Gabrielle: Sorry it took me so long to update. I've been cooking some chicken (for those of you who don't get it, chicken takes a really long time to cook)

I left early the next day, not really wanting to say goodbye for some reason. I had a very bad feeling about what the next day would bring so I didn't want to stick around and let the others notice my worries.

"Ah!" I stopped in my tracks as an unfamiliar voice called out from Ross's house behind me. I expected to find Kaia or one of her friends when I turned around, but was surprised to see Rashel there, her notebook in one hand and a Roy Mustang doll in her other. Roy Mustang was from her favorite t.v. show, Fullmetal Alchemist. I had bought it for Valentine's Day for her last week.

Rashel bit her lip, before lifting up her notebook as if to write something down, before looking at the doll. She then glanced at me before ducking behind the potted plant that hung above the railing of their porch, holding Roy out so I could see him though he was facing her as if she were talking to it.

"Um…" my eyes grew wide as I realized what she was trying to do, "Goodbye, Vash."

In that second, I had almost made up my mind to go back and talk to her, but stopped halfway through my first step as her voice-as hesitant as before-continued. The doll never once turned to face me and she never came out from behind the plant as she talked so I figured it'd be best to stay where I was.

"Um…" her voice was soft, not like I remembered it. She used to be loud and brash, almost always yelling, no matter what, "Th-Thank you."

I blinked, almost more surprised that she'd thanked me-for unknown reasons-than by the fact that she had been talking, "For what?"

"For always being there for me. Even when I was a jerk." there was silence for a second, but I didn't cut in, knowing she wanted to say something else. It was surprising how much I had managed to tune in with her in just a few short weeks, "You didn't have to."

"But it was the right thing to do." I said, confused. Did she think I'd just abandon her because she'd been raised awfully and-probably-thought that what she was doing was okay? "Your mother abandoned you. How could I just…" I shook my head, knowing she got the point, before asking, "Why are you just telling me this now?"

There was silence again for a moment, before Rashel answered, "I wanted be able to say thank you… not write it." she sighed audibly, "I'm sorry I can't say it to your face."

I laughed, "Don't worry. This is more than enough. In fact, I should be thanking you, as well."

Rashel's voice had been growing more and more confident throughout our conversation to the point where now, it almost felt like one-even though we were both technically talking through a doll, "What for?"

"For not making fun of my accent." I smiled brutally as I drew attention to my one weakness, "I don't think I hate it as much when I'm with you."

"Wanna know a secret?" Rashel whispered, "I always kind of thought your accent was cute-even before my mom left me."

I blushed as she said that. Was this really Rashel talking? The Rashel who would always throw beer cans at my head and make fun of me-the latter part even after she'd lived with Ross for a while? Was the world going insane? And wait a minute-why was I blushing?! This was Rashel we were talking about for Pete's sake! The most I'd ever felt for her was brotherly love… right?

"Oh… uhm… thank you." all of a sudden it was me who was stuttering instead of the mute.

"Can I ask you a question?" all of a sudden Rashel was hesitant again.

"Of course."

There was yet another silence, that was followed by Rashel stepping out from behind the plant. I was shocked-was she actually going to try and talk while looking me in the face? Apparently not, as as soon as she made eye contact with me, she let out a soft yelp before jumping back behind the plant and continuing to talk through the doll. I had to restrain a sigh-that dream was certainly short lived.

"Will you stay and watch Young Frankenstein with me?" she asked. "At least until the others get back."

I blinked, before smiling softly even though I knew she couldn't see it, "Of course."


As it turns out, the others didn't get up too much later-we hadn't even met Inga yet before the whole family was downstairs watching the movie with us. We were about ¾ of the way through the movie when out of the blue, the doorbell rang.

Ross went to push pause as his mother got up to answer the door. We couldn't see who it was, seeing as it was around the corner, but could definitely hear it when Mrs. Griffen let out a loud and quite surprised gasp, followed by the quick opening of the door and a cried;


"Hello, Marion."

Rashel's eyes grew wide at the same time the rest of ours did as her mother's voice came floating into the living room.