Author's Note: Hey everyone. Sorry for the wait for this chapter. I've just finished my second week of cert 4 in Networking and these past two weeks I've just been too exhausted from everything that I've been doing in class (learning about CISCO and how to use Switches and connect them to computers and to other switches and the programs you have to use to do all this) to do any writing. I find it all very interesting of course, I've just been feeling exhausted and have been having brain overloads almost everyday.
Anyway, enough of my whining, here is chapter 13, second to last chapter of this fic. It is the last chapter for this fic, and then I have the epilogue which is Michael's graduation.
And then, I think, I'm going to have to take a break from writing this series. Just for a little while, just until I have my course under control, so that I don't feel like I'm drowning in it and in control of what I'm doing, because seriously, Networking is not easy. My brain, feels like it's going to explode! Which might have me writing book six just to keep me sane. But I don't know, so don't be expecting book six, like, next week.
Give me a few to get my act together with the networking.


Chapter Thirteen

Well, to say that I had any idea that the night of my senior prom would end the way it did, then I'd be lying my ass off.

Though, it is kind of amazing, really. I mean, who would have thought, starting the night playing with your band at your senior prom and then ending it in the waiting room of St Vincent's Maternity Ward, waiting to meet your girlfriend's new baby brother or sister.

It was a baby boy, by the way.

Rocky is his name, which according to Mia, is a much better name than several of the other names that her mom and Mr G had previously come up with. I think one of those names were Sartre?

Anyway, Mia is ecstatic about him.

I thought that she might have been disappointed about not having a baby sister, but with the way that she was grinning when both the nurse and then Mr G came out to tell us that the baby was a boy, I don't think she minds too greatly about having a baby brother. Even with Lil - Yes, of course Lilly turned up! It's Lilly! Tina apparently rang her from the Prom, telling her what had happened, and she decided, since she had nothing else better to do at home, to come here and annoy us. - saying brothers aren't all that great, giving me a pointed look as she said it, which I ignored and simply had Mia sticking her tongue back at her.

I think the only thing that really disappointed Mia was the fact that she wasn't able to hold him, due to him being born six weeks early and having to be placed in an incubator due to his small size (he only weighs something like four ounces! He's so tiny!). But otherwise, I don't think I've seen her grin as much as I had that night. She was just so happy that she a baby brother and amused by the crowd on which accompanied her mom to hospital to have her baby brother.

And it was quite a crowd too, even before Mia, Lars and I (and Lilly, later on) arrived. When we arrived at the Maternity Ward we were met by Clarisse - who looked very pleased and smug with herself, and for once, and I say this grudgingly, she had a right to be, because if it hadn't been for her, little Rocky would have been born right there in the Loft, without any medical aid, which would have been seriously bad considering that he is six weeks early and is so small and needed a real hard hit of oxygen before his lungs really got going. If it hadn't been for her quick actions, yelling at people and so on, Rocky's birth could have been much more disastrous. Mind you, it wasn't soon after Rocky's actual birth and our meeting him, that she soon fell fast asleep in one of the hospital's waiting chairs, so I guess, she does have a right to feel a little smug with herself. – Mia's next door neighbour Ronnie – who waved at me energetically with a wide grin. Anyone else, I would have been a little disturbed and worried, but with Ronnie, he's/she's been like this with me for years, so I simply waved and grinned back. – Mia's downstairs neighbour, Verl – who was watching everyone in the ward a little suspiciously – and the cabbie who drove them (including Helen and Mr G, but they were already in the delivery room when we arrived) all here. Which is impressive, given the size of New York cabs, so I guess I can't fault him for sticking around, demanding to be paid the full charge of getting them all there, along with a fairly impressive tip for actually doing so, with so many passengers, plus demanding to be compensated for the damage that Ronnie's stilettos did to his floor mats. It was only when Mia's dad arrived did he shut up and leave, and that was only because Philippe threw a hundred dollar bill at him.

Anyway, it was quite an impressive group that formed in the waiting room of St Vincent Maternity ward, all waiting for news on one baby. And then again, waiting, once baby was born and put into his incubator, for his mother to recover from his birth. Not that we were bored, not with all the interesting people that we had around us to keep us entertained.

I was listening to a rather amusing story that Ronnie was telling us (which I will not go into detail here for fear of scarring impressionable young minds), when I heard Mia, who was sitting next to me, asking (and I know for the millionth time, if Philippe's exasperated expression was anything to go by) if, now that she had a little, baby brother, could she stay in New York for the whole summer, so as to get to know him.

Philippe rubbed his eyes wearily and replied (for the millionth time, I'm sure) that Mia had signed a contract and she was to stick by what she agreed to.

Now, I honestly don't know what possessed me to say what I did next, maybe the simple desire of having my girlfriend around for the whole summer.

Anyway, whatever it was, I still can't believe I said what I did… and got away with it with only a look of 'you and I are seriously going to have to talk' from Philippe.

I simply looked Philippe straight in the face and said, "Actually, sir, legally, minors can't enter into contracts and so, according to New York State law you cannot hold Mia to any document she might have signed, as she was under sixteen at the time making it invalid."

My heart pounded madly behind my ears as I watched his face. God, for a moment there I thought I had caused him to have coronary.

Thank god, he didn't (and also thank god, we were in a hospital, if he actually did have one). Instead he just gave me this long, hard look. Which I returned even with my heart pounding madly in my ears and I was silently panicking that he was going to tell me to get the hell away from his daughter and that I was never allowed to see her ever again.

Even with all that going on inside of me, I tried to keep my face calm and cool, meeting his eyes even though in truth, all I really wanted to do was lower mine, say that I was very sorry and that I promise to shut up from now on, just let me keep dating your daughter.

"Well… will see." I blinked in surprise as Philippe said that, looking very grim indeed before moving off towards Clarisse, rousing her so that they could return to the Plaza, even though Clarisse argued that she should return and remain at the Loft for the time being to help out with little Rocky (or as she's been calling him her 'gwate big widdle man'. The kid is going to be scarred by her before he turns five!).

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mia's face fall (for the first time all night) in horror, echoing my very own feelings of horror at the thought of Clarisse remaining at the Loft for any longer than she had already stayed.

"Mia," Philippe said turning away from his ushering of Clarisse out of the waiting room, to where Mia was still sitting by my side.

"Um, yes Dad?"

"You should probably go and get some sleep too," he glanced at me, the hard look was still in his eyes as he did so, "Your parents wouldn't mind Mia staying over at yours for the night, would they?"

"No, of course." I replied calmly, or as calmly as I could under his still hard gaze. Now I understand why he is such a good politician. All he has to do is look at you with those eyes and you find yourself doing what he wants, whether you want to or not. "They'd be happy for her to stay over."

He nodded and gestured for us (Mia, Lil, Lars and me) to follow him and Clarisse out of the waiting room.

"Let's give your mother some time to rest. You can come back and see her and the baby in the morning… later this morning, I mean. Bed now" Philippe said to Mia, who had opened her mouth to protest over her leaving.

"Come on." I said, putting my arm around her waist, "I promise we'll come back as soon as visiting hours open, ok."

She pulled a face at me, before sighing and nodding.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw an amused look cross Philippe's face as he watched us, me fussing over her and her grudgingly accepting what I was saying.

"Fine." She grumbled, "But as soon as visiting hours…"

"Open," I finished for her with a smile, "we'll come straight back over. I promise. But now, come on, let's get some sleep. Your mom won't be happy if you're falling asleep over your baby brother later on." Mia stuck her tongue out at me, but didn't argue further with me.

"Bye Dad. Bye Grandmere." She said to Philippe and Clarisse as they hoped into their limo, while we made for Mia's usual one.

Lilly fell asleep almost immediately once we got home, leaving Mia and me to tell our parents everything that happened over the past couple of hours, before they too told us it was time for bed.

I changed out of my suit and into a pair of loose sweat pants and a grey t-shirt to sleep in. Not that I thought I was going to get much sleep, not when I knew I was going to have to get back up again in only a couple of hours.

I had just started playing DOOM, trying to beat one of the big bosses in the game, when I heard a soft knock on my door.

"Yeah?" I called, swivelling on my computer chair, pausing the game, as my door opened and Mia stuck her head around it.

"Hey." I said with a grin.

She smiled as she came into my room, closing my door behind her, which of course did funny things to my heart and stomach, even though I knew the reason for her closing my door was completely innocent, her knowing how much I like my privacy and having my door closed, rather than anything else that was going through my head.

Stop it, I said firmly to myself as she came over to me, dressed in fairly simple blue pyjamas that she leaves here at ours for when she has an unexpected sleepover with Lil.

"What's up?" I asked, trying to get my thoughts on to more innocent ground and away from… yeah. "You ok?" I smiled a little more softly when I saw that she was still wearing the snowflake necklace that I had given her for her birthday. So far, in these past two or so weeks, I don't think I've seen her without it on.

"Fine. Can't sleep… and Lilly's snoring." I laughed and without thinking, I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her, squealing softly, on to my lap.

I smiled as I hugged her close to me, burying my face into her hair and kissing her neck. I was rewarded with a bob on the nose for that as she tried to squirm away from me.

"That tickles." She giggled.

"Does it?" I asked as I tickled her sides, causing her to squirm on my lap, giggling.

"Michael!" She exclaimed, as she grabbed at my hands, trying to stop them from tickling her.

"Yes?" I asked innocently.

She pulled a face at me but I knew that I was forgiven when I saw her trying to fight back a smile, so that I knew that I was forgiven, that she wasn't really mad at me.

"You're horrible." She mumbled.

"Am I really?" I asked kissing her chin fondly. I heard her grumble under her breath for a moment before sighing.

"S'pose not." She relented and I laughed again as I gently took her pouting face in my hands and turned it towards me.

"You're so beautiful." I told her and grinned warmly as I watched her cheeks turn red beneath my hands.

"Shut up." She informed me, blushing even harder against my hands.

"Why? It's true."

"Sshhh…" she giggled in embarrassment as she tried to once more wiggle away from me. Not taking any of that, I kissed her fully on the mouth, which immediately stopped her wiggles and instead, had her arms wrapping around my neck and kissing me back.

Now before any one of you get too carried away and your mind goes too far down the gutter, I'll tell you all now, we were just kissing! Nothing else happen!

Ok, so maybe we did get on to my bed and made-out there for a bit more, but that's as far as it went.

Actually, we were both too tired for it to go any further then kissing anyway, both of us falling asleep on my bed, to be woken, after a too short a time asleep by my darling sister.

"You two are so lucky Mom and Dad didn't come in here this morning." Lilly exclaimed after she got over the shock of seeing Mia and me curled up on my bed.

"What?" I asked drowsily, barely even awake, even with all the slamming and stomping she was making. I was much too comfortable where I was to wake up properly and tell Lil to get the hell out of my room. There was a comfortable weight on my chest that I wanted to simply hold on to for the rest of my life. It just felt so right just having it there.

"Wake up! Both of you!" Lil close to yelled at us and I felt the comfortable weight on my chest move sluggishly against me, grumbling sleepy protests against my neck. I ran one of the hands that had been around her waist soothingly up and down her waist.

"Get lost Lil." I grumbled, burying my face into the comfortable weight sweet smelling hair.

"It's after ten. Visiting hours at the hospital are now opened! I thought you wanted to see your little brother again ASAP, Mia." I heard a soft squeak from the face pressed against my neck before she shot up and off me, causing me to grunted at the force that she had used as pressed her hands down upon my shoulders to help her sit up, so that she was now straddling my stomach.

"Sorry." She squeaked down at me in worry; though she mustn't have been too worried about me since she was already swing herself off me and off my bed.

"All good." I groaned, trying to wake up fully while also glaring at my grinning sister.

I will kill her one of these days, mark my words!

I'm not really sure how I managed to find the energy to get up and moving, getting dressed and eating some cereal before Mia was, quite forcibly, shoving me out my front door to head over to the hospital to visit her mom and Rocky.

We stayed at the hospital for most of the day, watching in amusement as Clarisse further embarrassed herself as she doted over Rocky.

"It'd be kind of sweet if it wasn't so creepy." Mia whispered to me as we stood off to one side of Helen's room, watching Clarisse cooing over a sleepy Rocky in his incubator.

I nodded slowly in agreement with her, mentally groaning at the thought of what Clarisse might be like with mine and Mia's kid.

Our poor kid is going to be so messed up because of her and all the other madness that's goes on with us, I thought with a slight grin, before I started freaking out as I realised what I had just thought. Kid? Kids? Our kid? Mine and Mia's? What the hell?

"What's wrong?" I heard Mia ask me, as she looked up at me in concern.

I forced my panicky to the side and tried to smile reassuringly back at her.

"Ah, nothing." I might have convinced her that it really was nothing, if my voice hadn't squeaked as I spoke. But, and the thing I love about her, she didn't push the matter.

She simply gave me a weird look for my strangeness before turning her attention back to the scarring of her little brother by her grandmother, grumbling a little under her breathe about it.

I simply breathed a sigh of relief.

As much as I love her, I wasn't about to tell her that I had just been thinking about our future kid… and so easily too!

I'm eighteen years old; I'm not supposed to be thinking about kids! Especially kids that I might have with my just turned fifteen year old girlfriend! What the hell is wrong with me? Seriously?

On a completely different matter, and a far, far safer one at that, the strike is now officially over.

Clarisse has packed up her things and has returned to the Plaza, much to everyone else's relief.

She offered to stay at the loft longer, to help with Rocky when he was taken back to the loft until Helen and Mr G got him into some kind of schedule. It seemed to me, that Mr G couldn't say, "Um, thanks so much for the offer Clarisse, but no," fast enough. He looked so panicky at the idea of Clarisse staying longer, that it was hard not to laugh at him

Anyway, the strike has ended with the restaurants finally caving to the demands of their busboy. They will now be receiving health benefits and sick leave and vacation pay. Well, all of the busboys except for Jangbu, of course.

He rang Lilly a little while ago, informing her that he's decided to collect all the money that he has received for his life story and is planning on returning to Tibet with it. His plan is to use the money that he has received to start up his own restaurant and to give his family financial stability for the rest of their lives.

Lilly is a little disappointed to hear about this, but I think that she is actually more disappointed over the fact that she missed out on going to the prom then she is about Jangbu leaving. Though she seems to be content with the feedback that she has received from Tina about everything that happened at the prom after Mia and I unceremoniously left the prom – like Lana's crying and telling Richter that he had ruined the most special night of her life after he and a couple of his cronies were caught leaning over the side of the observation deck, apparently to see if they hit stuff with their spit, by Wheeton who gave them all in-school suspension. Sweet. - as Tina was calling our leaving.

As thrilled as she is about the fact that Mia has a little brother, I think a part of her still thinks that leaving the prom for birth of a younger sibling really isn't worth it, that the prom was far more important.

I am so glad Mia doesn't think like that.

As much as she did want to go to my prom, she's shown no regret about missing most of it so that she could be around for her brother's birth.

Personally, I'm glad we left. As much as I had enjoyed playing with my band in front of a live audience, I discovered that really, it wasn't for me.

I like playing my guitar and playing with my band, but the thought of doing it full time, day in day out… I just don't want to do it. I can't see myself doing it. I'm not one of those guys who dreams of getting big in the music industry with his band. That was never my plan for SkinnerBx. I just wanted to create my band for the fun of it. And it has been fun and I want to keep playing with everyone, at least for the rest of the summer, but it's not what I want to do with my life.

I can't do it with my life. Not really. Not if I want to be with her for the rest of it. And I do. But to do that, I have to do something big with my life, so that I can deserve to be with her for the rest of it.

I can't be with her just as I am, or even as a part of a band that might, might be successful someday. I have to do something pretty special so that no one, later on, can say that I don't deserve to be with her, that she could be with someone better than me.

I just need to figure out what that big, special thing I need to do with my life is. Once I have, I then just need to figure out how I'm going to do it.

And I will.

Just watch me. I will become someone who will be worthy of Mia for the rest of our lives.

Just watch me and you all will see, I will become someone who will be worthy to be with her and be by her side for the rest of our lives.

And trust me, I will become that someone who will be worthy of her without any fault or doubt in anyone else's mind.

Including mine.


Author's Note: I was thinking of just finishing it here, to not have an epilogue which will be about Michael's graduation. Mainly because I just didn't feel that I had the time to write anymore for this fic. But now that I've "finished" this fic, I want to go ahead and write the epilogue for it. I feel a little sad, I have to admit. The idea of putting this little pet project on to the shelf for the time being actually makes me feel a little teary. Silly, huh? But I don't know if you guys have realised this but I've been writing this series of fics for almost seven months. It's taken up a huge chunk of my time to write (Not that I mind at all. In fact, I'm delighted since it's been such a great way to spend my free time.), but at the moment I can't afford that, I need to spend my time learning about CISCO and Networking, the ins and outs of my course.
So for the time being this is goodbye. I'm not giving up on this project, I'm just taking a sabbatical from it to focus on my studies. I hope that you all can understand.
Lol, you know, I might being saying all this now, my goodbyes and what no with this chapter and when I post the epilogue, getting upset and all that, and then in like two weeks time, find myself with six or so chapters of book six written. You just never know.
But anyway, the epilogue will be up as soon as I've finished writing it and editing it, so you have that to look forward to. Hope you all enjoyed reading this chapter and you know reviews are loved.
Bye for now.