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Story [Downton Abbey] Dispatches from Downton - drabble and ficlet thread (all characters)

Discussion in 'Non Star Wars Fan Fiction' started by brodiew, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    A/N: This is my Downton Abbey drabble and ficlet thread. I have been watching the series recently and fallen for it hard. I am now halfway through S5 and do not like the idea that I am closer to the end than the beginning. This my first attempt at fan fiction for this fandom and I hope I'm off to a good start. I hope you'll let me know.

    Thank you to @Mira_Jade for offering a boat load of prompts for me to work with. I have used a couple of them below. Please enjoy!


    Robert Crawley, The 7th Earl of Grantham, could feel his world slipping away. It was not to be washed out with one great wave, but he could feel the erosion, or corrosion, marching on more quickly, now that the war was behind them. A feeling of dread was his constant companion and, though he maintained his stiff upper lip, there were times when the ever present gnawing of progress caused him to lose his patience and lash out. He did not regret his outburst at dinner. Miss Bunting deserved his wrath for her impertinence. Was it dignified? Certainly not. Was he being foolish? He didn't think so. However, it showed him that control was falling further from his hands and it unnerved him.

    Mr. Mosely

    “Mind if I join you?” Mr. Mosely said as he entered the staff dining room and saw Barrow sitting alone. It was never his first inclination to seek out conversation with the Underbutler. Especially, when it came to his treatment of Ms. Baxter. However, everyone noticed that his complexion had changed and he looked generally unwell. His rather rude responses to anyone asking if he was well were not much different from his regular attitude, but Mosely not only wanted to protect or shield or free Ms. Baxter from his clutches. His feelings for her made him brave, just as she had said he helped her be brave.

    “I won't stop ye,” Barrow replied, pulling a cigarette from his mouth and blowing the smoke to the ceiling. “What is it ye want? To be Baxter's knight in shining armor?”

    “I-I think she is a fine woman and-”

    “-And you want to show her how big and tough you can be?” Barrow cut in, his voice intensifying.

    “That's not it at all,” Mosely replied, unfettered, which surprised him. “I want to know if there is anything I can do to help?”

    “Help?” Barrow exclaimed, slamming his open palm on the table. “You want to know how you can help?”

    “Yes, T-Thomas,” Mosely pressed. “I'm offering whatever assistance I might be able to give.”

    “Well, aren't you forward,” Barrow replied, with a sneer. “And, what is it you think is wrong with me? Why would I need your help?”

    “I can't say, Mr. Barrow,” Mosely replied, as easily as he could. “I don't know. But something is wrong. We can see it.”

    “I don't your help, Mosely. I don't need anybody's help. There is no help, Mr. Mosely. No one can help me! Do you understand? So I'll ask you to mind your own business and tell the others to do the same.”

    Mosely regarded the man, whom had become more agitated with each word. He bowed his head in a curt nod of understanding and rose from the table.

    “You haven't given us much reason to care about you, Mr. Barrow, but that doesn't mean we don't. Good night.” As he turned to leave, Mosely watched Barrow take a shaky pull from his cigarette and rest his head on the table.

    Walls of Stone

    She doesn't remember when she started building them. Perhaps it was when she became old enough to know she would not inherit Downtown. Given that her father had no sons, the Abbey would fall to another male relative. As she got older and knew whom those heirs would likely be, she started to put up walls. She doesn't remember if she did it on purpose or the she simply did not fight the disappointment, resentment, and anger at one day having to give up Downton. And if she were to keep it, she would have to marry a cousin, a boy she's known from childhood, but one she had definitely walled off. She did not want to do it, but she had little choice in the matter.

    Old Soldiers

    “Do you think much about the old days, Bates?” Robert Crawley asked his valet as the man brushed the lint from the shoulders of his dinner jacket.

    “No, Milord,” Bates replied. “I try to keep it packed away.”

    “I've been thinking about it, lately, having been passed over for real service this time around. War is hell, but there is something unmistakable in how men are bonded.”

    “Yes, Milord,” Bates affirmed. “Battle is a forge; a forge that makes brothers of strangers.”

    Turning to Bates, Robert said: “Yes, that's right. I could not have said better myself. Well, we better get on.”

    “Of course, Milord. Is there anything else you require before we go down?”

    “As a matter of fact, yes,” Robert added. “Despite the social distance between us, I want you to know that you have earned that position with me?”

    “As a valet, Milord? I am very gr-”

    “As a brother.”

    Bates straightened at the words, almost to attention. He met Robert's eyes. “Thank you, Milord.”

    “We better get going before they think we've gone missing.”
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  2. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004

    First off all, I have to say how happy I am to see you tackling a fandom so near and dear to my heart. It's been a few years now, but it's like coming back to an old friend and falling in love with then all over again. And of course, with your knack for characterization and getting right character 'voices' I am just all sorts of excited to see where this thread will go! [face_dancing] [face_love]

    Oh it was my pleasure! And you wrote for so many of them so fast! Yay! :D

    Eugh. :rolleyes: Some of Miss Bunting's ideals I agree with. But not in that tone. Her manner is so hateful from the other end of the spectrum. So rude and patronizing, especially to her hosts! She pushed all my buttons, and I understood why Robert snapped.

    I really appreciated this insight. Robert - and the entire Downton cast - weather so much change in just a few short decades. Some for the better and some for the worst. Change is scary in any form, though, and it's remarkable that Robert has such a read on his own emotions. It's hard to be a custodian for the past and responsible for so many livelihoods when there's so much uncertainty all around.

    Aw!! [face_love]

    Mosely and Baxter are too adorable for words, and I really appreciated this line in particular! He really has come so far in finding his courage! Especially with a prickly character like Barrow.

    Oh Thomas. You know, I pity him, I really do. He's so very unhappy and at war with himself that he's determined to make everyone around him miserable too. And so much is said here without saying exactly what's obviously weighing so heavily on his mind. Really well done with the dialogue here!

    I LOVED this! Good on you, Mosely, killing him with kindness! (Plus, I'm that sucker who does want Barrow to find his own peace and happiness. Though he makes me forget that whenever he's being himself, of course. :p)

    Ah! Challenge accepted, I see! [face_mischief]

    Mary too is a character that I find it hard to empathize with, but I understand why she is the way she is. Downton runs through her blood the way it does through her father's, and it has to be incredibly painful and infuriating to see her rightful inheritance gone to a stranger just because she's a woman. She's built her walls so strong that, when she finally does want to let them down and allow people close, she struggles. Even her moments of genuine happiness come across tempered, although you know she's truly feeling love and joy. Really wonderful character study. =D=

    Yes, indeed it does!

    I LOST IT HERE, BRODIE, YOU HAVE TO KNOW!!!! I'm such a sucker for their friendship, and this just had me grinning like a fool. Beautifully expressed! And, all the more so for how many social boundaries were broken here for Robert to speak such a truth. Lovely! [face_love] [face_love]

    I love the detail about almost to attention. This entire ficlet was exquisitely crafted. Definitely my favorite of the set, which is saying something as there were so many gems to choose from! [face_love]

    This was an excellent beginning to your collection, and I can't wait for more! =D= [:D]
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  3. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    @Mira_Jade: Thank you for reading and reviewing, Mira! Sometimes I feel alone in this new fandom and don't know who to discuss it with. I actually joined an fb fan group because I need the water cooler discussion as I watch the episodes. I want you to know I like the Robert-Bates friends just like you. I liked it more in the beginning when the drama of Bates, and later Anna's trouble with the law, wasn't at the forefront. I really enjoy the scenes, even the small bit of dialogue we get when Bates is help dress Robert.

    Bunting bugged me immensely. Ironically, it was a load of fun to see Robert lose his cool like that. It reminded me of the few moments in TNG when Picard would break character. Few and far between, but well worth the wait.

    Barrow is a prickly one indeed. He is softening at I start S6, but he is so cagey. I hope the below scratches his surface.

    I like Mosley and Mosley/Bates. I look forward to doing more with them.

    As for Mary, I just don't like her very much. Her feud with Edith has no basis explained in the show and her continued animosity is tedious. I do wish her happiness, but good-ness woman, lighten up!

    I hope you enjoy this next set.

    Mrs Patmore

    When Ms. Patmore left Mr Carson's pantry, she did not go directly to Elsie, but rested against the wall out of his site. It had been an awkward encounter, one she would never wish to revisit, but had also been special in its own way. Mr. Carson had accepted her as Elsie's stand in and was eager to make sure that there was no misunderstanding about what he expected. As she tried to explain it, with out saying anything improper, she watched as he worked it out on his own. She had had to turn away from him to express herself more delicately, but when he finally got the picture, it was both a relief and a torment. Now, she had to wait while he formulate his answer; an answer that would make or break their new engagement. The words he spoke could not have shocked her more, and been more precious at the same time. Tears welled in her eyes as she listened to this stalwart man bear his heart for Elsie. She would love to have a man talk of her in such a way. If only it were possible.

    Mrs Hughes

    When Charlie told her that he had not turned down Lord Granthan for hosting their wedding reception, Elsie was disappointed but not without understanding. She had made her point so convincingly, in her eyes, that she did not for one minute think that Charlie would swing the other way and bow to His Lordship's offer. When he said that Mary had insisted, she knew that her wishes were that much further from his mind. She felt sad, and not a little perturbed that he would deny his wife to be her wishes on the day of their wedding. She told him so, throwing a open jab at Lady Mary. This only seemed to make Charlie more quiet. She decided to leave it alone for now.


    Thomas Barrow sat in bed with a lit cigarette and journal on his lap. The bedside table lamp gave just enough light for him to scribble with one hand.

    Jimmy left today.

    He stared at the words and wondered at the friendship that had grown between them despite a potentially disastrous, and none the less damaging, row. His eyes still stung with the emotion at Jimmy's farewell. He could see that the kid was ashamed of his actions with Lady Anstruth, even though she was the more predatory beast in that relationship. He could see that he was ashamed of being found out when in the midst of a fire, where his help would have been essential. But what touched Thomas, what gave his cold heart a jolt, was that Jimmy genuinely wanted him to find peace and have a happy life. If only it were that easy. If only happiness was even remotely available to him.

    Closing the journal, he mashed the cigarette before finishing it and turned out the light.

    Mosley and Baxter

    It was a cold evening in York. Darkness was starting to come earlier. Phyliss clung to Joe's arm as they entered the Boring Boar pub to show Bates' picture to the proprietor.

    “Are you hungry?” Joe asked. “It's getting late and we won't be back in time for dinner.”

    “I am hungry,” Baxter replied, with a smile. “Should we share a Shepherd's Pie?”

    Mosley grinned at her offer, but rebutted, “I may be a lowly footman at the Abbey, but I would would never ask you to share a single meal.”

    “Don't take any offense, Joseph,” she replied, genially. “I would enjoy sharing a meal with you. But separate drinks are a must.”

    He nodded and they moved through the crowd to the bar. After showing the picture of Bates and getting a negative answer, Mosley blew out his breath, widened his eyes a bit, and made a small sign of exasperation by raising his hands.

    “Don't worry,” Baxter said. “There are plenty of other pubs to check. We've only just begun. The good news is that we get all this time together without the prying eyes Mr. Carson, Mr. Barrow, or anyone else. Are you ready to eat?”

    “Famished!” he said, excitedly and took her hand to lead her to a table.
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  4. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    Here are two more ficlets from the Downton Abbey. I hope you enjoy!

    "I'm not cold, not any more."

    “Phyllis, you're shivering,” Molesley said as they two walked the streets of York looking for proof of Mr. Bates innocence.

    “I don't know why,” she responded, bashfully. “It's not that cold out here.”

    “Not that cold?” Molesley replied, mildly incredulous. “Are you daft? It's got to be near freezing.”

    “I guess I didn't expect it to get this cold,” she said, wrapping her arms more tightly around herself.

    “Well, I won't have you freezing while you are out with me,” he declared. “N-Not mean we are 'out together'?”

    He removed his coat and placed it around her should, coming around in front of her to pull it as tightly about her as possible. She looked up him, her perpetually sad, put upon eyes, melting his heart. He want to kiss her; to pull her into an embrace and let her know that was worth it.

    “Not out together,” she replied relaxing into the extra weight on her shoulders. “But, together, anyway.”

    He nodded in agreement and said: “How's that, then? Better?”

    “Very nice, Mr. Molesley,” she said. “Thank you.”

    “You don't have to call me that, you know?” he said. “We're not at the Abbey.”

    “I know,” she replied, quietly. “It's a habit, I think?”

    “We are friends, aren't we?” he asked.

    She smiled, shy. “I would say that we are.”

    “W-would you be willing to call me friends?” he stammered.

    She looked at him a smile crossing her lips. “I think I can do that...Joe.”

    As they continued walking, she took hold of his arm. It gave him a start, but he said nothing.

    Nor did she.

    “Are you feeling warmer, now?”

    “Let's just say, I'm not cold,” she said in a low voice. “Not any more.


    It was a hard pill to swallow, losing one's livelihood to palsy. Shaking hands might only be the start if Dr. Clarkson's treatments didn't work. However, life would go on and with Elsie at his side, Charles would see it through. It was reassuring that the family would have him stay on, if only in a supervisory role. He hardly needed to supervise Barrow, though until recently, he might have made that supervision an unbearable lot for the other man. When Barrow attempted to take his life, it shook everyone, at least in the servants quarters, from their complacency. Charles was not one to admit his short comings. He knew he was a proud man of a largely bygone era. However, he was very thankful for Elsie and her ability to soften his rougher edges. One of those rough edges was Barrow.

    Elsie had seen the man change in recent months. He had been playing with the children and being less aloof. He also seemed less sure of himself even it that previous purpose devious. He had gone from the hard, conniving, devil to a lonely man, desperate to find a connection to the world. Charles had see little change as Barrow would continue to snap at the staff and did little to make amends with people he intended to hurt in the past. Charles simply did not like him. He listened as Elsie tried to explain how hard it could be for a man like Barrow. Charles would hear no talk of that sort, but he was listening to his wife. What Charles had not considered is that the tables would be turned and that he would be beholden to the man he had treated so poorly. He needed to make peace; for his sake and fore the sake of the family.

    It was a week after the official change of duties that Charles came up from the cottage to meet with Barrow . It was strange to go into his pantry...the Butler's Pantry, see another man behind his...the desk.

    “Mr. Barrow,” he said, in greeting.

    “Mr. Carson,” Barrow replied, equally spare in opening the meeting.

    “Before we get started, I would like to say a few words,” Carson said, fidgeting in his seat.

    Barrow regarded his former boss easily. “Very well.”

    “This not easy for me to say, Barrow. However, it is important and it is how I feel.

    Barrow tensed at this, afraid that the meeting could take a bad turn.

    “It has come to my attention that I have been unfair to you. I have dismissed you in such a way that I did not notice signs of your distress, much less signs that your demeanor had changed from the one you have long held. I want-”

    “Mr. Carson,” Barrow interjected. “I don't think that any more is necessary than what you have already said.”

    Charles sat up straighter in his chair, hands folded before him. “I'm afraid it is. You see it was not long after you found Mrs. Hughes and I sitting in the library that thought it was no longer worth it. When you came into the library, you surprised me; caught me in a moment of weakness and I was very rude. We should not have been sitting in the first place, but your desire to join us seemed genuine. I...apologize.”

    “Well, now, Mr Carson,” Barrow said. “I can assure you that I was not expecting this.

    Carson tensed this time unsure how Barrow would respond.

    “Thank you. I realize that that was not an easy thing for ye. I want you to know, Mr. Carson, that the incident was not your fault.”

    “I never-”

    “I know. I just want you to know that in may ways, I'm a new man. I would have had that opportunity if not for Mrs. Hughes, Mrs Baxter, Andy,”

    It was not like Charlie to blush, but he could feel a touch of redness in his cheeks. “Well, now, Mr. Barrow, enough of that. Shall we get on to the business of the day?”

    “Yes, I think we should.”

    The two men stood and exited the pantry.
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  5. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    A/N: Prompt from @Mira_Jade - Tom Branson & Robert Crawley - "I know this may be hard for you to believe, but I'm on your side."

    Truth Telling

    Tom Branson trembled with ebbing anger as he stood in the doorway of his office watching as Mary stormed off toward the house. He wondered if he should have spoken so strongly to her; if it was his place. However, that doubt soon passed as he could still feel the anger rising in his gorge at how she had purposefully spilled the beans about Marigold's identity to Bertie at the breakfast table. It was not her secret to tell even If she had not been told and had to deduce the girl's parentage on her own. For her to try and ruin Edith's chance at happiness out of spite was the last straw for Tom. He would not let it stand. And he had not. He let Mary have it with both barrels.

    She had not slapped him. She had not expressed any false indignation. In fact she had taken it until she could take no more and had run. This was hopeful to Tom. She could hurt him if she wanted to. But he had gambled the she did not want to hurt him and that the painful truth he had so indelicately unloaded on her was something she already knew...deep down.

    Straightening his vest and coat, he followed after Mary and headed back to the house. He wanted to talk to Lord Grantham, to let him know that the row had taken place. The walk back to the Downton was a brisk one, but one that gave Tom the time consider his words.

    “Tom!” Robert near exclaimed as Barrow announced him in the library. “There you are. Where did you get off to after breakfast?”

    “Mary and I had a meeting at the office,” Tom answered, grimly. “I'm afraid we didn't get much work done.”

    This caught Robert's attention and his brow knitted in concern. “No? What went wrong?”

    “I'm not sure anything went wrong,” Tom replied. “But we had a bit of a row. Raised voices and all.”

    “That's not like you, Tom,” Robert said, concerned. “You've been such a comfort to us. The balance, I suppose, between some of our rougher edges.”

    “Well, this morning, I was a bit unbalanced and I spoke to Mary harshly. You see, the situation at breakfast, the one regarding Marigold, I could not let it pass.”

    Robert's face darkened, momentarily, from mere concern over harsh words, to a disappointed acknowledgment. “Yes, I know. What she did was uncalled for even if she claims she thought Bertie already knew.”

    “I don't believe she knew any such thing,” Tom said matter of fact.

    “That may be but it doesn't change that this is between Edit and Mary and has nothing to do with us.”

    Tom narrowed his eyes at what he perceived as Robert's shortsigntedness. “If I may, Lord Grantham, I think you are wrong. Mary's attitude toward Edith cannot continue like it has. It will destroy them both.”

    Robert bristled at such chastening words from Tom, but he knew the man well enough to know that he was speaking from his love for the family and not by a rush to judgment. Robert was not sure why he felt ill at ease talking about Mary and Edith's contentiousness with Tom. He was sure that Sybil had shared much of it with him at one time or another. In fact Robert had come to think of Tom as a son.

    “You're right about one thing, Tom,” Robert said. “It cannot continue.”

    “So, you'll talk to her, then,” Tom said, hopefully.

    “It seems you've done most of the talking already,” Robert said, genially.

    Tom's irritation darted across his face, before could control it. “What I did was in anger and, in part, I regret it. But needed to be said. She has bullied Edith and shamed her long enough. But, Robert, you are her father. I may be her brother, but I'm not her father. She needs to hear it from you as well. I did the yelling.'s not for me to say. You do what you must. But don't wait to long. Don't let her repair the walls I just broke down. Goodness...I think I've overstepped. Forgive me, please.”

    Robert huffed good-naturedly and put his arm around Tom's shoulder. “You may find this hard to believe, but I'm on your side. I'll talk to her this afternoon.”

    “Thank you, Robert,” Tom said with relief. “I'm still a little piqued and I hope you'll forgive any presumptuousness on my part.”

    “Already forgiven,” Robert said, amiably. “Now come have a some tea.”

    “I don't mind if I do.”
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  6. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    A/N: This is a brief attempt to write a character I thought might be challenging (Dowager Countess Violet Crawley). I think I touched on her dry wit well, but my Isobel Crawley may be a bit OOC. Let me know. This was fun. I hope you enjoy as well.

    Badgering the Witless

    It was a sunny afternoon in Surrey as Violet and Isobel shared tea in the drawing room. A lull occurred in the conversation which led Isobel to ask:

    “Have you ever considered replacing Spratt?”

    Violet cocked her head and pursed her lips in irritation.

    “What ever brought that to your mind?” she asked. “Is there some reason I should do so? Something I don't know about?”

    “No,” Isobel replied, directly. “Nothing I have heard about.”

    “Then why bring it up at all?” Violet pressed.

    “You do complain about he and Danker and their, how shall I say, squabbling.”

    “My Dear, you know I never complain and it would tire me so to have to explain it again. However, if there were to be a departure, it would not be Spratt. He has been a good and faithful servant.”

    “Are you saying that Danker has not been 'good and faithful'?” Isobel rejoined.

    Violet brought a hand to her chest and drew back is affronted. “Well, haven't you gone to meddling?”

    “I am hardly meddling, Violet,” Isobel replied. “I am simply concerned about whom is caring for you?”

    “And when has that ever been a concern of yours before?” Violet said pointedly.

    Isobel ignored the comment and said: “What do you think of Barrow? The footman at Downton.”

    “I know who Barrow is and I don't thing much of him at all? Why would I? I have no need of a footman!”

    “What about a butler?” her friend asked, straight faced.

    Violet's eyes narrowed, which if Isobel had not known her better, would have been a frightening sight. “What are you on about, Ms. Crawley. I have not need of a butler and I'll thank you to keep your references to yourself.”

    “I understand Molesley is available,” Isobel persisted. “Fallen on hard times, I understand.”

    “Then perhaps you should take him back into your house,” Violet asserted. “I'm sure you have room in the closet with all of your charity cases.”

    “Touche,” Isobel said, laughing gently. “I knew you could find it if I pressed hard enough.”

    “Are you daft?” Violet charged. “You are not talking sense.”

    “Your wit, Violet,” Isobel said. “I was sure you had lost it.”

    “I have lost no such thing. How dare you come in to my house with an accusation like that?”

    “Well you haven't been as amusing of late. More dour than Dowager.”

    Violet stared at Isobel in chair across from her. “Are you, indeed, Isobel Crawley? I have a mind to call a constable and have you jailed as an imposter!”

    “There is no need for that, Violet,” Isobel answered. “It's me. I've just tried to get your goat.”

    Violet straightened and raised and eyebrow to her friend. “There are no goats her, My Dear. Perhaps you would have better luck on the Dowton estates.”
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2020
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  7. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    First of all, I have to extend a huge apology for being so remiss in replying to these. Because I really have so enjoyed them; each one has been a treat! You've really taken the prompts and ran with them, in the best of ways! [face_love] [face_love] [face_love]

    Aw! This was both a gorgeous look at Beyrl's friendship with Elsie, and also, Mrs. Hughes' relationship with Mr. Carson. A beautiful expression of the scene!

    In the end, what more can she do? Mr. Carson's devotion to Mary is hard to shake, but seriously man - your wife to be should get to chose the venue for her wedding day. :p He'll get it. Eventually.

    Lovely! I really appreciate you getting into Thomas' head here. His growing into a character that I not only sympathized with but liked was a long time coming, but it was great to see him progress down his path. Jimmy certainly played a big role in that, which you beautifully explored here.

    Gah, but these two are too adorable for words. You captured their awkward, yet endearingly sweet relationship in spades here. [face_love]

    SPEAKING OF TOO ADORABLE FOR WORDS??? This. Right here. The absolute dears. [face_love]

    *blows chef's kiss* Perfect!

    A great character moment! It's a hard thing to recognize your own flaws, let alone actively seek to change them. A big part of that could definitely be attributed to Elsie's good influence, as Mr. Carson can well admit! :p

    I loved this insight in this line. But poor Charles is trying! :p

    Aw! These two. [face_love]

    A wonderful moment of understanding between two proud, reserved characters. =D=

    A great insight here, again. Mary needed to be taken down a notch, and Tom was just the one to do it as his opinion is something she genuinely cares for. And yet, honestly, she had to have known what she did here was wrong. Mary's feud with Edith had me thoroughly exhausted at this point in the show, especially without context or reason for it to carry on with such vitriol! o_O

    Beautiful moment between these two! I just adore how close Robert and Tom have grown, and after such a start. :p

    Not OOC in the slightest! Which is quite the trick! Both of these ladies have very unique voices, and such sharp wits that I wouldn't even know where to begin with tackling them myself. :D =D=

    Ha! Score! Yep, you had them both perfectly in character from start to finish. Brava on a job very well done with that in particular! :D

    All of these snippets were excellent, my friend, and I look forward to reading any more that you may have to share! =D= [:D]
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  8. brodiew

    brodiew Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Oct 11, 2005
    @Mira_Jade: Thank you so much for my my sole benefactor on these Downton Drabbles. I am so pleased that you are a fan and I can share my love of the series with you. The scene between Tom and Mary is one of my favorite from the entire show. Tom had simply had enough. I love it. I was worried about the Violet and Isobel scene, but I'm so glad you found it in character. I'm going to do a bit of AU Halloween fun in the this next set. Enjoy!


    George Crawley had spied spied the zombie from his window. There had only been a handful, but this last one was the most unique. As he had grown up he learned that the man had served at Dowton as a footman and later became a school teacher. George had even taken a few private lessons from the man in his boyhood. It was a shame to see Mr Molesley shambling across the green approaching the house. He wore a tattered brown suit, now filled with holes and seeming to disintegrate as he moved

    George grabbed a shotgun and his favorite sword for dispatching the deplorable creatures and exited a rear door. It as only Molesley. There were no others this time. There as no explanation for their appearance or the fact that it was only former Downton servants. It was almost as if the dead had risen and come back to the estate for some ungodly purpose. George's only recourse was to dispatch them swiftly and permanently.

    As he approached the former footman, he could see how the skin of his face had decayed and that his eyes had sunken deep into his skull. His arms were loose at his sides as he staggered toward the house.

    When he was within two meters, he raised the shotgun and pointed it at the dead man's head. To George's astonishment, the bedraggled ghoul bowed into a deep and awkward curtsy, throwing his arms wide. One of his knees appeared to break sending the creature to the ground.

    “I'm sorry, Old Man,” George said, firing both barrels and obliterating the zombie's skull.


    George Crawley sat in a red velvet chair, in the Library, staring into a dying fire. His white tie felt restrictive and he pulled at the collar. He sat forward, fidgeting in the chair before resting against its back. A sweat broke on his brow not born of the heat of fire and his breath began to come in quicker bursts.

    Suddenly the fire before him was not from the hearth in his home library but from a burning home on the French countryside. He had seen many such homes. Some displaying the charred remains of their owners. Others inhabited by Nazi invaders. Death did not take sides. There was plenty to go around.

    Coming back to himself, George saw that the fire was dying. He tossed a couple of logs in to keep it alive. Embers flew in a frenzy and the dry wood brought new flame and brighter light. From his periphery, he thought he say a glimmer like a twinkling in the light. As the light grew a figure emerged from the shadows of the otherwise dark room.

    At first, George did not recognize the man. The form was not fully realized, but the image was distinct. He leaped from his chair in fear and astonishment, standing across the hearth from the figure.

    "Hello, Son," the apparition said with a sympathetic tone.

    "Pa-pa?" George questioned, staring at the man, trying to recognize distinguishing characteristics from the myriad of photos he seen since he was a child.

    "Yes," Matthew said, fiddling with his army hat and smiling bashfully. "It's me."

    "My God!" George exclaimed. "How is this possible?"

    "I suppose it's possible that God had something to do with it."

    Though Matthew's color was the gold of sunlight glassy lake, his uniform was unmistakable. "Why are you in uniform, Pa-pa?"

    Matthew looked down at himself and shrugged. "I don't know. I don't recall making the choice. I suppose it's somehow for you."

    "For me?" George said, defensively. "Why would it be for me?"

    "I'm sorry, George, I didn't mean to upset you. What I meant was, I know you're hurting."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I'm not hear to judge you, Son. Not a single bit. I'm hear because I know. I've been there. For me, it was the trenches of France. For you, it was the towns and cities, the forests and the hillsides. The innocents as well as the guilty."

    "Bloody and awful," George said. "And not so easy to let go of. To forget."

    "I don't think you'll ever forget it. You might be able to set it aside. You will have to set it aside, George. I don't mean to speak harshly to you, but I know what I'm talking about. If you want a life, a life for your wife and child, you'll have to find a way to manage. Perhaps Clarkson can help?"

    George snorted, but not derisively. "Clarkson has one foot in the grave already. But there are others doctors. It's not shell shock or post concussional syndrome as they call it today. At least it doesn't feel like it. Whatever it is, Pa-pa, it gets to me. It makes me nervous...and angry."

    "I've seen different degrees of shell shock, Son," Matthew said. "Talk to the doctors. Or talk to other soldiers who were there. Do something so that it doesn't fester inside you. Does your mother worry over you?"

    George place a hand on the mantle and looked back at the fire. "She suspects something is wrong, but doesn't seem able to acknowledge it."

    "Have faith in her, George," Matthew entreated. "Give her a chance. She loves you very much."

    "I know," George said, noncommitally.

    "George, look at me," Matthew said, stepping closer to his son.

    George looked into his fathers tender, piercing eyes. "I love you, Son. I am proud of you. Never doubt it."

    Tears welled his George's eyes and he was sure they were in his father's eyes as well.

    Suddenly, the side door opened and Mary Crawley entered. "Are you alright, George?"

    The image of his father smiling and nodding faded almost instantly. "I'm fine, Mother."

    "Our guests are waiting," Mary said as she came to his side and placed a hand on his arm.

    "I promise," George said, through a small smile. "I'll be right out."

    As his mother closed the door, George closed his eyes. "I love you, too, Pap-pa."
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2020
  9. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The Fanfic Manager With The Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Huh! That was quite the unexpected AU to start. Poor Mosley! =((

    But what really took the cake for me here was George and Matthew, able to share this brief, stolen moment not only as father and son, but as soldiers who have each lived through such an unprecedented world war. Matthew being able to comfort and encourage his son was beautifully expressed. I loved his shared insight on Mary, too. [face_love]

    Gah, my heart!!!

    Yep, A+ work on this! I can't wait to see what you come up with next. =D=
    brodiew likes this.
  10. christophero30

    christophero30 Chosen One star 8

    May 18, 2017
    Cool thread. I'll read more in here when I get the time. I binged watched the entire series recently and loved it.
    brodiew likes this.