For babageneush: Happy Birthday Rachel!
A Stitch in Timebased of this post
Tom slowly lifted his head, his neck craning over the body of his little girl, trying to see if her eyes were firmly shut in the pale light of the moon peeking through the curtains. He’d read her a story, sung her a song, kissed her good night then snuggled in next to her, shushing her attempts to jabber at him until finally she’d gone silent and still, her breathing growing even.
Confident she was in a deep sleep, he carefully rolled over, the creaking of the old bed loud in his ears. A quick glance to the child proved how well she’d slumped into slumber; the toddler not moving at the sound.
His muscles had grown stiff, his eyes drowsy, as he lain next to her, the dim light of the hall enough to make him wince. Slowly he made his way to their bedroom, stretching and twisting his back to work out the knots.
"I was sure you’d fall asleep in there," his wife teased as he stepped through the door, finding her in bed feeding their newborn.
Tom groaned, collapsing in a heap onto the bed next to her. “Very nearly did.”
Sybil smiled, a hand steadying the baby in her arms from where the bed bounced with the force of his landing. She delighted in the many ways and places her husband could sleep.
Tom stretched out beside her, his head propped up by his hand, the other hand reaching, stroking the new, soft skin of his son before leaning forward to kiss his tiny brow.
"He’s such a good eater," Tom observed. "So much better than Sybbie at this point."
Sybil gave a small nod. “To be fair though, I hardly had a clue what I was doing with Sybbie. I’m a bit more seasoned with this one.”
Nights spent worrying and crying, trying to get a new baby and new mother’s body to work together had plagued the first few weeks of their firstborn’s life. But it seemed with the second Sybil trusted her body and recognized how her child responded.
"He does latch on so well thought," she offered, her fingers tickling the small bare foot, prompting the baby to wake and continue suckling.
"Just a little more my love," she cooed to the baby.
Tom flopped down onto the pillow, his eyes closed as he breathed out a sigh. “Do you need water?”
Sybil shook her head, then realized he still had his eyes closed. “No, I have some.” Nursing always left her so thirsty.
"Alright, nudge me when he’s done," Tom mumbled, his body quickly losing the fight to stay awake.
"No, don’t fall asleep Tom. He’s almost done," Sybil scolded, knowing it would be harder on him to wake up from a doze.
Tom grunted, but made no move to open his eyes. Sybil nudged him hard with her elbow, prompting him to wake suddenly.
As Tom pulled his body into sitting position, Sybil pulled her now sleeping son away from her breast, giving his round red lips a kiss before handing him to his father.
"Come here m’boy," Tom said, bringing the baby to rest against his chest. He gently but firmly rubbed his son’s back as he leaned against the headboard.
Sybil shifted the blankets back, her bare feet moving to the floor.
At Tom’s questioning look she answered, “I just need to get something.”
He watched her scrounge around under the bed, pulling out a wooden box she kept there for the precious and fragile things she didn’t want their daughter to grab.
A small burp brought his attention to his son and Tom climbed out of the bed to change his son’s nappy. He heard the scraping of wood as Sybil slid her box back under the bed, felt her warmth as she came to stand behind him, her chin coming to rest on his shoulder as she watched him clean and dress their sleeping son.
"I’ll swaddle him," she whispered, her hand sliding down his arm, giving his hand a squeeze before moving around him to scoop up her child and wrapping him in the blanket Tom’s mother had knitted.
Tom kissed the baby’s head once more, stepping out of the way to allow Sybil to place him in the small wicker bassinet kept next to the bed.
"My beautiful boy," Sybil breathed, a contented happiness pervading her voice. "So much sacrifice and courage to bring you into the world."
"You did an amazing job," Tom agreed, gazing down at the small life, his arm coming around her waist, still so round from the months of carrying their child.
Sybil turned to him, her own arms circling his torso, allowing him to bring her more fully against him, to hug her tightly.
"Thank you my darling," she smiled "but I meant more than just me physically bringing him into the world. It’s us, what we did, and what those who came before us did.”
How Tom loved this woman.
"I’ve made something for you," Sybil said, her smile growing cheeky.
She bounced away from him, excitement radiating off her. “I should probably wait for a more appropriate moment, when we’re both dressed and not quite so stretched thin, but I confess I’m quite eager to show it to you.”
Tom laughed, unsurprised. His wife wasn’t one for patience. He’d learned that their first Christmas together when every night before bed she’d whisper how eager she was for him to open his gift.
"I finished it yesterday and your brother made the frame," she told him, taking him by the hand and tugging him to the bed. He climbed in after her, pulling the covers around them as they settled into the soft mattress.
Sybil reached under the quilt, pulling out a wrapped package.
"My darling," Tom began. "You’ve given me two children. I should be showering you with gifts."
"You have," Sybil assured him, handing him the gift. "You’ve given me so much. I just…I wanted to give you something that celebrates what we’ve fought for. What we’ve all fought for. Freedom.”
Tom’s brow lowered in confusion, but he accepted the package, pulling at the string Sybil had so carefully tied, noting at the near perfect size of the bows before he’d displaced the twine. The stiff brown paper crackled as he peeled it back, revealing the frame Sybil had just spoke about.
He glanced at his wife, taking in the way her lips pressed together, waiting for his reaction.
With a smile he turned it over, surprised, having expected a photograph. Instead he saw the white cloth and blue stitching. His eyes scanning the text, trying to make sense of what he saw.
And then it made sense.
He saw the Branson name time and time again, saw his family stitched together by his wife’s steady hand. His great grandfather, his grandfather, his father, himself and his son.
"You mother helped me with the names. She told me your great grandfather was the first in the Branson line to teach himself how to read so I thought I’d start with him."
Under each name read “Born Under English Rule.” All except one.
"Michael Branson—Born Under Irish Rule," Tom read softly, his voice losing strength as his finger reverently tracing first his name, then that of his son’s.
There were moments in life when nothing else to mattered but the love of another person. It was easy to go through a day, to know love was there, to say the words, but there were times when the feeling was so overwhelming, to be so utterly and completely connected to someone through love that time had no power, and we are made infinite.
As Tom looked up to his wife, his words inadequate, his tears blurring his vision, he’d never felt more love for another person in all the world.
"My love," he sighed, his hand coming to her face, pulling her to him as he kissed her brow, her lips, her cheek, wanting to worship every part of her.
Sybil felt her own emotions swell as she took in his reaction. She clung to him, as he buried his face in her neck, a small sob escaping as he realized his children would grow up in a world where they were important and free, and Irish.
"I want our children to always be proud of their heritage," Sybil whispered. "On both sides of their family."
Tom took a deep breath, bringing his forehead to rest against hers. “With you as their mother how could they be anything but proud?”
He pressed his lips once more against her skin.
"Thank you my darling. I love you so desperately."
Sybil smiled, that coy, mischievous grin, that always warned him she was ready to laugh. “Good, because I don’t think I’d go through childbirth for anything less than that.”
He laughed with her, too overcome to do anything else.
Her weeks of stitching was hung proudly in the family room, passed on through the generations; the story of an Earl’s daughter and an Irish Chauffeur who believed in freedom and love so strongly they defied a nation and redefined family, their strength and devotion personified in the first Branson born free.
Now on FF.net
repmet You’re so sweet to reblog this. It made me smile this morning!
Send me an ask* with your address if you want in on this! You don’t have to live in the US, I’ll send a dvd anywhere!
*an ASK not a PM please!
“I love that the silhouette of Skye and Ward is kind of really one person, because they’re both wearing black. I love her Hydra hair, and then I love even that he’s in her shadow. And so from this, you don’t know whether she’s wounded him, whether she’s protecting him, whether he’s dying,…
Oh my word look at how she is clutching onto him! That isn’t just holding, that is refusing to let go, as if she’s pulling him back up…
And I am a ball of squealing feels!!!
Asked by Anonymous
yes i still ship them :)
I find if you just watch the skyeward moments from last night (free of all context) it’s quite enjoyable.
I’ve gotten quite proficient at embracing the AU.
(Also, Evil!Ward is such an interesting character! and now Skye is figuring things out and is it weird that I find it even sexier now that they are on a more level playing field?)
Asked by shana-rosee
There is no help! There is only pain!
(Seriously, how do I end up on these ships?!)
Taylor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!?!?!?
How can getting everything I ever wanted turn out to be so terrible?!
They held hands!
They confessed feelings and emotions!
Every shippers dream!
And yet I’m left thinking
I really can’t see Ward coming back from this, and how can Skye ever get over this?!?! (And I thought death was the worst thing that could happen to a ship!)
And yet I knew this was Whedonverse. I knew there was no chance this was going to end well. And still I ship it. I think there is something wrong with me.
Well back to the old tried and tested mantra: We always have fanfic!