Tales of Cadmium, Athena, and Saffron: The Fight - Part Five
Back at home, Athena was dreaming. In the bed pushed closest to the window, Athena lay with a small smile on her face. The pale moonlight illuminating her lavender features made her look completely innocent. However, her mind was filled with thoughts and images of the next day. In her dream, she was imagining Cadmium's reaction to what the Faerie Peophin and Misty planned to do to the Royal Aisha's locker the next morning. Athena! How could you? Cadmium would shriek in disgust. The Faerie Peophin laughed in her sleep and turned over. Shoved underneath the bed was a backpack with groaning zippers, stuffed with all the supplies necessary for phase one of revenge. Unbeknown to Athena, a remnant of said supplies was stuck to her tail, which had somehow gotten out from underneath her blanket. A stray piece of toilet paper fluttered in the breeze filtering through the open window, dislodged itself from her tail, and landed right on Cadmium's bed.
Brett still stood at the bottom of the tree, trying to figure out how to get up it. "What if I climb up the side of the house? I've been taking rock-climbing classes?"
Up in the tree, Saffron shook her head. Then she realized the Silver Shoyru couldn't see her, so she called down, "No, that wouldn't be good. In fact, that would be disastrous. Don't you remember? Fried Xweetok and Singed Shoyru?"
Brett mentally smacked himself. "The security system, right. Well, do you have any ideas?"
Saffron tried to lean her head into her paw - her best thinking position - but doing so resulted in her almost slipping and falling off the branch. She gasped slightly but managed to right herself again. Her heart pounding, she stage-whispered, "What if you unzipped the back of the costume and just flew up here?" And that's the best I can think of, aside from going back home and fetching a rope, Saffron thought.
But this was taking longer than she expected without having to make an emergency run back home. Trying to figure out the time, the Yellow Xweetok glanced up at the moon. It had just started to angle toward the eastern horizon, so the best she could tell, it was around 1:00 AM NST. She groaned slightly at the thought of going to school with only four or so hours of sleep. That's the price I pay for getting my friends back together, she thought sleepily.
Suddenly, she felt a movement in the branch just above her head. Not knowing why but still quavering, she whispered, "Is that you, Brett?" Something launched itself off the branch and landed next to her. Apparently Brett had taken her advice. There he stood, uncostumed, in his - she did a double take. "Are you wearing what I think you're wearing?"
The Silver Shoyru blushed bright red. "Yeah, these are pajamas. They were the only clothes I could find that were thin enough to fit underneath the costume."
"I don't need to know why you're wearing them," Saffron reassured him.
Brett looked relieved. "Oh, good -" he began.
Saffron interrupted, holding up a paw. The Yellow Xweetok seemed to be holding back laughter. "But I do need to know, why are you - " she snickered " - why are you wearing pajamas with Illusen on them?" She tried to suppress her giggles but failed miserably. As tears of mirth streamed down her face, she plastered a paw over her mouth to muffle the noise.
Brett settled himself onto the branch and shrugged the costume back on. Zipping it up, he commented, "While I'm glad to be a source of entertainment - " he paused to glare at Saffron -"I do have an explanation."
Gasping for breath, Saffron replied, "Oh really? Well, save it for later. It's already 1:00 A.M." The Yellow Xweetok climbed up a few branches, just out of view of what they assumed was Elyse's bedroom window. What gave it away were the posters of various male heroes, including Jeran, Jacques, and Garin. Saffron shook her head and rolled her yellow eyes. Images of the same type of posters plastered in her own room flashed in her mind. She shuddered; surely Cadmium wouldn't go that far. The Yellow Xweetok whistled softly, the signal for Brett to begin.
Assuming the traditional Boochi stance, ray gun at ready, Brett whistled as sharply as he could. He peered in and saw the White Kyrii, still sound asleep in her Queen Fyora bed. Grunting in exasperation, Brett tried clearing his throat. All that accomplished was that Elyse turned over in her bed; but her gray eyes were still closed. However, Prom Date Girl Usuki fell out of her bed and onto the floor. The Silver Shoyru held back a scream of exasperation but realized, hey, why not? First he took a deep breath. Then he shrieked as if a Mutant Jetsam had gotten ahold of his Baby Bruce tail and was dragging him down to the depths of Maraqua.
Success! Brett thought, thrilled. Upon hearing his scream, the White Kyrii had shot up in her bed and was now glancing frantically around her room. Her gaze settled on a Bruce-shaped shadow in the corner of her room, which she traced to her shining bay window. Suddenly, her eyes focused on something behind the costumed Brett. She gestured wildly and opened and closed her mouth, but no screams came out.
Sensing something behind him, the Silver Shoyru turned around. A mirror image of the costumed Shoyru stood on the branch. Elyse must have a mirror stuck on this tree branch! Yeah, that's it! Brett decided mentally. He lifted his left eyebrow; the mirror image lifted his right eyebrow. He wiggled his tail; simultaneously, the figure wiggled his tail. He flexed his right arm; the reflection flexed his left arm. Brett aimed his fake ray gun and pulled the trigger; the reflection did the same. Only something strange happened. An odd buzz, an electric stream, and an eerie blue light came from the mirror image's ray gun. As he felt himself shrinking, Brett realized what was going on. The real Boochi had shown up and decided to zap this Neopet, who had the effrontery to impersonate the one and only Baby Bruce with a working ray gun.
Apparently satisfied with his evil deed, Boochi chuckled wickedly before hopping off the branch to the ground and scurrying away, presumably to wreak havoc in some other unfortunate Neopet's life.
The Silver - ahem, Baby - Shoyru wriggled his cute little green head out of the now much too big costume and peered into Elyse's window. The White Kyrii sat in her bed, completely shell-shocked, before giving the loudest shriek Brett had ever heard. Grabbing the costume, which now weighed more than he did, the cute little green Shoyru leapt off the branch to the ground and heard Saffron do the same. The Yellow Xweetok grabbed the cute little green Shoyru, resisted the urge to tickle him under the chin, and ran as fast as she could down the lawn. The pair had just reached the sidewalk when a scream came from Elyse's room. Apparently the White Kyrii had gotten her voice to work, because a cry of "HELP!!! DEFENDERS OF NEOPIA!!! QUEEN FYORA!!! MOMMY!!!" reached two pairs of ears, one tipped with black and the other cute and little and green.
Being sure to keep to the shadows, Saffron scampered down the street. "It wasn't my fault! I'm so, sorry, Brett!" she panted. As she ran, Brett's much-too-big costume flew off. Unfortunately, he was also swimming in the oversized Illusen-printed pajamas, which also came off. That left Brett in the traditional Baby Shoyru attire. Horrified at the indignity of it all, Brett crossed his arms to cover himself and scowled deeply.
"I wanna be changed back! Take me to the Fountain Faerie to get a quest! I'm tired," Brett whined. "And I have a strange craving for strained peas."
The Yellow Xweetok shuddered and wrinkled her nose. Gasping for air, she commented, "I'm glad you're not a baby all the time; you're very obnoxious. I wouldn't like you nearly as much as I do." The Yellow Xweetok grimaced but kept on going. They absolutely had to get home before daybreak; already the moon was dipping close to the eastern horizon and the previously black sky was changing to various shades of lighter gray.
"For the last time, NO! I will not let a Baby Shoyru take 150,000 NP out of a nonexistent bank account!" Yawning, the cranky, half-asleep Gnorbu bank teller folded his arms and scowled at Saffron and Brett.
"But it's not non-existent! I'm telling you the truth! He was just zapped by Boochi, and we need the NP to buy a Silver Paint Brush so that he can be repainted his original color! He really is thirteen!" Saffron glanced over at Brett, and her heart sank. The formerly Silver Shoyru was sitting on the sidewalk outside the bank, sucking his thumb and holding on to his "blankie."
"Right. And I'm the Negg Faerie," the Green Gnorbu snorted. He was about to close the bank teller window when Saffron shoved her paw underneath it. His heavy eyes showing frustration, the Green Gnorbu grunted and waited for the Yellow Xweetok's argument.
The Yellow Xweetok sighed in exasperation. She understood why the Green Gnorbu wasn't in the best of moods; after all, it WAS 3:00 in the morning, and Brett had woken him up when he had wailed, complaining of the itchiness of his outfit. But this was a desperate situation. And desperate times call for desperate measures. Saffron knew what she had to do. She sighed again and squared her shoulders. "Well, I can certainly take 300,000 NP out of my account, right?"
Brett's cute little black eyes widened. Despite his limited size, his brain still functioned just as well as it had before he was zapped. He realized what Saffron was going to do - his best friend was going to pay for the paint brush by herself. Taking his thumb out of his mouth (which he didn't mind; actually his thumb tasted rather like stale crackers), Brett tugged on Saffron's sweater. As the Yellow Xweetok bent down to see what he wanted, he whispered, "You don't have to do this, you know."
Saffron gave him a tired smile and replied, "Yes, I do." Looking relieved to be nearing the end of this rude awakening, the Green Gnorbu handed the Yellow Xweetok the Neopoints and closed the bank window. He leaned back in his chair and fell sound asleep. "C'mon," Saffron said, picking up a drowsy Brett, "let's go get you back to normal."
Two very short yet very busy hours later, Saffron stood on her front porch. It was all she could do to keep from falling asleep on the doormat. She closed heavy yellow eyes for just a moment and yawned. To keep herself awake as she dug in her pockets to find her keyring, the Yellow Xweetok recapped the hours before arriving at home.
Saffron was sure that Elspeth wouldn't be mad at her for taking one of the Silver Paint Brushes from her shop's inventory, especially when her owner saw the extra 50,000 NP they had thrown in for good measure. Besides, this was for the sake of all their sanity. Saffron recalled that as soon as Brett touched himself with the Silver Paint Brush and ran it all over his cute little green self, he turned back into normal and his whining ceased. Since they knew how to get home from "Elspeth's Shop of Dreams Come True," they had promised to meet in front of the Yellow Eesa Tree at school the next morning and had parted ways.
And there Saffron was, rummaging through every single one of her pockets, trying desperately to find her keys. Suddenly she remembered where they were: on the kitchen counter, left there and forgotten in the chaos. She stood there for a moment, wracking her brain to try to think of another way to get in the house.
Then something caught her eye. The Yellow Xweetok peered in the tiny window on the door and saw something shiny dangling from - she did a double take - from Ivy's mouth! The Pink Miamouse had her keys! To Saffron's horror, she saw a flash of blue and white zoom down the darkened stairs and snatch the keys from Ivy's mouth. Her heart sank; the blue and white blur was Cadmium's cantankerous Feepit, Miracle. Miracle threw the keys up in the air, and Ivy flew up and grabbed them. This game went on for several minutes, and Saffron felt her energy rapidly draining away.
Gritting her teeth, she tapped on the glass, hoping to catch one of the two petpets - preferably Ivy's - attention. The Miamouse and the Feepit looked up, startled. Huge smiles spreading across their faces, they scurried over to the window and dangled the keys near the glass. Saffron nodded with as much enthusiasm as she could muster and pointed to herself. The petpets nodded back and pointed to themselves. The Yellow Xweetok shook her head violently and rattled the doorknob. Miracle shook her head so hard that she fell head over feet and rolled around on the floor; Ivy jiggled the doorknob right back. Saffron groaned and buried her face in her hands.
Then a lightbulb seemed to go on in the Pink Miamouse's head. She remembered what the shiny object was for! Not for chewing or dangling in front of a light and watching the sparkles go off of them, but for opening the door! The Pink Miamouse attempted to shove the keys into the wrong side of the doorknob. Saffron shook her head at the petpet and twisted her paw in a pitiful imitation of unlocking a door. Sticking out her bright pink tongue in concentration, Ivy tried once more to insert the keys into the lock and get Saffron inside. Of course, it didn't work. Saffron sighed resignedly and sank down on to the porch swing to get a few hours of very uncomfortable sleep.
All of a sudden, the door swung open, waking the dozing Yellow Xweetok. Forcing open sleepy eyes, Saffron saw that a very satisfied-looking Miracle stood just inside the threshold. The thought of her comfortable, warm bed gave Saffron a sudden burst of energy, and she ran inside the door. She stopped to give Miracle a hug and Ivy a sympathetic pat before zooming up the stairs. The Yellow Xweetok had reached the door to her bedroom when she remembered something vitally important. She moved leaden legs back down the stairs and grabbed her keys from a now-sleeping Ivy. The last thing she thought before falling asleep on the living room floor was, I hope this worked.
To be continued...