Head back to school with the Bransons, and Rock the School/University AU this September!
Like a lot students (you know who you are), this post “procrastinated”–BUT IT’S HERE NOW and there’s still plenty of time to this month to celebrate all things “school-related” with Sybil and Tom!
Be it modern AU where they both meet at uni, or show-era where Tom and Sybil begin their relationship while she’s at nursing school; whether it’s the two of them going back to school, or helping their children prepare for school, whether it’s stories, drabbles, picsets, and other forms of fanart…whatever the setting, whatever the format, be creative and ROCK THE SCHOOL/UNIVERSITY AU this month!
Prepare for a long rambly love letter to Matthew … :)
give me a character and i’ll answer
do I like them: Since he’s my soul mate I guess I better say I like him. Yes I like him. I love him. I”m in love with a fictional character and I always will be.
5 good qualities: I’ve said before Matthew’s face is a reflection of his soul. He’s an observant man. A good man. A kind man. Doesn’t mean he’s unaware or weak. I wish more people got this–you can be kind and strong. He truly knows Mary for though their outward personalities appear completely different (he appears sweet and soft hearted whereas she is cool and standoffish)–he knows she’s wearing a mask of indifference because she’s afraid to appear vulnerable.
He knows she’d detest that. So he hides his awareness behind the mask of the diplomat. From that first meeting he was figuring Mary out. Unpeeling the layers of mask to see almost immediately that they were destined to be a true meeting of minds and hearts. Barb for barb they felt each other out and got under each other’s skins until they (finally!) realized they could not live without each other.
Mary was put off her game by Matthew. He refused to be “played with” in the way she was used to… and at first that confused and angered her. Matthew can see beyond the surface to the truth of the person underneath.He drew Mary out of that mask with his kindness and his love without attempting to fundamentally change the person he loves. Because he loves that person just the way she is.. [and more than a bit turned on by her as well because of this battle of wits and smarts]… Once Mary too realized their intimate connection it made for a transcendent love story. A love story for the ages.
3 bad qualities:
…his guilt is a tad too much indulgent and unfair (to a certain extent) on Mary. He made the first move on the kiss. He knew what he was doing. But men do that… blame others for their faults. Matthew couldn’t stand that he didn’t live up to own standards of conduct. So he threw around blame. But he came to his senses. He understood. He said he was wrong.
He’s kind almost to the point of hurting himself and denying him love.
favourite episode: Since this is solely on Matthew… 2 x 09 CS 2011. How can you not love this episode? Matthew’s decided to stoically move on and try to accept that Mary will never be his but that she’d also never marry Richard Carlisle. Slowly over the episode he draws closer and closer to her, earning back her trust and good opinion. And then …sigh..then…
otp: my hearts…esp when they’re being cheeky and subtextual with each other…
brotp: Tom Branson. But I also love his friendship with Edith.
notp: anyone other than Mary…:)
best quote:I have so many favorite lines. Dan’s delivery of certain lines rise above the sometimes cliched, cringe worthy, creaky dialogue…“I will love you until the last breath leaves my body.” is the best example of that. I also love pissy Matthew… “Robert the last time you made an investment you nearly ruined the family…” “Then Harry Stoke is a fool…
Adorable dad: ”“Hello my dearest little chap.”
“Now come and kiss me.”
But I truly love the obscure line right before as well: “Then I”ll get wet.”–it says everything about Matthew. He wants to stay with Mary. Be with her.
But the best has to be .
“Oh God Mary…I am so so sorry…” (click line for vocal seduction 101 proof
|My never to look back moment. Matthew owned me from that line. And the kiss sealed it all.
I’ve written this before but I still love it–
and they lived happily ever after with their three children. George served with distinction in Operation Market Garden. His sister Madeleine (who had been conceived while MM were in Paris) worked for the SOE. The baby, Freddie, was too young to serve in WWII but instead entered academia and became a classics professor at Cambridge.
Sybil entered the bedroom from the kitchen at the sound of her name. “Yes, darling?” She couldn’t but smile at the sight of her husband surrounded by their daughters, Saoirse and Sybbie simply fascinated by their baby sister, the newest addition to the Branson family.
“Maybe it’s time that we go back to using…?”
Sybil blushed and Tom chuckled. He did have a point. Three daughters in five years was…rather busy. Not to mention things were picking up with their individual careers. Tom was writing again, this time for a paper in York. Sybil was now the head nurse at the Downton Cottage Hospital, and was considering taking over the duties of regional midwife (once little Maggie was a few months older). Maybe they should accept the offer from Kieran’s eldest to come and live with them for a while to help with the children?
Sybil turned her attention to Saoirse. “Isis is sick,” the little girl’s lower lip wobbled. “Can you make her better?”
Sybil sighed and looked back at Tom who shared a similar expression. Isis wasn’t as young as she used to be, and Sybil had noticed how the dog wasn’t moving very quickly, and seemed to spend more time in the little wood shed next to the house, where she had made a bit of home for herself after she became a permanent resident with the Bransons. Perhaps the time was coming when Sybil and Tom would have to teach their girls the harsh but inevitable lesson that death was a part of life?
“Please, Mummy? Please go and check on her?” Saoirse practically wailed, tugging on her mother’s hand. “She was whimpering earlier, what if she’s in pain?”
“Saoirse…” Tom sighed her name, but Sybil held up her hand.
“It’s alright,” she assured him, putting on a brave smile, before taking her daughter’s hand. “Alright, we’ll go look,” she promised her, and deciding to give Tom a little peace with Maggie, called for Sybbie to take her other hand and join her. Sybbie happily did so, toddling along with her mother and older sister (whom she hero-worshipped). The three went out the kitchen door and headed towards the wood shed, though Sybil’s footsteps slowed at the strange sound that was coming from inside.
“Oh Mummy, listen to her!” Saoirse practically wailed, and realizing something was wrong, Sybbie began to cry, and before Sybil could stop them, both daughters had let go and were rushing to the shed.
“WAIT!” Sybil cried, and hurried after them, preparing herself for a scream.
And there was a scream…though it was not of sadness or horror.
“MUMMY! MUMMY! MUMMY!” Saoirse and Sybbie came barreling out of the shed and grabbed hold of their mother’s hands and pulling her inside. Sybil was confused but it suddenly became clear as their lay Isis…and three whimpering, nursing miniatures.
“PUPPIES!” Saoirse gasped.
“Lil’ Isis,” Sybbie babbled.
“CAN WE KEEP THEM, MUMMY? PLEASE? PLEASE? PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE?"
"One…” Sybbie counted. “Two…” It wasn’t missed by Sybil how their middle daughter was also pointing at herself and her sister, and by the time she counted the third puppy, pointed towards the house.
Isis truly was a Branson; just like Sybil, she had three children as well.
Tom sounded frantic, standing at the door of the cottage, having heard their children’s cries. Sybil poked her head out of the shed and made a motion with her hand for him to join her. He was still holding Maggie, but the look on her face must have assured him everything was alright.
“DA!” Saoirse gasped upon seeing her father. “Isis had puppies!”
Tom’s eyes widened at the sight. The mother Labrador in question simply lay there, looking both tired and rather proud at herself and her little yellow brood.
“I had no idea she was pregnant!” Sybil hissed into Tom’s ear.
“You’re a nurse, love, not a vet,” her husband chuckled.
“Mummy? Da?” Saoirse looked at them both expectantly and a little impatiently, still waiting for their answer.
“Three!” Sybbie exclaimed, pointing again at herself, Saoirse, and now Maggie who had awoken and was trying to turn her head to see what all the commotion was about.
Tom and Sybil exchanged a look, a silent conversation passing between them, before with a sigh, Tom handed Maggie to her mother and giving Sybil’s shoulder a squeeze. “Better write to Kieran,” he announced. “We’ll need Aiofe’s help now more than ever with three girls and three dogs.”
the ratings for scream are super low and if there’s any chance at getting screamed renewed for a season 3 we gotta spread the word and get more people watching the show , this fandom is so small because not a lot of people watch the show. get your friends, family, neighbors, aliens , cats, dog, etc. anyone you know to watch the show, we gotta get these ratings up
“…And then the Ghost of the 2nd Earl JUMPED OUT OF THE CLOSET!”
Marigold gave a screech and buried her little face against her cousin’s shoulder. Sybbie gave an annoyed look to her other cousin as she attempted to soothe poor Marigold. “It’s alright, George is just telling stories.”
“It’s true!” George insisted. “The 2nd Earl haunts Downton!” he grinned wickedly and made a menacing motion with his fingers. “And likes to scare little girls—!”
“Well he’s not scaring me!” Sybbie insisted. “I ain’t scared of no ghosts!”
George rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to say more, but the nursery door opened then, causing all three children to gasp, before sighing with relief at the sight of their mothers.
“Why are you still awake?” Mary asked, her question pointedly at her son.
“It’s All Hallow’s Eve, Mama!” George explained. “Sybbie told us—”
“Another ‘Irish tradition’?” Mary turned to her baby sister who was kissing her daughter’s cheek.
“It’s not as if it’s unique to just Ireland,” Sybil insisted. “Why, the celebration descends from the ancient Celts, so it more than likely began in Britain, up in Scotland—”
“Save me the history lesson,” Mary groaned, kissing her son on the brow and then urging him to get under his blankets and go to sleep.
As for Marigold, she whimpered a bit and clung to Edith, who seemed reluctant to leave her. “I’ll keep her safe, Auntie Edith!” Sybbie promised, noticing her cousin’s distress. Sybil smiled proudly at her daughter, and Edith looked grateful.
“Come along!” Mary urged. “Our husbands are probably wondering what’s keeping us.”
Another shadow illuminated the doorway just then, causing the three children and their mothers to gasp, and then groan as Sybbie squealed, “Daddy!”
“What are you doing up here?” Mary asked. “I thought the three of you would be waiting downstairs—”
“Matthew and Bertie are,” Tom explained, winking at Edith who was blushing still at the reminder that she was now a married woman as well. “But I had to sneak a kiss myself, otherwise I’d be jealous of Sybil the whole night!”
Both Sybil and Sybbie giggled and Sybbie held out her arms for her father, who stepped in and did just that, smothering sloppy Branson kisses on her cheeks, before tucking her into bed. He then turned and gave a rather sloppy kiss to his wife, earning groans of disgust from the children, though Sybbie was used to it.
“Is the party up here now?” came another voice from the door.
“It might as well be,” Mary groaned, before smiling at her husband and new brother-in-law who were now entering the nursery.
Both men went to their respective children, giving each a kiss on the brow before murmuring “goodnight”, and Marigold seemed to brighten considerably after this (she was very fond of Bertie).
“George is telling them ghost stories,” Sybil whispered to Matthew.
“Ah, I see,” Matthew gave his son a stern look. “I hope you’re not trying to frighten your cousins and give them nightmares…”
“No, Papa, it’s just All Hallow’s Eve, and Sybbie said—”
“So this is your fault?” Tom asked his daughter, before giving her a little wink to show he wasn’t serious.
“George says the ghost of the 2nd Earl haunts Downton.”
“George…” Mary groaned before turning to the rest. “Children, there are no such things as ghosts.”
“But there such thing as a dragon, which is what your grandmother will become if we’re late,” Bertie observed to his wife.
“True,” Mary confirmed, agreeing with him. “Alright, all of you get some sleep—good night!”
The children murmured their goodnights once again and watched as their parents exited the nursery. However, before the Bransons left, Tom did whisper into his daughter’s ear, the special blessing her Irish grandmother had taught her to scare away anything that tried to frighten her. With nothing but the soft, orange glow of the fire burning in the fireplace, the children were left alone.
Quiet filled the nursery then…though George swore he heard something making a “thumping” sound. He sat up in bed and looked over at his cousins. “Do you hear…?”
Marigold gave a little squeal and leapt out of bed, before flying into Sybbie’s. “It’s the ghost of the 2nd Earl!” she screeched.
“Don’t be silly,” Sybbie assured her, before turning to George. They heard the sound again, and George swallowed the lump in his throat—it was coming from UNDERNEATH HIS BED!
Sybbie glared at the bed, ignoring the petrified expression on her cousin’s face, and shouted the blessing her father had whispered to her in the language of their homeland, and the thumping suddenly came to a stop.
They all waited, holding their breath…
“It’s gone…” George whispered.
“Can I stay with you?” Marigold whimpered, looking up at Sybbie with large, imploring eyes. Sybbie just smiled and kissed her cousin’s forehead, before pulling the blankets up around them.
“Maybe I should join you?” George offered, trying to sound braver than he felt. “Just to protect you girls.”
Sybbie rolled her eyes, wondering what her mother would make of that if she heard George, but knew all too well that it was his back-handed way of admitting he was scared. “Fine,” she sighed, scooting over and making room. Soon, all three cousins were huddled together in Sybbie’s bed, the blankets pulled up to their chins, and after a moment, they were all soon asleep.
A few hours later, when the party had ended, Robert (or “Donk” as he was now known to all his grandchildren) decided to peek in and see them. Sybil accompanied him, and when they reached the nursery, she gave a groan and a sigh at the sight of them together in bed. “Just as I had feared, I think the ghost stories got to them.”
Robert frowned. “Why are they all in Sybbie’s bed?”
Sybil smiled proudly. “Well she is the oldest, so perhaps she’s also deemed the bravest?” She shut the door then, and proceeded to tell her father about the so-called “ghost of the 2nd Earl”, the story which George had been telling to spook his cousins.
Robert frowned. “There’s no ‘ghost of the 2nd Earl’.”
“If anything haunts that nursery, it would be Pharaoh!”
Sybil frowned. “What?”
“Don’t you remember? Pharaoh was always trying to get into that nursery when you and your sisters were children. He especially liked to get under Mary’s bed and she would complain about the loud sounds his tail made when thumping against the floorboards.”
“I honestly don’t remember, but maybe I was too young?”
“That might be…” he recalled. “Yes, you were barely a year old, when Edith and Mary got into a terrible fight—” Sybil rolled her eyes. “—because Mary tried to spook Edith by telling her there was a monster in the room that lived under her bed, but then Pharaoh got under Mary’s and frightened the both of them—”
“Perhaps Pharaoh’s ghost remains?” Sybil offered. “Thumping his tail under the bed of Mary’s son?”
Robert chuckled at that, though it was clear he didn’t believe it. Sybil, however, wasn’t entirely convinced. After living among the Irish, both in Dublin and now in Boston, she wasn’t as skeptical to tales of the supernatural as she might have been before marriage. Though of all the ghosts that were out there, the ghost of a friendly Labrador hiding under one’s bed was rather sweet.