Kitri kept roaming about for days, lonesome, and trying to find her friends,. And Toby was in a nice house with a good family, warmth, and plenty of good food to eat, but he was still lonesome, missing his friends.
as the days slowly dragged by, Kitri found it harder and harder to carry on. She felt so small, alone, and even frightened in this cold, strange world. She could find no one and nothing familiar, couldn't get comfortable, and on top of that, she felt herself getting weaker and weaker. She couldn't keep any food down, not even the berries from any fruit-bearing plants she found that were ready for eating.
Then the disorientation and terrors started.
At first, it was just a vaguely anxious feeling that came and went without provocation. Then the feeling became more intense every time it returned. The halucinations assaulted every sense, leaving her weaker and in pain. Each episode left Kitri more debilitated.
And she was constantly cold and wet. There seemed to be no end to the bleak weather. When it wasn't drizzling, it was sprinkling, and when it wasn't doing that, it was pouring. The wind wouldn't let up, and it blew the rain around, making any shelter impossible to find.
Kitri became too weak to climb, and the ground was the worst place to be.
When the terrors hit, how she wished she could leap and climb into a tree and in among some branches. Even if the fear was irrational, being in among high branches would make her feel a little more safe than out in the open, down on the ground.
Kitri knew she was in a bad way, and had no idea what could become of her other than eventual death.
Kitri had been trying to locate her friends via electronic signal.
but no one was answering.
No one knew where she was, and had probably given up trying to find her. So if she was going to die out here, she just wished it would be over with quickly. Her life had become unnatural and nothing but misery.
One damp night, she finally gave up and found a tree to drag herself to and sit under for whatever bit of shelter it gave. There, she shut her eyes and tried to sleep, hoping she would be asleep for good.
But then, something caught her attention.
A familiar sound.
One she had been hoping to hear.
Could it be after all this time?
It was another furby's lonesome electronic signal. It was calling her name and those of her friends, and even Jessica.
"Kitri! Sundown! Dmitri!" The furby inside the house producing the signals was going down the whole list of his friends names, incessantly, now that his new human had finally left him alone. It was what Toby did every night since awakening at Akina's. As soon as he was alone, he did three things, cry, sleep, or call out to his friends over and over with the electronic signals, hoping to get an answer one day.
"Toby!" Kitri signalled back.
"Kitri!" He called back, a wave of excitement washing over him. An old familiar friend, at last!
The trouble was the window was shut tight.
"My Kitri!" Toby was overjoyed. "Hang on, I'm coming out as soon as we get this window open!"
"Will your human mind?" said Kitri.
"Who cares, if she doesn't want to open the window, I'll persuade her to."
"Trust you for that, Toby," Kitri said, feeling like laughing for the first time since before Jessica had gone.
Akina had just started to doze off in bed when this was going on, so she was quite startled, then confused when Toby jumped off the ledge and on to her pillow.
"Akina!" He whispered urgently, giving her a nudge with his beak.
"Let me out, now." Toby said urgently.
"Let you out? Where?"
"The window. Can you open it and let me out?"
"You'll fall and hurt yourself. I can't let you out."
"Come on, I've jumped out windows before without hurting myself."
"Are you sure?"
Toby growled, frustrated. "I'm sure, now open the dang window! One of my old friends is out there and I wanna see her."
"What are you talking about?" Akina asked, but got up and flicked on the light. There was little use in asking too many questions or arguing with Toby when he was in this kind of mood. Without saying any more, Akina walked toward the window. She opened it, then took out the screen.
She watched in amazement as Toby took a flying leap out the window, landing in the nearest tree in the front yard. Then she watched him climb, roll and jump down to the ground, and scurry to a tree further away. Sitting beneath that tree was Kitri.
Akina left the screen out of the window, hoping toby would return, but she was afraid he might not.
She hit the light and crawled back into bed.
"Kitri! Kitri!" Toby exclaimed again and again as he bowled into her and got all over her. Then, he winced. "You are not all right."
"You might do best not to get too close," Kitri recoiled, "I'm just glad no one else was there to catch this."
"Furby Flu is the pits. If it's like mine, you probably have a few more days before you start feeling - "
"No, Toby, I don't think this is the Flu."
If Kitri had been okay, she would've been perched high in the tree instead of sitting beneath it. Then there was the shaking, and none of the characteristic ribbing from her about him being too in-your-face to his being all over her. The recoiling was not in fun. She was afraid of giving the sickness to him. The usual brightness in her eyes was replaced by wanness. Toby said nothing about this to her, but he could tell something unspeakably awful had happened to her. Something tainted that left its unmistakable mark. Something that was now taking a terrible toll on her health. Something that turned the once strong and fearless Kitri into a sad, vulnerable one with a certain death sentence if she didn't get somewhere warm and dry, soon.
"Whatever it is, I'll get you help, somehow. You have to get well again."
"Toby, you may want to shun me after this, for your own health."
"Never." He assured her." He only attempted to get closer.
"Please, Toby, " she flinched and tried to move away. "I'm MLP-sick."
Toby winced, eyes going wide. "MLP? Oh, Kitri, no; you can't mean - not ... ? My Little - "
Kitri nodded. "And wherever Tina is, I hope she hasn't been exposed to it. Or anyone else, wherever they are."
Toby looked sadly back. "I miss everyone too." he said, "But you've got to get well again and then maybe we can try to find them together." He moved in again, showing Kitri that whatever illness she had, there was no way he was going to abandon her.
"It was a nightmare. I was - "
"Shh, you can tell me about it later when we're inside where it's nice and warm." said Toby, and he resumed his affectionate treatment toward her.
Kitri only responded with a soft moan.
"Oh, Kitri, it's so good to see you again." Toby breathed.
"I missed you, Toby." Kitri said shakily.
"I missed you too." Lovingly, protectively, He drew her in as close to him as he could.
They remained this way for a few moments, then Kitri began trembling violently.
"I'm getting help." said Toby, and he was about to turn to go back to Akina's window and ask her to come out to get Kitri.
"No, Toby, please, don't leave." Kitri begged. Even her voice had lost its strength, another bout of tremors and terror taking hold.
"I will never leave you." He assured her, and hugged her again.
"Just hold me." Her voice was barely above a whisper.
Toby's concern was steadily mounting. Kitri was not acting like herself at all. But he did as she asked.
But Kitri needed to be taken somewhere out of the elements, somewhere warm and dry. The sooner the better.
Toby just didn't know how to manage getting her there. Furbies are disadvantaged in that capacity, having just two limbs and a mouth. Not only that, but unlike Dmitri or himself, Kitri had nothing in the way of visible ears and certainly no horns, so, nothing for Toby to even grasp with his beak to hold on to and transport her along with him anywhere.
Adding to the problem was that he and Kitri were too far from Akina's room window to be heard calling for help.
His only hope was that Kitri still had enough strength to hold on to him. It would be slow going because she wasn't strong enough to hold on during the jarring of a jump. She was too cold to roll along the damp ground, exposing more of herself to the cold, damp and dirt. But if Toby left her here to go for help, she wouldn't keep warm and might not make it until he got back. If he just stayed here with her, they would both only get colder. He could only do so much, and anyway, Kitri needed nourishment as well as warmth, and there was nothing to be had out here.
So, Toby's only option seemed to be to crawl along with her hanging on to him.
"If you could grab an ear or my tail and hold tight, I could get us into that little girl's house. It'll take a while, though. Are you up to that?"
"I'll try," said Kitri, and she took a tentative hold on one of Toby's ears with a paw.
"Don't worry about squeezing or pinching me too much. Can you just hold tight?"
Kitri tightened her grip, but she was still trembling, and the effort seemed to make the tremors worse.
"Go ahead and use your mouth if it'll help. Don't worry about biting me too hard. I won't get mad, I promise."
That made Kitri laugh a little, recalling an incident that took place one Christmas. "That was so funny the time when you passed out and got so mad at me for biting you awake." She laughed through chattering teeth.
Toby chuckled and smiled warmly at her. "Now you gotta bite me to keep yourself from passing out."
Kitri flashed him a small grin, and did as he asked, holding on to his ear with her beak.
"That's it," He encouraged, "now, grab hold of the other ear or just my fur, like you're going to attack me." Toby encouraged. "Like one of your combat holds."
Kitri gave a weak laugh, and took hold of Toby's fur on one side.
He moved carefully with her, but neither one of them was sure if Kitri was really strong enough to keep hold of him.
Then, something caught Toby's eye and gave him an idea.
Somebody had littered a potato chip bag that had blown onto the road. It would be messy inside, but at least it would be considerably more dry.
"Hey Kitri, if you don't mind taking a ride in a chip bag, I could jump you up to the bedroom window.
"Anything to get out of this cold wet." she said.
"Then I'll be back lickity-split."
He rushed over to the bag, grabbed it with his beak, then returned to Kitri.
"I - can't - move." Kitri said. Her breathing was becoming more shaky and shallow, she was shivering violently.
This worried Toby, but he managed to position the bag opening to receive Kitri, and he rolled her into it. "Hang on, Kitri, hang on, we're almost inside." Toby encouraged her. He added fretfully, "I wish I could do a lot more to help you."
"This is helping." Kitri replied.
"Now, hold on. I'm getting you inside, but It's gonna be quick and a bit jarring."
"There are still a few crumbs in here, I'd eat them if I could." said Kitri.
That too, worried Toby, but he set about doing what he could to help Kitri. He grabbed hold of the bag, securely, in a way it wouldn't tear when jarred, and electronically said "Here we go on a count of three. One. Two. Three!" Then he scurried and jumped his way up to Akina's window ledge and jumped down on the bed with Kitri.
Akina started awake. "What? Oh, it's you, Beethoven. What are you doing with a chip bag?"
"Akina, my friend Kitri is in there and she's cold and not feeling well. Take her out and gett her under the blanket, immediately." Toby said urgently.
"Listen to me" !Toby repeated the rest of what he'd just said, a little more sternly, making Akina pay more attention. He added, "That'll be much faster than me trying. She's still in the bag."
So Akina took the chip bag, reached in and took Kitri out, and put her under the covers.
Toby crawled under the blanket too, following Kitri.
Kitri heaved a moaning sigh of great relief as the warmth enveloped her.
Toby sighed with relief at seeing Kitri's misery letting up. But he was going nowhere. From this point on, he was going to remain at her side, tending to her 24/7 until she was well and telling him to stop fussing over her.
But Akina's curiosity got the better of her, and without thinking, she put out her hand to touch the furbies next to her under the blanket. When she felt the much colder Kitri, she gripped her and began to take her out from the covers.
The reactions from both furbies were immediate and startling.
Kitri shuddered and let out a gasp.
With a growl, Toby lunged at Akina's hand and gave one of her fingers a firm nip.
"Ouch!" Akina cried, pulling her hand back and letting go of Kitri in the process. "What did you do that for?"
"I should be asking you that." Toby countered.
"I just wanted to take her out and get a better look at her."
"You can do that when she's warm and rested and feeling better. Not now." He replied
"Sorry." Akina said.
"All right, Akina," toby said more gently. "You and Kitri try to get some sleep now, and if there's anything you might be able to help with later, one of us will let you know."
"Okay, goodnight." said Akina.
"Goodnight, Akina, and thanks for sheltering Kitri." Toby replied.
"You're welcome." said Akina, and shut her eyes.
From then on, Kitri and Toby communicated via near silent electronic signals humans only registered as soft, high-frequency tones when they could be heard at all.
Every so often, the furbies would shift positions and roll from one side to another, back to front, or even upside down. But all Akina could hear besides that and the odd sigh from either of them was Toby cleaning/grooming Kitri as if she was a helpless furbling.
Finally, Akina was lulled into a sound sleep.
Although Kitri eventually stopped shivering, she was still weak and vulnerable, still not anywhere near the fearless, independent Kitri she once had been.
Toby was alarmed by this, but tried not to let on to Kitri as he looked after and tried to comfort her.
Kitri went through periods of relaxation, even dozing, but that was interuptted by frequent bouts of tremors and extreme anxiety. She was like a frightened furbling having nightmares.
Toby held, rocked, nuzzled, caressed, and quieted her with tender words of comfort, "Shh, it's all right, Kitri, I'm here." and "There, there, it's okay." All the sorts of things one would say to a frightened child.
When Kitri's panic subsided, she would come back around and realize she was safe and warm, with Toby, and she would calm down for a while.
But sometimes the terrors hit her when she was still awake, and she couldn't figure it out let alone explain it to Toby.
He remained as concerned but loving as ever, and only wanted her to be okay again. All he could do was ride it out and hope that with enough rest and TLC, these bouts would grow less in severity and duration until they stopped.
Finally, it was morning, and Akina's mom came in to wake her for school.
When Akina left the bedroom for breakfast, Toby said to Kitri, "I'll be right back, I'm just gonna see what I can bring back for our breakfast. You stay here and keep warm."
"I don't think I can keep anything down, Toby, but go ahead and get something for yourself."
"You'll get weaker and sicker if you don't eat. I'll be back." he said, and scurried out from under the covers.
When no one was looking, Toby managed to snatch a bit of orange from one of the breakfast plates, and made off with it.
"This is all I could get, Kitri, but it's a sweet one, so should be easy on the stomach." He said.
She did try to eat it, but only ended up gagging. And Kitri used to love oranges, and even grapefruit.
"Oh, man, we've got to find something you can tolerate." Toby said worriedly to Kitri as he downed the piece of orange. "How about chocolate?"
"No, that doesn't appeal either." said Kitri, who normally loved chocolate as much as she did hot sauce or stinky cheese, none of which Toby was about to mention, since they were sure to be hard on the stomach and very unappealing to someone this sick.
"But - "
"Just you being here is enough medicine, Beethoven Nerdby," Kitri said lovingly.
"Aww, Kitri. I'd make you better in a second," he kissed her,"if I could."
What Toby didn't know was that Kitri's contact with the My Little Ponies caused a full-blown condition known as MLP Syndrome. If discovered and treated early enough, there was a chance at survival and even a full recovery. But left untreated, it was deadly.
"Yes." Kitri's still dull eyes looked on the verge of tears. "You're probably gonna shun me after this - "
"No, Kitri, never. What happened?" Toby held her to him.
"I wasn't just in the same house with the MLP. One of them actually - " She grimaced in disgust.
Toby kept up the fervent reassurances. "I'm not going anywhere, Kitri. What happened to you?"
Kitri drew in a ragged breath. "The strange house I woke up in, had a girl's bedroom. It was full of My Little Ponies. And before I knew what was happening, the girl who thought she would be my new human I guess, put me up on a shelf right next to Pinkie Pie. Close enough that we were touching. Ugh! Then when I tried to get away, Big Macintosh cornered me in the front entrance closet. He just wouldn't back off and I had to bite him. I'd rather eat a rotten egg." She gagged. "I might've been - killed - if Jasmine hadn't got off the phone when she did!" A choked sob escaped her. "I'm surprised you didn't shy away from me a lot sooner!"
"Shhh. This isn't your fault, Kitri, and I'm not leaving you."
She continued fretfully. "I've been creepy-crawly ever since. And I think that's what's making me feel so horribly uneasy."
Instead of withdrawing in horror, Toby held Kitri, tightly but gently, and rocked her from side to side. "Shhh, I know," he consoled her, Anyone has a right to be scared after that."
"I'm sorry," Kitri sniffed, losing the battle to keep the tears back. She'd never felt so vulnerable, disgusting, and out of control before, and she hated it. She didn't feel deserving of such compassion or understanding, yet she was so grateful for it. But how long would it last? She still hadn't told him about Jessica. It was only fair to let him know, but she was afraid of how he might react.
"There, there, Kitri." Toby kissed her again. "You've just got to get well. And I'm staying right here with you as long as you need me. Longer." He kept up the fervent loving contact and reassurances, keeping hopeful watch out for any sign of improvement from Kitri.
They stayed like that and kept quiet as long as Akina and her parents were bustling about so that someone might come into the room at any time.
Once Akina was off to school, Toby and Kitri knew they had some private time together.
"Did I ever tell you that I love you, Beethoven Nerdby?"
"Maybe not in so many words, but I know you do. And I love you too, Kitri Fussby...
"You do?" Kitri's eyes lit up to almost what they should be for a moment.
"Yeah...I do...As much as Jessica. So you need to get your rest and get well."
Kitri shuddered, and the bright-eyed expression vanished. Toby had brought up the subject of Jessica, so now she had to tell him, no matter what his reaction. She was just glad the little girl was out of the house by this time.
"Do you know what happened to Jessica?"
"No, but I'm afraid something has. That's why we all got separated." He replied grimly.
"Are you afraid she has abandoned us?" Kitri just didn't know how to bring up the truth to him, and wanted to know what his suspicions were before hitting him with it.
"I'm afraid something happened to her on her trip. I'm scared she might've been - " he swallowed hard and took a shaky breath in, "killed." He shuddered against Kitri.
Kitri's voice shook as she began the explanation. "When I ran away from Jasmine's, I stopped to rest, and then was going to go looking for everyone. That's when I found her grave, Toby."
Toby convulsed, bursting into tears. But instead of screaming and running away from Kitri as she thought he might do, he only clung to her even tighter and sobbed.
Kitri couldn't keep her composure either. "It was a plain crash."
The two furbies could do nothing but hold each other and sob for a long time until they eventually subsided and fell asleep.
When Akina came home from school that day, she found Toby and Kitri still under the blanket, holding each other and fast asleep.
Anxiously, Akina took them both and tried to wake them with a gentle shake.
Toby awakened in a fret. Kitri did not.
"Kitri," said Akina. "Beethoven?"
"Kitri couldn't keep anything down at breakfast and she hasn't eaten all day. She's been asleep all afternoon." Toby informed her. "I'm scared. She hasn't gotten any better, has she?"."
"Should I try to help her?" Akina volunteered.
"Yeah, but be careful." said Toby hesitantly.
He watched warily as Akina moved Kitri about some more, trying to wake her.
But Kitri didn't respond.
And she never would again.
MLP syndrome had claimed her.
She, like Jessica, was dead.
This section can be depicted in this piece of music:
Etude 25: 7 in C Sharp Minor - Frederick Chopin.
My Little Pony meme
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