Just something I was thinking about yesterday. Post 3x05, don't read if you haven't watched it!

Mary woke slowly, opening her eyes. She felt slightly cold. She turned over to see her husband was not lying next to her. Normally they woke together, she thought. Oh well. He probably just wanted some breakfast, it was the weekend and Mary had slept in a long time. She went to pull back the covers when the bedroom door opened. Matthew came into the room and closed the door behind him. He then spotted an awake Mary.

"Oh, good morning darling" he said, something not quite right in his voice.

"Good morning", she paused, "What's wrong Matthew?"

He ran his hand across his face and through his hair, obviously something was up. Without a word, he came round to her side of the bed and perched on it, taking her hand gently in both of his. He closed his eyes briefly and then looked at Mary seriously.

"Mary, Carlisle's published."

Mary's hand went to her mouth, shocked at the suddenness of it all. She had expected him to publish sooner or later but she hadn't really thought about it recently. God, the whole country must be talking of 'the infamous Lady Mary' by now. Matthew's arms came around her and he pulled her into an embrace. Mary rested her head on his shoulder, her face emotionless.

"Everything's going to be okay Mary. I promise you" he pulled back and stared meaningfully into her eyes, "Mother knows, and she's fine about it, it hasn't affected her at all. Of course the rest of the family know anyway"

Mary nodded slowly. She told her husband to go back down to allow her to get ready. She didn't ring for Anna just yet.

Matthew headed back down the stairs. Well that wasn't as bad as he had feared. Most of the family knew anyway, and it was that long ago perhaps it would blow over quicker. He entered the breakfast room and went over to the cabinet to pour himself some more tea.

"Well?" he heard Edith call to him, inferring to Mary.

"I think she's taken it well. I mean, she did expect him to publish sooner or later" Matthew replied.

"Good. And at least she has a respectable man on her arm" Robert smiled at him, "that can do wonders for the views of the public, trust me. They'll be more bothered about the newlywed sweethearts than that old story"

"I hope so, for Mary's sake", Matthew responded, "I mean, she's been through so much recently, I'd hate that to add to her load as well"

Matthew took a seat opposite Edith, where she began to tell him of her exciting plans to move to London for a while to write her column. She was determined to convince her father that what she said actually mattered, that they were not just paying for her name.

After finishing his tea, Matthew made his excuses to Robert, Edith and Tom (he sat silently these days) and he headed back up to his and Mary's bedroom. He had given her long enough to get ready, so he wanted to see if she was.

He opened the door slowly, no need to knock for his wife any longer. He was shocked at the sight of Mary still in her nightgown, lay on the bed facing away from him. She had her knees tucked up to her chest and was obviously crying, shaking with each sob that he heard escape her mouth. Matthew wasn't sure whether she was aware he had entered. He slowly closed the door and made his way to the bed, crawling over it until he could hold his wife close.

"Mary, darling, I know it's hard but we're all here for you. It will blow over soon" he said, trying to soothe her.

"No" she choked back a sob, "Matthew, it's not that."

"What is it then darling?" he tucked a stray piece of hair behind her ear as she turned to face him.

"You said the rest of the family knew"

"Well they do my darling, and as I said they ar-"

"What about Sybil?" she stated, "she never knew. She'll never know the truth"

He didn't know what to say at that moment apart from "Oh my darling". He held her close as she continued to sob.