Note: this takes place directly after Flashback. I might change the title when I think of something better
This is stupid, Dex thought to himself as he climbed the steps up to the Heks residence. In his left hand he held a tiny Prattles' pin secured to a small bouquet of Panakes flowers. He wasn't the most clever gift giver, especially to a family he didn't know. Still, he felt a wave of guilt wash over him; flowers were a pretty feeble attempt to show his gratitude. Everyone had forgotten about what the Heks had done for the Alicorns, and Dex couldn't help but feel bad.
Of course, with everything that had been going on; the Neverseen attack, Alvar's second betrayal and the situation with Tam, he didn't really blame his friends for letting this slip their minds. Yet Dex had decided they deserved a thank-you. He just didn't wish it had to from from him, probably Stina's least favorite person. Despite his guilt, Dex was nervous of whatever reaction would come from the scornful girl. I've come this far, may as well just get it over with. Dex reached up with his free hand, knocking on the front door before he had any more second thoughts.
"Coming!" A loud, shrill voice rang out from somewhere inside. Stina. Dex wasn't sure if he felt relieved or more anxious about who he knew would show up at the door. On one hand, he wouldn't have to deal with Vika's scorn. But on the other hand, Stina had a strong disliking for specifically him. Before he could decide, the door opened, revealing the tall, frizzy-haired girl.
"Well, isn't this a surprise." Stina seemed genuinely taken aback by his presence. "Flowers? Did somebody die?"
Dex looked around, biting his lower lip. "These are for you. Well, your family, I mean. For saving Silveny and her babies." He glanced at the pin that was fastened to the string tied around the flowers. It was the Alicorn pin he'd found in his box of Prattles that morning. Perhaps he was crazy for giving it away, but it was just too fitting. "Not just the flowers. Uh, you can give these to your parents..." He handed her the bouquet, noticing her eyes light up at the sight of the Prattles' pin.
"That Alicorn pin is a one-in-four rarity! The rarest one ever made." Stina gasped, her snottiness forgotten. "How'd you get your hands on this?"
"Found it in a box of Prattles. I thought, since you guys saved the mother's life, you deserved one of them." Dex told her, a little awkwardly. "Well, I'd better be going."
"Wait, don't you want to give it to them yourself?" Stina's surprise and appreciation seemed to be wearing off. "Typically when you give a gift you don't just dump it at someone's doorstep and run off." She motioned with her hand for him to follow, which he reluctantly did. This is so weird. Dex had never dreamed of stepping inside any Heks' house, especially not Sterling Gables.
Stina skipped down the entryway, clutching the flower bundle as if it were a trophy. "Mom! Dad! We have a visitor!"
Timkin showed up first, frowning at Dex. He had been involved with the Black Swan, and for that Dex liked him a little more than Vika, who took her time stepping down the stairs. Stina pointed eagerly at the pin. "It's a gift from Dex."
"From everyone." Dex corrected, even though it wasn't true. He just didn't want to take credit for something like this in front of two family rivals. "Not just me."
Timkin blinked, turning to Vika. "Well, isn't that nice." He wasn't exactly rude, but he didn't seem to know how to react.
"We'd better test it to make sure it's real, and doesn't contain poison." Vika sighed. Dex could tell this bothered Stina, but she didn't say anything. "Well, you'd better get going. You're probably needed for some absurd adventure your friends have planned."
Absurd, Dex thought, forcing himself not to let his anger show. What we do has saved lives. Haven't they realized that? He just nodded. "Yeah, I'd better go. Well, enjoy the flowers. I thought they might help if one of your unicorns get sick, or something." He turned around, leaving the house before Vika could insult him even more. At least Stina and Timkin were somewhat appreciative.
Dex reached for his Pathfinder, just before he'd heard a noise behind him. "Wait!" He turned around, realizing Stina was following him.
"I wanted to thank you. S...sorry about Mom. She has trouble accepting when other people are just being nice." Stina muttered. "She always thinks it's a trick." This time it was Dex's turn to be surprised.
"Don't worry about it." Dex said, blinking. "It's not your fault. I really should be going, though." He hadn't told anyone what he'd left to do, and his parents would surely start to worry.
Stina looked away, shuffling her feet. "Can you meet me after school tomorrow? I wanna show you something."
"Sure." Dex said, already coming up with an excuse to leave his friends tomorrow afternoon. Whatever she wants, it can't be worse than something she's already done. He decided, pulling out his pathfinder.
"See you then." Stina said quietly as he began to leap away. Dex smiled to himself as he began to fade. "See you." He echoed, speaking more to himself than to Stina. See you soon.