For an anonymous Tumblr user, who asked me whether I could write a fic with sexual tension between a married Shelagh and Patrick. This left me with a lot of freedom, so I hope it lives up to your expectations, anon ;).
The heat is unbearable. The grass lays yellow and limp, scorched and thirsting for rain that doesn't fall, despite the clouds dark as bruises that dot the sky.
"A storm is brewing," Shelagh tells Angela as she rocks the infant on her hip.
Just like my headache, she can't help but think. The pressure behind her eyes is horrible. If she could she would put herself to bed and sleep for ages. As it is, she hasn't had time to rest; Angela is teething and has been out of sorts all day. The little girl clung to Shelagh as she tried to do her housework. Shelagh still has to do the dishes and she hasn't even started on dinner. She guesses that she should be glad that Timothy is eating at Collin's place tonight. However, she has a hard time being happy with her stepson at the moment, since she snagged her stockings whilst tripping over his cricket bat (it's a complete mystery to her how the thing came to be in the middle of the living room in the first place).
Then, when she finally got Angela settled, she walked into the table, causing her favourite tea cup to hurl to its death on the floor whilst staining the carpet in the process. Her seconds of clumsiness resulted in a nasty stain and a crying infant. Still worse is that said crying infant then proceeded to vomit all over her dress. Shelagh had no other choice but to grab another dress, because walking around in a slip simply won't do. The one she picked is hardly more appropriate, though; she bought it because Trixie assured her she would look 'positively radiant' in it, but all Shelagh feels when she wears it is exposed: it ends well above her knees and the neckline shows off her collar bones. The only good thing she can think of it is that it keeps her somewhat cool in this tropical heatwave.
"Mummy can't go out looking like this, now can she?" she coos, wiping some of Angela's tears away with her fingertips. Angela sniffs in response. Shelagh sighs and massages the bridge of her nose with her free hand. Her glasses pinch. Angela whimpers and presses a tear-streaked cheek against the green fabric of her mother's dress. She squeezes the ear of her stuffed bunny with a chubby fist. Shelagh can see how heavy her eyelids are, though. Just a little while longer, and her girl will be asleep. Shelagh can start dicing the potatoes, then, and maybe change her stockings before she starts to prepare the lamb, and…
"Anybody home?" Patrick's voice rings throughout the house. Angela's eyes flit open and she starts crying again in great, heaving sobs. Shelagh curls her toes and forces herself to inhale deeply. She supresses the urge to cry herself.
Don't get angry, your husband doesn't deserve that, don't get…
"Shelagh? Why is there a stain in the carpet?" Shelagh can't help herself; she is able to prevent herself from crying, but only by allowing her anger to surge. She storms out of their daughter's bedroom and makes her way to the kitchen, Angela still clasped in her arms. She can feel every heartbeat throbbing behind her eyes.
"Patrick Turner, if all you can do is make rude comments when you come home I think it is best if you leave again," she snaps, her voice laced with vexation. Patrick blinks in surprise.
"Now, hold your daughter whilst I make her dinner. I had hoped she would sleep a little, but there's no chance of that now, so I'll just give her her bottle," she growls, pushing Angela in her husband's arms. Angela fusses, throws her stuffed bunny through the room, and then starts screaming because she wants it.
"For God's sake!' Shelagh mutters. She has to get on her knees to extract the toy from underneath the coffee table. When she gets up and straightens her dress her husband's face has become still, his eyes still focussed on her legs. An emotion she can't place flits over his features.
If he's going to get cross with me I'll crumple and cry, she can't help but think. She wordlessly hands him the rabbit, avoiding his eyes.
Patrick places his fingertips on her wrist but she brushes his hand away.
"Shelagh, I'm sorry," he begins. She interrupts him.
"No!" Tears blur her vision as she realises that the only tin of formula they have is empty. She digs around the cupboard, looking for another tin. She was sure she'd bought another one, but if she has it is nowhere in sight.
"Shelagh, darling…" Patrick begins. Shelagh drags a hand through her hair, causing several hairpins to spring away and locks of hair to tumble down.
"Don't talk to me!" Her voice is laced with something close to despair.
"I have to go to the store to get some milk for Angela. Please watch her," she murmurs. She grabs her purse and her coat and leaves.
Shelagh Turner, you've been behaving like a beast, she tells herself on her way home, a tin of formula clutched firmly under her arm. She cringes as she thinks back on the harsh words that shot out of her mouth like arrows aimed at her husband. Guilt knits lines between her brows. She pushes a wayward strand of hair behind her ear.
"I'm going to make it up to him," she says out loud. She ignores the strange look a passer-by casts her; she knows she must look like a fright, with her hair dishevelled and a coat that doesn't match her dress. Shelagh inhales deeply and walks faster. She needs to get home. Angela is probably screaming the house down by now, and Patrick will be getting grumpy without his dinner, too.
A thick raindrop lands square on her forehead, exploding into smaller droplets that splatter on her glasses. A second one follows, hitting the frown between her eyebrows and washing it away. Shelagh tilts her face to the sky as the clouds overhead spill their cargo onto her. People shriek and run to find shelter, but she keeps standing still, cradling the tin of formula. Within half a minute she is drenched. The scorching heat flees for this onslaught of rain, making the air deliciously cool. Shelagh breathes in the scent of rain and offers up a tiny prayer as her headache and her anger and tiredness are washed away.
She'll go home, give her beautiful daughter her bottle, make a delicious meal, and ask her darling husband about his day. And she will apologise for her appalling behaviour. She smiles, and makes for her home with a spring in her step.
"Patrick?" she calls softly, pushing the front door closed with her foot. Her coat drips patterns in the carpet of the hallway. Her hair lays plastered against her face and neck. She shivers as a raindrop travels down along her vertebrae. She hangs her coat on the rack and walks into the living room.
Patrick sits waiting for her, a plate of omelettes and bacon and a pot of tea ready. Shelagh stops in the doorway and blinks owlishly.
"Patrick, what's this?"
"I've made us dinner. I didn't trust myself to cook potatoes, mind, so it will just be bread and eggs." He smirks and places his arms on the table. He's rolled his sleeves up, exposing his forearms. Shelagh tears her gaze from the dark hair that dusts his skin.
"But where's Angela?"
"Sleeping. I've given her a bottle. She was exhausted; she drifted off before I could put her down in her cot."
"But there was no milk…"
"There was a can of formula in the back of the kitchen cupboard. You must have missed it." Shelagh sighs and places her new-bought tin on the table. Patrick just sits there, looking very smug. There's a devilish twinkle in his eyes.
"I've been behaving like an absolute fool," Shelagh starts. She takes off her glasses and tries to dry them with the hem of her dress, but the fabric is too wet and only smears out the droplets. She sighs and places them back on her face.
"Patrick, I think I owe you an apology," she continues. Patrick stands up and grabs her hand. His fingertips brush her knuckles.
"I think you do," he agrees. She smiles.
"It's just that nothing went the way it should have, today," she says, "Angela was so fussy, poor dear, and I didn't get much of the housework done. I also got a rip in a good pair of stockings, and Angela vomited over my dress, so I had to wear this very inappropriate one. I look like a fright. I wanted to cook you a nice dinner, and talk to you about your day, but I was cross with you and snapped instead." Patrick pulls her close.
"Darling, I like to see you in this dress. It shows off all your good points," he breathes as he brushes her collar bone with his fingertip.
"Yes. Though I have to warn you that I'm a man, Mrs. Turner. When push comes to shove I prefer to see my wife without a dress," he murmurs as his other hand slips around her waist, drawing her into his embrace. That strange emotion ghosts over his face. With a jolt of electricity Shelagh realises what it is.
And you, a married woman, she softly scolds herself, unbelievable that you didn't see it before. She suddenly understands that the look her husband gave her as she tried to extract Angela's toy rabbit was one of appreciation; her dress must have ridden up, allowing a good portion of thigh to become visible.
"I'd say this dress is hardly appropriate outside of the house," Shelagh breathes as Patrick places a sloppy kiss in the corner of her mouth. She tangles her hand in his jumper and threads the other through his hair. He pushes a wet strand that lays plastered in the hollow of her throat away and kisses the dip between her collar bones. A soft sound forms in her lungs and leaves her mouth hardly louder than a sigh.
"I agree. I wouldn't want anyone else to see you like this," he growls.
"Fully debauched." His teeth softly drag along her throat, making her moan.
"You're so possessive," she chides him, pressing her mouth to his before he can reply. She takes his bottom lip between hers and bites. In response Patrick crushes her against him and devours her mouth, only letting go when she sees stars and needs to breathe.
"Patrick, dinner will get cold," she tells him, fingertips ghosting over his ear. He shivers in response.
"Don't care," he says.
"Aren't you hungry?" Her breathing is rapid, coming in short, shallow gasps.
"Famished, Mrs. Turner. But I don't think eggs will still my appetite."
"And you've done so well, making dinner all by yourself. Don't you want to taste the fruit of your labour?" she teases him. In response Patrick lifts her from the ground and throws her over his shoulder. He places one hand on her lower back and leaves the other in the hollow of her knees to keep her from tumbling. She squeals.
"I'm going to taste the fruit of my labour, don't you worry about that," he tells her as he carries her up to their bedroom.
The heat is unbearable, Shelagh thinks. This time, though, it will not be the grass that gets scorched.
Well guys hope you liked that!