A/N: On the new livejournal role play community for Downton Abbey (it's called down_in_downton for those who want to claim characters) the example for how to post was as follows:

Cora stood in the corner of the room, doing the robot. "Oh hello Robert," she said as her husband approached her. "Do you like my dancing?"

Hilarious conversations ensued, and this was the result. Enjoy!


It was fast approaching time for dinner at Downton Abbey on what appeared to be a fairly normal Thursday evening. Robert made his way downstairs, having gone up to change. He had gone no further than two yards from the bottom of the staircase, however, before Carson was there.

"My lord," he began.

"What is it, Carson?" Robert asked. "You look positively alarmed."

"It's her ladyship, my lord," replied the butler. "She is... well... I'm afraid that I'm not sure what she's doing. She's in the drawing room."

Robert was bemused. "Should I go to her?"

"I think that would be wise, my lord."

Robert nodded, wondering what on earth Cora was up to for her to get Carson so unnerved. The man was like slate; completely impermeable. He headed quickly for the drawing room, opened the door and stared.

Cora stood in the corner of the room, doing the robot. "Oh hello Robert," she said as her husband approached her. "Do you like my dancing?"

Robert blinked, shook his head and then finally accepted that what he was seeing was not a hallucination of some sort. It could still be a dream, he comforted himself, though goodness only knew why he would dream of his wife doing such strange contortions.

"Absolutely, darling," he replied good-naturedly. If it was a dream, then it wouldn't matter what he said.

"Carson didn't seem to approve," Cora noted, swiveling round and leaning backwards in a way that surely wasn't possible whilst wearing a corset.

"Ah," Robert said, for lack of anything better. "If you don't mind me asking, my dear, what exactly are you doing?"

"It's all the rage," she explained. "The robot, it's called."

"Robot?"

"I think the word will take a while to catch on. Eight years or so, I imagine. This is the price of being at the height of fashion, you know, you're always rather alone in it."

"Mm, I can see that being a problem."

He had no idea what he was talking about, but what did it matter?

"Would you like to try?" Cora asked, suddenly straightening up.

"Why not," he said. He always had been terribly bad at saying no to Cora, though perhaps he should have put his foot down after that 'disco' she had tried to hold after the annual flower show. An American thing, he had assumed.

She beamed. "Come here then. Now, you must keep your arms rigid..."

The arrival of the Dowager Countess for dinner was not unexpected. She had informed her daughter-in-law that she would be arriving at eight. As such, she did not expect anything out of the ordinary. She certainly did not expect Carson to recommend that she not join her family in the drawing room.

"Whyever not?" she asked. "Is someone ill?"

"Not as such, my lady, but..."

"Well then."

And with that, she swept into the drawing room in her customary magnificent manner, only to stop dead.

There was her son, her daughter-in-law and her youngest granddaughter, all waving their arms about and looking positively insane.

"That's it, Sybil!" Cora was saying. "You're much better than your father!"

"She does have the advantage of youth," Robert muttered, swinging around with gusto.

Before the Dowager Countess could do or say anything further, however, her elder granddaughters rushed towards her.

"Granny!" Mary exclaimed. "You must stop them."

"They've been at it for ten minutes now," added Edith. "We all came down to find out what the fuss was about, but Sybil insisted on joining in. You know how she is with anything modern."

"They won't listen to us," said Mary, forlorn.

Violet nodded, then strode right into the centre of this strange happening. "What is the meaning of this?" she demanded her son.

"Cora's idea," he replied. "It's called the rohpot."

"The robot," Cora corrected.

Violet blinked. "Is that an Indian word? I knew the Americans were uncultured, but I didn't know they were consulting the natives on their heathen rituals!"

"Don't be silly, Granny," Sybil laughed. "It's a dance."

"A dance. How on earth does this constitute anything so civilised as dancing?"

"Let me show you, Mama," Robert offered. "You hold yourself straight, like this..."

Carson poked his head around the door. "I thought I should warn you that Mr Crawley and Mrs Crawley will be arriving imminently," he said to Mary and Edith, before seeing the Dowager Countess being manhandled by her son into a position resembling the one that Cora was demonstrating. Only years of practicing his impassive butler's face allowed him to keep his composure.

"This is actually quite amusing," Violet was heard to say.

Mary and Edith exchanged looks of alarm. This was time for military action.

"Carson, make sure Mr Crawley and his mother don't come in for as long as you can manage," Mary said. "We will deal with..." She waved a hand to indicate the scene before them.

"No, I will go and deal with Cousin Matthew," Edith said. "You can sort them out."

"Why, you little-"

But there was no time to argue. As Edith retreated with Carson, Mary turned around to face her wildly cavorting family.

"Everybody!" she announced. "I'm afraid that if you're going to do the.. the.. if you're going to dance, then you must do it elsewhere. In fact, I think it best you go-"

"Let's head outside!" Cora suggested loudly. "I think I fancy dancing in the moonlight!"

"No!" Mary cried.

But it was too late. With Cora leading and the other three following, a procession began to the front door of the Abbey. Mary could only stand and watch in horror. Dismayed, she collapsed onto a cushioned seat. Whatever was Matthew going to think when he saw this?

"Mr Crawley and Mrs Crawley," Carson announced.

Mary leapt to her feet once again as Matthew and Isobel entered. Perhaps they had arrived minutes ago and had missed the spectacle altogether!

"Good evening," she said, hoping she sounded composed. "I'm afraid Mama, Papa, Granny and Sybil are all indisposed. Such a shame."

"That's funny," Matthew frowned. "I saw them doing the robot in the entrance hall, and they looked perfectly well to me."

Edith came back into the room. "Cousin Isobel has gone with them!" she exclaimed.

Matthew laughed. "Good for her. A bit of boogying with Cousin Violet will surely do her good."

Later, Mary would be very glad that she was still in front of that cushioned seat as she fainted dead away.