Anyway, please enjoy and let me know what you think.
A Royal Christmas
Lilly Moscovitz stood in front of the Genovian Palace wondering, not for the first, how the heck her brother and his wife aka her best friend, got roped into this, this time round.
Christmas in Genovia, while being wonderfully warm in the sun, with its appealing white beaches and clear ocean waters (you had better thank the Princess of Genovia for that!), in the palace it was just a pain in the arse. Especially when you invite other royals to come stay.
Lilly was pretty sure Clarisse was behind this and that Mia, in her weaken state of having just given birth to hers and Michael’s third child (a girl, finally!) had allowed her free reign, which Lilly knew she had immediately regretted.
According to Michael over the phone, Mia had been trying to regain control over the situation ever since they had flown back, which had been the day before.
Lilly didn’t know why the two of them plus the kids hadn’t just stayed in New York where their little girl had been born, on the 14th anniversary of them finally getting their heads into gear and realising that they’re feelings for each other were, in fact, mutual.
Lilly figured that Mia had to be pretty worried about what exactly this Christmas party entitled if she had flown her whole family plus her newly born five day old baby back to Genovia to put her foot down on the whole matter.
Lilly knew she wasn’t the only one who regretted Philippe going into semi-retirement to the Caribbean due to another cancer scare, though she also knew from her brother that both Clarisse and Mia had dragged him back to the palace to take sides, something he wasn’t very good at when it came down to choosing between his mother or his daughter (and throwing in Helen Thermopolis always made the mix just that much more interesting and entertaining.).
She didn’t blink when a valet came to take her things up to her room, very different response to her first visit to the palace.
This time, she calmly asked him where her brother was, since she figure Mia would most likely have her hands full with grandmother, baby, or Christmas details… or all three.
She needn’t have asked because as soon as the question was out of her mouth she heard a loud squeal of delight off to her right before a solid little object crashed into her middle almost knocking her over.
“JAMES!” She smirked a little at the sound of her thoroughly frustrated, completely over everything older brother growling out the name of the child who was currently clinging to her legs.
“Yo.” She said in greeting while trying to detach the little creature from her and send back in the direction of his grumpy father. Funnily enough the kid didn’t appear to be overly keen with the idea.
“James.” Her brother growled, though she could tell it was half-hearted, that her brother wasn’t truly angry with his first-born, simply exasperated with the situation he was currently in. “Let go of your aunt. She’s not going to save you, trust me.”
“What did he do?” Lilly asked curiously. It was usually James younger brother, Christopher who was in the wrong, though he was currently no where in sight, which for an overly-active three year old, that was never a good sign.
“He fed the cats.” Her brother replied without even looking at her, instead was kneeling down by her legs, trying to peel his four soon to be five year old son off them.
“So?” Lilly said, feeling bewildered as to why that should get her eldest nephew so much in the wrong with her brother.
Her brother finally looked up and met her eyes, the colour of them almost the exact same shade of brown as her own. This and their hair colour were the only resemblance that the two siblings shared. He was as tall as she was short. He was somehow both wiry and muscular at the same time while she was somewhat round and curvy.
Honestly to look at them, you would never really guess that they were related. Though according to Mia, they did share similar facial expressions when it came to particular situations. She was pounded with cushions for that one.
“Remember the last time a couple of cats were fed around here?” he asked sounding more than a little deadpan. She couldn’t help but chuckle as she remembered that particular Christmas.
“And you don’t want a sequel?” she laughed.
“God, no.” her brother grumbled, before returning his attention to his son. “James, honestly. I’m not really mad at you; you just can’t feed the cats, ok.”
“But they were hungry.” Came the rather pitiful mumbled from the little creature gripping her legs in a death grip.
Lilly snorted again with laughter as she watched her brother look to the heavens, rolled his eyes, muttering something like ‘like mother, like son’ before returning to pulling at the child attached to her legs.
“Guess he takes more after Mia than just his eyes huh?” Lilly s*^%$$%^^ed, while her brother groaned.
“You have no idea. I’m still trying to figure out if it’s a good thing or not.”
“What? You want more of you running around? Or me? Imagine if that new little one turns out to be like me?” she teased.
“Oh god, no.” she smacked her brother over the head for that.
“You haven’t seen the new baby yet, have you Aunty Lilly?” Her nephew had finally pulled his head from where it had been buried in her stomach (she was grudgingly predicting that he was going to be taller than her before the time he reached thirteen), smiling widely up at her with his mother’s grey eyes, twinkling brightly in a four year old version of her brother’s face.
“That’s why I’m here.” She replied smiling down at him before looking at her brother, “more or less.”
“She’s really, really pretty.” James said, his smile and eyes seem to grow somehow even brighter. He was such a happy child, even with the dysfunctional family that he had been born into.
Though at least, Lilly thought with an affectionate grin; his parents more or less had their heads screwed on straight.
“Well, if you let go of her legs, she can see your pretty little sister, ok.” Her brother said softly and Lilly could clearly see the love and affection in his eyes as he gently pulled the little boy off her legs and into his arms, even though really with the kid’s height, he was almost too big to be carried, though that didn’t stop her brother from setting the four year old on his hip and the four year old in return, wrapping his arms securely around his father’s neck.
She laughed, causing her brother to look at her questioningly.
She chuckled as she pattered his arm, saying“and you were worried about being bad at this.”
She shook her head, while her brother rolled his eyes at her.
“So where’s Mia?” she asked as they walked into the main hall of the palace which before her eyes was transforming from a pretty nice entrée into a Winter Wonderland.
“If she wanted this, why didn’t she just stay in the Plaza back in New York?” Lilly asked, eyeing the fake ice and snow flakes that were hanging off the walls and ceiling.
“That’s what Mia and I wanted to know.” Michael replied with a sigh.
“Why didn’t you two just stay in New York? I mean, this little one took a lot out of Mia, right?”
“They all take a lot out of her.” Michael sighed, shifting his son, who was watching a huge Christmas tree (fake, Lilly saw, which she figured was Mia’s doing) being decorated with blue and silver lights as well as decorations of a similar colour scheme.
“So why didn’t you stay?”
“Because Mia didn’t want to come back to find Genovia bankrupt because of Clarisse’s over-spending for this stupid Christmas party-ball-thing. Also,” he said as he looked around the palace, “she doesn’t like leaving Genovia for long periods of times, not with her now taking on more and more of the duties and responsibilities as Crown Princess.”
“I know.” He said quickly, “I just worry about her. I wish Philippe’s health wasn’t as dodgy as it is. And,” he looked at his son who was grinning madly as a silver star was placed on top of the Christmas tree, “I wish the kids were a little older too. And her. She’s only twenty-eight, after all. ” he added under his breath before giving a slight shrug of his shoulders.
Lilly reached up and pattered her brother’s shoulder sympathetically.
“You signed up for this.” She teased lightly, “Mia gave you plenty of times to back out. I think she was still giving you outs even when you got her pregnant with this guy.” She poked her nephew in his belly causing him to giggle.
“I know that.” Michael said rolling his eyes at her. “And with this guy,” he bounced his son gently, “that was before we were even married!”
“I know, I still don’t think Clarisse has forgiven you for that. Getting Mia pregnant before you two were even hitched, the scandal!” her brother looked at her deadpan.
“When has that woman ever forgiven me for anything?” Lilly snorted in agreement with him.
“Like never. Oh wait,” Lilly said as she held up a hand, “she forgave you for being you when you became a millionaire.”
“That’s not much.” Michael laughed.
“Hey, she let you and Mia marry, didn’t she? Well without too much fuss on her part. And she’s stopped calling you ‘that boy’.”
“Yeah, but that was only because, as you previously pointed out, Mia was already pregnant with James.”
“What was she, like five months along before you two finally fess up to everyone that you had gotten her pregnant.” Her brother scowled.
“It was three. And it wasn’t about fess-ing up; it was more trying to find the right moment to tell everyone.” Her brother grumbled grouchily back at her.
“Yeah, right. But you have to admit, being married four months later isn’t bad.” Lilly watched her brother’s face take on a somewhat happy glazed look that it generally only took when he was thinking of Mia.
She elbowed him in the gut to bring him back to earth.
“Daddy?” the two stopped their impending squabble at the concerned look from James.
“I’m fine. Your Aunt was just being mean.”
“Hey!” Lilly said in defence as she received a child-like disapproving frown from her nephew for being mean to his daddy.
“God, you are turning out like your mother.” Lilly grumbled.
“Mama?” James asked sounding immediately cheerful again.
“Yeah, Mama. We should probably go find her and make sure she isn’t over-working herself, huh?” Michael said as he bounced James up and down on his hip. As they made for the stairs, Lilly swore she heard her brother mutter darkly under his breathe, “Because if you can be sure about anything, it’s your mother over-working herself.”
Though he was soon proven completely wrong, for as they looked through the royal chambers (that looked more like hotel rooms to Lilly because they looked so unlived in) they actually quickly found Mia fast asleep on one of the couches in one of the common area.
She also wasn’t alone, Lilly saw her other nephew, or rather just his blonde head curled up in a tight little ball under Mia’s legs.
Lilly had no idea how he managed to work himself into the position, but then Christopher was more than a little renown for the odd positions he slept in, preferring to sleep in a ball in the middle of his bed, under his covers than sleeping stretched out like most other people.
A bassinet was also set up close to where Mia’s head lay and a soft murmuring could be heard from within it. Lilly guess that this was her new little niece and was surprised by how excited she was to meet her.
“Mama’s sleeping.” James giggled, but very softly. Lilly knew that Michael and Mia had both taught their two boys early on that they had to be quiet when people were sleeping so as not to wake them up.
“Hmmm, bout time.” Michael muttered, though more to himself as he set his son on to the floor, just as a messy blonde head with big brown eyes suddenly peered out from underneath his mother’s legs. It was quite cat like and Lilly told herself firmly to remember that for future teasing.
Proving even further of his cat like grace her youngest nephew somehow managed to uncurl himself from underneath his mother legs before wiggling out from under them on to the floor, losing the cat resemblance and becoming more snake-like. Or a slug, since this was where the three year old appeared to lose all his energy, though he did perk up a little at the sight of her.
Bounding to his feet without a sound, he was at her side in a heart beat giving her a bright smile even though he was still rubbing his sleepy eyes.
“Hey.” Michael said softly in greeting to his youngest son, ruffling the already messy blonde hair. “What did I say about disturbing Mama while she’s trying to sleep?”
“Didn’t,” Lilly smirked down her younger nephew’s defying tone, “Mama, came and turb me, cos I was watching the baby for her, but…”
“You fell asleep, huh?” Lilly teased. Her younger nephew turned to pout up at her, still rubbing his eyes sleepily.
“I sleepy.” He grumbled.
“And not a very happy person when he is.” Michael added as he bent down and picked up his younger son.
“Takes after his Dad there.” Lilly teased softly. Her brother just rolled his eyes at her.
“We got in pretty later the night before last, they have jet lag. Plus they’ve had to adjust to a new baby…” Lilly held up a hand to stop her brother defensive reel.
“I know Michael. I understand. Why not put these two to bed and I’ll stay here in case Mia or the baby wakes up while you’re gone.” Her brother looked at her searchingly.
“You sure?” He sounded a little doubtful.
“I’ve been friends with Mia since we were six. And I have taken care of babies before.” She waved a hand at his two sleepy boys, “I have babysitter these two for you.” She reminded him.
“Ok. I’ll be right back.”Lilly rolled her eyes after her over-protective brother as he led the two boys out of the room, though really she couldn’t fault him. Not when Mia had lost the last baby she had been pregnant with, another little girl, while she had been away for a conference for Global Warming.
The stress, the negative energy that had been floating around the conference that particular day and a particular steep set of stairs with bustling people up and down them had turned out to be a deadly equation for a tired, stressed-out, five month pregnant princess.
Lilly winced as she remembered that particular phone call from Michael, the fear and desperation in his voice as he told her what had happen still rung true in her head.
They had even thought for a time there that they might even lose Mia to internal bleeding, but by some miracle they hadn’t and by another miracle, they had all received news that this little blessing was on her way just five months after it happen.
Lilly still wasn’t sure how Mia had convinced Michael to let her have another go at giving them a little girl because at the time Michael had been pretty firm about them sticking to just the two boys, his fear of almost losing her overriding his desire for a little girl.
“But,” Lilly whispered as she came to kneel beside the low bassinet, “here you are.” The little baby girl looked so tiny, wrapped in a soft, light, white and pink blanket.
A mop of thick light blonde hair covered the little girl’s head. It curled ever so slightly around Lilly’s finger as she lightly trailed a hand over the baby’s delicate little head.
She’s such a pretty baby, Lilly thought with some relief, but then she wasn’t surprised. James and Christopher had been blessed with having a great deal of facial character too when they had been babies.
The little girl let out a soft grumble in her sleep, her tiny hand curling around the top of her blanket. Lilly, a little hesitant, because being around babies was not exactly the norm for her, slowly bent down and lifted the small baby to her chest, gently rocking her back and forth in a soothing manner, as she had seen Mia and Michael do countless times before with their boys.
“Michael?” Lilly lifted her head to look at her now waking friend.
“Nope, last I looked, I was female. Besides, I am far better looking than him.”
“Lilly?” Lilly couldn’t help but grin at the amount of cheer and delight that were interlaced in her best friend slash sister-in-laws sleepy voice.
“Hey.” She smiled widely though it faulted slightly as she watched the stiffness of Mia’s body as it slowly and carefully pulled itself into a sitting position, occasionally causing her to wince as she moved her still sore body.
“You should have just stayed in New York.” Lilly scolded her friend, as she carefully handed over the sleeping child in her arms to her mother’s care.
“And let Grandmere bankrupt the country with this mad Christmas party she is throwing? No way.” Mia snorted as she held her newborn close to her body, smiling down at her with a mother’s awe.
“But you will take it easy right?” Lilly asked, eyeing her friend suspiciously. Mia had always had a habit of pushing herself too far with some things, reigning in her eccentric grandmother being one of them.
Mai pulled a face at her.
“Now you sound like Michael.” She grumbled. “He didn’t even want to come back to even try and minimise the damage of this damn party.”
“Hmmm, I wonder why?” Came a male voice from behind them. Michael came back into the room looking still both tired and agitated, though Lilly of course noticed the softening of his eyes as they fell upon his pouting wife.
“She would have bankrupted the country if we hadn’t come back and reigned her in.” Mia grumbled at him as he came to sit down beside her on the couch, wrapping an arm around her shoulders, his fingers lightly brushing the soft hair on their newborn daughter’s head.
“That’s why your Dad came back, remember?”
“Yeah, but he can only do so much. He’s still scared of her you know.” Mia said rolling her eyes in exasperation at her father’s cowardice towards his own mother. “I mean, what she going to do to him? Beat him over the head with her walking stick?”
“I bet you that the thought has crossed his mind.” Lilly snorted.
“It has.” Michael said but when both women looked at him curiously his mouth remained firmly sealed. Sighing in annoyance, Mia turned back to Lilly
“Have you eaten? I mean, you just got here, right?”
“Almost an hour ago,” Lil said with a shrug, “and no, I haven’t. This one dragged me all over the place looking for you.” Mia shot her husband a reproachful look, which he responded with a shrug.
“Didn’t know where you were and I knew you would be slightly hurt if we went and found some food before we found you.”
Lilly leant back on the floor watching with amusement as Mia opened and closed her mouth before finally pouting up at her husband, cranky at him for knowing her too well.
With a cheeky grin on his face, Michael bent down and kissed his wife’s pouting lips.
Lilly rolled her eyes before she diverted them. Honestly, those two could be so sweet that it was sickening.
“Oh God, knocked it off you two! I’m starving here!” She complained.
“No one said you had to stay,” Her brother muttered from where he was kissing her best friend, “you know the way to the kitchens.”
Which, of course, she did, but what kind of sister would she be if she gave her brother an easy time. So with a wicked grin decorating her face, she got up off the floor and grabbed her best friends arm and yanked her, gently mind you because of the baby still sleeping in her arms, to her feet, much to her brother’s disgruntlement and her sister-in-laws surprise.
“Hey!” her brother growled, looking thoroughly annoyed.
“Oh quit whining! You’ve had her all to yourself for the past month. Now it’s my turn. It’s called sharing.” She smiled widely at his disgruntled face.
“Like you ever share anything.” He replied with a roll of his eyes.
“I let you marry her didn’t I? That’s sharing.”
“What am I? Chopped liver?” Mia grumbled as she gently shifted her sleeping child into a more comfortable carrying position. Both siblings looked at her with equal exasperated expressions on their faces.
“As if we’d fight over chopped liver.”
“It’s you two, you never know.” Mia replied with her own roll of her eyes.
“What? You’ve fought over less.” She replied with a shrug, looking at them with mild amusement, which obviously meant that she was remembering numerous fights that the two siblings had had over the many years that she had known them both.
“You know,” Mia said as she was more or less marched out of the room by Lilly, Michael tailing close behind them, “there are some real downsides to being best friends with one sibling and married to the other.” She said with an exasperated looked at the pair of them. “I can only give so many people so much of my attention a day and you two make it very, very hard to do that.”
“That’s because we love you and want all your attention all to ourselves.” Lilly said with a teasing tone which had Mia huffing at.
“Which is fine, except when you have three kids, an oppressive grandmother, a mother who would misplace her head if it wasn’t attached to her neck, a father who’s getting ready to retire leaving me with a country that my cousin is still trying to become prime minister of…”
“Rene wants to try for prime minister… again?” Michael asked looking mildly amused, “when did that happen?”
“Oh, yesterday. Grandmere put it in his head, so now I’ll have to put up with him seeking for my attention too.”
“Oh, you poor thing.” Lilly said, showing absolutely no sympathy towards her. Mia childishly stuck her tongue back at her.
The three of them squabbled like this the whole way to the kitchen before making their way out to one of the palaces more secluded gardens, away from the prying eyes of Papz, tourists and pestering grandmothers.
Author's Note: So what did you think? As you can probably guess this is set a couple of years after my other future fanfics about Mia and Michael's lives together and about their kids - though I this is the first time I've written/posted a fanfic about the kids. I think previously I had just written/posted about James. Well, James is still in this one but so is Chris and M&M's little daughter. I have a name for her, but I'll reveal it later on.
Anyway, hope you all enjoyed. Comments as you know are appreciated.