A/N: This is a sequel to one of my short stories, Dim Light, so feel free to read that one first if you haven't to know and understand more about Ria and Wayne. (As well as Melissa. :P)
"In the end, am I really just an idiot like they said...?"
The words echoed off the pitch black walls. The dark faerie lay huddled in her sheets, unwilling to let go, as if afraid of the very element she controlled.
"...I just want to... be... helpful..."
As the words and thoughts came out, she let loose her willpower and sobbed. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Her tears and cries told a story all on their own, her tears told a story of rejection, humiliation, despair... The things that most Neopians think that dark faeries themselves would spread. But she was different, she was always different.
As the morning light came into the room, dappling the curtains with it's radiance, she stirred. Her long purple hair was in a mess. Her violet night dress and sheets still held traces of her anguish. Her eyes still sore from her outburst of sorrow.
"...I still have to go there. I still have to be strong..."
And with that, she slowly got up.
"Good morning, Kiya!"
She turned towards the voice. Behind her was a gently smiling light faerie wearing an apron on top of her gold dress, her eyes weary for a faerie, but at the same time full of kindness and life.
A big wide fake smile on her face, she greeted the light faerie. "Good morning, Miss Ria-"
Just as she said the words, a rambunctious red Yurble burst out of the nearby wooden door, promptly knocking both of them right to their feet.
The red blur shook his furry body around, and blinked several times before regaining some sense of what he was now doing. "Oww... Huh, Kiya?"
The Yurble's ears twitched, and he focused on the dark faerie lying face first on the varnished, wooden floor.
"JACK!" an extremely stern voice called out.
The Yurble winced and turned around to face the very, very angry light faerie.
"How many times do I have to tell you! Don't run and rush when coming inside here! You could seriously hurt somebody! Kiya doesn't seem too hurt, but I want you to help her up and apologize right now!"
The Yurble immediately grabbed both of the dark faerie's slender arms and pulled her off the ground until she was standing.
"...I'm sorry, Kiya..."
Kiya winced a bit from the pain of standing again, but managed a reassuring smile.
Dusting her dress with her hands a bit, she managed to say, "Don't worry, Jack, I'm really not hurt at all, and I should have figured that would happen since I was standing right in front of the door."
The Yurble was simultaneously relieved, but skeptical. "If you say so..."
He glanced with an anxious face at the still somewhat smoldering, but significantly calmed down light faerie observing behind him.
After a few seconds of rather awkward staring, the faerie delivered the verdict. "Fine, you can go now, but no more of that, young man. Do you understand?"
The Yurble furiously nodded his head, and slowly walked up the stairs to his room, a mutter of relief escaping as he ascended.
"Sometimes I think opening this orphanage was impossible in more ways than one." She sighed, her hands lightly massaging her temples. "In a way, I suppose I should be thankful that Jack's the only orphan Wayne and I have managed to take under our wing so far. Melissa's job does seem mighty comfy sometimes."
Ria chuckled and looked at the dark faerie currently sitting down on one of two nearby oak chairs.
"Kiya? Is something the matter?"
The dark faerie gasped and nearly fell off the chair from surprise. She was in a trance, thinking back on whether her previous choices in life, whether or not they were as "right" as she thought they were in the past.
"You've just seemed so down since last month. You were always so cheerful and happy to help out here before."
Ria's entire face was labeled with concern. She sat on the other chair and held the other faerie's hands.
"If something's the matter, you have to tell me. Bottling your problems up won't solve anything"
The dark faerie slumped down on her chair, locking both of her arms together.
She faked another cheery smile. "It's nothing, really. I'm fine, Miss Ria."
"Please don't lie to me," the other faerie stated bluntly.
The light faerie's eyes, while kind, were also piercing should she want them to be. No one in her circle of acquaintances was able to utter even a single lie with them staring down.
Finally, Kiya's smile broke into a pained, gloomy grimace. "...It's... about my old friends..."
Ria arched a concerned eyebrow. She was aware that Kiya's friends were, to put it simply, rather notorious as a "clan" of sorts. They were there for her when she needed them most, but... Apparently, they were disturbingly nonchalant about going through with certain procedures should they have wanted to.
"They've said things. They've done something," the dark faerie said, her voice in complete monotone.
The light faerie inched in closer. "What did they do?"
Ria was starting to become extremely concerned about her young helper. She understood the feelings of rejection and solitude from her time at the faerie academy. Those feelings were something she never wanted to feel again.
"They... called me a traitor, a laughingstock, a fool, an idiot, a disgrace for coming here when I saw them again."
"Did they do anything else?"
The dark faerie slumped even further down the chair.
"They... burned the necklace. It's charcoal. It's gone."
Ria could feel, and understand, the despair practically radiating from Kiya now. The necklace was a memento from Kiya's late mother, Tialel. Ria might not have known her particularly well, but her mother, Vianna had. That was why Kiya had been so excited to meet and join her in the first place.
With the information out, Kiya broke. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed right then and there, curling up even tighter from each time the tears fell.
"It's all my fault! I should have stood up to them! I shouldn't have let them take it! I shouldn't have let them call me those things! I shouldn't have let myself believe them! I..."
The dark faerie's sobbing continued even louder.
"Kiya, look at me."
Ria gently took Kiya's face and directed it to hers.
"Listen to me, it wasn't your fault. It wasn't that you were weak, anyone would have been like that."
Ria pulled Kiya into a deep hug. The touch of the light faerie itself was warm and comforting.
"No one can tell you what you are or not. That's up to yourself. But at the same time, you can't blame yourself for being swayed by what other people say. What really matters is whether or not you'll continue to be swayed by other people. People can be horrible, but that doesn't mean that you should just accept what they say all the time. And I know that you're the sweetest and kindest dark faerie I know," she whispered.
Kiya's tears had stopped, the one's which had already fell having almost dried up as well.
She pulled herself off of the dark faerie, and smiled, her hand gently caressing Kiya's chin.
"Do you understand now?"
Kiya managed a weak, but genuine smile.
"Yes, I do-"
The wooden door burst open once more to reveal a rather jolly faerie Lupe, his expression and actions themselves full of life, carrying one of an innumerable bags of food in in his paws.
Ria chuckled with her smile still intact. Kiya stood staring and gaping with her jaw on the floor at the Lupe.
The light faerie spoke, also breaking the somewhat awkward silence between the trio. "Welcome back, Wayne."
Kiya kept her gawking, her face seemingly suspended in a state of disbelief. But then her expression slowly loosened, and then morphed to one of even more disbelief
"M-Mr Wayne, why did you buy so much food!?"
"It's not all for us. Wayne will enlighten you," Ria interjected, a sly smile on her lips.
Wayne chuckled as well. "Yeah, this is supposed to last the three of us for the entire week PLUS to be given to those families of neopets I've heard that are having a bit of trouble with their own supplies a few blocks down the street once I'm done unloading our share."
The dark faerie blinked in recognition. "...Oh. I remember hearing about that a few days ago."
Wayne's eyes twinkled. "And nobody's helped. Seriously, we're probably going to be the first people in an entire WEEK to try and help those people out."
"It does have some gratification with being the first "good samaritans" for them," Ria mused.
The Lupe's tail swished playfully. "That it does. By the way, Kiya, I know that you're just here to help out around the house and with Jack, but would you want to help out with this as well?"
The dark faerie's face was blank. It took a bit for the words to process in her mind, but when they did, she slowly grew a big, warm smile.
Ria and Wayne chuckled, and then turned their attention to sorting out the food.
Kiya's smile was still on. A sense of fulfillment seemed to be surging through her body, eliminating nearly all traces of her previous grief.
"No matter what happens now, I'll keep going. No matter what I do. What other people say. I won't just keep crying anymore."
She closed her eyes, the smile growing wider, but maintaining a gentleness about it.
"That should be what you'll want, right, Mother?"
And for the first time in a while, her voice rang with happiness and confidence once more.