Title- What's to Become of Him?

Author- Noisseau

Rating- G

Category- Something of a romance...

Spoilers- My Fair Lady

Summary- As we come to the last scene of the movie, we find Professor Higgins devistated at the loss of Eliza and groping to find some direction. What's to become of him?

Author's Note- I quite agree with the guy who addapted "Pygmalion" into the play "My Fair Lady." Bernard Shaw was quite an author, but he was off his rocker in thinking that Eliza should end up with that simpering society whelp instead of Prof. Higgins. There, I'm done preaching...

As he marched down the street ranting against the "ungrateful baggage" he'd taken in, Henry didn't want to admit what was really bothering him. She had hurt him when she'd up and left in the middle of the night. He was a man who valued comfort above all else. He would rather forgo the greatest pleasures than endure discomfort, let alone real pain. And yet, that is exactly what he had unwittingly set himself in for. He'd taken every precaution, holding Eliza at arm's length whenever possible and rebuffing her if she came too close. But somehow, she'd wheedled her way between the plates of his indifferent armor. Her presence beside him was now as natural as "breathing out and breathing in."

"She almost makes the day begin," Henry murmured dejectedly. "Nothing makes sense anymore with her gone. But," he exclaimed, thrusting a finger into the air, "I shall never take her back! That ungrateful guttersnipe, I don't need her. I was self-sufficient before, and I am still! Let her marry her handsome, young fop. See if I care!"

Henry slammed his front door as he went in, punctuating his bravado. But as the noise echoed through the cavernous, empty house, so recently alive with Eliza's presence, he felt exactly like the house - empty. Henry squeezed his eyes shut, grimacing in pain, and tried to swallow the sudden tightness in his throat. He massaged his aching temples as he walked through the foyer and into his study, his private abode, full of his favorite things. But as he stood glancing around at tuning forks and gramophones strewn about, nothing felt right. He felt lost in his own den, feeling for the first time a gaping void he'd never even noticed before.

If you want to hear my voice, you can turn on one of your gramophones. It hasn't got any feelings to hurt. Eliza's acid words penetrated the haze that had settled over Henry.

Might as well wallow in your despair, old boy, a detached part of him interjected. As he shuffled toward the nearest gramophone, Henry passed the decanter of port and seriously considered getting drunk for the first time in ten years. But no, he wanted a clear head to hear her voice with, and the wine would only worsen his headache.

Henry stood staring sightlessly at the stack of homemade records, each dated and labeled precisely, before taking the oldest one and situating it on the turntable. Needle in place, he turned away and shuffled back to his comfortable desk chair, slumping down into it. Eliza's voice, with its former cockney trappings, came floating across the room to him. It sounded tinny and artificial, but as far as Henry was concerned, it was better than nothing.

Once like nails scraping across a chalkboard, that voice now brought some measure of peace to his chaotic thoughts. What is wrong with me? he wondered wearily. Never before had such a thing happened to Henry Higgins - he wouldn't have allowed it! And yet, there he sat, despondent at the loss of *his* draggletailed guttersnipe.

*His*. Is that all this is? Jealousy? Have I come so low? But why should he be jealous, just because his elocutionary conquest had walked away from him, no longer the pupil, leaving him gasping for air in her wake? Did he *love* her, was that it? Henry couldn't be certain, as he'd never been in love before. To be sure, he felt as comfortable with Eliza as he did with Pickering or his mother. But Eliza seemed to satisfy a previously unknown need in him. But is that love, I wonder? She was surely a friend if nothing else, but love?

Henry pressed his fingertips into his sinuses, overwhelmed by his thoughts and ready to call the day a loss and go to bed. Suddenly, his senses tuned in again to his surroundings. Eliza's record was still playing, but there was something else. Henry was just beginning to tense for a fight, when a distinctly non-artificial voice said, "I washed my face and hands before I come, I did."

Henry's stomach began to flutter and his heart to race. He could barely believe it, it had seemed so impossible five seconds ago. He breathed in slowly. "Eliza?" he queried softly, so sure he was hearing things, and yet frozen with hoping it was true. He turned his torso sharply so that he could look at the study entrance.

And there she stood, in her chic designer suit, grinning shyly at him. Relief so potent washed over him that he felt like weeping. They locked eyes. A thousand things ran through his mind in that moment. He wanted to run to her and crush her to himself; he wanted to shake her and demand that she never do such a silly thing ever again; he wanted sit there and look at her forever. Instead, with a mischievous glint in his eye, he righted himself in his chair, his back to her, and tugged the brim of his hat over his eyes. Pretending to settle in for a nap, he intoned casually, "Where the devil are my slippers, Eliza?"

He could almost feel her smile radiating across the room, filling his every pore, erasing the confusion and anxiety of a moment before.

Well then, hope you enjoyed it...

"Friendship is Love without his wings."
-Lord Byron-