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Danny Reagan had had his fair share of fights in his life. The first fist fight he had ever gotten into was when he was five. He lost terribly, and got suspended for a week. One of the worst fights he had had was when he was eight. The resident bully was teasing him, and the Reagan went savage. He kept hitting and punching and screaming at the bully. Over the next few years, the fights were smaller and garnered a few days’ suspension. As a teen, the fights got more personal, and he ended up losing a lot of friends. He was okay with that, though, because he kind of liked being on his lonesome. Today, though… today, he wished he was with someone. His girlfriend, Marianne Romano, just broke up with him in twenty five seconds over the pay phone. She basically said she was bored with him, and she didn’t like him hanging out with “that blonde bimbo”. What was worse, was that they had just been let out for three weeks of Christmas break. He had been hoping to spend the break with  Marianne.

Danny frowned as he sat on the swing in the park. He was supposed be watching his baby brother, but he was more focused on sulking than anything else.

“Is this seat taken?”

He looked up to see the familiar friendly face of his newer friend. She wasn’t a new friend, a just-met-you-three-days-ago friend. He had known her for about two months, and found he really enjoyed her company. Despite his mood, he let a smile play at his lips as he shook his head.

She sat down on the swing next to him, lightly swinging with her feet on the ground. Silence passed slowly, and she sat properly on the swing, her feet dangling a little bit above the ground. “Are you here with someone?”

“Little brother.”

“Oh. What was his name? James?”

“Close. Jameson. Jamie because Jameson’s too long and stuffy.”

“Agreed. But the name works. Just look at Jameson Parker!”

Danny smirked; his friend liked those campy ‘80s detective shows with pretty men in the lead. He enjoyed them too, but not as much as she did.

“Do you think it’s too cold to have ice cream?”

He looked over at her; her head was to one side in a cute manner, her long blonde hair falling over her shoulders. “What do you think?”

“It is never too cold, hot, rainy, snowy, hail-y, foggy, humid-y, or stormy to have ice cream.”

Danny chuckled, “I forgot you were an ice cream ho.”

“I am not!” She argued, a huge smile on her face.

He just looked at her with his 'yeah-Uh-Huh-sure’ face. A pregnant silence hung in the air for a very long time. He wasn’t sure what to say, but he strangely felt comfortable talking about just about anything. “What’s your favorite season, Linda?”

“Late fall and all of spring.” Linda looked to the sky. “Winter’s too dreary. Summer’s too hot. Fall is nice, cause it’s a little cooler, and I get to wear my boots. Spring is a pretty good balance, and I get to break out my cute outfits. What about you?”

“Summer all the way.”

“How come?”

“No school.”

“You’re gonna be disappointed when you get a full time job.”

“I know. This summer’s gonna be my last summer of freedom.”

Looking down, Linda said quietly, “if you want, I’ll lament that with you.”

He looked at her. “What?”

“When I’m not volunteering, that is. We can spend it in the park with some friends, or at the pool, or wherever you want to.” When he didn’t answer, she blushed. “Or not. I-it was just an idea…. I should go.”

“You don’t have to.”

“No, I should. You seem pretty down, and this small talk is awkward. I’ll leave you alone.” She stood from her swing, and started walking away.



Suddenly, calling her back seemed like a bad idea. “Uh… could you sit some more? Just for a little while, until you really need to go.”

Linda rocked on her feet, considering. She looked up to the sky once more. Danny was suddenly struck with the realization that she was more than just pretty. He knew every guy wanted to date her, with very good reason. Her outward appearance was very appealing, but he, out of nowhere, realized that she was like an angel on the inside.

Sitting back down, and lightly clutching the chains with her lavender gloves, she mused, “ice cream does fix anything.”

He smirked, “I might have to take you up on that offer.”

Linda turned her head to him, “really?”

He nodded. “In the summer. When we’re dead set on wasting valuable time.”

She smiled with her teeth and her breath froze. “Do you want to talk about what’s making you sad?”

Danny thought for a moment, screwing his lips in that contemplative pout Linda was quickly falling in love with. “Not yet.”

Linda nodded, “understood. If you ever wanna talk…. about the weather, your family, a problem…. I’ll be willing to listen. But not if you’re gonna bombard me with stupid sports stuff!” She pointed a lavender finger at him.

“No sports. But thank you. I appreciate it.”

“No problem.”

The winter snow covered the park, making it look very serene. If he wasn’t so down in the dumps, it would’ve been a very nice Saturday afternoon. He looked at his watch; 2:00. “Hey!” Okay, that was too forceful.

“What!” Linda matched his force, a smile tugging at her pink lips.

“Do you maybe want to come over? You can bring Jimmy, and we—” he stopped short. He was going to sound so lame if he asked her what he was going to ask.

“Can do what?”

Before he could answer, Jamie came bounding up to them. “Hi, Linda!”

“Hey, Jamie.”

Jamie had met Linda a few times, but, luckily for the seven year old, he was good with names. “Do you want to come and make cookies with me an’ Danny?”

“I, uh, promised the rugrat that I’d help.” Danny blushed, shrugging.

“On one condition.”

Jamie raised his eyebrows.

“They have to have chocolate in them!”

Jamie nodded, “the best kind!” He grabbed Linda’s hand and yanked it gently.

She got the hint, and was soon being pulled to the bus stop.

While they waited, Danny whispered, “I forgot you were a chocolate ho as well.”

“I am not!” Linda argued, laughing, holding Jamie’s hand. She dramatically stamped her foot and put her free hand on her hip.

“Drama queen.”

“Sloppy dresser.”

Maybe the holiday wouldn’t be so bad after all…. especially if  his new friend continued to visit.

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I did it: here is the first chapter of the rewritten in pursuit of victory.

I have a whole thank you note in the notes, but thank you, thank you, thank you for everyone who waited for this fic to update for years. I know it’s been a while, but I can’t wait for y’all to read it and for me to finish it. <3 

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