Also by sooooocute5
"Perhaps today will be the day!" said Rainee, a blue
Pteri. Her eyes were shining with hope and glee. She wrung her hands in anticipation,
as she did every day, and paced around the cage. The other inhabitant, a brutal-looking
blue Eyrie, sneered.
"You say that every day," the Eyrie said waspishly.
"How can you still think, after all these months, that anyone would want to
Rainee's face fell, but she quickly composed
"Well, at least I'm being optimistic, Rodney,"
she said, referring to the Eyrie.
Rodney rolled his eyes, then sighed and leaned
causally against the bars of their cage.
"This place is like prison," he said miserably,
looking gloomily around the cage. His words were partially true: The cage was
small, and consisted of only two beds (one for Rodney, one for Rainee), with
yellow bedspreads that were worn, but still cheerful. A wooden dresser which
held a few of their most treasured possessions, two sets of clothes provided
by the pound, and a poster. The poster headlined "Adopt Me Today!", and below
that there was a picture of a blue Kougra hugging their owner, looking very
happy. The sight of that Kougra, adopted and with a kind owner while Rodney
was stuck in this miserable place, made Rodney feel sick to his stomach.
"Why can't you be happy for just once, Rodney?
We have clothes, food, a roof over our heads, and a chance at a new life. Can't
you be happy with that?" Rainee said, annoyed. Rodney just cast Rainee a nasty
glance and turned his face away. Rainee just shrugged and turned her face hopefully
to the empty hallways and started shouting her good-mornings to all of her friends.
Soon the hallway was filled with noise of pets waking up and getting ready for
"Good morning Sapphire!" Rainee shouted as she
saw her best friend from the room across the hall wake up.
"Morning, Rainee!" Sapphire said as she yawned
and pulled on a pair of blue jeans and a white T-shirt; standard apparel for
the pound and required for all pets to wear until they got adopted. Rose, the
pink Uni in charge of adoptions started coming down the halls serving breakfast.
"Morning, Rose!" Rainee said happily.
"Good morning, Rainee," Rose replied, ladling
some soup onto a red tray and handing it to Rainee. "Sleep well?"
"Very well, thank you," said Rainee, scraping
her spoon along the bowl of soup.
"Good morning, Rodney," Rose said, sounding slightly
nervous. Rodney scowled.
"Says who?" he said snappishly.
Rose chose to ignore this. "Here's your breakfast,"
she said, handing Rodney a tray. He snatched it roughly from her hoofs.
"Soup for breakfast? Again?!" he said loudly,
surveying his breakfast with distaste. Rose rolled her eyes impatiently.
"Sorry Rodney, but yes," Rose said, sauntering
away to serve breakfast to the other occupants of the pound.
"Ugh." Rodney prodded the soup with his spoon;
it swiveled around the bowl, brown and murky, looking as appetizing as a Pile
of Dung. Rodney made a sickening face.
"Oh Roddie," said Rainee with a small sigh, who
had been watching him closely, "Will you eat already and stop complaining? Hey,
did you know today we're going outside to the playground? Won't that be fun?"
"Oh yeah, loads," Rodney said sarcastically.
"The time of my life."
"You're not going to try and escape again, are
you?" asked Rainee, her tone serious. "Because whenever you do, it never works,
and you just get us all in trouble."
Rodney just rolled his eyes and turned back to
his pile-of-dung soup.
After breakfast, Rose opened the main doors to
the pound and allowed owners to come through and look for new pets to take home
with them. The noise was deafening as owners were talking among themselves and
with their pets and taking new pets home with them. Rainee stood, looking out
through the bars, her face falling a little with every owner that passed by
and then spirits visibly rising every time an owner would pause at her cage.
"Give it up, Rainee," Rodney said after the 6th
owner had passed by without so much as glancing at her. "No one wants a plain
blue Pteri like you."
"Oh, I'm sure someone would," said Rainee brightly,
not letting Rodney's words tamper her spirits, as another could-be owner came
by their cage. She walked past a few feet, barely glancing at them, then stopped
abruptly and walked back, staring at Rainee curiously.
"You're a sweet little Neopet, aren't you?" the
girl said, sweeping her long brown hair out of her face so she could look at
Rainee more clearly.
"Yep, I am," said Rainee, putting on her I'm-the-best-little-Pteri-in-Neopia
"What's your name?" she asked, her eyes moving
upward and pausing on a sign that read "RAINEE AND RODNEY". "Rainee or Rodney?"
"Rainee," Rainee replied, "And this is Rodney,"
she added, inclining her head towards Rodney.
The girl shot Rodney a half-glance before turning
back to Rainee.
"Well, Rainee, my name's Ellen. I was looking
for a Pteri to adopt and paint Faerie, and you seem like the perfect one." Ellen
smiled warmly at Rainee, who interjected a loud gasp and squealed, "I'd LOVE
to be Faerie! Thank you!"
Rodney realized his mouth was agape, and quickly
"Rainee," he said meekly. "Rainee, you don't
believe her, right? I'm sure a few weeks after you've been adopted, Ellen here,"
he shot a nasty glance at Ellen, who blinked innocently, "will chuck you back
into the pound. You seriously don't think she'll KEEP you, do you?"
Rainee looked, for the first time in her life,
"Rodney Eyrie, just because your owner abandoned
you doesn't mean all owners are like that. I think Ellen is nice and I'm not
going to let you ruin it for me! Ellen, I'd love to come home with you."
Ellen smiled and unlocked Rainee's cage with
a key she had gotten from the front desk and Rainee walked out.
"Goodbye Rodney, have a nice life," Rainee said,
striding out of the front entrance doors, Ellen's hand in her wing.
Rodney felt dazed, as though he had been whacked
on the head with a large mallet. He shook himself mentally and muttered to himself,
"Oh, she'll be back, she'll be back...."
When Rodney woke up the next day, he didn't realize
why he felt so miserable and angry, but then he remembered the events the day
before, and his face darkened. He scowled and rolled on his bed to the left.
Usually Rainee was right there on the next bed, awakening him with a hug and
screeching, "Wake up, Roddie!" But this morning, without Rainee, Rodney felt
a sense of loss he couldn't quite explain. Sure, Rainee annoyed him a lot, but
he still liked her in his own way, and he felt a strange sensation around his
chest whenever he thought of her, something he hadn't experienced until now.
He didn't like it.
Whenever a new pet got adopted, the pound was
usually abuzz with excitement, and at moment everyone seemed to be chattering
about who adopted Rainee, what she was doing now, and if she was happy.
"Oh, I do miss her so much," one of Rainee's
many friends said during lunch, sounding tearful. Her friend, a red Uni, wrapped
her arm around her consolingly and said, "I'm sure she's very happy, Kris."
Rodney scowled and pretended he hadn't heard.
What was the big deal anyways? He shrugged and turned towards the wall so no
one could see the mixed emotions that seemed to be gushing out of his heart.
Did he actually miss her?
"You know, Rodney, it's okay to miss Rainee.
She was a sweet girl and no one would blame you," a voice said from the room
next to him. He poked his head through the bars and craned his neck to see the
speaker. It was Jonas, an elderly Skeith who had been in the pound for as long
as anyone could remember.
"I don't miss her, she was just an annoying Pteri,"
Rodney said harshly.
Jonas watched him for a moment, a pensive look
on his wrinkled face. "Hmm. Sometime soon, perhaps, Rodney, you will realize
just how much you do miss her. And no one will think any less of you; quite
"Whatever," mumbled Rodney. When Jonas turned
away, he added under his breath, "Like I really care what anyone thinks of me."
The next day, Rodney got quite a surprise wake
"Rodney! Wake up wake up wake up! I'm baaaaaaack!"
Rodney awoke with a start to see Rainee leaning over him, a broad grin on her
"AHH! Don't do that, you dumb Pteri! Why are
you back here?" Rodney said groggily, not fully to his senses yet. If he had
been fully awake, he might have seen a small tear form in Rainee's eye.
"Ellen just wanted to transmogrify me mutant,
and I didn't want to be a mutant. Did you miss me at all?" Rainee questioned.
"No, and I'll have you know I was perfectly happy
when you were gone," Rodney snapped as he rolled over and put a pillow over
his head. When he woke up for a second time, Rainee was under her covers, shaking.
When Rodney got out of bed and walked a little closer, he heard she was crying.
"Rainee?" he said, almost timidly.
"Leave me alone, Rodney. If you can't be nice,
then just leave me alone," came Rainee's muffled reply. Rodney felt as though
he'd been slapped. An icy reply from the gentle little Rainee? It couldn't be
true. Just then, Jonas' words came floating through his head. "It's okay to
miss her; no one would blame you. Quite the contrary."
"Maybe he was right," Rodney thought. He cleared
his throat and did something he had never done before, apologize. "Rainee, I'm
sorry. I did miss you, I missed you a lot. If you like, I can help you find
a new owner, but please don't stay mad."
Rainee's head peeked out from her blankets, looking
"Seriously?" she asked, her voice barely more
than a whisper. "You'd do that, for me?"
"Of course, Rainee, I'd --" He bit his tongue
mid-sentence, for he had just been about to say, "I'd do anything for you."
What would everyone think of him if he showed even mild affection towards anything
or anyone? He had his reputation at stake, after all.
"Oh, Roddie!" Rainee cried, not noticing his
faltering 'I'd', pulling him into a huge hug. Her shoulders shook as she sobbed
in Rodney's arms. Rodney, taken aback by Rainee's sudden embrace, patted her
awkwardly on the shoulder. He was at a complete loss for words.
"Oh, Roddie, you have no idea how much I missed
this place and you," Rainee said, her voice muffled, tears leaking onto Rodney's
feathers. "Ellen was so mean. I was so stupid to think she'd really be my owner.
She just wanted to morph me into a Skeith and show me off to all her friends."
"That's -- that's horrible, Rainee." He patted
her back. "But don't worry, your next owner will be really nice and good and
kind and -- yeah..."
But how exactly was he supposed to find this
wonderful owner for Rainee, when he couldn't find an owner for himself, after
living years and years at the pound?
Just then, Rose yelled that it was time for owners
to come so everyone get ready. Rodney glanced at Rainee as she ran to her usual
spot right up near the door. If he was going to help her, he couldn't very well
sulk with his back turned the way he usually did. So the whole pound was surprised
when he walked slowly up to join Rainee near the front of the room! Owners rushed
past the whole day. Rodney and Rainee called and called for someone to notice
them, but very few owners even gave them a glance. Near the end of the day,
when they were getting quite tired and their voices were getting hoarse from
calling, a petite blonde girl took notice of them.
"Hi there, cutie Pteri, what's your name?" she
asked, addressing Rainee.
"I'm Rainee and this," Rainee said, motioning,
The girl smiled and ruffled Rainee's messy feathers
through the bars of the cage. "Well, Rainee, I'm Jessie. Would you be interested
in coming home with me? I've been looking for a sweet little pet to keep my
Kougra and me company, and I have a room all picked out in my house." Rainee
squealed happily and nodded.
"I'd LOVE to come home with you!" she said. Jessie
smiled broadly and let Rainee out. Rainee suddenly glanced at Rodney and then
whispered something in Jessie's ear. Jessie turned towards Rodney.
"Well, Rodney, it seems Rainee here would like
to have you for a brother! Would you like to come home with me as well?"
Rodney was about to answer, when he saw a small
yellow Kacheek being thrown into a room across the hall. The Kacheek was crying
and pleading with her former owner not to leave her. Rodney turned back to Jessie.
"Thanks, Jessie, but I think that I should stay here. Rainee was the sunshine
around this place for a long time, and she kept people's spirits up in bad situations.
Now that she's found a home," he said winking at Rainee, "I think I need to
stay and be the sunshine for a while." Jessie nodded and started to walk away,
but Rainee stopped her again and ran up to Rodney.
"I'll miss you, Rodney; don't forget about me.
You'll do a great job of helping pets here," she said with tears in her eyes.
Rodney gave her a hug through the bars.
"Don't worry, all I have to do is be incredibly
annoying and I think I'll make it okay. Come visit me, okay?" Rainee nodded
vigorously and allowed Jessie to grab her hand and gently pull her away. And
from the next cage over, Jonas was smiling.
"Surprising what a little love can do to change
a pet," he said, chuckling to himself.