• Published 17th Nov 2014
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You Are Normal Too - Never2muchpinkie



When mother and daughter get into a fight over a misunderstanding their reconciliation leads to the reveal of Dinky's father, a cruel stallion who broke Derpy's heart. Can Derpy put her past regrets behind to find love and romance in the present?

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Chapter 13: Mixed feelings.

A few minutes later the train pulled into the station. As the train slowed down Derpy put the photo away.

Derpy continued sitting there for a few moments after the doors opened. There was still time to go back. She didn’t HAVE to do this. She put her hoof on her engagement ring again, her hoof shaking a little. “No,” she whispered to herself. “If I don’t do this now I’ll never be able to face myself. This is for our future.” She felt strength welling up, and she got off the seat, heading out the door.

She had only been to Fillydelphia a few times when she was just a child. As she plodded down the street she knew she could just use her wings to get where she was going easier, but she felt in such a haze of multiple emotions she didn’t trust her ability to stay airborne.

She passed by pony after pony, not paying anything any attention but the path she had to take. As she walked along she thought of the ticket stashed inside her bag.

Following Doctor Hooves’ proposal Derpy had found herself the happiest she had ever been. Someone wanted to marry her! That was the most unexpected thing for her. She never even began to imagine things would come this far when she first agreed to date him.

She felt her heart fluttering as she thought of him declaring his love for her and proposing for all to hear. There was one thing in particular though that had taken the wind out of her sails. One specific thing he had said to her made her realize that she wasn’t at his level. He had told her that he didn’t want to share her love with anyone else. He wanted it all for himself. She wasn’t so dumb as to not realize he meant that only in a romantic sense. He certainly didn’t want her not to love her daughter or her friends. He had pledged himself to her, promising everything he had to make her happy. How could she call herself his wife if she wasn’t willing to do the same for him?

A few days before their anniversary, when she had had that huge freak out, her night was plagued by that nightmare of Shooting Star returning, a changed stallion who wanted to start things over. She had to squash those feelings inside her. That being the case she had to shut the door on this aspect of her past, and she knew that in order to do that she would have to see HIM again.

She stopped to ask for directions, and headed where she was pointed to. As she continued on her way she thought about her decision to come out here. Shooting Star was a decently famous hoofball player, so all she had to do to find him was look up when his next home game would be. Luckily it had only been a few days away. She wanted it to be over with as soon as possible.

About ten minutes later she reached the stadium, seeing the big crowd of ponies waiting to be admitted. Derpy went into her bag, grabbing her ticket when she reached the ticket-taker. She had bought the cheapest ticket possible, so she was seated up in the nose-bleed section. She didn’t mind that. She wasn’t much of a sports fan anyway.

She climbed step after step towards the highest seats in the place and sat down, putting her head on her hoof as she waited.

After what felt like an eternity ponies came out one after another, all of them wearing their distinctive team uniforms. The announcer talked about the players and other gibberish she didn’t particularly care about. She couldn’t make Shooting out very well from up so high but she thought he didn’t look much different than he had in school.

He came to the mike, pledging to win the game for all his adoring fans, making cheers go out through the crowd.

She couldn’t deny his talent. Looking at his team’s record they had only lost one game this season out of thirty games.

The game began, but Derpy didn’t pay much attention to it. She didn’t care about who had the ball. She only had eyes for Shooting Star. She glared at him the whole time, knowing that the time was soon to come. He was going to talk to her whether he liked it or not.

The game felt like it was over in no time at all, ending with the victory Shooting had promised. The cheering and hoof-stomping was almost deafening.

When things finally settled down Shooting came up to the microphone again. “Thank you, everyone! I couldn’t have done this without your support and the support of all my amazing teammates. I hope you continue to watch over me as I strive to win every game I can.

“Of course, since my fans all give me so much I, of course, want to give something back to them. For the next hour I’m giving out free autographs!” The cheers and whoops now had a younger tone to them. She guessed it was every colts dream come true. She hopped off her seat, knowing that she couldn’t afford to miss this opportunity.

Derpy flew down to the stadium floor, getting in the rapidly expanding line.

Shooting Star signed autograph after autograph, waving as the little colts all showered him with praise.

He suddenly paused as the latest photo was pushed into his hooves, his eyes going wide. His head shot up, an odd look on his face as he looked into the eyes of his former marefriend.

Derpy gave him a lighthearted grin. “Sorry,” she said innocently, “but I didn’t have any other pictures of you.”

The two of them stared at each other for a short while before Derpy said, “Well? Don’t I get an autograph too? You should hurry up.” She jerked her head toward the crowd. “You don’t want to keep your devoted fans waiting, do you? You wouldn’t want to snub the ponies who have supported you throughout your life.”

For one of the few times in his life Shooting Star felt completely unprepared for something.

Derpy didn’t fail to notice how uncomfortable he looked, and she felt immense satisfaction at it. “Don’t be afraid, Shooting. I’m not planning to make a scene. I’d just like a little bit of your time when you’re available.”

He finally stirred, penning a hurried signature before shoving the photo back into her hooves. “Okay,” he said suspiciously.

“Oh, thank you!” she said in an overenthusiastic voice. “I’m sure my daughter will just adore this. I’m sure you would have just LOVED to meet her.” With that she moved off to the side, thoroughly enjoying the grumpy look on his face as he went through the rest of the line. She could clearly see he was just pretending his enthusiasm as he continued.

Derpy felt a hoof on her shoulder, and she turned around to see a security pony. “Let’s go, miss. You got your autograph, and we don’t want you to obstruct the area.”

“Take your hoof off of her,” Shooting said without looking over at her. He sounded annoyed. “She’s an old friend, so don’t mistreat her.”

“Apologies, sir,” the pony responded, backing off.

She saw him basically rushing to finish up, and wondered what was going through his head. He clearly was having a reaction to seeing her again, but of what kind? Was it fear because he was worried about her blackmailing him? Was it annoyance because he had to deal with a country bumpkin? Was it sadness because he felt some regret about the past? She couldn’t tell, and she wouldn’t be able to until she got him alone.

When he gave away his last autograph he walked over to some of his other teammates and talked with them for a short while before he came back over to her. “Let’s go,” he said in an even voice. “We usually go out to celebrate after we win a game, but I told them an old friend popped up so I’ll be a little late.”

Derpy followed him, walking down a hall until they reached a door. He pulled it open, revealing a locker room.

As the door shut behind her Derpy felt her fear return. Out in the crowd where she knew he couldn’t say or do anything bad without risking his public reputation she had felt smug, but now he had the advantage.

He went to the corner of the room where a barrel sat next to some cups. He set a cup under it and pulled the knob, making juice pour into it. He swallowed it down in a few gulps before giving a gratified sigh.

“Sorry,” he said. “If we were at my place I could offer you something much more rich, but all we have in here is some crocade. You thirsty?”

Derpy shook her head.

“Suit yourself,” he said as he threw the cup out. He sat down on a bench, looking more relaxed. “So… what brings you here?” He put his hooves behind his head, leaning against the locker behind him. “Please don’t tell me this is some petty revenge scheme. That was real cute what you did out there, but with all those years of planning that’s the best you could come up with? At the least you could have made a public accusation. However, I gather that’s not what you’re really after. Otherwise, why would you even wait this long? So then… what is it?”

Derpy stared at him, not responding as multiple conflicting emotions came out. Her legs felt cold and weak, while her stomach felt hot and rigid. She felt angry and sad, but she couldn’t help but feel a sense of happiness and joy as she thought back to their days together.

“So, did you come here just to stare at me?" he asked when she didn't speak. "Oh. I get it. You finally plucked up the courage to chew me out, and you’re scared I’ll crush you with my influence for it, right? I did do you dirty, so the least I can do is allow you to get all those feelings off your chest so you can move on.”

Derpy’s whole body was tense. The words she wanted to say just wouldn’t come out.

Shooting got up. “Here. Let me help get you started. I know just what to do to help you loosen up.”

Derpy backed up a step, unsure what he was talking about as he approached.

As he closed the distance he asked, “So speaking of what you said before how is our kid doing?”

That question instantly pushed her over the edge. She spun around, and bucked him as hard as she could, sending him flying into a locker. “HOW DARE YOU?” she yelled. “How DARE you even think of saying OUR? You ran away from me, leaving me to raise her all by myself, and you have the gall to ask how OUR child is doing? There is no OUR about it. She’s MY daughter!”

Shooting Star got up, giving a few weak laughs. “There you go. Isn’t that better to get that out?”

His casual attitude only made her angrier, and she socked him in the face, making him recoil. “You’re a monster! You know that? You are the lowest of the low, and you disgust me with your very existence. I’m done running and hiding from you. I’m here to speak my mind, and you are going to listen.”

Shooting Star put a hoof to his snout, feeling the wetness of blood. He grabbed a paper towel, setting it on his snout. He sat down on the bench. “So talk away. I’m not gonna run either. I owe you that much.”

“Owe me?” She laughed. A hysterical, high pitched laugh. “You owe me much more than that.”

“So why now? After all this time why choose now to come forward? Did you not have the guts before this?”

Derpy smirked at him. “You can find me pathetic if you want, but I have come for revenge. The best kind of revenge.” Lifting her ring she said proudly, “I’m getting married.”

He blinked. “No kidding?” he said in an amused voice. “And that is revenge… how?”

“Because I can finally put you behind me. All this time I’ve been holding onto the memory of you dumping me, and it’s held me back. Chance brought me to a real stallion that treats me the way I should be treated. Even after you weren’t a part of my life I couldn’t just forget about you. Your influence has been dominating my life for far too long, and I’m tired of it. So I’ve come here to settle things with you for good.”

“What do you want from me, Derpy?” He pulled the paper towel away, checking his nose. It had already stopped bleeding. He chucked it into a garbage can and walked toward her. “I was young and immature then. I didn’t want to be a dad.”

“Is that really the case? Or is it that you were ashamed to have a child with the freak-eyed wonder? Walking around with your head so swelled I’m surprised it even fit into the stadium’s you played in. It was all about making yourself look good.”

“I didn’t see you complaining when I made your bullies back off of you. What would your life have been if I hadn’t helped you out? It was a win-win for both of us.”

“Fine! I admit that you were helpful to me. The constant bullying took a toll on my spirit, and I nearly committed suicide once over it, so you helped to brighten up my school life.”

“Glad to hear it. Well, about the brightening up part, not the attempted suicide bit, of course.”

“Hmph! Are you trying to tell me you’ve grown up a little since I last saw you?”

“Haven’t you? The years change everyone in some way or another. In school I floated around in complete control with the influence of my father behind me. After school ended I found that I still had quite a bit of pull when I brought up who I was. However, the one who really changed me is my current marefriend.”

“Current, huh? And just how many dozens of mares did you dupe and father children with after me?”

“Believe it or not: zero.”

“Huh!”

“Well, you might not believe this, but you were the first mare I ever mated with.”

Derpy rolled her eyes, letting out a heavy sigh. “And I should be honored, right? Getting to mate with the greatest stallion who ever lived?”

“That’s not where I was going with that. The point is that I didn’t particularly care who I did it with. I just wanted to have fun. I figured it was best to just do it with someone of lowly status like you.”

“Because if it was someone who also had status they actually could get revenge, right?”

“You got it in one. I realized the danger of impregnating mare’s and not expecting any of them to get revenge in one way or another. All it would take was one willing to take the risk of exposing me, and then the others might step forward and there would go my reputation.”

“You truly are a dirtbag. I can’t believe I never saw your true colors up until the point you dumped me.”

“I never said I was good back then.”

“And you think you’re good now? So what is so special about the mare you’re with? Who was it that got your attention after the high class girl you dumped me for?”

“It’s still the same one.”

“I find that hard to believe.” She sat down, roughly pushing her back against a locker and crossing her hooves. “You seem like the type to always want the newest thing, flitting around from mare to mare whenever you got bored. What could possibly make someone like YOU be with someone for ten years?”

He put his hoof to his nose, pushing gently and wincing. “Man, you sure can hit hard when you put your mind to it.”

“Don’t avoid my question.”

“I’m not.” Looking up at her he said, “She’s an odd specimen.”

Derpy huffed. “Well, isn’t than an absolutely gorgeous way to refer to your mare, as nothing better than a science experiment.”

Ignoring her outburst he continued, “Even though her parents were also wealthy she lived little better than a pauper. She had a menial job, earning her own money. My dad had pushed me to go out with her, and at first I found her rather dull. After all, who does work your servants should be doing?

“I kept asking what exactly would push her to work so hard when her parents were wealthy businessponies. She kept telling me that if I didn’t get it then I wasn’t ready to know. Boy, did that tick me off. And that annoyance kept me interested when I felt like giving up on her for acting so out of character.

"As I continued to observe her she irritated me even more, but she still wouldn’t answer me when I asked. It was a mystery I was determined to unravel. I tried to woo her, and she snubbed all my efforts, instead focusing on charity work and her own business plans.”

Derpy looked toward the ceiling, her hooves now resting on the bench. “And being that you’re oh so great you couldn’t stand the thought of there being something you couldn’t obtain, hmm?”

“Yes. Month after month went by, and my progress with her was minimal. The more she ignored me the more I wanted her. And the more I wanted her the more time I tried to spend with her. Thus, I got to observe her. Bit by bit I began to understand her. She talked to everyone like they were equals, and was generous to those below her station. Even though her parents were wealthy she never talked about them as such, and seemed to avoid bringing them up. When she dressed up for formal events her dress was very modest. Instead of working for her parents business she elected to open up her own.

“I finally asked her what would make me more attractive to her. She called that progress, even though I didn’t see it at the time.”

“Even if you only wanted her because of the challenge you finally gave a little ground and asked about what she wanted from you, instead of you just thinking about yourself.”

“That’s right. Because of that she finally answered my question, and boy did it wake me up. Her reason for being so independent is that she wanted to pave her own greatness. She said the reason she wasn’t interested in me was that I was a thief.”

“A thief?” Derpy said, genuinely curious. “With how much money you can throw around what could you possibly have to steal?”

“Well, she meant it metaphorically. She was saying I was incompetent. I was stealing my father’s prestige and using it to pump myself up. I was milking my father’s name and reputation to make myself feel important, when I had never done anything myself to earn it.

"As I went through school throwing power around I made quite a few enemies. As she so bluntly pointed out, the only thing stopping them from enacting revenge was one bad decision. If my father made a blunder and lost his fortune I’d be brought down from my perch in the sky, with all the ponies I’d stepped on waiting for me. No one else would want to help me.

“What had truly drawn me to her was her strength. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. She possessed great inner strength because she wanted to strive to make her own name for herself and be known on her own merits. Compared to her I began to understand how small I really was. I had my skill in playing sports, but that was it. Everything else I just borrowed from my parents, giving back nothing in return.

“I strove to be kinder from then on, my head starting to deflate. And as I began to change and strive towards my own status I saw her attitude towards me change as well. She stopped being so distant and began to close the gap between us. The more I worked for it the more attention she paid to me.

“I’m not perfect by any means, but I’m not the same stallion I was when you last saw me, and I don’t think you should treat me as such. I’ve been very respectful towards you today, but you’re too blinded by your own feelings of the past to see that. You can still only see the me of the past, not even realizing that you’re not the only one who can change.”

Derpy met his gaze without flinching. “You can claim that you’ve changed, but it’s not enough. I’ll admit you’re not being as arrogant and haughty as I’d expected you to be when I came here today, but that doesn’t change the fact that you still never took responsibility for your choices.”

Shooting hopped off the bench. With an edge in his voice he said, “And what about your own choices, Derpy? I used you as a mate and then dumped you afterward. I did that solely for me. I’m not denying that, but I think you’re forgetting something. While you stand there thinking you’re taking the moral high ground I’d like to remind you of something.”

Turning around he put his front half to the ground, pushing his back half at her. In a girly voice he said, “Take me, Shooting Star. I’m all yours. Make me a real mare.” With a couple of quick wiggles he stood back up, turning to her again. “YOU were the one who offered yourself to me.”

Derpy couldn’t believe he was trying to go that route. Glaring at him she roared, “AND THAT’S WHAT YOU WANTED ALL ALONG!”

“That doesn’t matter.”

“It doesn’t matter?” She growled.

“My motivations are irrelevant. Whatever my reasons for dating you it doesn’t change the fact that YOU were the one who knocked down that final barrier. When, when we were together, did I EVER bring up mating? We would kiss, and stroke each other, but my hooves never strayed down below. I never asked for it or pressured you in any way for it.

“And there’s something else you’re forgetting. Dating is optional. A pony only has to date another pony so long as they want to. Again, whether my motives were good or bad isn’t important. I could dump you anytime I wanted, with or without a good reason, and you can’t complain because we weren’t married. I didn’t owe you ANYTHING.”

The two of them looked angrily at each other for a while. Derpy was the first one to look away. “You’re right,” she finally said. “You are absolutely right on both counts. You were only in it to use me, but I let myself be used because I was young and immature and I was too in love with you to really see what I was doing when I asked you to mate with me. That is true.

“And you are also correct that you didn’t have to date me any longer than you wanted to. So, yes, you didn’t owe me anything.” Meeting his eyes again she said nastily, “But you owed your DAUGHTER!

“You know, it was your choice if you didn’t want to raise your child or deal with custody issues, but you helped to create a new life, and you didn’t do a damn thing to help her! If you didn’t want to have your daughter be a part of your life because it was the result of a union with someone far below your greatness the least you could have done is pay some foal support. Celestia knows that it wouldn’t have been any strain on your bank account.

“Without your support I’ve had to struggle all by myself. I was so freaked out with everything that I nearly got an abortion. But you know the big difference between you and me? I realized that I was doing something wrong, and I took responsibility for my choice. I kept my child alive and cared for her the best way I knew how. I sacrificed my time and energy and always put her first.

“I’ve had to raise Dinky all by my lonesome. When she was only two I lost my parents in an accident.”

Shooting averted his eyes, saying quietly, “My condolences.”

“Thank you.”

For a short time neither of them said anything, the feeling in the room heavy. When Derpy spoke it was like the interruption never happened. “Don’t even try to play this “I’ve changed, I’ve changed” game with me when I tried to give you a second chance. I sent you photo’s of Dinky when she was four years old, and you returned them without even opening them.”

“What was I supposed to do, Derpy? Just pop back in, and pretend nothing ever happened? It was something from my past. I was in the process of changing who I was, and I didn’t want to face what I had done. So I just ignored it. I sent them back, so I could tell myself it never happened.”

“And it’s been six years since then! Are you still not ready? Why did I have to come all the way down here to you for you to admit you were wrong?”

“Why would I expect you’d want to see me again after what I did to you?”

“Good point! Why WOULD I want to see you again? You shattered my heart and ran away from your duty. I don’t care how much you’ve changed or if you’re not that same stallion today. You’re still a colossal prick!”

Shooting took a deep breath. “I know that. And that’s why I didn’t want to see you again. I thought it would be better that way. I do owe you, though. I can’t deny that. I’d like to give you something.”

“Like I’d want anything you have to give. You already gave me a broken heart. Isn’t that enough?”

He walked to one of the lockers, spinning the dial a few times as he put the combination in. When he got the lock off he opened the locker and went into a duffel bag. He pulled out a pen and a small pad. Opening it up he began writing. When he was done he ripped it out and put his hoof out to her. “Take it.”

Derpy eyed it suspiciously. “And just what is it?”

“Think of it as your wedding gift.”

She put her hoof out, taking the paper. Her eyes bugged out as she saw that it was a check, written out for twenty million bits. “I… I-I-I can’t take this!” she said, sounding panicked.

“Why not? You just said you don’t mind if I’m not in our child’s life so long as I helped pay for her expenses, right? Besides, forgive me for being presumptuous, but given that you just said how much you’ve been struggling do you think you can afford it?”

“Afford what?”

“The wedding. Do you have the bits for a new dress? To rent out the wedding hall, the catering, and the reception?”

Derpy mentally slapped herself. She was so hung up on the thought of getting married she hadn’t taken into account the considerable expenses involved. “No, I really don’t. But…” Derpy’s hooves were shaking. She knew she could really use that money. “I’m sorry, but I can’t accept this.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not out to bankrupt your father. I don’t want his money. This was your problem, so why would I want him to pay for it?”

“Hey, hey! Don’t sell me short here. This is all my money. I told you I’m trying to take responsibility for the way I’ve been. I make quite a bit of money as an athlete. That’s basically pocket change for me. It’s for a good cause, after all. That will cover your wedding expenses, and the rest you can devote to... Dinky, was it?”

“That’s right.” Her child appeared in her mind. She didn’t like the idea of funding her wedding with someone else’s money, especially from the stallion that had thrown her away, but she wasn’t going to be so prideful as to reject it. With this kind of leeway she wouldn’t have to be concerned about money for a long time. With one less thing to worry about she could devote more time to her daughter and future husband.

She hesitated for a bit before opening her saddlebag and putting the check inside. She looked over at him, gratitude shining on her face. “Thank you. This is going to ease my burden considerably.”

“Listen, I know I was a jerk in the past,” he said as he patted her cheek twice, “and I’m sorry for hurting you, Bright Eyes.”

She gasped, tears forming in her eyes. “You’re… y-y-you’re… sor-sor…”

“Hmm?” Shooting felt confused. Her whole attitude had just shifted. Before she had looked furious. Now she seemed happy and gentle.

A memory came to Derpy, and she felt herself leaving the present.

***

“We’ve been dating for a month now. I think I need a special name just for you.”

Derpy blushed. “You don’t have to do that.”

“You have beautiful golden eyes, like a summer sun rising over the horizon. I think I’ll call you Bright Eyes.”

Derpy frowned, shaking her head. “No! I hate my eyes!”

“Too bad, Bright Eyes.”

A few tears came down her eyes. “I don’t like that name.”

“And that’s why I’m not going to stop calling you that until you stop reacting.” Putting a hoof to her face he gave her one of his famous smiles. “The only reason everyone goes after you for your eyes is because you make it such an easy target. You can’t help the way your eyes are, so embrace them. After all, they helped lead me to you, didn’t they?”

Derpy blushed again, smiling back at him. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

“Together we’ll get you through this dislike of your eyes. After all, they’re your most distinguishing feature. The more you react to the teasing the more they’ll do it. Of course, with me by your side they won’t dare mock you, but I’m not going to be by your side all the time. You need to learn to stop responding to their teasing.”

“I’ll try.”

“Glad to hear it, Bright Eyes.”

Derpy winced, finding it hard to believe anyone could find her eyes attractive.

He gave a playful sigh. “There you go again, trying to hide. You can’t hide from the world, so embrace how special you are, Bright Eyes.”

She winced again, putting her hooves by her face.

He pulled them down, giving her a kiss. “I love you, Bright Eyes, you and those eyes of yours.”

She gave him a tender smile, tears coming down her eyes. “Thank you.”

***

Derpy found it hard to swallow, her breathing erratic and her tears starting to pour down. She put a hoof on her eye, rubbing it. “You still remember,” she said, her voice thick with emotion.

“Remember what?” he asked, confused.

“You called me “Bright Eyes.” That was the pet name you had for me when we were dating. With your help I stopped being so self-conscious about these mismatched eyes. Even after ten years you still remember such an intimate detail of our time together, even though you claimed that I meant nothing to you.

"So I did mean something to you, after all. It… it makes me so happy.” She tried to swallow, but it felt like there was a lump in her throat. She wiped her face, but more tears just replaced them.

Shooting Star felt unnerved by her shift in attitude, and wasn’t sure how to deal with it. Things were moving in a direction he wasn’t comfortable with. He felt it was time to end things, and he knew just the way.

“I guess you’re right. Maybe you were someone of value to me. After all, what drew me to my current mare was the way she didn’t act like everyone else in her station. Maybe I like her because she reminds me of you.” He began walking towards her, closing the distance between them. “The time we spent together was fun… Bright Eyes.” He tilted his head a little as he said it, flashing a smile at her.

Derpy felt her heart thumping as he approached. With the check and calling her by her pet name her anger had faded away completely at that point, and tender memories ran through her. “It’s too bad I couldn’t have been rich, then we really could have stayed together. But here we are, together again.”

He put his hoof out, taking hers in his. “Yes, we are. Maybe this can be a new start for us.” He kissed her hoof. “What do you say?”

“I… I don’t know.”

Putting her hoof down he used his hoof to push a few stray strands of hair behind her ear. “I’m starting to remember what drew me to you in the first place. You’re so kind and forgiving.”

Derpy didn’t back away. She found herself getting lost in his eyes. Her body felt paralyzed as he put his face near hers, her breathing going up as her heart began racing. She felt like her legs were going to give out. She muttered something incomprehensible. Everything felt weird and she was feeling lightheaded as emotions flooded her being.

Almost mechanically she puckered up, starting to close the distance.

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