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Downton Abbey fanfic

The first installment of  a little story I wrote, because I heart Mr. carson and Mrs. Hughes that much. :) And it passes the time until Season 2. Spoilers for Episode 4 of Downton Abbey.

Letting Life Change Us

I don't own Downton Abbey or its characters, they belong to Julian Fellowes. If I owned Downton, Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson would be married and Thomas would be mute.

Mr. Carson drummed his fingers against the desk in his pantry, and glanced at the clock again. It was only five minutes since he had last looked. He felt agitated and restless, though he was at a loss as to why, exactly. Perhaps it was this business with the wine. He had taken Mrs. Hughes's suggestion and gone to the wine cellar to recount everything. It had taken him quite a while before he was satisfied that his count was correct, only because he had wished to take his time and be thorough. It had nothing to do with the fact that as he was counting bottles he began to wonder where Mrs. Hughes was spending her evening off, recalling how her eyes had shone with nervous anticipation. It certainly wasn't because about halfway through his counting of the wine, he began counting minutes as well. Fortunately, then there had been dinner's usual duties to keep him busy and away from his pocket watch, yet even amidst the chaos he still managed to lament her absence.

Now everyone had gone to bed, he had seen the young Mr. Crawley out, and there was nothing to do but wait until....what, exactly? Mrs. Hughes was a grown woman, entitled to do as she pleased same as anyone else. It wasn’t any of his business where she was. True, some evenings they might share a cup of tea and discuss the day, things that needed to be done, but she had taken an evening off from her duties as housekeeper and that likely meant a night off from his tiresome company as well. Mr. Carson had no right to claim any of her time. He sighed and returned to his book, determined not to look at the clock again. He'd only managed to get through a few pages in the last half hour; he kept coming to the end of a paragraph and realizing he had no idea what he'd just read.

Mr. Carson had indeed made it to the next page and was congratulating himself on this fact when he heard the back door open and shut. He became very still, and though he kept his eyes on his book in feigned indifference his ears betrayed him by straining to listen for her footsteps. There they were, tiny and precise as they clicked across the floor, if not as brisk as usual. Her steps came closer to the door of his pantry, slowing to a stop just outside it. Mr. Carson could see her profile from his chair, and almost called out a greeting, except she looked tired and deep in thought; he had no wish to startle her. He stood, and silently walked towards her when he heard Mr. Bates's voice cut across the quiet.

“How was your evening, Mrs. Hughes?”

He watched her smile as she replied, “Very enjoyable, thank you.” Were his eyes betraying him now as well, or was she blushing? Mr Carson couldn't recall ever seeing her smile quite like that, as if she was trying not to but couldn't help smiling anyway. He'd certainly never seen her blush, the palest hint of rose on her ivory cheeks. He noted all this, listening as she hastened to get away before the others came back, it seemed, with an uncomfortably heavy feeling he couldn't identify.

Mr. Carson continued to stand there a few moments more, watching as she said goodnight to the others and walked away. He thought briefly she might turn and say good night to him, at least, considering she was right there at his door, but she did not. The others bustled past her as she left, and Mr Carson was so deep in considering the uncharacteristic behavior he had just seen, that he almost missed Thomas's smart remark, “I was right when I said she was looking sparkly-eyed.” It snapped him out of himself, however, and he stepped neatly into the hall.

“I beg your pardon,Thomas,” he managed to say sternly and disapproving even as his head spun with the possible implications of said remark, however impertinent.

Mr Carson's head spun faster, though, as Thomas outdid his previous rudeness with his next comment, his voice slightly lowered, “He can disapprove all he likes, Mrs. Hughes has got herself a fancy man.” Oddly he couldn’t bring himself to go out to scold Thomas more properly, and break up the conversation as he surely should. He was too busy listening, holding his breath as Thomas so glibly tossed around the idea of Mrs. Hughes leaving (leaving!) and Miss O’Brien replacing her. “If she's got a boyfriend, I'm a giraffe,” came Miss O'Brien's snide reply, apparently the final word on the matter in their opinion.

Mr. Carson sat down behind his desk and picked up his book, though the letters seemed strangely unfamiliar, the words about as recognizable as Ancient Greek. And despite firmly telling himself that none of it concerned him in the least, the only words he could focus on weren't on the page, but in his head, playing in a continuous loop that left him dizzy. “Sparkly-eyed”, “fancy man”, “vacancy”.......“boyfriend.”


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 10th, 2011 06:40 pm (UTC)
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Apr. 12th, 2011 11:31 am (UTC)
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Apr. 15th, 2011 08:25 am (UTC)
I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case.

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )