The Twins and Persephone managed to untangle the many strings of lights and placed them in neat lines throughout the room so they wouldn't tangle up again. By the time Perse and One finished placing the last string on the floor, the Merovingian still had not come to help decorate. So, to pass the time, the Twins busied themselves with peering into the boxes Perse had brought in. There were boxes of ornaments, bows, garlands, and other Christmas items of which the Twins asked many questions about. One picked up a weird looking green plant having tiny white berries all over it and handed it up to Perse.
"What's this stuff do?" he curiously asked. "Give allergies?"
"No. That's mistletoe." Perse smiled.
One, again, looked at the plant. "I didn't even know missiles had toes."
Perse laughed and bent down in front of One, taking the mistletoe in her hands.
"No, no. It's 'mistletoe'. It's a plant. One of the customs of Christmas is that you hang mistletoe from the ceiling or in a doorway," Perse held the plant over One's head. "And whenever two people catch each other under it, they have to kiss."
Persephone kissed One on the cheek and smiled.
"Eeeeeeeew!" Two wrinkled his nose and backed up against the couch. One also gave a look that matched his brother's words.
"Is it all that bad?" Perse laughed, handing the mistletoe back to One.
One carefully eyed it and then smiled mischievously. He quickly reached over and held the plant over Two's head and the couch.
"Two, you have to kiss the couch."
Two's eyes went to the mistletoe hanging over him then back at One.
"I do not!" He scowled. "The couch isn't a person."
Two scowled even more before shouting for Perse.
"One, leave your little brother alone."
One sighed and took the mistletoe away from Two. "You're no fun."
"I am too! I'm just not as dumb as you think I am."
"I don't think you're dumb at all. I was just picking at ya."
Two crossed his arms and continued to pout.
At that moment, everyone's attention turned to the door where the Merovingian came into the room, finally.
"It's about time." said Perse.
The Mero didn't bother answering his wife. The first thing his eyes silently landed on was the Twins. They gave him a huge smile in return and offered him one of the strings of Christmas lights.
"You gonna help us decorate the tree for Christmas, Daddy?"
The Mero cringed inside at hearing the Twins call him 'Daddy'. Even though he hated being called that, he forced himself to put up with it for the Twins' sakes. He sighed heavily and turned a pitiful eye to Persephone. She smiled sweetly back at him.
"Go on, Dear; help them put the lights on the tree."
The Mero could not believe this was happening to him. He hesitated a moment, then walked over and took the strand of lights from the Twins' hands without so much as a word. He took a quick glance at them, and then looked back at the Twins.
"What's wrong, Daddy?" Two asked.
"Plug zem in and let's see if they will light before I get into putting zem on the tree." The Mero answered.
"But we're too little to play with plug-ins."
The Mero bent down and gently grabbed One by the collar of his shirt, pulled him close and peered into his eyes. One smiled innocently.
"Why is it that you aren't afraid of ripping this chateau apart and shooting off machine guns, but when I tell you to do something you're always too little?"
Both Twins shrugged their shoulders and grinned sheepishly.
"It won't hurt this one time because Persephone and I are here with you. Now go plug in zee lights!"
At hearing the Mero's words, the Twins scampered off behind the tree to plug in the lights. We all know what comes next in the joys of putting the lights on the tree. About two or three bulbs are blown and only half of the strand lights up. Then after pressing down on every bulb and jiggling the cord, the dead half finally lights up, but you come to realize that the other half has now gone out.
The Mero rolled his eyes and grumbled under his breath at seeing only half of the strand lit up.
"Cooooool!" the Twins chimed together when they came around the tree and saw the tiny brightly colored lights lying on the carpet.
"Smashing!" One grinned.
"What's wrong with the other half?" Two asked in wonder as he pointed to it.
"It must be a bad connection or a loose bulb." The Mero mused.
"Or a short." Perse added. "Be careful, honey, don't get shocked by them."
"I know what I'm doing, dear. Don't bother me." The Merovingian got down on his hands and knees and began to push in each bulb, making sure that none of them were loose from their sockets. After that didn't work, he began to feel around on the cord, hoping to twist the right spot into making the rest light up. Two and One curiously watched in silence, not daring to make a move or a sound that would end up ticking the Mero off.
"Ah hah!" the Merovingian said at last, after twisting a part of the cord that resulted in the dead half lighting up. "There we go!"
"Are you sure you want to use those?" Perse worriedly asked.
"Why not? I got zem to work, didn't I?"
"Yeah, but the way they act… there could be a dangerous short somewhere."
"Nonsense." The Mero said gruffly. "Hand me another string."
The Twins carefully picked up a light string lying beside their feet and handed it to the Mero.
"Wait a minute. I already know zis string is not going to work. Look, zis cord is frayed here." The Mero fingered the badly frayed cord that exposed the wired contents inside it.
Perse leaned over his shoulder and peered at the wire, "Can you fix it?"
"Of course I can." said the Mero, studying the cord as if it were some ancient artifact that he had just dug up. "I just need the right tools to do it with."
Twin Two picked up the plug to the string of lights the Merovingian was in the middle of fiddling with and eyed it. Not knowing that it was the plug that went to the frayed string of lights, he offered it to the Mero.
"Daddy, what do you want us to do with this plug?" he asked, timidly.
"Plug it in for all I care." The Mero replied, not bothering to look up from his work. "Now don't bother me while I'm trying to think of what to do with zis cord."
The Twins exchanged glances, shrugged their shoulders, and proceeded to plug the cord in as the Mero had said. Upon plugging it in, there was a funny noise, smoke, and the sound of the Merovingian screaming, and then Persephone screaming.
The Twins, scared, quickly unplugged the lights and ran around to where the Mero was. They stopped and stared with wide eyes as the Merovingian struggled to get up from the floor, Persephone helping him. His hair stuck up and out in weird places, the room was filled with a thin smoke, and charred marks were on the carpet around where the string of lights lay.
"W-What happened?" The Mero asked in a dazed tone. "Did I get struck by lightening?"
"No, dear, you just got struck by a string of Christmas lights. Now, stand up."
Persephone struggled to stand her husband up straight, putting her hand on his back to keep him from wobbling. Every time, the Mero's knees buckled under him and he would start to fall forward. It took a few minutes, but he finally came around to his senses. The Twins stood and stared silently in his direction, waiting for the moment when they would hear inhuman yelling mixed with French loud enough to break the windows.
The Merovingian narrowed his eyes at the two and slowly crossed his arms over his chest. Two smiled and pointed to One.
"He did it."
"What do you mean, I did it? You're the one who did it!" One protested. "It wasn't me, Daddy, Two picked it up and plugged it in! Honest!"
The Merovingian continued to eye both twins without saying a word. Two reached down and picked up another set of lights and handed it to the Mero as a peace offering, but it didn't help. The Mero continued to stand as still as he could without moving a muscle.
"Dear, leave them alone. They didn't mean anything by it." Perse nudged the Mero's arm. "It was probably an accident."
"That's right!" Two quickly added. "I didn't mean to do it, honest! Besides, you told us to plug it in!"
The Merovingian sighed and shook his head before turning to leave the room.
The Merovingian came back after a few minutes while carrying some black tape and a pair of needle nose pliers in his hands. The Twins watched in fascination as the Mero fixed the exposed wires. When he was finishing putting the black tape around the cord, he turned to the Twins.
"You two go around there and wait until I tell you to plug these in."
The Twins nodded excitedly, and darted around to the other side of the tree again.
"Don't you plug them in until I say so, you hear?" he called after them. "So just keep your little hands away from that plug!"
"Okay, Daddy!" they both replied back.
One picked up the cord and smiled. Both twins stood and fiddled with the branches of the tree while they waited. They could hear the mumbles and complaints of the Mero, and Persephone talking.
"Do you think Daddy's finished now?" Two asked his brother.
"We'd better wait until he tells us that it's ok. We don't want to get into any more trouble."
"You're right. Daddy looked awful mad awhile ago, didn't he?"
One nodded his head silently, and then looked down at the cord he held.
It wasn't long before the Merovingian called to the Twins that they could plug in the lights. One did so, and he and Two ran around to where the Mero and Perse were. The string of lights was glowing brightly along the floor, just as the first set had done. The Twins smiled at seeing them.
"See? They all work fine now." The Mero turned to his wife. "All they needed was a little repair."
Persephone shrugged her shoulders before bending over to pick up a third string of lights.
"How many are we going to put on zis thing?"
"Two or three, I suppose." Perse answered, handing the Mero the string she had picked up.