Living as Royalty, Living Humbly
Note: A Code Lyoko fic centering on Diana, XANA and Oleander's daughter. She learns quickly being royal has its duties and responsibilities. She is reintroduced to the Warriors on her 7th birthday, but she already knows of the stories her mom and dad have told about them. They in turn, remind her of that famous battle against Umbra, which she doesn't really recall.
"We are called into this world to be salt and light. Salt to add zest to the dullness and monotony of the everyday, and light to chase away the shadows of darkness and inspire."—Unknown
Chapter 1—Princess Diana's 7th Birthday
Diana, Princess of Lyoko, was approaching her seventh birthday. Seven years ago, she was paid grand homage by the people of her world when she was born. The Warriors, appropriately enough, had just returned from performing the publicized play Kiss Me Kate. They had been kept abreast of the Princess' development since after the final battle with Lord Umbra who had been defeated by Diana's pure intention and outward expression of unconditional love. They only remembered her from her infancy and how sweet she had looked in her parents' loving arms. They couldn't imagine how much she had matured in that time but such a life of dense responsibilities could do that to a person. Despite that, she enjoyed such privileges as going to school like normal Lyokoian children did and she was instructed in the disciplines of the mind, body and soul. She was currently learning martial arts in her spare time and could play the pan flute breathtakingly. She was looking forward to share her talents in her upcoming birthday party, for she heard some old friends were coming by to celebrate with her. She just wasn't certain who they were but she felt that their names were familiar.
It was an incredibly sunny and warm day. The sky was clear and the birds were chirping in the fields and meadows. Lyokians flew Asian-esque kites in the sky and some even played games that looked like Earth variants of tag, catch and blind man's bluff. Diana was already surrounded by friends she knew from school and was waiting to meet the Warriors her mother and father had spoken so highly of. At last, they came, wearing their traditional garb as they usually did when they were transported to Lyoko.
"My, my ! How the little princess has grown ! And she's looking as lovely as her mother !", Odd complimented. This caused the little princess to blush profusely, but she had been praised since birth on having such aesthetically pleasing features. Each part of her seemed to be artfully crafted, even to the last melon-colored hair on her head. The friends approached her one by one, commenting on how she had grown and how tall she was becoming. If she continued growing at this rate, she'd probably be the tallest Lyokoian alive, and that was saying something. Lyokians rarely became any taller than 4" 4', so she'd be breaking some records if she became taller than that.
It was a lavishly decorated table, set with the finest of utensils. There were presents stacked on a table, looking very festive as well. Another table had a fountain of punch bubbling from a rather large bowl. The reddish colored fruit cocktail seemed to be never-ending. XANA, the master of ceremonies welcomed his family and friends to the celebration, thanking them all that they could attend. Odd was sitting at the table, grasping his stomach and whispering to it to stay quiet.
"We'll be able to have some refreshments soon…no worries !", Sissi said, patting her love's stomach affectionately. He couldn't help but turn crimson at Elisabeth's satin touch, but it did the trick to calm his wolverine stomach.
Soon, the refreshments arrived and everyone said grace before eating. Everyone laughed, chatted and watched in anticipation as Diana opened all her gifts. She was very grateful for all of them and enjoyed a final treat for the evening. It was a towering white cake decorated with little local birds and fragrant flowers and berries. No one had any objections to eating the dessert because Oleander herself baked it and it was the most decadent cake any of them had ever eaten. Soon, it was time for games and entertainment.
As the evening fell, the Warriors reconnected with their young friend.
"It's really something, but since you arrived, you've been a Warrior yourself.", William pointed out.
"What do you mean by that, Will ? I don't even remember fighting anyone.", Diana responded, laughing heartily.
"You did, but the way you did it was unique and glorious.", Taelia added.
"I want to know more about this…You wouldn't mind telling me, would you ?", Diana said, as she sat down, yoga style to listen to the Warriors begin their tale. They had described the chaos that had ensued in Lyoko and many of the guests who had been too young to recall being transplanted to the Lyoko replica to wait out the battle. Oleander and XANA remembered it like it had been yesterday.
"You were an infant, but even then, you had so much potential.", XANA said, affectionately 'bopping' Diana's nose with his index finger. She blushed profusely and hid her face downward, embarrassed by his compliments again.
"Father ! Stop that ! You don't need to praise me so much !", Diana said, still looking at her lap bashfully.
"It's true though. You were absolutely unbelievable. None of us had seen that much power coming out of one person before.", Patric mentioned. The rest of them nodded.
"So, how was Umbra finally defeated ?", Diana asked, curiously, leaning forward to listen to every last syllable that fell upon her receptive ears.
"A kiss. As simple as that. Love conquered him.", Jeramie said.
"We were all astonished but we learned sometimes the easiest solutions are found within ourselves and come from ourselves.", Aelita added.
"That's profound, Princess.", Sam observed. Indeed it was, but there was so much truth to what Aelita had said. At least Umbra had been defeated. It wasn't to say that evil wasn't still rampant in some form elsewhere but that was left up to the police and legal authorities to handle. If indeed, evil would spring up again, Diana reassured them she would be glad to join her friends.
"You will be a welcome addition, and you are hereby made into an honorary Warrior.", Jim said, ruffling the girl's melon-colored noggin.
"What is my symbol ?", she questioned. The lot of them pondered and none of them could think of anything even after putting their heads together. Then, Emily had an idea.
"How about a prism ? You're pure, and you shine light marvelously. Plus, you have an incredible aura, like a rainbow.", she said. Diana unexpectedly leaned forward and hugged her friend, who simply grinned in response.
"It's settled then. You're the Prism Warrior. Glad to have you with us, Princess.", Jim said, shaking her hand firmly. She nodded her head in deference to all of them and vowed in her heart that very day that should the Warriors ever have need of her, she would fight boldly, bravely, and with integrity.
Chapter 3—Never Too Far Away
Diana was happy to be one of the chosen Warriors. She was inquisitive as to when she might need her newly-given status as Prism Warrior but knew that she would intuit when the right time was to exercise her newly given abilities. She was still learning, and still young. Hopefully she wouldn't have to see battle, but even if she had to at her tender age, she was prepared with her incredible martial art skill.
The festivities seemed to continue into the night but many of the participants had left for the evening. The Warriors were still sticking around, chatting and laughing the night away, not really concerned with their so-called schedules. Many of them, however, especially the younger Warriors, Tamiya and Millie had started yawning and began to nod off quite a bit.
"I think the younger kids are getting a bit tired.", William mentioned. He walked over to them and kept them held them so they wouldn't fall over.
"I apologize, I shouldn't have kept talking for so long but it was marvelous simply seeing you all again.", XANA confessed. Oleander whispered to XANA that it was sincerely nothing at all to be worried about. Diane understood it was getting late and she let her friends know they were allowed to return home if they wished.
William picked up Tamiya in his arms and Sam in turn, picked up Millie. The group expressed their thanks once more and let the King, Queen and Princess know that they would return when Lyoko had their summer festival.
Diane, even at her age, understood that it wouldn't be too long until she saw her friends again, and even though she missed them she would continue her schooling and living her life as normally as she possibly could. She was treated no differently from other Lyokoians, save for the fact that she might've been treated a little better than her peers at times. Even though she couldn't change that by much, she accepted it and didn't let it change the type of person she was. In fact, she often enacted the golden rule with everyone she met, even if they were a bit jealous of her royal upbringing. It didn't bother Diana at all. She liked everyone, and sometimes, this good will rubbed off on potential enemies that in turn, became close friends.
Chapter 4—Diana exhibits her "Strong Spirits"
While still in school waiting for the summer special to arrive, Diana discovered she had an innate artistic ability. She seemed to have a photographic memory for places, things and had an incredible ability to recall information from myriads of different sources. Only recently had she been placed in art class, doing fairly well with sculpture, clay and other mediums, but her most astonishing was in paint. She had finished a work that she entitled "Strong Spirits". The scenery had come from her 7th birthday, which she remembered fondly. Her professor Isis, was very moved by the work and wanted it to be premiered at the Hall of Creativity. This "Hall" was a collection of not just art, but all things in media that were deemed creative and unique to the spirit of imagination. It was a high honor to have one's work shown in this place and Diana wasn't expecting it. She was still too young to understand she possessed a touch of genius, but she would understand just how special she was when others started to take notice of her "divine inspiration".
Jeramie was busy setting up the date in which he and Aelita would be married. Aelita already had her dress chosen but she was the only one who was knowledgeable about it. Needless to say, everyone would be knocked out of their shoes as soon as they saw her in it. It was coming up after the time of the summer festival in Lyoko. She had been looking forward to this day her entire life, and everyone had been invited to the festivities. As she was looking through her email to finish up final preparations ahead of time, she had a pleasant surprise. There as an attachment came the most incredible jpg.
"Jeramie, come look at this !", she said, eagerly.
"What is it, my sweet pink rose ?", Jeramie questioned. She merely pointed at the computer screen.
"Is that a photograph ?", Jeramie asked.
"No, it's a painting, and Diana painted it…I had no idea she had that kind of talent. Seems there is a lot more to her than meets the eye.", Aelita said. She responded to Diana's email and sent it to all of her friends, hoping they would be inspired by "Strong Spirits". There was something otherworldly about the piece, something that transcended the every day. Fairly soon, everyone of the Warriors were talking about the piece and saving the photograph for their desktops. This way, they would be inspired by it every waking hour in every day.
Diana was very happy that her painting got to enter. She was humbled that her work had been considered worthy enough to be a part of so many other diverse works and that it was going to be featured as "best youth entry". She was already being hailed as a genius and many people were interviewing her. She had plenty of interviewers interested in her abilities but had no time for taking questions. With all of her duties and her extra-curricular activities, she was limited to only a few interviews and no more. Media personal understood and knew it was better to let the young lady live her life and enjoy time as a child. Fortunately, in spite of everything she had to do, she was able to live a fairly normal life and had many friends with which she had contact with on a daily basis. She was different from them in her intelligence, but she treated every person the same no matter what and even with her new-found fame she was still the same altruistic girl with hints of greatness in her composure. Someday, she would become an incredible Queen, but for the present day, she simply enjoyed praising creation through her work and reflecting goodwill wherever she went.
Chapter 5—Summer Festival "Blossoms in the Wind"
The summer festival seemed to arrive quickly. The theme was the same as it had been as usual. As the trees began to shed their blossoms, the leaves took their place and became darker green. The scent of berries filled the air and it was a time to enjoy iced fruit and fruit-related drinks. All Lyokoians were having a stupendous time dancing, singing and merrymaking. Diana, however, was hoping that she would see her friends once again, since they had promised to return and visit when the festival began.
Just like clockwork, all the Warriors had come to participate and maybe even see "Strong Spirits" if they were lucky. Even if they hadn't had a chance to see it their lives were uplifted by it every waking moment. Diane hadn't changed in her outward appearance by much except that she was in a traditional summer costume and looking very radiant as usual.
Aelita had leant down to chat with the little Princess, complimenting on how she had matured since last she had seen her.
"Would you like to be my flower girl once the wedding is held ?", Aelita finally questioned.
"Of course, I would be honored. I just have to have permission…", Diana responded, pleasantly until Oleander and XANA interrupted her.
"What's this about Diana being a flower girl ?", XANA asked.
"I was just wondering if she could be available to be one. I have a substitute in mind if she can't.", Aelita said.
"It's fine by me, dear.", Oleander whispered to XANA. XANA paused and ruminated for a bit and at last came to a conclusion.
"Very well then.", XANA said, smiling. Diana leapt up and cheered excitedly, so happy to be a part of Aelita's special day.
"And you can come if you like.", Aelita said, generously. This time the royals would be able to since they had some time to rest within their usually hectic schedules. After all, she had been a part of XANA's wedding and it was only proper for him to return the favor to Aelita and to the other Warriors that transformed his existence forever.
Chapter 6—Wedding Bells
Almost like a flash, the summer festival came and went. Diana and the royals had gone and the castle was in the capable hands of the court as well as the democracy. Back at home on Earth, everyone had gathered together to support Aelita and Jeramie. After all these years, Aelita and Jeramie would be an official couple.
Jeramie stood at the altar, nervously fiddling with his tie. Ulrich glanced over at him and snickered.
"Would you please stop doing that ? It's driving me crazy !", he whispered.
"I can't help it. Everyone's looking at me and…I-I-I don't want to flub any of the vows…", Jeramie confessed.
"Don't worry about it, Jer. We're all beside you.", Will said, leaning over smiling.
"That's right. It won't matter in the end, because even though we are all imperfect, we're loved by our sweethearts too. Aelita's the same.", Patric admitted. It was probably the most profound thing that Patric had ever stated, but there was so much truth in what he meant.
At long last, Jeramie had quieted down and stopped his fidgeting. Aelita promenaded down the aisle to Machiavelli's Canon in D. Everyone was awed at how ethereal the dress was on her and how she almost seemed to walk on air as she approached the altar. She joined her hands with Jeramie's and smiled sweetly, blushing at his pleased expression. He mouthed, "You're gorgeous".
She replied, "You're quite the handsome prince yourself…my love." Jeramie's face was already hot but by that time it had turned deep red with bashfulness.
Jeramie and Aelita's wedding had been picturesque. The two lovebirds had been kicking up their heels the whole night long and reveling the rest of the early day away until they tired. They would be gone in the next week for their honeymoon, but they had thanked everyone for their help. Especially little Diana. She had made an exceptional flower girl and she was glad to have been of help. XANA and Oleander were very pleased for her well. Their joy enveloped them as they thanked Aelita for her altruism and returned to Lyoko.
Before Jeramie and Aelita left the party, they still had to throw the bouquet and garter. There were only a select number of people left, but they had stuck around specifically for one last hurrah before the party ended. Incidentally, Taelia caught the bouquet, rather unorthodoxly in her teeth.
"Ha ! Victory !", she snorted, egotistically, but blushed all the same. There was still a bit of femininity to her even though she tried to hide it. Leon, rather athletically and limberly, caught the garter.
"So, my little darling…Would you mind us marrying one of these days ?", the sandy blonde questioned with a glimmer in his dark eyes. Taelia hid her face and then giggled.
"Why not ? We've been in love for 5 long years now.", Taelia said as she dipped Leon down dramatically and kissed him passionately on the lips.
"And a good 5 years it has been, love.", Leon responded, while the remnant of guests clanked their glasses together to toast the new possibly "would be" couple.
Back in Lyoko, Oleander was smiling and laughing at videos that Aelita had sent to her. There was Diana dancing on the marble floors back on earth and having the time of her life. She called Diana in to see the videos and Diana practically laughed hysterically. She was pleased that her friends all seemed to be doing well and everything seemed to be running smoothly on earth. She had been glad to let herself go every so often on such occasions just to let others see how typical she was. She still attended school and was excelling in all her courses. She hoped to study art as well as teach others about creativity. Thus far, she was doing an exquisite job simply motivating many by her genteel, contagious smile. She would definitely see her dream come to pass someday, but for the present time, she was relishing simply being who she was and learning more of her new talents day by day.
On Earth, the friends had all continued to conduct their lives and remained up-to-date with XANA, Oleander and the Princess in Lyoko. They continued to hone their skills in martial arts, always mindful of each other despite the fact they were far from one another. They would meet again during the next festival when it came, but it wouldn't happen until fall. That was quite a few months in the future and by that time Aelita and Jeramie would be expecting their first child. Everyone was congratulating the new parents-to-be. The two were eager, anxious, and most especially, jovial about the arrival of their newborn baby boy or girl. Aelita was only a few months along in her pregnancy, and it wasn't very obvious that she was pregnant. The only way one could tell is that she could tell the baby was kicking quite frequently and shit would cause her to have fits of giggles.
It was likely that the little child might become another new Warrior in the days to come after its birth. Whatever the little one decided to do, Diana had been selected to be the child's mentor and godmother. Diana, to be honest, was pleased to help foster the child in his or her development once she or he was able to think on his or her own. The future would bring a lot of changes to all of them but no matter the challenges or obstacles they had to face, they always had each other to encourage one another through the trivialities and tribulations that came without warning.