I walked Mia up to her room a few hours later. "She's going to kill me," Mia mumbled. She was back to the other Mia. The overly worried New Yorker.
"Nah, she'll get over it," I promised. "Besides, maybe all those other weirdos will leave and I can have you all to myself."
She smiled, "Maybe. I can't wait to give you your gift tomorrow. You'll love it."
"And you'll love yours," I said with a smirk. Military Xander. The final piece of her Buffy Action figure collection.
"I am just nervous that it won't get here in time. I ordered it online," she explained.
"Doesn't matter," I said kissing her softly. "It'll get here when it gets here."
We made out for a little while outside her bedroom door until a guard came by and suggested that I go to bed. We laughed and then said goodnight. "Love you," I said over my shoulder as I walked away.
The next morning Lilly was acting like Lilly. I saw her as she started walking to breakfast. "Aren't you going to get dressed?" I asked.
"No. You are acting like Mia now."
"What are you talking about?" I hissed.
"All stuck up and snobby. Who doesn't go to breakfast in pajamas? Back home you would only be wearing your stupid boxers."
"And where did this bossiness come from with her? I mean, she was NEVER like this back home."
"I happen to find it kind of hot," I replied.
"You would. You think she's hot if she had a traditional Siberian costume on. Covered head to toe. You'd think it was hot if she killed a guy."
"I do have a thing for women with weapons," I joked. "Lilly seriously. Lay off her already. I know you two have been fighting. Leave her alone."
She rolled her eyes and went back into her room. Good. She'll get dressed. I'll go enjoy breakfast with the Renaldo family.
But Lilly didn't change. She was still wearing her sweats. The Renaldo's looked dressed to the nines in their Christmas clothes.
Not Lilly thought. Still in her AEHS sweatpants and moon boots. Oh, and a terry cloth robe.
Lilly was going on about Franco, one of the many boys she's had fall in love with her here. She tried to fight for his job, but he told her that he could fight his own battles. After he left she cried about how they had a stronger love than friendship or regular love. I looked at Mia who looked skeptical.
I decided to ignore her, and hoped Mia would do the same. And hoped that Christmas Mass would go by quickly after breakfast.
Mia sat next to me as the priest started mass in French (one of the common languages in Genovia). "Stay here," she whispered as she went up to communion. I never got that. Why do they get snacks?
We returned to the palace after church and it was decided, by Grandmere, that we would exchange presents. I was nervous. I didn't want everyone to see what I got Mia. They' make fun of me.
Lilly and I did not get very much that we would actually use. I got a pen from the prince, and a book on manners from the dowager princess. Woot. Loooove Christmas.
Mia was hit with so many presents. Cashmere leg warmers, a music box, a muffler (um, I think it's like a scarf), a book about Jackie O, an electric razor, a doll of herself (her grandparents on her mother's side are twisted), movies on her life, and a tiara. Oh, and the stuff that she actually liked? A power book and an iPod. From her parents (a joint gift? Whoa), and a gift card to buy songs.
Then she and Lilly totally flipped out on one another and went outside to have a discussion. "I'm sure it's nothing," I assured the Renaldo's. "Just girl stuff."
It was weird. Her dad tried asking me about school and my roommate and stuff. I tried to sound interesting and smart, but that hardly works on the girl you love's father. I felt like I was on the Apprentice and he was The Donald. Kind of looks like him though. But with no hair.
The girls appeared after a half an hour. I had actually gotten used to talking to her dad. We were in the middle of talking about the benefits of modernizing the palace (I think I have him convinced).
But they also appeared with about fifty soaking wet people. Mia explained that their cruise ship sank. So we entertained these people and helped them dry off for about two hours. Mia was great with them. Very sociable. Very unlike New York Mia. Making me fall more and more in love with her.
I really enjoyed watching her do all this.
As the passengers left I heard Mia say to Lilly, "That's what it means to be a princess."
Lilly huffed then walked away. "Actually, Mia, I think that's what it means to be a human being. No big deal though. Since you are, in fact a human being."
I added the last part so she wouldn't think I was being an ass.
Back inside there were only two presents left. Mine for Mia, and hers for me. Her grandmother told us to hurry about opening them so we could all go rest until dinner. "Actually, would you mind if we exchanged presents in private?" I asked.
Her father and grandmother looked relieved. Lilly bolted out of the room so she could go back into her own room. "Mazel tov," her grandmother said as she went for a drink that had been brought to her.
I picked up Mia's gift in one hand and took her empty hand into the other. We went to the garden and sat on a bench. The entire place smelled like vinegar (they had to spread that throughout the garden to rid it of cats).
It was perfect and romantic (minus the vinegar, I could do without that). The fountains were going off. "Just like that movie about you," I teased. "But we didn't start the fountains off with a kiss."
She laughed at the mushiness of that movie. "Oh please. I could deal with a foot popping kiss though."
So I kissed her a little before we got back to the purpose of the visit to the garden. "Open it," she said excitedly. She was adorable. I ripped open the paper. Oh shit. "Um, where'd you get this?" I asked nervously. It was my Star Wars poster. I recognized the little tear in the upper right hand corner.
"Ebay!" she said excitedly, not noticing my lack of enthusiasm. "It's an original single-sided movie poster from 1977-"
"In near mint condition," I finished for her.
"Michael…" she said, looking a little sick. "You don't….I mean, I didn't know you had one of these…"
"That's because I won it last month off of a fan site last month. Never got around to putting it up." I had to laugh. This was kind of funny. It's fate. I am supposed to have this poster. "I thought I would just sell it so I could get enough money to get you something you really liked for Christmas."
"B-But you were here when I won the auction. It can't be the same-"
"My dad took care of it for me."
"He didn't notice the address in GENOVIA?" she practically screamed.
"He's not very detail oriented Mia. This is really cool how you were the one to buy my poster."
She reached for it, "I'll sell it myself and get you something you really want."
"No. I want this." Damn. She was all about taking back gifts. First the mkoon rock, now this? "I really like this poster."
"But I got you something you already had."
"And something I wanted to keep," I replied. "No seriously, I want this. Open yours."
Now it was my turn to be excited. Her gift was something she's been wanting for months. She gasped as she saw her gift. Perfect. That's just what I was expecting her to do. "Like it?" I said, nearly jumping from the bench.
"Oh Michael! It's perfect!"
"Really? Good. I was hoping you'd like it. It's the only one you don't have, right?"
She looked like someone just told her Fat Louie jumped out her window. "Are you all right?" I asked.
"Oh…Michael…" she choked out. "I don't have the complete collection anymore. I sold Fiesta Giles so I could get the poster for you."
I smiled. This was just getting better and better. "Are you kidding me?"
"I wish I were but…" I started laughing, "Why are you laughing?"
"Why aren't you?" I asked taking her hand.
"Because your first Genovian Christmas is ruined! I wanted everything to be perfect! I thought I got you something you really would like and I even messed that up."
"Well…." I started, making a serious face. "I haven't done this Christmas thing very much. Not much experience in the gift getting arena…But I think this one is pretty special. The best Christmas present ever actually."
"Yeah right. You didn't want it to begin with. Otherwise you wouldn't have sold it."
"Are you kidding? I didn't want to sell it. I just did it so I could get you a special gift."
"And I sold Giles to get something special for you…"
"So we're even," I replied with a smile and a laugh. "And the poster is even better now because you bought it for me."
And then she kissed me senseless. I like this assertive Mia.
"Plus," I started as we gave each other time to breath, "Seeing the face on your grandmother when she saw all those cats was a good present."
She half smiled, "Michael, shut up and kiss me more."
SO I did what any sane man would do. I kissed her.