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Lou was sitting at the breakfast table, frenetically bouncing her leg on the floor, when Daphne entered the room, with Rose clinging on her arm.

 

“Is it today the big day?” Daphne almost shouted from the door, throwing her coat on the couch.

Rose furrowed her brows “Wait, what big day?”

 

Lou softly smiled from the other side of the room “Yes, it’s today” and then proceeded to  explain the situation to Rose, who was still staring at her with her brows furrowed “Deb is coming back today.”.

 

A few weeks before Debbie had announced she had to go to San Francisco to sort out a few unsolved things related to Danny’s last job. Lou insisted to go with her (she had been unsheathing her best performances in all fields - all fields - in order to convince her, but Debbie was adamant).

 

The rest of the girls, who were still busy finishing their late breakfast - they woke up almost at midday - with Lou at the table, loudly started cheering and chatting as the blonde realized yesterday’s “movie night” had been a big big mistake she could have easily avoided 

On the other side of the table Tammy shushed them all, noticing Constance was trying to say something.

 

“Can we come with you????” 

 

Lou smirked and laughing said “Absolutely not.”

 

Daphne’s voice in the back of the room mumbled something that sounded a lot like “Predictable” while Constance quickly replied “Omg did you plan a surprise quickie in the arrivals bathroom?” 

 

The blonde Aussie grinned “And would you like to know”.

 

No one dared to say anything, as they exchanged knowing looks. Debbie and Lou weren’t officially a couple, but their glances, subtle touches and flirty comments didn’t pass unobserved. Especially when they usually left movie nights halfway through the film to go to sleep in their rooms.

It was a serious matter in the loft. There were bets.

Big bets (don’t forget we are talking about multi millionaires here).

 

Daphne, in her new pink fur, stepped into the conversation “Oh, Lou, come on, pretty pleaseee!”

And Tammy, now on the couch, added “Promise we’ll behave!”.

 

Lou was unremovable. She stood up and dutily put her dishes in the sink, making a mental note to wash them before the brunette’s arrival, as she went upstairs to get changed.

 

“And now you guys could please make sure the place is empty for the time I get back? Debbie is gonna be tired.”

They quietly nodded, and Lou went into her room.

 

As she went downstairs again wearing a dark blue suit, one that she knew Debbie loved, the sound of her necklaces bumping on one another was the only sound in the room, and everything was surprisingly quiet. 

And empty too. 

 

She looked around, twirling on herself, “Now, they really did go away.”

 

It took her a few steps to reach the old Toyota. As soon as her hands touched the steering wheel she heard a soft “shhhh” in the backseat.

She rolled her eyes and chuckled.  Of course they couldn’t just vanish.

 

“Fine y’all. But make sure to make space for Debs too, she’ll be tired.” Surprisingly, her voice wasn’t annoyed. This was something really close to the feeling of a family. 

 

Almost twenty minutes later, half their way to the airport, Constance almost jumped on her seat and banged her head on the top of the car as she announced “We could stop and buy her some chocolate!”

 

Amita cheered and added “Debbie loves chocolate!”

 

Tammy was saying something too but it got lost in the conversation as Daphne stated Debbie only loved dark chocolate and Rose added that she once went to Belgium where there’s very good chocolate.

 

Nine Ball announced she had to pee.

 

Lou rolled her eyes again and admitted her defeat. They stopped at the next gas station and she watched them all run towards the bar. 

 

Once inside, she smiled as she saw Daphne and Rose arguing on whether Debbie was a teddy-bear person or not. She was about to step into the conversation to say that she had this struggle too one time, when they were at the funfair, but then Lou won one stupid wolf at one stupid game and gave it to Debbie as a joke. 

However, Debbie rarely takes something not seriously: she named it Fenris, she keeps him - never call him a “it” in front of Debbie if you don’t want to experience the Apocalypse -  under her bedsheets and washes him regularly with lavender detergent. 

 

When the Aussie was sure everyone was busy with their own things, she made her own  very private purchase.

 

Costance was already in the car when Lou exited the shop and was surpassed by a running-in-the-opposite-direction-and-shouting Daphne 

 

“Sorry I forgot to peee I’ll be right back.” 

To whom Constance replied “Oh come onnnn we are gonna be late!!” 

 

She looked around the parking lot “Where’s Lou???”

 

Nine Ball, on the other passenger seat, spotted her “I bet a hundred bucks she’s the walking bouquet of red roses.”.

 

Lou was all happy and giggly as she walked back to the car, completely unaware of the show she was offering to the rest of the girls in the backseats. 

She smiled to herself and got back in the car, the flowers now impossible to hide as she casually asked Nine Ball to hold them very carefully and then proceeded the restart the engine (ignoring Constance and Daphne saying something about a lost bet).

 

Tammy with a smug smile appeared from the back seat “Red roses eh?” Lou slightly blushed. 

 

Back on the road her most urgent thought was how to change the subject as quick as possible because she had a reputation to hold and no, Lou Miller was not going soft and all that shit. 

 

She turned towards Rose - who was in the front seat because she always got car sick - “Rose darling put on some music.”

 

When the poor designer, whose last interest in that moment was what to put inside the CD player, put on a jazz cd a loud crowd of “boooo” filled the car and the flowers were long forgotten. 

Daphne shouted from the back “Honey I love you but please take off this shit”,  Constance tried to throw herself to the front sit but Tammy quickly blocked her and convinced her to put the seatbelt back on, and even Nine Ball threatened to ruin the roses if someone didn’t do anything. 

At the mention of the flowers Lou, horrified, stopped the car and picked up another old cd.

The soothing voice of Stevie Nicks filled the car and silenced everyone. Even if it wasn’t their cup of tea nobody ever agued with Lou’s musical choices.

 

 

Once at the airport it didn’t take long before they spotted the brunette in white sweatpants and a tight white t-shirt, with a hoodie in her hands. 

As much as Lou had insisted on them keeping a “low profile”, Constance sprinted towards her like a kid high on sugar and threw herself in Debbie’s arms. 

 

“Dad’s bought you a garden!!!”

 

Lou’s face turned scarlet. 

 

“Oh, shut up Constance!” Tammy intervened besides them “Aw, you’re blushing that’s so cute!”

 

Lou was about to explode. The brunette quickly crossed the few meters between them and Lou only had one second to throw the flowers at Nine Ball, again, before Debbie hugged her. 

They stayed like that for a dozen seconds, and when the taller one felt the brunette breaking the contact she tightened the grip. 

“Wait, don’t pull away. Not yet.” Debbie smiled, her face buried in Lou’s shoulders “Okay.” She whispered. 

 

Tammy coughed in the back, causing them both to chuckle and bringing them back to reality, as they parted from each other’s arms.

 

Lou took her luggage and said, in her strong Aussie accent “Missed you.”.

Debbie softly smiled “Missed you too baby.”

 

She turned back towards the others as she mumbled indecipherable sounds - Lou Miller doesn’t say “Welcome home Debs” in the middle of an airport gate. Meanwhile she took the bouquet back with her free hand, offering It to the brunette with a gallant gesture. 

Debbie unexpectedly blushed, her face matching the roses in her hands. 

Behind them Constance giggled, and Daphne couldn’t help herself as she commented “You know we are not in first grade, you can kiss guys.”

 

Lou’s cheeks turned slightly pink again, but before she could even think about that she felt Debbie’s lips on hers, and melted into the kiss. 

When they pulled apart the blonde hugged her again and whispered, for only Debbie to hear “They sneaked in the car debs I didn’t know what to do”.

 

“You are lucky you are so hot Miller.”