Author: Belfast Docks PM
In the aftermath of WWI, life moves forward. MxD, eventual CxOC, M/D/C friendship. NOT for those who dislike MaryXDickon, or for those who dislike Colin.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Friendship - Chapters: 81 - Words: 117,915 - Reviews: 653 - Favs: 116 - Follows: 124 - Updated: 06-18-13 - Published: 12-30-10 - id: 6607527
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: A big thank you! goes out to Slytherinsal, one of my regular reviewers and my OSoATB (Official Source of All Things British). She offered some helpful thoughts on the mating season of cats in England. (Bet you never thought about the wacky research I do for this story, did you? Now you know.)
Aftermath ~ you always make me smile
"Wha' is tha doin' in 'ere?"
Her eyes jerk up to meet his, wide and slightly guilty, and her hands protectively cradle the small puff of fur.
Dickon sighs in resignation, for he knows exactly what she's doing.
After a long moment, she smiles shyly, despite being caught. "I came up to see you this morning, but you were in the vegetable gardens, so I thought..." She trails off, then plunges on, "And I wanted to see them, too, and it seemed like a good excuse while I waited for you to finish with your morning work. Martha told me about them a few days ago."
He tries to look stern as he makes his way to her, where she's curled up in the hay in one of the old horse stalls. The tiny puff looks up at him with big blue eyes and mews.
"Martha." He sighs. "I shoulda guessed, I should. Eh, tha waits 'til their mother gets back, an' then thy'll catch it, tha will. She won' like thee playin' wit' 'em, an' she'll move 'em quick as a wink, she will."
His wife smiles mischievously. "Good thing I married an animal charmer then, isn't it? You'll be able to find them again; faster then she can move them, I'm sure. I seem to recall you did it a few times before, when we were younger."
He twitches, but after another long pause, he cannot help but smile as well. Instead of denying his talents, he merely asks, "An' wha' would tha do wit' a litter o' barn cats, love?"
"Take a couple of them home, so they can keep the mice away from the larder and the garden. Another four weeks and they'll be big enough for that." She lightly scratches the kitten's ears.
He pushes his cap back and rubs his rusty, wavy hair. "Tha'll have t' take 'em quicker 'en that," he muses. "Or they'll be wild like their mother."
"Two more weeks, then?"
"Aye, I'd say that's about right."
She gently deposits the little bundle back into the hay beside her, into the nest with the other four. "Verra well. In two weeks, I expect thee t' bring me two kittens home for Easter, Animal Charmer."
He chuckles. "Eh, as tha wishes, Miss Mary!"
She smiles; he wraps his arm about her waist and she does the same, so that they bump together as they walk. But as they slip through the barn doors, Dickon cannot help but notice how she turns and glances wistfully back over her shoulder towards the unused stall, and he wonders if it's really kittens she wants.