Hello everyone! Welcome to an ancient piece of writing of mine. Back when Sense and Sensibility was all I could possibly think about, I wrote this brief story about Colonel Brandon and Marianne. I LOVE this pairing, and so I wrote many stories about them. Unfortunately, this is the only one I still have, though I will probably be writing more of this pairing in the future. I just have to say, Jane Austen is one of the most INCREDIBLE writers, and much of my personal writing style emulates her. She is a fantastic visionary in the world of romance, and if I could meet anyone from the Victorian Era, she is who I would choose. Anyways, I hope you enoy this songfic.
Disclaimer: I DO NOT own Sense and Sensibility or the characters (they all belong to the illustrious Jane Austen) and I do not own Celine Dion's lullaby "My Precious One" It is a beautiful song, and I wish I had written it, but alas, I didn't.
It could well be said that Little Thomas Palmer was the fussiest baby ever known to humankind.
Upon Marianne's recovery, the Palmers had come back to their manor and the young woman was immediately assaulted with Charlotte's enthusiastic voice telling her to come meet Little Thomas. Mr. Palmer remarked to his wife sarcastically that the poor woman was just out of bed for the first time in weeks, and should therefore be allowed to meet their son at a different time.
Charlotte, of course, would hear none of it, and thrust the frilly baby into her arms, who immediately began to cry. Marianne held the baby awkwardly, not knowing what the baby liked, and therefore unable to stop his screeching. Charlotte looked on with an oblivious fondness, and bade her sit with the boy for a time while she went to fetch some tea. Mr. Palmer looked exasperated at his wife's lack of sensitivity, and offered to take the baby, but Marianne knew his short patience would have him positively throwing the baby to get out of earshot.
So, instead, she opted to hold the wailing child and walk a ways to the library to see if she could find something to entertain him with there.
When an already harrowed Marianne arrived at the library, she admitted (if only to herself) that she was ready to toss the infant into the nearest waste receptacle and pretend she had never seen him. Of course, she wouldn't really do such a dreadful thing, but the notion pleased her as the baby pulled her hair and cried louder, as if sensing her traitorous thoughts.
Upon entering the extensive library, she saw Colonel Brandon sitting in a wingback chair, reading peacefully, and immediately tried to back out of the room. Her feelings for this man had been thoroughly confused since his rescuing of her. The side of her that had scorned him was chastised and sad, for he was, as Elinor put it, "The very best of men." And her romantic side had been positively giddy upon learning that he had carried for two miles in the mud and pouring rain. How gallant and noble he was! But on the other hand, she was not sure of his interests or much of his personality, as she had snubbed him for Willoughby—she thought the name with sorrow and disdain—and never given him the chance to reveal his nature to her.
But when she tried to back out from the room quietly (an impossible feat with a screaming menace in her arms) he stood and said, "Ms. Marianne, please, come in." She blushed, having been caught, and entered the library. Colonel Brandon stood, and bowed deeply to her, before smiling slightly and saying wryly, "I see Mrs. Palmer has seen fit to grace you with her child's presence." She laughed, out of breath from carrying the baby all the way across the manor, and nodded.
"Indeed. It seems the little one sees that I am not, nor ever will be, a ready mother. In all honesty, this child is currently the bane of my existence. I am so tired, and I dare say, I'm a little upset at Charlotte's ignorance to the fact," she said, only half-joking.
"If I may be of assistance, I will hold the boy while you regain your breath?" his voice was raised in a question at the end, his eyebrow raised. He knew she would not refuse such an offer of salvation. She agreed eagerly, passing Little Thomas over to the tall man, who immediately adjusted his arms to accommodate the bundle of frills.
Marianne couldn't help but notice that the colonel had experience with this. He held the baby expertly, shifting his arms back and forth to rock the baby, who's screaming began to quiet a little. Her eyes followed Thomas's into the eyes of Brandon, who looked back at the little one like he was holding the most precious gift in the world.
"I have long wished for a child of my own…" he whispered to himself, clearly forgetting where he was. Marianne stared, a fluttering in her stomach that she couldn't quite define. She felt her whole body warm, as though it wished…but no, surely her body wasn't saying that she wished to give him his desired child. Absurd.
But the thought lodged in her mind. In her mind's eye, she saw herself; a hand on her swollen stomach, rubbing it tenderly, while she watched Christopher (in these dreams, she could call him by his given name) rock another child in a bassinet to sleep.
She was startled from her vision when a deep, silky voice began to sing to the baby: a lullaby that she had often heard as a child herself.
My precious one, my tiny one
Lay down your pretty head
My dearest one, my sleepy one
It's time to go to bed
Colonel Brandon sang to Little Thomas, who had stopped crying upon hearing the velvet voice sing to him. The baby's eyes were riveted on Brandon's face, much in the way the man was looking at Thomas. A silent communication seemed to stretch between the two, as though they had a mutual understanding that Brandon would sing if Thomas was quiet.
My precious one, my darling one
Don't let your lashes weep
My cherished one, my weary one
It's time to go to sleep
Marianne closed her eyes and let the lullaby flow through her. She could feel her heart racing at the tenderness that was in Christopher's hazel eyes. She wondered if this was how he always was when his guard was down. I wish it were for me that those eyes looked on in such sweet rapture. The thought startled her. She realized she was wishing for him to look at her with such love. But then, she remembered…he had. He had, on the few occasions she paid attention, looked at her with barely concealed adoration and ardor.
Her breathing quickened and she opened her eyes to look at him again.
Just bow your head
And give your cares to me
Just close your eyes
And fall into the sweetest dream
'Cause in my loving arms
You're safe as you will ever be
So hush my dear and sleep
He was slowly turning, dancing while rocking the baby in his arms, completely oblivious to the effect this was having on Marianne. Her heart was swelling with affection, and she didn't know if she could venture to say…love? Surely she would know if it was love. Love was not a subtle, gentle thing. It was fiery, it was fierce, it was all consuming…right? She was suddenly unsure. Seeing Christopher holding a baby was changing her mind.
She could see that not all love had to be a burning. Sometimes, it could be simp,e warmth. Not a fire, but a woolen blanket. But either way, it was still all encompassing. Marianne could feel her whole body long to reach out to him and lay her head on his shoulder while he sang.
And in your dreams
You'll ride on angels' wings
Dance with the stars
And touch the face of god
And if you should awake…
The colonel suddenly seemed to remember himself, as though he himself had just awoken. He looked at her, and Marianne could have sworn she felt her heart stop at the look in his expressive eyes. It was love. Directed at her.
He continued his song quietly, and before she could stop herself, she walked the few steps to him, and reached for his hand.
He looked down to their entwined hands, and she saw the most beautiful of smiles grace his face, before he looked back at her and sang the last verse.
And he sang it with love.
My precious one, my tiny one
I'll kiss your rosy cheek
And underneath the smiling moon
I'll sing you back to sleep
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