A Mile in Her Color
We all have pets who just can't get along with one another. The ones that argue, fight, and just go out of their way to infuriate the other. For me, it's my Faerie Aisha Ange, and my Electric Acara Lop. They always argue. Always, always. Sometimes the arguments are easy to solve (like a fight over a piece of cake), but other times... Well, today's argument was is of those other times. They're having a huge fight (in the living room, no less, where everyone in the house and across the street could hear them) over their colors. You heard me right. They're coming dangerously close to obliterating the sofa because they're insulting each other's paint jobs.
I should explain. See, both Ange and Lop are magic users. Ange has a more faerie-like wave-a-wand, cast-a-spell sort of magic, while Lop has a more witchy style, brewing potions (which frequently explode) and cackling evilly at things. So when they really get into it... things explode. And it just so happens that they were REALLY into this fight.
I was cleaning out my inventory from the day's dailies when they ran out of creative insults and degraded to “Prissy!” “Blinding!” “You glitter like a Halloween Gelert!” “At least I don't have static cling!” and so on. I sighed and shook my head, pulling out my Tombola winnings, a Dark Faerie and a Light Faerie. The Light Faerie tapped on the glass at me, so I held her up to my ear.
“The Dark Faerie and I have been talking. If you release both of us, we can cast a spell so tomorrow those two wake up with their colors swapped. Just for one day, to see what it's like. Maybe it'll make them see things in another way,” she said, her voice muffled by the glass. The Dark Faerie in my other hand nodded.
“All right. Can you make them storm off after you cast the spell? I kind of like my sofa in one non-charred piece,” I said, pulling the cork out of the Light Faerie's bottle first. She nodded and I released the Dark Faerie as well. She looked really annoyed when she came out, confirming my thought that her reason for working with a Light Faerie was little more than shutting my pets up.
They went to work in silence and I watched and the purple and gold magics swirled together, then turned invisible and darted into the living room, creating a draft. A moment later I heard Ange shout, “Fine, if you can't be civil, I'm leaving!” and storm into her room. Lop (after pulling a face at Ange's retreating back, I'm sure) stormed out the front door.
“Thanks,” I said, turning to where the faeries had been, only to find that they'd left already. I shrugged and went back to digging sell-able things out of my inventory. I hoped for a moment that nothing would go badly wrong, but pushed the thought aside. Chances were slim that something would go that horribly wrong, and we usually got through a crisis without much damage...
I was woken up the next morning by yells. Not that this was unusual, but the yells were louder than usual. I wondered for a moment what had happened this time before remembering the faeries. That got me out of bed faster than any explosion to date. I scurried into the living room to find all eighteen of my other pets staring at Ange and Lop, now an Electric Aisha and a Faerie Acara, just like the faeries said they would be.
“Arg... I'm... I'm BLUE! Two shades of BLUE! And wingless!” Ange was shouting.
“You were born blue, and your base coat is- was- blue too! But I'm YELLOW! With frilly pink wings!” Lop retorted.
“You were born yellow!” Ange yelled.
I took this as my cue to step in. “Lop! Ange! Quit yelling! Now, I don't know how this happened,” I lied through my teeth, having no wish to have their anger directed at me, “but I'll look into it. In the meantime, try and make the best of it.”
The two of them glared at each other and went into the kitchen. Slowly, the rest of my pets followed, save my Fire Wocky Sala.
“Are you sure you won't regret this?” she asked. She always knew what I was up to (which made holidays impossible at times).
“I hope not. Can you keep an eye on Ange for me? I get the feeling you'd stand up to static discharge better than I would,” I answered, shaking my head and going into the kitchen to prevent breakfast explosions.
Breakfast passed without much incident. Lop caused the napkins to fly all over the place with her new wings, but they usually ended up set on fire, so that was fine. And Ange electrified a pan on the stove, but it was nothing some insulation couldn't fix.
After we cleaned up (we hadn't let Ange anywhere near the sink), Sala, Lop, Ange and I went to the local Shenkuu market. Lop needed more potion ingredients and she wasn't allowed near the stalls on her own since her Floud had gotten a hold of a carrot there, Ange wanted a new book and some sweets, and I was after a few groceries and a throw to put over the latest scorch mark on the lounge chair. Sala was just there for damage control, though she had been bribed with ice cream.
We hit the sweets shop first, as hard candy would make Ange quit whining about having to walk and chocolate usually made Sala stop glaring at things when I bribed her to do something. Lop (being one of the last pets you should give sugar to) had to stay outside, so I stayed with her while Sala and Ange got their candy. I was trying to teach Lop to keep her wings still the way I did when Ange was painted when they came out.
“Can you believe the look the shop owner gave me! He looked like I was going to make all the candy stick to the ceiling!” Ange was saying as they came up to us.
“Well, Electric has always been considered the color of a prankster, even before the Cloud incident,” Sala said. “It's no wonder he was suspicious of you. And don't say he could recognize your clothes, you're not wearing your usual pink outfit because it clashed so badly with the electric blue.”
Ange fiddled with her Grey Faerie Dress (her first NC dress, and the only thing she had been able to find that didn't go horribly with her new blues) and answered by unwrapping one of her candies. The wrapper stuck to her paw.
“Arg. How do you deal with this?” she asked Lop, shaking her paw in an attempt to get rid of the plastic. Lop just shrugged and I snagged the wrapper and threw it away.
“I just got used to it, avoid things wrapped in thin plastic. Don't drag my feet. At least I didn't have to worry about setting my napkins on fire like Sala did,” Lop joked after a moment. Sala glared at her for bringing up the napkin thing and went back to her chocolate bar.
The book and food stores were right next to each other, something that doesn't change from Neopia Central to Shenkuu to Maraqua. Ange went to get her book with Sala following to make sure she didn't accidentally electrocute someone, while Lop and I went into the food store. We got everything without incident, which was highly unusual. Normally someone'd scream that “the Acara with the crazed petpet” was there, or Lop would charge an item and some poor pet would fall over shortly after we left the aisle. Lop had control of her wings by the time we got to the shop keeper, but then things went south.
“Aw, aren't you a cute little Acara!” the shopkeeper, a green Ixi, gushed, “It's too bad you're hiding your eyes with that dingy hat...” She reached for the hat and made the biggest mistake of her life. For whatever reason, Lop is really attached to her Daring Adventurer Hat. She won't let anyone else touch it, much less wash or repair it. So when a stranger- who had just called her cute, no less- reached for it, she went off.
“I am not CUTE!” she roared, her eyes turning a signature angry Acara red, “And how dare you touch my hat! It's not yours to touch and my hiding my eyes has nothing to do with you!”
I threw some neopoints onto the counter as quick as I could, scooped our things into my bag, and dragged my raging pet out of the store. I found myself insanely glad that she wasn't Electric at this exact moment or I would have been fried owner just touching her.
Ange and Sala were outside waiting for us and had heard everything.
“How can you stand being called cute and having people mess with your clothes all the time!” Lop said, calming down a bit.
“Now you know why I like to fly wherever I go, and why I turn pets that get on my nerves into radishes,” Ange said simply. Lop froze for a moment, the look on her face clearly advertising the fact that she had never thought of that.
We headed home in silence, Lop and Ange contemplating what they had learned about the other's color. They didn't fight at all for the rest of the day, much to my amazement. I pulled them aside after dinner to speak to them.
“Have you two learned a little more respect for each other?” I asked, looking back and forth between them. They both nodded.
“I didn't know how easy it is to lose control of the electricity that's all over an Electric pet,” Ange said.
“And I never realized just how infuriating being treating as some fragile pretty thing could be,” Lop said.
“Good, I hope you'll remember that we all have different things to deal with, things about our colors or species or hobbies, that can be difficult to handle on a day to day basis. Try and think of what you learned today the next time you get into a silly fight over who has more useful magic or who's paint job is better,” I said, hugging them. “I think this will fix itself by tomorrow morning. So get some sleep and this will all be over.”
And, like the faeries said, they were back to normal when we all woke up the next day. They didn't argue for about a week, the lessons they learned as the other's color fresh in their minds. Then Ange accidentally poked Lop with one of her ear stalks.
“Watch what you do with those silly things!” Lop said.
“Better ear stalks than fuzzy horns,” Ange muttered.
“At least my 'fuzzy horns' aren't a hazard!” Lop responded.
“For the love of Fyora!” I said in the next room, headdesking on my shopping list. Sala patted me on the back, smiling some, as if she knew it wouldn't last. It never does, after all.