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Gisela put the last touch on her masterpiece and stepped back to enjoy it. So much was going to come of lighting one little fuse. It would be glorious. A day for the record books; one she’d remember and tell all of her grandchildren one day.

“We’re so dead if we’re caught up here.” Emma’s voice cut through her moment of basking in the glory and she turned to glare at her twin sister. Did she have to ruin the moment so soon?

“Armin is on lookout, we’ll be fine,” she argued, giving one last tweak to the grand show. It was going to be a beautiful show of colors and noise. The best part was that they wouldn’t even get blamed for it so long as Emma could keep her mouth shut. Another glance towards her sister told her it was time to go or there wouldn’t be any show. “Oh alright, let’s get back.”

“Aunt Lydia can only stall Mom and Dad for so long, y’know.” Between the two of them, Emma was the sensible one. Well, maybe not sensible but definitely less than thrilled with this plan.

Ignoring her sister was the easy part as they made their way back down to the party. The hard part was keeping the grin off her face when their brother came into sight. Once he noticed them, the same grin spread across his face as he made his way over.

“Is it done?” Most days, they were better at keeping their ‘game faces’ but tonight was different. Their grandfather didn’t throw many parties, especially New Year parties, but when he did it was always something spectacular.

“Of course,” Gisela sniffed, making sure there was no evidence of being up on the roof on her dress, “I did my part. It is Miss worrisome that we have to deal with.” Both of them turned to look at Emma who was giving them a glare on par with their mother. Neither of them had mastered that look yet so it was enough to give them pause.

“I’m not going to squeal! I’m just worried about Grandpa. Won’t that many fireworks at once start a fire?”

Gisela share a look with Armin and they both shrugged. “Grandpa can afford it.” The guy lived in a ridiculously large mansion anyway. He didn’t need all the wings of his house in case one or two caught fire.

A loud boom told them that there wasn’t much time and they rushed out into the courtyard. Their excited smiles easily blend in with the rest of the crowd preparing to celebrate the New Year and they took their time weaving through the crowd.

They made it part way to their preferred viewing point when all three of them were stopped by a figure stepping in their path. The panic that raced through their hearts for a second was quickly squelched so that they could smile at their mother.

“I know those smiles,” Rikku’s eyebrow arched elegantly and she crossed her arms. Her little trio had cooked up some sort of trouble.

“Red, I’m not sure we even want to know.” They were all able to keep from jumping out of their skin when their father spoke up from behind them. Dreu smirked at his kids as he held up his glass nonchalantly in a greeting.

Try as they might, they had been cornered and there was no easy escape from their parents.

“We’re not doing anything you wouldn’t have done at our age,” Gisela smiled widely, rising up on her toes to plant a kiss on his cheek.

“Then I definitely don’t want to know.” Dreu grumbled, narrowing his eyes suspiciously. They were getting along, that was an indicator in itself on what they were up to. The girls didn’t team up with Armin, or vice versa, unless they wanted to be sure things went their way.

“I do.” Three pairs of eyes swiveled back to their mother as she leveled them with a look. As kids, it was the look that would make them crumble and spill all their secrets but now they had more immunity to it. Would take more than a stare down to get them to spill the beans. “You shouldn’t have used Lydia as your decoy if you didn’t want us to figure out that something was going on.”

The bell chimed and they internally relaxed. Only minutes away from their reveal and they wouldn’t have to worry. Gisela bit her lip to keep from laughing at the impeccable timing of midnight but it was Emma who really set the stage.

Emma looped her arms with her parents on each side and led them over to the spot they had been heading for in the first place. “To be honest Mom, Lydia was the perfect decoy. We rarely get to have the whole family around for New Years,” a point for them since it was sadly true, “And we wanted to make this one extra special.”

Gisela was having enough trouble holding back the laughter and she had to jab Armin with her elbow to get him to stop snickering. Emma was throwing the guilt trip on thick. It had been years since they had had a huge family party like this and the occasion was something that should be remembered. But maybe not in the way their parents wanted to remember it.

Just as the bell chimed the twelfth time, Emma gave both of her parents her most innocent smile despite the sudden shouts that came from the rooftop. Gisela dragged Armin up to stand with them as the show began.

A couple hundred fireworks going off all at once above the house was just as magnificent as Gisela had imagined it. The whole thing was made even better by the absolute amusement that she could hear in the laughter around them. Though it was causing a bit of terror to those on the balconies, they got to enjoy it safely.

“Amateurs.” Gisela turned to stare at her mother in shock as the red head laughed at them. Here they thought they were going to be in trouble but instead they got laughter and called amateurs. Rikku’s eyes twinkled in a devious way as she leaned into Dreu who only chuckled at the whole lot of them. “That’s nothing compared to what I did when I was seventeen.”

Between the booms of the fireworks, laughter, and screams, it was impossible to drag any sort of detail out of their mother. Wearing pouts of varying degrees, they grumbled their good year wishes and gave out the obligatory hugs.

They were ready to sulk the night away until their mother dropped a small photo album onto their table almost an hour later. She didn’t say much, only happy New Year again before going to humor their father with another dance. A few pages in and even they were calling themselves amateurs.

“We need to plan something better for the next family gathering,” Armin flipped another page and sighed. It was going to be hard to top the trouble their mother caused their grandfather.

The twins could only look at each other and share identical Cheshire grins. “Agreed.”

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Well look at that, I managed to get y’all a New Year post too. 🙂

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