A/N: A midnight drabble that popped into my head and might turn into more. I think I'll do a few more chapters about moments with the Carsons, Thomas can kick things off because I've always had a bit of a soft spot for him. ;)

Thomas Barrow is many things, an eavesdropper, a lurker, and a meddler, though he has been trying to cease the latter as of late. However, a man cannot change himself completely and that is how he found himself standing quietly beside the polished doors of the chapel, peering at the couple outside. The wedding was not scheduled to start for another forty minutes, yet guests had been trickling idly in, mostly the servants and old friends of the bride and groom but he did see the Dowager Countess take her seat with all the proper pomp and flair as she began to hold court with those around her.

Mr. Carson and the soon-to-be Mrs. Carson remained blissfully oblivious to the hum of energy that was steadily building in the church as they spoke softly to each other. Mrs. Hughes' wedding gown wasn't white, but rather a lovely shade of cream and it clung to her becomingly, but not outrageously. Mr. Carson sported a starched gray suit, white carnation pinned carefully to his chest. Watching through the crack in the door, staying unobtrusive from many years of practice, Thomas studied the couple.

Her hands reached up to smooth his tie and adjust his jacket and unconsciously he leaned into her, his hands, weathered and large, covering hers, small and delicate. Thomas marveled at their unwavering trust, their utter lack of hesitation as she raised her face to his. He swallowed hard as Mr. Carson pressed her hand to his lips gently and she smiled at him, radiantly, brilliantly.

No one would ever bestow that look on him, Thomas knew, no, he would never be the cause of such a smile. But no bitterness tinged his thoughts, as it so often had in the past, and he wished no ill will on the couple in front of him. His relationship with Mr. Carson might often have been strained and tense, but for Mrs. Hughes, who had supported him, fought for him and treated him with kindness and respect, he would bear no resentment. He was going to be butler soon after all, it would do him well to end his grudges.

His attention was re-captured by the couple in front of him as Mrs. Hughes pulled Mr. Carson's head down to hers to whisper in his ear. Carson's hand drifted down to the small of her back to balance her, to steady her as she reached up, a movement so familiar to them both now that neither took any notice of it. He couldn't hear what she said, but there was no need to. All he needed to know was written plainly on Carson's face as the butler smiled broadly down at his bride-to-be and raised his other hand to cup her cheek.

Their lips met ever so tenderly, her arms wrapped around his neck, his hand on her waist. To Thomas, the kiss was intentionally light, as if it was merely a beginning, a promise of times to come. The couple pulled away after a heartbeat, but showed no inclination of moving any farther than an inch apart from each other. Thomas retreated from the doorway silently,and returned to his place within the church.

He assumed his position beside the door with all the proper stoicness of a true butler. He had decided, in that instant, to ensure that neither bride nor groom was to be disturbed until the very last possible moment. When he questioned himself later as to why he had been so determined to let the couple have their snatched moments of peace, he told himself firmly that it was because he owed it to Mrs. Hughes and put the thought from his mind.

Perhaps he has learned a little something about kindness while at Downton after all.

A/N: Please do leave me a review if you liked (or didn't!) and thanks for reading!