Kaitlin and Leon both settled into their seats in the theater proper, grateful that the drama regarding Dinah Swann had been settled. Moments later, the dancer herself came out on stage, and applause filled the air.
After Dinah bowed to the audience, music began to fill the area as she began her routine. Her every move was packed with all the grace and finesse that a swan possessed, and then some. It wasn't hard for the twins to see how Dinah had inspired (would inspire?) their mother.
By the time the performance finally ended half an hour later, Kaitlin and Leon were enthralled; it had been nothing short of breathtaking. They didn't hesitate to contribute to the audience's final ovation.
A short time later, the cobra and wolf managed to catch up to Dinah as she was leaving. The swan couldn't help but smile upon recognizing them.
"Oh, hello, Martin. Hello, Jennifer. Thanks again for that flower; I don't know what I would've done without it."
Kaitlin curtseyed. "You were wonderful out there, Dinah."
"I hope you'll accept my apology for the bad start we got off to. I should've known you weren't going to harm me. Forgive and forget?"
"Forgive and forget."
Dinah shook hands with Kaitlin, then tried to repeat the gesture with Leon-- only for him to seize up and mock-faint again.
"...Is there anything I can do for you two to show how thankful I am? I feel deeply indebted."
Kaitlin perked up. "Actually, yes, and thank you for reminding us. There is one thing we've been meaning to ask you for..."
"Happy birthday, Mum!"
The past and the future were interesting, but as the old saying goes, there was no time like the present. Kaitlin and Leon beamed as they placed a tiny wrapped box in their mother's hands.
As Hisspan unwrapped the box and examined the small piece of paper inside, her expression turned from eagerness to confusion, then suddenly to pure joy.
"I... I can't believe it... you two actually... COME HERE, BOTH OF YOU!"
Hisspan scooped her children up in a hug so tight it was hard to believe she wasn't a constrictor. Half a minute passed before she put them down, after which she covered them in kisses.
"I love you both! Thank you SO much! Did you see her dance? What was she like?"
Leon struggled to catch his breath. "We'll tell you all about it later, Mum."
Hisspan slipped the autograph into a frame, then set it up beneath the poster of Dinah Swann that had prompted the whole adventure. As she did, she couldn't help but glance at the poster again.
"...Say, I don't think I've ever noticed that daffodil in Dinah's buttonhole before. I wonder if there's a story behind it?"
Kaitlin and Leon glanced at each other and privately agreed not to say anything.