|In the Cold and Warm
Author: TrapperII PM
Matthew doesn't want Mary to marry Carlisle. Speculative ficlet based on Christmas Special teaser trailer only.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - Mary C. & Matthew C. - Words: 509 - Reviews: 7 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-15-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7639489
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: I'm dipping my toe into the waters of Downton Abbey authorship ...
This ficlet is speculation based on the first (and fabulous) Christmas Special teaser that aired last week. My story assumes a couple of things:
1. That the entire family has recently become aware of the Pamuk scandal and that Robert, while not furious, is shocked and disappointed.
2. That, in the episode's timeline, The Punch precedes the "You must not marry him" scene.
Many thanks to EOlivet for the beta and encouragement!
"Mary. Mary!" Matthew jogged across the lawn, slowing his pace to a walk when he saw that she had turned to face him. The short run left him breathless. "Where're you ..." He stopped, noticing her light jacket. "God, it's cold out here."
He brought cupped hands to his mouth and blew into them, an automatic gesture born of long winters in the trenches. Her gaze flicked to his right hand, with its bruised knuckles and fingers that didn't quite bend correctly.
"How's your hand?" Her tone was neutral, unreadable.
"I ... it's ..." He flexed his fingers, chuckled grimly. "It's been better."
She nodded once, looked away. He shoved his hands in his pockets and studied her cold, marble profile in the moonlight. He caught the hint of a quiver in her chin, and his heart contracted. His voice was soft. "Your father. He won't be upset for long. You know that."
She sighed. "Papa has grown accustomed to such shocks by now ... and to me being a disappointment. I suppose my forthcoming marriage is at least a consolation to him."
Weariness seeped through the cracks of her indifferent facade and shimmered in her eyes. Matthew stepped forward, seized by the same impulse that had propelled him into the cold in her wake.
"You must not marry him."
Her eyes widened at his vehemence. Her lips moved, her throat worked, but she remained silent, fixing her gaze on the square of lawn between them. Emboldened by her silence, he took another step towards her. "He doesn't deserve you."
She laughed bitterly. "Oh, Matthew." A shiver ran up his spine. "Can't you see? I must marry him. I'm –" She broke off, lips pressing together in a thin line.
He simply waited, watching the subtle play of emotion across her face.
She took a ragged breath. When she began again, her voice trembled. "Matthew, I wish ..." She closed her eyes. Exhaled. " I ... couldn't not tell you, and yet ... I couldn't bear to tell you."
He shook his head roughly. "It doesn't matter."
"But if I –"
"Mary." The name spilled warmly from his lips. He ducked his head to meet her gaze, looked at her with honest blue eyes. His words were thick with conviction. "I mean it. It doesn't matter."
Something like a sigh or a sob broke from her throat.
Matthew took another step toward her. Her hand, when he took it, was cold in his.
Her lips were warm.