Just like brothers

"Tell Manuel I said thanks, okay?" Linao had gathered her books from the stool under which she'd dropped them. Her hands were still somewhat wet from helping to wash the dishes, but she could wring them out on the long walk home. "Next time it's my treat."

"I will. Thanks for bringing Trini home," Dominick replied, pushing the door open for her. He rubbed at the back of his head, hanging against the door since 'good-bye' simply wouldn't willingly fall from his lips. "Um... it's really great that you help us out with Tryn," he mumbled instead, side-glancing a suddenly interesting piece of wallpaper. "Manuel and I, it's... it's hard working around our schedules to be with her. We, um... We really appreciate your help."

"Thanks... Dom, are you feeling okay?" Linao smiled assuringly, tilting her head slightly as she watched him. "You look a little pale."

"Me? Oh... I'm okay." Dominick forced a smile, dropping his arm back to his side.

"Yea, so-- anyway, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you, Dominick." After a night like last night, she meant it whole-heartedly; a simple dinner with two friends raised her spirits far more than the long day at school.

"R-really?" Blinking lightly, Dominick grinned without quite meaning to.

"Yeah. You and Manuel -- well, you're just like brothers to me," she continued, echoing his smile happily. "I feel like I'm really a part of your family when I'm here."

"Ah-... hah... Well, you are," Dominick replied, hiding a wince. "We-- Trini thinks of you like a sister, and you know you're always welcome here. Anytime."

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