Fandom Category: Downton Abbey
Pairing: Mary Crawley/Matthew Crawley
Fic Title: Seat of Kings and Queens
WIP?: No; One-Shot
Why This Must Be Read: This is a missing scene from S1 set between episodes 6 and 7 that fits so perfectly into canon. The author creates such a realistic backstory for the two characters as they confide in one another about their childhoods, and it’s just a wonderful illustration of their love, intimacy, and companionship.
The basic facts of the case were known. He had asked. She said she would think about it. The verdict was uncertain, and all interested parties were looking for evidence, validated proof.
And every time she thought she had made up her mind - yes of course I want to marry him no I couldn't stand marrying him - the object of her struggle did something to alter her decision. During dinner, she had weighed the expectations of those around her and decided to turn him down. But as soon as she made her decision, he asked her to meet him the next day to play chess.
"Chess?" Mary asked, incredulous, trying to keep her voice soft. They were in the sitting room in Grantham House, not as grand as at home, smaller so that the listening ears were even closer.
"You do play, don't you?" Matthew asked, all smiles and flirtatious energy.
Her tone was feigned impatience. "Of course I play. I didn't know you did." Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Edith tilt her head, listening in, and Mary frowned.
"I thought perhaps you might teach me," Matthew suggested, and Mary knew he was trying. He was being dutifully patient, never once acting as if he was anxious about her answer. But he couldn't hide his affection; it was as plain as the smile on his face, the glint in his eyes. Perhaps that was the evidence she needed.( Two more fic recs )