babyjosephine: (fabian)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
12 May, 1984

It was still May 12th, and Alice would hardly have minded the world staying on May 12th for a million years more. Outside it was probably dark, but she wasn’t looking. Her attention was fixed on the hospital’s bassinette near her bed, and for as long as she lived, she would never find anything more interesting than the little boy inside it.

The room was quiet. The rush of initial visits had long ago come to an end when she started to feel too drowsy to appreciate the friends and family gathering around. Even Robert was asleep now.

Gently, mindful of the aches and pains and the searing discomfort that would hopefully not last too much longer, Alice sat up and eased out of bed. She paused at the rails for a moment to stretch her back, then took a step closer and picked Fabian up. That was his name. Fabian Ferris Fitzwilliam. Cruel but sweet and chosen by Robert.

Fabian was sound asleep and so tiny that Alice wondered whether or not there was another baby still yet to be born—she had grown so big and he weighed only five pounds. Healthy five pounds, of course. With black waves that shocked her when she saw them but enchanted her now. He was so beautiful. Every mother thinks the world of their child but Fabian was so beautiful.

Alice was already crying before she had climbed back into bed. Pregnancy had made her so emotional that the tiniest gust of wind could make her break down, and it seemed that motherhood wasn’t going to ease the drama. If anything, the infant was enhancing it. She had wanted a child for so long that to have one, to be holding one that wasn’t a niece or a nephew, was almost alien. She could barely reconcile that this was her son and his life was now a part of hers.

She couldn’t wait to go home. To buy clothes that were small enough to fit him (everything was much too big). To spend her days not alone in the kitchen but showing off her baby and taking care of him the way she had practiced for. Making him smile and laugh and helping him sit up and strengthen his unfocused eyes and fall in love with him in a way she had fallen in love with no one before.

Alice sniffed, almost laughing at herself, and rubbed her eyes before gently smoothing the back of her index finger against Fabian’s cheek.
babyjosephine: (a kiss)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
8 January 2008. An update of the original reunion from last year.

Alice was undecided. Undecided and, as it was developing into over the course of the week, uncomfortable.

So she was sitting by the window and staring at a cup of milky tea. Her stomach was in too many knots to appreciate the smell or even the sight of it, but she was hungry in a sick sort of way—she hadn’t eaten today, and barely touched supper the night before. As the week wore on, and the undecided and uncomfortable swelled and swelled and swelled, she was quickly and efficiently being robbed of her ability to ignore them.

And that reason alone was what brought her to her feet.

She dumped out the cup and turned the kettle upside down in the sink, casting occasional glances over her shoulder, as though she was being watched.

This whole week she had felt similarly. )
[identity profile] halfaustere.livejournal.com
[Just before Robert's final coma, while he's already becoming largely catatonic. 2002.]

Robert's handwriting (dried tears underneath it, not above it) was almost entirely unintelligible, words barely pressed into the page, ink spilled everywhere as it seemed his hands had been shaking so he was unable to make anything but a mess – a mess of his mind spilled everywhere as much as the ink.

Tuesday, 26 March, Volume MMII: I fear this may be the last thing I ever write. )

Alice - G

Jun. 25th, 2009 02:51 am
babyjosephine: (Default)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
Sunday, 21st August, 1983. Andy had died on the 19th.

Grief, it turned out, provided options, though all tended to provide what felt like a bat to the face. In some cases, the pain was angry. In some, the pain was crippling. In others, the pain created hallucinations that turned the world into a dream.

Alice wasn’t sure how it was attacking her, as three days earlier she had never been happier in all of her life. It was far to fall, and she was still falling. Maybe it would hit her soon, and maybe then everything would make sense. Why her father had to die the day she discovered she was pregnant. Why her mother wouldn’t wake up. Why Charlie had to split his time between watching his mother commit a slow suicide and visiting his youngest child in a hospital three hours away.

She was in her room, now, though there were no answers to be found in the dusty toys and clothes that were organized as though Alice had only just moved out. )
babyjosephine: (raincoat)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
May 2002

Alice was sitting in traffic. Heavy traffic, stocked with holidaymakers and elderly women dragging their husbands out for the first real month of stately home tours. Heavy traffic over the first sunny weekend since the previous autumn. And Alice was stuck behind four rows of cars jammed behind a red light, inhaling exhaust and exhaling frustration, on her way to work, sick from the chemotherapy. Her hands were shaking on the wheel, though after a half hour of trying to complete what should have been a ten minute drive, she couldn’t be sure if it was effects of the treatment or the onset of a breakdown. Either would have been welcome, just to have the excuse of ringing an ambulance and getting out of the maze.

If an ambulance could get into the maze to begin with.

Another minute ticked by. The green light came and went. One row of cars was knocked off. Alice was feeling dizzy from the sun shining into her eyes. She hadn’t brought sunglasses, and there was a lingering shadow of a headache that had plagued her all weekend now threatening to fall across her eyes and blind her.

She sighed, elbow grinding into the window sill, airconditioning blasting as much as it could at the lowest setting. Direct sunlight and black, leather seats were cooking her where she sat, melting her legs, confined in trousers, to the fabric.

Flicking grey hair out of her eyes, she sighed again and contemplated blasting her horn until the road expanded or the cars parted. )
[identity profile] likesuns.livejournal.com
[Early September of 1996. I stole Teddy in the next to last paragraph, sorry Shannon. :(]

Tess may have only been eight, but that didn't stop it from being completely inappropriate for her to do things like steal other people's jewelry. It was a Saturday, and everyone was home, and so it was harder than usual for Anna to throw her sister out of her room – when their parents weren't there, when she at her worldly thirteen was responsible for her younger siblings, she could literally throw her sister out of her room, or at least drag her, which was more normal.

Today, she had to scold her instead, and that alone was risking parents hearing. She didn't know what her parents were doing; her father wasn't drawing (drafting, drawing, as far as Anna was concerned he drew) and her mother wasn't in the hall to immediately hear her, but they might have been around. They weren't together, she didn't think, which would at least slow them down, and so it gave her a chance to make an impact.

"Put that down!" she yelled at her younger sister, who was happily going through Anna's jewelry box. On Anna's bed. "Just because I'm not in here doesn't mean you can help yourself!"

Tess looked up at her, eyes wide, and dropped the necklace she'd been holding.  )
babyjosephine: (Default)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
Early autumn 2002

Today had not been a very good day and there were hours yet still before tomorrow would banish it away, and some hours more after that before Alice was likely to fall asleep.

For the first time in what would one day be a year (though she dreaded the day it happened), it wasn’t her mind ruining her day, but her body. Or rather, the things put in her body to chase other things away. There was a scar she didn’t have to worry about hiding, as no soul had seen her undressed since Robert left her—no soul except one doctor after another, but she didn’t count those doctors. They saw her as an old woman when she stepped into their office.

No, no one had seen her undressed since Robert left her, and no one would ever see her undressed again. )
[identity profile] lindt.livejournal.com
May 2, 2003.

Fabian was in hell.

Well, not literally. Fabian was really climbing the stairs to his mother's relatively new flat for maybe the fourth time ever, at most, trying not to think about what he was about to say. About what he had to say to her, because who else was he going to say it to, and how was he going to hide it?

He didn't have anyone else to confide in. They may have been slightly estranged since his father's passing, but his mother had always been his rock. They were close. He relied on her, even when she kept secrets from him -- it was always to protect him from bad news, Fabian understood that.

But this was bad news he wanted to protect her from. And he couldn't. )
[identity profile] halfaustere.livejournal.com
April 12, 1962.

Robert's primary fear was that it wouldn't be perfect.

This as a fear, he thought as Colin's driver steered the old Mercedes limo toward the Fitzwilliam estate, was both surprisingly grounded and utterly ridiculous. Of course it wouldn't be perfect – nothing was perfect. Nothing except perhaps for Alice. His intent. He wanted everything for her to be perfect – that was why he was careful, too, to dress in a way that was impeccable without being overly formal. Careful to get a car that would make her smile. Careful to be sure, with Isabella's help, that the restaurant was perfect.

They did, in fact, rent the entire thing out. No one else would be there except for waiters and Robert and his hopeful lady love. The way it wouldn't be perfect, though, that would be if it didn't quite work. Alice had been reticent to accept.

And she might not like her gift.

"What're you so worried about?" the driver – Robert confessed, in secret, to Dawn that he'd forgotten the man's name and she'd laughed and hadn't told him – asked as he stopped the car, got out to help Robert with his door. "I mean, she loves you, right? She must love you for all this, sir."

Robert shook his head a little. "I'm not sure."

And he took off his hat – a different hat, a proper dress hat that was the same navy blue as the rest of his suit – and held it to his chest, and walked up to the door.

Pulling the bell wasn't nearly as terrifying this time as it had been before. )
[identity profile] halfaustere.livejournal.com
April 1, 1962

Outside the door of the Fitzwilliam Estate in Corsham, Robert Ellingsworth Capio (M.D.) was standing and staring at the pull of the bell. Staring, and thinking. Taking an assessment of what was going on.

Mentally talking to himself.

Inside, Charlie Fitzwilliam was chasing his younger sister Alice around the foyer. Robert didn't know that, but he did know he kept hearing screaming. It wasn't quite passing through the layer of thought currently taking up most of the space, though – if he'd realized they were Alice's screams, maybe he would have actually gotten the nerve to go indoors more quickly, in the very high off-chance she was in danger in her own home.

Danger would put off what he was about to do more. It wasn't like he wanted to put it off, either, not really – he wanted to make sure it was all right. He wanted to fix things. He wanted – he wanted Alice to be his, truth be told, and he needed to do this to make it right. )
[identity profile] halfaustere.livejournal.com
March 1962

Robert had been off all night.

Not off enough to cancel his plans – a relaxing dinner with Alice at a small place by the hospital – apparently, but somewhat less sociable and cheerful than he often was. While Robert was no Sully, he also usually wasn't quite this solemn. Though he was happy to speak and kept a smile on, it was obviously somewhat put upon and he didn't really suggest any topic of conversation on his own.

Mostly because he hadn't wanted to plague Alice with why. He knew if he'd talked about his day he'd just end up crying, and so he kept his mouth shut, and when the tube pulled up and they stood to board, Alice arm in arm with him, he had to actually stop himself from sighing in relief lest she think it had something to do with her.

Truly, Alice was the only thing that day that hadn't been miserable.

But she was certainly paranoid.

At first, she had assumed Robert was tired. He had a full schedule where she had twenty four hours of free time every day. It wasn't unusual for him to be overworked, but this was different than overworked. So Alice was paranoid, because even though she had no reason to be (they weren't dating, after all, no matter how convinced she was that Robert felt the same way about her she did for him), he was still unhappy, and she had kept her worries in for the better part of an hour, but was going to keep herself up all night if she didn't ask him what was wrong.

She just couldn't do it yet. )
babyjosephine: (A determined young thing)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
End of February. 1962.

"All I'm saying," Alice was saying, "is that a bit of ketamine in a glass of water wouldn't really hurt anyone and it would be bloody hilarious! You could bring a video recorder, even. Daddy's got one I could lend you!"

(It was a very warm day for so late in February. Temperatures had jumped quite randomly out of nowhere and suddenly felt like spring, though the stuffy man on television said they were due for cold weather again in a day or so. To take advantage of the situation, Alice, as well as Robert, Dawn, Mikey, and, of course, Sully, were out in one of the fields by Alice's house, where it was warmest, and a bit off their heads.)

"Isn't ketamine for animals?" was Sully's take, looking thoughtfully between Alice and Dawn, who was, in fact, a chemist.

Robert was looking thoughtfully between them... )
[identity profile] halfaustere.livejournal.com
[Last week of April, 1959.]

"Well," Michael said, leaning backward in his chair, "at least it's almost a holiday."

"Holiday weekend." Sully, for his part, was grim about the entire idea. It was only a weekend and then they'd be back on the grind again. "We only get a single Monday off. It being nice weather doesn't help either so don't try it!"

They were sitting in New Hunt's House Library, trying to finish a multitude of projects. Mikey didn't really belong in New Hunt's, seeing as how he wasn't studying medicine, but that didn't stop him from being there anyway. His friends were there. They were glad to see him.

"At least we aren't staying here," Robert offered, as what might've been minor consolation.

"We aren't?"

"No, I think we'll spend the weekend in the castle." Robert's grin turned somewhat cocky. Proud. Maybe even daring.

"The castle –" Sully spluttered, nearly overturning his water. "There'll be a thousand strong bloody people there! May Day parades and whatnot and how are we supposed to drive that far and back in a weekend?"

"We could take a helicopter," joked Michael.

"Exactly!" said Robert brightly. "Mikey's got it."

''Oh, you're joking,'' Sully muttered, knowing they weren't. )
babyjosephine: (Default)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
Early January of 1962.

Alice had finished what might have been lunch had any of them (them being Vi and Mallory and Alice) actually eaten. All it really was, was an hour of irritating everyone around them at a little London cafe by laughing very loudly at things that weren't even funny. There was also Alice's first participation in a Robert discussion with any interest, but they had disliked her continual lack of enthusiasm (she still pretended to be less interested than she was).

So Alice left when the other two had to return to work, which was the hospital right near their chosen lunch spot, and decided to go shopping before driving home.

Only a mere three minutes later, though, there was a voice behind her. Actually, there was a person behind her – many people, even – but one voice was louder than the rest, female, with tinges of a Northumberland accent, and somewhat familiar.

'Even in winter days that hair stands out – Alice!' )
babyjosephine: (Son)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
April 19, 1984, less than a month before Fabian was born.

Past her birthday by a week. The weather was fair. Cool. A hint of rain on the horizon. But there was always a hint of rain on the horizon in the north, and living here for so long, even with two dozen holidays behind her, she had grown used to it. Not tolerant. Just used to it. She hated being north, in fact. Up until the past eight months, she had hated everything about everything.

Alice’s parents had died the previous August, one right after the other. It wasn’t surprising that her father went; his health suddenly failed and never seemed to right itself. And his wife, well, she was so in need of his presence that to be without him was an impossibility. Everyone knew that. Everyone who met them knew that. You didn’t have to hear anyone gush. It just felt that way. That they belonged together.

So it was no surprise that they left the world together.

The surprise was that Alice was bringing a new person into it. )
babyjosephine: (Default)
[personal profile] babyjosephine
Late 1961

It wasn't that she hadn't been invited. It was that she hadn't been planning to go until Mallory and Vi begged her. And the both Mallory and Vi had to work and couldn't make it in time and neither were interested in fashionably late entrances. They wanted to stare at Robert for the full duration. They also wanted Alice to stare at Robert for the full duration because it had been almost three years since they first encountered him and in those three years, Alice had heard of nothing but him. He was almost a mythological creature, really. A name instead of an actual person. She had almost stopped believing he existed.

Her mother hired a driver to take her up to Manchester. Randolf was due at another function with the company and her parents couldn't attend. This would be the first time Alice was going anywhere completely alone without any connections at all, except her name and her family. But her name and her family was somehow relevant to every party. She didn't feel overwhelmed, just nervous. She wasn't interested in being the center of attention.

Dressed in a dark green cocktail dress, with dark green, almost black gloves to match, she looked like the center of attention, in any case. Their family's driver gave her dark red hair a kiss as he helped her out.

"What time do you want me back?" he asked. "I told your mum I'd have you home by midnight."

"Then, um, I don't think I'll be staying long. Two hours, tops."

Their driver nodded and gave her a little salute. "Enjoy yourself, Miss Alice."

"I will!" she called, her heels clicking on the pavement as she entered the elegant hotel and sought out the ballroom.
[identity profile] halfaustere.livejournal.com
December 1959, a cold time to cut someone's long hair off!

It wasn't supposed to be that big of a deal.

It wasn't supposed to be that big of a deal, and it was a pain, and the worst part was that supposed to be a big deal or not, everyone else was making it one. There hadn't been much of a buildup, sure, and Robert hadn't really been all that interested in talking about the different ways of doing it, either.

He'd been hoping, really, that no one would even comment on it, but of course they did.

Honestly, it was just hair. )
[identity profile] crowninvisible.livejournal.com
November 1720.

My dearest brother,

At least you, I believe, are still in England for me to be able to write to! I hear Philip has left to go back to his family in the colonies, and it is too terribly far for me to send letters there. But there is so much I have to say! Being his wife – Robert, I have no idea where to begin. I have never been so happy.

Calescotia is quiet and peaceful and simple and it is the way home is not in so many ways, and you would love it if you had stayed, I know it. I am not certain if I ever again wish to leave, even for holiday. I know Larus would not care to ever have me do so! He barely leaves my side.

We have talked of so many things; of children, of the future, of our estate. I am somewhat afraid, my dear, of how to tell him the truth of what I am – or what I am supposed to do once he knows! What if he thinks badly of me? )

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