A/N Heyy you guyss!

So I got the ages from a reviewer, so I should be more accurate age-wise, now. (Thanks again!)

I am trying to make them longer, and so yeah.

Hey did I tell you guys that I'm in love? With a real boy? Who goes to my school? And has a girlfriend? Probably not, because I haven't told anyone.

But anyway, I am so happy I don't have to write like a little kid anymore. It makes me dizzy.

Also, I went back to the old style of writing because the other is too much work.

I don't cuss much, but little Michael does. :o

I put some sibling love in hurr.

Happy birthday Caitlin!

Okay, I'm done. Enjoy! And thanks so much for the reviews, I love you guys so much, and your tips mean so much to me, as does the fact that your actually reading this, and um, I don't own PD. Kciao.

Wednesday, October 22, 1994 (Michael is 11, Mia is 8)

It's embarrassing sometimes, when I'm playing kickball at recess, or whatever, and someone comes up to me and is all, Michael! Your little sister is fighting a fourth grader! And he's losing!

Well, you know, I don't care. Whether or not Lilly bites off some kid's finger is not my business. They shouldn't have been messing with her. Or Mia. Actually, if they'd been messing with Mia, I'd probably bite their finger off, too.

But that's different.

Anyway, by this point, everyone's looking at me, like I should be doing something. So I sigh, and I do. I follow the kid to where Lilly is tackling some punk in the middle of tattle-tale brats, I pull her off, tell her if she doesn't cut the hell out, she's going to juvy and then tougher, bigger kids are going kick her ass.

Oooh, Michael said a bad word!

Great. Now we'll get two letters home.

But this time (I'm playing foursquare) this third grader tugs on my shirt sleeve and tattles triumphantly, "Your sister is making Mia cry."

I'm walking away from the square already. "Where?" I ask sternly. The library, he says, and so I go there.

I almost shouted, but it's a library, and Mrs. Kox is kind of scary. I look edaround the corner and I found them sitting at a table.

If you hadn't been paying attention, you couldn't have been able to tell what was wrong.

Mia had artfully pushed her wild mass of almost-blonde hair into her face, and she kept her head low to the table and her eyes only poked out from underneath her hand. She was holding in her other hand a pencil and was shaking over a blank math worksheet.

Lilly was sitting across from her, shamelessly indignant, with her arms crossed as she leaned back in her chair, watching Mia tremble.

I cupped Lilly's shoulder and whispered, "Jesus, Lilly. You broke Thermopolis." I was trying to put humor into this, but the scene was too heartbreaking. I was too furious.

Mia didn't move, but Lilly turned to glare at me. "What, do you want, Michael?" She hissed.

"I want to know why you're making your supposedly best friend cry."

Lilly stood and turned towards me, looking irritated.

Here begins Lilly-Michael sibling banter.

"Supposedly nothing. Mia is my best friend, and I am helping her."

"Oh really? By making her break down in the middle of the library?"

"It's part of the process, if you must know. Why do you care, anyway? Do you just follow Mia around, waiting for her to be in trouble so you can save her like the damsel she is, sir knight?"

I scoffed. "Actually, Lilith, one of your classmates told me, and as for Mia being a damsel, she wouldn't have to if you weren't such a fat old witch-dragon."

"Shut the hell up, Michael. If it weren't for me, Mia would rupture. You don't do anything but stalk her like some kind of pedophilic creep."

"I think that maybe your wrong, Lilly. For once in your life, did you think that maybe you were wrong? That you're the one that needs Mia and you're just pushing her away like you do everything good in your life? Also, I am only two years older than Mia. And I don't stalk her. I just want to make sure that you don't diminish my- your relationship with a girl I'd rather be related to."

Mia squeaked, holding in a sob behind Lilly.

"Right. Right, that's it, exactly. You know what, Michael? I hate you. I hate you so much, and I wish I were an only child again!"

She shouted the last part, gathering up all her junk, with a deadly glare and SHHHHH from Mrs. Kox at the front desk.

"You were never an only child," I murmured, watching her leave.

"I wish I were. Also, Michael, we're Jewish. Find another exclamation to use in daily conversation."

She walked away.

I looked around saw that the whole library was looking at us. I glared at each person individually and they quickly went back to reading their Dr. Seuss.

Mia now hid behind both hands, her arms trembling.

I pulled the chair Lilly had been sitting in closer to Mia's and sat down.

I yanked her hands from her face. "Don't do that," her face was red and the hair around her face was sweaty. "You know how you can't take too much heat when your upset."

Grabbing her skinny arm, I peeled a blue hair band from her wrist and pushed the heavy hair from her neck. I pulled it into an awkward, high ponytail on her head.

She stared at the table.

"So. What was this even about?" I ask. Mia wordlessly pushed the worksheet in front of her towards me.

It was crumpled and marked with erased numbers. Damp with a couple of tear drops.

"Lilly-" hiccup "she said I need to learn how to do things without help. How to tough it out."

Really? This is what this was all about? Mia's crying because her best friend didn't want to help her with…rounding?

I pat Mia's back and she sighed. I don't talk to her much, but when I do, she always seems to be some kind of upset, and I seem to be, in some way, trying to make her…stop doing that.

I just don't like watching her be sad.

I can ignore her for a month, passing her on the playground, getting something from her teacher, in my own house, but I can't ignore a, well, a damsel Mia.

"Look, Thermopolis, I'm going to tell you a secret." She looked up at me hopefully. "Lilly, is a hag. I don't know why you would want to be friends with her, but I'm glad you are, and not some other annoying third grade girl."

She almost smiled.

The bell rang, then, and I stood up.

"Tell Lilly to walk herself home. I'll help you with your rounding after school, okay?"

Mia nodded, and I left.

The school library closed two hours after school ended. I was waiting outside when Mia was let out of her class.

Her hair was back down, and she was hiding behind it again. "Hey, Michael," she murmured.

I only smiled and pulled her into the library.

"You two be quiet, back there," Mrs. Kox called as we made our way into the back room.

Mia pulled out the worksheet and I pulled my chair close to hers.

"Okay," I whispered with a smile, my shoulder touching hers. "You can count to ten, right, Thermopolis?"

Mia rolled her eyes. "Yes I can, thank you."

"Good, well, rounding is really simple because all you have to do is remember that 1 through four are…"

By four, when the library closed, Mia and I were huddled side by side, in silent laughter, and she could round like nobody's business.

I was walking her home.

"Okay, okay, wait. How about this one," Mia sputtered as we walked through dimming streets. "Life is like a box of chocolates," she drawled. "You never know what you're gunna get."

I laughed at her impression, glad I had just recently been forced to see this movie. "Forrest Gump. Thermopolis, a hard one?"

Mia rolled her eyes and smiled. "Fine," she cleared her throat and murmured in a deep voice, "In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who persecute offenders. These are their-"

"Really?" I was laughing too hard to breathe. People on the street were giving me weird looks. "You memorized that whole thing?"

"Well. Yeah. It's the closest thing they have to a theme song, so I have to learn it. It's favorite show code." Mia said like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

I smiled at her. "I love Law and Order,"

"Me too. When I grow up, I want to be a lawyer." She said eagerly.

"I thought you wanted to be a princess?" I teased. I still have that picture somewhere…

She blushed. "When I was like six. Now, I have more realistic goals."

We were in front of her loft. She pushed the button next to the name Thermopolis, still looking at me.

"Hello?" Ms. Thermopolis' voice called.

"Mom, it's me."

"Mia! Oh, my God, Mia! Where have you been? Come up here, right now!" The box buzzed and the door clicked.

I furrowed my brow. "I'm sorry," I tell her.

She shrugged. "My mom will be happy I know how to round." and then she's gone.

"Michael, where have you been?" I almost laughed when my mom screeched the same way Mia's did.

"With Mia," I told her. Her furry melted to confusion. "She needed help with homework. Where's Lilly?"

She was in her room, and so I went there, knocking tentatively on her door.

"Lil?" I mumbled.

"I would rather die than ever talk to you ever again you monster!" she yelled back. It was worse than I had thought; tears weakened her voice.

I opened the door, and dodged a flying pillow as I entered.

Lilly hid on her bare bed, her face stuffed in the mattress, because she had just discarded her pillow. Her legs and arms sprawled wildly.

"Hey, Lil, I'm sorry." I stood awkwardly in the doorway. She made no response.

I closed the door and made my way to her bed. I sat by her bare feet. I tickled the pad of her foot half-heartedly, with the tip of my finger, and she nearly kicked me in the face.

"I'm sorry." I said again. "I can die, if you want. Then you can be an only child, again."

Lilly pushed her torso up and turned towards me, face identical to how Mia's had been earlier that day. "You-you can't have her, Michael, she's mine."

I raised my eyebrows. "You think I…want Mia? Like, what? She's a third grader, Lilly. I mean, like, I'm not going to…like, date her or whatever. I don't even- She's eight. I babysit her. God, Lilly. I never even-"

"No," She groaned. "You want her- as your- little sister!" She sobbed.

I almost laughed in relief. "Lilly," I huffed. "I didn't mean that. Mia's cool. She's really cool. But she could not handle being a Moscovitz."

Lilly fell back onto the bed and her body shook with silent sobs.

"She could never put up with our parents like you do. She could never put up with me."

I got up and walked around Lilly's bed. I grabbed her hands, half expecting her to attack me, but she didn't. I pulled her off the bed, with no help from her at all.

After a lot of work, I got the dead weight to stand. I led her to the long mirror on her wall and tucked her into my side.

I smiled at us. Our Moscovitz reflections.

She wouldn't look up.

I looked. I never realized how much we looked alike.

We had the same frown (and smile, if she would do just that)

The same thin brown hair, though mine framed my face and fell into my eyes, too-long, and hers pushed out of her face to curl down her shoulders. Shoulders that were just high enough for my arm to rest on, perfectly.

We had the same deep brown deer eyes and the same damn freckles over our cheeks and noses (though her nose was buttoned). I noticed with surprise that both of our tongues flicked out to lick chapped lips at the same time.

Freaky.

"I wouldn't trade you for anyone, Lilly." I told our reflections. I saw Lilly's peek up to stare at us too. "I love you. I guess. Or whatever."

She smiled. Kind of.

I pulled her shoulders toward me and stuck my fist in her hair, the moment too much for both of us. "Noogie!" I cried, rubbing my knuckles across her scalp.

"Ow! God, Michael, I'll kill you!"