Disclaimer: I do not own the anime Le Chevailer D'Eon or its characters. If I did, the ending would be very different indeed…
This is an AU, modern times fic and a sequel to East meets West.
In the epilogue of East meets West, Maximilien and Lia got married and became the proud parents of twins. This fic is set about 2 years afterwards when the twins are in the terrible twos. Expect an older Robin and more mature Anna at 18.
1. Letter from Spain
It started with a letter. It looked innocent enough in its official white envelope and Spanish postmark. Between spoons of cereal, Maximilien browsed through the bills and mail until he came to the letter. He almost knocked over the milk jug in his haste. "Lia, Grandaunt Johanna has passed away in Seville…"
"Aunt Johanna de Loco?" Lia frowned slightly at the mention of Maximilien's eccentric grandaunt. Maximilien Jr gurgled and flicked a spoon of porridge at his sister's face. His twin sister promptly retaliated by emptying her bowl down his front. Little Maximilien wailed as the porridge scalded him. "Natalia! You naughty child!" Lia hurriedly fished her son out of his highchair while Maximilien smacked Natalia lightly across the bottom for her mischief. Parenting a pair of rambunctious two-year-olds was no easy task, even for the high-flying pair of TV anchor Lia and her producer husband Maximilien.
They would miss having Aunt Johanna care for the children when they visited her in Seville. The old dame did have some rather unusual ideas about childrearing, like allowing the kids to potter freely about her old-fashioned kitchen with its hot stoves and butcher knives and frolic with her dogs in the garden. Natalia crawled into the oven once when the old lady was baking cookies. Thankfully, Lia was on hand to yank her daughter out before the gas was turned on. And her brother almost drowned when he tumbled into the cider barrel, head-first. If it weren't for Maximilien Sr. popping in just in time to haul his son out by the heels… And the garden! The tots never had so much dirt on them, and Aunt Johanna's Great Dane hauling little Max about by his rompers while Natalia had her little head thoroughly licked by that Rottweiler.
"Well, the good news, Mon Cherie, is that she left the twins a sizeable trust fund for their college education," Maximilien announced.
"That's so sweet of her!" Lia exclaimed. "The bad news is that my loser of a cousin Carl is alleging that we influenced Aunt Johanna's decision and she's mentally unsound when she made her will," Maximilien added. "He was to inherit her estate before she disowned him."
"That will never do! We have to go to the lawyers and sort this mess out!" Lia said as she changed her son's clothes. "The lawyer's in Seville. We have to make a trip there… we could take a few days off and bring the kids…" Maximilien mused.
"No, we can't… the kids have to take their booster shots next week… There is no telling how long we have to stay… Oh, I really wish Anna hadn't taken up that job at the clinic," Lia bounced her son on her hip and dropped a kiss into her daughter's hair. Their regular babysitter was no longer available. An idea popped into her mind…
Maybe they could go to Seville, without the twins… D'Eon could never turn his sister down.
"Bonjour, D'Eon. Hope you got the drinks and chips ready!" Durand's voice bellowed over the phone. "We'll be there ten-ish… once I convince our young man here that roast ham is a must for all gatherings!"
"But I'm vegetarian!" Robin's voice chirped in the background. "If you don't eat your bacon and eggs, you'll continue sounding like a chipmunk," Durand teased. "How about some pate fois gras?"
"Just bring the wine and potato chips, is Teillagory coming too?" D'Eon enquired. "Nope, the man's a staunch Ocelot fan. I can't figure out why. I mean they have never made the French Premier finals since 1950. I lost big time on the semi-finals Marseilles Drakes versus the Ocelots. The old man will be hanging out at the Café de Rouen with the other old geezers who still remember the 1950's game."
"Maybe that's why," D'Eon grinned as he bid the pair goodbye. It was the day of the big game between the Parisian Wolves and Orleans Ocelots. He hung up and went back into the kitchen to finish up cooking the salsa for the chips. They would gather with the intent of catching the French Cup on D'Eon's new flat-screen plasma TV and cheering on their favourite team Parisian Wolves. Chips, salsa and the beer in the fridge would provide good refreshment.
Durand had been promoted and was now special effects manager at Vee-TV. Robin had turned vegetarian as part of his growing interest in Buddhist spirituality, much to his Catholic grandfather's disgust and Durand's amusement. Durand just would not stop trying to tempt the poor teen with meat pies, fragrant hams and roast goose. To his credit, Robin has yet to cave in. However, Lia said it was probably a passing phase? Hadn't she explored Zen Buddhism during her Japanese student exchange? She was still a Catholic, wasn't she? Not exactly practising but Christian all the same.
D'Eon stepped through the living room. His apartment was small but cosy. Actually, it was Maximilien's old apartment which he let out to D'Eon for free. D'Eon was still unemployed and looking for a job after he graduated from his liberal arts course. Lia had suggested that he sign up at Vee-TV but he was not too keen on following Lia into showbiz. Not after he had stood in for her, in a dress. The furniture in his apartment was also Maximilien's old stuff, except for the plasma TV. D'Eon had won that in a lucky draw.
The doorbell rang. That was fast! D'Eon put down the bowl of salsa he was mixing, rinsed his hands and wiped them on his apron. "Coming!" he undid the latch.
"Lia? Max?" The couple stood at the door, each carrying one offspring. The little boy was dressed in a natty sailor suit while his sister sported a matching sailor-dress. They were sucking on matching pacifiers. In addition, Maximilien was carrying a large bag over his shoulder. Lia was carrying a cooler. "D'Eon, we have a train to catch," Lia said brusquely. She almost thrust Natalia into his face and started rattling off a list of instructions. Maximilien was biting his lower lip to stifle his laughter at the apron D'Eon was wearing. The apron sported red hearts and a pair of heart-shaped pockets. The English words 'KISS THE COOK' were printed over D'Eon's chest. D'Eon ripped off the garment and stuffed it behind the sofa once he realised the source of his brother-in-law's amusement.
"Could you loan that to Lia someday?" Maximilien asked. "She can keep it…" D'Eon replied and placed his niece on the sofa.
"D'Eon, are you listening?" Lia asked. "Never mind, I wrote it all down just in case. Don't forget to take them to the clinic for their booster shots this afternoon. You still have the playpen Maximilien set up in his study, right?" she thrust a thick notebook at D'Eon.
"Yes…" D'Eon's thoughts immediately went to the former study which had since been converted into a storeroom. Maximilien had set up the playpen expecting Lia to move in with him. However, he eventually moved in with Lia at her apartment when D'Eon moved out. The playpen was left behind to be buried under the debris the previous tenant and later D'Eon had accumulated. Maximilien allowed his son to sit on the sofa beside his little girl.
"You could just put them inside. They will be no trouble at all…" Lia placed the cooler on the kitchen countertop. "Here's their breast milk…"
"Yes, D'Eon. Are you listening?" Lia snapped. "We have a plane to catch! Make sure they get their mother's milk…"
"At the age of two?"
"Yes, I believe in giving my kids the very best nutrition, up to the age of three and above…" Lia replied tartly and glared at D'Eon.
"Your sister is a bit grouchy after sitting up all night expressing that milk," Maximilien placed a reassuring hand on his wife's shoulder and stroked her hair. "We will be gone for three days and back by Thursday. You still have the keys to our place, don't you?" D'Eon nodded.
"You could drop by our place if you need more clothes for them. The children's stuff is in the nursery," Maximilien said. "We really must go…" he gently steered Lia to the door. D'Eon heard the door click shut. Well, how bad could caring for two toddlers be? D'Eon thought. He could leave them on the sofa while he dug out the playpen…
He strolled out to the living room just in time to catch twins in the act of climbing up onto the window sill. "No!" D'Eon dashed forward to grab one twin in each arm. He looked through the open window to see Lia and Maximilien Sr. getting into their car seven storeys below. Lia cast her eyes upwards to the window.
"Wave to mama and papa," D'Eon said shakily. The twins obediently waved their small hands at their parents. Natalia even made a show of blowing kisses to her parents. D'Eon let out at audible sigh of relief. That was close. Lia would definitely kill him if any of the twins were to fall to their deaths within minutes of being entrusted to his care. The blissfully oblivious parents revved up their Austin and started off for Charles de Gaulle airport.
"Whatever shall I do with you?" D'Eon said to the tots after he shut and fastened the windows firmly. He browsed through the detailed instructions Lia had written in the notebook. Well, well… the tots have an appointment at the paediatric clinic on Champs-Élysées, where Anna's working… Maybe there was an upside to this caper. The twins sucked on their pacifiers and stared curiously at their uncle. Quietly, they slipped off the sofa and tottered to the kitchen.
"Max? Natalia?" D'Eon looked up from reading the notebook to find both tots gone from the living room. Sensing trouble, he hastened to the kitchen. There was a loud crash of breaking glass.
"No!" D'Eon stared at the mess in the kitchen. The shattered salsa bowl lay upside down on the floor between the twins. The twins' smart white sailor suits were smeared with its contents, as were their hands and innocent-looking faces. D'Eon grabbed both tots, hurried them to the bathroom and stripped them to their diapers. They looked as like as two peas in a pod with their halo of blond hair and blue eyes. Grateful that they had no injuries from the broken bowl, he proceeded to clean their faces and hands. He was sure there was a spare change of clothes in the bag their parents left. He went to fetch the clothes.
D'Eon has his work cut out for him. The twins are in their terrible twos. At that age, kids are starting to explore their world and walk, getting into loads of trouble. Double trouble.
Expect more hilarious capers with our Musketeers babysitting.