That Green feeling

Rated: K+
Pairings: Carson/Hughes
Disclaimer: It could not be less mine. Julian Fellowes wrote Downton Abbey, which is produced by Carnival Films for ITV Network.
Spoiler: Contains spoilers for season 3. Read at your own risk
Summary: Sometimes Beryl wonders if she's the only one with eyes in her head.
Genre: romance/ friendship

A/N: My Charles/Elsie muse had been on a *long* break and just returned with this teeny-tiny chapter… I'm not yet sure if it's going to stay a one-shot, or that I'm going to elaborate on it. I have a few ideas, but nothing too clear yet.
I am also becoming a massive fan of Beryl Patmore.

The door from the Servant´s hall to the hallway closed with an almighty bang, while Daisy stomped of into the opposite direction of the kitchen, her heavy work-shoes creating almost as much noise on the marble floor tiles.

From the hallway, Elsie could hear Charles reprimand Alfred for his improper behaviour and she shared a look with Beryl. Uncharacteristically, the cook hadn´t gone after Daisy in one of her usual huffs to berate her for her display of temper. Instead she gave an indulgent shrug and told Elsie: "I'd best let her cool off for a bit…she's seeing too much green to be dealt with now."

As Elsie was frowning at this rather enigmatic statement, Charles entered the Servant's hall, still wearing a bit scowl from the tongue lashing he'd dissed out earlier.
"I'd say, here I was thinking that young Alfred was making good progress and then he goes around trying to slam the door in two." Obviously displeased, he looked inquiringly at the two women. "Does any of you know what got him so worked up?"

Just then the sound of Jimmy's low chuckle and Ivy's giggles drifted in from the backyard and Elsie's eyes widened in understanding.

"Do you?" Charles insisted, seeing her facial expressions change.

"I think I do, Mr Carson," Elsie answered with a hint of an amused smile. "I'm afraid a few of Cupids arrows got mixed up."

If possible, Charles proceeded to look even more displeased, but he waited quietly for her to continue.

"You see, I think it's like this… Daisy fancies Alfred, Alfred fancies Ivy, Ivy fancies Jimmy and Jimmy fancies Ivy back. Hence Daisy and Alfred are both 'seeing green' as Mrs Patmore just put it."

With every couple she mentioned, Charles started to look more incredulous and affronted. He took a few moments to gather his thoughts and eventually heaved a resigned sign. "I remember my own time as a footman, when I was far too busy carrying out my duties to be distracted by any foolish romantic notions. But I suppose that is another change we'll have to embrace."

As he stalked out of the Servant's hall, Elsie barely refrained from rolling her eyes. The poor man really didn't take well to any kind of drama.

Then Beryl let out a loud, heartily and undignified snort.

'What?" Elsie asked, startled from her thoughts.

"Too busy to be distracted by any foolish romantic notions, my eye!" she declared. "I well remember the time a particular new housemaid joined the staff and he couldn't keep his eyes off her. He followed her around like a lovesick puppy, he did!"

"Really!" Elsie asked incredulously. "When was this?"

Beryl fixed her with a long, hard stare. "Quite some years ago," she said slowly, as if measuring her reply.

"I see…" Elsie replied, biting her lip thoughtfully, her curiosity battling her respect for Charles' privacy. "And you are certain he fancied this housemaid?"

"He was besotted with her," Beryl answered pointedly. "It was rather obvious. He acted very chivalrous around her, wouldn't let anyone say anything against her. He thought she'd hung the moon."

"But did he ever tell her?" Elsie's interest was undoubtedly genuine. "Did he ever make any declarations?"

Beryl snorted again. "The most reticent man in all of Britain? What do you think? I'm sure he thought it wouldn't be proper for a man in his position. Besides, I doubt he thought she'd return his feelings."

"Well, didn't she?" Elsie exclaimed, here indignation showing.

"She might have," Beryl retorted, clearly exasperated as well and Elsie concluded that much like herself, the cook was equally affronted at the thought of a good man like Charles Carson having his affections slighted like that.

"I'm rather certain she did," Beryl continued. "But I also think she was a bit too pragmatic and stubborn to risk her position in the household by voicing her feelings."

"Stubborn, you say?" Elsie immediately jumped on that one word. "She wouldn't have been right for him then. They'd have bickered endlessly."

Beryl's face softened a little. "Oh, she would have been right for him. They would have been right together."

"Well, it obviously never worked out that way," Elsie concluded, somewhat disheartened. "I suppose he eventually overcame these feelings?"

"No, he didn't." Beryl's voice was as clear and clipped as ever. "I don't think he ever got over them."

"I see…" the words were mostly directed to the table than anything else and the housekeeper suddenly looked decidedly dejected.

This time, Beryl couldn't stop herself from rolling her eyes, but it went completely unnoticed by the woman across the room. "Well, I'd better get moving," the cook announced sharply. "Bloody oblivious, blithering idiots," she muttered under her breath as she stomped out of the kitchen, much in the same fashion as Daisy had done earlier.

And Elsie was far too chagrined by the information she had just received to wonder about that subject of that comment.

Loved it? Hated it? Please let me know. I feel ridiculously out of shape where this pairing is concerned.