This is a response to an anonymous request I had on Tumblr which was "The first time Mary allows herself to cry after Sybil's death"


She finds him in the garage, knowing that this is where he would be if he wasn't at his daughter's side. She says nothing as she sits down beside him on the running board of the Renault in a way that her sister used to do - she doesn't even think about what she's doing but, from the way his body relaxes, she knows he finds it oddly comforting.

"I'm sorry, Tom," she says. "I'm sorry I ever stood in your way. I'm sorry I was so awful to you and sorry that I ever doubted how much you two loved one another. I'm sorry that I never properly thanked you because, if it weren't for you, I doubt that Matthew and I would even be married…"

"If it weren't for me, your sister would still be alive."

"Don't ever talk like that," she snaps. "You're wrong… so very wrong. She was alive because she met you. You let her live, Tom… you gave her a life and a happiness that nobody else could have and you have to do that now for your daughter."

Tom swallows his tears. "I can't do this on my own, Mary," he says and looks up at her for the first time since she found him. He's never seen her looking so young - her hair is down and she's wearing a simple black dress almost as though she's dressed herself this morning and dispensed with Anna's help.

In a subconscious move, she reaches out and takes his hand in hers and is no longer able to fight her own tears. "You're not alone, I promise you… I won't let you be alone. We're all on your side and we will fight whoever stands in the way of you bringing up your little girl in the way you and Sybil wanted.

He finds himself doing something he never thought he'd ever do and holds Lady Mary Crawley close to him as she sobs against his shoulder - it's no secret that she hasn't allowed herself to cry for her sister yet, having taken it upon herself to be calm and composed, seeing to the things that need to be arranged in a way that only a true future-Countess could. He lets her weep, saying nothing as he just holds her hand and lets her have this moment. Sybil may have been the love of his life, but he has always admired Mary in a way.

"She always wanted to be like you, you know," he says after a while. "She looked up to you and loved you so very much."

Mary shakes her head. "She was by far a better person than me… she had the kindest heart of anyone I've ever met and that's what makes this all so incredibly unfair."

"I know," Tom agrees. "But I had a bit of an epiphany last night… I remember my Mam saying to me once that, when God sends an angel they can't stay forever. There are others who need to be blessed and graced with their presence… maybe that's what it was. Maybe there was somebody else who needed her more than we did, as much as it hurts to think that."

Mary nods and feels a fresh wave of tears trickle down her cheeks. "And we got a new angel in the baby."

Tom squeezes her hand. "I like that… I'm going to call her Sybil," he says. "Sybil Grace."

"It's beautiful," Mary replies. "Do you know, when Sybil was born, Edith struggled to say the name properly and so, for a very long time, she was always Sybbie."

Tom chuckles. "Sybbie… our little Sybbie."

"Our little Sybbie."

They share a brief embrace and it almost feels like a new beginning - gratefully, she accepts a handkerchief from the man she now looks upon as a brother, the pair of them bound forever by the grief they share for a woman who had touched their lives and the love of a little girl in whose future they both have so much hope…