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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 25th day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 124 > Short Stories > Daine's Sea Sadness

Daine's Sea Sadness

by taipeiss

"HEY EVERYBODY," Jason hollered up the stairs, "COME TO THE LIVING ROOM! WE HAVE NEWS!"

      The Shoyru, having successfully called his siblings, plopped happily onto the couch as the thumping of feet began to sound. TaipeiSS hummed a tune to herself as they awaited the arrival of the others. A Christmas Gelert soon appeared at the foot of the stairs with her little sister riding on her back.

      "Daine, I really don't see why you have to hitch a ride on my back. You're Halloween. You can FLY."

      But the Ixi paid no attention to this suggestion. "Giddyup! To the couch!"

      They had just cleared the ground floor landing when a Faerie Kacheek swept down the stairs. Also arriving on the landing, she turned to the bay window to survey her garden for a minute. Pleased with her findings, she hopped down the step into the living room. A vocal commotion followed, consisting solely of the Ixi and Shoyru. They chattered away loudly about random things, not make very much sense at all. Taipei cleared her throat.

      "AHEM! May we get started, you two?"

      Jason and Daine grinned widely and nodded.

      "Thank you. It's year six now, and there's lots to be expected. One of the things we may have to expect is another war. History has shown that practically every year has heralded in a new war into Neopia. This year, my dearests, this year we shall be prepared."

      "We're stockpiling bottles of water and digging a shelter to hide in when Neopia goes 'KAPLOWEEEE' so we can be the last Neopians in the world? OH NO! We're going to be the LAST Neopians in the WORLD! AAAHHHHHHHH!" Daine clung to Taipei's leg as she screamed. The others were silent and merely watched her until she had finished.

      "Are you through, Daine?" Taipei asked her, an eyebrow raised.

      "Uuuummm... YES! I am quite finished. Thank you, darlings!" She took a bow, then hopped back onto the couch next to her brother, who was trying to muffle his laughter.

      "To answer your quite, erm, delusional question, no. We aren't going to do any of that stuff. This," Tai pulled out a flyer and pointed, "is what I'm talking about." She passed the flyer around to let everyone get a look. Jason continued the explanation.

      "You see, the pirates have noticed that a war might come on Neopia, and they've decided to help out. They're recruiting pets from all over to train with them on the high seas, and if the menace decides to attack from the water, we'll be the first there to defend!"

      Daine thought for a moment. "Soo... we're going to throw things at them? OOH! How about rotten omelettes?! We coul-"

      "No," Jason interrupted, "Ver, Dainey brainy baby, I've joined the pirate armadas! Isn't that the coolest?"

      Daine seemed a tad bit surprised. "Yeah... I guess. So how long's it gonna take you to train with them? A few days, a week maybe?"

      "Erm, Daine? Now that I've joined, I'll probably be gone for, um, well," Jason couldn't bring himself to say it, so Taipei came to his rescue.

      "Months, Ver. And if he's needed to fight at sea for the war, he'll be in for longer." The girl's voice was soft, knowing that this might be a sensitive subject for the Ixi.

      "Isn't it cool, though?" Jason tried to be cheerful for his sister, her face already falling. "Yeah, I'll be with the pirates! And, and I can say 'Argg, mateys' a lot, and call you all 'landlubbers' and all that spiffy stuff! I'll be getting stronger, too! Isn't it awesome?!"

      "Sure Jay," the Ixi muttered, "it's just splendid." With that, she beat her wings and sped out the front door. Taipei got up.

      "Oh no, where's she going? I'm going to follow her, guys, and..."

      "No, Ma, I think this is my job," the Shoyru said as he stood and walked to the next room. "I know where she'd go anyway, so you guys stay here, and I'll talk to her. Everything'll be fine!"

      "Yeah, I hope so," Thayet wished softly. Zel nodded and began to color a picture in her sketchbook. Tai just sat on the couch and tried not to look too worried.

---

The Shoyru sped through the skies, his Rainbow-colored wings flashing in the sunlight. Veralidaine was nowhere in sight, but he knew where she had gone. Meridell was always her escape when things were too serious at the house for her liking. She'd go back and spend the day laughing at whatever was there. No doubt she had gone there this time! The only question was where in Meridell she had gone.

      He sighed and pushed thought out of his mind, allowing himself to enjoy the flight. The icy, January air nipped at him as it slid past, while the toasty sunlight warmed him at the same time. The air was fresh and clean as he sped towards Meridell.

      He came into the medieval land later in the afternoon and, after descending, approached the nearest castle guard that stood on duty.

      "Hello, sir? I'm looking for my little sister. She's a Halloween Ixi."

      The Draik snorted, hardly looking at Jason. "Son, we see a lot of Ixi around here."

      "Oh, well, um, the charm on her collar is a star. Her name is Lil_Veralidaine, and I'm pretty sure she has an Airax with her. She's about this tall," he said, motioning, "and she's normally pretty chatty."

      "Well, I did see a little one who matches that description, although she didn't talk at all. Seemed a bit... dismayed. She was kinda sniffling a bit. Headed towards Ultimate Bullseye."

      "Oh, thank you sir!" Jason sped off towards the archery yards, winding around the inhabitants of Meridell as they went about their business. She probably went to watch, he thought to himself, and since she likes fire, I'll bet she enjoys the arrows flying through the fiery hoops. Oh, I hope she's okay, and I REALLY hope she doesn't bother anyone. Daine and Jason were known to wreak havoc practically anywhere they went.

      When the Shoyru arrived at the yards, they were practically deserted. He narrowed his eyes and scanned the area for his little sister, and was shocked when he saw her, for she wasn't watching anyone shoot. No, it was she who brandished the bow, and a handful of people leaned against the fencing to watch her. He approached her quietly, watching as she deftly loaded an arrow, drew it up a bit, and let it fly. It hit the bullseye squarely, thwanging a bit as it shook. Daine felt his presence, but didn't turn. Instead, she loaded another arrow before she spoke.

      "Well well, you found me." Her voice was cold and sharp, quite unusual for her wild and open nature. She tugged the string of the bow, and the arrow shot out in a perfect arch. It landed just outside the bullseye.

      "Wow Ver, you're really good at this," Jason admired softly. "I'd have to say you're even better than Mom at this."

      "I'd hope so," Daine muttered in the same, stony voice, "considering that I'm the one with Meridell blood running through me."

      "Yeah, I know, but you'd just think that hooves would make it harder or something, you know?"

      Daine, exasperated with side-stepping the topic, sighed and turned around to face the Shoyru. "Look, Jay, just say what you want to say."

      "Daine, you know that you're the greatest little sister there is. You're my best friend! I just... I thought you'd understand what I've planned for my future!"

      "And don't you understand, Jay? Don't you understand how I feel about all of this? Yeah, you're my best friend. You're awesome. You've been around since the day I was born! And now you're just going to pick up and leave me?"

      "Ver, you act like I won't come back!"

      "That's cause you won't, Jay, you're not coming back. Instead, I'll have some stuffy older brother who can't spare a moment to not be serious. You're not going to have a sense of humor," Daine informed him, her voice cracking, "and you'll have too many things on your mind to hang around me anymore. I've heard about other pets who've done this, Jay, and even they can't admit that they're the same."

      "But Ver! They aren't me! I'll always be there for you! A few months isn't a long time!"

      "Four months, four years, I really don't see a difference." Daine, filling with emotion, quickly turned to loose an arrow. It, again, hit dead center.

      "Look, Ver, it won't be so long! I'll come back and be able to protect all of you, and it'll be great. Yeah, it's choppy waters ahead, but after that Ver, it's smooth sailing for us!"

      "OH! REAL smart, Jason," Daine cried out in rage. "YEAH! You're just GENIUS, using euphemisms that have to do with pirates, and the sea, and"

      She whirled around again, sending three arrows soaring into the air, one after another. They all landed either in or near the bullseye. Calming a bit, she spoke again, her voice quivering.

      "Jason, you mean everything to me. You're my older brother, and you're always there to watch out for me. You're my best friend too. I tell you about everything. Sometimes I feel like you're my only friend. My Petpets, well, they're pets. As for Thayet, and Zel, and Mom, well, they're not like we are. They've got their own worlds, and their own things to do. I mean, yeah, they love me and they'd love to be around me, but there's nobody like you, Jay! Who am I going to have once you're away? Who's going to pull me through stuffs?" She sank into the grass, the bow and quiver of arrows falling softly to her side. Jason sat beside her, and she leaned over to rest her head on his shoulder.

      "I've never seen you this serious about anything before, Ver," he whispered.

      "I've never felt this strongly about anything before, Jay." She sniffled as a tear dripped onto the grass.

      "You know I'd take it back for you if I could, Ver. You make me not want to go. Now that I'm in, though, I can't just say I don't want to do it anymore."

      "Yeah, I know," she sighed softly, "and I don't want you to either. I mean, I don't want you to go or anything, but I don't want to come between you and your future. I guess it just has to happen this way, hmm? Who knows, maybe I'll start doing other things."

      Jason smiled. "What, besides pulling pranks on Ma and helping me dice Thayet's plants into bits 'by accident?'"

      Daine laughed. "Yeah, but I'll be sure to eat one of Zel's pastels from time to time, just for you."

---

The two headed home soon, the light of dusk guiding their way. Taipei was overjoyed to find that they were okay, and she only hoped that they were okay inside, too.

      "Yeah, Momma, I'm fine. It's going to be okay." Daine hugged Tai and Jason, then headed to bed.

      "I sure hope so," the Shoyru whispered.

The End

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