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[personal profile] mag_pie
Title: Growing Up
Summary: "I am much too young to marry or act like the princes in these fairy tales just yet." Set 15 1/2 years after the events of the movie, Prince Ahmed resists following in his brother's footsteps
Rating: G
Word Count: 706
Pairing: Ahmed/Charlotte
Spoilers: The whole movie :)
Author's note: So in my head!canon, Ahmed is Naveen's younger brother's name. Originally posted at the PatF spam party.


“And they all lived happily ever after, the end.” Ahmed closed the book and smiled at his two sleepy nieces.

“Achedanza,” the elder yawned, “That was real swell.”

The younger niece sat up abruptly. “Did anything like that ever happen to you, Uncle Ahmed? Have you been to a ball before?”

Ahmed nodded. “Of course I have been to balls, mes principesas, but I have met no princesses as beautiful or charming as you. And, like your brother Ray, I am much too young to marry or act like the princes in these fairy tales just yet.” He moved to pull the comforters up and tuck them around the girls.

While allowing him to do this, Eva arched an eyebrow in perfect imitation of her mother’s looks of disbelief when her father exaggerated. “But the prince in this story was four years younger than you, and Papi was 20 when he married Mami… and you’re even older than that!”

Ahmed’s dimples deepened as he grinned at the girls. “Even so, if I spent my time looking for a wife, who would watch over mes principesas while your parents are among the Maldonian people, I would like to know?” As Eva looked like she wanted to respond, Ahmed held a hand up. “For now this is enough talk about me, yes? I want you to be fast asleep so when your parents come back, for you will make your favorite Uncle look good, yes?” At this, the two girls nodded eagerly. Ahmed pressed a kiss to each girl’s forehead. “Abinaza, mes principesas. Sweet dreams.”

Once at the door, he paused to look at his nieces, now fast asleep, before turning the light off and closing the door. He stopped by Ray’s room, but found it darkened already. The boy certainly took after his mother in his habit of rising early to complete his tasks.

Ahmed’s shoes echoed on the polished marble as he wandered back to the family parlor, where he would likely pick up his book, read a little, and then retire. He had no desire to stay up long enough to greet his brother and sister-in-law: while lively, they had recently taken to – encouraging would be an understatement - badgering him to go out more often and meet someone. The trouble was, he didn’t want to grow up just yet. He was fine with playing with his young nieces and nephews and continuing his studies if it meant not venturing out into the madness that was the elite Maldonian circle and the constant press which surrounded it.

He had just gotten settled with an article on Americium when he heard a commotion in the distance, followed by approaching footsteps and laughter.

“And that is when he said, ‘Your Highness, the way you dance, it is like the grace of a lion and the – oh, wait for it, it is too good – agility of a frog!’” Ahmed heard his brother’s laughter, accompanied by two sets of feminine giggles.

“Oh Naveen, you are such a card! I’ll bet anythin’ he didn’t actually say that. He’s pullin’ our legs, ain’t he Tia?”

“Oh, I dunno, Lottie. Sometimes what people tell ya is just too good to make up.” Ahmed rolled his eyes as he could just imagine his sister-in-law making goo-goo eyes at his brother.

The three rounded the corner, and while Tiana and Naveen still presented a very attractive couple, Ahmed’s attention was arrested by the blonde woman with them. Though he had seen her a few times over the years, Ahmed had never fully appreciated her beauty. She had always been a pretty girl who the young man had admired, especially as she had always been kind to him. A troubled first marriage had leant more seriousness to her personality, though she had no children to tie her down, and as she matured over the years, she had learned to balance that gravity with her liveliness. A vision in pink and with a small fedora perched fetchingly atop her head as Tiana happily explained their reunion earlier that night, Charlotte caught Ahmed’s eye and winked.

For the first time in his twenty-two years, Ahmed thought that leaping into adulthood might not be such a bad idea.
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