Disclaimer: I do NOT own these characters or TLW....only this storyline! No I'm not making any money either.
Author Notes: This is my second TLW fan fic, please ignore the grammar mistakes: Sorry!
Please Review!!! I love reviews

Birthday Surprise

The treehouse was quiet in the early morning hours. Lord John Roxton sat at the table sewing a piece of red velvet cloth. *Now if I can just tie this off here...* His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs. He quickly hid the material under the table and looked up to find Veronica standing there.

"Whew, It's only you. I thought you were Marguerite," he said. He went back to working on the red cloth. Veronica smiled at Roxton. He had been working on that dress for days. Suddenly Roxton held up the dress and announced, "Finished".

The dress was made of some old material of Veronica's mother, which Veronica agreed to part with since it was Marguerites birthday. Roxton wanted to make something special for her, and thought she would like something to make her feel civilized.

Veronica looked the dress over, "It looks really good, Roxton. Where did you learn how to sew like that anyhow?"

"I watched Marguerite one day, for educational purposes of course." He winked at her and Veronica grinned.

"I wonder why she didn't tell us it was her birthday?"

"Who knows. To tell you the truth I was a bit shocked. Marguerite pass up the opportunity for gifts?"

Ned Malone came down the stairs and caught the last part of Roxton's sentence and said, "You and me both." Malone said his good mornings and started to fix his morning coffee.

Veronica and Ned sat at the table with Roxton and discussed the plans for Marguerite's surprise party. Veronica and Roxton were to stay and decorate, Challenger was still working on her present that was still a mystery to everyone, and Malone was to take Marguerite on a wild goose chase to get her out of the house.

"I think I'm going to tell her I need her to translate something I found in a cave not far from here," Malone said while he sipped his coffee, "I hope that will work."

"All right then, be back in about 4 hours. The dinner and decorating should be done by then. Hopefully Challenger will be finished too," Veronica said, "Any questions?"


Marguerite Krux awoke to the sound of Malone nagging her to go with him to translate some cave. *Can't they leave me alone for one day?* she thought. "All right Malone, it's not going anywhere don't worry. I'll be ready in a bit okay?" She sighed...*Some birthday*


Marguerite and Malone had been out for two hours, Marguerite had been complaining the whole time. "Ned! Are we there yet?"

"I told you 3 minutes ago, it's just a little further." Malone was getting weary of her complaining. *Only 2 more hours*

"Where is this cave anyway, I don't recall any being around here." Marguerite looked around at the surroundings. The only thing coming up was a stream. *Hmm...maybe Malone will let us stop and rest up here* "Malone, can we stop here? I want to clean up."

"Yeah, lets stop here." Ned threw his pack on the ground and took off his boots and stuck his feet in the water.

"Now there's a good idea", Marguerite said as she did the same. They sat on the bank of the river and made small talk for a few minutes. Finally Malone wanted to know what was bothering Marguerite. She had been acting funny all week. *Better start with something simple*

"I heard you were sad when I left on my little adventure." Malone just had to know, Roxton had told him weeks earlier that Marguerite had not been happy when he left to find his story.

Marguerite jerked her head around, "What!"

"Roxton told me, you weren't very happy."

"Well of course not, nobody was around to make coffee. I had to help do your share of the work." Marguerite wondered what brought this topic up. She couldn't let Malone know that she thought of him as almost a pesky little brother, so she had to cover her tracks.

"You know, Marguerite, It's okay to let the others know you care. We won't think any less of you. You've been there for us these past 3 years, just as we've been there for you."

"Malone your talking non-sense. What has gotten into you lately anyway? You've been playing philosopher ever since you got back."

"I just learned some things, about myself and everyone else too." Malone looked down, but continued, "Roxton also told me about the birth certificate."
Marguerite looked at him stunned. *When had Roxton and Malone become some chummy and start to gossip anyways?*

"What do you want Malone?"

"Marguerite, I don't want anything. I just....I just wonder what makes you tick ya know. Lately I've noticed you've been kind of withdrawn."

Marguerite looked at her lap. She had been feeling bad for a week now, with her birthday coming up. Or rather the day she celebrated her birthday on, she had no idea when it really was. Collum had brought back a lot of memories for her, Ned and Veronica had come back, and she just didn't know what to feel. Roxton and her had slowly begun to work things out, but it was hard when you had Challenger, Veronica, and Ned hanging around all the time.

Malone watched as the heiress stared at the water, deep in thought. He felt like should tell her the truth. "Marguerite I have to tell you something. You'll probably kill me, but I promise it was an accident and I had the best intentions."


"Well a few days ago, I was looking for my journal and I thought I found it, but it was actually yours....I didn't know I swear. Anyway, I saw that you wrote today was your birthday and I told the others and they're decorating for your party right now." It all came out in a rush, and Ned took a deep breath and waited for the screaming to start.

Marguerite looked at him, and she was speechless. Sure she was angry that he read her journal, but was touched that they cared enough to throw her a party. "Malone....I...I don't know what to say?"

"Well that's a first." He smiled because he knew he'd done the right thing. She wasn't mad after all....*At least I hope she isn't*

"Do you know this is the first party anyone has thrown me and they weren't obligated?"

"What do you mean?" Ned heard the sadness in her voice and wondered now if he had done the right thing by telling the others.

"When I lived at the boarding schools they were obligated to throw the girls birthday parties. I turned 18 and went out on my own and there was nobody for me." She remembered painfully all the times she spent alone on holidays, birthdays, and just days in general.

"I'm sorry, Marguerite." Malone had never seen this side of her before. She had always been the strong, intelligent, and sometimes selfish woman. Now she looked so frail. "Do you even know what happened to your parents?"

She gave a small smile, "No. In a way Veronica and I are searching for the same thing. Answers."

Malone looked back at the water, and he remember her present. "Here I might as well give you this now. Happy Birthday."

He handed her a small pouch. She opened it and poured the contents in her hand. There laid 5 fairly good sized, rough diamonds. She gave Malone a 1000 watt smile.

"Ned! Thank you, there beautiful." Marguerite have him a genuine smile and hug. She laughed, "I can't believe you guys went through this much trouble. I take it there is no cave?"

"Nope, sorry. Oh I also have one more thing for you, but if you tell Roxton I'll kill you." Ned reached in his backpack and pulled out the voodoo doll Danielle had left a year ago. "I thought you needed some cheering up and I knew this would make your day."

Marguerite eyes lit up, "Where did you find it?"

"A few months back I found it in Roxton's room while I was looking for him. He left it on the bed and I forgot about it until the other day."

"Ohhhhh...I can't wait to use this..."

"Uhhh...maybe I shouldn't have gave you that." Malone saw the gleam in her eye and was worried now.

"I'm just kidding, Ned. I won't hurt him......that much." Marguerite laughed again. She put her presents in her backpack and pulled her boots on. "Come on Malone, let's get going."

"Okay, but remember when they yell SURPRISE, you better act like it."

"I know, I know..come on, I want to see what Roxton got me!"

They started back to the treehouse and walked in each others company with a newfound feeling. Marguerite felt like she had finally truly connected with Malone. Malone felt the same, he finally understood her. Well at least a little.

"Malone you know, if I had a brother...I hope he'd be like you. And if you ever tell anyone I said that, I'll deny the whole thing!" She laughed and ruffled his hair.

"I promise I won't tell." Malone followed her back into the jungle with his hands crossed behind his back.


At the treehouse Roxton stood at the balcony impatiently waiting for Marguerite and Malone to return. *What the hell is taking them so long?*

Veronica finished hanging up the last of the decorations and was now starting to set the food out. "Are they coming yet?"

"No not yet, I wish they would hurr....Wait I see them." Roxton, Veronica and Challenger stood in front of the elevator waiting for their friends.

The elevator came to a stop and when Marguerite and Malone stepped off they were greeted with a loud, "SURPRISE!!"

Marguerite made her eyes go wide and let her jaw hang open and she pretended to have no clue to what was going on. "What is this?"

Roxton spoke up first, "Happy Birthday Marguerite." He grabbed her hands and let her into the kitchen where there laid neatly wrapped presents and a wide selection of food.

"How did you know it was my birthday?" She pretended to be interested in the story Malone repeated from earlier that day. She gave her friends and hug and also gave Roxton a quick kiss on the lips, much to his surprise. She had never been so affectionate in front of the others.

They gave Marguerite their presents and she squealed with delight when she opened the first one from Challenger. "BUBBLE BATH! George how did you make it? On second thought I don't want to know, but thank you so much."

Challenger returned her hug, "Your welcome, my dear. Let me know when you run out and I will make you some more."

Veronica went next and presented Marguerite with a box. When she opened it she looked up in surprise, Veronica explained, "It was my mothers favorite." Marguerite lifted the silk robe out of the box and stroked the soft fabric lightly.

"Thank you Veronica, it's beautiful." She also gave her a hug

Finally Roxton took his present and graciously presented it to Marguerite. She took a deep breath and smiled. There were scarves covering something red, she lifted the scarves and felt the deep red material. When she lifted it out of the box, she gasped.

"Roxton, it's gorgeous. How.."

Roxton cut her off, "Veronica gave me some of her mother's material and I made it for you. Remember all those times I would sit and watch you sew? I was actually paying attention, believe it or not."

"Oh I believe it now, Roxton, it really is beautiful. Thank you" Marguerite hugged him, and went to kiss him on the cheek, but Roxton turned his head and caught her lips. He kissed her softly and when he backed away he saw the faintest blush on her cheeks. The others grinned at each other, while Marguerite kept her head down until she recovered moments later.

Challenger spoke up, "Well I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm starving. Let's eat shall we?"

They all sat down and ate dinner with high spirits. They shared funny stories and memories that kept the good mood up. Roxton's smile got wider when he felt Marguerite snake her hand under table, and grab his hand and squeeze. When they finished dinner they all sat in front of the fire and one by one drifted off the sleep. Later that night, Malone found Marguerite sitting on the balcony staring at the stars.

"Marguerite, what are you still doing up?"

"Nothing, just looking at the stars. When I was a little girl I used to stare up at the stars and pretend that my parents were looking at the same stars and thinking about me. Pretty silly, huh?"

Malone squeezed her hand, "No. I bet they had their reasons, and one day you'll find them and will be able to ask yourself. Now, until then go back to sleep...you need it. Your making breakfast tomorrow morning." He chuckled and started off for his room, but stopped at the sound of her voice again.

"Thanks again Malone. I really appreciated today."

"Your welcome." He headed off to his room.

Marguerite started off back to bed and stopped to watch Roxton sleep on the make-shift couch. The soft glow of the fire reflected off his skin and made him look like a little boy dreaming peacefully. She leaned down and kissed his forehead softly. His eyes fluttered open and he smiled sleepily at her. Before she knew it he had grabbed her hands and pulled her down next to him. She snuggled in and they both fell back asleep. Her last thoughts were how much she enjoyed her new-found friendship with Malone, her relationship with Roxton, and how much she felt like she finally belonged to a family. Before sleep over came her, she also remembered....how much fun she was going to have with that voodoo doll.....