One Big Happy Family: Part Four
There had been plenty of times that Robasia had felt terrible. There was the time she had eaten a spoiled omelette and gotten a severe case of ugga-ugga. Then there was the time that she had accidentally read Kayla's book and made it disappear. But none of those times had she ever felt this low.
The Lupe reread the letter, hoping beyond hope that she had somehow misinterpreted the neat writing. But it still gave her the same terrible news. Rfawn had run away. He was gone. And it was her fault.
Robasia gazed at the puzzle, but she didn't really see it. Her mind was desperately groping for an answer. An answer to all of the terrible things she had done to Rfawn. Why, Robasia? she asked herself. Why did you have to be so cruel to him? Why did you have to be so selfish? Why couldn't you have accepted him, made him feel welcome, be kind? Why? Why? Why?
But she knew it would do no good asking. Now, action needed to be taken. She had to find Rfawn. And to do that she would need help. And to do that she would need to tell Kayla what had happened. It wouldn't be easy, but Robasia wasn't really thinking about that. Rather, she was swiftly in her mind going through all the likely places that Rfawn could go. And even as she was doing that she was running towards the kitchen, the letter clutched in her paw.
"Kayla!" she shouted. "Rfawn's gone! He's run away."
Kayla stood up, her face pale. "What?!"
"Here, he wrote this. I'll go neomail the Defenders of Neopia; maybe they can help." With that, Robasia was gone.
Kayla quickly read the letter and then ran after Robasia into the living room. She found her Lupe reading the neomail sent from the Defenders headquarters. Apparently the emergency system was on the ball.
"They're sending someone," she informed her. "You can stay here and answer their questions when they come, I'll go and start looking."
Kayla could only nod dumbly; she decided that Robasia knew what she was doing.
"Here you go, dearie." The Soup Faerie smiled kindly as she handed Rfawn a bowl of steaming Bean Soup. Sniffing the aroma appreciatively, Rfawn nodded gratefully at the kind Faerie.
"Thank you very much, ma'am," he said before turning to the grassy knoll not far from the Soup Kitchen where many Neopets sat down to eat their soup. Finding an empty spot, the Eyrie plopped down and let his pack fall to the ground beside him. He then took a sip of his soup, letting the rich taste slide down his throat. He wiped his beak and looked around at the considerable crowd, all enjoying the Soup Faerie's magical food. Suddenly, he caught sight of a yellow Lupe, which invariably reminded him of another Lupe he knew. One whose sneers and mean comments he wouldn't have to hear again.
Quickly, Rfawn finished his soup and stood up. Where he would go now, he wasn't sure. He could go back to the Pound, but he didn't really want to return to that gloomy place. Perhaps he could become a thief and live off of what he stole. Yet, that wasn't quite what Rfawn wanted to do with his life. Rfawn went a few paces down the knoll, when a cold, hard gust hit him. Glancing up into the black and swollen sky, the Eyrie knew a storm was brewing. A big one, judging by those clouds. But Rfawn continued towards the Main Shops of Neopia Central. He decided the Money Tree was a good place to search for items to sell. Then, with the Neopoints, maybe he could make his way in Neopia by himself. Glad to have a plan, Rfawn quickened his pace.
"Have you seen an Eyrie? A big blue one?" Robasia asked desperately for what felt like the hundredth time. The shadow Tonu, however, could only shake his head.
"Sorry missy, haven't seen an Eyrie today yet." Robasia's tail drooped even lower, if that was possible, and tried hard to fight back tears.
"Alright, thank you sir." As the Tonu trotted away, the Lupe looked around at the hustle and bustle that came with Neopia Central. She was next to the Book Store right now, asking anyone that came by the same question. But so far, nothing.
And yet, she would not give up! She had started this mess, and she would fix it. She'd look until her paws fell off or her mouth did, whichever came first.
All of a sudden, a huge crack of thunder erupted from the sky, followed by a downpour of cold rain. Instantly, Neopets and humans alike shrieked and tried to cover them selves from being drenched. Many ran into the nearest shop. Robasia peered up at the sky in anger. Great! The last thing she needed was a storm. As if to prove to her that she couldn't do anything about it, the rain came down even harder, soaking the red Lupe thoroughly. Sputtering and coughing, Robasia started running towards the Book Shop entrance, but found it bursting with Neopians trying to stay dry. So, she went for the Money Tree instead. When she finally reached its sheltering branches, she gladly shook her fur dry. It wasn't completely waterproof under the tree, but it was better than out in the open. Robasia gave herself another shake, when she heard a familiar voice shouting angrily.
"Hey! Ack! Watch it, I'm wet enough already!" Instantly, Robasia stopped and peered at the Neopet in disbelief.
"Rfawn?" she asked. The blue Eyrie stared at Robasia, also with disbelief.
"Not you," he groaned. "The last thing I need is you here yelling at me."
"What? No, I'm not going to yell at you. I'm here to bring you home. Kayla's worried sick right now."
Rfawn snorted. "Hmmmph. You don't need me to ruin your life. I saw those pictures of you guys before me. All I do is bring misery." With that statement, Rfawn whirled around and stepped into the pouring rain.
"Wait! Rfawn!" Robasia cried, also running out into the rain, "Don't go!" The Eyrie ignored her. "Please! You're not the one to blame, I am! I'm the one who started those fights! I'm the one who was a mean, selfish, ugly brute, not you!"
Rfawn paused, his tail swishing and his wings ruffling.
Robasia laid her ears back and whispered, "I'm so sorry, Rfawn. So sorry. Can you ever forgive me?"
The rain fell hard as before, striking the ground with the force of a thousand slingshots. But that was nothing compared to the force that Robasia's words had on Rfawn. Slowly, the Eyrie turned around and stared at Robasia, the Lupe who had made the past week so miserable. The Lupe he had vowed never to forgive. The two Neopets stared at each other, one with sharp yellow eyes and the other with soft brown ones. Rfawn opened his beak to say something when a young Poogle suddenly ran under the tree's branches, shook off his coat, and glanced at the two soaked Neopets.
"Dude, you two look ridiculous. What, did you just see the Pant Devil or something?" Both Robasia and Rfawn looked with surprise at this young intruder, and then at each other.
And then, both burst out into uncontrollable laughter. Rolling on the ground, tears streamed down their faces as they laughed. The Poogle stared at the two for a moment before rolling his eyes and walking to the other side of the tree. Rfawn and Robasia continued to giggle, snort, and snicker. About what, they weren't entirely sure. But both knew something wonderful had just happened.
When the Lupe and Eyrie were finally able to control themselves, they stood up and smiled at each other. No matter that bother were soaked and absolutely filthy, they were now something better that friends. They were brother and sister.
"Well, you big ball of blue feathers," Robasia said, "I say we get home before Kayla starts having a panic attack." Rfawn gave a mock scoff.
"Well, miss Slorg, I'm sure you won't mind carrying me there then."
Side by side, the siblings started the short, and wet, trek back home.
"Hey look at this!" Rfawn said excitedly as he ran into the living room where Robasia was playing, "Mauro sent me a Neomail. He's been adopted! He gave me his address and everything so I can go visit him."
"Cool." Robasia peered at the Neomail. "You'll have to ask Kayla when she comes back if you can go."
It had been three days since Rfawn had run away. When the two Neopets had come back, Kayla had practically leapt onto them, as she was so relieved. After the Defender of Neopia had left with a thank you from the family, Rfawn and Robasia had gotten a good hot shower and some warm food. Things were already falling into a new and steady rhythm.
However, that morning, Kayla had left to "just go pick something up" as she had put it. Despite the badgering by Robasia and Rfawn to reveal what exactly she was up to, Kayla had only given a sly smile and an order to behave while she was gone. And so they did.
Rfawn sighed as he settled down on a couch and looked at the new puzzle he had received yesterday. Already, the Maraquan scene was coming together, but there were plenty of empty spaces still to be filled. The living room was silent as each Neopet busied him or her self. Suddenly, the front door opened and Kayla's voice drifted into the room.
"We're home!" We? Rfawn and Robasia gave each other the same confused look just as Kayla entered the room. In her arms was a small bundle that was wriggling rather strangely.
"Hey Kayla. Err, what's that?" Rfawn asked, gesturing with his wing towards the squirmy bundle. Kayla only smiled and pulled back the blanket to reveal a small, black, curious looking face.
"It's an Anubis!" Robasia shrieked with glee. "Oh, he's so adorable!"
"Yip, yip." The Anubis shook his stubby tail and cocked his head. His beady eyes gleamed happily.
"He looks smart," Rfawn commented. "I bet I could teach him some tricks."
"He'll need love and care," Kayla said as she set the Anubis on the floor. "Something I think both of you can provide. Why don't you figure out a name? I'll be in the other room if you need me."
"I think Princess is the perfect name," Robasia crooned as she stroked the Petpet's silky fur. Rfawn rolled his eyes.
"That's a girl name. This is a boy. He should be called Devil."
"That name's ridiculous." Robasia laughed. "Only you could think that's a good name."
As the friendly sibling banter went on, Kayla was sitting with pencil poised above an empty sheet of paper in the next room over. Smiling slightly, she thought about what a good story this whole ordeal would make. And she wrote carefully at the top, 'One Big Happy Family.'