She'll Never Know

Kneazle

Disclaimer: all characters belong to Meg Cabot and Disney. Song "Invisible" by Clay Aiken.

Summary: Michael's thoughts on Halloween night, from book 2 of the Princess Diaries, "Princess in the Spotlight".

Saw your face in the crowd

I call out your name

You don't hear a sound

I keep tracing your steps

Each move that you make

Wish I could read what goes through your mind

Wish you could touch me with the colors of your life

            I noticed the limo first before everyone else did. Sleek, black, zipping around the New York street corner. I couldn't see who was in it, but I didn't need to know. I knew it was Mia – how could I not? I love her. I really do, since before she was a Princess. I saw her when she was invisible.

            Mia and Lars got out of the limo, which pulled away, and frantically searched for us. I wanted to wave, to shout and jump, but didn't. I had to act cool, act smooth.

            "Oh my God! You came! You came!" I heard Lily shriek to her friend.

            I glanced over and my heart skipped a beat. This… this goddess was Mia? I felt my jaw slipping and snapped it shut. I then urged Lars and Mia near me.

            "Quick," I said, "Get in line. I got two extra tickets just in case you ended up making it after all."

            Smart, Moscowitz, real smart.

            I listened in to their conversation, and then said, "I knew that," to Mia's comment about being Glinda the Good Witch. I wanted to say more, and stammered, "You look really… you look really…"

            At Mia's pained expression I stopped. I didn't want to cause her any more discomfort than she apparently already felt.

            Kenny and Mia spoke briefly, making my jealousy flare, but it went away as quickly as it came. Mia wasn't mine – not yet, anyways – but I had my chances. After all, there had been that Josh thing, and Lars knew how I felt about Mia. I didn't want Josh to take advantage of her, and he did. That had been one of the most horrible nights of my life. What if Lars hadn't been there? Something worse could have happened and I would never lived with myself. Never.

            I made sure that I would be sitting on one side of Mia – everyone else from the Computer Club and Lilly and Boris made sure of that – and that Lars would be on the other side, protecting her, but something happened.

            Something weird.

            Kenny ended up next to Mia. Not Lars. Kenny.

            That should have been my first clue.

            While we were watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show, I kept glancing over to make sure Mia was enjoying herself. But when I glanced over once, I saw Kenny do the same thing. That should have been another clue right there. I resisted the urge to turn in my seat or glance over my shoulder at Lars. But I couldn't help fight the panic-y feeling that was starting to grow in the pit of my stomach.

            Something was going to happen. Something bad.

            After the movie, we all went to Round the Clock for pancakes, which was great. I once again sat next to Mia, but Kenny was next to her too. I was fighting the urge to bark out and asked him what he was doing, sitting next to her like that, where Lars couldn't get to her should the reason arise, but I didn't.

            I wish I had.

            I wasn't paying much attention to Kenny, but rather, sneaking glances at Mia and making sure that our legs brushed under the table accidentally.

            I saw Mia talking to Kenny, and I was wondering what they were saying. She had gone slightly pale and I was starting to get worried; was Mia sick? Was something wrong?

            But then she turned back to face the table and I felt it – a nudge in my shoulder. I glanced over, wondering what Mia wanted – but then I saw it.

            Kenny's arm.

            Kenny's arm around Mia.

            Around my Mia. My princess, the girl I'm in love with.

            I panicked. I had to have; because I remember everything going really fast – the room spinning – I looked at Lars, why, why hadn't he been more aggressive and sit next to Mia?

Oh God. I was going to throw up the pancakes we ate.

I stood and said in this (what I hoped to be) easy-going voice, "Well, I'm beat. What do you say we call it a night?"

Of course, this made everyone look at me like I was some kind of freak. I mean, I'm always up staying late with Crackhead and here I am, stating I was tired.

"What's with you Michael? Gotta catch up on your beauty sleep?" Lilly asked, smirking slightly where she sat next to Boris.

I didn't say anything but take out my wallet and pull out some bills to pay my portion of the pancakes.

Immediately, Mia stood. "I'm tired, too. Lars, could you call the car?"

Lars stood and looked ecstatic to be leaving, I thought glumly, with Mia. I wish I could be too.

            That's when Kenny said, "It's a shame you have to go so early. So, Mia, can I call you?"

            Lilly jumped in her seat, I noticed, glancing at Mia quickly and then to Kenny, to Mia and then to me. She saw my fleeting look of panic and stood.

            Everyone immediately rose and began forking out cash to pay pancakes, with Mia and Lars whispering and Lars pulling out his wallet – but no, Kenny had to be chivalrous and say, "Oh, no, Mia. Your pancakes are mine."

            Mia had the grace to look apologetic and flustered as she thanked Kenny. She didn't want him to pay, I knew she didn't, but she didn't press the matter. Those Princess lessons were paying off, I noticed.

            Lars turned to me and handed me a twenty. "For the movie tickets," he explained, giving me a certain look I knew was meaningful.

            I shook my head. I didn't want the money, why should I take it when Mia was with me? Even… even if she might be with Kenny now, I had the pleasure of sitting next to her and seeing her laugh and smile… and be herself.

            "Oh, no, my treat."

            "Well, thank you very much, Michael," Mia burst out. She looked much more enthusiastic about me refusing Lars' money for the tickets (which were, let me tell you, more expensive than their coffee and pancakes) than Kenny's refusal of pancake cash.

            I – having special best friend brother privileges – was allowed to get a ride home with Mia in the limo. Before she went in, though, I didn't want to make one more mistake tonight.

            I grabbed her upper arm, turning her towards me before she stooped. "What I meant to say before, Mia, was that you look… you look really…"

            She looked up at me and my mouth went dry. The pink and blue lights from behind me created a wonderful glow to her, making her look ethereal. I took in a sharp breath and stared at her, thinking how much I wanted to kiss her that very moment, damn all those who would watch…

            But then the moment passed as she blinked, and I said in a rush, "You look really nice in that dress."

            She just smiled up at me, a slow, sensual smile that had my heart beating wildly in my chest and I rocked a bit forward –

            "Are you guys coming, or what?" Kenny's voice yelled.

            The moment was lost.

            "Um," Mia looked flustered and stepped back from me, scratching at her arm as she did so. "Yes."

            She then turned and entered the limo, with me after her. It was then when I knew it: I should have told her.

            I should have told her that I loved her.

            But I never got the chance.

If I was invisible

If I could just watch you in your room

If I was invincible

I'd make you mine tonight

If hearts were unbreakable

And I could just tell you where I stand

I would be the smartest man

If I was invisible

Wait, I already am

Oh wow, total angst there. Um… right. Shall I continue with Michael's POV of the Christmas dance? Tell me what you think in a review, okay? Hugs, Kneazle [Dec.12.03]