Author: baileybijoux PM
A glimpse into the first thirty years of Mary & Matthew's marriage. Fluff & angst abound.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Family - Mary C. & Matthew C. - Chapters: 16 - Words: 12,670 - Reviews: 46 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 52 - Updated: 09-13-12 - Published: 07-19-12 - id: 8335927
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Alice spent the morning of the fourth in the nursery, still in her school uniform but not going to school. No one would tell her why, and she was sure Robbie knew, but Carson took both the boys out for a walk a half hour earlier. She had sat in her chair, the one in the corner that basked in the morning light, vaguely listening to Clare reading something to her. It was probably Peter Pan, as that was what she had fallen asleep to the night before.
"Where's Mama? She usually reads to us at night, not you," Alice said to her.
Clare squinted her eyes at the girl, only saying that her mother was 'a bit preoccupied.' The woman, who she knew was older than her mother, much preferred the boys over her. They acted as they were supposed to, loud and rowdy and playful. Alice wanted to do the same... she loved tumbling around in the gardens, riding the bike her father had taught her to ride over the summer, just about anything that her brothers could do.
It annoyed her. Everything about the notion of 'being a lady' annoyed her.
"Nanny Clare, I have a question," Alice piped in, sitting up from her slouched position.
Clare looked up from above her reading glasses. "And is it so important to interrupt me?"
Ignoring her nanny's question, she continued. "Mama isn't having the baby, is she?"
The woman just stared at her for a moment, a contemplative look in her eyes. She shut the book softly, fingers still holding her place.
"Because... because Mama said it wouldn't be here until nearly December," she said quietly, gauging Clare's reaction. "That's bad, isn't it?"
"My dear," she began, "you have to understand that sometimes, bad things happen to good people. And everything happens for a reason."
Fear coursed through the little girl's veins. What if there was something wrong with Mama? She knew Clare was still talking to her, and her only instinct was to dash from the room. She ran down the length of the corridor, gasping for air, going as fast as her little stockinged feet could take her. She remembered the night before, before dinner, when Mama mentioned that she hadn't felt the baby move in a while, and Papa said that it might just be sleeping.
She didn't notice the panicked expressions on their faces.
Just as she reached the door to her mother's bedroom, Anna appeared from the room. Alice stopped in her tracks, feet sliding a bit on the carpet.
Before Anna could get anything out, Alice couldn't help but to blurt out, "Where's Mama? Is she all right?"
She saw Anna's hands tighten into fists, before letting them back out again. "She's fine, Lady Alice. What are you doing over here anyways? Did you sneak off from Nanny Clare again?"
Alice knew the maid was trying to divert her away from the scene, so she kept on. "But I want to see her!"
"Not now, darling, I think all your mother needs now is some rest and-"
Matthew stuck his head out from the doorway, and Alice immediately burst into tears. With her father, the second she began to cry, she was able to get anything out of him. But truly she wasn't trying to manipulate him. It was so frustrating that she couldn't get any information out of anyone, and that brought her to her brink.
"My sweet girl, what's the matter?" He said, moving swiftly to swoop her up in his arms, her head immediately burying itself in his shoulder.
"Mama... please... I need to," she managed out between gasps and hiccups.
"Well, your Mama is very tired and very... sad, so if you stop those tears, I'll bring you in," he murmured to her, and when she leaned away, she saw his red eyes.
Wiping away the tear tracks from her cheeks, she sniffled. "Papa, you look sad."
Matthew gave her a small smile. "It's a sad day, Alice. Sometimes papas get sad, too. But you have to be strong for your Mama, all right? No more crying."
"No more," she reiterated, shaking her head.
Finally, he brought her inside. Her mother was in bed, on her side, the blankets only up to her hips. When she noticed Matthew had brought their daughter along, she sat up slowly.
"I knew you'd make your way in here at some point," Mary chided, wincing slightly as Alice clumsily made her way across the bed to her mother.
Matthew began sliding on his light coat, muttering something about going to go find the boys. Her mother said not to tell them until later, when they were there together.
"What are you talking about?" Alice said, her mother grabbing hold of her hand.
Mary smiled, and her eyes began to well up. "It scares me how perceptive you are sometimes, Alice," she said, her eyes shutting tightly, not particularly wanting to cry in front of her daughter.
"Am I in trouble?" Alice whispered, not really understanding the word she had used. It made her mother laugh, so at least she was out of the woods on that end.
"No, darling, but... you do believe in angels, don't you?"
Alice nodded her head. Clare spoke of them quite often, that they keep you safe and warn you about bad things to come.
"Well, you have a new guardian angel," she explained, her voice tight, "and his name is Theodore, and he'll keep you out of trouble, all right?"
Alice perked up immediately. Something to keep her out of trouble was exactly what she needed.
"Forever?" She asked her, playing with the ends of her mother's hair.
"For as long as you'd like," Mary said, reaching forward to embrace her daughter.
I'M SORRY OKAY. I've had this one planned since the beginning, and basically I've been dreading it ever since. God the things I do to these people...