I think we all need a little Danice love after the horrible news about the show, and Danny's personality transplant during last series, so I present before you...a Downton Abbey/Wild At Heart crossover! I've been working on this on-and-off since early January, in attempt to finish it before I uploaded it, and make sure it was good as it could possibly be. I hoped it's worked! Everything that is mentioned *should*be historically accurate in some shape or form, but apologies if this isn't the case. You don't need to watch DA to understand this! I really hope you enjoy as much as I did writing it.
Chapter One - The New Girl
Lord Daniel Trevanion looked up from his morning newspaper to see his butler, Carson, to be stood in the doorway, looking rather on edge. Mr. Carson was known to be a man of immense organisation, and prided himself on the efficient way that the house, Downton Abbey, was run. He was, however, a kind man, who tried his best to give his staff second chances, even if they did not necessarily deserve them.
Carson's latest problem concerned a new maid, who had turned up with little house keeping experience. It would seem she had a reputation for being dismissed from various jobs, which instantly caused concern for him. If it was not for Lord Du Plessis' insistence that the girl be given a chance, Carson would have torn up her application as soon as it had been dumped on his desk. Du Plessis, however, had a certain fondness for those who were seemingly at a disadvantage to others, meaning Carson had no choice but to regrettably give her the position.
"Your tea, milord" Carson announced, sighing a little as the maid pushed past him, carrying a heavy metal tray. She was wearing the usual maid's uniform, a greyish blue dress underneath a white apron, which had been tied tightly around her waist and into a neat bow behind her back. Her sapphire eyes sparkled in the sunlight that was streaming through the polished windows, and her long jet black hair had been messily plaited and rested over her shoulder.
She placed the tray down on the coffee table, "Sorry I took so long," She apologised, with a strong Glaswegian accent, "I accidentally smashed one of the cups on the way here. I don't think Mr. Carson is best pleased, but it's the first day on the job, I can't be expected to get everything right now, can I?"
"Of course not" Lord Trevanion chuckled, "What's your name?"
"Alice. Alice Collins" She smiled, glancing over at Carson who, by this point, was positively fuming, "You must be the great Lord of the house. Everyone speaks very highly of you"
"I am indeed, although I wouldn't say I was the great Lord of the house" He replied, modestly, "You must be mistaking me for Lord Du Plessis"
"No" She replied "I'm quite certain that th-"
"-Do you require anything else, milord?" Carson interrupted, prompting Alice to scowl in annoyance.
His pompous attitude was infuriating to her, and so far she had contemplated quitting at least twice that morning, on the basis that she couldn't cope with being treated like she was nothing by people who were exactly the same as her. Admittedly, it wasn't a great start to a new job, but this was the first decent opportunity she had had in months, so she decided to just grit her teeth and try and get used to it. Besides, even if the downstairs staff were rude and obnoxious, at least Lord Trevanion seemed genuinely respectful.
Trevanion shuck his head, "No, I'm fine, I'm sorry for distracting you, Alice"
"Oh no, its a pleasure. I'll see you later" She said, walking towards the door, glaring a little at the butler as she turned.
"You must always curtsey when you intend to leave his Lordship's presence" Carson told her, trying to ignore her stare and regain order, "and you must always finish your reply with 'milord', to show respect. If you don't, it is considered rude. You don't want to offend his Lordship"
She raised a disapproving eyebrow, as she curtsied quickly at Trevanion, "Not as rude as being interrupted, I'm sure"
Lord Trevanion watched her with evident amusement, trying hard to keep the look of admiration from his face. He knew instantly that he should have been offended by her forward conversation, quick wit and lack of professionalism, but the way the light danced in her eyes menacingly as she spoke completely captivated him.
She left the room promptly, leaving Carson shaking his head with shame, "I'm so sorry, milord. We still haven't had chance to give her a bit of training, we've been very busy this morning"
"Its fine" Trevanion grinned, "Please, go resume whatever it was that you were doing before I disturbed you"
Carson bowed before exiting the room, and descended the grand staircase of the abbey. He was immediately heading for the kitchens, where Alice would no doubt be chatting with the staff and generally not doing anything of use. He walked quickly, but upholding his smart posture, even as he entered the staff quarters.
"MISS COLLINS!" He bellowed, as soon as he had reached the privacy of the kitchens. Everyone finished their conversations abruptly, and turned to face the angered butler. Alice stopped talking to Mrs Patmore, the head cook immediately and frowned at Mr. Carson in annoyance
"Don't shout at me like that!" She snapped, "I'm not a dog!"
Thomas, and O'Brien, the footman and lady's maid respectively, sniggered from the doorway, looking towards the butler's face as it practically turned red in rage. Thomas was a fairly handsome looking young man, but had a cruel heartless personality about him, and cold, dead eyes to match. O'Brien gave the same outward impression, her face never showing any emotion other than pure hate. Her dark hair was always scraped back tightly, and her fringe permanently curled with precision. Both were generally disliked by the staff, and shared a joy of causing trouble for Mr. John Bates, the valet, who had luckily learned not to rise to their childish and manipulative behaviour.
"If you carry on speaking to me in that way, I will not allow you to work here!" Carson shouted over their laugher, scowling at Alice furiously.
Mr. Bates limped into view, his old war wound causing him a great deal of pain, "What's going on? His Lordship wants to see you, Mr. Carson"
"Very well" Carson nodded, "Somebody teach this girl some manners while I'm gone"
Everyone watched him storm out of the kitchen, before continuing with their duties. Mrs Patmore resumed the preparations for the next meal, with her assistant cook, Daisy, who was uselessly dithering with the potatoes. Thomas and O'Brien began gossiping about Alice at once, who was now stood alone, awkwardly isolated from the group.
"Don't worry about old Carson" Bates told her cheerfully, "He's just a bit stressed at the moment"
"Thanks" Alice smiled unconvincingly
He placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder, "It'll get better. I promise."
"He's right, you know" The second footman, William agreed, "It always does"
The day came and went, with the staff getting on with their numerous duties, and not paying much attention to Alice, who was undeniably in everyone's disfavour. She sat quietly in the servant's hall, swirling water around in her glass absently. Most of the other servants had retired to bed by this point, leaving her alone with her thoughts in the darkness.
Throughout her first day, had earned herself several unnecessary scoldings from Carson, and warnings that she would be dismissed from the house indefinitely if she did not improve overnight. He had a high expectation of how the house should be run, and apparently she was not behaving in a manner that was deemed acceptable for retaining those expectations. She had spent most of the afternoon polishing the already glimmering silverware and several pairs of shoes as punishment.
Her training had consisted of an extremely quick tour, and a list of regulations that must be followed at all times, of which emphasis was put on the formality and politeness rule. Most of the other maids had enjoyed watching her make a fool of herself, and felt as though they could look down at her due to her inexperience. She had made one friend, however, in her roommate and also head house maid, Anna, who had taken Alice under her wing and given her a proper introduction to the workings of the house.
Anna was a pretty young woman, with a slim figure and blonde hair that was partially hidden by the compulsory white maid's cap. She stepped into the darkness of the kitchen at that very moment, to find Alice sitting silently at the table. She switched on the light and went to sit down beside her, carefully trying to avoid scraping the chair on the stone floor.
"I thought you might be in here" Anna said, softly, "Bad day?"
Alice sighed, "Horrendous"
"It'll get easier, you know" Anna smiled sympathetically
"I bet Mr. Carson never had a bad first day" Alice snorted "I bet he was born in his dinner jacket"
Anna laughed, "Nobody is perfect. Even Mr. Carson messes up sometimes. Come on, you need to go to sleep. We have an early start"
"Ok" Alice sighed, "I'll go to bed. Tomorrow is a new day."
End of Chapter One
A/N – For any hardcore Downton fans, I've changed the character of Carson a bit, to make him a stricter and less lenient with any screw ups, just for storytelling purposes. Thank you for reading this first chapter, I hope you enjoyed it. Much love!