Princess Road

Something small, that may or may not stay that way, depending on my fancies and the alteration of time.

Peggy went to her mother that night, because of Edward. She'd wanted to stay with William but knew that there was nothing she could do. He was unconscious and the surgeon was to arrive, she had no place imposing under these circumstances. She would call tomorrow, whether he had woken or not, because he was her fiancé and Mr Buxton would keep them apart no longer. She wouldn't allow it, not anymore.

Her mother was at home, sitting at their small table. The cottage seemed to be dustier than usual, probably because Peggy wasn't there to clean and her mother wouldn't do such a thing, especially when there were so many excuses to be made. When her mother saw her, Peggy swore she saw relief, happiness even, on that bitter and sad face. She knew that it wasn't for her, because she was home, though, because in the next few seconds, after it was clear that Edward wasn't going to walk in behind her, the tears started pouring. Peggy didn't move as her mother cried, didn't offer comfort, but a few stray drops fell from under her own lashes. She did nothing to wipe them away.

She let her mother scream and yell, break down completely. She told her how Edward had died, how the twisted smile that she would never forget marred his face as he snatched the purse and ran toward the engine. She had thought little of her brother before but now he was no brother of hers, dead or alive. She was sad because she lost him and she lost him before he died.

And then they simply sat together. The sun rose, but more shadows were formed in the house than before. Soon it was twelve noon and Peggy decided she had best take her mother to bed. There were no protests, but as she turned to leave a hand clasped her own and she sat, keeping her mother company for a little while longer. She would never be able to replace Edward in her mother's eyes, but in that moment, it didn't matter.

And in the afternoon she made her way to the Buxton's. She didn't know what to expect, William no doubt ill and severely wounded, but refused to turn back. She wanted to be with him. She couldn't lose him too.

She knocked and a maid answered the door. A nice girl it seemed, although the way she kept the door only partly open infuriated Peggy to no end.

"I am here to see William."

The maid seemed reluctant to respond, but after a few seconds she spoke in a indifferent monotone.

"He is being tended to, you are not permitted to enter."

Peggy was about to reply, no doubt rudely, before she was cut of by a cry of pain. It came from inside, and immediately she knew that it was William. Her heart ached as the sound echoed in her head.

"Please," she begged, turning her gaze back on the maid, whose eyes shone with pity. She wanted to see him, needed to. Needed to do something.

And then Arminia opened the door completely and hugged her tight enough to stop air from entering her lungs. She felt sobs rack her friends frame and immediately hugged her back, but as suddenly as the hug began it ended and she was being pulled inside, vaguely hearing the door close behind her. It all seemed to happen in a matter of seconds and Peggy was somewhat dazed.
Arminia pulled her into what looked like the morning room which she may have thought strange, unless of course William was lying on the couch...

...William!

And then Peggy was moving towards him, past Mr Buxton, who she knew was yelling one thing or another. He must have been telling her to leave, she thought, but she wasn't going anywhere. William seemed small amongst the sheets, his face overly pale and his arm wrapped heavily in bandages. He was whimpering and moaning, thrashing weakly, and a layer of sweat covered his face and matted his hair. His shirt was still on him, torn and dirty, and the sleeve had been ripped apart to access his arm. She knelt down and placed a hand against his forehead, feeling the fever that burnt beneath her palm, before looking over to the small table. There as a bowl of water there, as well as an already damp cloth, and she picked up the latter and held it against William's face. She couldn't bare to see him like this, but she wasn't going to leave. No, she was going to make it better.

She couldn't help but glow with pride as Mr Buxton was shocked into silence. Her voice seemed to be soothing William, as did the cool cloth and her her fingers stroking his face, and soon he quieted completely, breathing deeply and evenly. He leaned into her touch, mumbling her name, and she felt a smile split her face in two. He looked so young, so innocent. She was glad she could take his pain away.

And when she turned her smile grew wider. Arminia was giving Mr Buxton her 'I told you so' look, seeming slightly happier than before. Peggy's eyes met his and she saw pain in those orbs. He felt the same pain as his son, if not more. But when she looked deeper she found relief, overwhelming relief, and something else. Gratitude. He was thanking her for doing something he could not.

She turned back when she heard William say her name again, although this time it was a pained gasp. She made her fingers move again, not realizing that she had stopped brushing them along his cheek, and he calmed somewhat, not completely at ease. He was breathing quickly now, as if he were more awake, more aware of the pain. She looked up at Mr Buxton, as if asking for confirmation, a mental question. He had moved, sitting in an armchair across from the couch William was occupying, and watching his son closely. Peggy started when William whimpered softly, the sound making her heart melt. She slowly lifted his head careful not to hurt him, and slipped underneath, resting his curly blond hair on her thighs. She brushed some of that hair back, out of his eyes, and he whimpered again, leaning into her hand.

Arminia came up behind her, placing a comforting hand on her shoulder.

It was then when she realized she was crying.

And she wasn't going anywhere for a long time.