(n.) a European plant, Viscum album, having yellowish flowers and white berries, growing parasitically on various trees, used in Christmas decorations
Maleficent lets out a groan as she looks up from her cup of coffee to find Diaval putting one more decoration on the Christmas tree he has insisted on getting - she had only accepted because Aurora had mentioned how much she loved Christmas and how pretty decorations were during their latest phone call. She smiles to herself and shakes her head, deciding to ignore her best friend’s ridiculous excitement. It’s like that every year with him.
”Thinking about Aurora again?” Diaval asks with a knowing smirk as he lets himself fall on the couch next to Maleficent.
”Rather about the fact that I will be forced to be civilized around her parents and theiramazing partners.”
She sighs and rolls her eyes. This Christmas would probably be worse than the ones during which had worked. For some mysterious reason, Stefan is still with the same bimbo he had brought with him to wedding but Maleficent is confident in her ability to handle them. A very pregnant Leila is not going to be that much fun. This dinner is going to be a complete mess and will most certainly end with very loud arguments about Aurora, even if the poor girl isn’t responsible for anything.
”Relax, boss! Your wife’s going to be here soon!”
Diaval puts a reassuring hand on Mal’s shoulder before standing up again to hang more decorations around the apartment, because Mal obviously won’t do it - even if she knows how happy it would make Aurora. God, the woman can be so stubborn sometimes!
”Don’t touch my cacti!”
The garland he is holding falls from his hands. He looks at Mal, smiling sweetly.
Aurora puts down the heavy bag she is carrying to take her phone out of her pocket. She expected a call from Phillip or maybe Mal to confirm that she is going to arrive soon, but not one from her father. He never really calls her, only sent messages if he really needs to tell her something. That’s… peculiar.
”Dad?” Aurora asks hesitantly. It is weird to call him like that, but she has been trying to lately, to get close to him again.
She puts her phone on her shoulder and presses the side of her head against so it won’t fall as she picks up her bag and presses the button to call the elevator.
”You’re going to celebrate Christmas alone with Moore and her assistant this year.”
The questions are followed by silence. There’s only her father’s breathing and loud steps. Aurora knows he is pacing, most certainly in the living room, as he always does when he is nervous or angry. A ding forces Aurora out of her thoughts. She steps inside the elevator and adjusts her phone’s position as she leans against a wall.
”Waters broke this morning. You’re getting a sibling for Christmas.”
”Really!? That’s wonderful! When do you think we’ll be able to go see mom!?”
”I don’t know, Aurora. Call your father-in-law, ask him. I have to go now. And don’t forget to call me if you want to come to the apartment.”
Stefan doesn’t let his daughter say another word and hangs up without saying goodbye. Aurora walks out of the elevator and almost runs to Mal’s door, her phone still settled between her ear and her shoulder.
Before Aurora can knock, the door is flung open by Diaval. She startles and takes a few step back, almost losing her balance.
”God! Diaval! You scared me!” the girl exclaims, a hand on her heart.
”Sorry, sweetie! Let me help you with all that!”
Diaval takes the bag from Aurora’s hands and steps aside to let her in. There is a mischievous smile on his lips that makes Aurora giggle; he’s without a doubt planning something that won’t please Mal.
Mal’s gaze drifts once more to her two clumsy companions, sitting on the couch and watching a ridiculous Christmas movie. They have been awfully calm and silent for the past hour, which is definitely more than a little worrying. She can’t scold them for something they didn’t do, can she? Mal sighs and concentrates on her preparations for Christmas dinner again. But not for too long, as Aurora is approaching discreetly - not enough for Mal not to notice it, though - hands behind her back.
”Are you sure you don’t want any help?” Aurora asks, standing as close to Mal as she can without getting in her way around the kitchen isle.
”Yes, I am.”
”And you still don’t want to wear a Christmas sweater, right?”
”No, I don’t want to, Aurora,” Mal answers with a smile. Her wife, it has been five months since the wedding and yet she can’t get used to calling the girl her wife, has been trying to make her wear a horrible, over-sized sweater for almost a hour; she had even tried bargaining with hugs.
Aurora nervously shifts her weight from one foot to the other under Mal’s questioning eyes. She takes a deep breath, stands on the tip of her toes and puts the antler headband she has been hiding on Mal’s head before stepping to look at her wife. She has to put a hand on her mouth to refrain from laughing at the sight. Mal looks absolutely adorable, which has to be the first time. Is she pouting?
”You look quite dashing as a reindeer, boss.”
Mal and Aurora startle. Diaval had managed to enter the kitchen without either of them noticing.
”Don’t forget the mistletoe tangled in the antlers, girls. It means you have to kiss,” Diaval says with a wink addressed to Aurora, whose cheeks turn a bright shade of red, before returning to the couch.
Aurora gulps and bites down on her lip. Diaval had come up with this cute little plan to help Aurora just a few minutes before, and if she was excited about it then, she is now regretting agreeing to follow Diaval’s idea.
”I need to finish preparing dinner,” Mal states, looking away from Aurora.
Aurora simply nods. She is about to join Diaval again when Mal’s voice rises again.
”But I’ll keep the antlers. For later. If you want me to.”