Beauty and the Xweetoks: Part Three
"This is much better." Stripe kicked back in a rainbow beanbag chair.
"You gave it a retro-cool sort of look," Tammie noted.
"Yeah." Starr smiled. "I like it!"
"Thanks." Tess stood back to admire her work. "And it only took me twenty minutes."
"I can't wait for school tomorrow," Tammie said. "We are so going to destroy the Xweetok Crew – which reminds me – how in Neopia do we expect to get out of lunch duty?"
"We could just ditch!" Tammie said.
"Brilliant!" Tori cheered.
"The manual says nothing bad will happen to us." The brown Uni put the Y4 Edition Manual back on the shelf.
"I'll bet the Xweetoks didn't think of that!" Starr laughed.
"Whoa, Cupcake, what happened to you!?" Angela exclaimed as a once blue, now orange Lupe confronted her.
Today she chose to eat with her old friends. She usually did once a week, and May was okay with that. But today she seemed a little shaky about it. Angela guessed that it had something to do with the Xweetok Crew needing to be better than the Uni Crew, which they couldn't very well do if they weren't sitting together.
"Oh, it's just some new addition to my owner's obsession with the colour orange." The Lupe shuddered.
"Ah, I see," Angela replied.
"So, what's up with – "
"GUYS! GUYS! GUYS!"
" - May," Mizzy the green Wocky finished.
"Oh, finally I'm safe!" May grabbed the edge of the table. "So, what happened to you?"
Angela gasped. The 'loser farm' was the last table May would choose to sit at.
"Long story," Cupcake replied.
"I'll give you a hint: does Orangetastic ring a bell?" asked Princess the red Usul.
"Princess," May began, "you're an Usul. How do you control a five-year-old Usul who wants to ruin your life?"
"WHAT?" Princess asked.
"Did Nicole say yes to the obedience classes?" Angela asked.
"Not only that," May began, "but when she heard the story, she said that Bella should 'be condemned for a month in the barn' and 'never be allowed in my room again' and that we 'might have to take her back to the store' and – "
"Did she take her back?" Angela asked.
"Not yet," May explained, "she wants to talk to the counselor at the vet, the teacher at the obedience classes, and maybe even Celia!"
"Oh, gosh!" Angela exclaimed.
Celia was her old owner.
"I'm telling you, that Summer kid is out to ruin my life!" May exclaimed.
"Yeah," said Princess.
"And she MUST be stopped," replied Mizzy.
"How am I going to be popular with her following me around all day?" May asked.
"Look at it this way – at least you're in separate buildings because of the age difference," Angela said.
"But I heard that the Uni Crew has five Unis," Princess noted. "You guys will need two more Xweetoks to make it even... er, give yourselves an advantage. I hear there's a prospective Xweetok looking for you."
"WHO?" May and Angela shouted in the Usul's face.
"Don't yell at me! I'm just an Usul!" Princess replied.
"Hey, are you May Crystalline?" a snow Xweetok asked.
"So, nice plan having us ditch lunch duty," Stripe said to the gates of the school.
"Yeah, and by nice plan, we mean WHAT THE HECK WERE YOU THINKING?" Starr asked.
"You got us suspended for one day!" Tori said.
"I am so grounded," Tess groaned.
"Sor-ry," Tammie scoffed, "I was just trying to help."
"Okay, first, we need to come up with an excuse for our owners," Tess took control, "and second, we need to get a current manual."
The Unis put their horns together and thought up their best possible excuse.
May rolled over and turned off her alarm clock. It was... 7:00 AM.
That's funny, May thought, I set that alarm for nine.
"I hope you didn't mind Mom and I resetting your alarm," Summer explained, "but you were going to be late for school."
May sighed and searched her closet for her favorite outfit. It took her fifteen minutes to realize that Summer was wearing it.
"Sorry, May, but Mom told me I could pick out something from your closet since she didn't buy me any clothes yet," Summer replied.
"WELL, WEAR SOMETHING ELSE!" May exclaimed.
She needed that outfit if she wanted to look better than the Unis. Not to mention she had no clue what kind of clothes Arabella-Sara was into.
"May, what's the deal?" Nicole asked.
"Summer has my outfit on!" May replied.
"Well, I saw it on that shelf, and it looked pretty so I thought I'd wear it," Summer began.
"I HAD it on the 'May' shelf because that's where I put the clothes I wear the next day," May explained. "The only shelf YOU are allowed to strip is the 'Summer' shelf in the corner."
"May, now whatever clothes are available to you and Summer will be worn by the first one to grab them," Nicole explained. "There will be no more 'planning outfits'. I will pick out an outfit for you since Summer is wearing yours."
May rolled her eyes as Nicole pondered the closet.
"What is that dress I bought you doing under your textbooks?" Nicole asked.
"Because I wouldn't wear it ever in my life," May replied.
"It's so cute," Nicole replied, "which is why you are wearing it today."
May noticed the dirty pink and white sneakers on Summer's feet.
"Summer, you can not wear those shoes with coverall bottoms and a blue bandanna inspired tank," May replied.
"Why, they look good together?" Summer asked.
"Yeah, it gives her a cowgirl-chic type of look." Nicole studied the outfit.
"Well, it's supposed to be a downtown-chic type of look," May replied, "which is why you're wearing it with brown and blue polka dot flats."
After a fifteen minute argument, a Nicole-powered two minute shower for each of them, a seven-minute freshen up (five minutes for Summer), and a twenty minute breakfast, the two girls walked to school.
When they finally got to school, a crowd of pets waited outside the large golden gates.
"May, it's really too bad that I can't hang out with you all day, right?" Summer asked. "It'd be nice to pal around with someone I know."
"Yeah, well, life's a villain," May said to the crowd of pets while she searched for her crew.
"Hey, May," Billy the green Lupe (Angela's ex-little brother) said to them, "who's your friend?"
"Summer is NOT my friend." May wanted to make this as clear as possible.
"Wanna hang out with me and my friends today?" Billy asked. "I'm in Kindergarten, but – "
"Me, too!" Summer squealed.
Finally, the two ran off together and the Xweetoks approached May.
"Sorry, but we didn't want to be seen with the Usul," Vanilla said.
Great, now her own crew was turning against her!
"We need one more Xweetok if we want an advantage," May told her friend.
"One of my brothers is a Xweetok." Arabella-Sara shrugged.
"He'll do for now," May said, although she strongly discouraged a co-ed clique.
"Welcome back, students," said Miss Sweetwater, the homeroom teacher. The pink Kacheek was the homeroom teacher for May, Jen, Angela, Vanilla, and (until they transferred out) the Unis. "Today is a special day for us, because we have a new student starting here at our very school!"
Oh, please don't be Summer! May pleaded to herself. PLEEEEEASE!
"Miss Summer Crystalline," Miss Sweetwater began, "and this is a special new student, because she has skipped two – that's right, two – grades because she was so smart. Here she will reach her full potential!"
May passed a note to Princess, who was seated in front of her.
SAVE ME NOW! Princess read.
Princess shot May a reassuring smile. She raised her delicate peach coloured paw.
"Miss Sweetwater?" the Usul asked.
"Yes, Princess?" the pink Kacheek asked.
"No Neopet in all Neopia is really THAT smart," Princess explained. "When you create a pet at random, its genetics are decided at random, and all pets start out as average intelligence. May's mother told me that her poor owner had her for 3 days; her petpet stealing owner had her for 45 seconds, and no owner can possible read that many books to a pet at a time. Poor pounded pets do not get any books to read, and May told me that Summer was too busy playing basketball yesterday to read anything. So therefore, Summer should still be at average intelligence."
Miss Sweetwater pulled out a page from the Neopian Address Book. Princess read it out loud.
"It says: Summer, likes reading and learning, would try to make friends with new pets, is a job intern, no fishing skills, Hit Points: 10 / 10, quite strong, heavy defense, average speed, has no Battledome status, has a petpet: Skittles the Doglefox, lives at May's house, is a yellow Usul, owner is Nicole Crystalline, is 5 months old, on level 1, a female, 35 centimeters and 45 lbs, and is an ultimate genius," Princess read.
"Exactly," Summer entered the classroom, "Billy and I read all night."
"There is no way that in 45 minutes – "
"PRINCESS CANDIBERRI, YOU WILL BE QUIET AND TAKE A SEAT!" Miss Sweetheart exclaimed.
"I tried," Princess mouthed to May.
May just lay silently on her desk, her head in her paws.
"I am passing back today's history quiz," Miss O' Conner the purple Poogle announced, "and as usual, May has related every answer to Xweetoks."
"Does Mom know that is 'as usual'?" Summer asked.
"No, and she obviously WON'T or I'll shave Skittles's fur and turn it into my pillowcase," May snapped.
"I know a really good tutoring place that whips pets into shape," Summer explained, "of a study of 100 Neopets, 93 noticed improvement right away."
"Then congratulations to the other eight," May sighed.
"See what I mean? I'm telling Mom right when we get home!"
"I can only imagine a nice warm pillowcase made of YOUR petpet's fur!" May screamed.
Summer crossed her arms and turned her back to May for the rest of the class.
"Let's eat lunch at the center table, as usual," May told Jen and Arabella-Sara.
"Thanks for letting us sit with you," said Cupcake. "It really means a lot."
"No prob," May replied. "I hope you didn't mind getting a vegetable deluxe at Grundo's."
"Uh-oh." Angela pointed to Summer and Billy sitting at the central-café table. It was the most exclusive table in the café, which was reserved only for May and her friends. That is, except on the rare occasions like this one where May forgot to put the placard back.
"Get out of our seat!" Jen snapped.
"No," Summer replied, "we got here first, and this is where we're going to sit."
"Sorry, sis," Billy replied, "but there is a table available by the Gross Food place."
For the rest of lunch, May and her friends had to look forward to the smell of mashed eyeballs, chilled eyeball custard, and Skeith juice cocktail. The Uni Crew was seated by a window next to the Exquisite Ambrosia kiosk.
During gym class, the girls would be playing volleyball. Summer and May were elected team captains. Summer named her team the Fair Plays, and May named her team the Queen Mays. May sat and watched her team lose from afar. The only good news is, the Unis were on her team.
"Did you see that Usul today? The one who managed to steal May's table?" Tess asked.
"How do you think she managed to do that?" Starr asked.
"Maybe May forgot to put her placard down," Tammie suggested.
"Good point," Stripe said.
"Shall we go to the mall?" Tess suggested.
"Bye, Mom, I'm going shopping!" May exclaimed.
"Wait up!" Summer called.
"Oh, right, BYE, Summer," May replied.
"Mom promised that I could go to the mall with you," Summer explained.
"Don't you hate it when Mom lies?" May asked.
"I wasn't lying," Nicole replied. "Now be sure to get Summer whatever she wants."
"I don't want anything more than to visit the book store," Summer replied, "but that's really the only place I want to go. I don't like going to all those other stores. Maybe the toy store... nah, not today."
"Then May will only stop by the book store," Nicole replied.
"Who's that?" Stripe pointed to May and Summer.
"That's the Usul who stole May's table – now she's following her around?" Tammie shuddered. "And where are the other Xweetoks?"
Meanwhile, May tried to ditch Summer in several places. She showed her many large sections of the bookstore, offered to buy her some new stuff from other stores, and even offered to walk with her to the restrooms – the only thing that stopped her from running away was the sound her shoes made against the tile floor.
"May!" Arabella-Sara whisper shouted.
She was with the usual Xweetoks as well as one starry, one blue, Princess, Mizzy, and Cupcake.
Summer kept walking while May slipped her shoes off and managed to make it to the male pets' restroom.
"Eww, how do you guys stand it in here?" she shuddered, putting her shoes back on.
"Practice," the blue Xweetok said.
"Years of practice," the starry Xweetok replied.
"This is my brother Heygates." Arabella-Sara pointed to the starry Xweetok.
"And our brother Berry." Mizzy and Princess pointed to the blue one.
"Why is Berry here?" May asked.
"He's going to give you advice on annoying Usul little sisters," Mizzy said. "His words, not mine."
"Okay, well, let's hear it." May sat up on what seemed like a chair.
"May, I wouldn't sit on that if I were you," Heygates pointed out.
"What's wrong with it?" she asked.
Cupcake whispered something in her ear.
"EWWWW!" The pink Xweetok leaped off her seat. "Where are the vanity chairs?"
"We're guys." Berry rolled his eyes.
"Listen – here's what you need to do..." Heygates said.
At dinner, Summer prepared a meat dish that May was forced to try because she ditched Summer at the mall.
"Try it, May, it's very good, and good for you," Nicole replied, "and you always need to try new things."
"But I am vegan," May replied.
"Well, you should've thought of that before you ditched her at the mall," Nicole said.
"I think May being vegan is becoming a problem for me." Summer sat down in a Kauvara chair at the sheet covered table.
The kitchen had recently been redecorated.
"Well, then, May," Nicole began, "you are now on absolutely no diet. You will eat literally whatever I tell you to."
"Like, if you told me to eat Summer, then I would eat her?" May asked, trying not to lose her mind.
"Yes," Nicole replied, "but I am not asking you to."
May cringed at the meat dish and swallowed the smallest bits she could.
"Listen up, people." Tess clapped her hands and began scribbling on her chalkboard.
All the Unis turned to her.
"We're going to need to put together everything we know about that Usul," the faerie Uni continued.
"I know that she's yellow," Tori said, trying to be helpful.
"I know that she lives here in Faerieland," Starr contributed.
"I know that she was adopted," Stripe added.
"I know that she's always following May around," Tammie finished.
"I got it!" Tess exclaimed, "May's owner is always trying to do the 'right thing'. That's why we never liked her. The Neopian Times mentioned an abundance of pets in the pound and... voila, she's May's little sister!"
"Geez, that's gonna be haaaaaard to beat," Tammie said sarcastically.
"I officially love May's owner!" Starr kicked back.
Next was the Xweetok Crew meeting, which Summer told on the pets for gossiping and not including her in the last half hour of study group (which never really was a study group), and in five seconds, the Xweetok Crew became the Super Duper Pets Club.
All species, all genders, all colors, all money ranks would be allowed to join, they would use ten minutes to play on the playground, ten minutes to make friends, and the rest of the time to help make Neopia a better place. A sign up would be held in front of the school next week. Celia and Nicole were the presidents. There were no makeovers or honest circle.
At bedtime, May had a fur pillow that was orange with a white stripe running through it. May kicked off her boots and lay back on the pillow.
"Where's Skittles?" Summer asked.
"Under my head," May replied, even though she knew full well that Skittles was unshaved and staying at Vanilla's house.
"You wouldn't!" Summer exclaimed.
"I would," May replied.
Summer burst out of the room crying.
"YOU CAN'T HAVE MOM FIX IT THIS TIME!" May replied.
But she could have Nicole make May's life worse.
May no longer had a private dressing room in her closet. The dividers now separated Summer from May, who had to pay Summer back the Neopoints for Skittles. All of May's Neopoints were taken away and now she had to "earn them".
How great was her life now?
"How great are our lives now?" Tammie gave Tess a high-five.
"I wonder how screwed up May's life is now," Starr laughed.
"Aren't you gonna give me some credit?" Tori asked. "I found out that she was yellow."
"Anyone with EYES could find out that she was yellow, you MORON!" Tess wanted to scream.
But instead, she just gave Tori a weak high-five.
Because the Crew that pretends to be friends together wins together.
To be continued...