There's no Such Thing as an Ordinary Love"

"Duo"… Linnea fell back onto the bed, her hair spilling onto the
pillows beneath her. "d-Duo…" She choked as frigid chills ran up
and down her body. It had been so long since his name had fallen upon
her lips. Not so with her mind though. She'd already worn that
out quite a while ago with thoughts of the stubborn gundam pilot. She
was STILL wearing herself out…

"Oh please, I don't want to do this…" Linnea knew she had to
confront herself. Confront herself about her own feelings. Either
that, or keep on hurting this way forever…and, Lord, it hurt. It
hurt like Hell. And this feeling should've become numb quite
some time ago, shouldn't it? God, shouldn't it have?

"I don't want to have to do this!! Duo, just leave me alone!"
She rolled over, grabbing the nearest pillow, and collapsed into it,
sobbing. "Damn it, why can't you just get out of my mind…please

Those eyes…that voice. And bless the heavenly powers for the
beautiful person that he'd become, despite all the shit he'd
been put through. That was what she couldn't stand. The fact that she
had held the most beautiful man in the world in her own arms, and then
lost him. Lost him as a result of pure rage. It had blinded both of
them. Oh how she prayed she would've run out that door…run
out that door and begged his forgiveness. But she hadn't…

Did he feel the same? Had he forgiven her…did he want to see her
too? Surely, he wasn't so blind as to see that her love for him
had been false all the while! God, please, tell me that he hadn't
thought that…Please, he had to have known. Did he even think of
her? Of course he must….

Her head finally rose from the pillow, letting loose the tears that
had wanted free so badly. "I know I have to let go of you,
Duo…and if I ever see you again, you'll probably cast me off and that
will be the end for good. But it would be better than our last goodbye. At
least your eyes might be a little softer…your voice a little less
menacing…" She grasped for a mental picture of his smile as she
clumsily wiped the tears from her cheeks. Linnea cherished that
picture for as long as she possibly could, until she reluctantly let
it fade from her view.


The smell of dampened soil filled her nose as she stopped in front of
the quaint little house, pulling the hood of her pea-green parka down
onto her shoulders. Droplets of crystalline water ran slowly down
loosened strands of her hair and onto her face. Damn the rain. It
hadn't made it any easier for her to get here. No, the
transportation hadn't been delayed because of the weather, but
her own feelings had made her have second thoughts. As soon as she saw
the rain start, it reminded her of her tears.

Her eyes scanned the house carefully as she thought on.

Yeah, the idea was weird, she guessed, but the rain really had
reminded her of her own tears. They seemed to be the only pure part
of her. She'd never really cried for no reason. She
couldn't… Her tears had always been true. Especially when Duo had left…

She hated crying. It made her feel vulnerable, weak… Totally and
utterly helpless. THAT is why she hated the rain… It also made
her feel weak. She didn't need to be weak when she spoke to Duo.
That's the last thing she wanted. To be weak when saying her final good

Her boots made soft sloshing sounds as she walked up to the front
doorstep of the house. It's a good thing she had connections,
she would've never found Duo in this place…

Linnea's eyes had gone wide when she'd finally found where
Duo was living… With Hilde Schibeiker.

She wasn't really surprised, not in the least. It was just that,
Duo had always suggested that he and Linnea get a place of their
own…and now it wasn't them anymore. It was he and…. Linnea gulped
back a lump in her throat …Hilde..

Linnea stopped herself from ringing the doorbell. What if Hilde
answered the door? Damn, what would she do then? Would she run from
her? No…she couldn't possibly. She'd have to stick it
out. There was one other thing she didn't want besides being weak…and
that was being just plain scared.

Finally, Linnea let her finger brush the doorbell.

The wait had been torture. It seemed endless. Really, it had lasted
only about 10 seconds, but to Linnea, it was forever. Who was going
to answer the door? Would it be Hilde? Duo? Which was actually

Linnea was beginning to wonder if meeting Hilde would be so
bad…when the door opened…

Her eyes went wide as the woman before flashed an odd smile.

"Hello…" The raven haired girl spoke warily.

"Hi-i…" Linnea's voice cracked as she tired to reply. There
was an odd moment of silence before Hilde finally decided to speak up.

"I'm sorry to sound rude, but… Do I know you?" Hilde smiled
kindly as Linnea stumbled over herself to find the right words.

Damn it, why was this Hilde girl smiling? She looked so kind. Oh,
but she wouldn't be so kind in a few seconds. Surely, if Duo was
as close to this girl as Linnea thought he was, she must know about
Linnea. And what she did to Duo… Hilde would surely go
ballistic. And didn't she have a right to? God knows Linnea would've
gone ballistic on anyone if they'd ever laid a harming finger on

Wait a second. Duo wouldn't have blamed it ALL on her when he
told Hilde, would he? Linnea looked up at Hilde's waiting eyes.
"Could he?"

"Excuse me?" Hilde took a step forward and gently put her hand and
the stranger's shoulder.

"Uh.." Shit, she'd just now forgotten everything she'd
thought over. All those months wasted rehearsing what she thought she'd
never get to say to him. For what? Just to stammer at his doorstep
now that she had the chance? WAS it all her fault? Was she really the only one to blame in this
situation? "I'm sorry…" Linnea felt herself pull away from

Hilde's friendly gesture. "I-I've got the wrong house…"

Hilde stood in shock as the tall blonde in a pea-green parka slowly
walked away. A beautiful stranger had just come up to her doorstep,
stammered out a couple of words, and then suddenly decided that she
was at the wrong house? Something wasn't right here. That girl
didn't look like the type to look around this place for
friends… Maybe she wasn't looking for friends, though.

Still, Hilde wasn't one to take chances.

"Miss! Wait!" She ran, exposed to the rain, right up to Linnea and
whirled her around roughly. When she met the girl's irritated
glare, she blushed. "Sorry, I didn't mean to be so forward, but I just
can't let you walk away. For some strange reason, I don't think you
came to the wrong house."

Linnea quickly wiped the irritation from her face and replaced it
with a warm smile. She hadn't meant to give Hilde such a
terrible impression. She hadn't even meant to meet her in the first
place. Linnea sighed. She was great when it came to cooking up fighting
tactics, but when it came to personal conflicts…

"I-I'm sorry. I didn't mean to give you such a nasty look.
I'm just really frustrated right now."

Hilde shuddered as she looked into the eyes of the girl standing
before her. They were beautifully serene on the surface, but Hilde
realized that when she delved further that they became burning orbs
of fervent passion. Suddenly, her hands flew awkwardly from Linnea's shoulders.

Linnea almost jumped back from Hilde's sudden movement. "Oh!"
Her eyes softened quickly as she heard a soft giggle roll from
Hilde's chest.

"I'm sorry. It's just that your eyes sort of… surprised
me…" Hilde seemed to be inspecting them further. "They're beautifully

Immediately, a deep blush spread across Linnea's face.

"Oh, please! I'm sorry. You must think I'm a total nut case!
Standing here and just staring at your eyes…" Hilde smiled and scratched
her head nervously.Linnea couldn't help but laugh, and Hilde couldn't help but
join in.

"Hey, listen, would you like to come in? The rain seems to be coming
down a little harder. I know you must be cold. Not to be rude, but
that parka doesn't look like it helped you keep very dry…"

Linnea chewed her lower lip nervously, her eyes darting from Hilde
and to the open door behind her. Hilde was inviting her inside? Maybe this was the time to tell her
who she was… BEFORE she got into the house. Duo must be inside…

Yes, now was definitely the time to say something. She could just imagine
the scene without telling Hilde first…



 "Why sure! I'd love to come inside! Thank you!"

"Okay! Just come in here.." Hilde softly shut the door behind
them. "..and I'll take your parka and hang it up for you!" Hilde
smiled sweetly as she hung the drenched parka onto the coat wrack.

"Wow, you've got a really nice house…" Linnea's eyes
darted around the room, making sure Duo wasn't anywhere in sight.

"Oh yeah, my fiancee and I live here. We both decorated, and we
both keep it pretty clean. HE's not the neatest man on the
earth, but he still does his share. Anyway, this place is rather small. We
plan on getting a bigger place later on…"

Linnea's eyes went wide at the only word she really had
heard. "Fiancee?"

"Oh, yeah! I got this total cutie pie for a fiancee. Would you like
to meet him?" Hilde, not even waiting for an answer, grabbed
Linnea's arm gently and led her to what seemed to be the living room.

Linnea's heart jumped into her throat. There he was. He was
sitting on the couch, his back to them. Watching a game and tipping back a
coke. Typical Duo…

"Sweetie! We have an unexpected guest!" Hilde cheerily bubbled. She
giggled in amusement. "Oh geez, I can't believe I forgot to ask!
What's your name, miss?"

And just as Duo would turn around, she'd say her name….

"L-Linnea…" she would choke out.

Hilde would drop her arm in cold realization. "LINNEA?!"

Duo would quickly jump over the couch and stare her down with only
one pure emotion in his eyes…hate. "What are you doing here…"

Linnea was sure that Hilde would be in angered tears right about
then. "You…y…" Then she would run back to her room without
another stammer…leaving Linnea and Duo alone.

Linnea would turn to him and begin to plead for him to listen, but
she wouldn't get a word in before Duo spoke…

"Get the hell out of my house, now… I NEVER want to see you
again. Didn't I make that clear the FIRST time?!" Duo would yell.
"Damn, Linnea, haven't you hurt us all enough already?!"

That's when she would run…Run out the door, out into the
rain. Just run forever…



“Miss?" Hilde waved her hand slowly in front of Linnea's
face. "Miss? A-are you okay?"

Linnea shook herself back into reality. "O-oh…Yes, I'm fine."

Hilde forced a small smile. She was beginning to feel a bit uneasy.
This girl hadn't even given her name yet, and Hilde felt as
though she'd known her for some time. Maybe it was just that they had
clicked fairly quick… She finally decided to ease a part of her
mind and ask for the girl's name.

"Miss, I'd really love to know your name." Hilde smiled. "I
don't normally bring total strangers into my house without knowing their
names first." She joked.

"My name?" Linnea quickly sucked in a deep breath. Gods, this is
what she'd feared. Having to reveal herself to the girlfriend of
the one she had hurt so badly…

"Yes, your name." Hilde nodded gently. " I have this strange feeling
that you already know mine…" Hilde's voice seemed to be a
little dark this time.

Linnea's eyes went wide. Geez, what was this girl? Telepathic?!
Damn, maybe Duo HAD described her features to Hilde. Maybe Hilde was
just now realizing that Linnea fit the description.

She let out the deep breath she'd been holding in. Without
warning, she felt a pang of strength that hadn't been there before. She
could do this…

"My name is Linnea…Linnea Lang." Linnea wanted to shut her
eyes tightly and run away, but she didn't. Instead, she stayed and
waited reluctantly for a hard blow to the jaw. Hilde was surely pissed


"So you're Linnea…" Hilde grabbed Linnea's hands and
squeezed them comfortingly. "Well, now I know why I had a weird feeling that I
knew you from somewhere…"

Linnea thought she would drop dead right on the spot from shock. Did
this girl just befriend her? She'd just revealed her identity,
one that Hilde should've despised, and she still felt like she'd
gained a friend. Shouldn't she have felt a hand in her gut instead?

Hilde laughed at Linnea's reaction. "Linnea, your eyes are as
big as saucers. Would you like to size them down and come in? I'm
afraid you might scare my fish if you came in like that…"

Linnea blinked. "Sure…"

Hilde turned and lead Linnea into the house. "Surely, you
wouldn't be here to see me… I'm supposing that you are here to see Duo,

Linnea nodded and took off her parka as Hilde closed the door behind

"Well, I'm sorry to say Linnea, but, Duo's gone out. I'm
afraid we ran out of a few things, and he went to go get them." Hilde took
Linnea's parka and hung it on the coat rack next to the door.
"Don't worry, he'll be back soon."

Linnea couldn't help but shiver. He'd be back soon?
Great… She didn't feel much better than she had outside before ringing the
doorbell. Now Duo would come in and get the shock of his life.
Although, seeing him at the door might not have been much better. At
least, in this situation, he couldn't slam the door in her face…

Soon though, she felt herself ease up when Hilde led her to the cozy
little living room.

"Please, Linnea, have a seat…" Hilde motioned to the couch and
then the armchair next to a coffee table. "I recommend the armchair.
It's the best when you wanna relax. I'm sure you probably
need a lot of that right now."

Linnea sat down and realized Hilde was right. This was the chair to
be in if you needed to relax, but she was sure she wouldn't be
doing much relaxing. She scooted onto the edge of the chair and, confused,
looked up at Hilde. "Please, Hilde… I don't understand why
you are being so terribly nice to me. I thought you would've wanted to
wring my neck before now."

"I should say the same to you, Linnea." Hilde smiled. "Listen,
I'm going to make some tea. If you'd like to help, you can." She
walked happily off to the kitchen and started clanging through pots and pans.

Linnea, still a little confused, slowly got up from her chair and
walked over to the kitchen's bar. "What exactly do you mean,
`I should say the same to you'?"

Hilde smiled in triumph when she finally found the teapot. She
quickly filled it and then placed it onto the stove. "Because,
Linnea, don't you feel just a tiny bit of jealousy seeing me here
with Duo? Not to be pompous or anything. I just know that if I was
in your situation, I'd be holding back a few punches myself…"

Linnea felt a pang of anger run through her. Yes, she was jealous.
But not of Hilde, not really. "Hilde, I'm not really jealous of
you. I mean, I'm more jealous that I don't get a second
chance with him than I am of you getting together with him. I-I…"

Hilde left the water to heat and leaned on the bar, listening

"I'm just angry that we left each other the way that we did…"
Linnea sighed in exasperation. She was so tired of all this.

"I knew…Somehow I just knew that there was more to it than

Hilde seemed to be talking to herself more than she was talking to
Linnea. She looked up at Linnea, staring straight into her curious
eyes. "Linnea, when Duo spoke of you to me, he spoke with such
beautiful love and sadness in his eyes. I trust that Duo knew who he
was falling in love with when he did, and Duo wouldn't just fall
in love with anyone. You were someone special to him. You still
are…I'm sure…"

Linnea stared at Hilde in awe. She was beginning to understand why
she didn't hold any resentment toward Hilde. It was because she
understood. At least…halfway. As much as Linnea disliked
admitting it, Hilde obviously knew Duo well. Very well in fact.

Okay, so maybe there still WAS a tiny bit of resentment left…

"Linnea, why would you come all the way here just to see him, hm?"
Hilde grabbed two cups down from the cabinet and set them onto the

"Because I want to say that I didn't mean what I said… That
I'm glad that he's happy now… That it would mean the world to me if he
and I could say goodbye and end everything on a good note…" Linnea was
trying to fight back tears as she spoke. It was actually
happening…she was going to get to apologize. She only hoped it ended as she
had dreamed.

"Exactly." Hilde chirped as she placed the tea bags into the cups.

"Exactly?!" Linnea looked at her like she'd just went totally

"I know you don't think that you were the only one who was loving
in this relationship, Linnea. So, don't you think he wants to say
the same exact thing to you?" Hilde walked over to the pot and lifted it
off of the stove.

"But…I…" Linnea stopped. "Oh.." She had been thinking that
way.. Only one sided… It wasn't that she thought she was the only
one who had loved in the relationship. It was just that all she could think
about was his reaction when he found that letter. The intense fire
in his eyes…

"Hey, listen." Hilde began to pour the water into the cups.
"He's really no better than you are. He's been thinking the same way
about you that you have about him . That you hate him and you don't
want to see him again. Yet, I also get the feeling that he thinks he
should have more of a right to be mad than you do. I don't know.
We haven't talked much about it…He told me about you once and
that's all.… I didn't want to press him any further."

"Maybe he does have more of a right to be mad…" Linnea looked
sadly down into the tea in her cup.

"Linnea, you both said things and did things you'll regret. Are
you ready to put it behind you? If you are, I'm almost sure that he
is too.." Hilde shivered uneasily as she took a sip of her tea. She
felt as though she was getting too deep into things she
shouldn't. She was, wasn't she? This was between Duo and Linnea… "Hey,
listen. Linnea, I'd love to keep talking to you about this. To make you
feel better. But this isn't my business. I've already said too
much. This is between you and Duo."

Linnea smiled. "Don't worry about it. I'm glad you talked
to me for a while. I'm just glad you didn't give me a good slug
instead of such a nice talk.."

Hilde laughed and led Linnea out of the kitchen, back to the living
room. "I wouldn't have slugged you unless you'd given me
reason to. What happened between you and Duo was no reason for ME to knock you

"Thanks Hilde…" Linnea sat down on the comfortable armchair once

Hilde smiled and nodded understandingly as she happily plopped down
onto the couch. "No problem, Linnea. I just hope Duo comes home
soon so you two can get everything straightened out."

She shifted her eyes when she noticed that Linnea had just drew in a
quick breath and sat more stiffly than before.

"Linnea…" she leaned forward and spoke quietly, "Don't
worry. Everything will be fine. In fact, I don't think this will even
be goodbye. I'm sure Duo will still want to keep in touch with

"No…no, that's not what I'm worried about.."

Hilde looked confused. "What?"

Linnea was silent for a moment before she decided to answer
Hilde's confusion. "Did you hear a car door slam?" Linnea's eyes went
wide as Hilde began to bite her lip nervously.


"Duo?" The handsome blonde laughed as he climbed out of the car, a
couple bags in hand, and gently nudged the door shut. "Are you sure
that Hilde said for you to get so many boxes of twinkies?"

"Ah, she won't mind. She said to get what was on the
list…and then any other stuff I could think of.." Duo flipped his braid over his
shoulder and gave the other boy an amused smirk as he pulled a big
bag out of the car.

"I thought Hilde was a little more aware of your shopping

The boy chuckled as Duo fumbled with the bag and kicked the car door

"Well, she didn't exactly say `any other stuff I could think
of'"…Duo hesitated. "But she didn't say NOT to.."

Duo walked his companion up to the house, laughing and talking all
the way to the door…


Hilde had gotten up to look out the window along with Linnea.

Linnea had almost fainted right there… "QUATRE?!?"

Hilde looked over in surprised. "Linnea! You didn't tell me you
met the other Gundam pilots!"

"Hilde! Didn't Duo tell you anything about me other than our
relationship?!" Linnea dropped her tea when she ducked quickly from
the two boys' view.

"No, Linnea. Like I said, he only mentioned you once! And we
didn't say much then!" She grabbed Linnea's shoulders gently.
"What's the matter? Quatre is only visiting for a short while… Why does
having him here make having a conversation with Duo any different?!" The
confused panic in Hilde's eyes wasn't comforting Linnea at
all…and the sound of the door opening didn't help much either…

Linnea froze, "You're about to find out, Hilde… Oh Lord,
you're about to find out…"


"Linnea, wait here." Hilde quickly went into action. She ran to the
front door, almost knocking down both Duo and Quatre as they walked

"Hi!!" Hilde nervously smiled as she tried to inconspicuously block
the hallway from the two boys…which ended up making her look even
more odd.

"Uh, hi Hilde-babe. You okay?" Duo cocked an eyebrow at her

"Y-yah, just came to welcome you two home! Ya, know…and help
you with your bags." Hilde quickly grabbed the bags from Quatre's
hands, "Umm…Wait here for a sec." and ran to the kitchen.

The two boys stood confused as Hilde ran back into the
hallway. "Back!"

Quatre felt Duo nudge him gently and took the hint. "Hilde, is
anything wrong?"

"No, nothing's wrong. It's just that…Well, I was going
to ask you, Quatre, if you wanted to go out with me to the mall or something."
She lied. "I've been cleaning all day and I wanted to go
somewhere. I was just hesitant about asking you since you've been out

Quatre flashed a handsome smile. "Of course I'll go with you,

Hilde sighed in relief.

"After I help Duo put away the groceries…" Quatre finished.

Hilde's eyes went wide as the two boys passed by her. "WAIT!"

The two boys stopped in their tracks.

"You…You can't go in there!" Hilde hesitated.

"Hilde, what in the world is up?" Duo sighed and walked back to her.

"Nothing's UP…." Hilde nervously fumbled with her fingers as
Duo looked down at her.
"Well…maybe there IS. But.." Hilde finally decided to be up
front. " Oh Duo, I didn't want to tell you, but there's a surprise for
you in the living room, and I want you to be here alone when you find it!
Don't ask why, it's just necessary."

Okay, so maybe that wasn't ENTIRELY up front…But
`surprised' was definitely what Duo was going to be when he found Linnea sitting in
their living room...

"Well, I guess that can be arranged if it's important to you,
Hilde. I can put away the groceries by myself…" Duo looked over
at his friend and smiled. "Quatre?"

Quartre smirked as he took Hilde's arm. "I'd be glad to take
her off your hands, Duo." He smiled as he patted her arm gently. "Well, lets
go Hilde. We don't wanna be here when Duo finds his surprise,
now do we?"

"Oh, boy…" Hilde sighed as they walked out the front door.


Duo whistled loudly as he passed the doorway to the living room on
his way to the kitchen.

Linnea had been nervously looking around for a possible escape, her
thumbs twiddling and her feet shuffling. She didn't intend on taking the exit, but it felt good to know
that there WAS one…

She choked when she saw him walk by. "Ah…D-duo.."

Luckily, Duo had already passed and didn't hear her. She was
having second thoughts on NOT taking that exit…

He was past her… So, now she could leave without a trace. No
one would be the wiser.

She hesitantly started for the door, and then stopped dead in her
tracks as cold realization washed over her body...

Duo would know no matter what, she thought. Hilde would come home
and ask him how their conversation went…or if not that, she'd
at least ask where Linnea had left to so quickly.

Linnea could just imagine what would happen then…

Unfortunately, she didn't have enough time to play it out in her
mind before she was startled by the sound of breaking glass. She whirled
around in time to see the liquid, pieces of glass, and ice spread
across the hard floor…and the shocked expression on a very
surprised Duo.

"L-Linnea…" Duo stuttered.

Linnea dropped her arms limply to her sides and blankly stared at
him. She couldn't tell if that was anger in his voice or just
pure and utter confusion. Shit, what was next? Her legs would definitely
not hold her up if she tried to run now. Sticking it out was all
that was left.

"Oh God, is it really you? Linnea?!" Duo ignored the crunching glass
beneath his boots as he stepped closer to the girl. "Linnea?!"

Linnea opened her mouth to say something, but only managed to squeak.
She settled with a nod as Duo inched closer.

"Linnea!" He practically leapt over to her when she confirmed his

She almost cried when she saw the tears that had welled up in his
eyes. A wide smile ran across her lips as he pulled her into a
strong hug. Finally, she found the strength to speak. "Oh God, Duo,
I thought you'd push me away or, or…."

He pulled away from the hug and smiled, still holding onto her
shoulders gently.

Tears fell down Linnea's face when she stopped searching for the
words and looked into Duo's deep violet eyes. "Well, I didn't
expect this anyway.."

She closed her eyes when she felt his hand gently sweep the tears
from her cheeks. "Duo," she laughed "Lord, I've missed you so."

"To be totally honest, I missed you too…for the time I wasn't
mad at you.." He chuckled "..or myself…" he added seriously.

"Which means you didn't miss me very much, I'm guessing."
Linnea finally eased up totally as Duo backed away to travel back to the

"Like I said…to be TOTALLY honest." Duo smirked as he grabbed up
a dustpan and a broom. "But hey, we've all gotta learn to forgive
and forget, right? Especially when it involves people like us."

He came back into the doorway between the kitchen and the living
room, stooping over to clean up the broken glass. He paused for a
moment and looked up at Linnea once more. "Geez, it's really
great to see you again Linnea."

She smiled, walking over and kneeling next to him. "Thank you…"
She began to pick up the larger pieces of glass as Duo brushed the
smaller pieces into the dustpan.

"Your welcome…" Duo smiled. "and thank you."

Linnea didn't dare protest when he said thank you, even though
she felt she should. She didn't know whether it was out of pure
politeness or out of guilt that made her want to tell him it
wasn't his fault… All she knew for sure is that they both had made
mistakes, and that she shouldn't interfere in letting Duo put his behind
him. She continued putting pieces of the shattered glass into the pan..

This had seemed too simple, but for some reason, it was completely
filling. Linnea smiled as Duo put the dust pan to the side after
sweeping all of the glass up and pulled her in for another hug.

Her tears started to fall again as she whispered in his ear and
tightened her embrace. "Ours was no ordinary love, Duo…it really

Duo laughed as he pulled away gently, picking up the dust pan and
pushing himself up off his knees. "Linnea, ours IS no ordinary love.
A past tense verb in that sentence doesn't suit me well at all."

A warm feeling spread throughout her body almost instantly. She knew
what he'd meant by that. He'd truly put everything behind
him, and so had she…

All was forgiven…

But one more thing was to be settled…

Duo looked puzzled as he emptied the glass into a thick trash
bag. "Linnea?"

Linnea turned in his direction and smiled. "Yes?"

He scratched his head after putting the dust pan down and looked at
Linnea curiously. "You didn't happen to see a present for me in
the living room did you?"

"No…" Linnea's face now held Duo's puzzled look. "Why do
you ask?"

A wide smirk ran across his face. "Because! Hilde told me that
there'd be a big surpri—"

He didn't even have time to finish before Linnea had run over to
the couch and grabbed a few pillows to throw at him.

"What?… What?!" Duo laughed as she bombarded him with the
pillows. "I swear I really didn't know!! I swear!!"

and somewhere, a pretty little German girl smiled…