|In These Tiled Halls
Author: Whateva876 PM
Our beloved pets are in Neoschool. So how do they fit in? Who is the cheerleader, and who is the rebel? Who is the brains and who is the brawn? And why did Belle become evil? Written with Echos in my head.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Drama - Chapters: 5 - Words: 23,370 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 1 - Updated: 10-25-12 - Published: 01-10-12 - id: 7730494
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
There is a place that every Neopian dreads going to. It means stress and frustration and even sadness. Some would even describe it as torture. So what is this place anyway? One word.
At least that's what 14 year old Belle thinks as she dashes down the halls, hoping desperately to not be late again. As her teacher often embarrasses her if she is. "Hurry up!" a 14 year old Shadow called down the hall, waving an arm wildly, and almost hitting Dusty in the face. "Oh! Sorry Dusty!"
Dusty grumbles before resuming her cheerful nature, seeing one of her sisters nearby. "Hey, Sun!"
Sun briefly waved. "What's wrong, Sun?" asked Dusty, worried.
Sun looked like a mess. "Sh-She's coming!" Sun choked out, terrified. Dusty's eyes widened as she realized what Sun was talking about...
The school doors crashed open. The school bad girl was here.
The halls effectively went quiet as she strolled down the corridor, right through the crowd of people. Only one person didn't seem fazed by her.
Will was a strange girl that most kept away from. It wasn't because of her looks; In fact, Will was quite pretty. It was how she acted around other people. Only her sisters, Shadow and Fire, were capable of dealing with Will's constant sarcasm and threats.
Only a few people had tried to stop Lahetta's constant terror of the school, but their only reward was a black eye and a hospital visit.
As Lahetta was punching the life out of a random kid, Belle strode up to her. "Lahetta, can you just sto-" Lahetta let the kid drop to the floor as she spun around to face Belle. The kid slipped away and ran as fast as he could.
"What's wrong, Belle?" Lahetta asked with a menacing smirk. "Too soft to see someone else being hurt?"
Belle snarled, her protective nature getting the better of her. "Why must you freaking hurt people, Lahetta? You used to be a good person."
Lahetta smirked. "What makes me a bad person?"
"Beating people up is a good starting point," said a dry voice behind the both of them. Will was retying her ponytail before looking looking at Lahetta with pale grey eyes.
Lahetta whipped around, "Oh, if it isn't missy Will. Ready for another beating, freak?"
Will blinked once, then grinned. She chuckled softly before laughing louder and louder. She threw back her head and shook with laughter, wiping her eyes. "If you only knew," she said gleefully.
Lahetta was genuinely confused. "What?"
Belle was long past uncomfortable, she was upset, freaked out, worried, and realizing they should be in class by now.
Shadow went over to her friend, sister and the mean girl. Belle and Shadow started to inch away.
Will flicked her fringe out of her eyes. "You'll figure it out eventually," she replied, heading to the classroom. "Oh, and by the way, your fly is down," Will called out over her shoulder.
Lahetta looked down, realization. "No it's no- Ugh, I swear she's even more cruel than me." She remembered her sisters presence. "Get outta here, Belle. You're late enough already."
Belle quickly slipped away, she remembered what happened when she showed up late. Groaning, she ran towards her next class.
The classroom was already packed. Belle slid into her seat in between Shadow and Alivia, who was doodling little hearts on her notebook. In the front of the room, Fire was explaining one of the homework problems to Kelly.
Kelly was not the brightest tool when it came to education, "But it doesn't make sense!" she protested.
Lahetta was listening outside the door, filing her nails, she chuckled, saying to herself. "Kelly was never all that bright."
Fire's patience was running thin. In school, she seemed to be the jack of all trades: a good student, cheerleader and friendly. But her firey attitude and short temper landed her in trouble with both students and teachers on many occasions. "Look Kelly, it's math. We just want to figure out what X is, and to do that, we need to isolate it on one side of the equation..." As Fire continued her explanation, Alsa and Sammi were handing out papers to everyone.
The Yellow Shoyru sighed. Belle to the rescue again. She raised her hand, the teacher called on her "Yes, Belle?" Belle stood up, and went next to Kelly. "You see Kelly, when you look at this math equation at a different angle..."
Fire, deciding that Belle had everything under control, looked down at the papers that were passed out.
Party at the Rainbow Pool this Saturday at 9:00pm! The dress code is casual, and food will be provided. RSVP by tomorrow!
Alivia had gotten a text message from Cute, even though they were sitting two desks away from each other. Alivia giggled and typed back a response. Shadow sighed and looked out the window. The large expanse of sky looking back down at her seemed more appealing than the lesson being taught.
"GIRLS!" the teacher snapped. "Alivia and Cute, stop texting! Shadow, pay attention! Lahetta, get in class!"
The class was entirely female, since a few years ago the principal had decided that the girls and boys learned in different ways at different rates, and had separated the classes by gender. Though this seemed sexist at first, it had actually worked out quite well, and the decision stuck. Tawni, a known tomboy, was the closest thing they had to a male in that class.
Fire sighed. "I wish Will was here," she muttered under her breath. Twelve year old Will was in the grade below them.
Tawni sighed, she was often the one who was responsible for Lahetta, when Belle was busy. Belle was still trying to explain the math equation to Kelly, "C'mon, Kelly. It's just a simple math equation." Tawni walked out the door, surprisingly with no protest from the teacher. Time to go get Lahetta, she thought.
Lahetta was leaning against her locker, she pushed a few strands of blonde and brown hair out of her face. Tawni shoved her hands into the pockets of her checkered hoodie, feeling a bit nervous. There were times when even Belle couldn't keep Lahetta under control.
The Acara gave up trying to push her hair out of her face and blew upward, causing the hair to float up gently before landing to the side. "Trying to get me back in class, Tawni? I thought that was Belle's job."
Tawni sighed, "Kelly was called for a math equation-"
"So, how exactly-"
"What could you possibly have on me?"
Tawni took a lighter out of her pocket and held it up so it caught the light. Lahetta's eyes widened and she reached out impulsively for it. Tawni calmly moved it out her reach.
"How did you get that?" Lahetta screeched.
Tawni smirked. "I have my connections. Now, if you show good attendance for a month, nobody will know all your secrets."
"You wouldn't dare-"
"We both know that I would, Lahetta."
"You're a bitch, you know?"
"I'm aware. So, is that a yes?"
Lahetta was fuming. Tawni stood calmly by, not daring to show any sign of fear. If Lahetta so much as smelled fear on another person, she couldn't be beat.
Lahetta finally flipped Tawni off and stalked over to the classroom. Tawni made a small half-smile and followed her inside.
"I think I get it now!" Kelly was saying as they entered.
Belle sighed, relieved. "That's great, Kelly." Belle quickly dashed to her seat.
"It's nice to see that you finally joined us, miss." Lahetta and the teacher glared at each other, neither backing down.
"Fight! Fight! Fight!" V started chanting at the back of the classroom. V was the school rebel.
The teacher was torn; She couldn't back down from Lahetta, but V was really getting on her nerves.
Cloud, sensing her teacher's distress, gently reached over to V. "V? I don't think that a fight in the classroom is the best idea."
V rolled her eyes. "C'mon, Cloud. Don't you wanna see anything interesting in your life?"
Lahetta grinned. "Aw. Is the teacher so dull that she can't make a move?"
The teacher was about to reply when Cloud spoke up. "Listen! This isn't the way the class should be taught! We should all be working together so we can all learn and grow! Are you all proud of the way you're acting?" Obviously upset, Cloud sat back down, and Lahetta and the teacher both looked away from each other.
Lahetta and V sat back down.
It was an unspoken rule: If the school sweetheart Cloud ever got upset enough to yell, everyone stopped what they were doing. Cloud, however, didn't seem to notice that she had this power over the others.
A couple of minutes later, the fire alarm sounded. Almost everybody was screaming, except V, who was yelling "Awesome!"
Fire clutched her head and groaned. It was only a matter of time before the students all blamed her for it. Just like the last time, and the time before that. And the time before that...
"Fire! Come on!" Shadow was tugging her arm with Belle at her side. Fire and Belle weren't friends, exactly, more like acquaintances by association.
Every student of every grade was running outside the building, about half of them screaming their lungs out.
Gracie, the school darling, walked out slowly, practically unaware of the fire in the building.
Gracie was accompanied by her sister Pie, who looked immensely worried. "Do you think everyone's okay?" she asked nervously.
"Mmm-hmm." Gracie wasn't paying attention.
"Where's Will?" Pie asked suddenly. Gracie, Pie and Will were all in the same grade.
Elva ran through every hall, every room, even every bathroom, looking for Will. She couldn't find her anywhere, it worried her.
Chewing nervously on her hair, Elva looked back in the classroom. No sign of Will. The cafeteria and schoolyard were busts too. On her way back out, she ran into a fire-painted Usul.
"Where's Will?" she demanded.
"I don't know!" Elva said in a panic. "I looked everywhere on this side of the school!"
The Usul's face darkened. "Knowing Will, she'll be going toward the flames. C'mon!" she said to the green Zafara.
V followed Fire.
Belle looked back, curiousity practicially eating her up, she sighed. "Hey, guys! Wait for me!" She ran to catch up with them.
The group slipped unseen past teachers herding the younger kids out and went toward the fire's source: the science lab.
Inside, Will was sitting cross-legged beside the inferno, holding her hands up to feel the warmth.
"Will!" Fire exclaimed as she ran over to her sister.
"Isn't it, like, boiling over there?" Elva asked the others, who were wondering the same thing.
"Oh, hey guys. Isn't it cool?" Will asked as she pointed at the flames eating up the walls.
Fire, even though she was a bit of a pyro, knew that 'yeah, totally!' wasn't the best answer at this time. "C'mon Will, the others are looking for you."
Lahetta slipped out silently, unseen.
A voice buzzed out of the loudspeaker, "Everyone, evacuate immediately!"
"Huh, I wonder what that's about..." V said aloud, curiously.
Will shrugged. "The building's going to collapse soon," she said, entirely serious yet strangely calm.
Fire jumped. "Let's get out of here!" she cried, pulling Will along with her.
Belle ran, seeing Lahetta as she passed. "Hey, what are you doing here? Didn't you hear to evacuate?"
Lahetta merely smirked, and held up her lighter. Noticing Belle's shocked expression, she explained. "While you have connections, I have my ways. Now, let's get outta here, sis."
"Lahetta, I don't think you understand, the building's going to collapse!" Belle told her, trying to make her see sense.
Lahetta rolled her eyes, and ran out.
Smoke was everywhere, stinging eyes and making the closet addicts happy.
Teachers and students ran from the smoke and ash, coughing out clouds of black dust as they sped out. The entire school population had made it outside the school just minutes before the left side of the building collapsed upon itself.
Boys and girls mixed together in the crowd as they watched the fire brigade arrive and hose down the rubble.
Cloud coughed violently, but when she managed to calm it down, she said. "Now, who caused this fire?"
All eyes immediately turned to Fire.
Fire sighed. Here we go again...
Belle strode to her side. "Hey, just because her name is Fire, doesn't mean she did it."
One teacher spoke up. "So you're saying it was you?"
Belle froze. "...It was all Fire's fault." She walked away.
Fire's famous temper broke free. "You idiots!" she shrieked. "How on Neopia could I have started the fire? You saw me, I was in the classroom!" As much as they hated to admit it, Fire had a point. She had been sitting around, just as bored as the other students.
V spoke up. "It's true. But don't even think it was me." She added when she saw them look at her suspiciously.
"Who could it have been?" Sun asked.
Alivia was filing her nails. "Maybe it was some random freak," she said boredly.
Something inside of Belle snapped. "How the hell could you possibly fucking know?" She exploded. "Maybe they had a good reason? Or it was one of the dumbass teachers?" Belle was seething now.
Shadow and Will looked at each other and nodded. Will went over to Fire and calmed her down in a matter of seconds.
Belle was more of a challenge. "Don't let her get to you," Shadow told her. "What does she know? All she does is text and play with her appearance. Don't let her get to you."
Belle was still stubborn about it. "But..." She sighed. "You're right, Shadow."
Lahetta strode up to her. "Well, well, well. Who knew sissy had a dark side?"
Shadow stepped back. This fight, she knew, she shouldn't get involved in.
Belle glared straight at Lahetta, she had changed just now, and hell if she was gonna back down.
She swiftly reached out a hand and grabbed the Acara's neck, shutting off her airway. "What's wrong?" she mocked. "Does sissy have a frog in her throat? Or is it all the ash she breathed in?" Lahetta gasped. "I'm sorry, what was that? You're going to have to speak up louder." Belle's grin was a little more than creepy.
Lily watched in horror, she wanted to go help, but this side of Belle was terrifying.
Lahetta was choking, and as much as Shadow hated getting involved in fights between the two, she knew that she was one of the only people who cold stop this. Not to mention, if Belle killed Lahetta and she did nothing, she would never be able to forgive herself.
"Belle! What's happened to you?"
Belle sent a smirk Shadow's way. "Hey, wanna see this bitch get what's always been coming to her?"
"No!" Shadow exclaimed, horrified at what her friend was doing. "Let her go! She doesn't know when to stop, but choking her won't do any good!"
Belle's fingers relaxed their grip slightly on Lahetta's throat. Shadow calmed down a little. "Belle, you're better than this. I know you are. Don't stoop to her level."
Belle's fingers tightened even more on Lahetta's throat. "She's done worse to us. Beaten us down, embarrassed us, and much more. Why shouldn't I?"
"Because... Because..." Shadow struggled to think of something to say. "Because if you let her go, we could take much worse revenge on her!" she blurted out before she could stop herself.
Belle blinked, and broke out in a grin. "I'll take you up on that, Shaddie." She let go of Lahetta's neck, leaving the cloud Acara gasping on the ground.
Shadow was regretting this already. What have I done?
Lahetta coughed violently, struggling to catch her breath. Lily immediately rushed to help her, "Are you okay?" she asked, worried. Lahetta coughed still. "I t-think s-so..." she choked out.
Some kids were whispering and pointing at Lahetta. Others were looking at Belle with shock and awe as the yellow Shoyru walked off with the shadow Xweetok. Some kids even giggled as they saw Lahetta shakily pick herself up.
Lahetta looked around in horror, everybody was staring at her. As soon as she could think clearly, she bolted, away from everyone.
It was not too long later that the students were picked up by their parents and guardians. The girls in Alsa and Sammi's class also asked their parents if they could go to their party that Saturday.
Alivia and Cute were texting, still talking about what happened with Belle and Lahetta. Which included lots of 'OMGs'.
"OI! CRACK GROUP OF SIXTEEN PLUS THREE! GET OVER HERE!"
"Sounds like Echo's picking us up again," Dusty commented.
'Crack group of sixteen' was Echo's nickname for Whateva's sixteen pets. If she ever wanted to include hers, she added the 'plus three'. Sure enough, a tall human female was making her way through the crowd of children and teachers, hair falling in her face and a rifle over her shoulder.
"Where's Whateva?" Sammi asked curiously.
"Yeah, where?" Gracie asked.
Echo shrugged. "Passed out on the couch or something. Everyone here?"
The girls gathered around Echo. The last two to run over were Shadow and Belle, who were originally too far away to hear Echo's call.
The human in question counted the pets. "There's only eighteen of you," she commented.
Belle's eyes glinted. "Oh yeah, Lahetta got sick and went home early." She held back a grin.
The eighteen pets all glanced at each other, except Gracie, who wasn't that bright. "But didn't you-"
Belle interrupted. "Say she should go home? Yes, I did." She glared at Gracie for a moment.
Gracie finally took the hint and fell silent.
Echo stared at all of them strangely for a moment. "Okay then..." She started walking away, seeming to age forward with every step.
Shadow kept close to her guardian. She was still a little spooked from the Belle and Lahetta incident.
Belle had only slightly regretted what had happened, because Shadow wouldn't give eye contact anymore, aside from that she had no other regrets.
When they finally got to the rather large Neohome, it was then that Echo realized she didn't have the key.
"Fuuuuuuck," she groaned. At this point, she had two options: either she crawled through the window that everyone kept open in case this ever happened, or she could shoot the lock out with her rifle.
One was foolproof and had no expenses, the other probably wouldn't work and they'd just end up having to pay to fix the door... Again.
But what was life without a little risk?
Such were the words Echo thought as she loaded her firearm and placed it against the lock.
"Wait! You forgot the-" but the warning from Sammi came too late.
Click - BOOM
"Sorry Sammi, what was that?" Echo asked, looking at the smoldering metal on the door. Reaching out a hand, she tried tugging it open. It wouldn't budge. "Crap."
"Can I try?" Will asked. Echo stepped to the side, letting the Wocky pass. Will poked the lock once, and it fell out of its socket. Will then tapped lightly on the door, which swung open with no resistance at all.
"I will never understand you, Will," Echo commented as they all went inside.
Sammi facepalmed. "You know there's a spare key under the mat, right?"
Nobody had a chance to reply as Whateva's loud snoring rang out.
Fire readjusted her bag. "Well, I have lots of homework to do. See you at dinner." With that, she ran up one of the many flights of stairs in the house.
All of them had to share a room, seeing as there were only twelve rooms in the Neohome and three needed to be used as a bathroom, kitchen, and living room.
Lahetta groaned as she sat up, she was laying on her bed in the room she shared with Alsa. Her throat still ached slightly.
"Sounds like the others are back," she mumbled, speaking to no one in particular.
Outside, she heard footsteps walking along to the room across from her's. That was Fire and Will's room. Lahetta didn't want to face the family about what had happened. It was so damn embarrassing!
Downstairs she heard Echo yelling something, and what sounded like Whateva screaming before hearing the sound of a frying pan coming into contact with someone's skull. But this wasn't anything new.
Sammi quietly entered the room, not being noticed as Lahetta was still in deep thought. "Hey." Sammi said softly. "I brought you food." She was holding a plate with a slice of pepperoni pizza.
"What are you doing in my room?" Lahetta grumbled out of habit, taking the pizza and taking a bite. She inwardly sighed, she loved pepperoni.
Sammi frowned. "Well, I didn't think you'd come out for awhile." She moved some hair out of her eyes. "And we can't have you starve, right?" She forced a chuckle. Lahetta grimaced. So this is what Belle choking her had caused: Overrated sympathy and a bruised neck.
"I need to be alone now," Lahetta said bluntly. Sammi blinked once and shuffled away. "O-Okay." Lahetta must have been upset. At any other moment, she would have made fun of Sammi for being such a wuss.
Downstairs, Sammi was greeted by the sight of Echo knocked out on the floor, Whateva watching TV like a zombie with a frying pan dangling from her grip, and Will sprawled out on the floor, staring at the cracks in the ceiling.
Sammi looked at Will. "What are you doing?"
"Looking for pictures," Will responded vaguely.
"Did you find any?"
"I saw a cloud once." Sammi said awkwardly.
"Fascinating." Will rolled over and stared at the wall, signaling that the conversation was over.
Sammi sat down next to Whateva on the couch. "What's on?"
"The Big Bang Theory." Whateva said blankly.
Sammi looked at the screen for a few seconds before deciding it wasn't worth her time. She opted to go to the kitchen instead. She looked around the kitchen for awhile and got some popcorn before heading to her room.
Going up the stairs, she passed by Alsa and Pie, who were whispering about Lahetta and Belle. Sammi knew how much Lahetta was upset about the incident, so she passed them by.
Once she got to her room, she saw Gracie already there, picking through a few science questions.
Sammi sighed. "Need any h-"
"Yes, please!" Gracie interrupted, obviously not understanding it.
The room plan thought out for the pets was a good one: they were placed either with people that balanced out their personalities, or that matched them almost seamlessly. Sammi was a tutor to Gracie, Alsa was the only one meek enough for Lahetta to ignore, Cloud's friendliness worked well with Shadow's thoughtfulness, Tawni and V had the same interests... The list went on and on.
Lahetta was still camping out in her room, barely acknowledging Alsa's presence. She knew that she had to face her family eventually, but she was terrified. Shadow, meanwhile, was still freaked out from Belle's attack, and Cloud was trying her best to comfort her. Belle, on the other hand, who shared a room with Lily, was already planning her extensive revenge on Lahetta.
Belle had already thought of many things, but ruled out most of them since it would definitely kill Lahetta.
And even though she hated her guts, death was not an option.
Echo, meanwhile, had regained consciousness. Rubbing her head and groaning, she turned to her friend sprawled out on the couch. "Nice hit," she said weakly, knowing that since she had been the one to introduce frying pans as acceptable to hit people with, she should have seen it coming.
Not to mention the fact that she was lucky that Whateva didn't sleep with a knife in her grasp like she did.
"Thanks." Whateva mumbled, nearly asleep.
Sammi was still trying to 'help' Gracie. "It doesn't make sense!" Gracie shrieked.
Sammi sighed. "What's wrong this time?"
Sammi sighed. Sometimes Gracie could be a real pain in the-
"DOES SPAGHETTI FOR DINNER SOUND GOOD TO EVERYONE?" Echo called up the stairs.
"YES!" Everybody yelled in response, except Lahetta, who was still grieving.
Whateva was still watching The Big Bang Theory. "I love this show!"
"Good for you," Echo said distractedly as she went into the kitchen.
Though her methods of doing mundane things (such as door-opening, for example) were unorthodox, Echo was a decent cook. She wasn't brilliant, but she was one of the few people in the house who could make a meal for everyone without setting fire to the kitchen.
Nevertheless, there were twenty one mouths to feed, so cooking was never an easy task.
Whateva groaned, a rerun. She looked towards the kitchen. "Hey, want some help?" She asked. Whateva was also one of the few decent cooks, only having set fire in the kitchen twice. Echo was taking one of the giant pots from one of the cabinets out and set it in the sink. "Sure. Can you get out the spaghetti? Four packs should be enough for dinner and some leftovers."
Whateva got up and walked to the cupboards. "Shit! Only two packs here."
Echo sighed harshly. "WILL!"
Said Wocky poked her head through the door way. "What?"
"Two packs of spaghetti please."
Will disappeared from the kitchen. The two resident humans heard a loud crash before Will returned and threw two packs at them. "Here," she grunted and left.
Echo smirked. "Her talents come in handy sometimes, don't they?" Whateva shook her head and smiled, nobody knew how Will did it, she just did.
The two humans prepared the insane amount of food for their cohabiting families as their pets upstairs grew more and more hungry.
V stalked down the stairs angrily. "What the hell? Fucking finish dinner already!" she shrieked.
"If you're so fucking hungry, make a fucking sandwich," Echo replied calmly, pouring the pasta through a strainer.
Whateva took out the different sauces: the bolognese, the marinara, the plain butter and the garlic and olive tomato sauce. She lined them up on the counter so everyone could have the sauce of their choice.
V glared at Echo. "I shouldn't fucking have to!" Before anybody could reply, she left to her room.
Echo grinned again. "She has my respect," she said to no one in particular.
The spaghetti was finished five minutes later, and the pets came crashing down the stairs after one of Echo's customary "OI! IT'S DINNERTIME!" yells.
Even Lahetta was there, as embarrassed as she was, she couldn't resist spaghetti.
The dining room table, as you can probably imagine, was enormous, and it needed to be to sit twenty one people down. Everyone chattered with each other over the din of forks scraping against plates. Cloud was politely twirling spaghetti on her fork before bringing it to her mouth. Everybody else was practically shoveling it in.
Echo swallowed. "So," she began before taking another bite of food. Noticing her mistake, she covered her mouth with her hand so that she could talk. "Their Neoschool burned down. And since homeschooling is definitely not an option, I guess we'll have to send them to another," she informed Whateva.
"What? Who burned it down?" Whateva asked. All eyes turned to Fire, yet again.
Fire, still on edge from earlier, immediately snapped at them. "For the last fucking time, IT WASN'T ME!"
Will smirked. "I know who did it," she informed the group.
Dusty was very intrigued by this. "Who was it?" She asked excitedly.
Will's smirk grew larger. She loved keeping others at the edge of their seats. "I don't know if I should say," Will deadpanned. "I'll just let him or her come clean when he or she wants to."
Lahetta rolled her eyes. "I bet whoever did will have a frog in their throat and won't confess." She cringed when remembering what happened hours ago.
Belle made an evil grin when she noticed. "Something wrong, Lahetta?" she asked in a sweet voice laced with malice. Shadow scooted back her chair. "I'm done," she said flatly, taking her half-eaten plate of spaghetti back to the kitchen.
Lahetta glared icily at Belle.
Underneath the table, Belle pressed the flat edge of her dinner knife against Lahetta's knee. Once she felt the cold metal through her fur, Lahetta hastily mumbled something about also being done and followed Shadow out.
V tilted her head to the side, confused. Realization came upon her, she glanced at Belle, and did the same as Shadow and Lahetta.
Lahetta ran over to Shadow. "Hey wimp," she greeted, trying to act like her normal self.
Shadow sighed and stopped. "What do you want?" she asked flatly.
"Let's get one thing straight. Yeah, you might have saved my life, but I don't owe you anything-" Lahetta began.
"I never said that you did."
"Oh." Lahetta was silent for a second. "Well, tell my creepy sister to back off, okay?" she demanded.
"She's your sister," Shadow pointed out as she scooped her spaghetti into a container, labeled it and stuck into the fridge for later.
"But she's fucking plotting against me. I can feel it, Shadow."
Shadow slammed the fridge closed. "Look," she said irritably. "If you want my opinion, you brought this on yourself. You kept bugging her and everyone else, and it was only a matter of time before something like this happened. Grow up. You're older than Belle and me, so act like it! And if you really didn't see this coming someday, you're even stupider than you let on."
Her outburst over, Shadow stormed off to her room.
Lahetta practically wanted to die, her world had changed so quickly in a matter of one day. She couldn't keep up. She kind of agreed with Shadow.
V walked in on her sister silently angsting in the kitchen. "Crap, what now?"
"It's pronounced 'hello', brainless," Lahetta retorted, but with less attitude than usual.
Lahetta hated herself. She truly did. Sighing, she apologized, "Sorry, V."
V blinked in astonishment. For a second all was still.
Then, Lahetta found herself violently knocked to the floor with V pinning her down. "Who are you and what have you done with Lahetta?" V hissed. Lahetta weakly rolled her eyes. "It's me, V. I don't always have to be mean to be myself."
Bad choice of words.
V smacked her across the face. "Yeah right," she scoffed. "The real Lahetta wouldn't just change because she got attacked by Belle. In fact, the real Lahetta wouldn't even let me pin her down. She'd fight back. You're just some wuss pretending to be her." V stood up and went back into the dining room, talking loudly about an impostor.
Lahetta groaned and rolled over. Great, now she thinks I'm not myself. Lovely.
Even worse, Echo's paranoia had led to an interrogation, stopped only by Will who explained bluntly enough that Lahetta was going through depression and a possible change of heart.
This was too much for the Acara, and she went upstairs to lock herself in her room. Meanwhile, the remainder of the pets stayed downstairs. "So what are we going to do about school?" Sun asked.
Elva shrugged. "We're in Kiko Lake... There's another school in Neopia Central."
"Neopia Central?" Whateva mused. "Awesome."
While they were discussing that, Lahetta was going over what had happened. Depression? I'm not depressed... Am I? Oh great, Now I'm talking to myself. This couldn't get worse.
But maybe, she realized, in this new school, she could reinvent herself. Create a new personality and maybe, just maybe, everything would turn out alright.