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by SophitzFoster

Ships included: Linh and Dex, Sophie and Fitz, and Marella and Tam.

Part 1

Linh hummed to herself as she arranged umber leaves on a silver platter. Hopefully Dex remembered what was going on today, and wasn’t lost in his technology world. Well, he was always lost in his technology world, but some days more than others.

“When will Fitzphie be here?” Ilaria asked, pulling her out of her train of thought. “I want to see them!”

“A few minutes,” Linh assured her. “Don’t worry.”

“Are you wearing that?” Ilaria wrinkled her pale forehead. “It’s definitely not your best look.”

Linh glanced down at her floor-length pale pink gown, “What’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing, I just said it wasn’t your best look. That silver one you made is your best look.”

Linh laughed softly, “I’d like to save that for a special occasion. Like your Winnowing Gala, perhaps,” she joked, lowering her eyelid in a slow wink.

“Woah!” Ilaria tossed her blonde hair over her shoulder. “That will not be for several years.” Ilaria had only just started Level Five, and hadn’t even gotten her Matchmaking packet yet. “You know I don’t want to know yet.”

“Yes, yes, dear,” Linh patted Ilaria’s head.

“Oh, also, I don’t think your bracelets go with it,” Ilaria added, nodding towards the crush cuffs Linh was wearing.

"These are old friends,” Linh said, exasperated. “Besides, you know I like to wear these around the house.” She traced Dex’s name with her finger.

“You guys are annoyingly romantic sometimes,” Ilaria rolled her eyes.

“I’VE GOT IT!” A loud cry echoed from across the house, stopping Linh from replying. She whipped around as Dex ran into the kitchen brandishing what looked like a dolphin stuffed animal. Ilaria snickered.

“Hopefully what you have is a hairbrush,” Linh teased, “because the Fosters will be here any minute now.”

Dex waved his hand dismissively, “They don’t care. Besides, this is more important!”

“A dolphin stuffed animal,” Ilaria deadpanned. “Very important.”

“It’s a temperature sensor,” Dex rapidly explained, ignoring her. “It’s for Celosia. Because she manifested so young, Marella asked me to make it for her. When she sleeps with it at night, if her temperature starts to rise, it’ll make a noise to wake her up.” He showed them a cluster of pinpricks on the dolphin’s back, “That’s where the sound comes from. The rest is inside the dolphin so that it’s still comfortable to hug.”

“I don’t see what the appeal of stuffed animals is,” Ilaria sighed.

“You don’t?” came a new voice from the table. “Mr. Snuggles disagrees.”

The trio turned around to see Fitz and Sophie sitting at the table, smiles on their faces. “I’m sure Ella would as well,” Sophie added, “But she’s at home right now.”

“When did you drop in?” Dex asked, casually smoothing his hair down.

“About a minute ago,” Sophie said, “We didn’t want to interrupt you.”

“Well, let me get the rest of the food out,” Linh said, already moving quickly toward the kitchen.

“And, uh, I’ll be right back.” Dex headed back the way he came from.

“Your invention is great!” Sophie called after him. “Very… useful!” Fitz gave an amused smile and looked at Sophie in a way that made Ilaria wonder if they were communicating telepathically.

[I know this is kind of a bad stopping place, but that's where I stopped writing. 😆]

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