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|This is where it all began...the fairy rabbit.||
You know, I wasn't always like this. There was a time when I was just another face in the crowd, just an average, normal person. I led a good life, and was relatively happy, like most people. But then I was changed, and everything was different. Once you're changed, you can never go back, you know. It doesn't matter how much you want to, you can never go back...
You expect world-changing events to happen on special dates, in times that stand out, but they don't. They happen on boring old normal days when you're tired, cranky, and your feet hurt. I had gone to work in the lab, come home, fed my cat, done my laundry, and was sitting down to a good book in the bath to relax a little after the daily run-through.
I was just getting into the good part of the book with the heat of the water seeping into my body wonderfully when something rather unusual happened. Reese, my cat, who normally sits on the toilet lid and complains in disgust that I'm getting all wet when I bathe, bolted upright with his back arched, fur crackling with electricity.
Well, this caught my attention, since my cat is normally a rather laid back creature. I watched in confusion as his eyes got huge and he blurred strangely, the outline of his body becoming indistinct. Here's where it gets really weird. So there I was, sitting in the tub with my book dangling forgotten from my hand at the side of the bath, when all of a sudden there's a strange noise, like someone had clapped while I popped my ears, and then there was something in the tub with me. This did not go over well.
Yeah, I shrieked. What would you have done if you were minding your own business, having a soak, and then had something dropped into the tub with you out of the blue? With my mind babbling warnings and nonsense, I surged upwards, causing a tidal wave of bathwater, and slipped, landing on my butt right back where I'd started, causing a cannonball effect. Now that the bathroom was drenched, Reese thought it prudent to vacate the premises before I started any more water displays. I was left staring at the now sopping intruder, who, it turns out, was really no bigger than that no-good cat, and didn't actually look all that dangerous.
A small creature stared back at me out of wide purple eyes. It was as dainty and delicate-looking as a soap bubble; pretty in a music box/children's book kind of way. It was covered with a plush fur of opalescent white that stood up in spikes with the moisture, and its slender ears slanted forward, dripping at the tips. It looked like a cross between a fairy and a rabbit, to tell you the truth, albeit a rather soggy fairy, right down to the gauzy wings on its back. Its body was that of a rabbit, but a little slimmer, and its only piece of clothing was a belt. Of course, not a normal belt. Oh, no, it couldn’t be that easy. This belt seemed to shift through all the colors of the rainbow at once, and appeared to have pockets. Since when do belts have pockets? And what would fit in them? Anyway, it was a belt, for lack of a better word. Its face was sweet, with wide cheekbones and that cute little bunny nose. It had the most precious wee whiskers surrounding that pink nose, fanned out in a spray of white. It really did look like a rabbit, I decided, right down to the hind paws. The front paws, however, were a bit different. The toes were elongated, like our fingers, but were completely covered in fur, like the rest of it, and were rather chubby. Its wings were bigger than it was, and were pastel blue….no, green…no, pink…they were pastel colored. Yes. That’s what they were. I brought my gaze back up to its face, and was captured once again in its eyes.
Its eyes, those amazing violet eyes, were large and luminescent, almond-shaped and tilted at the corners. I couldn't stop looking into those mesmerizing eyes now that I was no longer scrambling for the door. I noticed that it was looking rather morose. Then I remembered that I had just splashed liberal amounts of water over it after it had landed in my bath, and it was probably unhappy about that. And then I remembered something even more important. I was sitting in the bathtub stark naked with a fairy rabbit...thing. Well, I blushed, pulled the plug, stepped out of the bath, grabbed a towel and wrapped it around myself in one motion, then stood looking at the little creature that was still in the tub. It chose then to speak.
"Please..." The subtle music of its voiced thrilled me, sending shivery chills through my veins. What a wonderful sound, that voice! "Please...can I get out now, too?" How lovely, how...wait, what did it say? Oh, right. It was still in the bathtub, sopping wet. Probably not terribly comfortable. Hmm. I fumbled for the towel I kept on the off chance of guests and then paused, not knowing whether to pick it up or just drape the towel over it. The decision was made for me as the petite creature tried to climb out by itself and nearly whacked its head in the process. I caught it, but just barely. I then lifted it out gently, and wrapped the towel around it. Looking at it then, with its dripping ears and woebegone expression, I had to chuckle a bit. It was swallowed up in the towel with only its ears and face poking out, and that much only because I had made sure not to suffocate it. I gulped my giggles, though, or at least tried, as I didn’t want to offend it. Poor little rabbit thing. As surprised and shocked as I was to have had it drop in on me, it probably hadn’t been expecting the sudden dip. My humor somewhat restored, I placed it down on the floor, still clutching my own towel around me. A quiet "thank you" was my reward.
We stood there staring at each other for a moment longer, until I broke the uneasy silence with the two questions that had been utmost in my mind since the strange being fell into my tub: "Where the hell did you come from and what exactly are you?"
The thing coughed, as if slightly embarrassed, and scrubbed at its face with one paw. It then looked up at me with what looked like a mildly chagrined expression (it’s hard to tell when the face is covered in fur!) and spoke. "I am sorry. Please, let me introduce myself, yes? I am Sussara, a Lapisian." With this it executed a tiny bow, or at least, as much of a bow as it could wrapped in a towel. I was beginning to get the feeling that it was female, between the dulcet voice and name, but wasn’t entirely sure and not willing to bet on anything at that moment.
"Sussara, I’m Tai…um, listen, would you mind terribly if I…well, got dressed?" It was getting just a bit chilly with only a piece of terrycloth between me and the world, and slightly disconcerting to be discussing anything while I struggled to make sure that I was decently covered.
Sussara smiled a bunny smile and wiped a hand-paw across her face. "Of course. I understand, being a fellow female, that being in a state of undress can be rather unnerving when confronted with such an occurrence as this, yes? Please, go and don your appropriate garments, and I shall wait."
I smiled in relief, and now armed with the knowledge that she was female I felt much better about having been seen naked. Yes, I know, different species and everything, but still, I don’t like the idea of a first meeting with a male being him seeing me naked. With a female, it’s slightly more palatable. Anyway, it seemed rude to leave her just sitting there dripping in the bathroom, so I offered to have her wait in the living room. She agreed, and toweled off vigorously, her fur poofing a bit. She then made her way into the living room while I scatted to my room to put on some clothes.
I entered the spaciousness of my living room in far better array then before, decked out in my jeans and my most comfy blue pullover with my hair pulled back in a rather wet ponytail. I spotted Sussara in what looked like a conversation with my cat. Well, why not. I sauntered over, feeling much more ready to take on whatever this world threw at me (or dropped on me, as the case may be). She glanced up and wiggled her nose, which I took as a greeting, and Reese unfolded and waited for me to be seated so that he could posses my lap.
"I was just thanking your friend-in-fur for his help in passing through the dimensional wall. It would have been much harder to get here on my own, but since your fur-friend uses my dimension as a pass-through quite often, he was able to assist me in my journey, yes? It was quite kind of him, especially as this was my first time doing so." Sussara politely informed me as she clambered up onto the ottoman, her whiteness standing out against the forest green material. I settled myself on the matching couch (don’t ask where I got a matching forest green couch, chair, and ottoman, it’s a long story), trying hard not to look like a dying fish.
"Dimensional…what? Reese helped you…what?" I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around these concepts for a moment. This fairy rabbit thing was telling me that she came from another dimension, and that my cat had helped her journey from her said dimension into ours because he used her dimension as a pass-through, whatever that was. Right. I was starting to wonder about my sanity, and if I were actually in a nice padded room with one of those stylish jackets they give you.
"Oh, I’m sorry! I forgot that most humans know nothing about the other dimensions around them, yes? It is a mistake on my part to assume, please forgive! There are many dimensions, and many lie tangent to one another, making them accessible to all those that touch. The furfolk of your world often travel through these, and are helpers for others who wish to make such journeys. But you humans do not see this, as you have not been trained to see, or perhaps have lost the ability, yes? Reese, as you call him, is one of the furfolk agents who help, and I am very grateful, although his choice in placement is questionable." She glared at the cat for a moment, before preening an ear as if it were of no matter.
Reese, who had been purring like a chainsaw from his position on my lap, stood up suddenly, and sidestepped strangely, appearing suddenly across the room on the back of the chair, one of his favorite places. He then proceeded to fold himself into his favored meatloaf position and laughed at me out of spring-green eyes.
After I picked my jaw up off the ground, I commented mildly, "Well, that explains a lot." This meant that I wasn’t being absentminded when I found him in places he wasn’t supposed to be in! Ha! I didn’t leave the door open, he didn’t need a door! Wait… Oh, my head.
"When Reese agreed to help me with the transition, he told me also that you his human may be able to help me. I know it is a lot to take in, Tai, but I need your help. Please… I must retrieve something that was stolen by one of another race. He has brought it here for hiding, and I need your assistance to find him in this world. His race looks very much like your own, which is his reason for choosing this place, I believe," She looked at me with a familiar pain in her eyes. This little fairy rabbit knew of heartache, just as I did. I may not know the reason for hers, but I could see it standing in those violet orbs just as obviously as if she’d told me.
"I need to get Sikssuran’s skaytha back, Tai, and I need your help to do it. I cannot be seen here in your world, there are rules that I must follow. I can be invisible to all but you if I so choose, but I cannot influence the world around me when I am that way. Please?"
My mind was churning with different emotions, the influx of information near to overwhelming. I focused on the one word that I had not understood, and asked, trying to understand what she wanted me to do. "What is a skae thu?"
"A skaytha. It is a collection of experiences, a compilation of life. They are irreplaceable and priceless, but useless unless you know how to listen to them. The one stolen was that of my mate, Sikssuran, which was why I asked to be the one sent to bring it back. That jewel holds all the memories and thoughts that Sikssuran had in life, and is all that I have left of him now that he is gone," Her eyes closed for a moment as she said that, and even I could read the hurt in her when she did. She then continued, though her voice was a bit rougher than before, as if she held back her race’s equivalent of tears. "Besides that fact, Sikssuran was a scientist in our world. He was working on a huge project before he passed, and all the knowledge of it is contained in his skaytha. We need that knowledge; he was working on an interdimentional fluxation that appears sporadically. He was so excited when he told me that he had made a great breakthrough, and that he thought he had figured out the anomaly. He just kept going on and on about the implications of it all, he was so happy…" Her voice hitched with that one, and I was hard pressed not to reach out to hold her, to comfort her. Obviously, love is love, no matter what dimension you live in. "He was killed before he disclosed his discovery, and his skaytha was stolen promptly after the Rites." Her voice was now bitter with pain and loss.
I could see conflicting emotions racing across her face as she disclosed the story to me; anger, pain, regret, love, frustration, desperation. That's when I decided. This was a creature who had known love, and lost it, and then had the memory of it tainted by things that shouldn’t have happened. She may not be human, but she was kin. I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing when a fellow woman was hurting like that, I just couldn’t. So, I took the first step in the journey that would change me forever.
"Yes, Sussara. I will help you."
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