It Catches Up With You
Summary:When Carl's spoilt niece joins the adventure she ends up learning more about herself and the world, both good and bad, than her privileged life could ever offer her. (Jimmy/OC)
Disclaimer: King Kong and it's characters/plot belong to the respective owners. Any original characters are the work of the author and are works of pure fiction. And to the people I work with, I swear to God that nobody in this story is based on you. Promise. Ish.
The very first thing that Eleanor Patterson said to her daughter Cora, on the morning of the twenty fifth, was "Oh Cora, not again?"
Cora, a skinny girl of eighteen, tore her gaze away from the morning newspaper and blinked groggily at her mother. "What?" She remarked, the remains of a slice of toast dangling idly from her fingers.
Eleanor narrowed her eyes critically. "Don't say 'what' like that Cora – it's vulgar. Say – I beg your pardon."
Cora raised both eyebrows in a manner she hoped questioned her mother's sanity, but obliged. "I beg your pardon mother?"
"This." Eleanor said purposefully, reaching across and tapping the careless bun that Cora had absently yanked her hair into that morning, errant strands escaping in various directions, giving her the appearance of a small explosion. "This half-hearted attempt at presentation sweetie, it's really not becoming."
Cora was halfway through her retort of 'who am I trying to impress at the breakfast table' when Eleanor resumed her offensive.
"And the stocks and shares! Oh Cora, wouldn't you prefer something a little more….well, light hearted?"
Cora folded the paper neatly and set it aside. "It's habit mom, remember? Dad and I used to…"
"Every Friday morning." Eleanor murmured. "Yes I remember." She sighed, implying a degree of forgotten fondness for her late husband. Suddenly she was back to her brisk self. "Anyway, eat up and get Mrs Lansbury to fix that abomination of a style." Mrs Lansbury was the family's housekeeper, who had worked as combined cook, cleaner and nanny to Cora's family since Cora was six years old.
"What's the big rush?" Cora asked as Eleanor fussed around their comfortable house. One positive thing that had come out of losing her first husband, Maxwell, was the generous savings that he had left his wife and children, earned from years of canny business deals. It was enough to keep his family secure for as long as possible, at least until Eleanor had married husband number two. Theodore George Patterson the third, wealthy factory owner. A shmuck, Cora decided whenever reminded of cheerful, bustling Theo, but a nice shmuck. Never tried to usurp into the father role, or be overbearing with offers of forced false friendship. The fact that he was away in Chicago for most of the year was an additional plus. "And anyway, she can't."
"Who can't what honey?" Eleanor asked, adjusting her hat in the hall mirror. Cora scuttled after her.
"Mrs Lansbury. She left last night, remember?"
Eleanor froze. "What?" She yelped.
"To Baltimore. She said so weeks ago." Cora paused. "Her son's getting married,she'll be back in a few days anyway…" She trailed off, becoming increasingly aware of her mother repeatedly muttering the words 'no, no, no' under her breath.
"This isn't happening." Eleanor gasped, becoming increasingly more flustered by the minute. "I'm going to Paris for the next two weeks, she needs to be here!"
"Mom, relax!" Cora said, alarmed at her mother's panic. "I can look after myself until Mrs Lansbury gets back!"
"Don't be ridiculous Cora you can barely look after yourself without looking like some artsy lower class ragbag." Eleanor snapped. "Can't you stay with Violet from school?"
"Out of town with her parents." Cora replied.
"They can't take me in; they're barely scraping by as it is. Not everyone is as lucky as us at the moment."
"I know, I know…" Eleanor sighed, clasping her hand together melodramatically.
Cora took a hopeful step forward. "I could come with you?" She suggested tentatively.
Eleanor gaped at her youngest daughter before bursting into cruel laughter. "Cora, darling, that's absurd!" She trilled. "Not your sort of scene at all and besides, you still needquite a bit of refinement before I unleash you on Parisian society!"
"But I thought-" Cora began sadly, but was once again interrupted.
"No, no, you'd be far better off staying in the city. Perhaps you could arrange to see that nice young accountant I introduced you to- Howard, wasn't it?"
Cora rolled her eyes. "Ugh, please mother. I made it quite clear to dear Howard that I was not interested in the slightest."
Eleanor's face dropped. "Why ever not?"
"Well." Cora began, retreating to her bedroom and selecting a brush. "I'm not sure what repulsed me more, the wandering hands or the bad breath!"
"It's true." Scowling into the mirror, she began to run the brush through her thick brown hair. "I informed him what a disgusting little man he was and he didn't take it well."
Frustrated, Eleanor stamped her foot. "Cora Rose Denham, you will be the death of me!" She strode across the room and snatched the brush away. "You will never be married at this rate! Do you want to end up an old maid?"
"No, but I don't want to marry someone like Howard, why on earth would I?"
"He earns good money!"
"Ha! And that's all that counts?" Cora sneered.
"I only want security for you." Eleanor stated sanctimoniously.
"Sadie was at least twenty before she met Alfred."
"She was lucky." Eleanor fumed. "And don't think that bringing your sister into this will get you anywhere."
"Oh please!" Cora snapped rudely. "It was inevitable; you can hardly ever wait to tell the whole world how goddamn perfect Sadie is!"
"You shut your mouth!" Eleanor's last words rang into a tense silence as mother and daughter glared at each other. Eventually Eleanor sniffed deeply, straightened her shoulders and composed herself.
"Pack your bags."
A feeling of dread settled in Cora's stomach "Why?"
"Because I know where you can stay." She marched out of the untidy bedroom, her hands tightly in fists.
Cora ran to the door. "Where are we going?"
"I'm calling in a favour." Her mother announced. "From your Uncle Carl!"