Hello! And welcome to my very first Child Swap series Christmas story. It's been a while since I posted anything from the Child Swap series, so it feels kind of weird to do this again.
First up, this story is based on a Christmas BBC drama I watched last year, called Lapland. I have heavily borrowed the plot, and the character, Jingle Jill. Secondly (and I know I say this a lot) but I don't own Allegra or Micro, who is her and Mercutio's son. They belong to Cornadopia, who wrote Mercutio and Allegra. She has kindly allowed me to use them yet again. As a thank you to Corny (and a Christmas present!) please read and review Merc'n'All. If you don't know what's going on, then please read my Child Swap series.
Ok, disclaiming is getting rather boring now. I hope you enjoy the Child Swap version of Lapland, and I hope you all like the casts' children!
'Ladies and Gentlemen, we are sorry for the delay. We cannot leave until our final passengers arrive. When our final passengers do arrive, we will proceed to take off shortly'
"Come on, kids, run!" screeched Gabriel, as his family raced down the terminal.
"I'm tired!" complained Tallulah.
"You're going to see Santa, come on!" urged Angelo.
"He's not real!" Alexei shouted.
"Don't say that to your little sister!" snapped Gabriel "Just get a hurry on!"
They finally made it to their terminal, and raced onto the plane. Amparo showed the stewardesses their tickets and passports, and they climbed onto the plane.
"You took your time" remarked Rosaline.
"Sorry about that, sweetheart. Gabriel left his straighteners behind and we just had to go back for them" replied Angelo, sitting in a seat in front of her. Alexei sat down next to his grandfather, as Amparo strapped baby Natalio in the seat next to her, and Gabriel sat down with Tallulah.
"Next time, you're travelling to the airport with us" decided Rosaline. The plane jerked into action. Benvolio gasped, and then froze in horror.
"It's starting" he whimpered.
"Goodie goodie!" giggled Mercutio, leaning over his seat "Are you excited?"
Benvolio trembled, and sank against Hermia.
"Oh, this is so exciting!" clucked Regina "Us all being together like this, one big happy family, going up to Lapland, on a plane!"
"Sit down, Mercutio. He doesn't like flying, and he doesn't need anymore terrorizing" Hermia fondly pretended to shove Mercutio back. Mercutio sat back down next to his wife, Allegra, and eagerly dug into the bag of sweets he had brought. Supposedly, the sweets were for his kids, but Mercutio decided they wouldn't mind sharing. Benvolio continued to whimper against Hermia, as the plane descended to the beginning of the runway.
"It's taking off!" exclaimed Eliseo to Micro, who sat next to him "This is going to be so fun!"
"Will you two please just keep it down? I'm trying to sleep" growled Tybalt, twisting around in the seat in front of him.
"We love you, Uncle Tibby!" sang Micro.
"And don't call me that! I'm not your uncle!"
"Don't you two start winding him up!" Lord Capulet said sternly.
"Uncle Tibby's not going to be getting any sleep now that the plane is taking off, it's too bumpy!" declared Eliseo.
Benvolio screamed as the plane surged down the runway, picking up speed. It bumped up and down, from side to side. Tybalt simply rolled his eyes at Benvolio's phobia, but then the plane made a particular jolt, and after that, even he didn't look so comfortable.
"Is it supposed to be making that rattling sound?" wailed Benvolio.
"Look at the stewards, they fly all the time, they're probably calm!" Hermia pointed. The steward in question quickly crossed himself and bent his head in prayer.
"We're all going to die!" Benvolio howled.
"This is not good for the baby!" Rosaline moaned, clutching at her rounded stomach.
"Wheeeeeee!" squealed Mercutio.
The plane tipped up, and they were in the air. Benvolio continued to moan, his face burrowed in the crook of Hermia's neck. None of the children on the plane appeared to have been phrased by take-off. On the contrary, they were quite enthralled by it.
"That fun!" Saffiro announced, his green eyes wide and curious "Why daddy scared, Uncle Romeo?"
"Because he's a scaredy pants" replied Romeo, tickling his nephew's tummy. Saffiro giggled, and looked out the window at the clouds rushing past.
"I want to do that again!" announced Vittoria, Mercutio and Allegra's youngest and only daughter.
Rosaline, on the contrary, was green, and rubbing her tummy warily.
"Is the baby kicking, mummy?" asked Catherine, or Erin, as she was known to her family and friends.
Rosaline smiled weakly at her eldest daughter "Yes, darling. He didn't seem to like take-off"
"When are you due?" asked Hermia, leaning over a still sobbing Benvolio.
"Late April" replied Rosaline "We were just in time to fly. If I was any further along, we'd be spending Christmas at home in front of the telly"
"I thought you said you never wanted any kids" said Hermia.
"Oh, they were eighteen when they said that!" Regina interrupted "I always knew my Tibby would be a daddy!"
Rosaline rolled her eyes at her mother-in-law "Well, either way, I wouldn't be without my Erin and Diddy"
"Diddy?" snorted Mercutio.
"Yes" cooed Regina "It's short for Didier. Rather like how we all call Tybalt Tibby"
"Ok" Hermia suppressed a giggle, and gently stroked Benvolio's hair as he finished whimpering.
"You're not scared of flying, are you, Alexei?" asked Angelo.
"No, I've been on heaps of planes with dad when he has to tour" replied Alexei, gazing out of window at the clouds "I think it's really fun. All the other ballet dancers like me and think I'm funny, and that I make the journey entertaining, although I thoroughly dislike the food. The vegetarian options are meagre at best and completely unappetizing"
"Where did you learn to talk like that?" spluttered Angelo.
Gabriel clamoured over to his eldest son "Here's your book, and here are some snacks in case the food is completely foul and inedible. I bought you an egg and cress sandwich, your favourite flavour of crisps, oh, and here are some boiled sweets in case your ears pop. But don't eat too many, else your teeth shall rot and you will have a disgusting gold tooth like Uncle Tibby"
"Oh, of course" muttered Angelo, as Gabriel clamoured back to attend to Amparo and Natalio. Alexei tucked into his lunch, and between mouthfuls, eagerly told Angelo about his swimming lessons, his friends, and the books he had been reading. Angelo adored his grandchildren. He had a much better relationship with all of them than he had ever had with own children, even though he didn't get to see Gabriel's kids very often. Alexei actually reminded him of Gabriel, but if Gabriel had been a normal kid.
"Do you think we'll get to see the Northern Lights?" asked Mercutio.
"Oh, I hope so. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights" replied Romeo.
"Is Briony all right with you, Juliet?" asked Hermia, as Benvolio sat upright, his trembling slowly ceasing "Benvolio's stopped freaking, if you want we'll move so you and Romeo can sit together"
"Oh, it's all right. She's fast asleep. I don't want to disturb her. And we'll end up having to move again when the plane lands" replied Juliet.
"I want sweets!" yelled Didier "Give me sweets!"
"No!" snapped Tybalt, snatching the bag away "You've had enough!"
"Mine!" yelled Didier "Mine!"
"Mine!" Tybalt mimicked, holding them away.
"Mine!" howled Didier.
"Stop winding him up" Rosaline snatched the sweets and stuffed them in her handbag "You're as bad as he is. And talking to him in a childish way does not help! He just thinks you are a silly child too, not his dad, and just argues with you"
"Yeah, you tell him, Rosaline" added Hermia.
"That's enough, Hermia" said Lord Capulet, leaning over "Now, none of us are going to argue this Christmas, are we?"
Tybalt snorted. Lord Capulet narrowed his eyes.
"Are we?" he repeated.
"I'll believe that when I see it" mumbled Benvolio, his eyes closed.
"Have you stopped crying now, Bennykins?" asked Mercutio, leaning over.
"Yes, thank you"
"I still can't believe you do this every time you go on a plane"
"I can't help it. I don't like flying!"
"You know, I'll never forget the flight to India, when I looked out of the window and there was a storm. We were flying in the eye of the storm! I could see each and every lightening stroke, right where they began. It was so cool" Mercutio said wistfully.
Benvolio's lower lip wobbled, and he sunk back into his seat, turning even whiter.
"Stop tormenting him!" commanded Hermia.
"Poor Uncle Benvolio" said Rocco "Don't be mean, daddy!"
"He loves it!" Mercutio turned around to address his middle son.
Allegra peered down the aisle of the plane to where Micro and Eliseo were sitting behind Tybalt and Didier. Both boys were giggling at the TV screens "Are you two behaving yourselves?"
Two replies of "Yes mum!" and "Yes Aunty Allegra!" that seemed far too quick to have been said casually answered her. Allegra was no fool, and unclipped her seatbelt, climbed over Mercutio, and walked down the aisle to check on them.
"That TV show is completely inappropriate! Turn it off!"
"But it's just the Inbetweeners!" protested Eliseo "Paolo watches it all the time"
"Who's Paolo?" asked Micro.
"He's my friend"
"Oooh, friend!" Micro said in a high-pitched voice, putting both of his thumbs up.
"Eliseo! Turn that off!" Benvolio leant forwards in his seat "What have I told you about age-appropriate television shows? You are ten years old! And Micro's younger than you"
"I'll be eleven tomorrow" sulked Eliseo.
"And I'll be ten in January!" added Micro.
"Never mind that! I'm nearly thirty, and even I get shocked at it!" spluttered Benvolio.
"Aw, chill out, Benny, they're going to find out sometime or another" dismissed Mercutio "What episodes does it have? I want to watch it!"
"You're going to let your kids watch that?" Tybalt turned around in his seat "Are you insane? They won't stop quoting it for the entire holiday!"
"Oooh, friend" teased Micro.
"Whatever, just turn it off!" instructed Benvolio. Reluctantly, both Eliseo and Micro switched off the offending programme and instead began muttering about all the ways they were going to irritate Tybalt once the plane landed and they were at the hotel.