Disclaimer I do not own Downton Abby. No copyright infringement intended. I was supposed to be writing one of my other stories but this idea just wouldn't get out of my head. My first and most probably only Downton story.
Actions and Reactions.
Anna leant against the kitchen table, glad that at least for a moment she was alone. The house was always full. If Lady Sybil wasn't entertaining, the young mistresses had something going on. Now with the threat of war hanging over the whole country she just knew things at Downton were going to change, probably forever. She closed her eyes for a moment as she wished the world would stay as it was. That change would not force it's way into her peaceful little world. But she knew that wasn't going to happen. She hadn't got to the age she had without seeing the affect of change. It didn't matter where she was or when she she had been forced to deal with it change would come. Only now she didn't feel well enough to deal with it. Sighing heavily she sat at the table and closed her eyes. It was too much, she was exhausted and knew it was only going to be a matter of minutes before Mr Carson and Mrs Patmore arrived to get the morning well underway.
"I heard this place is to be used as a hospital." Mrs Patmore rolled her eyes as she heard Ethel and Gwen chattering away. She had lived through the effects of war before and had no wish to watch young men go off and get themselves killed again. She shook her head as she picked up her immaculately clean apron.
"Well, if that is the case I am sure his Lordship will tell us all about it. When there is anything to tell." She smiled as the young girls nodded "Now come along, Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson will expecting you to have half the fires lit and this place shining like a new pin before I serve the breakfasts."
"Yes Mrs Patmore." Ethel and Daisy chimed as Gwen nodded and smiled. They disappeared from their rooms and headed into the main house as the motherly cook made her way towards the kitchen. She had a fair idea what she was going to make for breakfast. Toast and Porriage for the staff and fresh fruit and a full english breakfast for 'them upstairs". She smiled as she knew that both Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson would approve of her choice.
John buttoned up his waist coat as he made his way to the kitchen. He knew that he was running ahead of time and had no need to rush. Lord Grantham was already prepared for breakfast, the newspapers freshly ironed and ready in the drawing room. He just wanted to grab a quick cup of tea and maybe a chat with Anna before the rest of his duties had to be attended to. He nodded a good morning to Thomas as he passed him, still unable to understand why the younger man disliked him so much.
"What is it Daisy?" He smiled at the young scullery maid as she wiped her hands on her apron.
"You are needed, sir. In the kitchen. Mrs Patmore said to find you at once and make sure you knew how important it was to come." The words left her in a rush as John frowned. He had no idea what could have caused such a reaction in the teenager.
"What has happened?"
"I was told to get you."
"I see. And why was this?" He was already marching towards the kitchen. "Has Carson sent for me?" He was beginning to worry that his past was finally catching up with him. While Lord Grantham knew about his past he was certain that something would happen to throw it all back into his face.
"No. Not him. Look please come. Please come, it's Anna."
"Anna?" He was running as fast as his injured leg could allow. "Why?"
"She was up before the rest of us. She isn't well. Cook said I had to get you. That you would know what to do." Daisy ran alongside him as she spoke. Every step seemed to take too long to get to her. All he knew was Anna was unwell and judging by the way young Daisy was panicking next to him it was more than a simple cold.
"Anna? Anna lovey." Sarah shook her friend as the blonde maid remained quiet. "Oh I don't like this."
"Neither do I." Mrs Patmore rinsed out a cloth and handed it to Sarah. "Put this on her forehead. Keep her cool."
"She needs a doctor."
"And she'll get one." Andrew stated as he stared at the young woman now laying half across the lap of Lady Grantham's maid.
"Foolish girl." Ethel whispered as she ran from the kitchen. She was determined to find Mr Carson and beg him to call the doctor, although where there would be money to go to the Infirmary she had no idea. It wasn't as if the Grantham's would pay. Anna was only the Head Housemaid. It wasn't as if she was important like a Butler or Housekeeper.
"Anna." John stood in the kitchen doorway as Daisy barrelled past him.
"Right." Mrs Patmore sighed. "Everyone out. You all have jobs to be getting on with. Mr Bates and I will look after Anna. Go on with you."
"No buts Daisy. Off you go. Now don't worry." She smiled kindly. It seemed Anna was more well liked than she thought she was.
"Anna, Mr Carson. Not well. Hot can't wake her up." Ethel picked up her skirts as she almost ran after the Butler. He paused before turning to Lady Sybil who frowned.
"I am sorry my Lady." He dipped his head. Lady Sybil waved a hand. The older man annoyed her at the best of times. She knew he valued class and rank more highly than she did.
"Daisy? What is it?" She sighed as the young girl caught her breath.
"Anna." She paused. "Collapsed, we can't wake her up. Mr Bates and Mrs Patmore are with her now. Please Miss. She has to have a doctor."
"And she will. Carson see to it that the doctor is brought here at once." She raised an eyebrow.
"Very well Miss." He dipped his head once more before making his way to the only telephone in the house.
"What happened?" John knelt beside Anna as he brushed a strand of blonde hair away from her face.
"She was like this when we got 'ere."
"And how long ago was that?"
"Ee I dunno." She paused "Within the hour but she was here before us. She's been leaving her work late and getting up early for weeks. Barely eats. Hardly rests. I have no idea where she gets the energy from." The cook shook her head as she fought the tears. She loved the young girl as though she was family. It broke her heart to see her in such a state.
"Come on Anna." He shook her shoulder as he watched her chest rise and fall slowly. It seemed she was breathing far too slowly. He pulled her into his arms and carried her from the kitchen towards his room. "Ethel has gone to ask for the doctor has she not?"
"Then I'm putting Anna in my room until he gets here. Bring me some cooled boiled water and a cloth." He ordered as Anna's head lolled dangerously against his chest. It was like carrying a ragdoll rather than a fully grown woman. He closed his eyes and sent up a silent prayer that she would wake soon. He had no idea how he would cope without her. The deathly pale skin and the slight sheen of sweat on her brow made him think he may just have to.
a/n 1st Downton story from me. As the name suggets I normally write fic relating to Spooks. There is another part to this if anyone wants me to post it. Please review.