This episode it simply delicious. I rewatched it just yesterday (or most of it, anyway), and Mary/Edith’s antagonistic relationship is so entertaining, how nasty Mary can be, how she ends up hurting Matthew in the process, which was a consequence she hadn’t even considered. How much that hurt her, surprisingly so, that he would leave, feel rejected, how disappointed in herself she was, so much so that she tried - and failed - to make amends the following day.
JF skimmed through a lot of stories (and progression) in between episodes, but S1 was a gem, no doubt. Not even the heights of S2 had that same subtlety, that complexity, that engaging rhythm of the storytelling.
groveyswife asked: Ohhh, I'm sure it's been done. But what happened in between the first kiss and Mary going upstairs to tell Cora that Matthew asked her to marry him. I mean it had to be good... They were all alone. ;)
Well, it’s my first take on this anyway.
Thank you for this prompt, I loved writing this. I hope you like it :)
He lost track of time in their kiss.
A moment before he’d been aware of the clock ticking away on the mantle, of the shadows of the night peeking from outside the window, of the light steps of some footman walking just outside the door.
But all had ceased to exist the moment Mary’s gaze had met his unashamed, half a smile curving her lips, her eyes warm and welcoming,
He’d been unable to resist the pull.
Against his better judgments his eyes had dropped to her mouth, and when he’d lifted them again, he’d seen it, the invitation, the… the longing, that same longing he knew was in his eyes every time he looked at her.
He’d seen her inch a bit closer, and he had not stopped enough to think, to wonder.
He’d met her eagerly halfway instead, their mouths pressing against each other as the space between them seemed to vanish.
This is probably totally historical inaccurate, but quite frankly I don’t care :P
"And then of course there’s the food tasting. I hope you are free on Saturday morning because otherwise we’ll have to decide without you."
"Food tasting? What do you mean?"
"What do you think I mean? Of course the main courses for the wedding breakfast! Darling, are you sure you are alright today? You do seem a little pale still."
Her hand sneaked to his forehead quickly, but he caught her wrist first, guiding it to his lips instead.
He lingered there, kissing her palm and then each one of the pads of her fingers, slowly, carefully, looking at her with a glint in his eyes for the whole time.
Mary swallowed, then pressed her lips together, as he finally let go of her hand and took a step toward her, reached for her cheek, fingers sliding over it, caressing her face.
She closed her eyes when their lips met, sighing into his mouth.
It was a good thing, she thought with no small amount of relief as she felt him pull her closer, his hand around her waist pressing her to him completely, that they were so very far away from the house.
But then again, she mused, that was the exact reason she’d suggested they wandered this part of the grounds today.
So she smiled into the kiss, pushing even more against him, hands that had lain unused at her sides till now coming up to his chest, grabbing the lapels of his day suit, as heat grew between them, and they got lost in the kiss, so wonderfully lost, and the rest of the world just… it just faded away for a while.
They separated at last, breathing hard, half a smile curving Matthew’s lips.
“You distracted me,” Mary accused his, but there was only softness in her voice, as she finally did reach his forehead, fingers lingering there some moments, and then moving to push back a lock of hair that had flopped over it.
It made him look young and carefree and so impossibly handsome in this sunny day of early Spring.
"The fever passed days ago, darling, I am alright," he said as he reluctantly released her and they went back to a more proper distance.
"Can I count on you on Saturday, then?” she asked, as Matthew linked his fingers with her, and they started walking again.
She squeezes his fingers between hers.
“You can always count on me.”
“I’m glad,” she said simply.
They walked quietly for some moment.
“Do you know what Mrs. Patmore has in mind, then?”
“We discussed about it the other day with Mama. She said Mrs. Patmore wants to try some new fancy dishes and wanted to be sure we appreciated them.”
“I think no one could ever taste Mrs. Patmore’s cooking and be disappointed by it.”
They laughed softly together.
“Indeed, but if she wants to be sure, darling, then it’s our duty to put her doubts to rest.”
“Oh, indubitably,” he agreed with a smirk, then paused, his brows knitting together in thought.
“Will we decide on our wedding cake, too?”
He looked so hopeful that Mary had to laugh again.
“Yes, darling,” she said then shaking her head slightly and she was the one coming closer this time, her arms sneaking around his neck with ease. “Yes, I promise there’ll be cake.”
“Good then,” he said, and they smiled happily at one another, till she inched closer still, and every thought of food tasting left their minds.
Another kind of tasting took precedence as hands stroked over a light jacket, brushed against skin, pushed hair aside, and they kissed again, and again, and again, holding each other close in the warm air of the morning.
"Darling?" he calls softly, rubbing sleep off his eyes as he peeks into the nursery. He’s woken up mere minutes ago, the other side of the bed empty, which left him confused for some moments, till he’s seen the dull light coming from the hallway through the open door.
She’s sitting beside the crib, one arm resting over its wooden frame, the other outstretched inside of it, and when he comes closer he can see that her fingers are resting near the sleeping form of their son, one of her fingers in his hand, as he lies on his back, slumbering peacefully.
A small smile tugs at his lips at the sight.
"He was having troubles sleeping," she explains.
"You could’ve called me," he replies touching her shoulder, his palm resting there, caressing the tense muscles underneath her thin nightgown.
"It’s all right, I couldn’t sleep anyway."
He smiles knowingly down at her, even though her eyes are only for the newborn child inside the crib.
"You need to rest."
"I know, I’ll do it later. I just want to stay here a little while longer."
"Alright," he says as he sits down on a nearby chair. Mary lifts her eyes and turns her head to him then.
"You’re practically sleeping, Matthew. Go to bed, I’ll come back in a few minutes.
Matthew covers a yawn with his hand, then moves the chair closer, resting his crossed arms on the frame of the crib as she is doing, his cheek lying there, watching her for a moment before closing his eyes.
"Tell me when we’re going," he mumbles, and even if he can’t see her, he knows Mary is shaking her head now, but then he feels her fingers in his hair, tugging a strand behind his ear, caressing it, then his cheek, slowly, lovingly, and he smiles.
"Alright then," she whispers as the silence of the night falls around them, the even breathing of their son the only sound in the quiet room.
Her eyelashes flutter, her brow furrows, and her breath changes, becomes more shallow, as consciousness slowly irradiates throughout her body and she comes back to the world one bit of sensation at a time.
It’s then that she becomes aware of it.
It’s just her at first, it’s heavy limbs and relaxed muscles and tight skin and dry lips as she learns again the confines of her body, and knows that she’s lying on her back, or resting on her side, or that she’s curled around…
… around him.
Because it’s not just her anymore after these first moments.
It’s him too.
Behind her or under her, all around her, close, so close, and closer still with every step she takes to being fully awake.
But before that happens, it’s his warmth that she takes notice of, not even a whole formed thought that slips comfortably and comforting into the hallways of her mind as she awakens.
Here, he’s here.
The band of warmth around her back…
The five spots resting on her hip…
The solid expanse of warm skin under her cheek…
It’s the warmth of his legs tangled with hers.
It’s his hand holding hers to his chest.
It’s his cheek, resting lightly against her hair, close, so close, closer as she shifts, flexes, snuggles against him while sleep finally falls away from her, and she squeezes her eyes, hiding her face in the hollow of his neck.
She breaths him in, she moves her legs, and when she lifts her face eventually he’s there to greet her, sleepy eyes looking back at her, a lock of hair catching a ray of sun or flopping over his forehead, and a beautiful, slow grin, followed by a “good morning, darling” mumbled before leaning down for a kiss, as fingers begin to go up and down her sides, her back, and lower still, hugging her to him, lazily, or firmly or both things at once.
A shiver always runs up her spine then, ever though she’s warm, so warm.
Even though she’s getting warmer.
“Matthew…” she whispers, and a wide smile curves her lips, as they kiss, and kiss, and then kiss again.
When Mary uncovers a secret of Matthew’s, she realizes that their past is far different than what she knew, and that the man she loves is far more than she could have ever imagined. A one-shot in honour of Mary/Matthew Celebration Day.
In case you missed this on ff.net, here I am to recommend it to you. Amazing piece for an amazing ship.
And see more of each other they did, through war and peace, and tragedy and bliss, from fingers sliding akwardly away from the other’s, to hands joining naturally, and it all came back together in full circle, as we were told one of the most engaging, epic love stories ever seen on television.
Isn’t that reason enough to celebrate?
So this is what this MM Celebration day, March 29, is about. A day to celebrate this incredible couple, and to share all sort of things about them.
♦ So, how does it work?
You have a little less than a month to create whatever you like in order to celebrate MM as a couple and as a family (which can include George if you like! I really, really do) during that day. Start thinking now and let your immagination run!
Posting will happen all throughout Saturday, 29th March. No matter your timezone, as soon as midnight strikes and the day changes to 29, you can start posting :)
♥ That’s splendid, but what can I post?
As I said, whatever you like, but here’s a list of some of the things that come to mind:
Drabbles and ficlets written for this specific day
An update of your on going fanfiction
Themed gifsets and photosets
Gifsets, photosets, screencaps about one specific scene
Your favourite MM quotes
A playlist of the songs that always remind you of MM
A poem, a piece of writing other than DA that reminds you of MM
A fan video
A list/recs of your favourite fanvideos
Recs of your favourite fics
You can also create a photoset (even with images from google) for a scene of your favourite fanfic, and quote the fanfic, with the link to the original work
Whatever else you like!!
♣There are rules I have to keep in mind?
Yes, only two.
Tag all your posts with MM Celebration Day so it’ll be easy to track them down. I also recommend to use the tags for the characters, the couple, and the show (“Mary Crawley”, “Matthew Crawley”, “George Crawley”, “Mary x Matthew”, “Matthew x Mary”, “Downton Abbey”). Remember that Tumblr only tracks the first five tags in the general research, so put always the celebration day tag first.
If you quote, recommend, post something (like a video. Graphic art must be reblogged, never reposted) that’s not yours but created by others, always include a link to the source.
♠ Anything else I need to know?
No, you’re good!
As I final note, I highly encourage writers to post their stories on fanfiction.net too, so that people can review there if they like (and I encourage that too, as feedback is alway, always great).
As always, if you have questions, contact me and I’ll be glad to answer them. Any answer/reminder of the event will be tagged with the “MM Celebration Day” tag.
Now, dear MM shippers, it’s up to you! Spread the word and enjoy the MM love :)