Blurb: The story of what would happen if Tom while recovering fell for Fanny. Will he win her heart? What would Edmund think?

Pairing: Fanny/Tom

Words: 1,394

Disclaimer do not own anything now on with the story

As Edmund dozed off he seemed to lean more in to the warmth that was Fanny, unfazed and undisturbed to the turmoil going through his cousin mind he slept on. Fanny was still trying to get some rest, as the rays of light began to appear making it even harder for her to get some sleep. She was so engrossed in her own mind that she had yet to notice that her cousin head had come to rest on her shoulder giving her much needed warmth in cold breeze. Fanny knew that the proper thing to do was move however, she did not want to, for so long she had love him that she can hardly recall a time when she did not. Finally Fanny decided against moving for the fear of waking him surely that was best and it had nothing to do with wanting to keep Edmund close her as long as possible. Fanny knew she would lose Edmund soon for he loved another and only saw her as a sister but how can to tell a heart not cry when it is broken. Fanny finally allowed her bravely hidden tears to drop as she thought over her earlier conversation with Edmund. Edmund believed Mary Crawford was only women he could ever see himself marry no else, not her.

She wanted to be disappointed in Edmund but how could she; he was brilliant so it angered her, how could he not see the faults and flaws of the Crawford's siblings. Perhaps, it was because she was one in error. Fanny could not in all consciences blame Edmund for falling for Miss. Crawford, Mary was what a young women ought to be beautiful, accomplished, and with sassy wit that could only make her charming in his eyes. That however, did nothing for her she must conquer this, she will, she has to, and by god if it was his choice she would be happy for him. Fanny had always valued him highly maybe with time she could learn to love Edmund as she once had as the brother he had always been and the same way he loved her. The tears that finally relented began anew with more intensity that before "no" her mind whispered.

"No" she would not give hope so easily not until, the word where spoken and Edmund forever bound to Mary. With that thought in mind a single small ray of hope was born from the ashes of a broken heart. "Fanny, no, no Francis Price" her mind told her, she would fight for Edmund in the words ironically take for Mary "she would not lose for the lack of trying."

Francis had however, no idea where to even begin propriety making the difficult undertaking even more impossible. She could follow the examples of the Crawford siblings but no that would never do she could never risk comprise her self in such way it was not in her nature. If she won Edmund however impossible it seemed she would go about it in an honorable way for if did not than she did not deserve him. More tears spilled from Fanny eyes she was only fooling herself she could not compete with Mary Crawford not when his heart already belonged Mary. She remember what when earlier he had called her sister and soft sobs escaped her as she tried to stifle them in her handkerchief.

Suddenly a particularly harsh bump in the road threw Fanny and Edmund off their seats effectively waking up Edmund and brings to Fanny's dreary thoughts to and end. The carriage came to a sudden halt and the driver could be heard getting out of his seat to make sure they where okay. "Mr. Bertram are you alright? Forgive me sir I didn't see the hole in ground until it was to late? Miss Price how about you are you hurt?" came the rushed inquiry of the driver. Fanny quickly took her seat and replied "I am well only a little startled but fine." Edmund who still fought drowsiness looks to the driver and says "I am fine but please be more careful. How much longer are we until we reach Mansfield Park Mercer?" Gratefully the driver released a sigh knowing that had it been Mr. Bertram the resulted consequences would not have been the same he quickly replied "Yes sir, we are just about three hours to Mansfield Park." Shutting the carriage door and taking his seat quickly he urged the horse on once again on the road.

Edmund finally more awake realized Fanny had yet to face him staring only out the carriage window. "Fanny are you truly well cousin?" he asked. "Yes Edmund I am fine thank you." She answered in a voice that clearly stated she was anything but. Edmund sighs, "Fanny look at me please" in her mind she knew she had but she could not for he would instantly know she had been crying. Edmund worried at her hesitation and gently placed his hand on her chin and turned her face to him and said. "Fanny oh, sweet Fanny you have been crying have you not. You fear for the family don't you and your own heart. Fanny look at me, please have hope for we dearly need it. Here dry your tears and be strong mother will need you." Fanny took the handkerchief and dried the remains of her tears grateful he answered his own question. Fanny realized that how selfish she had been thinking nothing but of her own heart break while Tom laid in his deathbed and with Julia elopement how hard her Aunt would take it.

Fanny resolve to think of it no more she choose to focus her energy her thoughts to how better aid her family after all that is why she was being called back home after all. The next three hours passed by slowly as thought of home filled there minds. Almost as soon as they arrived at Mansfield Park Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris were out the front door receiving them. Lady Bertram quickly embraced Fanny "Fanny, my dear Fanny how glad am I that you are back I missed you so. Now I shall be truly comforted." Lady Bertram sobbed quietly in her shoulder. "I have missed you as well Lady Bertram I glad to be called back home." A soft snort could be heard by Mrs. Norris "Hello Aunt Norris" Fanny said "Fanny I don't see why Edmund had to fetch you could of easily come in coach." greeted Mrs. Norris. "Aunt, it is not safe for a young lady to travel unaccompanied." Edmund defended. "Beside it is by my father's request that I fetched Fanny." This seemed so silence Mrs. Norris and with that they enter home. Fanny took Lady Bertram to her rooms to rest while Edmund and Mrs. Norris went to Tom's chambers. After only a few minutes of comforting words to Aunt Lady Bertram she fell in a peaceful sleep and thus freeing Fanny to see Tom's development.

She left her aunt's room quietly as to not disturb her slumber and walked sedately towards Tom's chambers is an area she had never before had visited. Almost a soon as she walked in she was met by Sir Bertram she curtsied awkwardly and greeted him with a quiet "Uncle". She was startled when she in return was greeted with her head to his heart "Welcome back Fanny it is good to have you home." If nothing else but that simple action told her how grueling things were his daughter elopement and his first born being in such peril.

A harsh cough interrupted the moment and Fanny remember why she come. She quickly went to Tom's bedside opposite to Edmund and check his forehead, he was burning. Thinking on what best to do she said, "His fever is rising, I'll return in a moment I going to fetch some cool water." She ran to the nearest servant and asked for so water after that, she ran to her room and quickly changed her traveling clothes into something more comfortable. She scurried back to Tom's chambers rushed to his bedside, Tom his handsome face flushed red with fever his skin pale and clammy. She took another cloth and along with Edmund they tried to ease his fever.