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  • 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.

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    • Wow this is really good!! Please continue!

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    • Please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please please continue this?

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    • Yes I'll continue this, I hope to at least put one chapter out each day, especially on weekends/days off, however I might skip a day if I'm really tired from school! The next chapter will be Stina's perspective so hopefully that'll be interesting ;)

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    • This is amazing!! Also even though you just started it, I think it might just be one of my favorite fanfics ever!!

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    • Thank you so much!!! The positive reviews have definitely inspired me to work on it more, though I might revise it later since this is basically a rough draft. I'll definitely have the second chapter out tomorrow!

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    • YES!! Destina getting the recognition they deserve!! Awesome job!!

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    • Chapter Two

      ~

           What did I get myself into? Stina thought, groaning. She scanned her bedroom for the fifth time, trying to think of something, anything to bring to school tomorrow to show Dex. Wanting to give him something was only an excuse. In reality, she just felt bad about how her parents had reacted and wanted to make it up to him. Being an Empath, Stina could feel how disappointed he'd been by Timkin's lackluster response, and how downright rude Vika had been.

      Stina pulled herself out of bed, rummaging through her satchel. It was so hard to be mean when you were an Empath, especially to someone as well-meaning as Dex. She sighed, pulling out her Imparter. He was a Technopath, after all. Closing her eyes, she tossed it on the ground, watching pieces fall off. Maybe it'd seem rude to bring him something to fix, but it was her last resort.

      "Stina! Are you okay? I heard a crash." The call came from Timkin outside her bedroom door. Stina cringed. Of course he'd be near her room right as she'd purposefully broken her Imparter.

      "I just dropped something! Nothing broke!" She lied, scooping up the Imparter and testing it out. The screen was warped and glitchy. Stina held her breath, silently praying for her father to go away. As much as she loved her parents, this was not something she was eager about sharing with them. Besides, she didn't really have anything to share. She just wanted to apologize to Dex. It was just easier this way.

      "Be careful in there." Timkin responded. Stina could hear his footsteps fade away from outside. She sighed, flopping down onto her bed again. This is going to be an awkward time, Stina told herself, yet she didn't really dread it. If anything, she was excited to see what would happen. There was one thing Stina knew for sure: tomorrow couldn't come any sooner.

      ~

           Where is he? Stina tapped her foot impatiently, arms folded. The school day had just ended and she was standing near the front door where he would be able to see her. She felt inside her satchel, reassured that the broken Imparter was still there. It had only beena few minutes, but she fekt like she'said been waiting an eternity. What's taking him so long? The girl wondered, before spotting a tall, strawberry blond-haired boy making his way through the crowd.

      She could tell Dex was speaking with Sophie and someone else. It was hard not to be jealous. She was with Fitz now, after all. Stina frowned at Dex, who made eye contact and signaled for her to hold on. He said something to Sophie before making his way over.

      "You said you wanted to show me something?" Dex said in a rather hurried voice.

      Stina looked over her shoulder. "Yeah, we should go somewhere quieter." She said quietly. "Maybe we could go around back?"

      "Why? Worried your friends will see you with me?" Though Stina wasn't actually making contact with him, she could tell Dex was irritated.

      "No. I just... don't care to be surrounded by a crowd." Stina looked away. Of course she didn't want her friends to see her. "Well, are you coming or not?"

      Dex sighed. "Yes, I'm coming. What was it you wanted to show me?" Stina hesitated before pulling out the broken device, a bashful smile on her face.

      "You drag me out here so I can fix your stuff? How'd you even break it like this?" Dex stared at the cracked, bent Imparter. "You'd be better off just buying a new one."

      "But this one has all of my contacts. Wait!" Stina said as Dex turned to leave. "Hang on, I still wanted to talk to you." So far this meeting had been very rocky. Still, she was determined to have a real conversation. "I wanted to thank you for the Panakes blossoms. My mom wouldn't ever admit it, but they'll really come in handy if one of the horses get sick." She rummaged through her bag, pulling out a box of Prattles. "This is for you."

      Dex turned back to her, leaning against the wall of the school. "You don't need to give me anything. The flowers were a gift."

      "It's not a gift if the receiver doesn't appreciate it. Just take the candy!" Stina put her arm out again, insisting that he took it, which Dex hesitantly did. "What took you so long?"

      "What do you mean? I came right out as soon as school was dismissed. I wouldn't just leave you." Dex added. "I don't like to break promises."

      "What about when you promised to make me a hair-growing elixir after you turned me bald?" Stina retorted, though her voice was humorous. Dex smirked.

      "I made you the elixir- it just worked better than I intended." Dex said innocently. "And you relayed me with a muskog in my locker, so you can't even complain!"

      Stina leaned against the wall. "Wanna know something? The muskog was kind of meant as a gift. I was worried you'd like it!"

      "I'd totally keep a pet muskog! Just, not in my locker." Dex laughed. Relief rushed over Stina. The encounter had gone smoother than she'd planned. "Next time, warn me before you wanna dump a swamp monster on me?"

      Stina reached out her hand. "Only if you promise not to add balding serum to my lush berry juice again." At that moment, she realized how much she'd missed pulling those pranks on him. Of course, they were never friendly, but it was nice to think about him. Now they hardly interacted at all. It's my fault for being so mean to him, Stina thought regretfully. "No hard feelings?"

      Dex looked down at his feet, shaking her hand. "When did you become nice?" If she hadn't felt such surprise and amusement from him, Stina might've been offended.

      "It's... the Empath training." Stina admitted. She'd considered making a joke, but was tired of keeping it bottled up. "Every amount of hurt I inflict on others I can feel, even if I'm not making contact. I've been taught to study emotions to understand them better, and... well, I don't like being the cause of so many people's pain." She gave him a sidelong glance. "I've tried making it up to Sophie. I was hoping we could start over, too."

      "You're serious? This isn't a prank?" She looked down when Dex hesitated. "I... I'm willing to try if you are." He straightened up, glancing at her satchel. "I can get your Imparter fixed by tomorrow morning, but I need to know how it broke."

      Stina shuffled her feet, wondering which lie to tell. It accidentally fell off my desk. It fell out of my bag when I was riding a pegasus. "I threw it on the ground. I needed and excuse to see you." She looked back up at Dex. "It just bothered me, the way Mom spoke to you. I could tell you were just being nice. Like I said, she always thinks everyone is pulling tricks on her."

      "Don't worry about it. My parents would be wary if you came by trying to give us gifts." Dex reassured her, though she doubted it was true. His family was always so nice. "You wanna stop by the Slurps and Burps after school again tomorrow? We could go shopping around Mysterium, or..."

      "Why don't you come to my place?" Stina said, summoning up all of her courage. "I could show you our newest pegasus. She's really pretty, but distrusting, but I'm sure she'll like you. My parents won't be home." She added. "They're still working on getting Dad into the Nobility."

      Dex smiled. "That could be fun. I'll need to come up with an excuse, though. Maybe I can say I'm working on homework at Havenfield." Stina stiffened at the mention of Sophie's house, but she knew it was a good lie. And she was okay with keeping her newfound friendship secret. For now.

      "Sounds good." She agreed. "I guess I'll meet you then! Thank you for coming. It means a lot to me that you trust me enough."

      "Well, I'd better get to Rimeshire. But I look forward to it!" Dex grinned at her before leaping away. Stina returned the grinned, feeling better than she had in weeks. He looks forward to it. Stina would have to make sure he wouldn't be disappointed. She couldn't wait. For once in her life, everything seemed right. Perhaps for now the worst is really behind us.

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    • Good job!

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    • Sorry it took so long! It started really slow and I was kinda having writer's block but it got more fun to write at the end, this chapter is also a little bit longer because of all the dialogue. I also had trouble ending it but I think I did well since the end contains a little bit of foreshadowing! I have some pretty interesting ideas for the future ;)

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    • Awesome job!! I’m excited to watch Dex and Stina Fall in Love!

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    • Even though I'm not huge on the Destina ship, this is really good, so please keep posting!

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    • Also above, that was me, 
      

      Oddity

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    • Ok this is amazing! 🙌 #Destinaisdestiny

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    • Thank you guys all so much for the positivity! I'll either have chapter 3 out tomorrow or day after tomorrow!

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    • thanks! keep postin' and ill keep readin'! pRetty great.

      Oddity

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    • Mmkay, so I realized I've kinda bitten off more than I can chew. I'm probably going to post a new chapter every weekend day (so one every saturday and sunday, and since I have monday off, probably then too) and if I feel inspired on weekdays, but not as frequently as I would've liked. However I've been pretty busy with school with finals coming up so soon and real life does come first, but I definitely plan on continuing the story until the dramatic end! The next chapter will be a bit of a filler, though I'm still thinking of ideas to make it entertaining! I'm better at writing from Stina's point of view because it's easier to mold her into my own character a little bit, unlike Dex since we know so much more about him.

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    • Great!! Take your time!

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    • Ahhh this is Amazing!!!

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    • "You're doing great!"

         Dex could hear Stina's voice cheering from down low. He grasped Ruby's harness, feeling as though he'd slide off the pegasus, which had just begun to take flight. He'd never ridden any kind of horse before, let alone a giant winged one. Despite the whole thing being his idea, Dex began to have serious second thoughts.

         Four days had passed since their after school meeting, and each afternoon they met at Sterling Gables to work on taming their newest pegasus. It was Dex who had suggested her name, Ruby, for her unusual deep maroon spots as opposed to the usual blue or purple patches. Ruby had taken a liking to Dex after he hand-fed her a few stems of swizzlespice, which neither Stina nor her parents had been able to do previously. Even though his stomach was fluttering with anxiety at being so far from the ground, Dex felt a slight burst of pride. In the days he'd been visiting after school, when Vika and Timkin weren't present, Ruby had been making leaps and bounds of progress.

         Stina's voice called him back to the task at hand. "If you fall, remember that you can always levitate! Riding a pegasus can be scary at first, but they're surprisingly stable. Just don't pinch them." Dex had suggested that someone should try riding Ruby in hopes that it would further her trust with elves. As the pegasus' favorite elf, the responsibility fell on him. He looked down, realizing Ruby was liftkng further and further off the ground.

         "How do I get her to stop!?" Dex moaned, vertigo setting in as soon as he glanced at the ground. "Stop it, Ruby! You were only supposed to go a little high." She whinnied mischievously, as though enjoying his discomfort. She knows exactly what I want. The pegasus was doing it on purpose!

         "She enjoys giving you a lift. Look at her happy eyes!" Stina said in an innocent voice. Through his dizziness, Dex noticed her smirk. She's enjoying this just as much as Ruby. Probably more. He couldn't believe he'd let her rope him into such a dangerous activity. The pegasus whinnied again, finally relenting and landing gingerly on the emerald green grass. 

         "She's coming so far, thanks to you. Wait!" Stina groaned, as if remembering something. "Dad asked me if I could feed our residents while he was gone. Well, I guess that'll give me the chance to properly introduce you to them all. If you're not too dizzy, that is." She winked, which Dex noticed she seemed to do quite a lot around him. In fact, she'd adopted several gestures that indicated she was letting him in on some kind of secret. He nodded, grinning.

         "Nope. One little pegasus can't harm me." He joked. Ruby nudged him in protest, as if insisting he take it back. When he folded his arms, she pushed him over, causing him to fall over. "All right, I get your point! Didn't need the demonstration, thanks."

         Dex followed Stina across the field, once again marveling at how much she transformed around the horses. She seemed like a normal girl, sharing her joys with him. He'd underestimated how much she cared for her family's equestrians. Dex had never expected her to be such a cheerful, passionate elf instead of the sneering girl he thought he knew.

         "This is our permanent resident, Selene." Stina skipped over to a silvery, graceful-looking unicorn. Dex noticed that she seemed quite a bit smaller than the others. "She has some kind of defect that rendered her unable to grow past early adolescence. She gets scared around full grown unicorns, but loves hanging around the babies." She grinned, stroking the elegant unicorn's mane. Selene welcomed the touch, and Dex knew then that they had a strong bond. "Mom wanted to pass her off for Jurek to deal with, but dad and I insisted she stayed. Isn't she gorgeous? She's named after the goddess of the moon from human mythology."

         "Sophie named Luna after the moon, too." Dex noted, copying Stina's stroking while she loaded swizzlespice into the large feeding bin. I think I like Selene's name better, he decided. He noticed that she shared a large enclosed field with a mother unicorn and her baby. There were several other fences like this, each with three to four unicorns each.

         Stina looked up. "Really? That's super adorable! I'm so in love with the baby Alicorns." She sighed wistfully, leaning against the fence. "I wish I could see them every day. How are the parents? Are they still at Havenfield?"

         "Yes! The babies were able to move in with them a few days ago." Dex told her. "They're getting along great, but Sophie says it'll be time to let them free soon."

         Stina sighed. "I wish I could see them before they go. I'm so, so jealous of Sophie. She gets to hang out with Alicorns. Real Alicorns!" She closed the gate, leading him to the next enclosure. "These unicorns are underweight, so they're fed a special kibble to boost their calories. Poor things were found half starved. Their mother was nearly dead." Stina pointed at two scrawny unicorns and their weary-looking mother. "You're very lucky Luna and Wynn are as healthy as they are, or they could've ended up like them. Or worse."

         Dex considered this, making a decision. "You know, it's thanks to you and your family that they're even alive. What do you say we go to Havenfield tonight and pull a little prank?" He gave her an evil grin.

         "What do you have in mind? Surely nothing that'll hurt them."

         "Not much. Excelp... it might involve fluffy neon-colored baby Alicorns." Dex remembered the elixirs he'd given Iggy which turned him all kinds of different colors. I'll have to adjust the formula to taste like swizzlespice. "Luna would look good with curly magenta hair, don't you think?"

         Stina gasped, hardly able to contain her laughter. "You're sure Sophie won't get upset? And doesn't Havenfield have all kinds of locks and security?"

         "You're asking me that as if I'm not the world's greatest Technopath." Dex said matter-of-factly. "They won't even know we were there. You get to see the baby Alicorns, I get to dye them crazy colors, and it'll cheer Sophie up. The way I see it, everyone wins!"

         Stina returned his evil leer. "It's settled then. Meet me at the shores at midnight tonight?" She outstretched her hand as if making a deal.

         "I wouldn't miss it for the world." Dex promised, grasping her hand and giving it shake.

      ~ ~ ~

         Dex glanced at the clock, which read 11:54. It was almost time to go. He could hardly contain his laughter all evening, and he knew Juline suspected that he was up to something. I'm allowed to have secrets, too. He thought, surprised by the bitterness he felt. Now he sat alone in his room, packing elixirs into his bag.

         About an hour ago Dex and Stina whispered through an Imparter call. They'd decided on sparkly cyan curls instead of magenta for Luna, and for Wynn, bright red dreadlocks. Silently he pulled out his pathfinder, leaping to the outskirts of Havenfield.

         Stina was already waiting for him when Dex appeared. She bounced over to him with childlike excitement. "I can't hardly wait! Are you sure you'll be able to get past that lock? It looks pretty tricky."

         Dex gave her an evil wink. "Nothing stops me from pulling pranks." Secretly, though, he was mostly happy about letting Stina see the twins. It felt good to do something nice for her. "Give me one minute."

         In reality it took less than a minute, about thirty seconds, for Dex to work the lock before he heard a click. He slowly opened the gate, waving Stina over. "We have to be quiet or Verdi will throw a tantrum."   

         Quietly giggling to themselves, they made their way through the long, spanding meadows of Havenfield. Noticing Stina craning her neck to look out for the Alicorn enclosure, he pointed. "It's right over there. Grab some swizzlespice first. They'll trust you more if you have food."

         Stina did as she was told, quietly dashing over to the barred space the Alicorns were snoozing in. "How do I get them to wake up?" She asked. But Greyfell was already blinking one of his gold-flecked brown eyes. He inched over to Stina, giving her a distrustful look.

         "We see this a lot in horses that have been hurt before coming to us." Stina said sadly, watching him chomp at the swizzlespice. "Hiiii, little guy! Well, more like big guy." She whisper-shouted. Silveny was waking up now, noticing her mate's absence. At first she looked as if she was going to neigh loudly, but she seemed to recognize Dex and let out a welcoming nicker. She shoved Greyfell aside, snatching up the last stems of swizzlespice.

         Dex fished out the elixirs, which he had formulated to smell and taste like a sweeter, tastier version of swizzlespice. This caught the baby Alicorns' attention and they trotted over curiously, their parents distracted by Stina's feeding.

         "One at a time, guys! Luna first." Dex laughed as the female Alicorn baby eagerly lapped up the shimmery cyan liquid. As he was opening the second vial, he heard footsteps. "Stina, hide!"

         "What? Oh, okay! Um..." She ducked under one of the surrounding bushes, rushedly covering herself.

         "Dex? What are you doing out here?" He recognized Edaline's soft voice. She frowned at him, shining her flashlight. "The verminion escaped again and I heard a noise."

          Dex turned around, quickly fabricating a lie. "Biana was certain that something was going to happen with the baby Alicorns. You know how paranoid she's been since Alvar's escape and Tam getting captured." He bit his lower lip. "I just wanted to calm her down and check. Nothing seems out of the ordinary."

         "Well, you shouldn't have come by yourself if there was potential danger." Edaline said sternly. "Do-" A burping noise from behind Dex cut her off.

         Dex turned around to see Luna's silver mane transform into frizzy, curly cyan. "I thought I'd pull a prank while I was here." He told her innocently. "It was supposed to cheer Sophie up."

         Edaline frowned, and Dex worried he'd be in trouble. "You should've told us!" She laughed instead. "Grady could've let you in. She looks adorable! Well, hurry up then. It's a bit chilly out tonight." He watched her turn away, walking back to the house.

         When he was sure she was gone he signaled for Stina to come out. "That was close." She whispered.

         "I'll keep feeding the parents. You give Wynn the next elixir." Dex sighed with relief. He pulled clumps of the spicy-smelling sprigs out of the grass, waving them for Silveny and Greyfell to see.

         When Stina finished she gave the twins each a long hug through the bars, stroking Luna's now obnoxiously curly mane. "You guys are too cute! And incredibly special. You'll be so gorgeous when you're older, especially if Dex keeps feeding you such awesome elixirs." She grinned at him. Wynn sighed through his nose when Stina turned away.

         "I think they like you." Dex said, giving her an amiable smile. "Maybe they'll even want you to visit more often. I just hope Silveny doesn't give us away! Anyways, I'd better get back before Mom notices my absence."

         Stina shrugged. "I've snuck out so many times my parents don't even realize. Early prankster gets the last laugh!" Dex wondered then who else she had been pranking. "But... it's really been great having you around. Maybe we can hang out more often." Her voice was casual, but through the darkness Dex could see the nervousness in her face.

         "Of course! Bye!" Dex said, hoping she couldn't see his blush. It's been really great having you around. He held onto her words as he leapt away, and knew that this was the start of a long new friendship. 

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    • It was supposed to be out yesterday night but I forgot to save it and the page refreshed and I lost it all... so sorry if it seems rushed! The next chapter is gonna be reeeeally good I think, though!))

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    • THIS IS SOOOOO GOOD!!! I love how they dye the baby alicorns' manes! The alicorns sound ADORABLE!!!

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    • Thank you so much! Originally they were just gonna sneak in to see the Alicorns but I was reading Iggy's page and got inspired :p It just seemed like something Dex would do!

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    • THIS CHAPTER WAS SOO ADORABLE!!!  @Applebaby12 you are amazing....

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    • Thank you so much!

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    • No new chapter this weekend unfortunately since I have been studying for finals, however there's a good chance the next chapter will be out this week since I'll be writing a first draft at school. If not then early Saturday for sure!

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    • YAY!!!! Take your time!

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    • YESSSS

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    • amazing 

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    • might start shipping them...sheepish smile

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    • I hope the next chapter with persuade you further... ;)

      Definitely gonna be out Saturday! I need strict deadlines or I'll get lazy and put it off. So hold me to it!!!

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    • You need to make more! You are such a great writer!

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    • Two days until Saturday, foalks.

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    • Yup! This chapter is finally when things start to get good))

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    • YES!!! I love your chapters!

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    • Chapter Four~



      Two months passed.

      Despite the time that flew by, nothing changed with the Neverseen, according to Dex. They hadn't made any progress, which Stina didn't mind at all. The less time he spends on dangerous activities, the less chance he has to get hurt. She thought he was much better off with her, spending the days being a normal kid rather than a freedom fighter. It was bad enough that her father was involved with the Black Swan; even worse that he wouldn't tell her anything about it. Stina loved days like this, spent just with Dex. They were always the highlight of her week.

      This day in particular was a bright and sunny Saturday, and they'd just finished up watching a movie from the Human Cinema; a theater that had recently opened in Atlantis showcasing popular movies from the Forbidden Cities. The two had seen a film about what humans pictured dinosaurs to be, and had something to do with them breaking loose and hunting down the humans. Stina hadn't really been paying attention, and neither had Dex.

      The two couldn't get over the fact that the dinosaurs were ugly, scaley and naked. Instead, they spent the whole two hours giggling at the absurdity of it. “I can't believe the humans accept this as history.” Stina laughed as they were leaving the cinema. “It's kind of sad, really.”

      “It's guess it's not doing them any harm.” Dex shrugged, and Stina was reminded then that he'd practically been desensitized to human movies. “This is far from the craziest it gets.”

      After the movie they had bounced from shop to shop, hardly wary of running into either of their friends. At first they'd tried to keep their outings discreet, exploring quiet forests or visiting slow, lowly populated shops or attractions. But as time passed, their reservations faded. Of course, neither child openly admitted their friendship, but it was more a matter of avoiding annoying questions. Stina wouldn't have cared if Dex wanted to say anything. In fact, a part of her wished she could just be open about it. She only kept quiet about it for Dex's sake. He doesn't want to explain it to his group. And Stina was okay with that. For now.

      “I got your midterms present.” She said casually, leaning against a lamp post. “It won't have a name tag, for obvious reasons. It'll be wrapped in bright gold paper. But I think you'd know who it was from as soon as you see it.” Stina was amused by his surprised panic. “Calm down. I know you've been so preoccupied with your Black Swan stuff, but the tests aren't for another two weeks. I just decided to be an early bird.”

      “I forgot all about midterms! I haven't gotten anyone presents yet, either.” Dex sputtered.

      “Relax! I'll help you shop for them now.” She winked at him. “I'm a master gift giver!”

      It felt so good to have a real friend. At school, the girls she hung out with were more like followers, people who stuck with her for the sole purpose of not being against her. Dex was more like an equal. You don't need to get me anything. Stina wanted to say. The time you spend with me is enough.

      Eventually they ended up in a random candy store, buying a big bag of mood candy. She always thought that it tasted best when he was around; a bright, sweet, slightly warm flavor. “So, you worried about any of your midterms?” Stina asked as she popped a morsel into her mouth. “I'm only concerned about The Universe, myself.”

      “Uh, yeah.” Dex said, fidgeting with his hands. “I'm pretty much just winging it. Planning for Tam’s rescue has been soaking up all my free time, but… I mean, nothing is too difficult.”

      Tam’s rescue? Stina tilted her head, deciding not to say anything. “I'm sure you'll pass. You're, like, the smartest Technopath I know, and your Alchemy is better than any other Level Four.” She hadn't meant for it to sound all gushy, but Dex started blushing. “Okay, you're not that good. But you're my best friend.”

      This made Dex blush even more.”I think you're mine, too. I… I haven't had a best friend for a while.” Suddenly, Dex's Imparter went off. “Um, I gotta take this.” He jumped to his feet, seemingly trying to hide Stina from the Imparter’s view, but she saw that the caller was Sophie. “Yeah, hang on, let me find somewhere more private to talk.” He told her, squeezing between two buildings.

      Stina crossed her arms, the mood candy turning sour in her mouth. Why am I jealous? She's with Fitz! But Sophie would always be the special Moonlark. She'd always be the one Dex prioritized. The envious sour turned into a sad, bitter loneliness. No matter what Stina did, how much time she spent with Dex, Sophie always came first.

      Hearing Dex returning, Stina tried to hide her emotions. But it wasn't easier. Even harder when he said, “I have to go! The team's made a breakthrough! Oh, and meet me here tomorrow!” He leapt away, not seeming to notice her crestfallen expression. And as she sat on the bench, alone, Stina could feel awful loneliness rise in her chest. What do I have to do to make him want to be with me?



      The bell rung out, signaling all students to put their pencils down and hand in their tests. As it turned out, The Universe was the easiest midterm Stina had taken all day. In fact, none of the midterms tests were very difficult. Only her Empathy class challenged her.

      Apparently, most mentors were going easy on the prodigies, worried that they were losing sleep over the Neverseen attack. Everyone knew now that the bad guys were ahead, but Stina was hardly worried. If Sophie and her friends can't stop them, no one can. She admitted reluctantly to herself.

      Prodigies crowded around their locker, eagerly popping prize bubbles and opening Midterm presents from friends. Stina calmly waited at her meeting spot for Dex, carrying the small wrapped box in her hands. I want to watch him open his gift. She'd been waiting more than a month for this. Finally, a tall strawberry blond head separated itself from the crowd, making its way to their quiet rendezvous. As of late, it had been hard to get her friend alone.

      Before she could get a word in, Dex started his excited rambling. “I think we should go out back, so nobody overhears our conversation. I have some exciting news!”

      “Slow down, Dex! Yeah, we can go somewhere quieter, if you want.” His excitement was almost dizzying as he lead her out, being sure to take a route that no one who would recognize them took.

      “So, I was thinking maybe we could spend this Saturday at my house. My parents won't be there all afternoon.” Stina began, deciding not to question is ecstatic secrecy.

      “Uh, about that.” Dex said, glancing down. “We've finally found the hideout Tam’s in. This weekend is when we're going to break him out.” The light sparked back into his eyes. “We're really getting close, Stina! I can't say too much, but I don't think the Neverseen is going to be around for much longer.”

      Stina's enthusiasm dropped as she listened to him chatter on about the plan. “You're going directly to a Neverseen hideout?” Her heart suddenly twisted. “Isn't that dangerous?”

      Dex glanced away. “Well, yeah. But it's not like I haven't done anything more dangerous. It's no big deal!”

      “So you're heading directly into enemy territory, where they have the upper hand, knowledge of their hideout, and all of their equipment?” She snapped. Suddenly a dark picture formed in her head. His Wanderling planting. “You already died once.”

      “I'm not going to die!” Dex blinked, surprised by her anger. “Don't worry! Why are you so upset?”

      “I don't understand why it has you be you. Your group has so many people!” Stina turned away, not wanting him to see the tears forming in her eyes.

      Dex looked down. “They need a Technopath. I can't just abandon the group. We've been planning this for months!”

      Stina whipped her head around. “So you're just going to risk your life for her.” She spat the last word, as if she couldn't bear to say Sophie's name. “When will you realize that you have your own life and friends?”

      “What are you talking about?” Dex muttered. “I thought you'd be glad I was helping take down a group of murderers and arsonists!”

      “It doesn't have to be you!” She hissed, stomping away. “Whatever. Go get killed with all your real friends. I just thought I'd meant more.” Stina knew she was being unfair, but she couldn't bear the thought of him running off and fighting the Neverseen. Before, she hadn't put any thought into the dangers he could be in. But suddenly all she could think about was his Wanderling tree. He's already faced death once before. How many more times is he going to get lucky?

      Back inside, she hardly tried to recover from her fit of anger. Stina had spent two years studying emotions, yet she couldn't quite figure out why this devastated her so badly. She snatched her thinking cap, not sticking around to join in the celebration of prodigies who passed the test. What was wrong with her? Would she have cared so much if anyone else was in danger? Before she could figure out the answer, Maruca caught up to her.

      “Why the long face? It's not like you failed your midterms.” She chuckled, then stopped. “Oh, don't tell me you failed!”

      “Of course not! Is that all you think about?” Stina barked. She leapt away before Maruca could reply.

      At home she was inconsolable. In a fit of anger she kicked at random things in her room, ignoring her parents’ praise and confused looks. “Leave me alone.” She mumbled, burying her head into the pillow, where she spent the next ten minutes sobbing and letting the worst scenarios play out in her mind.

      Even though he hadn't been harmed yet, this was worse than the Wanderling planting in a way. She had grown close to Dex. And now he was throwing himself into danger because of his friends. Because of Sophie. Doesn't he care about what he already has here? Stina questioned, suddenly sitting up.

      Reaching for her thinking cap which was full of presents, she thought about the first time they'd met. They were both six years old playing at a park near Mysterium when she saw Dex, happily swinging by himself. Stina had wanted to introduce herself, feeling drawn to him, when Vika stopped her. “You don't want to play with him, sweetheart. His mother had triplets.” She knew now that her mother was only trying to convince herself that she was better than Juline and Kesler. But at that time, she had decided that she would catch his attention in a different way.

      By then Stina was no stranger to bullying. One boy, named Marlus, had told her that her parents were cheaters and bad matches. Rumors spread that her mother and father shouldn't have been matched, as Timkin was Talentless. So it felt good to have somebody beneath her.

      Stina started throwing insults, teasing him for his triplet siblings and bad match parents. At that point, Dex stood up for himself. “My parents will be better than yours ever will.” He snapped back, tossing a clump of dirt at her. “And at least I don't have muddy hair!”

      That was when their prank wars begun. Stina had always been drawn to Dex. My first words to him were insults. If I never see him again… do I really want my last words to him sting? She pulled out his present, which was concealed by a neon green gift box. She opened the little box, surprised by what was inside. A charm bracelet.

      But it wasn't any random bracelet with stars and pearls, which most boys got girls they hardly knew. His had five different charms so far. A little green muskog, a red-spotted pegasus, a silver unicorn horn, and a pair of Alicorns. The metal on their manes had been dyed cyan and red.

      Beginning to tear up again, Stina grabbed her Imparter. By now it the sun was beginning to set; she didn't have much time. “Hail Dex.”

      Before he could say anything, she cut him off. ”Meet me at the outskirts of Sterling Gables. I want to talk to you.”

      Time seemed to slow as she waited for him. Did he even want to see her? But Stina knew she had to see him. As soon as she'd opened his gift, she knew exactly what her feelings were towards him. And when he finally did appear, her insides seemed to turn to jelly.

      “This is for you.” She said quietly, handing him the box. “I'm sorry for what I said. I know now that...  if I don't see you again…”

      “I promise I'll come back.” Dex interrupted. “Besides, I would never leave without saying goodbye.” He held out his hand, smiling. But not a cheerful smile, more melancholy. The sun was setting behind him. “We leave tonight. If this mission is a success, it'll put us on the right track to defeating the Neverseen.”

      “I know. I just…” Stina stared into his periwinkle eyes, feeling tongue tied. And then she wrapped her arms around him. And then they kissed.

      Stars seemed to explode behind her eyes when it happened. It was so sudden, as if an unseen force had pushed her to do it. And it was perfect. When Stina backed away, she could tell Dex felt the same.

      He started to say something, but she held up her hand. “Just be safe, okay? Come back for me.” Stina gave him a sad smile. “I know this is important to you. Good luck. And… I love you.”

      Dex nodded, looking dizzy. But as he leapt away, she could hear his words. “I love you too.”      

          

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    • Whoo! Got a little set back since my sister came to visit, but it's done! I'm really happy with this chapter, and it's much easier to write on docs. Unfortunately the italics (aka where she's thinking) didn't go through so I'll be going back and editing that, but I wanted to get this chapter out now since I'm a little late!

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    • Really good job! I love your DeStina chapters!

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      • SQEALS AND STARTS FANGIRLING* That was SO GOOD!!!
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    • THEY ACTUALLY KISSED *sits in stunned silence*

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    • So I wouldn't have shipped Dex and Stina before reading this, but now they are so perfect I can't breathe. Oh no. I'm slowly suffocating. All in a good day's work.

      -the mysterious miss foster

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    • Sorry I've been sick but thank you all for the amazing comments! :)

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    • wow that was good

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    • Will thee be a new chapter soon???

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    • I do plan on writing the next chapter but as it's fairly different from the others, it's taking a while to fully think it through. It might be another week or two, since I'm still figuring it out,

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    • ok i have started shipping them 

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    • .

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    • Hey guys, I know I've gone on hiatus a bit but that's because I'm really not happy with the story tbh. It's not my best work and each chapter was rushed. I'm very grateful for all the supportive comments, of course! But I know I could do better. Since the chapters are so long (not compared to a real chapter in an actual novel, of course, but compared to a lot of other fanfics I've read) and I have to do it on mobile, it's just really not an enjoyable experience for me usually. I do still plan on finishing the story, but I've been taking a break from writing in general (including roleplays) because I've really just not been in a creative mood lately. So it might be a while, but thank you for your patience and support!

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    • Aww. Your story's been really good, though! If this fanfiction isn't your best work, you should definitely be an author!

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    • Well, it's just very rushed and I don't have the time nor passion at the moment to really commit. For example, I wanted to have a sort of flashback scene were Dex and Stina first met. I sort of did, but nowhere near as good as I wanted it. While I do like some parts, I just feel like it was kind of generic and rushed in general. I know I could do better but I don't really have the commitment of an author.))

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    • Either way, you're an extreamly good writer!  I don't think you're giving yourself as much credit as you deserve, but I can see where you're coming from.  Artists are always the harshest on themselves.

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    • You're an Amazing writer! I hope you decide to update soon

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    • More!

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    • Please!  You're the Stinex leader.  We need you.

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    • Thanks to you I am a Destina fan! Please keep writing. You as the author have complete control over what happens in the story, not Shannon Messenger. She might not have a Destina at all! You can change that. Please add more chapters. Change the story to your heart's desire.

      Yours truly,

      A new Destina fan

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    • Aww, thank you so much for the awesome replies! I haven't seen them all since I don't always get notifications for certain threads and have taken a break from the wiki for the most part in these past weeks.

      I really want to finish this story! As I think I've said before, though, the next chapter is gonna be difficult because I'm basically gonna have to come up with a Neverseen hideout from scratch, and I want to present it in a semi-realistic way... as in, something that might actually exist in the books. (As of now I've really only used locations/ideas already shown in the books.) So, it's really a daunting task, and it's totally messing up my desire to write the chapter. I actually have the LAST chapter more thought out than the second to last one.

      It's also really hard to write on my tiny little tablet screen, which is the only medium I have available 24/7 for writing stories on. However, I might be able to just write the story in Google docs from my school iPad and then email it to my tablet, which would make things so much easier because it's a lot bigger than my tablet. So, no promises yet, but hopefully that might make things easier? I only have till June to use it, though, which is a bummer...

      I might make a seperate post for "spoilers" on how I plan to end the story, if anyone would want that? Basically, an outline of the plot from the beginning of the next chapter to the end of the story. I can't really promise a new chapter any time soon, so maybe it'll be interesting to read until I can get a new chapter out? I wouldn't want to post it here in case someone doesn't want the spoilers, but it could be there for whoever does, anyway. If anyone wants something like that, be sure to let me know!

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    • Applebaby12 wrote:
      Aww, thank you so much for the awesome replies! I haven't seen them all since I don't always get notifications for certain threads and have taken a break from the wiki for the most part in these past weeks.

      I really want to finish this story! As I think I've said before, though, the next chapter is gonna be difficult because I'm basically gonna have to come up with a Neverseen hideout from scratch, and I want to present it in a semi-realistic way... as in, something that might actually exist in the books. (As of now I've really only used locations/ideas already shown in the books.) So, it's really a daunting task, and it's totally messing up my desire to write the chapter. I actually have the LAST chapter more thought out than the second to last one.

      It's also really hard to write on my tiny little tablet screen, which is the only medium I have available 24/7 for writing stories on. However, I might be able to just write the story in Google docs from my school iPad and then email it to my tablet, which would make things so much easier because it's a lot bigger than my tablet. So, no promises yet, but hopefully that might make things easier? I only have till June to use it, though, which is a bummer...

      I might make a seperate post for "spoilers" on how I plan to end the story, if anyone would want that? Basically, an outline of the plot from the beginning of the next chapter to the end of the story. I can't really promise a new chapter any time soon, so maybe it'll be interesting to read until I can get a new chapter out? I wouldn't want to post it here in case someone doesn't want the spoilers, but it could be there for whoever does, anyway. If anyone wants something like that, be sure to let me know!

      Keep writing!

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    • Okay, being honest here, I'm a Bianex shipper and while I don't agree with DeStina, this was really good!!! You write Dex very well! It's been awhile since we've seen this much of Dex in KOTLC....😭 Keep up the good work!

      MKR

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    • Omg this is so good having wrote small storys before (defiantly not as good as yours) i do know that you tend to dought yourself but this is realy good and it even changed my mind ;) please keep up the good work!! 

      -Tsuki

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    • A FANDOM user
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