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Shooting Star


by whiskerun

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The sun was slowly going towards the horizon, turning the sky to a brilliant explosion of red, pink and purple. Two Neopets walked down the street, holding bags with food and drink in them.

     "I don't see why Rosie doesn't just come out and get this stuff herself," muttered the red Gelert, his bright blue eyes fixed on the street ahead of them.

     Beside him strode a taller, muscular blue Lupe. "Fang, she's busy, remember?" he growled in response. His amber eyes narrowed threateningly. "She hasn't got time to do all this stuff herself."

     "Busy with what?" snapped Fang, rounding on his older brother. Exhaustion was making him annoyed. "Seth, she's just lazy, that's all."

     Seth drew back his lips in the beginnings of a snarl. "You have no respect at all, Fang. You're young. You have to learn. Of course Rosie is busy - she has work to do that she prefers not to share with us. Why must you be so ignorant?"

     Anger blazed in the Gelert's eyes. "You sound just like her!" he spat. Without waiting for Seth to respond, he whirled around and raced down the street.

     ~*~*~

     Fang chucked the bag in the kitchen, his red fur bristling with annoyance. He didn't know why he had exploded on his brother - it was probably just because he was tired. Inside, Fang regretted what he had done, but he was too stubborn to admit it.

     His sister looked up from what she was eating, twitching an ear in surprise. "Fang, what's wrong?" she asked, sounding a little concerned.

     "Nothing," he growled at the green Xweetok.

     Aelouro raised an eyebrow. "It doesn't look like nothing. You can tell me about it, you know."

     "Why do you have to be involved? It's none of your business!"

     Fang whipped around and stalked out of the room, leaving behind a stunned sister. He pretended he hadn't seen the hurt in Elou's bright green eyes.

     Rosie met him at the bottom of the stairs. "Hey, Fang. Where's Seth?" she asked gently, looking towards the closed front door.

     "Still outside," he muttered, just wanting to run upstairs and spend some time alone.

     His owner frowned at him. "Why did you come in alone?"

     "Because we had an argument. Can I go upstairs now?"

     "About what?"

     Fang groaned. Why was Rosie always nagging him? It was none of her business, either. "It's nothing, okay?" he snapped, lashing his tail. "I just want to be alone."

     Rosie's pale blue eyes turned sharp. "I want you to apologize to Seth first. You left him behind. Fang, what's gotten into you?"

     "Leave me alone!" Now, Fang had snapped. His eyes were blazing fury and his teeth were bared, fur bristling and muscles tensed. His claws slid out and he looked as if he were ready to attack his owner. "The argument was about you, actually! You're so lazy, making us go out and do all of your work for you. 'Fang, get this. Fang, get that. Fang, go and get some of this for me.' Why can't you do it yourself?"

     "You know I've been busy lately," Rosie practically shouted at him. Fang felt a slight flash of fear when he saw the menacing anger in her eyes. "You're lazy yourself if you get so tired by just going to the Bazaar and buying a few things for everyone. Not just me, everyone. This stuff feeds you, you know." She crossed her arms and glared at him. "Fang_Shadowflame, I'm very disappointed in your attitude lately."

     With that, she stormed away, into the kitchen. Fang watched her go with a flicker of regret. Now he'd had an argument with everyone in his family - each of them being pointless.

     But as the door opened and Seth came inside, Fang whisked around and darted up the stairs into his room and slammed the door behind him.

     ~*~*~

     As night fell across Neopia, Fang watched out of his window, his head rested on his paws and his elbows on the edge of the window. He sighed, looking up at the bright, glimmering stars. For once he wished that he was away from this horrible family and that he lived somewhere else. It just wasn't fair.

     The Gelert's eyelids drooped, but he forced himself to stay awake. He didn't feel like sleeping just yet. He had eaten before he and Seth had gone out, and he was full and bloated.

     Something caught Fang's eye and he looked up. His blue eyes widened in amazement when he saw a silver dot streak across the sky. A shooting star!

     Fang remembered Rosie's words back when he had been a couple of months old. "Fang, if you ever see a shooting star, don't forget to make a wish."

     A wish. This was perfect.

     The Gelert opened the window ever so slightly and leaned out of it. "I wish that I lived in a different family," he whispered; his voice became a part of the strong breeze. Then he pulled himself back into his room and shut the window.

     Fang sighed. That wish was never going to come true! What was he thinking, wishing on a shooting star? It was ridiculous.

     Sighing with defeat and sadness, he turned around and slipped back into his bed, closing his deep blue eyes and waiting for sleep to overtake him.

     ~*~*~

     The next morning, Fang awoke and sat up in bed. He rubbed his blue eyes and yawned drowsily. His eyes drifted around his large room with pale blue wallpaper and a much darker blue floor, a huge, comfortable bed and many plushies and toys...

     Wait a minute. This wasn't Fang's room.

     Panic rose in the Gelert's chest as he stumbled frantically out of the unfamiliar bed, staggering over to the nearest window - which was golden-framed and huge. He stared out of it and he was certain that his heart skipped a beat.

     Outside wasn't Neopia Central, the place he had come to know and love. Instead, there was dark green grass and warm breezes, a boiling hot sun and a beach in the distance; the smell and sound of crashing waves reached his ears and nose. Little huts surrounded him.

     Mystery Island...? Had Rosie moved houses?

     Then Fang remembered everything. The arguments, sitting alone at his window, staring at the stars... the shooting star. His wish had come true after all!

     Excited and slightly scared, the red Gelert turned and ran out of his new room. He looked around and found himself standing in a large hallway; stairs were just in front of him, but there were two sets. Some going up and some going down. Fang chose to go down.

     "Ah, sir Fang_Shadowflame," a voice rasped. Fang skidded to a halt at the bottom of the stairs and looked up. An island Wocky was before him, his eyes lowered to look at the Gelert.

     "Um, hi," Fang stammered. "Y-you can call me Fang. Who are you?"

     The Wocky looked genuinely confused. A moment later he laughed. "Sir, you've known me since you were a pup. I'm your butler, Jareth. Remember?"

     Fang realized that his wish meant he had never been Rosie's pet at all. He swallowed and nodded. "Uh... yeah, right. Okay. I remember, sorry."

     Jareth smiled with amusement. "Come, your breakfast is ready." With that he turned and started walking away.

     Fang followed, afraid to get lost in this huge house. He was confused as to why he didn't live in a little hut like the rest of Mystery Island's houses. But then, why should he question it? He wished on a shooting star and got much more than he asked for - more than he expected.

     The Wocky took him to a large room that Fang soon realized was a kitchen. A pure white marble floor almost blinded him and he squinted, but he walked forward towards the long table with only two chairs on either end.

     "Breakfast is served," Jareth said in a smooth voice, placing a tray of food in front of the hungry Gelert.

     Fang's eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. Before him was the hugest breakfast he'd ever seen: herbal scrambled eggs, red sausages, sweet baked beans, baby tomatoes and even a sweetcorn and potato soup. Wait a second, sweetcorn and potato soup? Fang winced and pushed that away.

     Jareth's brown eyes narrowed. "Something wrong, sir?"

     "Oh, nothing," he replied quickly. Fang was a little uncomfortable with the Wocky calling him 'sir', but he supposed he would live with it.

     When he finished his breakfast - which took a while - Fang got down from the chair and walked towards the door. Jareth had disappeared somewhere and Fang believed that he was on his own.

     He quickly realized he was wrong when a deep voice sounded behind him. "Good morning, Fang."

     Fang turned around to see a tall man with thick black hair and dark green eyes staring at him. He looked friendly enough, but Fang was slightly intimidated by him. He guessed that this was his new owner.

     "Yeah, uh, hi, um..." he thought desperately for the name of this person, "...owner dude." Ridiculous.

     The man looked confused. "Tom. My name is Tom, remember?"

     Fang shook himself and made sure his fear didn't show. "Yeah, uh, right! Sorry. I had a bit of a weird dream and forgot stuff..." He trailed off and shrugged.

     "Maybe you should go outside to calm down, or go to the beach," Tom suggested, raising an eyebrow.

     "Okay." Fang turned around and was about to leave the kitchen when he suddenly thought of something. He looked back at Tom. "Do I have any siblings?"

     Tom looked even more confused. "No. You only live with me. Jareth is your butler."

     Fang nodded. "Right, I'll remember that." He turned and then he stopped again. "Oh, and another thing... where's the front door?"

     ~*~*~

     For days that turned to weeks, Fang lived in this new house with Tom and Jareth. He was slowly getting used to this lifestyle and he was loving it. Going to the beach every day and playing in the sea, living life in luxury as a rich, pampered pet; it was perfect.

     One boiling hot afternoon, Fang was - as usual - at the beach. He was lying on the sand, his blue eyes half-closed with satisfaction as he watched the sea, the waves crashing gently against the shore. Neopets around him were shouting together and playing various games that Fang didn't pay attention to.

     The water of the sea reached his paws and he smiled to himself, letting the cold sea water soak his red fur. In a few moments he was splashing out to sea like a baby Gelert, excitedly yelping and laughing to himself. The sea rose up to his chest and got him very wet, but he didn't mind.

     Suddenly, something appeared before him. Fang narrowed his eyes and peered closer, before recoiling with shock. In the water, standing knee-deep, was a muscular blue Lupe with amber eyes that stared right at Fang, expressionless. He realized it was Seth_Brightfire, his older brother - but a very faded image of him.

     "Seth?" Fang murmured, suddenly frozen in the water. His blue eyes were wide with shock and confusion now.

     But the Lupe was fading. His amber eyes were friendly and soft as they looked at Fang, and Fang thought that he could hear his brother's voice. You're a strange, hyper brother... but we all love you.

     "Wait!" Fang wailed, splashing forward and trying to reach his brother. The water crashed over his head and pulled him under for a brief moment; the Gelert swam to the surface and breathed in deeply, but when he opened his eyes again, Seth was gone.

     His heart was beating rapidly now. What just happened? Had he really seen Seth, or was it just an illusion?

     Fang decided to swim some more and take his mind off of it. He took in a huge breath and dived underwater, moving his legs so that he swam easily through the water. He was starting to relax again.

     Then he saw her. A very faded image, just like before; but it was definitely Elou. She was swimming gleefully through the water, her bright green eyes full of happiness and the sweet gentleness that Fang knew. Her eyes locked with his but she swam straight past him as if he wasn't there. A little pink Floud followed after her, and Fang realized it was her Petpet, Angel.

     The Gelert swam after them, struggling to keep up. His sister was a good swimmer and a good runner, so she was often much faster than him.

     Suddenly he needed air. Fang stopped following his sister and leaped to the surface, blinking and gasping for breath. He shook his head and droplets of water spun off of him before he dived back under, searching for Elou once again.

     But she was gone.

     Fang swam back to the surface and felt his stomach fill with dismay. He had swam very far out from the beach and now he was seeing things. He started to swim back to the beach where the Neopets and their owners were playing together.

     The Gelert stepped out of the water and walked on the beach again. The hot golden sand crunched beneath his wet paws. He sighed and looked around.

     What he saw made his heart skip a beat - again.

     Rosie was standing there among the crowd, but once again, she was nothing more than a faded image. Her pale blue eyes glistened in the sunlight and her long blond hair looked golden. She smiled at Fang as he simply gaped at her in bewilderment.

     "Rosie?"

     He ran forward, hoping to actually reach his owner. But by the time he got there, she had faded completely. Dismay shot through the Gelert like lightning and he stopped, shivering.

     Fang hadn't realized how much he missed his home and his family until now. He scraped the sand with his black claws and bared his teeth, tears coming to his eyes.

     Then he collapsed in the sand, unable to take any more.

     ~*~*~

     Fang woke up to a warm breeze. He looked around and realized that the beach was basically deserted apart from a small amount of Neopians. The sky was darkening and the sun was setting, the waves gently coming up to the shore and soaking the golden sand.

     The Gelert struggled to stand up. Why hadn't Tom or Jareth come looking for him? He shook that thought off as he started to pad away, back towards the place he now called home. Misery made his ears and tail droop. At least the sun had dried his red fur.

     A few moments later, Fang was opening the door to his Neohome and stepping through. It was huge and clean, just like usual. The Gelert decided that he wasn't hungry and started to head for the stairs.

     He passed a small room which he had come to learn was the room where Tom studied things and read books. The door was slightly open and Tom was sitting at a desk, reading something; his dark green eyes were narrowed thoughtfully.

     "Tom?" Fang called into the room.

     His owner looked up and smiled slightly. "Ah, Fang. You've returned. Had a good day?"

     Fang was puzzled. "Didn't you miss me?" he asked sadly. "I collapsed on the beach."

     "I'm sure you were fine," Tom replied broadly, turning a page of his book. "You're home now, aren't you?"

     That told Fang enough. His tail drooped even more and he turned around without replying. Rosie would have been out and searching for him in an instant; she would have been so worried for him, she would have been hugging him tight and promising never to let go...

     Fang's throat was tight as he reached the stairs. He missed Rosie, he missed Seth, he missed Elou, and he even missed Angel. He missed his little home in Neopia Central and he missed the Neopian Bazaar and Plaza. He even missed going out and getting things for Rosie when she was busy.

     Jareth met him at the top of the stairs. "Do you need anything, Sir Shadowflame?"

     Fang twitched. "No, Jareth. Thanks, though." He pushed past the island Wocky and walked into his room, closing the door behind him.

     This room - which had started to become familiar - was now like a jail to Fang. He sighed and walked over to the window, resting his head in his paws and his elbows on the edge of the window.

     The sun had set and the stars were coming out. Fang watched the dark sky, suddenly very exhausted. He wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed and sleep, then wake up and be back home with Rosie and the rest of his family.

     Suddenly, something caught his eye. A silver dot raced across the sky, leaving behind a faint trail. Fang's eyes widened in amazement. Could it be...? A shooting star.

     Fang pushed the window open and leaned out of it again, carefully placing his paws so that he wouldn't fall over the edge. "I wish I was back home with Rosie!" he wailed to the sky. "I hate it here. I miss Rosie, Seth, Elou and Angel! I miss Neopia Central and everything about my old home! I miss it all."

     But as the star disappeared and the night fell silent, Fang sighed and closed the window again. He crawled into bed and closed his eyes. Of course his wish wasn't going to come true. He was stuck like this forever.

     The young Gelert finally fell asleep after a long time, and a single blue tear slid down his cheek.

     ~*~*~

     The next morning, dawn light awoke Fang. He sat up and stretched, blinking in the morning light - wait a minute. In his new home, the light didn't reach Fang's face.

     He looked around and realized with delight that he was in his old room. The small bed, the plushies, the plain floor and wall - and of course, the window beside his bed.

     Fang leaped out of bed and skidded out of his room. He almost collided with Seth, who was just emerging from his own room.

     "Hey, watch where you're going," snapped the Lupe, moving back a few steps.

     Fang ignored his bitter tone. "Seth!" he shrieked, deliberately crashing into his brother and knocking him to the floor. His blue eyes filled with delight. "Oh, I missed you so much!"

     "You missed me...?" Seth asked, his amber eyes bewildered and confused.

     But Fang didn't get to answer. Aelouro came out of her room with Angel right beside her, yawning. She noticed both Fang and Seth on the floor and looked puzzled. "What happ-"

     "Elou!" the Gelert yowled, lunging at the Xweetok. She gasped and staggered back a few paces as she, too, fell to the ground under Fang's weight. Angel was barking excitedly around them.

     "Fang, what's up?" Elou asked breathlessly as she pushed the Gelert off of her.

     He just replied with an excited leap into the air. "I'm home! I'm home!" With that, he sped down the stairs and into the living room. Elou and Seth exchanged a slow, confused glance before following hesitantly.

     Fang stopped when he saw Rosie sitting on the desk at the edge of the room beside the window. She was writing some things, looking deep in thought.

     The Gelert prepared himself before darting across the room in a couple of swift bounds. "Rosie!"

     Rosie turned around just in time and her eyes widened when she saw the Gelert hurtling towards her. "What-" Fang leaped basically right on top of her and knocked her down, to the ground. She found herself laughing. "Fang, get off!"

     He rolled off onto the floor and breathed in the air, his heart filling with delight. "I'm home, I'm home, I'm home!"

     Seth and Elou joined them with Angel close beside them. They all looked as puzzled as Rosie.

     "Fang, you never went anywhere," Rosie said slowly.

     Fang looked up. "Yes, I did! I wished on a shooting star that I could live somewhere else because I was mad at you guys, and then I ended up in this huge house on Mystery Island with this owner guy called Tom and this butler Wocky called Jareth and I lived there for like three weeks and then I got upset because I missed you and I saw another shooting star and I wished to come home and now I'm back!" He breathed in deeply once he was finished.

     Seth and Elou exchanged another glance and Rosie just looked confused. "Uh... okay..." she said slowly, then laughed.

     The Gelert realized that no time had passed. He had wished to come back, and obviously he had gone back in time, too. That is so cool!

     "It doesn't matter," Fang whispered. "I'm home. I'm home."

     He walked over to Seth and Elou and hugged them, more gently this time. Angel joined in with an excited bark. Then the Gelert looked at Rosie, beckoning with his tail for her to join in the hug. She frowned and slowly came over, before wrapping her arms around all of them and smiling.

     Fang smiled, too. "Home. I'm so happy to be home."

The End

Author's note: Yeah, I'm back to writing stories for the NT! I sort of took a break. xD Well, if you haven't already, then read my previous stories! I'm going to try and submit a lot more in the future. Neomail is loved! :>

 
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