“The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in another is a great blessing.” (Northanger Abbey)
“I’m here, me darlin’, I’m here,” Tom soothed as his daughter cried. But the tears and wails seemed to come to an instant stop when he bent over her cradle and carefully lifted her. “There you are, my love,” he murmured with smile, gently rocking her in his arms. Her little thumb managed to free itself from the blanket that was swaddling her, and she immediately began to suck on it in contentment as her father cradled her in his strong arms.
Tom smiled down at his daughter, but his brow furrowed at the sight of something stuck to her blanket. It seemed to be…a piece of paper?
He carefully moved them across the nursery to a rocking chair and unfastened the paper from her blanket. Her eyes were already starting to flutter closed as with one hand, Tom unfolded the paper, quickly realizing it was a letter. And his breath caught as he instantly recognized the handwriting.
She had written this. But…when? When had she…?
A large, emotional lump filled his throat, and tears began to blur his vision. God, he missed her. He missed her so much. He missed seeing her in the early morning, her naked skin glowing in the sunlight. He missed holding her hand, feeling her soft fingers lace with his. He missed touching her, he missed feeling her touch, the both them always finding ways to show one another physical affection whenever they could. He missed the sound of her voice, warm and husky, her laugh, her wit, the way her eyes sparkled with mischief and love. He missed the feel of her body next to his; the bed felt so cold without her. He missed everything…and even though he was surrounded by so many other people, he never felt so alone…
He swallowed and blinked back the tears, and then proceeded to read the letter.
I have been stuck in this bed, waiting for the birth of our child for many days now, with little to do but read my poor, worn copies of Jane Austen. I have been reading Northanger Abbey of late, and paused upon seeing this quote by the cheeky Mr. Tilney: “The mere habit of learning to love is the thing; and a teachableness of disposition in another is a great blessing.” –I know our child will learn a great deal about love; how could they not with you for a father? You are the man who taught me so much about love, and who has shared with me all of love’s joys. I look forward to continue learning more about love, and I hope and pray that we continue learning and teaching one another, for many years to come. I am leaving this here in our child’s cradle, as a surprise for you when the time comes and you see our son or daughter. I don’t say it enough, my dear husband…I love you more than words can possibly say. But I shall work every day, for as long as I live, to show you.
Tom’s eyes widened. Sybil had put this letter in the cradle before their daughter had been born? Why was it that he hadn’t seen it since now? How many days–weeks, now, had he been picking up their daughter and not noticing the letter? How–?
“It had fallen under the cushion,” a voice announced from the doorway of the nursery.
Tom gasped and whipped his head up at the sound of her voice.
“I was starting to wonder, since you never said anything,” Sybil told him with a wink.
Tom rose from the chair, conscious that he was holding a sleeping infant in his arms, but he couldn’t take his eyes off his wife–his beautiful wife–standing there in her traveling clothes, her cheeks pink and her eyes bright.
“When…when did you get back…?” he mouthed.
“No more than half an hour ago,” Sybil told him. “I came straight here to the nursery; I missed her so,” Sybil smiled, removing her coat and gloves. “And you as well, of course.”
Tom crossed the room then, and with a free arm, wrapped it around his wife and drew her to his side, dipping his head and kissing her deeply, fiercely, pouring his entire heart into the kiss. “God, I’ve missed you,” he groaned, when their mouths parted. “I know it’s only been a week, but still…”
“I know,” Sybil whispered, kissing his cheek. “I missed you too–so much. I hated being away from you both. But I have good news,” she looked back at him and smiled. “I got in!”
Tom blinked and then a huge grin broke across his face. “Well done, love! I knew that you would! I always knew you could do it!”
She had been in London, staying her aunt for the week as she took a few exams as well as few interviews, but the results had come back with a positive answer. She was going to start her training that would turn her into a doctor.
“I won’t start officially until September, which does give us the rest of the summer to make the necessary arrangements…and find a place of our own, away from this house, away from this life–”
Tom laughed as she repeated those very words she had spoken to him on the night she accepted his proposal. “When shall we tell your family?” He couldn’t deny, he was eager to say something. But Sybil just smiled, before taking their daughter carefully from his arms and gently laying the sleeping child in her cradle.
“Tomorrow,” she answered.
Tom frowned. “You want to wait until tomorrow?”
She nodded, and then took him by the hand. “Yes, because right now, I’m going to take my husband back to our room, and he and I are going to have a proper celebration of our own.”
Tom grinned; he liked the sound of that. “And what about dinner?” he asked, already loosening his tie.
Sybil giggled and tugged his tie from his collar. “We’ll have a tray brought up.”
He didn’t hesitate, he scooped her up into his arms and carried her the rest of the way, practically running in his eagerness. “Aye, but much, much later,” he told her, before kicking the door shut to their room.
first time/virginity and a whole lot of awkward between the two of them
this prompt is from 2012 so i need u guys to push this one HARD on tumblr bc no ones gonna see it otherwise. its on pt V of the meme and we’re currently in the middle of pt VIII. do me a solid here
also can u believe ive never titled something after a lyric from a meat loaf song? had to rectify that with this fic. what better sort of fic to title via meat loaf than a fic about two nineteen year olds having sex in weird places