Author's Note: I swear, this would have been updated a full thirty minutes earlier if Kohee and Emotistic Optimistic weren't such fantastic writers who happened to update while I was checking around the site. Not that thirty minutes makes a real difference, but hey, I'm just defending myself. I changed the order of some events from the movie because…well…I wanted to. So…are you ready?
Naveen burst into Tiana's home without knocking. "Tiana, we must go now, I have most excellent news to tell you!"
"Hello, Naveen," Eudora said, waving to her future son-in-law. "It's nice to see you again."
"Hmm…? Oh, yes, and also for I to see you," Naveen said, remembering his manners. "Perhaps you would like to come as well?" He turned his attention back to Tiana, and was puzzled and bothered by what he saw. "Wait…you are sad? Tiana, what has happened?" Tiana looked like she was on the verge of tears.
"All that money I saved up…all my hard work…it's gone, Naveen. I can't find it. Not one cotton-pickin' cent."
Naveen and Eudora exchanged looks. "You did not tell her this was nothing to worry about?"
"…What's going on here?" Tiana planted her hands on her hips, "Mama, you and Naveen were in on this together…what did you do?" She waited for an answer, but Eudora and Naveen could only smile as a response. Naveen took her by the hand and Eudora linked her arm with her daughter's. They practically dragged Tiana onto the trolley car, refusing to answer her any of the times she asked where they were going.
They arrived shortly at the sugar mill, where the for sale sign had a big red "Sold" covering it. "But…I didn't have enough for this," Tiana said softly. "How did you…?"
"The answer awaits us inside," Naveen said, giving her hand a tight squeeze, looking so happy Tiana thought he might start skipping at any moment. Inside, one table was set up. Three people sat around it, a couple around Eudora's age, both wearing crowns, and a little boy who was bouncing up and down in his seat, looking bored.
"Are those…?" Tiana whispered to Naveen, jerking her head in the people's direction. He nodded.
"Yes. Yes, this is my family," He said excitedly, releasing her hand to give his mother a hug. "This is my mother, Aida, my father, Faruq, and my brother, Shahzad…and this," he directed it to his family now, "Is Tiana."
Aida spoke first. "You have had such an effect on our son. I did not know he could be taught the knife skills!"
"I minced for them," Naveen explained when Tiana looked confused. "I have explained your dream to them, and they provided the last bit of money you required to buy your restaurant. This is acceptable?" He was worried that Tiana's pride might keep her from saying yes, but she was too far in shock to even think about it.
"I…this is amazing. It's very kind of y'all," she said appreciatively.
"This was nothing," Faruq insisted. "If Naveen had not met you, he might have continued his selfish ways, and …let us just say, between the two of us, many in Maldonia shuddered at the idea of Naveen becoming King."
"Father, I can hear you very clearly from over here," Naveen complained. Faruq shrugged, and gave Tiana a wink.
"So, you will be married within the next few days, yes?" Aida asked. "We are only in the states for a few days. Shahzad has lessons, you see, and they must not be missed," Shahzad frowned, "And we did wish to be at the ceremony."
"The next few days?" Tiana croaked out. "I'd love for y'all to be there, but there's so much that still needs plannin'…the church needs to be booked,"
"Already done," Aida returned.
"Well, neither Naveen or I have our clothes for the ceremony…"
"Naveen's parents brought his ceremony outfit over," Eudora answered this time, "And as for your dress, baby girl, I've already made it. I know your measurements by heart, and I think you'll like the outfit."
"All right, fine," Tiana said, "But what about catering and such? Who's going to handle all that? Besides, we need to get started on the restaurant, the wedding should wait until that's done, don't you think…?"
"Now you are just making excuses," Naveen complained, pulling her into him. "Everything is taken care of. Mother, father, Shahzad needs some time to play, do you not agree? Perhaps if you wait another two weeks to return to Maldonia, maybe then Tiana will agree to marry me with you here. Unless she has changed her mind?"
"Of course not!" Tiana insisted. "But—"
"No buts," Naveen interrupted. "I am most eager to be married to you. I can only wait so long before I will go mad from the wait."
"You tryin' to tell me a few weeks would kill you?"
"Of course not…but should we really take the chance?" He asked slyly. "I promise you, we will work constantly until your restaurant is ready, and your dream has come true, but I wish to have my own dream. And that is to marry you."
"All right. You're lucky you're so charming," spectators forgotten, Tiana tugged at Naveen's collar, pulling him in for a kiss. Eudora practically applauded. The king and queen watched with approval…only Shahzad seemed the least bit put out, and all he did was to stick out his tongue and mutter "gross!".
The wedding went off perfectly. The only hitch was that Naveen didn't seem to want to stop kissing Tiana, and he kissed her at least four times before the pastor had to practically scream that the first kiss was good enough.
They ran past their guests, and when Tiana threw her bouquet, Charlotte snatched it out of the air so quickly the other girls didn't see her coming. Charlotte waved to them, bouquet tightly in hand, as they got on their wedding carriage. All of New Orleans seemed to be watching as they marched through the streets, Naveen's parents and Eudora seated in an identical carriage before theirs.
The small parade ended at the sugar mill, which had transformed within the past two weeks into Tiana's restaurant. "…They got the name wrong…it's supposed to be 'Tiana's Place', not 'Tiana's Palace," she said, staring at the sign. Naveen chuckled.
"This was my idea, actually. Every princess needs a palace, no?" He looked concerned. "You do not like it? We can have it changed…"
"No. No, I like this," she agreed. "C'mon. Let's go inside."
Inside the jazz music seemed to have the whole crowd on its feet, most dancing, and the rest at least tapping their foot in time to the beat. "That gator is the bee's knees!" one patron cried. "I wonder why he's the only one performing in a costume, though?"
"Shoot, cap," Ray answered the patron, "that ain't no costume, that's a real gator!" The patron stared at Ray in disbelief. The patron's girlfriend shook her head.
"Just ignore him…" she jerked her thumb at Ray, "He was tellin' me some crazy story earlier about being a firefly turned human and that his wife used to be a star!" They walked off, laughing, as Ray stared after them, confused.
"Don't they know what the truth is when it come up and bite 'em?"
"Ah, let it go, my friend," Naveen said, giving Ray a pat on the back. "Tonight is about fun, and music and…" he wiggled his eyebrows at Tiana, "Love."
"When you right, you right, Cap!" Ray agreed. "Come on, Evangeline, let's grab a piece o' that action right there!"
"Do you think their story's true?" Tiana asked when Evangeline and Ray were out of ear shot. "I mean, is it possible that Ray really used to be a firefly and Evangeline was the Wishing Star?"
Naveen rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "I do not know. But stranger things have happened, I suppose…After all, we now have a gator for a trumpet player, do we not?" he gestured towards Louis. "One only you, I, Ray and Evangeline can understand."
"It was nice of Mama Odie to leave that spell in place," Tiana commented.
"I think we are forgetting something," Naveen said.
"And that is?"
"Your adoring public awaits you, my princess…they have come all this way to see you, and this is your moment. I would not wish to steal you from them."
"You're wrong, Naveen," she brushed a finger over his lip. "This is our moment. It's our wedding night, after all, right?" He nodded. "Then I guess we should go out there together."
Naveen kissed her, signaling his agreement. Together, they made their way onto the dance floor. The music stopped, the dancers followed suit, and a light suddenly illuminated the two of them. "Hello. I am Prince Naveen….of Maldonia," Tiana had to fight the urge to roll her eyes. She loved her husband dearly, but he had certainly retained his flair for the dramatic. "And as you know, this wonderful, beauteous woman beside me is my wife…Princess Tiana. Were it not for her, not only would this restaurant not be here now, but I would not be the man I have become today…she has completed me, when I did not even know I was missing something…" Tiana felt her cheeks grow hot. "Ah, but now I am embarrassing her. What I mean to say is this…her food is wonderful, and now, you will all be able to taste it."
He grabbed a silver platter that Ray brought, which was piled high with Tiana's beignets. "Mother, Father, if you will be the first?" The king and queen each took one and took a bite.
"Achidanza!" the king cried, staring at the pastry. For a moment, he had shed his regal bearing. Naveen chuckled at his father's loss of composure, but Tiana merely gave him a kind smile. "I am most fortunate to have a daughter-in-law who is not only a most marvelous woman, but a most fantastic chef."
"These are good," Shahzad said, stuffing one beignet into his mouth as he grabbed two more, sizing up the rest of the beignets and trying to figure out how to grab hold of a fourth without dropping the other three.
"I told you they would love them," Naveen whispered into Tiana's ear, causing a shiver to go up her spine. "But now, if you do not mind…I would like to spend a few moments alone with my wife…"
Tiana agreed, sneaking away with Naveen while the others were distracted by the food. They went out on the rooftop. "I think that could not have gone more splendidly," Naveen said, pulling her in close and swaying with her. "The wedding or the opening. We still have a lot of work to do though, I am certain…"
"Yes, of course…but…" Tiana leaned in and kissed him again. "I think I'd rather spend the rest of tonight with my husband. Just this once…I think work can wait."
"Achidanza," Naveen whispered happily. "I believe this to be most satisfactory."
"I'm so glad," Tiana whispered back. They wrapped their arms around one another, and he pulled her in so close that it seemed no body part of theirs wasn't touching. They spent the rest of the night together, away from the public. The guests could handle themselves, and clean up could wait until the morning. For right now, there was no where that Tiana or Naveen wanted to be more than one another's arms.
"Who'd have thought Naveen would have a younger brother!" Charlotte exclaimed, giddy. "Umm…how old did you say you are again?"
Shahzad finally looked up from his feet (he had agreed to the dance when Charlotte had asked, and while he was enjoying it, he couldn't quite figure out how the other dancers were doing the Charleston). "Six and a half," he answered, wondering why Charlotte's face fell for a moment.
"Well," She said, shrugging, "I've waited this long!"
Author's Note: So. I suck at names. Naveen's family is sort of a long running joke…all of them have names that relate in some way to royalty (look it up on behindthename dot com to get the full jokes if you want). I loved the last joke in the movie so much I had to put it in. As for the Tiana's Place versus Tiana's Palace…I kind of wish it had been addressed in the movie. I didn't mind the name change, but I didn't really get where it had come from, other than the "she's a princess" thing. I will probably start the new story tomorrow. It will heavily feature Naveen's brother, but Tiana and Naveen (especially Naveen) are just as important. Heck, the whole thing's Naveen's fault in the first place! Abinaza, my friends, and thank you so much for reading!