Sequel: In Unexpected Places

Against the Odds

Chapter Eighty Seven Part Two

A/N: As promised, here is part two of the chapter! Enjoy!


...Continued from Chapter Eighty Seven Part One

“A lot changed, Mum,” Emma mumbled, swiping at her wet eyes. “Since you married Daddy a lot has changed. He got in that accident and then crazy Patrick tried…” A sob slipped from her lips and she shook her head, still unable to think about that whole time without being upset. “And now I’m going to be a big sister to two babies and I’ve always wanted to be a big sister but I…” She sniffed and took another tissue that her mother offered. “I don’t know, Mummy...I had to keep the secret when you found out about the baby and now I have to keep the secret that there’s two babies and there’s just always someone reminding me about the responsibility of being a big sister’s starting to feel not fun anymore...”

Alex brushed at the tears that rolled from her eyes as the words spilled from Emma’s mouth, her own emotions bubbling up fast and furious at the realization that her daughter was feeling this way. How had she not noticed that Emma was feeling this way? She’d always been so attuned to her daughter’s feelings; never hesitating to stop everything else to assure that Emma was doing okay.

“Emma, I’m so, so sorry,” Alex whispered, her fingers moving to cup Emma’s face, so much like her own, with those big blue eyes staring back up at her.

“It’s not your fault, Mummy…”

“Yes it is,” Alex insisted, nodding her head slowly. “Me and Harry...we should have made sure you were dealing with everything. You’ve always been so easygoing that I think we both took it for granted that you were. Especially since the past year has been so incredibly beyond normal for you. Harry would think the same thing if he were here.”

“I don’t want him to think I can’t be a good princess, Mummy,” Emma’s voice wavered again, a new flare of worry sparking up inside of her.

“He would never, ever think that,” Alex said firmly.

“But what if Gran or Grandpa Charles or Granny Camilla thinks it?” Emma cried, the near calm from moments before evaporating into a fresh wave of tears. “Or Uncle Will or…”

Alex shook her head, hating everything about how much Emma was being affected by this. “No one…”

“But what if they do?!”

“Emma...I…” Alex stuttered the words out, trying to figure out the best way to assure her daughter that no one was worried about that. She pressed her lips together as thoughts ran through her head, as she tried to figure out a way to make Emma understand.

But the reality is that as much as Alex knew with her whole heart that not a single senior member of the Royal Family was concerned about Emma or the role she played in the family, as much as she could try to assure Emma of that until she was blue in the face, there were only a handful of people who could really give Emma the perspective she needed to put these fears to rest.

“I think…” Alex finally said, the words coming out as she exhaled a deep breath. “I think that right now, what you really need is to talk to your Daddy about this.”

“You want to call him?” Emma rubbed at her red, swollen eyes.

“No,” Alex shook her head. She leaned in and kissed Emma’s forehead and then pulled back and smiled down at her. “I want us to go see him.”

“What?” Emma’s eyes went wide. “But he’s…”

“In Scotland,” Alex nodded, her smile pulling high. “For two more days. Want to go?”

“To Scotland?!” An adorable look of surprise, slight confusion, and a flash of excitement crossed across Emma’s face. “When? Tomorrow?”

“No way. Tonight,” Alex answered.

“Mummy!” Emma exclaimed, her fingers flying up to her lips, pressing against them as if that would keep the building excitement in. “Really?!”

“Absolutely,” Alex grinned, already reaching for her phone to dial Harry. Though she already knew that he would be all for it. “Want to?”


The terminal was nearly empty and mostly quiet when they finally exited the train in Edinburgh just past midnight, the last of the passengers to do so. There hadn’t been many people on the train and the ones that were simply hadn’t noticed her or Emma tucked up into their seats in the back corner. After all, who would have expected them to be there? And whether it be from fatigue or simply from hurry to get out of the station and off to homes and their families, not a single one of them noticed the tall man in the baseball cap standing off to the side as he waited for his family. They moved right past the waiting prince, walking fast as they hauled their bags from the station and out into the cold night, their final destinations in sight. But Alex spotted him right away. To her he would stand out anywhere; even with a baseball cap shielding his telltale red hair. Their eyes met and her heart swelled and even though she was exhausted, a wide grin spread over her face as he began to stride towards them.

“There he is, Em,” Alex murmured to Emma, squeezing her daughter’s hand and nodding in Harry’s direction.

Emma’s tired eyes brightened instantly and before she knew it, Harry was there and scooping up his daughter into his waiting arms, lifting her feet from the floor as he picked her up and hugged her tightly to him.

“Hi Daddy,” she whispered into his neck as she hugged him back.

“Hello, my darling girl,” Harry chuckled softly, squeezing her tight. He turned to kiss her cheek before shifting his gaze to Alex. Keeping Emma held tight to him with one arm, he opened his other to Alex. She stepped into him with a sigh and a smile, enjoying being able to nuzzle her daughter and her husband close for the moment.

The sound of a clearing throat pulled them from their moment and Harry couldn’t help but smirk as he looked up to see Mark, obviously wanting to move them from public eye before anyone caught on just who was having a family moment in the middle of the train station terminal.

“Alright,” Harry murmured, kissing the top of Alex’s head before they stepped apart. “Let’s get out of here before Mark starts giving me dirty looks.” He kept Emma held tight in his arms as they walked from the station, quickly sliding into the dark Range Rover that waited at the curb.


Unable to fight off the exhaustion that was a combination of a long day and the way the pregnancy drained her, Alex had curled up in bed nearly as soon as they’d arrived back at the hotel and fallen right to sleep. But, it had given Harry the chance to speak to Emma alone, to see what words he could offer to make her feel better about her perception of the role in the family. More than anything, he wanted to know how he could help assure that the feeling that Emma currently sat with wasn’t one she’d experience again in the future.

Emma sighed and leaned into Harry’s shoulder as she curled up next to him on the sofa of his hotel room. He knew she felt a bit better after the late night ice cream treat that he’d had ordered when they’d gotten there, but the day’s events were still obviously on her mind.

“Thanks for letting us come here, Dad,” she finally whispered. “I thought Mum was kind of crazy for calling and asking if we could come here...but I’m really glad she did.”

“Your mum was so worried, Em,” he murmured, squeezing her shoulder and turning to press a kiss to the side of her head.

“I yelled at her,” she admitted softly. “We never yell at each other, me and Mummy. And I yelled at her today.”

“And why do you think you yelled?” Harry asked quietly.

“Because...I felt like I was going to...explode,” Emma finally managed. “I messed up today and it caused a big problem and…”

“It didn’t cause a big problem,” Harry corrected her. “Things like this happen all the time. We dealt with it and it will be fine. We just wanted you to hear why we made the announcement from us and not from anyone else. That’s why your mum told you.”

“I know,” she sighed, her little fingers moving to swipe at the tears that rose up and spilled out of her tired eyes. “But you trusted me with the secret…”

“And it was a lot to ask of you,” Harry interrupted, pulling back to look down at her. “We’ve always asked a lot of you -- from day one. Not talking about your mum’s relationship with me, keeping the engagement a secret before we announced it, and then of course then the pregnancy and then that we’re having twins.”

“Yes, but I don’t mind that!” Emma insisted, stubbornness flashing in her eyes.

“And we know that,” Harry nodded calmly. “Just like we want you to know that it’s not the end of the world if you slip. I mean...Emma, your entire life has been changed in the past few years. You’ve had to deal with things that very few children in this world have had to deal with. You’ve had to deal with paparazzi and changing schools and uprooting everything you knew. You basically went from being a normal kid to the most famous kid in the world at the same time as dealing with some pretty terrible things in the past year with both me and your mum. No kid should ever have to feel the fear and uncertainty that you’ve felt in the past year and you did and handled it with more grace and acceptance than anyone could have ever expected. You’ve certainly handled it way better than most kids would have. And honestly, Emma, you’ve handled it all loads better than most adults even could have.”

Emma bit her lip and her cheeks flushed with Harry’s words; the compliments taking her by surprise. “Really?”

Harry pressed his hand to his chest. “Would I lie to you?”

“No,” Emma answered without question and shook her head slowly. “You wouldn’t. I just...didn’t know I was doing okay with all of it.”

Harry sighed and nodded his head slowly. “And that’s something your mum and I feel incredibly bad about; we should have let you know how much we appreciate how great you’ve been about...well, everything. We just...God, Emma...we should have made sure that you knew that. Especially with the way life is going to change even more in a few months.”

“I think maybe Mum thought I was worried about being a big sister,” Emma admitted in whisper. Her gaze slipped from Harry’s and down to her lap where her fingers twisted together.

Harry’s brows lifted. “Are you?”

“No,” she sighed and shook her head. “I’m just...I don’t really know how to explain it right, Dad. Everyone asks me about it and I can’t really talk about it because of all the secrets. Everyone wants to know all about I feel about it and how excited I am but I can’t really tell them. And it makes it not really fun anymore to talk about and that’s really, really...”

“Frustrating?” Harry offered.

“Yeah,” Emma sniffed. “A lot frustrating.”

“I’m so sorry, Emma,” Harry murmured, reaching to brush a tear from her cheek. “I didn’t stop to think how different keeping secrets is for you than it is for me or your Mum.”

“You like to keep secrets?”

“Well, we like to have things that our just ours, that the public and the press don’t get to know about us,” Harry explained. “But I can understand things from your perspective. Everyone expects you to be really excited about something, but when you’re constantly on your guard, it’s hard to act excited...and that makes you not look forward to it as much.”

“And I really am looking forward to the babies!” Emma exclaimed, her eyes big and wide as she looked up at him again. “I really, really am. And I know there’s not really anything that we can do about people that ask questions…”

“Well, let me ask you this,” Harry said slowly, tossing around an idea in his head. “I can’t promise that there won’t ever be secrets you have to keep again, but what if we did our best to keep some of the baby stuff between me and your mum? So that you wouldn’t have to worry about spilling the beans anymore?”

“Like what kind of baby stuff?” Emma asked, tilting her head to the side with the question.

“Like...if they’re boys or girls.”

“You know already?!” Emma squeaked.

“No, no,” Harry laughed and shook his head. “But we’re supposed to find out in a few days. Your mum has a doctor’s appointment when we go back to London and he should be able to tell then.”

Emma scrunched up her nose in that adorable way she had whenever she couldn’t decide exactly what she thought about something. It reminded him so much of Alex and he couldn’t help the smile it brought to his face.

“ would you keep it from me?”

“Ha,” Harry laughed and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know. But I could figure it out. I’m very smart.”

Emma giggled and rolled her eyes, knowing Harry was teasing her. “If you say so, Dad.”

Harry laughed again, his head tossing back with it. He was glad to hear her teasing him back; it was a good sign that maybe she was feeling a bit better.

“Of course I say so,” he finally said. “But really, it’s up to you. I’m just offering the option. If you’re feeling too much pressure and feeling frustrated with it all, we can help with that. We’ll always help with that, sweet girl. And we will do a better job of checking in with you and not taking for granted that you’re dealing with everything okay.”

“Okay,” Emma sighed and nodded, her face a bit more serious. “I would like that, Dad.”

“Me too, Em,” he smiled softly and reached out to ruffle her blonde hair. “What about the sex of the babies? Do you want to know when we find out?”

“Uhhhhhh,” Emma made a dramatic groan and flopped back into the couch, making Harry chuckle. “I don’t know...can I decide when you and Mum find out?”


“And if I say I don’t want to know, can I change my mind later?”

Harry grinned. “Of course you can.”

“Okay,” she grinned back up at him. “I’ll think about it then.”

“Okay,” he nodded. “And one more thing, Em?”

Her eyebrows lifted expectantly. “Yeah Dad?”

“I love you. Very, very much. More than I could ever begin to tell you.”

Emma couldn’t help the wide smile that spread across her face and she leaned in to hug him. “I love you too, Daddy.”


Harry wouldn’t ever be able to accurately express how much it meant to him that Alex and Emma had come up to Scotland. Though he would never feel good about Emma being upset or sad, he did feel pride in being able to give her some of the assurance that soothed her fears and calmed her feelings a bit. And the fact that Alex had recognized that and had trusted that he could provide Emma something that night that she couldn’t get anywhere else...well, if it were possible, it made him love his wife even more.

The girls stayed with Harry through the weekend and even ventured out to do some sightseeing while Harry followed through with the planned engagements with Charles and William. Though Alex and Emma were of course recognized out and about, they were mostly left alone by those who saw them. There were cell phone pictures on social media and accounts of their visits to the few places they went, but people respected their right to enjoy Edinburgh without being mobbed, even as the news exploded that the Duke of Duchess of Sussex were expecting twins.

And explode it did. Though there had been royal twins born into both Denmark and Monaco in recent years, this would be the first ever set of twins to be born to the British Royal Family. That fact fueled people’s already high sentiments about the expected royal baby.

It also fueled speculation. Though opinions on the sex of Harry and Alex’s unborn child were a favorite topic since the pregnancy was announced, the revelation of twins rose that speculation to a fever pitch. Were they identical? Fraternal? Boys? Girls? One of each? Everyone had an hope, an opinion, or even a bet; the odds on favorite at betting houses across the UK immediately became identical twin girls.

Though the public would be left the their speculation for the next four months, that wasn’t to be the case for the parents-to-be. Just after their arrival back from Scotland, just as speculation was reaching dizzying heights, Harry and Alex snuck into her doctor’s office that Monday afternoon in Central London -- and by the time they left with matching wide grins on their faces, they were the owners of the most closely guarded secret in the UK.


“I can’t believe it,” Harry said, a wild grin on his face as they stepped through the door of their apartment at Clarence House and shut the door behind him.

“That’s like the fifteenth time you’ve said that,” Alex giggled as he immediately pulled her into his arms.

“Because I still can’t believe it,” Harry laughed. He leaned in to kiss her, sweet and slow and soft.

“Well, it was really one or the other,” Alex sighed, leaning into him and tilting her lips up to his for another kiss. “But...I can’t believe it either Harry. Thinking about what they could be and knowing it are just two entirely different things.”

“Mhmmm…” He nodded. His lips curled up as his hands ran over her back, pressing her closer, pressing her ever growing belly tighter between them. “Have I also mentioned fifteen times today that I love you?”

“More like twenty,” she sighed, tilting her head back as his lips moved to her jaw. “Are you trying to get lucky, Sussex?”

He chuckled into her neck and then gently nipped at her ear. “I’m already the luckiest fucking guy on the planet.”

Alex let out a soft, sigh of a laugh and then her hands moved to his face, pulling his eyes up to hers. “Before we get to that...there’s something else I really, really want to do.”

He lifted his eyebrows. “More than see me naked?”

“Don’t try to distract me, Harry,” she narrowed her eyes playfully and then pulled back a bit and reached for his hand. “Come on, follow me. You’ll love this, I promise.”

“Will I love it as much as seeing my wife naked?” He joked, though he easily followed her as she pulled him down the hallway towards their living room. When they stepped through the doorway his brows furrowed in slight confusion at the several boxes sitting on the floor in the middle of the room. “What’s this?”

“I had Mia pull these from the boxes I put in storage when Emma and I moved in with you,” she answered with a grin that held a certain softness to it. “It’s Emma’s baby stuff. It’s not everything she had, but I saved the stuff she wore the most and stuff that my parents gave her and Molly gave her...all those types of things.”

Harry’s own smile widened as his gaze turned to meet hers. “Wow. I didn’t realize that kept all of this.”

“Mhhmm…” she nodded. Her big blue eyes were soft as she looked out over the boxes.

“And…” Harry stepped closer to the boxes, his smile growing a bit more teasing. “Now that we want to go through them? Pick some stuff out that we can use again?”

“Well, some of it...” She grinned as she reached into a box and pulled out a tiny onesie. “I mean, something like this certainly wouldn’t work.”

“Mommy’s Little Princess,” Harry laughed. He reached out to take it from her, holding the soft pink material in his fingers as he looked down on it. “Amazing. I’ll bet Emma looked so adorable in that.”

“Indescribably cute,” Alex smiled, her face soft with memories. “But there’s other stuff in here...stuff that would work I think. Like this,” she reached in and pulled out another onesie. This one was white and had the words “Hey Y’all” emblazoned across it over a silhouette of the State of Texas.

“Ha!” Harry’s shout of laughter filled the room as he took the onesie from her. He shook his head as he looked down at her and then back up again. “I can’t believe I’m saying this...but I love it.”

“Yeah?” Alex laughed. “

“I’m just sad we don’t have two of them,” Harry teased, the onesie still in his hand as he moved over to her.

“I can find another one,” she smirked up at him. “One for each of our little boys.”

“Boys…” Harry sighed, his smile so warm and sweet that it made Alex’s chest ache with love. “We’re having boys, Alex. Two little boys.”

“Boys...” she repeated in a whisper as he pulled her into his arms once again. “I can’t believe it.”

His chest rumbled with laughter against hers and then he bent to capture her mouth with his. She moaned lightly when his tongue slipped between her lips and he groaned low in his throat when her arms twisted around his neck and she tipped up on her toes, wanting to get closer; wanting more.

“Come on, Alex...the apartment’s empty for a few more hours. Let’s celebrate...right here,” he coaxed, already pulling her with him towards the couch.

“Alright Sussex, you win…” She sighed happily. “The boxes are just going to have to wait.”