Twelve leaves from a budding love-tree – Third letter

TWELVE LEAVES FROM A BUDDING LOVE-TREESybil/Tom Secret Valentine Exchange : my present to obessivewritingdisorder after her prompt: “a series of love letters between Tom and Sybil”.Click to read Part 1 and Part 2Part 3: Third letterAugust 1917, morning.A knock on his door.Tom Branson was sure it was Mr Carson. The butler would have come to tell him that he was sacked, for having attempted and very nearly succeeded in humiliating and ridiculing Downton’s guest of honour, General Strutt.But no. Behind the door was only a young hall boy who handed him a folded note. Even in his already disheartened state, Tom was then a bit more disappointed: he had always deemed Mr Carson as a man of honour, in his own way. The kind of man who would tell an employee face to face that he was dismissed; never would have he thought Mr Carson would do it through a simple note delivered by a kid.Holding out his hand to take the paper, Branson briefly wondered how long it would be before the boy was old enough to be draughted and taken away by the British army to be sent abroad and transformed into either a bloody pulp like the poor men he’s seen in the hospital, or a murderer like those who killed his cousin. And maybe even both.He looked at the folded sheet in his hand, and his heart sped up as he recognised the handwriting, even though only one word was written on the external side of it: “Branson”He hastily thanked the boy and immediately closed the door, eager to read whatever she had to tell him but dreading it at the same time. “She knows”, he thought. Well of course she knew, he had left her a note; she would have found it before going to bed and would have asked Mr Carson or Anna about what it meant first thing in the morning.And she would be both upset and highly disappointed in him, now. That latter thought was the worst, to him.That’s why he had to read the note twice to understand that in fact she didn’t know what he had done – or intended to do. Branson,Papa just informed us that you had been taken ill yesterday at dinner. But Carson did not elaborate so he couldn’t tell us what it is exactly you are suffering from. I hope it is nothing serious.Is it about your heart murmur? I thought it was nothing dangerous, though… As we are now living in a house full of medics, I’ll ask one of the doctors to go and have a look at you. It would be stupid not to have you examined while the whole castle has somehow become an annexe to the hospital. And that way I’ we will be all reassured.Please, let me us know how you are and if you need anything. I hope you are not feeling too unwell. But if it is serious, tell me: Mama, Edith and I would arrange for you to have a bed in the house so that you can be properly looked after.Rest and take good care of your murmuring heart… Nurse’s order!Lady SybilFandom: Downton Abbey
Genre : Romance, Humour, Fluff, Angst
Characters: Sybil Crawley, Tom Branson
Synopsis: Sybil/Tom Secret Valentine Exchange : my present to obessivewritingdisorder after her prompt: “a series of love letters between Tom and Sybil” (during the time they kept their courting / relationship secret). Will be a 12-part fic.

August 1917, morning.

A knock on his door.

Tom Branson was sure it was Mr Carson. The butler would have come to tell him that he was sacked, for having attempted and very nearly succeeded in humiliating and ridiculing Downton’s guest of honour, General Strutt.

But no. Behind the door was only a young hall boy who handed him a folded note. Even in his already disheartened state, Tom was then a bit more disappointed: he had always deemed Mr Carson as a man of honour, in his own way. The kind of man who would tell an employee face to face that he was dismissed; never would have he thought Mr Carson would do it through a simple note delivered by a kid. Lire la suite

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Twelve leaves from a budding love-tree – Second letter

Sybil/Tom Secret Valentine Exchange : my present to obessivewritingdisorder after her prompt: “a series of love letters between Tom and Sybil”.Find part 1 hereTwelve leaves from a budding love-treePart 2: Second letterAs soon as she saw the envelope, she knew whom the mail she had just received came from. Not because of the postmark revealing it had been posted in Downton – half the people she knew and who would correspond with her lived in Downton. Not because she recognised the handwriting – it was one she did not remember having ever seen before.No. It was because of the way she was referred to in the heading. The mail was not addressed to Lady Sybil Crawley. Instead, it read:"Nurse Crawley York Hospital – Nursing school York, North Yorkshire” Downton, 24th December 1916 Milady, Be sure that I believe you when you say you didn’t mean to hurt me. I know there is nothing in you that would want to hurt anyone, you are far too kind-hearted for that. Please ease your mind and soul about that.Since the day I dropped you in York, I’ve been worried you wouldn’t want to talk to me ever again, apart from ordering a car ride. Your letter came then as some sort of a soothing relief. I assure you I did not want to upset you, to disturb you. I am sorry I did, though.I presume I’m also supposed to tell you I regret telling you what I did that day, to apologise and to say I am sorry I did. But it would be a lie.I can’t get myself to regret any word I said back then, and the more I think about it, the more I know I would repeat those all over again. I’ve been hiding this from you for too long, been hiding how I feel and keeping it sealed inside me far too much and for far too long. I just had to tell you.And probably the time was not right, or maybe there would never have been any right time for that, maybe you would have preferred me to never tell you, to keep the facade of the obedient emotionless servant and never say anything… But I did. And now you know. And I can’t unsay it. I wouldn’t want to, anyway. In fact, and to be totally honest, I’ve never been prouder of anything in my life than I am of finally finding the courage to talk to you.The only thing there is to regret is that it made you upset, and I’m sorry about that. Only about that. As for the rest, I won’t take back what I said. I will even repeat it here: you’re different from the others, you know we are all equal; I believe you are able to grasp the kind of life you would really want to live, and the changing times happening right now will place it within your reach, if only you are brave enough to dare jump a bit and seize it. And I trust you are.You have already begun to reach to it, come to think of it: you are not only learning how to devote your time to tend to wounded soldiers, you are indeed learning to work: and that is a whole new world opening up to you. You could have a job, a profession and not just an occupation, something to feel proud of, just like your cousin Mr Crawley. I trust you.Maybe your family would not approve of your choices, but I am sure they love you far too much to fall out with you, at least not for long, even if they disagree.You may think I’m telling you this to convince you to also accept me, and maybe you are right, after all. But I am certain that you are not going to be happy if you just go on living like you did until now – which was certainly a very happy childhood, but I am sure you don’t want to remain a child forever. And you are too different from your parents to live the same life as theirs, or the one Lady Mary seeks. Don’t read me wrong, I don’t mean any disrespect to Lady Mary, but I just don’t picture you being truly happy as just some sort of “mistress of the manor”. And your happiness is what is most important to me. What matters most. I have no way to prove you that, so I can just pray that you believe me. Please believe me! The only thing I can do is to repeat over and over again that I’m willing to devote my life to your happiness.The offer still stands. It did not escape my notice that you didn’t give any straight answer to it, neither that very day nor in your letter. I’ll wait for it.I understand you need time. I’m willing to wait.I will come fetch you on the day you finish your training – unless His Lordship has any other plan for me by then – and you will find me waiting for you.Yours sincerely, T. BransonPost-Scriptum: I nearly forgot, tonight is Christmas Eve! The first you will spend away from your family. I know how lonely it feels, not being able to be with your beloved ones on that Holy Night. I have spent those last Christmases thinking of a family reunited in a Dubliner flat. I know you will get this letter after Christmas, but still, I wanted to tell you that this year, I will not only be thinking of them, but also of you. I couldn’t help myself, even if I wanted to. I wish you a merry Christmas, Lady Sybil.Fandom: Downton Abbey
Genre : Romance, Humour, Fluff, Angst
Characters: Sybil Crawley, Tom Branson
Synopsis: Sybil/Tom Secret Valentine Exchange : my present to obessivewritingdisorder after her prompt: “a series of love letters between Tom and Sybil” (during the time they kept their courting / relationship secret). Will be a 12-part fic.

.As soon as she saw the envelope, she knew whom the mail she had just received came from. Not because of the postmark revealing it had been posted in Downton – half the people she knew and who would correspond with her lived in Downton. Not because she recognised the handwriting – it was one she did not remember having ever seen before.

No. It was because of the way she was referred to in the heading. The mail was not addressed to Lady Sybil Crawley. Instead, it read: Lire la suite

Twelve leaves from a budding love-tree – First letter

Sybil/Tom Secret Valentine Exchange : my present to obessivewritingdisorder after her prompt: “a series of love letters between Tom and Sybil” (during the time they kept their courting/relationship secret).As the title suggests, it will be a 12-part fic (one for each letter/note), and I will post them one by one (one or maybe two each day), starting on February 14th. So it wil be some sort of “continuing Valentine gift” until February 20th or 26th, like an Advent calendar, except it’s a “post-Valentine calendar”…Enjoy!Twelve leaves from a budding love-treePart 1: First letterHunched over a very small wooden table squeezed between her left neighbour’s bed and her own, with two crumpled sheets of paper lying at her feet, Lady Sybil Crawley – or rather Nurse Crawley, now – was rereading for the umpteenth time the draft she had finally managed to come up with, before copying it out on a new blank leaf of high quality stationery. The scribbled sheet read:York, 18th December 1916Dea Branson,I must admit I’ve been struggling for a good half an hour now to know how to begin this letter to you, and as you can see, I failed miserably.I’ve been trying to find the way to tell you I wish things to be alright between us you and me, to let you know that the last thing I want is things turning awkward once I’m back home.Well, not exactly. To tell you the truth, the last thing I want once I’m back home is finding out that you’re gone. As I told you when we parted a few days ago, I don’t want you to loose your job because of me leave. Please don’t go. Or at least, please don’t leave because of me.Anything that’s been said and heard between us doesn’t have to be brought to anyone else’s attention than ours yours and mine.I’ve also been thinking these last few days about how to apologize to you for what I told you back then. I’m fairly painfully woefully aware that my reaction to you to your propos has been neither the best nor the kindest one. First I hurt you with my words a word, then I tried to make a bit of humour when you weren’t ready at all for it, and it hurt you even more. I am truly deeply sorry I did it.Please believe that I did not intend to make light of your feelings emotions how you feel, I even admire you for being brave enough able to voice it. I know I would be totally unable to do so. I’ve not been taught how to. Or even, maybe I’ve been taught not to. I couldn’t tell you if it’s inherent in being “posh”, to quote your own words, or in being English. But I’m quite sure being both doesn’t help reacting very well as far as voicing of personal emotions is concerned.Again, I’m sorry about how I reacted. I guess I just didn’t know at all how to react. I must tell you I’m not Lady Mary, I’m not used to men people expressing anything like that any sort of appreciation for me, to me.And here I am again, trying to make a joke because I feel awk am at a loss for words. You see? I’m afraid I’m a lost cause, just a hopeless posh English girl…Anyway, I assure you I sincerely admire the bravery it required for you to open up to me about your feelings; I would even say that I envy your courage and your strength. I know I’m not that brave. And more than anything, I regret having hurt your feelings you. I swear it was the last thing I wanted, and thinking of the hurt I unintentionally caused you hurts me too back in turn. Please I beg you I hope you will find in your heart you to forgive me.I’ve just reread what I have written above, and I feel ashamed because it turned out all about me, about how I was hurting and what you had to could do to make me feel better, while the reason I decided to write this letter was to tell you I wish you feel better, and try to make sure you do…Probably you’re waiting for me to give you an answer to your question. I can’tPlease don’t act on any drastic decision you would make before you’ve first come to tell me about it, I know you don’t owe me anything of course, so I will just hope you value our mutual friendsh understanding enough to do so. I really do hope you will be there to pick me up in two month and drive me home. I’m looking forward to it.Kind Best regards,Lady Sybil CrawleyFandom: Downton Abbey
Genre : Romance, Humour, Fluff, Angst
Characters: Sybil Crawley, Tom Branson
Synopsis: Sybil/Tom Secret Valentine Exchange : my present to obessivewritingdisorder after her prompt: “a series of love letters between Tom and Sybil” (during the time they kept their courting / relationship secret). As the title suggests, it will be a 12-part fic (one for each letter/note)

Hunched over a very small wooden table squeezed between her left neighbour’s bed and her own, with two crumpled sheets of paper lying at her feet, Lady Sybil Crawley – or rather Nurse Crawley, now – was rereading for the umpteenth time the draft she had finally managed to come up with, before copying it out on a new blank leaf of high quality stationery. The scribbled sheet read:

York, 18th December 1916

Dea Branson, Lire la suite

Best-laid plan, bar the « laid » part

This is my own little participation to January 2014’s “Downton Monthly Prompt”. 1600 words. It will just be a one-shot (well, most probably… but maybe I’ll feel inspired later and will come back to it, I don’t know…)

Sans titre - 1 copie

Yes, Thomas, you can do that! Come on, take heart!

He had his hands on her waist, was looking straight into her eyes… Courage!

Her head was raised, tilted back, and she was gazing upwards at him… gazing expectantly at him…

He could do that.

And he did. He bent his head, lowered his lips aiming at hers… and finally touched them with his, closing both the distance and his eyes.

Yes, better not look, better not see anything. Things would be easier with his eyes shut. That way, he could deceive himself. Nearly as much as he was deceiving her. Lire la suite

Kaléidoscope en noir et blanc – Ch 5 : Madame Patmore

th - CopieUnivers : Downton Abbey

Synopsis : L’introduction d’un élément extérieur comme prétexte à explorer les réflexions des personnages que l’on connait…

Au moins elle ne se fait pas prier pour manger… D’ailleurs, ça fait plutôt plaisir à voir ! se dit madame Patmore. « Rien ne donne plus faim que le chagrin », se souvint alors la cuisinière…

Déjà que cette femme avait la tempe et la joue brûlées ainsi que le regard vide ou absent, ç’aurait été une vraie misère qu’elle eût en plus les yeux enfoncés au dessus de joues creuses et d’un corps maigrichon ! Au moins, elle prenait les forces dont elle avait besoin. Pour madame Patmore c’était là l’essentiel.

Mrs Dillon faisait toujours honneur à ses repas, et ne manquait jamais de la féliciter sur l’excellence de la cuisine, même si les déjeuners et soupers du personnel n’avaient rien à voir avec les trésors de virtuosité culinaire qu’elle déployait pour les repas de la famille Crawley. Lire la suite

Hibernian letters – Part 1: Prologue

imageFandom: Downton Abbey
Genre : General, Epistolary, Friendship,
Characters: Tom Branson, Original Character
Synopsis: Before he had Sybil as a confidant, had Branson anyone back home to confide in? And before he arrived at Downton? Let’s say that he had someone in his family who partly understood him and shared some of his concerns. This will lead to interesting exchange of letters through the years, and sometimes a few one-to-one conversations. Series of one-shots.

.Part 1 – Prologue

  1912, Ireland.

“Tom! Don’t leave your cousin stand here all by herself… Go and ask her for a dance!”

“But mummy–” said-Tom tried to drawlingly plead with his mother.

“No ‘but’, m’lad” a kind-faced woman in her late forties intervened between mother and son. “Your mum is right: young people are to enjoy themselves among themselves; Lire la suite

Kaléidoscope en noir et blanc – Ch 4 : Lord Grantham

th - CopieUnivers : Downton Abbey

Synopsis : L’introduction d’un élément extérieur comme prétexte à explorer les réflexions des personnages que l’on connait…

Les journaux ce matin là n’annonçaient rien de très intéressant. Sans doute la raison pour laquelle la conversation que madame Hughes tenait à cet instant même avec la comtesse faisait pour une fois son chemin depuis l’oreille de Lord Grantham jusqu’à son cerveau.

Encore une nouvelle servante ! Cela n’en finirait donc jamais, ces recrutements et ces embauches à répétition ! Et qu’était-il donc arrivé à la précédente ?

Bah, après tout les servantes, c’était le domaine de sa femme et de madame Hughes. La seule fois où il s’en était un tant soit peu mêlé… Moui, bon, il préférait ne pas y penser. Lire la suite