがこれを買えなくて落ち込んでいた
ことあったろ?」
 丁度一年くらい前の話だが、この貯金箱はココナが
買い逃げしてしまったグッズの一つだ。
 店頭から消えて手に入れるのを諦めていたココナは、
クロアが言ったようにしばらく落ち込んでしまった
ことがあったのだ。
「......覚えててくれたんだ」
「当たり前だろ......それで、どうする?」
 もしかしたら、ココナはもう貯金箱への興味がなく
なっているかもしれないと、少し不安げな表情を
浮かべるクロア。
 確かに当時ほどココナはその貯金箱に興味を感じ
てはいなかった。
 だが、ココナは日に焼けたその箱を受け取り、
「......凄く嬉しいよ。クロ、ベリグーだね!」
と、箱を抱きしめるのを見てクロアも満足げな
笑みを浮かべる。
「よし、それじゃ......」
 レジへ、と言葉をつなげるよりも早く、店の中に
鐘の音が響いた。
「限定ゲロッゴの引き換えはただいま終了しました!」
「............え?」
 店員の声に、クロアとココナはもちろん、店内の
客達の動きが止まった。
 例外は店員と、最後の一つを手に嬉しそうに店を
出て行く少女だけだった。

「......残念だったな」
 ラッピングされた箱を持ったクロアが、隣を歩く
ココナに言う。
「うん、もう少しだったのにね」
 そうは言うが、ココナに落ち込んだ様子はない。
 逆にクロアの方がガックリきているようだった。
「そうにいえばさ、最後の一個をもらえたお姉さん、
凄く奇麗な人だったよね」
「あ、ああ.......あれ?」
「どうしたの?」
「いや、ハッキリとは覚えてないけど、さっきの人って
御子様に似てた気がしないか?」
「えっ!? それはありえないよ」
 ココナは嬉しそうに商品の入った袋を抱えて店を
出て行った、先ほどの少女のことを思い出す。
「あの御子様に、あんな無邪気な笑顔は出来ないと
思うよ?」
 肯定はしたくなかったが否定も出来ないため、
クロアは黙る以外方法がなかった。
「それで、これからどうしよっか? クロはお買い物
とか無いの?」
「特にはないけど、そうだな......何か甘いものでも
食べに行くか」
「珍しいね、クロが甘いものだなんて......」
 歯ブラシのことをまだ気にしているのだろうか、
と思うココナ。
「たまにはな。それに、限定ゲロッゴが手に入らな
かったんだから、これくらいはな」
 思った通りだった。
 ココナはもう、歯ブラシのことは気にはしてい
なかった。
 自分がどうしても手に入れられなかった貯金箱の
ことを覚えていてくれた。
 そして偶然にとはいえ、それを見つけてくれた。
 それだけで、ココナはもう十分だった。
 ......思われてるなぁ、私。
 気にしないで、という言葉は、しかしココナの口から
発せられない。
 もうすぐクロアの幼馴染である、ルカという少女が
パスタリアにやってくるのを思い出したからだ。
 そうなれば、クロアとココナの二人きりの生活は、
もうすぐ終わってしまう。
 今までのようにクロアを独占して甘えることが
出来るのは、もう後少ししかない。
 ならば、と、ココナは隣を歩くクロアに抱きつき、
「やたぁ! クロ、大好き!」
 唯一自分が頼りにすることが出来る家族に、今の
うちにうんと甘えておくことに決めたのだった。

(ゲーマガ 2007年11月号、12月号 掲載)
This was something that happened a certain morning, in which Croix, after 
a very long time, had finally gotten a day off duty.
Given it was his first free day after a long time, he had planned to spend 
it leisurely, and to pass the time together with Cocona, but that was something 
that couldn't happen, due to having done something without thinking.
Because he was deep in thought about what they were going to do that day 
while he brushed his teeth, Croix didn't notice it.
At this point in time, he had already committed a ridiculously huge error, 
and he wouldn't be able to fix it up now...
"Um... Cocona?"
Croix called over to the girl that was sitting at the other side of him 
in the table, Cocona.
However, Cocona had a very bitter face, as if she was in a pretty bad mood, 
and didn't reply back to Croix.
"I,I'm sorry. I didn't notice that toothbrush was yours'..."
Yes, Cocona was angry because Croix had used her toothbrush.
Moreover, because the toothbrush was modeled after her favorite character, 
Gergo, it was that this situation turned as bad as it was now.
"I'm really sorry. I didn't think that it was so important to you"
"...it was very important"
She finally replied back.
Croix sighed in relief that at least they could communicate for now.
More than one hour had passed since he first apologized to her, but none 
of them noticed that.
Anyway, now that he had apologized, his priority was getting back Cocona 
to a good mood.
"Then, what about if I buy you a new one? Since it's a Gergo toothbrush, 
they should be selling them at the Fancy Shop"
It's true that it's easy to find Gergo products for anyone that goes to 
the Fancy Shop,
or at least that was what Croix thought when he said these words. However, 
they only
worsened the situation.
"Stupid Cro!"
"What!? What happened now!?"
Cocona took the toothbrush off from the table, and then held it in front 
of Croix face, so he would look at it.
"This looks like a simple Gergo!?"
"Eh... umm..."
"Look well!"
He was surprised: he had never seen Cocona so menacing, and he tried to 
see anything unusual in the toothbrush he had in front of him.
It had an enigmatic design, as always.
Although it's true that it's very popular among the girls, can anyone truly 
call cute something like this?
But as he thought that and looked at the toothbrush, he noticed that something 
seemed out of place in it.
"Huh? Something about this Gergo feels different from the others..."
Cocona nodded in satisfaction when she heard that,
"Yeah, because this isn't any normal Gergo: it's Gergorilla"
"...A fake of Gergo?"
"It isn't a fake, it's a limited edition! Half a year ago, they sold some 
Gergo products for a limited time and numbers, and this Gergorilla toothbrush 
is one of the most super-premium things that were sold back then"
"Premium? Then it was a pretty amazing thing"
"Super Premium! Even Gergorilla's character it's extremely rare, and this 
is the Gergorilla product I had..."
And she said it, she looked around the inside of Croix's house.
Around the house, there were a great number of Gergo products that Cocona 
had bought, and there were easily more than a hundred of them.
However, despite having so many of them, that toothbrush was the only thing 
of Gergorilla she was able to bought, in short...
"Then it was an incredibly rare thing!?"
"Yeah! That's why I can't believe that you used it like that! Boo, boo that! 
This is the booest boo of all!"
Her face was warped by the boos.
It was because he didn't know about it, but after he knew he had used such 
an extremely rare object, Croix was left completely speechless.
While he thought that it was natural for her to be angry, he also began 
looking for a way to make up with Cocona.
He came to a single conclusion, and that was he would have to wait for her 
to forgive him...
If he knew something about Gergo, he could go and search for a product, 
even if it was a somewhat rare one, and buy it to give it to Cocona as a 
present.
However, Croix's knowledge about Gergo amounted pretty much to nothing, 
and no matter how much he looked, all of these things looked the same to 
him.
And if he tried to do this, the possibility that the present that he could 
give to her was only other item she already had was extremely high.
Then, what Croix would be able to do?
...He would have to wait until time itself patched things up.
He turned his attention to Cocona, who was still pouting, and after sighing 
in exasperation, he took a newspaper from the table, and opened it.
However, there weren't any important news that day.
And anyway, if anything important had happened then, he would have been 
called to duty immediately, given he was one of the knights.
As he expected, since one of the pages of the newspaper was related to the 
neighboring Fancy Shop, it was very peaceful at that time.
[Today we have a clearance sale! We will giving presents consisting in extremely 
rare and limited Gergo products for today only!]
One entire page could be filled contents like these?
That is what Croix thought with a bitter smile, but a few seconds later...
"...Gergo!?"
"W-what happened, Cro?"
Croix's sudden scream surprised Cocona, and then, he showed Cocona the page 
of the newspaper.
"No way! Limited edition Gergo!?"
Cocona leaned towards Croix's said to see it more closely, while Croix was 
reading the details of the promotion.
"Umm, today, they will be giving away limited edition items as an extra 
for anyone that buys Gergo related merchandise. We should go, then"
Cocona's face first illuminated with happiness, but a moment later, it changed 
into a sad face.
"What is it? Don't you want any of these limited Gergo items?"
"Ehm... it was so sudden, that I didn't have any money saved up for this... 
I don't have enough to buy anything"
"Then, how about if I buy to you the toothbrush I used as an apology? Would 
that be okay?"
"Really!? Yeah! I love you, Cro!"
And now that Cocona was extremely happy again, she ran to the other side 
of the table and hugged Croix.
Croix had forgotten how it was to feel having a big load gotten off from 
his shoulders, but now that Cocona's mood had gotten in the good side again, 
he was able to feel it again.
And at that moment, Cocona came to get him out from his memories,
"Then, let's hurry up and go! They won't have many of these!"
"But it's okay for us to hurry up so much? We should at least have breakfast.
.."
"Right now, there must be a lot of Gergo manics marching through the streets 
of Pastalia, and if we don't hurry, they'll buy everything off"
"I don't think that... whoa! Okay I get it, stop pulling my hand!"
Now that Cocona was tugging his hand, he resigned to skipping breakfast, 
and hurried with Cocona to the Fancy Shop.
Still, Croix thought...
These are items from a character that's extremely popular in Pastalia, Gergo,
and now, they were giving for free limited edition items to anyone that 
bought Gergo-related products.
Moreover, it was because Gergo was so loved that this became an event large 
enough to be announced in the newspapers.
...Maybe it was that they were being swayed by the words 'limited edition'.
While he resigned to this break being a very hectic one, he headed to the 
Fancy Shop, while he continued being pulled by Cocona.

There were many women inside of the Fancy Shop.
While normally there were already a great number of women in the shop, today 
it seemed to be unusually crowded.
Croix just looked from the outside of the shop how the people went through 
the door.
Because the number of people who could go into the store at a time was restricted,
 they had to wait in a large line until their turn came up.
"...All of these people didn't come to buy things just for receiving the 
limited edition Gergos?"
"No! That would be rude to Gergo, and the biggest boo of all!"
The women who were inside the shop simply nodded to show how they were in 
agreement with Cocona's words, omitting Croix completely.
Everyone truly loved Gergo.
Because of that, no one would give any help to him or Cocona, so they had 
to look throughout the shelves in which many Gergos were lined up.
"Should we look for anything you haven't bought yet?"
"Uh-huh. Anything that I don't have it's okay, as long as it's cute, too"
...What kind of "cute" was Gergo, in the first place?
"...Huh?"
Croix then saw an space between the shelves that was separated from the 
rest by curtains.
And in there, he saw a great number of Gergos lined up, which didn't look 
like any he had seen before.
"Cocona, here are many strange-looking Gergos..."
Instantly, Croix felt dismayed.
That they were so magnificently put and ordered behind a curtain like this 
didn't mean that Cocona wasn't aware about what these were.
Rather, why they were separated from the other, similar Gergos in such a 
way?
"Damn!", was what Croix thought after Cocona turned to him almost immediately,
"Stupid Cro! These all are only Geugos!"
"...Geugo?"
"Geugos are Gergo fakes! How could you mistake Gergo with Geugo!?"
He knew we somehow had committed a mistake, but he couldn't say anything.
In the instant that Cocona said Geugo, he noticed how all the women, both 
inside and outside of the store were looking at them with killer glares.
...They had to run to somewhere else, where these glares couldn't reach 
them.
"Let's go look further inside the shop".
After lowering his face, Croix ran as fast as he could deeper inside the 
shop.
"It's unbelievable, that he had mistaken Geugo with Gergo it's beyond boo..."
"Boo" was Cocona's favorite phrase, but Croix thought she had used excessively 
since the start of this day, as he resumed his search for Gergo.
Maybe Cocona liked Gergo so much that she already was in a league far higher 
than many of the current Gergo maniacs.
However, despite she being so fanatical of Gergo, there were many products 
of it that she didn't have: no matter how many shelves he looked at, there 
were many that Cocona didn't seem to have bought yet.
Still, this didn't mean that it would be okay to buy anything he saw. Even 
if he bought one of the goods that Cocona didn't have yet, it wouldn't matter 
how cute it was, because Cocona wouldn't want to have in the house anything 
that wasn't a genuine Gergo.
"You have such an embarrassing big brother, huh?"
He heard the voice of a woman talking to Cocona.
"Huh?"
"I can't believe he mistook Geugo for Gergo"
Yeah, that's what I thought, too.
And while my heart also affirmed that,
"Umm, that person isn't my big brother"
"Oh, so that's the case? Then he is... your boyfriend?"
"He isn't that either, umm..."
What would be the best answer to that?
Croix and Cocona lived together as a family, however, their relationship 
wasn't either a siblings relation nor a parent/children one, because they 
weren't relatives.
"...Cro it's my family"
It was such an ambiguous answer, yet, it seemed that both the woman and 
Cocona thought that searching for Gergo products was much more important, 
because they didn't continue with that conversation.
...Hearing things like these was the most embarrassing thing to her.
No matter how many times she went through that experience, she always would 
feel like this.
To Cocona, Croix was his precious family, and that was more than enough 
for her.
...Well, it couldn't be helped that she always got embarrassed about that.
"Cocona"
She turned around, and there was Croix, standing behind her.
"Cro, did you find anything?"
She didn't have any hopes in him, because he had already committed the mistake 
of confusing Gergo and Geugo.
However, and in contrast to what Cocona had thought, Croix's face was brimming 
with confidence.
He was holding in his hands a package that seemed to have gotten bleached 
by exposition to the sunlight.
"It feels like you only got the leftovers of the amazing things that were 
being sold"
"It was put at the very top of one of the shelves, as if it was proudly 
crowning it"
"Yeah, yeah... but, what's inside?"
"Well, here you have"
Then, she turned the sun-bleached box and gave a look to it.
"Ah... this is..."
It wasn't any kind of a rare item: it was a simple Gergo bank.
"...Cro, why you chose this?"
She wondered why, among all the possible things he could have picked, he 
chose this one.
"Some time ago, you were feeling down because you couldn't afford to buy 
this, right?"
While that was something that happened around a year ago, this Gergo bank 
was something that Cocona wanted to buy very much, but wasn't able.
She gave up after it disappeared from the shop front, and Croix knew how 
depressed this made her by the way in which she talked about it.
"...You remembered it"
"Of course... so then, what do you think?"
Maybe Cocona had lost all the interest she once had in that Gergo bank, 
and an slight expression of uneasiness showed upon Croix's face.
In truth, Cocona didn't have any interest in the bank at that moment.
Yet, she received the sun-bleached box, and said
"...I'm so happy. This was great, Cro!"
as she embraced the box, and gave a satisfied smile to him.
"Okay, and now..."
However, as soon as they began making their way to the cash register, the 
sound of a bell resounded throughout all of the store.
"The promotion of exchange for limited Gergo items has just concluded!"
"............What?"
And as if in cue to the voice of the shopkeeper, Croix, Cocona, and of course,
the rest of the customers who were in the shop, stopped moving.
The exception was the shopkeeper, who was happily giving the last piece 
of limited merchandise to a girl that in that moment was coming out of the 
store.

"...It's a shame"
Croix said to Cocona as he carried the wrapped box in his hands, and walked 
alongside her.
"Yeah, and we were so close, too"
Although she was talking like that, Cocona didn't seem to be depressed.
In the other hand, Croix seemed to be pretty sad.
"By the way, the person that took away the last one was a very beautiful 
girl, no?"
"A-ahh... what?"
"Now what?"
"It's nothing, I can't remember her clearly, but don't you have the feeling 
that girl looked like the Holy Maiden?"
"What!? That can't be possible"
Cocona was happily embracing the bag that had their goods inside as they 
got out of the store, while she remembered about the girl they saw a while 
ago.
"Do you think that the Holy Maiden wouldn't be able of showing an innocent 
smile like the girl from earlier?"
Because he couldn't affirm, nor deny that, Croix didn't have other choice 
than to remain silent.
"And well, what we're doing now? Don't you wanna buy anything?"
"Nothing special, actually, but... how about we go eat some sweets?"
"That's odd for you, Cro. That you want to eat sweets like that..."
Cocona thought that maybe he was still feeling bad about the whole toothbrush 
deal.
"It's okay to do it once in a while. And besides, since I couldn't buy you 
that limited edition Gergo, this is the most I can do to compensate you"
Just like she thought.
However, Cocona didn't mind about the toothbrush anymore.
All because that he remembered and gave her the Gergo bank she never was 
able to obtain. Even if it was by pure chance, he still managed to find 
that, and that was more than enough for Cocona.
'...That is what I was thinking.
Don't worry', however, Cocona didn't manage to say these words.
Because Cocona remembered that Croix's childhood friend, a girl called Luca, 
would come to Pastalia soon.
And once that happened, the life that both of them had together by themselves 
would come to its end.
So far, she was able to monopolize Croix by acting like an spoiled girl, 
and that wouldn't last much longer.
Because of that, Cocona embraced Croix while they walked, and told him: 
"Yeah! Cro, I love you!"
As the only family in which she could rely on, she had decided that she 
would act like that for as much as she could.

(Published in the Gamega Issues of November and December, 2007)

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