The hero’s triumphant return

"Hey, you staying for dinner?" Manuel asked as he picked himself up, dusting off the lint of the livingroom floor. He rounded the countertop, a small half-wall that separated the hallway and kitchen, glancing toward the door as it blipped softly from the outside.

"Um... sure." It's not like I ever eat anywhere else, anyway... Linao thought, her eyes glancing back as Dominick emerged. I wonder why he even bothers asking anymore.

Some strange sixth sense caught Trini in a rush to the door again, and she clobbered her second brother with as much fervor as the first, though he went down much quicker.


"Hey Tryn... take it easy," Dominick mumbled, his face caught in a wince.

"Heh... I think you broke him, Trini," Linao laughed, sliding off the stool to come to their side. "Here."

Her hand came down, and Dominick stared dumbly at it for a moment, following it up to Linao's face. "Oh... h-hi, Lin."

"Um, Dominick?" Linao replied after a minute, grinning in amusement. "You don't want to eat on the floor, right?"

"...Oh!" Grasping her hand, he hoisted himself up without pulling much on her, smiling tiredly. "Sorry. Um... long day."

"Long day, Linao..." came the mocking voice, and his eyes slid to one side, catching the ethereal traces of the wind-spirit-pest that fumed by his shoulder. "Can I tell you about it, Linao? .. Will you give me a backrub, Lin--"

Dominick cleared his throat, and Magdalena fell into incoherent mumbling as she drifted away.

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