It was almost noon before the two of them finally rose, showered, and dressed, both of them breaking into a wide smile whenever they looked at each other, and neither of them feeling like the same person they'd been the day before.
For Don, it felt like he'd been lost for a long time - a compass needle without a pole - and suddenly found the lodestone that he'd point to for the rest of his life. When he looked at Dory, he no longer saw the child she'd been - he saw the woman she was
, and was deeply thankful that out of all possible choices on earth, it was him
she'd chosen. He'd do anything for her. And if she changed her mind now... it didn't bear thinking about. It would kill him, or at least kill something in him.
For Dory, the difference was, if anything, even more profound. She'd been fumbling her way at first, unsure of what to do, only knowing that it was Don she wanted... and scared, so scared of being rejected. But sometime during the night, she'd come to realize, in the way he looked at her, in the way he touched her, just how much... power, for want of a better word - she had over him. He would never do anything she didn't want, she was suddenly sure. Never knowingly hurt her, never knowingly disappoint her. In some ways, though he was the elder of the two of them by several years - it was she that was the true adult in that bed, he the young innocent. She felt like he'd poured his heart out into her open hands, and now it was her responsibility to look after it, to protect it from all harm, as he would protect and support her in turn.
She could see now how much of a child she'd still been when she'd come here the day before. Seeing something shiny she wanted, and reaching for it, without knowing if it was something safe, or something that might burn her. But that had changed... had started to change when she'd made the decision that had sent her downstairs in the darkened house, had changed further during the long night of loving and laughter. She wasn't a child any more, not by any stretch of the imagination.
She smiled at Don again as the two of them reached the ground floor. "After lunch, we need to cut your hair," she suddenly told him.
"My hair?" he said, surprised, turning to look over his shoulder at her as he led the way to the kitchen. "What's wrong with my hair?"
"It's longer then mine is! That's just not right." she said.
"You could grow yours?" he said hopefully. "I like
"So do I," she nodded, as she opened the fridge and started handing things to him. "But not on you. You'll look better with it short. We'll cut it after lunch."
Don sighed, gave in. "Okay, if you insist." He looked down at the things she's passed him. "What am I making?" he asked her, sounding perplexed.
"Stuffed omelets," she told him, and hitched one hip up onto the counter, leaning against the wall and smiling as he put things down, found a bowl, and started breaking eggs into it.
"Can't I just put it back into a pony tail or something?" Don asked plaintively as he sat down, craning his head to look back at Dory as she stepped into position behind him, her hands resting lightly on his shoulders for a moment. (0018CAT
"No," she said firmly. "Now sit still, I'd rather not find myself cutting a chunk out of your ear by mistake."
Obediently he faced forward again, sitting still as she combed out his hair with a moistened comb, then started snipping away at it.
"Where'd you learn to cut hair, anyway?" he asked after a while.
"Self-taught. I hate paying stylist's prices just to get my hair trimmed. Stop squirming!"
"Oh, gods," he groaned. "You do remember I'm an actor, right? I have a screen test tomorrow! I'm dead if you butcher my hair."
Dory snorted. "Stop worrying, I know what I'm doing," she told him. "Catla gets her hair done weekly... I hang out with the stylists and watch what they do. I know things. Now stop squirming or I'll give you a buzz cut instead."
Don laughed, and stayed still again. After a while he found himself enjoying the haircut - well, at least the part of it that involved Dory standing over him, hands busy in his hair, using light touches to reposition his head when she needed. He was still worrying about what the end result would be when she abruptly put down the comb and scissors and stepped back, smiling. "There," she said. "All done. That wasn't so bad, was it?"
"I don't know, I haven't seen it yet," he said nervously as he rose to his feet.
Dory laughed and smiled. "Go take a look and then come right back and tell me what you think," she told him, nodding at the door to the downstairs washroom nearby.
Don did as told, breaking into a delighted smile when he saw his reflection in the mirror. "I love it!" he exclaimed, and hurried back to kiss her. "You can be my stylist any day. It's great!"
"Told you," she said, smiling and looking pleased with herself, then reached out and touched his cheek. "Makes you look even sexier then before, which is hard to do," she told him. (0019CAT
Don growled and turned his head to kiss the palm of her hand, then looked at her and raised an eyebrow enquiringly.
Dory laughed, then sighed regretfully. "I need to get back to campus," she said. "Classes tomorrow and I haven't even unpacked yet! I'll be back next weekend, and then we can go clothing shopping for you."
"I need new clothes?"
She wrinkled her nose at him. "Shorts and rubber boots may be appropriate wear for working in a greenhouse, but you wear them all. the. time! You look way too geeky in them. We need to find you something better to wear. Trust me on this."
Don sighed and smiled. "Yes, kemo sabe."
She kissed him again, then turned and headed towards the door (0020CAT
). She stopped in the doorway, smiled mischievously back at him. "You could
offer me a lift back to college you know. And there's plenty of scenic stops along the way..."
"I'll just get my keys," he said, grinning back, and hurried upstairs.
"No! You didn't!" Catla exclaimed, open-mouthed.
Dory grinned unrepentantly. "Yes, we did. Twice."
Dory laughed, then sighed, a happy smile crossing her face. "I'm so glad I went, Catla," she said softly. "He's... everything I want."
"Dad called yesterday," Catla warned her. "He says Mom will be calling later this week. What do you plan to tell them?"
"Nothing for now," Dory said firmly, frowning. "They... wouldn't understand. It's all happened so fast! But it's what I want, Catla. I'll be going back next weekend, too. We're going to go do some clothing shopping for him, and then go to a wedding."
"What!" Catla exclaimed, all but leaping up off the couch. "You didn't... you haven't
Dory howled with laughter. "Oh, my... if you could only have seen your face just now! No, not Don and I. His friends Frank and Margo. I'm going as Don's date," she clarified, a pleased smile crossing her face. She rose to her feet. "Anyway, I better go get unpacked, and look at my timetable for the coming week and stuff. See you later," she said, and walked out of the room.
Watching her go, Catla couldn't help but notice a difference in the way her sister moved, in the way she carried herself. She felt a sudden pang of regret, and even a little jealousy. Dory had
changed. She was an adult now, and it showed in her growing self-assurance. Catla had always been the leader of the pair of them, growing up... but now Catla was being left behind, as her twin moved towards an adult life that would have a lot less room in it for her twin.