"The Merits of Flying"

By LadyCleo

AU – How the movie should have gone. Andrew interrupts the moment before Mia and Nicholas kiss. Mia/Andrew all the way and inspired by frankiebaby's "A Royal Duty."

Saying I've gone through a lot lately wouldn't cover it, but here is the final chapter. Sorry it took so long. Sorry if it's rushed, but I vowed to get this done before I go back to work tomorrow and I knew if I didn't it would be another year before I finished.

Chapter Nine

To say Mia was nervous wouldn't even cover half the anxiety that ripped through her as she stood staring out the bedroom window. Her hand reached up to tug at the long brown waves of hair nervously, her mind trying it's best to wrap itself around the upcoming event. She would be married by the end of the day. Not to mention be a Queen shortly thereafter.

"Your majesty," Brigitte and Brigitta chimed in from the doorway, interrupting Mia's thoughts. "Your Highness, it's time to dress, we don't want to be late."

A grin cracked across Mia's face as she turned to face the two, "Grandma says the queen is never late, everyone else is simply early." Untying her robe, Mia turned and started towards the closet, her two maids close on her tail. "Let's get this show on the road." Turning she moved rapidly across the room, both maids following her.

"Your Highness," Brigitte chimed as Mia's hands rested on the closet doors, "a strange woman came in and said that she wanted to hide in your closet. So I let her."

Mia spun back around, trying hard to hide the panic from her face, "Well, dear, that probably wasn't the wisest decision in the..." Turning back around she pushed the doors open and quickly stepped into the closet, all panic washing from her face at the sight that greeted her.

Helen Thermopolis O'Donnell cradled her newborn son as she grinned and stood, "Now, this is what I call a closet."

"Mom." Rushing forward Mia gently embraced her mother and half-brother, "I can't tell you how glad I am to see you Mom, I thought you couldn't make it."

"You're getting married, how could I miss my baby girls' wedding." Leaning forward she kissed Mia on the check, "Careful. We're squashing Trevor."

Grinning down at the small bundle, Mia ran her finger over her brother's pink cheek, "Hi, Trevor. Oh, isn't he is the most beautiful baby brother."

Helen nodded and smiled back at her daughter. "Oh sweetie, I," pausing she backed away from Mia and handed Trevor to the maids. "I'm your mother. It's your wedding day. And I have to say something." Fidgeting with her top, Helen took a deep breath and walked back over to Mia, gently grasping her shoulders. "I know you don't have much of a choice in this whole marriage or no throne mess, but let me just tell you that nothing is more important than your happiness. I want you to be happy and I will be happy if you can tell me that you're okay with this."

"A week or two ago I don't think I could've said this, mom, but with Andrew I know I have a chance to not only keep my throne, but find some happiness in life." Mia embraced her mother reassuringly. "I know what I'm getting myself into, and I know Andrew and I can make a happy life out of this mess."

Viscount Mabrey leaned down and grabbed his gloves with a grin, "Well, my boy, things are working out perfectly." Glancing over his shoulder at his young nephew, the Viscount grabbed his law book and straightened his jacket. "Are you ready, my boy?"

Nicholas dropped down to the couch, "I don't think I'm going to go."

"You have to my boy; this is a show you won't want to miss. Not with what I have up my sleeve."

Nicholas glanced up at his uncle for a long second, then finally stood and nodded, "Alright I'll go."

The music swelled to a high point as the procession continued down the aisle. Behind the large double doors, Mia fidgeted with her gown and took a long deep breath. "Nothing can go wrong, nothing can go wrong." Steeling her shoulders she took another calming breath, "I will not trip, I will not make a blunder of the vows."

"You'll do fine, your majesty," Brigitte and Brigitta chimed from the sidelines.

"Right," Mia took a very deeper breath again to try and calm the nervous jitters running under her skin. On the other side of the doors the music hit a key note making Mia jump and take a last breath as the doors slowly opened. A grin spread from cheek to cheek as she caught sight of Andrew standing nervously before the church altar. No longer quite as nervous, Mia moved forward, walking steadily down the aisle and towards Andrew. It didn't take nearly as long as she thought it might for her to reach Andrew, and before she knew it she'd placed her hand in his and was standing before the priest.

The long robed priest gathered his robes about him and declared in a large booming voice, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here-"

"I hate to interrupt this joyous occasion," Mabrey declared, climbing to his feet with a soft grin, "but I object to this union."

Mia spun around, turning her full glare on Viscount Mabrey, "Why am I not surprised? He hasn't even gotten to that part yet, you can't object until the priest asks if anyone objects, and we're skipping that part today."

"Every time," Mabrey declared with gritted teeth, "Every time this charming young lady opens her mouth, she demonstrates contempt for the customs of Genovian. The law clearly states an unmarried woman cannot be queen."

"Exactly," Andrew calmly answered before Mia could shoot off a comment, "that's part of the reason we're here."

The comment seemed to only amuse Mabrey, "Unfortunately, there is another law that we have overlooked." He grabbed his law book and flipped it open. Leafing to a page near the back he continued, "Genovian law states that a princess must marry before she can take the throne. However, it also states that any prince or princess in direct line of the throne must marry a Genovian noble or have Parliament's unanimous approval of any foreign dignitary desiring to wed a crown prince or princess."

A shocked murmur ran through the gathered crowd. If possible, Mia's face turned three shades of red as she rapidly processed the news. "What are you implying, that not only do you get to tell me I have to marry, but that you have final say in the choice of whom I marry? This is ridiculous; it's nothing more than a ploy for you to get me off the throne and Nicholas on it."

"Viscount Mabrey," Prime Minister Mortaz declared huffily as he pushed himself to his feet. "we're all aware of that law, an antiquated law." Squeezing his way out of the pew, the Prime Minister worked his way to the front, "As I'm sure you are aware of, it was a law only enacted to prevent a spoiled heir from marrying Spanish nobility and invoking what would have been a devastating war."

"I beg your pardon," with a crisp bow in the Prime Minister's direction, Mabrey continued, "but I only discovered this law last night. Moreover, if we are following one antiquated law, why then should we ignore any other outdated law pertaining to our country's future?" Mabrey spun around to face the pews with a somber expression. "I have no doubt that our young princess meant well by choosing the young Duke of Kenilworth, but we hardly know this young man." A murmur of agreement rippled through the crowd. "She's known the man for only a few weeks, surely we cannot trust a foreigner that we know so little about."

"Funny," Queen Clarisse slowly rose to her feet and joined the growing crowd before the altar, "As I recall you were the one unwilling to grant my granddaughter a suitable period of time to 'get to know' any possible suitor. Tell me, Viscount Mabrey, what would you have her do now that the time limit you set is about to expire?"

"I am not unwilling to compromise," Mabrey grinned, "In fact, I have a rather fair solution." Moving back to his pew, Mabrey dropped his hand down to Nicholas shoulder, "My nephew has grown quiet attached to the young princess, and would be very willing to assist her in this dilemma."

Andrew suddenly tensed up, taking a step towards the pair of men, "Bloody hell, not if I have anything to say about it!"

"That's not quite helping your situation, young man." Turning back to the gathered crowd, Mabrey motioned over the full church. "My solution would give Genovia the best of both worlds. After all, wouldn't it be the best of both worlds to have the heir of King Rupert on the thrown and to have the assurance that one of our own supported and guided all her decisions? In fact we could have a joint thrown, instead of a Queen and a Prince, why not a King and a Queen?" The church pews rippled with a confused buzz, one that neither favored nor disapproved of Mabrey's suggestion.

"That's enough," Mia's strong voice sent the confused gallery into a hushed silence, all eyes moved back to her. Taking two steps forward she steeled her shoulder in her most commanding appearance, "I understand your lack of trust in me, I understand your lack of trust in Andrew. I understand your doubts, but the manner in which you are constantly attacking me is not justified or warranted. Give me one instance where I have squandered my rights, where I have put Genovia in danger. Give me one instance where I have not put Genovia before my own needs and wants. Give me just one reason and I will step down from this throne today." The church stilled, as though holding its breath. Mia continued, "I may have been awkward and uncouth, but I have never shown any intended discourtesy to any of you or to my nation. I am up here because you asked me to marry to prove that I would hold my country first. And I'm willing to do it, I'm willing to give up just about everything to serve my country. And now, as I stand here ready to marry, I find by some small miracle that when all the odds were against me, I lucked out." Turning around, Mia reached out to grab Andrew's hand. "In a matter of only a few weeks, I found maybe the one and only man that I could have a happy life with." Her hand kept tightly to Andrew's as she turned back to the crowd. "An honorable man, a nice and caring man, everything I could need for the hard path in front of me. A man just as willing to sacrifice for a land that isn't even his own, for a girl he's only known for a few weeks." She stopped as the words slowly sank into the gathered crowd. "And now you're trying to take that away from me." The crowd seemed to guiltily sink lower into their seats. "Each and every one of you has at sometime spoken to me and spoken to the Duke of Kenilworth. Thanks to the media you've seen our ups and downs, you've watched us constantly, and you know our plans because we've made no secret of anything. Now, if anyone besides Lord Mabrey can stand up right now and tell me that I can't rule, that Andrew can't be by my side, then stand up now and voice that."

The room seemed to stop breathing for fear of a comment. Even Mabrey seemed speechless as he stood stewing in his place, grinding his teeth as he desperately took in the situation.

Andrew yanked gently on Mia's hand, "Make a motion."


Clearing his throat, he stepped closer, whispering again in her ear, "Make a motion to vote."

The light clicked through Mia's eyes as she hastily turned towards the crowd again, "Prime Minister?"

"Yes, Princess?" Mortaz questioned, snapping back from his thoughts.

"I move to vote on the status of the Prince Consort. Will anyone second the motion?" Mia questioned, trying to maintain her striking queenly pose as she stared out across the church gallery.

"No," Mabrey barked furiously, "I refuse to let this upstart child assume the Genovian throne when the true heir sits in the very first pew!"

"I decline." Nicholas's quiet voice seemed louder than Mabrey's barking tone. "I refuse to be king. Ladies and gentlemen, it is Princess Mia who should have the crown and as much as I would love to sit by her side, I now understand that it's not my place. There's someone here who will truly support her and guide her in ways that I could not have."

Standing up before his uncle could protest, Nicholas moved swiftly out of the church, ignoring his uncle's stuttering cry. "Nicholas, Nicholas where are you going?"

Andrew frowned, "Guess he's not that bad a chap after all."

"Shut the doors, quickly," Someone from the crowd shouted as another member of parliament jumped to his feet, "Prime Minister, I second the motion to accept the Duke of Kenilworth."

Moving on his chance to act without Mabrey interrupting, the Prime Minister leapt into action, "All those in favor of accepting Andrew Jacoby, Duke of Kenilworth as Prince consort say Aye."

A unanimous chorus of "Ayes," answered.

"The Aye's have it!" Mortaz grinned as he moved quickly back to his seat, "Let's get this party finished before Mabrey returns to throw something else in the way."

Mia turned back to Andrew, "You know I think at this rate I could get these guys to abolish the Marriage rule. I mean, unless you really want to bind yourself to a clumsy princess, who's bound to screw up at some point."

"Let's wait to abolish that darn marriage rule until after the honeymoon, shall we?"

"Great idea." Throwing her hands around Andrew's neck, Mia pressed her lips tightly to his, right foot kicking up as she clung tightly to him.

"Er, excuse me your highness," the priest declared, "that comes after the I do's."

The End

Epilogue - One Year Later

The blanket lay sprawled across the green grass of the palace garden. Mia's head lay in Andrew's lap, her bright eyes searching the sky in thought. Andrew, on the other hand, had his nose buried deep within a book, fingers randomly playing with Mia's long locks of brown hair in between turning pages.

"You know," Mia mused, thoroughly enjoying one of her few moments off with her husband. "If this were a Disney movie, I'd be telling you I was pregnant right now."

Andrew glanced up from his book, "I don't suppose this is your way of telling me you're pregnant."

"Nah," Mia grinned, "I like to think I'd come up with something a little more original, like a fake newspaper headline or a flaming arrow to deliver the message." Andrew grinned down at her and slowly returned his attention to the book. "What do you suppose," Mia questioned quietly, "would have happened if you hadn't interrupted Nicholas and I in the garden that day?"

"In the garden?" Andrew questioned, he knotted his eyebrows together in confusion, briefly glancing up from the pages of his book. "I suppose Nicholas would have baited you, probably snogged you, caused a scene, and you two would have ended up falling madly in love."

Mia gaged at the thought, "Now that would be a Disney movie."

Andrew grinned, slamming the book closed he stared down at his wife, "Most certainly, with one of those cheesy horrible Disney movie endings, the one liner at the end or the patriotic music to queue the fade out."

"You mean the ending where we learn the bad boy's not really bad," Mia grinned, sitting up she maneuvered around to face her husband, "and everyone gets their way with the perfect happy ending."

"I don't know, as long as it's the right boy I don't mind ending with the perfect ending. A kiss or two between the love birds." Reaching to lace his fingers with Mia's, Andrew smiled. "Of course that all depends on what age level we're geared to."

Mia mused for a second, "How about ending on an attempt to make a crown prince or princess?"

The laughter boiled out of his lips as he grinned at his wife, "That's definitely not a Disney movie ending."

"Good," throwing her arms around him, Mia tackled Andrew to the ground, her lips pressing tightly to his for a second before she pulled her head away briefly, "I don't want a Disney movie ending!"