Chapter I: Surprise, Surprise
A/N: Sorry, this can't be helped. I got this idea within minutes after the movie ended. Yes, its cliché, but I like this particular one. The events in this story hinge on the one night that Thomas and Edith had away from Allerdale Hall. I have spoken to the writer LadyLorena. While we may have similar starting points, the directions we are taking our stories are completely different. This story is also unconnected to my oneshot. Thank you to Laura for her help! Enjoy the story, SSD
P.S- Merry Christmas!
Also for my own reasons, Alan is just going to be a general surgeon.
Late April 1902, Trinity College Library, Dublin Ireland.
"This really is a beautiful library. It is an architectural marvel." Edith thought with a smile.
It was hard to believe that it had been nearly two months since the events at Allerdale Hall. The only outward sign was the scar under her left eye.
Alan was worried how she was holding up otherwise. Even though she'd tried to get him to return to Buffalo, to return to his practice, he'd gotten a job at the teaching hospital attached to Trinity College.
Edith had awoken in the morning and made the decision to head to the library where she could do some research for her book. She felt a bit nauseous when she sat up, but fought off the urge to lose what little might be in her stomach. She got out of bed and put on her gold dress before pulling her hair up into a chignon. Then she made her way to the library.
Edith gathered the books she had been using and began making her way to the back of the library. As she passed by the stacks of books she heard a familiar voice. "Edith, you look lovely today." She turned towards the voice to see Dr. David O'Neill pulling a book from the shelf. "Dr. O'Neill, it's good to see you," Edith replied, with a smile. "You're working on your book again I see," the doctor indicated with a nod of his head. "Oh, yes," she answered. "Do you mind if I join you?" "I'd be happy for the company." They made their way to the back of the library and sat opposite one another at the table. They worked in comfortable silence for a while before Dr. O'Neill started weaving an enchanted tale that had Edith hanging on his every word.
She sat and listened to him for quite a while before realizing she should probably head back before Alan came home. "Dr. O'Neill, I really should be getting back before Alan reports me missing," she said, getting up to leave. She felt a bit dizzy and grabbed the edge of the table, something that was not lost on the doctor.
"Are you okay Edith?" he asked, coming around to her, concerned.
A polite smile crossed her lips and she replied, "I'm fine, I guess I just got up too fast, thank you. I enjoyed the story Dr. O'Neill," she said giving him a quick peck on the cheek. "Thank you again."
"Have a good evening Edith."
"Thank you Dr. O'Neill, you have a good evening as well." Edith collected her things and started to make her way out of the library. Dr. O'Neill watched as she disappeared from his sight thinking if he were forty years younger, he'd consider courting Edith himself. Then he heard a noise like something or someone falling.
He grabbed his bag and hurried around the stacks of books seeing Edith lying on the floor. Two young men were standing nearby, unsure of what they should do. "You two," O'Neill said pointing at them, "Don't just stand there, sit her up!" He moved in next to Edith and knelt down, opening his bag. He pulled out a small packet and opened it before waving it under her nose.
Edith's eyes fluttered open and she shook her head at the scent of the smelling salts. "What happened?"
"I'm quite certain you fainted my dear."
"Oh, I'm so embarrassed."
"Nonsense, it happens. However, I want to take you to the hospital to check you out."
"That's not necessary, but thank you."
"Necessary or not, I'm taking you there straight away. I will not take no for an answer Edith dear."
"Alright," she answered nodding. She let the doctor and the two gentleman help her to her feet. One of the gentlemen picked up the items Edith had dropped and handed them over to her. "Thank you," she said to him.
"Shall we?" Dr. O'Neill said offering his arm to Edith. She looped her arm through his and the two of them made their way to the hospital.
Alan was just finishing up with his shift when he saw Edith come in with Doctor O'Neill. O'Neill even though he was older, still worked every shift with the energy of a man much younger than he.
He made his way over to them, asking, "What happened Edith, are you alright?"
Before Edith could reply, O'Neill replied, "Your wife just had a minor fainting spell, Alan. I brought her here to have her checked out."
Alan exchanged a look with Edith. This hadn't been the first time someone had assumed that in the past weeks since they made it to Ireland.
Seeing the look, the older doctor asked, "Am I missing something?"
"A small misunderstanding: Alan is not my husband, but a very good friend of mine. I am a recent widow, Doctor O'Neill," Edith explained tightly.
David just felt like he'd really put his foot in his mouth, before backpedaling, "I apologize, my dear. And I am sorry to hear that."
"Thank you doctor. It's been hard, but I'm coping," Edith replied. There was no need to trouble the old doctor with more.
To cut through the awkwardness he was feeling, David suggested, "Well why don't you and I head over to my office, we should discuss what may be up with you, my dear."
As they left Alan said, "I'll wait for you Edith."
Once they were settled in his office, O'Neill turned to Edith and asked, "Have you had any other fainting episodes?" David was really concerned and wasn't asking entirely under his pervue as a doctor.
"No I have not, though I have been feeling light headed at times over the past few weeks. Mostly it's after I get up too quickly. That must have been what happened at the library." Edith responded. She really wanted to return home.
"Have you had any other problems my dear?" O'Neill pressed. He did not yet have all the pieces to the puzzle.
Edith bit lip before continuing, "It's just been some nuisance stuff."
"Please tell me, I would like to be able to help you," the older doctor persisted.
Edith looked at him for a moment before moving on to, "I've been feeling mildly moody, snapping at Alan a bit. Also I have been more tired than usual as well." She grimaced before remembering the most inconvenient of the nuisance symptoms, Edith finished the list of symptoms with, "Also I have been nauseous for no apparent reason and the strangest of things set me off."
David had been about to take a sip of whiskey before the young woman in front of him gave him her last symptom, which made him choke.
He placed the glass down after he had finished coughing. Everything was clear as day to him now.
Clearly concerned, Edith asked, "Are you alright Doctor? Did I say something I should not have?"
"I'm fine my dear. The whiskey went down wrong." He had to approach this carefully, as this was more than likely the last thing she expected.
Turning towards her, he said, "Edith my dear, please pardon me for being crass, but this is a necessary question: Did you have intercourse with your late husband?"
David had never seen anyone go as pale as the young woman in front of him in that moment, before blushing in a manner that would make the setting sun envious.
"Yes, one night. We didn't have that much time together. Why do you ask?"
He moved in front of her and took her hand saying softly, "My dear, it only takes the one time."
"What only takes once?"
David fought the urge to squeeze the bridge of his nose. He was going to have to come out and say it to her.
"Edith, I believe that you might be pregnant."
Those were the absolute last words that Edith was expecting to hear in the aftermath of the events at Allerdale Hall. Sure, she'd known that there would be a chance, but with everything that had happened, the fall, the firethorn tea…
From what she'd read, her being pregnant made every symptom she had fall into place.
After getting up slowly, she said, "I will be getting back to you on that, Doctor."
She felt as if she were in a daze as she walked towards Alan.
When she got to him she said, "We need to talk."
Alan had a feeling that whatever Edith was about to tell him, was not going to be an easy pill to swallow.
A/N 2: So… what do you all think?