the kitchen maid

a sad truth of women in relationships; their silent tears in the bathroom, the lights off during sex, unspoken insecurities and questions; fear of being too loud too hysterical too clingy. try to fix themselves to fix the other person’s problems - if i am prettier, smarter, faster, better - try to erase themselves to avoid conflict. small terrible jealousies he does nothing to dispel - he likes her facebook profile picture even after you tell him she rips you open - small terrible compromises that are really just giving up. women who change the core of themselves, who quietly give up dreams for his successes and for his children, who ask for little more than somebody else doing the dishes and still get moaned at. women who are the backbone of their house and still only seen as a kitchen trophy, a maid, a ball and chain.

I almost lost you...

Expect a number of mini ficlets based on kiss prompts from me over the next few days. This first one was requested by a lovely nonnie -  Captain Duckling and “I almost lost you” kiss. (rated T, 1600 words)


The tip of her silver spoon dips in and out of her lamb stew as she tries to conjure an appetite, her mind too full of other things to focus on the meal before her. It’s been much the same each time she’s sat at this table these past few weeks, eating enough to sustain, but too nervous to indulge - even when presented with her favorite meal of warm brie on toast. He left before dawn almost two fortnights ago, taking with him her heart. The truth of this had hit her like a kick to the gut she received once while learning to fight with one of the Royal Guard, feelings she’s been avoiding stealing her breath as his ship grew smaller and smaller on the horizon. A shakily forged alliance between Pirate Captain and Queen Snow had set him on this journey, his task to pretend to be an ally and ascertain The Evil Queen’s plan.

The man she apparently loves is attempting to trick the most dangerous villain in all the realms and she’s just supposed to sit here and eat food and breathe and - oh god - something’s wrong. Her stomach heaves and her spoon chips the china bowl as it falls from her fingers. Sweat immediately begins to tickle at her temples and along the back of her neck as her own light magic pulses to life beneath her fingertips.

“Emma, what is it?” 

Snow is on her feet and kneeling before her in seconds and Emma lets her hand be taken in her mother’s strong ones, knowing her magic will never hurt the ones she loves. 

“I…I…I’m not sure, I just feel, something has happened…” 

A loud crash and muffled voices cut off her ramblings and soon Grumpy is barreling into the dining room, his face a mask of annoyance as he shakes off one of the palace guards. 

It’s here! The Jolly Roger, it’s back!” 

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THE SERVANT GIRL AT EMMAUS

It’s only recently that I discovered both Diego Velazquez’s “Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus” and  Denise Levertov’s poem inspired by the painting.

Notice how the “kitchen maid” seems to be watching the event from a reflection in the jar! Try to compose yourself within the scene. Take your place in the painting. Read Levertov’s poem a few times and then consider this one question:

  • Who are you in the scene and how are you participating in its unfolding?

The Servant-Girl at Emmaus
(A Painting by Velazquez)

She listens, listens, holding
her breath. Surely that voice
is his—the one
who had looked at her, once, across the crowd,
as no one ever had looked?
Had seen her? Had spoken as if to her?

Surely those hands were his,
taking the platter of bread from hers just now?
Hands he’d laid on the dying and made them well?

Surely that face—?

The man they’d crucified for sedition and blasphemy.
The man whose body disappeared from its tomb.
The man it was rumored now some women had seen this morning, alive?

Those who had brought this stranger home to their table
don’t recognize yet with whom they sit.
But she in the kitchen, absently touching the wine jug she’s to take in,
a young Black servant intently listening,
swings round and sees
the light around him
and is sure.

Poem: Denise Levertov, The Servant Girl at Emmaus from The Stream & The Sapphire (New Directions, 1997)
Art: Diego Velázquez (1599-1660) Kitchen Maid with the Supper at Emmaus, c. 1617-1618

anonymous asked:

Imagine a universe where Jamie got to keep William as his own, pretty please!

Special thanks to Mod Gotham for coming up with the title for this new AU of mine. I have it all planned out but I’m not sure yet how many parts it will be. I hope you all enjoy it. - Mod Lenny

Mac Ruaidh - Part One

The cold of the raging storm outside had nothing on the cold that invaded his veins at the news from the Ellesmeres’ cook, though he was less certain whether it was caused by the news that Geneva was dead or that her husband was thoroughly convinced her child had been fathered by another man.

Though it was wrong to curse the dead, the impulse was strong. He had known when he accepted her twisted bargain that it wouldn’t be so simple. He should have tried harder to find a way out of it without giving in to her demands. As his anger and frustration rose the chill faded and heat rose through him.

Perhaps his wits had gotten slow from lack of use. In the cave he’d had little to do but think and second guess his every move; at Ardsmuir there had been the men to think on, their welfare to negotiate and in the governor he’d found a man willing to challenge and bargain shrewdly, not to mention the opportunities to play at chess or read a bit from one of the books on the shelf. But at Helwater he had slipped into a routine that didn’t require the same mental exertions; physical exhaustion carried him to his bed at night and the relative freedom of movement––being outdoors and working but not under the eyes and guns of guards––he had given over to enjoying the simpler aspects of his life, pushing aside the harsh terms of his servitude. In playing the part of a mere groom perhaps some of the simplicity he played at had seeped into his mind and impeded his faculties.

How else could he explain the apparent ease with which Geneva––hardly more than a lass––had gotten the upper hand on him enough to force his compliance?

Jamie closed his eyes, took a deep breath and let it out slowly, urging his mind towards quiet. Half a dozen ideas for what he could have done or said differently in the field that day were fighting with each other as though settling on which would have been most effective might change his current situation.

But what exactly was his situation? The lad was his by blood but Ellesmere’s by law and as far as appearances were concerned.

The rising heat of Jamie’s anger cooled suddenly as something within him sank. He had a son, another child he wouldn’t have a chance to see or raise or know. Well, perhaps Ellesmere would let the lad visit Helwater from time to time; the Dunsanys were still the babe’s family. Jamie might be able to see him from a distance, which was more than he’d had of either of his other two children. Lord that she might be safe, she and the child , he prayed silently, habitually, and then with a sigh added, And may Lady Geneva rest peacefully.

A maid came scurrying into the kitchen with wide eyes. “Your master wants you right away,” she urged Jamie and Jeffries. “And he wants you to come armed.”

Jeffries ran to fetch the pistols from the carriage but Jamie urged the maid to show him to Lord Dunsany immediately; if arms were indeed needed he shouldn’t have trouble improvising with something at hand or at least stalling until Jeffries could join them.

Ellesmere and Dunsany were both red-faced from screaming as he entered and looked about to come to blows.

“Your daughter was a whore and I’ll not have her bastard bearing my name,” Ellesmere hollered. “I’m getting rid of him one way or another.”

“My daughter was no WHORE!” Dunsany screamed, taking a swing at Ellesmere who easily dodged it. “And you’ll not shame my grandson with your lies!”

“He’s no son of mine, of that I’m sure,” Ellesmere taunted Dunsany, “so that ought to tell you all you need to know of your daughter and her character.”

Jamie felt the blood drain from his face but it had no effect on his legs. He inserted himself between the two men saying nothing.

“We had an arrangement when I agreed to marry that slut and I don’t care––”

Jamie gave Ellesmere a shove so that he fell back into a cushioned chair. Both he and Dunsany were startled into silence by the action.

“Have ye no heard that it’s rude to speak ill of the dead?” Jamie said with a quiet calm that made Ellesmere go pale. “There’s a child lost its mother and parents lost their child. Whatever betrayal ye may be feeling, have a care for their grief at least or ye dinna deserve to call yerself a gentleman.”

The color returned to Ellesmere’s face in a rush of red but he simply clenched his fists in his chair as Jamie continued to stare down at him from his physically imposing height.

“Tha–thank you, MacKenzie,” Dunsany muttered weakly behind him. “I’ve sent my wife to fetch the child. We’ll be leaving with him this afternoon and––”

“No,” Ellesmere said with cold fury. “You’ll not be leaving this house with that child and playing the gracious grieving parents offering to raise him for me because I’m too distraught or whatever bullshit reason you give the gossip-mongers. I never touched your daughter and I’ll not have her bastard son as my heir.”

“I’ll take him.” The words were out of Jamie’s mouth before he’d even thought them and once again both Ellesmere and Dunsany were shocked into silence.

Swallowing and turning to begin pacing, Jamie was aware of the men’s attention on him while he scrambled to piece his impulse together into a plan.

“I’ll take the bairn and raise him as mine––a lad got on a kitchen maid that left and sent him to me rather than raise him herself,” Jamie said quickly. “As far as Lady Geneva goes, her bairn died and can be buried with her.” He turned to Ellesmere. “It frees ye of having a living heir ye dinna want and garners ye a bit more sympathy than a scandal would––or would ye rather word of yer… inabilities spread along with yer insinuations about yer late wife?”

Ellesmere glared at Jamie who stood holding the older man’s eye without flinching. He was vaguely aware of the throbbing pulse in the man’s throat, a subtle fluttering movement that was slightly out of sync with a twitch in the corner of the man’s right eye. Ellesmere blinked and Jamie let the breath he’d been holding go then turned to Dunsany.

“I ken it’s no how ye want the lad to come to yer house,” Jamie said with gentle understanding, a tone of voice he’d used frequently on skittish horses. “But he’ll be near ye and ye’ll have a chance to see him even if he canna know the truth of who ye are.”

“You propose to raise an infant on your own while working as a stablehand…” Dunsany summarized with obvious skepticism.

“I’m sure my employer will prove sympathetic to my plight having so recently lost a beloved child of his own. None would question such an impulse under the circumstances,” Jamie reasoned. “But… he would be mine. I’d have the final say over him.”

Dunsany’s mouth was drawn tight and grim but there was exhaustion and resignation in it too.

“Why? Why would you do such a thing?” Dunsany asked.

Jamie inhaled deeply and let it out slowly. “My wife,” he said quietly, his voice barely managing not to break at the mention of Claire, at the thought of discussing her with these people, of bringing her memory into the light of day to be gawked at when he preferred keeping her to himself, cherished and protected. “My wife and I wanted… We lost our first at birth. It took time for her to get with child again… and then I lost them both together… I love my wife still and dinna mean ever to wed again… but it pains me to think I’ll no have a chance to be a father. A child without a father ought to have one and if I’m no to be father to my wife’s children, I should like to act as father to such a child.”

“If you want the bloody bastard you can have him,” Ellesmere said, unmoved by Jamie’s display of emotion. “I just want all of you out of my house and out of my life as soon as possible.”

But Jamie’s focus remained on Dunsany and the watery redness of his eyes. When Dunsany blinked his head moved in a subtle nod.

“William?” Lady Dunsany asked as she appeared at the door to the library with the blanket wrapped infant in her arms and Jeffries at her side, the pistols from the carriage clearly visible.

“Jeffries, those won’t be necessary,” Dunsany said, his voice thick but firm.

Dunsany crossed to his wife and whispered about the proposed arrangement. Lady Dunsany was shaking her head vehemently and clutching the tiny bundle to her tightly before Dunsany was even half-way through. Her eyes darted to Jamie, pleading, but then caught Ellesmere’s hard and unsympathetic expression. Dunsany moved to take the child from her arms but she shook him off and took the first few steps towards Jamie, her hold on the child never loosening.

“He’s called William,” she said firmly.

“Louisa,” Dunsany began to say but she interrupted him.

“It’s William; she gave him that name and I think it’s the least MacKenzie can do to call him by the name his mother gave him before she died.” The grief in her voice was strong but lent that strength to her resolve.

“Aye,” Jamie whispered looking to reassure the grieving grandmother. “William is a good strong name for the lad. My older brother was called William. May I hold him?”

With tears streaking down her cheeks, Lady Dunsany brushed the blanket aside so that she could look at the face of her sleeping grandson and trail a finger down his cheek before yielding him to Jamie’s large hands and strong, solid arms.

The child didn’t seem to weigh a thing and yet for the first time in more than a decade, Jamie felt as though his feet had a solid hold on the ground. The baby’s ears stuck out a little and his shut eyes appeared to slant a bit––nothing that blatantly suggested the child in his arms was his by blood to anyone in the room aside from him––but he couldn’t help swallowing against a lump the observation created in his throat. Claire had told him that Faith had those features when she’d held her; had they looked like this? The lad’s hair was darker than his own, promised to be a rich brown like his mother’s… like Claire’s.

The other people in the room faded from Jamie’s awareness as he gently rocked the sleeping bairn and made his way closer to the warmth of the fire; it was just him and his son. Had the child Claire carried with her through the stones been born with her hair, or his? Had that child looked like this child? Closing his eyes and focusing on the warmth of the small, fragile body in his arms, Jamie could almost convince himself that he was standing before the hearth in the laird’s room at Lallybroch with Claire resting in the bed behind him, that this son in his arms was somehow one of the many yearned for but unborn children he was supposed to have had with Claire in that life they were supposed to have lived together.

Fàilte mo mhac,” he said quietly then looked up and around until he spotted what he was looking for on Jeffries. He crossed and had the knife out of the paralyzed coachman’s belt.

“What are you doing?” Lady Dunsany screeched, similarly frozen as her eyes went wide seeing a blade so close to the baby.

But Jamie ignored her. William was sleeping securely and oblivious in the crook of Jamie’s right arm while he held the knife tight in that same hand and used his teeth to pull up the sleeve of his left arm so that nothing was in the way of that hand. The middle finger bent towards his palm and lightly pressed at the faint ‘C’ at the base of his thumb before he flexed the hand flat and guided the point of the knife a little further below the old scar. Blood of my blood and bone of my bone. His blood had mingled with Claire’s and was part of him, even now so many years later, she was and always would be a part of him. It was a shallower cut, only enough to raise a small line of blood, then he let the knife fall to the floor at his feet.

Is tusa Uilleam donn mac Sheumais ruaidh,” Jamie murmured as he smeared the blood across the boy’s forehead. The sensation caused the child to squirm and his eyes to peek open. “Aye… Mac Ruaidh mar tha mi Mac Dubh.”

Turning towards the shocked and wary faces of the Dunsanys and Ellesmere Jamie explained, “Now, he is of my blood.” My blood and Claire’s. With pride he claimed, “He is my son.”

such sweet sorrow

+ao3

It is almost frightening, how quickly they fall into a routine of sorts.

There is always the occasional ball or dinner, of course, but for the most part Rosaline’s new agenda is not as dreadful as she would have thought it to be. Mornings are spent in the kitchens, tending to the maids and making sure the house is ready for the day and the meals to come – she takes inventory of the pantry, decides on the recipes, sends servants to buy more if needed. Then a light lunch, before she goes to town for business, meets with her uncle or attends to some paperwork, as the lady of the house. Supper is often shared with Benvolio, before he has evening meetings of his own.

He seldom tells her what he is up to during the day, but Rosaline knows by now that it involves a lot of being chastised by his uncle for the crime of not being Romeo. That, more than anything, she can understand, for her own aunt is doing quite the same to her. But where it doesn’t bother Rosaline, it seems to affect Benvolio, his mood particularly sour after each meeting with both families or the Prince.

It is on one such night, Livia already fast asleep and Benvolio god knows where, that Rosaline allows herself a much needed reprieve. She slides off her slippers and grabs a book, settling in the middle of the bed she usually finds herself sharing. The idea has been quite dreadful at first, but she grew accustomed to Benvolio’s deep breathing when he sleeps – on one particular occasion where he was visiting another family out of town and had to spend the night, she found herself missing his presence, if not his company.

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Star-crossed lovers

ANON REQUESTED: Hello! Could you write a one shot with jon snow please? Where the reader is the daughter of the winterfell maid and when she dies Nedd gets y/n to care, she grows along with the Starks and gets very close to them, y/n and jon end up falling in love but jon leaves for castle black and she stays “Depressive”, like, she don’t smile anymore. After the war between jon and ramsey they meet again and you can make a super fluffy final, please? i just found you blog and i love it ❤️

Jon Snow x fem!Reader

Words: 1712
Notes: Y/N = your name; f/c = favorite color.


Lord Eddard and Lady Catelyn had always been kind to your family, especially in the rough times they supported your parents in every possible way. Your house was not important like house Stark, but it was respected and your castle led over rich domains. Sadly, you seemed to be born under a bad sign as the first years of your life were scarred by tragedies: first, your land started to dry out and the crops had been poor; shortly afterwards you father fell ill and even maester Luwin couldn’t do anything to save him. As a widow who was no longer of marriageable age, with nothing but unfertile lands for dowry, your mother accepted lady Catelyn’s offer to stay in Winterfell and she became one of her maids; anyway, a few months later, she died too, leaving you alone. That was when Eddard and Catelyn Stark decided to take care of you, welcoming you in their castle as their own child.

You were tutored by septa Mordane with Sansa, but you also liked to play with Robb and Jon with wooden swords and mud in the courtyard. Those days of your childhood, spent with the Stark children who were roughly the same age as you, were quite happy indeed. The three of you got along fine, but when Theon arrived in Winterfell, Robb unattached himself a little from Jon and you, bonding with the Greyjoy as they were brothers. Theon, moreover, seemed to despise Jon: they were always quarreling, dragging you and Robb in, and that regularly resulted in fistfights and punishments for everyone.

So, in a way or another, you grew up with the Starks and became a pretty, young northerner lady. To return the kindness of their parents, you took care of Bran, Rickon and Arya, especially Arya, and because of it you often ended up with her and Jon in the backyard shooting arrows at a wooden target, just like that day.

Arya stood in front of the both of you, stretching the bowstring and taking aim; you seated on the low wall just ten feet further, humming and kicking the air, while Jon leant against the bricks right next to you.

– Are those new shoes? – he asked suddenly.

You looked at him at first and then you lowered your eyes to the f/c slippers and nodded.

– Such attention to detail – you kidded stealing one of his rare smiles.

– Just thought they were pretty.

– I agree, – you stated clicking the shoes’ tips, – that Greyjoy can be a prick, but when it comes to this kind of things he really knows his stuff.

– Theon? – Jon asked with wide eyes.

– A-Aye… – you stuttered timidly noticing his gaze souring.

At that moment, Arya yelled from across the yard, – It would be nice if my teachers looked at me hitting the bull’s eye! –, and she unstuck the arrow from the target.

– Well done! – Jon shouted back, then he left without saying more or even giving you the time of day.

You gave a quick and worried look to the little girl, waved her a short bye, and followed him inside.

– Why are you angry? What did I say? – you exclaimed walking briskly at his back. At those words, he stopped and turned to face you.

– Are you serious, Y/n? Are you really taking presents from Theon?

– Is that the problem? Theon buying me a pair of shoes?

You didn’t expect a reaction like that, but the look he had on his face was quite troubled. You sighed, searching for the right words to explain him the situation.

– He bought me a new pair of shoes because he ruined my old ones making me falling in the muck, two days ago.

Jon’s frown soothed a little, but not enough. You groaned and took one of your feet.

– Y/n…? – he said confused watching as you put off the slippers. You then pounded them on his chest.

– Here. Take them, Jon.

The two of you remained quiet and so close you could feel your breaths on the skin. Your lips were just few inches apart. That day, with your new shoes pressed on his chest, bare feet on the cold stone floor, you gave your first kiss to the Stark bastard Jon.

Because of Lady Catelyn opinion about him and because you felt so in debt to her, you and Jon agreed to keep your love affair a secret for just you and him two. Even if you found it hard not to sink your fingers in his hair when he was seating beside you at the dinner table, or not to rest your head on his shoulder when you were watching Arya and Bran practicing, you held on for the sake of your love. Jon was struggling too for the same identical reasons, not to mention the great effort he had to make to stay calm every time Robb, or worse Theon, got too close to you. Besides, you were the only good thing happened to him in a whole life and the only thought that helped him getting through Lady Catelyn bitterness day after day. He didn’t talk to you about it, he didn’t want to be a burden or made you sad, but he could not consider Winterfell his home anymore, and the night he heard by mistake Lord Stark and his wife discussing about a possible suitor for you from the riverlands, he made his decision, alone.

The night of the celebration in honor of the royal family’s arrival, when you joined him outside in the cold night air, you felt something was wrong. Then Jon stretched out a hand and took you by the wrist, keeping you close to him. Resting his forehead on yours he told he was leaving for the Wall and you knew deep down inside there was nothing you could do to make him stay: if you forced him to do that, he would eventually hate you too. So, the next day you let him go away with his uncle; when his figure disappeared over the distance, he took all your love, joy and laughs away with him. No one never heard your laugh once since that farewell.

There is not much to tell about the following years: you spent your days out of apathy, sharing fake smile cold as the north winds. During the Ironborns’ possession of Winterfell, you helped Bran and Rickon to escape, but were not able to run away with them; free or caged, you had nothing to lose anyway.

Speaking about Ramsey Bolton, the things were different. Under his captivity, you really were frightened. You saw what he did with Theon and what your poor childhood friend had become because of his twisted mind. Twice you implored the bastard to have mercy, and twice his men beat you senseless; by the time you restored consciousness, you found yourself in the courtyard, with rain and blood all over your dress, hands and face. Servants had orders to ignore you, on pain of death. After that, Ramsay ordered you to serve as a kitchen maid, and so you did. Once Sansa came back and became his wife, he humiliated you in front of her more than one occasion, dressing you with rags, keeping you locked up in the kennels for the night, or cutting your hair short with a knife in the middle of the hall threatening to skin you.

It was an endless nightmare.

Everything that happened after Theon and Sansa ran away was fast and terrifying. In a blink of an eye, Rickon was brought to Ramsey and a second later Winterfell was at war carrying the red flayed man banners. And when, in the silence of the castle walls, the sound of the distant battlefield was overcome by the main gate blown to pieces, your heart started to beat in your chest again: Jon was standing there, strong and alive, and he was defeating Ramsey who now laid exhausted on the ground. Every punch hit the Bolton’s face you took a step towards Jon, until his eyes finally met yours.

Jon closed the door behind his back as you stood still ahead and never once did he averted his gaze from yours. Neither of you had said a word yet, but your fingers were tenderly caressing the palm of his hand, sensing the earthy and bloody smell from all his body. Just like he did years before, he took you by the wrist and held you against his chest, embracing your bruised body in his sored arms.

– I never should have left – he said in a hoarse whisper.

The tightness in your throat cut off your breath and you started to sob softly.

– I never should’ve let you go! – you cried out holding Jon as hard as you could.

You both remained there in each other’s arms, without paying attention to the flow of time. Tears were falling quietly down the cheeks and hands were firmly gripping fabric and leather. Only when your heartbeats were back to their calm normal rate, Jon pushes a little away from you; even so, he did not let go of you.

– I’m afraid I’ve soiled your hair – he smiled looking at the hair that was falling on your forehead, now a little muddy. You giggled, sniffling and drying the trickles on his face with your thumbs.

– Don’t worry, Jon, it wasn’t my best hairdo anyway – you kidded gesturing to your short locks. Then he rested his head against yours and closed his eyes.

– You still look ravishing, Y/n – he said softly, – You can’t imagine how amazing it is to see your face again, after being all these years away.

You raised your chin and laid a gentle kiss on his lips being careful not to touch any bruise or cut the battle left on his skin.

– I was rather surprised to see your hair up… – but you were not able to go on because, in the heat of passion, Jon wrapped you up in his strong arms and deepened the kiss you both longed for so long. You’d never divide again, and now you knew that, after all, you were not star-crossed lovers, because that kiss was just the first of many to come.

AT LONG LAST!

Here it is! My first attempt at writing any sort of narrative in the last fifteen years, and the very first attempt I’ve ever made at smut fiction.

Any writers in the fandom who have more experience with this than me (for example: everybody) that are willing to spare some advice, please let me know what I can do better! I live for constructive criticism and am VERY curious to find out what parts sound clumsy, if I overuse certain turns of phrase and sentence structures, where I should elaborate, etc. To my credit though, I did try to keep the cliché words to a minimum (I’m looking at you, ministrations, core, nub…), and not once did I use the term “glistening purple meat wand”, regardless of how tempting it was.

Anyhow, my writing method is essentially just dumping the contents of the paper shredder that is my brain onto the floor and trying to assemble something resembling a coherent plot from it. I know it’s far from perfect, so don’t be gentle! I assure you that as long as your criticism isn’t “Wow u dum”, I will be glad to hear it.

Special thanks to @tentori21 and everyone else who offered their help or advice when I was struggling!


They say every dog has his day, and Puppy? I declare July 2017 has been YOUR month. You have had some great material lately!

Thanks to @otome-microwave @yoolee @slbp-owns-ayame @jane-runs-fast and anyone else who put out awesome Toshiie content this month, because it definitely helped to get the creative juices flowing (as well as some other juices, ayyyooo). Oh, and if anyone knows of any other recent Toshiie material I haven’t mentioned, send that biz my way! That means I missed it which is completely unacceptable.


No title for this because everything I thought of was too cheesy. It’s first-time Inuchiyo smut in a world where their relationship stems from mutual pining because dammit Voltage, that’s what it should have been in his MS to begin with!

Here it comes– 3000+ words of pure, self-inflicted torture: P. S. Also gonna tag @han-pan @hajeema @darkly-dreaming-girl @duerme07 and @saizoswifey @incubeebirb because reasons.

ONWARD!

Keep reading

Victorian Era Masterpost

B O O K S

  • Flanders, Judith - The Victorian City
  • Hughes, Kristina - Everyday Life in Regency and Victorian England
  • Jackson, Lee - Daily Life in Victorian London
  • Mayhew, Henry et al - The London Underworld in the Victorian Period
  • Mitchell, Sally - Daily Life In Victorian England
  • Pool, Daniel - What Jane Austin Ate and Charles Dickens Knew
  • Stevens, Mark - Life in the Victorian Assylum

E V E R Y D A Y   L I F E

  • Popular Names in the Victorian Era
  • Cassel’s Household Guide (1869) - basically an instruction manual from 1869 telling you how to do everything from making tea to picking a job.
  • Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management: A Guide to Cookery In All Branches (1907) -  Lots of period recipes, plus information for the Mistress, Housekeeper, Cook, Kitchen-maid, Butler, Footman, Coachman, Valet, Upper and under house-maids, Lady’s-maid, Maid-of-all-work, Laundry-maid, Nurse and nurse-maid, Monthly, wet, and sick nurses, etc.
  • The Victorian Era-Society
  • Appendix D: English Society in the 1840s
  • Class Structure of Victorian England
  • Victorian England Social Hierarchy
  • Social Restrictions in the Victorian Era
  • (Excerpts From) Promises Broken: Courtship, Class, and Gender in Victorian England (Regarding Broken Engagements and Premarital Sex)
  • Five Filthy Things About Victorian England
  • 1841: A window on Victorian Britain
  • The Demography of Victorian England and Wales
  • What was life like for children in Victorian London?
  • Historical Essays: The Victorian Child
  • The Life of Infants and Children in Victorian London
  • The Inequality Between Genders During the Victorian Era in England
  • Women as “the Sex” During the Victorian Era
  • Writers Dreamtools - Decades - 1840
  • Victorianisms – Adventures in Victorian Slang
  • 56 Delightful Victorian Slang Terms You Should Be Using
  • A Dictionary of modern slang, cant and vulgar words (1859)
  • Victorian slang - a guide to sexual Victorian terms
  • A Glossary of Provincial and Local Words Used in England: To which is Now First Incorporated the Supplement, by Samuel Pegge (1839)
  • Anecdotes of the English Language: Chiefly Regarding the Local Dialect of London and Its Environs (1844)
  • British Slang - Lower Class and Underworld
  • Lee Jackson - Dictionary of Victorian London 
  • Domestic Violence in Victorian England
  • The Victorian wife-beating epidemic
  • How to Survive and Thrive in the Victorian Era
  • 19th-century Radiators and Heating Systems
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray; a mirror of the Victorian Era, era of Hypocrisy
  • The Victorian Supernatural
  • Politics of Victorian England
  • Dualism & Dualities - The Victorian Age
  • Black Victorians: History we’ve been taught claims we’ve only ever been slaves
  • Video: Mini-lecture - London’s Black history
  • Flowers - Victorian Bazaar (The Language Of Flowers)
  • Victorian Funeral Customs and Superstitions
  • Racism and Anti-Irish Prejudice in Victorian England

M E D I C I N E  &  I L L N E S S 

  • Victorian Health
  • Medical Developments In Britain During The Nineteenth Century
  • Hospitals
  • The Entire Case Records from a Victorian Asylum Are Now Online
  • Victorian psychiatric patients’ grim fate in hellish 1800s hospitals
  • Locating Convalescence in Victorian England
  • Sanitation and Disease in Rich and Poor
  • 19th Century Diseases
  • Death & Childhood in Victorian England
  • Health and hygiene in the 19th century
  • Disease in the Victorian city: extended version
  • Musing on Illness in the Victorian Era
  • Female hysteria / Vapours
  • Sent to the asylum: The Victorian women locked up because they were suffering from stress, post natal depression and anxiety
  • The History of Women’s Mental Illness
  • Anorexia: It’s Not A New Disease
  • Rebel Girls: How Victorian Girls Used Anorexia to Conform and Revolt
  • Warburg’s tincture
  • Apothecaries and Medicine in the Victorian Era
  • The Creepy Factor in Victorian Medicine
  • Medical Advancements: Victorian Era Prosthetics
  • The Victorian Anti-Vaccination Movement
  • food poisoning in the Victorian era
  • Typhus (Gaol Fever)

L A W ,  G O V E R N M E N T  &  C R I M E

  • Crime in Victorian England
  • The 222 Victorian crimes that would get a man hanged
  • Juvenile crime in the 19th century
  • Victorian women criminals’ records show harsh justice of 19th century
  • Organised Crime in “The Mysteries of London” (1844)
  • Dickens and the ‘Criminal Class’
  • Victorian prisons and punishments
  • Victorian Prison Conditions
  • The Development of a Police Force
  • Life in Nineteenth-Century Prisons as a Context for Great Expectations
  • Gaols
  • Sentences and Punishments
  • Courtroom Experience in Victorian England at the time of Great Expectations
  • Courts of Justice - Victorian Crime and Punishment
  • Victorian Criminal Laws: Barbarism and Progress
  • Child prisoners in Victorian times and the heroes of change
  • Victorian Legislation: a Timeline
  • Women and the Law in Victorian England
  • The Corn Laws
  • The Corn Laws in Victorian England
  • The Anti-Corn-Law League
  • The Corn Laws and their Repeal 1815-1846
  • The Poor Laws During the Victorian Era
  • Private Property and Abuse of Rights in Victorian England
  • Bastardy and Baby Farming in Victorian England
  • Baby Farmers and Angelmakers: Childcare in 19th Century

C L I M A T E ,  W E A T H E R   &   E N V I R O N M E N T

  • The Climate of London (Luke Howard, 1810-1820 - PDF)
  • The Illustrated London Almanack 1847
  • Victorian London - Weather - Fog

F A S H I O N

  • Victorian Fashion Terms A-M
  • Victorian Fashion Terms N-Z
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; an introduction, and about silk
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 1
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 2
  • Early Victorian Undergarments; Part 3
  • 1830s-1840s Underpinnings
  • A Look at an Original 1840s Corded Petticoat
  • Lingerie Guide : Crinoline - Petticoat
  • 1840s Stays
  • Exploring the Myths of Corsets I
  • Exploring the Myths of Corsets II
  • How to Dress a Victorian Lady
  • Pre-Hoop Era 1840-1855
  • 1840s Fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840-1848 - Early Victorian (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840’s fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840’s fashion: men (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840s Fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840s Fashion (Nineteenth Century) (Pinterest Board)
  • 1840’s fashion (Pinterest Board)
  • Mourning Dress During the Early Victorian Era
  • Victoriana Magazine’s Victorian Fashion
  • Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 1, concerning bonnets
  • Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 2, for sun & riding
  • Early Victorian Women’s Hats; Part 3, wear whatever you like
  • Empire of Shadows - Clothing (Includes very basic information about upper & lower class fashion, military uniforms & undergarments)
  • Women’s Costume - Dickens Fair
  • Victorian Prudes and their Bizarre Beachside Bathing
  • Victorian Feminine Ideal; about the perfect silhouette, hygiene, grooming, & body sculpting
  • Fatal Victorian Fashion and the Allure of the Poison Garment
  • 1840’s Men’s Fashion
  • Gentlemen |  Early & Mid Victorian Era: A Universal Uniform

T R A N S P O R T A T I O N

  • Public transport in Victorian London: Part One: Overground
  • Victorian Public Transport: The Omnibus
  • Omnibus
  • THE HANSOM CAB - A Visitor’s Guide to Victorian England
  • “Growler” and the Handsome Hansom
  • Regency Travel (Earlier than the Victorian era, but still relevant for the earlier years)
  • A Regency Era Carriage Primer
  • The Victorian Thames - River Thames Society [PDF]
  • Nineteenth-Century Ships, Boats, and Naval Architecture (dozens of links to relevant articles)
  • Early Victorian Rail Travel
  • Catching a Train in the Early 1840s
  • HORSES: Matching a Team — Color is Only the Beginning

M O N E Y   A N D   F I N A N C E S

  • British Currency During The Victorian Era
  • Victorian Economics: An Overview
  • Wages, the Cost of Living, Contemporary Equivalents to Victorian Money
  • Victorian Economics: a Sitemap
  • The Cost of Living in 1888
  • Pride and Prejudice Economics: Or Why a Single Man with a Fortune of £4,000 Per Year is a Desirable Husband
  • The Price of Bread: Poverty, Purchasing Power, and The Victorian Laborer’s Standard of Living
  • How a weekly grocery shop would have cost £1,254 in 1862
  • Costs of dying in Victorian and Edwardian England
  • 18th Century Wages (Earlier than the Victorian era, but good reference)
  • Cost of Items 18th Century  (Also earlier than the Victorian era, but good reference)

F O O D  (A N D   L A C K   T H E R E OF)

  • Victorian Dining
  • The Victorian Pantry, Authentic Vintage Recipies
  • Victorian cooking: upperclass dinner
  • For Rich or Poor: Creepy Victorian Food
  • Victorian History: A Fast Food Generation
  • 10 Weird Foods Sold By Victorian Street Vendors
  • Victorian Food For The Rich & Poor Children
  • Dictionary of Victorian London - Food
  • The Lost World of the London Coffeehouse
  • Victorian England: a nation of coffee drinkers
  • London Life: Victorian Coffee Sellers
  • Victorian street food imagined
  • What the Poor Ate
  • Adulteration and Contamination of Food in Victorian England
  • Workhouse Food
  • An Overview of food in 19th Century Gaols
  • Food and Famine in Victorian Literature
  • Milk teeth of Irish famine’s youngest victims reveal secrets of malnutrition

D R U G S   &   D R I N K

  • The Temperance Movement and Class Struggle in Victorian England
  • Gin Palaces - The Victorian Dictionary
  • Alcohol and Alcoholism in Victorian England
  • Drugs in Victorian Britain
  • Cannabis Britannica: The rise and demise of a Victorian wonder-drug
  • Laudanum Use in the 19th Century
  • Victorian Women on Drugs, Part 1: Queen Victoria
  • Victorian Women on Drugs, Part 2: Female Writers
  • Substance Abuse in the Victorian Era
  • Opium Dens and Opium Usage in Victorian England
  • Chinese Opium Trade; as it was in the mid 1800s
  • Poetry, Pain, and Opium in Victorian England

L E I S U R E   &   E N T E R T A I N M E N T

  • Victorian Entertainments: We Are Amused
  • Entertainment in Victorian London
  • Leisure, An Extensive study of the Victorian Era
  • Vauxhall Gardens | Jane Austen’s World
  • Theatre - Victorian Era 1837-1901
  • Almack’s Assembly Rooms
  • The Cannibal Club: Racism and Rabble-Rousing in Victorian England
  • Restaurants - The Victorian Dictionary
  • The Story of Music Hall
  • Sex, Drugs and Music Hall
  • Victorian and Edwardian Public Houses (List, links to relevant articles about each listed pub)
  • Victorian London Taverns, Inns and Public Houses
  • Gambling in Historic England
  • Gambling in London’s Most Ruinous Gentlemen’s Clubs
  • Victorian Sport: Playing by the Rules
  • Seven singular sports from the Victorian era
  • Penny Dreadfuls; the Victorian era adventures for the masses
  • Romantic Era Songs

H O L I D A Y S & C E L E B R A T I O N S

  • A Victorian New Year
  • Fortune Telling for the Victorian New Year
  • Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve, the Scottish Way
  • Victorian Valentine
  • Valentines Day - The Complete Victorian
  • Easter Traditions During the Victorian Era
  • halloween - The Complete Victorian
  • the traditions of halloween
  • Victorian Christmas - History of Christmas
  • Christmas in the Victorian Era

W E A P O N R Y  &  V I O L E N C E

  • The Victorian Gentleman’s Self-Defense Toolkit
  • Early Victorian attitudes towards violent crime
  • Victorian Violence: Repelling Ruffians (Part One)
  • Victorian Violence: Repelling Ruffians (Part Two)
  • Victorian Violence: Repelling Ruffians (Part Three)
  • Victorian Violence, Part Four ~ Elegant Brutality for Ladies and Gentlemen of Discernment
  • 10 Deadly Street Gangs Of The Victorian Era
  • Early Victorian Handguns; Part 1
  • Early Victorian Handguns; Part 2
  • Early Victorian Handguns; Part 3
  • Pistol Duelling during the Early Victorian Era
  • Cane Guns: Victorian Concealed Firearms of Gentlemen & Cads

M A N N E R S   &   E T T I Q U E T T E

  • Manners & Tone of Good Society (This is a Victorian book on manners, written by an unnamed ‘Member Of The Aristocracy,’ and is available in full to read and covers a ton of ground, everything from leaving cards and morning calls to introductions and titles, and etiquette for many different types of parties and events).
  • The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness: A Complete Hand Book for the Use of the Lady in Polite Society (1875)
  • Manners for the Victorian Gentleman
  • Victorian Dancing Etiquette
  • A Checklist of 19th Century Etiquette
  • Social Rituals During The Victorian Era
  • An Online Dating Guide to Courting in the Victorian Era
  • Calling Cards and the Etiquette of Paying Calls
  • Morning Calls and Formal Visits
  • A Time Traveller’s Guide to Victorian Era Tea Etiquette
  • Traveling Etiquette and Tips for Victorian Women
  • Equestrian Etiquette and Attire in the Victorian Era
  • Etiquette Faux Pas and Other Misconceptions About Afternoon Tea
  • Victorian Table Etiquette
  • Victorian London - Publications - Etiquette and Household Advice Manuals
  • Etiquette Rules for Dinner Parties from a Victorian Magazine
  • The Etiquette of Proper Introductions in Victorian Times
  • Forms Of Introductions And Salutations. Etiquette Of Introductions
  • Etiquette for the Victorian Child
  • Victorian and Edwardian Mourning Etiquette
  • Etiquette Of Carriage-Riding
  • Victorian Etiquette - Shopping

U P P E R C L A S S   &   N O B I L I T Y

  • Royalty, Nobility, Gentry, & Titles; A Matter of Victorian Ranks & Precedence
  • Order of Precedence in England and Wales
  • The Victorian Era - The Debutante Tradition
  • The Gentleman - The Victorian Web 
  • “Coming Out” During the Early Victorian Era; about debutantes
  • The London Season
  • The London Season - The History Box

T H E  M I D D L E C L A S S

  • The middle classes: etiquette and upward mobility
  • The Rise of the Victorian Middle Class
  • The Victorian Man and the Middle Class Household - Domesticity as an Ideal
  • Middle Class Life in the Late 19th Century
  • A Woman ’s World: How Afternoon Tea Defined and Hindered Victorian Middle Class Women
  • Working Women in the Victorian Middle-Class
  • The ASBO teens of Victorian Britain: How middle-class children terrorized parks by shouting at old ladies, chasing sheep and vandalizing trees
  • “A Dangerous Kind:” Domestic Violence and The Victorian Middle Class [PDF]
  • Eligible Bachelors: Suitors and Courtship in the Lower Middle Class

T H E   W O R K I N G C L A S S

  • The working classes and the poor
  • Poverty and the working classes (links to relevant articles)
  • Dirty Jobs of the Victorian Era …
  • The Working-Class Peace Movement in Victorian England
  • Victorian Child Labor and the Conditions They Worked In
  • History of Working Class Mothers in Victorian England
  • Income vs Expenditure in Working-Class Victorian England
  • What about the Workers? - 1830s - 1840s

T H E   S E R V A N T   C L A S S

  • Household management and Servants of the Victorian Era
  • Victorian Domestic Servant Hierarchy and Wages
  • Domestic Servants
  • Serving the house: The cost of Victorian domestic servants
  • Domestic Servants and their Duties
  • Precedence in the Servants Hall
  • The Servant’s Quarters in 19th Century Country Houses Like Downton Abbey
  • The REAL story of Britain’s servant class
  • Servants: A life below stairs
  • The Green Baize Door: Dividing Line Between Servant and Master
  • The Victorian Domestic Servant by Trevor May: A Review

T H E   U N D E R C L A S S  (T H E  P O O R) 

  • The Underclass (or the Submerged Class)
  • Poverty in Victorian England: Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist
  • Down and Out in Victorian London
  • Poverty and the Poor | Dickens & the Victorian City
  • The Victorian Poorhouse
  • Poorhouses
  • Victorian Workhouses
  • Entering and Leaving the Workhouse
  • The Poor Law
  • The Poor Law Amendment Act
  • The New Poor Law - Victorian Crime and Punishment
  • London’s Ragamuffins

I N T E R S E C T I O N A L I T Y (Of Class, Gender, Race, and Ability)

  • Class, Gender, and the Asylum
  • The Impact of Social Class Divisions on the Women of Victorian England
  • The Daily Life of Disabled People in Victorian England

W O R K &

  • Early and Mid-Victorian Attitudes towards Victorian Working-Class Prostitution, with a Special Focus on London
  • Prostitution and the Nineteenth Century: In Search of the 'Great Social Evil’
  • Attitudes toward sexuality and sexual identity
  • Victorian slang - a guide to sexual Victorian terms

O T H E R   M A S T E R P O S T S

  • Writing Research - Victorian Era by ghostflowerdreams
  • How to Roleplay in the Victorian Era by keir-reviews
  • Legit’s Historical Fashion Masterpost by legit-writing-tips
  • Susanna Ives - Many Research Links (covers Regency Era - Victorian Era)
3

June 11, 1456 | Birth of Anne Neville, Queen Consort of England

Anne Neville’s life saw many titles; Lady, Princess of Wales, Dowager Princess of Wales, a kitchen-maid, Duchess of Gloucester and Queen Consort of England. Anne’s life was overshadowed by a bloody period of English history that became known as The Wars of the Roses. A struggle that started a few years before her birth and ended five months after her death with the death of her husband, King Richard III.  Her own life ending during a total eclipse of the sun when she was aged 28 from a wasting sickness. Anne’s legacy went on to give her such titles as “shadow” and even was painted as a “victim,” but though her historical record is sparse her legend still reverberated to this day… 

Sometimes i like to imagine how strange it must be for new employees at the castle shortly after the spell is broken.

Like, imagine you’re some young new kitchen maid or something who’s just arrived. You just don’t know what to make of this place. First there were the rumors of this castle being “haunted,” though that doesn’t seem to have any merit.

Everybody seems oddly jumpy here, which makes you wonder if something odd did happen to them. For example, when you’re washing dishes and you accidentally break a plate, the rest of the kitchen staff all panics. After a tense moment, the other servants laugh nervously and tell each other, “it was just a plate. Just an ordinary plate. No need to worry.” But you’re left standing there like “??????”

Then there’s all the strange inside jokes the other servants seem to have (for some reason Cogsworth gets rather upset at any mention of clocks??? And so Lumiere incorporates as many clock-related puns into conversations as possible???). Occasionally little Chip makes a passing reference to “that time i was a teacup” before his mother can shush him.

You decide these people just have the *strangest* sense of humor.

Mac Ruaidh - Part Two

Part One


Despite her initial reluctance to relinquish her grandson to Jamie, Lady Dunsany wound up taking the lead in making the necessary arrangements for the sake of appearances. A wet nurse was engaged to take the infant for up to a fortnight; none of them would know precisely when the infant would be brought to Helwater. Ellesmere’s servants (with a few exceptions whose discretion could be trusted) were informed that like his mother before him, the child had died. Ellesmere agreed to let the Dunsanys take Geneva and her child home to Helwater for the funeral and burial. A few days after the funeral, the baby would be brought to Helwater and left for Jamie with a scribbled note and he would make sure the Helwater servants saw him making an appeal for assistance to the Dunsanys.

Letting William go was painful and he had to remind himself it was only for a few days, that he would see this child again. Still, he lay awake each night on his pallet in the loft waiting and praying that that would be the night one of the maids came to fetch him.

Jamie was working through a daze re-shoeing the horses in the yard when Major Grey arrived. Though his bags were brought inside right away, Major Grey lingered in the yard watching Jamie at his work. Jamie bowed his head back to the task at hand and refused to look up again until he was confident Major Grey had gone inside to see Dunsany.

He shouldn’t be so surprised that Major Grey had shown up; he was an old friend of the Dunsany family, which was part of how he’d managed to arrange Jamie’s parole at Helwater in the first place. But Jamie’s mind couldn’t have been further from Geneva’s impending funeral as he crouched with the horse’s foot clutched between his legs and the cold tang of the metal nails clenched between his teeth. He was wondering where on the road between Ellesmere’s estate and Helwater the wet nurse and whoever her escort might be were; whether the journey was making William fussy and irritable or if he was cooperating and sleeping a lot; how many hours it would be before the tight knot of anxiety in his chest would loosen.

Jamie didn’t see Major Grey again until Geneva’s funeral. Jamie attended the funeral along with most of the estate’s staff, standing towards the back of the crowded chapel; he had no difficulty seeing the proceedings. Under normal circumstances, he would have followed along with the service adding his own silent prayers and making note of the differences between this Protestant service and the Catholic ones he knew better. There were more than enough similarities to make up for the differences.

A young mother dead in childbed; her child gone with her; a grieving husband and family mourning her publicly. A heavy feeling of disgust settled in Jamie’s stomach; aside from the first, Geneva’s funeral was both echo and mockery of what his own mother’s had been. William lived though only a handful in attendance knew. Her parents’ and sister’s grief was real enough but Ellesmere sat stone faced, staring at the coffin and undoubtedly judging the soul that used to belong to the body within. Guilt swept through Jamie for he had been so quick to do the same with regards to Geneva. He would try to forgive her for his son’s sake and would beg her forgiveness for the fact the boy could not know her or even know of her. He hoped that made them even.

I’ll raise him as best I can, he promised her silently, and I’m sorry, but there’s only one way I ken how. It’s no the way ye would have wanted, but he’ll be loved. And someday… someday I’ll try to bring myself to tell him the truth. And with the minister’s final prayers, Jamie tried to set Geneva Dunsany aside for good.

Major Grey found Jamie in the crowd after the service had finished when everyone was lingering, uncertain what to say to the grieving family, unwilling to be the first to leave.

“It was good of you to come,” Grey said, making an awkward start.

Jamie grunted his agreement as he moved to find a way out of the crowd, the rest of the servants and staff having drifted out before the service had finished in order to prepare the house for the gathering of guests who would linger for hours or––in some cases––days.

“Are you feeling all right?” Grey asked, his eyes narrowing as he took in Jamie’s haggard appearance.

“Tired is all, sir,” Jamie responded with a curt politeness intended to remind Grey of the company around them. “Ye’ll have heard of the storm we rode through to reach Ellesmere. The carriage was stuck often and it was cold and weary work dislodging it. I’m still recovering and actually ought to be getting back for a rest while I can.”

“Of course,” Grey relented. “I will speak to you sometime before I leave.”

“How long are ye to stay?”

“Just a day or two. I want to be sure the family don’t require anything of me before I return to London.”

Jamie nodded but an acquaintance of Grey’s appeared and struck up a conversation with him assuming Grey had simply been giving instructions of some sort to Jamie.

Relieved to be free of the large group of mourners, Jamie slipped away to the stables where there were a multitude of guests’ horses that needed to be tended before their owners could begin departing. It was the kind of busy work that distracted a person from their thoughts and Jamie relinquished himself gladly to the monotony of movement that exhausted his body so that come nightfall he lay on his pallet in the loft and finally fell into a light but restful sleep.

The following afternoon Jamie was returning with the line of horses from one of the distant paddocks when he noticed the horses increasing restiveness as they drew closer to the house and stables. One of the kitchen maids emerged from the stable with her hands on her hips and crossed to Hughes with a question. Hughes started to shrug then spotted Jamie and the maid’s head spun in his direction.

His heart began to pound and his palms to sweat as he continued toward her at a steady and reluctant pace, all his energy focused on maintaining an air of ignorance, all his mind in chaos as he yearned to have the charade over with so he could be alone with his son in his arms.

“You’re needed in the house MacKenzie,” the maid called when he was closer. Hughes trailed behind her already reaching for the horses’ line while Jamie headed for the nearby trough to wash the dirt from his hands. She followed him with growing impatience. “There’s a message along with a uh… well, you’d best just come and see.”

The maid was close to running but Jamie’s stride was long enough for him to keep up without looking worried or in a rush.

Silence fell in the kitchen when Jamie finally appeared on the scene. A space had been cleared on the table; meat, herbs, and a few vegetables pushed aside in various states of preparation so that a large basket could rest in the middle, away from the edge.

The housekeeper stood beside it wearing an authoritative posture. She held out the opened envelope for Jamie to take as soon as he was close enough. He frowned at the broken seal and peered over the edge of the basket to see William wrapped securely in several layers of blankets, his face barely visible and his nose rosy from the chill in the air outside.

Turning his back on the basket, Jamie pulled out the note and skimmed it, already having a vague idea of what Lady Dunsany would have written for the wet nurse to copy before delivering the child to Helwater. He was pretty sure the housekeeper could read and wondered how deep into the household the note’s contents had already managed to spread.

Setting the note aside, Jamie reached into the basket and pushed the blanket aside so it was clear of William’s face. Relief washed through him as he saw that the infant appeared to be in good health; he wasn’t pale or feverish or clammy and his face had lost the squashed appearance of the recently birthed. Jamie slipped his hands around the tightly wrapped body and lifted it out. Jarred by the sudden movement, William’s eyes flew open and Jamie could feel the baby’s limbs fight against the blanket that kept them tight against his body. A startled cry escaped the bundle and the housekeeper reached instinctively to take the child and calm him but Jamie moved William out of her reach and settled him in his own arms.

Reassured by the solidity of resting in Jamie’s arms and against his chest, William’s cry weakened to a whimper and then faded as Jamie began whispering to him in soothing Gaelic, the vibrations of his low voice radiating through his body. William looked up at Jamie with wide eyes, his mouth forming a startled ‘O’ that made Jamie chuckle.

“What’s happened here?” Lady Dunsany asked as she followed a maid sent to fetch her into the kitchen. She paled for a moment when she saw Jamie holding the baby but quickly recovered.

“I believe I’m goin’ to need to have a word or two wi’ yer husband, my lady,” Jamie said in a way he hoped didn’t sound two practiced.

“What’s this?” Lord John asked coming in behind Lady Dunsany.

Jamie felt a nervous chill creeping up his spine as he watched Grey’s eyes widen momentarily with shock; his features remained unaltered as he looked into Jamie’s defiant face.

“May I see that?” Grey asked indicating the note.

“Lord John, please,” Lady Dunsany said with quiet firmness as Jamie yielded the slip of paper. “This is not the place to be doing this and it’s a matter for my husband to deal with, at any rate.”

Grey looked up from the note and at Jamie again then to the child in his arms. William wriggled a bit and grunted before passing a bit of gas. Jamie struggled not to smile at what appeared to be the babe’s opinion of such scrutiny.

“You are right, of course, my lady,” Grey finally said. “Please, allow me to help you carry your things into the library while your mistress fetches her husband.” He reached over to the table and lifted the basket.

“Thank you, sir,” Jamie said with formality before following Grey out of the kitchen.

He wanted to reach out and take Grey by the collar, push him up against the wall of the hallway and lay into him for interfering; point out that no one beyond Dunsany was supposed to know his full background and that Grey’s assumption of authority in the kitchen threatened what anonymity using the name Alexander MacKenzie gave him. But having William in his arms was more than deterrent enough.

The babe was starting to squeak and grunt again, this time clearly with hunger behind it. How long had it been since he’d eaten? How long would it take till Lady Dunsany could get a wet nurse to the house? What was it Jenny used to give the bairns to tide them over if she couldn’t nurse right away?

Grey strode into the library with Jamie a few steps behind him and dropped the basket on the floor by the desk before whirling around and shutting the door.

“What’s going on, Jamie?” Grey asked, his voice a harsh whisper. “I don’t for a minute believe that you got some random local woman with child the way this note suggests. Not without the household servants knowing about it and if they had suspected something and were gossiping about it, Tom would have heard and informed me.”

Jamie remained silent, turning his attention to William and walking towards the light of one of the windows, swaying as he did and calming the hungry child. William blinked against the light then sneezed.

“What makes ye so sure he’s no mine?” Jamie asked quietly.

“I know you, Jamie. You wouldn’t take advantage of some unfortunate or… or misguided young woman like that,” Grey insisted. “You’re too noble… too noble for your own good,” he added, under his breath.

“There’s much about me ye dinna ken,” Jamie murmured letting William take the end of his finger in his hand. The babe shifted his head towards the finger, mouth gaping, ready to feast. It took a few tries for him to get the finger in his mouth. Jamie hoped the brief washing he’d given his hands on the way inside had gotten that finger clean enough; he could hear faint echoes of Claire scolding him about how sensitive infants could be to those germs of hers.

“MacKenzie,” Dunsany said as he and his wife slipped into the library. “Lord John,” he added, clearly startled. “Thank you for keeping MacKenzie company just now. I think––”

“I’m sorry, sir, but I think you and I both know that whatever is happening with this child concerning MacKenzie is my concern as well,” Grey interrupted with the clear intention of taking charge and a brief glance to Lady Dunsany, uncertain how much she knew of how and why Jamie had come to be a groom on the estate. “Now, as I’m sure your wife informed you, the note claims that MacKenzie is father to this child but it’s clear that he can’t possibly raise the boy here under these circumstances. If you require assistance, I can help arrange for the boy to be sent to his family in Scotland. Presumably he has family who would be able to care for the boy until such time––”

“No,” Lady Dunsany interjected. She had already drifted to Jamie’s side. “That won’t be necessary. MacKenzie can stay here with the baby so long as he’s in our employ. I’ll send to town to inquire after a wet nurse and you can be moved into the house; the child cannot be raised in the barn.”

Grey turned a confused look to his hostess as she reached for William and brought him to her shoulder, a hand caressing the back of his head.

Understanding dawned in Grey’s face and he looked first to Dunsany and then to Jamie for confirmation.

“Ah, yes. Well… I suppose that changes matters… I’ll leave you to your arrangements,” Grey stammered, heading for the door but throwing Jamie a look that indicated there were still matters the two of them would be discussing later.

But the reluctance Jamie felt over the prospect of that discussion faded as he watched Lady Dunsany with tears in her eyes cradling her grandson. He couldn’t begrudge the Dunsanys for the comfort they found in the child but neither was he blind to the difficulties that lay ahead as far as drawing boundaries for how William would be raised and their role in his life. Grey could be an important ally for him when the time came for him to take William home to Scotland. He hoped for all their sakes that a balance could be struck that would enable them all to live in peace for some years to come.

2

Crinolinemania:
The Dangerous Victorian Fashion that Killed 3,000 Women

The crinoline is a woman’s large petticoat that has been in and out of fashion since the early 19th century.
The original garment was made from very stiff horsehair fabric that kept the fashionable hoop skirts of the 1800s in its proper position.
Soon the horsehair was replaced by stiffened cotton, and later the cage crinolines became the most popular.
The cage crinoline was made from spring steel running horizontally, with vertical tape lines to keep the hoops secure.
The circumference could be anywhere from a few feet up to about fifteen feet.
Indeed, one had to be very careful when sitting, as the hoops could pop up unexpectedly, showing everything underneath.
The width of some of the ladies dresses made it difficult to walk through doorways and the typical Victorian parlor. A manufactured hoop, however, kept the wearer much cooler than the layers of petticoats did, and Civil War era ladies found they could smuggle medicines, guns, ammunition, and other needed items into the Confederacy underneath their large skirts.
As fashionable as the crinoline was, it became one of the most dangerous articles of clothing ever known. It was highly flammable, and about 3,000 women were killed when their crinolines caught fire.
In 1858, a woman in Boston was standing too close to her fireplace when her skirt caught fire, and it took only minutes for her entire body to be consumed.
In February 1863, Margaret Davey, a 14-year-old kitchen maid, had her crinoline catch fire as she reached up to the mantle for a set of spoons, later dying from the severity of her burns.
In England, over a two-month period, nineteen deaths attributed to burning crinolines were reported. Any women who witnessed the flames were unable to help for fear of their own skirts catching fire. In Philadelphia, nine ballerinas were killed when one brushed by a candle at the Continental Theater.

Determination

Fandom: BBC Merlin

Word count: 1358

Characters: Arthur x reader, brother!Merlin

Warnings: is flirting a warning? Definitely some tension.

Summary: Arthur finds himself distracted when you deliver his food from the kitchens. Part 2

You wiped a hand across your forehead, longing for the cooler air outside the castle. The kitchen was always hot, but during the summer it was even worse. Your dress was clinging to your back with sweat, only adding to your discomfort.

As you kneaded the bread for tonight’s meal, you didn’t notice your older brother sneaking up behind you. There was a wicked grin on his face as he got to within inches of you, then clapped his hands on your shoulders. You jumped a mile, then spun around to glare at him.

“Really, Merlin?” you yelped. “Was that necessary?”

“Absolutely,” he sniggered. “That was an impressive noise you made.”

Keep reading

Forbidden Love (Richonne AU) Love letter challenge: Your Love For All Of Time

@siancore actually tagged me in this and I was super excited. I had thought the challenge ended on Sunday but it actually ended yesterday. I started writing this on my phone last night hoping to have it up by Saturday night…and I fell asleep. I work on Saturdays. So I finished it anyway and I hope you all like it. It’s kinda long sorry. @richonnefics

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Michonne stood in the kitchen watching the maids clean the silverware. She stood rigid and tall, in her usual spot in the corner as she watched over the maids. Her duty to make sure that not only did every piece of silver make it back into the cupboard but to make sure it was all spotless.

She just couldn’t seem to focus on her task tonight. Her mind kept drifting to someone it shouldn’t. “Are you always so serious?” Michonne could hear his voice in her head so clearly she looked around to be certain he hadn’t walked into the kitchen.

That was a foolish thought. Rick Grimes was gone. Gone for good. The beautiful 6 months they had spent together were the only things she had left of him.

“I am only joking with you.” Rick said as he watched the grimace spread across her beautiful face. “You shouldn’t smile if you don’t want to.” Michonne’s face softened, trying to ignore the young aristocrat who wandered into her busy kitchen. “There isn’t very much to smile about is there?” The young man whispered softly, looking downward toward his feet. Michonne looked at him then, he was tall and like the other nobles staying at the Walsh country estate, well dressed. Tall and lean, his hair was perfectly coifed, curly and brown. He had arrived with a young woman, his fiancé, she had been told by one of the other head maids. “I thought weddings were supposed to be a happy affair.” Michonne said softly, looking at him. Rick looked over at her,  his blue eyes that were clouded in sadness were suddenly bright and wide. Alive. “So she speaks and she has the voice of an angel.” Michonne forgot herself and smiled at him, shaking her head. “You’re an oddity Mr. Grimes.” “Rick. Please call me Rick.” He replied looking at the slender, curvy woman with luscious dark skin and the most beautiful eyes he had ever gazed upon. They held one another’s gaze a moment longer. Michonne released the breath she had been holding. “Rick.”

“Well ladies, good night. Your service was impeccable as always.” Michonne said as she locked up the silver cupboard. “Aye Michonne you wanna stay and ‘ave a drink with us.” One of the maids asked. “No, not tonight, Andrea. I am tired.” The maid nodded and hooking arms with her friend and heading off to the maid’s quarters.

Michonne knew the last thing she would do that night was sleep. Michonne ran her hands along the spotless counter tops as she inspected the kitchen one last time. They had been reckless, smiling too much at one another, longing glances at one another in full view of others, and even caught more than once in conversation. Unusual for a maid and a nobleman but Rick was very quick and convincing with his excuses. He grew tired of them though. Rick had no desire to marry Lori Wayne and he was having difficulty pretending he was even interested in the idea.

“I am tired of this, sneaking about Michonne, it’s beneath us.” Rick said, his hands about her waist, she was pushed against a corner in the kitchen, the place where they would sometimes seek solace in one another throughout the day. When breakfast was long finished and lunch wouldn’t need prepping for another hour or so, he would whisk her away from her chores to the quiet of the empty kitchen, press his lips against hers, his body flush against hers, moaning as they devoured one another. Not even their previous night of love making could dim this fire that burned within them both for one another. “Well what else is there we can do?” Michonne said, running her hands along the soft fabric of shirt, feeling the hard muscle of his chest beneath, remembering how wonderful it had felt to be bare against one another. “We could elope and go to London. Would you like that? Will you marry me?” Rick said, staring down into the face of the woman he loves. He delighted in the sweet smile that came upon her face. “I would love that Rick with all my heart. Yes, I’ll marry you.” Michonne whispered. Rick let out a cry of happiness. “Shhh. We’ll be found.” Michonne said giggling at the man who made her blissfully happy, she loved him with every fiber of her being. “I don’t care.” He said smiling at the woman in his arms as he bent his head to capture her sweet lips with his own. His grip tightening on her waist. Rick moaned as Michonne’s hands found there way into his hair.“

Michonne watched as the tear drop landed with a soft thud on the countertop in the kitchen. It startled her to realize she was crying. Michonne reached her hand out to wipe the tear away and turned off the light in the kitchen. She began to make her away down the maid’s corridor to her room.

The door creaked open as Rick stepped into the room. He figured Mr. Walsh summoned him to talk about shooting or the wedding he would never have with Lori, but as he entered the room he realized the topic would be of a grave nature. In the room was Mr. Walsh, his aunt Carol, his father, and to his horror Michonne was seated in a chair in front of them. Tears stricked her lovely face and she avoided Rick’s glaze. “What is this?!” Rick demanded to his family loudly, coming to Michonne’s side, bending to his knee looking up at her. “Are you alright, darling?” Rick implored as he reached up to caress the tears away from her cheeks. Michonne nodded, her eyes wide with surprise at his endearing sentiment in front of his family. “Rick, have you gone quite mad!?” His aunt Carol spoke her voice harsh and shrill. “You are engaged to be married. How could you be so careless to flaunt your affair in the kitchen? You both should be so lucky that it was only me who happened to witness your abhorrent display.”

Rick stood up quickly. “Watch your tone. Michonne and I are in love. We wish to be married and I want to call off the wedding to Lori. I never wanted it in the first place.” The three stared at Rick in shock. Mr. Walsh reared back and laughed, breaking the silence in the study, his eyes fell on Michonne. “My, my dear girl, who knew under that serious demeanor of yours, there was such a seductress.” He leered at the young maid. Rick stepped in front of his friend’s father, blocking his gaze of Michonne. “Michonne and I are in love.” Rick spoke again. Mr. Walsh sat back again in his chair, looking up at Rick. “I have no doubt you feel that way but whatever is between you ends tonight. Michonne came here to earn money for her sick father. If she chooses to live in destitution with you then surely her father will die. I will indeed terminate her employment here.” He said, he spoke the words calmly. “Destiute? I am not poor. I can buy whatever medicine your father needs, Michonne.” Rick said looking at Michonne but she would not meet his gaze.

“I am afraid son, that this will bring ruin to our family, to the noble name we have built. If you marry this woman…I will disown you and move your inheritance to your brother.” Rick’s father said in one breath. He looked at his son, it killed him to be this cruel. To snatch away his son’s happiness, he couldn’t even deny his son had been in fantastic spirits the past months. He knew his son’s love was genuine but he didn’t control the world. Rick was beyond hurt his father would do this to him, as he stared at him, heartbroken. “Rick.” Michonne said softly, as she arose from her seat, touching Rick’s forearm. He turned from his father to look at his love. Her eyes were red from her tears but there were no more tears. “We were foolish to think we could do this.” Michonne began staring into his eyes. Rick’s beautiful cerulean eyes filled with tears. “Michonne -” Rick said quickly, he knew what she was about to say. “Rick. I will always love you and I would be happy being poor with you for a thousand life times.” Michonne said as she struggled to keep herself from crying as she watched fresh tears spill down his cheeks. “My father is very ill. He has the consumption and I am holding on to hope that I can keep him alive long enough to see him one last time. If the physicians will even allow me.” She took a deep and continued. “I can’t let him die on the streets like so many others. He’s a great man.” Rick dropped his head and placing his hands on her waist, pulling her closer. He put his forehead against hers as the tears flowed freely him. “I love you so much.” Rick whispered. Michonne pulled her head back to gaze up at him, her hand brushing his tears away, her other hand caressing his hair. “I will always love you, Rick Grimes.” She whispered before pressing a soft kiss against his lips. Rick sought her lips eagerly, kissing her deeply, pulling her closer to him. Neither cared that they were not alone as they kissed good bye. Michonne reluctantly pulled from his arms, turning to Mr. Walsh “Am I allowed to return to my quarters?” Mr. Walsh swallowed hard. “Yes and this better never happen again. Do you understand?” He asked shakily. Michonne nodded. “Yes sir.” Michonne said avoiding Rick’s eyes next to her. “You’re dismissed.” Mr. Walsh said with a wave of his hand. Michonne moved quickly past Rick and to the door, she looked back at Rick once more. She shouldn’t have, it took all the strength she had in her to leave him standing there so broken.

Rick and Lori were whisked away from the country estate that same night. Michonne never knew what they told Lori in regards to leaving so early. Today they had finally wed and The Walsh’s were there to attend the wedding of their oldest friend’s son but the preparations for the journey had been a painful time for her and now it was surely done. Rick was gone forever. Michonne hastened her pace, she wanted to lay in her bed, she was exhausted. When she rounded the corner however Andrea was there waiting for her. “Is everything OK, Andrea?” Michonne asked, taking a deep breath. “Oh yes, miss. I’m fine indeed.” Andrea said quickly, lowering her voice. “I ‘ave somethin’ for you and I didn’t want the other maids to see.” Andrea pulled a thick envelope from the pocket of her uniform. She handed it to Michonne. “Rick’s valet ‘ave it me this morning, yea.” Michonne eyes shot up to look at Andrea. “Don’t worry miss, your secret is safe with me yea. I got paid handsomely to deliver that letter, I did.” Michonne collected the letter. “Thank you, Andrea.” Andrea nodded and headed off to where the other maids were drinking.

Michonne quickly entered her room, closing the door to her quarters, she sat on the bed and tore into the envelope. As she unfolded the paper, several notes fell from the letter, littering the bed and floor. Michonne frowned and quickly went to gather the money. It was over a £1000. Michonne placed the money on her nightstand and reached for the letter.

To my dearest, Michonne

Words can not express how desperately I miss you. There is not a day that passes where I do not think of you. I miss your clever words and the sound of your laughter. I miss your sweet smile. I miss holding you tight to me as you sleep. I long for you. I will always love you. You deserve to be happy. I have included money for you to leave the Walsh’s and arrangements are being made to move your father to a home just outside the city, that belongs to you. I have arranged for a live in physician to help care for your father. In the morning my carriage will take you to your new home.

I will never, ever forget you my love. I will always be yours no matter the circumstances. I belong to you, forever and always no matter what happens. One day I know we shall be reunited.

Your love for all of time,
Rick Grimes

Michonne couldn’t recollect how long she laid sobbing on her bed, clutching the words of her true love to her chest, she sobbed until no tears were left. Michonne lay in bed looking at the ceiling, the letter pressed against her breast. She smiled and sat up, her finger tips danced over his typed words. “We will be reunited my love.” Michonne whispered. She placed the letter on the bed and stood. Michonne grabbed the bag she arrived at the Walsh’s with and began to pack away her few belongings.