When the doorbell rang, you immediately jerked your head up like an excited puppy awaiting the return of her owner.
"Gilbert's here!" you exclaimed and began to get up.
"__________, calm down," Ludwig quickly said and caught you before you could lose your balance. Sometimes you forgot that whenever you got up too quickly, you would begin to feel faint and sometimes lose consciousness.
"We'll go together," Ludwig then said and slowly guided you towards the front door.
The times when Ludwig or Gilbert entered or left the house were the only times you were able to experience the full view of the outside world. More often than not, the brothers would bar off most of your view, but you were still able to steal glimpses of the lawn outside and a small concrete path leading to the sidewalk. You remembered that there were a few flowers growing along the pathway in a shallow flowerbed, and sometimes, Ludwig would pick these flowers and put them in a vase full of water on the dining table.
This time, however, Ludwig left your side a bit earlier than you had expected to get the door for his brother so you weren't even able to take a peek outside of the house.
"____________! Guess who's here?!" a loud voice blared throughout the now lively room.
"Gilbert!" you answered, your lips curving into a smile as Ludwig's older brother stepped inside and gave you a pat on your head.
"How've you been, ____________?" Gilbert asked kneeling down so the two of you could see each other face to face. "Have you been missing me and my awesomeness while I was away?"
"Yes," you giggled. Gilbert had a funny habit of using the word "awesome" to describe himself and the successful things he would do no matter how big or small.
"____________, say I'm awesomely awesome and too awesome to be put into awesome words," Gilbert then commanded; you noticed his hands were behind his back like he was hiding something. It must've been a gift.
Ludwig rolled his eyes. "Don't make her say something like that, Gilbert. __________, you don't have to say it."
"You're awesomely awesome and too awesome to be put into awesome words," you said giggling the entire time.
"See?" Gilbert chuckled turning to his brother. "Her speaking is coming along just fine."
"I can hear that," Ludwig remarked.
"Okay, since you were a good girl, I want you to close your eyes and hold out your hands together," Gilbert instructed. You promptly obeyed eager to see what sort of gift he had brought you this time.
Once you closed your eyes and formed your hands into a cup, you heard Gilbert continue to speak.
"Now this gift is different from the other gifts I've gotten you, ___________," he said in an oddly quiet voice. It was as if he was afraid to speak up. "This thing is fragile so it will break if you're too rough with it, okay? So when I place it into your hands, don't squeeze it. Understand?"
"Mm-hmm," you nodded with your eyes still closed and your hands frozen in a held-out position.
Then you heard Ludwig's voice. He sounded concerned.
"Gilbert, are you sure it's alright to give her something that's…you know…?"
Ludwig's brother scoffed. "You worry too much. Her dexterity's fine."
From the sound of his voice, you knew Ludwig wasn't convinced. "If something happens…"
"Gilbert, what is it?" you impatiently asked dying to open your eyes and look behind his back.
"You're about to find out, __________. Are you ready?"
"Yes," you squeaked unable to contain your anticipation.
"Alright, stay still…"
Whatever it was, it soft and warm. At first you thought it was only warm because Gilbert had been holding onto it for a long time but then you realized that the object began to shift in your hands. Curious, you opened your eyes and looked down to see a small yellow ball of fluff no bigger than a large egg with a bright orange beak.
Within your peripheral vision, you noticed Ludwig's eyes getting larger and larger. Whether he was surprised or frightened, you didn't know; what you did know was that you loved this little creature. Aside from the brothers and a few spiders and gnats that scuttled into the house, this was the first living thing you had laid your eyes on since waking up.
"Gilbert…" Ludwig breathed. "I-Isn't that…?"
Gilbert smiled and gently stroked the little creature.
"His name is Gilbird," he said with a soft smile that was different from his usual smirk.
"Gilbird…" you repeated letting the name roll of your tongue in two shaky syllables. "Why does it sound familiar?"
Ludwig rolled his eyes again. "Probably because he named it after himself?" he answered giving his brother a look of disapproval.
"Ah, come on, West (Gilbert had a tendency to call Ludwig by such a nickname), there's no harm in naming something as awesome as this little guy after such an awesome person, right?" Gilbert said in defense of egotistically naming a bird after himself.
"I suppose…" Ludwig sighed.
"Can I really keep him?" you asked staring intently at the little bird that was now looking straight at you with its tiny black eyes.
"Of course you can," Gilbert answered with a wide grin. "I think you're doing much better now that you've recovered so I thought I'd congratulate you with this little guy."
"Thank you, Gilbert," you smiled and stroked Gilbird with a cautious finger.
"Gilbert, we have some business to take care of now," Ludwig said placing a hand on his brother's shoulder. When you looked up at the brothers, you noticed they had exchanged a silent glance as if they were telepathically communicating with one another. Then, Gilbert's once jovial expression hardened and he slowly stood up to follow Ludwig to the study room.
"___________, just stay put and play with Gilbird, alright?" Ludwig instructed you like a parent would a child. "And whatever you do, don't hurt him. Gilbird's not a toy, he's a living thing. If you squeeze him, he will die. Understand?"
You blinked once processing what Ludwig had just told you.
"I understand," you answered with a nod.
"Good. We'll be done in a little while, ____________."
"Okay," you responded and returned your attention to the small yellow bird that was still resting in your hands. He really was a tame little thing.