Epilogue: Okay, Nothing Awkward. For REAL this time.
6 Years Later
Many years had passed since the day Aeris had told Leo that she was pregnant and he had fainted. They were an odd six years, to say the least. After the news was told, Leo, despite his best interests, decided to stick around and help care for his child. After their son, who they named Cecil, was born, he asked her to marry him, to which she said yes. They were married a month later.
The marriage, while relatively happy, was still not without its faults. There were forgotten anniversaries, numerous arguments, and many, MANY stupid choices by the man of the house ("What do you mean I can't buy a sixteen-wheeler? It's cool!"). Yet, whenever the bad times came around, the good came back tenfold. Cecil was the world to them, and they tried to be the best parents they could be. That, and when everything was said and done, Leo and Aeris still truly did love each other. Even the worst arguments always ended in the kindest and tenderest of words. They truly did love each other, and they showed it whenever they could.
Now, with both parents now having better jobs to raise their son, and thus having a better income, the small family now lived in a suitable house, perfect for them if they decided to have another child. At the time of year, decorations were hung all over the place by Leo, who had more than once fallen over and broken something. A tall tree stood stalwart in the living room, the harsh glow of multicolored lights coming from it, allowing any who came into the room to see well enough. Presents, mostly dedicated to Cecil, were strewn about under the tree, waiting to be opened by the small cat who looked almost like a carbon copy of his father.
It was close to morning, and the light from the coming dawn was starting to pour in through the window, casting a soft glow in the living room, giving the scene a rather otherworldly look about it. It was completely and totally peaceful. At least, it was, until a small gray cat in pajamas rushed out of his room to look at the scene. His grin went from ear to ear as he observed the multicolored boxes underneath the tree. He immediately turned tail and ran back into his bedroom, looking at his alarm clock. He cursed his luck, seeing as how it was only 5:38 in the morning, and he was given explicit instructions from his parents not to wake them up until 7:00. The cat pouted, wishing that he could go back to sleep and wait. But he just couldn't! He had to see what Santa brought him! It was just going to drive him nuts if he didn't find out!
He curled up into a fetal position, resting his face on his knees. He had to think of something to do, or else he would go crazy! He looked once more to his clock. 5:39. If could swear, he would've. But then, he got something of an idea. An idea that would let him get to his presents earlier. Quietly, he slunk out of his room, and silently opened to door to the room next to his, which lead to his parent's room. Tiptoeing, his crept to his mother's bedside table, not making a single peep.
Aeris was sleeping on her side, facing toward her nightstand, and sleeping soundly. She was, at least until she heard the door of her room open. Opening her eyes a little, she could tell that her son had snuck into her shared bedroom, and was moving toward her alarm clock. Curious as to why he was doing this, she finally understood when after fumbling around with the clock for a little bit, he had changed the time to 7:00. She would've chuckled, but she didn't want to spook Cecil. She smiled a little instead. Normally, he would get in trouble for doing something like this. But, it was Christmas, and he was excited, so she would allow it.
Cecil then snuck out of her field of vision, no doubt to change his father's clock as well, in order to make the ruse more convincing. She waited until she heard the clock gently being placed back on the desk, her husband apparently being none the wiser. She could faintly hear her son's tip-toeing across the soft carpet, going back to the door. He then quietly exited and shut the door. When he did, Aeris then started to count down, "3... 2... 1..."
"MOMMY! DADDY!", cried Cecil's excited six year old voice, right on Aeris's cue. He was practically bouncing on the walls as he shouted out once more, "It's Christmas!"
Aeris, who was already awake, decided to pretend that she was rather tired, sitting up in her bed and saying, "Already? It feels like it's 5:00..."
Cecil looked a little nervous now, "Ummm, nope! It's seven! See, look on the clocks."
Aeris didn't need to check the clock to know what it said. She just stood up from her bed and walked over to Cecil, kneeling down when she came up to him and tousling his hair a little, saying, "Are you excited?"
He nodded rapidly, "Uh-huh!"
"That's good.", Aeris said with a warm smile, "I have a good feeling that Santa got you some awesome stuff this year."
Cecil looked like he was about ready to explode, "I just can't wait!"
"I can see that.", Aeris said with a chuckle, "Go out into the living room and wait for a bit, okay? I'm going to wake your dad up."
They both turned to Leo, who was indeed still lying in bed. After all, being a heavy sleeper like he was, not even the screeching of a young child could awaken him from his slumber. Cecil looked at the grey mass hidden under the blankets and said, "Okay.", leaving without another word.
Aeris smiled after her baby boy, before turning back to Leo and saying, "Hey, Leo. Wake up, it's Christmas."
"Leo?", Aeris tried again, "Are you being serious right now, or are you trying to annoy me?"
"Come on. Cecil changed the clocks just so he could have Christmas earlier.", she said, sounding a little more angered, "Just get up."
Unfortunately, he still wouldn't budge, and all the interruptions from his sleeping had made him hide his head under his pillows. At times such as these, Aeris had to take drastic measures. Slipping out of the bedroom, Aeris made her way to the kitchen. As she did, Cecil noticed her going by, and asked, "Is Daddy not waking up again?"
"Yep.", Aeris answered nonchalantly as she went into the pantry and pulled out a air horn. As she walked past her son again, she said, "Cover your ears."
Aeris walked into her room and strode up to her husband, holding the horn next to his ear, and pressing down on the top. The loud noise made Leo wake up in an instant, clutching his ears in pain and screaming. He looked over to Aeris, a smug look on her face as she put the horn to the side. Leo made an angered face at her and shouted, "I hate it when you do that!"
"That's why I do it.", she said with a chuckle, "Now come on, get up. It's Christmas, and Cecil wants to open his presents."
Leo's expression brightened up again, "Oh, right! I forgot! Silly me. Let's go and open them presents!"
Aeris chuckled as Leo got out of bed and ran out into the living room, much like how Cecil did it not even 5 minutes ago. He truly was his father's son. She placed the air horn on the bedside table, and quickly followed the grey cat outside, seeing that both he and his son were sorting through the boxes, attempting to find all the gifts to be given to their respective receivers. She shook her head and said, "Enjoying yourselves you two?"
The two were visibly startled and looked up at Aeris. Cecil laughed nervously and said, "U-Um... sorry?"
Aeris smiled and picked up a present, handing it over to Cecil, saying, "You don't have to be sorry. Just wait for mommy when you want to sort out the presents, okay?"
Cecil's look of worry turned into one of joy once more as he took the present from his mothers hands and added it to his pile, saying, "Okay!"
Leo stood up, standing next to his wife, and said, "Well, we sorted 'em all. Time to start opening!"
With a cheer from Cecil, the all sat down on the floor, close by to their specific pile of gifts. After a few minutes, the floor was covered in scraps of colored paper and other assorted toys, video games, and jewelery. Finally, it came down to two more presents, one for Aeris, and the other for Cecil.
Aeris gingerly picked up the gift that was obviously from Cecil, if the sloppy handwriting and poor wrapping job were any indication. It was circular in shape, and the wrapping looked like was going to fall off if you held it in a certain way. But still, she carefully tore off the wrapping to reveal a a gold plated bracelet. It was obvious to her that this was given to her son by Leo, who probably felt bad that Cecil was going to feel a little disappointed when he didn't give his mother a good Christmas present. Either way, she still loved it. She smiled to her son and leaned forward, kissing his forehead, saying, "Thank you, Cecil. I love it."
Cecil smiled broadly and said, "Thanks Mommy.", before going to the last present in the bunch: a rectangular box that Aeris recognized as the one that she handed to him when she had come into the living room. As with all the previous gifts, Cecil held the box up to his ear and shook it gently, and asked, "What is it? Is it Street Fighter V!?"
Aeris subtly rolled his eyes. Yes, her son had Leo's penchant for fighting games, but what could she say, he was good. And when Leo offhandedly mentioned that a new Street Fighter was to be released, it was all that Cecil would talk about. So, yes, Street Fight V was in the box, but, of course, Aeris only answered coyly, "Well... it could be..."
Cecil didn't notice the subtle wink between his parents as he started to tear into the paper with his claws, revealing a rectangular white box. Odd, Aeris thought to herself, considering that she didn't remember putting the game into another box. She shook her head. She was 28 and she was already starting to feel old. Still, everything seemed to go alright, that is, until Cecil opened the box. His bright smile was soon replaced with a pout.
"Cecil?", Leo asked, catching his son's dirty look, "What's wrong bud? Didn't you get the game?"
"No!", Cecil shouted, angry, "Santa ripped me off! All I got was clothes!"
Leo and Aeris looked at each other with curiosity. Clothes? They didn't give Cecil clothes. They were about to ask what exactly these clothes where when Cecil pulled them out of the box, revealing them to be black, lacy, neglige. Aeris visibly blanched, just looking straight forward as her hands started to twitch. Leo on the other hand, had his mouth agape, and his eyes wide, shocked and horrified that his son had found a teddy in his presents. He almost didn't hear him say, "I mean, come on! This is way too big! And this looks like something for girls too! Why would he send me something so... bleh?"
Aeris didn't say a word as she stood up and walked over to Cecil. When she got close enough, she took the teddy away from him and replaced it in the box, saying, "Ummm... it looks like Santa... made a mistake! I'll just phone the North Pole and... take care of it... yeah, that's it."
Cecil's look of disappointment was replaced with one of wonder, "Wow... you're going to go after Santa Clause? You really aren't afraid of anything..."
"Y-Yeah, of course!", Aeris said in her most convincing tone possible, "N-Now go play with some of your toys. Daddy and I will figure this out."
"Okay!", Cecil chirped as he picked up the toys and walked out of the room, confident in his mother's ability to shake down Santa Claus.
Of course, that wasn't what was really happening. Instead, Aeris was looking through the wrapping that the box had been in. She eventually came across the tag, which had, indeed, had Cecil's name as the receiver. When she noticed this, Leo spoke up, "What the Hell was that!?", he shouted, "How did he get lingerie in his freaking presents!"
"Ummm...", Aeris said, looking a little nervous, "Well... I maaaaaay have tagged it so that it looked like it was going to Cecil, when it was supposed to go to you."
"Me?", he asked, "Um... no offense Aeris, but I don't think I can pull something like that off."
She smacked his arm, "Not like that! You were going to open it tonight, and I was going to wear it."
"Ooooooh...", Leo said, now understanding, "Well, you switched up the tags, so now we have to fix up this mess. Somehow."
"That's the easy part at least.", she said, handing him the box, "Put this in the closet. Get the other box that's in there, and bring it to me."
Leo nodded and did as he was told, going into the bedroom to get the game, and coming out just as quick. With a smile, they both walked over to Cecil's door and opened. When they looked inside, it seemed to them that the Legos were in a battle to the death with the Transformers. Almost immediately though, Cecil looked up at them with bright and hopeful eyes, saying, "Did you get the game?"
Leo and Aeris both smiled as she held the game out to her son. Once more, he snatched the rectangular package, tearing it open and in no time at all, he was staring face to face with a copy of Street Fighter V. With a (as he would later say, 'manly') squeal of delight, Cecil hugged both his parents and said, "Thanks for fixing this up."
"You're welcome sweetie.", Aeris said, patting his back, "Now go play your game."
"Will do!", he shouted as he ran out of his bedroom and down the hall, into the living room, where all the games were set up.
This left Leo and Aeris alone in their son's room, silent. Then, Leo started to chuckle a little. This was picked up by Aeris, who had started to snicker a little as well. This eventually grew into full blown laughter, their eye tearing up as they thought about the whole situation. Aeris was the first one to calm down enough to say something, which was, "Oh God! I haven't felt that embarrassed for so long!"
"I know!", Leo said, "How did you even switch the tags?"
"I don't know! It was a mistake! Good God, I'm getting old!", she said through a few occasional chuckles, wiping a tear from her eye.
"Awwww, don't say that.", Leo said, pulling her into a hug, "I don't think you're old. You're young. And pretty."
Aeris reciprocated the hug and smiled, saying, "Have I ever mentioned that I love you?"
"More than once, yes.", Leo said jokingly. After a few more moments he said, "Hey, is there any chance I can see you in that sexy outfit you got for me?"
"Ah, ah, ah.", she said smirking and tapping his nose, "Later. When Cecil is asleep at least."
"Awwwww... okay.", he said, clearly disappointed.
"Oh, don't be like that.", Aeris said, breaking out of the hug and holding onto Leo's paw, "Now come on. Pretty sure that Cecil will want a second player."
"I can do that.", he said with a smile as they both walked into the living room together.
Yes, this was now the life of Leo Leonardo the Third and Aeris Leonardo. Was it a perfect life? No. Was it a happy life? Absolutely. Their love was genuine, and they wouldn't have had it any other way. All because of one awkward moment on Christmas Eve night.
Oh, and about there being no awkward moments here? I LIED AGAIN! HA! I'm so evil...
Well, this is it. The last chapter of Awkward. SURPRISE! Anyway, read and review this, and be sure to check out my new works that'll be coming out soon. Bye!