No, I have no self control at all. I wasn't even thinking of doing a Christmas chapter, but then this just popped into my head randomly and I knew I would have to do it this year, or it would never get done. This is a little different then my other stories because you get to see the girls in the orphanage. Also, in this chapter I play with the idea that the girls aren't actually related to each other, I think that adds an interesting element to their characters and relationship.
I know I promised you all a grown up Edith story, but that's coming up next! Very very soon if they plot will behave and stop becoming more and more complex. Also, please excuse the grammatical errors, I'll get this beta-ed properly soon. I just really wanted to get it up on Christmas.
Disclaimer: Despicable me belongs to illumination entertainment and universal.
Chapter 6 A Christmas Fairytale
"It's almost Christmas! It's almost Christmas! It's almost Christmas!" Agnes sung excitedly as she bounced and twirled on her bed. Her usual ponytail was gone and her long black hair flew wildly across her face.
Margo smiled warmly at her little sister's excitement."Okay, Agnes, come here. I need to finish your hair."
Agnes giggled and jumped off her bed. She stumbled forward when she hit the ground, but managed to regain her balance on time. Unfazed, she grinned widely up at her sister. "Okay!"
Margo sat on the floor, propping herself up with the end up the bed. Agnes sat comfortably in her lap as Margo gently ran a comb through her hair.
"Be careful not to pull," Agnes requested softly, fidgeting slightly.
"I won't pull, but you have to hold still."
Agnes nodded, and the sudden head-movement caused Margo loose her grip on the hair she was attempting tie up with a red hair band. The brunette sighed and began all over again.
Their small room in the orphanage was oddly quiet, and the silence caused Margo to shift uneasily.
"Agnes, do you know where Edith has gotten to?"
"Yeah!" she giggled. "She said she was going to make Lauren eat her words."
Margo's hands froze for a half-second before she finished pulling her sister's hair in a ponytail.
Edith, not again!
Agnes tilted her head so her chestnut colored eyes were staring inquisitively at her sister. "How can someone eat their words?"
Tiredly, Margo got to her feet. "They can't, but that means we have to find Edith quickly."
She grabbed her younger sister's hand as she rushed out the door and down the dull hallways of the orphanage in search of their sister.
"Hey, Margo! Hey, Agnes!" A girl greeted them as they rounded the corner.
"Hey Penny." Margo and Agnes came to an anxious halt in front of the girl. "Have you seen Edith anywhere? Or Lauren maybe?" Margo asked slightly out of breath.
"Umm, I think Lauren is in her room, but-"
"Great, thanks!" Margo shouted over her shoulder as she and Agnes went racing in the direction of Lauren's room.
Unfortunately, they arrived too late.
Lauren was around Margo's age, but she was also a very large girl. She could flatten Edith easily, and the worst part was Edith didn't seem to care. Margo knew her sister would fearlessly pick a fight with Lauren despite her size, because once Edith got an idea in her head, there was no stopping her.
"Ow! That hurt! You made me bleed!" Lauren screamed through a mouth full of blood. "You're dead meat small-fry!"
Dark-haired Lauren had a hand cupped over her mouth, revenge clear in her green eyes.
Before Margo could blink, the large girl was charging at full speed towards her sister.
"Edith!" Letting go of Agnes's had, Margo sprung forward, desperate to get to her sister in time. However, Lauren was faster.
Edith stood rooted to the floor as she watched the girl approach, a helpless expression frozen on her face. Edith closed her eyes in pain and let out a strangled cry as Lauren slammed into her. She felt her back roughly slam into the wall behind her as the bully continued to pin her against the hard surface.
Edith struggled to get free, but Lauren was too heavy. It was as if she were battling against a bear.
"Get off of her!" Margo shouted as she desperately grabbed Lauren's shoulder and yanked with all her might. Margo wasn't strong enough to completely remove Lauren, but Edith quickly saw the opportunity and wiggled free. The younger girl stumbled and fell to the floor behind Margo's protective form.
Margo gave her sister a quick glanced before resolutely turning back to the bully.
"Well, if it isn't the rest of the Sisters," Lauren commented snidely, blood dripping from her mouth where Edith had hit her.
The other children of the orphanage looked into the room in fear, but also with a hint of morbid curiosity. They were all wondering the same thing; what would happen to the Sisters now?
The Sisters. That's how they were known in the orphanage because of their unique situation. The three girls weren't related. In fact, they had all shown up at the orphanage at different times. However, for some unexplained reason they had latched on to one another. It wasn't friendship exactly, because friends were almost always made with kids their own age. Instead, it ran so much deeper then the fleeting happiness of friendship, or shakable foundation of a roommate. Their bond didn't revolve around similar interests or complementing personalities. They found a kinship within each other, a sense of belonging. And without even realizing they had done it, they adopted each other.
And so, after seeing how the three girls interacted with each other, not like friends, but like family, the children at the orphanage begun to jokingly call them 'The Sisters'. It wasn't long before the girls accepted the idea of sisterhood amongst themselves.
"Leave Edith alone, Lauren," Margo demanded authoritatively, adjusting her glasses.
Lauren growled, raising herself up to her full height. "She started it! I was just getting back at her!"
Margo narrowed her eyes. "I don't care! You know what's going to happen if Miss. Hattie sees anyone fighting. And I swear, if you try to go after Edith again, I will tell Miss. Hattie about this."
Lauren's eyes widened. "But then we would all get in trouble, even you! You wouldn't do that."
It was true; Miss. Hattie didn't care who was in the right and who was wrong. In her eyes, if one girl deserved to be pushed, then they all did, even the ones not involved. And most likely both Edith and Lauren would get sent to the box of shame. However, Margo didn't care what the punishment would be, or if her or her sisters would have to bear it. Keeping Edith safe was her first priority.
"Try me," Margo dared unflinchingly.
Lauren looked like she was about to say something, but then she seemed to deflate under Margo's heated glare.
Finally, the larger girl rolled her eyes. "Whatever, I don't care." Lauren took a few steps back, trying to shake of her defeat nonchalantly.
"Come on," Margo hissed as grabbed Edith arm and pulled her out of Lauren's room and down the hallway. Agnes followed close behind. Once they were far enough away, Margo let go.
She turned to Edith whose gaze was suddenly fixated on the ground. "Are you okay?" Margo asked softly, tilting her sister's face upwards so she could see if there was any bruising. There wasn't, as Margo suspected only Edith's stomach had been hit.
Edith shook her off. "I'm fine," she murmured.
Margo realized that by the way Edith had been able to walk and by how she was standing, this must be true. Lauren hadn't truly hit her that hard, and Edith would probably receive only a few small bruises.
"Good," Margo said in relief, and then her eyes narrowed as her voice raised an angry octave. "Now, what were you thinking?" she shouted.
Edith scowled, and her head shot up as she fixed her sister with a glare. "She deserved what she got!"
"Edith, I don't care what she did first. You shouldn't have been fighting at all!"
"It's not what she did," Edith admitted, her voice a little softer this time. "It's what she said…"
Margo placed a hand on her hip. "Oh, and what did she say?"
Edith grew silent and pulled her beanie down, almost covering her eyes. "Nothing."
"No, come on, tell me," Margo prodded angrily. "If it's so important you had to fight because of it, then you should be able to tell me."
Edith glanced up at the Margo and then back to the floor. "It was…" she began hesitantly, "about you."
Edith glanced up at her once again. "She called you four-eyes, and she wouldn't take it back." Edith clenched her fists angrily, a scowl on her lips.
Margo swallowed and tried to push back the choking feeling of hurt that came from hearing Lauren's comment. She had to deal with her sister first and foremost.
"Edith," Margo began reasonably. "You still shouldn't have picked that fight."
"But-" she protested, and Margo shook her head.
"No, I don't care what she calls me, and you shouldn't either. It's not worth fighting over."
Edith frowned and kicked the ground stubbornly.
Margo sighed. She doubted her words had gotten through to her sister, but she didn't know what else to say.
"Alright," Margo said in a more cheerful tone. "It's Christmas Eve and you're not even in your pajamas yet. Come on."
The tree sisters sat on Edith's bed together. Margo was leaning against a pillow, and Edith was resting comfortably against her right arm. Agnes was in Margo's lap, hugging her unicorn toy to herself and singing softly.
Edith yawned. "It's Christmas tomorrow," she observed, and Margo noticed there was less enthusiasm in her voice then there was last year.
Margo couldn't blame her for not being as excited as Agnes, however. Christmas last year had been a huge disappointment to her two sisters. When they awoke in the orphanage last year there had been no decorations, no Christmas tree, and no presents. The only presents they received were the homemade ones they made for each other, and Margo knew it was going to be the same this year. In fact, Christmas at the orphanage was disappointingly no different than any other day of the year. Agnes seemed to be made of rubber and had easily bounced back from last Christmas. However, as tough as she was, Edith wasn't as resilient as Agnes.
"Do you think Santa is going to come this year?" Agnes asked, turning to look at her sisters with innocent excitement.
Edith scoffed. "You know Santa doesn't visit orphanages. He only gives presents to good children with parents'."
Agnes's eyes turned downcast, and Margo was worried she was about to cry, but then Agnes spoke again pleadingly. "Margo? When we have parents… do you think we will get presents from Santa?"
Margo sucked in a breath sharply. Swallowing, she tightly wrapped her arms around Agnes in a secure hug. "Y-yes, when we have parents we will get presents." She assured her. "Then it will finally be Christmas for us."
Edith pulled on Margo's pajama sleeve. "Tell us again," the little girl begged.
Agnes nodded. "Please, Margo. Tell us about our Mommy and Daddy that will adopt us."
Margo bit her lip. She had told her sisters this story again and again, changing the details slightly, but the basic story always stayed the same. Her sisters could never get enough of it.
"Alright." She nodded, playing absentmindedly with her sisters pony tail. She stared at the back of Agnes's head for a few seconds as she thought of a way to begin this tale. As soon as her sisters began to get restless, inspiration struck her. "Well, it was the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse," she recited softly. "The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. The children were nestled all snug in their bed, but this time, their names were Edith, Agnes and Margo instead."
Edith smiled widely at the improvisation and Agnes giggled.
"Now, these three children lived in a small, white house, and it was the most beautiful house you have ever seen," Margo described. "The front of the house had a beautiful green lawn and a big flower garden under the window. There were all types of flowers: blue ones, green ones, red ones, yellow ones…"
"Pink ones?" Edith asked.
"And even pink ones," Margo agreed. "And their backyard-"
"Had a unicorn?" Agnes asked hopefully.
Margo laughed. "No, but it had a swimming pool!"
"Really?" Agnes's eyes glowed.
Margo nodded. "But that's not the best part."
"What's the best part?" Edith whispered, scooting closer.
"Well, these three girls were in their bed, waiting for Christmas, just like we are doing now, when their Mom and Dad came in."
Agnes and Edith watched her in awe, barely daring to breathe.
"Their mom had beautiful golden hair that always shimmered in the light. And her eyes were always smiling, especially when she laughed… and her voice; it was the most beautiful thing in the world. It sounded like music to the girls." Margo swallowed as a lonely feeling engulfed her as she imagined the woman. "She was perfect… she never got mad at the girls, not even when they did something bad, because she loved them, and she told them that every day."
"She never got mad?" Edith asked in wonder. "Not even when they broke something?"
Margo shook her head, a mischievous smile on her face. "Nope, not even when the middle child got into a fight," she said as she reached out and tousled Edith's beanie affectionately. Edith swatted her hand away in protest.
Margo continued her story. "And their Dad… he had dark hair and hazel eyes that always sparkled when he laughed. He worked during the day, but he would come home early all the time. And once he put down his suitcase, the three girls would rush to him, and he would pick them all up at once in a warm hug. He wouldn't let them go until their mom came in the room to welcome him home."
"I like this Daddy," Agnes said with a sleepy yawn.
"He was the best Dad in the entire world," Margo assured them. "He was always kind, and laughed all the time. He would play with the girls, and give them piggyback rides..."
Margo remembered, most of all, how he loved to make her laugh. When she was in tears, and nothing could console her, she remembered rushing to her father, knowing he was the only one able to make the world right again. For the story that Margo was telling, every single detail of the mother and father came from her memories. Although her sisters didn't know this, and never would, she was describing her deceased parents.
Margo would give anything to be back in the fairytale she used to live, but this time, she wished to have her sisters with her.
She continued the story, her voice wavering unsteadily. A chill went through her chest, and her throat tightened, making it hard to breathe. "A-and he promised them… he promised her, that she would always be loved."
Suddenly, Margo clutched a hand to her chest as an old aching pain stabbed through her heart. She took in a shaky breath as she shut her eyes tightly, desperately willing the pain away. For that promise made to her had been shattered on the first cold, lonely night she had spent at the orphanage.
"Margo, are you crying?" Agnes asked as she turned to look at her sister.
"N-no," Margo denied stubbornly. She hastily wiped her face, just in case, and was surprised to find her hand was wet. "I'm just tired," she lied. "Maybe… maybe we should go to bed."
Both her sister's were staring up at her in hungry desperation.
"Just a tiny bit more!" Agnes begged.
"Yeah, I have to know what happens!"
Margo sighed, smiling slightly. "Okay, a little bit more." She thought for a second before taking a deep breath and continuing. "So, the three girls were lying in bed on Christmas eve. They were almost too excited to sleep! Then, their Mom came into the room and she tucked all three girls snugly into bed and sat down to read them a bedtime story, just like she did every night."
"They get bedtime stories?" Agnes asked amazed.
Margo nodded. "This time, story was called 'The Night before Christmas', and when she read it, it was like she sang the words on the page. Their father came in the room afterwards. He had been leaving milk and cookies out for Santa."
"Santa's coming?" Agnes interrupted again; her eyes wide with excitement.
Margo smirked. "You'll see. Their Mom and Dad told them to have sweet dreams, and then one by one, they gave the girls goodnight kisses and turned out the light."
Her sisters were watching her intensely as they hung on every word.
"Morning came, and they girls wandered out of their bedroom and into the living room. And do you know what they saw?"
Agnes shook her head wordlessly.
"What?" Edith whispered.
"Presents! Under the Christmas tree there were boxes of colorfully wrapped presents!"
Agnes squealed. "Santa did come!"
"That's right! And he left the three girls the toys they've always dreamed of!"
"A super soaker?"
Margo smiled at her sister's excitement. Even Edith was back in the spirit of Christmas. Unfortunately, it was just in time for her hopes to be crushed come morning.
Edith and Agnes began chatting excitedly about the toys they would get and Margo wished more than anything she could have given them something more this year. She had tried to save up with the tiny bit of money that found its way into her possession. One day she found a dollar bill while delivering cookies and she hoped that if she found more she could really buy something for her sisters. Unfortunately, no more money came her way, and now it was too late.
It wouldn't be so bad if her sisters just got something. They weren't picky; Margo knew they would be happy with any kind of present. Even a smallest piece of candy on Christmas morning would satisfy Agnes.
Edith was often teased by the girls at the orphanage that if she ever did get a present from Santa, she would get coal. But Margo thought that Edith wouldn't even mind if she did get coal. At least coal was something; at least coal meant someone was thinking of you.
"I like your story, Margo," Agnes complimented.
"Yeah, it was great!"
The three girls lapsed into silence, and Margo noticed their eyes were more distant than usual. She knew they were still thinking of those three little girls in the story who had the life they desperately wanted. Margo wondered if she was doing them a disservice by telling them these perfect stories. The Mom and the Dad in her tale were dead, and they weren't ever coming back. There was no such thing as the perfect parents she talked about, at least, not anymore. She had been feeding her sisters nothing but lies, and they had eaten them up hungrily. But no matter how many times Margo retold this story; she knew her sisters would never be satisfied.
"I can't wait to see Mommy and Daddy!" Agnes announced, wiggling gleefully. "I love them already! More than anything!"
"Yeah," Edith agreed, and then she clung to Margo's side, speaking barely above a whisper, "I love them too…"
"Margo?" Agnes turned around to look up at her with her unguarded eyes "Why haven't they come to get us yet?"
Margo stared down at her sisters and bit her lip. "Agnes, they're not-" Margo broke off. She couldn't tell her the truth; she couldn't tell them how the image that Margo had so vividly painted in their mind would never come true. She couldn't tell them that they loved nothing more than an idea, and that an idea couldn't love them back. And that's when she decided to tell them one more Christmas lie. "Don't worry guys, we'll be adopted soon."
Margo held them tightly. It was almost Christmas, and they deserved more than anyone she knew, to have hope in their heart.
It was the best present she could give them.
As they snuggled together in Edith's warm bed, Margo noticed Agnes had finally drifted off to sleep, and not a few minutes later, Edith did the same. Margo supposed they could sleep together for one night, even though the beds were already small enough without two extra bodies.
Margo found her eyes lids growing heavy, and her sisters' warm bodies were keeping the cool December air from chilling her. With one last tired yawn, Margo took off her glasses. She closed her eyes, knowing that the morning would bring heartache for her sisters that only new lies could sooth.
Margo opened her eyes to the sound of screaming.
"It's Christmas, Margo! Wake up! It's Christmas!" Agnes was shouting gleefully as she pulled insistently at Margo's covers.
"It's Christmas! Yeah! Get up sleepyhead!" Edith instructed, jumping in excitement. "You can't sleep in on Christmas!"
For a moment, Margo was a bit turned around by the abrupt awakening as she clumsily reached for her glasses.
Once she could see clearly, she cast a glance at her bed, and then around the room before her gaze landed on her sisters. At the sight of their excited expressions, an eager smile began working its way across her lips.
Christmas. Was it finally, finally Christmas?
But then Margo's smile faltered; what if… what if it wasn't what her sisters imagined. What if they had set their expectations too high? What if her sisters were devastated and it was all her fault? However, her sister's held no such reservations. Edith yanked her out of her bed and she wobbled groggily on the carpeted floor.
"Race ya!" Edith challenge and the two little girls took off before Margo could call after them.
She hoped they would be careful running downstairs. Those stairs could be perilous.
With some worry, Margo took off after them. She knew where they would be, and headed straight there.
When she arrived, Margo noticed her sisters' forms frozen in the entrance to the room. Worriedly, she called out her sister's names as she approached. Without getting and answer, she peeped into the room where she found-
Her breathe caught in her throat as her eyes landed on the source of her sisters' astonishment.
Next to the crocodile couch was the huge Christmas tree they had helped decorate, however, the base of the Christmas tree was completely obscured. There were almost too many to count.
Margo had never seen so many presents in her life.
The multi-colored packages of different size and shape completely surrounded the tree. They were packed together skillfully in order to conserve as much space as possible. And in the end, there wasn't enough room, and many of the larger packages were littered against the far wall.
"Santa! Santa came!" Agnes squeaked. She was bouncing with excitement, unable to move forward or do anything but simply jump for joy.
Without wasting another precious second, Margo tore her gaze away from the piles of presents to catch the looks on her sister's faces. She wanted to remember this, the first time she witnessed her sisters experiencing Christmas.
"Are any of those for me?" Agnes asked hopefully, staring wide-eyed and the miracle before her.
Margo felt torn between laughing and crying at her sister's question.
Cautiously and with her mouth slightly agape, Edith walked forward. She made it to the tree and leaned over to get a better look at a present. "Hey!" she shouted beaming. "There's one for me!" She examined another present. "And there's one for you too, Margo! And Agnes!"
Margo's throat became dry as she moved forward to get a better look. All the tags she had been able to make out were addressed to one of them. Their father had really outdone himself. Margo hadn't been expecting anything like this, because their Dad didn't really seem interested in the holiday thing. She felt like he had been just putting up with it, letting them do whatever they wanted, and hoping it would end quickly. One or two presents were all she thought to hope for, and mostly for her sisters' sake. She hadn't expected anything like this.
Agnes and Edith crowded around the presents, chatting excitedly about what each one might be. This time, when Margo heard them talk about presents, she knew they would actually be getting something.
Margo glanced at a particular present with her name on in. It was the right size and shape… but no, it couldn't be; she had only mentioned it to him once.
There was movement out of the corner of her eye, and Margo looked up to see her father in the doorway, watching them. He was wearing his pajamas and affectionate expression graced his features as he watched the girls awe over the sight. When he noticed Margo looking at him, his features melted into an unsure smile.
He walked into the room, still unnoticed by the two younger children.
"Deed I do al'ight?" he asked his oldest daughter quietly. He stood up straighter in an attempt to hide his nervousness. "Eet haz been a long tyme seence I 'ave done dee Chreestmas t'ing… I deedn't know what I waz supposed teh do. I wanted the geeve yoo gurls dee best Chreestmas. I hope eets alryght…"
Margo opened her mouth to speak, but there was nothing that could even describe... she shut her eyes and threw her arms around his middle; burring her head in his stomach.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
You have no idea what this means to us.
She felt Gru stiffen in surprise at first, but then he bent down and wrapped his arms around her gently.
"Merry Chreestmas, Keetten."
Her sister's had finally noticed their Dad's presents in the room.
He chuckled as they ran to be included in the hug. He caught them all in his arms easily.
"Eet looked like someone haz leeft all dese presents under my tree. I am wondereeng who dey are for?"
Edith was first to break away for the embrace. "Us! They're for us!" she shouted, jumping up and down.
"Reelly?" Their dad asked in fake astonishment.
"Yeah! Us!" Agnes chorused. "Santa brought them, Daddy!"
"Well den… I guess you better open dem!"
The three girls' eyes lit up.
"Okay," Margo began. "But first you have to open yours."
"Oh yeah! Your present!" Edith recalled eagerly. "You're going to love it!"
"My present?" he asked, and the confusion on his face made Margo giggle.
It seemed her and her sisters weren't going to be the only ones surprised this Christmas.
Warm laughter, excited shouts, and unreserved giggles filled the sunlit room.
Miracles are small things.
Like how strangers become sisters,
Christmas lies become truths,
And how a family finally whole, unwraps presents under a pine tree.
I hope you all liked it! It's not my favorite, but I was in a Christmas mood, and again, no self control when it comes to this movie. Plus, I've always wanted to show the girls in the orphanage dreaming up their perfect family, I've just never had the right motivation before.
And Shrine(me) has a recommendation if you're interested. I'm currently beta-ing this fic: Lunch Break and a Can of Worms by QuoteCentric
It's on fanfiction so if you have time, definitely check it out! It's very well-written DM fic and it has awesome characters. And once you meet Zoe, you will fall in love, promise! xD
Okay, I hope you all have an amazing Christmas, and you will hear from me again very soon! Please Review!