Tales of Cadmium, Athena, and Saffron: The Fight - Part Seven
"So, what're we going to do now?" Saffron yawned. She took a sip of Purple Juppie Java, shuddered, but chugged it down anyway. The Yellow Xweetok and Silver Shoyru sat in Saffron's kitchen, completely alone except for Ivy, Miracle, and Brett's Mallard, Juniper. Athena had gone over to Misty's house again to, they feared, plan more revenge; and Cadmium was at the Neopian Bazaar with Elyse to shop for the perfect dress for the dance competition after-party. The Yellow Xweetok sighed contentedly despite the situation, savoring the silence.
Brett broke the silence. "We need to make them see how much they miss hanging out with each other. Misty told me that, for all Athena blusters about not needing Cadmium, there's this sadness in her eyes that Misty knows is from missing Cadmium."
That was sheer poetry, Saffron thought. She sighed and, before she realized what she was doing, took another drink of the coffee. She gagged and spluttered but managed to swallow. I can't imagine how people actually like this stuff! she thought.
Brett slurped at his Small Rasmelon Smoothie, then grinned at the look of jealousy that came across Saffron's face. "I told you that you should've gotten a smoothie." He took another sip of his drink and "Mmmmmmmm"-ed exaggeratedly.
Saffron gave him a death glare. She shoved her coffee aside and went to the refrigerator.
"What're you doing?" Brett questioned.
"Fixing up my coffee." She came back over to the kitchen table, juggling a cup of ice, a jug of Kau Kau Farms Lowfat Milk, and a container of sugar. While Brett watched, in awe of her brilliance, the Xweetok added all of the ice, a good splash of the milk, and most of the sugar to the coffee; then she took a satisfied sip. "Aaaaaaahhhhh. Much better." The extremely good taste of her redone drink gave the Xweetok an idea. Or maybe it was the fact that the drink had so much sugar in it, it immediately made her more awake. Either way, she sat straight up in her chair, bounced up and down from excitement and sugar, and said, "I've got it!"
"Got what?" Brett asked, slightly alarmed.
"I know what to do to get Cadmium and Athena to realize how much fun they used to have together!" The Yellow Xweetok managed to stop vibrating by holding tightly to the chair. She took another drink of her coffee and felt energy literally shoot up and down her yellow, brown, and black body. "I need to take a walk," Saffron announced, pouring her much-too-sugary but delicious coffee mixture down the sink so that Miracle couldn't get to it (her brain still worked normally enough that she realized what a disaster that would be). She tried to walk but found that she had to do so at a much faster pace than normal.
Brett stood up, slurped the last of his smoothie, and followed the Xweetok, who was apparently still feeling the effects of her coffee, out the door. "Hey! Wait up!" he hollered, flying as fast as his wings could carry him.
Saffron stopped by hugging the tree near the bench, the previous night's rendezvous spot. The coffee must have just decided to REALLY kick in, because the tree itself started to shake up and down. Alarmed wild Mallards shot up out of the tree and wailed at the vibrating Xweetok as they flew away to a safer tree. "Sorry!" she yelled back.
Gasping for breath, Brett plopped down on the bench and waited for the effects of Saffron's coffee to wear off. It took a whole five minutes before Saffron was able to let go of the tree and sink down, exhausted, to the bench. "So, what was your idea?" the Silver Shoyru questioned.
Heaving a shuddering sigh, the Yellow Xweetok answered, "Pizzaroo!" Her leg shook violently as the last of the coffee made its way through her system. She slapped a paw down on her leg and miraculously stopped the tremor.
"Wha?" Brett's face mirrored the confusion in his voice. "What does Pizzaroo have to do with Cadmium and Athena?"
"They used to go there for dinner before a wingoball game," Saffron explained patiently. The Yellow Xweetok heard a flapping noise and looked up to discover that the Mallards had cautiously flown back to their tree. A White Mallard, apparently the leader of the flock, glared at her and dropped an acorn on her head. "Ouch!" Saffron rubbed the spot where the acorn had landed and glared right back at the Mallard.
"But how are we going to get them both to go there?" Brett asked quickly, eager to avoid a conflict between the two of them and the flock of Mallards.
Sticking out her tongue at the petpets, Saffron turned back to Brett and said, "I'll explain in a minute. But how about we find someplace more civilized-" the Yellow Xweetok shot a quick glance at the Mallards to make sure they didn't understand "-to talk?"
Brett stood up in agreement and jerked his head back toward Saffron's house. Saffron followed him down the street, drained from her bone-jarring experience. "Hello?" Brett called upon entering the house. "Phew, nobody's home!" he declared, relieved.
Saffron nodded. "Yeah, Cadmium said she wouldn't be back until dinnertime; and Athena said she was having dinner at your house in-" the Yellow Xweetok checked the grandfather clock in the hallway "-five minutes! Brett," she began, giving the Silver Shoyru a panicked look, "we need to get over there NOW!" Saffron grabbed her house keys and barked out orders. "I'll go get Cadmium and tell her I'm taking her to Pizzaroo for dinner - she's still speaking to me, so it'll probably work." The Yellow Xweetok closed Ivy and Miracle in their pen, threw some petpet food in for them, and continued. "You, get back to your house and convince Marcie-" she held up a hand as Brett opened his mouth to speak "-I know what you're going to say: how am I going to do that? I don't care how you do it, just do it! Meet me at Pizzaroo in fifteen minutes!" And the Yellow Xweetok was out the door.
Man, Brett thought, she's brilliant. Shaking his head in amazement, the Silver Shoyru flew out the door and went off to follow Saffron's instructions.
"You know, I'm really glad you suggested Pizzaroo, Brett," Marcie commented as she, Brett, Athena, and Misty - who were looking quite pleased with themselves; Brett shuddered to think why - entered the restaurant. "I didn't know what to cook for dinner!"
"Yeah, she threatened to make us eat Omelette," Misty declared, wrinkling her nose at the thought.
"I have a craving for pizza, don't you, Misty?" Athena asked, her blue eyes twinkling with mischief.
"What're you two talking about?" Marcie looked suspiciously at the Faerie Peophin and Maraquan Uni.
"Nothing!" the two chorused.
Marcie didn't get a chance to inquire further, because the waiter led them to their table and took their drink orders. Suddenly, Saffron burst into the restaurant, Cadmium in tow. "Hey, guys!" Saffron said brightly. "What a coincidence!" She mouthed to Brett, "I got her to get me the article!" She held up a fist in triumph.
Brett could barely contain his laughter. "Yeah. Hey, why don't you two sit with us! There's plenty of room." The Silver Shoyru scooted two more chairs over to their table, strategically placing one next to himself and the other next to Athena. I hope they get the point - Saffron next to me and Cadmium next to Athena, he thought.
Athena looked as though she wanted to run back outside and get as far away from Cadmium as possible. "What's she doing here?" She glared mutinously at Cadmium.
"I was, like, so totally going to ask the exact same question," Cadmium quipped, her green eyes glinting with anger.
A male voice interrupted them, temporarily breaking the tension. "Hey, Cadmium. I didn't expect to see you here!"
Cadmium turned to see Edgardo standing behind her. "Hey, Edgardo!" she exclaimed, giving the Shadow Lupe a grin.
Misty and Athena swapped gleeful glances. This is just too perfect, the look seemed to say. "Why don't you join us for dinner?" Misty invited.
"That'd be great," Edgardo replied, bringing his own chair over to the table and setting it next to Cadmium's.
Poor Marcie looked completely confused. "What in Neopia is going on here? Athena? Misty? Saffron? Somebody?" The petite blond rubbed her head in exasperation.
Fortunately for Athena and Misty, the waiter brought their drinks at that very moment. "Are you ready for me to take your order, or do you need a few more minutessss?" the waiter, a Red Hissi oblivious to the tension, asked.
"We want the usual, right, guys?" Marcie asked, glancing around the table for confirmation. Nobody said anything (Brett and Saffron were too busy looking worried, Athena and Misty were giggling about something presumably sinister, and Cadmium was chatting with Edgardo), so she addressed the waiter. "Two large Fire Faerie Pizzas, extra cheese."
"Ssssure." The Hissi slithered off to give the cooks their order.
While waiting for their food to arrive, Marcie, Brett, and Saffron made several valiant attempts to get a conversation going; but Athena was too busy whispering with Misty and glancing up occasionally at Cadmium; and Cadmium was talking to Edgardo about the dance competition. The three sighed in resignation and chatted with each other.
Out of the corner of her eye, Athena spotted their food on top of the counter. Realizing that it would only be a few more minutes before it was brought to the table, she nodded inconspicuously to Misty, and the two rose from their chairs. "We need to go to the bathroom," the Faerie Peophin told Marcie, who nodded in permission.
The Faerie Peophin and Maraquan Uni made their way to the restroom, made sure no one else was in there, and peered through the crack in the door. They had to wait for just the right moment to head back to the table. Hearts pounding in excitement, the two pets watched as the Red Hissi waiter picked up the trays, grabbed some silverware, and slithered over to their table.
"Now!" they chorused. They burst from the bathroom and ran back to their table, purposefully crashing into the Hissi just as he leaned over to place the pizzas on the table. Just as they had planned, one of the pizzas flew off the tray and landed - right on Cadmium's head.
The Royal Aisha screamed as cheese, peppers, tomato sauce, and crust plopped on her head, oozed down her hair, and stopped in her lap. She stood up and tried to wipe it off, glaring ferociously at Athena and Misty. "YOU DID THAT ON PURPOSE!!!" she hollered at the Faerie Peophin and Maraquan Uni, who were trying but failing to hold back their laughter.
Every pet in the restaurant, including the waiters, waitresses, and cooks, stopped and stared. Cadmium realized this and looked down. Her gaze fell on Edgardo, who, to her horror, had pizza sauce and cheese dripping down his face too. "I am, like, so totally leaving!" She turned on her heel and stalked out of the restaurant. Before exiting, she turned back and yelled, "AND I AM NEVER SPEAKING TO YOU AGAIN, ATHENA! YOU'D BETTER, LIKE, TOTALLY WATCH YOUR BACK!!!" The Royal Aisha let the door bang shut.
The whole restaurant was silent for a few minutes as pets and their owners awkwardly continued eating their pizza. The noise level gradually rose again, and Athena and Misty decided to run - before Marcie came out of her shell-shocked state and yelled at them. The Maraquan Uni grabbed the other pizza while the Faerie Peophin simultaneously placed some Neopoints on the table. The two briskly walked out of the restaurant, ignoring the occupants' points and stares, and called back, "Thanks for the pizza, Marcie!" Right when the door closed, they ran down the street, being careful not to drop the pizza, and didn't stop until they reached Misty's Neohome. They went up to her bedroom, closed and locked the door, and sat down, breathless.
They started talking at the same time. "That was - " Athena began.
"Even better than we'd planned!" Misty finished. "Revenge makes me hungry," the Maraquan Uni declared, grabbing a piece of the Fire Faerie Pizza and taking a huge bite.
"That was way better than doing it in the lunchroom tomorrow! Plus, we're sure to get into less trouble." Athena took a slice of her own and nibbled at the crust.
"I'm not so sure about that. Once Marcie figures out what happens," Misty chuckled, "I'm going to be in the biggest trouble of my life. But I don't care; it was so worth it."
The two pets high-fived and devoured the rest of the pizza, chattering about how funny Cadmium looked and how this was sure to end the rumors. After all, as much as Athena claimed that the day's rumor about her still sleeping with a plushie didn't bother her, Misty knew better. Hopefully, the two pets agreed, Cadmium had learned her lesson and would keep quiet tomorrow.
Back at the restaurant, Marcie, Brett, and Saffron were finishing up their pizza. Marcie had insisted on buying dinner for Edgardo too, as her own pet had been at least partially responsible for the mishap that had resulted in hot cheese and pizza sauce being thrown into his fur. The Shadow Lupe had eaten his share and left already, and now just Marcie, Brett, and Saffron sat at the table.
Marcie ate the last bite of her pizza, took one more sip of her orange juice, and sat back with a sigh. "Does anybody want to tell me what that was all about?"
"Cadmium and Athena are having a fight," Saffron admitted.
"I got that much," Marcie replied, a trace of amusement in her tired voice. She signed the receipt, handed it off to the Red Hissi waiter, and continued. "But why are they fighting?" She cocked a pale eyebrow at her Shoyru and motioned for the two pets to follow her out of the restaurant.
"It's kinda a long story..." Brett hesitated, not sure where to start. His owner gave him a look that said, I am willing to walk around Neopia Central all night. You are going to explain this to me, or I am going to explode. Recognizing the look, Brett sighed in resignation and explained the situation during the walk. They reached Saffron's NeoHome and sat on the porch, where he continued. He got all the way to the part when he, disguised as Boochi, had flown up the tree to scare Elyse, when Saffron interrupted.
Remembering something, Saffron turned on her friend. "Hey, you never did explain to me why you had on-" the Yellow Xweetok snickered "-Illusen-printed pajamas."
Marcie covered her mouth with her hand and snorted. "You did what?" she giggled. The two girls sat on a stair and waited, expectant looks on their faces.
Brett groaned. "I was kinda hoping you'd forgotten about that." The Silver Shoyru stood up from the porch swing and paced. "See, like I'd said, they were the only clothes I could find that would fit underneath the Boochi costume; I mean, I wasn't about to wear just the costume. It just so happens that..." Brett blushed.
"That what?" Saffron prodded.
The Silver Shoyru muttered something unintelligible.
"Speak up, Brett, or no ice cream for a week," Marcie teased.
Two pairs of eyes, one yellow and the other gray, gleamed up at him. Gritting his teeth, Brett spoke louder. "They. Were. Misty's. Pajamas." He buried his face in his hands and waited for the laughter that was sure to follow.
Marcie and Saffron looked at each other. They snorted. They snickered. Then they burst into full-scale belly laughs. Tears streaming down her face, Marcie managed, "Y-you w-wore your sis-sister's p-p-pajamas! Hahahahahahaaaa!!!"
Saffron spluttered, "Sh-sh-she'll w-want to b-burn them!!" The Yellow Xweetok was laughing so hard that she rolled down the stairs and onto the sidewalk. That only made her giggle harder.
Brett stood up. "Fine. Laugh all you want. But planning how to get Cadmium and Athena to make up is going to be a lot harder by yourself!" Scowling, he stalked down the stairs and stood by the tree in Saffron's front yard, his back turned to his owner and friend so that they wouldn't see how hard he was blushing.
The laughter stopped. Serious looks appeared on Marcie's and Saffron's faces. Saffron choked down a snicker and said, "No, wait. You're right. If the three of us-" the Xweetok looked to Marcie, who nodded "-put our heads together, we're sure to think of something that'll make them realize how silly they're being. I need your help; I don't know how much longer I can stand being in the same house as a maniac revenge-planner and a... and a... help me out here. What's Cadmium?"
"A gossipy, giggling..." Brett began.
"Insensitive, star-struck..." Marcie continued.
Saffron chuckled. "Thank you. A gossipy, giggling, insensitive, star-struck Kyrii-follower."
The trio nodded in satisfaction. "So, can we handle this?" Brett asked.
Marcie nodded. We have to." A look of determination came into her gray eyes as she stood up. "Let's go plan."
To be continued...