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Baby Lupe, Red Gelert, Red Gelert, Baby Lupe: Part One


by neonick19881988

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"So where did I get this from, then?"

     The human turned and looked at the Lupe, Pacca_Xero, as he stood in front of the mirror. The Pet was frowning, his head tilted to one side as he looked at a small scar above his left eye.

     "That's a good question, Pacca. You don't remember? It wasn't that long ago..."

     The sapphire-blue Lupe turned and stared at his owner, clearly confused.

     "Wasn't it? I don't remember…"

     "I guess that's to be expected. You were still a baby Pet one month ago… you're still a baby Pet now. I'll explain, shall I? Come over here, sit on my lap. It's a pretty long story."

***

     "You're kidding, right?" the Gelert asked, his mouth open in shock. "You're kidding? Please tell me you're kidding!"

     "Nope," his owner, a strangely tall human, replied. "You'll like the company, Toggerneo."

     Toggerneo stopped, his long ears tumbling over his dark brown eyes. With one flick of his head they were out of the way, and he was glaring at the human.

     "I'll hate the company!" His voice was loud, angry. "I've got friends to chat to, I've got YOU to chat to, I don't need anyone else!"

     "Oh, stop being such a wimp." Neonick turned and walked forwards, but Toggerneo stayed still. "It's time we started doing our part for Neopia, and adopting a disowned Pet is the perfect way."

     "You can't do this!" the Gelert called angrily. "Why now? Why all of a sudden?" The human just carried on. Toggerneo managed to stay still for another few seconds, but then something hit him. This was going to change everything. This was serious. He had to be a part of the decision.

     He leapt forwards, running at full speed to catch up. The human smiled as his panting Gelert pulled up beside him.

     "I'm still… not happy about… this," the crimson pet explained, between quick, sharp breaths. Once he felt better, and had combed back his long ears, he continued. "But I can't expect you to choose a good pet on your own. What we need is something small, something quiet, something we can push behind the sofa when guests come around."

     Up ahead a large red-brick building was looming, with two huge words on a banner outside.

THE POUND

     Toggerneo shivered. Those words were the two he saw every single day, on his way to Patter's Neohome or even to Faerieland, if he was working in the Hidden Tower that day. Never had they particularly concerned him; sometimes he would see an owner walk out, proudly cuddling a new Acara, or a grumpy human dragging their terrified Yurble inside. Now the two words were too close for comfort, and growing bigger with every step, and he was terrified.

     "Pleeease!" he exclaimed, grabbing at Neonick, "we can still leave! Just turn around and walk away! I'll even pretend you never CONSIDERED this stupid idea!"

     "Toggerneo," the owner said, "stop complaining!"

     They had reached the glass doors, and Toggerneo shook as they slid open. A disgruntled-looking Dr_Death was stood behind the counter, working at his computer, but looked up when the pair walked in.

     "You here to adopt or disown?"

     "Adopt," the tall human said quickly, patting Toggerneo on the head and annoying him greatly.

     "Follow me." With a sigh, the Techo got to his feet, letting his long white coat tumble to the ground, and walked towards a small door. He pressed a small button on the wall, and Toggerneo jumped as an alarm went off nearby.

     "GET IN LINE!" yelled the clearly-insane Doctor, and after a few moments the claxon stopped. The large door swung open, and Dr_Death motioned for the duo to walk through.

     Toggerneo gasped. Around a dozen pets had been stood to attention in front of the door, clearly trying their best to look nice. One small, pale-yellow Eyrie was smoothing his tail desperately, while a Kougra was licking its paw.

     The Gelert and his owner walked in slowly, still shocked from the alarm. Neonick walked up and down the row, looking at the pets as he passed, but eventually shook his head.

     "I just don't know…"

     Toggerneo smiled and nodded.

     "Good choice." With a grin he started to walk towards the door, but then he heard a small whine from nearby. He turned, his ears flying, and saw a small… he had no idea what it was. It looked like him to just be a small ball of ragged, muddy-brown fur.

     "What've you found, Toggerneo?" Neonick asked, walking over. As soon as he saw the bundle of matted, grimy fur, he frowned. "What's this?"

     "A Baby Lupe," he said, seemingly without interest. "My niece brought him in, thinking it was a new Petpet. She wanted to call it 'The Ugly Thing' which isn't too creative, but then, I guess, it ISN'T that appealing."

     "I agree," Toggerneo said as his owner continued to watch the ball of fur. "Let's just go, yeah?"

     "What does his chart say?" Neonick asked, ignoring the Gelert.

     "Let's see…" The Techo grabbed a small piece of paper from the wall, and glanced over it. "Male, Level One, only about a fortnight old… oh."

     "Oh?"

     "He can't talk; I've diagnosed him as having Ugga-Ugga. It means that the only noise he can make is 'Ugga' or a cough, and, as I'm sure you'll agree, that isn't good. The cure costs, well… more than we could ever afford. And, of course, we can't keep taking him up to the Healing Springs over and over… it's a shame, he's an adventurous sort. I guess he won't be getting out of here for a while."

     "I'll take him."

     "What?!" Toggerneo practically yelled, making the nearby Kougra fall over.

     "Really?" Dr_Death asked, puzzled. "Well, it's your choice. No charge, seeing as he has an illness."

     "NO!" yelled Toggerneo. "You can't! He's a Lupe! You know what I think about Lupes! They're bullies, they get so much more attention that Gelerts, they are one of the worst species around! And, and, he's ill! I could get ill as well! And LOOK AT HIM!"

     "Toggerneo, I would like you to meet…" The human grabbed the chart quickly and checked something. "… Meet Pacca_Xero. I guess he's your new brother."

     Toggerneo shook his head all the way home, muttering angrily to himself.

     "I mean it's a Lupe, he knows I hate Lupes… how cold he? Anything, even a Lenny, would have been better…"

     "Toggerneo," Neonick said quietly, "it's done. Get over it! We're not abandoning him, we're not doing anything to hurt him. He's a part of the family."

     "But he's a Lupe!"

     "I know you don't like Lupes, Toggerneo-"

     "No, I don't! How could you! Any other pet would have been better! That Kougra could have hunted Miamice! We could have fed all the garbage to a Skeith! But Lupes are just pretentious, annoying and useless!"

     "I think he needs a bath."

     "You aren't listening, are you?"

     "You lost me after 'No, I don't!'"

     "Great. Just great."

     They arrived back at their large Neohome in Market Street a little after noon, and Neonick continued straight around the back, to the garden. Toggerneo followed at a distance.

     "He needs a wash, Toggerneo," the human said. "Fetch me a bowl of warm water, and a brush or something."

     "Gelerts don't fetch," he replied quickly. "Lupes fetch. Gelerts choose, based on the main factors, whether to collect said items and return with them to the person who initiated the request, or not."

     "Just get the stuff."

     Toggerneo rolled his eyes and walked inside the sparsely-furnished kitchen, across to the sink. Pouring in a lot of freezing cold water and conveniently 'forgetting' the warm with a chuckle, he pulled to bowl from under the taps and returned outside.

     "Toggerneo," Neonick said without looking up, "I know you too well to fall for that. Forget it, I'LL get the water and everything, you make sure he doesn't wander off."

     The Gelert smiled as sweetly as he could as his owner walked quickly through the back door and out of sight, and then turned back and glared at the ball of ugly fur.

     "Listen up, Zero, or whatever you're called. I, and ONLY I, am the head of the house. Sure, that idiot owner might think otherwise, but he's a human. They're all insane. Anyway- can you even hear me through that fur?"

     The small ball of fur seemed to cough slightly.

     "Ah, forget this." Toggerneo walked across to the back of the house and pulled a long hose off its hook. He turned and pointed the nozzle at the small pet. "It was nice meeting you. Well, actually, it wasn't." He waved his paw and flicked the tap on, shooting a long jet of water at the baby Lupe. With a small gulping noise the pet went flying into the air.

     "TOGGERNEO!"

     The Gelert turned, putting the hose behind his back, and smiled sweetly.

     "Yep?"

     "I saw that!"

     Toggerneo froze up.

     "……… Ah."

     "Go get him!"

     After a lot of rooting around in the Sword Bush, Toggerneo found the quivering Lupe, soaked through, and pulled him from the sharp branches. A pang of guilt hit the crimson Pet as he felt the thing in his hands shiver, but got over it surprisingly quickly and tossed the baby Pet over his shoulder. Neonick only just caught him.

     "TOGGERNEO!"

     "Yes?"

     "… Just get the hair-trimmers."

     "Ahh, look at him!"

     Toggerneo scowled and turned to look at Pucca_Xero. After the long bath, in which a reluctant Toggerneo had been forced to help, Xero was now recognizably blue. He had a small black bandana around his neck, and tiny little boots, with a tuft of fur sticking up on his head and large, pointed ears. His emerald-green eyes were watching Toggerneo with interest.

     "He likes you," their owner said with a laugh. "I don't know why, though. Hey, he's got a cut above his eye. Togggerneo, you could really have hurt him with that hose stunt."

     "So where's he going to stay?" Toggerneo asked, changing the subject as he turned away from those big adorable eyes. "You didn't think of that, did you? I guess we can't keep him. Of to the pound, then."

     "I'm going out to buy a pen now. You'll look after him until I get back."

     "Hehehe…" Toggerneo giggled, an evil grin spreading across his face.

     "If he isn't perfectly fine when I get back, we WILL be going down the pound a second time today. Not to get rid of Pucca here, though."

     Toggerneo nodded quickly, and then watched as Neonick walked out. When he was gone the Gelert sighed and turned back to the Lupe, who was still watching with interest.

     "What?" Toggerneo snapped. "Why are you watching me like that?"

     The Lupe coughed, and then went back to watching the red Pet across from him. Toggerneo took a step forwards, towards the Lupe, and frowned as the Lupe slowly got up and took a wobbly step forwards as well. Toggerneo rolled his eyes, and was shocked to see the baby Pet try to roll his own eyes, but failing and instead managing to look slightly insane.

     "Why are you copying me?" the Gelert asked angrily. His only response was a small cough. "I'm going in, to watch some TV. I guess you'd better come as well."

     The Lupe just stared.

     "I'm not carrying you."

     More stares. Toggerneo moaned and grabbed the Lupe up, before turning and walking inside.

To be continued...

 
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