by Krivvy

Those Peetzer Blues | Parts 98 - 100A

Setting the remainder of your pizza and the plate down on the table, you stand up in order to find where Notaulix went.
For a moment, the thought crossed your mind that Notaulix may have went outside, but that fear quickly fades away as you remember that both of the doors leading out are locked.

Walking out into the hallway, you find the doors to the unused bedroom and the bathroom to be closed, while the door to your room is open.
You remember leaving your bedroom door open, and recall that the bathroom door was left open earlier.
With that knowledge in mind and a quick check of the unused bedroom, you walk up to the bathroom door.
Grabbing hold of the door handle, you gently attempt to turn it, only to find that it's locked.

"Notaulix? What's the matter?" You say with concern while gently knocking on the door.

You listen for a response, but hear none.

Pressing your head up against the door, you can faintly hear the sounds of sniffling.
You patiently wait by the door for several minutes, though it never opens. Taking a few steps back, you let out a sigh and rub your forehead while thinking about what to do.
While you want to help Notaulix, you don't want to force your way in there by unlocking the door yourself if he doesn't want you there.

With nothing else to do, you decide to give Notaulix some time to himself and return to the living room.
Once there, thoughts of the pizza drift back into your mind as you stare at your half eaten slice. You decide to walk over to the kitchen area and put the rest of the pizza back into the still warm oven.
After doing that, you finish off your own slice before choosing to stand in front of the fireplace.
As you stare into the gentle flames, you can't help but wonder what could have suddenly made Notaulix so unhappy.
Whatever it may be, you want to be there for him when he is ready to speak...

Returning to your chair, you sit back down and begin working on your bowl of salad, giving Notaulix some time to himself.
The minutes tick by, while you slowly eat your salad as you get lost in your thoughts, pausing only to put a piece of wood on the fire.
Nearing the end of your salad, the sound of soft hoofsteps alert you to Notaulix's presence.
Looking over to where the sound is coming from, you watch as the hoofsteps come to a stop, before Notaulix pokes his head around the corner.

Upon catching sight of you, Notaulix's ears immediately droop as he looks away from you, as if ashamed over something.
You don't say anything as Notaulix slowly walks back towards the sofa. Instead of staring at him as he does so, you choose to quickly finish off the remainder of your salad.
Notaulix climbs back up onto the sofa before greedily drinking from his glass of water. After setting it back down, he continues to look away from you as an awkward silence fills the room.

"I'm... Sorry, Anon." Notaulix finally says.

"There's nothing to be sorry for. Don't worry about it." You say in an effort to be comforting.

"B-But I ruined our dinner..." Notaulix says, his sadness still evident in his voice.

"Not at all. I put the pizza back in the oven to stay warm, and your salad is still there waiting for you... Do you want to talk about what made you so sad?" You ask him.

Several seconds go by in silence until Notaulix slowly nods his head.
"Anon, I..." Notaulix begins before pausing to collect his thoughts. "Your kindness, your... Love. All of this." He continues as he gestures around the room with a forehoof.

"When I ate the delicious food that you made for us, I could only think about my hive brothers and hive sisters and my... My Queen." Notaulix begins to explain.
"You saved me from death and brought me to your home. You treat me with kindness, provide me with types of food that I could never have even imagined..." He continues.
"...love to renew my body and sustain my magic, and a warm, comfortable place to sleep. You treat me like a friend even though I'm a changeling." Notaulix says.
"Why do we have to be so hated and viewed with distrust, Anon? Why does it have to be this way?" Notaulix questions while turning his head to look at you.

Despite the odd nature of his eyes, you can tell they are still filled with pain.

"Why do the majority of my hive brothers and hive sisters have to struggle just to survive? Why does my Queen have to be filled with sorrow when she is forced to exile her own kind when times are hard?" He questions further.
"Why... W-Why can't we live peacefully with the other races, so that all of them could be treated with love and kindness, eat delicious food, or have a warm place to sleep where they feel safe and secure?" His barrage of questions continues.
"And to be able to do all that without needing to stay transformed around the other races..." Notaulix says as his voice begins to become strained.
"If only everyone treated us the way that you do, Anon! That way we could- If only..." Notaulix trails off as the tears begin to well up in his eyes again, prompting the distraught changeling to lay down and over his eyes with his forehooves.

You get up and move over to the sofa, where you sit down next to Notaulix.
Resting an arm over the changelings body, you give Notaulix a reassuring squeeze between your arm and leg, in addition to the occasional pat on the withers in an effort to comfort him.

"I don't know why things are that way." You say to Notaulix.
"Back where I came from, there were lots of injustices and groups of people looking down on other groups, treating them poorly for seemingly no good reason." You add after several seconds of silence pass by.
"Sometimes you just had to live with that reality. But other times, people changed. Maybe one day things can change here too?" You say encouragingly.

Notaulix says nothing in response, though his breathing settles down as he begins to relax again.
You continue to sit with Notaulix as he stares at the fireplace, while you occasionally give him another gentle squeeze or a pat on the withers.

Eight minutes later, Notaulix finally turns his head to look up at you, displaying a weary smile. "Thank you, Anon." He says.

"I want more peetzer, please." Notaulix adds.

You chuckle before giving him one last pat on the withers and a gentle shake. "Sure thing." You say with a smile as you stand up.

Taking both of your plates, you walk back to the kitchen area where you remove the baking pan once more from the warm oven.
After loading both plates up with the remaining two slices each, you return to the table and resume your meal together.