Chris Evans Fic: Disney Princess Series Part 4 (The Trip)
Chris’ Disney Princess Series
This is the third instalment of the Disney Princess series:
Disney on its own was pretty mesmerising. Disney with Chris’ family was… magical. It took you a few days to really embrace their closeness, having not really experienced it before, despite your many siblings. All the members of your family were perfect individuals, islands dotted all over the world, but Chris’ family were a complete unit and it was clear to see every single day.
You’d been even a little overwhelmed at first when you had arrived at the villa. True to his word, Chris had organised everything perfectly around your schedule. The family had arrived at their villa a day earlier but you’d had some meetings to attend so had caught a flight the day after.
Chris had picked you up at the airport, his demeanour so casual and open, sunglasses and a bright smile adorning his face, it was as if this was a total everyday occurrence, as if he always picked you up from the airport and drove you to see his family.
You had chatted easily in the car and he shared some of the plans for the rest of the evening and the following days. He gave you another run down of the names of his family members and shared some stories about his niece and nephews and their excitement on their first day back in Disney. It was all too easy to believe that you’d had known Chris for years, that you had a place among his family. For the first, but definitely not the last, time, you sharply reminded yourself to avoid entertaining any thoughts about Chris and yourself other than what theme park ride you’d be going on next.
Upon meeting his family, however, you were instantly welcomed by them all, as if you’d always been on vacation with them. They had been in the middle of preparing a big family dinner when you and Chris had arrived. Lisa, Chris’ mom, was managing things in the kitchen, giving her sons and daughters jobs to do while Chris’ nephews laid the table in between chasing each other around it. Lisa had wiped her hands with a cloth before pulling you into a hug. You’d been unable to keep the repeated tokens of thanks from spilling over but Lisa wouldn’t hear it, simply telling you how glad she was that you were there and how excited they all were to be able to show Disney off to you.
‘Dinner will be ready in fifteen minutes or so. Chris, take her cases and show her to her room will you, give her some time to unpack before dinner. Was your flight okay?’ she said, turning her attention back to you at the end.
‘Yes, thank you. Someone,’ you gave Chris a side glance, ‘booked me into first class without me knowing.’
Chris simply smiled and shrugged, ‘You’re a Hollywood hotshot now, first class is something you’ll want to get used to on flights unless you want photos of you asleep and drooling on your own shoulder all over the internet.’
Lisa laughed, ‘I’d expect nothing less of him anyway, nothing gets done by halves with this one. Go on, go and relax for a few before you have the face the craziness of dinner time with this rabble.’
Chris led you down a hallway off the main living area, pulling your case after him, pointing out who the rooms belonged to as you went. All the doors had an A4 paper name plate, clearly drawn by the younger members of the family, with little crayon pictures of the room’s owner alongside other associated images.
'We’re down here - I mean, my room is here, if you need anything,’ he pointed out his door, adorned with his name, his crayon replica (complete with fairly dense beard you noted) and a picture of a dog.
'Dodger?’ you asked, gesturing towards the door.
Chris smiled affectionately, 'Yeah, the kids decided our doors needed to be personalised this year. Let’s just be grateful it was on paper and not straight on to the woodwork. This is your room.’
To your surprise, you also had a name card, with your own crayon avatar. You wondered if Chris had shown the kids a photo of you. The rest of the space was filled with flowers, trees and birds. You reminded yourself to thank the children later.
Chris opened the door and flicked the light switch, 'So here you go, home sweet home for the next week.’
It was a light and spacious room with a large window on the opposite wall, a double bed that looked incredibly comfortable flanked by two night stands, and a dressing table and chair. There were two other doors, you assumed for an ensuite bathroom and a walk in closet. Someone had left fresh flowers on your dressing table and there were some books in a pile on one of the night stands.
'It’s lovely, thanks. It’s a really nice place.’
'Don’t worry that we’ll be offended if you want to spend time in here by the way. We totally understand that sometimes it’s a bit much being around us all 24/7. Don’t be afraid to take some time for yourself. Same for the days out - if you want to lounge by the pool or go off and do your own thing, just say so.’
You really appreciated that, and it reminded you that you had actually become good friends during your time working, probably better than you had initially given Chris credit for. He was clearly quite attuned to your temperament.
'Thanks, that’s really - I wouldn’t have wanted to seem rude. It’s just… this is so different to what I’m used to,’ you gestured vaguely back down the hallway you’d just come from.
Chris simply grinned, 'I know, I don’t think many people could prepare for this madness. But seriously, no one will think you are rude at all. I left you some books you might like to read and there’s a concealed flatscreen in the foot of the bed so feel free to make the most of it. I’ll give you a shout when dinner’s done.’
He made to leave and you called out to him just as his body had disappeared past the door frame. He popped his head back in question and you wished you hadn’t called him. Suddenly, what you wanted to say seemed so… lame.
'Just wanted to say thanks. For this. My own family never does things like this and… thank you for making me part of it.’
'My pleasure,’ he smiled warmly at you, before leaving you to unpack.
Chris walked back to the main living area in the villa, unable to stop his smile creeping over his mouth. His mom glanced over her shoulder at him from where she was preparing a salad in the kitchen and called him over.
'Can you chop these peppers for me, sweetheart?’ she said, gesturing to the brightly coloured bell peppers on the counter.
Chris picked up a knife and began slicing the top off one.
'She seems lovely,’ Lisa attempted to sound off hand and casual.
'Mom…’ Chris had a hint of warning in his voice, knowing his mom and her line of questioning too well.
'I’m just saying!’ Lisa pretended to be defensive, 'She seems like a lovely girl.’
There was a pause as they both prepared salad, the only sounds of knives hitting the chopping boards as they sliced and diced.
'Just, maybe take it slow wi-’
'Mom! Seriously! We’re friends, I told you this.’
'Christopher, you haven’t brought a 'friend’ to Disney since you were thirteen years old and you definitely didn’t leave flowers in their room. I’m just saying, be careful with her. If you use your usual tactic of getting all your feelings out there in one go, she’ll bolt. Try to reign in the excitable puppy side of your personality.’
'You literally just met her, how can you possibly know that?’
'Because she couldn’t be any different from the usual Hollywood set if she tried. She’s guarded and quiet. Don’t freak her out.’
'Okay, okay, I get it. I’ve been doing that anyway. We honestly are friends though and if that’s what she’s comfortable with, then that’s what we’ll be.’
You didn’t know whether it was Disney, or Chris’ family, or a combination of the two but by the end of the week, you’d never felt less awkward, less shy and less like yourself. You’d done it all: the rides, the shows, the character photos and you were now the proud owner of three different sets of mouse ears, and if you’d also purchased some incredibly sentimental Christmas tree ornaments of your favourite childhood characters to take back home with you, it was no big deal.
You’d loved everything and you had been pulled into the family with ease. Your phone was full of photos documenting all your activities and you’d shared them with the family in their group chat. At the Magic Kingdom, Chris had snatched your phone from you - 'there needs to be some pictures of you on here too!’ - and had kept hold of it for a few hours.
When you got it back and were scrolling through later on that night as you were tucked up in bed, you noticed just how carefree and happy and confident you looked. There were a couple of mouse ear selfies that Chris had made you take with him that made you laugh when you saw the faces he was pulling.
Tomorrow was going to be the last full day and you found you were disappointed. The time had gone so quickly. You laid your phone on the nightstand, plugging the charger in and watching as the screen brightened before darkening to the black sleep screen. You were going to miss this break from your life. You didn’t know if you’d escaped being recognised entirely - there might be a few candid cellphone shots of you floating around now - but you hadn’t been approached by anyone. Chris had a couple of times but it was nothing too intrusive and he was happy to oblige a few kids.
You’d have to go back to LA the day after tomorrow and this would all just become a memory to treasure. You were going to miss it, that much was certain. You thought about the photos Chris had taken on your phone: you were going to miss who you were around this family. You were going to miss Chris and you didn’t know what to do with that thought.
Kicking back your sheets in mild frustration, you rose from your bed and padded across the carpet to the door, trying with all the daintiness you possessed to open the door quietly. Tiptoeing through the villa, you headed to the sliding patio doors leading out to the pool. Settling into one of the loungers, you listened to the silence of the night and tried not to think about how alone you were going to feel after tomorrow.
Chris lay awake in his bed, thinking about you doing the same thing in the room next door. This week had been perfect. He’d loved seeing you loosen up and let go of some of those rules and boundaries you so clearly imposed on yourself most of the time. You’d fit right in: the kids included you in their games, you joined in with conversation over dinner like you’d always been there, and today you’d happily stood with everyone, smiling, when Carly had asked an attendant to take a picture of you all in front of the castle.
But he wasn’t used to being so… subtle. This was not his normal approach at all when he liked someone. He’d taken, what felt like to him, so many steps backwards away from this situation in order to not do anything to freak you out, he felt like things were moving in the exact opposite direction to the one he wanted. So today, he had gotten a little snap happy with your phone and had taken a chance on taking some selfies. You had both been wearing mouse ears and he pulled you to him, arm around your waist, fingers splayed against your hip, as he’d turned the camera to front facing. He had to admit, you were both fucking adorable. Best of all, you hadn’t backed off, and that was a very good sign.
His thoughts were disturbed by the quiet sounds of a door opening, the slight reverberation signalling that it was from the room next door. Chris lay still for a couple of seconds, wondering whether to follow you or not. When he didn’t hear anyone else moving around, he decided he would just go and check that you were okay, then head back to his room and give you the space you clearly wanted. That was all.
'Hey, everything okay?’
Despite his soft voice, you just about jumped out of your skin, so wrapped up in your thoughts that you hadn’t heard Chris’ footsteps to warn you of his presence. You whipped around to face him, hand pressed against your collar bones as you let out a nervous laugh.
'Chris!’ you half-whispered, 'Don’t sneak up on me like that!’
'Sorry!’ he grinned back at you, 'Want a beer?’
He held up two bottles in his hands. Now that you had calmed down, you were suddenly extremely aware that you’d been thinking pretty deeply about Chris and his presence in your life, and you were more than a little paranoid that it was all over your face. A beer could be just the thing to provide a mask.
'Sure,’ you replied, holding out a hand to take one from him.
'Mind if I sit?’
'No, course,’ you gestured to the lounger next to yours.
'Can’t sleep? Me neither.’
'Yeah, I was struggling to drift off. Quite warm tonight, isn’t it?’
'Yeah, a little,’ Chris replied, taking a sip from his bottle.
A silence settled over you, but it wasn’t awkward. There was some tension maybe, but it wasn’t exactly uncomfortable.
You knew then that if you told Chris right now that you thought you were developing feelings for him, he’d be all in. He was waiting for you, and had been since the moment he’d first met you on the red carpet.
You remembered the fall of his expression when you’d shrugged him off with politeness at your pre-filming meeting, you remembered the grateful smile of understanding you had shared when you’d intervened in front of the interviewer, you remembered the grin across his face when you’d insisted that you were just friends at the hotel. And you knew just how easy it would be for the two of you to be an us, if, of course, you didn’t have the whole world watching and if you weren’t an emotional recluse.
But that last statement wasn’t true, was it? You’d seen the pictures from today. You could let go and be yourself, there was photographic evidence of it. The aloof creature was just a shield you used to protect yourself in a harsh business, and it had worked up to now, but you knew it would take much more than that to protect you if you embarked on a… something… with Chris freaking Evans.
'Have you enjoyed yourself this week?’ Chris broke the silence, rolling his beer bottle between his palms.
'Oh god, so much. I’ve had the best time, honestly. I can’t thank you all enough for having me. I’m going to have to have you all over for dinner at mine when we’re back in LA,’ you couldn’t quite believe that particular idea had just come out of your mouth as you took another mouthful of beer.
Chris turned his soft, smiling gaze on you, 'You don’t owe us anything at all, it’s been awesome having you around. But that would be really sweet. My mom would take you up on that for sure. I’ll let you know the next time she’s in LA.’
There was another moment of silence before you spoke again, 'It’s going to be weird, going back to LA. I’m going to miss all this. My house is going to seem so empty,’ the truth that you were going to miss him most of all was left unspoken.
'I know, it’s an odd transition to make. It’s so easy to fall into Disney life. But you know, I’ll be around. Give me a call if you want to hang out.’
'Guess we’re not just work colleagues anymore, are we?’ You smiled at him around your beer bottle as you sipped again.
He let out a short laugh, 'No, I wouldn’t say so. I’ve forced you to be my friend.’
'I’m glad you did. I needed it.’
'You’ve always been beautiful, but this week, seeing you properly laugh and run around and play with the kids and make fun of me with Scott and just forget having to check yourself for appearance’s sake at every turn, it’s just - you’ve been shining, glowing even.’
'Chris… I-’ you started to speak but didn’t know what you were going to say. He’d called you beautiful. Beautiful.
'Don’t worry, that’s all I’m going to say, I promise,’ his voice was gentle, soft. He treated you so tenderly, had done all week long.
'Thank you,’ you whispered, not quite meeting his eyes.