Dedicated to all friends, no matter HOW they meet

It was just another day in Windurst.

A little brown haired mithra girl (She looked to be about thirteen or fourteen) dashed out of the Mithra quarter in Windy Woods and ran, pell-mell for the square with a package under one arm.

Well, can't ever refuse the Chieftaness!, she thought. Guess that sweet old greyfur found out I'm tryin' to supplement my allowance for some reason. Oh well, this won't take long...

Just as she was going by the fountain, she noticed this hume girl who was flirting with a...ELVAAN GUY?! Gaah! Why can't she stick to her own kind, drat it! So sick.. At that moment, the mithra gal really wasn't looking where she was going. Which wasn't a good idea, since the next second she collided with someone (and they both fell down). She almost dropped the package as she was falling down, but saved it barely in time. It was a tall, black haired elvaan girl wearing the most ragged, outgrown dress that this mithra had ever seen.

"Sorry!" said the mithra, and lept to her feet, then offered a hand. The elvaan rolled over and leaned up on one arm, then said, "Dammit! Watch where you're going, you overgrown rarab!"

"I'm very sorry! I wasn't looking where I was going!" The mithra offered the hand again. This time the Elvaan took it. She dusted herself off. "What the hell?"

"Um, er.." The Chieftaness had said not to tell anyone what she was doing, so this was a bit...awakward. "I'd better be going or my tail will be tied in a knot!" She ran off. She looked back and noticed the scary elvaan girl was following her. The mithra did her best to ditch the elvaan in a bunch of adventurers as she dashed for Port Windurst. For a moment, the mithra thought she'd lost the elvaan. So she started for the airship exit, where she'd meet the one she had to give the package to at the door. Just as she was nearly there, she saw the elvaan girl peeking behind the corner. She snuck over there and said softly,

"Why are you following me?"

The elvaan turned ten different shades of red as her eyes darted around for somewhere to escape. Suddenly she looked like a creature more to be pitied than to be feared. "Um...well...a very smart mithra once told me to always follow the tail."

The mithra smiled. "Stay low. I'm s'posed to be alone, so don't let yourself get seen, mmkay?" The elvaan girl looked incredibly confused and ducked behind the wall. The mithra waited by the door; it didn't take long for her quarry to come out from the airship. It was a hume guy with sandy blonde hair. The mithra bowed and made a handsign that the Chieftaness had shown her. The man returned the bow and the mithra handed him his package. He nodded at her, then handed her a pendant, which she accepted. She bowed to the man again, he bowed back, and he went on his way.

The mithra girl went back over to where she'd seen the elvaan. The other girl poked her head out.

"What was that about?"

"I was on a errand for the Chieftaness, wasn't s'posed to talk about it. Anyway, I'd better go give this to her." She waved the pendant.

"Mind if I come along? Mom is out for blood and I don't feel like going home."

The mithra winked. "Oh all right."

It was a lot more pleasant to walk to the Chieftaness's home with the elvaan around, since she was fun to talk to even if she wasn't very smart. It turned out her name was Linmayu, and she lived at the edge of the Mithra quarter with her boy crazy sister and just-plain-crazy mother. The mithra also introduced herself; her name was Elizara, and she was a mage student.

Anyway, it didn't take long to get to the Chieftaness's house and give her the pendant. The Chieftaness gave her the promised gil, and smiled. "I saw your new friend; don't worry, I'm not mad. I think you two are going to go places one day." Elizara nodded and winked at the Chieftaness, and went out the door.

Several weeks passed.

The pair, when Elizara wasn't doing the usual odd jobs or going to class, were rarely separated. It seemed Linny didn't have much aptitude for magic(or any other friends for that matter), and Elizara was slightly clumsy...for a Mithra (Which to a member of one of the other races, didn't seem clumsy at all) but had a odd aptitude for magic, which set her apart from other Mithra. They'd hit it off fairly well.

One day after Elizara's magic class, she joined Linny at the dhamel farm.

"What's up kittycat?"

"Nuthin' much. Hey, wanna come over to my place for a while? Get away from that sister?"

"Hell yes!" So they headed over to Elizara's place. Just as they rounded the corner, Elizara saw something she didn't like.

"Get down!!" she hissed, and yanked on the back of Linmayu's shirt, causing the elvvan girl to fall hard on her behind.


"Grandma Devvlin! She's riled up real good today sounds like. Get down or you'll be sorry!"

Linmayu looked as confused as ever, but one look at Elizara's face convinced her, so she hid where Elizara was (behind some bushes). The old VERY gray-furred mithra which Elizara was worried about went right by them, muttering some very nasty things under her breath. Elizara kept low until she was sure her granny was gone, then looked.

"Oh Granny's gone..all I see now is Toralynn, she's a nice gal. Let's get going." Linny nodded, then asked, "Why are you afraid of that old mithra?"

"She was in one of her bad moods. It's like facing a mean old yagudo when she's like that, you don't want to if you're not ready for it. And I wasn't expecting her today."

Linmayu just shook her head, they went right by Tora, Elizara waved, and it didn't take them long to get to the house.

As they opened the door, Elizara yelled, "Hi Mom! Everything ok? Grandma didn't eat you alive did she?"

Elizara's mom poked her head out from the kitchen. "Everything's ok. Tho she chased Shadowneko upstairs again.."

"Oh no.." Elizara reached in her schoolbag for some treats she had bought on the way home. "I'd better go lure him out..."

Linmayu turned to Elizara. "Him? I haven't ever seen any boy Mithra.."

"It's because the guys mostly stay home and take care of the kids, besides they are rare. Neko's...unusual tho, he's not a Mithra."

"Is he a rarab?"

"No, he's Hume. Mom found him with his dying momma when I was a baby, she said. She didn't say how my dad died; I think it had something to do with the war...maybe he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Grandma Devvlin really likes to drive Neko to hiding." Elizara rolled her eyes. "From Momma's description, I assume he would of died if she hadn't taken him in; I don't know what Gran's problem is. Boys are just precious among the Mithra, Mom says. She just couldn't let Neko die..." She shouldered her schoolbag. "He's prolly under Mom's bed. Again." She sighed. "We'd better go find him."

Linmayu nodded and they headed up the stairs. Elizara softly called, "Shadowneko? Neko?" She checked in Neko's usual hiding spot, under her mom's bed. No Shadowneko. Just as they went past the coat closet, she heard some movement. She opened the door a crack and saw him hiding behind some coats. She offered a piece of apple pie. "C'mon Neko, get out of there. She's gone."

"There's a scary person behind you!"

"Oh nah, nothing to worry about. That's just a friend of mine. Get out of the closet, silly!"

A tear stained face with brown hair carefully peeped out from behind a rather large coat. Linmayu stared for a moment, then smiled. "What your sister said. Get out of there! I won't hurt you! I'll just kill you quickly."

The boy hid himself completely inside the coat.

"Geez, can't you tell when someone's kidding?" Linmayu looked at Elizara and smiled a very devilish grin.
"You know, I have three crawlers in my gobbiebag, and your sister here was thinking it might be fun to release them in the closet..."

The hume bolted out of that closet like someone had cast a Fire spell on his behind. But he did accept the apple pie Elizara had been offering him and started nibbling on it.

Elizara smiled. "Shadowneko, this is Linmayu.."

Neko swallowed. "Hello!"

"And Linmayu, this is Shadowneko."

Linny smiled, and they shook hands. Neko looked like he wanted to go back in the closet.

Sometimes meetings can be like this.. Elizara thought. Sometimes they can happen just when doing a errand. But I'm glad I found a new friend for both me and Neko...

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