DISCLAIMER: I don't own She's The Man, or any characters therein. They are, I believe, owned by DreamWorks SKG.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Olivia Lennox wasn't sure exactly when she stopped believing in Santa.
She knew she must have at one point. She had dim memories of writing letters addressed to the North Pole, and sitting on the lap of a red-clad, bearded man in the local mall as she detailed exactly what she so very much wanted for Christmas.
But at some point she'd stopped. Either the kids at school had convinced her, or her parents had told her, or she'd caught them putting the presents under the tree themselves... Or perhaps some combination. She just could not remember.
Not that this stopped her parents from slipping at least one present 'from Santa' into her pile, professing ignorance at how it had appeared there. She'd never wanted to get in a fight on Christmas, or about something so unimportant, so she always just let it go. She knew Santa didn't exist, so did they, so why bother?
It was precisely because of that knowledge that she knew something was wrong when she caught herself nearly writing another letter to Santa. Because as much as she knew she couldn't get what she wanted in any store, she didn't think Santa - even if he DID exist - could give it to her, either.
Her relationship with Sebastian Hastings - the real Sebastian, that is - hadn't lasted for very long. Not because there was anything wrong with him, really. He was a perfectly nice guy, who wrote lovely and very touching songs, and he was even really cute. And they'd both tried to make it work, but the chemistry just wasn't right.
She sighed to herself as she shifted on Mrs. Hastings' couch, watching the debutante herself bustling around getting things ready for the party that evening. She'd arrived early to help set up - and because both of her parents had functions of their own to attend, and she hadn't really wanted to be alone. Well, they'd ended up good friends, which wasn't a bad thing at all. He was a good guy, and surprisingly understanding, when it came right down to it. They'd never talked about it, but she had a sneaking suspicion that he at least had some idea of why her heart had just never really been in it.
Well, speak of the devil...
She looked up into the smiling face of Sebastian's twin, Viola, and felt something inside her melt. Again.
It really wasn't fair what that girl could do to her, Olivia decided as she took the mug with a quiet "Thanks", trying her damnedest to keep her hands from shaking too much. A random look, or the slightest of touches, or a smile... God, that smile! She took a sip of the cider - which had a pleasant cinnamon taste to it - as she tried desperately to reign in her whirling thoughts. Again.
She really wasn't sure what had first drawn her to "Sebastian". He was short, a bit scrawny, and clearly not the most socially apt individual ever to set foot in Illyria. But he had lacked the gruffness of the thickheaded jocks that made up so much of the dating pool. But between his eyes, that smile, and his sweetness in general (though the interest in her shoes and where she'd gotten them should said something to her), she had been immediately hooked.
It was biology that had sealed her fate. When he'd told her that he was squeamish about dissecting frogs... Well, that had simply been it. That and his lyrics (not that they were really "Sebastian's"). Just like that, she was falling in love.
One would think that finding out her new love interest was actually a girl pretending to be her twin brother in order to play soccer would have had some kind of impact on how she felt. And for a while, it had seemed possible to transfer her feelings from "Sebastian" to the real thing.
Right up until Viola turned that smile on her in its full glory, and all the illusions that she'd been trying to build so carefully came crashing down around her in pieces.
She was in love with Viola Hastings. And she had no idea what to do about it. She didn't even think there was anything she could do. Which was why she'd played around with the idea of the letter, back in her room at home. But she didn't think a fictional holiday figure was going to help her all that much.
And she would have been utterly mortified if someone else had found it.
Viola had sat down next to her, sipping her own drink, and Olivia suddenly couldn't stand the up to that point comfortable silence. "Are you sure there's nothing I can do to help? Really, I don't mind-"
Viola laughed. "Trust me, Mom doesn't need any help getting ready for a party. She does this sort of thing ALL the time, after all. She's got it down to a science." Then she smiled at Olivia, and the latter was abruptly grateful she was already sitting down. There was no way her legs would have supported her just then.
Really, this was getting pathetic, she decided. She knew she should just try and get over her feelings before they lead her to do something that would ruin their friendship. But she'd tried that before.
It never quite seemed to work.
Several hours into the party, Olivia was starting to think that she might just get through this evening intact. Given that Mrs. Hastings (or Miss, or Ms, or whatever) had organized the party, there were a significant amount of Junior League members present, so she'd been doing a fair amount of mingling, to keep up her 'professional responsibilities', as Paul had put it. (Thankfully for all concerned, Monique had not been invited.)
That was another good thing. Many of Viola's friends (from Cornwall and Illyria) were present at the party, and were very useful for providing distractions.
Because if she had to look at Viola and Duke kissing under the mistletoe one more time, she was going to scream. She really was.
Sebastian and his band had a gig (though he had promised to be home for Christmas Day), so she couldn't talk to him. So she mingled, she laughed at jokes that were only moderately funny at best, she dodged Malcolm, and she avoided Viola. Not that she was really aware she was doing the last one until Viola managed to corner her, dragging her into a mostly empty hallway.
"Ummm..." was all she could think to say.
"Sorry about that," Viola said, flashing her another of those damned smiles. "But I haven't seen you all night."
Olivia internally flinched. Oh, not that, not now. She ruthlessly squashed the quiet voice in the back of her mind that piped up 'She missed me?', as she knew Viola hadn't meant it like that. "The party's almost over, isn't it?"
"Yeah, and then you'll be leaving!" Viola protested, in her best 'this should be obvious' tone.
Olivia sighed. She supposed she could understand Viola's wanting to have fun with her at the party like the rest of her friends. "I do wish you hadn't dragged me in here, though," she said before she thought about it.
Viola raised an eyebrow. "Why's that?" she challenged. For an answer, Olivia just looked up. Viola followed her gaze to the mistletoe hanging right above their heads. Apparently, she'd forgotten it was there since she'd last lured Duke into that very spot. "Oh." She paused, then sounding a bit uncomfortable, said, "Well, we don't really need to... I mean, not everyone that's been through here..."
"Oh-ho-ho no you don't, Vi," Paul's voice interrupted her. The two girls turned to see him leaning against the wall, grinning at them in amusement. Olivia mentally cursed, wondering when he'd gotten there. "You have to. It's a Christmas tradition." And he was looking far too smug for her tastes.
Viola, on the other hand, was looking very uncertain. Olivia opened her mouth to assure her that they didn't have to do anything...
...and shut it again, saying nothing, as her mind suddenly screamed at her that this was NOT an opportunity that was going to come along very often. She took a step closer to Viola, who suddenly looked at her with such a 'deer caught in headlights' expression that she nearly laughed. But she couldn't, not now. She took one more step, leaned closer...
...and finally, after months of longing, pressed her lips against Viola's. The feeling was indescribable, and she didn't even notice her hand going up to rest against the back of Viola's head, brushing her hair, and she only scarcely noticed when Viola stopped staring there in shock and kissed her back.
The sound of a throat clearing behind them snapped the two of them back to reality, and Olivia was very surprised to note two things: Viola's arms had slipped around her to rest her hands on her back, and a good three minutes had gone by. At least.
And Paul, damn him, now looked VERY amused. "Sorry to interrupt," he said unconvincingly, "but Duke was looking for you."
It was obvious that he meant Viola, who blushed furiously. "Right," she said, voice cracking. She cleared her throat and tried again. "Tell him I'll be right there." Still red in the face, she disentangled herself from Olivia and darted off to the bathroom, probably in an attempt to make herself more presentable. Paul, still grinning, left to fulfill Viola's request.
Olivia just stood there, not even really aware she was smiling herself. She looked back at the lovely sprig of mistletoe that had just made this the best Christmas ever, and was surprised to see a piece of paper hanging next to it. Had that been there before? She couldn't remember.
She supposed it didn't matter. Curious, she plucked it down and read it, then blinked in surprise and read it again, more carefully.
She stared at the note for several seconds, then laughed to herself and crumpled it up to throw away later. She decided that it didn't matter where it had come from - though it was certainly possible that it was something Paul had set up himself. Or maybe it really was from Santa?
She laughed again, shaking her head in amusement, still smiling. It didn't matter, she knew.
It was just a Christmas miracle, and that's all there was to it.
Return to Miscellaneous Fiction
Return to Main Page