A/N: Originally, this was supposed to be a one-shot, but I couldn't stay away. It was your reviews, actually, that made me decide to turn this into a multi-chapter story. The idea of a regular correspondence between Charles and Virginia was just too adorable to pass up. So really, it's all your fault.

Disclaimer: Charles is not mine. So quit rubbing it in already.

Dear Doctor Winchester

by Bad Octopus

Chapter Two

Dear Virginia,

Thank you for your letter, as well as your gift of the seashell. What a very unusual find. I don't believe I have ever seen a periwinkle with such unique striations. It is currently sitting on my desk as I write this.

I hope you will find this letter a little easier to read than my previous one. I'm afraid I have become so accustomed to writing in cursive script that I have all but forgotton how to print. However, as I am sure your teacher has enough to do without taking time from her busy schedule to attempt to decipher my illegible scrawl, I shall do my best to write my words more clearly for you.

Rest assured, Virginia, that I do not regard you as "just another dumb fourth grader". On the contrary, you strike me as a singularly bright, perceptive young girl, and your goal of becoming a teacher is a highly admirable one. Please do not be discouraged by my tendency to use difficult words. I would not continue to do so if I did not believe in your capacity for learning them.

In answer to your first question, I am indeed acquainted with Dr. Benjamin Pierce. If your description of his father is any indication, the apple most decidedly does not fall far from the tree. However, he is undeniably a skilled surgeon, and he has a talent for establishing an easy rapport with his patients. A talent which, I fear, I do not possess in the slightest.

If you are at all interested in history, I feel certain you would have a wonderful time in Boston. To name just a few highlights, there is the Old North Church, as you mentioned, as well as the Bunker Hill Monument and the Museum of Fine Arts. And of course, a visit to Boston would not be complete without a leisurely stroll through its superb botanical gardens, which, incidentally, are located on Charles Street, and are famous for their swans.

Speaking of swans, I am delighted to learn that you enjoyed Swan Lake. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is one of my very favorite composers; the extensive variety and emotional range of his music never fail to astound me. I would ask, however, as a personal favor, that you postpone purchasing any of his recordings for the time being. Save your allowance for more books.

Like yourself, I am a voracious reader. By the time I was your age, I had read everything by Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was particularly enamored with Doyle's "Sherlock Holmes" stories. My own sister Honoria used to say that if I had had my own way, I would have become a detective instead of a doctor. I'm not sure she was not correct on that score.

It is admittedly rather difficult to remain positive in an environment such as the one in which I currently find myself. It is such a drastic change from everything comfortable and familiar to me, and the great distance certainly doesn't make it any easier to bear. Suffice it to say that I wholeheartedly share your desire for this war to end, and swiftly. But I thank you for your genuine concern for my welfare, Virginia. Your compassion is truly touching.

And I am very glad for your continued correspondence. Feel free to write to me, whenever you like.

I wish you all the best in your scholastic studies.


Dr. Charles Emerson Winchester III

P.S. Thank you for relaying Dr. Pierce's anecdote. That was indeed a joke.

A/N: I have no excuse for writing this. Except maybe that I can always use more practice writing in Charles's voice. He talks so purty.

Reviews are, as always, appreciated greatly.