Heaven on Earth

Kneazle

Disclaimer: all characters belong to Meg Cabot and Disney. Song is "Misty's Song" from Pokémon.

Summary: Michael's thoughts at the Winter Carnival, from book 3 of the Princess Diaries, "Princess in Love".

I practice all the things that I could say,

Line by line, every word

I tell myself today could be the day

But every time I lose my nerve

I look at you, you look away

The Winter Carnival

            I noticed when Mia entered the gym. I always noticed her, at any given time. How could I not? I was in love with the girl, the Princess.

            She was with her friend Tina, wearing this gorgeous green velvet dress, one that clung to her and showed off her figure (the one she believed she didn't have) and made her look stunningly beautiful in my eyes.

            Tina dragged her towards us, toward the Computer Club's programs, and stood at the end of the line. To me, Mia looked like she wanted to be somewhere other than where she was now.

            I bit back a sigh and then forced a cheerful smile on my face. "Come on up!" I said, waving them over towards me. Mia blushed slightly, glancing at Tina, and then worriedly at the crowd but she still came.

            She came!

            As she moved to go to one of the other computers, I said, "Here, Mia, sit at this one." I pulled out a chair by one of the computer terminals, one that the monitor wasn't turned on. I turned it on and Mia just looked at in forlornly.

            I wondered what she was thinking, and for one odd, brief moment, the saying faint heart never won fair lady. I don't know why… but I took it as a sign.

            "Wait, what are you doing?" Judith asked, as I turned to look at her, shocked. She looked angry, wondering what I was up to. I thought I was fairly transparent in the fact that I loved Mia… but…

            "No, that's okay. I have a special one for her."

            Judith rolled her eyes and moved to make sure the other kids enjoyed seeing Principal Gupta in a dominatrix gear.

            I watched from behind Mia as the screen changed. I couldn't help but let my eyes stray to watch her, see her expressions when she saw the game I invented for her.

            She was slumping as she thought about something, probably wondering why her boyfriend didn't ask her to the dance – what a jerk, really – when the opening scene came on.

            She sat up straighter, and leaned a bit forward as she looked at the castle. It had been one of the hardest things to create, with all the tiny details, but from the look of it, I thought proudly, it had been worth it.

            Then together we were up over the castle walls, and Mia bit back a little gasp when she saw the rose garden I had created for her. I knew she loved roses, what girl wouldn't? And all these roses were perfect and pink and just what a Princess would want.

            Next came the banner and I sucked in my breath. Soon it would be the time, when I would know whether or not Princess Amelia 'Mia' Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo loved me as much as I loved her.

            The banner fluttered in an invisible wind, and then it stopped. I held my breath and waited, silently reading the words that I knew Mia was reading.

            Roses are red violets are blue… You may not know it, but I love you too.

            To my horror, Mia screamed and knocked the chair back as she stood. I took a couple steps back, sure that everyone in the hall could hear my heart shattering and breaking into a thousand tiny little pieces.

            The kids around us started laughing as Mia stared around her, looking like a deer caught in headlights. She was pale and shaking and – I just couldn't describe it. I didn't know what to think.

            I didn't laugh, I couldn't. It wasn't a joke to me, and it wasn't something I would ever take lightly. Didn't she know how much I cared?

            She stared at me, as I counted my frantic hearts' beats, an odd, shuttered look on her face as she did so.

            Then, she was moving again and she grabbed Tina by the arm, pulling her towards the gym doors.

            "Mia!" I shouted after her, taking a few steps before stopping. She didn't want me to follow her; she didn't glance over her shoulder at me.

            I didn't know what to think, except that in an hour or so, I'd be able to go home and mope, thinking about the love of my life, and the love that I had lost.

Why, why do you turn away?

It must be you're afraid like me.

I try (I try) but I can't pretend that I --

Don't feel for you the way I do

Can't you see?

            I had been sitting in my room, humming and strumming "Tall Glass of Water" when the phone rang. I was too dejected to care about it at first, so when it stopped I didn't move from where I was sitting on my bed.

            Then the answering machine went off.

            "You are the biggest idiot in the world, you know that?" My head jerked up. Lilly was calling me? Of all the times, and the people, she was calling me, calling me an idiot, on top of that?

            "I know you're there, Michael, and I want you to get your tux on, or something really nice and then I want you to RUN here, because guess who just walked through the doors with her bodyguard, all dejected about Kenny dumping her?"

            Mia? Mia was at the dance, alone?

            I didn't stop to listen to the rest of the message. I was already out of my room and running down the stairs to make it to Albert Einstein before Mia left. I wouldn't lose my only chance to tell her in person that I loved her. I wouldn't.

            I ran down the street, my feet pounding against the pavement in the same tune as my heart as it beat against my ribs. I couldn't think, couldn't breathe, couldn't care less other than the fact that I had to get to Albert.

            I finally did, pushing the main door opening and skidding down the hallway until I reached the gym hallway. There, Mia stood in her dress with Lars in front of her, looking over her shoulder at me.

            She was sitting on the bleachers by the gym, her head resting gloomily in her hands. Mia then stood, saying in a clearly sad voice, "Come on. We've been here long enough. I still have a lot of packing to do. Let's go."

            Lars replied with a, "Okay," and then winked at me. He stopped, and Mia glanced at him, confused, but turned to see what he was looking at.

            She looked like she stopped breathing when she saw me, leaning slightly on bent knees, breathing hard.

            "I didn't think you were coming," I said in a wheezy voice to her.

            She blushed and opened her mouth. "Well, I almost didn't."

            I let out a breath of hot air and stood straight, and starting walking towards her, all the while talking. "I called you a bunch of times. Only you wouldn't come to the phone." And therefore breaking my already crushed heart, I wanted to add, but refrained.

            She looked stricken. "I know."

            "Mia," I began, looking at her, "With that thing today. I didn't mean to make you cry."

            She looked like she wanted to floor to swallow her up. "It didn't," she lied. Her nostrils flared slightly, I knew they did, even if I still wasn't that close to see that. I moved a few more steps closer. "I mean, it wasn't that. It was something Kenny said."

            "Yeah," I agreed, "Well, I heard you two broke up."

            She looked like she ate something that disagreed with her stomach. She even placed a hand on her stomach and paled.

            I continued talking. "The thing is, I knew it was you. Who was leaving those cards."

            "You did?" Mia squeaked out, looking like she was going to hit the floor in a dead faint. I hoped she wouldn't, but I was close enough to catch her if she did now.

            "Of course I did," I answered, a bit impatient. Enough questions, I wanted to get to the point. "Lilly told me."

            Mia looked at me, right in the face, in righteous indignation. "Lilly told you? How could she know?"

            I waved my hand, brushing that question away. "I don't know. Your friend Tina told her, I guess. But that's not important."

            Apparently it was to Mia, because she turned her head and glared at said two females. They stopped talking to each other and became interested in something else.

            "I'm going to kill them," she murmured, and was going to say more but I reached out and grabbed her by her shoulders.

            "Mia," I started, giving her a tiny shake, "It doesn't matter. What matters is that I meant what I wrote. And I thought you did, too."

            She blinked up at me, frowning slightly. "Of course I meant it."

            I shook my head. "Ten why did you freak out like that today at the Carnival?"

            Mia blushed slightly and looked at the ground, before stammering out, "Well, because… because… I thought… I thought you were making fun of me."

            Seriously appalled by the thought, I ground out, "Never," and then swooped down to kiss her.

            I had kissed girls before, but it was nothing, nothing, like what I shared with Mia. I saw those proverbial fireworks and knew she was The One. The one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

            I didn't even notice Lana walk by, saying, "Oh, God, get a room, would you?" Hypocrite.

            The rest of the night was magical, in every sense. I danced with the girl I loved, holding her in my arms and never let her go.

            It was Heaven on Earth.

I wanna tell you what I'm feeling,

But I don't know how to start

I wanna tell you,

But now I'm afraid that you might break my heart

Oh, why should anything so easy,

Ever be so hard to do?

I wanna tell you what I'm feeling

And to say that, I love you

Aw, happy ending. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah all. Cheer me up with reviews, I'm sick. One more piece to go, I think – Mia and Michael's "break up" over Star Wars and veggie burgers. Maybe more, but I need Princess IV ½ first. [Dec.20.03]