A Hole in the River
Author's Note: I now present the official end to my little tale. I hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did, folks! Please check out "A Better Man" while you are in the MFL section, and please do not let the initial Freddy/Eliza pairing scare you off. Have I ever steered you wrong before? *Innocent eyes*
Eliza Doolittle became Eliza Higgins three months later, much to the astonishment of Colonel Pickering. Suspiciously unfazed by the news was Eleanor Higgins, who had merely kissed her son on the cheek, and embraced her future daughter-in-law.
The ceremony was a small, unfussy affair attended only by a select few, including Alfred Doolittle and his new wife, which was a surprise to Eliza, who expected him to give her wedding the same amount of attention that she had given his. From the disappointed look on her stepmother's face at the sight of the turnout, Eliza suspected that their attendance had everything to do with Glenna's newfound interest in social climbing; she was rumoured to have aspirations to be something of a mountaineer, in fact.
Henry adjusted to married life as easily as one would expect a bachelor nearing his fifth decade, which was very slowly, but not as excrutiatingly as it could've been, had Eliza not already lived with him for nearly a year beforehand. There was a bit of a scuffle about the furnishings in his bedroom being altered to allow for some femininity, which resulted in Eliza deciding that they should keep seperate rooms; this of course changed after they both became introduced to the pleasures of the marriage bed on their honeymoon, and although Eliza did end up redecorating her own bedroom on Wimpole street, she rarely slept in it.
Once the period of adjustment seemed to be at an end, the Higgins household was rocked with yet another complication. Two years into their marriage, Eliza gave birth to a son, whom they named after Colonel Pickering. It had not occured to Henry that such an event could possibly occur, nor that such a thing would be so very permanent. Eliza had rolled her eyes at Henry's naive and seemingly endless grumblings, and carried on, much as she usually did.
Freddy joined the war effort, and returned from the front a grave man. He also brought back a wife; a nurse who had labored endlessly to bring life back into his broken body and soul. To Eulalie Eynsford-Hill's delight, the young lady's father had a seat in the House of Lords, and was willing to turn a blind eye to his daughter's rather reckless choice of husband (and profession), and not disinherit her. The pair had many, many children and were quite happy, even though the ghost of The Great War always hung over them.
Over the years, Freddy, Eliza, and Henry reconciled over the events that occured at Eleanor's estate, mostly due to the fact that Little Hugh and Little Frederick were die-hard school chums, and their summers were spent between one household or the other.
All in all, Eliza was satisfied with her life. It was nothing that she had dreamed, but it was certainly better than she expected. Henry was not the demonstrative prince from the fairytales, but he cared deeply for Eliza, and there were, in fact, occasions where he did let it slip that he was very much in love with his wife, despite the general population doubting that his mouth could even form the words.
He bloody well could.