pond the alarm

Are You My Mother?

Pairing: Thomas Jefferson/Daughter!Reader

Request: aYE BOI ahem,,, sorry,,,if you ever get the time could you maybe make a Thomas Jefferson x daughter reader thingy where one day the reader comes home and is like “smh why don’t I have a mom???” And hen Thomas has the explAIN MARTHAS DEATH AND OH THE ANGST but then in the end it’s happy and they eat Mac and cheese in the couch together. Thanks!~

Warnings: Mentions of death, angst

Note: I just poured a Monster energy drink into my coffee and added sugar to upload this without falling asleep. Feedback is appreciated! Enjoy~

To put it plainly, you were a good kid. You didn’t fight, didn’t swear, didn’t drink. You went about your 12-year-old business without bothering anyone and never strayed from the path of good. So when your father, Thomas Jefferson, secretary of state and single father, found you down in the kitchen on a sunny Saturday afternoon, he knew something was wrong. You’d never pass up the chance to read out in the fields on a day like this.
He ushered his workers out and took a seat next to you on the dusty ground. “All of Monticello, and you choose to sit in an off limits part of the house. May I ask why?” Thomas asked gently. The annoyance in his tone was overpowered by his concern. You shrugged and continued to nibble at the slice of bread you’d swiped.
“Hungry.” You replied. The man next to you frowned. The answer you gave was hardly satisfying. Surely there was more to it than that? But all the same, he didn’t pry.
“Well, let’s finish that upstairs then, hm? You need to get ready for tonight, anyways.” He gave you no say in such a thing. You felt him pulling you up the stairs, babbling on about how excited he was to see John and Abigail tonight, but you didn’t listen – really, you didn’t care. He left you in the care of his workers to dress and prepare. He had other things to attend to.

By the time the Adams’ family had arrived, you had been ready for a solid hour. Despite the makeup caking your face, you had it buried in a pillow – not like you’d be the one cleaning it. You wished their carriage would’ve crashed, or the horses had run off, or the driver had fainted. You wished they would’ve declined the offer to come stay or something had prevented their visit. You wish you could’ve died right then and there. You wished something, anything, would’ve happened to prevent them from coming and bringing the tiny gremlins they called their sons with them. The Adams girls weren’t as bad, but the boys were horrors, devils disguised as miracles.

When your father called you to the door, you contemplated disobeying. He couldn’t force you down if the door was locked, yes? But sooner or later, you’d be forced out. They would be staying the whole week, so you couldn’t exactly avoid them. You heard your father call for you again. Begrudgingly, you forced yourself to go greet your guests.

Your father and Mr. Adams declared they had business to attend to. The Adams girls stuck close to their mother. That left you to entertain the boys. Now, it wasn’t as if you hadn’t done it before, or that you were incapable of doing so. It was merely a case of you hated those brats. They were always screwing with your things, or making lewd comments about you, or sending you rude letters. Last time they came around, they left the dome in shambles – and guess who was blamed?

“Anything in particular you’d like to do? We could go riding, or go up to the dome. Father just had a couch installed in the room there.” You said dully. The boys seemed to have something in mind already.

“Why don’t we walk to the pond?” The eldest replied. You shrugged.

“If it’ll keep you entertained until dinner, allons-y.”

Going to the pond had not been a good idea. Why you even agreed to it, you weren’t sure. First of all, it was the middle of the summer, and all the mosquitoes had laid their eggs there. Secondly, your dress was not made for climbing in. And thirdly, it was not made to get wet, either. So as you realized the boys had you cornered at the edge of the pond, you were rather alarmed.

“God, you’re an awful hostess! It’s no wonder your own mother didn’t want you.” Charles teased. His brothers cackled in response. “Try as he might, your Father’s skills just don’t seem to rub off on you. That’s what he gets for adopting a child instead of having his own.”

You scoffed. “You do understand I have older siblings, correct? What, do you think he adopted all of us? No. He and my mother-“

“Which mother? Where is she? Because I certainly don’t see a mother, nor have I ever.” He retorted. “It’s clear to everyone except you. You were adopted, no doubt about it.” You hardly noticed the pond water seeping into your shoes. Proving your guest wrong was much more important than some Mary Jane shoes! But as he and his brothers closed in around you, you began to feel the ice cold water brush against your calves, sinking into the hem of your skirt. You’d get sick if you didn’t get out soon. But the boys blocked the shore in front of you, and the only real option was to trudge to the other side faster than them, or scream for the help of your fathers workers.

You chose trudging across the pond. Better than making yourself look helpless. Thank goodness the water went only to your mid-thigh. The boys didn’t care to chase you. Instead, they turned and headed back to the house. And you, dear reader, were left to climb up the hill to Monticello, soaked from your thighs down and with twenty minutes until dinner. Well, that’s what you should’ve done – in reality, you sat at the bottom of the hill until after dinner, mourning your ruined silk dress and angry that no one had come for you.

When it had long passed the start of dinner, you finally made your way into the house and into the dining room. The Adams and your father sat round the table – you were shocked to find your father looking angry with you. He quietly told you to go wait for him in your room. He was not happy when you snorted angrily.

“I hate to give you attitude, father dear, but your punishment is unfair and wrongly assigned. I would have come to dinner sooner, but I didn’t want to get the floors wet. And, if it hadn’t been for those three imps, I wouldn’t have had to swim across the pond and get wet. And, if we’re being completely honest – which we are! – they wouldn’t have cornered me at the pond if it weren’t for mother.” The boys squirmed uncomfortably in their seats.

“You see, they assume that because one does not have a mother, one must be adopted. I think I’ve convinced myself of that as well. I mean, you never talk about her, there’s no paintings of her anywhere in the house, and of course I’ve never met her! Clearly I must be-“

“Room, now, go.” Thomas was shaking with rage, but not at you, never at you. No, instead, his rage was directed at his best friend’s sons. How dare they even suggest such a thing? What did they know? He watched your retreating form before politely excusing himself from the table.

Thomas hated the thought that he had made his youngest child cry. But he had, and now it was his job to clear things up. He didn’t even bother to knock before entering (your pacing steps were enough to tell him he could go in).

“Will it make things better if I start with “I’m not angry at you?”” Thomas joked. You silently stared at him. “No? Didn’t think so. Dear, I know you have questions, so I encourage you to ask.”

“Why isn’t our family normal? Why don’t I have a mom?” Thomas knew this day would come. He had done his best to prepare himself, but unlike the rest of the times, he didn’t feel ready for this. When you proudly announced to him at age eleven that you had “become a woman”, he was ready. When he had to leave for France not so long ago and left you in the care of your eldest sister, he was ready. Gosh, he was even ready when you had questions about why he was so disliked by your friends’ parents! But questions about Martha? He’d never be fully prepared nor emotionally ready.

“You did. Once. And she was irreplaceable…” For the next hour, Thomas poured his heart out. He talked of how they met, and of their wedding (“It was terribly snowy, and it would’ve been fine if she hadn’t had had the absolute worst immune system”). He explained about their dreams of a large family, and what it was like to raise your siblings with her, and how absolutely overjoyed they were when you arrived. Then, he moved into sadder events. He spoke of her life for the next four months after you were born. How she was constantly ill, and how she eventually passed away from complications of her pregnancy. He hadn’t even noticed he was crying until you wiped the tears from his cheeks.

Thomas pulled you into a tight hug. “Well…that explains why you’re the only single man at every ball. Mother must have been really special if you still haven’t found another woman.” You declared. Thomas chuckled and released you from his death grip.

“Oh, was she ever. I couldn’t find another lady like her if I tried. But putting aside my feelings and love life, how are you feeling about this? Are you still angry?”

“Angry, no. I am a bit hungry, however.” Your father entwined his hand with yours “I understand it’s late, but do you think there’s anything left over from dinner?”

Thomas gasped dramatically. “My daughter, eat leftovers? Never! Come with me, my dear, and I shall make you as much mac and cheese as your heart desires. Left overs, ha!” You chuckled a bit. Your father always had to be dramatic, but that’s what you get for being a politicians daughter. But, politician father or not, mother or none, you were happy, and at the end of the day, that’s what mattered.