Our Secret Now

Shortly after Aylene and Derek returned to their world, they immediately checked to see what day it was. It turned out to be the same day when the left for the Land Before, and only a few minutes had passed since their departure. This meant that they had an hour or so before their parents would be home.

After the both of them got cleaned up and changed into some loungewear, the two siblings plopped down onto the couch and let out a deep exhale.

"That was quite something." Derek said, staring up at the ceiling.

"You're telling me." Aylene replied.

"So, what are you going to do now?" the boy asked.

"Huh?" Aylene looked at her brother.

"Are you going to tell mom and dad about this?"

Aylene looked away and grabbed the stone around her neck.

"Sis," Derek said, "I know you're concerned about how mom and dad will react, but I don't think you're giving them enough credit. They're not unreasonable people."

"I know that," Aylene replied dismally, "it's just…well, you reacted a little over the top when I told you about my adventures."

"Granted, I had no warning of what was coming." Derek said in his defense.

"Still, you didn't take it too well." Aylene raised and eyebrow.

"Okay, fair enough," the boy shrugged. "But I still think they should at least know."

"I know, but…I just don't know how to tell them. Or what they'll do if they do find out."

Aylene didn't want to say it out loud, but her fear was that her parents would take the Time Stone away. She knew that it would only because they loved her and were concerned for her safety. But if they did that, she would probably never be able to return to her special world. She wasn't ready to accept that fact.

For a brief moment, there was silence between Aylene and Derek. The older boy finally let out a calm sigh and sat up.

"Tell you what, Aylene," he said, "even though I think you're not being fair to mom and dad about this, I won't say anything about this to them until you're ready to."

"What?" Aylene looked up at her brother with a surprised look on her face.

"I won't say anything until you're ready to." Derek repeated. "It's your secret after all."

Aylene blinked at the statement. If Derek still had the reservations he had when he first went to the Land Before Time world, he probably wouldn't have said that to her. If anything, he would've told their parents with not hesitation. However, he seemed to have changed ever since their adventure together.

No, they both had changed during their adventure. And by the looks of things, it seemed to be for the better.

Aylene couldn't help but smile.

"Thanks," she sighed, "but you know, it's our secret now."

"Looks like it," the boy grinned, "but it was your secret first so I'll stay true to my word. Just don't think that means I'll stop being nosy and overprotective. I still want to hear about your adventures and what you'll be up to."

"Fair enough." Aylene calmly shrugged. "Besides, I wouldn't want it any other way. And Derek, thanks."

"For what?"

"Being my role model."

Derek blinked in surprise. That was probably the most sincere thing Aylene had ever said to him in a long time. It was then that he realized just how much their bond had been rebuilt. The gap between them seemed to had been filled and they were finally able to communicate their feelings and thoughts to each other.

Just like they could before.

The two siblings got up from the couch and embraced each other in a warm hug. For once in what seemed like forever, they finally understood each other.

When the two pulled away, they heard the cranking sound of the garage door opening. They looked out the front window to see a tannish van driving up their driveway. A few minutes later, Elinor and Jonathan entered the house through the garage door leading into the kitchen.

"Derek! Aylene! We're home!" Jonathan called.

"We're in the living room, dad!" Derek replied.

"Did you two have a good day?" their mother asked as she and her husband entered the room.

The two siblings exchanged small smirking glances before responding.

"Oh, it was okay," the boy shrugged.

"Nothing really eventful." Aylene said. "How was the convention?"

"Oh, busy," Jonathan replied, obviously tired, "but good."

"Well that's good." Derek yawned. "I'd like to hear more about it, but I'm little tired. Think I'll turn in early."

"Yeah, me too." Aylene said drowsily.

"Okay," Elinor nodded. "Just be sure to set your alarms for nine o'clock tomorrow. We'll be going to purchase your schools supplies in the morning. You've only got a week before it starts again."

"Okay, mom," the young girl replied. "Good night, everyone."

"Good night, Aylene." Jonathan smiled.

After giving her parents a goodnight hug, Aylene walked down the hall to her room. She then closed the door, closed the blinds on her windows and changed into her pajamas. After that, she went to the bathroom to brush her teeth. Finally, she made her way back to her room, climbed into her bed, and turned off the lamp on her beside her nightstand, sending her world into the darkness of night.

Despite feeling tired, Aylene didn't immediately fall asleep. For a moment, she stared up at the ceiling through the dark. So much had happened in this past adventure that she had to take a moment to let it all sink in. And this time she got to share it with someone from her world. For some reason, that made the whole experience feel all the more special. As much as she thought of the other world as her own place where only she could go to, there was just something about sharing it with her brother that made it all the more unique. And now knowing that he had her back, Aylene couldn't help but smile.

"I must be the luckiest girl in the world," she said softly to herself.

Finally, the girl rolled over onto her side and drifted off to sleep.

And with that, "Time of Great Giving Retold" has been completed.

Join the Gang when they take on their next adventure in "Journey Through the Mists". Stay tuned for more of the "Land Before Time Retold Series".

Again, thank you all for your views, comments, and feedback. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your support and responses. That only helps me improve and encourages me to make more.

I also want to give a special thanks to gamelover41592 for helping me with the Velociraptor scene in Chapter 16 with the raptors offering the deal. That really helped with a plot point in the story. Thank you again.

I hope you all enjoyed the story and I hope to bring you more entertainment in the future.

Have a good day!