Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Eighty Six Part One

A/N: I’m sorry for the wait! Packing to move has taken over my life :)

Two things:

1) I’ll cover more of the Lesotho stuff in part two of this chapter. Everything I wanted to cover would have made one chapter all together super long.

2) Please don’t be afraid to let me know what you think! I love hearing from you guys!




He looked up, a smile pulling at his lips as he found his wife standing in the doorway of his office. She was dressed for bed, clad in an old, worn t-shirt of his, yoga pants, and a pair of warm wool socks on her feet. He leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms above his head, already mentally mentally abandoning anything else that needed responses for the night in favor of his wife and her adorable pajamas.

“Is Emma asleep?”

“Mhmmm,” she smiled and nodded and then pushed from the doorway, moving into the room and towards him. She rounded the ornate desk and then moved to sit on the edge, her legs dangling as she laughed softly. “Her and Gus. Out cold.”

Harry chuckled and reached for one of her wool clad feet, pulling it into his lap. His thumbs pushed gently into the sole of the foot, making Alex sigh in happiness. “That dog loves her.”

“Who doesn’t love her?” Alex countered with a smirk.

“Fair point,” Harry matched her smirk with his before it faded out to a more serious look. “Do you it weird that it’s hard to imagine sometimes, loving two more children like I love her?”

Alex tipped her head to the side in thought. “Harry, I don’t think anyone doubts the capacity you have to love children…”

“No no,” he shook his head. “I didn’t mean it like that. I’ll love as many children as you give me. But do you people love all of their children the same way? Or is there a different type of love that special for each of their children?”

“Oh wow…” Alex sucked in a breath. She flexed her toes in Harry’s fingers as she thought about it. “I don’t really know. Maybe...maybe the basics are the same, but you love each child for who they are too?”

“Maybe…” Harry smiled, his eyes holding hers and they both let the thought settle over them.

“What brought that thought on?” Alex asked softly.

“I was thinking of the announcement and feeling protective and...then my mind just started to wonder.”


“Ha…” Harry shook his head and picked up Alex’s other foot. She shifted slightly on the desk, turning inward so he could pull both feet into his lap. “Maybe I’m a little sad that they won’t be just ours anymore.”

Alex’s eyes widened. “Do you not want to announce tomorrow? We don’t have to.”

“No, no,” he assured her with a smile. “I’m fine with it. I promise.”

“Okay…” Alex said slowly, watching him thoughtfully. “What about...what if we just announced a pregnancy? Not that we’re expecting twins?”

His forehead scrunched up and his fingers stalled momentarily on her feet. “Keep the twins a secret?”

“Well, for now,” she shrugged. “Keep them to ourselves bit longer maybe? Through the first trimester at least?”

Harry’s smile grew wider as the idea settled over him. “Emma’s going to hate having to keep that secret for longer.”

Alex giggled and stretched out a leg so she could poke Harry in the ribs with her big toe. “She’ll live.”

“She will,” Harry agreed, laughing as he blocked her attempt to poke him and then pinched her big toe in retribution. “I think that I like the idea of keeping the fact that it’s twins a secret for a bit longer.”

“You think?”

“I know,” he narrowed his eyes playfully. “I’ll call Robin in a little while.”

“A little while?” Alex’s eyebrows lifted and she glanced at the clock on the wall. “It’s nine o’clock.”

“He’ll live,” Harry shrugged. As Alex giggled at his use of the same phrase she’d used moments before, his hands dropped her feet and moved to her hips, easily shifting her to the center of the desk, so that she sat directly in front of him. “But right now, there are more...pressing matters on my desk. Things that require my...full concentration”

“Oh really?” Alex’s smile turned smug as he stood from his chair. He pushed her legs apart and stepped between them. “Like what?”

His eyes danced as he leaned in closer. “You know damn well what.”

Her fingers curled into his shirt and she tugged him even closer. “Yes. Yes, I do.”


Even though there had been pictures of Alex’s supposed bump, even though the media had made requests from Kensington Palace for a statement, there wasn’t any of them who really expected any response to those requests. Public speculation to the pictures had been somewhat mild and a little humorous at times, with social media postings chalking it up to a #FoodBaby and nothing more.

But the moment the confirmation tweet was posted at around noon on that chilly March day, the cautious speculation gave way to an explosion of astonishment and excitement on social media and on the streets of London.

“The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce and they that they are to be parents once again. Princess Emma will become a big sister in October 2016.”

There was of course, those who immediately jumped on the way the tweet was worded, insisting that there was a reason that it was never explicitly said that the Duke and Duchess were expecting ‘a’ child, as it had been worded in both of Will and Kate’s pregnancy announcements. Some correctly insisted that Alex had to be pregnant with multiples and some even speculated on a surrogacy, though Kensington Palace was quick to confirm to the media outlets that the Duchess was pregnant herself; it was not a surrogate pregnancy.

No matter the murmurings of speculation though, one thing was for certain. People were thrilled with the news that Harry and Alex were expecting. The news of a new royal baby dominated the news for several days; with statements of delight at the news being issued by both members of Harry’s family and by Mike and Donna Emerson.

Though the intention had not been to keep the fact that they were expecting twins a secret for very long past the end of Alex’s first trimester, when that date came and went, they found themselves in no rush to make the additional announcement. They were enjoying the support and excitement of the public, but also very much enjoying have this small secret to themselves, with only Emma, their immediate family, and certain key staff aware that there were two little Sussexes on the way.

Until then, they were busy with currently planned engagements and with actively making changes their upcoming schedule to account for Alex’s pregnancy. After a ton of consideration and deliberation, it was decided that the proposed tour of the States to take place in the summer was to be postponed. It had been scheduled to take place during the sixth month of her pregnancy, when it was still generally considered safe for pregnant women to fly, even Alex had to admit that the right thing to do was to be cautious and forgo a week of incredibly busy and potentially stressful travel across the states.

Additionally, the plan for Harry, Alex, and Emma to travel to Brazil in August as Ambassadors for Great Britain for the Summer Olympic games was altered; just Harry and Emma would be making that trip. Though she was sad to be missing it, she knew that Harry and Emma would still have a blast together, and she knew that would make staying home just a bit easier.

But even with all of the canceled and altered travel plans, there were a few things that were allowed to remain unchanged on the list of upcoming events for the Sussex family. And among them, there was one that perhaps the most anticipated, the one that Harry had looked forward to for years and years: the opening of the Mahamato Children’s Center.

Harry was finally going to get to show his girls the tiny little kingdom in southern Africa that held such an important place in his heart.

He was going to get to take them to Lesotho.

After consultation with Alex’s doctors, it was decided that it was safe for her to go. As long as she took proper precautions, it should be safe for her to fly and to spend several days in the tiny African nation.


Watching Harry’s face as they stepped off of the airplane and into the warm, dry air at Lesotho’s Moshoeshoe International Airport was a moment that Alex would remember for the rest of her life. They had been together for years and up until that moment, she would have sworn that she knew every nuance of every expression that could possibly cross his handsome face.

But she was wrong.

It was as if some sort of piece of him that she hadn’t known was missing slid into place as he breathed in the air, as his gaze took in the mountains just beyond the small airport. The broad line of his shoulders eased just fractionally and a sense of comfort settled over his features as a slight breeze ruffled through his ginger hair. She watched him take a deep breath and then turn to her, grinning as he caught her observing him so intently.


“Nothing,” she laughed softly and shook her head. “I’m just...incredibly glad Emma and I finally get to share this with you.”

As if on cue, Emma joined them, jumping off of the last step of the airplane stairs, barely holding onto the backpack over her shoulders as her feet hit the ground.

“You were right, Daddy,” she called out, excitement filling her voice as she adjusted her backpack and then skipped over to them. “It’s soooooo much warmer than it is at home. How long until we’re at Sentebale? Is it a long drive?”

“Once everything gets loaded up,” he nodded at the myriad of activity going on around them; their assistants giving directions and making sure bags were loaded into the correct cars, “It’ll only be about a thirty minute drive, kiddo.”

“Yay!” Emma clapped her hands together in excitement and danced on her feet, bringing laughter from her parents.

“Yay!” Harry echoed with a wink down at his daughter, before turning to Alex with lifted brows. “And how are you feeling? With the flight and everything?”

“Perfectly fine,” Alex smiled brightly, running a hand over her ever growing belly. “Your children are safe and sound with me.”

“Of that I have no doubt,” Harry grinned.

“Alright,” Mia called out as she stepped up to them, a heavy bag slung over her small shoulder and the trip itinerary firmly gripped in her hands. “We’re ready to load up. That’s your car right there.” She nodded towards a black SUV towards the back of the caravan of waiting cars. “Mark will drive you and the rest of the POs will be in the trailing cars. Robin and I will be in the car in front of you.”

“Thank you,” Alex smiled gratefully at her friend and assistant.

“And here,” Mia quickly reached around and produced a bottle from her bag. “Put this on. All of you. This sun is going to scorch all of you.”

Alex accepted the bottle of sunscreen with a laugh. “Yes ma’am. We’ll put it on in the car. Are we ready to load up?”

“Go ahead,” Mia confirmed. “We should be pulling out in about five minutes.”

True to Mia’s word, five minutes later the caravan of dark cars pulled from the airport and out onto the main road, which would take them nearly all the way up to the site of the new learning center that they would be officially opening the next day.

The excitement in the car had reached a fever pitch by the time that they pulled up to the gates of the small children’s village and were quickly waved through.

“Look!” Emma leaned over Harry, pointing out of the tinted window as they pulled to a stop in front of what looked to be the main building. “There’s people waiting for us!”

If possible, Harry’s smile pulled even wider. “There sure is. Quite a welcome committee. Look, there’s Seeiso and his wife, Princess Mabereng.”

Alex smiled to herself as she spotted Harry’s friend and his very regal wife waiting in the group of people waiting. She had met Seeiso and Mabereng at her and Harry’s wedding, but there had been just so many people to greet in so little time, and she hadn’t been able to spend as much time getting to know them as she had wanted to. That was one of the biggest parts of this trip that she was looking forward to.

“Are you ready?” Harry turned his smile to his wife and daughter as Mark stepped from the driver’s seat and moved to open the door to the backseat for them.

“Absolutely,” Alex said with a laugh, knowing that no one was more ready than Harry.

Cathy Ferrier, the Chief Executive Officer, was the first of the group to step forward to greet them. Having spent plenty of time sitting in on Sentebale meetings in London with Harry, Alex was more than familiar with Cathy, and liked her immensely.

“Seeiso!” Harry called out, greeting the co-founder of Sentebale and his friend with a handshake and then a back clapping hug. He leaned in to greet Princess Mabereng and kiss her cheeks before turning back to his girls. “You remember my wife, Alexandra, and my daughter, Emma?”

“Of course!” Seeiso’s smile was warm as he stepped forward, bowing his head formally to Alex before leaning in to kiss her cheeks. “We’re so pleased you’re finally getting to visit us.”

“Me too,” Alex smiled brightly, meeting Seeiso’s kind brown eyes. “And for such a wonderful event.”

Seeiso agreed quickly and then, after bringing forward Princess Mabereng to greet Alex as well, he turned towards Emma, leaning down a bit so that he was on her level. “It’s lovely to have you here, Princess Emma.”

“You can just call me Emma,” she giggled as he reached out to shake her little hand in his big one.

“And you can call me Seeiso,” he replied in kind. “Your dad told me that you were looking forward to playing with the kids. They’re very excited to meet you.”

“Daddy said that we might be able to play football with them,” Emma said, her face lighting up with anticipation.

Seeiso chuckled and threw an amused glance at Harry. “I think that can be arranged.”

“One of these days I’ll convince you to play too,” Harry joked with Seeiso.

“Don’t encourage him, Harry,” Princess Mabereng joked as well. “He’ll be complaining for days about his knees.”

“Yes, yes,” Seeiso sighed, rolling his eyes slightly at Harry’s shout of laughter. “On that note, why don’t we go inside and meet everyone before the press gets here.”


“Tired, love?”

Alex nodded and relaxed into the plush bed with a sigh, stretching her legs out over the covers and leaning back against the myriad of pillows stacked against the headboard. After their afternoon spent getting to know the children at the center and those who worked there, they had reluctantly left to be taken to the Royal Palace, where they would be staying during their several days in Lesotho.

“I’m tired too, Mummy,” Emma said, her own weariness evident in her voice as she climbed onto the bed and flopped down onto it. Harry chuckled as he watched his wife’s eyes slide closed at the same time as Emma’s own eyes started to droop. He really should make Emma go get into her pajamas and climb into her own bed before she fell asleep, but the image before him was too sweet, and he couldn’t help but sit back on the couch in the room and watch them.

“We had a long day,” Alex murmured, forcing herself to peel her eyes open. She looked down at Emma before her exhausted gaze moved across the room to Harry. “But it was so adorable watching you two playing soccer with the kids. The fact that you played on separate teams made it even better.”

“It’s called football, Mummy,” Emma mumbled, her eyes still closed. “And my team won.”

Harry couldn’t help but laugh and shake his head. “She knows what’s important.”

Alex’s soft giggle of agreement faded out as her eyes began to slide closed once again. Harry was watching her, knowing she was just on the edge of dreamland, when suddenly her eyes snapped back open, her hands went to her stomach, and a startled, “Oh!” flew from her lips. It was enough to startle Emma back awake and to have Harry moving from his chair in the blink of an eye.

“What is it?” Harry asked, his eyes wide as he strode towards the bed. “Are you okay?”

“HA! I’m okay!” She laughed, blinking a few times as shook her head. “I’m okay...I just...I felt a baby move.”

Harry halted in his tracks as his heart leapt in his chest. “Alex…really?”

“Can I feel?” Emma joined in, suddenly alert as she sat up on the bed.

Alex giggled as she looked from her stunned husband to her curious daughter. “Yes,” she answered her husband first. “And Emma, I don’t think you’ll be able to feel from the outside yet.”

“Can I still try?” Emma asked, her eyebrows lifting with her hopeful words.

“Sure,” Alex smiled. She lifted her shirt just enough to show her belly and then reached for Emma’s hand, placing it on her belly near where she had felt the movement. She grinned down at her daughter and then glanced up, laughing when she saw Harry still standing there, staring at her. “You can come over here you know, Sussex.”

The bed dipped down as Harry sat and joined them, slight wonder on his face as his hands moved to join Emma’s on Alex’s belly. He knew he wouldn’t be able to feel anything, but knowing that his wife was feeling them moving in there made him want to be as close as possible.

“What...what does it feel like?” Harry asked softly, his fingers warm against her stomach.

“Oh! It moved again,” Alex gasped and then smiled wider. “It feels sort of like...gas bubbles.”

“Ewww,” Emma’s cute little nose scrunched up. “Like you have to fart?”

“Don’t say fart,” Alex replied, biting her lip to hide a giggle. “And kind of, that’s what some women think it is at first. When I was pregnant with you, I felt it for a few days before I realized it was you and not what I had been eating for lunch.”

“Do you feel just one? Or do you feel both of them?” Harry asked, almost mesmerized as he spread his fingers out over her stomach.

“I don’t really know,” Alex shrugged. “I’m sure at some point I’ll be able to tell, but not quite yet. But whatever I’m feeling, whether it’s both or just one, they’re really going now. Maybe they feel the pressure from your hands.”

“Oh wow,” Emma giggled, adding her other hand into the pile on Alex’s stomach. Between her hands and Harry’s, they nearly covered the entire bump. “That’s so cool.”

“It is cool,” Harry agreed with a chuckle. His eyes lifted and he met his wife’s gaze for a long moment, the happiness and significance of this moment passing heavily between them. “And it’s not uncomfortable?”

“Not at all,” Alex shook her head and smiled wide, loving his concern. “It’s more of a tickle than…” She trailed off when a knock sounded out on their door, causing Harry to frown at the interruption of their moment.

“I’ll get it,” Harry sighed, reluctantly drawing his hands away from Alex as he stood from the bed. He strode towards the door and opened it, finding Robin standing there, still dressed from their day.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, sir,” Robin apologized with a slight smile. “There’s just some information that I wanted to go over for tomorrow with you. I didn’t get a chance to grab you or the Duchess while we were getting sorted to our rooms.”

“Ah, of course,” Harry nodded, doing his best to hide his disappointment. He glanced back to Alex, who gave him a sympathetic smile. He shrugged and then turned back around. “Shall we step into the parlor room, Robin?”

“Of course,” Robin nodded, catching the look between the Duke and Duchess. “It shouldn’t take more than just a few minutes.”

“I’ll be right back,” Harry turned an apologetic smile towards Alex and Emma, wishing more than anything that he didn’t have to leave them right then, even if it was for just a few minutes.

“We’ll be here,” Alex called back, watching him and Robin step into the parlor room next door to their bedroom and shut the door softly behind them.

“When do you think I’ll be able to feel them from the outside, Mummy?” Emma asked softly, drawing Alex’s attention back down to her adorable daughter.

“Probably not for a few weeks yet, Em.”

“And when do we find out if they’re boys or girls?”

“Mhmmm…” Alex’s smile twisted up at the thought and she moved her hands to cover Emma’s where they rested on her tummy. “We may find out as early as my next doctor’s appointment, which is in two weeks.”

“Really?!” Emma grinned wide up at her mother.

“Maybe,” Alex laughed. “Why? What are you hoping for? Brothers or sisters?”

“Wellllll,” Emma drawled, her little forehead scrunched up in thought. “I don’t think it really matters. I’ll still be the oldest and that means I’ll be the boss.”

“Ha!” Alex’s shoulders shook with laughter and then she relaxed back into her pillows. “Just don’t forget who’s the boss of you.”

“I knooooooow,” Emma giggled. “What do you think they are, Mummy? Boys or girls?”

“I’m not sure,” Alex smiled softly. “Part of me thinks they’re little boys, being that they’ve been so troublesome…”

“Troublesome?” Emma asked, looking slightly confused.

“Because I’ve been so sick in the mornings,” Alex clarified.

“Ohhhhh yeah.”

“But,” Alex continued, her hand moving to her stomach and smoothing out over it. “There’s another part of me that has a feeling they’re girls too. I suppose I wouldn’t be surprised either way.”

“What does Daddy want them to be?” Emma asked, just as a big yawn overtook her. “Boys or girls?”

Alex gave a big yawn of her own before answering, “I don’t think he minds either way. Just as long as they’re as adorable as you.”

Emma giggled and laid back on the bed, her sleepiness from before suddenly present again. “He does think I’m pretty adorable.”

Alex sighed and put an arm around her daughter, snuggling her close as her own eyes grew heavy again. “Yes, he absolutely does.”


Harry was greeted with two sleeping girls when he stepped back into the room, though only about fifteen minutes had passed since he’d left them. With a smile, he moved over to them and lifted Alex’s arm from around Emma, so that he could pick up his daughter and carry her down to her room. Despite his attempts to be careful and not wake Alex, her eyes fluttered open anyway, smiling up at him when she saw him lift Emma into his arms.

“I’m going to tuck her in,” Harry whispered.

“Mhmmm…” Alex nodded as she sleepily went to slip under the covers she’d been on top of. “Everything okay with Robin?”

“Sure,” Harry nodded. “Just going over particulars for tomorrow. He wanted to remind us for the umpteenth time to drink the bottled water and not the tap water.”

“Of course…” Alex replied, a whisper of a laugh leaving her lips.

“Alright,” Harry smiled. “Let me just go tuck her in and I’ll be right back.”

“Mhmmm,” she sighed sleepily, snuggling into her pillow.

He was quick to tuck Emma in, kissing her goodnight before moving back to his and Alex’s room, finding his wife fast asleep again. He shut off the lights in the room, stripped down to his boxers and t-shirt, and then pulled back the covers and slid into bed. He immediately reached for Alex, wrapping an arm around her and pulling her back against him. His hand moved down to the swell of her belly, his fingers spreading out over it as he nuzzled into her neck, sighing with contentment.

He was just drifting off to sleep when he felt her stir in his arms, felt her hands moved down to cover his on her belly.


“Yes, love?”

“I feel them moving again. I think the babies like it here.”

He smiled at that and kissed the back of her neck. “And you? Do you like it here?”

“I love it, Harry. Thank you for letting me be the one who gets to see it with you.”

“Oh Alex,” he murmured, swallowing at the emotions that rose with her words. “I couldn't have imagined having anyone else by my side but you.”