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and the winner is

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For the most part, Leon and Hop are very good at sharing. For the most part, it doesn’t really feel like they’re sharing , because all three of them are so close that there is no need to worry about properly balancing things. For the most part, dating two brothers is not nearly as weird as Gloria thought it would be, when she first realized that she was falling for both of them.

But sometimes, they get a little competitive, because it’s in their natures, and because they are both so much alike. There is never any ill will behind it, but it can still be a little much to deal with for her, considering she is always at the direct center of it, at least lately. The brothers have always been rivals, and despite their willingness to share Gloria between the two of them, they still sometimes get it into their heads that they need to try and compete for her attention, both desperate for her to declare one of them as the winner.

Naturally, Gloria has no interest in such competition, never having a preference of one over the other. There are different reasons that she loves each of them, and they both fill different roles in her romantic life, but there has never been any competition. Leon is Leon, and Hop is Hop, and both are the best at being exactly what she needs each of them to be. And they understand that, they assure her, while they still continue to find things to compete at.

She already knows that they’re going to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day, even before either of them mentions it. But as the holiday grows closer, she finds herself dealing with a mixture of excitement and dread, as she imagines what is to come. It’s their first Valentine’s Day together, so of course she’s excited, and whatever they do to try to one up one another can only benefit her, but still she dreads the inevitable questioning, as they both demand to know who the winner is. No matter what they do, she already knows that there won’t be any winner.

She tries to warn them, of course. She tells them, “I’m so excited to get to spend the day with you. With both of you. Because I love you both the same , so there’s no question about that, right?”

“Yeah, I know that,” Hop says. “I’m not saying anything about you loving me more, it’s’re definitely gonna love my present more.”

“Dream on, little brother!” Leon says, his tone a bit mocking. “It’s not about who she loves more, but as far as gifts go? Let’s just say I’m about to become the undefeated champion of Valentine’s Day!”

“One win doesn’t count as undefeated!”

“One gift will the start of a winning streak. But, wait, was that you admitting that I’m going to win?”

They bicker on and off like this, never with any bad feelings behind it, but it can still be exhausting to listen to. And when the day finally comes, they go above and beyond to outdo the other, and Gloria is showered in elaborate bouquets and fancy candies, given card after card with cheesy Pokemon puns and heartfelt Valentine messages, and she is fairly certain she won’t have room for all the plushes they’ve handed her. Not only that, but she hardly has a chance to breathe as she is whisked from date to date, her two boyfriends alternating in choosing where to take her, all to see who can impress her the most.

Naturally, when it is all said and done, they both want to know who the winner is. And, no matter how tired she may be, Gloria is nothing but grateful for the fun that they’ve shown her. She doubts anyone else in the world is as loved as she is, and when she takes that into consideration, her choice is easy.

“The real winner,” she says, “is obviously me.”

Hop and Leon are touched, but both quickly insist that that doesn’t count.