In honour of the wonderful magfreak's birthday! Yes, it's late I know, but it's here and that's what counts. Well, the first part's here. Because it got long so it's in three parts now.
I discussed this fic with Magfreak ages ago via PM and she helped me with some deatils I was unsure on and when her birthday came around this year she requested that I (finally) post this.
I wrote a little prequel here which adds a little more background too.
Canon to 1x06, after the count. Thanks to babageneush for the beta.
This chapter is dedicated to the amazing PiperHolmes! Happy Birthday, my friend!
How Lord Grantham was Won Over
"Is the parlour swept?" asked Sybil, from the kitchen where she was making biscuits and cucumber sandwiches. "Mama and Papa will be arriving in the next half hour."
Tom, meanwhile, was frantically rushing around while Nora napped to make the cottage presentable to Sybil’s parents who had been invited to tea that afternoon. “That’s next, once I plump the pillows for the sofa.” It wasn’t that they didn’t keep the cottage clean and livable. It just wasn’t sufficient for the likes of visitors.
In the days that followed the cricket game, Sybil, Tom and Nora had settled into a happy routine at the cottage, with Sybil looking after their home and Nora, while Tom had worked with Matthew on modernizing the estate. Each evening when he had returned home from work, Tom had marveled at what Sybil had accomplished during the day. One day it had been new curtains for the kitchen. Another had been cutting the lawn with their push mower.
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Go Sybil! Go Sybil! Go Sybil! I love that Sybil took total control of the issue and Tom, as a progressive husband, completely followed her instructions. It made me so sad to see how hard they worked making the tea, foods, and house perfect for her parents and then to have their efforts rebuffed. But I love that Sybil wasn’t kidding around. She loves her father but she wasn’t going to tolerate his attitude!
This made me so happy and smiley!!! Thank you so much!!!!
This is a short and sweet late birthday present for Piperholmes.
Saoirse mixed the imaginary pudding in the bowl before declaring, “Lunch is ready Da!”
"Coming sweetheart!" Finishing his sentence and saving the chapter of his book that he was working on Tom walked over to his daughter’s playroom.
"Da!" Saoirse run over and pulled him towards her toy kitchen. "Da I cooked lunch so you have to set the table!"
Amused Tom replied, “Of course.” Leaning down he grabbed the plastic plates, cups, and utensils and placed it on small table.
Wincing as he tried to get comfortable in the tiny chair.
Saoirse put the imaginary food on his plate. “Here you go Da, fish and chips! You’re favorite. And pudding for dessert!”
"Mmm-mm. Delicious sweetheart!" Tom replied as he finished taking fake bites.
She grinned as she finished pretending to drink her tea.
"What’s going on here?" Sybil asked still in her scrubs from work.
"Mum!" Saoirse jumped out of seat and rushed to give her a hug.
Sybil pulled her up into her arms, pressing a kiss on the top of her head. “Hi sweetie. Did you and Da had a good morning?”
Pulling her head away from her mother’s shoulder she declared, “Uh-huh! I made lunch!”
"Really? Can I have some?"
Saoirse nodded, scrambling down she made a plate for her mother.
Sybil and Tom grinned as they continued to pretend to eat and praise their daughter for her fine cooking skills.
Oh MY gOSh!!!! That picture!!! this ficlet!!! This is so ridiculously perfect!!! AHAHAHAHAH!!!!
Thank you so much!!! It is absolutely adorable. I am so in love with this!
A birthday ficlet for the wonderful piperholmes - wishing you a fantastic day, my dear!
Also posted as the latest chapter in my Erin go Bragh! collection.
Tell me a story
“Ready or not, here I come!”
Aislín pushed her way into her parents’ room – “Michael, are you in here?”
Silence. Maybe he’s in the wardrobe.
She opened the door and peered inside, but there was still no sign of her brother. Flicking the clothes out of the way, she saw something she’d never seen before right at the back. Something that made her stare in wonder.
Dragging a chair over, she stood on it and reached up to the railing. Then, she lifted what she had found from its hanger, laying it down on the bed.
A dress. A beautiful dress like the ones in the shops on Grafton Street. Where did it come from?
She ran her hand over it carefully, admiring the way the gold roses shimmered against the black silk. Then, the door opened and Sybil came in.
“A stóirín, what are you up to?”
“I found this, Ma…”
Her mother crossed the room, a look on her face that made Aislín nervous. Am I in trouble?
Once Sybil reached the bed, she stared at the dress, smoothing the glossy fabric with one finger.
“I’m sorry, Ma, did I do anything wrong?”
“No, Aislín, you didn’t. Come and sit with me.”
They sat down together and Sybil pulled her daughter onto her lap, kissing her and ignoring the mutinous “I’m a big girl now” look on her face.
“Well, darling – there’s a story behind that dress. Would you like to hear it?”
“Oh yes, Ma – please!”
Oh my word!!! How much do I love the “Branson” dress?! And their daughter falling in love with it!!! Ugh! This was so sweet!
Thank you so much! I loved it!!!
Happy Birthday, piperholmes!!!
It’s the 18th where I am and I haven’t been on time for any other fics I’ve promised so I’m posting this one on time!
This is a short little smutty oneshot set in my Blind Tom AU because I know how much you love it. It’s not one of the ideas we’ve talked about unfortunately but I hope you like it! (And I’m working on those others I promise!)
Thanks, as always, to babageneush for the beta.
I can’t even with you!
“‘The blind may not be good for much but we’re better where it counts’.”
She does stop him then, pulling his face up to hers and resting her forehead on his, their way of looking each other in the eye. “I don’t want to hear that,” she tells him softly. “Especially not here.”
“I was joking, love,” he assures her, though not entirely convincingly, but she lets it pass. Rebuilding his confidence is a long process, one she’s come to accept will most likely take years.
How dare you
HOW DARE YOU!
Have you had something that you enjoyed or even loved and then someone comes along and mentions how something could be done differently or a variation and then suddenly what was good becomes amazing? I love S/T. I. LOVE. S/T. They are my OTP. I have several pairings that I love and adore and are very close to being OTP but there is something just a little bit special about S/T. I thought I loved them. Then Grace comes along with this AU and my whole world changed.
This “short little smutty oneshot” —that description by the way doesn’t even begin to capture what this chapter entailed— was beyond perfect. Tom’s fears, Sybil’s reassurance, the cocky way he takes her compliment but it really covers a deeper insecurity, the way she struggles to praise him because she feels wrong, or perhaps unsure about finding his blindness being a good thing and yet in that moment it is and how difficult it is to communicate that. But what a genius idea that when they are most intimate, most vulnerable, they are able to share these feelings and emotions.
No. Just no.
I love so many stories and AUs in this fandom—constantly floored at the talent and brilliance that is the S/T fandom—and not just love in a platonic way, I would make out with these stories and have their babies if I could they are so good, but this AU, and each chapter that is written, renews and inspires me.
Grace, you big jerk, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
In honor of Piper’s tags from June 7, 2014 (Sybil & Tom’s 95th anniversary)…He twirled her around the room, though he he was reluctant to let his hand wander from her waist—he loved the feel of her gown. Sybil grinned as he spun her, before happily returning to the circle of his arms, the two of them swaying to the music as it filled the ballroom."Have I told you how beautiful you look, Mrs. Branson?" he asked, pulling her even closer if that was possible.Sybil smiled and twined her arms around his neck. “Only every five minutes or so,” she giggled.“Only every five minutes?” he gasped in mock outrage. “I’m falling down on the job.”
Sybil laughed, before rising up on her toes to press her lips to his. Tom eagerly returned the kiss, pulling her closer until she felt her feet leave the floor altogether. When their lips parted, Tom reluctantly set her back on her feet, but his arms didn’t lessen their hold on her (and she was glad). “Have I told you how happy I am to be married to you?” he whispered, his brow touching hers.
Sybil blushed and glanced around, making sure no one was within listening distance. “Even after ninety-five years? You’re not growing tired of me even a little bit?”
Tom chuckled and also looked around, before gazing back at his lovely wife, his bride once again, and shook his head. “An eternity wouldn’t be enough time, Mrs. Branson.”
Sybil smiled and let her fingers tangle with the hairs at the back of his neck. “Then it’s a good thing that’s what we have,” she murmured.
It began that summer, the summer of 1919, while they were on their honeymoon in Galway. They had spent the day swimming in the ocean and making love on the beach, away from any prying eyes. They later explored the terrain, climbing over rocks and peeking into caves, and that was when the found the pool, hidden inside a cliff. Like two eager children, they held hands and leapt into it, splashing and laughing and playing, before kissing and making love again.
…They hadn’t realized that that was the day their lives would change. Forever.
“What’s your secret?” Mary had asked her once. “You don’t look a day over twenty-three!”
Matthew was also curious. “I can’t keep up with George, my knees are always protesting whenever I get down on the floor, but you crawl after Saoirse without any complaint!”
When Tom turned fifty…and still didn’t look any older, that was when he and Sybil began to wonder if maybe there was something else at work.
And then they remembered the pool.
Was it possible that of all places, the mythical “fountain of youth” existed in Galway?
The years went by and the world around them grew older. Their children knew about their secret, and Tom and Sybil debated about taking them to the fountain, but in the end, left the decision entirely up to them. Eternal youth and life were not without their consequences, of course, the greatest being having to watch those you love grow old and eventually die. And the Bransons knew that they couldn’t stay where they were, without causing some suspicion. So Tom and Sybil traveled, moving from place to place every fifteen years. It wasn’t always easy…but they had each other, and that gave them strength to face this “curse”, and do their best to make it a blessing.
“Now, our last wedding was in 2000—?”
“1999!” Sybil gave his shoulder a light swat. “Our 80th, remember?”
He laughed. “Ah yes, I remember you saying that I moved ‘remarkably well for a man who had just turned one-hundred and nine.”
Sybil joined in his laughter. “Well, you did.”
“And now?” he asked, making her gasp as he dipped her. “Now, at the right old age of one-hundred and twenty-four?” He brought her back and pressed her against himself, causing her to gasp again.
“I can see that no matter how old you get, you’re still randy as ever,” she whispered.
He simply smirked. “Speaking of which,” he leaned close, his lips grazing her ear. “Isn’t it time to celebrate our wedding night?”
“And you love it,” he growled, before nuzzling her neck. She melted against him; he would hear no protest from her.
“Ninety-five years and counting, Mrs. Branson,” he whispered, before bringing his lips back to hers.
She grinned and eagerly kissed him back. “I wouldn’t want to be stuck with any other.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PIPERHOLMES!
**manips by angiemagz
What an awesome surprise!!!!! EEE!!! I totally forgot about those tags. But then you turn it into a brilliant story oh my gosh it is fantastic!!!! This is so sweet and precious (especially for a girl who believes in eternal marriage) and I love that they are still going strong 95 years and counting!!! EEEEE!!! I’m thinking there needs to be a follow up in five years when they celebrate anniversary 100! Now I want all the manips of them through the years. 40s 50s 60s 70s (can you imagine Tom rocking the bell bottoms?!) 80s (purple hair for Sybil I think) and the 90s!
Love it!!! Thank you my dear!
“Hey,” Tom whispered to Sybil as he came up behind her and snaked his arms around her waist, resting them on her stomach. She was washing the dishes after the meal that Tom had cooked for her. She hadn’t changed. She’d kicked her shoes off, but was still wearing her nurses’ uniform, a dark blue…
AAAHHHH!!!! This is exactly what I was hoping for! Super sweet and super cute! Thank you so much! I love it!!!
Thank you so much for the birthday well wishes! I still have a few to reply to, and some awesome fanfic posts to respond to, but I have to get a few things done for tomorrow, so if I haven’t responded yet, know that I WILL!!!