This story has is a sequel to my stories A Sibling Story and Stellania's Story. Enjoy!
Amiaxa desperately wanted a petpet. It wasn't that she didn't love playing with her younger siblings Stellania and Orrdo. She just wanted a petpet for her own, one that would sit with her when she wrote and play with her in the backyard and follow her around the house. So one morning, as she was coaxing Orrdo to eat his Blueberry Baby Food with one rainbow-colored paw and eating her own breakfast with the other, the Acara decided to tell her owner EmeraldShine22 about it.
"I'd like a petpet," she said.
EmeraldShine looked surprised.
"Really?" she said. "I didn't know that."
"Well, I do," said Amiaxa.
"Petpet!" yelled Orrdo. The adorable baby Lupe accidentally spat out baby food all down his front.
Amiaxa grabbed a wet rag and wiped Orrdo off the best she could. When EmeraldShine had first brought her younger sister Amiaxa home, she hadn't known how to take care of babies, but now, having had Stellania around for almost a year now and Orrdo around for about four months, she was very good with babies.
"We might be able to get one this weekend," EmeraldShine continued.
Amiaxa almost dropped the rag.
"Really?" she said excitedly.
"Why not?" said EmeraldShine. "You're a responsible Acara now, and it would be nice to have a petpet around here."
"A PETPET?" shrieked Stellania excitedly. "When?"
"This weekend, dear," said EmeraldShine.
And so it was arranged that they would go to the Petpet Shop in Neopia Central the next Saturday.
Amiaxa had been to the petpet shop before to look at petpets, but she had never actually been looking to buy one. The shop was very crowded that Saturday, and there were so many petpets there that it was overwhelming.
"Well, which one do you want, Amiaxa?" EmeraldShine asked her.
"I don't know," she said. "There are so many to choose from, and it's so crowded in here that I can't even see them all."
Just then something landed on Amiaxa's shoulder. She looked at it, surprised. It was a Flowper, and it had used its large ears to float down from a shelf to her. It was dirty and bedraggled, as though it had had a rough time of it for a while. There were some scrapes and bruises on it in various places and it was very skinny. But Amiaxa thought it was adorable. It nuzzled up to her and then climbed down from her shoulder to her right paw. She used her left paw to pat it. It cooed at her.
"The poor dear," said EmeraldShine.
Stellania and Orrdo crowded around to look at the Flowper. It nudged them curiously and then patted them gently with its paws.
"Oh, you don't want that one," said a voice from behind them. It was the owner of the petpet shop.
"Why?" Amiaxa asked defensively. "He's a lovely Flowper."
"Yes, but he's had a hard time of it, as you can see," the Usul said. "I found him on the streets outside of the shop yesterday and took him in. I've been giving him the best care I can, but I have so many petpets in here that I just can't give him the attention he really needs. I'm afraid that without some rigorous and dedicated care, this poor little guy won't make it."
"What kind of care?" Amiaxa asked, patting the Flowper's head.
"For starters, you would need to give him a warm bath every day," the Usul began, "and a good brushing. Even regular Flowpers that haven't been mistreated need lots of grooming, and this little guy needs it more. Then you'd need to feed him a spoonful of this medicine," she said, holding up a bottle of medicine, "every morning and every night, and he needs his scrapes and bruises and cuts washed up and taken care of. He needs three kinds of food—one of them being an extra rich food to give him his strength back, one of them being a regular Flowper food mix, and the last being a bottle of warm milk every night. He needs a warm bed and a Flowper play structure—you should be able to get one at the Petpet Supplies Shop. He also needs fresh water every day in a dish, toys, and lots of attention from you. Can you do all of that? Because he does seem to have taken a shine to you."
"You said he might not make it if he stayed here," said Amiaxa softly. She looked up at her owner pleadingly.
"Yes, of course we can do it," she said suddenly.
"Be aware that he may not make it at any rate," warned the shopkeeper.
"We're willing to take the risk," said EmeraldShine firmly.
The Usul gave them more detailed instructions on how to take care of the Flowper, sold them the special food and medicine, and directed them to the Petpet Supplies Shop to buy the rest of the supplies. As they walked in that direction, the Flowper perched on Amiaxa's shoulder and leaned close to her neck.
"What awe we gonna name him?" Stellania asked curiously, looking intently at the Flowper.
"How about ..." said Amiaxa slowly, "how about Choko? Like the fruit, Chokato, but without the 'at'."
"I like it," said Emerald Shine.
They reached the Petpet Supplies Shop and bought the supplies, and made their way back home.
Two days later, Choko was doing well. They followed the Usul's instructions exactly, and Amiaxa loved her new petpet. He was a darling little Flowper. He loved her especially, but he was very nice to Stellania and Orrdo, and seemed to think it was his job to take care of them. He liked to check up on them whenever they were around. He also loved playing on his Flowper play structure. It was a nice little structure, specially tailored for Flowpers. It had two slides, several ladders, lots platforms to jump off of onto the platforms below, and a couple rows of monkey bars to climb across. It also had three little swings and several cozy little hideaways with plush carpet and little toys inside.
Choko was benefiting from his special diet. He was getting plumper and sleeker and more active. He was also benefiting from his grooming. He was a clean, happy, energetic little Flowper. His cuts and scrapes were healing up and his bruises were almost all gone. Amiaxa took very good care of him, and liked to hide treats around his play structure—carrots, lettuce, slices of fruit, that sort of thing. He was a happy petpet.
And then, after they'd had him for two weeks and he seemed to be perfectly healthy, and EmeraldShine was talking about beginning to take him off his medicine and slowly take him off his specially enriched diet and give him a more regular one, something happened. He began to droop about the house and his play structure in a dejected manner. He stopped eating very much. He didn't check up on the baby pets. And worst of all, he didn't even perk up when Amiaxa came home from Neoschool as he usually did.
They decided to take him to the Petpet Hospital, which was right next to the regular Hospital. Amiaxa scooped him up and sighed.
"What has gotten into you?" she asked him, rubbing his back. His ears were droopy and his mouth, which was usually open in a wide smile, was closed and turned down at the corners.
He merely gave her a doleful look and settled his head down on her shoulder in an adorable-but-melancholy way. When they reached the Petpet Hospital, a pink Kacheek lead them into a brightly lit room with a long table in the center.
"I'm Doctor Ivilli," said the Kacheek, "and I'll be looking at your petpet. Let's see what's wrong with you, little guy," she said, taking Choko from Amiaxa.
She peered into his eyes and ears and gave him a mouthful of a bright yellow potion, which made him hiccup, but didn't seem to do anything else. Amiaxa and EmeraldShine explained the Flowper's situation to the doctor.
"What's w'ong wi' him?" Stellania asked nervously.
"Yeah, what'th wong with 'im?" Orrdo chimed in.
"There's nothing wrong with this little guy," said Doctor Ivilli brightly. "He just needs a friend."
"What d'you mean?" Amiaxa asked.
"Flowpers should never be kept as the only petpet," the Kacheek explained. "They love neopets, but they need another Flowper to keep them company. They can get very sad when they don't have another Flowper with them, and that's what Choko's going through. I would suggest buying another Flowper, and another play structure as well."
She then explained the diet they should be feeding Choko now that he was better, and what kind of care they should be giving him now that he was over his illness.
"Can we get him a friend, Mom?" Amiaxa pleaded as she picked up Choko again.
EmeraldShine thought for a little while.
"You would have to promise to take very good care of them," she said. "And I don't want to see your grades slipping, either. I can help you care for them, but with two baby neopets on my hands, I can't do everything."
"I don't mind doing a lot of work for them!" said Amiaxa brightly. "I promise I will."
So they went to the petpet store again, and this time they bought a Blue Flowper, and a girl. She was cheerful and bubbly and immediately floated down next to Choko and greeted him with a pat on the head. He patted her head, too. Then she greeted the pets and Emerald Shine and settled down next to Choko on Amiaxa's shoulder.
"Her name's Kato," Amiaxa said. "Choko and Kato. Together they make Chokato!"
EmeraldShine laughed, and Amiaxa laughed too, and they bought more petpet supplies and another Flowper play structure and went back home. The Flowpers were wonderful petpets and very friendly to each other, and they were always happy to sit with Amiaxa while she wrote. And they never got sick or lonely again.