AN: I was inspired to write this fan fiction from the episode of Copper, The Hudson River School. When Francis Maguire was in Molly's old room (at least I think it was) and was drunk and nude. He came off as a man tortured by love, like my favorite character from Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, Heathcliff. (That just so happens to be my absolute favorite book). Francis is tortured by the loss of a girl he was very much in love with and very much wanted to marry, Molly. I feel as if he was only so eager to marry Mary Lockwood because he wanted to move on from Molly. So this starts off from the end of the aforementioned episode and will continue from there. This is actually the fourth fanfiction I've started. Enjoy!
Chapter 1: Gwendolyn Clover
At the station.
"What brings you here?" asked detective Kevin Corcoran. "Miss…?"
"Miss Clover," The young woman replied with a small smile. "I've just moved into a house. When I returned home from getting some groceries, my door was open and some of my things had been noticeably gone through."
"Was anything taken?" asked Corcoran.
"Well if nothing had been taken I wouldn't have had the need to come here," she replied.
Corcoran smirked at her sarcastic remark. "So what was taken Miss Clover?"
"Some silverware and a necklace. I'm not too worried about getting the silverware back but the necklace is sentimental to me."
"Do you know who took it?" A man with dark curls and bright blue eyes, even with one of them being cloudy, asked in an Irish accent, which Miss Clover was surprised to find was delightful to her ears. He was lounging back in his chair with his hands behind his head.
"Well if I knew that I wouldn't be here either," Miss Clover replied in a slightly irritated tone towards the Irish man.
Corcoran and Andrew O'Brien, seated at his desk, smirked at her remark towards Francis.
Maguire sat up straight in his chair. "Now Missy. There's no need to get smart."
"What does the necklace look like?" Corcoran interrupted.
"It's a single small pearl on a thin gold chain. The chain is sixteen inches long." She looked at Corcoran as she said this, ignoring the curious look Francis was giving her.
"All right Miss Clover. We'll ask around at all the local pawn shops and ask the owners to keep an eye out for it. Francis will go with you to take a look at your home," Corcoran said, nodding towards Maguire.
Maguire stood up from his chair and placed his hat on his head.
Miss Clover let out a giggle and quickly placed a hand over her mouth to stifle it. She blushed in embarrassment at her outburst.
O'Brien and Kevin exchanged a confused glance.
"Somethin' funny miss?" Maguire asked, placing one hand on his desk and leaning on it. He noticed how her bright green eyes lit up when she laughed.
"I'm sorry. I truly am. That was very rude of me. It's just that hat on you…" Miss Clover cut off, stifling another giggle. "I don't know."
Corcoran and O'Brien laughed, understanding.
"Well I'm glad I could be the source of your amusement for the day," Maguire said rather irritated.
Maguire smacked Corcoran on the back of his head as he passed him. O'Brien let out a hearty laugh.
"Your house?" Maguire asked, now standing at the doorway.
"Right," Miss Clover said, nodding. "Thank you detective…?"
"Corcoran. Kevin Corcoran," he said, nodding in acknowledgement of her thanks.
"And I'm Andrew O'Brien," Andrew said, nodding as well.
"Nice meeting you both," she said with a kind smile.
Maguire motioned with his hand for her to go ahead of him.
On the walk to her home, Francis got a good look at Miss Clover. He took in her brunette hair, which reflected some red in it in the bright early morning light. She had a clear, peaches and cream complexion and rosy lips. For a second he had an urge to kiss them.
"So what's your first name Miss?"
"Gwendolyn, and your last?"
"Maguire. So what brought you to the city?" he asked with genuine curiosity.
"A teaching job opened up."
Maguire nodded and was reminded of Mary Lockwood.
"How long have you been a teacher?"
"Actually I just finished my schooling. This is my first job."
Maguire nodded. "And the necklace? Why does it mean so much to you?"
"It was my mother's," she replied with a bit of sadness in her voice that Maguire didn't miss.
They arrived at her house a few minutes later. It was a small townhouse, painted white on the outside. It had a small shaded-in front porch once you walked up the steps.
Gwendolyn went ahead of Maguire, unlocking the door.
They entered the kitchen first. The kitchen cabinets and drawers were all open.
"As you can see I left everything the way it was."
Maguire nodded as he went to inspect the cabinets and drawers.
She watched as he inspected the dining room. Books had been flung from the shelves onto the floor, and papers were scattered everywhere.
"Would you like some tea?" she asked him politely.
"That would be nice. Thank you."
Gwendolyn turned to hide her smile at the sound of his voice and headed towards the kitchen.
She kept an ear out for his footsteps as she prepared their tea.
He entered her bedroom. She had a full size bed covered in white linen sheets with lace trim. There was a small plush bunny, with a blue ribbon tied around its neck, that was set against the pillows. He was old by look of his frayed fabric although the ribbon looked new.
There was a wooden washstand against the wall opposite the bed. There was a white pitcher and bowl, and white towel hanging on the rod at the back of the stand. There was an intricately carved wooden hope chest at the foot of the bed. It was open and blankets and linens and bars of lavender scented soap had been strewed onto the floor from it. There was also a wardrobe on the right side of the bed. On the nightstand there was an open and empty small porcelain jewelry box that had roses carved on it. A copy of Jane Austen's Persuasion lay next to it.
"Are you fond of Jane Austen?" Gwendolyn asked, causing Maguire to jump.
"Oy Miss. You gave me a fright. Don't do that," Maguire said in a rush. He took off his hat and ran a hand through his hair, embarrassed. "And I'm not much for readin'."
"My apologies. Um the tea's ready."
Maguire nodded and followed her to the sitting room.
They sat across from each other, her on the settee, him an armchair. Both were upholstered in emerald colored velvet.
Both of them noticed that each of them took two sugars and big splashes of cream in their tea, which they stirred with small wooden spoons, since she had yet to but new silverware.
"Did you see anything that may help you find the thief?" she asked, taking a sip from her tea.
"Oh. Well I'm sure you and Corcoran and O'Brien will do your best to find my necklace." She smiled at Maguire reassuringly over her cup.
"Yes miss. Don't you worry. I'll take it upon myself to find your necklace."
"That's very kind of you Mr. Maguire," she said, with her never faltering smile, as she poured them both a second cup of tea.
"Call me Francis," he told her, mixing two spoons of sugar in his tea.
"Francis," she said smiling as his name rolled off her tongue.
He returned her smile. "So I couldn't help but notice all of your books. You really enjoy readin'?"
"Yes. It's part of the reason why I became a teacher."
"My mother taught me to read at a very young age and I've loved books ever since. I feel that as a teacher I have the chance to instill that same love of reading in my students. A child that knows how to read can get lost in a book. They can go on an adventure and get lost in it, especially now in the midst of this war."
"I've never thought about readin' like that. I suppose sometimes we all need an escape every now and then, even you and me."
Gwendolyn nodded, a small smile on her lips as she brought her cup to her lips.
When they had both drained their second cup, Francis got up to leave.
"I've got to get back to the station miss. Thank you for the tea."
"You're welcome and thank you for your concern."
She walked with him to the door. He placed his hat back on his head in the doorway, causing a big smile on her face.
"I hope the next time you see me, I won't be so funny lookin'."
Gwendolyn giggled. "I'm sorry. I'll try not to laugh so when you wear that hat."
"Ah it's alright miss. I like it when you smile like that. It makes your eyes light up," he told her smiling.
Gwendolyn smiled tentatively at his words.
"Until next time Miss Clover," Francis said in farewell, tipping his hat.
Gwendolyn nodded and closed and locked the door when he left. She went back into the sitting room to clear the tea pot and cups away. She picked up the tea pot and held it. It was porcelain with delicate looking pink peonies painted on the sides. She sunk back down onto the settee and placed the tea pot back on the table as tears slowly leaked from her eyes. Francis's words about her smile and how it made her eyes light up reminded her of someone from her past. She didn't think someone could stir the feelings in her like Francis had just done. When she had first heard his Irish accent at the station and he had involuntarily made her laugh, she knew he was someone special. She didn't want him to be.