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PAST (1845) - Eavesdropping - basched
PAST (1845) - Eavesdropping

Title: Eavesdropping
Characters:  Emily, Matt. OCs
Focus character:  Emily.!
Rating:  U
Word count: .1,493.
Spoilers: None.   
Summary:  A little girl's birthday is interrupted by the arrival of some unexpected guests.   
Author's note:  Written for the primeval_denial  challenge team fest. I used a prompt from  [info]woodstock12 which was Learning New Things. Beta'd by[info]fredbassett .Part of my P/P/F 'verse.

It was her birthday. There was going to be cake and jellies and father had promised her a new doll, after all it was not every day a girl turned six.

Susan, one of the maids, helped to braid her hair into two little pigtails and tied them up into loops with red ribbon that matched her dress.  The maid then tied a lace collar around the neckline and smoothed out the creases in the dress.

“Little miss, you have to stay up stairs for the moment, until your father and mother call for you,”  said Susan.

At first the little girl thought it was because of the surprise party her parents had arranged for her, but she worked out it was more to do with the visitors who had arrived. If it was someone important, especially from Daddy’s work, then her parents preferred to keep her out of the way. 

She did not like this interruption on her birthday.

The doorbell had rung whilst Susan was helping her on with her dress and the importance of these visitors came to be abundantly clear by the amount of commotion coming from the hallway.  She heard her mother and father and three new voices talking in the hall, but by the time she got to the landing to take a sneak look, there was no one there, only Susan and Beatrice shooing her away, urgently. 

The two maids were quickly called back to their duties, which allowed the young girl of the house to eavesdrop further. As she slowly crept down the stairs, peeking between the banisters, she could make out movement in the living room. Her mother and father were there as were one man and a woman. The woman began to speak.

“Please forgive me for not coming to see you sooner.”

“Not at all! It’s wonderful to see you again, cousin!”  Her mother was happy, very happy and was positively singing with joy.

“It has been too long. I know that we have not seen each other since we were children, but things have become desperate.  I take it you have been following the events transpiring over there?”

“Yes we have. It’s dreadful. It’s absolutely dreadful, but I’m pleased that you’re back.”

“It’s going to get worse… far worse but we’re going to continue to do what we can. I know you and James are passionate about this problem and as my husband and I have nothing… no money no place to stay…”

“Say no more.”  Her father stopped the woman short. “We will gladly help you. You’re family and Mary and I won’t let you struggle. I have a number of properties in the capital you can stay in, for however long you wish. We will also help with any aid you want to send.”

“Won’t you be ridiculed for taking such a position, sir?”  Another man’s voice spoke, English, polite and humble.

Her father laughed.  “Ha! The fools in parliament have always ridiculed me but none dare confront me openly. Now, let us talk of what we can do… tell me what you need.”  

That was all she heard before her father closed the door. Scowling because she couldn’t hear any more from her position, she rose up and sneaked down the stairs. She crossed the hall and gently pressed her ear to the door to listen.

She couldn’t make out much, but then there was a sound behind her, of someone clearing their throat.

Startled she leapt away from the door and turned around, only to see a stranger standing before her.

He was tall, had dark brown hair and was dressed in a suit with a cravat tied around his neck. It wasn’t a well-made suit, so she deduced that it was secondhand and he was not from the upper classes.  A beard and sideburns were in the process of being grown, to match the current trends and to conceal his handsome face, but she saw the cut on his cheek, the healed scar beneath the mat of hair.  

“Hey there.”   He smiled one of the most wonderful and loveliest smiles she had ever seen, and he was obviously greatly amused to have caught her eavesdropping.

She composed herself and then held her chin up as she cleared her throat and spoke as properly and formally as possible. As a lady always should.  

“Hello. Do you mind telling me who you are and what you are doing here in my home?”

“Forgive me, miss.” The man bowed, which impressed her greatly and then he knelt down to her level and smiled that lovely smile again. He held out his hand and stifled a little laugh. “My name is… Matt, my lady. I came here with your mother’s cousin and her husband.”

The girl pursed her lips and took a light and delicate hold on the end of his fingers. She shook his hand tentatively and leaned in close to him, fascinated by his accent.   

“You speak funny,” she declared after a few minutes, letting his fingers go and clasping her hands behind her back.

“That’s because I’m not from here. I’m from Ireland. We’ve only just returned to the mainland.”

She knew of Ireland and had heard some very disturbing stories, only recently, about that place. Her father had voiced strong opinions about this new blight in the crops and whenever he talked about it, it made mother very sad. Apparently people were going very hungry.

“I’m sorry to hear that, sir. I can get our cooks to make you something to eat, if you’d like.”

His smile faded somewhat and now there was great sadness in his eyes. She had said the wrong thing. 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make you sad or upset you.”

“It’s all right. I know you meant well.”

 “Thank you. It is not fitting to be ill mannered to a guest. Sir, may I ask…. are you a member of my family?”

The man grinned again, happy that she had changed the subject. The more he smiled, the more she liked it.

“You could say that.” The Irishman got back up to his feet. “But tell me, my lady, why are you waiting in the corridor? Shouldn’t you be in the living room with your parents?”

My lady. Not many people called her that and it was nice to hear in such a pleasant accent. She straightened up with pride and put on her best airs and graces. 

“I was told to wait upstairs, but I did not want to. I wanted to know what was going on.”

“You never do what you’re told, do you?” 

“You do speak very strangely, Matt! But I like it. Most of the time, I do what mother and father ask of me though sometimes what they ask is unreasonable. I am curious and if you are family then I should not have been told to keep away. I should have been invited to get to know you! I would like to get to know you. Family is important.”

“It is indeed. Tell you what…. why don’t you come in and meet them? I’m sure your father won’t mind. It is your birthday after all.”

“I’d like that! I’d like it a lot!”

She didn’t ask how this strange charming Irishman knew it was her birthday as she forgot all about being a proper lady and clapped her hands in delight. She mimicked his bright and joyous smile and at his beckon, pushed open the door to the living room. 


In the end it was a good birthday.

As her mother brushed her hair, counting each of the strokes, she thought about the new family members she’d met and who stayed when her friends came round for the party.

“Will I see you again?” Emily had asked when the three of them were leaving.

“You can count on it.”

Matt. The Irishman with the beautiful voice and handsome smile, it was going to be difficult to forget him. He was so cheeky and not at all like some of the other men that had come round to visit. Not at all like the men her father worked with.

The other gentleman was, though. The one they called Becker. He was stiff to attention for mostly the whole time, standing close to the other woman like a solider or a guard outside Buckingham Palace. He was a soldier, they called Captain after all. But sometimes, beneath that moustache Emily saw a smile and in his dark eyes there was a look of familiarity.  

However, the woman was of great interest to her. Everyone had mentioned how much alike they had been. The woman was beautiful, and everything about her had radiated strength and authority. She was a true lady and Emily wanted to be exactly like her.   

She loved learning new things, and was overjoyed when it was revealed they shared the same name.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Current Mood: amused amused

43 comments or Leave a comment
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(Deleted comment)
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:09 am (UTC) (Link)

It's the Matt in a suit isn't it? lol

The thought of Matt and Becker in period costume, even with the beards and moustaches is such a wonderful image.

I always wanted to write a fic where they go back and meet a young Emily and this was just a perfect opportunity!

I'm pleased you liked it.

(Deleted comment)
rain_sleet_snow From: rain_sleet_snow Date: April 8th, 2012 09:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oo, timey-wimey. *beams* That was a very sneaky twist in the tail there!
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Timey-wimey indeed! lol

Thanks very much!
knitekat From: knitekat Date: April 8th, 2012 10:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lovely bit of timey-wimey.
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you! :)
freddiejoey From: freddiejoey Date: April 8th, 2012 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beautiful fic!
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC) (Link)

Ta muchly. Glad you liked.
tli From: tli Date: April 8th, 2012 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC) (Link)

joshinator From: joshinator Date: April 8th, 2012 11:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just awesome!
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:15 am (UTC) (Link)
diolch. :)
flaccidduck From: flaccidduck Date: April 8th, 2012 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Enjoyed this so much!
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Why thank you!! I'm pleased that you enjoyed it!
natchris From: natchris Date: April 8th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a fabulous way to start the day! I read this with my coffee.
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:17 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm pleased that my fic helped to start your day off well! Thank you for reading!
judithjohn From: judithjohn Date: April 9th, 2012 02:01 am (UTC) (Link)
How great is this!
basched From: basched Date: April 9th, 2012 10:35 am (UTC) (Link)

I'm guessing from your reaction it is great? :)

No...seriously, thank you very much for reading. It means a lot.

nietie From: nietie Date: April 9th, 2012 11:00 am (UTC) (Link)
Thrilling timey-wimey!

There's already so much of the grown-up Emily in little Emuly,
basched From: basched Date: April 11th, 2012 11:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you very much!

clea2011 From: clea2011 Date: April 9th, 2012 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Aww, that's very lovely. I love timey-wimey fic, and Emily meeting herself is very cute. And of course, Becker and Matt in period costume would be a rather delicious vision!
basched From: basched Date: April 11th, 2012 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)

I just had to write a piece of Emily meeting her future self! And of course having Matt and Becker in period costumes...makes the mouth water don't it?! lol

Thank you so much for reading. Glad you enjoyed it.
celeste9 From: celeste9 Date: April 9th, 2012 03:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
What a clever, lovely story! I really enjoyed it, and forthright little Emily was great. Plus, I don't think you can go wrong with Becker and Matt in period dress!
basched From: basched Date: April 11th, 2012 11:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Thanks!! Having little Emily meet her future self was something I always wanted to write! And hell noes, you cannot go wrong with Becker and Matt dressed in 1800s fashion! nom nom nom!

catheights From: catheights Date: April 9th, 2012 07:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fantastic timey-wimey fic! I loved wee Emily.
basched From: basched Date: April 11th, 2012 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)

I so love the phrase timey-wimey! lol

Thanks very much, glad that you liked it.
rodlox From: rodlox Date: April 9th, 2012 11:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
oh dear.

very interesting.

(kinda getting a Time Traveler's Wife vibe in the first half of the fic)

bravo and superb!
basched From: basched Date: April 11th, 2012 11:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh dear?

:) I didn't realise that TTW until you mentioned it. It's Matt going back and seeing little Emily! XD

Thank you for reading my story and letting me know you liked it. Cheers.
kristen_mara From: kristen_mara Date: April 10th, 2012 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)

Hee - that's a fun twist. Men in cravats are lovely. And I don't usually like moustaches, but I think Becker could carry it off!

basched From: basched Date: April 11th, 2012 11:25 am (UTC) (Link)

I don't think many men can pull of moustaches today, however if it was in the style of time...ie 1840s then both of those men would look seriously hot. With those lovely sideburns as well!


Cheers for reading!
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