Hello, everyone. I’ve decided to jump in with both feet on tumblr. Hopefully, I will figure out how to swim! Here is a ficlet I’ve just posted on FanFiction.net. It’s just a bit of fluff, intended to cushion any blows we may have today. BTW, I have never been so excited about Daylight Savings Time here in the US! One less hour to wait for CtM!
Dinner nearly ready, Shelagh watched Timothy playing in the small back garden through the kitchen window.
“MmHmm?” Patrick answered, not looking up from his crossword puzzle.
“Patrick, I was speaking with Fred at Nonnatus House today, and he told me about a friend of his. It seems his friend has had some puppies. Or rather, that his friend’s dog has had puppies.” Shelagh giggled as she reached into the drawer for the flatware. Looking over his shoulder, she glanced at the puzzle. “Six down is ‘eloquent’,” she whispered before she crossed over to the hatch to place the forks and knives on the plates, stacked and ready for the dinner table.
“Shelagh! Don’t do that. I’ll get there on my own,” he harumphed.
Turning back to the kitchen, she continued, “Some sort of spaniel mix, I think. Well, anyway, as I was walking home, I got to thinking.” She glanced over at her husband. “Maybe it’s time for Timothy to have a dog to care for. You know, another creature to be responsible for. I’ve always thought a child should have a pet, and a dog could be so helpful. Timothy could get more exercise, and I would worry less about him being away from the house if he got tired. If you like, we could walk over tomorrow after clinic and take a look. Patrick?” Suddenly, she doubted he was listening to her at all.
“Patrick, have you heard a word I said?” she asked.
Patrick looked up, “Of course I have! Tomorrow. Excellent.”
Still suspicious, Shelagh asked, “So we can tell Timothy tonight, then?”
“Yes. Of course tonight. Shelagh, you know I trust you absolutely. If you think it’s a good idea then so do I.” Patrick smiled. “Dinner ready?”
Later, as dinner drew to a close and Timothy’s supply of conversation had finally started to run out, Shelagh thought to bring the subject up again.
“Timothy, your Dad and I were thinking that perhaps tomorrow we could all go for a walk and see a litter of puppies, maybe to choose one to join us here at home?”
She wasn’t sure which was more ridiculous: Timothy’s unguarded enthusiasm, or Patrick sputtering his tea. “A puppy?!” they said, in unison. She chose to respond to Timothy.
“Yes. There’s a spaniel on Leyland Place that’s had six puppies. Should we go and take a look in the afternoon?”
“Are you serious? Of course! Yes! Yes! Yes! Can we take the puppy home tomorrow?” Timothy looked over at his Dad, who was mopping up his tea.
“Not quite yet,” Shelagh answered. “The puppies are too young. They’ll have to stay with their mother for a few more weeks. But we might be able to bring him or her home by the time school lets out for summer.” Shelagh noticed Patrick was still quiet. “I think it’s time for your bath, though, young man.”
With remarkably little resistance, Timothy danced up the stairs, calling out names suitable for a puppy. Shelagh turned to Patrick. “You weren’t listening to me, were you?”
Still stunned, Patrick shook his head.
“Patrick, you should have said! Why on earth didn’t you?”
Not looking her in the eye, Patrick answered, ”I didn’t want you to think I was taking you for granted. How would it seem, only married two months and already I wasn’t listening?” He shook his head again. “I am so very grateful for you. I wouldn’t ever want you to think otherwise.”
“Silly man.” She reached up and kissed him. His arms came around her and he deepened the kiss. When they broke apart, Shelagh sighed and said, “But I’m afraid you’re getting a puppy now!”
Seven shocked faces looked up at them from the sitting room sofas. Complete silence followed. Shelagh’s eyes were drawn to the floor by her feet where she’d apparently found something interesting. Patrick looked round the room, his eyes willing someone to speak, but all he met was shock and silence. They should have waited. Their friends weren’t ready.