Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 128,277,782 Issue: 261 | 13th day of Collecting, Y8
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Ailemea vs. Jenna: Part One


by rainbow_lover852

--------

Also by jeanaet

The blue Xweetok woke with a yawn. Rubbing her eyes, she rolled out of bed and dragged herself into the bathroom. She turned on the faucet in the bathtub and watched as it filled with heated water. After about one minute, it was full to the brim and she turned it off, deciding to let it cool for a few minutes before she got in.

     Feeling more awake, she left the room and strolled downstairs. Jeanie was in the dining room, sitting at the table. Her face was hidden behind the Neopian Times and she was eating doughnut fruit and sipping heated Strawberry Achyfi.

     "Morning," Ailemea called.

     Jeanie peeked around her paper. "Late morning?" she asked, confused, glancing at the clock.

     The Xweetok glanced as well. "Six am?! Why didn't you wake me?!" Aile cried, dashing outside. She was way behind schedule! Hurriedly, she checked the mailbox and pulled out the neomail. She dashed back into their large Neohome and to Jeanie. Jeanie reached for the mail but Aile was looking it over.

     Junk... junk... junk... "Are you expecting anything important?" Jeanie asked.

     Ailemea frowned and handed her the neomail, "Well, I got published again today. I should think the fan mail would be pouring in..." she said, slightly disappointed.

     "You were published?" Jeanie asked curiously. "I didn't see your story..." She reopened the paper and scanned it. "Oh here it is; page three hundred twenty three."

     "Three hundred what?!" Aile cried, snatching away the paper and flipping the pages. "How could they do this to me - I'm always printed on page fifty-" The Xweetok stopped short, her normally blue mane amazingly pale.

     "What's wrong?" Jeanie asked.

     Ailemea shook herself, "Nothing," she said, folding the paper carefully and placing it under her arm. "I'm going to take a bath..." she mumbled and started upstairs. Jeanie frowned in concern after her.

     Ailemea walked through her sitting room, staring blankly ahead. She placed the Neopian Times on her desk in her office, and then continued into her bedroom. She passed Haelee still sleeping in her petpet basket peacefully, and crawled into her bed. Stuffing her face into her many pillows, she screamed.

     ~*~

     Jenna_Leanna the Xweetok sighed with contentment as she stepped out into the bright early morning sun of Mystery Island, and stretched letting sun rays warm her striped fur. Standing there a moment by her doorstep, reveling in the jungle's beauty, Jenna viewed the newsboy as he swerved around the corner on his flashy red bike and tossed the Sunday copy of the Neopian Times.

     Jenna caught it with a grin. The newsboy, a yellow Kacheek named Jerry, winked and before continuing called out, "Congrats on your awesome story, Jen! One of my favorites!" and with that he wheeled off.

     Jenna's eyes widened and then she ripped off the covering of the Times and began to flip through it. There, on page 56, was the beginning of her two-part series. With a whoop Jenna dashed back inside to spread the news.

     As she dashed past the living room sofa, she nearly toppled over her Snowbunny. The petpet was indignant, but Jenna only laughed, "Look, Lissie! It's my story!" she cried in delight, showing the picture of a glowering striped Xweetok that looked remarkably like herself. The Snowbunny nuzzled her paw happily.

     Jenna was just about to start reading when Rain called her, "Jenna! I need you!"

     Jenna reluctantly sat down her paper, upset that she had to give up her reading. With a sigh she bounced up and headed for the kitchen where her owner was. Rain smiled and stroked the Xweetok fondly. Jenna smiled back. She loved these frequent signs of affection that Rain often gave her pets.

     "Check it out, Rain! They published the first part of my story today!" Jenna declared proudly, showing the Neopian Times to her owner. Rain cheered and took a look at the Times, a hand still on Jenna's shoulder.

     "Wow, and on page 56 too! That's wonderful, Jenna," she said with a grin.

     Jenna grinned back. "So what'd you call me for?" she asked, a little curious, though she yearned to get back to her reading. Rain sucked in breath through her teeth and looked over at the baby Kougra rolling around with her Gruslen and giggling. She stopped when she felt the others' eyes on her, and looked at them innocently.

     "I need you to go to Neopia Central to get a new Hula Girl Usuki for Lailani," Rain explained tiredly, handing a small bag of Neopoints to Jenna.

     "What? But she already has-" Jenna began, but Rain gave her a strained look.

     Jenna gasped, "Kiara didn't..."

     "No, it was our home-wrecker, Simba," Rain said, indicating the Gruslen.

     "Oh boy." There was nothing more to say.

     Rain gave her a quick hug then turned her toward the door. "Hurry, before Lailani gets back from Jubble Bubble," her owner urged.

     Jenna nodded, grabbed her leather jacket and then slung her sheathed Light Faerie Sword, Faith, across her back. It was something she was never without. Then she dashed out of her Neohome and swiftly reached the Island docks. Minutes later, she was soaring off into the distance on the back of an Eyrie.

     ~*~

     Jeanie dragged Ailemea by the paw into the Usukiland. Nexy was in a sling on the teenage owner's back, Oreh was at home recuperating from her last zapping, and Isaerios was off breaking hearts as usual.

     Aile looked miserably around.

     "Cheer up, honey," Jeanie said hugging the sad Xweetok. "Here, I'll buy you a brand new Usuki."

     Ailemea glanced at the dolls and her sadness disappeared for a moment. Then it reappeared. "I'll bet that Jenna has it already and has already written all about it," she said blandly.

     "Hello, girls!" said the cheerful Blumaroo Shopkeeper, hopping over. "Why so gloomy, sweetheart?" she asked Ailemea, patting her gently. "You're in Usukiland! Here, buy an Usuki at half price off!" Aile shook her head sadly and sat down on the floor with drooping shoulders.

     "She thinks that someone else already has any one that she could buy," Jeanie explained and then leaned closer and whispered, "She likes to be special and important."

     The Blumaroo beamed. "I have JUST the thing for you! It just came in! A limited edition Hula Girl Usuki -- there are only two of them in all of Neopia and I have one of them in my personal collection," the shopkeeper said with a wink.

     Ailemea perked up. "We'll take it!"

     The Blumaroo went into a back room and boxed the ordinary Hula Girl Usuki. She returned once more and Jeanie paid her, "Thank you very much," she said. She handed the Usuki to Ailemea who hugged it tight.

     Nexy cooed curiously from his owner's back and wriggled his fingers at Ailemea. The Xweetok handed the Usuki to her baby brother and he looked at it wide eyed before hugging it tight. Aile watched him fondly as he made his little baby noises at it.

     Suddenly the bell at the door rang loudly and Ailemea glanced around to see which customer was coming in. She froze. A striped Xweetok strutted into the shop and began searching through the shelves. The shining sword slung across her back gave the pet a rather intimidating appearance.

     "What's wrong?" Jeanie asked.

     "It's. Her," the blue Xweetok replied tightly.

     Jeanie turned around and gasped. There in fact was the Xweetok whose picture they had seen in the paper that very morning, "Uh-oh," Jeanie muttered.

     Jenna scanned the shelves in earnest. It had to be here! But it wasn't. Finally she desperately headed for the shopkeeper. "Please, Miss, I need a Hula Girl Usuki," she said urgently.

     "Sorry, dear, I just sold my last one to that Xweetok over there," the Blumaroo said, pointing at a blue Xweetok and her owner with a baby Yurble on her back. Indeed, in the little Yurble's paws, was the Usuki.

     Jenna groaned. She was too late! But there might be a chance... she hesitantly strode over to the pair.

     The blue Xweetok's frozen gaze immediately turned into a glower and she stepped behind her owner's legs. Well, that's nice, Jenna thought crossly. But she spoke up despite the rude action.

     "Um hi, my name is Jenna_Leanna," she introduced herself politely. The other Xweetok's glare deepened.

     "Hello, dear," the owner said politely. "I'm Jeanie, this is Trohanex, and this is Ailemea."

     Jenna's eye's widened, "Not the writer?" she asked incredulously. What luck! To run into a fellow writer, the things they could talk about!

     "Don't I look like a writer?" Ailemea said defiantly, stepping away from the protection of Jeanie's legs.

     Startled, Jenna tried to clear things up, "I just meant..." she began.

     "WHAT did you mean?" Aile growled.

     A great sense of hurt and frustration filled Jenna. What was wrong with this Ailemea?

     "Ailemea, be nice!" Jeanie said, her voice hard and serious for the first time in Ailemea's life. Aile blinked and snapped her mouth shut.

     "I'm sorry, Jenna dear, but what do you need?" Jeanie asked kindly.

     Jenna stood up a little taller. "Miss Jeanie, I don't mean to be forward, but could you please sell me that Usuki?" she asked urgently. "My sister is going to be home any minute and she'll be really upset when she sees what our Gruslen did with her other one!"

     "It's mine!" Ailemea said, snatching the Usuki away from Trohanex. The baby began to whimper. "It is limited edition."

     What a brat, Jenna couldn't help but think. She glanced hopefully at the Usuki. "It looks normal to me," she said.

     Ailemea was about to reply but then she realized that the Usuki really did look normal.

     She instantly realized the truth.

     "That cheap - " she began, starting for the shopkeeper, but Jeanie grabbed her from behind and pulled her into her arms. The Xweetok struggled and then relaxed with an unhappy sigh.

     "Please, I really need it," Jenna urged quietly. Jeanie set Ailemea onto the floor and reached back to calm Trohanex who was about to start wailing. After a minute, Aile handed the Usuki to Jenna. With a breathless, "Thanks," the striped Xweetok reached for her Neopoints but Jeanie patted her shoulder.

     "It's okay, dear, you keep them."

     "Oh, I can't!" Jenna protested.

     "Yes, you can," Jeanie said with a smile.

     Jenna returned the smile gratefully. "Thanks again!" she said quickly, and then dashed out the door to an Eyrie who looked to be very bored. With a nimble leap, sheathed sword bouncing lightly against her back, Jenna was in the Eyrie's saddle in an instant. He immediately leaped into the air and swooped off. After a moment they were gone.

     "Let's go home, Aile," Jeanie said. Ailemea nodded, watching Jenna go.

     ~*~

     Jenna dashed into her home, panting heavily. Rain came in from straightening the living room, an anxious look on her face.

     "Is Lailani here yet?" Jenna asked hoarsely, and handed the Usuki and Neopoints to her owner.

     "No, you made it," Rain reassured with a smile, "I can always count on you to complete a quick errand."

     "Phew!" Jenna sighed with relief. "You'll never guess who I met and who gave me that Usuki," she said, eyes bright, as they always were when filled with suppressed excitement.

     "Who?" Rain asked, quickly setting the Usuki into Lailani's toy chest.

     "Ailemea and her owner, Jeanie! Awesome, isn't it?"

     "Sweet!" Rain agreed. "And they just gave you the Usuki?"

     "It was the last in the shop, and they'd bought it first, but in the end they just gave it to me, though I offered to pay." Jenna decided not to mention Ailemea's behavior, feeling it was something to deal with on her own.

     Rain smiled. "That was nice of them; let's invite them to dinner," she suggested.

     Jenna frowned. "Do we have to? I mean, you know how I feel around strange groups. It won't be fun, trust me."

     In fact, this wasn't Jenna's real reason for discouraging the invitation. The real reason was Ailemea.

     "You'll be fine. It's not like I'm inviting the whole of Neopia over, and besides you've already met them. Lindsey!" Rain called, picking up the Neopian Times and flipping through it.

     A Christmas Zafara glided into the room. She was Jenna's second youngest sister, and the best baby-sitter that the Xweetok had ever known. Even now she had Kiara in her arms. "Yes?" she asked.

     "I need you to fly to Neopia Central and invite a family to dinner," Rain said, scanning a page of the Times. "Here's their address," she continued, showing the paper to Lindsey.

     "575498 Bread Street, Neopia Central," the Zafara read, memorizing it. "Excellent, I'm off. Here, hold her. Make sure she doesn't get into trouble!" She dumped her charge into Jenna's lap. Then she then flew out of both house and Neohome.

     "Well, we're in for a rather interesting dinner," Jenna mumbled to Kiara. The baby Kougra giggled and pawed her oldest sister's face adoringly.

     ~*~

     Oreh answered the door, wiping away the tears that had restarted when she saw herself in a mirror. A snot Grundo - what could be worse? Shaking a little from her misery, she opened the door. A lovely white Zafara with a halo around her head and wings sprouting from her back stood staring wide-eyed at the house.

     "Yes, what is it? Ailemea isn't here right now, but if you want an autographed picture..." Oreh asked, still a little weepy.

     "No, no, I'm just here to deliver an invitation," the Zafara said quickly, a hint of sympathy in her voice as she eyed Oreh. "My name is Lindsey_Airendel, and my owner Rain wanted to invite your family to dinner at our Neohome. Here's our address." She handed a slip of paper to Oreh.

     Oreh looked it over. "Okay, I'll tell Jeanie. I'm sure she'll say yes," she declared.

     Lindsey smiled warmly. "Excellent, I'll see you then!" And with those final words, the Zafara turned and flew off.

     Jeanie, Nexy, and Ailemea reached home just as a Christmas Zafara flew off. They walked inside right as Oreh began to retreat. It was the first time Ailemea had seen her sister since the zapping. So, as Ailemea did around Grundos, she screamed. And screamed. And then screamed some more.

     Jeanie slapped a hand over the Xweetok's mouth, but it was too late. Oreh burst into tears once again and dashed away to her bedroom.

     "Ailemea, can't you ever keep control of yourself!" Jeanie said angrily, forcing Nexy into his big sister's arms. She hurriedly followed the miserable sobs of Oreh down the hall.

     Ailemea blinked, holding onto her baby brother clumsily. Then she snapped out of her trance and looked at the Yurble. "Ugh, you are seriously MUSSED, Mister!" she informed the baby. He grinned at her, slightly mischievous. "Come along then, I'll clean you up," Aile said, heaving him up the stairs. She carried him through her rooms and then set him gently on the bathroom floor and began to fill her bathtub. She could hear Isaerios clearly on his side of the bathroom, probably practicing making his blue eyes more penetrating. She shook her head in disgust. She and Isaerios had not gotten along at all once they had brought him home.

     Carefully, she placed Nexy into the bath and he cheered gleefully, splashing and wriggling. She pursed her lips and began to soak his fur. After this she applied endless amounts of shampoo to his fur. Jeanie came in as she was doing this.

     "What are you doing? I gave him a bath this morning!" Jeanie cried.

     "Obviously, Jeanie, you used Peophin, I am using Superstar - it brings out his blue so much more," Ailemea said simply, fondly stroking the shampoo into Nexy's fur. The Yurble looked with big eyes up at his owner.

     Jeanie sighed. "Anyways, we are going to dinner at Jenna's house tonight," the owner announced.

     Ailemea whirled around. "What?" she demanded, wide-eyed.

     "I said we are going to Jenna's house tonight for dinner, and you are not getting out of it," Jeanie said sternly. "Be ready in a few minutes and we'll call some Eyries." Jeanie left the bathroom, and Ailemea hurriedly returned to scrubbing Nexy.

     She finally finished bathing him and carried him over to the table beside the mirror. It was especially for him when she bathed him. She hurriedly jumped into the bath and scrubbed shampoo into her fur, even though she had taken a bath that morning. She leaped out, toweled herself and Nexy down and then went to work. She heard Jeanie tell Isaerios in the other room and heard him dash into the bathroom to prepare.

     Carefully, Aile applied blue eye shadow to Nexy's and her pale parts. She then rubbed some brown eye shadow into the rest of her fur, deepening its color. She applied some brown lipstick, then ran a comb through her blue fur, rubbing the eye shadow into it. Finally, she declared them both adorable and carried Nexy downstairs where the whole family had been waiting for forever.

     Jeanie smiled and took Trohanex into her arms. "Don't you look like the loveliest Prince of all things!" she cooed at him. He giggled. Isaerios looked as handsome as ever, Ailemea could tell he had pretty much doused himself in black eye shadow. Oreh even looked better. Jeanie had taken her to the lab for the day and she had turned into an Island Grundo. The happy Oreh had polished her Tiki mask until it glowed.

     "Time to go!" Jeanie announced, and they all walked outside. Immediately, Ailemea's gut told her she was forgetting something.

     "What about Haelee?" she asked Jeanie.

     "Not a chance," their owner said firmly.

     "I think we should take all the petpets," Isaerios said, the look in his eyes showing that he had the same feeling as Ailemea. Oreh nodded.

     "Very well," Jeanie said distastefully. "But one of you is taking their playpen!" They all agreed and Oreh being the lightest, decided to take it on her Eyrie. They made a quick dash back inside for the petpets and then met up again outside. Trohanex cuddled Aros, his blue Drackonack. Haelee the Ditsy sat on Ailemea's shoulder, Isaerios's Snoogy, Teagus, was sitting on the shadow Xweetok's shoulder, and Snarkie the yellow Scarabug was yawning in Oreh's arms. Their playpen was latched to Oreh's back.

     "NOW can we go?" Jeanie asked. All of the pets nodded and then in unison they all shrilly whistled. Four Eyries glided out of the clouds.

     "And how are our favorite travelers this fine evening?" the lead Eyrie asked, smiling at them.

     "We're lovely, thank you," Jeanie said, climbing onto his back. "We need to go to Mystery Island - is that okay?" The Eyrie nodded and waited for all the other pets to climb onto the other Eyries, their petpets in their laps. Then, in unison, the four Eyries leapt into the air and flew into the sky.

To be continued...

 
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