An Evening Between Girls


*The Gaylord Hotel’s night bar, before the semifinals. Mariya is sitting in a chair with a glass of wine.*
???

Hello, Ms. Mariya! May I join you?

*Mariya looks up and sees Hakuko.*
Mariya Takeuchi

Oh, hello! You’re the rhythm girl, aren’t you? I hear you’ve had a bit of a rocky path this tournament!

Hakuko

Haha, I suppose so! My name is Hakuko, nice to meet you!

Mariya Takeuchi

Hakuko? Such a lovely and fitting name for a girl all about rhythm!

Hakuko

Thank you, Ms. Mariya, you have a beautiful name too!

*Hakuko orders a banana juice and sits down in front of Mariya.*
Mariya Takeuchi

Hmmm. Sorry to say, but I can’t shake the feeling that you might be a bit exhausted. Am I on the right page here?

Hakuko

Oh, definitely… This tournament has been a rollercoaster for me and Don-chan. But you know, Ms. Mariya, I’ve seen some of your matches and you always manage to look so radiant. How do you do it?

Mariya Takeuchi

Well, despite how things may seem, I just feel the same way I always have! I had started to doubt my music after being bumped into losers, and this friend of mine had to cheer me up in order for me to stay on my feet. I still worry for the coming days too, even now…

Hakuko

You mean your next matches?

Mariya Takeuchi

Yeah, it seems that there are some strong opponents up ahead. One of them just so happens to be that friend of mine who kept my spirits up…

Hakuko

(Hmm… I’ve definitely been there before.)

*Mariya lets out a sigh before continuing.*
Mariya Takeuchi

It seems like just the other day he was giving a girl from the past like me some helpful advice from the future.

Hakuko

Oh, that’s right! You’re from the past, aren’t you? Is that why your skin is so… weird?

Mariya Takeuchi

Isn’t your skin bright-white as well, Hakuko?

Hakuko

Yeah, but I come from a world where our celebrities are clapping lions, our businessmen are spinning dogs and our Moais are singing! But you’re from the real world… Wait, aren’t you coming from a Japanese painting? Like with samurais?

Mariya Takeuchi

I don’t think there were any samurais around during my time! But do not worry, I am not ill. It’s just a side effect from time-travel. My skin is doing as fine as yours!

Hakuko

Hehe, maybe we should collab together! As “The Girls in White” or something… wait, how should I include Don-chan?

Mariya Takeuchi

“The Girls in White”… That may be an inspiring title for my beautiful Tatsuro someday! But my point is, Hakuko, every fighter here has gone through some trouble. This tournament doesn’t seem too serious, but we still take it to heart a bit. Just like these ladies passing by behind you!

Hakuko

Huh?

*Mariya waves. Hakuko turns back and sees Off the Hook. They wave back and come by. Pearl hugs Mariya.*
Pearl

Heyyyyyy! There’s our champ! The last woman standing!

Mariya Takeuchi

Tell me you’re not going to say that every time we meet now, are you, Pearl?

Marina

And hey, look Pearlie! Hakuko’s here too!

Pearl

Oh yeah, the girl who broke so many hearts in this tournament! Your losses were so close, you were AMAZING out there!

Hakuko

Thank you! I am honoured to talk with last year’s finalists!

Pearl

And now look! You’re talkin’ to one of this year’s finalists! Well, “almost” finalists. Mariya, you made us so proud, just like I asked ya!

Mariya Takeuchi

Thanks, girls! I never thought I’d make it this far. Your support has helped me so much.

Marina

And now, you’re in top 4, right up there with Professor K! And also the… strange bear, the fancy lawyer and the… uh… what is it exactly?

Pearl

Wait, Hakuko, didn’t you fight that creepy thing?

Hakuko

That’s right, it was… a very bizarre match to say the least. I can’t quite describe it in full detail. I did my best to keep my rhythm, but against such chaos, maybe it was too much for me to handle…

Mariya Takeuchi

Hey now, don’t downplay your efforts, Hakuko! You stood your ground admirably.

Pearl

Wait, where’s Paru-

Marina

Isn’t that obvious, Pearlie?

*Paruko is standing behind on her Game Boy.*
Pearl

Yo, Parukooooo~! We’re over here!

Paruko

Oh! Erm, sorr- wait WHAT?

*Paruko runs to Hakuko and shows her the Game Boy.*
Paruko

Y-You’re the girl on the screen! Th-th-that’s you, right? The tapping girl with the monkeys?

Hakuko

Wow, you’re right! What a coincidence!

Paruko

Hooooly carp! It’s such an honor to meet a legend like you! Rhythm Heaven is one of my all-time faves! I can’t believe I get to hang out with the Tap Trial girl!!!

Pearl

Yeesh, Paruko! Simmer down!

Marina

Don’t ruin the moment, Pearlie! Let her nerd out. This is the most excitement I’ve seen out of her since we got here!

Paruko

But where’s your drum friend? Don-chan, right? I wanna see him too!

Hakuko

I think he’s still in my room. He might be sleeping.

???

アラツァツァヤリビラリリンラバリッタンリンダン—

???

ダドン!

Mariya Takeuchi

Hey, where’s that voice coming from? It’s quite loud, too…

*The 5 girls look towards the lobby and see Terebi-chan with her muscly arms out, one of them holding a giant leek, the other holding Don-chan with a blue-haired wig and a smaller leek in one of his hands.*
Paruko

Terebi-chan!!!

Hakuko

Don-chan?!

Pearl

What the- What are you doin’?

Nico Nico

みくみくにしてあげる♪

Don-chan

LOOK AT ME! I AM MIKU-CHAN, DA-DON!

Mariya Takeuchi

Miku? Who is that?

Nico Nico

みくみくにしてあやんよ♪

Marina

No clue, but going off of what Terebi-chan is saying and Don-chan’s hair, she might be another idol!

Mariya Takeuchi

Are there still idols in the future? They were very popular back in my time, but still not quite my type…

Pearl

Well, whoever this Miku is, she’s no match for MC Princess!

Don-chan

Hey, watch out Pearl-san! Miku-san is VERY popular with the kids, da-don! And she has good songs too, I love to drum to ‘em! But I can’t sing well, don… Maybe Terebi-chan can sing one just for y-

Nico Nico

ボクは生まれそして気づく所詮ヒトの真似事だと知ってなおも歌い続く永遠の命ボーカロイドたとえそれが既存曲をなぞるオモチャならばそれもいいと決意ネギをかじり空を見上げ涙をこぼすだけどそれも無くし気づく人格すら歌に頼り不安定な基盤の元帰る動画は既に廃墟皆に忘れ去られた時心らしきものが消えて暴走の果てに見える終わる世界

Marina

Whoa whoa whoa! Break! C’mon!

Don-chan

…scratch-o! DON!

Nico Nico

パー┗(^o^)┛ーン!

Hakuko

*sigh*

Don-chan

Oh YEAH! Check it out! Thanks Terebi-chan, da-don!

Pearl

Pshhh! If I ever meet that blue-haired pushover, I’ll annihilate her with my rhymes!

Mariya Takeuchi

Hmm, there also are idol battles in the future too it seems… Perhaps the future is more predictable than I thought. Hey, I just realized! We’ve got all the girls together in one place!

Hakuko

Oh, that’s right! But there’s one mischievous outlier here!

Don-chan

Hey, I can be a girl too! I have girl hair, da-don!

Mariya Takeuchi

You’re silly! Even if you’re called Don-chan, we know you’re still a boy!

Don-chan

Well, I can pretend to be a girl, da-don!

Pearl

I bet ya, if that blond dude was here, he’d have a stroke right on the spot!

Nico Nico

やっぱりな♂

*All stay silent for a bit.*
Pearl

…There always has to be one weirdo in the bunch, huh.

Nico Nico

wwwwww

Pearl

STOP WITH THAT CUTE GIRL LAUGH! YOU’RE CREEPING ME OUT!

Nico Nico

・∀・

Marina

Ms. Mariya, you’re missing a lot of people! Have you met Curly yet? She’s been very kind to us, inviting us out to stargaze at night!

Pearl

Oh, and there’s that loud fish lady Papyrus hangs around! I should probably hang around her more often!

Hakuko

And there’s Isabelle, those flying girls, this girl with cat ears, and I think I even saw a child with a mask and a hat running around once. Seems like there’s a lot of fellow female guests around here!

Pearl

And I’m sure they’re all looking up to you, Mariya!

Mariya Takeuchi

I must admit, that thought makes me feel quite intimidated. I honestly never thought I’d get this far. We’re in the final stretch, and I’m up against my dear friend, a murderous bear, and a scary-looking anomaly. They’re all so popular too… and they all have so much potential!

Marina

You’ve got a great reputation under your belt, Mariya! Take it from us, the biggest pop culture icons in Inkopolis! Your influence has spread much farther than you think.

Hakuko

Yeah! You have potential too! Otherwise, you wouldn’t have made it this far!

Mariya Takeuchi

Part of me wants to think that… but another part of me isn’t really sure about it.

Pearl

Hey, that sounds like good stress! And if you’re still unsure, we can always give you a pep talk!

Hakuko

Whoa, slow down Pearl!

*Don-chan whispers something to Terebi-chan. She winks back at him.*
Mariya Takeuchi

Another pep talk? Thank you, Pearl, but I think I’m confident enough to face my fears now. And I can’t ask the DJ this time around. Stakes are too high for that now!

Marina

And really, Pearlie, how could we give a pep talk to the girl who gave us one not so long ago?

Nico Nico

・・・・・・ あきらめんなよぉ・・・

Mariya Takeuchi

…huh? Wait, I didn-

Nico Nico

あきらめんなよお前!!

*All eyes turn towards Terebi-chan, except Paruko, who went back to playing on her Game Boy.*
Nico Nico

どうしてそこでやめるんだそこで!! もう少しがんばってみろよ!!

Hakuko

Terebi-chan, what are y-

Nico Nico

ダメダメダメダメ諦めたら!! まわりの事を思えよ応援してる人達の事思ってみろって!!

Mariya Takeuchi

Yes! You’re right!

Nico Nico

あともうちょっとのところなんだから!!俺だってこのマイナス10℃のところ、しじみがとれるってがんばってんだよ!!

Pearl

What the- but we aren’t outside! And what the shell are you going on about clams for?

Marina

Pearlie, shhhh, listen!

Nico Nico

絶対やってみろ!!必ず目標達成できる!!だからこそ!!

*Terebi-chan throws her leek and Don-chan in the air.*
Don-chan

NEVER GIVE UP!

*Terebi-chan catches Don-chan in one of her arms. She catches her leek in the other and makes it spin.*
Nico Nico

超!エキサイティン!!

Don-chan

DO-DON GA-DON!

*Both end with a pose. A long silence.*
Pearl

…that was uh… one heck of a pep talk, Terebi-chan!

Hakuko

Did you know about it too, Don-chan?

Don-chan

Oh no, I thought of the quote thanks to Mr. Snake, da-don! Even when things get hard, you should never give up, da-don!

Nico Nico

NEVER GIVE UP!

Mariya Takeuchi

Mr. Snake, huh? Any reason you are bringing him up, Don-chan?

Don-chan

Oh! Uhhhhh… *sweats*

*Lil’ Jon suddenly rushes in.*
Lil Jon

HEY GIRLS, SORRY TO CRASH IN, BUT DID YOU SEE A LEEK SOMEWHERE? HOBaRT HAS BEEN WRRRING FURIOUSLY EVER SINCE I TOLD IT THAT ITS GIANT LEEK WAS GONE!

Pearl

Oh no… Terebi-chan, what did you do? Don’t tell me ya-

Nico Nico

wwwww ・∀・

Mariya Takeuchi

Oh boy… Terebi-chan, you should consider bringing this leek back to HO-

*HOBaRT appears in the corner of the room!*
HOBaRT

WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Lil Jon

YEAH! THAT MEANS “OI SHEILAS! GIMME BACK MY LEEK!”

Don-chan

DONGYAAAAAAAAA!

Nico Nico

ンアッー! (≧Д≦)

*HOBaRT starts pursuing Terebi-chan and Don-chan!*
HOBaRT

WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Hakuko

HEY! DON’T YOU LAY A WHISK ON DON-CHAN!

Pearl

YEAH! WAIT FOR ME, I WANT IN ON THE FUN TOO!

Marina

PEARLIE! WAIT!

Lil Jon

YEAAAAAH! THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT! ACTION! DRAMA! VIOLENCE! WOMEN! FUNNY MIXERS! YEAH!

*Hakuko pursues HOBaRT, with Pearl and Marina shortly after. All the girls leave except for Mariya and Paruko.*
Mariya Takeuchi

Haha! I must admit, whatever happens in these next rounds, I don’t think I’ll ever forget all the fun I’ve had here in the future. But, do you think we should help the girls out, Paruko?

Paruko

Euhhh, what? What happened? Hey, where are Pearl and Marina? Oh no… Did they leave without me again? I have to find them!

*Paruko storms off in the opposite direction of HOBaRT.*
Mariya Takeuchi

She’s gone already… But what about Hakuko’s banana juice? It would be a shame to let it go to waste…

Lil Jon

I WON’T TURN IT DOWN! HEY, BLUE GUY, GIMME ME ANOTHER ROUND OF SHOTS TOO!

Wobwobwobwobbuffet!